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AICN COMICS REVIEWS BATTLE FOR THE COWL! PALIN & HILLARY! AMERICAN MCGEE'S GRIMM! WATCHMENSCH! + MUCH MORE!!!

#44 3/4/09 & 3/11/09 #7

Hey folks, Ambush Bug here with a correction. When we get stuff wrong, we admit it. Seems I credited STINGERS #1 as written by Raven Gregory in Monday’s SHOOT THE MESSENGER Column. Looks like I was wrong. The book is written by Ralph Tedesco and Joe Brusha. The books still looks to be worth checking out. Sorry for the confusion.
I also just found out that I labeled the issue of TALES OF THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES as issue #51 when it was in fact issue #56. Again, my apologies.
And now, on with the reviews!

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) BATMAN: BATTLE FOR THE COWL #1 FEMALE FORCE: SARAH PALIN #1 & FEMALE FORCE: HILLARY CLINTON #1 JLA: SALVATION RUN TPB AMERICAN MCGEE’S GRIMM #1 BATMAN: CACOPHONY #3 WATCHMENSCH #1 EX MACHINA SPECIAL #4 ASPEN SHOWCASE: EMBER #1 GRAPHIC CLASSICS VOL 16: OSCAR WILDE A Double Shot at R.E.B.E.L.S. #2 Big Eyes for the Cape Guy presents MANGA SPOTLIGHT: SAYONARA, ZETSUBOU-SENSEI-THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS!

BATMAN: BATTLE FOR THE COWL #1

Writer/artist: Tony Daniel Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

I hate guys like Tony Daniel. Those individuals with the unique ability to write an engaging story, nail characterization dead-on, AND are able to draw fantastic images just make me think they are trying too hard in life. Also thanks to his stellar work on this title, DC is about to get a few more of my hard earned douche dollars each month, because for the first time in almost fifteen years BATTLE FOR THE COWL (BFTC) made me add the Batman books back to my weekly list of pulls. Yes, it was that good.
After reading every action soaked and introspective panel of BFTC, I couldn’t give a flying bat-fuck if Bruce Wayne is in purgatory, the Australian Outback or chomping on a blooming onion at Outback Steakhouse. To be frank, the longer he stays away the better. Over the years the universe that Batman inhabits has become more engaging and vibrant than the man himself. I think we saw this with the last movie; what stuck in my mind was Jim Gordon and The Joker, not ol’ gravel voice.
Someone at DC must agree with me, because BFTC is Gotham’s story, not Batman’s. Told from the viewpoint of Tim Drake (a Robin I like immensely, but have not spent significant time with since the horrific hologram heavy Robin mini-series in the early 90s), the story starts in mass bedlam. The petty crooks are performing petty crimes en masse. Arkham ends up in shambles and every inmate is now loose on the streets of Gotham guided by what I always considered a B-villain up until now, the Black Mask. To help bring some semblance of order to the complete chaos, Dick Grayson calls in the usual heavy-hitters when Bats goes MIA: Birds of Prey, Squire, Wildcat, Catwoman and Bat-Dyke.
There is quite simply not a moment to breathe in this comic, and I was elated at this prospect. While the ass-kickery was plentiful, the scenes where Dick struggles with whether to don the cowl provided an equal amount of more sedate drama. Some reviews are faulting Daniel’s portrayal of Dick for being far too brooding during this crisis, but even the most carefree people out there have their quiet moments of introspection when the shit truly hits the fan. I’m going to applaud Daniel for this choice rather than fault him. In my estimation this character choice helps to mature Dick and cements the gravity of the peril facing the original city he called home.
Assuming all of this wasn’t enough for 22 pages, Tim encounters a mysterious new gun toting Batman that is not part of the official “Bat-League”. After some intense sleuthing he discovers that this new masked man is packing a Batman grade arsenal, leaving everyone to question who this character is and “where did he get those wonderful toys?”
Between this book and the fantastic New Krypton story cascading through the Superman titles, the acrid taste of FINAL CRISIS and RIP are finally becoming a just a slightly annoying after-taste.
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."

FEMALE FORCE: SARAH PALIN #1

FEMALE FORCE: HILLARY CLINTON #1

Writer: Neal Bailey Art: Ryan Howe Publisher: Bluewater Productions Reviewer: Ambush Bug

Seems putting political figures in comics is the new trend these days, and most of the time these attempts to get to the fanboy vote have left me cold. IDW’s comics illustrating the two presidential candidates last year both left me wanting, mainly because both read like cooking instructions, bullet pointing the facts panel by panel, narrating the story with caption boxes instead of word balloons, and having very few scenes acted out in real time in favor of having them blandly told to the reader. Just because a book is a biography doesn’t mean it has to be boring.
Bluewater Productions is trying to do this right with their FEMALE FORCE line of comics featuring prominent female political figures--Michelle Obama, Jacqueline Kennedy, and the subjects of this review, former Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin and former Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton.
One of the things that really turns me off about the media is the bias. Newscasters, news writers, internet bloggers--it seems everyone wants to tell everyone else their own political beliefs and how yours is wrong. Personally, I feel my political beliefs are something private. I believe in the power of my vote, but I also have faith in my fellow man to make decisions without me having to cram my beliefs down his throat. When I heard that Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton were each going to be receiving a comic book biography I was a bit leery, not because I lean particularly to the left or to the right, but because I feared it impossible for someone to talk about a Democrat or a Republican these days without resorting to inserting their own political agenda in there somewhere. I understand that no one has a Writer-Bot 3000 that guarantees no bias, but something that didn’t rip on one side in order to support their own would be nice. Something that left the decisions up to the reader would be preferred, but very unlikely.
So imagine my surprise when I had a chance to read FEMALE FORCE: SARAH PALIN #1 and HILLARY CLINTON #1 and found them to be a pretty fair treatment of each political figure. On page one of each issue the writer addresses the issue of media bias as well as his own. Writer Neal Bailey says he’s a liberal writer, but throughout the stories he’s telling here he shows he is a writer of better caliber than most seen in the media today by shelving his bias for the sake of the story (a talent also exemplified by Oliver Stone with his W and NIXON biographies—I still think those films weren’t as successful because people were expecting the guy to rip into these political figures, which he smartly didn’t, making them honest to gosh biographies rather than soapboxes). By addressing the white elephant in the room and owning his bias, Bailey smartly and simply tells the female politicos’ stories in a fair manner.
In the end of Palin’s issue, Bailey is open about his bias, but insightful enough to know that those who don’t agree with his views are reading this too. By talking about bias, Bailey deleted the icky feeling I usually have reading these political biographies whether the subjects of the book be Republican or Democrat. Although the writer’s affinity for Hillary Clinton is pretty apparent in Hillary’s issue, he also focuses on the rougher stuff, making it a much more accurate and honest portrayal of the woman and much less of a propaganda poster. In both books the artists preserves his integrity by being honest about his bias, his beliefs, and his earnest goal to tell both women’s stories as fairly as he can. For that, these books outshine all political comic books recently released.
FF: SARAH PALIN and FF: HILLARY CLINTON do occasionally suffer from the “telling instead of showing” syndrome that seems to be an ailment plaguing anyone who writes one of these political biographies. For each event in Palin or Clinton’s life, there’s a panel dedicated to it narrated by the writer. I understand that due to space restrictions there just isn’t enough time for all scenes to play out, and there were more panels with actual lines from Palin and Clinton in them here than in both OBAMA and MCCAIN’s biographies, so it ain’t all bad. Still, seeing scenes unfold is much more entertaining than having them told to us. If they wanted to reader to become more invested in the story, there could have been more panels with scenes rather than facts in these books.
The artist on these two books is Ryan How and his art is a real treat. He has a somewhat cartoony style, but it is fitting for the tone of the story. Howe’s characters look enough like the people they are depicting to be recognizable, but the artist takes liberties in making them somewhat caricatured, thus adding another level of enjoyment to this book.
Out of all the political books to come so far this year, Bluewater’s first two FEMALE FORCE issues are definitely the most non-biased and most importantly entertaining of all I have read so far. The writer took liberties with the narrative and actually used creativity to give us more than a graphic encyclopedia entry. He also had the nuts to challenge his own beliefs to write this story. I found it to be a surprisingly fun read--one that made me look at Mrs. Palin and Mrs. Clinton in a different light. No matter what your beliefs, if you’re tired of political agendas being shoved down your throats and just want to read something about a historical figure that doesn’t bore you to tears, FEMALE FORCE: SARAH PALIN #1 and FEMALE FORCE: HILLARY CLINTON #1 may just be the books for you.
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.

