Comics

AICN COMICS REVIEWS THE STAND! SUPERMAN! DEADPOOL! AND MORE!

Published at: Sept. 17, 2008, 6:53 a.m. CST by ambush bug

#18 9/10/08 #7

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) THE STAND: CAPTAIN TRIPS #1 SUPERMAN: ESCAPE FROM BIZARRO WORLD HC GN CIVIL WAR: HOUSE OF M #1 GREEN LANTERN COPRS #28 DEADPOOL #1 Raiders of the Long Box presents THE UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY OF LEX LUTHOR OGN dot comics presents… Big Eyes For the Cape Guy presents TOTO! VOL 1 & 2 CHEAP SHOTS!

THE STAND: CAPTAIN TRIPS #1

Written by: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Art by: Mike Perkins and Laura Martin Published by: Marvel Comics Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

THE STAND is hands down my favorite Stephen King book - a large novel I've read through twice. The last time I tried to read it I got about sixty pages in, felt a bit lethargic, and actually ran to the store to buy the TV-movie starring Lieutenant Dan, Pretty in Pink, and Parker Lewis. While it's no 10 hour HBO adaptation, it certainly does the job.
Perhaps the only other genre that can capture the magic of King's novel is the world of comic books. While I love King's THE DARK TOWER series I wasn't too crazy about THE DARK TOWER: THE GUNSLINGER BORN mini. That didn't stop me from snagging THE STAND: CAPTAIN TRIPS #1 the moment I saw it on the, well, stand.
Of course seeing that was a five issue miniseries I immediately hoped that Marvel wasn't going to try doing THE STAND in just five issues. After reading the comic I'm glad to say that is not the case with CAPTAIN TRIPS being the first of hopefully several miniseries that will bring the massive, epic book to life.
Writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa hasn't taken many liberties with the story he doesn't really need to. Aguirre-Sacasa updates the book for the Y2K crowd just as King did when he updated his own novel from the seventies to the eighties. The tale is a timeless one: a military plague creeps out of an Army base and thanks to man's desire to live the virus ends up killing everyone. Frannie, Stu, and Larry are three very different people from three very different places and they don't know their paths are intertwined yet as the virus, Captain Trips, starts to decimate the country.
The first issue acts as an introduction to their characters with the virus taking a backseat. It doesn't make for the most interesting first issue in terms of action but absolutely brings King's story to life. This isn't even "an adaptation" but a new way to bring THE STAND to readers that is so above and beyond the television miniseries. Artist Mike Perkins does an amazing job bring this world to life and bringing these three different worlds (Texas, Maine, and New York) to life. Visually you feel the difference when you look at the panels and nothing of this story feels rushed.
The artwork is fantastic, the story is spot-on, and Marvel hits a home-run with THE STAND: CAPTAIN TRIPS. It's so good that even Stephen King will read this comic and say, "Wow!" It is a rare treat for new and old fans of King's epic.
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

SUPERMAN: ESCAPE FROM BIZARRO WORLD HC

Written by Geoff Johns and Richard Donner Art by Eric Powell Published by DC Comics Reviewed by Stones Throw

I remember enjoying the issues of Geoff Johns and Richard “I directed SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE and now I’m having SUPERMAN the comic written for me” Donner’s Bizarro storyline in ACTION COMICS that I picked up last year, so this was a cool hardcover to get a chance to look through. Contained within it are all three issues of the Bizarro World epic that ran through ACTION COMICS, plus three cool back-ups reprinting classic Bizarro stories and some nice, though hardly insightful, introduction and commentary by Brian K. Vaughan and writer Geoff Johns.
By far the best thing about these issues is the art from THE GOON’s Eric Powell. It’s great to see a truly singular style get a chance to draw one of comics’ biggest icons. He brings a cool and creepy Universal horror feel to Bizarro’s cuboid homeworld and its freakish denizens, and a refreshingly Golden Age take on Big Blue (Superman, FYI), with elements of the Silver Age comics and the movies, like the Fortress of Solitude and little blue spaceships mixed in for the full neo-classical flavor. I can’t say he wowed me with a particularly fresh take on Bizarro World, but what was there was nice to look at and drawn in an expressive, clear style, so I can’t quibble.
As we’ve come to expect with Johns, his and Donner’s story moves along at a nice clip too, with some cool scenes and touching moments of emotion that get right to the heart of the Superman mythos in kind of an obvious way. I’ve got to say that what surprised me the most, and what caused the storyline to suffer in comparison to Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s amazingly heartfelt and demented ode to Bizarro World in the pages of ALL STAR SUPERMAN (which, unfortunately for these issues, saw print at about the same time last year), is just how straightforward they were with Bizarro and his home planet, which is hardly a new concept.
See, a few years ago, DC had this giant-@$$ event called INFINTE CRISIS, which was going to clear up all their continuity problems once and for all and let them finally get down to telling fun new classics with their cast of iconic characters, only they never quite got around to that side of it. You might have heard of it, they’ve got another one called FINAL CRISIS going on at the moment. This seems like one of the storylines that came out of that short-lived era of possibilities and excitement between two giant-@$$ events. “Cool! We can go to Bizarro World!” But as the back-up stories kindly provided by DC show, the Bizarros have been around for a pretty long time and have had a lot done with them. Starting back at entry-level is fun at first, but not totally necessary.
OK, that’s the linking paragraph out of the way, now I can talk about the reprints. Way ahead of the competition is a Curt Swan story from 1960 called “The Mark of Bizarro”. Bizarro #1 returns home one day to find Bizarro Lois has had a baby—only it’s a hideous freak, the spitting image of a young Superman. The other residents of Bizarro World set upon the kid, so Bizarro #1 hides him in a shell floating in space, which is actually a satellite which takes him away to Earth, leaving his Bizarro parents grieving. As you can tell, it’s pretty heady stuff. Loss, alienation, intolerance, family, robots conveniently driving cars into quicksand, it’s all covered.
ALL STAR SUPERMAN POINTS: Bizarros invading Earth, carrying a warped version of the flag; a lone sane inhabitant of Bizarro World; Superman building himself a new (lead-lined) suit; a sense of loss yet achievement for Superman in the end, etc.
Also included is another one drawn by Curt Swan, from DC COMICS PRESENTS in 1984, featuring Superman and Bizarro teaming up to stop a Bizarro Amazo from handing out superpowers to innocent people, and John Byrne’s Bizarro tale from MAN OF STEEL #5.
It might have seemed like I was pretty hard on the ESCAPE FROM BIZARRO WORLD storyline, and it is definitely a fun time. But I also think this story is a good example of the negative effect of DC’s reboot mania, which is the reason the All Star line (in the case of ALL STAR SUPERMAN at least, I’m not sure what’s going on with the other one) was established: take everything that’s been done with these characters on board, build on it and progress, rather than pacing around over the same few square feet over and over again. It might be a nice area, but the walk starts to repeat itself after a while. ESCAPE FROM BIZARRO WORLD is gonna be a great story for younger readers and those new to the Superman mythos, but, bizarrely, I found a 48 year old story read by kids half the age of your average comic book geek today had more depth.
Which, y’know, is what we want in our Bizarro comics.

CIVIL WAR: HOUSE OF M #1

Writer: Christos N. Gage Artist: Andrea Divito Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Jinxo

This is kind of weird. Now we have big crossover events crossing over with other big crossover events. So normally you would have,say, Spider-Man with a big slug at the top that says SECRET INVASION! But… what do you do when slug lines collide? Which “event” is the title of the book and which is the “event”? The cover and first page say this is the HOUSE OF M: CIVIL WAR. But in the publishing information on page one, it says CIVIL WAR: HOUSE OF M. Not that any of that matters to the story, but the idiocy of the naming problem made me laugh.
What about the story? The last time I checked in on the HOUSE OF M reality was back with the HOUSE OF M: AVENGERS mini. That was okay. I’m just growing more and more confused over the relevance of anything HOUSE OF M. It was an altered fake reality that came and went and wasn’t crazy exciting in the first place. If we’re going to keep returning to it can we just make it a full fledged alternate reality instead of one that currently is, well, erased? I mean, what is the point to any HOUSE OF M tale when, really, each story should end with, “Yadda yadda yadda… it all got erased”?
And part of the reason I want HOUSE OF M‘s status in the Marvel Universe to be straightened out is that so far I actually like this new book and would like it more if I felt in some way it was relevant and not part of a dead end what’s-the-point piece of continuity. Oddly enough this book doesn’t dive right into recent times where you would have expected most of the HOUSE OF M continuity manipulations to have taken place. Instead this book starts with wee baby Magneto in World War II. It actually feels like it could be part of the main Marvel continuity. Are there tweaks and changes? Of course there are. But the main continuity is always being tweaked and adjusted so the changes don’t feel crazy out of place. It feels more like a standard revision of Magneto’s past, and one I actually like a lot. I know in the end the story must go horribly wrong with Magneto becoming the uber despot, but right now the story is still at the point where you like the guy. At the very least you can’t help but feel for the guy. You think your life is rough? Yikes. The section where Magneto’s happy family life literally goes up in flames is particularly effecting. His whole life is just one kick in the ass after another. Again, you can’t help but sympathize while still being aware those bad events have him destined for no damn good.
Andrea Divito’s art in the book also deserves mention. The very first pages set in WWII do a nice job of setting a tone by giving the art a washed out, almost sepia toned look. The shots look old and the people and places look pale, drained of life and hope. They don’t hold to the look long, just long enough for the impact. The scene I mentioned earlier where Magneto’s first “house” goes up in flames is likewise nicely orchestrated. The techniques are comic book 101 uses of light and shadow, of dramatic poses. But it is all done to perfect effect. Magneto letting loose his pain, his saving his daughter who may be beyond saving, her form just a black silhouette, the angry father taking his revenge…I could go on. Might be comic book 101 but it’s f***ing A+ composition.
Given that the original CIVIL WAR saga pissed me off and HOUSE OF M left me cold I am pleasantly surprised that a book combining the two can have me this excited and hopeful. Guys, I’m really liking this. Please don’t mess it up.
Jinxo is Thom Holbrook, lifelong comic book reader, and the evil genius behind poobala.com. He may appear cute and cuddly but if encountered avoid eye contact and DO NOT attempt to feed.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #28

Writer: Pete Tomasi Artist: Luke Ross Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

