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AICN COMICS REVIEWS: PUNISHER WAR ZONE Movie! BATMAN! UPTOWN GIRL! SUPER HUMAN RESOURCES! THE SPIRIT! HELLBOY! + MUCH MORE!

#30 12/4/08 #7
Logo by Ambush Bug

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) PUNISHER: WAR ZONE Motion Picture Review BATMAN #682 MARVELS: EYE OF THE CAMERA #1 HELLBOY: THE WILD HUNT #1 THE HAUNTED TANK #1 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #579 ENDER’S SHADOW: BATTLE SCHOOL #1 SUPERGIRL: COSMIC ADVENTURES IN THE 8TH GRADE #1 SUPER HUMAN RESOURCES #1-3 X-MEN NOIR #1 Raiders of the Long Box presents THE SPIRIT CASEBOOK TPB Big Eyes for the Cape Guy presents APOLLO’S SONG Indie Jones presents UPTOWN GIRL #67 dot.comics presents CHEAP SHOTS!

PUNISHER WAR ZONE Motion Picture

Directed by Lexi Alexander Starring Ray Stevenson as Frank Castle AKA The Punisher Co-Starring Ambush Bug as the Reviewer AKA the Punished

Let’s me break it to you gently, folks: PUNISHER WAR ZONE is not the best of movies. I’ve read very few reviews on this site or anywhere else, and it appears that a lot of people are preferring to turn their head and make believe that this movie doesn’t really exist. We’ve had it good this year, what with IRON MAN and INCREDIBLE HULK. Even WANTED wasn’t bad. And for the first time, we have a comic book movie, THE DARK KNIGHT, in contention for a Best Picture nod. That’s a pretty damn good year for comic bookdom. Who’s to blame folks acting as if PUNISHER WAR ZONE never happened, as if some Mephistophelian forgetting spell has been cast over all of geekdom?
But PUNISHER WAR ZONE did come out last weekend. And I gathered up a few friends, including @$$Hole editor Sleazy G and a flask full of rum, and set out to see it last Saturday night. Like I said, PUNISHER WAR ZONE is not the best of films. It’s not even the best of the three PUNISHER movies. I struggled for quite a while to muster up enough to say about the film, as evidenced by the rambling nature of this intro. To be honest, I really can’t express anything more than disappointment towards the film. I wanted to like it, but even after turning off that lobe of my brain that houses all of the PUNISHER comics I’ve read through the years, this is still a mediocre film.
You can’t fault the latest actor to wear the skull t-shirt, Ray Stevenson, for the mess. He’s doing his best and his performance is a capable expression of the guilt, anguish, and sorrow needed to make this role more than just a carbon copy revenge flick. He’s a big man; an imposing presence, and believable as a man who left a bloody war only to find more horror at home. His hopes and dreams were shot down right in front of him and every blank stare he gives the camera screams that he wishes he were right there in the ground next to them. There’s a scene where Stevenson attempts to clean his family’s headstone. He conveys real pain in a scene that could easily be over the top. He’s able to give enough emotion to make Frank seem real, but only for a moment.
Another good thing about this film is that they spend only a few moments on Frank’s origin. Too many comic book films spend too much time recapping the origin. We know the origin. Show us something we don’t know about the character, something that justifies a big screen treatment. So that’s another in the plus column for this film.
Unfortunately, that’s about it on pluses.
Over the top is a term that could describe this film in a nutshell. The makers of this film are very conscious that they are making a comic book movie. The reason IRON MAN, INCREDIBLE HULK, WANTED, and especially TDK worked so well is because they not only took the material seriously, but staged these stories as if they were taking place in the real world. Sure, in the real world, you can’t curve a bullet, an engine strong enough to power flying armor would probably blow up instantly, and gamma radiation on a human would most likely turn one into the Incredible Lump of Sludge rather than a raging roid-monster, but after those factors are accepted by the audience, everything else makes sense in the film. Audiences have proven to suspend their disbelief if the fantastic is reacted to realistically in the world it occurs in.
THE PUNISHER is a comic book rooted in reality. Frank Castle has no powers. Most of his villains don’t either. And the reaction Frank has to the death of his family is extreme, but understandable in a simplistic sort of way. Garth Ennis’ run on PUNISHER MAX (which just came to an end) was a series of story arcs heavily dependent on high drama and even higher action. Insight was shed into Frank’s inner thoughts, and the comical element that permeated Ennis’ previous PUNISHER series under the Marvel Knights label was all but gone. Ennis’ PUNISHER MAX stories were some of the best PUNISHER comics ever written. Hell, they were the best stories Ennis ever wrote (arguably even topping PREACHER since that story was waaaay too similar to Ennis’ HELLBLAZER run). Instead of using these books as inspiration, PUNISHER WAR ZONE takes the far inferior Marvel Knights version as inspiration for tone.
Instead of telling an action yarn in the real world, the makers of PWZ tell a story placing the most non-fantastical character in the Marvel Universe into the most unreal of settings. I shit you not, this film looks as if it were envisioned by Joel Schumacher; a name that should never, ever be associated with comic book movies ever.
Ever!
Every scene in this film is lit with some form of neon lighting. Punisher’s first appearance is lit by the fluorescent pink glow of a flare. In every scene, there’s a pea green or bile yellow light. In the third act, when Punisher goes to church, it’s lit by giant neon crucifixes. The alleyways and subways are lit with sludgy yellow and green glow. And no one looks around and says “What the fuck is up with all of this neon?”
This neon film is shot in a world where a man loaded from nose to ass with handguns and rifles can walk down a street and not call attention to himself. A world where asylum doors are still opened with one of those foot long skeleton keys seen in old chiller movies. A world where a food processing plant also has an open pit for grinding glassware with a plank conveniently placed above it for the villain to fall into. A world where people try to have a serious conversation in the Church of the Electric Christ. Lexi Alexander filmed this film in an illogical, comic booky world. A world where anyone questioning the logic of the more outrageous elements was more than likely told “it doesn’t matter, this is a comic book movie. Logic’s not necessary.”
Don’t get me started on Dominic West. I love the Joker as much as everyone, but he is not every comic book villain. I don’t know how West can kick so much @$$ as McNulty on THE WIRE, and get the character of Jigsaw so wrong here. Apparently, both he and the lighting guy on this film were required to watch Schumacher’s Batman films before shooting because West is doing a spot on impression of Tommy Lee Jones’ Two-Face here. There’s a scene where Jigsaw is recruiting an army of thugs where he high steps down the street in such an animated manner that I thought it was Sherman Helmsley under all of that bad make up.
There are brief moments of cool in this film that are immediately followed by scenes so lame that it negates them. The film doesn’t know when to quit when it’s ahead. After a decent montage of violence featuring Frank infiltrating a mobster mansion and taking out a number of guests at a dinner table in a silent yet chaotic manner, Frank displays trapeze skills never seen before this film, hanging upside down from a chandelier and twirling in a circle to shoot everyone in the room (must’ve learned that move in ‘Nam). There’s only one “get up and cheer” badass scene where the Punisher deals with a crook that a cop is about to handcuff at point blank range with a shotgun, but it’s preceded by Over-the-top Villain #2, Doug Hutchison’s Looney Bin Jim (don’t call him that, though, cause he’s kuh-ray-zee!) smashing every plate in the house for no real reason other than the fact that he’s kuh-ray-zee! On a side note, Hutchison’s performance in this film is painful with his clichéd handling of Hollywood crazy. He starts out in the same place he was left at the end of GREEN MILE as a slobbering vegetable, but soon spirals into someone who just does random shit for no reason other than the fact that he’s kuh-ray-zee! That’s why he meows at rival gangs, eats kidneys straight from the gut, smashes mirrors with his face, shoots the heads off of dolls, et cetera, et cetera, yawn. If you asked the makers of this film what psychological ailment Looney Bin Jim suffers from, you’ll most likely get the response “it doesn’t matter, it’s a comic book movie”--a mantra for this film.
There was a bit of a ruckus a while back about the director of this film and how the studio treated her during and after this film was made. I know nothing about that. What I do know is that bad decisions were made with this film from the get go and Lexi Alexander sure isn’t innocent here. It may not be all her fault. The actors mugged for the camera. The lighting guy went nuts with the neon. The story was pretty weak to begin with, as was the Marvel Knights source material it was taken from. But the film she made was not a good one. It was made in a way that made it apparent it was coming from a director who saw the source material and the medium it is from as something lesser that what it could be. IRON MAN and THE DARK KNIGHT were made by people who understood the characters and wanted to make a good movie first, not just a comic book movie where logic is secondary to camp.
PUNISHER WAR ZONE doesn’t belong in this year, a year where some of the coolest comic book films were made. It’s the way comic book films used to be made. I’d say it’d be interesting to see Stevenson play Frank Castle in another PUNISHER film (he was one of the few good things about this movie), but as long as the makers of these films are using Ennis’ joke of a Punisher from his Marvel Knights run as inspiration and dumbing down material because it’s “just a comic book movie”, I’m really not interested in seeing another.
If you want to see a good Punisher film, I say rent DEATH WISH or TAXI DRIVER or hell, even DEATH SENTENCE and squint so that the leads look like Frank. Or maybe check out Dolf’s PUNISHER film since it had Lou Gossett Jr. in is which means it’s filled with Lou Gossetticity (BTW, the guy playing Lou Gossett Jr. in this film pales in comparison to the real thing).
PUNISHER WAR ZONE could have been either raw and emotional like Kevin Bacon’s DEATH SENTENCE or Charles Bronson’s DEATH WISH or over-the-top violent, yet played real like last year’s JOHN RAMBO. Instead we get a fantasy, Technicolor yawn of a movie. This is both a fan of the comic AND a fan of cinema talking. This movie fails on both levels.
Save your money, stay home, and read the following PUNISHER MAX trades. They guarantee satisfaction.
PUNISHER MAX V1: IN THE BEGINING PUNISHER MAX V2: KITCHEN IRISH PUNISHER MAX V3: MOTHER RUSSIA (the best of the damn best!) PUNISHER MAX V4: UP IS DOWN AND BLACK IS WHITE PUNISHER MAX V5: THE SLAVERS (another amazing one) PUNISHER MAX V6: BARRACUDA PUNISHER MAX V7: MAN OF STONE PUNISHER MAX V8: THE WIDOWMAKER PUNISHER MAX V9: LONG COLD DARK PUNISHER MAX V10: VALLEY FORGE, VALLEY FORGE PUNISHER: FROM FIRST TO LAST And just in time for X-Mas, PUNISHER: VERY SPECIAL HOLIDAYS
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.

BATMAN #682

Written by Grant Morrison Art by Lee Garbett and Trevor Scott Published by DC Comics Reviewed by Stones Throw

OK, I didn’t think R.I.P. was particularly good, but this is. Really good. I find that what Morrison does in this one issue (to be continued next month) is what he failed to do across the whole event that preceded it: condense his obvious research and affection for some classic, forgotten Batman tales and his ideas on how to progress the character into a single, cohesive narrative that actually adds something to our understanding of the Caped Crusader, and reads really, really well to boot. As a result you’ve got my favorite single issue Batman comic since the Joker hijacked a car and kidnapped Robin in Paul Dini’s Christmas issue of DETECTIVE COMICS a couple of years back.
Alfred is the loose chain linking together this series of snapshots from the career of Batman, taking us approximately up to 1968 and the O’Neill/Adams reinvention (that and the “grim’n’gritty” years follows next issue). But it’s a lot more than a simple post-event history of the Bat. Morrison’s basic idea is to take the whole of Batman’s publication history (seemingly including the TV show, and I’m sure other multimedia iterations to come) and treat it as the singular experiences of one man. So the picture that emerges is a kind of scary but remarkably cohesive portrait of the obsession and dedication that drives Batman, with many of the off-hand but compelling insights into the character of an icon that we’ve come to expect from Morrison since ALL STAR SUPERMAN.
Like, what happens when Batman, like all pro-athletes, gets injured beyond what painkillers and grit can substitute for? I was reading the J.H. Williams III co-written BATMAN: SNOW the other day and pondered that exact question. It’s in here: turns out he goes to the circus and is struck by the murder of two acrobats, orphaning their only son.
Seriously, after the excess of BATMAN R.I.P., this issue is a lean and stripped-back examination of what really makes Bruce Wayne tick. What would years of fighting crime every night do to a man? Says Alfred:
“All you want to do is fight, on and on. After a while, all you want to do is feel the thrill. The adrenaline burn.
I dig that kind of detail. Morrison takes the graphic quality of Frank Miller’s Dark Knight and adds a level of detail that makes that interpretation seem more disturbing than admirable. Like in WATCHMEN how you can imagine how Rorschach really stinks, despite the attitude. This issue is also funny as hell, in some places. While Alfred’s lecturing Bruce on the inadequacy of his “problem-solving micro-sleeps”, Batman dozes off, waking up to say: “Of course. Doctor Death was supplied by Apex Chemical.”
Ever wondered what would have happened if a bat hadn’t flown through the Wayne Manor window at that precise moment? Get ready to meet Mothman, the Caterpillar, and even—oh yes—the Curtain.
There’s a five-panel summary of Batman’s fate if his parents hadn’t’ve been killed that’s as concise and haunting as anything in R.I.P. was diffuse and without impact. I can only compare it to the similar power of the first five panels of ALL STAR SUPERMAN # 1.
The issue as a whole is like emerging from the confusion of a bad dream with some really bizarre ideas in it, into a morning that puts them into some kind of sense. And that’s my only problem with it. The ending—which is brilliantly jarring, linking Morrison’s work on the title into the still-ongoing FINAL CRISIS—suggests the whole thing may have been a dream. No matter how good this issue was, I resent having comics sold to me under false pretenses.
Still, give me another issue of BATMAN this good and I might reconsider.

MARVELS: EYE OF THE CAMERA #1 (of 6)

Writer: Kurt Busiek Artist: Jay Anacleto Published by: Marvel Comics Reviewed by: BottleImp

I’m willing to wager that everyone reading this review knows the original MARVELS miniseries…even if you’ve never read the comic, you’ve seen the paintings by then-relative-unknown Alex Ross. MARVELS introduced Ross’ photorealistic style to the comic-reading masses and catapulted him to super-stardom (in both comics and mainstream illustration). For the first time we saw the four-color heroes of old—Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Captain America—as real as you or I. Alex Ross’ pages captured the otherworldliness of the superhero and grounded it firmly in the reality of the everyday man. Ross’ artwork was integral in achieving the tone that Busiek set in his story--namely, the sense of wonder at seeing the impossible. Now we have a sequel to that groundbreaking miniseries again written by Busiek, but no Ross. So how does it measure against its predecessor?
I think it’s pretty damn good. Busiek is once again focusing on Phil Sheldon, the photographer from the original series, and telling the story through his eyes (hence the “eye of the camera”). This time around Busiek dives into the history of the Marvel Universe at the start of the 1960s with the birth of the Fantastic Four. As before, the superheroes are rarely seen within the comic pages—instead, Busiek focuses on the impact that they have on society and the common man. There’s a great scene where Sheldon is contemplating the implications of superhumans and mutants: “The heroes are human—transformed, yes but they’re us, they’re people—and the mutants are the next wave, the beings that’ll make us obsolete? Or are they two facets of the same thing? Was humanity…ending?” The end of this issue flashes forward to an older Phil Sheldon closer to our own time, so it looks like Busiek might be tackling some of the more recent Marvel stories in subsequent issues.
There’s only one real problem with this miniseries, unfortunately, and it has to do with public perception. I think that there will be some who won’t buy this series because there’s no Alex Ross—and I can understand that point of view. Anacleto’s pencil renderings are nice, and definitely stand out from the average comic art, but they don’t bring the story as close to the real world as Ross’ paintings did. And though Anacleto doesn’t seen to slavishly rely on photo reference the way Ross sometimes does, his figures lack some of the dynamism that made the characters in the original MARVELS pop off the page. But I have a feeling that it’s kind of a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation—having Ross or another photorealistic painter on this series would make it feel more like a rehash of the original series rather than a sequel.
In any case, EYE OF THE CAMERA is still a good read, and one that (so far) can be enjoyed and understood without having read MARVELS. I recommend picking this comic up if you’re craving a change of pace from the everyday spandex set.
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.

HELLBOY: THE WILD HUNT #1 (of 8)

Written by Mike Mignola Art by Duncan Fegredo Published by Dark Horse Comics Reviewed by Stones Throw

It’s been almost an embarrassment of riches for a HELLBOY fan in the months since the movie, which I honestly think was the best pure genre flick of the last, say, five years. Never thought I’d be genuinely excited for an adaptation of THE HOBBIT. There was Mignola and Richard Corben’s great and creepy three-part miniseries THE CROOKED MAN, which was probably the most properly scary Hellboy yet, and then best of all, some new Mignola-drawn material in last month’s IN THE CHAPEL OF MOLOCH. Now it’s back to a big ol’ miniseries drawn by Duncan Fegredo, who’s like a slightly looser Mignola anyway, so you barely notice the difference.
This follows on from last year’s DARKNESS CALLS, which I didn’t catch, but that’s no handicap. More than anything else, Mignola’s current HELLBOY stories remind me of THE ESSENTIAL FANTASTIC FOUR, volumes three and four or thereabouts, when Lee and Kirby were really kicking unholy @$$. Not your Galactus trilogies per se, but stuff like the introduction of Diablo where they can start in media res and it doesn’t matter whether you’ve been reading since # 1 or you’ve never seen a Thing before, the characters and situations are so strong you can’t help but get swept up.
Huh, I used two foreign terms in that previous paragraph. Nice going.
FANTASTIC FOUR # 30 began with the FF on holiday in Eastern Europe. Spells trouble right away. HELLBOY: THE WILD HUNT # 1 begins with Hellboy lodging with two creepy old gals in Italy (is this picking up from IN THE CHAPEL OF MOLOCH? Or DARKNESS CALLS?). He receives a creepily-sealed letter calling him to England. Mignola’s perception of England is stuck permanently no later than the 1950s. Turns out some giant-huntin’ is underfoot, with an ancient order that lists among its members Trevor Bruttenholm, Hellboy’s pop. The aesthetic is kind of similar to Del Toro’s great film, which also featured fairies and the British Isles.
The juxtaposition of the laconic, cigar-chewing Hellboy hunting with these old British assholes in animal masks and ceremonial dress would alone be enough, but Mignola and Fegredo top it with the coolest and most shocking cliffhanger I’ve yet to see in a HELLBOY comic. Hellboy’s fights are usually a pretty routine case of the pulp hero getting in over his head and managing to scrape through by a combination of luck and gritted teeth. It’ll be interesting to see how he gets out of this one.
On my reading list: HELLBOY: DARKNESS CALLS. On yours: HELLBOY: THE WILD HUNT #1.

