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#49 4/2/08 #6
Logo by Ambush Bug



Written by Brian Michael Bendis Art by Lenil Yu and Mark Morales Published by Marvel Reviewed by Secret Stones Throw

For the last… however-the-hell-long-it’s-been, Marvel and writer Brian Bendis have been dropping hints all over the webs as to which character may or may not secretly be a Skrull. I thought this was pretty cool, but wondered why a 46-year old comic book was getting such a big push.
So imagine my surprise when I discovered THE SECRET INVASION was another multi-part crossover event from the House of Ideas. As part of the majority of the populace (someone who hasn’t been following the build-up in Bendis’ AVENGERS books) I thought I’d take a look at THE SECRET INVASION # 1 and see how it held up for its target audience of the casual Marvel fan.
The covers: Pretty cool. You’ve got yer Avengers all standing there, ‘cept with Skrull chins and pointy ears. Steve McNiven drew one too. And Lenil Yu, who did the insides. There’s sketch variants for each of those, which are basically the same cover, except unfinished. Marvel even put out a completely blank cover! So by my count, one comic has six different covers, which you’ve gotta buy, cuz they’re suckers for giving away such a great investment for only $3.99. I know it’s fun to tease the zombies, but this is going too far.
The first few pages: Some cool mystery as we open with a quote from the Skrull Book of Worlds. Lenil Yu draws an impressively otherworldly Skrull homeworld, although he’s assisted by the color effects. Skrulls used to have generically Kirby-esque tech. I guess this is an improvement. All in all, a nice, moody three pages.
Bendis swiftly kills any tension as Iron Man enters page four dragging the body of Skrull-ektra behind him and handily explaining the plot. Wouldn’t it have been better to see our heroes gradually realize that the Skrulls have mounted a secret invasion of an unprecedented scale, by, I dunno, stuff actually happening? Nah, Iron Man immediately working it out and everyone going along with him is fine.
Page six: Bendis is sure into the exposition. Dum Dum Dugan tells assembled agents of SWORD “this is just a get-together between world-saving agencies”. Agent Brand of SWORD tells him he’s “one of the all-time greatest agents of SHIELD”, then where they’re standing. This comes after Iron Man tells Reed Richards and Hank Pym why he’s telling them about Elektra. Then who they are. Hank Pym tells the other two who Elektra is. C’mon guys, this is an event about minor Marvel characters turning out to be shape shifters. Either find a better way to integrate it or assume your audience is gonna have the knowledge. Page ten: Cut to the Bendis Players. Iron Man radios Spider-Woman, who calls in the Secret Avengers (basically everyone who isn’t meant to join the Avengers, and Hawkeye in shoulder pads). Wolverine’s sat around in their apartment. Contractual obligation, I guess. Not necessarily a criticism per se, but I thought this was INVASION OF THE BODYSNATCHERS in the Marvel universe. Like, the Skrulls are among us. But all we see are rich Avengers and world-saving satellites. Not much of a SECRET INVASION if you ask me. Kirby and Ditko, and especially Alex Ross in MARVELS, excelled at giving you a real world perspective, which I still maintain is the central theme of Marvel comics. This is more like a sit-com, with the colorful leads in the middle of the frame.
Page fifteen: Action time! A Savage Land dinosaur eats the New Avengers’ Quinjet! They stop chatting about Hawkeye’s girlfriends! Nice panel from Yu.
Page sixteen: Were people really saying Bendis’ Spider-Man is funny? Sample dialogue: “Wow.” “I was thinking more like… ow!” Suspense killed.
Page 21: Okay, the exposition is going to ridiculous lengths now. For no apparent reason, cut to the SWORD satellite so Agents Dugan and Brand, watching on satellite, can provide the director’s commentary for readers too slow to follow.
Page 30: Splash page. Captain Marvel wordlessly crashes into Norman Osborn’s Suicide Squad’s hideout. None of these characters appear before or again in this issue. Couldn’t say why this is a big moment.
Page 40: Cliffhanger ending flops. The premise is various characters are Skrulls. To have a reveal of exactly that end your first issue (not even a major character, mind you) is a shrug of the shoulders to the audience, followed by an eh, what did you expect?
Final judgment: I don’t know what they’re going for here. The promotion has an alien invasion B-movie feel, but it looks just like an average issue of NEW or MIGHTY AVENGERS. Big moments hinge on minor characters and it spins directly out of Bendis’ AVENGERS books, but the clunky exposition and the way Tony Stark orders Hank Pym and Mr. Fantastic around make me think it’s not for the diehards either. The paranoia and intrigue angle were hyped, but there’s none of that, and any time suspense accumulates Bendis undercuts it with a joke. Despite the title, the secret’s out before the first page. I’m not sure Marvel even knows what they’re going for.
Things get slightly interesting at the end when the ‘70s heroes emerge from the Skrull ship, but since it was never explained why the invasion matters, or even what the Skrulls want with Earth, I couldn’t bring myself to care. It looks great, but the cartoonish figures and primary-bright colors seem wrong for the story, though well matched for the kooky, hipper-than-thou talk of every single character. There was a time when Bendis’ dialogue was called realistic, but it’s past self-parody now.
So I dunno about this SECRET INVASION. If you’ve been following the build-up, I guess you’ll like this. But I’d just like to remind everyone else: just cuz they call it an event doesn’t make it one.


Writer: Geoff Johns Artist: Gary Frank Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

My knowledge of the Legion of Superheroes could not fill a thimble (assuming knowledge now comes in liquid form). Given this fact, I was truly concerned about being the one to review this title. While I enjoyed every action filled, paradoxical, moment of this book and the entire series, I was concerned that my lack of knowledge would negate Johns’ greatest strength – blending his reverence of “what was”, and turning it on its ear with his own fresh, imaginative spin.
After closing the last page, I realized that I’m exactly who this book is intended for. Even without being able to tell a 31st century Legionnaire apart from someone with legionnaire’s disease, I was enthralled with this story and the characters that Johns has reanimated to live in this post INFINITE CRISIS/pre FINAL CRISIS universe.
For anyone that missed the five stories leading up to this ass kicking, teeth clenching finale, the story focuses on a xenophobic Justice League that is touting the fact that the Kal-El of yore and legend was not the last Son of Krypton, but a rather just another human blessed with extraordinary abilities.
This causes a PR backlash against earthbound aliens akin to the Jewish plight in Nazi Germany. Aliens are rounded-up into futuristic internment camps and the hefty charge of righting this situation is left to a few lone Legionnaires that were able to cloister themselves into hiding. Their plan to bring the Galaxy back from the brink of inter-galactic war is simple (at least in comic book reality): build a time machine and bring the Man of Steel to the 31st century to right this grave injustice of historical inaccuracy.
Johns’ infusion of social relevance to today’s world, remembrance of humanity’s past mistakes (was anyone else half expecting Kal-El to find Brainy hiding in an attic?) and spot-on characterization, made me care about a sect of superheroes that I often shunned, simply because I’m not a fan of books from the Silver Age.
I don’t think I’ll be presenting any spoilers to say that Superman saves the day. After all, he’s frakkin’ Superman. If death couldn’t stop the Big Blue Boy Scout from saving humanity from our own innate foibles there’s no way a second rate villain from the future could pull it off. Most fans of Superman will agree, though, that the love of a Superman story is not in the ultimate destination, but rather the ride that gets you there. Well, Johns takes us on one hell of a ride in this issue. Pay close attention to the moment Superman regains his powers after Earth’s red sun is turned back to its original yellow. The perfect harmony of Johns’ plotting and Frank’s pencils made me take pause and hover my gaze over those few delectable panels for what felt like an eternity.
And while speaking of Frank’s pencils: again fantastic from start to finish. Frank, like Quitely, tends to get a lot of message board guff for being a little too real with his pencils in a fantasy setting. This all boils down to preference, but in my mind when you ground as many elements of the title as possible in reality, it makes for a much easier willing suspension of disbelief when dealing with abstract concepts like time machines, the future and people that can fly.
I enjoyed every damn moment of this book, and my appetite was certainly whetted by the final pages advertising the impending war to come in the FINAL CRISIS bout between the Legion of Superheroes and the Legion of Super Villains. Geoff, Gary – mission accomplished. You created a devout convert for an upcoming title that without this storyline would not have made into my long boxes.
When Optimous Douche isn’t reading comics and misspelling the names of 80’s icons, he “transforms” into a corporate communications guru. Optimous is looking for artistry help, critical feedback and a little industry insight to get his original book AVERAGE JOE up, up and on the shelves. What if the entire world had super powers? Find out in the blog section of Optimous’ MySpace page to see some preview pages and leave comments.


Writer: Mark Millar Artist: John Romita Jr. Publisher: Marvel Icon Reviewer: Ambush Bug

OK, I think everyone needs to chill a bit about this book.
I know there are a lot of people who like this book. And after reading it and rereading it, there is a lot of stuff to like. Millar is telling a story that is much more involved than any other thing he's done at Marvel. If anything, this book can be compared to probably his best work, WANTED, which is another nicely paced introduction to the world outside your window being shattered by the introduction of super-heroism into a young man's life. I recently reread that story and the book holds up. I even liked the existential/self-aware ending that often is the cause for debate when the story is brought up and something that I seriously doubt will come up in the upcoming film.
The art by John Romita JR is strong, but JR JR is always strong. My beef with JRJR's work is that it is extremely consistent. You can look at a JRJR book from the eighties or nineties and compare it to one from today, and there are very few differences. He's not an artist that I have seen evolve much in the twenty years I have been following him. If anything, his work has become looser, and more sketchy, which to me suggests a bit of laziness. Again, I always like JRJR, but to me, he seems like an artist who is very comfortable with what he's been doing and will continue to do it forever. His art on KICK-ASS is good and dynamic. His characters always pop off the page, but if you look at a retrospective of the guy's work, his children all look the same, his gang members all similar. I like what I see but the lack of detail and the sameness of all of the characters makes it all seem rushed, almost an afterthought of an artistic attempt.
But it really isn't the art or the story that has given me a bad taste in my mouth every time the book's name comes up. It's everything else around it. If this book were released and left to be judged on its art and story alone, I think I would have a lot more respect for the book, its creators, and Marvel itself. But the hype and pomp surrounding this book hits me in a place that makes me not want to buy the book anymore.
Hollywood is acting like a desperate 35 year old single woman on a date here, rushing to produce a KICK-ASS film when issue two hasn't even hit the stands. Like said MILF, the Powers That Be are skipping formalities like the all-important "getting to know you" stage and diving right into marriage before anyone has even really had a chance to read the book. Call me kooky or non-committal, but shouldn't we see how the first arc pans out before polishing the Oscar?
Hearing about the Hollywood offer made me look at the book in a different light. All the hype kind of shattered my positive image of the book and made me look at it a bit more scrutinously. Although these were decent first and second issues, nothing inside really impressed me to the point of jumping up and down and christening it as the second coming. I found the first issue to be extremely typical and even a bit sophomoric, pandering to the audience while at the same time making fun of them. And it actually made me kind of sad to think so many fanboys reading this issue thought it spoke directly to them. Like 80's movie director John Hughes, I felt as if Millar was writing what he thought fanboys would eat up, only to distance himself all the more from the intended audience. I could see the dainty Scotsman, dressing up in dark shades and fedora, leaning into conversations at his local comic shop and scribbling their words into a tattered notebook. KICK-ASS #1 was filled with wince-inducing word balloons seemingly ripped from message boards. And it all seemed so…well…fake to me. As if Millar was writing what he thinks comic book fandom wants to read instead of an actual honest-to-gosh story. People seem to be eating it up nonetheless.
KICK-ASS just seems to be happening a bit late in the game to me. Deconstruction seems to be on the outs in this post-NEXTWAVE era and straight-up storytelling looks to be making a comeback. And I'm glad for that. Another comic book set in "the world outside your window" like HEROES, RISING STARS, WATCHMEN, SQUADRON SUPREME, NEW UNIVERSE, WANTED, et cetera, et cetera, de blah, de blah-blah…this is hardly a new concept, folks. When looked at it through this lens, KICK-ASS is a step backwards instead of forwards when it comes to the evolution of comic books. Since Millar already ventured in this story much more successfully in WANTED, it makes me wonder if this is the only type of story Millar can tell.
I always felt an acidic tone towards super hero comics (the same tone I sense when reading Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis, even Brian Michael Bendis in his disregard for comic book staples such as secret identities and costumes) while reading a Millar comic. It was a sense that these guys really didn't like it that they were writing comics and were going to take it out on the characters many of us have grown up reading and laugh all the way to the bank when the crowd buys into it. Millar's dislike for mainstream comics comes through once again in issue #2 as the main character calls them "stupid adolescent crap." The character then burns all of his comics in a flaming trash can screaming "Fuck these guys! Fuck these comics! Fuck these stupid characters!" in an act that reflects Marvel's actions towards their own characters for the last ten years.
But the rancor towards mainstream comics isn't the main turnoff of this book. It's the Marvel Hype Machine revving in to overdrive that really makes me wince. This book is unafraid to cram down your throat how crazy-awesome it is. Not only do we read it right on the front cover, but after finishing the book, in a one-page editorial, the makers of this thing have to tell us how awesome it is. Then we get a bunch of blurbs across the back cover by artists, writers, and websites parroting those same words. Guess what? If you have to tell everyone how awesome you are all of the time, it's a sure bet that you're not.
Look, I'm sure there are those who think that this comic is the coolest thing since the invention of the spinner rack. All the power to you guys. The deconstruction is a bit late. The negativity towards comics leaves a bad taste in my mouth. And the author's version of fanboyism seems a bit unauthentic and downright offensive, if you ask me. The book has bits of ultra-violence. So it has that going for it. And JR JR's art is good, as usual. But for me, there are plenty more worthy books on the shelves deserving of the unabashed knob-slobbery this book seems to be receiving. Maybe this book will turn around and be as amazing as everyone promoting this book seem to think it is, but unlike Hollywood, I think I might wait until the first arc is over with before I decide to get down on bended knee.
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, reviewer and co-editor of AICN Comics for close to seven years. Look for his first published work in this March's MUSCLES & FIGHTS 3 from Cream City Comics. It is also well known that Bug’s Word Fu is stronger than your Word Fu.


Plot, Covers and Art Direction: Alex Ross Plot and Script: Jim Krueger Art: Carlos Paul Colors: Debora Carita Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Reviewed by: Bottleimp

After my negative review of the last issue of this series, I swore not to waste my money on it again. And yet, when I saw that cover with the Golden Age Daredevil (here called the Death-Defying 'Devil to avoid copyright problems) standing next to Lou Fine's Flame, bright in their Alex Ross-rendered glory, my resolve melted and I had to shell out three bucks to see what Ross and Krueger would do with these classic characters. And I'd LIKE to tell you that unlike issue #1, this comic was brilliant, brimming with an astounding story and incredible artwork...
...but that would be a lie.
If anything, this issue was even worse than the last, and for all the same reasons. Number One: lack of character development. The Black Terror, freed from the Urn of Pandora in which he had been imprisoned for the past seventy years, repeatedly asks, "Where's Tim?" Nowhere in the story is the reader clued in as to who Tim is--you have to look at Ross' character sketches in the back of the issue to learn that Tim is the Terror's sidekick. That's some sloppy storytelling, my friends. Number Two: dialogue that has about as much life as a dry old grandma fart. Most of the characters speak in language so uncomfortably stilted that it could have been cribbed from George Lucas' script from Episode II. Here's some examples: "A machine. That's all this is. All you are." "Yank, this is the luckiest day of your life... You're lucky, Yank, because you get to live one more day." "I promised his mother I would look out for him. Return him to her. And even though I clearly can't do that because, obviously, she can't still be living... What kind of monster would I be if I didn't make certain Tim was okay? What kind of monster?"
Aside from being awkwardly written, the script also has the random quality of a book report written by a kid with ADD. "All I know is that something's going on with my friend Jet...the Green Lama. Who suddenly seems to have taken himself out of the fight. Jet claims to be in touch now with the meta-natural world. I call him 'friend' because he's the only one here who doesn't want me dead." What?! Did Krueger write this while on a Nyquil bender? Another one of my favorite nonsense lines: "Not sure I want to turn my back on you, Carter. But I don't want you goin' a head [sic] of me, either." All this bad writing drew my attention to another problem: the lack of variety in the lettering. Granted, nobody wants to see a comic being written like issues of FANTASTIC FOUR from the '70s, where EVERY! sentence! ends with an EXCLAMATION POINT! But when a character is clearly drawn as yelling, shouting, or even just in a stressful situation, whatever he or she says should reflect that intensity. 99% of the text is lettered all the same weight, and ends with a period, giving all the dialogue the intensity of a mid-afternoon tea party.
Reason This Book Blows Number Three: Paul's artwork (which might have been fine as he pencilled and inked it, as I said in my review of last issue) is ruined by overzealous computer coloring that saps almost all the solid black from the artwork. Look, comics are a graphic medium, and the organization of solid black areas on the page is integral to moving the reader's eye through the story. By taking away these important visual stopping points (as well as almost all the defining black linework) the artwork is reduced to a jumble of color without strong definition. Panels and pages that would otherwise be easily scanned through become more vague and bland. I know they're trying to emulate Ross' art, but it just isn't working.
I get the sense that this whole project came into existence because Ross wanted to get his jollies by re-imagining some of his favorite Golden Age characters. The story was obviously a secondary consideration. But after three issues of crap, I can't see why anyone would want to stick around for the rest of the series if the only point of interest is Ross' designs. I know that I'm done with it. And if next month rolls around and I'm even the slightest bit tempted to pick up #3, I pray that cannibal midgets gouge out my eyes and ravenous goats gnaw off my hands before I waste another three bucks.


