Ain't It Cool News (


#13 8/5/09 #8


HULK #13

Writer: Jeph Loeb Art: Ed McGuinness Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

I know this book takes a lot of flack and that fans have been quite vocal about Loeb’s recent writing assignments at Marvel. I don’t read ULTIMATES, but I hear he missed the boat big time with that title and because of this, the name Loeb is uttered with the same amount of contempt as Zimmerman and Austen used to back when I first started writing these comic booky reviews. “Loeb suxor!” is about all you usually get from the flock with little or no elaboration asked for or given. Well, Loeb’s HULK may not be the best version of the character, but it ain’t the worst either and I wanted to take the time to gab about it a bit in this review.
There’s a whole new generation of readers who don’t remember when Hulk was really, really bad. I’m talking the Bruce Jones era when the Hulk never showed up in his main comic, Betty was turned into a super spy—then killed, and Doc Sampson banged her (before she died of course, you perv) and became the hero of the book for about 3 or 4 arcs. Someone at Marvel had the bright idea that showing super powers had become passé and suggested that the very thing that drew readers in (cool powers, that is) was to be kept to a minimum. That’s why we had a HAWKEYE series that quickly became a miniseries for many reasons, but mostly due to the fact that a bow and arrow wasn’t present at all in the series. Same goes for Hulk. Bruce Jones would have a giant page reveal at about issue three of his arcs where we’re supposed to reel back in our chair that the Hulk shows up. Instead, I found myself reeling back in my chair screaming “finally!” So when people complain that Loeb’s HULK is bad, I try to point out that awful era for the character.
Now, for the last year, Loeb’s been working on building up a little mystery asking “Who is Red Hulk?”, a crimson version of the gamma powered brute that showed up hot on the heels of the WORLD WAR HULK mega-event. Though they provided clues, they still haven’t revealed who Rulk is and I doubt they will since it’s the only thing that really is keeping a lot of folks interested in the title. Looks like another mystery in the form of Red She-Hulk will be popping up in the next month or two, so I guess we’ve got that to look forward to.
Now, while “Who is Rulk?” is not the most sophisticated of storylines, it does have a sort of reptilian brain simplistic appeal to it. Loeb dishes it out to us, red herrings and all (the prime suspect, Thunderbolt Ross, was ruled out when he came across an unconscious Rulk a while back), in a pretty straight-forward manner. No it’s not the sophisticated psychological drama that became associated with the book when Peter David ruled the roost and it’s the antithesis of Grant Morrison’s narrative pretzels, but I have to appreciate the book for not trying to be more than it is—big muscle-bound brutes fighting other big muscle-bound brutes. It ain’t Shakespeare but there’s a Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em appeal to this book that takes me back to a time when the coolest thing you could do was bash your giant toys together and make fightin’ sounds in the sandbox in the backyard. That was entertaining once for all of us; it’s just that somewhere along the line, in an attempt to legitimize our own fascination with books originally designed for kiddies, we somehow convinced ourselves that having fun in comics is not allowed.
HULK #13 is far from a perfect issue. Loeb acts as if he’s making this shit up as he goes along. For some reason, when we last saw Hulk and Rulk, they were pounding the snot out of one another. The end of that match-up resulted in a victorious Rulk and a depowered Bruce Banner, forever more (yeah right) free of the Hulk. Though how Rulk depowered Hulk is another one of those mysteries (kind of like why the Hulk switches from grey and crafty Mr. Fixit, to brainless “Hulk Smash!” Hulk, to intelligent Professor Hulk from the Pantheon days, with no rhyme or reason), but as soon as I start trying to wrap my mind around stuff like that, I remind myself that I’m thinking too much for this comic. Loeb obviously is not trying to make all ends meet here whether by choice or by sheer “I give a shit not”-icity. Either way, if you overthink it, you’ll give yourself a conniption fit and none of us want that.
Issue #13 is filled with more random whack-a-mole style plotting. All of a sudden Norman Osborne is interested and sends Ares in to investigate which basically translates into having another excuse for a slugfest. Rick Jones in his A-Bomb form shows up (awful name, but Jones has had so many incarnations, he takes this one in stride—a reaction that I can believe coming from this character). In this issue, he somehow has Rick’s personality now (though in past appearances, he was a mindless monster) and new powers to blend into the walls like a chameleon (why?...what’d I tell you about asking questions?). But all of this is just an excuse to have A-Bomb, depowered Bruce, and Ares throw blows. And blows are thrown. And many a slug is fested. And if I were a young kid, I’d have loved the shit out of it. Fortunately, I try to push down that cynical adult, and as long as I kept telling myself not to worry my pretty little head about the hows and the whys, I found myself enjoying this book.
And that will be the deciding factor here for you with this book. Do you find yourself seeking out plot holes and cynically going, “Oh that’d never happen!” in movies and books? Do you look for heady themes and prefer the highbrow approach to all things? Do you long for a world where everything makes sense? If you answer “Hellz yes!” to these questions, then steer clear of Loeb’s HULK, my friend. This comic ain’t for you. But it’s a big comic book world out there. There’s even another Hulk book coming out soon written by Greg Pak so it’s bound to be less breezy and more attuned to the Hulk many of us know and grew up loving. There’s room for this Paris Hilton of a book too, though. A book dedicated to one guy punching another isn’t such a horrible thing. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but if you’re ever in the mood to turn off that cynical, over-analyzing portion of your brain, HULK is the book you should turn to.
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, reviewer and co-editor of AICN Comics for over eight years. Check out his short comic book fiction from Cream City Comics’ MUSCLES & FIGHTS VOL.3 and MUSCLES & FRIGHTS VOL.1 on his ComicSpace page. Bug was interviewed here and here at Cream City Comics. Look for more comics from Bug in 2009 from Bluewater Comics, including the sequel to THE TINGLER for their VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS ongoing series in stores September 2009 and VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS WITCHFINDER GENERAL and ROGER CORMAN PRESENTS DEATHSPORT to be released in late 2009/early 2010.


