Comics

AICN COMICS REVIEWS FINAL CRISIS! WHEDON'S X-MEN! MARVEL UK! GANTZ MANGA! TOURNEY SEMI-FINALS! & MUCH MORE!

Published at: June 4, 2008, 7:17 a.m. CST

#4 5/27/08 #7

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) FINAL CRISIS #1 GIANT-SIZE ASTONISHING X-MEN #1 ACTION COMICS #865 THOR #9 BATMAN #677 ANGEL: REVELATIONS #1 SHADOWPACT #25 THE CURRENT STATE OF MARVEL UK @$$-itorial Big Eyes For the Cape Guy presents GANTZ V1 Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS! The Secret Tournament of Infinite @$$-Kickery Round Four Winners! Semi-Final Match-up Two!

FINAL CRISIS # 1

Writer: Grant Morrison Artist J.G. Jones Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

When I had finished reading the first issue of the highly-anticipated FINAL CRISIS, I felt the same way I did after I had lost my virginity in the back of a senior's car when I was ahem-teen years old (forgive me for being elusive, but my Mother reads this column). It was an event I had built up in my mind to be the "end-all-be-all" of existence, but after two-and-a-half minutes of awkward coitus my paramour and I were both left the over-arching feeling of "that's it?" While certainly not the experience of a lifetime, FINAL CRISIS was meant to be the lynchpin for two years’ worth of crisis upon mini-crisis, countless craptacular countdowns and a war that spanned the cosmos. After over two years of build-up it's easy to understand the insatiable thirst of DC fans that could only be quenched by the most earth shattering title of all time. This was a damn fine book, but I would be a hack and a charlatan if I led you to believe that this was the most monumental title to ever hit the stands. J.G. Jones sketched some of the most visually enticing panels to ever be printed. Whether grounded on terra firma or traversing other planets and alternate planes of reality, Mr. Jones could sell each panel of this tile as stand-alone artistic masterpieces. Being a word guy, it's the rare artist that can draw me into a scene based on the visuals alone, but Jones' ability to encapsulate the emotion of a scene left me dumbfounded in its intricate detail. The book had two covers and for anyone that could not get their hands on the cover with Green Lantern, you have my sincere condolences. This is definitely a cover I would hang in my man-cave next to my signed Alex Ross MARVELS poster.
Before I focus on the story, I'm obliged to give the standard SPOILERS AHEAD warning.
As I said earlier, from a story perspective the book was good, it just didn't blow my mind. Morrison has ample aptitude in writing gritty crime noir tales, but is that really the correct approach to address the death of Gods and the rebirth of an entire universe? I was also left scratching my head a few times at scenes that seemed to be utterly inconsistent with all of the "build-up" books.
The freshest parts of the story book-ended the piece. Essentially all of humanities' woes can be attributed to the New Gods kick starting our imagination with the discovery of fire. Some will gripe that it took two pages for Anthro the Caveboy to have this gift bestowed upon him, but for me, it just gave me more time to spend with Jones' art work. I was also impressed with how Morrison tied the discovery of fire to Detective Turpin of Superman fame lighting a cigarette lamenting how humanity takes a good idea and uses it to inevitably bring about our demise. If there was ever a good PSA to quit smoking it's this book. Kamandi the Last Boy on Earth is a fitting caboose to showcase that no matter how enlightened we try to become, our inevitable future will be wearing loin cloths and once again flinging our poo at one another.
So what didn't I like? Well, pretty much everything in between. While I liked how Morrison treats the death of Orion as a crime scene for both the local police and the galactic defenders of the Green Lantern Corps, something about this approach bothered me. I was the first to applaud the introduction of the Alpha Lanterns in GREEN LANTERN, but I'm unsettled by the fact that Hal Jordan, Jon Stewart and Guy Gardner are no longer the go-to guys when the shit hits the fan. I only hope that the Alpha Lanterns’ dispassionate ways end up being a foible rather than a virtue and my old favorites can swoop in to save the day. Time will tell.
There were also a few inconsistencies of logic that ripped me out of the story. For some reason, The Question thinks it's a good idea to send mortal Turpin after Dark Side. While Dark Side is no longer the apocalyptic bad ass he once was, I still wouldn't send a 60-something detective with emphysema after him.
I was also unsettled by the fact that Superman and Batman had to debrief the Justice League about the New Gods. Perhaps in six months’ time when everything is rebooted this would have been appropriate, but I know from past readings that most of the people sitting at the table had dealt directly with the New Gods at one point or another throughout history. Also, wasn't the Justice League watching Orion and Dark Side battle in the final issues of COUNTDOWN? Did they forget? Is it really a mystery as to which New God has put the Green Lantern Corps on high alert?
And finally, for the love of God please stop having bad guys sit around a table at meetings like they just read Miss Manners’ guide for appropriate meeting etiquette. They are the underbelly of society: if they have to sit at a table at least have a basket of kittens in the middle so they can snap their necks or juggle them as they plot the take over of the world.
I'm not digging the Monitors. Aren't they Gods of 52 separate universes? I can appreciate that earth is the keystone of the multiverse, but to have them emulate humanity should piss off the other several billion planets in their charge. I don't care enough about them yet as characters to be concerned about their emotional turmoil, either. If they are being set up as the New New New Gods, then for God's sake go tell their story in a separate tale or a spin-off. This is about decimating and rebuilding what we have become accustomed to over the past twenty years.
FINAL CRISIS is supposed to be the launch point for a new age of the DC universe. Well, if the last age was an abyss of darkness, this new age seems to be a Petri dish of clinical sterility. Everything felt too just too damn neat and tidy to truly be a Crisis, and it was quite certainly too tepid to be a FINAL CRISIS. Perhaps I'm just wired for alliteration, but I see crisis and chaotic going together as naturally as Bert & Ernie's unrequited puppet man-love. I'm not giving up hope, but Morrison needs to kick up the energy a thousand fold in coming issues to make this event truly worthy of the title CRISIS.
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.

GIANT-SIZE ASTONISHING X-MEN #1

Writer: Joss Whedon Penciler: John Cassaday Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

Just a couple months after bidding a tearful goodbye to the instant classic Y: THE LAST MAN, here I am again to give that fond farewell to another emotionally charged fan favorite series. And, just like the last time I did this, I imagine I'll be spending the majority of these upcoming words here remembering and thanking the crew involved with this series and what they did during their tenure, which overall I would say, yes, is probably easily one of the top X-title runs I have personally ever read. There's been little rough patches here and there, and obviously the inconsistency in time between issues was rather nagging, but between the pitch-perfect characterization Mr. Whedon bought and the outstanding artistic presentation by John Cassaday, yes, I would daresay this run did live up to be one of those rare "instant classics".
As those two aesthetics above were so integral to the series as a whole, so too were they to this finale. The best moments to me came from, well, of course there's the obvious one as a much beloved X-Man makes the ultimate sacrifice, but it was the "little" things that made it work. From Colossus' resolve to one of Emma's few displays of genuine emotion; hell even characters like Agent Brand and Armor got their little quirks in, just like Spider-Man in his limited guest time got in some trademark wisecracks. Though I think some of the overall plot points that have been driving this "epic" X-story for its duration have been kind of hit or miss, like the existence of Danger seems to have been kind of frivolous to me, and the Breakworld's weapon of choice to annihilate Earth was obviously a bit too contrived to get to the end point we see in this issue, but it still was powerful enough to overcome this misstep, just as that fantastic characterization I keep reiterating was enough to typically wash away any bits of awkwardness or occasional breakdowns this title has sporadically had since its inception.
And obviously John Cassaday's art deserves a large round of applause. We all knew he was good - great actually - going into this, but I'll be damned if he didn't still make an impression. There have been some absolutely breathtaking panels and pages in this title. From the two-page Fastball Special to cap off the first arc, all the way up to something happily unexpected like the two-pager in this issue of our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man swinging above NYC. From the little things like someone finally depicting Wolverine as the squat little scrapper that he is, to the stature of Colossus, to the rendition of a more feline Beast out of Morrison's NEW X-MEN run, everything has been pretty much spot on with smooth lines and great detail. Give the man a hand.
Sure, this book hasn't reinvented the wheel or anything during its life. I don't think you'll ever see a descriptive term like "seminal" being placed before it, hell I doubt I'd even rate this in the top two or three dozen of runs I've read, but like I've said before, there's a lot to be said about a solid story, told in an exciting manner and with a great handling and reinvigoration of long time and beloved characters like these X-Men. There's just a base joy there that's hard to deny. To this day the return of Colossus, easily my personal favorite X-Man, still excites me to think about. To provoke that kind of response has to reflect well on the people involved in it (and that no matter how hard I try to bury him, it looks that occasionally my inner fanboy will dig his way out and take over, albeit fleetingly). If you're an X-Men fan, I'm sure all that I've just said is rather superfluous, and if you aren't an X-Men fan, or at least have been sort of neutral on them, then I think you owe it to yourself to see how exciting these merry band of mutants can be when handled expertly. Simply one of the best things Marvel has done this decade. Now all that's left is a nice little Omnibus treatment to supplement my burgeoning oversized hardcover habit. If anything deserves the treatment, it's this.
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.

ACTION COMICS #865

Writer: Geoff Johns Artist: Jesus Merino Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Squashua

Continuity. That's what it all breaks down to. Continuity. The fan community at large shits a brick every time a new Supergirl iteration shows up, and rightly so, but it's the sole nerd alone in the corner of the forum who even notices that yet another Toyman is frolicking about the DC Universe. Certainly, each could be (and probably have been) chalked up to a creator taking liberties to earn a paycheck, knowing their individual Toyman would be ignored in the long run as one in an ever-increasing quantity of continuity errors. Assuredly, these gaffs would vanish from the spotlight.
Not quite. With ACTION COMICS #865, Geoff Johns has done for The Terrible Toyman what he's done to many members of The Flash's Rogues Gallery. "Which Toyman", you ask? Why, all of them. From the original bow tie wearing Winslow Shott to the scrawny Giffen-esque “Superfriends” iteration, and including the toy-like masked doll from “Superman: The Animated Series” and even Hiro from SUPERMAN/BATMAN, the ToyMEN get their due.
After a proper and long-overdue compare and contrast to longtime Superman villain The Prankster, Winslow Schott gets a reprieve from his out-of-character, mother-obsessed, skinhead alter ego whose stigma for murdering Adam Grant (the son of longtime not-quite-Jimmy Olsen-level Superman supporting character Cat Grant) has haunted him ever since. Without spoiling anything, I'm not saying the "reveal" was entirely believable; in fact considering the involvement of Hiro, I suspect the whole or part thing is an elaborate hoax to maintain a state of delusion. Then again, the fan in me wants this concept to work out for the better, and as evidenced by the last couple pages insinuating the return of a certain long missing supporting urban cougar, it seems The Terrible Toyman's cover story perpetrated might be accepted as a canon ret-con.
The art was excellent for this issue; Merino has a keen eye, fully rendering every detail of each panel. All flashbacks were tastefully done in a watercolor style, evoking a dream-like quality. What I most enjoyed about this story is that, again barring appearances elsewhere by Hiro the Japanese Toyman-boy, we as readers can finally move on and accept The Terrible Toyman for the Superman antagonist he once was and might be again. For all intents and purposes, Toyman has resolved his own personal Sue Dibny rape charge.
Kuax'kua plucks and strums the fibre electric between worlds, writhing in amorphous ecstasy with each pulsing nanobyte of digitized information. A fount of queries and feedback cloaked as an unassuming sass-imbued avatar, this shapeless servitor scribes only of that which fuels its emotion, driving all observers to a slow and inevitable madness.