HAUNTED TANK #1 of 5

Writer: Frank Marraffino Artist: Henry Flint Publisher: DC Vertigo Guest @$$Hole Reviewer: steverodgers

Every summer when I was a kid we went to Maine. Maine meant two things to me: eating lobster and going to my uncle’s antique shop, which was essentially NARNIA to an 11-year-old. Right next to the doorway was a stack of comics, including DC 80-page giants, and for whatever reason the stack never changed (apparently I was the only person who went to that shop who was at all interested in G.I COMBAT). Every summer I would buy a few issues at a reduced price (you don’t stay in business by giving away comics), go back to the cabin, and for the rest of the vacation--between bowl after bowl of cool ranch Doritos and dead lobster dipped in butter--I would read and re-read tales of America’s fighting men as they bravely fought their way through a century of war. It was great stuff.
GI COMBAT was an anthology war book with great covers by Joe Kubert. The best of it were the HAUNTED TANK stories, where the ghost of the Confederate General J.E.B Stuart helped guide his descendant Lieutenant Jeb Stuart and his tank crew through WWII. The only person who could see the General, as I remember it, was Lt. Stuart--which never seemed to bother any of the crew too much-- as they traveled all over Africa and Europe with a Confederate flag on the back of their tank. Definitely a comic best enjoyed by an 11-year-old.
When I saw the first issue of the new HAUNTED TANK mini-series, I was over-the-moon with nostalgic, fat-kid delirium. The new series takes place during the initial phases of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003. Everything is pretty much the same as the original series, except Lt. Stuart is now an African American (Jamal not Jeb this time) and really not about to put up with any Confederate bullshit, and the ghost of General Stuart is now less-inclined to cryptically lead our heroes through enemy lines as much as he wants to (and does!) rain down hot death on anyone foolish enough to be palling around with Saddam in the desert. The tank crew is also less professional than the old series and they manage to get in a bad way twice in 22 pages. Bullets fly, however, and our guys make tracks, and much of it is played for laughs as our tank crew (a diverse, bickering bunch) tries to stay alive and make sense out of the gentlemanly horse-riding Confederate ghost riding next to them in the dust.
Marraffino writes a tightly packed war story that introduces General Stuart by the 4th page and gets better and better as the book rolls on in bringing the laughs. I was initially irritated with everything being written in an affected dialect, in particular the southern and positively Thor-like General Stuart, but by the end it started to click for me, and I had a true guffaw moment on the last page.
The art is solid. You are able to follow the tank battles and everything looks genuinely military. It’s my understanding that drawing horses is just about the most difficult thing for an artist to draw (unless you’re Rob Liefeld, then I’ts feet, of course) and Flint gamely draws a horse on every other page. My one issue with the art, however, is that all of Flint’s people tend to have a little bit of the crazy eye.
The new HAUNTED TANK is a fun update. I was happy to be able to plow through any nostalgia and enjoy the comic on its own terms. The only downer for me is my own middling war fatigue, be it movies, books or comics (or the real thing for that matter)–I just need a break. That, however, is my own hang up. If it’s one you don’t share and you want some haunted, sometimes funny, contemporary war action complete with head explosions and J.E.B. Stuart’s ghost protecting our fighting men by happily machine gunning enemy combatants into tiny bits and lopping off their heads with his saber, well, you know where to look, and HAUNTED TANK won’t disappoint.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #579

Written by Mark Waid Art by Marcos Martin Published by Marvel Comics Reviewed by Stones Throw

J. Jonah Jameson has a father who’s not hooked up to some kind of machine? Seems to me Jolly JJJ’s been de-aged a bit to coincide with Spider-Man’s new Satan-given youth.
All the way back in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN # 1, Jonah had a son who was already a top astronaut, suggesting he was at some point in his sixties, which is where I’ve always pictured ol’ Flattop. Hell, in YOUNG AVENGERS that TV guy who was always late on his scripts played with the idea of a JJJ in his seventies, suggesting he could remember Bucky’s death in WWII and that was why he hated the idea of teenage superheroes. In this very title he was a recent heart attack victim.
Still, this two-issue story from the Marks was so good that I can overlook any age-fiddling that might have gone on. When I look back at the more memorable stories over this first year of BRAND NEW Spider-Man comics (which is what, thirty plus issues? Credit to Steve Wacker at the very least), my favorite writers have been guys like Zeb Wells or Joe Kelly who’ve moved beyond the standard Spider-Man palette and introduced more contemporary influences, whether in those Mayan snow-monsters in Zeb Wells’ first arc or the cyber-punk, WE3-influenced chase that kicked off Joe Kelly and Chris Bachalo’s recent Hammerhead two-parter. Come to think of it, both those stories had the talented Chris Bachalo on them. Hmm. Anyway, Waid’s such a good writer that he can paint with the primary colors and it doesn’t seem like recreation. Metro Cards and roving news teams supply the modernity; the Shocker taking out a hit on a jury and Spidey lifting large weights in unashamed Steve Ditko style gives it that neo-classical flavor.
Then Marcos Martin, I think, is already in the pantheon of great Spider-artists. He could well be this generation’s John Romita Jr. People have talked about the Steve Ditko and Tim Sale influence, but he’s bringing just as potent a European styling to this iteration of Spider-Man. It’s kind of like having Hergé or Albet Uderzo on the wallcrawler: Awesome.
Great action, art that is honestly beautiful, a tense, DIE HARD type situation, and a cool, subtle use of the classic Spider-Man belt-torch. You can’t go wrong. Plus it’s strongly hinted that we’ll be seeing a return to the J. Jonah Jameson Sr. plot in Mark and Marcos’s future issues that should explain the deal a bit more. It’s left here with a beautifully understated and even slightly sad conclusion with a character who’s more often a punchline.
The ONE MORE DAY conclusion and subsequent BRAND NEW upset a lot of people, me included. And yes, maybe the present stories do lack some of the depth that they might have had with a more mature resolution of Parker and Mary Jane’s marriage. But only a fool would pass up something this good.

ENDER’S SHADOW: BATTLE SCHOOL #1

Writer: Mike Carey Artist: Sebastian Fiumara Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

Tread carefully into ENDER’S SHADOW because it is a dark, lonely and confusing place if you blindly pick this title off the shelf without first traversing the pages of ENDERS GAME from a few weeks ago. Even those that have read ENDERS GAME (the comic) might be asking themselves why they should give a hill of beans about Bean, the poor orphan with an uncanny mind for playing out possibilities. Carey and Fiumara paint a ghostly landscape and I loved every single page in this title, but keep in mind that as a fan of Orson Scott Card’s source material my recommendation is more tainted than chicken left out on the counter over night.
My mind had pages upon pages of source material to fill the holes of questions that should rightly be asked by anyone unfamiliar with this haunting future. What was the Formic War? Why is the Netherlands strikingly similar to post invasion Baghdad? Why is the military performing what appears to be IQ tests? And once again, what is the significance of this waifish and wizened beyond his years orphan that sits on the cover?
The theme of children ravaged by war is not a new one, but it has not been made this real and prevalent since the last time Sally Struthers asked me to give up my morning coffee. With hallow cheeks and distended stomachs, Bean and the other children of Rotterdam scour for nourishment in a country still reeling from the last alien invasion of earth. With rations scarce society’s veneer is stripped away and food goes to the strongest, while forcing those that are smaller to travel and fight in packs in an effort to overcome the mastodons so innocently named bullies. This food chain seems unbreakable until Bean conjures a plan to use the system to his advantage. Like Ender Wiggen, Bean is a master strategist with a mind that can develop tactics with almost precognitive ability. When Bean’s group of vagabonds hires a bully to serve as a protector, he uncannily predicts the macabre outcome at the outset.
Again, those that know Bean’s fate at the end of this series will have a deeper love and understanding of the events that transpire throughout the course of this origin tale. We can also fully appreciate the choices made on the tonality of this book. Where Ender’s tale is filled with vibrant colors and rich pencils, Bean’s story is more subdued. He is the boy that would have been Ender if Ender had never been. The choice for washed out hues on the colors and hazy pencil lines helped drive home the point that Bean’s story, while vital, will never hold the same ground as Ender’s tale. Alas, ‘tis the fate of poor Bean.
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.

SUPERGIRL: COSMIC ADVENTURES IN THE 8TH GRADE #1 (of 6)

Written by Landry O. Walker Art by Eric Jones Published by DC Comics Reviewed by Stones Throw

The character of Supergirl has been one DC has struggled with since her inception some time in the 1950s. Hell, you can practically set your watch by the reboots and relaunches on her main DC universe title. Who wants to bet she’ll get through FINAL CRISIS without at least another new direction under the cape?
On the one level, a young, energetic and female counterpart to the Man of Steel is a valuable asset for any comic publisher to have. But her mere presence diminishes Superman’s uniqueness, not to mention leaving writers and artists with the tricky question of just what the hell is Supergirl meant to do that Superman can’t much better, with about 50,000 more readers?
More to the point, isn’t that origin a little too tragic and creepy for a character designed for the benefit of young girls?
Landry “O.” Walker and Eric “just Eric” Jones at least have an answer to the last question in this new animation-style number. Supergirl’s not another cataclysm survivor here, but rather an escapee from a moon colony that got sucked into a pocket dimension when the motherland exploded. Sort of a Bottled City of Kandor situation crossed with the Martian Manhunter’s origin. So the dynamic is more that of a kid wreaking havoc while staying away from home than the usual sleeping princess motif. Do they even say she’s Superman’s cousin? It wasn’t made clear in my opinion.
I’ll admit I found the opening a bit jarring due to the way it differs from the usual origin story, though there is the odd funny line (“I can see through everyone’s clothes! I don’t want to see through everyone’s clothes!”). I don’t know how it would read for the target audience of fresher young kids. Actually, why am I even reviewing this? I’m not a Supergirl fan. Who the hell is, for that matter?
How it appeals to the kids DC wants to be reading this, I can’t say. I will say that Eric Jones’s art was clear and energetic, the jokes usually connected and it’s probably the most likeable take on a difficult character to get right since the Bruce Timm/Paul Dini animated series.
That J.G. Jones cover for FINAL CRISIS #3 was pretty good, too.

SUPER HUMAN RESOURCES #1-3

Writer: Ken Marcus Art: Justin Bleep Publisher: Ape Entertainment Reviewer: Ambush Bug

Anyone who has ever worked in an office environment will attest to the fact that most of the workplace conflict happens in the Human Resources Department. It’s where all of our gripes are processed, our benefits are granted; it’s where everything about your job that doesn’t happen to actually have anything to do with your job takes place. The people working for that section of the company must be stable, considerate, and knowledgeable about not only their own job, but the responsibilities of everyone else in the organization.
Because this place is the hub of the wheel that is a workplace, it’s the perfect target for some comedy. Ken Marcus realizes this easy target and hits a bullseye in his miniseries from Ape Entertainment called SUPER HUMAN RESOURCES.
Part THE OFFICE, part DAMAGE CONTROL, all fun. This comic takes the mundane day to day tedium that is working in a corporate environment and applies it cleverly to super heroes. Not only the heroes get benefits in this world of ties and capes; SHR is a place where heroes and villains alike meet, not to fight gratuitous slugfests, but to discuss insurance coverage, benefits, paychecks, and vacation days. As I read this comic, I felt the same way I felt upon watching the first hour of OFFICE SPACE. Mike Judge captured the claustrophobic and repetitious banality of office life so perfectly and so hilariously in that film, you knew he had to have worked in an office like that once and hated every minute of it. I got the same feeling reading Ken Marcus’ first issue a new employee is introduced around the office. The fun part is seeing the clever jobs these fantastic characters are assigned to in this sterile environment.
Zombie receptionists. Robots with confidence issues. A reclusive employee in the basement who takes his work and training way too seriously. And a copy machine bent on world domination. Issue one follows Tim, our eyes and ears as we get to know the office and all that goes on. He’s a new employee, eager to learn and please, but clueless as to what he’s in store for. Part of the fun is seeing everyone else go along as if things were business as usual, while Tim is flabbergasted at the myriad of superpowers and weird goings on that happen from one day to the next.
Issue two features an office party where more characters are introduced, an office romance may be forming, and Zombor is surprised! Marcus seems to have an endless supply of cool characters and twisted plotlines for Tim and his officemates. Issue three focuses on another office tradition, Secret Santa, but of course, at SUPER HUMAN RESOURCES, not even that is easy.
Seek out SUPER HUMAN RESOURCES from Ape Entertainment. The art by Justin Bleep has a manic, Kyle Baker PLASTIC MAN feel to it with all of the exaggerated reactions and designs. It’s a fun comic that despite not being set in the real world is all too familiar to those who ever had to sit in a cubicle all day and call it work.

X-MEN NOIR #1

Written by Fred Van Lente Art by Dennis Calero Published by Marvel Comics Reviewed by Stones Throw

He couldn’t get over it. The comic book had no reason to exist. All those editorial page clues, the moody adverts…it had all come to nothing. Just another cheap ELSEWORLDS series.
They used to run a pretty good outfit there at the House of Ideas. When did things sink this low? When did an ELSEWORLDS concept that those schmucks at DC would have knocked off in one issue ten years ago become acceptable grounds for 2-3 separate series?
How the hell did this happen?
In annoying pot-boiler fashion, that’d be my first reaction to X-MEN NOIR. The one factor that got me to take another look was the involvement of Fred Van Lente, writer of cool books like COMIC BOOK COMICS and ACTION PHILOSOPHERS and, uh…WOLVERINE: FIRST CLASS. The guy took a goofy concept like Hercules and Amadeus Cho taking over the Incredible Hulk’s book and made it a comic that, well, lots of people say is worth reading. I should probably get round to taking a look too sometime. Are any trades out yet?
The thing about Elseworlds is once you’ve fit all the famous characters into olden-times approximations, there’s still a story left to sit through. Like Alan Moore as the Beatles or Judd Winick as Phil Collins it’s the kind of thing that’s more fun to think about than actually read. Here, Quicksilver is the rookie cop on his first night on the beat in New York. His father’s the corrupt chief of police, running the “Brotherhood”, a mysterious cult-like inner circle. Professor X is the controversial, imprisoned head of a reform school and Jean Grey’s just been fished out of the Brooklyn River with mysterious claw marks on her body.
The one element of inspiration is the inclusion of the original Angel, one of Marvel’s legit pulp heroes from MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #1 back in 1939, as a caped crusader and classic noir protagonist investigating the “X-Men” for himself. I can see these types of characters being weaved in through the other books in the series. Otherwise it all just fades together. The bit where he gets ambushed by Hank McCoy at a deserted Xavier School is almost straight out of Neil Gaiman’s Elseworlds series, 1602.
Still, it’s certifiably better than the upcoming SPIDER-MAN NOIR. If ever there was a character less suited to the noir style than the X-Men, it’s our friendly neighborhood Spidey.
It was a fair cop. The muddy art hid it well, but underneath the make-up the book was just another ELSEWORLDS imitation.
What a crying shame.


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

SPIRIT CASEBOOK TPB

Written and drawn by Will Eisner Published by Kitchen Sink Press Picked up for $2.00 Reviewed by BottleImp

Once upon a time on Main Street in Northampton, Massachusetts, there stood the Words and Pictures Museum. Founded by TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES co-creator Kevin Eastman, the museum housed an impressive collection of original artwork that ranged from mainstream masters such as Kirby and Buscema to avant-garde and underground creators like Vaughn Bode and Richard Corben. Unfortunately the museum hit tough times—this was before the SPIDER-MAN movie rekindled mainstream interest in comics, and the TMNT resurgence came years too late—and was forced to close. The building still stands, though now it houses offices and a cell phone dealership. But when the Museum was in operation, it also boasted a wide array of comics, graphic novels and trade paperbacks. I was fortunate enough to pick up this Spirit collection published by Kitchen Sink (also now defunct) at a summer sidewalk sale for the princely sum of two bucks. I had heard of the Spirit, and seen a couple of stories reprinted in anthologies, but this was the first time I got a good look at Will Eisner’s signature creation—and man, was it good.
DC recently published a couple of trades to coincide with the forthcoming SPIRIT film (more on that later) which contain most of the stories found in the SPIRIT CASEBOOK, but if you can get your hands on the Kitchen Sink collection, I highly recommend it. First, it’s slightly oversized—about 8 1/2” x 11”—so you get a much better view of the artwork. It’s also printed in black and white—no coloring—to let you see Eisner’s mastery of light and shade without any hindrance.
And make no mistake about it, Eisner was a master. It’s not for nothing that the industry’s highest honor is named for him. Eisner used ink as a compositional element, letting heavy areas of black help draw the reader into and through the story. This collection features some of his trademark intricate, often-imitated-never-duplicated splash pages. His page designs were sometimes simple, sometimes radical (especially compared to the average comic book page of the 1940s), but his panels were always arranged in such a way as to be invisible—you never get bogged down by the man’s technique, but your eyes are guided across the pages by Eisner’s layouts. And his ability to tell an intriguing story in a span of a mere seven pages… let’s just say that in today’s day and age of twelve-part miniseries and endless one-shot tie-in issues, many writers could take another look at Eisner and learn that more pages does not necessarily a better story make.
SPIRIT CASEBOOK includes the famous “Gerhard Shnobble” story about a man who could fly, “The Visitor,” which deals with beings from outer space, the fantastic noir lighting of “Lorelei Rox,” and my personal favorite, “Ten Minutes.” This last story is so well drawn that the text is almost unnecessary—you could just as easily follow Freddy’s story just by reading the facial expressions, body language and emotional tones set down in Eisner’s artwork. In short, this is a must-have collection for those who appreciate well-crafted comics.
Which brings me to THE SPIRIT movie soon to be released…
Will Eisner wrote in the introduction to this collection, “The Spirit was for real; he was human, made of flesh and blood and therefore killable… [he] stuck to the role for which he was originally designed—a middle class crimefighter.” From the trailers I’ve seen and the snippets of review I’ve read from test screenings, this down-to-earth middle class hero is not what the movie is about. Frank Miller, despite being a friend of Eisner and (supposedly) having great respect for Eisner’s creation, is not making a movie of Eisner’s Spirit. Miller is doing what Miller apparently only knows how to do anymore: ludicrously over-the-top dialogue spoken by ludicrously over-the-top caricatures as they cavort in front of a green screen. In other words, SIN CITY. Eisner’s SPIRIT is as much about the everyday people of the city as it is about the title character. His work has an earthiness that makes it stand apart from the normal muscle-bound supermen. Miller’s movie looks anything but earthy.
Look, if you are a fan of SIN CITY and are desperate to see another movie just like it, fine, it’s your eight bucks. But don’t think that the movie you’re watching represents what Eisner’s SPIRIT is all about.
And if like me you’re a fan of THE SPIRIT comic book, please please PLEASE don’t go to see this movie—not even if you’re just going to see how much of a train wreck it is. This movie NEEDS to fail at the box office…because that’s the only way that we can stop Frank Miller and those like him from “improving” or “updating” the works of the masters by pissing all over them. Just check out some of the pages from this collection, compare them to the movie trailer, and you’ll see what I mean.