JLA: SALVATION RUN TPB

Writer: Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges Artist: Sean Chen, Joe Bennett Inker: Walden Wong, Belardino Brabo, Wayne Faucher Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: William

Yes yes yes, I know that I’m reviewing something that didn’t just exactly premier on comic book shelves this month. This TPB came out sometime in September 2008, but I never really came across it until my local comic shop recently added into their store. The description on the back of the cover, though, seemed very interesting. Imagine taking some of the biggest rogues within the DC universe, placing them on an isolated world, and letting them fend for themselves as they eventually split into teams led by Lex Luthor and the Joker. What happens in a scenario such as this, when you have such a tense situation that’s just begging to explode?
I very much liked this TPB, reading all of it as I was recently visiting the family this past weekend. I think this TPB is a good barometer of just who is a Lex Luthor or a Joker fan, as it showcases these two iconic villains in their prime. Lex Luthor is of course a calculating and rational man, while Joker is chaos incarnate. The both of them get stranded on this isolated planet, along with forty other lesser known villains, because they’ve all been deemed too dangerous to stay on Earth. Once they realize the situation that they’re in and the teams are formed, it’s only a race to see which team outlasts the other as they all strive to avoid the dangerous creatures on the planet and find a way back home.
Continuing my earlier analysis about this TPB indicating who is a Luthor or Joker fan, I say this because we get to see both the villains use their respective traits in order to recruit more members for their team. This is kind of like the good “Whose side are you on?” debate that recently affected the Marvel universe during their Civil War storyline. You have a team consisting of Luthor, Sivana, Mr. Freeze, Bane, and other calculating villains and you have a team consisting of Joker, Gorilla Grodd, Killer Croc, Solomon Grundy and other animalistic and unpredictable villains. Based on your own personal favorite villain traits, you’d probably be rooting for that team to win, I suppose. You even get to see a nice Luthor vs. Joker fight too.
Myself personally I’ve always been a big Luthor fan, so it was only natural that as I read the TPB I was rooting for his team to win. Considering he’s a villain without any superhuman powers (despite the cover showcasing his classic battle suit, it’s not in the book), his brilliant mind and expert leadership helps motivate the rest of his team as they collect resources to survive on and create the necessary machine that would transport them home. Of course Lex is not just doing this out of the kindness of his heart, but rather knows that he’ll need all available resources in order to find a way home. In fact he even sacrifices (albeit humbly) a few lesser known villains during the final stages of the escape of the planet.
Which brings me to Joker’s team. Who on Earth would want that nutcase as their leader? Do they not know how utterly unpredictable and vicious this insane clown is? At any moment Joker could probably decide to take out a gun and kill three of his teammates, and when someone asks him why he’ll probably state because he wanted to see which comical way they’d fall down. And these villains want HIM to be their leader? There’s a great part in the TPB where some third-rate villain named Psimon (who is supposedly a multi-level intellectual who has his brain exposed through a glass skull cap) begins calculating their best chances for survival, and Joker suddenly takes a rock and begins bashing his brains out as he goes into a semi-Dark Knight nihilistic monologue about survival. You see what I mean? These villains just saw a potentially good asset just killed right before their eyes, and they still want to be a part of his team?
If there’s one thing I can critique about writers Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges is that they had the tough task of trying to make a team led by the Joker seem like a sensible thing. When you have utter chaos and unpredictable homicidal tendencies, it’s a little hard to present that person as a reasonable leader who will help his teammates find a way home. The only other thing I have to criticize is the rather simple artwork by Sean Chen. It seemed very rushed, and it reminded me too much of the semi-sub par artwork that made up most of the Valiant comics during their heyday. There’s one chapter that’s illustrated by Joe Bennett, and it’s painfully obvious to see which one is better than the other based on the level of detail involved. Otherwise I recommend this good TPB for anybody interested in seeing a classic Luthor vs. Joker story.

AMERICAN MCGEE’S GRIMM #1

Written by: Dwight L. MacPherson Art by: Grant Bond Published by: IDW Publishing Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

I was completely unaware that there was an AMERICAN MCGEE’S GRIMM videogame because, as always, I'm the last to the party since I never get an invitation. Luckily my invitation finally came via IDW and Dwight MacPherson with the release of AMERICAN MCGEE’S GRIMM #1.
The idea behind GRIMM is simple: Grimm is a dwarf who brings dank and darkness wherever he goes. His purpose in life? To make those sweet fairy tales we know turn back into the darker, original versions from days of old. It's a fun sounding videogame and a great premise to start off a book with.
Grimm has finished his latest foray into a fairy tale book and has decided to move into greener pastures when he spies a typical comic book titled Freedom Friends. The comic has the Freedom Friends finding the League of Super Evil and launching into a fight that quickly resolves in the defeat of the evil team.
The plan? Grimm jumps into the book and makes his way to the Evil League's hideout so he can help baddies like Mime and Killer Cock (not what you are thinking, DIRTY BIRD, but still damn funny) finally beat the crap out of these sugar-sweety-sacharine-goody-three-shoes heroes. How? By making the villains into something super themselves. The end result? A battle way too good to be true with the villains launching into the ultimate attack plan that leads to a battle that almost brings tears to your eyes. Ladies and gentlemen it is time to root for the bad guys and its never felt so good to do so.
AMERICAN MCGEE’S GRIMM is one hell of a good time. Dwight MacPherson has never been more on top of his game then he is playing with Grimm and Grant Bond does an amazing job bringing the 3-D Grimm into a 2-D comic book world. The comic book is a parody but feels more like a HOT FUZZ parody then a NAKED GUN. If that makes perfect sense to you then it only makes perfect sense to pick this one up.
Ryan McLelland has worked in movies and comics journalism for the past several years before joining the @$$holes here at AICN. Ryan’s comic work has already graced comic shelves with Arcana’s PHILLY, WISE INTELLIGENCE, UPTOWN GIRL, and THE SENTINELS ANTHOLOGY. He rarely updates his blog but when he does it can be read at www.eyewannabe.com. The first issue of his new WISE INTELLIGENCE miniseries can be found here.

BATMAN: CACOPHONY #3 (of 3)

Writer: Kevin Smith Penciler: Walter Flanagan Inker: Sandra Hope Published by: DC Comics Reviewed by: BottleImp

For some reason, Kevin Smith tends to inspire a “love him or hate him” attitude in his readers. He’s obviously got a core group of fans who adore his comic book work while at the same time he cultivates a more vocal population (at least on the talkbacks on AICN) who seem to think Smith’s writing ranks one notch below the limerick that begins with “there once was a man from Nantucket…” In this case, I can’t really see either side of the argument—when all is said and done, CACOPHONY isn’t great. It’s not horrible, either. It’s just an…okay story. You know, the kind of story that we used to get on a more regular basis, before Batman became subject to the endless battery of hyperbole and “event” stories. But I digress…
Actually, I’ve gotta give Smith credit for tackling a question that is a mainstay of fanboy discussion circles; namely, why doesn’t Batman kill the Joker/let the Joker die? Smith’s reasoning (told in this issue) is a pretty fair answer; unfortunately, the method of execution (Batman and Joker discussing their situation somewhat rationally in the Joker’s hospital room) doesn’t score Smith any points for originality. Any fanboy worth his salt can’t help but notice the similarity to the Batman/Joker confrontation in Alan Moore’s THE KILLING JOKE, and it’s no contest who wins in a battle of words between Smith and Moore.
And on the artistic front, Flanagan is a capable artist. The narrative flows clearly, the page designs are good…nothing special, but not horrible by any means. Hopefully this series will bring him some more work on his own merit rather than just as a favor to Kevin Smith.
One final note: I love it that on the space on the last page usually reserved for the “next issue” blurb, you see the following: “Follow the adventures of Bruce Wayne as Batman in SUPERMAN/BATMAN and BRAVE AND THE BOLD.” Just in case we needed it made any clearer by the head honchos at DC that this whole “Battle for the Cowl” thing doesn’t change the fact that Bruce Wayne will always be Batman…just not in his own titles.
When released from his Bottle, the Imp takes the form of Stephen Andrade, an artist/illustrator/pirate monkey painter from the Northeast. You can see some of his artwork at here. He’s given up comics more times than he can remember. But every time he thinks he's out, they pull him back in.

WATCHMENSCH #1

Written by: Rich Johnston Art by: Simon Rohrmuller Published by: Brain Scan Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

WATCHMEN has only been out for over a week and I'm already sick of looking at it. I went to the comic store just last night where there was shelves of available graphic novels, an 18" Rorschach figure ready for someone to buy, and so many other countless tie-ins that someone somewhere is laughing all the way to the bank.
I was laughing as well...but not at the amount of money DC is making from Zack Snyder's adaptation. I was laughing at WATCHMENSCH - a laugh-out loud funny, amazing parody full of witty writing and a solid look at the comic book industry. The book comes courtesy of Rich Johnston, who comic readers may be fully aware of thanks to his scathing gossip/rumor column “Lying in the Gutters”. Who better to point out the comic book world's fallacies than a man who has read most comic books, met most creators, and found most of the world's comic book information before you did?
Well, I was skeptical only because I'm a skeptic. But diving into WATCHMENSCH had me laughing from that very first 9-panelled page. Everything is ripe for the parody here - not just Watchmen but everything from The Simpsons to Ozzy Osbourne to comic book publishers who feel the wrath of Johnston's words and Simon Rohrmuller's art. Rohrmuller does his best Dave Gibbons impression here and it very much works for the comic. It's a simple approach best suited here to mock the Watchmen world and those who stand to profit off of it.
Because that's what this tale is about--not just a murder mystery but the mysterious Black Dossier and those involved in comic book contracts. Comic book contracts? That's right - Spottyman, a near dead ringer for Rorschach except for some awesome Orthodox Jew gear, is investing in lawyers while Johnston looks at how actual creators are screwed over for the rights of their comic books by those big comic book conglomerates who act like just because they publish it...they own it....FOR-EV-ER.
The best part of this book? I found this comic fifty times more entertaining then the actual WATCHMEN movie itself.
There was also a great article midway through the book titled 'Whatever Happened to The Man of Tomorrow Stories' (taking its title from Alan Moore's famous 'Last Superman' story from the eighties) which is an immensely interesting look at Alan Moore's relationship to DC. The article is told as an article within the comic - just as WATCHMEN itself excerpted “Under The Hood”.
You get the feeling that Alan Moore's work will never be safe because it will always continue to be adapted for the big screen when, perhaps, it should simply stay within the comic book page. Was I myself looking forward to WATCHMEN? Yes. Did I enjoy the movie? I did. Do I think it should have simply remained a comic book and not a feature film? Yes. Does WATCHMENSCH make this a solid fact while pointing it out with sheer homage and parody? In spades. Johnston's amazing commentary on the comic book world hits the nail on the head and could be a great history lesson for those who know nothing about the politics of comics.