THOR #9

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski Artist: Oliver Coipel Inker: Mark Morales, Danny Miki and John Dell Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo

I liked this issue, even if the cover was more exciting than the contents. Coipel's art was outstanding, as usual. Fandral, whose mental blade seems a bit swifter than others, gets in a few good lines. And Loki's machinations are not so two-dimensional that they may be easily discerned. Also, I'm really glad that JMS doesn't have Loki using his, uhn, feminine wiles on anyone, because that would just be weird.
In fact, Loki raises an interesting question: what are you people DOING with your lives?!? We spend most of the issue answering it to one degree or another. Though there were many good scenes, my attention was particularly drawn to an exchange between the human William and a few warriors, trying to learn the basic concepts of basketball, and failing. I mean, what are they, idiots? And then it hit me: yes. Kind of. And suddenly, a much bigger picture unfolded in front of me.
Here's the thing – if you were functionally immortal, you would have all kinds of time to learn whatever you wanted to do. I mean, just look at all Bill Murray did in “Groundhog Day”, and he was there for maybe, what, a year or two? Over several thousand years, you could be an expert in…everything.
So how is it that the Asgardians have lived all this time, and yet so few of them have managed to accomplish anything other than mead-drinking and wench (or perhaps mimbo) bedding? Why is that? Either they don't have much ambition to do more than that, or most of them are dumb as posts…or both. Kind of explains why people will still fall for Loki's tricks after an eternity of ankle-grabbing. You'd think they would learn. But they haven't, either because they lack the capacity or the drive.
These are cultural nuances that must be understood if you're going to world-build, and that is the task JMS has set for himself. The problem with having a bunch of characters (other than your hero) is: they need to be doing something with their downtime. They don't just sit on a shelf until the writer pulls them off (at least, a good writer should give them something to do.) And that's what JMS does with this issue, and he's showing us in a way that makes sense. He's showing us why, in all Asgard, only a handful of people show any initiative or cleverness because, among Asgardians in general, they're unique. Some are thinkers and strategists, sure…but most simply go about their day-to-day tasks, never questioning, never growing, never curious about anything outside sustenance or battle. So when I see someone trying to teach basketball to a crowd of beefcake, and they're clearly not getting it…well, for the first time, it really makes sense to me. The whole culture. Not the old Norsemen, who themselves had a great love of games and puzzles. I mean Asgardians. These would be the people you find taking tolls on the highway, or working the assembly line. Most folks in those jobs fight a never-ending battle against boredom. But the Asgardians? Battle lust notwithstanding, they would find those tasks completely fulfilling.
This is a comic about Thor, but it's also a comic about Asgard. It's about time we fleshed that out, don't you think? And I wonder – what WILL happen if Asgard becomes a city full of gods who each have their own agenda, a striving to do something different? Hmmm…
Sure, I think these events will tie into a greater picture, but for now, it was a very enjoyable, well-drawn and thought-provoking comic…with some troll-killing, too. How much more do you want?
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.

BATMAN #677

Writer: Grant Morrison Art: Tony Daniel (pencils), Sandu Florea (inker) Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

It there's one thing to learn from this issue of BATMAN, it's this:
Never, ever show your chick your comic collection.
In this issue of BATMAN, the Dark Knight, who for the last few issues has been smitten with fellow thrill-seeker Jezebel Jet, does the dumbest thing a guy can do...he shows his girlfriend his comic collection.
Well, it's not his comic collection per se, but it might as well be. Batman lets Ms. Jet into the Batcave and proudly takes her on the tour like a kid showing off his first doop in the toilet. As one would imagine, Jezebel's reaction is not what Bats anticipated. You see, when you show your girlfriend your comics, at first, if it's a cool girl, she may think it's kind of quirky, even attractive in a dorky sort of way. But soon enough the questioning starts and in this day and age, when comics are barely worth the paper they are printed on and those collecting them are doing so simply for the love of comics, it's hard to answer those questions.
"Where are you going to put all of these things?"
"How much money are you spending?"
"Couldn't you be more productive spending your time elsewhere?"

These are basically the same questions Jezebel asks Bats and he really doesn't have any answers for her. You see, Jezebel tosses in something that shatters much of the mystique of both what makes Batman tick and what makes comic book reading so fun; she brings in real world sensibilities to it. As soon as someone starts asking questions like that, it's time for the ugly lights. Show's over, my friends. There's no way to logically explain why you read so many comics Likewise, there's no logical way for Bats to win this debate with Jezebel. In the end, you end up either giving up comics (if you want regular nookie) or you stand firm and drop the girl. It looks as if it also means one has to hang up a pointy eared cowl if this one is going where I think it's going.
Morrison definitely sets up a new way of dealing with Bats' new love. Someone manipulating him to hang up the cape and cowl is something that hasn't been tried before. But reading this issue gave me an ooky feeling. It made me squirm to see Batman buckle and falter under pressure like he does here. I know this is all a way for Bruce to hang up the cape and cowl. Maybe pass it on to Jason Todd or Dick Grayson. But in doing so, Morrison diminished the character of Batman for me.
Bats has always been portrayed as a bit unhinged, but there was something in the logical way Jezebel went about shooting holes in his life's work that made Bruce seem more sad than anything else. Never have I got the feeling that Batman was a loser until this issue. It may have been the sincere way Jezebel was doing it--something that suggested that she may be just a concerned girlfriend and not a part of some plot to take down the Batman. I can't really put my finger on it, but this issue did more damage to the character to Batman than twenty back-breaking Banes or a hundred smiling fish flinging Jokers.
On top of knocking over the Batman's sandcastle, Morrison also introduces some subplots that tarnish the reputation of both Thomas Wayne (suggesting he was a drug and alcohol addict and possibly took part in a conspiracy to kill Martha Wayne and fake his own death) and Alfred (who may have taken part in the cover up). Now, Morrison is an idea man. He's always got good ones. Or at the very least they are imaginative and original ones. I don't want to shoot down what he's doing this early in the game. But if there is one thing I know about comic book icons it's that they are built upon a foundation. Do what you want to the structure, but when you start chipping away at the foundation, the whole thing is going to collapse upon itself. Thomas and Martha Wayne tried their best to raise a good son. Alfred is a loyal and dutiful servant and much more to Bruce. The Batman's fight is just and good. These things are what have built the structure of all Batman stories since his inception. Start pointing out cracks in those truths and one starts to see the Batman as something less of a hero. This isn't a new concept for Morrison. Morrison has been suggesting Bats is certifiable since ARKHAM ASYLUM. It's an interesting angle to play and I'm intrigued by the story so far with Bruce's paranoia reaching a fever pitch and a cadre of new villains waiting to take him out when he cracks. But in the past, although Morrison's ideas have proven to be imaginative, the story itself has often left me wanting. There's a disconnect between the imagining of these ideas and how they will work logically within the parameters of the story. In the end, we've ended up with a mixed bag of ideas and little story to hang it upon.
I want to give this arc a chance. Morrison seems to have a specific goal in mind and he's steering Batman unflinchingly into the abyss. The new villains are imaginative, and although many of them have yet to be named, artist Tony Daniel's designs definitely make them original looking, especially the Hunchback character and the sad clown holding a flower that changes color from panel to panel. Again, these are good looking characters and interesting ideas. Here's hoping that Morrison can bring these ideas together with a story that makes sense, doesn't irreparably crack the foundations, and most importantly, is entertaining to read.
In the meantime, learn from this issue, my comic book brethren. If you want to keep collecting comics, keep it to yourselves and leave the girlfriend out of it.
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 MUSCLES & FIGHTS 3 (AVAILABLE NOW!) from Cream City Comics.

ANGEL: REVELATIONS #1 (of 5)

Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Artist: Adam Pollina Color Art: Matt Hollingsworth Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo

A re-imagining of Angel's origins….as superfluous as this might seem, I'll bite for an issue.
We start out with a priest who seems a little brusque, but may be trying to help the people he meets. We get a few excellent sections chronicling Warren's loneliness despite his success, and his sense of secrecy and shame that he's not like the other guys. He wants to reach out to his father, but doesn't want to be seen as less than a man. Then we end with a scene that shows OH MY GOSH, THE PRIEST IS EEEEEVIL!
Wow. Never seen that before. (Actually, I think it's about as common as bitter ex-Catholics - no coincidence there, I'm sure.) And I suppose with a title like ANGEL, writers can't help but trot out words like "sinner" and "annunciation" and feel like they're being clever.
But just like the author obviously has things he must get off his chest (a service for which the reader is paying him) I feel like I have something I must get off of mine. For free, even: Okay, WE GET IT ALREADY! Anytime we see a character with a priest's collar, or holding a bible, or seems to be a part of any mainstream religion: they must be evil, are always the villain, play poker with kittens, and will eventually prove to be a racist, child killing psychopath, and probably homophobic to boot. We get it. We fricking get it! Now please, for the LOVE OF GOD (irony intended) could we please find someone who can write a story that doesn't trot out this tired, worn out, smells-like-your-therapy-session storyline?
Needless to say, it really bothers me when a story reads like someone is desperate to push an agenda, which is FINE if it would simply be done some cleverness or originality. And if you read the reviews for "Good Boys and True," or any of Roberto's other variations on this same theme, you know that may not be on the horizon. Whatever he's brought to the table, he's mined this vein many times before (and he's not the only one. On the plus side, if I wanted religious clichés twice in a month, I'd normally have to pick up two issues of Starlin's HOLY WAR. Now I have a choice. Whoopee.)
As far as the art goes, what's up with Pollina? It's a very interesting style. I liked his stuff on the old X-Force, but these characters look like they lost a bet with a taffy-puller, and makes me feel like the title should be ANGEL: A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS. I'm not saying it's bad, just takes some getting used to. Actually, the second time I read it, I appreciated the overall style, mood and "camera shots" MUCH more than the first time. He crammed a lot of small stylistic things that I missed the first time. I'm not sure it lends itself to super-heroes, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, Pollina has already proved to me what a talented artist he is. Let's see where he goes.
But the overall direction…all I can say is, based on the first issue, I can't imagine liking where this is going, since we've all been there dozens of times already. Reverend Stryker, Reverend Craig, Matthew Risman and the Purifiers…I KNOW Aguirre-Sacasa is a better writer than this. I hope I'm right.

SHADOWPACT #25

Writer: Matthew Sturges Artist: Phil Winslade Publisher: DC Reviewed by: BottleImp

Remember the INFINITE CRISIS spin-off series? THE OMAC PROJECT, VILLAINS UNITED, etc? The only one of these series I had eyes for was DAY OF VENGEANCE. Why? Two words: Blue Devil.
If you read my Bargain Bin review of the BLUE DEVIL comic from the ‘80s then you already know my love for the character as he was originally conceived, as well as my disdain for the way Blue Devil has been dealt with over the past decade. But at the time DOV hit the shelves, Blue Devil hadn’t been seen too often around the DC Universe, so I figured I’d give the series a shot to find out what the creative minds at DC had in store for him. From there, I fell into the ongoing SHADOWPACT series—I had grown to like the Detective Chimp character, and while I didn’t really know much about the others in the group, I thought their visuals were interesting and I was willing to see how the series developed. Unfortunately, development seemed to be a four-letter word when it came to the Shadowpact team. I waded through a few issues of hellishly bland storytelling, an absolute absence or character development and mediocre art before giving the series up (the final nail in the coffin was when Blue Devil began sporadically to speak in rhyme—I knew where that was going and I wanted no part of it).
Flash forward to a couple of years later as I’m browsing the racks at my local comic shop. I picked up #24 and idly flipped to the last page when I see it: the original Blue Devil design! Could it be that DC was going to bring the character back to its roots? I bought #’s 23 and 24 and discovered that Blue Devil had managed to win his soul back in the courts of Hell, and was therefore transformed back to Dan Cassidy. However, to help his teammates fight against the demon hordes of the Sun King (who was one of the goofiest looking villains ever—a giant sun with a chubby face; all he was missing was two scoops of raisins) Cassidy donned the prototype Blue Devil suit he had originally built. Knowing that the next issue was to be the last of the series, my fanboy-ness was running wild. Maybe the whole reason for this mediocre comic book series was to bring Blue Devil back to his former glory (what little of it there was)! After all, I reasoned, maybe the Sun King was SUPPOSED to look goofy, just like the sillier villains that used to grace the BLUE DEVIL series… and the courtroom case in Hell was handled with a little humor, not with any heavy-handed melodrama… was it possible that SHADOWPACT was intended to bring back the days of fun comic books? Eagerly I awaited #25, wondering what Sturges had in store for my favorite B-List ‘80s superhero…
Turns out he had zilch.
Within the first 6 pages the original suit is busted and Dan Cassidy turns back into a demon. And there’s no real reason that it should happen. His demonized brother, “Jack of Fire,” kills himself with Blue Devil’s mystical trident so that Cassidy gets his powers back, his soul back, and a standing rank in Hell. It’s an act that doesn’t fit in at all with the actions and personality of Jack of Fire as I’ve seen in earlier issues. It’s not crucial to the outcome of the battle with the Sun King. It’s lazy writing, pure and simple. The status quo needs to be maintained, so shit happens without reasonable motivation just so we can get there quickly with as little fuss as possible. Remember that turd of a movie called “Fantastic Four?” Remember how Ben Grimm bitched and moaned about wanting to be human for the whole movie, only to change himself right back into the Thing after, oh, about ten minutes of not being covered in latex? Remember how his being the Thing did not really make a difference in the climactic (and I use that term loosely) fight with Dr. Doom? That’s exactly how it happens in this comic. Shit, the least they could have done is try to come up with a more interesting design for Blue Devil upon his re-demonization. But no, he still has the same stupid yellow horns, the same stupid outfit with the stupid black t-shirt with the stupid crest in the corner like he’s wearing a superhero polo shirt.
Sigh.
The funny thing is, the few pages where BD is drawn in his original duds look really good. I think Phil Winslade might be a classic Blue Devil fan, too.
Anyhoo, the long and short of it is that SHADOWPACT ends as it began: in a blaze of blandness. And it appears from the blurb on the back page that the blandness will continue in REIGN IN HELL, whenever that comes out. My advice to the DC editorial staff? Scrape off the chuff characters—Ragman, Enchantress, et al—and focus on the only characters worth keeping: Blue Devil and Detective Chimp. It’d make a great buddy book—think about it!
Oh well. At least I’ve got my complete run of BLUE DEVIL and my Justice League Unlimited Blue Devil action figure to feed my monkey.

