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AICN COMICS REVIEWS: AVENGERS! JLA! VENOM! SAMURAI 7! dot.comics! & MUCH MORE!!!

Published at: April 1, 2009, 11:12 a.m. CST

#46 3/25/09 #7

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #31 NEW AVENGERS #51 SUPERMAN #686 NOVA #23 / GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #12 THE PHANTOM: THE GHOST WHO WALKS #1 Retro Review of VENOM: THE MACE Big Eyes For the Cape Guy presents SAMURAI 7 Vol 1 dot.comics presents… CHEAP SHOTS!

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #31

Writer: Dwayne McDuffie Artist: Shane Davis (pencils) & Sandra Hope (inks) Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

An optimistic freshman art major will find the latest cover of JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA rife with symbolism about closing chapters and new beginnings as Batman (you know, the one that fucking died), Superman and Wonder Woman saunter away from the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA logo and saunter off into the sunset.
Personally, I think the “Trinity” read a sneak peek of this issue and voted unanimously (Superman raising Batman’s hand like a posthumous puppet) to distance themselves as much as possible from the horrific tailspin in what I pray is the end of the end, not the beginning of the end for JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA. Yes, if this was not a family title I believe the coveted three would be dropping their spandex undies and mooning the logo it was that bad.
For the past twenty years or so, the League has been like Dumbledore’s Phoenix being born, atrophying, dying and ultimately being reborn on five year cycles. Sometimes these rebirths are just what the doctor ordered, as was the case in ‘86 with Giffen’s JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL and in the late 90’s with Grant Morrison’s JLA relaunch. Then there is the current incarnation of the League, which was more akin to afterbirth than being reborn.
Founded in the Batcave, the members were selected from their Polaroid pictures like a clandestine low-tech NFL draft. Were these new members being brought together to thwart a global crisis like the very first League? No, they were brought together because without a Justice League, the world would not have a Justice League. Try to look at it with the clarity of an ADD 5 year old on a sugar high and everything will make sense. Then there was the headquarters. At one time this great team occupied moon bases and gargantuan satellites, this time around though they evicted the Wonder Twins and Gleep to occupy the 1970s Super Friends Hall of Justice. I guess this was the only place they could successfully construct the pocket dimension Escher staircase meeting room.
My seething hatred toward this issue is not directed at McDuffie, but once again towards "the asleep at the wheel" editorial staff at DC. What the hell is a writer to do when forced with tying in their book to the bedlam of FINAL CRISIS four months after the series closed. The Justice League has always been about unity, bringing cohesiveness to all of the disparate characters that inhabit the DC universe so they can unite against epic evils. Even fans of all the Infinite Crisis’ over the past few years will have to agree, cohesiveness and unity were not any of the series’ strong suits.
So how does the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA end? With a shit load of whining and fishnet stockings. The group is being splintered through apathy and differing ideologies of what policing “America” means. Before I go any further can we all agree that the time of the universe’s greatest heroes simply protecting America is passé and laughable. When faced with the choice of stopping a sun from devouring a planet or protecting the Washington Monument, I sincerely hope Hal Jordan would save billions of lives and let the ole’ phallic symbol crumble to dust. Twenty three years ago, the A was dropped from JL and this was way before the Internet brought us all closer together. To this day I can not figure out why it was ever brought back. Please DC, let it die.
Anyway back to the whining, I mean plot. Black Canary is taking her charge of running the League seriously by trying to keep warm bodies inside the Hall of Justice. Some past members like The Flash can’t commit to the League because of life obligations, others like Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen want to form a new league, a Proactive League. At first I thought this meant banding together with Jessica Simpson in the war on acne, but on closer examination we find out that the league has always just waited for danger to happen. Really? I can reference several stories from back in the day when the Justice League Europe actually investigated dangerous doings way before continents were burned or slipped into the ocean. That’s kind of why they had Ralph Dibney, the funny detective of the DC universe. I guess the apathetic League Hal and Ollie are referring to is the new post Sue Dibney violation ret-con league. Even though I make fun of it, this promise of a Hal and Ollie team-up gives me a slight glimmer of hope for the future.
If all of this folly wasn’t enough to make you sob uncontrollably at the final fate of this venerable team, add to this injury a huge editorial name gaff in the opening page, a side note to dialogue that references a book that will be out in July (these side notes used to reference past issues to help the reader, not serve as schills to sell upcoming books) and you can understand why Batman (even though he’s dead), Superman and Wonder Woman have literally turned their backs on JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA.
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."

NEW AVENGERS #51

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Art: A shitload of people… Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

So what is it with Bendis and masks?
I have a little brother. When we were little, he would never want anything on his head. He didn’t like wearing hats. He never slept with the covers over his head. Never liked putting his head underwater. Cried like a baby when he had to wear masks for Halloween.
Is this why Bendis hates masks?
Or maybe it’s because he’s bald. I know that when my hairline was starting to part like the red sea and I shaved my head it was a glorious, freeing experience. I felt as if I shed the old insecure me that hid behind his receding hairline by growing his hair longer (did that for a while) or combing it forward (did that for a while) or even covered it up with a cap (did that too). Shaving my head, in a lot of ways, was my way of shedding the trappings of who I was trying to be and accepting who I was underneath it all.
Is that why Bendis unmasks all of his heroes? Is it a bald thing?
Or does he think that wearing a mask somehow makes a hero less than heroic and that (like shaving one’s head) only discarding the thing covering up one’s head can one truly show the real person underneath? Is wearing a mask somehow less heroic to Bendis?
Or is Bendis the type of person who desires recognition? Does he need the spotlight and doesn’t like to be in the background, therefore, baring his character’s puss to everyone is his way of saying “Look at me! Love me! Accept me!”
I’d really like to know. One masking. I could look past it. Two and you’re in danger of repeating yourself as a writer and teetering into hackitude. But three, and you have a downright, psychologically seeded, Tarantino foot fetish-like obsession that deserves some kind of explanation. I mean. Unmasking has been such a big issue with so many of Bendis’ stories that it’s now become laughable.
OK, I don’t want to go on a negative-Bendis rant here, but what happens in this issue drove me nuts.
So let me get this straight…after a year of stories with Spidey back in “Nobody Knows Who You Are” mode, in one issue, Bendis comes along and unmasks him again. Not that I liked the first unmasking. Or that I liked the way that they ridded--is ridded a word? ahh, who cares…--ridded the Marvel U of the knowledge of Peter Parker’s secret identity. But what I have liked is the past year of stories taking full advantage of no one knowing who Spidey was underneath his mask. And now, the Great and Powerful Bendis has decided to unmask Spidey again in front of the New Avengers in this issue.
And it wasn’t just that. It was the lackadaisical, overwrought way in which he did it. I mean, it’s not like his mask was pulled off in battle and everything came to a standstill as Spidey has a breakdown to cover up his secret identity. No. That’s to action oriented for a Bendis comic. What we get, once again, is another Bendis sittin’ and talkin’ issue.
Ugh.
That’s basically all this issue is. There’s a lot of the blah-ditty-blah regarding what the team is going to do in the wake of “Secret Invasion” and “Dark Reign.” More blah-ditty-blah as Strange tries to seek out the next Sorcerer Supreme. If you like Bendis’ blah-ditty-blahs, there are tons here to slobber over. I think it’s tolerable and sometimes fun, but like much of Bendis’ work, he doesn’t know when to quit when he’s ahead. And it appears editorial doesn’t know when to tell him that either. One blah-ditty-blah with Strange could have been made more special had the second blah-ditty-blah with the Avengers been saved for another issue. I dunno. Maybe a fight or something exciting could have taken its place. Basically, this issue is one conversation leading to another conversation only to have the person doing the first conversation show up at the end of the second conversation as some sort of cliffhanger with the action that occurred after the first conversation and during the second conversation completely glossed over in favor of, you guessed it, conversation. But this is the kind of thing I’ve come to expect from a Bendis title, so I can’t really complain for the guy doing what he does best…
Or the only thing he knows how to do…
Sheesh. Talk about stuck in amber…
But the real thing that annoyed me about this issue is that once again, quite a few people now know Spidey is Peter Parker and we’ve tread down that road before just a short while ago.
How soon before another visit from Mephisto is necessary?
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.

SUPERMAN #686

Writer: James Robinson Penciler: Renato Guedes Published by: DC Comics Reviewed by: BottleImp

I jumped onto this series back when James Robinson first took over the writing duties, and I lasted all of three issues. There was just something wrong about the mix of Robinson’s words and Superman’s universe; the two never quite gelled. So I quit buying SUPERMAN and for all intents and purposes forgot about this title. But seeing Mon-El on this months’ cover (along with the fact that Superman himself was apparently absent) melted my resolve and made me give this series another chance. The main reason for this U-turn is that I didn’t like the way Robinson wrote Superman—with Supes gone, surely Robinson’s dialogue would feel more palpable and less stilted, right? The second reason is that I love Mon-El—and I don’t really know anything about the character. But when I was a kid of no more than five years old, I read my first comic book: an issue of LEGION OF SUPERHEROES. I remember seeing Superboy (who I assumed was SuperMAN) alongside this guy who looked a lot like him, just with the colors of the costume reversed. And I thought that that guy who was so much like Superman looked way cooler in that costume than Superman did in his. And that simple enjoyment of a costume has stuck with me all these years and is partially responsible for me shelling out another three bucks on a series I had given up on. But enough about the whys and wherefores… the question is: is this issue any good?
Unfortunately, not really. Robinson has fallen into the trap of writing nearly every character with a similar speaking voice, so instead of a wide colorful array of individuals, we have a bland bunch of people whose lines could be switched with anyone else’s without much trouble. And even though Superman appears in only the briefest of flashbacks, he still manages to come off awkwardly, speaking stilted lines like, “I know you’ve not worn the armor as much of late,” and then being folksy with Jimmy Olsen on the next page. I don’t know what happened that made James Robinson lose his ability to write characters well, but whatever it was must have been pretty bad.
It’s been said that great art can save a poor story, but SUPERMAN doesn’t even have that leg to fall back on. Guedes’ drawings are okay, but he tends to give every line the same weight, which ends up making the completed page rather flat and lacking the depth that a varied line weight can give. The burden of adding volume to the image falls to the colorist, but in this case the colors (by David Curiel) are so muted and washed-out that they tend to sap the life from the page rather than add to it. The end result is a comic book that never manages to draw the reader into its world.
The sad part is that the core of the plot is solid—basically, we have Mon-El filling in for Superman while at the same time becoming acclimated to his new home; it’s the classic “stranger in a strange land” situation. But the script and the art are so sub-tastic that I can’t justify spending money on a series that is maintaining a steady “C-“ average when there are so many more comics out there that are maintaining their “A” game.
And just to add insult to injury, it looks like Mon-El’s costume—the one I loved so much as a kid, the one that inspired me to paint over my Super Powers Superman figure with Testor’s red enamel and cut up one of my blue t-shirts to use as his cape, the costume that inspired enough nostalgia for me to buy this comic—it looks like Mon-El’s costume won’t be featured, as he wears boring gray armor in his “civilian” guise as a member of Metropolis’ Science Police. It’s a shame, because this title really, REALLY needs some more color… but I don’t think that’s going to happen as long as the current creative team is at the helm.
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.

NOVA #23

Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning Art: Andrea Divito

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #12

Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning Art: Wes Craig Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Humphrey Lee

