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#25 10/29/08 #7



Writer: Geoff Johns Artist: Shane Davis Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

I adored 99.99% of every blood soaked page in this book. Like the “Sinestro Corps War” this was not just a title that will titillate Green Lantern fans, but should also tweak the pleasure centers of most comic aficionados. Between all of the blood and gore, unexpected twists, and a so cavalier that it’s funny take on mass carnage akin to when Monty Python told us to “bring out our dead”, Johns weaves yet one more appropriately dark set-up for the impending “lights out” that is about to consume the DC galaxy.
For the first time in many months Hal Jordan has stepped out of Doc Brown’s Delorean to join the rest of the DC universe in the here and now (sorta – more on that in a minute). I know many fans have been irked by the seven month sojourn into Hal Jordan’s past that just finished in GREEN LANTERN, but all will become clear as you traverse the pages of RED RAGE and realize the pivotal roles being played by Yellow Lantern Sinestro and Red Lantern Atrocitus. Staying true to its name, “Secret Origin” truly was a game of three card Monty, when you were watching Hal Jordan you really should have been looking closer at the villains because RED RAGE has solidified that the villains will be the real stars in the coming “Blackest Night”.
To give a plot summary would be an affront to the sheer deliciousness of this title, because it is not the plot itself that spurred girlish eeks and agape expressions as I read each page, but rather each small moment that drove the plot. Know this: Sinestro is finally being asked to walk “the Green Mile” (no pun intended – OK yes it was) for his crimes against the Green Lanterns and the entire universe during the Sinestro Corps War. Does Sinestro meet his macabre fate? I’m not saying, but I will offer my three favorite moments of this title: a perfect yellow head shot, some red Lanterns are real pussies, and one more nail in the coffin of Sinestro’s unrequited bromance for Jordan.
“Hey Douche, what’s this 99% bullshit? It sounds to me like you would have had this comic in the biblical sense if it wasn’t for unsightly paper cuts on your Optimous Dick.” And you’re right in that assumption; Johns delivered a great story and Davis did some amazing pencil work especially on the tight close ups. Alas, my one dissatisfaction falls on DC editorial because I can now say without reservation that FC no longer stands for FINAL CRISIS, but rather fucked continuity and find currency. I’m conflicted because the greedy marketer in me applauds DC for their chutzpah in trying to suck Green Lantern fans into FINAL CRISIS, but the comic purist in me cries bullshit. There is a panel on page one that says, “These events take place between Final Crisis 1 and 2.” OK, so there is no death algebra consuming the universe yet, thanks for the heads up. Surely then we’ll see Hal Jordan and John Stewart getting the Alpha Lantern smackdown while investigating the death of Orion. Nope. Ahhh, so maybe Darkseid or Libra will be the financial backers of the Red Lanterns. Nope, there’s not a “Night at the Roxbury Darkseid” or “Gay pride Leotard Libra” to be found. There was not one connection point to FC and the Blackest Night. So, why wasn’t this entitled “Blackest Night Part I”, or here’s an even better idea, GREEN LANTERN number 36?
This is a small nit in the context of enjoying this book, but a monumental Mecca size nit in the context of affairs at DC. I’m going to go back on my earlier statements about FINAL CRISIS not changing anything at DC. FINAL CRISIS has torn their universe in three: there’s the Morrison Universe, the Johns Universe and the also-rans universe. And for now, none of them seem to be colliding.
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.


Writer: Warren Ellis Artist(s): Alan Davis, Adi Granov Publisher: Marvel Comics "Reviewed" by Humphrey Lee

I apologize for this "review" right now. Those expecting me to come in here and dissect this comic and discuss material like what I thought it achieved and where it's going and how its role in fitting into the main AXM story Ellis has created and etc etc...well, you ain't getting it because I didn't read it. I had planned on it; even had it on my pull list and everything. Showed up to the store, went to my box and there it was as I flipped through my pile and then its pages to take in the art, something I was really excited by when I read the solicits and saw two of the best in the field, for varying reasons. But then I noticed something. That there wasn't much art in this book, from either of these esteemed gentlemen. Likewise, not much story either, just a lot of so called "bonus" material. And then I double checked the price tag and thought... wow, that's a lot of balls. I mean, when they solicited this book, I did recall there was a price increase, but I also saw that there was to be 48 pages of material. Material that I was under the assumption would be, y'know, FUCKING EXTRA PAGES OF STORY AND NOT SOME BULLSHIT COPY/PASTE JOB OF A SCRIPT THAT SOME/MOST COMICS WILL JUST FUCKING GIVE YOU FOR FREE BECAUSE THEY ACTUALLY GIVE A SHIT WHILST ALSO NOT FUCKING TAKING AWAY SIX PAGES OF MATERIAL FROM THE NORM AND CHARGING YOU FOR THE FUCKING RIGHT TO DO SO!!!
.... much better...
Listen, I understand times are tough all around, just like I understand that, quite frankly, this is just a comic book and nothing to get worked up about. Unlike things that are actually pertinent and/or essential in life, I can just put this back on the shelf and be done with it. But at the same time, the idea that someone thought they could cut back on six pages of story, give us "extras" that can be found for free in, well hell, in the back matter of pretty much any of Warren Ellis' creator owned products, and then have the audacity to charge another dollar for's just working on a plane of asininity that I can't really fathom. And really, Marvel's pricing schemes of late are something that has really pushed on my nerves and this brought it to the forefront. I'm looking at you, "$3.99 books that have no extra pages, just a cardstock cover". And y'know, I get it sometimes. I really do. I've got a Bachelor's in Business Management, I understand something about bottom line and margins and insert whatever jargon, but for fuck's sakes you're really leaving some people out in the woods here. Give a couple extra pages here and there, or at the least keep the page count the same and give us bonuses. Last I checked, DC is giving us an extra page count AND that nifty little cardstock cover (you know, the thing that was on all the ULTIMATE titles just a handful of years ago when they were still $2.25 with no added cost? Those things…) for an extra buck, why don't you, y'know, price competitively?
Oh, that's right. You don't think you have to. Because readers will buy it anyway, most times without even noticing. And you're right, they won't. Which is why SECRET INVASION is a buck more with nothing but that little stock cover to bolster the increase, despite the fact that it's the highest selling title right now by a large margin. Which is why you get something like the last issue of GHOST RIDER that put material that is normally, and should really, be relegated to Handbook style specials and not put in the back of the monthly with the assumption the reader will want to read it and pay extra for it. Which is why now all your collections go to that lovely "Premiere" Hardcover format first, which AT THE LEAST are just as expensive as the issues themselves, if not moreso, pretty much negating half the reason people trade wait to begin with, which is to save a little scratch off the cost of buying it monthly since they have the patience to wait for it. But it's okay, this title/issue in question only has double the readership of, say, THE BOYS complete with advertising and everything, so of course it needs to take away six pages of content for an added cost. Just the cost of doing business, right?
But this is just comics. Nothing to get worked up over. It's only entertainment; a luxury at best. Honestly, besides incidents like this, I've had a lot of good will going for Marvel recently. I love books like NOVA and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and pretty much everything Brubaker writes, and I've been damn well please to see them recognizing talent like Matt Fraction, and giving guys like Jason Aaron and Rick Remender and Jonathan Hickman some spotlight. I don't even mind their events for the most part, even though I think they need to happen less frequently. I just don't get where this nonsense is coming from, and how they think it's not going to bite them in the ass. I'm also angry at the fans, though, for not voting with their dollar and calling them on this shit, but that's a whole ‘nother rant. And again, for those of you who wanted a review of this book, which I'm sure had some good Ellisonian one-liners and kind of confusing but still highly intriguing techno-babble, I apologize. It looked really pretty I saw as I flipped through it. That's about all I've got. It's just the cost of doing business though, I guess.
Humphrey Lee has been an avid comic book reader going on fifteen years now and a contributor to Ain't It Cool comics for quite a few as well. In fact, reading comics is about all he does in his free time and where all the money from his day job wages goes to - funding his comic book habit so he can talk about them to you, our loyal readers (lucky you). He's a bit of a social networking whore, so you can find him all over the Interwebs on sites like Twitter, The MySpaces, and a Blogger Account where he also mostly talks about comics with his free time because he hasn't the slightest semblance of a life. Sad but true, and he gladly encourages you to add, read, and comment as you will.


Writers: Judd Winick and Bill Willingham Penciller: Howard Porter Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Jinxo