There seem to be three types of titles churning out of DC right now.
There are the titles that directly acknowledge a crisis, strike that, a FINAL CRISIS is upon us. These are generally identified by the words FINAL CRISIS emblazoned on the cover and they usually chuck another line into the UPC code to up the price an extra buck (but ooooohhh the cover is soooo shiny).
Then there are the titles that are touched in a peripheral sense by CRISIS, like GREEN LANTERN’S ret-con, or BATMAN’S foreshadowed end of days with R.I.P. There is nary a Libra or dead Flash in sight, yet these types of titles benefit by being able to darken their worlds thanks to the overarching theme “evil will triumph” that FINAL CRISIS is blanketing across the DC universe.
Finally there are books like GREEN LANTERN CORPS that seem content to just tell a damn good story and will figure out what the hell FINAL CRISIS means to them probably at the same time we all figure out what the hell it means period.
This is not a slap in the face to CRISIS; I’m enjoying 85% of what’s happening. But it is damn refreshing to turn off my organic comic database of facts, events, and obscure plot threads to just enjoy one self-contained story from month-to-month. For the past two months Tomasi has been doing some inventive original story-telling in GREEN LANTERN CORPS by remembering the two things that can make this title succeed: deep characterization and cosmic ass-kickery.
I’ll admit I was one of the collectors that jumped ship from this title at the end of the “Sinestro Corp War”. I figured, could there really be anything better than what was happening in the life, or I should say the past life, of Hal Hordan? While not necessarily more interesting, GLC is definitely keeping in step with its own present day perspective. For anyone that is bitching about the fact GREEN LANTERN is starting to get mired in its lengthy flashback, GL CORPS is the book for you. I was actually waiting for the moment when someone would ask “Where’s Hal Jordan?” and Guy Gardner would respond with his usual snark, “In 1994, hanging out with Sinestro.” While I did not get my break of the 4th wall, what I did get was some phenomenal present day emerald justice.
When an issue opens with a vat of eyeballs floating in a hyperbolic gel tank a la Luke Skywalker in Empire Strikes Back, you know you’re in for a special treat. The ocular grapes in question belong to the family members of Green Lanterns in training and were collected after they rained down from the sky at the close of last issue. Bringing in their resident ghost whisperer Saarek, the boys on OA learn that this literal skull-fucking was the result of some peeved off sentient insect Yellow Lanterns. What I found most interesting about this issue was not the fact that a Lantern has ESDP (extra sensory dead perception), nor the retribution paid to the yellow bugs. While all of that is good stuff, what blew me away was how Tomasi handled the reactions of the newbie Lanterns. Instead of each flying off to exact their own kind of justice, they simply said, “I quit.” When politicians talk about family values, this is it folks. This was the finest example in recent memory of the moral fortitude required to wear a ring.
I was also wowed by the very simple interaction between Guy Gardner and his on again/off again paramour Tora “Ice” Olafsdottir. All of us older collectors will remember the JLI days back in the 80s when Guy used to bludgeon Ice with overt sexual innuendos in an attempt to gain her affection. Whoever said comics can’t evolve or are for children needs to read the two pages where Ice appears on OA. Granted it took Mr. Gardner 20 years to evolve from junior high schoolboy with a crush to a real man, but hey, it is evolution.
Perhaps the only thing that put me off on this issue and its predecessor is the formation of the new GL bar and hangout owned by Guy and Kyle Rayner. Caution, creators: remember all it took was one bar and a snot nosed brat to turn the brilliance of “All in the Family” into the drek that was “Archie Bunker’s Place” and once the “Peach Pit” appeared “90210” it went to 9021oh-no. And honestly, what is there to run, really? Can’t the guys in green just create a bunch of ring constructs to wait tables and flip burgers? Tomasi is handling it well for now, but I really don’t want to see too many panels devoted to Guy and Kyle cleaning vomit out of a urinal in the future.
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.

DEADPOOL #1

Written by: Daniel Way Art by: Paco Medina and Juan Vlasco Published by: Marvel Comics Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

Why was DEADPOOL ever cancelled? Why? The character is awesome and I've never had a bad time reading a DEADPOOL book. Daniel Way rips right into the latest DEADPOOL series full force and never had a bad second writing this book. As a Skrull Invasion crossover Way hits this right out of the park as he writes what has to be the best single issue of the entire invasion. DEADPOOL is a book that has everything right inbetween its covers and all I can say is welcome back, DEADPOOL - you've been missed.
If you've been hiding under a rock, the Skrulls have attacked Earth. They beat everyone up and they disguise themselves as Jarvis, Spider-Woman, and Dr. Bong. The heroes rally and try to come up with what to do next. The Skrulls continue to invade, landing themselves in a baseball park only to find they are being attacked by some ugly mascot.
Of course, the ugly mascot is our favorite merc-with-a-mouth who starts tearing the Skrulls to shreds. It's nearly like a videogame as wave after cocky wave go after Deadpool as the dome closes on the field. The Skrulls think they have it made because they've locked in Deadpool. They never realize that it is they who are locked in with him.
Now, plotwise you are getting lot. It's not like we are expecting Daniel Way to be channeling Charles Dickens. It's Deadpool so we expect a lot of great dialogue coupled with meaningless violence. That all comes in spades and the book never fails to disappoint.
I can't say enough about Paco Medina's artwork - the guy should be drawing every Marvel book there is. His Deadpool is perhaps the best looking Deadpool ever drawn, besting any comers from Joe Mad to Ed McGuinness.
There's no real reason to continue on about the plot of the story - just know that if you are a fan of Deadpool this is for you. If you are a fan of Marvel Comics - this is for you. Hell if you are a fan of a good time this is for you. DEADPOOL #1 is the most fun you'll have reading a book this month so the only choice you have is to get your grubby little hands all over it.

Editor’s Note: The internet is a big place filled with too many websites, blogs, and cyber-ramblings to count. Overlap is inevitable sooner or later and that’s what happened with our “It Came From the Bargain Bin” section here at AICN Comics. I was recently contacted by Toby Finch, the writer of a column by the same name who has been using the title for quite some time. Not wanting to ruffle feathers and in my eternal quest to soften up the harsh realm that the internet has become, I wanted to extend our apologies to Mr. Finch for using the title of his own Bargain Bin column and toss you all a link to that column so you can check it out yourselves. Be sure to check out the original “It Came From the Bargain Bin” here.
This left us in search of a new title for our quarter comics section, so our very own Bargain Bin Jumper BottleImp came up with this little logo and thus our “It Came From the Bargain Bin” will now and forever more be called…

Every comic shop has them… battered long boxes jam-packed with dog-eared titles ranging from forgotten heroes of the 1970s to multiple copies of chromium-covered “collector’s item” comics from the Big Bust of the 1990s. But if you are patient, and dig deep enough, you just may find something special…

LEX LUTHOR: THE UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY OGN

Writer: James D. Hudnall Artist: Eduardo Barreto Color Artist: Adam Kubert Published by: DC Comics Reviewed by: BottleImp Found for: 50 cents

Superman’s arch-enemy—he’s been depicted as a mad scientist bent on world domination, a former ally of Superman whose admiration was transformed into hatred and thoughts of vengeance, a ruthless businessman seeking power through corporate means, and even as a defender of human achievement against the unasked-for interference from an alien god. Recently Lex Luthor’s pendulum has swung away from the businessman aspect and further back towards his roots of scientific villainy (though most of the time in today’s comic books he still chooses to go with the suit-and-tie look rather than the purple-and-green spandex). However, my favorite incarnation of Luthor remains the executive who believes he is above the laws of the common man. If we look for comic books to be more “realistic” and reflect issues in contemporary culture, what better example do we have of Luthor-style evil than in the CEOs of corrupt corporations? One need look no further than the Enron scandal of a few years back, and the arrogance with which Kenneth Lay and others believed their actions were above the laws of the common man. This is the manner of Lex Luthor that James Hudnall explores in his excellent UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY.
The structure of the story is classic crime noir: Reporter Clark Kent is brought in for questioning about the murder of fellow journalist Peter Sands—it seems that all the evidence marks Kent as the killer. As Kent is grilled by the police the narrative flashes back to Sands’ life leading up to his demise. Sands is an alcoholic, washed-up tabloid writer desperate for money to pay his overdue bills. After being turned down for jobs from several magazines of increasingly questionable quality, Sands is contacted by an editor who wants a “nice juicy bio” on par with work he had written in the past—does Sands have anything he’s working on now? Sands grabs a newspaper and reads the headline: LUTHOR DONATES ORPHANAGE. He blurts out that he’s writing an “unauthorized” biography of Lex Luthor, but needs cash to follow up the leads. Once the editor agrees to send out a check, Sands has no choice but to begin his project. As he investigates into Luthor’s background, disturbing information starts to emerge. Once Peter Sands is in deep enough to arouse Luthor’s attention, there’s no going back.
Hudnall crafts an intriguing story, interspersing scenes of Kent’s interrogation with Sands’ investigation into Luthor’s past. As I said, this is crime noir; the sequences of Sands interviewing people and digging up leads is accompanied by his narration—commonplace in today’s comics, but back when this book was published in 1989 the thought balloon was still the preferred method of revealing a character’s inner monologue. The narrative captions add a Raymond Chandler, 1940s feel to the murder mystery. THE UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY also reminds me of CITIZEN KANE and SUNSET BOULEVARD, where the story opens with the main character dead, and the remainder of the tale takes the audience back to the beginning. It’s dark, dirty and atmospheric, and Eduardo Barreto’s artwork is the perfect complement to that atmosphere.
Barreto is one of the great underappreciated artists of the comic book world. Because of his style and facility for drawing ‘40s and ‘50s style people and environments, his work is usually found in stories set within that time period… or in this case, a story with a gritty ‘40s atmosphere. Dramatic light and shadow is used throughout the comic—nothing says “noir” like venetian blind shadows falling across a face—and the richly rendered tones are aided by Adam Kubert’s earthy color palette. This is not the four-color world of Superman—this is the grimy, dirty world of his antithesis.
In a way, LEX LUTHOR: THE UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY is a companion to Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s THE KILLING JOKE. Both comics shed light on the past of iconic villains, and both in some way explain why Luthor and the Joker do the things they do. There is one major difference, however: while in THE KILLING JOKE the Joker is portrayed as being more or less a victim of circumstance, Luthor is and always has been in control—of himself, of others, and of his city. His evil is explored, but not excused. Now I know that some people would prefer Lex to be more morally ambiguous—in fact there was some back-and-forth in last week’s talkback about such characterizations—but I believe that Hudnall’s view of Luthor is perfect for Superman’s nemesis. After all, Superman embodies everything that is positive and good in the world—truth, justice, and the American way (well, maybe that last part could use some tweaking these days). Again, there are those who find that characterization boring, but I would argue that as long as the writer is crafting Superman seriously and sincerely, the Boy Scout image can be just as entertaining as any “darker” character (such as Batman)—just look at the work done by Paul Dini, Alex Ross, John Byrne or Kurt Busiek. Therefore, I believe that in order to maintain a Superman whose moral compass remains firmly pointed, Lex Luthor MUST remain totally at odds with that direction. Evil without explanation or redemption is not uninteresting, despite what some may think—in the able hands of Hudnall, Barreto and Kubert, evil is wonderfully engrossing.
I picked up my battered copy in a fifty cent bin years ago. Though the character has moved on from this incarnation, the story is as good as ever. I highly recommend picking this comic up if it ever crosses your path.

Hey folks, Ambush Bug back again with a gig-and a half of online comic goodness. This week we look at three more online comics: a mythological tale, an over the top mystery, and a live action webseries. All of these comics are just a mouse-click away and the best part about them is that they are frikkin’ free! Enjoy!

First we have ODYSSEUS THE REBEL from Big Head Press and creators veteran comic book writer Steven Grant and artist Scott Bieser. This looks to be a web premiere of a new comic which Big Head will probably collect and distribute at a later date. It started out with a 12 page preview and new pages drop thrice weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This slickly produced web series utilizes one of comic books’ oldest ancestors, the Greek myths, and follows Odysseus ten years after the end of the Trojan War. The story is light in tone which is supported by simplistic and cartoonish art, but doesn't fail to entertain as Odysseus frustrates God and monster alike with his rebellious nature. Bieser's crisp and clean lines are reminiscent of the designs on classic Greek urns, yet maintain a vibrant, fun bounce. Writer Grant leaps from one adventure to the next in this tale of what happens to a hero after his heroic yarn has spun.
Absurdist detective noir is what you'll find when you click follow the url to TUNA CARPACCIO P.I. This goofy yarn by writer Tony Chavira follows oblivious detective Tuna Carpaccio as he stumbles through cases, thinking with his fists rather than utilizing any real detective skills, and living up to any and all film noir detective clichés. The dynamic art by Josh Dunlap is fun and along the lines of THE VENTURE BROTHERS cartoon. Tuna is not really attuned with the real world; something that especially aggravates the women of his life: his secretary Pancakes and Police Detective Malta, who spends just as much time dodging Tuna's pick up lines as she does criminal's bullets. Somehow, the cases are cracked in the end...or not. It doesn't really seem to matter either way to Tuna. This is an especially witty read. Only about twelve pages are finished, with a new one dropping every Monday, so it won't take you much time to read and catch up.
Last time we checked in with CAPTAIN BLASTO, the fake superhero and his even more fake criminals were having fun playing superhero vs. villain with the general public none the wiser. A meek teenager comes up with a plan to bring a bit more excitement into his life and convinces a few friends to dress up as criminals and try to commit crimes for him to thwart. CAPTAIN BLASTO is a clever webseries--not a comic, but an episodic live action series of short films that all together make for a pretty entertaining film when the episodes are all put together. The makers of this webseries do a great job of playing off of comic book clichés. The story is made more interesting when Captain Blasto recruits a villain to lead his gang of crooks, but little does Blasto know that his friends are beginning to commit real crimes. It looks like Blasto is soon going to have to stop playing hero and start being one. Defintely one of the cooler things going on right now. So far, eight episodes have been released with more scheduled soon. For a taste of what to expect from this webseries, check out Episode Two, one of the best.
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!

