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AICN COMICS REVIEWS: BLACKEST NIGHT! HULK! IGNITION CITY! GANTZ manga! AND MUCH MORE!

#50 4/22/09 #7

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) Advance Look at BLACKEST NIGHT #0 Free Comic Book Day Edition HULK #11 DETECTIVE COMICS #853 ASTONISHING X-MEN #29 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #13 IGNITION CITY #2 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #592 Big Eyes For the Cape Guy presents GANTZ Vol 3-4 Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS!

Advance Look at BLACKEST NIGHT #0 Free Comic Book Day Edition

Writer: Geoff Johns Art: Ivan Ries & Doug Mahnke Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

I am a huge, huge, huge fan of Geoff Johns. When he wrote STAR SPANGLED KID, I was a fan. When he decided to move over to THE FLASH, I was blown away by the way he took over a book that had been done so well by Mark Waid and confidently made it his own. When he revamped the JSA, I was a fan. I was even a fan of his short lived stint on THE AVENGERS, for god’s sake. And of course, GREEN LANTERN. Despite the fact that I was always a fan of Kyle and Guy over Hal, he made me love that book too. So now that I’ve established my liking for the guy as a writer (possibly the only one with the yarbles to bring the greatness back to the DCU), I have to comment about something kind of alarming I have noticed in Johns’ work.
You see, after following these modern writers, your Bendises and your Ruckas and your Morrisons and your Ennisses and the like, there tend to be traits that stand out. Maybe its because the internet has made them more accessible, but moreso than ever before the trends in writers works are visible and evident. Morrison seems bored with straight forward stories and steeps his stories with the meta-contextual and experimental; a concern for coherency and overall fan acceptance isn’t really important as long as the story is challenging as a writer. Ennis loves the over-the-top raunch and doesn’t really seem to take comics seriously unless it’s a topic that he feels strongly about (like WWII or his homeland). Rucka has a tendency to write strong women. Bendis has a gift for street gab. Azzarello, organized crime. Brubaker, straight forward action. Alex Ross, a love for what once was. Peter David has a gift for character and humor. Etc, etc. etc.
Johns?
Johns is a strong storyteller. There’s no doubt about that. But there’s something about his writing that seems…well it just seems to be somewhat obsessive compulsive in his writing.
Let me explain.
When Johns took over THE FLASH, he set out to revamp the Rogues Gallery. And he did that, making them some of the coolest villains in the DCU, rivaled only by Batman’s foes. In fact, he revamped all of them. Every single one. He accomplished what he set out to do, revamped all of the Rogues and finished his run on the book.
Move over to the JSA where Johns made sure that each and every classic DC character had a modern counterpart. Once he did this, he finished the first run. When he returned to the book, he set out to match up current continuity with the continuity leading up to KINGDOM COME. Now that that task is accomplished, Johns looks to be leaving that book soon.
Now let’s look at GREEN LANTERN. I’m not saying that the idea isn’t pretty damn sweet, but matching up a Corps, a special little rhyme, and a personality trait to each letter of ROY G BIV (the color scale) seems to be somewhat over the top to me. It’s like the kid who liked to collect every single issue a comic book character appeared or had to have every figure in a toy line no matter how obscure, then had them packaged and saved in an orderly fashion. Entertaining, yes, but obsessive? Just a tad.
BLACKEST NIGHT #0 is a short little ditty. It’s a Free Comic Book Day Special, so I wasn’t expecting a huge number of pages. The main story was a quick fun read, but it was the supplementary material describing the various Corps and their members and purposes proved that made this more of a substantial read than I’ve read in FCBD’s past. The art is fantastic. The story, with Hal and Barry pining over Bruce’s grave talking about their own mortality (or lack of such a thing) is thoughtful, well structured and well written. Well worth a few bucks and quite a bargain at FRIKKIN’ FREE!
But it was the amount of supplementary material that took me aback. Johns has this all worked out in painstakingly precise detail. Every I is crossed and T dotted. Sure he’s taken his time to do it and it looks like it’s finally here. If this issue is any indication, it’s going to be good despite the long buildup. But man, does it seem obsessive.
Don’t think of it as a knock. I appreciate that much attention to detail. Comic book readers are an obsessive lot, so I guess Johns is in the right place writing to the right audience. Coming from someone who makes sure you Talkbackers have a comic book column on AICN to read come rain, shine, influenza, computer glitch, or relocation each and every week, it shouldn’t surprise you that Johns’ attention to every detail and making sure it all fits into its predetermined and right place is much appreciated by this Bug.
When you go to your comic shop this Free Comic Book Day, be sure to pick up BLACKEST NIGHT #0. It’s DC’s last, best hope. And it’s damn good. Mahnke’s WHO’S WHO entries alone would make it a must read, but it’s Johns’ care and dedication that, albeit a tad scary, is evident on every page of this freebie that guarantees BLACKEST NIGHT is going to be something worth the wait.
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 in stores October 2009.

HULK # 11

Writer: Jeph Loeb Artist: Ed McGuinness Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewed by: Liam ‘The Kid’

Note: ‘The Kid’ is 8 years old and has been doing reviews on his own site since August of 2008.
In the last issue this guy this alien cosmic guy the Grandmaster had both the Red and Green Hulks come up with different teams. The Green Hulk took Namor, Dr. Strange and Silver Surfer and called them the Defenders. The Red Hulk picked Tiger Shark, an evil magician called Mordo and a big alien warrior that is enemies with the Silver Surfer. The two teams have to kill each other and whatever side wins gets to have all their wishes come true. Both Hulks have fought each other before but now they each have teams that can help them. Green Hulk really needs the help since the Red Hulk beat him before and beat Thor, Iron Man and a bunch of girl superheroes before.
I like how both the Hulks were fighting underwater and the Grandmaster gave them the ability to breathe in water like fish and when the Green Hulk took Red Hulk into a hold and started to squeeze him but the Red Hulk broke out of it real easy. There were a lot of really cool battles in the book. I like when Silver Surfer was fighting his enemy and the alien bad guy cut his surf board in half and the Silver Surfer was upset because he thought he had all the power and that the alien shouldn’t be able to break his board.
The fight with Tiger Shark and Namor was really good, too. I liked Tiger Shark in the DEADPOOL comics but he isn’t as funny in this book. He’s meaner and more serious and dangerous and has these very sharp metal teeth and he uses those teeth to beat Namor in the fight by taking a big chunk out of him. The Dr. Strange fight was a bit boring but then this devil looking guy shows up and he uses all his power to capture Namor and Tiger Shark. He has a big hand made of fire and scoops them up to keep them from fighting each other.
The best fight was between the Hulks. I like how Green Hulk nailed Red Hulk between the legs with the end of a Trident and almost took him out. Green Hulk said that he doesn’t kill and wants to know who he really is and then the Red Hulk grabs a trident and stabs the other Hulk with it. I don’t think the Hulk is dead because both Hulks keep getting hurt worse than that in the comic but it was a good scene.
The big problem with the book is it seems way too short. I really like the art in the HULK book. The artist draws all of the characters really cool, especially the Hulks and different types of monster and alien creatures. The bad part is because he draws the characters so good and makes his drawings take up the whole page or sometimes two pages at a time. There were a couple of different times when it was the same drawing on two pages or one drawing on a page. It looks really good but it makes the comic go by a lot faster. I hope in the next issue there is more of the Hulks or their enemies and less time with people like Dr. Strange or Silver Surfer.
Rating: 8.5

DETECTIVE COMICS #853

Writer: Neil Gaiman Artist: Andy Kubert (pencils), Scott Williams (inks) Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Prof. Challenger

I held off on forming an opinion of Part 1 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE CAPED CRUSADER to wait for Part 2 so that I would have the full story. So, now I have read both parts, and I have an opinion.
I am disappointed and underwhelmed.
This review will likely spoilerize anything that might be considered a surprise in this story, so if you haven't read the story and want to be surprised, bow out now. My assumption is that most people reading this review have either read it or never plan to.
Once again, I went into a DC comic with high expectations and came away with a major wtf moment. The entire tenure of Dan Didio as Editor-In-Chief has been one wtf moment after another. In fact, that this man continues to be employed there is a wtf moment, but that is a rant for another day. I'm sure he had little to do with the content of this comic book other than possibly gratifying himself in the corporate bathroom as he read the claptrap here that passes for writing.
Neil Gaiman is one of those writers that either hits all the right notes for me or misses connecting with my sensibilities entirely. Coming into this project, surely he knew that comparisons to Alan Moore's classic WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE MAN OF TOMORROW story were inevitable. In fact, it was basically marketed by the Didio editorial team as a spiritual sequel of sorts to that Moore classic.
However, what Moore understood and Gaiman apparently does not understand is that the outer trappings of the character are not what ultimately matters in any kind of imaginary "final" story such as these. As well, Moore understood the layered psyche of the character of Superman much more than Gaiman simplistically appears to understand the layers that make up the mind of Batman.
The truth of the matter is that Bruce is not confused about who he is. For him, the Batman identity is a completion. Many times, stories have been told that demonstrate that even if circumstances had changed and he had not lost his parents, he was still destined to become Batman. And Batman is a character grounded in heightened realism surrounded by a madhouse of absurdity in the villains he must take down. In a sense, he's much like the doomed Robert Neville in I AM LEGEND barely maintaining his sanity as the only human in a world of vampires. Batman is driven to accomplish something that he knows can never be fully accomplished, but the attempt is what matters. He was given birth by the death of his parents, but there is more at work to drive him to do what he does on a daily basis than that. He is religious in his devotion to make their deaths have purpose rather than a random act of cowardice and greed.
Batman is not a philosophical man. He is a practical man. And for Gaiman to cloud this "final" story in wispy, childish, theo-philosophical meanderings does a disservice to the character and to the reader.
In Part 1 and Part 2, Gaiman centers the narrative around an incomprehensible funeral service for Batman in which all his friends and enemies gather not to pay respects, but to apparently argue with each other over how he died. So, it is essentially a less effective and overdrawn swipe of the BATMAN animated series episode and recent GOTHAM KNIGHT DVD story where some kids each tell their own version of an encounter with Batman which are dramatically different versions of the character. From a story pitch standpoint, I kind of get it. Okay? "We'll get all the supporting characters to tell their own version of his death and that will allow us the chance to get the artist to ape the different styles of the different eras of Batman." Good theory, but failed. Andy Kubert is a fine artist and a good match for Batman. But his work here just did not work for me. He seemed to miss the subtleties of the different looks for the character and was not given enough space to excel because Gaiman crammed way too many different supporting characters into the story with an opportunity to talk. It was forced and removed any emotional connection between the story and this reader.
At the point where the "real" Batman shows up wandering around in the dark wondering about whether he's going to Heaven or Hell and visiting with his dead mother's spirit, I was ready for something to be brought to this story to give it some coherency and weight. So, we get an internal monologue from Batman within his own transitional purgatory, in which he proclaims that he is a fighter and that's what he was made to do and that's what he's going to do up until he dies. Batman is a fighter.
Bullshit.
Batman is a hero.
He is much more than a fighter. But that's what I mean when I say Gaiman misses the main points of the character. Batman fights because he is forced to fight, not because that's who he is. His actions are an outward expression of his inner character striving to honor the memory of his parents but it is an inward-out expression of who he is. "Batman is a fighter" is an outward expression only, and misses the real fact that Batman is and always will be Bruce Wayne. At this point in the story, the Batman suit should have disappeared and the reader should have seen him as Bruce Wayne from there on out. Because in the end, as a human soul is moving on to his greater reward, I would expect that tights, cowl, and a utility belt would be pointless. And I also struggle to accept that in that moment between life and death that Bruce/Batman would not embrace his true face, especially if encountering his mother. Would Bruce really meet his mother in spirit and continue to block his face and eyes from her?
That's not rhetorical. The answer is no, he would not.
However, this is still not the worst thing about the comic. That starts right after the "Batman is a fighter" moment, when his mother starts taking him back to his childhood and we are forced to endure a Gotham City version of the goddamned GOODNIGHT, MOON book!
I am not kidding.
If you have kids, you know what I'm talking about. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then you have just forgotten because you were so young when your parents read this book to you. And it may be a wonderful book in the real world, but it is also like Barney in that it may be age-appropriate for babies and toddlers and even meaningful to them and their parents at that time, but out of context and time it is eyes-ripped-out-of-your-skull-set-your-hair-on-fire pablum of the worst kind.
And that Gaiman would use this less-than-juvenile plot device as a means of spiraling to possibly the most hackneyed and useless ending I could've ever imagined on my own is just plain ridiculous. Apparently, if I read this right, Batman is existing within a completely deterministic universe in which the only thing he is sure of about himself is that he fights and will fight till he dies and when he dies, he just returns to his birth moment and begins another endless cycle of fighting until he dies and then returning to his birth to do it all over again. And his life and manner of death is determined each time by everyone else but him. What a sad, useless, and pathetic ending for a hero who has served as an inspirational archetype for 60+ years of heroic fiction. No triumph. No reward. No peace.
Why do I have this sick feeling that Gaiman was convinced that this juvenile attempt at circular reincarnation and continual reinterpretation was profound and insightful? I hope this doesn't diminish my enjoyment of his other works that I have liked in the past.
Time to file this one into my imaginary comics junk canister and get it out to the curb before trash pick-up day.
Prof. Challenger is illustrator and "Renaissance Man" Keith Howell who is married with two kids, a dog and a cat. Headquartered in the Republic of Texas, he has a glorious ability to annoy people, the strength of ten men, and sometimes updates his website at profchallenger.com.

ASTONISHING X-MEN #29

Writer: Warren Ellis Art: Simone Bianchi Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo

I’m coming at this comic from a strange place. First, I haven’t been reading it consistently, so my last impression of the title was the first issue of the current creative team, and like Nuke LaLoosh’s pitching from “Bull Durham”, it was sorta all over the place. Second, I really appreciated Whedon’s run, so I lowered my expectations for this run accordingly, even knowing Ellis was taking over.
I probably shouldn’t have worried. The “Ghost Boxes” run has been classic Ellis: mind-blowing exposition, clever characterizations, equally clever dialogue. Maybe too clever, from time to time, but still very good. Emma and Hank stand out in my mind as excellently done.
I hear some people complaining and I’m not sure why. Is it Marvel’s best book? No. But is it very well done, and worth the entry fee? Absolutely, if only for the artwork alone.
Bianchi’s work, in art, inks and colors, is absolutely stellar. I couldn’t decide if it would be more at home in a picture book, or in an issue of HEAVY METAL. Maybe in a very twisted children’s book, I dunno. I’ll say this: the art is actually bigger than the story, and almost makes the story small by comparison. This art may be even bigger than the comic book. It’s that good.
My only disappointment is how a multiverse-spanning tale suddenly bottomed out in the shallow end of the pool. It looked like things were getting bigger and bigger, then suddenly, Forge has somehow pulled a Nick Fury and is fighting a secret war, making mutants (and why would anyone agree to be so forever-fugly? Great dental benefits? I’m not getting the motivations here) and generally being the Wizard of Odd.
Plus, you would think that a guy of Forge’s genius (“Death legs!”) would be able to build legs that don’t require him to use a cane?
Oh, but holy crap, the artwork. The artwork was magnificent. Without it, it’s just another entertaining Ellis story: always good, but not necessarily great. With it, however, and with Laura Martin involved anywhere in the colors…it’s been a while since I opened a book two or three times just for the pretty pictures.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #13

Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning Penciler: Brad Walker Published by: Marvel Comics Reviewed by: BottleImp

Once again, I have arrived late to the party. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY has been getting glowing praise from my fellow reviewers, yet I never really felt the urge to pick up an issue to read for myself. It took a cover featuring former X-Factor leader Havok (one of my favorite B-Listers) and a blurb proclaiming, “The Starjammers (some of my favorite C-Listers) Strike!” to get me to plunk down my two hundred ninety-nine pennies and dive into this series. See, I love the lesser-known superheroes. You can keep your Wolverine, I’d rather have Strong Guy. Ditto swapping Batman for Blue Devil, the Avengers for the Defenders, et cetera.
How come nobody told me that GOTG is a second-string paradise?
Even from just one issue, I can tell that Abnett and Lanning are doing everything right with this series. There’s a great mix of characters ranging from the relatively obscure Vance Astro and Mantis, the wonderful throwbacks to the early 1980s with Rocket Raccoon and Bug, the vaguely cult-characters of Adam Warlock and Starlord, and topping it all off, a giant tree monster named Groot. The best thing about this eclectic mix (aside from its very nature of being eclectic) is that none of these characters are safe—meaning, unlike such characters as Spider-Man or Wolverine, none of these characters is an icon. Even when a major, iconic character “dies” or goes through some “life-changing event,” it’s a pretty well-established fact that the status quo will be regained sooner or later (usually after a year or so). But the cast of GOTG, as a bunch of oddballs from the fringes of the Marvel Universe, are subject to no such laws—only to the whims of their writers.
The writing of this series is really what it’s all about. As with their NOVA title, Abnett and Lanning are able to convey lots of essential information to the reader without resorting to a dependence on narrative captions or other clunky devices. For example, I learned what this whole “War of Kings” crossover business is all about within this comic, and I learned about it while still being entertained by the plot. Again, just as with NOVA, the classic Marvel technique of giving key plot information in every issue to make it understandable to new readers has been updated for the 21st Century. And it works—one issue and I’m already hooked. That’s more addictive that cigarettes, marijuana and heroin combined!
On the artistic front, I like the look of this series, right down to the retro-Buck-Rogers-style uniforms. Walker has a good handle on both the big action stuff and individual characterizations. Of course, it helps when your comic book features such a wide array of unique non-human protagonists. Did I mention how much I love Rocket Raccoon?
Lately I’ve been drifting away from the bigger superhero titles (although to be fair, I haven’t followed Marvel’s flagship titles for over a decade), but books like GOTC (along with other gems such as NOVA and X-FACTOR) are able to entertain without collapsing under the weight of their own continuity. Hell, this comic got me interested in picking up the “War of Kings” crossover issues—when a comic book is good enough to persuade a tightwad like me to shell out more dough, you KNOW it’s gotta be good.
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.

