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AICN COMICS REVIEWS THE FRINGE! DOCTOR WHO! AMERICAN WIDOW! AND MUCH, MUCH MORE!!!

#17 9/4/08 #7

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) AMERICAN WIDOW HC OGN DC UNIVERSE: LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT #1 THE FRINGE #1 EL DIABLO #1 DOCTOR WHO: THE FORGOTTEN #1 THE FAMILY DYNAMIC #1 SECRET SIX #1 DEAD OF NIGHT: DEVIL-SLAYER #1 GREEN LANTERN #34 dot.comics presents… Big Eyes for the Cape Guy presents BLACK GOD Vols 1-3 Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS!

AMERICAN WIDOW HC OGN

Written by Alissa Torres Art by Sungyoon Choi Publisher: Villard Reviewer: Ambush Bug

With the Anniversary of 9-11 looming ever closer, once again we are inundated with images of the tragedy that happened that day. You'll see documentaries and reenactments and maybe a movie or two "honoring" the lives that were lost and the way it affected the nation. There will be special news reports and celebrity interviews and the whole ball of wax, but I doubt you will see anything as honestly powerful as AMERICAN WIDOW.
Alissa Torres writes an autobiographical story of how, on one fateful morning in September of 2001, her world was turned upside down. Newly married and expecting a child, she watched the towers fall and knew that her husband was working his second day of work in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. This is a powerful personal story of loss, survival, hardship, and hope. It's brutally honest and reads almost like a left-open diary, revealing Alissa to be all too human in the millions of thoughts and feelings that went through her mind that day and the arduous days after.
This is one of the most effective 9-11 stories I've read because it doesn't try to cover an expansive narrative looking at the government, the firefighters, the terrorists, the victims, and the buildings themselves. It focuses on one aspect and how all of the above affect the life of one woman. In doing this, Torres has put together one of the most powerful comics out there dealing with this subject (a hell of a lot more powerful than Captain America holding a flag amidst the rubble).
Drawn simply and elegantly by Sungyoon Choi, this is a true accomplishment in comics and should be required reading for those who know that comics are more than guys in spandex beating the crap out of each other.
Want to honor those who passed during 9-11? Turn off the stupid documentary glorifying all of those images we've seen over and over, and read this sincere account of how that fateful day effected one person that represents all of us.
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, reviewer and co-editor of AICN Comics for over seven years. Check out a five page preview of his short story published in MUSCLES & FIGHTS 3 (AVAILABLE NOW at Muscles & Fights.com.) on his ComicSpace page. Bug was recently interviewed here and here at Cream City Comics 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!

DC UNIVERSE: LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT One-Shot #1

Writer: Brad Meltzer Artists: Adam Kubert, John Dell & Joe Kubert Published by: DC Comics Reviewed by: BottleImp

I’ve always had a fondness for the lower-tier ranks of comic book characters. Sure, Batman, Superman, Spider-Man…they’re all well and good, but on any given day I’d rather read about Blue Devil, Booster Gold or Strong Guy. I think the appeal of the B-list (or lower) hero is that he or she tends to be more human, less perfect, and have a better sense of humor than is usually found among the elite of the spandex set. This of course is due to those comic book writers who like to breathe life and personality into the lesser heroes—Geoff Johns, James Robinson, Peter David…and Brad Meltzer.
The core of LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT’s plot centers on Geo-Force (one of DC’s C-listers, in my opinion) and his plan to defeat DC’s resident ass-kicking mercenary Deathstroke. Now, I knew next to nothing about Geo-Force before reading this issue—I didn’t even know that his sister was famed Teen Titans betrayer Terra—but that lack of knowledge doesn’t hurt the story at all. Just as he did with Ralph Dibny in the first issue of the now-infamous IDENTITY CRISIS, Meltzer adeptly invests the reader’s interest into his central character while drawing the reader into the plot. I learned everything I needed to know about Geo-Force (at least for the purposes of this story) within the first few pages, leaving me free to enjoy this comic book without having to scratch my head and wonder who the hell certain people were. Unlike reading, say, FINAL CRISIS.
And speaking of FINAL CRISIS…
Here’s where I have problems with this book. No, I suppose the problem lies with DC’s editorial staff. Morrison’s FINAL CRISIS seems to be the backdrop against which LWAT is set. I say “seems to be” because I’m still not 100% sure of it. On pages 2 and 3 of LWAT, Geo-Force’s narrative captions read, “For two full days the sun hasn’t come up… there’s just silence and darkness. Not even a volt of electricity.” References are made to both INFINITE CRISIS and CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, so logically it would follow that this current “end of the world” crisis is indeed FC… except that as of FC #3, I’ve seen nothing about total darkness or no more electricity. Also, Batman appears in a cut-away scene in LWAT, though last we saw in FC he was captured by Darkseid’s minions. And Superman, though he supposedly has to stay by Lois’ hospital bedside so his heat vision can keep her heart beating (however that’s supposed to work), is seen here having a heart-to-heart with Pa Kent down at the ol’ Kent place in Smallville. Is this comic supposed to tie in with FINAL CRISIS or not?
The FINAL CRISIS vs. SECRET INVASION debate has been brought up often in the talkbacks, and many talkbackers have pointed out that whichever event one prefers, it can’t be denied that Marvel is doing a much better job at making their event a company-wide crossover, while DC seems to be picking and choosing only certain titles to include in the storyline of its latest CRISIS. The resulting sense of confusion—the “is this supposed to be before, after or during FINAL CRISIS” question that keeps popping up in my mind while reading this comic and others—takes away from any sense of a single “DC Universe” that the company may be trying to build, while at the same time undercutting any sense of importance that may have been connected with FC. After all, if Superman and Lois Lane are still alive, healthy and married in Supes’ monthly books, we know that they’ll be fine when all is said and done with FINAL CRISIS. Who’s to blame? Is it the editors, not communicating with each other? Is it Grant Morrison, not sharing his plans with anyone else? Is it the company as a whole?
In any case, an otherwise engaging story about a hero’s search for revenge and/or redemption was muddled up with a lot of cut-away scenes that may or may not have anything to do with anything going on in the rest of DC’s titles. The artwork is good—it’s great that Joe Kubert seems to be having a comeback; now DC just needs to find some way to have him drawing Hawkman again. And since it wouldn’t be one of my reviews without my nitpicking an unimportant detail: Meltzer writes Black Lightning as saying, “[Dinah’s] building an army. Even tracked down the last members of Primal Force.” As one of the few people who own each and every one of the 15 issues of that series, I feel it is my duty to correct Mr. Meltzer. PRIMAL FORCE was the name of the comic; the name of the superhero team was the Leymen. But all pickiness aside, this issue makes for a pretty good read—as long as you don’t look for continuity.

FRINGE #1

Written by Zack Whedon, Julia Cho, Alex Katsnelson, and Danielle Dispaltro Art by: Tom Mandrake, Simon Coleby, and Cliff Rathburn Published by: Wildstorm/DC Comics Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

From the guy who brings us “Lost” comes…a comic book? I was all giddy at the thoughts of a J.J. Abrams comic book not at all realizing that this wasn’t a comic book ‘by him’ though it states it in big letters atop the cover. It also wasn’t an original idea but rather an adaptation of a new television show that actually premiered yesterday on Fox (not a plug or anything – just the facts). Course, I live in a television bubble thanks to my Tivo but after reading this comic book I know now to add “Fringe” to my Season Pass list.
At this point I’m unsure if FRINGE is a direct adaptation of the television show or simply some spin-off tales. I’m going to believe that it might be an amalgam of both – I could be dead wrong but I simply don’t care because either way these stories are good. Damn good. The book is broken up into two stories – the first dealing with a young Harvard teacher, a young student, and a project dealing with a human’s ability to talk to other humans non-verbally. While the teacher’s peers write off his work as science fiction, the student joins in head first to try and bring this telepathy to reality.
The second is a stranger story of a man waking up in prison. Everyone recognizes him except the man himself because it seems that someone has stuck his mind in this felon’s body. The prisoner calls his wife to try to explain what is going on but she’s confused because her husband is there right next to her.
My lone problem with this first issue of FRINGE is that it is short. Way too short. By the time you are getting into both stories they seem to abruptly end. They are both 11 pages long, which might be long enough in other cases but here you are thirsting to read more. You want more. You want to watch the television show. You want to call your friends and tell them to buy this. FRINGE is instantly addicting and makes me want to watch the show. Hopefully the show lasts longer than this six issue mini-series (I mean…it is on Fox!).
Ryan McLelland has worked in movies and comics journalism for the past several years before joining the @$$holes here at AICN. Ryan’s comic work has already graced comic shelves with Arcana’s PHILLY, WISE INTELLIGENCE, UPTOWN GIRL, and THE SENTINELS ANTHOLOGY. He rarely updates his blog but when he does it can be read at www.eyewannabe.com

EL DIABLO #1

Writer: Jai Nitz Art: Phil Hester (pencils) & Ande Parks (inks) Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

