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AICN COMICS REVIEWS: BATMAN&ROBIN! CHEW! NEW MUTANTS! TMNT! STAR TREK! PLANET OF BEER! & MUCH MORE!

#4 6/3/09 #8

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) BATMAN AND ROBIN #1 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #133 CHEW #1 TINY TITANS #16 PLANET OF BEER: A SMELL OF STEVE TREASURY TPB ROTTEN #1 NEW MUTANTS #2 TALES OF THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #59 PLANET SKAAR: SKAAR SON OF HULK #11 STAR TREK: CREW #4 THE MIGHTY #5 ULTIMATUM #4 Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS!

BATMAN AND ROBIN #1

Writer: Grant Morrison Art: Frank Quitely Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Prof. Challenger

“This was my worst, worst nightmare when I was a kid. This is what kept me awake at 3:30 a.m. As long as I was Nightwing I could pretend I’d never have to take over as Batman. I could act as if he’d always be around.” --Dick Grayson to Alfred
For someone like me who loathed Gaiman’s “Goodnight Gotham” blech-fest WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE CAPED CRUSADER and had zero interest in any BATTLE FOR THE COWL, I am shocked by how much I enjoyed this comic. In concept, my old fogey self was dead set against the idea of Dick Grayson finally taking on the role of Batman in continuity, but once I experienced it…it felt just right. It felt like something that maybe should’ve been done a long time ago. It feels like the natural progression. It is moving the story of Batman forward and yet preserves the past 70-some years of Bruce Wayne as Batman to forever be able to tell stories set during those times. But for now, a fresh, yet still iconic, take on the character is shining forth in Gotham and on the comic shelves and I for one hope this is the status quo for the foreseeable future. Although, cynic that I am, I am sure this is ultimately a short term “illusion of change,” but I will take it for as long as I can get it. Seventy years of stories does not mean that all possible stories have been exhausted, but it does perhaps mean that the character of Bruce Wayne has become used up and may function better as a shadow cast over this new generation of Batman and Robin.
Grant Morrison is almost always able to mine a concept for some new gem of a perspective that nobody else could conceive of. Look at his utterly brilliant SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY series or what he did with ALL STAR SUPERMAN. Even when he fails in the execution, the underlying concept that drove the project is at least an interesting one (I’m thinking primarily of FINAL CRISIS). BATMAN AND ROBIN falls squarely in the arena of brilliant for me in both concept and the initial execution.
Ask yourself, if you decide it really is time to seriously replace Bruce Wayne as Batman, do you go through an elaborate scenario where Bruce gets his back broken by a steroid-pumped wrestler and then replace him with a religious zealot in gold and blue armor? Or, do you have Bruce “die” saving the world and then elevate Dick Grayson, the original Robin into the role he has been prepped for since he was 10 years old and assume the role of father/mentor to Bruce’s morally challenged bastard son?
Well, the former option smacks of stupidity and marketing as plot. The latter fits within the natural framework of the characters themselves and fulfills a dangling carrot of a possibility that has been out there for decades and DC has been afraid to tackle it. And when I see how perfectly this issue plays out this scenario, I’m more confounded than ever by DC’s reluctance to do this before now. In the world of copyrighted and trademarked characters, there’s no reason to feel like you must keep a licensed character stagnant. We have various versions of the character on film and television along with a multitude of versions throughout the Elseworlds comics and others. Bruce as Batman is well-served in comics, books, and all other forms of media. If the ongoing comics decide to age and move these characters forward, it finally gives the characters some serious literary weight and value beyond just a costume and a cape. If you want to compare this situation, look to Edgar Rice Burroughs and his TARZAN series of novels as opposed to the various “classic” versions of the character that have appeared in films, TV, and comics. The character in the novels grew and changed and had a kid and adopted a kid and then there were adventures of the grown son and adventures with the two together, etc. In other words, the primary source of the licensed character continued to grow and evolve even when the films with the monosyllabic alternate version of the character continued to thrive.
DC should fully embrace Dick Grayson as Batman and move forward here on out, because this new status is, as I said, brilliant in its simplicity. Here’s the concept: Batman is Dick Grayson (former Robin and former Nightwing) and his Robin is Damian Wayne??? (lovechild of Bruce and Talia but raised until recently by R’as Al Ghul). They fly around in a cool-looking flying Batmobile taking down the bad guys. Damian, who has never really experienced fraternal or parental love, resents everyone around him and believes himself to be quite smarter and better than everyone else. Dick, who has known both the love of his natural parents and the love of his adopted father, sees a double duty that he owes to the man who raised him. First and foremost, he has a duty to perpetuate his role as defender of Gotham, but secondly he recognizes a duty to step in as a substitute father and mentor for Damian who desperately needs this. Different than Dick’s relationship with Tim Drake, in which their relationship is more like brothers, Dick is now as close to a parent as Damian will probably have from now on. These are serious burdens to carry, and on top of that Dick has the heavy shadow of the legend of the original Batman to just feast on any insecurities he has about his ability to fulfill his duties. And yet, with all of this, Dick is able to be a bit more playful and less intense as Batman. He smiles occasionally, cracks a joke here and there, and does not carry himself with that obnoxious air of arrogant pomposity that every writer for the last 20 years has infused the Bruce Wayne Batman with. That was the most refreshing aspect of Dick Grayson as Batman – the positive attitude rather than the asshole we’ve been subjected to for so long now.
They still have the support system of Alfred Pennyworth, the faithful butler, and in a nod to the 70s; Dick and Damian live in the penthouse atop the Wayne Foundation building and operate out of the Batcave located secretly underneath rather than basing their operations out of Wayne Manor. Plus, this issue had a single visual that completely sold me on what Morrison is attempting with this series. All you who read this issue have to know what it is…page 10 first panel where Batman and Robin throw a double-punch together taking down Mr. Toad. It’s a view from behind, but it is utterly classic in execution. Frank Quitely must be Morrison’s muse, because when the two of them get together, the result is consistently excellent. It is like the mere presence of Quitely on the ticket reigns in Morrison’s extremes and he channels the story to meet Quitely’s strengths and the result just sings and resonates. Beautiful stuff.
There’s a new villain called Pyg, and he is a typical creepy Morrison villain which means as creepy as he is in this brief intro, I’m sure he’s going to go way over the top next issue. Which is ok with me. If I have a new Batman on the scene, I would love to see him develop his own new twisted and grotesque rogues’ gallery for the 21st century. It’s time to stop rehashing Joker, Penguin, Two-Face, Catwoman, et. al. and develop some new and iconic villains for this new generation of Batman and Robin.
My hat is off to the creative team on this comic and I really would hope that this level of quality in concept and implementation could be seen throughout the entire DC line. So please, Messrs Morrison and Quitely, whatever you do, do not allow editorial to overly intervene and start trying to micromanage the series. And please, DC Editorial leadership, whatever you do, allow Morrison and Quitely to succeed or fail on their own. I have a feeling they will succeed at least as well as they did with ALL STAR SUPERMAN, and that’s a high bar to hit.
BATMAN AND ROBIN #1 is my favorite comic so far this year.
Prof. Challenger is really Texas artist/writer/editor/researcher/teacher Keith Howell, who recently successfully battled the evil airline industry as he struggled to trek across the great mid-west to Peoria, Illinois where he received the 2009 Farmerphile Award for Best Artwork at FarmerCon IV: The Philip Jose’ Farmer Memorial Gathering. Check out his website which is badly in need of updating at profchallenger.com. and check out all things Farmer at pjfarmer.com. Yes, it’s true, there really are some people who actually like the Prof.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #133

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Stuart Immonen Publisher: Ultimate Marvel Reviewer: Optimous Douche

“I want my two dollars!!!!!!”
No, this isn’t 1985 and I’m not stalking John Cusack; my fiduciary fury is firing double-barreled at the big M. Why $2.00 you ask? Well, I paid the brand new price standard of $3.99 (plus sales tax) for ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN 133 and in return received not only a half-hearted effort, but also half of a fucking book. For anyone that hasn’t picked up this muted chapter of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, don’t bother. Not only does this issue not contain one single balloon of dialogue, this is probably the worst series finale since BATTLESTAR GALACTICA anally frakked fans sans lube a few months ago.
Part of me is willing to forgive the fact that to fully understand the happenings in this issue you need to buy the latest issue of ULTIMATUM; after all, that is the nature of crossover events. However, what I can not condone, validate or even mildly stomach is an issue that adds nothing to its ongoing continuity or the over-arching event. Truly, everything that transpired in this issue was better delivered in ULTIMATUM 4. Look, I feel like I have a moral imperative here. Generally, I try desperately in my reviews to not give away the entire plot, because I simply want to whet readers’ appetites instead of serving up a ten course meal so the book can be enjoyed with a fresh perspective. In this case though, if I can save just one person the $4.00, and more importantly the heartache of having to traverse this lackluster end to such an amazing series, then by God I will.
Here we go. Building goes boom. Hulk angry, Hulk smash, Hulk leave. Spider-Tits and Kitty Pride save some folks. Spider-Tits finds Spider-Man’s mask under rock. Spider-Tits gives the mask to Kitty Pride. Kitty brings the mask to Mary-Jane. Aunt May cries.
There you go folks, after 132 phenomenal issues, almost a decade of fantastic story telling, this is what we’re left with. I’ve heard some say they respect the choice to do this issue without dialogue and allow the scenes to speak for themselves. To that I say, a Brian Bendis story without dialogue is like a quadriplegic mime. Every craftsman has their tool, and Bendis’ is his dialogue. Is his particular brand of banter for everyone and does it work in every book? Absolutely not! As I learned with NEW AVENGERS, snark and sarcasm don’t fit nicely into all characterization. Honestly, it’s slightly annoying when a character that has been stoic for their entire continuity starts cracking wise, but for Spider-Man, a character that has been a smart ass since inception, yeah it fucking worked beautifully. I always considered Bendis to be a Whedon that respected deadlines. That’s a compliment, really.
I’ve never reviewed an ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN book before because quite frankly I thought I would annoy our venerated readers by saying “this was yet another great chapter of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN” month after month. If this book had degraded in quality even in the slightest, I would have welcomed the finale instead of it feeling like a pointy toed kick to the nuts, but that simply wasn’t the case. Right up until this ULTIMATUM mess, you could tell Bendis loved this book. This issue, though, was dialed in.
Even Immonen couldn’t be bothered with giving this book the old college try. Every panel was so confined there was no room for the scenery to breathe; I don’t know about you, but I can only stomach so many close-ups of angst ridden faces. Also, the sterility of the ULTIMATUM cataclysm was almost laughable given the world we live in today. We saw first hand the carnage that was wrought from two planes crashing in New York during 9/11. Were the entire city to succumb to a tidal wave as we are led to believe, the body count would be staggering, almost beyond our comprehension. Not only do we never see Peter Parker’s corpse in this issue, but there is nary a body strewn on the street or being used as a floatation device. Now this next point is nitpicking, but since I did pay the price of admission I feel justified: at one point a building just gushes water. Swear to God, it was like the building was ready to go into labor…WTF???
At its outset I was definitely a fan of the Ultimate Universe. The promise of the Marvel universe updated with modern sensibilities and unfettered by strangling continuity was almost a comic nirvana. Over time many of the titles fell by the wayside, lived outside of the ultimate continuity so much so they became nothing more than inconsequential one shots, or ebbed and flowed so much in quality you simply stopped caring. ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, though, was the one with staying power. Even in the “bad” months, it remained a notch above the majority of my other pulls. This iss,ue though, made me realize that not only have the fans stopped caring about the Ultimate universe, but every creator and suit at Marvel feels the same. R.I.P. ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN! I wish the end of your life was as spectacular as the beginning.
When Optimous Douche isn’t reading comics and misspelling the names of 80’s icons, he “transforms” into a corporate communications guru. "What if the whole world had superpowers? Find out in the pages of Optimous’ original book AVERAGE JOE. Read the first full issue on Optimous’ New Blog and see original sketches by fellow @$$hole Bottleimp. If you are a publisher or can help these guys get AVERAGE JOE up, up, and on the shelves in any way, drop Optimous a line."

CHEW #1

Writer: John Layman Art: Rob Guillory Publisher: Image Comics Reviewer: Humphrey Lee

I don't know why, but I seem to be a sucker for the occasional "home run pitch". Y'know, the kind of plot summary that you can honestly just say is so out there that you have to give it a shot. Now, not to say that CHEW is presenting something completely original, but on the whole it definitely is unique. That master premise, for those of you that aren't hip to this, is one that centers around one Tony Chu, a Philadelphia cop with the ability to "see" into the life of whatever he eats. He can get an idea of the orchard his fruit comes from, experience the mutilation of the cow his burger meat came from, or, what will be the central conceit of this book, get visions into the lives of anybody that, for whatever reason, might have a piece of them make a way into his food. As you might imagine, this would be the prime suspect for some shenanigans ensuing...
Now while the ends might feel a little similar to some other forms of media I've enjoyed more recently (the obvious being TV's PUSHING DAISIES with it's "posthumous" investigating) the means is something I've never encountered and, I have to admit, it seems to have a lot of interesting potential for storytelling outlets, besides being a kind of fun and curious oddity. Obviously, the visuals behind some of his memory absorptions can lend a lot of atmosphere to the book as well, and they most definitely do in this debut. There's also another little twist to Tony Chu's world, in that his reality is one involving an all out ban by the government on chicken products. Now, I don't exactly know what kind of overall role this thing is going to play in where this book is going, though this issue in particular seems to use it a lot as Tony's job in this one involves his and his partner's staking out of a "Chicken Speakeasy", and there's other elements at play with it throughout so I have to assume it's going to be an at least somewhat prominent storyline for the book, and that's fine by me since it means it won't be completely focusing on just Tony's unusual ability.
Overall, honestly, this first issue was just a lot of fun. I really dig the main plot device and the overall feel of the book is just right y'know? There's good bits of humor and plenty of playful elements to be explored. If there is one aspect I think that needs to happen, or continue really, is that I do think that Tony needs to have the quote/unquote quirky sidekick by his side. In this issue his partner, John Colby, is an adequate fit, mostly because he's very loud and somewhat abrasive to Tony's more subdued nature (though he shows a bit of a more aggressive nature for a split second near the end), but as events unfold he becomes pretty well, uhm, "incapacitated" if not just plain dead. That's still up in the air it seems. And honestly, given the nature of Tony's ability, having that side character to make the little comments or play the comedic relief off of it seems almost like a requisite when it comes to something like this. Hopefully a new cohort will step up in John's place, or maybe John will get back in the picture himself; he seemed like an adequate mark for the role.
And speaking of accomplices, and to wrap this thing up, Rob Guillory seems like the perfect accompaniment to this book from the art aspect. Something like this demands a more "cartoony" style (because I still can't think of a damn better word for quantifying art styles like this) I think, and this is a great match. The combination of a great attention to detail mixed with the somewhat exaggerated figures is a good hodgepodge to capture the essence of this book in its humorous, and kind of horrific, element. And like I've been saying all along, this is a book that doesn't seem to be too shy with elements to play upon, and I'm really looking forward to watching them and it develop. This has all the makings of one of those not-so-guilty pleasure titles that always gives you that little boost of excitement when it makes its way to your pull slot. I can't wait to see it hit its stride and how Layman and Company flesh out all those facets that can make this book that kind of read, and hopefully they don't bite off...any cliches like the one I could have used there. The start is strong and fresh; hopefully everything after it can keep the same constitution.
Humphrey Lee has been an avid comic book reader going on fifteen years now and a contributor to Ain't It Cool comics for quite a few as well. In fact, reading comics is about all he does in his free time and where all the money from his day job wages goes to - funding his comic book habit so he can talk about them to you, our loyal readers (lucky you). He's a bit of a social networking whore, so you can find him all over the Interwebs on sites like Twitter, The MySpaces, Facebookand a Blogger Account where he also mostly talks about comics with his free time because he hasn't the slightest semblance of a life. Sad but true, and he gladly encourages you to add, read, and comment as you will.