Apologies in advance to those out there that might get a little confused about my intertwining reviews of these two books together, but given that they kind of, sort of linked up this past week, and that I have some similar commentary on the both of them, I kind of felt it would be for the best. Plus, it saves me from having to write two separate intro paragraphs, and by god do I love to cut me some corners when I can. And while I'm at it, instead of fluffing this any more than is necessary, I might as well just make like the Dow Jones and plunge right in. Ahhh... current event humor, the most common denominator...
Anyways, both titles right now, it seems to me at least, have been simultaneously kind of meandering (in the loosest sense of the word) a bit for a couple issues, but also now crash coursing their way to their inevitable parts in the next big cosmic hubbabaloo, WAR OF KINGS. Likewise, these most recent arrivals have some very obvious themes at play that both made me go, "Well, that's interesting" while wondering if they're going to play into the aforementioned WoK, or if they're getting kind of shoe-horned in before the shit hits the fan so they wouldn't have to be played out in the aftermath. I'm referencing of course the transformation of Richard Ryder in NOVA to the all-new Quasar, and Phylla Vell in GUARDIANS to, well, the Avatar of Death I guess (see why I made that disclaimer at the beginning? Sometimes I just love to bite off more than I can chew). And I'm perfectly fine with both developments, especially the former as it'll be a great way for Richard to find the ability to confront the Worldmind and his newly formed and manipulated Nova Corps, again, I just don't know when the plan is to have this conflict go off since it's about time for he and the Corps themselves to become involved with the "shit-flipping" going on on the other side of the galaxy. I fully expect it to play out quite nicely - Abnett and Lanning have done anything but let me down since I got into these titles - but you can't help but expect something to go awry when you've got a lot of threads to tie and a big cosmic event going on.
And as with the new found identities that have been taken on recently, there's be some revivals as of late too. First we got ourselves back the Quasar from, well, I guess now it'd be two Quasar's ago, as Wendell Vaughan came back somewhat incorporally in NOVA, and now we're getting the return of the Marvel U's Sinead O'Connor, Moondragon, as Phylla makes her own sacrifice to restore her. Again, a fine development, though something I didn't really expect to happen so soon after her death, or even at all for that matter (I mean, let's face it, not exactly the most popular of characters we're talking about here), but I'm again left to wonder if this is something that was getting thrown into the mix because it's going to become relevant immediately, or are we just getting it out of the way for future storylines before WoK comes in to detour things for the next handful of months. Either way, the issue itself (of GUARDIANS that is) played out pretty good, especially during the conflict between Wendell, Drax and Maelstrom who I can't help but be astounded to see him in a comic again, which is awesome in its own right. Leave it to the A&L Connection to bring him back into play.
Sadly though, there's been another common theme the last couple issues as well and that also kind of plagued these newest ones as well - the need for the return of the regular artists. Not that the (I assume/hope) temporary art chores have been bad mind you, but they haven't been terribly more than competent. Which is odd too, because normally I love Andrea Divito’s art, especially during the first ANNIHILATION story, but in NOVA this week it seems like the lines were too “soft” if you know what I mean? Mainly what came through to me was that the characters felt like little more than cardboard cutouts based off their posturings and expression. And, oddly enough, the opposite kind of came through on GUARDIANS, where the art tended to be a little over-active and exaggerated in parts, which kind of made me look at the pages funny trying to figure out why they looked that way. But really, I don't want to bad mouth either of these outings too much, because they are fill-in jobs, and lord knows how much time these peeps had to actually show off their wares. I was more making the point that considering how much is usually going on in any given issue of these titles, a consistent hand on the art chores is a must. I'll be so glad to see the regulars in Alves and Pelletier back on these, whenever they come back.
The best thing about these books though, is that even with more "diversionary" storylines on the horizon, the best I could come up with criticism wise is basically summed up as nitpicking and speculation on what COULD happen. And really, if Abnett and Lanning have shown us anything since they started this revival of this area of the Marvel Universe is that they're always going to take your benefit of the doubt and turn it into something fun and exciting and unexpected. Hell, after what could be really narrowed down to just a couple lines of exposition and a few linking panels to "crossover" these two books, I can't help but wish they intertwined more. At the very least, I want some more goddamn Quasar in my funny books, and that's either a compliment to how well these guys bring characters like him to fruition, or just one of those situations where I guess limited exposure to a character makes you want to see them more. But that's a totally different tangent. The point is, even in these somewhat off-kilter issues they're still at the least entertaining and doing well to bring more ideas to the table for future development. There's a heck of a juggling act going on here, and a big old flaming chainsaw by the name of WAR OF KINGS really getting worked into the spectacle now and I'm really excited to see how this all plays out, despite the occasional reservation.
Humphrey Lee has been an avid comic book reader going on fifteen years now and a contributor to Ain't It Cool comics for quite a few as well. In fact, reading comics is about all he does in his free time and where all the money from his day job wages goes to - funding his comic book habit so he can talk about them to you, our loyal readers (lucky you). He's a bit of a social networking whore, so you can find him all over the Interwebs on sites like Twitter, The MySpaces, Facebookand a Blogger Account where he also mostly talks about comics with his free time because he hasn't the slightest semblance of a life. Sad but true, and he gladly encourages you to add, read, and comment as you will.

THE PHANTOM: THE GHOST WHO WALKS #1

Writer: Mike Bullock Artist: Silvestre Szilagyi Publisher: Moonstone Books Guest Reviewer: Mitchell Hall

I heard that Phantom was getting a relaunch, so it's something I had to pick up. To me, The Phantom is Australian. He's a part of Australian folklore. I know he was invented by Americans in America. Yet he's someone who Aussies just love to claim.
The comic kicks off with The Phantom on board a cruise liner that gets attacked by Somali pirates. He can't figure out why some of the Pirates are Arabs and not Somalis. An explosion rips through a UN food depot. The Phantom must find the ringleader. It's awesome to see The Phantom in his dark purple outfit, kicking ass and the Phantom ring again making it's mark.
The artwork is crisp and lifelike. I love the coloring of this issue. Rich colors and shadows. The detail on Mr Walker and Wolf is what I want to see in a Phantom comic. And the art and writing in this issue is impressive.
I'm just in the mood right now to read a comic with some thigh slapping adventure. I'm sick of heavy comics. I just mentally can't read that right now. I want adventure and I want humor. The issue also includes a sparkling tribute to Sy Barry. This kick-start has got me interested in more Phantom and I will be collecting the next three.

VENOM: THE MACE (3 issue limited series)

Writer: Carl Potts Artist: Liam Sharp Inker: Bill Reinhold Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: William

*puts on a copy of Weezer’s “Undone - The Sweater Song“* Ah the early 90’s. A time when the America was a much happier place. A time when cellphones were just starting to get smaller than a brick. A time when music videos were actually on music channels. A time when something called a DVD was in its infancy, and the dot.com craze would forever look like a success. And a time when comics were experiencing an unprecedented level in sales like never before. FINAL CRISIS would still be over 15 years away, so before anybody could eagerly enjoy that uncomplicated and satisfying success (sarcasm, btw), comic book fans would purchase other items with their hard-earned cash, such as the VENOM: THE MACE limited series that came out in 1994.
Venom was another craze that peaked during the 90’s. On a level that almost toppled the mighty Wolverine himself, Venom was featured in as many comics and cameos as Marvel could put. It seemed like Venom could do no wrong, which was further emphasized though the various limited series that Marvel kept issuing multiple times each year. And at a cost of $2.99 per issue (which btw seems unfathomable even today; I barely tolerate the $2.99 issues now, let alone that kind of price 15 years ago!), fans were eating up each issue nonstop. Venom was an unstoppable success.
But you know the glory days are over when a comic book fan such as myself happens to find this limited series within the clearance bin of my local Half-Price books shop. How the mighty have fallen when a once hot character is now seen for $0.25 per issue, which led me to take a look at this series and see just how different things were back then.
First off it’s interesting to note how different the stories were back in the 90’s. Bad guy basically shows up, good guy takes notice of this, they go straight into fighting and then the story is over. In other words there’s hardly any motive given for either side; they just basically show up when needed and proceed to have page after page of juxtaposed action shots that don’t make much sense, let alone the reasoning behind their fighting. Some guy called The Mace is introduced, Venom mistakenly thinks he’s a bad guy, they fight throughout all three issues in ways that just seem silly, and then they realize they’re both really good guys and decide to join forces in order to defeat a new threat. Harmless fun, but unsatisfying nonetheless. It’s obvious to tell back then that Marvel was clearly catering to the pre-tween crowd, boys aged 10 to 12 who thought something would look cool if it involved poster-looking poses from their heroes.
Call me a progressive but I like the trend that comics have evolved into today. There is definitely more of an adult-oriented theme associated with them. Just pick up one issue today of either CAPTAIN AMERICA, or BATMAN, or FANTASTIC FOUR and so on, and you’ll see that today’s comics are far more focused with themes such as relationships, angst, marriage, politics, espionage, etc. And the fights tend to happen for a reason, not just because it looks cool. The 10 and 12 year of yesteryear, if they were to pick up your average issue of THE ULTIMATES now they’d probably discard it within three of four pages, wondering why there’s so much talkie stuff rather than fighting.
Still VENOM: THE MACE was a nice little retro view into what seemed cool back then. The writing by Carl Potts did the trick, the art by Liam Sharp was adequate for its time. The 90’s were definitely an era where if it was cool it worked, and such was a case with this harmless limited series.

SAMURAI 7 Vol One

Manga by Mizutaka Suhou Orignal Story by Akira Kurosawa Released by Del Ray Reviewed by Scott Green

Mizutaka Suhou's SAMURAI 7 is a manga based on an anime, which changes the proposition as compared to the more frequently seem situation of anime based on manga. The latter case leverages a proven idea formed in a median with slightly more creative/commercial flexibility. Cutting an unpopular manga from an anthology is less costly than producing an unpopular anime series. Manga based on anime generally serves to extend the product offering for a successful franchise.
Like comics based on games or movies, manga based on anime have not earned a particularly stellar reputation. In this case, the product often reads like a novelization; a quickly constructed change in media based on the design material more than the final product. SAMURAI 7 is neither the best nor the worst of this field. To it's credit, it recognizes an accentuates the appeal of the original. Mizutaka Suhou has a light touch that could have benefited the anime. By its definition, this manga is not doing anything new, but SAMURAI 7 still manages to have some fun with its genre mash-up premise.
Gonzo's 2004 anime series offered a sci-fi reimagining of Akira Toriyama's revered film epic concerning a farm community's ploy to hire masterless samurai in order to protect their harvest from devastating bandit raids. The anime was an early high def TV production, boasting a considerable $300,000 per episode budget. With strong buzz from the promise of a well funded adaptation of a much loved movie, anticipation was further magnified by a breathtaking CG sizzle reel featuring ornate mecha modeled after samurai armor dueling in the midst of battalions of steam-style barrel-like mass production mecha troops. Culminating with a 2D animated swordsman hurtling off a fighter, leaping towards a capital ship, and causing it destruction with a slice of his sword, the preview was exactly the sort of spectacle that might be hoped for from a big budget sci-fi homage to a classic film that genre fans had long adored.
I know there are some SEVEN SAMURAI fanatics around AICN who are fond of SAMURAI 7. I thought it had its moments, but as a series, it disappointed. It took some guts to hand the series over to Hiroyuki Okuno for a significant part of an episode. A similar exercise during the production of Gurren Lagann resulted in a spat that saw Gainax co-founder Takami Akai leave the company. On a more routine footing, there were scenes where the well realized world and the depth of field in the animation succeeded in bringing a new feel to the chambara sword fights. More often, it seemed like veteran director Toshifumi Takizawa was uncertain of how to best utilize what he had to work with. Plot wasn't efficiently distributed across its 26 episode run. Beyond that, the notion of how to repurpose the Kurosawa story for sci-fi never coalesced. While the series captured the theme of bandits and samurai as forces that were both cast desperate and armed into the world after the cessation of formal wars, it often bent itself in awkward contortions to work pre-industrial rice farmers into a world of flying cities and giant robots.
Unburdened by a huge budget or promise of forging a new vision of Kurosawa's legacy, Mizutaka Suhou's manga benefits from diminished expectations. It's still going to provoke comparisons with the film, but, to a greater extent than the anime, it can simply be a story of swordsmen fighting mecha. Its opening pages illustrate this with an explanation of how a samurai, equipped with a taisenshatou sword can carve up a mech many, many times his size. As a symptom of this focus, the groundwork for the farmers' desperate venture into "city at the bottom of the valley" to recruit samurai is slower in coming. The first introduced, and perhaps primary member of a cast that has been modified from the version seen in the anime is the young samurai Katsushiro Okamoto. Katsushiro Okamoto's back story is made more explicit and maybe a bit more involved, but he also serves to simplify the proceedings. Most of the issues of uncertainty pertaining to the samurai have been shifted to this one character. In particular, Kikuchiyo, the raging outsider swordsman famously portrayed by Toshiro Mifune in the film and recast as a red cyborg for the anime, abdicates much of the drama of his role in favor of Okamoto, whose being set up to star as the outsider-novice who becomes an able martial force.
Mizutaka Suhou has also reworked the characters graphically, with a variation on the broad themes of the anime. For example, the captain of the samurai, Shimada Kambei has a Van Dyke rather than a goatee and an outfit that looks more like something traditionally samurai with modern tailoring rather than the anime's exotic/sci-fi white tunic and wrap. However, the point is best illustrated with quiet, hyper-competent swordsman Kyuzo. In either case, the character goes for the bishonen (pretty boy) aesthetic, but again, the manga steers closer to the typical look for samurai, yielding a design that's entirely distinct from the anime's red overcoat, cropped blonde hair configuration. Mizutaka Suhou further departs from the anime with a cartooned, accentuated expressiveness. In terms of a manga with mouths gaping in surprise, I had to go to the horror works of Kanako Inuki to find something that commits to the extent that Samurai 7 does. This lends the manga an air of silliness that isn't entirely inappropriate considering the muddied explanations for why massive flying towers coexist with cities of pre-industrial buildings and swordsmen fight metal titans.
If feudal conflicts mixed with sci-fi hardware, shaped around a recognizable Akira Kurasawa plot doesn't excite you, Mizutaka Suhou's manga is not going to offer a convincing argument as to why you should be interested. This is both the manga's chief asset and liability. It gets about its business, jumping into the proceedings and having fun with the concept, free of the grand notions of importance that tangled the anime. While inconsequential, it is a fast, fun read.
Scott Green has been writing for AICN ANIME for over seven years. If you like what you see here and love anime & manga, be sure to check out his latest AICN ANIME column here.

Hey folks, Ambush Bug back again with another batch of online comic book treats for you. Although I’ll always prefer the weight of a good comic in my hands and the tactility of turning the pages, I can’t dispute that there are some cool finds out there on the interweb and with times as tough as they are right now financially, you can’t beat the price of FREAKIN’ FREE when it comes to comics. Below are just a handful of webcomics worth a click or two.

WE MAKE CLOUDS By Mike Farah (creator/writer), J. Longo (art), Johnny Storm (lettering)

I’m a bit late getting to this one, but I’m glad I’m finally able to chat a bit about WE MAKE CLOUDS; a fun take on office life. Your typical optimistic young professional enters a jaded and burned out workforce: the results bring on the funny big time. These one page skits depict one man’s struggle not to spill his half-full glass in a work environment full of half-empties. The writer of this one has to have spent time in a real office because the characterizations are spot on. I laughed quite a few times at the dead solid perfect depictions of the permeating sense of banality and futility that hangs in the air of offices that I could swear I’ve worked in before. This ZUDA entry was a real treat and a strip worth visiting when the job gets to be too stressful. Check out the ongoing adventures of WE MAKE CLOUDS beyond ZUDA here.