Writer: Gerry Duggan Artist: Phil Noto Publisher: Image Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

This modernization of THE ODYSSEY is one of the stronger reads I have laid my eyes on in quite a while. Gerry Duggan, who brought us the madcap-tastic THE LAST CHRISTMAS last year, shows that he can handle serious action and drama here. Casting the drifting crew of soldiers as modern military men, thought dead by their families at home, is a story that is resonant in this modern age of war.
On top of being a timely tale, this story has a lot of heart. The central drive of the soldiers in this story is the desire to return home. These are men that don’t often show their feelings. Their actions show how passionate they are, how strong their convictions. The Captain of this crew and his men fight hard for a chance to see their loved ones once again. Writer Duggan does a great job of making the actions of this fearless crew reflect the strong beating heart of this book.
Action is another major factor in this book. Obstacle after obstacle rises between the Captain and his home, each posing different challenges. In issue #2, the Captain faces sea pirates. The scenes leading up to their sea battle are about as tense as you can find in comics today. Issue #3 brings the Captain and crew to a remote island to face a man in cyclopean armor. Duggan flexes his creative muscles by modernizing the mythological monsters Odysseus faced in his famous tale. The Cyclops in issue #3 is both formidable and somewhat believable (it’s the armor that has only one eye, not the man itself). Duggan smartly infuses future tech with mythology, resulting in a nice mix of myth and sci fi.
Phil Noto’s wonderful art makes this reading experience all the more fun. Noto’s characters are gritty and sketchy, but well defined. Colors are overlaid onto others and carefully selected to heighten the mood of the scene. Noto doesn’t deal with a simple palette. His light and dark tones help set the mood for Duggan’s intense scenes.
If you enjoy war stories, modern or classical, this is a book for you. It pulls no punches and looks good while doing it too. I can’t wait to see the rest of the Captain and his crew’s journey and what modern myths Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto have in store for them.


Writer: J. Michael Straczynski Penciller: Chris Weston Inker: Garry Leach Publisher: Marvel Reviewed by: Bottleimp

I haven't been this intrigued with a comic book story since DC's IDENTITY CRISIS (well, at least up until the last issue, when it was revealed that the killer was the Atom's ex-wife... *cough*). THE TWELVE ticks along like a Swiss-made precision timebomb, upping the suspense with every detail.
For those of you coming late to this title, THE TWELVE centers around twelve mystery men from the latter days of World War II. During a strike on Berlin, the heroes are cryogenically frozen by Nazi scientists, lost as the war comes to a close, and found and revived in the present day. These men (and one woman... and boy, WHAT a woman!) must deal with adjusting to life in the 21st century, as well as dealing with the losses of friends and family. One of them, the Blue Blade, is later found dead by our narrator, the Phantom Reporter, and as the story unfolds we are shown the events leading up to the murder.
Straczynski does a remarkable job of building an undercurrent of tension that flows through the story without resorting to gratuitous fight scenes. Actually, the lack of action just drives home the fact that this is a character-driven drama, as we learn more about these heroes and their motivations through their interactions and flashbacks to their lives before being frozen. Weston's artwork perfectly suits this approach--his facial expressions are fantastic, and he makes the Twelve easily distinguishable from each other even in civilian clothes (a feat that many comic artists, even some of the great ones, have had trouble with). This issue is no exception, as we see the origin of Rockman, the crimefighting of the Laughing Mask, and the growing animosity between Dynamic Man and the Reporter.
Another aspect of THE TWELVE that I love: though it's ostensibly set within the current Marvel continuity (other WWII heroes such as Captain America and the Sub-Mariner appear during the siege on Berlin, and a passing reference is made to the events of the CIVIL WAR and INITIATIVE storylines), the series so far has been self-contained--you can dive into it without having to worry about buying a dozen other titles to bring you up to speed.
There's only one thing I can gripe about: the covers. If Marvel is trying to emulate those old 1940s pulp magazines, they really should hire artists who actually paint rather than ones who screw around on Photoshop. The covers are so obviously computer rendered that it looks pretty cheesy, and I think real painted images would make THE TWELVE stand out much better on the racks. But really, that's a minor issue when the material inside the covers is so good. Go and pick this series up--I can't recommend it highly enough.


Story: Tim Seeley Art: Emily Stone (#1-5), Fernando Pinto (#6), Rebekah Isaacs (#7) Publisher: Devil's Due Publishing Reviewer: barking_frog

This is not exactly a TPB review. HACK/SLASH has an interesting publishing history. It began as a long series of one-shots and minis. These have been collected as HACK/SLASH VOLUME 1: FIRST CUT and VOLUME 2: DEATH BY SEQUEL -- except for HACK/SLASH VS. CHUCKY, which is the final one-shot. There is also a HACK/SLASH OMNIBUS, which appears to be out of print, and which includes all the one-shots and minis, combining FIRST CUT and DEATH BY SEQUEL with the CHUCKY issue. After that, HACK/SLASH: THE SERIES began publication, of which there have been ten issues. HACK/SLASH VOLUME 3: FRIDAY THE 31ST [sic] reprints the CHUCKY issue and the first four issues of the ongoing series. (For completists, there's a Free Comic Book Day issue that I don't think has been reprinted, but which itself partially reprints material reprinted in DEATH BY SEQUEL and OMNIBUS. It all seems fairly confusing).
So what you have here is a review of the first seven issues of HACK/SLASH: THE SERIES, which is the last half of the FRIDAY THE 31ST TPB and will no doubt be the first half of a VOLUME FOUR TPB that hasn't been announced yet. ^.^ On with the review...
Comics are full of "new and original" ideas. I use the quotation marks very consciously.
It seems every first issue that arrives is heralded -- on its own cover if nowhere else -- as that month's AMAZING FANTASY #15 and, of course, the content normally falls short of history-making.
I don't remember why I picked up HACK/SLASH. I think I was in an adventurous phase, reading first issues from 2006 and 2007, just looking for something with legs.
It doesn't look like the sort of book I'd review. Splatter books are big right now (FRIDAY THE 13TH, HALLOWEEN), and "bad girl" (conscious quotation marks again) comics have been strong sellers since at least the 80's among fans who consider story to be optional with their artwork. HACK/SLASH looks like that stalest of marketing ploys: combining two hot-selling themes in one story to try to pull in twice the market (Zombies vs. Porn Stars, anyone?).
Except that, like BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, HACK/SLASH is only about monsters and the babe on the surface (and often only in the advertising).
HACK/SLASH is a warm story about a pair of outcasts who have formed a bond. It's BUFFY with a cast of two, or the X-MEN on the rare occasions when they're being written at their best. But these are two characters we haven't really seen in BUFFY or X-MEN, where it's normal for the cast to be a little angry, condescending, or at least exclusive about their marginal relationship to the human social matrix.
The characters in HACK/SLASH are the kind of self-blaming nerds who sit at the front of the bus a safe distance from the cool kids, but who have concluded that whatever the problem is, it's with themselves and not the human race.
Then -- despite this alienation -- the HACK/SLASH protagonists, as they're trying to sort themselves out, do the thing that only people of remarkable character ever do in the real world. They try to help other people when they need it.
From there, add a liberal helping of classic slasher film icons and themes, and you have HACK/SLASH. Cassie Hack, the babe/bad-girl nerd, is the focal character. She was traumatized when she discovered that her mother was a serial killer, and is now off on a series-long quest to rid the world of other such monsters.
Her partner (in the platonic sense) is Vlad, an enormous misfit with repulsive visage and a bad respiratory problem. ("Platonic" is not just my impression -- midway through these issues, in a story arc involving the literally Satanic roots of 80's metal, Vlad goes on a heroic quest to become a man so he can save Cassie from an evil Hell-like dimension.)
A place where HACK/SLASH shines is in Seeley's decision to do it without superpowers. The main comics genre (i.e. superheroes) provides abundant fantasy material about being big and powerful in a scary world. The slasher genre, on the other hand, is all about being helpless in a big and scary world, and consequently it's the villains who are super powered.
While Whedon handled this automatic contradiction in BUFFY by making his heroes and villains super powered, Seeley does it the much more difficult way -- sticking close to horror-genre tradition, he makes Cassie and Vlad "mere" humans.
This raises reasonable questions about the survivability of Seeley's heroes when they're confronted with antagonists like Jason Voorhees (or analogs of such) -- Seeley resolves his end-of-storyline conflicts not with Godzilla vs. King Kong style smash-ups where the strongest character wins, but rather with clever writing. Which is always a joy to behold in an industry where superhero-battle climaxes are so de rigueur that RUNAWAYS could get belly laughs a year or three back just by portraying Spider-Man and the kids, when they met in New York, going out for pizza instead of fighting.
HACK/SLASH is not a difficult story to pick up in the middle -- the current series comes at the end of an assortment of previous short pieces which I myself have not read. But Seeley keeps his story arcs almost entirely self-contained, and his plotting is not complex. Since the most interesting aspect of HACK/SLASH is the peculiar bond between Cassie and Vlad and their relationship to the world, staying away from long intricate plots is a point in Seeley's favor.
You can pick the book up at almost any point.
If you want a "bad girl" comic, this is a bad girl in the manner of Buffy, not Lady Death. If you want a slasher comic, this is firmly in the mode of Gaiman's "Serial Convention" from SANDMAN. If you want gore and monsters, they're here, but with tongue planted firmly in cheek à la EVIL DEAD.
If you want well-written, lightweight stories about two nerds you'll come to care about, who love a world they don't fit into, then HACK/SLASH is your book. I can't recommend it enough.
barking_frog is Edward Livingston-Blade, currently busy at work on FOX AND GEESE, the follow-up to last year's The Man Who Wasn't There short story FIVE PAWNS.


Writer: Kelley Puckett Artist: Drew Johnson Inker: Ray Snyder Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo

Yes. Yes! YES!
I feel like Meg Ryan, pounding on the table of a quaint diner as everyone stares. Except I’m not faking it as much as her. And I’m not a chick.
Finally, I’m beginning to see the realization of a promise made several months ago. Good writing. Excellent art. Thoughtful premise. And now, I’m getting to see all three in the same exact issue. What a lovely thing.
No more dream sequences. No more “nuff said” sequences. And actually, the art has been good pretty much every issue, so no complaints there. It was always a matter of pacing, subject matter or execution.
This issue, Supergirl must continue to follow through on her promise to cure cancer. Obviously, something is going to happen to thwart this, but it’s a premise that hasn’t been followed in a while: why CAN’T the world’s superheroes really fix all the evils in the world that are not derived directly from free will? Cancer, birth defects, people who wait until they get to the teller to fill out their deposit slips…
Supergirl, for her part, seems to be doing what teenagers do. She’s following whatever ideas come to her, completely unaware that she may fail. Like the old adage regarding teens, “move out while you still know everything,” Supergirl is probably convinced that the problem has never been solved because no one has really considered it, or at least, they’ve never considered it the way she has.
The moral dilemma of this issue was nicely done. I was 50-50 on how a character like her could have handled it, but I’m glad she erred (if indeed she erred at all) on the side of nobility. What a change from a few years ago. Just think, when Supergirl “first” arrived several years ago, she was only a bit of naked cheesecake for Ian Churchill to draw, and the game was what exactly would cover up her naughty bits. She was fairly brutal and threatening and not the Supergirl one would want to be like.
Then she cleaned up, made a few (editorially mandated, my guess) errors in judgment and learned a few lessons. And she’s still a teen: she’s still making mistakes. But now, she’s learning the measure of responsibility that comes with having the red “S” on one’s chest. She’s sipping the nectar of nobility, high ideals and honor. She’s doing it within the context of a well told story.
If that’s really the case, then hey, I’ll have what she’s having.
Dante “Rock-Me” Amodeo has been reading comics for thirty-five years. His first novel, “Saban and The Ancient” (an espionage/paranormal thriller) was published 2006. He began writing for AICN Comics in 2007 and his second novel (“Saban Betrayed”) is due 2008. He’s often told he has a great face for radio.


Writer: Jonathan Hickman Artist: JM Ringuet Publisher: Image Comics Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

If there's anything us @$$holes have a reputation for here - well, besides being assholes, that is - it's that when we actually do enjoy something, when something strikes us in just that certain way, we tend to be very adamant about it. We've been known for tendencies to just let it all hang out there and absolutely destroy something, but when we likey, we really likey and will get pushy about it. Well, right now I'm definitely drinking some creator Kool Aid, and that beverage is Jonathan Hickman flavored...errr, wait. That didn't sound right...
Awkwardly worded jokes aside, I've talked before about how I enjoy what Hickman's bringing to the table from a creative standpoint. The way he has presented his comics thus far (even this time with someone other than himself on art chores) has been such a fresh air and TRANSHUMAN is no different. This time Hickman ventures into the world of the documentary, which really is the perfect accompaniment to what he's shown us thus far, as he apparently loves to info dump on his readers.
TRANSHUMAN is what the title implies: a story about the Post-human, the Superhuman. What's interesting about this take, besides the presentation, is that this time the world's first superhuman didn't come about by, I dunno, a spider-bite, or a meteor, or gamma bomb, but by good old fashioned genetic engineering as two pharmaceutical companies race to create these premiere super-beings. Obviously this issue is a lot of establishing. Setting up the players in this corporate warfront, showing their past relationships and all the back-stabbing and bitterness and bad blood in general that drives the two conglomerates to race each other to usher in this "Brave New World".
You wouldn't think that would be entertaining, but it really is. The documentary format works wonders in divulging all this information to the reader, and like I said earlier is a nice little accommodating twist on what we've seen from Hickman and how he's presented his comics to us so far. The pacing on this issue is perfect, too. It gives us all the right info at all the right times and just snaps snaps snaps along with the back and forth talking heads. And I have to say, the double page "Study Interlude" with the first wave of text subjects (monkeys, of course) was absolutely genius. Taking a complete backseat to the corporate speak, this was just an absolute howl as we see all these primates in various forms of mutation (and I use that word for a reason) on the way to being readied for human consumption.
Overall, TRANSHUMAN is just another stallion added to help pull along the Bandwagon. It's another great concept, with very intriguing and creative development and execution, and that just packs so much into 22 pages making it again one of the best "bargains" for your money in floppy format. And while obviously it's sad to see Hickman depart from doing his own art chores as well, JM Ringuet's pencils are more than adequate. Very angular and kind of "dirty" I guess I could say, the art makes a very nice accompaniment with all those lovable words Hickman loves to throw around. TRANSHUMAN is just another great example of why Jonathan is becoming the worst kept secret in all of comics.
Humphrey Lee is a long time AICN reviewer and also a certified drunk whose claim to fame is making it up four steps of the twelve step program before vomiting on steps five and six and then falling asleep on steps one through three. Also, chances are, he's banged your mom (depending on the relative hotness of said parental figure) and is probably the father of one of your younger siblings.