EX MACHINA SPECIAL #4

Writer: Brian K. Vaughan Artist: Leon Publisher: DC Wildstorm Reviewer: Optimous Douche

It’s virtually impossible to describe a Vaughan title accurately and make it sound interesting. Yet EX MACHINA, RUNAWAYS (the old RUNAWAYS, not the abortion that is currently sitting on the shelves) and Y: THE LAST MAN despite their indescribable nature have hands down been my favorite titles in recent years. Part of my love stems from the fact that each title has been an indictment of societal woes with a slight garnish of the fantastic or extraordinary. RUNAWAYS explored nature vs. nurture and asked whether we can rise above the trespasses of our parents. Y used an apocalyptic back drop to explore gender disparity and societal complacency.
EX MACHINA has been the hardest of all to come up with a pithy pull quote to sum it up tightly and succinctly. It’s served as an indictment of America’s two-party political system and more specifically our missteps as a country over the past eight years. What makes this title transcend being an episode of C-SPAN, though is that the main political figure, Mayor Mitchell Hundred of New York, just so happens to be able to converse with and control machines.
Starting with issue 40, though, Vaughan used his own vantage to tackle a new crusade -- eviscerating the comic medium. But the small inside jabs of issue 40 actually look like a gentle taint rub compared to the anal fist rape the publishers receive in this special. More on that in a minute.
Since issue one of this series any of the problems that have plagued the “city that never sleeps” could be easily extrapolated to our over-arching national woes. Crime, education and free speech have all been fodder for Mayor Hundred’s truly non-partisan approach to politics. This very special SPECIAL should make Al gore beam with pride, as Mayor Hundred takes bold steps to reduce NY’s carbon footprint by taking a page from the past on harnessing natural energy.
In traditional Hundred (Vaughan) fashion, he offers the smart approach to this dilemma by proposing to build massive windmills atop New York City skyscrapers. Naturally the naysayers crawl out of the woodwork claiming everything from inefficiency to the blight these propellers of efficiency would place on the gleaming New York City skyline. Even though by the end of the piece Hundred is left second guessing his plan, I have always applauded Vaughan’s choice to base Hundred’s political views by cherry picking the most admirable tenants of both the Republicans and the Democrats.
I’m sure the uninitiated are thinking, “Uhmm, Douche, this still sounds like an episode of Anderson Cooper 360--where are the damn super heroes?” Like past issues the super hero element of the book is told through flashbacks as Hundred places his job as mayor into the context of his days stopping crime. This delicate approach to the super hero elements of EX MACHINA has always been one of its greatest strengths in my opinion. Like past issues, a villain crops up that was affected by Hundred during his days as the jet-pack toting less than super hero, The Great Machine. This time around we are treated to a man that claims he can communicate with plants since imbibing some of Hundred’s blood, and the plants he talks to are thirsting for murder--almost like the plot of the last M. Knight Shamalamadingdong movie, except this made more sense and had better acting.
Leon does a fantastic job of keeping in step with regular artist Harris’ gritty real world tonality without outright ripping it off. Of particular note is when a greedy magazine publisher gets his comeuppance with a pair of hedge clippers through the eyeball. Sometimes gore is better left in a representational state rather than saturated in red and bleeding off the page.
Now, that’s my feelings on the book. Another fantastic chapter in a series that will be gone far too shortly assuming production schedules stay on track. Now, for that whole indictment of comic books I mentioned earlier:
During the “getting green” moments of this book a conversation arises about moving comic books to eco-friendly, organic, recycled, whatever you want to call it paper, and moving away from the high gloss card stock of recent years. I think a move like this would single handedly put the final nail in the coffin of the comic industry and I pray it never transcends fiction. I don’t know a comic collector alive that would pay more for a book (which we would if organic paper is like anything else organic) that was printed on the equivalent of toilet paper. I’ll agree things need to change within the comic industry, but I would start with editor blogs that they actually write, monitor, and respond to in an effort to get back in touch with the fan base. Once they finally get back to their readership of yore, then they can look at siphoning more greenbacks from our wallet while saving the earth.
I know this was merely a fictional conversation between fictional characters in a fictional world. But I can site many times when fiction has become reality. Please for the love of God and comics leave this idea on high-gloss, card stock paper for the here and now.

ASPEN SHOWCASE: EMBER #1

Written by: David Schwartz Art by: Randy Green & Beth Sotelo Published by: Aspen Comics Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

I have not read any sort of Aspen comic since FATHOM was published way back by Top Cow. That's not to say I didn't enjoy FATHOM - I LOVED the comic. I just never made that jump when Aspen broke off on their own.
So what would make me pick up ASPEN SHOWCASE: EMBER #1? It's not only a book that looks into the past of one of the universe's characters but it's a character I've even seen before. Usually this would be a 'quick skip' during my comic book buying Wednesdays except something is different this time. What's different? The name David Schwartz is on this cover. If you missed Schwartz's book MELTDOWN that he did last year you missed one of the best comic books that came out in the last ten years. MELTDOWN was so phenomenal that I'll read anything Schwartz writes which leads me right to the ASPEN SHOWCASE.
The book is a simple tale about a woman finding her son writing on the walls of her home and when he lies about it she sits him down to tell him why it's bad to lie. Usually parents will come up with some B.S. story and this one seems no different. To prove to her son why it's bad to lie she tells him so tale about a woman named Ember in politics on some other planet. What is she trying to do? Bore the kid to death?
But this is no simple tale of politics as we meet the beautiful woman who is trying hard to win an election against two stronger opponents. She is better than them but knows she won't be able to beat them until she decides to do whatever it takes to win. Does that include dismay, panic, lies, and murder? But of course it does!
The story hits close to home for the woman and the kid realizes that his lies could someday come back to haunt him. I'm not saying that the moral of the story is 'Don't lie or else you'll murder somebody' but the tyke does learn his lesson and brings us a little backstory on Ember.
Does the story kick ass? Absolutely. Should David Schwartz be writing more superhero books? Without a doubt. Having Schwartz aboard an Aspen book should be just as much a dream for their editors as it is for comic book fans. ASPEN SHOWCASE: EMBER is an amazing book from start to finish full of power, intrigue, and actual depth thanks to Schwartz. Onboard to bring this story to life is Randy Green, who helps bring the worlds of Earth and Perspecta to stunning life.

Schwartz has sold me with one book on the Aspen line and I look forward to picking up more of their books so I can submerge myself back into great storylines like that of EMBER or FATHOM. You'll be hooked just like me should you pick up this bad-boy.

GRAPHIC CLASSICS VOL 16: OSCAR WILDE

Adapted by: Alex Burrows, Antonella Caputo, Rich Rainey, Tom Pomplun Illustrated by: Lisa K. Weber, Nick Miller, Stan Shaw, Molly Kiely Published by: Graphics Classics/Eureka Productions Reviewed by: BottleImp

Adapting a story from a written medium to a largely visual medium can be difficult—there’s the question of how much of the original text needs to remain intact (especially when it comes to descriptive passages) when the story can largely be conveyed through the images. In adapting books to comic books, there have been a lot of hits and misses through the years. On the plus side, we have EC Comics’ Ray Bradbury stories from the 1950s and P. Craig Russell’s work adapting everything from Edgar Allan Poe to Mozart opera. On the minus side, we have the well-intentioned but horribly-executed CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED comics (also from the ‘50s). And now we have the GRAPHIC CLASSICS library, which includes work adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson, Poe, O. Henry and more. This latest volume features the stories of Oscar Wilde… how well is the witty gentleman’s work represented within? Here’s my opinion.
First up is the classic “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” Wilde’s take on the age-old story of the selling of one’s soul. The titular Gray remains youthful as he sinks further and further into depravity, while his portrait becomes more twisted and shriveled with each evil deed. Burrows and Weber make an excellent job of adapting Wilde’s prose here; the story remains intact through limited the use of the text and allowing the visuals to describe the action. Though I’m not a fan of Weber’s drawings (the cartoony, pseudo-manga style character designs have a definite “high school sketchbook” feel, and the gray washes of tone tend to look smudgy), the craft in staging the story is very good. There’s a nice sense of pacing and timing in the page designs that nicely complements the truncated text.
Next we have the best adaptation in this volume, “The Canterville Ghost,” a comical look at how the phantom of a proper Olde English Manor is stymied by a practical American family. Wilde’s satirical humor is at its best here, and Caputo has wisely left the bulk of the text intact, with Miller’s art providing the perfect supplement. Miller’s drawings are equal parts MAD Magazine (with especially healthy nods to Jack Davis and the late Bill Elder) and LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN artist Kevin O’Neill. Great character designs superbly rendered in pen and ink hatchings married with Wilde’s hilarious tale—like I said, this story is definitely the highlight of this anthology.
“Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime” explores what happens when a man tries to escape his (supposed) fate. It’s a story that would fit nicely in an old EC suspense comic or alongside a collection of O. Henry tales. This moody thriller is well matched with Stan Shaw’s quirky, almost-expressionist art.
The last story in this volume is Wilde’s “Salomé,” and I’m sorry to say that it’s the one sour note in the whole anthology. Kiely’s art is flat and fairly bland, and the adaptation of the text by Pomplun reads more clunky than poetic. This is a case where a less rigorous adherence to the original material might have resulted in a more interesting comic, or maybe it’s just that the style of the artwork jars with Wilde’s more formal language. In any case, this last segment did nothing for me.
But that’s the risk you run with the anthology format, I guess—you’re bound to run into a story or two that won’t be your piece of cake. In any case, three out of four ain’t bad, especially at the relatively low price of twelve bucks for 140 pages of material. If you enjoy a helping of classic literature alongside your standard superhero fare, give the GRAPHIC CLASSICS collections a try.