TINY TITANS #16

Writers: Art Baltazar & Franco Art: Art Baltazar Publisher: DC Kids Reviewer: Liam ‘The Kid’ and his younger brother Ethan (6 years old)

Note: ‘The Kid’ is 8 years old and has been doing reviews on his own site since August of 2008. And you can now follow the kid’s daily ‘adventures’ on Twitter.
Liam: My brother Ethan likes reading comics, too. Well he usually just listens while someone else reads them but he still likes them. He did a couple or reviews on my site for the WIZARD OF OZ book from Marvel Comics. He really likes that book a lot. TINY TITANS is a book that we both really like so he wanted to review some of it too. He also wanted to review BATMAN & ROBIN so if you want to read our review of that book go to our site for that one. We loved BATMAN & ROBIN.
TINY TITANS is a fun comic book that’s made for little kids. There isn’t really any fighting or stuff like that but they do a lot of funny stuff in the comic. They’re all little kid versions of superhero sidekicks like Robin and Supergirl and Kid Flash and the only grown ups who are in the book are the teachers like Principal Deathstroke and Lobo the gym teacher. When people like Batman or Superman show up only their feet and legs are drawn and it’s like they’re the parents yelling at their kids.
Ethan: I think there should be a little kid version of Green Lantern. Everybody else has a little kid version except him.
Liam: I don’t think Green Lantern has a sidekick but it would be cool if he did. I think he’s one of the only DC people who doesn’t have a kid sidekick. They should change that.
I like how Lobo is the gym coach and he’s really mean to all of the kids and makes them do all of these hard exercises until they’re too tired to do anything. Robin and Beast Boy are so tired that they just fall over and they get yelled at by Lobo for taking a break.
Ethan: I like when Lobo asks the kids how they think he got those big muscles and they say stupid stuff back to him.
Liam: Yeah, all of the kids had different answers like the ‘Green Lantern Corps’ or ‘reading comics’ or ‘hot wing sauce’ and he’s pretty much ignoring them. Then Lobo lines up all of the kids and tells them that they have to race around the world and the first person to cross the finish line will get an A in gym class.
Ethan: I liked when Raven quit and said she’s just going to read in the library instead.
Liam: And it was funny when they had to stop because they reached water and Robin said he’ll swim but he needed to take shark spray to protect himself. It was just like how Batman and Robin used shark spray in the movie.
Ethan: I thought it was funny when Beast Boy turned into a fish so he could race better in the water and that Lobo was taking a break and reading the SHAZAM comic book.
Liam: Another good part was how Batgirl had a secret helicopter and used it to fly over everyone for the race.
Ethan: My favorite part was when they met the Spanish superheroes and didn’t understand what they were saying.
Liam: I think Kid Flash understood them but it was still funny.
Ethan: I liked that they held hands when they ran together and their costumes had a plus and minus on them.
Liam: It was sort of weird how the story ended. I was surprised by who won the race because it wasn’t very fair the way it happened but I think Lobo was just confused. There is another short comic story at the end of the book which is only a couple pages long.
Ethan: It’s a story about the Atom family. It’s Atom, Mrs. Atom, the baby Smidgen and their friend Molecule. All of them can shrink really small.
Liam: They have a contest on who can shrink down the most.
Ethan: And Smidgen wins because he is the baby and no matter what anyone does he will always be the smallest.
Liam: There is even a fun little game at the last page of the book where you can have a race between Kid Flash and Supergirl.
Ethan: I lost.
Liam: I like that TINY TITANS has bigger words to make it easier to read. On most comic books the words are very small and you have to look at the pages pretty close but they draw the words much bigger in this book. I also like that the characters are drawn in a cartoony way.
Ethan: There should be a TINY TITANS cartoon.
Liam: There really should. TINY TITANS is a really fun comic book. It’s one comic book that is supposed to be for kids but isn’t totally boring and dumb like some other ones.
Our Rating: 10 out of 10

PLANET OF BEER: A SMELL OF STEVE TREASURY TPB

By Brian Sendelbach Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Rviewer: Ambush Bug

Dark Horse has been collecting and distributing a lot of serialized comics for a while now and it's about time I thanked them for it. It's a good thing that Dark Horse is around to bring cool online comics and published comic strips to my attention (so I can bring that to you guys too). I have to admit, A SMELL OF STEVE is somewhat familiar to me in that I recognize the writer/artist's art style, but I have not read the comic strip before. But after reading PLANET OF BEER, I definitely will be seeking out Sendelback's humorous strip for future guffaws and belly rolls.
You never know what you're going to get with A SMELL OF STEVE. This collection predominantly highlights the "Planet of Beer" storyline where a space captain logically comes to the conclusion that with the infinite number of planets out there in the universe, there simply HAS to be a planet made of beer and the captain and his crew are bound and determined to find it. The hilarious quest to find this mythic planet takes the crew on adventures, but that's kind of secondary to the simple humor of the premise of a bunch of guys looking for a place made of beer and the day to day shenanigans that follow.
But A SMELL OF STEVE is much more than just a quest for beer planets. Sendelbach flits from one subject to the next, following the adventures of a good hearted Bigfoot who can snap at any moment and become a rampaging beast, bouncing along with his own version of Captain America who inexplicably has a huge moustache and an even bigger rack, making fun of a streaking Henry Kissinger with an ornery President Carter and his pal Kenny (an imp from the 6th Dimension) or sidling up next to the socially retarded Nubs Hackman: Son of Gene. My absolute favorite strip of them all is Black Aquaman who is basically just like the real Aquaman, only cooler and has no reservation to use firearms underwater. Best Black Aquaman strip is when the Loch Ness Monster's Mother falls in love with him and baby Nessie calls him "Daddy!"
I found that even the outtake reel at the end of the book highlighting some strips Sendelbach is not too proud of were classic. Sometimes the random-ness of these "not so proud" moments in A SMELL OF STEVE History made these strips funnier than the bulk of the book. A strip about a lost shirt! Gandalf loses his shit over his girlfriend when he finds out she slept with Sauron! Win a bath with Nick Nolte! Michael Keaton farting through roles until he finds one he takes all too seriously--that of a Math Textbook! Phil-Collins Man! Some folks’ trash is another's treasure, I guess.
Part of what makes A SMELL OF STEVE fun is the incredible distinct and consistent artwork. The characters look nothing like the people they are trying to be and it doesn't look like Sendelbach is even going for that, which only adds to how funny it is. Plus the humor isn't gross out or trying to be cool or edgy. It's just funny on an innocent, just plain hilarious level.
PLANET OF BEER: A SMELL OF STEVE TREASURY is one of those books you can leave on your coffee table or in a basket in the bathroom. You can pick it up and pass the time by laughing heartily at how ludicrously genius Sendelbach's view of the world really is.
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, reviewer and co-editor of AICN Comics for over eight years. Check out 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 series in stores October 2009, aptly titled TINGLERS.

ROTTEN #1

Writer: Mark Rahner/Robert Horton Art: Dan Dougherty Publisher: Moonstone Books Reviewer: Mr. Pasty

ROTTEN #1 is a comic book that combines the Wild West (booze, gunslingers and whores) with bloodthirsty zombies. Add a government conspiracy in a town with a dirty little secret and you have what we call in these parts “a must-buy.”
The $5.99 price tag left me with a slight case of sticker-shock, but ROTTEN is a whopping 52 pages of flesh-eating goodness without a single advertisement found in the entire book. They also don’t stiff you like some of the more mainstream titles that give ten pages of story followed by a three page preview of upcoming titles finished by a two page advertisement. You know, I’m starting to feel like the six bucks I paid for ROTTEN was a downright bargain.
Despite the seemingly foolproof premise, Moonstone could have easily screwed this up. Fortunately Rahner and Horton take the time to create a world full of distinct and believable characters that exhibit real emotions with convincing dialogue. The zombies are there in earnest, but their presence compliments the narrative instead of hijacking it. Lesser works seem to employ zombies as a plot device in which the undead are marched in to serve as a bridge between acts. ROTTEN uses them as something other than cardboard cutouts that lumber about in the background and moan unintelligibly. Zombies by nature must first start out as humans and those identities are explored inside ROTTEN with fantastic results.
Dan Dougherty’s artwork is a triumph. His pencils are simple but effective and his ability to use lighting and shadows to tell “the story beneath the story” should be required reading for any fanboy studying Comics 101.
ROTTEN’s narrative moves at a brisk pace (sometimes too brisk) but Rahner and Horton manage to squeeze every last drop out of the many characters they introduce. Despite its length, ROTTEN feels like a quick read, thanks largely in part to the anxious tone and accelerated pacing in act two. When I first bought ROTTEN, I was surprised it was priced so high. After reading it cover-to-cover, I’m surprised it was priced so low.
My Rating: 5 George Romeros out of 5

NEW MUTANTS #2

Writer: Zeb Wells Pencils: Diogenes Neves Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Jinxo

I know, as far as mutants go, the cool school has always been to like The X-Men. And I do. But, to be honest, back in the day, I always enjoyed the New Mutants just a bit more. Maybe just because they WEREN'T X-Men. Or have an X in their name at all. It set them apart. I also really liked that they weren't really so much a "hero group" in the classic sense of the word. Yes, they had powers. Yes, they got into adventures. Yes, they had "foes". But they weren't the group trying to save the world. Mostly they were kids in school who kept falling into crap. They were kids first, heroes second. Going back to my affection for the group and their not being X-Men, a few years back when they restarted the book with a new group of new New Mutants, I was right there. Liked it okay, too. Then they changed the group into another X-Men group (I believe they were called the Superfluous Prepubescent X-Menzzzz) and I was out. Just annoyed me that they went from unique to one of a zillion X titles.
Well, now we have the new...new...old...New Mutants. The original gang is getting back together and I'm a happy camper. It's fun to see the kids reunited as young adults. They are using one of the group’s old enemies, Legion, as the central threat to bring several of the original New Mutants back together. Gives it a nice reunion feeling--old and yet new. And Legion is a solid big time threat to start with. With his reveal in issue #1, I thought, oh $%!#. I also like some of the implications this story puts in place. Seems Legion is a bit upset with a lot of the old gang, including at least one who hasn't yet returned. Just implying the potential return of one character gets me excited for maybe even more past characters popping up. Then you have Illyana who everyone thinks is only a wee bit evil who might, it seems, be bad to the bone.
Beyond the writing, the art is good too. I like the cover showing Legion's fractured personality via an actually fractured cover. I think it’s one of the more striking hero comic covers I've seen in awhile. The art inside is solid as well. It isn't dangerous and crazy edgy or anything but...I didn't really want that. It's solid. And the book is saying, okay, here's a group you remember from way back. So you really want it to feel like these ARE those same characters. The art and writing I think do that trick. I really felt like I had stepped right back in with the same gang of kids I new back in the day, just a little older.
Now, if Sunspot gets in a situation where he starts wondering what his favorite TV hero Magnum PI would do...well okay, then they've gone a step too far.
Jinxo is Thom Holbrook, lifelong comic book reader, and the evil genius behind poobala.com. He may appear cute and cuddly but if encountered avoid eye contact and DO NOT attempt to feed.

TALES OF THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #59

Writer: Tristan Jones Artist: Paul Harmon Publisher: Mirage Publishing/TNMT Reviewer: Liam ‘The Kid’

Note: ‘The Kid’ is 8 years old and has been doing reviews on his own site since August of 2008. And you can now follow the kid’s daily ‘adventures’ on Twitter.
My brother and I used to love the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES. We got a lot of the toys and saw all the movies and cartoons. The best movie was probably the cartoony one that came out a couple years ago. I even loved the video game. I used to play it all the time and was really happy when dad helped me finish the game. I read a couple of the comics before but they didn’t seem as cool as the cartoons or movies. A lot of the people were different and it was easier to just follow the shows instead of the comics but I was able to try this comic out.
I really liked the art in the book. Even the parts where it was just regular people talking was good and the artist did a nice job on drawing all the offices and buildings and people. There was a lot of details in the comic that were good to find. And I really like the way the Turtles are drawn. The art isn’t in color so you have to recognize the Turtles by their weapons but the gray art looks cool in this comic. The best parts of the comic book were the two parts where the Turtles come to the rescue to save this news reporter who is looking for the Foot clan. The Turtles are really tough and take out the bad guys real easy. I think the Turtles are tougher in this comic than they were in the games or shows. I liked all of their ninja action and how they saved the reporter but took all her film so she couldn’t prove they were real. It was cool to see Hun in the comic, too. He was one of our favorite bad guys and was really hard to beat in the game. I like how him and King Cobra looked in the comic.
The part I didn’t like is that the Turtles are only in it for a couple of pages. The reporter is okay and the parts with the bad guys are good but the comic isn’t about the reporter. It’s supposed to be about the Turtles and they should be in it more. It probably would have been my favorite book of the week if the Turtles did a lot more than what happened in the book. It ended up being just okay with good art and some great fights with the Turtles but mostly just talking. It needs a lot more action.

PLANET SKAAR: SKAAR - SON OF HULK #11

Writer: Greg Pak Art: Ron Lim & Dan Panosian Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Mr. Pasty

SKAAR: SON OF HULK, which clearly in no shape or form resembles Conan from Dark Horse, is back with a hulked-up look at teen angst and child abandonment.
The increasingly convoluted history of Hulk and his son Skaar has left me yearning for the simpler days when he ran from the Army and beat up on B-level villains. Now we have to deal with an episode of Maury Povich because Hulk decided to paint the town green on some rocky planet with a bald chick who tattoos her face. I can easily sum up the plot of SKAAR using Hulkish vernacular: Hulk smash Skaar’s feelings. Skaar mad. Skaar want to smash back.
Issue #11 builds up to the inevitable clash between Hulk and Skaar in issue #12 and features everything you would expect in a Hulk-inspired book including flying police cars, dead wolves, desert locations and “innocent” children. Unfortunately it also includes the group “Warbound” which might as well be called “Cliché-bound” since it’s comprised of an assortment of cookie-cutter warriors. Among them is Elloe, a girl with tight buns, Brood, a menacing Alien who is of course fluent in English and a token strong-guy named Korg, who resembles The Thing but dresses like Captain Freedom. Warbound is a poor man’s Hulkbusters. And did I mention they drive a Hummer? Sigh.
What I did like about the book was the strong but subtle use of frames that added both depth and complexity at key junctures. To his credit, Greg Pak is able to save this book in the final four pages by redirecting the anger that consumes Skaar and turning it outward. The last act did what any good comic does: It had me clamoring for the next issue.
The art presented here is proficient but unexceptional. Galactus is the lone bright spot, as he clomps around eating worlds like only he can. The rest of the panels are mired in baby-shit green, with a brush so heavy and drab that Skaar’s childhood problems pale in comparison to the depressing tone that envelops this book.
I started this story not caring about Skaar’s human form (think Atreyu sans charm) and I still don’t. SKAAR succeeds when he’s turned loose and no longer bogged down in self-pity. Just as many fans find the Hulk’s best years to be the time when he was a rampaging simpleton, Skaar is more appealing the less he speaks. When I want to be depressed I’ll listen to Morrissey. Stop moping around and start kicking some ass.
It’s what Daddy would have wanted.
My rating: 3 Mighty Joe Youngs out of 5.

STAR TREK: CREW #4

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

It didn’t suck.
Oh, for the love of Bod, it didn’t suck.
So far, the series has been plagued by Plot Delivery Systems instead of characters, wonky science (screaming in space), major plot contrivances (an enemy war ship getting deep into Federation space without being detected), and some serious issues with plot telegraphing. So it was with no real hope that I read the fourth installment of the Heroine With No Name.
And I actually kind of liked it. It’s a really simple plot by Trek standards, but Byrne continues to capture the look and feel of the era and for once, his skill (or lack thereof) in writing dialogue doesn’t get in the way of the fun. Plot telegraphing is less of a problem here because, despite Byrne never leaving any doubt as to what the particular clues of the mystery are (underline, underline, exclamation mark), the story ties in with a lesser known story. I was aware of said story but have never read it, so the ending here was a pleasant surprise. And, yes, the reveal is cheesier than hell, but here the tone of 60s television works to Byrne’s advantage, because you can almost imagine these characters smiling in a half-joke as they go to credits.
Number One wasn’t exactly a compelling character in the original STAR TREK pilot and Byrne’s been slowly (far too slowly) developing her into something a bit more interesting and that has finally started to take root here. Factor in a couple of other toys from the Trek Universe (future-Captain Pike and Captain April) and you can almost see Byrne’s eyes light up with delight. This is by no means a great story, but it’s the first time this series has managed to capture more than a fraction of the set-up’s potential.

THE MIGHTY #5

Writer: Peter Tomasi & Keith Champagne Art: Chris Samnee Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: BottleImp

Here I was all set to begin this review by praising Peter Snejbjerg’s incredible artwork on this series. I was going to point out how his dramatic use of solid black ink and high contrast lighting gave the pages a moodiness and richness that is lacking in so many other comics these days. I was ready to write about how his simplified, slightly blocky character designs made for easy reads of emotion in both facial expressions and body language.
Then THE MIGHTY had to go and screw me by having someone else on art duties this month.
I’ve got no serious complaints, though—Chris Samnee doesn’t have quite the same film noir sensibilities coming through his inks as Snejbjerg, but his work is certainly good, and his drawing style and design sense are similar enough to blend nicely with the visual world that Snejbjerg has set up. And speaking of setting things up…
I know that some people (fellow reviewers included) dropped this title after the first couple of issues due to its seeming lack of plot advancement. And maybe it’s a valid criticism, especially given the average price of a comic book these days. At three bucks a pop (at least!) it becomes hard for the reader to justify continued purchasing on a product that gives little enjoyment in return. I myself have quit cold turkey on many a title for that very reason—most recently DC’s BOOSTER GOLD joined that list. But I also believe that each story has its own way of unfolding, and THE MIGHTY just wouldn’t work if the reader were thrust into non-stop action sequences.
To those readers who gave up on this comic: I urge you to give this series another look. Because after a slow burn of setting up Alpha One, Captain Cole and their slightly familiar, slightly clichéd dynamic, Tomasi and Champagne are cranking up the story. The readers are beginning to see the real Alpha One, and even though we don’t know exactly what that entails, we know that he sure as shit is not the Superman to Cole’s Jimmy Olsen. And this slow reveal of the superhero’s true nature just wouldn’t have the same impact were it not for the methodical way in which the creators have drawn out the story.
I’ve also gotta give kudos for DC—it’s great that a company which has been so anal-retentive about its fictional continuity (to the point where so-called “imaginary stories” are being woven into the tapestry of the “real” DC Universe) can still publish a series under the DC banner that stands alone and apart from Superman, Batman and the rest. THE MIGHTY just wouldn’t work if it had to labor under the baggage of that history. Of course, give Geoff Johns a few months and he’ll probably not only figure out a way to bring Alpha One into the mainstream universe, but ret-con him as a founding member of the Justice League of America as well.
In any case, THE MIGHTY is shaping up to be a top-notch mystery/superhero/science fiction series, and I’m certainly going to be sticking with it. This is one comic that returns my $2.99 investment with heaps of interest.
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.

