Comics

AICN COMICS REVIEWS: Peter David's TIGERHEART! Kevin Smith's BATMAN! Ed Brubaker's INCOGNITO! & MUCH MORE!!!

Published at: Jan. 7, 2009, 8:16 a.m. CST by ambush bug

#34 12/24/08 & 12/31/08 #7

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) TIGERHEART Novel INCOGNITO #1 BATMAN: CACOPHONY #2 ULTIMATE HULK ANNUAL #1 Big Eyes For the Cape Guy presents BLACK JACK VOL 2 Big Eyes For the Cape Guy presents SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO Volumes 1 & 2 Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS!

TIGERHEART Novel

Author: Peter David Publisher: Ballantine Books/Del Rey Reviewer: Ambush Bug

The best sequels are not sequels at all, just continuations of the story before it. The reason sequels have such a bad rep is because unimaginative types see something that is successful and decide to repeat that element rather than expand upon or continue the narrative. Sure the same things happen over and over again in real life, but life is boring. If you want to keep a story going, you don't put it on a loop, you let it continue to unwind and follow its own logical path. This can be said for the best of comics as well as the best of movies and prose fiction.
I got my grubby hands on a copy of Peter David's new novel TIGERHEART quite a while back and with the holiday hullabaloo and the fact that I read like a retarded snail, I'm just finishing it up. Actually I have about a chapter or two left to read, but since Mr. David was kind enough to toss me a copy of his new book, I figured I had waited long enough and should say something about the darn thing, finished or not.
TIGERHEART is an unofficial continuation of PETER PAN. All of the elements are there: a spunky fairy, a pirate with a lost appendage eaten by a monster, a boy that can fly, and a bunch of kids who refuse to grow up. Sure, you won't be able to find the words Peter Pan or Tinkerbell or the Lost Boys or Captain Hook in this book, but they are there in spirit.
I first noticed the talents of wordsmith Peter David about the same time I'll bet a lot of you did: during his extended run on THE INCREDIBLE HULK. What impressed me the most was David's range as a writer. His Hulk was just as convincing and entertaining busting heads in Las Vegas as he was leading the Pantheon. Range like that is a sign of a great writer.
TIGERHEART is testament to this.
Labeling TIGERHEART a sequel isn't really fair. It uses the story of Peter Pan mythos as a springboard, sure, but whereas the original tale only scratched the surface of NeverNeverLand, Peter David breaks out a jackhammer and burrows deep beneath the surface. David not only deepens the mythology of that mythical place populated by people who refuse to mature, he humanizes it, gets into the characters’ heads and makes them altogether new by giving these familiar faces new motivations and deeper characteristics which enrich not only the novel itself, but the original story as well.
My biggest compliment to Mr. David is that after reading TIGERHEART, I doubt I will ever see the film or read the story of PETER PAN the same way ever again.
The story starts out rooted in reality. Much like PETER PAN and even harkening to ALICE IN WONDERLAND, Paul is a boy who dreams of a more exciting life. His real life is surrounded by tragedy and adults that he does not understand. Every night, in his dreams, Paul travels to a world outside of our own, where tigers talk, pirates roam the seas, and boys fly. The first few chapters actually focused quite a bit on Paul's real world problem, so much that I thought this was going to be a real life drama about a delusional boy who thinks he's going to another world but really is just set and ready for a jacket that snaps in the back (if you know what I mean...).
But David takes his time. He's a master storyteller and knows that he has an entire book to explore this magical place. Spending so much time in the real world at the beginning only heightens the wonder felt by Paul when he finally does cross over.
Paul's motivation is extremely tragic. It's one of those harsh realities that some people protect from younger children from. And yes, the death of a child is something that may scare younger readers of this book. But this is a fairy tale and in most fairy tales some tragedy is always the prime motivator, no matter how Disney sugar coats it. David pulls no punches in delivering a reality and tragedy on par with some of Grimm's grimmest fairy tales, but does so in a way that helps you understand how desperate Paul is and how much he wants to believe.
Once in this magical land, though, the action rolls fast, each chapter focusing on one or more of the amazing characters Paul meets on his journey. Some of the concepts David conjures up during the course of the story are downright ingenious. The Boy (David's version of Peter Pan) is only as powerful as he believes himself to be. His powers rely on his own confidence. But his influence is felt even in the real world and influences all boys to act roguish and impish at times. When kids are acting bad and parents ask themselves "What in the world got into that child's head?" David offers up the Boy as the explanation.
The way David tells this tale could be seen as somewhat annoying, but I found it charming that the story realizes it is a story and often breaks the fourth wall and comments on things such as an escape that was woefully uneventful and not even worth talking about. David even acknowledges that some may label the author unimaginative and lazy for such a bland escape and lack of prose detailing it, and offers up the explanation that sometimes boring things happen and that's what happened here. This self aware story is told with that old timey charm, often found in comics like LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, that if read aloud would make you roll your R’s and possibly speak in a fake British accent.
Some of the visuals of TIGERHEART's prose are downright astounding. Paul and the Boy floating over the ocean, not paying attention and almost being eaten by a hungry great white shark. The Boy's battle with the white tiger. The end of the chapter cliffhanger where the Boy takes the story's version of Wendy in his cannon's sights. David's words are so vivid, I could almost see them playing out as if they were on a movie screen.
In fact, this would make an astounding film. Screw remaking PETER PAN for the gazillionth time. Why not make a film from a story that takes the initial idea and runs rampant with it like a Tasmanian devil after a sixer of Monster energy drinks?
Calling this a sequel may be doing a disservice to the amount of creativity Peter David put into this story. It’s more of an expertly executed elaboration of the initial concepts of PETER PAN. If you know Pan’s story, this will enrich that experience and probably make you love it even more. But TIGERHEART stands on its own as a strong novel that still remembers it’s a kid’s story yet doesn't pull punches the PC’ers want pulled. It's a good old fashioned fairy tale with violence and tragedy, heroes and villains, and the kind of magic that all of us need a little more of in these trying times.
I can't wait to finish the last few chapters of this novel to see how it all turns out for Paul and the Boy. I loved it so much I couldn't wait til the end to let you all know how damn cool it is.
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, reviewer and co-editor of AICN Comics for over seven years. Check out a five page preview of his short story published in MUSCLES & FIGHTS 3 (AVAILABLE NOW at Muscles & 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.

INCOGNITO #1

Writer: Ed Brubaker Artist: Sean Phillips Colorist: Val Staples Publisher: Marvel Icon Reviewer: Optimous Douche

As someone who believes comic books get better each year and finds comics written pre-1974 utterly unreadable, I waded into INCOGNITO with a great deal of apprehension. After all, Brubaker has put out all the stops promoting this book and in each interview, blog or meme he has made no bones that this is his homage to the forgotten pulp stories of yore. For someone with modern sensibilities who has never traversed this forgotten genre I was expecting to find pages of fast-talking clichéd dialogue and caricatures of Jim Cagney. Guess what? That isn’t this book. What Brubaker and company do deliver is one of the finest expositions I’ve read in years, leaving me salivating for the next issue. They also accomplished the seemingly impossible task of making me root for the bad guy without watering the son-of-a-bitch down.
The best way to imagine Zack Overkill, the bad guy/good guy at the center of INCOGNITO, is to think of a foul pedophile forced to work at Toys R’ Us while on heavy doses of saltpeter. After turning over evidence against a fellow super baddie, Zack cuts a deal to integrate into society under the witness protection program and imbibe power suppression drugs. Brubaker must have worked a few desk jobs when trying to make it big in comics, because as a desk jockey I can say without reservation that he perfectly captures the soul numbing aspects of the white collar world and amazingly extrapolates the oppression of normality for someone that used to rape and pillage at will with the power of a god.
Never one to pull punches, I was initially worried that Brubaker would make Zack a little too evil to empathize with later in the story. While I enjoyed the panels immensely from a visceral standpoint, the “Santa costume switcheroo” rape homage to “Revenge of the Nerds” left me a bit unsettled, no matter how bitchy the co-worker in question was portrayed. Bru, does a nice job of redeeming this scene, though, by making all of the surrounding players in Zack’s life even more douchey than he is. From his government handlers to simple passersby on the street, you begin to understand why Zack hates the world and the utter pettiness of people. When everyone you encounter is an epic cock, plotting their demise is almost justifiable.
Zack finally escapes the doldrums of his sentence by engaging in recreational drug use. The catch is that the “fun” drugs negate the power oppression drugs, so Zack once again finds himself at full strength and ready to bust some heads. Sadly (for Zack) the only heads worth busting when he realizes he’s back to full strength are a gang of muggers. And thus we see the birth of Zack Overkill - anti-hero.
With such a dark theme the obvious choice for the artistry would be to shroud each panel in black and call it a day. Never ones for convention though, Phillips and Staples shun the obvious and saturate each panel with mood setting colors. Since realism is the mantra of the day in comics it’s easy to be initially put off by an entire panel bathed in blue, but set against the tonality of the text you begin to appreciate this choice and eventually fall in love with this bold decision by the end of the title.
INCOGNITO bitch-slapped my senses and left me questioning the lines of morality, a pretty fucking spectacular feat in 22 pages.
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.

BATMAN: CACOPHONY #2 (of 3)

Writer: Kevin Smith Penciller: Walt Flanagan Inker: Sandra Hope Published by: DC Comics Reviewed by: BottleImp

It’s been said that “brevity is the soul of wit.” So with this in mind, I’m going to make this brief. BATMAN: CACOPHONY is not a great story by any means. The plot is decent, but nothing special, although Smith’s take on the Joker and Batman’s thoughts on him is interesting as it’s entirely at odds with the Joker/Batman dynamic as written by pretty much everyone else. Flanagan’s art is serviceable—again, no awards going out here, but it gets the job done (the best looking character ends up being the Joker, who evokes classic Jim Aparo-style Joker sprinkled with a smidge of Phyllis Diller… scary stuff). There’s the obligatory Kevin Smith humor, what with the gay jokes in the first issue and the pop culture “Clash of the Titans” references in this one, and while Smith doesn’t go overboard with the jokes, they don’t really add much to the story. Amidst all this average-ness, what does CACOPHONY have to offer?
A nice, neat, self-contained story in three issues—a short story arc like the ones that used to show up in the Batman monthly titles all the time. That is, before the editors at DC convinced themselves that the only way to get people reading comics was to shove “event” after “event” down the readers’ throats.
Hey DC—I refused to follow R.I.P. I got sick of FINAL CRISIS and never bought any of the tie-in issues. And even though the GREEN LANTERN books are getting good reviews, I probably won’t be jumping in on the whole “Black Lantern” thing. I find “event” books to be prohibitive to getting into a new series.
But I gladly shelled out four bucks an issue for CACOPHONY, despite its lack of “event” status.
“Brevity is the soul of wit.” Brevity (in comic books, in any case) is also a great way to draw in new readers. Take a hint, DC. Lay off the endless Crisis-es and R.I.P.-ing and try some good old-fashioned comic book-ing—you might be surprised at the reaction.
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.

ULTIMATE HULK ANNUAL #1

Writer: Jeph Loeb Artwork: Ed McGuinness/Dexter Vines/Marko Djurdjevic/Danny Miki Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Jinxo

Alright, I’m gonna start with some minor bitching. Why the hell are these Ultimate “Annuals” called Annuals? They’re one shots. ULTIMATE HULK ANNUAL? You don’t have an ULTIMATE HULK monthly and hell if I believe you’ll do ULTIMATE HULK ANNUAL #2 next year. Like the ULTIMATE X-MEN/FF “annual”. You’re really doing another one next year, are you? No. So cut the ULTIMATE ANNUAL crap.
Okay that last bit sounded wrong. Like the finale to the longest bout of constipation ever.
Title semantics dealt with, on to the actual book. This story is just absurd. Just so many ridiculous, unbelievable moments. I mean…a restaurant manager gets pissy and confrontational with The Hulk? Does that make sense? Do I buy that?
No, I don’t. But I also don’t care that I don’t buy it. You know how I just said the book was absurd? Well, I actually meant that as a compliment. This book is just insane in a way that entertained the hell out of me. It’s just so purposely goofy and odd that I loved it. At first I was worried since the story opens with a huge “serious” battle having nothing even to do with the Hulk. What the hell?
But the battle is there for a reason: to introduce the Hulk’s costar Zarda to those not familiar with the new Squadron Supreme. A huge crossover between the Ultimate and Squadron Supreme universes left Zarda in the Ultimate Universe. She’s Wonder Woman gone wrong. She lived as a goddess worshipped and adored for forever in a barbaric era and can’t understand treating mere humans as equals or the concept of heroes being merciful.
Zarda hits the road traveling America, trying to learn how to behave more human and humanely. Then The Hulk shows up and…things get weird. The first absurd moment ironically takes an existing absurd premise and chucks it. You know how when Bruce Banner hulks out he’s always lucky enough to have some really durable pants on? Well…it’s a bad pants day for The Hulk. He really can’t keep them on. I mean, the real, ahem, meat of the story starts at a point that sounds like the setup for a joke. “A naked Hulk walks into a restaurant…” It just gets sillier from there.
This book actually reminds me of the way old days when occasionally a comic book would just do a story about the heroes trying to do normal stuff. Like Wolverine and Colossus just going out for a beer and then having things go wrong. Here you just have some hungry hungry heroes where just trying to eat out gets very complicated (heheh).
Some people will likely balk at the $3.99 price, which is a lot for a story that in the end is just a bit of fun. But for me it’s worth it because it was so much fun. With every comic around seeming to be uber serious and important, a good old fashioned fun yarn was so what I needed.
Jinxo is Thom Holbrook, lifelong comic book reader, and the evil genius behind poobala.com. He may appear cute and cuddly but if encountered avoid eye contact and DO NOT attempt to feed.

BLACK JACK VOL 2

Written and Illustrated by: Osamu Tezuka Published by: Vertical, Inc. Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

BLACK JACK Volume 2 is a wonderful collection of stories featuring a doctor named after a card game. Black Jack is a surgeon who practices medicine without a license and does so for an extravagant fee. Those in the medical field want nothing more than to have Black Jack arrested for his practices but ultimately the characters does too much good for the field since he is a genius with the scalpel.
That’s not to say that the guy isn’t a total dick because he really is. Black Jack is in it all for not just the acclaim but for the large sums of money he collects for his services. It’s been a true long while since I’ve seen a character so self-centered and driven by life’s excesses. Black Jack has clearly quickly become my idol because of this and I will dress like him come Halloween next year.
BLACK JACK was originally serialized from 1973 to 1983 in one of the many anthologies over in Japan but has finally been collected here in America for us to enjoy. Osamu Tezuka is truly old school (I mean this is the creator of ASTRO BOY here) and his work does not look like most of the Manga you find on shelves today. It’s all more cartooney with an early Manga look to it but it takes away none from the stories or characters. It’s more adult in nature the most books I read these days as the subject matter can get very deep at times from the human psyche to all of the surgeries actually performed for us to see.
Not everything wraps in a pretty little bow either. One incredible story has a bus full of kids on a field trip who get trapped with the good doctor in a tunnel following an explosion. Kids everywhere are hurt, buried under rubble, and Black Jack isn’t running around trying to save the day. Another bystander standing around asks Black Jack why isn’t he doing more when BJ screams back at him, “Doctors aren’t omnipotent!” Black Jack does what he can and is able to send one well child out for supplies but even that goes awry for those who survive.
For those fans of older Manga or those itching for an incredible story than Vertical’s BLACK JACK collections are for you – especially with a choice of hardcover or soft cover versions. It’ll only take one story to suck you into Black Jack’s world and the book never remains in the status quo, keeping you quite stuck in your seat until the very last page.
Ryan McLelland has worked in movies and comics journalism for the past several years before joining the @$$holes here at AICN. Ryan’s comic work has already graced comic shelves with Arcana’s PHILLY, WISE INTELLIGENCE, UPTOWN GIRL, and THE SENTINELS ANTHOLOGY. He rarely updates his blog but when he does it can be read at www.eyewannabe.com

SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO VOLS 1 & 2

By Satoko Kuyuouki Released by Yen Press Reviewer: Scott Green

SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO is a minor key manga, the spirit of which is a marked contrast from the vehemently polarized reactions that it has stirred in North America. On one hand, about.com:Manga named it an "Underappreciated Gem of 2008," while other reviewers have strongly criticized the manga as slight and forgettable. The book itself works in and ambiguity. For most of its first two volumes the impetus for its plot is kept clouded in mystery. More often suggesting a tone rather than hammering a point, it's strange to think of SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO as a divisive work.
The manga's title describes its lead character. Kuro ("black") is an androgynous young woman (there are a few blind men and the elephant style conversations about Kuro in which different participants refer to her by different gender pronouns), dressed in black mortician/vaguely Puritanical garb with a coffin strapped to her back and talking bat Sen and his 999 siblings in tow. Wandering the roads of a Miyazaki/Kino's Journey quasi Europe, she stops in on the manner of a professor of the occult. When he doesn't answer his door after 119 knocks, Kuro and Sen let themselves in, and in the presumably abandoned building's basement they find a pair of ghostly pale young cat-eared girls locked in a cage. The two children, Nijuku and Sanju begin making a game of teleporting in and out of the metal bars, and in moments, Kuro has a pair of ethereal companions serving as the yin to her yang.
Chapters of SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO chronicle the fairytale like encounters of Kuro's travels. For example, Kuro arrives at a community that bustles around a grand cathedral. A desperate looking man hails Kuro as she passes by. Noting that she looks like someone "familiar with unorthodox magic or witchcraft," the man takes Kuro to see his illness stricken daughter. This man explains that the bishop of the church has been unable to help his daughter, but also mentions a witch on the outskirts of town. We, the reader don't see the countenance in question, but the girl's mother mentions "that traveler’s face made the most terrifying expression for a moment." So, Kuro and Sen travel from the town until they see a cottage situated at the top of a NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS curled hill. There, they meet a bubbly blonde woman who proves to be the witch, and as a proxy, Kuro heals the ill girl and the relationship between the devout community and their pagan neighbor.
In a welcome, unconventional move, Yen Press has published the manga with the opening pages of SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO's chapters in their original, colored format. In a more distinctively strange move, Satoko Kuyuouki relates the story of the manga through vertically aligned four panel comics strips.
North American manga readers may have seen four panel strips (also known as 4koma or yonkoma) before in comedies such as AZUMANGA DAIOH or as humorous supplements in margins or appendices of other manga. In comedies the format applies rhythm to the joke. A situation is presented. It's developed. It reaches a climax. Finally, it concludes. Here's an example from AZUMANGA DAIOH. Panel 1: a girl with outstretched arms yells "oh no! could you get that for us, please?" as a soccer ball bounces towards a lady. Panel 2: the lady is staring at the oncoming ball in preparation. Panel 3: the lady has kicked the soccer ball up, into her own face. Panel 4: the girl mutters "uh, you could've used your hands..." as the lady holds her head moaning "waaaugh."
The rhythm of four panel strips is an unusual fit for a non-comedy manga like SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO. An example of how it works.. Panel 1: a top down shot of Kuro carrying Sanju under her arms, muttering "it suddenly got really heavy..." Panel 2: a head shot reveals that Nijuku is also curled up asleep on top of the coffin, as Kuro continues "Did both of them fall asleep.? They're so selfish." Panel 3: A side view body shot of Kuro walking, carrying the girls and explaining "It's been a long time since I walked without anyone to talk to." Panel 4: a shot of the forest through which Kuro is walking with word balloons relating "I wonder what would've happened to these two if I had left them behind." The next strip continues that chapter's narrative, but a given strip is its own molecule of the story.
The confinement of telling the story through four panel sequences has several effects on SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO. First, it blocks in tunnel vision to one moment, related without many of the medium's graphical tools. Splash pages can't be done. Insets are difficult. Parallel progressions are possible, but not in the same strip. Instead, we're alone with the characters, or, more specifically, with Kuyuouki's representation of the characters. There's a lot of gazing at Kuyuouki's inky, gothic figures with their darling proportions; and there is a lot of trying to read nuances from their mannerisms, set against visually intense backgrounds.
In a comedy, the four panel form gives manga the rhythm of a performance, as if the manga were telling you a joke. In a work like SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO, the format gives the manga a poetic meter. This isn't to say that SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO is Shakespeare, but it is fascinating to see how manga reacts to a terse, rigid structure.
I'm a proponent of finding out to whom a work of manga intended to speak. A LITTLE SNOW FAIRY SUGAR and BOTTLE FAIRY are both anime/manga concerning cute winged micro-girls in innocent situations. The former is shounen, for boys. The latter is seinen for older, teen+ males. If you're looking to make sense of the subtext of the work in question, it's worth while to know differences like these in target audience. SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO ran Manga Time Kirara, a seinen publication largely comprised of four panel strips. This is not an anthology that receives much notice among North American manga enthusiasts, so kudos to Yen Press for locating the brilliant, unconventional manga.
I'm not saying that SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO should only be read by seinen's Spike TV demographics, or that that's the only audience who would be interested in reading it. Yen Press' "Teen - LV" rating looks fine to me, and I think both male and female readers will appreciate the manga. However, I also think that like most manga, SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO shows signs of being shaped by its specific readership.
SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO is often more disquieting than entirely bleak or upsetting. There are certainly fairy tales that place greater emphasis on the harsh punishment inflicted on those who mettle with witches or stray off the right path. In the case of SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO, what's most disturbing is what's not seen. There's a flashback in which another traveler gives Kuro her hat. When it partially covers her eyes, she remarks "I can only see half of what I usually see." The veteran wanderer informs her "half is just right. If you see the whole world, you'll realize that the world is not full of pretty things." I'm not quite sure of the degree of wrongness in matters such as the relationship between Nijuku and Sanju and the Professor who created them or captured them or something, but there's reason to believe that the coffin on Kuro's back is not the only heavy baggage that this cast carries.
What makes me more anxious about the manga is the contrast between what SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO is saying and who it originally said it too. If SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO ran in HANA TO YUME (home of FRUITS BASKET) or NAKAYOSHI (home of HELL GIRL), I'd say that the manga was drawing from themes of alienation and fitting them with a complementary goth motif. Except, I don't find that a seinen manga would converse with its audience about alienation through a story like the one in SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO. Similarly, the manga has more than a preponderance of girls receiving fairy tale punishment for their infractions or those of their communities. Volume two in particular looks at the fate of spoiled princesses several times. I think that SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO intends for its audience to react to rather than relate to its subjects. This raises the complex subject of moe. If these darling figures were intended to provoke feelings of concern, then the manga is working as intended.
Personally, I've always maintained a suspicion of cute seinen anime/manga. One reason is because I feel that people who grew up as geeks producing anime/manga concerned with youthful girls, intended for a geek audience establishes a scary echo-chamber to the exclusion of more inventive works. That's certainly not the case with a singular manga like SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO. Then, there is the pandering or questionable gender politics of those works. I'm not entirely sure that I'm ready to clear SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO, or even give it the benefit of the doubt (the fact that Satoko Kuyuouki is a woman does not necessarily increase my confidence; look at Peach-Pit's alien slave manga DEARS for a demonstration of atrocious gender politics in a manga created by women). Still, SHOULDER-A-COFFIN KURO's haunting tone and inventive use of the four panel format makes the manga relentlessly intriguing.
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.