A Double Shot at R.E.B.E.L.S. #2

Written by: Tony Bedard Art by: Andy Clarke & Jose Villlarrubia Published by: DC Comics Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland & Ambush Bug

RYAN: Jim Shooter is still kicking butt with Legion and Tony Bedard looks to bring more incredible space action to life with this second issue of R.E.B.E.L.S. It’s the return of Vril Dox, who has just barely escaped from a bunch of ugly alien types thanks to one Kara Zor-El AKA Supergirl. Sorry to say that barely escaped means these bad boys are right on their trail. But if you are expecting a team-up with Dox and Supergirl to beat the crap out of their would-be dispatchers you are in for a big surprise that no one could possibly guess. That’s because Bedard continues his long streak of writing the best space comics ever put down in the medium. Watching Vox try to rebuild his new R.E.B.E.L.S. team is just half the fun, as you never know what Vox is truly capable of – making him just as bad as some of the bad guys flying around. Which is good because being so bad makes for some very good comic reading indeed.
BUG: Went to hell and back to track down the second issue of this series. Seems it suffers from the second issue slump sales-wise. Too bad, because the story just got better with every page. I was expecting the group of mercs who were following Vril Dox throughout the first issue would end up becoming the new Legion team for the modern age. But it looks like I was wrong. Again, I thought that the Omega Men who showed up last issue would factor in. And Supergirl too. Wrong on both counts. And I love it. Not knowing what the hell direction this is going is a true treat, and seeing the teammates Dox has chosen for his team of ass kickers makes me smile. With only two members of the team secured, you better believe that I’ll be back for another issue to see who else is on the roster. R.E.B.E.L.S. appears to be a sleeper and those who have the brains to pick this issue up now will save themselves the trouble of scampering about after those hard to find issues when word gets out how cool Tony Bedard and Andy Clarke’s new Legion title really is.

MANGA SPOTLIGHT: SAYONARA, ZETSUBOU-SENSEI: THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING

By Koji Kumeta Released by Del Ray Reviewer: Scott Green

I'll willingly admit that I'm a sucker for an irreverently critical, absurdist comedy. It's this bad: because I never watch TV, I don't bother to subscribe to cable, yet I've made sure that the comedy critique of TV programming THE SOUP is scheduled to record on my parents' Tivo so I can watch it when I stop by their place. Given these inclinations, it's been years since I've read a manga comedy that I've latched onto as forcefully as I have to SAYONARA, ZETSUBOU-SENSEI. The last one that comes to mind is Usamaru Furuya's SHORT CUTS. Like that collection of strips, SZS is a decidedly prickly affair.
Even if we're forced to watch a precarious downward spiral unravel in the day to day news, there's pleasure to be had in vicariously following the sharply written gallows humor of a terminal trajectory. In this case, I get the impression that SZS is kicking dirt into the open grave of situation comedies written by anime/manga fans for anime/manga fans. On the surface, SAYONARA, ZETSUBOU-SENSEI mirthfully shoots down the despair of its titular, suicidal teacher. Yet, even if we're laughing off that teacher's zany rants, reading the manga still feels like staring into the abyss. It's a smarter and more self aware trump for a type of story of which fans of these media should be familiar. As such, the series might as well be regarded as the literate, wickedly funny closing argument to a certain approach to anime and manga.
One day, on the way to class, pathologically optimistic school girl Kafuka Fuura (this is a pen name that phonetically suggests "Franz Kafka") sees something strange blowing from a blossoming cherry tree. The feet floating in the air turn out to be connected to a man in traditional kimono in the process of hanging himself. She instantly grabs the appendages to help the stranger. Her weight strangles him, but also snaps the rope. Despite his intentions, the man's first reaction is shock that the girl almost killed him. "What if I had died?!" Once the man is able to suppress his instinctual grasp on life, he's able to assume his defining pessimism.
This man is revealed to be Nozomu Itoshiki. Write the name horizontally, and the characters look an awful lot like you're spelling out zetsubo ("despair") in Japanese. Like Kafuka, we soon learn that Itoshiki-sensei is to be the home room teacher for Kafuka and a classroom full of other extreme cases, such as the obsessively formal Chiri Kitsu, incorrigible stalker Matoi Tsunetsuki, bandaged up presumed domestic violence victim Abiru Kobushi (the manga's names are all puns, and this one's the especially fun "to bathe in fists"). There are male students in the class, but as in the beloved Azumanga Daioh, the guys are largely just wallpaper.
Between Kafuka, Itoshiki and the rest of the girls, Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei erects a funhouse of distorted world views. This goes beyond well defined personality traits or characters who think bit different. It's a host of people who are potentially pathological in their insistence on applying their warped perceptions to their daily routines. Part of the edge to this joke is that it reflects the point at which the multitude of school based anime/manga comedies has arrived. Instead of reflecting recognizable personality types from real experience, these stories have populated themselves with character types that are recognizable from other stories in the genre. Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei revels in this echo chamber. For example, the degree to which EVANGELION character Rei Ayanami's bandages have become emblematic might be a bit disconcerting, but SZS has no problem gleefully appropriating the familiar markings of severe bodily harm for Abiru Kobushi.
You could call the meta gag in this comedy of oddly shaped perceptions "people watching for people who don't watch people." Appropriate to this shut in, media informed view of humanity, a favorite example of SZS's sense of humor is the manga's third story, "Beyond the Tunnel Was Whiteness."
This is going to sound a bit obscure and reference heavy, but the comedy broadcasts the points loud enough that the cultural end notes are only needed to confirm your assumptions. In other words, bear with me. The joke is funny even if it does work with a lot of examinations. To preface it, "hikikomori" is a term for people who have engaged in "acute social withdrawal." Putting aside sociological refinement, the idea refers to a social drop out who has given up on school or work, and instead confines themselves to their parents' house or apartment. Hikikomori have been a target for commentary and pop culture for most of the decade - the lead in ROZEN MAIDEN, the manga that is reputed to be a favorite of Prime Minister Taro Aso is one of a number of anime/manga with hikikomori protagonists.
"Beyond the Tunnel Was Whiteness" opens with school counselor Chie Arai (supposedly, you can mangle the name to read "Niichie," as in Friedrich Nietzsche) sending off Itoshiki to retrieve truant student Kiri Komori. Arriving at her house, Itoshiki finds Kafuka loitering nearby, explaining her presence by saying she lives in the neighborhood. The pair encounters a girl screaming from behind a barricaded door and a father imploring his daughter to speak to her teacher. Itoshiki offers the deadpan, rather obvious observation "this is an extreme case of hikikomori syndrome."
The comment sets Kafuka off... "Hikikomori... There's no way there could be a hikikomori living so close to me! That's so serious, you only hear about them on TV and in the papers." Having eliminated the impossible, Sherlock deduces that the improbable truth is that Kiri Komori is in fact a zashiki-warashi, a child like house spirit that brings good fortune as long as they reside in a house, but who bring ruin upon departure. So, Itoshiki and Kafuka take it upon themselves to ensure the prosperity of the household by shuttering Kiri Komori inside...a rather traumatizing operation.
What I find funniest about this sequence has little to do with familiarity with the concept of a hikikomori or a zashiki-warashi. First, it's cartooned sight humor. The odd couple pairing of spritely Kafuka and professionally pessimistic Itoshiki is the perfect launch point. When they begin flailing about, trying to set things in what they perceive to be the proper order, the manga really hits the right notes of clever zaniness. The second bit of hilariousness is the manga's abrupt bushwhacking of the potential to relate to hikikomori as a true phenomenon. Kafuka is quick to set us straight. This manga's not about dealing with reality. It's about smirking at the fractured reflections that bounce off the wall after too much news coverage, manga and demented interpretations.
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.

Hey folks, Ambush Bug here again with another handful of comics from the fringe. This week we’ve got good old horror, insightful nuggets of wisdom, a new take on classic super-heroism, and a surreal mind-scrog. Are you brave enough to shed those Big Two shackles and check out the indie goodness below?

DEATH WALKS THE STREETS #1 Fangoria Graphix

Whereas Fango comics BUMP and BENEATH THE VALLEY OF THE RAGE go for a lot of the shock and gross-out aspects of horror, DEATH WALKS THE STREETS has decided to take a more subdued, “slow burn” route. The first two issues of this miniseries (#0 came out a while ago under Fango’s now defunct Scream Factory banner) allowed the reader to get to know three would be crooks hoping to move up in the criminal underworld. They’ve got the skills to go far and a pretty good plan, but there’s something beneath the surface and just off in the periphery that oozes evil and the anticipation for the big satanic hoof to drop is palpable in this issue. Hints of demonic forces gathering are all over this issue. You just know something awful is about to happen, but writers James Zahn and Ban Brezinski don’t want to show their hand yet. I like the pace and tone of this one. Again Fango shows that they are not going for your typical horror story when it comes to their comics. The variety of their product says something about Fango’s versatility as a publisher. DEATH WALKS THE STREETS is a welcome addition to a line of comics that does printed horror right.

THE SUPREMACY #1 Hard Way Studios

This book snuck up on me. It was way better than I expected. I’ve seen so many different incarnations of super heroes over the years that I think I’ve become jaded, but this is a good book. Pulsar is a hero in an apathetic world that is so used to crime that they don’t even blink an eye when one occurs. He finds himself at the beck and call of a big bad going by the name of Creutzfeldt (with a name like that, you know he’s a bad guy). But Creutzfeldt is good at the manipulation game and has quite a few agents (both good and bad) in play here. This first issue did its job in making this reader invested in the characters, setting up an interesting situation, and delivering with some phenomenal (better than indie-usual) art. It’s the art that makes this book stand out higher than the rest. The panels by Dwayne Biddix and Rob Lansley are phenomenally vivid and intense. All in all, this is a very solid debut from Hard Way Studios.