Writer: Matt Fraction Artist: Howard Chaykin Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

I’m still on the fence with this Matt Fraction guy. I’m digging his run on IRON FIST, but honestly, I’m not sure where the Brubaker ends and the Fraction begins on that one, so that book isn’t really indicative of how good a writer he is. I have enjoyed some of THE ORDER and after reading a few issues of that book and PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL, I think I’m finally getting to see what makes this guy tick. Fraction seems to be one of Marvel’s new go-to players. In the past, that role has been passed to writers such as Chuck Austen and Ron Zimmerman. Now, Fraction is nowhere near as bad as those two. In all honesty, it’s a disservice to the man’s talent to be placed in the same sentence as those guys, but it appears that you can’t throw a 25 cent back bin issue of RAWHIDE KID at a Marvel comic book rack and not hit an issue written by Fraction. With Fraction, Marvel seems to be doing what they’ve done before by throwing a lot of pretty big titles on his lap without him really proving that he can do it (at least to the general public).
But again, I’m not here to rip on the guy. As a writer, I’ve noticed that Fraction seems to understand the format of comics; more specifically he understands the episodic aspects of comics. Fraction’s best issues of THE ORDER and PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL seem to be single issue stories that advance the plot a skosh, but make for an interesting single issue experience. I’m talking about the Namor issue of THE ORDER and the last issue of PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL, where the Gibbon plots revenge on The Punisher for blowing up the Bar With No Name. Like a good television episode, this issue embraces the overall story, while telling a complete and satisfying read in a single issue format. Fraction’s multi-part endeavors, though, have left me cold. The multi-parter in PWJ where the Punisher, reeling from the shock of Captain America, takes on a new Flag-Smasher and ends up killing an innocent woman in cold blood, for instance. This arc, to me, reeked. Although the Punisher may have killed innocents when he was first introduced in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, he’s evolved quite a bit as a character. To believe he would be able to kill an innocent woman and not be racked with guilt goes against everything Garth Ennis has done with the character in the last ten years. On top of that, the story dragged its heels, the issues ended unfulfillingly (making me check to see if the copy I got was missing a page or two at the end), and hopscotched between a serious story and a comedy. So where Fraction showed promise as a “done in one” storyteller, he’s yet to prove himself to me that he can tell an entertaining arc.
So issue #18 of PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL begins a 6-part arc, appropriately titled “Jigsaw” and focusing on Punisher’s only surviving arch-nemesis, Jigsaw. Sans the title character, this issue was decently structured. The action cuts between a pair of dirty cops and a man interrogating/torturing another man in a chair. From page one, aside from wearing a hideous Hawaiian shirt, we (the readers) don’t know what this guy did to be tied up and ball-gagged as he is. It’s one of those stories that starts a few pages into the action, not wasting time with slow builds or introductions. I liked this. Fraction paces the action well and both stories unfold to compliment the other and reveal information in a logical and suspenseful manner.
That doesn’t mean the story is perfect, though. Jigsaw speaks as if he’s been hijacked straight from a Bendis comic on his wordiest of days. A snippet of the “oh so useful” dialog from the very first panel of the book:
“You’re thinkin’ about, what, you’re thinkin’—you uphold the—you OBEY the law? The letter of the law? That you, you, you’re a law-abiding, what, a tax paying—you’re not. You’re not. I know you. YOU know you and I know you. You know you are NOT. And I know you’re not.”
Uhm…what the fuck did I just read?
It looks as if Fraction is trying to illustrate Jigsaw’s insecurities with his dialog. The hissy-fit Jigsaw goes into when he has to hurt the man in the chair shows this. I understand what Fraction is trying to do, but writing out every stutter and stammer is about as exhausting to read as Bendis’ overuse of thought balloons in MIGHTY AVENGERS. Trying to sort out what Jigsaw is trying to say during his issue-long monolog with “man in chair” is as excruciating as the torture “man in chair” receives in this issue. Dialog like this makes me understand why they guy was named Fraction.
Apart from that, the Hollywood revisionism kicks in during this story, tying Jigsaw closer to the death of the Punisher’s family than past stories have indicated. Wikipedia states that Jigsaw was hired to whack the guy who tried to kill the Punisher after he retaliated against the guys who killed his family (follow that, I guess I’m channeling Fraction here). Fraction skips a few beats and ties Jigsaw closer to the actual murder in this issue. Of course, this is coming from Jigsaw himself who is proving to be pretty delusional and fucked up.
Howard Chaykin provides the art. Although I can’t stand the guy’s books when he’s writing them, I can appreciate the gritty and in-your-face violence the guy draws. His attention to backgrounds earns a boatload of respect alone. And although a lot of his square-faced men look alike, I’m pretty pleased with the art in this issue.
Aside from the dialog which reads like the bastard child of Bendis and Michael Palin circa A FISH CALLED WANDA, this issue has me interested in giving Fraction a chance to prove himself as not only an interesting “done in one” writer, but someone who can handle a decent story arc as well. Although Jigsaw’s been touted as the Punisher’s arch-nemesis, I can’t recall the last time I read a story pitting the two characters together. So although the start was a bit choppy, I’m hoping for the best.
And maybe, just maybe, we can have the Punisher show up next issue too. Hmm?


Writer: Rick Remender Pencils: Pat Olliffe Inks: John Stanisci Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo

Ryan Choi is a good character. If you like him, you better hurry up over to this book and get an eyeful, while he’s still here.
Over the past few months, Choi has fought an odd zombie or two, discovered a twisted underground civilization, ridden in Wonder Woman’s bosom, and generally had some well-scripted adventures. He’s smart, honorable and self-deprecating. From Simone to Remender, from Byrne to Barrows to Oliffe, we’ve had good, consistent art and more consistently good stories that have improved each month.
The quirky and slightly slapstick feel of the early issues has long since given way to a drama that has some real consequences attached. We still have the occasional cerebral quote (none in this issue), but it’s not nearly as forced as the early issues.
In light of that, I will submit a favorite cerebral poem, just for Atom fans:
Billy slept through Chemistry, Now Billy is no more, For what he thought was H2O Was H2SO4.
Now, to the present: this month, Ryan’s dealing with the fact that his best friend and supporting cast member (Panda) was just killed, ostensibly by Ryan’s carelessness. Despite the gravitas, I have this feeling we’re being set up for a MAJOR transition. I wonder why? Let’s review:
Several writers with good grasp of narrative? Check.
Rotating list of capable artists? Check.
Comic usually leaves you a little smarter than when you first picked it up? Check.
Hmmm…so what is really going on? Maybe we’re asking the wrong questions, reviewing the wrong facts.
Unnecessary death of a major supporting cast member? Check.
Major wound/damage to hero, the kind from which he may not recover? (Ryan’s hands are severely burned. Plus he’s exhausted.) Check.
Monthly dwindling sales? Check.
Ah, I think it’s becoming clearer. But those things aren’t even the kicker. I think the kicker is that Ray Palmer is back in town. Not literally, not yet. But I don’t think this book is ready to be renamed “BI-ATOMIC COMPOUND.” (That would be two Atoms.)
And that means Ryan Choi now has the life expectancy of any woman who marries a Cartwright.
I’m enjoying the series more than ever before. But with Ryan already wounded and Ray returned to our section of the Multiverse and an issue #25 looming before us…well, better get over here and say your goodbyes. This could be the beginning of the end. Join us, won’t you? I’m just guessing, of course. Time will tell. It will be a shame if the book is cancelled or changed just as it gets interesting.


I reviewed HOLMES a while back when it was released as individual issues by writer/artist Omaha Perez. The book promised a new vision of Sherlock Holmes and his dutiful assistant Dr. Watson. I found this miniseries to deliver in spades. Holmes isn't the master sleuth depicted in film and stories of old. He's more of a bumbling idiot who is smart enough to make it seem as if he has solved the case. Drug addled and definitely delusional, Perez' Holmes infuriates Watson by dragging him all over London, pursuing a fictional Moriarty and leaving chaos in his wake. I know depicting Holmes in this light is not completely new, but I found this take to be entertaining and fascinating to read. The story cleverly positions Holmes on a tightrope. His actions clearly aren't sane, but with the help of his assistant Watson, he is able to solve cases and maintain his reputation. The best part of this compilation of the original miniseries is Perez' art. Occasionally his figures can be awkward and abstract, but Perez utilizes a scratchboard technique with the covers of these books and also during a dream sequence that makes for some of the most eye-appealing panels I've seen in recent memory. In the back of this book, Perez says that if he were to use this technique for the whole book, he would have never finish. Here's hoping he's able to do this type of work on future projects. The book is a delight from story to art. And now that AIT/Planet Lar picked up the book, it is much easier to find a copy. - Ambush Bug


I'm finding that reading instructional books on how to make comics is not only shedding light on the painstaking processes that artists and writers must go through in order to make even the simplest of comics, but it also is making me appreciate and enjoy comics on a much deeper level. Jessica Abel & Matt Madden have put together one of the most comprehensive and impressive tomes in DRAWING WORDS & WRITING PICTURES. This gigantic book starts at the mere conception of an idea and ends with an entire finished product. Everything from the importance of the alley (the space in between the panels) to detailed description of comic book lingo and scores of examples of inking, penciling, writing, word ballooning, and practically any other area of comic bookery that would come to mind. This is the best instructional book I have read about the comic book medium. It is presented in an easy to understand and fully approachable way; going to great lengths to cover all of the bases and anticipate any questions one may have. First Second has been putting out exemplary fiction for a while now. Looks like they are ready to take over the non-fiction/instruction book world too, in terms of excellent product. You won't find a better "how to make comics" book out there. - Ambush Bug

EVIL PENGUINS OGN Simon & Shuster/ Simon Spotlight Entertainment

Elia Anie seems to like penguins. It's the focus of her new often entertaining and intelligent picture book. This book collects a series of one panel comics featuring penguins causing all kinds of trouble. My favorites include a penguin switching a doctor's decaf coffee to Red Bull just before an operation, a penguin choking the iPod shadow man with his headphone wires, a penguin placing razor blades along the opening of elevator doors and then waiting for the dismemberment, and the revelation that penguins pushed the iceberg in front of the Titanic. This is a fun and breezy read. Anie channels THE FAR SIDE with great success and maintains an acidically devious tone throughout the entire book. This is more of a coffee table book than what we usually review here in Indie Jones, but entertaining nonetheless. - Ambush Bug


When I was a kid, my family took vacations to South Carolina to enjoy the beach. These vacations were filled with wonder and mystery for my brother and I. We'd wander the beach, check out the old knick-knack sea shops, marvel at the aquatic creatures that washed up on shore, and wondered what kind of monsters swam just below the surface of the ocean. It was a time of innocence, when things were just plain fun. This book captures all of that and more. Matthew Loux does a great job of recreating that feeling of a pair of city boys on vacation with their parents, looking at everything with wide eyes and disbelief. Fantasy creeps into this story as a giant lobster appears on the beach, the salt water taffy shop is robbed, and a flock of gulls wearing a trench coat pays a visit. It’s the kind of story that tweaks the imagination. I could see these characters grown up and remembering this story and asking themselves if it had really happened. These two brothers will be all too familiar to anyone who went on a summer vacation with a sibling. They both annoy and count on each other. The art is phenomenal as well. Cartoony and gestured, loose and lively, Loux's work is something to behold. Anyone who has ever longed for that feeling of innocence and wonder, of childhood vacations and adventures with family, should check this one out. - Ambush Bug

NIGHTWING #143 DC Comics

I've been saying for years now that the best way to "fix" NIGHTWING would be to just be to put Chuck Dixon back on the damned character. Apparently, though, DC ended up doing the next best thing and finding a writer who apparently is just channeling the hell out of what Dixon was doing way back when to make the book and character so memorable. The first couple issues of Peter Tomasi's run, much to my delight, have been spent refocusing the character of Dick Grayson and his alter ego; giving him a stomping ground, introducing some new faces, and showing how much at the heart of the DCU the former Boy Wonder is. Very Dixon-esque. And now Tomasi has pulled off another quintessential NIGHTWING staple: The Robin team-up. The camaraderie and brotherhood between the sidekicks has always been an important part of what makes a NIGHTWING book worth reading, and again Tomasi nailed it. I'll admit I was a little underwhelmed by how this part of the conflict with Dick's mysterious new nemesis winded up ending, but the back and forth between him and Tim was pitch-perfect and only added more onto my hope that we'll finally have another run on this book worth holding onto after such a long stretch of pretty much pure dreck. - Humphrey

THE WALKING DEAD #48 Image Comics

This issue was like a punch to the gut. Drawn masterfully by Charlie Adlard (that splash page made me scream out loud). Although the events inside this comic are bound to hit anyone who has been following this book pretty hard, I have to say that it is the single best WALKING DEAD issue yet. I’m looking forward to see how Kirkman handles this new development. The few surviving characters from the prison siege definitely cannot go home again and the road ahead doesn’t look so hot either. I gave this book a lot of grief for it’s meandering storyline while the survivors built their new life in the prison. I still think the storyline went on for too long. But all of that waiting finally paid off in the last few issues with this issue being the cherry on top. It’s just painfully hard to swallow given the events depicted in this issue. Phenomenal
Readers Talkback
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  • April 9, 2008, 8:16 a.m. CST

    I'll trade-wait for Secret Invasion

    by rev_skarekroe

    Looks like the sort of thing that'll just be frustrating to read month-by- month.

  • April 9, 2008, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Considering this is ACIN

    by Hell Pop

    There must be a way to get you guys some advanced previews. Most comic sites had advanced reviews of Secret Invasion up a week before the issue came out, and you guys have to settle for a week after. Hell, even a day after would work for me.

  • April 9, 2008, 8:25 a.m. CST

    Secret Invasion

    by symon

    Good review for someone who hasn't been reading the big Marvel books lately - but doesn't this book deserve a second review from someone who's actually following the larger story line? I think this is an event that is only going to work well for people who've been reading the big Marvel books for the last couple of years. That being said, even I was a little disappointed with the opening...

  • April 9, 2008, 8:27 a.m. CST

    One Week Later

    by Ambush Bug

    Well, let's wrap the world around Hell Pop!<br><br> This is a site done by the fans for the fans. We could knock on DC and Marvel's door, asking for their books all in advance. For me, though, that would (subconsciously or consciously) influence me to maybe not give reviews like the ones I give above. One of the reasons we are so passionate in our reviews is because we plop our hard earned cash down for the books.<br><br> So sorry, the week later thing (something that has been a constant here at AICN Comics for about seven years) is going to stay. There are plenty of other sites out there who get preview copies and rush to their computers the minute they are off the preseses. We like to take a bit of time to savor the books and write something a bit more thorough and thought out.<br><br> Here's an option. Go to those other sites and check out their reviews, then come back here for how the books really are.

  • April 9, 2008, 8:32 a.m. CST

    I've already read those book.

    by Hell Pop

    a week ago.

  • April 9, 2008, 8:33 a.m. CST


    by Hell Pop

    but ok, ill stick to those site instead of yours.

  • April 9, 2008, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Your chioice, Poppy...

    by Ambush Bug

    It's a great big wide internet, my friend. Room for all kinds of reviews. And limiting yourself from one because it doesn't serve it up immediatley is...well...pretty limiting. But if you would rather choose their McFish over our grilled salmon, well, then be my guest.<br<br> Mmmm, salmon.

  • April 9, 2008, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Quick question

    by Chilli815

    What's the exact policy on submitting comic-books for you chaps to read? Because there's a web-comic I'm involved with, and I was wondering whether you paid those much heed.

  • April 9, 2008, 8:47 a.m. CST

    neither is Shenjanno

    by Ambush Bug

    Well, it isn't.

  • April 9, 2008, 8:48 a.m. CST

    The Twelve or Superpowers | Armageddon or Deep Impact

    by Squashua

    "The Twelve" and "Superpowers" are the same exact comic book. Except that "Superpowers" has a lot more hype and "The Twelve" is a much better comic book.<br><br> This is exactly like when "Surface", "Invasion" and "Threshold" hit TV at the same time.<br><br>Or "Armageddon" and "Deep Impact".<br><br>Or "Deep Star Six" and "The Abyss".<br><br> Or "Twister" and that other tornado movie.<br><br> It's the same thing over again.

  • April 9, 2008, 8:49 a.m. CST


    by Ambush Bug

    At the end of the column, we tell people to click on the link of your favorite reviewer to submit comics for review. Right now, I'm a bit backed up with the indie jones stuff, but we do have a dot.comics section occasionally that focuses on webcomics. Hope this helps.

  • April 9, 2008, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Ambush Bug

    by Chilli815

    Righteo. I do remember throwing it out there a while ago, but nothing came of it. Might be worth another stab at any rate.

  • April 9, 2008, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Read Walking Dead...

    by JBouganim1

    Amazing issue. I can't believe how in one issue they can just take out nearly kill more then 3/4s of the characters

  • April 9, 2008, 8:55 a.m. CST

    by Hell Pop

    BTW, I wasn't trying to aggrivate you or anyone else. And I wasn't criticizing your reviews in and of themselves, I would just genuinely like to see them sooner. Is being swayed by advanced stuff really an issue? I've never felt that advanced movie reviews or trips to Skywalker ranch/Pixar/Movie sets ever stopped the rest of AICN from being fair and balanced. I figured a $4 comic would bring anyone to their knees for a publisher... so to speak. But you guys are more aware of your own character than I.

  • April 9, 2008, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Sorry, Chilli

    by Ambush Bug

    Sometimes the requests people send get lost in the cracks. I really do try to read everything people send me for Indie Jones and dot.comics, though. There's just a lot of it.

  • April 9, 2008, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Well, we're up every Wednesday, Pop

    by Ambush Bug

    Hope to see you then.

  • April 9, 2008, 8:59 a.m. CST


    by Err

  • April 9, 2008, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Hell Pop

    by Squashua

    I'm currently under the impression that not only do they receive advance reviews, but some of the "for profit" sites may actually pay their reviewers a stipend. I could be 100% completely wrong, but I only know from the @$$hole perspective, and what I know is this:<br><br> The @$$holes provide the AICN Comics reviewing service FOR FREE. As in, we spend our OWN time reviewing comics that we bought OURSELVES. The reviews get posted here after being formatted under our own blood/sweat/tears/ejaculate and we don't make a dime off it.<Br><Br> I'm not complaining; I'm simply stating that we do this as a free service.

  • April 9, 2008, 9:04 a.m. CST

    In conclusion

    by Squashua

    And my reason for stating that is to explain that THAT is why we take our time with it. We're NOT dedicated newsmen. This is NOT our day job or even a side job or even a PAYING job. <br><br> N.B. In the prior post, in the first sentence, it should read "advance copies" not "advance reviews".

  • April 9, 2008, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Hey Shenjanno

    by stones_throw

    Care to explain that ten-page preview they had up on ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY? Or the fact that this is a new #1 with a huge marketing push behind it, rather than appearing in the Avengers books? Marvel seems to be making a pretty concerted effort to get new readers on to SECRET INVASION. And so when the plot is already well underway by the beginning of this #1 (suitable for new readers, see) it can't help but seem a little dishonest to me. Hell, buddy, like Hellpop says, you could have read about a million advance reviews all saying the same thing. I tried to bring a different perspective by focusing on the book itself, not the self-created hype or build-up.

  • April 9, 2008, 9:06 a.m. CST

    Not saying you should stop.

    by Hell Pop

    I think it become an issue (albiet minor) for me after there is such saturation of things like the Marvel DC events prior to it's arrival that by the time I see you guys headlineing with something like SI #1, I don't even bother reading it. Not because of a poor review, but I've already read enough on the subject. Whereas I would have paid more attention a week ago. But like you said. It's your corner of the internet, do with it as you please.

  • April 9, 2008, 9:07 a.m. CST


    by Hell Pop

    can I write a run-on sentence or what?

