Comics

AICN COMICS REVIEWS: FLASH, STAR TREK, SPIDER-MAN, SUPERMAN/BATMAN + the Return of an @$$Hole & the Coming of The Kid!!!

Published at: April 8, 2009, 9:21 a.m. CST by ambush bug

#47 4/1/09 #7

Well hello there! Ambush Bug here with another truckload of reviews to pile onto you. This week we have something special for you guys. This week it’s more like a wedding shower because there’s something old, something new, and aahh…something Humphrey wrote when he was drunk. As far as the “something old” part, we’ve got Baytor returning to the fold after a few years off from @$$Hole reviewing with a pair of reviews this week. It’s good to have the old so-and-so back. His insightful criticisms were solely missed. Welcome back, Baytor!
And filling the “something new” category is something I am really excited about. There are those who say that comic books is a dying art form—that the medium is full of grumpy old men and that it doesn’t speak to the kids of today. This week, AICN Comics proves them wrong with our new ongoing reviewer Liam The Kid. This 8-year old reads comics then talks to his father about them while he transcribes the reviews onto a blog. I got wind of the blog last week and asked if Liam The Kid would be interested in providing a fresh perspective to AICN Comics—a perspective we all once had back in the day, but may have lost it along the way somewhere. Both The Kid and his father were excited for the opportunity. You can check out Liam The Kid’s blog to read more reviews, but he’ll also be reviewing exclusive content here at AICN too. So let’s everyone welcome Liam The Kid to AICN Comics!
And now, on with the reviews!

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) STAR TREK: THE CREW #2 CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS 70th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL #1 THE FLASH: REBIRTH #1 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #590 IRREDEEMABLE #1 SECRET WARRIORS #3 ANGEL: BLOOD & TRENCHES #2 SUPERMAN/BATMAN #57 DEADPOOL #9 Big Eyes for the Cape Guy presents MANGA SPOTLIGHT: ASTRAL PROJECT Vol 2 Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS!

STAR TREK: CREW #2

Written by: John Byrne Art by: John Byrne Published by: IDW Publishing Reviewer: The Triumphant Return of Baytor!

It was the worst of comics; it was the best of comics.
Okay, maybe not the best of comics, but about half of this issue is a pretty damn good comic. Unfortunately, it’s not the half that features words. I am a fairly vicious critic of John Byrne’s artwork, as I feel that he has a bad habit of relying on stock poses and stock facial expressions. And CREW #2 does have some of those problems.
But Byrne has a particular affinity with pseudo-futuristic settings, with his techno-scribbles being among the best in the business, and his old-fashioned comic book art fits really well with the retro-60s aesthetic of a pre-TOS STAR TREK Universe. Flipping through the pages, you get the sense of a really cool STAR TREK story.
Then you read the words and a really cool retro experience transforms into a vapid, soulless affair.
Take, for instance, the exchange on the opening splash page, where one of the characters complains about the old fashioned space suits they’re wearing. Seems they were designed in the 20th Century, yet they’re sleeker and more advanced than anything we have in the 21st Century, and they’re sleeker than what appeared in the first STAR TREK motion picture. Turns out it’s a clumsy, ham-fisted in-joke to the space suit design Gold Key Comics cribbed from DAN DARE. The first page managed to knock me out of the story, which doesn’t happen very often.
But worse is to follow. After making their repairs, they go back inside, where they almost immediately encounter a hull breach. Now, try not to pay any attention to the character screaming “HELLLLP!” as he flies through space without a space suit (I know, it’s hard, but we accept sound effects in space). The sequence would appear to make perfect sense if we pay attention only to the pictures. A crew member gets sucked through the breach, it looks like there’s a force field trying to form around the breach, but too late for our hapless victim. Another panel shows the classic “it’s too late” moment as the hero is held back from a futile rescue attempt.
Then you read the words and we find out that the breach wasn’t sealed, and these characters are hanging around in an exposed section of space, arguing about whether or not there’s time to save the guy who is floating in space without a space suit. You know, space where your life expectancy without a space suit is measured in seconds. There’s even a panel in the middle of this, where they’re not even hanging on to anything for dear life. It’s almost like a brain-dead writer paid no attention to what the artist had actually drawn and created something that made no sense--but John Byrne managed this feat on his own, which is impressive in a bizarre sort of way.
If you’ve made it this far, I’m happy to say that the worst is over. What follows is what would be a fairly tense rescue mission by our unnamed heroine... that is, if John Byrne had managed to make a single character in this book the slightest bit memorable (including the lead character that, two issues into the mini-series, still doesn’t have a name). Characters die with absolutely zero impact, and we never do find out why they’re under attack, or what happened to the colonists on the planet below. STAR TREK fans with good memories will at least know who is behind the attack, but be only marginally less in the dark than newbies.
Had this been part of a serialized graphic novel (and not just a collection of one-shot adventures), this might have worked, even with the wonky science on display in the open sequence. But the first issue of this series suffered a lot of the same flaws as this one, in that there’s almost no characterization or personality being displayed by anyone, leaving them as wind-up plot devices. Roger Ebert loves to say that there is nothing as boring as a pointless action sequence, and this comic proves him right.
From an artistic viewpoint, it’s a technically proficient outing, and (opening sequence aside), the scripting is serviceable. But somewhere along the line, John Byrne forgot to include the fun and soul, which is the reason why STAR TREK continues to endure to this day.

CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS 70th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL #1

Writer: James Robinson Art: Marcos Martin Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: BottleImp

Comic books have become ingrained in our country’s culture and consciousness—the four-color superheroes of the printed page now stand alongside America’s other heroes of folklore. Just as Johnny Appleseed, Davy Crockett and Paul Bunyan will live on forever through their legends, so too will there always be Superman, Batman, Spider-Man… and Captain America. And though the legends will be tinkered with in efforts to A. try something innovative with the character and B. boost sales (mostly B), it is the original, true vision of these American mythologies that will always speak clearest to the readers, and whatever else may occur in the editorial meetings, it is this vision which will endure. Or, as this one-shot phrases it, “The thing that makes Captain America great… is Steve Rogers!”
James Robinson spins a great story here about the man beneath the red, white and blue tights. We get to see the 98-pound weakling, pre-Super Soldier Serum Steve Rogers showing Captain America’s patriotism and strength of will without the benefit of a perfect physique or an indestructible shield. Just as the human fallibilities of Peter Parker determine the actions of his alter ego, so too does Roger’s strong moral center guide Cap’s path. It’s a terrific way to prepare readers for the original Cap’s inevitable return…and if I’m to believe the advertisement in this issue, it’s coming up very soon.
The artwork is clean and fluid; there’s a wonderful mix of dynamic action paired with expert pacing. Martin’s drawings remind me of Bernie Krigstein’s, slightly less-abstracted, but with the same expressive linework. It’s a perfect match for the story, evocative of the Golden Age comic art while at the same time contemporary. And can I just say how glad I am that Robinson still has it in him to write a damn good story? After the dreck of DC’s SUPERMAN, this comic gives me hope for his upcoming Justice League title.
This issue also includes a reprint of a goofy 1941 Cap comic—all you talkbackers who bitch about the West Coast Avengers barbecues in full costume will enjoy seeing Cap and Bucky playing professional baseball with baseball uniforms worn OVER their costumes, and realize that Marvel’s been playing the WCA barbecue game for 70 years now.
All in all, this comic is a nice reminder of the legend of Captain America—a legend which (unless I’m really misreading things here) will live again…just in time for his new movie, I’m willing to bet.
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.

THE FLASH: REBIRTH #1

Writer: Geoff Johns Artists: Ethan Van Sciver Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

Twenty plus years is a long time to stay dead—well, at least in comics. When Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash, sacrificed his life aboard the great cosmic treadmill to save the multiverse during CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, it was certainly believed that he would return at some point prior to the new millennium. What no one expected, though, is the popularity his protégé Wally West would experience with the late Gen X and early Gen Y just starting to get into the DC Universe. I know I certainly fit that category. CRISIS was the first DC book I ever picked up off the spinner rack, and FLASH was one of the books I started with at issue 1. Wally West is and always has been the Flash for my generation. Barry Allen was always a specter, a voice from the past that served as Wally’s conscience when faced with a moral dilemma or to tell Wally when to man-up and lose his flip carefree attitude. In essence, Barry was a lost Father figure whose words were a moral compass long after his passing.
However, what one Crisis begets another obviously puts asunder. The opening issues of FINAL CRISIS saw the second scarlet speedster outrace death and the speed force to reappear in a world consumed by Darkseid, which in my opinion one of the more coherent and heartfelt moments of FINAL CONFUSION. Now that the dust of CRISIS and all of the offspring titles has settled I can say without reservation that Grant Morrison was handed the Omega duties of redefining the DC universe and Johns is the Alpha, rebuilding the entire DC universe with the voice of a new generation.
Immediately people will make the association with Johns’ GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH, but aside from the title the similarities are scarce. Like GREEN LANTERN Johns is once again handed the hefty chore of introducing a silver age character that has been out of commission for as long as most readers have been alive. Unlike GREEN LANTERN though, Barry Allen has been completely out of DC continuity. Hal Jordan was around, just in an evil state of being, plus Jordan’s hiatus to the dark side was an infinitely shorter time period than Barry Allen’s time spent in speed limbo. FLASH REBIRTH also veers into its own realm because Barry Allen is a throwback to an earlier time period of sensibilities, where Hal Jordan’s misogyny and laissez faire attitude towards life fits in perfectly with the slacker mentality often attributed to today’s under 40 crowd. Finally, Barry is not seeking salvation or forgiveness for his trespasses, he is a man trying to find his place in a world that has become virtually unrecognizable.
As Keystone City gets ready to honor the return of Barry Allen with parades and other such fanfare we are presented with a man who is quite simply lost. It wasn’t until I saw our modern world of cell phones, text messaging and other Web based trappings through Barry’s eyes that I realized how much our lives have changed over the past quarter century. The irony of a man who can travel faster than light grappling with the concept of instant messaging is just one of the subtle nuances Johns carries throughout this title. More importantly though, Johns brings to light how differently the world views good and evil today. For Barry and others that fit into the late Baby Boomer generation there are no hues of gray when looking at right and wrong. One is either guilty or not guilty, there are no excuses which today’s generation conveniently dub reasons for doing wrong. Even though Barry and Wally never meet in this issue, my mind was already flash forwarding ahead to future issues where I envision some major conflict between Barry and Wally specifically when it comes to the Flash’s cadre of rogues. Wally has always given the impression of almost feeling bad for these miscreants where I see Barry not tolerating even an ounce of super-villain guff.
This issue was void of action, but filled with superb moments of set-up for things to come. I’ll admit I could have done with a few less scenes of Wally baby sitting the incorrigible twins, but to hear Barry’s true thoughts on Hal Jordan is worth the price of admission alone. Another interesting (even though I’m not sure I agree with it) choice was to have Kid Flash almost resentful at the return of his grandfather for fear that he might usurp his mentor.
Speaking of Kid Flash I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the second editorial gaff of the month on the part of DC, the first being the Wonder Woman faux pas in last week’s JLA. Kid Flash is not supposed to return to the 21st century until the close of LEGION OF THREE WORLDS, which still hasn’t hit the shelves yet. Part of me has to believe that LEGION was in the bag way before REBIRTH was finished, so I have to ask DC, WTF? I don’t expect an answer, I was just wondering.
Finally, there was some genuine laugh out loud moments concerning the Rogues of new and old. Being a Wally guy by nature I will fully admit some of the faces were lost on me, but even in just one panel snippets Johns gave me all I needed to know about the shit storm these costume clad baddies will be raining down on Barry in issues to come.
Van Sciver of course was phenomenal. What I appreciate most about his work is the individuality he gives to each character. Too often these days we see the same head and face transcend all characters of similar age groups, relying solely on hair color or a costume to provide any differentiation. When Hal Jordan and Barry are talking in their civvies you don’t need the blonde/brunette difference to tell these men apart. Kudos to Ethan for actually caring about his craft.
It’s often said that the devil is in the details, but Johns and Van Sciver have proven yet again sometimes the details are the most delectable part of the story.
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."