Happy New Year, Indie-philes! It’s your outside of the box thinkin’ Ambush Bug back again with another Indie Jones. This week we have another load of independent goodness to uncover for your mainstream laden eyes. We’ve got kiddie kung fu, a trip through one man’s dreams, a book full of hilarious infomercials, and a collection of surreal short stories. So shed the Big Two shackles and prepare for something from the fringe.

JULIE BLACK BELT: THE KUNG FU CHRONICLES HC Immedium

Here’s another book that is perfect if you want to get younger children into comics. Plus it’s a positive story for female readers, an audience that is never given enough attention in comics. JULIE BLACK BELT follows a rambunctious and impatient young girl who aspires to become a kung fu champion, but just doesn’t have the patience to put the time and energy into what it takes to earn a black belt. The story is a lesson in determination, persistence, and resolve. It’s a positive tale that encourages hard work and persistence and it’s entertaining and charming to boot. Written by Oliver Chin and illustrated by Charlene Chua, this book does a good job of teaching the discipline of martial arts and the lesson that hard work pays off.

IN THE FLESH: STORIES OGN Villard

Love often brings out the best in folks. It brings out the worst just the same. Koren Shadri, artist and writer of IN THE FLESH, focuses on the latter in this collection of short illustrated snippets of grotesque love and all of the horror that comes with opening yourself up to another. This isn’t the kind of book you want to give your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day, but it is a collection of powerfully warped stories. A lonely children’s character finally finds a date. A man with a crush finally gets his girl--a slender lass who is holding her severed head. A camera headed grandpa has a dark secret. A radioactive girlfriend’s love has adverse effects on her boyfriend. Two people wearing bags on their heads go on a date. After a near-death experience, a girl finds an insatiable hunger growing within. These stories are surreal, but the emotions behind them are raw and powerful. These painfully honest stories allow you to accept the crazy premises and go with the flow of the story because of the heavy emotional anchor of them. This is a powerful collection and a worthy addition to anyone’s bookshelf who is able to see love through a warped funhouse mirror. This book is available February 3, 2009. Seek it out.

SUPER FANTASTICA! Summer/Fall 2008 www.superfantasticacomix.com

This is another short compilation of indie artists pulled together by two common themes. One: this is a Public Service Announcement issue, where the characters are doing their damndest to convey some sort of “important” message to the reader. And two: doing some damn funny/creative/ingenious comic-booking. Anyone who went to the trouble of purchasing any of the three MUSCLES & FIGHTS compilations or the newest MUSCLES & FRIGHTS trade (which I was lucky enough to contribute to) will recognize the names in the list of creators section of this book. Amado AREX Rodriguez, Ben Z., Bob Lipski, Brian Bastain, Bud Burgy, Daniel J. Olson, Danno dank! Klonowski, Ray N. Ryan Dow, Steven Stwalley, and Vanessa Littlecrow have put together yet another showcase of fun and talent. “Knowing is half the battle” is the theme of this one. It’s a pamphlet book done in black and white and held together with two lil’ staples, but don’t let the lack of slick paper and polished surfaces fool you, this is professional talent featuring top-tier artwork and at least one belly laugh per page. Check out my buds from M&F in SUPER FANTASTICA! You may just learn something.

NOCTOURNAL CONSPIRACIES: NINETEEN DREAMS OGN NBM Comics Lit

A while back we did a contest here at AICN Comics and I asked readers to send me their worst nightmares. I got a ton of emails describing all things spooky and weird. The one thing that let me know that the submitter was being honest and entering a true nightmare was that the dream didn’t really have a beginning or an end. It was an incomplete snippet into the mind of one person, illustrating a snapshot of what disturbed them. Those were the ones that won the contest, not the ones who tried to make up something weird. Honesty is the weirdest thing there is and some of the most disturbing of scary stories often come from our most disconnected fever dreams. Artist/writer David B. kept a dream journal for almost twenty years. In this book he brings those entries to life in an often disturbing, often brutally honest, often poignant look into the subconscious of one man. David B.’s talent with the pen is what makes this book come alive. His wispy figures doing odd things are simple at first glance, but highly nuanced after further inspection. I love the fact that these nineteen stories have similar themes but never reach a resolution. I love it that they are dark yet innocent. It reflects that, in our dreams, we aren’t truly evil, just honest and free of the trappings of society. This is a truly special book. A must have for people like me who are interested in what goes on in one’s mind during the darker hours, when no one is around to judge, and you’re all alone with your most vivid fantasies and your worst nightmares.

NOVA #20 Marvel Comics

I picked up this issue on a whim and a wave of nostalgia for the days when I bought NEW WARRIORS regularly. I know I’m late in coming to this party, since everyone else has already praised this series, but I’ve got to add my voice to the crowd—this is a great, fun book that brings back memories of fun superhero books I read as a kid. It seems like NOVA is gearing up to be Marvel’s answer to GREEN LANTERN—both have diverse aliens in snazzy uniforms defending the universe, and as of the final double-page spread of this issue, both groups have sentient planets in their ranks. But only one group’s planet sports a kick-ass beard and ‘stash combo. Advantage: Nova Corps. - Imp

BATMAN #684 DC Comics

This is a perfectly fine issue. Denny O’Neil still has what it takes to write a good Batman yarn. This story focusing on Nightwing taking down a Two-Face imitator was a nice break from the over/under-written coin toss that Morrison has been barfing out in this title for the last year. It’s just unfortunate that Denny makes his return to Batman at a time when the book is more convoluted than an X-Men book in the late 90’s. It’s not Denny’s fault that while reading this book I was distracted by lingering questions of, “OK, so is Bruce in a sensory deprivation chamber here?” and “If all of the stuff that happened during R.I.P. was a dream in said chamber, why are Nightwing and Robin and the rest of the supporting cast futzing around as if it did actually happen in this and their own books?” and “How far will DC let Morrison go before they realize that they’ve handed the key to the city over to someone who cares not a bit about the wreckage the rest of the DCU has become while they wait for him to come out of his peyote tent of nonsense?” It’s not Denny’s fault. I tried to shut down those voices, but the sound of Morrison’s trainwreck was too powerful. Sorry, Denny. - Bug

FANTASTIC FOUR #562 Marvel Comics

Thank God! I can finally get out. I don’t like ditching a book mid-story. I like some closure and I like giving a writer the benefit of the doubt by sticking around till the end. Well future Sue Richards is dead and I could not be happier. Millar and Hitch were supposed to return this book to its whiz bang roots but to me it’s just been a flat misfire. Why would you draw Doctor Doom with a beak??? How do you make the ultimate evil icon look so silly? Next month apparently The Mouth Of Sauron will be trying to stir things up. Pretty sure he’ll fail. I’m out. - Jinxo

UMBRELLA ACADEMY: DALLAS #1-2 Dark Horse Comics

I haven't been able to give the latest UMBRELLA ACADEMY the proper attention due to the holiday hoopla and I plan on giving this one a more thorough look-see after a few more issues, but so far, this new miniseries has been even more enjoyable than the first UA mini. One reason is that writer Gerard Way doesn't have to waste time introducing these new characters to us. He seems much more comfortable with them, making the story flow a little more naturally in kind. Kraken and Spaceboy's arguments seem authentic. The way Seance saunters through a room ignoring them rings louder than a monologue describing his motivations. And weird shit like Number Five watching a chimp dressed as Marilyn Monroe sing to him as if he were president goes relatively unexplained and it all seems...ok. There's a bit of ultra-violence in issue 2. Hell, the last part of issue 1 looks as if it were swiped from an early John Woo flick's cutting room floor. All in all, more character + more action = an UMBRELLA ACADEMY that is tighter and quite possibly better than the previous mini. - Bug

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #22 DC Comics

Another DC story that seemed to go on twice as long as necessary finally draws to an end. After walking after the would-be god Gog for seven issues and several extra one shots they finally did what they should have done much sooner and get medieval on Giant Smurf. First time it felt like the story moved in a long time. I give the book extra kudos, though, for the resolution to the Kingdom Come Superman story. Superman is one of those characters that has been around so long it would seem impossible to do anything new with the iconic elements of the character. They add a nice bit of symbolism to a classic prop that surprised me and that I really liked a lot. - Jinxo

WAR MACHINE #1 Marvel Comics

OK, I'm all for a WAR MACHINE series. James Rhodes is a worthy character, one with a pretty rich history in the Marvel U. From being Tony Stark's best friend, to his pilot, to his stand in when times were tough, the character proved to be one of the cooler secondary models to come out of the 90's where everyone had a replacement arc (i.e. USAgent, Thunderstrike, Azrael, Connor Hawke, Kyle Rayner, the list goes on and on). Through it all, Rhodes was always the character that served as Tony's Jiminy Cricket, his conscience steering him towards what he knew was right. Jim was the friend everyone needs in times of trouble. Unfortunately, in this first issue, that friend no longer has much of a conscientious side and simply chooses to blow unarmored opponents to itty-bitty bits with the assortment of cannons cluttered about the neck and wrists of the War Machine armor. I'm a fan of Greg Pak's work. I think he had a memorable run on HULK. But this turn in Jim Rhodes' character, who, yes was always a soldier, but more importantly always served to remind us what was the heroic thing to do, is a bit off putting for someone who has followed the character in IRON MAN comics for close to twenty years. Yeah, his armor is a machine made for combat. And yes, in combat people tend to be blown into itty-bitties. But in the past, the person inside has always made War Machine something more than just Tin Can Punisher. The "ooo, wow, 'splosions" crowd may slurp this up, for sure. I will be sticking around for an issue or two simply because you don't often get to see Leonard Manco's amazing art. For his gritty pencils alone, this book is worth plodding through the first arc. Maybe something will happen in those issues that'll change my mind. - Bug

FINAL CRISIS: SECRET FILES #1 DC Comics

Why exactly were these SECRET FILES kept secret until now? I’m all for withholding plot info and revealing it late in a story if it adds to the mystery and drama but it seems like nobody knows how to do it properly anymore. I’ve spent months reading all these FINAL CRISIS books only half following what the hell is going on, how things tie together and why. And invariably the info I need to make sense of something will come a month or two after it would do me any good. This book is maybe the biggest example so far. I actually liked this story quite a bit. This issue simply and clearly explains exactly who the hell Libra is, what the &$!@ he’s been up to and why. Thank you! It makes sense! I get it now! The story was concise and entertaining too. Yet in the end I found myself angry that for some reason they waited until NOW to tell the tale. Why not right at the start of all this? I don’t see that it helped dramatically at all to withhold this info. I feel like Adam Sandler in “The Wedding Singer”: Gee, you know that information would’ve been more useful to me…YESTERDAY!!! - Jinxo

AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #20 Marvel Comics

This series never fails to confound me. Never have I seen such an idea hodge-podge junk pile of a comic book, made up of bits and pieces of other storylines and ramifications of events long after their original authors have lost interest and moved on to other things. Dan Slott and Christos Gage have done a phenomenal job of tying up the loose ends of CIVIL WAR, WORLD WAR HULK, and now SECRET INVASION by addressing the ripples of those events in the Mighty Marvel Manner. Only the true Marvel Zombie would be able to identify all of the characters wandering around in this book and I'm amazed that Slott and Gage are given so much freedom to play here. But these custodians of the Marvel U do their job with pride and skill that isn’t common at the House of Ideas. It's amazing to see Slott's evolution from the guy who did Squirrel Girl jokes to writing one of the most consistently entertaining books on the shelves today. In this issue alone, there are ties to MIGHTY AVENGERS, SKRULL KILL KREW, THUNDERBOLTS, a secret identity revealed, a surprise pregnancy, and the return of a character we all hate, but I'm sure we'll learn to love now that these guys have their mitts on him. This may be Slott's last issue, but with his co-writer Gage stepping in for full time duties (and Slott promising to toss Gage an idea or two from time to time), the book seems to be in capable hands. This is Marvel's spotlight book whether they know it or not. All the fun happens in this book. - Bug

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Readers Talkback

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  • Jan. 7, 2009, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Kevin Smith?

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    Wtf?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 8:31 a.m. CST

    From James Cameron, director of ALIENS and T2:

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    A V A T A R<p>2009

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 8:32 a.m. CST

    Bottom line of this week's reviews:

    by NinjaRap

    Superheroes suck frog ass in the comics right now. If you're a comic reader, this is the time to either A) branch out and read something different, like Incognito, or B) pick up trades of old superhero stories you missed in decades past.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 8:37 a.m. CST

    Sensory deprivation chamber...

    by limb

    Where the hell did this "Batman RIP was all a dream" thing come from? Certainly not from the comics; if you read up to the end of the run (683) the timeline makes perfect sense.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 8:41 a.m. CST

    Also...

    by limb

    This whole "Batman died in a helicopter crash" thing. Jesus, some people need to learn to read. If he's narrating the issue writing down the events in a casebook he's not dead, is he?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 8:44 a.m. CST

    I actually like what Millar and Hitch are doing with FF.

    by Knuckleduster

    After their Ultimates came to an end and turned to shit overnight, it's nice to see them take on another super team. Haven't read the whole Future Sue story yet, but so far I'm impressed.<p> I agree with the comment about event books spoiling mainstream comics, though. I hardly read any DC or Marvel anymore, and it's not because I don't like the characters or writers/artists involved. It's simply because I have no idea what the fuck is going on anymore. I've been forced to go look for good stories elsewhere. DC and Marvel have almost completely lost me.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 8:45 a.m. CST

    lets get it out of the way......

    by chetedawg

    - Morrison has wrecked everything plesant about batman, dc, darkseid, your mom, etc. - Morrison is a genius with his big ideas, people just dont understand him -ALAN MOORE IS THE GREATEST PERSON EVER. - Alan moore sucks my balls, and watchmen is overrated. - Why cant we understand batman, why doesnt he just fight joker every issue WWWAAAAAHHHHHHH - Kedvin SMith is overrated - Delays suck - Bendis sucks - Laserhead sucks Everyone good.....

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 8:46 a.m. CST

    oh...

    by chetedawg

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 8:50 a.m. CST

    You sold me on Incognito

    by Bill Brasky

    Great review. Nice props to Nova and Avengers Initiative. Smart suggestions to DC...I can't stand all that crapola. Good jobs all!

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 9 a.m. CST

    R.I.P. wasn't a dream in a torture chamber...

    by Laserhead

    It all really happened. Bruce climbed out of Gotham River and before he could more fully follow-up investigating Hurt, he got pulled in to help the JLA with Martian Manhunter's murder... THEN in Final Crisis, he was kidnapped by Granny and put in the isolation chamber or whatever.<p>So R.I.P. happened, it's just the case that R.I.P. had absolutely no impact on the Bat-mythos whatsoever.