ULTIMATUM #4

Writer: Jeph Loeb Art: David Finch Publisher: Ultimate Marvel Reviewer: Liam ‘The Kid’

Note: ‘The Kid’ is 8 years old and has been doing reviews on his own site since August of 2008. And you can now follow the kid’s daily ‘adventures’ on Twitter.
Magneto went crazy and started destroying the planet. He created this huge tidal wave that wiped out most of New York and his army of evil mutants has been going around attacking people and killing superheroes at the same time. Magneto knows that the heroes are going to try and stop him so while he’s hiding out he has his mutant followers going on the attack for him. I’m really surprised by how many main people got killed off in the story. Daredevil, Wasp, Thor and Professor X were all killed and so were a lot of X-Men.
The story starts with Spider-Man and the Hulk still fighting. This is one of the longest battles I’ve read. They were fighting in this book and they’ve been fighting in the Spider-Man book. I read the Spider-Man book before this one and didn’t really like it that much. It focuses on the Spider-Woman character and there are no words in the entire book. It’s just a lot of people running around doing nothing but looking for Spider-Man and then it just ends. It wasn’t really exciting like the other issues but at least it’s over. I do like how the Hulk is really huge in this comic. He looks like he is twice the size of the building. The battle ends real quick though. Hulk does one big smash and then that part of the story is over and it goes to Dr Strange fighting an evil demon.
Dr. Strange is in a lot of books now. He’s fighting the same type of creatures in the NEW AVENGERS comic but he doesn’t have all of his powers. Actually I think that the magic stuff in the comics is pretty boring so I’m glad that it ends fast here. The evil spirit wraps Dr. Strange up in his own cape and strangles him till his head pops. It was pretty gory but I bet the spirit was just annoyed with how lame Dr. Strange is in the AVENGERS comic and wanted to kill him for it. That’s a joke but Dr. Strange is still pretty lame. He and Wasp can go start their own team.
The rest of the comic is about different heroes going around and trying to build up their own army to go fight Magneto and his team. Mr. Fantastic and Dr. Doom team up to go find Nick Fury. Wolverine is trying to get the Hulk on their team. I think it’s a good idea for all the other humans to try and make a team together because it’s the only way they’re going to beat Magneto but I thought it was dumb when Nick Fury called the people ‘bungholes’. If he’s going to curse they should do those little symbols. Bunghole is a dumb thing to say. The only other thing I really didn’t like is that Hulk disappears. He gets found in the middle of the book and they try and convince him to join the team but he isn’t in the battle at the end and no one says what happened to him, unless he’s the secret weapon or something.
There is a lot of action at the end of the book with all of the heroes going in to attack Magneto. Sabretooth is a really violent mutant and he starts to try and eat the Angel but Hawkeye takes him out. I’m surprised that the book is so bloody but Hawkeye is a very cool character and I like how he used his arrow to take Sabretooth out. Another cool part is when Magneto is holding Thor’s hammer and the girl with the magic sword goes after him and cuts Magneto’s arm off. I couldn’t believe that happened. The best part is near the end with Captain America smashing through the window. I like the way he’s drawn with his shield out and attacking Magneto.
I like how the whole team of heroes surrounded Magneto at the end. I don’t care how strong Magneto is. With all of those heroes Magneto is going to get his butt kicked. This book is a lot of fun because it’s filled with a lot of characters and there is always a lot of action where everyone is using their powers and stuff. And because it’s in its own universe characters can get killed so it’s more serious. I think the battle in the next issue is going to be crazy!
Rating: 9 out of 10

Hey folks, Ambush Bug here. We’ve got three fine examples of the good life outside of the Big Two below: one book reminiscent of HELLBOY, one for those of you who like life’s alternatives, and one designed to thrizzle your socks off. Check them out.

TALES DESIGNED TO THRIZZLE VOL. 1 HC TPB Fantagraphics Books

This book thrizzled me sideways, but then again, that’s what it was designed to do. This is some funny shit. Not the corny funny. Not the intellectual funny. Just damn funny in the goofiest, most offbeat and hilarious manner. The only real tying theme to this collection of nonsensical pages is utter and delightful madness. From SNAKE’N’BACON which follows a snake that only says “ssss” and a slab of bacon that says things like “crumble me in a salad” (in a voice that I imagine would be like Gilbert Gottfried’s) as they meet various people and get into all too normal adventures to Mickey Rourke’s Pubic Hair Stencil Kit which includes such stencils as “Death of a Bullfighter” which “started out as a novel until the artist realized it would work better within the medium of pubic hair.” From an ad for The Apiary Hat—“Girls love it…Bears want to stick their paws into it!” to Crazy Catapult Grandpa comin’ at ya!, you’re bound to laugh until stuff jiggles hard at this here book. Fans of offbeat comedy, especially shows like TIM & ERIC AWESOME SHOW GREAT JOB! and MR. SHOW WITH BOB & DAVE will find Michael Kupperman’s TALES DESIGNED TO THRIZZLE (collecting the first four issues in new full color action!) to be necessary reading.

REIGNBOW & DEE-VA #1 & 2 www.sosuperduper.com

And now for something completely different. When an effeminately gay hero and a strong willed super diva team up, there’s going to be a whole lot of @$$-whuppin’ going on. Yep, it’s more fun from Brian Anderson, the guy who brought you SO SUPER DUPER, about the super hero who is the last person to know that he’s gay. This time around he’s brought artist Celina Hernandez along to draw an all new dynamically super duo. Reignbow and Dee-Va’s plan to go clubbing and search for treasure are interrupted by homophobic vampires. Much booty is kicked in the first issue of this highly comedic, very gay adventure (not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course). There’s much kicking, punching, cannon-blasting, vampire slaughtering, hair braid whipping (with a healthy dose of gay-ness) fun to be had here and the switcheroo ending to the first issue was a real surprise too. Hernandez’ art really shines in the second one as she seems to be getting more comfortable with experimenting around with panel size and what’s in them. There’s an especially funny and well drawn strutting sequence in issue #2 that stands out at one of the best looking series of panels from the artist. The stakes rise as a trip to the beach turns into a battle with a sea witch who tempts all the straight men to be her slaves. Luckily, Reignbow is anything but straight. Unluckily, Reignbow’s boyfriend is mysteriously hypnotized by the siren. Could it be that Reignbow’s boyfriend has gone straight? Find out in issue two. There’s a lot of fun to be had with these two books and gay or straight, if you’re comfortable with yourself, you’ll have a lot of fun reading REIGNBOW & DEE-VA.

ROBOT 13 #1 Blacklist Studios

In the tradition of THE GOON, HELLBOY, and ATOMIC ROBO, ROBOT 13 may be treading down familiar territory of offbeat monster bashing goodness, but it sets itself apart by adding a layer of literary depth and smart intention to its story. The design of our hero is definitely unique--a robot with a human skull for a head and very cool spindly arms and legs. There’s a whole lot of pages without words in this one, highlighting the skills of both writer (Thomas Hall) and artist (Daniel Bradford). Bradford’s art looks very Mignola, which is a compliment, but whereas Mignola’s art often seems blocky and solid, there’s a fluidity to Bradford’s work. Although this is just the first issue and the story hasn’t really begun yet, it looks as if Hall’s story is going to be reminiscent of FRANKENSTEIN and THE ODYSSEY; two lofty yet fascinating works to be tackled in the comics realm. Can’t wait to read more of this fun and amazing book! Highly recommended for monster hunters everywhere.

DARK AVENGERS #5 Marvel Comics

I am enjoying this book. With Thunderbolts Norman Osborn only had to fool some of the people. In this book he has to fool EVERYBODY. With this issue I can see it turning into a sort of plate spinning act. One thing goes wrong (Clint Barton calling Norman out for the scum he is on national TV), Norman fixes it. But meanwhile ten other plates are about to hit the floor. Sentry is going nuts. Norman tries to help but, whether he knows it or not, is in over his head. It's becoming clear that not everybody in the group is on the same page as to what this team actually is. I can see three or four plates going off kilter there. And, to me, this is really just a mini-version of the whole Dark Reign thing. I was at my comic shop and said that what I liked about Dark Reign more than the last few events was I could more see where it was going and where it was going amused me. The guy I was talking to said, "Yeah, eventually the heroes are just going to take him down." But that's not where I see it going. With more and more plates spinning, I am waiting with glee for all of them to fall as Norman largely takes himself down. But for now, as demonstrated by his defense of Clint's media attack on him, Norman Osborn still remains the master of spin control. - Jinxo

DEAD ROMEO #3 DC Comics

Still having fun with this vampire tale about a romantic, ex-rock and roll star vampire and his unfortunate human companion who are being chased by a clan of vengeance-bound vampires. The pace slowed a bit in this issue after a pulse-pounding non-stop chase that occurred for the entire last issue, but the intensity hasn’t let up. The shockeroo ending will take you back a bit and leave you craving issue #4 all the more. Good writing from Jesse Blaze Snider and fantastic art by Andre Coelho. This is mainstream horror with bite and blood. - Bug

DEADPOOL: SUICIDE KINGS #3 Marvel Comics

Every issue of this book adds on more horrible horrible abuse that is just great stuff. And it also seems each issue adds a new face to the mix. Started with Daredevil, added The Punisher and then Daredevil and, now, Spider-Man. I am a little disappointed to see Spidey added. I mean, they had a cast of such morally upright characters in place and then...they have to go add Spider-Man. Sorry. Taking the Spidey shot just makes me laugh. Makes me laugh almost as much as The Punisher taking shots at Deadpool. So, you know, don't take my head off or anything. - Jinxo

JONAH HEX #44 DC Comics

Consistently (for what, 44 issues now?) JONAH HEX is one of the best comics DC has to offer. This issue starts off a rare six-parter and acts as a perfect jumping on point for those unfamiliar with the crusty cowboy. It’s hail, hail, the gang’s all here time, as Palmiotti and Gray gather just about everyone who has crossed paths with Hex and survived together for one big gritty adventure. I was surprised at how much happened in the first few pages of this book. We had a double cross, a tornado raining horses and Native Americans, and a premature burial. And
Readers Talkback
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  • June 10, 2009, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Still no coverage of aarden Entertainment's Flash Gordon? Why?

    by kingjovis

    Come on! Some of the books you cover here and very small titles/press...but no Flash! I just don't get it. The book is great. Smartly written, beautifully illustrated, great reviews...and no coverage here. If you are a true comic fan...search it out.

  • June 10, 2009, 8:57 a.m. CST

    There's two Kids now????????

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    They must be replicating somehow.

  • June 10, 2009, 8:58 a.m. CST

    I Am -- FIRST! I Am -- DOOM!

    by V. von Doom

    Bug is right about Secret Six vs. Wonder Woman. I keep waiting for the same "kick" in WW and am still waiting. Although there are flashes of brilliancy (Felix Faust's parting line when leaving the Society's headquarters a couple issues ago was classic) it's just insanely difficult to make WW as interesting as a bunch of anti-heroes.

  • June 10, 2009, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Batman and Robin = Garbage

    by shutupfanboy

    How Morrison still has a job after RIP and Final Crisis is a mystery to me. I read the book and realized it is going nowhere. Sure, the art is good, but a villain named Pyg and a Robinmobile smells of shit thrown against the wall. I wanted Grayson to be Batman, but I want a competent writer to do it.

  • June 10, 2009, 9:07 a.m. CST

    shutupfanboy, DOOM Commands Your Attention!

    by V. von Doom

    Let Morrison relax and not try to make a cosmic story out of "Batman and Robin" and, like "All-Star Superman", I think the results will be great.

  • June 10, 2009, 9:08 a.m. CST

    You cold tell me that Batman and Robin is so good it produces an

    by The Nihilist

    ...and I still wouldn't buy it. Even though it takes place in regular continuity (I assumed it was it's own self contained world, a la "All Star Superman.") Even though I also like the idea of Dick Grayson as Batman and rather enjoyed "Battle for the Cowl." Grant Morrison just burned his last bridge with me on Infinite Crisis. Such an overwhelming, obnoxious, too-good-to-tell-the-reader-what's-actually-happening piece of shit. Fuck that drugged out Scotsman, he's not getting another penny of mine.

  • June 10, 2009, 9:09 a.m. CST

    2 Kids

    by AndrewGol

    Don't worry, PG, we're not turning AICN into an all ages site. The younger brother loves reading comics too and once in a blue moon will do a co-review with his brother. Both of the boys were psyched about Batman and Robin and Since someone else was doing that review they settled on doing a 'double review' here of Tiny Titans, another favorite.

  • June 10, 2009, 9:11 a.m. CST

    The complete title of my previous post was supposed to be..

    by The Nihilist

    "You could tell me that Batman and Robin is so good it produces an orgasm every time you turn the page..." Sigh. Goddamn Talkback formatting that doesn't tell you when you've gone over the character limit in your post title.

  • June 10, 2009, 9:11 a.m. CST

    Batman and Robin

    by AndrewGol

    I thought it was a great review of Batman and Robin and summed up my own feelings about the book exactly. I haven't been a huge fan of Morrison's or even Quitely and have been weary over event stunts like this but all the pieces put together ended up being a fantastic comic which I read multiple times. One of my favorite issues of the year. Laughed my ass off at the Ult Spidey review, too.

  • June 10, 2009, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Ultimatum is so, so bad

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    On so many levels. And I thought it started out pretty well with the tidal wave, but since then it has just been a confusing mess. And this latest issue just took the biscuit. Angel and Captain America smash through the windows of Magneto's sky base? Wouldn't he have been able to rip them to shreds before they even got near? I was looking forward to seeing how the heroes would infiltrate the base of the most powerful mutant on the planet, but it seems no tactics were needed: they just jump straight through the double-glazing and start to battle. And the silent Ultimate Spider-Man wasn't much better - just plain boring. I really can't see how the Ultimate Universe can recover from this magnetic tidal wave of shit.

  • June 10, 2009, 9:24 a.m. CST

    That review of Ultimatum

    by gooseud

    was awesome on so many levels, Bravo Kid!! He summed up the last Ult Spidey so well in one sentence.

  • June 10, 2009, 9:26 a.m. CST

    If I had to Guess Slinger

    by optimous_douche

    I would say the kids are replicating through adults fucking.<p> Just a guess, so I'm open to other theories.

  • June 10, 2009, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Batman

    by Pogue__Mahone

    I won't lie. I loved me my Batman and Robin!!!

  • June 10, 2009, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Re: Batman and Robin

    by Dragon Man

    Totally agree with you on your take on this new Batman and Robin, and I didn't even realize I felt that way until I read your take on it. I always felt the character of Bruce Wayne as Batman was a fairly one-dimensional character with not many places to go and he was written as such an arrogant prick for a long time. I think all the possible character opportunities have been mined and then some. This new order with Grayson as Batman and the bastard kid as his sidekick isn't just a marketing ploy; it's a natural progression of that world and those characters. I think it should remain as the natural order.

  • June 10, 2009, 9:30 a.m. CST

    optimous_douche

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    That's just what the government want you to believe - it's a kid conspiracy!

  • June 10, 2009, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Ultimatum gets 9 out of 10?

    by sean bean

    To anyone with an IQ out of double digits it should get less than 0. I know The Kid is 8, but really... Speaking of which, not only is it horrendously badly written, it features cannibalism, exploding heads and dismemberment. It's only an anal rape scene away from being at the level of Crossed. Loeb should be ashamed of this shit. Fucking hack.

  • June 10, 2009, 9:32 a.m. CST

    Thanks Goose

    by AndrewGol

    Ultimatum's not my cup of tea but I understand why Liam digs it. And yes, as an Ult Spidey fan he was pretty disappointed by the finale to that story.

  • June 10, 2009, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Batman and Robin

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Another guy who really enjoyed it here as well. Dick Grayson as Batman seems like it could be interesting. Morrison really seems to a hit-or-miss kind-of guy, writing awesome stories one moment and awesomely crap ones the next.

  • June 10, 2009, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Ultimatum

    by AndrewGol

    Sean, the reason you and I and others don't like it is probably precisely the reason why Liam does. It's an out there Marvel book featuring recognizable characters doing things you won't really find them do in the regular books. That's the appeal.

  • June 10, 2009, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Batman and Robin/UltimateSpider-man

    by Joenathan

    Batman and Robin was awesome, but the inks kind of bothered me. And I'm sorry for that, because I realize that its the dumbest complaint ever. I also suspect that the inks were a little "dirty" in comparison to All Star Superman because Batman is "gritty", but still... I wish they had been cleaner.<br><Br>Ultimate Spider-man... yeah, these Ultimatum ones have seemed really treading-water-y, I wonder, though, if thats because Bendis is at the mercy of the whole stupid event and is just waiting for the whole stupid thing to ge over with?<br><Br>Although Spider-man's "death", if he really is, happening off-panel was an odd decision... We'll see what happens there, but I am kind of hoping the new Ultimate Spider-man features a Peter without a Peter!

  • June 10, 2009, 9:35 a.m. CST

    sean bean

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    I've managed to get hold of the final issue and can confirm that Magneto is anal raped to death. By the Hulk. Thus destroying Loeb's comic career forever.

  • June 10, 2009, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Next week Liam reviews HEROGASM #2

    by Squashua

    Be there!

  • June 10, 2009, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by sean bean

    Ultimate Peter Parker is as dead as Carol Danvers or Bruce Wayne - i.e. not dead in any way.

  • June 10, 2009, 9:41 a.m. CST

    the internet's ripping apart ultimatum #4

    by nerfherder111

    ive just read 3 or 4 different reviews imploring me not to buy it, as it is utter shit. <br><br> so it's a good thing the kid let me know about the cool action scenes where the heroes get to use their respective powers. i almost missed out on all that cuz of a bunch of snooty "adult" reviewers. <br><br> i mean, i get it, he's a kid, it's a really cool idea and reminds us of the pure joy that came with reading comics before we were worried about boring stuff like character. but would ya please let him stick to books like tiny titans? <br><br> and also, kick off all the talkbackers who complain about the kid, because they are annoying too

  • June 10, 2009, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Gunslinger

    by sean bean

    At least that would be funny. Especially if Magneto continues to pretentiously quote song lyrics as the Hulk pummels his anus. "Hey Mr Tambourine Man... Play a song for me.. In the jingle... jangle mornin'... I'll come following you."

  • June 10, 2009, 9:45 a.m. CST

    I think Batman and Robin will be good for about ten issues....

    by cookylamoo

    Then Morrison will get bored, as he always does, Quitely will go with him and we'll be stuck with Palmieri and Grey.