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #590

Writer: Dan Slott Artist: Barry Kitson Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Liam ‘The Kid’

The comic book starts in a time several years ago. Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four went to a strange planet. Spider-Man heard screaming and wanted to help even though Mr. Fantastic said they needed to stay out of it. Spider-Man said that he was going to help because it’s his job to help and then the Human Torch and Thing followed him. Then Mr. Fantastic said that they were outvoted.
Then the story goes back to regular time. Spider-Man captured this crazy looking guy in a purple suit. He has him webbed up and the guy tells Spider-Man that Norman Osborn runs things and he’s going to be let out of prison and everyone will blame Spider-Man. Spider-Man tells him that he’s going to have to get meaner so he gives the guy an atomic wedgie and pulls his underpants over his head and swings away.
The Fantastic Four show up and tell Spider-Man that they need his help back on the alien world they were on years ago. Spider-Man says that he doesn’t have enough money to go away for a long time but Mr. Fantastic gives him check for a lot of money so he can go. They all go to the Fantastic Four home and take a ship to the new planet. When they get to the planet they see a bunch of statues of all of the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man.
The Human Torch is very mad because the Spider-Man statue isn’t wearing a mask. Human Torch remembers that Spider-Man had a big adventure with the Fantastic Four and he wasn’t wearing his mask when they had the battle but he can’t remember who he is. They show pictures where the Fantastic Four are fighting with Spider-Man and his face is always blocked. Every time the Human Torch starts to ask Spider-Man what he did to make him forget, Spider-Man tells him to not worry about it. I think Spider-Man hypnotized people to make everyone forget that he’s Peter Parker because it’s weird that they would just forget it they already knew.
Then the alien people are attacking and they’re riding dinosaurs with laser guns attached to them. Mrs. Fantastic puts up a force field to keep the team and Spider-Man together and safe from the attackers and the Human Torch starts to argue with Spider-Man again. Spider-Man walks away and then Human Torch shoots some fire onto Spider-Man’s mask so it starts to burn and Spider-Man is saying ‘ow, ow, ow’ and he pulls off his mask. When he takes his mask off we can’t see what he looks like but the Human Torch is like, ‘no freakin way’.
One of my favorite parts was when Spider-Man gave the bad guy an atomic wedgie while he was webbed up to the side of the building. That was funny. I also liked the part where they get to the new world and all of the statues are up and Spider-Man’s face is messed up so no one can tell who he is. I like that on this world the Human Torch was blue and his flames were blue, too and the drawing of the blue looking Human Torch screaming at Spider-Man was really funny. The best part was when Human Torch shot fire at Spider-Man’s head to get him to take his mask off but since they didn’t show Peter Parker I bet that he doesn’t look like Peter Parker. Peter Parker did show the Avengers who he really was in the other comic so I don’t know why he doesn’t want to show the Human Torch who he really is unless he just trusts the Avengers more.
My Rating: 9.5
‘The Kid’ is 8 years old and has been doing reviews on his own site since August of 2008. He is very excited to be reaching new readers with his contributions to AICN and will be featuring a couple new reviews each and every week right here, along with one ‘exclusive’ review that you’ll only be able to read at AICN.

IRREDEEMABLE #1

Writer: Mark Waid Art: Peter Krause Publisher: BOOM! Studios Reviewer: BottleImp

There’s a big blurb on the cover about Grant Morrison’s afterword to this comic, so I’ll start with that. Morrison talks about how comic writers tend to be categorized by fans in certain niches, with Mark Waid being the go-to guy for Silver Age nostalgia (although I’ve never really felt this; Waid just seems like an all-around capable writer to me… maybe there’s a different stigma attached to his name within the rabid fanboy community or within the comics publishers), and Morrison himself confesses “a horrible suspicion that no matter how watertight I might try to make my plots, no matter how well-structured my narratives became, no matter how conventionally I organized my ideas, I would always be regarded in comics fan circles as the madcap purveyor of free-form gibberish.”
I had to laugh at this. Because for me, ANIMAL MAN and DOOM PATROL are far more structured and watertight than Morrison’s recent masterpiece of free-form gibberish, FINAL CRISIS, yet the inference here is that his current writing is more structured than those earlier works which cemented Morrison’s reputation.
But I’m going to stop beating a dead horse (for a while, anyway) and talk about IRREDEEMABLE—one of the most intriguing, suspenseful, grab-you-by-the-throat comics I’ve ever read.
The basic idea is this: what if it didn’t take a magical spell or a mad scientist’s ray or a hunk of radioactive rock to turn Superman evil…what if it just took time?
As I said, I’ve always thought Waid is a capable writer, but this issue is much better than the work from your everyday comic scribe—there is a deliberate structuring of plot, character and backstory that simultaneously gives the reader exactly enough information to follow the story while leaving the reader tantalized for more information. There’s none of the narrative captions that are so in vogue these days that tend to slow the action down; the comic runs at a sprint. The artwork by Krause is good—nothing flashy, but nice page designs and facial expressions with just a hint of Howard Chaykin in the drawing style—but the star here is clearly Waid’s story.
It seems like there’s always another high-concept superhero deconstruction on the racks these days, but IRREDEEMABLE most definitely stands out as something new. I highly recommend picking it up—but if you read the afterword, be prepared to play the world’s smallest violin for Grant Morrison.

SECRET WARRIORS #3

Writers: Brian Michael Bendis & Jonathan Hickman Artist: Stefano Caselli Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

Handing it to Marvel, I would say I'm up something like a half dozen of their books right now since they led into DARK REIGN from SECRET INVASION. If anything, while I tend to find their events themselves somewhat lacking, they've typically set up a good to great (at times) framework for their universe and the majority of their line. It also helps that they've used the opportunity to allocate their newly signed or up-and-coming talent to these status quo related titles - which is really what I'm about when it comes to my funny books, the peeps that write them - like a Rick Remender PUNISHER series, or Andy Diggle on THUNDERBOLTS and the new FANTASTIC FOUR mini helmed by one of the two chaps involved with this book I'm reviewing here, and soon to be writer of the main series, Mr. Jonathan Hickman. Problem is though, while I'm more than willing to give these titles a try based off these teams, sadly I find myself waning on some of them already - hell, I've already ditched T-BOLTS - which brings me to this book here, SECRET WARRIORS.
The problem I'm finding here is that SW seems to be two sides of a coin to me. On the one side, we've got Nick Fury: Agent of Nothing which is one of the cooler things I'm reading right now. Nick Fury here is being written exactly as you would want him to be in a title featuring him. He's gruff, doesn't take any shit, has all these great gadgets and hideouts everywhere and is playing the role of the shit-kicker, the Elder Statesman, and the consummate spy all at the same time. And it's just fantastic. But, on the other side, you've got the Secret Warriors, and I'll be god damned if I can name any of them besides Phobos off the top of my head I find them so insignificant. All I know about the rest of them is that apparently one of them is named Yo-Yo and she just lost an arm this issue to the Gorgon (whom I easily recognize more than anyone else on the team despite being in almost nothing besides a WOLVERINE arc), and the only way this affected me at all is that I can't help but thick there's a good "Walking the Dog" joke in there somewhere. But I just don't care, again except for Phobos because he every once in a while gets in a great line or two, and this issue was no exception.
As for the direction of the book, I'm still definitely finding myself firmly in its grasp. I love the idea of S.H.I.E.L.D. all these years being just another front for HYDRA. Anything that gets us the set up for another Fury vs. Von Strucker bout means everything is alright with the world. I guess there's something to Fury only really having a rag-tag group of nobodies to go about his mission and maybe even after Norman Osborn at the top of the heap (I doubt things are going to progress that far--there's only so much time between events, y'know?) but when I could care less about a member of the team losing a hand, that kind of means they're less "lovable miscreants" and more "cannon fodder". But hey, I guess I enjoy two-thirds of the plot and character goings-on of the book, and we got some motherfucking Dum Dum at the end, so for now this book still has me, but not as much as I'd like.
Now, when it comes to the art, I'm a bit less conflicted. Actually, I'm pretty downright content with what Caselli brings to the table. It took me a little to get used to his style when he was on THE INITIATIVE - don't ask me why, I really can't quantify it - but overall I think it's pretty aces. There's a lot of detail going into his characters, especially in the facial expressions which he really does seem to have a wide range with, and a great knack at making them feel very natural for the most part. The exception would be some of his "tense scowls" that you tend to see in his action sequences as everyone is all grit teeth, and his "stunned" or "surprised" looks are just a little over-exaggerated, especially in the eyes, but on the overall he does a very good job. And, god bless him, he's an artist that puts almost as much effort into his backgrounds as he does his figures, which really brings out the back and forth between the figures on "screen" that much more. There tends to be a little over-crowding in his action scenes, because the bodies of his figures are a little thicker than the norm, but that's superhero comics for you. So, aside from a nitpick here and there, really the art brings the goods, enough so that it factors pretty well into my Pros when it comes to keeping this title on my pull list.
And stay on it will, at least for the time being. Really, until the overall plot starts to drag down, I'll most likely stick with it just for the Fury goodness. He's my Dr. House to a cast of people that even after having watched lord knows how many episodes of the show I couldn't even tell you their names, but I do recognize one of them as Kumar, aka random goon who punked out Superman in “Returns”. As long as he's the focus of the book, and the fodder does well enough to make for some badass action sequences, then I'm still game. And god forbid the "reinforcements" we're being alluded to at the end happen to be some peeps I give a damn about. I guess we'll hopefully see in a month. Until then though, make mine Nick Fury: Agent of Making Even James Bond Look Like a Pussy.
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.

ANGEL: BLOOD & TRENCHES #2

Written by: John Byrne Art by: John Byrne Published by: IDW Publishing Review by Baytor

Of late, I’ve gotten into the bad habit of licensed comics. I know they’re usually not very good, but my bookshelves are starting to groan under the weight of DOCTOR WHO comics, BUFFY comics, and ANGEL comics. The less said about my reading the DOCTOR WHO New Adventure novels, the better.
Then I find out John Byrne is writing an ANGEL book. This is not good news to me. Byrne and me went our separate ways during his WONDER WOMAN run and I check in on him from time to time to make sure nothing has changed, so I was not happy to see his name on a comic series I feel strangely compelled to buy. The first issue seemed to confirm my feelings. I didn’t like it at all, but like a masochist, I’m back for the second issue.
I like.
I like quite a bit, actually.
First off, Byrne’s artwork looks really frakkin’ amazing here. They’ve forgone traditional inks, sticking a lot closer to the pencils. Often, the moody, detailed artwork reminds me of horror master Gene Colan, which is high praise indeed. Another bonus is Byrne attempting to mimic the likeness of David Boreanaz. He never quite succeeds, but the attempt liberates him from the stock facial expressions that bring down a lot of his work. It’s probably not been since his OMAC mini-series (also in b&w) that I’ve enjoyed his artwork so much. This book proves he’s got some serious chops.
The writing is also quite good. Byrne still can’t capture the verbal style of Angel, but that doesn’t matter as we get into the heart of the plot. The first issue was fairly light on plot (and heavy on plot complications), but in this issue we finally start getting some answers to the questions raised in the opening pages of last issue. We learn why vampires are flying tri-pods over No Man’s Land & attacking soldiers, and get a glimpse at the villain behind this nefarious scheme. The answers to these questions aren’t exactly earth-shattering, but play out in an entertaining manner, while the plot-complication of the first issue seems ready to strike again in the next issue.
I probably wouldn’t recommend this comic if it weren’t a licensed comic, but does anyone expect a licensed comic to be truly great? It’s a lot of fun and it fits in pretty well with the ANGEL mythos, and is thus far proving to be a worthy addition to its dubious ranks.

