Comics

AICN COMICS REVIEWS: ARCHER & ARMSTRONG! LOVECRAFT! SUPERMAN! & MUCH MORE!

Published at: Aug. 6, 2008, 12:48 p.m. CST by ambush bug

#13 7/30/08 #7

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG: FIRST IMPRESSIONS HC TPB SUPERMAN #678 NEWUNIVERSAL: 1959 #1 THE APOCALIPSTIX V1 JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA ANNUAL #1 HAUNT OF HORROR: H.P. LOVECRAFT #2 / THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF H.P. LOVECRAFT: CHAPTER 1 Big Eyes For the Cape Guy presents ME AND THE DEVIL BLUES: THE UNREAL LIFE OF ROBERT JOHNSON OGN Indie Jones presents SPARKS #1 – 2 Indie Jones presents THE CHAIR OGN Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS!

ARCHER & ARMSTRONG: FIRST IMPRESSIONS HC TPB

Writer: Jim, Shooter, Bob Layton, Barry Windsor-Smith Art: Barry Windsor-Smith Publisher: Valiant Comics Guest Reviewer: Ryan McLelland

Not since Batman & Robin has a more important duo hit the comic world than Archer and Armstrong. The Valiant comic book hit its stride right with its first issue thanks to the storytelling of co-creators Jim Shooter and Bob Layton along with the phenomenal art of co-creator Barry Windsor-Smith. It was innovative from the start as the book launched with a zero issue (instead of an issue 1 which nearly all comics start with) and a limited edition gold cover variant for collectors. The series introduced two characters who were key players in Valiant’s past, present, and future but most importantly the book was one thing above all: the best buddy team book of all time.
It’s no surprise that Valiant Entertainment has chosen as its third deluxe hardcover to reprint the first seven issues of ARCHER & ARMSTRONG. While the previous hardcovers harkened back to the very early days of Valiant Comics ARCHER & ARMSTRONG: FIRST IMPRESSIONS brings together seven of the strongest issues ever put to print along with an all-new story by Jim Shooter and a new cover by infamous artist Michael Golden.
ARCHER & ARMSTRONG helped pave the way for many of the new Valiant titles by bringing together much of the old with the new. The old is Armstrong – an immortal who has walked the Earth for thousands of years. One of three such immortal brothers roaming the Valiant Universe, Armstrong is the guy who seems to fumble along in history, usually looking for the big party, and always one to tell stories of days long gone. He is hunted by a malicious group called The Sect who thinks Armstrong to be evil incarnate.
Archer, on the other hand, is a simple boy who finds out he is a Harbinger - a person born with extraordinary powers. After nearly dying by the hands of his parents he goes forth into the world on his journey, training with the most brilliant martial artists, and forging his powers into becoming a near unstoppable force. On his journey of revenge the two collide in Los Angeles and find a common enemy in The Sect. Drugged, blindfolded, and kidnapped the two find themselves trying to escape an enemy while trying to get to know each other. Is the man Archer is talking to who keeps babbling truly thousands of years old, is he truly just a bum with a mental problem?
This story is brought together brilliantly by Barry Windsor-Smith who would write and draw most of Archer and Armstrong’s early run. Windsor-Smith was already a legend in the comic world thanks to runs on comics like X-MEN and CONAN THE BARBARIAN when he came to Valiant but quickly saw his career resurrected to a superstar status thanks to his work on Valiant books like ARCHER & ARMSTRONG. Should there ever be a high point to his career one can easily look at his entire run on ARCHER & ARMSTRONG to note that the master storyteller was truly at his peak.
Valiant is going all out with their newest hardcover thanks to an all-new re-coloring of these classic issues, a dust jacket drawn by Golden, and the new all-new story by Shooter with artists Sal Velluto and Bob Almond. With ‘The Formation of the Sect’ Shooter goes back into Armstrong’s past to finally reveal why The Sect has been chased by the shadow organization for hundreds of years.
Updates like the new story and new coloring have readers new and old clamoring for these hardcover collections. ARCHER & ARMSTRONG: FIRST IMPRESSIONS truly delivers the goods from its very first page until the last where you can’t believe what a wonderful trip you’ve just taken with these two magnificent characters.

SUPERMAN# 678

Writer: James Robinson Penciller: Renato Guedes Published by: DC Comics Reviewed by: BottleImp

(Before any Talkbackers blast me for reviewing a book that’s been out for two weeks already, I’d just like to pre-empt my review by saying that I realize that this is late, but I was unable to submit this for last week’s column and I just have to get a few things off of my chest regarding this title. And what else is the internet for, if not egotistically proclaiming one’s own viewpoint as superior?)
So here’s the deal with James Robinson’s SUPERMAN: I don’t think Robinson actually wants to write SUPERMAN. I think he’d be more comfortable writing a BRAVE & THE BOLD or DC COMICS PRESENTS kind of series. Why do I think this? Because his Superman is written badly—not the SUPERMAN comic as a whole, but the character himself. The plot is getting a little more interesting; we get to learn a little of Atlas’ back-story and how he came to Metropolis through some pretty nifty flashback sequences (rendered in a nice Kirby pastiche, unless some of these panels are reproductions of Kirby’s FIRST ISSUE SPECIAL Atlas artwork—I didn’t see any credit given to the King, so I’m assuming that it’s Guedes’ homage), and we’re given a small mystery in the shadowy military man who sets Atlas upon the city, but Superman himself is as flat and lifeless as the paper on which he is printed.
Anyone who has a passing knowledge of Robinson’s work knows that the man loves obscure characters, and this seems to be what this run on SUPERMAN is all about. Robinson has written Atlas as a much more engaging character than Superman, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen or the still-faceless, indistinguishable-from-one-another officers of the Metropolis Science Police (if Robinson is trying to make this part of Supes’ supporting cast as fully rounded as he wrote the O’Dare clan in STARMAN, he needs to tell Guedes to draw their damn faces clearly so the reader can tell them apart). Jimmy’s dialogue is annoying as hell, and out of character—he speaks in pseudo-philosophical sentence fragments that recall Jack Knight’s thought captions in STARMAN, only more disjointed. And Superman…
This isn’t the smart, charismatic Supes that we’ve seen as written by Kurt Busiek or Geoff Johns. Robinson’s Superman seems more like a thick-headed brawler, almost more of a Guy Gardner-esque thug type. When he’s fighting Atlas in the streets of Metropolis, he’s not fighting with intelligence—he’s slugging it out like a bully on the playground. Robinson’s interest clearly lies less in developing his title character and more in fleshing out the near-nil characterization of the all-but-forgotten Atlas. That’s why I fell that he’d be more comfortable at the helm of a title like B&TB…at least there Robinson would be able to fulfill his love of the DC fourth-stringers without having to worry too much about writing the flagship characters.
As for the artwork, I liked it a little better than the previous issue—there are a couple of nice splash pages and action shots (as well as the aforementioned Kirby clones), and the “ground beef” coloring on Atlas’ skin that bothered me so much last time has been toned down a little. I’m still not 100% sold on the muted color palette, but for the most part it looks okay. I’m going to give this series one more issue, but if something interesting doesn’t happen with Supes or Atlas (and if I STILL can’t tell those damn Science Police apart) I’ll be dropping SUPERMAN and spending my cash on more enjoyable fare.

NEWUNIVERSAL: 1959 #1 (ONE-SHOT)

Writer: Kieron Gillen Artist: Greg Scott (with Kody Chamberlain) Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewers: Squashua and Ambush Bug

Editor’s Note: This review is a compilation of two cheap shots done by two different @$$Holes. Both @$$Holes mistakenly reviewed the same book. Usually, in this instance, the two reviewers would have to fight it out in a cage surrounded by attack lemurs in order to see who’s review gets to make it to the column. Since our attack lemurs came down with a slight case of gout, we decided the only fair thing to do was run both reviews. They may overlap. They may redundify. They may differ. Have no fear, the attack lemurs are being treated as we speak and this will most assuredly not happen again.
I wasn't going to pick this up. Nine times out of ten, every time a story switches writers, as a reader, I get burnt. Man, am I glad I picked this up. NEWUNIVERSAL1959 takes the super-hero analogues we're introduced to in Warren Ellis' re-imagining, and sets them square the late 1950's with an incredible amount of success. We watch the US government manage the fallout from "The Fireworks of 1953" (the pre-White Event White Event), and witness both the origins of Project Spitfire, and how they thwarted this particular incursion into real-space. Rather than act immediately, Spitfire decides to quietly analyze the situation through the lens of evolution, almost like a Meercat Manor, but with meercats who would tear your lungs out if you thought badly about them. The tone and sensibilities of the late '50s is an ever-flowing undercurrent felt throughout the plot and rendered exquisitely via the art, prevalent not only in the clothing styles and technology, but even in the manifestation of the '59 Justice. And to alleviate any lingering doubts, the semi-fan-groused inclusion of an Earth-555 Tony Stark ended up being quite natural to the story. Overall, 1959 is an excellent book, able to stand on its own or as part of the overall epic that is NEWUNIVERSAL; it's the next evolution in super-hero comics. - SQUASHUA
I approached this one shot with caution. I’ve been somewhat interested in how Ellis’ NEWUNIVERSAL is turning out, but again, the delays are really killing the momentum of this title for me. Should more of these one-shots come out, that may sustain the interest, but the work here turned in by writer Kieron Gillen is decent enough. As a stand alone, this is a pretty morbid tale that involves the last time the White Event occurred and how the government responded to it. Gillen does a decent job of keeping the ball Ellis reimagined rolling but adds little to the mythos that couldn’t have been summed up (and has been summed up, I believe) in a few panels of the regular series. Greg Scott (I believe this is no relation to the former @$$Hole by the same name, but I could be wrong) is a surprise here. Like Sal Larocca from the NEWUNIVERSAL series, Scott has a tendency to make his characters look almost too much like the Hollywood stars the artist is referencing. This stunt-casting pencil work is often very distracting, but Scott tones it down a bit compared to his previous work at BOOM! Studios. All in all, a decent read, but other than the guest appearance from a guy who has made waaaaay too many guest appearances in the last two years throughout the Marvel titles, it regretfully turns out to be a forgettable stand-in for the ongoing series. - AMBUSH BUG
Well, there you have it. Two views. One review.
No attack lemurs were harmed in the making of this review.

THE APOCALIPSTIX V1

Words: Ray Fawkes Pencils: Cameron Stewart Publisher: Oni Press Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

THE APOCALIPSTIX is a rarity of a comic book: something that lives up perfectly to its billing. "Josie and the Pussycats meets Mad Max" is the claim this book makes and that right there describes it better than I could. THE APOCALIPSTIX, in my opinion, is falling in line with such other band/music-thematic titles from Oni like BLACK METAL and the always popular SCOTT PILGRIM in that it is just one of those works that is there to have as much fun romping about as it can. The premise alone should tell you that: an all girl rock trio survive nuclear holocaust and continue to live in the post-apocalyptic world the only way they know how to: Rocking. As you can imagine, hi-jinks ensue.
Once this book gets past the first couple pages of setup it immediately moves into the same kind of tone I like from my music: fast and dirty. Perfectly honest, if there was any major down point I guess I would hang on this book, it's that it is a shockingly quick read. Start to finish, I'd be amazed if this took me twenty minutes to consume. But there's a good reason for that as the brunt of what drives this book are its visuals, and considering those are coming via the talented hand of Cameron Stewart that's a big motivation to give this little ditty another once over as soon as you finish.
THE APOCALIPSTIX definitely hits on all the notes you'd expect to see in a book where the keywords involved are "music", "nuclear", and "apocalyptic". You've got your fair share of vehicular violence, Insects of Unusual Shape and Size (thank you “Princess Bride”), and of course your frantic Battle of the Bands finisher. The cast is an enjoyable gathering of femininity too, with your strong lead Mandy, the ditsy Dot rockin’ the long neck, and the mostly quiet (because no one can understand her) badass Megumi on the drums. They're definitely a fun little troupe, and play well off each other and fit the hyper-kinetic pace of the book as well.
The real star of the show though, like I mentioned earlier, is definitely the visuals. The main selling point of this book would definitely be the ass-kickery, and Cameron Stewart brings that here in spades. Definitely more SEAGUY than THE OTHER SIDE as we're more in cartoon territory here than anything ultra-realistic, it's the thrill of watching the girls kick some Sand Pirate ass, or battle a hive of irradiated ants, and whatever other over-the-top mischief these girls find themselves in that keeps the pages flipping. And seeing just how much he can cram in each page and panel what with all the ruins to view and the explosions and rabid crowds that despite the "end times" still just want to see a kickin’ rock show - this book is a visual feast. The man definitely knows his instrument.
More a pleasant distraction than anything given how relatively short it is, THE APOCALIPSTIX is still a great fix if you're in the mood for something fun and that doesn't take itself terribly seriously. Cool setting, cool characters and some great, explosive art. Definitely worth the old look-see as you're sitting about between your SCOTT PILGRIM fixes. (And, because that's as good a segue as any, for those of you who are in the Toronto, Ontario area you can get an early dose of THE APOCALIPSTIX later tonight, August 6th. Details here. )
Humphrey Lee has been an avid comic book reader going on fifteen years now and a contributor to Ain't It Cool comics for quite a few as well. In fact, reading comics is about all he does in his free time and where all the money from his day job wages goes to - funding his comic book habit so he can talk about them to you, our loyal readers (lucky you). He's a bit of a social networking whore, so you can find him all over the Interwebs on sites like Twitter, The MySpaces, and a Blogger Account where he also mostly talks about comics with his free time because he hasn't the slightest semblance of a life. Sad but true, and he gladly encourages you to add, read, and comment as you will.