Sick of all of the hype, hoopla, and event-speak, but still yearning for a good superhero yarn from one of the Big Two? Look no further than EL DIABLO. If you're like me, you have a vague recollection of El Diablo from the Mike Parobeck series from the nineties. Quite honestly, I only remember that I loved the artwork. The rest of the story was pretty forgettable. Although the art is pretty fantastic in this rendition of EL DIABLO (more on that later), the writing in this introductory issue is right up on par with the pencils and inks this time.
EL DIABLO is a story introducing us to a new character, Chato Santana. Chato is a gangbanger with a pretty extensive knowledge of how to survive on the street. His gift for survival doesn't keep him out of trouble, though, as he winds up in a hospital after a shootout and near escape from a weapons smuggling bust. Police Detective Alex Aaron knows Chato is a small fish and urges him to roll over on his friends for a lighter sentence. But when Chato spits at the detective's offer, he finds himself faced with another offer from someone more powerful than the law.
As far as origin stories go, this is a nice one. I like it that writer Jai Nitz decided to go with someone other than your typical whitebread hero. Making Chato hispanic immediately makes him stand out from all of the other heroes out there today. Short of the goofy El Aguila and White Tiger at Marvel and Officer Montoya and dead and lame Vibe from JLA Detroit, there really aren't that many Hispanic characters in mainstream comics (I'm sure the talkbacks will be full of others correcting me on this, but those are the only ones who come to mind as I'm writing this). And Nitz doesn't just mush in hispanic stereotypes and make his character scream, "Hey look at me! I'm hispanic!!!" Nitz peppers in some history that authenticates Chato as a character with a bit of depth. Sure he's a gangbanger, but he is using the profits of his bangin' to support his family in Mexico. His older brother died crossing the border and he has a younger sister that he is very protective of. Chato is a child born in America, but he's the only one in his family to do so. He's literally a child of two worlds. Cultural authenticity aside, Chato is a dynamic character with strong values--someone a reader you can root for.
OK, I just remembered, the new Blue Beetle is Hispanic as well. Still, that's only five I can name offhand. My point is, I can name five Kryptonians faster than I can name five Hispanic characters in comics. But I digress...
Nitz saves the real action for the last half of the book as El Diablo makes an appearance. Although I'm sure superb artists Phil Hester and Ande Parks had a lot to do with the design, Nitz does a good job of making the newly reduxed character kick some serious @$$. Rambo-sized holes are blown into people. Sizzling whips decapitate. And a jet black horse with firey eyes proves to be just as cool as you think it is.
The art is superb. Seeing Hester and Parks together again is a real treat given the fact that Hester has proven himself to be a hell of a writer recently. Here he shines with skewed and tense panels that hold quite a bit of action and detail with very few lines drawn.
I really liked the first issue of EL DIABLO. It's definitely worth picking up if you're looking for an alternative for FINAL CRISIS and SECRET INVASION. Although the character of El Diablo is just beginning of come together, what is present here in this first issue is definitely guaranteeing that I'll be back for the second issue.

Editor’s note: Yeah, we know this review is late. It appears on the way to press, this review got caught in a time eddy. DOCTOR WHO fans will understand what that means…

DOCTOR WHO: THE FORGOTTEN #1

Tony Lee: Writer
Pia Guerra: Artist
IDW: Publisher
Vroom Socko: Yes, we know who you are.

In the interest of full disclosure, let me say that I am a fiend for Doctor Who, a complete and total fiend. Why yes, I do own a sonic screwdriver. Certainly I knit my own Tom Baker-style scarf. The theme for my Con sketchbook is… you guessed it. I will watch any and every story, with anyone as the Doctor. (Sure, after any viewing of Revelation of the Daleks I have to watch the whole of The Young Ones just to remind myself that Alexei Sayle is genuinely funny, but still.) Hell, I even read Doctor Who fanfic! Well, not ALL fanfic. Well, really just one. But it’s a GOOD one.
What does all of that mean for this comic? Mainly that I caught nearly every Easter egg that writer Tony Lee and artist Pia “Y the Last Man” Guerra crammed into the corners. And that I was instantly able to come up with a short list of viable villains who could be the mysterious man in the shadows…but I’m getting ahead of myself. The story begins with The Doctor and Martha Jones finding themselves in a museum filled with memorabilia from The Doctor’s past adventures, including one room where the outfits of his past incarnations are on display. It’s here that The Doctor suddenly finds that he has no memory of the time prior to his current incarnation. But with some prodding from Martha and an examination of some of his old belongings, a few memories start to trickle back.
So basically this is all an excuse to showcase the various prior Doctors for a comic reading audience that might have never even heard the names William Hartnell or Patrick Troughton. If the book was merely an introduction to the rich history of the character, or a Reader’s Digest examination of the character, it would make for a passable story, if a bit dull. Thankfully, Lee and Guerra have nailed The Doctor down to a tee, the first and the latest. Their rendition of the original Doctor is especially fun. He’s overbearing, worrisome, and absolutely fed up with that idiot Chesterton he and his granddaughter have been saddled with. That the scenes featuring him reference other storylines without seeming forced or out of place is just icing on the cake. The nod to Pyramids of Mars is especially deft.
Is this any sort of earth shattering storyline that will redefine The Doctor? Lord no; that’s Steven Moffat’s job. But it is a charming ode to the origins of one of the longest running characters in SF history. And it’s being made by creators who clearly know and love the history they’re representing. And oh my giddy aunt, am I looking forward to the next issue. I just HAVE to see what Pia Guerra’s Jamie McCrimmon looks like.
Vroom Socko, aka Aaron Button, spends the time he isn’t reading comics or watching DOCTOR WHO wandering the streets of Portland, Oregon. He also is an avid supporter of the Portland Timbers. He’s easy enough to spot at matches: he’s the one wearing the 20 foot long scarf.

THE FAMILY DYNAMIC # 1

Written by J. Torres Art by Tim Levins and Dan Davis Published by DC Comics Reviewed by Stones Throw

Personally, I think a comic book about a family of superheroes with powers that correspond to the four classical elements is a great idea!
The Family Dynamic are four guys with fantastic powers, like the Incredibles or the folks in those two crappy Jessica Alba movies. There’s Sloan, AKA Pyralis, the genial but kind of square patriarch, who lights up like some sort of human torch. The visible woman is his wife, Sirocco, who has air powers. Their sons are a young hothead called Troylus, who can control water, while Terran gets the bum deal in the group, turning into a hideous, rocky thing when he puts on his magic ring.
I think these are engaging and likeable characters to whom comic book readers young and old will be able to relate and enjoy!
I’ve seen more than enough comics that recast supposedly original characters in the roles of well-known superheroes, but this is one that, through a combination of witty writing and quick pacing, manages not to insult the reader by thinking we won’t be able to recognize Superman or Batman and Robin (the Defender and what is most likely a mother/daughter combination called Blackbird and Little Wing, respectively). The tone feels like some of the slightly less inspired TOM STRONG comics that came towards the end of that series (or, I’m told, a lighter ASTRO CITY), which, for me at least, is a pretty sizeable compliment.
Similarly, while the interview format is a tried-and-tested way to deal with back story, Torres handles it in such a fresh and organic way (a favor to the Defender’s newspaperman alter ego) that by the time you notice you’re about half way through the story and could care less about the cliché.
Tim Levins’ Wieringo-esque style is perfect for the book, and looks a whole lot better than the cover DC has given the book. Clean, fluid and pitched at just the right spot between cartoony and realistic. This guy should drawing A-list characters, if he wasn’t so well suited to this comic.
Despite the dorky New Age codenames and the nonsensical catchphrase (“Get your element on?” I can respect not coming up with some kind of “in our element” pun, but still…), THE FAMILY DYNAMIC is a good comic! I don’t think I would call it the “world’s greatest comic magazine”, but it deserves an audience outside the Johnny DC crowd, and to run longer than the current three issues.

SECRET SIX #1

Writer: Gail Simone Penciler: Nicola Scott Publisher: DC Comics Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

Back for another round of misadventure is that lovable group of guns for hire that have been running around the DCU since the last Crisis brought them together. Starting out as the Secret Four, this brand spanking new number one to kick of this series (this time in Ongoing flavor!) is more of a "this is where we stand" issue than just jumping right back into the action, though there is a little of it on the side for good measure. As I just said though, this issue is more about fleshing out the character developments that have been roiling through the group after the last couple of incidents, particularly ones that went down in the pages of Ms. Gail's wonderful run on BIRDS OF PREY and a little beyond. Scandal is coping with the loss of her lover and teammate Knockout and doing it rather poorly, Catman is having a bit of change of heart towards his more or less villainous behavior thanks to his run in with Huntress during said BOP run, and Ragdoll is, uh, still Ragdoll. At least there's that constant...
I'll admit, if I weren't already a fan of what Gail has done with this group of miscreants the past few years I probably wouldn't be terribly pulled in by this issue. Lots of talk talk talk going on as we get more dosage of the status quo for this team, obviously most of which you might be confused by if you're a pure newbie to this title or just oblivious to their interaction with the BOP developments. As is, I think watching some of these characters come to grips with who they're becoming and/or what they've experienced is a decent change of pace from the standard aloofness that the Six tend to exude, but it also is a little devoid of the famous Gail Simone wit that had made the SS the highly enjoyable read it's been acclaimed for in the past, and has also caused me to soil my knickers on more than one occasion while reading it or runs of hers like Agent X and Deadpool and so on. I'm sure this is only a momentary lapse though, and it's not like the book is totally devoid of humor; Ragdoll does his best to bring some oddball and somewhat disturbing interjectional humor to the melancholy.
There are some hints at things to come to offset all the team's bonding sessions (and really, what else brings together people like a six foot plus tall stripper garbed like a fallen friend? I can't think of anything better myself). This issue opens with a nice creepy intro to a villain that I imagine is going to mean bad things for our team. We don't actually get to see him, but he FUCKING LIVES IN A CRATE AND FUCKING EATS PEOPLE! That's a hell of an intro if you ask me. There's also the new addition to the team in the form of the man who once broke the Bat, Bane, which is almost out of nowhere but he absolutely fits the bill of what kind of character I'd expect to see on this team. I imagine he'll be playing a straight man to Ragdoll's antics once the team gets in the field and that's a monthly skit I can sink my teeth into the idea of. And speaking of the field, there's a lot of foreboding about the next mission they've taken on and spent the issue trying to get Scandal out of her funk to prep for. Promises of the new member to make up the last piece of the team also give us one last thing to look forward to as well.
All in all, this was a pretty decent issue and not a bad "welcome back" for the title. I just felt a couple elements that typically run all over what makes this book what it is were somewhat absent. I'm not opposed to the kind of issue we're given here - one that takes it slow and develops the story to come in a large batch - I guess it's just that since it's been a while since I've really seen these guys (and gal since this book is currently a little low on the double X chromosome sets) in action I wanted a bit of the old school flava. But now that the setup's out of the way, The Job and some of the opposition are in place, and we're now acclimated to the pretty rockin' Nicola Scott art that's going to be our eyepiece to all the proverbial shit-fan hitting, I think it's only a matter of a few weeks before the SECRET SIX resolidifies itself as one of the best pure joyride comics on the stands.
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.