DEAD MAN HOLIDAY #2 www.deadmanholiday.com

This is not your typical comic book experience and I love it for that. In the intro to this issue of DEAD MAN HOLIDAY, the writer/artist Colin Panetta talks about the overuse of archetypes and his dedication to not use them in this story. So far so good. This story embraces that feeling you get when you just have to look behind you/don’t want to look behind you when you are walking around in the dark. Most of the issue silently follows a goggled adventurer through a dark creepy place as he uncovers weird happenings. I know it’s vague, but that’s the way this book is. And it’s good, too. Skeletons wearing super hero costumes, walking mud-things, flying jellyfish--this book has it all. Not what you’d expect from a comic and everything you want, if you’re looking for something you’ve never seen before. That’s what DEAD MAN HOLIDAY is.

LITTLE NOTHINGS: THE PRISONER SYNDROME VOL2 OGN NBM Comics Lit

There's a lot to like and a lot to learn from the tiny observations and vast wisdom that go into each page of LITTLE NOTHINGS. Each page seems to be a standalone snippet of some kind of mundane everyday occurrence as seen through the keen eyes of an eagle-man creature. The way the main character interacts with the world shows an insightful and sensitive viewpoint. Often neurotic yet rarely off base, these pages contain humor, sincerity, and sometimes a whole lot of heart. Writer/artist Lewis Trondheim keeps things simple in color palette and structure. The consistency from one page to the next is damn good. This is one of those books you can read a page a day for a laugh, a sigh, or a moment of introspection.

DAREDEVIL #116 Marvel Comics

This comic is chugging along at such a high caliber it’s hard to give it a review that doesn’t contiain the words “just buy it already.” Sure, I can go on and on about Brubaker taking DD to new heights, getting both the in-costume action and out-of-costume action near pitch-perfect. But I don’t feel like repeating myself one month after the next (too late--looks like I just did). This issue is great. It is. It brings Kingpin back into the mix. But the themes of this issue were clichéd. It’s the old “I tried to get out, but they pulled me back in!” line at play here. A necessary issue, but one that lacks the power of those before and hopefully those to come. With Fisk re-baddened and ready to bust a few Hand heads, Bru has a whole lot to play with after this issue. The phenomenal art by Aja and Bru’s excellent dialog make this one of the better “mobster tries to go straight, but can’t” stories, but it was hard not knowing how this one was going to turn out as I was reading it. A very good but predictable issue. - Bug

YOUNGBLOOD #8 Image Comics

If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor and check out this website. Then look at Liefeld’s back-up feature in this issue of YOUNGBLOOD. Dear god, more than 15 years since X-FORCE and the man STILL has no clue how the human body works. (from the “next issue” space) “IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF YOUNGBLOOD: ROB LIEFELD RETURNS!”
We’ve been warned. –Imp

THE GOON #32 Dark Horse Comics

It looks as if, after a somewhat convoluted multi-issue arc, this 10th anniversary issue seems to be going back to basics, with the Goon as surly as ever, Frankie as inappropriate, and the Zombie Priest re-cementing himself as the Goon’s arch-fiend. Creator Eric Powell’s art has never been better and it was nice to see the evolution of the Goon Sketchbook represented in this issue. I can’t believe we’ve had 10 poop-tossing, monster-smashing, taboo-breaking years of THE GOON. Here’s hoping we have many, many more. - Bug

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SAVIOR 28 #1 IDW Publishing

With WATCHMEN and all its children (legitimate or no), we’ve gotten a pretty full range of “what if superheroes really existed?” stories. But there’s always room for one more, right? Though so far SAVIOR 28 doesn’t seem to offer anything particularly new to say on the subject, this first issue nonetheless is an enjoyable read. J.M. DeMatteis knows how to hook the reader’s attention with a good mix of backstory, plot, and character development (with a little bit of gentle poking at comic book conventions, especially in regard to Savior 28’s supposed origin[s]), and Mike Cavallaro provides eye-pleasing visuals with a style that’s Kirby filtered thru Allred. Like I said, nothing innovative, but entertaining—and that’s good enough for me to see what happens next month. –Imp

THE WALKING DEAD #59 Image Comics

For those of you complaining about the lack of zombie action in this book, Kirkman delivers zombie action in spades in this issue. I was blown away by some of the events depicted in this book, and the intensity of the action made me reel back in my chair as I read this one. You absolutely cannot read this issue and not have some kind of kinetic reaction to it. The action in this issue would make a nun stand up and scream, “GOD DAY-AM!!!” That’s all I can say. That’s all I want to say. If you are reading this book, you know what I mean. If you’re not, well, shame on you. - Bug

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


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

Readers Talkback
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  • March 18, 2009, 7:53 a.m. CST

    batman

    by unkempt_sock

    is neat

  • March 18, 2009, 8:11 a.m. CST

    The new Azrael in Batman...

    by dogrobber

    I'm trying to play catch up with all the players in 'Cowl' - is Mark Shaw, the former Manhunter, the new Azbat?

  • March 18, 2009, 8:22 a.m. CST

    I love Funyuns and Old Crow

    by Star Hump

    Together, with no quarter asked, and none given. And goddamn, Carmine Infantino was one of THE great artists. His Batman still holds up. You know, before Cock Fuck Batman. Before Miller.

  • March 18, 2009, 8:26 a.m. CST

    Yes

    by Star Hump

    Mark Shaw is AzBat.

  • March 18, 2009, 8:43 a.m. CST

    NEW KRYPTON Is Great! No Interest In BATTLE FOR THE COWL

    by LaserPants

    I refuse to read another Batman comic until they bring Bruce Wayne back. Sorry. Nightwing is lame. LAME!

  • March 18, 2009, 8:45 a.m. CST

    Bat-Dyke?

    by badwolf4799

    I'm not usually the most sensitive gay man in the world, but I did think that comment was unnecessary and nasty.

  • March 18, 2009, 8:54 a.m. CST

    Hot hopping Christ

    by Star Hump

    Let's re-read this: <p>"Assuming all of this wasn’t enough for 22 pages, Tim encounters a mysterious new gun toting Batman that is not part of the official “Bat-League”. After some intense sleuthing he discovers that this new masked man is packing a Batman grade arsenal, leaving everyone to question who this character is and “where did he get those wonderful toys?”</p> <p>Between this book and the fantastic New Krypton story cascading through the Superman titles, the acrid taste of FINAL CRISIS and RIP are finally becoming a just a slightly annoying after-taste."</p> <p> What does it take for you guys to wake up? "Annoying after-taste?" Final Circus? Really? Followed by the death of Batman? Who thinks this shit up? Editorial, right? Why are they paid money to do so? Oh, to SELL BOOKS. To whom? How many copies of each title? You don't wanna know the answer to those two.</p>

  • March 18, 2009, 8:54 a.m. CST

    No Offense Meant Badwolf

    by optimous_douche

    It was merely a descriptor, not meant to be nasty.<p>

  • March 18, 2009, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Star Hump

    by optimous_douche

    I'm not quite sure if you're angry at my review, DC, or both?<p> I'm assuming you didn't like FC by calling it Final Circus (which is pretty funny), so like myself you have two choices:<p> Drop DC books<p> Forget it happened and enjoy the fresh start<p> Yes someone should be held acocunatble for the past few years, but it looks like we are in the middle of a grand mea culpa right now.

  • March 18, 2009, 9 a.m. CST

    I'm not sensitive or gay,

    by Big_erk

    But I am a man and even I found that offensive.

  • March 18, 2009, 9:04 a.m. CST

    I don't know...

    by wampa 1

    ...but it sure smells good!

  • March 18, 2009, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Does WATCHMENSCH have a squid?

    by ricarleite

    If not, not interested.

  • March 18, 2009, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Battle for the Cowl was awesome

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    RIP was so shit, but I'm much more optimistic about the Batman universe now. The only problem I have with all this is that we know Bruce Wayne is too big a DC character to dissapear for long. A new status quo is all very good, but it feels a bit diluted if you know it's not going to stick. At least with the New Krypton arc they're not pretending Superman is going to be gone forever - the character himself says as much. I reckon it'll be less than a year before we see "Batman Rebirth" on the shelves.

  • March 18, 2009, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Optimous-douche..

    by berksbear

    ...is a Bat-Dick! (Merely a descriptor)

  • March 18, 2009, 9:21 a.m. CST

    What offends me..

    by Circean6

    Is that this new Batwoman's only power or ability is her homosexuality. Has anyone explored how/why she's become a masked vigilante? Why she has ripped off Batman? And did Batman himself ever confront her & say WTF lady?

  • March 18, 2009, 9:28 a.m. CST

    That Liefeld site is fantastic

    by Fico

    Thanks for linking that, hadn't seen it.

  • March 18, 2009, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Circ you Got My Point

    by optimous_douche

    Thank You...<p> That is the only definition she has been given.<p> I'll admit Dyke might have been harsh, but it would have been some permutation of the word lesbian - and that I do not apologize for.

  • March 18, 2009, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Batwoman: and she's that rare...

    by Kid Z

    ... entertainment industy bree of sexy, feminine lesbian. I don't mind a lesbian Batwoman, but they should have butched her up, at least a little.