Be sure to look out for a Q & @ with Cameron Stewart on APOCALIPSTIX in this Monday’s AICN Comics News: Shoot the Messenger column by Humphrey Lee


JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA ANNUAL #1

Writer: Geoff Johns Art: Jerry Ordway (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks) Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

After reading many a Geoff Johns book, there are two things I know about Geoff Johns. He loves introducing new characters in interesting ways AND he seems to love the concept of multiple Earths in the DCU.
Now, I'm all for introducing or reintroducing characters in the new DCU. It's one of the reasons I've been a dedicated JSA follower since the beginning. I love the sense of history and tradition that Johns does so well in this book in both of its incarnations (first as JSA and now with this new JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA series). Crimson Avenger aside, Johns does a good job of taking an old character and injecting the cool back into them. Or maybe he's injecting cool into a character that has never been cool.
The problem here is that it seems Johns loves reintroducing these new/old characters so much that sometimes it takes place of moving the actual story along. I used to work as a doorman/security in a neighborhood bar. My (extremely intellectually stimulating) job was to let people in the door and greet them in a courteous manner. Their first few steps in the place were crucial because that often set the tone for the rest of the night, so I would make sure to greet the regulars by name and a handshake and try my best to make the newbs feel at home too. The frustrating part of the job was when one person after another would come in, filling the bar to the gills, thus making for a cramped and not-so-fun experience for all. My job was to regulate that so that, even though there may be a line out front, we didn't have too many people in the bar.
The problem with Geoff Johns' JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA is that it's in need of a proper doorman. Again, I love all of these characters Johns is introducing, but there are just way too many of them bumping around each other and now, in this JSA ANNUAL, we've got a whole new team of characters ripe for a Johns-ing. Tis being a team from Earth 2 makes it a bit more understandable because it looks that the teams will be at odds soon rather than joining up, but still, the bar is pretty crowded, folks.
What I've realized, though, after complaining about JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA's penchant for collecting team members, is that it really has just been a showcase for new characters so far. Not until the latest Gog storyline has the team had to function as a workable unit and this overcrowding situation is being addressed somewhat in the book lately, which is much appreciated. It does get a bit confusing as to what personality flaw/trait/curio each character has in this book due to the large cast. But as long as these introductory stories stay strong, then I'm willing to forgive Mr. Johns for packing the bar so full.
And the stories have been strong. Strong enough for me to actually like a story involving a multiple Earth. I'm not a fan of the 52. To me, 52 versions of one set of characters (to borrow a term from across the comic book company pond) makes my head hurt, Stretcho. Sure, we get the fun of Superman of Earth 23 sneezing and Superman of Earth 41 saying, "Bless you!" But after that it gets a bit redundant to me.
Johns, though, has made this Earth 2 story interesting to me. I guess it has to do with the fact that he doesn't have multiple versions of characters interacting with each other (at least not yet). He's got Power Girl fresh from being wished away by Gog, showing up on Earth 2 just in time for a bit of drama to unfold with her old friend Huntress. The story is paced well with Power Girl's appearance causing massive confusion to the Justice Society Infinity, which is comprised of most of the members of Infinity Inc. (not the Steel-led version one, but the one from the old INFINITY INC ser--oh forget it). There are some cool moments between Huntress and Power Girl illustrating how close they were before Power Girl vanished to Earth 1. And the twist towards the end sets the stage for what looks to be a battle of the titans. There was a moment there that I thought the Huntress was going to get all L-WORD with Power Girl, which would have been fine, but I'm glad Johns didn't go this way because I think it would have amped up the melodrama to a level that makes the eyes roll. Having the Huntress simply miss her friend is pretty dramatic enough. Plus this issue has a Johns-written old Joker in it, which makes the comic worth the purchase alone.
Still honoring the sense of tradition that permeates this book, Johns opens a new chapter and it's a chapter I'm willing to get into despite my feelings about multiple Earths. Maybe Johns will sway those negative thoughts. His love for the DC Silver Age is pretty infectious, especially with Jerry Ordway's phenomenal pencils and Bob Wiacek's crisp, clean inks. The art team peppers in old standby shots such as floating heads, and who doesn't love a good team shot with the entire cast sitting around the table debating about stuff that superheroes debate about around a table?
Speaking of art, there's a kick @$$ Earth 1 roster shot of the current JSA highlighting more character and fun and a boatload of comics combined. I believe it's Dale Eaglesham, although it's uncredited in the book. This double page pin-up is poster worthy and reminds me of the double page splash from JLA #195 (original series) that, as a kid, I ignorantly tore from my comic depicting both the Justice League and the Justice Society when they took on the Ultra-Humanite, the Mist, Ragdoll, Psycho Pirate, and a bunch of other DC villains. I hung that bad boy up with pride on my wall as a kid and I’m damn near tempted to embrace my inner child and mush my inner comic book collector in the face and hang up the pin-up from this issue on the wall too.
I've always been a fan of Geoff Johns and probably will be as long as he puts pen to paper. Although I've given the current JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA a hard time, that doesn't mean that the comic and stories aren't great. Sure, there are too many members. Sure, the Gog storyline is kind of spinning its wheels. But the care Johns puts into the traditions that the DCU is built upon is present on every page and greatly appreciated by this fan. This Annual is another testament to both Johns’ strengths as a writer and the typical style you would find in any Johns-penned book.
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!) at Muscles & Fights.com. Check out a five page preview on his ComicSpace page. 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. Look for Bug’s follow-up this Fall in MUSCLES & FRIGHTS!

H.P.LOVECRAFT’S HAUNT OF HORROR #2 (of 3)

Adapted and Illustrated by: Richard Corben Published by: Marvel MAX

THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF H.P. LOVECRAFT: CHAPTER 1

Writer: Mac Carter Pencils and Inks: Tony Salmons Cover and Colors by: Adam Byrne Published by: Mac Carter, Jeff Blitz and Adam Byrne Reviewed by: BottleImp

I am an H.P. Lovecraft junkie. I have a shelf chock full of paperbacks collecting his works, as well as several anthologies that feature Lovecraftian fiction by writers both new and old. The worst of these stories are much like the lesser writings of Lovecraft himself: somewhat formulaic (a student of the macabre is drawn into a world of dark secrets and alien dimensions, he sees something indescribable that threatens his very sanity, and crisis is nearly avoided…or is it?), somewhat predictable, and somewhat boring. The best Lovecraftian fiction accentuates the sense of cosmic horror and mystery that pervades the Old Gent’s best work (in tales such as “Dreams in the Witch-House,” “The Rats in the Walls,” and the grandiose “At the Mountains of Madness”). And it’s a good time for Lovecraft fans who happen to be comic book readers (somehow I think that those two circles overlap quite a bit), because there’s a lot of Lovecraft out there, from BOOM! Studios’ CTHULHU TALES and FALL OF CTHULHU to the titles I’m reviewing for this week, which tend to get Lovecraft’s ideas right more often than not.
Richard Corben’s grotesque, slightly cartoony characters and his textural hatched-style drawings are a wonderful match for Lovecraft’s writing, but this series keeps leaving me a little cold. Part of the problem was mentioned in my fellow @$$hole’s review of HofH #1—the inclusion of the original text for each story means that there’s less space for Corben to showcase his artwork. It’s not a problem with the shorter tales which were inspired by Lovecraft’s poetry—in fact, I like that the reader gets to see how Corben used these short verses as a springboard to a (slightly) more fleshed-out horror tale. But with the longer adaptations, in this issue being “The Music of Erich Zann,” multiple pages are wasted on the original text (seven pages in this case) that would have been better served in the visual adaptation. The narrator in “Zann” looks out onto a scene of unimaginable cosmic horror at the climax of the story…and this image is reduced to less than half a page. The shorter stories fare a little better, since as I mentioned they’re more “inspired by” Lovecraft than “adapted from,” but I still would have liked to see more emphasis placed on the artwork than the source material…comics ARE a visual medium, after all.
Later contributors to the Lovecraft “Cthulhu Mythos” would often include H.P. himself in their tales, either in oblique reference or as an outright character. Such is the case with THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF H.P. LOVECRAFT, which, following a prologue depicting the death of Necronomicon author Abdul Alhazred, dives right in to Lovecraft’s world of the 1920s. There are some real details of Lovecraft’s life presented here--his two elderly aunts with whom he lived, the lackluster reaction his strange stories would receive from the pulp magazine publishers--and then there are the invented bits: a love triangle with a vivacious librarian and a wealthy bachelor, an encounter with the famed Necronomicon in a university library, and Lovecraft’s inevitable realization that the monsters he thought were fiction are all too real.
As I said, putting Lovecraft in the middle of his stories is nothing new, and it’s a shame that Vertigo published the similarly-themed (thought more Freudian and psychosexual) LOVECRAFT hardcover only a few years ago—the comparison between these two works will be inevitable, although it seems as if Carter is going for more of a “men’s adventure magazine” feel with this series rather than anything so cerebral. Despite the familiar set-up, I really liked this book—Salmons’ loose, somewhat scratchy artwork reminds me alternately of Matt Wagner and Teddy Kristiansen, and fits perfectly with the slow-building tension and sense of horror that Carter builds up through this issue. Byrne’s color palette adds the final touches of gloom to the Providence streets, as well as the horror that is only beginning to emerge through Lovecraft’s mind.
I picked up this comic from the creators’ booth at the San Diego Comic-Con—we chatted a few minutes about Lovecraft (what else?)—but I have yet to see it on the stands at any comic shop. Hopefully this title will be published in wider circulation before long—we Lovecraft junkies like to feed our monkeys as often as we can, and THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF H.P. LOVECRAFT is good food indeed.