TOTO! Vol 1 & 2

By Yuko Osada Released by Del Rey Manga Reveiewer: Scott Green

Picture an Indiana Jones movie. Transpose it to one of anime/manga's quasi-fantastic landscapes, and repopulate it with the kind of armies, gangs and eccentrics native to those adventures. Abbreviate the chatty bits and exposition. You arrive at TOTO!, a Wizard of Oz re-imagining (the way Kill Bill's House of Blue Leaves is re-imagining of Lady Snowblood) that spends little time at rest or waiting to establish an idea. When it's good, TOTO! is sprinting from exploding zeppelin (the Baum) to kung fu dust-up with adventure serial zeal. When it's not as good, it's sprinting back to the better stuff. Lacking star power, TOTO! is missing the compulsive draw of an a NARUTO or a ONE PIECE. Yet, even if TOTO! is not a contender for the title of an A level shonen champion, it still fields a solid triple threat of danger, action and humor. As such, it is tremendously fun manga, if not seek out/mark on the calendar appointment reading.
The above mentioned quasi-fantasy world was blasted into social collapse fifty years ago. In the intervening decades, the world that developed could be essentially characterized by the presence of two institutions: largely unchecked state armies and the machinery of a "second industrial age." Fans of FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST, PUMPKIN SCISSORS, and the like should recognize the landscape. However, even if the reader may be familiar, the hero of the manga, Kakashi grew up on a small island with the desire to follow his father's lead and take an extensive look throughout this world.
TOTO! performs to the back row. The lineage from broad, physical comedy to expressive cartooning is evident in the buoyant pacing that the manga inherits from Kakashi's irresistible momentum. There is never a panel without every character, whether named or anonymous crowd extra, whole heartedly emoting. Even the icy folks broadcast their chilly disposition with each line of their faces. As a symbol oriented medium comics/manga can rely on shorthand for action. In contrast to works that merely suggest a punch or a collision, TOTO! seldom sits flat on the page. Following kinetic action where a figure might dart and twist to snag and redirect a mid-air missile shell with the kind of two-page spread explosive destruction that should result from that sort of stunt, and pairing it with expressions of complete awe, Toto! works to re-establish the magnitude of action which is not objectively new or unseen.
Throughout the first two volumes of TOTO!, the “Wizard of Oz” part of the equation has been manifesting itself when Kakashi's scrambles spin into hammy weirdness that can only be described as "manga-style". Some of these references are worthy of a groan. Yet, while no acuteness points are awarded for figuring out which of the Wizard of Oz quartet the character Noil represents, the shamelessness in such a gag is endearing. But, the Wizard of Oz puns, and word plays also result in more vivid inspirations. Dorothy as a student schooled in the Tornado Senjutsu martial art is particularly brilliant, especially as she employs a weird mix of explosive leaps and dashes, combined with soft-style twists and plant-the-guy's-face-into-the-pavement redirections. The surprise concerning Toto's role is not revealed until volume 2. To invoke a recent comics hot-button issue, it is slightly bewildering, but far more strange and fun than the Wonderdog reveal in the latest TEEN TITANS.
Much of TOTO! is light hearted. When, during the first chapter, people are tossed from an airship into the ocean, then the assailants toss down inflated rafts after the victims, TOTO!'s threshold for brutal mayhem is set low. Except, the manga also contradicts this sentiment, ending the volume with Kakashi receiving the warning "It's true that you can find many beautiful and delightful things. But there are many disgusting and ugly things as well. In this society, you'll find more disgusting and ugly things. " Two volumes in, Kakashi and company have narrowly escaped immolation, execution and other nastiness without the manga casting off the halo of light hearted adventure. Kakashi's undeterred intension to see the world in the face of the "disgusting and ugly" rings a bit of Kino's Journey's "the world is not beautiful, therefore it is." (If you haven't seen the Kino's Journey anime or read the light novels, make it a point to check out these gems).
The Indiana Jones charm of toying with danger and cartoon evil that shines in the first two volumes of TOTO! and the harsh, unsentimental fables that it promises would seem to contradict each other. While not on the path towards derailing itself by betraying either, TOTO! doesn't appear capable of working the wizardry needed to construct this particular chimera of edgy whimsy. This is less a failing than it is a reason why TOTO! is breezy fun.
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.

I KILL GIANTS #2 Image Comics

Unsure of what to expect from a creator driven project like this from Joe Kelly (as I'm definitely almost completely acquainted with his Marvel and DC work) I have to say I'm actually pretty endeared with I KILL GIANTS here from him and Image Comics. A couple issues in, though, and I'm enjoying this little story he and his artistic partner Jm Ken Niimura are whipping up. What I thought was going to be a sort of Manga adventure featuring a plucky female lead is turning out to be a sort of introspective look at an eccentric and snarky young lady as she tries to survive day to day in her own little world. Our girl Barbara here has some panache to her, that much is clear, but between her inability to really connect with anyone at school to net some friends and a home life that appears to have a tragic history to it. It's actually almost kind of painful to watch as she smart-asses her way out of every situation to mixed results - like the pretty violent conflict with a school bully in this issue - and its state of being an obvious mechanism for her to deal with the world around her. All in all, IKG has actually struck me with its quirky humor and the depth behind it. I'm highly interested in seeing where the story takes our brash heroine. Really good stuff here. - Humphrey Lee

JONAH HEX #35 DC Comics

J. Palmiotti. J. Gray J.H. Williams III And J. Hex. If those four J.’s don’t inspire you to pick up this book, check for a pulse. Just freakin’ buy it already. - Bug

SECRET INVASION: INHUMANS #2 Marvel Comics

I have to say, the parts of “Secret Invasion” that seem to work best for me are the unique battlefronts stories. The Wakanda invasion in BLACK PANTHER, the attack on British magic in CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI:13…and the battle for Attilan against The Inhumans. Yeah, you don’t want to piss off those guys. Nothing better than a group of Inhumans getting really ticked off and opening up the whup ass. And there’s no better way to really enrage them than by kidnapping their leader. Well, their usual leader. At the moment Black Bolt has been overthrown by his crazy ass brother Maximus. Which brings me to the other element in this book I love that is also being put into use in the main “Secret Invasion” book: having a threat so big that even the bad guys sign on to fight it off. I flash right back to “The Rocketeer” and the mobsters fighting alongside the government forces to fight the Nazis because, good or bad, they’re all Americans. Maximus might be a power hungry SOB, but pushed to the wall, he puts his people first. And piss off Medusa and she’ll make Maximus look like a puss by comparison. The shit hits, Inhuman villains can turn heroic and heroic Inhumans can show you the meaning of the word inhuman. - Jinxo

INVINCIBLE #52 Image Comics

The new era of INVINCIBLE has started, and goddamn is it turning bloody quick. As our lead Mark Grayson is starting to adjust to his life outside the system the shit definitely hits the proverbial fan this issue as he and his brother get in a pretty fatalistic scrap that brings up some huge morality issues, something Mark has been internalizing ever since his conflict with Angstrom Levy. And it makes for a compelling debate to see the two brothers come to given the family history on both sides. It will definitely make for some confrontation not only immediately as this debate will carry on into the next issue of course, but as time passes and the oncoming war with the Viltrumites makes its way towards Earth. It's a hell of a card for Kirkman to lie down on the table in this ongoing saga of INVINCIBLE, especially right out of the blue with barely an issue after Kid Omniman has made his crime fighting debut, but it's a damn intriguing one nonetheless. I can't wait to see how this starts to play out and the ramifications begin to ripple. This is just more proof that Kirkman really knows how to keep his audiences guessing, all the while taking them deeper into the story with a completely logical and sensible step forward. That always earns a big kudos from me, and this issue with these current developments is definitely no exception. - Humphrey Lee

CRIMINAL MACABRE: A CAL MCDONALD MYSTERY – CELLBLOCK 666 #1 Dark Horse Comics

The first issue of a new Cal McDonald miniseries is always reason to celebrate. More than any of Steve Niles’ wicked creations, Cal’s adventures always seem to be the most thought out and entertaining. Following the adventures of the drugged out, hard-luck gumshoe with a penchant for taking bizarre cases has been a habit of mine since Cal and his creator first came on to the scene, but with each miniseries, Niles seems to be deepening the character and developing as a better comic book writer. This issue is a lead in to what looks to be another great read. Cal is pursued by the cops and captured by the end of this issue. Looks to be a prison story coming up on the horizon. And if the rest of this story portrays Cal as it does in this issue it’s going to be a helluva fun ride. Sure he’s pathetic and crude--the type of guy who belches as loud as he can in a bar full of strangers simply to drive the point home that he doesn’t give a shit about anything and I wouldn’t have Cal any other way. Plus the amazing Bradstreet covers depicting Thomas Jane as Cal make me wish they’d hurry up and make the movie already. - Bug

YOUNG LIARS #7 DC Vertigo

At some point I have to start taking the titles of these issues and story arcs seriously. Two issues ago, the "Midget and Mr. Johnson" issue definitely featured a Midget and, well, there was a Mr. Johnson as it got violently and bloodily got removed from its owner. Now we're on our second arc, "The Spiders From Mars" and I don't know what the fuck is going on. Not that that's a bad thing, mind you--in fact the change of narrative is at the very least a ballsy move and the most a hell of a creative outlet. After the Amy Racecar material in the seminal Lapham work STRAY BULLETS, something like this isn't entirely unexpected. What is in the air though is exactly how the hell any of this mad bastardry relates to the story we were already presented. Is it just some sick little play going on in the head of our heroin with a bullet in her brain, Sadie? Or, god help us, is some of this tale of millions of spiders from Mars traveling to earth and starting a take over of the planet from a godforsaken trailer park in Iowa actually true and a part of the overall story? I'm assuming more the former than the latter but with a mind like Lapham's, who knows? All I know is that for sheer ballsiness alone I'm damn well on this crazy train as long as it doesn't completely derail into something that would make VIDOEDROME look like remedial material in comparison. - Humphrey Lee

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Readers Talkback

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  • Sept. 17, 2008, 6:57 a.m. CST

    THE STAND is the greatest novel of the 20th century.

    by MaxTheSilent

    Simple as that. How the hell can a funny-book do it justice?

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 7:22 a.m. CST

    Love the Stand, will buy the comic...

    by RockLobster800

    but Im still not crazy about Flagg with long hair....hated that in the miniseries (which was okay at the most-completely ruined the finale, amongst other things) and its been kept up since...,I mean the guy is supposed to look intimidating sure, but he's not supposed to look filthy and tramp like-lets not forget he's charismatic and alluring enough to win a fair few people over. And that image of him doesnt help me think that...

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 7:29 a.m. CST

    Dark Tower and The Stand

    by grendelson138

    I've been really let down by the Dark Tower comics. Roland's trip into the pink grapefruit doesn't match up with the books at all. And, The Stand comic looks like even more of a mess. I don't mind them making comics based on Stephen King books, but there's no reason to crap all over the original stories to do it.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 7:47 a.m. CST

    THE GUNSLINGER BORN was candy-coloured Marvel crap

    by MaxTheSilent

    Barely an ounce of King's stunningly-realised world came across in that air-brushed atrocity. If it had been done by Dark Horse with an artist like Gary Gianni then it would ahve been epic.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Bizarro am suckiest character.

    by rev_skarekroe

    Me hate Bizarro! Also, me hate Eric Powell. Powell's art am totally wrong for comic with monster Superman. Me will totally not buy this book, will spend money on quality comic by Liefeld instead.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 7:55 a.m. CST

    Long haired Flagg?

    by rev_skarekroe

    Beats Flagg with a mullet.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Bizarro

    by optimous_douche

    I think that was the only Johns series I have ever bailed on because of my utter hatred for Bizzaro.<p> I'm sure it was well-done, but I hate that double negative mush mouth as much as Jar-Jar Binks.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 7:57 a.m. CST

    but to be fair Rev..

    by RockLobster800

    dont you kinda want to see Billy Ray Cyrus play him?

