Ain't It Cool News (


@@@@ Johns & Kolins reunite for ROGUES REVENGE! @@@@ Bru & Fraction leaving IRON FIST! @@@@ THE SECRET TOURNAMENT OF INFINITE @$$-KICKERY week three begins! @@@@


Well, AICN COMICS: SHOOT THE MESSENGER is your weekly one stop shop for comic book news that’s dropped in the previous week. Thanks to Newsarama, CBR, Wizard, etc. for reporting it as it breaks. Click on the links for the original stories. This column cuts the crap to run down all the vital information for those of you who don’t follow it as it comes in, and serves it all up with that special ingredient of @$$y goodness. It’s also the place for interviews, previews, and special reports.

Hey, comic book-appreciators, Stones Throw here. Ever really wanted to know what’s breaking in the comic book world, but not been able to face sifting through the promotion and hype on sites like Newsarama, Wizard, and Comic Book Resources? Ever wished there was one weekly column you could go to that would round up all the vital information and present it for your convenience with style, sass and liberal helpings of panache?

@ THEIR FINAL REVENGE?! Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins’ reunion on FLASH: ROGUES REVENGE will now be titled FINAL CRISIS: ROGUES REVENGE, in a truly desperate effort to garner some attention for the severely under-hyped upcoming miniseries FINAL CRISIS. It also changes from six normal-sized issues to three oversized…
@ ONE SPECIAL FEATURE! CRIMINAL’s Sean Phillips has drawn an adaptation of the 1961 noir film BLAST OF SILENCE as part of its Criterion Collection DVD release tomorrow…
@ AN INCREDIBLE JOURNEY! Shadowline’s “Create a Super-Heroine Contest” was won by Tom Arguello’s “Incredible Journey”. Shadowline/Image are now gonna show the whole process of making the comic, from plot to finished art…
@ THE “OTHER SIDE” OF THE BLACK PANTHER! Jason Aaron writes three issues of BLACK PANTHER tying into SECRET INVASION…
@ A HOLY TRINITY? Back-up writer Fabian Nicieza lets spill on some of the back-up artists on Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley’s TRINITY—Scott McDaniel, Tom Derenick and Mike Norton so far…
@ IRON FIST-ISHED! Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction wrap up their run on IRON FIST with #16 in May, to be replaced by CABLE writer Duane Swierzynski and artist Travel Foreman…
@ GOON’ 12 TIMES A YEAR! Eric Powell wants the Goon out monthly for twelve issues…
@ WHAT’S THE BIG IDW? @$$hole interviewee Ben Templesmith has gone exclusive with the independent publisher, continuing with WORMWOOD and SINGULARITY 7, and debuting a new horror series, WELCOME TO HOXFORD, in May. He’ll still work on FELL when Warren Ellis gets around to writing it, though …

That’s it as far as news goes. But if you’ll allow me to play armchair copyright lawyer for a moment… since the story about the Siegels being granted the copyright for ACTION COMICS #1 there’s been a lot of interesting speculation from Newsarama’s bloggers about whether it would be possible to take Superman to another publisher. Seems the possibility of Superman becoming a Merry Marvel Madman is pretty slim, though, due to the numerous trademarked elements introduced by DC after his first appearance. Got me thinking, though. What if Superman had been taken in a completely different direction after his first appearance? Like, could the Siegels copyright a new version of Superman based only on elements from ACTION #1? A more ruthless, violent, non-flying Superman who was raised in an orphanage and works at the Daily Bugle’s competitor, the Daily Star, hanging around the Marvel Universe would be pretty cool, I think, at least for a one-off story. WHY NOT DISCUSS IT BELOW AFTER THE FIGHTS??


Sixty-four of comic bookdom’s best fighters enter, only one will be crowned THE SECRET TOURNAMENT OF INFINITE @$$-KICKERY Champion. It’s comics’ version of March Madness, only it lasts a bit longer. Ambush Bug here, on behalf of the @$$Holes at AICN Comics, welcoming you all back to a contest unlike any other; boiling fanboyism down to its basics...whether one guy can kick the other guy's @$$.
Before we move onto this week’s fights, let’s see the winners of last week’s bout.