  • March 18, 2009, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Sector I Have the Answer

    by optimous_douche

    Feel how you will about Tony Daniel. Different strokes for different folks.<p> Yes, bigot is just a term like dyke.<p> However, unlike Les-Bat my actions in life and on paper prove otherwise.<p> Girly-bat though, not so much. So much was made of her playing for the "other side" it casts a shadow on any of her crime fighting deeds.<p> I guess dyke is a bad term now, I consider myself educated. When I was a theater major waaaayyyy back in the 90s, this one was still OK to bandie about.

  • March 18, 2009, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Batman eats Funyuns? The Batcave must reek.

    by rev_skarekroe

    Also, no Ult. Hulk/Wolvie #3 review?

  • March 18, 2009, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Enough of this Les-Bat business...

    by 35MinutesAgo

    Watchmensch is the real insult here. You guys are crying over harsh words, and meanwhile there's a giant circus-sized rape going on right in front of us.<p> Not that circuses and rape have anything to do with one another, mind you.<br>Besides the smell.

  • March 18, 2009, 10:11 a.m. CST

    did someone seriously pay money for a Hillary Clinton comic?

    by SomaShine

  • March 18, 2009, 10:17 a.m. CST

    poop

    by walrusholder

  • March 18, 2009, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Batwoman

    by Joenathan

    was always nothing but tits and a gimmick from the start and whether she had been designed as lipstick or butch, it still would have been a shameful, one note cliche. They might as well have her licking pussy at the start of each one of her appearances, as that insinuation and the resultant flash-in-the-pan news splash are the only reasons she was ever created.<br><br>If they truly wanted to make her a real character and not just a deplorable, psuedo-porn gimmick, then they would have just had her be Batwoman, they would have let her interact and go on adventures and form a secret identity that included being a lesbian. They would have followed the way Ellis developed the Midnighter and Apollo, they were characters first, heroes first, people first, their sexual orientation came later and it was just a facet of their characters, not the totality of their being. (The funniest part about that though, was watching homophobe fanboy reaction when they realized that they'd been fans of two gay guys all along.)

  • March 18, 2009, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Rob Liefeld is having an affair with Sarah Palin!

    by Leafar the Lost

    I have no proof of that, but I do know that both of them are evil and have no clue...

  • March 18, 2009, 10:27 a.m. CST

    I can't wait for the Anime version of Female Force

    by chrth

  • March 18, 2009, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Kind of a slim week last week, huh?

    by Joenathan

    I'll get Walking Dead and DD, but otherwise... man.<br><br>Did anyone pick up that Fantastic Four: Dark Reign. I read the preview that they're stuffing in the back of all the Marvel books and it looks like its going to be an alternative dimension story, I'm of course hoping that means a dystopian, eye-patch and goatee world, but that aside, the preview read pretty good. <br><br>Did anyone get it? Thoughts?

  • March 18, 2009, 10:34 a.m. CST

    The Liefeld/Palin child

    by Joenathan

    I think that kid would generally suck so much, it'd have its own Event Horizon and the whole planet would be doomed. This unholy union must be stopped.

  • March 18, 2009, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Man you guys have a Hate Boner for Liefeld this week!

    by OBESE_WAN_KENOBI

    Not that it isn't deserved. I checked out the link, pretty good.

  • March 18, 2009, 10:49 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the Liefield link...

    by toshiro-solo

    It's been awhile since I laughed that much at anything on the Internet. The Ben and Johnny panel alone... Good stuff.

  • March 18, 2009, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Walking Dead is one of the best on the shelves.

    by V'Shael

    Yet it's regularly confined to the Cheap Shots section.

  • March 18, 2009, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Walking Dead

    by Joenathan

    There are certain books that you just can't discuss much and Walking Dead is one of them...<br><br>"Did you buy it?"<br><br>"Yeah. You?"<br><br>"Yep."<br><br>"It was good, huh?"<br><br>"Yeah, really good. I like that book. I'd tell you to buy it, but... you already do."<br><Br>"You got that right."<br><br>"Yep... So... ah... Hey! Did you see how craptastic Leifeld is?"

  • March 18, 2009, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Speaking of "clueless and evil", did you see Obambi's recent idi

    by maverick68

    Totally fucking lost without his magic word box. Seriously, this guy isn't very bright, however, he is slick, you know, sort of like Katie Couric. Hey, Barak Hussein O'Couric...I like that...it fits.. BTW, where is the outrage at he and his ugly ass wife's wasting of taxpayers dollars by throwing meaningless parties every week in the White House?

  • March 18, 2009, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Well...

    by Joenathan

    Personally, I'm still too upset about the whole lying to the American public and plunging us into a never ending quagmire of needless death and greed in the middle east at the bidding of corporate masters to be bothered by an annual white house event... but maybe thats just me...

  • March 18, 2009, 11:58 a.m. CST

    Batwoman

    by Mr.FTW

    I'm sure people will jump at the chance to call me a hate monger or worse but I'm glad you called her Bat-dyke because the character doesn't deserve any better. The reinvention of Batwoman is and was nothing more than an exploitive marketing ploy for free press disguised as "diversity". <p> the truth is Batwoman was originally suppssed to be the return of Barbara Gordon but someone was afraid that it might look bad for DC if they took Babs out of the wheelchair since she is DC's highest profile handicapped character. Forget what the fan base might think about it, let's make sure to try appeal to the public opinion of those who don't buy our product. <p> But instead of scrapping the character someone in corporate came up with making her a Jewish lesbian for the sole purpose of publicity. Hey we're DC and we have a character for everyone because we're diverse. DC has exploited the lesbian angle as much as they could for publicity. She isn't a superhero who happens to be gay she is a gay superhero and there is a huge difference. Being a hero and her motivation for being a hero should be what defined the character, being gay should me just a facet makes up who she is. But that is not the case, the character has only been defined as a lesbian first and foremost. <p> Instead of taking offense at the use of the word dyke people should be offended by such a blatant and crass marketing gimic.

  • March 18, 2009, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Maverick 68

    by shut_the_fuck_up_Donnie

    I have to agree with Joenathan, I'm still a little outraged at the needless deaths of thousands of American citizens in a war based on personal interests to be outraged at a party. And anyway, its not like he's taking money to pay for the parties out of the national budget, he's paying for it with his salary, which is a set amount and he can do with it what he pleases. It would be like getting angry at the mailman for having a big birthday party because "Our tax dollars are paying for this!".

  • "Welcome to the 90s! Guns, swords, and long hair."<p>A painful reminder of why I abandoned comics in the mid-90s. I blame Todd "I'm the most innovative artist who ever lived" McFarlane. He became popular and so it was apparently necessary for every new artist to ape his "people have no spines and are made of jello, and correct proportions are fascist" style.

  • March 18, 2009, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Batman: Battle for the Cow

    by tonagan

    Moo.

  • March 18, 2009, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Liefield link

    by Shigeru

    is solid gold... holy crap

  • March 18, 2009, 12:17 p.m. CST

    STOP right there!!

    by gooseud

    Take that politics shit somewhere else. Please let us have at least ONE column unsullied by massive, circle jerk debate over issues that cant be solved and parties that are equally to blame for the country's problems.

  • March 18, 2009, 12:19 p.m. CST

    NOW then, as far as Batman.....

    by gooseud

    I dont read it, but.....wow, isnt it interesting how when you shake things up in a mature, well handled manner, and take the storyline to what any 7 year old knows is a natural, unavoidable comclusion (Captan America and Batman I'm speaking of here), the titles instantly get awesome overnight? Odd how that works........

  • March 18, 2009, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Thanks FTW & Editor blogs

    by optimous_douche

    That's what I was going for.<p> On your other point about listening to the fans.<p> For anyone that didn't get dyke-blocked and made it to my review of Ex Machina, what do you guys think of the point that publishing editors should have blogs to gain fan interest.<p> It's not like these guys are working in an industry where people fear Web 2.0.

  • March 18, 2009, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Stop right there!

    by Joenathan

    I gotta know right now! Before we go any further--! Do you love me? Will you love me forever? Do you need me? Will you never leave me? Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life? Will you take me away and will you make me your wife? Do you love me!? Will you love me forever!? Do you need me!? Will you never leave me!? Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life!? Will you take me away and will you make me your wife!? I gotta know right now! Before we go any further: Do you love me!!!? Will you love me forever!!!?

  • March 18, 2009, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Hmmm... editor blogs

    by Joenathan

    I can totally see why they don't do it. I mean, in theory its a good idea and a way to keep in touch with fans, BUT... can you imagine the sheer amount of douchebaggery those guys would have to put up with everytime someone like Hawkeye dies? They could pay me enough to have to deal with those stupid morons on a daily basis.

  • March 18, 2009, 12:42 p.m. CST

    Re: Daredevil

    by nofate

    JQ let it slip that Andy Diggle is taking over DD this summer.<br> <br> Thoughts?

  • March 18, 2009, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Um, Optimous Douche

    by Bjornegar

    Just because your daddy has an unfortunate surname, it don't mean you have to live up to it. So, AICN gets somebody who hasn't read Batman books in fifteen years to review a comic that is being read by hangers-on who probably haven't read a comic book in fifteen years. Let me clue you in on something, if a guy draws a panel of "iconic" Arkham villains, yet you can only recognize two of them, he hasn't "nailed" characterization. If a guy draws a cover without perspective, he needs work on his "fantastic images." And, if a guy hits all of his editorially-mandated plot points, he's a professional, but he's got a ways to go to be "engaging."

  • March 18, 2009, 12:54 p.m. CST

    See?

    by Joenathan

    Now imagine that your job was to respond to hundreds of those...

  • March 18, 2009, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Bush=idiot but, unfortunately...

    by drhouse14853

    ...it looks like the guy who replaced him is one too.