SUPERMAN/BATMAN #57

Writer: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (Mike Johnson, “Dialogue”) Pencils: Whilce Portacio Inker: Richard Friend Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: William

It’s good to see that in this current realm of DC and Marvel trying to outdo each other in terms of super-sized 50+ issue events (much to the chagrin and wallets of comic book fans), there are still a few titles out there that don’t bother with such gigantic ideas and instead focus on short and satisfying stories, such as the current SUPERMAN/BATMAN title.
I actually began reading this title a few issues ago when the “Super/Bat” storyline was just starting (and in retrospect through reading some of the TPB‘s from my local library). After reading the last issue of that story I found it to be a pretty satisfying experience. Here was a chance to finally get involved in a comic that didn’t need to have extra tie-in issues in order to understand what the heck was going on, or wasn’t part of some huge multi-crossover event, or wasn’t associated in any 20+ issue storyline that purposely dragged out the story for the sake of getting more out of you. As a previous reviewer in this column pointed out a few weeks ago with the BATMAN: CACOPHONY mini-series, it seems that nowadays the only way to get a simple three-part storyline is through a limited series. But after reading this title for a few months now, it’s good to see that the SUPERMAN/BATMAN title is simply mimicking the formula that was used during the comic book heyday of the 80’s/90’s, which is to use simple self-contained storylines that wrap up within four or five issues.
It always helps too that this title contains the two most popular superheroes of our time. Marvel may have something to boast with Spiderman, but in terms of global popularity and reconcilability, there’s no other comic book characters that can come even close to matching DC’s big two. Just go to any part of this planet and draw either the “S” or Bat emblem and people will automatically recognize who you mean, what their origin is, who their enemies are, and so on.
In any case what you see is what you get within the first part of this “Nanopolis” storyline. Still continuing to go outside of the post-FINAL CRISIS/BATMAN RIP continuity, in this issue Superman is shrunk to a microscopic level by the villain Prankster, and it’s up to Batman and John Henry Irons to save him before he dies. Before you start thinking that this is going to be “Honey I Shrunk the Superman”, it seems that a lot of good thinking went into this storyline as there’s no less than two writers on board, with a third used for “Dialogue” purposes. And so far there’s some pretty interesting scientific ideas thrown around with regards to items being on the microscopic level. The artwork by Whilce Portacio is pretty good too. As I was reading this issue I couldn’t help but remember that I’ve seen this artwork before, and it wasn’t until I saw the post-credits that I realized it was Whilce’s work. I’ve been a big fan of his work ever since his PUNISHER MAGAZINE days, and it’s good to see that he’s still on top of his game. Although it’s a little unnatural to see his interpretation of Superman as some huge steroid looking body-builder, his Batman definitely rivals Jim Lee’s as being one of the best out there (it’s too bad there’s no women in this issue because I remember him drawing some incredible looking women back then--Adam Hughes is still the best, though).
Anyways pick up this issue next time you’re at your comic book store. If you haven’t before it’ll be a good chance to start off on a satisfying title; if you have then it looks like you’re in for another interesting storyline featuring these two giants.

DEADPOOL #9

Writer: Daniel Way Artist: Paco Medina Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Liam ‘The Kid’

This is part three of the big story where Deadpool is fighting the Thunderbolts because he wants Norman Osborn to give him his money. He was fighting with the Black Widow and he likes her a lot and asked her if she has a boyfriend and if she likes his gun. So he then pulls out a big knife and asks if she likes knives better. Black Widow’s friends come after her and shoot Deadpool so he goes back to his base. Deadpool is still happy though, because she says that she doesn’t have a boyfriend.
Deadpool is taking the bullet out of his arm and the Taskmaster, this skull looking guy comes out and Deadpool tells him that he has to wear a Deadpool costume to help him out. The Thunderbolts are at their base and the girl is doing research on the computer and they see a plane outside of the building that has a banner that says Deadpool loves Black Widow and a number for her to call him. Black Widow calls the number and the Taskmaster Deadpool answers the phone. Him and Deadpool are playing games trying to trick all of the Thunderbolts.
I like how Deadpool was driving the plane with his feet and he crashes the plane into the water because he doesn’t know how to fly it right. Deadpool and Taskmaster keep calling the Thunderbolts telling them they’re at different places to keep them fooled and they start blowing up all their stuff. Deadpool and Black Widow have another fight and he kisses the Black Widow and she wants to know why he did that and he says it’s because he loves her.
I really liked when both Deadpools are together again at their base and one of them has to go fight the Thunderbolts and the other one is going to go on a safer mission. The Taskmaster says ‘not it’ and Deadpool says that the best way to pick who goes on the mission is to play a game of rock-paper-scissors. The real Deadpool is mad because he loses.
Black Widow and Deadpool get together again and he starts singing to her but she doesn’t like the song. Then he asks her to run off with him so they can be together and she says she will but when the two of them get on the plane together all the Thunderbolts are hiding. She tricked him and now he’s captured on the jet.
The only thing I didn’t like about the issue was that the cover showed Deadpool holding his head in his hands but there wasn’t any part like that in the comic.
My favorite parts were when Black Widow and Deadpool are fighting and she knees him in the crotch and then the part where Deadpool and Taskmaster play paper-scissors-rock to figure out who is going to battle all of the Thunderbolts alone. The part where he is cutting the bullet out of his arm is pretty good too. The fight parts were all really good and there were a lot of them. DEADPOOL is a really good book if you like reading about a silly assassin and characters who fight a lot. Deadpool talks like he’s really tough but a lot of the times he is a chicken and tries to get other people to do his work for him. He likes being sneaky and doing things without other people knowing so they can’t fight him face to face.
Deadpool is one of my favorite comics right now and this was one of the best issues I’ve read.
My Rating: 10 out of 10
The Kid is 8 years old and has been reviewing comics on his blog since August of 2008. Some of his favorite comics are AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, GREEN LANTERN, DEADPOOL, HULK, and ATOMIC ROBO. His favorite thing about reviewing comics has been getting to hear from all of the creators who work on the books and meeting many of them during the New York Comic Con this past February. You can find many other reviews and interviews at his own site.

MANGA SPOTLIGHT: ASTRAL PROJECT Vol 2

By marginal and Syuji Takeya Released by CMX Manga Reviewer: Scott Green

ASTRAL PROJECT is sufficiently clever, intriguing, provocative and, most of all, convoluted, that I have no problem calling it the LOST of manga. In that vein, ASTRAL PROJECT starts with what looks like a familiar story, kicks out well worn supports from its framework, and replaces those pillars with less not quite oblique hints towards its intellectual underpinnings. I'm a sucker for a literate manga that tells an involving story while being engaged with philosophy and stranger than fiction reality. Like other favorites KURAGI CORPSE DELIVERY SERVICE and EDEN: IT'S AN ENDLESS WORLD, ASTRAL PROJECT fits the bill.
ASTRAL PROJECT weaves together references to artists like avant-garde jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler and figurative painter Francis Bacon with threads of pseudo-science in the context of a genre tale. Rather than simply name checking this esoteric knowledge the manga leverages it to build its own, unique mystery. The resulting heady exercise places its hero at the center of a mystery, surrounds him with people he probably can't trust, then forces him into a metaphysical confrontation with the limitations of his perception.
According to an invented anecdote in ASTRAL PROJECT, during the 20th century, westerners made contact with a tribe in New Guinea that had previously been isolated from the modern world. The head of the expedition pulled a cigar out of his breast pocket and gave it to the village elder. Later, a child from the now assimilated tribe commented "we didn't know what clothes were, so we all thought the leader of the expedition slipped his hand into his chest and pulled out a cigar." Rather than have an unreliable point of view, ASTRAL PROJECT fumbles into an investigation with a hero who soon discovers that all senses provide subjective, ambiguous information at best. This uncertainty proves to be a compelling operating model for a highly distinctive manga.
The credited marginal might be better known as Garon Tsuchiya, the writer of OLDBOY, a manga which won the prestigious Eisner Award, spawned the cult Park Chan-Wook movie, and is set to be adapted by Steven Spielberg. OLDBOY is equally famous for its twisted revelations and for its twisted premise: a man is kidnapped and locked away for ten years; in that time, he becomes the hard boiled force able to investigate his past for the truth behind whatever prompted his incarceration. Like OLDBOY, ASTRAL PROJECT starts with a genre style investigation. In this case, it's a ”seinen Get Carter." Masahiko has spent a few years estranged from his family, building a new life for himself as a driver for yakuza call girls. When he learns his elder sister died of "heart failure or something," he briefly returns to his family's home, taking a CD as a keepsake from his sister's room before hastily leaving. Given the title of the work, and given expectations of manga running in a relatively mainstream anthology (COMIC BEAM the home to manga like EMMA, DESERT PUNK/SUNABOZU BAMBI and HER PINK GUN), it should come as no surprise that the first step in investigating the truth behind his sister's death is a supernatural one. Listening to her CD, Masahiko finds his consciousness leaving his body, floating into the stratosphere.
OLDBOY turned the magnifying class of the investigation into a mirror as the protagonist inspected his own life and history. Similarly, ASTRAL PROJECT doesn't go in the direction that might be expected from either a claustrophobic yakuza tale or an exercise in supernatural world building. Like a prodigal son's investigatory plot, Masahiko makes the rounds, talking to people who seem disreputable and/or untrustworthy. Masahiko's sister's self-confessed "cold" college friend, the stiffly formal man she met on an internet suicide site, the duplicitous jazz guru, and the homeless man/astral projection veteran "Zampano" are all creepy, but these folks pale in comparison to the globular monstrosity "Slimy-kun" or the animated bit of modern art that introduces itself to Masahiko as "the part of you that is alienated."
A volume in, it seemed like Masahiko was in the deep water in managing the search for the truth behind his sisters death and the higher planes of astral projection. It also seemed like he had the assistance of knowledgeable guides. Two volumes in, Masahiko is being deluged with "help," promising to reveal the truth behind his sister's life, a secret history for his sister's CD that bleeds into war atrocities and government black projects, and even the nature of reality. Beyond the alarm bells set off by moodiness or manipulative actions, many of these guides are also warning Masahiko not to trust other guides. Yet, while Masahiko is out of his element, ASTRAL PROJECT's hero is a person who enters the venture already comfortable in the criminal element, and as such, seems prepared to deal with the challenge of unreliable, contradictory data in a measured, thoughtful manner.
Volume 2 of ASTRAL PROJECT didn't so much change my opinion of the manga as intensify by respect for it. I was pleasantly surprised for discover that the series has not settled down. It still has not solidified its landscape. It hasn't offered concrete clues about who might be an antagonist and who might be an ally, and with everything up in the air, distinctive action focuses on Masahiko testing out strands in his web of relationships. It also puts the reader in a similar position to the hero in that you can't really accept information at face value, even when the data concerns what the work is "about." Few manga offer ASTRAL PROJECT's level of thought provoking mind games.
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.

Ambush Bug back again with more indie goodness. This week we have three more comic books that make the mainstream cringe and crawl back to their mommas. Take a peek below, if you dare…

SUBCULTURE TPB Ape Entertainment

The miniseries collected in this trade gives a slow passionate hug to geek culture, illustrating all of the good and most of the bad aspects of knowing a little too much about comics or Star Wars or both. Though the weakest moments of this trade come early on when entire scenes from CLERKS are aped, writer Kevin Freeman brings the story into its own after the first chapter. Soon we're treading through an original and fun story of changes one has to make (or most importantly thinks one has to make) in order to be in a relationship. The story sheds clichés and tells a heartfelt story of a geek who wants to love and takes a chance to do so, even when he might not be fully ready to. Comically rendered by the steady pencils and inks of Stan Yan, SUBCULTURE starts out rough, but ends on a soulful, meaningful note.

THE BIG NO-NO HC A Toon Book by Geoffrey Hayes

Here's another children's book from Toon Books, a company that has put out some nice product lately. Now, I know most of you aren't interested in this type of story where two mouse children break the rules and go over a fence to recover a toy stolen from them by a neighbor, but I'll bet some of you with younger kids might be interested. These little hardcovers from Toon Books are perfect bedtime reading for youngsters and a great gateway drug into reading real comics when they grow older.

REYNARD CITY #9 Reynard City/Polycomical

Another issue of REYNARD CITY means another issue of kooky narratives, odd characters, and just a buncha offbeat shit going on. This issue has what appears to be psychics dealing with long-nosed pop diva wannabes, a Mexican hero, and more than a few catastrophes. Although the art is somewhat crude by professional standards, it still carries a lot of craft and doesn’t appear to take itself too seriously. There’s something interesting going on with this story, but it’s a bit difficult to understand. This is one of those books that exists to make one question whether or not the creators are insane or genius. And better yet, the creators don’t seem to care what you think; they just keep chugging along with issue after issue of fox-creatures and super heroics.
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.