ME AND THE DEVIL BLUES: THE UNREAL LIFE OF ROBERT JOHNSON

By Akira Hiramoto Released by Del Rey Manga Reviewer: Scott Green

ME AND THE DEVIL BLUES becomes a phantasmagoric odyssey through a landscape of sorrow and punishment, but in it's early chapters, it fails to answer the concern as to whether a manga retelling of the Faustian legendary life of influential Blues musician Robert Johnson would offer anything beyond the unexpected pairing of subject and medium.
Hiramoto's manga opens with a mythic history of the Blues as the story percolates out of the hazy blackness, starting with its birth in PARADISE LOST. In a small, wooden structure that looks like the last dwelling on earth, situated on a barren landscape, Robert Johnson pulls himself out of sleep to answer a knock at the door. An expressionist face in the blackness greets him by moaning back "It's me... I've come for you."
Then, he's woken up into his real world, and this time, he's greeted by his exasperated, pregnant wife haranguing him. The day does not improve when his arrival at the field is met by his sister striking him with a leaping kick before berating him. "RJ! You about to be a daddy, and just look atcha! A man who don't work ain't no bettah than trash!"
The entire journey, from the time "RJ" spent in his home community, yearning to be a Blues man, to his pact with the devil and his later wanderings are abstract. RJ's visions of temptation bleed into his reality, smearing his sense of time and of himself, but beyond that, the people with which he interacts are frequently more shades than solidly defined individuals. Certain Blues men and his unlikely road-mate for the manga, Clyde Barrow, share RJ's depth, but much of the rest of the world seem to be merely playing out parts. At home, there is his hefty, church avowing sister and her cowed husband... the petite, flirtatious woman with the imposing, violent husband and so on. On the road, he stops in one inhospitable community with its own strict sense of judgment, then another.
The mythical currents in the story of Robert Johnson open doors for ME AND THE DEVIL BLUES. If RJ is a Blues Gulliver or Pilgrim, metaphorically washing up on the Southern equivalent of an island of the Cyclops is a compelling way of working with the fantastic without turning the manga into fantasy. However, race and racial sensitivity are dicey issues especially when the framework is constructed by an outsider. Regardless of the amount of reverence that went into creating ME AND THE DEVIL BLUES, opening the manga with caricatures, and caricatures with a racial dimension, is problematic. Especially in the first chapter, when events have not begun to give RJ something substantial to react to, seeing lines like "we was s'posed to hit the juke, remember?," not knowing the linguistics of the time and place, the dialog itself provokes a "I just hope this was careful, and correct" sentiment. At least from the standpoint of an American reader, the manga could have benefited from starting from a more naturalistic footing before making its descent.
Once RJ starts literally and figuratively moving down the road of the Blues player, the character and the manga assume the intrigue of mystery. Jordan falls sway to the pull of the Blues, though it isn't something that he can intellectualize or rationally understand. At the same time, the charisma behind the character in the manga is the impenetrable intensity behind his gaze and yearnings.
Reading ME AND THE DEVIL BLUES is a lot like staring at someone who is staring into the distance. Akira Hiramoto abandons genre accessibility. The drive to be the best is frequently its own justification in manga. That's not simply restricted to POKEMON, NARUTO, and other children's/adolescent manga. Business, golf, mahjong, pachinko, just about any endeavor that can hold someone’s interest has its own manga series, and in many cases, the impetus is "I'll be the best." In contrast, RJ's story is not so reducible. Nor does Hiramoto lay out an explicit alternative. In a telling scene, Clyde and RJ spend a night at a campfire, but as they pour out their souls, their thoughts are hidden, half formed or in the words repeated quotes. When the pair do match thoughts, it takes the form of a metaphor rather than something explicitly articulated.
ME AND THE DEVIL BLUES is a seinen manga, which ran in the anthology AFTERNOON, home of intelligent, violent titles like BLAME!, EDEN, BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL, PARASYTE, and SHADOW STAR, as well as older-ish audience comedies like OH! MY GODDESS and GENSHIKEN. For thoughtful seinen, DRAGON BALL Z explicit exposition is not entirely expected, but it is not entirely alien either. For example, Manji, the scarred, stray cat ronin protagonist of BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL is far from gregarious and far from a philosopher, but he does explain his history and his thoughts. Generally, a smart seinen is going to offer its reader a clear guidepost pointing out the direction to ponder.
Like VAGABOND, Takehiko Inoue's manga version of the fictional biography of the great swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, ME AND THE DEVIL BLUES seeks to step into the head of an innovator whose genius is tied to his unconventional mind. Inoue used images to slow down the thought process, until the beading sweat and crackling synapses of Musashi and his rivals could be seen. Hiramoto takes an approach where he leaps into expressionism or alternatively, realism that is less abstracted than most manga, paired with telling eyes. Whether it is trying to read into the eyes of the characters or the wild representations of their thoughts, it's easy to drown in the images present by ME AND THE DEVIL BLUES.
ME AND THE DEVIL BLUES offers far more than the novelty of seeing manga retell the story of a famous Blues musician. It is something other than fact and other than the stories told through Johnson's music. Yet, evoking the tension of the time and place as well as Johnson's personal demons, it still arrives at something effectively similar to the spell of Johnson strumming his guitar. Despite any broad missteps, Hiramoto offers something sublime in the soulful eyes of his subjects.
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.

SPARKS # 1 & 2

Created by: William Katt and Chris Folino Art by: JM Ringuet Published by: Catastrophic Comics Reviewed by: superhero

I have to admit, much of what's chased me away from comic book reading in the past several years has much to do with how dark many of the books out there have become. Yes, it's true that I appreciate an AUTHORITY or an ULTIMATES as much as the next fanboy but when the darkness of those books happens to bleed into the so-called mainstream comics it just starts to drive me a bit crazy. It's not that I don't like dark comics, but I feel that there's a place for that kind of storytelling. And it's not necessarily in the pages of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN or SUPERMAN.
However, if you're like me and you do appreciate a solid, moody take on super heroes every once in a while then SPARKS would definitely be a book to check out.
SPARKS tells the tale of a young man with a dream. His dream is to become a top crime fighter in the big city. From the moment he loses his parents (in a particularly tragic and gruesome origin tale) he knows that it's his destiny to be a super. To fight the good fight. And he does. He makes his way to the big time and becomes the champion of the oppressed that he always wanted to be. He's the idol of millions, he's got the respect of law enforcement and, hell, he even captures the heart of the city's gorgeous super heroine. Everything's going great for him…and wouldn't you know it? That's exactly when his world gets turned to shit.
And that's precisely what makes this book work. It's obvious from the opening pages that this is not going to be some kind of happy go lucky super hero tale. Heck, just looking at the art will tell you that. SPARKS is what happens when the super hero fantasy goes terribly wrong. That's what makes it interesting. As bad as things get in mainstream books or even stuff like the aforementioned AUTHORITY you know that you're never going to see a corporate owned character really get put through the paces. That's where SPARKS gets its strength from, in the fact that the storytellers give you the feeling from the first issue that things could go anywhere in this book. And they do. If you don't get the feeling that things aren't bad enough after reading the first issue then just wait 'til you get to the second issue. SPARKS will make you wonder just how much horrible stuff can a hero go through before he just can't take anymore.
But that doesn't make the book unreadable. As a matter of fact it makes it strangely compelling. What kind of hope can a hero find who's had everything taken away from him? That's the question that makes me want to keep reading SPARKS. The story is well crafted enough that it reads like what it's supposed to be: super hero noir done right.
A lot of what helps sell the feel of the book is the artwork by JM Ringuet. From the opening pages you can see that you are in a world that is pretty much different than many of the comic books out there. The mood that Ringuet sets is a gloomy one but it fits the story's needs perfectly. I did have some issues with the characters seeming a bit stiff in some places but at the same time the style of the character renderings seemed to work within the context of everything else on the page. Any anatomical problems I had with the people in the story were obliterated by the beauty of Ringuet's digital paints. This guy is one to keep an eye on.
So if you're looking for something dark yet entertaining, much like THE DARK KNIGHT, the SPARKS is a book to put on your pull list. Hell, my monthly pull list is tiny these days but I'll be e-mailing my shop to get them to hold SPARKS for me. I'm just dying to see how it all turns out.
Discovered as a babe in an abandoned comic book storage box and bitten by a radioactive comic fan when he was a teenager, superhero is actually not-so mild mannered sometime designer & cartoonist, Kristian Horn of Los Angeles, California. He's been an @$$hole for three years. Some of his work can be seen at www.kristianhorn.com.

THE CHAIR OGN

Writer: Peter Simeti Artist: Kevin Christensen Publisher: Alterna Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

“Hey ya Torquemada what do you say?” “I just read THE CHAIR and it is A-O.K.”
I dredge up this obscure Mel Brooks musical reference from “History of the World” because were THE CHAIR written several hundred years ago, the evil grand designer of the Spanish Inquisition would definitely have had a copy on his nightstand next to his severed head bead pan.
THE CHAIR didn’t sit well with me, nor should it sit well to anyone that claims to possess a modicum of sanity. Simeti paints a nightmarish landscape that takes the reader through the same agonizing mind raping as the main character. Richard Sullivan is a man serving time for…take a guess…a crime he did not commit. Immediately, though, the author avoids the entrapment of cliché by unveiling a prison of hellish atrocities. The guards are a Gestapo regime that serves an even crueler master. Piss pancakes for breakfast, the lopping off of limbs, and electrified bars make you wonder if this title is set in the real world or in some alternate dimension where the ACLU was never formed. Ultimately you find out the answer, but as with any good “reveal” you need to take the journey to fully appreciate the destination.
The book is strongest when Simeti crafts the pages like a Penn & Teller magic act, shifting between perception and reality without ever letting you know which is truly skewed. However, I really would have liked to have had more of that. It felt as though there was a little too much time developing the nightmare face of the prison in the beginning. Granted it gave artist Christensen the chance to show his strong spot (more on that in a second), but I got to the point where I wanted to know what the point was.
Christensen scratches into the page with charcoal ferocity in every panel where pain and suffering can be found. The use of unconventionally shaped text boxes adds to the eeriness to the dialogue and thoughts, which was a huge help in the thought heavy beginning of the book. I only really had two small issues with the art: one, too many people look like Liono of the Thundercats, Secondly, every man’s physique and build are the same, the perfect V torso sans love handles.
I enjoyed THE CHAIR and the twist it delivered to complete the story. Sure, this was depressing as hell from start to finish, but hey, we all need a little dose of unreality from time to time.
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.

Hey folks, Ambush Bug here. This week’s edition of Indie Jones presents…unearths a silent and violent comic, a comic strictly for the kiddies, one to tingle your spine with fear, and an awesome road movie in comic book form. Enjoy!

MISTER AMPERDUKE OGN Clamnuts Comix

Man, I love me a good silent comic and this is, in fact, one good silent comic. Not only does a good silent comic highlight art by omitting all of that space that normally would be blocked out by annoying word balloons, but it also highlights good writing. To communicate without using a word? Now that takes some talent. And Bob Byrne seems to have that in spades. Byrne has taken a simple story about a man who loves his Lego collection to a whole new level. Seems these Legos are actually alive and the main character, Mr. Sherman Amperduke, takes the role of God to these tiny block-like people. When Mr. Amperduke's brat grandson catches an especially devious looking bug called a Nechradon, all hell breaks loose in the tiny Lego village. It's CLOVERFIELD meets TOY STORY as these little toys battle this rampaging monster with everything they've got. The tension in this story is extremely high with the Nechradon tearing the village and the people in it to shreds. Lives are lost, carnage is unleashed, with Mr. Amperduke doing everything he can to save his little village from a big-little monster. Byrne, who also draws the book, never fails to add cool details like the sinewy insides of the broken toy men and the detailed blocks of Legos piled upon one another to make the structures of the town. This is a fun story, but also a tragic one because you really get to care about these little guys and seeing the disgusting monster tear people and things apart becomes a heartbreaking thing to behold. This was one of the strongest comics I've read this year. Anyone looking for something different and wholly original should seek this one out. Highly, highly, highly recommended.

DEAD MAN HOLIDAY #-3 www.deadmanholiday.com

DEAD MAN HOLIDAY is prefaced by the author who proclaims that there really isn’t any personalized and sincere horror out there today. I tend to agree. This is one of those labor of love self-published comics that don’t get a lot of attention. That’s a damn shame and it’s also what Indie Jones is all about. I found this gentle blend of sci fi and horror to be a pleasant surprise. There are some really tense moments throughout this comic, especially a super-creepy scene with a costumed skeleton that just won’t seem to go away. The book started out with a weird set of silent pages. I’m not sure what that was all about. It kinda reminded me of a David Lynch film…I’m not sure what it is I’m seeing, but I’m fascinated nevertheless. The rest of the story follows an adventurer through a post-apocalyptic flooded land where he runs into a boss that says “I love you” all of the time and the aforementioned skeleton that won’t quit creepily following our hero. This black and white single issue is a very capable piece of work. There are enough quirks and attention to detail by the writer Colin Panetta to make this comic stand out from the herd as something with a lot of thought put into it. That type of passion makes this book worth reading and I encourage this artist to continue with this. I’m interested in seeing where it’s all going.

THE BLACK DIAMOND TPB AIT/Planet Lar

With the DEATH RACE movie coming out soon, you may want to bone up on your high octane racing stories with this book. But unlike that film, which really doesn't look that good to me, this book is entertaining from start to finish. Set in the near future, when overpopulation and violent crime has reached a high point and the fast paced world just isn't that fast enough anymore, comes THE BLACK DIAMOND, a set of interconnecting skyways where the rules of the road are go fast, get out of the way, or be blown out of the way. What writer Larry Young has created is a framework to build a whole slew of stories upon, as illustrated by various artists in the back-up features. It's a highway with no rules. There is no speed limit. And it's populated by gearheads, bikers, and gangs of road warriors. This spells trouble for Dr. McLaughlin, who has to use the highway to make it across the country ASAP in order to rescue his wife. I especially like the trippy ending of this over the top road movie of a book. In that final chapter alone, artist Jon Proctor earns his artistic wings of accomplishment with his stunning splash pages and iconic imagery. This book is presented here for the first time in color, so you can soak in an entire palette of color whole feasting on this cerebrally and visually satisfying treat.