THE CURRENT STATE OF MARVEL UK

An @$$-itorial by Stones Throw, taking in THE ASTONISHING SPIDER-MAN #29 and MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL #69 Marvel UK homepage A pretty detailed fansite

I’m not sure to what extent this is common knowledge, but Marvel has had a fully-functioning British division for a good few decades. In the 1970s big names like Jack Kirby and John Buscema contributed pages to magazines like MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL and HULK WEEKLY. Alan Moore began his Captain Britain in the pages of THE DAREDEVILS, another reprint magazine. Marvel UK achieved its highest prominence in the 1990s when the original book DEATH’S HEAD was a hit in the #1 crazy market.
European publisher Panini got the license in the mid-90s. The main thing they publish are monthly “Collector’s Editions” which sell in newsagents and supermarkets and reprint three or so US comics every issue. It’s kind of interesting in that the audience is both kids who get their parents to buy them and older Marvel fans. Like a guy named Paul who’s going to university in the autumn wrote into this week’s SPIDER-MAN saying how he collects every title. Yeah Paul, I wrote a letter like that when I was 10 or something. Good luck with the university.
But I am a fan of the Collector’s Edition format. It’s great for getting a sense of the lost tradition of action-packed Marvel comics utilizing continuity and the shared universe, and it’s also the best place I know to find original size and color back issues. So when I noticed the comics rack in Borders I decided to check in with how they were holding up.
There’s currently seven Collector’s Editions on British newsstands:
ASTONISHING SPIDER-MAN ESSENTIAL X-MEN WOLVERINE AND DEADPOOL AVENGERS UNLIMITED MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL FANTASTIC FOUR ADVENTURES and MARVEL LEGENDS (Brubaker’s Cap, Ellis’ Iron Man and Jurgens’ Thor).
I have to say that my first reaction was sadness: AVENGERS UNLIMITED has passed “Avengers Disassembled” and is now on NEW AVENGERS and ILLUMINATI in its main features. I get why they want to lead with modern stuff, but at the same time I regretted seeing something that I held up as one of the bastions of cool, original Marvel moving onto the stories that did away with tradition in favor of self-awareness and events over character. But from the philosophical perspective it’s all part of the big picture, ain’t it? Anyway, intrigued by the always interesting back-ups, I stumped up £5 for two CEs.
The Spider-Man title is currently reprinting that crappy “Other” storyline from a few years back. I’m not sure how well this is going down with the core audience (there were letters complaining about the lack of action), but in these Marvel movie-heavy days, the line is evidently doing well enough for ASTONISHING to go fortnightly. Cool and all, but mightn’t it be disadvantageous to the aim of appealing to Brit kids who aren’t otherwise able to get to a comic store? Still, the three reprints were:
“The Other” Part 6 by Reggie Hudlin and Mike Deodato Jr. – didn’t read it.
SPIDER-MAN: BLUE # 3 by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale – pretty damn fantastic. Loeb and Sale get right to the heart of the emotion and excitement of the 1960s classics while losing the cheese. Sale’s art beautifully combines Ditko and Romita influences. But you knew that already.
And AMAZING SPIDER-MAN # 254 by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz – my main reason for purchase. They’re on the original black suit/Hobgoblin days in the classic reprints and this issue is heavy on the weirdness, with Spidey just back from dimension-hopping with Starfox and Captain Marvel and wearing his SECRET WARS costume, but DeFalco and Frenz manage to sell it with their portrayal of Pete’s dangling-around-the-breadline existence.
Otherwise, it’s whack. The Red Ghost is in New York building a Cosmicizer to increase his powers. But he needs funds and since he doesn’t want to expose himself to the FF, rather than just sell an invention he enlists the Black Fox to rob a jewelry store with his Super Apes, even though he can freaking walk through walls! (Now I understand why this guy launched himself into space in a plastic rocket.) Predictably, the Super Apes go wild, screwing up his plan to evade attention. It’s completely crazy but Frenz’s art lets it scrape by. We get a good sense of how Spidey survives – mostly running away and letting his enemies do themselves in – and Frenz’s use of the black suit with the big, white spider is practically expressionist. Fun with cliffhangers, subplots and a capital F.
MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL is the most eclectic of the lot. Dan Slott’s SHE-HULK has been leading for a while. Given that Slott combines old school Marvel virtues like continuity and obscure characters with humor and modern sensibilities, I’d say he’s the ideal guy for this format. This purchase was also my first exposure to THE ORDER, the Kurt Busiek series from which Matt Fraction’s mini took its name, a cool read with art from Ivan Reis. Busiek excels at coming up with interesting visual ideas and then fitting a good story around them, a talent in full evidence here as the original four Defenders enslave humanity.
MWOM is great for older reads too. I remember one Frank Miller-drawn issue of MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE it reprinted where Nick Fury brings poker buddies the Thing, Beast, Wonder Man and Ms. Marvel along when a SHIELD helicarrier is invaded by the Yellow Claw (Jarvis stayed home). This issue’s was a Michelinie/Layton IRON MAN in which Ant-Man comes to Tony Stark’s rescue when his armor cuts out after a grueling fight with the Hulk (think the choice of those two characters has any significance?). Michelinie and Layton show us what we’ve always wondered: just how does Iron Man’s suit work?, and the results are surprisingly cool and credible.
Things get rounded out with a six-page Lee/Ditko sci-fi story from AMAZING ADULT FANTASY. My one complaint is with the next issue page. “Planet Hulk” begins next month, taking the modern tale count up to three for three. MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL was meant to be the most off-beat Collector’s Edition, and debuting with the early days of Frank Miller’s DAREDEVIL and Herb Trimpe’s HULK was a genuinely ballsy move. While the new line-up is no doubt motivated by the upcoming Ed Norton movie, I’d hate to see MWOM lose its maverick reputation.
The cool thing is, though, when I started thinking of runs I’d like to see appear in MWOM, I checked the Panini website and found they’d already been stealing my ideas. TOMB OF DRACULA, Stan and John’s SILVER SURFER, Gene Colan’s DAREDEVIL, and Steranko’s NICK FURY and CAPTAIN AMERICA have all featured. Seems like smart guy editor Scott Gray’s already way ahead of me, but even so I’d like to make some suggestions. Ahem. Lee and Kirby’s THOR. Gerber’s DEFENDERS, HOWARD THE DUCK or MAN-THING. DOCTOR STRANGE, particularly the Englehart/Brunner run or Roger Stern. MASTER OF KUNG-FU. Nocenti’s DAREDEVIL. INFINITY GAUNTLET. RUNAWAYS. Any of those would make great additions to the general vibe of MWOM.
So I’m pretty pleased with the current state of Marvel UK. If it was up to me, the ratio of classics to modern tales would be weighted in the other direction, but you have to admit it’s fairly awesome that the kind of stuff I listed above is making it onto mainstream UK newsstands and being read. It’s nice to see there’s a place for the lost history of Marvel amongst the youth of today. So yeah, good job guys. Keep it up.

GANTZ V1 (Manga Preview)

Volume 1 to be released by Dark Horse Manga July 29, 2008 Preview online here. By Hiroya Oku Publisher: Dark Horse Reviewer: Scott Green

There's GANTZ; then there's everything else. Hiroya Oku uses the freedom afforded by manga to erect the perfect adolescent playground, then distorts it for teensploitation done right. The manga opens with Kei Kurono standing on a subway platform thinking back and forth between the airbrushed reality of the skin mag that he's leafing through and the unappealing real world in front of him. In his internal monolog, he has an unkind, cutting assessment of everyone around him.
If the grind of school and unpleasant social interaction wasn't enough to fill Kei with frustration about the mundane grayness of his existence, his long absent childhood friend Masura Kato turns up and reminds him that as a boy, Kei was the kind of fearless, quick thinking kid who seemed never to be bound by the social or even physical rules of the world. This "why the hell aren't I special?!" revelry is brought to an abrupt end. A violent death plucks Kei from a life indistinguishable from that of the despised shmos that surround him. Reincarnated into a sci-fi, alien hunting "game", the kind which only a sociopathic middle-school boy could love, Kei is given sex, danger and significance, and still find it all to be dumbfounding.
Upon their premature deaths, Kei and Kato find themselves in an apartment room that is bare except for a large black sphere. Company includes a dog, a stereotypical male school teacher, an older politician, a mean eyed, eighth grader, a pair of yakuza toughs, and a pretty boy actor/model/whatever. This decidedly male audience takes note when the body of a naked teenage girl begins to materialize, anatomical cross section by anatomical cross section. After some problems with the yakuza fellows and the dog paying the young woman some unwanted attention, the black sphere begins broadcasting text messages. The assembled are given sci-fi-ish guns, "cosplay" style skin-tight black suits, instructions to find a truly ugly kid called an "onion alien", and an hour to do it. The quest precedes in a fashion that is disorganized, gruesome, and ultimately lethal.
In the ICHI THE KILLER movie, the eponymous crybaby sadist rushes into a room and begins eviscerating gangsters with a blade mounted on the back of his foot. CGI blood sprays everywhere. As do chunks of internal organs. In this, Takashi Miike realized a facet of the potential of CGI effects... to bathe in crazy gore. In GANTZ, Hiroya Oku realizes a facet of the potential of comics/manga...to create the ideal extension of adolescent/arrested development fantasy.. hot, naked or scantily clad young women and violence that is graphic enough to provoke a reaction.
Oku's style of illustration is enhanced by a bold, digitally inked presentation. As with Masaki Segawa's (BASILISK) work, the strong lines and gradient shading lends an impression of volume to the manga. There's depth of field to the action and volume to the fleshy characters. At the same time, Oku has an effecting skill at capturing body types and facial features. It's not that his anatomy is great. If you study a panel of characters standing around, you'll notice that some of his intensions for perspective or posture outstrip his ability to maintain precision. Yet, there is always details like a shoulder blade or a badly fitting jacket that lend an impression of reality too each character. In a scene of a severed head flying through the air, the tears welling at its eyes, blood tricking down the nose, the details in ear and the shape of the chin all gruesomely scratch in the suggestion that something terrible has just happen to a person. This similarly pays dividends for less splattery images. When Kei and Kato look around and see a group of strangers willing themselves to be comfortable on the bare hardwood floors of the after-death waiting room, there is a real disquieting impression being walled in people you don't know and don't want to deal with, that you don't find in every instance of the thriller trope concerning being locked somewhere with unfamiliar faces in the midst of a bad situation.
There's no question as to the audience for this manga. Kei Kishimoto, the naked girl, not to be confused with protagonist Kei Kurono, is naked for 25 pages before Kato gallantly gives a jacket to cover herself. This is graphic, fully anatomical nudity, including pubic hear, and plenty of attention to how her breasts react to different postures. As a counter-point, Kurono is briefly naked, at which time his genitals are obscured by a mosaic effect.
Hiroya Oku does not have quite the same, porn credentials as "OH!GREAT" (TENJHO TENGUE, AIR GEAR) or BLACK LAGOON's REI HIROE (aka TEX-MEX), but his primary pre-GANTZ work was sex comedy Hen. Drawing well endowed, sexy, if maybe a bit too baby faced, women is evidently a strength and a passion for Oku. Because the situations of GANTZ are frequently incompatible with glamour and desire, chapter title illustrations are generally pin-up style character shots that don't fit into the story; the cast doing things out of character, such as posing for a group picture. And, more often than not, these focus on the body of a woman, such as an image of Kishimoto posing naked except for the shoulder piece of one of the black suits draped over the top part of her breasts.
Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture features a scene in which the character Madarame, the character that most geeks don't want to identify with, but who most will identify with at some point, explains why some one could be turned on by anime/manga. Basically that the media are invoking the abstract idea, but point being, there is a pop culture tradition being invoked here and pornography is cooked into the make-up of GANTZ. To borrow a term from entry on the work of Benkyo Tamaoki in "Secret Comics Japan", a male geek should answer for himself whether they are hard-up enough for GANTZ to be "useful," but Oku seems to be working his hardest to provide the quantity and quality of content for that purpose.
This column has generally been critical of anime and manga with intellectual pretentions that simultaneously leverage base interests in sex and violence. Why does GANTZ get to have its cake and eat it to; indulge in prurient interests and comment on them?
Part of the reason that GANTZ can evade this is a function its position as a senein title. Because it is for older audiences, it is the pure form of the idea. It does not need to reflect the concept from around the corner of content limitations. You can discount something that is neither sufficiently salacious nor smart in its social consciousness. The whole idea that you are enjoying something that the subjects are clearly pained to be participating in, and that that discomfort is part of the work's message is liable to break the contract of a guilty pleasure. When the sex and violence are titillating and shocking respectively and the implications have resonance, then the crossed wires are working in favor of the author's intentions.
One volume in, saying that the implications of GANTZ amount to any sort of well developed thesis is premature. Personally, I'd take the under on the probability that it leverages ideas as intriguing as those of a smarter Afternoon manga like BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL or EDEN, to say nothing of something that isn't driven by the need to offer serialized excitement. Yet, Oku does not willfully ignore the mindset of his readers or the implications of what he is depicting. Almost as and offshoot to the school of serving up wish fulfillment where the results are terrible, there's an engaging dimension to how is fantasies are subject to human nature.
Fans of the GANTZ anime should note that the second half of the animated series was invented for that work. There are cases where anime adaptations of manga leverage the source to build something well formed in the anime's own right. I'd argue that the laudable qualities of the anime version of BESERK are largely distinct from those of the manga. One can debate the very different directions of the FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST anime and manga. Yet, it seems as often as not, an anime adaptation that goes in a different direction from the manga turns out inferior. After 23 volumes, the manga version of GANTZ is still running in its Japanese serialization. I don't have a basis to assess the comparative qualities of the two, complete works, but, based on images floating around (GANTZ cast in uni-wheel mecha versus dinosaurs, GANTZ cast versus men in black, GANTZ cast versus yokai and divinities), I can say that the GANTZ manga becomes stranger than the anime ever was.
Scott Green has been writing for AICN ANIME for close to seven years. If you like what you see here and love anime & manga, be sure to check out his latest AICN ANIME column here.