DEAD OF NIGHT: DEVIL-SLAYER #1

Writer: Brian Keene Art: Chris Samnee Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

Everyone's got a favorite super-hero. No matter how obscure the character, there's going to be someone it struck a chord with. My absolute favorite character is not Devil-Slayer necessarily (that honor goes to Gargoyle, who thankfully, is showing up pretty much as he was back in the old Defenders days in the background of THE INITIATIVE...thanks Dan!!!), but he's up there as one of the characters I love. He's a dude who has fought all sort of beastie and has the scars to prove it. He's got monster detection powers and a cool cloak which houses an arsenal of ancient and mystic weaponry. Devil-Slayer reminded me of the way Hawkman is portrayed now: a warrior using ancient weapons to battle menaces of yesterday, tomorrow, and beyond. For a long time, I was wondering when someone would smarten up and bring back the Devil-Slayer into modern continuity.
Be careful for what you wish for.
I don't want to say that DEAD OF NIGHT: DEVIL-SLAYER #1 is bad. I just came away from the issue feeling next to nothing about it. This isn't Eric Simon Payne, the Devil-Slayer from the Defenders. This is an all new incarnation with seemingly no ties to the previous character. In fact, it doesn't even seem like a comic in need of a Devil-Slayer at all.
The plot has to do with a modern military man who, after coming home from Iraq, had difficulty reentering society, so he decides to reenlist. We get montages and flashbacks of new guy Danny Slyva trying to get a job and being rejected. We see Danny's wife leaving him. We see him realizing that the war zone is the place he feels closest to home. And we see him returning to the battlefield a man who is trying to go home again, yet having difficulty finding that home.
You know what we don't see?
Well, up until the last page, there really isn't a lot of devils in need of slaying.
And that's the thing. I'm all for a comic out there giving voice to a problem like how soldiers are treated when they return from war. I think there are some interesting stories to be told about this subject. What I'm against is shoe-horning a story like that into a superhero comic.
It appears writer Brian Keene had a story about soldiers, Iraq, and the relationships between the war zone and the real world and went to Marvel with it. In response, it appears Marvel said “hey, we've got a character Devil-Slayer that isn't doing anything right now.” So they square-pegged this story into that round hole of a character. Aside from the title and the aforementioned appearance of demons on the last page, you could pick this issue up and find a pretty nice war story. What irks me is that instead of doing that, they took a character that could have been someone's favorite superhero, and made him fit into the story without really considering how that would sit with fans of the character.
On top of that, writer Keene's first issue suffers from Typical Marvel First Issue-itis where the only appearance of the character on the cover is the cover in the first issue. Usually, we at least get a splash of the character on the last page, but I guess they are saving that shocker for the last panel of the trade-paced second issue. I thought Marvel had evolved past this "house style" of doing a comic, but this is Nu Marvel at it's best: spending most of its time trying to tell us that "something interesting is coming", but saving the payoff for later issues.
In the end, after witnessing a disrespect for a perfectly cool character, an issue that felt as if the plot were forced into a superhero universe, and one that was constructed like a million first issues I've read before, I think I'm going to have to save the 399 cents I dropped on this issue the next time DEAD OF NIGHT: DEVIL-SLAYER hits the stands. In the meantime, the real Devil-Slayer recently popped up in the latest issue of THE INITIATIVE. Check that issue out for a good story that respects the characters of the Marvel Universe and has stuff actually happening between it's covers.

GREEN LANTERN #34

Writer: Geoff Johns Artist: Ivan Reis Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

Bromance, man-love, unrequited hairy nipple passion; there have been a slew of terms conjured up over the past few years to help an overarching homophobic society develop a level of comfort for the affection between two men. In the opening pages of this latest foray into the genesis of Earth’s original GREEN LANTERN (no, I don’t consider Alan Scott a Green Lantern) writer extraordinaire Geoff Johns boils down the relationship between Hal Jordan and Sinestro into one simple term that we don’t hear too often anymore: respect.
The friendship once shared by these two has become the stuff of legend over the past forty some odd years. Through a multitude of intergalactic battles and epic douchebaggery on the part of the great magenta one, it’s easy for us all to forget (especially younger readers) that these two were once fighting for the same side. While both acting in the purest sense of their mandated mission by the galactic guardians, it was never the “what” that drove a wedge between them, but rather the “how”.
One of the over arching challenges of doing a prequel is the fact that everyone knows how the story is going to end. The trick is to make the journey enticing by providing unknown nuggets in an entertaining and enlightening fashion. Lucas missed the mark with the last three (or I should say first three) “Star Wars” movies, for example. Johns avoids these trappings by delicately unfolding the Blackest Night prophecy and gently interspersing the feelings of these two emerald juggernauts towards one another and the galactic guardians. This delicate blend of the old and the new satiates even those overflowing with knowledge about all things Emerald, while also providing a damn nice entrance for those that could not tell an Abin Sur from an @$$hole TalkBacker.
What set this issue apart from the rest of the story arc is that Johns is truly starting to embark into new territory despite the fact we’ve all been here before. There is only so much you can do with Hal Jordan’s early years, the man is who he is and the circumstances that made him so are not to be trifled with. His Dad can only die one way if he is going to traverse the rest of his heroic destiny. Johns did an admirable job updating these events with modern sensibilities and his own spot-on interpretation of characterization, but aside from a few nuggets about “the prophecy” (oh the delectable prophecy), much of the material was old hat.
This issue not only tugs at the heart strings, as we see a friendship and a romance (not with Sinestro) form that we know is ultimately doomed, but Johns in usual style delivers a blindsiding donkey punch of action to boot. You want inventive ring wielding? You got it, as Hal for the first time realizes the full potential of not only his ring, but also the man that wields it. Yes, Sinestro is still a condescending prick, but he’s a prick that hasn’t lost his…well, his humanity for lack of a better word. There is a genuine affection for Jordan as Sinesto views a piece of himself in the neophyte ring wielder. Also for the first time in his life Sinestro is plagued with doubt at his own abilities as he sees Jordan overcome that which no other Lantern has ever been able to surmount, the dread color yellow.
This is the first issue where the prophecy became secondary for me and I just wanted to see more of Hal and Sinestro. Ahh well, there will be an issue 35 in four short weeks, where I am most thankful that Guy Gardner is not in the picture yet, because if anyone would drop the term bromance it would be him.
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.

A Special dot.comics Catch-up!

Hey folks, Ambush Bug here. It’s been a while since I did a dot.comics section here at AICN, so I wanted to do a special edition of the feature focusing on a few webcomics I think are worth your time. As always, I want to stress that these comics are 100% absolutely free and just a mouse-click away. If you like what I say about these webcomics, follow the links and you can enjoy them for yourselves. Again, there’s no real complaints here. I read a ton of comics here from this section and didn’t spend a dime. So in these trying economic times, I’m here to let you know that you don’t have to give up comics. If you love graphic storytelling, there’s plenty to enjoy online and oh yeah, did I mention they were FREE!

Let’s start out with Hal Jones’ BEYOND HUMAN (you can find page one here) which is featured on the Drunk Duck online webcomic website. Jones writes and draws this expansive and eclectic hodge podge of a tale which flips between characters and storylines in each chapter. I’m not sure what it all means, but it is an interesting story filled with colorful characters. Three in particular are focused on a mutated freak named Jamie Masters, a gun-toting badass named Aeric Summers, and a burnout named John who seems to have a thing against evangelists. Like I said, this story flips between stories from one chapter to the next. Only Jamie Masters’ first story is complete, and it’s a heartfelt one about bullies and abuse. Aeric Summers’ story just seems to be getting started with updates ranging about every other week. Although the story lost me a bit during the prelude as writer Jones takes us on a biblical journey through time starting with the creation of earth and ending with today’s apathetic and corrupt world, Jones won me over with the first chapter. It was definitely worth sticking with. The true highlight is Jones’ pencils and inks, which remind me a lot of Gene Colan’s work or something reminiscent of the spectacular Tom Mandrake. Jones specializes in detail and splash pages which tell multiple layers of stories. BEYOND HUMAN isn’t your typical comic book fare, but if you’re looking for fantastic art and stories with real emotion and depth, look no further than this one.
DON’T FORGET TO VALIDATE YOUR PARKING is another diamond in the internet rough. This comic strip composed of repeated panels of the same image of a guy at a keyboard talking with his clueless agent on the phone is smart, entertaining, and the cause of many a belly-jiggling laugh for this reviewer. What makes this comic strip so special is its simplicity, using the same image one panel after the next if not for the fun conversations that transition one panel to the next. It’s a fun experiment with the genre and a testament to the writing skills of the creator of the strip Mike Le. The strip pokes fun at the entertainment industry as well as jibes at social phenomenon. DON’T FORGET TO VALIDATE YOUR PARKING is a memorable look at the frustrations a writer goes through to make it big, yet maintain integrity, in an industry that doesn’t even know how to spell the word. This webcomic is recommended to lovers of film and the trials and headaches that go into making putting them together.
Finally, I’m surprised I haven’t checked out Zuda, DC’s webcomics project. From what I see so far, there’s tons of new and exciting projects to enjoy with DC’s stamp of approval. I took a look at NIGHT OWLS by Peter and Robert Timony, a fun detective yarn which reminded me of DICK TRACY with its noir settings and freaky villains, but these detectives fight the supernatural. Ernest Baxter is nerdy and somewhat of an alchemist. Mindy Markus is a scrappy tomboy, but easy on the eyes too. Finally, Roscoe is what looks to be a gargoyle. The three investigators solve mystic crimes and battle supernatural menaces. The narration of the book makes me feel as if I’m listening to an old radio serial. Some of the pages are self contained adventures, which makes it easy to pop in and just read a few when you have a few extra minutes. Other pages are strung together to tell a more elaborate mystery. A ghost looks for the man who killed him. Roscoe’s sister attempts to marry Bluebeard. A vampire comes a calling only to meet a firy end. These are the types of adventures you can expect to see in NIGHT OWLS. The tone is light and fun. The production is of high quality and it seems DC is really putting their all into this project. NIGHT OWLS was December’s instant winner at Zuda, meaning that they didn’t have to compete with others to appear on the website. The webcomic has been renewed for a second season. It’s good to see DC jumping into the webcomic world. So far, it looks like they know what they’re doing.

