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AICN COMICS REVIEWS BOOSTER GOLD! UMBRELLA ACADEMY! NOVA! REIKO THE ZOMBIE SHOP! AND MUCH MORE!!!

#10 7/10/08 #7

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) SECRET INVASION #4 / ULTIMATE ORIGINS #2 FINAL CRISIS: REQUIEM #1 UMBRELLA ACADEMY: APOCALYPSE SUITE TPB BOOSTER GOLD #1,000,000 CAPTAIN BRITAIN & MI13 #3 ACTION COMICS #867 NOVA #15 JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #17 Big Eyes For the Cape Guy presents REIKO THE ZOMBIE SHOP V5 – 6 Big Eyes For the Cape Guy presents MANGA SPOTLIGHT: THE GUIN SAGA; THE SEVEN MAGI: V1 Indie Jones presents…

SECRET INVASION #4

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Leinil Francis Yu (pencils), Mark Morales (inks)

ULTIMATE ORIGINS #2

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Artist: Butch Guice Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Jinxo

I have to say, I think I’m actually enjoying Brian Michael Bendis’ Ultimate Universe-wide saga more than I am his 616 Universe saga. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying SECRET INVASION okay. But for me that’s almost too big and diffuse. You really need to read the tie-in books with Invasion to really make it work. I think if you JUST read the main Secret Invasion book it would feel less than satisfying. Last issue I felt like I got more out of recap information than from the actual story in the issue. Evil Queen Skrull goes on and on about what has led to this point in the story and I found myself thinking that I’d like to have actually seen more of what she was explaining. Sounded a bit more involved and intriguing than what was actually in the last few issues. Again, not that those issues were bad…
Cut to ULTIMATE ORIGINS, an Ultimate Universe book with a concept just as big if not bigger than SECRET INVASION: tell a current day story that ties back to the beginning of the Ultimate Universe, a point in time where the existence of all heroes can be tied together to a nearly singular origin point. That to me is actually a tougher, trickier and bigger story to tell than the Skrull Invasion. I mean, how hard is it to stage an alien takeover story? Not to say they aren’t working to make it a pisser of an invasion story. But at its base: take Earth, add heroes, sprinkle liberally with Skrulls and allow to marinate. But to say you are going to tell a story in which ALL of the super power silliness all ties back to a single origin event? You really have to do that right or it could end up feeling silly, contrived. And telling a story set in two different eras tying to every single hero…that’s a lot for one book to cover. But so far, with all those problems and pitfalls that need to be avoided, I think ULTMATE ORIGINS is doing a really great job. The way characters’ paths intertwine in the past and carry into the future all seem to track in a really cool way. The mysteries popping up actually intrigue me. What the hell IS that ancient eyeball/stoplight/totem poll thing? Can we get Ultimate Indiana Jones on that mother?
Bottom line, the story of ULTIMATE ORIGINS seems epically large but focused. Focused to the point where we are only getting the absolutely necessary details for understanding what is going on. Lean and mean, baby. Meanwhile SECRET INVASION just doesn’t seem nearly as focused. Both books are sort of giant puzzles. ORIGINS is a puzzle where you can just piece it together enough as you go to keep you intrigued and wanting to see what piece will fit into place next. SECRET INVASION, though, feels like one of those much bigger puzzles with a zillion pieces and large areas of the same color so that it’s hard to really even tell what piece goes where, where you start getting so caught up with the small pieces that it starts becoming hard to see the big picture they’re building. Again, for what it is I like SECRET INVASION. But where SECRET INVASION can be a bit baffling, ULTIMATE ORIGINS is for me Ultimately engaging and entertaining.
Jinxo is Thom Holbrook, lifelong comic book reader, and the evil genius behind poobala.com. He may appear cute and cuddly but if encountered avoid eye contact and DO NOT attempt to feed.

FINAL CRISIS: REQUIEM #1

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi Pencils: Doug Mahnke Inks: Christian Alamy w/Rodney Ramos Published by: DC Comics Reviewed by: BottleImp

Remember when nobody ever died in the comics? Nobody important, I mean—there were always a few minor characters whose lives could serve as fodder to fuel the story. But the major characters, heroes and villains both…they always lived to fight another day. No matter how many times the Joker was caught in an explosion or buried in an avalanche, you just knew that he’d be popping up again at some point to screw with Batman. I remember reading once somewhere that writing comic books wasn’t about making changes; it was about making the readers THINK that something had changed when in fact everything was kept pretty much the same. I think the first time that guideline was broken (and correct me if I’m wrong) was when Barry Allen was killed off during CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. Here was a character with a long history—the first Golden Age superhero to be revamped in the 1950s—and he died…and stayed dead. For a long, long time. Until a couple of weeks ago, as a matter of fact.
During the time that passed between the original CRISIS and now, the death of a major character became a publicity stunt to sell more comics—Superman and Jason Todd, the crippling of Batman (not death, but Batman’s condition was just as temporary as Superman’s)—when readers couldn’t be enticed by artwork or story alone, spilling some blood was sure to bring in the money (as well as the press). Now, it seems as if the death of a major character is supposed to send a message to the reader that: “THIS IS IMPORTANT!” Sue Dibny. Blue Beetle. Superboy. And now J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter.
I always thought that the Martian Manhunter was a cool character (mostly from a visual standpoint—gotta love that gigantic green forehead) and I was most familiar with his incarnation during the Giffen/DeMatteis JUSTICE LEAGUE, as the wise leader who held himself slightly aloof from the goofiness of the rest of the team. When I found out that Morrison was killing him off in FINAL CRISIS, I was a little disappointed that a character that has been around for more than fifty years was going to be sacrificed in the name of an “event” book. Then when I saw the deed committed on the final pages of FC#1, I was pissed. What a crappy, anticlimactic way for a major character to go.
Thankfully, FINAL CRISIS: REQUIEM makes up for that scene with a kick-ass first half. J’onn J’onzz did not simply roll over and die with a whimper, as we were led to believe—instead he rears a final defense that makes his death one of the most exciting action sequences that I’ve seen in a comic book in a long time. Mahnke’s artwork is incredible—the textural details, the depiction of light and shadow—hell, he even manages to make the revamped Martian Manhunter costume look pretty good. If for no other reason, that prolonged death scene makes picking up this comic worthwhile.
As for the rest of the issue, we’re given a cliff-notes version of the Martian Manhunter’s life, with the focus kept on events having to do with the history of Mars and J’onn’s conflicts with other members of his race; most of these stories are drawn from Morrison’s earlier JLA run and John Ostrander’s MARTIAN MANHUNTER series. Though it makes sense within this issue (J’onn’s memories of these events are sent telepathically to his closest friends so that they might set down the history of Mars after his death), I was disappointed that there was no mention of MM’s time with the Justice League from the 1970s through to the 1990s. I was glad, however, that Tomasi included the all-but-forgotten Gypsy as one of those whom J’onn entrusted with his memories.
There’s just one little detail that I can’t help but nit-pick: there’s a nice moment at the very end of the comic when Batman, the last one to leave J’onn’s tomb, leaves a sandwich-crème cookie on top of the casket. What’s the problem with that? The cookie is a “choco”—everyone who read JUSTICE LEAGUE in the ‘80s and ‘90s KNOWS that MM was addicted to oreos. It’s a raving fanboy detail, obviously, but aren’t we fanboys the ones for whom the comic is written? And is there really so much concern at the head offices of DC and Warner Bros. that Nabisco is going to bring out the big legal guns over mentioning their cookies in a non-negative way? Way to puss out, DC.
REQUIEM doesn’t really seem to add any development to the plot of FINAL CRISIS, so the $3.99 price tag is a little hefty for the casual comic book reader. If REQUIEM is meant to lead in to anything else, the dialogue between Green Arrow and Green Lantern seems to give us a little hint of the direction of James Robinson’s forthcoming Justice League comic. However, if you’re a Martian Manhunter fan and you want to see him go out in a blaze of glory rather than getting slapped around like a little bitch, then I highly recommend picking this issue up.

UMBRELLA ACADEMY: APOCALYPSE SUITE VOL1 TPB

Writer: Gerard Way Artist: Gabriel Ba Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

I don't know about you, but when I first heard about UMBRELLA ACADEMY, I scoffed a little. Written by the lead singer of that emo band MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE? Nah. I don't think so. But after seeing snippets of Gabriel Ba's artwork and hearing positive early buzz on the book, I decided to give the book a chance and I was so surprised that I became one of the loudest voices here at AICN Comics touting this miniseries as the next big thing. Throughout that time, fellow @$$Holes like Humphrey Lee and Sleazy G have sounded off agreeing that UA was in fact the shit. Now that this story has been collected in trade paperback form, I had a chance to reread the miniseries and reflect on it a bit.
On second reading, the quality of storytelling is still top notch. It's the type of story that oozes its inspirations such as ROYAL TENNENBAUMS, and films of David Lynch and Tim Burton. The Gorey-esque gothic designs of the characters and the world they inhabit set the tone. The unconventional powers and fractured personalities of all of the characters have a sweetness and heart to it that other authors fail to capture. Gerard Way seems to understand the X-Men-ish, outsider nature and conveys it well while setting it into a more familial CLAN DESTINE setting where we are working with fractured family dynamics more than the struggle to be accepted in a world that hates and fears them. In fact, the Umbrella Academy is lauded as heroes in this story: heroes who have disappeared and return to a world that is just as kooky as they left it despite the distance the family has put between one another.
APOCALYPSE SUITE starts out introducing the Umbrella Academy as children, brought together by the enigmatic and ingenious Reginald Hargreeves and treated as pawns more than kin. But instead of focusing on this fascinating story of how they came together, Way flashes forward to present day where the children are once again brought together as adults to grieve the loss of their fallen patriarch. Spaceboy, Seance, the Boy, Rumor, Kraken, Pogo the Chimp, and the powerless and therefore dismissed Vanya all meet after years of being apart. Each character reacts differently to the loss: some feel remorse, others indifference, others joy at Hargreeves’ passing. The fun comes when these differing emotions start bouncing off one another when a technological curse set against the UA when they disbanded comes alive once the team gathers together for the first time. Pretty soon, the team is reluctantly back together.
One of the coolest aspects of this book is its unpredictability. You never know what kind of insane menace is going to rear its head. Be it a battle against the Eiffel Tower or a demented orchestra playing a symphony that triggers the end of the world, the Umbrella Academy is fit to take on any task. Reminiscent of Morison's DOOM PATROL for its meta-storytelling, Wolfman and Perez' TEEN TITANS for the familial relations, and Claremont and Byrne's X-MEN for the damn cool powers, Way's UMBRELLA ACADEMY is a proper homage to those books, while avoiding redundancy and staying interesting and awe inspiring throughout the entire story.
After reading the story again, I did find the final issue to be somewhat rushed and surprisingly, emotionally distant compared to the more heartfelt issues that arise throughout the first five issues of the miniseries. Maybe it was my hesitance to put down the book and call it done, but the action moved extremely fast, wrapping up a lot of loose ends, yet still finding time to give up teasers about what will happen tomorrow. With the death of some major characters occurring in the fifth issue, I guess I was looking for more of a denouement than actually was given with the series’ end, but maybe those threads will be elaborated upon in future series.
I can't say enough about the quality of Gabriel Ba's artwork. I guess I have described it as a looser, more fluid looking Mignola style and after looking at the miniseries again, I think it still fits. Original character designs, dynamic panels, and spot on suggestion of movement and action from one panel to the next, this miniseries is a visual treat fit for a king.
Every now and then, a story, a set of characters and a special creative team comes along. When they come together the result is damn near comic book perfection. This is one of those instances. Extras in this book include the author's sketchbook (showing original designs of the UA), the Free Comic Book Day issue, and text from Grant Morrison and Dark Horse editor Scott Allie--all of which help add to the experience and never feel like filler or distraction. There are a whole lot of comics out there collected in trade. A lot of them don't really deserve to be. But this book certainly deserves it and is worthy of a place on any bookshelf to be read and reread over and over.
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, reviewer and co-editor of AICN Comics for over seven years. Look for his first published work in MUSCLES & FIGHTS 3 (AVAILABLE NOW!) from Cream City Comics and Muscles & Fights.com. Bug was recently interviewed here and here at Cream City about indie comics, his own artistic process, the comics industry, and other shades of bullsquat.

