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AICN COMICS REVIEWS GI JOE! INVINCIBLE! SWAMP THING! DARK AVENGERS! STAR TREK! & MORE!

#45 3/18/09 #7

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) GI JOE: COBRA #1 SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING #21 E-MAN: CURSE OF THE IDOL DARK AVENGERS #3 BEYOND WONDERLAND #6 STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN #3 INVINCIBLE #60 Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS!

GI JOE: COBRA #1

Writers: Mike Costa & Christos N. Gage Art: Antonio Fuso Publisher: IDW Publishing Reviewer: Ambush Bug

When I heard about IDW’s relaunch of GI JOE, I was both excited and leery. I was glad to see the talent IDW wrangled to tackle these books. The trifecta of writing action gurus Dixon, Hama, and Gage are a pretty formidable team. I’ve been impressed with Dixon’s main title, even though it is bit of a slow burner, and Hama’s GI JOE: ORIGINS looks to be a fun look at the original team and how they came together. But when I saw a third title in the works, with the title GI JOE: COBRA, I was thinking that IDW was teetering on the edge of over-exposing the property much like they have done with their TRANSFORMERS license and the ga-billion titles they have out there with the robots in disguise.
But I read the book and found it to be the absolute best of the bunch. Mike Castro and Christos Gage have taken the expansive GI JOE universe and put a microscope on one little corner of it and the results are fantastic. By focusing on one Joe operative, undercover con man Chuckles, the book offers a “Yo, Joe!” experience like no other.
I’ve written before about the GI JOE battles I created with my toys as a youth. I’ve also written about my deep hatred for the Chuckles figure and how the Hawiian shirted pretty boy was often used a as a hostage for more bad@$$ed Joes like Beachhead or Snake-Eyes to rescue. I’d wrap a rubber band around Chuckles’ arms and have Firefly and Storm Shadow put the douchebag operative under copious amounts of torture. They’d scream threats that usually ended with “you and that stupid shirt…” and I believe I had the evil Cobra forces enact waterboard torture long before I knew of the term. No one hated Chuckles more than me.
Imagine my surprise when I found this issue that focused solely on Chuckles to be the best GI JOE comic I’ve read in years. Castro and Gage make Chuckles a likable hero--one who is flawed only in the sense that he isn’t a military man. Chuckles is a con man. Even though he may piss off hard nosed soldiers like General Hawk, the crusty general does have a use for him, and deep undercover Chuckles goes.
This is as much a detective noir story as it is a GI JOE book. It’s more sophisticated than the other titles, and as you’d expect the ideology of black and white often merge into shades of grey here. The closest thing I can compare this book to is Ed Brubaker’s SLEEPER, which dealt with the same themes in the super hero world. Here, we get a seedy noir story set in the GI JOE universe and it’s exactly the type of story that isn’t what you’d expect from a GI JOE story and exactly what is needed to reinvigorate the franchise. In the 80’s, Larry Hama created an expansive world filled with fantastic villains and tough as nails grunts combating them. It’s about time someone explored some of the other areas of that world.
The deliciously noir-ish scratchings of Antonio Fuso seal the deal. This is my favorite comic to come along in some time and by far my favorite of the new GI JOE comics. I’m officially shelving my Chuckles prejudice for this one. Gage and Castro have made one of my least favorite toys as a child into one of the coolest reads on the shelves. I loved this book and can’t wait to see what kind of trouble Chuckles can get into within the COBRA ranks.
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.

SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING #21 (SPECIAL EDITION REPRINT)

Writer: Alan Moore Artist: Stephen Bissette, John Totleben Inker: Stephen Bissette, John Totleben Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: William

I love love love what DC is doing with these special edition titles. Basically they’re reprinting important issues of past/current comics, and titling them under the “After Watchmen…What’s Next?” banner. In this manner they get to reintroduce some nice comics to a whole new generation, I get to read some comics that otherwise would’ve been missed, and they’re only $1 each. I give great kudos to DC for this genius marketing move, especially during a time when many comic book fans are pinching pennies everywhere, and hopefully other comic book publishers out there (I’m looking at you Marvel) follow this trend.
In any case it was due to this genius move that I came across this title. I picked it up because SWAMP THING had been a title I think I had only read once in my life, and because the name “ALAN MOORE” was so prominently displayed in 32 font on the cover. So I thought to myself why not, let’s see if this can be as good as the name Alan Moore promises.
So as I was reading this the other day it slowly dawned on me that I had read this issue before. Like reliving a flashback, I slowly began recalling various images seen in the pages. It finally hit me that this reprint was the very SWAMP THING issue that I had read years ago as a kid in junior high (it was printed within some DC “Best Of” book that I had one day found at my public library). With that neat little information now affirmed in my mind, it was time to see how well this issue had aged between all of these years.
And I must say that I’m still impressed by what I read. I remember thinking back then that this issue was so “talkie”, i.e. my young mind had wanted more action pages rather than pages filled with 30 balloons of dialogue. (Maybe that’s why that remained the only SWAMP THING issue I had read at the time). Reading it now, though, I get to fully understand how brilliantly Alan Moore’s expert exposition was presented here. You have your basic mystery announcing itself within the first few pages; you have some interesting flashbacks showcasing Dr. Jason Woodrue (i.e. the Floronic Man) dissecting a seemingly dead Swamp Thing in order to unravel how a monstrosity could’ve existed; and you have the final payoff nicely ending this wonderfully wrapped up story. There’s something to be said about the days when a comic book contained a great solo story within just 22 pages, something that is missed within today’s 50+ multi-issue events. The artwork by Stephen Bissette and John Totleben only adds to the fine quality of this issue too. I take it that the SWAMP THING title at that time was considered much more adult-oriented than its superhero counterparts, and the artwork greatly reflects this theme. Everyone here is drawn in a “real” and ugly manner, i.e. they’re definitely not portrayed in the clean method that other superhero titles were. “Let the art highlighting the rotten features of these characters reflect the environment this issue prevails in” is the motto the art tries to go for here, and it definitely works.
All in all I found this to be a great read, and if you haven’t given it a chance then I highly recommend it next time you’re at your comic book shop. Also it’s worth mentioning again that hopefully other publishers like Marvel mimic DC’s genius reprinting of these titles. I can only imagine how nice it would be to read the starter issue for the “Kraven’s Last Hunt” storyline for a $1 in my comic book aisle, or “Days of Future Past” or “ The Infinity Gauntlet” or “Secret Wars” and so on to name a few.

E-MAN: CURSE OF THE IDOL

Writer: Nick Cuti, Joe Staton & Randy Buccini Artist: Joe Staton Publisher: Digital Webbing Reviewer: Prof. Challenger

Back in 2006, my review for E-MAN: RECHARGED began like this: “Like a comfortable old pair of shoes, E-Man returns to the comics stands - albeit only for a one-shot. But beggars can't be choosers.”
I was tempted to start this review exactly the same, so I did. E-MAN: CURSE OF THE IDOL has actually been out for a few weeks, but life has continued to get in the way of my recommendation to the world of comic fans to pick up a copy or order one from the publisher.
E-MAN is one of those little gems from the 70s that kind of just disappeared because of the spotty distribution and crappy printing of the time. But yet, he always seems to pop up when I least expect him to. And once again, this one-shot showed up and took me by surprise. In honor of 35 years of E-Man, this comic includes a nice introduction by TwoMorrows' Michael Eury and an excellent interview/bio with the criminally underrated artist/co-creator Joe Staton.
Nick Cuti (along with Staton and Randy Buccini) have once again crafted a stand-alone comic book that could be a textbook on how to pace and unfold a mystery. It's a very densely packed comic such that I didn't even realize (or miss) that E-Man never appears in costume until near the end of the story. There is a specific tone for E-Man comics that is a unique combination of Cuti's writing and Staton's artwork and they honestly never miss a beat. This feels as fresh as the original 70s stories. In fact, the way they handle the continuity of 35 years is perfect. Everyone is exactly as they should be, they just dress more modern and have modern technology. But the concept of E-Man as an energy being taking physical form still works perfectly.
The tone is not near as slapsticky as, say, most of the E-Man series published by FIRST Comics in the 80s. This is a serious story that deals with the ancient Incan culture but also an intrusion into our plane of existence by Cthulhu-like creatures from the “dark” universe that infuses the dark energy that pervades our universe. Heady stuff, but it is treated with a light enough touch that it never feels heavy. E-Man (Alec Tronn), Nova, and Mickey Mauser are all fully involved and the character development is strong. The strongest aspect of the story for me was the relationship between Alec and Nova and the degree of trust Alec has in her and the inner struggle Nova goes through in keeping secrets from Alec. That could've been a one-note soap opera gimmick, but it felt real and right and functioned as more than just a perfunctory character moment but was essential to the development of the plot. Again, my hats off to the writing for this ability to craft a complete and solid story within the covers of this comic.
Before I wrap this up, I have to give credit to Joe Staton for not allowing himself to be a static and unchanging artist. His ability to design panels in creative ways and cram a lot of visual information into each and every page is impressive. He is one of our best working cartoonists and while I do occasionally enjoy his work on SCOOBY DOO (definitely the best artist that comic has ever had), I ache to see him do something like E-Man on a regular basis. We have reached this point where it almost seems like to be successful as a comic artist, you have to have an obsessive need for realism or bug-eyed manga expressiveness. It would be nice to see more artists with cartoony styles like Staton get more work from the Big Two. Sure, there's Darwyn Cooke and even the unparalleled Amanda Connor working out there but not many more.
I was and am an E-MAN fan and I am happy, once again, to highly recommend that fans of comics track down a copy of this story and read it many times like I have.
Prof. Challenger is illustrator and "Renaissance Man" Keith Howell who is married with two kids, a dog and a cat. Headquartered in the Republic of Texas, he has a glorious ability to annoy people, the strength of ten men, and sometimes updates his website at profchallenger.com.

DARK AVENGERS #3

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Mike Deodato Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: steverodgers

I have finally fallen under the spell of Brian Michael Bendis. I gave up on NEW AVENGERS soon after it started—the pacing felt awkward, the team felt wrong (I still don’t see Spider-Man joining up…and Wolverine? Please) and I didn’t buy into the way he was writing the characters. The book is selling like pot in a freshman dorm, however, so there are people out there who think it’s great, and good for them. Fortunately for me I am a guy who loves crossovers—love them: throw some heroes together, make them face impossible odds, get their asses kicked, regroup and then come out on top with some wild battle in space or whatever, and I am completely on board. Not wanting to miss out on another one (I didn’t buy SECRET INVASION--more Bendis Avengers), I decided to give Bendis another shot. I picked up DARK AVENGERS, and I am loving every madcap panel.
I ‘m seeing what folks are saying--that Bendis writes great dialogue; however, I just needed to see it being spouted by characters I don’t give a crap about. I don’t care what they sound like or act like, because they’re blank slates to me—I can just enjoy the way Bendis writes them without years of vested time and interest getting in the way. It’s refreshing. Instead of gnashing my teeth if everyone sounds similar, or says something that I think is out of character, I have Ares, Bullseye, Sentry, Marvel Boy, Moonstone, Wolverine’s goofy son in Wolvie’s kick ass old duds (I decided that “Daken” must be Madriporian for “needless comic book character”), and Norman Osborn with his splendid Ditko hair. They might as well be the Wolfpack or Kickers Inc.
The great joy of this book to me is the pure lunacy of the characters. For a comic called DARK AVENGERS, it’s awfully funny. Norman is flying around over Latveria as Iron Patriot in Iron Man’s armor painted like a flag, carrying Doctor Doom like Thomas Magnum teaching some beach babe how to swim. Bullseye is careening around in Hawkeye’s costume firing arrows into anyone in his path (in this issue he pegs Morgan Le Fey with like a dozen arrows and Norman shouts “Ten gold stars!”) and Venom is chomping on people and being a total nutjob. It’s splendid. Norman is just a pleasure to follow; his happy-go-lucky, flying-by-the-seat-of-his-pants, just-thrilled-to-be-here nuttiness is infectious. He’s so positive! I like Norman so much that even the nine-page (NINE PAGES) of dialogue between him and Sentry, which normally would have made me throw down the book and start mumbling like an old man about the way comics used to be, was totally enjoyable. He convinces Sentry that the Void isn’t real, he just needs some new meds and to eat some burgers. Problem solved! (Who needs Doc Sampson’s bullshit with advice like that?)
This issue has the Dark Avengers dealing with a pissed off Morgan Le Fey and her minions out to kill Dr. Doom, and the Dark Avengers can’t seem to kill her because she keeps coming back through some magical time-traveling each time they off her. The art by Deodato is fine with me; everyone poses mightily which fits the overall ridiculousness of the characters and Ms. Marvel (Moonstone) is absolutely fetching in her 1970’s costume. If you’re like me and gave up on Bendis, I invite you to give him one more try, and if you already think he is the cat’s meow, then jump on board and join the goofy fun.

BEYOND WONDERLAND #6

Written by: Raven Gregory Art by: Dan Leister Published by: Zenescope Entertainment Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

BEYOND WONDERLAND just continues to get better and better with each passing issue. Though the miniseries wraps with this very issue the story will continue with the final series in the trilogy shortly. But who cares about that since it is a ways off? I do, for one, because this issue ends in a killer cliffhanger like most good middle sequels should.
BEYOND WONDERLAND is full of tricks, surprises, and payoffs as any great homage to a classic fairytale should. The story remains beyond dark for the very pregnant Calie who has her hands VERY full has to deal with the Mad Hatter and the minions of Wonderland invading her life in New York City. For those unfamiliar with this series, these aren’t your Disney Wonderland creatures. Vicious, evil, and with their own sinister motives, Mad Hatter battles for his own twisted reasons while Calie fights for her life--not fun at all for a woman who is about to begin her contractions.
Raven Gregory has continued to step up his game with each subsequent issue of this series, making it one of my favorite must-read books from Zenescope. Gregory has mastered his characters and gracefully brings on the horror from panel to panel. He’s joined by Dan Leister’s phenomenal artwork – a man quite adept at making good girl art look positively amazing. There’s not many times you see a super hot pregnant lady in comic books, but Leister accomplishes this with ease.
As BEYOND WONDERLAND comes to a close and the cliffhanger boggles my mind, now is the time to run out and snag all of this great series before the next mini comes out to conclude this Wonderland trilogy. I’ve honestly never had more fun reading the classics being slain and you’ll never quite look at the Cheshire Cat the same again.
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.

STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN #3

Story: Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman Writers: Tim Jones & Mike Johnson Art: David Messina Publisher: IDW Publishing Reviewer: Optimous Douche

If J.J. Abrams’ STAR TREK movie this May is the minty fresh take on Roddenberry’s brain child, then this four issue lead-in to the film is quite simply a final swan song to the universe that was. However, with the exception of Spock, this is not a series for those who love Tribbles over Q, or spanked one out to Uhura’s short skirt over Counselor Troy’s. This is a series for anyone whose soul ached over the fact the craptacular STAR TREK: NEMESIS was the rusty nail used in sealing the coffin of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.
Spoilers ahoy, celestial travelers: you have been warned.
For the better part of two years we’ve been seeing leaked production shots, insider previews provided to Harry by J.J. himself, and a cavalcade of toys that would put George Lucas to shame. These little morsels of spoiler goodness have certainly whetted my appetite for the new Trek, especially in light of the fact we are experiencing one of the greatest Sci-Fi (or ScyFy®™ if you’re a branding whore) droughts in two decades (keep in mind I write this two days after the lackluster finale of BSG).
So, you can imagine how downtrodden my soul felt when the first issue of this movie prequel set the stage for territory we have traversed many times before in STAR TREK. The Romulan Empire’s sun is about to go nova and decimate their entire galaxy leaving them to question their isolationist ways. While the stakes are greater, a true Trek fan might find this set-up eerily similar thematically to STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY when the Klingon moon Praxis went kaboom and they were left relying on the good nature of their sworn enemy the Federation.
After thinking about things, though, this is STAR TREK. Danger will always come from a celestial body or be spurred by some cosmic force. Then I realized that the true beauty of STAR TREK has never been the macro story, but the characters and moments that are interlaced throughout the greater danger. Well, page for page and moment for moment the three issues of this series thus far have given me fangasms not felt since the first airing of the final “Next Generation” episode, “All Good Things.” (Please consult a STAR TREK fan if you don’t understand how high this praise is).
Despite this being a final swan song for the old Trek verse rife with guest appearances from Spock (no surprise there), Captain Data of the Enterprise (surprise for anyone who thought he was still as smart as a frakkin toaster) and Ambassador Picard, this series’ true focus is the genesis of the greatest villain in my opinion since Kahn – Eric Bana’s Nero.
Like Kahn, Nero has a rich back story, which in my opinion always makes for the best villains. Nero starts the story as a Romulan miner who makes the discovery about the finite nature of the Romulan star. Realizing that time is of the essence, he tries to reason with the xenophobic high council to enlist the help of their pointy eared nerdy cousins the Vulcans to abate this disaster. After much debate and a plea from Ambassador Spock, the council agrees -- begrudgingly. And this sparks the beginning of the end. The Romulan home world is not saved; Nero is driven mad with grief and given Borg technology to enhance his ship to exact his vengeance. Some of the best moments of issue 3 center around Nero’s grief and how he acquires his Borg enhancements via a shadow government installation established by the Romulans in the event of Armageddon.
I’ve given away enough at this point; just know that one more guest appearance occurs (I won’t say who exactly, “but take a look it’s in a book”), when it is discovered that the dying star emits an anomaly that threatens not only Romulan, but also the entire Alpha quadrant.
Before I officially close things out, I want to throw some love towards Messina’s pencils. Very often when trying to bring TV characters to the funny pages the result goes one of two ways. Either the rendering is so ethereal it could be anyone’s head form any TV series or the rendering is so photo realistic it ends up being downright creepy (think the covers of the last SERENITY book). Messina strikes that precarious balance masterfully between being able to recognize each beloved character without it looking like a cropped in Photoshop job.
As I’ve stated before, this book is clearly for the fans by providing what in essence is unnecessary back-story for the upcoming movie. I have full faith that the next issue will bleed into the opening sequences of the upcoming film and that anyone who might have missed this book will do just fine following along when the lights dim.
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."