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 8:07 a.m. CST

    Greatest novel of the 20th century?

    by Laserhead

    Read books much? That ain't it. Am I the only one who feels like King's books are always about 300 pages longer than the story needs? I can't think of a writer whose middles drag more than his. I've always really liked The Stand, though. But come on, greatest novel of the 20th century? That's a joke, right?

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 8:11 a.m. CST

    BEST JONAH HEX REVIEW....EVER!

    by Err

    Loved it.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 8:11 a.m. CST

    J.H. Williams III

    by Laserhead

    Is sooooo fucking good. I was reading the new Batman hc, where he illustrates that three-part 'club of heroes' story. Man, I'd pay twice the current cover price if he'd illustrate R.I.P. He's the best Morrison artist.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 8:14 a.m. CST

    Lex Luthor's moral ambiguity...

    by Err

    Certain characters work well in the realm of moral ambiguity. Two of them really really really REALLY do not: The Joker and Lex Luthor. How is Luthor morally ambiguous? Is it because he has a 12th level + intellect and we, as the reader, could not possibly fully fathom his greatness? Please someone justify for me that Lex taking out Superman is good. Tell me that he's been doing it to protect his city, to protect his people! Tell me, that Lex is doing it to save Earth from complaceny due to Superman's presence. Because last time I checked, that's not a real reason to murder, destroy, etc. Saying Lex Luthor is morally ambiguous is like looking at the Anti-Monitor and going, I sympathize with him.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 8:15 a.m. CST

    Mike Perkins is also great

    by Laserhead

    His issues of Captain America have this great, classical look. Almost like Al Williamson.<p>I'll stop stating the obvious now.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Laserhead: Yep!!

    by MaxTheSilent

    Fuck any of that other crap critics have blown their wads over. Don't forget that the 'The Da Vinci Code' in on every single 'Top Ten' list ever published in the past five years. THE STAND is the greatest novel of ALL TIME!!! How do you like that!?!

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 8:49 a.m. CST

    The Stand IS a great book...

    by 11ZOMBIES

    ...and "The Stand" - the comic book- is NOT a great comic. The artwork is downright bizarre at times, and all the characters are a bit too finely drawn for you to put yourself in their shoes. Plus, Springsteen as Larry Underwood? I know King himself mentioned that at one point in the past, but I certainly never wanted to see it. Epic fail from Marvel.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 9:41 a.m. CST

    No, Max, no.

    by Laserhead

    That's a kind of idiot-snobbery that insists that no one really enjoys "so-called" great works of art; that they only pretend to in order to "feel smart". A great work of literature does more than just tell an entertaining story (though they do that), they also invoke characterization and insight in such a way that a reader is actually expanded as a person-- your perceptions, sympathies and capacity for empathy are all increased. It's true. It's okay that 'The Stand' is your favorite book; it's idiot-snobbery to insist that great works of art are crap because you lack the initiative to experience them. No offense.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 9:42 a.m. CST

    There's a Dr. Bong? Really?

    by fiester

    And Luthor looks too much like The Kingpin on that cover.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 9:43 a.m. CST

    And 'The DaVinci Code' is only on top 10 lists

    by Laserhead

    as far as sales. Is that what you measure great art as; what sells the most? In that case, forget Dickens, Shakespeare and Faulkner-- Harold Robbins is the single greatest novelist in the history of the world, bar none.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Dr. Bong

    by fiester

    Just looked him up on Wiki...guess he wasn't the kind of bong I was thinking of.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Secret Invasion

    by Laserhead

    Looking at the December solicitations, it looks like the Skrulls win. Is this old news?

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Nope, sorry...

    by MaxTheSilent

    THE STAND is the most profound, entertaining, emotionally-devastating, insightful, rewarding novel in the last hundred years of the written word. Pure genius, every last page of it. The only other book I'd consider coming close to THE STAND is OF MICE AND MEN.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Bwah-hah-hah-hah

    by Laserhead

    I just realized I'm talking to a kid.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:02 a.m. CST

    The ComicSpace website hasn't been updated in almost a year

    by Ye Not Guilty

    Hey @$$holes, update your reviews once in a while, please.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Childish dismissal: The last refuge of the defeated.

    by MaxTheSilent

    Sorry, Laserhead. Back to school for you. Yes, popular fiction CAN be profound and transcendent. THE STAND is the greatest novel ever.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:13 a.m. CST

    LAser Skrulls

    by optimous_douche

    The scullybut I've herad is that Earth is going to become Alien Nation (the Mandy Patinkin James Caan flick).

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:14 a.m. CST

    The Stand

    by optimous_douche

    Anyone else think that Clive Barker's Great and Secret Show gives The Stand a run for its money?

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Ah, declaring victory: the last refuge of the defeated

    by Laserhead

    Yes-- popular fiction CAN be profound and transcendent. But 'The Stand' isn't it. And 'Of Mice and Men'? Let me suggest that a novel which can be fully appreciated by 11 year-olds isn't the greatest novel of the 20th century. You know, Hemingway, Roth, DeLillo, McCarthy-- all are ENORMOUSLY popular writers who write populist fiction to some degree. Speaking of education, read some of these and then get back to me: 'For Whom the Bell Tolls', 'Absalom, Absalom', 'The Adventures of Augie March,' 'As I Lay Dying,' 'Zuckerman Bound', 'Underworld,' 'Blood Meridian', et. al.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Optimus

    by Laserhead

    I think 'The Great and Secret Show' is actually a bit better than 'The Stand'. It certainly has less wasted passages of overlong, extraneous scenes. You just reminded me how much I loved that book. Haven't read it in years.<p>Alien Nation Marvel Universe? That sounds... really boring.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:17 a.m. CST

    MaxtheSilent

    by Laserhead

    Jeff Albertson? Is that you?

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:23 a.m. CST

    It's all good, baby!!

    by MaxTheSilent

    Jesus loves you and so do I. Simple fact is that THE STAND is one long-ass fucker of a book, and as was painfully demonstrated by THE GUNSLINGER BORN, no comic could possibly do it justice. I'd rather they take the money they spent on the comic, hire some billboards to say 'Read THE STAND!! It's really good!!'

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:24 a.m. CST

    SWAN SONG is better than THE STAND

    by superhero

    It's true.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:24 a.m. CST

    The Great and Secret Show

    by Psynapse

    PWNZ The Stand in my book. Good Vs. Evil? Simplistic at best and been there done that. Human awareness and the vastness that exists outside of it? That's a tasty treat.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Psynapse

    by Laserhead

    I concur in spades.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Optimus

    by BangoSkank

    Personally I place Imajica over The Great and Secret Show.... but now that you've brought it up, I've got the hankering to revisit both. Wasn't TGaSS a part of an uncompleted trilogy, or am I just making that up?

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Superhero

    by BangoSkank

    As much as I enjoyed Swan Song, I have to respectfully disagree.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Not Sure About a Trilogy for TGaSS

    by optimous_douche

    But if there is, I woudl read it. I was a kid when the first one (if there's more) came out and just remember the horror on my parent's faces based on the cover alone.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:34 a.m. CST

    M-O-O-N

    by rxse7en

    That spells HBO Miniseries.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Trilogy

    by Laserhead

    I don't think you're making it up Bango-- for some reason I remember hearing or being led to believe the same thing-- and that the trilogy revolved around Quidity (?)

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:34 a.m. CST

    ...

    by blackthought

    that hex review...nice.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Everville is the sequel...

    by BangoSkank

    to The Great and Secret Show.... but I thought Barker had said that he's always planned that there would be a third book.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Ahhhh, IMAJICA...

    by MaxTheSilent

    God, what an monumental work of genius that is. To this day, a full 17 years after I read it, I can't believe (SPOILER ALERT!!) Barker actually had Huzzah killed by the Eurhetemec in that alley. (SPOILER OVER!!) That was probably the most cold-blooded shit I'd ever read. Apart from (SPOILER ALERT... AGAIN!!) Nick Andros finding that bomb and getting blown to fuck in THE STAND. (SPOILER OVER!!)

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Barker's 'Books of the Art'.

    by MaxTheSilent

    So far we've had WEAVEWORLD, THE GREAT AND SECRET SHOW and EVERVILLE. I didn't like EVERVILLE that much and I don't think I'm alone in finding SACRAMENT and GALILEE utterly tedious. I've not read any of the ABARAT books, but I can't wait for the long-awaited SCARLET GOSPELS, even if it does end up 1500 pages long, as Barker has indicated.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:46 a.m. CST

    my ownly beef with The Stand book...

    by RockLobster800

    (and SPOILER for those who have yet to read it)...is that they make Flaggs defeat too obvious waaaaay before the end. I mean the writings on the wall too much-in his own inner fear thats constantly brought up, in his failure to see Tom Cullen, in Nadines suicide and what she says to him before-all these signs that the guy is going down takes away the tension for me a bit. Personally I think Nadine should have stayed alive at least until the Hand Of God bit-you dont need her to ty to redeem herself, she can just stay mired in guilt or maybe have her renounce Flagg completely just in her last moments. And dear God, YES to a HBO miniseries-with a Lost budget, a restraining order on Mick Garris, and a writer/director who WONT feel the need to turn Flagg inot a demon every five seconds in order to make him scary...and even though I always post it heres the dream cast-Nathan Fillion=Stu, Zooey Deschanel=Fran,Joaquin Phoenix=Larry or possibly Flagg, Ethan Suplee=Tom Cullen, Jared Leto=Nick, and Danny Huston as the Walkin Dude.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:50 a.m. CST

    my beef with The Stand

    by Laserhead

    I think it's along the lines of what psynapse said. Basically, everything after the outbreak of Capt. Tripps (which is really good), is really simplistic and (like so many of King's books) anti-climactic. GOOD and EVIL form armies that gather for war and... the hand of god appears and sets off a nuclear device. Wow. Took 900 pages to do that? I still think 'The Shining' is the best King-- the place where his pop becomes most moving and artistic.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Weaveworld...

    by BangoSkank

    Was one of the books of art? Hmmm, I barely remember that book. I couldn't choke down Sacrament, one of less than a dozen books I stopped reading halfway through. I actually liked Galilee a bit better, though far from a favorite. <p> I just got into a "favorite book" discussion two night ago... one that came about --now that I think about it-- as a result of a buddy of mine reading my copy of the Captain Trips comic... I don't claim that they're the "best" books ever written, but The Stand and Imajica are still my favorite.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:58 a.m. CST

    RockLobster800

    by MaxTheSilent

    Your cast list just about makes me want to weep with joy at how PERFECT it is. Although as much as Garris's brave attempt ultimately failed, I think Gary Sinise as Stu was one of the most spot-on pieces of casting ever. Shame Molly Ringwald was utterly atrocious as Franny Goldsmith.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Yeah: 'favorite' doesn't equal 'best'-- important distinction

    by Laserhead

    I stop reading lots of books now. I used to finish everything out of some mistaken sense of obligation, but now I give them 100 pages. If by page 100, I don't want to read anymore-- it's gone. Life's just too fucking short.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 11 a.m. CST

    SCARLET GOSPELS!

    by BangoSkank

    Holy shit... I knew nothing about this book, but just looked it up. Harry D'Amour versus Pinhead??? Thank you for the heads-up!!!!

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 11:04 a.m. CST

    The Stand is a shaggy Satan Story.

    by Smerdyakov

    A 400 page lead up to a stupid deux ex machina ending. "Gee, I don't know how to end this, I guess I'll just blow everything up."

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Laserhead....

    by BangoSkank

    Yeah, I should clarify, I now give books about a hundred pages too.... Usually I'm careful about pickin' my reads, but still, I don't have that kind of time anymore. Back when I read Sacrament, I'd plug though almost anything until the end, out of a likewise misguided sense of duty.... But no more.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 11:09 a.m. CST

    King's endings often suck ass.

    by MaxTheSilent

    But as a writer of vivid characterisation, there's none better.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Swan Song is very good but no The Stand...

    by Flip63Hole

    Sorry Robert M, I still love ya!

