Comics

AICN COMICS REVIEWS AGENTS OF ATLAS! THE MIGHTY! IMPALER! 08 CAMPAIGN TRAIL! & MUCH MORE!

Published at: Feb. 11, 2009, 7:03 a.m. CST by ambush bug

#39 2/4/09 #7

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) AGENTS OF ATLAS #1 THE MIGHTY #1 IMPALER V1 NOVA #21 08 – A GRAPHIC DIARY OF THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL OGN UNCANNY X-MEN ANNUAL #2 JONAH HEX #40 Retro Review: BATMAN #497 Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS!

AGENTS OF ATLAS #1

Writer: Jeff Parker Artist: Carlos Pagulayan Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

So about three years ago Jeff Parker says to me he says "Humphrey, I've got a hell of a book coming out for you. It's got talking gorillas, killer robots, an..." and I cut him off. "Whoa, whoa, whoa there Jeffy my boy! I don't know who you are, nor have I ever met you, nor is this conversation actually taking place, but you had me at talking gorillas!" and then I promptly bought the first issue of the AGENTS OF ATLAS mini - a highly underrated little book that was as good a pure adventure story as I've read in comics. And when it was all over I demanded more but sadly, like is known to happen in the world of comics when you bother to put out a comic that doesn't feature one of the top three franchises or involve itself in the event du jour of the time, apparently no one bought the damned thing so it went bye bye for a while with no immediate plans for its return, much to my dismay. But then Joe Quesada came out of nowhere and he said to me he said, "Humphrey, this is an embarrassing lot of name dropping you're doing here to create this intro, and I wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire we here at Marvel are so Oprah rich from our movies and SECRET INVASION, but we want to bring back AoA. We'll have to slap a DARK REIGN banner on the top of it, because that's the only way we can get the common comic book reader to even flip through the pages, but it'll be back! Whaddaya say?!"
However I can get it, pizza dude from JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK, however I can get it...
So yes, AGENTS OF ATLAS is back, it's got a coat of fresh paint, a new artist and a “Dark Reign” banner smack dab across the top of it...and I'm a happy little man. Even though this first issue back is a little more of a setup issue, something that is trying to establish the book in the status quo of things and to give the AoA a role in it, it still had that essence of whimsy and adventure the mini did years a couple years back. I don't want to go into much detail for those not familiar with the Agents (a quick wiki will give you an idea since only Namora is really a recognizable figure) but they've landed themselves quite a little power base at the end of the mini and are now using that to try and broker a deal with President Lex...errr, I mean Norman Osborn.
As much as I'd like to see more an adventure book out of this though, I kind of don't mind this direction. The group may be made up of a bunch of relative unknowns, but they're a powerful bunch of unknowns, from their physical abilities to the clout Jimmy Woo, former agent of SHIELD, has now that he's the head of the Atlas Foundation and has access to all their resources. Their using that moniker and the guise of some roguish acts and "super-villainy" make for a nice in with Osborn so they can try and undermine him from the inside, which I imagine is the main thrust of their plan. It can't all be punching and property damage, though there's still a nice amount of that in this issue despite it being a little more on the setup side. The bit with Venus simply walking into the offices of Osborn and flipping shit with a few simple notes as she lulls The Sentry under her spell is a great way of showing what the Agents are kind of aiming at here, but also an example of how much of a force to reckon with the group can be if they have to. Add in the extra plot thread that has now developed with Jimmy and crew finding out a replacement to the head of Atlas has been named in case anything should befall Jimmy, and there are a few nice plates being spun for this book.
So in summation, definitely glad this is back. I do hope that despite the new direction for the team we still get to experience the high adventure and exotic locales and all that made the first mini a blast. I don't see why it'd interfere with it, it'll just be more espionage than anything I imagine given the focus of the team under the Atlas Foundation corporate banner. It's also kind of a shame Leonard Kirk couldn't make a return with the book, but he's off being amazing on CAPTAIN BRITAIN, and Carlos Pagulayan is no slouch either. His art is very vivacious; very sweeping if you get what I mean. Great level of detail too, and whoever was coloring him for this issue (Jana Schirmer apparently) did a hell of a job picking the best tones to emphasize all his strong points. All in all though, it's great to see this little book that could back, and this issue is a good little intro into just who the Agents are and gives them a role that at least makes them feel more important as players in the current state of the Marvel Universe. I just hope it's enough to find a fanbase this time. I'm really sick of watching company books with creative teams that actually seem to give a damn and that have a solid creative niche working for them getting cut short because "it don't have the Wolverine in it!!" This book has some chops and I really hope it gets its fair shake in all this “Dark Reign” hullabaloo.
Humphrey Lee has been an avid comic book reader going on fifteen years now and a contributor to Ain't It Cool comics for quite a few as well. In fact, reading comics is about all he does in his free time and where all the money from his day job wages goes to - funding his comic book habit so he can talk about them to you, our loyal readers (lucky you). He's a bit of a social networking whore, so you can find him all over the Interwebs on sites like Twitter, The MySpaces, Facebookand a Blogger Account where he also mostly talks about comics with his free time because he hasn't the slightest semblance of a life. Sad but true, and he gladly encourages you to add, read, and comment as you will.

THE MIGHTY #1

Writers: Peter Tomasi & Keith Champagne Art: Peter Snejberg Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

Comic book readers are a dedicated yet fickle lot. They’ll buy numerous spin-offs, knowing that they’ll probably not match up to the original (or maybe hoping). They’ll buy anything with a specific character or an X or Bat-symbol in the title. They’ll buy anything by a specific writer that strikes a chord with them. But ask them to try something completely new, something without ties to other comics or some sense of comic book history by creators who aren’t among Wizard’s Top Ten, and they quiver and shrivel up like the nethers of a pantsless Zamboni driver.
You’re going to see THE MIGHTY on the shelves this week when you go to the store. Hopefully, you may have a vague remembrance of reading an article about it on AICN COMICS SHOOT THE MESSENGER one groggy Monday morning while sipping your morning joe before diving into the talkbacks to shout “First!” and pick the book up and check it out. And you’re going to go home and enjoy it as much as I did.
Sure there’ll be some of you who look at the book, see the absence of a Bat-symbol, Superman-symbol, or the name Morrison on the cover and run, run, run away! But I urge you to turn back, gentle reader. Turn back and give this book a chance and you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
I didn’t know what to expect when I opened the cover to THE MIGHTY for the first time. Was it your typical “world outside your window” story that we’ve seen numerous times (mostly written by JMS) or seen on HEROES, or is this something different?
After reading it, I found out that indeed it is something different. It’s something special, in fact.
The book that this one reminded me of was STARMAN. Sure it may have had to do with the fact that the artist, Peter Snejberg, lends his talented lines and panels to both THE MIGHTY and that amazing series. But I think it’s much more than that. There’s a lived-in sense of antiquity going on in this book. It’s that genuine historical feel you felt while reading issues of STARMAN. Those of you who read James Robinson’s comic book masterpiece series know what that means. Just hearing the word STARMAN gives those who actually read it that warm and fuzzy feeling--a sense of comics done right. THE MIGHTY has that same sense of quality.
One half of the writing team is Peter Tomasi, someone who I have learned to trust when it comes to good storytelling. Sure Geoff Johns gets all of the credit, but Tomasi has been writing stories of equal caliber in GREEN LANTERN COPRS and here (with a little help from Keith Champagne, who is a damn fine writer himself) he is allowed to shine. The story is a drama and mystery with super hero undertones. A hero makes his first appearance after the atomic bomb is dropped and decides to help the world. A man decides to build a corporation around this hero--a corporation with a duty to protect the public. In the present day, when the head of that now world famous corporation dies mysteriously, it’s up to his successor (a man saved by said hero as a child and now all grown up) to take over the business. So now, a man must face his hero (the world’s most powerful human) and see him for all he is and isn’t. This is a story about perceptions and responsibilities of heroism and how both carry with them a heavy burden.
I don’t want to give away much more than that. THE MIGHTY is a mature and intelligent story by Tomasi and Champagne drawn to perfection by Snejberg. So when you see it on the shelves and have that momentary hesitation as to whether or not to give this one a try, remember that the world of comics is vast and wide. To limit yourself to event books and those written by those deemed “hot” or “popular” is really not experiencing the medium to its fullest. THE MIGHTY is an original story, drawn beautifully and crafted with care. More comics should be like this.
This book doesn’t have ties to expansive universes or recognizable icons populating its panels, but I’ve read the first four issues of THE MIGHTY and I really do love this book and think that if you give it a chance, you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, reviewer and co-editor of AICN Comics for over seven years. Check out previews to his short comic book fiction here and here published in MUSCLES & FIGHTS 3 and MUSCLES & FRIGHTS on his ComicSpace page. Bug was interviewed here and here at Cream City Comics. Look for more comics from Bug in 2009 from Bluewater Productions, including the just-announced sequel to THE TINGLER for their VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS ongoing series.