HERCULES: THE THRACIAN WARS #2 Radical Comics

The main difference between this book and the rest of the Hercs in comic these days is that this tale is set in ancient times. This opens up a whole new arena for basically the same character to romp around in. In this miniseries by Steve Moore, Herc is still loud and quick to enter a scuffle, but he's also the semi-leader of a pack of warriors that stumble into a situation where they find themselves way over their heads. Conned into training an inexperienced army how to do battle, Herc and his warriors do what they must to survive. Sure, eventually the conniving army leader will get what's coming to him and I can't wait until Herc blasts him with his giant Captain Caveman club, but I'm enjoying the ride. Moore takes his time focusing on the back story of Herc's warriors (this issue focuses on Atalanta) and adding fighting tips here and there, which may prove useful next time I do battle with an ancient army. Admira Wijaya provides vivid art, making all the characters distinguishable from one another (although a recap box may help to keep all of these tricky names straight). Wijaya also does a great job of drawing massive scenes of carnage and scores of people battling one another--a useful skill in a comic like HERCULES. Moore's attention to historical detail is noticed and appreciated here and he makes this series stand out from your typical barbarian fare. - Ambush Bug

ZOMBIE TALES: THE SERIES #1 BOOM! Studios

Well, BOOM!’s gone and given ZOMBIE TALES it’s own series. And if this issue is any indication, it’s about damn time. The anthology book promises much by way of brain-eating and mindless shambling brought to you from some of comic bookdom’s finest horror writers. This debut issue includes a tale from classic horror writer Joe R. Landsdale (drawn by the very capable Eduardo Barreto) focusing on a group of war vets waking up in a hospital full of zombies. This story moves fast and relies more on thrills than chills, but it’s got a busty nurse, so it can’t be all that bad. Story two is from horrormeister Steve Niles. This tale is drawn extremely well by someone I’m not familiar with, Daniel Lafrance. But I’ll be looking for his art from now on. Lafrance does a great job with tiny details and pays a good load of attention to backgrounds. The story itself is pretty creepy, about a husband forced to battle his own zombiefied wife. It’s a fun tale, built on that detail that his wife was a good organizer in life and turns out to be just as good in death. This short had an I AM LEGEND feel to it. The final tale focuses on a story seldom told in zombie lore. It doesn’t focus on the outbreak, but sets the story twenty-five years after it. This is a nicely crafted and fun look into the days after the dead took over the world. Humans are bred like livestock. Zombies have become the dominant culture, and humans are forced to live in exile. This is a fresh tale, the type of story I want to see more of in this book. If this first issue is any indication, ZOMBIE TALES: THE SERIES looks to be the place to find quality zombie stories. - Ambush Bug

GRIZZLY & CATICUS #1 Cool Monkey Press

This quirky little issue looks to be the start of something fun. Written and illustrated by Andrew Edge, this story only hints at the plot, but the hints prove to be intriguing and worth sticking around for another issue. Edge’s artistic style changes from one story to the next, each conveying a different mood. I especially like the slightly warped panels at the beginning as a seemingly innocent game of chess between two men in a park is interrupted by a flying kite. The interaction between the two is ominous indeed. The thot plikens as we cut to a lonely cat lady who receives a letter, a guy in need of toilet paper, and a jogger who meets an untimely end by chainsaw. Not sure what’s going on right yet, but I’m interested. The shift in art is a nice touch. Edge is a talented artist, able to convey mood and tone no matter what the medium. Plus if you’re a cat lover, his watercolor cats are pretty damn cool. – Ambush Bug

PROJECT: KALKI #1 Virgin Comics

Writer Arjun Gaind Art Vivek Shinde I’ve always been a fan of mythology, but I’ve usually stuck to Greek and Roman myth. I know next to nothing about Indian mythology, but PROJECT: KALKI seems to be a pretty good introductory course in the subject. Virgin Comics have been making comics with Indian mythological themes for a while now, but this is the first one I’ve been able to get my hands on. Turns out this was a pretty nice read by writer Arjun Gaind, telling the story of the discovery of the remains of the ancient Indian god, Rama, and how that discovery may leads to the eventual destruction or salvation of mankind. Soon the remains are stolen and taken to a doctor whose focus is on cloning. You don’t have to be a doctor of cloning to put together what happens next. Soon the reincarnation of Rama is walking around in modern times. This is a smartly written tale of science, mythology, and philosophy, drawn with realistic care by Vivek Shinde (whose work reminds me a lot of Charlie Adlard and Michael Lark’s). - Ambush Bug

DAREDEVIL #107 Marvel Comics

Man, this book is like a breath of fresh air. If you thought DAREDEVIL was good with Bru writing it, just take a look at it with the former GOTHAM CENTRAL team of Bru & Rucka, with former GOTHAM CENTRAL artists Michael Lark and Stefano Gaudiano in tow too. It's like old home week here and I loved every panel of it. Bru & Rucka don't miss a beat as they introduce a new crime drama. It's down to earth. It's gritty. And Matt gets called out big time by not one but two heroes for being such a freakin' sop. I've loved Brubaker's DAREDEVIL since he came on board, but with these new additions to the creative team, this is by far, the best book Marvel is producing right now. Those of you who like the flash and flair may not think this one is tops, but the writing is electric. The tension is tangible. And the set-up looks to be another fun ride from this team. - Bug

BATMAN: GOTHAM AFTER DARK #1 (of 12) DC Comics

I would like to say I stuck around to see the thrilling cliff-hanger, but I just couldn't stay awake that long. The most interesting thing I did see was Kelly Jones channeling Rob Liefield, with anatomy and poses that were downright spooky. When I stared, mouth agape, at one of the last pages, with Batman's cape strewn over crate after crate after crate…I mean, it had to be forty feet long. Jiminy Cricket, folks, I'm all into the impressionistic art, but give me a break. This makes Sam Kieth's BATMAN/LOBO effort look photo-realistic. Also, I'm not sure what's going on with the story, or why this warrants a maxi-series, but Batman vs. Scarecrow does not equal "frightening" (it's on the cover.) Batman getting laid low by a bunch of no-name thugs does not equal "frightening." The only thing I'm really frightened of is that, after we finish the Batman R.I.P. storyline in a few months, and start dealing with whatever "major changes" are coming Batman's way, this series will still be meandering along in a void of mootness. - Rock-Me

KING-SIZE HULK #1 Marvel Comics

This book reads like the deleted scenes from a special edition DVD. With DVD extras, if you like the movie, you'll probably want to see these deleted scenes and will probably enjoy them. If you aren't so keen on the flick, you'll skip them. Same applies to this book. If you are enjoying Jeph Loeb's new red HULK series, you'll probably be interested in this book which tries to fill i

Readers Talkback

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  • June 4, 2008, 7:42 a.m. CST

    bollocks

    by bongo123

  • June 4, 2008, 7:43 a.m. CST

    Damn You Michael Bay

    by MCMLXXVI

    Damn You Michael Bay

  • June 4, 2008, 7:43 a.m. CST

    take that first posters!

    by bongo123

  • June 4, 2008, 7:44 a.m. CST

    your nothing but persistant MCM if a little fucked in the head

    by bongo123

  • June 4, 2008, 7:45 a.m. CST

    She Hulk has a nice ass.

    by rev_skarekroe

    What?

  • June 4, 2008, 7:47 a.m. CST

    "ahem

    by tonagan

  • June 4, 2008, 7:49 a.m. CST

    I liked Final Crisis but like everything...

    by Sailor Rip

    ...it needs more Booster Gold.

  • June 4, 2008, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Batman 677

    by Whitemouse

    needed more Booster Gold...

  • June 4, 2008, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Michael Bay Rules

    by j2talk

    as pointless as ........ Damn You Michael Bay by MCMLXXVI

  • June 4, 2008, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Anyone else foresee SE vs. NW for the finals?

    by JasonPratt

    Or would that be too obvious? Hm... Makes sense, though--in effect it would be Snake Eyes vs. Batman minus the cape plus some real parity in experience as well as talent. (Batman would always have the experience edge.)

  • June 4, 2008, 8:47 a.m. CST

    plays poker with kittens.

    by Gatsbys West Egg Omlet

    nice, RockMe. that was a great episode.

  • June 4, 2008, 8:47 a.m. CST

    So...

    by MisterE

    ...Optimous Douche lost his virginity to a blue haired chick at age nineteen, and he gave her a minute-and-a-half Final Crisis?? What?

  • June 4, 2008, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Impressive, Gatsbys WEO

    by rock-me Amodeo

    only four words, and you still caught it...

  • June 4, 2008, 9 a.m. CST

    MCMLXXVI

    by brassai2003

    can't you keep to the movie boards. At least there some might chuckle. here, you're merely an annoying ass... LOVED AB's Bats review. I reluctantly agreed. As to the remarks about the cape panel in Gotham, I had to look at it again, but I beleive it's so big because it was riddled (heh) with bullets...

  • June 4, 2008, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Ambush Bug - I nailed this incredibly hot chick once, but

    by Squashua

    in the morning when she woke up, she saw the extra longboxes I had purchased from a going-out-of-business comic store ($1050 net worth after eBay 2 weeks later). She cited my comic collecting as an excuse. That's ok, she was insane and really too much into country music and the line dancing.

  • June 4, 2008, 9:06 a.m. CST

    Also

    by Squashua

    she was pretty lousy in bed.

  • June 4, 2008, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Final Crisis

    by Shigeru

    I didn't enjoy it in the slightest. I hadn't read any of the lead up so maybe that's why. Shrug, we've been over that before. BUT WHAT I REALLY WANT TO KNOW IS: <br> Why did the caveman not have a beard?? I mean freaking seriously.