I was tempted to skip reviewing this book. By the time this review will hit the web the election will be over and this “Be Sure To Vote!” book will be pointless anyway. If you haven’t bought it by now, don’t bother. But I decided to talk about it because it just annoyed me so badly. I finished reading it and immediately looked at the price on the cover. A $2.99 four issue weekly published book. It just hit me that I got soaked for twelve bucks for a “Very Special Episode Of Blossom…err…the DC Universe”. This book had three levels it was working. The hook was the action level. Someone is trying to kill fictional DC Universe politicians and they are mind controlling innocent people to do it! Not a bad hook. Next is the ethical plot level. Should heroes endorse political candidates? And the final level is the “Very Special Episode” level with the book serving as a PSA for us to get to the polls and vote! A twelve &%#$! dollar PSA.
So how do those levels pan out? On the action front, the resolution of who was behind the assassination attempts was just okay. There’s a decent fight but the reveal of who was behind it and why isn’t exactly mind blowing. It’s just enough to finish the plot up cleanly but not enough for me to feel like it was worth hanging a whole miniseries on.
On the hero ethics front…it just falls flat. In the end we find out that heroes really shouldn’t endorse candidates. We learn this from a big speech at the end from Superman. With the action stuff just being okay, this book for me hung on this. It’s clearly supposed to be a deep and profound speech from the big guy but reading it…to me he sounded really full of crap. It didn’t sound honest or well reasoned. It was full of logic like, “Well, if I throw my support to candidate A to be President and then candidate B wins, maybe candidate B won’t fully trust that I’ll be there for him to help when I’m needed.” Yeah. Because candidate B would be that stupid. Because Superman didn’t back him in the election, clearly Superman will stand back and let an assassin kill him or will let a bus of kids get blown up just to make the guy look bad. The rest of his logic is about that solid. It isn’t really Superman saying something that matters, it’s the writers closing the concept down so they don’t have to ever deal with it again. Oh! Then there is also the weird moment where Superman says the heroes actually operate outside the law and that their actions “are governed by no one”. What the hell??? Okay, they aren’t sanctioned law enforcement agents but I never thought of the heroes as being beyond the law. If Superman were to kill someone I’d expect him to stand trial. This line actually scared me in what it seemed to infer. But maybe Superman is right. Why would we ever look to the smartest and noblest of us to help us make up our minds on important issues? That’s just stupid!
They also try so hard to maintain Superman/Clark Kent’s political neutrality to the point of absurdity. Okay, you want Superman to represent ALL Americans, Republicans and Democrats. But the end has Lois still pestering Clark to tell her who he voted for and Clark refusing to say. All I could think is, wow, they must have the worst marriage EVER. Clark’s so closed off that even his wife can’t determine who he’d vote for? REALLY??? They’re married news reporters and he has never said enough for her to get any idea of his political leanings??? I think I could tell you who everyone of my friends is voting for even without them telling me, even friends I only talk to once in awhile. I guess at the Kent home conversations go like this: “Hey Clark, how do you feel about gay marriage?” “Well…you know…well…” “What about evolution versus creationism?” “Well…yeah…eh…” “Clark, didn’t you actually go back in time that one time where you saw how the Earth came into being?” “Yes I did, but…well, eh…no comment.”
So, with the action plot being just passable and the ethics thing just not making a lick of sense, what comes to the front as the main point of this whole book is that it is in fact nothing but a get out and vote PSA. I paid twelve dollars to be preached at. I’m so annoyed…I’m sort of now rooting for Darkseid in this Final Crisis thing. Screw ‘em all, Darkseid! If he’s in charge Darkseid won’t be putting up with this sort of crap. Never going to be a “Very Special” Darkseid story. Although, come to think of it, THAT I would pay to read. Jinxo is Thom Holbrook, lifelong comic book reader, and the evil genius behind He may appear cute and cuddly but if encountered avoid eye contact and DO NOT attempt to feed.


Writer: Mark Verheiden Based on Characters created by Sam and Ivan Raimi Art: John Bolton Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Rreviewer: Ambush Bug

I always get a little sad this time of year. I don’t know about you, but during the month of October, I go on horror overload. My Tivo is filled with classic horror films that I’ve been meaning to see for years. I go to just about every horror flick in the theaters. I buy more horror DVDs. I even try to take in an all night movie marathon (this year it was Chicago’s Music Box Massacre and it was top tits). I admit it. During the month of October, I’m a horror junkie.
Then, at the stroke of midnight on Halloween Eve, everything seems to change. Decorations come down from windows and yards. No more horror film blocks on AMC or TCM to enjoy. And everything just seems a little less thrilling. If this were a gradual change, I might not be overcome by such a sense of melancholy. But it’s the abruptness of the horror cut-off, as if some uptight people couldn’t wait for the month to be over, that really knocks me on my ass and makes me long for just a bit more horror.
I came across this trade paperback from Dark Horse at just that time. This past weekend, after flipping through the channels and finding not one scare to spare, I decided to crack open this book ad see what it was all about.
Damn this was a good choice! I missed Dark Horse’s THE EVIL DEAD miniseries when it first came out. I suppose I overlooked it with all of the SECRET CRISES and FINAL INVASIONS going on. I’m sure some of you overlooked it too. Let me tell you that if you are a fan at all of the original Sam Raimi horror rollercoaster, you will have to pick this book up.
This isn’t a boring rehashing of the same THE EVIL DEAD movie we’ve seen a hundred times. Nor is it a “completely original” story spun-off from the movie. This is an elaboration on the classic horror tale and a phenomenal one at that.
The highlight of the book is the art from John Bolton. I’ve seen Bolton’s gorgeous images in the past, but his renditions of the Deadite possessed victims in this story are just as nightmare-inducing as the characters from the original. There’s an eloquence to Bolton’s handling of the paints and renderings that makes his imagery look both horrifying and beautiful. Bolton takes liberties at times, giving the Deadites more of a ghostly presence, making up for the more mechanical and claymation feel of the creatures from the films. Simply put, this was the most beautiful scarefest I’ve laid my jaded eyes upon. Occasionally the characters are a bit overly photo-referenced, but just when it’s becoming distracting, Bolton tossed another original looking panel in your face.
Mark Verheiden does a great job of respecting the source material enough so that this book is not blasphemous to die hard EVIL DEAD fans, yet adds new depth to the story that doesn’t seem like filler or unnecessary extrapolation. What we see here are extended scenes filling in the backstory of the four campers in this haunted cabin. We also get to see the story through Ash’s eyes. Verheiden nails the voice of Ash perfectly, giving him just enough snark and attitude that’s made Ash such an icon without going all cartoony or phony with it.
I’m a huge fan of the original EVIL DEAD. I prefer its rough edge to the big budget bend-overing that was ARMY OF DARKNESS. I even prefer it to EVIL DEAD 2, even though I feel that’s a phenomenal achievement for completely different reasons. But when I originally saw EVIL DEAD as a kid, I was scared shitless. Bolton and Verheiden’s love song to the EVIL DEAD movie pleases this die hard Deadite and, dare I say it, improves on the film by not only fleshing out these characters, but tying the first and second films together in a manner that is more seamless than the films themselves. If you’re suffering from horror withdrawal, seek out Dark Horse’s THE EVIL DEAD Trade. You may be just as surprised as I was at how good and scary it is.
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 & 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!


Writer: Dwayne McDuffie Artist: Ed Benes Published by: DC Reviewed by: BottleImp

And my newfound interest in JUSTICE LEAGUE ends…now.
The intriguing plot that saw Anansi the trickster-god altering reality on a whim, leaving Vixen as the only unchanged member of the JLA lost in an alternate world? Resolved in a manner only slightly less hackneyed than the classic, “it was all just a dream” method. The “Elseworld”-esque version of the JLA that I was looking forward to seeing in action? They barely qualify as being fleshed out enough to be ONE-dimensional characters, let alone two-dimensional comic page drawings. Which brings me to the art…
Benes’ artwork turned me off this series from its beginning, and reading an entire issue drawn by him (as opposed to #25’s roster of a bunch of artists) just reinforces my initial reaction. Lots of muscles so thick and knotted that arms look as if they’d break rather than bend. Plenty of Vixen’s cleavage shots. And hands down, some of the blandest facial expressions ever put to paper. On the first three pages, Vixen is running along city rooftops of a strange world, looking for the Justice League in whatever incarnation it has become. Her face? Bland. Vapid. Sometimes smiling slightly. If one were to look at the images without reading the captions, one would think that she was off to meet a date for the evening (or maybe just heading back from one). Comics being a visual medium, you’d think that the art should be able to show plot’s emotional timbre rather than relying on the text to tell it. And on a related note, check out the big “climactic” double-page spread fight scene towards the end of this issue. The JLA and its doppelgangers from Anansi’s world are at the beginning of what looks to be a huge, (Bat)man-on-man and (Wonder)woman-on-woman melee. The BEGINNING. Vixen’s narrative captions read, “I don’t know if we were that much better than them. Seems to me like they were almost helping us to win… They might have been characters in Anansi’s story, subject to his authorial whims, but deeper still, they were Justice League. And when it comes down to it, that means doing what’s right.”
Let me stress again that the visual provided to illustrate this text does not show one side winning or losing. It’s a classic “good guys on one side of the page, bad guys on the opposite side, coming in to meet in the middle” battle shot. The next page? Vixen talking to Anansi. The page after that? The JLA we know comes to stand by Vixen’s side, and the alternate version is nowhere to be seen. The first time I read this issue I flipped the pages back and forth, convinced that I had skipped by two pages that had stuck together. I don’t know if the blame lies with McDuffie for not writing the battle scene as something shown rather than told, or if Benes dropped the ball on his end and didn’t read the script closely. But whoever is to blame, the end result is still sloppy storytelling.
Need further examples? We learn that the entire plot going back to when Vixen’s powers first started behaving strangely was just Anansi’s test to make sure that Vixen was strong enough to bear her mystic totem. Then Vixen clicks her shoes together, says, “There’s no place like home,” (or at least she might have just as well said that) and everything’s back to normal in a nice, neat little package.
JLA might be to some people’s tastes, but I for one would rather have a delicious meal for the eyes and the brain rather than the comic book equivalent of fast food.
When released from his Bottle, the Imp takes the form of Stephen Andrade, an artist/illustrator/pirate monkey painter from the Northeast who's given up comics more times than he can remember. But every time he thinks he's out, they pull him back in.


