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AICN COMICS REVIEWS DOCTOR WHO! GI JOE! 100 BULLETS! LOVECRAFT! & MUCH MORE!

#49 4/15/09 #7

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) SECRET IDENTITIES ANTHOLOGY VOL. 1 100 BULLETS #100 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #591 G.I. JOE: COBRA #2 LOVE IS A PECULIAR TYPE OF THING TPB DOCTOR WHO: AGENT PROVOCATEUR TPB X-FACTOR #42 THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF H.P. LOVECRAFT #1 AMERICAN MCGEE’S GRIMM #2 BENNY & PENNY HC GN dot.comics presents SPY6TEEN Online Comic Big Eyes For the Cape Guy presents WOLVERINE: PRODIGAL SON V1 Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS!

SECRET IDENTITIES ANTHOLOGY Vol.1

By various writers and artists Published by: The New Press Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

Count how many Asian superheroes you know. Yeah, you can stop already – there’s no real point to it. The world already knows that comic books are filled with Anglo types who run around and save the day. That’s not to say that Marvel and DC don’t have minority characters but it isn’t every day we see new multicultural superheroes joining THE AVENGERS.
SECRET IDENTITIES is a massive undertaking coupling Asian-American artists and writers to create fun, interesting, and amazing stories. Does that mean this anthology will only interest those in the Asian-American community? Of course not, man – this book is a page-turner for every comic book fan and has something for everyone. Course, it helps when you get some ‘brand names’ contributing including Greg Pak (INCREDIBLE HULK), Bernard Chang (WONDER WOMAN), Christine Norrie (BLACK CANARY) and a slew of others working in film, television, and comics.
A favorite of mine is a story by Gene Yang and Sonny Liew titled ‘The Blue Scorpion & Cheung.’ This story is not really an intro to some great new characters but is perhaps more of a biting satire on how Asians are portrayed in media and film. The Blue Scorpion is a Green Hornet rip-off who seems to think he is the mighty fighting force that can defeat bad guys. Swigging from a bottle, he jumps down to take out some minions only to find himself in a headlock by a rather large baddie who is not going to take any of Blue Scorpion’s crap.
It’s Cheung that jumps down to save the day and, as anyone who has ever read, seen, or heard the Green Hornet knows, comes in to save the day just as Kato always did. But what are Kato’s motives? Why would someone drive around as a chauffeur to some idiot, always saving his life, and continually playing the second banana? The story suddenly turns into a phenomenal character study and looks at why a superhero does what he does and goes through what he does. Is it better to quit and do you own thing? Or is playing second fiddle enough when you are actually doing some good? It’s a twelve page story of pure genius that stuck with me long after I finished the entire anthology.
But the entire trade is fully of great, gripping stories that feature some phenom concepts – Greg Pak and Bernard Chang’s The Citizen should be immediately put out as a miniseries to satisfy my deep cravings. The editors set out to do something that would give some Asian-Americans their own voice and what they got in the end was a lion’s roar. SECRET IDENTITIES VOLUME 1 is a monumental achievement in bringing a huge group of new characters to life not just because these characters are Asian-American but because they are amazing on their own merits. The book easily attains a ‘4 star rating’ and deserves to be picked up – an incredible price for a massive amount of great stories.
Ryan McLelland has worked in movies and comics journalism for the past several years before joining the @$$holes here at AICN. Ryan’s comic work has already graced comic shelves with Arcana’s PHILLY, WISE INTELLIGENCE, UPTOWN GIRL, and THE SENTINELS ANTHOLOGY. He rarely updates his blog but when he does it can be read at www.eyewannabe.com. The first issue of his new WISE INTELLIGENCE miniseries can be found here.

100 BULLETS #100

Writer: Brian Azzarello Artist: Eduardo Risso Publisher: Vertigo/DC Comics Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

Every year now it seems like I'm finding myself typing up one of these "Farewell" pieces. Even sadder, it keeps feeling like each time I do say goodbye to a 100 BULLETS here, or a Y: THE LAST MAN last year, there seems to be less and less books like them:,the finite ongoings, rising up in their place. But that's a whole other tangent and here I am to pay my respects. One hundred issues and nearly a decade since I first laid my eyes on it, 100 BULLETS (along with a ton of the players that have been spawned from its pages) is being laid to rest. It's been a long and goddamn brutal ride, but it's been worth every shell casing.
Obviously I'm just here to bring the book its just praise, so don't worry about spoilers or anything. I know this is one of those books whose TPB audience far outweighs us that have stuck with it (mostly) monthly for pretty much the entirety of the '00's so far so I'm just going to be broad with my comments. Mainly, I'm just here to say "Oh how far we have come". What started as a book that seemed to be about various people's quests for revenge has gone to conspiracy theory to insidious power grab and now devolved into a complete bloodbath. A glorious, glorious bloodbath.
The issue itself was a bit of a revelation. The last gasp at explaining the events that led us to this point is satisfying, even despite the nefarious nature of this book when it comes to devouring it in the mini-bites known as issues when it reads so much better in chunks on the whole. Remembering exactly how the pieces fit together right now, without the reread I know I should have done up to this point, is a little daunting, but with the broad themes and plot points of the series even just somewhat at the forefront of my brainspace, this wrapped itself up fairly nicely. And did I mention the bloodbath? I hope so because it was fantastic. I somehow naively convinced myself that a good bit of these characters had to survive this, either they were "too cool to die" or they were somehow still a little "innocent" if that word can even apply to any aspect of this book, but there's a lot more graves to be filled with this finale and really, I wouldn't have it any other way.
As he has for the entirety of this run, Eduardo Risso proved with every last panel and line of this issue that he's been one of the best visual storytellers in the business, if not the best. Azzarello, in pursuit, worked his minimalist and gritty best to bring it all home. It might not be up at the very tip top when it comes to finales of this ilk - it's not quite up there with the PREACHERs or LUCIFERs or Y: TLMs when it comes to wrapping up - but it's damn close and, to be honest, probably just has to do with the level of complexity and, again, that lack of refreshment on my part given said intricacies. But, despite that little oversight on my end it was still phenomenal. It worked in and of itself for the story it has been telling for nearly ten years now, it worked in a genre that doesn't really get much attention in this medium, and it worked the medium as it milked it for all it's worth in how the format tells a story. It was called 100 BULLETS, and it made every one of them count.
Humphrey Lee has been an avid comic book reader going on fifteen years now and a contributor to Ain't It Cool comics for quite a few as well. In fact, reading comics is about all he does in his free time and where all the money from his day job wages goes to - funding his comic book habit so he can talk about them to you, our loyal readers (lucky you). He's a bit of a social networking whore, so you can find him all over the Interwebs on sites like Twitter, The MySpaces, Facebookand a Blogger Account where he also mostly talks about comics with his free time because he hasn't the slightest semblance of a life. Sad but true, and he gladly encourages you to add, read, and comment as you will.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #591

Writer: Dan Slott Artists: Barry Kitson, Jesse Delpergang ad Dale Eaglesham Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Liam ‘The Kid’

Note: ‘The Kid’ is 8 years old and has been doing reviews on his own site since August of 2008.
This is the second part of the story with Spider-Man teaming up with the Fantastic Four on an alien world and the Human Torch is really angry because Spider-Man made them all forget what his real identity was. The Torch set fire to Spider-Man’s mask so that he could find out who he really was and this issue starts with Spider-Man’s head turned invisible because of Mrs. Fantastic. I thought it was a great way to make Spider-Man’s secret stay the same. I thought that his face would look like a monster or something because they didn’t show it so having Mrs. Fantastic use her powers to help Spider-Man keep his secret was a good idea.
There is a lot of fighting in the comic with the Fantastic Four teaming with Spider-Man and one of the alien warriors to battle other warriors. I liked how all of the superheroes were using their powers and the Thing was one of my favorite guys in the book. He’s really strong and had some funny parts, too, because he was getting really mad at Human Torch and Spider-Man for fighting all of the time. There was a good battle scene when this alien dinosaur thing was trying to squash or eat Spider-Man and the warrior that was helping them just blasted the creature. The alien guy who was helping the good guys looked a little bit like Iron Man.
All of the people on the Fantastic Four keep telling Spider-Man and Human Torch that they are a family instead of just a team and they want everyone to stay friends. Thing gets mad again and tells those guys that there is no ‘I’ in Fantastic Four even though there is and then he tells everyone to put their hands in to team up. It was really funny because when Human Torch put his hand in it was on top of Spider-Man and he burned his hand. Spider-Man and Torch were going to fight again but they had to go battle the alien warriors first and I liked the part where Thing breaks down the door where all of the warriors are staying and they help the good guys win.
I liked how even when everyone was back on the ship and ready to go home finally that Mr. Fantastic wanted to know how Spider-Man made everyone forget his secret. I thought it made a lot of sense for Spider-Man not to take off his mask because he said that if he told his friends they could get captured and tell bad guys but Mr. Fantastic says he’ll make a way so they can’t reveal his secret. I think it’s a good idea that Spider-Man told the Fantastic Four who he is because they won’t tell and the team is like a family and families don’t keep secrets from each other.
When Spider-Man gets back home he’s upset because even though they were all in space for a couple days in real time on Earth two months went by. When he gets back he finds out that J. Jonah Jameson is the new mayor of New York and he’s so upset that he smashes into a pole. It’s kind of funny that one of the guys who hates Spider-Man the most is going to be running the city just like Osborn is in charge of all the superhero teams. And because he was away for so long his boss and all his friends are mad at him.