IMPALER VOL 1

Written by: William Harms Art by: Nick Postic and Francis Tsai Published by: Top Cow Comics Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

Top Cow’s beautiful looking IMPALER series has finally been collected in a trade paperback – THANK GOD! While reading this series issue by issue is certainly fun, having the ability to read the first series of this large-scale vampire book all in one shot helps give it a better cinematic sort of feel.
IMPALER is one of the best vampire books I’ve read in years which is saying something in a market where vampires, zombies, and the like are being overused to death. Think of IMPALER as ‘Twilight for Guys’ except with all the things that make vampires great. I use the comparison only because writer William Harms is able to bring something new to the vampire genre. His vampires are deadly and menacing but have a bunch of powers you’ve never seen before. So while Twilight’s queer vampires sparkle (or whatever the hell they do) IMPALER’s vampires bring the death and destruction we all deserve while making vampires seem fresh.
They have plenty chance to kill here as the plot of this first chapter has New York City enveloped in a monster blizzard. Through this blizzard the vampires decide to strike out and kill without mercy. The NYC cops not only find themselves unprepared for this threat but also find their numbers quickly thinning as they are torn limb from limb by a near unstoppable force. It turns out their only ally is Vlad Tepes, a man notorious in our world for bringing the actual vampire legend to light.
Part 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, part CLOVERFIELD, part WHITEOUT, part NYPD BLUE and yet everything about IMPALER is fresh and exciting. I guess I’m more excited because I am a fan of the genre and have read way too much horrible crap over the past few years before finding this book. Not only that but the ending here is incredible – a great ‘season finale’ with a monster cliffhanger that makes you want to run out to buy the latest issue of the new series. IMPALER is not just an excellent addition to the comic book vampire world but also rises to the top of the class with an amazing story, great artwork, and some tricks up its sleeves that leave most vampire books in the dust.
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

NOVA #21

Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning Penciler: Wellington Alves Inker: Scott Hanna Published by: Marvel Comics Reviewed by: BottleImp

You know, I’m finding it harder and harder these days to jump into an ongoing comic book series and be able to pick up on the story without having read every issue that preceded the current one. Take GREEN LANTERN—I’ve heard that it’s a fantastic book (some say that it’s DC’s best), but every time I glance through the latest issue at my local comic shop, I feel like I’m too far behind in the plot to enjoy the series, and back on the rack it goes. However, there is one comic series that I dove into last month that I feel is wonderfully new-reader-friendly: Marvel’s answer to GREEN LANTERN, the fantastic NOVA.
It doesn’t hurt that Marvel comics now have the full first page of every issue devoted to bringing the reader up to speed with the series, but in this case I think that you could skip over the “Previously in NOVA…” page and immerse yourself in the storyline without confusion. Abnett and Lanning may not bear the “genius” label that comic superstars such as Bendis, Morrison or Millar tout, but they are experts in the classic Marvel method of storytelling. This issue opens with Nova on his way to confront the apparent threat of Ego, the Living Planet, only to find that the Worldmind (who is to the Nova Corps as the Guardians are to the Green Lanterns) has set up shop in the bearded satellite’s brain. Don’t have a clue who Ego the Living Planet is? Don’t worry—Abnett and Lanning give you all the salient information in one panel. No need to go to Google or Wikipedia, because the writers are actually doing their jobs of telling the readers what they need to know. Take a hint, Morrison.
The classic comic-book superhero storytelling of NOVA is a breath of fresh air, especially after breathing the fumes of convoluted crossovers and pretentious faux-intellectual event books. Abnett and Lanning are keeping alive the Marvel convention of the perseverance of a flawed hero overwhelmed by circumstance. NOVA channels the comics I grew up reading in the ‘80s—FANTASTIC FOUR, THE AVENGERS, SPIDER-MAN—yet manages to do so without feeling like a pale retread of those influences. Rather, this series has carved out its own identity as a NEW classic in Marvel’s lineup.
The artwork is a huge component of what makes NOVA a must-read. Alves’ and Hanna’s drawings evoke the work of the great penciler/inker team of Alan Davis and Mark Farmer—just look at the fluidity of line and the expert, uncomplicated realization of figures and their settings (they’re not quite up to the skill level of Davis and Farmer yet, but just give them time). This series should be mandatory reading for aspiring comic artists: NOVA is a perfect example of art working to tell the story.
All this and a classic (I know I keep using that word, but it fits this series so damn well!) cliffhanger ending cement NOVA as one of my favorite monthly titles. If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend diving in—don’t worry; though the continuity may be deep, I guarantee that you won’t drown.
When released from his Bottle, the Imp takes the form of Stephen Andrade, an artist/illustrator/pirate monkey painter from the Northeast. You can see some of his artwork at here. He’s given up comics more times than he can remember. But every time he thinks he's out, they pull him back in.

08 – A GRAPHIC DIARY OF THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL OGN

Written by: Michael Crowley Art by: Dan Goldman Published by: Three Rivers Press Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

This isn’t your average comic book you’d see reviewed here by the @$$holes, but it’s one I quickly welcomed reviewing. I love politics, graduated with a political degree, and followed the 2008 Presidential election closely online, in print, and on television. 08 – A GRAPHIC DIARY OF THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL is almost like a Cliff’s Notes version of the entire election starting back in 2006 all the way through to President Obama’s amazing victory. Except this Cliff’s Notes is a comic book drawn by SHOOTING WAR’s Dan Goldman (a book that if you haven’t read you are really missing out on something). 08 is written by Michael Crowley, who commentates for political shows and is a senior editor at THE NEW REPUBLIC. We certainly won’t hold that against him – at least not yet--because to do a book like this is certainly an audacious task.
While talking politics is sometimes fun and reading comics can be certainly fun there isn’t normally a fanboy out there who is like, “Hell yeah! Let’s read about Mike Huckabee!” While Obama himself can sell sixteen million copies of Spider-Man he is still at least teamed with Spider-Man. In starting off 08 there was one thing I thought that a book like this needs to be: compelling. It needs to be able to tell the story so you want to read about the election, not just some corny blow-by-blow account of what happened.
08 has compelling in spades. It’s truly a comic book triumph in every sense of the word, a compelling read from cover-to-cover. There’s a great amount of suspense in this book, especially considering that we all know what happens. But we all knew what happened in “Apollo 13” and “Titanic”, yet 08 brings that same sort of intensity as you race toward the finish. Crowley has a great way of presenting the election not blow-by-blow but as an overall story. Goldman really seals the deal here – his artwork is constant throughout and he has a great grasp of all his “characters” from John McCain to Jon Stewart.
Perhaps what I liked about 08 is that it is something you’d want to read over again. It’s not a graphic novel where you buy it, read it once, say “oh, that was cute” and throw it up on the shelf. It’s a monster read that really puts the entire campaign in a great light and is something I’d love to sit down with my son one day and read to him. Most of all, it makes politics educational yet fun.
I kind of come off as a shill with this review and I don’t really mean to. It is because 08 is the first book this year I can recommend to everyone – not just comic book fans but also to my parents or my friends. It’s a bit different than going to go buy the latest SECRET INVASION tie-in TPB but this powerful story will have a lot more impact for years to come.

UNCANNY X-MEN ANNUAL #2

Writer: Matt Fraction Artists: Mitch Breitweiser, Daniel Acuna Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

For twenty years the only depth to Emma Frost was in her cleavage. Adorned in her virginal dominatrix garb, she spent the early eighties as the telepathic means to the Hellfire Club’s ends of world domination. Later years showed the leggy bombshell had a brain as she trained the next generation of douchey mutants, but her veins still flowed with antifreeze and she never transcended being a plot device for evil. When Morrison brought her into the X-fold to become Scott Summers’ new bedmate, readers waited for the issue when she would drop her ruse and snap his neck like a praying mantis after some hot mutant skin slapping. But that moment never came. Instead, the careful pens of Morrison in X-MEN, Whedon in ASTONISHING, Bollers in the EMMA FROST series and now Fraction have created a character that is acrid by nature, but yearning to be something more. I’ve developed such a taste for Emma over the past few years that I’ve almost forgotten that red headed chick that used to be the grand dame of the X-Mansion.
If you have yet to be swayed by Emma’s charms and are still pining for the day when Jean Gray resurrects for the umpteenth time, you need to read this annual tout suite. Jumping between the present day and Emma’s yesteryears with the Hellfire Club, Fraction peels back yet another layer of Emma’s story to show a woman who has appeared a pawn, but was always truly The Queen. In the present day, Emma is attempting to form an alliance with Namor to serve in the battle of protecting the handful of mutants that remained after M Day. The flashbacks serve to ret-con a love affair between Namor and Emma when he was being courted to become the new White King of the Hellfire Club.
Not only was the story and characterization in this title a sight to behold, especially the guest appearance of Tony Stark during his younger more drunken days, but a special congratulatory fist-bump needs to be extended for the artwork in this title. Generally when two artists tackle a title, the switch off between pages is more jarring and painful than listening to Corey Feldman sing. What sets this title apart is that the switch-off was planned and integrated with the flow of the story instead of one artist simply trying to pick up the slack for the other. Acuna’s dewy renderings serve to tell the flashback tale, while Breitweiser handles the modern day moving the story forward tasks. At first I was on the fence with Acuna’s lack of detail. I found his featureless faces jarring at first, making me believe I was having a flashback to the time in college when I dropped acid and watched Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” for eight hours straight. But the more I delved into the story and contrasted Acuna’s representational style with Breitweiser’s presentational style I began to truly appreciate this stylistic choice.
This is the first time in a long while where I have truly felt that the extra price of admission was worth the story being told. Brubaker and Fraction are doing some amazing work bringing the X-Universe back to a state of cohesion after the mass confusion since M-Day. The future looks bright, but bathed in dark undertones: exactly how I like my X-Men.
When Optimous Douche isn’t reading comics and misspelling the names of 80’s icons, he “transforms” into a corporate communications guru. "What if the whole world had superpowers? Find out in the pages of Optimous’ original book AVERAGE JOE. Read the first full issue on Optimous’ New Blog and see original sketches by fellow @$$hole Bottleimp. If you are a publisher or can help these guys get AVERAGE JOE up, up, and on the shelves in any way, drop Optimous a line."

JONAH HEX #40

Writer: Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray Art: David Michael Beck Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

Despite the fact that the stank of FINAL CRISIS still permeates most DC titles, JONAH HEX continues to be one of their best and is thankfully FC stank-free. It's not common for a title to have such consistently good stories one after another, but mainstay writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti are seemingly pulling from a bottomless well of story potential. Issue #40 is no exception; in fact, it's better than most.
This issue is part one of an out of the ordinary two-parter that puts our crusty cowboy on the trail of a sadistic doctor known as Sawbones. This issue is very much a horror story set in the old West, where coincidences happen, but do so in a manner that is not hokey, but serves to make for a more interesting story.
The attention to feet in this issue is somewhat out of the norm and may be more suited for a Tarantino yarn. The scenes of torture and murder are especially gruesome mainly due to David Michael Beck's crisp art style. Although vivid poses and actions are utilized in this story, never once does Beck's penwork waver or shake. The direct pathways Beck produces as his bullets leave the gun and pierce straight through their targets is a subtle but appreciated detail that you don't often find in comics.
Like Eric Powell's THE GOON, Palmiotti and Gray have developed a character that is suited for the done in one storytelling that makes this book such a treat to read. But like recent issues of THE GOON, this issue of HEX brings back a character that longtime readers of the book will recognize, but those who are appreciative of the fact that usually you can pick up any old issue and not worry about such things as continuity may be a bit in the dark. The appearance of Hex's Woman in Black towards the end of this issue is not as jarring as recent issues of THE GOON were a female from the Goon's past appeared out of the blue and I had no idea who it was. Much like the Punisher, those who wind up breathing by the end of a JONAH HEX story are so few and far between that the ones who do sort of stick.
Anyone curious about this title should pick this one up for top tier story and art. It's the perfect starting point. An ambiguous appearance of someone you may or may not know and the fact that this is a two-parter aside, this was one hell of a story illustrating how much of a badass Jonah Hex really is and why this is one of the best DC titles out there.

