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AICN COMICS REVIEWS WAAAAY TOO MANY COMICS THIS WEEK!!!

#18 8/29/07 & 9/6/07 #6
Logo by Ambush Bug

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) Advance Review of THOR #3 BLACK CANARY WEDDING PLANNER AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #544 BLUE BEETLE #18 SHE-HULK #21 TEEN TITANS #50 HARBINGER: THE BEGINNING TPB METAL MEN #2 STEVE NILES’ STRANGE CASES #1 ACTION COMICS #855 MS MARVEL #19 52 AFTERMATH: THE FOUR HORSEMEN #1 Indie Jones presents NIGHTMARE FACTORY OGN Indie Jones presents THE 99 SPECIAL: ORIGINS & THE 99 SPECIAL: FIRST LIGHT Indie Jones presents TALES FROM THE CRYPT #2 Indie Jones presents PUNKS THE COMIC: SUMMER SPECIAL #1 CHEAP SHOTS!

THOR #3 ADVANCE REVIEW – IN STORES TODAY!

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski Art: Olivier Coipel (pencils), Mark Morales (inks) Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

Let’s get right to it.
This is a great issue.
THOR #3 contains a showdown that has long been coming, a slugfest between two titans with a lot of bad history between them, and an ending that is both touching and exciting. I’ve had some reservations about some of JMS’ material recently, but he seems to be giving his all to this series. This book seems to be a perfect fit for JMS’ tendency for high concept work, yet the book doesn’t forget to add some memorable little scenes and bits of character. After three issues, I have to say that I am deeply enmeshed in the character of Thor again.
And that’s a pretty easy thing for me to do. You see, I’ve followed Thor’s comic for ages. I hopped onto the title at the tail end of Simonson’s classic run (I think it was actually a “Mutant Massacre” issue that got me hooked) and I kept with it all though the Defalco THUNDERSTRIKE years and then on through the Jurgens LORD OF ASGARD era. I even stuck through Oeming’s crappy ending to the THOR series, although for the life of me I don’t know why. With the exception of the ending “saga” of Thor, the book has always been at the top of my reading stack when I get home from the store. Needless to say, these last few Thor-less years at Marvel had me missing the big guy. So I’m glad JMS is bringing his A-game to this title and look forward to reading more of it.
Now, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few problems to this book that need to be mentioned.
First and foremost is the treatment of Tony Stark, not only in this issue, but recently all across the Marvel U. Marvel has painted one of its brightest as one of the bad guys. Iron Man’s another favorite character of mine and I hope Tony will come out of this whole mess a changed man who learned from his mistakes and have no doubt he probably will rrrriiiiiiight about the same time the movie is set to come out next summer…that is, if the powers that be know what’s good for them.
Anyway, I understand that everyone wants to see Tony get his @$$ handed to him and boy-o-boy does this happen in this issue, but how many times are we going to have to see this happen? In one month’s time, Tony has been smashed by the Hulk in WORLD WAR HULK, he just got his @$$ handed to him by Spider-Man last week in the first issue of ONE MORE DAY, and now we get a thorough @$$-handing by Thor in this issue. Granted, the battle between Thor and Iron Man in this issue is by far the best of the three, but I’m actually starting to feel sorry for the poor guy and although I don’t want to see him characterized as a control freak fascist, I also don’t want to see the guy be treated as a punching bag by the entire Marvel U either. Here’s hoping that there’s a road to redemption leading to the reestablishment of Iron Man as a hero in the very near future.
The second thing about this issue that has to be mentioned is the fact that the plot for this THOR series is far from original. The old “Gods have been stripped of their powers and memories and now walk among the land of man” schtick has been used just recently as punishment for the Amazons in the recent AMAZONS ATTACK mini-event.
And at the end of 52 when Black Adam was stripped of his powers.
And in Neil Gaiman’s ETERNALS miniseries.
AND the same concept was used with the very same Asgardians waaaay back in the last JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY title from the nineties.
But as with the Iron Man vs. whoever fight, although the concept may tread down “been there/done that” territory, very few of the aforementioned “Fallen Gods” stories have been worth a squirt of piss. It may not be a new concept, but damn if JMS isn’t writing the hell out of it and making it leaps and bounds better than all the rest.
Like I said, this is a great issue and I am fully behind this series especially with the amazingly beautiful artwork my Olivier Coipel, whose work seems to double in goodness with each and every issue. Although you may have seen the events in this book occur in other books, I doubt you have seen it look and read this well. THOR #3 drops this week and I definitely recommend you pick it up.

BLACK CANARY WEDDING PLANNER

Writer: J. Torres Artists: Lee Ferguson, Karl Story, Christine Norrie Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo

Yes, I know I’m gonna get a world of crap for this.
Yes, this is a girly comic book for a girly wedding. It talks of planning, catering, wedding dresses and honeymoons: all things that most guys would never care about in a million years.
Until you’re the one getting married. And then, at least for the sake of avoiding an argument, you’re involved. Perhaps even interested. Hey, it happens. And despite the fact that many of us have already been there, I know that I’m gonna get a world…nay, a multiverse’s worth of crap for saying that I liked this book, but you know what?
I liked this book.
And not just with my keen married eye did I enjoy it. The artwork was anywhere from good (okay, a few weak panels) to great: I lost track of which artists did which pages, but there was a good mixture of solid work and out-and-out eye-candy.
I liked the banter, the give and take. I liked the fact that Dinah Lance is a competent and complicated woman who is taking on a task that almost every woman finds daunting. She was neither clueless nor indomitable, but very human. I love the way (thank again, Gail Simone, for your spectacular run on BIRDS OF PREY) that Black Canary (along with Barbara/Oracle) has turned into one of most richly layered characters in the DCU.
I also liked the fact that Oliver Queen had something to contribute in the way of ideas and usefulness. Men are often portrayed as buffoons in these situations, but it’s a sad and overused cliché. Major style points, as Gail might say, for Torres painting a realistic picture of two mature adults.
In real life, the organizational chores of getting married are like a baptism of fire (and a possible blueprint of how the marriage will function afterwards.) Not every guy is a disinterested shmuck, and if the couple works together and survives…well, it’s a real accomplishment. Reading this story gives me an idea that Ollie and Dinah really do have strengths and weakness that compliment each other. (The menu selection scene, for example, was classic: nuanced and not overstated.)
At one point, Dinah chastises Ollie for being too involved (out of frustration for her feeling she had done as much as she felt she needed to do) and told him to “man up.” And he ignored that as the frustrated jab it was, and continued doing what he could, helping out in some areas, butting out in others. Like a mature man would. Good for him.
It strikes me as ironic that many comics arriving with a “MATURE” label are often sophomoric displays of adolescent fantasies. And sometimes, that is exactly what the audience wants. But as lighthearted as this was, I daresay it was more mature, in the real sense of the word, than most things I read.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #544

Writer: J. Michael Strazynski Penciler: Joe Quesada Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Jinxo

Okay, I just raked Spidey over the coals last column but since this issue answers many of the complaints I had I figured one more go round was called for. My biggest complaint with “Back In Black” was the fact that with Aunt May dying, Peter just took her to a regular hospital without trying to use all his superhero contacts to try and help save her. With this issue Peter starts doing just that. He starts marshalling resources he should have been bringing together months ago. So that’s good. I like what the “One More Day” plot is doing. But the problem still is, again, this is plot that should have started rolling months ago. Instead we got a summer of filler first. Beating up and faux threatening the Kingpin was more important than Aunt May. Beating up J. Jonah Jameson took a higher priority! It’s crazy!
Okay, to be fair I’m sure the detour to “Back In Black” to promote “Spidey 3” was an executive decision and not something the writers really had much control of. But that doesn’t change the fact it was a dumb move. Aunt May dying is a ticking clock scenario. Essentially pausing the clock for months and months defeats the drama of the situation. Yes, in comic book time it hasn’t been too long but for the readers it is. For me “Back In Black” just means that, for me, “One More Day” has to be that much better to succeed.
I’ll put it this way. Way way back a friend and I went to a convention (ironically where JMS was appearing). For dinner we went out for pizza. The restaurant gave us breadsticks to chomp on until our pizza came. Only the pizza took FOREVER to arrive. By the time it did arrive we were so annoyed and practically full that to redeem the situation that pizza really needed to be spectacular. Just above and beyond just “good”. I’ve been eating breadsticks all summer. I’m about full up. I’m annoyed. JMS, this had best be one amazing and spectacular pizza.

BLUE BEETLE #18

Writer: John Rogers Artist: Rafael Albuquerque, David Baldeon, Dan Davis Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Squashua

I am so disappointed in this book, you have no idea.
There I was, having read the latest issue of BLUE BEETLE, and I was happy. I thought, "hey, that wasn't bad at all for a crossover, maybe I'll review it". And then I did something that I do for every book I review - I re-read it and researched the latest buzz about the book.
And that is what killed my originally glowing review.
Blue Beetle (Jamie Reyes) and his pals arrive to see the brand new Texas spaceport around the same time that the Teen Titans (in disguise) arrive to check it out as well. Both groups have been alerted by their respective sources that the forthcoming rocket launch will be sabotaged by an alien entity. Cue the inevitable pre-team-up fight, then the appearance of Lobo.
The highly entertaining teen-snark and semi-witty character interaction masks a major problem: the plot is actually haphazard at best, hindered by what appears to be a complete breakdown of communication between the writer and the artist.
First, there is a scene where a blonde girl wearing a high-necked school tie tells Robin that she's disguising them and clouding everyone's mind; obviously it's supposed to be Miss Martian, who actually has no incentive to say these words, as she's busy acting goofy, red-headed, loose-necktie girl not two panels prior. The naysayers might call her out for being Raven, but if it is, she isn't seen for the rest of the issue.
Second, during the fight scene, there's the obligatory "Titans Together" splash page with the Titans attacking Lobo, with all the human-level fighters (Robin, Ravager) up front against this Superman-level threat, while Supergirl, Wonder Girl, and Miss Martian bring up the rear. They're at least half a mile away from the rocket launchpad, but in the immediate next panel, the entire group is under the rocket booster.
Third, what really gets me, is that in this week's TEEN TITANS, which I saw a preview image of at Newsarama (I'm the guy named Squashua who posts in their forums!), there are at least two pages completely recreating scenes from this very issue; the aforementioned splash page as well as one of Blue Beetle conversing with the flying super-babes.
Oh shit. I figured it out. I wrote this review, and THEN I started filling in the artist and writer names before I sent it in. Rafael Albuquerque took a very thick pencil to draw any page that renders the battle outside of the rocket launch facility. He's the one to blame for the poor rocket booster transition. David Baldeon and Dan Davis drew the interiors, with very tight character designs; they're the ones to blame for not properly rendering whomever it was that was disguising the Titans.
This issue of BLUE BEETLE suffers from major plotting problems (there are more beyond those that I point out). As with TEEN TITANS, I flip and flop as to whether I want to read the title, and with the "The Reach" plotline going nowhere, I'm sad to say I'm near dropping it, though I might page through the “Sinestro Corps” crossover in the shop because I'm a sucker.

SHE-HULK #21

Written by Dan Slott and Ty Templeton Art by Rick Burchett and Cliff Rathburn Published by Marvel Comics Return address: stones_throw

Dear Dan Slott:
So this is it, huh?
Well, first off I want to thank you for creating a truly original Marvel series that consistently entertained me for a good three years, and hopefully will continue to do so even after you’ve left. Along with RUNAWAYS, SHE-HULK was a shining light of freshness among all the other humdrum superhero books out there. I reckon you’ve laid the foundations for a strong series that should continue for a long time.
Oh, and thanks for all those classic single issue slices of Marveldom. You know the ones: #2, 3, 4 (both volumes), those last four Paul Pelletier-drawn issues of volume one, #5 vol. 2 … and this one, I suppose. It was cool how even though it’s a special “farewell” issue there was still great, heartfelt character work and how you had me guessing right up to the final page. Neat.
Big ups for writing one of the all-time great Spider-Man guest stars (#4, vol. 1).
Thanks but no thanks for the second half of volume two which got overly convoluted and messy. Okay, maybe that was the sub-par art, not you. I suppose no one can be lucky enough to get a Bobillo or Pelletier every time. I’m thinking you had a load of cool stuff you wanted to do but with one thing and another and tie-ins to WORLD WAR HULK and CIVIL WAR it didn’t quite come off. Kind of sucks that you had to wrap it all up in three issues to boot.
So you’ll be heading over to the wall-crawler now? Good luck on that. If one guy can sort out ol’ Peter Parker it’s you. I’m just hoping it’s SPIDER-MAN/HUMAN TORCH / THE THING instant-classic Slott and not AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE / later SHE-HULK issues phoning-it-in Slott. Don’t let me down.
Be sure to give my regards to Peter David.
Your pal,
Stones Throw
P.S. So all those continuity snafus at Marvel in recent years were because of some idiot who couldn’t read a Marvel Universe Handbook entry and an A hole that let ‘em get through? Pretty clever, Mr. Slott! Pretty clever indeed.