THE DESTROYER #1 Marvel MAX

Y'know, this is the first Kirkman helmed Marvel book I actually enjoyed. I'm a huge fan of his WALKING DEAD series, but not so much on his other stuff--especially the stuff he's done for Marvel. It just didn't seem as if Kirkman's heart was into it when he did those MARVEL TEAM-UP issues and some of his other work. Although I'm a bit perplexed that Kirkman is back at Marvel with this miniseries after his well publicized break-up with mainstream comics last year (maybe this was written before he flipped them the bird, I dunno), if his return to Marvel means more issues like this, then I'd say a bit of backtracking is a good thing. Marvel historians will remember Destroyer as an @$$-kicker who used to hang with the Invaders and battle Ratzis during WWII. Newbs will think he's a Skrull because, well, he kind of looks like one. But he's not. He's just a cranky old guy who punches people's jaws off and skewers them with their own guns. This is a bloody comic. Not Garth Ennis bad taste bloody, but bloody in a fun EVIL DEAD sort of way, It's a Loony Tunes cartoon with tons of the red stuff. Basically, Destroyer is the Danny Glover of the Marvel Universe--he's too old for this shit and now has been given about a month to live. Some people would retire to some resort and sip Suffering Bastard tiki drinks all day, but not the Destroyer. He's going out with a bang and taking care of all of his loose ends before doing so. What plays out is not necessarily original, but it is certainly fun. Cory Walker's crisp pencils and light shading make for the aforementioned cartoony feel, but the intensity of the action is ever-present. This ain't no sittin' an' talkin' book. It's a refreshing take on the super hero genre--a genre that too often focuses on youthful inexperienced heroes. Here we see the flip side of that, focusing on a guy whose best days are behind him, and it's one of the best reads of last week. - Bug

TEEN TITANS #69/TEEN TITANS ANNUAL #1 DC Comics

Man, I’d really like to like McKeever’s TEEN TITANS. He’s tried to set up a team of interesting heroes, but I don’t know if it’s the bland art or the bland cast of characters, but reading this pair of books which appear to be essential to the upcoming storyline/crossover between TITANS and TEEN TITANS just left me with a…bland feeling. Sure it’s cool Blue Beetle and Static have a place to stay in this book, but this book lacks punch and flair. #69’s recruitment issue was kind of fun, but the only character with bite is killed off on the last page. Which leads one to ask, with so many dead Titans, why would someone want to join this team? The Annual, while a tad prettier in the art department, ties in with the storyline started in Winnick’s TITANS book with Jericho possessing members of that team, so of course that’s gotta be good. I’ve never really followed a McKeever book and when I heard he was taking TEEN TITANS, I thought, “Finally, I get to see what all the hubbub is about.” But alas, no hubbub. Sad, really, because like I said, I’d really like to like a TEEN TITANS book. - Bug

FANTASTIC FOUR: DARK REIGN #2 Marvel Comics

If this is a sign of things to come for the Fantastic Four then I, for one, can't goddamn wait. When I first saw the announcement at NYCC that Jonathan Hickman was writing it, I almost literally applauded the brilliance of that choice. And now that I've gotten a taste of how he can handle the First Family, I can't wait for the real show. Now, mind you, this mini isn't bad. It's actually pretty enjoyable because of the character moments within, surprisingly a lot of them coming from the two Fantastic Siblings, Valeria and Franklin, but there's a bit of shoehorning going on here with the plot. Basically, this is more a "What If?" themed story, with Reed hooking up a machine to see how the whole Superhero Registration and the Civil War that erupted from it could have been handled different. It's not a bad concept really, but it might be a little much to cram into just a mini-series. But the characterization of everyone is pretty damn spot on, and there's some great sci-fying going on here, just like I'd expect from the man who brought us PAX ROMANA and TRANSHUMAN. And Sean Chen's pencil work here ain't too shabby neither. So far this mini itself is pretty enjoyable with its fair share of moments, but as a sign of things to come, it's truly a beautiful sight. - Humphrey

BATTLE FOR THE COWL: MAN-BAT #1 DC Comics

This is another throwaway issue tying into the “Battle for the Cowl" mini-event. There's nothing particularly wrong with DC's version of the Lizard (not sure who came first), it's just there's not too much outstanding about it either. Joe Harris does his best to make this a done-in-one issue that somehow ties into Batman's dead-ness. The Outsiders show up for no apparent reason. Will Man-Bat be a part of this new Outsiders team? Not sure. I'm also not sure why they should care so much, since Kurt Langstrom was inducted in the aborted Frank Tieri Outsiders gathered by Batgirl and not Dixon's Outsiders (although they did have Langstrom's wife hanging around in those issues). There's a somewhat new dynamic to Man-Bat's powers here. His sonic scream is much more powerful than I remembered. Man-Bat is one of those fun characters that has been hanging around in the periphery for a while. I think he's waiting to be done right. Here, he's just kind of done mediocre, although Jim Calafiore's always fantastic art helps making this book a much more enjoying read. - Bug

G.I. JOE #4 IDW Publishing

Dixon tries to stir the pot here and bring on the action, but there's something off about this issue. I guess it's the slow start this series got off to and the fact that it hasn't really picked up much steam since issue one. The entire G.I.Joe team beaten to a standstill by a couple of tiny robot Transformer rejects doesn't really instill much confidence that this team is any match for a terrorist organization as powerful and evil as COBRA. Maybe that's the point Dixon is trying to make: that the Joe's weren't prepared for something the size of COBRA. I AM enjoying the freckling of obscure G.I.Joes throughout the story. Hearing Crank-Case say a few lines and having Barbecue save the day with a fireman's axe is just plain fun. But I doubt those who didn't buy the toys in the eighties will find it as amusing. I also think that something needs to happen with the art on this book. Robert Atkins is capable, but his work is way too clean and by the book. Either a more vivid inker or even some dynamic angles would do this book well. I'm rooting for this to succeed, but so far, it's the least favorite of the three new IDW G.I.JOE books. - Bug

THE MIGHTY #3 DC Comics

Pete Tomasi and Keith Champagne's mystery/thriller set in a world with only one super hero continues to entertain. The mystery deepens as Alpha's original manager is killed and his successor is a guy who was once rescued by Alpha as a kid. The themes are mature and complex. The characterization is thick. The storytelling is intricate and deep. This isn't one of those books you sit down and read in two minutes. The writers are setting the mood, dimming the lights, and being patient. There's a looming sense of unease where things don't really seem to be what they appear. I like the hovering anxiety as Alpha gets to know his new manager and his family. Only hints of it are starting to pop up, but the confidence these guys show as writers and the way all of the pieces are falling into place point to this being a very memorable tragedy. Sure the art by Pete Snejberg is going to draw comparisons to STARMAN, but it's not just the art; it’s the quality of storytelling that is comparable to those classic tales of Jack Knight as well. Definitely a worthwhile detour from the rest of DC's convoluted offerings. - Bug

MARVEL ASSISTANT-SIZED SPECTACULAR #1 Marvel Co

Readers Talkback

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  • April 8, 2009, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Now that we've got a kid.....

    by BangoSkank

    doing reviews, does that mean no more swearing? Because that would be fucking lame. I also felt like I had to go put some pants on too, which was also lame.

  • April 8, 2009, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Perhaps the Deadpool cover...

    by GLENN_THE_TOOL

    ...is a reference to his fate in the recently-leaked Wolverine movie? we all know Deadpool (and his writers) likes to break down the fourth wall from time to time.

  • April 8, 2009, 9:52 a.m. CST

    I hope Cap isn't coming back yet!

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Too soon! Isn't the idea of death cheap enough in the Marvel universe?

  • April 8, 2009, 9:57 a.m. CST

    I co-wrote RC Issue 9

    by Mr. Zeddemore

    Thanks for the review, chaps. You've made a longtime TB-er geek out at being called 'insane or genius' via this site.

  • April 8, 2009, 10 a.m. CST

    GLENN_THE_TOOL...

    by MCVamp

    If Deadpool had been holding his chopped-off balls in his hands, it would have been a more fitting tribute to his "role" in the Wolverine movie.

  • April 8, 2009, 10 a.m. CST

    big week

    by Joenathan

    Secret Warriors: I'm loving this book. Its definitely a slow starter, but I like the direction and I love the fact that already there's consquences and the hint that the cast of young operatives will be... up for grabs. Also, I'm totally giddy with the hope that Easy Company might be having a bad ass old man butt kicker reunion in the next issue.... oh boy. The art's great too.<br><br>Deadpool: Normally, I hate children and this whole Liam the kid thing had "scroll past" written all over it for me, BUT... his Deadpool review was pretty funny and the whole "Deadpool loves Black Widow" banner made me laugh, so I'm going to check this out, despite the fact that I've been avoiding it even though its crossing over with theThunderbolts.<br><br>Destroyer: Fantastic. Speaking of old men kicking ass, I love this character. Totally great book.<br><br>Fantastic Four: Okay, first off, I'm still liking Millar's run (although the flash forward at the end of the last issue kind of sucked) but I've really been enjoying this mini. Great fun that looks like its only going to get crazier. I'm going to check out more of Hickman's stuff and maybe add him to my "writers to follow" list. Anyone got recommendations where to start?

  • April 8, 2009, 10:02 a.m. CST

    William: ...(much to the chagrin and wallets of comic book fans)

    by Lolthien

    That aside doesn't make any sense, but otherwise a good review. Good to hear from 'The Kid' also, good reviews everybody!

  • April 8, 2009, 10:07 a.m. CST

    I don't want to pour abuse on a child.....

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    ... so I'm not going to. But I'm hoping these "Kid" reviews aren't here to stay. I'm sorry but it's not cute, it's not funny.

  • April 8, 2009, 10:31 a.m. CST

    audience

    by Joenathan

    I think the arguement could be made that this site, and this comic column, is not "for kids" though, so whether or not the reviewer's age is more in line with comic's intended audience doesn't really matter, the fact is: its not likely to find that audience here.<br><br>Either way, Liam's reviews were fine, but I'll probably skim them for the most part, I mean hell, it could be worse... Thayla, or whatever her name was, could be doing reviews...

  • April 8, 2009, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Sector_11374265

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    The audience they're intended for? So Deadpool is aimed at 8 year olds? Everyone knows that comics these days are written for men in their twenties and thirties who can afford to buy a zillion titles. I've nothing against kids reading these comics, but I don't really want to read their reviews.

  • April 8, 2009, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Frankly I don't feel bad about piling on a child...

    by robotdevil

    If he's putting himself out there (or if his father is putting him out there) they have to be prepared to accept criticism. That's life. So... I have to agree with Penultimate Gunslinger. It's a waste of space. Maybe you should call him "Gimmick the Kid" -- that would make his role clearer.

  • April 8, 2009, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Flash Returns

    by GoodTimeBobby

    ...I have mixed emotions about this..I was always a Wally West fan myself- The 3rd Flash was the first character whose series i collected regularly- The Bill Loebs/Greg LaRocque run was a personal favorite. I always dug that Barry was gone but his legacy still guided Wally's maturation. Flash was the first successful "Legacy" character- and it seemed like they were grooming Impulse to be FLASH 4- bringing him along slowly the same way they did with Wally as KID FLASH all those years ago, INFINITE CRISIS seemed to make this a reality- but then some horrible editorial decisions were made to kill off the BART ALLEN FLASH and replace it with Wally in a horrible INCREDIBLES-style rip off of a family of super heroes. So I'm glad Barry is coming back- but only cause DC has mangled FLASH continuity in the last few years.

  • April 8, 2009, 10:49 a.m. CST

    Superman/Batman #57

    by Snookeroo

    Is a good, solid read with tight graphic artwork. Very entertaining and overall well done. Certainly worth the price of admission.<br><br>Looking forward to Flash Rebirth. Being a Silver Age guy, I'm looking forward to the return of Barry Allen -- who will always be the Flash to me.

  • April 8, 2009, 10:54 a.m. CST

    I think The Kid is okay.....

    by BangoSkank

    But maybe Dad could get him to edit down some of the play-by-play, and he could do a couple of cheap-shots each week? <p> Did anyone read the first couple of Messiah War issues? It might have been the first time I wasn't completely pissed about paying $3.99. Also, I haven't read anything with Deadpool in it for years.... And I thought he was used well.

  • April 8, 2009, 11 a.m. CST

    "piling" equals "poop"

    by Joenathan

    eeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwww. gross.

  • April 8, 2009, 11:12 a.m. CST

    I enjoyed the Liam the Kid review

    by Animation

    Hey, it wasn't subtle or anything, but I did enjoy his enthusiasm. I smiled several times with the dim memory of why he would get excited about simple/direct stuff that I'd pass over today. I say keep Liam the Kid on the staff. It wont hurt to have an extra review each week. Just make sure he doesnt read the talkbacks. His relatives may want to filter the responses for him. :)

  • April 8, 2009, 11:38 a.m. CST

    KID

    by I am the most horrible

    Don't ever quit writing kid. Kurt Busiek got started pretty much the same way as you.<p> And remember there's a big difference between CRITICS and constructive criticism.<p>

  • April 8, 2009, 11:45 a.m. CST

    The Kid

    by _Palmer_Eldritch

    Big fan of this section, and I appreciate what you're trying to do with "The Kid" ... just please don't do it again. <p> It's enough to have to wade through Harry's childish hyperbole on the main site. Please keep this section kid-free.