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 11:44 a.m. CST

    The Great and Secret Show...

    by Sailor Rip

    ...ugh. Read half the book and couldn't even finish it. The Stand is classic literature compared to that. <p> As far as the comic goes, I thought it was good. Started out the way it should and even though I'm very familiar with the material it still kept my interest.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Deadpool!

    by DuncanDisorderly

    At last, a Secret Invasion story actually worth the money- Bendis take note... The Skrulls have prepared for every eventuality; except an insane mercenary with a Wile E. Coyote fixation!

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 12:04 p.m. CST

    "the book never fails to disappoint." This is an insult. Is it

    by freydis

    I'm pretty sure that it's just a victim of combined cliches, since otherwise the Deadpool review looks pretty positive.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 12:18 p.m. CST

    I'm with you, Laserhead

    by Joenathan

    The Stand is a great book, but its not THE greatest. Although, I don't think you should bother argueing the point with Max, he's either overstating for effect or truly, truly believes what he is saying like the literary version of a suicide bomber.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 12:21 p.m. CST

    sorry, the best Tom Cullen

    by Joenathan

    was that big retarded guy from Coach. I had a mental picture of him the first time I read the book. He was perfect.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 12:22 p.m. CST

    why no sequel to Stand and IT?

    by johnnyg korrupt

    His 2 best books by a mile...and the storylines lent itself to sequels, especially in the case of the Stand (Flagg lives). Seems Kings just hates sequels apart from Black House. Thing is those 2 books are EPIC and life defining. They take up a portion of your life and you never forget the time/place/occassion you were in when you read them. That's why they are magical. Im a slow reader so both took me a few months to read but i'll never forget them the rest of my life. Stand i was about 18 and read it nights during summer here in Australia and It i was still in school and it was winter. I may have read better written books before but those 2 take me back to another place whenever i think about them

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 12:27 p.m. CST

    *****Dark Tower Spoiler*****

    by DaBUU

    Flagg dies at the end of the Dark Tower series, way to easy if you ask me. But i agree about a sequel for IT.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 12:29 p.m. CST

    The Great and Secret Show (redux)

    by Psynapse

    Is indeed part of a Trilogy. Barker has said that Everville was the hardest book he's ever written so it may be awhile 'til we see it. <P>And ANYONE reading this column or TB that doesn't at least check out the trade of IDW's adaptation of TGASS is missing out. It was a pitch perfect adaptation of the source material with GORGEOUS art.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 12:30 p.m. CST

    The Stand

    by Joenathan

    The struggle of good vs. evil is not a “been there, done that” type of story, it is at the heart of most of the things we discuss here. The stand is the story of the ancient struggle of god and the devil played out again and again, but you all act like the story was told for the purpose of the bomb at the end, come on, the bomb was nothing, it was just a moment, the story (or the 400 pages of build up, as you call it) was about the people, the little stories that get lost amongst the riot of the bigger picture. That was the point. There was no ending, the bomb didn't stop Flagg, the walking dude kept on walking and he just started over somewhere else, same as forever, good and evil and their continuous struggle.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 12:31 p.m. CST

    The 100 page rule.

    by Joenathan

    I get what you're saying and kind of do the same thing, but I very my tolerance level based on the type of book and all that. Slow times slow builders blow best, you know?

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 12:32 p.m. CST

    I disagree regarding a sequel to "It"

    by Psynapse

    "It" had one of THE lamest endings I've ever read given the amount of build-up to what "It" actually was. Considering how often the ending to a King novel sucks so badly I have no hope that a sequel would fare any better.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Stand sequel

    by Joenathan

    Isn't the Dark Tower series considered connected to the point that it could considered one? Maybe its retconned differently now, but I always felt Frannie and Stu's little world they drive off into at the end was actually the far, far, far distant past relative of the gunsslinger's world.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 12:36 p.m. CST

    The Stand:This is like arguing the flaws of Star Wars

    by Psynapse

    If YOU find it entertaning more power to ya. I found it banal when all was said and done. And the story of "God" and "The Devil" is WAAAAY played out as western mythologies go. Personally I find an exploration of creation that posits a situation far removed from those two quite constraining paradigms of thought.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 12:36 p.m. CST

    IT had a lame ending?

    by BangoSkank

    Only if you call a preteen gangbang lame. <p> I kid. I kid.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 12:39 p.m. CST

    god and the devil, good vs. evil, whatever

    by Joenathan

    label it what you will, they all come down to the same thing, especially in the genres we reference.<br><br>Bango... awesome, thats what I call it. Awesome. I was kind of upset they skipped that part in the mini-series. what a rip-off.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by Sailor Rip

    Don't know about that but in The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass the ka-tet do make a brief stop in Topeka, Kasas of the plague ravaged Earth of The Stand. There are cars backed up on the highway for miles and a roadsign has been spray painted "Captain Trips".

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Fuck..

    by Sailor Rip

    ...KaNsas.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 12:42 p.m. CST

    IMAJICA FTW

    by SpreadLegsNotWar

    I wish someone would have the balls to make that into a mini-series on HBO or some shit.<p>And whatever happened to the Showtime mini-series for Weaveworld?<p>And for that matter, I also heard that someone is making The Damnation Game into a film. My guess is it will suck. Barker's twisted and beautiful prose has yet to be faithfully translated to film, this includes Hellraiser imho.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 12:58 p.m. CST

    IFrank Darabont needs to get on this Stand miniseries by the way

    by RockLobster800

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 1:05 p.m. CST

    I mean you knows its true...

    by RockLobster800

    they guy's King adaptations are the only ones that capture the spirit of the books properly, that keep the depth and integrity of the characters,makes the sad parts sad, the happy parts JUBILANT (see Shawshank)and the scary parts scary (The Mist)...plus he manages to keep the cheese and hammy acting well at bay and doesnt allow a low budget to make it look crap....consider now if the two decided to do an epic adaptation of the Stand...I mean, it has the potential to be perfect...and johnnygkprrupt, I hear ya-I remember everything about the summer I read the stand and It....

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 1:30 p.m. CST

    They should do a remake of The Stand...

    by rev_skarekroe

    ...wherein Tom Cullen kicks ass.<p>Tom: M-O-O-N. That spells eat lead, motherfucker!<p>Flagg: NOOOOOO!!!!<p>Tom blasts Flagg with a sawed off shotgun. Roll credits.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 1:33 p.m. CST

    I'm with spidercoz

    by ironic_name

    fuck this.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 1:38 p.m. CST

    WHERE THE FUCK CAN I BUY THIS

    by SpreadLegsNotWar

    Don't tell me I actually have to go to a comic book store.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 1:44 p.m. CST

    SpreadLegsNotWar

    by rev_skarekroe

    If you're too cool for funnybook stores, I imagine Barnes & Noble will have it. Assuming you're talking about the The Stand comic.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Rev

    by SpreadLegsNotWar

    It's not that I'm too cool, I'm fucking lazy. I'd much rather *add to cart* then hit up a store.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 1:55 p.m. CST

    I think they sometimes cancel series...

    by fiester

    Just so they can put out a first issue of essentially the same series because they know it will sell big.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 2 p.m. CST

    Not even King would say The Stand is greatest novel...

    by fiester

    ...of the 20th Century. C'mon. I break it up into pre/post war. <p>Pre-war candidates would be: Joyce's Ulysses, Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu, Faulkner's The Sound and The Fury, and selected works of Kafka.<p> Post-war candidates would include: Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, Rushdie's Midnight's Children, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, Nabokov's Lolita.<p> And, as always, I'm sure I left a few out. You always do when playing this game.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Stephen King Books that Go Boom

    by symon

    Stephen King is great at putting together these intricate, larger than life, impossibly tense plots ... but he doesn't know where to go with them. So in the end something blows up and that's that. Every new King book I read I cross my fingers there won't be an explosion at the end. (SPOILER WARNING) I loved that The Dark Tower didn't go there. For me, The Dark Tower saga is the best of Stephen King. It's his Great Work, as far as I'm concerned. But as far as best single book goes - I think it's Carrie. Read Carrie forgetting it's Stephen King and it's like you're reading a great novel, not just a great story. The Shining is a close number two, but again with the explosion...

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 2:27 p.m. CST

    SpreadLegs...

    by BangoSkank

    If you're looking to pick it up on the net....Amazon, Milehighcomics, or midtowncomics. Or plenty of other places, but those are the three I get my comics from most often.... You'll pay more on Amazon, but it's a good place to go when something is sold out everywhere else.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 2:29 p.m. CST

    King's single best novel

    by fiester

    Is probably The Dead Zone.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 2:30 p.m. CST

    BangoSkank...

    by SpreadLegsNotWar

    I can't find it anywhere, Amazon, B&N, you name it.<p>Has it even hit the street yet?

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Spread legs

    by BangoSkank

    Go to Amazon, and use Captain Trips as the search description, it pops up no problem... I see that it is sold out at Midtown, however.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 3:19 p.m. CST

    The Stand

    by Jinxo

    I don't think The Stand is the best book ever but there are bits of it that have stayed with me more than other books. Like when Nadine comes back to Larry so he can save her and he has to turn her away. There's a little life lesson there about why she really came back that has actually rang true in my real life.<br><br> And while The Stand miniseries is imperfect I do think a lot of the casting for it was amazingly spot on.<br><br> Here's my favorite Stand story that is uniquely mine. I'm reading the book. I'm towards the end when Stu and Tom Cullens are heading home from the final conflict. This will sound weird but for background music I had on a Weird Al cd. I just wanted something pop sounding but that I could tune out of a bit. The thing is, a tape or a record ends you here a distinct noise of some sort that signals they're done playing. A cd doesn't. Just goes quiet. So I'm reading and the Al cd goes quiet because, it would seem, it finished playing. Only it wasn't done. After...5 minutes of silence, by surprise up comes a bonus track of Al and his band just... shouting and making a huge amount of noise. Meanwhile I'm at a point in the book where Stu and Tom have stumbled into a creepy building filled with dead bodies... just as the unexpected screaming starts. It scared the crap out of me! I practically had to be peeled off the ceiling.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Er... wasn't the stand with Gary Sinise longer than ten hours?

    by Lolthien

    I mean.. it was a long ass miniseries right? Are you sure you went to pick it up? Did you watch it? Did it not last longer than two hours? Am I insane?

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 3:30 p.m. CST

    I read the Stand...

    by Lord John Whorfin

    on a road trip. My family was moving from San Diego to Boulder, CO. The Stand is not the greatest novel ever or of the last hundred years. Get a grip.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 3:30 p.m. CST

    The Stand in the greatest novel of the 20th century?

    by RobotDevil007

    Don't read all that much, do we?