JACK AND THE BOX HC OGN Toon Books, RAW Junior, Little Lit Library

I got three hardcover books from TOON BOOKS recently and when I cracked them open, I really didn't know what to expect. I chose Art Spiegelman's JACK AND THE BOX first because...hello?...MAUS, anyone? To my surprise, this is a kids’ book, and not a bad one at that. It's sweet and sincere and straight-forward and everything I'm not used to in a comic. As I was reading it, I was waiting for the punch line, but it never came. This is just a sweet book geared towards young kids and filled with humor that I imagine kids would find extremely funny. The story is pretty simple as it follows Jack as he discovers a box with a funny clown inside. The clown scares Jack over and over by jumping out. But it's not a scary or creepy book. It's definitely suitable for young readers, plus it is written and drawn by one of the most influential creators in comics. If you're looking for comics to introduce your young ’un to, this is where you should look. I could see parents reading this book to their children before bedtime over and over again. If you're a comic fan and have kids, you've got to check this one out.

Remember, if you have an indie book that needs to be discovered by Indie Jones, be sure to zip an email to your favorite @$$Hole to have them give it a look. If you’ve sent in a PDF or hard copy of a comic to Indie Jones or dot.comics, fear not, it will be covered in a future column, we’re just a bit backed up right now.


REIGN IN HELL #1 DC Comics

Not sure about this one yet, but I've read enough Keith Giffen books to make me stick around to see what the "hell" develops with this one. Seems Satanus is challenging Neron for the throne of Hell, by promising freedom to all of Hell's lost souls. Of course, Neron isn't happy about it, so the two decide to have a tickle fight...OK, they don't do that, but Giffen does lay out a pretty nice battlefield with two formidable armies at each side and ready to fight. Tom Derenick's pencils are good and it's especially nice to see the choppy inks of Bill Sienkiewicz over the top of them. But I'm not a hundred percent sure about this one yet. I did love the back-up story by Giffen with art by Stephen Jorge Segovia. It's a stylistic yarn about Dr. Thirteen as he's feeling the effects of the war in hell on earth. But the coolest thing about this back-up was the appearance of both Ralph and Sue Dibney as ghosts. I'd pay good money to see these two ghostly detectives in their own ongoing series. With Plastic Man bouncing around the DCU, Ralph Dibney started to become redundant, but now that he's trying to solve mysteries as a ghost with his wife, a new puff of life has been breathed into the character for me. Here's hoping we see more ghostly Ralph & Sue, if not in this miniseries, then in something else real soon. - Bug

THOR #10 Marvel Comics

Veddy, veddy interestink, Meester JMS. In this issue, you introduce quite the sticky wicket. I'll hold back on the revelation for you folks who don't like spoilers, but the plot point introduced here is the first indication that JMS has something up his sleeve more than just the resuscitation of the fallen gods storyline. I like this development, mainly because the character in question has been kind of a bore since...well...forever. This new fact about this character's lineage and that connection to Thor looks to be the beginning of new troubles for the Thunder God. This book continues to be one of the best Marvel has to offer. - Bug

TEEN TITANS #61 DC Comics

It took me a while to warm up to this title, but I think Sean McKeever is finally hitting his stride. Which of course, is a bit ironic since I believe he's not long for this book. Or maybe I'm wrong here. Either way, I liked this issue which focused on the differences and similarities between Blue Beetle and Kid Devil AKA Red Devil. Although we've seen this type of story before and it does sort of play out in a by-the-numbers sort of way, McKeever made the dialog fun and the reason why these two heroes don't get along pretty believable. I'm not saying this is a shelf-burner of an issue, but it runs circles around that other TITANS book on the shelves right now. - Bug

SKAAR - SON OF HULK #2 Marvel Comics

Every time I say "SKAAR!" I have to scream it and I am compelled to follow it with a hearty "YARRRR!" Don't know why. This is a fun comic, in the tradition of Conan. Writer Greg Pak is having a lot of fun developing the mythology and geography of this alien world the Hulk spent a year in back during his run on "Planet Hulk." While this issue lacks the punch of "Planet Hulk" and the familiar characters cameo-ing through occasionally, it makes up in the brutality department thanks to Ron Garney's spectacular panels. I'm going to stick with this series for a while to see what develops. I know Pak doesn't want to blow his load right from the beginning, but I'm hoping a trip to Earth or at least some kind of interaction with Nova or the Silver Surfer or the Guardians of the Galaxy will come sooner rather than later. Right now, I'm having a hard time since there's no real character to care about or identify with in this series quite yet. - Bug

JOKER'S ASYLUM: TWO-FACE #1 DC Comics

This comic is worth mentioning because it is the only issue of JOKER'S ASYLUM worth reading. It's not that the concept of "the choice" stand-off is anything new when it comes to a Two-Face story. That's basically what every Two-Face story always boils down to which is why the character lacks the flair of some of Batman's other villains. No, what makes this story stand out is the way it ends with an audience participation/choose your own ending style. It made this book kind of fun, thanks to writer David Hine's clever words and Andy Clarke's capable artwork. If you have to buy one JOKER'S ASYLUM book, this is the one to pick up. - Bug

TRINITY #9 DC Comics

Hate to say it, but this will be the last issue of TRINITY I purchase. I also hate to say I told you so, but this comic suffers from the problems that made me reticent to pick it up in the first place. One, I have no idea when this story falls within the regular DCU. Batman is certainly not suffering from the insanity Morrison is currently putting him through. Superman hasn't suffered the loss that is currently going on in his title. And Wonder Gal isn't really that reflective of the way Simone is writing her in her own title either. So this is basically an ongoing, self contained story that isn't reflective of what is going on in the regular DCU. OK...fine...but that doesn't make up for the fact that it's been pretty damn boring as well. Seeing the three most powerful characters in the DCU slug it out against an alien version of Master Blaster from THUNDERDOME for six issues isn't my idea of an epic story. Sure writer Kurt Busiek may be taking his time before showing all of his cards, but when you are talking about a year long commitment, you should start out of the gates with a barn-burner. This wet match of a start hardly gives me hope that anything more than mediocre is what Busiek and Bagley have in store for us. The story may be leading somewhere down the line, but with nine issues under its belt, it's failed to pique my interest. So sorry, Bags and Busiek. I love you guys' work and I hope to enjoy future collaborations and individual works, but you lost me with this one. - Bug

GREEN LANTERN #33 DC Comics

Finally, we're getting into some un-tread territory with this issue. For the last few issues, Geoff Johns has been retelling the definitive origin of Hal Jordan, a story I've read quite a few times. But it wasn't really until last issue that the story started to unveil anything new or interesting. Now that Johns has broadened the scope of Hal's story, I'm once again excited again about GL. All through these last two issues, you see the makings of the different Corps of the Spectrum from the birth of Hector Hammond and his ties to a certain color, to William Hand (later known as Black Hand) who looks to be a pivotal character in the upcoming "Blackest Night" mega-event. If you haven't checked this series out yet, you're pretty much an idiot. But if you are unfamiliar with Hal Jordan, you should scrape through the back bins for the beginning of this arc for a good jumping on point. But now, those of us who have waited through the retelling finally get something new to sink our teeth in and Johns and artist Ivan Reis certainly serve up a delectable dish for us to dine on. Bug

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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.

Readers Talkback

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  • Aug. 6, 2008, 7:56 a.m. CST

    i can see up Harvey's nose.

    by Gatsbys West Egg Omlet

    and so can you.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Superman...

    by DuncanHines

    Yeah, I am NOT feeling Robinson's Superman so far. Even Guedes' Kirby-esque pages couldn't save this one for me. I'm dropping it like a bag full of sick poop. It really is a shame this book is so "meh," especially since I just tore into my Starman Omnibus volume 1, and I had forgotten how damn good that book was. And it doesn't actually start being really good until issue 5 or so, but man, is it good. As I type, I'm now considering sticking with Robinson's Superman. Because it might just get real real good around his 5th or 6th issue...

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Also...

    by DuncanHines

    Final Crisis 3 this week. THANK GODDDDDD!!!!

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 8 a.m. CST

    best two-face story:

    by Gatsbys West Egg Omlet

    the run (maybe just one comic) in No Man's Land when good heads kept winning. he and Montoya had a little adventure where he saved her and some kids and such as that.<p>and then he might have put Gordon on trial, with Dent defending and TwoFace prosecuting. but that might have been another story. i forget.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 8:05 a.m. CST

    Ambush Bug once went on trial with Two-Face...

    by rev_skarekroe

    ...as both defender and prosecutor. The judge was Harvey Dent's dad. Poor Ambush Bug.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 8:15 a.m. CST

    Batman continunity

    by brassai2003

    can someone explain (lookin' @ YOU Bug) what the fuck is going on with DC's continunity? The BIG bat story in his titles is not carrying over into any other titles, including Gotham After Midnight (a pretty great under the radar bats maxi series). In the RIP storyline (SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS!)nightwing has been committed to Arkham and Bruce is wandering around Gotham out of his freaking mind. How does this all fit????

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 8:19 a.m. CST

    Archer & Armstrong

    by RenoNevada2000

    Since when did you guys start just printing press releases?

  • Unless Trinity does terrible numbers, expect to see another "weekly" series come directly after it.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 9:06 a.m. CST

    "APOCALIPSTIX" - spelled with an 'i', not a 'y'

    by Humphrey Lee

    Apparently I accidentally sent in the unedited review of the book (where I kept mispelling the title because I'm pretty much half a tard) or some such instance happened. Sorry to all those involved, we'll see if we can get that fixed ASAP.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 9:13 a.m. CST

    newuniversal 1959

    by Arkhangelsk

    In the end, all I can say about newuniversal 1959 is that it was not bad. I had never been exposed to the newuniversal universe at all (except during the Exiles' Worlds Tour when they went there, I think), and this won't convince me to really give it a try, either the riginal or the "re-imagined" one, but this quasi-noir period piece was nice filler. I personally think that Phonogram is the best comic that came out over the last few years, and Gillen here writes nothing that could be compared to Phonogram, but I'll still follow him to a couple of new efforts still and see what he can do. As for Phonogram: Singles Night, as the old philosopher, "Can't wait, such a huge fan!"

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 9:21 a.m. CST

    hmmmm....

    by Joenathan

    No Old Man Logan... surprise, surprise. I guess my predictive review was a little spot on, hmmm?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 9:26 a.m. CST

    newuniversal 1959: take two, the final sentence

    by Arkhangelsk

    As for Phonogram: Singles Night, as the old philosopher ONCE SAID, "Can't wait, such a huge fan!". (that'll teach me to try and be funny with the AICN staples)

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 9:34 a.m. CST

    Teen Titans

    by Arkhangelsk

    When McKeever left Marvel, I was worried. When they announced he would be taking over Teen Titans, I was glad. Then I bought issue 50, and I was disappointed. I left DC back when Identity Crisis started and had not looked back since. Although the Marvel Universe is in as much a mess as the DCU, I can actually follow some Marvel titles without worrying about Civil Invasion and other such cash-grabbing gimmicks. I kept buying Teen Titans, and it does get better with almost every issue it seems, but man do I miss Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane. I'm giving DC one more chance right now with Final Crisis because of Grant Morrisson, but I can tell you already there's no way I'm diving back into this universe.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 9:40 a.m. CST

    Trinity blows!

    by Wormie1

    I'm very close to dropping Trinity. Many people hated Countdown, but it at least tied in to ongoing events in the DCU and got better as it went on. Trinity should have been an obvious winner as it stars DC's three main icons, but the story is just poor. And no, it isn't in the current continuity of the regular titles, and nor is the excellent Gotham After Midnight.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Books I've dropped recently include Trinity and Teen Titans

    by Squashua

    Actually, I stopped picking up Teen Titans a while ago.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 9:48 a.m. CST

    DC: Atlas is going to be this year's Alpha Centurion

    by Squashua

    I call it now. He'll get slightly more interesting, appear all over the place in cameos, and then no one will use him once Robinson leaves the title, and he'll disappear into the ether.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 9:49 a.m. CST

    "Although the Marvel Universe is in as much a mess as the DCU"

    by Joenathan

    explain

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 9:52 a.m. CST

    I Thought All Five Issues of Joker's Asylum Were Pretty Good.

    by larry_chimp_man

    Would love to see DC turn it into an ongoing book of one-shots.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 10:25 a.m. CST

    I quit Marvel with Civil War...

    by Kid Z

    ...and DC about 2 1/2 Crises of Infinite Crisises (yeah, the grammar sucks on purpose!) ago. If any of the publishers do something cool like Sinestro Corp War, I pick it up when it comes out in book format. I do miss hanging out with all the other losers in my local, smelly, scary-looking comics store, though. Oh well... the good times never last...

