AICN COMICS! WW CHICAGO CON REPORT! Q & @ WITH A TRIO OF TRANSFORMERS CREATORS! RIP MIKE WIERINGO! Oh...and some reviews!
Man, do we have a weird column for you guys this week. Hey folks, Ambush Bug here, back from this year’s WizardWorld Chicago Comic Convention at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, just outside Chicago. I’m a bit overwhelmed and dog-tired, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have stuff for you this week. We have a couple of Con reports scattered throughout this column, as well as an interview with some classic and current TRANSFORMERS creators, a heartfelt goodbye, and we even found some time to do a review or two. So bear with us, folks, we’ll be back to form next week. In the meantime, enjoy the most scattershot column we’ve produced in…well, since the last time we produced a scattershot column.
But first off, I have to run a correction. A few weeks back I did a review of the comic SCORN from Septagon Studios. In that review I mistakenly credited the book to the wrong creators. The book actually was written by Kevin Moyers and the incredibly vivid and moody artwork was provided by Philipp Neundorf. Just wanted to give credit where credit was due. Apologies all around.
And now, on with the madness…
Haven’t had a SHOOT THE MESSENGER segment in a while. Might as well dust off the logo.
The big announcement was that, now that ULTIMATES 2 is finally finished, Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch are going to be teaming up again for what looks to be a year long arc on the FANTASTIC FOUR. Fan reaction, which Joey Q & Mark Millar seemed to think was going to be huge, was surprisingly blasé about this announcement.
Genndy Tartakovsky of SAMURAI JACK fame will be writing and providing art for an upcoming CAGE miniseries featuring the return of the puffy yellow shirt and tiara. The designs look fun and cartoony.
After WORLD WAR HULK, Marvel is offering AFTERSMASH. The new creative team has yet to be announced, but Joey Q promises that the fans will be excited when they hear who will be taking over the title.
Expect KILLRAVEN to have weird looking feet for a while as Rob Liefeld provides his version of the Martian-bashing barbarian written by Robert Kirkman. Rob says that the book will be very much set in the future of the Marvel U. The sample art had Killraven brandishing Cap’s shield. The artist also says that fans can expect to see Thor’s hammer, Iron Man’s armor, and other artifacts from the Marvel U. No news if Rob’s 501 Jeans will be making an appearance.
INVINCIBLE’s Cory Walker will be drawing PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL after Ariel Olivetti leaves. Matt Fraction will continue with the Punisher title set in the Marvel U.
Apparently JMS’ SILVER SURFER: REQUIEM won’t end with Chrome Dome kicking the bucket. I know. It’s a shocker! Silver Surfer returns in SILVER SURFER: IN THY NAME drawn by the talented Tan Eng Huat from DOOM PATROL. The sample art looks amazing and detailed with vivid gray tones. 2000AD vet Simon Spurrier writes the issue.
No plans for any new NEXTWAVE, GLI, or YOUNG AVENGERS in the near future. None for DAZZLER or CLOAK AND DAGGER either.
There was much hype provided for the next Spidey event, “One More Day.” Joey Q seemed enthused, but I heard that it’s going to be quite the lightning rod with the fans. Don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. But the big push is for the following arc, “Brand New Day”, where the Spidey books are whittled down to one book and released three times monthly. The focus will be off of CIVIL WAR, black suits, and Spider-Totems and back towards the soap opera aspect and shining the spotlight on developing some of Spidey’s underused or over-abused supporting characters. Dan Slott, Phil Jimenez, Zeb Wells, and Steve McNiven among others will contribute to AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.
Expect ULTIMATES 3 in December. Much delayed books like ULTIMATE IRON MAN and the moth ball-laden ULTIMATE HULK/WOLVERINE are being held back until enough issues are in the can before they will see the light of day. Shouldn’t that kind of be protocol? Look at Marvel, all growed up and acting pwofessional. So cute. Warren Ellis and Cary Nord will bring ULTIMATE HULK/IRON MAN.
Waaaay too much time was spent this weekend debating whether or not Peter and MJ should be married. The subject came up in all the Marvel panels and it was exhausting every time it was discussed. I seriously think Joey Q planted those members in the audience to shift the focus off of the unmasking of Spider-Man, which I think was a much bigger mistake than marrying him off.
Buzz (not our Buzz, but buzz on the floor) says that the next X-MEN event “Messiah Complex” is a return to kick @$$ X-Overs and even was compared to “The Mutant Massacre” event which I believe to be one of the best X-Overs of all time. We shall see if this comparison holds up.
Alex Ross returns to Marvel for some type of project next year. The teaser art showed Ross’s version of Captain America with the word RETURN across his chest. We’ve since learned it’s a preview image for a storyline that will bring the original Invaders (Cap, Toro, Namor et al.) to the present-day Marvel Universe to interact with the Avengers..
The classic team of Dan Michelinie and Bob Layton bring you a IRON MAN/DR. DOOM miniseries. This was the team that made IRON MAN one of my favorite characters. Hopefully they can make me like him again with this miniseries since the regular Marvel books aren’t doing so.
There’s a slew of COUNTDOWN spin-offs on the horizon. Most intriguing was COUNTDOWN: ARENA as the Monarch is gathering an army and decides to make fanboys drool and cream as three of their favorite versions of the main characters of the 52 DCUniverses fight Thunderdome-stylee in a death match. EIC Dan Didio said that you could see The Red Son Superman vs. Kingdom Come Superman vs. Tangent Superman. Should be brainless fun and the results are going to be determined by the fans who will be able to vote online as to who wins.
Another COUNTDOWN tie-in, THE DEATH OF THE NEW GODS provided some humor to the presentation as writer Jim Starlin offered to kill just about every character brought up. SALVATION RUN follows the other Rogues not chained together in COUNTDOWN as they are sent to another planet to live the rest of their lives, but only if they survive the planet’s many dangers.
Grant Morrison is going to go nutso again with the DCU with next spring’s FINAL CRISIS, which is promised to be the mother of all DCU Crises…until the next one.
MANHUNTER is delayed until the new scripts are in, but she’ll be in BIRDS OF PREY. ALL STAR BATGIRL is on hold. The DR. FATE miniseries has been incorporated into COUNTDOWN TO MYSTERY. Look for a HITMAN/JLA two-parter by Ennis and McCrea soon.
Francis Manapul (I went “Who?” too…) is taking over LEGION OF SUPER HEROES. The art and costume designs look smart. Fans of the old Legion which popped up in the JLA/JSA crossover were told that they will be happy to see what happens in next year’s 50th anniversary of the Legion.
Sean McKeever revealed that he’s going to be writing an arc of COUNTDOWN where the Challengers from Beyond (Donna Troy, Jason Todd, The New Atom, and Kyle Rayner) will be journeying to Earth 3. There they will meet The Jokester who is the father of someone important.
Greg Rucka seems to be cool with the return of Ra’s Al Ghul (set to run in next year’s Batbooks) despite the fact that he wrote the definitive death of Ra’s in DEATH AND THE MAIDENS. Grant Morrison will be heading the resurrection of The Demon’s Head with Tony Daniels taking over the art chores on BATMAN when this all begins in October.
At the very end of Friday’s panel, someone asked if it was Barry Allen in the lightning rod at the end of the JSA/JLA crossover “The Lightning Saga.” Didio slipped and accidentally revealed it was SPOILER Bart not Barry in the rod END SPOILER. Dan clearly wasn’t supposed to say this and VP of Sales Bob Wayne clearly wasn’t happy with this revelation.
On the Vertigo side, Brian Wood (DMZ) made good on his promise last year with NORTHLANDERS, a Viking story.
LOVELESS and 100 BULLETS will keep on trucking. Brian Azzarello (who with his moustache looks a heck of a lot like a skinny Jeffrey Tambor) said that he may play with the idea of more stories in the 100 BULLETS universe after it comes to an end at issue #100. Azzarello said he liked the name FOR A FEW BULLETS MORE.
Bob Wayne said that he absolutely loved CAIRO, a new hardcover graphic novel focusing on drugs, journalism, and the military. Wayne says that this is the big Vertigo book of the upcoming year.
Despite the title, which makes me chuckle, the tone of INCOGNEGRO is deathly serious as a journalist goes undercover in the deep south to uncover a story on the lynching of African Americans.
Matt Wagner announced that he will be doing a MADAME XANADU title with manga artist Amy Hadley. The title will focus on the mysterious seer throughout the ages and her love affair with the Phantom Stranger. Wagner says that he will also shed some light on just exactly what the Phantom Stranger does besides being strange phantomly.
HELLBLAZER supporting character Chaz will get the spotlight in HELLBLAZER PRESENTS CHAZ: THE KNOWLEDGE, a miniseries due out next year written by THE EXTERMINATORS Simon Oliver.
PREACHER scripts have been written for HBO as a series, but no announcements were to be made at this con. It looks like the possibility of seeing the classic series on TV is becoming a greater possibility.
The most interesting tidbit dropped from DC this weekend was a preview of three new titles geared towards children that yet had this 35-year old’s mouth watering as well. First up is TINY TITANS by Franco Aureliani and Art Baltazar (PATRICK THE WOLF BOY). Seeing the cute designs of everyone’s favorite Titans made everyone in the room excited. Mike Kunkel (HEROBEAR) will be taking on BILLY BATSON AND THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM! which looks to be equally intriguing and seems to be in the same vein as Jeff Smith’s recent SHAZAM AND THE MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL. And rounding off the three is SUPER FRIENDS featuring the JLA and written by Sholly Fisch. All of these titles look to be the most promising kids books I’ve seen in quite a while. It looks to be that DC is trying to gear their books towards kids again with some rock solid product. Can’t wait to see them. Look for a sneak peek at TINY TITANS in TEEN TITANS #50.
On the Wildstorm front, fanboys rejoice! Your dreams are answered. November brings us a FREDDY VS JASON VS ASH miniseries by James Kuhoric with covers by J. Scott Campbell and Eric Powell. I honestly can’t wait for that one.
Although a lot of the stuff here was announced at the San Diego Con, it was fun to attend these panels and see what the writers and artists behind some of my favorite and soon to be favorite projects looked like. Next year, the Chicago Con is scheduled much earlier in the summer (late June). I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing. Does it mean that the Chicago Con will be the place where all of the big scoops are dropped? Or does it mean that the major announcements will be saved for San Diego again and Chicago will get by on filler and fluff? Not sure, but next year’s con looks to be something entirely different.
SQUASHUA INTERVIEWS TRANSFORMERS’ SIMON FURMAN, GEOFF SENIOR, & STEVE WHITE
Titan Magazines has released the TRANSFORMERS UK Comic for all the good chaps in the United Kingdom, and AICN Comics’ own resident Transformers fanatic Squashua was able to get a few questions in to legendary Transformers writer Simon Furman, legendary Transformers artist Geoff Senior, and editor Steve White. Click on any of the images in this interview for a larger version.
Simon Furman: I first started writing the Transformers back in 1985, in issue #13 of the UK TRANSFORMERS comic (published by Marvel). Since then I've written hundreds more UK stories, plus issues #56-80 of the US Marvel TRANSFORMERS series, TRANSFORMERS GENERATION 2 #1-12, various convention and exclusive comics, TRANSFORMERS: THE WAR WITHIN (volumes 1 & 2), TRANSFORMERS ARMADA/ENERGON #6-30 (both for Dreamwave), TRANSFORMERS INFILTRATION #1-6, TRANSFORMERS ESCALATION #1-6, TRANSFORMERS STORMBRINGER #1-4, TRANSFORMERS MOVIE PREQUEL #1-4 and BEAST WARS THE GATHERING #1-4 (all IDW). Plus, the final episode of the BEAST WARS TV series ('Nemesis pt2') and various books, including TRANSFORMERS THE ULTIMATE GUIDE and YOU CAN DRAW TRANSFORMERS. It's got so now I tend to be the first port of call when there's new Transformers comic material in the offing, and that was certainly the case with Titan's TRANSFORMERS comic/magazine when they wanted a new strip to tie in the summer blockbuster TRANSFORMERS movie. I guess I'm just the 'go-to' guy when it comes to giant battling robots.