INVINCIBLE #60

Writer: Robert Kirkman Penciler: Ryan Ottley Inker: Cliff Rathburn Colorist: FCO Plascencia Published by: Image Comics Reviewer: BottleImp

For the most part, I think that we comic book readers tend to gravitate towards the new. I don’t think I’m out of line by assuming that most of us prefer the levels of writing, art, and overall storytelling found in the books published today versus the comics of the 1960s and ‘70s, let alone the Golden Age comics that started it all. In general, modern comic books (and I’m thinking from 2000 ‘til now here; let’s not dwell on the aberrations of the ‘90s) showcase a more mature grasp of the medium in both the scripts and the artwork than their predecessors. But there is one element you’ll find in those old comics that seems lacking in many of today’s books: the ability to jam-pack a hell of a lot of story into one thin stack of folded stapled paper. In the interests of showing off the art, going for a more “cinematic” feel, or just stretching a story as thin as it can be stretched, three-panel pages and double page splashes have become more and more common as the multi-panel page designs of the comics of old become more and more obsolete. It seemed like the old comic book tradition of action bursting on every page was dead and gone.
That is, until I read INVINCIBLE #60.
Kirkman gets it. And Ottley, too. They have given comic book readers a jolt to shake them out of the stupor of wading through pages and pages of talking heads month after month. There is more action and drama in the 32 pages of this issue than you’ll glean from the SEVEN WHOLE ISSUES of FINAL CRISIS! And you know what the amazing thing is? The story works. You have pages divided into nine or more panels, a huge cast fighting over multiple locations—
(Here’s the basic plot—multiple versions of Invincible have been culled from alternate dimensions and are wreaking havoc in order to discredit our dimension’s Invincible, all at the command of Invincible’s foe Angstrom Levy, and basically every superhero in the Image Comics roster is fighting the alternate Invincibles.)
—as well as jumping the reader’s viewpoint from one fight to the next, and goddammit it works! Kirkman and Ottley have crafted their story so well that it can be read, enjoyed and understood instantly—even with the multiple elements that the creative team had to juggle, they never let the story threads become confusing. And not only is this super-brawl easily comprehended, it is also compelling.
I started out reading old Batman and Spider-Man comics before I gravitated towards Marvel in a big way. After a while, my tastes shifted in DC’s direction, and they’ve pretty much stayed that way (although lately there’s been a definite shift back toward Marvel). I was never into the Image comics—that was when the worst of the ‘90s comic book bust was coming to a head—so I never gave a rat’s ass about the characters or their universe. But Kirkman and Ottley make their story so compelling that I can’t help but care about these characters I know next to nothing about. I can’t help but inwardly cheer as Pitt (that’s his name, right? The big gray thing with the chains?) rips one evil-Invincible’s head apart, or smile as another Invincible is taken down by Shadowhawk, Madman and his yo-yo. I can’t help but be moved by Rex-Plode, the hero with the stupidest name since “Strong Guy,” makes the ultimate sacrifice.
And all this for action and drama for $3.99! Suck it, Marvel (and to a slightly lesser extent, DC).
If you are a superhero comic reader and you still haven’t tried INVINCIBLE, smack yourself in the forehead and go read it. You don’t want to miss out on one of the best written, best drawn, best colored (can’t overlook Plascencia’s amazing color palette) superhero books published today—old-school action for the modern set.
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 athere. He’s given up comics more times than he can remember. But every time he thinks he's out, they pull him back in.

Welcome back to your one stop shop for indie fun. It’s Ambush Bug back again. This week I’ve got a pair of indie reviews for you…

BUMP #1-4 Fangoria Graphix

I had a chance to read all four of Fango's BUMP miniseries. In doing so, I was taken back to my childhood. See, I had one of those cool moms who let me read Fango as a kid and have free reign at the horror section of my local video store. One by one, I devoured them all, from the best to the worst of horror. Sure, my mom called my brother and I ghoulish for liking such things, but she let us watch them nevertheless. BUMP is definitely one of those yarns my mom would have called ghoulish. It is essentially a ghost story where a group of travelers happen upon a house where a serial killer once resided. Thirty years ago, Edgar Dill was left for dead after local sheriffs found a slaughterhouse in his attic and recovered one lone survivor. What makes BUMP stand out from your typical generic serial killer tale is the originality of the methodology of Dill's actions. The character expresses his sexual repression by hacking out the sexual organs of his female victims and padlocking them away in little drawers built into the bodies of wooden mannequins. When the police uncovered Dill's craftsmanship, instead of taking him in, they decided to leave him for dead and brick him into his secluded home in the woods. Thirty years pass--enough time for Dill to become a vengeful spirit with an army of hideous wooden mannequins at his beck and call. Doesn't sound like your typical serial killer yarn, right? The art of this book by Mark Kidwell (who also wrote it) is pretty damn good. It's highly detailed and vividly paneled. Horror comics are a dime a dozen and most are not worth half that. BUMP is definitely top tier horror in graphic form. Ghoulish, yes--but good. - Ambush Bug

VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS #5 Bluewater Productions

Another fun done-in-one, TWILIGHT ZONE-ish issue of VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS. This comic is made all the better by the covers and intros and outros by painter Joel Robinson’s eerily beautiful renditions of Vincent Price. The interior art by Ray Armenteros can only be categorized as expressionistic chalk drawings (although I’m sure he didn’t use chalk). But the artist seems to whittle figures and shapes down to their bare essence, with the results looking pretty darn creepy. The story of a cab driver who used to be a promising writer by writer Scott Davis is a fun tale that ends ominously yet all too quickly. This is a truly fun series that offers some fantastic art and nice inventive scares. - Ambush Bug

And a pair from Ryan…

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT IRIS #0 Aspen Comics

Having just fallen in love with Aspen Studios I ventured out to see what else I could find by the studio and smacked right into EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT IRIS #0. Set at a great introductory price I delved right into a kung-fu revenge film come right to life as told by David Wohl and Eduardo Francisco. Iris’s boss is a very trusting fellow and when you break that trust Iris is sent out to make you sure you never break his trust again. Looking like a hottie female version of Snake-Eyes, Iris springs into action. She slices and dices the bad guys and keeps my peepers stuck to the page. You know that no bad guy will even hurt a hair on Iris’ beautiful head but all the fun in this book is seeing how Iris strikes next. An outstanding introductory issue! – Ryan McLelland

BLACK DAWN #1 Scare Tactix Graphix

I’ve grown tired of the whole monster genre lately, probably because it’s being overdone. I really do expect a Disney zombie film by 2011. You really need to bring something new to the genre for me to even muster the littlest excitement, so I’m lucky that BLACK DAWN breaks that mold a bit. I’m not sure if the book is about zombies, vampires, or the apocalypse because writer John O’Connor decides to have a small character driven story happening in this large universe. It’s a fight for survival for a father and his two children by some scary assailants and you would think only the smart will survive. But did being smart help the tens of thousands of carcasses loitering the roadways? By not telling us what is going on and focusing on these characters BLACK DAWN achieves what most others don’t: a suspenseful comic book. A very well done indie book that deserves a look. – Ryan McLelland

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #588 Marvel Comics

A pretty keen ending to this “Character Assassination” arc. Guggenheim proved himself in this mini focusing on the political election of the mayor of NYC with Spidey, Menace, and Norman Osborn caught in the middle. A ton of answers were given in this arc: who is the Spider-Tracer killer? Who is Menace? What’s up with Norman? And all of them done so in a pretty competent and fun manner. Sure there will be those who will poo poo this title for mistakes editorial has done in the past, but the last year of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN has been better than the previous ten, so those of you knocking this series may want to reconsider and give it a chance. - - Bug

AZRAEL: DEATH’S DARK KNIGHT #1 DC Comics

I have mixed feelings about Azrael. To me, it brings back memories of the series that wouldn’t die by Denny O’Neil which coasted along for about 100 issues solely on Bat-crossovers alone. But then again, Az is a cool character, just one that doesn’t really need a series of his own. Now, a miniseries introducing a new character in the Az suit--especially one done by Fabian Nicieza--is worth checking out. And I did. And I liked it. There’s a whole new person in the suit of holy armor this time around, but he’s no less bloodthirsty than the first Angel of Vengeance. Fabs constructs a nice intro issue that fleshes out the sword-bearing vigilante. Not necessarily good or bad, this Azrael gets a few chances to shine in this issue, showing how much of a bad@$$ he really is. Top it off with spectacular art by Frazer Irving, and you’ve got a winner of a first issue. Irving’s art alone makes this worth peeking at, but if you stick around to read the story, you’ll find a welcome return to a character who would work best as an adversary for Batman and hopefully not the star of another endless series of crossovers. - Bug

GUARDIANS THE GALAXY #11 Marvel Comics

The cast of this book keeps getting bigger and bigger. Soon we’re going to have a JSA situation if Lanning and Abnett aren’t careful, but if it means more kick-@$$ storylines like this one, then I don’t care how big the cast is. I mean, Jack Flag is hanging around this book. Just damn cool. And now it looks like Moondragon may be returning, which means more hot interstellar lesbian dragon action! Looks like the book has finally settled on Wes Craig as an artist, which offers a stable foundation for Lanning and Abnett to continue doing cosmic right. - Bug

BLACK LIGHTNING: YEAR ONE #6 DC Comics

This ended up being a pretty good miniseries, and even though I wasn’t a fan of the narrative caption-heavy text, I like how Jen Van Meter focused on Black Lightning’s civilian identity as much as (or even more than) his costumed persona. Fighting crime and despair in the inner city keeps Lightning in line with his character’s original intention as an urban crimefighter, even if the crime and despair just happen to be caused by an immortal wizard. Kudos also to Cully Hamner for providing some great art, especially his simple-yet-effective update of Black Lightning’s original embarrassing costume. Hey, it was the ‘70s. Too bad this design won’t be seen again in favor of the bland spandex he sports now, but what can you do? -- Imp

X-FACTOR #41 Marvel Comics

Although not as jaw-dropping as the last two issues from Peter David’s new revitalized series about our favorite multiplying mutant and his homo superior detective agency, this is yet another indicator that David is bringing back his A-game to the title. Time jumping always makes my head hurt a bit, but so far, it looks like the story is going to be pretty well grounded with Madrox around to crack wise. The reappearance of one of the most unlikelyt of cool characters, Layla Miller, makes this another must read for those who stuck through this series’ hard times AND those who left because of them. - Bug

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


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Readers Talkback
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  • March 25, 2009, 8:05 a.m. CST

    Avengers Assemble!

    by OBESE_WAN_KENOBI

    It's better than First!

  • March 25, 2009, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Invincible...

    by kingben

    is so awesome it makes my dick hard. Robert Kirkman is God.

  • March 25, 2009, 8:40 a.m. CST

    New TREK = New Coke

    by BurnHollywood

    Um, sorry, uh, no...fuck JJ Abrams if he thinks I'm leaving the universe of TOS, TNG and DS9 behind.

  • March 25, 2009, 8:51 a.m. CST

    "I have finally fallen under the spell of Brian Michael Bendis."

    by MrSensitive

    Isn't that considered blasphemy around these parts? Looks like one @$$hole will be losing their comic ghetto pass...or at the very least, won't be getting IMs from Ambush Bug in the foreseeable future.

  • March 25, 2009, 9 a.m. CST

    Did anyone involved with COUNTDOWN pass science?

    by BurnHollywood

    The plot hinges on a supernova big enough to destroy the Romulan Empire.<p> The Empire is thousands of light years across...wouldn't they have millennia to evacuate? NO natural event can exceed the speed of light!

  • March 25, 2009, 9:10 a.m. CST

    Romulus Star goes Nova

    by KnarftheIndecent

    ...despite the fact that all the best minds of the planet say it won't but right before it does, Nero places his infant sun in a small spacecraft and launches him towards Earth.

  • March 25, 2009, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Jack Flagg

    by Joenathan

    How did Jack Flagg get in Guardians? I don't read the book and last I saw him, the Thunderbolts had beat the crap out of him, so what happened?

  • March 25, 2009, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Leaving the universe of TOS, TNG, DS9?

    by raw_bean

    Given that that ended up being the universe of Voyager, Enterprise and Nemesis I'm quite glad to.<p>Those series still exist you know. Abrams' Star Trek won't be deleting the DVDs out of existence any more than the crap series and films that followed them in the same continuity did.

  • March 25, 2009, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Bendis (picking up from yesterday)

    by Laserhead

    This to continue yesterday's discussion. I don't think you can point to sales as a real indicator of quality. If that were the case, then according to sales, Rob Leifeld has produced some of the most beautiful comic art in the history of the medium. And someone mentioned all the twists and ideas Bendis has implemented, but I'm not sure what those were. Outing Matt Murdock? Killing the Wasp? Making the Scarlet Witch's mutant power be that she's basically God? Putting Norman Osborne in charge of American security? I actually don't mind any of those ideas, and I'd grant that, yes, he has these ideas. Typically, though, Bendis cannot effectively dramatize any of these ideas-- at least in my reading experience. I mean, twisty ideas are easy: Osborne is really Peter Parker's father. The person we've known as Tony Stark has for several years been a machine construct. Kill Spider-Man. Dr. Erskine is still alive, juiced on super-soldier serum in a secret lair where he's been secretly manipulating the Marvel Universe. It's not hard at all to come up with 'status-quo-changing' ideas. The thing is, ideas aren't worth a crap in storytelling if they can't be effective structured. Bendis' stories always start strong with an idea, then spend four or five issues treading water, characters discuss their feelings (always the same character, always the same feelings and articulation), then they wrap up quickly with an event that is usually underwhelming in its relation to the rest of the story. Ultimate Spider-Man has been repeating this formula for years.<p>I think Bendis' popularity has had more to do with the novelty of his style than his skill as a storyteller. Like a writerly Leifeld, he presents things in a new way, a way that might catch the attention of blockhead teenagers, but which is actually short on fundamental skills-- a story structure that creates the surface effects of tension, suspense, excitement, momentum, etc., coupled with characterization that layers deeper effects like emotional involvement.<p>The best thing I can say about Bendis is that good writers are often able to do great things with his ideas, but he doesn't offer much else. I think, in 10 years or so, people will look back on him as a fad, like a Leifeld or McFarlane-- who were at the forefront of the time when artists became the stars of the show, even though neither qualifies as a good artist, really. It's fan art. Bendis is at the forefront of the time when writers are the stars of the show, and it's fan writing. As an example of all the things Bendis can't do, you can look at Ed Brubaker, at the way he structures stories and delivers characterization.<p>I don't think you can even compare Morrison and Bendis. Morrison has been writing great, groundbreaking comics since the early-80s. He still writes the best dialogue in comics, without any self-consciousness, and he's often more successful than anybody at welding the 'big idea' to effective drama. Does it always work? No. But the guy's lifetime batting average has got to be one of the all-time greats.

  • March 25, 2009, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Burnhollywood

    by Joenathan

    Don't worry, they'll just adjust their main sensor array to emit a sustained tachyeon burst and everything will just fall into place after that...

  • March 25, 2009, 9:30 a.m. CST

    "the lackluster finale of BSG"? What the fuck?

    by Geekgasm

    Best series finale ever, you filthy savage

  • March 25, 2009, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Laserhead

    by Joenathan

    Sales isn't an indicator of anyone's PERSONAL sense of quality... it IS an indicator of being successful at your job AND as an indicator for future financial decisions... which is the main drive when it comes to comics (money)

  • March 25, 2009, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Jack Flag

    by steverodgers

    He was in that Reed Richards negative zone prison thing, Star-Lord gets sent to the negative zone, the prison is under attack by Blasstar (sp?), and Jack Flag rolls around and kicks ass. Time to jump in with Guardians, they have a talking raccoon and a talking dog. It's all comic book all the time.

  • March 25, 2009, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Voyager, Enterprise and Nemesis

    by BurnHollywood

    All had major problems because they bucked the established continuity...NEMESIS the worst, and thus, it had the least support.<p> Not a good idea to fuck with the big picture, but I'm repeating myself.

  • March 25, 2009, 9:35 a.m. CST

    I Shall Avenge You...Boychik!!

    by Duck of Death

    I'll never not find it funny when people misspell Khan as Kahn. THIS IS CETI ALPHA FIVE, YOU SCHMENDRICK!!!

  • March 25, 2009, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Yeah, of course it is

    by Laserhead

    I'm just talking value.<p>Nothing else to discuss this week.

  • March 25, 2009, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Glad Jack Flag's doing alright

    by Laserhead

    Really, really, really felt bad for the dude after the opening arc of Ellis' Thunderbolts. I always hoped some writer would remember poor 'ol Jack Flag in the Negative Zone.

  • March 25, 2009, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Is Jack Flagg in a wheelchair?

    by Joenathan

    I hope he brought his missile launching boom box.... It just sounds like it would fit in really nicely.

  • March 25, 2009, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Yeah, but that Thunderbolts arc...

    by Joenathan

    made Jack Flagg worth remembering, proving once again, that maintaining a superheroes status quo over the course of decades only increases how lame they are and only by "breaking" them every few years can you keep them vital.

  • March 25, 2009, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Also, Laser

    by Joenathan

    was your value response to the bendis thing, I couldn't tell.<br><br>But you are right, there is practically nothing to talk about this week, although its funny that despite how little value his detractors claim he has when it comes to the industry, we always seem to be able to easily discuss whatever it is Bendis is doing in comics... hmmm... funny...