  • April 9, 2008, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Does Wolverine keep his metal in the fight?

    by blindambition238

    Cause if he does, but has none of that healing mojo, you'll be getting lots of submission where he passes out from adamantium poisoning...

  • April 9, 2008, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Stoney's review on Invasion

    by rock-me Amodeo

    I was thinking I would probably be the one to review the book (given my familiarity with all the moving parts), but when he snatched it out of my palsied hands, I thought it was a very cool move for exactly the reason stated. Sure, I'm a HUGE Avengers fan (around 350 lbs, ba-dump-bump) and I remember trying to pull all the pieces together when Skrullectra was revealed.<br><br>But given all the hype and "sturm und drang" to garner new fans, I was really curious to see how non-slavering non-fans would react. Now *you* know, and now *I* know.<br><br>And I would almost guarantee it's a perspective you won't get anywhere else, one that should be considered before recommending it to the casual reader.

  • April 9, 2008, 9:32 a.m. CST

    Ambush Bug

    by Chilli815

    Right on. Tell ya what, soon as we figure out some website issues, I'll give you a buzz. It's called Reynard City, and after a period of change from formats we're hopefully going to stabilise enough to (slowly) build up an audience.

  • April 9, 2008, 9:34 a.m. CST

    secret invasion

    by steverodgers

    why is bendis still getting work at marvel? walking dead is on fire.

  • April 9, 2008, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Secret Invasion review from a TRUE novice...

    by tonagan

    So once I'm done reading all the words in this square, do I read the square beneath it or the one on the right? I think there's something wrong with the color because that lady has green hair. A dinosaur? Is that a spaceship or a time machine? So if little white bubbles come out of their head, that means they're thinking? So what happens if it's just a little box with quotation marks, does that mean someone's thinking? Or are they talking? Or is someone else talking? So why did the one bad guy have a bowler hat and the other guy didn't? It would be much less confusing if they all had bowler hats? And why are all the bad guys quoting Telly Savalas from Kojak? Forget it, my head hurts. I'm going to take a nap.

  • April 9, 2008, 10:06 a.m. CST

    this is

    by God's Brother

    the BEST comics reviews site on the internet, hands down. I gave up on superhero comics awhile back, but I still find my way back here every week, just to see what I've been missing (usually nothing much, or nothing worth spending money on), to read well written/well thought out reviews, etc. When I know of a certain comic that comes out, I immediately think "I can't wait for next week, when these guys do their take...", even though I CAN wait for next week, and do, gladly. Am I rambling? Either way, keep up the good work, guys. You're the only reason I come to this site at all.

  • April 9, 2008, 10:19 a.m. CST

    So if there's been a 4 year build up...

    by God's Brother

    then how the hell are "new readers" exposed to 10 sample pages gonna feel that buildup? Oh, I get it, clunky exposition, so poorly constructed that it might actually turn "new readers" off, rather than have them scouring the back-issue bins hungry to buy as many of these overpriced comic-book-thingees as possible. If you wanted to attract new readers to this big event as a way to entice newbies to your continuity-laden universe, you start the event from the beginning. Skrull-lektra: expose the shocking truth in issue 1 of Secret Invasion, rather than over a year ago in some random Avengers story. Iron Man helping us (me) play catch-up just makes me wanna punch him in the face.

  • April 9, 2008, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Plus, on this don't just get OUR reviews...

    by rock-me Amodeo all get the added BONUS reviews of the reviews themselves! Woot-woot! Which MUST mean we're a lot more interesting than the comics we review! Or is there a flaw in my logic?<br><br>Anyway, tat's why I became a reviewer...well, that and the free enemas. Or am I being redundant?

  • April 9, 2008, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Dear Shenjanno.....

    by Psynapse

    Can I get you some Massengill to take care of that sand in your vagina? No? Then how about you simply STFU, 'kay son? Your rant against Stones is the epitome of the word pedantic, not to mention that calling him a dilettante shows how little you actually know of him. Though I must say your posts DO say quite a bit about you. To borrow a rather famous Whedonism: "Bored now."

  • April 9, 2008, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Right & Wrong

    by Saluki

    I think Bug is going out of his way to dislike Kick-Ass #2 here, most of all since the main character had a damned good reason to burn his comic books. Then what does he do? He suits right back up. Walking Dead #48 is just a brutal as any review has made it out to be, but I'm surprised so many reviewers enjoyed it as much. Many other readers I've spoken with thought it wasn't handled too well. Oh well, we are finally out of the prison. Hoorah.

  • April 9, 2008, 10:38 a.m. CST


    by rock-me Amodeo

    I would take the opposite view. Just because someone's view is valid doesn't make it informed, and just because someone's view is uninformed doesn't make it invalid, particularly as Marvel is inviting uninformed readers to formulate opinions based on marketing.<br><br>And you're free to debate it on those merits, or any other point you choose, but not as thinly-veiled ad hominems.<br><br>Oh, and so you can join us in the stone age, throw in an occasional "less than" br "greater than" for line breaks, two for paragraph breaks. It may make you seem less rant-y.

  • April 9, 2008, 10:51 a.m. CST


    by rock-me Amodeo

    Just trying to help.

  • April 9, 2008, 10:58 a.m. CST


    by v1cious

    you put The Walking Dead 48 under CHEAP SHOTS? come on.

  • April 9, 2008, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Geoff Johns - Nihilist!

    by Village Idiot

    (Can't seem to get my new login to work, so we're going to harken back to the old days with this one.) <br> <br> My one problem with the "Superman and the Legion of Superheroes" story in ACTION is the fact that the *entire planet* seemed to be accomplices to the bad guys' agenda, and what's more, they seemed to have caved *amazingly quickly*. The only way the planet gets back on track is to be acted upon by outside forces (that is, Superman and the Legion of Superheroes). Where is the Amnesty Int'l of the 31st century? Where is Bono 3008AD? What happened to liberal sanctimony, dammit??? In the final analysis, not a very cheery view of humanity. <br> <br> But it was a pretty cheery view of superheroics, and I guess that's what we signed up for, right? Gary Frank's art is, honest to Pete, the best thing to hit the Superman titles since 1999. (And yeah, that includes Jim Lee. Suck it.) And any comic that includes a cameo by poor Dr. Zoidberg gets points. All in all, the story was just about worth the time and money for this severely lapsed comic fan. <br> <br> Now, back to adulthood, and waiting for the last two issues of ALL-STAR SUPERMAN.

  • April 9, 2008, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Ow! I'm SO hurt Shenjanno!

    by Psynapse

    Not at all actually, but keep on trying with such intellectual witticisms. Still bored but always slightly amused at people such as yourself who can't actually debate anything but rather only fling knuckle-dragging comments that insult YOU far more than myself. By the way, what are you, twelve? (My apologies to any 12 year olds for the comparison)

  • April 9, 2008, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Forgot to give a thumbs-up to tonagan

    by rock-me Amodeo

    You had me laughing! Sincerely.

  • April 9, 2008, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Now that's cute

    by Psynapse

    It's a slow work day and playing with idiot trolls is a hobby of mine, junior (Seriously, ask any @$$ or Cog). It wasn't a a dissenting opinion that merited the STFU it was (and is) your consistently crass comments which (I repeat) says a lot more about how pathetic (not to mention sad) you actually are kiddo. But hey, when in Rome as they say so: Why dont' you just get your mom to lick it like she did last night and the night before? Oh wait, that's right it was your dad the night before.

  • April 9, 2008, 12:05 p.m. CST

    To Context or Not to Context?

    by optimous_douche

    Dick licking, ginger testicle fondling ass play, and grudel grappling aside (just wanted to cover all bases), it seems the crux of this argument is whether us reviewer type folks should take comic issues on their own merit or whether to look at them in the context of the larger holistic continuity.<P> As the saying goes, “There’s no pleasing everyone”. And I know first hand the fine line we walk each week as reviewers.<p> When I started my reviews on AICN, I wanted to put everything into context. I remember my review of Booster Gold #0, where I drew parallels to Johns’ work on this book and Giffen’s work in the 1980’s Justice League.<p> Topping out at close to 1000 words, this tome to days of yore was met with a bit of talkback venom and griping. “Bug rein these guys in, enough of this remember when blah…blah…blah…”, wrote one irate Talkbacker.<p> So what do we do as reviewers? We want to please our readership, while still getting enjoyment out of this pro bono activity. Also, many of us have been collecting books for a long time. By pointing out where the book has been and where it’s going is just natural pontification for those of us with a pulp fetish.<p> Comics are serial in nature, building off of the momentum of past stories. On the same token each new issue brings with it a new air of vitality (or at least it should). I think both sides are right.<p> I’ve been marketing for fifteen years, and Marvel is indeed trying to capture new readers with Secret Invasion. Companies do not spend marketing dollars without a clear plan of attack. Why didn’t we see Brand new Day in Entertainment Weekly or any other Marvel title as of late? Why? Because EW is a channel to capture non-comic fans. If they just wanted the comic fan base they would have skipped the advertising money and just did an interview with Wizard. Even if the EW piece wasn’t a “paid” advertisement, marvel had to pay marketing dollars to make non-comic pubs aware of this book.<p> I would have applauded either a contextual review or looking at Secret Invasion with fresh non-jaded eyes as Stone so admirably did.<p> As I said, no pleasing everyone.

  • April 9, 2008, 12:06 p.m. CST

    One thing to keep in mind, Hell Pop:

    by SleazyG.

    We're not just here to service comic book readers. Yeah, I know CBR and Newsarama get to the stuff before us. But AICN exists to serve those who appreciate all sorts of pop culture--movies, TV, DVD releases, special events and giveaways, soundtracks even for cryin' out loud. There are a lot of people out there who don't read comics regularly, or go to other comics sites, but when they see our column hit, they go "huh...I wonder what's in there?" Next thing you know, they're reading our stuff all the time, and actually trying out new comics they never would have spotted at their LCS--because they don't go to their LCS. In fact, the one single thing that makes me happiest about this column is when we get a comment in the TB's or via email that says "I don't normally buy comics, but based on your review of Book X I tried it, and I really liked it." We're here in large part to service a community that the other sites don't, and it pays off both for us and for the comics industry, and I'm kinda proud of that.

  • April 9, 2008, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Reviewers should only write about stuff they already know, huh?

    by SleazyG.

    Wow. So somebody who's went to film school, wrote screenplays, and has now been reviewing movies for a quarter of a century should only review what he knows? Quick, somebody tell Ebert that now that he's coming back, he's not qualified to review the "Sex And The City" movie, because if he hasn't seen all the episodes on cable(or the late night edited-for-TV reruns on WGN here in Chicago) he won't be able to tell if it's good or not.<br> Oh, wait, that's right: you should be able to judge the *quality* of a piece of entertainment on its own. I forgot.<br> Look, whether you read the buildup in advance or not, when you're reading the current issue the one rule is this: It Cannot Suck. And I'm sorry, but that's a rule BMB has broken so many times I lost count when I had used up the fingers of everybody who writes for our column listing them all. Shitty writing is shitty writing. PERIOD. And the fact is, BMB has been criticized by us (among many, many, many others) for unwieldy, overly expository dialogue for at least half a decade. Instead of showing us things as they happen, somebody shows up and spends three pages of word balloons *telling* us what happened in the most stilted manner possible. It's a major flaw in his writing, and it's not a new one, and our reviewer said so. I'm hard pressed to find the problem here.

  • April 9, 2008, 12:32 p.m. CST

    "OK, I think everyone needs to chill a bit about this book."

    by ironic_name

    considering I don't give a shit, nor does anyone else, I'd say thats dunzo.

  • April 9, 2008, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Hurting people hurt people *sniff*

    by rock-me Amodeo

    <br>I think someone needs a hug.

  • April 9, 2008, 12:44 p.m. CST

    BTW regarding Kick-Ass....

    by Psynapse

    Let's not overlook it as yet another example of Millar's ever so thinly veiled racist tendencies either. Or did it escape anyone reading the book that BOTH sets of gang members didn't have a single caucasian in either? It doesn't really surprise me considering Scotland is on one of the most racist countries there is.

  • April 9, 2008, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Village Idiot – Action

    by optimous_douche

    I couldn’t agree more with your first paragraph and I actually had an entire paragraph in my review about this point.<p> While I wasn’t really concerned with where Amnesty International will be 1000 years from now, I wondered how the hell the evil Justice league erased every damn historical record of Superman’s true existence. No matter how good any smear campaign might be, people will not dispute a deluge of documented facts.<p> Let’s no make mistake that Earth in this title parallels Nazi Germany. What made Hitler so “effective” (God I’m nauseous from writing that) was the fact that were very few books espousing the virtues of Judaism.<p> Plus in the pre intertube days information was a precious commodity held by only those who could afford it.<p> It’s only 2008 and the sheer volume of information on the Internet is staggering. Barring any apocalyptic event, I can only see information in the year 3000 being a million times more voluminous.

  • April 9, 2008, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Fuck off?

    by SleazyG.

    Right, just so we're clear: everybody's welcome to their opinion, as long as it agrees with yours. Anybody who disagrees, or hasn't spent a hundred bucks on the research to review a four dollar issue, or just doesn't give a shit about this crossover, should fuck off.<br> And *we're* the ones with the problem? Whatever. Surely your lunch break is over by now--don't you think you should be headed to Algebra?

  • April 9, 2008, 12:49 p.m. CST

    More likely someone needs a shot of penicillin Rock-Me...

    by Psynapse

    Considering all the 'presents' mommy and daddy likely bring home from their 'work' of turning tricks in alleys & Wal-Mart parking lots.

  • April 9, 2008, 1:02 p.m. CST

    To a simple (and single) minded feeb, it likely wouldn't

    by Psynapse

  • April 9, 2008, 1:04 p.m. CST

    I successfully avoided purchasing Winick's Titans!

    by Squashua

    Giant presumed turd came out today, and I refrained from buying it!<br><br>I'm so proud of myself.

  • April 9, 2008, 1:08 p.m. CST

    V1cious - CHEAP SHOTS

    by Squashua

    V1cious, "Cheap Shots" are (usually) not a description of the book being reviewed, but of the review itself. <br><br> Every "Cheap Shot" review is pretty much a single-paragraph mini-review instead of the extended diatribe that some of the other books garner, and the amount of text delivered is up to the individual reviewer. <br><br> Take a look and see for yourself.

  • April 9, 2008, 1:09 p.m. CST

    As I understand it, Millar's pretty specific in his scripting

    by Psynapse

    By all means, correct me with information if I'm mistaken.

  • April 9, 2008, 1:10 p.m. CST

    It's Winick so it's assuredly a turd Squash....

    by Psynapse

    As anything since Barry Ween has been.

  • April 9, 2008, 1:37 p.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    i like the out of left field attack on scotland by psynapse. who likes scotland? just a lot of uneducated racist comic book writing bastards if you ask me.

  • April 9, 2008, 1:44 p.m. CST

    hey, same 4 talkbackers...

    by Gatsbys West Egg Omlet

    get to work. or school. or to your real lives. stop with the online pissing contest.

  • April 9, 2008, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Yo Squashua!

    by Psynapse

    You called it duders. Check this exceprt from Matt Brady's advance review on Newsarama.<p>**QUOTE:"This is a terrible comic book. Titans #1 fails on nearly every conceivable level. Nearly everything about it is wrong-headed, and closer examination makes it fall apart even further. It’s something like this book, alongside things like Countdown, that reveals profound cracks in the DC editorial process."

  • April 9, 2008, 1:57 p.m. CST

    matt brady

    by steverodgers

    that guy is a racist too...

  • April 9, 2008, 2:01 p.m. CST

    kick ass...

    by blackthought

    was anything like how the super hype machine that is marvel marketed as...that kid would be dead in issue 1 let alone 2...i have too many problems with that book. realistic my ass...and i only harp on the realism because well that was what was marketed...i wish black adam would show up in that book and punch his head off. hmm...the dark age...sweet.

  • April 9, 2008, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Really, steverodgers? Okay you asked for it...

    by Psynapse

    Try this on for size then:<p>See, I may be rude and crass at any given moment but at least I'm not an ignorant simp like you. Next time address a subject you actually know something about dipshit.

  • April 9, 2008, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Aw crap..we're gonna break the internet!

    by Psynapse

    Shenjanno and I agreed on something! Expect a rain of toads any moment. (*_^)

  • April 9, 2008, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Funny T-shirt seen online today...

    by Psynapse

    "Jersey Girls Aren't trash!!"<p>"Trash gets picked up."

  • April 9, 2008, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Newsrama paraphrased as "Titans #1 as a Giant Pile of Shit"

    by Squashua

  • April 9, 2008, 2:29 p.m. CST

    TITANS: Destined to suck.

    by SleazyG.

    Not just because nobody gives a shit about these characters apart or as a team. Not just because of killing off characters with so much potential (like Son Of Vulcan) in the so-long-ago-nobody-remembers-it one-shot intro issue. Not just because it's one too many of the same kind of team book, at a time when TEEN TITANS has far more interesting characters. No, the real reason it was destined to suck in two little words: The Writer.

  • April 9, 2008, 2:29 p.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    those guys really are racist! at any rate psyapse that was the first time I was ever the object of anyone’s ire on a talkback – you totally broke my talkback cherry. that said I wasn’t trying to get you riled up – I really thought you calling out scotland as a nation of racists was straight hilarious and showed a deft comedic touch.