BOOSTER GOLD #1,000,000

Writers: Geoff Johns & Jeff Katz Artist: Dan Jurgens Publisher: DC Reviewer: Optimous Douche

Wow, it seems like only 999,999 months ago I was reading issue one of this title and wondering if it would have the staying power to last just one year, much less several millennia. As a Morlock gets ready to eat my brain when the air raid siren goes off, I am truly glad I was able to stay around for the entire ride.
I figured a “tongue firmly implanted in cheek opening” would be fitting for a series that has been entrenched in deprecation, but never lowered it self to blatant mockery of Booster Gold and the past twenty years of DC comic history. Issue 1,000,000 not only thrusts Booster Gold into the far-flung future, but like issue 0 before it, delivers a witty kidney punch to the ghosts of DC marketing ventures past.
In the hands of lesser writers this series would have been a side-note in DC continuity. While wrought with witty quips, it would have lacked the substance to evolve Booster beyond his role of “sarcastic-man”, leaving the reader with the overarching question, “Why the fuck did we need a series about Booster Gold?”
However, the dynamic writing duo of GeoffJeff (say it like JibJab, it works) put a firm stake in the ground with the very first issue. While the echoes of Giffen’s JUSTICE LEAGUE Booster resonate throughout every panel, GeoffJeff successfully elevated the Golden One from a two-dimensional plot device into a real character with a specific mission.
While on the surface the book is about fixing the time-stream, I call bullshit and say this title is about a man’s quarter life crisis. He is questioning what his life has been and whether that life can be infused with purpose during his remaining days. While thirty doesn’t seem that old these days, when you are bombarded by the specter of mortality like Booster’s been, it’s hard not to believe you have fewer days ahead than behind (thank you Captain Picard for that pearl of wisdom). This is pretty heavy shit and a nice 180 for a guy who was donning himself up like Ricky Bobby’s NASCAR vehicle a year ago.
I generally don’t recommend jumping into a series half way through the run and certainly not at the end of a story-arc like issue 1,000,000, but GeoffJeff has consistently made this series accessible every issue. One reason for this lies in the fact that each story delivered its own enjoyable events apart from the greater whole. Even if you could care less about the emotional maturation of Booster or his man-love for Blue Beetle, the time travel theme of this series made each issue feel like a mini-Elseworlds and offered an alternate perception tour of historic DC moments. The other reason each issue has been so damn welcoming for new readers is the consistently great use of the first page to interweave the “story up until now.” Fun, lighthearted, never repetitive yet seemingly familiar, I much prefer this method of catch-up to the Marvel prose heavy paragraphs.
Issue 1,000,000 is truly a misnomer and solidifies my belief that GeoffJeff is in fact mocking some of DC’s worst crossover ideas. Perhaps three to four pages are spent in the year 1,000,000 and I’ll be frank, they deliver the lowest level of impact. This is not so much a criticism, but rather a compliment and testament to the strength of the rest of the issue. Epiphanies, resurrections, clandestine resurrections, humor, love, the reveal that Batman may not be a douche of epic proportions despite Frank Miller’s best efforts, and one hell of a surprise character reveal cap off this excellent first arc of BOOSTER GOLD.
Now, amidst all of my praise and adoration for this book, I will offer one word of caution. Do not think too hard about the “rules of time travel” because frankly, they don’t exist. Actually, I think Booster’s boss Rip Hunter, time traveler extraordinaire, just makes the rules to keep Booster in line. You can’t change the past and the future doesn’t exist. Well whose past and whose future are you talking about, Rip? If I read this right, Rip Hunter is the keystone of the time continuum. Like I said, don’t think about it.
Instead think about the future of BOOSTER GOLD with a new creative team taking the helm, think about all of the great past issues delivered by GeoffJeff and Jurgens, and revel in the fact that as the age of villains approaches, some stories still have happy endings.
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.

CAPTAIN BRITAIN & MI13 #3

Writer: Paul Cornell Penciller: Leonard Kirk Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Jinxo

This book is how you do things. The rest of the Skrull Invasion might be such a big picture you can’t take it in. This one? Focused, to the point and a pisser. Skrulls are after Britain’s magic. That is wacky crazy in a way that also feels…very British. With Skrulls flying all over the place, old friends and allies reuniting and fighting the good fight while going down in flames this could be an episode of Doctor Who. And it’s all just so much crazy fun. A Skrull that looks like John Lennon shouldn’t work. I should think that’s a crap idea. But somehow I love it. From the word go I loved it. And this issue’s big moment was an actual bona fide awesome big moment. And not spoiled on the cover in any way! Good cover but not a spoilery one. Nice.
And I have to say, Merlin and Excalibur are getting some serious face time in the Marvel Universe these last few months, both of them appearing in this book AND IRON MAN: LEGACY OF DOOM. Oddly enough, both magician and sword sport heavily different interpretations in both. Since Doom held that sword it has been given an extreme weapons makeover. And Merlin is so radically different in each that reading both comics back to back might give you whiplash. In LEGACY OF DOOM Merlin is a positively wacky old coot, using terms like, “Bucko,” and, “Gotta scoot,” referring to the giant eyeball-covered bad guy as, “Mr. Icky.” None of that silliness in MI13. The Merlin in that book is the serious, kickass no joke Merlin you want on your side when the chips are down. If I may, though, I will jockey for a Marvel No-Prize, that reward from of old for folks who could explain why a mistake was actually NOT a mistake. If I may…in LEGACY OF DOOM we actually see Merlin only as a mental projection since his physical body is actually still asleep and locked up far away, waiting to awaken in England’s hour of greatest need, which turns out to be SECRET INVASION, I guess. So in LEGACY OF DOOM we don’t see the real Merlin, we see a projection of part of his mind. So we’re probably getting some repressed unconscious silliness he would NEVER allow to show through while he was actually up and about for real as he is in MI13.
I do love this book. I hope this isn’t just a limited run title for SECRET INVASION. I would love to see this continue on as a regular series.

ACTION COMICS #867

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

We’ve heard time again that 9/11 irrevocably changed our world. The reason we were so affected as a global community was for the first time in history we had a ground-level, crystal clear view of the horror unfolding before our eyes. Despite the fact that Hiroshima and Nagasaki had a far greater death toll, a grainy black and white shot of a mushroom cloud from 10 miles away just doesn’t deliver the same impact as viewing human suffering 10 inches in front of our faces.
Why the morose history lesson? Because I believe 9/11 has also irrevocably changed how we tell stories. Would the movie “Cloverfield” have been able to deliver the same impact without our gray matter making subconscious comparisons to the 9/11 footage from CNN? I think not. Nor do I think Johns would have had the fodder to take a similar ground-level approach of reintroducing the villain Brainiac into the Superman mythos.
Building off the momentum from the first part of this series, part two continues to humanize the tragedies left in Brainiac’s wake and interjects moments of heart warming brilliance amidst the well presented exposition.
Sure, Brainiac has always been evil, but few other writers have truly personalized the experience the way Johns has. Gone are the giant shrink rays emanating from a hovering mother ship. For the first time Kandor is no longer a tiny city in a bottle with its denizens content to live a miniaturized life within the Fortress of Solitude. No, Johns presents an assault on Kandor and other alien cities from the ground-level looking up. As each of Brainiac’s drones invasively penetrates the cerebellums’ of its victims, we get to see the sheer horror of an unexpected attack. When the final “shrink wall” drops we see families separated and wonder who to feel worse for, those beamed up to the mother ship or those left behind.
Well, issue 867 gives you the viewpoint of one of those left behind. This viewpoint is delivered by Superman’s jailbait cousin Kara-Zor-El. While not a citizen of Kandor, she terrifyingly recounts how the abduction of Kandor at the hands of Brainiac forever unsettled all Kryptonians and shattered the illusion that they could thwart or rise above any attack. Sounds eerily familiar doesn’t it? This was stroke one of this issue’s brilliance. Not only was Johns able to truly channel the voice of a scared girl, but he also reverently weaved past incarnations of Brainiac to form a new origin. Sometimes the simplest answers are the best. Even though Superman thinks he has fought Brainiac countless times, he has never fought the real Brainiac, merely his drones.
Stroke two of the book’s genius is found in the amazing sense of balance Johns strikes between the search for Brainiac and Superman tying up life’s loose ends as Clark Kent. It’s rare when an issue can drive three story threads and have each one be as riveting as the next. I’ve never had this much fun at the Daily Planet, nor been this choked up on Ma and Pa Kent’s farm.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the art work of Gary Frank, because it is outfuckingstanding. There were moments I thought I was actually looking at the first Superman movie and seeing the face of Christopher Reeve staring back at me. I’ll never begrudge a little T&A in a title, and Frank delicately renders the fairer sex in a demure, yet still tantalizing fashion. I also want to thank the New Gods, the Old Gods or Magog for the fact that Lois Lane looks more like Angelina Jolie than the coked out, mannish, Skeletor-faced Margot Kidder. After Mrs. Kent’s transformation to Asian lesbian earlier this year, it is refreshing to once again see her long black tresses.
For anyone that might be wondering when the aftermath of FINAL CRISIS is going to come to fruition, this issue is your answer. This is the true beginning of a new age for Superman. And let’s face facts, DC is Superman’s universe. This run is already on par with Johns’ now revered “Legion of Super Heroes” storyline, and I’m going to be so bold to say just after two issues, it has the potential to surpass that story in quality and sheer human emotion.