IGNITION CITY #2

Writer: Warren Ellis Art: Gianluca Pagliarani Publisher: Avatar Press Reviewer: steverodgers

The second, solid issue of IGNITION CITY—the straight up, retro-rocket-fueled, alternative-history, mystery comic by Warren Ellis and Gianluca Pagliarani—takes us back to 1956, soon after Earth decides to end all space travel.
We follow our hard luck and newly-grounded space pilot, Mary Raven, as she searches for clues into the murder of her pilot father, who was ray-gunned down by an unknown assailant. Ignition City, the last spaceport on Earth, is also a kind of awful retirement home for old-timey space heroes like Mary’s father, Rock, and his peers Lightning Bowman and Gayle Ransom. Ignition City is where they go to eke out the rest of their lives, slowly die forgotten and alone in flop houses, in alleys, and in single beds bolted to the floor. Ellis systematically introduces us to the key players and moves us right along deeper into the mystery and into the culture of Ignition City.
The art has a FIREFLY feel to it—it’s a realistic, western, science fiction mash-up, with everyone looking appropriately weathered, beat and ready to die. One minor distraction is Mary’s unfortunate costume design of a late-90s belly shirt made out of a tight man’s office work shirt with a big and collared leather jacket on top. It makes you wonder if they have mirrors in Ignition City. The ray guns, on the other hand, are top-notch, Flash Gordon-awesome.
It’s been a great year for indies putting out first-rate, sci-fi: first SHRAPNEL over at Radical Publishing and now IGNITION CITY by Avatar Press, this is a perfectly satisfying mystery that takes place in the shadow of rusted rockets and the broken promise of space travel.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #592

Writer: Mark Waid Artist: Mike McKone Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewed by: Liam ‘The Kid’

Note: ‘The Kid’ is 8 years old and has been doing reviews on his own site since August of 2008.
Spider-Man just came back from his adventure with the Fantastic Four and he’s mad that it took so long. He was only supposed to be away helping them for a day or two and he was actually gone for two months and one of his enemies, Jonah Jameson is the mayor of New York and someone is sneaking into his apartment and cleaning up things when he’s away and he doesn’t know who it is.
All of the parts with Jameson were really funny. He is getting yelled at and talked to by a lot of different people who want to ask questions and stuff because he’s the mayor and he just wants to be left alone. And then his dad is bad and wants to get to know him even though they haven’t seen each other in a long time. Jameson’s dad likes Spider-Man and thinks that he is a hero but Jameson still hates him. It was really funny when the two of them were in Jameson’s office arguing and then they hear crunching. Spider-Man is sitting in a web hammock outside of the window eating a bucket of popcorn listening to them fight and then when he came inside he gave Jameson’s dad the bucket of popcorn. Jameson’s dad says that Spider-Man is cool and Spider-Man says he loves the dad and it just makes him even madder. Spider-Man came to the mayor’s office because he wants to call a truce since Jameson is the mayor but Jameson calls out a SWAT team to shoot him down.
Spider-Man dodges all the bullets and jumps out the window and says that he is just going to be Spider-Man all the time to mess with Jameson. I like that all the newspapers show that Spider-Man is doing things all the time and being a big hero and saving people and catching bad guys but I really think they should have shown the art for that. The one thing I did not like in the book is that there was no fighting at all. Spider-Man is in costume a lot swinging around and talking to people but that’s all he does. And in the part where it talks about all the crime he’s stopping they don’t show any of it so I thought that was a waste of drawings. All the drawings of Spider-Man looked great, though. I like how the artist drew him in a bunch of different positions when he was swinging around but my favorite page is when he is in the web hammock and the Jamesons are just staring at him.
The book had a lot more things in it that were funny and a lot less action. The funny parts were really good, though. In one part in the mayor’s office one of Jameson’s friends is telling him that Spider-Man even saved a cat and in the drawings a cat in a basket is being lowered on a web to Jameson. Jameson says he’ll pay for even more people to hunt down Spider-Man and the cat is licking him when Spider-Man swings by his window singing.
I hope that there will be some more action in the next issue, though. It’d be cool if in the next issue that Vulture bad guy who is killing the other bad guys shows up and fights Spider-Man so we can get a good action fight with Spider-Man. It was still a good comic but mostly because of the art and the funny moments.
Rating: 9 out of 10

GANTZ Volumes 3 – 4

Released by Dark Horse Manga Scott Green

Few manga gleefully embrace a "mature" tag the way that GANTZ does. Its purview is a first person shooter on familiar streets, with familiar people. Normal Johns and Janes, armed with sci-fi gadgets, try to chase down alien creatures, and GANTZ watches as things get very nasty. Punctuated with shower scenes and teeth loosening beat-downs, GANTZ is seinen manga with the commitment to deliver on the more graphic, more charged brand of violence found in manga like HELLSING, BERSERK, BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL or EDEN: IT'S AN ENDLESS WORLD. And, it is very refined in its approach to going about playing to primal interests. Creator Hiroya Oku's background includes risqué relationship stories, most notably the gender-swap manga HEN. GANTZ builds off that, along with his experiments integrating digitally inked 3D models and manga, in order to construct a title that's both smart and salacious.
When a manga is still running after 25 volumes, the way GANTZ is, it can be difficult to determine what an accurate, representative sample looks like. The impression suggested by GANTZ's first four volumes is a bit different than the impression suggested by the first two. After a character revealing third volume and a fourth that gives revived meaning to the cliché "action packed" after a female character asks the male lead "will you keep me as your pet?" I'm more inclined to say that GANTZ is more intended to be smartly salacious in giving the audience what they want than it is smartly salacious in commenting on those expectations.
Upon finding himself standing next to long separated childhood friend Kato Masaru, Kei Kurono is guilted into jumping onto a subway pit to save a disheveled man who fell onto the track. This reluctantly performed good deed is swiftly and brutally punished when an oncoming express train splatters pair. Instead of what typically follows death, they're reconstituted in an apartment, bare except for a large black sphere, along with female peer Kei Kishimoto, devious looking middle school student Joichiro Nishi, and a host of other representatives of the recently deceased. The ad hoc squad are outfitted with form fitting, shiny, black suits, armed with sci-fi looking guns and told to go out into the city and kill off a group of child-sized "onion aliens." The mission doesn't go well, and ultimately, the aliens and humans do a fairly thorough job brutalizing each other.
Volume four delivers more of Gantz's attention commanding human versus "alien" battles of attrition. This time Kurono, Masaru, Kishimoto and Nishi are teamed with four members of a biker gang, just dispatched from the losing end of an ambush by rivals, an old lady and her grandson, who were just in an auto accident that also carried off a teen idol on a motorcylce with a girl he picked up. The adversaries on this go around are "Tanaka Aliens": bird-men with a grotesque just-hatched quality about them, housed in bowl-cut headed robot-man bodies. Given that the scream from one of these guys can turn the insides of a human into mush, a lot of which seems to ooze out the eyes, nose, ears and mouth of the victim, the bug hunt certainly delivers a barrage of GANTZ's caliber of unrestrained, disturbing violence.
GANTZ's violent exchanges maintain their vigor going into the second outing. While the ferocity and abandon of this remain impressive, it is not fundamentally different from the Onion Alien battle. Volume three is the point at which I feel that the series evolved, or at least prompted a shift in my perception. While setting up the piece for the Tanaka Alien battle, the volume offers insight into the backgrounds and personalities of Kurono, Masaru and Kishimoto. While Masaru demonstrates genuine heroism outside the guns and birds mortal combat and Kishimoto seems desperate to clutch onto anything, Kurono continues to drive GANTZ's conversation with its own wish fulfillment elements.
In discussing the dramatic and ideological elements of the manga, it is worth highlighting that beyond its exhibition of skin and blood, GANTZ is far from a subtle manga. Hiroya Oku's writing is packed with arch tendencies. The character centric third volume reveals that Kato Masaru is an orphan, beings housed long with his young brother by an aunt. The relationship could not be laid out any more explicitly. "I have to teach you and your brother how to make your own way in this cruel world. For your own good. You aren't a part of this family." The broad faced, hang wringing aunt then takes her own children out for a steak dinner. "Aren't they coming with?" "No. we can't spoil them."
While these broad gestures are unmistakably obvious, there is a utilitarian purpose to them that leverages Oku's talent for cutting scenes. By packing heft into short exchanges, rather than slow development, Oku can allot more time to the manga's salacious marquee qualities. At the same time, these scenes are effecting. There are plenty of instances of school bullying captured in manga. Given that Oku doesn't do anything in half measures, GANTZ's depiction of large, stubby roughs tormenting shorter geeky schoolmates is one of the medium most enraging.
Because of these sharp moments, it only takes a few scenes to prompt a reevaluation of the manga. There is one in particular in volume three that takes place during a respite between alien battles, after Kishimoto has implored Kurono to take her in as "pet". Kurono lives alone, financially supported by parents who are working abroad. Kishimoto can't return home because of a quirk in how GANTZ reconstitutes the recently deceased. Kurono sits on the side of his bed reading Young Jump (the anthology that serializes GANTZ), while Kishimoto kneels on the floor, watching TV. Kurono thinks to himself "Why am I sitting here reading YOUNG JUMP? And why are we sitting so far apart?" GANTZ does still seem to be commenting on the kind of power fantasy that an anthology like its own trades in. Through the first two volumes, GANTZ seemed to be a power fantasy that had metastasized. The manga introduced Kurono in the midst of an internal monologue, thinking that he's cleverer than the dull humanity around him, but denied the excitement and gratification that he deserved. When given the tools and opportunity to demonstrate his supremacy on Gantz battlefield, he proves to be largely unimpressive in a painfully nasty conflict.
In volume three, Kurono starts accumulating the spoils of being an action hero. He takes what he receive in his alien battles and applies it to combating school bullies with dominating results. This proves to be disadvantageous in the next alien battle, but that is more a function of his thoughtlessness. Then, there is the Kishimoto aspect. There is a real character there, but she is also used as a sex object, with plenty of petting scenes in which Kurono's hands don't seem to be where Kishimoto wants them.
GANTZ could go back to an anti-power fantasy stance, but I don't think that the manga is going to refute the Jump formula. I predict that this is going to blow up in Kurono's face to the extent that he's not doing the Jump hero routine correctly.
From its inception, GANTZ was unashamed to flaunt excessive displays of flesh and blood. Chapter title illustrations frequently feature context-free pin-ups of undressed and semi-dressed Kishimoto: parts of an incomplete black Gantz suit draped over her body, naked except for shoes and glove-smiling and holding a sci-fi pistol, chest exposed, holding a dog in her lap, or in one case just Oku seemed to be fitting as many naked figures as he could onto a single page. Beyond this, 5 page shower scenes and the like are worked into the manga. Personally, I can take or leave the titillation part, but I do have to say that few do it better than Oku. As someone who can go for a bit of exotic violence, GANTZ is still a manga that I look forward to, that I get excited for. Yet, I feel that it is a let-down that Oku doesn't seem to be pursuing his pointed, dark commentary on the genre the way he seemed to in the opening chapters.
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.

A silent anthology about the state of the world today. A mock bio of the greatest overlooked scientific mind in history. A collection of stories about a science fair. Sounds like another edition of Indie Jones. I’m Ambush Bug. These are indies that you shouldn’t scroll past. Enjoy.

PLAN B: THE HAUNTED LIFE OF DOCTOR ANOMALOUS Wendell Corp.

PLAN B is an ode to cracked genius and near fame. It revels in its off kilter characters and patiently unfolds its plot about a scientist who came in second when they were looking for solutions to World War II. It's about how being runner up can be a haunting thing that sticks with you for your entire life. Writer Josh Jenkins takes his time telling this story of failure and a haunted past. Artist Karl Slominski provides the expressionistic and whimsical art, although at times he could ease up on the darks. This was a fun read that tackles some heavy stuff in a whimsical, yet textured and rich way.

SUPER FANTASTICA COMIX! 2009 Edition bewilderedkid comics

I always enjoy reading anthologies from this talented group of artists from the Midwest (mainly Minneapolis area). This book serves as another sampler platter of witty writing and exceptionally indie art. Those of you paying attention to this here Indie Jones section will recognize some of the contributors names from my coverage of MUSCLES & FIGHTS and its sequels. The theme of this one is "Science Fair." And it's another fun trip. Contributors include Jesse Gillespie, Daniel J. Olsen (who also edited the book), Ryan N., Mike Sgier, Jon Sloan, Jennifer R. Pedro, Brad Foster, David Sandberg, Alex Arbit, Josh Blair, Ben Z., VAnessa Littlecrow Wojtanowics, and Lupi Miguinti; with stand-outs like Lewis Tuck's whimsy-laden "Science Fair Scare," a memorable short from Jenny Bunny Bunns Young (about bunnies, of course), Steven Stwalley and Danno Klonowski's sci-fi epic "If This Be My Skycycle," the simple genius of David Steinlicht's "The Science Experiment," the infectious madness of Adam Hansen's "Leaves Falling In the South" excerpts, and Ryan Dow's science fair slugfest "Kid Science." There's a lot for the eyes to feast on in this edition of SUPER FANTASTICA; a book that proves that there's a ton of talent outside of the big publishers. A book like this that passes the mic to indie voices is both necessary and thoroughly entertaining.

WORLD WAR 3 ILLUSTRATED #39 Top Shelf

This is a fantastic collection of wordless stories about the world we live in today. These are pertinent silent protests on the way things work, the way they don’t, and dreams of how they should be. From America’s fascination with the almighty buck to the mistreatment of people overseas and within our borders. Important. Timely. Necessary. The third world war will not be fought with guns and bombs. It’ll be fought with sequential pictures conveying messages that NEED to be heard against the ignorant greedy masses. Highly recommended to those with a brain, those with a heart, and those who want to enlighten both.