  • April 9, 2008, 2:40 p.m. CST

    The I mis-understood and apologize...

    by Psynapse

    My ego is NOWHERE near that big. I'm just used to coming under fire for having a determined (and informed I like to think) opinion. That, and when on the internet I'm quite eye-for-an-eye when it comes to insults. Hell, I'm that way everywhere. Scotland DOES have long history of it's courts kind of 'overlooking' murders of minorities wherever and whenever it can. And hey, chweck out Britain's attitudes towards people with HIV overall. We Americans may be an arrogant lot but at least we are at least somewhat more evolved when it comes to these kinds of social situations.

  • April 9, 2008, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Goddamn typos....

    by Psynapse

    That should have been "Then I mis0understood and apologize". Ah well...

  • April 9, 2008, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Ack! again!

    by Psynapse


  • April 9, 2008, 3 p.m. CST

    oh and...

    by steverodgers

    matt brady is obviously not a racists and looks like he is a great reviewer with that spot on criticism of titans #1 and the asleep at the wheel editorial crew that is currently turning DC into a wild steaming shit-pile. Someone should see if he can do some pro-bono work for AICN.

  • April 9, 2008, 3:08 p.m. CST

    When's the last time you saw a mixed race gang?

    by rev_skarekroe

    That really rarely happens outside the mass media's attempts to be p.c. Sorry.

  • April 9, 2008, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Well, we're never early. And we take our time.

    by rock-me Amodeo

    We're like comic-book Viagra.

  • April 9, 2008, 3:23 p.m. CST

    I was thinking recreational and ubiquitous

    by rock-me Amodeo

    But all analogies break down eventually.

  • April 9, 2008, 3:25 p.m. CST

    You were probably think of...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    ...yo mama..

  • April 9, 2008, 3:26 p.m. CST

    by rock-me Amodeo


  • April 9, 2008, 3:30 p.m. CST

    One of my favorite T-Shirt quotables…

    by The Heathen

    "Michael Jackson didn't rape those children… he made love to them." <br> <br> Also, "Dale Earnhardt… King of the right hand turns." <br> <br> Sorry to any Nascar fans or people who have been raped by Michael Jackson. <br> <br> Oh yeah, comic stuff…

  • April 9, 2008, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Umm....seriously Rev? ALL OVER...

    by Psynapse

    But I'm from Florida.....

  • April 9, 2008, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Mixed race gang...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    you mean, like, a bunch of mulattos?

  • April 9, 2008, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Regardless of whether I'm misinterpreting Millar's racial atitud

    by Psynapse

    I'm certainly NOT misunderstanding that he's full of shit (Kick-Ass is realism? Only if you're a delusional Scotsman apparently)nor am I even remotely off-base on the racist attitudes in much of his native country (that article I cited is only one of many sources, by all means research the issue yourselves).

  • April 9, 2008, 3:38 p.m. CST

    SECRET INVASION Has Potential, But So Did WWHULK

    by LaserPants

    And that ending SUCKED.<br><br> I still think the paranoia tension is present, although I CAN'T FUCKING STAND Bendis' dialogue. Everyone has the same goofy, Whedon-Without-Wit snappy/snarky delivery that drives me nuts. I wish Whedon was writing the books, because they would most likely be ALOT better.<br><br> All that being said, and this is another one of those things that drives me nuts about these "event" books, is that the tension, the build-up, was established sometime several months ago when the New Avengers found the Elektra Skrull. WHY NOT HAVE THE ACTUAL BOOK START WITH THAT (?!) and then go from there? Wouldn't that make more sense? Wouldn't that be more trade friendly? Novice reader friendly? Why are they so retarded about stuff like this? And you know that the whole thing will be one long cocktease result in some flaccid nothing of an ending. Make it stick and make it hurt! Make the Negative Zone freakout rip the world to shreads and have lasting consequences. Like the whole WWHULK thing. That wasn't a world war! It was a weeklong skirmish in New York that ended with nothing. NOTHING. I mean really now.

  • April 9, 2008, 3:39 p.m. CST

    BTW-This TB is numbah 4 on AICN right now

    by Psynapse

    So take a bow, folks.

  • April 9, 2008, 3:44 p.m. CST

    I've said it before, I'll say it again...

    by Psynapse

    Gail Simone could fall into a coma and STILL write better than Bendis.

  • April 9, 2008, 3:46 p.m. CST

    2 points

    by ian216a

    An uninformed opinion is always less valid than an informed one. That's just basic maths people. So the Secret Invasion review this week is pretty much poorly presented. Sorry Guys. I mean when it criticises the book for not being what it is obviously not meant to be, it loses credibility. This is the payoff of all the backroom shenanigans that have been building since The Avengers relaunch and Secret Wars. The secret is now out - that's the point. My second point? I am so fucking pissed at DC for putting Winick on that Titans book. Back when Wolfman and Perez started their series in the early 80's I loved that book, I was about 12 I think, and would have given up reading comics around then if it wasn't for the Titans and the UK Warrior mag at the time with Alan Moore's Marvelman and V for Vendetta. They have kept me reading for another 25 years! And now they bring back my childhood favourite team with all the original members (grown up! - just like me! - he says in a big girly voice!) and they give it to Winick. Winick. Winick? The second writer ever that has been banned from my standing order bags (after Claremont - but that was in '88). I had to stop buying Green Arrow coz of that reality show attention whore. It was SO FUCKING TEDIOUS. He just ain't a superhero writer - not in his genes. Pedro and me? - great book, really is. Barry Ween? - laugh out loud funny. Green Arrow? FUCKING BORING BORING BORING. Sorry, I wouldn't normally get this upset, but like I said, childhood heroes. The idea of the missed opportunity of bringing them back written by say, oh, I don't know - GEOFF JOHNS!!!, almost makes me wanna cry. Gail Simone would have rocked too.

  • April 9, 2008, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Boy, Shenjanno...

    by stones_throw

    Marvel has a friend in you. Cuz they're a business they can market their books how they like and no one should call 'em on it? Another 90,000 or so readers like you and they're set!

  • April 9, 2008, 3:55 p.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    i have to agree with laserpants. his dialogue has gotten worse and worse. maybe it is just a taste thing – I know he has many supporters (including apparently the people in charge of marvel) – but I just can’t get into it. I did think alias was pretty awesome and i like what Powers I have read. It’s just his mainstream marvel stuff just falls totally flat for me. again though, his books sell like 5 cent hot-cakes – so maybe I just don’t get it.

  • April 9, 2008, 3:57 p.m. CST


    by blackthought

    as a mixed raced man...i'd like to be represented in some form that isn't know, like a zombie in walking dead or something.

  • April 9, 2008, 4 p.m. CST

    Christ, how informed does one have to be to review a Marvel #1?

    by stones_throw

    It's not like I'm writing a physics dissertation here. Marvel's hyped up this big event for months. They've put out a ton of variant covers and tie-ins. I've paid attention to some of the online hullaballoo. As a spare-time reviewer on AICN and a lifelong Marvel fan I decide to see if it holds up. And when I see a comic with tons of clunky exposition that starts halfway into a story from the last few months of AVENGERS, I call bullshit. Yeah, I guess a review by someone who's bought every tie-in and prologue and spends 300 words wondering whether Rocket Raccoon is a Skrull would have been a lot more useful and unbiased.

  • April 9, 2008, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Rocket Raccoon

    by steverodgers

    is not a skrull. he is a kick-ass talking raccoon with a jet-pack. he is awesome. mantlo forever.

  • April 9, 2008, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Oh Nonono Shenjanno...

    by Psynapse

    I am not 'interpreting' fuck all in the 'realism' claim laid on Kick-Ass unless reading the author's VERY OWN WORDS (Seriously, by all means read the CBR and Newsarama interviews with him on it) is an 'interpretation' of the english language. <P>**DIRECT QUOTE: NRAMA: Let’s get back into the kid who dons the mask and the set up…this is the “real world?”<P>MM: Right. Our world. The world right outside your window. It's a story about what would happen if you made a suit tonight and went out looking for trouble, using all the great things we love about superhero comics... from secret identities, arch enemies, horrible situations and so on. It's everything we've ever seen happening at once and turned up to eleven.<P> Uh-huh. Try again you fucking HACK.

  • April 9, 2008, 4:06 p.m. CST

    As for uninformed opinions, five words:

    by rock-me Amodeo

    "The emperor has no clothes."<br><br>Ninety-nine percent of the time, I would agree with you, steverodgers, but not always.

  • April 9, 2008, 4:07 p.m. CST

    SECRET INVASION=marketed towards new readers

    by stones_throw

    Yet it also requires detailed revision going back "years" in order to be appreciated? I'm seeing a contradiction there, bud. Ergo my criticism of Marvel.

  • April 9, 2008, 4:08 p.m. CST

    My Secret Invasion #1 opinion (on the book and this infamous @$$

    by The Heathen

    First off, I just want it to be known that I find Bendis to be wildly inconsistent and in vital need of a good editor as well as needing to take more care with his source material which is something he also has problems with. I've read all of New Avengers and some of Mighty Avengers. I really liked the smaller and more intimate situation of the recent David Mack issue of NA and I hate whenever there are those specifically Bendis thought balloons in MA. I even called him a bald asshole in my review of his Halo: Uprising #2 comic, which hasn't released an issue #3 yet, so hopefully Bungie took my advice. I also thought that House of M was super horrible and even though he didn't write Civil War, I was only able to get through 4 of its 7 issues. <br> <br> After all that near Bendii-like exposition - I liked Secret Invasion #1. I really liked it for a Bendis book and especially for a "big event" Bendis book. So, way to go you bald asshole! Seriously though, the issue has MAJOR stuff happen in it like (SPOILERS) the reveal of three Skrulls, the destruction of SWORD, the apparent destruction of the Hellicarrier, the implosion of the Baxter Building, Reed getting shot in the face, Iron Man being infected with a virus that brought down some of the previous things listed and the Avengers teams meeting in the Savage Land where their first mission was and seeing a dozen+ characters that may or may not be Skrulls appear in a Skrull crashed ship. <br> <br> Call me crazy, but that sounds pretty damn entertaining for a superhero comic. Like someone mentioned, the reveal that their are Skrulls secretly hiding isn't the main point of the story, it's the ramifications of it, which is usually where Bendis wouldn't go. Usually, Secret Invasion #1 would be issue #7 or #8 of 8 in the series, but having the shit hit the fan in the first issue hopefully will force his hand and bald head to really keep the mix of plot and action happening for 7 more issues. Hopefully. Hell, I'm still not sure he can do that, but so far, so good in my book. <br> <br> So, yes, I disagree with the review and think it was handled a bit carelessly, but no hard feeling Stones. I also think that Shenjanno has made some good points among his many posts regarding the review itself, although the outcome or continuing debate seems to be stuck in the mud and some things have been a little trite. I liked the Aliens example though. Can't argue with that. <br> <br> That's my opinion anyways. I say praise Bendis when you can because I've seen FAR WORSE from him and if everything he wrote that involved superheros was this good I'd be fine with it.

  • April 9, 2008, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Oops, I meant to say "ian216a"

    by rock-me Amodeo

    not steverodgers. To YOU I say: Mantlo forever, indeed. More Rocket Raccoon.

  • April 9, 2008, 4:12 p.m. CST


    by ian216a

    To answer your question... just informed enough. :) A question for you though - you been tempted to go back and read all this background stuff that people had been talking about, or do you just want to stab out the eyes of all these bitching fan-boys on the TB? Have to admit, you are getting it kinda harsh today.

  • April 9, 2008, 4:16 p.m. CST

    Btw, Am I The Only A$$Hole Who Loves CROSSING MIDNIGHT?

    by LaserPants

    Its a Vertigo book and its aces. Some weird Japanese modern myth fantasy war thang. Its really, REALLY good, and I haven't seen one mention of it here. Anyone else digging this book or am I alone?

  • April 9, 2008, 4:19 p.m. CST

    rock-me Amodeo

    by ian216a

    true - there can be wisdom gained from the innocence of naivity (as beautifully demonstrated in the last 12 years of South Park), but that wisdom is usually kinda more profound than whether a funnybook is good or not :)

  • April 9, 2008, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Real life Superheros presented in comics?

    by The Heathen

    JMS', Supreme Power was unique and didn't devolve into normal super heroics when it was under the MAX imprint. Afterwards? Not so much…

  • April 9, 2008, 4:23 p.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    you can never have enough rocket raccoon or really any of the mantlo helmed comics. i think the skrulls would find themselves in some serious trouble if ROM came back to town.

  • April 9, 2008, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Maybe in Florida, Psynapse

    by rev_skarekroe

    Out here in Georgia, black folks do their thing the hood, Latin Kings and other Mexican gangs are out in their areas... I don't know about Asian gangs. And there's not much of a white gang presence, at least not in an major way (excepting suburban teenagers who think they're hard, and skinheads). No Mulatto gangs at all that I know of, though that's an intriguing concept.

  • April 9, 2008, 4:25 p.m. CST

    I'm with Stones here....

    by Psynapse

    I thought SI#1 sucked rancid (and pustulent for that matter) donkey balls. And if we're gonna tout the great 'nod to continuity' are you REALLY gonna try to seel FUCKING PHOENIX as a skrull dupe? Really? Guess no one involved with SI has actually read any of that characters history. And then there's Yu's depiction of the Shuttle Wolverine in a mask that was NEVER seen after Hulk #181?!? Continuity my ass...

  • April 9, 2008, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Re: LaserPants - Best American Horror Movie

    by The Heathen

    Way off topic, but I remember you said that Hostel was the best American horror movie of the last 20 years and asked what could compete. I'd say, May is a far better horror movie. Way more subtle too. Then there's the recent, The Mist. Also, The Blair Witch Project and Requiem For A Dream is definitely horrifying I'd say. <br> <br> Haven't read, Crossing Midnight. Sorry. I like the title though.

  • It did raise big smiles from me when I saw a comic with both Rocket Raccon AND Bug in it. I seem to remember Bill Mantlo doing some kiss-ass Defenders books too. Where did he get to?

  • April 9, 2008, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Oh I've seen that too Rev....

    by Psynapse

    I've just also seen thug groups of brown and white folk from time to time as well. Asians it seems are TRULY insular no matter where you go though.

  • April 9, 2008, 4:28 p.m. CST

    As for Kick-Ass...

    by rev_skarekroe

    ...I haven't read it. But I'm sure Millar got his inspiration from folks like this

  • April 9, 2008, 4:30 p.m. CST


    by ian216a

    just looked him up on Wikipedia - "In 1992, Mantlo was struck by a car while rollerblading. He suffered severe head trauma and spent over a year in a coma. He has since been institutionalized and is not expected to fully recover." - That's horrible

  • April 9, 2008, 4:32 p.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    I believe unfortunately he had a stroke and I read somewhere that he still likes fan mail. he did micronauts too. the guy was great - he wrote really fun comics.

  • April 9, 2008, 4:34 p.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    stuck by a car? awful. i feel like he has a website out there where you can send him stuff. i might be totally wrong. like i was on the stroke thing. its a real shame. his work was really great.

  • April 9, 2008, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Shenjanno re: Supreme Power

    by The Heathen

    True, but wasn't there people in those cars and didn't they leave a bunch of bodies in the wake of all their super powered fighting? They might have fought like super powered people would in say JLA, but the outcome, the aftermath was what was real because it showed it. I think so anyway, it's been a while since I read that. I love when Hyperion was pissed and basically told everyone to fuck off when he crashed into earth like a comet. That was awesome. Then there was other things like when Hyperion did something with his laser eyes underwater and then you see the dead fish rise to the surface and the fight with Doc Spectrum was in the safari wasn't it? I think I remember dead elephants and other animal life in the wake of that too. Man, I wish that book could have stayed MAX.

  • April 9, 2008, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Secret Invasion is a ripoff of BSG

    by mrfan

    Instead of who is a Cylon it is who is a Skrull. Once again Marvel steals an idea.

  • April 9, 2008, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Skrulls or not Skrulls in the ship…

    by The Heathen

    I think there is at least one or two "real" characters in there (bets on Beast, Luke Cage, Hawkeye being real, just guessing). I liked just seeing that Wolverine costume and Phoenix in gneral, BUT IF they are the "real" characters (which wouldn't be unlike Bendis) then I'd have major issues with it, specifically with that iteration of Wolverine and Jean Grey. And as for Yu, I think his stuff looks great in the book. Looks like he had more time with it and the inks from Morales really help. Obviously Laura Martin kicks ass.

  • April 9, 2008, 4:56 p.m. CST

    See what you mean, Shenjanno.

    by The Heathen

    Well said.

  • April 9, 2008, 4:57 p.m. CST

    HOSTEL 2 was better than HOSTEL.

    by SleazyG.


