Comics

AICN COMICS REVIEWS UMBRELLA ACADEMY! TALES FROM THE CRYPT! NEW AVENGERS THE REUNION! & MUCH MORE!!!

Published at: March 4, 2009, 9:15 a.m. CST

#42 2/25/09 #7

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) An early review of NEW AVENGERS: THE REUNION #1 POPBOT #8 THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY: DALLAS #4 TALES FROM THE CRYPT #10 THUNDERBOLTS #129 Strikes Thrice THE NEW BRIGHTON ARCHEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OGN DEAN KOONTZ’S FRANKENSTEIN: PRODIGAL SON VOL 1 HC GN ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #131 Big Eyes For the Cape Guy presents EDEN: IT’S AN ENDLESS WORLD Vol. 10-11 Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS!

An early review of NEW AVENGERS: THE REUNION #1

In stores today. Writer: Jim McCann Artist: David Lopez (pencils), Alvaro Lopez (inks) Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

Reading this book was like a trip back into time. Right about the time I got into comics was right about the same time HAWKEYE got his first miniseries. For the longest time, Hawkeye had been growing in popularity as the guy who spoke out at the big Avengers meetings. He would challenge Cap and Iron Man on their leadership decisions. Hell, he was even booted off the team in favor of the Falcon at the time. No wonder he decided to head to the West Coast and branch off on his own. In that mini, he met Mockingbird, a former SHIELD agent with a past as checkered as Hawkeye's. It was a match made in heaven and I watched them become one of the cooler husband and wife teams in comics. Then Mockingbird died. And Hawkeye was sad. And then Hawkeye boinked Scarlet Witch. And then he was happy again for a bit, then remembered how batshit crazy she was and almost chewed his bowslinging arm off to get out of Wundagore. And then Hawkeye put on a neon ninja outfit and was sad again. Then SECRET INVASION happened and Mockingbird came back from the dead. And again, Hawkeye was happy.
And that's where this miniseries starts off. With Mockingbird back, the couple should be happier than ever, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Mockingbird is acting kind of squirrelly, which leaves Hawkeye suspicious. Since it was revealed that his wife had been a Skrull for god knows how long, who can blame Hawkeye for being a bit leery of the whole situation. What commences is a nice little cat and mouse (or is it Hawk and Bird?) game with Mockingbird investigating...something and Hawkeye trailing her. Interspersed are some nice scenes between the estranged couple, some cool solo Mockingbird recon scenes and a really well executed scene between Hawkeye and the new Captain America.
Jim McCann talked briefly about Clint (Hawkeye/Goliath/Ronin) Barton and Bobbi (Mockingbird) Chase's relationship in our last “Shoot the Messenger” column, stating that they are very much like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's relationship in MR. & MRS. SMITH in this miniseries, and I kind of like this angle. McCann's got the two at odds, yet still fighting the good fight. Having a husband and wife super-team that occasionally goes all slugfest on each other may make for some disturbing real life consequences (see the Chris Brown/Rihanna debacle), but it makes for some good comic booking. McCann keeps the pace brisk and the mystery deep in this first issue; an issue that leaves you wondering which end is up by the end.
The art by a pair of Lopez’s (David on pencils, Alvaro on inks, not sure if they are related) is crisp and clean. It's one of those straightforward looking comics that I really appreciate. Too many comics these days act as portfolios for artists to develop their distinct style in order to stand out from the herd. This isn't one of those books. The art in this book isn't trying to be the star, it's simply there to highlight the cool story and even cooler characters.
NEW AVENGERS: THE REUNION is a comic I plan on following very closely. It's got some of my favorite characters and I don't know what to root more for: for Clint and Bobbi to get back together and live happily ever after or for Clint to burn the stupid Ronin costume and get back into the old Hawkeye costume we know and love. I'm sticking with this one until the end to find out what happens with both.
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.

POPBOT #8

Artist: Ashley Wood Writer: Wood & T.P. Louise Publisher: IDW Publishing Reviewer: steverodgers

There are days when you walk into a comic book shop and all thoughts of job anxiety and the recession blues fall right out of your head. You stare at the new books all lined up, flip through the pages, make awkward conversation with the guy in a Bartman t-shirt (whoa dude), turn off your mental calculator and start pulling books like you’re Daddy Warbucks. If you’re lucky, you look through Ashley Wood’s POPBOT #8 and decide that you’re completely ignorant for not knowing about this before and 10 bucks is a small price to pay for an oversized, prestige-format book full of beautiful paintings and drawings of robot bodyguards carrying rock-star cats, naked women cavorting with one another (and robots) and hip-hoppy cloned autistic warriors called the Tomorrow Kings bred to kill robots, cleaving their metal bits with samurai swords.
This is mainly an art book, so one look at the paintings and you’ll know if you like it right away, but the writing credited to Wood and T. P. Louise is also pretty nifty—a kind of atmospheric, science-fiction prose that tells you just enough but takes nothing away from the juicy goodness of the art. And the art is juicy, with globs of paint and big strokes, while other times the paint is thin and drippy with colors hiding and reappearing and elongated figures (and ROBOTS!) painted on top of light washes. The paintings generally take up one page and the prose is set on the opposite page on the bottom, in tiny type that annoyingly wanders in toward the binding so you find yourself flattening the pages to read it all. It’s graphically spot-on, but wicked hard to read.
For me, this was a great introduction to Ashley Wood, an artist who flew under my radar, but now I can’t wait to go back and look at his other work. I love that feeling. One of the great things about comics is that you never know when you’ll be surprised; even after years of buying them you can still discover something new in your local comic book shop—something that will catch your imagination and set you off on new discoveries. Hopefully you find it in the quarter bin, but this time it cost me 10 bucks and I couldn’t be happier.

THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY: DALLAS #4

Writer: Gerard Way Art: Gabriel Ba Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Reviewer: Jinxo

Wow. Doc Brown thought the night of the Enchantment Under The Sea dance was some sort of time travel nexus. Screw that. The Kennedy assassination is apparently a must-see-and-mess-with stop for all time travelers. Setting aside THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY I can think of at least four other time travel adventures set on that deadly day in Dealey Plaza. Taking all of those stories into account (and you really shouldn’t since they are all part of separate continuities but… screw it)… Kennedy is not Kennedy but one of his time traveling descendants from the future taking his place, Oswald is actually a merger of Oswald and a time traveler from the future, and the mysterious figure on the grassy knoll was actually Kennedy himself time traveling back from a future gone wrong because he didn’t die who fires the fatal shot to put history back on track. And apparently Doctor Who was kicking around that day too but not exactly sure what he was up to. Probably just acting as traffic cop to all the other bone headed time travelers.
And now THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY looks to be heading back in multiple groups to muck up history even more. No wonder nobody knows what the hell happened that day! Keeps changing, apparently! Now clearly I enjoy a good time traveler meets Kennedy assassination story and I really do dig on THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY. And I don’t want to bitch much because I think the guys on this book are still doing good work…but this is the first issue where my confidence in them slipped juuust a tad. I think it can be a fine line between being mercurially clever and cool and being a little smug and lazy and telling yourself you’re being clever. This issue…I got a slight whiff of the latter. Right from the get go with the cover actually saying, “This is the cover to the fourth issue”. I picture smiles all around from the creators over how great an idea that was. Meanwhile, for me it came across as cocky and a total “whatever”.
In the story itself there were also moments of writing that seemed a little slipshod. Now this is a book where sometimes crazy stuff happens without fully being explained because and it’s okay. But usually it is okay because they’ve just got such a pop art/pulp fiction blur of a story whirling by, keeping you occupied and entertained, that I don’t quite care if something is left unexplained because, hey, the story is zipping along too fast and furious to make an expositional pit stop. But this issue they take shortcuts at points where I’m not in the middle of having my mind blown and with things where, frankly, I WOULD like an explanation. Like an intro scene that is just a surreal throwaway waste of my time. What did it have to do with anything? Then we have a character who goes from dead to inexplicably feeling much better? Explanation? Apparently that’s just how things work for that character. What? That’s all you got? REALLY? Hazard a slightly more elaborate BS guess that we readers can then assume is semi accurate, okay? Given the character I could come up with a one sentence bit of logic that would better explain things.
I don’t mean to get too down on the book because overall I really am still liking the book a lot. And by the end it had me back in the whirl of craziness that WOULD allow me to overlook a lot. Just when something or someone who has been knocking you out with their performance so consistently finally stumbles, even a little, man, it just makes you nervous. I’m hoping I’m just being overly critical because I want this book to keep flying high.
Jinxo is Thom Holbrook, lifelong comic book reader, and the evil genius behind poobala.com. He may appear cute and cuddly but if encountered avoid eye contact and DO NOT attempt to feed.

TALES FROM THE CRYPT #10

Writer: Rob Vollmar, Jim Salicrup, Greg Farshtey Artist: Tim Smith 3, Rick Parker, Mr. Exes Inker: Tim Smith 3, Rick Parker, Mr. Exes Publisher: EC Comics Guest @$$hole Reviewer: William

Wow, imagine my surprise as I was carousing my usual comic book store and I came across this comic. TALES FROM THE CRYPT? New stories? Same style as last remembered, i.e. lots of monsters, same freaky hosts, and the occasional hot scantily clad girl running in terror? Sign me up.
It had been years since I last came across one of these comics. I remember being in junior high and coming across a copy at a friend’s house, and like coming across something really taboo I remember reading the stories that were supposedly so controversial back in the day. I can’t remember much about the stories, but I think they consisted of some beheading, or some kind of person being buried alive and so on. It’s so weird to think how much controversy these comics caused back when they were first printed, and then when you look at things today the latest Punisher issue blows these issues out of the water within the first page or two. Since that time, I came across the famous Crypt-Keeper by watching some of those late night rabbit TV (albeit severely edited btw) showings of the HBO show (way too poor for the real thing), and then my most recent encounter was with the purchase of those incredibly well made audiotapes. Seriously, if you’re a fan of anything TALES FROM THE CRYPT related you have to pick up a copy of these audiotapes. Exceptionally well produced stories, with a great supporting cast and sound effects to make it easily seem like you’re a part of them.
Anyways, back to this. Apparently EC decided to produce some new material, and seeing this latest copy at my comic book store it was a no-brainer to pick it up. So how do the new stories fare after all of these years? Well, you still basically get the same treatment as before. There’s still around two or three short stories within each issue, there’s still the same freaky co-hosts commenting before said stories in a tit-for-tat kind of way, the stories still involve a weird macabre type feeling showcasing humanity at its worst, with the main character usually dying in an ironic kind of way.
What felt weird, at least in the way that it’s presented now, is how modern stuff is suddenly interjected into these storylines. For example in the first story, the “Old Witch” is talking not through the usual creepy TV or coffin from way back when, but rather through a laptop. Also there’s another part in another story where one of the characters whips out their Blackberry and uses it to control a robot maid. It just felt weird having the latest technologies showcased in the issue, like a bad sense of culture shock. I guess the closest I could compare it to is watching a Sherlock Holmes story where Holmes suddenly takes out his iPod Touch to look up the latest news about some disaster. It just doesn’t feel right.
Anyways I thought it was a good enough issue on its own. The artwork by all of the various artists listed above did seem a little simplish, as if the 48 pages that the comic proudly announced for $3.99 was a tough timeline to meet. The artwork from the previous comics were much more detailed IMO. But I still enjoyed it enough to add it to my subscription list at my local comic book store, and I recommend the same to anyone who’s a fan of this great franchise.