THOR #601 Marvel Comics

This is still a beautiful book with an interesting agenda. I almost shat myself when Doom was babbling like a star-struck school girl about how he looked something up on Wikipedia. (I just can’t see Dr. Fricking Doom talking casually about how he looked something up on Wikipedia. He might as well have been talking about how certain toilet papers chafe his buttocks. It was so…pedestrian…) But my opinion was reversed with the clever jousting and posturing between Balder, Dr. Doom and Loki mere pages later. I’m not sure where it’s going, but I’m still interested in the journey, as a long abandoned plot thread (Sif) has just returned to play. This series continues to mine new gold in the Thor mythos, and is one of Marvel’s better, though less busy, ongoing books. If you can’t stand 22 pages of dialogue, like most of the books that rhyme with AVENGER, then you may want to stay away. If you want a non-team action, pick up IRON FIST. But at least we don’t have to keep track of five teams and forty or fifty heroes and villains. As non-team books go, this one is good, and building to some kind of massive payoff, I’m relatively confident. It just isn’t this issue. – Rock-Me

NEW AVENGERS #52 Marvel Comics

More of the talkity. More panels that don't really jibe together due to the multitude of artists behind this book. More castration of Stephen Strange, once a major player in the Marvel U and now reduced to nothing (for no real reason). More misuse (or more accurately, misunderstanding) of magic by a writer whose writing strengths lie in writing in the real world. But I'm recommending this issue solely because of the last few pages featuring Damion Hellstrom arguing with his ex-wife (Hellcat) on the cell phone. This scene made me smile so big I tasted my ears. It was a fun capper on a typical issue of NEW AVENGERS. - Bug

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #32 DC Comics

I'm sorry. I was a fan of this series when McDuffie came on board and had high hopes for his multi-cultural take on the Big Guns of the DCU, but pardon my internet cliche in saying that JLA suxor big time. Imagine a comic with all of its interesting characters taken away, leaving only the background players to carry the load. Vixen? John Stewart? Asian Dr. Light? Firestorm? None of these guys carried their own series very well. Put them all together and they show that they can't carry a team book together if they had a pack mule and a tractor trailer. I don't know if the wind was taken out of McDuffie's sails with all of the crossovers or what, but this issue failed on every level (as did quite a few before it). Even the capable pencils of Rags Morales can't save this book from a terminal case of bland. DC needs to wise up and take notes from what Marvel did with The Avengers. I have my problems with the Avengers line-up, but at least Marvel made their premiere team matter in the larger scope of things. The bulk of this issue focused on whether or not there was a need for a team and after reading this snoozer I'm leaning towards no. No offense to Rags and Dwayne (who have done great stuff in the past), but this JLA is way past its expiration date and with Robinson's proactive League coming up in July, I'd say it's time to take this Old Yeller of a comic out behind the shed. – Bug

KICK-ASS #6 Marvel Icon

I haven’t been a fan of this book, but I have been following it with a morbid fascination. It’s that undeniable attraction that one finds within them when craning one’s neck past a car wreck or when a video comes on of someone getting hit in the nuts with a whiffle ball bat. But I’ve come to realize despite my criticisms that this book isn’t all that original or as clever as those behind it think it is; despite all of the winks, nods, and over-the-top Ennis-ian potty ha-ha; despite all of the awesome-touting pull-quotes (including our own OD’s blurb on this month’s back cover), it can be somewhat entertaining. Millar is doing what he did with ULTIMATES here; he’s cast his movie and now is writing his characters with those actors as templates. Now any lines coming from Big Daddy’s mouth automatically have the corn pone hammy-ness of Nic Cage circa WILD AT HEART. The voice of McLovin’ is inseparable whenever I read a word balloon from the doofish stoner hero Red Mist. And I can’t help but be excited to see this on the screen directed by the LAYER CAKE dude. In the end, despite itself, KICK-ASS is not a bad read. Somewhat fun at times. And if it would just quit blowing itself on every millimeter of space of the covers and the pages within, it may actually turn out to be something fun. But said fellatio always makes me read this one with a wince and wish that it would get over itself and just tell the fucking story. - Bug

BATTLE FOR THE COWL: ARKHAM ASYLUM #1 DC Comics

One of the more powerful done-in-one tie-ins to the "Battle For the Cowl" mini-event, which is no surprise since it's written by the talented David Hine. Here Hine takes advantage of not only showing some of the more dangerous inmates of the freshly decimated Arkham, but he also introduces some of the more harmless ones that are there not because they are violently insane--just insane. All four characters left at the end of this issue are fun and more interesting than most of the overused usual suspects inhabiting Arkham, mainly because they are simply flawed humans rather than shit-smearing clichés. I especially liked the artist who had his face torn off and now uses his featureless face as a canvass. Fun and wicked stuff. I'm looking forward to seeing how this band of outcasts factor into the "Battle For the Cowl." – Bug

SKRULL KILL KREW #1 Marvel Comics

This was a fun little issue focusing on the aftermath of SECRET INVASION and elaborating on one of the cooler things to come from it. I really liked Ryder and 3-D Man's jaunt across America blasting watermelon sized holes into Skrulls and caring not a bit about the destruction left in their wake. Now, I was a little disappointed that 3-D Man doesn't show up in this issue (hopefully he'll be around for next issue), but I did enjoy the tongue-in-cheek-itude of this issue as Ryder attacks a nightclub full of Skrulls, then goes against hero form and bangs the drunken damsel in distress. The twist at the end is something I wasn't expecting and the artwork is whimsically powerful (especially the scenes of the morphing Skrulls eating lead on the dance floor). Marvel has a recent reputation of churning out some fun miniseries taking full advantage of broad ideas introduced in big events (ideas which usually fall short of greatness in the events proper, but strive and show legs in these minis). SKRULL KILL KREW is yet another one that does just that. – 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 29, 2009, 7:35 a.m. CST

    First

    by JBouganim1

    Wow lucky me..

  • April 29, 2009, 7:35 a.m. CST

    I beat the other 10 guys that read this post

    by JBouganim1

  • April 29, 2009, 7:50 a.m. CST

    A Millar book..........

    by gooseud

    that is blowing itself on every page over how hip, cool, amazingly smart, and radical against comic cliche it is, despite the fact that it really is mentally retarded and in going against comic cliche, has created an entire new set of "Millar cliches" that it features on virtually every page? SHOCKING! Surely you jest!! I say theee nay, sir!!

  • April 29, 2009, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Jbouganim

    by gooseud

    dont be too cool for school, this talkback will have 150 posts in no time

  • April 29, 2009, 7:51 a.m. CST

    Is it free comic weekend already?

    by rev_skarekroe

    I've got to remember to get to the store early so I can get all the weird indie stuff that's so much cooler than most of the junk the mainstream publishers are giving away.

  • April 29, 2009, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Bianchi's art....was awesome?!!?

    by gooseud

    Forget DiDio, talk about a WTF moment, these talkbacks are about to get priceless.......are the A$$holes just TRYING to generate controversy with that one? Let me state the obvious: that art sucks the sweat off a dead man's balls. I didnt even finish the first issue of Ellis's run before being like "I literally cant see anything that is going on in this book....and Storm sucks ass" and dropping that book like a hot potato. "Bianchi's A-Xmen art is AWESOME!!" is going to go down as a top 10 A$$holes LOL moment if I've ever seen one.

  • April 29, 2009, 8:05 a.m. CST

    Just gotta point out

    by DoctorK

    In that Detective Comics issue, I think Gaiman is still playing off what Morrison set up in Final Crisis. Darkseid used the "Omega Sanction" on Batman, which supposedly traps the victim in a series of alternate lives. He's trapped in the loop, fighting over and over again. Presumably he'll escape at some point and end up where we saw him at the end of Final Crisis. None of that excuses the lameness of the whole scenario, but I think it does make Gaiman's take on it make sense.

  • April 29, 2009, 8:21 a.m. CST

    Gantz

    by seppukudkurosawa

    Really enjoyed the anyone can die aspect of the anime series. Also had some nifty camera effects. I guess it's ultimately on the shallower end of the anime spectrum, but it was fun for what it was and had a pretty edgy atmosphere. I'd check it out if you're a Death Note fan. Me, I'm more of a fan of the atmospheric metaphysical mindfuckery side of anime and manga.

  • April 29, 2009, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Batman, JLA, Avengers, Green Lantern, X-Men, Spider-Man, Thor, H

    by cookylamoo

    That pretty much covers everything relevant in comics today.

  • April 29, 2009, 8:43 a.m. CST

    Thor 601???

    by V'Shael

    I thought Thor, (which had already had something like 5 volumes, and got up to issue 500+) was rebooted under the stewardship of JMS? <p> What the hell happened to suddenly bring it back to the high numbers? Is that move unprecedented in comics?

  • April 29, 2009, 8:46 a.m. CST

    i love this post dont get me wrong lol

    by JBouganim1

    just saying

  • April 29, 2009, 8:53 a.m. CST

    V'Shael

    by trafficguy2000

    Marvel also did this with the Fantastic Four and Spider Man.

  • April 29, 2009, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Bendis

    by THE TRUE PINBACK

    Brian Michael Bendis is seriously fucking up the Marvel Universe, to the point of no return. Of course, I think that the Marvel line has been on a dowhill slide since John Byrne left the X-MEN, so I guess that I must be seeing things in a wrong light. I just don't get why Wolverine has to have umpteen monthly titles of his own and be on all these different teams. And that's just the tip of the iceberg from my perspective. I am seriously considering dropping comics altogether because of the shit they are dishing up on a (somewhat) monthly basis. But I hold out hope that somehow someone will manage to turn the Marvel shitstorm around and make the comics fun again. And if any of you Marvel types are reading this, IF JACK KIRBY WERE STILL AROUND HE WOULD KICK YOU IN YOUR PETTY LITTLE NUTSACKS FOR THE DISGRACE YOU HAVE TURNED THIS LINE OF COMICS INTO.

  • April 29, 2009, 8:58 a.m. CST

    Liam is my hero.

    by freakshowmonkey

    There was this guy, and he fought some big shiny guy and it was cool. Can I has my own review too?

  • April 29, 2009, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Watch Out Harry!

    by cookylamoo

    Many of us see "The Kid" as your obvious replacement.

  • April 29, 2009, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Bianchi's art

    by rock-me Amodeo

    Like I said, the first AX-MEN issue was all over the place. I think the proverbial stride was hit in this issue. Before you bash it, check out this specific issue. But ironically, opinions are like...well, you know.<br><br> As for ALL the @$$holes, if there is any WTF crow to be eaten, it's just me. No other @$$holes should be harmed in the making of this talkback.

  • April 29, 2009, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Man, Amodeo

    by Joenathan

    You and I just... disagree when it comes to Bianchi's artwork... dis-a-gree.

  • April 29, 2009, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Bendis Part II

    by THE TRUE PINBACK

    My biggest gripe with Bendis is that so many of his stories are way too talky with far too little action. Plus he seems to want to trivialize or outright destroy very cool, established characters. What he is doing to Doctor Strange is sad, and what he has done to Hawkeye is unforgiveable. Killing him off was just the first of his many missteps. Then he brings him back as this Ronin clown. I'm sorry, but the Ronin idea was lame to begin with. Hawkeye was one of Marvel's coolest, most dependable characters, and Bendis fucked him up. There's no excuse for that. If Bendis (and other MArvel writers) feel such a need to destroy characters, why don't you get rid of the lame ones. And trust me, I've got a list!

  • April 29, 2009, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by rock-me Amodeo

    That's okay.

  • April 29, 2009, 9:06 a.m. CST

    An 8-year old likes Loeb's Hulk

    by sean bean

    That's about right because that's the intellectual level they are pitched at.

  • April 29, 2009, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Thor 601

    by rock-me Amodeo

    They renumbered it last issue, for the "600"th anniversary, and decided to keep the new numbering scheme. How exactly they calculated that number (did they count the first 82 issues of JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY?) I have no idea.

  • April 29, 2009, 9:36 a.m. CST

    The Internet was invented by -- DOOM!

    by V. von Doom

    DOOM using Wikipedia? Puh-leeze ... his armor alone has more storage capacity than the rest of the world! DOOM done right: The latest issue of Dark Avengers. Now that's the all-powerful, in-control megalomaniac we know and love. If only it weren't for Richards ... (RICHARDS!!!)

  • April 29, 2009, 9:38 a.m. CST

    ...

    by blackthought

    read berserk.

  • April 29, 2009, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Gantz too

    by Geomancer21

    seppukudkurosawa: you didn't think the anime has a bit of that mind fuckery going on too? Especially the ending? I think its deeper then you are giving it credit<BR><BR> I have both seasons of the show. I don't know how far, if at all, past the two seasons the manga goes. but if it does at all. i'd be interested in checking it out.<BR><BR> the show really is balls to the wall, hold nothing back, exploitation. But with a cerebral bent to it at times. It is brutal, and unforgiving, and displayes a very odd sense of humor, especially where the dog is concerned. The description given of a shot of the dog sitting on her lap would draw a smile on the face of anyone that has seen the show.<BR><BR> I still find it hilarious that I got this show at wal-mart.

  • April 29, 2009, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Transformers: All Hail Megatron

    by GoDFaDDa42

    They caught me with the terrific cover designs, and I'm enough of a G1 dork to love it for the art if not for the story. Also, the Marvel Galactic line - starting back up with the Armageddon series and Nova, and now GOTG as well - has me coming back to the comic book store regularly for the first time in over a decade.

  • April 29, 2009, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Bendis- New Avengers

    by Redmantle

    I like what he's done with the avengers, except for Dr. Strange. I can see him losing his powers for a bit, this actually happened to him all the time in the comics- if his mental balance was off, or if he got distracted by mundane affairs, it would affect his abilities. So this is nothing new. He may very well be redeemed by the end of this, though, and keep the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme. But he's almost too powerful as Sorcerer Supreme to use in a more mundane series without finding a way to limit his abilities. One thing, that would be cool, is if the new Sorcerer Supreme is the reincarnation of the ancient one as a little asian kid- kind of like the Golden Child, and Dr. Strange was merely holding the title of Sorcerer Supreme temporarily until the Ancient One could return to the mortal plane. That way, Dr. Strange is still "Master of the Mystic Arts" but not the all powerful Sorcerer Supreme. Just some thoughts on how Dr. Strange can be a more active player in the Marvel U, without the issues some writers constantly mess up with regard to his power level. I love me some Dr. Strange- but it's definitely a mistake if he loses the Cloak of Levitation. It's classic! But I've read somewhere that Guillermo Del Toro is planning a Dr. Strange movie- with him in street clothes- and Bendis might be having Strange give away the Cloak and Eye of Aggamotto to set up this kind of status quo for Strange in the comics. Mistake! The cloak makes Strange's look iconic, and it's not as if he can't create an illusion of normal clothes whenever he likes to do more mundane activites, dispelling the illusion to appear in his full glory as Doctor Strange! Just some ramblings. It was ashame that the writer who wrote "The Oath" didn't keep going with a Dr. Strange ongoing. Pity.

  • April 29, 2009, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Doom using Wiki

    by fiester

    That actually has the potential to be hilarious. Imagine Doom trying to edit his own entry and reading all the erroneous stuff noobs wrote about him for fun. He'd be pissed off.

  • April 29, 2009, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Yo Bug! Re: Kick-Ass

    by Psynapse

    I'm pretty sure at this point that Mark Millar is genetically incapable of anything BUT Self-aggrandizing autofellatio regarding any of his work.

  • April 29, 2009, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Bianchi's art IS awesome

    by Psynapse

    It just doesn't always lend very well to a sequentail story.

  • April 29, 2009, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Dr. Strange and Kick-ass

    by Joenathan

    I don't think Bendis has ever really got Dr. Strange, which is why he's always so uneven when used in a fight or removed entirely somehow, BUT... I think the reason for this is grounded in the idea that Dr. Strange has always been nothing more than a deus ex machina in a big cape. His powers, much like a certain ring bearer, have always been a bit nebulous, able to pull out the big win whenever written into a corner, but strangely impotent when it comes to average threats, SO... I approve of this current arc just solely based on the hope that Dr. Strange will come out the other side a little more concrete, not bound by sudden arbitrary rules or just as suddenly free of them, but defined, because thats what he needs most... definition.<br><br>Kickass: I think this may be the difference between me and the local chapter of the League of Millar Haters here and I will illustrate what that is with a question:<br><br> How many of you out there believe Millar is serious when he has something like: "the BEST comic ever!" on his covers? <br><br>See, I think he's being purposely bombastic for the sake of fun. I mean, I can see why you'd get all upset if he was just a self absorbed asshole, but I've always felt that he was just posturing because he finds it funny and it draws attention to his books and besides, its the way comics always used to be...

  • April 29, 2009, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Gantz

    by DeckardBladeRunner

    The Manga Gantz is hand down- incredible. If you havent read it, check it out. It's what I always wanted Spawn to be back in the early 90's before Todd became a toy manufacturing brand name. Anyway- check out Gantz- a cruel look at a sci fi afterlife.

  • April 29, 2009, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Liam the kid just needs to use the phrase

    by OBESE_WAN_KENOBI

    "Chocolate covered pussy juice" in one of his reviews, and he will officially be Harry.

  • April 29, 2009, 10:37 a.m. CST

    I'll take obsessive for a change

    by johnny rocket7

    Ya know, after the loose character assassinations and continuity discrepancies of Civil War, Seeing what Bendis considered 'a total payoff' in Secret Wars.. and Morrison's rogue continuity written as experimental and sometimes ambiguous meta context.. I'll take a little obsession to detail right now.