  • April 9, 2008, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Secret Bitching

    by Jinxo

    I have to say, Stones Throw did get me thinking about Secret Invasion i ways I hadn't. Okay, the point is to do a "smart" Skrull story, where they really take full advantage of what they can do. But while it is cool to take a new more mature approach to the story, I think the event would have benefitted from more old school execution. Based on the first issue this doesn't come off as a self contained event. You do come into the story in progress with lots of plot elements popping in in ways that don't pay off. Okay, not EVERYTHING has to pay off in one issue but, come on. There is so much in the book just hanging out not making immediate sense that by the time you get to the surprise ending it sort of feels more like just one more thing that will make sense later.<br><br> Again, why can't you do a smart plot but put a little of the old school comic melodrama back in there? Give me a sneering villain semi-explaining things, setting things up, something other than utter "What's going on?" madness.<br><br> And, surprisingly, I think this "We-ve been planning and dropping hints for years" thing is maybe pissing me off more than an after the fact retcon move. Reading the stuff where they chuckle and go, "Oh, hahaha, you will definitely want to go back and reread years worth of comics looking for the clues!" Yeah, guess what? I don't want to do that. I don't want to be digging through a billion comics trying to ferret out hints so cleverly dropped I couldn't see them. And they name check all these huge events going, "Oh yes, the Skrulls had a hand in those things." Really? The Skrulls had a hand in House Of M? Because here's the thing. If they had a hand in it that made no real impact then I don't care. ANd if it turns out they did have a big hand in it, one that once reveals makes House Of M worthwhile and not a waste of time, then that will piss me off. The idea that they were so busy laying in secret unrevealed drama, making sure that THAT worked while leaving the actual story/event of the moment feeling flat... that would be annoying as hell. Now with the Skrull info revealed House Of M pops better! Yeah, I kinda wanted it to pop then.<br><br> I'm reading. I think it will be okay. But I do wish it was more old school, more self contained and self-explanatory than it looks to be.

  • April 9, 2008, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Still haven't seen, Hostel 2…

    by The Heathen

    but I doubt it is better than May or any of the others I listed. <br> <br> Not sure about the time line of the events, but I think Bendis may have actually been planning this legitimately since New Avengers, which was about four years ago. <br> <br> Yu, I like sometimes, mostly when I've read/seen a string of work that is more real looking ala Gary Frank or JH Williams III. I think Yu's work is a nice break in style, but when he's rushed it is super sloppy and his chins and faces in general bug me. <br> <br> I'd only guess that Hawkeye is real coming out of the ship because of Bendis fucking with the character so much and him getting a kick out of it, but I hope it's a Skrull too. Same goes for Luke Cage and Jessica Jones.

  • April 9, 2008, 5:10 p.m. CST

    I Like HOSTEL Better Than HOSTEL 2

    by LaserPants

    But I LOVE that HOSTEL 2 shows us the whole terrible business from the point of view of the people who pay to torture. That was really interesting and very creepy, because I am convinced that places like that exist. Its an eerily plausible premise. <br><br> That being said, TheHeathen, I think that HOSTEL easily beats MAY (which I thought was rather silly), BLAIR WITCH (not scary, but a good experiment), and REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (amazing soundtrack, so-so movie). But thats just my opinion. I liked those movies too, but not as much as HOSTEL.<br><br> Someone mentioned before that SILENCE OF THE LAMBS was the best American horror film of the last 20 years. I'm inclined to agree with that, actually.

  • April 9, 2008, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Silence of the Lambs

    by The Heathen

    Yeah, that may be true. <br> <br> I like Hostel, but think that the movies I mentioned are better overall, maybe not The Mist, but the others I think so. I really love May though. Oh well, just wanted to follow up. Thought it was a good discussion topic. : )

  • April 9, 2008, 5:27 p.m. CST

    Just beyond the last 20 years but...

    by Jinxo

    ...just rewatched The Fly remake and that still holds up pretty welll as a gut churning and unsettling film.

  • April 9, 2008, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Hey, only 150 more posts...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    and we'll be the number one talkback for several whole hours! Woot!

  • April 9, 2008, 7:36 p.m. CST


    by ian216a


  • April 9, 2008, 7:36 p.m. CST


    by ian216a


  • April 9, 2008, 7:37 p.m. CST


    by ian216a


  • April 9, 2008, 7:37 p.m. CST


    by ian216a

    I know - I know. Cheap gag.

  • April 9, 2008, 8:22 p.m. CST

    Burma Shave

    by rock-me Amodeo

    Now THAT'S a cheap gag...

  • April 9, 2008, 8:27 p.m. CST

    Oh Yeah, Cronenberg's THE FLY Is Horrifying and Insane

    by LaserPants

    One of the creepiest, most disturbing, and stomach-churning films I've ever seen. Good call Jinxo. But that was 1986, right? Just outta the 20 year range. <br><br> Anyways, I bet Brundlefly is a Skrull! Hotcha!

  • April 9, 2008, 9:23 p.m. CST


    by blackthought

    i miss jeff goldblum.

  • April 9, 2008, 10:46 p.m. CST

    The Fly

    by Jinxo

    The thing that also surprised me was that the film had a couple moments that actually made me laugh hard. Like, he's crawling around on the ceiling osrt of embracing the situation. Geena Davis is watching horrified. Then he pulls up his shirt to show her some horrible growth and very playfully goes, "Hey look. WHat's this? I dunno." Like he's showing her bad deformed disease tissue but he's acting like it's a cute nick nack. So wrong.

  • April 10, 2008, 12:53 a.m. CST

    Oooo, scary movies...

    by Ambush Bug

    Some of my favorite ones:<br><br> Black Christmas (original)<br> When a Stranger Calls (original, both for the same reason)<br> Session 9 (spooky as hell ghost in an asylum movie)<br> Rosemary's Baby (paranoia at it's best)<br> Jacob's Ladder (the worst trip to hell I've ever seen)<br> 28 Days Later (best zombie movie in years)<br> Takashi Miike's Audition (slow build but big, big payoff in the end)<br> Se7en (cause, c'mon, it's damn good)<br> John Carpenter's The Thing<br> Jaws (both for obvious reasons)<br> and the scene with the crazy old bum in David Lynch's Mullholland Drive makes me jump every time.

  • April 10, 2008, 12:55 a.m. CST

    Best FLY memory

    by Ambush Bug

    It was my thirteenth birthday and I convinced my mom to take my brother, my best friend, and myself to see ALIENS, THE FLY, and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE PART TWO all at the same theater. Best birthday ever and the best mom in the world for letting me have it.

  • April 10, 2008, 2:03 a.m. CST

    I'd just like to add that I didn't hate SECRET INVASION...

    by stones_throw

    I'm pretty neutral on it. My review was more about the hype and promotion, and I did add that if you'd been following the whole build-up you'd probably like it. I didn't think it was terrible by any means. But I didn't feel any of the supposedly big events (like the explosion of the space station, the Baxter Building) because of the jokey tone and the lack of grounding. And no, development that happens outside of SECRET INVASION #1 doesn't count as development when considering an all-new #1 on its own merits.

  • April 10, 2008, 5:56 a.m. CST

    Can someone just shoot Quesada, Bendis, and Millar?

    by IndustryKiller!

    I cannot remember in my entire lifetime of reading comic books a trifecta that had such a horrible effect on an established universe for the sake of what seems like nothing more than pure uncut narcissism. At least when Todd Mcfarlane and Rob Leifield decided to suck they started their own comic book company to do it in. These clowns at Marvel will be remembered as the terrorists of the comic book world years from now. Taked about in the annals typically reserved for Spider Mans clone saga. I mean how many HORRIBLE major crossovers do these fucking dickheads have to write before the fans drag them out into the streets? However tough we have been on them thus far, it isn't enough. The @$$holes here should dedicate a weekly article to talking about how awful Marvel comics are under this sickening dictatorship of creativity with these blowhard prick writers.

  • April 10, 2008, 6:12 a.m. CST

    Jinxo, Bendis be old school?

    by IndustryKiller!

    hahahaha not in a million years. To even suggest that he might benefit from something like that is the very definition of futility. That would take away the very essence of its Bendisness. Every panel and every page wouldn't reek of his cynical overly written mark. See the whole point is that no character is showcased other than Brian Michael bendis. If you can get through two pages of any comic he has written and it hasn't been drilled into the very nether regions of your skull exactly who the writer is then, god dammit, he has failed in his mission. I make it sound like he's a terrible writer in general, he isn't. But he's one of the worst mainstream comic book writers in the history of the medium. Devastating well established characters in his unholy attempt to leave his ark on everything he touches. I really which he would take his dialogue skills and just man up and write some fucking screenplays because that is very obviously what he wants to do. Guys like him and mark Millar are clearly just wannabe hollywood writers who can't seem to bring themselves to step up to the plate.

  • April 10, 2008, 6:33 a.m. CST

    Are Big Events Really Big Events Anymore?

    by optimous_douche

    As I was catching up on the TB’s , a lot of people have been using the descriptor “Big Event” to refer to Secret Invasion.<p> House of M was dubbed a Big Event, as was Civil War. If you are a follower of the mutant titles the whole Messiah Complex storyline was also dubbed a Big Event.<p> I’m truly starting to become desensitized to Big Events, because every fucking issue I read these days, on both sides of the big houses, is an infinitesimal part of a Big Event.<p> Hey, I enjoy a good cross-over story as much as the next guy. I’ve also never been cheap with my comic buys, so this is not a money issue. But does anyone remember when the cross-over or cross tie-in events used to be special and only happen like once a year?<p> It feels like as of late every “chestnut” title is engrained in a year long story arc that ties-in to some other over arching universe shattering event.<p> I’m probably just being an old fuck, suffering from juvenile Alzheimer’s disease, but I remember when big events took you by surprise, they were contained between one to two titles, and they were over in like three months.<p> I enjoyed the living hell out of Uncanny 496 (for the first time in a long time) because it didn’t harp the shit storm surrounding the mutant titles. It touched on it briefly and then showed three characters I have grown to love over the past thirty years of my life, just being themselves.<p> My point is that these big events are turning into the boy who cried wolf. I hope after Final Crisis and Secret Invasion, the dust finally settles and both houses get back to great self-contained story telling.

  • April 10, 2008, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Big Events - when everything is special...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    ...nothing is.

  • April 10, 2008, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Shen do u read?

    by optimous_douche

    I wasn't bashing your coveted SI #1. I enjoyed the book.<p> Rock-Me got the point. When everything is an event, you can no longer call them events. They are just regular bloated stories.<p> When you no longer steal your comic money from your Mom's purse, perhaps you will be a bit more critical on where your hard earned comic dollars are being spent.<p> And if you think I'm old, most of your coveted newsarama reviewers are in their forties.

  • April 10, 2008, 9:12 a.m. CST

    I didn't love Secret Invasion....BUT!

    by Shigeru

    That review was SO DAMN NITPICKY that I wanted to punch a kitten halfway through it. Damnation, it seemed like you were writing it whilst trying to push out a log that had been in yer body for like a week....and took out all your frusrtation on the book. I mean some of it was just plain wrong (ie nothing happened. <br><br> I'd also like to re-iterate what Heath said: "the reveal that their are Skrulls secretly hiding isn't the main point of the story, it's the ramifications of it, which is usually where Bendis wouldn't go. "

  • April 10, 2008, 9:15 a.m. CST


    by Shigeru

    that is not a word

  • April 10, 2008, 9:20 a.m. CST

    Obviously Shenjanno doesn't know squat about comics.

    by mrfan

    Half of the writers and artists are in the comic industry not for the love of comics anymore. It is simply a fast buck for them. Something for them to do until a "real job" comes their way. They think they will be writing for Hollywood movies, the great American novel, or something else. They have no clue nor respect for the medium for the fans or the characters. Civil War was pathetic. Now, they are stealing ideas from Battlestar Galactica. Who is a Skrull is just a little too close as to who is a Cylon. Pathetic.

  • April 10, 2008, 9:21 a.m. CST

    I agree with both of Industrykillers posts...

    by Psynapse

    Quesada (who is about to be replaced by Brevoort as EIC if the rumors are true), Millar, and Bendis (3 egos the size of manhattan no less) are the bag of dicks if you ask me.

  • April 10, 2008, 9:32 a.m. CST

    Not a communist. A comicist.

    by mrfan

    It would be nice to have people in the industry care about what they are giving the public and the fans. Have some thought about the direction of characters, some that have been around almost fifty years. No, they are just slopping out whatever they can. Getting the money and running with no consideration to the important people: The Fans.

  • April 10, 2008, 9:35 a.m. CST

    The thing is Psynapse...

    by mrfan

    is that none of three have produced anything spectacular.

  • April 10, 2008, 9:48 a.m. CST


    by rock-me Amodeo

    I'm sorry, did I pull your string? No, I didn't.<br><br>Okay, NOW I've pulled your string. Give me your opinion, which neither I nor the internet can live without. Give me your unique view, that is so everyone else's.<br><br>Respond to me, my puppet.

  • April 10, 2008, 9:49 a.m. CST

    If you define sales figures as an example of quality...

    by Psynapse

    I will simply point out that Michael Bolton has sold MILLIONS of records. Paris Hilton and Britney Spears CONTINUE to make headlines. Ergo facto: The masses are ignorant sheep/lemming hybrids (though not without their willing spokespeople as the existence of Shenjanno attests to).

  • April 10, 2008, 9:55 a.m. CST

    mrfan is wrong about one thing:

    by Shigeru

    Bendis' early B&W (I have heard) are spectacular. Ultimate Spider-Man is really fucking good, with spectacular moments. <br><br>Millar: The Ultimates (in my and a lot of people's opinions) was absolutely spectacular. As was The Authority with Frank Quitely. <br><br> Quesadilla hasn't done shit.

  • April 10, 2008, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Show me numbers.

    by mrfan

    I would love to know exactly how well your "favorite" issues are selling right now. By all means back up your claims that comics are headed in the right direction. Also, I would be very interested in entertaining me with what great comic legacy any of the three will leave. What great storylines will be forever remembered? Please let the praise begin.

  • April 10, 2008, 10 a.m. CST

    if the amazing shark-jumping spiderman...

    by RealDoubleJ

    ...has taught us anything it's that not all marvel zombies will agree with the company line. Shenjanno, you've got too much free time. Go out & do something. Failing that, read the fucking comics you like & stop bitching about someone else's opinion

  • April 10, 2008, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Look at my post

    by Shigeru

    I have nothing to do with shenjammo but Millar and Bendis WILL be remembered, if not for Civil War and Secret Invasion

  • April 10, 2008, 10:04 a.m. CST


    by mrfan

    I will admit that everyone, including me, has different tastes in comics. To each their own. I can respect that.

  • April 10, 2008, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Man, we're never gonna catch Turdblossom at this rate.

    by Squashua


  • April 10, 2008, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Shenjanno, a warning...

    by Ambush Bug

    We don't really stand for trolls here at AICN Comics. If you want to play, play nice. Be respectful. Don't instigate a fight and certainly don't announce that you want to spend the eight hours making perosonal attacks. A post simply reading "Fuck You." is not acceptable around here. I let it slide yesterday because you do seem like a person who wants to talk about comics and occasionally you have some interesting things to say. But I'm going to be nice and give you this warning that you've crossed the line a few too many times. I hate to ban (only done it to one person who used to log in under different names and attack the reviewers instead of focusing on the reviews), but your teetering my friend. Play nice or you're gone.

  • April 10, 2008, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Someone's going to look at this a few days from now...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    ...and think, why were they trying to catch a turdblossom?

  • April 10, 2008, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Agree with Shigeru and Shenjanno

    by Ian The Mick

    That SI review wasn't really a review, right? Why bother posting a review if you haven't read anything leading to this event. Some of the comments posted were better then the review itself.

  • April 10, 2008, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Well by that argument....

    by Psynapse

    If I'm an idiot then YOU are most certainly a scumbag fuckwit oh charming waste of gas. Black Market Arms dealing and Human Slavery are also businesses (and thriving ones JUST like Marvel!). Doesn't make them a good thing by a long shot. But hey, it's cool I get it. Trolling and Flaming on AICN is the only way you're gonna get any attention outside of the backdoor action Daddy likes to give you along with Mommy's 'special touches'.

  • April 10, 2008, 10:23 a.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    just needs to be kept off the mainstream books. ultimates is a masterpiece. civil war as a long time reader of marvel just didn't ring true to me. cap calling iron man a rich punk or whatever... what was that? i thought enemy of the state was pretty rad - but maybe that was because JRJR was drawing the hell out of it.

  • April 10, 2008, 10:47 a.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    well that does makes that line a lot funnier - and i agree it was a cool thing to say (although not as awesome as the "do you think the "a" stand for france” line) – but i just don't see how it was in character for marvel u cap – it threw me right out of the book - so i would honesty be interested in how you think it was.

  • April 10, 2008, 10:51 a.m. CST

    My perspective is just fine thank you very much...

    by Psynapse

    You declared me a moron based on the fact that there is larger quantity of (by your own statement) indidviduals who support terrible things (and you are aghast at it, again by your own post) but this okay, because the entity being supported is a business (3rd time I'll say it: your own words) as if that somehow legitimizes the situation. I then point out some example of businesses whose product I find abhorrent as a reflective commentary on your statement of legitimization. Dude you're just arguing for the sake of having anrgument here and it's blatantly obvious. We obviously disagree on a lot and I'm totally willing to debate these things ('Cuz hey, you DO manage to make some intersting points at times) but try to actually debate okay?

  • April 10, 2008, 11:09 a.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    I just never really saw him as a guy with class issues. i would think that he would respect that tony got rich buy creating a wildly successful company on the strength of his inventions and business acumen. I’m not saying that he might not have some lingering issues with tony, but calling him “rich” and “pampered” just seemed a bit un-cap like – more like something that hawkeye would say.

  • April 10, 2008, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Not really Shen....

    by Psynapse

    The mishandling (hey you did say it) is happening under the regime of a morally bankrupt hypocrite ('Cuz hey, smoking is BAD, but reality-altering deals with a being of evil incarnate is A-Okay!). Granted, Quesada IS a relatively lightweight evil but an evil nonetheless. I agree, the 'businesses' I cited ARE far, far worse than Marvel Comics but your argument was about legitimization based on an entity being a business and that's what I argued against. Also, your comment about 'making money is THE American way' doesn't in any fashion make that a good thing necessarily. Because along with all of that money being made is a shitload of toxic and environmentally harmful waste product as well. Jingoistic embracement of capitalism as an ideal is not only reckless but downright retarded if you consider even for a moment the impact on other species and future generations of our own.