Writer: Nick Simmons Art: Nick Simmons Publisher: Radical Comics Reviewer: Matt Adler

INCARNATE is the latest offering from Radical Comics. It’s somewhat of a departure from their usual fare, in that Radical typically leans towards ultra-realistic art styles that can easily be translated into movie storyboards, since a major part of their business seems to be using comics to develop pitches for Hollywood. Here, however, comics newcomer Nick Simmons, son of KISS rocker Gene Simmons, provides both writing and art, and his art style is squarely in the Amerimanga form.
It’s not hard to figure out that Radical would not have published the same comic from Joe Smith; it’s the Simmons name they’re looking to cash in on and use in pitch meetings (I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that Radical publisher Barry Levine was one of KISS’s main photographers). I’m always somewhat wary when comics have this sort of pedigree; I come from that outdated school of thought that believes comics should be sold on the basis of ideas and talent rather than name recognition. But that doesn’t mean a comic coming from the latter origin CAN’T be good. So what about INCARNATE?
Well, it’s pretty good. I’ve seen plenty of bad Amerimanga, but Simmons gets the style down pat, and he has some very interesting, distinctive character designs. It’s cartoony in the way that manga often is, with exaggerated expressions and such, but not so that it disrupts the atmosphere. His style also presents a dynamic sense of motion from panel to panel, and lends itself to some entertainingly graphic scenes of gore.
As for the writing, it too is fairly solid. There’s a nice blend of humor and violence, and the dialogue between the characters usually reads authentic. There is the occasional awkward turn of phrase (“sopping scarlet treats”) but that’s par for the course for a new writer finding his footing. The plot, as a set-up piece for a larger story works perfectly well, though it doesn’t really offer anything new or insightful; thus far, it’s a fairly standard humans vs. the immortal undead bit. But the appeal of this book lies more in the characterizations and the visual aspects than the intricacies of the plot.
Ultimately, it will be interesting to see whether this book heralds a new phase of expansion for Radical, in broadening their artistic range. The manga style, when executed as well as it is here, has the potential to reach a brand new audience. Personally, I think Simmons might be a better fit for other companies; with a little time to hone his craft, he could eventually be writing and drawing for Marvel or DC.
In most places, Matt Adler goes by the name his mother gave him, but occasionally uses the handle "CylverSaber", based on a character he created for the old DARK FORCES II: JEDI KNIGHT game (one hint of his overweening nerddom). He currently does IT and networking support for the government of Nassau County, NY, but his dream is to write for a living, and is in the process of figuring out how to get publishers to give his stuff a look. In the meantime, he passes the time by writing for AICN, CBR, and a few other places. He has also written for MARVEL SPOTLIGHT magazine.