AWESOME MARCUS NINJA By Joel Buxton, Shane Heron, & Ian McKendry

Whether he is picking out a dog companion, getting arrested for wrestling pigeons in the park, having a battle of wits with his arch nemesis Moriarty, guiding his pet pig through Ninja Camp, or just getting fired from his job for polishing his sword too much, Awesome Marcus Ninja never fails to entertain. This is a hilarious comic strip that appears to have quite a history since the first strips were posted back in 2004. Since then, AWESOME MARCUS NINJA appears to have been in many an adventure. I started clicking through the one page strips and couldn’t stop. I got through the first year or so and had to write about it. The ninja star of this strip is most definitely insane and a lot of fun to follow around. One of the real treats to this webseries is watching the writer and artist develop and hone their comedic and artistic skills. Although it may start out crudely rendered, the comedy is prevalent throughout and the quality of the art catches up to the strength of the jokes quickly. Just check out the progression in art by clicking on the left, then right images above. It looks like a lot of fun was had making AWESOME MARCUS NINJA and even more fun is to be had by reading it.

BOAST OF THE DEAD By Keef (script) & Pie (art)

The latest in Abaddon Books’ short series of zombie skits. They are quick reads placing the undead in normal everyday situations or conversations. The results are damn funny a the art is disgustingly splendid. There aren’t a lot of entries into this series yet, but what is here will definitely tickle your funny bone…and then it will eat it. Click to BOAST OF THE DEAD for a chuckle and a chort.

SPELLFURY Written & directed by Travis Gordon

Well, it ain’t LORD OF THE RINGS, but it is kind of fun. I tried to pass this on to a couple other @$holes because I was particularly swamped with review requests, but when they didn’t really seem to like it that much. But I figured, what the hell, I’ll give it a look. Now, I don’t want to oversell this one. The budget is low and the acting leaves a bit to be desired, but there was a certain backyard filmmaking charm about SPELLFURY that made me smile while watching it. The freaky man-baby demon floating around in the woods was definitely something birthed from a cracked mind. The narrative is brisk; something about an enchanted sword, a female elf, and said creepy man-baby. There’s a cool fight in the woods involving all three that utilized some nice special effects. Only three episodes of this live action webseries are available so far, but the effects are decent enough and the brevity of the episodes make this good way to waste two minutes at work. Not sure if this webseries is taking its self series or not, but I have to admit, I had some fun watching it.

HEARTLESS DARK

HEARTLESS DARK looks to be an ominous read. The website was opened just yesterday and from what I’ve seen from it, the story is as dark as its name. Apparently, it’s about two people following their own path of destiny leading to the apocalypse. I don’t know a lot about this thing other than it is going to be a long-form graphic novel and that the first 15 pages of the prologue were just released with more to drop in the coming weeks. From the pages I’ve read, this is a very dread-laden story so far filled with blood, death, and all of those other things relating to the end of the world. There’s not enough pages available for me to pass judgment on this one yet, but I’m going to keep checking back to this site to see more ghastly images and somber tones in the coming weeks.

ROBOT LINCOLN AND ZOMBIE JACKSON By Jeff Wilson (art/co-creator) & Craig Garrett (story/co-creator)

Simple math, folks. Robots + zombies + historical figures = A WHOLE LOTTA DAMN FUN. You may not know this, but Abraham Lincoln didn’t really die when John Wilkes Booth shot him. Well, he did die. But his mind was rescued by a young Thomas Edison, who placed Lincoln’s brain into a robot body. Also, Andrew Jackson didn’t die either. Well, he did die. But he came back as a zombie. Now the collision course between these two reincarnated leaders is inevitable. ROBOT LINCOLN AND ZOMBIE JACKSON may only have a few pages so far, but it is my new favorite webcomic. I can’t wait for more pages. The first eight that are finished are creative, fun, and have just the right amount of dark humor to give you a devilish smile and make you mutter “cool” under your breath while reading it. Be sure to check this one out and click back as more pages emerge from the web.

Another All Bug Edition…sigh…

THE MIGHTY AVENGERS #23 Marvel Comics

I know I’m in the minority, but I’m really enjoying this series since Slott took over. I mean, lord knows, I know it’s something new for the Avengers to actually get into adventures and straight forward action occurs…in the scene, none-the-fucking-less, and isn’t glossed over by Mamet-aping dialog, but give it a chance, people. This final issue of the first arc harkens nothing but promise in my book. I love the team that’s been put together. The final reveal with the Scarlett Witch is much more satisfying that I expected. The banter between Amodeus and Pym is worth the 299 pennies alone. Sure the rift between Stark and Pym seems a tad forced, but no more than the way Millar and Bendis balloon-animal-ed the characters to fit the last two big events Marvel offered up. I’m looking forward to seeing Pym redeem himself and finally come forward as a major player. I do agree with the criticisms about the art for this book. Although not awful, it is somewhat lackluster for such a big title, but the art on the main NEW AVENGERS books isn’t so hot either. Where are all of those good artists Marvel used to have in their stable? Alan Davis, there’s an Avengers book that’s just aching for your old school cool. In the meantime, sheath the pitchforks and torches, folks. There’s room for both kinds of Avengers books on the shelves. - Bug

THE MUPPET SHOW COMIC BOOK #1 BOOM! Studios

Phenomenal! Everything THE MUPPET SHOW used to be without the songs. That’s the only thing missing. The humor is spot on. The characterization is a bullseye. Roger Langridge channels the spirit of Jim Henson and brings to life characters that haven’t been entertaining in years. It’s got the newscaster the two old guys in the balcony seats, a Pigs In Space skit, the Swedish Chef (though his dialog is much less fun to read than it is to hear), and an overall thread that ties the whole issue together. Honestly, folks, this issue reads like a lost episode of those perfect Muppet Show episodes of your youth. Sure, music was a central and important aspect of THE MUPPET SHOW and I found myself wishing somehow comic could have one of those music chips embedded in it to play along as Kermit sings his song about longing for his days back in the swamp towards the end, but lack of music aside, this is just about as perfect a comic book rendition of THE MUPPET SHOW as you’re going to get. Highly recommended for old kids who remember the old show and new kids who want to discover it. - Bug

COMMISSIONER GORDON: BATTLE FOR THE COWL #1 DC Comics

Not the best story, but one made spectacular by Tom Mandrake’s art. The guy could illustrate anything and I’d stand up and take notice. Both Mandrake’s choice of panels and the swooping, dynamic nature of his figures within offer a sense of wonder that not many artists accomplish. It’s not a terrible story. Kind of a throwaway as Gordon battles Mr. Freeze while waxing about the loss of Batman. But if you like moody, gothic art, check out Mandrake’s work here and tell me that ain’t damn cool. - Bug- Bug

HOTWIRE: REQUIEM FOR THE DEAD #2 Radical Comics

Steve Pugh’s story based on ideas from Warren Ellis about a paranormal investigator battling ghosts in a BLADE RUNNER-esque society continues to be a feast for the eyes. Pugh’s depictions of ghostly possessions and paranormal happenings are fantastic, plus he draws one of the hottest chicks in comics in Hotwire. This is another stunningly beautiful book from Radical, a veritable orchard of artistic talent these days. The story is pretty darn entertaining as well, as the number of possessions are on the rise and paranormal activity is at an all time high, Hotwire is more taxed than ever. Art, story, hot alterna-chicks battling ghosts…it’s an all around phenomenal book. - Bug

PIGEONS FROM HELL TPB Dark Horse Comics

This graphic representation of CONAN writer Robert E. Howard’s story of historic supernatural horror will quench any fiend’s appetite. Written by Joe R. Lansdale, this tale of age-old frights unearthed is a horror story from the bottom up. A group of kids enter a house in the middle of a swamp and, of course, nothing good comes from it. Immediately, things get spooky as animal cadavers pile up and flocks of pigeons perch on the roof. Pretty soon, the zombies and ghosts show up and the teens (and the readers) are filling their dungarees with dung. The art by Nathan Fox conveys a feeling of dread that is palpable. There’s a dirty feel to Fox’s art that is truly chilling. His designs for the lopsided ghosts of the swamp are especially cool. Reading this collected trade in one sitting is creepy enough to make you look over your shoulder and praying nothing is perched to attack. If you like feeling that way, then this is the book for you, you sick bastards. - Bug

EARLY REVIEW (In stores today!) NEW AVENGERS: THE REUNION #2 Marvel Comics

Another pretty fine issue starring Clint Barton (AKA Hawkeye AKA Ronin) and his former wife Mockingbird. Although I want to see the happy couple a little more happy together, I must admit it is a blast seeing them battling it out and not trusting one another. Writer Jim McCann did his homework here and reminds us through flashbacks that the couple disagreed often in the past. McCann also adds a bit of retro-controversy involving Tigra that I don’t know how I feel about just yet. All it ensures is that this Bug is hooked to this miniseries and likes what he’s seeing, even if it means Clint and Bobbi may not be getting back together as we all thought. - 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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  • April 1, 2009, 9:50 a.m. CST

    DOOM is FIRST!

    by V. von Doom

    And I don't care who Norman Osborn has on his side: DOOM would never join a villain club without a plan to take it over himself ...

  • April 1, 2009, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Doom

    by BlueHawaiiSurfer

    Totally. That's what makes him DOOM. :o)

  • April 1, 2009, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Your '90s chronology is kinda messed up, William.

    by rev_skarekroe

    No DVDs in the early '90s. Most of us didn't know what a .com was. Videos were already on their way out on MTV in favor of running Spring Break specials all year 'round.

  • April 1, 2009, 10:06 a.m. CST

    I loved Bendis' F-you to "Brand New Day"

    by Blanket-Man

    I fully expected Spidey to walk away from the Avengers when they demanded he unmasked, as he would've done anytime during the Silver and Bronze Age. But Bendis surprised me, not an easy feat, considering we'd just seen this shtick a year ago in CIVIL WAR. But Bendis obviously prefers all of his Avengers to know who Spidey is, so he thumbed his nose up to the ridiculousness of BND. I say Bravo to you, sir!

  • April 1, 2009, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Yeah, that's what it was

    by Laserhead

    Bendis thumbing his nose at the ridiculousness of BND. Sure it was. It wasn't a lazy writer delving into his extremely limited, repetitive tropes. It was a rebel sticking it to the stupid man. Sure.

  • April 1, 2009, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Bendis/Spider-Man reveal

    by alfiemoon

    The truth is, there was no way that Spider-Man could work as part of the New Avengers team without unmasking (not least because of the logic problems that it caused with earlier issues, in which everyone knew who Parker was). Bendis (and, more importantly, Marvel) obviously thought that the benefits of having Spidey appear in the Avengers books outweighed the disadvantages of breaking their hardline stance over his secret identity.

  • April 1, 2009, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Laserhead...

    by Blanket-Man

    You must admit, it would've been much easier for Bendis to just have Spidey walk away from the Avengers. It couldn't have been easy to convince Quesada to have him unmask this soon after BND. This seems to be the UN-laziest route Bendis could've taken, no?

  • April 1, 2009, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Optimus/JLA review

    by alfiemoon

    "What the hell is a writer to do when forced with tying in their book to the bedlam of FINAL CRISIS four months after the series closed." - - - - - This issue of JLA came out at the end of March. Final Crisis finished at the end of January. That's two months, not four.

  • April 1, 2009, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Time is All About Perception

    by optimous_douche

    I don't care if it was two months, four months or a year.<p> Every end and reboot around this Crisis was all over the map for each title.<p> Superman had hit the reset button months before the series closed.<p> I stand corrected on the close date of FINAL CRISIS, but even if the last issue hit the stand the same week JLA 31 came out it wouldn't save this book.

  • April 1, 2009, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Hutchy's Weekly Rant

    by gooseud

    1. It appears Bug is carrying this column single-handedly, as he has carried all the Cheap Shots yet again. Where is Stones Throw? Or any of the others? Just letting Bug know his efforts are appreciated. 2. I dont read Supes as you couldnt pay me to read a Superman title consistenly that doesnt begin with "All-Star", but James Robinson apprarently losing the ability to write is tragic. We are talking about the guy who wrote in my mind the single best title published by anyone in the 90's (yes, better then Sandman, sorry guys, just one man's opinion). How in God's name do you completely lose your talent? Its bizarre. 3. Lanning and Abnett rule. Anyone not reading their corner of the Marvel-verse is missing out.

  • April 1, 2009, 10:31 a.m. CST

    James Robinson hasn't been the same...

    by Kid Z

    ...Since LEgion of Extraordinary Gentlemen destroyed his until-that-point rising career. Apparently Alan Moore cast some kind of writing ability-destroying spell on him. He deserved it, too... if you've ever sat through "LXG", you know he deserved it!