  • March 18, 2009, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Judd Winick on BATMAN means

    by Bjornegar

    either 1.) Jason Todd will be Batman and resurrection gives one AIDS, or 2.) the Gotham universe will be left in such a shambles after all this Bruce-Wayne-is-dead crap, that no one of any real artistic substance wanted to touch it, or 3.) both. And, hopefully BATMAN AND ROBIN, by Morrison and Quitely - you know, the bi-annual, will be out of continuity. Because that's what we need. Two out-of-continuity Batman and Robin titles. One with cursing and another which won't make any sense. Awesome.

  • March 18, 2009, 1:07 p.m. CST

    The humor in it

    by Buzz_Aldrin

    It really makes me smile how someone can write a review for comic books about Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton and treat it completely straight faced, as if it wasn't totally hilarious that these things even exist.

  • March 18, 2009, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Bjornegar

    by optimous_douche

    Since you're Swedish, I understand context might be hard to grasp when reading English.<p> I haven't had Batman on my pull list for fifteen years, meaning I haven't read it regularly. But I understand the phrase pull list is very American. I’m sure there is some long complicated word with bork in it for the Swedish translation.<p> I wouldn’t have reviewed the book if I lived in a Bat-vacuum. I’ve read all of the big story arcs over the past fifteen years in trade and RIP (though I hated it – excluding the last issue) Context is important. I may be a douche, but I do love comic books. Now for your finer points.<p> Perspective is in the eye of the beholder on the cover. The people standing behind Dick are smaller, so please tell me how small they should be to placate your erudite are sensibilities?<p> Now on characterization, you see when I read a comic I look at more than the pictures. Granted that shot before Arkham blew up had some unknown faces, but since Daniel did draw as well as write the book, I’m forgiving of a few generic heads in a sea of the insane.<p> Oh and on hitting editorial plot points, AICN is the only writing gig I ever had without a heavy handed editor. See editor’s guide direction of things and writers make it happen. That’s not being lazy, that’s life.

  • March 18, 2009, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Joen Editor Blogs

    by optimous_douche

    Granted there would always be the haters, but both marvel and DC have marketing or comms departments.<p> Let some fresh faced kid out of college sift through the turds and report back the gold.<p> There are so many stuffed shirt CEO's blogging now that entire sites are set up just to aggregate all of them.<p> Comics are supposed to be a progressive industry, lack of blogs make them look like laggards.

  • March 18, 2009, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Optimous - Tenants v. Tenets

    by Olsen Twins_Fan

    Not to be like that, but to help you rise above a Harry level of malapropism, I offer the following clarification from your Ex Machina review: Tenet: n. An opinion, doctrine, or principle held as being true by a person or especially by an organization. Tenant: n. One that pays rent to use or occupy land, a building, or other property owned by another.

  • March 18, 2009, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Touche Olsen

    by optimous_douche

    Always call me out on that shit. It keeps me on my toes.

  • March 18, 2009, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Comics are supposed to be progressive?!?!

    by Joenathan

    How old is Spider-man?

  • March 18, 2009, 1:36 p.m. CST

    There's a Michelle Obama comic now too

    by drhouse14853

    http://tinyurl.com/cstoq3 Not impressed with the cover. She looks like she got a dose of Joker venom.

  • March 18, 2009, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Also in regards to the Liefeld link.

    by OBESE_WAN_KENOBI

    They could've posted the entire couple of issues Teen Titans Liefeld did a couple of years ago. Those were horrible. I remember my friend buying every piece of image trash that Liefeld did. The best part is that people were emulating that style. It just seemed like every book that was put out by Image in the early 90's looked the same. I imagine most of the meetings focused on putting more crosshatching in the artwork, cuz the kids love crosshatching!

  • March 18, 2009, 2:52 p.m. CST

    BATMAN: CACOPHONY #3

    by Snookeroo

    Cover is indecipherable.

  • March 18, 2009, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Palin/Clinton comics

    by Snookeroo

    Neil Bailey has a regular webcast over at SupermanHomepage -- "Bailey Planet". Heh.<br><br>Seems like a genuinely funny, likeable dude.

  • March 18, 2009, 4:29 p.m. CST

    I liked Cacophony. Great series.

    by hallmitchell

    Good to see a series where it doesn't take itself too seriously.

  • March 18, 2009, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Hey! Walt Flannigan!

    by Joenathan

    I loved you in Mallrats!

  • March 18, 2009, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Dykes and AIDS

    by Homer Sexual

    Well, probably going to piss people off here, but there arent a lot of comics to discuss this week. <p> I would not have such an issue with the term "Bat-Dyke" if she had actually APPEARED in the Battle for the Cowl. She is just in the promotional materials. So all of the animosity really seems to be over the top and unwarranted. At least wait until she has been in the book to take aim at her, or her sexuality, or whatever. <p> As far as "dyke" being acceptable, well "fag" and "nigga" are acceptable sometimes too, but it depends on who is saying it and how it is said. In this case, I don't think it was such a good idea. <p> On a similar note, attacking Winick by saying he'll put a character with AIDS in Batman also seems homophobic, sorry. Attach his writing all you want, but if the worst you can say is that he has written characters with AIDS into comics, that is weak. <p> Sooo.....back to comics....I got the impression that BftC has Tim, Dick and Jason all becoming Batman. Isn't that Jason with the guns? Although that seems very obvious, having Mark Shaw be Batman is uber-lame. Plus, didn't he die in the latest Manhunter series?

  • March 18, 2009, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Yes, Joenathan...

    by DuncanDisorderly

  • March 18, 2009, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Yes, Joenathan...

    by DuncanDisorderly

    ...comics are supposed to be progressive. And yes, ASM hasn't got the message. Slott and Guggenheim are hacking Spider-Man to death. Next thing you know Liefeld will sign on for art duty and Obama will feature in every issue to get the sales figures up again.

  • March 18, 2009, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Les Batwomon

    by Circean6

    I just wish Batman was just about Batman, with Robin & Alfred. And not to be written by the Scottish writer ever, ever again...

  • March 18, 2009, 7:06 p.m. CST

    Homer

    by optimous_douche

    I could have sworn she snuck into a panel.<p> I think Tim is really trying to push Dick into Batman.<p> That didn't sound good...

  • March 18, 2009, 7:08 p.m. CST

    Duncan

    by optimous_douche

    Stop speaking blasphemy...

  • March 18, 2009, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Two weeks worth of comics

    by kungfuhustler84

    and nobody's really talking about any of them. Except of course, Battle for the Cowl, which was totally average in my opinion. Nothing great, nothing special.<p>And if you're not at least a little excited for another Morrison and Quitely collaboration after All Star Superman, you need to re-read that amazing series.

  • March 18, 2009, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Hey, optimous,

    by DuncanDisorderly

    What's up? Not an Obama fan?

  • March 19, 2009, 12:43 a.m. CST

    No Speedball review?

    by Series7

    Fucking Marvel Apes is the best thing Marvel is doing right now. Some douche was in the shop the other day looking for issue 4 of Marvel Apes and I punched him in the face for A) Being a douche and B) Showing up late to the party and missing the boat. Told his ass to wait for the Trade, coming out soon. <P> Its too bad though because the shops computer said there was like 10 copies still in the shop...too bad I hid them all behind shit like Daredevil where no one will find them.

  • March 19, 2009, 7:04 a.m. CST

    Silly Duncan

    by optimous_douche

    The evil one in this case was Liefield (or however you spell his name).

  • March 19, 2009, 7:06 a.m. CST

    In Perspective Kungfu

    by optimous_douche

    I think you are right. Compared with all of the batman books over the yeras, perhaps this wasn't the greatest.<p> I guess I was just so damn excited to see the bat-verse come back to a state of normality.

  • March 19, 2009, 7:34 a.m. CST

    Comic Geek Club Initiation

    by Buzz Maverik

    GEEK POOHBAH:"And do you solemnly swear to hate Rob Liefeld and criticize his drawing of feet and human anatomy even thought you are a modern comic reader who only follows the writers and never otherwise mentions the art?"<p>PLEEB:"Uh, yeah, sure...(whispers aside)Hey, Buzz, who is this Liefeld guy I'm hating?"<p>ME:"I'm not sure. I think he's the guy who made it okay for comic book writers and artists to miss deadlines."<p>PLEEB:"But it is okay for comic book creators to miss deadlines. I don't care about books being on time--"<p>ME:"We need more ice over here! Somebody bring the fire hose!"

  • March 19, 2009, 7:37 a.m. CST

    Yep

    by Buzz Maverik

    Hate polybagging, variant covers, embossed foil covers, insert your own 90s cliche from WIZARD, trading cards, bad feet, poor anatomy, pouches, big guns...but six months between issues that could be drawn just as well in five days if the guy wasn't an overpaid diva? That's a-OK with me.

  • March 19, 2009, 7:41 a.m. CST

    How To Get Thru Tonight's GREY'S ANATOMY

    by Buzz Maverik

  • March 19, 2009, 7:45 a.m. CST

    Well, That Was Weird...

    by Buzz Maverik

    Anyway, this is for you guys who can get chicks. Instead of pretending that you're actually watching the DEFENDERS and wondering when the little guy is finally going to Hulk-out, tonight, you're watching LIEFELD'S ANATOMY. Take it DarkMeredeathawk: "I'm breaking up with McHacky. Sure, he's a brilliant pouch drawer and I have no reason to do so, but I haven't broken up with him in over one episode!"<p>Oh-Wulf:"I think he's dating Izzistar."<p>DarkMeredeathawk:"I'm getting back with him."