  • April 29, 2009, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Thor

    by _Palmer_Eldritch

    was "reset" after Heroes Reborn by Dan Jurgens. Say what you want about the guy, but his run on Thor was incredibly awesome. Truly epic storytelling that actually featured permanent (?) character development and threedimensional characters. Pick up a TPB NOW! <p>I stopped reading after Jurgens quit. Was anything that came after his run worth reading?

  • April 29, 2009, 11:02 a.m. CST

    I think Liam should review Green Lantern,

    by Joenathan

    his parents let him. Kids like pretty colors.

  • April 29, 2009, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Joenathan...

    by Psynapse

    We see Millar differently. I've read way too many interviews where all he does is self-promote to the point of flat out looking needy.<p> I think he IS genuinely trying to get you (The Reader)to think it IS 'the best comic ever' so you'll continue to buy into his hype/perpetuation machine.<p> I work in Marketing and I'm here to tell you that nothing (and I mean NOTHING) is printed on ANY material without the express intent of deliberately influencing the consumer.

  • April 29, 2009, 11:24 a.m. CST

    I call shenanagins!!

    by DOGSOUP

    Liam the Kid is an adult trying to write like a kid! No 8 year old has the attention span to write 500 words!

  • April 29, 2009, 11:33 a.m. CST

    Psynapse

    by Joenathan

    I dind't say that it wasn't intended to influence, it obviously is, I just don't think he seriously believes it, I think he's being purposefully bombastic.

  • April 29, 2009, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Oh I'm sure he is

    by Psynapse

    In that instance. After the 5th interview I kept picturing him sitting at a laptop stroking himself after every sentence and saying "I am so awesome!" after every paragraph.

  • April 29, 2009, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Simone Bianchi

    by DennisMM

    draws purty pitchers. He does not create competent comics art, decent sequential storytelling, or anything I find reasonably coherent. He throws in lots of distracting lines because he knows fanboys like a complicated rendering style. Or, at least, that's what I gather from examining his art. He's like a better-looking early-period Image artist assisted by today's high-end coloring. Most of all, on AXM he appears to want to ape the classic X-look of Neal Adams - unusual layouts and heavily realistic figures - without success.

  • April 29, 2009, 11:50 a.m. CST

    I've got a question that maybe yon can answer

    by nerosday

    Does anyone else get the feeling that Blackest Night is DC's way of returning the status quo? Crisis and all its lead tos and follow ups have reestablished the old multiverese which I kinda like, but given I'm only 31 I really grew up with post crisis DC, so its new to me. But in doing so they have basicly dismantled the traditional cast of characters Martian is dead, Connor Kent is dead, Batman is lost some damn where, Aquaman as far as I understand is going to be brought back, the list goes on. Do you think they realised they fucked up and Johns has given them an out to bring these dead characters back as Black Lanterns and then save them somehow? If anyone could do this its Johns, I mean he rehabbed Jordan after he killed the corps and not only brought him back, but those he killed and did it in a way that was acceptable and satisfying. What do you think?

  • April 29, 2009, 11:53 a.m. CST

    so...

    by Joenathan

    you picture Mark Millar stroking himself, huh?<br><br>Hmmm...

  • April 29, 2009, noon CST

    On more thing

    by nerosday

    Who will be the "White Lantern"? I ask this because as Blackest Night goes, the Black Lanterns are death incarnate, composed of an unfeeling Army of the Dead removed from the Emotional Spectrum entirely. All the existing corps must band together to fight them, and anyone whose had a Science class knows when the light of the full spectrum is allowed to blend you get white light, ie the antithesis to the Black Lanterns will be a White Lantern representing Life, be it a single champion, or a separate corps made of representatives from each of the existing seven. I'm thinking based on his resurrection it will be Hal. But, again, what do you guys think?

  • April 29, 2009, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Or maybe

    by nerosday

    the guardians, Zamorans, Controlers, et al will evolve into the White Lanterns

  • April 29, 2009, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Just read Absolute Sandman vol 1

    by teethgnasher

    Great stuff from Gaiman. I would like to read his newer work.

  • April 29, 2009, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Spiderman is......

    by DrMorbius

    Fucking Dead to me, ever since they started the "Brand New Day" BULLSHIT!!!

  • April 29, 2009, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Nerosday...

    by Psynapse

    You are not alone in your theory. Hal has already posessed (however briefly) 3 of the 7 rings.

  • April 29, 2009, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Geomancer/Gantz

    by seppukudkurosawa

    I remember posting that it was one of my Top 10 Anime Series a year or two back and someone getting into an argument with me about how it took episode after episode to lead nowhere at all. So maybe his comments just influenced my post a little. I don't think a tight, sensible plot is the best reason to watch an anime series. S'all about atmosphere and fun, and Gantz had both in spades. Not to mention some serious gore. <p> I'd think about reading the manga, but most of the time I've been directed towards a manga, I'm told how it's so much deeper than the series, and it turns out to be a pretty hollow experience. A lot of pictures and plot and not a lot of dialogue. I'm not saying I hate all manga (Nausicaa might just be one of the best books I've ever read. And I love Blade of Immortal and Lone Wolf & Cub), I'm just not sure whether I want to invest that much time and money on a hundred volumes of this thing.

  • April 29, 2009, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Fareal

    by AndrewGol

    No Walking Dead for him yet. I love the book and he's flipped through it and wanted to read it but it's definately too intense for him now.

  • April 29, 2009, 12:18 p.m. CST

    True

    by nerosday

    Green, Red, and Blue wan't it?

  • April 29, 2009, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Joenathon

    by AndrewGol

    He's a huge GL fan (and has reviewed a few issues)and he does like all the different colored corps but the last issue (first Orange Lantern) didn't cut it for him and he wasn't interested in all the exposition. We'll see if today's issue interests him more.

  • April 29, 2009, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Psynapse

    by DrMorbius

    I keep picturing some kind of mutual mental synchronization, or are you left-handed?, between you and Millar! Thanks a lot!!!

  • April 29, 2009, 12:39 p.m. CST

    To Liam

    by Charnage

    I would suggest that you go to a library or barnes and noble and try to find "Elements of Style" by E B White. It will help polish your work. Take care and keep reading and writing. Both activities help fashion a better quill!

  • April 29, 2009, 12:52 p.m. CST

    I am in fact Left-Handed....

    by Psynapse

    But anyone conjoining me and Millar in masturbatory imagery is seriously mistaken. Scottish dudes are gross.

  • April 29, 2009, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Millar

    by gooseud

    my theory on Millar can be summed up in one sentence: "His fans believe he is laughing with you, and his detractors believe he is laughing AT you".Theres no real way to know which it truly is, although I have my theory. I just think hes a lazy writer regardless, I mean, going back to the "huge skeleton with road running through it" well in Old Man Logan 2 issues after you just used it? Really?

  • April 29, 2009, 1:02 p.m. CST

    If Hal end up....

    by gooseud

    some kind of White Lantern, that will be L-A-M-E

  • April 29, 2009, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Batman's time loop death

    by gooseud

    I remember the first time I read it, when it was called "The end of Stephen King's Dark Tower series". It was fuckin lame then, and its lame now. As and FYI, if you want to read the most hilariously pissed off, outraged, near-riot reviews of a book, go check out Amazon's reader reviews for Dark Tower book 7, priceless stuff.

  • April 29, 2009, 1:13 p.m. CST

    To Fareal

    by Charnage

    I would beg to differ with you. Maybe Liam could read through both and make up his own mind. I thank you for your reply

  • April 29, 2009, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Off title, but not subject matter..

    by DrMorbius

    ...Captain America White. Any info on this limited series? It's been a long time since #0 came out!

  • April 29, 2009, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Yo Gooseud, Re: Millar

    by Psynapse

    I concur on all points. Just giving my opinion that regardless of what the reality is it rubs me the wrong way. (Yay, circular pun!)

  • April 29, 2009, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Fareal

    by DennisMM

    And a technical guide is supposed to be enthralling reading? Is the dictionary? "The Elements of Style" is a useful tool, not unlike the MLA Style Manual. They are not supposed to be entertaining. "On Writing" was designed to be a bestselling memoir that offers some useful advice. The two are different things. "On Writing" isn't going to help you with grammar and construction, and "Elements" isn't going to guide you in writing fiction. Somewhere in the middle is William Zinsser's "On Writing Well," which is hardly a style guide but far more useful than King's book.

  • April 29, 2009, 1:35 p.m. CST

    teethgnasher

    by rev_skarekroe

    Gaiman's more recent comic work doesn't stack up to Sandman, but that's largely because he's shifted his focus to novels. Do make sure you finish the rest of the Sandman series, though.

  • April 29, 2009, 1:40 p.m. CST

    "Batman is a HERO"

    by Bjornegar

    No he isn't. He's a logo. He's not even Bruce Wayne, presently.<P> So, Neil Gaiman - remember this is the dude who writes fey fables about fairies - gets his chance to write Fey Batman alongside Morrison's Trippy Batman alongside Winick's Stupid Batman while Bale's Batman gets to wear the costume of a high school football player.<P> Having given up on The Dark Knight Detective after years of sidekick whining and crossover crappiness, DC is now throwing everything at the wall like ape waste. Get yourself a good hose, Bat-fans, and don't worry about it.<P> Personally, I liked "Whatever Happened" despite its title. I'm not one who is comparing it to Alan Moore's Superman, because, frankly, I think Moore's Superman story is nearly as over-rated a THE KILLING JOKE. So there.<P> Gaiman's, simply, was a nice pause in my life-long love of the Batman character, now on sabbatical due to the Dan Didio-mandated New Coke version. It's got exactly the right "Bruce will always be Batman" vibe that I needed, right this minute.

  • April 29, 2009, 1:40 p.m. CST

    I don't know

    by nerosday

    Hal as some kind of all powerful White Lantern wouldn't be bad so long as the power is temporary and he reverts to being plain old Hal Jordan the Green Lantern of 2814 again, I think making the Earth Lanterns like Kyle, John, and Hal the repositories for all the "Super lantern" stuff is getting a little old, I was glad to see Hal no longer parallax or kyle no longer Ion or John no longer a Guardian. I mean c'mon 3600 sectors and our guys are the only ones who get this stuff? I like seeing Sodam Yat as Ion. Spred the love.

  • April 29, 2009, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Dr, Strange is "nothing more than a deus ex machina"

    by Continentalop

    I got to agree with you there, Joenathan, And if he isn't a deus ex machina, he is just a plot device or a source of exposition for the other character ("hmmm, this artifact is obviously connected to the Elder Gods Set and Chthon. You must destroy it!"). He kind of acts the Marvel version of the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz, someone you go see for help or who'll send you on a quest. <p> But his powers weren't always nebulous. I am sure some of you remember the old Marvel Universe Handbooks where they would list Dr. Strange powers and describe how magic in the marvel universe works: personal, universal or dimensional. Magic in the MU used to have rules and actually make a kind of whacky sense, but it doesn't any more. I don't blame Bendis because the "rules" for Marvel's magic have been disappearing for the last 15 years. <p> Also, anyone who has ever read the old Ditko Dr. Strange's know that his powers were once well defined and he was far from omnipotent. I sometimes wonder why Marvel doesn't come up with a new character to act as his apprentice and kind of try to redo the magic of the old series with the roles changed: new character acting like Strange, and the good Doctor filling in for the role of the Ancient One. Just a thought.

  • April 29, 2009, 1:51 p.m. CST

    King's "On Writing"

    by Bjornegar

    Is that Stephen King?<P> Great. The rules of the English language are now in the hands of a writer of really lame and unfrightening "horror" fiction.<P> Like the rules of emotion now belong to Oprah, and the rules of rock-n-roll belong to John Mayer.<P> My theory is Liam is actually a fifty-year-old bald virgin pretending to be a dull eight-year-old.

  • April 29, 2009, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Goose

    by Joenathan

    Actually, the previous one was just a huge skeleton, loki squashed under the Baxter Building... no road... BUT, you know what actually bugged me about that part?<br><br>On the map it is referred to as Pym's Cross, I believe or something like that. Which made me awesome a giant crucified Pym, (but the crossroads was cool) but in the issue itself... they kept calling it: Pym Falls... Like Hammer Falls that was used previously... Hello? Editor? Pay attention!

  • April 29, 2009, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Elements of Style is a great book

    by Continentalop

    Dry as hell, yes, and probably something you shouldn't pick up until you are in college, but still a great book. <p> Looking at a lot of the stuff I write on this site, I probably should it again.

  • April 29, 2009, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by Joenathan

    That is totally what I hope happens with Strange. The whole Magical End of Marvel needs to have so attention paid. It is a sagging old tenement that needs to be brought up to code.

  • April 29, 2009, 2:09 p.m. CST

    3-d man was killed

    by van_line

    wasn't he?

  • April 29, 2009, 2:11 p.m. CST

    White Lantern

    by Joenathan

    I don't know, the whole spectrum working together to form a super powerful White Lantern... man... just imagine how big that boxing glove would be...

  • April 29, 2009, 2:12 p.m. CST

    awesome = assume

    by Joenathan

    huh, weird

  • April 29, 2009, 2:18 p.m. CST

    I gave up reading any kind of Batman title some years ago

    by Snookeroo

    Miller took the Dark Knight into new territory some twenty years ago, and it was an inventive new look at the character. However, never one to leave a good thing alone, DC just kept ratcheting up the ante until Batman is no longer recognizable. Every writer that touches Batman keeps trying to write the next "Dark Knight". Forget it already -- just go back to good Batman stories and forget trying to be "epic".<br><br>Amazing Spider-Man #592 was a completely enjoyable read (albeit a little light on the action), up until the last page, which was incomprehensibly stupid. Up to that point, the story was bumping along nicely, but this smacks of jumping the shark - which is entirely unnecessary.<br><br>An observation about the current crop of comic book covers -- they look like they were designed by your best buddy in junior high school that could "kind of" draw. They have that "look how well I can draw Sub-Mariner" design; yeah, the rendering may be kick-ass, but so what? Why do I want to buy this book? What does it tell me about the story? I see cover after cover of meticulously rendered characters doing...nothing. Comic book covers have become ad space for comic book artists, and nothing more. Too bad.

  • April 29, 2009, 2:19 p.m. CST

    GANTZ is some crazy shit...

    by superhero

    Oh, yes it is...

  • April 29, 2009, 2:19 p.m. CST

    BTW, when is "Free Comic Book Day", anyway?

    by Snookeroo

  • April 29, 2009, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Batman as hero - I don't think so.

    by Continentalop

    I used to think of Bruce Wayne as a hero, but recently I am beginning to think that the fighter term might be a more apt description. I recently heard any interview with Jonathan Nolan about the writing of TDK and he mentioned something in passing, really just an afterthought by him, that has got me to reevaluate Batman. He said that the one thing that Batman won’t do is kill no matter what, and that it is this rigid dogma that prevents him from killing the Joker despite the fact he knows that he will escape from Arkham Asylum and kill again. <p> That little sentence changed my entire perspective of Batman. I have long resisted the idea that others have said that Batman must be insane or a lunatic to fight crime like he does, but now I am beginning to think he is a fanatic. Here is a man who allows Joker, the most dangerous psycho killer ever to walk Gotham, or even the world, to continue to kill and maim and torture because to do so would break his “personal” code. The guy is a selfish prick. He is more worried about maintaining his own personal standard than he is about the welfare of the people he is supposedly sworn to protect. <p> And no matter what you do to him, he never succumbs to breaking this code (Darksied doesn’t count because he is a god, not a human – super-heroes are always willing to turn a blind eye to people who are not human or mortal). Torture him or his love ones, kill people in front of him, kill people close to him, Batman will not break. Batman will never give up, he will always fight, and he will always fight to live by his own rigid dogma. <p> Batman is a great protagonist, but I don’t see him as a great hero any more.

  • April 29, 2009, 2:24 p.m. CST

    by AndrewGol

    I don't know how interesting he would find books on the technical aspects of writing at this time but those are some good suggestions and it wouldn't hurt to have some reference material around the house for the future, especially if he continues with his love of reading and writing. And thanks for the compliment, Fareal. His reading and writing scores have always been good (he and his brother are good students) but since he started doing this on a regular basis last year he's gone from a 3rd grade level for reading/comprehension to a 5th grade level (and he's in 2nd grade) so that's not too bad.

  • April 29, 2009, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by Snookeroo

    That's the problem with the corner that DC has written itself into -- the distinction between the good guys and the bad guys is so blurred, there's no difference (with the exception of Superman). And no one wants to write that particular character for that very reason -- he is unequivocally good.