  • April 1, 2009, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Let's Make BND Completely Irrelevant

    by evolution1085

    Hey Bendis, throw some organic webshooters, those stupid spikes Spidey had after his "rebirth", and a drunken hookup with Mary Jane and you can totalllyyy make the last 2 years of the main spiderman story pointless again... good times

  • April 1, 2009, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Goddammit, Spidey doesn't belong...

    by Kid Z

    ...in the friggin' Avengers, anyway! It's a marketing decision, pure and simple, always has been. Bendis could have at least had Pete tell one Avenger who he was and explain that, since he's basically an ordinary schmoe with an elderly aunt he worries about, he was asking for an exemption to the rule. Or have him grudgingly unmask and everyone is just, "Who the f**k is this kid?" (Which would be the most realistic outcome, really.)

  • April 1, 2009, 10:55 a.m. CST

    And by the way...

    by Kid Z

    ...Bendis' Spidey sucked ass! He so totally f**ked up the character, it took something as f**ked up as BND to pull him back to the level of averageness from the depths of total "Spider Elemental", forearm-clawed suckitude.

  • April 1, 2009, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Optimus Douche, you forgot the domestic abuse plotline in JLA...

    by The Nihilist

    ...Green Arrow decides to form his own League, alongside Hal Jordan. He's not telling Black Canary she can't continue the current incarnation of the League, she can do whatevever she wants. He's just going to do his own thing. When the Canary calls Hal and Ollie together to "discuss" the matter her first action is to floor her husband with a sucker punch. Just imagine that scene with rolls reversed, Green Arrow giving Black Canary the bitch-don't-undercut-"my"-League-treatment. It'd never make it past editorial, and if it had feminists would've burned every issue and any comic book shop carrying it. This was my last issue of this run of JLA.

  • April 1, 2009, 11:02 a.m. CST

    "Jim Hanson"?!

    by FeralAngel

    It's "Henson", Bug. But that's okay. Your description of the Muppets as "characters that haven't been entertaining in years" - you got THAT right. I looked over the comic in my LCS a couple of days ago. Asked the prop. how they were selling. "Badly", was the reply. "Not a single one. But the Incredibles sold out." From online glimpses, I can see why. So how come it's not on your pull list, Bug? Well, to each his own. Anyway, disagree about the comic. I've seen some bad drawings of the Muppets - in fact I can't recall seeing any good ones (are they that hard to draw?) but this comic is loaded with it. Bad drawing, that is. (Maybe the artist is okay with his own stuff but I hated his version of the puppets. Even moreso than the other crappy versions I've seen. The writing? I'd call it Bazooka Joe-level (you know, the comics that you get free when you buy the concrete-textured bubble gum). Which, I don't know, might be good enough, given the subject matter. So in other words, I disagree with your assessment of the Muppet comic. But agree enthusiastically with the endorsement for The Phantom. Damn, that book is gorgeous and the best fun read I've had in ages. More than worth the money. But hey...what the FRUCK is wrong with "Justice League of America"? If you were a superhero, which country would you rather protect? Nothing wrong with the name, and the book wasn't bad either. I have spoken.

  • April 1, 2009, 11:07 a.m. CST

    No amazon link to buy?

    by Nobody_Touches_Buddy_Revell

  • April 1, 2009, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Spidey in the Avengers

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Kid Z is right - Spider-Man doesn't even belong in the Avengers. At least when he, Aunt May and Mary-Jane were living in Avengers Tower you could argue it made for some good stories, but now he's just going around with the Avengers part-time. It's like they have a weekly Boy Scout meeting and just get together and talk. The only think Spider-Man ever does in the Avengers is make crappy Bendis jokes, and in his own title they barely even mention that he is an Avenger.

  • April 1, 2009, 11:10 a.m. CST

    The unmasking

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    I'll forgive Spider-Man unmaksing again if it leads into some interesting stories. Maybe someone one the team gets desperate and seels him out to Norman Ozbounre or something. Now that would be cool. If he unmasked just for the sake of it, then that's just lame.

  • April 1, 2009, 11:10 a.m. CST

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    sells not seels :-I

  • April 1, 2009, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Hutchy's Rant Part Deux

    by gooseud

    Ok, so lets establish something right away: I'm virtually impossible to offend. The Identity Crisis twist didnt offend me in the least, nor did Wonder Woman killing Max Lord, or Bats gunning down Darkseid. Walking Dead is one of my fave titles, and nothing in that series has offended me (which is saying something, although the twist with Rick's wife and daughter came damn close). I have read various interviews with Millar about Wanted, and I get what he was going for (he just failed utterly due to his lack of ability), thaat series came the closest of genuinely offending me, but didnt quite get there. Which brings me to Crossed. I read issue 0 and 1 in one sitting, and walked away utterly disgusted. So I'm standing in my LCS staring at #2,3, and 4. The internal debate ensues. Surely Ennis, a writer of some ability, had some point to all that bullshit in issue 0 and 1, right? Surely it couldnt just be what it appeared to be? It had to be leadng SOMEWHERE, correct? Well.....no, it actually is exactly what it appears to be. What a disgraceful piece of shit that book is. Everyone knows I'm pretty measure in my commentary, if I rip something I give my reasons, and I'd like to think they are fairly reasonable. However, this is me extending my two middle fingers to that nihilistic, sensationalistic shit stain of a so-called "series".

  • April 1, 2009, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Sorry about the Henson blunder...

    by Ambush Bug

    ...little blunders like that occur when your copy editor chooses to go out drinking instead of going over the column...

  • April 1, 2009, 11:17 a.m. CST

    Mighty Avengers

    by Joenathan

    I think Bug is in love with the idea, the TYPE of comic story, that Mighty Avengers represents and I'm totally with him there, because I was hoping for the same type of thing. That has to be it, because otherwise there is no way anyone can actually appreciate the clunky and brainless way this comic is written, nor its trash art. It could become something, sure, its certainly got a great team, but its just not... good... at all. Go re-read the Hulk/Iron man fight from Slott's second issue and try to claim that it isn't terriblly done. Just because you're tired of modern characterization shouldn't mean you laud 1 dimensional parodies. <br><br>I was so disappointed in this book. If there isn't a massive upswing in quality fast, then this book will be the Justice League Detroit of Marvel for a few limping and pathetic months, just long enough to turn some A listers to Ds and the rest into jokes.<br><br>Boo!

  • April 1, 2009, 11:17 a.m. CST

    Agreed on CROSSED...

    by Ambush Bug

    I gave it a try for a couple of issues, but when I saw it was THE BOYS Ennis and not PUNISHER MAX Ennis there, I dropped it faster than Friday's bad burrito on Saturday morning.

  • April 1, 2009, 11:18 a.m. CST

    I think if they got a consistent artist,

    by Ambush Bug

    it may be better. The book needs something, I agree, but I think under the right pencils, the story would be much better.

  • April 1, 2009, 11:19 a.m. CST

    That last one was about MIGHTY AVENGERS...

    by Ambush Bug

    Sorry, it was a late night...

  • April 1, 2009, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Why doesn't Spidey belong on the Avengers?

    by Joenathan

    He's a premiere hero. He's strong, fast as hell. He can stand against most, if not all of the big boys. The guy is THE Marvel hero, why wouldn't he have just as automatic a place in the Avengers as Cap?<br><Br>Sure, sure, he's not a joiner... whatever... thats a dumb reason and not a personality trait Parker exhibits ANY where else in his life.<br><br>So when you say he doesn't belong, don't you mean: YOU prefer that he wasn't on the Team?

  • April 1, 2009, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Who the hell is Akira Toriyama?

    by Capn Canucklehead

    I can't believe I just read that... you people are writing for a movie geek site and you bugger up Akira Kurosawa's name? Shouldn't that mean you get a bare assed spanking on Harry's naked lap while Quint films it and Massawyrm touches himself?

  • April 1, 2009, 11:29 a.m. CST

    It's not that he doesn't belong,

    by Ambush Bug

    <b>it's that Bendis never really gives him or Wolverine anything to do other than just stand there. There hasn't been one storyline so far that NEEDED to have Spidey or Wolvie there. Then again, if you're looking for story arcs, Bendis' NEW AVENGERS is not necessarily the title for you since all it's been has been a series of tie ins to the main events for a long time. Plus Bendis' Spidey just isn't funny and comes off as annoying.<br><br> So since he has no real part in any of the main conflicts and he comes off as annoying, the fact that he's only there because he is Marvel's premiere character is more prevalent than ever.<br><br>

  • April 1, 2009, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Crossed

    by Joenathan

    Goose, I am so with you. After Preacher, I tolerated Ennis and his one joke aresface writing and total hatred for comic book superheroes (You guys go after Millar, what about Ennis?), but Crossed was it for me, it is such a horrid piece of shit book, I don't even think I can rant about it or the giddily purposeful way he tries to be offensive but just comes off as stupid and mean, mainly stupid. I mean, who the fuck A. Hasn't heard the whole gay ass bisquit joke before (most likely in an Ennis comic and B. Who ever found it funny. Oh, lets toss a kid out a plane again, Garth. Could you rape a guy and pull his guts out again? Everything about that comic is utterly abhorrent to me now. And it reflects on Garth, you want proof, its in every issue of The Boys too. Garth Ennis is a huge douchebag. fuck him, fuck his books. I hope Preacher never gets made.<br><br>Also the last 40 issues of Preacher sucked.

  • April 1, 2009, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Mighty

    by Joenathan

    Exactly, everyone points to the potential and th need for a new artist, but the bottom line is, potential filled or not, currently... its shit. You know it. I know it. And classic Avengers style book with a team line up like that deserves better.

  • April 1, 2009, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Why Spidey shouldn't be in the current Avengers

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    I don't believe that he shouldn't join a team, I just think that the way he has been used in the Avengers so far has been as comic relief - he contributes nothing. Peter Parker is one of the greats, both due to his fighting skills and moral code, so I think he could make a great Avenger. At the moment he's just the chump who sits on the wall and makes gags. Of course Spider-Man has to make gags, that's part of who he is, but he needs to do more than that. I'd like to see him be more proactive, maybe protesting against members like Wolverine killing their enemies. It just seems that the New Avengers just is about Luke Cage and some random other character having an argument. Hell, I'd like to see Spider-Man become the leader of the New Avengers and sort them all out, make them into a proper team. He's the member of the team who's been a superhero longest (apart from Bucky/Cap) and he's one of the greats. I just don't think Bendis will ever utilise him properly in the New Avengers book, unfortuantly.

  • April 1, 2009, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Saying

    by Joenathan

    that Spidey doesn't belong on the Avengers and saying that you think Bendis has under-utlized him are two different things.<br><br>Writing and story choices aside, I think Spider-man, THE premiere Marvel Super-hero deserves a spot and its coming is long overdue.

  • April 1, 2009, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Spider-man protesting Wolverine

    by Joenathan

    would be dumb. I mean, they've known each other for years. That'd be like pal-ing around with Rush Limbaugh for 20 years, hanging out at his show, traveling wih him and then one day going: WOO! You're a Republican? Dude! Uncool!<Br><br>The time for Spidey to say something is long past, UNLESS its right at the moment, then sure, but a general protest? Don't waste my time with a fake moral objection at this point. Too little, too late.

  • April 1, 2009, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Venom is the worst thing to ever happen to comics.

    by fiester

    For reals, yo.

  • April 1, 2009, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Bug is a liar

    by Tin Snoman

    We all know AICN has no editors!

  • April 1, 2009, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Ultimates line

    by drewlicious

    I know it's not one of the subjects right now but is this universe ending with Ultimatum? Because it sounds like even Ultimate Spider-man is finishing up. That would be a shame, of all of those books thats the one to keep alive.

  • April 1, 2009, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Spider-Man and Wolverine

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    They've hung around together for years, but actually being on a team together is different. After a battle with ninjas or whatever, I don't believe Spider-Man would be ok with looking round the battlefield and seeing corpses everywhere. In one of the Brand New Day stories with the both of them (the one with all the snow) Spider-Man actually said something to Wolverine about if they were going to do this (whatever "this" was) he didn't want Wolverine to do any killing. Or something like that, can't remember the exact details offhand

  • April 1, 2009, 11:55 a.m. CST

    The Mighty

    by optimous_douche

    i gave it two issues, and just flipped through at my LCS.<p> First of all there's nothing going on except the inner workings of this agency I could care less about that is basically a secretarial organization for a Superman rip off I don't care about.<p> And the art...hideous....<p> I love Tomasi on GLC. I guess some writers shine with the big houses (tomasi) where others are better suited for their own material (Kirkman).

  • April 1, 2009, 11:55 a.m. CST

    drewlicious

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Ultimate FF and X-Men are ending, but Spider-Man's continuing, I think I read somewhere. Thankfully the Ultimate universe will still be around.

  • April 1, 2009, noon CST

    "This"

    by Joenathan

    equals break-off.

  • April 1, 2009, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Ultimate

    by Joenathan

    Spider-man is continuing, but might be different. I'm betting the Spider-man girl clone takes over. Would they kill off Peter and yet not kill off Peter? Could a Spider-man book star a Peter without a Peter?<br><br>Also, isn't Millar returning to Ultimates? I thought that after Loeb waltzed in and proceeded to take a big dump all over their sales, that they offered Millar anything he wanted to come back. Word is, he asked permission to degrade, toss aside and kill off certain @$$hole talkbackers favorite characters... or something like that...

  • April 1, 2009, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Destroyer

    by Series7

    Anyone read this yet? Is it as cool as the profits foretold?

  • April 1, 2009, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Know what I hate?

    by kungfuhustler84

    Books set in the primary MArvel universe. Stuff like Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Fist, Captain America, Daredevil, and Thor all are set in pretty much their own unique places, and the stories are consistently much better than any of the Avengers or other X men books.