THUNDERBOLTS #129 Strikes Thrice

Writer: Andy Diggle Art: Roberto De La Torre Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewers: Jinxo, Humphrey Lee, and Ambush Bug

JINXO: Norman Osborn, you nutty bastard. Some folks are saying, oh, he’s being made into a second rate Lex Luthor. Bah! The thing is…Luthor is a bad bad guy but Norman Osborn is NUTS. He’s got Lex’s logic and cunning but it’s mixed in with a good dose of The Joker’s madness, as exemplified by this issue. On the one hand Norm is playing an elaborate chess game. He’s on Air Force One with Doc Samson and The President and he’s basically running an elaborate con where he’s controlling and manipulating everything, but not in some safe political way. He’s blowing holes in the plane, literally playing with people’s minds, really risking his own life as well as The President’s…he’s just going for it. That’s the difference right there. Lex might create a scenario where he’d risk The President’s life but I don’t see him risking his own life. I have to say, Norman Osborn being large and in charge…it makes me smile. Enjoying this insanity much more than the previous reconfigurations to the Marvel U.
HUMPHREY LEE: A couple issues into the new direction and creative run of this title and I just don't think I'm feeling it. The thing is, while this isn't so far off from what the Warren Ellis issues were doing post-CIVIL WAR i.e. taking the team more to its roots of villainy, but making it more government sponsored while the truly reformed peeps like Songbird and Radiation Man tried to compromise/survive it from the inside, this version just rings a little more hollow. It's not a bad comic either, mind you, in fact the way Norman Osborn these past two issues set up a strike by his team to cement his credibility with the new President was pretty creative, but I'm just not latching onto any of this new team. Unlike the Ellis team before it, there's no one in the immediate picture for me to identify with or root for, though I guess Songbird at the least is going to try and take them apart from the outside. And the problem that arises with this book, as it does with DARK AVENGERS and probably will with the other DARK titles, is that you can't exactly have this team of misfits and villains lose all the time, because that undermines their threat value, but you can't really have them get any major victories, because we all know at the end of the day the good guy has to win a little, or at least survive. I think I may try the next couple issues, just to see what comes out of this whole mini-crossover with DEADPOOL and see if that gives me any glimpses of this book playing for any stakes I can get invested in, but with a roster that I could really care less about who lives and dies, and that I don't really find to be that terribly worthy of my ire since they're mostly C-tier villains at best, I don't really see myself continuing with this one.
AMBUSH BUG: I’m leery about this title. I came in late to the game with Ellis’ THINDERBOLTS. Read them all in one sitting and really, really liked it. When I heard writer Andy Diggle was coming on board, I flipped. I love, Love, LOVE THE LOSERS. And Norman Osborn’s Black Ops team has the potential to be just as cool. I don’t want to pass judgment yet, but this issue had a couple of things that worked and a couple of things that didn’t. First and foremost, to Marvel and all comics for that matter: please stop putting Obama in your books. I’m just plain sick of seeing him. I’m not sure who has more appearances now in Marvel books this year, Obama or Osborn. Whoever has more appearances; both are played out and tired. Just knock it off. Secondly, this book needs to find an artist—one artist and stick with it. The switches between three artists in this issue were jarring and ripped me straight out of the story. The good: It was interesting to see Doc Sampson Hulk out. It was interesting to finally meet the rest of the team. There’s a lot of potential here with the cast Diggle has chosen, but I agree with Humphrey about the futility of having a team like this filled with such dastardly and unlikable characters. Is the concept of heroism such a forgotten thing that we have to edge-up every one of our comics these days? Even a squeaky cleaner like Captain America has been replaced by a former assassin. It’s just a depressing thing that true heroism is so hard to find and worse yet, stories of good people doing good things simply don’t sell. I’m a fan of Diggle, but another book following a group of people or a person with very few redeeming qualities is as played out as Obama’s comic book guest appearances.

THE NEW BRIGHTON ARCHEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OGN

Writer: Mark Andrew Smith Artist: Matthew Weldon Publisher: Image Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

I’m going to put a firm stake in the ground by saying that THE NEW BRIGHTON ARCHEOLOGICAL SOCIETY is the most important book hitting the shelves this week. Not because it will irrevocably alter the fictional universes that we have all grown to love like DARKEST NIGHT and DARK REIGN, but because this book has the potential to change our real universe -- you know, the one we call life. As we all transition from fanboys, to fanmen, to fanoldfarts, to fandead, we might as well bury our long boxes with us, because late Gen Y and Millenials simply won’t give a shit about comics.
The big houses have actually created universes over recent years that are utterly inaccessible to the pre-teen market. Cryptologists and NASA scientists are still trying to decode FINAL CRISIS, and let’s not forget that the whole event was kicked off by the family fun game of rape. Over at Marvel, CIVIL WAR was kicked off with the deaths of hundreds of school children. I’m not complaining about these choices because for right now they speak directly to my demographic, the thirty year old male and older, but as Sally Struthers pined throughout the 90s, “What about he children?”
Sure you have your Cartoon network titles, but despite the fact they are supposedly for children, the titles all focus on adults doing adult things. The success of books like Harry Potter, lie in the fact that children are empowered and accomplish things that the adults of their world simply can’t. Back when I was a little Rodimous Douche as opposed to the hulking 6’6” Optimous Douche of today, there were titles like the Harvey line, where kids actually made a difference and accomplished things that befuddled the bumbling adults. THE NEW BRIGHTON ARCHEOLOGICAL SOCIETY takes this approach and makes it a million times cooler than any issue of RICHIE RICH or that fat chick LITTLE LOTTA. After scrolling through the last page of my preview PDF, I was slightly pissed off that a title this lush and imaginative was not around to help shape my formative years.
THE NEW BRIGHTON ARCHEOLOGICAL SOCIETY is comprised of four orphans whose parents are killed in a, you guessed it, archeological expedition. The first thing that struck me about this book was Smith’s bravery in not making these children pint-sized adults. As the kids become acclimated to the mansion of their care-givers, they use their imagination to create adventures in ways that only kids or seriously bi-polar adults can. Whether defending their ground in a snowball fight, fighting perceived zombies or rescuing trapped ghosts, every adventure is given the same severity of importance as a G8 summit. By the time the main story of a quest for coveted books of magic kicks in, you are firmly vested in Smith’s world and the well-being of these vertically challenged adventurers.
To build this world Smith put a brilliant spin on past literature ranging from children’s tales like Peter Pan, fantasy lore like Lord of the Rings and even a nice smattering of some tales from eastern cultures. Despite the fact I had read most of the source of material, his imaginative take on telling these tales through the eyes of a child made all of the concepts feel as fresh and exciting for me as a reader as they were for the new Brighton Archeologists.
This naturally wouldn’t be a children’s book without a few moral lessons weaved into the pages. But what made these “very special” moments even more special is that the kids are allowed to discover the lessons of sharing, courage and problem solving without a meddlesome Dumbledore or some other overbearing adult spoon feeding them the answers.
This book was also the perfect example of using art to drive a story forward. Not only does Weldon paint a damn pretty picture, but because this is a children’s book the art is used heavily to drive the story forward. Instead of just showing off the fact that he can craft a pretty splash page as so many artists are prone to these days, Weldon gave each panel a purpose. I’m generally a word guy and not happy with pages upon pages of pictures, but in this case I was perfectly content to sit back and stare. My only regret after the perfectly sweet and utterly foreboding ending of THE NEW BRIGHTON ARCHEOLOGICAL SOCIETY was the fact that I had to read the book as a PDF. Weldon crafted some beautiful two-page spread eye candy that of course got turned into one page grainy shots by Adobe.
THE NEW BRIGHTON ARCHEOLOGICAL SOCIETY gives me hope for the future. It proved that there can be an outlet to introduce kids to the world of picture-based story telling without pandering to them or horrifying their innocent sensibilities. If the day ever comes when I decide to populate the world with little Douches, THE NEW BRIGHTON ARCHEOLOGICAL SOCIETY is a book I would not only feel comfortable reading with them, but excited at the possibility of once again traversing this mystical realm.
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."

DEAN KOONTZ’S FRANKENSTEIN: PRODIGAL SON VOL 1 HC GN

Original story by Dean Koontz Adapted by Chuck Dixon Art by Brett Booth Publisher: The Dabel Brothers Reviewer: Ambush Bug

The trade collecting the first 5 issues of Dean Koontz’s modern Mary Shelley story is definitely a slick package beginning with the cover, which is gorgeously painted by Arthur Suydam. Even before you crack it open, this is one good looking book.
Once inside, I found that Dean Koontz’s story about the Monster of Frankenstein returning from exile to destroy his maker and a few other human monstrosities along the way that torment the streets of modern day New Orleans was masterfully adapted by action guru Chuck Dixon. Dixon does a great job of making this read smoothly as not your typical Frankenstein story by injecting a ton of cop drama and procedural into the mix. Bodies are turning up sans different body parts. The media is dubbing the murderer “The Surgeon”, and a pair of cops have a theory that there is more than one fiend walking the streets of the Big Easy snatching up bits of people. At times the main pair of cops assigned to this case act a bit over the top with a heaping helping of melodrama. But as soon as Dixon starts laying it on thick, he smartly cuts to a scene of evisceration or a cool scene with Deucalion, this story’s Monster.
Artist Brett Booth is talented for sure, but he occasionally misses his mark with this book by neglecting dimension to his figures, making them seem very flat on the page. Because of the lack of depth, Booth’s figures seem somewhat disconnected and get lost within the many spacious panels throughout the book. I found the amount of negative space jarring at times, making me feel that a space that could have been filled with word balloons or panels were wasted. It just seemed that quite a few panels looked as if they were making space for word balloons that weren’t there, as if the writing of this book and art were somewhat disjointed, as if the art was done before the words were written, so excessive space was allotted just in case Dixon had more to say.
Criticisms aside, Booth does a whole lot of good with a whole lot of panels, especially the ones depicting the story’s anti-hero Deucalion. The scenes of carnage and action are vivid and well done as well, as if these scenes got extra attention by the artist because he was more invested in them. All in all, this is a fun horror story twisted and gene spliced to fit into modern times. Presented towards the end of the graphic novel is an original short story by Dean Koontz himself that is equally if not more horrific than the main content. If you’re a Koontz fan, you won’t want to miss this snazzy hardcover. If you’re an occasional fan like me, you’ll probably be entertained as well. Look for this book from The Dabel Brothers in April.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #131

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Penciler: Stewart Immonen Publisher:Marvel Comics Reviewer: Jinxo

Again, regardless of whether the overall “Ultimatum” saga gets plotted right, I do really admire the level the story has raised the “New York gets stomped on” story to. I mean, in the 616 Marvel Universe they’ve recently had New York torn up by many, many full out wars. Yet in the end it’s kind of like none of them really do any real lasting damage. With ULTIMATUM, at least in ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, they are really selling that, really, New York is %$#’d. That maybe…90% of the city is just dead dead dead. Could they do a take-back later? Sure. I mean the faults I have with this issue are some sloppiness in that area. For instance, if you are going to bowl me over by showing that a major Marvel hero is has been killed, maybe not put ads in the back for later issues where he’s back up and kicking ass. If you’re gonna lie to me at LEAST don’t have an ad screw up the pathos of the lie. And they do go from a shot of the city 10 stories under water to a shots of people at street level doing okay, then back to tidal waves licking the tops of buildings.
But for all the glitches, I’m buying in emotionally. I buy Spidey being figuratively and literally out to sea as to what the hell he can do to help against something so massive. I like the idea of this being something so horrible that it would cause some strong, base level anger in a certain Dr. Banner who is really better off staying calm. And I really liked the scene they gave to J. Jonah J. that many might feel should never happen. Certain things certain characters should never do. In this issue J.J.J. does has a moment I’m sure many would say the stubborn Spider-hating prick would never have. One where he really opens his eyes and, at least for now, allows his perspective to change on what sort of person Spider-Man is. It’s a moment I’ve wanted to see happen if just because it makes J.J.J. into a real person capable of growth and change and not just a snarling caricature. Even if it’s just the Ultimate version of the character, I liked letting the big blowhard have that human grace moment.
My hope, though, is that this isn’t a take back situation. I’m starting to suspect Marvel is looking to either gut or just go nuts with the Ultimate line so that…maybe this is for keeps. I think back to the New Universe when they just went, screw it, let’s blow up Pittsburgh. Maybe here they’re doing that. Maybe not. But flawed as it is, again, it has me actually giving a crap.