  • March 25, 2009, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Jack Flag

    by steverodgers

    In a wheelchair. Can't remember if he had his missile launching boom box... that thing is pretty awesome.

  • March 25, 2009, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Oh...

    by Joenathan

    I see what you're saying... value story-wise... well... I can't argue with you there. Personally, I think Bendis is usually a good story-teller with a ditinctive style and if some of his stories don't pan out to their perceived full potential, well, shit happens sometimes. Value, as far as the worth of a particular run is first, last and always in the eye of the beholder.

  • March 25, 2009, 9:54 a.m. CST

    I think I could always discuss what Leifeld was doing too

    by Laserhead

    And I forgot about that missile-launching boom-box. Maybe I don't feel sorry for Jack Flag after all.

  • March 25, 2009, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Missile launching boom box

    by Joenathan

    Now some people might ask: Where does he keep all the extra missiles in an outfit with no pockets? Or even, why not just have a rocket launcher? But to me, the real question is: What kind of mix tape does he have in that thing? I'm betting 80s hair metal, although the idea of a greatest hits mix of the Bell Biv Devo and Tony Toni Tone and early Salt n Pepa could also be a possibility...

  • March 25, 2009, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Leifeld

    by Joenathan

    is desperatly trying to make Youngblood relevant again by including Obama. One thing I will say about Ol' Rob: That guy was a 'Blood team making machine. He put out like 80 titles in the first two years, all kind of the same, but slight variations of the x-men and their villians.

  • March 25, 2009, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Jacks mix

    by steverodgers

    I think that before Jack goes out on "patrol" he spends a few hours making the perfect mix. He also always has at least one song that he can really get down too- that way if a fight is getting long between him and say Batroc, they can always decide to stop punching and just dance it out.

  • March 25, 2009, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Invincible #60 *sounds* implausible

    by Animation

    I havent bought #60 yet, but the idea of Pitt or any of these other guys taking out any version of Invincible seems a bit of a stretch. The evil alternate ones are probably more focused on developing their power level than "our" Invincible is. So, I find it hard that all the world's heroes could stand up to more than 5 or 6 Invincibles, if that. How many evil alternates are there anyway? I guess I need to go pick it up.

  • March 25, 2009, 10:08 a.m. CST

    "decimate their galaxy..." ????

    by V'Shael

    Is it too much to ask, that people get the fucking words right? <p> That's like saying, I was about to throw a molotov cocktail, which would incinerate the planet. <p>Only worse.<p> So it should read "The Romulan Empire’s sun is about to go nova and decimate their solar system" <p> To which I would say, so fucking what? If Washington DC disappeared it wouldn't mean the end of the USA.

  • March 25, 2009, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Jack's mix

    by Joenathan

    I bet he holds the boom box up to the stereo and makes his Mixes that way, occasionally getting upset with the wife for making too much noise in the back ground.<br><br>"Damn it! You know I'm making my fight mix! Come on! ...Now I have to call the station and request Eye of the Tiger again..."

  • March 25, 2009, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Animation

    by Joenathan

    There's seven Invincible variants.... so yeah... its completely implausible.

  • March 25, 2009, 10:22 a.m. CST

    I Like Bendis

    by optimous_douche

    It might get me kicked out of the @$$hole Treehouse, but I do.<p> Ult. Spider-Man, Alias and Powers (when it comes out) have been some of favorite titles over the years.<p> I view him as a Wheedon light. Do the characters sometimes get involved in a little too much snark, sure they do. But if it’s good snark I’ll let it pass.<p> Would I want every comic written in this style, hell no. But do I enjoy it for what it is? Absolutely.

  • March 25, 2009, 10:36 a.m. CST

    "let’s not dwell on the aberrations of the ‘90s"

    by Bjornegar

    You mean like PREACHER, STARMAN, HITMAN, the Amalgam Age, and Batman comics written by Chuck Dixon and Alan Grant? You mean GUNSMITH CATS and Tim Truman's JONAH HEX? You mean Elseworlds, which admittedly run into the ground, gave us SUPERMAN: METROPOLIS and KINGDOM COME?<P> You mean those "crappy" comics?<P> Oh, no, you mean Image and the Marvel Reborn and the clone saga, of course, and "The Death of Superman" and "Knightquest" the kind of re-boot, re-envisionist crap that has disappeared from the comics stands today. <P> That's what you mean, right?

  • March 25, 2009, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Why do the gi joe books have to be so

    by Rufferto

    expensive? In fact everything from that company is. They can keep their fancy paper, or whatever excuse is being used, just cut at least a dollar off the price. Fuckers.

  • March 25, 2009, 10:55 a.m. CST

    by the way that's the one joe book i didnt get

    by Rufferto

    I couldn't be spending a fortune first off, and second, the art is shit. I also noticed Hawk looked the way he does in the movie. That was enough reason for me to not bother.

  • March 25, 2009, 10:58 a.m. CST

    maybe by "aberration" you meant

    by Bjornegar

    ACME NOVELTY LIBRARY, SIN CITY, HELLBOY, THRILLKILLERS<P> I see, now, 90s comics sucked.

  • March 25, 2009, 11:05 a.m. CST

    X-F, D-A, and of course Bendis

    by Homer Sexual

    Bjornegar--that was an awesome post! Right On! Also Sandman and Sandman Mystery Theater, Vertigo in general rocked the 90's. <p> Dark Avengers: Really? You enjoyed a multi-page conversation between Osborne and Sentry? Really? Well, diff'rent strokes... <p> The latest X-Factor was pretty underwhelming, IMO. I find myself quite bored with this book, contrary to popular opinion. It is just full of itself and I have grown weary of Madrox. <p> The listed events of Bendis are mostly reasons I stopped liking him as much as I used to. While Scarlet Witch did need some freshening up, I really don't like what happened to her. The Wasp's death was equally underwhelming. And Daredevil...he made me drop that book. I was cool with the "outing" of Murdock, but then he seemed to backtrack and it all became very tiresome. I have found New Avengers to be consistently entertaining, though, despite my initial refusal to buy it due to the presence of Wolverine, Marvel's most over-exposed character. <p> I shall pick up Invincible due to this review when I hit the LCS later today. <p> Last week I basically just got a bunch of X-books (x-Factor, X-Men, Wolverine Origins, X-Force). I was disappointed by all four of them. Origins had the characters behaving idiotically in order to advance the plot, X-Men continued to make Colossus boring. X-Force was the best one, and it wasn't all that great. I am getting X-ed out, I think.

  • March 25, 2009, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Right On Homer

    by optimous_douche

    I was struggling to get through that last Uncanny -- Shame really becasue the last issues since 500 have been pretty good.

  • March 25, 2009, 11:24 a.m. CST

    you forgot about Brandon Jerwa's take on Chuckles, Ambush Bug

    by SirWadie

    from about five or six years ago I think...now that was a great take on a minor character

  • March 25, 2009, 11:28 a.m. CST

    What I like about Optimous...

    by EverythingEverywhereStinks

    Aside from the fact that he's waaaaaaaaaaaaaay late with his JJ fanboy review of Star Trek: Countdown #3, I like the fact that he knows he's a douche. He knows it so well, he feels it so deeply in his soul, that he subconsciously created an internet moniker for himself that reflects his inner douchbaggery. Transform, Optimous Douche, and squirt out!

  • March 25, 2009, 11:35 a.m. CST

    On Decimate

    by optimous_douche

    So, it's not the verb, it's the object. OK, that's fair<p> With the week I was having at work though, I'm just glad spell check didn't give me desecrate as an option.<p> “Have you been a bad little Romulus? You have, haven’t you? Take that you dirty filthy naught planet. Yeeeeeaahhhhh….

  • March 25, 2009, 11:35 a.m. CST

    I was X-out immediately following AoA...

    by Joenathan

    After such a great crossover to just return to the unknown mutant of the month threatening the world formula was the final straw.<br><br>Although Old Man Logan is rocking the house.<br><br>Also, what happened to Ellis's X-men?<br><br>Also, also, anyone read Fantastic Four Dark Reign? I have a lot of hope for something cool. I really enjoyed its initial tone.

  • March 25, 2009, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Invincible is the best comic out there

    by White Goodman

    I know I've said it before, but it is the only book I find interesting anymore. And it is easy to follow. Pick up the TPBs friends. Do it bitches.

  • March 25, 2009, 11:36 a.m. CST

    On Douchery

    by optimous_douche

    I'm surprised this is coming to light now.<p> My zenith of Douchosity comes out when I really hate a book.

  • March 25, 2009, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Comic fans help!!!

    by Eats_sandwich_gets_laid.

    <p>Sign this petition to make a "Sandman" motion comic!!</p> http://tinyurl.com/crp6vh

  • March 25, 2009, 12:05 p.m. CST

    It is too much to ask

    by Joenathan

    on a website without an edit function for the talkbacks... There's also something to be said for colloquialisms and split hairs as well, but then... I guess we're argueing comics where anal retentiveness isn't just excused, its encouraged.

  • March 25, 2009, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Whatever Happened To The Venom Bomb?

    by LaserPants

    Remember that HORRENDOUSLY written story with a TOTALLY AWESOME premise about a Venom bomb hitting New York and turning everyone into symbiotes in a manner not unlike that which occurred in the video game Spider-Man: Web Of Shadows? Whatever happened to that? Oh, I know, Bendis crippled it by telling the story as if it had already happened, thereby ripping everyone right out of the story, killing the tension, and giving us no reason to care one way or another. So, right before the Skrull invasion, a totally awesome symbiote apocalypse occurred, only there is no reason to care because it was told as if it had already happened and was already resolved. Zzz. Too bad too, because it could have been, SHOULD have been really fuckin' cool.<br><br> Bendis does come up with really cool ideas (although I think Activision came up with the idea for the game first, and he ripped it off), but he has slim to no idea how to execute them. Also, his dialogue is TERRIBLE, and he has no sense of character voice -- every single character speaks exactly the same. Its like listening to a guy talking to himself. <br><br>In short, I think Bendis is reasonably imaginative, but his hackery gets in the way of his ideas being interesting.<br><br>Finally, sales do not equal quality. If that were the case, then that would mean that Titanic is the greatest movie ever made and Blade Runner was one of the worst.

  • March 25, 2009, 12:28 p.m. CST

    I picked up the first couple of INVINCIBLE trades.

    by Bjornegar

    Then I put them back down.<P> Never understood all the love for what I found to be generic teenager-in-tights.<P> Gave the books to my little brother. He didn't like 'em either.<P> To each, his or her own.

  • March 25, 2009, 12:42 p.m. CST

    No one is claiming

    by Joenathan

    sale equates quality. It DOES equate success though and thats all that matters as far as employment goes, especially in a dying market. You not liking his work doesn't matter since A. You obviously buy it, or at the very least, pay attention to it and then chat it up on the internet and B. Everyone else buys it regardless of your opinion.<br><br>Like I said man, as far as comics are concerned: Bendis is the shit, take a whiff.

  • March 25, 2009, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Just read all of Invincible last week

    by Laserhead

    What a great way to discover that series, with the collections already out there. I completely cracked-out on it. A GREAT reading experience.<p> All I knew of Kirkman was his stuff for Marvel and Walking Dead, and never cared for any of it. But between this and Astounding Wolf-Man, I think the guy's probably some type of prodigy.

  • March 25, 2009, 12:51 p.m. CST

    I've Found With Invincible

    by optimous_douche

    Some folks find the first trade slow, but become hooked afterwards.<p> Personally I liked it from page 1, but that's just me.

  • March 25, 2009, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Its True, I USED TO Buy His Books

    by LaserPants

    "Used to" being the operative phrase.<br><br> I've only returned to reading mainstream comics about 3 or 4 years ago (around when Civil War started) after having boycotted them since around early 90s when they started to SUCK. Since then I've read a bunch of Bendis books. At first I enjoyed them, but then, as I continued to read, the Diminishing Returns monster began to rear its head, and I've been dropping them. I dropped New Avengers after Secret Invasion and am about to drop Dark Avengers making me, thankfully, Bendis free. Like I said, he can come up with good premises, but has no ability to execute them. The premises kept me interested at first, now, not so much.<br><br> But you are right that in this dying capitalist society that money = success. It does not necessarily equal quality, however.

  • March 25, 2009, 12:52 p.m. CST

    On Motion Comics

    by optimous_douche

    How is this not a fucking cartoon??????<p> I watch, but I just don't get it.

  • March 25, 2009, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Money will always be a kind of yard-stick

    by Laserhead

    But there are many ways to define success, and the only true test is time. How good does your stuff look in 10 or 15 years? This is why we say William Faulkner is a better writer than, say, Harold Robbins. Trends come and go and earn money doing so. Quality lasts generation after generation, and on a long enough timeline, it wins the money battle too.

  • March 25, 2009, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Invincible # 60 does, indeed, kick-ass!

    by Zardoz

    No lie, it is the best book I picked up in a while. Anyone not reading it is missing out on some of the best storytelling around. Check it out!

  • March 25, 2009, 1:41 p.m. CST

    yes, but your assessment of quality is purely speculative

    by Joenathan

    Period<br><br>You can't make the arguement that time will find Bendis lacking in talent because ultimately his shitty quality will outweigh his monetary return, because there are (obviously judging by the sales) just as many, if not more, people out there who do NOT think Bendis is shitty. <br><Br>So with that particular opinion up for grabs, the only true measuring stick is bankability, return of investment, and by that measure Bendis is where it is at. Thats why he is navigating the current MArvel status quo, thats why he's creating, shepparding and writing so many projects and ultimately, that is why his legacy is assured. <br><br>This is the Bendis era, no one else (except maybe Morrison at DC) figures as large in current comics, so whether you like him or not is irrelevant to anything except your personal collection and bank account.<br><br>Personally, I'm up and down, depending on how "Bugs Bunny/Oh no he didn't" he gets in any particular issue. Plus, Alias and Powers and Ultimate Spidey are amazing.

  • March 25, 2009, 1:45 p.m. CST

    I hate motion comics

    by Joenathan

    I hated them thirty years ago when it was just the shitty way they made cartoons and I hate them now that they're back and repackaged as something good. Fucking terrible. Why don't Marvel and DC just invest in an animation studio that turns out stuff made for their main demographic, instead of kiddifying everything? Why not get in on the anime market, the adult swim market? Instead of shoving shitty motion comics at us. I'd like to find the asshole who first thought of this and kick that retard in the balls.

  • March 25, 2009, 1:47 p.m. CST

    HAHAHAHAHAHA

    by Joenathan

    Oh, Sector... you cad...

  • March 25, 2009, 1:57 p.m. CST

    The point is Sector

    by Joenathan

    that, if at the time, you would have stood up and said: New Kids suck, you would have been horribly out numbered by their rabid fans and since it all subjective, both personal opinions would have been mute and that fact would have remained that they were extremely successful at the time, with quality being ultimately irrelevant...<br><br>especially considering that their stupid reunion tour sold out all over last summer.<br><br>Bankability, baby.

  • March 25, 2009, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Plus

    by Joenathan

    If people don't care about Alias, thats because they're idiots.

  • March 25, 2009, 2:05 p.m. CST

    "will not age well with the readers as they mature"

    by Joenathan

    uh... I don't want to disillusion you, but I'm pretty sure everyone here is well past "matured", as are most comic fans these days.

  • March 25, 2009, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Decimate also means to kill in large numbers

    by hst666

    It certainly does mean to kill one in every ten or to destroy a tenth, but it also means to destroy, period. It's in the dictionary. You don't see me getting into fights because people write kidnaped as "kidnapped."

  • March 25, 2009, 2:13 p.m. CST

    Something That Holds Up...

    by Homer Sexual

    Soo, after the Final Crisis ended, I decided to re-read something I recalled as being quite good: Seven Soldiers 0, 1 and the tie-ins. So far I have re-read Morrison's Mister Miracle, Bulleteer, Klarion and Zatanna. All four of them are just outstanding. Even better than I remembered. <p> I do wonder how Bendis will hold up. My feeling is Morrison holds up better, but that is because I like Seven Soldiers and Animal Man considerably more than Powers, going back and re-reading these works. <p> I can't imagine Bendis will ever become a Rob Liefeld (or Fred Durst in music) type of Pariah that no one will ever admit having liked, but I don't think his stuff will be sought out either. I think he'll be, say, a Claremont.

  • March 25, 2009, 2:13 p.m. CST

    E-MAN??? Oh, SNAP!!!!

    by superhero

    I gotta get me some o' that good stuff!!!!Joe Staton I love you!!!!!

  • March 25, 2009, 2:18 p.m. CST

    I'm not judging "artistic" success by money

    by Joenathan

    I'm just judging success, there's a difference.

  • March 25, 2009, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Claremont-ing

    by Joenathan

    I'm beginning to suspect that this is the fate of all of them. Somehow, they all start to lose touch, they all cease to explore and push boundaries. Maybe its the subject matter, maybe its just a natural by-product of the creators aging, but it seems to be spreading with every year.

  • March 25, 2009, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by Continentalop

    I love debating you man, but every week your argument against anyone who criticizes one of your favs is the same: that you can’t judge that person because anyone’s criticism is based on their personal feelings towards someone or based on a subjective view point; and that sales is the ultimate indicator of skill and talent. <p> You have created an impregnable shield against any criticism or difference in opinion. If I don’t like Bendis or Millar because of their storylines, plotting, dialogue, etc., but that makes my opinion invalid because that is based on personal opinions (as if there is some sort of mathematical formula to determine what is good or bad, and not subjective view point); and if sales is the sole indicator of success, than does McDonald’s have the most delicious food in the world, or just the best marketed and have the best business model? And for the amount of time people talk about him, hell, Uwe Boll most be Martin Scorsese considering the amount of discussion going on about him on this site. <p> But I have to admire your strategy: no one can criticize your favorites because it is only because of personal reasons they don't like your favs, and sales proves that you are right (even if they too are a nebulous thing).