APOLLO’S SONG

By Osamu Tezuka Released by Vertical Reviewed by Scott Green

If I were planning to select a shelf of manga to stand as a testament to the potential of the medium, I'd be sure to include APOLLO’S SONG. If I were going to pick a stack to lend to someone who was interested in reading manga for pleasure, I'm inclined to think that I wouldn't add APOLLO’S SONG.
The manga is structured around the visions of profoundly damaged teenager Shogo Chikaishi. Born to a prostitute who lacked a maternal attachment to her child, he began exhibiting violent rages when confronted with images of close knit families or romantic couplings. After an assault on a chicken coop led to the discovery of his attacks on living animals, Shogo was committed to a psychiatric institution.
Upon receiving electric shock treatment, Shogo experienced a vision of a Pallas Athena-like marble statue. The goddess informed him that, in punishment for disdaining love, he shall love one woman again and again for eternity, but every time, before the two are united, one shall perish. From there, in and out of the hospital, in hypnosis and in hallucinations, Shogo experiences cycles of tragic romance.
There's a commanding notion of Osamu Tezuka as an artist and innovator. The cartoon self-portrait of the big nosed guy in the black beret persists as an avatar for a force that was instrumental in shaping anime and manga, and was responsible for creating enduring characters like ASTRO BOY and BLACK JACK. Tezuka could tell a story in manga as well as any artist could in any medium. If you open up MW, you immediately launch into a desperate chase scene. It's chillingly immersive, and you're thinking about the tension of the moment being depicted, not the artist involved or the effort that went into depicting that moment. I wouldn't call reading something like his intense World War II tragedy ADOLF a "pleasure," but it is exquisitely compelling. I don't qualify my recommendations for Tezuka works like BLACK JACK or DORORO. I've given people who don't regularly read comics or manga copies of ODE TO KIRIHITO. APOLLO’S SONG is different. In this case, the pleasure of reading the manga is seeing Tezuka operate as a creative force.
Tezuka produced over 400 volumes of manga in his lifetime. Looking at a manga like APOLLO’S SONG, its quality not the quantity that is incredible. You can almost see Tezuka furiously combining ideas and reacting to concerns. His ability to draw connections and develop ideas is stunning, as is his committment to realizing these chimeras on the manga page. It looks like the product of a mind that was consistently pulling in new ideas and trying out new permutations.
In this case, we're looking at manga from 1970. Pink film was becoming a full fledged industry. Like America, Japan was seeing a protest movement and a sexual revolution.
Tezuka demonstrated a need to be at the forefront of a movement, and the zeitgeist was clearly fomenting in Tezuka's thoughts in 1970.
The year before, he wrapped up SWALLOWING THE EARTH, about Zephryus, the woman who used her sexual appeal to take revenge on the world's men. In this period, the same anthology, Big Comic would see the 1972 premiere of Tezuka's AYAKO, about the tribulations, incest and sexual violence visited upon the Tenge family during post World War II reconstruction.
In the middle of the 1970 serialization of APOLLO’S SONG, Tezuka would begin work on MARVELOUS MELMO. This manga, and later anime, was created with sexual education in mind. Following her mother's death, God gave Melmo magic candy pills that would allow her to transform back and forth between the body of a 9 year old and a 19 year old (also, turn into an animal). Tezuka is famous for reusing character models and types across his works. Doubtlessly, it's not coincidental that the Venus figure on the cover of Apollo's Song and Shogo's doomed love is the mature Melmo.
1970 would also be the year that Tezuka would produce and direct CLEOPATRA, an animated film released in North America as an X.
Tezuka's body of work embraced both sides of a dichotomy. There was compassion for humanity and its perseverance, and at a same time, exasperation with crimes that the species committed against itself, and ways in which it hindered that push to survive. APOLLO’S SONG concerns the split dichotomy between love and biological procreation. There's the imperative to produce offspring, and then there's all the social packaging with the entire spill over into crimes against oneself or others. And, APOLLO’S SONG looks to a divide between hope and pessimism.
There are complex relationships in Tezuka's dialectics, but, that does not mean that he balances the opposing forces. Tezuka's stories have viewed the Holocaust among other black moments in modern history; they've imagined biblical disasters and the end of humanity. Though I'm missing key points of comparison in my familiarity with his work (the above mentioned Ayako for one), I have to say that I can't think of a Tezuka manga that left a darker impression than APOLLO’S SONG. "Nature divides us into males and females. We come together and create offspring for posterity... As long as the world exists, men, women and their children they bear will repeat the endless drama day after day..." The act of procreation has rarely sounded so Sisyphusian.
The rub is that Tezuka expresses these ideas through downright strange fables. There's Shogo as a World War II German soldier. Shogo as a pilot, marooned with a haughty young photographer on an island with animals who ferociously protect each other rather than conform to the natural food chain. Shogo as an assassin in a future where humanity has been replaced by genderless clones.
On one hand, it's captivating to watch Tezuka act as Dante, envisioning infernal punishments for Shogo. In the Dante model, Shogo's situated in something like one of the middle circles of Hell. His crimes are partly of his volition and partly as the result an intrinsic weakness. We can sympathize with him, but at the same time, his punishment does seem to conform to some universal law, and the terms of that punishment become a source of fascination.
On the other hand, it's tempting to cast these stories in an ironic light. It's a very unmediated manga, as if Tezuka was rapidly working from mind to hand. The prologue, "Union of the Gods," opens with a horde of heroic looking men racing towards a queen in a less than subtle metaphor. From there, it stays pitched and unrestrained. The melodrama. The society of Disney animals. At issue, it's mixing a serious tenor with motifs that have become comical. A fable of a robot maid crushing her master to death with a hug has a kernel of profundity, but, from a modern perspective the elements have become associate with camp.
The artistry of APOLLO’S SONG is fantastic. Tezuka labored to create a vision that would engrave itself in the reader's mind. As campy as a 70's sci-fi future can be, the image of Mount Fuji turned into a level plateau by rationalist minds or Tokyo turned into a necropolis are powerfully rendered. Whether it's a World War II era train yard or a remote mountain lake, the craft in Tezuka's work is breathtaking. Because modern perspective shades many of the elements with an ironic hue, attention is drawn from Apollo's Song to its creation. Reading the manga, it's difficult to divorce the work from thoughts of its context and author. Apollo's Song is remarkable in every way, but not necessarily an engrossing reading experience.
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.

UPTOWN GIRL #67

Written and Illustrated by: Bob Lipski Published by: Uptown Girl Comics Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

UPTOWN GIRL has remained one of my favorite indie comics since I discovered it during its ‘early teens.’ Now the book is about to hit 70 and fade away from a monthly format to move into bigger and better things – most likely graphic novels. It’s a true end of an era, especially for all those fans of the book who love reading the adventures of reporter Uptown Girl, cynical Ruby Tuesday, and free-spirited Rocketman. Writer/artist Bob Lipski keeps his characters simpler, as if you were watching a cartoon like THE SIMPSONS rather then reading an actual comic book.
UPTOWN GIRL #67 pokes fun at artists who become famous overnight, being the next huge thing, only to fade off into oblivion. Here it is Rocketman who become a famous artist by building a catapult then accidentally launching paint at a building. Someone sees the mess, decries it ‘art’, and suddenly Rocketman is being paid to make more ‘art’. Soon enough half the city of Minneapolis is covered with this hideous art and it couldn’t go away soon enough.
There’ve been a number of ‘villain-of-the-week’ issues of UPTOWN GIRL lately where Uptown Girl and her crew seemingly off the baddies as they appear, so this issue is a much welcome break. Rocketman steals the show as dim-witted yet loveable characters usually do but the underlying plot really strikes true in today’s era of everyone wanting to become famous really quickly without paying their dues. This ish is just another great issue in a long list of great issues and I could never say enough about this ve
Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 10, 2008, 7:39 a.m. CST

    The Punisher

    by Shan

    Worth noting that this is the 3rd attempt at a Punisher film while a number of other Marvel Superheroes are on zero or one films.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 7:40 a.m. CST

    Finally a Punisher review on AICN!

    by DerLanghaarige

    I mean, everytime when Brett Ratner is attached to another movie, it's breaking news but a new Punisher movie gets totally ignored? (even if not many people had high hopes for it.)

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 7:41 a.m. CST

    First!

    by Psynapse

    *pees in corner* TB marked, mission accomplished.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 7:41 a.m. CST

    Okay third!

    by Psynapse

    *sigh*

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 7:42 a.m. CST

    BTW,I'm pretty sure that there will be another Punisher movie.

    by DerLanghaarige

    It's possible that Warzone does incredibly well overseas and/or on DVD and so Lions Gate will give it another (although maybe just straight to DVD) shot. Or Marvel gets the rights back and when they are finished with The Avengers, they will try to make another Punisher.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 7:53 a.m. CST

    What struck me as odd.

    by Shan

    With Thomas Jane's Punisher was how firstly he's thought to be dead. OK, that's like the comics - but then turning up to be snarky to the mayor - well instead of using it to your advantage to have everyone think you were dead - you instead give it up for no benefit, well that was odd. <p> Then, the whole business with planting fire hydrants and fooling John Travolta into thinking your wife and best friend are having an affair - well didn't the Punisher do more explosive and directly fatal things than that? Just didn't seem like the sort of things The Punisher ever did. At the end he does run in with a gun and shoot a lot of people but it seemed like too little too late.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 8:22 a.m. CST

    DEATH SENTENCE...

    by Mosquito March

    ...was fucking HORRIBLE. You could write a book on everything that was wrong with it. It was like space aliens watched DEATH WISH and TAXI DRIVER and assembled pieces of both into a revenge flick of their own. Bacon's character is so incredibly dumb that when he realizes a violent gang is coming to his house to kill his family, he chooses to have them stay in their own home (instead of MOVING THEM TO A HOTEL), their only protection being the cliched pair of uniformed cops sitting in a cruiser outside who are easily dispatched by the bad guys. The only scene that had any real tension was the parking garage sequence, but even that was ultimately ridiculous. Total piece of shit.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 8:27 a.m. CST

    I don't really care to see the "MAX" Punisher in a movie.

    by NinjaRap

    I want to see the 616-universe, "Welcome Back, Frank"-style over-the-top action combined with a twisted sense of humor. That's what WBF, one of the most famous and beloved Punisher stories, was all about. And that's what this new movie about. If you're looking for that, it's a damn good time. If you're looking for the realistic "MAX" series, you won't find it. And personally, I couldn't be happier about that.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 8:31 a.m. CST

    When commenting on the Hellboy comic books...

    by 11ZOMBIES

    ...PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not reference those horrible movies. GDT has nothing to do with the comics (thank Christ), can't we just pretend those films don't exist when talking about the comics? That is all.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Don't ever let a girl direct an action movie!

    by Leafar the Lost

    Lexi Alexander directed the Punisher movie. Case closed. Sorry if 1 fat chick is actually reading this, but girls cannot direct action movies. This is what the Punisher movie should have been. A realistic comic book hero. It have been shot that way by a MAN who understands how cool violence is on screen. I look back at some great action movies, like Die Hard, Speed, Dirty Harry, etc. It could have been a great, action, revenge movie if it were directed by a MAN who knew what the hell HE was doing. I will pretend this movie never happened.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 8:44 a.m. CST

    Um, did you actually READ Xmen Noir?

    by comicgeekoidtoo

    Because from the "review" it doesn't sound like you did. You just list a bunch of pre-conceived ideas as to why it couldn't work. But it's awesome. And I actually read it.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 8:49 a.m. CST

    To Stone's Throw

    by Animation

    1) I'm surprised you liked the line about Batman being an adrenaline junkie. To me, the character should be above that, so I loathed that line. I dont like takes on Batman that make him into some kind of jerkoff or a junkie in it for the rush. There are too many "heroes" and villains already like that. So, I'm just saying, why did you find that line cool? :) Ah well, I guess we are different people. :) <br /><br /> 2) What do you mean, who the hell is a fan of Supergirl? Lots of people, at least a couple dozen. Well, I am anyway. *grumble* Of course, I hate the relaunch sandwich-hating self-hating attention whore version of the character so much, that their attempts to soften her up have been futile. I loved the Linda Danvers version (hated her origins and divine side tho) in terms of personality, and I loved the original. I will agree that the Timmverse animated Supergirl was awesome, and in fact that is my favorite incarnation in any medium.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 8:57 a.m. CST

    I read X-men Noir

    by rock-me Amodeo

    And I thought, "Of all the gin joints and comic books shops in town, why did it have to wander into mine?" Because it sucked. If we needed one more "Elseworlds" with the X-men, we would all be reading X-Crement, or X-iles, or whatever its called, because it sucks too. Haven't we already seen about every possible permutation of X-men? Do we really need a mini-series?<br><br>No. It's there because suckers like to buy books that are numbered "1" and American culture has the attention span of a fruit fly on crack, so mini-series sell better because everyone knows it will be over quickly. Like bad sex. Which is what the book was like, and it didn't even hold me afterward.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 8:58 a.m. CST

    sorry Rock me

    by comicgeekoidtoo

    thats about your feelings about the Xmen line in general. And you need to deal with that in therapy. Lots of it.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 9 a.m. CST

    Two words for Leafar the lost:

    by DerLanghaarige

    Kathryn Bigelow.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 9:03 a.m. CST

    derlang

    by comicgeekoidtoo

    lol

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 9:06 a.m. CST

    heh

    by rock-me Amodeo

    well, you're not the first one to tell me that, so you must be correct. And it's not that I dislike the X-men, even after all these stories. It's just that, after so many (ulp!) decades of reading comic books (about 34 years of reading comics, and 33 years of the "new" X-men in particular), I'm really starting to hate these out of continuity excursions. And they happen to the X-men most of all. <br><br>So I was soured on this before I read it, admittedly.<br><br>The fact that the X-men are all sociopaths and Jean was a slut didn't help matters, either.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 9:09 a.m. CST

    okay

    by comicgeekoidtoo

    thats a man thing to do, rock me, to admit. Look, if Noir was going to replace the Xmen as THE Xmen, id be pissed. But it's just a bit of fun and I think that's how its meant. I love GOOD alternate universe books, and I think this is one. And if someone slams a comic because its not their cup of tea, that's ok not to like it, but they should make it clear its because its not their cup of tea. Which is the problem I have with the reviews in general from certain people on this site.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Look, if something's not my cup of tea...

    by stones_throw

    I'm not gonna sit there and apologize for it not being my cup of tea. I'm gonna spit that tea out! Or ask for another cup. or drink coffee instead...well, you get my point.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Well

    by rock-me Amodeo

    I think that's valid. It's just as valid for someone to like it because it IS there cup of tea as it it for someone to NOT like it because it's NOT their cup of tea.<br><br>More tea?<br><br>And that's simply a matter of where the reader is coming from, personal tastes, etc. I have always loved the X-men, even when Claremont came back and hacked them to death, so to speak, about 10 years ago. I'm happy they gave him the X-iles book (that's what I meant by "x-Crement", not any of the other X-men books) to play with. But I don't read that title, and i don't review it, because after 33 years, I've had my fill of alternative universe storied featuring the X-men. I'm done, and I know I'm done. And if anything were going to change my mind, it won't be a mini-series, and it won't be a story where all the heroes I love are villains. But if YOU like that, that's completely and utterly valid, and it's why these talkbalks exist. More power to you!

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 9:20 a.m. CST

    stones throw

    by comicgeekoidtoo

    Im not saying you need to LIKE something thats not your cup of tea. Just thats its probably not a good idea to get you to review something that isnt. "I don't like horror movies, so the I think the Excorcist sucked." Not helpful.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 9:20 a.m. CST

    Analogies that may need to be banned:

    by rock-me Amodeo

    Comic book = cup of tea<br><br> Comic book = roller coaster ride

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Final Crisis #5 First Review

    by most excellent ninja

    http://handofmessi.blogspot.com/

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 9:23 a.m. CST

    okay forget the godamn tea!

    by comicgeekoidtoo

    im just saying, if youre predisposed not to like somethings, thats all you, thats fine, like what you like hate what you hate, whatever. But why review something that isn't your "thing?" What're you going to tell other people about it that's helpful? Thank you. I need tea.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 9:24 a.m. CST

    NinjaRap

    by most excellent ninja

    the Thomas Jane movie was that over the top shit, You are one of the only humans with knowledge of Max that wouldn't want a Max movie. Fuck that. The Slavers. Mother Russia. With hardcore filmmaking would own.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Comicgeekoidtoo

    by rock-me Amodeo

    Ohh! That made me laugh out loud.<br><br>I think they serve tea at group therapy, if you want to meet me there.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 9:27 a.m. CST

    punisher

    by comicgeekoidtoo

    I think the first one was a decent movie where the fucked up the property. TAMPA? REALLY? But the last one, they got the property right but it just was not good.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 10:02 a.m. CST

    I love the faces...

    by Joenathan

    If a comic actually does a big change, then it is bullshit sacrileage and why can't comics be like they used to be, because they were better then. Why don't creators spend a little time with the characters and develop them more instead of rushing around and making an event the focus? <br><br>When a comic comes back around to zero again and resets to the status quo to start telling "traditional" stories again, its bullshit because nothing of consequence ever happens. Where's the danger and why aren't there any balls left in the comic book creator community? What happened to the action in these superhero funny books, if I wanted to see people talk, I'd have watched a soap opera.<br><br>Remind me... Why the fuck do you guys even read comics?

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Secret Invasion 8

    by sean bean

    If I remember correctly, Reed Richards is shining his skrull reveal ray on the heroes coming out of the ship. The dialogue also alludes to the fact that they are all looking funny at Spider-Woman. And Fury 'ports off without acknowledging Dum Dum and Contessa, so you can't say that everyone just accepts the heroes coming off the ship. What disturbs me more is that the years of build-up and infiltration by the skrulls just leads to the armada invading Earth. Um, what was the point of replacing strategic people and sowing mistrust, then?

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Wouldn't it be weird if...

    by Joenathan

    Watchman turned out great and in actuality it was the Punisher that had been "unfilmable" all along? why is it so hard to get the Punisher right? Arnold built a career off the same concept.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Claremont

    by optimous_douche

    Killed Exiles, plain and simple.<p> When you read the title and pine for the days of Winnick, you know a title is dead as a doornail (sorry had to get in on the cliche game).

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Kathryn Bigelow...

    by Joenathan

    Point Break was a 100% adrenaline...

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Man, I've ALWAYS wanted to like Exiles,

    by Joenathan

    but the comic is like a tour of my least favorite creators. They should put Loeb and Leifed on there just to maintain their accuracy.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Secret Invasion - Great set up. Chickened out.

    by V'Shael

    Like D.C's final crisis, when everything was coming together wonderfully, and was ultimately let down by a terrible climax and conclusion. <p> Secret Invasion had terrific set ups. Personally, I loved the fact that Nick Fury discovered the plot and went DEEP undercover because he couldn't trust anyone. I loved the fact that even the might Reed Richards was fooled at one point. I loved the mind games played on Stark (albeit briefly) that he too might be a Skrull. <p> But ultimately, the bosses at Marvel will never let the characters or the world they're in, grow, change and evolve. That's why Spiderman is single again. It's a regression. That's why Steve Rogers will be back, someway, somehow. Because Steve Rogers is Captain America and there's a giant reset button waiting to be pushed.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Raw Deal

    by steverodgers

    Saw this the other day (god bless Comcast on Demand) and i said to myself, they should have this guy direct the Punisher. Mind boggling why its so hard to have a cool Punisher movie. Just make it like Death Wish, or Commando, or whatever. They could have it set in the seventies... oh well - fanboy dreams.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 10:45 a.m. CST

    But comics continue...

    by Joenathan

    Thats their main strength and biggest weakness, they have to continue. I love the fact that the Illuminati was in a Daredevil issue Waaaaay back, that they were introduced and explained much later and in a different comic, that the seeds for this invasion can be seen mentioned all over the place for a long time, (how long did we hear that something was off in Shield?) even Whedon's first X-men run. <br><br>I really like the continuing novel-like aspect, BUT there's always a next issue and while Bucky/Cap is fucking awesome, he can only struggle with living up to Steve's legacy for so long and stay fresh, I mean, hell, even Barry came back... We know this will happen eventually, so I just don't understand the gripe. Yes, Steve Rogers will be back, the status quo will be reset, we all know this, so why does it bother you?<br><br>Isn't it more important that the stories are well told, since we can all pretty much guess how its going to end?<br><br>Myself, I can usually guess most endings and can tell whats going on pretty early, so for me, I don't judge Point A or Point Z, I'm interested in points B through Y. For me, its the way the story is told that makes it good. <br><br>George R. R. Martin writes these books called the Song of Ice and Fire series (otherwise known as the Life Eater). Number 1 is the Game of Thrones and they're pretty good, but NOT because of the main story, which is your basic fantasy series yarn. You can guess the players, because you've read one, you've pretty much read them all. What makes the series great is that he shocks you and surprises you within the tale. There's a moment in Book 1 that crushes everyone who reads it. Everyone. People tha I made read the book call and bitch and threaten to quit reading, not because it sucks, but because they were involved and shocked. Martin even takes a character that starts off the series fucking his sister and then throwing a child from a three story tower and turns him into a character where you go: "I can see how he ended up at that point and you what? He's not such a bad guy." So, I'm just looking for similiar types of things from my comics, some surprises, some fun, a little excitement, some boobs maybe, I want a fun journey because I know at the end, the good guys are going to be triumphant, because thats the way it goes in comics. So why complain about this? Its like jumping in a pool and then whining because you got wet.<br><br>Can anyone articulate for me as to why a tried and true adherence to age old comic cliches upsets them so much, ESPECIALLY when the divergence from those cliches almost ALWAYS results in furious anger?