Whew! That’s a lot of mouse-clicking. Time to rest the old finger until next time on dot.comics. Until then, check out some of these imaginative webcomics. They are varied, original, exciting, and best of all, FREE!


BLACK GOD VOL 1 – 3

Story by Dall-Young Lim Art by Sung-Woo Park Released by Yen Press Reviewer: Scott Green

At its best, BLACK GOD is a kung fu fairy tale - while exploring the hidden rules that govern human destiny, factional Mototsumitama demi-gods battle it out with savage intent. The manga's first throw down features titular child-like goddess Kuro ("Black") taking grief for fighting like a human with jabs and crosses rather than striking down her enemies with god-lasers or something to that effect. However, the manga is at its best when showcasing super-powered boxing or jujitsu. Glowing seals materializing or stampedes of clone duplicates charging onto the battlefield are all well and good in a super-power action manga, but a kid weaving and hooking, trying to box a pack of motorcyclists or an angry goddess shooting a double leg takedown then cracking the earth with her ground-and-pound attack literally kicks ass.
While by no means universally adhered to, the convention in super-hero comics is that someone employs super powers or they employ martial arts. You have a Superman, a Spider-man or an Incredible Hulk who can lift cars, but who wings it on technique. Or, you have a Batman or Daredevil, who, from a conceptual standpoint, are limited to what a well trained athlete could accomplish, but know what they are doing. Nor is this unique to American super-hero comics. On the manga front, there are works like DRAGON BALL, a series that purports to be a martial arts story, but especially as it progresses, becomes a contest of super-powers.
The fact that BLACK GOD looks to model its action after identifiable martial arts or combat sports does not mean that it is particularly careful or particularly accurate. Of the manga/manhwa being released in North America, SHAMAN WARRIOR, or, after its own outrageous fashion, Tenjou Tenge are more concerned with getting the details correct. In this case, the manga seems to be working off fan-ish notions of boxing or grappling, and to the extent that this sloppiness translates to the characters themselves, it is a liability. Maybe the boxer wouldn't get a flying boot to the face if her fists weren't chambered by her ribs. But, if the details aren't there, the excitement is. Seeing Kuro quickly cut angles like Bruce Lee or Spike Spiegel (same difference) then punish her target with volcanic strikes is reason enough for an action comic/manga fan to seek out BLACK GOD.
Beyond the fist fight of the spirits side to BLACK GOD, it is a surprisingly conventional manga from an unconventional set of manga creators. In justifying the "manga" classification in their encyclopedia, Anime News Network offers.
"Although it was first published in Japanese, BLACK GOD was first written in Korean, then translated into Japanese and published. Because this title was created for the Japanese market, it was originally created in the right to left format of Japanese manga, not the left to right format of Korean manhwa. Other titles created by (writer Dall-Young) Lim and (artist Sung-Woo) Park were created initially published in Korean in left to right format."
The more manga you read, and more anime you watch, the more BLACK GOD will provoke dejavu. This is especially, true in the early chapters, but even into volume three, there is plenty of "that's like BLEACH, that's like FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST, like WELCOME TO THE NHK... like FATE/STAY NIGHT... KANON..."
Keita Ibuki lost his parents at an early age. As a child, he was walking with his mother when the pair spotted a woman that looked identical to Keita's parent. The next day, his mother died. His father, who had previously been a creature of the office, remained away from home in the wake of his wife's mysterious departure. The years pass, and Keita Ibuki grew into a self-absorbed 19 year old who moved to Tokyo to pursue a career as a video game producer and leech off his slightly older childhood friend, now employed as an office lady.
On a fateful night, after mooching some funds offs his friend and offending the two colleagues working on his video game, he ends an night of excess by stopping at a roadside noodle booth. The meal is interrupted by the arrival of a dirty, homeless looking girl wearing nothing but a raincoat and dog collar. Keita shares his ramen with the girl. After he reminisces about his own childhood insistence on ramen and missing his mother, the mysterious girl, Kuro begins correcting Keita between mouths full of soup.
The woman that his mother met was not one of two doppelgangers, but one of three doppeliners. She goes on to talk to a complex system of spiritual energy distribution and the way in which fates can be absorbed or poisoned. The introduction to metaphysical accounting is interrupted when a Mototsumitama from the Shishigami clan bursts into noodle stand and begins assaulting Kuro. Keita responds by clubbing the guy with his chair, a move which ensues that his fate is intertwined with Kuro's.
The best and worst quality of BLACK GOD is that it withholds its mysteries and little else. Though the world of Mototsumitama and doppeliners is complex upon introduction, the manga periodically reveals even more convolutions. Beyond that, the manga exercises Chris Claremont style plotting with a horizon that is crowded with people in shadows, doppeliners who may or may not be in play, unstated agendas, and so on. When not dealing with one of these mysteries, BLACK GOD is quick to deliver. Most threats are presented, then quickly executed. For example volume two heats up its fight between boxing Kuro and a jujitsu fighting Mototsumitama to a boil over the course of that particular volume.
Dall-Young Lim directs BLACK GOD towards a lot of the excess common in the manga/anime tradition. There are numerous tropes in these media that are potentially offensive for their gender politics, or potentially offensive in their condescension. There's what North American fandom call's harem, in which an unimpressive guy never the less manages to win the affection of a host of attractive, interesting women; there is magical girlfriend, in which an unimpressive guy never the less manages to win the affection of a woman who is so impressive, so exotic, that she's literally magical; there is moe, in which a quality such as innocence is fetishizedl there's lolicon, a "lolita complex" attraction to youthful character. BLACK GOD loads up its candy bag with handfuls of all of this.
From the standpoint of someone who is not moved by these tropes, the aggravating factor is that BLACK GOD is consciously forthcoming with justification for these behaviors. Keita might seem like an irredeemable twit who abuses the generosity of others, but when women cling to him, the reader is reminded explicitly in the dialog, and during the critical points in the action that he does in fact have a noble heart. There is a European Mototsumitama with his human companion who look like a healthy middle age man and a young girl, but the manga explains that she's of an unknown older age and looks childlike as the result of a mutation." BLACK GOD is not a series that wants to explore ideas beyond its own concept (doppeliners and spiritual energy). As such, it consistently offers rationale for why it can present an idea without making it a topic to be pondered.
Considering both the super powered beat-em-up and the character conceits, BLACK GOD commits to delivering what people who like genre manga like. If you're interested reading about a scruffy kid laying down the science and seeing bishojo (cute young women) in dangerous situations, know that BLACK GOD make it its mission to get your number.
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.

G’day, mates! Shit, that’s Crocodile Dundee, not Indie Jones…anyway, Ambush Bug popping in again with another handful of comics that do their thinking outside of the box. This week, we feature superheroes, illegal aliens, and undead soldiers. Enjoy!

THE HUNTER #3: Terminal Oblivion DARE Pictures Limited

It’s been fun to see this comic evolve into something pretty darn distinct and special. The first issue of this series really surprised me as it switched gears and switched gears again plot-wise, letting me know that this wasn’t one of those comics where you knew what was going to happen ten pages ahead of the author. In two issues, writer Adam Hamdy has continued to flesh out the characters of The Hunter and especially the Freak into something unique. It’s been especially cool to see the Freak evolve into one of the cooler new characters to grace comics in recent years. This zombified, muscle-bound, man-machine berserker is one of those over the top characters that I want to see more of. David Golding’s artwork continued to evolve and become more fluid as the issues go by. And as the plot forces the Hunter and the Freak together to fight a common foe, it’s evident that this is one of those books that just won’t stop getting better. Seek out THE HUNTER #3 and its previous issues. It will definitely surprise you.

SLOW STORM OGN First Second

This book is a heartfelt, poetic, and quiet accomplishment by Danica Novgorodoff. The imagery is whispy and ethereal; done in ink and light watercolor washes. The artist has a confident hand, making the calm scenes light and steady, yet still capable of drawing frantic and sketchy lines in the more tense moments. The story follows a female firefighter who not only longs for the home of her youth, but struggles with prejudices from her male co-workers. When her path crosses with an illegal immigrant, she is forced to look at herself and make a decision that may cause her tough exterior to melt. All of this drama takes place as a storm brews metaphorically in the distance. This is a powerful read, and one that you won't forget after finishing the last page.

MARLOW: SOUL OF DARKNESS #1 Arcana

This is an undead tale that merely uses zombies as a prop in a much larger story. It's not about a zombie holocaust or anything like that. Writer Aaron Thomas Nelson uses zombies as a metaphor for trauma suffered from those who take part in military combat. This is a thickly nuanced story commenting on the horrors of war and how it can make one hollow on the inside; zombie-like, if you will. That doesn't mean it's completely cerebral. The story doesn't hold back in the @$$-kicking department with some truly unique and stylistically memorable panels from artist Matthew Reynolds. Reynolds shows a confident line and a true gift for making the action pop. Not your typical zombie tale, and surely one that will stick with you given the war-torn state the world is in today, MARLOW is definitely worth seeking out.

Be sure to contact your favorite @$$Hole if you have an independent cool enough to be featured here at Indie Jones.