G.I. JOE: COBRA #2

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

I’m as surprised as you are. Believe me. When I cracked open the first issue of G.I.JOE: COBRA #1 I was expecting a mildly entertaining side story about one of my least favorite G.I.JOE characters. Maybe a little better than most JOE stories since it’s written by one of the writers out there that perks up my ears when I hear he’s taking over a new project; Christos M. Gage, but given the way G.I. JOE has been comic booked in the last ten years, I wasn’t expecting anything other than your typical military yarn.
G.I.JOE: COBRA is not your typical anything.
It’s a perfect storm comic book where a pair of talented writers (in this case, Christos M. Gage and Mike Costa), a gifted artist (Antonio Fuso), a cool franchise (G.I.JOE), and a Hercules-strong premise (Joe agent goes deep undercover to infiltrate COBRA in its first stages of development) all intersect. It’s not a bunch of hard nosed soldiers racing across a battlefield against unusual bad guys. It’s not Polly the Parrot shouting unfunny lines as he pecks Baron Bludd’s good eye. It’s not a metal headed tyrant or a swamp family that can blend into the background when sunlight hits them or a professional football player shoved into a military figure line for no apparent reason. G.I.JOE: COBRA is the unholy offspring of an all-nite horizontal hokey pokey between a tough as nails noir yarn and a deep cover espionage sizzler.
Issue one sealed the deal that Chuckles, the Joe’s deep cover agent, is the shit. He’s an imperfect mess that seems to get the job done and has the bruises to prove it. He’s Cal MacDonald, Sam Spade, Holden from SLEEPER, and James Bond all in one. He somehow manages to piss off both his bosses and the bad guys. He’s the guy who nails the girl you’ve been trying to sleep with for a year in your bed and to add insult to injury, he tries to high five you the next morning. And dammit, he’s so likable that you end up high-fiving the bastard because…well…just because.
Issue two shows more of Chuckles’ likeability as he inches up higher in the COBRA food chain. He gets to show his stuff in an ambush and ends up being the intended dessert of the main squeeze of the big boss (a chick who is yet to be named but looks an awful lot like the Baroness). All the while, he’s trying to squeeze out intel to Joe Headquarters via an archaic microchip implanted in his skull.
The temperature of this comic is high. The pace a feverish race. The tone is sarcastic and witty but never evoking any doubt that the threat is deadly serious. And in the middle of it all is Chuckles in that damn Hawaiian shirt.
Anotnio Fuso’s art makes this book a must read due to the vivid angles and the gritty water-colored panels, a look that is right at home with the grey-area realm that Chuckles inhabits. This comic is better than it should be and I’m savoring every page. Something like this doesn’t come along often. Do yourself a favor and check it out. It’s highly, highly, highly recommended.
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.

LOVE IS A PECULIAR TYPE OF THING TPB

Written and Drawn by Box Brown More about the comic here. Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

I’m always astounded by those individuals in the comic book world who win a Xeric grant to publish their work. It’s a monumental achievement and I love finding books published by those who receive the Xeric because it is usually an extraordinary labor of love. Does that mean that from the get-go I’m slightly skewed to like a Xeric book? Probably not. Good is good and crap is still crap no matter who publishes it and how. It’s just more times then not you get a great book like LOVE IS A PECULIAR TYPE OF THING rather than a steaming pile.
Box Brown put together this collection of his stories which features himself as a character as well as an offshoot of himself, a character named Ben. What is real in the book and what is not is blurry but one doesn’t read LOVE IS for an in-depth of biography of everything Box. With a Charlie Brownesque look and a mature look at life in the large city of Philadelphia, Box touches on subjects that are very close to him. He (and/or Ben) go through being just a friend when all he wants is to be the boyfriend, the drugs, the friendships, the drinking, and most importantly those thought/feelings that no one ever wants to put down on paper. Fictional or not sometimes it is just very hard to get out some things and Box isn’t afraid to talk about anything.
Perhaps this is where, as a cartoonist, it is easier to swallow. Seeing a character in any comic strung out on drugs is one thing, but one can’t help to laugh when you see the strung-out Ben wide-eyed dancing the night away. I snicker but swallow the tale much easier. Box hasn’t had the easiest life but it is a life that I can truly empathize with. But beyond that, even if you can’t empathize with one single thing, it is still a great comic to kick back and read.
Sure this isn’t a book for those who just read X-MEN. It has a great independent feel and easily ranks up there with a true favorite of mine - Daniel Clowes. LOVE IS A PECULIAR TYPE OF THING is a wonderful book full of heartache, love, and the everyday routines you find in life but brought together wonderfully in such a way that a bitter pill is almost sweet to swallow.

DOCTOR WHO: AGENT PROVOCATEUR TPB

Story by: Gary Russell Art by: Nick Roche, Jose Maria Berdy, Stefand Martino, Mirco Pierfederici Published by: IDW Publishing Reviewed by: Baytor

I’ve found that it’s nearly impossible to judge licensed comics without resorting to a curve. There are exceptions, but they usually exist to be as inconsequential as possible, while giving the fans a bit more of what they fancy. As long as you dial down your expectations a bit, they can be a hell of a lot of fun. But even with the most generous curve, AGENT PROVOCATEUR falls short.
The first two chapters are my favorites and come really close to making the grade. It’s not brilliant, but it’s about what I expect of a DOCTOR WHO comic: a couple of one-off adventures where an innocent quest gets derailed by the usual danger The Doctor finds himself in. One deals with the quest for the perfect milkshake, while the other starts off as a shopping expedition in the 70s. I know it sounds silly (and it is), but I’m sure there’s more than a few of you out there who, if given the chance to travel anywhere in time & space, would choose to go back to the 1930s to read ACTION COMICS #1 fresh off the spinner rack or back to 1960s England to watch those lost episodes of DOCTOR WHO on the telly.
Gary Russell focuses a bit too much on the dialogue and exposition dumps, so the plot beats often get lost beneath the sheer weight of verbiage. The heavy dialogue also causes some poor word balloon placements, so you’ll end up reading a number of them out of order. The stories don’t quite work (I had to re-read a few passages to figure out the story logic), but there are some funny exchanges and seeing the 10th Doctor sporting his Jon Pertwee-era duds in the 70s adventure brought a smile to my face. Simple charm gives it a passing grade.
The third tale ups the stakes with an entire planet in danger (populated by New Earth’s cat people). Again, it mostly works, but the missing plot beats are becoming more noticeable. A part of The Doctor’s plan is introduced on the very panel that it becomes undone, which makes it a bit confusing. I wondered if I had missed a bit of dialogue earlier. Quick check; nope.
The remaining three chapters are one big, universe shattering threat; and this is where the book slowly goes from seriously flawed but charming to shockingly bad in the final chapter. To demonstrate how badly, I’m going to spoil the plot for you. Okay, so there are these aliens who have set themselves up as gods, who somehow managed to rip a hole in space and they have to fix it up before something really nasty slips through. So, these guys start abducting the entire populations of planets to fuel the device they need. Only they leave behind one person to attract the attention of The Doctor, because they need his sonic screw-driver. The gods hire a guy to take care of the details, who hires another guy who decides to steal the device they’re building for his own, ill-defined nefarious ends, which seems to involve shooting random people with it.
Did you follow that? Well, don’t worry, the final chapter explains all that to you about three times and it never makes any more sense. It’s just a bunch of plot complications piled on top of plot complications that completely fails to come together in a coherent plot. The final chapter is just one big exposition dump after another as Gary Russell tries in vain to make the plot work, completely obliterating the ample charm of the earlier chapters. Matters are not helped by a rather dramatic art shift. The book starts off cartoony, but as the main plot takes hold, it goes to a more realistic style, which never quite works.
This is not a good comic. Even without the charm-sucking final part, this isn’t a good comic, although it does show some potential. Gary Russell is a DOCTOR WHO writing vet, but I don’t think he’s written a lot of comics, and if he’s willing to take a bit of advice from a lowly @$$hole, I’d suggest that he simplifies his plots a bit, stick his plot points clearly, dial back the dialogue by about a quarter, and avoid the universe-shattering stories that have brought down many a comic story before his. Just because you have an unlimited special effects budget in comics doesn’t mean these sorts of stories work incredibly well here.

X-FACTOR #42

Writer: Peter David Artist: Valentine DeLandro Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

I couldn’t find one moment of this book that wasn’t simply spectacular. There are very few, if any, other books I can heap such gushing praise upon since I can usually count on my Douchedar to ferret out even the miniscule chinks in a story’s armor. Take for instance the highly praised “dupe baby absorption” X-FACTOR issue. I could see how some might have found things a bit talky and light on action up until the big reveal. You know, sort of like the “Sixth Sense”-- good, but not great until the A-HA moment.
However, this issue relies on no such parlor tricks or grand reveals. Instead it simply delivers rapid-fire Sci-Fi time travel, action, romance, budding bromance, and a hatred that has been festering since the early 90s -- all wrapped inside David’s signature witty, but never snarky dialogue.
David affords every member of the team just the right amount of page time, never lingering too long in the present day minor characters’ stories, nor getting too lost in the dystopian future of the Summers Rebellion. A few pages of Guido and the Homo Sapien dead wood of the team, Rictor, following an internet lead for Jamie Madrox was perfect set-up for a future buddy issue. A sprinkling of Monet and Siryn questioning the motives of former government team handler Val Cooper was a grand blend of history and the selling out of XF Investigations to the all mighty dollar. I have never been a fan of the probability defying Mojoverse exile, Longshot, until David shifted the focus of the character from his good luck to his animal magnetism with women. The few pages where he chooses chivalry instead of giving into the temptations of the paranoid cougar under his watch were probably the weakest part of the book, but still damn entertaining.
The longest amount of time and also the juiciest part of this issue was most certainly the “back to the future” travels of Jamie “Multiple Man” Madrox and Layla “I Know Stuff” Miller. I’ll admit that in the early days of this latest iteration of X-FACTOR I had grave concerns about then teenager Layla’s premonitions of her and middle-age Madrox one day being man and wife. I applaud David for deftly avoiding any Pedobear moments by leaving Layla 80 years in the future after her one-shot special, then having her age to womanhood before coming back to the present. I was also ecstatic to see the two warp back to tomorrow to aid in the Summers Rebellion. Like “Days of Future Past,” mutants are being hunted to extinction. The only thing saving the mutant race from being completely wiped off the map is a very old Ruby Summers, the daughter of Scott and Emma, and a very very old cybernetic Scott Summers.
X-FACTOR continues to be the platinum standard of marching meticulously in step with the progress of time while still embracing the past. I won’t call it “continuity”, because in this day and age it is the true C Word of comics, shackling a book or forcing writers to toss it away with reckless abandon. Yes, X-FACTOR plays off every story thread with surprise and palpable drama, but it achieves the much larger feat of staying true to the soul of each character and every relationship that’s been established going all the way back to the 1990s titles of X-FACTOR, GEN X and X-FORCE (yeah I thought Rictor was dead wood even when he had his powers).
For anyone that dropped this title during the dark days of Stroman’s stroke-inducing strokes, please come back; DeLandro is an artistic force to be reckoned with, capturing every scene perfectly. If you haven’t given X-FACTOR a try, why not? This is not just a great mutant book, it’s one of the best damn comics being published today.
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 STRANGE ADVENTURES OF H.P. LOVECRAFT #1 (of 4)