BATMAN #497

Writer: Doug Moench Artist: Jim Aparo Inker: Dick Giordano Publisher: DC Comics Guest Reviewer: William

Twenty-five cents. Twenty-five whole cents is what it cost me to get this once sold-out, get it while it's hot issue that everybody had to have back in the 90's. It's amazing to see how the mighty have fallen, how what was once an absolute must-have item is now available at the clearance section of my local Half-Price books store.
Of course everyone knows by now the big event that happened in the 90's with Batman. Seeking to mimic the success that DC had with the "Death of Superman", they decided to implement a similar event with their other iconic hero, Batman. And once again involving a multi-issued storyline that had its first part ending with this issue, Batman 497 gave us a Batman defeated at the hands of Bane, with the rest of the saga involving finding a successor to the mantle and Batman eventually reclaiming what was once his.
For this article, though, only this small portion will focus on the issue, as it would be redundant to talk about what happened within the issue. Apart from the outdated art by Jim Aparo (outdated when compared at least to the more photorealistic approach taken by today's artists), it's a good enough issue on its own, using most of its pages to focus on Bane brutally humiliating Batman before giving the final coup-de-grace.
What I'd like to instead focus on with this review is the mindset that this and other so-called "hot" events had during the 90's, where they were seen as investments rather than something to just read, and how in the end it only crippled the very industry that sought to explode in its own success.
There's no mistake that much of the rise and fall of the comic book medium had to do with a large combination of greed, hubris, and a "fan base" that mainly consisted of speculators seeking to make a quick buck. And there's no question that equally culpable in all of this were the comic book publishers, who were more than willing to create the demand through these "events" and then fill it with chromium and hologram covers, bagged comics, variant covers, all while publishing millions upon millions of issues at a time. The comic book creators (particularly at Image) were responsible for this too, as they consistently put out issue after issue of soulless, inane, redundant crap in the hopes of cashing in on the millions too. As the fascinating article "The Image Story" by Michael Dean of THE COMICS JOURNAL points out, Larry Stroman made over a million dollars off of one single issue of "The Tribe" during this time period. How can a no-name artist create a no-name comic and still have its millions of printed issues sell out? Something about that just can't be right, except of course for Larry Stroman himself.
And even though I was a child of the 90's, I never truly bought into this whole "hotness" of the medium mainly because I was too poor to do so. I purchased issues every now and then at a discount flea market, but with so little money I could hardly ever buy direct editions. About the farthest I got was purchasing a TPB of the "Death of Superman" when it first came out. This was at a mall kiosk and I ended up paying $20 for it, thinking so naively that I'd be making hundreds off of it in the future. Now in hindsight I can see how frivolous the "value" of this purchase was if I would've simply added 2+2. How can something rise in value when millions of issues are being published at a time? Just at this kiosk alone I saw that they were selling dozens upon dozens of this TPB and this TPB only. No other comics, no other magazines or newspapers or anything else, this kiosk was temporarily set up to just sell this TPB. Multiply that by thousands of locations and I should've gotten the hint. Oh well at least I didn't get burned too badly, unlike the unfortunate comic book stores who opened during this era and just as quickly closed following the spectacular bust of the medium. Once the speculators left it was all over. What events such as this Batman issue and all the parties involved at DC, Marvel, Image, Valiant, Malibu, etc. did was simply create the demand and then do everything within their power to hyper-inflate it as an investment, and of course we all know the results of that by now.
In any case, if there's a point to all of this it's just that it was fascinating to find this one supremely hot BATMAN issue now at a clearance bin. I can only imagine that its original owner probably thought the same thing as every other investor back then, thinking that they'd pay for their college or their new house with this, but now it's so worthless they had to give it away to a Half-Price Books location. Neat.

Hey folks, Ambush Bug here, ready to get my indie on once again. This week, we have a few books that definitely come from the fringe, but deserve mainstream attention. Check out the indie goodness.

SNAKE OIL #1-3 chuckmcbuck.com

SNAKE OIL is one of those comics that defies explanation, but I'll try. It's a waking dream or a descent into madness. It's a tale of loss about friendship, about drugs, and about danger. Although I don't know the whole story about how the book came about, SNAKE OIL looks to be some kind of college thesis for the Center of Cartoon Studies. I don't know much about this program, but if this is the type of stuff the school produces, I wouldn't mind seeing more. The book appears to be written and drawn by Chuck Forsman, but even that is unclear with this structureless stream of consciousness type book. Even the paper this book is printed on is unique, printed on rough velcro-ish paper that feels somewhat like sandpaper, only thinner. There are a pair of narratives that seem to be running through this book: one of a man who is abducted from a diner restroom by what looks to be a vampire and two buffalo men and another of a pair of stoners who end up smoking some tainted weed from a mysterious pipe. If you try to make sense of it all, you lose half the fun of reading this one. It's better not to ask questions and enjoy the bizarre imagery and twists and turns the characters go through. Each issue features a small back-up story; all rich with symbolism and emotion. The maker of this book really has a good handle on the offbeat world that David Lynch, Guy Madden, and Crispin Glover often visit us from, yet displays the story in a way that one is able to follow and form feelings about these characters. The linework in these books are top notch as well. The art is simple yet expressionistic, using the least amount of lines and marks possible to convey emotion. All in all this was a surreally fun three issues and even though the notes at the end of issue #2 state that this ends the thesis the artist is working on, here's hoping he continues to produce issues of SNAKE OIL to enjoy and challenge our sense of reality.

THE HUNTER #4 Dare Comics

Whew, there was a lot packed into this issue. There was the near destruction of the sun, an attempted assassination of the President, a siege of an enemy stronghold, a battle between evil opposites, a resolution to this entire miniseries, and a promise for more to come. If anything, writer Adam Hamdy tried to squeeze too much into this last act of this miniseries, but in the end, all I can say that it was a satisfying read and a worthy alternative to typical Big Two comic book superheroing. The art by David Golding is very Kirby-esque, giving the characters a classic, clean style, but just because the characters have a retro look that doesn't mean the story is that way. There's a 24-esque sense of urgency to this issue that really made it stand out from previous issues. Hopefully, THE HUNTER will be collected for more to enjoy. It's easy to overlook books like this one with the glut of Big Two books on the shelves, but this one’a keeper. It doesn't go for flash and hype, just solid storytelling and a sense of wonder that you can't help but have fun with.

INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #10 Marvel Comics

I saw it coming and I have to admit that the name Iron Maiden is kind of cool (which hasn't been named yet, but would be the only cool name for the character that makes her first semi-appearance in this issue), but I can't help but be annoyed that the one character that really benefited Tony Stark by being the one normal, down to earth person in his life is now being dragged into super herodom. This is going to be one of those "wait and see" things with me. So far, Fraction and Larocca have made this book a damn fine read for the most part. So until the next issue, color me leery but open to this new development. - Bug

SECRET SIX #6 DC Comics

Oh man, man, man... Gail darlin’, say it ain't so? You took the one member of the Six I never thought would turn traitor on the team and have him just do that. I'll give you credit, girl, that takes a hell of a lot of cajones, but at the same time makes me wary for the future. Not that I don't mind the rest of the team, they're somewhat amusing, but the real bread and butter for me in this book has always been the man with the shiny red and silver costume. I hope this is just a fake out, despite it making an interesting turn of events, but without him on the team I'm not sure my interest in the book on the whole will remain the same. But at least for now it'll make for a hell of a finale to this storyline which has overall been what I've come to expect from this book and why I dig it so much: good comedic bits, some great moments of camaraderie, a little bit of implied naughtiness, and lots and lots of brutality. But Floyd man, say it isn't so! - Humphrey

EL DIABLO #6 DC Comics

This final issue of the miniseries leaves the door open for more miniseries in the future. And that's a good thing. EL DIABLO was a very cool miniseries, and one mired in irony. It's about a spirit of vengeance with a moral soul and a selfish gangbanger forced to be a super hero. It's also an under-hyped miniseries worthy of notice drowned out by DC's focus on less worthy "event" books. Writer Jai Nitz is establishing his own mythology and carving out his own niche in the DCU with this book. Although how El Diablo and the Spectre function in the same universe is unclear and may be handled sometime in the future of the character, his actions in this book definitely set him apart from the god-like qualities of the Spectre. El Diablo is a more grounded character, one who remembers all too well his own sins and feelings. It'd be a shame to have El DIablo fade into obscurity now that this mini is over. The inclusion of the Freedom Fighters in issue #5 shows that El Diablo is a character that could easily fit in with the rest of the DCU, so maybe we'll be seeing more of Chato and his fire snorting horse in the future. Here's hoping this miniseries gets more attention in trade. Phil Hester and Ande Parks’ art alone make this comic worthwhile, but it's Nitz’s decision to keep El Diablo grounded and flawed that makes the character and the book rise above the unsubstantial hype surrounding many of DC titles at the moment. - Bug

SHRAPNEL #2 Radical Comics

More mechanized combat on the planet Venus from Radical Comics, who have announced that their monthly titles will be staying at $2.99. In this issue our hero reveals her dark and dangerous past, helps push back the invading Marines, and both the Marines and the hard working people of Venus move away from small skirmishes to all-out war. The art is occasionally hard to follow, but for the most part alternates between pants-wetting battle scenes, wrecked landscapes, and gorgeous ships that gleam in the blackness of space – the overall effect is a stunning and fully realized world. If you haven’t yet given this title a chance, pick up the first two issues and join the war party. SHRAPNEL # 2 not only has the best cover of the month, the title itself has become my favorite new series of 2009. - steverodgers

SECRET WARRIORS #1 Marvel Comics

I'll give it to Marvel. They're trying to justify this $3.99 price hike with the addition of sketchbook pages and bits and pieces that seem better suited in a MARVEL UNIVERSE HANDBOOK rather than the back of issue one. Not really worth it, in my opinion, but it was nice to leaf through. The story proper is average at best. There's a lot of the talkity, but it's a Bendis book, what did you expect? You can't fault the guy any more for writing what he's comfortable with and running it into the ground as long as it sells. Why challenge yourself when you’re getting rich staying stagnant. There's the usual back and forthing that makes for a more realistically looking conversation when read aloud, but ends up just taking up more space than necessary on the page (who reads comics out loud anyway?). The Warriors themselves aren't really that dynamic either. If anything they feel like cannon fodder afterthoughts--a justification for Nick Fury to go all FULL METAL JACKET on someone. Sure some of them are second generation offshoots of characters like Johnny Blaze, Dr. Druid, and Ares, but none of them have that factor that made the originals interesting. In the end, this is Fury's book and it's good to see the old dog codger about. If anything, this book seemed more like a checklist of things necessary for a first issue: a lot of exposition, obligatory action sequences that serves no real purpose other than to give the artist a chance to highlight the character's powers, of course Obama has to show up for a scene (he may as well have his face in the top corner of all Marvel comics these days), and the obligatory shockeroo ending that really kind of thuds in how ridiculous it is. Not the best first issue. It's mired in its own sense of how cool is should be. But it’s not cool. That would mean that it’s unlike average comics. There’s no fresh perspective that justifies the fact the book’s existence here. If you're looking for that, look at AGENTS OF ATLAS. Here, it's the same old, same old. Not necessarily bad, just overplayed and stale. - Bug

Editing, compiling, imaging, coding, logos & cat-wrangling by Ambush Bug Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G


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Readers Talkback

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  • Feb. 11, 2009, 7:12 a.m. CST

    First?

    by R H S C

    I never thought I would see the day...