NOVA #14

Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning Artist: Wellington Alves and Geraldo Burges Inker: Scott Hanna Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo

Brilliant. Just brilliant.
The conclusion of this arc was as good as I hoped. Nova is continuing to exhibit all the signs of an A-Lister who has come into his own: grace under pressure, power with restraint, responsibility to a noble cause, and above all, an utter lack of whining. Gotta love it. With so many anti-heroes and unwilling heroes and unready heroes, I really dig the fact that this guy IS a hero. Not flawless, but still impressive in so many ways.
Regarding the story backdrop, I have to hand it to the creative team, regarding their re-elevation of Galactus to his former (and little seen) status as implacable and unstoppable. The conflict was never about getting Galactus to abandon his consumption of the planet. That story has been done to death. Instead, we get a new twist on a different story: Harrow, the mighty parasite whose existence Nova finds to be irredeemable, unacceptable and ultimately, correctable. (Whoa - I felt like I was channeling SuperTramp’s “The Logical Song” for just a moment.)
Also gotta give up the style points for NOVA taking the concept of WorldMind and splitting it open like a piñata. To think that he’s not the core operating system…imagine booting up your computer, and all you see is a black screen with a few white characters at the top that read “C:\ DOS 6.22>”…
The horror! And just so, so clever. As a computer geek, I could hardly stand how simple and devious that little twist was. As a reader, I really appreciate the way the creative team is not afraid to shake up the status quo, peeling back the layers of NOVA one at a time, in spectacular fashion.
Of course, a well written book could be weakened by art that wasn’t up to snuff (Morrison’s DOOM PATROL being one exception) but that’s not the case here. Hanna inks over Alves’ and Burges’ pencils so deftly, I almost didn’t notice the artist change, and each artist is strong that every character simply reeks of grandeur.
I’ll have to stop reviewing this book for a while, because I think I’ve run out of ways to say how good it is.
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.

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #17

Writer: Geoff Jones Penciller: Fernando Pasarin Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Jinxo

Oh JUSTICE SOCIETY, how I want to like you. But you’re just making it so damn hard. So good with really establishing characters, making them feel real, so good at throwing in interesting premises. If only those characters and premises would, oh, I dunno… go some place? Seriously, this book slogs along so slowly in its plot it does start to feel like the granddad of hero groups. “You kids run ahead, I’ll just take my time getting where I’m going. All the yougens running around. Heheheh. Ooooh, I forgot my teeth.” This book really needs to find its teeth. It could use some bite. And, seriously, no more new characters. This issue even addresses that point by having a character say that the JSA is looking to create a huge roster of members. Admitting that is what the group is up to does not address the point that having 5 million active members to deal with can become a bit unwieldy for a single comic book.
I DO want to like it. Alternate Universe Superman comes to our world worried it is doomed. Ooh! Intriguing mystery. It doesn’t “pay off” fully but leads to the threat of Magog, a herald of doom causing violence and death. Cool! Does THAT pay off? No. Magog isn’t the finale. He leads to the scary god-being Gog. Okay. So Gog looks like evil incarnate only he’s a friendly jolly fellow. An angry/wrathful looking Tom Bombadill walking across Africa spreading good everywhere he goes despite looking so damn evil. Last issue, much walking and spreading of happiness while the heroes follow along warily awaiting his turning to evil badness. This issue…uh, more walking and bestowing of happiness, more heroes…walking after him. Then at the very end Gog starts to take actions that may be evil…or not. Sigh. Come on! Two images flashed into my mind with this issue. The first was the description in “Clerks 2” of the “Lord Of The Rings” movies. Walk, walk, walk, drop ring…the other was from “Monty Python’s Holy Grail”, where the narrator goes on and on and on explaining the story until every character in the movie shouts out, “Get on with it!!!” JSA really needs to get on with it. I think they have kept things very low key hoping to keep the readers wondering if Gog is good or bad. If we even see a half evil twinkle in his eye, let alone actual mischief, that mystery would be ruined. Only…come on! Look at him!!! He’s going to be evil so stop trying to tickle my ass with a feather over something that isn’t a mystery. We see it coming. Know we are smart enough to see it coming.
There would only be one way at this point I thnk they could impress me. Well, first off, this damn Gog thing needs to lead to a satisfying kick ass ending. No more almost climaxing and instead dovetailing into another story. No. I want a mother of a blow out ending. Beyond that they would have to go in a direction I don’t think they would have the balls to go. Speculative spoilers here. If you don’t like to even read guesses at what people think might happen (some people don’t) skip the end of this paragraph. You know what would be for me a flippy trippy ending? Have Gog actually turn out to be good and able to bring Eden to Earth with no strings attached, only because of how he looks our heroes prejudge. Their suspicions and paranoia get the best of them causing them to throw down, start a battle and kill Gog only to realize their mistake after the fact, to realize they blew it, they lost paradise for mankind and killed a truly beneficent and wholly good being based entirely on his appearance. Then they can be haunted and mind fucked by that for ever after.
Will that happen? I heavily doubt it. If it did I’d love it. I would be so happy to eat my words on that. But I think Gog will be another good god with bad strings attached. And it’s taking a long time to get to that reveal. Even if they end this thing in anyway that is satisfying it is JUST taking a long loooong slow walk to get to that ending.. Seriously. Grandpa JSA needs to get a bus pass at the very least so we can get to the action a LITTLE quicker.
What IS in the book is well written and well thought out. It is just sooooo damn sloooooow.

REIKO THE ZOMBIE SHOP V5 – 6

By Rei Mikamoto Released by Dark Horse Manga Reviewer: Scott Green

There is a scene in VOL 5 of REIKO THE ZOMBIE SHOP in which a young woman boomerangs a coat hanger into a helicopter, causing an on-board gunman to kill the crew. The fact that she catches it on return should cement the manga as one of the medium's most brilliantly indefensible works not called GOLGO 13 or written by Kazuo Koike.
There is certainly a host of out of control, half clever trashy manga series being released in North America, but few of the older-audience variety have survived. Fewer still feature anything as sophomoric as a metal plated zombie quearadactylus (kindof like a pterodactyl) or a zombie serial killer reacting to the loss of her arms by carrying knifes between her toes. REIKO THE ZOMBIE SHOP produces instances of the tastelessly bizarre, of that caliber ever other page. It's hard to say that Rei Mikaoto means well, but this splatter horror/comedy is far too ludicrous to be cruel.
It's amazing, but you'll see reviews that suggest that new talk-to-the-dead TV dramas feature novel premises. Here's a related high concept that is legitimately novel. Reiko is a teenage girl who looks and dresses like Britney Spears back when she could pull off the virgin/whore dichotomy act. This teen's gift, which she uses to support herself, is the ability to call upon Satan to re-animate the dead. The deceased come back... they solve mysteries...extreme violence and unspeakable acts ensue.
The brutality is generally kinked out. At nearly every point, nearly every female character is in small, tight clothes. If you've been affronted by the women's wrestling video game “Rumble Roses,” this is like that, but less sensible. The action follows suit. A girl is running in something like a stripper's version of a school uniform as she's chased by what looks like a shock rock band. She trips over a root as a guy with a hand held pitch fork is almost on her. She catches herself in a hand-stand. There's a pro-wrestling move called a huracanrana described by Wikipedia as a "head-scissors takedown that is performed against a running opponent." In this case, it involves shooting herself, crotch first, into the would-be assailant’s face.
Yet, this is easier to take, and less misogynous than many sexual violence driven crime/horror manga. Essentially, it functions like Itchy and Scratchy with zombie people who look like Cabbage Patch Kids by way of Crumb's hyper sexualized caricatures.
Like many live action meat grinder horror movies, REIKO THE ZOMBIE SHOP tends to be raw. The clunky dialog rattles with exposition. "Midori Yurikawa has an evil soul, just like her sister Saki, who was a serial killer. I know this just by looking at the brutally murdered corpse of this young girl."
Storytelling alternates between episodic situations that arrange events for a sharp final climax, and longer shaggy dog tales. The case that falls into the former category from this set of volumes is a classic story of sibling rivalry and altruism, the likes of which have been used in works like Kazuo Umezu's SCARY BOOK. Yet, it's given the Reiko crack in the head, featuring situations like a bulling older sister pretending to be a magical girl anime character, then kicking her sister down a flight of stairs.
Most of VOLUMES 5, 6 and presumably into 7 are part of the latter case. The wild narrative starts by recounting the history of Shiro Amakusa, who lead a Christian revolt that was brutally put down by the shogunate; an event that has spawned numerous periodic anime, manga and live action. Then the story crosses between a pair of conservatively dressed sibling sociopaths who have been shooting people with bullets that will either cause the victim to evaporate (with their clothes Left Behind) or resurrected with a skull full of tentacles, and the intersecting adventures of a trio of childhood friends/classmates: the judo vigilante, the Visual Kei shock rocker and the spunky kendo girl. Then Reiko shows up. Then an old enemy of Reiko's joins in. Then a new threat injects himself into the middle of everything. Nor is he the last party crasher. Soon the crazy round robin, dog pile has foes literally dropping in. It's the kind of story where if a gun is fired in act IV, it probably was never seen before it fell out of the sky on the previous page. If nothing else, Reiko will keep you uncertain.
Much of the recommendation comes from the fact that REIKO THE ZOMBIE SHOP a rarity. If the world was full of works like this, the title’s brand of raw exploitation wouldn't be doing anyone any favors. But, it is certainly something uncommon. This is the manga version of Road House, with more throats being ripped out. You don't come for the presentation or the craft. It's compelling because it's so far afield from any notion of what's a good idea that that carefree disregard for taste becomes potent escapism.
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.

