Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com)
Comics

AICN COMICS REVIEWS Kevin Smith's BATMAN! POPEYE! James Jean's FABLES! GARFIELD MINUS GARFIELD! + MUCH MORE!!!

#27 11/12/08 #7

Hey folks, Ambush Bug here reminding you that we have a contest going on that we introduced in this week’s Monday AICN COMICS SHOOT THE MESSENGER column. John Howe was one of the creative minds behind the concept design for the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. He’s written a book for Impact called JOHN HOWE: FORGING DRAGONS where he goes into the mythology of dragons, the actual history of the big beasties, and how it all relates to his art. A trailer for the book can be found here.
The good folks at Impact have given us 10 copies of John’s book along with 10 posters (36x24) entitled WANDERING FIRE signed and numbered by Mr. Howe himself (previously only available at the San Diego Comic Con). Since Guillermo Del Toro (the director attached to THE HOBBIT) himself is known to peruse this site from time to time, let’s help him out with some dream casting of THE HOBBIT. 10 lucky amateur casting directors will receive a copy of JOHN HOWE: FORGING DRAGONS along with a signed and numbered poster. Send your HOBBIT casting picks here along with a full mailing address. Those not sending a full address will be disqualified. The most creative picks will win the poster and book. Good luck! Have fun! Cast away!
And now, on with the reviews!

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) An @$$Hole 2 in 1 Review of BATMAN: CACOPHONY #1 E.C. SEGAR’S POPEYE Vols 2-3 GREEN LANTERN CORPS #30 TOP 10 SEASON 2 #2 KINGDOM COME SPECIAL: SUPERMAN #1 SIR APROPOS OF NOTHING #1 FABLES COVERS BY JAMES JEAN HC Big Eyes For the Cape Guy presents GOLGO 13 Vol 4: THE ORBITAL HIT Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS!

An @$$HOLE 2 in 1 Review of BATMAN: CACAPHONY #1

Writer: Kevin Smith Artist: Walt Flanegan Publisher: DC Comics Reviewers: Ryan McLelland & Optimous Douche

Optimous Douche (OD): Seeing as I’m a Jersey native and a card carrying member of the “oh so cynical Gen X,” I’ll admit that my unrequited bromance for Kevin Smith’s movies, comics and other musings will be much steeper than, say, a teenager from Arkansas. However, I will do my best to inject a level of objectivity into the following brain hemorrhage.
This book worked on two levels. There were many elements of BATMAN: CACOPHONY that were simply very cool “comic” moments, like the current events opening break-in and the logistics behind Deadshot playing possum. Then there were the elements that can only be truly appreciated by those that love Smith. Yes, this title has big fucking word balloons, a cast of characters whose tongues are bathed in irony and sarcasm, and some surprising ass-play. Ahhh,, welcome back, Kevin--you have been gone far too long.
Ryan McLelland (RM): I love Kevin's work having been turned onto him with “Clerks” while working in a New Jersey video store. I can thank the man for actually making me want to be a writer, and further for him being the first director I'd meet time and time again. I'd collect the comics he scribed but usually lost patience and dropped them when they become insanely late. His best work, in my truly humble opinion, was the stuff he did on GREEN ARROW, so I started looking forward to this book. Then ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO came out and while it was funny as balls, it lacked much in the story department. Could BATMAN: CACOPHONY suffer in the same way?
Luckily Kevin brings his trademark humor to a story of murder, drugs, and intrigue. The best part of this book hands-down is Onomatopoeia, a superb villain who first debuted during Kevin's GREEN ARROW run. It's perfect that he brings him back for this story, but it also brings up a gripe I have with DC. This guy is phenomenal - why do you not put him in more books!?!? Out of the four baddies who appear in the first issue, the others being Joker, Zsasz, and Deadshot, Onomatopoeia steals the show once again.
OD: Onomatopoeia is just another example of Smith’s curse with the mainstream. I seriously don’t believe DC shelved this character due to lack of originality, they shelved him because people on average are stupid. There’s a reason that marketers and advertisers are told to write on a fourth or fifth grade level (I swear, I’m not making that up--that’s insider knowledge, kiddies: you are being pandered to). I guarantee that if Smith named him “Talker” or “The Announcer”, Onomatopoeia would be polishing Darkseid’s pimp stick over in FINAL CRISIS as we speak. If one were to call Johns and Brubaker golden children of comics, Smith would be dubbed the golden shower child. And I’ll tell you, it pisses me off to no end.
While it was nice to see Smith’s action-announcing villain back in action again, I was most intrigued by the choices Smith made for the Joker. We had not one, but two scenes that alluded to the Joker fancying man-meat over lady-loving. Too much time in Arkham or was he just born that way? We don’t know for sure, but this is the first time in my twenty-five years of collecting that I think the possibility has ever been broached. Now, I’m hoping Smith won’t focus too much on Ass-Play Joker for the rest of this series and at some point gives him a tussle in the sheets with Harlequin. Why? No, not my lily-white suburban upbringing. A bisexual Joker wouldn’t break continuity and we would all be spared from the corrective crossover events CUNTDOWN or ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS CRISIS. Some will be put off by this choice, but personally I think the sexual ambiguity drives home that Joker is the poster boy for grating against societal norms and he truly does have a big bucket of crazy atop his shoulders.
RM: Yeah I agree that the gay joke thing might be great when it is pouring out of Jay Mewes' mouth, but here I think it’s a bit much. That or you simply accept that the Joker is insane and does whatever he can to get a rise out of someone.
I have to commend Walt Flannagan and his artwork. Traditionally he's been the guy that sells comics at the Secret Stash in Red Bank or Walt the Fanboy in Smith’s movies, but the guy actually has some very serious talent. Sure, he may only be getting this job because he's Kevin Smith's friend, but he'll have many jobs in the future because of his work here. Flannagan is having a great time drawing Smith's story.
OD: You can truly tell that this was a labor of love. As a View Askew fanboy, I seriously wonder what has taken these two so long to join forces with a comic or an action movie. Hopefully this will be explained on some “Fuck DVD Bonus Track” in the near future. I’m truly glad to see Walt is a tsunami of talent whose fame will transcend being a throw-away line in “Jersey Girl 2: Electric Boogaloo”.
BATMAN: CACOPHONY was a welcome return to Kevin Smith’s ample creative bosom. Let us pray no other miniseries, especially one with this strong of a sadistic cliffhanger, suffers the curse of SPIDER-MAN/BLACK CAT.
RM: Joker butt-jokes aside, I thought BATMAN: CACOPHONY #1 was an amazing return of Kevin Smith to DC Comics. Smith handles Batman like a true pro and masterfully runs us through the issue. Flannagan is a much welcome addition to the comic book world and the two are truly a dynamic duo together (bad pun well intended). This is a comic I can't wait to get my hands on, so hopefully the rest of the series will come out on time.

E.C. SEGAR’S POPEYE V2: “Well Blow Me Down” E.C. SEGAR’S POPEYE V3: “Let’s You And Him Fight”