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 7:15 a.m. CST

    Interesting week.

    by alfiemoon

    I might give "The Mighty" a try, based on this review. Agents of Atlas didn't really do it for me - it felt a little like the (better) first series, but all the "Dark Reign" stuff got in the way, for me. And I'm equally indifferent over Secret Warriors #1. However, I agree that Uncanny X-Men Annual #2 was a great read, one of the best Emma Frost stories yet told, and also one of the few decent "Dark Reign" tie-ins so far. It can't be a coincidence that the only other "Dark Reign" book that's managing to turn the event into something special is Fraction's Invincible Iron Man. Here's hoping that he's chosen to helm the next big Marvel crossover event.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 7:18 a.m. CST

    shrapnel and the mighty. will take a look. thanks for the heads

    by ironic_name

    assholes.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 7:22 a.m. CST

    Is that ROM in AoA?

    by Diagnostic

    Cool if they can bring him back.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 7:24 a.m. CST

    up

    by ironic_name

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 7:39 a.m. CST

    Impaler is definitely NOT Twilight for Guys

    by Genre_Baby

    Ryan, I get the Twilight reference, but as far as vampires and IMPALER I see Williams' work more in the line of NEAR DARK. Especially where the vampire violence is concerned, meaning that these vamps are unrelenting and brutal and hungry. Harms' twist on Vlad the Impaler is enough to make me read this on a monthly basis. So for anyone who loathes the romantic vampire b.s. and prefers their bloodsuckers as predators then IMPALER is definitely worth reading.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 8:22 a.m. CST

    Jim Aparo Outdated??? Here comes a rant from Granpa...

    by God's Brother

    Yeah, maybe Aparo's art is outdated (I guess), but I disagree with the notion that today's artists are going for a more "photo-realistic" approach. I would put forth that only a handful of artists are trying for photo-realism (all incredible - Ethan Van Scriber, Steve McNiven maybe, Michael Lark to an extent). The rest that are any good are decidedly NOT going for realism at all, but instead stick to the cartoony manga-ish style that seeped into a lot of American comic art around ten years ago (Ed McGuiness, Amanda Connors, etc.). And what's left is the vast majority of artists who all draw in the same, safe, unremarkable, generic, "Look, mom! I just got hired by DC!!!" style, or worse, in a style that tries but fails to copy one of the "greats" (I'd site names, but like I said, their work is unremarkable so I don't know any. But it feels like there's a LOT of them). Jim's art was always amazingly consistent, 100% his own, and stylistically, it was this holdover from the 70's photo-realistic-but-without-abandoning-personal-flare comic art that remains forever iconic. Jim Aparo played in the same league as Neal Adams or Dave Cockrum. So yeah, maybe his art is outdated, but it's way more realistic and consistant than a lot of what you see today.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 8:28 a.m. CST

    Maybe it's just outdated from a technical standpoint...

    by God's Brother

    Like, colouring has come a long way since the early nineties... I dunno. By the way, William, good review.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 8:28 a.m. CST

    Jim Aparo

    by bottleimp

    I loved the man's art when I first saw it back in the late 1970s/early '80s, but I have to admit that his work in the "Knightfall" stuff is not Aparo at his best. I don't think the realism/photorealism thing is as important as the fact that his drawings became a lot stiffer, and the figures lost a sense of dynamism. There was one issue, though, that had Tom Mandrake inking Aparo's pencils-- and that was a great partnership; Mandrake added some much-needed richness to Aparo's more spare panels.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Yeah, he was an odd choice for Knightfall, that's for sure.

    by God's Brother

    And I would say the stiffness you're talking about has always been kind of been there, though definitely way more prominent by the 90s... The last really good Aparo art period was around the "Death in the Family" era. Right after Robin died, Aparo did a bunch of Batman issues that were really cool, really well done, and, IMHO, quite dynamic (for Aparo). He'd never had the chance to draw such a dark, brooding Batman before, and it worked for him, I guess.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 8:37 a.m. CST

    I thought Secret Six was awesome last week!

    by The_joker

    I will be a bit upset if Floyd ends up leaving the team though.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 8:39 a.m. CST

    and...

    by The_joker

    I preferred Aparo's art over those god awful covers by Doug Moench.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 9:03 a.m. CST

    The name Iron Maiden...

    by art123guy

    ...was actually already used in a Black Widow story in an issue of Marvel Fanfare (Yikes I'm old!). I think she was also in a few issues of Captain America as well. Still a cool name.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 9:08 a.m. CST

    NOVA

    by LaserPants

    I friggin' LOVE this book.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Can't forgive AoA for killing off the Yellow Claw.

    by Smerdyakov

    I loved that racial stereotype bastard.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 9:14 a.m. CST

    To me, the Iron Maiden.

    by Smerdyakov

    Will always be Wally Wood's sexy foil for Dynamo in Thunder Agents.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 9:17 a.m. CST

    What I meant by the Twilight comment is...

    by RyanMcLelland

    It's vampires...but for guys. I started reading Twilight last week and literally threw the book. It was just horrible and I tossed it across the room before going in the bathroom to change my tampon. But as Twilight is for girly-girls in the Midwest - Impaler is really for guys looking to get their 'vampire on'. There won't be any chicks swooning over this one. Love the Near Dark reference - BILL PAXTON FOREVER!

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 9:21 a.m. CST

    TWILIGHT Is The Nadir Of All Fiction Writing

    by LaserPants

    It really is the worst, most insipid piece of shit I've ever read. Its a Harlequin romance novel for 13 year old girls. Meyer may be the luckiest moron in the history of writing because SHE CAN'T WRITE, and yet is one of the most successful authors on the planet. Cringe-inducingly bad. I mean, sun makes the vampires twinkle?! Are you fucking kidding me? Its wish fulfillment for 13 year old girls and its TERRIBLE.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 9:51 a.m. CST

    agents of atlas = umbrella academy?

    by lex romero

    I've not read AoA but the characters and tone sound eerily similar to UA.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Don't think that's ROM in AoA

    by Ye Not Guilty

    But it would be cool if Marvel were to bring ROM back somehow. Maybe as a Guardian of the Galaxy? Hey, it worked for Bug! I mean, WTF, how did Bug go from the Microverse to the regular Marvel universe? No explanation has been given, so I don't see why they can't just bring ROM back anytime they want to.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Wasn't Iron Maiden

    by sean bean

    the name of the Starktech-suited Black Widow in Ultimates 2? You know, before Jeph Loeb came in and assraped the Ultimate universe to death?

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 10:34 a.m. CST

    AOA, The Mighty, Iron Man, Secret Warriors and Google eyed Bill

    by Joenathan

    Interesting review of Agents of Atlas. I was always drawn to it for the same reasons (talking gorilla, robot, lost 1950s super team) but repelled by the guy in the cape with the blonde hair and weird head band thing. (Yes, sometimes I reject things for arbitrary reasons, big whoop, you wanna fight about it?) I'm gonna check it out again though... <br><br>Also, I picked up the Mighty as well, based on the previous article. So that’s two for you guys... <br><br>You know who I'm really liking in Iron Man, besides the whole book? Maria Hill. I'm totally digging her character now and I'm excited to see where she goes from here. Although… why did she go home? Anyway, I only flipped through this issue so far, but I didn't see a resolution to the brain melt thing. Was there one? <br><br>Granted, I felt the ending of Secret Warriors thud too, but its not like it’s the kind situation that I would bother to believe for even a moment regardless, so… I liked the rest of the set up, though and the characters. Really, anything with Hydra, AIM and disavowed Agents sounds good to me. Also, Bug's wrong, that kid with the chain is the grandson of an older Ghost rider, not Johnny Blaze. <br><br>As for speculators, I used to work at this comic shop with a kid I called Google eyed Bill (guess why?) Anyway, ol' Google Eye bought 24 copies of DV8 #1 when it first came out on the assumption that one set will be for him to read and enjoy and touch (I guess he imagined that he’d be getting some of them stained… or something… shudder), one set will be for quick turn around (as the girl-centric alternative covers have a history of jumping in price and by history, he meant the way Gen13 had like a year ago) and the final set he would keep as a long term investment for his kids (…yeah…) I hope he stares at those 24 issues in shame...

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Did anyone see the Twilight movie?

    by Joenathan

    Holy Fuck, its bad. WOW! I mean, I expected stupid, but holy crap... <br><br>the best part was that the audience was split in two: all these people laughing at the rampant stupidity on screen and then the gothy douchebags crying because people weren't taking the story seriously. <br><br>One of the actors is playing a vampire who just recently gave up humans and so when he's around one, he's supposed to look all distracted and conflicted, but he sucks as an actor, so instead he just looks as if throughout the entire scene someone is covertly attempting to stick their thumb up his butt and he is trying to quietly clench up and block them without any else finding out what is going on. It is a laugh riot.<br><br>My absolute favorite though is the stupid morman who wrote the book not only draws the most obvious metaphor in the world (waiting for marriage = not drinking human blood) but the entire "beautiful" love story that is at the sotry's center is actually a text book abusive relationship. Here you go girls... grow up healthy!

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 11:06 a.m. CST

    jai nitz...

    by blackthought

    his blue beetle spanish issue was pretty good...look forward to finishing his adventures with chato.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 11:23 a.m. CST

    "It don't have the Wolverine in it!!"

    by Gigolo Joe

    But it does. Didn't you read the back-up story?