TEEN TITANS #50

Writers: Sean McKeever, Geoff Johns, Marv Wolfman, Todd Dezago Pencils: Randy Green, Mike McKone, George Perez, Todd Nauck Inks: Andy Lanning & Sandra Hope, Marlo Alquiza, George Perez, Lary Stucker Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Loodabagel

Okay, apparently Wally West is once again in the real world and Jericho, the lamest Teen Titan ever, is no longer on the team. Awesome. I should take 8 months off more often. Think how much money I would have saved on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN if I hadn’t subscribed through the last two years. I didn’t expect them to keep doing crossovers! Really!
Anyway, it was great to get back together with my friends The Teen Titans. Having smartly taken the majority of this year off, this issue was like a big welcome back get together for me and the kids. It seems that most of the characters have been busy dealing with lousy stories and haven’t bothered to develop much since I last checked. Thanks guys. Not only that, but this not only entertained me, but had me excited about the next issue with the return of some of my favorite villains who just so happened to get me into this book in the first place. Not many comics can do that to me anymore.
Way to go, TEEN TITANS, you are officially awesome again. I mean, Jericho’s gone, sexual tension abounds, Sean McKeever is making me less sad that he left SMLMJ and the new artist seems pretty good. The only real flaw is a bizarre guest appearance by Blue Beetle. (Kid, this book is celebrating its 50th issue; can’t you horn in some other time?) What’s not to love?

HARBINGER: THE BEGINNING TPB

Writer: Jim Shooter Art: David Lapham & Bob Hall Publisher: Valiant Entertainment Reviewer: Ambush Bug

Reading through this trade was like meeting an old dear friend that I hadn’t seen in ages. We may not have talked or thought about each other in years, but when we meet again, it’s as if no time had passed and we pick up right where we left off. That’s the feeling I felt as I turned every page of this trade paperback collection of the first eight issues (including the zero issue) of Valiant’s hit HARBINGER series from the early nineties. I bought the books when they first came out but they’re bagged and boarded somewhere in a box at home. I had all but forgotten why I fell in love with the Valiant Universe in the first place. Many of you folks who regularly read this column have never picked up a Valiant comic, but I encourage you to do so. In the early nineties, when Image was busy making purty pinup books with little or no story, Valiant focused all of their efforts on producing some of the most solidly written and tightly woven universes in comic book history. In many ways, Valiant was like the oft scoffed at New Universe (a line of books that I have a special affinity for). It was a world not unlike our own, where mystical and sci fi things started occurring with greater frequency as time went on. But where the New Universe was our world exactly until the White Event, the fantastical forces at work in the Valiant Universe has a meticulously mapped out history. When you read a Valiant book, you felt as if some pretty brilliant minds came together and developed an all encompassing story that reached far into the past and further into the future. You felt as if you were a part of something big.
HARBINGER was not my favorite Valiant comic. I’ll leave that honor to SHADOWMAN with THE SECOND LIFE OF DOCTOR MIRAGE coming in a close second. But I do remember reading the stories collected with great fondness. And as I re-read the issues, I realized that the book possessed all of the qualities that X-MEN and TEEN TITANS had in their prime. It was a quality that only a few books seem to have these days (RUNAWAYS and YOUNG AVENGERS being among them). These stories capture youth and imagination and sprinkle it in throughout the entire story. It follows a group of rogue Harbingers (what mutants are called in the Valiant U) as they try to cope with their new powers, cope with each other, and stay out of the clutches of the diabolical Toyo Harada who may possibly be the most powerful Harbinger on the planet. Well, except for Sting, a young man who has recently discovered his powers and is finding out that these powers seemingly have no limit. Sting uses his powers to track down others like him and eventually a team of outcasts form their own “Anti-Harbingers” team whose goal is to expose Harada and protect others like them from being exploited or worse.
The book looks great with the new digital re-coloring. There is a new depth and richness that adds and doesn’t cover up the already solid artwork. I don’t remember the old issues very much, but what I do recall is a kind of flatness to the artwork. The new effects really make the characters pop off of the page without making it look too showy or too laden with computer generated Turner-vision like re-coloring techniques.
This collection of stories really does collect the best of the HARBINGER series. The formation of the team and the first battles the team has against Harada were by far the most memorable. And the book also served as a great tour guide to the Valiant Universe, introducing HARBINGER readers to other characters in the universe like Solar and X-O Manowar. Through the eyes of these often naïve and well written characters, we got to see the wonders this universe had to offer as if for the first time. I understand why Valiant chose this book to be the first to re-publish for the new masses. It’s the perfect starting point for newbs to the Valiant U and a wonderful refresher course for those who haven’t thought of the rich characters and enthralling stories in years.
Due to some kind of legal issues, this book can only be purchased directly through Valiant. You can reach them here. It’s definitely a worthwhile investment. Thanks again to all who participated in the contest. From the turnout, it looks as if there are fans still lurking about, hoping for a relaunch of their favorite Valiant properties. Here’s hoping that more collections such as this are on the way and that this is the beginning of a new Valiant age. I, for one, can’t wait.

METAL MEN #2

Writer/Artist: Duncan Rouleau Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Prof. Challenger

Wow! This comic was one of those that I had serious reservations about. At heart, I’m a comic geek purist and when I first saw some preview drawings for the series, I kind of balked at the designs for those crazy robots. But now, after having read through the first two issues and just fallen in love with the art, I’ve got to eat crow on my earlier reservations. This is one of those nearly perfectly designed comics. The enjoyment factor I’ve experienced so far is akin to the surprise thrill of the AGENTS OF ATLAS mini-series from Marvel last year.
The cover designs are simple but clever, featuring all the Metal Men along with their creator, Doc Magnus. The Metal Men are contorted together to form the image of the numeral for each issue’s number (which is a brilliant idea forward-looking to the cover images as chapter fronts for the inevitable book collection of the series). And joy of joys, he breaks the mold of the current boring state of comic book covers by including word balloons with the characters addressing the reader, breaking the fourth wall. Thumbs up on that. I hope to see more of that type of thing once again.
Longtime comics readers will already be, at least peripherally, familiar with the usual Metal Men suspects – Gold, Mercury, Lead, Iron, Platinum (Tina), and Tin. But I guess in these enlightened days, the male-to-female robot ratio seemed a bit imbalanced so now DC has added another female robot, Copper, to the mix. And she’s actually a rather seamless insertion into the group dynamic. If I did not know otherwise, I would not realize she’s a relatively new addition to the group.
I completely dig the characterization of Doc Magnus throughout what I’ve seen so far. Even though the story time jumps from present day, to the past, to the future, to the far past, and back to the present, I’m impressed by how Rouleau makes Magnus true to his past checkered sportscoat Silver Age appearances but also incorporate his latest appearances in 52. Thankfully, DC has yet to bow to the politically correct Nazis out there so we get to see Doc puffing away on his classic smartguy pipe prop.
Now, to evaluate the writing overall, I’m not sure where Duncan Rouleau’s contributions and Grant Morrison’s contributions overlap or separate. Which makes it difficult to give credit where credit is due. The comic book says it is based on ideas by Grant Morrison, which makes me think the broad strokes are primarily his. If so, then one can assume that the following are all coming from the diseased and twisted imagination of Morrison: the insanely strained friendship relationship between Doc Magnus and Dr. T.O. Morrow is his, the ancient Philosopher’s Stone as the true basis for the robots’ sentience, billionaire crazyman Solomon Kahn as the manipulative money behind Magnus’ original robot work, The Robot Renegades (Warbox, Body-X, Manhunter-Lud, and L-Ron), and of course the adrenaline-inducing The Death-Metal Men! Morrison is an idea machine.
I think that imagining a connection between the mythical Philosopher’s Stone is pure, unadulterated genius. It’s one of those ideas that I can’t believe was never explored before. Solomon Kahn is a grisly little bandage-wrapped “Mr. Burns” with a more than obvious riff on Citizen Kane as well. Of the Robot Renegades, I just have to say that slapping that eyepatch onto a Manhunter robot and naming him “Lud” is, once again, pure genius. But the killer moment was that last page introducing Dr. Morrow’s evil version of the Metal Men; The Death-Metal Men was something utterly transcendent in its perfection. I am befuddled by the degree of imagination poured into just the concepts and ideas found in this series. It’s hard to believe it’s only into its second issue, but it makes me anticipate great stuff for the next six issues.
So, how does Duncan Rouleau do with these big ideas? Honestly, he has knocked it out of the park in both his script but also his graphic narrative as well. I love how the omniscient narrator tells the story in a voice distinct from the characters. In fact, the narrator talks directly to the reader. It’s a breath of fresh air as a narrative choice. Also, as befits such a conceptually complicated premise for the series, Rouleau does not shy away from packing this series (both issues I’ve read so far) with dense storytelling. Lots of dialogue, lots of varied panel designs; i.e., the ancient past is told in widescreen panels, but many of the modern rollicking Metal Men scenes are told with many smaller panels layered on top of larger panels. Rouleau varies up the page layouts so that no page is static. And he fills each page with tons of detail. Lush and gorgeous art throughout the book that just pops with color and texture provided by Moose Baumann. Baumann is one of the top colorists working in the industry today and his work on METAL MEN is, in my opinion, his finest work yet. I really thought there was no way he could top his work on GREEN LANTERN, but here it is. Baumann is an artist at the top of his game. Rouleau is someone I’d never heard of before this comic, so I had to google him to find out he’s one of the creators of the BEN10 cartoon (which I’ve never seen) and a handful of comics. So, he’s another like Darwyn Cooke, apparently, who’s coming to the comics field from a career in animation. Well, his style is vastly different than Cooke, but nearly on par with me from a pure admiration standpoint.
I could go on, but suffice to say the art in this series is enough of a reason to buy it, but the writing’s pretty good too. Rouleau’s accomplishing a number of things here in that he’s setting up a mystery (and presumably a solution) for exactly how Doc Magnus’s robots really gained sentience. I would guess this is brought on by a DC geek-style query about how that could happen since T.O. Morrow’s robot, Red Tornado, had to have an outside intelligence invade his circuits to give him sentience. Rouleau’s also approaching the characters as if they’ve already been around for years, but flashing back to Magnus’s youth so that old and new readers can see how the Metal Men came about. This also allows him the opportunity to flesh out Magnus and Morrow’s friendship so that when Rouleau flashes back to the present or the future with the later, insane, Morrow, the reader has a feel for the history and relationship between the two. Then there’s the rather absurd pyramid-headed guy that’s somehow involved in all this (I’ll give that one to Morrison). I’m not sure what’s going on with that guy, but he’s intimately involved in all this ancient Atlantis-Solomon Kahn-Metal Men stuff.
I get so jaded and sick of the misguided garbage that comes out of the two big corporate heads of the comic industry nowadays but…every now and then an unexpected pearl appears and knocks my socks off. METAL MEN is the pearl right now. I recommend it highly.

STEVE NILES’ STRANGE CASES #1

Writer-Dan WIckline Artist-David Hartman Publisher: Image Comics Guest reviewer: Loodabagel

Okay, bear with me. The date on this book says August, but it just appeared in my store today. Did they screw up? Was there a last minute delay? I don't know what was going on, but I know it never got reviewed here. Curious, I flipped through it to see if it was a stand alone story. At first glance, it seemed like an occult type version of FELL. (judging by the cover price) but after reading it...
The thing is, this wasn't a stand alone comic, but there was absolutely no mention of a "next issue" at the end. Instead there's an ad for "STRANGE CASES on the PSP!" Unsure of what I had purchased, I now felt a little icky. Had I been tricked into buying a video game tie in? Well, it's something like that. The comic itself is alright. Just some good old fashioned fun. As of now, STRANGE CASES is a four issue limited series and the same thing available on the page is also available in Playstation format. I would recommend the paper, but that's just me. I'm old fashioned like that. I prefer to read stuff without a glare.
Can I recommend it? Sure, why not. This thing isn't going to blow anybody's mind, but you'll get a good dose of gory fun, some cheesecake and quality artwork by David Hartman to boot. There are those of you who'll buy this no matter what, thanks in part to the name on the cover, but that guy's only acting as executive producer. The writer is one Dan Wickline, and he's pretty good too.
The story revolves around a group of monster hunters who've been hired by this mysterious guy to kill some monsters for a lot of money...you get the idea. There's some variations on old characters here, but I think that's more because The Adventures of Buffy, Van Helsing and those two guys I'm not familiar with would've been a bit stale. These aren't "cheesecake adult f-ed up fairy-tale" variations on the characters, just ones meant to keep things interesting.
At first, I was really disappointed that Mr. Niles wasn't writing this; I've never actually gotten aquainted with his work, so I wouldn't know what to compare it to, but at $2.50, why not just go out and buy it already? It's better than a lot of that crap we're dedicated to (except for those of you who are dedicated to Steve Niles horror-y comics. Read some X-Men crossovers, ya losers.)
And it turns out STRANGE CASES is a four issue limited series, and apparently the issues are stand alone. Doesn't read like it, but they are. Whatever. Happy hunting. Make of it what you will. STRANGE CASES is a nice guy. I liked him at first, but then he made a really racist joke. Apparently it was in good taste though. So he's back in my book after that little scare.