Squashua: For those who don't know, Simon Furman has been involved with the Transformers for, like, forever. How'd you get started?
Squashua: What type of storylines can the fans expect from this comic--will they be more inline with the recent movie, or a retroactive look back at the classic Generation One?Simon Furman: We're starting off with stories set firmly in the movie continuity. Some will feature events from what is essentially the movie pre-history (on Cybertron and beyond), others will explore angles not highlighted within the span of the movie itself, and others will take key characters on arcs immediately after the movie's end credits.
But that's not to say other (classic) incarnations of Transformers won't get some new original strip in the future. It'll probably come down to what readers want to see most.
Squashua: So we can expect to see the Transformers featured in the movie then, including any that might have...passed on?Simon Furman: The first six issues feature (prominently) Optimus Prime, Megatron, Ratchet, Devastator, Ironhide and Jazz, but co-stars and cameo appearances proliferate. We'll see likes of Starscream, Bonecrusher, Arcee and Bumblebee, as well as a number of movie toy characters (like Skyblast, Signal Flare and Clocker) that never made it into the movie itself. Oh, and the spotlight is going to get thrown on the All Spark itself in due course. Expect to learn some of its mysterious origins.
Squashua: Arcee: the lady-bot. Rowr. So since you are going to be handling characters who didn't receive any screen time (and in my opinion, that would include pretty much anyone except Optimus and Bumblebee), will you be introducing any new or original characters as well?Simon Furman: I'm trying not to create original characters for the strips, but rather use existing movie or toy characters. That said, the very first issue has a character in it we created exclusively for the UK comic!!
Squashua: There are many variations on the Transformers storyline out there, and I know you yourself juggle a number of wildly varying Transformers continuities; how do you keep track of them all?Simon Furman: Right now, there are three distinct continuities: the movie-verse, the IDW/G1-verse and Beast Wars. They're all very different in terms of their cast and structure, so it's not too much of a problem to switch tracks. The movie stuff feels very cinematic in its scope, the G1 stuff is like this epic jigsaw puzzle I'm slowly assembling, revealing more of the big picture with each arc or Spotlight, and Beast Wars is very much the continuation/expansion of all the amazing groundwork laid by Bob Forward and Larry DiTillio (co-script editors and key episode writers) in the BW TV series, where the very nature of the characters, settings and stories makes it a very different, er, beast.
Squashua: With so much backstory and continuity, how do you make your storylines accessible to newer readers coming in from having seen the movie?Simon Furman: The movie is probably the most accessible continuity, simply because there's not a lot to catch up on. If you've seen the movie, you're pretty much ready to go. But even then, we've tried to make the strips as character-led and self-contained as possible, so even if you haven't seen the movie, you get a real sense of who's who and what their role is. With stuff like Beast Wars, we're just making sure there's plenty of recap stuff to help bring readers in.
Squashua: The original concept behind Transformers is that they are Robots in Disguise, yet becoming a Honda Civic or a Mountain Dew machine is pretty useless for, if you'll excuse the term, "robots from space". Considering yours plot will include Cybertronian history, how do you plan on keeping the transformation aspect "fresh" as a story aspect? That is to say, beyond maintaining the name, is there a reason they need to transform?Simon Furman: I think the disguise aspect is still very much there, both in the movie-verse and the G1-verse. In the movie storyline, the Transformers need to transform to cover the vast distances in outer space. When they land on a given planet, they adapt their forms to blend in. As you'll see in the first clutch of UK comics, it's not always Earth they land on, and so we get a number of variations on their alt. mode theme. And let's face it, if they need to get somewhere fast, without attracting undue attention, it's better to do it as a Honda Civic than a robot.
Squashua: Since you're handling it from the movie aspect, is there going to be a reaction from what everyone considers the real stars of the movie, the humans?Simon Furman: Oh yeah. Both in the movie-verse and the IDW/G1 storyline. In fact, in DEVASTATION (the third, fourth if you count STORMBRINGER, volume of the G1 reinvention) all the Autobots’ and Decepticons' efforts to stay hidden kind of go to hell. And boy, do we get a reaction!
Squashua: As you can see, I was a bit jaded by the flick. What did you think of the movie? Would you have changed anything?Simon Furman: I might have thinned the human cast down somewhat, as the number of different organizations and involved parties seemed almost unnecessarily confusing, but otherwise no. I loved the movie. It was amazing to look at and pretty breathtaking in its scope. Any story, um, holes, I just see in terms of their potential for us to get in there and spin extra stories out of them.
Squashua: Regarding your older work, many fans in the United States did not realize that while they collected the Marvel TRANSFORMERS series over here, Marvel UK was producing over three times the amount of Transformers material. How'd you handle it?Simon Furman: We were doing a lot of stuff for the UK comic back then, but don't forget we also reprinted the US strip. The two, largely, went hand in hand, creating one big whole. Sure, we had our little digressions and a few story conceits (Grimlock, for instance, is much more of a character in the UK stories than he was in the US, and we had the whole future cast from the animated movie), but mostly it works. I think.
Squashua: With a lot of your earlier material, you eschewed stories about traditional characters (eg. Optimus Prime, Megatron, Bumblebee, etc.) for lesser-known beings (eg. Bludgeon), who have gone on to become fan-favorites. Are there any formerly obscure bots coming into view on the horizon?Simon Furman: Maybe, yeah, but initially at least we want to focus on the main cast of characters. There is a lot to do and explore there before we move on.
Squashua: With Transformers being a toy license first and foremost, how much control does Hasbro exert over the storylines?Simon Furman: I think as long we don't undermine the characters or present them in a bad light, Hasbro's only criteria is that we tell a good story. And since that's what we're trying to do too, we're kind of coming at things from the same direction. What we do have to be wary of, with movie sequels in the offing, is not establishing stuff that's going to compromise what the movie people have planned.
Squashua: You and Geoff Senior created Death's Head, who has (or had?) a huge cult following. How did he get so popular?Simon Furman: Just a great character, yes? Damn you, Marvel, do more with him!
Squashua: Geoff Senior is back with his first Transformers work since 1989. Geoff, back in the day you drew traditional Generation One Transformers; now you're working with the movie designs molds. Which do you find more challenging or appealing?Geoff Senior: The original designs were clearer. The new ones are obviously more complicated. The character specs we were given aren't very clear. Having seen the film and photos, I think they could have been better. I think there is a 'formula' to drawing them, which would keep the general look without being too confusing. If you get a group fighting there is the risk of it looking like a mass of shapes. The challenge is there.
Squashua: Is there a favorite character you prefer to work with?Geoff Senior: Death's Head...does he count as he isn't a Transformer? Or any of the bad guys.
Squashua: He certainly does count. Steve, as editor, what sort of features can fans look forward to?Steve White: Well, I'm trying to strike a balance with the pretty varied readership the comic has. We have the six-year old kids who love the toys and we have the 30 year-old guys who read the comic when they were a kid and have grown up with Transformers and are quite scathing about the film.
Squashua: Yes...Steve White: I took the approach that we did when working on the Marvel comic, which is essentially never talk down to the reader, no matter how old they are. So we've avoided all the coloring pages and puzzles and gone for the more hardcore approach, with in-depth features on the characters. We've made them fun with a "Who would win in a fight between...?" kind of approach and that seems to have gone down well. We're also planning How To Draw features, but these will be pretty complicated affairs, not just a few circles and squares. Plus there is plenty of coverage of new merchandise and DVDs, that sort of stuff.
Squashua: Besides Simon and Geoff, are there any other creators you have in the pipeline?Steve White: We've got a pretty good and varied array of artists lined up over the next few issues. #2 features Nick Roche, who did a fantastic job on the MEGATRON strip. Then we have an old Marvel warhorse, Andy Wildman. #4 has artwork by Don Figueroa, who I'm a big fan of and was so pleased to get on board. #5 is drawn by Guido Guidi, another TRANSFORMERS regular. #6, the last in the current story arc, is being drawn by Marcelo Matere - another artist I love and was really pleased to get. Beyond that, I have a few other people in mind; we're also planning art covers from #7 so that should be fun as well - some really great artists have said they couldn't do a strip but would be up for a cover, so that should be interesting. As the saying goes, watch this space...
Squashua: Most excellent. The TRANSFORMERS COMIC UK is a 4-weekly, 52-page book, and is in stores now. The London Film and Comic Convention will have all three of my interviewees available for signing opportunities on Saturday, September 1st. For more details on the comic, see the TRANSFORMERS COMIC UK profile on Myspace or subscribe to get your own copy at Titan Magazines.
And then I heard what I consider to be the best news to come out of the con: the new children’s titles coming from the Johnny DC line. The TINY TITANS art for the new title by Franco Aureliani and Art Baltazar instantly had me grinning ear to ear. I’ve seen these guys working their table every year, and even bought a cute little sketch from them at one point. I’d gotten used to them being one of the more welcome mainstays in the artists’ alley every years, but never thought they’d have a chance at the mainstream. I’d always thought they were perfectly suited for childrens’ books, to be honest—the bookstore kind, not just comics—but didn’t know if they’d ever get a shot. To find out they’re going to bring their talents to bear on a book for DC is wonderful news. To then get even more good news—Mike Kunkel of HEROBEAR fame moving over to a book where he gets to illustrate BILLY BATSON AND THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM!--just made the whole thing that much better. Kunkel’s work is so fun and energetic that I can’t imagine a better book for him to make his mainstream debut, and you just know he’s going to do right by Tawky Tawny when he shows up. I may not be the target audience for these books, but they look like they’re gonna have a lot of adults buying them for the same reason grownups still love PEANUTS or CALVIN & HOBBES.
That I found this to be the biggest, most exciting part of the con, though, made me realize something: it’s not me. I’m not jaded or bored with the medium. Not at all. I was just bored with the con. This year had even fewer big names in attendance than last year’s turnout, and even fewer big announcements. It’s sad, really: the first few years I went to the convention here in Chicago I’d find myself scribbling frantically during panels, but now there was no reason to. No Bendis, no Loeb, no Waid, no Rucka, no Simone, no Whedon, no Johns, no Lee, no Kuberts or Romita Jr. The only real names of note were the always-charming Mark Millar and the always-swoon-inducing John Cassaday, but a three-day weekend is a lot for one little Scot and one dude who looks like Josh Homme’s kid brother to carry on their shoulders. The always-dismal Fan Awards on Friday night were even worse than ever before, and Millar had to carry all of that as well, the poor sap.
No big writers’ workshops, no mindblowing announcements of new series, books, or teams, no fundraisers with celebrities, no auctions or costume contests. No comic book superstar Joyce DeWitt. Less quality independents with stands, because apparently comic book fans are there to see previews of video games or half-assed fake wrestling leagues (granted, with a mercifully smaller ring) and not to experience comics. No Wizard-sponsored press party or post-6 PM events planned for the public. Shit, no Kevin Smith—I may have hated him being here every year, but at least he brought a little fun to the proceedings (but thank god his mouthbreathing shitheaded fans weren’t around stinking up the hallways half asleep and drooling on each other this year).
Nope, it definitely ain’t me. After last year’s mediocre con, the guys in charge over at Wizard were canned, and it gave me hope. I thought this year they were gonna really pull things together. It’s obvious they just let it keep sliding, though, and it’s disappointing. I know San Diego is such a huge deal because of its proximity to LA, and I know that’s why they can get more stars and celebrities and media attention—but dammit, try harder. Have less conventions and make the handful you keep matter, which Chicago didn’t. Don’t make me sit in a panel on what’s coming in 2008 only to hear “we’re making an announcement in the next few weeks” over and over—just make the damned announcements. And are you seriously telling me that nobody from “Lost” or “Heroes” or “Smallville” or “Supernatural” or anything had the weekend off? NOBODY? Last year, Erica Durance had to fly herself in on her own dime, when they could have just had her signing autographs and cleared a profit on it instead. And I know the writers all have lives, too, but let’s face it: these things are like the Emmys and the Golden Globes. Make the time: come meet your public, smile for the cameras, be witty. You’ll sell more books and build more bridges, so it’s more than worth the effort.