  • April 8, 2009, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Liam the Kid

    by 4we8have15to16go23back42

    I enjoyed his review.

  • April 8, 2009, 11:58 a.m. CST

    "Kurt Busiek got started pretty much the same way as you."

    by Joenathan

    And look at him now! ...oh, wait...

  • April 8, 2009, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Sector_11374265

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    I live in fear of that Ultimate Gunslinger!

  • April 8, 2009, 12:06 p.m. CST

    I enjoyed Flash Rebirth

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    I've come to accept that dead never ever, ever, ever means dead in comics, and at least Barry Allen was dead for longer than most. I've never read much Flash so it's nice to have a jumping-on point for the character. Though I'm more looking forward to when Marvel bring out "Uncle Ben Rebirth". Man that is gonna rock!!

  • April 8, 2009, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Uncle Ben

    by optimous_douche

    Has been trapped in the Slow Addled force for the past forty years.

  • April 8, 2009, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Dear fellow comic book nerds.......

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    ... I have a question that Google hasn't been able to answer. Back before Infinte Crisis when no-one remembered the first Crisis (I think I'm right in saying that) how did everyone in DC Universe think Barry Allen died? Or was that just glossed over? It's been bugging me for a while (yes, I lead an exciting life).

  • April 8, 2009, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Nice, I bash to comic section.....get first and smash a reviewer

    by redfist

  • April 8, 2009, 12:10 p.m. CST

    and get removed.....get fucked.

    by redfist

  • April 8, 2009, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Secret Warriors

    by Joenathan

    My hatred of children extends to Phobos. I hate him and his stupid power. I can't wait for Gorgon to kill him, but I bet he won't. Also, I like the hot-head guy's chain power, but he's a total cliche character wise. Nick Fury should beat him up more. I do like Daisy though.

  • April 8, 2009, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Destroyer

    by Joenathan

    I'm already hoping he doesn't die and then ends up on the Avengers. Is there an explanation for the Skrull mask or what?

  • April 8, 2009, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Hickman

    by Joenathan

    Of his other, non Marvel stuff... whats good? What should be first, if I'm gonna scoop something up.

  • April 8, 2009, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Secret Warriors

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    They need to start fleshing the characters out. At the moment I wouldn't care if any of them got de-limbed, beheaded, whatever - they're all just nobodies (apart from old Nick, of course)

  • April 8, 2009, 12:29 p.m. CST

    I think he's starting to...

    by Joenathan

    He's spent time wih them, especially Daisy, and I think he's got a good foundation going for three issues. Scenes like the Chinese restaurant scene was a starting character building moment. With the way the book's current pace is otherwise set, I think he intends to build slowly, instead of painting the characters in broad strokes... except for Chain guy, but then Phobos has predicted he would die and so far one of his prophecies has come true, so...

  • April 8, 2009, 12:39 p.m. CST

    The Kid's dad lets him play with @$$holes on the Net?

    by MrSensitive

    Everywhere else, that's illegal

  • April 8, 2009, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Flash was good

    by kungfuhustler84

    The only DC title I currently have on my pull list right now.<p>I'm probably dropping Deadpool if the next arc doesn't get a little meatier. It's a fun, light little comic, but I have so many titles I just added on (LOVED Destroyer) that I need to drop a few as well I think.<p>The artist on that Captain America special is fucking amazing. I remember his Amazing Spider Man issues a few months back just blowing me away. So dynamic and clear.

  • April 8, 2009, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Thanks Ambushbug

    by WT

    Ian also wrote the upcoming Issues 10 and 11. Some big twists to come, and some improved artwork (If Marvel and DC were Man United and Liverpool, we'd be Norwich City). Oh, and unlike Wolverine, Reynard City is something you can download for free and not get fired for it.

  • April 8, 2009, 1:09 p.m. CST

    "And look at him now!"

    by Joenathan

    Not a title currently out... <br><br>Blue, green... it all looks the same when the only light is the distant orange glow of Bendis's sphincter... Admittedly, it is warm up here though and cozy.

  • April 8, 2009, 1:10 p.m. CST

    so....

    by Joenathan

    Destroyer's obvious Skrull mask... Is there a particular reason for it or what?

  • April 8, 2009, 1:18 p.m. CST

    I'm pretty sure its a Skrull mask

    by Joenathan

    Could Bendis sue Kirman for this obvious slight? I would, were I him. But then, thats always been Kirkman's career... riding Bendis's coat-tails to fame. He is a Bendii.<br><br>I hear Trinity is terrible. How long ago did the last Astro City come out... too far ago for me to care, thats how long.

  • April 8, 2009, 1:19 p.m. CST

    C'mon Trinity

    by optimous_douche

    Please let's not put that first when discussing the mighty Mr. Busiek.<p> Astro City though...pure comic gold.

  • April 8, 2009, 1:29 p.m. CST

    I haven't read Trinity,

    by Joenathan

    I just hear its terrible and honestly, the Astro City minis have been underwhelming when compared to the old series. And his Avengers? PPPPPPPPP to the mother fucking UUUUUUU, yo. <br><br>I'm pretty sure Kirby is dead, so... it'd be pretty silly for Bendis to sue him... I'm surprised a comic book "fan", such as yourself, isn't aware of this.

  • April 8, 2009, 1:37 p.m. CST

    You're Both Right

    by optimous_douche

    Was not a big fan of JLA/Avengers.<p> To be fair though a large part of that I attribute to just not being an Avengers guy.<p> I don't think we'll ever love the Astro City minis as much as the main series, hard toget vested in a one-shot that comes out once a year.<p> Trinity -- I do consider myself a DC guy and a Busiek fan and I just can't read it.<p> At first I didn't think I was digging it simply from the weekly burnout induced by Countdown. So I dropped for awhile. Came back again and still wasn't my cup of tea. Worst thing on the shelves? No. Not Busiek's top work though.

  • April 8, 2009, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Break it up you boys!

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Wait til I tell your parents you've been fighting!

  • April 8, 2009, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Join free millionaire dating club to find hot girls!

    by emilygirl

    C e l e b m i n g l e . C 0 M is the best site for men to search for beautiful, sophisticated women, you will receive much more attention and get many more emails than other sites. And women will be very safe to meet talented and successful men because of our verification system.

  • April 8, 2009, 1:48 p.m. CST

    So Kirkman CREATED Destroyer?

    by Joenathan

    Or is he fucking around with someone else's idea...?<br><br>I'm just kidding about Busiak, Optimus, I did like many of the mini's but all they really seem to do is highlight the Astro City sized hole in my heart. That Toy Man story, amazing.<br><Br>His Avengers were retarded though, Bendis writes rings around his Avengers and I'm talking the "hiding at Strange's, Leinel Yu" Avengers here. Remember when he had Morgan Le Fay change the world to all midevally and the Avengers were staying in Girls and Boys bunk houses? lame.

  • April 8, 2009, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Wow, thanks emily!

    by Joenathan

    That was nice of her to drop in and let us know.

  • April 8, 2009, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Emilygirl

    by WT

    Indeed. I was about to get some Park Lane property but was beaten to it by a giant silver hat.

  • April 8, 2009, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Bendis has created many things

    by Joenathan

    The current Marvel status quo, for instance. Secondly... Kirkman's career. Thirdly: Aswesomeness. Fourth: Powers.

  • April 8, 2009, 2:11 p.m. CST

    you forgot awesomeness

    by Joenathan

    irrefutable, I guess...

  • April 8, 2009, 2:17 p.m. CST

    So Liam, do you like gladiator movies?

    by Continentalop

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.

  • April 8, 2009, 2:28 p.m. CST

    so...

    by Joenathan

    the very obvious Skrull mask... is there a reason that the character choose a mask that looks like this?

  • April 8, 2009, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Bendis vs. Busiek

    by Continentalop

    I actually think both are overrated. Busiek suffers from the same problem as Slott, but even more so...he is just so in love with past comics he has to throw in so many references and winks it is like he is throwing in the kitchen sink. The JLA/Avengers crossover was a perfect example - he had to throw in every member and about ten artifacts from each universe that it felt more like a guy showing off his comic book knowledge than a good story. <p> Bendis to me is all style. Style can be great but it can also be distracting. And some styles just don't fit the genres. Bendis is not the best fit for most super-hero stories; just like Jim Jarmusch would not be fitting for most big budget Hollywood action movies. So far Bendis' DD run has been his only Marvel work that has fit his strengths and has worked, IMHO.

  • April 8, 2009, 2:37 p.m. CST

    "Have you ever seen a grown man naked?"

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    I Couldn't resist that one either, Continentalop.

  • April 8, 2009, 2:37 p.m. CST

    The Mighty Destroyer

    by Continentalop

    Didn't he always have a green face back in his WWII days? Why yes he did: <p> http://tinyurl.com/cvlchc <p> Of course, it is greener and more stylized now, but I imagine that is artistic license. But from how it looks now, I think the real question is: why is the Mighty Destroyer wearing a Green Goblin mask?

  • April 8, 2009, 2:40 p.m. CST

    The Penultimate Gunslinger

    by Continentalop

    You know Liam's dad is probably alerting the feds about us right now, don't you? And after those lines, with good reason.

  • April 8, 2009, 2:41 p.m. CST

    So Stan Lee should sue Kirkman?

    by Joenathan

    That kirkman! Is nothing sacred?

  • April 8, 2009, 2:41 p.m. CST

    "Have you ever been to Turkish Prison?"

    by Joenathan

  • April 8, 2009, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Actually, Bendis' only Marvel work that fit his strengths...

    by SleazyG.

    ...was ALIAS. It was outside the mainstream emough that you could just care about the writing and not the way he was screwing up continuity left and right, and since it wasn't a preexisting action hero you didn't care that it was all talk. You could just enjoy the characterization and the noirishness without being bored or annoyed.<p> His DAREDEVIL run was a goddamned train wreck. For one thing, he wrote a story that ripped off Kuato from "Total Recall" while simultaneously ripping off the "Decalogue" films only, y'know, not in ten issues, so WTF? That's not even counting the story arc that, if we're to take it seriously, means that Matt Murdock is in his 50's or 60's (cuz he locks up a gangster in the mid-70's who gets out after 35 years in prison looking for revenge). It was awful from top to bottom and Brubaker's danced circles around Bendis' run.

  • April 8, 2009, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Barry Allen

    by Homer Sexual

    Barry Allen was never interesting. I was a kid when he was the Flash, and the only good thing about him, obviously, was/is his Rogue's Gallery. He had great villains. <p> When Wally West became the new Flash, Meissner-Loebs made Flash a book I actually bought regularly. His was an awesome run. <p> Making Bart Allen the Flash was a misbegotten thought. Impulse was already a good character, as was Kid Flash. Rushing him into the Flash role was just to kill him off and waste an interesting character who brought something new to the pretty typical middle class midwestern guy that both Barry and Wally represented. <p> Peter Krause drew Irredeemable? I'd have thought he made enough money on Dirty Sexy Money and Six Feet Under. <p> I kind of like the new Teen Titans. It would be a lot better with Ravager on the team. But Miss Martian is a great character, despite her outdated name. Bombshell is intriguing and Kid Eternity has a ton of potential. Even the Red Devil/Blue Beetle relationship is amusing. Yeah, a few of the team are stiffs (Wonder Girl is hard to write, I guess. She can be great but has been boring for a long time, outside of her mini). But...did that review like the Face? What a stupid character. Good for a few laughs only. <p> Oh, and Secret Warriors...snoozefest. Disappointing, since I expected basically Young Avengers led by Nick Fury.

  • April 8, 2009, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    I'm already making my escape before they get here. Writing this on the bus to Mexico. It's a long trip from London, so I've made a packed lunch.

  • April 8, 2009, 2:57 p.m. CST

    "The Kid Who Collected Spider-Man" was the bet thing about assis

    by thelordofhell

    It was one of the best Spider-Man stories ever.....'nuff said

  • April 8, 2009, 2:59 p.m. CST

    "The Kid Who Collected Spider-Man"

    by thelordofhell

    was the best thing about "assistant editor's month". It was one of the best Spider-Man stories ever......'nuff said

  • April 8, 2009, 3:01 p.m. CST

    You got me SleazyG

    by Continentalop

    But I actually hated Alias because it brought Jessica Jones into the Marvel Universe where she has been fucking things up ever since. As for his DD run, I was actually being polite and generous, but I will say his storyline involving the Kingpin, his son and Silk was a worthy part of DD and Fisk history. <p> As for Bendis having no style, I have to disagree. Just because something is slow and boring doesn't mean it is lacking in style. Look at Jim Jarmusch, Andrei Tarkosky and Hal Hartley to see examples of filmmakers with slow, boring almost non-eventful styles. The same could be said about Ozu (although for the record, I think Ozu is a genius and his slow, relaxed style works).