ACTION COMICS #855

Written by Geoff Johns and Richard Donner Art by Eric Powell Published by DC Comics Reviewed by stones_throw

Like hanging around playgrounds and creeping out the parents? Or maybe you’ve got kids of your own - a niece or a nephew or a son or daughter who might like Superman but couldn’t sit through Bryan Singer’s stanky movie? Well, friends, I can happily say this is the perfect comic to give ‘em.
Seriously. See, while to older or more @$$Hole-ish tastes this may suffer in comparison to Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s definitive and hilarious rendition of Bizarro World a few months back in ALL STAR SUPERMAN, or seem a little slight on story, kids won’t care about any of that. They’ll just see one kick@$$, fast-moving, enjoyable as all hell comic.
No filler, sorry, build-up. No internal monologue. No “who is Superman?” moralizing. Just a stoic, familiar Superman kicking Bizarro butt. There’s a level of storytelling economy here that we rarely see today. In the first five pages Bizarro’s ambushed the Kents in their Smallville farmhouse, kidnapped Pa Kent and left Ma Kent to explain what’s happened to Superman, who jets off across the universe to rescue him. What’s more there’s absolutely *no* entry-level knowledge required, although I’m sure it ties into Donner and Johns’ other issues immaculately and it doesn’t exist in its own bubble like the MARVEL ADVENTURES line. Really, how many modern comics can you say that about? At a time when literally every Marvel title requires you to have read CIVIL WAR (don’t bother) and DC’s counting down to FINAL YEP FINAL THIS TIME WE REALLY MEAN IT NO FOOLING NO PLEASE COME BACK WE HAVE FAMILIES TO FEED CRISIS, this bucks the trend wonderfully. Know who Superman is (and who doesn’t?) You’re set. Don’t know who Bizarro is? Even better! That way he’ll still be creepy and mysterious.
I tend to class myself as a Marvel guy who mostly prefers DC these days, but growing up, because the first Marvel I ever read were the first issues of all the main characters and a big ol’ guide to the Marvel Universe, it was the DC heroes that gave me that feeling of wonder and mystery which is what I think lures new readers in. Like, I knew who Galactus was before I’d read any comics he appeared in, but when Adam Strange or the Legion of Superheroes or the New Gods would show up I’d be rapt with the endless possibilities and sheer joy of the superhero genre because I wasn’t quite sure who they were and they were still new and mysterious to me. That’s something I think Johns and Donner capture here superbly, kind of similar to what Morrison and Quitely have done on the amazing ALL STAR, but on a more easily accessible level. Bizarro and the Bizarro World isn’t mapped out for the reader or fully explained – it’s a creepy distortion of Superman’s world and it feels new and mysterious.
The art - - do I need to talk about the art? You’re reading THE GOON, right? (And if not, why the hell not?) Powell does a great job. I thought he was a bit mismatched for the SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE-inspired inspired Fortress of Solitude but when we get to Bizarro World he really cuts loose. Not a complaint, but he’s homaging Kirby in a few panels, which is fine, but based on his work on THE GOON I’d love to see him go crazy, solo, on a more Golden Age, less standard version of Superman in the future.
Anyway, great book. For me, DC’s Superman line has been pretty consistently good since the last big @$$ crisis (bar a few issues of Busiek and Pacheco’s SUPERMAN) and this is one of the best so far. I’ll admit that the simplicity and lack of gimmicks didn’t quite click with me at first but on re-reads I found it stuck with me and entertained me in a way few recent comics have. This is one you’ll want to read and re-read, folks…but more importantly, think of the kids! I doubt there’ll be a better opportunity from the big two’s main lines all year.

MS. MARVEL #19

Writer: Brian Reed Artist: Aaron Lopresti Inker: Matt Ryan Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo

Okay, Marvel (that’s Comics, not Ms.), we’re still waiting. You said Carol Danvers wants to become one of the top-tier, A-rated players. And I’m assuming you would like to see her climb into the ranks of world-class heroes in terms of stature (and, uhm…sales!) But then you send her up against the Puppet Master? Are you for real?
And slapping a spank-fest Greg Horn cover on the whole thing doesn’t really help the bid for legitimacy. Much as I love Horn, I’m sure his covers are great for sales, but not for being take seriously. We’ve seen this done before; I think it was called SHE-HULK. And anyway, we’ve already got a semi-serious jiggle-palooza out there this week called SHANNA THE SHE-DEVIL #2. So can we build some brand distinction here?
Let’s talk supporting cast. I knew we were in editorial trouble when I read the first page, which described Aaron Stack/Machine Man as “sociopathic.” Is he anti-social? Sure. But a sociopath? I’ve worked with too many, and most of them were very slick - until you pushed their buttons, and then they wouldn’t think twice about taking you out.
Aaron Stack may be an asshat, and he exhibits a distinct Ellis-crafted sense of the absurd (which Reed continues pretty well), but he’s no sociopath. I do like his inclusion in the book, but I really want to see how he’s going to serve to advance the title character. Will he help her grow or will he just be the obnoxious comic relief?
Sleepwalker I can take or leave. When I see odd characters appear for an issue or two and then vanish (*cough* SHROUD *cough*), it makes me wonder if Marvel is about to lose licensing rights on some property if they don’t appear like once a decade or something. (Hey, next issue – the return of El Aquila! Kidding.) And it’s the writer’s job to make sure their appearance doesn’t seem like the addition of a second appendix. So Sleepwalker is helping track Masters. Good. Let’s see what else he can do for the story.
Speaking of which, the story itself begins like an overlong stay at the Exposition Hotel. Around the middle of the book, we get to see Ms. Marvel taken down by Tigra. Tigra, for cryin’ out loud! Doesn’t look like anyone’s bringing their A-game.
Things finally start taking off on the last four pages, but the majority of it, and the possible resolutions of this storyline, leave me feeling underwhelmed.
When I think A-game, I think cosmic. I think aliens (hey, look – a Skrull!) I think Dr. Doom or Magneto (before he was emasculated) or Ultron. I think about the way this book restarted about 18 months ago, and I think it started with a great premise. But I don’t see that premise being advanced here. Maybe I’ll get that when MIGHTY AVENGERS comes out. But this was a book that had a great direction, and it seems to have lost its way.

52 AFTERMATH: THE FOUR HORSEMEN #1

Writer: Keith Giffen Artists: Pat Oliffe (pencils)/John Stanisci (inks) Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Prof. Challenger

Bleh.
Don’t you just hate it when you pick up the wrong comic?
I thought I was grabbing the latest COUNTDOWN issue but inadvertently grabbed this thing. Didn’t realize it till I got home. Figured…what the heck, never heard of it but it’s got Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman on the cover. I’ll just give it a go. Maybe it’ll be great!
Instead I endured what may be the worst comic starring those three characters since that final issue of INFINITE CRISIS. It’s like zombies, stupid people, convoluted global politics, and a lot of talking heads and dramatic poses.
I don’t have a clue what I read. Hard to follow. Characters were all just sullen, mad, depressed, or zombiefied. Interspersed Bible verses from The Book of Revelation just added to the confusion. And I still don’t have a clue how those stupid Terminators on the cover tie into the zombies.
What a mess.
Apparently, and I repeat – apparently, this is supposed to make some kind of sense if I read 52 (which I gave up on after about 6 weeks). I dunno. It seems to me that it’s just a horrid debacle of a comic book and I can’t imagine that reading 52 would make it any less horrid.

NIGHTMARE FACTORY OGN

Four Short Stories by Thomas Ligotti Words adapted by: Stuart Moore & Joe Harris Art by Colleen Doran, Ben Templesmith, Ted McKeever, & Michael Gaydos Publisher: Fox Atomic Reviewer: Ambush Bug

Both Vroom Socko and stone’s throw have mentioned recently that compilations are a mixed bag. Like music albums, you often find that you like one or two of the songs, but it is hard to have that same level of goodness throughout. Fortunately for me, I found this compilation of four short stories by Thomas Ligotti to be entertaining from start to finish.
Many of the comments from last week’s column have compared Thomas Ligotti to Poe and Lovecraft. I’m not sure this is entirely accurate. This is not to say that Ligotti is not a good writer, but it seems as if Ligotti owes a lot of his writing to the works of Poe and Lovecraft and pays homage to them quite a bit. Granted, this is my first experience reading Ligotti’s works, but there are an awful lot of references to familiar Poe/Lovecraft territory in this book in regards to ancient monsters and sacrifices set in small towns and tales of redemption morphing the ordinary into the extraordinary. Ligotti himself admits the similarities and homages in the introductions he provides to each short story. If anything, Ligotti is quite talented in bringing modern day metaphysics to these Poe and Lovecraftian themes, which in and of itself is putting a personalized stamp on his own brand of horror. Many of the stories depicted in this book delve deeply into the mind and how much of a terrifying effect it can have to our own realities. This book will definitely have you questioning the world around you, looking over your shoulder, and losing trust in your own perceptions. These tales of terror exude waves of paranoia and pathos from every page and panel. It doesn’t help that it has some of today’s best horror artists providing the panels.
The first story, “The Last Feast of Harlequin”, is adapted by Stuart Moore (words) and Colleen Doran (art). This is the most Lovecraftian of the bunch, involving the Conqueror Worm itself and a small town festival. What I enjoyed about this one was the fact that it unabashedly follows a misinformed person and does a brilliant job of illustrating how one person’s perceptions can be so skewed to ignore the harsh realities of the world. Colleen Doran’s artwork is truly scary, a trait that comes out especially in the faces of the tortured souls that inhabit this eerie story.
Story two is called “Dream of a Mannikin” and thematically, it may be my favorite of the bunch. Ben Templesmith provides the art and Stuart Moore returns with the words. This story revolves around a curious visit to a psychologist’s office by a mysterious woman. What starts out as a bizarre tale of dreams and nightmares turns into one man’s struggle to have his own existence acknowledged. All of us long to be noticed and loved. The true horror that runs deep to one’s soul occurs when that longing is not recognized. That terror is at the center of this wonderfully written and beautifully drawn story.
Visually, though, “Dr. Locrian’s Asylum” is my favorite. I’ve always had an affinity towards Ted McKeever’s skewed and wonderful artwork. His panels always look worn and tattered. Lopsided figures shamble across the page, yet they somehow embody a sense of honesty and beauty. This story of one town’s decision to tear down the local asylum and the haunting ramifications of that decision is chill-inducing to look at. McKeever’s images of the ghosts of the asylum are haunting. This is a wonderfully drawn piece of fiction with words by Joe Harris that resonates off the page.
Although not my favorite piece, the final story, “Teatro Grottesco” is a memorable and bizarre trip into a metaphysical nightmare. One man struggles to investigate and test the limits of reality with Morrison-esque results. Michael Gaydos offers some pretty vivid imagery, especially a haunting sequence involving a shrinking man the protagonist meets in an alley. This is, by far, the most “out there” story of the bunch. At times, it lost me, but the ending is a powerful one and a fine capper to the end of this book.
There isn’t a story in this book that doesn’t have the highest amount of professionalism added to it. Fox Atomic really has put together a special compilation and this is by far the best book the company has published to date.
We are still running our THE NIGHTMARE FACTORY “Send in your Nightmares” Contest. Details can be found here and ten lucky winners will receive a copy autographed by Thomas Ligotti himself.