Writer: Joe Kelly Artists: Ben Roman Publisher: Image Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

Comic guys have amazing senses of humor on and off the page. The sheer delight I see in some of their eyes as they hand one of the filthiest minds and mouths on AICN children’s bedtime fodder always makes me wonder whether they are challenging me or simply have no idea who Optimous Douche is when they present materials.
Take Joe Kelly for instance, the creator of BEN 10 and I KILL GIANTS. When I met Joe at Wizard World last month and introduced myself with my official reporter credentials of “Wassup, I’m Optimous Douche from Ain’t It Cool News, what do you do?’ he picked up DOUGLAS FREDERICKS AND THE HOUSE OF THEY. No, Joe isn’t a mute; I was merely going for dramatic effect. As he picked up the book, we talked a little bit about BEN 10 and I KILL GIANTS, to which I honestly admitted I had not read either. We talked a little bit about Ain’t It Cool and whether Liam “The Kid” was really a kid, or merely a middle-aged man suffocated by Peter Pan syndrome (as opposed to the rest of us that simply embrace our collective Peter Pan syndromes). Finally he said, “If I can get you to grab one thing off this table it would be DOUGLAS FREDRICKS.” Yes, he had read my past reviews and while admitting very few kids traverse Ain’t It Cool News, a hell of a lot of Dads make it to this corner of the Web.
Make no mistake, DOUGLAS FREDERICKS AND THE HOUSE OF THEY is definitely a children’s book, but it is a book specifically crafted to deliver this picture storytelling medium we have all grown to love to the next generation. I said it before with the last children’s oriented material I reviewed; if we want to keep the medium alive we must think about the children (Sally Struthers mode off).
If I had to boil down the over-arching theme of DOUGLAS into a dirty limerick it would sound like “Do what you can and fuck the man.” Even in the opening inscription, Kelly challenges his children to always ask why.
Douglas is an enterprising young lad, constantly bucking convention and attempting the seemingly impossible. In the opening pages he is carefully finishing the world’s first aerobatic camel--that is, until a town elder says, “you can’t do that.” Perhaps the smelly desert beast of burden could fly, but alas THEY say it can’t be done, so why even try? Likewise, when Douglas tries to teach a very very very old dog new tricks, a member of his own generation invokes the voice of the ethereal THEY with the adage. “They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Finally, as Douglas tries to deliver the world’s most spectacular gift for his parent’s impending wedding anniversary, once again the voice of THEY says it can’t be done.
Now, were I writing this book, Douglas would have said something like “Fuck this noise, it’s time to bitch slap some THEY.” or “I think Things Remembered is having a sale on engraved picture frames this weekend.” Thank God Joe has infinitely more understanding about the minds of children and infinitely more understanding about effective story narrative. Douglas discovers that THEY have always been present if you just know where to look.
Atop an ominous hill, inside an ominous fortress, THEY reside. Naturally THEY are protected by a gate keeper who forces Douglas to go through an inordinate amount of ridiculous shenanigans to gain entry. As Douglas was off performing his various tasks, I immediately made analogies to the impossibilities of penetrating our own government and just how inaccessible it feels to the average citizen. Well, I guess I must have been channeling Joe’s headbox because when we finally get to see THEY, they are indeed the pillars of society in cartoon form. Despite their cartoonish nature, Roman’s renditions of our are immediately recognizable: business, military, police and church all stand at the ready to crush Douglas’ flights of fancy simply because they say so, that is until Douglas exclaims…Why? Without an answer, all becomes right with the world.
Every moment of DOUGLAS FREDERICKS is charming. The use of the terms headbox and heartbox to explain the inner inspiration of a kid that loves gadgets was…charming, likewise with all the rest of Joe Kelly’s narrative. Roman’s saucer eyed children, withered old folks and intricate scenes were also… charming. There were even moments when I even felt all warm and mushy inside based off the font-choice; think basically Times New Roman with a fairy tale flourish. As with all things comics these days, the price of entry might be steep, but for a well-crafted children’s book that seems to speak to a unique type of inquisitive child (like Douglas) this is the best, if not only game in town. Also, as we adults struggle with the over arching feeling that we have become mere cogs in the great bureaucratic machine of life, Douglas’ lesson is one we can all benefit from.
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."