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Arkhangelsk!

    by Psynapse

    Long time no see, my brother. How's tricks in the great white north?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 11:51 a.m. CST

    That (AICN masthead) Action comic

    by Snookeroo

    has to be one of the most embarrassing Superman comic covers in it's entire 70 year history. A character called "Terra-Man" was lame enough, but to have him riding Superman like a bronco has got to be an all-time nadir. The late 70's was not a good time for DC.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 11:52 a.m. CST

    archer and armstrong

    by x-oManowar

    cant wait for the hardcover. love that series and am excited for the new story. wonder if it will get the big screen treatment. the story fits perfectly...ryan gosling for archer!! of course they have to do an xomanowar movie first:)

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Terra-Man...

    by Kid Z

    ...Why does everyone think combining science fiction and westerns is a good idea? (Yes! I'm talking to YOU, die-hard Firefly fans!)

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:22 p.m. CST

    brassai2003...who cares if rip fits

    by bacci40

    its morrison goddamnit...you should be happy...btw, watchmen sold out a 300k print run

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Batman

    by Senator Tankerbell

    I'm gonna go on record that I think Morrison is going to make the villain Thomas Wayne. I know that Batman's father has looked like a red herring so far, but I think it's an actual revelation disguised as a red herring. It occurs to me that one of Morrison's favorite themes is the hero who loses faith in their own higher authority, undergoes crisis, and comes out changed but stronger, wiser, and more pure. It amounts to the adolescent's rejection of the father on the way to adulthood, and you see it in a lot of his stuff. I compare it to when Robotman discovered The Chief was the secret villain manipulating the lives of The Doom Patrol.<p>So in interviews when Morrison says Batman has a fate worse than death, and that 'Bruce' won't be Batman anymore, I think he's referring to some rejection of the Wayne legacy by Bruce. A Batman that continues being Batman without also being a multi-billionaire. Maybe.The way Dr. Hurt refers to Batman is very proprietary, too, "our boy", etc.<p>I'm just saying, I think Dr. Hurt could really be Thomas Wayne. Possibly Hugo Strange, but I think Morrison's taking a huge part of Batman's motivating origin away from him to see what's left.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Not always Snookeroo...

    by Psynapse

    Supergirl was one sexy beeyotch in those hotpants with the V-cut puffy sleeve blouse.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:54 p.m. CST

    "rejection of the father"

    by rock-me Amodeo

    It's a shame that so many people can identify with that theme, myself included.<br><br>What happened to all the fathers worthy of emulation, whose sons couldn't wait to grow up just like them? I dunno.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Psynapse!

    by Arkhangelsk

    Yo Psy! Long time no talk. The great white north is a sad and quasi-lonely place. You still got my e-mail? drop me a line if you do (I lost yours) and I'll bring you up to date on what's going on with me.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by Arkhangelsk

    DC = everything intermingled but with no purpose, Marvel = everything tightly knit together in one long story that doesn't end. Both publishers are trying to bitchslap me like a five dollar hooker to get all my money. But it ain't happening. If I want a good superhero story, I'll just get Terry Moore's Echo, at which if anyone of you hasn't even looked, get the soon to be published tpb of the first story arc and just bathe in good storytelling.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:38 p.m. CST

    or, you know, just bathe

    by Arkhangelsk

    it's always good advice

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Terry Moore's Echo

    by rock-me Amodeo

    I haven't been to the LCS in a couple weeks (hence my lack of reviews), but I forgot that's coming out today. I will make the trip for that.<br><br>That's a great example of a comic book that always seems to read very fast, and i mean that in the best way.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 4:08 p.m. CST

    so....

    by Joenathan

    you'd PREFER that the stories all be stand alone with no carry over then? I can't get behind that. Me, personally, I feel rewarded for hanging with Marvel, for getting to see the big picture all come together. And what do you mean end? characters are created by the sum total of their experiences, thats how further stories are made. The aftermath of this invasion will surely send many characters off in many new directions with exciting possibilities, do you think this is a bad thing? The characters know each other, they grow, they change... this is good. I just don't seem how one long, cohesive universe story could possibly be a bad thing? Tell you what, let me ask you this: Of the two types of TV shows I am about to name, which style do you prefer (keep in mind, I'm asking about the style of story telling, not the actual show's content) so... CSI or Lost? I only ask in order to gage whether or not further discussion between us is needed.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 4:42 p.m. CST

    "needed" ?

    by rock-me Amodeo

    Sounds like someone's got a case of the egocentrics.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 4:51 p.m. CST

    You're talking about me, right?

    by Joenathan

    awesome... I live for that.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Rock-me Amodeo

    by Snookeroo

    What happened to all the fathers worthy of emulation, whose sons couldn't wait to grow up just like them? I think the last one in the comic book world was Dr. Quest.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Yeah, no further discussion is needed.

    by SleazyG.

    Like, ever.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Psynapse

    by Snookeroo

    Gotta agree -- many adolescent moments were spent admiring that particular costume.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Echo is indeed a fast read

    by Arkhangelsk

    but so was SIP and that's one of my favorite books ever also. Echo started out kinda slow, first three issues were really just set up and #4 is where the fun really started. As for Joenathan, please understand that I am not here to be schooled or to be told what or how to think. I am not your serf and you may not decide whether I am worth talking to as if you were my master. But I am always up for good exchange of ideas. To me DC or Marvel right now is not one long cohesive story. It is long. It is not a story, as stories have ends. There is no end in sight to these "stories" or the amount of money I would have to spend to read them. It is not cohesive because it is not written by the same writer(s) Just because something happens in one book and has repercussions in another book does not mean the story is cohesive. Look at Strangers In Paradise. That was one long cohesive story where characters grew and had experiences which gave new directions and exciting possibilities and further adventures. Moore did not hire all his buddies to come over and churn out stories which you would have had to buy to understand what was going on in the "main" book. If you enjoy the illusion of change which seems to be the mot d'ordre at the big (and the not so big) companies right now, then enjoy. I prefer a story told as whole. Bru is doing it with Captain America, Ennis did it with Punisher. But I'm not buying into Bendis' and Millar's "universe". And again, although I do not enjoy being judged, I am a geek and cannot resist a "which do you prefer" question. I'd take Lost over CSI any day of the week, but I did catch a Doug Petrie-penned CSI this week that was not too shabby...

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 6:28 p.m. CST

    Rock Me, you forgot about...

    by Ambush Bug

    STARMAN. It was all about a son not wanting to fill his fathers shoes, but finally becoming comfortable with the role. I guess the way it ended was a bit different than that, but for a long time, that book's main theme was tradition and taking up the mantle of the father. Some of the Thor stuff before the last series ended where Thor steps into the role of Lord of Asgard addressed those issues as well.<br> But you're right. Most of the stories deal with the son not wanting to be like the father or having to defeat the father in order to become a man. But I wouldn't call this a new trend per se, since it goes as far back as the Oedipus.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 7 p.m. CST

    Father Vs Son

    by Arkhangelsk

    is basically a living metaphor for the present wanting to shed off the shackles of the past and create its own future. You can basically read the Invisibles that way too, with Dane McGowan reacting against his actual father, then against his father figure, ie King Mob, and against all form of authority, really, to bring humanity into a new age. I've tried getting into Starman, but the few issues I've read didn't pull me in. Although I loved Robinson's quick run on the WildCats back in the days, just prior to Alan Moore's.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 10:40 p.m. CST

    Kill your teachers, kill your parents, kill your idols

    by hst666

    blah, blah, blah. Most father/son conflict is metaphorically about defining oneself and moving beyond what you were taught and the boundaries imposed by others. Of course, many entertainment writers do seem to have actual conflicts with their actual fathers.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 12:32 a.m. CST

    rip jack kamen

    by bacci40

    nuff said

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 7:18 a.m. CST

    RIP Jack Kamen???

    by DuncanHines

    aw man. That's a true bummer. I love his EC stories. At one of the Wizard conventions, Jim Steranko told me I was the first person he ever heard name Jack Kamen as one of the EC artists they love. Dude was great and hella unsung.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 8:46 a.m. CST

    Arkhangelsk

    by Joenathan

    1. I am your master, the sooner you accept that, the easier this will go. 2. I wasn't asking your preference to judge (not first and foremost, at least) but because the two shows high light two very different styles. One, CSI, is stand alone without reprecussions and it never matters whether or not you saw last weeks episode or not because the formula is always the same. Characters receive problem, characters solve problem, characters laugh at dumb joke, freeze frame, credits. See? A dumb show for dumb people. Where as a show like Lost, it does matter if you've been watching, in fact you must, in order to keep up as its telling one story (or so they claim...) My point being, if you had choosen CSI, I would have just assumed you were a fucking retard and let you move along in slow, plodding, hunch-backed, fucking retard world... BUT since you choose Lost, then I am interested in exchanging ideas and high-lighting to you just where in fact you are wrong and believe me, you are very, very wrong. Now, first off, no vagina-ing out here, man, none of this is personal or attempt to show off to the ladies on my part, I'm not trying to hold you down and make you say "uncle" or make you pretend that I'm your uncle, I'm just talking, so no whining, like Sleazy Pee. So....

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 9:20 a.m. CST

    so...

    by Joenathan

    You give no reason why you're not "buying" Bendis and Millar's "universe", so I'm just going to assume blind-geek hatred. There you're wrong. And claiming the story doesn’t hold because of your geek hatred is transparent. Their story has been cohesive, whether you want to admit it or not, you can trace its inception back a few years now. You can't expect more than that in comics without being unreasonable, because that is the nature of comics: multiple creators, continuous stories. And those stories don’t end. Didn’t X-men just hit 500? How many has Batman gone? Complaining about these things is a waste of time, much like complaining about the marketing. Comics are a business and the suits will sell, sell, sell and they won’t drop a good thing. That’s the way it goes, so deal with it and accept it. And quit whining about it. Yes, mainstream comics and its characters will not change and grow like a novel, they will not climax and then slide to a natural resolution and ending never to be heard from again, and yes, the only way to accomplish that is to have a creator owned title, published independently. But THAT is just NOT going to happen with say… Iron Man. Expecting that or pointing to it’s lack as a fault is just dumb. That’s like saying that a baseball player is worthless because he doesn’t have any yards rushed. See, here's a tip for you, Bru's Cap won't end, either, it’ll just keep on trucking, someone else will pick up the strings, like he did on Daredevil, and run with it and they will use some things Bru wrote and change whatever else they want in order to fit the story they are writing, shit, they could make Bucky/Cap an android and oops, that’s all she wrote, wah-wah-wahing about that possibility just proves you to be a dilettante. Let it go. Forget about it. If you can’t do that, just stop reading mainstream comics. Just stop. If you can’t accept a few inherent flaws as dictated by its very nature, then stop buying them. This is the way things go, it won’t change, okay? So back to the story, even a maxi-universe, like Bendis and Millar’s is always still going to be micro, get it? You can only judge it by its boundaries and Millar and Bendis’s boundaries are the Avenger related stuff. Mighty, New, Ms. Marvel, Herc, blah, blah, blah, these are all rubbing together and telling the same story, maybe not in the same place or with the same point, but it is within the same storyline. The Big story is affecting the little story. How is that not cohesive? Let me answer for you: It is. No one is out there writing that the World is actually being invaded by the Kree, are they? No. They’re all on the same page and telling their stories within that frame work. That’s cohesive. And now, because of things like this, because of cross book shake ups like this, Marvel is exciting again, events cause each other, affect each other, roll together, characters are driven to places by these events and their lives are affected by their decisions. I mean, come on, when was the last time Iron Man had two titles that are both worth the money? Anything can happen now. Of course, does that mean that I think Spider-man is ACTUALLY in danger of dying? No. Why? Because I’m not a moron. Look, comics come with certain rules, especially now in a year where comic movies have made a billion dollars. If you can’t accept those rules, then quit, because they won’t change. I mean, honestly, I don’t understand what some of you want from Marvel? Please, one of you, tell me what it is you would rather they be doing, because I don’t get it. I want to understand, because I’m loving stuff, right now and you all just whine and carp and whine and carp. Someone, tell me where you think they’re failing. And I’m not looking for a: “fire Joe/Bendis/Millar type answer, alright? I’m talking current output, because I’ll go toe to toe with anyone that Marvel is firing on all cylinders right now and putting out some of their best stuff since the sixties.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 9:21 a.m. CST

    sorry it was so long...

    by Joenathan

    not really, but... AICN boards... what can you do? Welcome to the early 90s, right?