  • June 10, 2009, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Yeah, snooty "adult" reviewers

    by sean bean

    that complain about boring things like plot, characterisation, dialogue, consistency and logic. I wanna read about cool action scenes! FUCK YEAH!

  • June 10, 2009, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Nerf

    by AndrewGol

    He doesn't tend to like books like Tiny Titans. A lot of the 'all ages' books tend to be boring for him or dumbed down. While he isn't going to get to read Walking Dead or The Boys anytime soon I'm not going to discourage him or his brothers from reading by telling them they can only read Johnny DC or Marvel Adventure titles.

  • June 10, 2009, 9:51 a.m. CST

    I liked Batman & Robin

    by kafka07

    but probably wouldn't have bought it if Morrison hadn't written it.

  • June 10, 2009, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Plot, Characterization and Logic vs Action

    by AndrewGol

    He's read, enjoyed and reviewed plenty of books based on the story vs the action. He figured out that Dr Hurt was the Devil in RIP. He pieced together the identity of Menace in Amazing Spider-Man. He enjoys the banter of characters in books like New Avengers and Batman but he also thinks it's a cool idea if the people who dress up in these crazy costumes do more than talk all the time and sometimes get to use those powers and kick some ass. It depends on the book with him. If you notice, he'll love a book like Simpsons (no action scenes) because of the humor. He loves New Avengers even though more often than not it's talking over fighting because of the dialoge. But if it's the Hulk or Deadpool or whatever there better be some destruction

  • June 10, 2009, 10 a.m. CST

    Morrison will get bored after 10 issues?

    by Laserhead

    ??? See New X-Men, JLA, Doom Patrol, Animal Man, The Invisibles, Batman, etc.<p>I think you're thinking of Warren Ellis, King of 10-issues-and-out. And 10 is actually some kind of high-water mark.

  • June 10, 2009, 10 a.m. CST

    Is anyone reading

    by Series7

    Bang! Tango?

  • June 10, 2009, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Ultimatum

    by Joenathan

    Is a poorly written comic, but its packed with Comic Book-y stuff, thats why children like it. Kids are like the slack jawed idiots who want to "turn off their brains" at summer movies, but with the potential to become better. I hate Ultimatum, because I demand three dimensional characters doing things that make sense. I demand a well thought out, well told story. Children, like the Kid, are entertained by Barney, so of course he likes Ultimatum... What else would you expect?

  • June 10, 2009, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Is Flash Gordan any good?

    by Series7

    Or just a rehash of the movie?

  • June 10, 2009, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Kids

    by AndrewGol

    Liam's never liked Barney, heh, but he's a big fan of Lost. And 'slack jawed idiots'? Tisk, tisk. He's finishing 2nd grade. At the beginning of the school year they measured his reading/writing abilities and they were at a 3rd grade level. Since he's been reading more (not just comics but non 'picture' books) and getting to think about what he's read and formulate opinions his most recent evaluation a few weeks back put him at a 5th grade level and his teacher was astounded. The choices of books to review and the 5th grade level of writing may not be up to speed for a 30-40 year old but we're quite happy with how he's progressed so far and will continue to encourage him to do so.

  • June 10, 2009, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Batman & Robin

    by Mr.FTW

    I'll be the first to admit I wasn't looking forward to more of Morrison on Batman and am not a Morrison fan in general I'll own up to liking the first issue.<p> That said though I'm still weary of things like Damien who is a clone and completely disposable, Mr. Toad and a flying Jetsons style Batmobile. If Morrison can keep himself under control he might have a good story in him but his track record doesn't fill me with high hopes. Still, I'm going to give it a chance.<p> I have to say to the Professor though, why are you so shocked and giving Morrison credit for something people have thought should have happened for years like he was behind it? I'm sure he is not he first writer who wanted to elevate Dick Grayson, he is just the one who got to do it.

  • June 10, 2009, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Did anyone read Dead Run by Boom?

    by Joenathan

    It is a perfect example of a bad comic written by talented amatuers with little to no editorial oversight. If you had read it as a first draft, you'd write "Great start, but needs work!" and then Red Ink the fuck out of it.

  • June 10, 2009, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Unclench Andrew

    by Joenathan

    I said kids are "like" not that they "are", you ignore the part where I add "with the potential to become better", meaning kids are still learning and developing, which is why they might give a somewhat suspect thumbs up and that people reading their reviews need to understand that and allow for it. <br><br>Also: shut up.

  • June 10, 2009, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Loeb's problem seems to be....

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    ... that he thinks just because there's blood everywhere it makes something gritty and shocking. Reading Ultimatum is like reading an unfunny, charmless Itchy and Scratchy. Heads explode, people get eaten, necks get snapped... I'm not against this kind of thing, but here it's just violence for violence's sake.

  • June 10, 2009, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Joe

    by AndrewGol

    Missed the whole potential to become better because alas I am not yet at the 5th grade level. But I do still think it's unfair to lump all kids or anyone under a certain age level into a category. There are as many kids out there who demand more from their entertainment as those who want things spoonfed to them. And most probably fall right in the middle who enjoy the best of both worlds.

  • June 10, 2009, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Although....

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    ... even without all that it would still be badly written and a piece of shit.

  • June 10, 2009, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Kids

    by Laserhead

    I know, I know, 'just skip his reviews.' I do. And I think his father should be encouraging his reading and writing. That's great. I just don't think other adults can be expected to give a shit. The only 8 year-old's opinion I'd care to hear, on any subject, would be my own kid's.<p>Isn't it indicative of some kind of narcissism, to invite readers to view an 8 year-old's Twitter updates? I'm a proud parent too, but Jesus Christ. From what I gather, pre-schoolers aren't a significant percentage of AICN readers.

  • June 10, 2009, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Morrison gets props from me...

    by Prof

    ...because while he may not be the first one to propose Dick Grayson as Batman, he's the first to convince DC to let him do it. That deserves props. Now if it had sucked balls, I would've ripped him a new one over pushing this change and then fucking it up. However, he seems to be on the verge of success with it and I want to encourage this effort because its a positive move forward with the character of Batman.

  • June 10, 2009, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Flash Gordon...

    by Prof

    ...is quite good actually. I've been kind of waiting to review it once the trade comes out. But Brendan Deneen is hitting all cylinders very well on this series, which improves with each issue. And NO, it has nothing at all to do with the film. It is a reimagining of the Flash Gordon concept (think Battlestar Galactica) and it is respectful of the original concept but new and fresh in its presentation.

  • June 10, 2009, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Loeb

    by Joenathan

    is terrible. Ultimatum is one of the dumbest things ever. I saw that picture of Cap leaping through the window and figured Cap was dead... why? METAL SHIELD FIRST! Apparently that didn't occur to Loeb though. Fuck internal logic and continuity, right? <br><br>I don't think he understands that the Ultimate Universe is NOT regular continuity. I'm not a big Continuity guy, but thumbing through Ultimatum it is obvious he has, at most, skimmed the other books and then said shit like: "Thats not how you draw Thor's hammer... what a dumbass that Hitch guy is..." Its just terrible, its so Smallville and Heroes. Awful. Terrible. Heavyhanded. This guy belongs on bad TV shows. I hope he gets a development deal with Sci-fi or something, so he can go make crappy TV movies for them and leave comics along. Loeb is the new Liefeld.

  • June 10, 2009, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Anybody read Buck Rogers

    by Joenathan

    I am totally curious about it.

  • June 10, 2009, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Joen

    by optimous_douche

    I read the 0 issue, but not a lot happened. Too soon to say if good or bad.

  • June 10, 2009, 10:43 a.m. CST

    The #0 issue of Blackest Night...

    by Thrillho77

    I think it was a very solid opening to the story. You know, seeing as it was free. It certainly got me excited to get the thing started and I think the little bits of history between Hal and Bruce were elegantly written. Godd, for what it was.

  • June 10, 2009, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Prof challenger you cant be a true Batman fan..

    by wowsah156

    if so you would see how out of place Morrison's work on the Bat titles has been. Morrison is a good writer when he deals with spacey cosmic and mystic characters. On gritty brutal characters like The Bat Morrison cant do it.

  • June 10, 2009, 10:52 a.m. CST

    We need a petition to remove Morrison from the Bat titles

    by wowsah156

    DC editorial need a good kick in the balls over what they have doen to the Bat titles. Someone organise aa petiton to remove Morrison from the Bat titles. Has an act of reconciliation allow him to restart The Invisibles again on vertigo comics.

  • June 10, 2009, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Can't we call it "Batman is Back?"

    by Falafalguy

    We need to save "Batman Reborn" for Jeph Loeb and Rob Liefeld's return to DC.

  • June 10, 2009, 10:57 a.m. CST

    AndrewGol

    by ME_M

    It was some time ago, but a study found that newspapers were written at the 5th grade level (dumbed down for the masses), while comic books were at 8th grade or higher. When Hercules is fighting Dragon Man, and I stop to check the dictionary for the word "brobdingnagian", that is a worthwhile educational experience.

  • June 10, 2009, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Prof and Batman

    by ME_M

    I didn't read Batman during the Bane/broken back era, but I'd say that the death of a character that you know is coming back is what smacks of "stupidity and marketing". (Think of the death of Superman.) At least with a broken back, the writers are being honest enough to temporarily allow other characters the spotlight before the original returns.

  • June 10, 2009, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Y'know, wowsah156...

    by omarthesnake

    that "petition" of which you speak... that would be sales of the comic. DC ain't gonna give two shits about you and five friends spamming an online petition site. They will care about sales. If you think the comic's no good, don't buy it. That's where the decisions will be made, not from some halfassed petition campaign.

  • June 10, 2009, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Re: Morrison's run on Batman...

    by Prof

    ...I am not a fan of what he was doing as a lead-in to Final Crisis. Lost me immediately. But, this first issue of the new status quo was a completely different experience for me and it did not reboot or retrofit anything, it worked within the current state of the continuity.

  • June 10, 2009, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Back off, Joenathan.

    by SleazyG.

    Your continuous disrespect of others grew old months ago. You just insulted an 8 year old, then told his dad to shut up for defending him. Back off and learn to play nice or you'll be asked to leave.

  • June 10, 2009, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Batman and Robin was good...

    by Homer Sexual

    Batman and Robin was very good. Quite entertaining. But I wouldn't say it was brilliant. It didn't really involve me. Love both Morrison and Quitely. But sometimes Quitely drew Batman in a rather awkward way that didn't seem right for Dick Grayson. But it is definitely a keeper. <p> But not my favorite comic of the year. I actually enjoyed War of Kings more, I got so involved with the action and actually caring about what happened. And the last page was a shock! Will this stand? It looks like it will. Either way, the dramatic effect was achieved. <p> I also loved New Mutants, thought it managed to balance the old and the fresh very well. But if Illyana is really going to "go evil" for the umpteenth time, I'll drop this one like a hot potato. <p> And NA: Reunion. I don't care for the monochrome coloring of this mini, but I liked everything else about it, and again I actually found myself caring about Clint and, especially, Bobbi. <p> I haven't had time to read Secret Six yet (due to a two-week, 21 comic splurge last week) but I thought the latest Wonder Woman was pretty good. Although the Genocide character is rather lame, the rest of the issue was interesting, had good art, and was solid (but not spectacular, not Rucka level for sure). <p> My personal favorite comic of last week: In a tight race of several good issues, going to go with War of Kings. Action and drama, all working together for the excitement of the reader.

  • June 10, 2009, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Batman's Broken Back vs. "Death"

    by Prof

    Nobody could come back from a broken back like that and be at 100% ever again. Which means, Bruce shouldn't have ever been able to function as Batman again after that. So, the believability was already stretched at that point. But the worst thing about that was that his replacement was someone who had no real established relationship with the character and was just a ploy to play around a little while with a brutal Batman in ridiculous armor to somehow make it all the more glorious when Bruce returned. Under the setup that Morrison has done here, all believe Bruce is dead, but we all know he's still alive but stuck in the past somewhere. Eventually he will return. But, the setup here is one in which that story can be told next year, 10 years from now, 30 years from now, whatever. In other words, in the present Bruce is dead and the world moves forward. But the key to bringing him back is there for DC to fairly easily bring him back whenever they want. And it does not take an expansive stretch of comic book credibility to do it. If Grayson succeeds as Batman, however, then DC has no need to bring Bruce back anytime soon with any immediacy. If they are willing to do it, they can settle back and let Grayson establish a solid legacy for his own Batman. Then in 25 years or so, they can do BATMAN: REBIRTH and bring him back. Or they can bring Bruce back and have him happily allow Grayson to continue and give him a break and maybe retire. The possibilities are endless and they all move and grow the characters forward. And that's what should happen with serialized characters anyway or they become stagnant. BATMAN & ROBIN #1 is a logical and satisfying advancement of the characters.

  • June 10, 2009, 11:33 a.m. CST

    children are dousches in general

    by chetedawg

    just saying. fuck children.

  • June 10, 2009, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Re: War of Kings

    by Prof

    I hear uniformly that this is outstanding. Waiting on the trade for it however. There's just so many weekly comix I have time and $$$ for. So, these that are limited series are likely going to be put on the trade list for me. Especially now that I've just added POWER GIRL and BATMAN & ROBIN to my list. :)

  • June 10, 2009, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Oh no, here we go...

    by Homer Sexual

    We are all aware that the Kid is here to stay. <p> But he has to be able to take his lumps like any other reviewer, it's not fair to ban someone (even a tool like JoeNathan) for insulting him unless they get really inappropriate. And I sort of think it's weird for his dad to defend him, but whatever... <p> Following an eight year old on Twitter is highly hilarious to me. <p> Please don't ban me.

  • June 10, 2009, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Actually, Sleazy

    by Joenathan

    I'm a Kid defender and I wasn't insulting the Kid at all, a point I clarified and his father acknowledged. He saw that, why can't you?

  • June 10, 2009, 11:42 a.m. CST

    The children our are future

    by Continentalop

    Just saying. <p> And I think their are laws against what you are suggesting chetedawg.

  • June 10, 2009, 11:42 a.m. CST

    I don't care about your clarifications.

    by SleazyG.

    I read what you said. "Kids are like slack-jawed idiots" is still a problem for me. I also read where you told Andrew to "unclench" and "shut up". None of that is reads as "clarification", much less "apology". It's not okay when directed at the reviewers, much less a little kid; I'm not even a fan of it when directed against other TB'ers. Act like a decent human being or go away.

  • June 10, 2009, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Suggestion for Batman villains

    by Continentalop

    I agree that Grayson's Batman needs his own rogues gallery. That is why they shouldn't make any super-villains, but instead "arch-criminals." All of Batman's classic golden age villains were more arch-criminals than true super-villains: gangsters and thieves writ large. Even the Joker wasn't as much a super-villain like Red Skull, Black Adam or Brainwave as he was a combo between pulp villain, Dick Tracy bad guy and something from an Lon Chaney horror movie.

  • June 10, 2009, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Ultimatum feels like a slap in the face

    by drewlicious

    It just feels so damn mean to take these characters you've been building up for ten years and maliciously tear them to pieces. Almost none of the deaths (except Hank Pym) get the gravity they deserve. Instead they're killed like supporting characters in horror films. Ultimate Spider-Man was the last straw. What a crap issue. Granted we still have the requiem and the new book but what a shit way to end a series. For once I hope this is one of those fake out deaths and Peter Parker's still in the new book. If they pull that clone switcheroo crap and have spider-woman be the main character they've officially lost my money.

  • June 10, 2009, 11:53 a.m. CST

    You should, because there's a difference

    by Joenathan

    kids... not The Kid. Understand? Like I said, I'm a kid defender, so relax

  • June 10, 2009, 11:59 a.m. CST

    I'm sure Batman and Robin will sell.

    by cookylamoo

    But I wonder about the regular Batman Book, Red Robin, Detective and all the rest. Without the big draw, Damian, can they expect to do any better than Nightwing?

  • June 10, 2009, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Bruce Wayne an asshole?

    by JohnnyESQ

    I readily agree with your Batman and Robin review, Prof, but couldn't disagree more with your take on the Bruce Wayne Batman. In the last 13 years or so that I have been seriously reading comics, the one character that has consistently driven any book he's in was Bruce Wayne's Batman. Sure, he's a menacing, paranoid, angry asshole MOST of the time, but that's what Batman is. He never lets up. He's always on the job. As Superman puts it in Morrison's first run on JLA, he's the most dangerous man on the planet. I understand where that attitude could wear on the reader, but that's why there are those moments where he relents for a brief second, and you get to see the man under the cowl. Every once in a while he cracks a joke, or gives a kind word and some confidence to an unsure new hero. Or maybe he buys an Arrow Car off eBay for his newly resurrected comrade. Sure, these moments are scattered and few, but their infrequency and their stark departure from the status quo of the character are what makes them so powerful. I'm a big Dick Grayson fan, and I'm going to enjoy his time under the cowl. But when Bruce Wayne comes back from wherever he is and reestablishes his place in the DC Universe, it'll be bigger and mean more than any other hero's return, even Superman's. Count on it.

  • June 10, 2009, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Right now...

    by Prof

    ...I'm not caring about the other Batman titles (though I know they need to be figured into the big picture ultimately). What has me interested right now is precisely and singularly the relationship between Dick and Damian as they both try to establish their place in this legacy. I'd be happy for DC to just publish this book, DETECTIVE, and a BATMAN FAMILY anthology book and leave the Bat-titles to those 3. I might even be inclined to pick them up if that was all there was.

  • June 10, 2009, 12:09 p.m. CST

    I am with you, Prof

    by Joenathan

    Dick and Damien are a breath of fresh air, despite the fact that their names sound terrible together. I'm really looking forward to the creation of their relationship.