Writing and Art: E.C. Segar Publisher: Fantagraphics Reviewer: Jinxo

Some time back when Volume 1 of this series came out I did a write up of it. Last fall, when Volume 2 came out, I had intended to point it out too. The only problem was the sheer volume of material in these books. Each one covers over 2 years of funny page strips. That is a lot of reading. And these strips are ones I like to take my time reading and enjoying. By the time I got done reading Volume 2 it seemed almost too late to bother writing up, the book had been out so long. So now a year later Volume 3 is out and I don’t want to miss my chance to alert you guys to the latest in this amazing series.
So…I’m cheating. I actually only bought Volume 3 days ago and have only read a handful of strips. So, mostly, let me back up and pimp Volume 2.
The beauty of the first volume was getting to see proto-Popeye, a version of the character before he was fully defined, before he solidified into the character WE think of as Popeye. A more wild and wooly character who wasn’t necessarily safe. He was brought in a weird, oddball and notably ugly sailor. He was rude, crude and seemingly unkillable. He was also a supporting player. Castor Oyle was the lead. He would be doing the heavy lifting of centering the story while Popeye could fly off in all sorts of weird directions and just go nuts.
Volume 2 chronicles the next stage of Popeye’s career. It starts with him still as a supporting player but by this point its clear he’s become the favorite character of the strip. He’s starting his rise to fame. But with that rise comes a price. He can’t be quite the freak he started as. Kids clearly like him. This is reflected in the strip with Popeye literally becoming friends to all the kids. In the color strips they start including cutout play money for the kids reading the strip, kind of an interesting artifact to see. Seeing them I can picture little kids from the 30s cutting up their folks’ newspapers. So with tons of kids across the country loving Popeye, they clearly couldn’t keep him as quite the same bizarre, ugly sailor. So he gets reined in some… but not a lot. He’s still pretty weird, but for me there is a sadness in seeing Popeye settle into a final form, knowing he’d pushed the envelope of the character as far as it would go.
Also in keeping with his rise to fame, Volume 2 sees Popeye move from supporting player to the definite star of the strip. For a long time the focus of the strip was the comedy team of Popeye and Castor Oyle with, again, Castor Oyle slightly more in the starring role. You can clearly see the moment in this book, though, when Popeye fully takes center stage. Midway through one of the first adventures in Volume 2, which finds Popeye involved in a war in the country of Nazilia, Castor Oyle just starts to disappear. He shows up less and less. When Popeye and Olive return home, Olive’s parents matter-of-factly inform them that Castor returned home from Nazilia a month earlier and has been running his detective agency. Right at that moment it’s clear Castor is gone for good and this is now Popeye’s strip. He’s the star. And where he AND Olive had both been established as butt ugly characters, they are now not identified as ugly and start on their way to becoming the, ahem, romantic couple we are familiar with.
Now, just because Popeye is settling into a final form, don’t take that to mean the comic itself starts to go flat. It’s still crazy. It is filled with silly satire. The weird thing is, there is such satire in some of these strips that they remind me less of the Popeye cartoons and more of the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons. Popeye’s adventures in Nazilia, for example. Nazilia is at war with a neighboring country, only none of the soldiers on either side seems interested in fighting. Nazilia’s king is a goofball who should never lead a country. Yet, oddly, the whole sad impossible setup in some strange way also feels… a little too much a reflection of the real world. A reflection through a comic lightly.
But if you’re not looking for subtle satire, there is also violence and wrongness. You know, for the kids. Olive and Popeye have several adventures out west. In one the bad guys take Olive hostage and make her cook for them. It ends up, though, that one by one Olive starts, well, shooting them. A guy will come in and Olive will end up shooting him or knocking him out and throwing them in the basement. Now they take the curse off of it by clarifying that she doesn’t actually kill any of them but… who cares? She just shoots them like crazy. In another western tale, Olive falls into a pattern that would play out repeatedly in the cartoons. She hooks up with some bad men and decides to trust and throw in with them over Popeye with Popeye then having to save her. While technically clean and okay for the kids, there is a sort of hidden level of wrong. Olive’s new “friends” betray her and she ends up having to work as a dancehall girl, dancing for the drunken crowd. So not a “stripper” or anything, but she is dancing for a bunch of drunks. And then while dancing she does a split and gets stuck that way, leading to a run of strips centering on that as the joke. Dirty? Not really. But at some level I was laughing going, “Really? Can… can they do that? Have a running gag about Olive dancing for men and then getting stuck with her legs… really???”
Volume 2 also notably introduces two important pieces of Popeye lore. First, there’s Wimpy who first shows up as a fight referee but soon becomes the mooch we all are familiar with. More importantly, this book brings in the spinach. But the spinach isn’t quite the secret power supply it is in the cartoons. In the cartoons Popeye is a normal guy until he gets his spinach. Here, Popeye is always a badass but if his strength is flagging, say from being forever in the desert, spinach is the one thing that will quickly bring him back to full power.
There’s just so much to say for these books. They’re really amazing. Again, I’m just starting Volume 3, but right off the bat it has me laughing. Volume 3 picks up with Popeye and Olive returning from the old west. Popeye immediately narcs out Olive to her dad for treating him bad and becoming a barroom dancing girl. Her dad immediately pulls up his sleeves and spanks Olive like a madman as Popeye laughs. You have to see it. Just so wrong seeing Popeye “Arf arf”ing lik a madman over Olive’s pain. Of note in Volume 3: the arrival of both Bluto and Sweet Pea as well as a return to Nazilia. Also some real rarities: it seems that for the 1934 Chicago World’s Fair, Segar did a series of promotional comics to advertise the fair. The book points out these strips have never been presented in print since the 30s. Pretty amazing. The writers of the book seem amazed they weren’t collected for publication as all the other strips were back in the day. But, really, back then I’m sure they were viewed as just ads. When Marvel does a Spider-Man collection they don’t include those Spidey ads for Hostess Twinkies (Although I might be crazy enough to buy a book collecting those ads…). But 70-some years after the fact, they seem less like ads and more like amazingly cool lost Segar gems.
They’re putting out one of these books every fall. If you haven’t been picking these up, you have a year’s time to catch up before Volume 4. The books are very well done, and the strips are great. This is a series well worth collecting.
Jinxo is Thom Holbrook, lifelong comic book reader, and the evil genius behind poobala.com. He may appear cute and cuddly but if encountered avoid eye contact and DO NOT attempt to feed.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #30

Writer : Peter J. Tomasi Artist: Patrick Gleason Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

“This week on Yellow Lantern’s Cribs, we tear into the back fat of homicidal homonym Kryb. She’s got a whole sack of nipples and can interspecies lactate, that’s why all the Green Lantern babies are getting up inside this Kryb!” Ever since Kryb was introduced during the Sinestro Corps War, she has been a nightmarish favorite of mine in the same way I revere and at the same time fear Carol Anne’s clown from the movie “Poltergeist.” Tomasi wasted no time imbedding readers in dark undertones right from outset by opening the issue with Kryb’s line of razor sharp teeth and nipple-backed baby cage. With each panel of the hunt for Kryb and the botched diplomatic mission to the Star Sapphire home world in this issue, the war drum of Blackest Night beats louder. I’m never one to promote or validate crossovers, especially when they simply serve to sell more books. In this case, though, I will say without hesitation, if you are not reading GREEN LANTERN CORPS you are not only missing out on an amazing reading experience, but also critical story elements to the entire Blackest Night war of light.
In my opinion, the Guardians of the Galaxy have always been more concerned about controlling the universe than serving as malevolent protectors. This belief has been flirted with in past issues of GREEN LANTERN, but always pulled back at the last minute with a very special “awwww aren’t they cute and blue” moment to show that their deeds are truly altruistic. Well, no more. As the Guardians seek allies to thwart the onslaught of the Red and Yellow ring wielders they seek out their sisters in Guardianship, the pink ring wearers of love, the Zamorans. There were so many golden moments to this diplomatic mission gone awry I don’t want to ruin the surprise. Suffice to say, Guy Gardner acts perfectly in character when confronted with a planet of interstellar babes and Ion serves not only as muscle should the shit hit the fan, but also to drive home the point that the universe needs love to survive as much as unrelenting willpower.
If any two titles deserve to be called a crossover it would GREEN LANTERN and GREEN LANTERN CORPS right now and why they aren’t being officially dubbed as such boggles my mind. This tightness of storytelling is what I’m still waiting to see in amidst the FINAL CRISIS hullabaloo. I won’t pretend to know how stories are developed are cross pollinated across titles, but the harmony and synchronization between GREEN LANTERN and GREEN LANTERN CORPS is making me believe that Johns and Tomasi are sharing a work space and interchangeable creative centers of the brain.
In short (I know, too late), if you enjoy GREEN LANTERN and want to experience the full impact of Blackest Night – buy…this…book!
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.

TOP 10 SEASON 2 #2

Script and Layouts: Zander Cannon and Kevin Cannon Pencils and Inks: Gene Ha Publisher: America’s Best Comics Reviewer: Jinxo

I was a little worried when the new run of TOP 10 started. I mean, a book started by Alan Moore being written by somebody else? I had a definite fear of things going wrong, of the new writers just mucking up the characters’ voices. The first issue still had me on the fence. It was good. It held its own but it didn’t bowl me over. For the uninitiated, TOP 10 is a police saga set in a world where everyone, and I do mean everyone, is a superhero. It is simultaneously a mix of straight cop dramas ala “Hill Street Blues” and a spoof of every fantasy/sci fi/comic book element you can imagine. The trick Moore pulled off perfectly was having the straight drama elements work as drama while at the same time dropping crazy, comic, surreal humor in at the same time.
The first issue of the latest run worked well towards setting the stage for the drama. The Top 10 cops get their latest in a long line of police commissioners (commissioners at Top 10 have the same luck and longevity as the Defense Against The Dark Arts teachers in the Harry Potter books). Someone dealing magics to kids has been selling youngsters scrolls that turn them into supermen. The whole squad is still dealing with the death of Officer Girl 1, an artificially created life form, when they suddenly have to find themselves working with Girl 2, who looks exactly like their fallen comrade. And then of course there’s the dozen unidentified dead bodies that instantly appeared outside police headquarters.
The biggest funny of the first issue for me came when Lieutenant Peregrine came home and found her husband dressing up in a hero costume not his own, crossing over into a new identity. Yes, he’s a crossover dresser. It’s just so silly and yet written really really seriously. It’s a problem! Peregrine is worried it will ruin her marriage, after all. But normally there are a million small visual jokes going on in the background. Hobbits, heroes and other familiar looking characters popping up in the background in odd moments. It’s my habit now to scour any panel of TOP 10 for jokes. Only in this case… nothing. Not a huge problem but enough to put me on guard.
Issue #2 has allayed any fears I may have had. The dramatic elements from the first issue continue nicely. I’m also now confident that the character’s still sound and feel like the same as when they were being written by Alan Moore. That’s big. Nothing worse than seeing characters you like turned into characters you don’t even recognize. And just as the drama continues nicely, so does the funny. Peregrine tries to help her husband with his… perversion, supplying him with information on a help program whose name made me laugh out loud. And there’s also at least some background funny. The restaurant Peregrine and her hubby eat at made me smile as it danced on the line of DC Comics copyright infringement.
It’s nice to be past worrying about if the writers would get it right and be able to just settle into the fun and action with characters I really enjoy. And it should be mentioned that while Moore is gone, his co-creator Gene Ha is still on board with the art doing a great job visually bringing the strange world of TOP 10 to life. For Season 2 it looks like TOP 10 will be living up to its title--at least on my pull list.