  • April 1, 2009, 12:59 p.m. CST

    PIGEONS FROM HELL TPB

    by BangoSkank

    Thanks for the heads-up. I've been a fan of Lansdale's since reading an abridged version of his story "The Drive In", in Twilight Zone Magazine, roughly a thousand years ago.

  • April 1, 2009, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Ultimates

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Yeah Miller is coming back to the Ultimates title eventually, but I think after Ultimatum Jeph Joeb is doing one more Ultimates story (Ultimates 4 or whatever). I dunno if even Miller could sort out Loeb's mess.

  • April 1, 2009, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Robot Lincoln and Zombie Jackson!

    by blackhole4140

    As someone totally unrelated to this comic, I would like to extend an invitation to read this comic as it is free and fun. Now I shall go back to my garden... and PLANT.

  • April 1, 2009, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Ultimatmatium 3

    by Series7

    Did anyone read it? My store sold out, is it really bad?

  • April 1, 2009, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Loeb is the worst

    by Joenathan

    As far as gaurantee non-buy from me goes, its: Ennis, Liefeld, Loeb, Miller, Claremont(sad-face), Byrne, Waid and JMS (also sad face, but kind of angry sad face.)

  • April 1, 2009, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Bug and JoeNet: no no no no no no no no..........

    by gooseud

    Your incorrect on one thing: saying this is "The Boys" Ennis on Crossed. The Boys is fucking Shakespeare compared to that abhorrent shit. At least The Boys has comething resembling a central thesis or plot (no matter how flawed and shitty the execution). Crossed has virtually nothing. For those who started it, dropped it, havent been able to make it through to issue 4, allow me to illuminate: the issues basically follow the same pattern, which is that the survivors develop some kind of plan, idea, glimmer of hope, sense of humor, etc. This is then beaten out of them by the zombies, resulting in a minimum of one if not more deaths amongst the group in addition to countless amounts of gore and ass rape. Thats the book in its entirety. It basically a celebration of sadism, as the survivors havent managed to kill more then a zombie or two in the 5 issues so far total (in fact, the one guy who attempts to suggest fighting the zombies instead of running is mocked mercilessly.....and then ass raped). Its truly hideous.

  • April 1, 2009, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Series7

    by Joenathan

    Its not bad. Its dumb. Its so dumb, it can't even keep the short few years of Ultimate Universe continuity straight. Its just dumb... terrible dialogue, stupid plot and Joe Mad, like Liefeld and Campbell, has apparently decided that growth as an artist is vastly overrated.

  • April 1, 2009, 1:48 p.m. CST

    The Boys

    by Joenathan

    is just as bad. Its "central thesis" is nothing more than Ennis displaying his contempt and hatred of comic book superheroes. Its just as terrible and sadistic and revolting and filled with the same dumb jokes, except slightly more restrained than Crossed, which in turn, just makes The Boys boring as well as stupid. If he hates superheroes so much, why doesn't he quit comics and write books for a living instead?

  • April 1, 2009, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Kung Fu Hustler is right

    by gooseud

    He just basically described my pull list. Those books exist outside Bendis's sphere of influence and as such are fucking awesome. They are beneath him or something, or so he thinks (shrugs). The only big name mainstream Marvel book that I can think of that has managed to repel the Bendis/X-Men virus of suckitude is Captain America, mainly because I picture Bendis strolling into Brubaker's office being like "So, Ed, I got an idea for this crossover......" And Bru just sitting there in stony silence staring a hole through Bendis til he is lke "Ummm ok, bad time right now, we will talk later!! May I leave now, Mr. Brubaker? Sir?"

  • April 1, 2009, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Pssst... goose...

    by Joenathan

    They don't all work in one building...

  • April 1, 2009, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Yes they Do!

    by steverodgers

    They totally all work in the Bullpen - and they play DC in softball, and sometimes Stan comes by and tell stories about the old days. It's the coolest!

  • April 1, 2009, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Yeah, thats true........

    by gooseud

    Granted. both series are a shit sandwich, but at least Ennis TRIES to be funny on The Boys. Like, at least you could see how theoretically he MIGHT be kidding, in some fucked up way. Its not remotely funny, dont get me wrong, but at least you could make an argument that someone somewhere could find it mildly amusing. There hasnt even been a single line of dialogue in Crossed that one could argue could be construed as a joke anywhere other then the 7th circle of hell. Regardless, its splitting hairs, its like arguing if you would rather punched in the dick or get a tetanus shot: both pretty much suck.

  • April 1, 2009, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Comic book blogs/columns

    by steverodgers

    Anyone read a good one that they can recommend? This one being the best of course, but I also like comics101.com, and would love any input on others. I gotta fill my work day.

  • April 1, 2009, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Ultimate Spider-Woman

    by drewlicious

    It would be ballsy I'd give them that. Not necessarily wise, though. It doesn't right to burn down pretty much everything you've worked eight years to establish. Plus, we've already got a Gwen Stacey clone in the mix. Still, I'm kind of enjoying the Ultimatum storyline. Gives an interesting glimpse to see this characters in a real disaster. Assuming everyone who is dead stays dead I gotta admire the writers going for real lasting impact.

  • April 1, 2009, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Steverodgers is correct!!

    by gooseud

    They have little cubicles in the Bullpen. Unless you are Brubaker, in which case you have a corner office, mainly because everyone fears your rampant bad assery. I read it when I was like 5 and have believed it ever since.

  • April 1, 2009, 1:58 p.m. CST

    So Ult FF

    by gooseud

    is going away? I dropped that book after that hideous ITalian magician storyline, but still, surprised to hear it being canceled, whats up with that?

  • April 1, 2009, 1:59 p.m. CST

    I'd rather get a tetnus shot,

    by Joenathan

    then get punched in the dick, but I realize that really isn't your point...

  • April 1, 2009, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Restructuring Ultimates

    by Joenathan

    The idea was that it had wandered some storywise and needed a shake up before it got out of control and then Loeb hired Mentok the Mindtaker or something and he was given the job and as the rain of shit poured down on thier heads, Marvel looked to the sky and screamed: "why God, Why? How did this happen?" and Joe Q answered: "Long Halloween was good, I thought..."

  • April 1, 2009, 2:02 p.m. CST

    The Boys and Crossed

    by Series7

    Are like huge at my comic store. I am reading Crossed, but I don't know why. You think if a comic presents itself as the most sadistic comic since The Dazzler, it would have more then one page of crazy per issue. I don't think there was anything too crazy in issue 3, unless you think killing children is bad? I mean its like one page of shock and 5 pages of boring talk.

  • April 1, 2009, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Why I Stay With the Boys

    by optimous_douche

    Wee Hughie plain and simple.<p> There's something about a sane charachter in a mad world I siimply like.<p> I will say though, the egrigious disgusting behavior does get old after ahile.

  • April 1, 2009, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Watchmen

    by Series7

    Not really gonna say anything about it, except like each issue is 30 pages long. And it took a good chunk of time to read each issue. Why the fuck does it take less then 5 minutes to read 90% of all comics that come out today? Crossed and Kick Ass are good examples, I'm seriously done with them before I even leave the shop after I purchased them. It would probably take me like half the time it would take me to read one issue of Watchmen to read the entire Crossed series when its done (assuming it stops at 8).

  • April 1, 2009, 2:13 p.m. CST

    "the egrigious disgusting behavior"

    by Joenathan

    See, to me, its not just that its douchebaggy gross (which it is) or that he hates Superheroes (which he does), its that I feel like its been done already, that its all recycled, like he has already told these jokes in every series he has written. Arseface? How many times did he do that? Is Blood flecked Semen funny? Keep re-telling it, Garth, maybe I'll get it.

  • April 1, 2009, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Brubaker's Office

    by steverodgers

    The coolest thing about his office(besides the sweet view) is the huge line of superheroes waiting outside with story ideas and petitions for him to start writing their books (there is a line like this outside the joint cubicle of Abnett/Lanning as well).Most of the time though Bru just chats away with Bucky/Cap and laughs about Namor’s funny swim trunks. There is by the way no line near Loeb's cubicle - just tumbleweeds, tattered old copies of the Long Halloween and phone messages from Rob Liefeld about God and pockets. The Bullpen is awesome.

  • April 1, 2009, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Whats the number one stupid person complaint about Watchmen?

    by Joenathan

    Too much reading. Thats why big sellers are now so short on the verbiage.

  • April 1, 2009, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Loeb peeking over his cubicle:

    by Joenathan

    "Anyone want to see some pages from the next issue of Ultimatum? ...Anyone? Hello? I SEE YOU! I saw you duck down! Come over and get an exclusive preview! Come on! ...What? Oh sure... yeah... stomach flu, sure... I understand..."

  • April 1, 2009, 2:38 p.m. CST

    I love "Crossed".

    by cookylamoo

    This is the scariest book on the market.

  • April 1, 2009, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Optimus

    by hst666

    You do realize that if JLA dropped the "A" now, a bunch of conservative douchebags would be all over them for not subscribing to the "America uber alles" meme.

  • April 1, 2009, 2:41 p.m. CST

    They should all work together in a big room

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    That would definelty help with continuity issues. "Is anyone else using Wolverine at the moment? Oh you are are you? Ok I'll sort something else out"

  • April 1, 2009, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Planetary #27

    by Joenathan

    According to Ellis's blog, Cassidy has uploaded all the artwork and the book is done except for the cover. Its been a long fucking time coming, man.

  • April 1, 2009, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Gunslinger

    by Joenathan

    I wonder if the sight of all those hands in the air would be the thing to final drive it home...

  • April 1, 2009, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Where the hell did Heartless Dark Come From?

    by happygilmore3

    Alright Marcus Ninja was cool and funny. I thought it would be color but its not (boo). drawing is legit and sarcasm is there (the death of bromance, hilarious). But where the heck did this Heartless Dark thing come along. I have to admit the title seems a little over the top but the art is pretty sick and unlike any webcomic i have seen. The site seems easy enough to find your way around. Love the lack of advertisements that is a huge pet peeve of mine. The story is way vague though, so have to check it out when they puclish more episodes. Worth checking out

  • April 1, 2009, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Heartless Dark

    by Rod_Honcho_83

    Is sweet! I've read a lot of webcomics, but only FreakAngels has kept my attention. Until now. Art is way cool and the story has got me intrigued - good start. Let's hope it keeps on schedule. I'm going to talk this one up to people.

  • April 1, 2009, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    They'd have to have some Wolverine rotation system so everyone gets to use him. Man, if one character needs to be "dead" for a couple of years it's Wolverine. We'd all appreciate him a lot more after that.

  • April 1, 2009, 2:57 p.m. CST

    ..

    by blackthought

    hmm...flash...rebirth...

  • April 1, 2009, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Wolverine

    by Joenathan

    I don't think he needs to go away, the guys as much an archetype as anyone, but I do think they need to address just how the hell he schedules himself for some many adventures. It'd be cool if there were actually a dozen of him and no one knew it. No wonder his backstory makes no sense...

  • April 1, 2009, 3:07 p.m. CST

    The Avengers...they are what they are.

    by Homer Sexual

    While JoeNathan's obsession with how much he hates Mighty Avengers bugs me, I learned something, and I think it was from him. <p> Certain writers are what they are, and their books also are what they are. At this point, I think most of us know what we are getting with a Bendis book. Some are better than others. Complaining that New Avengers just sit around and talk all the time is like complaining that water is wet. That's BMB style. And I kind of like it. I like it a lot more when there are other books, such as Mighty Avengers, where the heroes actually fight villains, etc. I am a fan of both books, I think they complement each other. <p> But don't get me started on Dark Avengers. <p> Also, I am sad that Wanda isn't really back on the Avengers after all. "Sigh" I knew it was too good to be true. <p> Ennis, I guess, is what he is as well. I read one issue of the Boys and honestly found it so puerile that I would never try it again. <p> Finally, I had a moment of clarity. I criticized Optimus Douche for attacking Batwoman without reading even one issue of the book that will feature her. Yet, I am dropping X-Force at least until the Cable crossover ends because I just hate the Cable character so much that I am not willing to even give a story featuring him a chance. <p> As much as Loeb does, indeed, suck, his Ultimate Hulk annual is probably my #1 favorite single-issue comic of the past year.

  • April 1, 2009, 3:09 p.m. CST

    More on Wolverine

    by Homer Sexual

    Good Lord, yes he is so over-exposed. Yet there never seems to be a backlash. <p> I really hate him being in New Avengers. It makes absolutely no sense. This "loner" is in three different groups. But, like the presence of Spider-Man--which doesn't really bug me, it makes more sense--it's all about marketing.

  • April 1, 2009, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by hst666

    Out of curiousity, is the gay assed bisquit joke like the ookie cookie?

  • April 1, 2009, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Homer, The Bullpen, and Wolverine

    by gooseud

    1. The funny part is, no character would be easier to kill and then bring back then Wolvie. That is THE classic character for a kick-ass kill-off/revive storyline, and yet.....2. Homer, if you think The Boys was puerile, dont read Crossed, your head will explode 3. You all know Brubaker's office has groupies. Him and BuckyCap hanging out? Dude thats like pussy magnet right there!! 4. Did I see a Blackthought sighting? GASP!!

  • April 1, 2009, 3:14 p.m. CST

    The Biscuit Joke

    by gooseud

    Wasn't funny. Remotely.