So please, Wizard: Do better next year. I’m really hoping that moving the date is part of a plan to fix the Chicago Con and start making it into what it should be. Bring back the fun and the talent and the events. Do more with the cool indie guys while they’re in town, give the fans more to do, bring back the big announcements and the comic book luminaries. I want to love Wizard World Chicago again, like I did the first couple of years. I want it to be big and bright and fun and informative. I know it can be because it’s has been before, so please: stop the slide into further mediocrity. Bring the joy back while you’ve still got an audience, because another couple of years like the last two and you’ll have lost a lot of the audience for this event—something none of us want to see happen.
WORLD WAR HULK – The Battle Thus Far
Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo
WORLD WAR HULK #3
Writer: Greg Pak Artist: John Romita, Jr. Inker: Klaus JansonWe’re two months in, and a lot have people have said that this series is losing momentum. I respectfully disagree. I think what it’s losing is acceleration, but the action is staying constant, moving along at the same steady clip. They’re going to show the Hulk going through every person who has opposed him, and that takes time. But I like the pace, overall; I liked this issue and this series.
Artwise, if you’re no fan of Romita, this would be the time to give him a second chance. I did, and I think this is some of his strongest work (Of course, I wouldn’t cry if Hitch drew a whole issue and not just an incredible cover, but...).
Pak continues the fine job he’s been doing with this issue. We knew Dr. Strange (ostensibly) would not stop the Hulk – after all, there’s three more issues to go. But the way it happened was pretty cool to watch. It should also be noted that something new is happening with the Hulk/Banner relationship. Maybe they were both in love with Caiera. Maybe they decided to work together. But this is the most that either been on the same page in a long time – could this be the beginnings of a new status quo? We’ve seen hints already, but when all this blows over, I hope it continues.
The person I found most interesting was Ross. More than the impotent and anachronistic relic of old wars and cold wars, he’s the first person (in this whole series and every spinoff, actually) who truly brought the serious pain. I was expecting Hulk to go through the puny Army humans like he did in every other issue of the Trimpe-drawn Hulk, but Ross and his troops did more damage to the Hulk than anyone so far. Good for him. I mean, I know second place is still losing, but I always hated to see Ross simply playing “Team Rocket” to Hulk’s “Ash.” And Ross went down fighting. How many other men have the stones to shoot the Hulk point blank in the eyeball? Despite myself, I was rooting for him.
Next up: Sentry, who seems at the front of the queue for a pummeling, but someone better get a feel for this damaged-goods wussyboy character quick, because I’m tired of him. I’m no fan of his (since the INHUMANS/Avengers debacle) but my antipathy is quickly changing to apathy, and apathy sells no comic books.
I liked seeing the rest of the Warbound mix things up. These are all (okay, most – lose Miek and Brood, please) interesting characters on their own, and deserve more than being relegated to the sidelines. I would love to see them move forward as a group, as long as they don’t call themselves “The Renegades…” As for the ending, I was utterly not expecting that, and scrambling for Wikipedia like just about everyone else. But the last page makes me genuinely anxious to see “round two” next issue. How many other heroes got a second shot? Let’s see what Pak does with it.
INCREDIBLE HULK #109
Writer: Greg Pak Artist: Carlo Pagulayan Inker: Jeffrey HuetMany moons ago, there was an episode of “Star Trek” where the crew went back in time to a rocket launch, and most of the screen time was devoted to some Mr. Seven, a cat, and a very young Teri Garr. And you just KNEW they were using the episode as a test pilot to launch another series. It felt forced and superfluous and very much like about half of this issue. Fortunately, the other half advanced the plot, and gave us a very important piece of information regarding the real mission of the Warbound and why the Hulk wants no help from anyone. Nicely done.
Regarding the new series prep, I know they’re trying to whet us for a “We’re not the Champions, we’re the Renegades” series, and I’m still not sure what Angel will fulfill other than need for some writer to put him in the Stark-funding role, but the Fantastic Four-ish formation at the end was just a bit too much.
Also, for continuity fans, I can’t REALLY tell if that’s Ross being outfitted with an obedience disk, but if that’s true, then the Hulk obviously walked away from his encounter with a Zom-strong Dr. Strange. Oops. But Stark and Cho and Richards manage to connect, and it seems as though the end game cometh, which needs to happen quickly in order to finish strong.
Last kudo, though – Pagulayan did a great job on the art, and the last page was, in my opinion, nothing short of spectacular.
WORLD WAR HULK – FRONTLINE #3
Writer: Paul Jenkins Artists: Bachs, Martinbrough, MorenoSo what does the final Hulk-centric title brings to the story?
Well, does anyone remember Lenore from New Universe’s DP7? She was the 60-something Latin teacher who found she could absorb energy from anyone, usually by revealing her face to them. In the process, she regained the body of a lithe and beautiful 20 year old. But we never got to see her face. All we would see was her pulling off her mask, and anyone in range went to sleep. Instantly. If exposed to her long enough, they might even go into a coma.
Folks, I now know what her face looked like. It looked like FRONTLINE.
This issue, like the last, and like all of Gaul for that matter, is in three parts divided. (Sorry, I’ve still got Latin on the brain.) But the whole of FRONTLINE coalesces into the most horribly somnorific set of stories in all of WW HULK. Last issue, though I tried twice, I actually could not bring myself to read the entirety of the second story. (And don’t get me started on the well-below-NOT-BRAND-ECHH-quality tertiary feature.) This issue, Sally and Ben run around the combat zone, say one or two clever things, and the rest is all filler.
Oh, and J. Jonah Jameson is ready to eviscerate them for daring to “scoop” him. Wowzers. His big questions are “how do they keep their presses going?” I’m thinking backup generators, maybe? And “who is funding them?” I’m thinking, someone who saw a void in the marketplace? But since we, the readers, know funding was in fact provided by some kind of mystery man, our pulses are supposed to quicken as JJJ gets closer to…the truth! If I could rouse myself from complete disinterest, I would feel manipulated.
And Danny Detective is still looking for ARCH-E’s killer. (Personally I suspect REG-E, but that’s just me.) Setting aside the well-documented suspension of disbelief that a detective would be assigned a case where he must work with AN INVADING ALIEN to find the killer of ANOTHER INVADING ALIEN, while other INVADING ALIENS are killing people and being killed, all I know is that 1.) I’m still not sure what Danny looks like, since he alternately appears like an old Val Kilmer or young Earnest Borgnine, 2.) Korg quips like someone who has been on earth longer than I, which is alternately funny and distracting, and 3.) if I hear the term “judicial servitude” one more time, I may have to alternately…well, I can’t thing of any actions worth the effort, so never mind. Wow, that was a long sentence. Sorry.
So to sum up, at the end of this issue, they’re still looking for the killer. And they find…get ready…a camera! Hose me down.
The issue closes with an INITIATIVE-themed joke piece that…oh, I’ve looked at it too long…getting sleepy…zzzzzzzzzzzz…. **WAKES SUDDENLY** Okay, Marvel. No more interludes. Meatloaf once said that two out of three ain’t bad. I beg to differ. WW HULK #3 delivered, and HULK #109 mostly delivered, but can we step up (read: introduce) some action in this title? Jenkins is a good writer – I know he can do better.
In Summary – overall I like this mega event more than most, and one or two clunkers don’t ruin it. But if you miss this title, you’re not missing much, and that’s a shame, since FRONTLINE: CIVIL WAR was so relevant and enjoyable to me.
Pickin’s were surprisingly slim this year. Bug again. I didn’t really go into this con with a goal to buy anything special. The theme of this year was to mellowly mosey through the whole thing with a Dude-like sense of “Whatever happens, man…happens.” As I perused the merch aisles and artists alley, I wasn’t really compelled to go out and buy anything, as I have been apt to do in previous years. That said, I did leave the con with a few purchases and pick-ups of note. And because no one demanded it, I’ll let you know what I stuffed in my bag o’ schwag.
Or what I bought at this year’s con…
To start off I have to toss out a big BOOO!!! To the Wizard people. In the past, the bag o’ fun that they handed out to those who picked up tickets was full of semi-interesting things like Hero Clix figurines, limited edition books, and maybe even some buttons or a Wizard magazine. This year, I felt like Charlie Brown when I looked in my bag. Inside the plastic tote was a schedule, a Wizard magazine, a squeeze toy shaped like a brain from something called Gleemax, and the cherry on top; a CROW: STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN DVD postcard.
Gotta hand it to Wizard for going all out with the freebs. I plan on cherishing my CROW: STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN DVD Postcard for…like…ever.
I think I would have preferred the rock.
The rest of the con proved to be much more interesting in the merch department. DC handed out some Minimates--those logo figure lookin’ versions of their characters. I wanted Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. I got Robin and the Penguin. I was going to ask for the other set, but you know what they say about beggars and choosers.
One of the coolest things I got was the hardcover trade paperback of the first few issues of HARBINGER: THE BEGINNING. No word if and when the Valiant U will be making a return, but all signs point to yes since this new hardcover introduces a new character that is touted to play an important role in the Valiant U. I was going to review this book this week, but I’m going to hold off on it until I can announce the winners of our HARBINGER Contest in next week’s column. The book, though, is damn smooth.
While waiting in line for the Batman teaser/preview, I got a chance to meet writer Sean McDevitt. He’s a friend of Grant Chastain, a writer himself of the cool CORRECTIVE MEASURES comic and a frequenter of our very own AICN Comics Talkback. McDevitt was kind enough to hand me a copy of his own book SLIP KID and I plan to read it and review it in an upcoming Indie Jones.
I am most definitely an impulse buyer. This aspect of my being was proved positive, as I had to purchase a shirt from Graphitti Designs upon sight. The black tee was of a simple design, a picture of a leering old man’s face and above his head the title of the old CREEPY Magazine was hung. The double entendre was too good to pass up and I can’t wait to creep the hell out of the ladies with that shirt.
A side note from Sleazy G: Bug doesn’t need that shirt to creep out the ladies, and I don’t know how he didn’t notice the old guy is actually Future Bug 30 years from now. Like Bishop, only scrawny, pasty, bald and wart-covered.My best purchase at the con was indicative of a new unhealthy addiction I am forming with the Bowen Designs Mini-Busts of Marvel Characters. A week or so ago, I did a review of my CAPTAIN BRITAIN mini-bust that I recently purchased. In that review, I mentioned that I would be looking for a few more busts to accompany him atop my desk. At this con, I found that UNION JACK bust I thought was so cool and I can now have a little British tea party going on above my head as I tap away these reviews on the keyboard.
I can see the conversations to be had now as if it were a badly written comedy bit…
UNION JACK would be like: “’ello, guv’nah Bri’ain! Would you care for a spot of tea?”
Then CAPTAIN BRITAIN would go “Don’t chink the fine China, bitch n’ chips!”
“Crikey, well let’s throw another dingo on the barbie then, Capn’!” UNION JACK suggests Britishly waving his knife and gun in the air as Brits often do.
“That’s Australian, you ponce. C’mere and let me brain you with my kitchen table leg, bitch n’ chips.”
Then, in the future when my Daredevil GLADIATOR Mini-Bust arrives, he’ll be like, “How about some finger sandwiches, gents? I cut them for you with my wrist blades!”
Then they’d all go “Yay!” then sip and sigh longingly, and whisper the name “Jean Luc” under their breaths.
The contents of this year’s Schwag Bag wasn’t as plentiful as those of the past, but I did like the stuff I picked up. There’s a little bit of everything on sale to satisfy your geek tastes at these conventions. All you have to do is wander the floor and you’ll probably find it.
Writer: Ed Brubaker Art: Michael Lark & Stefano Gaudiano Publisher: Marvel Comics Guest reviewer: Stone’s ThrowMan, it sure is great to be reading a great Daredevil story that actually feels like a Daredevil story! After Brian Bendis' "controversial" run (if controversial mean dull), Brubaker and Lark's DD as prison drama first arc and the mixed "Daredevil goes to Europe" second arc (with it's "oh look, a surprising, convenient villain" resolution) they've really hit their stride here. This arc has felt fast-paced, tight and dangerous. DD's doing what he does best, namely kicking drug-addled butt in Hell's Kitchen and dodging freaky supervillains. Matt Murdock's being written like the cool-ass mofo he should be for once - take this exchange between him and Foggy:
Foggy: "What did your sensei say about fighting angry?" Matt: "Not to get in my way."