Writer: James Robinson Artist: Mauro Cascioli Published by: DC Comics Reviewed by: BottleImp

Judging from the talkback response and the correspondence between the @$$holes, I seem to be the only comic book reader who liked the first issue of this series. I had felt that this new Justice League series, though still a far cry from the best of Robinson’s work, was a marked improvement over his current run on SUPERMAN. Granted, the scene with the two Atoms was a little messy and the two sets of narrative captions felt contrived, but on the whole I thought that the comic worked. I respected Robinson for forming this latest incarnation of the League more organically than the last time, when Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were sitting around the table and basically playing what amounted to a superhero fantasy baseball draft. And I loved the fact that the League was once again going to be an eclectic mix of DC’s fringe and the icons of their universe—there’s just so much more storytelling freedom with B-Listers like Congorilla or Mikaal Tomas than with Superman or Batman. So yes, I was looking forward to more of this series.
One scant issue later and I’m firmly planted on the other side of the fence with my fellow @$$holes.
I don’t know what happened to James Robinson that made him forget how people actually talk, but boy, it sure did a number on him. Every single character in this issue speaks with the same voice, whether it’s the liberal tree-hugging Green Arrow, the conservative and fearless Green Lantern, the physicist/superhero Ray Palmer, or the big game hunter trapped in the body of a golden gorilla. Every single person speaks with that fragmented sentence, stream of consciousness dialogue that Robinson loves so much. Every character describes their likes and dislikes in a hip, ironic manner. Despite their obvious differences in appearance, ability or personal history, every single one of Robinson’s new League reads as the same character. It's like the SUPERFRIENDS cartoon, only instead of everyone sounding bland and whitebread, the heroes all sound like hipster douchebags.
Leaving the dialogue aside, Robinson’s seemingly straightforward plot of the heroes seeking justice for the murders of their friends begins to tangle and grow perforated with holes. In issue #1, the Greens began their quest for justice SPECIFICALLY with the aim of bringing in Libra and the Secret Society, who were directly responsible for the death of the Martian Manhunter and indirectly responsible for Batman (if he really did die…). However, the second issue begins with them in Gotham City tracking down villains working for Prometheus. What happened to the original plan? And then there’s the ludicrous obligatory fight scene…between heroes Congorilla and Mikaal Tomas, the blue-skinned Starman (the obligatory heroes/villains fight scene was relegated to off-page, the better to fit in more awkward, stilted dialogue). How ludicrous, you ask? Well, in the span of one page they go from screaming, “KILL YOU!” “YOU FIRST!” at each other, to comparing their preferred methods of drinking iced tea. I’m not making this up. I’m actually surprised that Robinson didn’t take the opportunity to have one of the characters comment snidely about how often superheroes end up fighting each other over a simple misunderstanding, or something as equally ironic and post-modern. He certainly didn’t miss the chance to do so when Ray Palmer commented on his brief post-ZERO HOUR stint as a member of the Teen Titans: “That bit of [my past] feels like a dream. Like it almost didn’t happen at all.” Yeah, we get it already, the Atom’s had a long and sometimes ridiculous comic book history—now can we stop with all referential noodling and get on with the plot already?
Robinson’s style of writing worked in STARMAN, but mainly because that series was set in its own little corner of the DC Universe with its own little characters—indeed, some of the worst moments from that series were when “mainstreamers” such as Batman or the Justice League popped in for a visit. The two worlds were never quite able to coexist comfortably… just as the world of this current Justice League is not meshing with the style that Robinson either refuses or is unable to change.
Unfortunately, the writing is dragging CRY FOR JUSTICE down into the depths of comic book mediocrity despite the exquisite artwork of Mauro Cascioli. It’s too bad that such fine visual work is being wasted on such substandard words. Hopefully Cascioli’s next project will be written on the same high level as his artistic ability.
And for the icing on the cake, once again I was incensed by DC spreading out twelve paragraphs of Robinson’s rambling ode to the Atom to fill seven pages of “content” and therefore “justify” the dollar they added to the price of this comic. Screw you, DC—I’m taking my money elsewhere. ‘Cause this series just isn’t even worth last year’s cover price.
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.