KINGDOM COME SPECIAL: SUPERMAN #1

Written and Illustrated by: Alex Ross Published by: DC Comics Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

I really wanted Superman's KINGDOM COME SPECIAL to be the end-all, be-all. Maybe it is my trying to get over the fact that the Superman from the Kingdom Come Earth (designated Earth-34B-69A-Square Root of 37) is here on our Earth while trying to end the "Kingdom Come” storyline.
When I read KINGDOM COME back in the day as they were released I wasn't saying to myself, "I wonder if this is really happening on Earth-34B-69A-Square Root of 37?" I really didn't care. I thought it was a great non-canonical book full of amazing ideas and Alex Ross’s phenom artwork that we had previously glimpsed with Marvels. Now it is as if every story that has ever occurred in a comic book in a Marvel or DC book has actually happened in that universe, allowing a multitude of crossovers to occur over and over again.
So it is where we stand in terms of the KINGDOM COME SPECIAL: SUPERMAN #1. Superman from KINGDOM COME is on our Earth, having adventures with the Justice Society of America, and bringing an end to this entire KINGDOM COME saga. I’ll now get over griping that this Superman is here on our Earth (ugh) and actually look at the book itself.
I don’t care if you love or hate Alex Ross – there can’t be any denying that the man has an amazing ability to draw/paint comic books. I’m of the opinion that Ross is a cocky fellow but I don’t really care because I’m a cocky fellow in real life as well. It’s the merits of the work that I care about, and this book looks amazing from start to finish. As we follow this Superman (henceforth known as Old Superman) on our Earth we see a fellow who is cranky and sort of tired of the supervillain scene. We truly see Old Superman’s age, the bags under his eyes, the wrinkles embedded in his face. The beauty of Ross’ art is that we know that Old Superman is a powerful fellow but he has truly seen better days. Everyone retires – from generals to athletes – yet this superhero is one of the last from a war-torn Earth still having to fight a good fight.
Unfortunately, while the issue does expand a bit on the Old Superman character the story does take a backseat to the artwork here. One can only wish that the end of this saga has Mark Waid along for the ride, but I don’t want to say that Alex Ross in necessarily a bad writer. Ross does a good job with the plot and dialogue but you do feel the lack of Waid’s presence. The issue pulls off what it is supposed to do: a look into Old Superman, how he thinks, and how he feels. But right as you get into it the issue ends and we are told ‘Continues in MAGOG #1!’. That’s not because the comic is only 16 pages, but at around 24 pages the comic probably could have been a few more pages along. Instead we are treated to 12 more pages of ‘bonus material’ so we can see how the comic we just read was made. I say save that stuff for the inevitable graphic novel and just give us more pages now!
As a fan of the original source material it is good to have Alex Ross back doing KINGDOM COME. While I’m not thrilled by this storyline, I can say that Ross makes Old Superman a bit interesting and hopefully Geoff Johns can compound on that when THE KINGDOM #1 launches shortly.
Ryan McLelland has worked in movies and comics journalism for the past several years before joining the @$$holes here at AICN. Ryan’s comic work has already graced comic shelves with Arcana’s PHILLY, WISE INTELLIGENCE, UPTOWN GIRL, and THE SENTINELS ANTHOLOGY. He rarely updates his blog but when he does it can be read at www.eyewannabe.com

SIR APROPOS OF NOTHING #1

Writer: Peter David Artist: Robin Riggs Published by: IDW Publishing Reviewed by: BottleImp

Peter David has long been one of my favorite comic book writers, starting with his original run on Marvel’s X-FACTOR back in the 1990s. He has a knack for dialogue that feels real, not forced—you could read lines spoken by his characters out loud and it would sound perfectly normal, as opposed to, say, any given text from SIN CITY. And David was always great at including humor in his comics as a means to both lighten the tone of the stories and add a humanizing dimension to characters that had been about as three-dimensional as a cardboard cutout before David took a whack at ‘em. And nine times out of ten, Peter David was able to blend humor, humanity, drama and pathos into a satisfying story that never felt forced or contrived.
Which brings me to SIR APROPOS OF NOTHING. I don’t know what happened, but this comic is nothing BUT forced and contrived.
Instead of character-driven humor, there are puns… the title alone, for example, as well as a throwaway line about “the Aybee Sea” (get it?). There also is an underlying thread of parody of Stephen King’s DARK TOWER books (and the recent comic series spin-offs), but the satire is so slight that it feels more like a background gag rather than an integral part of the plot. Did David have this Apropos character’s story lying around and decided to scotch-tape it to a poor man’s MAD Magazine take-off?
Perhaps the tone of this comic would have come across better if the artwork had been…well, I was looking for a polite way to say it, but…if the artwork had been better. The figures are all drawn semi-realistically, but in a very bland fashion—there’s not a lot of spark to the character designs or their settings, and the compositions tend to be fairly static rather than dynamic. The colors aren’t helping any, either—the very limited color palette rendered in very light tones throughout this issue may have been done to try to convey the desert light, but it just ends up looking washed out and dull. This is a case where Riggs’ art just doesn’t seem to gel with the writing. Perhaps if an artist with a more stylized or humorous design sense had been drawing this story, the comic as a whole would feel more cohesive.
And yet, despite my disappointment, I’ll most likely pick up the next issue just to see if Peter David’s going anywhere with this mess—it’s the “slow down to look at car wreck” mentality, but hey, it’s still getting me to fork over my cash. Well done, David.
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.

FABLES COVERS BY JAMES JEAN HC

Artist: Were you not paying attention? JAMES JEAN! Publisher: DC Vertigo Reviewer: Jinxo

James Jean… oh how I HATE you. You make me sick! Well, okay, only the frustrated artist side of me hates you because…damn, you’re good. Which is why the rest of me just loves the hell out of your work. And now thanks to Vertigo, I have a huge batch of it in one really nice hardbound collection.
For those of you not into FABLES, it’s the story of the classic fairy tale characters of old transplanted to and living in New York as they try to win back their fairy tale homelands from the oppressive rule of a tyrannical dictator. Various artists have been responsible for the work inside the book, but the cover art has consistently been provided by James Jean. And each cover pretty much ends up looking like an amazing painting or like an illustration from the ultimate book of fairy tales you can imagine. Okay, I’m gushing, but I love these covers.
This book has the covers for the first 75 issues of the series as well as the cover art he created for the trade paperbacks. For each cover you also get a selection of the prep art that went into the covers. Might be thumbnail sketches, alternate concepts or maybe the progression of the cover from sketch through to final cover. There is also a small panel of text for each cover that sort of describes the plot elements behind the cover. Could be dialogue from the book or writer Bill Willingham’s description of a chunk of action in the comic. All these elements combine to give you a different sort of story--the story of each piece of art.
Because of the plot of FABLES the covers also cover an amazing array of subjects and styles. You of course have the straight up fairy tale and medieval knights sort of stuff. But FABLES’ timeline spans such a huge amount of time you also get WWII paintings, cowboy imagery, riffs on propaganda art, advertising art, James Bond spy imagery...there is just such so much and not a bad cover in the bunch.
Now I could see this not being some people’s cup of tea. A book of collected comic book covers? Why not just buy the damn comics and get them that way? To those folks I have to say…yeah…shut your pie hole! No, sorry…that was wrong. The truth is, as a fan of James Jean’s covers, it is so nice to have all those pieces together in such a nice book.
As a sort of final note on this…I’m horrible with events and signings and such. Even if my comic shop hypes an upcoming event like crazy, I’ll be the one to miss every piece of promo material and not know the thing is happening. But by sheer chance, Wednesday when I went in for my comics James Jean was there for the launch of this book signing copies. Normally if I manage to stumble onto a signing I still will weigh who is it, do I want to plunk down X amount of money for the book, how long is the line? With James Jean, none of that. I heard James Jean, collected Fables covers, and it was a done deal. Didn’t care how much, didn’t care if there was a line. Get to the front of the line and he’s not only signing each book, he’s doing quick sketches in each book. Making it look sickeningly easy, he whips out this amazing sketch. I realize he’s probably got a number of sketches pretty much memorized so that he’s able to produce them that quickly. But it is still very impressive. Again, that moment where 99% of me is excited and impressed and that wannabe artist 1% is just like, “Ugh…I hate you! I wanna be able to do that!” Regardless, for FABLES fans I 100% recommend this book.
Jinxo is Thom Holbrook, lifelong comic book reader, and the evil genius behind poobala.com. He may appear cute and cuddly but if encountered avoid eye contact and DO NOT attempt to feed.