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 3:33 p.m. CST

    BangoSkank...

    by SpreadLegsNotWar

    Thanks, finally found it. I might wait until the whole series is out and pick up the compilation.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Spreadlegs...

    by BangoSkank

    Cool. Not a problem.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 3:43 p.m. CST

    The Stand mini was about six hours minus commercials

    by Nasty In The Pasty

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Jinxo

    by steverodgers

    Great story

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 4:26 p.m. CST

    If you believe that the Stand is the greatest novel

    by hst666

    of the 20th centuy, you need to read some more books. I like the Stand, although it suffers from an affliction many Stephen King novels did up through the mid-80s - the climax was abrupt and unsatisfying. Among Stephen King's work, I prefer It to the Stand. <p><p> Read Vonnegut, Chandler, Ellroy, Irving, and Tom Robbins, and then tell me the Stand is the greatest book of the 20th century.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 4:48 p.m. CST

    I'd like to see a movie sequel to "the Mist".

    by Smerdyakov

    Where we could see what happened to the other people after they left the store, like Andre Braugher's character.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 5:14 p.m. CST

    King

    by Homer Sexual

    Stephen King is, like many writers, someone who got much, much worse over time. He started strong with Salem's lot and Carrie. I'd say those are his two strongest works. Salem's lot is actually a scary book. Carrie is that rarity, a movie that outshines the book, but the movie is pretty much perfect and the book is still excellent. <p> Most people consider the next phase of his work to be the best, when he wrote Dead Zone, Stand, Shining and this period sort of ended with Christine. Those are all solid reads, but I wouldn't call any of them great. "It" was the last good book King wrote, almost but not quite ruined by an offensive and ridiculous conclusion. <p> Nowadays his writing is just so provincial and tiresome. And this tends to be even more apparent when limited-talented people such as Mick Garris adapt his work. <p> I don't think there is a need or a market to put any more of King's work onscreen, but the Stand might work very well as a long comic miniseries.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Three Things

    by Continentalop

    1) Greatest modern novel (last 30 years) is "Blood Meridian" in my opinion. And you can't start a list of great villains without including Judge Holden from that book. He is the epitome of evil (literally). 2) My favorite Stephen King novel is "Salem's Lot". Yeah, it is a vampire novel, but one freaky vampire novel. 3) My vote is for the amoral Lex Luthor. And my favorite Luthor is the one by John Byrne: no, not the evil CEO but the one with the Ultra-Humanite's brain inside his head from Generations. That was a great, evil Luthor. 2) My favorite Stephen King novel is "Salem's Lot". Yeah, it is a vampire novel, but one freaky vampire novel. 3) My vote is for the amoral Lex Luthor. And my favorite Luthor is the one by John Byrne; no, not the evil CEO but the one with the Ultra-Humanite's brain inside his head from Generations. That was a great, evil Luthor.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Never...

    by Continentalop

    Try to work and post something at the same time unless you want to screw it up. I also shouldn't try to walk and chew gum at the same time.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 6:59 p.m. CST

    a sequel to The Mist...

    by RockLobster800

    if it continues the downward spiral of depression that the first one ended on, Im there! Seriously, loved the flick and liked the ending, but Jesus, they kick Tom Janes character when he's down...seriously they guy goes through stuff no man should face. It was so depressing I came out of the cinema laughing cos you dont know what to say to the person your with...I wonder what happened Darabont to go from the life affirming hope brimmed ending of Shawshank to...the Mist :S

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 8:06 p.m. CST

    Yeah tha tLex Luthor comic is pretty good...

    by qweruiop

    ...got mine through milehighcomics for like 85 cents. Great look into the man's past. Imo the best interpretation of Lex is that of Birthright's, a powerful CEO who built his fortune from science/technology. Nice mix of the two. About the only thing I didn't like from this comic is that it had Lex when he was being depicted as hugely overweight. Imo the real Lex would never allow himself to get that huge. He's so vain about himself and his intelligence, that it's only natural that he keeps his body as fit as his mind in order to be above the "ants" below him.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 8:16 p.m. CST

    re: RockLobster800

    by hatemphd

    maybe Darabont found the girl of his dreams before he started Shawshank... and his best man slept with her the day of his wedding while adapting The Mist. <p> That would do it. :p

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 8:19 p.m. CST

    Smallville had the best incarnation of Bizarro...

    by guerillakarma

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 9:46 p.m. CST

    I liked your review of The Stand

    by krushjudgement

    but comic books are not a genre, they're a medium.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 9:59 p.m. CST

    Dark Tower is the greatest King

    by worldofwarcraft

    Also probably my favorite stuff ever. But I've never read the last two installments. After reading Wolves ot Calla I was so disappointed , and I had a long serious think about wether I should continue on the path of the beam or not. On one hand I would see the Tower and do my best to remember the face of my father in the presence of the Crimson King. On the other hand I may just be walking into a big letdown that would forever soil my memory of one of the best reading AND life experiences I've ever had. ... Well, those books have been sitting on my shelf collecting dust, the whole set. It would be too heartbreaking for me if they sucked. Be like seeing Caroline Forger after all these years, and finding out that she was a complete mess of a woman.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:14 p.m. CST

    by MikeTheSpike

    I don't really have it in me to write a well-reasoned critique, and nobody is reading at this point, but let me just state for the record here that that issue of Deadpool was awful. Some serious doubt is cast upon those who praise it. Honestly, this is all that's required for you to say a comic is great? Literally - the Skrulls attack, Deadpool pops up and fights them (what he was doing there to begin with, I'd like to know), then offers to join them. The end. For $4? Get. Fucking. Real. PS: It's also not funny. And this pool-o-vision and conflicting narrative is just made-up bullshit that Way has pulled out of his ass, irrespective of the character's history.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 10:51 p.m. CST

    Buzz Maverik's Evidence of Super Villainry

    by Buzz Maverik

    Superheroes do not exist but super villains might. Possible super-villain attacks: the stock market crash and Hurricaine Ike.

  • Sept. 17, 2008, 11:47 p.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by BangoSkank

    I agree that The Blood Meridian is the "best" novel written in the past 30 years. But, with The Stand turning the big 3-0 this year, it's still tied with Imajica as my favorite. <p> And I apologize to all the reviewers for helping turn this week's talkback into a literature focused discussion.....

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 3:07 a.m. CST

    Secret Invasion is bullshit

    by Reelheed

    Who can you trust? Pretty much everyone. Certainly every hero who has a book of their own. The main book is so badly written and the art so obviously rushed it makes me laugh. All those months of teases and mystery for what? Nick Furys grand plan - get a pack of heroes together in one of his handy crossover ready bunkers and then... shoot some skrulls. Inspired. Genius. Who is Captain Marvel? It doesn't matter we've killed him off. The heroes thoughtlessly zoom from one battle to the next and Reed Richards instantly figures out how to detect the Skrulls (off screen so as not to hurt our pea brains). Boring.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 5:58 a.m. CST

    Thank You MikeSpike

    by optimous_douche

    For posting about something other than Stephen King.<p> I'll never begrudge the TBers their topic of choice, but this best novel crap is getting old.<p> Yes, you're all very smart and well read, now can we talk about comis for awhile?<P> I'm going with you part way on Deadpool Mike. I'm not quite as pissed as I think you are, but it was...let's say lacking.<p> I think it was from lack of dialogue. You can't deny that the action was definitely "brought" as the kids say. But I like Deadpool for his stream of sarcasm.<p> Not a bad start, but not the best effort I've read.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 7:27 a.m. CST

    We're not all smart and well-read

    by Laserhead

    Just saying.<p>Hah.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 7:28 a.m. CST

    All I ever want to talk about lately

    by Laserhead

    Is either Morrison's Batman or Brubaker's Captain America. That's it. Those two things seem to have pushed out all other comic-related topics in my head.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 7:30 a.m. CST

    Buzz Maverik's Evidence of Super Villainry

    by Buzz Maverik

    Superheroes don't exist but super villains might. Possible super-villain attack: US embassy in Yemen. Surely even you clowns can see the connections here.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 7:36 a.m. CST

    worldofwarcraft

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    please finish the journey to CanKa' No Rey. I have been an avid King fan for about 20 years. The only thing I never took on was Roland and his Ka-tets journey. It seemed random and too wierd(Although I adore Barkers books of the Art). I finally took up the quest for the tower and finished about three weeks ago.....and you know what? It's the first book(or series ) that once I finished, I just went back to the start. I am know back at the Calla and couldn't be happier.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Secret Invasion.....

    by BangoSkank

    I'm a huge Marvel fan --HUGE fan-- and also a fan of a good crossover event.... but Secret Invasion is trying even my patience. Too much is going on. At first I dug that the backstory was being told in the New A and Might A books, but that's quickly grown stale. And what's worse, the main book is a complete mess. It feels like it should have been twice as long, a dozen issues or more, 'cause they're trying to cram WAY too much in. Also, I'm not going to buy every title that Marvel puts out, just so that I can understand what the fuck is going on. It would be one thing if they kept the main story to the Avengers titles, but they didn't. It's all over the friggin' place....

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 8:47 a.m. CST

    I bailed on SI

    by optimous_douche

    After issue 3.<b> It's not taht it was bad, but once it "leaked" on how this was going to change the Marvel Universe, I just lost interest. I've enjoyed the cross-overs into my usual pulls and for me that is more than enough.<p> This is why i should never read Previews it just ruins the whole serial surprise nature of comics for me.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Of COURSE SuperVillains Exist Buzz!

    by Psynapse

    It's just that in THIS continuum we call them "Governments" and "Corporations".

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 10:13 a.m. CST

    "Reed Richards instantly figures out how to detect the Skrulls (

    by Joenathan

    Actually that was done on-screen in the first issue... the Hank-skrull shot him.<br><br>So, lets talk SI. I'm really interested in knowing exactly what WOULD satisfy you all. You've all said (at various points) that too much is happening and that not enough is happening, that it is too slow and that it is too fast. You decry the farming out of side stories to ancillary titles and then piss and moan that they're trying to put too much into the main title. <br><br>Where is the slack? I mean, isn't this a massive, years in the making, multi-title, multi-high level character cross over? What do you think is REALLY going to happen? Did you REALLY expect Tony Stark, star character of a recently minted billion dollar franchise, to turn out to NOT be who he says he is? Did you really think that was going to happen?<br><br>Really?<br><br>I don't think its fair to poo on a good, fun story for having to work within certain parameters (of which we are all aware of) that are completely beyond the creators' control. Why don't we all admit that comics are limited by the still fairly new, but much, much, much, infinately much more profitable multi-media end of its characters? Are you really sooooo disappointed that the heroes are going to "win". This isn't Wildstorm, people, the Marvel Earth is not going to be destroyed, eventually everything will return to a status quo, eventually, thats the nature of comics, so what would it take?<br><br>Lets start with the premiss that SI is a failure and not well executed (with which I strongly disagree, but for the sake of debate), sooooo what should have been done instead?<br><Br>And the first guy to say "everything" is a friendless virgin bitter about his failure at life and his inability to the one thing he really, really wants to do because he has no talent and everyone knows it...

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 11:32 a.m. CST

    My Thoughts on SI

    by optimous_douche

    I guess I just don’t care. If everything is going to turn back to the status quo without any irrevocable changes, then what’s the point?<p> CRISIS on INFINITE EARTHS changed the landscape of DC, likewise HOUSE OF M forever changed mutants in Marvel. There needs to be a point if a story is not only going to hijack my monthlies, but also expects me to shell out extra duckets for a bunch of tie-in mini-series.<p> Hey, as much as I love DC, I hated the fact that there were no lasting repercussions from the death of Superman. I’m sitting around right now, wondering if FINAL CRISIS is truly going to change anything. “The day evil won”, for now perhaps, but in the long term. Doubt it. Right now, I see one character change (the return of Barry Allen) and one universe change (return of the multi-verse).<p> It needs to having lasting effects, otherwise it just feels like so much hype. If comics want to forget the past so easily and hit the reset button, then for God’s sake just do that.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Devil in "The Stand" tv movie = Huey Lewis evil twin

    by JackRabbitSlim

    Half expected him to say "I want a new drug" in a suitably demonic voice. As for the book - the explosion and resultant character deaths felt very much like a "Shit - i have waaay too many character threads - i can't write them all in a non biblical-length book - i need a device to kill a few of em off" moment. You could see the stitches holding the narrative fraying there - glimpses of Oz scrambling behind the curtain - irreparably took me out of the book.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 11:44 a.m. CST