MANGA SPOTLIGHT: THE GUIN SAGA; THE SEVEN MAGI: V1

Illustrated by Kazuaki Yanagisawa Story by Kaoru Kurimoto Released by Vertical, Inc. Reviewer: Scott Green

Vertical has been releasing the opening books of Kaoru Kurimoto's 100+ fantasy epic, THE GUIN SAGA. The first novel was reviewed here, and what was most impressive about the work was the fluid rush of its narrative. Kurimoto sprinted between moments of crisis without dropping an edge of critical importance. This drive is bolstered by the gritty spirit of his fantasy world. The series is credited as an inspiration for Kentaro Miura's BERSERK, and Miura's specter of swords against an unforgiving, deadly world definitely finds an antecedent in THE GUIN SAGA.
The cycle starts with the uber-warrior Guin waking up with a panther mask affixed to his face and no memories other than the knowledge of living and fighting. THE SEVEN MAGI manga series is a gaiden/side story from some later, King of Aquilonia phase in the mythology of this accomplished warrior. Having read the novels that Vertical has released undoubtedly has some value, but it's not essential, and if you've read all of what has been translated, it still seems far up the road from where THE SEVEN MAGI starts. Guin is traveling as the king errant of Cheironia. As he moves, cloaked through a city that seems to pull its design both from middle ages Europe and Arabian Nights, he's confronted by the devastation of a "Black Plague" that is evidenced by bodies being heaped in pyres families going Elizabeth Báthory on each other in hopes of curing themselves by bathing in blood and dark beings haunting the streets. There's plenty that can be said in favor of THE GUIN SAGA's ramming speed style, but it is also a pin-ball narrative. As Guin goes off the bumpers, he picks up an entourage including a cut throat, a dancing girl, and a magus whose head and body aren't exactly in one piece.
In most respects, THE SEVEN MAGI is not going to compare favorably to BERSERK, but world and atmosphere aside, the intensions don't match. It's a short (three volume), punchy block in a larger framework that seems devoted to full-on action sequences. BERSERK has developed an expectation that its bloody drama will continue to carve into its hero, Guts. The hyper-competent Guin is more of a wandering figure like Kenshiro ( Hokuto no Ken/FIST OF THE NORTHSTAR). Which isn't to say that he's a GOLGO 13 cipher, just that King Guin of Seven Magi and the Guin who is desperately in need of food and water in novel 1 don't seem radically different. While the character will continue feeling the slings and arrows of his tribulations, his scars are in the past. The situation may continue to change around him, but, as a person he seems formed.
Artistically, Kazuaki Yanagisawa is no Miura. He's not really a known name in North America, but he's produced other manga of note. His Shin Megami Tensei (KAHN), PERSONA spin-off is due out from TOKYOPOP early in 2008. He also handled the art side of Kazuo Koike's PAPARAZZI. Here, he displays a very genre suited style. There tends to be something funky in his proportions, with characters that are either stubby or gangly, but his stacked women and super-hero proportioned Guin certainly set an agenda for the manga. That bawdy figure work is enhanced with a lunatic over-extension to the characters' expressions. While it is not quite serious, it is interesting to look at.
Yanagisawa is effective in his layout of buildings, especially when using them as a fighting arena. Like a kung fu movie, he'll set a fight in an alley, and let Guin and his monstrous adversary run up the walls, leap onto overhangs and the like.
While he might not be rewriting the book of monsters, and the novels have produced some far odder creations, there is an insanity to Seven Magi's monsters that is worth appreciating. We probably will never receive Go Nagai's GETTER ROBO manga in North America, so it's nice to have THE GUIN SAGA's giant, demonically horned t-rex dinos thundering around.
For fans of guy manga, THE SEVEN MAGI is a bit of a treat. Vertical applying their work to manga that is pulp, without the artistic gravity of a Tezuka or Takemiya title is certainly gratifying. It's even more worthy of a little thanks considering that manga for older male audiences have largely been nudged out of the market. Like the novel, THE GUIN SAGA manga is twitchy without being addled, which makes for a nice, caffeinated experience.

Hey folks, Ambush Bug here with another collection of books too damn cool for the Big Two to bother with. This week we have washed-up spies, drugged-up heroes, dolled-up fables, and of course, a big giant robot with lions for hands. Sit back, scroll down, and baste in the indie goodness…
NO HERO #0 Avatar Press

Say what you will about Warren Ellis, but he's never a man without new ideas. Ellis seems to scour the world in search of new and interesting launch pads to shoot off ideas and NO HERO appears to be yet another good one. This 8 page preview #0 issue sets the stage for Ellis' new world set only a few years ahead of our own. In 1966, a man named Carrick Masterson, described as being one part Lex Luthor and one part Timothy Leary, made his name in the world by heading a group of super humans against corrupt policemen and disruptive gangs. Throughout the years, Masterson has surfaced with his crew of masked vigilantes trying to right wrongs no matter if they are done by the so called good guys or so called baddies. The vigilantes themselves are first called the Levellers and in the present renamed as The Front Line. Amped up on a drug called FX7, which grants the user superpowers, but often results in horrible side effects to both one's physical and mental state, it sparks the question "how much do you want to become superhuman?" This seems to be the theme Ellis is working with in NO HERO. What price are you able to pay in order to be granted superhuman powers, and what type of people would be willing to make that sacrifice? Interesting questions and this preview issue does a good job of piquing those interests. The art by Juan Jose Ryp is another attractor. His finely detailed stylings remind me of a super high definition television screen cranked to the max. The panels are often almost too detailed, over stimulating the eye and causing it to take more than a few moments to absorb it all. Avatar continues to amaze me with its ability to attract high profile talent and give them an outlet to spew just about anything and everything their twisted hearts desire. NO HERO looks to be bloody fun with a social conscience and that usual Ellis bite. The first issue drops in August.

SEPTIC ISLE OGN Moonface Press

This 007-sh yarn is a pretty well crafted tale from Andy Winter (the guy who brought you the HERO KILLERS and BLOOD PSI one shots from a while back--covered here at Indie Jones, natch) about a retired MI5 operative pulled back into service to track down another company man who has become a neo-Nazi leader. The action and intrigue pops from every page and Mick Trimble's art, while sketchy at times, does a great job of capturing facial features and making characters unique and consistent from every angle. My only criticism comes early on when the lead characters decide to hop into bed with one another. I know it's tradition for James Bond-ian characters to frequently dive into the sack, but the sex scene in this one comes a bit early and seemed a bit forced. Not that I'm an expert at how people react after barely avoiding a suicide bomber or anything, but without massive amounts of alcohol, I haven't seen two characters leap into bed after just knowing each other before so quickly. That aside, the story is thick with spy coolness with a bit of noir-ish hard luck, over-the-hill living adding flavor and distinction to our main character. There are plenty of worthwhile scenes, the taser-to-the-face scene and the finger to the gaping ear hole wound bit battling for the top spot in my favorites list. It's a solid piece of reading and worth a look see.

BEYOND WONDERLAND #1 Zenescope

It’s funny, ALICE IN WONDERLAND is one of those stories that, by now, can be given its own genre in fiction. There have been so many adaptations of Lewis Carroll’ twisted tale. The original tale itself is quite bonkers and purists will tout any “modernization” or “reimagination” of the story can only pale in comparison to the real thing. But like the zombie tale (which, to a less detailed extent, is the same story told over and over as well), despite the naysayers, there are those that will enjoy twisted takes on the original over and over for nostalgia’s sake and maybe have some hope of seeing something new. Writer Raven Gregory’s BEYOND WONDERLAND continues Zenoscope’s tradition of bringing the ALICE IN WONDERLAND tale into the realm of uber-macabre and overly erotic. It’s also a fun read. Sure the art is full of cheesecake shots of cleavage and ass shots. Sure every woman in the book has tiny waists and huge bust-lines (even the pregnant ones!). Sure Gregory knows how to frame characters like a carnivorous Cheshire Cat and a menacing Mad Hatter in the right light to make them pretty damn creepy. There’s an especially horrific sequence where the main character Callie is visited by a vision of her mother Alice, who looks to have hung herself and has an extremely elongated neck to prove it. It’s one of many horrific sequences in this surprisingly fun book. Purists be damned, BEYOND WONDERLAND is a freaky fun read.

VOLTRON: DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE #1 Devil’s Due

I know saying this will automatically require me to turn in my geek cred card, but I honestly know nothing about Voltron. I know he’s some kind of kick @$$ giant space robot with lions on his hands and feet and when I saw that this was a VOLTRON comic, I expected to see much by way of lion feet and handed robot @$$-kickery. And I got that type of @$$-kickery for sure in this issue as the lion hands blasted spaceships and the alien pirates occupying them. That was cool. But seeing as how this book is sort of trying to explain the origin of Voltron, I really had a difficult time of getting a sense of the story. There is a lot of time/space jumping in this issue. Maybe that’s what got me confused. Maybe in future issues, this will all make sense. Or maybe you just have to know your Voltron for it all to make sense. The way it turned out, I left this book scratching my head and oddly, it made me wonder what Voltron does if he has a scratch on his head…and then I realized that with those giant lion teeth on his hands, he probably has no trouble scratching his head at all. Where was I…oh yeah, if you are in search of a comic about a giant robot with lion hands and feet, this comic was definitely made for you. Lion handed fans of VOLTRON aren’t going to want to miss it. But the rest of us may want to approach with caution.

Remember, if you have a comic book you’d like one of the @$$holes to take a look at, click on your favorite reviewer’s link and drop us an email.


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Readers Talkback
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  • July 16, 2008, 5:54 a.m. CST

    first

    by Drunken Rage

  • July 16, 2008, 5:54 a.m. CST

    yeah, I hate the "first" posters, too

    by Drunken Rage

    I just couldn't help myself.

  • July 16, 2008, 6:15 a.m. CST

    Why Even Bother Reviewing Stuff

    by LeckoManiac

    That has already been released? I mean, most people get their comics on Wednesday so if you aren't going to review books BEFORE they come out or at the very least THE DAY they come out...why even bother? I NEVER come here for Comic Book stuff. No reason too when every other site has beaten you too it. Hell, The Zone, AICN's own message board has better comic book coverage.