Writer: Joe Hill Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez Publisher: IDW Publishing Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

It's very rare that I end up admitting I was late to the party on what ends up being an amazing comic book. Sure, sometimes I may glance at the first issue or two of a book before resigning to pick up the trade. I've done that several times before with some of the best books out there like THE WALKING DEAD and INVINCIBLE, and I was one of the first to snag up FABLES Vol. 1 when it hit the shelves oh so many years ago and on and on. Sometimes you just don't know about something until you get the flip through its pages right, or you don't recognize any creators involved in the project, or the solicit doesn't hit you right and yadda yadda yadda - but at the end of the day I like to think I know something special when I see it.
Anyways, to get to the point, up until the last issue that is collected here in this premiere volume of LOCKE & KEY, I didn't have a fucking clue in the world this book existed, or what it was about, or who the hell Joe Hill was... and I'll be damned if that hasn't turned out to be one of the biggest shames of my comic reading career.
Furthering my haste to the point, this book is excellent. I've mentioned before in some of my reviews (not that I'd expect anyone to notice or remember) that I've kind of relegated myself and my coverage these days to trying more and more books like this title here, the underappreciated or overlooked titles, and trying to either give tough love or push them with praise to give them a chance. So again I say, this book is just damn excellent. This first volume is packed with more intrigue and suspense and atmosphere than I really can recall. In my blind state of ignorance, I would have assumed Joe Hill had been at the comic booking for years given the level of craft in "Welcome to Lovecraft". Like I tend to be a good bit of the time, I'd have been wrong there as well.
So what does LOCKE & KEY do that makes itself worthy of such praise? Well, for starters it does very well to establish itself as a book that marches to the beat of its own drum. It takes a lot of time to bring in its cast of characters through some very harrowing circumstances, that of the violent death of Rendell Locke, husband and father, and a conflict with his killers that sets the stage for a much deeper and mysterious narrative. As you can imagine, this immediately makes you sympathetic for the characters - that of his sons Tyler and Bode, daughter Kinsey and wife Nina - but gives you the notion that this is sadly just the beginning of a string of instances of terror in their lives to come. This couldn't be more true once they move into the Keyhouse, a generational home with an enigmatic past and supernatural essence we've just barely scratched the surface of.
The reason I found it easy to become enthralled with this book is that it's not an easy comic. It toys with you, and it tends to jump around with frames of reference and time frames to give you just enough information to work with to want to get onto the next comic to see how certain situations resolved themselves, or to just set up some good old fashioned tension. It really makes you work, narratively and visually - something that I want from my upper tier comic books - effort. And Hill has a great knack for just giving you enough hints or examples of how deep the history of the house, or powers that lay within it and the beings/people that are involved with it intertwine to make you want to gain more knowledge of past events but also see what happens next to its current inhabitants. It's great execution, even though if I were to knit-pick I would say a couple "links" between some of the characters and beings in this first volume were pretty obvious, but the wonder is still not lost.
LOCKE & KEY is a well built comic book. It endears you with the characters, pulls at your sympathies with their plight and tickles your curiosity with the setting and circumstances they've been put in. It's visually stunning as Gabriel Rodriguez really knows how to detail and texture the hell out of a panel and he has the eye and flow of a master storyteller. He's the absolute perfect compliment to Hill's writing style - he doesn't take it easy on the reader either. There's a lot to love here, a lot of magic in this story and between the pages of this book. Don't make the same mistake that I did; this is going to be something special. Best get in on the ground floor now - you won't want to be one of those uncool kids caught not reading this when it becomes the next big thing.


Storyteller/Scripter: Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza Artist: Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Jinxo

I’m keeping with this book, but…it is flawed. Has been from the start and continues to be. The book is called TRINITY. The trinity in question is Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. The three big heroes represent some sort of cosmic force. So you’d expect the book to be a huge cosmic adventure with the big three in the middle of it all. Only they made it reaaaal big. In addition to the big three every other hero in the DC universe seems to play a role in the story. And I guess because it is such a huge story we got a long buildup to the meat of the story. For the beginning of the story this ended up meaning tons of characters who are not the big three following multiple meandering plots the finally lead to the big stuff.
So, having reach the huge, cosmic heart of the story you’d think things would kick into high gear. But, again, the thing is just off. See, three villains have used magic mojo to erase our central heroes from reality and to replace them as the central power trinity. Now on the face of it I don’t think that’s a bad idea. Okay, you are erasing the central characters. Time and again people here have complained about the big three getting benched for the big DC events and so benching them in their OWN event book may sound utterly stupid but done right, it could really work. If the story was about the world losing the big three and having to deal with that loss, you might have a powerful book. The heroes would be powerfully present in the weight of their absence, in the hole they left. TRINITY does try to bring that element in but it… it misses. The Trinity is erased! They don’t exist. The world is changed in such a way that most people aren’t even aware they’ve lost anything. To be able to work the loss angle they have the population in a way subconsciously aware of what they’ve lost. I hate to say it but they pulled the Mephisto: the world has been changed, no one is aware, but somewhere in their souls a piece of them will be in pain for what is gone! Bwahahaha!!!
Just as flat for me this time around as before.
Now this issue in particular is about reality being rewritten some more. People in the far past aware that things are wrong trying to put them back on track, the present seeming to be rewritten minute by minute because the evil plan is coming apart. Because of the heroes taking steps to fix things? Nope. Because the villains are dumbasses. They goofed up the magic. Oops.
And, if I may ask, do we NEED a zillion “the DC universe is being rewritten” stories all coming out at the same time? I mean there’s this one, there’s the current JLA story (Not an Elseworlds!), you’ve got Darkseid’s peeps rewriting the place in his image. To give big blue and grumpy some props, at least in FINAL CRISIS they’re rewriting from the present on, not going back and monkeying around with the past. But I am getting a little tired of the DC Universe continuity gone crazy thing already. Can I just get a villain looking to rob a bank or take over a small country? The simple things.
Back to TRINITY, I am sticking with it, partly because I’m far enough in I do want to see it through, but also because despite me tearing it up a bit, it isn’t horrible. There are always some interesting things going on. The problem is given the concept it should be insanely epic. There should be strong emotions coming into play. It should be edge of your seat exciting. Instead the best I can say is only that there’s always something interesting going on.



By Vroom Socko and Humphrey Lee

At the time of this writing, there are 72 hours to go until Election Day. By now, everyone will know who our next president will be. (I'm going to go out on a limb and saying it isn't Bob Barr.) In any case, there are certain election traditions I go through every other November. I rewatch All the King's Men, as well as the Free For All episode of THE PRISONER. I reread Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail. And, to get to the 90's comics connection, I reread the whole of TRANSMETROPOLITAN, the masterful comic by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson. This is a perfect example of how comics can simultaneously convey rage and heart, the best use of the medium as a personal soapbox, and a damn cool looking romp. Sure, the plot may be full of holes, but...

Vroom, you Goatfucker!

Did I mention that it's also the number one favorite comic of fellow @$$hole Humphrey Lee?

Outside of that fateful day back in February of 2005, where the legendary Hunter S. Thompson took himself out of a world he forever left changed in his wake, I can only think of two tragedies that could rival such a moment: the day that TRANSMETROPOLITAN ended, and the "beard" that my colleague Vroom Socko sports. Much like that day when Hunter left the earthly plane, seeing the last run of Warren Ellis' mad bastard of an homage leave the comic book medium made the industry feel like such a tame place to be in. Everything was less exciting, less dangerous, less energetic. When TRANSMET was running, it really felt like the last time the comic book industry had any balls or creativity. I fucking miss that feeling.

Leave Erika out of this, you...oh, you meant my actual facial hair.
Anyway, TRANSMET is set in the far-flung future, and focuses on newspaper columnist Spider Jerusalem. He writes for The Word, the largest paper in The City, the largest city in The World, which is our world, only with more gadgets, cloned meat, talking dogs, and strippers with bar codes for nipples. Spider is, as Humph pointed out, an amalgam of Hunter S. Thompson, H. L. Mencken, and Woodward & Bernstein. He is foul, hateful, loaded to the gills on drugs, and devoted to the truth above all else. In other words, he's a Mary-Sue for Warren Ellis, and thank god, because I find that Ellis is at his best when he has something personal to say. And does he say a lot in TRANSMET. Spider/Ellis talks about his views on death, television, religion, children, and above all else politics. We get not one but two corrupt, nasty-ass presidents in this story, the first a vile crook who nevertheless has scruples, and the second an insane criminal who cares about nothing but stroking his own ego. What Spider does to each of them, through words more than deeds, is deserved, as well as entertaining, poetic, and sublimely nasty, much like Spider himself.

There's also a slight chance Spider Jerusalem may be my real father. I don't know how the fuck a fictional character went back in time by eighteen years to do the dirty with me mum, let alone found the constitution to pull off such a feat (Which is a lie, moms was still a looker back then) but I'm sure if there was a way Warren Ellis found it...
All kidding aside though, Spider Jerusalem and the world he occupied (especially the world he occupied) were some of the biggest and brightest highlights of the world of comics while they existed, if you ask me. Between Ellis' channeling of all those great, great writers that made up the essence of the bald tattooed one and just the wonderfully mad vision of the future he had put Jerusalem in, TRANSMETROPOLITAN just positively crackled with energy, and like I said before, it's something that I feel is really lost in comics right now, or rare to come by. The fact that the social and political commentary that broadly and proudly made the book what it was can still be felt today, and honestly most likely in any time period, really made TRANSMET a timeless book. Remember kids, politicians will always be a big group of fucks, as we're apt to see just by turning on the television right now...

And a lot of what made that world pop also has to be credited to the artwork from Darick Robertson. There's just so much insane shit crawling through the corners of the panels, as well as through Spider's head. Not to mention just how expressively Robertson draws a face: never mind the nanotechnology clouds, or the werewolves fucking in the street, or the alien hybrids, just look at the character's faces! It's freaking beautiful.
That's what I love the most about this series: the level of humanity that is on display underneath all the meanness and snark. One of my favorite single issues of all time is #8, Another Cold Morning. There's very little of The City seen, and Spider only shows up as a narrator, and it's the most beautiful, heartfelt work Ellis and Robertson have done in both their lifetimes. And it illustrates the most defining element of Spider's personality: he's a guy that gives a shit. In the whole of The City, he's just about the only guy who gives a shit. The posers on the street don't give a shit. Cult leader Fred Christ doesn't give a shit. The President most certainly doesn't give a shit. But Spider, in his own fucked up way, is the guy who cares. He cares about his City, about the truth, about justice. He's like Superman, if Superman used profanity and injected heroin into his eyeballs. And if you were to say that to his face, he'd gut you with a broken gin bottle, shit in the wound, and use your scalp as toilet paper.