ADAM STRANGE SPECIAL #1 DC Comics

Nuzzled between the fourth and fifth issues of the RANN/THANAGAR HOLY WAR this ADAM STRANGE SPECIAL is almost puzzling at how bland it is. It’s puzzling because the one-shot is written by Jim Starlin – perhaps the best outer space comic book writer ever. The SPECIAL has Adam Strange jumping through time in a completely ghost-like state. No one can see him, no one can hear him, and the first dozen pages have him jumping through all different times while narrating to himself. There’s captions. There’s captions on captions. There’s captions on captions atop boring inner-monologue. When Strange finally meets what may be the bad guy of the issue the man starts monologuing with him. It makes me think of “The Incredibles” and why is this bad guy standing around lamenting with Adam Strange? The story does come together nicely in the end once Strange sort of figures out what is going on with his time-jumping ghost body, but by that time it is a little too late. Honestly, this whole story did not need a one-shot and could have probably been told in four easy panels in the next issue of RANN/THANAGAR HOLY WAR. Adam Strange fans might like the issue but those expecting a rock solid Jim Starlin adventure can look way past this issue. - Ryan

MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #12 Marvel Comics

I checked out the first five issues of this series. I wasn't too impressed with it, so I decided to take it off my pull. Given the nature of this type of anthology book, that made me run the risk of missing something original and good. I'm a sucker for short stories and I'm sure I missed one or two decent ones in this anthology. I'm glad I decided to check out this latest issue of the series though so I didn't miss out on the short Man-Thing adventure from writer Jai Nitz (DC's EL DIABLO). Nitz does a great job of keeping the pace going and never once did I feel as if the story was truncated or stretched to fit the eight page format. Although the rest of the stories weren't very memorable, the book is worth picking up for Nitz's Man-Thing story alone. I'm a sucker for Man-Thing stories anyway and am usually left a bit saddened that the character has been written so many times, yet so few times effectively. Nitz smartly doesn't really try to give Man-Thing a personality or anything like that (shy of a pretty funny silent panel where Man-Thing offers a token of friendship to a pair of SHIELD Agents). Instead, the two SHIELD Agents whose unlucky job of approaching Man-Thing to register with the Superhuman Registration Act are the ones loaded with personality. What transpires is a funny and fun series of events. If you're like me and are longing for a good Man-Thing yarn, this issue is worth checking out. - Bug

FABLES #75 DC Vertigo

As I tend to do with finale and/or landmark issues like this one here, I'm more here just to lavish my share of gleeful fanboy praise on this book for its quality and consistency. Seventy-five issues now Willingham and crew have been unfolding the FABLES saga and it's yet to miss a beat. The setting is great, the characters are about as fun and likable as you get, and the epic scale of the war between the Fabletown residents and the conquering forces of their former Homelands has been spectacular to watch, especially in this both thrilling and somewhat heartbreaking issue that brings the war to a head. The action, the bloodshed, and the losses on both sides (particularly the huge and somewhat unexpected casualty taken by the Fabletown company this issue) have been pure edge-of-your-seat material to take in, all wrapped up in that trademark FABLES style with its whimsical sense of humor. So while it may tend to get glossed over in casual comic book conversation because of it's high level of consistency or just because it has such a high TPB readership or what have you, FABLES has once again shown itself to be every bit as good as any comic on the stands right now and one of the top tiered books of not only the decade but of all time. Here's to another seventy-five issues of pure comic book reading bliss. - Humphrey

SUB-MARINER: THE DEPTHS #1 Marvel Comics

The Avenging Son himself, Namor has always been one of my favorite jerks in comics, so I was cautiously looking forward to a new miniseries that might see him put some pompous personality back into an increasingly drab Marvel Universe. If he were to set so much as one toe of a winged foot in the comic, that is. I know Peter Milligan is popular for his work on SHADE THE CHANGING MAN, X-STATIX and more, but hell, call me Ishmael if $3.99 on a first issue that doesn’t get beyond an adventurer setting out to prove Atlantis and Namor don’t exist isn’t $3.99 wasted when we’ve been seeing them in Marvel comics since the Golden Age. Gee, I wonder if that thing rattling the submarine really is a giant squid? It couldn’t be the guy on the cover whose name is in the title, could it? Nah, who ever heard of a water-breathing man? The painted-lookin’ art by Esad Ribic is beautiful, but I’d prefer to see him illustrating epic Atlantean vistas and throwdowns with Krang, if ya know what I mean. - Stone
Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 10, 2008, 7:37 a.m. CST

    I love me some Doctor Who...

    by LordPorkington

    I might have to pick up that comic now.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 7:38 a.m. CST

    Weird thing is...

    by LordPorkington

    The wife might even read it too. Who'd have thought it?!

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 7:39 a.m. CST

    Good morning!

    by duct tape wallet

    I mean it!

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 7:46 a.m. CST

    Bug....

    by BangoSkank

    The old New Defenders was my first monthly, and Gargoyle has been my favorite character since..... I don't read the Initiative, can you tell me what can of part he plays and if it's worth picking up?

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Ugh.

    by BangoSkank

    Damn, this site needs an edit option.... or I need to proofread before posting. Hope you catch my drift.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 7:56 a.m. CST

    The Fringe comic is not retelling the TV Show

    by V'Shael

    Just so you know.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 7:57 a.m. CST

    DOCTOR WHO: THE FORGOTTEN #1 was a great issue

    by SpyGuy

    So much better than that previous piece of shit "Agent Provocateur" mini-series by Gary Russell. Guerra's artwork captures the mood perfectly and Tony Lee gives us a solid mystery to solve. This is how IDW should have launched their DOCTOR WHO titles from the beginning.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 7:58 a.m. CST

    One more thing!

    by BangoSkank

    Anyone know if that's the same Brian Keene who wrote The Rising zombie books? I'm assuming it is. I'm reading The Ghoul right now, and find him hit and miss.... Didn't care for Dark Hallow, but thought Terminal was pretty good. I liked The Rising despite the shit ending, but the sequel was a disappointment. However, that said, I fucking LOVED the Conqueror Worms, and will read pretty much anything he writes because of it. I'm stupid like that.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 8:26 a.m. CST

    Green Lantern question...

    by Sailor Rip

    ...I bought the first issue of the revised origin of Hal Jordan then lost interest. When exactly does this arc end?

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Bangoskank

    by Midnightxpress

    Yep, it''s that Brian Keene....given what you said about Keene, you should probably aviod his latest novel, a semi-sequel to Dark Hollow, called Ghost Walk. It's a bit soft compared to his other work, and I enjoyed DH quiet a bit.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Sailor GL

    by optimous_douche

    Can't base this series off the first issue. Issue one was probably the biggest rehash of where we have been.<p> Each issue after though expoentially increases the new material to the legend.<p> Issue 2 might feel a bit like wading through some old Emerald Dawn pages, but if you are a fan of Johns' dialogue you will forgive this fact.<p> Good God though, it has really kickedinto high gear since Sinestro came on the scene.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 9:06 a.m. CST

    optimous_douche

    by Sailor Rip

    Thanks. Maybe I'll check out the trade when it comes out.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Am I the only one

    by One Nation Under Zod

    Who WANTS Lois to die? Even if it's onlt for a year... I want to see some Wonder Woman love interest stories...

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Doctor Who ......

    by Be_a_zed

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Sucks.

    by Be_a_zed

    That is all.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Doctor Who

    by Pogue Mahone

    I've hated the new Doctor Who comic so far... and was hesitant about this one. But I, like Vroom, am a fan of all things Who so I picked it up. And shit! Wasn't it great?!? Spot on dialogue and characterizations! GREAT art! And a wonderful nostalgiac vibe throughout! I can't wait for next issue! Any of you WHO Fans have any guesses on villains?! (That means you too, Vroom!) I'm hoping it's NOT the Master but is someone equally as classic and awesome... The Valeyard? Omega? (I'm off to re-read it and look at the background stuff more clearly!)

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Sailor Rip - Green Latrine

    by Squashua

    I think it's dragged on 2 issues too long; it does rope in The Black Hand though - that's the dude running through the graveyard - and connects him to the Red Lanterns or something. We see in this issue that he acquires a powerful anti-GL weapon.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Johns and Brubaker

    by Itblowstherobot

    I realized last week that a little under half of my monthly pull are written by either Johns or Brubaker... And I couldn't be happier. I'm not reading Uncanny X-Men but I'm reading every other Bru-book and think that he and Johns are the top of the heap in terms of writers.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 10:03 a.m. CST

    I'm glad Douche likes Green Lantern....

    by cookylamoo

    Because frankly, watching arch fiend Sinestro help Hal Jordan get in touch with his daddy issues makes me more than just a little nauseous. Where is that dickhead control freak from Emerald Twilight? The only thing worse would be to watch Dr. Doom help Reed Richards work through his inadequacy problems after being so badly punked in Secret Invasion.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Midnightxpress

    by BangoSkank

    Thanks for the info.... Yeah, I didn't "hate" Dark Hallow... Just wasn't "in love" with it, same can be said for The Rising follow-up. I am about halfway through Ghoul and liking it quite a bit... And yeah, I doubt I'll pick up Ghost Walk unless I read some really positive reviews, simple because of its relation to Dark Hallow.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Venom / Anti-Venom, Mr. Negative, and Li...

    by Squashua

    ... all related to THE SENTRY! <br><br> You heard it here first, True Believer! <br><br> Or, rather, I just thought of that concept and haven't really looked to see if anyone else thought of it. Man, I'm gonna go look now...

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Titans

    by ian216a

    I couldn't read the above review because I am still so fucking angry they gave the book to Winick. So very angry.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 10:50 a.m. CST

    My guess on the DW: THE FORGOTTEN villain? The War Lord.

    by SpyGuy

    The reference to "Games" made me think of the Second Doctor finale "The War Games." If it is the War Lord, I'd love to know how he survived being wiped out of existence by the Time Lords.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Deadpool anyone?

    by Series7

    That comes out today right?

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Not sure if Stone missed the point with Sub-Mariner...

    by Dragon Man

    I don't know if Stone didn't get what this new Sub-Mariner mini is supposed to be about or if he just doesn't care for the concept. I heard about it and intrigued by the idea, I picked up the first issue and it doesn't disappoint. In fact, it's really, really good. It's removing the character from the Marvel Universe and creating a story around him that treats him as a tall tale that actually is true as these explorers go to find out. I love stories like this and issue #1 was a solid start.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Re: Series7

    by Xanthos Samurai

    As far as I'm aware, the new Deadpool did come out today. Anyone heard anything about it?

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Bangoskank

    by Joenathan

    I completely disagree with you about Keene, I think he is terrible with a capital "T". His books suck so bad, they have their own event horizon. <br><br><br><br>In case you were wondering about my opinion...