  • April 1, 2009, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Spider-Man in the Avengers

    by Bluejack

    I have no problem with Spider-Man in the Avengers. I like Bendis at times, but he has written Spider-Man as a whiney, ineffective wimp. Look how Slott wrote him in the Initiative when fighting Komodo or the Scarlett Spiders, THAT is the Spider-Man we would love to see. Strong morals, funny, smart and capable. I'm invested now, but any more Talkity talkity episodes and I'm gone. How's about we SEE the fight with the Hood. Is that too much to ask? Great review, spot on.

  • April 1, 2009, 3:17 p.m. CST

    The Boys

    by hst666

    is also about corporate America and decoupling of actions and responsibility. It is certainly a critique allowing sentient WMDs to act autonomously in a society, but there are other issues being addressed.

  • April 1, 2009, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Wolverine

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Maybe have him do something that gets him kicked out of the Avengers and X-Men so he becomes a loner again. But that might be a bit too much character regresion, I guess. I don't mind him being a prominent member of a team, but it would be nice if it was only the one team. I guess it's just natural in any business that's out to make money that if something's popular, you milk it until it's dry and lifeless. Thankfully I don't think Wolverine is at that stage yet. Maybe when he joins the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Runaways, then I think it'll be time for a geek protest march to the Marvel offices.

  • April 1, 2009, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Bluejack

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    For me that was one of the awesomist Spider-Man moments in the past couple of years, when he tells Komodo about all the badasses he's fought and that's why he knows she won't beat him. He wasn't written as arrogant, but he is confident in his abilities - which is what Spider-Man should be like after all these years as a superhero.

  • April 1, 2009, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Dumping books.

    by Bluejack

    It takes a lot for me to dump a book I've been following for a while. I keep hoping it will improve. Bendis can write action, just look at Dark Avengers. He just needs an editor to have the balls to say "hey, Bendis, a little less talky talky and a little more whammy socko socko."

  • April 1, 2009, 3:24 p.m. CST

    What is the biscuit joke?

    by hst666

  • April 1, 2009, 3:25 p.m. CST

    and as for the fights with the Hood....

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Bendis (somehow it always comes back to Bendis!) has fight scenes where so much happens, but actually nothing much happens, if you get what I mean. We just see huge panels of heroes fighting villans, but no indivdual stuff, it's just a mess of action. and it always ends suddenly with a random deus ex machina (i think i ranted about this on a talkback the other day), and never with a logical end to the battle.

  • April 1, 2009, 3:25 p.m. CST

    I was happy with the Wanda reveal at the end of MIGHTY...

    by Ambush Bug

    I was pissed that Slott brang her back as something like an afterthought. Finding out who it really was in the end was the capper that gave me hope for the series.<br><br> I also agree that out of everyone, Wolverine should die and disappear for a while. Hell, I think the entire X-Men should die and disappear. Then maybe have them come back in a year when someone actually knows what to do with them. They missed their opportunity with HOUSE OF M to regroup and restructure all of mutantdom. Now it's just as uninteresting as ever before. Too many titles, too little story. With Wolverine and the X-Men gone, I think people would really be able to define what the character means and how much he can be a necessary part of the Marvel U. The main problem with the X-Men is that the oversaturation of the book and its spinoffs took away what made it special in the first place. The mutants were no longer unique. One X book and maybe a Wolverine book would be the only thing that would make me start reading X-books again. Until then, I'll pass.

  • April 1, 2009, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Someone mentioned in the TBs Bendis' lack of precision...

    by Ambush Bug

    when it comes to fight scenes and I think they were spot on. I've never seen a Bendis script page, but I'll bet it reads very loosely when it comes to action. Someting like: "And then all of them fight." leaving nothing for the artist to work with. That's why we have these splash pages with mash-ups and very little character shown through action. If bendis would spend as much time describing the fights as he does setting up his verbal kung fu, there would be much less I would complain about.

  • April 1, 2009, 3:40 p.m. CST

    I was happy with the reveal as well...

    by Homer Sexual

    It was a tip of the hat to ooooldd Avengers, it was clever, I didn't see it coming yet it made total sense. <p> I would just like to see Wanda back as a super hero, but that might be hard to pull off considering she killed a couple people. Then again, at least one of them has already come back to life. <p> And if Marvel can make one of it's most famous murderers the head of the government forces, they can do anything.

  • April 1, 2009, 3:42 p.m. CST

    I like Homer

    by Joenathan

    Not like like, but you know... Do I come off as obsessed with Mighty Avengers? Do these pants make my butt look fat?

  • April 1, 2009, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Wolverine

    by Joenathan

    I don't think he is "the loner" anymore, just like he's not really "the beserker" anymore. Now, he's more of a hero, he's the samurai, sure, sure, like a twister, he was born to walk alone, but I think Wolverine has grown from the near feral brawler into something else. I don't think he's been the loner in years.

  • April 1, 2009, 3:50 p.m. CST

    here's why I didn't like the Wanda reveal

    by Joenathan

    IT makes sense as to the context of tricking the Avengers, but then why would she appear as Wanda when no one was around? There's no reason to trick aanyone when there's no one else there, it was a "trick" to us, but thats dumb, why not just NOT have Wanda be alone and talking to herself? Dumb McGuffin.

  • April 1, 2009, 3:51 p.m. CST

    I was glad it wasn't Wanda too

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    When the Scarlet Witch comes back proper, it needs to be epic. I dunno what route they'll take though. Redeem her or make her go completly nuts and turn into a villan? It's a difficult one.

  • April 1, 2009, 3:52 p.m. CST

    the bisquit joke is too stupid to write out

    by Joenathan

    just forget it. Its closet gay frat boy stuff.

  • April 1, 2009, 4 p.m. CST

    Can someone remind me....

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    ... why Doctor Strange isn't the Sorcerer Supreme anymore? Did that happen in New Avengers when he saved them from the Hood? Can't be bothered to search through my old issues

  • April 1, 2009, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Whats wrong with character regression??

    by gooseud

    I would argue that one of the great westerns ever put to film, Eastwood's Unforgiven, is all about the nature of character regression. There are no bad characters or themes, only bad writers who dont have the skill to pull it off. Put Wolvy back in Japan. Have him sent by Kang back to the Old West and have 24 issues of Wolvy as a bad ass gunslinger. Send him to the future, Demolition Man style, and let the sparks fly. ANYTHING other then sticking him in the friggin Avengers, for chrissakes.

  • April 1, 2009, 5:01 p.m. CST

    That JLA issues was pretty bad

    by superfleish76

    I love how Canary punches out her husband for "embarrassing" her. I know that they're superheroes and all, but doesn't that constitute domestic abuse.

  • April 1, 2009, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Gunslinger

    by Ambush Bug

    I believe the Dr. Strange thing happened off panel like every other major development in NA. Hood goes from troubled hero to major crimelord--off panel. Strange left the Avengers out of the blue before the Skrulls hit, and now he comes back saying he's not Sorcerer Supreme anymore, leaving better writers to step in and fill the gaps.

  • April 1, 2009, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Oh, but by all means DON'T

    by gooseud

    have him tricked by friggin Mysterio, of all people, the dude with the fishbowl as a helmet, into going on an hours-long rampage and killing every single one of his friends, who stand idly by with numbered "Kill Me Wolvy!!" tickets in hand for literally HOURS waiting their turn for Wolverine to kill them, like waiting at high noon in July for hours to ride a roller coaster or something. Because that, after all, would be FUCKING RETARDED!!! Luckily we dont have to worry about anyone writting something so brain-dead, because Marvel editorial would step in and put a stop to that.......or just send them to Ennis's office where one of the Crossed freaks can butt rape them for hours on end .

  • April 1, 2009, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Actually, Ennis.......

    by gooseud

    probably doesnt have an office. Or even a cubicle. They keep him in the brrom closet like the Gimp.

  • April 1, 2009, 5:08 p.m. CST

    What bothers me about the JLA issue

    by Ambush Bug

    Mainly is that it's another stagnant issue. They should take note from what marvel did with their Avegners titles. Not that they are perfect, but Bendis made the Avengers worth talking about again and put them in the center as the major players of the Marvel U. DC's has no such focus. Everything that happens in the DCU should spin out of JLA. The JLa shouldn't be reacting to the major event. The Major event should start and end there. Instead we get the Vixen 56 parter, Milestone's shitty return, and a romance with Red Arrow and Hawkgirl.<br><br> DC should put their biggest name writer/artist on JLA. Hell, if Robinson is writing a JLA title in July, there's no need for another main title if it means the cast that they were left with at the end of the issue.<br><br> Plus the blunder with the name at the beginning of the book was inexcusable. Wonder Woman's name is Princess Diana. Dinah is Black Canary. You'd think that if you're drawing a JLA book, that's comics 101. Just a mess and indicative of how fucked up DC is right now. Johns is carrying all the weight, but he can't do it all.

  • April 1, 2009, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Penultimate Gunslinger

    by sean bean

    Dr Strange has been presented as having lost the plot. He meditated whilst Civil War happened. He recklessly released a demon to try and stop the Hulk. He crossed the line and abused the magicks when he pulled the Avengers' asses out of the fire in the battle against the Hood's mob. But if he's not Sorceror Supreme at the end of this story arc, he will be within a few years again, anyway. Marvel is looking to develop a Dr Strange movie and that's just the way the cookie crumbles.

  • April 1, 2009, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Oh, and I loved Bachalo's take

    by sean bean

    on Dr Strange (looked like Peter Wyngarde) and the Demon Hood. Great stuff.

  • April 1, 2009, 5:16 p.m. CST

    gooseud

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    I feel a bit guilty, but I actually quite liked Wolverine's rampage in Old Man Logan, thought it was a good reason why he wouldn't fight anymore. That said, I have to agree that it would have been better for it to be initiated by a more badass villan than Mysterio. Mephisto maybe. Maybe if the Wolverine in current continuity killed a few good guys by accident they could have the character go off to "find himself" in Japan for a couple of years or some shit like that, get him out of the Marvel U for a while.

  • April 1, 2009, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Sean Bean

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    No-one seems to be able to write these ultra-powered heroes at Marvel, it seems. The Sentry and Doctor Strange are so powerful they could defeat most of the bad guys the current Avengers teams face in seconds, so they're always shown as being mentally unstable and unreliable.

  • April 1, 2009, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Well, that's a spoiler...

    by Homer Sexual

    Only because I quit Old Man Logan after the first issue, which I thought was retarded. <p> Since that time, I have read so much positive comment on how it developed that I was planning to pick up the inevitable TP. <p> But now....probably not. However, I am not trying to criticize revealing that event because if I had bought the trade and that was the big twist, I would have been unhappy with my purchase, to put it mildly.

  • April 1, 2009, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Gunslinger

    by sean bean

    I agree that Bendis can't write ultra-powerful guys. Pak wrote an interesting Sentry in Planet Hulk - ambivalent and over-cautious rather than unstable. The best Dr Strange stories in recent years have been the Dead Girl miniseries (by Peter Milligan) and the Oath miniseries by Brian Vaughan.

  • April 1, 2009, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Sorry Homer, honestly

    by gooseud

    Didnt mean to ruin it for you......but yeah, that was the reason he wouldnt fight. He thought Omega Red and The Blob, etc, were breaking into the mansion, so he killed every single one of the villains, only they were actually the X-Men but Mysterio tricked him. The heroes, of course, didnt do anything logical, like say hand Logan his ass or have Emma Frost incapacitate him. They must have been too stunned by the unique, never-before-seen sight of Logan on a rampage against his friends. No, they just stood there and let him stab them for hours. Then , instead of seeking revenge for being tricked by, say, killing Mysterio, instead Logan goes in the woods and cries. Wike a wittle baby. For weeks. Literally. He takes a break every now and then to pick berries and such for sustenance, build a fort in the woods, maybe kill a deer here or there. As villains are taking over the world and slaughtering the heroes. Literally. Then he realized the woods actually kind of suck, poison ivy and mosquitoes and those type things, so puts his head on train tracks and tries to kill himself, but it doesnt work. Yes, it reads even dumber then it sounds, and I'm actually being pretty much completely literal about what happens.. After that, he feels better, but always gets a little inexplicably nervous and antsy every time he sees a goldfish swimming around in a bowl. Cant quite figure out why.

  • April 1, 2009, 6:20 p.m. CST

    Dot Comics

    by nemophrost

    Awesome! Robot Lincoln and Zombie Jackson looks to be the perfect comic if you want a good chuckle. Heartless Dark looks to be pretty intense, but possibly good. I agree, it's a little early to tell. The art is sweet, and they have some cool wallpapers. We Make Clouds is a fun one as well for a little diversion.

  • April 1, 2009, 6:45 p.m. CST

    Mighty Avengers

    by Continentalop

    I know I am joining the debate late here, but I have to say I disagree with you Bug. I think Slott is a major talent, but I think his skills are completely wrong for this book. His Mighty Avengers all act like they are trying out for Griffen’s old JLI comic, but the problem is that the roster isn’t filled up with a lot of b-listers and underused characters, nor is their adventures as wacky or as off the wall as the old JLI (Chthon isn’t really as comical as Mr. Nebula, intergalactic decorator). <P> And I don’t mean this as any sort of slam at Slott. Sometimes people have to accept their limitations. I mean, as great as Moore was, I don’t think his sensibilities would ever work writing an issue of Spider-Man (unless he meant it as a parody). <p> And yes, it is better than Bendis’ New Avengers, but that isn’t saying much. That is like bragging that you won the Special Olympics – sure you won, but that means you still are retarded. I would rather have something that can be compared with Roger Stern’s incredible run. <p> Currently, the only Avengers title that seems to work is Dark Avengers, and that is because it is the one title that afford to be the least like the old Avengers titles.