That's some good dialogue there: tight, terse and to the point. With Marvel's other significant adult (Tony Stark) being written more like a prissy hall monitor than swingin’ superhero these days ("Spinning out of CIVIL WAR! Iron Man finally asks Returning Character X to register!"), it's a delight to see a writer making his lead character cool and admirable for once.
Brubaker's also one of those writers, alongside such rare talents as Geoff Johns and Dan Slott, who can immediately and unashamedly access what's cool about little-used or mocked characters, evidenced here in the surprisingly chilling return of a DD villain. He's perfectly matched by Lark who finds some way to make even the dorkiest costumes look impressive without changing hardly anything about them (props for the Ox's waistcoat and turtle neck combo--I mean, how many villains do you see wearing that?). Although I find Stefano Gaudiano's inks a little too scratchy in places, Lark's art is wonderfully evocative of each and every scene, from the fusty (is fusty the right word?) interiors of Foggy and Matt's offices to the breezy, spacious hospital where the Gladiator's locked up, to the pretty charming bonding between Foggy and a likeable femme fatale. The tense, paranoid tone of the issue is oddly heightened by the choice to set it during the day, somewhere we rarely see Hornhead.
I give Marvel a lot of crap for ignoring what makes their characters special in search of the shake-up but I gotta give them credit here. DAREDEVIL is one of the top books each month just doing what a DD title does best. In fact, after next issue's #100 I wouldn't mind seeing the book revert to its full numbering, so well has Brubaker reconciled the superheroics of volume 1 with the more revisionist attitudes of Kevin Smith and Bendis. Brubaker and Lark are a triumph for traditional, fast-paced superhero stories that never feel the least bit retro or campy.
- First thing's first, and I know I touched on this a bit with one of these I wrote this time last year, but for all that is good and holy, do not fucking come to the con with the intention of dropping two dozen plus books in front of random creator of choice. It's just bad form. Yes, we all know you love such and such, or you just love putting signed shit on Ebay cause you for some reason think that will get you extra cash, but really, all you're doing is giving me justified license to kick you repeatedly in the pelvis until it cracks... trust me, if you do this no one around me is going to say anything when security comes to check on all the fuss. All you're doing is either putting the creator on the spot as he either has to hold up the line to politely and unnecessarily sign all your stuff, or you're going to make him look like a bit of a prick when he (or even she) refuses for the same reason. Just bring a small handful or books, a nice little collection of your favorite works of the party at hand, and move on. Seriously, any more than that and you're being a douchebag, even if you don't mean to be.
- While we're on the subject of rampant douchebaggery, please for the love of Odin pay attention to what's actually going around you whenever you attend any of the panels being held. At the "Cup of Joe" session on Saturday it was asked three separate times when ULTIMATES 3 was coming out. Three times! Come on people, we're comic book geeks. No one should be that hard of hearing. Maybe a little eyestrain from reading literally millions of captions and word balloons, but I'm sure our audial canals should be pretty much intact. Just pay attention, especially when your question amounts to something that you probably should have read on CBR, Newsarama, or any of a dozen internet comic sites already.
- Oh yeah, and don't waste our time getting into random debates about Peter Parker and Mary Jane's marriage when you're at a Q&A that is specifically for getting the idea of what is coming in the future. Things like that are what internet forums are for. You're just taking time away from guys that have legitimate questions about upcoming projects and somesuch.
- By the by, not only is Jolt and Rum delicious, but I'm pretty sure it's the only thing that was keeping me standing by Sunday. Word of advice, not only should you bring your own booze to cons (because hotel bars fucking suck more than a cheerleader on prom night) but bring energy drinks. Nerds being tired? Perish the thought. Long box diving is daunting work it is.
- Now this one is for all you retailers out there, and I mean this with all due respect. If you're bringing trades, and you plan on bringing a fuckton of them, please don't bother unless you plan on selling them for at least 25% off. Preferably 30% or greater. Look, I'm not trying to be a cheap bastard here, I'm trying to be helpful as a man with a Bachelor's Degree in Business and who spent several dozen hours going over the concepts of supply and demand. Here's the deal, if I really want a trade off of you, you're already competing with several Internet Retailers such as Amazon.com or InStockTrades or whomever for your business, and these places almost always immediately come with 25% off their stock, typically up to a whole third off, and are usually good for free shipping with a few little stipulations. Not only that, but you're at a freaking convention!! There's going to be at least another dozen guys physically present offering the same kinds of discounts. I don't care if you have the best selection out there, but if I can just spend five minutes surfing the interwebs looking for what I want and find not only the same selection but for two bucks cheaper a hit, well then my friend all you've done is guaranteed that you'll be repacking a lot of pulp come Sunday afternoon.
- Oh, and while speaking of trades, just another heads up to you gents: 40% off trades with complete alphabetical ordering of them > 50% off trades all thrown about in random mass chaos. I'm much more obliged to hand a dealer an extra buck forty if I can immediately find what I'm looking for than to save it spending an hour shuffling through your mass of 1700 Ultimate Universe books you over-ordered on to find something I might like. It's called Opportunity Cost, another thing I learned in between hangovers while getting that degree. Cheers..
- And lastly, one heavily noticible thing that I found has been plaguing Conventions like this more and more in recent years: There're girls attending them now. Now calm down calm down! I know this is quite the unexpected twist but just take it easy and remember a few things here. One, they're people just like us, expect a little different (i.e. Boobs). Just accept them for who they are, be respectful, and hey! Maybe even talk to one! But speaking of talking, here's thing number two: If a girl is at one of these cons she's either a) there with her boyfriend, or b) paid to be there by some retailer or promoter (or said boyfriend) and isn't interested in you. Sorry fanboy, but as much as you've dreamt of finding a girl that understands your snide, snarky, and net-savvy sense of humor, all rife with comic book references, you're still not going to find her at one of these events, even though you're actually going to find her at one of these events. It's called irony, and God fucking loves that shit.
So there you go. I hope these have been some very helpful observances for any future journeys to one of these masses of geekdom. I know I was a little harsh in some of these, but trust me, it's for your own good to know some of this stuff before you come in and look like an ass. There's going to be enough of that once the costumes start rolling in (and god forbid some furries), no reason for you to look like one in your jeans and Green Lantern t-shirt.
JLA CLASSIFIED #41
Writer: Peter Milligan Artist: Carlos D’Anda Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me AmodeoI had high hopes for this series and I was not disappointed. Great writing. Great art. I wasn’t disappointed…all the way until the end (well, the art was still great.).
Let’s talk art. I think I remember D’Anda from some old issues of OUTSIDERS, but I don’t remember it looking as strong as this does. The men are manly. The women are babes. The villains are ugly. I don’t think I could ask for much more, so let’s go onto the writing.
Milligan made Frank Halloran an interesting character, well constructed and unpredictable. I’m a sucker for all that stuff about free will and determinism – I almost minored in Philosophy. Without any sort of moral anchor past his intellectual deductions, the Justice League was right to be worried about Frank. I loved the way they tried to determine which what he would go. But this issue, Frank…that is, Kid Amazo, has had enough, and determines that he’s going to the dark side. Fair enough, and like I said, I was hooked.
But I’m not blind to the weak spots. Last issue, it was the implausible reason that Wonder Woman decided to “out” Kid Amazo. Personally, I would have simply continued to monitor the situation, but I suppose the plot had to be moved along. Yet this issue, we find out that his girlfriend’s reaction was a part of the plan. But that part would not have come about had Wonder Woman not outed him. So…hmmm…
Another part that seemed a little hokey: the way almost every character seems to s-s-stutter instead of…pause…for effect. And the brief suggestion that the League disband to avoid further catastrophe: yeah, that would work! Not. John’s character seems smarter than that, just like Diana should have been last issue. Little things like that.
But the overall writing was solid…up until we see the “weakness” that the JLA exploits, a weakness that doesn’t really make sense to me. Since the Kid can turn on his abilities, one would surmise he could turn them off, too…before it’s too late. It seemed like a cheap ending, and doubly so because he was such a cool character. Maybe I’m just whining because I didn’t like the ending. But I tell you this, if he resurfaces, I would definitely check him out again.
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Aug. 15, 2007, 9:09 a.m. CST
I loved Mike Wieringo's work for years. He was a talented guy and from what I read willing to share his techniques with others. He will be missed.
Aug. 15, 2007, 9:11 a.m. CST
I'm not supposed to be here, but still...
Aug. 15, 2007, 9:12 a.m. CST
Sorry if I pissed some Mike Wieringo's fans. I should've read first. My bad.
Aug. 15, 2007, 9:13 a.m. CST
All the WW Chicago recap stuff blinks out when you scroll over it. At least, it does in Firefox.
Aug. 15, 2007, 9:43 a.m. CST
I cherish those issues of Flash. Rest in peace, Mike.
Aug. 15, 2007, 9:48 a.m. CST
He was a hell of an artist! What an unpleasant surprise to wake up to. Very, very decent guy.
Aug. 15, 2007, 9:49 a.m. CST
Arrgh can this day get any worse. Wish I coulda gone to WWC. But WWT in Austin will be a blast...any of you guys going down there???
Aug. 15, 2007, 9:57 a.m. CST
Ever consider things from the single geek girl's p-o-v? How am I ever going to pick up a nice man-geek with the advice you're throwing around in that last point of yours? <BR><BR>What, am I going to have to go all booth babe or Suicide Girl now? I may as well let my desperation fly, go as Power Girl and get it over with.<BR><BR><BR>Although I do agree with you: alphabetization > sale prices, except in the case of quarter bins.
Aug. 15, 2007, 9:59 a.m. CST
Jeez that's a shame. Seemed like a great guy and was a talented artist. <br><br>In other news, Mike Kunkel on a kid's Shazam book makes me HAPPY.
Aug. 15, 2007, 10:06 a.m. CST
by Sledge Hammer
...stuff we cribbed from Newsarama's con coverage. I mean seriously, I know the news is the news, but that read like a shopping list of exactly what's been posted over at 'rama over the past week or so. And for "we've since learned" read "we have since read on Newsarama that...", passing things off as if you personally found them out, when you've clearly taken them from another site, not so cool. Oh, and using the fucking marquee code for scrolling text, that may have seemed cool for about five minutes to a bunch of 12 year olds building their first website pages back in 1996, but now? Jesus...it's about as useful as writing an op ed piece on convention etiquette after the fucking convention is over...<p>On the upside, nice interview, the Captain Britain and Union Jack busts look very cool (the 'comedy' bit, yeah, not so much, sorry), the reviews solid (even if I don't agree with a lot you guys say), and the opinion on the Dark Knight footage interesting, even if it is basically (and by necessity) going over the same stuff that everyone else who talked about the screened footage talked about.<p>Finally, nice obit for Mike Wieringo, someone the industry, comic fans, and his friends and loved ones lost way too soon.
Aug. 15, 2007, 10:12 a.m. CST
by Ambush Bug
Your positivity is infectious.<br><br> Keep on, keeping on with that, I hate everything attitude, guy-that's-too-cool-for-the-room-but-for-some-reason-is-still-in-it.
Aug. 15, 2007, 10:23 a.m. CST
Anytime you can work an ash/team rocket analogy into a review, its all golden in my book
Aug. 15, 2007, 10:31 a.m. CST
first of all my thoughts and prayers to Mike Wieringo's family and friends. His artwork amazing and it seems like he was a genuine real deal person<P>I've always wanted to attend a convention but have never gotten around to it since I'm not a hard core collector of anything, I've always just wanted to go for the atmospher and whatnot, it sounds like chiago is a bust then, should I be saving up my nickels and dimes for ComiCon in SD?<P>on a compeltely unrealted side not, I was just thinking last night for some reason about the old Bob Newhart show where he played a comic book creator called Bob, I think the show was called Bob, I don't know why I was thinking about that but I was
Aug. 15, 2007, 11:04 a.m. CST
When I used to collect heavily, back in the late 90's, Wieringo was one of my favorite artists. His work jumped off the page. It was like a catchy piece of music or something. You couldn't take your eyes off it. Damn shame. He had at least a few great years still in front of him.