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Also, Sleazy

    by Joenathan

    PPPPPPPPPPPPPFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFBBBBBBBBBBTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Joe Nathan

    by rock-me Amodeo

    In an effort to make your posts more readable ("comprehensible" is still in your court) try putting a "< br >" (and eliminate the spaces) and quote marks) at the end of the line when you want a break, and two if you want a break and a space.<br>One br.<br><br>Two. Like so.<br><br> HTML was part of the 90's, too: you have to embrace the whole vibe.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 10:07 a.m. CST

    Is anyone else bored with Joe Gnat yet...?

    by Ambush Bug

    I know I am.<br><br> Joe...can I call you Joe?<br><br> OK, Joe...I don't mind it that you're opinionated. We all are here. And even though your views don't really jive with mine, I'm cool with that too. And it certainly seems like you want to talk comics...and by the amount of posts you do, it seems like you have an awful lot of time to do so, which is a bonus in my book as well. Longer talkbacks are good.<br><br> The problem is, Joe, you're rude and you never really listen to others. Instead you just berate and toss out putdowns simply because others don't follow your limited world view. This makes people not want to interact with you and since you are constantly around, it makes people not want to post here.<br><br> That, my friend, is a problem.<br><br> Now, I know you'll scream, "This is ACIN! We're supposed to act like dickheads, not act like proper stiffs at a tea party!" And yes, you have a point, AICN does have a reputation of being a place where people harshly fight back and forth for long threads, tossing putdowns and yer mutha rips and presenting an altogether awful image of what the internet can be on its absolute worst day.<br><br> Thing is, here at AICN Comics, we like to up the ante a bit. We would like to invite people to read the column and post in the talkbacks. But when one rude person dominates the talkbacks with putdowns and simple-mindedness, well, that makes my finger hover over the BAN THAT MOTHERFUCKER Button.<br><br> Consider this a warning, Joenathan. You won't get another. Play nice. You seem to have a lot to say. Do so in a way that doesn't make people want to stay away from the Talkbacks and every thing will be hunky dorey. People come here to talk comics. It's a big site, but we've carved out a fun little niche where intelligent people can talk intelligently about intelligent stuff. Call it out AICN Comics Oasis, if you will. There's room here for you too. You just have to learn to take it down a notch and not be so off-putting. If you think your feelings about Marvel or DC or whatever is so correct, why not debate that with someone. Maybe both parties will take something away from the interaction. What you've done for the last few weeks is tear into anyone who doesn't agree with you and call them ignorant for not being your clone.<br><br> Play nice. Shit like "I am your master..." ain't cool. Test my limits and you're dust...

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Oh... so you can insult me though

    by Joenathan

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 10:42 a.m. CST

    And thanks for the tip,Amodeo

    by Joenathan

    I tried that at first, but it didn't take. I must have entered it wrong.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 11:09 a.m. CST

    rock-me

    by Senator Tankerbell

    Do father's like that really exist? I've heard of them, but I'm not convinced.<p>Morrison did indeed employ the trope in The Invisibles, as well as Animal Man (who confronts the ultimate father) and a whole bunch of other stuff.<p>Also, I vote Old Man Logan as the most obliviously hilarious comic story of the last decade.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Umm, No I have to disagree Joenathan....

    by Psynapse

    Marvel is REAHASHING their best stuff FROM the sixties. YOu REALLY gonna try to convince anyone (like me) whose read Marvel for over 30 years that a Skrull Invasion is even remotely a new concept? Putting the religious spin on it finally doesn't make it anything more than a rehash. Same suit, different shoes, nothing more. (But hey, if you are enjoying it then more power to ya, Personally I'm finding Final Crisis to be a much more satisfying read but then I tend to prefer stories that push me to actually think about them and what themes they are trying to express)

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Yo Arkhangelsk AKA FT!

    by Psynapse

    Tag beeyotch! You'se it!(*_^)

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Superman

    by Bluejack

    Originally Jor-El was a good standard for Kal-El. The more recent versions are a bit more muddled. <br> Barry Allen was a positive role model for Wally. <br> Uncle Ben is another example of a positive role model.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 12:26 p.m. CST

    No one is insulting you, Joe

    by Homer Sexual

    As one of those who has gone back and forth with you, I can say that you do have some points to make, but then you also try to shout down anyone who doesn't toe your line. For example, when I said I like Secret Invasion, you actually thought I only said that to get credibility from you. and etc. And then, if I don't like Secret Invasion wholeheartedly and completely, it, well...doesn't count? Or something? <p> Since you like One Man Logan, why not post your own review? Yesterday I once again spent minutes in the LCS debating whether or not to pick up the second part of the story. I passed, but am open to changing my mind. <p> Not that you asked me, but if the choices are CSI or Lost, can I choose neither? I prefer not to pick one-and-done or endless meandering with maybe a drop of closure, at best. <p> Jonah Hex is a very entertaining book that does single issues. Runaways is a very entertaining book that does multiple issue stories, but each story does end. Come to think of it, so is Wolverine. <p> You make a good point with X-Men and Batman. That's why I pick those books up periodically, like for Batman RIP or the Death of the Shiar Empire. Or when Morrison did X-Men. OTOH, Claremont is the king of the endless "story." <p> Finally, Psynapse, do you really prefer Final Crisis to Secret Invasion? Final Crisis does lame, lame crap like bringing back Barry Allen, which is just weak. I just re-read Infinite Crisis, and though it has been much maligned, it was way better than FC has been so far. At this point, I have to equate FC with House of M. Both rather self-important, pompous but not that interesting.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Psynapse

    by Joenathan

    I didn't say it was new, just fun. There's nothing new out there, the trick is making it interesting

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 12:45 p.m. CST

    I choose my words VERY carefully

    by Psynapse

    Rehash (verb)1. to work up (old material) in a new form. <p>Try to debate the language we speak. Go ahead, it'll be funny at least<p>And remember, as I stated previously, if you're enjoying it MORE POWER TO YA (meant in all seriousness with NO rancor)....BUT don't try to tell people it's something 'new' because frankly, it's simply not. Oh and next time try recognize what the words I type are actually expressing rather than deciding they are 'like' what you want to think they are.<p>Served. (*_^)

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Homer

    by Joenathan

    Actually Bug did. The "Gnat" reference is supposed to refer to an annoying creature to be swatted. Somewhat hypocritical in tone and intent, no? And I was just kidding with you about the cred thing, because... who the fuck cares about comic cred? It was a joke, like funny "ha-ha", so relax,calm down. You totally have juice with me, man. 'Nuff respect due. But, I'll be nice, I don't want anyone's salty, vaginal tears of hurt feelings shorting out their computers or anything... "<br>"As for CSI and Lost, they were just examples of a type, not specific. Maybe Lost was a bad example, how about Battlestar instead? And the point was, generally, if you like on type, then you're usually not into the other and if you're standing on opposite ends like that, you'll never really have a meeting of the minds, so why bother? If we're going to debate apples, it might as well be with someone who doesn't hate all apples and prefer oranges, dig? "<br>"As for Final Crisis and Secret Invasion... apples and oranges. You'll notice I haven't said much about DC and thats because for the most part, DC is not my cup of tea. I've been enjoying Final Crisis, but it doesn't blow my skirt up and on DC, at least, I agree with Archwhateverhisnamewas, their universe is a hot mess of confused and convoluted crap. Not that I don't love it in individual pieces, but as a whole, I think they put too much effort into making it all make sense and they just make it worse and worse each time, so I become less interested in trying and just piece-meal it."<br>"Joenathan's review of Old Man Logan: A one Act. Begin: If you don't like it, you're dumb! HAHAHAHA!

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Are you talking to me or Jeff

    by Joenathan

    Please say Jeff...

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 1:02 p.m. CST

    And still...

    by Joenathan

    What exactly would you all prefer Marvel WAS doing, instead of one cohesive universe?

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 1:13 p.m. CST

    A new form does not equate to a new idea

    by Psynapse

    Example: A Flourescent bulb is a new form of an incandescent one. And taking the light bulb analogy even further ask any artist if a flourescent bulb's light is in any way superior to an incandescent's. (Trust me, it's not)<p> Does having been bored to tears and utterly unimpressed with the execution count as being a hater? Because if so, bring it. (But then, we'd be arguing personal taste which is NOT my intent. Again, if you're enjoying it ROCK ON but your enjoyment doesn't automatically mean an entitlement to legitimacy that others must endorse.)

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 1:14 p.m. CST

    I'm not uninitiated

    by Joenathan

    I just prefer Marvel to DC generally. I've read way back on both and I'm just not much a fan of DC's giant eraser approach to history and continuity. I mean, does it really matter if Superboy and Superman were in the same universe? Or which Supergirl came when? (wink) Its a 70 year potluck of ideas and missteps and crazy shit and cool things... its never going to be linear, so I wish they'd just stop trying.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 1:16 p.m. CST

    So, did you buy all of Civil War, Psynapse?

    by Joenathan

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Father figures

    by rock-me Amodeo

    Yeah, now that I think about it, there ARE lots of fathers in the world of comics that are good and noble role models, when the were mentioned:<br>Jonathan Kent<br>Thomas Wayne<br>Ben Parker (father figure, at least)<br>Barry Allen was also a good father figure to Wally<br>Battlin' Murdock at least tried, and would rather have died than look like a crook to his kid. And did.<br><br>And then it occurred to me: most of these characters were created in the 60's or earlier. Of those who's fathers are mentioned, some of those early heroes have crappy fathers, but those early heroes have had their dad's described many years later, or retconned into horrible people:<br>Reed Richard's dad.<br>Bruce Banner's dad.<br>Jor-El, maybe.<br>wasn't Hal Jordan's dad retconned as a creep? I can't remember.<br><br>And now, we have new heroes, and I can't think of any of their fathers that have been painted positively.<br>Look at Kyle Raynor's dad.<br>Look at Nova's dad. (heh. Look at Warlock's dad, in recent NOVA's.)<br>Green Arrow, though that picture is still being painted.<br>STARMAN was unique, because it painted the full picture - a father who tried unsuccessfully to juggle all his responsibilities, and turned out to be human, but managed to win his son's respect.<br><br>So into this mix, will we wee Morrison drag ANOTHER good dad into the abyss? I think that is the trendy thing to do, but I don't like it.<br><br>I dunno, I could be missing some great examples of me being wrong. Help a brotha out, guys. Is the current trend in comics that all dad's are bad, unless already established in canon?

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 2:42 p.m. CST

    penultimate paragraph in last post

    by rock-me Amodeo

    "will we SEE..." not will we wee...<br><br>Nothing really made me wee this month. Not even Morrison.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Actually No

    by Psynapse

    The beauty of having your sub at the same LCS for 17 years (and being friends with the owner and his wife) means you get to hang around like the employees and read books for free. Ever since Avengers Disassembled and House of M I read the first 1-3 issues of any Marvel or DC mini or maxi in-store to decide if I want own it (32 years as a reader/collector means I now have to be VERY selective just to manage the ginormous mass of books & boxes). So no, didn't pay Marvel a dime but read the entire thing and just wasn't impressed.<p> Then again, Mark Millar has ALWAYS been very hit or miss for me. That said, his self-aggrandizing (and IMHO VERY much skewed) take on the leftist/ right wing discord in the social landscape of my country viewed through his version of the Marvel universe also just really fucking annoyed me. In fact, quite often while trying to read a Millar story I have a vision of him sitting at his PC with his shorts around his ankles masturbating with one hand and finger-pecking the keyboard with the other while exclaiming "I am SO fucking awesome! I rock!" quite feverishly.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 2:50 p.m. CST

    I can't help myself

    by Homer Sexual

    I kind of like the attempts to "fix" continuity, though they are, as you said, never going to really work. I just hate reviving dead characters from years and years ago. Why not bring back the original Supergirl? To be fair, I felt the same way about Jean Grey returning after the Dark Phoenix saga. should never have happened. <p> I compare my stacks every couple weeks, and had been buying a lot of DC, but the pendulum has swung back toward Marvel again. <p> I waited for the Civil War trade. I feel Millar writes characters very "out of character" but he is always interesting, if not always good. Civil War worked as a story, but it was very depressing, made me hate a lot of Marvel heroes (especially Stark), killed off Steve Rogers and made Authoritarian heroes the norm. I prefer the rebel heroes (except in the case of The Authority).