Don't forget one of the most unsung heroes of this book, either: Rodney Ramos. If there was ever time to praise an inker, it would be on this piece of classic comic. Lines just don't come that smooth on their own.
There's just so much this book has to offer the industry and medium as a whole, though. One, as a big kick in the nuts with a golden shower to the face of those books that dare to revel in their mediocrity. TRANSMET was always one big cocaine high to the next with the occasional downer in the middle before the next line was cut. Good old fashioned mad bastardry, as Internet Jesus would say. This probed the medium for all it was worth visually, verbally and conceptually. Spider could go toe to toe with the most iconic of the icons and snarl in their face for importance in the moment and relevance whilst Robertson and Ramos could give any top-selling artist a run for their money with depth, detail and timeliness. That's right folks, not only was this comic excellent, it was fucking on time. The irony of a book with an homage to Hunter S. Thompson hitting its deadlines is not lost on me...

And speaking of Hunter, I do want to talk about one or two things about this book that I really don't like. They pertain to the ending, so I suppose now is the time to say:


First is the issue of Mary's final appearance: She reveals that she took an important and damning photograph of Presidential agents preparing to do... something. The thing is, she was given her camera by Spider after the event in question. They even discuss it, for god's sake. For a story that was so well made up until this point, a plot hole like that is unforgivable.
Second, there’s the last three pages. Without saying too much... well, I don't hate it because of comparisons to Hunter; it actually prefigures his actions. I hate the ending because it has Spider Jerusalem, the great champion of the truth no matter what, living a lie. It rang false. It didn't work. And it betrayed everything the book was about.

You pigfucking whore! Why can't you just let things be? We forgive continuity gaffs in mindless capes and tights books month in and month out don't we?! Why the fuck are you dwelling on...oh, wait. We don't do that, do we? Shit...
But anyways, that does suck, more because it could have been easily fixed had someone paid attention. I don't think it was done as a last minute fix to the plot, I honestly think Ellis probably meant to put that in her hands earlier to make it work in the end because on the whole the series was very well laid out even though I think the final "conflict" between Spider and the Smiler wrapped itself up a little too neatly with the Source Gas trick. But if an editor had caught that mistake with the incriminating photos I think the scene easily could have been worked around to, I dunno, have it catch the hired gun used to shoot up the Print District or something. A bad miscue, sure, but something you can easily fix in your head if you're willing to forgive the mistake. The irony of a fucked up "fact check" in context here is also not lost on me.
I really don't get your vibe on the ending though. I honestly don't see anything more perfect for it. The man had done his mission, he got his story, and he finally realized that he didn't have the energy for the art anymore. He Superman 4'ed it, only this time with a lying scumbag politician instead of nuclear weapons. He overcame his obstacle and it wore him out in the process; time to let the younger, angrier generation take over. The fourth-walling of his revelation might have been a little much, but other than that I think it's one of my favorite series ending issues I've enjoyed in my time.

It just seemed like too much of a betrayal of Spider's principles to me. I can get past the camera bit, if I really try. But the finale...I keep using the word betrayal, don't I? But then, I wouldn't feel this way if the rest of the story wasn't so goddamn amazing, wouldn't I?

Or it could be that you're a whore to the system, sucking on its udders like a junkie in a back alley drags on a crack pipe after he gathered a few rocks putting his handjob arm to good use for a fix...
... I'm sorry, I didn't mean any of that. Once TRANSMET is invoked, it does something to me - shifts my personality. It latches onto you. Makes you see the world in a different way, like any good masterpiece should, and if there's any book that Ellis is going to be known for legacy wise (whatever that fucking means in the world of comics) it's going to be this.

Agreed. Folks, trust the fuckhead.

Spider Jerusalem. Cheap, but not as cheap as Vroom's mom...I think that's how it goes. Sorry, I need my pills.
Vroom Socko and Humphrey Lee first came to blows over Superbowl XL, when the officials just HANDED the game to the Steelers. (The AFC is inherently superior to the NFC, Vroom! Get over it!) Oh come on, the Refs were blatantly anti-Seattle! Blatantly! *sigh* Thankfully, Humph’s main sports devotion is to the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins, while Vroom is a fanatic for the USL Portland Timbers, so unless hockey players decide they have the stamina to take on a soccer team, these two should live in relative peace.


Story by Tou Ubukata Manga by Kiriko Yumeji Reviewer: Scott Green

With all of the Bat-Manga talk of late, I decided to take a step towards catching up on what I consider to be a particularly enjoyable Batman-esque manga ("step" because this piece will cover volumes 2 and 3 of the title; volume 6 has recently been released).
Tow Ubukata's LE CHEVALIER d'EON invented a supernatural explanation for the life of Chevalier d'Eon, a historical 18th century French diplomat and spy who is remembered for cross-dressing during his missions and living his later life as a woman. In the case of Ubukata's fictionalized d'Eon, the young nobleman and member of King Louis XV's secret police began sharing a body with the soul of his beloved sister after her murder by a conspiracy of magician philosopher Poets.
Le Chevalier d'Eon is probably best known in North America for the Production I.G's (BLOOD+, GHOST I THE SHELL) anime adaptation of Ubukata's novel, but the manga trends closer to the spirit of Ubukata's work. Like other prominent I.G anime, LE CHEVALIER d'EON brought together impressive team of creators to craft a distinctively detailed and at times experimental series. The results were comparable to an 18th century alchemistic GHOST IN THE SHELL: STAND ALONE COMPLEX. The manga is substantially quirkier...
Ubukata is one of the hyper-informed geeks working in the anime/manga field (he also writes light novels and has been involved in games). Perhaps partially as a result of growing up in Singapore and Nepal and attending Waseda University's school of political economics, he seems to bring a broader perspective to his works than many of the otaku turned creators. Rather than return to the overdrawn wells in fantasy and sci-fi or settle for the generic, he seeks out interesting spots in history (such as pre-Reign of Terror France in LE CHEVALIER d'EON) or invents new situations. At the same time, there is generally a playfulness and flamboyance, not to be found in the LE CHEVALIER d'EON anime.
The manga's d'Eon lives a triple life. By day, he's a foppish member of Paris' nobility and an officer in the city's police. Much to the aggravation of his raging commanding officer, he ducks out when there's a riot to beat down. He never completes an investigation. His equipment is frequently broken and his paperwork is shoddy. At the same time, d'Eon is also a member of King Louis XV's Le Secret du Roi, minding France's relationship with foreign powers such as Russia and England, and, in theory, collating classified information. By night, d'Eon dons a wig and his sister, Lia's gown to become The Sphinx, a swashbuckler channeling Lia's spirit to solve the riddle of her death and punish the murderous, supernatural agents known as Poets. d'Eon/The Sphinx is aided in this venture by the young attendant, previously in the employ of Lia, Francois de Robespierre, aka "Robin."
When approaching LE CHEVALIER d'EON, Production I.G took the route of rendering an intricately realized vision of 18th century France, with an emphasis on establishing a concrete notion of time and place. Kiriko Yumeji took that context and used it as a spring board for more modern, more niche associations. One of the key ingredients in the Gothic Lolita fashion movement is the Roccoco style of design. Given Louis XV's palaces to work with, Yumeji has a Mola Ram handle on the heart of the Roccoco movement. With that opportunity, she projects modern loli-goth sentiments back upon its origins.
Yumeji's look, especially as it applies to Chevalier d'Eon is somewhere on the gore-goth to loli-goth spectrum between Yasushi Nirasawa and Junko Mizuno. It can be quite goofy, but there also is a lot of shock rock horror showiness to it. Part of the fun of the manga is watching Yumeji map Enlightenment notions and personalities onto the notion and personalities into this aesthetic. For example, Jean Le Rond d'Alembert becomes a Marilyn Manson figure.
Fans of the loli-goth look or exotic stylistic flare will find plenty to appreciate in Yumeji's illustration. Those looking to just sit down and read a story might by overwhelmed be the visual intensity of the manga. Between the bulky men, busty women, loli-girls who sprout out in frills, parasols and coils of hair, everyone in the manga crams the panel with their presence. Bursts of swords, blood and speedlines slice out as the Sphinx duels against the extending claws and horns of gnarled gargoyles. Back to the Batman metaphor, it's a "biff!" "pow!" comic, but in this situation, those collisions are merely cymbal crashes in the middle of an outright cacophony. With barely any negative space apart from the middle of an explosion, even when not engaged in full bore action, there is little opportunity for the eyes to rest.
LE CHEVALIER d'EON is a remarkable manga, but in terms of a series of graphic novels to read through, it's lightweight. Storytelling never seizes hold from the stark design decisions, with attention being directed to Ubukata and Yumeji rather than d'Eon, Robin and company. Because the manga is showy and meta, the graphic violence mostly sits well with the silliness of pope blessed lances wielded by British SS officers and murderous loli cabaret twins (do either of these make any sense?), but the same qualities don't encourage much investment in mystery and danger of the situations.
Any Ubukata work to be translated into English is worth scooping up. The North American release of his Renaissance fantasy PILGRAM JAGER is incomplete and difficult to locate, but with a tangible sense of physicality to its action and appearances by personalities like Machiavelli and Ignatius Loyala, its worth the effort to find. I was never won over by NewType USA's industry-booster reviews and page dominating images, but I did appreciate the now-cancelled magazine for including translated Ubukata's columns.
The concept of LE CHEVALIER d'EON cracks a ledge off the mountain of storytelling, then holds up the sedimentary chunk, covering gender alternating alchemistic lore, early modern pop adventures like The Scarlet Pimpernel, comic heroes like Batman, and the exhibitionist alter-egos found in loli-goth and shock rock. LE CHEVALIER d'EON might not be one of the better reads in the field, but three volumes in, Ubukata and Yumeji's pageant of loligoth vigilante, speculative history continues to yield inventive surprises.
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.