  • March 25, 2009, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Someone Please Explain FINAL CRISIS fans

    by optimous_douche

    How FINAL CRISIS was "brilliant" as claimed in an earlier Talkback!<p> We can debate endlessly who will stand the test of time, but we won't know for awhile will we?<p> However, here and now I want to know why some consider FINAL CRISIS brilliant.<p> I really wnat to know. All I hear from the fans to the detractors is "you're too stupid to understand." Then please enlighten the masses.

  • March 25, 2009, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by Joenathan

    Normally, I would sit back and twiddle my moustache while cackling with glee, BUT this week, the debate isn't about whether or not Bendis is good (at least, not for me) its about whether or not he deserves his job (at least, this is how it started yesterday). All I'm saying is that the guy moves books and in a dying industry that is the only thing that matters when it comes to employement. Also, Bendis Uber Alles!

  • March 25, 2009, 2:39 p.m. CST

    sector

    by Joenathan

    true, but see respons above.

  • March 25, 2009, 2:41 p.m. CST

    I'm with Optimus

    by Joenathan

    I even enjoyed Final Crisis and I'm a big Morrison backer, but when compared to his other works... FC is toward the bottom, below Sea Guy and Sebastian O.

  • March 25, 2009, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Aslo Continentalop

    by Joenathan

    I never said sales was an indicator of talent. I would never say that. I said: "Sales is an indicator of success." There's a difference.

  • March 25, 2009, 2:43 p.m. CST

    I hear Brian Michael Bendis is a fake!

    by Squashua

    They tell me he's not bald, but actually shaves his head.

  • March 25, 2009, 2:46 p.m. CST

    nice reverse baiting

    by Joenathan

    well played, my friend... well played...

  • March 25, 2009, 2:47 p.m. CST

    WHOA!

    by Joenathan

    Sea Guy was funny,.I'll give you that, but Sebastian O was not great, come on now.

  • March 25, 2009, 2:48 p.m. CST

    I am not exactly an FC Fan.

    by Homer Sexual

    I thought FC was interesting, but not "brilliant" by any means. I am not even sure how much I liked it, but it kept my interest because there were so many characters and so much going on. I tend to like that sort of thing, but I can see how others would not. <p> It was very ambitious, trying to re-invent the whole New Gods. I don't think it was a success (I prefer the old New Gods to the new New Gods) but it was an interesting attempt. <p> And I don't see how anyone can deny that FC was kind of a mess. But I've read it twice, unlike Secret Invasion, which I initially loved but then grew bored with. <p> One big defense of Bendis is that two of his favorites are also my two favorite MU characters: Spider-Woman and Luke Cage. I actually quite like his dialogue, but there is nothing I can point to and say "this is awesome" that he has written. Whereas, even with Claremont, I can point out the Dark Phoenix Saga and say "this rocks! Even today!"

  • March 25, 2009, 2:50 p.m. CST

    I'm not changing anything

    by Joenathan

    My arguement has always been: whether you like him or not is irrelevant, his sales make him successful and that is why he deserves his job. Thats how the debate started... and finished.

  • March 25, 2009, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Homer

    by Joenathan

    Alias, Powers, Ultimate spider-man

  • March 25, 2009, 2:56 p.m. CST

    I agree with Sector_11374265

    by Joenathan

    except where we disagree.

  • March 25, 2009, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Sea Guy?

    by Homer Sexual

    Sea Guy reeked! Ugh! I had forgotten who wrote Sebastian O, but I can still remember that mini, so it had something going for it. <p> I also did not like the Invisibles, so I think when GM gets too "out there," he loses me. <p> Sector, I wouldn't say it is "undecipherable" but I would say all the parts don't really come together. The easiest example is the very last page of the whole series. I consider myself bright and am definitely well educated. But I don't know WHY Batman was there in the cave. This doesn't bother me that much, though. I don't feel like I have to fully understand every single thing that happens as long as I get the gist of it.

  • March 25, 2009, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Gasp! Homer!

    by Joenathan

    You DIDN'T like Invisibles? How... Thats fucked up, dude. Thats something you should re-read. Soon.

  • March 25, 2009, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Joe

    by Homer Sexual

    Well, Powers holds up as a decent read, but not something I would ever use to try and show someone how awesome comics can be (I do this sort of thing often). <p> Spider-Man is a character I simply can't get into. But I did love GM's Superman, and Supes was another character I never thought I'd find interesting. <p> I will give Alias a try.

  • March 25, 2009, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Sector

    by Joenathan

    you joined the debate late, baby. The debate started with Laserpants (I think, maybe it was Laserhead, I get you two mixed up, all you Lasers look alike...) wondering aloud why Joe Q and Bendis have jobs and I said its because they're successful at what they do and it all went down hill from there until now when you wandered in blind as shit and not even knowing it, all flailing around and declaring and not understanding what was going on, so there hopefully now you know, because knowin is half the battle. <br><br>Sidebar: I don't believe Chuckles could ever be cool, I will have to check that issue out.

  • March 25, 2009, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Homer

    by Joenathan

    I feel the same way about Spider-man as you do, so I was shocked to discover how much I actually enjoyed the Ultimate title over the years because I never really felt that way about the regular continuity title.

  • March 25, 2009, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Not too mention

    by Joenathan

    That it could have all been in Batman's mind

  • March 25, 2009, 3:19 p.m. CST

    See?

    by Joenathan

    Thats totally NOT what we were debating... You should really go back abd read the previous posts...

  • March 25, 2009, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Once again...

    by Joenathan

    you didn't read the post... I never said it was the ONLY factor, in fact, I agreed with you when you pointed out that it wasn't the only one. What I originally said was: Sales is not an indicator of quality, but it is an indicator of success. "AN" as in: One of. Kind of like Mephisto is A Devil, not THE Devil <br><br>Aren't I a stinker?

  • March 25, 2009, 3:29 p.m. CST

    I agree with Sector_11374265...

    by MrSensitive

    Sales aren't indicators of success, the truly talented writer is the person no one's ever heard of, and aren't talking about. Or something...

  • March 25, 2009, 3:34 p.m. CST

    So... they don't?

    by Joenathan

    What does that prove? Where do I say that its the only factor? And regardless, doesn't making a lot of money at your job make you successful?

  • March 25, 2009, 3:35 p.m. CST

    ah...

    by Joenathan

    hmmm... incomplete quote...interesting... very telling....

  • March 25, 2009, 3:35 p.m. CST

    ah...

    by blackthought

    comics...

  • March 25, 2009, 3:53 p.m. CST

    sector

    by Joenathan

    I think you have blinded yourself with rage. Perhaps if you took a break, maybe went for a walk for a bit and cooled down and then came back, you'd be better able to understand. I don't know, in the end, I'm not responsible for you having misconstrued my plainly worded posts. I mean, if me directly telling you that I believe Sales to be an indicator of success but not the only one, fails to connect... its beyond me.

  • March 25, 2009, 3:58 p.m. CST

    hmmm...

    by Joenathan

    Oh, I see... split hairs so that you can identify yourself as a rebel on a comic book message board. Well, I am impressed, senor anti-society with your bohemian ways...

  • March 25, 2009, 4:04 p.m. CST

    I now agree with Joenathan...

    by MrSensitive

    Sector_11374265 is too blinded by rage to know when people agree with him...or when hhe's been mocked.

  • March 25, 2009, 4:07 p.m. CST

    I agree with MrSensitive

    by Joenathan

    He always strangely attuned to such things...

  • March 25, 2009, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Sector

    by Joenathan

    I didn't read your post, as I got bored partway in, but I assume its more of the same. From here on out, please randomly revisit one of my above responses, except when you re-read them please do so aloud in a bored voice, sighing occasionally and rolling your eyes for the correct effect. Thank you.

  • March 25, 2009, 4:28 p.m. CST

    That Dark Avengers review....

    by AnakinsDiapers

    was Steverodgers being facetious? I couldn't tell. I used to really like Bendis. Now i can't stand him, because his flaws seem to just dominate his narative. See his take on magic. It's really awfull. Yet he's in charge of Dr. Strange and this upcoming new sorcerer supreme storyline. But i can stand it in small doses, which is why, since bendis seems to be in charge of the main marvel U, i only collect satelite titles like Thor, and the cosmic stuff.

  • March 25, 2009, 4:29 p.m. CST

    I missed the whole talkbalk, but have we already pointed out tha

    by rock-me Amodeo

    Sector_11374265 is the troll formerly known as Jeff Albertson and many other names? It only took me reading two of his silly and predictable ad hominems to figure it out.

  • March 25, 2009, 4:34 p.m. CST

    AnakinsDiapers

    by steverodgers

    Nope. I really liked it. It's the first Bendis I have read in awhile, so maybe his style will start to grate after a few more issues, but right now with the way he is writing Osborn I am just loving it.

  • March 25, 2009, 4:44 p.m. CST

    OK I’m Stealing Back for FC

    by optimous_douche

    Sorry guys, but the whole do sales=success debate is beneath all of you. You are all smart and well read. We all know monetary success does not an artist make (sorry needed a Yoda moment).<p> Is a blockbuster film a better story than indie films? No, but they appeal to the bubblegum part of our brain versus the caviar connoisseur portion. Sometimes entertainment should make you think and sometimes it’s a lot of fun to just go into coma mode.<p> OK back to FC.<p> Sector, I appreciate that you consider the piece art. Now let me throw a fancy college term back at you – Freytag’s Pyramid, the formation of a story.<p> Call me a purist, but I need it. I want the exposition (which I think was actually a strong point of the series), but then it was all just rising action to the abrupt, confusing and lackluster denouement.<P> The New Gods and the Monitors are not the centers of the DC universe. There are three people that are and they were sidelined.<p> Again, I totally appreciate where you are coming and as I’ve always said I never hated the series. But to call it CRISIS was a sham and a “head-fake” by DC to suck nostalgia dollars from our wallets. It was not a CRISIS, it was a series of interesting moments strung very loosely together.<p> Look at other posts in this TalkBack -- we are speculating as to the meaning and reality of the events even still. I’ll save my art for the canvas, please just keep giving me stories in my comics.

  • March 25, 2009, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Sector_11374265: Actually no. I meant what I said.

    by V'Shael

    Even if you go by "decimate" as a literal usage, a GALAXY is just so much bigger than a nova, or supernova could impact. The molotov cocktail analogy stands.

  • March 25, 2009, 4:56 p.m. CST

    "We all know monetary success does not an artist make"

    by Joenathan

    true, but it will make the guy rich

  • March 25, 2009, 4:58 p.m. CST

    Optimous Douche

    by Continentalop

    Two things: <p> 1) You ever seen the website hot chicks with douchebags? Just curious. <p> 2) If you are looking at FC as a dramatic work, it qualifies as a tragedy: it ended in catastrophe for the readers. <p>

  • March 25, 2009, 5 p.m. CST

    I think FC was a catastrophe because...

    by Joenathan

    not only a lack of editorial support across the board, but a general lack of editorial control when it came to Morrison.<br><br>Discuss.

  • March 25, 2009, 5 p.m. CST

    Most recent Captain America storyline

    by GiggityGoo

    Just finished reading the latest Cap storyline. Was it me, or was the artwork this time around so muddled that it was difficult to tell a couple of issues back exactly what the "big reveal" in Chin's lab was? I dunno, something about the art the last several issues just threw me off. Still love Brubaker, though.

  • March 25, 2009, 5:01 p.m. CST

    "..but it will make the guy rich."

    by Continentalop

    So will selling smack and coke and being a hedge fund manager. Doesn't make it good.

  • March 25, 2009, 5:02 p.m. CST

    yeah, that was butch guice (?)

    by Joenathan

    He was kind of muddy last issue...

  • March 25, 2009, 5:03 p.m. CST

    It does if you want to send your kid to college

    by Joenathan

    Reality... fantasy... reality... fantasy...

  • March 25, 2009, 5:12 p.m. CST

    That is why I don't have or want kids

    by Continentalop

    I prefer living in my fantasy land of morals and personal codes. Same reason I don't work in porn - I believe in an idea called art. Just making something to get a buck doesn't appeal to me. <p> Of course, I freely admit, that I believe even art should have some appeal to the masses (why make something if the only one who is going to enjoy it is you). But I prefer to make something I personally look at as good, instead of trying to turn out crap. If I wanted to do that, I would have gotten a job working on Tool Academy or Rock of Love or some crappy reality show. They pay good but the money doesn't offset the crappiness of the product. <p> And even if some people do like watching it (which ratings have proven people do) doesn't mean I have to be a party to it. I prefer to take my money and my brain cells somewhere else.

  • March 25, 2009, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Invincible 60

    by lex romero

    I have mixed feelings about this. On the positive, it was a great little experiment and a big fuck you to DC and Marvel. The plot has definatly changed the Invincible world and it was great fun seeing it all fit into one issue. To whoever asked how the heroes could defeat so many invincibles, not to reveal too much, but basically it works, without seeming unconvincing. And doesn't necessarily end in "defeating" them as you're thinking. <br><br> On the negative, the IMAGE universe isn't really one in the same way marvel and DC is. Many of the characters just do not work in the same universe (witchblade/the darkness work together, but in the same universe as invincible? Just no) which left many of the cameos rather jarring. <br><br> Also the comic just ended up feeling far too compressed. I know he wanted to show you could do this epic story in one issue, but it ended up feeling like a summary of a longer event. Now it could be argued that's all you need with these big events because they're only there to set up the new status quo hence you might as well just read a summary, there just spread out to make money blah blah blah. <br><br> But I feel like his "screw you guys I can do all that in one issue!" reaction is too much, and is detrimental to the story. I know giving it two or three issues would have been against what he wanted to do, but I think it would have worked far better. And still had the impact he wanted imo. 2 or 3 issues is just as impressive compared to the DC/Marvel ridiculously long events and million spin offs. <br><br> Nonetheless I comend Kirkman for being willing to fuck up the status quo of his comic series and let it stick, rather than marvel/DCs resets after a year of the "change".

  • March 25, 2009, 5:40 p.m. CST

    Sector FC

    by optimous_douche

    < p > But without the spaces. Don't ask me on bold and I still haven't cracked the Harry Code yet.<p> Sorry for the confusion before, I actually thought the exposition was well thought out. The Green Lantern archeological dig, the entrapment of Turpin, I was there. Right up until when Barry Allen returns. Sorry, I just wanted more epic.<p> I'll fully admit, I was never a New Gods fan, so that's probably where a part of my apathy comes from. If I never saw Orion again it would be too soon.<p> Yes, the Monitor was part of the last Crises, but again he WAS the Last Crises. Here we had two Hallmark moments to book-end the piece.<p> Consequences, I guess. The universe was not drastically shooken up until almost book six.<p> And I will admit I hold editorial responsible for not getting the reset-quake that's happening right now through all of the other titles. Yes, I'm going to sound like an old bastard, but with the first Crises, the resets in the other titles happened along with each Crises release. They did it this time but three months afterward.<p> I know that's my context, as for Grant Morrison, I don't know -- I'm not him.

  • March 25, 2009, 5:40 p.m. CST

    you guys like EVERYTHING...

    by errolmorris

    seriously, you giver EVERY comic a good review every week. i don't even need to read the review, just skip to the last line - POSITIVE, POSITIVE, POSITIVE, POSITIVE... grow some testes or read some bad comics. i recommend tarot: curse of the black rose (or whatever the frick it's called).

  • March 25, 2009, 6:20 p.m. CST

    Joenathan: It was Ross in Cap #45

    by GiggityGoo

    (Just went and looked it up...)<p>On the next-to-last page... In the flashback the Winter Soldier busted into Chin's big warehouse, and there were what I can only assume were tanks filled with blue goo and human bodies. I blew past that panel, and it wasn't until reading the book for the third time that it hit me that we were supposed to be shocked by a "big reveal" in that panel. And then I spent the last couple of books playing mental catch-up when I realized Chin was experimenting on people. But the story/dialog left the art to explain that, and it didn't do it clearly. At least, not for me.

  • March 25, 2009, 6:57 p.m. CST

    Man am I late to the party

    by gooseud

    1. The problem with Bendis is this: he simply has too much power. If he was just another writer writing just another book, no one would care. Like Whedon writing Astonishing, fans could enjoy him and detractors could just move along. The problem arises with Bendis not in his lack of talent, but his domination of Marvel overall. His style doesnt lend itself to universe-wide exposure. Thats not his fault, but it is what it is. 2. Sales indicate nothing. Creed sold 10 million albums, nuff said. 90% of America is stupid and uninformed, being able to convince them to waste money on something means zip in regards to quality. 3. Nothing better then that disco-lookin kid's death in Khan, the most unintentionally gay death in movies: "Yours........is.....SUPERIOR!!"

  • March 25, 2009, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Bjorn's post

    by gooseud

    "PREACHER, STARMAN, HITMAN, KINGDOM COME".......I think I just achieved full mast.

  • March 25, 2009, 7:03 p.m. CST

    One more thing on Bendis.....

    by gooseud

    my hypocrisy does know its bounds, I consistently read nothing the man writes, never have, doubt I ever will. So for the record, I;m not a hater sitting back throwing bombs while reading everything he prints. Me and Joe already had this conversation, but to address a comment made above, Brubaker clearly is lights years better then Bendis by any measure you choose to use. Theres more awesomeness in 2 issues of Incognito then all of Secret Invasion combined.

  • March 25, 2009, 7:10 p.m. CST

    Another similarity between Nero and a past Star Trek item is...

    by qweruiop

    ...Dr. Soran from Star Trek Generations. Both were humble men who probably just wanted to live life without doing anything evil, but it takes the death of their families to change them into sympathetic villains.

  • March 25, 2009, 7:13 p.m. CST

    LAserhead

    by gooseud

    You dont like Walking Dead? Really? Thats a bold statement,bro....I could see beng frustrated at times with it, but straight up not liking it?