    SI

    by Laserhead

    The main drama being in back-story is tedious and gives a treading-water feel to the larger narrative, to me. Things that have already happened being put in scene rather than summary, whatever information is provided, gives it a stalled sense-- an effect of PADDING. The actual SI issues just aren't very exciting or imaginative to me; what can I say? It's dull and feels very, very, very much like a retread of very familiar tropes. Now that the Skrull-Cylons have invoked God, the Battlestar similarities are just outright ridiculous. I've decided that until he changes, I just don't think I like the way Bendis writes. The over-stylized dialogue which makes everyone speak with the same personality and cadences rings false and contrived, and more damning, to me, his actual plots are usually pretty dull in execution: something happens, people deliberate about what's happened and try out a couple things that don't work, then something else happens in the Nth hour that fixes things. He doesn't really know how to exploit drama like, say, Brubaker, or Ellis, or even Morrison and Millar. He has an idea, a general sense of its resolution, and then rather than actually plotting toward it, he seems to PAD the story with back-and-forth until its time for the resolution. There's a staleness and a general recycled feeling to the events, and in a lot of ways, outside Captain America, Marvel's universe is such a hodge-podge of status-quo-changing events that I find I just don't care about their characters in the way I used to. I can't help it, Iron Man, Spider-Man, New Avengers, Old Avengers-- it just seems like a big mess wherein the heroes don't behave with a continuity of personality, but toward the directives of the big event. You get little moments where somebody says something cool, but these things seem intertwined with boring stalls of banal talk. Now, I don't mean to defend DC with this, because Didio's buffoonery is inexusable, but it's just where I'm at with Marvel, and this was the last big event there I was going to take a look at. What should have been done better? Where do you start, and how deep do you go? I'd like better plotting, better pacing, better characterization, and a cleaner, more suspenseful story. I guess the first thing I'd have done different would be to get Brubaker to write it. Just my take. I don't care if others like it; Great, enjoy. I'd only been reading the issues in store, and think I actually bought one. But now, like optimus said, knowing where this is going to end up, I have no interest in even flipping through the remainder.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Optimus

    by Joenathan

    "I guess I just don’t care. If everything is going to turn back to the status quo without any irrevocable changes, then what’s the point?"<br><br>I appreciate the sentiment and understand what you're saying, but I don't think its entriely valid when referring to comics. I mean, this is comics, after all, the eventual return to status quo reboot is how they have always worked. I mean, just like you know Steve Rogers and Jean Grey will someday not be dead anymore, you can be just as sure that every comic story will eventually be ignored and retconned or glossed over or "solved" in favor of a return to status quo or a new Point Zero from which to begin a new journey. Right?<br><br>"There needs to be a point if a story is not only going to hijack my monthlies, but also expects me to shell out extra duckets for a bunch of tie-in mini-series."<br><br>Well, to be fair, SI hasn't finished yet and we aren't aware of what ALL the ramifications will be at this point, so lets just table this critisism for a future discussion once SI has wrapped up. (Unless of course you just want to admit that I'm right and you're wrong now... cause I'll accept that...) <br><br>"It needs to having lasting effects, otherwise it just feels like so much hype. If comics want to forget the past so easily and hit the reset button, then for God’s sake just do that."<br><br>Lets play a new game... Lets call it: "name the event/moment after... say... 1980, that is still considered relevant to day to day character universe life or has not been retconned."<br><br>Much like I treat continuity and the passage of time within comics, story relevance is tenuous at best. You just have to make peace with the fact that the character you love right now is only going to be that character RIGHT NOW, because in six months so new guy is going to get behind the wheel and he may just drive that son of a bitch straight into a brick. Let me ask you all: Anyone still excited about or even reading Iron Fist or Thunderbolts anymore? Comics, the character interpretations, the current storyline/continuity... its all transient and I think, at least, that comics are much easier to enjoy if your title choices and readings are just as fluid.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Just to be fair-- "The Day Evil Won"

    by Laserhead

    Does anybody else find that tag line ridiculous, because it's absolutely inconsequential, and readers know it? I mean, unless their universe is ended and DC folds up shop, then the fight ISN'T OVER. What the tagline MEANS is, "The Day Evil Won a Brief Battle in a Larger Ongoing War that Won't Actually End, Ever, And Don't Worry, Good Will Make a Stellar Comeback"

  • Sept. 18, 2008, noon CST

    Best American 1900s novel = "Grapes of Wrath"

    by JackRabbitSlim

    And that's from a dyed-in-the-wool capitalist who can recognize greatness even when he doesn't agree (in fact vehemently disagrees) with the conclusions drawn. His dexterity with the language, the near-poetic structure of the narrative - that was some damn fine scribbling that pinko did.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Laser

    by Joenathan

    True. Bendis has a tendency to write in the same voice a lot, (remember the "Oh, no, you didn't" issue of New Avengers?) but this: "something happens, people deliberate about what's happened and try out a couple things that don't work, then something else happens in the Nth hour that fixes things." is way too over simplified to be a fair critique. <br><br>I defy you to come up with a similar type of story that CAN'T be broken down to such easy terms.<br><br>As for your characterization of the Marvel Universe, I guess we just disagree because I haven't felt like Marvel has been this cohesive and inter-related in years.<br><br>This though: "I'd like better plotting, better pacing, better characterization, and a cleaner, more suspenseful story." Come on, dude, come on, could you be more vague and whiny? You're better than that comic book guy cliched shit, I know you are. Saying that you would have preferred to see Bru's take, alright, I can get with that, its a stylistic thing for you, no problem, that's getting somewhere in the discussion, but vague whining... Come on, dude. Come on.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Laser's new tag line.

    by Joenathan

    God, spoil the ending, why don't cha? <br><br>Spoiler...

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Fair Enough Joen

    by optimous_douche

    Even comics I have no interest in, I still hope people like them.<P> Why? becasue it keeps the medium going and at the end of the day that's what is really important.<p> I think most collectors will admit that if they stay with comic books long enough, they wax and wane between the two houses in their adoration.<p> No I don't expect anything that happens in books to be ever lasting, but good God give it a little time to stic. Hence why I respect House of M.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 12:22 p.m. CST

    "but good God give it a little time to stic."

    by Joenathan

    But hasn't it?<br><br>How long ago was Disassembled? Isn't the SHRA still looming over the entire MArvel Universe? I'd say the only big Marvel Event that HASN'T had lasting universe wide effects is World War Hulk, although thats not even true because that story sent Herculeas into his own book and the God Squad storyline that directly affected SI. Its been what, four years, five years since all this started? Thats a lifetime in comics! How long do you need?

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 2:30 p.m. CST

    I have no problem wih the ending of The Stand...

    by RockLobster800

    I mean, I dont really know how people wanted it to end-a fist fight with Flagg? A war between Vegas and Boulder? I thought it ended kinda appropriatly, what with Larry finding his faith, Trashcan Mans attempts at redemptiions failing and all...I kinda thought the whole book was leading up to something apocalyptic like a nuclear bomb going off. But thats just me :S

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 3:23 p.m. CST

    I'm not whining, you asked

    by Laserhead

    And if that's vague, it's because I don't have the time or wherewithal to sit down with all the Bendis books I've read and haven't much liked and sift through every scene and make notations to illustrate my point. If I generalized too much with the progression of his plots, let me be more specific: His plots lack a suspenseful chain of causality. Once the problem is established, the large middle part of his stories often reads like it's inconsequential padding, irrelevant to the story's resolution, and his resolutions, to my mind, have never been satisfactory.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 3:33 p.m. CST

    See? Thats more specific,

    by Joenathan

    I disagree though...

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Optimous

    by MikeTheSpike

    The action in Deadpool, while very attractively-rendered, was a guy fighting Skrulls. If I had a dollar for every issue of a comic I've read in the past few months that featured a guy fighting Skrulls, I could retire right now. More power to him if Way wants to tie his book into the big event and boost sales, but he could at least take a page from Hercules and do it in an original manner.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by BangoSkank

    My complaint was that in this last issue, too much is going on. Let's break it down. <p> You've got Marvel Boy's suicide-run out of nowhere. Who is this guy? Why is he doing what he's doing? I have no idea. I reread issue #5, and he was nowhere to be found. At some point I remember him escaping from prison, but that's all I got.... <p> Then we have two pages of what's going on in the other books, none of which I'm reading, but it's a good outlook on the rest of the world, so I'm okay with it. <p> Then we've got the skrulls doing skrully shit. Again, okay. <p> Then we jump to the New and Mighty Avengers. Great! But only for two pages. Doh! <p> Then life on the streets. <p> Then the new Howling commandos, who I think are cool, but who are they again? Haven't seen much of them, not enough to know them, or really care. Again, two pages. They are joined by what's left of the Initiative (who I don't know) and the Young Avengers (who I've never followed either). <p> Then we've got one panel of the Hood's Gang. What are they up to? Who gives a fuck. They only get a panel or two per issue, if that. <p> Then we got the return of Thor. From where? No idea. Last I heard he was either dead, or a robot. <p> Then we've got the return of Captain America. I thought that mother-fucker was dead too... On top of which, he (whoever he might be) hasn't been mentioned in the books for months. <p> Then we've got the skrull army attacking, so of course.... <p> The Avengers (both teams, who hate each other), join Dead Thor and Dead Captain America, with the Thunderbolts (who must have teleported in), the Howling Commandos (who did teleport in), and the Hood's crew (their sworn enemies). <p> I just feel like their spending full issues in the Avengers books detailing how one single skrull operative got on the inside, then jam three books worth of "real-time" action into one issue of SI. I also understand why all these people are banding together, but again, it's all done in one panel, or between panels..... <p> Just my humble-fuck of an opinion.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Let me add....

    by BangoSkank

    Please excuse the typos.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Bango

    by Joenathan

    Well, I can see where you might be confused, but honestly, to me, it seems like more of a case of you swimming in the deep end when you should be in the shallow section, not meant as an insult, what I'm saying is: judging by your detailed (I'm looking at you, Laserhead...) response, I don't think you're all that caught up on not just the ancillary SI stuff, but Marvel in general or you would know who Marvel Boy is, where he's been, where Thor's been and what he's been doing, where the Thunderbolts are, and do you really not know who's in the Cap costume at the moment?<br><br> so, because of all that, I can see why you'd feel confused, but to stretch my original metaphor a bit, if you want to swim in the deep end (read: the biggest event currentl going on at Marvel) you need to jump into the pool and swim around a bit (read more Marvel).<br><br>I know, I know, boo hoo, secret Invasion should be 100% accessible to the neophyte and diletant reader, well... its not. Hit up your local LCS, support the comic world and get caught up.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 4:58 p.m. CST

    Also...

    by Joenathan

    your typos are excused.

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 5 p.m. CST

    JMS is writing a series with Thor and Bucky is now Cap

    by hst666

  • Sept. 18, 2008, 6:43 p.m. CST

    Yeah....

    by BangoSkank

    In terms of me not knowing who Marvel Boy is, or what's up with Thor, or Cap, or whatever, that's valid.... But I guess, my thought is, if you're going to stuff all these people into the same book, touch on them individually a bit more.... <p> I was being a bit facetious in regard to my lack of knowledge.... I know that Thor is back out there, and someone else had stepped in as Cap.... But, although it's a company wide crossover, at its heart I still see it as an Avengers story. Cap and Thor are major Avenger's players who haven't gotten any mention in the team books since thier return. AND, if the big reveal of their return to the Avengers is going to take place in SI, give it more than a single splash page. Make it the big deal it should be. <p> And my main complaint isn't really that I don't know the names of The Young Avengers, or even who Marvel Boy is... It's how condensed this last issue felt. Instead of committing an entire issue to how Pym got replaced by a skrull (months ago) in New Avengers, give me more of what's going on right now.... <p> And yes, I'm probably missing this desired action in the comics that I don't follow.... but my ass has been burned by Marvel before. World War Hulk being a prime example of me picking up comics I don't normally read and getting a ton of unnecessary fluff. World War Hulk:X-men and similar crap is the reason why I'm not going out of my way to spend extra cash on SI.... maybe I'll pick up the trades and reread it all later.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 6:55 a.m. CST

    MikeSpike Deadpool

    by optimous_douche

    I have to wonder if the tie-in to the Skrulls was a Way choice, or an editorial mandate.<p> I don't think any writer at this point wants to be part of a tie-in unless they are running the direction of it.<p> After watching Morrison get F'd over by all the pre-crap that tainted Final Crisis, I think all creators are now wary of editors.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 7:16 a.m. CST

    Buzz Maverik's Evidence of Super Villainry

    by Buzz Maverik

    Supeheroes don't exist, put supervillains might.<p>Possible supervillain attack: poison Chinese dairy products.<p>I suspect Fu Manchu, Wu Fang, or even Lo Pan the Shadow Emperor.<p>Surely, even you clowns can see the connections here.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 8:02 a.m. CST

    Are Crossovers/Epic Events for the Casual Reader?