  • April 1, 2009, 7:06 p.m. CST

    Spider-Man in Avengers

    by Continentalop

    I have to join the chorus of those who think Spider-Man shouldn’t be a member of the Avengers. I don’t mind him joining for a short term, but as a regular member just goes against the very nature of the Spider-Man character. I am not saying he is anti-social or a complete loner – far from it, he is a very sociable character who gets along with other heroes. No the problem is that the entire comic has been built around the concept that Spider-Man is the hard-luck, everyman hero. He is Job of the superhero world (although that title might apply better to Daredevil consider how many times he has lost a loved one, his career, his secret identity, etc.). <P> To have Spider-Man be part of the most elite, established superhero team in the world goes against the Spider-Man mythology. None of the other major Avengers members have the same problems that Peter Parker has (personal problems that many of his audience also share). Steve Rogers, Thor Odinson and Tony Stark might have problems, but worrying about their job (Stark worries about his company, not his job), school, family (Thor worries about Asgaard and his immortal father, Odin, not his aging Aunt), bills and relationships (Captain America isn’t worried if Mary Jane is mad at him, he is concerned if America has lost it’s way). Now, as member of the Avengers, all of his mundane concerns can be quickly overcome thanks to help from his teammates. <p> Yes, Spider-Man is one of the elite heroes in Marvel comics, but his alter ego Peter Parker is one of the most human, identifiable characters out there. Having Peter Parker join the Avengers is like having Agent Fox’s theories on the X-Files become accepted – suddenly, the show becomes a lot less interesting and there is a lot less conflict for him to overcome. <p> It is the same reason that Wolverine shouldn’t join the Avengers. Yes, he is no longer a loner or a berserker, but he is anti-authoritarian and very much his own man. Having such a character join a group dedicated to maintaining the status quo seems very hard to buy.

  • April 1, 2009, 11:38 p.m. CST

    They all have flaws

    by gooseud

    Slott seems to struggle writing team books and is inconsistent writing serious stuff instead of lighter more fun stuff. JMS cant stay on schedule or complete anything. Warren Ellis is fantastic for 6 issues or so and then loses interest. Peter David cant handle crossovers. Brubaker is genetically incapable of humor. Whedon's snarkiness tends to infiltrate all his characters. James Robinson cant write anymore. Even Brian Vaughn, who I consider perhaps the best writer working, can suffer from pacing problems, little patches of lulliness (is that a word?). Y, as good as it was, had patches of lulliness, and Ex Machina ABSOLUTELY has patches. Of course, those patches are usually followed by double barrelled blasts of sheer genius, so its really nitpicking here. Brian Vaughn's opposite evil twin brother is Kirkman, who instead of lull patches has patches of pure, one-millimeter-from-off-the-rails insanity where you are SURE hes going to completely lose control of the book.....and then he reels it back in to his usual levels of high quality.

  • April 1, 2009, 11:42 p.m. CST

    Hit enter before I was ready

    by gooseud

    Watching Kirkman write Walking Dead is one of the most fascinating observations in comics, watching him nearly blow it time and again, watching it nearly jump the rails half a dozen times, he completely seems to lose all control of the book, then it goes into long 3 issues spurts of nothing happening, then suddenly BAM gets awesome. Its the literary equivalent of watching Picasso paint while hopped up on a 3 day meth binge in the middle of a tornado.

  • April 2, 2009, 12:19 a.m. CST

    Great observations, goose...

    by Ambush Bug

    And I want to go on record that SLott is no where near Stern's Avengers, which in my opinion was the best, only next to Busiek's KANG WAR & AVENGERS FOREVER storylines. AVENGERS haven't been written anywhere near as good as those runs. I still have hope. Maybe Jeff Parker or Diggle or, dare i a say it, Abnett & Lanning would be better on the title. Who knows? I think, though, Slott's involvement is a step in the right direction.

  • April 2, 2009, 5:43 a.m. CST

    Now the Mighty Avengers new "origin" is over...

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    ... and the team is sorted out, hoepfully things might start to get better. It would be nice to just see a team with a relatively steady line-up that go on adventures and stop bad guys - if that's not too much to ask, Marvel!

  • April 2, 2009, 6:03 a.m. CST

    Want to Save Justice League????

    by optimous_douche

    Bug is right Johns can't do it all.<p> But what about a Giffen/Johns team up.<p> And please please please drop the A. Sure the Midwest and Republicans will be pissed, but it's time.

  • April 2, 2009, 7:46 a.m. CST

    I've Been Hired To Write SPIDEY & MEPHISTO

    by Buzz Maverik

    It's a buddy comic. I'm also drawing it.<p>MEPHISTO'S OFFICE -- Pete slumps in a chair in front of Mephisto's cluttered desk. The Dark Hoohah rests his head in his clawed hands.<p>MEPHISTO:Pete, Pete, Pete, Pete, Pete. I can't keep bailing you out like this. I've stuck my neck out for you already. Do you realize that most people, MOST, Pete, MOST ... people who make a deal with me come off for the worse? BND reads like--<p>PETE:That's BMB. Brian Max Bendis.<p>MEPHISTO:No, I'm referring to Brand New Day. Don't interrupt me. It reads like a joke I once heard this talented comedian whose name I forget say: A guy getting married for the first goes: Wow! I'm gonna get laid all time. And a guy getting divorced for the first time goes: Wow! I'm gonna get laid all the time.<p>PETE:I don't get it. Maybe that's something original about my story.<p>MEPHISTO:Oh, it's original, alright. Mind you, a comic full of vegetarian recipes would be original, too.<p>PETE:I'm not a vegetarian. Maybe it's the spider, thing--<p>MEPHISTO:You used to be so bright, Pete. I think that blow you took in the head the last time you fought the Sandman was all you could take.<p>PETE:Yeah, but people still buy my comic.<p>MEPHISTO:Crackheads will always buy crack.<p>PETE:Are you saying that I should be more edgy? Like the Punisher? Is that what you're saying? Because I can be edgy. I can be edgy. I'll show you edgy! I had a drug issue long before Gerry and Ross created the Punisher. Harry took some drugs and had a bad trip.<p>MEPHISTO:I know. In hell, we have a TV that shows nothing but Afterschool Specials. Maybe I was wrong about you, Pete.<p>PETE:Yeah?<p>MEPHISTO:Yes. Maybe it wasn't getting hit by the Sandman's granite punch that did it. Maybe it was the Molten Man or the Rhino that finally dented your Spider-brain...

  • April 2, 2009, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Modern Writing Problems

    by Buzz Maverik

    I agree that all writers have flaws. Sometimes, their flaws help make them great.<p>In general, while the norm in comic art is now a clear, poster like quality, the artists are too often left out of the storytelling process. Comics are a visual medium. I feel that current comic story telling has it backwards. If you use a filmmaking analogy, the writer should be, naturally, the screenwriter. The artist, who is at best the cinematographer or editor, should be the director. The editor, who now acts as production assistant, should be the producer.

  • April 2, 2009, 8:03 a.m. CST

    DC sold to Rupert Murdock?

    by Laserhead

    Have you guys read Steven Grant's latest Permanent Damage Column? Is it real? A hoax?<p>http://tinyurl.com/clsjd4

  • April 2, 2009, 9:37 a.m. CST

    My son's review

    by AndrewGol

    He didn't think the unmasking was a good idea either for Peter, but he did enjoy the issue a lot. http://kidscomicbooks.blogspot.com/

  • April 2, 2009, 9:48 a.m. CST

    I still think Aunt May should've turned out to be a Skrull.

    by rev_skarekroe

    That would've been a cool payoff for Spidey making a deal with the devil to save her life.

  • April 2, 2009, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Goose and Wolverine forever

    by Joenathan

    Those are all great Wolverine ideas and the upside of having Wolverine be everywhere ALL the time is they can do ALL of them!

  • April 2, 2009, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Including

    by Joenathan

    putting him in the Avengers

  • April 2, 2009, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Mysterio

    by Joenathan

    had his tech amped, so his usual lameness was boosted, much akin to a certain skinny young man who wanted to fight for his country and volunteered for a super soldier program.

  • April 2, 2009, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Homer

    by Joenathan

    Thats not the big twist in Old MAn Logan. There is no twist, its just a story. You should still read it, because getting hung up on the limits of Mysterio's abilities and not getting hung up on super powers in general is dumb...

  • April 2, 2009, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Old Man Logan part duex

    by Joenathan

    The X-men were tricked by Mysterio too and were unable to defend themselves and those that were, were shocked by the horror and brutality of Wolverine unleashed and that moment's hesitation proved fatal, besides... Wolverine is the best there is at what he does and what he does is not pretty... what X-man could stand up to that? None, thats which ones.

  • April 2, 2009, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Spider-man The Avenger and Wolverine the cryer

    by Joenathan

    is EXACTLY why he belongs on the Avengers. By having someone with every day concerns present, he helps to keep this team of gods grounded and relatable. As for Wolverine being hard to buy as an Avenger... would that be more hard to buy or less hard to buy then the idea of Wolverine in and of himself? <br><Br> Alos, Wolverine cried because by killing his friends, forced or not, meant that he had finally lost his struggle with the beast within and finally discovered that he was not the man he wanted to be, but the animal he feared, so he cried over the horror of his cry. he cried for his dead friends and he cried at the loss of his soul. duh

  • April 2, 2009, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Avengers Forever was really awesome

    by Joenathan

    I'm going to re-buy that trade

  • April 2, 2009, 12:41 p.m. CST

    cry = crime

    by Joenathan

    Also "Spider-man's humanity" is EXACTLY... fucking lack of edit button and proofreading skills...

  • April 2, 2009, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Spider-Man in Avengers part II

    by Continentalop

    I guess we'll just have to disagree. To me, Spider-Man in the Avengers is like saying a guy is a regular joe who is a starter for the LA Lakers. Sure, he might have humble roots and is well aware where he is from, but he also doesn't have the same problems as a guy working a 9-5 Job or who doesn't have any connections to important people. <p> Spidey being an Avenger means he never has any money problems (Avengers stipend and access to the Maria Stark Fund), never has to worry about problems with the authorities (Avengers are sponsored by the US government and have direct contact to the President), or even rent and bills (hell, he even gets a butler if he wants one). <p> Of course, these are the same reasons I hated him marrying a super-model. I don't hate that he married MJ, I hate the fact that some dipshit writer made her a super-model instead of a failed actress. Way to take Peter away from the being the original hard luck kid.

  • April 2, 2009, 1:35 p.m. CST

    to be fair...

    by Joenathan

    "To me, Spider-Man in the Avengers is like saying a guy is a regular joe who is a starter for the LA Lakers." That regular Joee has got to have one of the best jump shots from downtown in the entire history of the game...

  • April 2, 2009, 1:38 p.m. CST

    When does the hard luck kid grow up?

    by Joenathan

    I mean, forty years, man. FORTY YEARS of rent problems... Can't a brother get a break for a little while? Also, wouldn't his eventual leaving of the Avengers also herald a return to those problems? I just think keeping a character tightly constrained within the parameters of their original designs for DECADES is a bad choice that will ultimately kill the character.<br><br>Although I agree with you on MJ the supermodel.

  • April 2, 2009, 2 p.m. CST

    So about that beast within....

    by gooseud

    So when he was brainwashed by Hydra into basically an identical situation as Old Man Logan, resulting in a far more extensive scenario of death, destruction, and mayhem (including deaths of people he knew well), THAT wasnt losing his soul to the beast within, no no no, that was "I'm going to find HYDRA and beat some ass"......but have a guy with a fishbowl on his head distract you with illusions that any psychic would see through instantly (hence him being virtually an exclusive Spidey villain, as any psychic character ruins him immediately) and its exit soul stage left, commence last 20 minutes of Steel Magnolias. Ok then.

  • April 2, 2009, 2:07 p.m. CST

    NEW AVENGERS proves that Bendis is running loose at Marvel

    by stones_throw

    They do ONE MORE DAY, pissing off numerous fans, in order to establish that, 1) Spidey is no longer married to the chick everyone knows from the movies, and 2) No one now knows his secret identity. And then Bendis goes and unmasks him to whoever's in his Avengers that week? Why would they even care, especially? "Oh, you're that, uh...Peter Parker, is it?"

  • April 2, 2009, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Spider Man part III

    by Laserhead

    I actually do hate that he married MJ. Have any of you guys actually read the issue where he proposed recently? It's BIZARRE. They weren't in love or anything like it; at best, Peter and MJ were something like occassional fuck-buddies. Then, out of nowhere, he just proposes to her. Seems really weird and desperate and like a bad decision. Like you'd tell a friend in similar circumstances: "You proposed? Really? I mean, I'm just saying... you guys haven't even really dated. You just hook up now and then. Seems a bit... premature."<p>Then, of course, its been seen ever since, through some innate revisionism, that they're the true-blue loves of each other's lives, when that was never the case, at all. It's like, having gotten married, THEN the writers made them be madly in love and perfect for one another. Doesn't excuse the way the marriage was erased, but it never sat right with me anyway.