  • March 25, 2009, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Final Crisis

    by gooseud

    was awesome for one page: when Bats pulls out the gun and blows Darkseid away. I said it when that issue came out, and Ill say it again, that scene was legend. As evidenced by the fact that its generally the first thing that comes up when FC arrives in the conversation. However, here's something to really blow your mind: now that its all said and done, I think the truth can be told: Identity Crisis was better then FC. Brad Meltzer out-wrote Grant Morrison. Everyone's head just collectively exploded/.

  • March 25, 2009, 7:47 p.m. CST

    Yeah, people talk about Bats shooting Darksied

    by Continentalop

    But will me be talking about it ten years from now. Will it be like Green Goblin throwing Gwen Stacy off the bridge or when the Joker crippled Barbara Gordon; or will it be more like Wonder Woman killing Max Lord or Superman dying at the hands of Doomsday? A big event when it happened but later forgotten and only rarely brought up. <p> The problem with the shooting of Darksied is it had to happen during a forgettable storyline. Final Crisis will be like Marvel's Secret Wars II - an apparently mega-event that left people disappointed and will probably be soon pretty much ignored and forgotten save for an occasional mention.

  • March 25, 2009, 7:49 p.m. CST

    'But will WE be talking about it..."

    by Continentalop

    Damn typos. Just wanted to clarify what I wrote.

  • March 25, 2009, 7:50 p.m. CST

    (shrugs)

    by gooseud

    Identity Crisis was a better series. In that particular case, in fact Meltzer put out a better story. Sorry man, but its true, it surprises me as much as anyone. And as far as me being a troll, ask everyone else, they can offer their opinions on that (shrugs)

  • March 25, 2009, 7:56 p.m. CST

    Fantastic Four Christmas story in.....

    by BangoSkank

    late March and early April, has this been mentioned? I haven't been around, but to read the reviews the past few weeks, so I'm curious. <p> I've defended Millar's FF, but it's not even fucking winter any longer. <p> Just wanted to bitch about that.

  • March 25, 2009, 10:38 p.m. CST

    I think FC was a catastrophe...

    by Joenathan

    Because while, yes, I did enjoy it, it would seem to me that the majority of the comic reading public did not. In fact, it seems like most of them out right hated it. This was not DC's intention, after all the money, the advertising, the build up, the big sell, to have what looks like most of the comic reading community hate your product seems like an Epic Fail.

  • March 25, 2009, 10:43 p.m. CST

    Goose

    by Joenathan

    Large sales means large appeal, it means you're catching the most demographics. True, it has nothing to do with art, but in the case of Titanic say, the studios could give two shits about art while rolling in their billions and billions of dollars. Its not a good thing, its not a bad thing, its reality.<br><br>Like McDonalds, its shit, right? But sells worldwide and because it sells like crazy worldwide, McDonalds isn't going to change what they do, because it works. They're just going to do more of the same. Thats how Marvel is. You may think Joe Q and Bendis are shit, but as long as that opinion doesn't affect their sales, Marvel is going to keep things just how they are, because they are successful. Artists? Hmmm... maybe not, but thats not really important to Corporations

  • March 26, 2009, 12:22 a.m. CST

    I can honestly say that Identity Crisis was a better written ser

    by Ambush Bug

    Mainly because at least Meltzer would thread numerous panels together cohesively. Not once during IC was a scratching my head and saying, what the fuck or who the hell is that or why is this happening?<br> While reading FC I did that numerous times.<br> Now, if you want to go the low road and claim that I'm ignorant because I wasn't able to follow Morrison's acid trip, that's your perogative. But I've read thousands of books and reviewed hundreds here on AICN and I can safely say that only during FINAL CRISIS and maybe a few indie books done by people who clearly don't know how to tell a story in a comic book format have I been left with this feeling.<br> Do I hate FINAL CRISIS? No. It's a story. An inanimate object. I save my hate for idiots. But is it a story I thought was deeply flawed? Why yes. Yes it was.<br> Editorial: It was flawed on an editorial level because the writer was allowed to write and rewrite the story until his keyboard was worn down. It was flawed because editorial hyped it up to be the culmination of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis, 52, and Countdown, when it clearly was not. It was flawed because deadlines were ignored and delays were rampant. FINAL CRISIS could have been made of bacon tasting tits and it still wouldn't have lived up to the hype. It was flawed because instead of doing an experimental story that could have been enjoyed (and probably been more successful) on a smaller level, it was sold as the end all be all to everything, tying into everything, and causing ramifications felt in your unborn great grandson's pampers. It was flawed because major things happened to major players, but none of it was referenced in any of the characters books and worse yet, they all were stuck in a boring holding pattern waiting for Morrison to come out of his smoking hut.<br> On the writing side: It was flawed because Morrison as usual had too many ideas and too little attention and space the execute them. Flitting around from one thing to another does not a story make. And two pages dedicated to the death of the biggest character in Hollywood and the DCU is not enough. Plus null and voiding said death in the next issue didn't make it any more memorable. Writing one good scene with Talky Tawny doesn't make for a good miniseries. Plus FUCK Morrison for not talking with the rest of DC's writers about the characters they were writing in thier own books. One conference with all of the writers to keep everyone up to speed would have made for a much more enjoyable experience by all. But Morrison's second guessing himself and rewriting himself and egotistically locking himself off from others covered this series with the stank of arrogance.<br> Finally, the comment about remembering FC for Batman shooting Darkseid is hilarious. If anything, FC will be remembered as a mess. Not one uncohesive page of the book outshines the massive fuck up editorial made.<br> IDENTITY CRISIS is completely flawed, but it was at least cohesive and it had moments that people still talk about. Sure they disagree, but at least people are complaining about stuff that happened in the story rather than editorial fuck ups surrounding it.

  • March 26, 2009, 2:02 a.m. CST

    Hahahaha

    by kungfuhustler84

    God does DC suck ass right now.

  • March 26, 2009, 2:05 a.m. CST

    Best two books on the stands right now

    by kungfuhustler84

    are Bad Dog and Bang Tango. Je Kelly rules. All you assholes yapping on and on about some moronic nonsense like Final Crisis and Bendis' dialogue need to shut up and read some good comics. Anything Ed Brubaker is a good place to start too.

  • March 26, 2009, 2:07 a.m. CST

    That should say Joe Kelly

    by kungfuhustler84

    And all that above being said, I am STILL looking forward to the Morrison and Quitely Batman and Robin. If you're not excited too, read All Star Superman, and shut your trap.

  • March 26, 2009, 2:36 a.m. CST

    Nice argument Bug but...

    by Continentalop

    ...I think both qualify as disasters for different reasons. I found IDENTITY CRISIS to just be a tasteless piece of sensationalism made by a hack, while I found FC to be an indecipherable, in-cohesive mess made by sometimes infuriating incomprehensible artist. <p> In movie terms, one was I Spit On Your Grave and the other is Jean Luc Godard's King Lear. <p> As for Bendis, I also find him overrated. Other's might like his style, but to me he is to obvious. I can see the artifice. I prefer Brubaker and Slott (although his current run on Mighty Avengers is just awful so far).

  • March 26, 2009, 4:12 a.m. CST

    brubaker's daredevil is great

    by crazybubba

    but is it blasphemy on this site to question whether his dark noirish style really fits with Captain America? I've never really followed Cap even though i'm a fan (if that makes sense) but does the darker tone work with him or Bucky or the Winter Soldier or whoever?

  • March 26, 2009, 6:22 a.m. CST

    Brubaker and Bendis

    by gooseud

    Personally I love what he's done with Cap, dark tone and all. The Nomad issue of Cap a few years ago was one of the single darkest issues of Cap ever published and was incredible. Heres the thing about Bru: you cant say he's the best writer in comics today overall because he cant write comedy. Everything hes ever written is a bit lacking in the sense of humor department. HOWEVER, he does what he does far far better then anyone else out there, and despite him not being #1, hes gotta be top 3 overall, if only for his rock solid consistency (has Bru ever wrtten a bad title? Ever?. Let me also reiterate, I actually dont believe Bendis is bad, hes just best taken in small doses. I will defend Whedon's Astonishing X to the death (and oddly enough, the second he leaves the title goes right down the shitter, funny how that works), but I wouldnt want Whedon writing the entire MArvel U. Hes best taken in small doses, one or two titles at most....of course, those one or two titles are going to be awesome, hes extremely talented.

  • March 26, 2009, 6:29 a.m. CST

    Contienetal= IC

    by gooseud

    Continental, I respect your right to disagree on Identity Crisis, but heres my point: that series took tons of heat for the rape scene, lets be honest. Here was the argument: "this title has great moments, but it doesnt belong in the DCU. Rape? Heroes mind wiping each other? Lets get back to the REAL DCU." Heres the thing: that title WAS the real DCU!!! Its just the first you saw of the new DCU, so it was more shocking. Think about it: Batman shooting people, implied gang rape of Supergirl, Superboy Prime ripping people limb from limb, Wonder Woman killing people. Identity Crisis was just the start of a complete tonal shift for DC. Given what everyone knows about what direction the DCU was going to take (and which IC announced), go back and read it again. I think youll find a story with a terrible last issue, completely weak reveal of the villain......but chock full of awesome, iconic moments and great, well written scenes. The race to reach Robin's dad? I mean, come on now, that was fantastic.

  • March 26, 2009, 6:34 a.m. CST

    And in defense of Morrison......

    by gooseud

    in case anyone think I'm a Morrison hater, or being unfair, I stand by what I've always thought, which is Morrison is the best dialogue writer in comics today, bar none. 50% of the time that dialogue is encased in a completely self indulgent incomprehensible story, but I will give credit where its due: the man can write dialogue like few in history. Since I feel like stirring things up a bit, I'll throw another question out there: Morrison's X men run was his absolute peak as a writer? Or All Star Superman? FC represents Morrison at his self indulgent worst, what represents him at his all time best?

  • March 26, 2009, 8:41 a.m. CST

    MOrrison has ALREADY stood the test of time

    by Laserhead

    Animal Man is still collected and in-print 20 YEARS after its initial run.<p>Likewise, his entire run of Doom Patrol. In fact, everything the guy has ever done is still in print.

  • March 26, 2009, 8:43 a.m. CST

    Seaguy does not reek!

    by Laserhead

    Just saying.<p>Alright, alright. I was here at the beginning yesterday but then missed everything.

  • March 26, 2009, 9:11 a.m. CST

    Test of Time

    by steverodgers

    It is interesting to think of the comics that you revisit and that hold up and get even get better as you read them over and over. Identify Crisis, even with its flaws (the rape scene really does bother me) I find to be a tight comic book mystery where the stakes feel high. The DKR isn't as good as when I first read it, but I still cheer when Batman takes down the mutant leader ("this is an operating table and I’m the doctor") - Watchmen of course... Preacher still holds up for awhile for me then sort of loses its way towards the end - the Master of Evil Avengers story line gets better and better - and one that I just can't seem to read again is the Sandman - which just might be a time issue - but I don't know if I will ever read them again, and when I first read them I thought it was the best thing ever. Starman is up there... I have a feeling that Y will be a revisit, All Star Superman, Local… and an old one that never gets boring is Kamandi – by far my favorite Kirby. Civil War, Final Crisis (except that Tawny Tiger scene), would not be on that list, but Millar’s Ultimates I think will be a keeper. Fun to think about anyway.

  • March 26, 2009, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Yeah, I think about that stuff now

    by Laserhead

    Especially as I've turned thirty and find myself buying new editions of stuff I liked when it first came out. Doom Patrol and Animal Man hold up for me. DKR not so much. Same with 'The Killing Joke', which I really kind of don't like now. Swamp Thing is still good. IC doesn't work for me; not because of the rape, but because the 'solution' to the mystery was done in the most hackneyed, hacky-hack way possible. Seven Soldiers is one of my favorites, when read in order in the collected editions.<p>I'm expecting to get some substantial mileage out of Final Crisis once it's fully collected, with the Superman Beyond Interludes, and the way it was mis-marketed and falsely promoted is long behind us. I have a feeling I'll have a new fondness for it as 'Cracked-Out-Superhero-Opera-Bugaboo'.

  • March 26, 2009, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Seven Soldiers

    by steverodgers

    I definitely need to get those, they seem to get a lot of love here. What is the order in which to read them? I am with you on Killing Joke, I have no desire to read that again.

  • March 26, 2009, 9:47 a.m. CST

    I just have the collections

    by Laserhead

    So I read Seven Soldiers vol.1-4 in that order. Works great. Lots of fun, and lots of layers to look at and consider.

  • March 26, 2009, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by Joenathan

    Ugh, I am with you on Mighty, what a piece of garbage.

  • March 26, 2009, 9:54 a.m. CST

    vol. 1-4

    by steverodgers

    Ha! Thanks Laser... wildly dumb question apparently. I will check them out.

  • March 26, 2009, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Mighty

    by steverodgers

    Is really disappointing. Maybe Slott isn't who we thought he was. The art doesn’t help either.

  • March 26, 2009, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Morrison

    by Joenathan

    That was a great read. I still think about Vigilante's failed team occasionally. Althouh, ultimately, I think his bookend end issue might hurt its status amongst those of us not already devoted to it.<br><br>I agree with Goose, in general, but specifically about Ultimates and Brubaker's lack of comedy.<br><br>But as for Morrison's peak. I'd be tempted to go for his early JLA through Rock of Ages, or maybe We3 or All-Star or that kids revolt or Wolverine and Cyclops on an adventure run from Astonishing, but really.... Its the Invisibles. Hands down.

  • March 26, 2009, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Mighty

    by Joenathan

    The art definitely does not help, its that weird, puffy balloon people art, but even a great artist couldn't disguise the turd-ball dialogue. The Iron Man/Hulk fight was especially bad.

  • March 26, 2009, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Brubaker has comedy

    by kungfuhustler84

    just not in everything. His earliest arc of Iron Fist had quite a good deal of comedy I thought. I get what you're saying though.

  • March 26, 2009, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Laser

    by Joenathan

    Seaguy Didn't stink, true, but whenever the sequel is announced, do you even get a little bit excited?

  • March 26, 2009, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Dark Knight

    by Joenathan

    I think it still holds up, which is funny, because just about everything else that Miller has done now looks like a slobbering retard parody of noir to me.

  • March 26, 2009, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Steve

    by Joenathan

    Seven Soldiers is totally worth it, but its a "more tasty while eating then afterwards" type of book.

  • March 26, 2009, 10:08 a.m. CST

    I AM excited for the Seaguy sequel

    by Laserhead

    I'm excited for the whole trilogy. The third and last is Seaguy Eternal. Morrison talked about it on CBR or something last week-- that each volume takes Seaguy through a different point in his development. The first series is very childlike (and disturbing in the ways childhood is disturbing), and this new one is adolescence. How to be a hero in a world that doesn't want heroes? I'm there.

  • March 26, 2009, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Dark Knight

    by Laserhead

    Maybe it's all the excrement that followed from Miller's pen after DK, but when I try re-reading it, I just find all the faux-hardboiled dialogue laughable (though not as laughable as his Sin City stuff). This kind of fascist power-fantasy as dreamed by a thirteen-year-old. It's okay for what it is, I guess. I really, really don't like the 'crazy-obsessive-psycho' version of Bats, though.

  • March 26, 2009, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Crazy obsessive psycho version of Bats

    by kungfuhustler84

    Yeah that kind of complaint sort of falls apart when you think about how Bruce Wayne runs around all night beating the shit out of people because he thinks it's his purpose in life. Bats acting slightly crazier doesn't really bother me. Makes sense really.

  • March 26, 2009, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Favorite Morrison

    by Laserhead

    I like Invisibles a lot too, but it was such a fluid book that it's quality and aims change from collection to collection. My all-time favorite Morrison is probably, I gotta say, the entire Doom Patrol run-- enough stuff in there to fuel four or five entire universes worth of comics. Cliff Steele's journey as a hero is still one of the most touching pieces of characterization Morrison has done.<p>I also really, really, really love The Filth. That series doesn't get enough love, but read it closely in collected form. Great art. Lots of action. Big ideas, and one hell of a cathartic emotional payoff.

  • March 26, 2009, 10:24 a.m. CST

    No, the complaint about DK is valid

    by Laserhead

    Yes, Bruce Wayne runs around as a bat fighting crime. Many, many, many people in his universe do very similar things with their time. We don't expect them to all be psychotic fascists who speak in hackneyed, sub-Mickey Spillane dialogue, do we? Should Daredevil act like that?<p>It just isn't Batman's character, it's Miller's fantasy of his character, which speaks more to Miller's personal issues than any issues inherent in the character itself.<p>I prefer my Batman as Sherlock Holmes+a ninja+James Bond. To that end, I've really enjoyed the characterization provided by Dini and Morrison over the last couple years.

  • March 26, 2009, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Those other guys had powers

    by kungfuhustler84

    What sets Batman apart is he's the only guy that just decided he wanted to be that same thing, and had the will power to push himself so he could do that. And considering the era that Batman was first developed in, I see no reason why a noirish touch wouldn't follow.

  • March 26, 2009, 10:39 a.m. CST

    "more tasty while eating then afterwards"

    by steverodgers

    Joen, I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I am sold!

  • March 26, 2009, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Continental Op, you said it so well.

    by Homer Sexual

    I found IDENTITY CRISIS to just be a tasteless piece of sensationalism made by a hack, <p> I couldn't have put it better myself. The ending was the crap cherry on the Sh!t sundae that was the series. I will never, ever read anything by Meltzer in my life. <p> I actually liked Infinite Crisis, though. Again, that's just me. It had some corn and some violence, and was entertaining (but not art). <p> I am ordering the first GN of Invisibles today, since so many people have convinced me to do so. Also going to see if I can order a TP of Alias. <p> But I looove Mighty Avengers so far, although the art is merely ok. It is my kind of thing.