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Keep Pepper normal

    by drewlicious

    If they find a way to get rid of extremis they can ditch this, too. What's next? Mary Jane making a deal with the devil.....Oh, wait.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 11:50 a.m. CST

    You PAID to see Twilight???

    by Psynapse

    Well that explains a lot.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 11:51 a.m. CST

    No Love for Bad Dog?

    by Woolam

    Joe Kelly's new book froom Image under the Man of Action banner was fantastic. It's Kelly writing in the vein of his Deadpool run, and it was great.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 11:53 a.m. CST

    No, I saw it for free

    by Joenathan

    and got a complimentary handjob/back massage/winning lotto ticket/large popcorn as well. FACE!

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 11:54 a.m. CST

    That was sarcasm, by the way

    by Joenathan

    you probably couldn't tell...

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 12:01 p.m. CST

    I kind of agree with Smerdyakov

    by Continentalop

    I am all for a good ret-con, but AoA made as a fan of old characters, I was disappointed to see that they changed Venus from the actual goddess to a nereid, Yellow Claw is no longer a world conquering Fu Manchu rip-off (and now is dead), and no love for 3-D Man (sure, he wasn't an actual Atlas character but the basic idea of AoA is a rip-off of Roy Thomas' 50's Avengers, which included 3-D Man).

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the TWILIGHT references guys...

    by Continentalop

    ...Now I am having flashbacks of the shitty movie in my head (it was a free screening, but taking 2 hours out of your life isn't free).

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 12:04 p.m. CST

    joker

    by Cyrus Clops

    Are you thinking of Kelley Jones (Moench was a writer)? If so, I don't know, for some reason that really warped, distinctive art style spoke to me. Jones is doing a Batman mini these days (with a lousy Steve Niles script) and he's still doing that long-ears-and-frizzy-cape thing with Batman more than a decade later.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by Joenathan

    Remember when the stupid vampire kid was "running" uphill? Too funny...

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Yeeeah.....

    by Psynapse

    You: Saw Twilight. Me: Knew better. <P>Winner: Me by a long shot.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 12:15 p.m. CST

    uummm..Larry Stroman...

    by AnakinsDiapers

    May not be doing much in the comics industry these days, but back then he was not a "no name". He was the artist of the first run of the highly acclaimed X-Factor with peter David. Before then, he was the artist of the great Epic comics (remember epic?) The Alien Legion, written by Chuck Dixon. His star was definately rising in that era. Don't like his style? Fine. But let's not take anything away from the man and the work he was involved in prior to The Tribe.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 12:19 p.m. CST

    I'm sorry...

    by Joenathan

    did you get the impression that I thought it would be good? I went BECAUSE it was bad, son. A hilarious bad movie is sometimes better than a "good" movie. Haven't you ever seen Battlefield Earth?

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Twighlight: The Price One Pays

    by optimous_douche

    Sometimes to get laid.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 12:30 p.m. CST

    THOR!!!

    by BERSERKR

    all i know is, THOR# 600 comes out this week, so Ambush or whomever better damn well review it or i will start to think someone has a Hate on for what is easily Marvels best book. I don't think they have ever reviewed a THOR book.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 12:30 p.m. CST

    THOR!!!

    by BERSERKR

    all i know is, THOR# 600 comes out this week, so Ambush or whomever better damn well review it or i will start to think someone has a Hate on for what is easily Marvels best book. I don't think they have ever reviewed a THOR book.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 12:31 p.m. CST

    No I haven't, thank jeebus....

    by Psynapse

    Dude, NEITHER of those movies even remotely qualify as 'So bad they're good' and you know it but nice try at saving face. FACE!<p>Yo Optimus! If you're having to see shit like 'Twilight' to get some trim you are clearly not using enough Rohypnol.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Optimous Douche

    by Continentalop

    That was the worst part. I saw Twilight AND I didn't get laid that night. The worst of two worlds.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Thor..

    by AnakinsDiapers

    needs to come back to the Marvel universe. Mind you, i thoroughly enjoy what JMS is doing on the title, i just think it's time for Thor to join the whole "shared universe" concept. On the other hand, i don't want Thor to have to be handled the way they're handling that two-bit Superman wannabe The Sentry, so i'm of two minds. Seriously, the Hulk was sidelined for Civil War and Secret Invasion because Joey Q and the rest of the peanut gallery didn't know what to do with a powerhouse who was such a wildcard. Now we have Dark Reign. I want Thor involved, but i don't need him being jobed in contrived ways to serve the story like The Sentry's built in weakness allows for.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 12:44 p.m. CST

    You seriously can't see the funny in those two movies?

    by Joenathan

    Just one more reason I pity you...

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 12:45 p.m. CST

    The Sentry's original mini-series was great.

    by Joenathan

    Has anyone ever read his regular title?

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 12:50 p.m. CST

    BottleImp

    by hst666

    Just pick up a Green Lantern and read it. It requires no knowledge of what has gone on before. <p><p> What happened to comic book readers sense of adventure. As a small child, I used to read the Avengers and Defenders and other books back in the 70s and I jumped in in the middle of the Kovacs saga and I juped in in the middle of some Nebulon stuff in Defenders and I didn't have this need to have everything sponfed to me immediately, and I WAS 7 AND 5, respectively. <p><p>I do admit that recap pages are great though.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Optimus Douche

    by hst666

    Emma's turn began with the slaughter of the Hellions. She was a co-leader of Generation X in the 90s.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Incredible Hercules

    by Joenathan

    has the best re-cap page.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Wow! Jim Aparo has fans.

    by Homer Sexual

    Who knew? I have always hated his art. Next, people will come out as Herb Trimpe fans. <p> Of course, I like Carmine Infantino's work on old Spider-Woman, so what do I know?

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 1:01 p.m. CST

    AnakinsDiapers

    by BERSERKR

    I Agree, i LOVE THOR, its as good as he has ever been but i would like to see him involved with the regular marvel U a little more, but ya not like the Sentry is handled or how THOR was handled in Hulk, man Leob sucks these days, BUT i don't think we have to wait much longer from the preview images for THOR 600, the Dark Avengers make an appearance and it seems they are fighting THOR, hopefully THOR sends them packing as there is noone on the Dark Avengers besides Aries and and the Sentry, even then With the Odin force they shouldn't stand a chance.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 1:03 p.m. CST

    It's not me who needs pitying

    by Psynapse

    I've never wasted a moment of my life on either of those 2 flicks. You, on the other hand...

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 1:03 p.m. CST

    Jim Aparo was hyped back in the day.

    by hst666

    Wasn't he the artist on Batman and the Outsiders?

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 1:05 p.m. CST

    Loeb sucks THESE DAYS?

    by Joenathan

    I revisited Long Halloween and with new eyes, that is one shaky comic, man. Now, I think we were all just fooled by Tim Sale's fucking awesome Batman.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 1:05 p.m. CST

    Moreover....

    by Psynapse

    If your life is so comedy challenged that you have to resort to seeing 'Battlefield Earth' and 'Twilight' to get some laughs it's not just me who pities you but most of society as well.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 1:05 p.m. CST

    It;s actually Journey Into Myster 600

    by hst666

    Not that I want to be incredibly nerdy, but I will be. Using this m=numbering, Thor did not appear until issue 83, I believe.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 1:05 p.m. CST

    I'm with you Homer...

    by Psynapse

    Never really cared for Aparo.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by BERSERKR

    I was trying to be nice, good on you, Loeb just plain sucks:P

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Too late Psynapse

    by Joenathan

    I already pitied you first.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 1:12 p.m. CST

    I never read Dark Victory

    by Joenathan

    I couldn't make it through the first issue. Thoughts?

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 1:14 p.m. CST

    hst666

    by BERSERKR

    Your not incredibly Nerdy, i knew that as well, its all good in my opinion:)

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Dark Victory

    by BERSERKR

    Made Tolerable by Sales art:P

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Jim Aparo was great!!!

    by dogrobber

    Look at his run on 'the Spectre' or 'Brave and the Bold'. I would love to have seen him work on a 'GCPD' type book back in the day.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Sales' Batman IS awesome

    by Joenathan

    I love the chin scruff

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Ah, you shoot but cannot score...

    by Psynapse

    Y'know, kind of like your luck with the ladies. Who pities whom is irrelevant. YOU went to see Twilight and no amount of sarcasm can ever redeem you from that part of loserville, son.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 1:27 p.m. CST

    I LOVED going to Twilight

    by Joenathan

    It was a great time. I may go again. I'll dedicate my next Twilight ticket purchase to you, my pitiable friend. HA! Re-face!

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Each try weaker than the last...

    by Psynapse

    But hey, it's comedy gold watching you try to regain imagined coolness.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 1:30 p.m. CST

    BRING BACK ROM!

    by Leafar the Lost

    I actually enjoyed reading the Rom comic many years ago. I would like to see Rom and the Dire Wraiths come back for some reason, even if it just to kill him.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Aparo and THOR

    by Ambush Bug

    C'mon, Aparo was damn good in his day. Sure his work became stiff a bit towards the end of his career, but the guy was THE Batman artist for years. HIs clean style made Batman heroic, yet he still was able to make the stories gritty and moody (remember this was the time of DKR, so Batman's metamorphosis from adventurer/superhero to brooding urban vigilante was just beginning). Aparo showed consistency and range.<br><br> And oh how short attention spans you have. We have covered quite a few issues of THOR in the past and I agree, THOR kicks ass at the moment. Even the Fraction One-Shots are great. I'm sure someone will cover THOR #600 next week.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 1:50 p.m. CST

    SECRET WARRIORS #1

    by Series7

    Damn, I haven't read it yet. But its Johathan Hickmans first work with an established character. I've loved his other works, I was expecting a lot from this. I'll have to see if the reviewer is correct or not.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Ambush Bug

    by BERSERKR

    I guess with THORS horrible release schedule it just seems like a very long time since someone here has reviewed a THOR book:P But glad you agree that it Kicks ass, and Ya Fractions One shots were awesome.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Good to see Jonah Hex reviewed

    by Grendel745

    Anything that gets more attention to that book I'm all in favour of. No matter what huge event or multi-part saga or "even that will change things forever", Jonah Hex is always the first read when a new issue comes out. Its nice to know there's a place for just plain solid storytelling in today's comic market.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Secret Warriors

    by Joenathan

    Yeah, its Hickman, with Bendis guidance. I thought it was fun, but then I enjoyed the set up and characters before now, so I was kind of target audience.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 3:21 p.m. CST

    By the way finish the fucking "Twelve" JMS

    by cookylamoo

    You fair-weather comic genius.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 3:26 p.m. CST

    GOOSE IS VINDICATED!!!

    by gooseud

    Let's see....Nova is fuckin awesome, Marvel's answer to GL, and just as good as that book if not better? Check.....An A$$hole shoutout to the fact that Starman was one of the great runs ever published and your fandom is not complete if you havent read that series cover to cover? Check......Talkbackers talking about how awesome Thor has been, including the amazing Fraction one shots? Check......Wow, at this rate I'm going to have Eva Mendes waiting for me when I get home with a beer in one hand and a videocamera in the other!