  • June 10, 2009, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Flash Gordon isn't very good

    by Bedlamite

    I disagree with the quick word of mouth about the new Flash Gordon being an interesting or even a very good book. It's not incredibly impressive in either the art or the writing front. The story is a rehash of the original storyline, but it's not unique enough nor does it grab your attention and demand you care. The art is very similar with lots of splash, but not much in the way of substance. I'd much rather have seen Cary Nord behind the art on this book. I'll keep hoping.

  • June 10, 2009, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Please, ENOUGH with the kid already!

    by Steve Rogers

    They aren't reviews, they're childish regurgitations of the plotlines, and *everything* gets a rave! I love a kid's enthusiasm for comics as much as anyone, but yeesh, it is NOT a decent comicbook review.

  • June 10, 2009, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Come on everyone

    by Prof

    Do you not realize that the entire reason that the AICN reviews are different than other sites is because of the varied perspectives provided. Having a kid adds something that is a nice addition to these differing perspectives. Just skip the kid's reviews if you want something a little more adult, and then maybe show them to your own little ones or your nieces and nephews to read. They will probably prefer the Kid to the other @$$holes. But cut out the hate and bitch session. Uncool.

  • June 10, 2009, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Continentalop is a literal dousche

    by chetedawg

    you know what i meant. kids are useless. i meant "fuck them" as any wagon-jumper would say "fuck morrison" or "fuck harry"

  • June 10, 2009, 12:28 p.m. CST

    How is Dick-Bat different from Bucky-Cap?

    by Tall_Boy66

    I don't get why people actually enjoy these flash-in-the-pan temporary replacements (Temporary can go from a few months to a few years) but it always goes back to the A#1 original. I have no idea why some comic book fans are obsessed with "change". Who cares? These characters have stood for decades before us and will stand for decades after us, why screw with it for shock value or the pompus notion of "legacy". Bring back Bruce and Steve, pretenders to the throne are just that, pretenders.

  • June 10, 2009, 12:30 p.m. CST

    I think their problem is...

    by Joenathan

    that some of the comics he reviews ARE comics that they want to hear about from an adult perspective, so they get upset when they don't get that option. I believe its been suggested that perhaps a companion adult review of each title the kid reviews would alleviate alot of the complaints. <br><br>That being said, I enjoyed his reviews this last week and only object to this week as Ultimatum is so terrible, it shouldn't be mentioned by anyone ever again.<br<br>Also, my neices and nephews have zero interest in comics, not when they have the Internet and Video Games and even outside sports. The Kid is a throw-back minority to an older time, an evolutionary dead-end, if you will, comics in their present state will be completely dead to new readers in ten years, because the entire concept of "new readers" will cease to exist. Just saying...

  • June 10, 2009, 12:31 p.m. CST

    We know what you meant, chetedawg,

    by Joenathan

    Gross.

  • June 10, 2009, 12:32 p.m. CST

    So, Marvel is ending the Ultimates line?

    by AnakinsDiapers

    If so, good. Never thought the Ultimate Universe line was needed in the first place. I thought the entire concept was a cynical marketing ploy from jumpstreet. Maybe they can put more energy into revitalizing the New Universe.

  • June 10, 2009, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Dick-Bat?

    by Joenathan

    Now there's an image...

  • June 10, 2009, 12:32 p.m. CST

    THANK GOD FOR JOENATHAN

    by chetedawg

    FOR MAKING SURE EVERYONE IS CLEAR ON EVERYTHING. TOOL

  • June 10, 2009, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Cynical?

    by Joenathan

    How was the Ultimate line "cynical?" Do you even know what that word means?

  • June 10, 2009, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Thank God indeed,

    by Joenathan

    I didn't read the rest of your post, but I'm sure it was jusst more compliments.

  • June 10, 2009, 12:38 p.m. CST

    when does joenathan start reviewing books?

    by chetedawg

    gotta be better than the kid. ohhhhhh.....someone insulted a child. book'em danno.

  • June 10, 2009, 12:39 p.m. CST

    chetedawg

    by Continentalop

    I meant that as a joke. Unless you are actually fucking kids, I can't see how you could take offense. <p>

  • June 10, 2009, 12:40 p.m. CST

    continentalop finds pedophilia amusing

    by chetedawg

    see above.

  • June 10, 2009, 12:46 p.m. CST

    A few things...

    by Ambush Bug

    Yes, ULTIMATUM is terrible, but it looks to be geared towards the younger crowd, so for me, it seems appropriate for The Kid to review it. Then again, I don't read it, because I think the entire Ultimate concept is retarded.<br><br> And guys, stop acting like your complaints matter to me. The Kid stays. If you lack the power to scroll past him if you don't like his stuff, that's not my problem. And Joe, your argument that he's covering material adults may want to check out may be valid if not for the fact that we try to have some variety to what the kid reviews so he's not reviewing the same thing every week. That means if the Kid reviews something one month, then we encourage another perspective the next month. We've covered other issues of ULTIMATUM before. For the finale, I'm sure someone else will cover it. So if you don't like it that the Kid covered your favorite comic, fret not, someone else will most likely cover the book next time.<br><br> Like Prof said, if you're looking for cookie cutter reviews from a bunch of guys you can't tell from one reviewer to the next, look elsewhere. Here we want to thrive on variety. Now, if only I could track down a chick who wants to review comics, we'd be golden and have all the bases covered.<br><br> And maybe a monkey....

  • June 10, 2009, 12:46 p.m. CST

    okay, so i'm out of circulation, but what's this Ultimate WTF?

    by mr. smith

    are they just laying waste to the characters? they killed ultimate spidey??? seriously?? one of my favorite series. what a pointless waste.

  • June 10, 2009, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Oh for fucks sake

    by optimous_douche

    C'mon guys we're all better than this.<p> No one is going to like every review or reviewer.<p> The Kid gets a shot at the books none of us have time to review or don't want to review.<p> Now, can we talk comics again please.

  • June 10, 2009, 12:48 p.m. CST

    How is Bucky/Cap different than Robin/Bat?

    by Prof

    Well, the major difference is that Bruce Wayne actually RAISED Dick Grayson into adulthood with part of the goal being that Dick would eventually assume the role of Batman. Bruce never intended (at least before asshole jerk-Bat persona became the characterization du jour after TDK) to be Batman forever. The other thing that is different is that, even as successful as Bucky has been in the role, the story itself was obviously never intended to be longterm. With the Dick Grayson situation, there are at least some indicators that this is intended to stick if the public will accept it (like Wally/Flash) but if the public eventually tires of Dick (ha!) then it will be time to bring back Bruce or try something else. Oh, and DC is unlikely to use the Cosmic Cube to transfer Bruce's consciousness into the body of an African American so that they can publish a "black" Batman because they've decided to invest millions of dollars in...oh...Will Smith to play the character on film. So there's that too.

  • June 10, 2009, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Bug

    by Joenathan

    Its not my arguement. I think the Kid is fine, I was just stating what seems to be a common reoccuring complaint.

  • June 10, 2009, 12:52 p.m. CST

    And my common reoccurring response...

    by Ambush Bug

    The Kid stays, no matter how much time is wasted complaining about him.

  • June 10, 2009, 12:52 p.m. CST

    JOE IS A PUSSY

    by chetedawg

  • June 10, 2009, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Prof

    by Joenathan

    I pray they don't do that. I am all for bringing Isiah front and center, but not with Cap's mind, thats insulting, like: it's okay, kids, he's still white on the inside! <br><br>Will Smith might be kind of interesting, but I'm still holding out for Paul Walker though

  • June 10, 2009, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Bug

    by Joenathan

    (shrugs)

  • June 10, 2009, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Yep, I find it funny chetedawg

    by Continentalop

    You got me.

  • June 10, 2009, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Cap's shield Vs. Magneto

    by drewlicious

    Yeah, could have used a throwaway line like "Non-magnetic alloy asshole" WHAP!!!! and that would have been satisfactory.

  • June 10, 2009, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Careful Dawg,

    by Joenathan

    Sleazy will get mad if insult other TBers.

  • June 10, 2009, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Drew

    by Joenathan

    Yeah, except the previous issue had Iron Man, Cap (w/ shield) and the girl in armor all taking on Magneto. Not to mention Wolverine. I expected Magneto's super powers to maybe take all those people out, but noooooo... that would make sense and not be crappy.

  • June 10, 2009, 1 p.m. CST

    Now For the Million Dollar Question

    by optimous_douche

    We all know Ult. Spidey is going to have a volume 2 and the scuttlebut is that it will be SPider Tits.<p> My question is what about the rest of the Ult. Universe/World. Will they acknowledge that half of the world is dead like Wildstorm? And could this actually make it a more interesting universe in the long run since it will now be SOOOO different from the real Marvel U?

  • June 10, 2009, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Ultimate Universe

    by Joenathan

    I hope that reconstruction lasts for a long while. Plus, the fall out of this Event could complete remove the Ultimate Line for the Regular's continuity. Cap leading a Mutant registration Push? No more Manhatten? Who knows, I'm just hoping its ood.<br><br>Also, I love Peter without a Peter, even thouh she'd be an insulting fake lesbian in the same way Black-Steve would be a fake black Cap... eh... maybe I'm not so hot on Peter without a Peter.

  • June 10, 2009, 1:05 p.m. CST

    I think

    by Series7

    Ultimate Hulk Vs. Wolverine is what really killed the Ultimate universe.

  • June 10, 2009, 1:07 p.m. CST

    That is what they should of done in the beginning douche

    by Continentalop

    My big problem with the Ultimate Universe is that it has always been a bastardized version of 616. Different enough to annoy you in how they present characters, close enough enough to make you wonder what the point of the whole thing is. <p> The Ultimate Universe should have been what the Supreme Powers universe was in the beginning (before JSM started missing deadlines) and what direction I thought it was going to go in: a warped version of the Marvel characters, and how the world might function if super-powers really existed. In other words, a clusterfuck.

  • June 10, 2009, 1:07 p.m. CST

    The real question is....

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    ... when is Jimmy Olsen gonna become the new Superman? He must be pretty jealous of all those other sidekicks getting their time in the sun.

  • June 10, 2009, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Million Dollar Question

    by AndrewGol

    I hope so, OD. We've had a mini series event that most people hated, a cancelation of several of the main books (Ult X and Ult FF)and a reboot of the most popular one (Spidey). When the new Ultimate books launch I hope that this new world is reflected and acknowledged to give some purpose to the whole thing other than to just blow stuff up for the fun of it and the books relaunch 1 year later with everything rebuilt and back to normal.

  • June 10, 2009, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Plus, didn't the New Universe in the 80s

    by Continentalop

    Cover all this ground? The Pitt anyone?

  • June 10, 2009, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Andrew/New Ultimates

    by Joenathan

    I bet its mostly blowing stuff up, directly due to Ultimatum.

  • June 10, 2009, 1:14 p.m. CST

    I know what the word cynical means, thank you..

    by AnakinsDiapers

    ..and the Ultimate line was definately cynical in nature, with the Ultimates being the epitome of it. <p> First, the entire idea is based on the fallacy that the main Marvel Universe was being strangled by its continuity and the general audience would be lost. That's simply bullshit. As if daytime soap operas don't always get an influx of new viewers. If you tell good stories, people will always be willing to learn as they go. I'm nothing special, and i'm not 60 years old, yet i was able to start reading comics without having to start from issue #1. Imagine that. <p> Then there's the "modernization" factor. Did these concepts really need to be given new sleek, hip spins? The genre at its core is silly, nothings gonna change that. It's cynical because Marvel, in trying to initially sell the Ultimate line, trashed their own main universe by presenting it as impenetrable and archaic. And what did we get? A canabilistic Hulk, a Captain America that was a Bush wet dream, the constant pop culture name dropping, etc., etc. Slap big name writers and artists on it and call it a day. <p> And now here we are. The main Marvel Universe has been revitalized in recent years by their event stories and the constant shaking up of the status quo. Love it or hate it, it's selling big time. It was always about the stories. Slap big name writers and artists on it and call it a day. The Ultimate Universe was not necessary.

  • June 10, 2009, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Oh Warren Ellis...

    by Joenathan

    Why won't you return to New Universe!?! Why? I know your computer crashed, but damn it, man... you killed Tony Stark and I want more!

  • June 10, 2009, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Forget Cap's shield....

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    .... how did they even get their jets anywhere near Magneto?? Why didn't he just crush them before they even arrived? And in the final panel of the comic Magneto is surrounded by superheroes including Iron Man, Cyclops and Wolverine - who all have metal as essential parts of their superhero getup! I'll let Halkeye off because he might have plastic arrows. This comic reads as if it was written by a twelve year old. Like drewlicious said above, a few throwaway lines of explanation could have made this ridiculousness slightly more bearable.

  • June 10, 2009, 1:20 p.m. CST

    But Bug....

    by cookylamoo

    Do you really like this kid or do you just like referencing "The Kid Stays in the Picture." As for getting a monkey, you already have one.

  • June 10, 2009, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Joe re: New Ultimates

    by AndrewGol

    Well it's Millar. So it can either be a lot of crap blowing up and being being killed in innovative ways or a lot of talk and commentary about modern society. :) Still curious how they're going to run Millar's Ultimate Avengers and Loeb's Ultimates Vol 4 together

  • June 10, 2009, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Hmmm

    by Joenathan

    I appreciate your breakdown, but I think you're misusing the word "cynical" a bit and question what comics would qualify as nessecary in the first place? Isn't the idea of exploring the possible ramifications of the MArvel U in the modern world a valid question and experiment? Ultimate Spider-man was (until maybe recently) certainly a rousing success. Not too mention, that Ultimates not only set new standards, but could be said to have directly inspired the current movies. Cynical? I don't think so. Cynical would be writing sub-par material because anyone who reads comics in the first place is a moron. And that was not the Ultimate line... until Loeb got involved, but I don't think he did it intentionally, he's just naturally sucky.

  • June 10, 2009, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Andrew

    by Joenathan

    This would be the one time that I would whole-heartedly approve of them just pretending that it didn't happen.

  • June 10, 2009, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Gunslinger

    by Joenathan

    throw away lines wouldn't have helped, they would have just stood out as hack-writing, convinient that ALL these Metal Heroes are non-magnetic. No, they should have been forced to go in without metal or... I don't know... used Magneto's powers and forced the non-metal reliant heroes to step up or maybe he should have just been generally creative in someway

  • June 10, 2009, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Actually, "The New York Times" has the same policy.

    by cookylamoo

    "WE DON'T CARE IF OUR CRITICS ARE QUALIFIED OR NOT" "THE KIDS STAY".

  • June 10, 2009, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Re: "Black" Cap...

    by Prof

    ...it just seems like that's where the plot is heading and harkens back to the manner in which Red Skull was also assassinated and then brought back with his consciousness within another body. So, seems like the bookend to a longterm storyline and a hopeful (to Marvel studios at least) goal to actually sign Smith to this pic regardless of the fact that he's about 20 years too old and African-American. But, just as the pure symbolism of Obama as president has apparently done wonders for some people in their perception of the American ideal, image over substance essentially. I can see Marvel justifying it in their mind with the rather grand symbolism of ongoing perpetuity in which their flag-wearing primary character is an African-American. It may be foolhardy from a fan perspective, but it also might be brilliant from a marketing standpoint--and truly, isn't that where all these types of decisions finally boil down to these days? Let me just answer that with...yes.

  • June 10, 2009, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Yeah, I like Will Smith

    by Joenathan

    He's one our last true Movie Stars in the classic sense of the term and he could totally beef up to be Cap AND, if the script was done right, exploring the themes of racism prevalent then, not just in society, but the Army, he also has the Acting chops to pull it off.<br><Br>However<br><br>Putting Steve Rogers in an African AMerican's body would be insulting for the reason I already mentioned, much in the same way American Indians could have found American Eagle in his headdress insulting. I would much rather have Isiah Bradley assume the mantle, then wipe him out and stick Steve Rogers in his body.

  • June 10, 2009, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Can't an adult ALSO review The Kid's books?

    by Thrillho77

    I know you guys with the power clearly don't care, but then I'm not sure what the point is. <i> I'll say this - he writes more discerning and well-structured reviews than IGN does.

  • June 10, 2009, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Kraka-laka-thoom!

    by Ambush Bug

    See how that works, Joen...

  • June 10, 2009, 1:52 p.m. CST

    uh...

    by Joenathan

    ok...?

  • June 10, 2009, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Sure the TBers can review the reveiwers...

    by Ambush Bug

    That's what they're there for. And The Kid doesn't read the TBs, so it's not that we're shelting the poor guy. But when it gets to the point where isnults are being thrown and a father is forced to defend a son, it gets to be a bit ridiculous. Especially since it's not criticism of the review, but just complaints that the review exists.<br><br> And do I like the Kid's reviews? I love the kids reviews. Despite a bit more attention to recapping than necesary, there's always at least one or two sentences that ring so true it hurts. But aside from some guidance to talk about how the comic made him feel rather than recap the issue in question, I wouldn't want to Kid's father to guide him in the review. That takes away what makes it unique. Out of the mouths of babes. His comments on TMNT were dead on. I read the same comic and wholeheartedly agree with him and couldn't have said it better or more succinctly myself. And the back and forth about playing the game in the back of the latest issue of TINY TITANS made me smile so big I could taste my ears.<br><br> All this talk of cynicism...the perfect example is rampant in this talkback.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:03 p.m. CST

    Joenathan...

    by AnakinsDiapers

    ..I wouldn't call the Ultimate Universe cynical if it was marketed as just another Elseworlds type endeavor. I remember the discusions and interviews leading up to the Ultimates roll out. The entire marketing ploy was to present a hip, "modern" alternative to the old and confusing main universe. Get Mark Millar to write snarky, dark material, throw a lot of pop culture references and have Hitch draw widescreen action, and everyone praises it as "realistic". Really? You say they were exploring the ramifications of the Marvel U in the modern world? First of all, isn't the main Marvel U based in the modern world? What exactly did the Ultimate line bring that was "modern" other than the superficial qualities i mentioned earlier? <p> Know what was actually "super heroes in the world outside our window"? The New Universe. It failed initially because it was ahead of its time. We're ready now. Marvel should try harder to revitalize that. The only Ultimate title worth anything was Spider-Man. Marvel should give that book the "spider-man family" treatment and drop the rest.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:05 p.m. CST

    So..CHEW

    by palpatinefuckedmydog

    is not about a Chinese-Jew?