THE 99 SPECIAL – ORIGINS

Writers: Naif Al-Mutawa, Fabian Nicieza (with Nabeel Mohan) Artist: John McCrea (with Jason Dennis)

THE 99 SPECIAL – FIRST LIGHT

Writers: Naif Al-Mutawa, Fabian Nicieza Artist: John McCrea (with Jason Dennis) Publisher: Teshkeel Comics Reviewer: Squashua

Two weeks ago, I walk into the comic store and Brian behind the counter hands me my stash. Flipping through the books, I pull out something I definitely didn't order: THE NINETY-NINE SPECIAL - ORIGINS. "Bri, what's up with this?"
"Oh, the publisher or marketer or whatever is pushing us to put this book into our stores. That's a free book we received, so since we have no time to read it or get a handle on it, I put it in your pile. Figured you could give it a review and let us know if it's worth getting."
Ah, the perks of letting your Friendly Local Comic Shoppe know that you review comics for a well-known fan news website. I agreed to take a look and I quickly formed an opinion, but I didn't immediately write a review. I figured I'd let it fester. Then last week I was back at the shop and Brian threw yet another book in my stash, THE NINETY-NINE SPECIAL - FIRST LIGHT.
Brian grinned sheepishly and shrugged, "They're like Nigerian spammers."
THE 99 is the tale of 99 noor stones: mystic gems imbued with the knowledge and power of the ancient library of Baghdad. If you connect with one of these gems, you get super-powers. And there's a benevolent agency dedicated to finding all of the 99 and using them for good, to "change the world". And there's an evil Vandal Savage industrialist-type who has a long and storied history with the over 700-year-old stones; his goal is to use them to "choke [the world] into submission". And then there are the 99, who are all having their origins right about now; each getting a different ability based on the noor stone they connect with: telekinesis, super-strength, ability to see truth and control light, etc.
Basically, it's like a slightly tame Islamic iteration of the "Heroes" TV show. Now, I'm not saying there aren't real world situations: the first hero we meet got his powers from stepping on a landmine; the second one is kidnapped and tortured into an origin story, but the graphic nature of these situations has been toned down to a PG-13, if not PG level. There's a lot covered in these two books - in ORIGINS, we get the unique history of the stones themselves and introductions to our chief protagonist "Dr. Ramzi", our chief antagonist "Rughal", and the first modern noor stone hero, "Jabbar".
The art swings back and forth between beautiful and mediocre. I was a fan of McCrea during his HITMAN years, but something here doesn't sit right with me. At times, it's like he can draw a face and he can draw a body, but he can't draw a face ON a body. Other times, especially during the noor stone origin sequence, the rendered pictures are very pretty. A couple things do stand out as irritating: whomever has control of the Photoshop editing tool needs to stop putting light blooms on every single piece of metal in every panel, and whomever is designing the technology should not be using a classic Nintendo Game Boy as an artistic reference for a handheld computer.
Beyond the "everyone's abilities stem from myths originating from the Islamic religion" schtick, there is nothing groundbreaking here that I haven't seen before. Yes, we get unique heroic names like "Jabbar", "Noora the Light", and "Darr the Afflicter", and in these issues they beat on the military, some terrorist kidnappers, secret government agents, and even some gangstas yo, but this is broad audience material. I can see THE 99 becoming very episodic in nature; each issue involves solving yet another problem to add yet another new member to either the good guy or bad guy group. Or the next issue explores the history of one of the 99 noor stones as it changes hands over a long course of time. I see where this is going. I've seen it before, and the "gotta catch 'em all" attitude is not for me.
I told Brian to order a couple of issues and push it to the younger crowd. Maybe it will be a hit with general audiences, but I don't see this book flying off the shelves.

TALES FROM THE CRYPT #2

Written by Jim Salicrup, Neil Kleid and Fred Van Lente Art by Rick Parker, Steve Mannion and Mr. Exes Published by Papercutz Reviewed by stones_throw

I've been reading the TALES FROM THE CREVICE reviews with interest lately, because while I agree with Vroom Socko that even the best anthologies usually contain a crappy story to spoil the average (and that DREAM CORRIDOR and BATMAN BLACK AND WHITE are the best of the best), for some reason there's just something I like about an anthology comic. Landmark issues of an ongoing book where a host of stories appear are often my favorites of the year. Maybe it's going through the issue and deciding which story's best, or being pleasantly surprised by a stand-out that I like. Or the idea of a bunch of writers and artists working together on similar subject matter. Or maybe my TV and processed food-produced attention span just appreciates the lower page count.
Anyway, Papercutz - a self-professed "graphic novel publisher for tweens and teens" headed by former Marvel editor Jim Salicrup - has revived one of the best-loved anthology books, EC's TALES FROM THE CRYPT with...mixed results. Yep, this is one of those conflicted reviews. The good first up: both of the stories in this edition are average or above. The first one's a simpler tale that leans towards the laughs while the second is actually a pretty effective creepy story from Fred Van Lente, currently writing the SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP miniseries at Marvel. If horror anthologies are your thing, you could do a lot worse than either of these tales.
The big problem facing this book is the art. EC built its reputation with legendary cartoonists like Harvey Kurtzman, Wally Wood, Jack Davis and Marie Severin, but the art here ranges from unremarkable to pretty horrible and completely mismatched for the story. I don't understand fans who say that story is more important to them than art. My enjoyment of a comic is always influenced by what I feel about the art and how well it matches the story.
The ideal for a completely enjoyable comic book should be good writing and good art working in unison for the story. If the art's nasty, as in this issue's second story, it's likely to affect what I think about the comic overall and there's no way I could offer a full recommendation of the book.
Furthermore, there's a good few artists I enjoy so much that I'll follow their work regardless of the writer (JH Williams, Darwyn Cooke and Kyle Baker come to mind).
The art in the first story here is pretty inoffensive, although it has a pixellated quality which makes me think it's been blown up past its original size. Second story though...whoah, Nelly! This looks like a Cartoon Network show, only not as good. The characters are ridiculously exaggerated and the coloring is Day-Glo bright. (Example: http://www.papercutz.com/crypt/cryptcom1_preview_pg1.html) There's no way this art fits a horror book and it's a credit to Van Lente's writing that the creepiness of the story can actually shine through.
Salicrup's said that back in the 50s it wasn't adults but kids who were reading EC comics, and that Papercutz are trying to appeal to the same audience with this book. That's certainly admirable but even if the book skews younger (and the second story, concerning a *SPOILER*suicide bomber entering Hell*END SPOILER* ain't all that kid friendly), horror is still all about atmosphere and so the art and its style is a vital part of the mix. There's a letter printed here from an old-school EC fan who says "horror can be funny, but it's got to look scary" and I have to agree. It's a disservice to quality chillers of the type that Van Lente's written to saddle it with such poor, atmosphere-killing art.
I can see a place for a book like TALES FROM THE CRYPT in today's market where horror books seem to be undergoing a revival and THE WALKING DEAD is a best seller. I think a lot of name writers would jump at the chance to do a one-off creepy tale. But even if Papercutz have more of a "Simpsons Halloween Special" tone in mind (and especially if they're interested in competing with other horror anthologies like Boom! Studios' ZOMBIE TALES and DC's returning HOUSE OF MYSTERY), they need to invest in artwork that's capable of setting an appropriate tone for horror. Salicrup worked at Marvel for twenty years, surely he has some connections?

PUNKS THE COMIC: SUMMER SPECIAL #1

Writer: Joshua Fialkov Artist: Kody Chamberlain Publisher: Digital Webbing Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

PUNKS THE COMIC is what would happen if NEXTWAVE was actually a Sunday night cartoon on Adult Swim. That is to say, it's awesome. Just awesome. PUNKS features such characters as a humanoid body with a fist for a head that uses signs to talk, a character named Dog that has a bulldog face (well duh!), and Abe Lincoln. Yes, Abe Lincoln. And Abe Lincoln is the best new character of the year, yes he is.
Now, what's this book about, you're asking, with its cast of crazy characters and dead historical figures? Fucked if I know and shame on you for asking! Come on, does any of that sound like there's some sort of coherent storyline going on? Of course not, but just like any (good) episode of, say, “Aqua Teen Hunger Force”, it doesn't have to make sense, it just has to be hilarious. And PUNKS is all sorts of hilarious. Between Morrissey cracks, ethnic stereotypes, alien invaders in a station wagon, and a mid-issue "interview" with Rick Remender Out of Fucking Nowhere! this comic cannot help but be hilarious just like a midget in leather chaps couldn't help but be the same.
As if the comic itself couldn't be crazy enough, the "clip art" that Kody Chamerlain uses here in PUNKS helps enhance the oddball experience. What I mean by "clip art" is that PUNKS uses panels made up by actually cut out pictures arranged to make all the characters, settings, etc. Very unique and unusual, but very creative and entertaining as well which is pretty much exactly how this book should be described.
PUNKS is crazier than Britney Spears with a heroin needle and a Cabbage Patch doll, but ever the moreso entertaining. The sooner we get more of this the better, unlike the aforementioned Ms. Spears. I'm not sure you could find a better deal out there for just $5 right now...well, okay, except for maybe Britney Spears...sorry, had to do it. Cheers...

JONAH HEX #23 DC Comics

This was my favorite read of the week. Jordi Bernet is back back back! The legendary European artist’s sheer storytelling skill is best demonstrated in two silent, beautifully simple panels in which Jonah Hex casually amputates this issue’s narrator’s arm. Palmiotti and Gray match his art with another rock-solid, done-in-one slice of haunting Western badassery. I haven’t been a regular JONAH HEX-er but I’ve got a feeling I’ll be sticking around from now on. – Stones Throw

THE MARVEL TAROT Marvel Comics

Man, why can’t those crappy MYSTIC ARCANA one shots be as cool as this MARVEL UNIVERSE style one shot? Informative. Entertaining. Highlighting an area of the Marvel Universe that hasn’t been spotlighted in quite a while. This book is written through journal entries by MYSTIC ARCANA hero Ian McNee, a Marvel U version of Vertigo’s Tim Hunter character and relative newb to the more occult and mystical side of Marvel. Some of Marvel’s coolest and most underused magical characters are given their own entries in Tarot card form. The insight into the characters and foreboding snippets of possible future storylines had me interested in some of these characters for the first time in years. Avoid the MYSTIC ARCANA one shots at all costs (at least the ones out so far), but pick this one up if you want to learn more about those darker corners of the Marvel U. – Bug

LOBSTER JOHNSON: THE IRON PROMETHEUS #1 Dark Horse

LOBSTER JOHNSON has become easily one of my favorite background character ever in all of comics. Everything about him oozes cool; the get-up he wears and the way he acts just oozes pulp and I love me some pulp,
Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 12, 2007, 3:21 a.m. CST

    testing 1 2 3

    by xega

    test

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 4:07 a.m. CST

    Jordi Bernet is a GENIUS

    by Steve Rogers

    Still got my collections of Torpedo 1936. Absolutely AWESOME comic book, should be required reading for all.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 5:57 a.m. CST

    Answer me this?

    by Dr.Zeus

    If you're virtually indestructible, and the strongest one there is....Why do you need gay ass armor (politically correct version; Heterosexually Challenged Anally Covering Armor) on only one side of your body??? True, I guess roaming around the universe in purple drawers gets a little cold! But i'll be glad when they ditch that lame crap! :[

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 6:04 a.m. CST

    Rick Remender's

    by Dr.Zeus

    Fear Agent is consistently one of the most entertaining comics being published currently. I just wish they could get it out a little quicker. Rick seems to remember how much fun comics used to be, before all the heroes started becoming shades of grey. There's nothing wrong with kicking ass...just do it with style!

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 6:25 a.m. CST

    Jordi Bernet

    by DuncanHines

    Is the fucking truth. I only know his work from his issue of Solo and his Spirit issue. I'll check out that Torpedo 1936 though. He rules. I hope they make him regular artist on The Spirit after Darwyn Cooke leaves.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 6:38 a.m. CST

    Night Thrasher is Captain America

    by zabu 123

    Seriously, that's the only reason i'm still collecting New Warriors. There's just to many clues pointing to him being Captain America. Or at least they want us to think he's Cap. Anyway, i've got to see how this plays out.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 7:27 a.m. CST

    Hulk

    by Bluejack

    STUPIDSTUPIDSTUPIDSTUPIDSTUPIDSTUPIDSTUPID. Who thinks up this Doofery? Talk about a crazy loophole to screw up ALL of Hulk's continuity. Did anyone think for a moment that the Hulk has never killed one of these spearcarrier extras?!?!?!? Rip some damn heads off, Hulk! Please! You would be the most beloved villain in the Marvel Universe (trumping Magneto and Dr. Doom) if you ripped Reed Richard's head off in a giant taffy pulling move. What a bunch of fucking pussies you Marvel bastards are. In like a lion out like a lobotomized lamb , indeed.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Is it just me?

    by rev_skarekroe

    Or is it really stupid in this Talkback today? BTW, are any of the @$$holes planning on reviewing Warren Ellis' novel? I'm very curious, but I'm also waiting for the paperback to come out.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 8:06 a.m. CST

    Prof. Challenger

    by Admiral_Snackbar

    Let me get this straight... you gave up on 52 after six weeks, but you STILL buy Countdown? I dropped that one on week 2 and haven't looked back.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Faker

    by PVIII

    is a good book. Missed Lobster Johnson though, and I'm pissed.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 9:05 a.m. CST

    I agree, Faker is good

    by rock-me Amodeo

    It's got me off-balance, I'm still not sure what "kind" of book it is. I thought it was one thing, a well written angsty book which I liked, and then the last panel changed the direction entirely.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 9:31 a.m. CST

    in primo luogo

    by Anagrama

    in primo luogo

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 9:33 a.m. CST

    I pride myself on my suspension of disbelief.

    by Smerdyakov

    But the idea that the Hulk can collapse a seventy story skyscraper and at the same time calculate with his subliminal super-brain where all the people are and somehow keep them from dying as they fall 300 feet and dodge rubble has taxed even my comic book credence beyond it's limit. Is there an comic editor on earth who wouldn't cry out WTF??? Are you on crack? Go back and rewrite this dreck.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 9:45 a.m. CST

    New Y not a page turner

    by Big Bad Clone

    I was literally stuck on one page because I did not want to turn it and see the aforementioned tragedy. Even when I finally did turn the page, I was saying "no no no no no no."<lb><p>Sure there was a period of issues where it felt like it was shuffling along but I wondered if that was due to Vaungh not wanting to leave that universe behind. As if he's the one sticking around too long. Still, I like how the end is unfolding.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Don't worry about 355.

    by Smerdyakov

    It's just a scratch.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 10:08 a.m. CST

    ^spoiler.

    by PVIII

    sucks to be anyone who hasn't read that ish. Poor Yorrick and his slut girlfriend.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Prof's back!

    by Thalya

    But I _liked_ Four Horsemen. It was one of the better reads I had last week: Giffen and Olliffe were on, and each of the four horsemen, no longer bound up in those heavy Apokoliptian-tech suits that you see on the cover, are now taking human forms (though it's doubtful those will last). Although I don't remember the flaming skull from the Checkmate/Outsiders crossover referenced in a panel. But with the rumor that Ambush Bug: Agent of Checkmate may be showing up? I'm so there for next issue.<BR><BR>Great buncha reviews from everyone, still, glad to see you all back and rarin'!