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Can I just mention......

    by gooseud

    how utterly ridiculous Bane looks on that cover? WTF is that even supposed to be?

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 3:45 p.m. CST

    The Twelve

    by Joenathan

    JMS will never finish it or if he does, it'll be one quick, poorly done "wrap up" issue and thn a few abandoned midway through spin offs.<br><br>Alas, the Twelve, we hardly knew ye...

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 3:56 p.m. CST

    The Twelve

    by gooseud

    Yeah its nowhere friggin near being done, what's it at, issue 7? 8 maybe? Considering there hasnt been a new issue in 6+ months, we can safely stick a fork in that one and say JMS could barely finish half of it.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Secret Six, Aparo

    by Laserhead

    Just read the first six issues. Now my favorite DC book. Sorry GL, you stalled with 'Secret Origin.' Junior is one of the most truly disturbing villains of all time, and I hope they keep her around.<p>Also, gotta say, ever since I was a little kid, I hate, hate, hate, hated Jim Aparo's Batman. I know, I know, show some respect, etc. But man, I just always thought he was a lousy artist, hated his Batman, and never liked the way, no matter what year it was, Aparo dressed his figures in 1972 clothes.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 4:12 p.m. CST

    1972 clothes

    by Joenathan

    thats funny. That was part of comics for a long, long time. Big fucking collars and Luke Skywalker hair for years... Ah, days gone by.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 4:13 p.m. CST

    Ain't nothing wrong with the turtle neck and sports jacket look.

    by Ambush Bug

    As long as there're patches on the sleeves.<br><br> with tan slacks, of course.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 4:16 p.m. CST

    I used to have

    by Joenathan

    a Marvel team up between Spidey and Nomad and the two of them go to a movie and then fight the Taskmaster and they are two Man from U.N.C.L.E. lookin' mother fuckers, blue turtlenecks, brown jackets and white or tan pants... FANCY!

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 4:22 p.m. CST

    I wonder what people will be saying in 20 years...

    by Ambush Bug

    about Peter wearing a long sleeve shirt under a short sleeve shirt...

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Peter...

    by Joenathan

    was on Pearl Jam lookin' mother fucker...

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 4:37 p.m. CST

    IMPORTANT QUESTION

    by kungfuhustler84

    Lots of answers are welcome, since I continue to hear different ones.<p>If I only had the money for one, should I get Secret Warriors or Agents of Atlas? So far, besides here, a lot more people have been telling me they liked Secret Warriors more.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 4:39 p.m. CST

    Apples and Oranges

    by Joenathan

    What do you like better? Dark, modern spy/superhero stuff or the more classic capes and weirdness type stories?<br><br>Really, the right answer is: Incognito.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Say what you will about Aparo

    by Snookeroo

    at least you could follow what was supposed to be happening in the story.<br><br>See: Indecipherable Smuggling Spirits artwork.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 4:55 p.m. CST

    Looking at his stuff...

    by Joenathan

    Do you think Aparo was very influential on Leifeld? They're not quite the same, but still...

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 5:08 p.m. CST

    hoo boy...

    by v1cious

    if there's no recommendation of Fables 81 next week, then something is very wrong with you people.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 5:18 p.m. CST

    Agents of Atlas all the way...

    by Ambush Bug

    How many times are you going to read a Bendis, all the heroes coming together story then everything falling apart story peppered with stories filled with nothing but exposition and poor endings in between. Jeff Parker is a new voice in comics, one that deserves to be heard more. He's been slowly making a name for himself and is saving his best material for AoA. Plus let's compare, fat wizard, stereotypical tough guy with a firey chain, Amodeus Cho wannabe kid, a chick who throws stuff and has them come back to her, your typical strong guy, and a Maria Hill wannabe compared to a smart ass gorilla, a weird alien in the form of a man, a mythological siren, an Atlantean princess as arrogantas Namor, a secretive robot, and an ancestor of the Yellow Claw. No contest on which seems more interesting to me.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 5:48 p.m. CST

    Leifeld

    by Snookeroo

    My comic involvement was fairly thin in the 90's, and Leifeld's work was one of the things that kept it that way. I think his style is one of the unfortunate influences that I see in a lot of contemporary artwork.<br><br>Leifeld was born in '67, so it's possible that Aparo was an influence (since Aparo permeated the medium during the period that might have been formative to Leifeld). But frankly I don't see a lot of similarities.<br><br>Personally, I always considered Aparo as second-hand Neil Adams; good, but nearly as good as Adams. IMO Adams is the best comic artist of all time; possibly exceeded only by Adam Huges.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 5:49 p.m. CST

    I meant NOT nearly as good as Adams.

    by Snookeroo

    Damn.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 6:40 p.m. CST

    Haha thanks Ambush

    by kungfuhustler84

    I actually went to the shop directly after asking the question, and read, and liked both. So I added Secret Warriors to the pull box until the next issue, and bought Atlas, which I did enjoy slightly more.<p>These $4 tags are starting to kill me though.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 6:47 p.m. CST

    Another one I thought about picking up

    by kungfuhustler84

    was Bang Tango. That looked pretty good. Another one I left in the box til I had more money. Has anybody read that yet?

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 9:08 p.m. CST

    I feel your pain, kungfuhustler

    by Ambush Bug

    Marvel is shooting themselves in the foot with this price hike. I know, during one of the worst recessions in recent history, let's up prices and put out more books. Damn, them Marvel guys is smart.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 9:38 p.m. CST

    Incognito.....

    by BangoSkank

    Anyone who might have missed the first issue, a second printing came out last week.... Just a heads up, 'cause I let it slip by the first time around.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Thor 600?

    by BangoSkank

    Didn't the first issue just come out a year ago? If there's one thing I hate, it's when they restart a long-running comic at #1, just because it's got a new writer and needs a sales hike. <p> Know what I REALLY hate? When the fuck-tards switch back to the old numbering just because they would be hitting a milestone, and still need that fucking sales hike.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 9:48 p.m. CST

    This talkback..........

    by gooseud

    is friggin dead compared to last week

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 9:52 p.m. CST

    $3.99 Price tag....

    by BangoSkank

    I keep cutting my pull-list every week. As much as I love my comics --and I'll never give up on them all together-- I'm taking a stand. I'm a Marvel guy, but I'm taking far fewer chances on new titles, and I'm cutting the ones that derail MUCH sooner than I did just a year ago. <p> I'll spend the $4 on an overpriced cup of coffee at Barnes and Nobles, and read the fucking trade on my lunch break.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 10:46 p.m. CST

    BangoSkank

    by BERSERKR

    I dont really care what the numbering is, THOR is Marvels best Main title and i would pay 120 bucks an issue and drop all my other titles if i had to:P

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 12:15 a.m. CST

    Optimous Douche, re=White Queen

    by Continentalop

    While yes, the White Queen once was a one dimensional ice princess of a villainess, but I have never been a fan of the way they have added “depth” to her and have her join the X-Men. It is just so unbelievable to me. Here is a woman who has a whole list of evil and sadistic actions under her belt, some of them directed against the X-Men, and now she is viewed as just a stand-offish woman who means well for her own people. It doesn’t mesh with the Emma Frost that I read as a child. <p> Her is a woman who did the following evil deeds: she was a member of a secret organization which was dedicated to conquering the world and controlling fellow mutants as if they were natural resources; tried to capture the X-Men on several occasions (and on the first occasion the plan was to use the X-Men as guinea pigs and experiment on them so they could figure out how mutants are made); cold bloodedly killed six of her own minions because they failed in mission; tortured Storm and then attempted to erase her mind; helped Mastermind corrupt Phoenix so she could become member of the Hellfire Club, and was therefore indirectly responsible for her becoming Dark Phoenix and killing billions of aliens; kidnapped Kitty Pryde and planned to brainwash her to join the Hellions; planned on training Firestar to be her personal assassin and killed her Hellfire Club mercenary boyfriend; and these examples are only in the first couple years of her existence! People can try and explain her change of heart as the aftermath of the Hellions dying, but the Hellions were originally depicted as a group of mutants Emma Frost and the Hellfire Club gathered to be used as minions and assassins, not as children she actually cared about (just look at her treatment of Firestar to see how much she cared for her pupils). <p> And it isn’t just Frost, but also diehard villains Magneto, Sabretooth, Mystique and the Juggernaut that have also played good guy for a while. The X-Men is the WWE of comic books; characters go from heel to babyface to heel just because they become popular with the fans and because it is an easy gimmick. That is one thing I like about the rest of the Marvel Universe: you don’t have to worry about the Red Skull turning a new leaf and becoming Cap’s new buddy and an Avenger.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 6:06 a.m. CST

    White Queen

    by optimous_douche

    I'm OK with a villian having a change of heart.<p> I still don't 100% buy though that her motives are pure or that she isn't going to snap Summers' skull off praying mantis style one day after some hot mutie love.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 7:35 a.m. CST

    Frost Was A Great Villain

    by Buzz Maverik

    I don't think they should change her back. That would be knee jerk, bad writing (which means it'll happen any day now), but ... Marvel often doesn't appreciate the value of a fascinating antagonist. Like I said, another switch would be lame but, to me, it would have been deeper and more interesting to have the X-Men, from time to time, face a villain whom Scott was hot for. Imagine the guilt, the conflict, the innuendos...that's practically every SPIRIT story Will Eisner ever did.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Continentalop - Marvel U Heel

    by Joenathan

    Venom

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Also

    by Joenathan

    John Walker

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 10:18 a.m. CST

    KungFuHustler84

    by Joenathan

    I'm glad you gave both a fair shot, despite the price, as Bug was obviously slanted in his advice by his hatred of Bendis.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Jim Aparo hate? Are you fucking kidding me?

    by SpyGuy

    Like that snooty maitre d' in FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF, I weep for the future...