  • June 10, 2009, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Please kill the kid.

    by Holeman

    He sucks ass. More than "Ultimatum". Other than the worthless review by equally worthless children, excellent work as always.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:10 p.m. CST

    A chick and a monkey you say, Bug?

    by Thalya

    Would an angry devil dwarf hamster who thinks he's Roscoe "The Top" Dillon suffice?<BR><BR>Seriously though, I'm no Indie Jones type, but if you need a reviewer with gal parts, I could muster a few here and there (I only get irrational when it comes to abuse of nebbishy types. Really! Honest!).

  • June 10, 2009, 2:11 p.m. CST

    New Universe

    by steverodgers

    Ahead of it's time? How far in the future do we need to go before Kickers Inc. is cool? Hopefully not to far, because I could use some more Kickers Inc. in my life.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Well...

    by Joenathan

    I would say that you are ignoring cultural and social changes that have taken place between now and the 60's, not to mention that Ultimate Spider-mas was consistantly highly entertaining AND is the new standard for on-time, creative team committment to a title... so there's that...<br><Br>I'm aware the New Universe once existed, but it failed because it was bad, not because it was ahead of its time. And Ultimates did it better and with classic comic book flair at the same time.<br><br>I will agree that they over-used the word "hip," but then Comic Creators aren't exactly cool guys, you know?

  • June 10, 2009, 2:17 p.m. CST

    "and a father is forced to defend a son!"

    by Joenathan

    Sounds like an exciting episode of Law and Order to me... duh, duh, duh.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Ambush Bug - re: The Kid

    by DennisMM

    Why don't you, then, edit his reviews to deal with the excessive recap material? For me, that would punch them up a great deal. Of course, I think a significant percentage of AICN could use some harsh editing. Comics reviews less than much, but still. <P> Why don't any of our opinions matter, by the way? Are we not the supporters of this site, via views and ad clicks? If the content drives us away, the ad revenues suffer.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Joenathan - New Universe

    by DennisMM

    Problem is, Marvel's attempt to revitalize rested on the least dependable major writer in comics, Warren Ellis. Great idea man, wonderful prose stylist, absolute mess in all other areas. The non-Ellis specials they've done have been flat and dull. I'm not sure who could take over "newuniversal" and make it vital, but they desperately need someone if Ellis would rather spend 97 percent of his time creating books for Avatar.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:22 p.m. CST

    I hate to side with Sleazy...

    by Joenathan

    Really, I do... but jesus, what the fuck, why do you care so much about the Kid? Does he really bother you that much? I mean, I'll kid about the Kid, mostly to upset Sleazy from now on, but come on... seriously?

  • June 10, 2009, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Dennis

    by Joenathan

    I heard his omputer crashed, but still... how long ago was that? Things were just getting interesting.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Avatar

    by Joenathan

    I wish they had more Ads about their product. They don't advertise enough, IMHO.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Computer crash - Joenathan

    by DennisMM

    That was more than a year ago. No matter how much background material one thinks is needed, at some point a comics writer has to be prepared to wing it. Also to back up his essential material to DVD-ROM, external hard drive, thumb drive. SOMETHING! Notice it hasn't stopped him from writing four (five?) Avatar series in the last two years.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:29 p.m. CST

    I think the kids dad needs to watch

    by Series7

    My kid could paint that. I want proof that these are coming from the kid.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Avatar - Joe

    by DennisMM

    I agree. Heck, I hardly know what they've got in trade paperback. They need more alternate covers, too.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:30 p.m. CST

    The Kid evokes the memory of "T.M. Maple"

    by cookylamoo

    The legendary DC Letterhack who basically regurgitated a synopsis of the issue everyone had just read. Hmmm TM has been dead for over eight years now. You don't think...

  • June 10, 2009, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Bruce Wayne is Batman.

    by Lemure_v2

    Bruce spent his entire life dedicated to this and nothing else, while Grayson was off banging Oracle and messing around in Bludhaven. Imagine if Kent or Parker were killed off, and a sidekick took over? As for rehashing Joker, Penguin et al...sure, when you can think up a better villain than the Joker, go right ahead. Bruce will be back right around 2011 when the next film comes out.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:30 p.m. CST

    by Joenathan

  • June 10, 2009, 2:33 p.m. CST

    cookylamoo

    by DennisMM

    I think you're a bit harsh on The Mad Maple. Jim Burke was a friend of mine for a while, and wrote for my fanzine. He could do a lot more than recap. I don't know why so much of his letterhacking was controlled by it, though. Or why he thought the word "worthy" was an acceptable bit of praise.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Dennis - Ellis

    by Joenathan

    Fo a man who is on-line apparently 26 hours a day, judging by his blog, the idea that he doesn't have a jump-drive makes me wonder if it isn't just a giant ruse. Where the fuck does he live? 1992? Who hasn't heard of backing-up? <br><br>Also, so it crashed and that shit is gone... why not start over?<br><br>Does Marvel ever call him? <br><br>"Hey, what about New Universal? We kinda had a contract thing?"<br><br>"Oh...uh... I'm...uh... busy...?"<br><br>"Oh, sorry to bother you then, can we call later?"<br><br>"Hmmm... no..."<br><br>"Oh....ok"<br><br>

  • June 10, 2009, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Hey!

    by Joenathan

    There is NOTHING wrong with banging Barbra Gordon, alright? Lets just be clear on that!

  • June 10, 2009, 2:37 p.m. CST

    I've nothing against TM

    by cookylamoo

    But Burke's letters were certainly more synopsis than criticism.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Joenathan - Ellis

    by DennisMM

    On the plus side, Wildstorm has announced that "Planetary" #27 will ship in October. If he gets out another issue of "Fell" any time soon, I can drop my embargo on new Ellis material.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:41 p.m. CST

    morrison and quitely: one of the greatest teams ever?

    by THE_ONE_MAN_GANG

    id say so. also, spider woman? please. die. i dont know why bendis keeps pushing her into every book. everything he says, he has to mention spider woman. totally dumb.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Cookylamoo

    by DennisMM

    Didn't mean to imply you did. Sorry if it came off that way. Funny, he started with my 'zine as a letterhack, and most of his letters just ran down the contents of the issue, with a passing comment. *sigh* He was so closed about his feelings re: almost everything. No wonder (besides his tremendous weight) his heart finally gave out. His stress level must have been sky-high.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:42 p.m. CST

    God

    by Joenathan

    Planetary #27 better being fucking ungodly amazing or lead to a new series starring the Planetary crew on the shift-ship, because its been, what?, 43 and 1/2 years since #26 was out?

  • June 10, 2009, 2:44 p.m. CST

    um, joenathan?

    by THE_ONE_MAN_GANG

    issue 27 came out like 3 years ago. doofus.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Planetray #27

    by DennisMM

    I figure Snow will either use the Four's technology to bring back Ambrose Chase, or die trying. All the century babies seem to die in big, dramatic ways. That could leave a more hopeful, less cynical restart featuring Ambrose and Doc Brass as the new Fourth Man.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:46 p.m. CST

    No, that was #26

    by Joenathan

    I was being facetious about the 43 years thing.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:46 p.m. CST

    One Man Gang

    by DennisMM

    No, that was #26.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Ambrose

    by Joenathan

    Yeah, I figured he'd be brought back. I hope Snow doesn't die, though, just because I don't believe there would be a drama worthy of his death that could be established in one issue.<br><Br>I can't understand why Ellis wouldn't want to work on that book constantly, there are some many toys there that are virtually untouched.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:49 p.m. CST

    dammit! i believe ellis did say that was the last though.

    by THE_ONE_MAN_GANG

    great series, and it was a sufficient ending for me.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Who knows?

    by DennisMM

    Given his fondness for short-form work, if he did it today it would be a nine-issue miniseries.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:52 p.m. CST

    One Man Gang

    by DennisMM

    I found it rushed, and didn't like the end of Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman, but it was a satisfying end to the story. Ellis has said #27 is more a capstone.

  • June 10, 2009, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Ellis

    by Series7

    Anyone reading Hotwire? I'm having a hard time tracking that series down, Radical releases shit so randomly.

  • June 10, 2009, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Didn't like "Whatver happened to..?"

    by Chadley BeBay

    Congrats, you have ZERO fucking vision. The story was brilliant. Moron.

  • June 10, 2009, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Oh...okay...

    by Prof

    ...that convinced me. Dipshit.

  • June 10, 2009, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Prof

    by DennisMM

    I thought it was fuzzy-headed and short on direction, myself. And didn't fit in with continuity. I know, it wasn't meant to, but still.

  • June 10, 2009, 3:17 p.m. CST

    I didn't read it

    by Joenathan

    Gaimen's been coasting off Sandman's good will for years.

  • June 10, 2009, 3:18 p.m. CST

    As for the initial New Universe run...

    by AnakinsDiapers

    ...Starbrand as written by Shooter and drawn by John Romita Jr. was a fantastic book. Those characters felt real, and Ken Connel was a flawed man who screwed up more than he got right. It was fun just to watch him keep getting stymied by realistic problems someone with his powers would run into. <p> DP7 had the government controlled superhuman idea going with a cast of characters who had powers that were just as problematic as helpfull, like the speedster who has to constantly eat or the strong man who keeps having muscle spasms as his body adjusts. Sure, Kicker's Inc. wasn't a gem but the line had some strong concepts that were written fairly well. We just wasn't ready for a more "real people" with powers take on the genre back then.

  • June 10, 2009, 3:21 p.m. CST

    I don't disagree that concept-wise it was revolutionary,

    by Joenathan

    but execution-wise? Come on now... it wasn't that good.

  • June 10, 2009, 3:25 p.m. CST

    I'm not sure the kid is really 8

    by OBESE_WAN_KENOBI

    The line "I think the spirit guy killed Dr. Strange just for being so lame in New Avengers" tipped me off. I think it's all a ruse. Got a little to clever for your own good "kid".

  • June 10, 2009, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Star Brand

    by DennisMM

    had some moments, sure. Ken McConnell read genuinely because he was written by someone as shallow as the character. But if Debby "Duck" had said "Quack!" one more time, I would have killed her as dead as John Byrne eventually did. DP7 was fun, but it tended towards the dull too often.

  • June 10, 2009, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Questioning the Kid's validity...

    by Ambush Bug

    you got us...he's actually a 97 year old man with severe altzheimers and hair trigger bladder.<br><br> The thing you really didn't know about the @$$holes is that we're all 8 years old. The Kid's the only one with the balls enough to admit it.

  • June 10, 2009, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Initial New Universe

    by Joenathan

    I think its main problem was its over devotion to "realistic." Not much happened. And it all just got dull. This is why, to me, I thought Ultimates walked the line better. It dealt with some "realistic" issues, but still made them all wear funny costumes and fight supervillians.

  • June 10, 2009, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Planetary Better Have

    by optimous_douche

    A fucking almanac that comes with it.<p> 3 years or 43 years is the same shit when it comes to comics, we needs us a primer Warren.

  • June 10, 2009, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Seriously!

    by Joenathan

    Has anyone read anything from Ellis as to why he ISN'T continuing with this book? I just don't get how you could walk away when there is still so much you could do.

  • June 10, 2009, 4:05 p.m. CST

    The Kid.....

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    ... is a skrull.

  • June 10, 2009, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Why "Planetary" is ending

    by DennisMM

    Ellis said he laid out a story for himself in advance and would end the book when the story was told. It was never meant to be an open-ended series. That makes sense, as Ellis seems to like stories that have a definite ending, even if others carry on with the title and/or characters, as with "The Authority." For him, Jenny Sparks's death closed out the story.

  • June 10, 2009, 4:09 p.m. CST

    The New Universe was a great idea

    by Continentalop

    But horrible execution. Star Brand is a good read all the way through the series, going from Shooter realistic hero to Byrne's bizarre sci-fi time paradox ideas, but the rest of the universe was just bad (well, DP7, Psi-Force and Justice had their moments). <p> I think i heard Shooter wanted to attract the top name talent in those days - guys like Miller, Moore, Byrne - from the beginning, but he had a very limited budget so he couldn't bring those guys in. Kind of curious how it would have turned out if he could have gotten them.

  • June 10, 2009, 4:09 p.m. CST

    The only good thing to come from the Ultimate Universe

    by thelordofhell

    Is Marvel Zombies.

  • June 10, 2009, 4:10 p.m. CST

    I think the problem with most stories...

    by Ambush Bug

    that try to be realistic is that they confuse "realistic" with "dull." I agree Joen. The initial NEW U was dull at times and very hit or miss, but despite that, they made some exciting stories. I wish they would release an omnibus of the entire line collected, including the QUASAR follow-up issues from the lat nineties.<br><br> Ahh, Quasar, THAT was some good comic booking!

  • June 10, 2009, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Quasar was interesting

    by Continentalop

    But basically it was Marvel doing a variation of all the DC comic universe stories. Quasar was a stand in for the GL corps, the big cosmic race was something out of a Flash comic (with cameo by Barry Allen), his traveling to the New Universe was a kind of Crisis of Two Earths, etc. <p> Good comic, but it strangely never felt like it belonged in the Marvel U.

  • June 10, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Who are the grumpy old men around here?

    by Homer Sexual

    I thought we--the frequent posters--were the old grumps, complaining about everything. <p> But this week is seems to be the reviewers. "All this talk of cynicism..the perfect example is this talkback." Geez, next you're gonna tell us to get the hell off your lawn, I mean your talkback. <p> And anyway, so what if we're cynical? We're still buying comics and hanging out on this site. <p> I am again reminded of Bill Mantlo, who I've loathed since I was in middle school and he published comments about "the fan elite" and how he doesn't care about them, he writes for kids. I immediately boycotted him, and I was only 12 at the time. People who don't appreciate their fan base/customers....F*** those people. <p> Well, I just bought Starman Omnibus 2, and am having buyers' remorse due to the wretched, abysmal, horrible JLA preview in this week's books. Pro-active, hunting down the villains before they strike...not only is this not the portrayal of JLA that I know, this is a total Marvel rip-off (and I didn't like it when Marvel espoused the totalitarian hero concept either). So...maybe Robinson isn't so great.

  • June 10, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Mark Gruenwald

    by DennisMM

    wrote "Quasar" and "DP7." He also wrote Marvel's most interesting attempt at "significant" super heroes, "Squadron Supreme." A B-lister, to be sure, but among the most talented B-listers.

  • June 10, 2009, 4:22 p.m. CST

    I should say ...

    by DennisMM

    Marvel's most interesting, PRE-GRITTY-GRIM attempt.

  • June 10, 2009, 4:29 p.m. CST

    "Writing for kids"

    by Joenathan

    is just a euphemism "bad writing." Lucas is a prime example. He tried to claim fans just didn't like Jar Jar because he was for kids and it was like, look, motherfucker, I saw the first film when I was three. I went nuts because of that film, lost my mind and there wasn't a single cutesy character in the whole thing (at least... not like Jar Jar). <br><br>Any writer who gets pissed at their fans because of valid critisms and says that they're writing for kids and that the fans just don't "get it" out to quit, becauuse they're a hack.<br><br>Imagine if Loeb came here and attacked us for out responses to Ultimatum. Insanity.

  • June 10, 2009, 4:29 p.m. CST

    The Kids reviews are way better than Harry's.

    by BangoSkank

    Nuff said. <p> Aside from that: <p> New Mutants makes me very happy. I started collecting X-Men/New Mutants right after the Mutant Massacre and before Fall of the Mutants, and at the time New Mutants was my favorite book coming out.... I love to see the old gang back together. <p> Loeb made me not only stop reading the Ultimates, but made me give up on the Ultimate line altogether. Unlike some (many? most?) of you I like a lot of Millar's stuff, but I'm still not giving his Ultimate Avengers book a shot. Fuck Loeb and fuck Marvel for keeping him employed. <p> I'm enjoying X-Factor again, but the non Jamie/Layla stuff is still dragging it down for me. Isn't there anything more interesting the rest of X-Factor could be doing? <p> I'm growing a little weary of the "Dark" stuff. Again -unlike many of you- I enjoyed SI, but Marvel is going into full-tilt overkill mode with Dark titles. <p> I'm fucking pissed that Wolverine is being replaced with Dark Wolverine. If I wanted to read about that douche, I'd be reading Origin. Why not let him take over the title he was introduced in? <p> Secret Warriors and Dark Avengers are both on the bubble for me... It could pop at any given issue, and they could go bye-bye from my pull-list.... What's helping is that list in question has never been shorter... at least not in the last 20 years.

  • June 10, 2009, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Ultimate U and Batman books

    by Homer Sexual

    I already went to the LCS today, and took a pass on Batman as well as Red Robin. Basically because I didn't buy Robin or Nightwing before. I'm sure I would buy them if I'd bought the stars' prior books. Also because Batman and Robin pretty much fills my Batman/Robin interest quota. I did buy "Whatever Happened To.." by Gaiman and the first half was an outstanding, A-level effort, the second part was childish pap and gets an F. (As an aside, I haven't cared for Gaiman outside of Sandman, either). <p> I was a big fan of Ultimates 1 and 2. I didn't buy 3 because I am sick of Scarlet Witch being mistreated, and am not interested in any more books that kill her, make her crazy, etc. Ultimate X-Men, however, rocked! Millar's run was outstanding and so was BKV's. Unfortunately, Kirkman ruined the book, but it was still awesome. <p> I am half interested in Ultimatum because I find train wrecks interesting. I'll keep reading here and see if I want the trade. The mention here of Valkyrie chopping Magneto's arm off sounds like my kind of thing. I like the Ultimate concept, so am sorry it's ending. <p> I don't think it is possible to make the Fantastic Four interesting. Byrne is the only one who ever came close, so I never actually checked out Ult. FF.