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 10:20 a.m. CST

    From the preview pages...

    by stones_throw

    ...I actually thought THOR #3 looked kinda sucky. Thor plonks himself down in N'awlins only to be beset by trademark Angry Dissafected Comic Book Crowd #347. "Why dintja do anything, Thunder God?" <p> Thor: "I was dead." <p>Angry, Dissafected Crowd: "..."<br>"Well ya still shoulda done sumthin'!" If this is JMS' attempt to make Thor look wise it's not working. Then JMS' mustach-twirling Iron Man shows up: (direct quote) "Things have changed, Thor. You either work for the government or you're against us." Way to uphold the American Way there, Iron Jerk! I don't care if it's the norm, that's some butt-ugly characterization.<p>I'm also not really a fan of Thor's new costume. He's the frickin' Thunder God, he doesn't *need* to look menacing.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 10:25 a.m. CST

    The thing about Iron Man...

    by stones_throw

    ...the Marvel writers aren't even on the same page about the characterization. Mark Millar's actually he said he thought he was the hero of CIVIL WAR and Cap was the villain (if that's the case then it says a lot about his skills with characters, or rather lack of them), while JMS is writing the guy like a full-blown villain. That's why I'm not optimistic about a path to redemption. I mean, DC have made some bad choices with their characters but usually editorial ensures the writers are on the same page about it.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 10:35 a.m. CST

    I don't normally...

    by halcyonseven

    chime in here but good grief people. Lets see what makes a good review according to the gentleman who reviewed the 4 Horseman tie-in: 1) Tell us you never meant to read it. It was all a big accident and we know you had no interest in it. 2) Tell us you never read the series it ties into! Wow! Now we know you don't have a CLUE about what you are talking about! Great! Thats a review to trust folks! Normally you guys do a good job, this was however one of the saddest reviews I have ever read in my life. The book, if you read 52 was not bad, the art was solid, WW helped set us up for the next few books and we had some really interesting banter between Supes and Bats and Clark and Bruce. Really solid banter I might add. They felt like real characters and it was a treat to see them working together like this in such an interesting setting. If you didn't read 52 you might not get the 52 tie in though. Just a thought.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Glad to see the classic Spidey logo back...

    by Raymar

    That newer one was a monstrosity

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Halcyonseven...

    by stones_throw

    That Prof C gave the context you describe tells you whether it's gonna be a valuable review to you. I guess he's saying that despite being an #1 it's not gonna be much good to anyone who hasn't read 52, which I imagine would be useful to those in a similar position. It's not YOUR position but to me at least a review that tries to speak for everyone is pretty much useless.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 10:49 a.m. CST

    Iron Man is the most interesting Marvel character.

    by Smerdyakov

    Right now, anyway. Although I agree it's time for him stop being a punching bag.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 11 a.m. CST

    Stark is a Skrull

    by krushjudgement

    You'll see.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Stark is not a skrull

    by xsi kal

    Marvel has categorically stated that multiple times. <br><br> IMO, he's just a doofus who got taken for a ride, and is now rightfully getting his ass handed to him.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Stark's not a Skrull.

    by SleazyG.

    In fact, Marvel has come out and said he's the only character they'll guarantee isn't a Skrull. It could be a feint, but I doubt it.<p> Somebody at Marvel made another good point last week, though: people are being waaay to narrowly focused on this whole thing. "Reed is a Skrull!" is missing the point. There's no reason to think that any one character was *permanently* replaced by a Skrull, as if they were being held captive in a mountain lair somewhere. The point is that now you don't know *which* appearances of a character were really them, and which were a Skrull faking it for a day or two. Hell, you could have one Skrull who's been impersonating multiple characters just to eff with people or play both sides against the middle.<p> It's a lot more complicated than people are thinking right now, which is a great concept that's bound to be shittily executed.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Stark is not a Skrull

    by XAOS

    But it's been strongly implied that someone who "facilitated" the war was. The easy choice would be Maria Hill from SHIELD, but since we've also been told that Illuminati #1 will be an important Skrull plot point, I prefer to imagine that its actually Reed Richards. His powers would be easy to replicate for a Skrull, and hella advanced Skrulls could presumably pass for teh smartest man on Earth.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Stark's not a Skrull.

    by rev_skarekroe

    I just wanted to get in on the act. Besides a cinch that no characters with their own titles will wind up being Skrulls.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 12:15 p.m. CST

    You didn't read 52?

    by mrjoker

    come on man, go back and read all of 52. It was great! and you talked about liking what you saw in 52 with Doc Magnus, but then you go on to say you dropped it after week 6? There is a lot more story there- Check out 52, and I bet that 4Horseman book will be slightly more interesting (but still a convoluted mess ;) )

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Stark is not a Skrull

    by Ambush Bug

    I'm just sayin'.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Stark ain't bein' no Skrull, mutha-fukkas

    by Squashua

    Know wot I'm sayin'? Yo.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Bad History?????

    by hodag007

    Did I miss something in regards to the "bad history" between Thor and Iron Man? I do not recall them being portrayed as anything but best friends.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 12:34 p.m. CST

    when will yorrick play the field?

    by drewlicious

    Seriously, in that world wouldn't bigamy be the most practical outcome? Despite the whole quest for Beth thing Yorrick has proven himself to be pretty fickle when it comes to women. How many women has he fallen in love with on this journey? We've got Beth#2, the chick in the prison, the pirate, and 355. I'm really looking forward to see how this ends. Just don't kill the bastard, he's suffered enough.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Skrull is not a Stark.

    by Thalya

    It's a Snark. Now commence with the Hunt!

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Cap(Golden Age ) vs. Iron Man(Silver Age)

    by Tacom

    I look back at the Civil War as the conflict between the idealistic WWII Golden Age superhero values of Cap and the practical Cold War Silver Age superhero values of Stark. It made sense that Reed Richard who was and that Spidey who got his powers in the Silver Age through radiation would switch because he had the most Golden Age heroism in him. I'm not saying Millar or TPTB at Marvel had this in mind. I still hate the storyline.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Slott phones it in on The Initative?

    by TallBoy66

    Surely you jest!

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Teen Titans=BOOOOORRRRIIINNGGGG!!!

    by superhero

    Sorry, but it's true. I expect more from you McKeever! Do you hear me! Huh! DO YOU???

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Oh, and FUCK YOU Brian K. Vaughn!!!!

    by superhero

    I hate you! I HATE YOU I HATE YOU IHATE YOU!!!! How could you, sir. How could you??? Dammit if I didn't love your writing so much I could hate you more than I already do! DAMN YOU, MAN! DAAAAMMNNN YOOOUUU!!!

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Practical Cold War Silver Age superhero values?

    by superhero

    Yeah, because the idealistic WWII Golden Age superhero values of Cap didn't win the Second Wolrd War or anything...yeeeesh!

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Brian K Vaughan...

    by loodabagel

    What Superhero said. You sick bastard. I couldn't read the rest of my comics for an hour after that.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 4:06 p.m. CST

    I hope that the 355 we saw in YTLM #58

    by toshiro-solo

    is a Skrull. The real 355 can be hiding out in the bathroom, waiting for Yorick to come and give her the whatfor.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Read ILLUMINATI #1

    by Ambush Bug

    This is where the whole Skrull business started. Prof X is a Skrull. He's separated from the group and is found later. The final panels of the book shows a slow close up of Prof X's eye which has the same kind of rings around it that the Skrulls have. This is where it all started. The guy is walking now, fer crying out loud. Not sure why, but that's not the Prof X I grew up with.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Read ILLUMINATI #1

    by Ambush Bug

    This is where the whole Skrull business started. Prof X is a Skrull. He's separated from the group and is found later. The final panels of the book shows a slow close up of Prof X's eye which has the same kind of rings around it that the Skrulls have. This is where it all started. The guy is walking now, fer crying out loud. Not sure why, but that's not the Prof X I grew up with.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Night Thrasher is either...

    by Negative Man

    Young Avengers' Patriot OR Fake Cap's (now U.S. Agent) former sidekick Battlestar. The idea that they would have Steve Rogers come back wearing black face and imitating a D-tiered skateboarder that helped start the Civil War is just terrible, terrible writing.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 4:51 p.m. CST

    Hulk's Rampages

    by Buzz Maverik

    I believe HULK # 300 was his most notable, destructive, all out rampage. Those of us who favor a non-killer Hulk may have lost our credibility with that one.<p>But...<p>I've read a lot of Hulk. Hulk is my favorite Marvel character. In many ways, the Hulk is the pure spirit of Marvel because he's the last character you'd think of as a hero. Heroes with problems? I'd say being Hulk is a huge problem.<p>The rampages? Well ... these all-out, Godzilla levelling Tokyo type attacks have actually been pretty rare throughout the Hulk's history. Toppling skyscrapers and demolishing cities? Well, I haven't read EVERY issue, but you usually don't see it.<p>If we get into the question of realism, after first laughing at ourselves because: c'mon, guys, we're talkin' radioactive, green superhuman and realism in the same sentence? But if there were a Hulk, wouldn't he be almost an anamoly, an urban legend? There's be Hulk sightings in the southwest and occasionally he'd turn up in weird places, and Hulk websites and conventions and fake films and the late, lamented WEEKLY WORLD NEWS would have headlines like: Anna Nicole Gave Birth To Secret Hulk Love Child ... or The Hulk Diet.<p>He'd be the Skunk Ape. Springheeled Jack. Champ. Mr. Atomic Green. <p>It's as easy for me to believe the character never killed as it is to believe he killed thousands.<p>And if a compromise is in order, well, I'm sure we can agree than if some of Thunderbolt Ross' men didn't make it out of those tanks, Hulk never murdered them. He's more like a force of nature, an act of God.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 4:53 p.m. CST

    And BANNER Doesn't Count...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...You get Brian Azzarello to write a comic, what do you think you're going to get? Yes, great writing but also a high body count.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 5:13 p.m. CST

    JMS' influence

    by Pomona

    Isn't is a bit ironic that you like JMS' Thor, but you don't like the way the previous Thor series ended? It had a definite vibe of Vorlon and Shadows manipulating lesser beings for their own ends.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 5:17 p.m. CST

    There's nothing wrong with Iron Man!

    by grendel824

    How could it have been more painfully obvioust that Iron Man was doing the right thing, both throughout Civil War and afterward? Sure, not everything worked out the way he hoped - the Clor thing was a huge mistake, but nothing takes Iron Man anywhere near resembling a bad guy. Cap seemed a little nutsy in parts of CW and in the Confession, where Iron Man rationally explained his position and showed that his stance was indisputably right and logical, and Cap resorted to name-calling and petulant whining. If you think Iron Man was portrated as the bad guy, either your reading skills are abominable or you read some completely different comics than I did and missed most of the core Civil War books. Or you're totally insane and incapable of rational thought, let alone rational argument. I was late in getting to read Civil War, so I heard all this whining about Iron Man being a bad guy, and when I actually read it I realized that the people saying that were just really stupid.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 5:53 p.m. CST

    52 vs. Countdown

    by Prof Challenger

    First off, I guess you're all gonna have ta sue me but I found myself bored by 52 but I'm actually finding myself a bit more interested in reading COUNTDOWN. Yep. I'm bucking the trend. Not at all to say that COUNTDOWN'S PERFECT but the Rogues, the Challengers, and the backup Multiverse recap have kept me going back to the series. As for my comment about the events in 52 and its treatment of Doc Magnus. While I dropped the book itself, I kept up with the events by DC's quite well-done website covering the title.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 5:56 p.m. CST

    And for anyone interested...

    by Prof Challenger

    http://www.dvdinmypants.com/hotpants/sub/bca/keith.php I, of course, humbly recommend it. It is the reason why I've been absent from my appointed royal as gadfly and irritator of all things Talkback.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 5:57 p.m. CST

    Don't misunderstand me stones_throw

    by halcyonseven

    I get that Prof gave us the context so we know where he is coming from. I'm not looking for a positive review of the title, I'm looking for a GOOD review. Not a half assed one by someone who can't put the issue into context. No offense Prof, I just don't get WHY you bothered to review it. Even if they gave it an "F", someone who could put the story into context would be a better choice for review IMO.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 5:58 p.m. CST

    Take out the space between "ho" and "tpants"...

    by Prof Challenger

    in the above post. Cursed lack of editing feature. grrr

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Of course Iron Man's a hero!

    by Jinxo

    I mean, duh! Obviously he's the most stand up, heroic guy around! Forcing anyone with a super power to choose between involuntary government service or the crippling of their ability? Pure heroism. Locking those who defy both choices away in a prison in another dimension where they have no civil rights? Pure courage and integrity.<br><br> Using horrible criminals as heroes, making the public believe they are reformed and good while really they are mostly dangerous, enslaved mad dogs kept barely under control? Top notch!<br><br> But the most admirable thing has to be when he took the death of his friend Captain America, a death he felt responsible for, and used that death to play upon the emotions of other heroes to lure them into a trap. Purposely giving his former friends the false hope that Cap was alive to lure them in, using others love for concern for dead friend for such a cheap explotive ploy? I mean, come on! Let's get the ball rolling for his sainthood now.<br><br> So, yeah, aside from the wee small thing where he cloned his fallen friend into a living weapon... well he's the swellest superhero ever!