  • March 19, 2009, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Cowl Battle was very 'meh'.

    by Laserhead

    And Damien seemed to be written wholly out of character. Not that he ever had that much to begin with, but still. Tony Daniel doesn't make the beautiful pictures-- at least not with Glapion on inks. Figures look stiff, overly posed, with identical faces and little slashy marks everywhere which don't actually contribute to the illusion of depth or form, but make everything seem even flatter. I think.<p>I have to defend the Scotsman's take on Batman too. Say what you will about Morrison's run, but as a whole I really like it, and I think he gets the character of Batman in a very good way. Between his run and Dini's last couple years on Detective; we've had some really good, steady Bat-stories. Then came the non-ending to R.I.P. and Final Crisis and now, meh. Dick and Damien as Batman and Robin until Dick gets killed in the line of duty and Bruce returns.

  • March 19, 2009, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Hawkeye

    by Bluejack

    After reading Dark Avengers #3, I realized that Bullseye is probably a more effective Hawkeye than Hawkeye. Bullseye is probably the premiere marksman in the Marvel U, and Clint is using hand-to-hand equipment. <p> I'm tired of Ronin, and I would love to see Clint develop and grow now that Cap is gone. Last night's Lost made me realize how powerful that can be after seeing Jamesgrow into a leader without Jack around.

  • March 19, 2009, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Invincible #60 (Spoiler?)

    by Bluejack

    Gore fest! Wow! Kirkman is just completely unfettered in this title and it's cool he can change the game in one issue. Now we know why he was stressing the lubby-dubby crap with Atom Eve. Makes the impact of this issue better.

  • March 19, 2009, 10:21 a.m. CST

    I am uber excited about Morrison and Quitely's return

    by Joenathan

    That shit is going to be awesome.<br><br>As for Batwoman... six months and cancelled, because she's nothing but a gimmick.

  • March 19, 2009, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Invincible was awesome

    by optimous_douche

    My first read when I got back from the store yesterday.

  • March 19, 2009, 10:24 a.m. CST

    I also can't wait for the Ronin costume to be mothballed

    by Joenathan

    That is one of the worst things ever. Terrible design and honestly, what I really don't understand is... How come only two guys can use the bow at a time? Clint's like: "What? Two bowman? Well... far be it from me to be derivative... I guess I'll just use a sword." Hawkeye should become Bullseye, but with a bow, just to be a dick to Bullseye.

  • March 19, 2009, 10:25 a.m. CST

    I'm in the middle of Invincible trade #9

    by Joenathan

    He's on that bug planet, so I'm catching up. I don't know why I stopped reading this title.

  • March 19, 2009, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Well, Quitely kind of already drew Batman...

    by Homer Sexual

    except, of course, he was called Midnighter, and I liked the look of Quitely's Midnighter better than the overly-beefy Batman I saw a few panels of. I am sure it will still be the bomb, but I didn't really feel those pics of Batman, despite my huge love of Quitely. <p> Is there actually going to be a Batwoman series? I hadn't heard that. a waaaaay better lesbian heroine would be, obviously, the new Question.

  • March 19, 2009, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Yes-- six months and Batwoman is cancelled

    by Laserhead

    So why the FUCK does her series get J.H. Williams???

  • March 19, 2009, 11:15 a.m. CST

    I guess I am going to defend Batwoman

    by Homer Sexual

    But mostly just to say that, again, people should wait until the first issue comes out to attack it. <p> I mean, one could say "Blue Beetle isn't Ted Kord? F That!" or "Jonah Hex? The western is dead. F that!" etc. <p> It may very well be terrrible and deserving of scorn, but shouldn't we wait and see?

  • March 19, 2009, 11:41 a.m. CST

    The new Question vs. Batwoman

    by Joenathan

    Renae Montoya is interesting because she's a character with history and character traits. There is no need to wait and see with the new Batwoman (who is supposed to be taking over Detective) She has been in plenty of comics, the same titles that the new Question has been in, for the most part, and she has thus far failed to show any character beyond the fact that she prefers girls sexually. Why? Because she's a gimmick. And that is what is orthy of scorn. I don't give a shit what gimmick is specifically used, its the fact that it is a gimmick that bothers me. One note characters deserve to wallow in limbo, forgotten. And it can't happen to Batwoman soon enough. It just offends me that DC's faux-diversity character is in actuality nothing but a hollow and offensive stereotype of the worse kind. <br><br>"What makes Batwoman new?"<br><br>"She's a lesbian, a hot lesbian!"<br><br>"Whatelse?"<br><br>"I don't understand the question."<br><Br>"Well... why did she become Batwoman?"<br><br>"Because she likes chicks!"<br><br>"Yeah but, whatelse is there? Who is she?"<br><br>"She also wears nighties!"<br><Br>"For the love of God..."<br><br>"Oh wait... She's also a lawyer and a jew, of course... and frugal!"

  • March 19, 2009, 11:42 a.m. CST

    MYSTERY BOLD!

    by Joenathan

    Damn you and your secrets!

  • March 19, 2009, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Quietly's Batman

    by Joenathan

    There's a pic at Newsaram that shows what I assume to be Dick and Damion as Batman and it looks pretty good.<br><br>Ah.... the first 24 issues of Authority... how I miss you...

  • March 19, 2009, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Joen/Homer/Etc...

    by optimous_douche

    Homer ever the voice of reason is correct, don't bash something you haven't read. It's fine to have predispositions, but try not to let them taint everything.<p> Authority -- God how I miss the grand old girl. I am giving major leeway to the new issues simply for what was.

  • March 19, 2009, 1:33 p.m. CST

    New Authority

    by Joenathan

    I can't do it. Its missing something and I really wanted to like the whole post apocalypse set up... but no. I'm even thinkin of re-buying the old trades.<br><br>Hey! Brubaker wrote an Authority run I never read, was it any good?

  • March 19, 2009, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Mighty Avengers?

    by Joenathan

    Mighty disappointing. Terrible, terrible dialogue. Terrible panel continuity. Terrible all around. I was hoping it would be good, but man, its like a sledgehammer to the forehead. Heavy handed, cliched and telegraphed like a mother fucker. It does the worst action dialogue too, like that simpson's episode where Homer and Burns are in the avalanche and every noise threatens to cause the avanlanche to crush their cabin and yet they are whispering the most simple ideas as long-windedly as possible to each other. I'm not even waiting for number three. I have dropped Mighty Avengers. So far, I have yet to be impressed by Dan Slott.

  • March 19, 2009, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Authority

    by Bluejack

    I just can't read it. I feel like The Authority is played out. <p> As for Batwoman, DC should just do a great lesbo porn comic with Batwoman, the new Question, Supergirl etc. I'd buy it all wrapped and taped up to prevent kids to getting into it.

  • March 19, 2009, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Yeah

    by Joenathan

    except DC would pretend that that poly-bagged issue was about women's issues and gender and sexual preference equality and strong female characters and it would be on the news and everyone would be talking about the sensitivity displayed and how finally comics wer breaking free of their long time boy's club shackles and blah, blah, blah, and all the while, the comic would be nothing but lickin' clam and bodacious tatas.

  • March 19, 2009, 2:35 p.m. CST

    JoeNathan, you say that like it's a bad thing.

    by Homer Sexual

    But really, I am writing to defend Mighty Avengers, I just love it. <p> I like it because it respects the past and is still fresh in the present. There are newer characters, stand-bys and B-listers getting new respect. <p> I can see how it is a matter of taste. Some people won't share my appreciation of Jocasta, for example. <p> I find it a breath of fresh air from the doom, gloom, and unredeemable characters permeating much of the Marvel Universe. But again, it's a matter of taste, and Mighty Avengers is totally my cup of tea so far. <p> Regarding Authority, I loved it for ever, but the whole post-Apocalyptic thing doesn't work for me, either. I dropped that whole line when it went in that direction. Why must comics be so black and white? (He said at least semi-facetiously).

  • March 19, 2009, 2:51 p.m. CST

    I should clarify

    by Joenathan

    I was actually very excited about this particular Mighty Avengers line-up, especially because it reminded me of the Dr. Druid, Captain Marvel, Black Knight era and as much as I do prefer the doom and gloom of the current status quo, that doesn't mean that I avoid any well written regular old super hero antics (for example, my rediscovered love of Invincible) Which is what I was hoping for from Mighty, full Silver Age stuff colored for the modern age where the Avengers can fight the Mole Men or battle Kang through time or whatever crazy shit the capes and spandex set used to do a bit more regularly. I think there is ample room in the Marvel universe for those stories...<br><br>HOWEVER Mighty Avengers is written clunky. It is poorly put together, easy to predict, tedious and heavy handed and an all around general fail, in my opinion. Its not the cast or the intention, its the writing.<br><br>Dan Slott? Boo.

  • March 19, 2009, 2:56 p.m. CST

    As for Wildstorm

    by Joenathan

    I thought the idea of wrecking their world and putting everything in a post apocalyptic setting was ballsy and intriguing and most definitely set them apart from the big two. I mean, why not do something different? But then I sampled them and found them lacking and for actually much the same reason as Mighty. How do you have a fight going on while your characters are pontificating endlessly, even talking at great length about what their next fight move will be? How does a writer come to think of that as dynamic and good, let alone okay? It was crap, so I dropped Wildstorm's stuff too. Which I still lament, because really, the idea of a Mad Max superhero world? <br><br>Fun.<br><br>Speaking of... Did the latest Old Man Logan come out?

  • March 20, 2009, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Bold Text

    by steverodgers

    The biggest mystery on AICN... we need Batman to figure it out. Saw OML at the shop.

  • March 20, 2009, 11:06 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by oldenslow

    Meatloaf! That's what America needs now, more Loaf! More bombastic, over-the-freaking top guitar based Rock & Roll.

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