  • June 10, 2009, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Ult. FF/Dark Stuff/Ultimates

    by Joenathan

    Had some good moments and I have never been a big FF fan. Although, looking back, I don't know if I could point out which runs. Millar wrote more exciting stuff in the Ultimate version than he has in the Regular version.<br><br>I'm a big fan of Dark Reign, however, I can feel the pull of... alright, now its time for something kind of big to happen... Hopefully it will be soon.<br><br>I'm totally back for Ultimate Avengers, but I don't think I've ever read a worse comic than Ultimates 3. Remember how hyped they all were? God, what I wouldn't have gived to hear the insider reactions when it came out and sales just started to fall.

  • June 10, 2009, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Good Stuff Homer

    by optimous_douche

    I did the same thing today at the LCS with the Batman stuff.<p> Batman proper is more Dick debating whether to be Batman, I gleaned that from just a cursory pass. It was cool in BFTC, but I don't need another issue of internal struggle. Plus he's already executed the deed in the Morrison book, which came out LAST WEEK (seriously whoever is scheduling at DC wake up).<p> Ultimate U had some interesting stuff, just slid downhill quickly in the past few years...except Spider-Man...(clenches teeth)until...last...week....GRAGHHHHHH CRAP!!!!!

  • June 10, 2009, 4:45 p.m. CST

    Bill Mantlo

    by steverodgers

    Wrote Rocket Raccoon. You boycotted Rocket Raccoon? Oh Homer... It is time to forgive, come home, you need to go back and read those. Do it for your soul.

  • June 10, 2009, 4:45 p.m. CST

    I'd like to hear the conversation where "the Kid"

    by Snookeroo

    is told where his reviews are going and why he can't see them "in print".<br><br>"Yeah Liam, your work is being featured on the @$$holes page!"

  • June 10, 2009, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Oh and Homer

    by Joenathan

    If you like train wrecks, then yes, don't walk, run out there and buy Ultimatum. Its the train-wreck-est.

  • June 10, 2009, 4:47 p.m. CST

    You Know on Timing

    by optimous_douche

    I can't let this scheduling thing go...<p> I would be fired from my job if I put out either repetitive stories or fucked up sequencing like DC has been doing.<p> Kid Flash appearing in FLASH REBIRTH b4 he is resurrected in LoTW. Introducing Damian and Dick (there that flows better than Dick Damian) one week and then the next week having Dick debate whether to be Batman.<p> DC you need a level of oversight timing these damn things. Whoever is doing the job now is doing it poorly, this needs to go to someone who loves comics, not just someone that can run an excel spreadsheet.<p> You lost two sales today because of this, so don't tell me some level of continuity and liquidity between titles isn't important. Seriously, if Morrison's book came out next week, you boys have another three dollars. We always say sales dictate operations, well there you go.

  • June 10, 2009, 4:49 p.m. CST

    AndrewGol

    by BlueHawaiiSurfer

    I wouldn't even waste your time trying to reason with most of the "idiots" who do nothing but complain on this site. Your kid is doing some amazing stuff and the fact you work with him on his reviews speaks volumes about your parenting intuition. My oldest son, also 8 but finishing the third grade, loves the kids reviews and is now reading more because of them. He was very excited to see another child was reading and reviewing comics, just like the adults. I've said it time and time again. The content of this site will NOT NOT NOT appeal to all of the visitors. That would be an impossible goal and shallow of the admins to try and make it that way. The fact Liam can have a forum here just makes the site that much more diverse and helps inspire a new generation of nerds. (And hopefully doesn't inspire another generation of the ALWAYS negative TB douchebags.) Bravo on raising a fine boy and kudos to AICN for giving him a forum to voice his opinion.

  • June 10, 2009, 4:51 p.m. CST

    I wish I had a job in comics

    by Joenathan

    I'd be sitting home, right now, on my ass, watching TV and eating Cheetos and not turning in any work, because who cares? They're not gonna fire you. Its like a fucking dream job.

  • June 10, 2009, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Actually...

    by Joenathan

    The idea of some 8 year old somewhere out there barely able to formulate his rage over one of Liam's reviews tickles my funny bone. "...Some day, Liam.... some day I am going to log on and then... oooooh, you will get it!"

  • June 10, 2009, 4:54 p.m. CST

    I bet Liam's 8 year old nemisis

    by Joenathan

    looks like an older version of the Uni-brow baby from the Simpsons... but maybe thats just me.

  • June 10, 2009, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Bill Mantlo had a pretty good run on the Hulk

    by Continentalop

    He also did pretty good job on Micronauts and Rom, which were basically just licensed toys but he made them seem like actual comic characters. <p> And he did create the above mentioned Rocket Racoon and created Cloak and Dagger. <p> It is sad he got injured in a hit-and-run.

  • June 10, 2009, 4:58 p.m. CST

    That is sad

    by Joenathan

    Did he die? Or was he just injured?

  • June 10, 2009, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Bill Mantlo's injury

    by DennisMM

    He suffered head injuries and has spent more than 15 years in a care facility, tended by his brother.

  • June 10, 2009, 5 p.m. CST

    Injured

    by Continentalop

    He must undergo 24-hour assistance and lives in a nursing home. <p> They never did catch the driver.

  • June 10, 2009, 5 p.m. CST

    train-wreck-est

    by steverodgers

    Is Ultimatum worse than Captain America Heroes Reborn? I think those were the most train-wreck-est comic books in my lifetime - coming right after Garney/Waid were firing on all cylinders. My vision is still wonky after reading those issues.

  • June 10, 2009, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Mantlo

    by steverodgers

    That is really sad. I am surprised by how many comics that I liked as a kid (and still like) were written by him. Just a great comic book writer.

  • June 10, 2009, 5:04 p.m. CST

    While Mantlo did some good work

    by DennisMM

    I will never forgive what he did to Howard the Duck. He followed brilliance with crap, and juvenile, spoofish crap that followed nearly brilliant satire.

  • June 10, 2009, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Satire wasn't Mantlo's strong point

    by Continentalop

    But he did introduce us to Brian Banner and the idea that Bruce was a victim of abuse (something that Peter David gets all the credit for).

  • June 10, 2009, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Very true, sir

    by DennisMM

    Mantlo introduced the child abuse, Al Milgrom created the gray Hulk and Peter David rolled everything together into the MPD explanation.

  • June 10, 2009, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Didn't Roger Stern first intro the MPD?

    by Continentalop

    When he had the issue where Samson and Banner have therapy, somewhere in the 220-240 issue area?

  • June 10, 2009, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Hmmm ... let me search

    by DennisMM

    Can't find anything on Wikipedia that mentions MPD/DID being used before David. I do remember the therapy with Samson, though I don't think they used the concept.

  • June 10, 2009, 5:32 p.m. CST

    I just remember that Doc Samson

    by Continentalop

    Comes to the realization that they are not the same person. I can't remember if he said they had Multiple Personality Disorder or not (of course, everything was Multiple Personality back then thanks to Sybil). <p> ANd I am not taking anything away from David's run. I am a firm believer you don't have to be original, just be good. Take what was used before you and make it your own.

  • June 10, 2009, 5:34 p.m. CST

    ANd while I am giving love to Mantlo I will criticize him

    by Continentalop

    For fing up Puck in Alpha Flight. I think he did a worse job there than what he did on Howard the Duck. <p> Still, I love his Hulk run. Criminally under appreciated.

  • June 10, 2009, 5:37 p.m. CST

    I see.

    by DennisMM

    I'll have to try to find that. Thanks, Continental. <P> By the way, I have always loved your username.

  • June 10, 2009, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Well, now I feel bad about Mantlo.

    by Homer Sexual

    His comments were on the letters page of Micronauts, and I never picked up another issue of Micronauts. <p> But I was a pretty crappy boycotter since I did indeed read, and love, Rocket Raccoon. I only remember Mignola as credited. <p> And, while I don't apologize for being an "always negative douchebag," I am sorry to hear about Mantlo's poor health.

  • June 10, 2009, 7:03 p.m. CST

    loved micronauts

    by mr. smith

    bought the whole run. great stuff.

  • June 10, 2009, 7:39 p.m. CST

    ULTIMATUM is the equivalent of a Cherry Bomb in the Toilet

    by George Newman

    Marvel has given up of the Ultimate universe. <p>It had amazing talent when it started out but it all just dwindled away. Ult. X-Men and FF began with A-talents Kubert and Immonen, but for the latter half of the releases they have been penciled by C-talent (and zero interest) fill-in artists! <p> And now the Universe has culminated with Ultimatum, which has just been an action figure massacre (imagine a 9-year old using a Red Washable Marker to scribble blood on his toys' faces). <p>The only positive thought is that I still have my good memories (and books). Marvel can continue to mutilate its characters, I'm just not buying. I've been buying Marvel in some form or other for more than ten years but I stopped last year. Now I'm investing in GL (not Corps though) and whatever Quitely-Morrison book is out there(I say Quitely first cuz if he ain't drawing, I'm not buying). That's it.

  • June 10, 2009, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Again With The Liam...

    by Pogue__Mahone

    I love his reviews, too! They speak truths that only an eight year old will readily see. And I love that Andrew and him and his brother read together and write together. Quality time like that will lead to a quality relationship in the future. I got a job application turned in where I work today... the kid (about 18) had written his own NAME wrong... crossed it out... and then written it correctly. If we're turning out generations of kids who can't read and write or spell their OWN NAME then God help us all. You keep writing your reviews, Liam, and I'll keep reading them! And for those who don't want to read them? Scroll, you bastards! Scroll!

  • June 10, 2009, 8:44 p.m. CST

    It's great that the Kid writes reviews.

    by Snookeroo

    And likes to read.<br>And likes comics (we certainly need a new generation to carry the torch).<br>I certainly get a kick out of reading his reviews -- I remember what it was like to get a comic when I was that age -- it was a special experience.<br> <br>But it would be utterly irresponsible to let an eight year old kid have access to this web page. I hope that's not the case. You might as well drag him into a barroom full of drunken sailors.

  • June 10, 2009, 9:02 p.m. CST

    i think its irresponsible to an 8-year old read some of the stuf

    by George Newman

    irresponsible of the parent(s). <p>David Finch's illustrations in Ultimatum are grotesque and unpleasant. It's really quite absurd and unnecessary. I don't buy the book, and if i had a kid I certainly wouldn't let him/her look at it either. <p> Eight. This Kid is three-and-a-half feet tall and he probably hasn't grasped division or cursive yet (well, based on his writing level, maybe he has, but you get my point).<p> the book represents 1) Prof X getting his neck broken, which was a little traumatizing to me, 2)The Blob eating Wasp's intestines, 3)(the worst yet IMHO) Dr. Strange getting squeezed to death and you get a frame-by-frame of his face exploding under the pressure. <p> It is 100% awful and really shouldnt be marketed to kids

  • June 10, 2009, 9:14 p.m. CST

    " *FOR an 8-year old...."

    by George Newman

    Whoopsie

  • June 10, 2009, 9:28 p.m. CST

    I like how Ambush Bug says The Kid stays...

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    Even though no one thinks an 8-year-old's "review" of certain comics carry any interest or weight. Exactly why DO you have him on here, then? Pity?? As a novelty joke??? I mean, you have a 2nd/3rd grader reviewing comics where mothers are impaled through the eye with pens! And you think we're actually interested in how "cool" he thinks it is??? We clearly are NOT.<p>As many here (and Christian Bale) have already said, "It's pretty useless." As well as annoying and disturbing. Really, why waste our time? Because I doubt there's anyone here who's bookmarked Liam's website to read his opinions on a regular basis or has any interest in them, outside of Archie books and the occasional "DC Adventures" comic. You know... comics FOR little kids!<p>But it's nice to know how much you care about the thoughts of the folks who actually are responsible for this site's success.

  • June 10, 2009, 10:25 p.m. CST

    the Kid's reviews...

    by Speedstream

    are total crap. His giving Ultimatum 9 of 10 is just ridiculous. Maybe he should have his dad explain to him what's ACTUALLY HAPPENING in the book before he writes anything. I mean...he probably flipped through the book..."ooo pretty pictures" then flipped back to Valkrie. What has happened to this site...

  • June 10, 2009, 11:16 p.m. CST

    I Used To Review Comic Books Here

    by Buzz Maverik

    Which is why I find it hilarious that anybody can complain about the Kid's qualifications.<p>Dude, they're comic books. Do you need some kind of degree in Comicbookology to review them?<p>I always felt the goal of this column was fan improvement, a worthy goal since we're all fans who need improving.<p>Trust me, bunkies, modern fans need to ditch the pretentiousness.<p>Comics are supposed to be fun.<p>So let me ask you, what comics did you love as a kid and why?<p>I got seriously into comics when I was about 10. I was already seriously into monsters and horror and at the time, the spinner rack was loaded with monster comics. Garish covers. Overbold lettering. Werewolves battling bizzare amalgams of vampires, Frankenstein monsters, zombies, golems. You had cover blurbs like WOLF BEAST VS. MOON NIGHT and ADVENTURES INTO FEAR AS MORBIUS SWIMS THROUGH A HELLEYES DARKLY.<p.So review like a kid, bay-bee.

  • June 10, 2009, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Peter David admited Hulk's MPD was done before him

    by Tall_Boy66

    I can't find the quote and I can't remember which writer it was, but Peter David 100% admitted personally he wasn't the one to come up with Hulk Multiple Personality Disorder, someone before him did that first.

  • Never has one sentence made me so disinterested in anyone's opinion so quickly.

  • June 11, 2009, 4:47 a.m. CST

    This is a site for comic fans...

    by WavingFlagsInSpace

    ...and The Kid is clearly a comic fan.<p>The snobbishness of some people on this page is utterly ridiculous: there's no stipulated age limit on this site, nor on the comic books The Kid reviews, so why should he not submit his reviews?<p>And one day he will be just like those of us over the age of 30, earning his cash and buying his books and remembering what a bunch of idiots some of us were on AICN Comics Talkbacks. Younger readers should be encouraged, supported and given a voice because WE WERE JUST LIKE LIAM once.<p>I remember being a kid and getting the train to Camden Town to pick up my Batman comics from Mega City. The guys who ran the shop were so friendly and supportive - they'd chat about books and point my in directions I hadn't considered. I still pop back there whenever I can and it's been twenty years since I first set foot in there...<p>If they had behaved as some people do on this site then that would have been one fewer fan supporting an industry we all, hopefully, love.

  • June 11, 2009, 5:20 a.m. CST

    C'mon Someone

    by optimous_douche

    Disagree with me about Spider-Man.<p> I want to have a stirring row, a little verbal fist-to-cuffs. Let's back off junior mint for one week please.<p> The Kid is here to stay and some people do enjoy his reviews, especially the parnets out there.<p> We cover all bases. You want smart you Got Bug, Imp, Jinx, Ryan, Rock. You want dripping with irony, Mr. PAsty fits the bill. You want dirty, I think I fit that notch pretty snugly. Surly Sleay...we have it all for everyone.

  • June 11, 2009, 6:19 a.m. CST

    Douche...

    by WavingFlagsInSpace

    ...what's there to fight about? Ultimate Spidey ends with a whimper, not a bang. Anyone who has followed the series since issue 1 is going to feel dreadfully disappointed...it seems like Loeb's touch o'death at Marvel now spreads to Ultimate Spidey, though I am sure it was an editorial decision to give the impetus to Ultimatum.

  • June 11, 2009, 6:32 a.m. CST

    Yeah

    by optimous_douche

    I was just trying to derail....<p> I'm still wondering though who thought delivering a comic without words was a good idea after the horror show that was "nuff said".<p> At least that crap came with a warning.

  • June 11, 2009, 7:30 a.m. CST

    The Kid must be the only 8 year old on Earth.

    by cookylamoo

    Who can't sneak on the internet and read these talkbacks.

  • June 11, 2009, 7:45 a.m. CST

    It's certainly criminal...

    by WavingFlagsInSpace

    ...to offer a comic book with no words AND only mediocre art. The more I think about it the more I feel that Bendis and Immomen have missed an opportunity.<p>To a certain extent Bendis has earned all the latitude in the world for his run on Ultimate Spider-man. Even if he had finished the series with Mary-Jane waking up and Peter stepping out of the shower then one could, possibly, stretch to degree of forgiveness.<p>If they were going to make the images the central focus of the comic then why-o-why didn't they get Bagley back to do the art as a special, or convince another marquee artist to give it a shot. If you're going to be different be REALLY different...

  • June 11, 2009, 7:49 a.m. CST

    Oh and guys...

    by WavingFlagsInSpace

    ...if you were getting rid of some complete sections of your comic book collection would you:<p>a./ Sell them on ebay...<p>b./Offer them to your LCS...<p>c./Take them to a charity shop so that someone benefits from the sale as well as the find...<p>d./Any other suggestions?<p>It's a question of space...

  • June 11, 2009, 7:51 a.m. CST

    I Don't Read ULTIMATE SPIDEY...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...but I'm sure Marvel's defense will be that "controversial" Nick Fury story Steranko did over 40 years ago without words.<p>Yeah, like anybody at Marvel knows about that story or Steranko.<p>Of course, that story was secret agents doing secret agent stuff.<p>Also, it could be Bendis answer to critics who complain that his stuff is too talky.<p>Maybe I'll look at the issue in the shop next time I take the kids in for their Aliens Kubricks. Might be an honest effort to do something different.

  • June 11, 2009, 8:57 a.m. CST

    The reason Ultimate Spidey is silent

    by Laserhead

    is because it's a hacky way to SIGNAL IN BIG FLASHING SEMAPHORE that this issue is meant to be profound, important, moving. It's dressing, and nothing more. Because the story cannot be profound and moving through the actions and interactions of its characters, rather than actually inspire emotional movement in the audience, the author can only signal his intent that "this is meant to be moving." It's hacky, is all, a story pretentiously donning the trappings of 'serious' and 'important', without ever bothering to make itself actually be either of those things.<p>Total Bendis move.