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Pull lists cuts

    by Joenathan

    I've cut things recently too, but not directly due to price. I've just recently had a purge tht reminded me of the day in the late 90s where I went: "Why am I still reading Spawn?" <br><br>Has anyone been reading DMZ lately? The art's slid noticeablly downhill and the story is like paint drying. What happened? <br><br>Also 100 bullets, I used to love that book, now its just ugly people jabbering about nothing and pretending like a war is coming, when really NOTHING happens.<br><br>BPRD? I would have killed for this comic 10 years ago. Now? Snoozeville.<br><br>There were others I can't even remember now. Its funny how you'll fall into this buy rut and not even notice.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 10:24 a.m. CST

    yeah but...

    by Joenathan

    the snooty maitre-d was a douchebag...

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Snook: Adams

    by steverodgers

    Adams is your favorite? Obviously this is just opinion but I don't think he makes my top five. Off the top of my head I'd go (in no particular order after Kirby). Kirby, Michael Golden, Mignola (if just for his Rocket Raccoon mini), David Mazzucchelli, and to throw a new guy in there, Michael Lark.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 10:41 a.m. CST

    3.99

    by steverodgers

    Is not necessarily whittling down my weekly buys, but it is making me think twice about giving new comics a shot. A comic has to look really good at $3.99 to get me to give it a shot. Comics should cost a third of what minimum wage is, so that if you’re a teen working at Hot Topic or some hideous mall store you have enough dough to get some gas, some beer/smokes, and some comics with your crappy paycheck.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 10:51 a.m. CST

    $3.99

    by Psynapse

    Will make me give up monthlies altogether.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 10:56 a.m. CST

    "I'm just a cool guy working at Hot Topic"

    by Joenathan

    Anybody seen Darkon? Love it.<br><br>Top five artists (current)<br><br>1. Frank Quietly<br><br>2. John Cassidy<br><br>3. Sean Phillips<br><br>4. Stuart Immonen<br><br>5. David Aja<br><br>Also, this is current, so all the classic guys are of course favorites, I just didn't list them because they are a given.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 11:06 a.m. CST

    I'll play...

    by Ambush Bug

    Top FIve Modern Artists 1. Clint Langley<br><br> 2. Paul Pelletier<br><br> 3. Ben Templesmith<br><br> 4. Tie: Adam and Andy Kubert<br><br> 5. The guy who drew the Paperdoll issue of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN though I can't remember his name at work right now. Is it Carlos Martin?<br><br> A little help guys?

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Gotta be quick, on break at Hot Topic

    by steverodgers

    Top five current: Lark, Lee Weeks, JRJR, Frank Quietly, Seth Fisher. No Mignola there, guess he just got his ass bumped.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Marcos Martin

    by steverodgers

    Thats the paper dolls guy and he can really draw a good spioder-Man comic.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Spider-Man, not "spioder-Man"

    by steverodgers

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Steverodgers

    by Snookeroo

    I think Adams is on a pedestal for me because he elevated the bar for DC back in the day. He's was an incredible graphic renderer -- caveat: his people all look the same. Funny, I didn't really like Kirby at the time, but I've grown to appreciate just what an innovator he was. Same with Curt Swan (for different reasons) -- I was usually disappointed when a comic had great cover art, and then I'd open it only to find Swan's artwork. However, I've grown to appreciate exactly how clean and tight, and consistent his artwork was -- and prolific. It was cruel the way DC took a guy who had dedicated 35 years of his life and tossed him in the garbage for John Byrne. IMO, Adam Huges artwork is the pinnacle of what comic book illustration should be -- his Wonder Woman artwork is beautiful.<br><br>Frank Quietly's artwork is interesting, and at times beautiful. At other times, though, it's just plain strange.<br><br>I'm not that familiar with the other contemporaries (trying to catch up), but whoever illustrated the Brubaker Captain America is stunning (I'm reading the omnibus now).<br>I'm not sure who is drawing the current Amazing Spider-Man title, but I like it -- the artwork is clear and the stories are at least entertaining.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Bru's cap

    by Joenathan

    Its so good. I liked that last opening set up issue with Bucky Cap and Namor. The two of them had an obvious and easy comraderie. Good stuff. It really made me wonder though, why didn't Cap and Namor ever work together?

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Snook: Cap is Steve Epting

    by steverodgers

    Epting is interesting because he really stepped up his game on Cap. If he was a baseball player you would think he started juicing. His Avengers run is good but not as near as tight and atmospherey as his Cap stuff. I like Adams too, but maybe it's just that all his people look the same, and all very tall. He is excellent of course. He did a great work on a comic called Toyboy in the 80's, creator owned for a company called Continuity Comics, and he was drawing out of his mind, it worth tracking down in the quarter bins if you like his stuff.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by Snookeroo

    Trying to swim with a shield is a bitch.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 11:31 a.m. CST

    SR

    by Snookeroo

    thanks -- I'm going to see if I can find some of his (Epting) Avengers back issues just cos I'm curious to see the evolution. I really don't know how he could churn out that kind of depth with each issue on a monthly basis (unless the original run was not a monthly?)

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 11:49 a.m. CST

    Joen

    by steverodgers

    I am with you on Bru's camp. Not only did I love the history/back and forth with Namor and Bucky, but that kooky, yellow Atlantian ship they were cruising around in? That is just some great comic-booking.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 11:56 a.m. CST

    steve

    by Joenathan

    Cap doesn't swim with his shield... he boogey boards.<br><Br>At this point in Bru's Cap, I'd almost state that I find Bucky Cap more interesting than Cap and Cap was my original favorite (him and Batman). I've always wanted more of Marvel's WWII history and Busky seems like such a great portal for it, maybe its because WWII seems closer for Bucky than it had for Cap anymore. Bucky is a fish fresh out of the water, where as Cap was past that, and I really enjoy the man out of time stuff.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Joen

    by steverodgers

    I'm with you. Cap was/is my favorite, but the way that Bru is mining the man out of time, and really highlighting the history of the character is just awesome. Did you read the Winter Soldier: Winter Kills one shot, where Bucky and Namor are talking by Toro's grave? It's that kind of stuff that really makes Brubaker so good, he really nails the friendship and history these guys have together after fighting in WWII. It’s the kind of thing that writers never took advantage of in the past with Cap, and it is just really enjoyable, and makes me hope they really take their time brining back Cap.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Top 5 Modern artists? I'm in

    by Psynapse

    In no particular order: <P>1. Frank Quitely<p>2. Amanda Connor<p>3. Doug Moench<p>4. Ivan Reis<p>5. Ethan Van Sciver

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 12:32 p.m. CST

    I missed that one

    by Joenathan

    I'll have to look for it.<br><br>Its that very reason I liked the Ultimate Cap, I mean I very much loved regular Cap, but the whole soldier from a different era thing is just so engaging. I glad Bru took that route before Steve was killed and really amped it up with Bucky Cap.<br><Br>I am a sucker for three types of comics, every time.<br><br>1. Dystopian future/alternate world. Throw n eyepatch on a desperate and grizzled version of a character and I'll pick it up.<br><br>2. Disparate characters formed into Ad-hoc team for a special mission. Avengers Forever by Busiak? Great stuff. That was the first time I not only liked Kang, but respected him as a villan.<br><Br>WWII superheroes. There's something about jodhpurs and goggles that are so cool, plus fighting Nazis is always a good thing.<br><br>BUT I've yet to find a good Marvel WWII book, they're always somewhat disappointing. I'd love it if Marvel were to launch an invaders book, set in WWII and just tell good, two fisted, nazi fighting, crazy 1940s super science type stories.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Ok, I admit I had to look up "jodhpurs"

    by Snookeroo

    Goggles I already knew.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 12:39 p.m. CST

    MY TURN!!!

    by BERSERKR

    1. Olivier Copiel is my favorite overall right now, any other artist it really depends on the title as in... favorite Spider-Man Artist - John Romita JR and Chris Bachalo Favorite Superman artist - Gary Frank others i really like, Patrick Zircher(his work on ages of thunder), Marko Djurdjevic, Ivan Reis, the list goes on:P

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 12:43 p.m. CST

    You didn't google goggles?

    by Joenathan

    You should, everybody should google goggles.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Winter Soldier: Winter Kills

    by steverodgers

    http://tinyurl.com/cs4a9l :Look at that cover. Comic book gold. Lee Weeks does the art and BuckyCap teams up with the New Avengers to bust up a AIM (maybe it's Hydra) base.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 12:47 p.m. CST

    Is this new?

    by Joenathan

    When was this? How did I miss it?

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 12:49 p.m. CST

    BuckyCap

    by Joenathan

    Originally I was disappointed that the shield went to Bucky. It seemed so obvious and Winter Soldier was such a good name and cool too, plus, I really wanted Clint Barton to become the new Cap. Ronin sucks balls, especially his stupid costume.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 12:51 p.m. CST

    It's Old

    by steverodgers

    Came out right after Civil War some time. It's just as good as it looks. Go shake your LCS owner for not pulling it for you.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Clint

    by steverodgers

    Would have been a great Cap (as well as a great BBQ sauce company owner - like Newman's Own but more West Coast). Ronin makes me want to vomit all over each issue of New Avengers I see.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Ronin

    by Joenathan

    especially when he doesn't wear a mask, the costume looks extra stupid, somehow, without the mask. I think its the gold piping.<br><br>"I'd like a ninja costume please."<br><br>"Okay, how's this?"<br><bR>"Hmmmm... do you have one with gold piping and maybe some green edging too?"

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 1:05 p.m. CST

    I want to do artwork like that when I grow up

    by Snookeroo

    The Weeks cover, that is.<br><br>One gripe with most current comic (cover)artwork: make these characters DO something intriguing. There are waaaay too many covers with posing heroes. It's like technique/execution is the Holy Grail. These aren't Vogue covers, they're comic books -- these characters need to be DOING something that makes you want to take the book home.<br><br>Now..you kids get offa my lawn.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Ronin's Costume

    by steverodgers

    Is Nomad bad. It makes Clint almost unlikeable. Here is one of the coolest dudes in Marvel Comics, strutting around in something that the Wasp wouldn't wear on her worst day. When Cap does come back I hope he takes the time to tell Clint how disappointed he is in his new costume. "Clint I have seen some awful costumes, I'm talking Battlestar, D-Man, Dr. Druid and Nomad here, but that takes the cake... is that gold piping? Green trim? Seriously Clint, your killing me, just killing me."