GOLGO 13 Vol 4: THE ORBITAL HIT

Created by Takao Saito Released by VIZ Media Reviewed by Scott Green

Given that NARUTO’s North American release hits volume 32 this month, we've seen examples of the gargantuan libraries that a manga title can amass if it remains popular in its Japanese, serialized run. While that's a respectably large collection, NARUTO has a while to go before it can really contend with the big boys. DETECTIVE CONAN is over sixty volumes. Not counting the STEEL BALL RUN spin-off, JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE hit eighty volumes. KOCHIRA KATSUSHIKA-KU KAMEARI KOEN MAE HASHUTSUJO (THIS IS THE POLICE STATION IN FRONT OF KAMEARI PARK IN KKATSUSHIKA WARD), or KOCHIKAME for short, a title which has never been released in North America, is still running after 160 volumes.
Then, there's GOLGO 13. Kept in print by legions of fans, who can claim new Prime Minister Taro Aso amongst their numbers, GOLGO 13 recently commemorated its fortieth anniversary in an event featuring the manga's 72 year old author Takao Saito, Tetsuya Chiba (creator of classic boxing manga Ashita no Joe), Naoki Urasawa (MONSTER, PLUTO, 20th CENTURY BOYS), Go Nagai (founder of the piloted giant robot, and transforming magical girl genres), Mitsutoshi Furuya and Fujiko Fujio (A).
Part of what's interesting about this sustained reader support is that it does not leverage the rolling teen/adolescent audience on which something like NARUTO relies. Instead, GOLGO 13 is written for an audience that generally does not read many comics or manga in North America. Frederik L. Schodt's 1996 DREAMLAND JAPAN describes the Anthology in which GOLGO 13 is published, saying: Big Comic: The grand-daddy of the Big family, Big Comic serializes works by big-gun artists. Long running stories have included the famous GOLGO 13, by Takao Saito, about a Zen like professional assassin who always gets his mark; HOTEL by Shotaro Ishinomori, about the inner workings of hotel life; and the gag strip AKABE-EI, by Hiroshi Kurogane. Don't look for sex and titillation here, though. This is serious stuff, written mainly by men over fifty and read by a faithful but aging male readership mostly over thirty....Ads are scarce and are mainly for cars, marriage services, energy drinks, hair tonics, hair pieces, and so forth.
If you read samurai manga LONE WOLF AND CUB, you will be familiar with a type of character who lives by the Zen koan, "if you meet the Buddha, kill him." In the case of LONE WOLF, Ogami Itto recognized the truth behind his kill or be killed Road to Hell to the extent that he was willing to risk the life of his infant son.
Named for Golgotha, the site of Jesus' crucifixion and the unlucky number, Duke Togo is the globe hopping, omni-talented gun for hire known as Golgo 13. Think of James Bond, a man who crosses international borders, entering into dicey situations, fighting men and (beep)ing women. (Takao Saito worked with Bond leading up to the launch of GOLGO 13) Subtract the tension between the mission and moments of moral compunction or sentimentality. Subtract the glibness. Also, subtract the reason to support the character, whether it's nationalism or that this killer is "our guy," standing between the western world and SMERSH, SPECTRE or QUANTUM. The result is literally and explicitly a man of action, without a history or a motivation. See that expression that GOLGO 13 is making on the cover? That's the same one you'll see on the characters face whether he's listening to the proposal for an outrageous mission, sitting in proximity to a man whose betrayal almost cost him his life, or engaged in sexual intercourse.
Bits of GOLGO 13 have been released in the US. Osamu Dezaki's 1983 anime movie THE PROFESSIONAL: GOLGO 13 and the 1998 OVA GOLGO 13: QUEEN BEE (with John Di Maggio as Duke Togo) can still be found on DVD if you do some hunting. No one has announced plans to release the 2008 televised anime series in English. The live action movie GOLGO13: ASSIGNMENT KOWLOON, featuring Sonny Chiba, was released, but if its predecessor with Akio Ohtsuka ever made it over, I've never seen it.
Amazingly, North American audiences did get GOLGO 13: TOP SECRET EPISODE for the Nintendo, featuring the 8-bit generation version of smoking, sex and violence, but with (most of) the Nazi references excised. And, the game's developer/publisher Vic Tokai, along with LEAD, and Viz published short runs and promotions of GOLGO 13 manga in the mid, late 80's and early 90's.
In 2006, Viz began publishing a 13 volume set of GOLGO 13's greatest hits. The approach of cherry picking GOLGO 13 stories is an issue to the extent to which you'd want to read as much GOLGO 13 as possible. In terms of fracturing the narrative, with no pretence of an over-arching plot, or developing the character, selecting specific stories doesn't. In fact, the atomic nature of each story is one of the serial's conceits. Duke Togo is born into each story a veteran assassin, with the experience needed to carry out his mission. Many of the stories are exploited from the geo-politics news feed, but whether the president of the US is Carter, Ford, or one of the Bushes, the protagonist is the same age, without any "reboots" or attempts made to reconcile the fact that he has been operating for forty years.
As an aside, this agelessness also applies to the creators of the manga, as Takao Saito and Saito Production have become indistinguishable. While manga is generally produced by a creator or pair of creators, more often than not, a team of assistants contribute to the effort. While these workers are often uncredited, many of the best known manga creators have started in the industry in that capacity (INU-YASHA's Rumiko Takahashi was an assistant under Kazuo Umezu, ONE PIECE’s Eiichiro Oda was an assistant under Nobuhiro Watsuki). Takao Saito might be 72, but a new GOLGO 13 story does not look different than one produced decades ago. This isn't a function of Saito being immune to age or new influence. Rather than rely on assistants to fill in the time consuming work or apply their talents to gaps in the chief creator's, Saito Production evidently executes on a model laid out by Saito. As such, the style of almost goofy, exaggerated caricature with stiff figures, set against intricately rendered backgrounds and objects, as well as the mix of weapons tech and inflammatory politics, has persisted throughout the decades.
The eponymous first story in GOLGO 13: THE ORBITAL HIT is a fine example of the manga's sentiments and its character's hyper-competence. In 1975, the American government backed itself into an affair comparable to a "sci-fi version of Watergate." Operation Damocles was put into orbit by a shadow space program. A manned, nuclearly armed false Soyuz would be prepared for retaliation against the Soviets, if the time came. Unfortunately, on the eve of the Apollo mission's rendezvous with the real Soyuz program, the false craft was battered by debris, leaving America's dirty laundry out for the Russians to see. For plausible deniability, and so the press could not track the preparation, President Ford okayed the recruitment of a man rated highly reliable by the CIA, with jet pilot qualifications... Duke Togo.
This is the sort of manga written to read after being buffeted by a storm of ugly news headlines. The "sci-fi Watergate" bears out, with cataclysmic mistakes warranting cover-ups and cover-ups to the cover-ups, with the din of street protests and journalistic investigations hammering in the background. GOLGO 13 comes through as a catalyst, a self-preserving instrument. With his crystallized MO, he's the one person not co-opted, foolish, or channeled by the flow of events. There's something classically cool about being the one needed to clean up the mess, rather than be part of it, but there's also an antisocial edge in being above the fray.
The second story assassinates class, then audaciously throws its calling card on top of the body. Published in November 1997, Golgo 13 is hired to kill a Dodi Al-Fayed doppelganger as the Egyptian magnate-heir Ahmad Al-Farid rides through a Paris tunnel with Princess Di. Another assassin from MI6 is on the job, and the results we recognize from August 31, 1997 take place. Between the reaction by the entrenched power players to Di's AIDS activism and the juxtaposition between exotic mechanisms and the horrifically real scene of the crash, the manga seems intent on tweaking the reader's sense of real events. The intent does not appear to be to come away thinking that there was a real conspiracy theory. However, it starts with what we accept as plausible: that a reaction to the accusation that past colonialism has caused modern woes, such as the African AIDS epidemic, would be to lash out at the accuser. It ends with graphically real consequence. In the middle, it throws us for a loop with byzantine plotting and Duke Togo involvement.
Part of GOLGO 13's appeal is related to enjoying the manga ironically. A staple of gag manga is to have GOLGO 13's granite face loom over some mundane situation. Seeing such an absolute figure not react to lust, danger, pathos or incredible circumstances is laughable. The exploited from the headlines approach to current events is similarly worthy of an irreverent grin.
At the same time, GOLGO 13 is serious business. The evident effort plotting, and rendering set pieces, weapons and locations is frequently jaw-dropping. While manga is written for almost every conceivable audience, most of what we get in North America is published for a prominent subset of what was intended for teenage and younger readers. (The strongly recommend ELECTRIC ANT zine has a conversation with manga guru Frederik L. Schodt that touches on why few look to expand the scope of manga published in North America.) A manga written for 30+ year olds, one that seeks to let its reader process the complexities of history being made through the lens of an omnipotent killer, is something exceptional in the field of manga in North America. GOLGO 13 has lasted forty years for a reason, making it an essential part of any thorough comic/manga collector's library.
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.