Writer: Mac Carter Artist: Tony Salmons Published by: Image Comics Reviewed by: BottleImp

What is it about H.P Lovecraft—both the stories and the man himself—that continues to fascinate us? His writing style tended to be overfull of elaborate, mannered descriptions that bordered on archaic, his protagonists were for the most part bland and uninteresting, and even in his better works Lovecraft’s plots became repetitive and predictable. But when the Old Gent was really, really cooking, he managed to bring forth a quality in his writing that elevated his monsters far above the run-of-the-mill ghosts and ghouls. Lovecraft brought a sense of cosmic horror to readers that could not be easily put aside. After all, the more we learn about the vastness of the universe, the smaller and more insignificant we feel… and the more likely it seems that the black gulfs of space could be inhabited by the inhuman monstrosities that Lovecraft created. Maybe it’s that horrible sense of possibility that continues to entrance readers while inextricably binding the creator to his creations. Because even though it’s well-known that Lovecraft’s so-called “Cthulhu Mythos,” his pantheon of cosmic beings, was fabricated piece by piece by himself and his contemporaries (including Robert Bloch, Henry Kuttner and Robert E. Howard, to name a few), there is a persistent, nagging little voice in the back of many a skeptic’s head that insists that Lovecraft’s descriptions of Cthulhu, Azathoth and the rest didn’t come from imagination, but experience. Later contributors to the Cthulhu Mythos would often include H.P. himself in their tales, both in oblique reference or as an outright character taking part in dealing with these extradimensional creatures.
Such is the case with THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF H.P. LOVECRAFT, which, following a prologue depicting the death of Necronomicon author Abdul Alhazred (the Necronomicon being, for the uninitiated, the bible of Really Bad Shit in Lovecraft’s work), dives right in to Lovecraft’s world of the 1920s. There are some real details of Lovecraft’s life presented here--his two elderly aunts with whom he lived, the lackluster reaction his strange stories would receive from the pulp magazine publishers--and then there are the invented bits: a love triangle with a vivacious librarian and a wealthy bachelor, an encounter with the famed Necronomicon in a university library, and Lovecraft’s inevitable realization that the monsters he thought were fiction are all too real.
As I said, putting Lovecraft in the middle of his stories is nothing new, and it’s a shame that Vertigo published the similarly-themed (thought more Freudian and psychosexual) LOVECRAFT hardcover only a few years ago—the comparison between these two works will be inevitable, although it seems as if Carter is going for more of a “men’s adventure magazine” feel with this series rather than anything so cerebral. Despite the familiar set-up, I really liked this book—Salmons’ loose, somewhat scratchy artwork reminds me alternately of Matt Wagner and Teddy Kristiansen, and fits perfectly with the slow-building tension and sense of horror that Carter builds up through this issue. Colorist Adam Byrne’s muted palette adds the final touches of gloom to the Providence streets, as well as the horror that is only beginning to emerge through Lovecraft’s mind.
I picked up this comic from the creators’ booth at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, and I’m glad to see that it found a publisher for wide circulation. It’s almost like reading one of Lovecraft’s own stories; there’s nothing particularly innovative or unexpected here, but still entertaining. Here’s hoping that the rest of the series keeps up the quality—I’d like the Lovecraft-iness more like “Dreams in the Witch House” and less like “The Terrible Old Man.” Those in the know will get what I’m talking about.
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.

AMERICAN MCGEE’S GRIMM #2

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

I dug the hell out of the videogame-to-comic book AMERICAN MCGEE’S GRIMM #1 and have been looking forward to the second issue to see what fairy tale world the malicious Grimm was going to invade and tear apart at the seams.
The latest world for Grimm to launch himself into is that of romantic comic books – the ones where a geeky character like Larry looks at his dream girl from afar, hoping that one day he’ll muster up the courage to ask the beauty to marry his spineless ass. Of course Susan, the woman Larry is looking at, looks over at the nice man on the bridge and thinks that he is too good for her, only wishing she could go and talk to him.
Ah, romance. Ain’t it grand and sort of ironic? Well, if you are like Grimm (and me) you are ready to puke at the mere thought of these two wannabe love birds. Larry finally gets the stones to walk up and talk to Susan but this is the wrong day to do so. Grimm creates horrible monsters to kill the duo, thus prompting wimpy Larry into action. Yes, the romance comic genre has never really seen killer ducks yelling “MEAT” as they snap at their prey. Grimm, happy about where this tale is going, is all too eager to make sure these two don’t live happily ever after.
That’s what is great about this book. It doesn’t even stop there by a long shot as Susan and Larry find themselves delving deeper into what is truly a dark fairy tale of old. Grant Bond’s work mixing a videogame-looking Grimm with that of a romance comic comes out truly top-notch. MacPherson is on his game and continues to work his magic creating these fun and sick modern day tales. This series is some of the better stuff I’ve read lately and I look forward to the next issue the second I finish the last page.

BENNY AND PENNY HC

Writer and Artist: Geoffrey Hayes Publiser: Toon Books Reviewer: Liam ‘The Kid’

Note: ‘The Kid’ is 8 years old and has been doing reviews on his own site since August of 2008.
BENNY AND PENNY is about two mice who live in the woods who are brother and sister. Benny likes to dress up and play pirates and Penny is always following him around, asking where he is and trying to catch up to him so she can play with him. He wants to play by himself and thinks that she’s pretty annoying so he never tells her where he is and she just follows him on her little mini scooter.
I liked when Penny hits the box that Benny is pretending is a pirate ship and she is coming up the other side of the box and it tips over and they both fall off a hill and land in the leaves. Benny yells for him mom and starts running away from Penny but she chases after him. He hides in a tree and runs away again when she gets close and then hides in a cave until a big spider comes along. My favorite part was when he was hiding under a hat and says that he’s just an old man. When Penny finds Benny he says she’s a dumb little sister and she starts to cry. He doesn’t want to get in trouble with her crying so grabs another box and tells her to play in that one and when she gets in he leaves her by herself and starts to play his pirate ship game again.
When he gets finished playing he goes to find Penny but she isn’t in the box anymore. He looks everywhere and can’t find her. Finally he does find her and she says she left to go pee-pee. Then she says they should both hide but he’s worried if they could get lost. She tells him that he shouldn’t worry because they won’t get lost and he feels better but then a giant mosquito comes along and scares them both. Penny becomes brave and chases the giant bug away and that makes Benny really happy.
They run back and go to the pirate ship together and become friends and Benny tells Penny that he was just pretending that she was dumb. The lesson is that you shouldn’t call your sister or brother names because it’s not nice. They could get bigger and beat you up if you tease them when they’re little and it’s also not good to be mean to people you care about even as jokes. I think the art in the book was pretty good and the guy draws the things in the forest well. I like how he makes their little house and the trees and all of the nature stuff. I think that the mice should have been colored a bit different, though. I think their fur would have been easier to see if it wasn’t so dark and maybe colored gray. I like how he drew Penny’s scooter and the giant mosquito, too.
It’s a good story that is made out to look kind of like a kids book but it can be a comic book as well.

SPY6TEEN Online Comic

Writer: Tim Simmons Artist: DJ Keawakane Publisher: Zuda Online Comics/DC Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

So, April is a month with five Wednesdays in it, and as is likely to happen in that case I find myself on the end of a week where I didn't even have double digits in comics. And even though I tend to be a busy chap, I still like to get my proper time and fix in of my comics for the week so I got drawn to this, the first Zuda comic I've ever read and something that got put smack dab in front of me during my usual Forum jaunts. Call it verisimilitude, call it good self-promotion on the part of the writer of this little ditty, whatever, I just call it a pretty entertaining little distraction that is worth a look see if you're into these New Fangled Digital Comics.
It's only eight pages, but this was pretty engaging for what little of it there was. Basically, SPY6TEEN is the story of an orphaned high schooler that has a bit of a super secret spy life going on. Yes, it's a little derivative in that "Kimpossible" sense (I barely know what that is, but the fact that I know it exists means apparently there's a genre at play here of some sort) but it makes up for that in heart. There's some good emotion at play as Cally Calhoon, our lead, gives a little insight into her life and mindset as she goes through an adventure that seems to be pretty much the norm to her now. Again, some of these elements may be a little overdone, but it still gets the job done admirably. Same goes for the art, which seems to live in a realm somewhere between realistic and "cartoony". Overall it's got some great elements to it - it's pretty detailed, very lush, fits a lot of content into the panels - but could probably use a bit of tightening up in the lines, maybe reign in the exaggeration in the limbs and what have you, but otherwise very competent indeed.
But this was fun, y'know? A nice little eight page ditty that did a good job introducing me to a character that seems to have a lot going on for her, there was some fun action bits, a tongue-in-cheek turn of events at the end that seems very in tune with the kind of story we're seeing here. At the least this has put me in the midset that maybe I need to be checking out more stuff of this ilk (though please, don't inundate me with entries, like I said, I am usually teh busies). I guess this is a part of a competition of some sorts too, so there's a bunch of other material from other creators to check out here. I haven't read any of the others, so by no means am I endorsing this over anything else there, but I am endorsing this as a pretty fun way to burn a few minutes and, if you're like me, kind of get savvy to comics books via the Internets and its series of tubes. Cheers...