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Song of Ice and Fire

    by steverodgers

    Is the cats fucking meow. Love those books.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 10:49 a.m. CST

    Is it the price?

    by Joenathan

    Is it the priceof individual issues? Because we'll watch 3 four hour movies, we'll regularly watch 22 hours of TV on DVD in a weekend, we'll read 1400 page novels, but we gripe that 8 issues is too long?<br><br>Does it all come down to the fact that we have to pay for each chapter? Is that why we're (in general) so intolerant of minutae and character development, why an issue without fisticuffs is (generally) poo-pooed?

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 10:51 a.m. CST

    I hear you, Steve

    by Joenathan

    If only he'd finish the next one. Back me up on that shocking moment in Book 1. You know what I'm talking about.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Ray Stevenson was a kick ass PUNISHER.

    by fanboy71

    FINALLY, a Punisher who was actually a bad ass mo-fo, like he should be. Sure, the rest of the movie was crap, from the lighting, to the villians being campy and dumb, but this Punisher finally kicks ass, and that puts it above the first two movies in my book. Now wait a few more years and make another one that is more like TDK in a serious tone, and you will have perfected it. Better yet, give us and HBO series with Ray Stevenson and kick Lexi to the curb.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Joen

    by steverodgers

    Agreed. Martin is the master of the stomach punch. Love the Wall, love the Jon Snow character - those books are the best. I can't tell if he is just a wicked slow writer, or he writes himself into such a hole at the end of each book that he needs like divine intervention to figure out how to get himself out of it.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 11:26 a.m. CST

    R.I.P. Last Rites = "So, It Was All A Dream!"

    by LaserPants

    That is the very definition of BAD writing, sorry. It makes the whole thing totally meaningless and pointless. I kinda liked the psychedelic freak outs going on in the story, because it was like reading Morrison having a nervous breakdown after a prolonged drug binge, but I wouldn't call that good writing.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Ray Stevenson alone makes it the best Punisher movie

    by DEX

    Thomas Jane is a good actor but he was just miscast - he was like an all-American jock pretending to be 'dark'. Dolph, well, that was just a B-movie. I think the reviewer was a little hard on PWZ - it wasn't that bad. One good point was the lighting - I do hate the use of colored lights (the Schumacher Batmans, The Flash tv series, etc.) - it announces to the audience that the filmakers are trying to make a 'comic book movie' and not taking it seriously.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Lexi Alexander...

    by loodabagel

    <p>Don't accuse of her of not being able to direct an action movie. Apparently, she couldn't manage to properly direct this one, but has anyone seen Green Street Hooligans? Hard, gritty, realistic and brutally violent. It's not really an action movie, but it does have the grimy, hard hitting feel everyone's clamoring for. </p> <p>And stop knocking the Thomas Jane Punisher! SO much of the complaint isn't directed towards the movie's actual flaws, but minor details about the character. "Why is it in Tampa? His family didn't die that way. In the comics, his skull shirt had longer sleeves." Stop moaning, Punisher fans. Your movie will never come! Never, I say! Bwa ha ha ha!</p>

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Yes, but Green Street was bad

    by Joenathan

    and fell apart at the end.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 11:40 a.m. CST

    Punisher & Supergirl

    by cookepuss

    The Punisher actually wasn't too bad. Certainly enjoyed it. Here are my thoughts. <p> <p> 1) This is a late season action flick. If anybody expected anything of TDK calibre then they're smoking crack. At this time of the year, you're just lucky it's not another stupid fucking Christmas movie or some schmaltzy Oscar winning wannabe. It is what it is. A brainless diversion.<p> <p> 2) Don't go in expecting your every wildest Punisher fantasy to come true. There have been a few interpretations of Frank's character. The fact that this one has the grim, yet black humored Frank and the shit for goomba goofball brains Jigsaw doesn't make it any less valid. <p> <p> The fact is, the Marvel Universe probably has as many cheesy gangsters and enforcers as an old Dick Tracy comic. Think about it for a second. Marvel's underworld is populated with cartoony losers. If we eliminate the Kingpin who do we have left, past & present? Jigsaw. Hammerhead. Silvermane. Ox. Fancy Dan. Tombstone. Count Nefaria. YEAH!! Losers with a big ole L. The fact that Jigsaw was pretty goofy in the move only speaks of Lexi's fairly faithful representation of an already shitty character. Maybe the route to have gone would have been something more grounded in reality. Then again, fanboys would have been pissed that they ignored the source material.<p> <p> 3) Even though he was tragically underutilized, wasn't it cool to see Wayne Knight as Microchip? =) Great piece of casting. He & Ray did a bang up job, even if Jigsaw & Loony Bin Jim hammed it up.<p> <p> 4) Tell me in what universe is Dolph Lundgren or Tom Jane a better Punisher? Ray Stevenson owned this role much in the same way as Jackman & Downey have Wolverine & Iron Man respectively.<p> <p> 5) Julie Benz. Getting a bit worn out looking for her age, but still kinda hot. Shame they didn't give her shit to do. <p> <p> 6) I think that there's a huge mistake in comparing this to Schummacher's "Batman & Robin". First off, Frank's not spouting off shitty one liners like Arnold. That sort of humor was mostly kept at bay. Second, much of the humor came from the fact that anything that Frank did was really just about overkill. In Frank's world, if a problem can't be solved with a big gun then that just means that your gun is too small. Swat a fly? Handgun. Kill a rat? Bazooka. Trust me. I know guys with that mentality. Before you guys invoke the name of Schummacher, also keep in mind that he has done some credible and enjoyable movies pre-Batman. Lost Boys for one. Wanna bash Uwe Boll though? Go ahead. =)<p> <p> I guarantee you one thing. When this movie hits cable it's going to be in constant rotation. It's one of those movies that you either watch late at night for shits & giggles OR you watch totally drunk/stoned to look for hidden messages. =)<p> <p> Is this movie as great as what Marvel's been pumping out lately? No. Is it bad? Watch "Man Thing", Corman's 1994 "Fantastic Four", "Nick Fury" with the Hoff, or "Mutant X". By comparison, this movie is fucking Shakespeare in the park. Even on its own, "Punisher War Zone" is enjoyable simply because it revels in its own excess & overkill. It doesn't pretend to be a commentary on violence or anything like that. There's no plot that takes longer than 3 sentences to explain. It's just a cool 80's/90's style action flick with 00's Saw-like violence. Either you get that or you don't.<p> <p> Whether or not you like this movie probably depends on what you expected to see. In my mind, there are 3 sorts of Punisher. <p> <p> There's the 70's style original that's more of a Batman meets Charles Bronson vigilante. Alas, time has changed this Punisher to make him more PG-13. He's the guy who seems to keep running around in the mainstream 616 comics. He does a lot of brooding, grumbling, and shooting, but missing. He's the one that's likely to get his ass kicked by Power Pack or the Runaways and never speak of it again. This is the watered down version that appeared in the Tom Jane movie.<p> <p> Then, there's the grim & gritty version made popular by the likes of Garth Ennis and series like "Born". He's so dark that no light enters his world. Black holes go, "Shit! That bitch is DARK!" =) This guy's world is so dark that Batman looks like Willy Wonka. At the same time, there's this pain and realism throughout. We've yet to see this Punisher just yet. One day maybe.<p> <p> Then, there's the Punisher that's been floating around since Matt Fraction & Ariel Olivetti rebooted War Journal. This is the guy who's world is a mix of the Max insanity and the 616 goofball stuff. This is the Punisher that's not afraid to dress up in a stupid Captain America inspired battle uniform. At the same time, this guy is less likely to get pwned by Power Pack, but not more likely to stuff a grenade in each one of their mouths if it's a valid war tactic. He's a bit psycho. Toss in some MAX style overkills and THIS is the Punisher in the movie.<p> <p> If anybody thinks that the movie Punisher was too cheesy.... Read the recent Punisher X-Mas special. It starts off with him dressed as freakin' Santa Claus. Cliche? Sure. Great book though. It balances some of the humor & absurdity with some harsh justice and insane violence.<p> <p> On a less grim note.... Supergirl.<p> <p> I admit to being a Supergirl fan since I first saw that shitball movie in the theaters as a kid. I've yet to see any writer do justice to the character for any length of time. She's either been a shiftless generic teen or a super powered Paris Hilton with a messiah complex. She's been pretty badly abused over the years. Nobody in the mainstream DCU has gotten her yet. She's not Superman with tits. She's not quite a teenage Power Girl though.<p> <p> "Supergirl Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade" is actually one of my favorite books in recent memory. At first glance, it's a book fit only for tween girls. Upon closer inspection, it's a book that has more depth than it should. <p> <p> A book like Titans is a kiddy book because it has cartoon versions of familiar characters. They're almost parodies of their mainstream counterparts. 8th Grade is less about Superman's teen cousin and more about a girl who just so happens to be Superman's cousin. The fact that she's super is pretty incidental, though it's part of some of the humor.<p> <p> Part of the charm is that she's awkward. Now, unless you were the jock superstar in high school, you probably had you awkward moments. Moments that you kinda wished that you were dead. Moments that you know you shouldn't have opened your mouth about 5 words too late. Moments where all eyes are on you, even if they aren't. There's a charm to this book because it speaks to boys and girls who aren't so graceful and adults who (hopefully) grew out of it. <p> <p> I cheerfully look back on my teen years and wonder how I ever got through them without getting my ass kicked for being such a goon. Supergirl 8th Grade makes me laugh because, even though I'm not a kid anymore, it reminds me of what it felt to be like one. Granted, Superman isn't my cousin and my biggest problem was my big mouth or clumsy ways. <p> <p> The writing here makes me feel as if, even though she's awkward now, she too may someday grow out of it. Still, reading this book, I get a feeling that there's something very human about this 2D looking character. It's funny how she could be so simple looking, yet be more relatable and complex than her bungled mainstream counterpart. Other DC writers should start taking notes. Not only is this how you write Supergirl, but it's how you write an all ages book in general.<p> <p> 8th Grade isn't a perfect book, as I'd be happy if we never saw Superman again. However, it is certainly a classic - one of the best of its kind actually. It's just a shame that it's a 6-issue limited. I'd love to see it hang around, more so than this "let's cure cancer" Supergirl crap of late.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 11:42 a.m. CST

    shan

    by The_joker

    The reason they continue to make Punisher films is they know that they probably won't have to sink much into the special effects budget, and they know that their is a big enough fan base for it to do reasonably well. Unfortunately with each bad Punisher movie more and more of that fan base is losing interest. You wouldn't think it would be that hard to make a good Punisher film, but apparently it is.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 11:47 a.m. CST

    I kind of felt sorry for the skrulls in the end

    by drewlicious

    Pretty much when one of them said this was their last chance. Kind of made it clear why they were so ruthless in the first place. This was survival.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Thomas Jane's Punisher was terrible.

    by Joenathan

    Come on. Come on. It was terrible. Fucking terrible. <br><Br>Dolph Lundgren's is only memorable because it was Battlefield Earth bad. <br><br>This latest one is no better. There will never be a good Punisher movie. <br><br>The main reason is because: Three times and they couldn't pull such a simple concept off? Three times. It'll never happen. <br><br>A less admitted to reason though is: The Punisher is a two dimensional piece of cardboard. He's a terriblly boring. There's no character there. Frank Castle is a one note leper of a character still plodding along having never been told that the 90s are over. The best use of Castle in the last 10 years was during Brubaker's Daredevil in prison storyline, otherwise its the same thing, just a variation of the original story with zero alternative or growth. He's a killer looking for vengence... forever... copy, paste, repeat forever. Oh wait, add in a Garth Ennis butt sex joke here and a character without a face there... GENIUS!<br><br>The Punisher had one good story, the rest was all a weak copy.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Supergirl's Adventures In The 8th Grade Makes Me Feel Creepy

    by LaserPants

    Because the miniskirt wearing, bare midriff having, superfriggin' hot barely legal version in the main continuity makes my genitals all tingy and rigid. Seeing the tween version makes me feel bad for wanting to have sex with the barely legal version.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 11:57 a.m. CST

    The Punisher will never work as a movie...

    by PoopsMcGee

    ...because studio execs feel this unquenchable need to humanize Frank Castle, to make him relatable or some such nonsense. He's an unstoppable killing machine, plain and simple, much like a Terminator or Johns Matrix and Rambo. Nobody wants to pay to see Frank weepy over his family's graves for the umpteenth time. (And apparently, nobody wants to pay to see the Punisher, you know, actually punish criminals, as opposed to practical jokery with a fire hydrant.)

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 11:57 a.m. CST

    I Felt Bad For Me At The End Of Secret Invasion

    by LaserPants

    Because I had got suckered into another event book and spent too much money on it. It was, at least, better than World War Hulk. Also, I liked where it left the Marvel universe. That said, I don't see myself going out of my way to buy all the Dark Reign books.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 11:59 a.m. CST

    War Zone Is A Great Punisher Film

    by Acquanetta

    Punisher was surprisingly fun. It's not a faithful translation of the MAX series, but it is very true to the character of Frank Castle. This is for fans who grew up reading the comic in the 1980s and 1990s. Or even the over the top tone of Garth Ennis' earlier works. It's not for the kids that just started reading it a few years ago, and think it should be deeply rooted in reality. Or approached as if it were serious literature. When I think of The Punisher, it conjures up images of bad guys dying in extreme ways. Overkill ways. And that's what this movie gets right. It's going to be huge on dvd.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Thats sounds like grudging praise, Laserpants...

    by Joenathan

    I think you liked it and don't want to say...

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:04 p.m. CST

    I'd be really excited if

    by Joenathan

    The next Punisher film was called:<br><br>Punisher: Practical Jokery

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:05 p.m. CST

    For Which, Secret Invasion or Supergirl In 8th Grade?

    by LaserPants

    If Secret Invasion, I thought it was okay. I really loved the Black Panther spinoff. I liked many of the New Avengers and Mighty Avengers spin offs too. Actually, I dug the XMen one too. Shit, maybe I did like it!<br><br> If its the Supergirl in 8th Grade book, I wouldn't know cause I didn't read it. I just saw the cover, felt guilty/weird, and walked on. "Nothing to see here!"

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:06 p.m. CST

    The new Punisher flick was silly but fun.

    by TheLastCleric

    As soon as I realized I was watching something that was simply going for a flat out ridiculous vibe, I sat back and enjoyed the bloodshed. It's a shame they couldn't have made a more serious Punisher flick but at least Ray looks the part and kills ALOT of baddied. PErsonally, I liked Jane's Punisher despite some missteps but nobody has gotten the character 100% correct yet on screen.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:07 p.m. CST

    by cookepuss

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:07 p.m. CST

    by cookepuss

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Oh, Wait, Did You Mean R.I.P.?

    by LaserPants

    It just seemed so pointless. Especially when we find out "It was all a dream!" I did like parts of it, though.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:08 p.m. CST

    I hope they amp up the Supervillians in Dark Reign

    by Joenathan

    Maybe they're leading into Old Man Logan. <br><br>Which, in case anyone wasn't sure, I really enjoy.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:11 p.m. CST

    OLD MAN LOGAN Is Great!

    by LaserPants

    I have no qualms with this wonderful book. I just hope the "big reveal" of what drove Wolvie off the deep end to pacifism is cool and dark enough to make me believe it would lead him to hang up the claws.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:11 p.m. CST

    No, I meant SI

    by Joenathan

    I enjoyed it too.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:16 p.m. CST

    I'm betting it was giving into his rage

    by Joenathan

    and he was either horrified by the beast that the attacking villians forced him to be or he accidently killed an innocent, but then there would be a mention or hint of that kind of guilt, so I'm going with the villians forced him to go berserker. He says: "They broke me." and since Logan has always warred his samurai side with his animal side and the fact that one panel shows all those villians sprawled out at his feet, makes me think he killed the fuck out of them and that the surrender to something he'd always fought to control broke his spirit, because he's always wanted to be better than that. Maybe he saw the terror of what he became reflected in some innocent's eyes, maybe the woman who became his wife, maybe he was saving her... Or maybe it was ass-rape...

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Damn keyboard. =)

    by cookepuss

    I meant TINY Titans before, btw.<p> <p> As far as why nobody has gotten the Punisher just right after 3 tries....<p> <p> HE'S A KILLER!!! =)<p> <p> Yeah, the bad guys are bad, but he's executing them himself. It's one thing to settle up and even the score for his family. It's something else for him to roam the streets and cap everybody he deems bad. How soon until jay walking pisses off the Punisher? LOL<p> <p> Writers have to humanize him. They have to let us understand that he will continue to kill people because, ironically, he cares too much about the world. That's a hard sell. Play him off as too human and likable and you end up with Tom Jane. Play him off as excessively violent with minimal humanity and you get Ray Stevenson. Not bad either way, but a hard sell for fans and general audiences each looking for different things.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Supergirl Cosmic Adventures

    by Snookeroo

    DC is spot-on with this title. I think it's a shame that the comic is only designed as a 6 part run. I bought this for my daughter (who's IN the 8th grade -- and she loved it).<br><br>There are a couple of things that I really appreciated about the issue:<br>Supergirl admires (Superman), an adult. Superman is a role model for her. Too many cartoons (and this is closer to animation than comic book)pander to the "all adults are buffoons, kids must save the day in spite of adults" stereotype.<br>There's not really any attempt to make this a part of any broader continuity, and it really doesn't need to be. It's designed as a kind of "Archie-esq" universe that exists unto it's own self.<br>I love the artwork style -- it's appropriate given the lightness of the treatment; it's very clean and graphically strong with terrific expression.<br><br>DC has never known exactly what to do with Supergirl. But I think that comes from a larger problem of not knowing what to do with their female characters, in general. This take isn't the definitive answer -- but it's a nice little diversion.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Punisher 3 can't be worse than Electra.

    by cookylamoo

    Can it?

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Laserpants

    by chetedawg

    why dont you just stick to your dumb T2 hating....obviously you dont get whats going on with Batman(this week and last weeks TB)

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:12 p.m. CST

    T2 hating?

    by Joenathan

    What does that mean? You mean Terminator 2? "Why do you cry?"