EDEN: IT’S AN ENDLESS WORLD Vol. 10-11

by Hiroki Endo Released by Dark Horse Manga Reviewer: Scott Green

Volumes 10 and 11 of EDEN: IT’S AN ENDLESS WORLD circle back around to the manga's central premise. A generation after a pandemic outbreak of the Closure Virus killed a third of the world's population, Elijah Ballard acts as a fulcrum in the conflict between the Propater Federation (Japan, America, Europe and South America) and its opponents, who count Elijah's drug lord father Ennoia Ballard and mercenary/refugee alliance Nomad among their numbers. These volumes find Elijah no longer a philosophical teen or a novice to the grittier realities of military and criminal conflict. College aged, exhibiting a hedonistic streak and remarkably wilder than he once was, Elijah has almost completed his time living in a Peruvian brothel, acquiring some martial skill, learning the joys of sex and drugs, and involving himself at the ground level of narco-conflict. Now with the Closure Virus mutating and an AI calling itself Maya manifesting at key hot spots, Elijah has teamed with a female cyborg instance of Maya called Letheia Aletheia and Peruvian/English special division police officer Miriam to step back onto a global stage. In other words, Eden's transitioning from the catastrophic ocular injuries and bomb threat scenarios of recent volumes to something no less intense, but far more sci-fi, with lectures on bacteriophage and quantum computers, Chinese ICBMs and a reshaping of Ayres Rock.
There's been some debate as to whether EDEN: IT’S AN ENDLESS WORLD is overrated. I've seen people with good taste in manga and credible opinions on the subject roll their eyes when mentioning the effusive praise that the manga has received. While I've been a proponent of the manga, I agree that the assertion that EDEN is the greatest manga ever" is difficult to support. I'd also agree that it's hardly flawless. Yet EDEN is doing something different, it is doing it well and consequently, I would place EDEN very high on the list of works that I recommend to anyone, regardless of whether they're predisposed to being interested in manga.
While I've thought about and discussed EDEN fairly recently, it was slightly over a year since I actually read any of the manga. That was sufficient time to forget that I'd not only read volume nine, but reviewed it. I'd also forgotten that the volume dealt with China's Uyghur ethnic minority. Here's where writer Hiroki Endo really demonstrates his command of global affairs. If you're a news reader, you may have caught mention of the Uyghur people. One of the hot button issues regarding Guantanamo Bay is the twenty-two Uyghurs being held. To fit the manga into the case's timeline, the Japanese collected edition of volume nine was released in July 2003, before most of the international debate on the issue. These people were probably Islamic separatists, but they also probably were not engaged in anti-American activities and there's plenty of ambiguity concerning how and why they came into American custody. While all but one have been "approved for release," America has faced considerable difficulty repatriating the Uyghur detainees. The Uyghur issue may not have garnered high profile space on CNN.com, but it is illustrative of the complex, intractable fallout of how the "War on Terror" was pursued. Looking back at volume nine a year later, I see it as an example of EDEN's outstanding approach to the complexities of the current, global condition. You don't see 24 or LOST evoking issues like this.
But, what does EDEN do after broaching the subject? The question I've asked myself, and presented in the AICN Anime column is "how profound is EDEN?"
Two things occur to me upon returning to EDEN after a year's break.
First, I remember getting a heady hit from Hiroki Endo's complex, graphically violent fight illustrations. I can still see why I get that impression, and I still think that it effectively conveys a feel of ferocious motion and sudden, grievous consequence. Established by its own, particular look, the illustration has that quick cut tempo used in movies like BOURNE and BATMAN BEGINS, only with the clarity of Endo's fine lined, detailed rendering. Maybe I'm being fussy, but I'm now seeing the action work as slightly flawed. Many of the motions seem more iconic than real. Like everything in EDEN, Endo evidentially studied the reality of what he was depicting, then considered how to reflect that real model in the manga. What I'm now noticing is that Endo seems to fall back on a library of fight postures. It's as if he developed a set of tools for building the action sequences, and had trouble extending beyond the range afforded by that kit. This looks apparent in Volume 10's knife fight. Endo's thoughtful creativity pays off in panels that snap to combatants readying their concealed weapons from sleeves or behind belts. Then, looking at the knife work, it's all cross thrusts, ear to full, straight armed lateral extensions and pitch throws in which the shape of the knife seems to bend. This generally looks fine, but it does not hold up well under a dissection of the fight logic. The issue is by no means that Endo's fight illustration is ineffective. It's that after putting it on a pedestal, I'm noticing significant imperfection.
The fact that I'm evaluating the quality of its fight scenes is indicative of the second thing that occurred to me when revisiting EDEN. I've re-arrived at the conclusion that I'm unsure of whether EDEN offers a cogent examination of the topics that it raises.
EDEN runs in Afternoon, Kodansha's monthly, slightly younger audience sibling magazine to the publisher's weekly, adult male aimed Morning. It's an anthology that collects an eclectic range of work, from artistically violent samurai epic BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL, to geek affirmation Genshiken, to historical fiction Vinland Saga. Yet, this isn't an alternative anthology manga anthology or a science and philosophy journal. EDEN has been carried in Afternoon since 1998, and you don't run a decade plus in an anthology like this by being a thought piece. I don't want to discount EDEN because it mixes truly adult sex scenes with tittering about characters' virginity or homosexually or that it slings a few severed arms seemingly to maintain a reputation for grisly violence. My concern is that 11 volumes in, I'm still not convinced that EDEN adds up to something or that the presented ideas form a thorough argument, or even a question.
Volume 10 opens with the story "Idiotic, Useless, and Beuatiful Behavior," an Elijah-less narrative concerning imbalanced, deadly Nomad operative Kenji and Uyghur separatist Marihan Ishaq's involvement with a plot to detonate a bomb in a crowded Chinese shopping complex. In this, Marihan's actions are guided by a stated motivation to die "doing the right thing."
Later, in relation to people infected with the Closure Virus, the manga offers a Selfish Gene argument; that preservation of genetic material is what constitutes victory from an evolutionary perspective. The biological imperative and the willingness to sacrifice ones life for a human notion of righteous seem to be at odd with each other, but is EDEN juxtaposing these ideas, developing a conversation between them or jotting them onto the page because these interested Endo when it came time to write the chapter?
Endo has laid the groundwork for an outstanding dialectic here. Humanity invents (or, if you're religious, is given) a code of morality that is supposed to superseded the biological imperatives to survive and procreate. Yet, in the snap shots we've seen, EDEN has charted Ennoia Ballard's course from a high minded adolescent to an adult who maintained his noble goals, but built a brutal criminal empire to achieve them. Similarly, we're watched Elijah start on a hero's journey and, still pursuing his objectives and ideals, wake up in a room with a pair of naked women, strewn with empty booze bottle and marijuana residue, briefly escaping a path of severed limbs, broken ribs and murdered friends. Conversely, while the notion of human equality brought about by a viral pandemic sounds like nihilistic, super villain rhetoric, in this context, it's an intriguing counterpoint to political, commercial and religious wars engaged in by the likes of the Ballards and Propater. Yet, the manga seems to be churning rather than developing. I don't know if Endo is going to resolve this debate with a knife fight, a full out war, an AKIRA like assault on comprehendiblity or a conversation, and I'm not know if Endo knows either.
My skepticism as to whether there is a cohesive framework for the ideas brought up during the course of EDEN's plot is informed by the nature of the medium.
Frederik L. Schodt's DREAMLAND JAPAN notes that Morning and Afternoon are anthologies that are not marked by a tremendous amount of editorial edict. However, "like nearly all Japanese manga magazines today, Morning has established a feedback system with its readers to tell whether a story is popular or not." Beyond the demands of fostering popularity, there is the demand of producing a serialized story month after month, year after year. To paraphrase Jonathan Clements' SCHOOLGIRL MILKY CRISIS, you have you're whole life to write the first chapter of your manga. Once a publisher picks up the title, you have until your deadline to write the second. With the pressure for popularity and constraints of time, I can see a slowly developed intellectual argument getting fairly ground up in the machinery of commercial manga publication.
Despite these reservations, my reaction to EDEN is reminiscent about how I recently felt reading Stieg Larsson's much praised mystery novel THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. Like EDEN, North America received a translated edition of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, a while after it was written (first published posthumously in 2005, published in North America in September 2008). While I ultimately had some problems with the structure and plot, I was amazed by its characterizations and a sense of up to date modernity rarely seen in popular media.
Even if EDEN is thrashing, the consequence is only a matter of sussing out the degree of success to adjust my high respect for the work. Regardless of whether EDEN builds up a substantial argument amongst its provocative ideas or develops a satisfactory resolution, the process has been tremendously worth while. A specific scene that represents why I react to EDEN isn't one of the momentous moments of sci-fi or violence. It's Miriam going through her morning rituals in front of a bathroom mirror... brushing her teeth, applying make-up, clipping nose hairs. In the background, there is an ignored TV news broadcast going on about new outbreaks of the Closure virus and other calamities "...the New York Stock Exchange with an overall average monthly loss of twelve percent...chemical and pharmaceutical corporations soar... the number of suspended airline flights has climbed to forty percent..." Scenes like this are the work of someone in tune with the currents of how the world is developing and how people might react to those changes. Though it wasn't written recently (2003 in this case), it feels like it reflects our current moment.
Scott Green has been writing for AICN ANIME for over seven years. If you like what you see here and love anime & manga, be sure to check out his latest AICN ANIME column here.

Welcome back to Indie Jones. It’s your Friendly Neighborhood Ambush Bug here, shedding his mainstream shackles and checking out books that are too cool for the Big Two. Scroll down to see what I’m talking about.

STRONGMAN VOL 1 OGN Slave Labor Graphics

Had I read this book before the @$$ie Awards this year, this one would have definitely shown up in one of the Best Indie categories. It’ll definitely show up in next year’s, that’s for sure. Having just seen THE WRESTLER and fallen in love with that film, imagine me joy when I was able to take a look at the comic book alternative of that awesome flick. Sure, Tigre doesn’t have an estranged daughter or Marissa Tomei or that cool monologue about 80’s music or even the bitchin’ hair metal soundtrack, but it does have that same sense of melancholy as we follow the Luchadore (Mexican wrestler) in the latter portion of his life. There’s something really likable about Tigre. He never takes off his mask in public and has a strong moral code. But he’s not the superstar he used to be and now he makes his money throwing wrestling fights. When given a chance to be a hero one last time, Tigre at first tells himself that he takes it for the money, but soon we see that the hero inside Tigre, that’s been itching to get out, is actually let out for one last hurrah. The result is a poignant and exciting comic written by Charles Soule. The art by Allen Gladfelter is another treat. This is one of those books that uses simple lines in the subject matter to describe an action on the page. You read the book and it feels right reading it, but something is telling you that this straightforward mode of graphic storytelling is more than that. Then you notice the amount of detail put into the panel and especially in the background. Background work is something that rarely gets noticed, it’s just this subliminal thing usually, but this book is actually grounded into some kind of space. It adds to this character and this story that definitely has a grounding emotional impact. The art and story compliment each other extremely well in this one. I know that good heroes never die and it looks like another Tigre adventure is coming soon. I, for one, am hopeful that subsequent volumes of STRONGMAN are as powerfully fun as this one.

THE BIG SKINNY: HOW I CHANGED MY FATTITUDE OGN Villard

Well, this has got to be a comic book first: a graphic self help/diet book. Carol Lay has put together a fun way of using the comic book medium in a way it hasn't been used before. The reason this section of comics is one of my favorites is that it shows that there are comics out there that don't involve spandex-clad muscle-heads fighting other spandex-clad muscle-heads. And let's face it: one look at the average population of any comic book convention or even your local store and you can see how a book of this type would be useful. Carol Lay takes us step by step, not only through a dietary plan that helped her shed pounds and gain confidence, but also through her life story which is filled with reasons she became overweight in the first place and how she overcame that obstacle. This is a unique and personal story, handled in a light yet touching manner. Recommended as a good autobiographical read AND a way to shed a few of those unwanted pounds. THE BIG SKINNY is as unique as it is a fun read.

SO SUPER DUPER #1-6 www.sosuperduper.com

And now for something completely different. Things are looking up for Psyche. He has the power of super empathy. This power leads him to be asked to take part in a team of super powered heroes. Finally, he has a place in the world and a purpose to serve. Psyche seems to be happy. So happy, you might say he was gay. Well, he actually is gay and everyone around him knows it…except Psyche. SO SUPER DUPER is a fun read. It’s light-hearted and gives a wink and a nudge to comic book stereotypes, using iconic characters in humorous ways, not bashing them with homophobic slams as with Garth Ennis’ THE BOYS. The breezy tone and brisk pace of the story make for an entertaining read, but the story has an innocence and self-awareness that has you rooting for the oblivious hero of the book. The story could easily devolve into an SNL one-note skit where the hero is placed in one scenario after another where he acts stereotypically gay and is oblivious to doing so, but there’s an actual story going on here that keeps it so much more entertaining than that. The art isn’t the best, but it carries its own charm in an Adult Swim HOME MOVIES/DR. KATZ sort of way. I’m sure those with closed minds may not give this one a chance, but I had a great time getting to know Psyche and the world he lives in. The writer/artist Brian Anderson shows definite heart and dedication. This comic has seven issues so far. If you’re willing to open your mind, you’re in for a treat with SO SUPER DUPER.

And now for a bit about TERRY MOORE’S ECHO by our pal, Humphrey Lee.