  • June 11, 2009, 9:32 a.m. CST

    Give the kid his own page

    by Hedgehog000

    I don't have a problem with him doing reviews here though I usually skim or skip them. However, if the point of having him is to encourage more kids in comics, it would make more sense to have his reviews on a separate all-ages page with a separate all-ages (monitored) talk back, so other kids actually could read and discuss them (I certainly wouldn't let my 8 year old onto this page much less the TBs). It would also spare this TB from this endless argument or the spectacle of dad feeling compelled to defend his kid.

  • June 11, 2009, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Steve/Heroes Reborn vs. Ultimatum: which is worse?

    by Joenathan

    Allow me to counter your questions with a question: Which is worse, a poop sandwich or a diarrhea Gyro? Search within yourself.<br><br>Speaking of Heroes Reborn.... You guys have heard those weird-ass return of Cap rumors involving Heroes Reborn, right? That whole thing with the note from Reed to Tony, right?

  • June 11, 2009, 9:48 a.m. CST

    God damn....

    by Joenathan

    The people who complain about The Kid endlessly are annoying, but some you fuckers who defend him... you're just fucking creepy. Scroll up and read some of those comments... makes me want to fucking shower. You creepy weird-os.

  • June 11, 2009, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Optimus

    by Joenathan

    While, I didn't like the kind of off-camera-ness of the last Ult. Spidey, I didn't have a problem with the silence. What dialogue is nessecary? I'm sure Loeb or Slott would have put in liberal doses of: <br><br>"Hulk Smash!" <br><br>"No, Hulk! Oh no, that building is falling on me because of his unstoppable strength!" <br><br>"Gasp! Peter's mask..." <br><br>"Gasp! It ripped, but... but... that must mean he's...."<br><Br>"Oh, Peter... where are you....?"<br><br>BARF! There is nothing wrong wih letting your sequential art tell the story. I had a problem with the story's hiding-of-its-cards, but I had zero problem with its presentation.

  • June 11, 2009, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Also

    by Joenathan

    Destroyer looks fantastic. I can't wait for it.<br><br>Also, no one read Dead Run? I want to bitch about it...

  • June 11, 2009, 10:43 a.m. CST

    The Kid needs to go

    by nechyv

    I get where you are coming from letting this kid write on the page, ok? I do. But to post an opinion that says the animated TMNT feature was the best is so unbelievably stupid that I don't see how you can honestly say there is any journalistic merit of any kind giving him space here. I really do love this site, I follow many of the reading recommendations here. You guys got me reading Kick-ass and Incognito, (plus you give walking dead space pretty regularly) and I thank you for the fine reviews you have posted that got me reading these and other great titles (Crossed, hellll yeah). I RECOMMEND AICN TO EVERY COMIC READER I KNOW!!!! But honestly, there are hundreds of comic readers who are more deserving of the column space you give "the Kid" with more developed ideas and opinions about comics, and it is insulting to give him this space. It's great this kid has so much enthusiasm! It really is, I'm sure in 6 years I'll be reading his reviews and I'll say, "Damn, this guy is pretty good" but for now he is saying things that, well, only an 8 year old would say. This site is better than that and smarter than that, I hope you will take this into consideration.

  • June 11, 2009, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Please respond to the above post ambush bug

    by nechyv

    I wasn't mean or insulting in anyway, its a valid opinion that deserves a response.

  • June 11, 2009, 10:48 a.m. CST

    If you want more

    by Series7

    More comic reviews check out Mymavra created by a bunch of follow talkbackers. <P> http://tinyurl.com/mlcdxu <P> Shameless plug.

  • June 11, 2009, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Joen-- funny

    by Laserhead

    I was thinking much the same thing about the kid-defenders. I keep having images of new parents gushing over the big pile of shit their baby made in his diaper, and saying, "Isn't that wonderful, just a magnificent, beautiful, wonderful thing for his little self to achieve. Look-- it's still warm."

  • June 11, 2009, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Joen I Gotta Disagree

    by optimous_douche

    If you had a marquee artist and a writer that knows how to plot action better, maybe I would have been OK with this.<p> 99% of Bendis fans will agree though that his strength is his dialogue not his plotting. Non-fans won't even give him that (which is where I think you're coming from).<p> I'll say right now, I'm a words guy when it comes to comic over art. Just how I'm wired. But this is a totally different way to handle a book and requires a special team. These guys ain't it.<p> Utter lack of detail to the over arching event, sloppy presentation in some cases (the building giving birth -- one minute no water, next minute woosh) and as you stated if you didn't read Ultimatum all you could give is a big WTF am I reading from a story stand-point.

  • June 11, 2009, 11:12 a.m. CST

    I'll respond, nechyv.

    by Ambush Bug

    2nd verse, same as the first.<br><br> Because all of the reviewers are completely different people, it's impossible to recommend every positive review we give because one month to the next, you're bound to get varying positive and negative reviews. I am not a fan of CROSSED. Last week's review from Baytor was a positive one. If we are simply going by your post, what do you do in that case?<br><br> AICN Comics is a place for opinions, hence our colorful moniker. The Kid has a father who is awesome enough to a) let him read comics, b) actually spends quality time with him talking about it, & c) validates/builds confidence/educates him by having him articulate those views and putting his views on the internet. The father is building the comic book fan of tomorrow and sharing what we all believe is special in comics with his son. The father lets him see his reviews on AICN, but doesn't let him read the talkbacks (thank god).<br><br> I don't care who it is in the @$$Hole roster, I'm not going to take a person off simply because TBers gripe about it. I respect all who coe to this site, but sorry, this ain't a democracy. Posting this reason or that reason the Kid shouldn't be here, whether hateful or well versed, will get the same response from me.<br><br> As always, I don't want to sway readers away from the column. But if you lack the ability to just scroll past and get on with your life, then I don't know what to tell you.<br><br> The Kid stays. His opinion counts. And if you try to give a review or two of his a chance, I'm sure it'll make you chuckle as much as I do.<br><br> Cookie cutter reviews are an url away. There are plenty of sites where you can't distinguish one reviewer from the next. From the very beginning eight years ago, AICN Comics has prided itself on offering heartfelt opinions on comics from a variety of different voices. The Kid is yet another one of those distinct voices.

  • June 11, 2009, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Well, at least you gave me a fair response

    by nechyv

    But liking crossed is in issue of taste. Calling TMNT2007 the best is not a matter of taste, its just dumb. I get what you're saying here, and its all very good (that is not sarcasm, I really appreciate what you are saying) but would the movie section post a review that said "the Dark Knight is in many ways flawed when compared to the opus of Batman & Robin" no, that wouldn't be posted, because it is clearly wrong. Such is the case with the kid. I don't read his reviews and I do scroll past them (I did read a couple when he first started), I just feel there are people who work very hard writing comic reviews that deserve this opportunity for exposure more than Liam.

  • June 11, 2009, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Movie Section Might Do That Nech

    by optimous_douche

    Considering Harry actually liked Phantom Mediocrity.

  • June 11, 2009, 11:38 a.m. CST

    So douche

    by Series7

    I guess you were the guy who recomended that British only no words book called The Amazing Mr. Amperduke then?

  • June 11, 2009, 11:40 a.m. CST

    I bet the kids dad

    by Series7

    Makes him read the comics, while the kid wants to go outside and play netball or rounders.

  • June 11, 2009, 11:46 a.m. CST

    See, Optimous is a good example

    by nechyv

    This guy is an example of what I'm talking about, you got great reviewers here (I STILL can't find space invaders Opt) making this a solidly respectable place. But then you got this kid talking about how cool various abominations are. While your here opt, I gotta say, picked up the Impaler trade, you owe me 16 dollars for that little misadventure (Joking, joking, but I did hate it)

  • June 11, 2009, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Bug

    by Series7

    Surely your agree that the reviews at mymavra are not cookie cutter. <P> http://tinyurl.com/mlcdxu

  • June 11, 2009, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Optimous is good is what I was trying to say

    by nechyv

    realized that didn't sound exactly right when I re read it.

  • June 11, 2009, 12:01 p.m. CST

    I'm just saying...

    by Joenathan

    I may not think the story has been told well, but I had no trouble following what wnet on AND I believe that fo most of the issue itself, snappy banter (Bendis's real strong suit) had no place and would have underscored the attempted seriousness.<br><br>Also, you're right, Harry would totally post a review like that. Remember his Armaggedon review?

  • June 11, 2009, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Thanks Nech

    by optimous_douche

    No worries it read like a compliment, and I think you and I are extra golden b/ Impaler was not my recommend.<p> http://www.aintitcool.com/node/31582#2<p> Google to the rescue again.

  • June 11, 2009, 12:23 p.m. CST

    Nech I Know the Problem

    by optimous_douche

    If you mean Outer Space Men.<p> Even if there was a space invaders comic, I avoid game to comic bleeds like the plague.<p> Crazy searches aside the site for Outer Space Men is a bitch to navigate, but you can order from there: http://tinyurl.com/np5436

  • June 11, 2009, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Series7

    by optimous_douche

    Shamelss plugs are better served on Wednesdays, only us hard core (or really bored at work) TBrs are around on Thursdays, but what the hell here's one more for you http://tinyurl.com/mlcdxu

  • June 11, 2009, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Yeah I did mean OSM

    by nechyv

    thanks for the link

  • June 11, 2009, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Joen

    by optimous_douche

    Shit I understood Batman & Robin, does that mean it ever should have sullied a strip of celluloid...negative.<p> I agree snappy banter was not called for here, but then you have to ask should he even be writing comics if he can't man up and can the snark to deliver some heartfelt pages.<p> And you said it man "attempted" seriousness.<p> I'm man enough to admit that certain comics have caused me to have outward reactions whether laughter or tears.<p> The only thing that made me want to cry after reading this book was Terms of Endearment playing on AMC in the background.

  • June 11, 2009, 12:48 p.m. CST

    optimous

    by Series7

    Yah I'll plug it again next week. Maybe buy some ad space.

  • June 11, 2009, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Yep, it was a failure

    by Joenathan

    but I blame Ultimatum, not the creative team.

  • June 11, 2009, 1:05 p.m. CST

    Nip/Tuck

    by Series7

    Should be watched, especially season 2-3

  • June 11, 2009, 1:05 p.m. CST

    Fuck

    by Series7

    Wrong thread.

  • June 11, 2009, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Neh

    by optimous_douche

    I'm not buying, if you call yourself a professional writer you should be able to switch gears to fit the tonality of any event.<p> Not saying I'm God's gift to the keyboard, but I button-up every day to write drab CorpSpeak, but can still rock out with my cock out about comics.<p> Someone of Bendis' calbre should be able to table the funny and be able to add some gravity to his dialogue.

  • June 11, 2009, 7:04 p.m. CST

    There's Nothing So Useless As A Comic Reviewer

    by MasterBaytor

    Except maybe a music reviewer. It seems like most people who read comic reviews are just interested in a feedback loop, complaining when a reviewer doesn't espouse the same view he has of the work (since he's a regular reader of said work, one wonders why he feels compelled to read the review in the first place). Comic fans (myself included) are notorious for sticking pretty close to what we like month-after-month. So much of the hating on the kid seems to stem from the fact that he's giving positive reviews to comics that people hate. The reason he's out there so much is because he's one of the few reviewers here who can be arsed to read more than a handful of DC/Marvel comics a month. I was driven from the Big Two several years ago by endless (and I mean endless) cross-over events that renders all but a handful of books unreadable over the long term. I could pick up the latest GREEN LANTERN comic and give it a review, but I doubt anyone here would enjoy my pissing on it from a great height, which is pretty much how I always feel about Geoff Johns comics.

  • June 12, 2009, 4:04 a.m. CST

    The reason The Kid's getting so much "abuse" is:

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    (1)He's reviewing violent and graphic books no RESPONSIBLE parent would let his 8-year-old read (he's very mature for his age... yeah, right... blah, blah, blah... HE'S EIGHT!!!)<p>(2)His reviews are all pretty much the SAME (When Spidey/Hulk/Bullseye hit the guy off the roof it was cool! 9/10!)<p>No one over the age of 12 — which is pretty much everyone who GOES to this website — really CARES what an 8-year-old thinks about comics that aren't geared towards children! Unless Ambush Bug or The Kid's daddy are going to claim that Ultimatum or Dark Avengers were written with 8-year-olds in mind... which they clearly WEREN'T.<p>What's sad is that the TBers seem to have a MUCH better grasp of appropriate material and venues for children than The Kid's biggest defenders/pimps, Ambush Bug and Poppa Kid. Their egos are apparently so big, they refuse to recognize or admit how irresponsible what they're doing really is. Bad parenting rears it's ugly head, yet again... and we all get a front row seat! Yea! >:(

  • June 12, 2009, 8:21 a.m. CST

    OxymoronSmartHardWorkingComicReviewers

    by Buzz Maverik

    You gotta be kidding. You want this when yer reading about a medium that's supposed to be fun? Comics are a rebel medium, an outlaw medium. Sure, it's geek rebel and nerd outlaw, but still, everybody would pretty much rather you be doing something else with your time.<p>A comic book is something the teacher takes from you when you have it slipped under your health text book in study hall.<p>A comic book is something you'd better not be drawing when someone SMART AND HARD WORKING is lecturing you about how you should work hard at something smart.<p>Comic fans who deserve the space? We comic fans ARE space or at least we TAKE UP space and we're proud of it!<p>Saying smart, hard working comic reviewers is as big an insult as saying smart hardworking surfers or bikers or garage band musicians.<p>And the parenting guy. What are you, man, the PTA? Or the father of ... girls? Man, when I was the Kid's age, it was Billy Jack and Bruce Lee kicking ass, Dirty Harry and Death Wish blowing it away, reruns of Colonel Hogan and his Heroes blowing up Nazi stuff, smoking cigars and making out with Fraulein Helga and being the only adult is media that I respected! My Dad let me watche POINT BLANK and my reaction to Lee Marvin was: "Now, that's who I want to grow up to be!"<p>If you don't have kids and want to see realistic portrayals of kids it literature, may I suggest William Golding's LORD OF THE FLIES, Richard Hughes A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA and Orson Scott Card's ENDER'S GAME. Also, Bart Simpson will tell you that there are many fine books on war in your local library with cool, gorey pictures. Don't believe what your Mom or girlfriend thinks about kids, dude. You'll be selling your own kids short and setting them up for bad school experiences.<p>As for some of the over the top violence/language/adult sitchiachuns in comics, well, we know that those aren't FOR kids OR adults. That is adolescent material.<p>Personally, I wouldn't allow myself to read something that I wouldn't allow my middle graders to read (they only like ALIEN VS. PREDATOR comics and Jeff Smith's BONE).<p>And as far as the whole DARK KNIGHT vs. BATMAN & ROBIN thing, yeah, TDK if yer 11-1000, but yeah, if yer 8, BATMAN & ROBIN has Mr. Freeze and the Hockey Team from Hell and Bane and that ice cream truck. Now, the real movie is BATMAN FOREVER. The only thing Batman that Buzz Jr. cared about when he was the Kid's age was Two Face.

  • June 12, 2009, 8:26 a.m. CST

    And Yer Surprised About Irresponsibility...

    by Buzz Maverik

    on a comic book forum? You want responsible, may I suggest getting your colon checked and joining some sort of committee.

  • June 12, 2009, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Uncanny X-MEN # 103 Was Cool...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...when Storm was stupid enough to fly up to the top Cassidy Keep and attack Juggernaut by herself and Wolverine called her a dumb broad and Colossus (who I think had a mercifully unspoken crush on Storm at the time) threw Wolverine over the top of the castle and the only thing about that that bothered Wolverine was that he landed too far away to get into the fight and a leprachaun showed up and called him "Logan" when no one had before and showed him a shortcut so he could start making long cuts into Juggie's invulnerable hide.

  • June 12, 2009, 8:35 a.m. CST

    The More I Read, The More I Read...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...Uh, it's no one age 12 or under who cares what a kid thinks. Frankly, when I was 12, I only cared what my friends and I thought about comics. The idea of READING what anybody thought about a comic was ridiculous. We figured those guys who wrote into the lettercols were either trying to get jobs at Marvel or free comics, and we wisely skipped those pages.<p>And I'm sure that DARK AVENGERS and ULTIMATIUM (or whatever it's called)weren't written for the 8 year old mind. They were written for the 14 year old mind, as God intended.

  • June 12, 2009, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Reading More...May This Never Be...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...a solidly respectable place. I'm outta here for good when this happens. I like this being a solidly disreputable place. Man, you want a solidly respectable place, go to work or something.

  • June 12, 2009, 8:53 a.m. CST

    I Feel Bad For Bill Mantlo, But...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...when I was a kid, and I came across a Bill Mantlo issue of anything, to me it wasn't worth the money to buy it or the risk to steal it. It was like, "Aw, man, Mantlo wrote this one. Or Tuska drew it. No comics are better than this."

  • June 19, 2009, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Interview with the writers of ROTTEN

    by jd77

    Rotten kicks ass. I can't wait for the next issue. The writers of Rotten did a podcast interview you can check out here: http://tinyurl.com/lc4htn

  • June 19, 2009, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Yes, NuMu! Homer Sexual, BangoSkank

    by GooberNGrape

    i'm also diggin New Mutants. even the swank logo makes me happy. but Homer, i know what you mean about Illyana, same thing with Shan for me. like, does she do anything besides become overpowered by other psychics? because we've seen that before. after the first few times, you'd think she'd figure out how to prevent being possessed.

  • June 22, 2009, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Anybody know...?

    by itsjust_notcool_anymore_baby

    Where u can purchase the Halloween comics?