  • June 4, 2008, 9:11 a.m. CST

    A. X-Men Review

    by Shigeru

    So it's the best thing Marvel has done in a decade, and is an "instant classic", but not in your top 2 or 3 dozen X-Men runs??? wtf

  • June 4, 2008, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Final Crisis - Which Caveman?

    by Squashua

    Which caveman, Anthro? He's a boy.<br><br> Did anyone besides me catch the GEICO caveman cameo? He's in the same panel as the tongue-waggling caveman.

  • June 4, 2008, 9:15 a.m. CST

    See, I was confused. I thought the caveman was AMDRO

    by rock-me Amodeo

    ...and he discovered fire ANTS. And then, uh, killed them.<br><br>So now I get it.

  • June 4, 2008, 9:35 a.m. CST

    GRIZZLY & CATICUS #1 was really cool!

    by typingaway

    I will definately be picking this up. Love the art,and the story reminded me of Twin Peaks/Lost. You aren't sure yet what is going on, but you are interested enought to continue the journey. :)

  • June 4, 2008, 9:38 a.m. CST

    rock-me Amodeo

    by Gatsbys West Egg Omlet

    i'm the kid with a custom "sex, drugs, and buffy" t-shirt. nothing slips by me.

  • June 4, 2008, 10:01 a.m. CST

    You misunderstand me Shig

    by Humphrey Lee

    I didn't mean it wasn't in my top 2-3 dozen X-Men runs, I meant it wasn't in my top 2 or 3 dozen runs PERIOD. Easily in my top 50 and probably 40, but not up there with the likes of say, STARMAN or SANDMAN or PREACHER etc etc. And I've read a shit-ton of comics, so being quality enough to only have 20-30ish titles and runs I consider better than it is still definitely "Instant Classic" status. I'm usually lights out exhausted when I type these things up though, so I guess I didn't word what I meant properly. Happens...

  • June 4, 2008, 10:07 a.m. CST

    Gotham By Midnight was unreadable

    by Charlie Murphy

    just terrible.

  • June 4, 2008, 10:23 a.m. CST

    where's...

    by blackthought

    my lost review?

  • June 4, 2008, 10:25 a.m. CST

    blackthought... I'm guessing it's...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    lost...

  • June 4, 2008, 10:36 a.m. CST

    People Understand

    by optimous_douche

    That this is the comics section right?<p> Check coaxial for LOST or write Harry.

  • June 4, 2008, 10:57 a.m. CST

    why do nerds always complain...

    by v1cious

    when an author wants to manipulate the foundation of a character? it's called DRAMA people!

  • June 4, 2008, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Morrison really, really hates AMERICAN superheros...

    by Circean6

    Morrison, Ellis, Jenkins, Ennis, Milligan, Millar, these guys repeatadly practice scorched earth policy on comics by putting a "real world" supporting character into a title then having that character poke holes into super hero mythos by telling us how impossibly insipid the whole thing really is. Fine & dandy, yes in the real world it would be daft to run around fighting crime in primary colors, but the real world also doesn't have bug-eyed monsters, homocidal clown lunatics, and cosimc space gods who want to eat the planet. None of that ever matters to these fellows it just been all about "Superheros are stupid & I will show you why". A lot of people don't like what they do fora living, but I wonder why the "UK Comic Mafia" insists on rubbing our noses in it.

  • June 4, 2008, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Questions and Comments

    by krushjudgement

    You said there were "moments of sheer genius" in Final Crisis. Just the art though right? I didn't see anything that supported genius writing in that issue or your review; pretty spot on criticisms by the way. Now the review for Astonishing X-Men: the entire series was reviewed, and was I agree it was a fantastic series, but what about this issue? I found it to be an incredible let down. I completely guessed the ending. I love Whedon too but I'm starting to telegraph his work. A) He believes love is doomed B) He never gives us a "happy" ending (see Buffy season 7, Serenity, Angel season 5 on so on) A + B = C: Shadowcat aint getting off that giant bullet. Mr. Whedon, you have great plot twists, how about surprising us with an ending that doesn't feel like we just got kicked in the nuts.

  • June 4, 2008, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Humphrey Lee

    by Shigeru

    AH. Ok that makes sense. Yeah I thought you meant top 2-3 dozen X-MEN stories.

  • June 4, 2008, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Anthro the cave boy

    by Shigeru

    for a cave boy he sure had FABulously detailed muscles and beat the shit out of those other cave dudes handily. nary a bit of stubble too. <br><br>who could be disapointed with ASM? Seriously a lady said she wanted to have sex with BEAST

  • June 4, 2008, 12:09 p.m. CST

    I agree with Circean 6, for the most part.

    by The-Duke-of-New-York

    Millar, Ellis, and Ennis for sure. Of course, everybody has manlove for Wanted, which I despised. So maybe it's just one of those personal preference things.

  • June 4, 2008, 12:10 p.m. CST

    New DC "Motivator" : UNVICTORIOUS!

    by Squashua

    Featuring... Ambush Bug!

  • June 4, 2008, 12:12 p.m. CST

    You Caught Me Jeff

    by optimous_douche

    I have never had sex and merely dream of the day when one of the lady folks will let me near the coveted ho-ha.<p> Now as far as "getting Morrison", I think I do.<p> I truly love the man's work, but I think he was handed a veritable mess with FC.<p> He has the sole task of trying to pick up the pieces of the past few years of build-up. He's doing that, but I tried to look at this book as a stand-alone piece (which is difficult).<p> As a solitary story my reviiew stands. Now I am going to try and see if I can pay someone to break the OD cherry. Wish me luck.

  • June 4, 2008, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Morrison hates superheroes?

    by rev_skarekroe

    Really? That's not the vibe I got from his old JLA run, or from All-Star Superman, or even from WWII (it was WWII, right?) where everyone on Earth becomes a superhero at the end.<p>And yeah, Ennis probably hates superheroes. And I don't think Warren Ellis is a big fan. I think Millar loves superheroes but deconstructs them and darkens them up anyway because he doesn't know how else to do it.

  • June 4, 2008, 12:18 p.m. CST

    WWIII

    by rev_skarekroe

    Not, WWII. I am teh stoopid.

  • June 4, 2008, 12:27 p.m. CST

    huh? Morrison loves Superheroes

    by messi

    where does anyone get the idea that he hates them.

  • June 4, 2008, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Problems with Final Crisis

    by messi

    the hype and fuck the name alone implies it is supposed to be mega fucking awesome, then people act like they've never heard of the New Gods before. Things don't jive and well yeah dissapointment. not to mention those pages with the league and society that look like fill in pages...already?!

  • June 4, 2008, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Ah, people are getting attacked, while views undiscussed...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    ...it must be Wednesday AND Jeff. Hi Jeff! I think it shows amazing consistency on your part that you almost always couple your opinion with a personal attack on the person expressing it.<br><br> Although you SEEM to be a little softer around the edges.<br><br>So please, instead of your usual ad hominems, can you please tell the class what entails someone "getting" Morrison, and can you please give some specifics on how Circean6 was wrong.<br><br>damn those wolves for not giving you much in the way of social skills. damn them!

  • June 4, 2008, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Final Crisis

    by rock-me Amodeo

    all i know is, when a fifth or perhaps a fourth of the book is devoted to "Metron gives fire," no matter how beautifully drawn, I'm underwhelmed. (and Perez could have done it in like three panels on half a page...

  • June 4, 2008, 12:43 p.m. CST

    "Getting" Morrison.

    by Squashua

    It took me a while.<br><br> I had to sift through all the characters shouting, "Nuuuuuuuuaaaaaaaaa..." and "vleeeeeooooorr!" before I could put some of the essentials together.

  • June 4, 2008, 12:49 p.m. CST

    what I want to know is, if you "get" Morrison...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    ...is it treatable?

  • June 4, 2008, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Getting "Morrison" IS treatable...

    by Squashua

    ... unfortunately only through Byrne therapy.

  • June 4, 2008, 1:18 p.m. CST

    I get Morrison more than anybody ever

    by Laserhead

    He writes exclusively for me, you see, as he has ever since 'Animal Man.' No point arguing with me. However, I have noticed in recent years that Morrison's ideas are often better than their execution. The actual stories that see print often seem to lack a coherent dramatic structure-- they don't build simple effects like tension or suspense, but instead read with heavy exposition, and frequently feel like they're missing at least a couple scenes. It used to not be this way, but it seems like more and more his 'ideas' for a story are much cooler than the actual story turns out to be (I'm thinking of his entire run on Batman).

  • June 4, 2008, 1:29 p.m. CST

    I'm digging Batman R.I.P.

    by blindambition238

    The last issue had more WTF and OMG moments than secret invasion. Not really feeling final crisis so far either.

  • June 4, 2008, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Albertson's

    by Shigeru

    I used to buy groceries there.

  • June 4, 2008, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Laserhead

    by Shigeru

    "I have noticed in recent years that Morrison's ideas are often better than their execution. The actual stories that see print often seem to lack a coherent dramatic structure-- they don't build simple effects like tension or suspense, but instead read with heavy exposition, and frequently feel like they're missing at least a couple scenes. It used to not be this way, but it seems like more and more his 'ideas' for a story are much cooler than the actual story turns out to be"<br><br> you should try this book called All Star Superman I hear it's pretty good

  • June 4, 2008, 1:46 p.m. CST

    I suppose you'll really like Diablo Cody's run on X-Men

    by IndustryKiller!

    If you liked Joss Whedon's. So ridiculously overrated it's not even funny. His overly precious style is every bit as.....overly precious, as everything else he does. He doesn't write the X-Men as a kick ass fighting team but rather a conduit for his terrible jokes. The character most egregiously fucked up is probably, as usual, Wolverine. I don't know when the fuck people are going to figure out that Wolverine is a BAD ASS, not a WISE ASS. I mean he has his moments of wise assery but the guy is also a samurai. No, Whedon would rather constantly take the piss out of him. He has the Gimli role in the run if you will. The White Queen is at her two dimensional Paris Hiltonesque worst here, making her relationship with Cyclops even more unbelievable. Not only that but he's done how many arcs now without a single good villain? And no Danger isn't a good villain. It's a good idea with bland execution. And the breakworld storyline, complete and utter garbage. As Plodding and confusing as it gets with an absolutely terrible antagonist.

  • June 4, 2008, 1:58 p.m. CST

    I was thinking more

    by Laserhead

    of several storylines in New X-Men, Seven Soldiers and Batman, specifically. I love a lot of what he's done in All-Star Superman.

  • June 4, 2008, 2:01 p.m. CST

    IndustryKiller! - Astonishing X-men

    by WarpedElements

    You forgot the part where he writes the rest of the characters (with the exception of colossus) as if they were still in the Claremont days. No character growth or anything. What REALLY pisses me off was the Breakworld people's ability to "Undo death" or bring people back. Shot into space? No problem. Killed from a virus? Sppth, we can bring you back no problem. Whedon is a hack.

  • June 4, 2008, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Actually, I'd buy Diablo Cody's X-Men

    by rev_skarekroe

    Sounds like a hoot.

  • June 4, 2008, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Wheden/Cassidey > Claremont/Lee

    by DOGSOUP

    Dammit. Whoever comes next is going to fuck it up.

  • June 4, 2008, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah,

    by loodabagel

    <p>Because the 200 other X-Men comics have just been great. And in all honesty, "badass Wolverine" has been done to death multiple times. Whedon brings a change of pace to one of the single most overused characters in comics. Forget that he's made Cyclops interesting for the first time in, uh, ever; let's focus on the unnaceptably light take on Wolverine. </p> <p>Oh, and All Star Superman was the best Superman comic ever, as usual.</p>

  • June 4, 2008, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Johns and Reis signed to exclusive X-Men contract!

    by rock-me Amodeo

    sucker, made you look...

  • June 4, 2008, 2:48 p.m. CST

    I take that back

    by DOGSOUP

    Warren Ellis is a Man-God.

  • June 4, 2008, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Warren Ellis and Simone Bianchi...

    by loodabagel

    Are taking over Astonishing X-Men, rather than cancel the book. Whatever.

  • June 4, 2008, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Did you just respond to my post, Dogsoup?

    by loodabagel

    Holy fuck. You can time travel.

  • June 4, 2008, 3:01 p.m. CST

    All Star Superman

    by optimous_douche

    I was at Wizard World in philly this past weekend and the DC booth was giving away Free Comic Day versions of this first issue.<p> For shits and giggles I put it on the coffee table outside of my office today at work and I think I counted 25 people that at least picked it up, 7 people actually sat there and read it.