TERRY MOORE’S ECHO #10 Abstract Studio

A year since the debut of this title and it has slowly moved from something I was slightly positive about on inception to something that I highly look forward to each time it arrives now. For ten issues now Moore has done a relatively great job of adhering us to his main characters Julie and Dillon as they've gone on the run because of the breastplate attached to Julie, and now Ivy, the agent sent to find them, has become a interesting piece of the overall as well--much more apparently so in this issue. Add in the actual mystery of the chestplate, and then the homicidal maniac that also has a piece of the experiment that gave Julie her breastplate attached to him and is raising holy hell with it as he hunts down our main twosome, and there's a good bit of factors at play here to really pull the reader in. It also helps that this latest issue ended in a hell of a cliffhanger. I admittedly haven't read STRANGERS IN PARADISE yet, but if the plot work and characterization here in ECHO is any indication of why that book of Moore's is so highly lauded, then I can easily see why it has garnered such praise. - Humphrey

THE NEW AVENGERS #50 Marvel Comics

I swear, The Avengers are giving The X-Men a run for stretching their name out to multiple teams. But the latest issue of THE NEW AVENGERS seems to be about really defining what is unique about THIS group of Avengers and…I kind of like it. The Dark Avengers are clearly the dream gone horribly wrong. From their new starting point The Mighty Avengers seem to be the team of destiny, the team “called” together. The New Avengers? Wow, they are the born losers of the Avengers franchise, The Bad News Bears. Not that it’s THEIR fault. They’re a solid group of heroes. Just…things don’t seem to work out for them. Life seems to enjoy pooping on them as a group AND as individuals. They’re the perfect Avengers for Spider-Man to be a part of. It’s like he brought his luck along with him. People steal their identities, they set half-assed traps for bad guys that go badly, almost all of them have personal issues that are so screwed up even being on the team seems like a dumb move. But they’re just too dumb or stupid to quit. They keep fighting on…unless they run away. If this is the way the book is headed, I think it should be a lot of fun. - Jinxo

GARTH ENNIS’ BATTLEFIELDS: DEAR BILLY #2 Dynamite

Going from what I thought was going to be just a tragic Florence Nightingale inspired romance coming out of a relationship between an wounded officer and physically and emotionally scarred nurse, DEAR BILLY has turned into something a lot more lustful and sinister. Say what you will about Garth Ennis these days, the man's war-based stories are absolutely astounding material still and DEAR BILLY here is no exception. The slow lead in of Nurse Carrie as she writes on to her Billy as she describes her tendencies is very haunting, but nowhere near so as when you see her claim her first victim in her twisted sense of revenge. And the sense of dread that you feel watching her as she extracts her vengeance on helpless men is nothing compared to the dread that you feel knowing there's no way that the love shared between her and Billy is going to last, either because of her actions or just the war itself, and since that raw emotion is now really the only bright spot left in this story, well let's just say this isn't going to end prettily. But then again, did we ever really expect it to? And that's why this comic is as goddamned excellent as it is. I hope this line of war comic keeps up for as long as the man can write them. This is the good stuff right here. - Humphrey

AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #22 Marvel Comics

Good little slugfest, putting the Thor Clone (aka “Ragnarok”) back out there in the world as a new psycho baddie. Good solid fun. But, for the love of God, The New New New New…I’ve lost track…NEW Warriors? Already? I mean, the Old New New New…etc…Warriors only just disbanded a minute ago. Shouldn’t there be some waiting period of at least a month? You know, just in case after the weekend the last New Warriors decide they made a rash decision and decide to put the band back together? - Jinxo

ROBIN #183 DC Comics

Missed this one last week. Fabian Nicieza wraps up his stint on the Boy Wonder's book with this issue and it's a pretty darn good one. Fabs leaves things open regarding the next step Robin must take and bridges the gap between R.I.P. and the Battle For the Cowl. In doing so, Fabs has made Tim Drake the most fitting candidate to don Batman's pointy hat. Without resorting to melodramatics, he's made Tim's descent into the dark side believable. The Tim Drake we all get to know waaaay back in issue one of this series has evolved quite a bit. His actions in the last few issues; freeing Jason Todd from prison, putting innocents in danger, being more than rough with his adversaries, have been very, very Batman like. I don't know how this Battle for the Cowl is going to go down, but despite his young age, Tim Drake is the best Batman of the bunch. Plus imagine a teenage Batman with Jason Todd (who is a man-child anyway) as an adult Robin. Cool new dynamic. It doesn't happen here, but Fabs drops hints and clues that Robin's story is far from over, whoever puts on the mask and tights. A great finale to a fine series that, although it lost its way around issue 100, found it's place again in the last year and ended with a bang and a din of satisfaction. - Bug

CAPTAIN AMERICA #47 Marvel Comics

While I do enjoy angry and snarling Sub Mariner, I must admit I enjoy seeing him displaying his happy, friendly side. In his case that side equals being taciturn and only a little rude when he does speak but, really, it is a noticeable difference. By comparison with his normal behavior he comes off as downright gregarious. And to do a story with “Bucky” and Namor teaming up to recover the remains of the original Human Torch…it’s a cool Invaders reunion story, and done in a very contemporary way instead of as a dated “back then” piece. Really liking it. Also really like the idea that the evil arch villain started out as the innocent little kid The Invaders saved back in the war. Interesting twist I’m not sure you’d have seen used just a short time back. “Can’t have the rescued kid grow up to be the bad guy! What sort of story is that?” Pretty damn good one actually. - Jinxo

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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  • March 4, 2009, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Is it a given

    by Laserhead

    that the new Batman and Robin is Dick Grayson and Damien Wayne, and Tim becomes Red Robin?

  • March 4, 2009, 9:37 a.m. CST

    New Batman and Robin

    by Mr.FTW

    It will never happen but I think it would be interesting to see Jason Todd and Stephanie Brown as the new Batman and Robin. The two people Batman never thought were good enough rising up.

  • March 4, 2009, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Why don't they all take turns being batman?

    by God's Brother

    Why have only one? Having a team of dedicated guys and gals trading off every once in awhile would be a cool new chapter of the Batman mythos... Batman won't go crazy so much, they'll have Secret Identity protection, and there could be some cool, ongoing infighting that we, the readers would benefit from

  • March 4, 2009, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Morrison seemed to give us the answer in Batman 666

    by Laserhead

    As Dick and Damien take the roles, then Dick is killed, giving Damien his requisite guilt-complex just in time for Bruce to return.

  • March 4, 2009, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Topic:

    by Laserhead

    DC's bizarre allocation of talent.<p>Discuss.

  • March 4, 2009, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Tales from the Crypt

    by CuervoJones

    I´m there buying it.

  • March 4, 2009, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Laser - Discuss

    by optimous_douche

    They are paying Winnick's salary, they have to use him some how.<p> Breathe easy, this too shall pass...or were you talking about something else?

  • March 4, 2009, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Yeah, I gotta let it go.

    by Laserhead

    Bats was just the last superhero I gave a damn about<p>"Fandead" was very funny, by the way.

  • March 4, 2009, 10:23 a.m. CST

    It's Gloomy

    by optimous_douche

    But true... Thanks

  • March 4, 2009, 10:59 a.m. CST

    True heroism

    by Joenathan

    Its not "true heroism" when the hero wins every time or when you know months in advance that the hero is going to win because the hero far outpaces every villian out there. Its not "true heroism" when the hero is fighting the comic book equivalent of costumed retards, cripples and gimps.<br><br>"True Heroism" is when, despite the beatings and long odds, despite being out classed and out maneuvered, despite the fact that all looks dark and lost and hopeless, the hero persevers and triumphs.<Br><br>Norman and his people HAVE to be on top for awhile, they HAVE to be in control, the HAVE to win... for a little bit. Thats what makes them dangerous and a threat. Thats why its nessecary for the heroes to stop them. Thats what they fight for. Thats what they are willing to die for. Real heroes stopping real threats.<br><br>A fireman "saving" a kitten in a tree is still a "hero", but in name only. That same fireman running into a burning building willing to die in order to ssave others? Hero.

  • March 4, 2009, 11:07 a.m. CST

    I wish Loeb hadn't gotten Ultimatum...

    by Joenathan

    It would have been so cool if they had got some good and let them go crazy in the Ultimate Universe...<br><br>I love the idea of vicious and suddenly dangerous change to characters you had assumed "safe". This is why Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series is so good: The world is dangerous and no one is safe.<br><br>I wish they'd scrap Ultimatum and just do it over without Loeb.

  • March 4, 2009, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Optimus - DC/Winnick

    by Joenathan

    Yeah, but... WHY is DC paying Winnick's salary, let alone giving him a flag ship title? When has anyone gone: "Oooooh... Judd Winnick's on that? Give me one right now?"<br><br>I'll tell you when: Never.

  • March 4, 2009, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by toshiro-solo

    I would say "Oooooh... Judd Winnick's on that - Give me one right now!" if he would only go back to Barry Ween. Say what you will about his DC work (and you could say plenty - I'm right there with you), but Barry Ween was some good stuff.

  • March 4, 2009, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Joen - Winnick

    by optimous_douche

    Well becasue he knew Pedro of course...<p> DC is a corporation, with an HR department. That HR department like all others has cloak and dagger diversity quotas.<P> He knew a gut with AIDS and that makes him diverse...BOOYAH!!!<p> Seriously, who knows what the fuck DC is thinking. For my money I would love to see Johns take a crack at the cowl and let someone else slide into JSA and Flash.

  • March 4, 2009, 11:26 a.m. CST

    I agree with you about the "True Heroism" thing...

    by Ambush Bug

    My problem is with the overabundance of titles highlighting villains and people with very few redeeming qualities. THUNDERBOLTS has always been about redemption until Ellis came along and added characters that will never achieve that and simply don't want it. Bullseye, Norman, and Venom will never be able to redeem themselves for what they've done. Now it's used as a Black Ops title. The X-Books have a Black Ops book. We've got Deadpool (killer). Wolverine (killer). Venom titles. Dark Avengers. Moon Knight is killing people. Punisher. Everything popular is darkened up. My rant was about how books starring squeaky cleaners usually have them as the butt of jokes and books like Cap (Marvel's last true hero) have assassin replacements running around. I love a lot of the stories (Bru's CAP, Remender's PUNISHER, some of the Dark Reign stuff) but there just seems to be an overabundance of it.<br><br> And Joe, you talk as if we've just come from some kind of Golden Age of Heroism and Dark Reign is a refreshing change. It wasn't long ago that the heroes were fighting heroes like kids in a playpen, the Hulk beats everyones ass, and now many were replaced by Skrulls. Slott's MIGHTY AVENGERS is my ray of hope. I just believe the top tier writers in today's Marvel don't know what a real hero is, but they know how to make good villains or deeply flawed heroes.<br><br> Is it really that bad to want to root for someone good?

  • March 4, 2009, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Winnick

    by steverodgers

    It's really weird, especially because Dan DiDio rarely makes a mistake, he is running a tight ship over there at DC.

  • March 4, 2009, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Bug: Cap is still heroic

    by gooseud

    Thats one of the best things about the Cap title, is BuckyCap trying to achieve the standards that Stever Rogers set. Bucky is TRYING to become the character you speak of, in fact if you were to sit down with him, BuckyCap would actually AGREE with Bug, that things are too dark and flawed and need to lighten up. It really is a fantastic book.

  • March 4, 2009, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Ashley Wood is a genius

    by mithrandir16

    His art is some of the best the medium has known. Check out the awesome and sadly forgotten Hellspawn series from the 90s.

  • March 4, 2009, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Is it really that bad to want to root for someone good?

    by ismellpiss

    I agree with you completely. I suppose I'm just showing my age but I can remember when the good guys used to be worth rooting for. Nowadays everyone thinks that it's more realistic to have heroes that are flawed and deeply conflicted as if that really reflected the way most people in the world are. I know some people who are upstanding citizens and good people at heart. Can't we have some of our heroes represent these people in the books we read about?

  • March 4, 2009, 11:58 a.m. CST

    Baffled

    by Laserhead

    I know they're paying his salary, but WTF, put him on Teen Titans or some other suck-ass team book. What did they do, spin a wheel? You don't give your greatest property to Chuck Austen with AIDs.<p>I mean, isn't there a single decent writer who wants Batman? ANYBODY?<p>I'm trying to let this go, but you guys started talking about him, and I just can't help myself. Son of a bitch!

  • March 4, 2009, noon CST

    There is a guy who represents that

    by gooseud

    His name is Superman. He has no flaws and wouldnt know deep conflict if it bit him on the ass. The flip side is, he's also one of the most notoriously difficult-to-write characters in comic history due to those facts.

  • March 4, 2009, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Yeah, but Bug

    by Joenathan

    I think your definition of heroism is too narrow. Marvel has never been a boyscout universe. Remember disillusioned Cap? You deride Bucky as an "assasin" but isn't that book now about the same thing that the Thunderbolt book USED to be? Redemption of past sins? <br><br>Either way, I don't think Slott's Avengers could seem as fresh as they do or as much like a ray of hope, if the darkness hadn't come before. So I do find these current events refreshing, because without the rough patchs to help reground and renew our old favorites, and nothing but constant "boy-scouting" instead, what would we have? Characters without gowth or multiple facets and complex backstories... hmmm... I guess... we'd have DC in that case... Marvel trapped in amber.

  • March 4, 2009, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Steverogers is using sarcasm!

    by Joenathan

    Didio rarely makes a mistake... you cad.