Aug. 15, 2007, 11:05 a.m. CST
Suck on that, sledge.
Aug. 15, 2007, 11:08 a.m. CST
by Mr Incredible
Pick up Modern Masters Volume 9: Mike Wieringo. Great interview, insight, and artwork on the man.
Aug. 15, 2007, 11:20 a.m. CST
by dead youngling
Aug. 15, 2007, 11:27 a.m. CST
by Steve Rogers
And I thought it was awesome, and was hooked in not only for the rest of his run but the rest of Mark Waid's too (and that was some run). His style only improved over the years, and the recent Spidey/FF series was an absolute joy to read. RIP Mr Wieringo.
Aug. 15, 2007, 11:54 a.m. CST
are a pain in the ass and slow reading a lot. Great loss, Wieringo.
Aug. 15, 2007, 11:55 a.m. CST
I remember way back giving the same lecture about meeting girls at a con to one of my friends as we drove acroos Jersey to a con in NYC. A few hours later, I wound up scoring a cute chick's phone number and we wound up dating for about nine months. Still haven't heard the end of it from my friend.
Aug. 15, 2007, 12:06 p.m. CST
Look: the truth is, we don't have the pull get an Alex Ross exclusive interview the same day an announcement is made. I wish we did, but we just don't. So what were our two choices? Well, we could either say "a new Ross project was announced but we have no further details". But if we do that, we get jumped on by people saying "everybody's known what that project is for days! Get with the program! You guys suck!"<p> Alternately, we can say that we've since learned what the project is, which is true: we have learned it, and so have you, and so has anybody else who hits the news sites. It's true, it's legitimate, it's accurate. I read it on two different sites which both have a lot more pull than us. Since at this point it's public knowledge, do we need to list them as sources? Not really.<p> Sorry if you didn't like the way it worked out, but look at it this way: how long does a news story have to run round the blogosphere before we consider it public knowledge? Newsarama and comicbookresources had this story up three or four days ago. It's hardly a secret. Hell, the fact you already knew about it before we said anything tells you all you need to know: it' obviously public knowledge.<p> In closing, let me just reiterate something Rev_Skarekroe said above: not everybody who reads our site hits Newsarama and comicbookresources. We're servicing a different audience for two reasons. First, we reach a lot of people who come to AICN for the movie and TV stories and aren't regular comic site readers. If we don't mention some of this stuff, they don't know about it. Second, we exist to provide reviews and opinions and aren't a daily news source like those other sites. We have a different type of content provided in a different manner. Maybe it's not exactly what you were looking for or expecting, but that's where we're coming from.
Aug. 15, 2007, 12:09 p.m. CST
I posted the below this morning on my DA page... I have answered a ton of emails about this already this morning, so please forgive me not being able to say something new or insightful... Not much more I can say about this tragic thing; it makes me want to cry... 'Just got the news about Mike Wieringo... I am in shock right now. I talked with Mike just last week about working on this sketch card set I have had going for a while now... Mike was always super nice, and as an inker, was a complete pleasure for me to ink. I consider myself privileged that I got to ink the few pieces I did over him; some of what I consider to be my best stuff-more because of his pencils than my inks. Besides his ridiculous level of talent, Mike was a good guy, with a word of advice to many young artists- I watched how he interacted with lots of kids at HeroesCon, and they all seemed to come away with something good for the future. I am just shocked and saddened; my prayers are with Mike's family and friends. We lost a great one.' Mark Irwin
Aug. 15, 2007, 12:35 p.m. CST
He's been one of my favorite artists since I first saw his work when he began his run on Sensational Spider-man. For me he's second only to Bagley when it comes to definitive Spidey artists from the years since I started reading comics, and I'm sure if Bagely had turned down Ultimate Spider-man, Mike would have been the next logical choice. His run on Fantastic Four with Mark Waid was always at the top of my reading pile, and was the most I ever enjoyed that particular book. Never really saw much of his DC or creator owned work, as i grew up a Marvel reader, but i'm sure Flash and Tellos will find their way into my trade collection in the not too distant future. For now it seems oddly appropriate that his last work be Spider-man/Fantastic Four, a book starring the characters he left the biggest impression on for me. I missed that title's initial release but i eagerly await digging into the trade and taking some time to enjoy the man's stunning artwork one last time.
Aug. 15, 2007, 12:43 p.m. CST
Mike Hawthorn, Eric Stephenson, and David Williams are planning a tribute book.With all the proceeds going to The American Heart Association and the ASPCA. If you have any con images-shoot any of these guys an email.
Aug. 15, 2007, 12:43 p.m. CST
I feel insensitive talking about World War Hulk with Wieringo's passing--what a tragedy. Jeez, the guy was 44??? I thought his work on Flash was fantastic. I do have to say something about the review here of the hulk books... I was more excited than I have ever been when this story arc began. And I have to say that now, the core title Incredible Hulk is almost unreadable. It's painful to read. What the hell is going on in that book? There's a little kid with a coyote in his pocket and Hercules is there? It's called, "The Incredible Hulk." Also, in case nobody's noticed, there's something kinda big going on with the Hulk. So, uh, where's the hulk? Isn't he supposed to be in "The Incredible Hulk?" Instead of a bunch of dumb characters I could care less about? It's been three issues now. Probably there should be some hulk in it now, instead of marketing for a series I definitely won't read. In Front line, some big rock guy is solving a mystery I don't care about. And in World War Hulk...uh, "Strange Smash?" there's NO mention of this? WTF? Uh, his head's on fire and he has drills for hands. Yeah, I know it's Zom. But it's dumb. Also, I know Hulk is gonna make everybody fight to the death in his big arena. Get on with it. I bought the ticket to watch Hulk kill people. But if you're not going to do that (even though it's COMPLETELY within his character to do that), then get on with it already. Less kids with coyotes and guys who walk around with guitars strapped to their back so I know who they are.
Aug. 15, 2007, 1:13 p.m. CST
For the love of Jack Kirby somebody fire Joe Q. I cannot stand the guy from a pro level not personel ,he is a total hack and it seems the luckiest guy in comics, how was he quailified to become eic? He was a fair artist when he started at DC and his Daredeil run with Kevin Smith was ok ,but an editor in chief no less? I just dont get it. Will miss 'Ringo a definite hole is left by his passing.
Aug. 15, 2007, 1:21 p.m. CST
and I post there too, but I don't generally write our news posts, nor do I chat at-length with the other @$$holes; mostly because I am too busy also generally browsing 4chan and redtube.
Aug. 15, 2007, 1:40 p.m. CST
Humphrey, I'm absolutely certain you're rules to girls apply to all the other Cons, but thank God for San Diego. I would wager that a good 1/4 of the attendance were female. Not to mention that there were quite a number of cute single girls and quite a number of groups of girls. Though half of them were probably still in high school. Blame it all on the Hollywoodization of the Con. Though, you still have to be half-way good looking to even have a shot at any of them, but hey they make great eye candy. But please people, quit staring at them when you're walking down the aisles. You wouldn't believe how many times I've been run over because of that.
Aug. 15, 2007, 2:18 p.m. CST
Mike once drew an issue of the FF with the team meeting God, who was drawn as Jack Kirby. I've always loved that concept in comics. Take care and my sympathies to his family, friends and all of us fans. We lost someone who gave us fans so many of us smiles. All of us fans are indebted to him.
Aug. 15, 2007, 2:24 p.m. CST
by rock-me Amodeo
I did mention it, I just didn't quote it. As a reviewer, I always try to walk that fine line between reviewage and spoilage. If its something most people care less about (read: FRONTLINE) then I don't care. In this case, I thought it was so cool (a tad Velveeta-flavored, but cool) ending that I opted not to spoil it. <br> <br>Now, won't everyone join me in a chorus of "Garden Party" by Ricky Nelson?<br><br> also, though we seem to be on the same page for alot, if you bought your ticket hoping to see Hulk kill any Marvel heroes, you might as well get in the line for a refund. I seriously doubt it's going to happen, bro.
Aug. 15, 2007, 2:45 p.m. CST
Just wondering, if you were/are single, what would you do if you saw a girl at a Con wearing a t-shirt that read:<BR><BR>Yo fanboys!<BR><BR>Single. <BR><BR>Looking.<BR><BR>Has a hamster named Cheeks the Toy Wonder.<BR><BR>'nuff said.
Aug. 15, 2007, 3:05 p.m. CST
Uh, you mean like that whole "Hulk at Cosmic War" thing we just watched, where hulk didn't kill anyone at all and also there was a global genocide? I know, before I say this, everybody's gonna go, "It's a comic book, duuuude! Nothin's real!" Yeah, I know. I don't go out every morning looking for Green Lantern to show up in the sky. But from a narrative sense, from a character point of view--does this REALLY make any sense? WITHIN THE RULES OF ITS OWN STORY, does it make sense? Even in the hulk's own book––which sucks SO hard it makes me think you're on Joe Q's payroll––even in that book, when the hulk does actually show up, after three meaningless issues, he says he's perfectly capable of killing. Except he ain't doin' it. I could mention Thunderbolt Ross here, and what happens to him, but I don't want to "ruin" it for everyone. But does that REALLY make sense? In the confines of the story it's set out to tell, does it make sense? I'm not a fan of meaningless death in comics, or death to sell issues or make variants out of, or senseless rapes and tortures of B-list elastic characters' wives––but if you set up a story where the point is that the guy's coming to kill everyone, and then he don't kill nobody, what the heck did you do it for? It's like watching "Unforgiven," except at the end Will Munny goes home and makes pinatas with his kids instead of getting his. Would that have been a better ending, from your point of view? Also, could you please comment on the suckage that is the Incredible Hulk's flagship title? Uh, where's the hulk? And why does it star a little kid with a pocket coyote, Warren Worthington, and Namorita? What hole did they pull those characters out of, and for what? AAGAGHGH!!!!
Aug. 15, 2007, 3:35 p.m. CST
Not only did we lose a great artist, but were losing a great comic with lots of potential -- Ant Man was cancelled. ;-(
Aug. 15, 2007, 3:42 p.m. CST
Attacking Manhattan and taking down the Avengers is pretty bad ass, but I thought we were talking about a World War? Doesn't that imply a global scale conflict? So far it seems more or less reserved to New York State.
Aug. 15, 2007, 3:49 p.m. CST
by rock-me Amodeo
I'm just saying that I don't think it's going to happen. I don't think that the Hulk is going to kill anyone Marvel hero or villian that has any kind of continuity going back more than 18 months. That possibly puts Cho on the blocks as a tragic death, but even if that happens, it will be a "tragic, senseless death" for which the Hulk will be only indirectly responsible. Because that is the way things work. Would it make sense to have the Hulk off a few people? Of course. It's just not going to happen. <br><br> As for THE INCREDIBLE HULK, I hated "A tale of Two sidekicks" and half expected to see the ghosts of Jarella and Betty Ross in a hair-pulling contest if they hadn't already scheduled the Renegades setup. That said, I believe I DID comment that I didn't care for roughly half of the book. that doesn't mean the whole thing sucked. Out of 22 plot-carrying pages, Hulk was in almost half. There's your Hulk, and I thought that part was good stuff. I gave my opinion, you have yours and that's fine. Don't bitch at me just because I'm not parroting you. Joe Q doesn't pay me enough to...oops, did I say that out loud?<br>br>Also, at some point, I think the little kid stops carrying coyote and starts packing PEYOTE, which should make things more interesting. Don't quote me.
Aug. 15, 2007, 4 p.m. CST
by rock-me Amodeo
yeah, I hadn't thought about that. Maybe they meant the whole MARVEL world? <br><br> Of course, if he pulls this off, the Hulk could go logistically global - at least according to Sinatra. Because in New York, New York, if you can...make it there, you can make it...anywhere...
Aug. 15, 2007, 4:15 p.m. CST
There's still a possibility he'll go someplace else.<p>It could happen!!