  • April 29, 2009, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Free Comic Day - May 2nd.

    by Squashua

    Two days later is May 4th. May the Fourth be with you.<br><br> Don't forget to stock up on Free Comics for Halloween.

  • April 29, 2009, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by Continentalop

    What sucks about magic now in marvel is that its got no rules. I know a lot of guys say "how can magic have rules? It's magic?" But Marvel used to have a very "realistic" magic system. Hell, I always imagined the editors were a little like D&D nerds and had a list of spells that were allowed to be used in the Marvel Universe. You wanted to tie someone up, you cast Cytorrak's Crimson Bands; you wanted to create an illusion, you cast Images of Ikonn. <p> But just look at the preview they showed of Runaways where Nico says a spell that is misinterpreted (She says "Zombie not" and it is interpreted as "Zombie Knot" creating a giant mass of zombie). It is funny and clever, and would be great for Sabrina the Teenage Witch, but that isn't how Marvel's magic is supposed to work. <p>

  • April 29, 2009, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Snookeroo

    by Continentalop

    The other problem is that the fans want two completely paradoxical things with Batman: <p> The want a very realistic Batman who also operates in the completely unrealistic DC universe and they want him to fight actual super-powered villains. <p> The want homicidal, psychotic villains like the Joker, but they don't want these villains to die or disappear (and with good reason, because he is a great villain) making Batman seem even more ineffectual and incompetent. <p>

  • April 29, 2009, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Ignition City - not gonna do it

    by DennisMM

    Looks interesting and I like much of what Ellis is writing these days, but I won't be buying it. I also won't be buying "Anna Mercury" volume 2, though I enjoyed the first series. I'm giving up "AXM" after #30 for a couple of reasons. <P> I'm boycotting Ellis until he finishes "Planetary" and gets "Fell" back on a reasonable schedule. I can't imagine why John Cassday, even with his schedule on "AXM," couldn't have finished the big "Planetary" finale by now. He's slow, but he's not that slow. And Ellis giving Templesmith a year off to push the "30 Days of Night" movie is simply inexcusable. Ben can't draw while on the road, for all the gods' sakes? <P> I'll pick up more Ellis, probably in TP, when he has accomplished the tasks I set him. Until then, I'm not paying for his ciggies.

  • April 29, 2009, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Thats why I never liked Wiccan

    by Joenathan

    His key to magic is just repeating a phrase? Why not just say: Pantsthebadguys,pantthebadguys. Its too ridiculously wide open. The Magic needs to be constrained so that it can be used like any good story tool with faults and failings and reasons-for-it-to-be. I hope thats what they do with this upcoming arc.

  • April 29, 2009, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Same here

    by Continentalop

    Plus I hope the upcoming arc also explains a little why magic in the MU has been so out of whack the last 10-15 years. A good old fashion No Prize style rational would be great.

  • April 29, 2009, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Cripes, I forgot

    by DennisMM

    That bastard Ellis needs to make some progress on "Desolation Jones" and "newuniversal," too. Bastard.

  • April 29, 2009, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Planetary and Ellis

    by Joenathan

    Didn't he say on his blog a few weeks back that #27 was drawn? God, I hope so. Why the fuck would he stop Planetary? I don't get it, that is easily one his best titles ever, which puts it in the running for one of the best titles period and its so rich and mysterious, there's got to be a million stories to tell... Why not tell them?<br><br>Which brings me to Ignition City. Yet another piddly little side story thats never going to go anywhere or be anything beyond a mini-series and yet again put up by that publisher that has like 30 fucking pages of ads in the back of every single one of their half assed book. And I have a high tolerance for waste, man. I'll let Bendis meander and chit chat for issues, but I just can't allow myself to by a (usually) somewhat poorly drawn comic that almost half of it is crappy in-house ads. I fucking hate that shit.

  • April 29, 2009, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Marvel Magic

    by Joenathan

    Personally, I'm hoping Brand New Day is at the heart of it all and fixing the magic means re-evaluating Brand New Day, but I doubt that will happen.<br><br>The best I'm hoping for is a complete cleaning up of that section, like they've done for the Marvel Knights characters and the Avengers and so on... Marvel's magic universe is too cool to keep ignoring.

  • April 29, 2009, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Another thing about Dr. Strange

    by Continentalop

    Anyone remember Sofia Strange from Epic Anthology? Has she ever been made part of the established Marvel Universe? If she has, she should be involved in this upcoming story arc.

  • April 29, 2009, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by DennisMM

    You have tidily encapsulated my dislike for Avatar comics. Well done, sir.

  • April 29, 2009, 2:58 p.m. CST

    "Magic needs to be constrained"

    by Psynapse

    Umm, No. Because then it wouldn't be magic but just a generic superpower. If you knew anything about actual magical practice you'd know that Wiccan's method is just fine, FOR HIM.<p>"Constrainment of Magic" is the exact opposite of using it as Deus Ex Machina and just as bad.

  • April 29, 2009, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Psynapse

    by Continentalop

    Maybe magic doesn't need to "constrained" but I do think it should follow the already established logic and rules of the Marvel Universe. For 30+ years when Dr. Strange and the Marvel age appeared, there was a kind of system and "realism" to the magic system. I would love to see that come back. <p> Besides that, you can still have a fantastical magical universe and still follow some sort of rules. Even something as whacked out as Harry Potter has rules for how their magic operates.

  • April 29, 2009, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Oh agreed, Continentalop

    by Psynapse

    Magic already has plenty of rules in our world. A little research and any writer worth a damn could write Dr. Strange just fine.

  • April 29, 2009, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Planetary

    by kungfuhustler84

    I finally read the first TPB and Elijah Snow has got to be one of my new favorite characters. What a great comic, with such an interesting universe.

  • April 29, 2009, 3:11 p.m. CST

    the exact opposite of a deus ex machina

    by Joenathan

    is exactly what I want, so we can be spared those lame moments when Wiccan could have just mumbled his "magic" spell and saved the day, but... for... some... reason... his... magic... is... blocked! BORING! <br><Br>Magic needs rules or its nothing but the fallback go-to-tool of the lazy, the dumb and the hack.

  • April 29, 2009, 3:12 p.m. CST

    kingfu

    by Joenathan

    totally. Read on, man.

  • April 29, 2009, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Ignition City

    by kungfuhustler84

    I'm still split on that one. I'm liking stuff like Bad Dog and Bang Tango much more. Anybody reading much Joe Kelly lately? Dude's on a fucking roll.

  • April 29, 2009, 3:15 p.m. CST

    "The want a very realistic Batman who also operates in the compl

    by Bjornegar

    "The want a very realistic Batman who also operates in the completely unrealistic DC universe and they want him to fight actual super-powered villains."<P> Speak for yourself.<P> Some of us want an ambiguously-sort-of-real Batman having nothing to do with any setting outside of Gotham, nowhere near superpowered villainy or heroism of any kind.<P> And some of us want him to be like Wolverine.<P> And some of us are hyped-up about the story potential of Dick Grayson whining for a year about whether or not he's really filling Bruce's shoes.<P> None of us want Batman to seem ineffectual and incompetent. And none of us want to read Judd Winick on a monthly basis.<P>

  • April 29, 2009, 3:16 p.m. CST

    This column sucks...

    by ErnestBorgNine

    without that Sector guy around. What a boring talkback.

  • April 29, 2009, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Actually. I don't think Wiccan even qualifies

    by Continentalop

    People keep listing him as a powerful mage and a potential Sorcerer Supreme, but he really isn't a sorcerer or spellcaster. He is just taping into or using a variation of the Scarlet Witch's reality-warping powers. He isn't so much casting spells as changing reality like a mini-cosmic cube (which you could argue is its own set of problems).

  • April 29, 2009, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Bjornegar is right!

    by Joenathan

    No one wants to read Judd Winnick regularly.

  • April 29, 2009, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Can we all agree Judd Winick sucks?

    by Psynapse

    'Cuz he does....

  • April 29, 2009, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by Joenathan

    I think thats my problem with him being included, wheres the actual spell casting? Its a mutant power, not Sorcery.

  • April 29, 2009, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Bjornegar

    by Continentalop

    You might be the exception that proves the rule. <p> But you actually nailed the problem on the head - DC is trying to please everyone, and in the process might not be pleasing anyone.

  • April 29, 2009, 3:22 p.m. CST

    In defense of Ellis

    by SleazyG.

    First: PLANETARY. He finished writing that thing like a year and a half ago and Cassaday only finished drawing it this month, so yeah, nothing to do with Ellis on that one.<p> Now, FELL and DESOLATION JONES and such: what happened is that a year or more ago his computer crashed and it turned out to be a failed hard drive. Completely unrecoverable and he lost a shitload of scripts he had been working on for the above books, NEWUNIVERSAL, etc. So all his research, character notes, storylines, etc. were lost. This left him in the position of being committed to do new work but also having to go back and rebuild several issues of multiple series, which is why those three books all suddenly stopped coming. He's supposedly been working on them in between all his other new stuff, but that hard drive crash really screwed things up.

  • April 29, 2009, 3:23 p.m. CST

    ErnestBorgNine

    by Continentalop

    Yeah, I am surprised. No one has brought up Morrison or FC. And I haven't been getting insulted for no reason at all.

  • April 29, 2009, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Ellis

    by Joenathan

    Too bad about the computer crash, thats a tough one, but I bet he'll never forget to back up on a jump drive ever again...<br><Br>But that still doesn't explain to me why he would stop Planetary or let it evolve into a next step, the edge of which seems to be where he is leaving it.<Br><br>Also, Avatar sucks.

  • April 29, 2009, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Liam the Kid

    by igotmonkeys8

    OK first let me say i am in no way ripping on Liam or saying that he sucks or really anything negative at all, i think its awesome that such a young kid has it together enough to write his own reviews of comics (it's good to know some kids are still happy being kids and not worring about being "cool" before they hit 13) in fact i comend him, good for you kid, your reviews are refreshing and it allows us to see these comics through the relatively untainted eyes of a child!!! The only issue i have is that i have been known to use these reviews to help me pick which comics if any i'm going to buy, so having said that it would be useful if you guys posted his reviews as a bonus review after your originals. Cause honestly it's hard to decide on whether or not the new hulk comic is going to be worth it when the review is essetially just a breakdown of what fights happen in the book and no description of the story to speak of. So again props to Liam and maybe it's my fault for using a webstie to form my opinions of the stuff i might buy!

  • April 29, 2009, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Brave and Bold Cartoon with Batman

    by teethgnasher

    I actually enjoy that cartoon. It keeps the character simple. I don't always need a Frank Miller Batman.

  • April 29, 2009, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Ellis

    by DennisMM

    Sleazy G - point taken on the long time Cassaday has had "Planetary" #27, but it still took Ellis something like a year to deliver the script to Cassaday. As for the computer crash, that's not much of an excuse in my books. This is why one backs up, as Joenathan said, or at least keeps hard copies on file. Also, if he didn't commit himself to seven series at once, it wouldn't be half the disaster. Ellis is far too much like Harlan Ellison, another writer I enjoy greatly, in this regard. He creates and creates, but doesn't finish, for whatever reason - health, writer's block, legal problems. More writers need to be like Isaac Asimov, who admittedly wrote great scads of material but who only took on what he knew he could handle.

  • April 29, 2009, 4:01 p.m. CST

    And honestly

    by Joenathan

    what kind of self respecting, future obsessed writer DOESN'T have a loaded jump drive on him at all times so that he can work where ever and whenever? Now that you mentioned that, Dennis, it really is weird that Warren Ellis, of all people, wouldn't have back-ups like a simple ass little jump drive...

  • April 29, 2009, 4:14 p.m. CST

    You do realize, Psynapse, that Dr. Strange lives in a fantasy wo

    by rev_skarekroe

    That is to say, magic works in the Marvel Universe according to the whims of the writers. Researching Austin Osman Spare to write Dr. Strange is like researching J. Robert Oppenheimer to help write The Hulk. Now, maybe they should have incorporated actual occultism and chaos magic into the Ultimate Universe, but they didn't and it's a little late now.

  • April 29, 2009, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Somebody above mentioned the Cosmic Cube...

    by rev_skarekroe

    ...and I just wanted to say that Marvel needs to hire me to write a comic, just so I can mention the Cosmic Cube's weakness to Hostess snack cakes in an in-continuity story.

  • April 29, 2009, 4:23 p.m. CST

    See,

    by TedKordLives

    I really like what Bendis is doing for Marvel. When was the last time Doctor Strange had a character(Besides that awesome BKV mini)? When was the last time Hawkeye's gone thru some serious shit(T-Bolts)? Clint's a masterless Samuri, hence the Ronin costume. Now he actually has to reclaim his identity from Bullseye. Bullseye! I cannot wait to see Dark Reign played out. Spidey aside (it may be great, but the path to get there absolutely turns my stomach) this is hands down the most exciting time to be a Marvel fan since I started collecting (1992). And I'm glad, since I boycott all DC comics that don't have Ted in them(and Secret Six-if you're not reading that you are REALLY missing out).

  • April 29, 2009, 4:24 p.m. CST

    There's no need to mention it, Rev...

    by Joenathan

    EVERYONE has a weakness to Hostess snack cakes...

  • April 29, 2009, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Rev

    by Continentalop

    I always love how whacked out that ad was. Captain America defeats an inanimate object with a Twinkee? WTF. http://tinyurl.com/c4dz75

  • April 29, 2009, 4:36 p.m. CST

    ok i know i am gonna

    by phoenixmagida5th

    Get called a douche but I don't care. having a kid give several reviews of comics pissed me off. I don't want to hear a fucking thing a 8 year old has an opion on ever. Kids are not buying spidey 3x times a month for over a year or following x men closley or are able to understand the more adult oriented themes in comocs today. You guys don't review spidy every week so I look forward to your reviewes when you do for you analyze it very well on the art, story, characters. It is very enjoyable to hear bug's opinion on it. Its why I clickt he article. Today I find some kid going 'it was funny' over 5 fucking times. Enough!

  • April 29, 2009, 4:37 p.m. CST

    But you see, Continentalop...

    by rev_skarekroe

    ...the Cubes eventually gain sentience of their own and become individual cosmic entities. So a Cube's craving for Twinkies might be it's first moment of consciousness! Just imagine!<p>Seriously, this material's too golden for fanfic! Quesada, email me care of the @$$holes!

  • April 29, 2009, 4:38 p.m. CST

    "Bendis has a gift for street gab"

    by Laserhead

    There's a street where everyone talks with the same voice and they all sound like The Gilmore Girls? What's the name of that street? Dawson's Creek Boulevard?<p>Bam!

  • April 29, 2009, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Batman/Jurgens/Vacation Reading

    by Homer Sexual

    COp, your analysis of the Batman paradox is spot-on, both in dealing with actual super powers and dangerous lunatics. Outstanding. <p> But I am with Psynapse, I don't think "defining the rules of magic" or whatever is the way to go. I am fine with the powers of Wiccan, etc. I find it amusing that JoeNathan, who regales everyone with references to dorkish Marvel stuff, actually thinks the "old school" Marvel magic was better. <p> Bjornegar,call me "no one" because I like Winick. Liked him on Teen Titans, LOOOOOVED him on eXiles. <p> Jurgens run on Thor was the best ever, I liked it probably better than Simonson's run. All the issues of "Godhood" and Thor as a real God being worshipped, and the fallout from that, was really, really well done. Plus....Thor Girl! <p> OK, so for the couple guys who recommended stuff for me, I will say that the first Alias TP was awesome. Great noir, the best Bendis I've ever read. However, now that I see what a terrific character Jessica Jones can be, her treatment (by the same writer) in New Avengers is even worse. <p> I read Invisibles Vol. 1 and 2. My travel companion and occasional comics reader (but not superheroes)liked the first volume better because it was more one long story, but he skipped all the "psychedlic" parts. I liked the second volume much more, found the more self-contained stories to be very entertaining. The way Morrison did a whole issue around a character who turns out to be a security guard killed in passing by King Mob was really clever, and the story of the interdimensional creature who's caretaker thinks it likes him was seriously creepy. Overall, Invisibles isn't my favorite Morrison work but it falls in the middle. I will probably pick up another volume or two next time I travel. <p> Ultimate X-Men World Tour/Hellfire was actually excellent. It was written by Millar, yet lacked the smug self-satisfaction that can plague his writing. <p> ASBAR, recommended by no one but I got it soo cheap and was curious. That shit was hilarious. I can only believe it was intentionally funny, because I believe every single character in the book used the phrase "goddam Batman." Also, while I love the art, a panel of Vicki Vale's crotch ran a far second in porniness to Frank Miller's alternative cover of Black Canary. Also, it took almost no time to read the entire TP. Worth what I paid for it, but not full price. <p> I also read a novel by Chuck Pahlaniuk called "Snuff," which I quite enjoyed, but that's a topic for another forum.