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Why did I bother?

    by Prof Challenger

    Because: (1) Nobody else was reviewing the thing, and (2) My reaction was my honest reaction to the comic. As such, it's legitimate and at least worth throwing out there for consumption. Not every book needs or deserves in depth analysis of why it's great or why it's not. I gauge the level of joy or disgust in determining where to go with a review. And sometimes it's a simple...bleh. The mix of analysis, commentary, and sometimes just a plain geeky "bleh" is what makes AICN unique and worth taking a gander at. You never can predict what you're gonna read.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 7:45 p.m. CST

    Buzz, you must really hate 'Ultimate Hulk'

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    I would also LOVE to be the one to defend Stan Lee here, but the 'Last FF Story' was definitely coasting on prior glories.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Ultimate Hulk does not kill!

    by loodabagel

    Everyone knows all of those aliens and soldiers and innocent bystanders and the Abomination were really just robots.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 9:04 p.m. CST

    Mike Wieringo dies at age 44.

    by BongSabre

    The funny books aren't so funny anymore. <url>http://tinyurl.com/22avfa</url>

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 9:15 p.m. CST

    Some help with Buffy, please?

    by loodabagel

    As a resident Vaughan faughan, I picked this up regardless of whether or not I'd figure it out. I got the genreal jist of the thing, but there's a few details I'd like to have cleared up. I've never actually gotten to know the Buffy-verse. I know there's a Buffy-verse and she hunts Vampires. That's about it. I figured out who Faith is. I assume Xander is Buffy's clever, charming sidekick, but everything else is kind of a guess. Who is the old guy tutoring Faith and what's with that tattoo he has? Also, what's the point of the scene between Buffy and Xander? Should I know something? And on an unrelated note, whatever happened to those Wolverine issues BKV was going to write?

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 9:17 p.m. CST

    The worst thing about being a Vaughan Faughan...

    by loodabagel

    He has yet really write something that bad, so nobody's going to qusetion your taste. We kind of have to spread our own nasty rumors.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 9:35 p.m. CST

    Buffy

    by Jinxo

    Okay, here goes...<br><br> Originally there was only supposed to be a single slayer alive at any given time. Becuase Buffy died and came back from the dead there that caused there to be 2 slayers. Faith was a second slayer. She was the bad girl slayer and actually turned evil for a time before reforming. Now though there are tons of slayers.<br><br> In the past the slayer was guided by a group called the Watchers Council. Big group with one specific Watcher always assigned to a Slayer. The old guy is Giles, Buffy's Watcher. The Council though was blown up and sois kind of out of the game I think. Giles seems a very proper conservative Brit on the surface but it has been revealed that in his youth he wasn't quite so stuffy. He was a troublemaker that got him the nickname Ripper. The tattoo would seem to be a bit of proof of his wild past. It may mean more.<br><br> Also, Giles has shown in the past he will willingly do very dirty work to protect Buffy from it. Buffy had an enemy named Glory who was unbeateable and evil but had a Jekyl/Hyde alter ego who was powerless but an innocent. The best way to take Glory out for good? Kill the innocent alter ego. So that Buffy wouldn't have to, without her knowing, Giles smothered the alter ego. This plot points again to this side of him and his knowing that of all the slayers, Faith is the go to girl for similiar missions.<br><br> Xander is one of Buffy's "sidekicks" but... I dunno if that is quite the right word. Buffy has a whole extended group of friends - The Scoobies - who she realy truly depends on. The show made a point that past slayers went it alone and mostly lived shorter lives than Buffy. Her friends are actually vital to what she does. When I think of sidekicks I think of a character who, you know, could be dismissed without causing much of a problem for the hero.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Jinxo, you're the best!

    by loodabagel

    Thanks man. Are you enjoying this story as well? I don't know if it's enough for me to go buy every season on DVD, but I might watcha rerun on TV now and then now that I've got the idea. Seriously, thanks a-freaking-lot.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 9:42 p.m. CST

    355's real name...

    by loodabagel

    SOB!

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 9:52 p.m. CST

    ...

    by blackthought

    um...am i skrull?

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 10:10 p.m. CST

    Buffy Part Duex

    by Jinxo

    I'm enjoying the story. The art is sort of uneven. Like some of the art is really good and then at other points I'm like, what the hell? Faith should not be looking like an elderly Betty Davis.<br><br> Watch yourself with the Buffy thing. See, you think you'll just dip your toe in and next thing you know you could get hooked. I have a friend who never had an interest in the show. Then she started catching repeats on cable in the mornings when she has some free time. Bam, hooked. I guess they're switching the show from daily to weekends and she's freaking out. I told her I'd loan her the dvds so she could watch the whole series from the start and she did a haappy dance.<br><br> I'm telling ya, it's a slippery slope.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Hmm...

    by loodabagel

    Well, thanks for the assist pheonixmagi. If you ever want to know about the Beastie Boys or current Spider-Man continuity or who the coolest Inhuman is, I'll be there for you. I think I can manage a few Buffy episodes. I mean, I'll only do it once. (Oh wait, unless you live in Montana, you probably won't get that joke.) But if I get into Buffy, what will I counter-attack my Buffy friend with when he mocks me for reading Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane? Do I want to lose that?

  • Sept. 13, 2007, 12:28 a.m. CST

    Oh, wait, the Hulk never killed because if he did...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    ...it must have been one of those vacationers from Planet A that they talked about in the latest issue of SHE-HULK! ooooohhh, Slott, I think this may come back to bite us all...

  • Sept. 13, 2007, 12:31 a.m. CST

    Jinxo apparently didn't read Civil War...

    by grendel824

    ... because half of the things he's saying to make Iron Man "look bad" are really, really warped to look worse, and the other half are just plain false. You might as well start pointing out that Cap finally went over to the Nazi party, supporting fascism by fighting for a world where power is the only rule of law - "Too bad, democracy - I don't have to follow your laws because I'm stronger and faster than the unwashed masses and have a nifty shield, so if I see anyone doing anything I think is "wrong," I reserve the right to chuck your car at them - maybe with you or your children inside. You don't like it? Get some powers and stop me or shut up. You don't have the right to vote about things anymore. I don't know what I was thinking fighting for democracy all those years." <---- this is just as warped a view on Cap as Jinxo's is on Iron Man - I'm not actually dumb enough to believe this about the character, just as I'm not dumb enough to be taken in by Jinxo's incredibly transparent rhetoric.

  • Sept. 13, 2007, 1:24 a.m. CST

    Okay Grendel...

    by Jinxo

    Please point out exactly and specifically I'm wrong. Especially the out and out lies. Because I did read Civil War. The whole damn mess. I even read most all of the tie-ins.<br><br> Point #1: Register, be depowered or go to jail. True. ANyone with a superpower was required to register. No debating that. But beyond that several instances made the case that it wasn't just register and that's that. You had to register and then work as a superhero for the government. Good pay and benefits but that is your job and do what you're told. We were shown super types going throwing away their masks and going into hiding for that very reason. Firestar leaps to mind. Option #2 was inprisonment in the negative zone prison. Again, not possibly a lie. The climax to the whole sereies centered on heroes breaking out of said prison. It was also firmly stated the prison was outside of the US and so civil rights did not apply to anyone held there. Guantanamo Bay for superheroes. Option three is to be shot full of depowering nanites. She-Hulk stood up to Stark and got her powers turned off right quick. And removing such abilities is a form of crippling someone. Lets say the whole world is blind except for a handful of people. Technically speaking those people are at an advantage over everyone else, enough so that to such an advantage could be abused and be a danger of sorts to others. So a law is created saying the sighted should be blinded. It evens the playing field but it's hardly right and it is crippling them.<br><br> Point #2: Villains as heroes. Again, not sure how this is in dispute. The whole reason The Thunderbolts is a fun comic is that it's a team chock full of the worst of the worst forced to act as heroes. Forced via various technical means that aren't infaliable (what fun would the comic be if they were?) and which can actually harm the "heroes" they are restraining. I'm not sure how you put a positive heroic spin at all on sending villains out to hunt down your former allies.<br><br> Point #3: Captain America. Stark does place partial blame for Cap's death on himself. I didn't make that up. Ironically I don't think he is to blame but Tony Stark does. They did a very moving story about Stark beating himself up for what happened, feeling so bad about it. Very moving. Semi-redeemed the character. Then shortly after that Ms. Marvel tells Spider-Woman, hey, Cap's not dead. We've got him tucked away and we're healing him up! Spider-Woman tells the New Avengers and the whole group goes on a mission to check it out. Result? It was actually a huge trap. Stark and his gang drop on The New Avengers and try to take them into custody. That's as close to a lie as I come in so much as Ms. Marvel tells the lie about Cap. But Ms. Marvel would never have made such a play on her own, on the fly. The character spent most of her life working as an agent for the government and at that moment was a conscripted hero working for the government. You think someone with that background is going to make such an audacious play on her own say so? Hell no. You would only make such a move on your boss's say so. Who's the boss? Tony Stark. The man runs SHIELD and The Avengers. Did he come up with the idea of the lie or merely endorse it? Doesn't matter. Either way it's repugnant. If he came up with the idea it's horrible that a man so guilt ridden could conceive of exploiting his own friend's death. If Ms. Marvel came up with the plan and he only endorsed it it's horrible because of the same reason. It's just a smidge less sickening.<br><br> Are heroes dangerous? Yes. They are vigilantes acting outside the law. Should some system be in place to assure the safety of the general population. You bet. But the way Tony Stark and company went about it in Civil War was creepy and wrong. Forcing people to become government agents, face depowering or imprisonment for indeterminate spans of time without rights to a trial is not right or heroic. I forgot, you can also hide your power away and pass for a regular Joe, as long as you never use that power even if doing so would save lives. Because if you do, your back to choices A, B and C.

  • Sept. 13, 2007, 4:06 a.m. CST

    Did anyone else notice...........

    by Solrider77

    That FF: THE LAST STORY could've been the prequel to FF:THE END?

  • Sept. 13, 2007, 6:23 a.m. CST

    Thor

    by Kree42

    just should have had disassembled crew come back that was some of the best true storytelling since walt was on the book ,jms is a bit overhyped. Fire Joe Q and bring back Jim Shooter or hell a monkey tossing shit at a board could make better comics.

  • Sept. 13, 2007, 12:03 p.m. CST

    a few thoughts (SPOILERS)

    by Shigeru

    Y #58: Okay from the moment she was on the cover I kind of knew she was going to bite it. She's played the tragic female hero role throughout the whole series and it was pretty much a forgone conclusion that she wouldn't make it to the end. I think a much more shocking ending would have been her living... <br>But anyways the real spoiler of that issue is Yorick revealing who/what he saw at the end of his 'suicide intervention'. I...kind of liked it! <br><br>But I gotta give Kirkman credit for a big huge HOLY SHIT moment at the end of this week's issue! ***SPOILERS****!!! He's back, he's dickless, he has a tank, and he's FUCKING PISSED! They're all fucked.