  • March 26, 2009, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Infinite Crisis

    by steverodgers

    When does Batman tell Blue Beetle, "I never thought you were second string" - that is one of my favorite all time comic book moments. Does it happen in the main series or one of the off shoots?

  • March 26, 2009, 10:56 a.m. CST

    kungfuhustler

    by Laserhead

    I'm not talking about a 'noirish-touch'. I'm talking about Frank Miller's twitching psycho-fascist.<p>The others have powers? Not all of them. And a great number of heroes didn't have powers who were created at the same time as Batman. That's why I used Daredevil as an example. Yeah, he might have 'radar sense', but we all know Daredevil's power is that he's an ace ninja. You don't have to be a twitching psycho-fascist to will yourself to a standard of human perfection-- at least not in fiction. So, I say there's a world of difference between 'noirish touches' and 'Miller's Batman'. Miller is a very unhealthy, troubled little man.

  • March 26, 2009, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Did he talk about Seaguy?

    by Joenathan

    I missed that. I've always assumed the Seaguy sequels were just something that he talks about, but will never, ever do... hmmm... if they're actually going to happen, I'll get them, otherwise.... BOO!

  • March 26, 2009, 11:04 a.m. CST

    DKR

    by Joenathan

    I'm with you on the laughable dialogue, the Sin City movie was uncomfortablly embarassing to sit through, it was so bad.<Br><br>But here's why DKR gets a pass from me... It was the first and while I hated the idiot children it spawned, I can't blame them on DKR and Miller's attempt to re-capture that flavor. On its own and in that particular context of Batman, it still works for me, despite the now retrospective taint of the crap that came after

  • March 26, 2009, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Seaguy comes out in April

    by Laserhead

    I think the interview's on CBR.

  • March 26, 2009, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Steve

    by Joenathan

    I mean that within the book, it cooks. It is awesome, but then something happened behind the scenes, there was a delay for the final issue and I don't know, it read like it was rushed and that there were hurt feelings involved... so.... what I meant was, try not to be too let down right at the end, because it really is awesome... just a heads up.

  • March 26, 2009, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Homer

    by Joenathan

    I loved Alias from the start and Invisibles too, but the first Volume of the Invisibles is very British Vertigo in flavor and Art. I don't know your personal taste tolerances (except that you like Mighty - sheesh!) but you might want to give it a little bit more leeway at the start. Let it get its feet. The Invisibles is definitely a "big picture" kind of book.

  • March 26, 2009, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Dr. Light raped Sue Dibny without taking off any clothes.

    by Leafar the Lost

    Yes, the Dr. Light rape scene in Idetity Crisis was shocking, but somehow he was able to rape Sue Dibny (from behind) without taking off his pants. I guess he used his "light powers", but it made the scene seem less realistic. If you were going to do it that way, then the rape should have been off panel. However, overall Identity Crisis was a million times better than Final Crisis. Fuck Grant Morrison! He shouldn't be allowed to write for anyone ever again. I hope FC's failure ended his career.

  • March 26, 2009, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Daredevil

    by kungfuhustler84

    is more grounded in our reality, so it's not the same thing. Manhattan, Hell's Kitchen, etc, and in his case, there are LOTS of people that did the same thing as him. Anyway, Daredvil was invented in what, like the 70s? that's a good 30 years after Batman right?<p?Then again, it's all comic book nonsense, so there's no point in arguing. Really, it's a matter of taste. Batman: Year One is a great book with a "noirish touch" that is another great example of what I'm talking about.<p>But it's all subjective. Complaining about a vigilante taking the law into his own hands as a psychotic fascist is just as valid as complaining about the believability of a blind man fighting crime. Rant, rant, rant, blah blah blah.

  • March 26, 2009, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Laserhead, Daredevil vs. Batman

    by Joenathan

    To be fair, while DD ninja skills are formitable, it IS his super-senses that make him more than then the average man. Batman is just pure bad-ass and that level of commitment demands a certain level of crazy.

  • March 26, 2009, 11:22 a.m. CST

    And another thing

    by kungfuhustler84

    This whole argument is kind of stupid considering we are arguing about the rationality of comic book scenarios. So I guess complaining that a vigilante who takes the law into his own hands is a fascist is just as valid of a complaint as pointing out the lack of realism in a blind man fighting crime. It's all subjective, and a matter of taste, so I guess there was really no point in arguing anyway. I love comics precisely for their element of escapism, so I'm not gonna let something like a man in a bat suit actually acting like a loon bother me.

  • March 26, 2009, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Daredevil's not Blind!

    by Joenathan

    He's visually challenged... with radar sense.

  • March 26, 2009, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Wish I wasn't so poor this week

    by kungfuhustler84

    I have been dying to get the new Daredevil.

  • March 26, 2009, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Are you actually reading my complaints?

    by Laserhead

    You don't seem to really get what I'm complaining about. My only complaint has been that Miller's Batman was a jibbering fruit-cake. It has nothing to do with noir, powers-or-no-powers, or the time period Batman was invented. Nothing to do with any of that.<p> Lots of non-powered heroes aren't jibbering fruit-cakes. That's my point. Is the Lone Ranger a jibbering fruit-cake? Is Sherlock Holmes? Is James Bond? Nyet. Having resolve and being driven isn't the same thing as being a jibbering fruit-cake.

  • March 26, 2009, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Then your complaint is even less valid

    by kungfuhustler84

    Miller's Batman reads more to me like a man so driven by his goals, he has lost most of his humanity and/or sanity. I can't seem to recall a single panel of the comic where he was "jibbering" let alone a fruit cake.<p>I'm going to work now. Have fun being unhappy about something completely inconsequential to anything else in life, or even serving as a valid complaint for anything.<p>More like LOSERHEAD. Tee hee. ;)

  • March 26, 2009, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Comics Aren't Just For Kids Anymore!

    by LaserPants

    I just thought I'd throw that out there.

  • March 26, 2009, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Who said I was unhappy?

    by Laserhead

    I've VERY happy with the trajectory Miller's career has taken.<p>Have fun at work. I make a nice living writing books.

  • March 26, 2009, 12:05 p.m. CST

    *I'm"

    by Laserhead

  • March 26, 2009, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Jibbering in Miller's Bats

    by Laserhead

    "I am the night. You are a punk. Mother... Father... Scream for me, punk. All those years... Babble-babble-babble."

  • March 26, 2009, 12:08 p.m. CST

    dang it Joe

    by Homer Sexual

    I already ordered volume 1, and I bet the British Vertigo tone is what put me off to it way back when. I almost ordered volume 2 of Invisibles, but then I thought "what if I don't like Volume 1" I don't know that I can take the leap to buy volume 2 if I am not feeling it by the end of volume 1. But I will keep you posted.

  • March 26, 2009, 12:10 p.m. CST

    I think the Lone Ranger is a jibbering fruitcake

    by Joenathan

    How much is he just throwing away everyday on silver bullets? It must cost him a fortune, not too mention that a silver bullet would never actually fire accuately to begin with. And light blue buckskins with a red neckerchief? Crazy as a loon!

  • March 26, 2009, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Heh.

    by Laserhead

    Well, we can say he's a spendthrift, and has a weird sense of fashion, but when has he ever jibbered?

  • March 26, 2009, 12:15 p.m. CST

    It can be tough and maybe dated at this point, Homer...

    by Joenathan

    just looking at my old ones, I can see where someone just jumping on might struggle at first, but I think its worth it. And the Second Volume, (Were you referring to the trades?) of the entire run (its split into three "acts", I guess you'd say...) Anyway, the second Act is almost all Phil Jimeniz artwork and much more "american" in tone. The Second Act started the same time Morrison was doing his JLA run too, so its interesting to compare the two and notice the occasional bleed over in topic and theme.

  • March 26, 2009, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Homer-- Invisibles

    by Laserhead

    You might prefer vol. 4 'Bloody Hell in America'-- it's The Invisibles as roller-coaster-American-action-movie. Much less Britishy than the early volumes.

  • March 26, 2009, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Frank Mille's Lone Range

    by Laserhead

    How many years? Since that night.<p>Since I died.<p>The bullet is silver in the moonlight, like the spangled garter-belts of pre-pubescent Japanese girls.<p>Jocko Boy is running the Cavendish gang now. Got something special for him.<p>I'll use my hands. Silver is my horse. My mother. My lover.

  • March 26, 2009, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Also

    by Joenathan

    I don't know if anyone here still HASN'T read either Planetary or Nextwave, but if so... since we're all recommending and buying and what not... those two titles:<br><br>Planetary<br><br>Nextwave<br><br>I highly, highly recommend, both are fantastic reads and the pinnacle of their particular type of comic story. One awesome post-superhero world, the other is plain hilarious.

  • March 26, 2009, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Damn you BOLD!

    by Joenathan

  • March 26, 2009, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Oh, it taunts me....

    by Joenathan

  • March 26, 2009, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Bold

    by steverodgers

    It taunts us all. Is it when you do the paragraphs?

  • March 26, 2009, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Nextwave

    by steverodgers

    Is awesome.

  • March 26, 2009, 12:31 p.m. CST

    See, here is why I ordered the first trade

    by Homer Sexual

    I kind of figured it wouldn't be the best one, but I probably need the background to know more or less what is going on. Then I can jump ahead and read the later ones...unless the whole first volume doesn't work for me. We shall see. <p> Good job with the bold text, btw.

  • March 26, 2009, 12:39 p.m. CST

    yes

    by Joenathan

    the secret of the bold is contained somewhere within a mistyped double line space < b r > < b r > Somewhere in there is the secret, the secret of the BOLD...

  • March 26, 2009, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Homer

    by Joenathan

    Morrison also does a time loop thing where stuff from future issues happens in past issues and vice versa.

  • March 26, 2009, 1:03 p.m. CST

    JoeNat is mentally retarded 27% of the time.....

    by gooseud

    but hes dead on about Dark Knight Returns. As tempting as it is to hold that book responsible for the utterly horrendous tripe that has followed it (both in general and from Miller himself), it has to be judged on its own merits. I know that can be tough, but in and of itself its a cool little book. It just that DKR is really the only trick that Miller had in his bag. Once he showed his hand, that was pretty much it for him as a truly relevant artist, although no one knew it at the time. One thing you can say for Morrison, that dude has a million tricks in the bag.

  • March 26, 2009, 1:04 p.m. CST

    I'm with Geekgasm

    by BigMick

    How was the finale for BSG in any way lackluster? <p> That show is the greatest thing to happen to science fiction since the original Star Trek, and frankly I think this new movie will probably ruin science fiction as well as the Trek franchise. JJ Abrams is an over glorified hack.

  • March 26, 2009, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Laserhead

    by Joenathan

    I got distracted. what books do you write?

  • March 26, 2009, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Sport's Mighty Avengers

    by Continentalop

    The problem isn't that Slott's a bad writer - in fact he is one of Marvel's best - but that his style and sensibilities are all wrong for this title. Sport's strengths lie in being whimsical and funny. He can do wonders with comical titles such as GLA and She-Hulk, or pure adventurous fun like Thing or Spider-Man. <p> A comic like the Avengers needs someone with more serious style. I'm not saying they should be written like the Punisher, but I expect a team of elite, professional heroes to be treated with a little gravitas and not be so silly.

  • March 26, 2009, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Eat some poop, Goose

    by Joenathan

    And like it.

  • March 26, 2009, 1:09 p.m. CST

    Identity Crisis

    by gooseud

    Why was it so shocking? Or exploitative. Miller's ASBAR is 572 times more exploitative then IC could ever be. It featured one truly shocking scene, the rape. And you know what? THAT SCENE WORKED! People STILL are talking about it today, it accomplished EXACTLY what it was intended to do: to shock people. ITs SUPPOSED to be shocking, thats the point. However, I dont feel there was anything "exploitative" about the series other then that. If you want to say you cant get past that scene, so therefore dont like the series, thats totally valid and understandable. However, if you want to say it sucked because it was come lurid exploitaitive sex and violence fest, it just aint so.

  • March 26, 2009, 1:11 p.m. CST

    LOL that was a compliment, Joe!

    by gooseud

    I'm saying your in the neighborhood of right 73% of the time!! Geez what more do you want from me?!?! Heh Heh.

  • March 26, 2009, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Continentalop is right!

    by Joenathan

    Also, personally, I hate that talky-talky-describe-what-I'm-doing-and-my-reactions-in-the-most-exposition-heavy-way-possible-while-in-the-middle-of-a-fight type of comic writing. Plus, and I can't believe I'm saying this, but where does this huge world changing event fit in with the rest of the marvel U? It lacks, power, punch, character... I was so disappointed. I was hoping for a Busiek type Avengers Forever stuff.

  • March 26, 2009, 1:12 p.m. CST

    That was from the 27%, Goose

    by Joenathan

    The rest of me was quite moved.

  • March 26, 2009, 1:13 p.m. CST

    I blame Watchmen more than DKR

    by Continentalop

    Every hardboiled street hero is a quasi-Rorschack for the past 25 years.

  • March 26, 2009, 1:14 p.m. CST

    I didn't read IC

    by Joenathan

    because I don't read DC really and the rape is a good illustration why and not because of the act itself, moreso, its because Dr. Light never took off his pants. DC characters never take off their pants. They always wear their costumes. The DC Universe is a big West Coast Avengers at all times.

  • March 26, 2009, 1:15 p.m. CST

    West Coast Avengers BBQ, that is

    by Joenathan

    no edit button

  • March 26, 2009, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Slott is overrated

    by gooseud

    It pains me to write those 3 words. The Awesome Andy-centric issue of She Hulk is in my top 10 all time favorite issues of any comic ever. However....I cant rip that other dude farther up the talkback for being blind to Morrison's faults and not be honest myself. She Hulk went in the shitter at the tail end of Slott's run, Mighty Avengers is terrible, and Avengers:The Initiative is fucking hideous due solely to Slott's terrible writing. The writing on Initiative is some of the worst I've come across in years, I feel like I'm only reading 70% of the comic and each issue is missing like 6 critical pages. Slott is capable of greatness, obviously, but recently my faith has been sorely tested.

  • March 26, 2009, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Joe: read IC

    by gooseud

    Its pretty bad ass, the reveal at the end is one of the most idiotic in history, but the first 6 issues are killer. You dont need to have read mainstream DC to pick it right up and dive right in (yet another reason it is better then Final Crisis). And thats coming from a guy who reads DC sporadically if at all, basically checkng in on GL and the Secret Six from time to time.

  • March 26, 2009, 1:24 p.m. CST

    The Initiative

    by Joenathan

    There is a comic that did not do what I was hoping. Kind of in the same way Mighty failed for me. <br><Br>Maybe I should just add Slott to my list pre-emptively and be done with it.<br><br>Liefeld, Waid, Claremont, Byrne, Loeb, JMS... Slott?

  • March 26, 2009, 1:31 p.m. CST

    IC

    by Joenathan

    I think I'm gonna swing by the LCS tonight. Is it in trades? I'll check it out

  • March 26, 2009, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Sector

    by gooseud

    ITs not that no one understands, or is put off, or Optimus or Joe are hiding somewhere or something. ITs just that they apparently dont want to discuss it with you, and I mean you as a person specifically, because you seem kind of like a douchey troll. Besides the fact that here have been plenty of in depth discussons of FC on these boards over the last few months, isnt it kind of yesterday's news at this point? Its just that no one really wants to engage you in particular because it doesnt seem like you really WANT to have a discussion, as oppose to simply lecturing people over how stupid you percieve them to be. I dont percieve the slightest iota of ability on your part to credit anyone with having a good opinion or point of view that contradicts yours. This, at the risk of tooting our own horn, is a fairly sophisticated board, actually. The douchey fanboy stuff doesnt really fly in here, most people just decide to ignore you if they feel like they are being antagonized (for example, the weak "shrug shrug" atempt to draw me into some e-cred turf war). Sorry man, try benig a little less condescending next time.

  • March 26, 2009, 2:44 p.m. CST

    So, I just started reading Initiative

    by Homer Sexual

    Like two issues ago. And I quite enjoy it, I get off on offbeat characters like Thor Girl. (Passed on the 3.99 Reptil special though). I guess I prefer a different, less heavy kind of Avengers (LOVED Avengers Forever, btw). <p> But I am not a Slott apologist. Much of his second run on She-Hulk was inferior. The Thing was also just too dorky and cornball. I knew that one would be quickly cancelled, and even his Spider-Man tended toward the overly-retro. GLA, now that was awesome but not for everyone's taste. <p> Sector, I do have an FC Question: It regards the Female Furies. What was the deal with them? I was actually confused all along if it was supposed to be the actual WW, Catwoman, etc, or some evil doppelgangers. I know it was revealed that it was indeed the actual heroes, but where did that come from? Also, the art was for sure messed up since the mask of FF WW was inconsistent. <p> This is not a question, just an observation: The new Forever People were an interesting group but they never developed much and all of a sudden it was like "I'll save you Lola Canary" and we never really knew much about her. Not that it bothered me, but I think that is the sort of thing people bitch about.

  • March 26, 2009, 3 p.m. CST

    Avengers Forever was awesome

    by Joenathan

    I love the disparate teams thrown together storyline, plus Kang was great. That was the first time I appreciated him as a villian and a real threat.

  • March 26, 2009, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Anybody read New Avengers Yet? (Spoilers)

    by evolution1085

    How can Quesada et al totally negate the premise of OMD/BND by now having Spidey reveal his identity to the Avengers? I'm sure Osborne will find out eventually, and it will make that turd retcon even more pointless

  • March 26, 2009, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Evolution

    by Joenathan

    I think he did it to upset you... that Quesada... He's the Devil, I mean A Devil.