  • March 4, 2009, 12:12 p.m. CST

    mithrandir16

    by steverodgers

    Thanks for the heads up, I will check out Hellspawn. Wood blew my mind with Popbot.

  • March 4, 2009, 12:13 p.m. CST

    ismellpiss - There's no such thing

    by Joenathan

    as a flawless character that is interesting at the same time. The "back in the day superheroes" you were referring to, were really just creatively hamstrung by the constraints of the time. There are comic shops ALL OVER THE COUNTRY that desperately need money and have rooms FULL of Longboxes with that stuff that you could be buying from them. There's no need to recreate those days, to retread already established and done-well-the-first-time ground like that is the death of comics. Onward and Upwards!

  • March 4, 2009, 12:23 p.m. CST

    Laserhead

    by Joenathan

    They did put Winnick on Titans... it was terrible... They should just take him and Loeb and Claremont and liefeld and let them go to town on like... I don't know... Cable vs. Lobo or something...

  • March 4, 2009, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Saying only DC is trapped in amber is bullshit.

    by Ambush Bug

    Thirty years ago, Spidey was single, down on his luck, and trying to manage his hectic life by working for a newspaper and running from the law while trying to stop the bad guy. What is he today? Same thing with Cap. If you don't think Steve Rogers is coming back in a year or two, I have a bridge to sell you. Fantastic Four have been shaken to their core, one member or another has been killed, some quit, but guess what, Ben, Sue, Reed, and Johnny are still the FF with basically the same personalities they had when conceptualized. Sure there are a few acceptions, but looking at how many times characters have come back from the dead, reimiagined, and retrofixed, charging DC solely for this shows shortsightedness and a lack of insight. Not saying that DC is not just as guilty, but the reason why these characters are so popular is the same reason why in thirty more years they'll still be around with nothing but the world they live in changed.

  • March 4, 2009, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Joenathan- There's no such thing

    by ismellpiss

    I suppose I should have been more clear in my comments. You're absolutely right that characters without flaws are difficult to write and people aren't that interested in reading about them nowadays. My point is that the characters we have now that are supposed to be heroic are only heroes because we are told that they are, not by their deeds. Do we really need to have our heroes be so similar to the villains that they fight that we need a scorecard to tell them apart?

  • March 4, 2009, 1:10 p.m. CST

    True, Bug

    by Joenathan

    To expect long term consquences in comics is silly, being that the reset button is as old a comic book trope as secret identities, so instead, I settle for Medium-term consquences of "for now" consquences. <br><br>No, I don't expect Cap to stay dead, but at least he's dead for now. <br><br>Does DC even do that? It doesn't seem like it to me, any time they want to do something even slightly out of status quo, they just call it an elseworlds. Its patently obvious that the impending Battle for the Cowl is just a page lifted from Marvel's play book.<br><br>And yes, I'm totally with you, the core of these characters is what made and keeps them popular, but every once in awhile you have to scatter everything, clean it and reset it or it gets all dusty and stagnant. So, while sure, yes, Marvel only has a temporary illusion of change, I'll take that any day over DC's total lack of change. <br><br>Plus, the Marvel characters own street clothes. Who would want to wear green spandex all day long? I mean, besides us...

  • March 4, 2009, 1:12 p.m. CST

    ismellpiss

    by Joenathan

    I'd argue that the mahjority of the current Avengers are completely distinguishable from villians. Both teams are driven by hope and fighting the good fight, they just don't get the luxury of being luaded as heroes by the government and public while they do it, is all.

  • March 4, 2009, 1:28 p.m. CST

    "Heroes"

    by ChocolateJesus

    I don't particularly care if I'm reading about a hero or not. I don't read comics because I like heroics, or rooting for fictional good over fictional evil. I like stories, and I read superhero comics because I like the concept of superpowers, which is a fairly simple science-fiction subject that can be dealt with in a variety of ways. If the character's a hero, fine, if the character's a villain, fine, if the character is ambiguous, fine.

  • March 4, 2009, 1:53 p.m. CST

    How about Batman, Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, Hawkman, Superman...

    by Ambush Bug

    Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Arrow. All of these folks have been dead. Barry Allen was dead for twenty five years. Now he's back. Same with Jordan for a lesser amount of time, but it was long enough for Kyle to develop a fanbase and a strong following. Cap's replacement is no deeper or more original than that.<br><br> You're showing your cards, Joe, the more you talk about this...

  • March 4, 2009, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Thunderbolts

    by Homer Sexual

    I haven't even finished reading the reviews yet, but I have to chime in on the Thunderbolts. I also like Diggle and the Thunderbolts. Recently, I went on and on here talking about my distaste for these teams full of psychos with no one to root for, despite my like of edgy heroes with some issues. I stated that I planned to drop Dark Avengers (done!) and keep Thunderbolts. <p> Well, no more T-Bolts for me. Last week was my last issue. The cast doesn't bother me, I kind of like it, actually. Ghost, Paladin and Black Widow II (needs a new name asap) are good characters. But the whole issue was just retarded. I hated the super-obvious ploy to throw suspicion off Osborne. I hated the hulk-out of Samson. Hated the Obama appearance. I most especially hated the way everyone bought into such a rickdickulously obvious set-up. I think it was so stupid, I am repeating myself. I can't deal with it, and I am out. A few more dollars in my pocket.

  • March 4, 2009, 2:08 p.m. CST

    you're right about Kyle and Hal,

    by Joenathan

    But Green Lantern IS DC's current best title, so just goes to show, I guess... As for Barry, we'll see how that plays out... that seems more like a stunt, at the moment, at least to me. Was Aquaman dead? Huh... I wonder if anyone else noticed... maybe some sea urchins....<br><Br>There's always exceptions, besides, the key isn't death itself, its change. I mean, name the difference between DC characters TODAY and DC characters 5 or 6 years ago. Besides Green Lantern and (maybe) Batman (?), who else is there? Now do the same for Marvel. <br><Br>Although, on the flipside of your point, I guess you'd find more "classic" heroes in DC than Marvel because of this.

  • March 4, 2009, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Not to defend DC because it's a mess right now...

    by Ambush Bug

    But for a long time, it was about legacy. Every hero had a second willing to step into their shoes. The JSA used to about nothing but legacy, although now it seems to be about how many characters they can stuff into one title.<br><br> The thing they found out was that too dramatic of a change topples the boat and it loses fans, so they had to snap things back into place, thus the stuck in amber feel that people get form it right now. But in the nineties, it was the other way around. DC was doing all of the shake-ups, the big changes, the successful and well written runs. That's when I really started to look at comics critically, so all of this stuff that's going on at Marvel doesn't seem that revolutionary to me.<br><br> It's generational, I think and cyclical. Give it a while and the wheel comes spinning back around. I love DC and Marvel for that. Nu Marvel Zombies haven't been around long enough to notice these trends, but anyone who's been reading for the last 20-25 years can see it more clearly.

  • March 4, 2009, 2:23 p.m. CST

    I'm with you Homer...

    by Ambush Bug

    Like I said in the review, I'm leery about this title. The Doc Sampson hulk out was a bit contrived, but decent. But the fact that Obama is so easily fooled really is a detriment to his character. Not to say he can't be fooled, but to be fooled so obviously is what bothered me. It'd be damn cool if Obama would pull his geek card out and say something like, "Knock off the Luthor imitation, Osborn. That may fool a Texas baseball manager, but I read too many comics as a kid to not recognize a villainous manipulation when I see one." I had an entire section of that in my review that I edited out at the last minute.

  • March 4, 2009, 2:38 p.m. CST

    A few points (and a copyright claim to Bug)

    by gooseud

    1. I'm the ringleader of the "Green Lantern is corny as balls" brigade, but all good natured kidding aside, Joe is dead on, no other DC title can even hold GL's dick at the moment. That title is so far and away the best thing DC has to offer, it was like that season the Bulls won 72 games by 20 points per game. I'm being completely literal in saying, I have no idea why anyone would read anything from DC other then that, why waste your time? It wont be 1/10th as good as GL, why bother? You dont go to the theater to see Paul Blart Mall Cop when Dark Night is also showing. Oddly enough, its the one DC title that least feels trapped in amber (Bug, I want my royalties, dammit!!) with actual long term consequences. Coincidence? Hell no. Oh, and Sinestro is one of the top 3 characters in all of comics, good or evil. 2. Bug, do you like the new Cap? I highly respect your taste, so I just assumed you thought it kicked ass, but..... I'm sensing a bit of distaste shining through, which flabbergasts me. How could that possibly be? 3. I think the "seconds waiting to step in" is actually a negative for DC. When you have Dick Grayson waiting to step in and never does, it just highlights the passing of time in a negative way. Like, after a while, dont you kind of have to ask "Really? He still isnt? STILL? Wow." It just draws attention to the "nothing ever changes" feel, in a bad way.

  • March 4, 2009, 2:41 p.m. CST

    2 out of 3 Avengers Books Rock!

    by Homer Sexual

    Mighty Avengers, I can see how people who like "flawed and edgy" aren't into it, but I love the cast. It even has Wanda, about as flawed as a character can be. <p> New Avengers actually had lots of things happen, a good fight, #50 was all-around excellent. Loved it! The most satisfying issue of New Avengers since....maybe ever. <p> And I am so picking up the Clint/Mockingbird series. I loved the old mini that got them together, and anticipate equal fun. Probably they will grow old in about a year, though. <p> I hate when people make everything very "either or." As in, if I don't like Osborne as KOTU, I should like Clark Kent? Umm, no! And Bucky Cap is the perfect example of an heroic character who is complex and flawed. I think we're all in agreement on that one.

  • March 4, 2009, 2:43 p.m. CST

    When and if Cap comes back

    by gooseud

    that will be one of the great tragedies in comics of the past few years. I love Bru, but that will be a supreme test of his ability to make me buy into it. Cap is clearly, 100% dead as a doornail, Thor spoke to his ghost. I cant possibly think of a way for them to bring him back that wouldnt be lamer then lame. For a title to be clicking on all cylinders like that one is, to ruin it (and by extension the Bucky character, which would be unavoidably ruined) strictly to maintain status quo is everything that bothers me about comics.

  • March 4, 2009, 2:46 p.m. CST

    I agree.

    by Joenathan

    thats why I say: Medium term consquences. <br><br>Bendis has already begun to release the reins on the marvel universe by passing mighty to Slott and eventually someone new will come along and go: "You know what, I really miss the mansion" and then a new team will form and like... kang will attack them in the first issue and it will end with Steve Rogers back as cap and hawkeye saying, "come on, you got to say t" and Steve will smile and then splash page: "Avengers Assemble!" and if it was a TV show, they'd all freeze as the credits rolled and we'll be back to zero, just like when Busiak took them over after all the heroes reborn stuff and on and on all the way back through comics...<br><br>And I'm okay with that. It gives the impression of a story's end, which is hard to get in a modern day comic as there is always a next issue. <br><br>What I like about current Marvel is, even if you aren't a fan of the story/status quo, Marvel has shown an editorial commitment to a single universe wide storyline/direction that DC hasn't done in years. I mean, you can trace the current storylines all the way back to Bendis's Daredevil and in comic books, thats a long fucking time. DC can't get their shit together long enough to pull off a two year story, let alone something like that. And all I'm saying is: I appreciate the effort.

  • March 4, 2009, 2:46 p.m. CST

    "Is it really that bad to want to root for someone good?"

    by Circean6

    According to Warren Ellis, Mark Millar, Garth Ennis & Paul Jenkins...I'd say yes.

  • March 4, 2009, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Thunderbolts >>> Dark Avengers

    by LaserPants

    Its the same friggin' concept spread out over two titles and its pointless. I don't hate Dark Avengers, per se, but I don't quite see how it improves upon the Thunderbolts premise AT ALL. And that New Avengers issue with the inexplicable $3.99 price point? Not worth it! Not by a long shot.<br><br> I think I'm done with New Avengers and Mighty Avengers. (I'll read Dark Avengers to the end of the first arc, just to see where it goes; after that, I'm done). Although Dan Slott isn't so bad, I have finally hit the wall with Bendis' cringe-worthy writing. He's friggin' TERRIBLE, and EVERY character he writes seems to "speak" with the same voice. Its like reading a guy who thinks he's a genius (but is really kind of a moron) talk to himself. I'm done.<br><br> These are the Marvel books I'm sticking with: Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy, War of Kings, Captain Britain, Iron Fist, Thor, Daredevil, Old Man Logan, Captain America, and Icognito. All the rest have hit the League of Diminishing Returns.<br><br> On the DC side, the only things I must read are Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps. I liked New Krypton, so I'll keep on reading books related to that. I'm done with Batman until they bring Bruce Wayne back. Everything else I have no interest in.<br><br> Hopefully Johns will set all things right with Blackest Night. Otherwise, DC is over.