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Doctor Who... Warlord...

    by Pogue Mahone

    Very interesting indeed.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 11:48 a.m. CST

    I hope they keep the Mac Gargan Venom.

    by rev_skarekroe

    The only good idea to come from Millar's Spider-Man, imo.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Deadpool #1

    by WarpedElements

    I love almost all things Deadpool (hated Cable & Deadpool, Fabian sucks ass writing Deadpool himself. Dunno about cable's personality though), but it seems to be sorta an intro issue if you've never read anything about Deadpool. It's zany and wacky, lotta action. The multiple voices in Deadpool's head is amusing, but I dunno how long the novelty will last. It is interesting, especially when you can see where a normal person would go "Ok do this, maybe I sh-" "BAMN! on it!" sorta zaniness. Enjoyable if you're a Deadpool fan.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, noon CST

    Warped Elements?

    by Series7

    You love almost all things Deadpool, but you don't like Cable Vs Deadpool. That doesn't leave you much to choose from? I really liked volume 1, 2 was a little slow. Gotta get through the rest. <P> Also found a mint copy of New Mutants #1 still in package with the cards in it, with the dead pool card. And only $1, i guess thats pretty good?

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Hey Zod

    by Mr.FTW

    I'm right there with you, DC should have killer off the plot contivence know as Lois Lane decades a go. The character is horrible and always has been. She was nothing more than a plot device damsel in distress in early Superman adventures and her evolution into a "strong, independent" woman they just made her a bitch. Superman/Clark's chraracter development has been stagnant in the comics for years due to the albatros know as Lois Lane around his neck. Let her die... permenantly. I'm with you, let Supe's relationship with Wonder Woman go somewhere instead of dancing circles in off beat stories and Elseworlds books.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Deadpool things:

    by WarpedElements

    Do a general search for Deadpool. There were his first 2 mini series. His first series which was 1-69 plus a buncha specials, he guest starred in a buncha stuff. Agent X as well, buncha appearances in X-Force. Short arc on Secret Defenders, buncha appearances in Wolverine issues, and the crossover with Black Panther was hilarious. Joe Kelly is the one who made Deadpool the on again off again hero/conflicted type in his first run. I think it was Deadpool 1-36 or so that he wrote and established much of his personality. Priest's run came after that and was pretty good. Jimmy Palamoti's stuff was pretty fun, but it was mostly low key urban/mobster fun. Gail Simone's stuff was short, but pretty awesome too.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Doctor Who

    by Kevin Kittridge

    I saw Tony Lee at Comic Con. I was in a group of costumed Doctor Who fans and Tony asked if we would pose for a shot with him (he's holding the very comic reviewed!). <br> I'm the 5th Doctor - complete with celery. I've looked better. <br> http://tinyurl.com/5ve9qc

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Rev/Millar Spider-Man

    by steverodgers

    I thought his MK Spider-Man was excellent - some of his best Marvel work - especially once I got past the art. I also thought 'Down Among the Dead Men' was a great name for a comic arc as well... probably taken from a novel i have never read.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 12:28 p.m. CST

    the rift between good and bad comics

    by THE_ONE_MAN_GANG

    is very large. there is just no in between.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by BangoSkank

    That's cool man, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.... Most of his stuff falls into middle for me.... Neither hate, nor love.... Except for the Worm book, which just felt like a great B-movie to me, and I really enjoyed it.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Zod & FTW Re Lois

    by optimous_douche

    You wnat to see Lois offed time and again traverse no further than 17 years ago to the Armageddon 2001 series. <p> Basically every annual that summer went into the far flung futue of 2001 to see where our heroes would be.<p> Supes had like four books going at teh time and I think Lois lived through maybe one of them.<p> I don't think he ended up with Wonder Woman though, but Maxima, I would have to go back and check it has been a long time.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 1:33 p.m. CST

    WarpedElements

    by Series7

    Yeah I know all that, but this was the first series in a while to spot light Deadpool.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 1:43 p.m. CST

    The Black Sky in Last Will and Testament

    by holidill

    I just finished reading the three HC of the Sinestro Corps war and I got to thinking that maybe the black sky is actually going to be a part of the blackest night story. I don't know why they would release it so early, but it made me think.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Iron Man

    by Joenathan

    Anyone else reading the current series? I'm really enjoying them, Faction's title more than the other, but both have been lots of fun.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Deadpool Series:

    by WarpedElements

    Meh, I'm just saying, based on all his other appearances, and his own series, Fabian did a hack job on what Deadpool is all about. Cable, I dunno about because I never followed his stuff. S'far as I know he's a time traveling badass warrior that appeared in New Mutants, but then he went all pacifist and kumbaya in Fabian's series. Dunno how that phases Cable fans, but I feel he wrote the worst Deadpool series to date. He had a "Wow I did something craaaaaaazzzzzzzzzzy! And look at me make pop culture references!" character. That's not Deadpool. I'd take almost anyone else's take on him.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Night Owls Motion Comic!

    by Ducko5

    Check out this awesome [URL=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZX3RaFZx24]Night Owls Cartoon![/URL]

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Wha hoppen?

    by Ducko5

    I made a newb link error. Oops.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Try this.

    by Ducko5

    Night Owls cartoon: http://tinyurl.com/5dvadp

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Fables

    by Gelatinousman

    It was so good that I read it twice before reading anything else in my weekly books.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 5:44 p.m. CST

    I understand the concept, Dragon Man.

    by stones_throw

    Problem is, the concept sucks. Maybe if they were using all-new characters, like Bug said in his DEVIL-SLAYER review (although I'd still criticize the book for being vapid and unnecessarily slow), but the premise doesn't have a lot of suspense when we KNOW Atlantis and Namor exist, because they've been appearing in Marvel comics for, what, 70 years? What I'd have done would be have the cool parts of the issue (the 1930s World's Fair imagery, the idea of an expedition to Atlantis) as the first few pages, then have the sub get kidnapped and held hostage by Krang or Attuma or someone in his campaign against the light-skinned half breed Namor. Namor is forced into an alliance with the hated surface-dwellers who he is inextricably linked to because of his heritage. Along the way we get to see the wonders of Kirby-esque Atlantis and big-ass sea monsters before probably #3 if we're lucky. As it is, they should have just titled it THE BORING, FORGETTABLE GUY WHO DIDN'T BELIEVE IN THE SUB-MARINER: THE DEPTHS. I don't care about this guy. Milligan didn't make me care about him. He's just killing time before we get to the guy whose name is in the title. Like Bug said, Marvel's rationale on these books is screwy, and I blame Axel Alonso, who edits the MAX line. MAX could be a place for insane, twisted stuff with the more obscure or creepy characters. Instead, the dude's convinced we don't want to see what they put in the title and on the covers.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Last week was the first in...

    by BangoSkank

    months (years?) that I didn't receive a delivery from Midtown Comics in the mail. Hear that? It's my inner-child weeping. <p> Maybe I've cut too much fat from my pull-list.....

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 7:57 p.m. CST

    "68 BIG PAGES for 50 cents"

    by rben

    yup, my childhood ruled, bitches!

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Hopefully a far, distant 'fringe'

    by The StarWolf

    The comic can't be as bad as the series. I made the mistake of catching the pilot and ... wow, the female lead comes across like Darth Vader, blackmailing civilians into doing her bidding, and then changing the agreement for the worse on the fly. And then there's the idiot she cons into joining her ... Made me want to root for the bad guys.

  • Sept. 10, 2008, 9:16 p.m. CST

    Starwolf....

    by BangoSkank

    have you been watching anything other than Little House on the Prairie reruns for the past 20 years? I don't care what you've fooled yourself into believing, both Buffy and Moulder were not without their faults. <p> There was plenty about the Fringe pilot to criticize, but if the biggest failure for you was the morals by which the government agent operated by, perhaps you should stick to reruns of Everyone Loves Raymond and King of Queens. The shortcomings of those two lovable scamps are so easy to overlook.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 12:30 a.m. CST

    Bug & I Had A Conversation About Gargoyle..

    by Buzz Maverik

    ..once. It was one of those fan things. "I never really wanted to work in comics, but if I was given any book, I'd do a DEFENDERS line up centered around the Hulk, Dr. Strange and the Black Widow."<p>"No Gargoyle?"<p>"I'm talking the Defenders, here, Bug..."

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 1:37 a.m. CST

    Judd

    by The Heathen

    Hey Bug, figured I'd peep in from the orbiting Cog Mansion. <br> <br> I haven't read any of "Titans" and I won't (I have a 'No Judd' policy now in place due to our lovely economy and him sucking), but isn't the panel layout directly related most of the time to the writer? Neither this writer or artist is exactly the top tier in quality, but I'm guessing that Judd was more or less being a lazy writer and had the artist draw some splash pages. <br> <br> Also, Michael Turner. Too soon! I would have went with Ed Benes because that would have related to your JLA comment, which btw, I was going to disagree with because I read that one, but then I remembered that I don't remember what happens in that book every month. I think something with the Flash was kinda cool a few months ago? Maybe. Horrible covers too. And don't even get me started on the lame "Sightings" thing DC has implemented. The font alone should be banned from ever being used. I think they should hire me as their graphic designer just for things like that. I'm pretty sure I just did something that was typical of the internets. Oh well. <br> <br> Cogs? <br> <br> Farabee? <br> <br> Good column @$$holes.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 4:10 a.m. CST

    to warped elements...

    by DuncanDisorderly

    How can you accuse Fabian Nicieza of doing a hack job on Cable & Deadpool? Fabian co-created Deadpool, along with Rob Liefeld, and so really has the definitive version of the character in his books...

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 4:15 a.m. CST

    Moral fibre

    by The StarWolf

    Bangoskank - Everyone has flaws, but I'd rather my main characters not behave like the bad guys whose downfall I used to cheer. And the continuity is ludicrously thrown out the window when the scientist is under such tight medical security that only family can visit under controlled circumstances, yet at the end of the episode, he's out for good?! No hearing? No medical review? What's up with this? If if was that easy, why did she need the son to get things started? She's the FBI for criminy's sake. Don't they have ANY legal powers? Apparently not. And the idiot son ... he's just lost a $600,000 deal because of her, yet "Sure, I'll follow your crusade"?!?! Made absolutely no sense whatsoever.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Starwolf...

    by BangoSkank

    I hear you... Although overall, I liked it, the pilot was filled with flaws.... the plot devices you mention above are two great examples. I just thought the FBI agents motivation for trying to save her dying lover, was at the low end of issues I had with it. Sorry if I was an ass in my last post.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 9:14 a.m. CST

    "I'd rather my main characters not behave like the bad guys whos

    by Joenathan

    "I'd rather my main characters not behave like the bad guys whose downfall I used to cheer."<br><br>I just don't get that thought process at all and it is surprisingly common amongst comic book folk. <br><br>I'd much rather follow the story of a complex and flawed character than a white knight any day of the week and yes, I am emphatically stating that any pure, white hat wearing good guy character, just like any moustache twirling bad guy character, is nothing but a lame, 2-D character. BORING! <br><br> so, on to the discussion side of things, what is it about comic books that attracts so many "simplistic" readers? Is it just a hold over from the smiling Pre-code, Pre-Dark Knight/Watchman days or are some "critics" at least partially right when they claim that comics are a haven for the chronically under-read?