  • ....so I would probably consider myself out of the loop concerning most comics, however the Kevin Smith Batman thing confuses me. I know supposedly he's this big super geek who's totally entrenched in the whole comic scene, but what in his resume makes anyone think he should be anywhere near Batman? I like comics too, but I doubt anyone would want me writing for one of the most beloved crimefighters of all time. Of course I've never written anything as "brilliant" as Clerks either so I guess that makes sense.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Aaronius

    by NinjaRap

    ...I know Kevin Smith had a successful run as a writer for Green Arrow a few years back. I'm sure that's part of why they thought it would work.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 9:09 a.m. CST

    What If... Bruce Banner hulked out during coitus?

    by Squashua

    Is Thalya still around? I think I found her next fanfic topic. :D

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Apparently

    by toxicbuddha

    We are in the minority on the event thing. I can only assume that SOMEONE is buying that shit coz it seems like Marvel and DC just cannot churn out them fast enough. As Knucks pointed out, I don't even bother reading my fave books from the Big Two, as it would mean having to buy like 6 other titles just so I can figure out why Batman is a pre-op tranny. And even then the answer will be symbolic and implied. I think the simple fact is there is way too much product out. Companies add more and more titles despite the fact that there is only so much talent available to write them. Those over-arching stories hide the problem by throwing everyone into the plot pool and having them all thrash about for 6 months at a pop.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 9:15 a.m. CST

    I don't blame Morrison

    by Laserhead

    Once you get past the fact that contrary to all publicity, R.I.P. didn't affect the Bat-mythos at all, or contain any shocking revelations, it's free to stand as a really cool 6-part story with some great moments.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 9:16 a.m. CST

    single issue stories...

    by Joenathan

    are almost always stupid. 98% of the time they are a complete waste of time where nothing really happens, the character never evoles and instead begins to stagnate in its own fetid cliches. Thats why there are only a few examples of a single issue story told well, because <br><br>A. Good writers know that you can't keep up that pace and keep the character fresh. <br><br>B. Complex stories/characters = good stories/characters. <br><br>And C. Even the good examples of a well done single issue story RELY solely on the fact that it doesn't have to explain certain things about the character because of previous issues, so even the good examples of well told single issue stories are actually just tangent off larger multi issue stories.<br><br> When a writer refuses to embrace the inherant serial nature of comics and tell multi-part stories where a character changes and events of consequence actually happene to them, the reason is because they are a bad writer. Comics are already too bare a medium when it comes to character development, or even a 3-D existance to begin with, to return to a series of poorly told, mind blowingly obvious, overly expository, one off, night in the life of some fisticuffs, not so closeted, jackass in a lame costume type tales now. Characterization, complex plots, motivation. These are good things.<br><br>Event stories are where its at, baby. With the slow death of the phamplets and the rise of the trades, the era of D-bag guy putting on his retard-o cape and musing to himself in cliched tough guy speak, that even cliched noir writers scoff at, before coming to the realization that D-bag guy's war must go on or that the main difference between him and his arch-nemisis is his search for justice (again) are thankfully numbered. One off pointless fight comics and tough guy speak are what led comics to this dark, sneered at corner that they inhabit now. Its the reason that, despite the limitless creative nature of the medium's marriage of prose and art, comics are considered a diversion for slow kids. I'm for change and aging characters. I'm for rebooting them. I'm for pocket universes. I'm for events and enjoying status quos for a little while and then moving on and never looking back. Bad choices have and will continue to be made, but the answer is NOT to retreat to the way things used to be, its to find a clever way to "fix" things and then movie on. Hell, sometimes you need the bad to find the good.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 9:20 a.m. CST

    Kevin Smith

    by Joenathan

    Thats why he gets to write Batman<br><br>He's Kevin Smith. <br><br>DC shits their pants at even the barest hope of cross demographic appeal.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Incognito

    by Joenathan

    is great stuff. I love it.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 9:40 a.m. CST

    take a deep breath, Rex

    by Joenathan

    It'll be okay.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 9:43 a.m. CST

    I realize DC and Marvel need to make money....

    by AARONIUS

    So I guess I understand having a "big name" like Kevin Smith working on your titles. I just am clearly not a fanboy of his work.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Good reviews this week.

    by Lolthien

    I think that review made me interested in picking up this Hulk story... although I'm not sure that was the purpose.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Interesting, JoeNat...

    by Ambush Bug

    You raise some good points, but in this time of trade-paced stories where entire issues can be omitted to make for a tighter read or even a read through the first and last issue is sufficient for a complete story, using your criteria, aren't trades collecting a single arc just as pointless as a single issue story?<br><br> I wholeheartedly disagree with your statement that single issue stories don't matter. Some of the best comics ever put to print, some of the most influential comics ever were single issue reads, Gaiman's Superman, The Boy Who Read Spider-Man, the kickass issue where Spider-Man fought the Juggernaut, the Superman meets Hitman issue. Some great stuff that resonate even today.<br><br> I don't think we'll ever see the end of events. They serve their purpose, drawing people in. I just think that everyone is on event overload right now and that DC and Marvel have lost sight of anything past the events. Mark my word, they are planning another event after War of Kings, Dark Reign, and Blackest Night. And another. And another.<br><br> But small events/smaller storyarcs with a bit of time for some breathing room in between to make sure the story and art is good and (dare I say it) the event comes out without delay may be the answer to event overload.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 10:03 a.m. CST

    You know, the Ultimate Universe isn't SUPPOSED to be absurd.

    by rev_skarekroe

    It was SUPPOSED to be LESS absurd than the regular Marvel U and, with a few exceptions, it was until they let Loeb run the show. Who the hell's bright idea was that anyway?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 10:22 a.m. CST

    You misread me, Bug

    by Joenathan

    I said MOST single issue stories are wastes. There are certainly examples of it being done well throughout comics, (and those examples MIGHT be considered comics in their purest form) BUT what you will NOT find is a signifigant run of well done single issue stories. You can only go to that well so often. You just can't work consistently within such a small box and turn out a good product. Quite simply, you run out of air after a while. <br><br>As for your trade question, on poorly done stories written for trades, yes, they would be pointless, but ideally, a trade written story would have a beginning that builds to a solid end with enough time in the middle to tell a good story while exploring the motivation and inner workings of your character before bringing them into a new place in their personal character evolution. IDEALLY. Serialized story telling is certainly NO gauruntee that the story will be well told, but on average I think there's a greater chance of telling a strong, well thought out, interesting and engaging tale in a multi issue arc story line than there is in 22 pages. <br><br>I'm sorry, but I can only read the single issue about the average day in Peter Parker's life so often before Jameson begins to sound like a cliched self parody, the random villian that he bumps into and dispatches in a page or two starts to seem like a non-threat and Peter himself, begins to seem whiny and just plain old trying to hard when it comes to quips. Consequence. Thats what rocketed MArvel to the top in the first place. Consequence. <br><Br>I'll tell you what interests me the most post-SI and into Dark Reign, sure, theres the Supervillians coming back and having a good set up, but really... Its Hank Pym. Here's Marvel's go-to douchebag, right? Sure, it was one slap, but still, and now add to that that his face was then used by the Skrulls AND he's back in a world as if he's just woken from a coma.<br><br>So, maybe it will be mishandled, maybe it will be trite, but at the moment, I am very interested in the idea of where does a guy with three strikes against him go now? And that is NOT something you can do with any credibility in one single issue.<br><br>So, I am not with you on this Event overload idea (come on, its not like they're forcing you to run multiple marathons... christ) because I see the small moments in between as JUST as important. <br><Br>BIG EVENT! Fallout/reprecussions... BIG EVENT! Character change/growth/evolution... BIG EVENT! New status quo...<br><Br> This is how it should be. The heroes get tested and pushed to their limits and triumph (somewhat) and that is carried over into who they are from then on, it effects their future decisions and actions. The Event is just a facet of their greater story.<br><br>I am totally wih you on the no delay thing, though. What the fuck is that? If you can't do your job, asswipe, how about quitting and letting someone who wants to be there have it?<br><br>Spider-man versus Jugernaut was pretty awesome.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 10:23 a.m. CST

    rev

    by Joenathan

    No kidding. I am now only reading Ultimate Spidey at this point. Loeb has officially joined my list of Do Not Buy creators.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Writers I avoid

    by Squashua

    Winnick and Loeb. <br><br> Winnick had "Pedro and Me" and "Barry Ween" and his "Adventures of Juniper Lee" TV show. Those were good. Everything else he touches turns to crap.<br><br> Loeb was good with Batman: Long Halloween and Superman : For All Seasons, but has since lost his muse.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by toxicbuddha

    Single issues stories are a waste of time becoz 98% of the time nothing ever happens?!? I've got some bad news for you Sunshine: In the case of DC and Marvel, nothing ever happens, period. No matter how much sense it makes for someone to at least lobotomize the Joker if not execute him without appeal, he will always escape from Arkham and leave a trail of corpses in his wake. If the Green Goblin kidnaps Aunt May every week for a year and arranges for her to be gang raped in the ass, Spidey will bring him to justice every time he gets out of jail. Time was when we accepted the never ending cycle of nothing because it was well written and the repercussions, no matter how temporary, were at least entertaining. When we look askance at the ill conceived half-assed and, in DC's case, poorly written Big Event books,we do so because, quite frankly, they suck. No one said we prefer single issue stories. More like single TITLE stories. You could fully enjoy the Dark Phoenix saga without realizing Marvel even printed other books besides Uncanny X-Men. Ditto the stellar Frank Miller run on DareDevil, back before the peyote flashbacks and repressed memories did in his career. Pontificating about how you applaud the death of pointless tough guy fights hardly changes the fact that that is exactly what superhero books are and always will be, especially those printed by the Big Two. Independents and alternative books Aretha for you to show off how grown up and intellectual you are. I don't read the Incredible Hulk to see if they are breaking new creative ground; I want to be shown once again that Hulk is indeed the strongest one there is. And as Ambush points out, there is more of the Big Huge Story drivel coming down the pike. I am sure marketing loves the fact that it forces the fanboys to buy titles and drive sales. At the end of the day, our geek passions aside, it's about the bottom line. Witness what is by all accounts an excellent story arc in the X-book being written by Ellis. The one thing I keep hearing is how you are paying a rather hefty full price for half a book and the script. Back in the day, Marvel at least gave you a tad bit of fan service and would have chucked in the script and a full 23 pages just for the love. They could care less what impact event stories have on the creative process. If having The Flash grow a tail in the pages of issue two of Untold Crisis then marry Grodd in the pages of the tie in issue of FireStorm forces you to buy those two extra titles next month, then for DC it's mission accomplished.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Batman RIP

    by sean bean

    I read it and had no idea what connection it had to Final Crisis. Then again, I have no idea what is going on in most of Final Crisis. I see a bunch of characters doing a bunch of stuff that doesn't make much sense. Interesting how, just as Morrison is wrecking the DCU, some of his lesser ideas (Skrull Kill Krew, Marvel Boy) are being brought into the Marvel mainstream.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Brevity and Kevin Smith in the same sentence?

    by Skulboy

    I know it's a long time to hold a grudge, but I'm still pissed at Kevin Smith for killing BOTH Karen Page and Mysterio in his Daredevil run. Asshole. I've never been a Smith fan in any form and his panel filling, endless dialogue style of comic book writing does nothing for me. Agree on the "Events" as I buy very few DC titles right now. And with Marvel jacking up their 32 pg books to $3.99, I'm drastically dropping titles from them too.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 10:59 a.m. CST

    rev

    by toxicbuddha

    Yeah bro. Loeb is on the same crack as Miller these days. I remember when I finally got around to reading his run on The Ultimates and thinking I had missed a volume or three since the Millar/Hitch run. Then after reading that Rulk abortion, I was just aghast. It's like he's just throwing crap out there and figures with all the writers working for Marvel,someone will get around to making his shit make sense sooner or later.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 10:59 a.m. CST

    No Old Man Logan love?

    by The_joker

    I thought last weeks issue was awesome. And I think the whole storyline has been pretty solid so far. If Millar can end it on a high note, It will definitely be one of my favorite Wolverine stories and who knows, maybe one of my favorite overall stories ever.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Loeb

    by sean bean

    Anyone that's read Ultimates 3 or his Wolverine arc or the Hulk ongoing must surely realise he is the worst high profile writer of comics around today. He makes Chuck Austen look like Alan Moore. He's not so much half-assed as quarter-assed or sixteenth-assed.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Joker, Squash and Toxic

    by Joenathan

    I'm totally with you on Old Man Logan, its firing on all cylinders. Great, great stuff.<br><br>Squash, I think Long Halloween is dropping in my opinion the farther I get from it. Besides the blatant thefts from popular sources that I get the feeling he didn't think anyone would notice, his current work stinks so bad, I can't even revisit his past "glories" anymore.<br><br>Toxic, throw some line breaks in there, buddy. <br><Br>Also, when I say that I'm a fan of how it is now, that includes the idea, that at a certain point, everything is dumped and restared. Longterm continuity is death. DEATH! <br><br>Short blocks of continuity (i.e. Avengers Dissasembled to S.I.) can be viewed as one big chunk or broken into smaller pieces. Its continuity is malleable and new reader friendly. Things happen, but they are in no way written in stone. <br><br>Take Bucky's current journey for example or Tony Stark's even. These are character arcs that will inform future versions. These are the type of stories that characters are built off of. These are things that have happened to them and make them 3-D. This is why I brought up Hank Pym, he's poised for something similiar and where he's been and where he's going (like Bucky and Tony) can either be synopsized at some point for new readers or reward longer term readers for being there "from the beginning". And thats what comics should be.<br><br>So when I say single issue stories are dumb, for the most part, its because its true. There's no room for growth over the long term and certainly no space for conseqeunce. AND even when a single issue story is down well and entertaining, its dependant on a web of surrounding continuity to keep it afloat. <br><br>Comics, as a genre, live or die as a serial.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Also

    by Joenathan

    After digging through you grantie block of exposition...<br>There are many good titles out there that did NOT participate in S.I. and from what I understand, none of DC's titles are joining the Fincal Crisis story. The Big Two aren't forcing you to buy anything. In fact, as far as I can tell, the only really dependant titles were Bendis Avenger related. Bru's marvel books were S.I. free. So was Slott's Spider-man.<br><br>And Hulk isn't the strongest there is, Superman proved that... EVENT!!!

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Favorite Single Issue

    by steverodgers

    That silent G.I. Joe issue. That blew my 10 year old mind.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Anyone think Smith's Batman story shits...

    by blindambition238

    ...all over the Joker? He basically has Batman going on for 5 pages about how The Joker hasn't been a real 'threat' to him and, for the lack of a better word, a joke. Then showing Bats literally just using him as a punching bag throughout while mocking him. <p> All of this just to (of course) set up Smith's own baddie as a 'true' badass villain to be reckoned with even though he'll certainly be seen going back to occasionally harassing Ollie Queen when this thing is over.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Joenathan II: The Search for Releveance

    by toxicbuddha

    "Comics, as a genre, live or die as a serial."???? Well, yeah. It's a serialized medium. Like saying movies as a genre live and die by moving, talking images projected on a big screen. As for the idea that everything is "dumped and restarted". most books we read these days are at least 40 years old. Retcons are the order of the day, otherwise the Vietnam War veteran Punisher is the baddest AARP cardholder on the planet. It's comics, nothing IS written stone. Not even Uncle Ben and Bucky. Change for change's sake is asinine in any creative medium, but if a character gets lost under the weight of his own past, fans accept a reboot if it's done in a creative manner. For all its missteps, Marvel's Ultimate line is brilliant in this one regard: you get to drag every character in the pantheon kicking and screaming into current timelines as you see fit, and damn what the fans think they know about origins, allegiances and romantic attachments. Indeed none of your references to continuity make any sense. Continuity by definition IS "long term": If Batman is a paraplegic this month, a chick 6 months from now and a Mosaad deep cover agent cursed with lycanthropy 6 months after that, then the managing editor on that book's fucking up. As for the dumbness of single issue stories, clearly you have never read Ellis' work on Fell. Anything is dumb when poorly written. If the writer has no vision for the character or, as is usually the case with Spider-Man, is just a seat filler til Marvel can sign the next Name to a 6 month contract, then therin lies the rub. We are having this conversation in a vacuum or at least conveniently ignoring the fact that with any publication, editorial is run by marketing. Indeed,shit like Marvel signing a Name to wrie a title for 6 to 12 months gets them the cover story in WIZARD but you as a fan get shit on when the next schmuck who directed a popular movie decides to take the boatload of cash, then make Cyclops and Wolverine Corsican twins. To use yoru Bucky example: Single issue stories work when creative people do them. I lay odds that when Steve Rogers comes back, Brubaker nails in one issue exactly why he is relevant as Captain America. And if he doesn't, then rest assured another talented creator will. And in closing: No one can make you do anything except eat or die. But if you think the reason any company does Event books is other than to boost sales, stop drinking that Kool-Aid my handsome young friend. As for DC, if none of the major titles will reflect the Final Crisis events, what was the point in the first place? You just went into passionate detail about how these things drive change and impact refreshed continuity. Yet you are saying DC claims if I just keep reading Batman/Superman/Green Lantern et al that I can be blissfully ignorant of the repercussions of something so ominous it was dubbed Final Crisis?? As for S.I. isn't a bit daft to have the Skrulls infiltrating the Marvel Universe but not fuck with Spider-man or any title Brubaker happened to be writing? This is a concession to the fan backlash towards the crap that went on back in the 90's with the ridiculous variant cover frenzy and crossover madness that made many keep their dough in their wallets. Now they hedge their bets and make pocket events that they hope will both drive fan buying interest and not drive off guys like Brubaker who don't want any part of the shenanigans. The result, inevitably, is half-assed and incomplete with a disappointing and confusing end. Like drunken sex with Siamese twins.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 12:34 p.m. CST

    I think the title Batman R.I.P.

    by kungfuhustler84

    doesn't refer to his actual death (he doesn't die) as much as it does a change in his character, and maybe a death and rebirth of his state of mind. I think the whole Zhurenarr thing or whatever completely changing his character, and then at the end he reverts to a "normal" state was meant to serve as a sort of retcon for a new interpretation of the character. Sort of like when Phoenix dies and comes back all the time.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Events...

    by Mr.FTW

    Major Events are great but I do agree that there needs to be breathing room in between them. JoeNat keeps talking about consequences and the fall out from events which I also agree is good for characterization. The only problem is that none of these consequences or fall out are ever delt with because with both Marvel and DC it's time to move on to the next event before the consequences take root. Take Batman for example, there has been dealing with the return of Jason Todd, how to handle him or how to move forward and not make the smae mistakes. Case in point Stephanie Brown/Spoiler. Batman didn't grow or learn in how to handle his subordinates and prevent another tragedy like Jason Todd, he let it happen all over again with Stephanie and there was nothing learned from her death before she was back and all because Batman is shoehorned into another event. I'm all for events and earth shattering ramifications if they mean something. With DC it's been Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis, 52, Countdown, Final Crisis and more on the way. Marvel has been just as bad. That's what Bug is talking about. Events should be the punctuation in comics not the daily routine.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 12:39 p.m. CST

    dude

    by Joenathan

    seriously... line breaks.<br><br>From what I gathered from your eye-glazing block of writing, I think we're basically in agreement. However, I would argue that there is no reason why Batmn CAN'T be in a wheelchair one issue and sixmonths later be in mossad. To me, I have no problem separating the stories and not relying on absolute continuity. Its that very reliance that kills comics.<br><br>Also, I think you're missing the boat on wjat I mean by single issue stories. Bru summing up Cap would work because it had 50 to 100 Bru Cap issues holding it up. I'm talking about issues like the X-men of the late 90s. "Oh no, brand-new-World-devouring-mutant-we've-never-heard-of-before-or-will-again is attacking Hawaii! Quick, Jean, Stoem, Psylocke, lets go! Bring your swimsuit! Pose! Ass out! Hurray we won! Next Issue: Phuquet!"<br><br>And lets be honest, thats the majority of stand alone comic book issues. Very rarely do you see one that can accomplish any kind of character evolution that is relevant AND have some cool shit in it.<br><br>As for Bru and others not participating in S.I... Doesn't that seem like a good way for their stories to continue unmolested and provide a haven for those who maybe didn't want to read S.I.? It does to me. I like a universe thats malleable. As for the DC question... What was the point? Good question, my man, good question. What happened D.C.?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Marvel vs. DC

    by Joenathan

    I don't think they can be grouped. I agree DC is dropping the ball, but I disagree about Marvel. To me, they have been dealing with fallout. Show me wehre they havn't. Each major event from Disassembled on has led into something that directly affected the Marvel Universe. DC? Not so much.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 12:43 p.m. CST

    I like sex with drunken siamese twins better than...

    by Ambush Bug

    ...drunken sex with siamese twins. I just think it's cute when they slur.<br><br> But I digress.<br><br> Why is this such a black and white either or scenario. No one says that there can't be both single issue stories that resonate because of character development as a result of longer storylines.<br><br> C'mon, guys. Everything isn't an all or nothing debate.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Here’s the thing on events and FC

    by optimous_douche

    Big events in and of themselves are a thing of beauty. What fan doesn’t like to see all of their heroes come together in one grand sweeping story?<p> And of course things will return to the status quo, unless we are told or expect they won’t.<p> The first Crisis on Infinite Earths was the one time where a grand event did not reset to status quo. Flash was dead, Supergirl was dead, entire fucking universes crumbled or combined in the blink of an eye and that’s how things stayed for 20+ years.<p> Like it or not, the term CRISIS holds a certain connotation to change everything and while we are being honest DC marketed FINAL CRISIS as doing likewise.<p> You want to tell me the entire earth is going to be controlled by Dark Sied from this point forward. Bullshit. Reinstatement of the multiverse? Thanks that happened a year ago in the build-up books.<p> I’ve said this before, I like the main FINAL CRISIS title and quite a few of the baby crisis tie-ins, however this should not have been called CRISIS. History dictates that CRISIS changes the entire universe in one synchronized effort.<p> Tehre are three DC universe right now, the Johns universe, the Morrison universe and everyone else. This is not creative; it is a dupe on the CRISIS front, a two year build up shill and lazy ass editorial.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:16 p.m. CST

    ...

    by blackthought

    hmm...