  • June 4, 2008, 3:02 p.m. CST

    I still think Nick Fury should win this...

    by V'Shael

    Pity he couldn't use an LMD in these fights. He seems to live by that rule: When you get that itch.. send in an LMD and stay the fuck away.

  • June 4, 2008, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Crisised Out etc.

    by mattb127

    I will no longer buy anything crisis-related, DC. You have crised me out. DiDio: MEMO: killing/raping/disfiguring a bunch of Silver Age Rejects (this includes the Martian Manhunter) is not storytelling. And it's not good marketing anymore, either. MORRISON is awesome. This brochure of a comic is disgraceful, though. Secret invasion rules!

  • June 4, 2008, 3:38 p.m. CST

    MCMLXXVI....

    by Cletus Van Damme

    ...you're doing God's work! Keep it up, brotha!

  • June 4, 2008, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Final Crisis

    by steverodgers

    Is Kamandi involved? If he is ill buy it... if he is though i bet they kill him... maybe they already killed him along with every other Kirby creation. jerks.

  • June 4, 2008, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Did they kill the little girl from Runaways in Secret Invasion?

    by Squashua

    I couldn't tell which bandana'd little girl got her neck snapped by a Skrull in those last few pages. They all look alike.<br><br>Can't wait for Power Pack to bite it next issue.

  • June 4, 2008, 4:14 p.m. CST

    That Thor Cover

    by Autodidact

    is fuckin tight!

  • June 4, 2008, 4:28 p.m. CST

    squashua

    by v1cious

    The Runaways are in the past right now.

  • June 4, 2008, 4:28 p.m. CST

    but do you know what really sucked?

    by ian216a

    Did anyone else read the last Young Avengers Presents..? The one with Cassie Lang. I can honestly say that it had the most immature seeming writing and art I have seen in a Marvel book since that time they went bankrupt. Enjoyed all the others so far, but this was like an after school special made by people who had not left school yet. And that last frame - the one that looked like the frozen camera shot at the end of an episode of Different Strokes (but with wonkily drawn faces)? Excretable - utterly and inexcuseably excretable.

  • June 4, 2008, 4:42 p.m. CST

    shut up IndustryKiller!

    by messi

    you hate everything. you never see anything good in anything, whatever you say about whedon's run, his cyclops is fucking awesome.

  • June 4, 2008, 4:54 p.m. CST

    WIKIPEDIA REVEALS WHO THE VILLAIN OF BATMAN RIP IS...

    by Err

    In all honesty, it makes sense and is really the only logical conclusion.

  • June 4, 2008, 5:52 p.m. CST

    I'm with Industry Killer

    by Homer Sexual

    Boo to Astonishing. Not a bad run, but probably THE most over-rated of all time. I found it self-important and the end was uber-predictable, as well as weak. Danger was a wretched character, Breakworld also lame. Morrison's run was soooo much better. That period had fresh, imaginative, yet buyable, characterization and storylines. It was so good, in fact, that Ultimate X-Men seems to be currently stealing the Quentin Quire "kick" storyline. THAT run should be the "instant classic." <p> OK, now that I have expressed my appreciation of Morrison, I have to say Final Crisis was totally pwned by Secret Invasion. And I have hated Marvel's events for three years now, while liking all of the DC ones except Identity Misogyny Crisis. A return to the Silver Age is something that Marvel needs, not DC. DC stood for Dorky Comics back in the day. We used to make fun of "square," dated books in the old days by saying "that's so DC." Haven't said that for years, and don't want to start saying it now.

  • June 4, 2008, 6:17 p.m. CST

    Ennis doesn't hate superheroes...

    by MrSensitive

    ...if he did, he wouldn't have written that "Hitman" Eisner-winning story about shooting the shit with Superman. If anything, he just considers the whole capes and suits thing as silly.

  • June 4, 2008, 7:30 p.m. CST

    Boo to Astonishing indeed

    by MonkeyAngst

    Started off really promising, but then slowed to molasses, a sad symptom of contemporary comics writing, but on this book made all the more insufferable by the ridiculous delays.

  • June 4, 2008, 7:43 p.m. CST

    SPOILER: Morrison is God.

    by the_dixie_flatline

    No seriously. That's how Final Crisis ends. And then he becomes editor-in-cheif at DC, which would be some rad synchronicity. Someone really needs to reprint his obscure late-80s, early-90s stuff. Zoids, The New Adventures of Adolf Hitler, that crazy summer he spent editing 2000AD... That was Morrison at his best.

  • June 4, 2008, 8:52 p.m. CST

    Morrison LOVES Superheros

    by James418

    And he doesn't put them in the "real world", instead he takes "comic book world" to the extreme. He takes every wild, off the wall concept that's ever been used in a superhero comic and asks, "how would this work", then writes it in the most matter of fact way. Morrison doesn't just take superheros seriously, he takes the FUN that's inherent in superheros seriously.

  • June 4, 2008, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Batman's most cunning enemy: Maturity

    by Greggers

    Guys, guys! I think amongst all the Morrison attacking/defending, the bad puns, and Michael mothereffing Bay, you're losing sight of what's really important: AICN's Ambush Bug wrote an awesome review of BATMAN #677. The way he wove the discussion of story content with biting metaphorical context was, as the kids say, "some next level shit right there." Kudos, Mark. <br><br> Quick question: Do you think Morrison was *purposely* doing some metatextual work there; in effect, telling the reader that if he/she looks at their participation in this genre under the lens of real maturity, that, like Batman, they deserve a little embarassment? Or am I overextrapolating from the metaphor in your review? <br><br> Regardless, I think that despite the fact that you technically gave it a negative review, it provided enough food for thought to make the issue worthwhile. It bumped you, sure; but maybe in the end, it bumped you in a good way.

  • June 4, 2008, 10:01 p.m. CST

    loodabagel - Whendon Brings nothing new

    by WarpedElements

    Except Emo-Colossus. I'll give you the interesting take in Cyclops. But everything else is his hackneyed attempts at puns and bad jokes a la buffy-camp style. All the other characters, ESPECIALLY wolverine and kitty pride were more or less on par with their Claremont envisioned versions. It's nothing new except OMG white queen has on even LESS clothing, and cyclops comes off a little less of a douche. There is of course, the 'new' character of Armor, who's characterizations are like that of the early seasons of Buffy. Slight humor, attempts at playing with the big kids, makes more bad jokes. Actually, I guess the constant stream of bad jokes is something new.

  • June 4, 2008, 10:05 p.m. CST

    Oh and More Deadpool

    by WarpedElements

    http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=16602

  • June 4, 2008, 10:11 p.m. CST

    who cares if it's nothing new

    by messi

    it's entertaining.

  • June 4, 2008, 10:30 p.m. CST

    messi - It's people like you

    by WarpedElements

    That are the cause of remakes of already bad films. Or for the existence of Michael Bay. Sheeple indeed.

  • June 4, 2008, 11:51 p.m. CST

    Worried about the Morrison Batman treatment...

    by George Newman

  • June 4, 2008, 11:54 p.m. CST

    It could do Irreparable damage. Just look at X-MEN

    by George Newman

    X-Men can never go back to it's pre-Morrison storytelling. The foundation is just much too shaken. Everything after it has been floundering GARBAGE. <p> Now I loved his New X-Men run, don't Don't DON"T get me wrong. It was masterfully choreographed. But everything has been screwed since. <p> I don't want that to happen to Batman.

  • June 5, 2008, 12:02 a.m. CST

    WarpedElements

    by messi

    uhh why? I didn't realize comics and movies were meant for anything more than entertainment first?

  • June 5, 2008, 12:16 a.m. CST

    WarpedElements

    by krushjudgement

    I guess all of us long time comic readers have been suckered into thinking Astonishing X-Men is good, when in actuality it is shallow and Michael Bay-ish. I'm sorry man, if you don't like it that's cool, everyone has different opinions, but to throw out "people like you" comments is just pretentious.

  • June 5, 2008, 1:16 a.m. CST

    "Who cares if it's nothing new, it's entertaining"

    by IndustryKiller!

    Boy Messi you should become a lawyer with insight and such amazing debate skills. in fact that is more or less your argument for anything you defend. Well, guess what, a lot of people don't find it entertaining, and we actually have reasons as to why. I've become increasing more convinced with every post I read of your that you're a 13 year old boy. That time you went on and on about that death metal band you love didn't help either. I will agree with you on one thing though, Whedons Cyclops isn;t bad. Still not a good character, but Ive often seen him done worse. Too bad he's surrounded by awful two dimensional joke conduits and unimaginative storylines.

  • June 5, 2008, 1:38 a.m. CST

    loodabagel saying bad ass Wolverine has been done to death

    by IndustryKiller!

    is like saying that an angry Batman has been done to death. Sorry but that's the character. Every long time comic book characters has been done to death. that doesn't mean you change them inorganically to fit whatever you feel like making them do (I'm looking at you Mark millar). Moreover when writers make changes like that its almost always for the worse. Hence you have Whedons take on the character. He's just an excuse for jokes. Many at his expense, which is bullshit. Rather than change the character, why not give him more layers? Or put him in new situations. That's what good writers do.

  • June 5, 2008, 2:34 a.m. CST

    Thanks, Greg...

    by Ambush Bug

    The thing is, I kind of liked this issue. I can't give it a completely bad review and I don't think I did. In the review, I just wanted to tell people that it actually hit me on a couple of visceral levels, levels that maybe I don't want to think about. If Morrison is half as good as a lot of people think he is, he knows that there's another level to the story he's telling. Now, I don't know if it's a good thing to make your readers think that the comic in thier hands isn't really worth all of the time and money, but it certainly makes for a thought provoking read. Morrison has me for this arc. I'm liking enough of it to continue with it. But some of the feelings I'm getting are making me feel a bit uneasy. That coupled with the spot on observations stated above in Laserhead's earlier post is the reason I am both fascinated and frustrated all to hell with the writer.

  • June 5, 2008, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Wolverine not a bad ass?

    by Shigeru

    Did he not ask if he could kill somebody this issue? Did he not CUT A DUDE'S FUCKIN ARM OFF? Did he not get thrown by Colossus and stick his hand in a dude's mouth and say "land or I pop the claws"?? <br> He's actualy made Cyclops interesting to me...which is a FIRST. <br>Same with Colossus and Kitty. <br>And this is the best action I've ever read in an X-Men book. <br><br> What's wrong with a few jokes? <br><br>ps- fuck

  • June 5, 2008, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Whedon

    by Laserhead

    I liked the Whedon X-Men okay... but I do feel the acclaim is wildly overblown. His versions of the characters were usually too cutesy, the storyline's dragged, and Breakworld as a whole was pretty dumb. Looking back, I think the only moment I felt was 'classic' , was Kitty phasing through the floor cause she came so hard. Shigeru-- Cyclops was never interesting to you? Wow. To me, Cyclops has consistently been the only interesting thing about the X-Men for a long, long time. I thought he was pretty interesting in the Claremont/Paul Smith days when he single-handedly kicked the shit out of all the other X-Men (the double-sized issue where Mastermind makes them think Phoenix has returned).

  • June 5, 2008, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Batman

    by Homer Sexual

    OK, I don't normally read Batman. I almost never like the icons unless something very different is being done with them (like All-Star Superman). So this is kind of interesting to me. The last time I read Batman was a million years ago when the Jokerfish story was done and he had Silver St. Cloud as his mujer. This does seem like a setup, so if Jet isn't part of a conspiracy, that will be interesting. I have liked these two issues, and could end up continuing to buy Batman if someone else takes up the cowl, just to see what happens. That's probably what DC is hoping for, no? <p> Shigeru-it is very interesting to me that you really like the action in Astonishing. That is not a compliment I would have expected. I just disagree so much. I do, however, like the jokes. And I don't have a problem with the characterization, I just don't get into it. It bored me, rather than entertaining me, but I know I'm in the minority on that. <p> Speaking of Wolverine, I really enjoyed the whole "get Mystique" storyline that just ended.

  • June 5, 2008, 10:39 a.m. CST

    IndustryKiller!

    by messi

    Dud you find nothing entertaining because you're a boring sack of shit. and what death metal band are you talking about? Isis? Isis is a post rock doom band. I'm not a 13 year old boy, i'm just someone who has a little more positivity when it comes to entertainment because it's not something I should be super serious about and I leave my cynicism for real world shit like dictators and human trafficking which I should be serious about. Maybe if you did the same thing you'd make a real difference in this world like myself rather than complain about every comic book and movie on a website. You complain about all these heroes and their characterizations but they are still better than you.