  • April 29, 2009, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Avengers

    by Homer Sexual

    I also want to add that I quite enjoy the current developments in New Avengers, such as they are. I don't understand the beef of Dr. Strange. It is a story in progress and not disrespectful or belittling to his character in any way. I loved the Hood mini, and this latest issue even sort of shows why Hood has gone from Bad, but not that bad, to beyond mustache-twirling eeeevil. But Bendis treatment of his own Jessica Jones character still sucks.

  • April 29, 2009, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Continentalop I disagree on Batman

    by IndustryKiller!

    Although I gotta say I think your insights in general are very interesting and you are dead on with Doctor Strange. Personally I dont think Bendis has anyone to blame but himself, he's been a hack writer who doesnt give a fuck about these characters for years and the day he retires from Superhero writing I'll be doing a jig. In fact I can't believe we ever talk about him in any capacity other than getting him the fuck off Marvels superheroes. But I digress.<P> I don't think your correct on Batmans stringent rule against killing. There are some basic truths in life that we hold self evident. First and foremost in that is probably that murder is wrong. And make no mistake that is what Batman would be doing. he is NOT the law and he especially isnt God, a pragmatist like Bruce Wayne would understand that. He goes just as far as he can without crossing the line into something that cannot but understood by any mortal man, the concept of death. This is a man whose entire purpose was brought about by an act of murder and he who doesn't learn from the past is doomed to repeat it. Batman works only for the betterment of the city of Gotham, if he starts killing people as an act of enforcement where does the line get drawn from there, what does that mean from those who derive hope from him? Can they kill to? Is murder the way to get what you want? Moreover, he knows he doesn't HAVE to kill, he is resourceful and smart enough to do it the hard way, if he just said "Well you know what fuck it this time I'll just shoot the criminal cause I'm tired tonight." What kind of person does that make him? Bruce Wayne may have lost his life, in a manner of speaking, the night his parents died, but one thing that he has never sacrificed is his soul. And that could be the only thing standing between him and the thing he disdains most. Fanaticism may be what drives him to dedicate his life to fighting crime, but it's common human decency that keeps him from killing.

  • April 29, 2009, 5:51 p.m. CST

    My take on Batman...

    by LastDragon

    ...has been that Bruce Wayne is the costume and Batman is the real person. In my mind, Bruce Wayne died with his parents and he's been Batman ever since. Bruce Wayne is what he has to do to finance his operation (Operation: Make Sure No Other Kid Has To Go What I did. Ever!) and so he doesn't scare the shit out of his employees. I think also he does it to convince the Robins and the Alfreds that he his kind of normal, otherwise he'd be real 24/7 365. The the only thing he will ever care about is Operation MSNOKHTGWID.E! So I could picture him in the afterlife sporting the cape and cowl, since that's how he sees his true self. Knowing him, the first thing he would do in heaven or hell would be to build a new bat cave and continue his war. He doesn't want peace, he wants to kick Evil (and sometimes Stupid) right in the fucking teeth. He'd probably have packed some special anti-All Powerful Being bullets in his utility belt (along with the Kryptonite one, because you never know when that mutherfucker is going to show up) just in case the Power That Be's didn't see eye-to-eye with him. The whole reincarnation thing was probably his own idea, and they agreed because they didn't want him around giving everyone the death stare why he planned out how to take them all down. Also, as someone else mentioned, Gaiman writes fables. Its his thing. Why wouldn't you expect a batman fable?

  • April 29, 2009, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Batman....

    by LastDragon

    ...is also so badass and obsessed that he stole the word 'Through' from my not clever acronym. Also, sometimes Batman just likes to be a dick.

  • April 29, 2009, 6:01 p.m. CST

    Solution to the Joker

    by DennisMM

    Break his spine, cut off his arms and legs and leave him like the protagonist of "Johnny Got His Gun" - no face or even tongue with which to communicate, and probably no lower jaw, either. He's still alive, after all.

  • April 29, 2009, 6:01 p.m. CST

    IndustryKiller: Batman

    by gooseud

    With all due respect, I hate that argument. When the SEALS blew away those Somali pirates, were people crying about lines being crossed? When a criminal draws a weapon and threatens innocent civilians, a cop is going to draw down on him and put an end to him. When that happens, is there any argument whatsoever that they were unjustified? On the flip side, if a cop chooses NOT to fire and that criminal kills a mother of two, what do you think the reaction is if he says afterwards "I know it resulted in her death, but it would have violated my personal code to draw my weapon on that guy". That cop would be strung up in the public square, with good reason. Now, the argument is, they are cops and Batman isnt. So what? What, they go to an academy for a year and are suddenly qualified to decide a course of action in that situation? And somehow Batman isnt? As far as who draws the line, Batman does, plain and simple. Are we supposed to honestly believe that at this point Batman somehow doesnt trust his own judgement about how much force is needed? The conceit just crumbles under its own ridiculousness if you spend more then 3 seconds thinking about it. Thats why Supreme Power, for as long as it lasted, was utterly fascinating. It addressed the elephant in the room, which is that in anything resembling a logical scenario, Superman would simply take over and do what was needed.

  • April 29, 2009, 6:02 p.m. CST

    I WHUPPED

    by TedKordLives

    BATMAN'S ASS! I WHUPPED...BATMAN'S ASS! Rest in peace, Wesley Willis. <P> And yeah, Batman knocked Ted's tea all over him and kicked him out of the Batcave, consigning him to death. So yeah, Batman's a dick.

  • April 29, 2009, 6:09 p.m. CST

    gooseud

    by DennisMM

    The difference is that the police officer (or member of the armed forces in the case of the Somali pirates) is a public servant and has sworn to uphold the law/protect the constitution, etc., swearing a duty in a legal setting. Batman is a vigilante who is free to make any choices he cares to, no matter how stupid. He has no one except his conscience to answer to (and the occasional Robin). It's not a morally satisfying answer, but it's an accurate one.

  • April 29, 2009, 6:21 p.m. CST

    Don't know if you heard...

    by TedKordLives

    But Bruce Wayne saw his parents murdered when he was a child. It had a profound effect on him. He wants to make sure no one has to go thru that again, even the families of criminals. Therefore, he does not kill. <P> Pretty simple, folks.

  • April 29, 2009, 6:23 p.m. CST

    IndustryKiller!

    by Continentalop

    First off, your opinion of how Batman views murder is probably correct, and I would consider that how he normally operates. But the way he has been depicted by DC for the last 20 years goes against what you are saying and paints a picture of a really f’ed up character. And most of this is because of the relationship between Batman and the Joker. <p> Supposedly the Joker will not kill or cannot kill Batman because he considers him to much fun (as shown in the Emperor Joker storyline). Batman in turn will not kill the Joker because that is the one line he will never cross, no matter what the Joker does. How often have we heard Batman say he is not going to kill the Joker because it would bring him down to his level, or it would let the Joker win? So know we have this never ending dance where the Joker tries to push all of Batman’s buttons to try and bring him down to his level, but Batman doesn’t succumb no matter what the Joker does. Batman’s moral code survives, but the rest of Gotham is laid to waste. <p> “Hey, congratulations on capturing Joker alive again Batman. As soon as I am done burying my wife and kids that he killed after escaped from Arkham for the billionth time I will come over and shake your hand for not breaking your code against killing. Douche.” <p> The problem is that Batman has been shown time and time again that he refuses to kill no matter what, and the Joker has been shown time and time again that he will break out of Arkham and kill again. So Batman refusing to kill the Joker isn’t relly a maater of him cherishing life (I mean, one Joker is responsible for 1,000 dead, that is a lot of lives lost that he supposedly cherishes) but the fact that it is a dogma that he will not break. <p> DC has painted themselves in a corner because on one side we have a moral character like Batman who cannot kill, and which they could never show killing, and on the other side we have the Joker who murders on a whim and does horrible things and always returns. DC could kill the Joker (but obviously not for long) or have him stop killing, but niether option is popular with the fans so that only leaves the option of Batman finally deciding that he must be willing to kill the Joker for the greater good. <p> I am not saying Batman should always kill, or enjoy killing; I am just saying DC should finally come out with a good explanation why the Joker is alive and why Batman hasn’t at least tried to kill him. Otherwise he comes across as a completel dogmatic nut just as irrational as the Joker.

  • April 29, 2009, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Batman arguments=boring

    by kungfuhustler84

    Quick, name your favorite character from Guardians of the Galaxy! Mine is a tie between Cosmo and Groot.

  • April 29, 2009, 6:25 p.m. CST

    And to further stir the pot-

    by TedKordLives

    Mark Millar=Modern Age Stan Lee. <P> Discuss.

  • April 29, 2009, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Jack Flag!

    by TedKordLives

    I cannot believe that a plot thread from Ellis' T-Bolts was picked up in fucking Guardians of the Galaxy. It blows my fucking mind. But I love it and I love that they fixed Jack. I was really rooting for him in T-Bolts.

  • April 29, 2009, 6:40 p.m. CST

    Exactly DennisMM

    by Continentalop

    Batman isn’t a sworn officer, he is a vigilante who believes he is above the law (or at the very least, able to ignore it when it fits his needs). Bruce Wayne follows some of Aristotle’s philosophy that there are men who are so superior, so godlike, that by the right of their extraordinary gifts, transcend all moral judgment and the laws of men: they are themselves are the law. That is not to say that Batman is a complete self-centered egotist like Doom or Lex Luthor who doesn’t obey the laws and views himself above them completely and that he may exert himself over others as he seems fit. No, he has a very strict moral code and is quite benign; however, like other vigilantes, he views the government as ineffective in enforcing the law and that justice in his city as insufficient. Without being elected or appointed to do so, a normal human like Batman has decided that he should go out and enforce the laws and conduct investigations without any supervision or accountability save for himself and his own morality. <p> Batman shouldn’t even view himself as a defender of the law, but as a vehicle of justice. To paraphrase Raymond Chandler “The Law is not Justice. The Law is just a mechanism, and that is all that it is.” Batman doesn’t care if someone’s rights are violated or if he has a search warrant (hell, he doesn’t even have a fucking badge) if it will help him stop a criminal. He operates in ways that law official never could and never can, and he is only answerable to himself and his high moral code. <p> In fact you can see Batman’s disdain for the law and his belief in his moral superiority by looking at Robin. Here is a vigilante who has an underage kid acting as his sidekick. The law and most people would call that child endangerment (especially after the fact that one once died), but Batman looks at it as a necessity. His moral judgement supersedes society and the law and says despite the dangers, the city will someday need another vigilante guardian such as himself, and that he must find and train this replacement and even place him in harms way to prepare him for the role.

  • April 29, 2009, 6:43 p.m. CST

    Yeah, we should move on from the Batman discussion

    by Continentalop

    The only thing I want to say is that I hope DC tries to come up with a good explanation for why Batman hasn't tried to kill the Joker, or acknowledge that it is on the table. <p> Secondly, where the hell is Gotham's tax dollars going? I mean, the cops there can't solve a damn thing without help from a vigilante, and their prisons and Asylums are the easiest thing to bust out of. I always imagined Gotham is like rated worse than Detroit and East St. Louis for places to live in.

  • April 29, 2009, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Rocket Racoon!

    by Continentalop

    I loved his first appearance in the Hulk and his limited series in the 90s, and was always upset that he wasn't treated as an embarrassing character that should be forgotten. <p> Runner up Bug because I am old enough to admit I was a Micronaut's fan (one of my oldest comic book memories is getting the issue where the Micronauts fright Man-Thing and Bug gets crushed).

  • April 29, 2009, 6:53 p.m. CST

    <Walks up behind Fareal>

    by TedKordLives

    Yeah!

  • April 29, 2009, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Edit:

    by TedKordLives

    (Walks up behind Fareal) <P> Yeah! <P> Continentalop: I think you mean you were upset because he WAS treated like an embarassing character. Hey, you ever notice that the word embarass mainly consists of 'bare ass'? Coincidence ?

  • April 29, 2009, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Thanks TedKordLives

    by Continentalop

    That is what I meant. Damn work keeps trying to prevent me from focusing on what is important: talking about comic books that I loved as a kid and why.

  • April 29, 2009, 7 p.m. CST

    Anybody mocking the Liam the Kid's grammar

    by Continentalop

    and spelling should just look at mine and realize how much more advance he is than some of us TBers.

  • April 29, 2009, 7:04 p.m. CST

    Hear ya Conti

    by TedKordLives

    I can only do this while I'm at work. Reading the whole Baleback set me back about two weeks, but I still got EOM that month.

  • April 29, 2009, 7:17 p.m. CST

    And

    by TedKordLives

    Ted'll do.

  • April 29, 2009, 7:24 p.m. CST

    Quick Question

    by Homer Sexual

    I recently picked up a book I swear was Guardians of the Galaxy, but it had Phylla Vell as a main character. Is that the same book that was reviewed here?

  • April 29, 2009, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Grew up with Roger Stern's Dr. Strange

    by ME_M

    He put Stephen Strange, the person, ahead of Dr. Strange, the super hero. Made him interesting and gave him limits. (I'm thinking in particular #55 with Marshall Rogers, when Clea left Strange heartbroken.) Really good arcs with Dracula, the Black Knight redemption, and Uma revolution.

  • April 29, 2009, 8:08 p.m. CST

    All I'm going to say, TedKord

    by gooseud

    is that if Batman wanted to make sure no one has to go through that again, wouldnt the simplest solution be to kill Joker? Would that not ensure that no one else's parents would be killed in front of their children by Joker? as Continental says, it seems like Gotham has to suffer for one man's dogmatic code of honor.

  • April 29, 2009, 8:08 p.m. CST

    Homer

    by gooseud

    Yeah, Phylla is in the new Guardians. And into hot girl on girl action, I might add.

  • April 29, 2009, 9:25 p.m. CST

    And that makes 150...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    ...just like someone said at the beginning.

  • April 30, 2009, 8:15 a.m. CST

    Joen: Ignition City

    by steverodgers

    Curious is it the company, and Ellis not finishing up all his other projects that have you down on Ignition, or did you read it and just not like it? I thought it was a really solid book, so I'm just wondering what threw you off. The art maybe? Wait - I bet it was the aliens, man do you hate aliens.

  • April 30, 2009, 8:21 a.m. CST

    Rocket Raccoon

    by rev_skarekroe

    I've said this before here, but I sure hope Guardians of the Galaxy addresses what happened to Rocket between the end of his series and the start of Annihilation: Conquest. What happened to his ship? His girl? All his animal friends? Why was he in prison? Some of us need to know!

  • April 30, 2009, 8:45 a.m. CST

    Rev: Rocket Raccon

    by steverodgers

    I hope Abnett and Lanning have a epic 12 issue maxi-series in the works, about Rocket, his galpal and all his animal friends. That would be just about the greatest series ever.

  • April 30, 2009, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Batman and the Joker

    by Mr.FTW

    Just to weigh in on this, the reason Batman doesn't kill the Joker is he is a "good guy" and he isn't the Punisher. With your argument Continentalop why would and hero just kill the villian? Why does Reed Richards just Kill Doom and be don with it? Why doesn't Prof X just kill Magneto by ruptureing his brain, why doesn't Superman just kill Lex? It's because it's comic books with clearly divided lines of right and wrong for all the players. The good guys don't cross the line and if that seems irrational or silly to you maybe you should just read indie comics and leave the capes behind.

  • April 30, 2009, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Homer

    by Joenathan

    Read on with Alias. It is great and yeah, the back-burner-ing of Jessica Jones is maddening, its like he doesn't know what to do with her anymore, so she just stands around in jean shorts and is occasionally pithy.<br><br>I'm glad you stuck with Invisibles. That security guard issue is my favorite from Volume One, but I love the whole bunker raid arc of Volume Two best. It is totally worth finishing. Not that it isn't sometimes a little too Morrisony at times, but then, it is his creation, so whatever. I put it in the top myself, for Morrison favorites, right next to We3 and All Star Superman.<br><br>Finally, I'm not totally for a "Return" o Marvel's old rules, I just want enough rules so that lazy writers can't use every magic character out there as a God like being one moment and an impotent retard the next.