Hey folks, Ambush Bug here with another batch of comics so independent, they don’t need their mammys to walk them home from school. Now, that’s freakin’ indie! This week’s unearthed treasures features a famous cat featured in a way everyone can enjoy, a kick-@$$ goth grrl, a haunting treat that may be one of the best indies of the year, a tale from the Master of Macabre, and paintings of kitties!!! Read on, adventurers…

GARFIELD MINUS GARFIELD OGN Ballantine Books

If you’re like me, and god help you if you are, you have a few older and younger people in your life that absolutely love Garfield. I know the comic strip is synonymous with lonely cat ladies everywhere, but occasionally, when I’m bored, I can still muster a chuckle at the lasagna-loving cat and his stupid dog friend. I guess it’s just the way I was brought up. But still, there’s a part of me that winces to my very soul when someone comes up to me with a newspaper and says, “Here, you’ve got to read this GARFIELD! It’s so funny!” Now, the horrible films notwithstanding (everyone hates those), if you too give a shudder when you hear the name Garfield, you may want to check out this book. A while back, Keith Giffen took some ancient comic books and reworded them in BOOM! Studios’ madcap WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? comics. In the same vein, Dan Walsh has made Garfield cool again by erasing him from the picture. What is left is a story of a man who is simply going insane. By omitting Garfield from these strips, Garfield’s owner Jon Arbuckle is standing around having these half conversations with himself. Now, I know it’s crazy to talk with your cat, but imagine how crazy it is when there’s nothing there. The result is a kind of sad, kind of funny look at a person who most likely is a paranoid schizophrenic, talking with himself, having arguments with himself, waxing metaphysically to a blank space. It’s freaking hilarious. The book presents both the altered “sans Garfield” versions of the strips alongside the original Jim Davis ones with Garfield, proving that without the fat cat, the strips are sometimes much funnier and all the times more unsettling. I loved this book. It’s such an insane concept and every strip works on a perverse level that the GARFIELD comic strip has never achieves. Do’ believe me? Click on the image over there and check out some of the madness. Cat haters, check this book out.

GRIZZLY & CACTUS #2 Cool Monkey Press

This issue is just as trippy as the first. Artist Andrew Edge is still mixing media and still splicing the mundane with the insane in a fascinating way. Two guys who seem to be angels play chess while a guy plays soccer with a girl’s head not far away. One woman talks about her social life with her friends and gets fired from her job. And, of course, paintings of kitty cats! Not for the literal minded, but who the hell likes those people anyway? Just check your left brain at the door and enjoy the surreality of GRIZZLY & CACTUS.

SCARLET VERONICA #1-2 Ape Entertainment

This book is light in some places and extremely heavy in others. Its cartoony style art by Jason Moody make this a fun read about a bad girl who comes back from the dead to fight demons, zombies, and all forms of beasties, but some of the drama that occurs in the quieter scenes in this book is pretty meaty material. It makes for a read such that you are not sure what you’re going to get from one page to the next, and I kind of like that about the book. If you like Goth chicks (and what guy in their right mind doesn’t?) you’ll want to check out this Buffy-esque adventure/horror yarn. Issue one focuses on Scarlet’s transformation into the anti-heroine that is Scarlet Veronica, while issue two, the Christmas special, comes out soon. The Christmas Special is especially jam packed, with Scarlet taking on a zombified Santa and his little helper and making sure to save time to take on a Frankenstein-like creature and talk to the embodiment of death in a graveyard. It’s an especially filling issue, just in time for the holidays.

THE LAGOON HC OGN Fantagraphics

Lilli Carre churns out a beautiful and lyrical story that sings with complex undertones, yet retains a timeless fairy tale quality. THE LAGOON’s four main characters are completely three-dimensional, not due to heavy exposition, but by their (often silent) actions which play out in the scene. This is the sign that a true storyteller that understands the medium is at work in THE LAGOON. These folks hear a haunting form of music coming from a nearby lagoon and all react to it differently. The song of the creature of the lagoon is all at once enchanting, nostalgic, frightening, and threatening. This is a truly memorable tale that forces you to put the pieces of the story together and leaves a lot of unanswered questions that will make you think about this book long after you’ve finished it. It leaves you with a feeling that you’ve just had a treasured experience, one with layers and textures. Carre’s thin lines and simple composition tell the tale of a family, a monster, and many, many sounds. One of the most engrossing reads of the year, this one is.

VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS #2 Bluewater Comics

Cavemen vs. Werewolves. Like peanut butter and jelly or strippers and cigarette burns, this is one winning combination. Chad Helder, who wrote the first issue of this anthology series (the first ongoing series from Bluewater), does another good job of melding two genres together and making an interesting story of it. The story even gets a bit self-referential in the end, which gives the story a sort of O. Henry goose and doesn’t shy away from the gore and horror. It’s prominent brows vs. protruding snouts. It’s clubs vs. claws. It’s a damn fun read. The art by Giovanni Timpano reminded me of Barry Kitson or Mike McKone--an unconventionally clean choice for such a gritty story, but his work is effective nevertheless. And once again Joel Robinson provides the damn near picture perfect intro and outro sequences starring the Master of the Macabre himself, Vincent Price. This is a fun anthology that’s shaping up to be one of Bluewater’s stronger efforts in both the writing and art departments.

If you have an indie book so full of adventure that it deserves some notice in this here Indie Jones column, contact your favorite @$$hole and let them know.

Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, reviewer and co-editor of AICN Comics for over seven years. Check out a five page preview of his short story published in MUSCLES & FIGHTS 3 (AVAILABLE NOW at Muscles & Fights.com.) on his ComicSpace page. There you can also see a five page preview of his short story in MUSCLES & FRIGHTS! Bug was recently interviewed here and here at Cream City Comics.

ALL BUG EDITION

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #577 Marvel Comics

Despite the fact that Paolo Rivera draws the Punisher as if he were a cartoon Bluto-like bully, this was another phenomenally drawn issue of Spider-Man. Rivera draws Spidey all lithe and lanky, yet retaining a human form. His style is distinctive and utterly dynamic. The story ain’t half bad either, with Spidey pissing off both Moses Magnum (who we need to see more of in comics) and the Punisher. This turned out to be one of those classic done in one issues that fully embrace the medium of single issue comics (a rare commodity these days). Good stuff. - Bug

HALLOWEEN: THE FIRST DEATH OF LAURIE STRODE #2 Devil’s Due

I’m really liking this miniseries. It highlights a more psychological horror, the type of horror that was prominent in the first two HALLOWEEN films and less so in subsequent entries and knock-offs. This book isn’t your typical stalk n’ slash book. It really gets under your skin with some disturbing dream sequences and a bloody flashback that really fleshes out the character of Michael. Taking place about a year after the events of the film HALLOWEEN 2, this story follows Laurie Strode as she tries to put her life back together. Is Michael still alive and after her or is it all in her mind? This miniseries is doing a great job of delving into those questions. Written by Stefan Hutchinson and drawn simply yet effectively by Jeff Zornow, this is one HALLOWEEN you won’t want to miss. – Bug

THE CLEANERS #1 Dark Horse Comics

This is a completely modern horror story that hinges on the age old fear of blood and the contemporary fear of what type of diseases lie within it. It’s the story of a businessman who makes a living cleaning up blood at crime scenes. He’s a private businessman who takes care of things either when the job is too complicated to alert the authorities or just too damn weird to go about conventional means to clean the mess up. The credits of this book read that it was written by Mark Wheaton (who I haven’t heard of) and “directed” by Joshua Hale Fialkov (who I do know from the phenomenal ELK’S RUN miniseries). The book really does dole out a healthy dose of paranoia and makes you feel downright ooky upon reading it. The art by Rahsan Ekedal isn’t much by way of frills, but conveys a no nonsense, in your face look at the crime scenes which dissect every corner and label the essential components of it. It makes for a CSI-like experience while reading it, a bell and whistle that adds to the story without distracting you. I’m going to follow this book closely to see where all of this blood splatter is coming from. - Bug

THE WALKING DEAD #54 Image Comics

Another damn fine issue of WALKING DEAD. You get a little zombie action. You get some new zombie trivia that is bound to be disastrous for our survivors. And you have some new gnarly cast members offering a new direction and purpose for the book. This issue (and every issue since issue #50, for that matter) is a breath of fresh air for this series. There are those who bailed on this series during the slow prison/home arcs. I’m sure some are trade-waiting, but THE WALKING DEAD is one book I can’t wait for and need in monthly increments. Looks like Kirkman is promising 12 issues in the next year. Sounds great to me. The more WALKING DEAD, the better. - Bug

GREEN ARROW & BLACK CANARY #14 DC Comics

It should be said that this was Judd Winick’s last issue of GA/BC. I can’t say this was his best run, but out of all of Judd’s DC work, I think his GREEN ARROW was the strongest. This issue seemed a bit rushed and unfinished. I don’t know if Judd’s departure was a sudden thing, but that’s the way this issue reads. Sure I gave him flack for using Connor as a punching bag and getting splinters on his feet from the soapbox he was standing on by force-feeding AIDsy the Teen Sidekick on us, but when Judd focused on the action and super-heroing, this was a fun comic to read. Judd even left Connor in a place that could really make the character come into his own in the right writer’s hands. The book had been slowing to a snail’s crawl (some may say that it did so before issue #1), so I’m glad a new writer is coming on the title next month. But so long, Judd. You get a lot of flack from the fans and critics alike, but sometimes your GREEN ARROW issues were fun. - Bug

Ad by Prof. Challenger

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

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Nov. 19, 2008, 8:13 a.m. CST

    First!

    by Psynapse

    Damn, it's been a while since I pulled that.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Golgo 13

    by CharyouTree

    great anime would make a good live action I think

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Garfield

    by Clumzor

    I thought those strips with Garfield erased were funny an all but it really amazes me that they're selling a book of them now.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 8:21 a.m. CST

    Psynapse now go try pull a chick

    by CharyouTree

    damn you and your first!