Open your eyes. There is a broad spectrum of comics out there on the shelves. For many, comics come in two flavors, Marvel and DC, but I, Your Friendly Neighborhood Ambush Bug am here to tell you that there’s more out there than just the Big Two. Below is just a sampling of the variety and range of today’s independent comics. We’ve got the origin of one of comics’ most influential artists, a fun romp that combines baseball and prison, a slice of life…if you’re living David Lynch’s life, and finally talking and fighting people/animal thingees. Now feast, my hungry readers, feast…


More often than not, I’m more interested in the artists themselves rather than ogle a collection of their work. This book is both a collection of some of Spiegelman’s earliest and most personal artwork and a window into the mind of the award winning artist. Only a few pages are dedicated to his most important work, MAUS. The book focuses moreso on what lead the artist to become one of the most important voices in comic book history. This book isn’t for kiddies, and a couple of times I had to check the cover to see if I was reading another R. Crumb biography. But this just shows that there is much more to this man than one Holocaust allegory. This large format hardcover is a great showcase of Spiegleman’s talent and helps one understand the person behind the page. Ever wonder what kind of person it takes to have the imagination mapped out on the page before you? BREAKDOWNS shows Spiegleman’s troubled early years in a way that is sometimes uncomfortable, but never uninteresting.

SUBLIFE OGN Fantagraphics Books

SUBLIFE is one of those quirky, random reads that defies explanation and should just be experienced for the jaunt into the offbeat that it is. Focusing on the antics of several characters living together in an apartment, this story had my nose glued to this book until the very end. There’s a guy who simply likes to list things he likes to smell, a recluse who sits on the couch, says nothing, and wears a sheet over his head, an elderly teacher who can’t seem to get a break, and a neurotic twenty something who just wants to have enough money for rent. These are just a few characters and stories that are not extremely, in-your-face crazy, but merely quiet little trips into eccentricity. The book is written and drawn by John Pham and almost every page and every inch of the cover is attended to with simplistic yet detailed lines. This odd collection of life snippets is a must for anyone looking for comics that defy explanation and refuse to fit into any genre.

REYNARD CITY #7-8 Polycomical

I reviewed this book before, but I seem to remember the first few issues of this series to be more linear in its storytelling. These last two issues have veered off into tangential storytelling that may have David Lynch scratching his head in dismay. Although the art is somewhat crude and the story a bit disjointed, I can’t help but be intrigued with this semi-dream-like, semi-furry animal, semi-socially conscious about weight tale of dimensional-swapping, barbarian fox-people, half-robot/half-circus ringmaster villains, and robotic animal-men. This is just a weird comic to experience. I can’t say everyone will like it, but if you’re in the mood for something off the beaten track, this book is just what the doctor ordered. This is an endearing effort and I want to keep coming back to see just how weird it’s going to get.


Charming is a good word to describe this book. DUGOUT takes place in a time not seen in many comics, and that’s the type of story AIT/Planet Lar seems to specialize in. In 1960, a down and out baseball manager decides to do the impossible: break an all-star pitcher out of prison. The main character and said down n’ out baseball manager is Cookie Palisetti, and what makes this charming book work is that the author, Adam Beechen, makes him a likable guy. You end up rooting for this poor schlub throughout this entire book, no matter how morally wrong or outrageous the scenarios become. Like I said, you don’t see many books like this on the shelves today. I would say it had a sitcom type feel to it, but nowadays that type of description has a negative connotation. I guess this has one of those good old I LOVE LUCY style scenarios--the type you used to see in fun romps set in that era on the silver screen or on TV. It’s no surprise to me that AIT/Planet Lar is the publisher making this one happen, since the company has been publishing high quality books that defy categorization from the beginning. DUGOUT reads like one of those old time comedies/tragedies that you might catch on a Sunday afternoon on AMC. Did I mention it’s full of charm and wholly original? Well, it is. This book, and any book offered by AIT/Planet Lar for that matter, is the remedy for Big Two Comics burnout.

If you have in indie comic you think cuts the mustard with a razor’s edge, be sure to click on your favorite @$$hole’s email link and let them know.

HEXED #1 BOOM! Studios

As I read this book, I couldn’t help but think of it as BUFFY-esque. And not in a bad way. Now, I’ve seen and read my fair share of BUFFY stuff, but I am not going to call myself an expert or anything. This book differentiates itself by casting its main character, Lucifer, as a witch and not a vamp slayer. Sure she’s cute and trendy, which is a quality that is annoyingly abundant in comics these days in order to lure that evasive women-market and the fanboys that drool for them. But there’s something about this Lucifer character that’s instantly likable. Writer Michael Alan Nelson gives her an edge, but a likeability. I love the way Lucifer captures a fire demon in one of her stuffed animals and then continues to play with the stuffed animal throughout the rest of the book. The art by Emma Rios is good too. The dimensions of the characters wave
Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 5, 2008, 7:51 a.m. CST

    The thing about Benes

    by Laserhead

    is that he draws asses great. As good as Jim Lee.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 7:56 a.m. CST

    Good point about DCU optimus

    by Laserhead

    That is the feeling: the Morrison universe, the Johns universe, and everybody else just kind of treading water, trying not to fuck up the work of the two big shotcallers.

  • Johns' GL run has been epic. I continue to enjoy every minute of it.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 8 a.m. CST

    Thanks Laser

    by optimous_douche

    I was expecting a veritable verbal shit-storm for my stance.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 8:26 a.m. CST

    Nope, Optimous......

    by Pogue__Mahone

    I, too, am not a big fan of Benes' art. I agree 100% with you! Also? As a Canadian I just wanna say, "THANK YOU, AMERICA!" Also... as I haven't had a coffee yet and my head is all over the place. Green Lantern friggin' RULES! And DC needs to get it's shit together! I'm a university educated young man and even I'm starting to get confused. Cohesion? Anyone?

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Ghost Boxes.

    by BangoSkank

    What kind of bullshit was that? I get my comics by mail, or I never would have picked it up. I'm enjoying the series, but $3.99 for 16 goddamn pages? <p> My ass still hurts.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 8:36 a.m. CST

    And what happened to X-factor?

    by BangoSkank

    I've seen better art on Bazooka Joe wrappers.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Thanks fo' the reviews guys.

    by BangoSkank

    I'll be picking up the Evil Dead trade, as well as Lock and Key. Although I enjoyed Joe Hill's Heart Shaped Box, I really dug his book of short stories, 20th Century Ghost. One of the best collections I've read in years.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 9:40 a.m. CST

    Reynard City

    by Mr. Zeddemore

    Thanks for reviewing our latest issues. Gives food for thought to help us improve them in the future. (And on a selfish note, nears closer to my issues being reviewed - heh)

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 9:47 a.m. CST


    by Squashua

    This is why I'm not submitting reviews... Barack Obama... FEH! <br><br> Actually, I'm not submitting because I'm lazy. <br><br> And I voted for Barack, so... I don't know where I'm going with this. <br><br> CHANGE!

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 9:50 a.m. CST

    More like Ultimate Spider-Man ANAL

    by Squashua

    Whoops, Spoiler Alert!

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 9:55 a.m. CST


    by loodabagel

    I knew they'd only get so far before falling back on the old sodomy trick!

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Spider-man anal??

    by MisterE

    Is this the Ultimate version of the "Spider-man/Power Pack" one-shot where we find out that Peter was molested ("But the young boy was too frightened to leave...")? This time, instead of Skip Westcott, it's Mary Jane with a strap-on!

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 10:23 a.m. CST

    That's not webbing, Mary Jane!

    by Squashua

    It'll dissolve after an hour or so.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Ghost Boxes

    by optimous_douche

    I agree whole heartedly with the frustration about the price tag based on the scarce amount of real content.<p> I will say though, the little story that was there was pretty damn good.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Heck, Harry transformed his website into

    by greyspecter

    why shouldn't the comic geeks go gay for Obama? <p>course, it's got nothing to do with movies, but still...

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Mark Millar once said he was going to bring back Spidey's molest

    by rev_skarekroe The Buggernaut.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 11:17 a.m. CST



    How could you not review what is possibly the best book that came out last week? not even in your cheap shots, you hardly ever review Thor, do you even collect it? Its seriously one of if not THE best book Marvel puts out, FOR SHAME!:P I love AICN but your comics reviews leave something to be desired, ign reviews every comic that comes out by the next day! you have an entire week! and you hardly review anything:P

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 11:30 a.m. CST

    I Agree, Bango!

    by Jaypeep

    Xfactor used to be my favorite x-book (the only one for a while...), the stories were great and the art was fun. Now, the art is horrible and the stories seem somewhat pointless. What the heck happened to Peter David??? And what's with everyone looking like Oompa Loompa's with huuuuuuge asses?!?!

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Bango and Jaypeep (RE: X-Factor)...

    by MisterE

    Stroman is off the book as of (I think) next issue, so the art will probably improve. I liked his art on the old X-Factor series (which also had Peter David as writer), but it is not working for me this time around.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Benes art has degraded.

    by mbeemer

    He used to do *great* cheesecake art, but I think the pace of doing a monthly title is too fast for him to keep the quality up.<p> Damn shame, too! I was really looking forward to JLA when I saw he'd be drawing it, but have been really disappointed in the sketchiness of the artwork.<p> (I may have been giving too little credit to whoever was inking him in the past.)

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 12:29 p.m. CST


    by Reelheed

    that is all

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 12:41 p.m. CST

    I miss TRANSMET

    by frozen01


  • Nov. 5, 2008, 12:42 p.m. CST

    Astonishing X-Men

    by Johnny Smith

    I'd critique that review, but I only read the first few sentences. Seriously, how the fuck is that a review?