WOLVERINE: PRODIGAL SON VOL 1

Story by Antony Johnston Art by Wilson Tortosa Released by Del Ray Reviewer: Scott Green

PRODIGAL SON is the right Wolverine for a very specific audience. A reader can't come into the work with proprietary sentiments toward either traditional Marvel Comics representations of the feral anti-hero or manga as a medium. Read too much Wolverine and the parent X-Men comics or read too much manga and paging through PRODIGAL SON is apt to become an exercise in comparing the work to the traditions that inspired it. Instead, the person who should be reading PRODIGAL SON is someone who is vaguely familiar with Wolverine and with manga. It's someone who has seen the X-Men movies, maybe the cartoons too, and that's the extent of their exposure to Wolverine. It's someone who read a few of the popular SHONEN JUMP manga, NARUTO, DRAGON BALL, and that's the extent of their exposure to manga.
What PRODIGAL SON delivers is a handsome, rebellious young Logan, aka "Wolverine" in an action movie paced scenario. This is more Hugh Jackman Wolverine than the stubby wildman portrayed by some comic artists. Yes, he's bad tempered and bellicose, willing to get a leg broken to win a pointless sparing match, but his dark nest of hair frames a clean featured face and when not wearing a fashionable leather jacket, he's showing off his guns, posing or gesturing while shirtless or sleeveless. If PRODIGAL SON's creators had in mind the kind of shounen action fair whose attractive male characters draw in a cross-over female audience, they hit the mark.
The story follows young Logan as his time at the remote martial arts dojo/school for trouble teens named "Quiet Earth" expires. On one hand, his ego and abilities have almost outgrown the place. On the other, intervention by an antagonist force is about to curtail his stay anyhow. The chapters progress in blocks that are connected likes scenes from action movies. Pulling memorable bits of other fight media, the creators are smart in their mixing of familiar ingredients. A dojo battle is followed by a quiet, character moment, followed by another dojo fight, this time armed with martial arts weaponry (with a selection that seems inspired by TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES - Wolverine's specialty is the nunchucks), with is capped by a forest quest reminiscent of Naruto's well regarded Chunin Exam. That just comprises the book's first third, which should give some indication of its churn.
PRODIGAL SON opens with a storm of speed lines that rarely abates. The panels that capture fight scenes, and even tense moments, are packed with radiating vectors. Because of this the intensity of the action does not modulate, but given the staccato beats of the plot, the constantly full-bore action is not to the book's detriment. However, speed and kinetic impact are being sold at the expense of clarity. Someone who regularly reads comics and manga should not have much difficulty following the action, and, in fact, there is an admirable logic to how the fights are laid out. While comics/manga can cheat in the sequence of actions between panels, Prodigal Son generally manages to account for space and position as its fights progress. Yet, there is a danger that the barrage of lines might overwhelm a reader who only dabbles in comics/manga. Page progression is left to right oriented, which might help, but the visual complexity might still be a bit too much.
Fans of Wolverine comics might be bothered by how PRODIGAL SON departs from established history and depictions of the character. Manga fans are liable to hold it up against the titans of shounen action. Yet, if you give the book to someone who likes the idea of Wolverine and likes the idea of manga; who doesn't have an extensive background in either, PRODIGAL SON will likely give them what they want. Its look, structure and action may just be exactly what that audience is looking for.
Scott Green has been writing for AICN ANIME for over seven years. If you like what you see here and love anime & manga, be sure to check out his latest AICN ANIME column here.

Hey folks, here’s another dollop of indies for those not too afraid to strat away from mainstream fare. Enjoy.

LEGENDS OF PERCEVAN: VOL 1 - THE STARS OF INGARR HCGN Fantasy Flight Games

This book reminded me of a cross between GROO THE WANDERER and THE LEGEND OF ZELDA. Maybe it was the cartoonish supporting characters or the fantastic Middle Agey setting or the fact that the lead character, Percevan, looks an awful lot like Link from the old Nintendo game. Created by the European trio of Fauche, Leturgie, & Luguy over 20 years ago, this tale of lost gems and errant knights still holds up. The art is crisp. The storytelling takes the material seriously despite the whimsical characters and had quite a few dire and unexpected turns. I'm not really big into the gaming/sword and sorcery stuff, but this book held my attention where others like it have failed. This is Book 1 of three from Fantasy Flight Games. If knights and magic are your thing, you'll want to seek out LEGENDS OF PERCEVAN. – Ambush Bug

DON'T BE THAT GUY OGN Three Rivers Press

More of a coffee table book than a graphic novel, but pretty damn funny anyway. This collection of warning signs of douche-baggery is not only nicely drawn (by artist Shawn Farrell) and well described (by writer Colin Nissan), but it’s pretty accurate too. From the guy who is a little too comfortable walking around naked in the gym showers to the guy who wants you to make you take a look at the ginormous shit he just took, you are going to know at least one of the gents described in this book. Funny because it’s funny, but funny because its true too. – Ambush Bug

SALEM’S DAUGHTER #0 Zenescope Entertainment

Zenescope puts out a zero issue with a cheaper-than-usual price tag to introduce the world to SALEM’S DAUGHTER. Does it have everything one can expect from a Zenescope product? Great artists drawing large breasted women with some bloody violence? Check, check, and check here as we launch into the comic seemingly set somewhere around the 19th century. There’s backstabbing, blood, boobs, evil possessed witch vampire devil girls, and lots of shooting with six shooters. Yeah – what is not to love about the book, especially with such a cheap price tag? - Ryan McLelland

R.E.B.E.L.S. #3 DC Comics

This is my new favorite DC book. In continuity but not mired down with rainbow rings or undecipherable Morrisonian wonk--just Tony Bedard and the whole universe as his playground. Bedard is not making this final team line-up something easy. All hints to members in past issues don't seem to be joining up and the ones that do are complete and joyous surprises. Wildfire's transformation in this issue is inspired, as is the reintroduction of an old L.E.G.I.O.N. member. This book is filled with surprises and twists while peppering in one cool idea after another. It's one of those hidden gems that won't get a lot of attention, but deserves it. One of the best DC books on the shelves right now. Don't kick yourself for missing it. Check out the cosmic fun now. - Bug

BETA RAY BILL: THE GREEN OF EDEN #1 Marvel Comics

Y'know, Beta Ray Bill is one of those kooky characters that, under the right circumstances, can be just so damn cool. He's some kind of horse alien thing wearing a Thor costume and swinging a sleeker version of Mjolnir at outer space baddies. I can't help it. To me, that image rocks! Thinking about someone coming along, harnessing that cool, and removing Bill out from under Thor's shadow had me giddy with excitement. That's what i was hoping for in this one-shot. So imagine my disappointment when I read the plodding plot and sifted through the dismal art of this one-shot which attempts to pick up the story where the pretty darn cool THOR: SECRET INVASION left off. Something about a leftover Skrull threat and some other outer spacey mumbo makes up the plot. Dan Brereton, who I normally like, chicken scratches his way through the art chores, making Bill look varying degrees of lame and lamer. All in all, this one-shot is best left missed. Looks like there's another one shot on the horizon starring B.R. Bill. If this team is on board, you can most assuredly count on me not picking it up. – Bug

THE WALKING DEAD #60 Image Comics

Another fantastic issue which actually covered a lot of ground. Not a whole lot of sitting and talking in this one, which is appreciated (although there's a nice back and forthing going on while some young children show that the trauma they've been experiencing is beginning to show up in their casual play--poor kitty...). Rick and the rest of his group of adventurers who decided to split from the main group a few issues back have sparked the interest of a zombie herd--a tidal wave of chomping id, unstoppable and unavoidable. As they flee the herd, the rest of the group struggle with the need to find roots. The feeling of urgency is palpable in this issue. Adlard's panels of reaching dead have never been more toe-curling as Rick and Co. flee on foot to stay ahead of their grasp. This series has been moving at such a pace that even the slower issues tend to whiz right by. More than a comic. THE WALKING DEAD is more like an emotional rollercoaster as you tend to love and hate the characters within sometimes in the same issue. Looks like dissention in the ranks is on the menu for next issue. Can't wait to see what Kirkman and Adlard have for us. It hasn't failed to please for over a year now. - Bug

GREEN LANTERN COPRS #35 DC Comics

HONK!
Just wanted to sound off from last week's talkback asking us to honk if you're getting sick of "The Blackest Night" build-up. I'm sure Johns will deliver, but this painstaking set-up has been just that. But without those issues after issues of setting up the various ring hues, we wouldn't get the delicious cluster-fuck of an issue that this issue of GLC is. A berserker Red Lantern is loose going apeshit in the GLC's prison holding quite a few yellow-ringed Sinestro Corpsmen. As the Green Lanterns swoop in for the rescue, Yellow and Green ring alike is torn asunder by the bloody red rage. This issue has a ton going on, but Peter Tomasi juggles all of these balls as if he's got some arms to spare. With Patrick Gleason drawing alien races like no other, GLC gives GL a run for its money as king of the DC books. Seeing Guy and Kyle riff off of one another makes this more interesting than boring old Hal any old day. And if Tomasi keeps this pace up, even though the build-up has been lengthy, I still have faith that it'll be worth the wait. – Bug

NEW AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE FEATURING REPTIL #1 Marvel Comics

Now, I know this came out a few weeks ago, but I just got to it and although I found it to be a fun read, it is a bit of a stretch story construction wise. So Stegron The Dinosaur Man is attacking government facilities and getting away. Instead of kicking this second-rate Spidey villain's @$$ big time, the Initiative program chooses instead to recruit an untrained kid with dino-powers and put him through an intensive training program so that he can specifically fight Stegron because it's kind of cool to see a dino-powered kid fight dinosaurs. And it is fun to see that, but the roundabout way common sense is played with (more like mauled, as in a rottweiler does to a pig's ear) in this book is comic book logic at its worst. Sure it's cool that a new dino-powered character is born, but writer Christos M. Gage went around the world and back again to make it relevant to the story. Looking at the timeline of the story itself is enough to make one's head spin. Everyone is just waiting around for Stegron to attack and for dino-boy to be trained. Check all common sense at the door if you plan on reading this one. The art from Steve Uy helps and the character has some pretty cool powers, but doesn't save this one from massive plot-hole-age. - Bug

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


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Readers Talkback
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  • April 22, 2009, 9:13 a.m. CST

    LOVECRAFT!

    by orcus

    w00t!