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:21 p.m. CST

    intersting...... but the real question is....

    by the milf lover

    is it possible with siamese twins to have one stay sober while the other is drunk?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:32 p.m. CST

    also...

    by Joenathan

    Are you gay if you jerk off your siamese twin?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Only if you're connected at the testicles.

    by Ambush Bug

    And in all seriousness (or as serious as a conversation about siamese twins can get), I think I remember reading somewhere that one siamese twin feels drunk even if he or she is not drinking and the other one is. I guess it would have to do with the shared bloodstream or shared kidneys or something.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Can somebody catch me up with the Red Hulk Thing?

    by The Reluctant Austinite

    I don't read any comics monthly anymore like when I was a kid, but I occasionally will read story arcs in graphic novel form. The Red Hulk kind of captured that eternal 10 year old in me that said, "Wow, he's cool looking." I read the first six issues and there seemed to be a "Who is Red Hulk?" craze going on. Did they ever resolve that or are they going to stretch it out (like "Lost") until it stops selling comics years fron now? I heard a really good theory about his identity being the long lost, thought dead Major Glenn Talbot. That made a lot of sense to me. Can an obsessive reader give me the latest news on this?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Old Man Logan

    by gooseud

    ROFL Old Man Logan is "great great stuff"?? WHAT??? Ok, so let me get this straight (spoilers ahead): Logan is a character who has gone off the reservation multiple times, recently when brainwashed by Hydra. He has come in conflict with or battled countless heroes over time. So, when brainwashed by Mysterio (questionable at best), while Logan is attacking his fellow X men for HOURS ON END, what do they do? Nothing. Stand there like crash test dummies and let him hack through them one by one. Scott Summers, the "great leader", doesnt apparently think EVEN ONCE while everyone is standing there like dumbasses letting Logan cut them apart "Hmmm, this is a teensy bit out of character for Logan, but we have seen him get brainwashed before, this kind of resembles what happened with HYDRA. Lets put him down and investigate the problem, I'll blast him with my eyebeams....or Emma can help him see what is real....or any of a million other options, since its 40 of us and 1 of him......nah, lets go with plan B: stand there like a douchebag doing LITERALLY NOTHING til its my turn in line". Keep in mind, Logan is doing nothing tricky whatsoever. Hes just standing in the middle of a room saying, in effect, bring it on. And then, after that laughably implausible 1 on 40 massacre, what does Logan do? A soldier who has killed probably thousands in his life? Does he seek revenge? Go on the offensive against the guys who made him kill his friends? Nope. He goes in the woods. And cries. For an hour? A day, MAYBE? Nope, for FRIGGIN WEEKS!!! It literally may be the single worst issue of anything I've ever read. Is this supposed to be camp? Like over the top parody? If so, maybe you can make an argument that Millar is a genius, but until I see proof that your supposed to be laughing at this storyline and not actually having any rooting interest in it, my opinion is secure: Millar is a one trick pony who has utter contempt and lack of respect for his audience. His one trick? Killing heroes in ever-more-outrageous ways. Congrats to him.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2 p.m. CST

    Sure

    by Joenathan

    except you added the part about hours on end yourself, so... eye of the neholder, I guess.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Serialized Vs. Stand Alones

    by gooseud

    It depends, do you enjoy Lost? Or are you a 2 1/2 Men or Friends type of guy? Friends had overarching themes, but generally it was self contained, stand alone episodes. Lost is obviously completely impenetrable to anyone who hasnt watched from the beginning. In general,I tend to agree with Joen (although his tastes in actual comics sucks, his thoughts on the genre itself are generally correct): I dont even bother to read most Big Two stuff, not because it isnt good, but because there are no consequences. Its two fundamental flaws of the genre: no one can ever stay dead, and both the heroes and villains dont simply die. Look at Hamas and Israel, the massive numbers of casualties, and those are guys fighting with pipe bombs and rifles. You mean to tell me if super powers were involved, casualties wouldnt be in the thousands? My concrete problem is this: Cap would simply kill the Red Skull. Sorry, but its true, at some point Cap would simply be like "Fuck this, enough already" and kill his ass. I dont want to see stories like Millar's where its death and mayhem constantly (I wouldnt wipe my ass with Wanted), but come one, at some point you need to address the elephant in the room: to save lives, doesnt the hero need to simply smoke the villain if all other options have been exhausted?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:04 p.m. CST

    Nope, it was hours

    by gooseud

    Read it again, Logan specifically mentions fighting for hours. Now, Mysterio may have been affecting his perception of time, so your telling me Logan walked though all 40 X Men in what, 15 minutes? It actually gets MORE laughable, if thats possible, when you apply even the slightest critical thought to the scenario.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:04 p.m. CST

    beholder

    by Joenathan

    or neholder... whichever...

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Reluctant Austinite

    by blindambition238

    The Red Hulk mystery is still being stretched out way past its expiration date... and only revealed that its NOT Gen. Ross, Rick Jones, or Samson, and when it's all said and done you'd probably be best advised to skip it in GN form, since every issue's been just "ZOMG Red Hulk is so powerful he beat up (insert A-List jobber of the month). We better send in (insert next week's jobber)!"

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Reluctant Austinite

    by blindambition238

    The Red Hulk mystery is still being stretched out way past its expiration date... and only revealed that its NOT Gen. Ross, Rick Jones, or Samson, and when it's all said and done you'd probably be best advised to skip it in GN form, since every issue's been just "ZOMG Red Hulk is so powerful he beat up (insert A-List jobber of the month). We better send in (insert next month's jobber)!"

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:21 p.m. CST

    goose

    by Joenathan

    you're missing the point. If Mysterio affected Logan, he could have affected the others, as well. Regardless, the fight itself isn't anything more than flash, its the outcome that is important to the story and its affect on Logan, I found, made absolute sense. Its the most horrifying thing Logan could find himself responsible for... Look, just think of it like a What if... They always kill heroes, did you complain about those? And really, are you honestly telling me that you would rather have a poopy butt than wipe your ass with Wanted? Thats just crazy talk.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:25 p.m. CST

    As much as I don't like a lot of what Loeb has done recently...

    by Ambush Bug

    I can't help but feel an affinity for the brainlessness that is HULK and specifically Rulk. It's definitely not good storytelling, but there are fun moments. Hulk, Moon Knight, Brother VooDoo, Ms. Marvel, and Sentry vs a herd of Weindigos in Las Vegas. Kind of fun. Sure there is no explanation as to why Hulk turns from Fixit to Hulk to Wendi-hulk and back again (especially when you don't turn into a wendigo unless you've eaten human flesh, right?) and how why is Thunderbolt alive are questions that knock the shabbiness of the writing back into my head, but for a book called THE HULK, about a guy who gets strong and smashes stuff, I'm finding it surprisingly brainless fun. I doubt Hulk is Ross, but I do think it's either Doc Sampson or Clay Quartermain (who was supposedly pounded to pulp and left for dead and shown in silhouette as dead in one panel early in the series).

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Ultimate Hulk/RIP/Single Issues and Misogyny

    by Homer Sexual

    First off, let me say i freaking loved Ultimate Hulk annual. It was an hilarious one-shot that was fun, sexy, humorous and not insulting. It rocked! <p> Now, all this RIP talk seems like the old Marvel No-Prize to me. I believe(d) that the whole RIP happened after Batman got captured. I then read an explanation that he got captured after the helicopter exploded. Is there some basis for this somewhere? It is viable, but seems like the poster is trying to come up with an in-continuity "No Prize" explanation. I am still going with the whole thing being a delusion, more fun that way and I did like it well enough on those terms. <p> Perfect example of a single-issue series that has shown sustained quality: Jonah Hex. But I do agree that this should really be singl-story focus, not single-issue. My main beef with continuity is it created a LOT of never-ending stories. However, to keep fans, a title needs to have some sort of continuity, or it will lose most regular readers. <p> Finally, my biggest beef with comics in general the past few years is, at least to me, a lot of misogyny. Female characters seem to be less prominent, and are getting killed off in the regular universe, the Ultimate Universe, and look at poor Mary Marvel! <p> Finally, I hate most of what Loeb has written, including his TV work, but me like RULK! Me enjoy it very much.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Continuity

    by Joenathan

    I think anytime a book reaches 400 issues, something has gone terriblly wrong. Terriblly.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:56 p.m. CST

    I only ask one thing......

    by gooseud

    of Millar: Mark, I know your an utter hack. I also know you think I'm a basement dwelling virgin who will buy literally anything you shovel my way, as long as it looks cool and is "shocking". Occasionally, I'm going to stumble across one of your hack yarns and take a quick look. I realize its going to be utterly braindead, and thats ok. If I wanted a writer that showed any actual ability to actually, you know, WRITE, I would be reading BKV, right? You actually didnt offend me on Ultimate FF, the zombies were fun and all. You are going to resort to killing someone in an attempt to be controversial, and thats ok, it wont stick anyway. All I ask is that you show me something cool, and dont insult me. At least attempt to keep the story in something vaguely resembling the world thats already been established. Characters who have been doing one thing for 400 issues, dont suddenly have them do the exact opposite just to suit where you need the story to go. I know you usually cant keep to this request, and thats fine, I'll just continue to skip most of your stuff. But at least think it over, k?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Rulk is Betty Ross

    by blindambition238

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:03 p.m. CST

    I am so going to buy Old Man Logan in TP

    by Homer Sexual

    I got the first issue, and it seemed, pardon my insensitivity to the disabled, muy retarded. <p> Since then, I have read so many positive comments, as well as many who say it is so ridiculous it veers into camp, that I am definitely going to buy the trade when this is all over.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Jim Rhodes

    by access virus

    I agree that his character has changed a bit, but I think the stress of losing all his limbs and being turned into a machine-thing has had an effect on his sanity... I've read mixed reviews of War Machine #1 but I really enjoyed it, best comic I've read for ages. Loved the art too.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Fuck alla ya'll

    by MariusXe

    Seriously. I hate those fuckin' "holyer than thou" indy comic bastards. Pretty much every big event dc has done in the last 5 years was a lotta fun to read. Sinestro corps war and rip were really great to be honest. I love indy comics as the next guy, but I cannot stand it how hip it seems to bee to bash the big events. go away and read blankets again, stupid. I'm off reading green lantern corps and invicible, cause I want over the top fucking fun in my books.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Book Reviewing 101:

    by GoodTimeBobby

    2. FINISH THE BOOK ARE READING !!! ...what a bunch of horse shit.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:05 p.m. CST

    I'm ask for one thing too

    by Joenathan

    of Millar: Mark, you're awesome. Could you keep on rockin' out with your cock out, please? I'd really appreciate it. Also... Where's the ass rape, man? I mean, come on, you haven't forcibly sodomized a noble and not gay character in years. If I could suggest one, if I may be so bold, could it be Rick Jones?... just cause. Anyway, I'll let you go, I'm sure you're pretty busy ruling the comic book world with Bendis and all, so... keep up the good work. Do it for Joenathan.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:05 p.m. CST

    *

    by GoodTimeBobby

    *You

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:06 p.m. CST

    and I meant be and not the animal

    by MariusXe

    edit button, anyone? no? all right

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Example"

    by GoodTimeBobby

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:08 p.m. CST

    and by the way

    by MariusXe

    kevin smith rapes characters with his batman stuff. liked his guardian devil stuff but his batman is shit. and I'm normally a sucker for all things batman.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Example:

    by GoodTimeBobby

    "Man, that Captain Ahab really had a hard-on for catching that giant white whale that took his leg and represents his obsession with capturing the unknowable...hmm, wonder how that worked out? but oh well, I'll tell you to read the book anyway cause they sent it to me for free..."

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Kevin Smith blows and has no box office clout.

    by Homer Sexual

    I can't understand how he stays so "A-list" or whatever, when none of his movies make any money, or even get good reviews. <p> I guess every single fan of his movies must buy his comics for him to have this fanbase. I do appreciate his ability to write dialogue, but that is the ONLY thing he is good at. He really sucks at all other elements, including but not limited to, visuals/cinematography, character development and most of all...story/plot.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Homer

    by Joenathan

    but its always the same dialogue.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:23 p.m. CST

    GTB...

    by Ambush Bug

    Thanks for teaching that class, man. It was awesome.<br><br> But if you read the review, you'd see that I explained why I reviewed the book before finishing the last 2 chapters. I had received the book in November and instead of waiting any longer, I wanted to get the word out about the book. And I do plan on updating the review next week once the book is finished. Think of it as reviewing the first three issues of a four part comic book miniseries, then reviewing the final issue at a later date.<br><br> And try decaf. Is it really something to get so uppity about?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:27 p.m. CST

    "Absurd" not the same thing as "Crap"

    by Jinxo

    My point was to use absurd in a positive way, as in absurdist humor, not as in something being written like utter crap. Ultimates 3 I would agree was crap. Just seemed lazy and weird to me. The Ultimate Hulk Annual on the other hand is a rare case where I could tell it was being written as absurd intentionally, where the sburdity was intentional and not the accidental result of poor writing. An Applebee's manager treating the Hulk like a punk kid trying to come in with no shoes on? Only... it's the fricking Hulk with no pants with his Hulk wang hanging out. Not that they SHOW that but... it is. It's such a knowingly insane bit of fun. Ultimates 3 was unknowingly insipid.<br><br> While I like long form stories, there is nothing wrong with quick shorter stories. Big term events of long term consequences don't usually happen in them but more often than not you do get nice character stuff that you don't get in the bigger stories that help to make the character feel more real. I flash to Star Trek Next Gen on TV versus on the big screen. The TV show had time to let you get to know the characters, see them in smaller personal moments. The movies? No time for that. Gotta get in, blow stuff up and get out. What is actually going on with the characters lives? Sorry, no time. Blowing stuff up. Hey, I love the big explosions but a good writer can find time to throw in the smaller or sillier personal disasters too.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:42 p.m. CST

    Homer Sexual re:RIP

    by limb

    If you read up to 683 it shows clear as day how the timeline works. Batman RIP --> Helicopter Crash --> Final Crisis --> Capture by Darkseid's minions. Anyone who tries to argue otherwise is either just skimming or is determined to misunderstand.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Still Waiting...

    by limb

    I'm still waiting on someone to explain why anyone would think RIP was all a dream. Bug? Homer Sexual?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Ambush Bug....

    by GoodTimeBobby

    ..If you waited since November to read the book....why not wait, like a couple more minutes until you finished "the last two chapters"? Were we really clamouring for a review of Tigerheart so bad that we couldnt wait for you to finish reading the book? how long are these last two chapters?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 3:59 p.m. CST

    I'm still convinced...

    by Ambush Bug

    ...that those claiming that Morrison's RIP and CRISIS is easy to follow are reading supplimentary material or filling in Morrison's gaping plot holes.<br><br> I read RIP. I read the "explanation of RIP" after RIP finished which supposedly tied RIP to FINAL CRISIS. As far as I understand it, and I do admit that Morrison's stuff often confuses me, is that all of it, the Zur-En-Arr, the League of Batmen, the helicoptor explosion, Dr. Hurt, all of it, was a scenario designed by Darkseid to plum the depths of Batman's psyche in order to create warriors like him. During the "explanation issue" Batman muses with Alfred about all kinds of kooky scenarios (the marriage with BatWoman, Rainbow Batman, Batman fighting aliens, and yes, the confrontation with Dr. Hurt and the possibility of him being Thomas Wayne) while in the chamber. Hell, I think towards the start of FINAL CRISIS (issue #1, I believe) there is a panel where Batman is in that same stasis-chamber hooked to machines (did I dream this?). Anyway, that's my understanding.<br><br> The fact that so many people have so many interpretations of the same story which was published only a month ago is testament though to the obtuse and flawed writing style of Whack-job Morrison.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4 p.m. CST

    Short versus long story arcs

    by Continentalop

    I am coming into this debate late, and someone might have touched upon this earlier (I haven’t read all the post; some make my head hurt) but I will say that I think the problem isn’t so much with the action part of the story as it does with the subplots and character development. <p> Personally, I love short one-and-two issue stories. Stern and then Gruenwald’s work on Captain America in the early 80’s is an example of this. They gave us a great premise, and then delivered in one or two issues. But what they also added was interesting subplots, foreshadowing and character development that carried over from issue to issue. Same thing Lee did with Spider-Man and with FF with Kirby.<p> As an example, look at Stern and Byrne’s run on Captain America. In a span of eight issues Cap fought Baron Strucker, Dragon Man, Machinesmith, Baron Blood and the team of Mr. Hyde and Batroc. He also thought about running for President of the United States and decided against it; recovered some of his missing memories; had a reunion with his British comrades during WWI; started a career as a commercial artist; and met and started a relationship with Bernie Rosenthal while still morning Sharon Carter. They showed how much action and character development you can have in such a short span. <p> But I also agree that some stories deserve longer runs, especially if they are supposed to be significant. Once again look at Roger Stern: on his run with the Avengers, he had a six-to-eight issue arc involving the new Masters of Evil, not including a couple of issues of foreshadowing. It was an epic story and deserved to be treated as epic. My problem with most comics now is that EVERY story or storyline is treated as part of some great big epic. Comics have always had one-upmanship, but at least they used to spread them out a little. Now it is like every year the heroes face a challenge, both physical and personal, worse than anything they have ever faced before. They have turned it up to 11, but the problem is that it is the law of diminishing returns. The more epic events and soul-changing things you have happen to a character in such a short span, the less they resonate with the reader.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4 p.m. CST

    To be honest, GTB...

    by Ambush Bug

    It was a slow week and we needed content.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Bug

    by GoodTimeBobby

    ..thats all you had to say man, I am not interested in getting into a flaming war with you- this is one of the only columns i read on here anymore- i am always looking for it when it goes up. i review books too, so it just rankled me that s all.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Joenanthan, re=assrape

    by Continentalop

    I'm not ripping into you, because I know you are not alone in finding it funny. Hell, I used to think it was funny and crack a joke at it. <p> Then I talked to a friend of mine who once was in prison and I asked him what was the worse thing. He told me the worse thing in prison was hearing grown men cry at night because they had been raped or new they were going to be raped. And the guys who were raped in prison were always the guys who probably least likely deserved to be there. He also pointed out to me that the people who most often make gay rape jokes or assrape jokes are the once who would most likely be a target in prison, or anywhere else. Call it a defense mechanism. <p> Like I said earlier, I am not trying to pick on you specifically because everyone on this board is probably guilty of making a joke about it. But if making a joke about raping a woman is considered bad taste and offensive, why isn't jokes about men getting raped?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Having said that...

    by Continentalop

    I still think Tobias' "analrapist" card in Arrested Development is the funniest thing ever!

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    I'm really enjoying Cacophony

    by hallmitchell

    Funny, entertaing, great scenes already. I liked what he did with Maxi Zeus and the Clash of the Titans reference is very good.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Ambush Bug re:RIP

    by limb

    Okay, there is the problem. Issues 682 to 683 are primarily Final Crisis tie-ins, not an explanation of RIP. Read them that way and all becomes clear. Except for the segments showing a world where Bruce never becomes Batman, all of the "kooky scenarios" in these issues are actually flashbacks of Batman's memories (stories from older issues). From the creation of the character through Jason Todd's death, the Killing Joke, Hush, the earthquake in Gotham, etc. all the major storylines are represented. Yes, these flashbacks are a result of Darkseid "plumbing the depths of Batman's psyche in order to create warriors like him". But all the flashbacks, including RIP, are still real memories. And yes, the memory-draining chamber does appear in Final Crisis, Batman is captured and put into it in issue 2. That's how we know that Final Crisis takes place after RIP. If you read the end (about four pages from the end, actually) of 683 it explains the timeline right out: Bruce got back to the bat-cave after RIP and immediately was called away by the Justice League to deal with the events of Final Crisis. I'd say the problem is a flawed reading style rather than a flawed writing style, but that's just me...

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4:22 p.m. CST

    How...

    by limb

    ...do you seperate paragraphs on here, by the way?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Continetalop, for shame!

    by Joenathan

    Don't go trying to bring reality in here. And you very obviously ARE trying to pick on me, unfortuantly, you have choosen a subject and demographic of society that I have little to no sympathy for. So fuck your prison friend, fuck him right up the ass. In terms of crimes, women being raped is LIGHT YEARS different from prison rape. One is a horrid crime, the other is funny karma.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Re: Prison Intimacy

    by steverodgers

    "You fellas have a lot of growing up to do, I'll tell you that. Ridiculous. Completely ridiculous. Can you believe these characters? Way out of line. Way out of line. Have a good mind to go to the warden about this. You know what hurts the most is the... the lack of respect. You know? That's what hurts the most. Except for the... Except for the other thing. That hurts the most. But the lack of respect hurts the second most." - Norm Macdonald from Dirty Work

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Ambush Bug, R.I.P.

    by Laserhead

    Limb's right. Issue #283 makes it clear that Bruce investigated the Martian Manhunter's murder directly after R.I.P.; then we know from FC#2 that during the investigation Granny kidnapped Batman and put him in the brain-drain machine. Darkseid's minions then proceed to mine Batman's memories to program a clone army with (Batman#282 & 283-- and these two issues were never intended to explain R.I.P. or Final Crisis.) After "using his memories as weapons" and killing the clone army, Batman now moves to his "final adventure" in FC#6. As I understand it.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Crossovers, 'events', and multi-title storylines

    by Fuzzyjefe

    are one of the main reasons why I no longer read ANY main universe book Marvel or DC puts out. Reading the adventures of my favorite capes used to be a fun diversion, but somewhere in the 90s it became WORK to keep up with all the baloney. So now, I tend to read books that I know will have an end at some point; books where there are real consequences & change sticks. Take all the Kryptonians on earth in Supes. You KNOW that all these kryptonians aren't gonna suddenly decide earthlings are weak & start wiping entire swaths of countryside off the face of the planet, like they COULD. But in a book like Invincible, something like that could happen. The big 2 superheroes are safe, no matter how EARTH-SHATTERING the events are promised to be. Spidey will swing, Supes will patrol Metropolis, and Phoenix is gonna rise again. I like feeling that anything might happen, and danger is real. My 2 centavos.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4:45 p.m. CST

    Thanks Laserhead

    by limb

    But I just want to point out the relevant issues are all in the 600s (not the 200s), just so no one gets further confused.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Fuzzyjefe

    by Joenathan

    You know who is also safe?<br><Br>Invincible...