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:26 p.m. CST

    I don't know if a girl can't direct action but...

    by Continentalop

    ...in this case the blame falls on Lexi. I have friends at Lion's Gate and they were telling me horror stories about how Marvel and the Lion's Gate executives were reacting to the film. They knew they had a turkey on their hands but Lexi insisted they stay with her vision.<p> The problem from what I heard from my friends was that Lexi was adamant about making a big, ultra-male comic book action movie without any concern about who the character was. She has no idea who Frank Castle is and what type of tone his stories should have, she just saw him as another dumb, comic book action character that she can use to show off her skill in creating a whacked out, over-the-top action movie. I even heard in some ways she was looking at this as her Kill Bill, because it would defy so many conventions and be so in-your-face.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Punisher could work...

    by Continentalop

    While I agree with Joenathan that Punisher works best as a supporting character in the comics and is rather one note (I think Frank Miller used him best when he made him the vigilante mirror image of Daredevil), they still could make a film about him. The problem is, unlike Iron Man, Batman, Spider-Man or even James Bond, who you can create a never ending series of films, Frank Castle only has one, maybe two film in him tops. The reason being is he has only two really important character arcs to go through. <p> Frank Castle is a soldier in a war against crime, and his first arc would be his decision to fight in this war. It pretty much would be the same structure as a film like Death Wish: family murdered, man sets out to get revenge. There is only on filmable character arc after this, his debate with himself if he can continue to wage this war against crime or not. It would in some ways be the same arc Bruce Wayne went through in The Dark Knight; is what he is doing really working or is it making the things worse. <p> So you can make two good Punisher films. Of course it is hard to expect two good ones when they can't even make one good one.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 1:53 p.m. CST

    AND

    by Joenathan

    In the wake of Batman Begins and Dark Knight, is what would basically be a gun and violence mirror image of the arcs already done in those two movies, even be needed? Would the similiar storylines really end up somewhere else or would they just cover ground that had already been done and done really well?

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Agree with you Joenathan

    by Continentalop

    That Punisher should never be released on the same year as a Batman film. Obviously, there would be to many similarities to make the Punisher look derivative (you can only take gritty street crime comic book movies to far) but I still think there is room for both characters in the film world. In fact, part of the Punisher's appeal might be do to Batman. I see him as the cautionary tale version of the Dark Knight, someone not inspired by his tragedy to do something great, but obsessed by it. If anything, he is a MIRROR IMAGE of The Dark Knight and a warning about the dangers of how vigilantism is beyond our control.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Oh, I Get What Was Going On In R.I.P.

    by LaserPants

    It was just really, REALLY dumb. Anyone who defends the "it was all a dream" ending hasn't the slightest clue about what good writing is. Morrison knows better, has done better, but I think he is slowly losing his mind. <br><br> Oh, and T2: WE WUB WOO ROBODADDY / OLD ROBOYELLER is a steaming pile of shit. Search your OOOOZEEEEE NEIN MILLIMETAH, you know it to be true.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Which is why I am upset about Two-Face

    by Continentalop

    I don't think they should have killed him off or had his whole story arc in the Dark Knight. Two-Face could have been the Punisher of the Nolan Universe for one film, the opposite side of the coin to Batman. Sure they touched upon it in the Dark Knight, but pretty much everyone Harvey Dent was targeting was someone he had a personal score against. What would happen if he decided to find criminals and act as judge, jury and executioner? In this case we would see how the actions of Batman differ from that of a real vigilante, and it would also bring up an interesting argument about who really has the moral right to act as a vigilante.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Yeah, I think thats going to be their big problem with 3

    by Joenathan

    Not only: Where do we go from here? But: How?

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Song of Fire and Ice

    by Bluejack

    Martin has many wtf moments. He's not afraid to really fuck up a character to change the status quo. The sense of dnger in his books is high because main characters get fucked up. BTW Martin just needs to have Snow and the Black go against Dragon chick and her army and end the series. If he pulls a 'Wheel of Time' I'll be pissed off.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 2:46 p.m. CST

    I am such a geek. I want the Penguin!

    by Continentalop

    Personally, I would love to see the Penguin as the villain and centerpiece of the next one, but I know that is unlikely considering Chris Nolan has stated he thinks the Penguin is hard to do in his realistic universe. I, however, think he should reconsider. I didn’t think the Penguin could work either until I saw the fake Orson Welles’ Batman Trailer on Youtube, where they had Edward G. Robinson as the Penguin. Once I saw that, I thought, “Holy shit. He could work!” <p> Here me out Mr. Nolan! Gotham has been sent into chaos by the Joker, the mob is in tatters and leaderless, and thanks to Harvey Dent Gotham’s #1 protector is on the run from the police. What happens to places that have been sent into anarchy? They look for peace and order, no matter what the cost. And you could bring them order? Why, a short, funny little gangster who promises to bring Gotham’s underworld under his thumb and bring back to the good ol days. Where crime is controlled and everything is regulated and things might be corrupt but at least there is order. <p> The other reason I want to see the Penguin is because I always felt like he’s been getting the short end of the stick. They have been able to do a makeover on the Joker and cast off a lot of the cheesiness that crept into the character in the 50s & 60s, but they Penguin is still looked at as the ridiculous guy with the umbrellas. Come on Nolan, do to the Penguin what Frank Miller did to the Kingpin of Crime and make him the personification of the tyranny of organized crime and corruption in Gotham City.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 2:48 p.m. CST

    By the way...

    by Continentalop

    ..is Simon Hurt from RIP supposed to be Desaad? I read that last talkback. Has it been confirmed.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Claremint killed the X-men in 1987

    by hst666

    And they have been dead ever since. After that whole Marauders/Mr. Sinister introduction, I realized the Claremont was creatively bankrupt. I got back in briefly with first Morrison's and then the Brubaker/Carey runs, but the first ended and the latter two both quickly got mired in the uberangst, which is the reason I left in the first place.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 3:14 p.m. CST

    "It'll work against cats." Says Lucius Fox In A Clear Reference

    by LaserPants

    Catwoman being in part 3.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Best talkback ever!!!!

    by gooseud

    This literally is the best talkback of all time. Where do I begin? Ok lets see...... 1. The Punisher movie I thought was just cheesy over the top fun. What do people expect? Frank Castle is unfilmable any other way. He has no personality. No hobbies. No joy. Nothing. Why do you think Ennis trotted in freaky personality-plus villain after villain? BECAUSE FRANK CASTLE IS BORING. It was funny, in the theater I was in, everyone was just kind of sitting there soaking it in, until the part where Frank blows the guy up in mid-air with the rocket launcher, a scene so ridiculously funny/bad that everyone just looked at each other and was like "Ohhh so THATS how its gonna be....ok cool". Dominic West, I will say, gives the single worst funny/bad performance I can remember seeing in forever. He hideously, terribly, incredibly horrendous. I'd like to think it was intentional. 2. Song of Ice and Fire is the single greatest fantasy series ever published. Better then Lord of The Rings. Yes I said it. Assuming MArtin can bring some kind of logical conclusion to it all, that is (which is no small assumption). Book 1 alone has more legitimate "Holy FUCK!!!" moments then Marvel comics has produced in 5 years, at least. And whoever said Jaime Lannister's arc is one of the single coolest and best of all time was dead on. 3. Joenathan, you and I actually dead-on agree on everything this week, which is scaring me. HOWEVER, I want me credit dammit. Who was it who last week threw out the Wolverine Butt-Sechs rape theory for why he broke? ME, DAMMIT!!! I am the Butt-Sechs Bub!!!

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Ok I just read Final Crisis #5...

    by The_joker

    No Spoilers, but seriously. What the hell is going on Morrison? This series is a mess. Just hopping from one character arc to the next with no real focus. I get it, Darkseid is enslaving the world and all the other villians seem to be fine with it. The question I ask is why?

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Song of Fire and Ice

    by Bluejack

    I like Davos and Snow. I like where they are going with Arya's character but I haven't finished the last book yet. I started re-reading the first three and then got bogged down in 'World War Z.' The Punisher is much better as a foil than as the main character IMHO. I dropped the X-Men because...I don't know really, it just got boring for me. I felt like I was reading the same stories over and over. The characters all seem smug and have the same voice. Once I gave up on the X-Men, I stopped collecting 'runs' and just read for quality. If a book sucks for a while, I drop it. If people here (or at the LCS) say something is good, I give it a try. But I have to agree that the X-Men have been stale for a lonnnnnng time.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Laser, King of The Talkback Arguers

    by chetedawg

    I think everyone should agree that Grant Morrison is a hack writer and Terminator 2 is nothin more than a Micheal Bay Family film. All because Laser says so. I mean look at his argument. read all of his posts peaople, hes awesome. Your a hack.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Nolan's Batman 3

    by Bluejack

    I think the Riddler would be great. I'd love to see the table's turn after Batman was down on the vigilantes emulating him, and see him need some other vigilante's help (Robin? Catwoman?). An older Robin could work (late teens, early twenties). Hell they had a guy in a clown suit and another with half his face burnt off seem realistic, so how ytough could it be to integrate Robin? I could see a few Bourne or 'Casino Royal' foot chases involving Dick grayson's acrobatics, using the environment to takeout criminals. It could work!

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Bluejack

    by Joenathan

    Snow is going to marry Daenerys. He's part Targeryan or however you spell all that. Snow and her and probably Tyrion or maybe Arya are the three heads of the dragon.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:21 p.m. CST

    And yeah

    by Joenathan

    I fear a "wheel of Time" spreading of the books. Hopefully #6 will be the last, like he promised. I just hope he puts #5 out in 2009.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Umm... Ooookay?

    by LaserPants

    Where did I ever say Morrison is a hack writer? I said I thought R.I.P. was dumb and he has done much better. Heres an exact quote from above in reference to R.I.P.: <br><br> "Morrison knows better, has done better, but I think he is slowly losing his mind."<br><br> Nowhere did I ever call him a "hack." Did you even read what I wrote? Probably not right? Typical.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Better than Tolkien?

    by Joenathan

    Mmmmm, maybe not, I mean Tolkien created Martin... I tell people: There's Tolkien and then there's Martin, don't waste your time otherwise.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Alright Gooseud,

    by Joenathan

    you are the Butt sex bud.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Can someone tell me...

    by kungfuhustler84

    if Millar's Fantastic Four or Kick-Ass came out this week? It said they were online, but I didn't see them at the shop.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:30 p.m. CST

    X-men

    by Joenathan

    I loved Morrion's and Whedon's both and I'm very excited for Ellis's but he's taking his sweet ass time. Claremont burnt all desire for more X-opera out of me a long time ago. If they play one more stupid baseball game...

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:39 p.m. CST

    Oh and did Twelve come out?

    by kungfuhustler84

    I didn't see that one either

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Grant Morrison may be crazy...

    by kungfuhustler84

    but all the best geniuses are. And when he gets ir right, he fuckin knocks it out of the ball park. The entire All-Star Superman run is still one of my favorite comic story arcs I have ever bought.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Tolkien and Martin

    by Bluejack

    Tolkien completely invented modern fantasy with Lord of the Rings. Martin is the current best writer of modern fantasy. Tolkien=the Beatles, Martin=U2. I enjoy reading Martin a great deal. If you like his work, he and his friends invented the 'Wild Card' universe, which is superhero fiction/short stories. I enjoy those books a great deal. They are likeMan-Kzin Wars for Sci-Fi,or Thieves World for Fantasy. Also fun like the early Astro City comics.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:45 p.m. CST

    I haven't been to the LCS this week

    by Joenathan

    I hope those are out. I like The Twelve and Millar's Kick Ass and Fantastic Four.<br><Br>The Invisibles and We3 are my favorite Morrison, followed closely by All Star.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:47 p.m. CST

    I was so/so on Wild Cards

    by Joenathan

    But man, Ice and Fire and great. The battle between the Mountain Gregor Clegane and Red Viper... fucking awesome. Or the sea battle before King's Landing? That was amazing.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:48 p.m. CST

    More contests!

    by Bluejack

    When is the next battle royal? I loved the ultimate fight competition on AICN Comics. How about super-group face offs? I want GLCorps versus Omega Men! I want Suicide Squad versus Thunderbolts! New Warriors vs. Teen Titans! JSA vs. Global Guardians (with Omni-Man)!

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Other fantasy...

    by Bluejack

    I think Feist has become a bit stale, but the original Magician trilogy and the 'Serpent War' were pretty decent reads. He has become Claremontificated, i.e., his characters have been done over and over and all have similar voices, but his books are usually a fun read. Wild Card books aint that great, but a good toilet read as short story collections usually are.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Like, I Said, I Usually Love Morrison's Stuff

    by LaserPants

    And I'm a big fan of crazy. For instance, I love Jodorowsky, Miike, and Lynch. But theres a difference between bad crazy and good crazy. R.I.P. falls under the banner of bad crazy, imho. It was just dumb idea to begin with, but having it end with "it was all a dream!" is the biggest, lamest cop-out of an ending imaginable (at least as lame as "old crone Sue from the future died!"). I see how it ties into Final Crisis and all that, but still, why bother pretending that he's actually going to die? We all know they're not going to kill off their most popular character. I mean, really now.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:55 p.m. CST

    Bendis

    by Bluejack

    I have noticed after readings Powers for a long time that Bendis has a certain dialog to his characters that all sound the same. The same witty banter etc. His two chick cops (Deena and the new chick cop) are the same woman if they weren't drawn differently.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:56 p.m. CST

    i'm sorry aquanetta, but...

    by AnakinsDiapers

    ..i have all those 80's and 90's Punisher comics, and i don't see where all these "extreme" and "over the top" momments are. From the original Roger Stern/Mike Zeck teaming to Mike Baron/Whilce Portacio to Carl Potts/Jim Lee to Chuck Dixon/John Romita Jr. What i do see is a wealth of quality Punisher stories being dismissed for the Garth Ennis' "har har aren't i sick, cynical and oh so funny" issues. And Jigsaw. Really? When has Jigsaw ever been portrayed so over the top mafioso goomba? Remember Hannibal? Jigsaw should have been the Gary Oldman character but without the wheelchair. Why do all of the good "Punisher" films in cinema not star the Punisher? And when they finally get Castle right in some manner everything else sucks? This should be an easy thing to get right. Sad really.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:58 p.m. CST

    What I loved about the new Batman arc

    by kungfuhustler84

    was the revitalization of all this crazy lost continuity shit from Batman's past. Morrison has this gift of taking these really absurd ideas and making them seem entertaining, if not plausible. That being said, that ending was lame. At least the following issue was one of the better Batman issues to come out in a while.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Powers

    by Joenathan

    You know whats always seemed odd to me about Powers: The timeline. Didn't like ten years pass somewhere in there? Pilgrim didn't look older, but Calista is... its always bugged me.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 4:59 p.m. CST

    X-Men

    by Bluejack

    I bought Astonishing until they ****SPOILER!*** launched Kitty into space. I liked Morrison's fresh take on the X-men as well. The characters just feel TIRED to me.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Punisher, Batman, Joenathan and more

    by Homer Sexual

    Punisher: I might go see this movie. I actually enjoyed the Dolph Lundgren movie but the Thomas Jane movie was awful in pretty much every way, and Jane was miscast. Criticizing Punisher for being over the top? The ONLY way it could be good is if it's over the top. This movie SHOULD be "comic book" like. As others have mentioned, there isn't a lot to do with the character, so make it good in the way Transporter 2 was good, balls to the wall over the top action. Don't make it bad like Transporter 3, humanizing the character and ruining the whole thing. I now hope that PWZ will be "good" in a cheesily entertaining way. <p> Thank Goodness Two-Face got killed in Dark Knight, because he was boring and I was worried that he would be the villain in the next movie. So I, for one, was very glad to see him go...and glad to see Gyllenhall's character go as well. <p> Joenathan is a very loyal guy. He loves Secret Invasion and will defend it to the death. Gotta respect that. But, at the same time, gotta say it ended in a very "meh" way, and continuing to say "it's comics" doesn't work for me. Secret Invasion wasn't terrible, wasn't offensive, wasn't outrageous, but also wasn't very interesting and the sum ended up being less than the parts. Marvel (and DC in it's own cases) invites disappointment with endless hype that is rarely lived up to. Just for example, Under Seige was the bomb, and it ended with the status quo restored but still had shit happen during the story and was satisfying. SI was entertaining but unsatisfying. <p> These reviews are pretty limited. Nothing on JSA? That story finally kicked into gear and I'm now excited for the conclusion. Terror Titans...super entertaining, if nothing major. She-Hulk Cosmic Collision...love it as well. The same kind of fun for all ages, witty, action packed story as in Terror Titans. Greatly enjoyed that one-shot, made me sad the book is being cancelled. <p> Finally, how can anyone say Exiles should stay with Claremont. I loved Exiles when Winick wrote it, loved it when Chuck Austen (who I otherwise revile) wrote it, even like it when Bedard (another writer I don't care for) took over. But I dropped it after 3 terrible Claremont issues. Dude is just like Stan Lee, all respect for his contribution to the field but, really....retire already, ok?