  • April 22, 2009, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Lovecraft's Greatest Fan -- Is DOOM!

    by V. von Doom

    But I'm afraid this series will end up looking like a Call of Cthulhu RPG module. For the real life of Lovecraft, read the bio by S.T. Joshi -- far more interesting and with much background about the times Lovecraft lived in.

  • April 22, 2009, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Gary Russell sucks

    by kwisatzhaderach

    That is all.

  • April 22, 2009, 9:30 a.m. CST

    You should review Ambush Bug Showcase.

    by rev_skarekroe

    Since the head reviewer is actually named after the character.<p>Maybe Ambush Bug: Year None #6 will come out someday, too. That would be nice.

  • April 22, 2009, 9:37 a.m. CST

    by The_Observer

  • April 22, 2009, 9:40 a.m. CST

    So is Longshot still die hard...

    by Kid Z

    ... about the hockey player mullet or does he have a new 'do now?

  • April 22, 2009, 9:41 a.m. CST

    I agree with Doom.

    by rev_skarekroe

    I think Lovecraft's real life as a reclusive egghead is a lot more interesting than comics and books that keep trying to put him in adventure scenarios. I prefer the depiction of him in Shea and Wilson's Illuminatus Trilogy, where someone tries to tell him that all the creatures in his stories are real, and Lovecraft insists that he made them up.<p>Another good fictional approach would be to examine the Lovecraft Circle as precursors to modern day internet forums. A group of nerds whose life in correspondence with each other seemed more real to them than their actual reality.

  • April 22, 2009, 9:42 a.m. CST

    G.I. Joe and the Fridge

    by Joenathan

    I had that figure. And the weird part wasn't that he was part of G.I. Joe, the weird part was that his weapon was mace/morning star type thing that was tipped with an iron football... He was a lineman! What the fuck?

  • April 22, 2009, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Chrip Chrip

    by indyjonez100

    you can hear the crickets and see the tumbleweeds floating by in this talkback.

  • April 22, 2009, 9:55 a.m. CST

    WINTER IS COMING TO HBO!!!!!

    by BilboRing

    The pilot for A Game of Thrones will begin filming this October in Ireland!!!!!

  • April 22, 2009, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Is anyone reading the new Dark Reign Punisher.

    by OBESE_WAN_KENOBI

    It's not the best book ever, but it's a lot more enjoyable than most of Marvels recent books. It's good to see Frank back in the Marvel U. I just could never get into the Ennis MAX books. Could be because I think Ennis is overrated... But that's just me.

  • April 22, 2009, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Game of Thrones : http://tinyurl.com/d5zrzz

    by V'Shael

    It's going to be filmed over 10 weeks, apparently.

  • April 22, 2009, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Props to Chaz

    by I am the most horrible

    A good comic book guy is hard to find. My comic book guys have always been like Comic Book Guy...especially that douche at Emerald City Comics in Eugene. <p> Anyways, sincere props to your buddy Chaz, RIP.

  • April 22, 2009, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Ennis is overrated

    by Joenathan

    Unless you love cum-eating parapalegic poop jokes... the 12th time you've heard them.

  • April 22, 2009, 10:40 a.m. CST

    I Am Most Horrible

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    Eugene Comic Book Guy at EMERALD CITY was indeed the most CBG guy I've ever met in my life, from the hair to the pure snark he oozed with every sentence. I bought a slew of comics I enjoyed during a time when Milestone, Impact etc. existed (I actually liked them. So what?) The guy gave me crap about what I bought, refused to answer basic questions like when a title was out or whether or not it had come out and I'd missed it, demeaned me with every purchase. Eventually, his attitude caused me to basically stop buying comics from him (and therefore altogether because I didn't have other outlets for my purchasing). That guy was hilariously awful as a customer service person.

  • April 22, 2009, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Really?

    by Joenathan

    Why didn't you just... NOT talk to him? Nobody was forcing you to interact with the counter help. I've never had an experience anywhere with a snotty kid behind the counter that was so traumitizing that it would drive me away from something I liked. My advice to you would be: gently remove your tampon because it sounds like its chafing...

  • April 22, 2009, 10:50 a.m. CST

    "Just because you have an unlimited special effects budget in co

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    That's actually quite good advice. I remember I tried to write a comic once a few years ago.... it ended as in a mess of word balloons and rubbish and I couldn't be bothered to finish it. Good times!

  • April 22, 2009, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Oops,

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    the quote got half cut off. Aw well, it's in the review anyway.

  • April 22, 2009, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Dude, this guy isn't a kid

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    He pretty much "runs" the store, looks and acts exactly like COMIC BOOK GUY and is just rotten to people nonstop. And it's not that it's traumatizing. It's just such a deeply unpleasant experience that I couldn't bear giving the man even one more dollar of my money. I thought of how I was essentially paying a guy to abuse me. I'm not into that.

  • April 22, 2009, 10:57 a.m. CST

    The job of a comic book retailer....

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    ... is to make you feel bad about your purchases. Nuff said.

  • April 22, 2009, 11:04 a.m. CST

    How dare you mock William "The Refrigerator" Perry...

    by SleazyG.

    ...while he's in serious condition?!?<p> http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/9483140/Report:-'Refrigerator'-Perry-in-serious-condition/?gt1=39002

  • April 22, 2009, 11:11 a.m. CST

    AMEN Spymunk

    by I am the most horrible

    I'm glad somebody knows what I'm talking about, though I'm sorry you had to experience that uber twat as well. Theory #1: Joenathan is the dude from Emerald City Comics.<p> Theory #2: Joenathan is the exact breed of geek who thrives on snark, and disrespect that kept Em City Douche in the biz for so long. <p> When I went to UofO I had to sell my comics collection (which I valued in the $thousands$) to make rent and tuition. I made the mistake of mentioning my dire condition to Em City Douche at the opening of our negotiations and with drool dripping ont the counter he offered me about a hundred bucks. Toughest lesson I learned in college. but I was merely stupid...he was a DOUCHE.<p> Oh well.<p> It's nice to hear about the good guys, like this Chaz, that are bucking the trend...and that there are people out there that won't put up with crap from the bad guys.

  • April 22, 2009, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by Shaner Jedi

    but you do remember those few high-profile times when Fridge was a goal-line running back right? One of those times was even at the Super Bowl no less. Should've given the ball to Payton. RIP Walter.

  • April 22, 2009, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Breaking News: Morrison Not God.

    by SleazyG.

    Yeah, he's written some great stuff, like FLEX MENTALLO and WE3. He's also written absolute garbage like FINAL CRISIS. FC is quite possibly the worst thing he's ever written. His BATMAN run sucked, but at least it was a story told in a reasonable fashion that readers could follow month to month. FC was intentionally obtuse and, most troublingly, shallow. It was a shallow, slight work with virtually no emotional impact. For something that was supposed to change EVERYTHING, it thus far has had no lasting ramifications for the DCU at all, other than convincing many many readers that Morrison was completely off his game.<p> I'm sick and tired of people using the "if you didn't like it, you're too stupid to understand it" line. It's fuckin' bullshit, and you all know it. The problem isn't that I didn't "get" FINAL CRISIS; the problem is that it was SHIT. Simple as that. It had potential, sure--but it never once managed to actually live up to that potential and turned out to be an overly complicated yet utterly empty exercise. It was pretentious and overwrought and boring and pointless and shallow. It was an across-the-board failure, and Morrison fans who can't view it with a critical eye and see its many flaws need to step back and get a little perspective.

  • April 22, 2009, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Shaner

    by Joenathan

    You are correct, I forgot about those endzone moments... Not the iron football tipped flail makes perfect sense, especially in a modern military setting.

  • April 22, 2009, 11:20 a.m. CST

    I am Most Horrible

    by Joenathan

    I am insulted by your assertion that I use snark. I deem it abusive. From this moment on, I will no longer patronize your establishment.

  • April 22, 2009, 11:22 a.m. CST

    I loved WE3

    by Joenathan

    And not just because the bunny pooped lndmines...

  • April 22, 2009, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Most of the comic retailers I've been to

    by OBESE_WAN_KENOBI

    Have been quite pleasant. The strangest was this guy from a shop called Excelsior comics that was victim of the mid 90's comic fallout. Every week he would be wearing some ratty old comic related shirt that was full of holes (Usually in the armpit area). He'd always wear this cheap plastic busted up Green Lantern ring. But the strangest part, was that he had really long fingernails. Not like Guinness Book long, just long like (I'm too lazy to have any sort of personal hygiene, which includes clipping my fingernails) long. He also tried selling me and my friend issues of Superman #75 at a higher price, except that they were second printings. Ah the good old days.

  • April 22, 2009, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Walking Dead

    by Joenathan

    I ahven't read the latest issue yet (its always sad when you can't make the weekly trip), but I assume the dissention in the ranks is coming from Dale, right? If I am, and I think I am because the last issue featured a Dale hissy fit, then his sudden non-support of Rick seemed a little sudden, if not out of character, as he has always backed Rick.

  • April 22, 2009, 11:51 a.m. CST

    That's your prerogative Joenathan

    by I am the most horrible

    I was considering 86ing you anyways. I think it's best for everyone. Clean out your box before you go.<p> And don't be coming back with your hoodie up or a fake mustache, like you're going to fool anybody.