Aug. 15, 2007, 4:18 p.m. CST
Ok yeah I agree something more earth shattering was expected. I really hope this ends well- gee we've seen Iron Man with his Hulkbuster Armor get trounced- saw that coming even before Saakar was toast. Then we saw Hulk beat Ben Grimm to a pulp for the 37th time in Marvel history. Sentry? Can we get on with this, please? Sentry will show up at the end of #4 we know thats coming. But what or rather how is this gonna be resolved? Hulk and Warbound pack up and ship out back to Saakar? "Ha look what we did to Manhattan! Have fun cleaning up!"? You know everyone major will survive this, save Tony Stark's ability to....walk, drink, whatever- who cares. And why do I have the feeling still that Betty Ross is just waiting in the wings somehow?
Aug. 15, 2007, 4:23 p.m. CST
by rock-me Amodeo
As long as it goes SOMEPLACE. You know, I really am curious how this will resolve. On one hand, I know what I know about things marvel generally will and will not do with their flagship characters. On the other hand, as Matt pointed out, we've been promised more than just mayhem - we've been lead to believe that a blood-debt will be collected. And lots of people are clamoring for that. How will they pull off an ending that doesn't turn the Hulk into an earth-side killer and yet doesn't kill his readership who feel that step is (perhaps rightly so) justified? Or at least in character? THAT resolution is what I'm really waiting for.
Aug. 15, 2007, 4:30 p.m. CST
I was shocked when I saw the RIP in the headlines. I really loved his work on Spiderman. Hopefully his family is well...
Aug. 15, 2007, 4:32 p.m. CST
I'd ask her if she'd like me to make her yell "Arg! lyle!" in one of the bathroom stalls. <br><br><br> Maybe.
Aug. 15, 2007, 4:35 p.m. CST
I apologize, Rock-me. It's just my hatred of that Amadeus Cho character is so...profound... it sometimes clouds my vision. They could end this any number of ways and it would be great. I mean, come on, it's not like anyone's really gonna *die*. I just think it's entirely reasonable to expect some death in this story. I think it's entirely reasonable to have the hulk transformed into a villain through his experiences. And I think he's a formidable villain who would make an interesting universe.
Aug. 15, 2007, 4:39 p.m. CST
..a lot of text.
Aug. 15, 2007, 4:46 p.m. CST
by Big Dumb Ape
To hear of anyone passing at such a ripe prime age as 44 is always a truly sad thing. Personally, at a time when I think comics are getting more and more hack-like and exceedingly average, just pounding out for the purpose of one marketing stunt after another, I always thought Mike Wieringo's work had a distinct sense of flavor and fun. You could pick up one of his books and just see that the guy cared about what he was doing. So my condolenses to his family, friends and loved ones. And it's a sad day for comics as there's no doubt that the medium lost a genuine voice and talent who actually had "it."
Aug. 15, 2007, 4:57 p.m. CST
by George Newman
I thought his art was fantastic, although I have always prefered his sketch/pencil work over the finished crisp colored and inked art of the published work. I always got the feeling that his inkers simplified the texturing and detail on his drawings.
Aug. 15, 2007, 4:58 p.m. CST
Here's the problem. Marvel promises Hulk bludgeoning to death some heroic wieners who everybody wants to see bludgeoned to death. A decade ago with an event like this, going in you would have said, yeah, but he won't really kill anyone major. Because that's how it works. Maybe you get lucky and he'd kill a B-lister or temporarily cripple someone.<br><br> But this isn't a decade ago. Marvel has been living lately on their willingness to mess with the status quo in major ways. We unmasked Spidey! We had a Civil War that changed the basics of the Marvel Universe! We killed Captain America! We unkilled Captain Marvel!<br><br> Regardless of whether these were good or bad ideas (I'd say mostly bad) they went there. No making promises and then chickening out. This isn' a decade ago. This is a time where Marvel itself has basically said, hey, we'll put our money where our mouth is. So if WWH pussies out on its promises, at this point in time it'll be harder to forgive.<br><br> Hey Marvel, you set how high the bar is yourself. Got no one else to blame. You better be vaulting OVER that bar with WWH, not limboing under it.
Aug. 15, 2007, 5:17 p.m. CST
...who rolled AB into a sock-ball as revenge for abandonment. <BR><BR>I take it you're into sock-balling, Squash?
Aug. 15, 2007, 5:45 p.m. CST
by rock-me Amodeo
no worries, Matt. And Jinxo, you're right (like you need ME telling you that) it's not the same as a decade ago. I THINK marvel knows they need to shake things up. Will Hulk cross the line? That would be uncharted territory, and long overdue for a "monster."<br> <br> Of course, Wolverine was slicing and dicing his way through LEGIONS of good guys and how did he get away with that again? Possessed by the Hand? Riiiiggghtt...I'm gonna use that excuse someday. "No, honey, it wasn't me at that bar with the girl. Okay, it was me, but I was possessed by the Hand! Yeah! No? Okay, it wasn't me. It was a skrull..."
Aug. 15, 2007, 7:34 p.m. CST
Aug. 15, 2007, 7:45 p.m. CST
As one of my favorites and a great inspiration to me as an artist, Mike will be missed greatly.
Aug. 15, 2007, 7:48 p.m. CST
by Mr Squirrel
I haven't been reading, but am curious as to whether they've revealed any funky reasons (I heard something about Skrulls?) yet as to why everyone was acting stupid? Or have they put it down to the not unreasonable 'Hey, this is the Marvel Universe - people sort out their differences with repulser rays and magic hammers, friends or not'?
Aug. 15, 2007, 8 p.m. CST
The crazy thing is...I LIKED Civil War. I wasn't too sure about Spidey unmasking himself-- I think that's a bell they'll spend the next ten years unringing--but Civil War, for all its flaws, had some real guts. AND they offed Captain America at the end of it. WWH business was like a nice palate cleanser, when Tony Stark's quaint and monomaniacal ideas about order and control face off against a galactic helping of total chaos. THAT's what I paid to see: total, total, total chaos. Instead it's like we're back in 1978, and there's this b.s. morality to the hulk that isn't even really morality, just good for the comics code. I'm also shocked at the sloppiness of the whole thing. It's a mess. It's a total editorial mess. Also, the Sentry thing is totally dumb. They should just get rid of that character. That can be who hulk kills, so everyone knows he means business.
Aug. 15, 2007, 8:08 p.m. CST
I can think of a few reasons to attend a con other than for a boyfriend or some cash. And we're plaguing the con, are we? Perhaps I'll make it my duty to inform other girls that we're not wanted.
Aug. 15, 2007, 9:15 p.m. CST
That should be fun! Watching the HULK force the Illuminati and whoever else battling it out to the "death." Maybe something totally life-destroying will be Stark being crippled and therefore confined to the armor for life. That would be pretty dark. (Btw, I actually like IRON MAN as a character even though he's a total prick, theres something cool about being techno-morehumanthanhuman battle suit wearing rich dude / hero / fascist to me). But anyway it goes, whatever happens, its gotta get to a satisfying conclusion. I liked CIVIL WAR, but that ending was limp. Lame! But THE CONFESSION was cool, as was CAP #25. (Sniff, Sob, Choke!) <br><br> But yeah, the WWHulk better build up to a kickass, or at least satisifyingly cool, finale. No lame outs! MAKE IT HURT! ITS THE GODDAMN WORLD WAR HULK!!! Make me feel it.
Aug. 15, 2007, 10:07 p.m. CST
Not all of 'em are with their boyfriend or paid to be there. I picked up a GORGEOUS gal at Wizard World Dallas when my buddy (a better looking guy with so little game it's pitiful) couldn't manage to talk to her at his booth.<p> However, couth is important. Be nice to the wimmins, and they'll be nice to you. Charm is important, and so is hygeine.
Aug. 15, 2007, 10:13 p.m. CST
but it can be, if you're into it.
Aug. 15, 2007, 11:14 p.m. CST
what the fuck? most people are saying it's the greatest run of daredevil ever, even better than Miller's legendary run.
Aug. 15, 2007, 11:34 p.m. CST
Moriarty wouldn't have thrown the death of Bergman at the bottom of a Superbad review. I think the death of comic creators should be given the same gravity.<p>This site was one of the few places I saw mark the death of Jim Aparo, the man who (along with Breyfogle) introduced Batman to me as more than just a TV character. I was devastated to hear of his death. The people who work on comic books have an impact on the readers of this site, even tangentially. They deserve the respect given to film and TV icons. They should NOT<p>and 'm going to space this out to make it clear<p>They should not have their death's marked as such:<p>AICN COMICS! WW CHICAGO CON REPORT! Q & @ WITH A TRIO OF TRANSFORMERS CREATORS! RIP MIKE WIERINGO! Oh...and some reviews!<p>That's piss poor. SHOW THE MAN AND HIS FAMILY MORE RESPECT THAN THAT. An exclamation point?! Seriously? You're all better than that. PROVE IT. And if you can't convince the owners of this site to do better, go elsewhere where the medium you cover and its contributors will be given more respect. I'll follow you, and I'll respect you more for taking a stance. This was a terrible low point for this column.
Aug. 15, 2007, 11:35 p.m. CST
But this is one of the few posts I've put up where I've been so angry I've had a hard time typing.
Aug. 16, 2007, 2:17 a.m. CST
by Satans Pool Boy
I agree completely. The whole thing is just ... tacky.
Aug. 16, 2007, 3:48 a.m. CST
by Sledge Hammer
...that you should have credited Newsarama with scoring that piece of news, which you repeated here, if you had done that then I would have had no problem at all with all that. Thanks for the response though.<p>Oh, and Ambush Bug, nice response, especially since I wasn't negative about everything at all, just a couple of things that I thought were legitimate points. You're just the comeback king aren't you? And I'm sure your dad could beat up my dad too...
Aug. 16, 2007, 7:02 a.m. CST
I think my first exposure to his work was when he was drawing Adventures Of Superman a few years back. A particularly sad and ironic thing of note is that in the Flash: The Greatest Stories Ever Told book that dropped this week, the only Flash story published after the 1970s is "Out Of Time" By Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo. According to Mark Waid in his introduction, "...to showcase the artwork of Mike Wieringo, a most deserving comics superstar whose interpretation of Wally as the Flash set a standard unsurpassed to this day." Awesome artist. A sad day indeed.
Aug. 16, 2007, 8:31 a.m. CST
by Ambush Bug
There would be an AICN comics column each and every day. And lollipops would rain fro the sky...<br><br> But the world isn't a happy place. We agree Mike's death is a sad, sad thing. And gave it the spot that usually is reserved for the Cheap Shots section in order to give it weight and resonance, which an obit should. Had we sandwiched in Mike's RIP in between a con report and a smut-laden review for Housewives at Play, I'd agree with you. But given the fact that we function as a seperate entity on AICN and only post our column weekly, we felt it was better to post it at the bottom than not at all.<br><br> We look at our column as more of an online magazine rather than a series of short posts. You wouldn't see a newspaper publish an obit section by itself, would you?<br><br> We try to cover as much as we possibly can at AICN Comics, but given the fact that AICN proper is a movie and tv news site and we only have everything in the world of comics to cover in a weekly column, we can't do it all.<Br><br> And Sledge, I am the King of Comebacks, and sus my pop is tough, but I will answer your criticism with sincerity this time:<br><br> I just want to ask one question...<br> Do you think...<br> That when representatives from two websites...<br> go to the same place...<br> where a series of panels are presented...<br> offering a certain (and limited) amount of information...<br> that maybe...<br> just maybe...<br> the information reported would look a little similar.<br> I acknowledged in the intro that not only was this a scattershot column with a mishmash of info and things that we normally don't do (such as con reports, news bits, and the like), but that this news has been reported on other sites much earlier in the week. Am I to make shit up because you've read it at Newsarama or comic book resources or whatever? Does the New York Times accuse the New York Post of copying their news when they run stories on the same piece of news?<br><br> I looked at Newsarama's stuff and although the info is similar, the commentary I provided is not.<br><br> Your complaints aren't really valid when you look at the stories side by side and consider that it was just a bunch of newsbits, gathered from the same place, by two different sites.