  • April 8, 2009, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Sector and Joe

    by Homer Sexual

    Bendis did indeed create Powers, which many people certainly used to care about. Creating Kirkman's career isn't anything to brag about, though. And I am highly ambivalent about Marvel's status quo. <p> JLA/Avengers the best inter-company cross over? Whoo-hoo. That's like being the best QB in Arena football. That one had its moments, I guess, but was pretty corny. I wouldn't compare it to FC in any way except that they were both DC..the crossover just felt way more "DC" in that DC tends to be more corny. <p> Busiek had more good moments than Bendis has had, certainly his first arc with the Avengers brainwashed by Morgan LeFay was outstanding. But that long-ass Kang storyline was crap. Alkie Ms. Marvel-crap. Triune Understanding-crap. Silverclaw-well, I kind of liked her. Bendis' Avengers have way more character, but they don't do much.

  • April 8, 2009, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Barry was boring...

    by Continentalop

    ...but I do love the old Broome stories. Of course, almost all DC silver-age heroes were boring as hell, with the possible exception of Hal Jordan. He was the only one with a completely different and distinct personality from all the other DC heroes. He was the only DC Silver-age hero you knew who was getting laid a lot (with the exception of Hawkman who was obviously banging Hawkwoman).

  • April 8, 2009, 3:10 p.m. CST

    So you think Stan Lee...

    by Joenathan

    should just let that theiving bastard Kirkman just walk all over him. Real nice appreciation of a creator's legacy... sheesh...

  • April 8, 2009, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Best DC/Marvel crossovers

    by Continentalop

    Well, X-Men/Teen Titans by Claremont because it introduces the Promethean Wall to comic readers (awesome art by Simonson). <p> My next two favorites are both by John Byrne's: Batman/Captain America and Galactus/Darksied. Whatever faults Byrne has now, he still nows how to capture older characters and create a good yarn for them as long as he doesn't have to acknowledge current continuity. To bad Marvel doesn't have an All-Star Fantastic Four for him to write and draw.

  • April 8, 2009, 3:12 p.m. CST

    No preview of the trailer for Green Lantern: First Flight?

    by HollywoodHellraiser

    I have to say that animated movie is gonna sell(hopefully) millions of copies!

  • April 8, 2009, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Homer

    by Joenathan

    Avengers forever was awesome. Its like the ONE thing Busiak did better than Bendis.... Even Sector will admit that.

  • April 8, 2009, 3:13 p.m. CST

    banging Hawkwoman

    by Joenathan

    Did Silver age Hawkwoman lay eggs?

  • April 8, 2009, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Best Book of Last Week

    by kungfuhustler84

    Destroyer.<p>And did anyone read Agents of Atlas? I actually really like that one.

  • April 8, 2009, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Sector

    by Joenathan

    Why do you hate Stan Lee so much? You should support the legacy of comic's greats.

  • April 8, 2009, 3:26 p.m. CST

    I'm not saying Stan Lee is a saint

    by Continentalop

    But this constant assertion that he is a thief always drives me nuts. Yes, he got unfair amount of the credit and was financially rewarded more than the artist, but I think some of the blame has to go to themselves for not protecting themselves and demanding more. Stan Lee just had a better business sense and was a better showman – it doesn’t make him the villain of the comic industry. <p> Plus, it is a fact without Stan Lee there would be no Marvel Universe. He is the one who decided to tie the entire Marvel comics line together and make it a shared universe. Also, while I am not denying that Kirby and Ditko were not geniuses, isn't it amazing that both of them would hit their creative peak while working with Stan Lee and never be able to be so creative on their own? The Creeper is only interesting because Ditko made him, and he is no Spider-Man; and while Darksied is a top villain in the DC Universe, other Fourth World characters (Vermin Vundabarr, Granny Goodness and the Forever People) are just ridiculous. Maybe Ditko and Kirby were the ones coming up with all the ideas, but it was Stan Lee who was able to focus them and bring out the best in them.

  • April 8, 2009, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Penultimate Gunslinger...

    by BizarroJerry

    I don't think anyone answered your question yet...<p>For the heroes in the Post-Crisis world, they actually do remember the Crisis as some big, epic event where certain heroes died, but the full scale of it -- multiverse, various earths -- are not remembered. So, Wally did replace Barry after his died.

  • April 8, 2009, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Continentalop is right!

    by Joenathan

    You should listen to him, Sector, listen AND learn.

  • April 8, 2009, 3:33 p.m. CST

    I think I made another mistake

    by Homer Sexual

    I also loved Avengers Forever. Since that was its' own series, I didn't link it with Busiek's Avengers. <p> The Kang story that was super long and boring came later, and while I am at work and unable to check, I believe it may have been written by Geoff Johns now. (Which would really show that no one is perfect). It had a big spaceship shaped like a sword, among other things.

  • April 8, 2009, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Is Sector....

    by BangoSkank

    that Jeff Albertson dude? Anyone else get that vibe? Jeff did get banned, correct?

  • April 8, 2009, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Noooo

    by Joenathan

    No way. No way. I refuse to believe it. No way.

  • April 8, 2009, 4:02 p.m. CST

    BizarroJerry

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Ah, thanks dude. That all makes a lot more sense to me now.

  • April 8, 2009, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Assistant Editor Month

    by Continentalop

    While "The Kid Who Collected Spider-Man" was a great story, and came out during the assistant editor's month, I never saw it as being part of that event. It didn't have the "Beware: Assistant Editor's Month" and surgeon general warning on the cover or have a pic of the assistant editor in the little upper corner box. <p> To me, the best Assistant Editor comics where the Avengers on David Letterman, Bernie Rosenthal daydreaming she was Bernie America fighting Moskull in Captain America, and Alpha Flight where you get six completely white pages of paper to represent a fight in a snow storm.

  • April 8, 2009, 4:13 p.m. CST

    Avengers on David Letterman

    by Joenathan

    Wasn't that where Simon williams got his acting start because a talent Agent like "the way he handled himself" I always assumed the Agent was just hitting on WonderMan.

  • April 8, 2009, 4:25 p.m. CST

    so... seriously...

    by Joenathan

    Is there a reason the Destroyer dresses like her does. Its a very interesting outfit without a discernable theme, as far as I can tell... who can fill a brother in?<br><br>Also Hickman recommendations, anyone? Plus, isn't anyone else excited that we might see a crusty old fart, bad ass reunion of Easy Company?

  • April 8, 2009, 4:28 p.m. CST

    You're Kareem Abdul Jabbar!

    by gooseud

    And he says that lots of times, you don't even run down court. And that you don't really try... except during the playoffs. The hell I don't. LISTEN KID. I've been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA. I'm out there busting my buns every night. Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes.

  • April 8, 2009, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Jesus, the Stan Lee debate......

    by gooseud

    Good god almighty, it must be a slow week to dredge up that ancient history

  • April 8, 2009, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Nervous......?

    by gooseud

    Yes..........First time?.......No, I've been nervous lots of times.

  • April 8, 2009, 4:32 p.m. CST

    Kirkman gets no love.......

    by gooseud

    on these boards, in all honesty its kind of surprising the lack of love he gets on here. I mean, I'm not sure how anyone can deny Walking Dead, warts and all, and Marvel Zombies FOR WHAT IT WAS (which aint Shakespeare) was a fun little distraction, nothing earth shattering but perfctly fun.

  • April 8, 2009, 4:34 p.m. CST

    It's kind of interesting.......

    by gooseud

    how lame DC's roiginal characters are compared to their replacements. I mean, I'm no DC-head, but isnt general fan consensus that Kyle Rayner>>>>Hal Jordan, and Wally West>>>Barry Allen? And wouldnt Dick Grayson inheriting the cowl lead to years of great stories?

  • April 8, 2009, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Goose

    by Joenathan

    I love Kirkman. And his stuff. Except for Antman... that was dumb

  • April 8, 2009, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Nice GL bait...

    by Joenathan

    Looks like I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue...

  • April 8, 2009, 4:45 p.m. CST

    Kyle Rayner>>>>Hal Jordan?

    by Continentalop

    I think you got your arrows switched. It is Kyle Rayner<<<<Hal Jordan. <p> But Dick Grayson as Batman would be pretty cool for two years. And anyone who says he can't be it because he doesn't have what it takes, let me ask you: you the hell else could come close to filling in Bruce's shoes?

  • April 8, 2009, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Got cut off

    by Continentalop

    Kyle Rayner<<<<Hal Jordan. But you already knew that, didn't ya you sneaky devil. <p> But Grayson as Batman would be cool for a couple of years.

  • April 8, 2009, 4:48 p.m. CST

    struggling

    by Joenathan

  • April 8, 2009, 5 p.m. CST

    LOL Looks like Continental..........

    by gooseud

    picked the wrong week to stop taking amphetamines

  • April 8, 2009, 5:05 p.m. CST

    I enjoyed The Kid's reviews.

    by fiester

    Seriously. They were funny and bring a fresh perspective. They are a lot more readable than the bloggy, me-centric "reviews" of people like Harry and Moriarty.

  • April 8, 2009, 5:08 p.m. CST

    What kind of plane is it?

    by Continentalop

    Oh, it's a big pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains in the windows and wheels and it looks like a big Tylenol.

  • April 8, 2009, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Finally...

    by Continentalop

    In response to Goose, yes I think Jordan is better than Rayner, but I do agree with you that Dick Grayson in the batsuit for a couple of years would be cool.

  • April 8, 2009, 5:51 p.m. CST

    Geoff Johns, can you save DC from the Final Confusion?

    by Leafar the Lost

    I probably won't buy Flash: Rebirth, because Grant Morrison destroyed any faith I had left with DC. I don't think the heads of DC fully realize the damage Morrison has done. Soon they will...

  • April 8, 2009, 6:12 p.m. CST

    Hopefully Blackest Night....

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    ... will work towards establishing some sort of shared continuity in DC Universe to clean up the mess of Final Crisis. Say what you like about Marvel, but with a few exceptions they maintain a moderately tight continuity. The events of Dark Reign affect all their books and help create a sense of a single universe. Final Crisis just seemed like an Elseworlds story, not affecting any other books until months later.

  • April 8, 2009, 7:44 p.m. CST

    I don't think DC should be a shared continuity

    by Continentalop

    My problem with DC comics is that they try to hard to be Marvel Comics. DC's universe and characters are not designed to be in a completely shared universe like Marvel's is. Pretty much all of Marvel's characters operate out of NY, so it makes sense why Spider-Man should cross paths with Daredevil or the Fantastic Four. DC's characters all operate out of their own fictitious cities: it is just silly to expect Batman from Gotham city to meet Superman in Metropolis and Flash in Keystone week after week. Are all of DC's cities in just one state? <p> I've said it once and I will say it again, each DC character (and his "family") should operate like a mini-universe.

  • April 8, 2009, 7:51 p.m. CST

    That pilot's name was George Zip......

    by gooseud

    The last thing he said to me, doc, he said, "Sometime when the crew is up against it, the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to get out there and give it all they got and win just one for the Zipper. I don't know where I'll be then doc, he said, but I won't smell too good, that's for sure."

  • April 8, 2009, 7:55 p.m. CST

    The Kid

    by gooseud

    is makin an effort, I'm not going to rip him. Good on ya, kid. Although I think Cheap Shots is probably more suited to the kid then full blown reviews.

  • April 8, 2009, 8 p.m. CST

    Johnny, What can you make of this?

    by Continentalop

    This? Why I could make a hat, or a brooch, a pterodactyl. . .

  • April 8, 2009, 9:09 p.m. CST

    Barry Allen...

    by thecomedian

    I'm a child of the post-crisis 80's so my first intro to Barry other than the Superfriends cartoon was his death in Crisis, Wally's constant mourning of him and the "Mystery of the Human Thunderbolt" issue of secret origins. "Mystery of the Human Thunderbolt" is one of my favorite comic stories, period. I actually almost cried the 1st time I read it. If that's the Barry Allen they're bringing back to DC than that's cool with me. I don't know how interesting a Crime Scene Investigator who pretends to be slow and clumsy but is actually the fastest man alive is as an alter ego in today's age but it should be interesting. I hated them bringing back Hal Jordan after the perfect swan song they did in Green Lantern 50 and I still don't see where bringing Hal back as GL and bring back the corp has really helped strengthen the franchise. Hopefully that won't be the case with Barry.