  • April 22, 2009, 11:52 a.m. CST

    FINAL CRISIS = Horrible

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    I WAS a huge Grant Morrison fan. He was my favorite comic book writer dating back to his first pieces of work for DC. I really liked his style and his storytelling was top-drawer. However, there's a "was" in that sentence. Being obtuse doesn't equate to quality. The one-two punch of his BATMAN run (not even his most ardent supporters can say whether it was a dream or real, or whether any of it "happened," or what became of the characters, or whether Jezebel Jett even existed, or if the Black Glove guy was Thomas Wayne alive again or not - nobody knows. Nobody even knows if Batman was actually DOING any of that stuff or if he was strapped into a virtual machine at Darkseid HQ - NOBODY KNOWS! I repeat, a yearlong story ... and NOBODY KNOWS WHAT HAPPENED). And FINAl CRISIS was basically a wank on a theme Grant has pursued since ANIMAL MAN ended - the breaking of the fourth wall. The whole plot was designed for one purpose, for a character in-continuity to know he's a comic book character, a big quest in continuity for a character to bust open the fourth wall and say "Oh my god - I'm just a story - but all stories are very important to THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE CURTAIN IE THE READERS!" It was a horribly, horribly failed attempt, the basic theme being that it is the final crisis because, now, armed with the knowledge of their existence as fiction but also "real" to the reader - the characters will no longer be troubeld by future crises because the fact that they will - even in the face of evil seemingly victorious - emerge as the ultimate winners is assured, because they're fiction. THIS IS THE THEME OF FINAL CRISIS! I get it. I understand. And it's still utter trash. Why? Because the big illusion of writing comic characters is this: having nothing happen to them while at the same time creating the tension of possible consequences. It's the basic theme of all continuing fiction - you don't want to upend the chracters from their core concepts, but you want to create the illusion that this or that will happen. At the same time, this doesn't work unless the characters are impacted by the experience - IE, at the end of the story the characters walk away "affected." They learn soemthing, they are betrayed, they come to peace with something in their past, etc. It has no true impact, but it gives the ILLUSION. While Grant accomplished the task of making nothing change, he did not achieve the act of creating the illusion of it - because NOTHING HAPPENED. Basically, if you boil down the plot of FINAL CRISIS, evil conquered the world - and basically disappeared. Nothing even had the illusion of happening because despite all the flash and bang of Wonder Woman with a weird mask on riding a dog (!), the plot was so byzantine by intent (as opposed to in execution) and was so thankfully ignored by others save for a trapping of a link here or there that was clearly only conceived on the not-Morrison-half in terms of its affect on the DCU, that the result was the literary equivalent of a fart - honestly, that's how I felt. It was a big noise, a smell that made me make a face, and nobody even having the balls to say "Guilty." Sure, a fart can leave an impression on you, but it doesn't really change the people involved, or even give the illusion of doing so.

  • April 22, 2009, 11:56 a.m. CST

    My favorite was his treatment of Milestone

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    When I asked him where I could find the Milestone back-issues so I could buy up STATIC's run, his response "I dunno, the dumpster outside?"

  • April 22, 2009, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Morrison's Batman run

    by Continentalop

    While I was far from a huge fan of it, and I thought the entire RIP saga was a letdown, I will always give credit to a man who can make the Club of Heroes into relevant parts of the Batman mythos. Plus, you have to admire a man who can make a Club of Villains that is actually scary and threatening and not a cheap joke.

  • April 22, 2009, 12:03 p.m. CST

    for the record

    by _Palmer_Eldritch

    Just for the record: I'm fine with the amount of KIDding this week. Keep up the good work. <P>...and yes, I am naive enough to believe that my opinion on this talkback is worth a shit.

  • April 22, 2009, 12:03 p.m. CST

    I am most horible

    by Joenathan

    No, YOU'RE not fooling anybody... Don't try apologizing this time either, because... Joenathan is an Avenger NO MORE!! (breaks bow over head)

  • April 22, 2009, 12:08 p.m. CST

    thusspakespymonk

    by Joenathan

    Come on... admit it, you totally walked right into that one.

  • April 22, 2009, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Spy6teen

    by citizentim

    Hey gang-- Tim Simmons, writer of Spy6teen, the .dotcomic reviewed by Humphrey Lee this week! Just wanted to say thank you very much to Humphery for the kind words! I hope you guys will click through and give it a read as well, and if you like it, please drop us a vote! We really need the support! Thanks again!

  • April 22, 2009, 12:19 p.m. CST

    LOVE IS A PECULIAR TYPE OF THING TPB

    by Series7

    Sounds pretty cool. Hopefully I can find it somewhere.

  • April 22, 2009, 12:31 p.m. CST

    I Did

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    ... since he didn't carry those back-issues. But I actually had hope of getting a suggestion. I are Bizzaro-fool!

  • April 22, 2009, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Morrison's Batman run

    by Bjornegar

    Has not even BEGUN to piss you off yet. We've got over a year of flying batmobiles, obnoxious evil-spawn, illegitimate sidekicks, techno-punk villains, re-envisionings of silver age mularkey, and drug-induced wank-babble to come. meanwhile, as an alternative, we also have Judd F@#ing Winnick. What a lousy time to be a bat-fan!!!

  • April 22, 2009, 12:55 p.m. CST

    I'm looking forward to All Star Batman

    by Joenathan

    Morrison + Quitely = Awesome

  • April 22, 2009, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Chuckles and G.I. Joe

    by Continentalop

    I haven't read any of the new G.I. Joe: Cobra stuff, but from what you guys are saying it is something I will check out. I am probably one of the few guys who like Chuckles before this series. Ok, maybe not liked but at least I didn't hate him, and he never seemed that "fake" to me. After Blackhawk Down and reading a bunch of stuff about the CIA's SAD operatives, I found Chuckle's Hawaiian shirt look to be rather realistic. In fact, the pic in his original bio card makes him look a little like Bond in Africa at the beginning of Casino Royale. <p> The code name does suck though.

  • April 22, 2009, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by Continentalop

    After Frank Miller's run, anything would be awesome <p> All Star Batman and Robin - Miller = Awesome

  • April 22, 2009, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Whoa, whoa, whoa- Morrison's Batman run

    by Laserhead

    It's a really, really good run. Forget all the bullshit marketing and errant hype, and read all the trades back to back. That's good Batman. Yes, it all happened. No, nothing was a dream. R.I.P. is a let-down only because the advertisements promised something more than a kick-ass six-part story. Read on its own, after the Black Glove hc, it's great fun. Between Dini's last two years and Morrison's run, we had a nice stretch of good Batman stories.<p>Final Crisis folded all that up into its own black-hole of jack-assery, but even so. You know what I realized recently? The last two issues of Final Crisis read just like Kirby's 'The Hunger Dogs'. Both are supremely disjointed, sporadic, largely without context for events, with tons of quick scenes where someone spouts something intensely melodramatic and is never heard from again. Just saying. I hadn't read Hunger Dogs till the other day, and the (non)storytelling reminded me of FC down to a tee.

  • April 22, 2009, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Hunger Dogs

    by steverodgers

    Always wanted to read that.

  • April 22, 2009, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Hunger Dogs

    by Laserhead

    See if you can borrow somebody's copy of Fourth World Omnibus Vol.4. I'd always wanted to read it too.<p>It's a total and complete train-wreck, and it really does read like the last two issues of Final Crisis, maybe even more scatter-brained. Events without context. Story developments suddenly announced and abandoned. Truly, truly weird.

  • April 22, 2009, 2:04 p.m. CST

    Cobra

    by BizarroJerry

    This series is a lot better than the new regular Joe series and Origins. Though calling it "Cobra" is really a misnomer. But aside from that, it's a cool story. Back in the day people used to look at Chuckles and think he was stupid cuz they think "undercover" means hidden. But he was supposed to be basically a spy, not a regular soldier. Too bad not everyone has the ability to look beyond the silliest aspects of G.I. Joe and filter out a serious action story. But I don't wanna start bashing a certain unnamed movie before it's released... :)

  • April 22, 2009, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Cyborg Monkey!

    by rjl1138

    Spy6teen's great and all, but there's a goddamn Cyborg Monkey up on Zuda this month too - Mecha Simian! At this stage, he just needs to beat the pirate strip out! Head on over to www.zudacomics.com and take a look!

  • April 22, 2009, 3:22 p.m. CST

    My comics shop has great customer service...

    by Kid Z

    ... but sometimes, they can be sort of dicks about it. However, they do always answer questions and help you find stuff even if you do get a badly-hidden eyeroll or surreptitious smirk between employees from time to time.

  • April 22, 2009, 3:32 p.m. CST

    ThusSpakeSpyMunk

    by kungfuhustler84

    Do you still live in Eugene? I wonder if I'm buying comics from the same guy. Did you shop at the one on 13th or downtown? Eventually, I started out-arguing him in all the dumb superhero arguments, and he's gotten a lot nicer. He's still pretty snarky though.

  • April 22, 2009, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Batman RIP was top shelf

    by Waquoit

    Laserhead nails it. I re-read all of RIP just before I read the last issue (something I rarely do) and everything fit. It was just fun and clever. That's a good thing.

  • April 22, 2009, 3:36 p.m. CST

    How many of you guys are from Eugene?

    by kungfuhustler84

    I had no clue there was more than one person on here that goes to Emerald City. I heard the original owner of Emral City, I can't remember which one, is actually what they based comic book guy off of. And the Springfield town is meant to be Springfield, Oregon, which is right next to Eugene. I guess the guy that created The Simpsons originally lived in Eugene. Fun fact.

  • April 22, 2009, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by kungfuhustler84

    Isn't it just called Batman and Robin? And yeah, after All Star Superman, I am WAY pumped to read that.

  • April 22, 2009, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Peter David is one of the best comic writers there is

    by MorpheusTheSandman

    Just a little less profilic than the Millars and the Moore's.

  • Skip the DOCTOR WHO: AGENT PROVOCATEUR trade and save your money for Tony Lee's DOCTOR WHO: THE FORGOTTEN trade instead. It's far more coherent than Gary Russell's mess and features from great art by Y: THE LAST MAN's Pia Guerra to boot.

  • April 22, 2009, 3:43 p.m. CST

    I'm loving X Factor again

    by kungfuhustler84

    SO nice.<p>100 Bullets. Are the trades worth the dough or not? I'm a big noir fan, but know nothing about the comic except for the creators and the general story.<p>And should I get that or Scalped first?

  • April 22, 2009, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Would it be too taboo

    by kungfuhustler84

    to plug my own online comic reviews on here?