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 12:42 p.m. CST

    Awesome header image, Bug...

    by superhero


  • Nov. 5, 2008, 12:45 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    I enjoyed the story, despite the price tag, but my REAL worry was that if Marvel starts exploring its multiverse... oh shit... It'll be just like DC and suddenly its Infinite Wars on Secret Earths! <br><br>Then we're all f-ed in the A and not even Obama can save us then.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Vixen cleavage

    by BizarroJerry

    Is Vixen being given the crown of most blatant cleavage-costume at DC? She's rivaling Power Girl. Even the JLU cartoon series got away with some major exposure from Vixen.<p>Yes, I'm a sick, sick person.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Johnny Smith

    by BangoSkank

    I think it's pretty clear from the get-go that it wasn't a review. It was a rant. And at 25 cents a page, it deserved to be ranted about. <p> Though, I did like the story.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Stroman on X-Factor

    by BangoSkank

    His art wasn't nearly as cartoony last time. I wasn't crazy about it before, but now it's just God-awful. Glad to hear he's on his way out, the book is on my chopping block, but I'll give it another couple of issues. <p> It seemed to really derail, story-wise, with the SI stuff. I don't know why they bothered. Also, the Darwin character is lame. LAME, I tells ya. And Longshot isn't a whole lot better.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Longshot was always kind of lame,

    by Joenathan

    He's always been a semi-retarded Bon Jovi character. People only think well of him now because of nostalgia.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 1:58 p.m. CST

    wru Hack N Slash =(

    by palewook

    damned cease and desist letter

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 2:12 p.m. CST

    GL and GLC question

    by Animation

    Can anyone list the good, recent, Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps trades that are out? I've been wanting to read them, but there are so many GL trades in my comic shop that I don't know which ones to get. Thanks.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Yeah, Longshot...

    by BangoSkank

    has always been kind of lame, but at least he does have the nostalgia factor going for him. Unlike Darwin, who brings nothing to the table but a bowl full of suck.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Longshot in X-Factor?

    by steverodgers

    I'm interested. I thought his original mini was pretty great as a kid. Although I had lost track of him in the Marvel U. I always kind of thought that maybe he was rooming with Howard the Duck in a walk-through apartment in Cleveland, eating donuts, surrounded by Dazzler posters, and playing online poker in his awesome leather jacket. Shit - maybe I'll pitch that to Marvel.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 3:06 p.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    I'm in the same boat as you. I just ordered the first Sinestro Corps War trade on Amazon, and am hoping that i'll be able to figure out what's happening.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 3:09 p.m. CST


    by Jinxo

    Actually I agree on Thor. It was a really great issue. This last week my pull was massive and I don't like to rush through reading my books. I still have a few stragglers I still need to read. I actually read Thor shortly after I sent in my reviews, right before going to bed and with no real time left for writing it up. As I was reading it I actually sat there thinking, dammit, I wish I'd read this in time to write it up! It was really good stuff.

  • You don't even have to like it, just READ it all the way through. It is hands down my favorite story the medium has EVER produced. FILTHY ASSISTANTS, TO ME!!

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Hunter S Thompson isn't really a tragedy

    by Laserhead

    I mean, he blew his brains out long, long before that shotgun blast. Like, in the early seventies, and the last good thing he wrote was F&L on The Campaign Trail and that was, what, '75?<p>I also don't mind that Michael Crichton's dead.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Agreed on Hellboy

    by StrokerX

    Movie Hellboy < Comicbook Hellboy

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Animation/Steve GL

    by optimous_douche

    I would say start with Green Lantern Rebirth. This will set a nice stage for Hal's transformation from Spectre to GL and reintroduce Sinestro.<p> Now, while I loved all of the books inbetween you really can skip them and just jump into the Sinestro Corps War.<p> If you want to be a purist after Rebirth grab Revenge of the Green Lantern.<p> As soon as available I would grab Secret Origin after Sinestro Corps War since it offers set-up for upcoming Blackest Night.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 5:06 p.m. CST


    by optimous_douche

    Feel free to write me, I can bore you with a long e-mail on the history of Hal and SInestro.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 5:29 p.m. CST


    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Red Lanterns kick ass. In fact I'm loving all the different coloured lanterns popping up in all the Green Lantern books. The best group of comics around at the moment! Bring on Blackest Night.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Locke and Key

    by hallmitchell

    I'm very interested.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 7:38 p.m. CST

    X-Factor: WTF Happened??

    by gooseud

    I can't remember another book in recent history that has absolutely dropped off a cliff the way X-Factor has. Those first 15 issues or so were pure absolute gold, but ever since the MEssiah Complex crossover, or whatever that was, its been dead in the water to the point of not even being sure I want to read it anymore. Its almost like Peter David simply lost interest (She Hulk has been similarly malaise-afflicted) Also, Nova is indeed one of the best books Marvel puts out, and anything Thor is gold right now (the ancient history one shots, the SI crossover, the regular series, all gold)

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 7:40 p.m. CST

    Also, out of the blue

    by gooseud

    I just re-read Wanted the other day for some unknown random reason, and damn what a heinous piece of shit that book was. A total black hole of suckitude, pulling all that is un-sucky into its gaping maw.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 8:15 p.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    Thanks for info/tips - it is much appreciated. I am really looking forward to reading the trade.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 9:53 p.m. CST

    Alas, poor X-Factor...

    by Jaypeep

    Gooseud, You are totally right about when X-Factor lost its focus. I can go back and re-read those first 15 issues over and over; but once the dreaded marvel crossover derailed the story, it never came back. My theory is that Peter David is stretched way to thin and is just phoning it in at this point. I predict he announces that he is leaving the book within 6 months. And for fucks sake, will someone please tell them to lose the god-awful mullet on longshot!!!!

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 10:01 p.m. CST

    Jaypeep-X Factor

    by gooseud

    Actually, not sure if you have read it, but the Madrox mini pre-X Factor was genius as well. I'm not sure if this is possible, but.....can we honestly say this title went in the shitter when Layla Miller left?? Can that actually be true?!?! Even the one shots are weak, the Quicksilver one-shot was weak.

  • Nov. 5, 2008, 10:40 p.m. CST

    In regard to X-Factor....

    by BangoSkank

    You guys are right, it was long before SI, that things went south. I think it began in the Endangered Species storyline, now that I think about it. I actually enjoyed the "Messiah Complex" as a whole, but it does seem like David simply gave up somewhere around the 20th issue. It just became that more apparent with the shitty Bazooka Joe art. <p> And yeah, the one-shots were weak. They gave me that same, Ghost Box, sore asshole feeling.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 12:33 a.m. CST

    some info about Larry Stroman

    by the milf lover

    I googled him, and he did less than a dozen comics in between his two X-Factor stints! Maybe that's why his art isnt good now, the dude is rusty. His official site ( - makes him out to be some big comics superstar, it's kinda funny) says he's gonna be doing a Bishop miniseries soon, that's probably why he's leaving X-Factor. I used to like him back in the day, his style is unique, but I'm not buying any X-Books anymore. I was surprised to learn that he did 4 issues of Tribe, I found #3 in a bargain bin a few years ago, I didnt know there was a #4.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 12:47 a.m. CST

    I also love me some Hellboy by Mignola

    by the milf lover

    Chapel of Moloch is great, in my opinion, the shorter stories are usually the better ones. All the huge origin/legacy storylines going on lately really dont do it for me. Darkness Calls could have easily been told in four issues. And most of the non-Mignola art is meh. My favorite is still Wolves Of Saint-August, simple, creepy, fun Hellboy vs werewolf story!

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 1:28 a.m. CST

    I disagree about Longshot

    by kungfuhustler84

    beside those goofy fingers of his, the mullet practically IS Longshot.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 1:30 a.m. CST

    Not looking forward to next week's reviews

    by kungfuhustler84

    damn has today been a shitty day for comics. Except for the Namor book and the new Sandman (HOLY SHIT NEIL GAIMAN!! FUCK YES!), I really didn't care about anything.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 1:34 a.m. CST

    haha yeah, that says a lot about Longshot

    by the milf lover

    his original miniseries was interesting, mostly for the Mojo/Spiral stuff, but Longshot as a character is lame as fuck, that's probably why he still has the mullet.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 1:42 a.m. CST

    which brings me to something I have been wondering

    by kungfuhustler84

    why the hell don't we just discuss this week's comics now? Who the hell wants to wait a week to see what Ambush thinks, especially when most of the reviews (I'm looking at you Ghost Box X men) are total shit anyway?<p>Here, I'll start:<p>Best book this week: The Sub Mariner. What a great, atmospheric work, with some nice moody art. It builds tension perfectly, and is a lot smarter than a majority of the comics this week, which are just plagued by severely retarded writing. I would write some examples, but you can pretty much just assume it's everything else. Then again, I didn't of course read everything, so I would love some sweet recommendations!

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 1:51 a.m. CST

    Since it was such a slow week

    by kungfuhustler84

    I decided to pick up some issues that had been lying in my stack for awhile. I got the first three issues of marvel Ultiamte Origins.<p>Big fucking mistake.<p>Except for the Ultimates, which now sucks, what is even the point of the Ultimate universe? It all just feels so pointless and gimmicky. Just make the Ultimates stories the actual Marvel universe stories and abandon that entire shitty, boring universe. I couldn't care less.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 1:57 a.m. CST

    I didnt even go to the comics store this week

    by the milf lover

    my budget is terribly low until I find a job, so I'm down to a mere few comics now. Once my finances pick up I'll have to catch up in trade paperbacks. The only regular books I buy now are Secret Invasion and KickAss. Not sure if I'd recommend either. KickAss is mostly violence for shock value (mostly buying because artist John Romita Jr is a fave of mine) and Secret Invasion started strong but is getting stale, the payoff in the last issue better be damn good. At least it doesnt read like I'm missing half the story like Civil War did, and it's got better art than CW. The best part of Invasion are the tie-ins Jim Cheung did in New Avengers, damn if only he had drawn Invasion, he's amazing but not fast enough!

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 2:02 a.m. CST

    never really tried the Ultimate stuff

    by the milf lover

    other than Mark Millar and Greg Land's run on Ultimate Fantastic Four, which turned out quite bad except for the zombie issues. I've been tempted by the Ultimate Spidey book lately because I really liked Immonen on Nextwave: Agents of HATE, that was a great fun book so of course they cancelled it... but I dont like Bendis much so I dont buy it. Maybe in trade someday...