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Powers

    by Bluejack

    Timeline after Walker wigged out and went mountain man for a bit? hmm. I'll have to look back at that.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 5:02 p.m. CST

    So nobody likes Ellis' X-men?

    by kungfuhustler84

    Next issue is gonna help me decide to keep it or drop it. I like it okay, but comics are getting more expensive as it is.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Secret Invasion Finale

    by Jinxo

    Pluses? Plotwise the end did pay off. It had a proper epic ending... technically. It also did leave good threads they could run with. I also like that those threads tie all the way back to Civil War, with Osbourn now in charge of the "good" that came out of that.<br><br> The bad? The execution was ass. The art for me sometimes didn't sell for me what I was supposed to be seeing. I think there's a point where a ship is about to crash down and so someone on the ground yells for everyone to grab onto something. I assume that was what was going on. The next panel has the ship on the ground with no sign that a harsh impact had happened. As was stated in the review, the shock of Osborn making the killshot was undercut by that info coming out in Thunderbolts before the final issue. But the whole book was undercut further by the fact that... the whole book is told past tense! I HATED THAT! It's like we missed the ending and are being told it all after the fact. It's the equivalent of the whole finale being told in a passive voice. Just sucks any immediacy from the story.<br><br> And, yeah, WHY would the heroes trust any of the returned heroes at all after the Skrulls pulled the same move at the start of the series. Reed Richards scanned then? So what? The Skrulls picked Reed's brain to plan their invasion in the first place. To me a great final move for the Skrulls would be to plan for possible defeat by using it as the moment to reintroduce new sleeper agents. Why not.<br><br> Happy with the outcome, disappointed in the technical execution.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Ellis' X-Men

    by Bluejack

    It has been hurt by the art for me. That dark, heavy overdrawn look is ok for Cap and while Iron Man was director of shield. I like the realistic look for espionage. But the first two issues just left me cold. I'm so sick of the Cyclops/Emma relationship dominating the x-books. The cutsie new X-man (Armor/pixie blah blah blah). it is just tired for me. Maybe someday I'll go back, but my judge of a good comic these days is "have I read the same story before?" When I read Bru's Cap or Fractions ImmIronFist, it is fresh and new. Sure some of the thremes and even plots can be similar, but the nuances and charcterizations and details create a new experience for me. That's why Whedon's first few runs were good, and why I liked Morrison's X-Men. I'd love to see Emma back on the dark side (wink) those x-women have cold coochies and headlights from the skimpy clothes they wear to keep up with her.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Secret Invasion Finale ***Some Spoilers

    by Bluejack

    They should have cut those middle filler issues, had issue 7 been the finale. and then had a long epilogue issue with the fall out and emotional turmoil. I thought the execution was pretty bad., Loved the last splash page, Norman drinking it up in Avengers Tower, etc.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 5:19 p.m. CST

    One of the best fight scenes ever.....

    by gooseud

    "Say her name!!" (SLASH) "Say Her NAME!!" (SLASH) "Do It!!!" (SLASH) Gregor/Viper is the Dark Knight of book fight scenes. That 10 page sequence alone is more intense and suspenseful then 97% of all fiction in the last 20 years. For those who havent read it, it probably sounds like I am overstating the true greatness of Martin, and that scene. I assure you, if anything I'm underrating it.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Bendis' Dumbass Past Tense Storytelling

    by LaserPants

    Totally, TOTALLY agree with this. Any tension, any coolness, that COULD have been going on during the final battle in SI was utterly RUINED by the fact that it was being told as if it had already happened. He did the same TOTALLY RETARDED thing with that "symbiotes attack NYC" thing, which was great, fun, neato idea (now the basis of a videogame) totally ruined by the way he told it. Really, really bad way to write.<br><br> That said, I did like where it all wound up. Basically already spoiled in T-Bolts, but still, watching Tony Stark become the pariah, getting dissed by everyone, and the intro of the Dark Illuminati was cool. So, basically, half the final issue sucked ass, and the other half was pretty cool.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Here's Why I Like Ellis' X-Men

    by optimous_douche

    Quite simply the man does a beautiful job with alternate timelines and realities.<p> With Exiles becoming a Claremont shit pile and Corky working the editor desk on the What If? books, guys like me that love what could be need an outlet. Ellis has done a fine job.<p> Was I pissed about Ghost Boxes #1, damn straight I was. Why? Because it was a cock tease. Here I am digging this steampunk alternate techno reality and then BAM, it's over and I'm into the creative process. I was pissed because I wanted more.<p> Not digging Pixie? Well, Uncanny is more her book IMHO. Personally I don't mind her, but to each his own <p>

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 6:40 p.m. CST

    two-face

    by Redmantle

    is not definitely dead. Even if Nolan says so, that could just be a put the wool over your eyes type deal. This is the director of Memento we're talking about! After all, when Two-Face fell, Batman fell from the same height and wasn't even injured superficially. Yeah, he has body armor, but still - one dead, another totally unfazed- doesn't hold water for me. I think Two Face is rotting in arkham secretly and will likely be back in 3, if only for a cameo. Maybe he has a cell next to the scarecrow.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 6:58 p.m. CST

    WANTED was bad

    by TallBoy66

    Punisher is better. Wanted is taking a piss all over a fantastic comic. Had one or two good visual cues, and I liked Jolie better in Wanted than in Changeling, but they took it such a different and not-interesting and very stupid direction (fucking Loom telling future weaving shit?!) that it was just an awful overdose.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 7:04 p.m. CST

    Punisher Movie

    by christpunchers2007

    Just make it a Blade 1 movie. Instead of a black half breed make it an angry dark war vet. Instead of vampire villians make the bad guys mobsters. Less silver, less stakes more bullets and explosives. It's so simple.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 7:14 p.m. CST

    I agree the SI#8 past tense was awful

    by the milf lover

    it took any emotion out of everything that was going on like Wasp's death, plus it was fairly easy to deduce who the people narrating were. <p> The whole series would have benefited greatly from better pacing. There was a lot going on in the Savage Land, but at the same time subplots like Jarvis on the SHIELD carrier or the Osborn/Marvel faceoff were too stretched out for how fast they were seemingly happening. The whole Cap Marvel thing was superfluous actually, including his miniseries, his only purpose seemed to be to give No-Var a purpose at the end. If No-Var had made these decisions by himself, based on his encounter with the Illuminati, it would have been so much better.<p> I did like how badass Maria Hill and Agent Brand were portrayed, too bad they were made to look obsolete in the final battle. <p> They should have done SI like World War Hulk: 5 issues with more pages and less filler. Preferably with a better artist than Yu, I think, if not for deadlines, Jim Cheung would have done an incredible job with it, like he did with Illuminati and the New Avengers tie-ins. (I had no idea it was Namor that Yu drew on that last page until I saw the ad for the Dark Reign book, with the red coloring and bad hair I thought it was Mephisto or some other demonic character) Then have an epilogue issue with the aftermath and Dark Reign set-up, instead of rushing it all in a dozen pages in #8.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Or..

    by christpunchers2007

    If they REALLY want to make a crazy Punisher, make HIM almost the villian. He will go kill other bad guys and good guys who aren't doing a good job. Not "Jokerized" him but at least make him really threatening. Combine that with ridiculously over the top death scenes where he blows everyone (and everything) up while losing a lot of blood. Have him preplan all his attacks leaving no one alive even if it means he will die in the fire also.

  • Dec. 10, 2008, 10:47 p.m. CST

    Wanted the comic was good?!?!?

    by gooseud

    When did I miss that memo? Here I was thinking that was one of the biggest steaming turds to ever be exposed to my poor eyeballs.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 2:19 a.m. CST

    Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe

    by pearlanddean

    They should film that comic. It'll never happen of course, but it's my favourite Punisher story.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 7:14 a.m. CST

    Punisher Seems Unfilmable

    by Buzz Maverik

    He makes for great comic books. He can be used as realistic, insane, muy macho and black humored.<p>On film, what do you do? If you go realistic, it's silly. DEATH WISH and TAXI DRIVER set the bar for vigilante movies.<p>If you make it comic booky, it's worse.<p>Thank God for comics!

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 8:24 a.m. CST

    Final Crisis #5

    by Psynapse

    "When I stare into your eyes and shatter your dreams. and break your heart. It is with six billion eyes"<P>Hmm, so Darkseid can run an equation that dominates all space/time but basic math escapes him? Niiice.<p>Yeah yeah, I'm being a nit-picky fanboy, I hear ya. Only because this ka-chuggin' along(non)event is making it so friggin' easy.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Punisher's completely filmable

    by Laserhead

    Just make a panel-for-shot reproduction of the MAX arc "The Slavers". Done. Four star action movie.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Homer and SI

    by Joenathan

    Surprisingly, I disagree with your assessment. I think thats just the response to the good guys winning in an issue after so much build up, which is understandable, but still...<br><br>ANYWAY, here's where I disagree. I think big things DID happen. Lets forget about the Wasp's death, because really... who cares?<br><br>A. Tony Stark is humbled and knocked from his perch. The guy has been King Shit and known it for a while now. He's been large and in charge and able to do whatever the fuck he's wanted and he's pissed off plenty of people doing it and NOW... its come back to bite him in the ass. Public Scapegoat. Discredited. Tossed aside. How does this affect Stark Industries? The whole of Tony's character, something carefully built over these last few years has just shifted radically. Thats a big change.<br><br>SHIELD... gone. Big change. Major Change. Who does Sharon work for? Who does Bucky answer to? (especially with Tony gone) What about Sam Wilson? What about Mockingbird now that she's back? What's going to happen to all those flying cars?<br><br>C. Norman Osbourne is now The Man. Thats not trouble? Sure, sure, oh whine, whine, whine, its just like Lex Luthor. The main difference would be that Norman is fucking crazy, so... trouble.<br><br>D. The Dark Illuminati. Where have the Supervillians been the last couple of years. They've been quiet. What have they been doing? what is this group's plans? These are all powerful villians working together, isn't that huge? The answer is yes.<br><br>I think the problem with events is, like I said earlier, comics continue. So we don't get a fade to black, credits rolling moment to breath. Nope, the next issue is out and the story progresses, so you can't think of it as "Why wasn't the ending awesome" (which it was) because the endng is never going to be satisfying in that way. With comics, I think its more appropriate to say: Are the questions the story posed as to where it all goes from here awesome?" And the answer to that question is: Yes.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 9 a.m. CST

    WANTED

    by Laserhead

    Saw it on Blu-Ray Sunday. That was easily one of the WORST, DUMBEST films I've ever seen. "Your heartbeat can go really fast. That means you can break the laws of physics." "It's a destiny loom!"<p>Absolute, utter dogshit.<p>Kill Millar before he writes again.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Jinxo

    by Joenathan

    I agree about the art. Who hired Yu? He fucking sucks, he's like a sloppy Liefeld. AND they give him their biggest event? What was Cassidy doing? Or Quietly? (A fanboy can dream...)<br><br>But, I think Reed's beam thingy is just the thing that worked. It worked and they trusted it. I think he hit on it and then Hank shot him and then Reed escaped and built it and it worked. Plus... the story is pretty much over, so they trust the beam thingy, the end. I'm sure the whole "How do I know I can trust you know" storyline will pop up in various comics more than enough over the next few months.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 9:10 a.m. CST

    Gooseud

    by Joenathan

    The best part about that scene is that its another one that Martin tricked you with. You're reading it, all smug, because this gambit had worked out before and then... What the fuck!<br><Br>awesome

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Past tense not a good idead... BUT

    by Joenathan

    Could that just be a response to the idea that we all already know whats going to happen? The Heroes win... whatelse you got? Right?<br><Br>I mean, I'm not a fan of it, but maybe one more fight, that honestly was just going to drawn badly and confusing, was not really going to be that tension filled anyway, so... maybe he just moved on to get to the real good stuff.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Optimus

    by Joenathan

    I totally agree about Ellis's X-men. I was going to drop it, because I hate the art and Ellis almost seemed like he was phoning it in, but then in the last one he starts mentioning conquerors from alternative dimensions and all the blah-blah-blah that go with it and I was interested, ESPECIALLY because it was Ellis. Give me an alternate future/world where the characters are dark or wearing an eye patch or something and I will ask for more. Thats what originally perked my ears up with Old Man Logan. I miss the old days of What ifs...

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Just one point to contend Joenathan...

    by Psynapse

    "These are all powerful villians working together, isn't that huge? The answer is yes."<P>Emma Frost is NOT a villain. To label her as such seriously disservices the character development of the last several years. Chaotic Neutral anti-hero is a bit closer to the mark. Trust me, she's there to make sure Abnormal Osborn's plans don't fuck with the X-Men or mutantkind in general.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 9:30 a.m. CST

    No-Vahr

    by Joenathan

    I'm glad he's being brought back. Marvel oy was a great series. I've been waiting for it since the inclusion in the Illuminati series. I think the Captain Marvel thing was just to give some closure to what wasn't that great of a story idea and to pass the torch to No-Vahr, who could be pretty cool. I took the Captain Marvel part as something they just had to wrap up and they dealt with it as best as they could.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Wanted movie

    by Joenathan

    The screenplay was written by someone else. It was a really bad, but understandable, decision not to go with the Supervillian ruling the world storyline, but you could see that they had NO idea what to do instead. I'm still flummoxed as to why they even bothered. Yeah, its a great set up and the story was fun, but if you couldn't do it without changing it completely... why bother? It'd be like someone saying: "I really like this Superman idea, but what if he was just REALLY athletic?"

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Emma's villian status

    by Joenathan

    true, she's been "good" or at least, pro-mutant, BUT she was the White Queen long before and was villian enough for Kitty to hate her... but yeah, I was using villian in broad terms, I mean, Namor is one of them as well and he has a long history of playing for both teams (hence the little speed-os... ). So yeah, it'll be interesting to see what this group does. How will Doom and Loki and Namor and Emma, all imperious bastards work with crazy ass Norman and the Hood, who really doesn't like not being in charge? Interesting...

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Does anyone know.....

    by chetedawg

    What would satisfy Laserpants? He just doesnt seem to like anything. Scratch that, he likes to bitch quite a bit.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 9:56 a.m. CST

    What would please Laserpants?

    by Joenathan

    Handjobs<br><Br>Everybody loves handjobs.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Did the Hood ever become a major villain?

    by loodabagel

    Or did Marvel just shoehorn into the position like they did with The Sentry? If I recall, he had the miniseries and then minor roles in Avengers and Daredevil. Am I missing something. Also, the Wanted movie was bad not because they didn't stick to the source material (which would've been nice) but because it was trying so hard to be edgy and cool. It was the cinematic equivalent of a 40 year old guy with an earring.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe...

    by loodabagel

    They reprinted that a few months ago, so I decided to pick it up. Very disappointing. The art was horrendous. The melted-face guy changed in every panel. I can draw better than that. Ennis's writing seemed very phoned in. The killings were very contrived. Oh well.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Hey Joe

    by Homer Sexual

    I have to admit that you make valid points about the effects of SI on the Marvel Universe. I was just more interested in the Skrull Invasion aspect of things and I thought it was ok. It just didn't excite me like some comics do...or even like the first couple issues of SI did...I suppose I damn it with faint praise. <p> The Hood's mini was really kick ass, but I don't think he has ever been a "major" villain until now, and I have a small amount of difficulty accepting him as a big shot. He's still a great character, though. <p> Wanted, the movie, vs Wanted, the comic. I have to give it to the movie over the comic. Both of them were entertaining but dumb. I didn't really like the characters in the comic being drawn as Eminem and Halle Berry, and the characters were way more assholish in the comics. But, as mentioned, that loom of Destiny stuff in the movie was pretty retarded.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 10:33 a.m. CST

    The Hood

    by Joenathan

    Minor... I don't know. He did organize all the slightly nigger than street level super thugs into a new Masters of Evil and showed some big, ambitious balls when it came to villiany... at the very least, he is POISED to be a major player. Besides, given the orgin of the Hood's hood and the fact that he's kind of the Kingpin of Superthugs, I'd say he belongs at that table.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Lood

    by Joenathan

    I am so with you on Punisher kills Marvel. It was stupid. No way Punisher beats Cap or Wolverine unless its by .50 cal sniper rifle. Plus, he nuked all the mutants on the moon... whatever.<br><br>Although, I did like the idea of people being collateral damage in a super fight. The only good kill was the Hulk kill.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 10:36 a.m. CST

    ah...

    by Joenathan

    that was supposed to be "bigger". God damn no edit feature, jesus...

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Homer

    by Joenathan

    I can see how the basic defeat of the Skrulls in one issue can be disappointing. Personally, I expected more of a long term situation to result. I was hoping for an event that would really separate the Marvel Universe from the real world. I have an easier time enjoying super heroics when say... the earth is half held by an alien empire and there for it is not the post 9/11 war on terrorism/cancer and aids ridden world we live in, you know? Also, yeah, the build up of the Skrulls, their planning, I would have expected a little more difficulty in the end, but then we only really saw onebattle and there WERE fights going on around the globe, so maybe it was more epic big picture wise then we really saw. In the end though, I can really see why Joe Q liked this idea, I mean the idea behind SI was really fun and cool, but the end result of it all... me likey.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 11:02 a.m. CST

    "(hence the little speed-os... )"

    by Psynapse

    L.M.F.A.O. Nice!

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 11:06 a.m. CST

    The Wanted screenplay was written by someone else

    by Laserhead

    but Millar wrote the shit-tastic comic, which was barely better than the movie. Eminem and Halle Berry are such bad-asses!

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Come on now...

    by Joenathan

    I can see hating the ending, but the comic had some great moments... The Kryptonite condom heist... Christopher Reeves WAS superman... Throwing Adam West to a mechanical Octopus... The Supervillian wars... that was fun stuff. I think the ending really insulted some people and that soured their perception of what was really a fun comic. Come on, it was just Harry Potter but with tits and blood and swearing... whats not to like? Now, granted, I don't opwn and don't plan to revisit and certainly don't rank it in my top ten, but shit-tastic? More than... New Exiles? New Warriors? Crossed? A Judd winnick comic? No.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Bought Amazing Spider-Man #579

    by Snookeroo

    because of Stone's-Throw review. I haven't bought a Spider-man in years, and so I have no idea what's been going on in his continuity. Ironically enough, the first Spider-man issues I bought back in the day started with Shocker stories, so it was kind of cool to jump back in decades later with Quilt-man himself.<br><br>I agree whole-heartedly with ST review; this was a good, solid issue for just an off the rack, non-crisis type issue. Clean artwork without being over-done. Spidey in his hero mode saving dozens of people who face certain death with any misstep. Good stuff.<br>Thanks for the recommendation.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Three things

    by Continentalop

    1) The Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe. I always hated that comic. The reason being the scene with him and Captain America where the Punisher tells Cap how in his war was easier because they could tell who the enemy was but in Nam you learn to be tricky. Excuse me? Cap was fighting Nazi's, pretty much the trickiest, sneakiest pricks ever. I guess the writer never heard of the Battle of the Bulge or Operation Grief where English-speaking SS soldiers infiltrated the American forces to wreak havoc and confusion, or how German soldiers would disguise themselves as members of the occupied nations. <p> 2) Sorry Joenanthan, but Wanted sucked. Any comic where raping Hollywood stars, shooting people randomly, and the wholesale murder and torture are presented as fun isn’t my idea of a good comic, especially if at the end of it no one realizes these things are wrong. Wanted is the “I Spit On Your Grave” of comics. <p> 3) That is why problem with the X-Men, they made Emma Frost into a hero, or at the very least came up with excuses for her past crimes. I mean, she is a former member of a secret group who conspired to rule the world and to control other mutants as if they were natural resources; she was directly involved in the trying to control Phoenix against her will so they could use her powers and inadvertently triggered her transformation into Dark Phoenix, making her indirectly responsible for the death of billions of aliens; she callously blew up three Hellfire Knights for failing to capture the X-Men; she tortured Storm and planned on mind-wiping her; she kidnapped Kitty Pryde and planned on altering her mind so she would be part of the Hellfire Club; she planned on using Firestar as a weapon and killed her boyfriend; and God knows what else she has done. <P> The X-Men are the pro-wrestling federation of comics. On moment someone is a heel, the next they turn him into face, depending how popular they are with the fans.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 1:20 p.m. CST

    I haven't read it yet but...

    by loodabagel

    From all the things I've heard about Wanted, it sounds like one comic where "shit-tastic" can be used as a compliment.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Correction

    by Continentalop

    I should have said, "I think Wanted sucks". It is not my place to say what Joenanthan should like or not like.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 1:29 p.m. CST

    That's a good analogy for X-Men.

    by loodabagel

    But about PKTMV-Captain America doesn't know about the My Lai massacre? It's one thing to suggest that he doesn't know what Vietnam was like. It's another to suggest he's an idiot. It's not like Captain America even came home to protestors and hippies. The guy was frozen. Sheesh.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 1:35 p.m. CST

    None of those parts in Wanted was good

    by Laserhead

    Bone-headed kindergarten nihilism designed to appeal to the same brainless video-game-addicted demographic that once bought Limp Bizkit albums. If the best thing you can say about a comic is it's not a Judd Winnick comic, it's not a good comic.<p>Before I forget, this has merely been my opinion, which I don't suggest anyone should share. After all, we shouldn't really criticize things-- it's only comics!

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 1:45 p.m. CST

    "filled with Lou Gossetticity"

    by Mullah Omar

    I loved the turn of that phrase when I first read it, but now that I cut and pasted it and see it out of context, it's conjuring other images that kind of disturb me.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Laserhead

    by Continentalop

    I wholeheartedly agree with your opinion on Wanted. Like I said before it is the "I Spit On Your Grave" of comics. Sure it is better than "Mama's Boys", "Torture Dungeon" and "The Rats are Coming, the Werewolves Are Here", but that doesn't mean it isn't a tasteless piece of crap with no artistic value. <p> I will differ with you on one account. I think we should be allowed to criticize, as long as we can back it up with the reasons we don't like it. Which is where I give you credit. You at least explain your dislike for something, instead of just saying "it sucks" and anyone who likes it is "an idiot".