Aug. 16, 2007, 8:35 a.m. CST
by Ambush Bug
If you didn't like the con reports or the news bits, fear not, next week we will return to our regular format with only reviews and the occasional interview.<br><br> Although I may think about doing a weekly news recap if the TBs want me to and also just to piss Sledge off.<br><br> And I know Mike Wieringo's death hit everyone hard, but there's no need to lash out at folks.<br><br> Or at least lash out at folks that deserve it...<br><br> Like ron zimmerman and chuck austin...
Aug. 16, 2007, 9:36 a.m. CST
Aug. 16, 2007, 9:37 a.m. CST
Didn't the Hulk kill like a metric shit-ton of US soldiers in WWH #3?? Does that not count?
Aug. 16, 2007, 10:22 a.m. CST
To the people that feel like Mike Wieringo's passing is cheapened in this column, read above. Like, to the top of the talkback. It's pretty much THE comics news this week. The guy was great. His art was (IS) incredible. From what I've heard from friends, he was an all-around swell guy. This is what everyone who knows anything about comics is talking about this week. Respect him by not bitching about the fact that he didn't get a whole column about his dying. And go read some of his and Waid's Fantastic Fours. Like when they met God (the King of all creation in the Marvel Universe)...
Aug. 16, 2007, 11:31 a.m. CST
by Sledge Hammer
Given that SealzyG admitted above that part of that news roundup did in fact come from other sites then they should have been credited, again that was my main point. Ironic that given this article featured a section on etiquette that you failed to follow standard net etiquette of giving credit where credit is due as far as stuff like that goes. Still, gloss over that and keep having your childish little digs, I'm a big boy, I can take it. <p>Regardless, this is beyond pointless now, and is only souring what should be a talkback largely devoted to remembering Mike Wieringo's contribution to the industry, and comics in general, but you feel free to have the final word/throw the final insult, me, more than said my piece and beyond done cluttering up this talkback with ultimately unimporant shit, so I'm done here. <p>RIP Ringo.
Aug. 16, 2007, 12:33 p.m. CST
Holy crap. Is everyone reading World War Hulk? I am. I enjoy it. Shigeru seems to enjoy it. All of the regulars seem to enjoy it. All of the new kids don't like it. But more importantly, J H Williams is drawing Batman. Therefore, Batman is awesome. And as far as this newly sprung Daredevil "controversy" goes, I say Bendis and Maleev made some very good comics. I cast my vote for classic.
Aug. 16, 2007, 12:38 p.m. CST
Because while you may think people liked it, I thought it sucked. Really, really hard. And for at least 66% longer than necessary, as each story could have been told better in a third the time. The Bendii love it, but many of us hate it, and therein has always lay the controversy.
Aug. 16, 2007, 12:39 p.m. CST
I meant "lain", not "lay". My bad.
Aug. 16, 2007, 1:36 p.m. CST
I thought everyone was digging it? I know I'm digging it. My only nitpick is that, for a World War, I would expect more of a global reach; like the Warbound f*ckin' shit up 'round the world. But I guess the idea is that HULK has a very specific (and justified) revenge agenda, and doesn't necessarily want to SMASH everyone on the planet to bits.<br><br> Also, we're only halfway in, so who knows how crazy it will get. I just hope it goes out with a BANG!, rather than a whimper like CIVIL WAR did.
Aug. 16, 2007, 2:58 p.m. CST
by Homer Sexual
That's what I remember: His work on Age of Apocalypse, and I really liked it. He's only a year and some older than me, so it's extra unsettling. <p> My lessened excitement on WWH, though I still greatly enjoy it, is based on recent developments foreshadowing Iron Man coming out of this clean, intact, etc. And that will probably ruin WWH for me in the end, since my whole love of it is based on seeing Hulk Smash Iron Dickhead.
Aug. 16, 2007, 3:07 p.m. CST
No spoilers, but just read it and as a DC reader of nearly 30 years (but who still prefers todays books - no golden age of pop-meister me!) it made me squeal like a BITCH!!! Loving this and the whole Great Disaster build up.
Aug. 16, 2007, 3:15 p.m. CST
I read the first issue of WORLD WAR HULK and it was pretty fun. But I'm really conflicted about what its larger impact on the Marvel universe will be. The Hulk has come to Earth specifically to kill and to me that's really regrettable. He's been the hero of his comic for over forty years. An amazingly atypical, original hero sure, but that's what's great about him. But the current regime don't see that. He's just a monster at the center of a blockbuster movie to them (maybe Pak has a better understanding of the character, but that's certainly the impression I'm getting from Joey Q and the rest). Once they explicitly show him kill, the tormented hero side and the rampaging monster side of the Hulk will be forever irreconcilable. But again Marvel are just pursuing the big story and the easy shake up. I don't think Joe Q sees the characters, just ways to fuck them up and make the message boards go mad. They point to sales as absolute justification for anything they pull without factoring in what the hell any new reader is going to think seeing all these heroes fighting eachother. Marvel really do seem determined to appeal only to the existing fans. The Stan Lee stories were built on the idea of character growth and more and more I'm thinking that his characters (not so much the timeless icons of DC) have run their course and Marvel are in need of a reboot.<p>Anyway, I'm pretty encouraged by DC's new kids line. Now they just need to de-age Supergirl to about 13, get rid of the half-shirt and get JK Rowling to write her. Also, you missed out what I thought was some of the coolest news from the con, HOUSE OF MYSTERY is returning, written by Bill Willingham! Not sure if there's any available artists who have the moody style and are capable enough in black and white to draw it though.
Aug. 16, 2007, 3:40 p.m. CST
I understand how you might not want the Hulk to cross the line to murderer (I would love it, but thats me), but I think MARVEL is kicking serious ass these days. Its exciting, its crayzay, and theres muliple insanities and intrigues going on at multiple fronts. Plus theres the ANNIHILATION: Conquest books which completely rock. XMen appears to be on the wane (with the exception of XFACTOR), but all the AVENGERS books (especially NEW and MIGHTY) completely rock too. I think its a matter of taste. <br><br>Seems to me there is a clear division between MARVEL and DC in that MARVEL has an edge to it, where DC is more traditional. Both approaches are fine, but I'm more intrigued by MARVELs edginess, especially these days. <br><br> To be honest, I had all but given up on the whole superhero comic genre until the Marvel movies and Civil War dragged me back in from the fretful and/or transgressive artful indies and manga in the lesser trod area of the local comix emporium (but on top ten lists in 'regular' bookstores. Well, some, anyway).<br><br> Btw, stones_throw, I think your JK Rowling helmed Supergirl book would be am effing great idea, actually. That would definitely get me more interested in reading DC books!
Aug. 16, 2007, 5:31 p.m. CST
Aug. 16, 2007, 6:01 p.m. CST
Case in point: the much-belabored back-and-forth over the fact that marrying Peter off was a huge mistake that hamstrung the character. His soap operatics work better as a single guy, and Quesada's been saying as much for half a decade or something. Ditto the FF: they work best with Johnny, Sue, Ben and Reed. Period. Sure, other things have tried, but they alway drift back to their default state, because it worked and is one of the most perfect concepts ever thrown out there. You want big changes? Don't look for them to happen with Professor X or Magneto, either, kids--they're too important and play too big a role. No matter how much finality is involved in their deaths (i.e. Wolverine fucking DECAPITATING Maggy), he's gonna come back and Marvel's gonna reset shit back to status quo.<p> The thing is, whether I agree with all the decisions or not, the guys running DC and Marvel aren't stupid. They know you can change certain things (who's Earth's GL this year, or who Blue Beetle is, or whether Banshee is alive or not) but there are certain things you can't. Editors and EIC's at both companies will gladly speak of the importance of the *illusion* of change, not necessarily of change itself. And they're not wrong.
Aug. 16, 2007, 6:32 p.m. CST
A weekly news recap would be most outstanding, especially with WWH, Spider-Man consolidating titles, and DC's Countdown about to fudge that universe up for the 117th time. Thanks much!
Aug. 16, 2007, 10:45 p.m. CST
Seriously, reading DC comics, even though they are maybe more traditional they're not exactly old fashioned. I've seen some violent bits in DC comics that were so harsh I was shocked, shocked more than anything I've seen Marvel do. And both Marvel and DC have gay heroes running around. Not that that is a bad thing mind you. Not saying that at all. Just saying back when I first started reading comics no way you would have ever seen that. So not like DC isn't changing and evolving too.
Aug. 16, 2007, 11:27 p.m. CST
were leaked look fabulous I must and will say...check em' out before they dissapear!
Aug. 17, 2007, 12:16 a.m. CST
I wasn't necessarily implying that DC is "old fashioned," just slightly more traditional and by-the-book than the edgier MARVEL. Also, I don't necessarily see anything wrong with the more traditional approach DC seems to take, it just doesn't exite me like the edgy approach of the MARVEL books. Theres an earthy funkiness to MARVEL which I love, and don't really feel from DCs books, in general. Again, just imho.
Aug. 17, 2007, 9:50 a.m. CST
DC is a convoluted mess right now. There is so much central control (editorial) over DC right now that all creativity is being stifled. What's a bit silly so far is the control Hulk has over his beat downs. He can beat the snot out of Black Bolt (who has no invulnerability or super strength as far as I know, and then smack Ben Grimm JUST enough to have them fall unconscious. Marvel's villain are sooooo limp right now. Iron Man is the best villain they have! Make Hulk a villain, then bring back Thor to keep him in line. Falcon for Capatin America.I think it is gonna happen. They symbolically burned his Falcon Costume off on the cover. We're ready Bru! Bring us Sam Wilson as Cap!!!!
Aug. 17, 2007, 11:01 a.m. CST
A lot of people aren't on board with what DC are doing at the moment and frankly I'm not all that interested in Countdown and its many spin offs, but I appreciate their efforts to set things up long term and build up characters even if I don't agree with how they're doing it all the time (like Bart Allen's death a year after becoming Flash). Marvel on the other hand have a hell of a lot of gall and not a ton of respect for the fans. They're obviously never going to stick with a Spidey with no secret ID but they go ahead and do it, switching it back a year and a half later, selling that as some major event and getting patted on the back for taking the character back to the basics. The hell? In the long run Joe Q and the rest are of course as conservative as anyone else who've got to protect a franchise but they've certainly made it clear they don't care much for the internal logic or continuity of their characters.<p>(On a side note, I kind of think Marvel are hitting a "crisis" point with Spider-Man. Peter Parker's fundamentally a struggling, young character but in the main continuity he'll be hitting 30 pretty soon. I don't know if they're planning to de-age him in "Brand New Day" but (and this doesn't really apply to Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, who don't really age) they've got to make a choice of either continuing with a slowly ageing Spidey and risk irrelevance to the next generation of fans or stick him in a Simpsons-esque time warp and just go with the illusion of change. I think I prefer option B.
Aug. 17, 2007, 3:04 p.m. CST
Bendis must hate Peter Parker. he has turned him into a whimpering idiot in Avengers.
Aug. 17, 2007, 4:03 p.m. CST
by Buzz Maverik
...at least in the sense that he wouldn't be pulped instantly. He has some level of superhuman strength and invulneribility, and has slugged it out in the past with the Thing and the Hulk. In an old Hulk annual, he knocked Hulk down, but really clobbered him when he whispered in his ear.
Aug. 17, 2007, 5:09 p.m. CST
by Buzz Maverik
Take him back to being every man. Get him out of the Avengers, because regular guys aren't Avengers. He was never unmasked, because no regular guy is that stupid. He's married to MJ, who was never a supermodel but who may have been in a department store catalogue once. In an interview with the SUPERBAD guys, they all talked about how every girl any of them had ever been involved in was far more attractive than they were. I'll tell ya, that's sure the case with me and I'm sure it is for you or you wouldn't be reading this deep into a comic book talkback (if there are any Cogs still left around, they will now jump in and tell us how attractive they find themselves! I miss the Cogs). MJ was just offbeat enough to get Pete and she should know his secret identity, which is the most attractive thing about him. He won't kill. He wants to do good things and have a good life. And he'll always feel really guilty. Stick with that, innovate on the superhero side, don't call it a soap opera so they don't get soap opera silly and we'll have a good book again.