  • March 26, 2009, 3:30 p.m. CST

    I have always loved the Female Furies

    by Homer Sexual

    In the Mister Miracle arc of Seven Soldiers, the new ones were first introduced, and the original Lashina was way better (but the new Bernadeth is pretty cool). <p> I was just thrown by the new heroines corrupted version, it seemed to come out of nowhere. And I use the Lolita Canary thing just because the Forever People were tossed out there and didn't really go anywhere. In fact, I am kind of hoping there will be a mini of them, or something. I actually love the Fourth World and would love to see the Fifth World developed. I am still pissed that Barda (and Knockout) are gone.

  • March 26, 2009, 5:09 p.m. CST

    I don't think I said it was confusing and left it at that...

    by Ambush Bug

    I think you're reading what you want to read. You may have explanations for the holes in Morrison's story, but that doesn't mean that they aren't there.<br><br> And that's the thing. Morrison fans are totally willing to "educate" us on what we "didn't get" about FINAL CRISIS. But they aren't willing to admit that if you are following basic storytelling rules which make for stories that can be comprehended by a mass audience, none of these questions would have to be asked.<br><br> It's not that I don't understand that yes it probably was Wonder WOman in that mask. It's just that she showed up with it on with no explanation. It's not that I didn't know the guy showing up at the end of issue 4 or 5 was a Monitor. It's that he didn't really make an appearance since issue one or two and I had totally forgotten who the hell he was and why I should care in the time between both the normal amount of time waiting for another issue and the massive delays between them.<br><br> And those of you wanting to keep the blame off of Morrison's shoulders for the delays, blaming the artists should understand that numerous folks have told me that artists and other writers were literally waiting for Morrison to stop writing and rewriting issues of FC. No one knew where it was going, including Morrison. Ultimately it's up to editorial for making sure this doesn't happen, but it's also the indecisive writer's fault here.<br><br> Want more specific examples of problems? How about the slugfest between Supergirl and Mary Marvel? It's not that I didn't comprehend the two fighting, it's that I'm asking myself why it's taking three issues to get through it.<br><br> You can No-Prize FINAL CRISIS up all you want, but still you are only acting like a road crew, piling steaming tar over dips in the road left by Morrison.<br><br> I'm not asking for everything to be spelled out. What I do expect is for some scenes to occur. Scenes that allow me to invest in the story. Scenes that fill the gaps and not just have them happen. In UMBRELLA ACADEMY, this often occurs, but even that comic has a clear narrative and the stuff that you just don't question occurs more as a sidenote that doesn't distract from the story. Morrison did the same thing that Way does with UA, but has stuff happen with litter or no explanation, then doesn't explain why or how, and expects us to plow through the story and just be satsfied with not knowing. But when it's going on with the main narrative of the story, it leaves the reader left scanning wiki and other sites looking for explanations and calling it a richer reading experience.<br><br> Personally, I don't want a story to be force fed to me, but if it requires deep internet searching and No-Prizing my own explanation into entire scenes that the writer was too erratic to write himself, it completely turns me off from the story.

  • March 26, 2009, 6:02 p.m. CST

    IC vs FC

    by Continentalop

    I really don't won't to dwell on these two series too much; they have already drained precious time away from a more important debate - is Batman nuts or not. But I do have one final comment about them: <p> While I think both series where over-hyped and horrible, I will grant that Identity Crisis is more cohesive and makes more sense. Each series suffered it’s own, radically different problem. A scene in a story involves two elements – content and context. Final Crisis was all about content – what the scene is about and what is it’s underlining meaning, without having giving the audience any real sense of relationship and reference. Identity Crisis was all about context – what is actually happening physically and where is it happening – without giving the audience any real sense of what it is about thematically. <p> Sure Identity Crisis made sense and you could follow the story, but it felt unreal and out of place, like watching characters being forced to march through a plot instead of watching people actually living a real story. They were mannequins, not people, being used as props in a salacious story. <p> FC characters at least felt alive and real – but God or Morrison only knows what the hell was happening. It felt like I was channel surfing and catching snipplets of what looked like a great movie on TMC: sure it has all the elements of greatness – acting, direction, cinematography, dialogue – but I have absolutely no clue what is going on so I can’t invest anything into it. <p> While I don’t think Melzer out wrote Morrison, but I don’t have a problem with those who do. Martin Scorsese is a vastly superior filmmaker than Kevin Smith, but I can say with a straight face that Clerks is better than Bringing Out the Dead. Every dog has his day. <p> As for gooseud comments about IC, I have no problem that you liked it but for me it was juvenile, and I don’t just mean the idiotic ending. Yes, the rush to save Robin’s dad was well done, but the overall plot and story was just ridiculously stupid and soap operatic. And the use of Dr. Light to rape Sue Dibney was just the writer’s attempt to be intentionally offensive and shocking. <p> You can try to ret-con it all you want, but Dr. Light has never been displayed as any sort of sexual predator. He has always been the classic power hungry super-villain. His transformation into serial rapist was just a bad attempt at being shocking. If you wanted a villain to sexual assault a character and have it be believable to me, you might as well make it the Joker. He has a long track record of disregarding any sort of social norms and being psychotic. But of course, they could never have an a-list villain do something so cruel or evil (but they can have him murder people every month in grisly detail without him ever paying a higher price).

  • March 26, 2009, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Teehee

    by kungfuhustler84

    LOSERHEAD had a typo in the post where he claims to write books.<p> "Nag nag fruitcake-like jibberish."<p>I was playing Devil's Advocate more than anything. I can totally see the argument against Miller's Bat, but at the same time, a similar formula works in things like Batman: Year One. And taken in the context of the story and all, it just never really bugged me.

  • March 26, 2009, 7:13 p.m. CST

    Continental

    by gooseud

    I agree on alot of your points. I dont think overall Meltzer is a better writer then Morrison, thats obviously an absurd idea. But on THOSE TWO SERIES specifically, that dog had his day. I didnt find IC ridiculous and soap operatic, but thats a matter of taste (something Sector hasnt learned, but I'll get to that in a minute). I will say, Dr. Light was a miscalculation as a story device. It would be like the Riddler doing the deed, it certainly isn't IMPOSSIBLE, but likely? Mehhhh.....Joker, maybe Bane, any mad dog villain would have been a better choice (although Meltzer DID try to address this in saying Dr. Light WAS a mad dog villain, we just havent seen that side of him in years due to the mind wipe. Whether that explanation works for you is a matter of taste, I suppose). Personally, I found the entire first issue front to back one of the best issue #1's of a miniseries I've read in ages, the Deathstroke battle, the investigation with Supes standing like a statue in the middle of the room X-raying it inch by inch, all of that was compelling stuff in my book. Just my opinion, but take away Dr. Light and insert someone else, and have a better villain reveal at the end (understatement of the century), and you have a truly bad ass great book.

  • March 26, 2009, 7:22 p.m. CST

    Sector

    by gooseud

    When you use phrases like "keep yourself in ignorance", "keeps you from understanding FC", "not sophisticated enough", that kind of shows where your coming from. Heres an idea: maybe everyone pretty much got the book and just didnt like it. Maybe its possible to read FC, its various spinoffs, etc., and to get to the last page of issue #7, have a full understanding of its elements and plot threads, and say "Hmmm that sucked". It seems your theory is "Well, if you didn't like it, you must not have gotten it, because the story is clearly so amazing that anyone who gets it HAS to like it". I've never claimed not to understand the story, nor am I looking for any explanation. I just didnt like it. It had fantastic money shot moments (I'm the prime defender on this board of the Batman Gun moment), but it didnt work for me cohesively as a story. It is possible, believe it or not, to read it, understand it, and not like it. I cant speak for anyone else on here, but I've been reading comics since I was 5, for 25+ years. Comprehension or knowledge of lore is not a problem, nor is it for Joe, Homer, Bug, Optimus, Psynapse whenever he decides to pop his head in, etc. Continental knows his shit inside and out and he and I almost never agree LOL I simply didnt like the book. Oh, and if you had been coming here more then a week or so, you would know people disagree with me ALLLLL the time, Bug practically threw me off the boards for my Green Lantern comments!! Disagreement is my stock in trade.

  • March 26, 2009, 8:06 p.m. CST

    I never threatened to throw you off the boards, goose

    by Ambush Bug

    I've only had to do it a handfull of times. Even though we didn't agree on something, I'd never toss someone off of here for their opinions. If someone is banned, there's more than a reason than just differing opinions.

  • March 26, 2009, 9:48 p.m. CST

    LOL I know Bug

    by gooseud

    You love me!! Who doesnt love the Goose?!?! And Sector, round we go back to my original point: the reason no one has taken you up on your offer to "explain" what they are confused about is that you seem kinda douchey. If for example, Bug WERE confused on a particular plot point (or 29), I feel pretty safe in speculating that you are #5,275 on the list of people he would ask for clarification, no matter how many times you offer. He would probably ask someone else. Anyone else. Joe The Homeless Guy for example. Or JarJar4Prez (only a few people are going to get that one). The only reason anyone would take you up on your offer is if they felt they somehow needed to justify their dislike of FC to you. Far be it from me to speak for anyone, but it certainly seems that no one really cares what your opinion of their opinion is. Keep in mind, we have been debating this title for MONTHS on this board, literally. I just no one has anything left to say, its all been said and no one really cared that much to start with. Thats just my take on it, and with that, I officially have nothing else to offer on this topic, my reservoir of giving a shit about some miniseries that ended 2 months ago just ran dry, and I'm adding myself to that list of people who dont give enough of a shit to talk about it anymore.

  • March 26, 2009, 9:51 p.m. CST

    Joe: re=DC never takes their pants off

    by Continentalop

    The funny thing is Joe that wasn’t always the case. If you look back at the history of comics, you’ll see that DC comics really relished in using the secret identity and having the characters have a life outside of being a guy in a spandex suit. The most obvious example of this being Superman, where the comics would spend almost as much time dealing with him being Clark Kent as it would with him being Superman. Just look at the number of supporting characters that Supes has had that he has met in his Kent identity to see how much his non-superhero side of him was just as important: Lois Lane, Lana Lang, Perry White, Jimmy Olsen, Steve Lombardo, Cat Grant, Lucy Lane, Morgan Edge, Ma & Pa Kent, Pete Ross, etc. In comparison, Marvel introduced a group of people at the start of the Marvel-age who were in their uniforms basically full-time, the FF. <p> I thinks things started to change in the early 80’s when Marvel had characters like Thor and the Hulk get rid of their mortal personas (at least for awhile); characters like the Punisher who didn’t need a secret identity; and groups like the X-Men pretty much only hanged around with themselves, being very reclusive and secluded from the rest of the Marvel universe (at least in terms of dealing with normal people). Fans started saying secret identities were not realistic, and DC believed it. I mean, as much as I like a lot of the things Perez did with Wonder Woman post-Crisis, I think getting rid of her Diana Prince identity was a huge blunder. Without that other persona, she is unable to interact and meet normal people like Steve Trevor or Etta Candy or General Phil Darnell, but instead has a rotating cast of supporting characters because it becomes unbelievable for a superhero to want to hang around normal people. Instead she now only interacts with other members of the superhero “community”, just like pretty much every other hero out there. <p> In fact, it is this idea of “superhero community” that has robbed much of the fun out of comics for me. Sure secret identities were not realistic, but at least the made sure heroes interacted with the normal people like us, so we could relate to them. Now heroes are just an annoying clique of good-looking and popular kids in High School who hang out together and don’t have time of day for any of the other students; and no clique is more annoying than the DC heroes, because they also always are wearing their club jackets to rub your nose in the fact you can never join their group. It is no surprise that Spider-Man and Superman still are two of my favorite heroes (although not two of my favorite comics) because they have at least retained their secret identities and have made their personal lives just as important as their costumed hero lives (although I will admit, I like Batman for opposite reasons, because I imagine to become good enough to be an actual costumed vigilante would mean having to give up any sort of social life).

  • March 26, 2009, 10:11 p.m. CST

    Bug you might not have used the banhammer for awhile...

    by Continentalop

    ...but I have a feeling that you are dusting it off.

  • March 27, 2009, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Sector

    by Continentalop

    My post was meant as a joke, and I won’t go into whom it was directed at. But I will say that one of my biggest pet peeves is when someone defense of a work of art is just “you just don’t understand it.” It is condescending and a bad argument. <p> An artist’s job is to express an idea or a feeling. When the audience fails to recognize or see those ideas, the fault might lie with the artist more than the audience. Certainly, some forms of art are more challenging than others and require the audience and viewer to spend more time understanding it; and some pieces of art require extensive knowledge about a subject for an audience to truly appreciate it. But guess what? Those usually are not pieces of art aimed at a mass audience but only a small crowd of aficionados. FC was advertised as the comic event of the year. <p> So should Morrison have “dummied it down” for the masses? No, but that also doesn’t mean he has to create something indecipherable and inaccessible. I am a huge film fan and work in the movie business, but my friends are always surprised when I tell them I don’t like Wender’s “Wings of Desire.” “You just don’t get it” they tell me, as if by explaining it will make me appreciate it more. Damn right I don’t get it! Art is a subjective medium, and there is nothing in my background or personal experience to make me relate to that story. It is pure pretentious drivel in my opinion. But to others it touches a nerve and is very profound. <p> You say that the content of FC mirrors its story, about how time is falling upon itself. Great idea, but completely useless if a large number of the audience don’t recognize that. Does that make those people dumber than those who do recognize it? No, that just means they are people who grew up reading comics and art in a different way than others. Even highly intelligent and talented people can have different taste and opinions. The great director Ingmar Bergman considers Citizen Kane to be an overrated piece of trash – I disagree with him but it doesn’t make his opinion wrong, just his opinion. <p> Plus, just because Morrison wrote it doesn’t make it great or mean that all of his ideas work. Sometimes an interesting idea is lost somewhere in translation. Going back to the theme of how time is shattering and how some people didn’t recognize that, I once told a director friend how I loved how Sydney Lumet uses the camera to tell his stories thematically: the camera going lower and tighter in 12 Angry Men to show how the jury is trapped; how in the Prince of the City the picture gets darker and darker as Treat Williams sells more and more of his soul; and in Network how the film’s lighting changes to appear more like a tv commercial as the film progresses to show how TV has corrupted everything. Well, my friend loved that idea and he shot a movie influenced by what I said, then showed it to me: as the movie progresses, the film gets more and more out of focus. My friend said this way to show how his protagonist was becoming more and more confused; I told him the audience is just going to think you had a shitty cameraman and this is all an accident. Well, needless to say, the film was not picked up or accepted by any festivals. <p> My point is simply this – that everyone perceives the world differently, so saying someone doesn’t get something is an obvious and pointless argument.

  • March 27, 2009, 1:14 a.m. CST

    test

    by eXcommunicated

    <strong>strong</strong> <p> <p> <b>b</b> <br> <br> test

  • March 27, 2009, 1:15 a.m. CST

    What the hell kind of markup does this board run, Harry?

    by eXcommunicated

    < strong> doesn't work and neither does < b> for bold. <p> <p> <bold>I am using a < bold > tag, test test</bold>

  • March 27, 2009, 1:33 a.m. CST

    Continue to self destruct Sector...

    by Ambush Bug

    God you're awesome.

  • March 27, 2009, 2 a.m. CST

    Sector, you ask for specifics and I give them to you...

    by Ambush Bug

    And you respond with the same song. "I got it. I think it's awesome. You are obviously wrong because you don't think so."<br><br> Can't believe I'm still continuing this, but it's a slow night.<br><br> Let's focus on one specific thing. The Wonder Woman Female Fury thing. Now, as much as I don't want something force fed to me, it would be nice to have, say, a scene play out that shows maybe not Wonder Woman, but someone being turned over to the Dark Side. Is it too much to ask to have a major plot point come from somewhere other than out of the blue? Darkseid says he unleashes the Anti-Life formula and presto, Wonder Woman looks fugly and is riding a giant demon dog. There were many folks wondering if it was Wonder Woman and the fact that you "know" it was Wonder Woman without it being said in the comic at all has me baffled. Sure at the very end of the book, there's a panel of Diana holding the mask, but a simple panel of her or Catwoman putting on the mask would have filled the hole.<br><br> I know it's comics and those things happen, but still, working within the parameters of story, connecting the two scenes with some type of transition may make for a more cohesive read.<br><br> Again, you're filling in holes left by Morrison here. It's not like Womder Woman says, "I'm going to the park." and I'm wanting Morrison to show her walking out of the Wonderdome, close the door, walk to the car, get in the car, start the car, drive the car, get to the park, get out of the car, and then say, "I'm in the park. Shit, forgot the frisbee." No one wants to read that.<br><br> What I am saying is that if Wonder Woman shows up to the park wearing a strap on and a flashlight taped to her head without a mention that she was going on a lesbian mining expedition before or after she shows up, you're going to leave a lot of people wondering what's up with the narrative.<br><br> Morrison didn't want to fill in those holes becuase he knew his apoligist fans would rush in to spackle the plot holes while singing, "You just don't get it, idiots."<br><br> I do want to note that in this post I chose neither to put down your intelligence or hype my own awesome-isity. I'm just trying to explain a point. You may want to try that, Secto.<br><br> By the way, I know about Morrison's rewrites because I know people in the industry who have talked to me in confidence about the situation. It was a mess. A clusterfuck documented on many sites, including here. Plus it was obvious the rest of the stories in the DCU were waiting around for FC to happen. Simple communication and teamwork skills on morrison's part would have made FC vastly superior to the crap that it turned out to be.<br><br> I've said it before, if you read the original CRISIS, it flits around just as much as FC did. Problem is that FC did it in a bubble while the original CRISIS touched on points that were elaborated on in crossovers with titles. Because that didn't happen here, the across the universe feel of this one fell flat. Had an issue of WONDER WOMAN dealt with Diana's mask-wearing, dog riding phase, I wouldn't have been so annoyed by the exclusion of the transitional scene. Since FC played out in a bubble, scenes that would have made for some good comics were lost. And that's the real tragedy.<br><br> But this dog is beaten flat. How about I just bow down to your awesomeness and stop typing...?