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Op--

    by Laserhead

    I was being sarcastic with the "shouldn't criticize" line, kind of mocking joenathan's default setting of 'proceed-with-argument-and-when-there's-no-way-to-win-the-point-simply-say-It's just comics!' Of course we should offer criticism about mediums we care about; if we care about a medium, we ascribe certain values to it, and reasoned criticism is an expression of those values. Cheers.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 2:58 p.m. CST

    The last scene of Wanted

    by gooseud

    Gee Joe, you think that "the ending really insulted some people". Really? Ya think? What gave it away? That comic was shit-tastic to begin with, that was just the shit cherry on top of the shit whipped cream. I can live with nihilism if it is at least clever. However, that comic was so dumb, there arent even words. Eminem's character didnt even defeat the "bad guys" through any clever plan or action, nothing. He just lined them up one by one and shot them. It was like the last 20 minutes of Commando, only in this one the Arnie character was a complete douchebag prick. Somehow when confronted with literally 100 guys standing there at point blank range, they all miss and he hits every one of them, which granted is his power....I guess? Its never really adequately explained WHAT Eminem's power is. The bad guys plan wasnt even clever, for that matter. Just a simple double cross that a retarded monkey with Alzheimers would have seen coming 8 million miles away. Garbage, complete and total.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Don't mistake me for Mr. Wanted Super Fan #1

    by Joenathan

    I'm just saying that of all the crappy comics out there, Wanted doesn't rate and that, in my opinion, it was the ending, more than anything, that really raised certain people's ire for the book. Also, I really believe that if Millar hadn't been the author and they hadn't made a retarded movie out of it, nobody would care to much about "shooting (fake comic book non-characters) people randomly."

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Laserhead

    by Joenathan

    I just really liked the idea that Adam West was and always has been the REAL Batman. If nothing else, that idea alone endeared the comic to me forever...

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Laserhead

    by Joenathan

    You can argue your points all you want, but if all you want to do is stand there and whine that you got all wet after jumping into the pool, then you're wasting yours and our time. Comics come with certain fallicies, they always have, either except them or get out of the pool.<br><br>baby

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Goose

    by Joenathan

    Eninem wasn't talking to you at the end of Wanted. It was fake, no need to get all upset. I mean, unless you feel guilty for being complacent in allowing all the supervillians to take over the World and make it terrible, because if you are, I say we go save Adam West right fucking now and start kickin' some bad guy ass!

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Laserhead

    by Continentalop

    No, I got it was sarcasm. I was just responding to your sarcastic statement as an excuse to explain how we SHOULD go about criticizing comics and other forms of art here. No blanket statements, no ad hominem arguments, no mindless rhetoric, and no empty slogans. Just sound logic and an explanation of why someone came to their own conclusions. <p< However, I was being sincere when I offered my admiration for the way you go about explaining point-by-point why you like or dislike a comic. I know in the past I have differed with you, but as long as someone can make an intelligent defense why he feels that way I cannot hold it against him or her for feeling that way. Art is a subjective experience, and I understand we each bring and take something out of it differently. <p> Having said all that, anyone who liked "Wanted" is retarded.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Joenanthan

    by Continentalop

    I beg to differ with you about the end of "Wanted." To me, it was Mark Millar spitting in the eyes of comic book fans because according him they are all boring, lazy people who live vicariously through characters in a fantasy world instead of doing something with their own lives. While there can be some veracity to that statement, and I can see that a comic book making the argument that maybe we shouldn't invest so much interest into beings in a fictitious universe and instead try to do something in our own real world, they way he makes this statement is so rude and insulting, especially considering the question what has he ever done? All Mark Millar is known for is making comic books about characters living in a fictitious universe. Its not like he is personally setting a good example for us to follow. <p> Mark Millar is like those actors who say film is such a bad medium and people who watch Hollywood movies are idiots, than goes about making Hollywood blockbuster after blockbuster for the paycheck and exposure. He was no credibility.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 3:49 p.m. CST

    I just don't think its worth caring about...

    by Joenathan

    Who cares if Mark Millar really does think you're lazy? So what? I bet Scarlet Johansen thinks we're all fat and gross but no one attacks her for it. And maybe, just maybe, don't you think it might be possible that Millar just wanted (DING!) to rile up some people and MAKE them talk about the comic. I think thats more likely, I mean, we certainly are and I don't think anyone here would really recommend the thing and yet... blah, blah, blibbity, blah, blah Wanted blah blah blah. Myself, I'm as unconcerned with Millar's personal opinion as I am Viggo Mortenson's or Claire Danes' or P Diddy's or I only care about Scarlet's as long as she talks in a breathless whisper and pauses occasionally to suck on a lollipop. I'm interested in the art, not the artist. He certainly wouldn't be the first that was a jerk in real life.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Millar

    by steverodgers

    Takes such a beating on this talkback sometimes. I thought Wanted was awful as well, but am I the only one who thought Ultimates was great non stop fun? It got me back into reading comics. I also thought his Wolverine Enemy of the State was fantastic, and I might be in the minority here, but I thought his Marvel Knights Spider-Man was excellent. He is up and he is down like anyone else, but after Ultimates I'll give him a wide margin for error. He knows how to write a balls to the wall comic book epic.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Scarlet Johansen ≠ Mark Millar

    by Continentalop

    Besides the fact I would want to sleep with Ms. Johansen and not Mark Milalr, the difference between the two is this: Scarlet Johansen is a performer, Mark Millar is an artist. A performer is an artistic profession (and can be called an “artist” because of the choices they make in a performance), but their personality or philosophical viewpoints are not reflected in their work. Scarlet performs in something that has been written or directed by someone else, and that writer or director is the author of that film or plays artistic viewpoint. Mark Millar is a writer, and therefore has control over the opinion and themes and overall viewpoint of his work. <p> So, yes, I could care less about the viewpoints of a Viggo Mortensen or a Scarlet Johansen or even Mel Gibson, actor; but I do care about the viewpoints of Oliver Stone, or Michael Moore, or Victor Salva, or Mel Gibson, director. And if an artist personal opinion is so unimportant and doesn’t affect his art at all, try watching D.W. Griffith or Leni Riefenstahl, or read William Luther Pierce’s “The Turner Diaries” and tell me if their personal opinion isn’t reflected in their work.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 4:14 p.m. CST

    One more thing

    by Continentalop

    Millar might have intentionally tried to rile up fans by doing something so shocking and offensive to get our attention, but you know what? So do Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coutier, and just because they do it intentionally doesn't make them any less of a douchebag and bouchebagette.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by Paul Bucciarelli

    Did he really say that about comic book fans? There's a kernel of truth to it but I'd think that he'd know which side his bread is buttered on. I found the movie Wanted boring as all get out but had a blast watching Punisher War Zone so what do I know?

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 4:24 p.m. CST

    I'm not argueing that...

    by Joenathan

    I'm just saying that I don't care... at least where comics are concerned. Peirce and Coulter and Limbaugh are a horse of a different color, of course. And I'm not looking to expand this debate to include social woes and its boneheaded commentary as if it were the same thing. Thats my point: Mark Millar's calling us fat doesn't rate.<br><br>Hey! I want to sleep with Scarlet too! I can decide if we should become BFFs or bitter, bitter enemies...

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 4:25 p.m. CST

    And yes Steve,

    by Joenathan

    I loved Ultimates as well.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 4:28 p.m. CST

    speaking of super hot actresses...

    by Joenathan

    Remember that scene in Transformers where Megan Fox says something and licks her lips while sitting on Shia's lap. For the life of me, I can't recall what she was saying, but I have never been so jealous of someone in all my life... Shia, you fucker... Did you know that she's married to Brian Austin Greene of 90210 fame? What the fuck?

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Joenanthan

    by Continentalop

    I will always enjoy debating you. It is good to know we agree on some things, however... If you ever sleep with Scarlet Johansen or Megan Fox before I do, I will hunt you down and kill you like the mangy dog that you are.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Joen

    by steverodgers

    Thank you. I was beginning to think I was the only one. The Hawkeye in the kitchen scene from Ultimates 2 is one of my all time favorite comic moments. I think I literally fist pumped and spilled my snacks after reading it... an admittedly geeky moment on my part I admit.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by Laserhead

    Ah, once again 'criticism'='whining.' Christ I'm sick of your fucking douche-bag default setting. What the fuck does this quote even MEAN: "You can argue your points all you want, but if all you want to do is stand there and whine that you got all wet after jumping into the pool, then you're wasting yours and our time." Seriously, what the fuck are you talking about? Is 'arguing my points' the equivalent of standing there and whining that I'm wet? Just what the fuck does your metaphor pertain to? Do you know? Do you know what metaphors are for? You're a fucking constant shits-tain on these talkbacks, and I'm sick of hearing your fucking whining anytime anyone has legit arguments against anything you like. So spit Millar's cock out your mouth, pull your thumb out your ass, shut the fuck and LISTEN to what someone else has to say instead of labeling any opinion contrary to your own as 'whining.<p>You fucking baby-cunt.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Baby needs a bottle

    by Joenathan

    What I meant, since you were unable to see past the red, red sheen of rage covering your eyes, is that you can't fault comics for its inherant and known limitations. This is different than critique. If you don't like Millar's style or Marvel's editorial direction, thats fine, most likely we'll find ourselves on opposite ends of that debate, but you can't fault a writer or artist for having to work within the constraints that both the corporation they work for and the medium itself forciblly applies. They have guidelines they must work with. Quite simply, they don't get the decision.<br><br> Are the major characters going to die or lose permannently? No. So why be upset about it? <br><br>Is the serial nature of comics going to ensure that there is never a ending that doesn't come with strings attached? Yes. So why get upset about it? <br><br>Are writers writing with an eye toward trade packaging these days because trades have more cross demographic appeal and bring in more new readers than the monthly pamphlets? Yes. So why get upset about it? <br><br>Can any change made be changed back in a SINGLE page in any future issue? Yes. So why get upset about it?<br><br>Coming back, every weak and revisiting these same complaints, things that will not change EVER because money and markets drive them, is what the complaining about being wet in the pool metaphor was referring to.<br><br>You got it now or do you still need your diaper changed?

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 11:06 p.m. CST

    IF I Had A Shot At Filming A Punisher Movie..

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...I probably would play it seriously. I'd keep the action realistic and make sure that the weaponry was cutting edge, techno-thrillerish with a hint of fetishism. The action would be insane but Frank would be played as a man in subtle grief and not a fan boy's version of a bad ass. Kinda like Clint Eastwood's characters, especially Dirty Harry and Will Muny, were God's Lonely Men (as Travis Bickle would say). I'd make sure that even Frank's cold blooded lines had an air of poignancy. I would never try to do a dual identity theme with the Punisher, but I'd keep him out of the skull and kevlar until the first major action scene. For awhile, I thought that SIN CITY was the way to play it, but I'd make everybody tone it down, keep it real so that you only had to suspend disbelief for the weapons, Frank's skill and the skull on the chest (which is a must).<p>See, a million, a Purdy, an H2 filled with Romeo y Juliettas is not too high a price to pay!

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 6:16 a.m. CST

    On Acting, Sorry Continentalop

    by optimous_douche

    Continentalop Said: "performer is an artistic profession (and can be called an “artist” because of the choices they make in a performance), but their personality or philosophical viewpoints are not reflected in their work."<p> If you go by Stanislovsky (sic) then your personality and viewpoints absolutely seep into your roles when creating the charachter.<p> MJW was always far more brazen in the comic and Kirsten Dunst could have certainly pulled that out more in the movie role. The script would have allowed for it. she made choices though along with Raimi to be more vunerable.<p> Sorry, I was a theater major and still do community theater. I fucking hate lazy acting and people that don't do their homework for a role. Actors that don't integrate themselves are bad actors and often portray caricatures rather than living charachters.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 7:39 a.m. CST

    Love the tough talk, jackass

    by Laserhead

    Do you realize you're not addressing anything I've ever said about Millar or Marvel? I never faulted "the inherent limitations of the medium", jackass. Nor did I ever fault "characters dying." I don't know who the fuck you think you're arguing here, but it ain't me.<p>I really, really like all the 'baby' and 'whining' shit you talk, Joenathan, as if you're somehow made of tougher, sterner stuff than the other people on here, all because you, what, can't formulate thoughtful criticism? It's just hilarious to see this tough-guy posturing from a guy for whom, clearly, the biggest accomplishment in his life is sitting at his computer to try posting more than anybody else in the AICN comics talkback. You're a pussy, a douche, and, given the way you only address arguments you've made in your mind, an idiot. You're realllllly tough, you fucking virgin. The only diaper here that needs changing is yours, which you've filled with the bullshit that runs in torrents out the cock-hole in your face. Pussy.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 8:23 a.m. CST

    no, laser

    by Joenathan

    I was addressing your sarcasm. <br><br>Remember: "I was being sarcastic with the "shouldn't criticize" line, kind of mocking joenathan's default setting of 'proceed-with-argument-and-whe n-there's-no-way-to-win-the-po int-simply-say-It's just comics!' Of course we should offer criticism about mediums we care about; if we care about a medium, we ascribe certain values to it, and reasoned criticism is an expression of those values. I pretend like I'm a man."<br><br>Remember? All the other stuff you've said is immaterial.<br><br>big baby

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 8:29 a.m. CST

    I hope they never film another Punisher movie,

    by Joenathan

    The character has nothing to offer at this point that hasn't been seen in a million other action films. Die Hard, Commando, Cobra, Dirty Harry, McBain, its been done and done to death. They don't even really bother to make those types of movies anymore because they are so played out. The Punisher has nothing new.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Pussy, idiot, jackass, moron

    by Laserhead

    I told you take Millar's cock out your mouth and listen to what is actually being said.<p>Yes, you do pretend you're a man, which is why the only arena you would dare to call anyone a 'baby' or 'whiner' is online. Because you're a pussy. The type of girl who's chief preoccupation is posting as many times as possible on the AICN talkbacks.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Remember Joe

    by Laserhead

    If you can't dominate in any area in real life, you can at least create an obnoxious online personality that never shuts the fuck up. It won't get you laid or make your balls drop, but as long as you stay glued to that screen, you can make believe you're not the bottom of the food chain.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 9:01 a.m. CST

    wow, somebody's life isn't fulfilling...

    by Joenathan

    awwww.... poor guy.... so angry... so impotent. Its an interesting reflection into your own life you've given me. You have my pity.<br><Br>And FYI, I DID remove Millar's cock from my mouth and went right to town on Bendis...mmmm-mmmmm... kosher.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Right, Joe

    by Laserhead

    Except that I've never, ever gotten into it with anybody on these talkbacks. Ever. Except you. And do you know why? For the same reason so many people have called for you to be banned: because you're an obnoxious, ignorant fuck who tries to bully people via the internet, obviously because you're powerless in real life. You're a tiny, tiny man, and you can 'awww' all you want, use big words like 'baby' and 'whining', but the fact remains that to a lot of people here you're a shit-stain who's significantly lowered the enjoyment factor around these talkbacks. I'd call you impotent, but since you never have call to use your dick, it's a kind of empty insult. Stay glued to the screen, Joe! You'll post more than anybody else yet! Pussy.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Also, love the brilliant retort

    by Laserhead

    The last refuge of the emasculated bully: I'll just pretend that I'm rubber and you're glue, and whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you! So by insulting me, you insulted yourself. Hah!

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 9:28 a.m. CST

    I love the effort

    by Joenathan

    But you seen to center on Penises. Why is that, do you think?

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Yo Joenathan

    by Psynapse

    "The Invisibles and We3 are my favorite Morrison,"<p>Prepare for the planet to crack in half any moment now, we are in complete agreement once more. Seriously folks, say yer prayers and kiss your babies, the pocky lips is truly nigh.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 9:33 a.m. CST

    I guess I "seen to center on Penises" because

    by Laserhead

    I think, like most bullies, your obnoxiousness is rooted in sexual insecurity? Like Al-Quaida.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Kids! Kids!

    by loodabagel

    <p>Scarlett Johansson was in Ghost World! I don't really care about this silly debate going on, because this isn't my talkback anymore. My talkback's heyday has long passed by. Back then, the talkback was filled with interesting people like Psynapse and Homer Sexual who still post semi-frequently, as well as the ones who've left the house-The HEathen, Blackthought, El Vale, Darth Kal El, etc. The new breed has been dominated by one poster and one poster only-Joe-fucking-Nathan. Correct me if I'm wrong, but has there not been an on-again off-again 3 month novel-sized debate about whether Mephisto is A devil or THE devil? Does anyone realize how fucking nerdy that is? This isn't complaining about Spidey's organic webbing. This isn't complaining about the raised webbing or scaly fabric. This is complaining about the eyes in his mask being too shiny. Nobody cares anymore, if they even did in the first place. </p> <p>Look, I think there's an argument going on about Mark Millar? Or at least there was before it devoolved into an all-out hissy fit between the parties involved. I love Ultimates and Ultimates 2. I really like Wolverine: Enemy of the State. I enjoy Kick-Ass as a guilty pleasure. Obviously, it's an over-the-top mockery of comic book nerds and if the depiction of Dave (can't think of his last name) is offensive to some people here because it hits too close to home, then those people need to get out there and get a life. That kid is too pathetic. I don't want to see any of you saying you identify with that guy, okay? He's the moustache kid from Freaks and Geeks, only with less morals and creepier too. Fuckin A. Too bad your brawl didn't devolve from an argument about that comic because then I really would've gone to twon, but as it is, I don't plan on writing an essay on a comic that's part of the feud. </p>

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 10:21 a.m. CST

    NOT part of the feud.

    by loodabagel

    My bad.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Right now...

    by loodabagel

    I am issuing an ultimatum. Joenathan, Laserhead, final words from the both a youse. No more dick jokes, no more dick metaphors. No more pretending to misinterpret what the other's saying. The jury's heard this case for far too long and now it's time for the closing argument. Deal? I don't want the youngest guy on the site to have to act like the elder statesman here, but somebody's gotta do it.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Laserhead

    by Joenathan

    If Psynapse and I can get along... why can't we?

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Lood

    by Joenathan

    I think people DO care about BND, hence the on-going debate.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Shigeru.

    by loodabagel

    He was a cool talkbacker. That guy was always on point.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Psynapse

    by Joenathan

    I'd almost lean toward We3 being number 1, but then, Bloody Hell in america was just so cool. On the other hand a cyborg rabbit pooping out pellet mines in fantastic.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Optimous Douche

    by Continentalop

    I agree Optimus Douche, that what I wrote was giving actors the short end of the stick. Obviously the choices actors make has a huge influence on the overall tone of the work. Just look at multiple depictions of Hamlet to see how important an actor’s decisions will change how we look at a play or film. <p> However, to reiterate my original point I was saying how a performer such as Scarlet Johansen has little control over the overall themes and subtext of a film or play. They can have themes and subtext within their own performance, but that isn’t the same as the amount of control a director or writer has in the overall vision and message of the piece of work. An actor can say his character is a Catholic or a fascist, but that doesn’t mean that they can make the film be pro or anti- Catholic or fascist. Same with the cinematographer and editor, they can influence the look and feel of a film but don’t have control over the film’s message. Hence that is why in most film theory, despite the fact it is a collaborative medium, the director is considered auteur of it, while others would argue the writer. Those are the two that control a films message and themes. <p> That is why I can understand someone making the statement that they don’t care about that person’s personal opinions, they just like to watch them perform. Michael Richards might be an asshole racist but he didn’t nor couldn’t use the Cosmo Kramer character as a vehicle to espouse racist beliefs; DW Griffith and William Luther Pierce can and did. <p> Going back to what started this, Mark Millar, he might be a nice guy and in person I might like him (as long as he probably kept some of his beliefs to himself), but I find his work to be vulgar and goes against certain principles I believe in. And because art is based on personal beliefs and philosophy, I can only say that I wholeheartedly disagree with his viewpoint of the world and that is why I have such a negative reaction to what he writes.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Stop that!

    by Psynapse

    Goddamn Joenathan we're agreeing again! This is so gonna fuck up our 'dick with each other' average. While Invisibles had tremendous impact on my life (in that my life was way-too-freakily mirroring many aspects of the storylines), We3 simply moved me more. I think #3 was the most noble rabbit I've ever seen in a fiction setting (Watership Down be damned).