  • March 4, 2009, 3:17 p.m. CST

    You should read Ultimate Spider-man

    by Joenathan

    its good.

  • March 4, 2009, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Laser and I have pretty much the same taste

    by gooseud

    although I've dropped the ball on Captain Britain, and never been a DD guy. I hear Captain Britain is the bomb though.

  • March 4, 2009, 3:49 p.m. CST

    You know what was pretty disapointing?

    by Joenathan

    The "noir" books. Anybody else read them?

  • March 4, 2009, 3:49 p.m. CST

    gooseud & Joe

    by Ambush Bug

    Cap will be back. Period. Just like Jean Grey will be back. Just like Professor X was dead and came back over and over. It's just the way comics are.<br><br> Accept that and the outrage you think you'll feel will be diminished. Think of how you'll feel if Cap came back and that's exactly the way people felt when Hal came back after getting to know and liking Kyle a whole hell of a lot.<br><br> Joe, your statement about how stuff happening in comics can be traced "all the way back" to when Bendis was writing Daredevil illustrates a problem that not only the fans but Marvel itself has; namely that the universe and the characters in them existed long, long, long before the bald one took over Daredevil. Unfortunately, the current Illuminati at Marvel (Bendis, Quesada, Millar) don't really care about what happened before that and don't write stories harkening back to anything before that. To me, that's just sad and the main reason why all of those books Laserpants listed are my favorites too. They acknowledge the Marvel U and it's rich history. Bendis, Millar, and JQ only want to talk about the most recent stuff and act is if the rest doesn't matter simply because they are too lazy and vain to read it.

  • March 4, 2009, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Thanks a lot AICN Comics

    by Series7

    Making me look like an asshole at the comic shop today! Fucking THE NEW BRIGHTON ARCHEOLOGICAL SOCIETY is not available anywhere except for on your site for review. Most important comic this week. Also Mr. Amperduke, you know how many places I've gone to just to be told that that comic doesn't exexists? I gotta order it online from the British creator's webpage thank you. <P> Also Secert Warriors went down to $2.99 so there you go. Also being a huge Hickman fan you made me nervous about the first issue so I've yet to read it, but seems like Marvel likes him just fine he's on Fan Four Dark Reign! Wonder how that is, saved that for next week because there were a fuck ton of copies in the store, same for Secert Warriors #2.

  • March 4, 2009, 3:59 p.m. CST

    you call it lazy and vain, BUT

    by Joenathan

    look at current DC, they've tried to hold it ALL together and what happened? It all fell apart.<br><br>Personally, I have no problem remembering and acknowledging what came before. There was great stuff, lots and lots of great stuff, all through out the different eras, but current DC has proven that if you don't compartmentalize your continuity, you eventually break down. <br><br>Besides, Marvel may not talk about the past as much, but I don't get the feeling that they aren't allowed to use it or revisit it, if it fits their stories. I think thats the core of "for now" continuity and a big part of bringing on the fbled "new readers". Give it to them in chunks. I mean, there are very few of us willing to understand, remember and interact with 40 rock solid years of continuity.

  • March 4, 2009, 4:16 p.m. CST

    But it is vain...

    by Ambush Bug

    Bendis references nothing other than something Bendis did. Or maybe a Millar story from fifteen years ago (the basis for SECRET INVASION AKA THE SKRULL KILL KREW). You talk about the Masters of Evil saga in Avengers or the Kree-Skrull War or its sequel which resulted in a much more exciting Hero vs Hero scenario and ended with the two Avengers teams splitting regarding an important issue (to kill in war or not) and Bendis and Millar would stare at you with a blank face, as would the current comic book fanbase. And it's not the fans fault. They have been subject to the Millar-Quesada-Bendis circle-jerk for so long, they really believe nothing existed before Kevin Smith wrote DAREDEVIL. Guys like Slott, Parker, Van Lente, Lanning, Abnett. Those are the guys who see the potential of the Marvel U. I want to see more of those guys and I'm betting the fans will follow and kick themselves for drinking the kool aid for so long.

  • March 4, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    CAPTAIN BRITAIN Is Awesome, Gooseud!

    by LaserPants

    Jump on board the Dracula On The Moon train! The new arc just started last ish. Check it out, I suspect you'll dig it the most!

  • March 4, 2009, 4:30 p.m. CST

    I challenge the statement that GL is DC's best book.

    by ALANMOORES_SQUIDBLOOD

    I know it's still fairly new, but I haven't been disappointed with an issue of Secret Six. Granted it has a long way to go to maintain the consistency of GL, but those are my top two DC books at the moment.

  • March 4, 2009, 4:33 p.m. CST

    Yeah Secret Six is cool...

    by Ambush Bug

    As is THE MIGHTY. But what should be their core titles especially JLA is just downright bad right now.

  • March 4, 2009, 4:34 p.m. CST

    THE NEW BRIGHTON ARCHEOLOGICAL SOCIETY

    by Series7

    I guess its an Image book, its on there release page as well.... hmm the mystery continues.

  • March 4, 2009, 4:37 p.m. CST

    JOnah Hex is another one from DC that rocks...

    by Ambush Bug

    Well, it does.

  • March 4, 2009, 4:48 p.m. CST

    come on now, Bug

    by Joenathan

    Now MAYBE you're right that they ignore the past, but you really can't think that they are UNAWARE of the master's of evil attacking the mansion storyline, especially since its referenced in New Avengers...<br><br>And whether Bendis references himself or not, whether you're a fan or not, you have to admit, the editorial commitment and cohesion of Marvel the last few years was impressive and light years better than DC's.

  • March 4, 2009, 4:49 p.m. CST

    I got to remember to pick up, Captain Brittian...

    by Joenathan

    I'd like Dracula to become a major player in the marvel universe... especially if its from his moon base/castle.

  • March 4, 2009, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Does anyone like Bendis?

    by gooseud

    Seriously, I've never been a Bendis guy and have avoided virtually everything he has ever written like the plague, but .....I dont get it. Does he have fans? If so, who? Certainly no one in this talkback has ever put themselves out there as a huge fan. I'm sure JoeNat will step to his defense lukewarmly, but even JoeNat isnt what I would call an apologist-level fan, from what I can tell anyway. I remember a few Bendis era DD groupies, but that may as well have been the stone age at this point (especially after it has become common universal opinion that Bru absolutely embarrassed and buried Bendis on DD to such an epic degree that I dont know how Bendis gets up in the morning). Is it casual fans? But if they are casual, would they even know who Bendis is? I simply dont understand it, how can you hold this much power in a sales driven medium and not appear to have a single devoted fan?

  • March 4, 2009, 5 p.m. CST

    ALANMOORES is right

    by gooseud

    I forgot Secret Six, that book can indeed hold GL's dick. Thats because Secret Six, like Nova, kinda had its own corner of the DCU where it can operate without editorial interference. I've lost track of it recently though, isn't the problem that Bane joined and he obviosuly sucks balls?

  • March 4, 2009, 5:02 p.m. CST

    What about Ultimate Spider-man

    by Joenathan

    Best continual series out now for pure, reliable month in/month out entertainment. It really is and in the classic way too. Also, when Powers actually does come out, thats good. Plus, if you're a fan of the current status quo, a lot of that can be contributed to Bendis, as is the foundation to Daredevil that Brubaker built so amazingly off of. I don't worship Bendis, but I certainly don't deride him. <br><Br>Anyway, if you ever want to see how many fans he has... check out his Myspace, Facebook or Jinxworld... its alot.

  • March 4, 2009, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Masters of Evil/Avengers

    by gooseud

    Absolute hall of fame arc. If someone made an argument for that being in the top 5 arcs of all time, I dont see how you could argue it. Ask anyone who read comics back in the day, and thats the arc that comes to mind first as far as absolute uber-awesomeness. Mr. Hyde talkin shit, crushing Cap's old shield and Cap simply sitting there staring a hole through him like "I'm going to beat you like a governent mule when I get free", thats when in my pre teen brain I knew Cap was a bad ass mother fucker. Bendis doesnt reference that arc because hes never read it, because the action levels contained in that arc would make Mr. Talkity-Talk's brain explode like that Felicity chick in Mission Impossible III.

  • March 4, 2009, 5:09 p.m. CST

    But Joe.....

    by gooseud

    You gotta admit, Bru embarrassed Bendis when he came on there. The fact that Bendis laid that foundation (which I dont deny) only shows what a quantum level above him Bru is as a writer. It obviously isnt a competitive thing ( I think.....?), a job is a job, but it almost has the feel of Bru taking a look around and saying "Hmmmm not bad......now run along now and let the big boys play", and proceeding to put his foot on the gas and leave him in the dust.

  • March 4, 2009, 5:18 p.m. CST

    one from dc that rocked but now is gone...

    by blackthought

    blue beetle...sigh...long live deadshot!

  • March 4, 2009, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Has anyone read the Batman Cacaphony Finale yet?

    by ALANMOORES_SQUIDBLOOD

    Besides a slightly humorous Christian Bale reference, I thought it was pretty much a self indulgent piece of garbage by Kevin Smith. Basically Batman needs Joker, and Joker needs Batman. Yadyadayada...

  • March 4, 2009, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Secret Six and more

    by Homer Sexual

    I read more DC than most of you, I think, but the best ones are indeed Secret Six and Jonah Hex. The other books I liked best have been cancelled (Manhunter, Checkmate, Birds of Prey). I also like JSA (though it is rather corny, they do a good job with Marvel family), Teen Titans and my current fun fave...Terror Titans. <p> Despite Gail Simone's skill, the best she can do with Bane is make some sort of psycho-sexual father-daughter bond weirdness with Scandal. Nice Try, though. And the book is still good....but would be better w/o Bane. <p> Last week was another outstanding Hercules, cementing it's stature as my #1 favorite with an excellent Hercules story and a very touching Amadeus Cho backup. She-Hulk also had a good final issue, with good art (rare in She-Hulk, she looked both strong and pretty) and was portrayed as slutty but not dumb, with strong loyalty. Last week was a good week..I haven't even finished the stack and here it is Wednesday again. <p> I think Bendis is ok, I rather like his dialogue, but his storytelling tends to be very weak. If he weren't so overrated, people wouldn't knock him so much. I guess the same with Winnick. I like his writing style, very sexual. While I dislike when comics go overboard with any social statement, all the AIDS-specific hate he receives kind of disturbs me.

  • March 4, 2009, 5:29 p.m. CST

    A self-indulgent piece of garbage from Kevin Smith

    by Homer Sexual

    Unbelievable! <p> Remember when Kevin Smith showed great promise? Well, perhaps not because it's been MORE than a decade since he lost it.

  • March 4, 2009, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Sorry Series7

    by optimous_douche

    I only know what the writer tells me and they said March 4th.<p> I wonder if the print run didn't meet the new Diamond Gold standard of 2,000 orders for the LCS's to get it.<p> Sorry man. It was really good though... No seriously, I'll ask the writer what's up. Shoot me an e-mail Series and I'll get you an answer.

  • March 4, 2009, 5:38 p.m. CST

    Getting Steve Rogers back

    by Jinxo

    The status quo needs restored? Classic Cap has to come back? Need to deal with current Cap and payoff his struggle to live up to Steve Roger's example? You create a scenario where classic Cap is NEEDED, where the price for his life is another life. Bucky makes that sacrifice proving he is capable of total self sacrifice, you get Cap back and you get a painful refresh on Cap getting to feel just horrible about Bucky being dead.

  • March 4, 2009, 5:41 p.m. CST

    I"ll give Kevin Smith this though.

    by ALANMOORES_SQUIDBLOOD

    He's carried his Gay, Dick joke with the occasional pop culture reference schtick on a lot longer than I would've thought possible.

  • March 4, 2009, 6:32 p.m. CST

    Jinxo

    by gooseud

    I was thinking the exact same thing, but killing off BuckyCap is an idea that I refuse to entertain. Although that really is the only way to bring back Steve in a payoff way. Tough dillemma there, but ask me today and I'll say its not worth it (an idea that once again would have been laughable 3 years ago).

  • March 4, 2009, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Re: Strongman OGN and heroes to root for...

    by csoule

    First of all, thank you for the great review - Allen Gladfelter and I put a lot into the book, and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Second, if people are looking for a hero to root for, well, hell, that's exactly what I tried to do with Strongman. I was a bit sick of the endless tendency to tear heroes down. I wanted to take a guy at his lowest point, and build him back up. It doesn't mean it's easy, or boring - poor Tigre goes through hell. Anyway, just wanted to point out that there are alternatives out there.