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Dads

    by Joenathan

    I don't think its: "all dads are bad" more like: "rough childhood equals easy background story starting point."

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 2:51 p.m. CST

    And I admit....

    by Psynapse

    I do 'generally' prefer DC to Marvel myself. LOVE Runaways, AXM, & Young Avengers of the last few years though. (and no matter how twisted their backdrop gets my love of the X-Men & Fantastic Four will never die no matter anorexic it may get at times.)

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Scott Lang was a good dad.

    by Homer Sexual

    Hercules is, I guess, currently a good father figure. Alan Scott And Co, but of course all those guys are super retro.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 2:57 p.m. CST

    More Bad Dads of heroes

    by rock-me Amodeo

    ...and again, all of them are pretty current. Booster Gold's dad. The collective parents of "The Pride". Omni-Man (from INVINCIBLE) though he MAY turn it around.<br><br> And in some cases, the hero IS the crappy dad. Cyclops isn't going to win any fathering awards. Neither will Captain Mar-vell.<br><br>However, a big shout-out must be made for Commissioner Gordon (but I will point out, him being a good guy has long been established as canon.)<br><br>So am I wrong? Are all dad's in current continuity being introduced or retconned as schumcks? The only decent guy I can think of is the new Blue Beetle's dad.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 2:58 p.m. CST

    forgor about Scott Lang...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    good one.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 2:58 p.m. CST

    FORGOT

    by rock-me Amodeo

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Why does it always come down to masturbation with you guys?

    by Joenathan

    I mean, really, dude... Plus, if you're so careful with your purchases (which I take to mean that you don't buy many anymore) and are reading all this guy's stuff for free, are you reall yhis friend? Because not only is Marvel not getting any money, but this guy is losing a large chunk as well. Supporting your LCS does not mean leaning against a wall and reading for hours on end.<br> <br> I complete disagree with the Stark hate, the guy was not wrong! Romantically and through years of loyalty, I backed Cap, but really, if some muscle brained douchebag was suddenly able to fly and throw cars and shit and decided he was qualified to police the streets simply based on the merit of being a car-throwing-muscle-brained-flying-douchebag, that would not be a good thing. Stark took a hard, realistic and nessecary stance. I mean, how many people die during a Hulk ramapage? How many are mained? If the Human Torch crashes through a building, who pays for that? Was anyone hurt? There has to be oversight, its just completely unrealistic in today's world to do it otherwise. PLUS, and this is where I think Marvel REALLY succeeded with Civil War is now we have a World of both Authoritarian heroes AND Rebel Heroes. The best of both worlds.<br><br>C'mon, Steve isn't permanantly dead and you must not be reading Cap right now to STILL think that this hasn't been, at the very least, a catalyst for a great story.<br><br>Admittedly though, sometimes Millar didn't have everyone's voice quiet right, but I think thats because his cast and story were so big, he would have been better served with double the page count or issues.<br><br>As for heroes coming back from the dead?... eh, if it works, it works, its comics, it happens.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Dads theory plus more

    by Homer Sexual

    I would guess the Bad Dads works well with adolescents, which is probably where new readers come from. Similar to the "nerdy outsider" Parker prototype. <p> I agree that Cap is currently a good story, and can't argue that in a "real world" the whole secret identity thing wouldn't really work. But that is just a little too real-world for me, I guess. I don't mind the registered and non-registered, but can't get into the registered actually Fighting the non-registered, except in the case of the Thunderbolts, et al. <p> Also good point on coming back from the dead...but Barry Friggin' Allen? I am 40+ and that is waaay too old school for me.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 3:27 p.m. CST

    I'm not sold that Barry is staying alive, ah, ah, ah, ah, stayin

    by Joenathan

    staying aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive<br><br>Anyway, he's the perfect sacrificial character. 1. Well-known. 2. Loved. 3. People want to see him return. BUT ask yourself this: What would Barry's role be today? Doesn't Wally fill the whole role? Barry's role is now the legendary mentor, the one who's legacy Wally is always chasing. To bring Barry back would kill that dynamic and, the most important question, then what? Another man out of time/fish out of water story.<br><br>I think Barry is the going to re-sacrifice himself to complete the circle and finish it once and for all right back where it started. Also, did he come back from the dead or did he just run through time?<br><br>You really don't like the Authoritarians fighting the rebels? come on, half the comic books ever written are based off the premise of: who would win if this hero fought this hero. There's also the classic: meet, misunderstand, fight, make-up story, as well. Plus... ah... Batman vs. Superman? DKR? What about Roshach as an outlaw hero or Batman fighting cops on the skyscraper rooftops? If they really commit to that world order, there's plenty of good stories to be found there.<br><br>Ellis's Thunderbolts was one of my favorites ever, I think. The Whole Steel Spider, American Eagle story? Fantastic and making JAck Flag cool? Loved it and what made that shit possible? Civil War, baby. Civil War.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Please tell me

    by Psynapse

    WHERE I ever indicated that I read ALL of Millar's work? Are you actually reading what I type or is selective interpretation your normal mode of operation? We disagree on these subjects that's all there is to this. Too bad you can't quit editorializing and the arguing said editorialization. Then again, one has to wonder if you are as sure of your convictions as you evince. Seriously, if your opinion is so solid to you why does my dissent rankle you so? (and actually I DO buy a lot still but tend to try more small publisher works these days. Like Avatar, Boom!, & IDW for example)

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Sorry Psynapse

    by Joenathan

    Both of the "this guy" references were referring to your LCS owner-friend, not Millar. Flip out some more, please.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 4:28 p.m. CST

    right back at ya, Psy

    by Arkhangelsk

    check your mailbox

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 4:39 p.m. CST

    Thats what I say about Marvel.

    by Joenathan

    With DC, I just shrug.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 4:55 p.m. CST

    I HATED THE CIVIL WAR!

    by I am the Terminator

    The south will rise again!<P>PWNED!!

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 4:56 p.m. CST

    all fresh material

    by Joenathan

    all of it. bravo.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 5:02 p.m. CST

    nope, not confusing

    by Joenathan

    I'm just not interested in keeping track in DC as I am in Marvel at the moment. I like the man-behind-the-mask approach of Marvel to DC's just-the-mask thing. Thats not to say I don't read DC. I buy Vertigo titles. A good noir Batman will always bring me in, just like when someone interesting does a good widescreen JLA adventure, but the day by day DC minutia? I'm not that into. Oh, I'm also doing the Sinestro Corp trades, those are fun. And like I said, I am reading Final Crisis. I love Morrison. The Invisibles is the only thing I've kept a complete run of after I dumped most of my collection and Seven Soldiers were great. So no rules here either, its just I like Marvel's roll better.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 6:20 p.m. CST

    CIVIL WAR was littered with out-of-character BS.

    by SleazyG.

    Anybody who can't see it is lying to themselves, or nuts, or none too bright, or believes the charming line of broguey bullshit Millar spat out. Reed Richards building an off-world prison in another dimension for his friends to rot in, then building an insane, brain-dead clone of a Norse god and deploying it in the field? BULLSHIT. Tony Stark choosing a faceless government who's played him for a fool before over his friends and fellow warriors? BULLSHIT. Sue Richards, the Invisible Woman, telling fucking Tony Stark to kill his best friend when Tony and Reed would clearly have the technology to save Happy instead? BULLSHITTY BULLSHIT, cuz since when does Sue sign off on murdering civilians? Peter Parker giving Mary Jane and Aunt May a death sentence by revealing his identity, even though he's felt guilty his whole career about getting Uncle Ben killed? BULLSHIT.<p> Look, the list goes on and on...those are just the first that came to mind. There's one simple fact, though, that is undeniable proof that Mark Millar was writing everybody out of character: he has himself said that he initially was going to put Cap and Iron Man on the OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE ISSUE, then changed his mind because he thought it worked this way better. If that, right there, doesn't tell you he fails to understand the core basics of these characters...frankly, it's because you don't want it to. That fact, which he has never attempted to hide, tells you all you need to know: he bent the characters to the story he wanted to tell instead of using the characters in a logical, organic manner in keeping with who and what they've always stood for. And that's just part of why CIVIL WAR was horseshit.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 9:29 p.m. CST

    "All fresh material"

    by Joenathan

    That was for the Civil War guy. I wasn't fast enough.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 9:46 p.m. CST

    Oh, Sleazy

    by Joenathan

    "Anybody who can't see it is lying to themselves, or nuts, or none too bright, or believes the charming line of broguey bullshit Millar spat out. Reed Richards building an off-world prison in another dimension for his friends to rot in, then building an insane, brain-dead clone of a Norse god and deploying it in the field? BULLSHIT."<br><br>No. see Reed is both obsessed with the idea and driven by the challenge. To simplify Reed's character, I will use a line from Jurassic Park (paraphrased): "He was too busy wondering IF he could do it, to wonder SHOULD he do it." I mean, honestly, that train of thought is EXACTLY what created the FF. COME ON, the guy stole a rocketship and had a cosmic accident. Why? Because he didn't think it through... <br><br>NEXT<br><br>"Tony Stark choosing a faceless government who's played him for a fool before over his friends and fellow warriors? BULLSHIT."<br><br>This is a complete misstatement of Tony's motivation, so... wrong. See, horrified by the catastrophe of stamford, Tony realized that the world was changing and that it needed to, so he got at the forefront of the movement before it could Days of Future past on him. And like I said earlier in the talkback, just because you're superstrong, does not mean you get to police the world.<br><br>I missed the Happy Hogan thing, but judging by your previous examples... but I'll pass.<br><br>As for Peter, Peter is driven by guilt for causing Uncle Ben's death and the need to atone for that. Also, his career has been marred by public disfavor. Tony Stark provided all those things, acceptance, a father figure, respect, these things can seem important and a person can get lost sometimes. PLUS, as an Avenger and head of shield, Tony provided the best protection Aunt May and Mary Jane could possibly need. Unfortuantly, though, Uncle Ben raised Peter right. With great power... Peter knew a lot of what was going on was wrong and he knew MJ and Aunt May agreed. They all knew the score. They were in it together because they were family and loved each other. Yes, Peter made a mistake revealing his identity, just like he made a mistake by not stopping that criminal. It happens and now, just like always, he has to atone for that mistake. CLASSIC spider-man.<br><br>As for the last bit, I'm going to have to call Bull shit. See, in his intial thoughts he went opposite, but then you know what happened? He realized he was wrong and did what... switched. Its called a second draft. Its what REAL writers do.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 9:54 p.m. CST

    ...

    by blackthought

    i feel very red. what does that mean?

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 7:38 a.m. CST

    Yo Joe(nathan)

    by Psynapse

    It was a looong day at work with more than the usual portion of bullshit to wade through (I work in Marketing) and I concede I likely misread and reacted thusly. It can happen when some knuckle dragging inbred dipshit apparently dumps something like industrial paint thinner into the air vents causing 12 people to gag and choke (me being one of them).

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 7:39 a.m. CST

    It means you've been spanked somehow Blackthought...

    by Psynapse

    Either that or your drunk or sunburned (maybe both?)

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Dear Jeff.....

    by Psynapse

    Bored to tears because A) Heroes fighting heroes=Been there done that. and B)Out-of-character characterization in service of a shit story=me yawn a lot. (Iron Man is Hitler! Mr. Fantastic is Josef Mengele! Mr. Millar? Way to squirt the vinegar you douche)

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Wait...you STILL twisted my words you feeb..

    by Psynapse

    "reading all this guy's stuff for free, are you really his friend?<p>AGAIN, I never said the word "all" anywhere in my post. I specifically stated that I read through Marvel or DC minis and maxis. You are obviously incapable of an actual civilized debate without making up information to attack your opponent so it's schoolyard time now. You are obviously a petty whining specimen of humanity and have now rendered ANY opinion of yours utterly irrelevant save for further proof of what a dipshit you are. Your preference for Inference over Actuality now makes me kindly request that You NEVER breed (if you can find a woman drunk or mentally feeble enough in the first place, that is)as any offpsing is likely to be twice the asshit that you are and require euthanizing .

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 9:06 a.m. CST

    Damn typo....

    by Psynapse

    Grrr...