  • April 8, 2009, 9:12 p.m. CST

    i said interesting twice in one sentence...

    by thecomedian

    ...to mean two different things. Damned Joose.

  • April 8, 2009, 9:31 p.m. CST

    G.I. JOE titles published by IDW

    by Rufferto

    Expensive, boring and they print to many without care for quality. Just like their crappy transformers books that I dropped soon after they took over. I'm glad they usually decide to reset continuity when they get their hands on a movie/comic property (like all of them). They just can't handle it the way others have in the past. I mean the story about a robot infiltration of the pit so it could send a signal of its location to Cobra was done already and better. It was one of the first issues Marvel published. I mean what? Why retell it again? I think I may stop reading Joe all together eventually. I really can't afford it. It was different when it was usually just one monthly book when Devil's Due and Image published. The price was cheaper and I enjoyed the stories more.

  • April 8, 2009, 9:56 p.m. CST

    When Kramer hears about this......

    by gooseud

    the shit's going to hit the fan!

  • April 8, 2009, 9:59 p.m. CST

    Joenathan-- the Destroyer's costume...

    by bottleimp

    ... and its lack of a theme is because he was one of the dozens of generic characters that Timely Comics had running around in the 1940s. That's when all you needed to sell a comic was some stripey pants, a weird-looking mask, and a skull on your chest (which also worked for Blazing Skull, the Black Terror, and probably many many more).

  • April 9, 2009, 12:34 a.m. CST

    WHY is an 8-year-old reading Deadpool???

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    His parents should be smacked! Doubly so, becasue they let him write reviews for a website that 9.9 times out of 10 IS NOT fit to be seen by little children, due to the language of both the owners AND the Talkbackers! >:(<p>Of course, this is the 'site where Harry brags about taking his little nephew to rated-R films, so child standards probably never even came to mind when they dreamed this nonsense up. Why would the TBs care what an eight-year-old thinks about a Deadpool comic? MY comic-buying habits certainly aren't based on it and it's really kind of annoying.

  • April 9, 2009, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Ok, this is probably painfully obvious, but...

    by Snookeroo

    they're bringing back the Silver Age alter-ego of all these characters because that's who is planned to be in the live action movie(s), don't you think? Barry Allen, Hal Jordan, etc. I assume they want the heroes in the comics to have some continuity with the heroes on the big screen for merchandising sake.

  • April 9, 2009, 12:56 a.m. CST

    Hickman books...

    by Humphrey Lee

    PAX ROMANA and his first book, THE NIGHTLY NEWS, are must reads. TRANSHUMAN was okay, but those first two are goddamned amazing.

  • April 9, 2009, 1:01 a.m. CST

    So nobody reads Bang Tango?

    by kungfuhustler84

    Buncha pussies.<p>Just kidding. Seriously though, Joe Kelly is an amazingly funny writer. He also writes Bad Dog, which is currently my favorite book on the stands.

  • April 9, 2009, 1:02 a.m. CST

    Uncle Ben gets raised from the dead in 5...4...3...2...

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    Stupidness and cheap stunts like this is why comic sales continue to be in the pooper. At this point, they're nothing more than fodder to promote movies... 24-page commercials.

  • April 9, 2009, 2:06 a.m. CST

    len wein lost his house in a fire

    by bacci40

    along with all of the books he worked on....if you guys are feeling generous, he is accepting donations of his books

  • April 9, 2009, 6:21 a.m. CST

    What I See Different About Boring Allen

    by optimous_douche

    Like I said in the review Wally West is and always has been my Flash. But I did traverse enough compilations of Barry Allen’s silver age adventures to agree with most of you on the fact that he was a bit of a bore.<p> But, this ain’t the silver age.<p> Perhaps I’m reading too much into the first issue, but I truly see John’s recreating Barry to be a tortured soul. While he wasn’t exactly “dead”, he was close enough to realize that his mortal coil is only temporary. I see an obsessive and maniacal man forming, forsaking everything to deliver 24/7 justice.<p> Plus, like I said in my review, I see HUGE conflicts on the horizon between Flashes. Wally is no longer a kid. Bart is a kid with a chip on his shoulder. Barry was the top dog once. Will he try to claw back to that position?<p> Give it a shot. I think Boring Allen is going to get a lot more interesting in this new DC Universe.

  • April 9, 2009, 6:48 a.m. CST

    Well Star Trek Crew cant be worse than

    by ominus

    Star Trek Countdown. <p>that prequel/sequel comic miniseries just shits on everything that has been established prior to the comic,in the Star Trek universe. <p>no wonder orci and co,chosed the timeline alternation concept for the movie.they are so clueless with star trek facts,that otherwise would have created a mess of a story established in the current timeline.

  • April 9, 2009, 7:53 a.m. CST

    Buzz' Stan/Jack/Steve Rant

    by Buzz Maverik

    Co-creator is the only thing that makes sense. Look at what they did together, then look at what they did apart. World of difference.<p> Beatles of comics. BAND ON THE RUN and PLASTIC ONO BAND had their merits, but neither one was SGT. PEPPERS LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND.

  • April 9, 2009, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Flash confused by modern tech?

    by Slaphappy Slim

    You're talking about a guy who lives in a world that has things like Boom Tube technology, yet he's agog at instant messaging and the web? Especially after having spent much time in the future? Plus, he may have been gone 24 years in real time, but as we all know, comics don't operate in real time, otherwise Bruce Wayne really would be dead!

  • April 9, 2009, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Ahhh but have you ever seen

    by optimous_douche

    a BoomTube with a QWERTY keyboard?<p> I think not. Strange days indeed.<p> And no we shouldn't take the 24 years to be literal, becasue Iris Allen sure as shit ain't kickin the body of a sixty year old.<p>

  • April 9, 2009, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Good point, Optimus

    by Slaphappy Slim

    And I guess it can be tough for any writer to convey the passage of a significant amount of time in a universe where people don't age much.

  • April 9, 2009, 9:41 a.m. CST

    The Kid stays in the room

    by CHRISTIAN_BALE_TRASHED_MY_LIGHTS

  • April 9, 2009, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Sorry, no Kirkman love from me.

    by Homer Sexual

    The first Marvel Zombies was, indeed, entertaining for what it was. But the second one was weak, yet full of itself at the same time. Once a new writer, Van Lente, came aboard, it got good again. I will give him credit for the concept and the first mini, though. <p> I have never read Walking Dead. <p> Antman was also very lame. I see what he's going for, but it doesn't work for me. <p> I had to quit reading Ultimate X-Men during his run, it was so awful. <p> Bringing up Jeff Albertson is cold. But I am trying to remember the name of the repeatedly banned person...was is JarJar4Prez? He kept coming back with slightly different logins.

  • April 9, 2009, 11:35 a.m. CST

    That wasn't a rant, Buzz.

    by rev_skarekroe

    Just a logical statement of fact.

  • April 9, 2009, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Thanks Bottle Imp

    by Joenathan

    But surely there must be a reason...

  • April 9, 2009, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Thanks Humphrey AND DC/MARVEL Universal structures

    by Joenathan

    I'll check those out.<br><br>Also, I agree with Continentalop. DC shouldn't be as tightly bound together as Marvel, its just too crazy and random and day-glo. Now, admittedly, thats most of the reason I don't read much DC, but its certainly a flavor that appeals to a lot of readers, so there's no need for them to try to poorly ape Marvel's universe structure.

  • April 9, 2009, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Homer

    by Joenathan

    Kirkman's good, but really Invincible and Walking Dead are his best stuff, the rest of it always feels kind of like the extra ideas he had that didn't quite fit or pan out, so check out Walking Dead (especially if you're a zombie fan) and Invincible. <br><br>Also, Destroyer looks fun... like a more entertaining Brit.

  • April 9, 2009, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Liam 'The Kid' is pure awesome

    by Psynapse

    Keep him around as long as he wants to be here I say. It's nice to read a COMPLETELY un-jaded, non-cynical, viewpoint from a reviewer who clearly loves the subject matter he's reviewing.<p> PS-It IS cute, it IS funny. Anyone hating on 'The Kid' is only showing how truly emotionally decrepit (not to mention pathetic) THEY actually are.

  • April 9, 2009, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Meh for Liam the Kid

    by evolution1085

    He seems like a decent enough kid, but I don't come here for a 4th grade book report. Just some friendly advice kid, less recaping scene by scene and give more opinions, it'll help you out in school too

  • April 9, 2009, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Going back to the Silver Age

    by Continentalop

    I think one of the reasons they are going back to the Silver Age (or more like Bronze Age depiction of characters) is that Crisis of Infinite Earths has turned out to be a big bust. I am not trying to put down the original series, because it was a valiant attempt by Wolfman and Perez. But really, everything that Crisis established has since been ignored or looked at as a mistake, or else led to even bigger continuity problems. Some of these problems caused by later, less talented writers, and some of these were caused by bad judgment on the part of the Post-Crisis writers who re-launched the character. <p> I loved the majority of John Byrne’s Superman, and believed he created boundaries and limits for the character that were very much needed. And I thought his new interpretation of Lex Luthor, Metallo, Jor-El, Krypton, Toyman and Lois Lane were right on. But his version of Brainiac and Supergirl were just horrible, as was his changing the nature of Mr. Mxyzptlk from someone whose name said backwords sent him back to whatever the rules of the day were. And while I loved his story about the three Kryptionians on the parallel Superboy Earth, it made me regret that they couldn’t be part of the mainstream Superman universe and could only be one-shot aberrations. <p> Same problems I had with George Perez’s Wonder Woman (loved his Ares and his sons, but I hated the elimination of her alter-ego and the discarding of her original supporting cast of Steve Trevor and Etta Candy, as well as giving her the power of flight instead of an invisible plane), and even Frank Miller’s Batman (Catwoman as a prostitute just doesn’t work for me). And the rest of the DC Universe’s attempts for change has also had mixed results (Post-crisis Flash worked, GL was a mixed bag, Captain Atom is not anything like the character Ditko created, Hawkman is just a mess, and the JLA got all fucked up because Wonder Woman couldn’t have been a founding member). <p> Many writers have since tried to correct the situations, but with mixed results. Brubaker made Catwoman great; John Byrne’s attempt to insert the invisible plane was tacky and forced; and Brainiac is finally becoming the villain he should have been but Lex Luthor is unfortunately slowly becoming the cheesy mad scientist/ex-friend of Superboy he was in the Silver Age. <p> But we also have new problems: now we have Wally West becoming redundant and boring so we have to keep changing the cast of the Flash; Blue Beetle has been replaced by a character with no where near as much personality as Ted Kord; Superman married and the entire great Lois-Clark dilemma lost; and two of the biggest characters in comic book history, Captain Marvel and Plastic-Man, sitting around doing nothing because no one knows what to do with them. I don’t think this is what they envisioned when they had Crisis, and I think this recent trend of bringing back the Silver Age characters is not only because of the movie versions of the characters, but also because many writers just want to hit reset.

  • April 9, 2009, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Is any character........

    by gooseud

    a bigger mess then Hawkman? Not like I read him regularly, but isn't he like a complete train wreck at this point, history/origin/powers/continuity wise??

  • April 9, 2009, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Also, Cap Marvel's

    by gooseud

    coolest moment was in Kingdom Come, in my opinion.

  • April 9, 2009, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Yeah, Hawkman is pretty fucked up...

    by Continentalop

    I give credit for trying to bring some sense to the character and explain the connection between Hawkman I and Hawkman II, but even that is like watching two fat people in love fuck - despite the motives it is still ugly.

  • April 9, 2009, 5:20 p.m. CST

    The problem with Captain Marvel

    by Continentalop

    is that writers keep trying to emphasize the Billy Batson young kid part. They always write him as Forest Gump meets Superman. Yes, Batson is inexperienced and just a kid, but Captain Marvel doesn't share any of those problems. He is a kid's ultimate wish fulfillment, turning into a powerful adult with just one magic word. So not only is he super powerful, he is also competent and intelligent (Wisdom of Solomon and Courage of Archilles anyone!). <p> I mean, how many people wish they were as brave, calm and level headed during a crisis as Batman, Wolverine and Captain America. None of these characters ever have doubts or wonder what to do, and neither should Captain Marvel. And if you are worried that will make him a boring character, have his human alter ego be the one who acts immature and be unsure of himself. Billy Batson can act like a child, Captain Marvel shouldn’t. <p> As for Captain Marvel’s best moment, I actually am going to nominate his appearance in Crisis of Infinite Earths when the Joker and Mr. Mind and a bunch of other bad guys are holding him and the rest of the Marvel Family and the Atom comes to rescue him. The Atom wonders why Superman told him it was important to free this kid, and Billy Batson just says one word and shows the Atom why it was so damn important (that was back in the days when the sight of Captain Marvel struck awe in people). <p> Second favorite is Mad Magazines Stuporman vs. Captain Marbles.