  • March 4, 2009, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Cap/Bucky

    by Jinxo

    Well I'm not saying swap them now. BuckyCap clearly has a lot of story left in him. And, really, BuckyCap doesn't have to stay dead forever either. They just need to build in a way for him to come back. I mean, Steve Rogers got shot. The end. But if Bucky gives up his life to save Steve then you could make it more of a mystical deal, plus there's the element of voluntary self sacrifice... that would give you plenty of room for some mystical takeback/reprieve that would not make sense for Steve Rogers.

  • March 4, 2009, 6:47 p.m. CST

    My two cents…

    by The Heathen

    Joenathan Re: "Marvel has shown an editorial commitment to a single universe wide storyline/direction that DC hasn't done in years." <br> <br> Technically about three years now I think. DC was on ball and insanely cohesive the year prior and follwing Infinite Crisis. After that, whatever was holding it together fell apart and fell FASTER than anything I can remember. Bums me out thinking about it. Marvel is more cohesive now, but there's still some problems on a smaller scale. They seem to be getting better about that though and that's surprising, but good for them. They've come a long way from Civil War and Spidey making a deal with the Devil and they've done it fast. Awesome. <br> <br> Bug, you're Obama dialogue was wonderful. I'm going to act like I read that book and think that was actually in there. Thanks. <br> <br> blackthought, my fellow Cog, we still have Jamie in that Batman Brave and the Bold cartoon right? Is he in Teen Titans? I wouldn't know. <br> <br> DC books I read (and like): Green Lantern, GL Corps, JSA and the Superman titles haven't been bad at all either. Surprised I haven't heard more about that. I can't think of any else, but I'm sure there's a few more. Like Dini on Detective. Yep, that's another. <br> <br> The Bendii… Those are some crazy fans and they certainly exist unlike the 10 million people that bought that Spice Girls album. I've said it before (but it's been months) he just needs a ballsy editor to smack his hand or something. <br> <br> I wish Steve Rodgers would stay dead. Wished the same for Barry Allen (there's a lot of speedsters runnin' around). I'm sure they'll bring him back, but maybe we'll get a decade or two with Bucky? That'd be nice. What an epic run Bru has had with Cap. I never thought I'd be buying Captain America, but I have every issue of this series. <br> <br> I liked the "Batman and Robin is Dick Grayson and Damien Wayne, and Tim becomes Red Robin" Laserhead. That would be interesting until Bruce is done writing on cave walls or whatever he's doing. <br> <br> DC could have put Winick on a dozen other titles if they still had to pay him. Him being on BATMAN during Bruce's absence and potentially influential times leads me to believe that we'll probably look back at this period and shrug it off with disregard. <br> <br> Okay, so that was a little more than two cents…

  • March 4, 2009, 7:02 p.m. CST

    Ultimatum

    by drewlicious

    I hope this stuff is permanent even if it does mean certain characters I enjoy are gone for good. That would mean Wasp, Darevdevil, and Xavier are history.

  • March 4, 2009, 7:19 p.m. CST

    So do you guys like Umbrella Academy?

    by kungfuhustler84

    Don't care what the reviewer above said. That book has consistently been one of my very favorites.<p>And no review for the last issue of the new Dark Tower arc? Pretty good if you ask me.<p>And do Vertigo titles count for what's just as good (if not better) than GL? Because Unknown Soldier and of course Secret Six are both mad good!<p>

  • March 4, 2009, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Hey now...

    by Jinxo

    The reviewer above (me) likes Umbrella Academy. I just worry about them getting sloppy or over-confident that every idea is a great one. I actually like the book quite a bit.

  • March 4, 2009, 8:57 p.m. CST

    UC:Dallas #4 Rocked

    by MaxHeadroom

    Jinxo - agree with you on how great Cap is, but had an opposite reaction to #4 of UC. The ending of the Hazel and Cha Cha subplot was a great Pulp Fiction like ending, No. 5 leading the charge against himself to the world getting destroyed at the end - I thought everything was brilliant.

  • March 4, 2009, 9:07 p.m. CST

    MaxHeadroom

    by Jinxo

    I agree with you on allthose plot points being good. But the cover was just such an so aren't-we-meta-clever that it left me cold. And to have a character shot dead with a bullet to the head and then have him recover from that without any real attempt at an explanation. And the opening "dream sequence" was just a bunch of bright and shiny nothing. I do like bright and shiny for what it's worth but still. My only point is up until now the book has never missed a beat for me. I've bought and enjoyed everything they've sold me content-wise. This issue just had two or three weak points for me. Minor as weak points go really but, again, when they've been knocking it out of the park every time at bat for forever, a triple can catch your attention and make you nervous.

  • March 5, 2009, 12:26 a.m. CST

    umbrella academy sux ass

    by bacci40

    the only reason it god made is because of way<p> were he still working in a comic shop and not fronting the worlds most obnoxious emo band, his submission wouldve ended up in the circular file...fuckin shite is unreadable and derivative as shit

  • March 5, 2009, 6:03 a.m. CST

    Bendis

    by Midnightxpress

    Are people really suggesting that Bendis doesn't reference events prior to Civil War in his comic books. Off the top of my head, he's referenced (or the all important "had fun with") the Clone Saga, Sercet Wars 2, Armour Wars, not to mention used classic Dr Strange and Fantastic Four villians, long past their devilish best and made them grade A threats to the core heroes. I'm no Bendis fanboy, but the guy uses the MU as much as Bru or Slott in their stories. Whether he's as good a writer is of course open to debate.

  • March 5, 2009, 6:58 a.m. CST

    Series 7 Deal w/ New Brighton

    by optimous_douche

    On the LCS front, it's as I expected. Unless you go to a big shop chances are you won't find a copy. I know my shop had three, buut I but my books at the second largest mall in the country.<p> Amazon has it, but for as wonderful as their databases are there are a few ghosts in the machine.<p> The sold out status from yesterday has changed to not released yet (but trust me it is).<p> Basically, just order it and it will come. I would buy from Amazon -- lowest price.

  • March 5, 2009, 7:55 a.m. CST

    Villain Books

    by Buzz Maverik

    I love a good villain. Good villains make for good stories. And there are all kinds of good villains from pure evil to sympathetic. Also, the villains haven't been over used and I think the new teams can adapt them more than the heroes. We have less expectations.<p>Another reason that comics have gotten darker over the years is that by nature, the medium is self-derivative. I completely agree with Alan Moore who said that a really good work does more harm to the medium than something bad or mediocre, because it will be copied badly for the next quarter century. They still go for the darkness and violence of WATCHMEN without the complexity (unless you count monologues and lack of action as complexity, which they do). But do we get the the multiple voices, the detail, the richness? Sometimes, but not enough...<P>Finally, comic got darker because most of us are chronologically men. We have to prove we've moved on without really moving on. Yeah, there should be ALL kinds of comics but the most dominant mainstream superhero fair is written for young men. That's okay. There's some good stuff being done and young dudes need something to read too but it's as limited and false a world view as kiddie comics from the '50s. It's the pseduo-macho in a same sex relationship with the pseudo-intellectual.<p> Look at the current FANTASTIC FOUR. You're reading something called THE FANTASTIC FOUR dude but you gotta have Storm making out with the Scarlet Witch? Nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but think about it: Fantastic Four? Storm? Scarlet Witch? Kinda silly. But, Buzz, a guy like Johnny Human Torch would have groupies, right? No, because he's a fire guy called Johnny Human Torch. The worst thing about Mark Millar as a writer is that he limits himself. He's not a one trick pony but he acts like one. Not every book has to be exactly alike. If you gotta have this in the FANTASTIC FOUR, congratulations! You're too grown up for THE FANTASTIC FOUR! That's a good thing. And when you grow up some more, you'll see you're responsibility to let some things exist soley for the ones growing up now.

  • March 5, 2009, 9:29 a.m. CST

    bacci40

    by rev_skarekroe

    I haven't read Umbrella Academy, but if a mildly retarded, barely literate internet poster like yourself hates, it's probably top-notch entertainment.

  • March 5, 2009, 9:58 a.m. CST

    Goose - Masters of Evil arc

    by Joenathan

    There are SEVERAL references in New Avengers during the Hood/new masters of Evil arc to that story. Several.

  • March 5, 2009, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Bru vs. Bendis

    by Joenathan

    I don't know if "embarassed" is the right word, but I certainly have enjoyed Brubaker's run better than Bendis's... but I enjoyed Bendis's too, so...

  • March 5, 2009, 10:01 a.m. CST

    I don't hate Winnick

    by Joenathan

    because of some AIDS thing, personally, besides his Pedro stuff, I've never noticed him going to that well very often, but then, I don't follow his work AND I don't follow his work because I think he's a terrible writer in general.

  • March 5, 2009, 10:06 a.m. CST

    The way Cap is going to come back

    by Joenathan

    They're going to use the Superman's body needed to repair itself route withn the Super-soldier serum. They linked it to Wolverine in the Ultimate Universe, why not in regular continuity. I'll bet you thats what happens...

  • March 5, 2009, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Heathen

    by Joenathan

    I'm counting all the way back through Civil War to Disassembled to Bendis's Daredevil run, and while the whole of the eventual story may not have been intended, thats where the current cohesion started to take hold.

  • March 5, 2009, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Ultimatum

    by Joenathan

    so, because Loebs writing hurts my eyes, can anyone give me a run down of whats happened and who is dead and yadda, yadda, yadda?

  • March 5, 2009, 10:15 a.m. CST

    heh, Rev

    by Joenathan

    good one.

  • March 5, 2009, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Let's put it this way, less harshly

    by gooseud

    I absolutely stand by my comments in regards to Bru vs. Bendis, and perhaps others dont feel as strongly, but I think we can all agree on one thing, if nothing else: Brubaker is clearly a better writer then Bendis. Anything more then that is open to debate and depends on how highly you value Bendis as a writer (Ult Spidey certainly DOES speak to him having SOME ability), but I dont see how that one can possibly even be up for discussion.

  • March 5, 2009, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Buzz is dead on about Millar

    by gooseud

    I've been a foremost Millar basher on here, and he deserves it, but he DOES have some ability. His ULT FF run was shallow (especially compared to Ellis's legendary run on there) but certainly fun in its own way, mainly because he limited the Millar-isms to at least a dull background roar. There are certain books he can write well (Old Man Logan was rolling great til the idiocy of the big reveal). However, he seems far more concerned with shock value and going back to the well for the 782nd time. A bad writer who is really trying is one thing. A good writer who, due to comtempt for the fans and the genre, feels he doesnt really have to challenge himself or even try that hard, THAT I have a problem with.

  • March 5, 2009, 10:46 a.m. CST

    eh...

    by Joenathan

    I try to judge on a case by case basis, Millar and Bendis both have their ups and downs, but I disagree with the assertion that they don't challenge themselves, if anything, I'd say their main problem is that their ideas sometimes don't close as big as they opened.<br><Br>I will agree that Bru is a better writer than Bendis, but a spurious correlation to take that to mean that Bendis is a bad one.

  • March 5, 2009, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Joen/Everyone: Avengers Annual 15

    by steverodgers

    Stop what you are doing and go out and find this book. It makes the Avengers West Coast BBQ look like a small time get together. In this issue written by Danny Fingeroth (who I thought was a DC guy) and it's drawn by Steve Ditko and inked by Klaus Janson (totally nutty pairing – no insane) the Avengers and the West Coast team meet at the Kansas City Royals ballpark to play a game of baseball in full gear! It's incredible. Wonderman has on his green and red Pez dispenser outfit with rocket pack, Cap is pitching (he calls one pitch his Yankee Doodle Special!), Hercules is a hot mess at first base, and Iron Man is batting in his red and white suit! It gets better! Freedom Force shows up to arrest the Avengers and hands the Avengers their asses in a 13 page fight! 13 pages! At one point Cap slinks away to make a call on a payphone to double check with "Mr. Secretary" to see if Freedom Force is on the level. Cap is just gabbing away on a payphone while Destiny has a pistol pointed at Hawkeye and says “Don’t move Hawkeye. I’ve got the drop on you.” I’ve got the drop! I can't do it justice. Ditko/Janson can't seem to draw caps face without him looking totally deranged, Cap also says at one point "I heard that Bruce Springsteen might be the Boss but I was born in the U.S.A too!" - Hank Pym is in Ditko street gear, at one point his shirt catches fire and he says out loud ,"My shirts on fire! Got to get it off!" Black Knight is in the outfield with his sword and chain mail. Eventually the Avengers get taken to the Vault to be tried on trumped up but unnamed charges by an insane Henry Gyrich and Valarie Cooper! Then the Avengers are put in individual cells, they put Caps in a hamster ball! A Hamster ball! Spider-Woman feeling bad about capturing them as a member of Freedom Force, helps rescue them, the Avengers then go hide out in a cave and plot their revenge - and you have to buy the West Coast annual to see how it finishes.... It's like an old JLA/JSA team-up. Has anyone else read this! It’s the single best Avengers story I think I have ever read, at first I was enjoying it with a huge dose of irony, but after awhile I was caught up in its total and absolute lunacy. God bless the dollar bin - find this issue now! Also during the trial Cap gets really mad and gives a speech and ends it by saying, “I believe in the American Dream, but this, but this is some sort of NIGHTMARE!” then there is a panel of the Avengers looking stunned by his oratory brilliance, and then the one of the Avengers clapping and Herc saying, “An oration worthy of an Olympian captain!!” and Hawkeye says “Alright cap!” – it’s just great. It might be the single best comic of all time. Fingeroth, Ditko and Janson, thank you!