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Snook

    by steverodgers

    That's actually your man Epting. Also I agree on the covers. It's not Vogue, it's a book fellas, give me some action for my $3.99.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 1:14 p.m. CST

    "comic book" not "book"

    by steverodgers

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 1:32 p.m. CST

    SR

    by Snookeroo

    Thanks, that always happens when I read don't carefully.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 1:43 p.m. CST

    ronin's costume does suck

    by Ambush Bug

    but how dare you rip on Battlestar's duds. I liked his costume. And Dr. Druid, although a douchebag, was a great character during the Masters of Evil vs Avengers era. I especially loved the line-up with Druid, Marrina, Namor, Black Knight, Sersi, and Crystal. Such a mish-mash bunch of heroes, but they really made it work. Black Knight was banging both Sersi and Crystal. Namor had to kill Marrina. Druid manipulated them all. Just some damn fine comic booking.<br><br> And Druid wasn't afraid to show off his enormous gut with his red leotard suit. THat takes a lot of balls, so you've gotta respect that. He just didn't give a shit. Black Knight would be all, "Hey guys let's hit the gym and go over some battle scenarios!" and Druid would respond. "Nah, I think I'll sit this one out and study some tomes." Then he's open up a big old-timey book which was actually hollowed out and filled with Ho-Ho's.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Snook: Epting

    by steverodgers

    You can actually look at a lot of his pages on this site, and buy a lot of older work at pretty affordable prices: http://tinyurl.com/d5rej6

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Bug

    by steverodgers

    You got me. Battlestar isn't that bad, and the line about Dr. Druid and his Ho-Ho tome had me laughing. Stern's whole run on Avengers was great and Dr. Druid always did scoff at the suckers working out, while he helped himself to another can of Coke and some of Jarvis's delicious cakes.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 1:52 p.m. CST

    I'm tellin' ya, Druid was a badass...

    by Ambush Bug

    The only Avenger with male pattern baldness and a leotard. He just didn't give a shit. Everyone else was about their image and physique. Druid just showed up as if he just rolled out of bed. Probably never showered either. Since Black Knight was banging all of the girls on the team, he just gave up the ghost and didn't even try.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Dr. Druid

    by Joenathan

    I always believed that he was actually just wearing his footie pajamas to work and threw on a cloak so that people wouldn't quite be sure and were then hesitant to say anything.<br><br>I was a big fan of Battlestar too, I was way too excited to see him in Civil War front line.<br><br>Remember when they made D-Man a bum?<br><br>As for clint... I am actually hoping they kill girl Hawkeye off so that he can have his costume and name back and girl Hawkeye is actually pretty cool, but that god damn Ronin suit, with its terrible shoulder pads is just sooooo awful, I would actull prefer that they throw away a perfectly good character just to get rid of it.<br><br>Although, now that Bullseye has the purple tights... whats Clint going to do?

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 3:08 p.m. CST

    The best thing about BuckyCap?

    by gooseud

    Virtually no crossovers with the rest of the Marvel U. And what crossovers there are (the already-legendary Thor issue a few issues back) are handled wonderfully, that Thor issue was one of the few that gave me actual chills in the past year or so.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Artists

    by Homer Sexual

    Frankly, I feel that the art in comics is the best it's ever been. The writing has improved, I suppose, but not like the art. Most older comics have art that wouldn't sell 100 copies today. I wonder how some of those older stories would hold up with better art. <p> Anyhoo... There are so many outstanding artists, and I am at work so can't actually reference any of my comics, but off the top of my head: <p> Quitely is my absolute #1 favorite artist. <p> I love McKone, Epting, Deodato, Frank, Jimenez, Immonen, Hughes, Pollina, the original Runaways artist (Alfonso A., I can't exactly remember) and many more. There actually aren't many artists I don't like, though some can only do certain types of books.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 4:13 p.m. CST

    Dr. Druid: proof you don't need a six pack or good hair to be a

    by Continentalop

    I also loved how Stern put him on his Monster Hunters team. <p> I always thought it was a sin how later writers just treated him as a joke. He was Marvel comics first hero (under the name Dr. Droom) and was created by Lee & Kirby. Show some friggin' respect!

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 4:16 p.m. CST

    Joenathan, WWII

    by Continentalop

    I agree with you that it is about time they put out another WWII comic. In fact, one of my disappointments with the Twelve was that it was set in the modern era. I think you could have made just as interesting story with those characters set right after V-E and V-J Day.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Emma Frost, Hawkeye, Comic Fashions

    by Homer Sexual

    I agree with the post waaay back that making Emma "good" is quite a stretch. But for some reason, I don't really mind. I remember being super pissed when Sabretooth went "good" and I think I now expect that to happen with most any popular Marvel Villain. And flip-flopping is no better. Case in point: Sylar <p> Don't kill Girl Hawkeye! Just don't! <p> Comic fashions should reflect their time. Sorry Ambush, you are great, but you seriously date yourself dogging Peter Parker wearing a t-shirt on top of a long sleeve. That is the style, like it or not, and I appreciate modernity in the art. <p> The outdated styles were kind of fun, but also pretty lame. For example, Dazzler used to have the most outdated styles, as bad or worse than anything mentioned here, although she was supposed to be in the music industry. <p> Yes, I guess I should have known I was gay since I was reading Dazzler in middle school.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 4:28 p.m. CST

    I wasn't gay...

    by Continentalop

    ...And I read Dazzler. Or maybe I am just in denial.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 4:35 p.m. CST

    I always respected Longshot for tagging Dazzler...

    by Joenathan

    Him and his crazy Bon Jovi hair. Didn't he have extra fingers or something?

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Homer

    by Joenathan

    I don't want Girl Hawkeye to die, but... I just don't see any other way to get Clint to stop wearing that god damn Ronin outfit! I'm sorry, but... its for the greater good.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Just four I think

    by steverodgers

    But he was super lucky, and would hit all the right spots with Dazzler.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 4:39 p.m. CST

    SR

    by Snookeroo

    Thanks for the heads up -- I didn't know you could get original art that cheap! Wow. I'm investigating a Giordano commission, just 'cos.<br><br>BTW, male pattern baldness works much better for a cowl; hair just makes it look like you have a lumpy head.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Didn't the Beast nail Dazzler?

    by Continentalop

    And so did Angel I think. It is official - Dazzler is easy.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 5:03 p.m. CST

    And Rouge was so jealous...

    by Joenathan

    Rouge wanted to be easy so bad, she even fought over Longshot with Dazzler. She'd be out there roller blading in the Austrailian Outback, like the kids do, wearing shorts and a midriff bearing top with her skunk hair all spiked, but in the end, she just couldn't compete. The boys don't like the girls who make you pass out when you touch them.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Beauty and the Beast

    by Homer Sexual

    That was the title of the mini with Dazzler and Beast. It rocked. I can't remember if Sienkewicz did the whole book or just the covers. <p> Dazzler is totally easy. She is probably second to She-Hulk. She-Hulk at least realizes she is just getting laid. Gotta respect that kind of woman. Dazzler was all about being in "love" with every man she banged. Never liked girls like that.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Did any X-Men ever find Rogue's sex toys?

    by Continentalop

    Because you know with her powers she has a whole drawer of them. <p> Talk about awkward moments if someone found them.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 5:29 p.m. CST

    so....

    by Joenathan

    what you're asking is: Was there ever an issue with say, Wolverine rootin' around in Rogue's bedside drawer and coming up with a giant dildo speared at the end of one claws, all shocked, the cigar dropping from his mouth as his cowboy hat falls of his head, "What the flamin' heck!?!..." and Rouge blushing and going: "I do declare, thats mine and its private!" then snatching it, sobbing, and running off, giant dildo clutched to her chest and an anguished thought bubble overhead: "When oh when will Ah eva' find a love that I can touch?"<br><br>Is that what you're asking?<br><Br>Cause no... no that was never shown happening.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 5:38 p.m. CST

    That was no dildo.

    by Snookeroo

    That was a momento from Iron Man.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 5:58 p.m. CST

    Thanks Joenathan

    by Continentalop

    It might not have ever happened, but you described what took place offscreen wonderfully. <p> Now we can ask the question How the yell did the Scarlet Witch become pregnant from the Vision when he doesn't have a penis?

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 6 p.m. CST

    The Vision didn't have a Penis!?!?!?!

    by Joenathan

    His life must have been hell. I bet he thanked the gods the day Wanda killed him.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 6:18 p.m. CST

    If you read the Vision Quest story in WCA...

    by Continentalop

    ...you'll remember the Vision walking out naked, sans penis. Maybe it was detachable, I don't know. <p> Of course, I remember wondering if this is one of the reasons Wanda was so upset when Vision was returned white and his memory erased. Maybe they took his penis too.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 7:09 p.m. CST

    Finally got Incognito #1

    by KCViking

    Excellent recommendation(whoever it was)!<p>Also picked up the latest issue of Captain America...WOW.Think I'll have to go get some back issues of that.Can someone tell me how far back(issue wise) I should go?Was never a huge fan of Cap,but,the new BuckyCap has a different feel to me than in years past.<p>btw i'd like to point out that Proof(Image comics)is now up to 15 issues that have ALL shipped on time.Hope to see the book reviewed on a semi regular basis.Great writing and fantastic artwork(rant over,now).

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 7:25 p.m. CST

    Regarding his junk, The Vision once said:

    by SleazyG.

    "Even though sometimes it's a pain in the ass, I like having a detachable penis."

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 9:25 p.m. CST

    Vision detachable penis and Captain America

    by Joenathan

    I wonder if he checked in the medicine cabinet, cause sometimes he leaves it in there.<br><br>With Captain America, start on #1. Its all one story and its all in trade paperback. Its totally worth it.<br><br>Incognito #2 should be out soon, right?

  • Feb. 13, 2009, 8:34 a.m. CST

    If you're going to buy the Captain America omnibus

    by Snookeroo

    Try Amazon.com -- I got a $75 book for about the price of two new comic books.

  • Feb. 13, 2009, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Incognito 2 came out this week.

    by Homer Sexual

    I haven't had a chance to read it though.

  • Feb. 13, 2009, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Huzzah!

    by Joenathan

    Although I probably won't swing by the shop until Sunday.

  • Feb. 13, 2009, 8:22 p.m. CST

    Thanks joenathan

    by KCViking

    I'll look for the trades next week.My lcs didn't get their shipment of Incognito #2 this week for some reason and got shipped another comic they never ordered.Thanks again for the recommendation!