  • April 22, 2009, 3:58 p.m. CST

    I'm pretty sure

    by Series7

    I have one of the nicest comic book store workers ever. You can ask him anything and he'll tell you about it and recommend like 20 other things similar to it, the guys never met a comic he didn't like.

  • April 22, 2009, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Goose's Observations

    by gooseud

    1. Why do you all take Sector's Morrison bait? Do you really think hes going to give you the slightest credit even if you make a valid point? He's just baiting you 2. Peter David is indeed awesome, as long as you give him an obscure side title that doesnt require crossovers. Crossovers=David Kryptonite 3. My LCBG is a completely normal actually, I think the economy has gotten to the point where the comics guy cant afford to be pissy, he needs the money. Also, hes a day trader who I think might somehow launder the money through the store or something, so I doubt he gives a rat's dick what you buy or dont buy 4. A Game Of Thrones is going to blow everyone's mind if you havent read it. Greatest fantasy series ever made. Yes, better then Lord of the Rings, and it isnt even close.

  • April 22, 2009, 4:11 p.m. CST

    2 More.......

    by gooseud

    1. Secret Invasion: Thor was completely bad ass and probably the best thing to come out of that whole shindig. Beta Ray Bill is indeed cool, as well. 2. I'm kinda scared to start liking X Factor again for fear of a huge let down....apropos of nothing, was there ever a storyline more currently ignored then the Mojoverse? Its like it literally never existed.

  • April 22, 2009, 4:42 p.m. CST

    ...

    by blackthought

    ah...R.E.B.E.L.S!!!

  • April 22, 2009, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Groening is from Portland

    by I am the most horrible

    In fact I saw him at a show here a couple of months ago. He went to school at The Evergreen in Olympia WA (not Eugene) but it wouldn't surprise me if CBG was somehow inspired in part by this dude. The similarities are too great...but then again maybe the similarities between most CBGs are too great. <p>The Em City location on 13th is the one I'm referring to. Dunno if they have more than one. <p> Anyways, Portland has inspired most of the names and places in Springfield, but if you know the Eugene/Springfield area you gotta admit that skyline looks pretty damn familiar.

  • April 22, 2009, 6:03 p.m. CST

    no TBs read 100 Bullets?

    by v1cious

    what a sad bunch you are.

  • April 22, 2009, 6:25 p.m. CST

    Ambush Bug

    by TedKordLives

    A guy at work told me his theory of how Ambush Bug is actually Ted Kord, but I think he was just joshing me. <P> I gotta say, I love me some Peter David. His run on the Incredible Hulk is fucking legendary. It's the reason ol' Green Genes is my favorite Marvel character. And I started reading comics about 3 months into the 'integrated Hulk meets Pantheon' storyarc. <P> And his X-Factor is indeed smoking hot right now.

  • April 22, 2009, 6:51 p.m. CST

    Have to go pick up 100 Bullets in the morning.

    by Pops Freshemeyer

    Been waiting for it for ages...

  • April 22, 2009, 7 p.m. CST

    Final Crisis may have collapsed into meta crap at the end.......

    by archer1949

    but that, for the most part it was a very good superhero, straightforward story. I don't understand why people say it was so hard to follow. IT's seems pretty straightforward story to me. Superheroes take on Pod People. Pretty Hollywood high concept, if you ask me.

  • April 22, 2009, 7:09 p.m. CST

    My alternate review of Spidey 591

    by Reelheed

    Wow. That was complete crossover dross. And honestly why bother even writing continuity into these books if you are going to do it so badly? What the hell is this? If are aiming your book at 8yr olds then fine have a little fighting and a little humour and end the story because 8yr olds dont care if you are pulling down your pants and laying a fat one on decades of prior work. So Spidey knows about his identity being taken away from peoples memories and he's treating it as if its some kind of new power. Fine. Except the whole 'you'll remember everything' line clearly wasn't evident in New Avengers. Also handy how noone remembers the whole MJ peter wedding thingy that never happened. Or the fact that noone cares to think 'wait a gd minute how the funk did this happen?' But anyway. In short this was another up yours to anyone who ever gave a damn and was born in the previous century and at the same time a bunch of twaddle before the next actual story can reach the presses.

  • April 22, 2009, 8:39 p.m. CST

    I agree to disagree

    by Bjornegar

    Morrison is not undecipherable. He is, also, not always good. He has been, occasionally brilliant, but, then again, so has jeph Loeb.<P> His Batman is crap. He hasn't yet added an original thought. He is just tweaking Silver Age concepts. <P> Just because you disagree with me, doesn't make me wrong.<P> Batman's appeal has generally been acknowledged as owing to his identity as a human being, self-made, with a cast of characters that, though not realistic in any real sense, are tethered to a "believability" that is unique in superhero comics. That is, no powers, no world-conquerors, people at risk of real-world danger, as opposed to mutants or schlupping aliens.<P> Do you disagree that is what makes him an iconic character? One of the three original comic-book archetypes (along with Superman and Spider-man).<P> Well, I'd say, once his back was healed with voodoo, and certainly once his dead sidekick was resurrected, all of that no longer applies.<P> I'm not sure Morrison gets even most of the blame, but Batman has once again been reduced to a logo for the sake of gimmicky story-telling, by lazy writers who just couldn't sustain the Dark Knight Detective.<P> There is no doubt Bruce Wayne will be back. He will be back within 14 issues, since that's the next landmark coming up. There is also no doubt that within five years, writers will be referencing the Morrison years about as often as Morrison has referenced Azrael or the earthquake.<P> But, and now you are permitted to point at me and call me names, I will never pay any attention to any of his in-continuity adventures again. Three strikes, you're out.

  • April 22, 2009, 9:25 p.m. CST

    Exactly Bjorn

    by optimous_douche

    I've been trying to pinpoint.<p> In-continuity is his Kryptonite.<p> Sorry, except for X-Men I liked his run there. Although some could argue that was out of continuity.

  • April 22, 2009, 10:50 p.m. CST

    13th Street Emerald City, Indeed, Young Bart Simpson, My Liege

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    That's the one, and that's the guy - the 13th street Emerald city Comics. I definitely thought CBG came from him - at least, as a possibility. He just makes the character seem real. Of course, there's a little Harry in there by now, too (www.aintifatnews.com in a SIMPSONS episode, I believe). I once asked Harry how many times he had been parodied in popular media. There's the DUCK DODGERS episode, CBG is definitely at least partly Harry, there's Control Freak on the TEEN TITANS cartoon, Horatio Sanz on that one SNL ("How awesome is the new MATRIX trailer?"), Juni from SPY KIDS, the new appearance in that "Star Wars Geeks Try to Raid the Ranch" movie I can't recall the name of ... anyone know any others?

  • April 22, 2009, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Springfield is Eugene

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    A lot of the characters are named after Portland, Oregon streets. Flanders, Lovejoy, Burns(ide), Hibbert, etc.

  • April 23, 2009, 12:13 a.m. CST

    While Lovecraft Did Not Experience Occult...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...everyone knows that Robert E. Howard channeled a pre-Celtic warrior king who guided him as he rescued Novalyne Price from the subterranean horrors that carried her into the burning desert...Did I just give away the plot of a Buzz Maverik novel?

  • April 23, 2009, 12:14 a.m. CST

    Advice From Conan:

    by Buzz Maverik

    "How do you know they cannot be killed if you don't try to kill them?"

  • April 23, 2009, 12:25 a.m. CST

    And Jack Kerouac Stopped The Martians...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...It's true. In the 1950s, Kerouac and his beat writer pals were grooving on the miracle of being in the high Mojave near Edwards Air Force Base when squad of Martian ships materialized. Naturally, the base scrambled. Lt. Leroy G. Cooper and Captain Virgil Grissom were among the pilots who fruitlessly took part in the dog fight. Finally, Major Charles Yeager was able to bring down a single craft, which landed near the Beats. Neal Cassady hotwired the craft, while his wife Carolyn, Alan Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and the aforementioned Kerouac took up crew positions. It was Neal's hot shot flying, coupled with Burrough's expert gunning (he would later shoot an elderberry off the head of a Martian captive) that repelled a potential, full scale invasion.

  • April 23, 2009, 12:28 a.m. CST

    Banned From The Local Comic Shop

    by Buzz Maverik

    Tear one cover off a Luna Bros. trade even for a good reason like it takes an out of context quote from your negative review on AICN and makes it look like you like their comic about women talking...

  • April 23, 2009, 7:34 a.m. CST

    Doctor Who Review

    by MasterBaytor

    I was attempting to lead up to The Forgotten review by doing reviews of all the IDW Doctor Who graphic novels. But I ended up mis-timing it and getting distracted, so the lead-up to The Forgotten became Agent Provocateur. The Forgotten is coming.

  • April 23, 2009, 7:45 a.m. CST

    yeah thats pretty dead on about Morrison

    by gooseud

    when left to his own devices (WE3, Invisibles, AS Supes), hes awesome. Try to shoehorn him into continuity and down the rabbit hole of his own ass we go.

  • April 23, 2009, 7:47 a.m. CST

    "I give credit to other good opinions...."

    by gooseud

    "And as soon as I hear one, I will". Thats so comic-book-clichely, hilariously un-self-awarely awesome that I'm actually going to use it as my sig on a different board.

  • April 23, 2009, 7:49 a.m. CST

    Morrison

    by MasterBaytor

    I've been a Morrison fan since the Animal Man days, but over the years, I've noticed a marked tendency toward poorly explained plot beats. Even All-Star Superman has quite a number of those "what just happened" moments that you usually can work out, but not always. Some of it appears to be Morrison leaving it to the artist to get across something, and that something getting lost or muted in the process. End result is that I stopped paying attention to his most commercial work, because, quite frankly, I shouldn't have to puzzle out the plot beats of a Justice League story (these are technically kid's comics). The exact same stories could be told with a lot less confusion just emphasizing the plot points a bit.

  • April 23, 2009, 7:49 a.m. CST

    The PEter David Hulk run

    by gooseud

    I bought it in its entirety a year ago and have enjoyed it ever since. Legend. The poker game issue is one of my favorite issues of any comic ever.