  • April 30, 2009, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Batman killing Joker

    by Joenathan

    There are many, many reasons why Batman won't and never will, both in and out of the story. And no explanation will ever work within the comic world that will explain it. Batman being a moron douche bag for not killing the Joker and being responsible for all those deaths because of his personal idiot code is just one of those things... kind of like how Reed Richards is an asshole for spending all his time on clothes made out of unstable molecules and flying bathtubs, rather than say... curing cancer. ITs just one of those things that, ultimately, you have to lock up and walk away from, if you want to keep enjoying comics.

  • April 30, 2009, 11:08 a.m. CST

    I've said it before

    by Joenathan

    The only proof you'll ever need of how awesome Ellis is, is how he made a Z-list retard like Jack Flagg completely, totally and unquestionablly awesome in like a single issue. Jack Flagg! He has a rocket firing boom box!

  • April 30, 2009, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Ellis

    by steverodgers

    Perhaps the Boom-Box was always awesome? Ignition City... Joen, have you read it? It's good! Try it.

  • April 30, 2009, 11:17 a.m. CST

    Steve

    by Joenathan

    I didn't read it and it sounds interesting, but I'm down on Avatar because I generally don't like their product or book format. I also don't want another six and out, out of nowhere miniseries. I want a longer story. If Ellis wants to do his own books, I want him to commit, like Kirkman on Walking Dead or Invincible. With the price of comics these days, if I'm picking up a new book, I generally want more commitment, PLUS Avatar can lick my balls with their stupid in-house ads.<br><br>So... thats generally it...

  • April 30, 2009, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Ignition City

    by Joenathan

    But, I will probably check it out in trades, because yeah, it did sound kind of cool.

  • April 30, 2009, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Steve

    by Joenathan

    Yes, the boom box was ALWAYS awesome, but only in a "I can't believe someone thought that shit up" kind of way. Plus, lets talk themes... He's patriotic hero right? So... A rocket firing boom box? Its like someone somewhere out there just REALLY wanted to use a rocket firing boom box and gave up trying to find somewhere it fit and just shoe-horned it in the next chance they got. <br><br> "Plus, he's got a rocket firing boom box!" <br><Br> "... why?" <br><br> "Why not?" <br><br> "Uh... ok..."

  • April 30, 2009, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Psynapse, Millar, Dr. Strange, Research...

    by Buzz Maverik

    Let's see, way up there, Psy said something about picturing Millar at the word processor congratulating himself. That perfectly illustrates why I have never been able to become a full fledged Millar fan. Just when I start digging him, I can see him writing. In really good writing, which (to be fair to Millar) is rare, you aren't aware of the writer. It seems to exist on its' own.<p>I gotta disagree with Reverend Scarecrow. Yeah, you don't have to research nuclear physics to write a good Bruce Banner or magic to write a good Dr. Strange, but if somebody did, the results could be excellent.<p>Believe it or not, I'm not a frustrated comic book writer. I've never had the desire to work in comics. Funny that Strange and the Hulk should come up though, because if I was given the opportunity to write any comic I wanted, it would be the Defenders which would occasionally, but far from always, feature these two. Writing fantasy characters, writing about magic, does require some rules (even the FAIRLY ODD PARENTS have Da Rulz) or you get some bad writing (Brand Nude Day, which is a bad concept). I would write Dr. Strange as having very little power over the physical universe, which is why he needs Defenders, occasionally. "Occasionally" being an important word whenever you talk about the Defenders. So, if, say he's ever facing Hand sorcerors who have brought Fox spirits, no problem. But when they send a team of assassins into his townhouse, he might have Daredevil waiting for them and if some sort of giant plant being rages through downtown Manhattan, Doc would need the Hulk to rip it apart (both the aforementioned plant being and Manhattan).<p>BTW, the Kid is almost right about the Hulk/Defenders/Offenders comics. I am into the concept, like the match ups(although all true Defenders fans -- okay there's three of us-- know that the Defenders is seldom this line up and can be anyone in the Marvel Universe), like the name Offenders. I gotta disagree. There's never too much art in a comic. No rules, of course, but if the writing starts to take too much control, then I always ask, "Is this thing only a comic book because that's the only place the writer could get published?"

  • April 30, 2009, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Planetary/League of Extraordinary Gents...

    by Buzz Maverik

    I was heavily down with this stuff for a long time. It's what got me back into comics after a long time away, but by now it's like, okay, Phillip Jose Farmer did it first, and we see how you guys are all well read, etc, so how about creating your own stuff.

  • April 30, 2009, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Joen: Ellis

    by steverodgers

    I would love it if he did a Kirkman-like never ending ongoing series. I would really love it if that series was a massive universe spanning galactic road trip starring Rocket Raccoon and Jack Flagg. If he did that I would just give Ellis my credit card and let him have had it. If that series was drawn Bianchi I would take the credit card back, buy enormous quantities of beer and sulk for about 100 years.

  • April 30, 2009, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Rocket Boom Box Origin

    by steverodgers

    I think that's about right. I am stopping myself from going on a 30 post spree making jokes about Jack's mix-tapes...

  • April 30, 2009, 1 p.m. CST

    "This Mix is gonna BLOW your mind!"

    by Joenathan

    That Boom Box is awful. Its Hank Pym shrinking down and crawling around Janet's Vagina and emerging out from under the covers all covered in "sweat" awful.

  • April 30, 2009, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Ellis

    by Joenathan

    A long term Ellis series would be the Bee's Knees, man. The Bees Knees. Hopefully it would be something like Freak Angels, but... you know... with stuff actually happening.

  • April 30, 2009, 1:01 p.m. CST

    by Joenathan

  • April 30, 2009, 1:02 p.m. CST

    Oops

    by Joenathan

    Bianchi's art makes me so sad, I mis-post.

  • April 30, 2009, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Mr. FTW

    by Continentalop

    Not to start this whole "Batman-should-kill-people-debate" over again, there are a couple of reasons why your argument doesn't work: <p> A) Despite being incredibly evil and even murderous at times, neither Doom, Luthor nor Magneto have the death total that the Joker has. Every time the Joker appears it seems he has to kill about a dozen people. Doom may kill an incompetent henchman, but I don't think we have ever seen him just butchering civilians. In fact, Doom and Magneto are usually displayed as “noble” foes, making killing them less necessary. <P> B) Even when they do kill a large number of people, that is an aberration and sometimes it is something out of character. When Magneto because a genocidal madman, many people said Morrison had the character wrong. And often after that it is retconned away or another group of writers try to change his character: Remember when Magneto sunk the Russian sub? Well not long after that he got regressed in age by Omega, and Claremont used that as a rational to explain that Magneto is no longer as ruthless as before and shouldn’t be held responsible for those actions (as the trial in Avengers vs. X-Men showed). C) Doom is the head of a country and Luthor was the CEO of a major conglomerate and former POTUS. It is a little harder to kill those types of figures without suffering consequences compared to killing an already convicted mass-murderer. Killing a dictator like Pol Pots, even if he deserved it, would have consequences (especially if he had set up a Doomsday scenario); killing a billionaire like Bill Gates (even if he was secretly a child molester) would be hard to explain or to escape having to face punishment; but killing a serial killer like Ted Bundy or the Zodiac Killer who seems to escape capture or even escape prison at will and murders another dozen people would be justified. <p> C) Actually, the FF has shown that the Thing is more than willing to kill Doctor Doom (the Thing was also shown to be more than willing to let Galactus dies). Only Reed Richards stopped him, usually because of his diplomatic immunity. The same with the X-Men versus Magneto sometimes (especially back in the days when Wolverine first joined). D) The Red Skull is shown in the Marvel Universe as being just as evil and psychotic as the Joker (maybe even more so) but I have a feeling that Captain America would kill him if that was his only opportunity to stop him. I don’t think I ever heard Cap say “If I kill him I am just as bad as he is.” Maybe because Captain America knows you have to kill a couple million like the Red Skull and his buddies did before you can be as bad as him. I think Cap would love to take the Skull in alive so he’ll face trial and punishment by the law (he never has been captured), but the I don’t think Cap would refuse to kill him if that was the only option or it looked like the Red Skull might escape. <p> And actually, my problem isn’t so much with Batman as with the Joker. The writers keep having him kill and kill and kill again, and usually in horrific manners. If the Joker is going to continue to act in such a manner and never face any true consequences, it is naturally going to make Batman look impotent and incompetent, or like someone who must follow his dogmatic code no matter what. I might admire certain pacifist, but if they choose to uphold their code of pacifism over shooting or fighting a man trying to kill someone, I know what is more important to them: their personal code. That is the same corner that DC know has put Batman.

  • April 30, 2009, 1:30 p.m. CST

    To Be Geeky, Magneto Sunk The Sub After

    by Buzz Maverik

    Magneto sunk the Russian sub in Uncanny X-Men # 150. Erik the Red had restored him to adulthood in Uncanny # 104. He'd been turned into a baby by his mutant creation Alpha way back when Professor X joined the Defenders (don't remember that issue number because even I'm not that geeky).

  • April 30, 2009, 1:32 p.m. CST

    DC hasn't come up with a good reason for FINAL CRISIS

    by Bjornegar

    And you want them to come up with a solution to the "Batman won't kill the Joker" conundrum?<P> I know we have agreed to move on to another topic, but I just had to say, I hate two things:<P> 1. When people compare fiction to Navy SEALS.<P> 2. When people pull out the "Bruce Wayne is the mask and Batman is the person" argument. It's the argument that results in crappola like "Battle for the Cowl."<P> Quick! Someone name ONE DC character who has not died and been resurrected?<P> There's your unsatisfying but certain resolution of your silly conundrum. How many different ways can Batman kill the clown without ever really killing him? The joke could be the laughing cliche keeps coming back with batterangs sticking out of various parts of his body.<P>

  • April 30, 2009, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Besides, everybody, there's a NEW Batman.

    by Bjornegar

    Maybe this one will be the murderous Republican skeezbag you all want him to be. Yippee!!!!

  • April 30, 2009, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Bjornegar

    by Joenathan

    Gleek.<br><br>Gleek has never died and been resurrected... thank God.

  • April 30, 2009, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Buzz, I didn't say researching those things wouldn't be good.

    by rev_skarekroe

    I'm just explaining that it's pointless in the context of the current Marvel Universe. It's why I said maybe they should have done it with the Ultimate Universe (instead they just made Ult. Dr. Strange the son of a guy who's just like mainstream Dr. Strange). If they do Ultimate Ultimate Marvel in a few years, I'd say yeah, research the hell out of this stuff and see what happens.

  • April 30, 2009, 1:36 p.m. CST

    PS: Ebert tore WOLVERINE to shreds.

    by Bjornegar

    Not the movie, the whole concept.<P>

  • April 30, 2009, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Also, Skull Has Been Captured

    by Buzz Maverik

    Fairly recently. It was when I realized that Robert Kirkman was really only good on his own stuff and not Marvel's. He did an issue of CAPTAIN AMERICA or some spin off where the Skull was being freed by some renegade SHIELD agents and they said, "We freed you" and the Skull said, "I'm grateful, but..." and I said, "Whoa, whoa, the Skull isn't grateful to anyone or anything."

  • April 30, 2009, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Gleek? The Super Twins' monkey?

    by Bjornegar

    Doen't count, technically. Gleek is not a DC character. He's a Hanna-Barbera character.<P> But, if they ever write it into DC continuity, rest assured it'll be to kill him off. BLACKEST NIGHT needs a zombie monkey, dammit!

  • April 30, 2009, 1:42 p.m. CST

    But It's true, Bruce IS the mask.

    by Homer Sexual

    Sorry, I'm a little late to this party, finally read the latest Batman last night. It was pure crap. <p> I am reminded of Kill Bill. Part one was so awesome, I still watch it sometimes. Part two was just terrible, watched in theater..sucked. Another chance on cable...yep, sucked. <p> The first half of the arc, with the Catwoman story arc, was excellent. I figured the harsh review here was unwarranted. But nope, it was just as stupid as the reviewer stated, really infantile and boring. Goodnight, Moon, indeed. <p> Having said all that, I agree that Batman is the real identity and Bruce is the cover. This opinion in no way excuses the unbelievably awful second half of this story.

  • April 30, 2009, 1:54 p.m. CST

    The Joker Is Teflon, Bay-bee...

    by Buzz Maverik

    That's his super power. He does everything from mass murder to simultaneously pantsing the House of Representatives, then a little down time in Arkham to center himself and reconnect with his thoughts, and he's back, bay-bee, he's back!<p>Maybe I have more comic aspirations than I thought. I did meet the world's stupidest comic book artist once and we talked about doing a book together. I had the idea of a three or four person superhero team who would face villains one time, until things had been completely resolved. Usually, the villain would die but it would seldom be the team killing him. We'd have to keep things surprising or interesting. The idea was that usually, in Chester Gould's old DICK TRACY strips, the villains didn't survive, even the really popular ones like Flat Top. As an example for the World's Stupidest Comic Book artist, I mentioned that a Dr. Doom-like character might be tried and executed by his people.<p>"You can't kill Doom," the artist said. "Marvel wouldn't let you."<p>"Well, it wouldn't be a Marvel book and it wouldn't really be Doo--"<p>"Doom's a Marvel character. He has to be in a Marvel book."<p>"Okaaay, yer shittin' me, right?"<p>"No, man, he really is Marvel."

  • April 30, 2009, 2:03 p.m. CST

    So, the "stupidest comic book artist ever", was

    by Bjornegar

    Rob Liefeld, I'm guessing?

  • April 30, 2009, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Solution Bjornegar

    by Continentalop

    I don't want Batman to be "the murderous Republican skeezbag" you say, but I would love it if he wasn't so fucking blase about the Joker's killing rampages. As for killing the Joker, why not just bring back the "mysterious death" trope? It works great for the Red Skull, and that is how they used to end all the early Joker stories in the 1940's. <p> By the way, the pledge young Bruce Wayne made after his parents died was "And I swear by the spirits of my parents to avenge their deaths by spending the rest of my life warring on all criminals." I imagine in war you have to be willing to take a life now and than.

  • April 30, 2009, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Buzz Maverick

    by Continentalop

  • April 30, 2009, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Buzz Maverick

    by Continentalop

    That is what I always remembered. He sunk it on the way to his island, where he had Scott Summers and that female pilot that Scott had the hots for back then, right? <p> But why the hell was that used as the rational for him being acquitted in the X-Men/Avengers limited series? Or am I remembering it wrong. Because if that was his defense and it happened after his rejuvenation, the World Court's prosecutors in the Marvel Universe are as bad as the prosecutor in Perry Mason.

  • April 30, 2009, 3 p.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by Mr.FTW

    I don't get why it is such an issue with you, Batman/Joker are archetypes of the medium. Batman can never kill the Joker no matter what, he is part of the story and always will be. At the end of the day you're trying to rationalize a fictional universe and that is irrational itself. You can say whatever you want about the characterizations of Doom, Magneto, Luthor, ect being different but they serve they same role as the Joker to their respective heroic counter parts. It's just as silly as Joenathan's problem with giant green boxing gloves to worry about the Joker's impact on Gotham.

  • April 30, 2009, 3:05 p.m. CST

    There is NOTHING silly about

    by Joenathan

    giant green boxing gloves! ...oh wait...

  • April 30, 2009, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Mr. FTW

    by Continentalop

    Part of the reason it bothers me is that I love the character, but when they have the joker constantly killing people and Batman is powerless to stop him or unwilling to prevent it from happening again, it just rubs me wrong. Maybe it is only me and it doesn't bother anyone else, but for Batman to constantly let the Joker live makes it hard for me to suspend my disbelief. I can accept a man who can burst into flames, an alien who is nearly omnipotent yet is completely benevolent, and a kid gaining powers by being bitten by a radioactive spider, I just can't accept that a vigilante sworn to wage war on crime will just make a citizens arrest on a psychopath who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds (if not thousands) and will without a doubt escape and kill again. It makes me wonder "What is your fucking problem Batman?" <p> And once again, I think the bigger problem is with the Joker. Everybody loves him as a psycho but they don't realize by having him be such a murderous fiend it makes the Batman look ineffective. It was one of the reasons the Golden Age editors demanded that they tone down the Joker - how effective of crime-fighter is Batman if his foes keep reappearing and murdering people again and again. <p> I'm not saying we go back to the 50s campy Joker, but maybe they should go back to how he was in 1940 and 1941 where Batman would be willing to kill him but the Joker always apparently died before he could get to him. Sure it is a trope and even a cop-out, but at least it is a cop out that accepts the fact that Batman realizes how evil and dangerous the Joker is.