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by steverodgers

    No love for Ultimates?

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Take that, Psynapse!

    by Joenathan

    I was very upset by the rabbit's fate, as well as when he needed to be fixed, but it was the Dog's "I am gud, r u gud?" that really got me.<br><br>I really wish Quietly would work more and I can't wait for he and Morrison's next project. Why hasn't he done a big event yet?

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by Joenathan

    Not only Ultimates, but have you tried Old Man Logan? What about his Authority run? OR Fantastic Four, both Ultimate and regular? I can see why maybe his indie stuff might offend people, as he's pretty unfettered, but does your opinion extend to ALL of his work?

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 12:18 p.m. CST

    That's easy.

    by loodabagel

    It takes Quitely a month to draw a panel. He'd be behind schedule before you finished the first issue.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Lood and the Astonishing X-men

    by Joenathan

    Then you plan ahead... or announce that its going to be a bi-yearly comic... whichever, just so long as Quietly does an Avengers rn featuring Kang, not for any particular reason, except I'd like an Avengers book with the Avengers and Kang and dinosaurs and Napolean and Cowboys and Indians and Nazis and space aliens and... <br><Br>I bought Astonishing: ghost box #2 despite its size and price tag and I'm glad I did. There's a pair of quick dystopian alternative X-verse tales there that are hardcore in the old What if... style. Fun stuff, although for the price tag, yeah, kind og a kidney shot, but still... good stuff.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Mark Millar

    by Continentalop

    Mark Millar I don’t read much of his work because I feel like I got burned enough by his earlier work. Same reason I stopped reading Anne Rice after the second Vampire Book or stopped watching Eli Roth films half-way through the first Hostel. Obviously, this guy and me don’t mesh. <p> Red Sun: Probably the comic by Millar I liked the best, and it still left a bad taste in my mouth. After reading this I came away feeling that this was one big Commie apology. In the end Superman realizes that he can’t control human destiny, no that communism and Stalinism are evil and inheritably flawed. <p> Authorities: I found this so obnoxious that I just quit halfway through the second storyline. The Authority was such annoying jerks under Millar I couldn’t read them. They over throw the Malaysian government and then toss the president to the masses to be butchered. Fucking smart. Now who is charge? It happened before Iraq, but maybe it they waited a little longer the Authority and Mark Millar could see that nation building is a lot harder than it looks and sometimes a lack of government is worse than a bad government. Plus, the Avengers team was a totally blown opportunity. I ads made it seem like the Authority was going to fight a team representing the status quo, and I thought we were in for a conflict between opposing philosophies, but instead ended up with a bunch of Avengers clones who were just dumb, psychotic murderers just so we could insinuate that Apollo and Midnighter got buggered. Great. <p> Ultimate Fantastic Four: I am too much of a fan of the original FF to really read a comic about FF clones. To me, the only real good runs on the comic have been Lee/Kirby’s, Byrne’s, and some of Waid’s. Plus, once you make Doom a metal satyr, you just loose me. I will give him credit for introducing a world of zombie superheroes though. <p> Wanted: Not even going to go there. <p> <P> Civil War: I will just say this book makes no sense to me. Why would Captain America be against registering super-heroes? I mean, we don’t allow vigilantes in the real world to go around fighting crime without any legal authority, why should the Marvel Universe allow it as well. If you have powers and want to fight crime, great, but first go out their and get a license and permission otherwise you are just acting outside of the law - end of argument. <p> And (finally) The Ultimates: Just don’t like the characters that Millar makes. I mean, Caps a dick, Tony Stark is just a womanizing drunk, Thor is a fucky nut, Hank Pym is only a wife-beating neurotic dickhead, and the Hulk is a horny cannibal and rapist. Why would I want to follow these guys? I mean, why is it that a “realistic” superhero team has to be a bunch of self-centered, fucked up group of egos? The idea that people do anything heroic for selfless reasons seems to be a myth to comic writers nowadays. I guess because it seems Mark Millar views superheroes as the annoying elites who just happened to have powers. We know how annoying Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan and Brandon Davis are; now imagine if they had powers. <p> However, to me the Ultimates are like Special Forces: these guys weren’t given their powers, they earned them. Iron Man built his armor, Henry Pym invented a way to change size and control insects, Captain America volunteered for a dangerous experiment and then went through grueling training plus a war, and Thor, despite being born a god, still had to earn the right to wield his hammer. These guys aren’t a bunch of spoiled, dysfunctional brats who had everything handed to them on a platter, but the hardworking overachievers who lived up to what was expected of them and fought tooth and claw to get somewhere, while the rest of us just watched and made excuses.<p> Of course, if you like his stuff, that is fine. You can read into it anyway you want, but this is how I see his comics.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Civility

    by Bluejack

    Can we not rid the talk-back of all this ad-hominem BS? I'm not saying don't swear, or be a bunch of pussies, but holy crap, exchange addresses and have the cage match, 'cause some of us want to talk about comics and not where people should put their penis.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Unless..

    by Bluejack

    I'm given permission by Ms. Johansson to put my penis into her.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Sorry man...

    by loodabagel

    You'll have to settle for sloppy seconds.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 3:22 p.m. CST

    And you can't watch either.

    by loodabagel

    Ya perv.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Civil War

    by Joenathan

    I think what you're missing there is what Captain america stood against was not Registering Heroes, it was the forcing of people of a "special" status (read: gay, black, Indian, etc...)to register for no other reason than that special status, with the added idea being that once you start, where do it stop?<br><Br>Which goes completely against what America is built upon and thus, Captain america's purview.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah

    by Joenathan

    Because I forgot to add... It wasn't just "IF you wanted to fight crime..." it was "if you ARE a certain way regardless of what you do with your life..."

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 3:44 p.m. CST

    I think you're over-simplifying the Ultimates...

    by Joenathan

    The Ultimate Cap played up the Soldier aspect and was more combat vet/John Wayne than dick. And if he was a bit curt, well, he was a man froma a simpler time who found himself in the modern world, that would throw anyone off a little socially.<br><br>Tony started out as a womanizing drunk and I think some people might argue that now, all he's portrayed as is a dick. Which is the misrepresentation and what would the correct one be?<br><br>Actually, Thor was proven to be the real deal and the nut angle was actually one of Loki's plots, so...<br><Br>Ah... Hank Pym... well, what can I say? The guy is famous for one thing... well that and giant tea cups.<br><br>I think Hulk follows a certain logical extrapolation. I mean, he's rage based, right? Uncontrolled emotions, so maybe Hulk really needs a little something-something. That didn't bother me so much, really. I don't see much difference between Hulk Smash! and Hulk Fuck!<br><Br>And you could make the people are people argurement, absolute power corrupts absolutely, but then I think that particular lesson might have been the entire series point. You might not have read it all, but their arrogance basically led to an invasion and at the end, a promise of more personal responsibility, but then... Loeb...<br><br>Ultimate FF had its moment and Doom isn't a satyr anymore.<br><br>Anyway, I would highly recommend Old Man Logan. Check it out, its worth it. Even the Anti-Millarites are giving it a grudging endorsment.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Civil War

    by Bluejack

    I totally agreed with Cap in Civil War. I might agree that you would have to register and be trained if you were going to be active. But just to register for BEING a superhuman is a massive slippery slope. If you are different and then you break laws (assault/murder/B+E/property damage) then that's the line for me. After reading the first bit of Jack Flag in 'Thunderbolts' I agree all the more. BTW, while I was reading 'Thunderbolts,' by Ellis, I thought a great idea for a series would be characters being united by the Negative Zone prison to form a group, or an Anti-bolts group that had been fucked up by the Thunderbolts. I have to agree that any writer who can make Jack Flag cool has my vote. Good recommendation TBers! I can't wait to get the next trade and Nextwave.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 3:48 p.m. CST

    BlueJack

    by Joenathan

    Did you read the Steel Spider/American Eagle arc yet? Cause that one is even better.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Ultimates

    by Bluejack

    I think Millar has some dark jaded glasses and his characters are pawns for his points of view. That being said, I enjoy his take on these classic characters. Obviously Millar likes to work in the gray. His characters are almost never pure and noble. Thor is darn close in the Ultimates. He is no longer a nut job after Loki's plan is revealed. You don't have to have this jaded take on these characters to have 'depth'. Bru's Cap and Bucky (and Falcon, Widow, Sharon, Skull etc etc etc, are all deep and Bru's heroes (in that title) are very noble. I think Millar has a flavor to his comics that gets old. his characters can become like 'skins' for his tropes. He needs to try to play a new tune or we're going to get tired of all his grotesque imagings. Artists that can change endure and become legends. Those that run out of material or harken back to their past success fade away.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Ultimates 3

    by Bluejack

    That book wasn't good enough to be called an abortion. It was a sub-abortion. What a piece of crap.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Joe

    by Bluejack

    Just reazd Faith in Angels. Is there more Steel Spider/Eagle to come? I loved Bullseye getting the piss beat out of him.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Didn't you read 1984?

    by Joenathan

    That was all about hope and wonder AND written by Millar... the ending kind of fell apart and the art sucked BUT it was all about Heroes and hope and wonder.<br><br>Also, his main stream FF aren't dark and grim either, they're not jerks. <br><br>Yeah, Ultimates 3... ugh

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Bluejack

    by Joenathan

    that was it for that arc, but the Caged Angel stuff coming up was great too, all though I think the first two arcs (Jack Flag and Steel Spider respectively) were best.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Joenanthan

    by Continentalop

    While I understand how someone could look at Civil War that way, that is not I interpreted it. One of the problems was that Mark Millar and company only showed that the Superhuman Registration Act affected those characters that are already hopping around in costumes fighting crime. This law wasn’t like the Mutant Registration Act where anyone who is born a mutant is forced to register (a sure sign of discrimination), this law targets those who have extra-ordinary powers and abilities and want to use them to enforce the law. I mean, where was the housewife or the truck driver with powers being forced to register and serve the common good? So in essence, the SRA only affected those who wanted to act as vigilantes and brought them under federal and state control. I for one agree with that law (Yes for Proposition 119!) <p> As for the Ultimates, the characters might have grown and developed from when they first appeared but they still act like dicks. I mean, now they even got new recruits to act like dicks and behave in a way I think doesn’t really depict how a “hero” should act. For example, the fight with the Liberators, the Ultimates basically dispatch a bunch of defeated opponents: Cap stabs a maimed Colonel; Quicksilver runs so fast he disintegrates Hurricane, who is begging for his life; Hulk continues to tear apart an already armless Abomination; Wasp steps on a defenseless storm; and Hawkeye kills an already captured Black Widow in revenge for his family and never pays a penalty. I can understand wanting to make a more realistic superhero battle and showing some casualties, but this was just a bunch of thugs killing the helpless. Would you want our Special Forces to shoot surrendered opponents, or kill those in Gitmo for revenge? I would hope not, yet everyone is willing to turn a blind eye to superheroes acting like the Gestapo.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Correction

    by Continentalop

    Wasp steps on a defenseless Swarm, not storm. Although that would be interesting.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 4:51 p.m. CST

    Civil War

    by Joenathan

    Granted the little people were highlighted, but didn't the series sprawl across enough titles... Also, I think that was supposed to be the Initiative's platform to explore. Also, also, that really was Cap's motivation, as in stated, but I agree that Civil war wasn't the best executed, it needed more pages, I think.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 5 p.m. CST

    Ultimates

    by Joenathan

    I really think the fact that these were soldiers and government operatives is an important new facet, they were not Heroes in the classic super hero sense, so there's a more practical and war like response in battle, especially against invaders. And yes, I think innocents and the unarmed and the surrendering are killed and or maimed all the time in real battle (which was kind of the flavor they were going for), ESPECIALLY when a soldier has recently lost a friend or family, which was the case for all of them by the end.<br><br>I can see prefering the hero version portrayal, though. I think a lot of people had trouble seeing the Ultimates as separate characters and not their mainstream counterparts.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Also, I think your definition of helpless

    by Joenathan

    is a bit broad... the Liberators were invadors with an eye toward toppling the country and they had killed all the Ultimate cannon fodder members too.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Millar Redux

    by Continentalop

    Civil War: I don’t think it needed more pages, I think it needed a more focused message. If you are making a story as a metaphor for discrimination and profiling, show how it affects the little people who happen to have powers but aren’t running around fighting crime and acting as vigilantism. If I am making a story about how registering Middle-Eastern people and Muslims because a few are terrorist is wrong and discriminatory, I don’t go showing nothing but terrorist and suicide-bombing Muslim’s because that undermines my message. The other thing is I think Millar picked the wrong theme. The big argument shouldn’t have been about forcing heroes to register, it should have been about forcing to fight the battles you don’t get to choose. I don’t think Cap would have a problem with having heroes be required to register to fight crime, but I do think he would have trouble if the government could order them against their will, such as invade a country or even break up a peaceful protest. That is something I could see Cap looking down on. The Ultimates: Yes, civilians die and so do surrendering enemies. The question is how do they die and was it necessary and right. The army has rules of engagement before firing to prevent unnecessary deaths, and those rules are not always obeyed, but the reasons they weren’t obeyed is important. Was it a tough moral choice you had to make or was it because you thought the rules where beneath you and paid them no heed. While I expect people to understand and sympathize with the tough choices soldiers have to make, I also want people to understand that just because a guy is a soldier doesn’t make what he does is right. A good soldier, a noble soldier, a hero, isn’t just someone who is brave and tough but also someone who is moral. Bunny and Sgt. Barnes in Platoon were brave, skilled soldiers, but they also was were assholes; William Dafoe, however, was a hero because he was also compassionate and good and tried to do the right thing despite fighting in the same conditions that Bunny and Sgt. Barnes fought in. I want Captain America and the Avengers to be not just soldiers, but also heroes. <p> As for relatively defenseless, I believe a man with no hands, a woman held in captivity and another woman begging for you to stop peeling the skin of her flesh constitutes helpless. Just because a soldier might kill an injured foe doesn’t make it moral or right. <p> And yes, I do have trouble seeing the characters as not connected to their mainstream counterparts. The problem is they ARE Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and the others, and despite saying it is in a different Universe doesn’t make it harder to stomach how they are depicted. If Millar wanted to create his version of the Avengers as a bunch of violent soldiers, then he should have created a parody (Minuteman, Horus, The Atomic Knight, the Brute, etc.) or made a team in the regular Marvel universe with a bunch of characters who would fit that vision, not butcher well beloved characters. <p>Besides, I thought the entire point of the Ultimate Universe was to reach newer, younger fans so they wouldn’t be intimidated by large history and make it more accessible, and then draw them over to the Earth 616 when the got caught up to speed. Great Idea. Now you got a bunch of adult style comics that mostly appeals to people over 25+ and a bunch of fans of it who can’t crossover to the mainstream Marvel Universe because the two Universes barely resemble each other.

  • Dec. 12, 2008, 7:30 p.m. CST

    I Like Millar

    by Buzz Maverik

    I like his sense of humor. I like the way he uses ideas, the way he takes concepts into unexpected directions. I like his dialog when he's trying (when he's not trying, his dialogue can be really bad).<p>What I don't like about him: he judges his characters. While I'm politically aligned with him, I don't like the judgement that rings through. We need to see how his characters see themselves, not how Mark sees them. We know yer a good liberal, Mark.

  • Dec. 13, 2008, 9:03 a.m. CST

    ...

    by blackthought

    so hungry...

  • Dec. 13, 2008, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Faith in Monsters

    by Bluejack

    is what I meant. But y'all knew.

  • Dec. 15, 2008, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Continentalop - Is this TB dead?

    by Joenathan

    Anyway, first: You have to let go of the idea that the Ultimates world was created for kids. Fuck the kids. There are no kids and even if the Ultimate Universe was originally conceived as a jumping on point for kids, it is obviosuly no longer the case. I'd like to suggest a moritorium on revisiting that particular line of thought. <br><br>Also, the Ultimates are not the Avengers and are not Heroes in the same way... or even heroes at all. The series doesn't promise you that they will be. They can and will behave in ways that are mean, sadistic, rude and ignoble (?) Anyway, I can see its not your flavor, I just find that I have room for both versions.<br><br>As for Civil War, whether it was shown or not, it wasn't JUST those with super powers having to register to fight crime, it was EVERYONE with powers and Captain America is against the forcing people to become second class citizens.

  • Dec. 15, 2008, 8:54 a.m. CST

    Buzz

    by Joenathan

    Would you say that Ultimates Cap was unfairly portrayed? He seemed like a good guy to me, just a no nonsense guy. He seemed brave and strong and willing to fight for his country and what he believed in. AND maybe the idea of defending a woman's honor by beating the fuck out of her abusive husband is a bit outdated, but it definately comes from a sense of honor and duty and responsibility. Cap in the Ultimate Universe was definitely NOT a liberal, but I don't think he was portrayed as a prick because of it. (France joke aside, but hey, Millar's from the U.K., its what they do.) So, I don't think he judged Cap at all. I think the soldier out of time in a world he didn't quite mesh with was real cool and well done.

  • Dec. 15, 2008, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Artists and Art, Millar

    by Homer Sexual

    Well, first off thank you to looda for giving me a shout! <p> I have to agree with Continental that in many cases, the artist cannot be separated from the art. But that really depends on the artist. <p> I have no idea what are the politics of Ed Brubaker, Geoff Johns, Brian K Vaughan or even Bendis' worldview/politics are. I consider them to be artists, but their stories aren't as polemic as some others. <p> Millar is one of the writers who definitely expresses his views through his writing. Personally, I sometimes think he's great and sometimes think he's not, but he's certainly making statements about society. So are Winnick and Willingham, among others. <p> They certainly have the right to do so, and in many cases one might argue that it is one of the things that make them good writers. But OTOH, it can alienate some fans. For example, ever since I read anti-gay comments from Chuck Dixon, I have not purchased another comic written by him. <p> True artist do put themselves in their work. Some people's identities are less political, and some are more political. Definitely does affect the work, though. <p> Finally, I don't really like Ultimate Cap, he is kind of a jerk, but not 100% jerk. And CW definitely said that all powers have to not only be licensed, but they can be drafted, so the lines were pretty clear. And as a reader, I was affected even though my own viewpoint was not ultimately endorsed.

  • March 21, 2009, 10:27 p.m. CST

    WAR ZONE

    by Autodidact

    Whoever reviewed War Zone has no taste... that is the best comic book movie of 2008!