  • April 23, 2009, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Recently took my first trip to Portland....

    by BangoSkank

    participated in the Urban Iditarod and smoked a lot of really good weed. <p> Good times. <p> And if we're talking LCSs and CBGs, I've got to give a shout-out to Rob and Tom and their now defunct Menomonie, WI shop.... Dudes used to lend me rare books and movies from their personal collections to take home. Couple of very cool dudes.

  • April 23, 2009, 9:39 a.m. CST

    I think Buzz Maverick just spoiled...

    by rev_skarekroe

    ...the plot of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen vol. 3. Thanks a lot, Buzz.

  • April 23, 2009, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Whatever happened to the Caped Crusader

    by Laserhead

    Anybody read pt. 2 yet and feel like spoiling it for me?<p>I fucking LOVE spoilers.

  • April 23, 2009, 11:04 a.m. CST

    The Morrison-bashing is getting a little out there

    by Laserhead

    Every comic Sector just listed is miles better than the best efforts by Bendis, Millar, etc.<p>So sometimes he fails. His hit-to-miss ratio is as good as anybody's who's ever worked in this medium, up there with Alan Moore's.

  • April 23, 2009, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Goose

    by Joenathan

    I live in fear of the Game of Thrones TV adaptation. I want to see it really badly and yet do not, because there is no possible way it could be as great as those books.

  • April 23, 2009, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by MasterBaytor

    I am so stealing you "cum-eating paraplegic poop joke" line.

  • April 23, 2009, 12:11 p.m. CST

    MasterBaytor

    by Joenathan

    Go with my blessing.

  • April 23, 2009, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Laserhead

    by kungfuhustler84

    turns out every time he dies he's reincarnated into the next version of Batman? I liked it. I will be putting up a review within the next few days if you're interested in reading it.

  • April 23, 2009, 1:12 p.m. CST

    The "problem" with Morrison

    by Continentalop

    I have said it before and I will say it again, the "problem" with Morrison is he is an artist, not a story-teller. I don't mean that literally, because obviously he can tell a story, but plot narrative is not his first concern. His first concern seems to me to be what you can do with a comic book medium as an art form and his second concern is telling a tight narrative. <p> And there is nothing wrong with that. He is just following in the footsteps of other artist in other mediums such as Goddard and William Burroughs. Sometimes the idea works and sometimes the idea doesn't work. But the funny thing is, for a lot of these artist they are the ones moving the medium forward and are latter imitated. <p> I hate the expression "ahead of their time" but sometimes that is literally the case. Without these artist, like Morrison, Moore, Gerber and Eisner, the medium might not have ever advanced, and even a "failure" by these guys pushes the medium forward by making people aware of new avenues to expore. <p> I also have said that Morrison is like the Robert Altman of comics - he doesn't make mediocre work. He is always swinging for the fences. When he misses, he strikes out; but when he hits it is a home run.

  • April 23, 2009, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Thanks Kung Fu! And Op; I don't know about that...

    by Laserhead

    He's not a story-teller? What was JLA? How about Aztek? Marvel Boy? Even Animal Man? All stories told using the time-tested effects of suspense, drama, foreshadowing, tension building, climax, etc. I think I'd disagree with you in that 'Story-teller' and 'Artist' are NOT mutually exclusive terms, at all. If one is worth a damn at the first classification, then one also probably belongs in the second classification as well. Don't think he's the Altman of comics-- like Moore, his mainstream work is often some of the best mainstream stuff EVER (excepting FC, natch.)

  • April 23, 2009, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Like you said

    by Continentalop

    I don't think they are exclusive. In fact, I did state that Morrison is a story-teller. But I do think people sometimes favor one over the other and Morrison seems more concerned with what is possible with the medium as he is concerned with narrative and structure. <p> And once again, there is nothing wrong with that. Scorsese (my favorite director) is more concerned with using the medium; Spielberg is much more concerned with story and plot. But Scorsese has made some movies with very good story structures and Spielberg has done some innovative things with the medium.

  • April 23, 2009, 1:45 p.m. CST

    As for the Altman comparison

    by Continentalop

    I only meant that their finished products seem to be be incredible good or way off the mark and just don't work. They have little in-between, mediocre stuff.

  • April 23, 2009, 1:49 p.m. CST

    "Marvel's game-changing return to relevance"

    by Laserhead

    ...Holy shit... that made me laugh so hard I spit Coke. Thanks for that, Sector.<p>I take 'co-written with Mark Millar' to mean, there was this other Scotsman named Mark Millar who wanted to break into comics but lacked the talent and drive to do so on his own, so he took to being Morrison's 'house-boy', fellating him on demand in exchange for being included in the credits. How else to explain his inability to write worth a flying fuck without Morrison?

  • April 23, 2009, 2:06 p.m. CST

    "arbitrary rules for the creation of art"

    by Laserhead

    I don't think anyone is referring to any rules. A better term might be PRINCIPLES. Principles of art are very real; yes, they exist in the mind, but they also manifest concretely in practice. Principles don't exist arbitrarily. They exist because, throughout time immemorial, some things work, and some things don't. Some things move people and exert an effect on an audience, and some things don't. I don't know a single writer who's worth a damn who isn't very dedicated to a number of principles within their art. And I know lots of writers. Too many.

  • April 23, 2009, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Sector is Right!

    by Continentalop

    Fuck rules! There shouldn't be any rules in art! It is just something that small minds say to limit us. <p> Next time I am in the edit bay and someone suggest a cut that crosses the line, instead of pointing that out I'm just gonna make the edit, because the damn 180 Degree Rule of editing is just something that holds us back. Who cares if it looks like he is talking to the back of her head instead of facing her, this is art! <p> In fact, I just realized that Rob Liefeld is a true artist and genius because he doesn't follow any of the rules about anatomy or perspective. The man is a god. <p> Hell I'm not even going to try and obey any of the rules of grammar or English anymore because each of my post are art. plus Rules! important were not?

  • April 23, 2009, 4:42 p.m. CST

    ZZZZZZZ

    by gooseud

    And once again, Sector drags the talkback into the weekly unsolvable debate on Morrison's abilities. Oddly enough, it looks like every other week's discussion of Morrison. Doesnt it seem like pretty much everyone agrees on this topic? Sometimes he is good, sometimes he flies off the rails. That pretty much covers it, right? That, and FC is over and doesnt appear to have mattered much anyway? Or do we want to meet back here next week, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel, and have literally the exact same discussion? Theres a reason the A$$holes haven't set foot in here for the last 2 days, and I'm assuming the boredom over having the same discussions endlessly ad nauseum probably tops the list. Or maybe we are all just stuck in some non-linear, highly advanced form of story-telling in which time and grammer have fragmented resulting in the same conversation being replayed in an endless loop of magnificent genius. Next week I'm going to skip ahead and start talking about a comic that isnt coming out for another 5 weeks as if it already happened. Good times.

  • April 23, 2009, 5:04 p.m. CST

    so...

    by Joenathan

    I didn't read the last issue of FC because I...eh... I guess I never got around to it, so... Good? Bad? Yay? Nay? Anyone have an opinion? <br><br>Anyone?

  • April 23, 2009, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Also

    by Joenathan

    back to Walking Dead...<br><br>Anyone else feel like Dale's sudden desertion of Rick seems too sudden and out of character, almost like it had to be someone for the sake of the plot and all the "strong" characters who might go up against Rick are either dead or too new at the moment?

  • April 23, 2009, 5:20 p.m. CST

    No Goose, you got it all wrong

    by Continentalop

    Sector is on to a whole knew paradigm, throwing out the entire concept of rules for art and proving that Aristotle didn't know what the fuck he was talking about when he wrote the Poetics. A dumb man might think you need to know what the rules before you break them, or that you need certain aesthetics standards if you are going to be able to discuss and judge a piece of art, but fuck that! <p> Picasso was a chump for learning how to draw and paint characters within the rules of established art and THEN figuring out which rules he could break or bend. He should of discarded all the rules and just made shit on a canvass like a lot of modern "artist" do. <p> And Orson Welles wasted his time watching John Ford's Stagecoach over and over again so he could learn the rules of film editing. Learning rules so he could know which ones to break? What was Welles thinking of? Who needs to worry about continuity or pacing or making sure the audience is able to follow what is going on? <p> Hell, I used to admire David Mamet's book on directing, but after Sector set me straight I am going to throw it out. David Mamet, considered by some to be one of the great American playwrights, mentioned in his book how the New Architects wanted to throw out the rules of the old architects because they were to "limiting." David Mamet says those architects were wrong because they throw out things that had been proven and had endured for thousand of years just becayse they were old. I say fuck Mamet. Sure, when winter came the roofs collapsed because they decided to get rid of the old fashion idea of having peaked roofs to minimize the load on the building, but damn it they were making art!

  • April 23, 2009, 5:27 p.m. CST

    By the way Goose...

    by Continentalop

    What do you think of Captain Britain and MI: 13 # 23? At first I wasn't a big fan of this story line of Spitfire finally succumbing to her evil vampire side, and I hated her new costume and name Bloodfire (groan), but the ending where she begs Blade to put her out of her misery and stop her rampage is up there with the death of Phoenix for pathos, in my opinion. Plus, I love how Spitfire, er Bloodfire, assembled a bunch of villain counterparts to the MI:13 team and we finally got a great Black Knight vs. Dread Knight fight that has been promised the last three issues. Plus the return of Captain Midlands (yay!). <p> You also got to love the fore shadowing of Tyrannus spying on MI: 13 from his hidden cave lair.

  • April 23, 2009, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Hey guys

    by kungfuhustler84

    So here's a link to our reviews, if you're still jonesin' for some more opinions. Feel free to comment and give input, but keep in mind that you have to create a profile. And like the far superior reviews of the a$$holes, they are written a week after the comics are released, though that is something we are trying to work on.<p>http://tinyurl.com/c27q9r

  • April 23, 2009, 10:23 p.m. CST

    ambush bug: year none

    by firehawk_thexder

    I'm beginning to wonder if the last issue is intentionally delayed indefinitely, as a spoof of final crisis and various other untimely event books in recent years,