Aug. 17, 2007, 5:29 p.m. CST
by Buzz Maverik
These are great characters. Great stories have been done about both. They weren't created in the last few years. If Mark Millar had created a super billionaire who fit his political pretensions then I'd probably think it was a great character and a great story, but many of us are not willing to pretend that we've never seen Tony Stark and his tinfoil suit before.<p>Dig it. Writing for a corporation, Millar abruptly makes a character who owns a corporation a bad guy. Iron Man has often been Marvel's equivalent of Green Lantern or the Flash ... not quite a super star character whom no one is quite sure how to handle. I'd say that given the combination of wealth, genius, alcholism and possibly sex addiction, not to mention an armored suit that can fight off monsters, robots and supervillains...THERE MIGHT BE SOMETHING TO SAY & STORIES TO TELL HERE!<p>If Iron Man was Stan Lee reaching back into the forties and fifties to create an armored Howard Hughes/Dean Martin, the Hulk was Stan and Jack embracing the 60s counter culture (with a little bit of late 50s Kerouac thrown in). Here was the Outsider as a superhero. It's funny that modern executives, editors, writers, artists and especially fans aren't as hip as two guys in the early 1960s who were both already 40 years old. The Hulk told us that we were just fine if we didn't look, act, think or feel like anyone else. The Big Green Kid Was Alright! It didn't matter if The Man, The Establishment didn't like him or get him. He didn't need them or want them, but he was still a good guy. You could have long, dirty hippie hair and be at odds with the Army and authority and make loud noises (turn that music down, hippie!) that scared them but you were a-ok.
Aug. 19, 2007, 10:13 a.m. CST
by Homer Sexual
But, nonetheless, I agree with the earlier post...Iron Man IS currently Marvel's best villain. By far. Who else is there? They're so fucked up they try to make every popular villain a hero. Iron Man is the best bad guy, and I can't read pro-registration "heroes" anymore. I am actually HOPING Stark is a skrull, but sort of doubting it. He'll have been deceived by another skrull or something equally moronic. It's an awful mess and while I am still reading, I am truly unsure if I am about to drop my 30 year comic habit for a while. Probably not completely, no problems with Simpsons, Friday the 13th or Welcome To Tranquility, but I am not sure where the Big 2 are going right now... <p> A lot is riding on the final resolution to Civil War, where Iron Man, Captain America and everyone else end up. Could be great, probably will be pathetic. <p> Aaaand...latest X-Factor another big "no." More terrible Rahne/Ricctor plot developments, and the main storyline very, very "meh." How could a book drop so far so fast without changing creative teams? Beats me!
Aug. 20, 2007, 9:59 a.m. CST
by The Heathen
I am one good looking dude. Despite the pale complexion, small body and comic book reading I manage to be beautiful. It's a gift, more a freakish curse really. <br> <br> As fer comics? I'm really tired of how crappy Countdown is in both it's writing and art. I like the other things that are going on in the DCU sorta, but any momentum they get is thwarted by Countdown it seems because it is supposed to be the center of everything. Marvel just has so much going on I don't know where anything begins and ends. I'm going to drop Mighty Avengers. Just not worth it and seems to be in a void of space time like Astonishing is but not nearly as good. I dunno. I need to refine my pull list, but I'm behind on my books. Maybe it's because a old movie theatre was renovated a mile away? Maybe it's because Halo 3 is almost out? Who knows? Pass the Herradura…
Aug. 20, 2007, 10:09 a.m. CST
"every girl any of them had ever been involved in was far more attractive than they were."
Aug. 20, 2007, 10:11 a.m. CST
Read Death Note or I will write your name in mine. "... dies in horrible cow-molestation incident."
Aug. 20, 2007, 10:40 a.m. CST
18 year old comic reading male from Montana I know. Those other guys suck. In other news, I am also "refining my pull list." It's cool that there's a classy term you can use instead of "I'm gonna stop buying so many fuckin comic books." When I was in Portland this weekend, I didn't buy any comic books. I had the opportunity, but didn't do it. How strange. I got a Sleater-Kinney Cd instead.
Aug. 20, 2007, 10:41 a.m. CST
What's the best comic-con and how much are tickets?
Aug. 20, 2007, 10:41 a.m. CST
Blackthought and I are the truly 'pretty' ones. The others are merely 'cute in their own way'. (though Uber-studs/babe to a one)
Aug. 20, 2007, 11:21 a.m. CST
by The Heathen
Psy and blackthought are hot guys that make me question my sexuality on a weekly basis. <br> <br> Looda is totally right, I might have said "refining my pull list" but I totally meant "I'm gonna stop buying so many fuckin' books." Right on sir. <br> <br> What does Buzz think of Indy 4?
Aug. 20, 2007, 11:51 a.m. CST
that would be san diego and you just missed it buddy
Aug. 20, 2007, 11:52 a.m. CST
of a thousand suns. <br> And Psy once robbed a diner.
Aug. 20, 2007, 1:22 p.m. CST
i'm one those model types that you see in your GQ's and Homme (French male modeling magazine) and what not...you know, fug it, I should model. I kid you not...every time I look at myself in the mirror I question my own sexuality...hell the mirror questions its own sexuality.
Aug. 20, 2007, 1:32 p.m. CST
Seriously. Did a few gigs and realized I wasn't capable enough at keeping my mouth shut while being verbally abused ( and I DO mean ABUSED-Photographers and shoot directors are ASS) to stay in the industry.
Aug. 20, 2007, 2:37 p.m. CST
by Buzz Maverik
Glad you asked, glad you asked. I'm hopeful. Of course, I was hopeful about those last three things with the STAR WARS label and I was hopeful about the second MATRIX movie (but not the third, which I didn't bother to see), so what do I know? I mean, Harrison Ford is old but age is starting to mean less for some reason, so it'll be a while before Harrison is decrepit. He's probably in better shape that most of us, even you guys who are like, a quarter of his age and more attractive than everybody here except the Cogs. I'm glad Shia Le Beouf is in the movie because I like him almost as much as Spielberg does. One reason I like him is that, for a movie star, he's only slightly more attractive than I was at his age. No, he's a smart kid and a good actor. He can be funny and he can be cool and I'd rather see a guy like him doing action because it's more the regular guy factor. I think Spielberg will temper Lucas' boringness. I mean, Spielberg directed the duel between Anakin and Obi Wan in EPISODE III which was probably the best thing in the prequels. As long as they stick to telling a good, pulp serial story and forget who they are and what they've done and ignore the worship and listen to people without pandering to them...they'll make a good Indy IV.
Aug. 20, 2007, 3:27 p.m. CST
What's the sub-header, The quest for a colostomy bag? Raiders of the lost Depends? The temple of Viagra?
Aug. 20, 2007, 7:44 p.m. CST
by The Heathen
I feel the same way, I agree with those exact sentiments actually. Spielberg will temper Lucas' crap and I like LeBouf. Hell he was the only thing that was almost watchable in Transformers (Megan Fox is hot though, but not as hot as blackthought). I like the weathered Harrison too. I think that he has aged well and that he isn't all too different from when he was in Raiders. Indy's rough regardless. I was talking (ie. being laughed and berated at) with the Cogs in our newly furbished underwater lair about how I think that Harrison as Indy is human - they way he groans when he's about to fall or when he gets punched and how he hates snakes and can't really fly a plane. He's not James Bond, but yet he's still suave in some ways too. I think he'll be fine. I also thought it was lame how so many people made the title gags, but whatever… curse you, Psy!!!
Aug. 20, 2007, 8:48 p.m. CST
Aug. 21, 2007, 8:44 a.m. CST
by The Heathen
but it'd have to be the perfect writer for the material. Someone Bendis isn't suited to write Indiana Jones. Darwyn Cooke on the other hand…
Aug. 21, 2007, 9 a.m. CST
I have A LOT of trouble buying Ford as ANY kind of action-n-adventure hero is all. Trust me, even in their late 40's they just don't stay up like they used to....
Aug. 21, 2007, 9:02 a.m. CST
Ford WAS a TOTAL stud in Patriot Games.....
Aug. 21, 2007, 12:25 p.m. CST
by rock-me Amodeo
...as I have been told by many that I have a GREAT personality.
Aug. 21, 2007, 12:26 p.m. CST
by rock-me Amodeo
that I have a great face for radio (thanks, mom...)
Aug. 21, 2007, 12:37 p.m. CST
That movie where he played Robocop, or at least the time he kissed me on prom night. Anyway, it's not like it's such a problem these days. They can always just digitally de-age him like they did when they refilmed all the scenes for the Star Wars re-release. As I suspected, there is no secret-con in Montana to go to, so it seems me and my buddies will be trekking down to Sandy Aygo for some sexy young lust and debauchery. I was looking at their website. The Con's at the end of July. Surely that will come as sad news for you all, since the last weekend of July is the exciting time in town as we all gather uptown to celebrate the life and legend of a true blue American hero, Evel Kneivel (aka-Drink booze, drink bad tasting energy drinks, MAYBE see some assholes jump over stuff on motorcycles, but more likely, see the cops tackle some sorry dude who was just trying to have a good time. At this point, after the sucker has been cuffed and shoved against a wall, one of the cops will say to you "You guys didn't see any of that, right?" After that loser gets out of your face, some drunk babe asks "What was that cop buggin you about?" Your pal who's trying like mad to get some form of action will say "He was hasslin' us cause we're teenagers!" After three more hours of similar incidents, it's 2 AM, you're pissed off, People still wanna buy tacos, and you do not want to go back uptown tommorrow, but you do anyway. Good times, good times.
Aug. 21, 2007, 12:57 p.m. CST
by Buzz Maverik
Remember when they were casting DAREDEVIL. I had about a billion six stupid online fights with people who wanted Brando as the Kingpin. In my own patient way, I tried to explain to them that Brando was over 70 years old at the time and that Ben Affleck was, then, about 30. It'd be like seeing someone beat up their grandpa. I mean, Psy would be there but we have the general public to think about.<p>And remember, Psy, we're talking violence not sex. My Dad was about 80 when he died, and probably the last time he had sex was when I was conceived, but I think he could have held his own in fight. He'd probably use a golf club instead of his fists or a shotgun instead of a handgun but once a government-trained killer, always a government-trained killer and God Bless 'em for it!<p>It's funny. I used to be a business manager for this old rich dude. I mean, the guy retired the year I was born. He was in a couple of World Wars and had developed US snow rescue procedures, etc. He was kind of a real Indiana Jones. He was like, 95, and he was making fun of the other senior citizens walking around with their golf clubs and canes for protection. "I just carry this revolver. Now if any of these young fellows were to accost me, I would simply shoot them to death..."<p>I mean, I think we've FINALLY reached the stage where everyone knows that Sean Connery is no longer viable as James Bond, but even after he'd played Indy's Dad, I knew people who still insisted that he should be the only one to play Bond.
Aug. 21, 2007, 2:39 p.m. CST
Okay, I'll recant the last few statements based on the fact that the one thing that comforts me about aging is how people continually underestimate the capacity for violence of those older than them. That and the understanding that age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill....
Aug. 21, 2007, 6:09 p.m. CST
by Buzz Maverik
Whenever we fans try to cast that, we always cast too young and make the mistake of having the Comedian and Silk Spectre II the same age, etc. I mean, the Comedian should be a guy approaching 60; Ozy, the Nite Owl, Rorshach and the Silk Spectre should look like they are anywhere from late 30s to mid 40s and Dr. Manhattan should look like a blue 25-30 year old guy.<p>Also, Bale is the first actor to play Batman who wouldn't be too old.
Aug. 22, 2007, 1:32 a.m. CST
<p>It'd be like Temple of Doom when he shoots the guy with the sword, but he'd do it every single time. Before the evil minx can try to seduce him, he shoots her. Before the bad guy can reveal his master plan, he shoots him.</P> <p>Actually, something I don't think has really been mentioned, if he's clearly an older guy, than the movie should take place in the fifties or sixties. That's be a cool change of scenery...</p>
Aug. 28, 2007, 10:43 p.m. CST
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