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Oh great, El Diablo is a gangsta with a heart

    by Homer Sexual

    He sends money to his family in Mexico,etc. As a bilingual hoodrat, let me just say.....WHATEVER! How lame. Man, If Judd Winick wrote a character like that, he'd be getting blasted all over this forum, instead it gets a good review. I am super liberal, and even I hate that stereotype. <p> On another note, Secret Invasion 6 is..ok. It is perfectly fine and an enjoyable read, but doesn't have the urgency the first three issues have. I know I'll get blasted, but it now seems not BIG enough. I am hoping there will be a monumental, momentous conclusion, hopefully with some sort of twist, to raise it back to "A" level. The side books seem more eventful than the main book these last couple months.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Sub Mariner & DragonMan

    by captaincosmos

    I couldn't agree with you more, Dragon Man. "The Depths" has a great, pulp-adventure feel to it, as it creates an alternative history for the Marvel U, where Namor is very much an unproven legend, just like Atlantis. I really dug how they set it in the 50's, but with technology that obviously didn't exist at that time. Sure we know it's Namor attacking the sub, but they did such a good job of setting up the story, the mystery of the missing adventurer and piling on tons of atmosphere and ominous tone. And while I didn't love Ribic's art on Silver Surfer: Requim so much, for this old-school underwater adventure, the painterly look is absolutely perfect. Will the remaining 4 issues live up to the set up of the first? Who knows, but I'm definitely all in on this one. Oh, and could one of you Assholes revisit Brubaker's "Criminal" with a new review? That book needs some fuckin' love ya'll!

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Homer

    by Joenathan

    I think people will change their tunes when SI is read as a trade. The first 5 issues have taken place over just a few hours time, story wise and when read all together, its going to move with a breakneck pace.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 1:35 p.m. CST

    2-D Charachters joen

    by optimous_douche

    Joenathan great points about complex characters. Earlier in the TalkBacks I received a heaping pile of talk from a poster about my Gl review and the fact that they didn’t like seeing a softer side of Sinestro.<p> I have to disagree though. All evil , all the time is boring unless it is some seriously fucked up evil. However, even then can we really be shocked anymore? This is one of the things I have loved about Johns’ and Morrison’s Lex Luthor, the bald bastard truly believes he’s on the side of angels, and when done right, they make the reader believe it as well.<p> Yes, I want to see the time prior to Sinestro becoming a complete totalitarian of his sector. I want to see more than just some mwahaha evil schemes unfold. I want humanity from both my heroes and my villains.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 2:33 p.m. CST

    I agree

    by Joenathan

    Classic good versus evil stories are great, I love them, but not when its Dudley Doright versus Snidely Whiplash and that doesn't mean that the lines between hero and villain have to be blurred, what it means is that real characters have complex motivations and reasons for doing what they do. <br><br>If a character is just doing what he does for: "truth justice and mom's apple pie, stay in school, kids and life will be perfect!" then I'm not interested and I don't get why anyone is. The hero is the handsome one and the bad guy is the ugly one. Screw that. <br><br>But my question is: Why is there such a large and vocal gathering of the types of people who do like that kind of crap in the comic book world? Is it the tights? What is it?

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 4:01 p.m. CST

    I Think

    by optimous_douche

    Becasue there is comfort in the chestnuts.<p> Even I veer back to the Big Blue from time to time just to check-in. I know the Man of Steel is OK, but there is a certain comfort in settling in for a good read with characters that you know so well.<p> I wonder if most collectors are like me and have evolved from religiously collecting a title just becasue they must have every one and moved to following writers they like from property to property.<p>

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 4:09 p.m. CST

    DuncanDisorderly

    by WarpedElements

    Just because Fabian co-created the character doesn't mean he did the best job with him. Stan Lee created the X-men, that doesn't mean he'd write THE definitive X-men story. Joe Kelly defined Deadpool as simply a screwy guy in a messed up world. He's neither hero nor anti-hero, he kills, he saves the day, he keeps old ladies prisoner sometimes. Fabian's hack version was as I described: "HEEEEY I'M GOING TO MAKE POP CULTURE REFERENCES AND DO SOMETHING ZANY OVER ON THIS PANEL! WOOOO!". Between that and Fabian pushing his political views to the forefront and writing Deadpool as actually insane (His killing of the Usama Bin Laden stand in, etc) instead of simply a guy with screwed up outlook on life, sorta ruined the character. Fabian did a hack job, instead of dealing with the character's changes and growth throughout the years he *didn't* write him, he wrote him as he appeared in his early 90s incarnation.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 4:10 p.m. CST

    I gave up after 2 issues of Secret Invasion...

    by loodabagel

    I enjoyed the title, but I have a strict "3 Dollar Policy." I absolutely refused to pay the unjustified 4$ price tag. Comics need to be cheap again. If Dark Horse and Image can charge 3$ an issue with no ads, than Marvel and Dc should take a lesson from them and lower their prices. I would be very happy to see cheaper comics.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 4:11 p.m. CST

    OPtimous...

    by loodabagel

    I notoriously gave up on Amazing Spider-Man after One More Day and I haven't looked back.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Lood and Optimus

    by Joenathan

    I can see not buying a comic due to a personal budget concern, but I think you can expect monkeys flying from your butt before you can expect comics to EVER get cheaper. <br><br>The only Superman I read now is Morrison's. All star is a great example of a classically good character written in interesting ways, but I don't think thats what some of these guys want. I think they want Batman walking down the street, smiling and waving at the kiddies. I think they want the norman rockwell silver age back, which while awesome for insane ideas and crazy shit all around, really sucked when it came to complex characterizations. Say what you will about the grim and gritty ghetto post Dark Knight, the one good thing that bloomed from that manure pile were 3-D characters. I understand the bond one can feel between yourself and a long loved and read character, but once something evolves, it can not de-evolve. (unless you're Hank McCoy)

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 4:26 p.m. CST

    loodabagel

    by WarpedElements

    You're not missing much. Bendis went cheapo and said found a buncha people that are descended from previous heros, Dr. Druid, the original Ghost Rider guy from the old west, etc etc, and said "HEY! YOU'VE ALL GOT POWERS" and Nick Fury trained them to save the day as his new Howling Commandos. But what can you expect from a guy who creates a heroine who's origin is quite similar to MADCAP of all people.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Monkeys would be cool...

    by loodabagel

    I could sell their sorry asses to science, then I could buy tons of comics. But yeah, right now, I've narrowed it down to All-Star Superman, Daredevil, The Twelve and anything Brian K Vaughan touches.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 4:34 p.m. CST

    And I tradewait on Ex Machina...

    by loodabagel

    Because only very recently have I been able to buy single issues. And do I want my bookshelf to look like it's missing something? Hell no. So I'm actually kind of grateful for the ungodly wait between issues and trades on that book. I should have some more bread in my pocket when it eventually comes out. And yeah, comics never will get cheaper, but they should. Does Joe Quesada really need to gold plate his dick every single week?

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Looda

    by WarpedElements

    No love for the Kirkman created heroes at Image? Invincible and Brit and the like are enjoyable reads pertaining to the superhero genre. Course, I always wait for the trades for those too.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Good vs. Evil

    by Mr.FTW

    It's a pendulum, it swings back and forth. We live in a completely blurred grey world just flip on any news program, sometimes its nice to see things clearly in black and white. We started out with squeeky clean good guys and down and dirty bad guys and then when things like the Watchmen and Dark Knight came out and people clamored to it. But there comes a point when it swings back the other way and after events like Identity Crisis people want to see their good guys be good guys again. Just because the good guys like Superman have a distinct moral code they stand on doesn't mean they have to be boring, that all depends on the writer and their skill. Just like Optimus Douche's Lex example, Lex may think he is in the right and a good write might make you believe he is but at the end of the day he'd be willing to kill millions of people to achieve his goals and that makes him an evil bastard. It's clear what side of the line he falls on but boring it is not. Chracters can have flaws but they don't have to be broken like DC's asshole, paranoid Batman of the last few years. People just get tired of that, I know I do. They are called Superheroes not broken, miserbly flawed, moraly ambiguos guys. The capes and tights don't always have to be right or even make the right decisions but even when they are wrong or make mistakes it's nice to know where their motivations were coming from. Again that falls to the skills of a writer. As time passes it will swing back and you'll get plenty of moody, pissy, morally ambiguous characters that are just that character neither hero or villian. If that is what you like that is great you've got plenty to read from Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Max and Vertigo titles but don't insult people who like something different.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 4:51 p.m. CST

    Ah! I forgot about Kirkman...

    by loodabagel

    Unfortunately, I've only ever read The Walking Dead (still planning on picking up that next trade) and now isn't the time to get into new stuff. One of these days, I tell myself. Invincible shall be read. BE it 10 years, 20 years, 30 years...