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 8:22 a.m. CST

    Green Lantern

    by Pogue__Mahone

    It's Amazing.... that's all there is to it.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Kevin Smith

    by hallmitchell

    Great to see him back. I will be buying the second issue.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Gay Joker

    by rev_skarekroe

    It's been implied before, in The Dark Knight Returns ("Batman, darling") and Morrisson's Arkham's Asylum (ass-grabbing). Personally, I think that the character is essentially asexual, simply acting in ways that he thinks will be most disturbing to whomever happens to be hanging around him at any given time.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Thanks Rev

    by optimous_douche

    I forgot about those two landmark moments in gay joker history. Truly tame though compared to these blatant bitch slaps of Dorothyism.<p> I’m with you on your theory though. I just wanted another excuse to bastardize the title Countdown.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 9:15 a.m. CST

    "Malevolent protectors"?

    by Gislef_crow

    "In my opinion, the Guardians of the Galaxy have always been more concerned about controlling the universe than serving as malevolent protectors." I think you mean "benevolent protectors."

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 9:17 a.m. CST

    You Got Me Gislef

    by optimous_douche

    Remember kids never type up a review while huffing air freshner.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 9:20 a.m. CST

    Hey Buzz

    by Joenathan

    I responded to you on the last TB, nothing big... just sayin'.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 9:21 a.m. CST

    And that cover of Wolverine takes me back...

    by Joenathan

    Ah... the end of the X-men in the outback era... good times... Remember the Reaver assault on Muir Island? I loved that shit.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 9:25 a.m. CST

    FUckin comic books...

    by loodabagel

    Why can't something I read ever come out?

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 9:30 a.m. CST

    ...

    by blackthought

    ...

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Does the Kevin Smith story

    by Laserhead

    involve a man having to accept that a woman is a whore in order to "grow"? I gotta say, I don't think Smith can write for shit. He's a one-trick pony of "ironic" one-liners and Catholic sexual hang-ups.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Optimus Douche...

    by tiredpm

    The only other times I can think of Joker even playing with sexuality would be in Arkham Asylum (where he grabs Batman's ass and completely freaks old pointy ears out) or the page in Death in The Family where he's confronted by Batman before he goes to the UN. Even then, the latter example is more playing camp to get under batman's skin.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Man, I gotta read the previous posts...

    by tiredpm

    Full kudos to rev_skarekroe for jumping in there first. And I'd also forgotten about the line in TDKR.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 10 a.m. CST

    Does Batman fart while getting a blow job?

    by Baron Karza

    Seems like Kevin would work that in there.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 10:02 a.m. CST

    I love...

    by Joenathan

    Garfield without Garfield, it is pure genius. I also love the Walking Dead, (you still aren't allowed in my bunker, Psynapse... or my heart...) it allows me to forgive Kirkman for his grandious and naive announcement awhile back. I can aready tell that I am going to hate the hell out of that Scientist guy though.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 10:04 a.m. CST

    I once accepted a woman as a whore and grew...

    by Joenathan

    IN MY PANTS!

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Is the gay Joker even edgy anymore?

    by Joenathan

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 10:16 a.m. CST

    I've been reading garfield minus garfield online since the start

    by ricarleite

    It's great

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 10:50 a.m. CST

    I'm happy you guys love Kevin Smith so much...

    by Ghostwood

    ...but what the hell was the comic book about? You know, a quick run-down of the plot and what the stakes are for the caped guy. You mention Onomatopoeia, Deadshot and an ass-fixated Joker, but not in any kind of context. How about a review of the book instead of a laundry list everyone knows/loves/hates/is-apathetic to already about a Kevin Smith book?

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 10:51 a.m. CST

    G-G = A+

    by OnusBone

    I haven't Lol'd from the comics in a long while, but this does it every time.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Did Smith start writing this ten years ago?

    by mrfan

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 11:19 a.m. CST

    GARFIELD MINUS GARFIELD

    by Series7

    Is sooo fucking great!

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Huge Batman news and no mention of it?

    by Mr.FTW

    Just out of curriosity why no mention of any of the huge Batman news that has been circulating? DC has announce the cancelation of Nightwing, Robin and Birds of Prey. The final issues will come out after the first of the year. And why no mention of the huge story leak for Batman R.I.P. Morrison's finale has been leaked a couple of weeks early and that is a pretty major deal along with some of the up coming story lines for the Batman titles. A lot of major news has come out about one of the most important characters in comics, why no coverage?

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Batman News

    by optimous_douche

    I knoow why I wouldn't mention it. Because he'll be back.<p> If they could bring back Superman from the dead they can sure as shit tear Bruce away from his golf clubs and afternoon dinner at Dennys. Is Doomsday his retirement financial planning advisor?<p> As for the other titles being cancelled - I'm kind of glad. The title line has been getting way too bloated over the past few years. If our troubling economy means less books, but more quality - HUZZAH!!!!

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Whats the news?

    by Joenathan

    I don't feel like looking.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 12:27 p.m. CST

    They probably didn't cover the Batman news...

    by rev_skarekroe

    ...because this isn't a news column. It's for reviews.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Whats the review of the news?

    by Joenathan

    I don't feel like looking it up.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 12:45 p.m. CST

    "less books, but more quality"

    by Dollar Bird

    I wish that was true.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Get Ready Joen

    by optimous_douche

    Batman<p><p><p><p> Retires. Hence my Dennys comment in the earlier post.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 12:55 p.m. CST

    never heard of Garfield minus garfield before

    by ian216a

    Shit - did I laugh! Yes I did.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Cacophony

    by jcrash

    You guys seriously like that garbage? I'm actually a fan of some of Kevin Smith's movies and I thought it was shite. Completely off the mark. Does ever character that he writes need to be talk like Randal or Jay? C'mon. I couldn't even read the whole issue. Joker ready to take it in the ass? Juvenile in all the wrong ways. Kevin Smith grow up already.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Is the Joker gay? Only Harley Quinn knows for sure...

    by MrSensitive

    ...wasn't she his therapist or something at Arkham once? You'd think his sexual orientation would have been in his file, no?

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Reviews vs New

    by Mr.FTW

    This may be a review column but that has never stopped any editorial commentary on comics at large in this column. The shake up and cancelation within the Bat family titles deserves some mention, it hasn't shown up in the Shoot the Messenger column either unless I completely missed it. I just figured there would be some commentary on these events while having to deal with the Final Crisis aftermath at the same time. Will Bruce/Bats be back, of course. I'd say in less than a year but if you think DC won't turn that into another cross over event that people aren't in favor of right not you're crazy. I've read complaints in this column about that very thing concerning the R.I.P. storyline itself. I'm just surprised that no one is calling DC out on it. As far as the cancelations go I'd be all for it if it meant the price of comics would drop because the company had less expenses in publishing or that quality across the board would raise because there were fewer thing to focus but I'm afraid what we'll get are great characters side lined without books.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 2:17 p.m. CST

    One thing I just realised

    by hallmitchell

    I went through my trade paperback of Quiver - the kevin smith run because I couldn't remember that villain onomatopea or however you spell it. It's in the second paperback run of Green Arrow. Which i didn't know existed. I will be buying that now.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 2:30 p.m. CST

    I took the Denny's comment to mean...

    by Joenathan

    he was going Goth and taking up smoking clove cigarettes.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 2:33 p.m. CST

    I bet DC doesn't have the balls to drag out

    by Joenathan

    Batman's retirement the way Marvel has kept Cap dead...

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 2:55 p.m. CST

    stan the man gets medal of arts award

    by bacci40

    The 2008 National Medal of Arts to Stan Lee, for his groundbreaking work as one of America's most prolific storytellers, recreating the American comic book. His complex plots and humane super heroes celebrate courage, honesty, and the importance of helping the less fortunate, reflecting America's inherent goodness.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Kevin Smith's Batman is terrible.

    by themanwhojaped

    You have got to be kidding me. The amount of love this utter tripe has been receiving is absurd. Despite the protestations of the reviewers both here and elsewhere it is patently obvious that they are just Kevin Smith fanboys. If Bret Ratner's name was on the front of Cacophony instead of Smith's I can guarantee you it would be critically derided as it so deserves. Where to begin? The characterisation is way off, the humour is puerile and don't even get me started on Flanagan's "art" - there is no way Walt the Fanboy would ever get a comic drawing gig if it wasn't for Kevin Smith. I am a Kevin Smith fan but I don't think having a lot of knowledge about the character automatically makes one a good comic writer. Yes, his Green Arrow run was good, but he does not have a good handle on Batman. You only have to read the Batman cameo in his Superman Lives script to see that. In short, Kevin Smith's name does not belong in the same sentence as Grant Morrison, Denny O'Neal, Alan Moore, Frank Miller or any of the other Batman greats. He clearly only got this gig because he is the darling of the fanboy set. Oh, and for all the haters, I have no problem with the Joker making gay jokes etc. Given his personality he is just as likely to do that as anything else, I wouldn't read too much into it.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Dennys

    by optimous_douche

    I guess it all depends on where you live. In PA at 3:00 in the afternoon it's all of the people that are naturally blue hair at Midnight it's the people that dye their hair blue.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Blue hair

    by DennisMM

    Those 3 p.m. people with blue hair dye it, too. It's called "bluing" and was originally marketed as a laundry rinse. By adding blue tones to white hair it helps cancel out the yellowness often seen in white hair. Too much makes the hair look blue. <P> <P> Also, it's Guardians of the Universe. The Guardians of the Galaxy are over at Marvel and include a raccoon. You really were huffing, weren't you?