  • July 16, 2008, 6:19 a.m. CST

    Jim Shooter goes off on Secret Invasion

    by Irving_Forbush

    Over at Fake Stan Lee's blog, Shooter crits #4, and naturally, he says that Secret Wars was much better... http://tinyurl.com/5d6fqh

  • July 16, 2008, 6:20 a.m. CST

    Booster GOOOOLLLLLDDDD!!!!!!!!

    by DuncanHines

    I love that book. I need to get the 52 trades for easy access reading, and the Booster HCs. Who'd have known Geoff Johns could polish that turd to such a beautiful shine?

  • July 16, 2008, 6:22 a.m. CST

    CS Lewis?

    by hypno27

    CS Lewis was Narnia and all that Lion as Jebus metaphor. Not Alice, that was the well known slightly dodgy reverand Dodgson (Lewis Carrol)

  • July 16, 2008, 6:33 a.m. CST

    Uhmmm Lecko

    by optimous_douche

    If you don't come here for reviews, then how did you come here to post that you don't like our reviews????<p> I'm confused.

  • July 16, 2008, 6:33 a.m. CST

    Whoops...fixed.

    by Ambush Bug

    Thanks for the heads up, hypno.

  • July 16, 2008, 6:47 a.m. CST

    There's always one guy...

    by Ambush Bug

    ...complaining about why we don't buy books and run out immediately to review them for us to tell them what to think so that they don't have to. If that's what you want, Leko, you're in the wrong place, m'man.<br><br> Here at AICN Comics, we're regular schmoes just like everyone in the talkbacks. We get very little by way of comps and still have that rush every Wednesday when we go out and buy our books. Then we go home and read them avidly, just like you. Then we take some time to think about them and write out reviews that you really can't find anywhere else because we've taken a bit of time to mull them over and try to present them in an inteligent and well thought out way. It's been like that for over seven years, and you know what? It's worked out pretty well for us and aside from the occasional guy like you who pop up about once every six weeks, the talkbacks seem to be ok with it.<br><br> Personally, I'd rather wait for a well thought out review from someone I know wasn't influenced by receiving free shwag than take any investment in the thoughts of someone who's main goal is to churn out some thoughts prematurely in order to meet a deadline. Simply put, we're worth the wait.<br><br> Then again, you may be the McDonalds hamburger type.<br><br> I like steak. Good steak. Takes a bit more time to cook. But it's a hell of a lot more satisfying during and long after consumption.<br><br> But like OD says, you no likee, no one is forcing you to be here.

  • July 16, 2008, 7:15 a.m. CST

    Secret Invasion deserves some serious criticism

    by Chewtoy

    Not some namby-pamby "Don't get me wrong" apologetic suggestions that it maybe, possibly could be better. The Marvel Universe has been swallowed up by it for most of this decade, if you believe that the origins of it have been seeded throughout everything Bendis has touched (which is everything at this point.) If you're going this soft on things, then it's time to change your name from @ssholes.

  • July 16, 2008, 7:22 a.m. CST

    BottleImp...

    by Noisybast

    The Oreos/Chocos thing has been common knowledge for some time. DC had J'onn switch brands some time ago. More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martian_Manhunter#Justice_League

  • July 16, 2008, 7:34 a.m. CST

    I tend to agree, chewtoy

    by Ambush Bug

    Not about changing our name, but about the whole claim that Bendis had this planned out from the beginning. It just doesn't jibe with the way Marvel has been run for the last decade. I mean, they can't even get a miniseries out on time without delays and we're supposed to believe that they had the ability to plan this five years ago. Of course, there's no way of proving it and Bendis and Co will swear up and down that this is something that has been in the works for ages, but SECRECT INVASION seems something much more akin to a retrofit than anything else. I'm not saying it isn't entertaining. I'm not saying I'm not enjoying the miniseries, but I just can't believe that Bendis has what it takes to do this. What I saw at WIZARDWORLD CHICAGO this year, was a pretty polished Bendis (not talking about his bald head). He's learned what to say and do in order to get "cred" with the fans. If he quotes an issue number and a specific story or obscure character, the zombies baa like sheep. The guy didn't even know who Alpha Flight was. He gave Daredevil the super strength to lift a car in his first DD storyarc. Now I'm supposed to believe that he's such a Marvel Zombie? No dice. What Bendis did looks to be more like what Lucas did with Boba Fett. He threw around some ambiguous stories with some plot holes (either intentionally or unintentionally added), then got together with the Marvel Illuminati Brain Trust (Bendis, Quesada, Millar (who co-wrote SKRULL KILL KREW with Morrison, BTW) and whoever else is in that sewing circle) and thought up a pretty decent idea of how to fill in the gaps, fix the mistakes, and make everyone involved seem smarter and more hip with the fans. Again, there's no way of proving this and it doesn't take away from the quality of the product (the series has been surprisingly fun although the last issue was a bit breezy the way it's popping around and introducing new and uninspired characters), but if you believe Bendis had this planned from NEW AVENGERS #1, I have a bridge to sell you.

  • July 16, 2008, 7:40 a.m. CST

    WATCHMEN TRAILER DESCRIPTION!!!!

    by ChiefRoberts

    Read it here! http://chud.com/articles/articles/15591/1/DEVIN-WATCHES-THE-WATCHMEN-TRAILER/Page1.html

  • July 16, 2008, 7:50 a.m. CST

    i love this column

    by Lt. Kaffee

    and i don't even read comics anymore. i abandoned the stuff over 10 years ago. back then i was such a rabid, continuity obsessed fan that even these snippets/reviews/editorials on the current state of comics satisfies my inner geek. i read this column on a regular basis to get my taste of the current state of comics and ponder an eventual return to my own weekly comic buying. maybe one day... but until then, keep up the good work!

  • July 16, 2008, 7:56 a.m. CST

    so no review of Squadron Supreme 1, eh?

    by omarthesnake

    or did i miss it before? Man, that sucked.

  • July 16, 2008, 8:04 a.m. CST

    I will review my feelings when I saw SQUADRON SUPREME on the she

    by Ambush Bug

    I walked into the comic shop, saw Howard Chaykin's name on the cover, remembered how the series petered out, and saw the crappy "re-imaginings" of Marvel characters on the cover, and said, "NOIN'T!!!"

  • July 16, 2008, 8:14 a.m. CST

    I need buying help!

    by speed

    I spend a lot of time on trains and got a whole lot of time coming up at the beach. I need reading material! What I am reading now...scalped, 100 bullets, invincible, fables, Y, exterminators, noble causes, powers, garth ennis punisher, the boys, wormwood, hawaiian dick, criminal, walking dead, grimjack. They are the basics. And yeah, I've read most of the new classics. grew up with them. anybody want my signed martha washington hardback??? <P>Thanks.

  • July 16, 2008, 8:15 a.m. CST

    Yeah, Watchmen looked pretty good.

    by rev_skarekroe

    Saw the trailer last night. But the genius running the Imax projector started it halfway through, so I missed the beginning part.

  • July 16, 2008, 8:15 a.m. CST

    I need buying help!

    by speed

    I spend a lot of time on trains and got a whole lot of time coming up at the beach. I need reading material! What I am reading now...scalped, 100 bullets, invincible, fables, Y, exterminators, noble causes, powers, garth ennis punisher, the boys, wormwood, hawaiian dick, criminal, walking dead, grimjack. They are the basics. And yeah, I've read most of the new classics. grew up with them. anybody want my signed martha washington hardback??? <P>Thanks.

  • July 16, 2008, 8:16 a.m. CST

    it won't allow my comments to be posted???

    by speed

  • July 16, 2008, 8:17 a.m. CST

    OOPS...sorry. I haven't poster here for a long time

    by speed

  • July 16, 2008, 8:19 a.m. CST

    heh...

    by blackthought

    nice.

  • July 16, 2008, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Speed

    by optimous_douche

    Have you tried Ellis' Stormwatch, Authority or Planetary. Those are a few of my modern favorites.

  • July 16, 2008, 8:32 a.m. CST

    What I'm enjoying / canceling...

    by BangoSkank

    Yeah.... SI doesn't feel like something that's been planned out for years, but I'm still enjoying it. I'm receiving SI, New Avengers, and Mighty each month... but still feel like I'm missing out on a lot of the action, but the three core books are providing enough to make me happy.... I may go out and fill in some of the holes if the trades look good, and reread the whole damn thing.... <p> I really enjoyed the second Dark Tower mini, and look forward to more.... Though, I am a Tower junkie, so take it for what that's worth. Enjoyed the backup tales by Robin Firth too.... And, I might add, am also looking forward to the The Stand adaptation. <p> On the other hand, I was a little disappointed with Astonishing X-men, but I'll give it some time.... I liked the fact that the book was separate from the others, so if the X-books were stinking it up, I always had AX... Not so much anymore. Also, I've never been a huge Storm fan, and worry that I'm going to like her even less as a Queen, but I guess I'll try to reserve too harsh a judgment. Also thought the "street clothes" were a little silly... <p> Books I canceled this week include: <p> Cable.... Which is a great example of Marvel stretching what could be covered in two issues, out to an unsatisfying five issue arch. Fuck him, fuck that. I enjoyed the crossover from which it sprung, but not enough to keep reading that shit. <p> Ultimates.... I know it didn't come out last week, but the first couple of issues had seen a serious decline in entertainment value, and who the fuck knows when it'll get another issue on the stands...Also, it was the last Ultimate book I was reading, so now I've wiped my hands of it completely. Feels pretty good to do so.... Admittedly, I may take a look at the crossover in trade-form. But maybe not. <p> And finally, Squadron Supreme... Talk about a fuckin' nose-dive. It went from being a great read, to a good read, when it switched over from being a "Big-Boy" comic to an all ages mag.... Than they got me to shell-out for the two miniseries, which were unnecessary garbage, so that I didn't even subscribe to the SS/Ultimate crossover.... And now? Another reboot, creating another Fantastic Four, Spider(wo)man, etc... and with only five issues to bring it all together. No fucking thank you.

  • July 16, 2008, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Wow.

    by BangoSkank

    I didn't mean to go on like that.... too much coffee.

  • July 16, 2008, 8:42 a.m. CST

    S'alright Bangoskank.

    by rev_skarekroe

    I understand. I gave up on the Ultimate Universe, too. The last one I read was Ultimate Human, and that was entirely because Ellis wrote it. I thumbed through Ultimate Origins. Looks like the stories I made up in my head are better than the ones Bendis is writing for this. Ultimates 3 is phenomenally stupid. Ultimate FF got silly somewhere in there. Ultimate Spidey is, like most Bendis stuff, hit or miss. And I gave up on Ultimate X-Men years ago.<p>Of course, I'll return for Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine #3 if they ever decide to print that.