  • April 10, 2008, 11:25 a.m. CST

    "talkback handle to tonystark."

    by steverodgers

    oh, i think i'm done after that. that was hilarious.

  • April 10, 2008, 11:34 a.m. CST

    See that's just it....

    by Psynapse

    The greatest of evils are often perpetrated by individuals who are convinced they are doing the right thing. Sound a lot like Quesada to me. And OF COURSE I'm a crazy person but hey Pot? It's Kettle here.

  • April 10, 2008, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Oh and just because our opinions don't agree..

    by Psynapse

    Doesn't make yours 'right' as opposed to my mine. Tolerance is about tolerating that which you disagree with not what you can get along with.

  • April 10, 2008, 11:54 a.m. CST

    this TB

    by Shigeru

    just shat the bed

  • April 10, 2008, noon CST

    Amen Shig

    by Psynapse

    See ya. (Since my opinions though radical also make me insane and delusional what's the point of debating topics with people who are never anything but correct in their own assumptions).

  • April 10, 2008, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Psynapse - It's Not The Being Correct...

    by optimous_douche

    that bothers me.<p> Hell, you should think your opinion is the right one, otherwise why have it.<p> What's bothersome is the inability to listen (in this case read) to a conflicting point without retaliating with base name calling as the lead in.<p> Hey, I get it. This is a message board, where flaming was conceived. I've done it in the past when my ire gets raised and perhaps I am a Nancy Boy, but I believe in civility.<p> That's just how I roll.<p> Woudl hate to lose you Psynapse, you have some good things to say.

  • April 10, 2008, 12:44 p.m. CST

    We're all good Shen

    by optimous_douche

    I think you're a great contributor man and I do agree with you most of the time.<p> Debate, I'm cool with, and I will be the first to admit my flaws or when I'm wrong.<p> Different strokes for different folks makes the world go around.<p> My issue is when people derail the topic to just throw out a personal barb or a jab during these verbal parles.<p> Seems unecessary and it veers the topic way the hell off point.<p> That's my only issue.<p> But, like I said earlier...I could be wrong.

  • April 10, 2008, 12:46 p.m. CST

    You take it personal Shenjanno

    by mrfan

    So personal that you have to resort to cussing. So personal that one of the moderators has to scold you.<p>You are right about one thing though. It is a message board. No one is going to agree on everything.

  • April 10, 2008, 12:47 p.m. CST

    Enough With the Etiquette Lessons - Comics

    by optimous_douche

    Final Crisis... Flaming turd or the salvation of comics??? GO!

  • April 10, 2008, 1:02 p.m. CST

    You are right about DC.

    by mrfan

    The same thing can be said about Marvel. People behind the scenes of both companies think that it is an easy fix. Whenever sales slip a little they decide to reboot,restart, or eliminate the character(s). Easy way out.

  • April 10, 2008, 1:04 p.m. CST

    First Crisis Good

    by optimous_douche

    I think the first Crisis was necessary. You had a stable of heroes, some of which aged and some didn't. They needed a fix.<p> I think the problem now is the back to back to ones.<p> OK, you had Infinite Crisis, which sort of reset things. Then we had 52, which brought back the multi-verse. OK I like "What If" stories, so this is as good a way as any to address alternate universes.<p> I just don't know what they are trying to acheive with Final Crisis.<p> I tend to avoid all spoiler sites and pubs, so those of you that read Previews, enlighten me please if you have the answer.

  • April 10, 2008, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Wait I'm not THAT crazy...

    by Psynapse

    But I think some people are lacking in reading comprehension skills. To wit:<p>Equate. Verb-1. to regard, treat, or represent as equivalent: We cannot equate the possession of wealth with goodness. 2. to state the equality of or between; put in the form of an equation: to equate growing prosperity with the physical health of a nation. 3. to reduce to an average; make such correction or allowance in as will reduce to a common standard of comparison.<p>Compare. Verb-1. to examine (two or more objects, ideas, people, etc.) in order to note similarities and differences: to compare two pieces of cloth; to compare the governments of two nations. 2. to consider or describe as similar; liken: Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? 3. Grammar. to form or display the degrees of comparison of (an adjective or adverb).<P>I was making comparisons NOT equating. I know the difference but my detractors apparently do not.

  • April 10, 2008, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Yo Jeff...

    by Psynapse

    let me clarify my Quesada stance then: I DO think he IS an evil influence on the comics industry but then I also think the same of Dan Didio. The editorial direction of BOTH companies reeks of a singular egotism rather than what is good for BOTH the company AND the industry as a whole. And hey, I'm ALL FOR both companies being prosperous businesses. I'm a lifelong comics reader (started at 4 still going at 40). BUT..I witnessed firsthand what can happen when the big 2 pander to the commercial dollar without restraint. It was known as the speculator boom of the 90's (umpteen foil covers anyone?) and it really did damn near implode the industry (Not to mention wrecked several properties, I don't think the X-men will ever quite recover).

  • April 10, 2008, 1:28 p.m. CST

    I can explain Final Crisis: It's NOT what you may think it is

    by Psynapse

    FC is Grant Morrison's personal stamp on the DCU as a whole. In case you aren't aware, Didio recently had to make a flight over to Scotland to talk with Morrison because FC does NOT grow out of Countdown no matter what you may have heard. It is actually a continuation of the 7 Soldiers/ Mr. Miracle series (Evil won remember?) and several other of Morrison's DCU stories. It Grant Morrison doing Ragnarok of the current DCU. DC Universe #0 was created to create 'some' kind of bridge between Countdown and FC because Morrison could give two shits about Didio's editorially mandated hack fest.

  • April 10, 2008, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Hey Jeff?

    by Psynapse

    Nice to see that civility is a skill obviously beyond you. way to be sir, way to be.

  • April 10, 2008, 1:42 p.m. CST

    And hey....

    by Psynapse

    Since this entire TB has devolved into little more than personal attacks rather than actual debate (Hey I tried to bring it back to that, I really did) I've really lost interest. See ya, kids.

  • April 10, 2008, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Someone in this talkback stinks.

    by Al Swearengen

    And they reek of fuckin' catpiss.

  • April 10, 2008, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Just because you get your product promoted somewhere...

    by mrfan

    doesn't mean squat if the product is not good. I know what you are saying Shen. I agree on the statement about promoting. Any type of promotion is good for said product. Comics have been promoted on so much over the years. Promoting is not a problem. Comics will always be promoted in different avenues.

  • April 10, 2008, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Jeff First Crisis Unnecessary?

    by optimous_douche

    Why?<p> I'm just intrigued to hear your take.

  • April 10, 2008, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Didn't mind the first crisis.

    by mrfan

    The only thing I didn't like was killing The Flash.

  • April 10, 2008, 1:57 p.m. CST

    The Fantastic Four are superheroes

    by mrfan

    and explorers. Check out Wikipedia for a great description.

  • April 10, 2008, 2:03 p.m. CST

    Okay Shen,

    by mrfan

    Tell me why others, such as Spider-Man, Daredevil, the X-Men, have to be superheroes? Or are they? It's not their job but yet there they are dressed in costume instead of just leading ordinary lives<p>Not trying to start anything. I would just appreciate a reply to my questions. Thanks.

  • April 10, 2008, 2:10 p.m. CST

    First Crisis - Damn Good Answer Jeff

    by optimous_douche

    As a rabid fan of Elseworlds titles, you swayed me on the fact that the first Crisis was a mistake for demolishing the other world stories.<p> Perhaps my love of it is mere nostalgia. I was coming of age when the first crisis came out, and that post-crisis time period marked my jump from Richie Rich and Archie to the superhero universes.<p> Perhaps I love what the first Crisis wrought, over the actual event it self.<p> Without that Crisis I would not have had some of the stories I still cherish: Giffen’s Justice league, Batman Year One, Batman Year Two, Emerald Dawn, The Worlds of Krypton, Smallville, Metropolis, Wally West as the Flash etc…<p> As a new fan it gave me a great jumping off point.<p> I guess I just answered my own question on why they are doing another one. Silly reviewer, comics are for kids.

  • April 10, 2008, 2:16 p.m. CST


    by mrfan

    First, thanks for the reply. Second, I agree about the secret identity issue (especially with the Thing. Kind of hard to hide him).I do think they fight the everyday battle against evil just as important as those we have named. They have responded to emergencys before. Some simple. Some of cosmic issue. Overall, I see it one way and you see it another. We will leave it at that.

  • April 10, 2008, 2:33 p.m. CST

    New @$$ Kickery Bracket

    by optimous_douche

    Shen vs. Jeff.<p> 300 words, now GO!

  • April 10, 2008, 2:40 p.m. CST


    by optimous_douche

    It's a fanfic contest we've been running, sort of like March Madness.<p> Heroes are paired off, stripped of powers and we've been asking people to write up 300 words on who would come out alive.<p> Really lame ass joke on my part out of context.

  • April 10, 2008, 2:48 p.m. CST

    300 words?

    by Al Swearengen

    Between those two hoopleheads? I can sum them up in two words:<P>trolling cocksuckers.

  • April 10, 2008, 2:56 p.m. CST

    For a Movie Site, This is the best column

    by EmptyWalletProductions

    consistently. Keep up the awesome job. Been a big fan of AICN for years but lately they've been slacking while you guys consistently kick ass. Thanks.

  • April 10, 2008, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Jeff fuckin' Albertson

    by Al Swearengen

    Speaking of talkin' shit, I'd say that's just about all your good for. Don't get me wrong, I admire the way you try to fuckin' disguise it under the ruse of comic book fuckin' discussion. But it's clear that you're only here to cause a ruckuss and knock some heads.

  • April 10, 2008, 3:16 p.m. CST

    I don't have much infested in this.

    by SleazyG.

    But then again, I can spell "invested" and know that comic books shouldn't suck, so I'm way ahead of the game at this point.

  • April 10, 2008, 3:44 p.m. CST

    If my grammar ain't up to snuff

    by Al Swearengen

    it's because I majored in whores, whiskey, and cuttin' throats. But I sincerely hope that your effort to point out my failure to use a fuckin' contraction is not the best you've got.<P>And the only cogent argument I've seen you provide is the one where you claim to be better than everybody else. Only blowhards and bullies do that. My highlightin' of this particular fact is my fuckin' contribution to the discussion.

  • April 10, 2008, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Should Comics Suck?

    by optimous_douche

    Was that ever really a debate...for anything????<p>

  • April 10, 2008, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Shen Well Played

    by optimous_douche

    With the exception of cockbite at the end, that was a damn good argument.<p> I couldn't agree more.<p> I hate Ret-Cons, so I wished they would have had the hutzpah to kill off the women in Peter's life.<p> More realistic and it would have given him a whole new bag of troubles to contend with.<p> I stopped with regular Spidey, during the JMS run. No fault of JMS', I was just tired of the sameness of the book. Plus I hated the cheap movie tie-in of the black suit.<p> Ultimate Spidey. I have enjoyed every damn issue since #1.

  • April 10, 2008, 4:57 p.m. CST


    by The Heathen

    This devolved fast. Shame.

  • See, that's my point. Secret Invasion is the end of a massive story that has been playing out for four years. ANd that would normally be cool for me except for one problem: it's a massive 4 year story that we haven't been allowed to see any part of beyond hidden "hints" and "clues". You want to tell me a massive 4 year epic saga of a story then do that. If it's hidden away where I can't see it then it isn't a story. And then after not getting to read that story for four years you want to jump into the end without explaining in any way, shape or form what has went before? Come on.<br><br> And if it was just a crazy Skrull invasion I'd be more invested but having them be, I dunno, brainwashed cultish Skrulls? That's one clever bit too many for me. Them being all culty makes me less interested. Just doesn't excite me.

  • April 10, 2008, 6:23 p.m. CST

    Brainless back and forthings aside...

    by Ambush Bug

    We are number one in the top talkbacks. *Bug shrugs his shoulders, sighs, and shakes his head.*

  • April 10, 2008, 7:26 p.m. CST


    by SleazyG.

    Dammit, you people are all so busy bickering, you missed Village Idiot popping in, fer cryin' out loud! I mean, one of the O.G. @-Holes, and a Superman expert extraordinaire, and he makes only the rarest of appearances...and instead of being an event, it gets swallowed up with doofusness. Sorry, Greg...

  • April 10, 2008, 7:45 p.m. CST

    Secret invasion is a revert

    by Dazzler69

    This is beginning to feel like another revert like "one more day". They do have an out for Spider-man being a Skrull and losing the deal with the devil crap. What is Black Panther too happy? Let's lose his hot wife Storm since she was a Skrull after all. I enjoy comics for "pro"gression not "re"gression.

  • April 10, 2008, 8:02 p.m. CST

    RE: Village Idiot

    by Jinxo

    Look, Village Idiot was well spoken, intelligent, articulate and polite. We simply will not stand for such behavior here. The easiest way to stamp out such shocking behavior is to ignore it. Now, when he's willing to come back and call someone a douche drinking bag of crap and fly off the handle like a spastic monkey, well then, that will be different.

  • April 10, 2008, 10:04 p.m. CST

    I would like to see Conan beat Wolvie.

    by Underoos Hero

    Hell yes I would. I'd like to see him get punched right in his moms mouth.

  • April 10, 2008, 10:06 p.m. CST


    by Underoos Hero

    Would you please post another story so that we can have a new talkback? And would you please remove the spoiler box because I keep refreshing to see when and if anything will be posted so that I may try and be first. How bout that for a run on sentence?

  • April 10, 2008, 10:07 p.m. CST

    Is there an echo in here. I don't see anyone.

    by Underoos Hero


  • April 10, 2008, 11:33 p.m. CST

    Secret invasion

    by zombieslayer

    Was a good time, I think Stones just wants to hate bendis. lol

  • April 11, 2008, 12:36 a.m. CST


    by Ian The Mick

    May be Stones was pissed on how Bendis ended his run on Daredevil. Thank god for Bru and saved that book with the mess it was left in. I have to say that SI #1 was a good start and didn't feel like a Bendis book to me. I hope this event doesn't crash and burn like House of M.

  • April 11, 2008, 6:48 a.m. CST

    I lIked House of M

    by optimous_douche

    Last time I truly enjoyed the mutant titles.<p> Just not pleased with the aftermath.

  • April 11, 2008, 9:03 a.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    i think the comic was reviewed last week or so... well i just saw the show for the first time. show rocks. how did i miss this? was it on the wb? can't wait to see the movie and read the comic.

  • April 11, 2008, 9:32 a.m. CST

    "I liked the aftermath of House of M"

    by Ian The Mick

    The aftermath left a bad taste in my mouth. I don't like how Wolverine is now some how connected to other character's past or governments in the Marvel U. But Millar's Enemy of the State was a good read and I am digging Jason Aaron's Get Mystique. Interested to see what Millar does in Old Man Logan.

  • April 11, 2008, 10 a.m. CST

    oh well

    by steverodgers

    looks like that movie didn't do so well at the box-office... i feel bad. if i'd known the show was so good i would have thrown my 10 dollars at it... Old man logan on the other hand already has my money. is it supposed to be in-continuity?

  • April 11, 2008, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Sorry to interrupt, but…

    by The Heathen

    "I would also say that Steve McNiven, Juan Jimenez, and Chris Bachalo can all draw circles around Bagley. But, that should just be obvious to anyone with eyes." <br> <br> First off, who is Juan Jimenez? If you mean Phil Jimenez, then yes, he's awesome. <br> <br> Secondly, Chris Bachalo?!?!?! The guy who designed the "Iron Spider-Man" costume? I have eyes, and I gotta tell you that having Jimenez and McNiven in the same sentence as him is hilarious. So, thanks for that. <br> <br> Seriously though, I loathe Bachalo nearly as much as Liefeld. I liked him when he was working on stuff like the early issues of Generation X, but his stuff now is horrendous. Maybe it looks or fits better in the Spider-Man books? <br> <br> Btw, Dan Slott is THE perfect writer for Spider-Man.

  • April 11, 2008, 12:47 p.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    “He's a poor, scrawny kid who had such a great desire to be involved in the war effort that he volunteered himself to the super-soldier program. He's tough as nails and fought nazis in WWII. He's the "by the people, for the people" guy in the equation. He's the guy who goes AGAINST the corrupt government when he has to. Compared to him, Stark IS a pampered punk--and he's callin' it like he sees it.” Jeff - this is what I think. one you were totally right he said “pampered” and not rich. I remembered that line wrong. I also think the way you see captain A (posted here so you remember what you wrote) could be exactly the way millar sees him , and so it would be pretty logical that cap would call someone a “punk”. I think for me though it’s just doesn’t jive with the way his character has spoken in comics in the past. so yes cap is a tough as nails dude and a for the people by the people kind of guy, but he generally doesn’t call people “punks” much less old friends (lingering issues with iron wars aside). Does that make sense? it just doesn’t reflect in my mind the way he has spoken in past comics. now I haven’t read every captain america comic ever – and the seminal cap in my mind is a nostalgia tinged version from the mark gruenwald run. but still I just don’t see him using the word “punk”. also for the record I wasn’t trying to put the” onus” (great word) on anyone or enter into any great debate – I was just wondering what you thought. not every day I get to discuss captain america.