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 8:26 p.m. CST

    Late responses...

    by Ambush Bug

    Bango, Gargoyle's role in THE INITIATIVE is purely cameo. He often appears in group shots, but I have a feeling that Slott has a warm place in his heart for the Defenders because of the inclusion of Hellcat, Gargoyle, and even the reimagining of Cloud in the first 12 issues of the INITIATIVE. Here's hoping Slott will give Gargoyle a line or maybe even a subplot sometime soon.<br><br> And even though he is a Guru of Awesomeness, I have to disagree with Buzz. My Defenders will always be Nighthawk, Valkyrie, Son of Satan, Hellcat, Gargoyle and Devil-Slayer. I was first introduced to the book when they were starring in the book. It's been proven time and time again that pairing Hulk, Strange, and Namor together is boring as hell without these characters cleaning up their messes.<br><br> And Homer, give EL DIABLO a try. It's got a GHOST RIDER feel to it. And I have no problems with the writer choosing to write the character as hispanic. He's not your typical gangbanger, but not overly sentimental either. Winick would have written him with a gay sidekick and a horse with Herpes. Then he would have scrunched in some random kinky sex scenes for good measure. There's none of that here. EL DIABLO has more of an authentic western feel where an outlaw is forced to be a hero.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 10:01 p.m. CST

    tradewaiting

    by steverodgers

    i find myself doing that on tons of comics these days - and then forget that was my plan and never get them. not sure what that says... but my monthly title count is dwindling rapidly. captain a and walking dead i can't stop myself from buying every month, while fables,ex machina, criminal, iron fist, and goon are always worth the wait.

  • Sept. 12, 2008, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Lood

    by Joenathan

    I am with you on the Twelve. Great book. Same with Daredevil. You should be reading Cap. <br><br> You what sucks? I just finished the second issue of Squadron Supreme by Chaykin... P to the motherfucking U! It is rancid. Ugh. I was excited for the title too.

  • Sept. 12, 2008, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Lood 2

    by Joenathan

    "Does Joe Quesada really need to gold plate his dick every single week?"<br><br>First off, yes, because too much friction rubs that shit off quick. Secondly: Wouldn't you, if you had the oppurtunity? Thirdly: ...Ah... I don't think he's the one setting the price points, but whatever...

  • Sept. 12, 2008, 10:50 a.m. CST

    FTW

    by Joenathan

    I'm not talking about "good" characters or "evil" characters or even shades of gray. Pay attention. <br><br>I'm talking about 2 dimensional characters with no humanity, no conflict and no character. <br><br>That doesn't mean that I want Superman painted in shades of gray. I don't. He's a good person raised by good people, thats why he does what he does. His adoption of this planet despite his extremely alien roots works, it makes since, the fact that he is good isn't a problem or a bad thing, like I said: See All Star Superman.<br><br>The problem I'm talking about is: when you have a guy who's parents are murdered before his eyes and he goes soooo crazy that he decides that the best thing to do is to dress up as a bat and fight crime, he is NOT a smiling "stay off drugs, kids" type superhero. It doesn't work. Its dumb. If you shoehorn him in as one, the character goes flat. Why? Because that horrible moment defines him and determines who is and will be, if you ignore that in favor for Rainbow Batman, then you are ignoring the character.<br><br>Now, don't mistake flaws and humanity and character for grim and gritty, they aren't the same thing. Flaws, humanity, character these things are the bricks with which to build real, relatable, interesting, three-dimensional characters instead of flat, boring, parade-waving, smiling cardboard cut-outs being "Good American Citizens! Huzzah!" Good characters make for good stories. Bad characters make for inane four color fisticuffs without consequence and I have zero problem with stating that if you prefer comics and their characters to be written so poorly, in my opinion you have bad taste.

  • Sept. 12, 2008, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Pull lists

    by Joenathan

    Whats everyone getting?<br><br>I'm getting:<br>Ultimate Spider-man<br> Ultimate Fantastic Four (maybe not for much longer though.) <br> Ultimate Origins<br> Powers<br> Walking Dead<br> Iron Fist (might be dropped soon) <br> Thunderbolts (ditto) <br> Astonishing X-Men (also somehow leaning toward the chopping block) <br> Daredevil<br> Captain America<br> Squadron Supreme (I’ll glance at the third, but probably not get it.) <br> Captain Britain and M-I13 (wavering due to apathy) <br> The Twelve<br> Buffy<br> Wolverine: Old Man Logan<br> 1985<br> Kickass<br> Fantastic Four<br> War Heroes<br> Secret Invasion<br> Mighty Avengers<br> New Avengers<br> Iron Man: D.O.S. <br> Invincible Iron Man<br> Blue Monday (is that even still being published) <br> Strangetown (ditto) <br> DMZ<br> Final Crisis<br> Planetary (if the last one ever comes out) <br> All Star Superman (ditto) <br> Mouse Guard<br><br> I think that’s it… maybe… I feel like I forgetting something…

  • Sept. 12, 2008, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Joe/Pull List

    by steverodgers

    holy shit! I wish i could pick up that many comics a month. that is great. maybe it's age or the ease of storage, or amazon discount, or just going nuts once a year at comic-con in the 40/50 percent off trade bins - but i think i am now officially a trade guy. that said nothing beats a monthly/weekly fix of new comics. i salute your list sir!

  • Sept. 12, 2008, 12:01 p.m. CST

    thanks

    by Joenathan

    Yeah, I was surprised by the length, because I usually have like 4 or 5 for three weeks and then 1 big weeks. It swells and shrinks as creators come and go. Right now, I think I'm just riding a popular creator wave. A few years ago Bendis and Millar and Ellis probably only did like 6 books all together, now... sheesh... Oh well.<br><Br>It is a lot, though, looking at it. My thing is every six months or so, I turn around and sell 90% of it back to my comic shop as the guy does the convention circuit and says current stuff sells best at the dealer tables. He gives me a fairish price, usually about $100-ish or so for a 1-2 foot tall stack of comics and then I turn around and use that to buy more.<br><br>When I'm thinking about starting a new series, I also usually start with the first couple of trades before I go monthly.<br><br>Yeah, I'm a big fan of wednesdays.

  • Sept. 12, 2008, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Joe re: Planetary

    by The Heathen

    I believe it came out last year sometime. I'm not sure though. I have the first Absolute edition and I'm waiting for the second for bookshelf consistency I suppose.

  • Sept. 12, 2008, 12:54 p.m. CST

    I think there is one more Planetary

    by Joenathan

    The last one ended with them heading into the bleed and I read that there's supposed to be one more. #26, I think.

  • Sept. 12, 2008, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Oh wait...

    by loodabagel

    Okay, I also pick up Kick-Ass, and Ultimate Spider-Man and Runaways are being mailed to my old address and I should be able to catch up on those come December. So that's... 6 comics. Not bad.

  • Sept. 12, 2008, 2:23 p.m. CST

    I forgot...

    by Joenathan

    NewUniversal.<br><br>I knew there was something.

  • Sept. 12, 2008, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Joenathan, re: Blue Monday/Strangetown

    by vroom socko

    The last I'd heard, Strangetown is going to be coming out as a straight-to-TPB release. As for Blue Monday, word is that there's a new mini coming out in November.

  • Sept. 13, 2008, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Joen

    by BangoSkank

    All-Star Batman - Yeah, that's right, I read it. And enjoy it. So there.<p> All Star Superman - Never been a DC guy, much less a Supes fan. This shit is quality though. <p> Astonishing X-men - trying to adjust to the change in writing/art.....<p> Avengers / Invaders - so-so, will see if I stick with it after a three month hiatus<p> Dark Tower - Tower Junkie all the way<p> Fantastic Four - Only reading 'cause it relates to Millar's little Marvel-world<p> Kick-Ass - enjoying, but no blown-over<p> Marvel 1985 - fun, but not moving as quickly as I'd like<p> Mighty Avengers - Fun stuff<p> New Avengers - Loved since the beginning<p> Planetary - One of the greatest books ever put out. When it's put out<p> Secret Invasion - Enjoying<p> The Stand - Looking forward to<p> Uncanny X-men - The one comic I can't give up no matter the quality, though am enjoying<p> Wolverine - LOVING the new storyline<p> Wolverine Origins - Just picked up because of the Legacy crossover<p> X-Factor - Great stuff<p> X-Force - Been enjoying since return<p> X-men Legacy - On the chopping block<p> <p> <p> I've probably cut at least ten books a month in the last six months..... as you can see I am (and have always been) a X-men / Avengers guy......

  • Sept. 13, 2008, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Before I went poor...

    by loodabagel

    <p>My pull list was pretty similar to Joenathan's,</p> <p>Astonishing X-Men</p> <p>Ultimate Spider-Man</p> <p>All-Star Supderman</p> <p>Runaways</p> <p>NewUniversal</p> <p>Daredevil</p> <p>Kick-Ass</p> <p>Criminal</p> <p>The Twelve</p> <p>Fantastic Four</p> <p>Ultimate Origins</p> <p>Hellboy: The Crooked Man (actually, I might as well finish this mini. Fuck eating.</p> <p>Final Crisis</p> <p>Buffy</p> <p>Young Liars</p> <p>Batman</p> <p>Secret Invasion</p> <p>Teen Titans</p> <p>Final Crisis-No, that was actually dropped pre-money woes. I dig me some Grant Morrison, but I had no idea what was going on.</p>

  • Sept. 13, 2008, 4:17 p.m. CST

    What I've dropped in the last year....

    by BangoSkank

    I dropped all my Ultimate stuff, one at a time, over the last couple of years.... I trade-wait for the walking dead now. Dropped Daredevil some time ago, same with Fables and Powers, when I realized I just didn't give a shit anymore. For as much as I loved the old/new Squadron Supreme, they lost me during the Ultimate's crossover, and I read the first issue of the new series and didn't care for it at all. Also tried the first issue of War Hereos, and just didn't dig it enough to add it to my pull-list.... I read the first six issues of Buffy, and although I liked it, I didn't love it enough to keep going with it...

  • Sept. 13, 2008, 5:24 p.m. CST

    No Goon?

    by steverodgers

    Add it to the list guys - its fantastic.

  • Sept. 15, 2008, 8:54 a.m. CST

    Goon

    by Joenathan

    I've only heard good things, I think I'm just looking for the right place to jump in.<br><br>I dropped Fables too, I kind of wish I hadn't but at the same time, I had definitely lost interest. Maybe I'll pick up the next trade.<br><br>I think Ulimate Spider-man is consistantly one of the best superhero reads being put out today

  • Sept. 16, 2008, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Cancel existence!

    by loodabagel

    All-Star Superman 12 comes out tomorrow. Cancel the existence of everything else.