  • March 27, 2009, 6:59 a.m. CST

    As I said......

    by gooseud

    The Initiative suffers from the same problem. Suddenly, The Gauntlet is fighting alongside....lets say "Dog Boy", and you look back over the comic going "Who is Dog Boy? Was he ever introduced? Did I miss something? Why should I care?". Or the infamous issues where everyone is klled by KIA, and suddenly returns. Yup, theres Thor Girl. What happened? She was dead. Now she isnt. Explanation not required. Or Gyrich talking about a key plot development, and I'm thinking it happened in one of the past issues and I just forgot. Nope, it didnt, and I didnt. Slott just never showed it. IT literally feels like Slott forgot to send 6 pages of dialogue to the printer. I never would have thought I would say this, given the talent of the creative teams involved, but The Order blows Initiative out of the water. I only read The Order up until around issue 10, right around after the Namor storyline, but I didnt stop because of any lack of quality. Screw it, give me Walking Dead which never has any of these problems. IF theres one thing Kirkman is NEVER guilty of, its not giving you enough information!!!

  • March 27, 2009, 7:30 a.m. CST

    I Didn't Get GIGILI

    by Buzz Maverik

    What with thinking that it sucked and all.

  • March 27, 2009, 8:22 a.m. CST

    Ronin

    by Bluejack

    Ronin was great. So Miller is not a one trick pony. Maybe a three or four trick pony. ASBAR is just not for me. Once Vicki Vail is portrayed in her underwear I signed off. Just plain stupid (for me).

  • March 27, 2009, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Oh, be nice

    by Laserhead

    Stop calling me Loserhead. Don't you know that hurts?

  • March 27, 2009, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Any other tricks Frank Miller knew......

    by gooseud

    he lost em a longggggggg time ago. No offense Blue, but Miller has been the textbook definition of a one trick pony for 20+ years at least. Having said that, Ronin was great.

  • March 27, 2009, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by Joenathan

    You're right, DC DID used to be the King of secret identities, I'd forgotten. In fact, now that I think about it, it seems like it used to be their favorite set-up for a story: "How will I get away to become Fancy-Pants Man without revealing to my new girlfriend, Rita Ravishing, that I, Chuck Trousers, is that famous Hero's secret indentity? (bites knuckle in anguish). At some point they did move away from it and now their costumes seem painted on. Like I said: Its all West Coast BBQ, all the time over there.<br><br>To me, that just seems lazy, like the artist is drawing a template and not a character. Green Arrow eating Pizza looks basically the same as Green Arrow eating Canary or fighting crime.<br><br>As for the clique metaphor, I think thats apt, especially since TB dominant Grant Morrison explored those very themes in his run of Astonishing.

  • March 27, 2009, 9:51 a.m. CST

    The Order vs. The Intiative...

    by Joenathan

    Hmmm... do I want boring or would I prefer crappy? What to do, what to do....

  • March 27, 2009, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Bluejack

    by Joenathan

    Not that I disagree with you about Miller, but I find it interesting that it was specifically Vicki Vale being shown in her underwear that broke your camel's back. Why is that? I can't recall Vicki being portrayed as particularly chaste ever, but I'm not a hundred percent on that or did you always feel that she was more of a commando girl?

  • March 27, 2009, 10 a.m. CST

    Boring or crappy, the debate continues

    by gooseud

    How do you screw up the Avengers? How can there be 37 Avengers related titles and all of them suck? Are the Avengers the n?ew X-family?

  • March 27, 2009, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Dark Avengers is good

    by Joenathan

    I expect that New could have some good stuff coming up... Mighty blows.

  • March 27, 2009, 1:31 p.m. CST

    ASBAR

    by Bluejack

    I just don't like the tone of the book. It's cynical and exploitative. I felt the same way about 'the Dark Knight Strikes Again.' I realize that is probably Miller's point, but it is just not for me. I like hot chicks, and I occasionally like them in comics. When you put the whole package together, it is just not for me. <p> As for Miller, I was not defending him. I too believe he is a washed up, over-exposed pale mockery of his old self. However, it's revisionist history to say he hasn't produced some interesting comics over the years. '300' was visually interesting, and I like some of the Sin City work. He's no more a one trick pony than Bendis, for example.

  • March 27, 2009, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Avengers

    by Bluejack

    Dark Avengers is cheeky and fun. I like the many of the interpersonal reactions, and once the Sentry scene was over, the talky-talk of Bendis made way for some cool scenes. I'm giving it a chance, though I'm not sure how the series will last once the inevitable Dark Reign is ended. <p> I agree about 'Mighty,' it is blowing chunks so far. There is too much going on and as I noted earlier, the return of the Scarlett Witch with so little explanation is just clunky. <p> New Avengers needs some stability at this point. Too many changing members, no sense of what their purpose is or why they work together. The talky-talk is OK at times, but the book has lost focus except for a playground for Bendis to masturbate to his favorite characters.<p> Last, I would like a petition to start for Bendis to stop writing Spider-Man is such a fucking pussy. that is all.

  • March 27, 2009, 2:53 p.m. CST

    ASBAR

    by Joenathan

    I don't like it either, I was just curious because you specifically mentioned Vicki Vale in her underwear, so I was just asking what it was about that scene that drove you over the edge. And while it may be revisionist history, it doesn't change the fact that I just can't read Sin City at all anymore. PPPPPPPPPP. UUUUUUUUU.! Stinky!

  • March 27, 2009, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Dark Avengers ending

    by Joenathan

    I kind of like that model for comics. Make a new title, write your story, close up shop and start a new title. To me, nothing kills my willingness to jump on then a three digit issue number.

  • March 27, 2009, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Mighty Haters...

    by Homer Sexual

    If you are still reading it, did the finale and explanation of Scarlet Witch's return make you feel any better?

  • March 27, 2009, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Miller revisionism

    by gooseud

    Is it revisionist to look back on Miller's work negatively? Absolutely. I try not to fall into that trap and judge it on its own merits (ESPECIALLY DKR, you cant overstate the impact that comic had when it came out) but its hard to look at something like 300 in hindisight fairly, knowing that artistic style and uber-macho "I live by a code"-ism is really all Miller has. Is that fair? probably not.

  • March 27, 2009, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Wait-- are you saying the Initiative sucks now?

    by Laserhead

    I just read the three collections and thought it was pretty outstanding-- particularly for a book where I didn't give a shit about any of the established characters. Ant-Man hiding from the fight and accidentally being the hero was golden.

  • March 27, 2009, 9:55 p.m. CST

    Miller Revisionism

    by Laserhead

    Goose-- I agree with you, BUT- how much revisionism is simply based on the readers becoming older and more worldly than your average thirteen-year-old? I mean, that's what it is for me. It's not, Hey, Miller's become crap. It's, Hey, I'm not an adolescent fuck-tard anymore, and I realize this crap is soulless bullshit.<p>It's revisionism, sure, but revisionism based not on an author's later work, but based on the advent (finally) of the audience's maturity.

  • March 27, 2009, 11:23 p.m. CST

    Miller Time

    by steverodgers

    The Miller work that I come back to is Batman Year One and DD Born Again. As a giant Cap fan, to this day I think that the few pages he appears in Born Again, are the best he has ever been written. Both have David Mazzucchelli drawing completely out of his mind. I do think that Miller has flamed out to me, but I imagine that if I were 13 that 300 and Sin City would be much more enjoyable. The Sin City ninja chick on roller skates is admittedly still pretty awesome.

  • March 27, 2009, 11:59 p.m. CST

    Nah, nah

    by Laserhead

    Miller's bimbo-chiaroscuro "warrior-whores" aren't awesome, be they Asians on rollerskates, ex-secretaries on heroin shooting porn movies, or S&M cat-burglars. Cap's been written better, pletny of times, particularly by Mark Waid and Ed Brubaker.

  • March 28, 2009, 5:46 a.m. CST

    Miller's DD and Cap

    by Continentalop

    I got to agree with steverodgers, Miller's DD Born Again and Batman Year One still work and stand out (although his depiction of Catwoman in year one has seriously tainted and hampered the character, even up to today). His DD runs especially deserve to be acknowledged: while he didn't write the character, his work on the character is without a doubt the most influential and the one that every DD writer looks to for inspiration. I think only Alan Moore on Swamp Thing and Jim Starlin on Captain Marvel/Adam Warlock have had a big of impact on creating a new tone and style for an already established hero (although Grant Morrison deserves honorable mention for Animal Man and Doom Patrol, and John Byrne for She-Hulk). <p> I mean, during his tenure on DD not only did he change Matt Murdock from perennial B-list hero into major A-lister, but also took a second tier Spider-Man foe, the Kingpin, and transform him into one of Marvel’s major villains and a living embodiment of the evils of organized crime (why someone can’t do a similar thing with the Penguin is beyond me). <p> And while I agree, Captain America has been written better (Stern’s work Cap’s own title and the Avengers stand out as the best depiction of him for me); Miller did write some of the best examples of another hero reacting to the greatness of Cap. And I don’t mean the Busiek style of having some young hero stare eye-struck at Cap like he was his favorite movie star. No, I mean we actually saw why Captain America is held in such reverence in the Marvel universe. <p> When Captain America orders Thor to create a storm to put out a fire, Miller writes (and I am paraphrasing),“He hears a voice that could command a god…and it does.” That spells out Captain America’s natural leadership and presence better than any other comic I have read (although Thing mentioning in Secret Wars how when Cap orders you to do something, you just feel like you can’t let him down gets an honorable mention). <p> And when Captain America figures out Matt Murdock’s secret identity, follows him into the church (without DD noticing until than), and than races by DD wearing “40lbs of chainmail and carrying a shield” without even changing his breathing rate or heart rate, we realize the same thing that DD does – that despite both of them are considered part of the “non-powered” class of heroes (along with heroes like Moon Knight, Punisher and the Black Widow), Cap completely outclasses him. It must be what it was like when a NBA All-Star like Chris Mullen of Reggie Miller finally met Jordan during his prime– they thought they were pretty damn good and hot stuff until they experienced what he could do. And Miller did all this without having DD & Cap fight in a stereotypical superhero fight. <P> But I will go on the record as saying the ninja hooker on the roller skates is as dumb as they come. That is just damn childish.

  • March 28, 2009, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Miller Redux

    by Bluejack

    Ronin was a beautiful comic and still is today. I reread it every five years or so and I still love it. I don't find its themes childish. It's about recognition of souls, love, separation/merger of machine and man. It is still great for me. <p> JoeN, the scene with Vicki Vail was just the most eggregious of the books offenses for me. I just don't want Batman to be that character, I don't like Robin being such a punk. It's just an ugly book for me. <p> What is interesting is that I do like anti-heroes at times, and I do like gritty books (Walking Dead, The Authority to name a few), but something about the total package of ASBAR just made me drop it after issue 2.

  • March 28, 2009, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Longpostitis

    by Bluejack

    Yes. We have a case, right here in this talkback.

  • March 28, 2009, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Leafar the Lost

    by nyj_et

    Dr. Light ripped Sue's spandex pants to rape her. You douche.

  • March 30, 2009, 7:49 a.m. CST

    Liefield, Miller, Bryne....

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...when any of these guys get too much glory, they fizzle. Some flame like Liefield, some fizzle so badly that many never remember they great work they once did (like Byrne), and some fizzle forever and still get a directing gig, like Miller. I bought DKR an issue at a time. It was stunning, innovative, original...but it didn't take long to see that Batman portrayed that way monthly would be a ponderous, joyless read. And right away, the rest of the comic industry started imitating the "darkness", "grit" and "violence" of DKR and WATCHMEN, leaving out the care, craftsmanship and innovation. The comics came out more adolescent than ever and not in a good way. It's been a real temptation to let some of that reflect badly on the benchmark works, but I have to keep reminding myself that Miller, Moore, and Gibbons weren't responsible to the first year of Image, etc.

  • April 16, 2009, 6:27 a.m. CST

    Reply for Sector

    by Continentalop

    I have to say, Sector, your continual personal attacks against me and your attempts to goad me into a fight say more about you then they do about my supposed lack of comic book knowledge or deficiencies. In fact, I am beginning to question your sanity and mental health, considering how bitter and petty you are in these talkbacks. We started this “debate” last week and since then you’ve still haven’t let it dropped or been able to move on. It is obvious that they only reason you are on this site is to somehow get into verbal spats with people – I guess someone wasn’t love enough as a child. <p> That is why I wrote this response in advance because I am pretty sure I know how you’ll reply. Despite the fact that I laid out a well thought out argument why I think Stan Lee is not a thief, I am sure you’ll skip over the logic and reasoning and instead make ad hominem arguments, personal attacks and use character assassination. You’ll say that I am stupid and uneducated about the subject or comics, and despite the fact that I was polite and respectful in my reply, you’ll constantly throw out personal insults and childish remarks supposedly “destroying” whatever argument I make by avoiding confronting it or blatantly misinterpret what I said. At the same time you’ll boast about your own knowledge and superiority in the subject, and question how anyone could think differently on a subject as you. <p> But you know what you won’t do? You won’t actually back up anything you say with evidence or an explanation how you reached that conclusion. No, everything will be treated as if it is common knowledge or that you’re not required to supply evidence to support your argument. Sector is obviously one of the great comic book experts in the world and his word is all that matter: Stan Lee is a thief and a huckster, and the fact that you say so is evidence enough - at least in your delusional world. <p> But the truth is Sector that even “experts” are required to supply evidence and explanations why they believe what they do. I don’t claim to be an expert but just a fan, and I could very well be wrong about something and don’t mind be corrected. If you truly have any useful insight into a subject, present it in a logical manner and supply evidence or statements that back it up. <p> But the truth is you are not an expert. You are just tiny, pathetic dick, a douchebag, a loser. The real sad thing is that you probably get a kick out of this, as if you somehow have some sort of power or standing on this site. “Look at me everybody!” That is why you constantly cry out, demanding that people have to reply to your circular “arguments.” Just pathetic. <P> I get no pleasure in these "debates" with you, Sector. While I might throw out a joking barb once in awhile, I am a firm believer in trying to be amicable and polite. And hopefully the rest of the people on this site have found me fair and somewhat pleasant, something I am sure few people here can say about you (Buzz, Ambush, JoeNathan, Homer, Psynapse, Goose, who haven't you annoyed?) The truth is, Sector, I could give a shit less about you or what you think. I can easily ignore you and your comments, and forget about you as soon as I look away from the site. You are like a pile of shit I accidentally stepped in; annoying when it happens, but you just scrap off your shoes and move on without ever thinking back on it. <p> And I don’t care what you say about me, or even another TBer. You are rude and obnoxious and slightly unhinged, but I can just use a little willpower to ignore you are your insignificant attacks. But the baseless attacks on Stan Lee are just disgusting. To quote Joseph N. Welch when he was talking to another person you loved to label and demonize people without any evidence, “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?" <p> But we know the answer to that is no, don’t we Sector? Prick.

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:07 p.m. CST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    Test<BR>BR<RB>RB<BR>B<BRB>BR<BR>BR<B>R<BR>RB<BRB> B<B>BRBR<BR>BRB<RB>RBR<BR>BR<>BR<BR>BR<BR>BR<BR

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:08 p.m. CST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    TEST<BR>B<BR>GB<BR>RB<RB>R<BB>BR<BR>RBBR<BR>BR<BR>BR<BR>BR<BR>BR<BRB<>BR<BR>BR<BR>BR<BR><BR><BRBR<BR<BR<RGB>BRBR<BR<>RGBBRBR>BR<BR<>BR>BR<BR>BRBR<BR>BR

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:09 p.m. CST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

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  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:09 p.m. CST

    TEST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

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  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:10 p.m. CST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

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  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:12 p.m. CST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    <BR>B<BR>BR<BR>BR<B>

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:13 p.m. CST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    <RB<RBR<B>RB <B> <R >RB <BR><B>BR

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:13 p.m. CST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

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  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:14 p.m. CST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

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  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:14 p.m. CST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

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  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:14 p.m. CST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    TEST<BR>B<RB>RB<RB>RB<BR>B<BR>RB<B>RBR<BR>BR<R>BR<BR>BR<BR>RB<BR>B<BR>BR<BR>BR<B>BR<B>

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:15 p.m. CST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    test<BR>BR<BR>BR<B>BR<B>BR

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:17 p.m. CST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

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  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:17 p.m. CST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

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  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:18 p.m. CST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    TESTR>BR<BR>BR<BR>RB<BR>B<BR>BR<BR>BR<B>BR<B>BR

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:19 p.m. CST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    TEST<BR><RB><RB><BR><BR><B><BR><R><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><B><B><BR>YO!!!

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:20 p.m. CST

    TEST!

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    TEST<RB><RB><B><R><B><B>YO!!!

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:21 p.m. CST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    <BR><RB><RB><BR><BR><B><BR><R><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><B><B><BR>MEN CALL HIM THE CHOPPAH!!!

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:22 p.m. CST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    <B><BR><R><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><B><B><BR>MEN CALL HIM THE CHOPPAH!!!

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:23 p.m. CST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    <RB><RB><B><R><B><B><BR>MEN CALL HIM THE CHOPPAH!!!

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:24 p.m. CST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    <BR><BR><B><B><BR>It's not pretty, but

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:24 p.m. CST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    <R><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><B><B><BR>It's not pretty, but

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:26 p.m. CST

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    <BR><RB><RB><BR><BR><B><BR><R><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><B><B><BR>MEN CALL HIM THE CHOPPAH!!!

  • Aug. 11, 2010, 4:26 p.m. CST

    I meant...

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    <BR><RB><RB><BR><BR><B><BR><R><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><B><B><BR>IN BOLD!