  • April 30, 2009, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Besides,

    by Continentalop

    Lets move on from the Batman argument. I don't want this to be the new FC debates all over. <p> I am trying to figure out how it is I can actual like Dark Avengers when everything else called Avengers sucks right now.

  • April 30, 2009, 3:32 p.m. CST

    "it makes the comic go by a lot faster" -- Liam

    by Star Hump

    Welcome to the world of modern comics, Liam. Actually, they're not comics, they're FANZINES, fan fiction, written and drawn by 40 year-old fanboys FOR 40 year-old fanboys. One of their little tricks, which you noticed, was to fill up entire pages, and sometimes two, with large illustrations. They also like to duplicate panels. This is because the fanboys behind these fanzines don't know how to tell superhero stories, they only think they do. They are lazy, stupid and unprofessional. Liam, stop reading now. These fanzines are not meant for you. Comic books were once intended for 8 year-old lads like yourself, but those days have long since passed. These fanzines are designed for forty-year old fanboys who simply CANNOT LET GO. Run Liam, run. Do not get into superheroes. They are a total dead end. Get yourself an X-Box 360. Get into sports. Anything but superhero comics. Get a life Liam, before it's too late.

  • April 30, 2009, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Ah... Star Hump...

    by Joenathan

    I ahppen to by 34, so suck it.

  • April 30, 2009, 3:38 p.m. CST

    although...

    by Joenathan

    you can't tell by my spelling...

  • April 30, 2009, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Conti & others

    by TedKordLives

    I can name a DC character that has died and not yet been resurrected-TED GODDAMN KORD, the godddamn motherfucking BLUE BEETLE! But I have a feeling that he'll be back post-Blackest Night-the power of HOPE compels you, baby! <P> Conti, you don't like New OR Mighty Avengers right now? Man, I am digging all of that right now. When Pym did the 'Avengers Assemble' bit, and Hulk was in the picture, I almost teared up a little. It's been like 30 years since Hulk was part of an A-Team. <P> And the New Avengers are just screwed, which is a lot of fun to read.

  • April 30, 2009, 4:46 p.m. CST

    I Remember Magneto On Trial...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...in Paris in UNCANNY. Fenris attacked and Magneto sort of just went off with the X-Men after that. That was around the time X-Men started weakening. The real reason that Magneto became less ruthless and less villainous was...bad characterization! The comic medium we love will never be a subtle one. Claremont, back when he was still decent, tried to introduce some complexity into a villain. He had a story, he had motivation. Marvel editorial couldn't grasp that a villain might not be pure evil and did what they always do to their interesting villains: turned him into a hero. If he's not all evil, he must be all good, right? Uh, no. I'm still convinced that Emma Frost joined the X-Men because some geek comic pro had a jones for cool blondes but couldn't wrap his head around evil sex ... even imaginary evil sex.

  • April 30, 2009, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Why Batman Can't Kill The Joker

    by Buzz Maverik

    Buzz Maverik here. I've invited renown psychiatrist/analyst/supervillain Dr. Faustus over from the Marvel Universe to explain the Dark Knight's behavior:"Subconsciously, as a raged filled being who must frustrate and limit his own urges to conform to parental expectations, Batman identifies with the Joker. He envies his freedom. What the Joker does to essentially everyone with whom he comes in contact, is what the Batman would like to do to the underworld but cannot allow himself to do. I shall eliminate both of them. As new director of Arkham Asylum, I shall have an entire hospital full of psychopaths to do my bidding. Of course, I shall have to eliminate the Scarecrow as well, which I should have done when we roomed together in medical school..."

  • April 30, 2009, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Nice One, Buzz

    by TedKordLives

    But the real reason Bats can't off Joker is that it would break Harley's heart, and given Bruce's fondness for evil chicks, he just can't do it. He thinks he can get Harley in the sack, the sucker.

  • April 30, 2009, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Buzz

    by Continentalop

    I remember that trial as well. But I think the idea of Magneto being a good buy might have started with Secret Wars, where he was put on the heroes side. The rational was that he VIEWED himself as a hero fighting for his people - which became he IS a hero fighting for his people. <p> And I always hated Magneto joining the X-Men - he could be a sympathetic villain without having to be required to be a good guy, But that is my problem with the entire X-Men Universe - it is as I said before the WWE of comic books. One moment someone is a kayfabe, the next moment he is a face. Just because the fans like him. <p> And I agree with you 100% about Emma Frost - hell, her first appearance she killed six of her own men and was about to mind erase storm. How quickly people forget that about a women showing that much skin.

  • April 30, 2009, 5:14 p.m. CST

    TedKord

    by Mr.FTW

    Maybe Johns will bring him back as Black Lantern which will open the door to bringing him back fully. <br> Does anyone else hope John will write Batman: Rebirth? That would truly help get DC back on the right track.

  • April 30, 2009, 5:30 p.m. CST

    FTW

    by TedKordLives

    Yeah, he's pretty much confirmed that Ted's gonna be a Black Lantern. Hopefully, (pun), Booster will show up and turn him good again. If Hal can wear two different rings, then BL Ted can get a blue ring going and then *BOOM* transubstantiated Ted.

  • April 30, 2009, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Good Magneto

    by Buzz Maverik

    The mis-characterization started with a page somewhere between UNCANNY #120 and say #125 where we see Magneto aboard Asteroid M, recovering from injuries inflicted on him by the X-Men. A Scarlet Witch looking woman appears in one of his monitors. He acknowledges her as his late wife and erases the image. He next faces the X-MEN on his Cthulhu-style island base in #150 and almost kills Kitty Pryde, which causes him great remorse and makes him flee. We soon had a flash back issue in which Professor X remembers visiting Israel before before losing the use of his legs in his battle with Lucifer. He remembers a friendship with a man named Magnus and a relationship with a woman named Gabrielle. Baron Stucker attacks and is defeated by Magnus magnetic powers. Magnus then makes off with a ton of Nazi gold. Okay, this is pretty good writing even if Chris Claremont is doing it! We've got a guy who is bitter, hurting and vengeful but he has his reasons. Great character. Naturally, when the Marvel heroes entered that weird gateway in Central Park and ended up on the Beyonder's world, who should be there but Magneto, thanks to king of subtlety Jim Shooter. Of course he viewed himself as a hero. But I don't think Dr. Doom would really being going,"Boy Howdy, ain't I evil?" Even the Absorbing Man and the Wrecking Crew and Doc Ock would tell you about the bad breaks they've had and how they're persecuted by the Marvel heroes and why don't you call Thor/Hulk/Spidey evil, huh?

  • April 30, 2009, 6:20 p.m. CST

    Buzz

    by Continentalop

    Actually I think Shooter rational was right. Doom, Doc Oct, Absorbing Man, Enchantress, all those guys look at what they are doing and know it is for their own self-interest. But Magneto can actually say "Hey, I am doing it for mutantkind." Sure, he will be the ones leading mutants, but he has at least a delusion that he is acting altruistic. <p> Of course, then why wasn't Galactus and Lizard on the good guy sides. Galactus views himself as a force of nature, beyond good and evil, and the Lizard views himself as the defender of reptile life (same rational as Magneto). Hmmm. <p> Fuck. The worse thing about Secret Wars was it f'ed up Byrne Doom story where Doom had switched minds with the yahoo in the crowd during the Surfer/Terrax fight. Great set up and then it went down hill because of the continuity errors and the fact the Beyonder had to be involved. <p> I liked him as EIC, but Shooter fucked up some shit.

  • April 30, 2009, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Aw, Come on...

    by TedKordLives

    Secret Wars was fucking awesome.The fact that it was created to sell toys is beside the point. Two of my favorite covers ever came from SW(#4 & #10).

  • April 30, 2009, 6:58 p.m. CST

    I'm not dissin' Secret Wars

    by Continentalop

    I am just saying it fucked up a couple of story lines that were going on at that time. I mean, Doom was thought dead but he was really in that guys body - that was fucked up by Secret Wars. <p> I will say this about Secret Wars, while nobody really died (Ultron and Kang don't count) it did have a effect on the actual Marvel Universe afterwards: Colossus cheated on Kitty Pryde, ending their relationship; Thing stayed behind and She-Hulk joined the FF; Spider-Man got the symboite; etc.

  • April 30, 2009, 7:40 p.m. CST

    40 year old fanboys?

    by gooseud

    As far as the whole "written by 40 year old fanboys for 40 year old fanboys", are you implying there was some golden age back in the day when comics were better then they are now? Question: have you READ Crisis on Infinite Earths? Has some good moments, but honestly, the writing is pretty putrid. All I can say is this: I've been reading comics for 30 years now, and you know what I remember as my earliest comics memories? Is it the various "gee whiz Batman, that was a close one!!" moments from when comics were supposedly written "for the kids", AKA me at the time? No, I have two moments: one is Spidey grabbing Soultaker's shotgun, smashing it, and beating him to within an inch of his life before DD stops him. The second is Mr. Hyde torturing Jarvis in front of Cap while Cap silently stares daggers through the Masters of Evil, unbreakable in his resolve. Those were the moments in my 10 year old brain when I realized that this particular medium really could have some depth that I didnt realize was there. So as far as pining for some golden age of innocence when comics were written for the kiddies, GTFO with that weak sauce and try again.

  • April 30, 2009, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Oh, and one more thing

    by gooseud

    that was also the moment when I (and thousands of other boys my age) truly realized what an ultimate bad ass Cap was, and why a god like Thor would take the orders of a mortal man without hesitation. And yeah, I think its been basically stated in the past (dont have a source, just years of reading Cap) that Cap would have killed the Skull if it came to that. He would have felt bad possibly, but he would have done what he had to do.

  • April 30, 2009, 7:49 p.m. CST

    I am going to politely correct you goose

    by Continentalop

    I assume you mean "Sin-Eater" instead of Soultaker. <p> But those are two great fuckin' moments in comic book history. In fact, I think Captain America has more great "I can't fucking believe that moments" than any other character - even Spider-Man and Batman.

  • April 30, 2009, 7:53 p.m. CST

    By the way...

    by Continentalop

    ...Best description of Cap's leadership ability was in Frank Miller's DD Born Again run when DD is fighting Nuke and the Avengers so up. Miller shows cap giving orders and says "He has a voice that could command a god" and then shows Thor summoning a rain storm to put out a fire and writes "and it does!" <P>

  • April 30, 2009, 7:57 p.m. CST

    Yeah,

    by TedKordLives

    I remember the issue of FF that tried to explain what happened but I, to this day, have no idea what they were trying to get at.<P> That cover(#10) with Doom's armor all shredded, but his gauntlets still glowing-giving me goose bumps right now.

  • April 30, 2009, 8:05 p.m. CST

    I miss Steve Rogers.

    by TedKordLives

    Not the TB'er.

  • April 30, 2009, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Thanks Cont

    by gooseud

    I knew I screwed that up even as I was typing it, like "Shit Soultaker isnt right" LOL regardless, when Spidey just grabs his shotgun and breaks it over his knee like Bo Jackson and proceeds to beat that dude like a drum, it was pretty intense to my 10 year old mind

  • April 30, 2009, 9:34 p.m. CST

    That was back when Frank Miller

    by gooseud

    was actually good.

  • April 30, 2009, 9:50 p.m. CST

    No Goose...

    by steverodgers

    That was back when he was a god. "A man without hope is a man without fear!" - what happened to the guy who wrote that? I miss that guy.

  • April 30, 2009, 11:03 p.m. CST

    Secret Wars II Screwed Up Magneto...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...Professor X telepathically screaming into his mind (ruining Magneto's relationship with the blonde sea captain chick that Con-Op mentioned):"Lead the X-Men in my place." Then, Magneto bursts into the middle of a New Mutants story line, plucks some of the kids from captivity (they were forced to be mutant gladiators) while others choose to stay (to keep the Claremont/Siencwitz(sic)storyline going)for a lame reason when, if editorial wasn't trampling all the books and things were just occuring, a mutant with Magneto's power could have said, "Oh, these mutant gladiators have some mutant kids hostage? No need to stay, New Mutants. Allow me the five seconds it'll take to free the mutant kids and entomb the mutant gladiators in metal!"<p>Sure, Professor X could appreciate Magneto but while I can by masters of magnetism and super psychics, I can't see why he didn't say "Wolverine/Cyclops/Storm/Banshee lead the X-Men in my place." I mean, I realize the Mean Drunk in my neighborhood is struggling to be a better man, but no way am I going to ask him to babysit. After that, Marvel couldn't have a conflicted villain. Maggie had to be a hero.<p>For a better, more complex version of mutant anti-heroes/decent villains, may I suggest Theodore Sturgeon's MORE THAN HUMAN. His mutants, the homo gestalt, which pre-dated the X-MEN, went back and forth between good and evil like ... real people. It was like the X-Men and the Brotherhood were one little group and you never knew who was who.

  • May 1, 2009, 12:08 a.m. CST

    Weird Magneto segue-way

    by Continentalop

    Anyone ever see the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants first appearance (in X-Men 4 or 5 I think it was)? The original lineup of Mastermind, Toad, Magneto, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver? <p> Ok, have anyone of you see Roger Corman's the Raven? I swear to God that I think the Brotherhood is based on the cast of the Raven. The movie came out just one or two years before the comic did. <p> Magneto = Boris Karloff (back when Magneto was an older looking man with big bushy eyebrows). <p> Mastermind = Vincent Price Toad = Peter Lorre Scarlet Witch = Hazel Court's red hair and Olive Sturgess disposition Quicksilver - Jack frigin' Nicholson

  • May 1, 2009, 8:37 a.m. CST

    Month-by-Month history of Marvel Comics

    by kalel21

    If anyone's interested, there's a blog on which--every Wednesday--the next part of a month-by-month history of Marvel Superhero comics is being posted. It started with FF #1 from Nov. 1961 and this week reached August 1963.

  • May 1, 2009, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Whoops

    by kalel21

    The blog with the Marvel Comics history is comicsradio.blogspot.com. (This site could use an "edit" button)

  • May 1, 2009, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Remember Lila Cheney?

    by Joenathan

    Speaking of Magneto era New Mutants... There was one issue where Sam went to her concert and like, monsters or some shit attacked and Sam and the band are fighting them, while playing, and Lila, who is supposed to be all Joan Jett bad ass punk, announces that their next song is "Monster Mash" and even as a dorky comic book reading kid, I thought: "Wow, whoever wrote this issue is a nerd." Plus, there were no musical notes floating in the panels, so it was like the band wasn't even playing. What a crappy issue and it all starts out with Magneto in pleated dress pants allowing Cannonball to go to a concert and stay out past curfew... on Magneto... how embarrassing for you.

  • May 1, 2009, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Monster Mash? No Way!

    by Homer Sexual

    I read all that stuff and totally remember Lila "I can only do reaallly long range teleports" Cheney. I believe she died teleporting some baddie into the sun with her. But I really can't believe they were actually that dorky to say a rock band was playing Monster Mash. Even it was a Halloween concert (which it probably wasn't). <p> And you can add me to the hate parade for Marvel's turning villains into heroes. I recall even Sabretooth becoming a hero for some time.

  • May 1, 2009, 6:09 p.m. CST

    Yeah, Sabretooth and Venom, As In:

    by Buzz Maverik

    VENOM LETHAL PROTECTOR. Even then, I thought: why not just do villain comics? It's not endorsing the super villain lifestyle. And just because I live in a volcano base, have perfected my death ray and have Bambi and Thumper on hand to make sure you die happy if you try to stop me does not mean that villain comics have influenced me.<p>Yeah, attempts to make the New Mutants hip teens always came off bad because Claremont was far from being a teen and would probably be the first to admit that he was never hip.<p>Lila had the Dyson sphere because Claremont had read RINGWORLD. Too many mutants. That was around the time I started thinking, "This would be cooler if these characters were shocking and freaky instead of common place."

  • May 1, 2009, 7:45 p.m. CST

    ASM

    by fanboyspodcast

    Wow and 8-year old enjoyed the new issue of Amazing Spider-Man...at least the book is pulling in the demographic that it's being written for. If anyone over 10 enjoys it...they should ask themselves WHY?

  • May 2, 2009, 3:48 p.m. CST

    micronauts vs man-thing

    by mr. smith

    hell yes. micronauts #7 i believe. one of the more iconic issues of my childhood. the micronauts besieged by man-thing while watching star trek on the tv somewhere in the everglades

  • May 2, 2009, 9:45 p.m. CST

    KICK-ASS

    by optimous_douche

    Quote gets the out of context of the year award.<p> They took a paragraph bathed in cynicism and used the first sentence.<p> http://www.aintitcool.com/node/35852#1