  • April 2, 2009, 2:30 p.m. CST

    In defense of Mysterio

    by Continentalop

    I guess I am the only Mysterio fan here. Sure, he sucked ass in the DD storyline (optical illusions against a man who is blind? Just fucking brilliant) and the fact that he is behind Wolverine's killing rampage is just a plot device (they needed something to trick Wolverine, and all you have to do is so a green guy with a cape and a fishbowl and the audience instantly realizes "Oh, it was an illusion"). But Mysterio himself has always been one of Spider-Man's better foes when done right. They thing about him is that he always has to have a seriously well thought out plot - he has to set up a stage to perform his illusions, so he can't just let things happen by chance. I mean, go find and read the old Amazing Spider-Man story in the 60s where Mysterio tricks Spider-Man into thinking he has shrunk him down to 6" tall. Or the time he brought back the aliens from the first Tinkerer appearance. Or read the manga Spider-Man’s version of Mysterio’s first appearance. Those were great stories and show how to handle Quentin Beck properly. <p> And yes, Mysterio’s powers are useless against a psychic, and are even hampered by Spider-Man’s Spidey-Sense. But that is what I love about him; without his sixth sense, Spider-Man might very well lose to Mysterio. It is that one sense that Mysterio can’t influence or interfere with that lets Spidey manage to escape and defeat him each time. And finally, yes, his appearance and his name is corny, but I guess it never bothered me because I am a very long time Marvel fan and I always saw him for what I think Kirby and Lee were trying to do. In his first appearance they were making someone that the audience would believe was somehow magical/mystical in nature, like Dr. Strange or one of his foes. Hence the Baron Mordo/Dr. Strange-like outfit (a green costume and a cape, with eyes for holding the cape up, like something you would see a Marvel wizard wearing), and a fishbowl head (kind of like the low rent version of Dormumu), and a name that pretty much implies mysterious. And if you read his first appearance, you see that it works, he does come across as this being with magical powers out to get Spider-Man, until the end when it is revealed he is a fraud. Maybe he should change his name and appearance, but I personally love his corny look.

  • April 2, 2009, 2:48 p.m. CST

    No issue with Mysterio, Joe

    by Homer Sexual

    Of course it was primarily you, with some others input, that made me think I should give Old Man Logan another chance. It isn't that Mysterio duped Logan. I have no problem with that at all. It is the mention that the other X-Men just stood there and let Wolverine slaughter them that would bug me. <p> Saying is Wolverine the Avenger or Wolverine killing all the X-Men can't be called unrealistic because Wolverine himself is unrealistic doesn't wash. For me, it's all about buying the premise (superheroes) and then having a solid execution that the reader can swallow. The entire X-Men allowing Wolvie to kill them is too much for me to swallow (and, ahem, my login is Homer Sexual).

  • April 2, 2009, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Tsk, tsk, Goose

    by Joenathan

    You can't lay a possiblly alternate universe story onto what may be a regular continuity story and expect them to match up... Just like of Old Man Logan as a long form What if.

  • April 2, 2009, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Mysterio

    by Joenathan

    I think the point was.... wait for it... that the villians combined their efforts, see, Mysterio normally wouldn't stand a chance with this kind of stunt, but with the help of Doom maybe and the Tinkerer and some others... suddenly his illusions are super-senses and pyschics proof... Does that NOT make sense? I mean, that was kind of the point of the whole "what happened tot he Marvel Universe" backstory of Old Man Logan...

  • April 2, 2009, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Homer

    by Joenathan

    The X-men were "illusioned" too. Also, they weren't important to the story, only their deaths were, so there was no need to do a mental play by play of them all. In this particular instance, the story is all about wolverine and his past crimes and regrets in order to get him lined up to tell this tale, the X-men were just a story telling tool, in this case, much like Bucky was for like 70 years.

  • April 2, 2009, 3:11 p.m. CST

    can't be called unrealistic because Wolverine himself is unreali

    by Joenathan

    Sure it does... my favorite joke about X-men 2 was: "That movie was such bullshit... there's no such thing as a female fighter pilot!" I mean, if you're willing to allow certain things like Wolverine, then you should give a bit more leeway in the case of something like say... a bad guy who specializes in illusions MIGHT be able to trick Wolvervine... maybe... Don't you think?

  • April 2, 2009, 3:21 p.m. CST

    I like Old Man Logan but it has issues...

    by OBESE_WAN_KENOBI

    The one thing about the fight against the X-Men that bothered me was he described the battle with whom he thought was Bullseye as lasting for over an hour or half an hour (I forget). Yet when it was revealed he was battling the X Men, I think he was holding shadowcat? How did she manage to put up a fight for that long? Someone correct me if I'm remembering this wrong.

  • April 2, 2009, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Joenathan, you asking for leeway...

    by Continentalop

    ...is a bit ironic considering how much you harp on GL for being inconsistent and not making sense. <p> I think the best answer is that Millar just wanted to use Mysterio as a plot device and as a visual shorthand for what happened to Wolverine. Wolverine got tricked into killing his friends; instead of coming up with a completely realistic, well thought out manner that would have taken 3-4 pages to explain, he instead did what I consider a smart trick - showed a guy known for using illusions and let the audience make the connection what happened. It might nor be completely accurate or consistent with what we know about these characters, but it at least fits the bill for what is needed.

  • April 2, 2009, 4:07 p.m. CST

    ah...

    by Joenathan

    I never said "it didn't make sense", I asked "Why constructs in the first place? why constructs at all?" AND I was asking as if GL was bad, I was merely curious as to the official explanation.<Br><br>AND to me... wait a minute...<br><br>"I think the best answer is that Millar just wanted to use Mysterio as a plot device and as a visual shorthand for what happened to Wolverine. Wolverine got tricked into killing his friends; instead of coming up with a completely realistic, well thought out manner that would have taken 3-4 pages to explain, he instead did what I consider a smart trick - showed a guy known for using illusions and let the audience make the connection what happened. It might nor be completely accurate or consistent with what we know about these characters, but it at least fits the bill for what is needed."<br><br>Thats EXACTLY what I am saying! Are we debating or are you clarifying my point in a more succinct manner for me?

  • April 2, 2009, 4:08 p.m. CST

    damn it

    by Joenathan

    "was asking as if GL was bad" = "WASN'T asking as if GL was bad"

  • April 2, 2009, 4:10 p.m. CST

    OBESE

    by Joenathan

    Couldn't the Illusion have involved the passage of time as well as physically and mentally? And couldn't the person he was actually fighting have changed but still appeared to him as Bullseye the whole time?

  • April 2, 2009, 5:34 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by antimcgyver

    i don't think that's how mysterio's powers work, but shadowcat did have like super ninja training and can phase through claws, it makes sense to me the fight took a while.

  • April 2, 2009, 5:52 p.m. CST

    Antimcgyver

    by Joenathan

    the rules of Mysterio's powers are hazy in this situation as he had all kinds of supervillian expertise and technical know how available to help upgrade him.<br><Br>And it was Jubilee

  • April 2, 2009, 6:18 p.m. CST

    "Look at me! I'm Dan Slott! My single trick is to be 'retro'!!"

    by TallBoy66

    "Golly maybe all those people who read comics as a kid in the 70s will love my stuff!!" Guy's a one-trick pony. Interesting trick that can be amusing, but it wears thin after awhile.

  • April 2, 2009, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Old Man Logan fight...

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Yeah when I read it I did think "how exactly did that battle take so long and why didn't the X-Men just run away?" but I guess you could say that Wolverine was seeing all kinds of crazy shit, thinking he's fighting one bad guy for ages but maybe cutting down loads of X-Men. And maybe the other bad guys were attacking the X-Men at the same time as well, and it wasn't all Wolverine. I know the X-Men would have hesitated to kill him, but I'm sure when all their powers and the fact that he's got a healing factor that can repair him when he's just a skeleton they'd be able to restrain him in some way. Anyway, I'm still really enjoying the story. Miller is always a bit hit and miss for me, but this time I'm thinking "hit".

  • April 2, 2009, 7:57 p.m. CST

    Old Man Logan

    by gooseud

    1. Joe, you realize 57% of the reason I bring it up is because your genetically incapable of NOT taking the bait LOL 2. My entire point was, and I think you'll agree, there has to be 517 better ways for that to have happened. Sure you (meaning people in general, not you specifically) can make a strained, far fetched argument about why that scene worked. But wouldnt it have just been easier to write the scene better? Emma Frost is on the side of the bad guys, just say SHE did it. OR Doom used magic. Something, anything. I mean, fucking Mysterio?? Was Paste Pot Pete already booked that afternoon or something? Then again, this is Millar we are talking about here, its not like anyone expects Shakespeare. 3. That thing where Mysterio tricks Spidey into thinking he is 6" tall sounds cool. 4. The Xmen werent illusionised, go back and read the scene, Jubilee knew exactly what was going down and who killed her 5. Having said that, I'm still doing the Barnes and Noble "read without paying" routine on that storyline, so I guess I must have some amused train-wreck fascination with the whole thing.

  • April 3, 2009, 7:50 a.m. CST

    I Agree With Tall Boy About Slott

    by Buzz Maverik

    At first, it was fun ... such as the Spidey and Torch series. And it was nice after years of comics from writers who seemed like they'd never read any comics aside from WATCHMEN and the ones they are their friends personally had written.<p>But retro has come to be as much of a gimmick as the ultra-modern, maybe more so, because some of the shock guys are just honestly writing the way they write (not to name names, but initials are Mark Millar). It's like with Bendis (whom I like a lot here and there but can't stand issue after issue). I don't criticize Bendis so much because his writing doesn't read like a gimmick. I get the feeling he'd write the same way whether it sold or not. He just got lucky that he came along when he did.<p>What'd I rather see from Slott is classic storytelling done straight, no winks, nods, just "here's what happened to these people and how it changed them". Heroic fiction from, say Beowulf to Harry Potter and beyond, will never change because it feeds our Jungian psyches. Here's a terrible menace, here's the outsider(s) who stand up to it for the greater good.

  • April 3, 2009, 7:56 a.m. CST

    Did Someone Get Mysterio Mixed Up With...

    by Buzz Maverik

    Mesmero or Mastermind? I haven't read the story youse guys are talking about, but I'm qualified to weigh in because I've read exactly 11 billion and three other comic books. I like Mysterio. I liked when Ditko had him as Spidey's shrink. But what I'm hearing sounds more like what old X-Foes such as Mastermind or Mesmero are capable of.<p>Welcome to Buzz Maverik's Recommended Reading For Marvel Comic Pros! Today, I recommend reading: Marvel Comics! By that, I mean those ancient cave scratches from before Kevin Smith created the Marvel Universe!

  • April 3, 2009, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Slott

    by Bluejack

    I have to disagree about Slott. I just read the first two trades of The Initiative and while he had some old school nods, overall the material was quite fresh and well written.

  • April 4, 2009, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Retro to Slott, Shock to Millar

    by Buzz Maverik

    Good writers who limit themselves with gimmicks.

  • April 4, 2009, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Slott is not the Messiah!!!

    by DuncanDisorderly

    I'm not one who worships at the "Temple Of Slott", I'm afraid. I find his writing bland and his humour banal. He and Guggenheim are the reasons that I no longer read Amazing Spider-Man.

  • April 4, 2009, 4:42 p.m. CST

    by DuncanDisorderly

    Actually, Amazing Spider-Man is kind of an oxymoron right now. Lacklustre Spider-Man ia a far more befitting title...

  • April 5, 2009, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Actually, To Wachowskis, I'd Say...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...needless sequels and bloated adaptations of '60s cartoons.

  • April 5, 2009, 1:42 p.m. CST

    @Sector_11374265

    by DuncanDisorderly

    By "classic take on the character that's currently happening" I take it you mean: "half-assed re-telling of classic stories done by writers who haven't any idea how to write Spider-Man". Slott and Guggenheim, you know I mean you...

  • April 6, 2009, 7:41 a.m. CST

    Irrational Hate IS Fun!

    by Buzz Maverik

    Damn gum chewers! The Oompah Loompah's were right! Violet Beauregarde got what she deserved! Bazooka Joe, now there's a real winner....

  • April 6, 2009, 2 p.m. CST

    @Sector_11374265 again...

    by DuncanDisorderly

    Mark Waid's "Unscheduled Stop", Joe Kelly's "Hammerhead's Back!" and Roger Stern's "Fill In The Blank" ARE classic Spider-Man stories, well worth anybody's time and money. Unfortunately, Slott and Guggenheim have produced only one reasonably good story each, namely "New Ways To Die" and "Flashbacks" respectively. When it comes to the "big reveals" regarding the new direction these two hacks haven't "just screwed the pooch", they've taken bestiality to a whole new level... Oh, and Wacker's a lying, obnoxious twat.

  • April 6, 2009, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Goose, you are only right about one thing

    by Joenathan

    1. I'll take the bait<br><br>2. you're missing the point. the first part of that point is that the attack succeeded due to the fact that it was someone the X-men WEREN'T familiar with and the second part you missed is that the only thing that mattered to that scene was that Wolverine lost control and killed the X-men, not the how or why by the strictures of comic book geek rules... duh...<br><br>3. Uh... okay.<br><Br>4. Maybe you should go back and re-read it... Jubliee knew who was attacking her when Logan did, meaning that the illusion was over... for all of them... HA!5. You're not supporting your local LCS...? you bastard... I hope you get butt cancer.

  • April 6, 2009, 6:17 p.m. CST

    My mother...

    by DuncanDisorderly

    ...says you're a prick. I'm inclined to agree with her.

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