  • June 5, 2008, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Morrison

    by Laserhead

    For the record, I love Morrison, and find him the most fascinating modern comic book writer, but there was a time when he was able to channel his ideas into more viscerally entertaining fare (Animal Man and Doom Patrol, to cite just two). Did anybody read The Filth? It was the best of Morrison, it was the worst of Morrison. Coupled with the final volume of The Invisibles, I think that marks the moment when the profligacy of Morrison's ideas began to exceed his ability to shape them into exciting narratives. He's still capable, and always will be, of writing an absolutely first-rate comic story-- and in that way he's worth ten of Bendis or Millar, to me --but there's a sliding scale with him involving an inverse relationship between 'concept' and 'story execution'. I look at something like New X-Men Annual #1, which introduced Xorn, and seems like its missing at least a few pages of story. Or Seven Soldiers, which I still like, but where several key pieces of dramatic development are absent-- that is, it never cohered into the grand vision he'd outlined for it, but remained somehow static, as an illustrated concept rather than a moving story. Also, he taught me about sigils. And, if you ask me, everything Millar or Ellis has accomplished has been done by standing on the shoulders of Grant Morrison.

  • June 5, 2008, 11:34 a.m. CST

    BOTTLE IMP & AMBUSH BUG...

    by SMARTASS8

    Imp, I felt the exact way you did with Blue Devil's "old school" costume. Thanks to his 80's series that I loved as a little kid(that's what got me to first go into a comic store since the grocery store didn't get issue #1), Danny's been my favorite DC hero after Superman and Swamp Thing(give him back to DC Karen Berger!!!). While I'm happy he's still being used at DC, I hate his modern look. I was so happy to see his original, I actually had hopes they were going to possibly give him his own mini or series. What a let down!! Now that Shadowpact is over, I hope Enchantress, Detective Chimp, and Blue Devil all go back to their original costumes for their future appearances. Bug, I agree with your review of New Avengers(or at least your review of Bendis' writing skills). I used to think Bendis was one of the best writers working(before he started doing more and more "mainstream" superhero comics). I now can no longer read his work without rolling my eyes. All his characters(whether they are written "in character" with past appearances or not) sound like a four-letter word spewing Chandler from Friends. I don't understand the love he gets at Marvel or from fans. He really seems to only be able to write noir comics(although his first few years on Ultimate Spidey were great, his bag of tricks for that book seems empty). Even his ideas seem re-used from better stories. I find writers like Geoff Johns, JMS, Dan Slott, and even hit-or-miss Grant Morrison capable of writing circles around him. He's really turned me off of Marvel(along with a little help from JoeyQ and Mark "poor man's Garth Ennis" Millar[the only difference is he hates America while Ennis hates superheroes])after being a proud Zombie for almost 20 years.

  • June 5, 2008, 11:34 a.m. CST

    more Morrison

    by Homer Sexual

    I totally agree with the above comments about Xorn...and directly connected, the final arc of Morrison's New X-Men was terrible. I actually had forgotten all about it and was just remembering the many good stories before it. <p> Seven Soldiers...during it's run, that was one of my all-time favorites, but the ending was so disappointingly "whatever" that it dimmed my appreciation of the whole thing. Still, it was pretty good. <p> Invisibles and Filth are Morrison work that is just too out there for my taste.

  • June 5, 2008, 1:03 p.m. CST

    Women and comics and R.I.P.

    by Laserhead

    I've always found that women find the comic thing kind of endearing, in a, "YOU like comic books? That's cute" kind-of-way. I wouldn't try to TALK about comics to a girlfriend, because that would be a turn-off, and I would sound like an obsessive ass, but their mere presence doesn't seem to prejudice females. On to Batman R.I.P.: here's a topic I would like to see us all discuss-- say the endgame is that Thomas Wayne set up his wife's murder and is an evil bastard who's still alive. Does this really change Batman's reason for being? Does it in fact topple the foundation of the character? Or does it just add more complications to that foundation? I mean, his mother and himself were still victims of evil; he's still scarred by the event. If anything, it could give more nuance to his mission, make it even more personal-- ditto his own role as father. Or am I completely crackers?

  • June 5, 2008, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Come on you bastards...

    by Laserhead

    TALKBACK!

  • June 5, 2008, 1:40 p.m. CST

    "people like you" comments is just pretentious.

    by WarpedElements

    So what? It's a comment about how shallow simple minded people like the flavor of the month or the 'hey look shiny and repackaged!' ideology instead of something creative. As for Messi, if you're going to like mindlessness for the sake of entertainment, then I applaud you for your honesty.

  • June 5, 2008, 1:56 p.m. CST

    I gotta get up in this Messi/IndustryKiller! arguement...

    by SleazyG.

    ...long enough to point out that Isis is pretty kickass.

  • June 5, 2008, 2 p.m. CST

    KICK-ASS # 3 and 1985 #1

    by SamBlackChvrch21

    I am displeased with the lack of coverage for both of these issues that were released recently.

  • June 5, 2008, 2:02 p.m. CST

    That review of BATMAN: RIP was ridiculous.

    by SleazyG.

    Completely missed the point, and so is anybody who took these "revelations" or Jezebel Jet or Bruce's actions at face value. You guys completely missed everything that's going on there.<p> So there's a Doctor, who hates Batman, and whose name starts with the letters HU? Ring any bells?<p> And then that doctor *tells us* he's doped up Bruce Wayne to make him more susceptible to suggestion, and THEN Jezebel starts in on the guilt trip? And the whole "Bruce, what if you're insane and you're the badguy?" And you don't think maybe she's full of shit and in on it and Bruce is only falling for it cuz he's been drugged?<p> And then some random old bullshit file appears making his parents look like degenerate animals, and you assume it's real and not a plant by the bad guys out to get him?<p> There are red herrings all over the place, as well as hints about what's going on...but that whole DRUGGED UP AND OPEN TO SUGGESTION thing? That's not really a hint, y'know? It's pretty blatant, really.<p> Go back and reread this issue, people, and tell me how you can *possibly* take the claims about the Waynes seriously, and how you can *possibly* think Jet isn't there to help tear Bruce down. It's plain as day. Or it's part of the red herrings. But it sure as hell isn't the straigtforward thing you guys are pretending it is. Jeez louise.<p> ...<p> Crap. Forgot to use my other screenname before I posted this...

  • June 5, 2008, 2:07 p.m. CST

    SleazyG.

    by WarpedElements

    I'm not even reading Batman RiP and now I wanna read it after that post. I love you.

  • June 5, 2008, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Sleazy

    by Laserhead

    That's what I figured as far as the revelations in R.I.P. so far... all I wanted to discuss is 'what-if'; what if Morrison knows you're going to think it's part of Hugo Strange or whoever's plot to take down Batman? Morrison's definitely smart enough to make the truth appear to be misdirection and lies, then at the end revealing it was actually true, as the climactic twist. So, just imagine that's what happens: would the revelations about Thomas Wayne really crumble Batman's foundation?

  • June 5, 2008, 2:11 p.m. CST

    And what the fuck are you so angry about?

    by Laserhead

  • June 5, 2008, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Dude, I was *born* angry.

    by SleazyG.

    Nah, seriously: I'm not angry, just stating my position vehemently. Plus I thought it would be funny to go the hell off on Bug and then pretending I forgot to use my other screenname. He'll prolly yell at me the next time we grab a coupla beers, but it was worth it cuz it was fun for me.

  • June 5, 2008, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Warped Elements.

    by SleazyG.

    And BTW--I wasn't a huge fan of some of Morrison's earlier work on BATMAN, including his horrible "League Of Batman" arc or whatever they're called. But this more recent stuff with Jezebel Jet as the lead in to RIP has been pretty solid stuff, so I'm hopeful.

  • June 5, 2008, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Okay, okay...

    by loodabagel

    <p>Time to drag this argument back up and beat it around some more...</p> <p>Whedon might not bring a fresh perspective to the comic as far as his writing style goes, but most of the billion other X-Men comics are just such a convuluted mess it's nice to read a comic with less time-travel, secret agents, secret pacts, whatever, etc. The ending og the comic was preditable, but that's what made it so fuckin tragic. One thing Whedon can do well is emotion. Everyone knew it was going to end the way it did. Maybe not with the exact specific details... but shit man, it's just such a downer when it happens. I saw Cloverfield last night and found it more depressing than scary. I felt the same way about this final issue of AXM. (Except instead of not being very scary, it wasn't very action-y.) Not that the action was totally lacking. It had some great moments as usual. And one good jaw-dropper. </P> <p>Warped Elements, if you ever compare Astonishing X-Men to Michael Bay again, shit, if you ever compare Civil War or All Star Batman to a Michael Bay movie, I will personally come to your house and rip your eyeballs out and then piss in your eye sockets and then make you jerk off in a cup and then I will use that cup to inseminate your mother and then when she gives birth to a mutant baby, I will make both of you eat it alive and then I will feed your mom to a dog and then I will make you eat the dog's shit afterwards and then I will order the '98 Miami Dolphins to sodomize you one by one until your small intestine falls out of your asshole, then I will squirt intestines in your eye sockets and shove them down your throat until you die. Just sayin' Joss Whedon will never be Michael Bay (And I've never even seen any of his TV shows.)</p>

  • June 5, 2008, 3:33 p.m. CST

    LMAO @ Looda

    by Shigeru

    damnation that was a Psynapse-level threat dude

  • June 5, 2008, 3:36 p.m. CST

    astonishing action

    by Shigeru

    Um John Cassaday could draw paint drying or an old lady reading a book and I'd find it riveting. Seriously what was wrong with the action? There was some great fights in it, albeit not a lot. <br><br>No Cyclops was never interesting to me. Doesn't hurt that I hardly read X-Men comics. <br><br> the fact that AXM was stand alone helped A LOT. <br><br> Why hate on the ending?? It was beautifully drawn and poignantly written. The exchange between Emma and Kitty? Come on people.

  • June 5, 2008, 3:37 p.m. CST

    bustedtees redhead

    by Shigeru

    man I'd love to rub my ___ all over her ___ and then make her ____ my endless ____ <br>it's like madlibs

  • June 5, 2008, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Amazing Spider-Man

    by drewlicious

    I'm enjoying it a lot more now than I did initially. Looks like they're starting to remember what made Spider-Man so appealing in the first place: a regular guy trying to balance the chaos in his life. Plus we finally got an interesting villain, finally after going through all that Menace crap. To be honest the only glider villain who was remotely interesting was Norman Osborne.

  • June 5, 2008, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Sorry Laser Batman RIP

    by optimous_douche

    No room for debate. You're not crackers and you answered the question pretty well.<p> "Does this really change Batman's reason for being? Does it in fact topple the foundation of the character? Or does it just add more complications to that foundation? I mean, his mother and himself were still victims of evil; he's still scarred by the event. If anything, it could give more nuance to his mission, make it even more personal-- ditto his own role as father. Or am I completely crackers?"

  • June 5, 2008, 8:09 p.m. CST

    Proof Book1:Goatsucker

    by KCViking

    Just picked up this trade...have you a$$holes reviewed this comic before? Is this a monthly on going? If so,what issue are they on? If ya can't tell I really loved this comic! Great work on the column folks...keep it up!

  • June 5, 2008, 8:22 p.m. CST

    And when I say a$$holes...

    by KCViking

    I mean it in the nicest way. And yes,I'm a relatively new poster here,so,go ahead and rip me a new one(just keep loodabagel far away from me).

  • June 5, 2008, 10:15 p.m. CST

    I get edgy every time someone brings up ALL-STAR SUPES

    by Greggers

    Like someone might be on the verge of trash talking it. And that cannot stand. <br><br> Sleazy, much like Laserhead's suggestion that even if Thomas Wayne turned out to be an evil dick, that it wouldn't change Batman's mission, I'll suggest that even if the gal who's mind-effing Batman is doing so for the sake of some nefarious comic book plot, it doesn't change the fact that, if she's bringing the whole Batman/superhero schtick into the light of clear, grown-up rational thinking, she could be right. (I have to be real careful how far out on a limb I'm go here, seeing how I haven't read the story at all, just Bug's review.) And this idea that Morrison might be doing a narrative equivalent of Shatner on SNL telling Star Trek conventioneers to "Get a Life" fascinates me. Because maybe it needs to be said. <br><br> Oh dear lord, I think I'm turning into a John Byrne-ean "The comics should be for the *children*" type. What's happened to me??