  • April 9, 2009, 11:07 p.m. CST

    More from the Kid

    by tpete

    I hope The Kid keeps writing. It's great to hear from someone who really loves comics like that. Nice work, Kid.

  • April 10, 2009, 1:06 a.m. CST

    SECRET WARRIORS: Phobos Rules!

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    I'm conflicted about Phobos on SW, because he totally rules. He's a great character - which is why I'm convinced that any issue the writer is going to "hyper-age" him like they ALWAYS do (thereby ruining perfectly good characters in the interest of creating more 'badass' heroic characters who inevitably fade away after a few issues, making sure the character is lost forever). The real-life horror of child soldiers has a face, and it's Phobos - the duality of this character, and the nature of his role as a god - are both fascinating elements that the book should explore. My only hope - and it's a -huge- hope - is that they don't pussy out. Phobos is my favorite Marvel character in a long while.

  • April 10, 2009, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Actually, Buzz....

    by Psynapse

    "Band on the run" was the name of the album and song. Paul Mccartney & Wings was the band.<p><---Lover of the music he grew up with. (^_*)

  • April 10, 2009, 11:28 a.m. CST

    About Hawkman...

    by Psynapse

    Actually Geoff Johns completely cleaned his continuity up in JSA a few years back. He came up with a plausible eason for the many different versions (perpetual reincarnation is the short version) and made him into a truly badass warrior while doing it.

  • April 10, 2009, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Post-Crisis and the Kid

    by Homer Sexual

    I wasn't going to cap on the Kid since, well, he's a kid. And he deserves credit for trying. But he's not even adolescent and if he's gonna stick around, he's gotta stop recapping the comic and give some opinions,like Element said. <p> I don't think Crisis can be blamed for Shazam and Plastic Man. The Marvel family is being used pretty well these days, better than ever before, honestly, although Evil Mary's pink 'do has go to go. <p> Plastic Man, back in the day, was horrible and I can't imagine there is any market whatsoever for the kind of book he used to have. Same thing for Captain Marvel. <p> Infinite Earths was great. Now we have multiple Earths again, and that is also fine, rife with new possibilities.

  • April 10, 2009, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Different people have different opinions...

    by Psynapse

    Why is this so hard for TB'ers to grasp? Oh wait, the snark factor would drop. Heavens forfend!

  • April 10, 2009, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Hawkman

    by Joenathan

    I bet its uncomfortable to stand next to him at meetings. I bet he smells like a combination of pidgeon and sweaty ballsack.

  • April 10, 2009, 2:13 p.m. CST

    Psynapse, re=Hawkman

    by Continentalop

    No, I give a lot of credit to Johns for bringing some semblance of an coherent origin to the character (and for making him a "Conan with wings" character again) but you have to admit, even with the great retconning he did, the character is riddled with continuity errors and is a mess. Johns did a great job filling in the holes and making the character not be such a complete mess, but despite the repairs you can still see some of the damage and dents in his backstory. <p> Of course, given how crappy Hawkman was before Johns, he still deserves a medal.

  • April 10, 2009, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Plastic Man

    by Continentalop

    In defense of Homer Sexual, I think he means the later depictions of Plastic Man (70s, 80s, 90s, the bad cartoon, etc.) instead of the original Cole run. <p> If you do mean the original Cole run, Homer Sexual, you are nuts! I have all the DC archives of Plastic Man and those things rock. By the way, have they ever brought back Granite Lady?

  • April 10, 2009, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Sector

    by Continentalop

    I notice you like to cherry pick through people's quotes. I like the fact that you excluded my part about "If you do mean the original Cole run, Homer Sexual, you are nuts!" But of course, bringing up that tidbit would undermine whatever excuse you had for ranting. <p> And hey, Joenathan, we are the same guy! Wow. I guess the entire prison rape argument that happened about a month ago was just me arguing with myself! Who knew?

  • April 11, 2009, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Plastic Ono Band Was An Album Title, Psy...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...also the name of John's solo group. Of course, Paul McCartney and Wings were the band. Paul was a Marvel Zombie, who did a fun song called MAGNETO & THE TITANIUM MAN.<p>At the risk of setting off Sector again (a risk I'm sure we can all live with), the post-Lee works by Jack Kirby that he listed were all great. But none of 'em were THE FANTASTIC FOUR or THOR, which I feel were the most pure Kirby Marvel. If you look at the Lee/Kirby co-creations at Marvel that Jack wasn't all that into, like THE HULK and IRON MAN, the classic elements we all remember didn't really emerge until Ditko reworked them.<p>Personally, I wish we could have seen a Ditko version of THE X-MEN.

  • April 11, 2009, 12:22 p.m. CST

    And Stan Wasn't Stu Sutcliffle Or Pete Best...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...Stan was Paul. Jack was John. Steve was George. Which would make Liefield be Michael Bolton.

  • April 11, 2009, 7:51 p.m. CST

    To add to what Buzz said

    by Continentalop

    First off, Stan Lee is not Sutcliffe or Pete Best. In fact, I won’t even use the Beatles analogy but compare them to the recently deceased co-creators of D&D, Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax. Dave Arneson helped invent RPG and D&D, and many of his ideas are the cornerstone of the game (hit points, armor class, levels, etc.) but it is Gary Gygax who is viewed as the father of the game. Why? Because Gary was a better salesman, had a better knack for promotion and was more charismatic (not to mention a damn good game designer). <p> Plus, the entire idea that Lee is a thief or that Dikto and Kirby did everything is just pointless because NONE of us were there during the creation of these characters. Whatever we read or hear about it someone else’s depiction of events, and some of these people might have their own personal biases when they remember or recollect the past and the origins of these creations. <p> Also, calling someone a thief and a plunderer is one of the worst allegations you can make towards someone in the creative industry. It is one of those accusations that require no proof but by just repeating it over and over you can manage to tar someone’s name. It is up their with accusing someone of being a racist, a homophobe, un-American or, in the past, of being gay. How do you prove your innocents (I mean none of us have seen Tom Cruise fuck a man but he still gets accused of being gay)? <p> Besides that, I can draw my own conclusion to what Stan Lee added to any of his collaborations. You look at any of Kirby or Ditko’s post Lee work, and while they might have created some interesting comic books, none of them had as rich of characters and feeling of naturalism that the books they did with Lee did. Maybe the FF just seems like Kirby’s Challengers of the Unknown with powers to some, but Reed, Sue, Ben and Johnny are not the same characters a Red, Ace, the Professor and Rocky. They have completely distinct personalities from anything that Kirby did before Lee or without him, <p> Look at all of Kirby’s work and you’ll see the majority of his characters are all taken from the same mold (personality wise). Nowhere in any of his work by himself do you see anything that resembles the stuff he was doing in FF, X-Men or early Thor. I don’t see conflicted love triangles or unrequited love, or any of the other stuff that could be labeled soap operatic. I mean, Beautiful Dreamer in the Forever People isn’t caught in a love triangle with Big Bear or Mark Moonrider like Sue Storm was between Namor and Reed, or Marvel Girl with Cyclops and Angel; nor do they suffer the same angst that Bruce Banner and the Thing do (just look at his version of the Demon – Jason Blood isn’t that unhappy or angst ridden of character compared to some Marvel characters).. <p> Yes, Kirby did create some interesting characters after working with Stan Lee, and some of them memorable, but the majority of them cannot be compared to his work with Lee at Marvel (or Simon during the Golden Age). Almost all of Kirby’s solo efforts were hampered by bad dialogue and somewhat ridiculous concepts (once again, Fourth World is great, but it is hard to take Glorious Godfrey, Vermin Vundebarr, Granny Goodness and the Forever People serious). And even he had some duds (Captain Victory and Silver Star are not his best work). And all of these characters are more in line with mythology and Campbell than with the humanistic Marvel characters he did with Lee. <p> The same with Ditko, who’s characters pretty much drab personalities without their costumes (Mr. A, The Question topping the list). None of his other characters can compare to the soap opera that was Spider-Man. The closest character to Spider-Man is the Creeper, and while he might be a wisecracking, trickster hero without his costume Mark Ryder is no Peter Parker. If Ditko had done Spider-Man on his won, maybe our favorite Web-slinger would be sprouting off Ayn Rand inspired rants. <P. So I can just look at that and see what Lee added to the mix. Maybe the artist came up with the costumes, the powers, the look, a lot of things (and they deserve full praise for that) but Lee came up with the personalities and the extra dimensional aspect to much theme different from the previous heroes. And even with their cool powers, awesome costumes and funky look, I don’t think the FF, Spider-Man, the Hulk and the others would be as popular as they were without Stan Lee added that extra-human element. Just look at Iron Man to see evidence of that; Kirby only designed the original armor on the cover, but it was Lee and Heck who designed Tony Stark, Pepper Potts and Happy Hogan and gave them their personalities. Without Lee, they very well may have all suffered the same “trapped in amber” feel that plagues DC characters. <p> Finally, while Ravage 2099 and Stripperella were pretty bad (but than again so is Captain Victory), it isn’t like Stan Lee hasn’t done anything without Kirby. I mean, after Ditko left Spider-Man, Stan Lee and Romita had one of the best runs ever (the unmasking of the Green Goblin, the best Mysterio story ever, the Kingpin of Crime and Frederick Foswell, The Prowler storyline, and the Death of Captain Stacy), plus they introduced such classic characters as the Rhino, Silvermane, Shocker and the Kingpin of Crime. Stan Lee also had a hand in creating Captain Mar-vell, Daredevil (with Bill Everett), Mephisto, Man-Thing, and She-Hulk; and I think we will all be eternally grateful for him for bringing the individual comic characters of the Marvel Universe together for one shared continuity. That alone deserves him a place in the comic book hall of fame.

  • April 13, 2009, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Deadpool

    by Series7

    Is it sad that I was reading the Deadpool review going, man this isn't a half bad review. Then realizing it was the kid review then I couldn't stop thinking about My Kid Could Paint that?

  • April 13, 2009, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Regarding DC continuity as a whole....

    by Psynapse

    Personally, I give them a lot of credit for actually addressing their wonkiness IN the stories (Infinite Crisis and others) and at least trying to bring the inconsistencies somewhat in line with each other. Whereas Marvel simply uses retcon the way a varsity team uses it's drunkest, sluttiest cheerleader, IMHO.

  • April 13, 2009, 11:47 a.m. CST

    I will go on record

    by Psynapse

    and state that "Band on the run" and "Silly love songs" are 2 of my all-time favorite songs. Personal tastes and all...

  • April 13, 2009, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Well, thanks to my defenders.

    by Homer Sexual

    Perhaps I should revisit the old Plastic Man from whenever this Jack Cole run way. I know for sure that at least from the 70's, he was sucky. <p> Sincere thanks to those who defended me, but I have a funny feeling I would think this original run was weak. So I probably don't deserve the defense. <p> But no one can attack or critique me into changing my opinion, which I have a right to. And you all have the right to call me nuts.

  • April 14, 2009, 10 a.m. CST

    Busiek

    by Hedgehog000

    Can't believe I'm reading serious arguments on Bendis vs Busiek. Busiek did Superman: Secret Identity, one of the best Superman stories ever. If he did nothing else, he'd still have something more notable then anything of Bendis'. We won't even discuss Astro City which is vastly superior to Powers. Bendis' problem isn't that he has too much talking, it's that he can't get his plots together to come to a coherent conclusion. Time and again, Bendis has a nice setup, nice character moments, and then it never quite comes together. Surprised about all the Kirkman hate but then I only follow him on Invincible which I really like.

  • April 15, 2009, 9:10 a.m. CST

    word...

    by blackthought

    to my cog psy.

  • March 6, 2010, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Rebirth of Slick

    by MrReimer

    http://review2akill.com/2010/03/05/rebirth-of-slick-the-bow-tie-kid/ I officially love this site, these dudes know what they're talking about