    by optimous_douche

    While the question is not as old as whether Greedo or Han shot first, this debate on how many title you need to read to truly understand universe changing event books has been a focal point for the better part of twenty years in the comic collecting community.<p> From a wide-eyed, utopian, child-like perspective every comic book should be accessible to a new reader walking in the first time. Whether the exposition is force fed through an intro paragraph or delicately weaved into the opening panels of the book, ideally the writer should get the reader up-to-speed so they can revel in the next 20 to 22 pages.<p> Well, excuse me while I remove the pixie-dust from ass and get grounded back in reality.<p> This is not an idealistic world and for a book to be truly epic it should transcend and touch upon almost every book within that universe. As we look at a Secret Invasion and Final Crisis it is naïve to think that we will get the full picture from merely the titles that bare those singular names.<p> Now, I bailed on SI, simply because I did not “get” what was going-on in the grand scheme of things. Why? Frankly, I just don’t read that many Marvel titles. This is hhardly Marvel or Bendis’ fault. I have never cared for the Avengers, the galactic titles do little to titillate me and my love affair with Spider-Man over the years runs as hot and cold as his relationship with the Osborn clan. I’m a mutant guy and quite frankly my interest in mutants just did not provide enough continuity fodder for me to become truly immersed in the pages of SI. I will say however, I loved the bleed of SI into tiltes like X-Factor and She-Hulk. David balanced the content beautifully between what I know about these stories without ever getting heavy handed on the SI tie-in. What I remembered from the first three issues of SI that I had read melded beautifully into these books.<p> Now, Final Crisis I can speak to. There are a scant few books in the DC universe that I have not read over the past three years. Is this a beautiful cross-over or epic event? No, far from it. Reading Final Crisis as a solitary book is enjoyable, but the cross pollination into other titles feels as though as it has been handled by a swarm of retarded bees. This is counting the lead-up books as well as the books churning out during the throes of the main-event. But at least I can say I understand what is going on…sorta.<p> From my unlearned opinion I will say that marvel seems to be taking the cake by keeping tight control on events no matter what your ultimate feelings are about the books. From my learned perspective DC has not accomplished this. In the end though, these books should not be viewed as solitary stand-alone titles, that’s why certain books are deemed monthlies and others get the coveted title of cross-over event.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 8:42 a.m. CST

    I confess...

    by Psynapse

    I'm utterly and completely bored by both FC and SI. But then, I've decided that when the current Buffy monthly and DC's 'Darkest Night' event are over I'm cancelling my (now 18 year old) subscription at the LCS and joining the ranks of the trade waiters. The hassle of managing the longboxes along with the sense of being fleeced repeatedly by the big 2 has made me realize my money is really better spent elsewhere for all I want to accomplish in my personal life. YES, I AM jaded and cynical at this point, but that's besides the point. The bigger and more important question is do you really think I'm a minority in this attitude? And ask yourself what that says for this medium and industry as whole?<p> Event fatigue? If only it were JUST that.....

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 9:34 a.m. CST

    The jaded minority and Bangoskank

    by Joenathan

    Yes, I do think you're in the minority, most of those who are a readily admitted part of this group only think they are a large section of comics demographics because they surround themselves with like minded people, i.e. the message boards. The plain, simple and irrefutable fact is, sales are banging along, man, so unless every single one of you are lying and actually buying the things you claim you don't, (a distinct possibility) there a shit ton of mother fuckers out there who are loving every minute of the Big 2 and buying the hell out of them or at the very least, they're buying the hell out of them and having better things to do then to come on-line and complain about it. <br><br> I'll agree, having finally read it, theat 6 wasn hurried, but I think that was to free up the last two for the resolution, don't you? Also, Thor and Cap may have been Avengers at past points (technically, the current Cap hasn't, but you understand...), currently they ARE NOT members, sooooo if SI isviewed as an Avengers' book, then it makes sense that they do not appear that much, right?

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 9:39 a.m. CST

    And really...

    by Psynapse

    $2.99-3.99 a book? Compared on average to other monthly periodicals (relative to both page count and production costs) we (comics readers) ARE being fleeced by just about every publisher of comics there is. Given the current economic environment and the steady erosion of disposable income, monthlies have simply become too cost prohibitive.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Right on, Optimus

    by Joenathan

    I think that is what defines the events as EPIC, the fact that they cover the whole universe, so you have to be more than passingly familiar for MAXIMUM enjoyment. A number 1 issue, sure, that should be all reader friendly, but an epic universe sprawling event, thats for veterans, by fact of the build up to said event alone, its just for veterans. If you read the main book alone, it should be fun, I agree, but you don't really see the whole thing unless you spread out a little more. I'm the opposite of you. I'm reading FC alone and sprawled all over SI. I'm having fun with both.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 10:04 a.m. CST

    We'll see....

    by Psynapse

    Given the current economic turmoil (Hey! let's use Taxpayer funding to bail out the private sector yet again!) I think you're going to see quite the shift in sales numbers over the next 3 years.....(Anyone who doesn't think that such situations drasticly affect luxury industries simply hasn't been alive long enough or hasn't paid attention these last 30 years)

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Actually...

    by Joenathan

    What drops are things like vacations or new cars, things like movies, books, or dare I say, comics all rise because of their "relatively" low price, close proximity and escapism entertainment value. All that being said, though: comics aren't slumping, especially not after this year, what with the billion dollar comic book movie franchises and all.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Not to belabor a point.....

    by BangoSkank

    But I'm far from a casual reader --Marvel Zombie for 25 years here-- and I may have shot myself in the foot when making my complaint about the latest issue of SI, and mentioning all the characters that I'm not up to date on. <p> In reality, my complaint is that I feel like the core-book, SI, feels over-packed with action, while what I see as the two "main" ancillary books --New and Mighty-- feel a bit on the light side. <p> <SPOILERS> <p> The same plot-point they took an entire issue with, Hank Pym's defection/realization of the Skulls failings, they also made with Skull-Captain Marvell in four or five well paced pages spread out over two issues. <p> My other complaint is the Marvell Boy suicide attack out of nowhere. If this was set up in another comic, then it shouldn't have been the opening in the latest SI.... It's not even mentioned in the front page recap. And all I want is a little insight into character motivation. That's something I should need to read an entire other book for. <p> Despite all my bitching, I really am enjoying the story overall. Just wanted to vent a little.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 10:18 a.m. CST

    That's something I *shouldn't*

    by BangoSkank

    need to read an entire other book for. <p> Oops.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by BangoSkank

    "...but I think that was to free up the last two for the resolution, don't you?" <p> And that's exactly my point. Why force a story that has twelve or fifteen issues of action into eight. Either cut some plot or extend the core SI book. <p> And I don't think that have the "gall" to criticize a comic I love is the same as being jaded.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 10:27 a.m. CST

    I gotta get some work done....

    by BangoSkank

    but will be back later.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Which Marvel Boy did they kill off?

    by SleazyG.

    Wacky Grant Morrison early-90's Marvel Boy? Or old-school 1950's AGENTS OF ATLAS Marvel Boy? And did he actually die, or is "suicide run" not to be taken literally?

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Bango and Marvel Boy

    by Joenathan

    The "jaded" part of that post was to you, sorry for any confusion. The second half the post was to you. I realized after posting that I didn't label them and of course, once again, no edit function, so...<br><br>Anyway, they didn't kill off Marvel Boy, they're finally doing something with him and this was started back in the illuminati series, the illuminati tried to get him to embrace his "legacy" as a hero instead of waging war on the World, its all about making him the "new" captain marvel. Morrison's series is really fun, with J.G. Jones art, you should check it out if you haven't read it. Its one from the more coherant side of Grant Morrison, if that motivates you more...<br><br>I've really been enjoying the Mighty and New installments, I think they're fun. The new Howling Commandos getting trained and kidnapping MAria Hill... pretty cool...<br><br>Look, I get what you're saying, I'm never going to argue that these Events are perfect, they're always a bit over stuffed and unweildy, personally, I always feel like they should be doubl sized books and with a few more issues so that they have enough room, Civil War is an especially good example of not having enough room, I think. Character moments are often inferred or lost rather than played out and I wish that wasn't the case, because I'm willing to pay extra to see it all, but what can you do? Comics, by their nature of static, sequentail art can be imperfect when it comes to subtle nuiances, especially with such huge, crazy superhero stuff like this. Add that to the art of balancing so many creators and characters and their concerns, the big events will never be as good as the single creator driven title. I give events like SI more of a pass, because I feel that getting on them for not spending enough time with the characters is like pointing out how retarded the plot to Transformers was. Duh, you know?

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 3:01 p.m. CST

    I must disagree JoeNathan

    by Homer Sexual

    I know we've discussed this before, and my big beef continues to be that next to no one of substance is a skrull. As the man said "Who can you trust?" Pretty much everybody. The reveals are all second tier characters. <p> I have to say that pretty much any character could be a skrull, because the "real" hero could then return at the end of SI. This is why I initially expected Cap and Stark to both be skrulls. So many people dislike the portrayal of Stark as patriot/fascist that his exposure as a skrull who initiated Civil War to disrupt the Marvel Universe seemed very logical and likely. The whole New Mutants/Nitro thing, they could all have been skrulls. I was expecting lots of skrulls, and there have been very few. I know this is repetitive, but it is what really limits my enjoyment of SI, even though I do like it.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 3:50 p.m. CST

    I heart Tony... big time.

    by Joenathan

    I do, I think what they're doing with Iron Man now has finally made him interesting and elevated him above the one note existence as the ex-drunk super hero. <br><br> I also think they've fought too hard to establish Tony as a 3-D character to risk all that work by making him as a skrull. Wouldn’t that seem like a cheat to you after everything they’ve done up to now? It would to me. <br><br> Thor? Might hurt JMS's story. <br><br> Cap? That might ruin Bru's story. <br><br> Spider-man? Talk about a mine field there. Hasn’t he been fucked with enough lately? <br><br> Reed? Well, maybe, but in the context of the story it wouldn’t really work. <br><br> The rest of the Fantastic Four? Obviously by shunting them into the negative zone, what they’re really saying is: We’re not going to use these characters to any consequence. <br><br> It'd be cool if Nick Fury was one, but then, why? Like Reed it really wouldn’t work in the context of the story. It wouldn’t make any sense. “Ha-HA! I’m actually a skrull!” “…but why did you train us how to kill skrulls then?” “Uh… shut up!” <br><br> Wolverine, you could probably get away with it, what with his history of scrambled pasts and implants and yadda, yadda, yadda, but really, after examining why the others wouldn't work and only having Wolverine left as the last possible "big name" to make a skrull, he kind of becomes the Mace Windu of the possibilities, right? <br><br> I still say Hank Pym is a huge character. Also, after the last five years, I think Spiderwoman is also a BIG reveal. So yeah, it’d be cool if there had been more, but eventually we’d just be at this point anyway, all the heroes, ready to charge.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Buzz Maverik's Suspects In Super Villainry

    by Buzz Maverik

    Local mayhem: Barfin' Ralph Upchuck; also the UAO (United Anarchists Organization)<p> Global assaults: Dr. Sirroco<p> Cosmic terror: Collapstar

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 10:52 p.m. CST

    Meanwhile...

    by loodabagel

    I didn't read Secret Invasion or a Stephen King novel. I just read the last issue of All-Star Superman and kindly accepted that it was the best Superman comic EVER.

  • Sept. 19, 2008, 11:06 p.m. CST

    I wish I had a ton of money...

    by loodabagel

    I managed to read the first three issues of Secret War and found them pretty good. (infinitely better than Civil War) I wish I could honestly say Marvel has their best crossover in years (Maybe ever?) but I haven't been there. Maybe if a deluxe trade comes out that collects all the main issues and tie-ins in order. Still, just from reading talkbacks, Secret Invasion seems pretty good. Nobody's complaining about characterization or late shipping. Has Marvel finally got their shit together? Only time will tell.

  • Sept. 20, 2008, 10:36 p.m. CST

    nothing on All Star Superman 12?

    by Amadeus Zero

    Been waiting months for this last issue of a great series, and nothing?! (sigh) Next week?

  • Sept. 23, 2008, 4:13 p.m. CST

    C'mon!

    by loodabagel

    Let's get some more posts up in here!

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