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 4:53 p.m. CST

    cacophony issue one

    by NotMalcolmReed

    yawn. issue two: batman and joker make a porno.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Blue hair is for old people...

    by loodabagel

    And elves.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Batman retires?

    by the milf lover

    didnt Shuemacher do that already in Batman Forever 15 years ago?

  • I just pissed myself.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 6:40 p.m. CST

    Onomatopoeia Wasn't Shelved

    by slfricky

    Apparently Smith owns the character, and DC would have to pay Smith for any use of him independantly of his stories.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Smith doesnt own Onomatopoeia

    by the milf lover

    from what I read, DC just agreed to not let other writers use the character without first going through Smith for approval. Kinda like the deal Frank Miller used to have with Marvel about Elektra, meaning DC will keep their word as long as it's convenient for them, then eventually say 'screw Smith' if they want to do something with it

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 8:14 p.m. CST

    Garfield Minus Garfield

    by MCVamp

    It's really the best absurdist comic since THE FAR SIDE. And it happens by accident. Genius.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 8:26 p.m. CST

    I'm starting to wonder about Cap....

    by gooseud

    Ya think they might keep him dead? I know, I know, but......ya think?

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 9:49 p.m. CST

    Sir Apropos books parody lots of things...

    by MisterE

    One book starts off with Apropos finding a dead hobbit with a magical cock ring.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 10:11 p.m. CST

    Garfield Minus Garfield

    by Continentalop

    Reminds me of the Nietzsche Family Circus, where they take the Family Circus and replace the dialogue with a random Nietzsche quote.

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Joker is NOT gay

    by Crimson Dynamo

    I have it on good word that he likes to have Max Hardcore-type sex with Harley

  • Nov. 19, 2008, 11:33 p.m. CST

    Garfield - Garfield is by Jim Davis

    by MurderMostFowl

    The printed version is actually by Jim Davis. The Website creator ( Dan Walsh ) writes the foreword for the book, and got paid a tidy sum for his work. ( Which is awesome of Jim Davis, when you think about it... he could have just sued the guy into oblivion )

  • Nov. 20, 2008, 1:38 a.m. CST

    Blue hair is for old people?

    by Joenathan

    What about Blue Monday?<br><br>Chynna Clugston is dreamy...

  • Nov. 20, 2008, 1:46 a.m. CST

    Cap dead and gone?

    by Joenathan

    If it wasn't for the coming movies, at this point, I'd be tempted to say... maybe.<br><br>A. Because Bucky/Cap is awesome, just hands down great stuff. <br><br>B. I honestly have NO idea how they'd do it. I thought for sure that Secret Invasion was key, but apparently not and if Dark Reign is about what I think its about (Mephisto is a... nevermind) then that doesn't really seem like a Cap-centric type stage, so... I am intrigued. <br><Br>Will Cap be back. Yes and the when is pretty obvious, but how? Do you think his super soldier serum is slowly knitting him back together? In the Ultimate Universe, they link Cap's serum to Wolverine, maybe they'll try to spin it that way. AND if they do, does that mean that Cap is alive and trapped down at the bottom of the ocean right now? What will he be like when they pull him up?

  • Nov. 20, 2008, 8:45 a.m. CST

    Spot-on Top 10 review

    by Lone Fox

    I picked up issue 2 first, and dreaded what the characters would sound like sans Moore, but damn they really nailed it. Picked up issue 1 yesterday, and likewise, a decent start, but it really gets it in the 2nd issue. Oh, and that Garfield book without Garfield is the funniest thing I've read in a long time!

  • Nov. 20, 2008, 9:10 a.m. CST

    Ambiguously gay Joker is not without precedent

    by Burgundy82

    Miller had him acting pretty fey in The Dark Knight Returns, no? Sure his orientation wasn't flat-out mentioned, but still. Pretty sure he called people "darling" and shit like that. The sort of stereotypical stuff you'd expect from Frank Miller's perception of homosexuality.

  • Nov. 20, 2008, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Smith's Batman

    by Slaphappy Slim

    Wasn't awful as some insist, also wasn't terrific. While I tend to like most of Kevin Smith's work, I AM in agreement that he needs to move away from the bathroom humor at some point. It's become too much of a crutch for him at this point, and reeks of laziness on his part.

  • Nov. 20, 2008, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Captain America

    by Bluejack

    If "Thor" is in continuitiy at all, then Steve Rogers is dead. Other options are there for bringing him back. Cap has been my fav since I was a kid and I still love what Bru is doing with Bucky. By far the best Cap writing in the character's history. I would be interested to see if anyone can come up with a better quality Cap run?

  • Nov. 20, 2008, 2:22 p.m. CST

    BlueJack

    by steverodgers

    I think overall quality and depth of storytelling no one is going to come up with anything that is that much better than the current run. However there are some good stories out there. Waid/Garney first run was great until it was killed by the wild abortion that was Heroes Reborn. Grunewald’s Bloodstone Hunt was Cap as Indiana Jones with Batroc thrown in, and was top notch globe-trotting super heroics. Also the Kirby stuff was great, the Kirbytasticness that was the Mad Bomb and Cap cruising on his star spangled motor-cycle getting in touch with SF hippies. The Steranko stuff that I think Bru is borrowing from was graphic designed sweetness, and call me crazy but I have quite a soft spot for Cap-Wolf and when Cap and D-Man took on juiced up wrestlers during Grunewald’s run as well. I also have to say, my favorite Cap was the one Miller came up with during the Daredevil Born Again issues - noble and bigger than life. All that said I can’t get enough of BuckyCap and his metal arm.

  • Nov. 20, 2008, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Joen/Nextwave

    by steverodgers

    Amazon delivered the trades to my island today, and I love it. I'm 6 pages in and already Fing Fang Foom is tossing around cars in his wicked stretchy purple pants. Awesome.

  • Nov. 20, 2008, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Oh, just you wait...

    by Joenathan

    Just you wait until the Koalas...<br><br>and the Captain's secret origin.

  • Nov. 20, 2008, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Cap run

    by Joenathan

    I really liked the John Walker/crazy Cap, Steve Rogers/Captain run. When Cap took on the Serpant Society and John Walker was killing guys left and right? Good stuff. Also, the whole Captain America and the Falcon stuff is great. Especially the first time the 1950s Captain America showed up. My Uncle had a whole stack of them and I read the hell out of those books. <br><br>Bucky/Cap, though, is one hell of a compelling character. So much so that I really am torn over Steve Rogers eventual return.

  • Nov. 20, 2008, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Fing Fang Foom

    by steverodgers

    My mistake, he is wearing purple underpants, purple pants would just be stupid and clownish.

  • Nov. 20, 2008, 2:42 p.m. CST

    I forgot to mention...

    by Joenathan

    My favorite little touch to this last Captain America run of Bru's was that the 1950s Cap's uniform STILL didn't have red and white stripes along the back, which was how they originally were able to tell it wasn't the real Cap way back when beause Jack Munroe had sewed his costume for him and didn't have a picture showing the back. Good on Bru for including it.

  • Nov. 20, 2008, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Also

    by Joenathan

    Hell as Machine Man imagines it, is fantastic.

  • Nov. 20, 2008, 3:19 p.m. CST

    What? No mention of Superman

    by Snookeroo

    being taken out of Action comics starting in February?<br>What's THAT all about? Has DC simply decided that they don't need their tent pole properties anymore?

  • Nov. 20, 2008, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Cap run

    by Continentalop

    Kirby’s second run was awesome. Parts of the Englehart’s run were fantastic, although his legacy is tainted by the fact he made Sam Wilson into pimp "Snap" Wilson. Personally, my favorite run was the unfortunately short Stern/Byrne run, and I do have a soft spot J.M DeMatteis and Mike Zeck’s run (Zeck draws one tough looking Cap).

  • Nov. 20, 2008, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Best Cap

    by gooseud

    I'm not sure how you could pick against the current run. The real question is: Black Widow or Sharon Carter? Thats the real dilemma facing all Cap readers. Well, that and this: if you COULD have Cap back, knowing it would mean Bucky would be forced from the comic altogether to the realm of guest star limbo, would you take it? Mephisto is offering a redo......

  • Nov. 20, 2008, 5:47 p.m. CST

    speaking of Cap and Nextwave

    by the milf lover

    Cap had a great flashback cameo in an issue of Nextwave, and his quote to Monica is priceless. If Cap had that great authoritative attitude all the time, Marvel wouldnt have needed to kill him off to make his series better.

  • Nov. 20, 2008, 5:49 p.m. CST

    if they do bring Cap back

    by the milf lover

    Bucky wont be going into guest star limbo, he'll likely get his own Winter Soldier/mercenary series. They built him up too much to just waste him.