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Let me ask you a question Joenanthan...

    by Continentalop

    I really wasn’t trying to pick on you, but you were the one you brought up anal rape in his post so it made me want to bring the subject up. But let me ask you to imagine a scenario: If you are a dumb twenty-old kid tricked to carry a package for the Mongol biker gang here in LA, busted and imprisoned for three years, do you really believe getting sodomized is somehow karma and you deserve it? Because that is what happened to my friend (although I am unsure if he was ever raped, and hopefully he wasn’t). <p> Plus, as DNA evidence has proven in a number of cases, the ones in prison are not always the guilty party. But an innocent guy in prison getting raped is ok, because it is funny when men get raped, right? Or how about the Christopher Newsome, who was kidnapped with his girlfriend by some thugs and then the two of them were both raped and sodomized. Is that funny? I mean, really? Because despite all you bluster, I can't imagine you being that heartless. I just think you like to be confrontational, so I would love to hear what you real answer is. And please don’t try to respond to this with a wisecrack or joke, I want a serious answer. <p> And just so I don’t keep unfairly focusing on Joenanthan (because like I said earlier he just happened to recently mention the subject but others here have made similar jokes before) I would like to ask the question to the guys on this site, how many of you could fight off a fucking animal intent on raping you? I mean, we all like to talk tough on this site, but honestly, do a lot of you think you could fight off three muscle bound convicts in prison intent on raping you? And if you can’t fight them off, why is it so funny to laugh at the misery of others? Maybe we like to laugh because we don’t want to admit it easily could have been us.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 5 p.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by Joenathan

    Rape is different than prison rape, period. You know it. I know it. Rape is a crime, always, but PRISON rape is an avoidable situation. How? Don't go to prison. <br><Br>Honestly, if your friend was in the game and got in over his head, thats what happens. Like the old cliche goes: Do the crime, do the time. If he wanted to stay out of prison, then he should have stayed on the bench.<br><br>Guess what?<br><br>I don't want to go to prison, so you know what I don't do?<br><br>mule.<br><br>EVER.<br><Br> simple as that. I go on-line and talk about comics instead. Thank you AICN, thank you. You saved my oh so pretty ass once again.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Sorry to break into all of this rape talk...

    by Ambush Bug

    ...but back to RIP/FC. So basically you are telling me that Batman RIP occurred and ended a month ago. Tying to a story told six months ago (our time, not comic book time) where Batman investigates the disappearance of J'onn, gets swiped up by Granny Goodness, gets put into a machine. Then a few weeks ago, after a climactic explosion and Dick standing on a pier like Fabio looking over the wreckage, Batman just saunters into the cave and wipes his brow with a "whew!" and then catches up with the rest of the DCU in FC whilst reminiscing about the koooky space years of Batman history? Sure it makes sense when spelled out on paper, but doesn't it kind of make the all-emcompassing power of RIP irrelevant? How'd Bruce get out of the exploding helicoptor? What happened to Hurt? Did Dick feel foolish making that dramatic scene at the end of RIP? Are we just supposed to ignore all of those dangling threads because Didio and friends promise the "Final Fate" of the Dark Knight in FC, this time, for realsy?<br><br> Sorry, sounds like retro fitting to me. And don't blame the artist. Morrison is writing and rewriting this thing as we speak. While the rest of DC twiddles their thumbs.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 5:27 p.m. CST

    Maube if DC had their shit together...

    by Ambush Bug

    and put RIP and FC out on time, none of this confusion would have happened. I may be the vocal one that's confused here, but I know I'm not the only one.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 5:40 p.m. CST

    Remember

    by gooseud

    I'm the one who predicted Wolvie would get ass raped and thats what turned him into such a bitch in that storyline (an idea light years more interesting then what actually happened, by the way). Regardless, I'm in the same boat as Fuzzyjefe, I only read the little corners of the Dc and Marvel U that are forgotten about by editorial and are free to do whatever they want. She Hulk under Slott was one (if you want to debate single issue vs. long arcs, the Awesome Andy single issue of She-Hulk was as awesome as it got, one of my all time favorite single issues of any comic ever) til crossovers brought about its demise, X Factor under David was another til crossovers brought about its demise (I'm seeing a pattern), currently Nova is kicking ridiculous amounts of ass, as Annhiliation did before it (mainly because no one at Marvel editorial seems to care what they do on that title). The recent last page reveal was all kinds of awesome, especially the pimp stache sported by the planet

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Yeah...

    by Ambush Bug

    He has to be a very confident planet to pull off that look in this day and age. Whotta ego!

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 6:14 p.m. CST

    Ego Vs.Green Lantern Planet

    by gooseud

    GLP: Looks like a normal planet except has the lantern symbol, has green lantern powers Ego: looks likea planet-sized version on John Holmes and is named "Ego". Advantage: Marvel

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 6:20 p.m. CST

    RIP/Final Crisis explanation:

    by limb

    <p> Let's be clear on this point: Batman RIP and Final Crisis are not really "tied together" the way you seem to be thinking. One happens after the other so they intertwine that way, and they're both Morrison stories so they both connect like all his DCU stories connect. But they're still meant to be seperate arcs. <p> A lot of those "dangling threads" you mentioned are part of the point of RIP. Normally Batman could figure out who Hurt really is, stop him once and for all, clear the Wayne family's name, and maybe stop a bank robbery all before breakfast. But because he headed off to deal with Final Crisis immediately after the events of RIP, and because he's apparently headed to his "final fate", all these loose threads are left, well, loose. If Final Crisis is supposed to be the story of a time when evil finally won, RIP is the story of Batman's last, unsolved case. Hence the whole Black Casebook (a book of all Batman's unsolved and unexplained cases) thing mentioned throughout Morrison's run. <p>As for Dick's dramatic scene, it was never meant to imply that Batman was dead, as many people interpreted it. Considering Batman was narrating the issue from some time afterward, I don't know where anyone got that idea. Interpreted properly the scene still holds weight, though. Notice when Batman stopped at the bat-cave in 683 (before leaving for Final Crisis) Alfred was there but Robin and Nightwing were not. Meaning the helicopter explosion may well be the very last time Dick ever saw Bruce Wayne before his "final fate". <p> I don't see where rewriting or "retro fitting" comes in, except for maybe the helicopter explosion which I could see being added at the last minute for extra dramatic effect. Morrison doesn't have Alzheimers, he knew what he wrote in Final Crisis and that it would inevitably have to link up with his Batman run. <p>But yes, the delays are harming these books. These two arcs will probably read a lot better once they're collected.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 6:25 p.m. CST

    So what's with DC and all of these multiple deaths...

    by Ambush Bug

    one after another within the span of a few months. First the New Gods. Now Batman....C'mon, now. Just crappy. With New Gods, it's because of different writers and editors not talking with one another. But Morrison has no excuse for the hackitude.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Again

    by limb

    Batman is narrating the issue with the helicopter crash from after it happens, writing it in his casebook even. How does that imply anything but that he survived the crash? It's plain as day. If you just read whats written on the comic page right in front of you there's no reason to be confused.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Joenanthan

    by Continentalop

    This will be my last post on the subject and then I will move on, letting you have the last word if you want. But I should tell you I just generally disagree with you. Yes, you shouldn’t act as a mule, and I believe the three years he did in prison taught him that lesson. But to somehow view getting raped in prison as something he deserves for his bad choice is callous to me, as well excessive.<p> Many choices in our lives have potentially bad consequences. Smoking cigarettes leads to cancer, but doesn’t mean I don’t feel sympathetic towards those smokers who get cancer. Many other things are also avoidable by our choices, but it doesn’t mean we can’t sympathize or feel that it is unfair to happen to someone else. We used to blame women for getting raped by saying they acted or wore something to provocative or revealing, or that they shouldn’t have gone somewhere after dark or went out with such a person. A woman walking the streets at night has a chance of getting nabbed and raped; that is a simple fact, but it doesn’t mean it is something we should view as acceptable or appropriate. While a woman might make a bad decision that helps lead her into getting raped, I don’t think any of us here would consider the consequences to be equal to her bad judgment. <p> Plus, where does the “if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime” or “you reap what you sow” mindset end? A soldier in Iraq has a chance of dying, does that we shouldn’t feel sorry for him when he bites it? “Just part of the job”, or “if he wasn’t willing to die he shouldn’t have enlisted.” Or the fact that being homosexual in Iraq is punishable by stoning. Does that mean when we hear that two gay men have their heads bashed in, they have only themselves to blame? <P> I keep thinking of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables who basically got twenty-years for stealing a loaf of bread. A little excessive don’t you think? Maybe that book is why I have a different opinion on the matter with you, or maybe is it because I did 32-days in LA country for stealing car tabs and a license plate, and during that time I witnessed two stabbings in 24 hours and a bunch of racial fights. I also learned that the weakest guys in jail, the guys who most likely don’t deserve to be there, are the ones who have the harshest time. <p> A final note, this debate started because you were asking Millar to have Rick Jones ass-raped. In your original post you mentioned nothing of about it being in prison, just that you wanted some ass-rape in general. So your argument that prison rape is a different situation is not pertinent to why we started this discussion. <p> NOTE: Re-reading your post I know see that it may have been directed as sarcasm towards another talkbacker. If that is the case, I am sorry I missed the sarcasm and just assumed you were trying to be funny and crude talking about men getting raped.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 6:41 p.m. CST

    Ambush bug, limb

    by Continentalop

    I think Bug is right. I'm confused just reading your post. You two trying to figure out and explain what happened is fucking confusing as hell!

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by limb

    Have you read the stories we're talking about?

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 7:31 p.m. CST

    Is anybody following the current Superman: New Krypton stuff?

    by qweruiop

    I am, and I'm finding them to be a pretty good read. Very interesting concept, the idea that there are suddenly 100,000 Kryptonians (Kandorians if you want to be specific) roaming the Earth, each developing the same powers as Superman. It's nice to see how this is slowly turning into an invasion-themed story, with the idea that the Kandorians will eventually take Earth for their own. And the sweetest part of all is finding out that Lex Luthor, in some ways, was right about Earth falling to Superman's "alien" friends, and now he's been drafted by the US military to help stop this. This is all going to lead into a classic Superman/Lex showdown.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 7:41 p.m. CST

    Uneven

    by GoodTimeBobby

    How can Grant Morrison be responsible for the best comic in years- All Star Superman, and also be mucking up the Batman mythos and DCU at large with his RIP and Final Crisis crap? They are practically unreadable at this point- I want to jump into a great crossover like the next reader, but why are these summer crossovers lingering so long now? and there is almost no downtime between them- so the "drastic" changes they create are never fully explored. Why do they have all these asides and one shots and specials to Final Crisis? like it was mentioned above- why not make it part of the main story? remember, the original Criss was 12 issues! it was much easier to follow.for example- "the rage of the red lanterns" one-shot was excellent- but why wasnt just part of the normal GL or GLC books? I mean, it supposedly picks up in this month's GL- so why did it have the Final Crisis brand on it at all? the DCU is so convoluted now- I would like it if they declare like a ten year moritorium on universe-shattering crossovers. IMHO

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Old Man Logan

    by KnightShift

    Along with Origin, maybe the best Wolverine story of recent years. The newest issue, where we find out why Logan gave up the fight, is way bold new dark territory for the character. Hope he can get his spirit back in time to break bad when they arrive at New Babylon.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 7:48 p.m. CST

    limb

    by Continentalop

    I'll be honest, no I haven't. Read the first couple issues of RIP at a friends, decided to wait until TPB, but the way everyone talks about it makes me think I might have to let it pass. I won't deny that people's reaction to it is scaring me off of it. <p> Actually, I think I'll wait a couple of months until the buzz around it cools off and then see how people feel about it. Usually by then you know if something was worthwhile and made sense or if it was a complete and utter disaster. Hindsight is always a great advantage.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Universe-shattering crossovers

    by Continentalop

    I always thought each comic company should limit themselves to only one such event every four years, kind of like a Presidential election or the Olympics.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Bold New Territory...? Wolverine?

    by gooseud

    Indeed, its certainly new territory...... no one has ever dared to write a story of such epic retardation.......since MArvel Zombies, but that was of course SUPPOSED to be completely brain dead, thats the fun of it. Your right though, Logan has never turned on his friends like that, not in at LEAST 6 months or so!! coughcoughHYDRAcoughcough

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 8:27 p.m. CST

    re:Continentalop. No wonder

    by limb

    Its not surprising you can't follow along with my explanations if you haven't read the material. <p>Honestly, though, Batman RIP is not nearly as confusing as people make it out to be. The real confusing part is why some people insist on interpeting it in radically off-the-mark ways. Try picking up the trades of Morrison's run (the RIP one comes out next month) and just be willing to read between the lines a little and you'll get an amazing, badass, creepy story in return.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 8:29 p.m. CST

    As for events

    by limb

    I've been thinking every run should be an All-Star run. Meaning they should do away with the shared DC/Marvel universes altogether and just tell great stories, picking and choosing which parts of past stories to include. The All-Star Superman example could be a fresh new direction for comics.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Agree with you limb

    by Continentalop

    At least regarding DC. I always thought DC worked better when each comic and character was able to act independently from each other, almost like a mini-universe for each title. I mean, each major character in DC operates out of a different city, it should be easy to have a Batman Universe, a Superman Universe, a Flash Universe, hell even a Justice League Universe. Sometimes these Universes cross over, but most of the time they are separate entities.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Limb...

    by GoodTimeBobby

    Thats actually a great idea that I would completely support- a radical reboot like the jump from Golden to Silver age- shut everything down and restart a new All Star line with the principal players- no longer be a slave to this internal continuity logic that has been bogging comics down for the past few decades- fewer titles, but each title could have the best creators and each could be like an 80 page annual size. Focus on each character and make it the best stand alone series you can. thats what the DCU needs to do- that would be more "radical" than any cross-over event could ever be.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 9:34 p.m. CST

    Limb

    by GoodTimeBobby

    ..and instead of Golden or Silver or Modern you could call it "The All Star Age" to signify the break with past tradition and publishing philosophy. just a thought.

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 9:34 p.m. CST

    Kevin Smith makes Harry look thin...

    by Leafar the Lost

    It used to be a big deal if Kevin Smith wrote a comic book or directed a movie. Now its no big deal, and soon it will become pathetic. Have you seen him lately? He looks like two Kevin Smiths put together. He makes Harry look thin. I am done with your fat ass, Kevin. Grow the fuck up...

  • Jan. 7, 2009, 9:43 p.m. CST

    GoodTimeBobby

    by limb

    I think we might just be sharing brain waves! The only thing I would add is that once one creative team has finished a nice long run on a title the next team to take over can start relatively fresh if they want to, too. That way you don't ever get stuck in the same rut comics are in now, like Marvel's Ultimate universe seems to be doing now. <p> Your All-Stare Age branding is just so perfect. Someone get Dan Didio one the phone.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 12:56 a.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by Joenathan

    The original post WAS sarcasm directed toward goose as the Millar/wolvie/assrape thing was an on going thing.<br><br>BUT (heh) you are making a specious correlation when you're trying to link my dismissal of PRISON rape as a subject that I should have sympathy for (I don't) by linking it to anything else, like soldiers in iraq or rape in general or most especially Les Mis. They aren't connected at all. At All.<br><br>As for the whole "deserving" to be in prison thing... did you commit a crime? Well, it seems to me theres an obvious way you could have avoided going in and having to worry about your spincter in the first place. Should I state it or can you catch up on your own? Ass up, son.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 1:01 a.m. CST

    Goose

    by Joenathan

    Old Man Logan is the best Wolverine has been in years. Go.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 1:01 a.m. CST

    Totally agree about the Kevin Smith Batman review.

    by Royston Lodge

    I started out as "a Marvel guy", reading titles that other people had never heard of, precisely because I got sucked in by the formula of the three-issue story arc. The comic I first got addicted to was West Coast Avengers, believe it or not. Also around that time, I got addicted to Excalibur, and Speedball, and Guardians of the Galaxy. I was never into the big titles like Spidey or X-Men, and I think the tendency towards "events" turned me off. I also didn't get into DC at the time because, I think, the times I picked up a Superman or Batman comic it always seemed to be a one-issue story with a throwaway story, and I make any sort of attachment to the characters. I finally became addicted to Detective Comics, however, because it had that three-issue story arc formula that could really suck me in. This was after Jason Todd and before Tim Drake. I think the arc that first grabbed me was the Batman: Year Three story. It was so muted. For the most part, it was about a court case involving a petty crook! No supervillains, no silliness, just Dick Greyson as an actual flawed human being dealing with the demons of his past. Totally got me hooked on Detective Comics. The big event stuff, like Civil War for example, is just too big for me. I'm afraid I'll lose out on too much if I miss one issue somewhere in the middle of the long-ass series, so I don't bother reading any of it. (Disclosure: The last comic I bought was the Spiderman where Spidey has to fight Gwen Stacy's kids. That was a cool book. It was also quite a while ago.)

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 1:03 a.m. CST

    Also

    by Joenathan

    You know why none of the assholes have reviewed Old Man Logan? Because they're vehement Anti-Millarists and having to admit how awesome Old Man Logan is hurts them way too much.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 1:09 a.m. CST

    Optimous Douche

    by SamBluestone

    "As someone who believes comic books get better each year and finds comics written pre-1974 utterly unreadable..." So no Will Eisner, Jack Cole, Steve Ditko, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Carl Barks, nor the ENTIRE BLOODY EC COMICS line for you, Mr. Douche? Eh, your loss. But if it's true (assuming you weren't just using a big blanket statement ironically, as geeks are wont to do), that immediately takes away your future credibility, in my eyes anyway. It's like a film critic saying he can't stand to watch any films made before a certain period, much less three-quarters into the century. Bizarre, and sad.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 1:10 a.m. CST

    I loved West Coast Avengers

    by Joenathan

    That was where Iron Man was drinking a beer through the slit in his helmet at the celebratory "yay, we beat Graviton (must wear your uniform) BBQ" Hawkeye was throwing, because Rhodey didn't want Hawkeye to find out he was black, I think because he was afraid that Hawkeye wouldn't given him a hamburger or something.<br><br>Also, Thats where Wonderman turned down sex with Tigra and we found out he was gay.<br><br>AND Hank Pym used to keep miniature chain saws in his red jumpsuit pockets.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Royston

    by Joenathan

    If you added New Warriors and Uncanny to that list , we were reading the same comics.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 1:51 a.m. CST

    Thank Christ

    by Don Lockwood

    Finally I get an amen about Morrison. In November in a comics talkback I brought how incomprehensible I thought Morrison had become and there was hardly any traffic. <p> His stories continually leave me scratching my head. I usually have to reread past issues to get current issues and even then, sometimes, that doesn't help. I realize that maybe he just isn't for me, yet somehow I find myself reading Final Crisis and Batman: RIP simply because they're supposed to be character-defining series and then, surprise, they're not. Maybe I just like my storytelling to be somewhat clear and his just always seems completely muddled. However, I don't remember Animal Man being hard to comprehend, just more cerebral. We3 wasn't hard to understand. Has he grown into an increasingly hard-to-track writer? Can he get away with being more obtuse and obscure now because he's GRANT MORRISON?