  • March 5, 2009, 10:57 a.m. CST

    as for contempt for the fans...

    by Joenathan

    I don't feel it, but then... I just don't care. I mean, why would you? If you're enjoying the story, what do you care about the author's personal feelings about anything? Thats not what I'm patronizing them for.<br><br>Its like Actors, I'm fans of their work if its good work, but even if I am in line with their opinions on the world or the governement or whatever, I just don't care what they say about it. It's like: "Just shut the fuck up, Sean Penn and get back in your cage and wait until we're ready for you to do your little dancing moneky bit again, okay? Don't tell me about Venezuala, fucking I am Sam mother fucker...." <Br><br>Thats not what I go to those people for, so if some comic book writer is writing story and thinking: "i hate you guys." I just don't care. If the story is good, I'll buy it. If not, then its: no thank you, sir, I am not interested.

  • March 5, 2009, 11:02 a.m. CST

    sweet christmas!

    by Joenathan

    I love those old books. sometimes, I swear they were all fucking drunk all day long. I mean, whatelse would possess you to WANT to write an Avengers/West Coast Avengers team up that centers around a baseball game. How bored must you have been? I love those books, but at the same time they are the best arguement FOR developing 3-D characters with continual growth.<br><br>Although Steve, NOTHING beats the west coast avengers BBQ with Hawkeye in full kit and quiver and apron and Iron man drinking a beer through his helmet slit so the other Avengers won't find out he's black.

  • March 5, 2009, 11:21 a.m. CST

    The Best Part

    by steverodgers

    Is that I bet the annual was written in the "Marvel Way" - so Ditko was going off a paragraph that said: Hey Steve great to be working with you! Okay here is the issue! Avengers and West Coast Avengers meet to play baseball for a few pages (I think it would be cool if Mocking-Bird bats with her battle staves! I just came up with that!), Freedom Force shows up and they fight, (about 13 pages), Freedom Force wins (make them really tough, I think they’ll be a part of Marvel comics for a long, long time) and the Avengers are taken to the Vault and put in individual cages (I’m thinking a cool hamster ball for Cap - up to you though, you invented spider-man after all!) - Okay then there is some kind of trial, and then Spider-Woman breaks them out, and they all meet in a cave at the end. It's an annual so it should be like 40 pages. Also Klaus Jansen will be inking, so that should be really neat, he won't muddy up your pencils at all. If you have any questions send me a telegram, I’ll be getting totally high in my apartment - Danny.

  • March 5, 2009, 11:25 a.m. CST

    West Coast Avengers BBQ

    by steverodgers

    Really is the gold standard that all crazy full-kit super-hero get togethers will be judged on. Iron Man sipping beer through his helmet slit is just inspired. This Annual though, really gives it a run for it's money. At one point Herc crushes a ball into the outfield, and right before it smashes into a fans face, Hawkeye shoots it out of the sky with an arrow. Genius.

  • March 5, 2009, 11:33 a.m. CST

    The battlestaves...

    by Joenathan

    Of course, why WOULDN'T she? genius. The fact that they obviously advertised this and people showed up to watch it is brilliant, although you'd think that people in the Marvel U would have learned by now: <br><br>"No way am I going to that thing, an Avengers versus West Coast Avengers ball game? Jesus, why not just send out engraved invitations to the super villians of the world: Hey, we're having a nice, sunny family event, come on down and fuck it up!"

  • March 5, 2009, 11:44 a.m. CST

    grounds crew

    by steverodgers

    Well, in the Avengers defense, it's actually the grounds crew - fans weren't invited. I miss lead you there. It would have been even better as an advertised event. I guess it would also make sense that they are playing in their costumes so no one would find out their secret identities. On further thought I suppose the whole thing is completely logical, while there is no logic attached to the BBQ. Of course if I was on the grounds crew, there is no way I’m watching that game, as the odds are pretty good Galactus is going to show up, eat all the hot-dogs and then start looking for other things to eat.

  • March 5, 2009, 11:49 a.m. CST

    Completely Logical...

    by Joenathan

    "Well... I got my battle armor on finally... those snaps in the back are a bitch..." ::walks around room slowly:: "so... any villians doing... stuff?"<br><br> ::looks up from giant tea cup::"no."<br><br>"So... ah... what do you want to do today then?"<br><Br>"Ah.... ppppbbbhhttt...ah... we could... we could call the East Coast Chapter and see if the wanted to play super powered baseball in Kansas?"<br><br>::aghast::"You truly are a genius, Hank Pym, you truly are..."

  • March 5, 2009, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Pym

    by steverodgers

    "lets play two"

  • March 5, 2009, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Tales from the Crypt

    by Sackratte

    isn't published by EC anymore. The new Tales is published by Papercutz who brings The Hardy Boys and Bionicles. In the new Tales from the Crypt books some stories are written by Joe R. Lansdale the horror author. I really enjoyed his story 'Moonlight Sonata' (about Werewolves) in issue#7 of the new series. The artist was the guy who is doing the Ray Harryhausen comics to 'It came from beneath the sea' btw.

  • March 5, 2009, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Joenathan re: cohesion

    by The Heathen

    I agree that's where it started to take place and it would have worked a lot better if you only read the Bendis written books. He monopolized the 616 and not everyone followed suit. That's where things were both cohesive and mixed up at the same time. Especially the X-Men and Avengers events merging. Sure, they're the same universe, but they sort of stick to their own sides of the playground and in the middle of Bendis' story that lead to Secret War we had House of M. I was not a fan of House of M. If we are being picky, I honestly think that DC was far more streamlined from Identity Crisis to 52. Of course, they are the exact fucking opposite of that now. <br> <br> I agree about the Mark Millar sentiments. Although, 1985 was a welcome surprise. <br> <br> Bru > Bendis. <br> <br> I need to read this West Coast Avengers BBQ.

  • March 5, 2009, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Ambush Bug, I Agree With All Your Posts Above

    by SMARTASS8

    Marvel and DC are both messes right now. Marvel feels like it's being written for 15 year old Halo fans who love it when their "heroes" are cool and kill all their enemies. A great example of this is some kid who interrupted a conversation I was having at my LCS yesterday to say that the movie Magneto sucks because he's too old(even though the character was a WWII survivor), Arnold was a great Mr. Freeze(Patrick Stewart, who a friend of mine suggested, was dismissed because he's "an old man") and that all the cool heroes will kill. I asked the cashier if his entire stack was Marvel books and he chimed in "yep". I don't think there's anyone at Marvel, other than Spider-Man, who hasn't killed, gotten rid of their secret identity, and hasn't "upgraded" the look of their costume(I used to love Moon Knight until he pulled a Leatherface and started cutting the faces off his enemies). JoeyQ's frathouse has turned me from lifelong Marvel Zombie to someone who only reads DC and Indies(I keep giving them a bunch of second chances, but everytime I do, I'm either unimpressed or don't even recognize the characters I grew up with). Even Brevoort, an editor who probably knows more about Marvel's history than anyone at that company, is too scared(or too lazy) to correct JoeyQ's inner circle (or the non-superhero fans they hire outside the community to write) on all the mistakes they make. Axel Alonso, Warren Ellis, and Garth Ennis have even said many times how they don't like superheroes. I also hate how dismissive JoeyQ is of anyone who disagrees with him(watch any fan interaction with him from a convention). He was recently asked if he regrets any decision he's made at the NYCC but he couldn't think of one "misstep". This is a man who I feel doesn't like superheroes but is a narcissist likes attention and the money he gets from his job. Marvel is so good about about informing new fans about their Universe's past with all the info-filled Handbooks, Sagas, and Indexes, but obviously most of their writers have never read even one page out of these. DC, on the other hand, seems to be run by a guy who loves superheroes, cares what the fans have to say, and will actually admit his mistakes

  • March 5, 2009, 3:05 p.m. CST

    From Crisis TO 52 only, though

    by Joenathan

    52 fell apart at the end and seemed to be disregarded almost immediately after.<br><Br>I liked House of M, I thought it was a fun alt universe story AND I was a big fan of wiping out the derth of crappy mutants an paring the population down again. I was hoping that was the same plan with the crap characters in the Initiative during World War Hulk. (which I liked because of its ties to an Illuminati mistake, but was ultimately disappointed with its execution)

  • March 5, 2009, 3:08 p.m. CST

    See? I don't understand that...

    by Joenathan

    Why do you take it so personally. Relax, man, you'll be happier. Also, since when is it a bad thing to like it that your job pays you?

  • March 5, 2009, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Whoops, I Posted Before I Finished My Ranting

    by SMARTASS8

    DC's Didio, on the other hand, seems to be a guy who loves superheroes, cares what the fans have to say, stays away from trashing Marvel(not only does Marvel look like a bunch of bullies always taking potshots at their weaker competition, but Didio has actually invited Brevoort on stage at several conventions after TommyB finished trashing DC online), will let his talent do what they want to make the story good(JoeyQ forced JMS' to tell OMD his way while Didio let Nightwing live along with Isis, Osiris and Question die even though he wanted the opposite) and will actually admit his mistakes(he'll often try to fix them; Byrne's Doom Patrol, Evil Batgirl, killing off Conner and Bart). Having said that, he needs to work harder at bringing DC back from being a distant 2nd place to a close rival to Marvel. He really needs to work on making DC easier to get into for new readers not willing to spend anytime on Wikipedia for answers to their questions(give us new Who's Who or recap pages) and have his editors spend as much time tightening up their current Universe as they do with past continuity. For as much as I loathe the direction of Marvel's current Universe, they are great at getting their name out there(although the Obama cover was really distasteful even though I'm not a hardcore Republican) through buzz and freebies at the local comic stores. If DC's comic line was as impressive as their animation division at WB, Marvel would really have something to worry about.

  • March 5, 2009, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Re: From Crisis TO 52 only, though

    by The Heathen

    Totally. We're in agreement there. What baffles me is how quickly it fell apart. Was it Steve Wacker jumping ship? I dunno, but whatever it was I wish they'd get it back. <br> <br> I'm glad the crappy mutants are gone too, but HoM wasn't my cup of tea. I actually prefer Age of Apocalypse as a giant alternate universe event for the X-Men, but I haven't read that in years. I guess I don't think that setting the mutant status quo back to what it was validated an entire retread of a mini-series. Could have been done a lot easier and handled better (Marketing!!! SALES!!! SALES!!! I know.) Although it did give us SON OF M and that is one of my favorite mini's ever. <br> <br> SMARTASS8 makes a lot of good point above. Hell, even a recap page would help DC. I know Bug and the @$$holes have wanted/suggested that for years. Say what you want about Didio, but the guy has actually messaged me back the two times I wrote him and the second time he said, "Only read what you love." after I expressed concerns over something. <br> <br> I'd for nothing more than DC to get it's whole line more streamlined and for Marvel to keep their pace going and develop it more. Here's hoping.

  • March 6, 2009, 9:09 a.m. CST

    AOA

    by Joenathan

    I have to revisit it, but as I think back, I am continually impressed by its coordination and execution, not to mention world building. That was a hell of a good minis-series, but that may have been because it was a tightly coordinated single story spread out over like 18 books, where House of M got what? 6 or 8? House of M, Civil War, World War Hulk, I've always felt that each of marvel's recent events could have benefited with an extra couple of issues to stretch out in and tell their story.

  • March 6, 2009, 10:49 a.m. CST

    Good Bendis Writing In SECRET INVASION

    by Buzz Maverik

    I've found that one of the best ways to judge the writing itself without the problems of the whole publishing company is to read a random issue here and there. That really exposes a writer's strengths and weaknesses. I read a couple of SECRET INVASION stories in the shop by Bendis and thought they were excellent. I usually enjoy Bendis' work. In fact, I know I like Bendis and his writing a lot more than I like his general fanbase.

  • March 9, 2009, 1:50 p.m. CST

    I claim thee…

    by The Heathen

    LAST!!!!!!!!!!!

  • March 14, 2009, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Last!!!!!!

    by GreatOne3

    You it to be true, bitches!

  • March 30, 2009, 10:22 p.m. CST

    so Joenathan

    by Circean6

    So if a cook spits in your food I gues you'd be ok with it huh? dipshit

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