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 2:03 a.m. CST

    Oh I've read both milf lover

    by kungfuhustler84

    I am getting the Secret Invasion book, but none (ZERO) of the tie in books, with the exception of Incredible Hercules because it was just really good. I'm sick of Marvel coming out with all the tie-ins, and I just want to get back to following individual heroes stories. So I get stuff like Iron Fist, Cap, and the Marvel Knights stuff (which is actually some of the best stuff right now). I agree though, the actual SI issues art is pretty cool, even if the story has pretty much no substance now. I know Kick Ass is sort of the same, but I just enjoy it more. Romita is one of my favorites too. And If feel like that story still has places to go, whereas SI is pretty much just going to be heroes vs. aliens until it finally fucking ends.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 2:05 a.m. CST

    Mark Millar

    by kungfuhustler84

    his Ultimates run was fantastic, and if you haven't checked out War Heroes yet, I would definitely recommend it. There's not much to it yet, but it's a fun premise, and it looks like it's only going to get crazier. The preview of the cover for the next issue had me positively salivating to see what comes next.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 2:19 a.m. CST

    didnt read War Heroes

    by the milf lover

    that's another that will have to wait in trade eventually, Captain America too.<p> If you like Romita, did you check out New Ways To Die in Amazing? I dont buy SpiderMan unless he's drawing it, but I thought it was a pretty fun arc despite the stupidity of Anti-Venom and all the Brand New Day nonsense.<p> Lately I've been wanting to buy the older reprints instead of the new stuff, like all the Essential books Marvel has, I think I'd get more of my money's worth at least.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 2:24 a.m. CST

    You might

    by kungfuhustler84

    it just bugs me that a lot of those so called "Essential collections" don't even print the comics in color. I have the first and second volumes of the Silver Surfer, and I just wish it would be as colorful as I imagined it would.<p>Well I'm off to bed. hopefully, people will be talking more tomorrow. Happy reading everyone!

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 6:18 a.m. CST

    I've only been reading SI, New, and Mighty....

    by BangoSkank

    and have been enjoying it. I complained a few weeks ago that they needed to give us more of the new "Howling Commandos", and some motivation for both the Hood's actions, and Marvel Boy and Captain Marvel.... Or whatever their names are. They gave me all three in the past month or two. <p> The last issue was just one long, messy fight scene, but I enjoyed it just fine.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 6:28 a.m. CST

    After thinking more about X-factor....

    by BangoSkank

    I guess I'm not surprised that David has soured on it. <p> There's "no more mutants", so Mutant Town is gone. Use of powers become outlawed, so he gets dragged kicking and screaming into Civil War. He's (apparently) forced into being a part of Extinction Agenda. Wolfsbane gets taken away by X-Force, Rictor is left powerless. He paints himself into a corner by sending Layla into the future, and impregnating Siren. Strong Guy is nothing but an amusing background character, and M is M. <p> That pretty much leaves Multiple Man. <p> And now Darwin and Longshot. <p> **Add sound of crickets here**

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 7:03 a.m. CST

    Not to mention Quicksilver...

    by BangoSkank

    who got scooped during Silent War.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 7:12 a.m. CST

    Longshot, X-Factor, and "late" reviews...

    by Ambush Bug

    I always liked Longshot, mainly for the art of his original miniseries, but you guys have a point in saying that the guy is most interesting when he's fighting Spiral and Mojo. He's definitely one of those heroes who is interesting because his foes are interesting.<br> I too am saddened by X-FACTOR's apparent downturn in quality, but it reminds me a lot of Peter David's run on HULK in the later days when every crossover had to have an effect on the book. I think David works best in somewhat of a vacuum. Some of the best stuff he's done in years was back when he was doing the Madrox miniseries. He built some sort of cult following with it and now Marvel wants to cross it over with just about everything. The two X-crossovers, Secret Invasion, House of M, whatever. Just give me a multiplying mutant and a mystery and I'd be happy. Once Marvel asks David to include crap going on elsewhere, I think David tries to play ball, but gets a bit disheartened when he;s not calling the shots.<br> And I guess it's been a while since I've given my "one week later for reviews" rant, so here goes. Sure, you can find reviews that come out the next day after the books hit the shelves elsewhere, but you wont see them covered with our own brand of snark, well-thought-out-edness, and time and effort that goes into this column. This isn't a paying gig. The reviews are done out of love for comics by people with regular jobs. If you want a Big Mac, go to those other sites. Want a well cooked steak with all the trimmin's, wait a week, we'll serve it up nice.<br> And by the way, last week, I did an advance review of JOKER. This book dropped the same day as the column did and you can't get more current than that. You know how the folks in the Talkbacks responded? It was barely touched upon in the TBs, that's how they responded. By waiting a week and consistently coming out every Wednesday for the last seven years, not only does it give us time to come up with smart reviews, it gives you guys a chance to formulate your own opinons. And I know every @$$hole in the talkbacks has one.<br> Glad to see the new faces in the TBs. Welcome...

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 7:47 a.m. CST

    I get me comics every two weeks...

    by BangoSkank

    through the mail, and would like you guys to start reviewing comics an additional week later to avoid any possible spoilers. <p> Thanks in advance.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 7:54 a.m. CST

    The Mullet

    by Jaypeep

    I feel the need to defend my position on the Macguyver-like hairstyle of Longshot. I will qualify my position by saying that when drawn by Art Adams, it looks fine. He's from another dimension where mullets are all the rage and he looks fine. But when not drawn by Art Adams, he looks like a butch lesbian. Seriously. What a missed opportunity to not have M tell him so and have her help him change his look...

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 7:57 a.m. CST

    As a teen I always thought Longshot's...

    by BangoSkank

    extra fingers might come in handy. <p> If you know what I mean.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 8:20 a.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    Is just one super lucky, extra fingered, leather pants wearing, butch lesbian, from some future dimension - what is not to love?

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 8:49 a.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    I don't know what you mean.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 9:55 a.m. CST

    "Comes in handy?"

    by BangoSkank

    Comes in Handy? HANDY? COMES IN? <p> Oh, never mind. <p> Go make a deal with a devil, why don't cha.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 9:57 a.m. CST

    THE Devil or A Devil?

    by Joenathan

    There is a difference, you know...

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Joenathan, now if I'd meant...

    by BangoSkank

    THE Devil, I would have said, THE Devil. Any fool knows that there's a difference.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 11:26 a.m. CST


    by optimous_douche

    Is this the TalkBack from three weeks ago?

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 11:33 a.m. CST

    Somethings never die....

    by Psynapse


  • Nov. 6, 2008, 12:13 p.m. CST

    All I'm saying is...

    by Joenathan

    There's a difference and if say... a Superhero were to make a deal with one, whether or not it was the REAL Devil or just A Devil MIGHT inform his choice... hypothetically, of course.<br><br>Also, Bendis and Millar are two of the best writers working in comics today.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Secret Six...

    by Bluejack

    has an artifact crafted by Neron and the characters call him....wait for it.....THE Devil! (Talk about picking at a scab).

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 12:14 p.m. CST


    by Bluejack

    I thought he has one less finger. Or is that just Elfquest? Hmmm.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Shit, Bluejack was right....

    by BangoSkank

    He has one LESS finger, not an extra. I must have been thinking about Gargoyle.... Another old fav from my teen years. Oh well.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Agree Joenathan

    by optimous_douche

    Ultimate Spider-Man continues to be a favorite. I've stayed with this title even though I have abandoned all other Spideys.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 1:37 p.m. CST

    No shit Ambush

    by kungfuhustler84

    I know why you review a week later. It makes sense, and I respect you making that decision.<p>My point was why should it stop us talkbackers, who have probably already read some of the comics and formulated our opinions from talking about them right now? I am always to hear your opinion on some of the releases, but I see no reason to wait an entire week to hear from everybody else as well.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Ultimate Spider-man is why the ultimate U exists

    by most excellent ninja

    it's still great, it's one of the best runs of all time. it feels so right. I read 100 and something issues in 3 days. Amazing book, more amazing than the amazing spider-man.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Rage of the Red Lanterns = EPIC

    by most excellent ninja

    fuck, GL has been the best book of the decade. The brutallity of the Red Lanterns as opposed to the horror of the Yellow Lanterns is perfect. What hard fuckers.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 2:04 p.m. CST

    Animation / steverodgers

    by most excellent ninja

    whilst Sinestro Corps War may be the greatest superhero story ever. The impact of the story comes from the backstory. So getting the Johns run before hand makes a difference, reading Infinite crisis(no matter how much it derailed) makes a difference so you can understand how Superboy Prime in the Sinestro Corps War is a major thing. If anything get the one year later trades, however you should read all the Green Lantern Corps trade, because it has the prophecy, Ranx the sentient city etc. If not, it's like watching Empire Strikes Back without watching Star Wars.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Ultimate spider-man

    by Joenathan

    is THE spider title, as far as I am concerned. I don't think I've read regular continuity spider-man in 20 years, but Ultimate Spider-man? I don't miss an issue.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 2:18 p.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    That is going to put me in the poor house! I did read Infinite Crisis so hopefully that will be enough - otherwise i'm going to have to get a paper route or something.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 2:38 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    So, is anyone actually going to buy it. I don't think I'm going to and I'm a big Ultimate U fan. Loeb is just so terrible, though, I just can't do it.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 3 p.m. CST


    by BangoSkank

    No one has ever stopped us from talking about current comics. <p> And, maybe Ambush wouldn't have climbed back up on that high horse if you hadn't been such a prick about it.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 3:32 p.m. CST


    by BangoSkank

    Regarding Ultimatum, no. I gave up on Loeb's Ultimate run after the second issue when it became obvious he was shitting all over what had come before. Also my guess is that it will have little impact on what Millar does when he returns....