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:19 a.m. CST

    If you think Tony Starks current "character arc" is well done

    by IndustryKiller!

    then you are as a shallow as Mark Millars writing. Anyone who has even a basic understanding of that character would know that Stark since Civil War has just been a cheap bargain basement bullshit knock off of the character. And, as Ive pointed out a million times before, has never even been remotely justified within the realms of everything we know of Starks character. And no him being rich and a former alcoholic does not mean he is capable of anything like the ridiculous George W. Bush analogy Millar turned him into. This iteration might inform future versions but, god willing, one day a smart editor will replace a Joe Quesada after God strikes him dead for his sins against comic books, and just retcon everything done in any Marvel book since Civil War.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:26 a.m. CST

    Optimous already wins the "AICN Most idiotic of 2009" award

    by IndustryKiller!

    Comic books get better every year!!!??? What the....? What in the fuck is that about? You've got to be kidding me. That's like saying genre films are better now and all those 80's films were crap. I mean fucking seriously how does one of AICNs comic book editors say something so FLATLY FALSE and not get the boot? Can the rest of you guys have any respect for this clown? I see where the douche comes from you tasteless imbecile.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 6:44 a.m. CST

    Industry Killer

    by optimous_douche

    "That's like saying genre films are better now and all those 80's films were crap."<p> That's awesome we're in agreement, because on the whole 80's films were crap compared to all of the films today.<p> I didn't say EVERY comic was better today than EVERY comic of yore. Yes, Dark Knight Returns is still better than say the current Titans run. Stan Lee was a genius for his time, today though his style feels outmoded and almost a caricature.<p> Sort of the mantra of society, we take what was and provide fresh innovative spins for each new generation.<p> The world is changing. You can embrace that change or pine for a time that will never come again. Evolve or die old man.<p> I'm voting for the latter since you resorted to name calling instead of trying to have a discussion.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 7:10 a.m. CST

    SamBlueStone

    by optimous_douche

    Sam, Thank you for talking this out rather than resorting to the Industry Killer approach.<p> I will always hold reverence for the classics becasue we would not be where we are today without them.<p> As I said in my response to industry killer though, I believe today's current stable of writers (some, not all) have lifted the great elements from those pieces and changed them to meet the sensibiliities of our modern world.<p> Personally, no I can not read anything from the silver age these days. One, I have already traversed this material and two, it has been rehashed in some form or another over the subsequent years. When I pick up a piece I never read from that period I can usually find some way it has been lifted into a modern piece, with more improtantly a modern voice. I give the classics all the kudos for originality, but will hold firm to teh fact styles of storytelling die for a reason.<p> So, I'm sorry I lost credibility, but I believe firmly in the march of time and the excitement of fresh new ideas or new spins on old ideas.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 7:45 a.m. CST

    Optimous

    by gooseud

    I'm sorry Mr. Douche, but today's PG-13, sanitized bullshit action pictures cannot hold a candle to the classics of the 80's. Go back and watch The Thing, Lethal Weapon, Robocop, Predator.....its amazing how much ass they kick and how well they hold up (shave off Mel's mullet and leave Lethal Weapon exactly the same in every other way, and it would be a 200 mil hit if relased tomorrow), and its amazing how crap like Transformers or Jason Statham's action pic of the week simply pale in comparison. Now if you are talking about comics......I find 95% of the comics from the 80's unreadable, so I guess your right there. Has anyone gone back recently and tried to read Crisis on Infinite Earths? Dear God. The dialogue will make your eyes burn. I can only see Golden Age Superman having this massive talking-out-loud "The Anti-Monitor will not stand, this I swear!! I will find a way to defeat this dire villain!!" 3 page exterior monologue before I want to kind of kill myself. Its like being forced to read the entire Millar back catalogue!!

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 7:47 a.m. CST

    Oh, and.....

    by gooseud

    I dare anyone to read the death of Supergirl scene (which I thought was amazing at the time) without laughing your ass off. John Wayne never had death speeches that long, by page 4 of her rambling on about how she loves Superman, you'll be like "Christ woman, just DIE already!!"

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Buzz Maverik Redefines Trade Pacing

    by Buzz Maverik

    Alright, the comic book company is going to pay me some dough to write a story arc! I hate story arcs. I like stories, but they call 'em story arcs and...you know, the aforementioned dough. It's still the aughts, so I gotta pace 'em for the trades. Fine. I like trades and ... dough. But why does everybody think paced for the trades means wretchedly slow individually published issues. Why not write for a fast paced trade? I mean, I know it's going to be a trade anyway, right? I also know that the story will go out an issue at a time, right?I love comics. I love the medium and I refuse to sell it short. I know where the story is going, so I have to make the getting there interesting. Because I have read more than just comics, but I have studied the craft of storytelling, I will make each "issue" an act that will build to an important dramatic point and I will not be so enamored of the dough and myself and comic books that I only have one dramatic point. Yes, I will put thought and care into the work. I will EARN that dough!

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Goose

    by optimous_douche

    OK, I'll concede on the 80's movie front, you swayed me.<p> On comics though, I think we agree...

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 8:32 a.m. CST

    I think limb's idea rocks also...

    by Fuzzyjefe

    too bad neither of the big 2 would ever take that approach. Why not? Because continuity means you need to buy Batman, Detective, Shadow of the Bat, Batman's Dry Cleaner, Alfred's Adventures in Cleaning, The Wayne Manor Files & Robin to get the 'whole story'. Continuity equals coin.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 8:35 a.m. CST

    pre 1974?

    by Hedgehog000

    A comic critic not being able to read silver age stuff seems akin to a book review critic not being able to read Romeo and Juliet because of that old fashioned language and because Romeo Must Die already took the great elements of that story and retold them for our modern age. In a lot of ways, the comic book industry hasn't progressed much beyond the characters and concepts of the early 70s. At least with movies and books, you can point to recent classics that will probably continue to reverberate for years to come. The list of comics that could make that claim (Watchmen and uhmm, uhmm, well I'm sure there's something) is quite small (DKR doesn't count, it's cool but still just a retelling of Batman).

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 8:37 a.m. CST

    Sandman

    by Hedgehog000

    Ok, Watchmen and Sandman. Even though there's been plenty of other good stuff, but I'm not sure any of it's had larger longterm impact. (Maybe if that Fables series comes out and people start noticing it more)

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 8:46 a.m. CST

    Hedge

    by optimous_douche

    It drives everyone in my life insane, but that's simply how I feel.<P> I was a theater major in college and despised every time I had to perform something from the immortal bard. Could I understand it? Yes. Did I appreciate it for the time period it was written. ABSOLUTELY, considering 90% of the rest of the population could not read or was rolling around in feces. But did I like it? Hells no...Pretty and flowery prose just do not make for an engaging night of theater in this day and age.<p> I feel the same way about comics. I can absolutely appreciate what was done in the past, but I simply do not like it. If that discounts my opinion on a book printed last week, well I guess that's my cross to bear.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Op, Bug, Limb, R.I.P.

    by Laserhead

    Guys, yes, it's actually really simple when you read it all together. Limb is exactly right in his explanation, and it really is clear as day.<p>THAT SAID-- Yes, Ambush Bug, you are correct when you say R.I.P. is irrelevant. Yep, it sure is. And yes, R.I.P. actually ends BEFORE Final Crisis starts; fucking up any sense of suspense or dramatic timeline. That's been the main thing a reader has had to wrap his head around the past month-- that R.I.P. is irrelevant. Far from being some event that "shakes the bat-mythos more than anything else in its 70 year history", R.I.P. is simply a six-part Batman adventure; nothing more, nothing less. As such, it's actually pretty good, I think, with some damn cool moments. It's just, as you said, completely irrelevant. Particularly when Batman's true "final fate" is a product of final crisis and has nothing to do with R.I.P. So... I argue that it's easy to understand, because there's NOTHING to read into it. People seem to tie themselves in knots with this story by trying to make it symbolize all kinds of crazy shit. It doesn't. Just a six-part adventure where the villain remains nebulous to the end. The dissatisfaction with the story is due to Morrison the marketeer, I think, not Morrison the writer. He should never have built up R.I.P. as the most earth-shattering thing in Batman history. And, personally, I think Batman becoming a New God of the Fifth World or whatever will be damn stupid, no matter how it's written.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Old Man Logan is not awesome at all

    by Laserhead

    It's a dull re-hash of a ton of concepts that have already been written into the ground (hell, Millar's even ripping off his last Wolverine story-- getting brain-washed and going after his friends). Maybe if you're 8 years old and skipped reading comics in the 80s and 90s and early 00s this shit looks fresh or something.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Buffy #21 with special guest star: AICN's Ambush Bug!

    by Squashua

    Check out that last page, right before the back cover.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 10:35 a.m. CST

    DC Comics Presents: Batman & Ambush Bug - Brave and the Bald

    by Squashua

    Rather, Dark Horse Comics Presents.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Laserhead and Logan

    by gooseud

    He's ripping off himself, in general. Read Wanted and then read this, I'm amazed Logan doesnt have bleached blond hair singing "Guess whos back....back again....Shady's back....tell a friend". Which is ok, it's Millar, if your expecting Brubaker, BKV, prime Thor/Squadron Supreme JMS, prime Ult. FF Ellis, your going to be sorely dissapointed, as any of those guys can write Millar into the ground while 97 years old and addled with Alzheimers. But Millar does have his cheap thrills, similar to the Saw movies. My problem is when he constructs an entire story around a mystery (what happened to Logan) and then reveals it to be the most laughably ludicrous crapfest ever put to page. As an aside, it was pretty funny seeing Kirkman out-Millar Millar on Marvel Zombies, I'm convinced that mini was actually written to make fun of Millar without him being aware of it, it was Kirkman taking the piss out of Mr. Civil War.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Old Comics & Old Movies versus New

    by Continentalop

    Optimus Douche – I am not going to try to change your mind since you are entitled to your own opinion, but I will say that I disagree. You may enjoy comics nowadays more, but it doesn’t mean that they are as innovative or as creative as they were in the past, or as good. It just means that modern comic book reader has become conscious of the techniques and elements that make a comic book story that they won’t accept certain comic book devices because they feel clichéd or old. You said that styles of story-telling die for a reason, and while true that doesn’t make those styles or devices inherently bad, just no longer acceptable to the masses that are now used to them. In film it used to be required to start a scene with a Master Shot; modern audience now longer require such a device to introduce them to a scene. It doesn’t make the Master Shot a bad artistic device for previous movies – in fact it was quite an important innovation to film – but just something no longer necessary. <p> Plus I disagree with your assessment of evolve or die. It seems to suggest that comics and other art have moved up to a higher level, as if all evolution involves moving up the evolutionary ladder. That isn’t always true. In fact, I will say your line should have been “Adapt or die old man” because really what comics are doing is the same as nature; they are adapting to the current environment. And the current environment of the industry is that comics appeal only to a small, devout group of fans, people who read comics as a child and stayed with them. <p> In fact, all evidence seems to point that comics have “de-evolved” or moved down the evolutionary ladder. Less people read comics now then ever before, and while the influence of comics can be felt in other mediums, rarely is it the storylines, plots or characters that the current writers create that Hollywood uses. Most superhero films are using the older, classic stories as outlines for the film, and using the older depiction of the character as the template for the film character (with a couple of exceptions that prove the rule). <p> Adapt or die, yes. But adapting doesn’t always mean you have evolved. <p> Gooseud (and Others) – while I agree with you that modern movies are not the zenith and there have been better eras, I don’t think the 80’s are a good era to use as an example. Excluding the genre flicks, which I know is what you were highlighting, the 80’s were pretty void and very forgettable decade in films, especially compared to the previous period - the 70’s. Now that was a decade in film! It isn’t called the second Golden Age of Film for nothing!

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 11:22 a.m. CST

    In this great future . . .

    by dead-battery

    Optimus. Enjoy reading your stuff, but respectfully disagree regarding older works. * Objectively, 80's (and early 90's pre-Liefeld) comics were not uniformly bad. Some of the good stuff I remember off the top of my head: Walt Simonson's run on Thor ('nuff said); John Bryne's run of FF; Eastman and Laird TMNT (the original black and white stuff); Chayakin's American Flag (which is prescient in a ton of different ways); Claremont on X-Man; the Avengers with Tom Palmer was great; The 'Nam; the first 30 or so issues of GI Joe; Alien L.E.G.I.O.N; The Shadow; Perez's Teen Titans; Frank Miller's Daredevil run; and The Thing (Rocky Grimm Space Ranger arc). * 80's Marvel Annuals were actual events and worth collecting. In one I remember, written by Claremont (I think) and drawn by Art Adams: the X-Men end up Asgard and Loki gives Thor's power to Storm. Loki makes Storm think Wolverine is an enemy (what - hey where have we seen this recently) and she blasts away at him with Mjonir - tearing and burning his skin - but he keeps coming. Eventually, Logan is on his knees before her and Loki - Storm ready to administer the coup de grace - and Logan - all burnt and smoking looks up and says -"Ororo, honey it's me - he's the god of lies. That's all he does.." And Storm sees clearly again. Solid stuff in terms of story, dialogue, and characterization - written and drawn in the 80's. * The 80 brought us a ton of great Limited Series: Grunewald's Squadron Supreme; Rocket Raccoon; Baldur the Brave; Wolverine & Kitty Pride; Art Adam's Longshot; The Punisher; Cosmic Odyssey; and Night Crawler. * In addition to DKR and the Watchmen, you had stuff like: the Killing Joke; Camelot 3000; Screamer; Shatter; Batman: Year One. * Also, older comics are not inherently or unilaterally unreadable. Visually, Jack Kirby's Fourth World stuff is stillarresting - and the narrative gripping and powerful - and, really, does not require all that much to get into it as long as one is not like "Hey, it was written in the 70's - people talk funny - it's gotta suck." * I think you're really missing out on a lot of good stuff that is not only entertaining and, at least in Kirby's case, has a lot to say from a guy who: fought on the roof tops of New York during the depression, and across Europe during the WWII, witnessed the dawn of the atomic age and the age of Aquarius - all of which permeated his works - in was boiledd down to a kind of accumulated wisdom - told in ink and four colors. And that's just a comic book. It is easy to be a passive consumer of culture and assume that what is currently on offer is best and says everything that needs to be said because it's wrapped in a shiny package and passed off as "progress." Of course, not all cultural ephemera of the past that was once shiny new and true and now thought passé by the aribiters of cool - has inherent value - but some does - and to dismiss it all as a rule of thumb cuts strikes me as unnecessarily limiting. * But listen, that's not say more current comic books are all bad. They are not. I thought Runaways was solid. I'm addicted to Eric Powell's stuff. However, despite the more "sophisticated" dialogue and "adult" the content, 64 color separation, shiny paper, and big events - most modern comics leave me quite cold. I, mean, if you want to think Wanted is great, fine. But to me, it is nihilistic doggerel and a symbol of a decadent society - racing quickly to the bottom - unable to escape its own unrelenting cynicism.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Old Man Logan

    by Continentalop

    While I haven't really read the series, so I can't determine if it is truly good or bad, I will say that I don't find it that innovative or original. I mean, basically it is "Escape from New York" & "The Road Warrior" in a post-apocalyptic Marvel Universe, with elements of Clint's Eastwood's "Unforgiven" thrown in. Logan's involvement just seems coincidental. You could have thrown in a number of different characters into the story and it wouldn't have changed much.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Great old comic: Ditko's run on Doctor Strange

    by Continentalop

    From Strange 128-142 is as innovative and exciting as anything out there. Never has magic seemed so magical!

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Battery & Lope

    by optimous_douche

    Thank you for respecting my opinion even though we disagree, as I respect yours.<p> For the record though, I don't hate the 80's or 90's stuff. There were some great titles. Specifically I LOVE anything Giffen wrote in that era. Primarily silver age and before is what makes me groan.<p> Point well taken on the evolve or die, but I think it depends on your perspective. If you think things are better today than before as I believe than evolve is the right word. I don't base my opinion on readership numbers, but how I feel about the titles. On the whole I prefer what is coming out today. Going back to my Giffen example I think Johns is an evolution of his style, but he has made it his own. Humor and heart where Giffen was more humor.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 12:02 p.m. CST

    with a couple of exceptions

    by Joenathan

    That being the two most successful in the history of superhero films.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 12:03 p.m. CST

    joenathan

    by Slaphappy Slim

    You are an absolute moron if you truly beleive anyone who ends up in jail deserves an ass rape, if they get one. You also seem to conveniently ignore the fact that innocent people get sent up quite a bit. Here's hoping you get railroaded for something you didn't do....and then get railroaded by three goons in the shower. You piece of fucking filth.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Old Man Logan

    by Joenathan

    Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Hold on!<br><br>I was JUST reading some of you guys' posts and I am shocked to realize that Old Man Logan is, in fact, NOT 100% original.<br><br>Hold on. I'm shaking... I have to sit down... hold on...<br><br>I mean, that is shocking! Shocking! And after Millar promised a mix of Mad Max and Unforgiven too! That... That... That son of a bitch! I mean, thank you guys, if not for your keen eagle eyes and encyclopedic knowledge of obscure comic lore, I would have never, let me repeat that: NEVER realized that Logan going berserk and attacking his friends had happened before. And honestly, thats the whole point, right? Complete originality? Right? Thats the whole point.<br><br>My eyes are finally open. I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.<br><br>Its gonna be a bright, bright, bright sunshiny day.<br><br>fuck Millar.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 12:06 p.m. CST

    slaphappy

    by Joenathan

    I love you too. See you in the shower.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 12:19 p.m. CST

    joenathan

    by Slaphappy Slim

    can't wait, sweet tits

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 12:21 p.m. CST

    The most successful in the history of superhero films

    by Continentalop

    If this is in reference to my comments to Optimous, I take it you are referring to the Dark Knight. Call me ignorant, but that seems to spell out my point: Golden Age comics and villains, a depiction of the Joker based mostly on his original Golden Age appearance (as Chris Nolan stated in an interview), a Gordon almost identical to the one Frank Miller depicted in Batman: Year One (from 1985), etc. <p> Unless I am mistaken, that pretty much fits my argument. If I am wrong, please let me know.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Sorry

    by Joenathan

    I realized its stunning lack a clarity post-posting. I was referring to Dark Knight, and while there are certainly those influences you mentioned, I would say that Year One and the DKR influences are NOT golden Age, but Modern, or at least, more modern. While Batman himself is certainly more in line with a modern portrayal, as was Two-face. They may be Golden Age characters, but I don't think their characteristics and traits were drawn from the Golden Age portrayals.<br><br>The other film I was referencing was Iron Man, which I wouldn't have said until I read Extremis by Ellis and was stunned at some of the imagery and themes that were lifted almost wholly from that book's pages.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Slaphappy

    by Joenathan

    I call Top

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Incognito

    by Joenathan

    Didn't any of you read this one? How come we're not talking about it more? I can't wait for the next issue.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Iron Fist

    by Olsen Twins_Fan

    How bout some cheap shot reviews of this title? I'm worried that's it's dropping off the radar after Fraction/Brubaker left - and it's still pretty damn good.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Nope

    by optimous_douche

    everyone just wants to railroad me becasue I don't like old shit :-)<p> Yes, Incognito was fantastic, will teach me to put that in the first line from now on.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Olsen Twins and Optimus

    by Joenathan

    I'm not such a fan of the new artist and I've been enjoying his Daredevil appearances more.<br><br>Optimus, I took your statement to mean that you can't revisit them anymore, not that you hate them, which is a big difference. Which is it?

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 1:43 p.m. CST

    joen

    by optimous_douche

    Revisit the 80's and 90's aside form the classics....<p> I really do abhor the silver age stuff. I appreciate those stories b/ we would not be where we are today, just not my cup of tea.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 1:57 p.m. CST

    but you've "read" Silver Age stuff, right?

    by Joenathan

    I mean, I can understand not giving a shit about the old stories beyond the occasional summaries of their intent at this point, because I have certain story telling standards that older comics just flat out were not capable of, but I have read them, and maybe at a younger age even enjoyed them. Now though, I think the hard part is reconciling some of the wacky shit they used to do with the stuff of today.<br><br>I think for me, it all comes down to pockets. The impracticality of wearing a "crime fighting outfit" without pockets is too much for me. Drives me insane. So, pre-pockets, I don't revisit. Its kind of like my lack of street clothes thing. Can you imagine trying to reach past Iron man for some dip at the BBQ as he clomps around? Its like: "Dude, seriously, just take off the thousand pound battle suit for a little bit, alright? You're ruining my deck."