  • Sept. 13, 2007, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Registration debate

    by rock-me Amodeo

    It's no irony that this debate comes on the heels of the anniversary of 9/11. That's what the whole registration thing was about, anyway. "How much are we prepared to sacrifice in the way of personal freedoms and liberties for the sake of improving security?" <b><b> It's the same thing that goes on in the world of IT security: if you want your system to be more robust, it will have to be less secure. If you want it to be more secure, it will be less functional and flexible. There is always a trade-off. <b><b> The problem I have with the whole registration thing is that is was a good idea which was then carried out in a sympathetic or totalitarian way, depending on the whim of the writers. Look at the way Iron Man was portrayed in THOR #3 - "Hey, glad you're not dead, but now, it's my way or the highway, cretin." As if Tony Stark would have no idea how that might come off with the God of Thunder. As if they did not have decades of stories chronicling their mutual respect for one another (remember, when his series and reign were ending, he called on Cap and Iron Man, his two closest allies.) <b><b> So in one sense, I take all of Stark's "fascism" with a salt-lick, knowing that much of it is being done to serve the story. <b><b> But regarding Point #1, the fact is, everyone in the MU does NOT have powers, and the analogy that its like everyone but a few are blind is unfair. Sight is not a destructive capability (Scott Summers not withstanding) and most powers do come with an offensive aspect. It's not the advantage that is the problem, it is the potential for destruction. People are required to register their handguns, but we don't make people register big sticks. So clearly, there should be a threshold set, under which people don't have to register. If you can make flowers bloom, for example, then no big. But if you can make then grow into killer plant monsters, then you have to register. The comics should be covering the political and social debate regarding who has to register and who really does not. <b><b> As for Point #2, this is just comic books for comics sake, and who is Joe Q to say no? Should Tony Stark, a "futurist", smell a potential problem with a team run by the former psychopath and that includes at least two more? Have we learned nothing of chaos theory from Jeff Goldblume? Of course he would see a problem with it, but it makes for a fun story, so it is "allowed." But I really don't place that at the feet of Tony Starks character. <b><b> As for Stark using Cap's death as bait, well, that actually does seem in character. Stark has a history of making Nietzchean moral shortcuts, if the end is sufficiently beneficial. He doesn't seem blind to his callousness, but in the overall calculations, sentimentality seems to take less and less significance. <b><b> But that sort of comes back to the old "if you could kill Hitler as a youth, would you?" and for some people, they could not do it, and for others, it's a very cut and dried equation. Personally, I see Iron Man as the right person at the right time, doing a dirty job and opening dialogues that others could not or would not. He hasn't done things the way I would liked to have seen them done, but many of them were necessary. If he had my sentimentality, he might not have been able to do them at all, and then how many more Stamfords would there be?

  • Sept. 13, 2007, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Registration debate - uh, with formatting

    by rock-me Amodeo

    It's no irony that this debate comes on the heels of the anniversary of 9/11. That's what the whole registration thing was about, anyway. "How much are we prepared to sacrifice in the way of personal freedoms and liberties for the sake of improving security?" <br><br> It's the same thing that goes on in the world of IT security: if you want your system to be more robust, it will have to be less secure. If you want it to be more secure, it will be less functional and flexible. There is always a trade-off. <br><br> The problem I have with the whole registration thing is that is was a good idea which was then carried out in a sympathetic or totalitarian way, depending on the whim of the writers. Look at the way Iron Man was portrayed in THOR #3 - "Hey, glad you're not dead, but now, it's my way or the highway, cretin." As if Tony Stark would have no idea how that might come off with the God of Thunder. As if they did not have decades of stories chronicling their mutual respect for one another (remember, when his series and reign were ending, he called on Cap and Iron Man, his two closest allies.) <br><br> So in one sense, I take all of Stark's "fascism" with a salt-lick, knowing that much of it is being done to serve the story. <br><br> But regarding Point #1, the fact is, everyone in the MU does NOT have powers, and the analogy that its like everyone but a few are blind is unfair. Sight is not a destructive capability (Scott Summers not withstanding) and most powers do come with an offensive aspect. It's not the advantage that is the problem, it is the potential for destruction. People are required to register their handguns, but we don't make people register big sticks. So clearly, there should be a threshold set, under which people don't have to register. If you can make flowers bloom, for example, then no big. But if you can make then grow into killer plant monsters, then you have to register. The comics should be covering the political and social debate regarding who has to register and who really does not. <br><br> As for Point #2, this is just comic books for comics sake, and who is Joe Q to say no? Should Tony Stark, a "futurist", smell a potential problem with a team run by the former psychopath and that includes at least two more? Have we learned nothing of chaos theory from Jeff Goldblume? Of course he would see a problem with it, but it makes for a fun story, so it is "allowed." But I really don't place that at the feet of Tony Starks character. <br><br> As for Stark using Cap's death as bait, well, that actually does seem in character. Stark has a history of making Nietzchean moral shortcuts, if the end is sufficiently beneficial. He doesn't seem blind to his callousness, but in the overall calculations, sentimentality seems to take less and less significance. <br><br> But that sort of comes back to the old "if you could kill Hitler as a youth, would you?" and for some people, they could not do it, and for others, it's a very cut and dried equation. Personally, I see Iron Man as the right person at the right time, doing a dirty job and opening dialogues that others could not or would not. He hasn't done things the way I would liked to have seen them done, but many of them were necessary. If he had my sentimentality, he might not have been able to do them at all, and then how many more Stamfords would there be?

  • Sept. 13, 2007, 1:28 p.m. CST

    A couple of rebuttals

    by Jinxo

    Okay, the sighted versus blind analogy. Real world, you're right, sight would not be a destructive ability. But in a world where everyone else is blind that would be a frightening advantage from the perspective of the general population and could be used in a destructive way. Less so accidentally but it could be used to be purposely destructive. Something in line with the end of Silence Of The Lambs where Buffalo Bill stalks Starling in the dark with nightvision goggles. Someone with sight who wanted to do evil would have a scary advantage. So, hey, to protect the general pop from those who would abuse that sense, all who can see must be blinded? You can't punish someone for bad actions they haven't taken yet. Someone abuses their power, causes harm, THEN you restrain them. That's the way the law works.<br><br> As to the rest, I never was arguing if any of what I sited was out of character, just whether Stark's actions were creepy, morally questionable and ill advised or fine and dandy as Grendel seems to feel. He also said I was distorting what happened and out and out making stuff up. I didn't make anything up. And, Amodeo, as you say, how Stark was portrayed varied from comic to comic. That can be said to be the reason the spin on Stark's actions varied but that is in the comics, that's not me twisting anything. Everything I pointed out happened in the comics with the same general spin I put on it. Am I wrong?

  • Sept. 13, 2007, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Jinxo v. Grendel

    by Bluejack

    Iron Man is Marvel's best villain. Gotta love that armored fascist. Your points are spot on. the funny thing is, I was reading IronMan, Director of Shield and I realized that I love Iron Man this way. He's great as a misguided fascist.

  • Sept. 13, 2007, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Nah, you're not wrong...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    ...vis-a-vis Starks actions and their overall spin. <br> <br>I still would debate what constitutes "power" or "advantage", but that's not really the issue, is it? The issue is registration, which was not a punishment for bad actions taken. If one is supposed to register a firearm and one does not, then THAT is "bad" and therefore punishable. But no one was put in jail for simply "having" powers, were they? And I forget, did registration mean that they had to WORK for the government, or simply submit to training (like getting a drivers license?) I'm still not sure the overall idea was bad, which means that Iron Man is a terribly flawed hero more than a very sympathetic villain. <br><br> though either way, I'm trying to figure out what differentiates him from, say, Dr. Doom, and see more similarities than differences.

  • Sept. 13, 2007, 2:46 p.m. CST

    P.S.

    by rock-me Amodeo

    good defense of your blind/sighted analogy...

  • Sept. 13, 2007, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Iron Man is boring... !!!!***Y-Spoiler***!!!!

    by loodabagel

    So does that mean that Ampersand dies next issue? I didn't really see it coming, but once it got to the scene, it was inevitable. There was a small doubt in my mind that it wouldn't happen and that's what really made it sad. Those pages were sheer agony and when you got to the one, it was actually really hard for me to even turn the page. I think it speaks a lot the characters and the writer and the... Goddamnit BKV! FUCK YOU!

  • Sept. 13, 2007, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Jinxo is so right!

    by Homer Sexual

    Sorry, Grendel. Can't side with you at all. And, well, I have a high reading level so I don't think that's the problem. <p> I guess I can see how a certain segment would feel Stark is still heroic, but I think Millar is being disingenuous when he says that Iron Man was the hero and Cap was the villain. He did do Ultimates, after all, with very different portrayals of those two. In the Ultimate U, IM is heroic, and a case can be made that Cap is villainous. Millar's problem is that he really doesn't respect the USA, so he puts our country down rather a lot, and saying Stark is the hero of CW is a perfect example of that. <p> Oh, this is just a tiny peeve of mine, but regarding the Black Canary review, "disinterested" means impartial, "uninterested" means ,well, not interested.

  • Sept. 13, 2007, 3:35 p.m. CST

    Ohh, and regarding "Y"

    by Homer Sexual

    That comic is an A+ issue, but certainly a huge, if not-unexpected "NOOOOOOO!!!!" from me. Now, I can't see the "happy" ending I was hoping for. Bummer! Still, kudos for making me care so much for a fictional character.

  • Sept. 13, 2007, 3:35 p.m. CST

    Hmmm

    by Jinxo

    You are right. Folks aren't being arrested for having powers but for failing to or refusing to register. But from that point on the choice is join, depower or be locked away without until you agree to options A or B. Locked away indefinitely without having done anything but fail to register is way funky.<br><br> As to whether you have to be a government agent or just be trained up, there is some vagueness there but what facts there are lean towards you have to be an agent. Firestar went into hiding as a regular citizen rather than sign up. If she could just register, be trained and go home to live her life, why hide?<br><br> Likewise all we've been shown are folks being trained to use their powers and being sent into combat with them. In Avengers: The Initiative we see them gather up kids like Cloud 9 to train them. Then we don't see them being asked, hey, wanna be a hero? Instead they are trained start getting sent out on missions. If they show me one guy who gets trained and leaves to go home and be a teacher I'll withdraw my complaint on this point.

  • Sept. 13, 2007, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Homer!

    by loodabagel

    Straight A's! What's your (or anyone's) favorite Y story?

  • Sept. 13, 2007, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Safeword...

    by loodabagel

    Is my favorite story. Huh.

  • Sept. 13, 2007, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Homer sexual - rats...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    oooh, I would have noticed if someone else had done that. you are so right.<br><br>There is grammar check and spell check, but no stupid check as of yet.

  • Sept. 13, 2007, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Safeword

    by Shigeru

    Is by far the best Y arc. I was going to type "so far" but um 2 issues left... can't believe it. Ok I'm in denail and that issue killed me.

  • Sept. 13, 2007, 7:55 p.m. CST

    "If she could just register, be trained and go home..."

    by Shigeru

    why hide?"<br>The principle of the matter, I suppose. <br><br>Homer: "In the Ultimate U, IM is heroic, and a case can be made that Cap is villainous." Um please explain how Ultimate Cap is villainous. And please leave out the kicking Banner in the face incident, because that little shit deserved it.

  • Sept. 14, 2007, 8:01 a.m. CST

    Shigeru...

    by rev_skarekroe

    Ultimate Cap shoved a kid once. And if you're really into France or really hate Dubya you might find some of the things he says and does "villainous". I think he's just an imperfect hero who always tries to do the right thing. Indeed, I prefer him to 616 Cap.

  • Sept. 14, 2007, 9:14 a.m. CST

    My personal favorite moment...

    by loodabagel

    Was then end of comedy and tragedy. Funniest useof the word shit I've ever seen. Also, Ultimate Cap isn't evil, he's just a D-bag.

  • Sept. 14, 2007, 9:20 a.m. CST

    AMBUSH! Pushing up some blackstriping!

    by Squashua

    Nice. You got an upgrade. Does that mean that the comic section might actually get the respect it's due?

  • Sept. 14, 2007, 9:34 a.m. CST

    I've been into France ever since...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    "Franch Fries..."<br><br>"Franch Toast..."<br><br> "I want my two dollars! Two dollars!"

  • Sept. 14, 2007, 10:07 a.m. CST

    Ultimate Cap

    by stones_throw

    He's not villainous but he's definitely not the idealistic, embodiment-of-the-American Dream good guy that 616 Cap is. A lot of Millar's characterisation of Cap in CIVIL WAR was straight from the Ultimate universe, like calling Iron Man a "pampered punk". I don't think the "real" Cap would discriminate on wealth, especially with all the good Tony's done with his.

  • Sept. 14, 2007, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Best talkback ever...

    by stones_throw

    ...over at Vern's review of ZOO. There's a guy saying he's "slept with" a horse.

  • Sept. 14, 2007, 10:51 a.m. CST

    616

    by Bluejack

    I've been reading Marvel for about 30 years and I never encountered this terminology. could someone explain it for me. Also, I can see how Captain Amrica in th eUltimates could b seen as a bit of a jerk, but not a villain.

  • Sept. 14, 2007, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Bluejack

    by Redmantle

    I never heard about Earth 616 either, but I read recently that it was a creation of Alan Moore's on some Marvel work or another. Rather than use the "Earth 1" or "Earth 2" conceit of DC, Moore's take was that Marvel Earth was just one of any number of earths, and therefore was given a random number. If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will correct me.