Winning submission by Eliot Martson

Mr. Terrific holds back, eyeing up his younger opponent, but doesn’t get much chance for study as MVP grins and races toward him. Despite the impressive way the young man balances himself, Mr. Terrific is surprised by the lack of technique and pattern to the flurry of blows sent his way. He expertly parries attacks, constantly studying his opponent for weaknesses, and finds several openings for precision strikes. However, MVP neatly blocks most of these attempts and manages to lessen the impact of those that do connect with deft twists of his body.
Unable to successfully exploit the obvious gaps in MVP’s technique, Mr. Terrific launches a smooth series of more forceful blows, opening distance between them, then sends a powerful kick towards his opponent’s midsection, balancing to move away.
To his surprise, MVP rushes into the last kick, grunting slightly at the force of the blow but again deflecting most of its force. MVP’s close-range attacks now emulate Mr. Terrific’s earlier strikes, flowing easily together. Still blocking, Mr. Terrific is forced to give ground steadily, his own counterattacks often connecting but failing to do real damage.
While Mr. Terrific fights silently and expertly, he is steadily tiring and is aghast when he briefly looks into his opponent’s eyes to see actual enjoyment in there. As a series of blows manage to connect, he staggers slightly, giving MVP all the opportunity he needs to land a sickening amount of blows to his left knee and right temple.
The shock Mr. Terrific finds quickly spreading through his system is as much mental as it is physical. Intelligence and technique thwarted by reckless enthusiasm? Sadly, the last flash of brilliance he sees is the product of a massive blow to his cranium rather than any inspiration which might have helped him…



Winning submission by Peter Lipphardt

The two resurrected renegades step into the ring, preparing for an epic battle of morally questionable fighting styles and sheer brutality.
Red Robin lunges at his opponent, but suddenly Moon Knight evades and reveals his trump card: a 1-800 number for the D.C. Comics offices emblazoned on the back of his cape.
At that very instant, millions of outraged DC fans flood the number with calls to once again to kill Jason Todd, who is almost instantly wiped out of existence.



Winning submission by Gargamel’s Taint

Both women, warriors at heart, pounce at one another with fists and kicks flying. Evenly matched, the two battle for what seems like an eternity. Black Cat connects with a jab. Batwoman lands a kick. But both girls are tough, fast, and able to take quite a beating. Panting and exhausted, the two get distance between one another for a breather.
"You're good." Batwoman breathes heavily. She definitely underestimated her opponent. Although her costume leaves little for the imagination, Batwoman realizes that the Black Cat is not a foe to take lightly. How does she stay in that skin-tight costume? She thinks to herself.
"I'm not just another pretty face." Black Cat is panting too, but that doesn't stop her from being cocky.
"I see that..."
Black Cat notices that Batwoman keeps looking her up and down. Originally, she thought the Caped Crusadress was sizing her up for battle, but Batwoman's gaze seems to linger a bit longer right around Black Cat's bustline. Looking down at her own heaving chest, Black Cat notices her costume has been torn from the scuffle. Her sizable attributes spill out a bit more than usual from her already revealing costume.
Black Cat raises an eyebrow and shoots a seductive smile towards her opponent. She grasps the plunging neckline of her costume with both hands and struts slowly in Batwoman's direction.
"You like what you see?"
Batwoman looks deeply into the Black Cat's eyes then back down to her body.
Black Cat pulls open her shirt to reveal her monumental femalities; a place Peter Parker used to call home base.
Batwoman stands speechless and flabbergasted, giving Black Cat the opportunity to land a devastating right hook, knocking Batwoman unconscious.
"Works every time." Black Cat smiles to herself.



Winning submission by Grant Chastain

The glyph on Barry’s neck itched horribly. That usually only happened when he was upset, or sweating profusely… and hanging upside-down from a balcony eight stories above a Bludhaven city street meant it could be either.
“STOP! Just… don’t kill me, man…” he heard a voice saying. His own.
“Shut up.” His captor glared at him from behind dark sunglasses, oblivious or unaware it was past midnight. “You’re going to tell me the truth… or you’re going to get a complimentary flying lesso—“
CRACK! Barry recoiled as Blade’s sunglasses shattered beneath the force of a boot, sending shards flying about. Things were either going to get better… or much, much worse.
“Put him down slowly and back away. We can do this easy or ha—“
Nightwing. Things just got a hell of a lot worse.
Before he could say another word, Blade was upon him, throwing punches and kicks at his target and the air where Dick was standing just seconds before. Nightwing’s counter-attacks perfectly complimented Blade’s, striking only the most vital targets for maximum damage. The night air was punctuated with the flat packing noises of fists and feet, and at last, Blade fell back, winded from his assault.
“So you wanna give up, or go for round two, Tall Dark and Hostile?” Nightwing taunted.
Blade held up a hand in defeat. “No… I’ve got a better idea…”
Thunk! Nightwing felt a sudden pressure against his neck, and reached up to find a feathery projectile in it. Dick staggered. He had just enough time to sputter, “Hey… you… cheatedddd…” before the dart’s sleep toxin entered his bloodstream.
“Rules are meant to be broken.”
Barry watched as Nightwing slumped to the ground… and as Blade advanced on him, he realized his night was just beginning.
Damn itchy glyph.