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 2:09 p.m. CST

    RIP, Rape, old days

    by Homer Sexual

    OK, I can follow that timeline, but then it does make the story irrelevant. Not that I have a problem with that. I didn't even have that much of a problem with RIP when I didn't really understand it. I did the whole David Lynch "just let it wash over you" thing and enjoyed it all right, I just didn't understand the point of it. Now that I know there wasn't a bigger picture, I am cool. Ambush Bug expressed most of my own thoughts eloquently. <p> You can't possibly really feel that anyone in prison deserves to be raped. That is pretty hardcore. I can only think you've never used recreational drugs to take such a harsh stance. And I don't think telling me to stop smoking weed if I don't want to get raped is appropriate. <p> As someone who has been reading comics for about 32 years, I have to say that most anything written before the late 70's is pretty tough for me, and the Shakespeare analogy is pretty apt. I do still like some of my old comics, but they are mostly from the 80s. What has really come a long way is the art, generally speaking. <p> I mean, since we're loving the West Coast Avengers, I will jump aboard. Slutty Tigra was great, a very underappreciated character. The lovebirds were cool, Mockingbird letting Phantom Rider die, and of course the hilarious barbecue. But the art...geez! Wretched. No comic today is so poorly drawn. Silver Surfer by Marshall Rogers, OTOH, had some awesome art even back then. <p> Checking out the Marvel Essentials gives an interesting base of comparison. As far as bad times for comics, the early-mid nineties were generally bad, but there was a lot of good stuff happening. Same thing now, IMO, there is a lot of stuff I dislike (Such as bringing back mother-fing Barry Allen and the whole "dark Marvel" thing) but there is a ton that I love (too many to list here).

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 2:21 p.m. CST

    read Yes

    by optimous_douche

    I have every single issue of Uncanny X-men from 1-today. Collecting those books was just something I wanted to do.<p> When I acquired each early issue at shows I did give them a read. I don't believe in buying any book you won't read, which is why I have major issues with the whole CGC lock-a-book away system.<p> I just don't dig them though.<p> 80s and 90s stuff is way more tolerable for me because that's what I grew up with, but even some of that when I traverse my long boxes I read -- and then I groan.<p> A great set of books that still hold up IMHO are the stories from Valiant. I truly consider those books ahead of their time and a true gateway for where we are today.<p>

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Prison Rape

    by Joenathan

    Look, I don't think they deserved it, I'm saying, if they're REALLY adverse to the possibility to getting forciblly fucked in the ass, then they should have made choices that maximized the possibility of their NOT having to go to prison. <br><br>See? Avoidable. <br><Br>If you're dumb enough to mule and you get caught and then you go to jail and someone makes you their bitch, well... too bad you had to learn the lesson the hard way, pole-rider, and I'm glad I was born not retarded and feel bad that you apparently weren't.<BR><BR>BUT (heh) if you want to cry about it to me, then go ahead and fuck right off, because when I was asked to mule, I said: "fuck you." and then went somewhere else. Why? Because I am adverse to the idea of possiblly putting myself in the position (bent over) where I might get forciblly fucked in the ass. <br><Br>See? Brains over butthole.<br><br>Did they deserve it? No. Rape is a crime.<br><br>Do I feel bad for them? Never. I laugh at them, the same way I laugh at the Darwin Awards. Way to go, dumbass, enjoy the fruits of your own life choices.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 2:25 p.m. CST

    also

    by Joenathan

    If you're dumb enough to smoke weed in the type of place (Arizona, I think) that gives you jailtime for a joint, then once again: Good job on not moving somewhere else, dumbass, enjoy the ass pounding fruits of your own stupid idiot life choices.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 2:27 p.m. CST

    The BBQ

    by Joenathan

    I think Hawkeye was grilling in full costume wearing a chef's hat and an apron and his quiver.<br><Br>Thats some comic book awesome right there.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 2:29 p.m. CST

    I love the idea of Dark Reign

    by Joenathan

    I am totally ready for the return of the supervillian to Marvel

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Geez, Joe

    by Homer Sexual

    You really are hardcore on this whole prison thing, but I'm gonna let it go because... <p> Hell yes he was in full costume PLUS the chef's hat and apron. God, this never gets old. I had forgotten the drinking though the helmet thing, which is also hilarious. <p> The worst thing about WCA was that Byrne disassembled Vision, made him a white robot and started the Wonder Man/Scarlet Witch romance, which I always hated so very much. Vision and Wanda are my number one all-time favorite comics couple. I even loved their cheesy miniseries when Wanda was pregnant. If everything resets, when will Wanda and the Vision exist again and become a couple?

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Joenathan, you're just being an asshat.

    by SleazyG.

    You've consistently ignored the people who punch a major hole in your asshattery, and you know it. NOT EVERYONE IN JAIL IS GUILTY, and

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Joenathan, you're just being an asshat.

    by SleazyG.

    You've consistently ignored the people who punch a major hole in your asshattery, and you know it. NOT EVERYONE IN JAIL IS GUILTY, and NOT EVERYONE IN JAIL DESERVES THE PUNISHMENT THEY RECEIVE. The fact is, many many people there are there for crimes they DID NOT COMMIT. So many, in fact, that here in Illinois we had to turn our death row prisoners free because of the sheer number of people on death row who were proved innocent by the evidence years (often decades) later. So take your "just don't break the law" and shove it sideways, cuz you DON'T HAVE TO BREAK THE LAW TO GO TO PRISON. and STAY THERE. Even if guilty of a crime, the *legal* punishment is often disproportionate, much less the *illegal*, preventable punishment at the hands of other inmates. And that's a BIG *if*, considering how many people go there for things they didn't do.<p> At some point you'll stop acting like a troll pointlessly baiting people smarter than you to feel clever.<p> Or not.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Joenanthan

    by Continentalop

    I said I was done talking about the subject but I will ad one thing: Somewhere in Iran is a guy laughing at gays and prostitutes being stoned, and saying "if you can't handle getting stoned to death, don't commit a crime against Islam."

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Also...

    by Continentalop

    ...I don't think if the Vice President of a Mongol chapter comes to you and ask you to carry a package, you are going to say "fuck you" to him.<p> Unless you want to be ass-raped OUTSIDE of prison.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Joenathan re: Iron Fist

    by Olsen Twins_Fan

    I agree that it would be hard to top Aja as an artist for that title - those yellow action points he threw into the fight scenes were all kinds of cool. That said, Swierczynski really hit the ground running with the story. And the artist on issue 21 (Timothy Green) is a lot cleaner than Aja's initial replacement. Don't know if he's on the title for good, tho.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Back to the Movie Discussion

    by Continentalop

    First of, I should have phrased my comments better. I shouldn’t have implied that they are only using Golden Age or Silver Age versions of the characters or plots, but from a wide range of eras, but the majority of material is at least two decades ago. The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One are obvious influences on Chris Nolan’s Batman movies, but those came at the tail end of the Bronze Age (probably the same age that he began to get interested in comics). And even those two comics where Frank Miller trying to return Batman to his darker, Golden Age roots (as he says so in the intro to Batman: Year One). <p> One of the advantages that Frank Miller, or Ellis for Iron Man, had is hindsight and the ability to see what works and how to make it more economic. When Bob Layton and David Michelinie where doing Iron Man in the late 70’s and early 80’s, they had to come up with this stuff completely on their own. They didn’t have the luxury that Ellis and other later writers had of seeing that Tony Stark being an alcoholic is an interesting character trait, or how he developed into a person who hates building weapons post-Viet Nam war. No, Ellis could pick and chose what to use, and had the luxury of polishing the best character traits as something that existed from the beginning. These are not traits they created, but instead something that existed in Iron Man before hand and that they only highlighted. <p> This isn’t to knock Ellis or Miller or others who update previous characters. I mean, Cronenberg’s Fly is just an update of the original Vincent Prince one, and many of the elements in the remake existed in the original, but Cronenberg managed to highlight those elements and make them new and interesting, while adding a couple of unique elements of his own. <p> My point with superhero movies is that the majority of elements are still from an older era, and most often from that comics first couple of years. The writers and filmmakers have only presented these elements in a manner that a modern audience would appreciate, not discard them or completely change them. In fact, Christian Bales’ Batman is more like the Golden Age one then Frank Miller’s. Like the Golden Age one, he is dedicated to fighting crime but he isn’t completely obsessed with it. Like the Golden Age Batman, Bale’s is not brooding or cruel and vicious. And also like the Golden Age Batman, Bale’s Bruce Wayne worries about his love life and sharing his life with someone he loves: Julia Madison for the Golden Age, Rachel Dawes for Nolan’s version. <p> As for Two-Face, he might act more like the modern interpretation, but the modern version is very much the same Two-Face from the 40’s. If you read the Golden Age Two-Face, you see that he is essentially a tragic character; so is the modern one.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Hawkeye Was Grilling

    by steverodgers

    Love that. Clint knows his way around the grill. However did he ever cook up the T-Bolts any burgers? What’s that about, you cook up some burgers for one team and not the other? I bet even Night Thrasher would grill up a little something for Speedball once in awhile - it’s the key to superhero team leadership - you kick some ass, you make some burgers for the team - and it's even better if those burger are made by Hawkeye - well until he became Ronin, now he is making little sushi rolls, and everyone but Wolverine is too polite to say that they taste like crap. Bring back the burgers Hawkeye your killing us over here!

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Homer Sexual

    by Continentalop

    I actually liked Byrne run on the WCA, excluding a couple of mistakes (he shouldn't have brought back the Golden Age Human Torch or had Tigra turn bestial). While I loved the Scarlet Witch and the Vision as a couple, they had become stagnant characters and at least this added something new to their relationship. <p> He also helped take Wonder Man, a character also running the risk of becoming stagnant, and added something more to him with something that made perfect sense in hindsight. If the Vision's mind was based on Simon's brain patterns, wouldn't he be attracted to the Scarlet Witch as well? <p> Finally, he made Hank Pym an active hero again; had super-patriot become Ultimate Captain Amer-er, I mean U.S. Agent; and introduced the Great Lake Avengers. <p> ...But he also did Acts of Vengeance, which I admit was a big mistake...

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Them Grilling burgers didn't bother me...

    by Continentalop

    I guess because I have been over to cops houses where they gather around for a BBQ. To me it was the same thing... Only they wore their costumes. Ok, that was a little weird.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:41 p.m. CST

    But what is more ridiculous...

    by Continentalop

    A bunch of heroes having a BBQ because they defeated Maelstrom....or a bunch of heroes fighting because of a law that says you can't go around indiscriminately beating the crap out of criminals just because you wear a costume?

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Acts of Vengeance = Dark Reign

    by Continentalop

    See Joenanthan, all they are doing is taking an idea that could have worked but just quite didn't and updating it. The advantage of hindsight!

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Acts of Vengeance

    by steverodgers

    I don't remember the outcome, but I remember it being a pretty cool idea. As a kid I was like, "Oh no, what will Spider-Man do if he fights Dr. Doom instead of Doc Ock!? I better buy all these issues/annuals and find out! Marvel Comics are AWESOME!"

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Roger Stern's Master of Evil should have been Act of Vengeance..

    by Continentalop

    Baron Zemo's plan to assemble a horde of villains was brilliant. That is what Loki and the Six members of the Acts of Vengeance council should have done. Assemble about three-four tough guys whose powers negate their opponents attach each major hero. Instead they had each hero face a villain he never fought before. <p> Sometimes you wonder how certain villains got to be labelled 'evil GENIUS"?

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 3:57 p.m. CST

    John Buscema/Tom Palmer

    by steverodgers

    Were drawing out of their minds on those Avengers issues. One of the best art teams ever put together.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Hulk was silver age, too.

    by dead-battery

    The new Hulk movie was essentially the Silver Age, i.e., original Marvel, Hulk - sans the folk rock stylings of Rick Jones. There were some nods to the TV series, and the JR JR Banner Trucker Hat. But really, Jack or Stan could have written it - Hulk battling tanks, yelling HULK SMASH - being chased by a scenery chewing General Ross - Banner on the run and in love with the general's daughter. They even threw in the Leader at the end. And as an added bonus, no rape. WC Avengers rocked. They had a good Rogue's Gallery. I remember thinking the Grim Reaper with the scythe on his arm was pretty bad ass back in the day. Added soapopery bonus - he was wonderman's brother.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Wow, you guys are sensitive about your butts...

    by Joenathan

    All I'm saying is take responsibility for you life. I don't hang out with Mongols... problem avoided... <br><br>You all should watch this documnetary called: Turned out. Its about Prison sex culture and its a hell of alot more informed the you fuckers. Except you, Sleazy, because you're right, I AM discounting the massive "wrongly accused" portion of the prison population. According to guys I know... it was all of them.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:33 p.m. CST

    Extremis

    by Joenathan

    seriously... Its the whole movie. I mean... the whole movie. Its not Ellis picking and choosing traits, its Marvel studios saying: Here, make this into a movie.<br><br>And yes about the batman stuff, but then I guess he's pretty consistant at his core, so it gets harder to really pin down traits as specifically from here or there.<br><br>Except Rainbow Batman

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Hawkeye

    by Joenathan

    You know the first thing Clint got after he the leadership position of the WCA was a grill set. I bet he stood at the side of the pool and was like: "Man... I am going to grill like a mother fucker... year 'round, Bobby, year round! This is going to be great... Hawkeye is a West Coast Avenger from now ON!"

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by Joenathan

    Its stranger to were a 1000 pound battle suit to a BBG hosted by a guy with a bow and arrow and a kiss the cook apron then it is for those guys to figh over idealogy. Come on, football players change after the game, why can't Moon Knight?

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:41 p.m. CST

    I am stunned

    by Joenathan

    at this revelation of comics recycling ideas... STUNNED! Next you're going to start claiming that all heroes can be boiled down to either superman or batman!<br><Br>CRAZINESS!

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Evil Genius

    by Joenathan

    Its a correspondance school

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Hank Pym wore a red jumpsuit

    by Joenathan

    and a blue T-shirt at the same time in WCA. What the fuck? Whjy not just pants. Okay, maybe it was all the pockets, but still, a bright red jumpsuit?

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 5:26 p.m. CST

    According to DC...

    by Darth_Tarantino

    ...'The Dark Knight Returns' by Frank Miller is not canon. But his 'Batman: Year One' apparently is. With that in mind, I read all Batman comics with the following mindset - they all fall between these 2 books. I consider 'Year One' to be the beginning and '...Returns' to be the end of Batman's story. Yeah...we'll just pretend 'The Dark Knight Strikes Again' never happened, kay? Kay..

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Turned Out

    by Continentalop

    I've see "Turned Out", and If I remember right, they tell us that the majority of victims are newbies, who are non-violent, drug offenders. And if I also remember right, about 20% of all inmates are sexually assaulted. That is a pretty staggering number. <p> The reason many of us take offense to what you say isn't because we are "sensitive about our butts", to paraphrase you, is because we are sensitive to our fellow man and believe in concepts think fairness, compassion, and justice. In fact, I bet many of us learned about those traits for the first time by reading comic books. We people in an enlightened Western society don’t go around hacking people’s hands off for stealing because that is an excessive punishment, just like we don’t go executing people who commit adultery or whip someone for disrespecting their elders. Those punishments are considered barbaric, and rightfully so. <P> As a person who believes in the Enlightenment, and in our own Constitution and Bill of Rights where it says we should be protected “from Cruel and Unusual Punishment”. I find the idea that just because someone makes a mistake that they should run the risk of being tortured and humiliated to be horrifying. I mean, shouldn’t being sent to prison by itself be punishment enough? Yes, people should be punished for their transgressions, but being sodomized because you sold some weed or even helped transport some cocaine is downright excessive. <p> And yes, I do believe in personal responsibility, but I also believe in the saying “there but for the grace of God go I.” Many poor immigrants try to come here illegally, should they be treated as hardcore criminals as well just for wanting a better life for themselves? Many teenagers run away from home, should they be subject to being molested or forced into prostitution for making a bad decision about leaving home? Many people make bad business mistakes or decisions, should they be forced into indentured servitude for that? Just because you are “perfect” doesn’t mean you should be passing judgment on the decisions of others. While not a Christian, I still firmly believe in the adage “He who is without sin should cast the first stone.” <p> I once asked you if you ever read Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables”, and I ask that question again. In it, the protagonist Jean Valjean is sent to prison for stealing a loaf of bread and ends up serving 20 years, and then is chased by Javert, a relentless police officer. It is Hugo’s masterpiece about the difference between the Law and Justice, and how by being blinded only with punishing the guilty do we fail to see their humanity. <p> I also think of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s quote: “A society should be judged not by how it treats its outstanding citizens but how it treats its criminals.” <p> PS – I will add it is hard not to hang out with the Mongols when you work as a mechanic at a bike shop. Its not like your boss is going to tell them, hey man, don’t come around here anymore.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 5:27 p.m. CST

    Joenanthan, I though Hank Pym was your favorite hero?

    by Continentalop

    I mean you have a thing about pockets, and he is one guy who has a lot of pockets.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 5:33 p.m. CST

    I told you

    by Joenathan

    Specious correlations between sympathy for prison rape and Les Mis will not be entertained.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 5:40 p.m. CST

    Hank Pym

    by Joenathan

    he's POISEd to be a favorite.<br><br>I did like those pockets though

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 5:52 p.m. CST

    Why is that specious correlation?

    by Continentalop

    Jean Valjean went to prison for stealing bread to feed his hungry family and ends up serving 20 years. Fantine is a single mother forced into prostitution who is gets arrested after being heckled by an upper class dandy. One of the major themes in the book is how punishment for breaking the law is unfair and inhumane at times, and how society is so callous about those who get punished, thinking they deserve everything that happens to them. <p> I could easily have seen Victor Hugo adding a character that is sent to prison for a minor offense and then is raped. It would fit in perfectly with the already established themes.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 6:06 p.m. CST

    look

    by Joenathan

    I'm saying take responsibility for your actions. Your poor, oh so innocent friend working oh so innocently as a mechanic who was them strong-armed and forced to mule is responsible for his choices. If it was me and the choice was either mule and keep working as a mechanic in the type of store consistently patronized by biker gangs or don't mule and die. I choose: fuckin’ move. Oh, but he was oh so innocent with his oh so innocent family in their lovely little house. Fuck that. Move. My life is more important that a job. Move. He didn’t. e made his choice and there are consequences for that.<br><Br>Now, does making the wrong choice mean he deserves butt rape, no, but he DID make the choices that put him in the position where it would become a daily concern. <br><br>Who did?<br><br>He did.<br><br> As for the Dostoevsky quote you cribbed from con-air, its not society sentencing these people to butt rape, they are doing it to themselves. Which is why Les Mis is also a specious correlation. I'm not saying that prison terms are fair or that the justice system is infallible, thats not the question. There's no prison sentence that includes butt sex. Its not "cruel and unusual punishment" because no one is sentenced to ass rape. Its not inflicted upon people by society, its inflicted upon them by their fellow innocent prisoners, all of whom made life choices that directly affected their current realities.<br><br>It has nothing to do with immigration (why did you bring that up) or anything like that. You asked me if I felt sorry for someone who made their choice, knowing full well the consequences and I say: no. Prison sucks, no denying that, that’s why people aer locked in. I don’t want to go there, so I keep my trunk empty of cocaine and only buy pot in misdemeanor quantities and I get busted… its my fault.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 8:28 p.m. CST

    Golden Age? Silver Age?

    by Buzz Maverik

    It's a well known fact that the only comic age that matters is the Bronze age, bay-bee! I'm talking kung fu fighters in red pajamas, blaxploitation heroes in yellow shirts and chains, flaming skulled motorcycle maniacs, huge letters, thick lines...

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 8:30 p.m. CST

    Prison Was Rough

    by Buzz Maverik

    Man, they wanted me to do telemarketing. And the other convicts refused to give me 75% of the drug trade until I threw this gangster off top tier mid-way through my first day. I was fair. I'd only pipe somebody if they didn't pay up, never just because I didn't like the looks of 'em like some of those guys before me did.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 10:25 p.m. CST

    A Few Points

    by gooseud

    1. Joen actually isnt an asshat, I've figured this out over time, which is why I dont verbally abuse him. He's just a change addict. He's been burned out by years of reading crap dialogue with stupid plots and retarded comic cliches, and will defend to the death anything that goes against that. The problem is, different doesnt always equal good, there are comics that go against every cliche that are utter garbage. He has a blind spot that prevents him from seeing this. 2. The Zemo Masters of Evil arc on Avengers is one of the greatest arcs of all time. Ever. Totally still readable today, and I have never wanted to see Cap kick some ass more then I did when they were torturing Jarvis right in front of him. Killer, killer arc, top 5 ever. 3. I think the 90's would argue against new equaling better, right? And thats coming from a guy that finds anything pre 1985 or so unreadable. HOWEVER, my favorite comic run of all time was in the 90's, so I'll cut it some slack. Oh, and in case your wondering, that would be the legendary James Robinson Starman run. If your looking for newness/change/total-lack-of-cliches in your comics, that still reflects what you love about all this in the first place, that's your run baby. Even Joen cannot dispute this.