  • June 6, 2008, 6:01 a.m. CST

    Children Scmuldren

    by optimous_douche

    F-em!<p> That's why God created the animated series books, Archie and Richie Rich.

  • June 6, 2008, 8:25 a.m. CST

    Shigero

    by rock-me Amodeo

    Hydrogen Peroxide<br> Paper Cut<br> listen to<br> fatherly advice about being careful.<br><br>Not the madlib you expected, but boy, do you seem like a nice guy. heh.

  • June 6, 2008, 8:27 a.m. CST

    ShigerU

    by rock-me Amodeo

    uups. Sorry<br><br>Also, Looda...so does that mean you like Bay or hate him? I couldn't tell...

  • June 6, 2008, 1:16 p.m. CST

    loodabagel I didn't say

    by WarpedElements

    That he and Bay were on the same level, just that they're comparable in terms of never changing, never anything new styles and continuing to piss on things in a remake/do-over/pastiche/homage verions of movies/comics/gang bangs/whatever. Feel free to attempt your little threats all ya want. My login at gmail. email me for my address if ya like.

  • June 6, 2008, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Comics for Children

    by Homer Sexual

    I am always trying to get young people I know (pretty much all teenaged) into comics. <p> That said, why would anyone who writes/draws/etc comics say they are intended for kids only? That's a good way to destroy your sales. And, as has been pointed out, there's plenty of "kid-oriented" books out there. The good ones (Runaways, for example) appeal to young and old alike.

  • June 6, 2008, 6:08 p.m. CST

    But How Do You Define Kid?

    by optimous_douche

    I would be a little apprehensive about giving Runaways to any kid under the age of 12 or 13.<p> Plus I think it would have to be an advanced 11 year old or less that would want to read something that emotion heavy.<p> I was talking lil lil kids.<p> I got my first pair of glasses at 4 becasue I was reading Richie Rich in bed at night. Thanks for the literacy and the myopia Mom and Dad.<p> Nowadays kids have a shit load of choices, I'm jealous.

  • June 6, 2008, 8:08 p.m. CST

    Comics, kids, and you - you pathetic manboychild.

    by Greggers

    So the party line when it comes to this issue is that "Comics should be for ALL AGES." That's *ALL AGES*, usually said by the person proclaiming it with due emphasis. <br><br> And now I'm going to call bullshit on that. <br><br> For you see, the inescapable fact is that the bedrock conventions of superhero comics are, in a word, immature. People dress up in fantastic clothing and have fantastic adventures. Many have cool clubhouses and cool toys. And since they are serialized in perpetuity (by design, at least), they experience no real or lasting growth or character development. These are handicaps when it comes to adult fiction, but perfect for a transitory hobby for pre-adolescents - which is what superheroes comics were during their heyday for about 50 years. <br><br> But for the past 20 or so, comics have increasingly become the pursuit of emotionally regressed adults. Well, mostly emotionally regressed: the majority of the audience is advanced enough to demand more adult content in the comic stories, including the "heavy emotion" Optimus described in RUNAWAYS. Meanwhile, the entry-level audience of children increasingly evaporates, and comics inevitably fade into obscurity, like the pulps or the penny dreadfuls. <br><br> The caveat to this picture I've painted: The phenomenon of the success of the superhero movie.

  • June 6, 2008, 8:42 p.m. CST

    Greggers

    by Laserhead

    That was dead on.

  • June 6, 2008, 11:29 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Laserhead!

    by Greggers

    I usually do my best work when no one's really listening. But it's nice to see at least *somebody* got a look before the column found its way down the memory hole. Mazzle-tov! <br><br> But to be honest, I'm just regurgitating a meme that's been floating around for some time. Back when I was into comics whole-hog, the idea that they should primarily be for kids was an annoying gnat of a thought; something I tried not to look at. Nowdays, since I'm no longer investing so much in the hobby, I can afford to be a little more candid with myself.

  • June 7, 2008, 3:52 a.m. CST

    Morrison, Even Millar, Love Superheroes

    by Buzz Maverik

    Millar knows what he's deconstructing. With him, it's that he loves working for Marvel, is eager to please and gets an overabundance of praise.<p>Morrison has always amazed me with his knowledge of comics. Alan Moore knows more (somebody always knows more; you don't wanna be the guy who knows the most -- talk about chick repellent)but he retires more often than Stephen King.

  • June 7, 2008, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Nah, Millar doesn't like Superheroes

    by Laserhead

    Morrison loves them, and loves them for what makes them super-heroes-- the colorful costumes, the impossible science, the IDEAS, even the Freudian underpinnings. Millar loves Mark Millar, and it shows in his writing.

  • June 7, 2008, 4:33 p.m. CST

    If any comics writer is like Michael Bay...

    by loodabagel

    <p>I would (seriously) say Mark Millar. I generally like his stuff, but his comics are indeed, mean, immature and violent. However, I've never read them by strobe light while Bernie Mack shouts at me, so I didn't get the full effect.</p> <p>Warped, you know I'm just kidding, right? Incest is gross. And for all I know, you could be right about Whedon never changing, because Astonishing X-Men is the only thing of his I've ever read. Maybe when I get a year to sit around and do nothing, I'll check out those TV shows everyone's talking about. I have to respectfully disagree with you on the "pissing on continuity" aspect, though. Xaviers's actions regarding Danger seemed forced for the sake of the story, but everything else fit; and please don't drag out the old "comic relief/badass Wolverine" thing again, because the comic isn't really about Wolverine. It's Kitty Pryde and the X-Men.

  • June 7, 2008, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Rock-Me...

    by loodabagel

    I'm pretty sure you're being sarcastic, but for the sake of clarity-I FUCKING HATE MICAHEL BAY.

  • June 7, 2008, 4:39 p.m. CST

    Optimous...

    by loodabagel

    My 11 year old sister read the first volume (1-18) of Runaways and enjoyed it.

  • June 7, 2008, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Millar Loves Superheroes...

    by SMARTASS8

    just not Marvel's. He's said many times in interviews before he joined JoeyQ's Inner Circle that he grew up reading DC reprints and Marvel's weren't as easily accessible. I've never read any of it, but I hear his work on the animated Superman comic was great. Civil War proved to me that not only does he not know a lot about Marvel's characters, he doesn't do much research. It kills me that the only people who seem to have read Marvel while growing up(Slott, Gage, Pak) are passed over in hype for those who have previously stated they hate superheroes(Ellis, Ennis, editor Alonso), claim they like them but don't write like it(Bendis, Millar, Way, Loeb, Huston), and those who never read superheroes as a hobby and it shows(JoeyQ, Jenkins). I know people say that growing up a fanboy puts you at a disadvantage as a writer, but I feel Moore, Morrison, Johns, Slott, Gage, and Simone prove that wrong. It sucks that Marvel's rebooted movie "universe"(if you saw Iron Man and believe the good buzz on Incredible Hulk)is shaping up to be better written and more enjoyable than JoeyQ's 616.

  • June 8, 2008, 8:26 a.m. CST

    Kids, Comics, Lood & Gregg

    by optimous_douche

    Gregg, Copied or not, that was one of the best posts I've seen in the TBs.<P> See though I think comics are at a perfect place right now. You have the movie and TV related books, while the main titles serve a more adult flair.<p> I think the houses are starting to realize that they will have to evolve these characters to keep the duckets flowing in.<p> Lood, I think it's great your sister loves Runaways. I wasn't trying to put 12 as the magic number, but not having kids it seemed like a good digit to pull out of my ass.<p> I sometimes forget that kids are miniature people and some of the things that resonate with adults will in fact resonate with lil people as well.<p> Everyone matures at a different rate and I've actually found comic collectors (especially kids) to be very mature if slightly off center.

  • June 8, 2008, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Not to be an ass, but...

    by loodabagel

    We comic readers are more sophisticated and mature. Are my comic reading friends the ones who usually go out and destroy machines and puke on stuff? No, but I guess they are usually more boring. Shucks. Guess you can't have it both ways. Unless you're hanging out with me, because I'm so awesome.

  • June 8, 2008, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Groundhog Day

    by JonQuixote

    Originally, it was supposed to be about 10,000 years. But I think Phil would go insane, if not that day, than the day he hits Feb 3rd. But according to Harold Ramis (on imdb), it's supposed to be about 10 years worth.

  • June 9, 2008, 1:27 a.m. CST

    Dang...

    by loodabagel

    I always imagined it as no more than a few months. Thanks for the valuable tidbit, JonQuixote.

  • June 9, 2008, 9:32 p.m. CST

    Jeff Albertson

    by SMARTASS8

    I was being sarcastic when I said Millar and Loeb write like they don't like superheroes. Millar, in that he doesn't seem to have a good feel for non-Ultimate Marvel characters, and Loeb, in that he isn't as good as I once thought. I used to think I liked Loeb, until I re-read Hush, Long Halloween, and Superman/Batman. Granted, those books weren't the horrific messes he's delivering at Marvel(either he grew up a DC guy or he's really gone down hill), but they are full of plot holes and loose ends. I'm still not 100% sure who did what in Hush(although that could also be because Jim Lee drew Two-Face and Hush with wayyy too similar suits and trenchcoats) and Long Halloween(too many people claiming to be responsible for different murders without ever telling or showing us the truth). His DC stuff wasn't awful, but I just don't think it holds up much. Superman:For All Seasons is the only mini of his I really still like as much as I originally did.

  • June 9, 2008, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Last? To disagree with Greggers

    by Homer Sexual

    This reminds me a bit of something I read by Bill Mantlo when I was like 13 or 14. He said comics were for kids, and he didn't care what the "comic elite," the adults buying comics, thought, because he wasn't writing for them. I was adolescent, but that was the last issue of Micronauts, or any other Mantlo book, I ever purchased. <p> I am very happy not to buy any comic that is intended for kids. Marvel, DC, etc, let me know and I won't buy it. For example, the Avengers book with Giant Girl. Emotionally regressed or not, I drop well over $100 a month at the LCO, and I don't think it's because of me (and others who have caused comics to become "adult")the kids ain't buying the comics...they aren't buying them because they're too expensive until they're like 25 or something and can afford them. <p> There are a ton of clearly kid books out there, and there ain't no spinners in no stores. The whole cause and effect are flipped in Greggers' post. Comics aren't dwindling because they're written for stunted adults. Comics are written for "regressed" adults because the kids quit buying them, and the adults were all that was left of the market. Ahem-I used to buy comics for 35 cents, and inflation ain't that bad.

  • June 9, 2008, 11:08 p.m. CST

    I Was A Kid When Bill Mantlo Was Writing...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...Whenever he showed up for a fill in, it was like, "Okay, don't have to buy or even steal this issue. I can actually pay for some other comic or use the money for a Slurpee." And when Bill actually took over a book, it was like, "Aw, man, nobody else wanted the job. Now we're gonna get lectured by a hippie."<p>Now, Steve Gerber was a hippie you could respect...

  • June 9, 2008, 11:17 p.m. CST

    Yeah, I Agree With Greg...

    by Buzz Maverik

    When somebody who has been reading comics for less time than I've been off comics starts in with the "mature/adult/sophisticated" thing that we've all believed and have said at one time, I'm a nice guy. Even though I know better. Most "adult" stuff in comics is actually "adolescent" (which as a current adult and former adolescent, I'm qualified to judge). Adolesescent is fine and appropriate if you're an adolescent or if you're a fellow former adolescent who knows the difference. Look at the movies. Sure guys like Favreau give lip service to current runs and *ahem* cre-a-tors, but that's part of the press kit by now. Joel Schumacher raved about THE DARK KNIGHT while he was promoting BATMAN & ROBIN. But it's the classic runs that are the archetypes, and therefore timeless and adult. Even if they were originally marketed to 10 year olds.

  • June 9, 2008, 11:21 p.m. CST

    Good Call On Joey Q, Smartass8...

    by Buzz Maverik

    That's exactly who comes to my mind when I think of a comic pro who doesn't seem to have any knowledge or regard (beyond financial) for his own medium.

  • June 10, 2008, 10:21 p.m. CST

    Thanks Buzz!

    by SMARTASS8

    Now that Newsarama seems to have gone down hill and I only read Lying in the Gutters at CBR, AICN Comics seems to be my only online comics related refuge these days.