  • Sept. 14, 2007, 2:54 p.m. CST

    616

    by rock-me Amodeo

    Yeah, that was it, like 20+ years ago, though I think there is contention that it may have been Dave Thorpe or Don Thorpe or someone who actually coined it. I can't remember.<br><br> in any event, it has seen a lot of usage only in the past few years, since the Ultimates cropped up. You will also see it alot in Exiles, which makes sense, since they hope between Earth-realities, and 616 is an easy way to designate the traditional Marvel U.

  • Sept. 14, 2007, 2:55 p.m. CST

    the Exiles also "hop" between realities

    by rock-me Amodeo

    darned lack of editing feature...

  • Sept. 14, 2007, 8:48 p.m. CST

    Cap vs. Iron Man

    by grendel824

    Okay, Jinxo was already "smacked down" appropriately (and I'm not saying he didn't have ANY valid argument, just that the complete opposite kind of argument is equally valid) about his exagerrations, so I don't need to repeat them. If anything, Tony feeling "responsible" for Cap's death shows that he is LESS in need of any kind of redemption - only a villain or psychopath would do these things WITHOUT questioning himself or shouldering any blame (deserved or not). Tony KNOWS he was right, and PROVES this logically, but he still feels bad about it, and he still questions himself - because he's a good guy. And the Initiative does NOT need to show some SPBs registering and then leaving to do a non-powered job, because that would be boring. You can't assume that something logical doesn't happen just because it's not pictured. If your logic made sense, then I could argue that no super-hero ever went the bathroom, since most of them have never been shown doing so. I'll assume you made that argument out of ignorance of the logic and not out of an attempt to make an argument you knew wasn't valid but hoped to slip past people who disagree with you.

  • Sept. 14, 2007, 8:58 p.m. CST

    Homer's reading level...

    by grendel824

    ... not as high as he thinks, given that lame stuff about the Ultimate characters. Millar was absolutely correct in his assertion - while his primary assertion has always been that NEITHER character is 100% correct and that BOTH are protagonists, if you look at it rationally Iron Man was on the "right" side. He had rational, logical reasons for doing everything he did. His actions risked lives but were calculated to save many more lives than he risked. Cap had a "gut-feeling" that he didn't like what was happening, and went against the will of the people of United States of America and the country's laws, endangering people left and right. Iron Man could clearly demonstrate the consequences of his actions - "A happened, which causes B, which causes C. If I don't support the Registration Act, here's what will happen (a whole bunch of people die, super-powered beings will be put in concentration camps, and then some menace will come along that wipes out humanity because they executed all the SPBs for being a clear danger to their way of life). If I DO support the Act, then I can create something far less extreme that will still serve the will of the people without instituting fascism and getting a ton of people killed. When some supers resist, we'll take them out as quickly as possible, hopefully without killing any of them." Cap, on the other hand, used his influence to get his friends to fight the government, got some of them killed, and his reasoning was more like "OMFG, Tony is totally a dick! Some nebulous rights that I can't point to in any Constitution that enable us to break the law and assault anyone we want to without being at all responsible for the consequences are being trampled! Lets endanger lots of lives so we can continue to break dozens of laws so we can feel good about ourselves after doing massive amounts of property damage. Who cares if another school goes up in flames? We shouldn't have to be competent or accountable if we're going to pretend to be cops and firemen and paramedics, despite our lack of training!" Suuuure... Cap's totally the one "in the right" on this?

  • Sept. 14, 2007, 9:16 p.m. CST

    REgistration

    by grendel824

    How Registration is supposed to work is that anyone using powers in public must be registered and trained to use those powers. Nobody who just sits at home and doesn't walk around shooting eye beams at shoplifters or flying in violation of the FAA or endangering pedestrians by doing backflips over their heads should be locked up, nor have they (some exceptions, like springing on Luke Cage the moment the clock strikes midnight, can be seen two ways - either they're picking on him because he is an ACTIVE super-hero and everybody knows that he intends to KEEP fighting in the streets without proper training and accountability, OR whoever pushed these things into happening made sure that some downright WRONG actions were taken to ensure that there would be two camps fighting each other - likely the same shadowy conspiracy that made sure Cap was instantly fired upon the moment he expressed any doubt about tracking down his friends at SHIELD's behest). Because remember, Cap was MORE hardcore than Iron Man about heroes being trained and accountable - I've seen dozens of comics where he mentions to non-Avengers level characters that they had better get proper training or he'd be taking them off the streets if they endangered anyone. He would've been the first in line to support registration if it hadn't been railroaded into law way to quickly as a knee-jerk response to a disaster AND he hadn't been attacked before it even passed. How can you claim to be at all rational if you can't see that Iron Man is NOT a fascist (and in fact has taken every possible step to prevent fascism, including spearheading a rational Initiative instead of the Mutant Massacre/Days of Future Past scenario that anyone with half a brain in the MU could see coming after House of M, let alone Stamford). You HAVE to make stuff up and lie or seriously and incompetently distort the facts to make him a bad guy. You literally have to ignore "The Confession" and the core Civil War books and claim they never happened to say anything that Jinxo and/or Homer seem to champion as the truth. It is no longer okay in the MU for a private citizen to grab a mask and an unregistered firearm and open fire at anybody they please. It's no longer okay to beat the snot out of anybody who isn't as strong as you, put their head through somebody else's windshield, and then just walk away without being held responsible for your actions. How is that NOT a valid position for the citizens and government of the MU US to take? I understand that these are comics and it's a fantasy world and that things like real-world laws and logic are often ignored, but the basis for this storyline is that the MU IS still something like our real world in that it has laws and people who fear for their safety and are no longer comfortable with a government that turns a blind eye to giant guys in spandex hurling their children like missile weapons at somebody they claim is a bad guy without facing the consequences of their actions in a legal and moral sense. If you sit around with a police scanner and race to emergencies and try to do CPR on people yet you refuse to become CPR certified, you WILL BE ARRESTED. It is not okay in the real world, and the premise that it's not okay in the MU and that Iron Man sees the rationality of that is not the least bit "wrong" let alone indicative of fascism. Now OF COURSE there are problems - otherwise the anti-reg forces wouldn't just be irresponsible idiots who miss the good old days on anonymous vigilatism -they'd be extremely villainous. Even WITH the problems with the Initiative (murky and inconsistent enforcement, attacking Cap, not giving Luke Cage a chance to decide to retire and live a normal life, making a temporary jail that is the only prison in existence that could ever hope to hold the lawbreakers they'd be bringing in in situations where due process would mean repeatedly allowing godlike beings free reign to stroll back out on the street to start tossing school busses while "awaiting trial"), they come off as being pretty irresponsible in opposing it violently instead of peacefully in the courts or through protest by leaving the country or through civil disobedience. REally, Jinxo and Homer don't have a single valid defense against any ONE of these assertions, at least not yet, let alone enough of them to have a logical leg to stand on. I hope they come up with SOMETHING though, as I'd enjoy the stories even more if they weren't so heavily weighted in favor of Iron Man being by far the more heroic character.

  • Sept. 14, 2007, 9:29 p.m. CST

    why lie?

    by grendel824

    In response to #3 (despite Iron Man clearly NOT NEEDING REDEMPTION) where you say Iron Man is "semi-redeemed" and then lies about Cap to catch the New Avengers, I don't see a huge problem with this. He'd rather trap them in one place and off-guard and take them in alive and personally rather then watch them get taken down and killed by something like the Thunderbolts. Cap tricked villains ALL THE TIME - I don't see anything wrong with Iron Man, who has never been more concerned about never lying about chopping down cherry trees, doing something similar to bring in fugitives. But it's also pretty obvious that he's purposely allowing the New Avengers to operate, and is possibly even supporting them. I'm not sure HOW, because he's smarter than me (and you), but the writers can't be nearly as brilliant as their characters, and there are clues. For someone obsessive enough to argue about characters on a message board (and don't get me wrong, I think it's fun - you don't seem to be taking it personally and I hope that continues because I'm not actually attacking you, despite the sarcasm), you're not noticing the subplots, themes, and foreshadowing that's going on there. It's almost painfully obvious if you know anything about serial fiction and storytelling, as they're dropping clues all over the place. And if I didn't know I was on to something when I said on another board that it was pretty clear to me that Cap and Tony KNEW what was going to go down and KNEW they'd have to play against each other for long enough to get whoever was behind the problems to surface, I did after I was asked by somebody with a conspicuously corporate e-mail account "how I knew what I knew."

  • Sept. 14, 2007, 10:51 p.m. CST

    ...

    by blackthought

    ...

  • Sept. 14, 2007, 11:02 p.m. CST

    oookaaaaaaaayyyy...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    ...

  • Sept. 15, 2007, 9:29 a.m. CST

    But...

    by loodabagel

    "Gut Feeling" is a great Devo song and Civil War was a lousy comic book. Although I do like the direction Grendel was going in on that last one. It kind of makes sense. Let's ee him develop it some more.

  • Sept. 15, 2007, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Well...

    by Jinxo

    I actually agree it is likely that much of what is going on is not what it appears. It would not surprise me at all if in the end Tony is "playing" the villain. ANd to do that effectively he has to play it to the hilt. Maybe even going further, being scummier than he would normally just to sell it. To reference other geek material, it would be like the Next Gen episode where whether Data is sentient is on trial and Riker is required to present the absolute strongest argument against Data's case he can in order to, in the end, save Data. Could be. I'd like it to be. If that is how it goes then he's redeemed. But that's still an "if". For me right now, kinda creepy dude.<br><br> Actually my take was that they might make use of the "giant danger" Reed Richards sees coming. That maybe that danger from tactical point of view will need characters in certain positions to defeat it. Like the illusion to any attacker now is that all the heroes are basically catalogued. They're all registered, all on a big list somewhere, all controlled by the government. Sort of like Iron Man tricking the New Avangers in one location to grab them up but on a bigger scale. Only there's still the rebels who won't end up falling into any such trap. And those heroes by the very nature of who would refuse registration are the alpha dogs, the most headstrong, willful, bold... the bad asses. Then Tony Stark hasseling them switches around because his hunting them becomes more about him actually training them, hardening them, readying them (without them even knowing it)to fight the bigger badder foe that is coming.<br><br> If that goes down then I will love the hell out of it and it would be a great payoff to all the pain and turmoil. But, again, that's an "if". I hope they are going there. And assuming that is the plan I hope they don't get sidetracked into other plots so that they never get there. I hate when comics do that; set up a great premise and then get so caught up with other interfering events and such that the initial premise never really gets to pay off.

  • Sept. 16, 2007, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Metal Men writer needs to back to school

    by Avengerdude

    I loved the Metal Men when I was a kid; the comic was ultimately responsible for me getting a Chemistry degree. But the science in this incarnation is dreadful. I know comics bend physics et. without concern but if a writer states a scientific fact then that is what it should be. Instead we have: "Newton's laws of thermodynamics" and Lead + Chlorine making Lead Sulphite", to name but 2 howlers. Impressionable minds may be reading this! Anyway can't get too grumpy because the BBC are showing an hour long documentary on Steve Ditko tonight. Now that is cool news!

  • Sept. 17, 2007, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Ok, so who's reading Sinestro Corps War again?

    by Thalya

    Is anyone else waiting with bated breath for the big moment at the end of the Sinestro Corps War when Guy Gardner sets his eyes on a resurrected (and hopefully in-peril from a Sinestro Corps besought Big Apple) Ice? What his reaction would be? (especially now that Lanterns can kill Sinestro Corps members?) <BR><BR> Johns just set the stage with a small line Guy said after being freed from Lyssa Drak this issue, about one of his worst fears/worst memories was seeing her die. Gah, would that those two would get married after Final Crisis, it'd be the ultimate repudiation of all the tragedy that's befallen the DCU since Identity Crisis!

  • Sept. 17, 2007, 2:46 p.m. CST

    "villainous" Ultimate Cap was poor word choice.

    by Homer Sexual

    I guess "antihero" maybe was a better choice. I was trying to say that Ultimate Cap is, as stated, a douchebag, a jerk, whatever...not the role model Boy Scout to whom we are accustomed. Similarly, Iron Man currently is more of a big ass than a villain per se. He believes he is doing the right thing. So Ult. Cap, regular Iron Man, et al, would be in that group that includes Black Adam and others who see things their way, some would call them heroes, many would not. <p> Now, my disagreement with grendel doesn't indicate my low reading ability. But then, since I didn't completely read grendels long, single paragraph responses (just skimmed them), he may have a point. I don't think so, though. And grendel, I'm not trying to change your mind, nor have my mind changed.

  • Sept. 18, 2007, 4:55 p.m. CST

    once again...

    by blackthought

    we are not alone.

  • Sept. 28, 2007, 12:21 p.m. CST

    spang

    by Squashua

    licious