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Agree Bango

    by optimous_douche

    I think it would be great of the TBs stayed alive until the next column came out with user thoughts.<p>

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 3:50 p.m. CST

    I wonder...

    by Joenathan

    I mean Ultimates 3 was retarded on a level I wouldn't have expected from Winnick, let alone Loeb... Leifeld, MAYBE, but even then... Ultimates 3 was butt fuck stupid. Its like he'd never even read the first two volumes and just didn't give a fuck.<br><br>"Its the Avengers, right?"<br><br>"Well... yeah, but... not really..."<br><Br>"So, its the Avengers."<br<br>"Yeah, but there's differences..."<br><Br>"Don't worry, I've got it."<br><Br>"But its not..."<br><br>"I've read the Avengers before, jeesh, lay off."<br><Br>So... how much you want to bet, with the possible exception of any "permanent" deaths, that all of Ultimatum and Ultimates 3 is pretty much ignored and forgotten once its done with.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 3:51 p.m. CST

    If you Really Want to Get Into GL

    by optimous_douche

    I would also recommend reading what I believe to be Johns' inspiration.<p> Keith Giffen did a similar "resurrection" of GL back in the 80s with Emerald Dawn.<p> I think that's another reason I love the title so much. It's more baggage, but well worth carrying.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 3:51 p.m. CST

    by Joenathan

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 3:53 p.m. CST

    I'm struggling...

    by Joenathan

    Anyway...<br><Br>I'll bet that with the possible exception of any "permanent" deaths, Ultimatum will be mostly ignored by the other creators once its done.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 5:31 p.m. CST

    Ultimatum Will

    by optimous_douche

    Also suffer from just general "big event burnout." But I'll still give #1 a looksee

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 5:38 p.m. CST

    yeah shouldn't have been such an ass

    by kungfuhustler84

    I was just in a bad mood because comic week kind of sucked. Not a good excuse, I know.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 5:44 p.m. CST

    Okay anyway

    by kungfuhustler84

    let's talk comics. no more shit flinging from me, I promise.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 5:51 p.m. CST

    and Bango

    by kungfuhustler84

    we are in total agreement on the latest Ultimate run. I too, stopped after the second issue. Not only was it stupid, but if you can't make Spiderman funny, you fail as a writer. Hell, Straczynski's Spider Man in Silver Surfer Requiem was one of the highlights of that series.<p>Have you read War heroes yet by Millar? I'm really liking it so far.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 8:12 p.m. CST

    Technically, that graphic means Obama's an @$$hole

    by catlettuce4

    Just saying.

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 8:38 p.m. CST

    Yes, I am a new face/Ultimate FF

    by gooseud

    I've been lurking for years, but couldnt ever get AICN to give me a sign on name. True story, I always wanted to comment but could never sign on LOL I dont even want gooseud, I wanted some cool name like "R.J. McReedy's Kick Ass Beard" or something..... anyway, Ultimate FF is another title that went right down the poop chute, the Ellis run on that was absolute gold, god was that amazing. The Annihilus run on Ult FF is one of my favorite arcs of the past few years, actually. Then Millar and Land come aboard and PFFFFFT (picture air fizzing out of balloon).

  • Nov. 6, 2008, 11:06 p.m. CST

    The X-Factor: Layla Miller one-shot was fantastic

    by TallBoy66

    That kicked it back up a notch, if you're looking for good recent X-Factor. Layla's "We're due" line and then *BAM!* falling space debris kills the unholy hell out of everybody was amazing. The book has been kind of midiling lately, but it still has it's moments to make it an entertaining read.

  • Nov. 7, 2008, 5:40 a.m. CST

    Tall Boy Layla

    by optimous_douche

    I couldn't agree more. oh wait, yes I can:

  • Nov. 7, 2008, 6:36 a.m. CST

    War heroes....

    by BangoSkank

    No, I didn't pick it.... Mainly because at the moment I was really on the fence about Kick-Ass. Seems like the premiss of WH has a lot of promise, but I decided to trade-wait. I'm doing that more and more with limited series... I can go to Barnes and Noble, read the first issues worth and then buy it looks like it's worth it...

  • Nov. 7, 2008, 6:46 a.m. CST

    And yeah... you guys were right.

    by BangoSkank

    I made a crack about the X-Factor one-shots.... but was thinking more of the one with Quicksilver. The Layla one was pretty great, but then it ended with no real conclusion... And we've had nothing but crap in the main book since. I wish they would have just left David alone to do his thing, let him get back to what made the original mini so cool.

  • Nov. 7, 2008, 7:31 a.m. CST

    You Guys Should Review Comics Before...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...they are written, drawn and published. That's what the Message Board Bu##holes do over at That's Uncool Cool News Comics. I'll tell ya, that one reviewer they have, Ace Rebel, is a real jerk.

  • Nov. 7, 2008, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Ultimate FF/Marvel Zombies 4/War Heroes

    by Joenathan

    Hey, the Ultimate FF zombie story was great, even if it did spawn some pretty crappy books...<br><br>EXCEPT Marvel zombies 4. The first issue was pretty cool, although I'm a little afraid of someone trying to do Aaron Stack like Warren Ellis. A pale shadow of Ellis doing an imitation of Ellis doing a pale shadow of Hunter S. Thompson? That might cross a line, but for now... the first issue showed some promise.<br><Br>As for War Heroes, I really, really, really like the idea and the world and all that, but... BUT it seems a bit rushed as the panels kind of cram into each other. Most scenes take place in one panel. I wish there was a few more issues so he could take his time and develop the characters more, because as it is, I can barely tell half of them apart and the shitty art certainly doesn't help any.

  • Nov. 7, 2008, 9:17 a.m. CST

    How dare you tell them how it's done, Buzz!

    by Squashua

    How. Dare. You.

  • Nov. 7, 2008, 9:40 a.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    Not a fan of Tony Harris? Or is the art just sub-par for him?

  • Nov. 7, 2008, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Tony Harris

    by Joenathan

    He pulls out some good pin-ups at times, but for the most part, everyone looks the same, often as if they were water balloon people and sometimes everyone has their heads thrown back and their mouths open as if they were screaming but smiling at the same time. Maybe its just personal taste, but to me, this book, like Astonishing X-men, is just ugly. Give me Quietly or Cassidy or Jae Lee any day of the week.

  • Nov. 7, 2008, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Tony Harris

    by steverodgers

    I really like his work on Ex Machina -maybe War Heros isn't the right vehicle for him. Cassaday, Lee and Quietly are all great. Have you ever read Transformers/G.I.Joe the Dreamwave book - Jae Lee was drawing out his mind on that and the story is pretty cool too.

  • Nov. 7, 2008, 10:18 a.m. CST

    I loved that one

    by Joenathan

    sometimes it was colored a little dark, but it was still awesome. Setting it in WWII was so cool.<br><Br>Somehow his work in War Heroes just seems... heavier? Maybe thats not the right way to describe it. Clunky? I don't know, but its just so stiff and awkward, it really upsets me because the idea and the story that I think Millar is going to tell is something that really grabs my interest and the art just drags it done.<br><Br>Plus, he did a couple of very obviously photo referenced guns and because of that the perspective was just kind of off and that just stands out to me like bad photo shopping.

  • Nov. 7, 2008, 11:43 a.m. CST


    by SleazyG.

    Why didn't you tell us you'd spent time in Alaska? I noticed Sarah Palin kept talking about you throughout election season!

  • Nov. 7, 2008, 6:29 p.m. CST

    Transmet and Ultimatum

    by Homer Sexual

    Ok,I have to say that I dropped Transmetropolitan after about 25 issues. It just became so repetitive and nasty for the sake of being nasty that I felt like I was reading an Ennis book. But I will agree that picking up the first couple of trades would be good. However, not liking it doesn't disqualify anyone as a fan because it's sheer level of malice and cynicism is extremely high. I would agree that if you are a fan of Hunter S, then you really should read Transmet as well. <p> Ultimatum? Actually looks like the most boring crossover ever. Checked it out in the LCS but took a pass. I have to agree that the Ultimate U has lost its momentum. I dropped Ultimates 3 after one issue, and just recently started picking up Ultimate X-Men again, and it's not exactly at BKV levels. <p> Oh, and yes Loeb generally sucks, with an occasional good story. His writing on Heroes is also weak, so he is now lame in two different media. <p> Am about to go on vacation, need a couple TPs. Maybe Ill get one of these GLs everyone is raving about...but I have always disliked the Hal Jordan character, and I also find Star Wars boring. Would you still recommend these GL books? What else does anyone suggest (not the obvious ones,I have those already) <p> As far as this week, I am enjoying Terror Titans, despite a lame name. It is like the Legion used to be, fast and fun. Not so substantial or deep, but very entertaining. Love the tournament (especially mixing in people like Star Spangled Kid, Gypsy and Zatara), love the writing, and some of the characters (Ravager, Clock King, even Disruptor), are really interesting.

  • Nov. 7, 2008, 7:12 p.m. CST

    the Jae Lee Transformers/GIJoe rules

    by the milf lover

    I didnt buy the series, I was waiting for the trade (that never came out because Dreamwave tanked), but I found the digest size reprint in black and white, and it is excellent!<p> I'm not a big fan of Tony harris either, he's one of those artist that I think make better covers than interiors.

  • Nov. 8, 2008, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Once I met a comic called Ultiamtes 3...

    by loodabagel

    And he raped me. And my mom. And my dog. I don't talk to him anymore.

  • Nov. 9, 2008, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Yes, Sleazy, Sarah & Todd Are old Friends...

    by Buzz Maverik fact, they've hired me to lead Alaska's secession from the Union. I've sent everybody their own copy of RED DAWN, I've opened up trade routes from Mexico (for the tequila) and Russia (it's convoluted but I figure, I can get Cuban cigars from Russia). Now, I've got to get those helicopters adapted to the cold...

  • Nov. 9, 2008, 10:38 p.m. CST


    by BangoSkank

    It won't be just Alaska! <p> My relatives in Texas are preparing for the (now) inevitable Civil War that will be taking place --in their mind-- by hoarding guns. Or at least making sure that their neighbors are hoarding guns.... <p> I, on the other hand, am hoarding porn, rum, dope, and those chocolate covered granola dip-bars I like so much. <p> However, that said, if I'm left with only tequila and Cuban cigars..... I'll do what I can to adapt.

  • Nov. 10, 2008, 9:30 a.m. CST

    I'm hoarding toilet paper

    by Joenathan

    You try surviving the Apocalypse with a poopy butt and then you'll see who had the most fore sight... ME!