  • July 16, 2008, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Optimus douche

    by speed

    Yep. Love transmet but couldn't get into the planetary. Havent tried authority or stormwatch. I always assumed there were too superheroish for me. not that theres anything wrong with that!

  • July 16, 2008, 8:58 a.m. CST

    Justice Society needs to do things the way they did...

    by The Nihilist

    ..in classic "Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes." Make the team EVEN BIGGER (Ryan Choi is available now that "The Atom" has been cancelled, might as well bring S.T.R.I.P.E. on board to annoy Courtney as well) and then have a "roll call" of just five or six of them for each issue or story arc. That way they aren't constantly tripping over each other, as Hawkman rightly points out in issue #17. And the reviewer is right, this Gog thing is slow. My guess is they're just marking time until Something Really Big happens in "Final Crisis" that will have an effect on this title, but yeah. Slow. Numbingly slow.

  • July 16, 2008, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Who reviewed Voltron?

    by Squashua

    Bug, the reviewer name is missing.

  • July 16, 2008, 9:10 a.m. CST

    Whoa-- that Shooter column

    by Laserhead

    is pretty brutal, and makes at least one excellent point-- "It’s decompressed storytelling at it’s finest, and by decompressed storytelling I mean listless, lazy-ass storytelling that feigns realism with maudlin character moments as a substitute for actual plot development." Good one, Jim. You fucking asshole.

  • July 16, 2008, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Jim Shooter, you silly man.

    by rev_skarekroe

    At least Bendis know that not every sentence needs to end in an exclamation point.

  • July 16, 2008, 9:13 a.m. CST

    JSA

    by Bluejack

    I gave up on this book a long time ago for the reasons mentioned by the reviewer. Too many characters and not enough plot movement. Somewhere along the line the Ultimate line jumped the shark. Maybe Spider-Man 100.

  • July 16, 2008, 9:16 a.m. CST

    I like the reviews

    by Animation

    I just wanted to say that I appreciate the reviews. I come HERE for my reviews. As you said in your response to the complaint, you guys are just regular comic book fans who take some time, mull things over, and post your thoughts. Thats exactly what I want. Also, I dont buy every title, so reviews on stuff I'm not currently reading are always useful, regardless of the timing. So, many thanks to all of you. Additionally let me say that I view the Skrull secret war stuff as a back-fill "whoops" on writing a bunch of divisive and sloppy crap. Now they are trying to make it like all the awkward choices, failed character behaviors, and mis-handled plots were on purpose. No thanks. :) Just an opinion. :)

  • July 16, 2008, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Action, Superman Renaissance

    by mattb127

    Action Comics and All Star Superman are (surprisingly) two of the best reads in the last year. I hated Infinite Crisis, but I have to say, Johns is kicking ass and taking names on Action and on Green Lantern. Superman is totally cool for the first time in like 20 years, also thanks to Morrison--All Star Superman actually warms my shriveled heart. I feel like there's a real return to the Silver Age, to the science fiction aspect of Superman, and that rules. He SHOULD be saving planets and fighting galactic menaces like Braniac, a character who is handled here with awesome creepiness. He should be really, really scary. Same thing with Luthor, who was also handled well in the Last Son Arc, (even though that took for freakin' ever.) Bringing back the Legion, and the Silver Age aspects of Superman has worked, for Johns and for Morrison--not sure it's as successful with Morrison's current Batman run, which, come on, is kind of a disaster.

  • July 16, 2008, 10:22 a.m. CST

    ENOUGH 911

    by Lukecash

    It didn't change a damn thing. Seriously. For a few days we were all brought together. For a bit we were patriotic. For a while we were paranoid. Now we are firmly back at politics as usual and a jaded America.<p> Storytellers are telling stories-pure and simple. Just because a disaster appears in fiction and there is a survivor, doesn't mean it's tied into 911-okay?

  • July 16, 2008, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Return to the silver age?

    by Lukecash

    God no...please. Fuck that shit. I don't mind getting back to basis. And I love All Star Supes...but as a love letter to a bygone era. I sure in the hell wouldn't pick it up as a continuing series or part of continuity.<p> Still-no complaints on what Johns is doing on action-which is the combination of silver and contemporary.

  • July 16, 2008, 10:49 a.m. CST

    Fury's team is the best thing about SECRET INVASION

    by Tacom

    I like seeing him lead a new group of commandos to battle the Skrulls.

  • July 16, 2008, 10:49 a.m. CST

    NOVA Is Marvel's Best Book

    by LaserPants

    Hands down.

  • July 16, 2008, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Secret Invasion is more boring than baffling

    by krushjudgement

    The first issue was great. Now I just want the damn thing to end.

  • July 16, 2008, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Secret Invasion, Silver Age, reviews

    by Homer Sexual

    First off, thanks to last week's reviews, I went and bought the Thor:Reign of Blood, and really enjoyed it. I remember when I was a kid, I didn't like the Asgardians because they were all such a$$holes, and as an adult, am glad to see their reprehensible godlike behavior again. So thanks. <p> However, Booster Gold sounds so boring, despite the good review. Booster on his own=well, no. Put him back in a group, where he belongs. <p> Secret Invasion 4 was the first SI let down for me. The cover was misleading and not much happened. And at this point, it seems to me only minor characters are skrulls now. Like Bendis, I adore Jessica Drew. But I can't help thinking that he decided if he couldn't get her an ongoing book, he'd make her the big bad of this event. Who else is a skrull? Jarvis, electra, Yellowjacket..there's a biggie. I am hoping that at the end, we will see some "big guns" turn out to be skrulls, and that seriously confusing behavior such as Jessica the Skrull Queen outing the whole invasion in the first place will be explained. But I now expect to be disappointed. Sigh. And it started off so well. I still hold out a ray of hope, though. <p> On the same topic, I am not here to really defend Shooter, but he did do some good things way back when, and Secret Wars was one of them. It was totally better than any recent Marvel events. Why? Because lots of sh!t happened and actually affected the MU for some time. It was fast moving, entertaining and altogether satisfying. Can't take that away from him. Notice, though, that he doesn't mention Secret Wars II...wonder why not...and his new Legion seems to confirm that he is a relic now. <p> Speaking of relics, and speaking as a relic (over 40 and reading comics for about 30 years)..and repeating myself like the crotchety old guy I am...this pending return to the Silver Age fills me with worry. I just can't believe anyone, even geezers like me, wanted Barry Allen to return. Who asked for that? Who could possibly think he's more interesting than Wally West or anyone? I don't get it.

  • July 16, 2008, 11:04 a.m. CST

    I saw a quote for this colum on a 2000ad prog a while back

    by O_Goncho

    Do you guys only review the trade paperbacks, or do you sometimes do the weekly progs too? Just curious.

  • July 16, 2008, 11:17 a.m. CST

    Chewtoy

    by Jinxo

    I wasn't meaning to be apologetic about Secret Invasion. If I was wishy washy on it at all it would be because pieces of it have been entertaining but in terms of all the parts building to a cohesvive big picture, again I go to the puzzle analogy, too many pieces in too many places coming together so slow that big picture stays very hard to see.<br><br> But more than that, in my write-up I actually tried to not go too deeply into Secret Invasion since my intenet was really to write up Ultimate Origins. With Bendis having another "epic" going on though it was hard not to makes some comparisons. In the end I did compare the two titles enough that the suggestion was made to run the review as a comparison review. Made sense so I said okay. But if going in I had known it would run as a full on Secret Invasion Vs Ultimate Origins piece I would have had much more so say.<br><br> To be brief, Secret Invasion, again, is too too big so that we the readers aren't given a good point of view to truly see the big picture. The main book does not carry enough of the weight of the event. Back in the old days if you had an event book the main title could be read on its own, carrying the lionshare of the event's plot with the tie in books merely adding extra info about how that event impacted that book's heroes. Here, the main book seems to be all about showing us some of the bigger flashier moments with few big picture details. If it does give us details it is usually in narrations saying, "Oh, did we not mention this before? Sorry." The tie-in books end up carrying too much of the story's heft. Okay, maybe some would see that better that the tie-ins being extraneous side plots the buyer is being "suckered" into buying but they should also not carry so much weight you have to buy them to fill in details the main series is NOT providing. I mean that Secret Invasion one shot a few weeks back that added tons of plot details? Folks liked it. Based on content I liked it. But I also thought it was a sign of some shitty writing/organization of this event. All these plot points had to be relegated to a side book? How about writing the thing correctly so these stories get, oh, I dunno, integrated into the main title?<br><br> By contrast Ultimate Origin is doing what Invasion is not. Big concept story involving an entire universe, two time frames and tons of characters. All of it is in one book. It's focused. There are no wasted moments. It feels like we are getting the meat of the story AND the splashy big moments without it feeling like we're missing anything. It's not too big and spread out like Invasion.<br><br> If on the other hand instead of being an @$$hole you prefer to call me a pu$$y, your choice. I'll do my best to live up to the @$$hole moniker and to help you live up to your name. Chewtoy was it?

  • July 16, 2008, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Secret Invasion Is Better Than Final Crisis, Though

    by LaserPants

    At least so far. This, of course, could change.<br><br>As it stands, Final Crisis makes almost no sense; it representing the aftermath of a cosmic war between good and evil that occurred... when? Where? Why? What happened? Was is cool and scary and awesome? We don't know. Will we ever know? Will issue 3 demonstrate what this cosmic war between good and evil was like? It should. I mean, seriously, I had to read the first two issues twice to figure out what the fuck is going on. And its not because the key events are too difficult to understand, but because the key events don't even happen in the book! "Good lost!" Oh really? Fancy letting us know, or even better, showing us how good lost? (Visual cues being very important in a graphic storytelling medium.) It might help. <br><br> Of course, issue 3 might answer these nagging questions which should have already been demonstrated in the book, but if it doesn't, if the series doesn't start picking up and making some kind of sense, I think its going to be an Epic Fail. Of course, its too early to judge, but, as things are going, I'm way underwhelmed.<br><br> Secret Invasion is mostly flash, sure (although the side stories are great), but at least it delivers the goods -- there's an invasion, a war, and we're seeing it happen. Imagine if Secret Invasion was being told as if the invasion already happened and "good lost" but we never got to see it? So far, that seems to be whats going on with Final Crisis -- a story told about the aftermath of something we never saw.