Congratulations all winning participants. Winners will move on to Round Two. Be sure to check out this week’s bouts. But first, the rules:

@ To even the playing field, contestants are powerless and weaponless upon entering the ring. They must win on fighting prowess and character alone! @ Check out the fights listed below and send a 300 word (or less) fight scene to us determining who the winner is and how the fight should play out. (Remember: it’s best to SHOW, don’t TELL in these submissions. That means write the scene as if it is happening, don’t tell us what will happen…it makes for more interesting readin’, don’t cha know!). @ Be sure to indicate winner of each match in the subject line of your email. @ Submissions are judged by a select group of @$$Holes (Hint: we’re looking for the most entertaining one to win, not necessarily the one that has been done and over done in comics before. ORIGINALITY RULEZ!). @ Winners of each match will be announced in the column a week later (That means if the fights were introduced in Monday’s SHOOT THE MESSENGER Column, the winner will be announced the following Monday, same for Wednesday’s reviews column). @ Submissions can be sent in to @$$Hole HQ via the link below until midnight Friday. @ THIS CONTEST IS NOT FOR PROFIT but done out of love for Fan Fic, comic book store trash talk, and online comic book debate. @ Have fun and enter as many times as you’d like! There can be only one winner, it’s up to you who that turns out to be!

Here are this week’s combatants!


In his Ronin costume or his traditional Hawkeye garb, Clint Barton is a formidable fighter thanks to years of training alongside Captain America. Plus pulling that bowstring back for all of these years has made him one strong opponent. Dead and back again, Barton may be a Skrull in the monthly NEW AVENGERS book from Marvel. Who knows? Here, he’s the Hawkeye we all know and love.
Although there are many martial artists in the DC universe, many agree that Green Arrow’s son, Connor Hawke is the most natural and formidable hand-to-hand combatant alive. As cool, calm, and collected as his father is hot-headed, Connor is a pacifist by nature, but not afraid to kick some @$$ in a tournament. Connor is currently comatose in DC’s GREEN ARROW series, but I’ll bet he’ll be back in costume soon.
Which archer will be better without his bow?

Bracket Three Fight Two KINGPIN VS THE GOON

Don’t let the size fool you, Wilson Fisk AKA The Kingpin of Crime is all muscle and more than a match for anyone in hand-to-hand. He’s given Daredevil, the Punisher, and Spider-Man a run for their money and has the brains to match his brawn.
The Goon has fought giant transvestites, werewolves, demons, mad scientists, and tons and tons of zombies in his own series from Dark Horse with nothing but his two fists, a bad attitude, and a wisecracking sidekick.
But has the Goon finally met his match in the Kingpin of Crime?

Bracket Three Fight Three ECHO VS THE QUESTION

Recently joining Marvel’s THE NEW AVENGERS book, Echo has tussled with Daredevil and the Hand. Although she is deaf, this warrior woman reads her opponent’s moves and uses them against them in a flurry of martial arts and dance. She’s one tough customer who’s life has been filled with tragedy and more than willing to take it out on her foes.
Renee Montoya has been a Gotham City cop for years and has proven to be a formidable fighter against some of Batman’s deadliest rogues, but it wasn’t until she teamed up with Vic Sage better known as The Question during last year’s 52 maxiseries from DC that she found her true purpose as the new Question. Trained by martial arts master Richard Dragon, Montoya is proving herself to be a worthy predecessor.
Which woman of mystery will be back in Round Two?

Bracket Three Fight Four JONAH HEX VS LUKE CAGE

The surly attitude and down-right mean disposition of Jonah Hex is the reason why the West was called Wild. His scarred face is known and feared by anyone with a bounty on their head. Hex will take on anything and anyone for the right price and isn’t afraid to fight dirty to win. Check him out in his monthly DC series.
Luke Cage is a Hero For Hire too. Currently he leads the NEW AVENGERS at Marvel and will be returning to his old yellow shirt look soon. But don’t make fun of his costume or you’re likely to have a boot broken off in yo’ @$$. Cage is from the streets and won’t back down to anyone.
Stripped of his bullet proof skin and super strength, how will Cage measure up with the notorious gunslinger?

There’s this week’s first round of matches. Send in your 300 word (or less) fight scenes to the link below. Deadline is Friday. Look for the winners of these match-ups in next Monday’s AICN COMICS NEWS SHOOT THE MESSENGER Column. And look for the second batch of matches in this week’s AICN COMICS REVIEWS Column on Wednesday.
Send your fight submissions here!

Good luck, have fun, and go kick some @$$!

Readers Talkback
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  • April 14, 2008, 8:10 a.m. CST

    Yeah, I'm a child

    by dtpena

    butt First!

  • April 14, 2008, 9:08 a.m. CST

    What kind of match-up is Hex and Cage?

    by Laserhead

    I mean, the others have a sense of commonality in their abilities and appearance. Ah, well. Doesn't the 1-800 number Moon Knight flashes count as a weapon or implement?