  • Jan. 8, 2009, 10:51 p.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by Homer Sexual

    You are very articulate and I want to compliment your posts. But arguing with Joenathan, I and others have learned, is pointless. No offense to JoeNathan, and this paraphrase applies probably to most of us: <p> My mind is made up, and no amount of reason is going to change it. <p> And to Joenathan, you have literally made my day as I have repeatedly found myself visualizing the WCA BBQ and laughing to myself. Sincere thanks for that.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 10:36 a.m. CST

    I Like Joenathan

    by Buzz Maverik

    I only seem to agree with him on movies, but in real life, as opposed to online, you can actually disagree with someone and still admire their argument.<p>The thing with Joenat, is that he is the most eloquent defender of the status quo in modern comics that has crossed this board yet. Joe, you're completely in line with the policies of modern comic book publishing, which appears to be pro-change but is actually opposed to change. It's not meant as an insult in anyway, believe me, because I used to be the Don Rickles of AICN.<p>I gotta say, I've never been a big fan of superhero teams playing softball or going bowling or whatever they did. Unless it was PURPOSELY played for laughs such as when Lee and Kirby had the FF go Christmas shopping and only the Thing wondered why everyone was looking at them. But one thing WATCHMEN did that it wasn't credited for was to sum up the kind of personality that would be a superhero if superheros existed: they'd be anti-social, only banding together for a specific purpose before turning on each other like mating cats.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 10:42 a.m. CST

    But The "Move or Go To Jail" Thing...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...do you know any poor people. I mean, in real life? Moving is usually the goal but guess what, they don't have your resources or options right away and it takes forever to attain it. And don't tell me you don't have the resources or options because you wouldn't be on this site and spending money of funny books. Your funny book budget might get a family out a warzone into ... I don't know ... a demilitarized zone.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 10:44 a.m. CST

    The Continental Op Stayed Behind To...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...punish the guilty. When the last honest citizen of Poisonville was murdered, I mean!

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Buzz, so many responses

    by Joenathan

    Yes, I've been poor almost all my life. I had cars that I had to use a stick to keep idling or I was fucked until I could get a jump. I've lived off raman and a jar of peanut butter for months. I can remember a girlfriend and I excitedly finding enough change in the couch for a new pack of smokes (that was a salad day, I'll tell you...), so yes, but to add to this particular situation, if I remember right, his friend was 20, so... when I was poor and 20 and working crappy jobs, I could move at the drop of a hat, find a buddy's couch, get a crappy job and suddenly have a brand new life in a brand new city, now sure, there are other concerns, I'm sure, BUT throw in the threat of DEATH BY BOMBA and it suddenly becomes a real easy choice... if you ask me... which you did.<br><br> Also, its not change/anti-change for me, when it comes to comics, I am merely willing to adapt. New creator? Like? Keep. Don't like? Drop. I am malleable, much like my prefered universe.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 1:03 p.m. CST

    Goose

    by Joenathan

    Totally with you on the Masters of Evil arc. There was a shot post arc of Black Knight carrying Cap's shield when they were in Olympus hiding from Zues, that to this day, still makes Black Knight oneof my favorites.<br><br>Also, unlike the Anti-Millarists here, I am not completely pro-Millar, I was disappointed by War Heroes and 1985. I judge a book by what it delivers, I just happen to really enjoy Old Man Logan and kind of like Millar's FF. Bendis is pretty awesome though. MOST OF ALL, I've never said New equals better.<br><Br>And yes, eventually I'm going to get to Starman, I've always wanted to, I just haven't yet.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Homer

    by Joenathan

    Its a toss up between that BBQ and Giant Man drinking out of that huge fucking tea cup and imagining Jarvis's reaction, as to which is my favorite ridiculous moment of comic book awesome.<br><br>I mean, they just sit in Avengers mansion in uniform! Giant Man refusing to shrink down and drink out of a normal cup. Imagine going to a football player's house and finding he and all his team mates in full kit and one guy refuses to drink out of anything but the punch bowl. And none of them have any pockets.<br><br>love it.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 2:39 p.m. CST

    OMG Yes! The giant tea cup

    by Homer Sexual

    Another winner! And just to add a little more, despite the lack of pockets, I believe I recall Giant-Man's nickname being....High-Pockets! correct? no? <p> Last night I read the Libra one-shot since I had no idea who he is and he seems important to FC and that book got a pretty good pass here. But it was lame and useless, a waste of my money.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Closing Argument from me

    by Continentalop

    Ok, we are really beating a dead horse here, so I promise this will be my last response (yeah, right), otherwise we will have to change this Talkbacks name to AICN Debate on Prison Rape. <P> I understand Joenanthan will never change his opinion, and I am willing to accept that just like I hope he will accept the fact I don’t agree with him (I’m sure it doesn’t eat you up inside Joenathan or cause you to loose any sleep). I don’t expect people to change their minds based on my arguments, or them to change my mind but I hope to at least exchange ideas and present my side of an argument. In that spirit I will say a couple of things and then go back to arguing over really important things: like why super-heroes need pockets and why older comics are better then modern comics. <p> Joenanthan, said people have to accept personal responsibility for your actions and that if sometimes those decisions have unintended consequences, they have to accept them. If you CHOOSE to do something like deal drugs, you very well might get arrested and sent to prison and get raped there. You have to ACCEPT the fact that is a possible consequence. Well, I agree with you, but I would also add that all the examples I mentioned earlier also all have possible consequences for their actions. A runaway can be forced into prostitution, a girl walking alone down a dark street can get raped, and an enlisted soldier in war can get killed. All of those are potential consequences for those people’s decisions. You stated that those were specious comparisons. I ask how so? All those people made a decision, something that they can only hold themselves responsible for. The runaway didn’t have to leave home just because she argued and fought with her parents; it is her own fault for being taken in by a pimp. The woman didn’t have to walk alone from work in a dark alleyway or wear such provocative clothing; it is her own fault for getting raped, the slut! No one forced the soldier to enlist in what some would say in an unjust war; good riddance, the baby-killer got what was coming to him! And the guy chose to sell or ship weed; it is his own fault for getting raped in prison! <p> Your argument that those are bad examples because the above people never did anything wrong is completely moot. What you were arguing was taking responsibility for you actions and facing the potential consequences. Well, all the above examples have potentially bad consequences, and that doesn’t mean we should just act blasé about it. We can still feel sorry for people and believe they don’t deserve such harsh treatment for what we consider a bad decision. The same the drug dealer; his bad decision got him into prison, that is an acceptable consequence, but him getting raped is just as excessive as a girl forced into prostitution, a woman being raped, or a soldier killed. <p> But I can hear people saying, “None of those people broke the law!” True, but let me quote Raymond Chandler, “The law isn’t justice. It’s a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be.” The law is a device to keep social tranquility and order. Sure we punish certain crimes that many of us consider immoral and inhuman, but it also punishes things that some of us consider harmless or at the very least only harmful to the user and willing participants. But your argument has always been based on personal decisions and responsibility, not the morality of the act. The fact that one bad decision involves an illegal act and the others involve their own personal safety is beside the point: it is the fact that they all made bad decisions and all those decisions have potentially dangerous consequences. <p> But if you are saying a prisoner is different because he did commit a crime, then you are advocating additional punishment because someone doesn’t obey the same moral code as you or me. Fine, but the question raised is when do we cross the line? An illegal immigrant by his very definition is illegal, so should a man trying to find a better life here in America be allowed to be shot at the border or even put into a prison where he might be raped? I mean, it is his personal responsibility for breaking the law by illegally entering the country, no matter what reasons, so he should have only himself to blame if a Minuteman shoots him or while in a holding cell real hardcore criminals rape him. It is his own fault so let us be completely indifferent to his plight. Or what about the Iranian example? Should we feel no sympathy and mock the gay men and prostitutes in Iran who are stoned to death because of the crimes they committed? But “no one is sentenced to ass rape. Its not inflicted upon people by society, its inflicted upon them by their fellow innocent prisoners…” True, we don’t sentence people to be sodomized, but we are still responsible for them, or at least the State and Government is. When someone is imprisoned he loses many of his rights but in turn the State becomes responsible for him and his security. Article IV, Chapter B, section 22 states that “All prisoners have the right to the strict and unerring protection of the state.” That is why when a prisoner dies do to medical neglect or abuse from the guards or negligence his family can sue: the government is responsible for him until he is released. And part of that responsibility is that we must guarantee their protection while they are incarcerated, especially those who are weaker from the stronger, more violent prisoners. Hence, when you allow prison rape to occur or if the State acts indifferent to it, it is “Cruel and Unusual Punishment.” The purpose of prison is to inflict a punishment fitting to their crime, not to create a jungle where the strong get to pray on the week. In an earlier post I quoted Dostoevsky; well now I will use a quote that both Churchill and Gandhi used, “A society should be judged not by how it treats its weakest members.” <p> This debate all started because Joenanthan made a sarcastic joke towards another talkbacker regarding a man getting raped. I protested that I don’t find that funny, and gave the scenario about a friend of mine in prison. Your response, I quote, was “So fuck your prison friend, fuck him right up the ass.” You can understand why that would upset me a little, and how I would find that offensive. Later on you stated that even though he made a bad choice, he doesn’t desert to be butt raped, but he did make the choices that put him there. While I might disagree with such a cavalier attitude, I find it much more acceptable than saying getting raped in prison is some form of karma and that they deserve it.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Oh and one more thing,.

    by Continentalop

    I forgot to add that you once said how a woman getting raped in is completely different than if a man getting raped. I don't see it that way. A woman getting raped in a dark alley did so because she was at the wrong place, by her choice or not. A man raped in prison is also at the wrong place. Neither one was "asking for it". <p> Secondly, you said a woman getting raped is horrid, a man getting getting raped in prison is funny. By that logic, a female prisoner getting anally raped by a guard must be downright hysterical.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 2:52 p.m. CST

    High-Pockets

    by steverodgers

    I'm pretty sure that Hawkeye came up with that, meaning not only was Clint a grill master, but also master of nick names. "hey high-pockets, grab yourself a giant tea-cup, and enjoy one of these burgers, which i guess is a mini-burger for you, because you won't shrink down!"

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by Joenathan

    for the woman vs man thing, I meant "raped in prison" AND in this particular case of accepting responsibility fro their actions, I AM refering SPECIFICALLY to people who chose to broke the law, knowing full well the consequences. Its these people, who suddenly find themselves in the position to receive surprise butt sex, that I don't have sympathy for and often times chuckle when I think of them.<br><br>And it was funny KARMA, not just funny.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:06 p.m. CST

    The Reason for Big Chairs for Goliath

    by Continentalop

    I can't speak for why Hank Pym sat at a giant chair and drank from a giant cup at the Avengers meeting after the Heroes Reborn fiasco, but I can tell you why him and Goliath used to sit in large furniture in the older comics. <p> I remember when the Avengers first fought the human Zodiac armed with the Zodiac Key (the one where Scorpio turns out to be Nick Fury in disguise and Rick Jones and Captian Marvel guest starred), and before the villains showed up the Avengers were holding a meeting. They were all seated around this cool table with a big A in the center (just like the old Avengers logo’s A with an arrow for the center line) and they all were sitting in custom chairs with their own logos: Captain America had an “A” on his, Thor had a hammer sign, Yellow-jacket had his yellow bee insignia, and Vision had a diamond symbol like the one on his forehead. <p> We also noticed that while Yellow-jacket and Wasp were sitting in normal sized chairs, Goliath (Clint Barton at the time) had this gigantic chair. We were wondering why he didn’t have a normal-sized chair, when suddenly I remembered something. “I know why he is always in giant-sized. Him and Hank Pym have mentioned that there is a strain on your body when you grow big. They stay big when they grow so they aren’t constantly straining themselves.” <p> We also wondered why the Avengers always met in costume, especially when so many knew each other’s secret identities. But another comic explained that (I think it actually was in West Coast Avengers) when one hero explained that because some members didn’t no each others identities and because they didn’t want to make someone feel like they were forced to reveal it to feel included, they always met in costume. <p> Yeah, I know, dumb reasons. But as a kid I felt like, “wow, this is so REALISTIC.”

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:08 p.m. CST

    So, in short...

    by Joenathan

    Poor Jarvis secretly hates BOTH Giant man AND Hawkeye because cleaning out that huge Tea-cup is a pain in the ass AND once agin Hawkeye is out in the yard, grilling, but do any of you think Hawkeye cleans up? Yeah right. I bet if you asked Hawkeye to clean up, he'd break his bow over his head, quit and storm off.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:11 p.m. CST

    That sounds like Entertainment Tonight spin to me

    by Joenathan

    "This just in Giant Man is always a giant due to the strain."<br><br>While Black Knight is sitting at home drinking a beer with his helmet on, in the Lazyboy and going: "Yeah, that and because of his inferiority complex..." drinks, "...the asshole.."

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:14 p.m. CST

    The question I always had...

    by Continentalop

    ..Was why does the Atom always show up to the JLA meetings small. I mean, at least for Giant-Man and Goliath if you are big people are more likely to notice you and hear your side, but showing up small? What, you don't want anyone to pay any attention to you? <p> Superman: As chairman of the JLA I need to call a vote about if we should stop defending Ivy Town. Ok, we need an unanimous vote here. Anyone opposed raise your hand! <p> (Only Atom has his hand up but he is blocked behind Green Arrow's cup of coffee) <p> Superman: No one opposes. Vote passed. <p> Atom: Hey!

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Inferiority complex

    by Continentalop

    Actually we always knew that was why he was GIant-Man all the time was because he had a huge inferiority complex. I think they said once that is why he made the growth formula to begin with. <p> Of course, do you blame someone for feeling inadequate when they are ANT-man in a team composed of the Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man. I was always surprised they even knew he joined.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Atom knows he's not a full member...

    by Joenathan

    the rest of the JLA is just polite about it.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Hawkeye Grilling (it never gets old)

    by steverodgers

    That is West Coast people - Avengers West Coast. Wonder Man just sitting there in his red coat (with pockets) basking in the sun, his borrowed brains going all haywire for the Scarlet Witch even though she digs on robots (although only those that can cry), meanwhile Hawkeye, just making burgers, having a laugh, thinks to himself, "I love rolling with this crew"

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Full Member

    by steverodgers

    I am just not mature enough for that to make me laugh. Similar to my reaction to Mangrove Peirce...

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Millar and Starman

    by gooseud

    Actually, Millar's Ult FF run was superior to his current FF run. When Millar just settles the fuck down and stops trying to SHOCK ME (picture me making the biggest air quotes ever), he can tell a half decent story when given the right characters (he would be horrible on Spidey, just fucking abysmal, the least-suited writer for Spidey in history......Punisher, though, could have potential, for example, although how would he out- Ennis Ennis?). His Civil War wasnt completely horrible (it wasnt fantastic, but it wasnt the pooch-screw alot of people think it was). Regardless, and I mean this fan to fan, your comics knowledge and experience isnt complete without reading Robinson's Starman run. Any A$$hole will back me on this, its truly one of the epic "wouldn't change a single panel" runs of the past 25 years, if not ever. Thats high praise, but whatever. Besides Jack Knight, who is fucking awesome on his own, one of the all time great anti-heroes is featured in that series, everyone knows who I'm talking about there.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 3:56 p.m. CST

    AND

    by Joenathan

    Moon Knight and the Shroud standing there going:<br><br>"Are you hot? I am hot."<br><br>"Yes, I am very hot."<br><br>"I don't understand it, I mean, I worship a desert god."<br><br>"I thought he was anight god."<br><br>"Common mistake, but no, desert, so you'd think this cloak wouldn't so hot, but I am hot!"<br><Br>"At least you're wearing white, apparenlty I'm wearing ALL black."<br><br>"Apparently?"<Br><br>"Oh yeah... I'm blind."<br><br>"Oooooooh... huh... you spilled mustard on your cloak, by the way."<br><br>And scene.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Oooooh Steve....

    by Joenathan

    check that out, mystery BOLD lettering AGAIN. Still can't do it, can you? I've done it twice.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:02 p.m. CST

    by Joenathan

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Starman

    by Joenathan

    fully acknowledged. Its on my list. I'll get to it. I don't know why I wasn't picking it up when it came out. Maybe I was too big into Vertigo and Image... hmmm... Remember when Preacher was good?

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Also, its because of Millar's Ult FF,

    by Joenathan

    that I am tagging along on current continuity FF.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Joen

    by steverodgers

    Noted! You'd think I'd be jealous, but really I am just in awe. If you could only figure out how to do consistently - you would be unstoppable. "You don't agree with me about Bendis/Millar/Prison Intimacy/A Devil? We'll it doesn’t matter – because I can post in Bold Text!" That is some Avengers West Coast shit right there.

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:15 p.m. CST

    <b>How bout this<b>

    by Joenathan

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:16 p.m. CST

    wait, thats always bold...

    by Joenathan

    <b>How about this!<b>

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    damn...

    by Joenathan

    <r>BOLD<r>

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    crap

    by Joenathan

    <b>BOLD!

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    ohhh

    by steverodgers

    That was kind of Great Lakes Avengers right there Joen...

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    I guess its only there in times of great need...

    by Joenathan

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:18 p.m. CST

    How come no one ever did anything with I Man?

    by Joenathan

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:22 p.m. CST

    by Joenathan

    <b>BOLD!</b>

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Testing

    by Continentalop

    <B> Testing

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Joen

    by steverodgers

    That is making me laugh. I might start using that in real life. Just say it if the occasion needs emphasizing, like ,"No mushrooms on the Pizza please, I'm allergic...BOLD!" or "Bring back I-Man... BOLD!"

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Hmmm.

    by Continentalop

    <strong> Bold?

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Just doesn't work for me

    by Continentalop

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:44 p.m. CST

    well,

    by Joenathan

    somewhere in that post is the key... DAMN THIS NO EDIT FEATURE! However, I have pieces, oh yes, pieces, that once assembled... <br><b>BOLD!

  • Jan. 9, 2009, 4:45 p.m. CST

    crap

    by Joenathan

    <br>BOLD!<b/>

  • Feb. 23, 2010, 5:33 a.m. CST

    bold?

    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    &thinsp;&thinsp;&thinsp;<br><br>I WIN!

  • Feb. 23, 2010, 7:56 a.m. CST

    Orcus did wonder about the bold

    by orcus

    was it HTML tags or CSS style sheets?

  • Feb. 23, 2010, 7:57 a.m. CST

    by orcus

    &thinsp;&thinsp;&thinsp;<br><br>Test</TD></TR>the

  • Feb. 23, 2010, 8 a.m. CST

    by orcus

    <br><br>test2</TD></TR>

  • Feb. 23, 2010, 8 a.m. CST

    by orcus

    Orcus

  • Feb. 23, 2010, 8:01 a.m. CST

    by orcus

    &thinsp;&thinsp;&thinsp;Test again

  • Feb. 23, 2010, 8:02 a.m. CST

    by orcus

    &thinsp;&thinsp;&thinsp;<br><b r>Test still</TD></TR>

  • Feb. 23, 2010, 8:04 a.m. CST

    by orcus

    &thinsp;&thinsp;&thinsp<br<br>Will this work? </TD></TR>

  • Feb. 23, 2010, 8:04 a.m. CST

    by orcus

    &thinsp;&thinsp;&thinsp;<br><br>Will this work?</TD></TR>

  • Feb. 23, 2010, 8:10 a.m. CST

    by orcus

    <br><br>Test</TD></TR>

  • Feb. 23, 2010, 8:10 a.m. CST

    by orcus

    &thinsp;&thinsp;&thinsp;<br><br>Test </TD></TR>

  • March 3, 2010, 5:36 a.m. CST

    Hey Orcus

    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    &zwj;&zwj;&zwj;&zwj;&thinsp;<br>Which did you use? I used the former.

  • March 3, 2010, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Hey

    by orcus

    Orus did the thinsp one. There has to be a better way. Orcus has been playing with dreamweaver and has to look into this. What exactly is the true usage for thinsp?