  • July 16, 2008, 11:28 a.m. CST

    where the fuck is my walking dead review

    by JBouganim1

  • July 16, 2008, 11:29 a.m. CST

    The Silver Age

    by mattb127

    I'm not saying we go back to 1955. But clearly, characters like Green Lantern and Superman, who are basically omnipotent, don't really work without the silver age, science-fiction elements of their characters. In Superman's case, what does that mean? Well, it means a phantom zone, it means space adventures, it means Supergirl and Kandor and other dimensions and time travel and all that. It means Science Fiction, because even in the late eighties/early nineties, the best Superman stuff was the science fiction stuff--for example, when he went to Warworld and became a gladiator, and fought Mongul, or when he went to Apokolips and fought Darkseid. The successful Alan Moore stories (Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, For the Man who Has Everything, and even the Swamp Thing story--all very heavy on the science fiction. Morrison's All-Star and Johns's Action proves it. Come on, who the hell cared about Action Comics until ZOD?!? The character can't work without playing up his alienness, and giving him real, cosmic threats to fight. When he has that, all that human stuff falls into place, because in his quest to be human, he becomes human. When you think of the last twenty years of Superman stories, what was close to as good as this stuff? The Intergang stuff, the "human drama soap opera/Lois & Clark" Superman isn't really that interesting. Same thing with Green Lantern. Take away the Green Lantern Corps and make him a whiny, grey-templed recovering drunk driver? He should be like Shatner's Kirk, bedding down hot Alien Chicks and fighting weird intergalactic menaces, like the Sinestro Corps, and then rebelling against his alien overlords with his hot human temper. Otherwise, he's just a boring god with a ring. And whether you like it or not, DC is definitely taking us back to the Silver Age. Consider: the return of the multiverse? Check. The Return of weird, science fiction heroes like Animal Man, Adam Strange, etc.? Check. The return of Barry Allen, who some say launched the silver age, check. Morrison's taking us back to Robin Dies at Dawn storyline, bringing back Batmite and the League of batmen. Holy Silver Age, Batman! I'm not quite sure it works with Batman though--the silver age almost killed that character. In Green Lantern's case,

  • July 16, 2008, 11:48 a.m. CST

    911 didn't change anything Lukecash?

    by Dingleberry Jones

    I've got news for you, it changed damn near every aspect of life in America. 911 is the reason guys are riding around in a beat-to-shit Humvee in Afghanistan/Iraq. The government has pretty much eliminated any aspect of privacy and America is no longer admired in the world but pretty much fucking loathed. So yeah, your assessment that everything is the same as 9/10 is spot-on. And as far as the comics go, outside of Green Lantern, which is badass on multiple levels, everything else DC is rolling out is about as interesting as a three day-old cat turd. However, based on the review of the new Action book, I might pick it up.

  • July 16, 2008, 11:54 a.m. CST

    911 Changed How The US Carries Out Torture

    by LaserPants

    Back in the old days we used to send CIA operatives to our various proxy dictatorships (like Iraq under Saddamn when he was our "ally") to teach them how to torture. No we just moved the prison off-shore and do it ourselves! Wow!

  • July 16, 2008, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Also with the 9/11 Analogy Luke

    by optimous_douche

    I think I explained pretty well what I was going for.<p> Not to toot my own horn, but I think my theory on Cloverfield never being created without the 9/11 footage inspiration was sorta insightful.<p> I know I'm a wordy fucker, but at least get through the second paragraph before you post.

  • July 16, 2008, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Dan Didio is an idiot.

    by riskebiz

    The only reason Final Crisis exists is so he can kill off characters that only HE doesn't get. Dick Grayson's days are numbered because Dan Didio is playing to an audience of one: Himself. Fire Didio already. Hire Palmiotti. Hire ANYONE and it would be better than continuing the publicity stunts Didio only knows how to do.

  • July 16, 2008, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Squash & O Goncho

    by Ambush Bug

    Squash, I did the Indie Jones review of VOltron. I stopped tagging every one of my little indie reviews because it was starting to look a bit redundant with my name after every paragraph. Sorry for the confusion.<br><br> About 2000ad. Being from the states, I only get to look at 2000AD titles in trade form. I plan on reviewing the latest SLAINE trade by Mills and Bisley very soon. The art looks fantastic. With I could review more of the 2000AD books but those trades are girthy effers and it takes me a while to get through them. But we try to cover 2000AD's awesome sci fi books whenever we can in our indie jones section.

  • July 16, 2008, 1:34 p.m. CST

    "Most of us get out comics on Wednesday..."

    by DennisMM

    Maybe if you live in an urban/suburban area and can make the trip to the shop more than every few weeks. Maybe if you have a job that lets you out before the shop closes. (While many stay open later on Wednesdays, many do not.) Maybe if you do go to a shop, rather than get your comics via subscription service (though you're extra-screwed on review delays there). Maybe if you make a passable amount of money and have that steady flow of dollars every week or two, allowing you to drop the dough every Wednesday or Friday or Saturday (instead of having to wait 'til month's end to see what's left in the bank account). Cripes, grow some perspective man. <br> <br> Oh, and jinxo? No offense, but the word is "pissah." Pissah. ;-)

  • July 16, 2008, 1:35 p.m. CST

    grrr ...

    by DennisMM

    fucking lack of edit function. OUR comics, not out.

  • July 16, 2008, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Riskebiz

    by mattb127

    Totally agreed about DiDio, and shocked that I didn't know this about Nightwing, although I guess it doesn't surprise me. I'm creeped out by some of the shit DC has pulled since they brought Didio on board. Voyeuristic, marketing trash. Using rape and murder as a marketing gimmick is sleazy and unfortunate. And it won't last. But I have to say, Action, Green Lantern, and All Star Superman are excellent books. And, despite everything, Final Crisis is a good read. Provided they don't chicken-out like Marvel. But they will. In the end, they will.

  • July 16, 2008, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Nova is the best Marvel title out there

    by FatRat

    Having read Nova from the beginning in the 70's and his rebirth with the New Warriors, and his own title in the 90's I'm glad to see that he is finally a rising star in the Marvel line. This iteration, starting with Annihilation has been great! I hope they can keep it up and not screw it up, though with it being Marvel, it's only a matter of time.

  • July 16, 2008, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Stop hogging all the reviews, Bug!

    by Squashua

    Dammit, stop letting the rest of us have lives!

  • July 16, 2008, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Here's your Walking Dead #50 Review

    by Squashua

    This issue follows the son of the main character, after all the shit that went down last issue. It's a good "slice of life" story, or rather "slice of unlife". Hah. Touching, and obviously the start of a completely new arc, but you can pass if you want. Then-again, it's already sold out. Speculators best be snatchin'.

  • July 16, 2008, 3:30 p.m. CST

    J'onn's cookies

    by DennisMM

    Nabisco did, indeed, ask DC to stop using the Oreo name. Why? Because they've got the world's biggest flaming lance up their asses, I suppose. I never saw anything in the books that suggested a negative view of the Oreo cookie. Perhaps Nabisco just doesn't like being associated with green aliens. Fuck, it did wonders for Reese's Pieces.

  • July 16, 2008, 3:31 p.m. CST

    P.S. to comics on Wednesday

    by DennisMM

    Leck, ya know I love ya, but I had to call ya on this one.

  • July 16, 2008, 4:40 p.m. CST

    AICN

    by Series7

    Is all over the Nova printings.

  • July 16, 2008, 6:09 p.m. CST

    Ambush Bug

    by hst666

    What do you mean by planned? If you mean every last detail and character story, then no. Obviously, Millar and Pak had their own stories to tell and Bendis worked around those. However, I am generally skeptical and I believe that Secret Invasion was generally outlined and planned when Bendis wrote New Avengers 1. Everything fits too well for it not to have been. <p><p> Which does not necessarily make it a great read.<p><p> Also, where did you hear that quote about Alpha Flight? I do not know whether that makes me more or less pissed about what BB did to them in New Avengers.

  • July 16, 2008, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Yeah those $3.99 price tags are a major bitch...

    by qweruiop

    ...I was at a blockbuster recently, hadn't bought a direct issue comic in years (I always buy older discounted comics through Mile High online), saw that there was some cool looking Civil war issue in a small comic book aisle. It looked like a recap comic, which interested me since I stayed out of the entire Civil war storyline...freaking comic was $4.99. I thought to myself damn, why does it cost 5 bucks for something that's roughly the same amount of pages as any other comic? And then I noticed that "regular" comics are now priced $2.99 to $3.50. Count me out of it. Too much money for too little stuff. And Marvel and DC wonder why orders are down.

  • July 16, 2008, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Not exactly sure where I heard it...

    by Ambush Bug

    But I do remember Bendis' reaction to the outrage from fans about the one panel death of the entire team was that he didn't even really know who they were. Anyone else remember this or able to provide a link?

  • July 16, 2008, 8:17 p.m. CST

    Pissah

    by Jinxo

    You are correct! Damn.

  • July 16, 2008, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Jinxo

    by Chewtoy

    First, my comments were aimed at the entirety of the @ssholes, although your review obviously was what set me off, so it likely seems a little more pointed in your direction than I intended. I wouldn't call you a pussy. Oddly enough, not only do I not approve of personal attacks on faceless people over the internet, but I'm not even a guy who loves throwing around gynecological references for emphasis, no matter what kind of chocolate coating the latest movie reviewed here might have. But I don't have a problem giving an opinion, and I stand by my comments in regards to the whole of Secret Invasion. You guys call yourselves @ssholes... the connotation is that you're not ones to unduly treat what you review with kid gloves. Well, Secret Invasion is anything but a struggling little independent title that deserves a break... It's a monster sucking in an insane number of monthly books (and thereby fans' hard earned cash) from the biggest publisher in the business. If you guys have read the books and like them, that's fine... get out there pat 'em on the back in your reviews. But if you see problems in them, then my advice is to remember that you've called yourselves @ssholes and tear into 'em with no mercy. I don't visit comic sites, so this is my main source for comics news... I want to hear the unapologetic opinions you guys have of the series, and not have to wade through the talkbacks to find them. I can turn to Zero Punctuation Reviews for video games and know I'm not going to be spared any gory details about what may be off in a title, no matter how popular it may be. If I can't expect the same from a self-described @sshole, then the world is more bleak than I thought. P.S. I named myself Chewtoy because I'm perfectly fine with people tearing into me if they don't like my opinions.