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 9:23 a.m. CST

    One more thing...

    by Psynapse

    I've spent around $19K (That's Nineteen-Thousand US Dollars in case you are too thick to grasp) in that store so yeah, I'd say I'm a pretty goddamn good friend and customer. (it's likely a bit higher but I'm running an annual average since 1991)

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 9:43 a.m. CST

    stealing is stealing

    by Joenathan

    support your local comic store means: don't treat it like a library. I'm sure your "friend" would appreciate it. Please flip out more.

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Well, since I was asked

    by Homer Sexual

    I am still going to just let Sleazy's response stand because he said it better than I could. I appreciate Joenathan's rebuttal, but I still feel what Sleazy said is accurate. Peter Parker especially. You can, and did, make a decent case in defense of Stark but I am suprised you even attempted to defend Spider-Man. IMO, the only defense of that is that Spider-Man has been around so long in so many books that you can have him do anything and get away with it. (Much like....OML....sorry to go there).

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Cameron Stewart / Father vs Son

    by Arkhangelsk

    I almost dismissed Apocalipstix out of hand because the tile was a "ripoff" of one of the Invisibles storylines. Then I saw Cameron Stewart was on art duties and I forgave the title because he's worked close with Morrisson in the past. I still passed because it didn't look that interesting to me. <br><br> Humphrey, just don't ask him when the next Seaguy is coming out, as apparently that is the question he gets most asked. Or do, and see him blow. Stewart has worked with Morrisson and Brubaker, two totally opposite-styled writers. Wonder how he managed both...<br><br> Back to the father vs son metaphor; could it be a cultural thing? Most classic superheroes were created by writers/artist of the Jewish ancestry. The most recent wave of talent influx into the business was definitely British. Could it be that cultures with a heavy and long history (Jewish, British) would produce writers/artists who do focus on destroying the past and creating a new future, whereas writers/artists from a relatively young culture (American) would be more focused on looking up to their very recent past and trying to establish tradition?

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Stealing Is Stealing

    by Buzz Maverik

    And I should know. I stole hundreds of dollars worth of comic books (which because thousands of dollars worth of comic books, which have become ... oh, I dunno maybe a few bucks worth of comic books) from convenience stores in my elementary and middle school days.<p>First of all, let me say a few words in favor of theft: it gets you the comics that your cheap @$$ Dad won't give you money to buy. So, it was really him stealing the comics and not me shoving them into my butt crack at the good ol' Stop 'n' Rob.<p>Other thoughts: I sorta like SECRET INVASION. Comics have become something different than what they were. Not something better, but not something bad...all the time. While I would kinda prefer being an adult reading kid stuff, I can like being an adult reading decent stuff that we fans think is for adults but really isn't like anything else in media for adults. But I don't buy or steal this stuff...I read it quickly in the shop. Hey, if they don't like, they can put it behind glass!<p>Let's all be wild and crazy here. It's a comic book page. No need to use kid gloves.<p>For example, whenever I read a post that says: "I support Cap..." I always think, yeah, what fictional characters politcal positions do I support? Certainly, D'artagnian's. Zorro. The Reverend Dr. Christopher Syn alias the Scarecrow of Romney Marsh. The Challengers of the Unknown...

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 1:11 p.m. CST

    But I Do Not Support the Teletubbies...

    by Buzz Maverik

    Makes you long for the McCarthy era. Or even the Lenin and McCarthy Era. I will name names...Clyde, Mary, Bill, Rufus...

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Am I the only one who thinks Gary Frank's

    by Snookeroo

    Superman artwork looks like something out of a Jack Chick publication?

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 2:38 p.m. CST

    No Dis-R, Stark Not ALWAYS Conservative...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...that's one of these huge misconceptions that has been agreed upon in the last decade. In the late '60s comics, Stark stopped making weapons, arriving at much the same conclusion he did in the cool movie. He got into a lot of trouble with both the US government and SHIELD. Also, Stark had the wonderful, beautiful, glorious social irresponsiblity to once attack a Federal Prison and disable all of its' armored guards because they were wearing his technology. He's only a conservative when written that way. Just as being a conservative or a liberal is only a bad thing depending on one's point of view.

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 2:47 p.m. CST

    BUT...

    by Joenathan

    Is Stark making weapons now, or is he just acting Director of SHIELD? Its not the same thing, you know. AND when he conducted the Iron Wars (better know as another time he and Cap fought.) it was because he felt responsible for creating something that was hurting innocents. He couldn't live with that. The Armor Wars weren't waged because he was a liberal OR a conservative, they were waged because he was taking responsibility for his actions. He could see where a world of unchecked and unregulated super armors were going to end up, so he took steps to correct the problem BEFORE it got out of hand, JUST like he did in the wake of the Stamford catastrophe. Seems pretty in character to me...

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 3:25 p.m. CST

    "I think that he's currently just acting director of SHIELD."

    by Joenathan

    my point exactly

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 3:40 p.m. CST

    My point

    by Joenathan

    was only that he was still in line with the decisions he made all the way back when he decided to stopp making weapons. It was just a refutation of Sleazy's implication that he had switched stances on the weapon making thing.

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 3:51 p.m. CST

    Jeff

    by Joenathan

    No problem. I appreciate the feedback on clarity and look forward to further interactions.

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 4:35 p.m. CST

    Hey Bug

    by Arkhangelsk

    what makes you think McKeever is not long for Teen Titans? He's got the Terror Titans coming out soon and the interviews I read with him seemed to imply he thought he was in for the long run? The dude even dropped Birds Of Prey because he thought it was distracting him from Teen Titans.

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Your Discussion?

    by Buzz Maverik

    You're on a message board. It's really anybody's discussion, but since I'm a fictional character myself (one man's Tyler Durdenesque alternate personality is another man's fictonal character)I'd say you're all participating in MY discussion.<p>And yer welcome. Send me money.

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Stark Is A Tree Hugging Liberal Hippie

    by Buzz Maverik

    What about that issue where he fought the Man? His mechanical heart was giving out, his armor was cracked and his repulsor rays were on the frizz. And how did he beat the Man? By sticking it to him, of course!<p>Also, you might have missed that whole Avengers arc where an Iron Man line up battled the Establishment. You old timers remember. Who'd it get down to? That's right: Iron Man vs. the Conformist! Too bad that continuity was lost in the relaunch, I tell you!

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 7:34 p.m. CST

    Arkhangelsk

    by cameron_stewart

    As I've had to point out to many people, Grant Morrison did NOT coin the name "Apocalipstick." It is the title of a Serge Gainsbourg-written song on Jane Birkin's 1978 album "Ex Fan Des Sixties" (and it's only one of many subtle musical references in The Apocalipstix book). And even if he did claim ownership to it, in all the times I've talked to Grant over the last 5 years since creating The Apocalipstix, he's never once indicated that he has a problem with it. <p>As far as Seaguy goes, it's true that I've been asked about a sequel a lot but I've never once blown up over it, I'm always just happy that people care enough to ask. I'm also happy to report that, as offically announced at the San Diego con a couple weeks back, I'm already hard at work on Seaguy 2: Slaves of Mickey Eye, and the first issue should be out in early 2009. If you go digging in the archives of my illustration blog - cameronstewart.blogspot.com - you'll find some preview artwork from Seaguy 2. </p> <p>Finally, even though Grant and Ed Brubaker are very different styles of writer, I enjoyed working with them equally. They both have their unique challenges but my job as an illustrator is to tackle their scripts with the same commitment.</p> <p>Sorry The Apocalipstix isn't your thing. Hope maybe you can reconsider some day. Thanks for the feedback!</p>

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 11:58 p.m. CST

    It's not liberal or conservative

    by jmyoung666

    Stark was always portrayed as having libertarian tendencies and a willingness to disregard the law when he believed something needed to be done, such as wiping his identity from the mind of everyone on earth. <br><br> Also, how do you support conscription? Having a registration act makes absolute sense in the real world (although given the accepted history of the Marvel U, it's batshit insane to think Tony would support it). However, why should people who obey the law be forced into slave labor?

  • Aug. 9, 2008, 9:09 a.m. CST

    I been schooled!

    by Arkhangelsk

    Mr. Stewart, please understand that nothing I have said regarding your work on this talkback was meant to be taken as criticism. I am a huge fan of yours, and your work on Catwoman is the main reason why I used this title to try and interest my girlfriend in comic books as an art form. <br>>br>Regarding Apocalipstix, I did not mean in any way that Grant Morrison held any kind of trademark over the expression. Just that any one using it in comics would inevitably draw comparisons to that work. When I heard Apocalipstix" I thought: "well, let's see how this stacks up". When I heard Cameron Stewart's Apocalipstix, I thought: "well, this might stack up after all". I live on Montreal's south shore and the only I could have taken a look Apocalipstix would have been by special ordering it. Maybe next time I go into the big city I'll try and look it up. <br><br> As for the Seaguy comment, I was just kidding around. It's very easy to misread intent on these interwebs of ours, so I apologize for not making it clearer. Truth is I await eagerly the continuation of Seaguy and will absolutely be there the day it comes out. <br><br> Thank you for answering my Morrison/Brubaker question. I'm a total process junkie and these things interest me to no end. I heard that Morrison was rather loose regarding scripting, whereas Brubaker tended to write more detailed scripts. How would you compare them? And were you in contact with Yannick Paquette's studio during Seven Soldiers? I know Manhattan Guardian chronologically came out before Bulleteer, but were you guys working on your series simultaneously? Also, how was it working with Joss Whedon? His scripts for Astonishing X-Men were very precise and I heard he actually goes over the layouts with Geroge Jeanty on Buffy Season 8 before they get inked. Was he like that for Tales of the Vampires?<br><br>Anyways, thanks for taking the time to respond to my half-assed posts. It's more than they deserved.

  • Aug. 9, 2008, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Mr. Cameron part II

    by Arkhangelsk

    Just to clarify, what I'm really wondering about is how do you (Cameron Stewart) reconcile your work habits when working with writers who have such different and opposite demands. And what is your work process? Draw late at night, or during the day? Do you prefer long stretches of work or small pockets buffered by relaxing activities? Inquiring minds want to know!

  • Aug. 9, 2008, 11:35 a.m. CST

    I Really Don't Argue Superhero Politics

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...what with them not being real, and all.<p>I will say that one of my longstanding rants here when I reviewed before getting fired for refusing to pay my bar tab at the @$$hole clubhouse, is that we fans/fanboys tend to see in black and white. Liberal or conservative. No shades of gray. Unfortunately, even the best writers in comics also fall into that trap from time to time, especially a politically astute UK writer who nails our country dead on in the strictest political sense but whose only cultural understanding of us is from the political media.<p>Tony Stark COULD be said to fall into the Armand Hammer billionaire school. He could be a J. Robert Oppenheimer WMD creator from the philosophical school of Danish physicist Niels Bohr rather than an Edward Teller genius. Or, he could be a character who dresses up in read and gold armor and fights Namor whenever Subby gets too close to Long Island.<p>As for me, I'm a "Rebel spaceships striking from hidden bases have won their first victory over the evil galactic empire..." type guy instead of a "The Trade Federation has established a tariff that is being debated via fillibuster in the Imperial Senate. As the Senators eagerly watch the polls, multiple caucuses have been schedule throughout all seven branches of the Republic government..." kinda fella.

  • Aug. 9, 2008, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Political Media?

    by Buzz Maverik

    Pop media. Pop! Not political! Pop! Although I do admit that "political" makes me sound smarter, which is a good reason not to use it. Never understood those guys who read and talk comics to seem smarter.

  • Aug. 9, 2008, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Always Portrayals

    by Buzz Maverik

    Most of the time, whenever somebody says, "Hero Man or Captain Super was ALWAYS portrayed as a cryto-Nazi/Commie", you can translate that to mean (most generously):"In all the stories, I'VE read, he's been this way..." Usually, thought, you can safely translate it this way: "I read in WIZARD..." or "I heard some dude say it and he read it in WIZARD but won't admit to reading WIZARD because Buzz is the only comic fan on Earth who has no problem admitting that he occasionally reads WIZARD..." or "I read a post on a message board by some dude who doesn't know what he's talking about..." because when you toss phrases around like "always portrayed..." you're usually dealing with a lot of history. No, Hulk wasn't always a killer. Iron Man didn't always have a political agenda. Batman wasn't always a jerk. Spidey wasn't always a stooge of Satan...

  • Aug. 10, 2008, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Can't We Just Arm Wrestle?

    by Buzz Maverik

    Or do a chickie-run? You see REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE? We steal a couple of clunkers, a local cutie waves a scarf and we drive toward a cliff. First one to jump out before dying is a chicken.