  • April 14, 2008, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Hex and Cage

    by Olsen Twins_Fan

    Well they're both heroes for hire. Although agree that their complete lack of shared attributes makes for a pretty uninteresting matchup.

  • April 14, 2008, 11:41 a.m. CST


    by rock-me Amodeo

    Derogatory or depilatory? <br><br> :)

  • April 14, 2008, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Contest = bullshit

    by Elim Garak

    Yah, that makes sense. Not only was the rule about no weapons broken here, most matches ended up backwards. If you are not going for realism, just say so, and match up smurfs.

  • April 14, 2008, 12:24 p.m. CST


    by stones_throw

    1) Neither of 'em have codenames, but they both have cool sounding nouns for surnames.<p>B) Both are cinema-inspired. HEX by Clint Eastwood, POWER MAN by blaxploiatation cinema.<p>4) Uh...Jonah Hex has bullets and Luke Cage has bullet proof skin... <p>Z) Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti wrote some of the last HEROES FOR HIRE series?<p>*) Nick Cage probably wanted to play Jonah Hex at some point.<p>!)Odd match-ups make for interesting fights? Get writin'!

  • April 14, 2008, 2:52 p.m. CST

    This is a cool article

    by krushjudgement

    I like this stuff. That Jason Todd vs Moon Knight is classic.

  • April 14, 2008, 3:20 p.m. CST

    DC fighters?

    by Calico Pete

    Just how many in DC's pantheon can be THE best hand-to-hand fighters? Batman, Nightwing, Lady Shiva, Mr. Terrific, Karate Kid... Connor Hawke? Who's next, Bat Mite?

  • April 14, 2008, 3:53 p.m. CST

    DC fighters

    by rock-me Amodeo

    There was a run of Birds of Prey that was simply classic. Canary had to lead a team of non-powered fighters against these nine brothers. The details escape me, but even though we didn't have Batman, Nightwing or Lady Shiva, the brothers were impressed by the lineup. They recognized Conner hawke from his monastery days. We also had Wildcat, Creote, some other guy whom I forget, and I remember the one of the brothers saying, "By the gods! Is that Richard Dragon?!?"<br><br>Even they were cowed a bit by that.<br><br>In the end, there can be only one (now where have I heard THAT before?) but there are a dozen, maybe two dozen, upper tier DC fighters that stand above all the rest.

  • April 14, 2008, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Comments like "Oh Good God...Black Cat beats Batwoman, no way!"

    by Ambush Bug

    If you don't like the way the fights are turning out, just write one yourself. Sitting back and complaining about the winner without even trying to write one yourself sounds very reminiscent of the last few presidential elections. Use your god-given right to email and participate in the darn thing instead of arm-chair quarterbacking it after it's all over.<br><br> And it's a writing contest, not a chart of powers. The best writing submission wins, not necessarily who's more powerful. It's what makes it more interesting than your typical contest.

  • April 14, 2008, 7:16 p.m. CST


    by Err

    The fight between the characters who break the fourth wall!

  • April 14, 2008, 7:34 p.m. CST


    by Shakeshift

    If we're talking about characters who can break the fourth wall, what about Ambush Bug versus She-Hulk (circa 1989?)

  • April 14, 2008, 11:09 p.m. CST

    Marvel has the more Fighters.

    by messi

    DC has a few but it's mainly Marvel that has great hand to hand fighters. DC's heroes are more powerful than anything else.

  • April 14, 2008, 11:10 p.m. CST

    By the way Nightwing can take Blade

    by messi

    Nightwing is one of the top 5 fighters on New Earth. Expert in Kali, he's basically a more perfect version of Jason Bourne.

  • April 15, 2008, 2:34 a.m. CST

    Well, messi, I kind of agree with you about the Nightwing thing.

    by Ambush Bug

    But the reason why we picked that fight over the others is because it highlights both characters. Nightwing would have kicked ass but most likely would have followed the rules. Blade doesn't really give a shit about the rules, hence the cheating. Don't let the same thing happen to Jonah Hex and Luke Cage. Or Echo and The Question. Or the Goon and Kingpin. Or even Connor and Hawkeye. Write up a fight and see if it cuts the mustard, so you're not complaining about who won in next week's column.

  • April 15, 2008, 7:36 a.m. CST

    Reason Blade pwns Nightwing...

    by Err

    Blade was played by Wesley Snipes. Nightwing was played by Chris O'Donnell.---Other than that, yes, Nightwing would own Blade.

  • April 15, 2008, 8:42 a.m. CST

    You didn't offend me, cool guy...

    by Ambush Bug

    I just wanted to encourage you to participate. That's all. But good luck with that rolling of the eyes thing...I know it's much easier to be sarcastic than actually contribute to something fun.