  • July 16, 2008, 9:28 p.m. CST

    Okay

    by Jinxo

    Well, see now, I did have to take offense for the very reasons you state. My review WAS the focus of your comment and that comment was looking at that review we shouldn't be able to call ourselves @$$holes. Intentional or not, I'm taking the brunt of that one. And if you come at me shouting, "Sir, YOU are not an @$$hole!" Well... I have no choice but to prove I am. I am not EVEN the guy who would ever mindlessly flame someone. But come up and smack me (even if that wasn't your actual intent)... I'm going for it. Like I said too, I was trying to stay brief on my Secret Invasion comments. I was trying to be brief while stating my true opinion: SI is hit and miss, more hit with the small bits, miss with the big picture. Less wishy washy and more... Conflicted? Ambivalent?

  • July 16, 2008, 9:39 p.m. CST

    I'll take the bullet for the SECRET INVASION review...

    by Ambush Bug

    After I read Jinxo's ULTIMATE ORIGINS review, and knowing that no one was covering SECRET INVASION this week, and knowing that Jinxo covered SI almost as much as he covered UO in his review, I emailed him at the last minute and asked if it was ok to label the review as for both SI & UO. So when he was writing the review, Jinxo really intended to cover UO and merely reference SI. I think it was a fine review of both books, but if it seemed to lay into SI less, it was only because the review was intended to only focus on ULTIMATE ORIGINS.

  • July 16, 2008, 11:43 p.m. CST

    There is only one way to end this

    by Jinxo

    You, sir, are DRUNK! And you! AND you! And so am I! And so... all is right with the world.

  • July 17, 2008, 12:08 a.m. CST

    Fair enough... You're both proven, proud @ssholes

    by Chewtoy

    Er... in the most complimentary way, of course.

  • July 17, 2008, 2:57 a.m. CST

    wtf....

    by Bootskin

    ...is a prog? Offspring of Kermit and Miss Piggy?

  • July 17, 2008, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Here's an idea

    by Joenathan

    If you guys are sooooooooo incapable of submitting timely reviews on Wednesday, perhaps you should put your reviews up on Friday, then instead of being an entire week late, you'd only be slightly irrelevant.

  • July 17, 2008, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Alpha Flight

    by Joenathan

    Maybe what Bendis meant was: I didn't even know who they were because they suck ass and no one gives two shits about them and only complain about the one panel death because Bendis did it and the only reason they would have complained more would have been if Millar had done it. The comic book world is a better place with Alpha Flight dead.

  • July 17, 2008, 1:09 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by The Octagoner

    Maybe you're participating in the wrong web-site? Nothing wrong with Alpha Flight at all. One of the most singular super-hero groups of the eighties. A writer killing off characters that have a rich history should probably at the least avail himself a bit of knowledge about them, since, you know, he's ending their existence. <p>Also, since the @$$holes have been reviewing comics like this, in this manner, for about seven years, do you really think you're the first slab of bitterness to "suggest" they could review earlier, or threaten them with the label of "irrelevance"? You know who's irrelevant? The lonely, pock-marked fatboy you see every time you look in the mirror.

  • July 17, 2008, 3 p.m. CST

    Octagoner, Chuck Norris licks my ballsack

    by Joenathan

    Actually, I DO think I'm the first, so there. Also, how can I be lonely when surrounded by other very obviously bitter and pock-marked fanboys, such as you? Doctor, heal thyself. <b> ANYWAY, It seems to me that every single week people complain about how these irrelevant reviews (yes, irrelevant, because I put to you that the number of people who are both searching out comic reviews and that are regular buyers have all already purchased last week's comics LAST WEEK and that therefore, any of these reviews’ ability to maybe deter or encourage purchases have largely lost their impact, so... irrelevant.) come out TOO late, so I’m suggesting a way to adjust and compromise. Why not put up your reviews on Friday? Why not? <b> And finally, I defy you to come up with ANYTHING important, lasting, or even slightly interesting that happened in Alpha Flight that WASN”T involving the X-men in some way. ANYTHING. You can’t do it, because it hasn’t happened, except maybe Northstar coming out (more notable as a gimmick more than anything, though. Why? Because no one read Alpha Flight at the time and they were desperate for press.) At the time, though, I couldn’t help but wonder: When Northstar announced he was gay, did he mean Gay/homosexual or Gay/lame? If it was the latter, I was like, duh, he’s in Alpha Flight…

  • July 17, 2008, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Also

    by Joenathan

    Ending their existance? Are you new to comics? Since when has any character EVER stayed dead? Come on, dude.

  • July 17, 2008, 10:30 p.m. CST

    Joenathan: don

    by The Octagoner

  • July 17, 2008, 10:39 p.m. CST

    Joenathan: don't be ridiculous

    by The Octagoner

    I could beat you to death with my balls.<p>I live in the octagon.<p>You are the pock-marked fatboy, my bitch, not I. And you know it. All I have to do is roll over and squeeze my hot-ass wife's ass while she sleeps and I type this, and the reality of the world seems pretty fucking clear.<p>To your rebuttals: how about this, dicksuck-- I PUT TO YOU that anybody looking for 'comic reviews' will get them here, and pretty intelligently. Anybody looking for BRAND NEW comic reviews will quickly learn to go to CBR or Newsarama. It's just not a cogent explanation for why you're dirtying up the airwaves with your whah-whahing. It's like me walking in Baskin-Robbins and complaining because they don't have oatmeal.<p>What IS a cogent explanation? Glad you asked: you, limp dick virgin that you are, needing to make people (somebody, ANYbody) acknowledge your existence-- while also struggling to reinforce the ego which gets torn down every time you encounter other people your own age --mouthing off about shit about which you remain ignorant. Am I close? I know I am.<p>BMBendis will not remember you for defending him. BMBendis just wants your money, and he's willing to recycle as many '90s TV shows as it takes till he gets it.

  • July 17, 2008, 10:45 p.m. CST

    Joenathan-- Bendis isn't your father

    by The Octagoner

    He's not going to love you and tell you you're 'a man.' Nobody is going to do that. Blame your mother for not knowing which member of the gang-bang spawned you. Don't blame comic fans.<p>That surrogate father you're looking for? It's not Bendis.

  • July 18, 2008, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Alpha Flight

    by Bluejack

    Byrne produced some sweet comics during his Alpha Flight run. The "white" cover with a mostly Snowbird issue (she looks great in the recent Herc issues). Guardian getting waxed in issue 12. Puck was cool for a while. I really enjoyed that book.

  • July 18, 2008, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Alpha Flight, good times..then less so

    by Homer Sexual

    I am so very old that I read the original issues of Alpha Flight and they were, indeed, the bomb. John Byrne was at his peak. #12 was just an outstanding comic I can remember so clearly all these years later. <p> Unfortunately (inevitably?) it went into decline. The whole "Northstar is gay" thing went on forever, it was definitely not a gimmick, it was actually groundbreaking (except that not so many people were reading at that point). Then, in one of the most F'ed up moves ever in a comic, Northstar was finally outed as....an elf! No, not a homo! Can't have one of them in a comic...elves, however...yes! God, that was gay in a lame way, rather than in a homosexual way (which would have been good)

  • July 18, 2008, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Octagoner - According to my Mother, Bendis IS my father

    by Joenathan

    Also, I find your claims of virility somewhat suspect and your regular mentioning of male genitalia only makes it more... strange... peculiar... Your B&R metaphor is weak and has no correlation to what I was saying. Spend some time figuring out why. As for Alpha Flight, I see that no one, NO ONE, can come up with anything except vague references to some retard character MAYBE having been cool at some point. This is because Alpha Flight has never been important or interesting and Wolverine was the best thing that ever happened to their lame asses. Now, I agree Northstar's outing WAS groundbreaking, but only tangentially because it was intended at a gimmick.

  • July 20, 2008, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Alpha Flight Redux

    by Bluejack

    Joenathan. Were you alive when Alpha Flight came out? Shaman, Snowbird, Guardian, Puck, Sasquatch, eventually Talisman were mainstream Marvel characters. It was a top selling team book with great art and solid story telling. Byrne was at the top of his game and the art and layouts were cutting edge back then. Comics have come a long way since then. It's a solid teir 2-3 team that had a fantastic run and then crapped out like many team books do.

  • July 20, 2008, 8:48 p.m. CST

    And another thing...

    by Bluejack

    Northstar was still gay after he was ouyted as an elf. Then he was just another gay elf. Sadly, I will never get those few minutes of life back I just spent defending the honor of Alpha Flight. Next I'll have to defend Suicide Squad.

  • July 20, 2008, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Next Bracket

    by Bluejack

    How about a team versus team bracket to follow up ultimate kick-assery tournament? Avengers v. JLA v. JSA (with a limit, those fuckers are like bunnies)v. Defenders etc. etc. Then Joenathan could write Alpha Flight getting their asses kicked by the Runaways.

  • July 21, 2008, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Bluejack

    by Homer Sexual

    Hey, hey...I was also here defending Alpha Flight. But I clearly remember a loong development of homo Northstar, culminating with his outing as an elf. He may have been retro-gayed, but at the time Marvel definitely wussed out. <p> I can't believe you mentioned Suicide Squad as well, because Ostrander's run on Suicide Squad remains, to this day,my all time favorite ongoing series. Kudos to Ostrander for making characters like Lashina, Punch and Jewelee and more very very interesting.

  • July 22, 2008, 12:56 a.m. CST

    Buzz Maverik Posts Ellis Style...

    by Buzz Maverik

    Hi....

  • July 22, 2008, 12:57 a.m. CST

    ...guys...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...great...

  • July 22, 2008, 12:57 a.m. CST

    ...reviews...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...of...

  • July 22, 2008, 12:58 a.m. CST

    ...comic...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...books...

  • July 22, 2008, 12:58 a.m. CST

    ...but...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...decompression...

  • July 22, 2008, 12:59 a.m. CST

    ...is...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...slack...

  • July 22, 2008, 12:59 a.m. CST

    ...with...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...pretensions.

  • July 22, 2008, 7:16 p.m. CST

    Suicide Squad

    by Bluejack

    I loved when the Squad went to Apokalips. The arcs involving Middle Eastern super-humans...the whole damn series was way ahead of it's time. Thunderbolts before they were Thunderbolts.