  • Nov. 20, 2008, 6:52 p.m. CST

    I know you'll all attack me for this

    by Continentalop

    I am probably the only guy who is going to say this, but I think bringing Bucky Barnes back from the dead was a mistake. I am not taking away from Brubaker and his run, which has been fantastic, or how they have brought Bucky back as the Winter Soldier, which I thought was a very interesting angle. I just feel that this will turn into one of those decisions that in hindsight weren’t so good. <p> My reason is that Bucky died in war. And not a fake comic book war (War of the Gods, Kree-Skrull War, etc.) but a real, honest to God war where millions of other people died. Real soldiers who died in war don’t come back. That is what made Bucky so great; he was a symbol of all those young men lost way before their prime die in war. It made sense why after he was unfrozen Cap would have such a dislike for war, and even for killing in general. <p> I was in the army, but luckily I never saw any combat or had to even fear being sent into conflict, unlike today. Still, you wonder how one would react if one of your close buddies died, especially after seeing a bunch of shit together and backing each other up. When I was a kid, I accompanied my dad when he met some of his Korean War buddies and they would shoot the shit. Sooner or later, someone would mention a funny story regarding some guy in their squad or platoon, than it would dawn on everyone there that he had died not long after that story, and this would be followed by an uncomfortable silence until someone finally changed the subject. <p> I guess it is a generation gap and a kind of disconnect we all have with war. Very few of us are serving or know someone who is serving and lost a love one. Hell, I was in the army and I don’t know a damn thing about lost and sacrifice. But to see Bucky go from a tragic dead war hero into just another comic book character that has returned from the dead just doesn’t feel right to me. <p> But that is just my opinion.

  • Nov. 20, 2008, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Nextwave Cap

    by steverodgers

    That was hilarious. I can't believe they canceled this comic. There should have been riots in the streets.

  • Nov. 20, 2008, 7:30 p.m. CST

    Fin Fang Foom

    by steverodgers

    Thanks J.J. - totally embarrassing.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 12:03 a.m. CST

    gay jokes

    by hardcpy

    Ok is it me or dose Kevin smith only have one joke in him, "everyone's gay" yep jokers gay, your gay so on and so on is this what makes a "good" writers now days, recycled gay jokes. Welcome back Kevin? I don't think so!! go back to your video store and let the grown ups write the comics.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 12:13 a.m. CST

    I wanted to riot for Nextwave

    by the milf lover

    but it wouldnt have worked, since I would likely have looked like one crazy guy alone bashing mailboxes and stuff...

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 7:38 a.m. CST

    smith's Cacaphony should be retitled:

    by jason baum

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 8:21 a.m. CST

    Did they cancel Nextwave?

    by Joenathan

    Or did it just finish? I was always under the impression that Ellis did what he wanted and then closed up shop. I don't think it was canceled, but maybe I'm wrong. It certainly read complete.<br><br>I can see your point about Bucky, EXCEPT for the fact that he was ALWAYS a comic book character and there for, I just can't get that choked up about his "sacrifice". From the start, I was against Bucky coming back, because of Marvel's old golden rule: "No one is dead except Bucky." But then... it worked, it worked really well and honestly, (and I really hate to say this) its almost working EVEN better with Bucky/Cap and Steve Rogers as a Barry Allen-esqe icon. I just can't complain about bringing Bucky back or any possible ramifications because hands down, the comic is better than it has been in years, way better and this from a kid that got in trouble for flattening out the garbage can's lid when he needed a shield.<br><br>As for Kevin Smith, ever since GLADD bitch slapped him over Chasing Amy he has been Mr. uber-sensitive guy about "gay-ness" to the point where he does label everything as a gay. Its just the straight guy's version of whitey-guilt, but yeah, it gets a bit tedious sometimes.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 8:22 a.m. CST

    Orange Cinema

    by Joenathan

    The fact that you've kept us waiting almost an hour for your joke's punchline in no way diminishes my excitement, nay sir, it only serves to heighten my anticipation.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 12:42 p.m. CST

    Nextwave ended

    by Psynapse

    We'll get more when Ellis AND Immonen can get to it according to Ellis.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by Continentalop

    No, I understand he is just a comic book character, but still sometimes things are symbols of even bigger ideas. I mean, that is why so many Captain America fans are upset at Millar depiction of Captain America in the Ultimates; he took a character that represents the best in America and our soldiers and turned him into a stereotypical jingoistic jarhead. I mean does every character that is an ex-vet in the Marvel Universe have to be an asshole or a basket case? <p> Although I will concede that Bucky’s resurrection for the most part works. I think one of the reasons is that enough years has passed between WWII and now. When Cap was unfrozen, on about 19 years had passed since the end of the War, so it was easy to understand how Cap could be depressed over Bucky’s early death; he would have only been about 37 years old and had a wife, family, living the American Dream he fought for. Nowadays, he would be nearing 80 and his life would be coming to a close no matter what, if he were even still alive. <p> I also remember when Marvel used to say that the ones who would never come back were Bucky, Uncle Ben, Gwen Stacy, The Green Goblin, and Jean Grey. Seems every year that list is getting less and less. The fact is that certain characters were much more poignant and important in death than in life, and any attempt at resurrecting them seems to diminish them. I can’t help but still wish that the Green Goblin and Jean Grey had never been brought back. I just hope Marvel doesn’t make me want to add Bucky to that list.

  • Nov. 21, 2008, 6:24 p.m. CST

    You're not alone, Continentalop.

    by SleazyG.

    While I agree Brubaker's writing a pretty solid story, the truth is I never liked the idea of bringing Bucky back. His death was too important to Cap's story, and his loss was something young soldiers who served could relate to, and dammit, death is death and when people die fighting the Nazis they're dead. No matter how good the story is, there's still a part of me that says he died like a hero and it should stay that way. I don't mind the "Bucky was an asskicker" retrofitting in flashback form, but there's part of me that still wishes he was never brought back.

  • Nov. 24, 2008, 9:08 a.m. CST

    Ultimate Cap

    by Joenathan

    I disagree with your characterization. Ultimate Cap reminded me of John Wayne, of my grandfather and his WWII buddies. Things were different then, there was a feeling of right and righteousness. There was an honest belief in their government and that what they were doing is right. They went to Europe to kick some Nazi ass because it was the right thing to do. What you call "jingoism" is actual, honest patriotism. This is why Banner got a boot in the jaw, because to Cap's mind, the little punk needed an ass whoopin' as people sometimes do. He's not an asshole. He's from a different culture, a different generation. He's a man out of time, a Super SOLDIER, who until just recently (to his mind) he was engaged in the biggest war the world had ever seen. Hell, he probably still eats Freedom cabbage and refers to Germans as Krauts. This is, to my mind, the correct portrayal of Cap. God knows, I love the Superhero Cap of the regular Marvel Universe, but the way Cap SHOULD be, given his background and origin, is the way he's portrayed in the Ultimates.<br><br>As far as characters coming back or wacky, radical story lines and twists, my rule is: If it works, it works. Crying over Bucky coming back, at this point, is the ultimate example of the aging comic fan whining like some old fart midwest McCain supporter. dang-nabbit, gosh dang socialists! Times changes, books change, characters must change. Stagnation is death. Those one off issues are crap, the comics world needs radical shake ups or they will die.<br><br>And honestly, did Bucky really "die" like a hero? Or did he die because he was stupid and refused to follow Steve's orders and then got his dumb ass stuck to the plane and blown up?

  • Nov. 24, 2008, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Joethathan

    by Continentalop

    I actually never said he died like a hero, I said he died tragically like so many other young men in war. In fact, that is why I always "like" his death, because it was so pointless. He could have survived, but instead he choice to hang onto a plan that had already been disabled and died for naught. Like many people did even in a noble war (something Stan Lee and especially Kirby were well aware of). <p> As for Ultimate Captain America, I am not going to say you are wrong because obviously your experiences with military men and veterans of WWII are different than mine. But my ultimate point (no pun intended) was why is that every ex-vet or currently enlisted soldier in the Marvel Universe treated as a complete reject, nutcase, asshole or villain? Or who was not betrayed by their government or crippled/mentally damaged by their war experiences? <p> And than there is the fact that all commanding officers are treated as completely fascist, power mad individuals (think Ryker in the Hulk comics some years ago, or any general in Supreme Powers). Even supposedly “good” guys like Nick Fury are treated as manipulative or willing to abuse power. I mean, think of the last time you saw a comic where a general in one of the branches of the armed forces was treated as being a good guy and not as power-mad or nationalistic asshole. <p> I am not some jingoistic, rightwing nut who loves war - I was against the invasion of Iraq from the get go - but I was in the army and I know that a lot of soldier, including many of the commanding officers, who are moral people who feel that obeying the rules of law and the moral code of the uniform in more important that obeying their commanding officers. Sure there are assholes in the military, just like in the rest of the world, but does everybody from the armed forces have to be depicted as a jerk or that being a soldier was the worst decision they have ever made? I find Marvel not to be anti-war but anti-soldier, as if they can’t imagine that any good, normal, conscientious person would ever put on a uniform.

  • Feb. 12, 2010, 7:14 a.m. CST

    ???

    by orcus