  • April 11, 2008, 1:19 p.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    nazis jeff - only nazis don't like talking about captain america. unless it’s the red skull - that guy is pretty much obsessed.

  • April 11, 2008, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Optimous re: HoM and Action/Legion

    by The Heathen

    You really liked HoM? Can I ask what you liked about it? I know I think one person, the evasive Cog known as El Vale who likes it, but I don't know of too many others. I really had problems with that series and it's ramifications although I think it did spawn an interesting place for the mutants to be in and it resulted in Messiah CompleX which was pretty good despite Ramos and Bachalo's art mixed with Scot Eaton's and Billy Tans. Oil and water those two styles were. Also, it did give Peter David the chance to run with Layla Miller who I think is awesome and may have some big parts in the Marvel U in the years to come. So far, I think SI is a much more thought out book or event (hey, that's what they're called) than HoM or Civil War. <br> <br> I'm with you on the Legion. I've never really known much of anything about them, but I dig Geoff Johns and love Franks art and they pulled it off with getting me interested in any sort of Legion of Superheroes. i don't know if I'd buy the book unless it was written by Johns, but you never know. I will be picking up Final Crisis: The Legion of 3 Worlds or whatever it's called with Johns and Perez. That sounds cool. I wonder if it will somehow steal some thunder from Final Crisis?

  • April 11, 2008, 2:23 p.m. CST


    by The Heathen

    Btw, thanks for that review or summary of the collections barking frog. I've wanted to get the trades for this series more than once but had no idea where to start. If one is able to find the Omnibus, is that the best way to go? I was still a little confused after it all, but also still very curious about the series as a whole.

  • April 11, 2008, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Ambush Bug

    by kungfuhustler84

    The late reviews used to bother me too, but after that explanation it makes a bit more sense. Still, I don't, but I know some who actually base their comic buying on the opinions of others such as your own. Do you really wanna make them wait until an entire week after the issues have shipped? By that time, a whole new set of comics would be in.

  • April 11, 2008, 3:11 p.m. CST


    by Jinxo

    Of course they will explain things. Not the point. You were the one who put out there that Secret Invasion was not the start of a story but the end of a story that has been going on for years, as if that makes everything cool. So they hit the ground running in issue #1 , say, 3/4's of the way through a story we know nothing about with all sorts of stuff going on with no real context for the reader to latch onto. I don't care for that. I don't. The defense being, hey, it's a long in progress story doesn't wash because it's a long "in progress" story we the readers haven't been privy to. The conceit I realize is that the writers are going, "Okay, just wait, go with the crazy confusion for a little bit. Trust us. We'll explain things further in and it will make putting up with all the initial confusion well worthwhile." Generally speaking I would give them the benefit of the doubt. But in this case I can't. Why? Because this is the billionth time Marvel has taken this approach. And 99% of the time when Marvel has told me, "Just be patient, wait and see what we are going to do," I've ended up annoyed or disappointed. Spider-Man and the reveal on Gwen's kids, Spider-Man and the unmasking going somewhere, Spider-Man and.... lets just say everything Spider-Man up to and including the BND. Then lets talk House of M. How about Civil War. I'll give them a pass on WWH simply because at least that was straight forward and DID something. It wasn't perfect but they set up their premise and ran with it in a pretty straight forward way. There's more examples though. The point is Marvel's ticked me off that I don't have a lot of faith that if I wait and see I'll end up satisfied in the end. Of course if I don't want to just sit and wait I can drag out years of past issues looking in vain for clues to the Skrull invasion???<br><br> And going further back, when I say I want a talking villain, I'm not meaning I need a crappy version of that plot device. I'm just saying provide some inkling of exposition to help set the stage. I keep seeing the media say Secret Invasion is a borrow from the new Battlestar Galactica's the-Cylons-are-us plot. I think that's a semi-fair comparison: alien infiltraitors from a sort of cultish group. The thing is, Battlestar did what I was asking for at the start. Do we know exactly what the Cylons are up to? No. But they at least set down some parameters. At the start we find out how many "human" Cylons there are, we know they "have a plan". We even know that they aren't 100% out to destroy humanity, that they are after something different. Making the Cylons monotheistic even makes their cult relatable to the viewers. Things don't get much more convoluted than that. By comparison, Secret Invasion starts with a Skrull cult thing going on I have no idea about that doesn't intrigue me at all. Heroes are popping up from the past apparently as part of the Skrull plan and their showing up alone is supposed to be EXCITING. Only so no explanation is given that it just adds to the noise of the story rther than exciting me. Then there are other plot threads only half introduced where nothing happens. Something will happen in later issues but nothing for now. Yeah, that's not grabbing me. Usually a writer would juggle multiple plots keeping the fire and excitement up for each of them. Right now I'm seeing many plots being thrown in the air but that's about it. Not excited, hesitant to get excited of what might happen.<br><br> And for as much as I'm bitching, I'm not out of this one. I'm in. I'm reading it. I'm just annoyed with having been let down so many times in the past. And the idea that when I was being let down and bored with the past events supposedly a more interesting Skrull story was going on behind the scenes just bugs me. "Yes, House Of M was mediocre but the story you didn't get to see that was happening at the same time? Wow, that one was awesome!" Really? Shame you made me read the mediocre one instead.

  • April 11, 2008, 3:24 p.m. CST

    @$$hole Reviews - My Opinion

    by The Heathen

    I honestly like having the reviews a week late because it gives the readers time to reflect on the books and form their own opinions ahead of time. I remember reading some stuff and thinking, "Oh man, Bug is going to hate that." and stuff like that and sometimes he would and sometimes he wouldn't and then polite discussion would ensue as to why? Also, having an 'early' review is a deterrent for me. I don't know about you, but I know what books I'm going to buy ahead of time with stuff like Secret Invasion. I don't need a review of it to convince me or to flock to it, especially with how inconsistent Bendis can be. I can make my own decision to take a chance on a book and drop it to. That said, I love the way the @$$holes specifically don't hold back and let you know when they really love or hate something. I wouldn't have heard about a lot of stuff if it wasn't for this column and I like knowing that. Also, when reviews are early, what can the reader say in the forum??? Typically it's something like this: <br> <br> "Can't wait for this! This person rocks!" <br> <br> or <br> <br> "Meh, I'll pass." <br> <br> How enlightening…

  • April 11, 2008, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Shenjanno is right...

    by Luke_Cage

    ...and you @ssholes dind't bring up ONE single argument that could deflect his points. He single handedly depowered your feeble attempts at justifying your views. I'm not with the "lick my dick" stuff, but all in all Shenjanno mos def brought up the better arguments and all of you acted like petulant children. Word

  • April 11, 2008, 4:35 p.m. CST

    I didn't even bother with World War Hulk

    by kungfuhustler84

    But the Hercules book is great.

  • April 11, 2008, 5:10 p.m. CST

    The Story Vs The Last Impact

    by Jinxo

    I'm not saying House Of M or Civil War didn't have an impact on the Marvel Universe. You're right. They left a mark. They changed things up. I actually appreciate the way their aftershocks effected the Marvel U. But while the after effects were impressive the events themselves weren't. I fully enjoy the Avengers: The Initiative title. That doesn't changed that fact that when I finished reading Civil War I was annoyed and disappointed. And I'm not claiming WWH was brilliant.<br><br> I actually don't think we're so far removed. Again, I'm reading, I'm hoping for the best. You said if a couple more issue pass and things are still unexplained you'd be annoyed too? Well I'm just saying with Marvel's track record I have a hard time giving them the benefit of the doubt that what is coming will satisfy. I think OMD just blew any wait-and-see-what-will-happen good will on my part.<br><br> And while some of the @$$hole may take issue with Bendis being too talky, I'm not one of them. And I'm not asking him to blather on and on about backstory. Just give me something more than crazy Skrull Jehovah Witnesses.

  • April 11, 2008, 5:10 p.m. CST

    The Story Vs The Last Impact

    by Jinxo

    I'm not saying House Of M or Civil War didn't have an impact on the Marvel Universe. You're right. They left a mark. They changed things up. I actually appreciate the way their aftershocks effected the Marvel U. But while the after effects were impressive the events themselves weren't. I fully enjoy the Avengers: The Initiative title. That doesn't changed that fact that when I finished reading Civil War I was annoyed and disappointed. And I'm not claiming WWH was brilliant.<br><br> I actually don't think we're so far removed. Again, I'm reading, I'm hoping for the best. You said if a couple more issue pass and things are still unexplained you'd be annoyed too? Well I'm just saying with Marvel's track record I have a hard time giving them the benefit of the doubt that what is coming will satisfy. I think OMD just blew any wait-and-see-what-will-happen good will on my part.<br><br> And while some of the @$$hole may take issue with Bendis being too talky, I'm not one of them. And I'm not asking him to blather on and on about backstory. Just give me something more than crazy Skrull Jehovah Witnesses.

  • April 11, 2008, 5:12 p.m. CST


    by Jinxo

    How did that double post??!? Okay, the first one is the real post. The second one? A goddamn Skrull!!!

  • April 11, 2008, 5:52 p.m. CST

    Re: Jesus Christ Jinxo | Re: Story Vs The Last Impact

    by The Heathen

    I agree with both of these posts. <br> <br> Shenjanno is right in that SI #1 was a different pace for Bendis and I liked it in part for just that reason. I think it would be just as stale as some of his over exposition work where nothing happens until the second to last issue and the last issue recaps what happened or it finishes quickly because it wasn't structurally set up right. I think Buzz at one point had a good discussion about this. With SI, he blew his load in the first issue and "got to the devil shit" instead of dragging us through crap. I really don't see how people didn't like that, especially for Bendis. Hopefully this will give him time to really execute a real finale and not a rushed one. I hope so. It seems as if he's planned it so, but who knows? We still have 7 issues left and if anyone can eff something up with even one issue left in a series, by word, it is Bendis… and Millar. ; ) Hope not though. <br> <br> HoM and CW had lasting impacts and I liked the impacts but hated the stories themselves which, to me, doesn't make them completely worth it, but that's just my stance. WWH could have been the best out of the bunch, but the ending was lame and it won't really have any lasting effects on the universe, but just because something does, doesn't make it good. Btw, that also goes for sales. For those who equate quality for quantity of product moved doesn't mean something is good. If you think so, then enjoy your Godzilla remake and Transformers all you want. So, of course HoM will be remembered more because it got rid of the mutants because Joey da Q… I mean Wanda said so and that changed things and The CW will be remembered because it led to Steve Rogers death and split the heroes into an interesting place politically - but the journey was not a fun one. I can only imagine if Brubaker had written The CW how much better it would have been. <br> <br> Is the Black Bolt a Skrull? When was this revealed? And if so, for how long? Couldn't have been a Skrull when he was in 'Son of M' (one of Marvel's best published things in the past decade) when he whispered, "war" and kicked major ass. If Skrulls can do that then they would just have shown up and started yelling shit. ; )

  • April 12, 2008, 12:55 a.m. CST

    To Review A Comic, You Don't Have To...

    by Buzz Maverik back issues. I mean, most writers now haven't read back issues except the ones they've written themselves.<p>No, if you review a comic as a reader and a fan and not a critic -- because I can't imagine anything more embarrassing than being a comic book critic and I've reviewed a billion six comics on here-- you should just be able to pick up an issue off the shelves like you are a new reader. I know that new comic book readers are rarer than comic book writers who've read back issues by other people, but if you have to know what's been done in other comics, the creative team isn't doing their job. If they've laid seeds in previous work, then they have to be able to incorporate it into the new work. <p>Can you imagine any other medium working this way? "That guy can't review the episode of LOST because he didn't watch every episode of FELICITY for seeds that JJ sowed back then."<p>Or "No wonder you didn't get the joke the 75th Judd Apatow movie to come out this month. He set it up in the bonus feature of THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN, but it really ties into FREAKS & GEEKS, and besides the punch line won't be revealed until next summer's SETH ROGEN CLONE FARM."

  • April 12, 2008, 1:04 a.m. CST

    Buzz Maverik's Suspected Skrull List # 1

    by Buzz Maverik

    The Super Skrull -- all the evidence points to him being a skrull. Bendis is being coy about it, but I predict that the Super Skrull will be the first character outed.<p>First of all, look at the name. It's got Skrull written all over it. Sure, it's possible there are Kryptonian influences, but he is a Marvel character, after all.<p>And how can we overlook the character's appearance. Except for when he looks like body parts from the Fantastic Four, he looks like the Skrulls.<p>Since you apparently have to read back issues to know what's going on, let me site SILVER SURFER VOL 2:<p>SURFER: Your people have lost the power to shape shift.<p>SUPER SKRULL: You dare mock our misfortune? I will--<p>SURFER:You misunderstand, Skrull. You alone have that power. You are your race's hope to regain their place in the cosmic order.<p>Sounds to me like both the Surfer and the Super Skrull are all but saying the Super Skrull is, in fact, a Skrull.

  • April 12, 2008, 1:07 a.m. CST

    Buzz Maverik's Suspected Skrull List # 2

    by Buzz Maverik

    The Skrulls. Going way back to one of the first four issues of the FF (I'm not sure which one, because does it really matter?) the groundwork has been laid and the build up started. The Skrulls are clearly Skrulls. Or are they?

  • April 12, 2008, 1:11 a.m. CST

    Buzz Maverik's Suspected Skrull List # 3

    by Buzz Maverik

    The Incredible Skrullk. This one was iffy, what with the Skrullk being off world so long in PLANET SKRULLK. I base this one on Bruce Jones run on Skrullk's mag. Suddenly, the Skrullk didn't do anything and it was like no one had ever heard of the Skrullk before.

  • April 13, 2008, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Heathen/ House of M

    by optimous_douche

    I’ve always been a sucker for an alternate timeline. Once I got enough knowledge about both DC and Marvel under my belt, I became utterly betrothed to Elseworlds and What If? And until Claremont took over, Exiles was one of my favorite titles.<p> That’s why the book I’m trying to cobble together right now borrows elements from our world but just slightly eschews them. It’s just my thang.<p> I loved the fact that House of M took me on an alternate reality (sorta) joyride. Also as you said it gave us the New X-Factor which is hands down my favorite Marvel book at the moment. Plus it helped clean up a lot of the mess that the mutant titles were sliding down with the mutant “explosion” of the early twenty-first century aught time period. <p> Glad you agree on Legion. I have very specific tastes, so I hope people consider that when they read my reviews. I’m way more of a story guy than anything else. This was a great story. I wish I could tell you how it ties into Final Crisis, but I avoide previews and spoilers like the plague.<P> This is why I wanted to review for AICN. While I wouldn’t mind getting books a week ahead of time, I would never want a review up until the book hit the shelves and the readership had time to digest.<p> Just how I roll.

  • April 13, 2008, 11:08 a.m. CST


    by blackthought

    i must say these waffles are really really really good. i mean...true, the muffin might have been overkill to accompany it but when has sugar ever been bad for you? thom kallor would agree.

  • April 14, 2008, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Legion in Action, Bendis load blowing…

    by The Heathen

    I'll tell you this about the Legion arc on Action Comics, I think Gary Frank may have drawn my favorite looking Superman ever. It was just perfect to me. It was Chris Reeves with Superman mixed so well and it really worked. And how about when Superman told the people to be nice to each other? Something so simple and yet completely defines who Superman is. I loved it. <br> <br> Hopefully Bendis didn't blow his load, but if this was a normal Bendis helmed event, the first SI issue would have been the last or second to last where he usually blows his load after 5 or 6 issues of foreplay. Here's hoping he took a Viagra or something and can keep on pumping. I think I just grossed myself out. <br> <br> Also, someone might have mentioned the 'bright colors' of SI too. Well, they're done by Laura Martin and she's easily one of the top three colorists out there along with Jose Villarubia, Dave Stewart and I'd say Jamie Grant for All Star Superman. <br> <br> Take it easy with those muffins, blackthought!

  • April 15, 2008, 10:26 a.m. CST


    by The Heathen


  • April 15, 2008, 7:32 p.m. CST

    Debate Is For Sissies, Shenjanno

    by Buzz Maverik

    This isn't the Debate Team, son, this is the wrestling team and we do good old Harry J. Knowles Continuation High School proud. I personally was all CIF in the 180 division and I've got a full ride to Oklahoma State.<p>That's why I'm jealous of Bendis. He's headed to Iowa State next year in the 145 class, one of the toughest.

  • April 15, 2008, 7:34 p.m. CST

    Buzz Maverik's Suspected Skrull List # 4

    by Buzz Maverik

    The Bendii. Because no humans would really think like that.

  • April 15, 2008, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Buzz Maverik's Suspected Skrull List # 5

    by Buzz Maverik

    The Skrull Queen. The clues are in that old Byrne issue of the FF where Galactus ate the Skrull homeworld, then headed for the toilet with the Sunday Times.

  • April 15, 2008, 7:37 p.m. CST

    Actually, Shen, I Changed My Mind...

    by Buzz Maverik

    Let's go with a group of Local surfers over a wrestling team. Either way, the debate club gets wedgies.

  • April 15, 2008, 10:37 p.m. CST

    Surfers Could Be Jealous Of Bendis...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...because he pulls off the Kelly Slater look. I mean with the baldness, not the athleticism.

  • April 20, 2008, 11:14 a.m. CST


    by blackthought

    superman legion arc was enjoyed greatly by me. baldness...