Writer: Robert James Russell Art: Sandra Lanz Publisher: Saint James Reviewer: Mr. Pasty

Scripting a character in a mainstream comic book must be a difficult task. I can only imagine the pre-production meeting for some of the major Marvel titles that recently reached issue #600. (“Okay people, what haven’t we covered since Hulk’s debut in 1962?”) To that end, independent books can often cleanse the palate in between the life-and-death retreads over at the big two and Saint James’ latest effort is no exception.
I went into EX OCCULTUS with a sort of giddiness that is usually reserved for teen girls with a gift certificate to Claire’s Boutique. This is primarily because its “Le Pacte Des Loups”-ish story is set in the mid 1800’s, which has long been an era of great interest to me (damn you Laura Ingalls Wilder!)
BADGE OF LANGAVAT (BOL) follows two chaps through a Scottish land of lost treasure and dark magic. One of the book’s strengths is Russell’s restraint in the use of supernatural elements, despite the narrative’s dependence on it. While sorcery is integral to the story, his ability to keep it from overshadowing his character development makes for an immersing and engaging experience rather than a flaccid assembly line of clichéd plot devices.
I also appreciate the fact that Russell isn’t afraid to take risks. The never-entertaining theme of child abduction is explored but the narrative traps it within the context of that time period. Nineteenth century folklore was rampant with the kidnapping of children and often painted fairies as the main culprits. In a nice twist on an age-old fear, the fairies here actually work to resolve the problem rather than act as the catalyst for it. BOL also doesn’t waste any time getting its hands dirty. I like that. Nothing kills a book faster than a couple of pages of exposition that does more to spoil the story than it does to help prepare you for it.
At first glance the artwork may seem a little underwhelming, but Sandra Lanz is steadfast in her commitment to the era -- and it pays off. Landscapes are distant and indistinguishable. Rooms are empty and void of flair. This is exactly what I would expect from a depressed village in 1864 and Lanz compliments the tone with an unassuming style. How many times have we seen an artist use their pencil to animate their resume at the expense of the story? Not every panel has to look like a stained glass window at St. Thomas Cathedral and Lanz subtly draws you into the moment rather than distract you from it.
I’ve seen so many independent titles fail because they unsuccessfully try to mimic mainstream books. Others tend to overcompensate by going too far in the opposite direction. EX OCCULTUS: BADGE OF LANGAVAT manages to find just the right note. It won’t bore you with a “me-too” regurgitation of the same crap we’re forced to ingest from the major rags, but it also won’t turn your stomach by inundating you with severed body parts and fervent fornication. It may not have all the bells and whistles you would expect from a major publisher, but when you can tell a story as well as the crew at Saint James can, you’ll find yourself wondering why you ever needed them in the first place.
Final word: Not since “Altered Beast” have the adventures of brawling werewolves been this much fun. Check it out.
Web heads who can’t get enough of Mr. Pasty’s word vomit are encouraged to watch him operate as Nostradumbass over at here. Love, hate and Mafia Wars requests should be directed here.


Story by: Garth Ennis & Jimmy Palmiotti Art by: Mihailo Yukelic Published by: Image Comics Reviewed by: Baytor

There’s one thing wrong with this book. Its dull lifeless art and its…
Wait…wait…there’s two things wrong with this book. Its dull lifeless art and its dull uninteresting coloring and its…
Three…three…there are three things wrong with this book. Its dull lifeless art, its dull uninteresting coloring and its dull un-involving plot, and its…
Fuck it, there’s a hell of a lot wrong with this book. I knew the second I flipped the book over and saw quote after quote raving about how good the book was…and only one of them was from a comic reviewer. Not to put my role as a comic reviewer into any sort of importance, because I truly believe there’s nothing so worthless as a comic reviewer (save for a music reviewer), because most of our audience is reading our reviews to see what we thought about comics they’re already reading, often so they can disagree with our opinions. Nine times out of ten, we’re on a feedback loop and I wouldn’t give a dime for a comic review written by anyone.
But when someone casts the net out to their friends and colleagues and you wind up with Frank Tieri on the back cover of your book saying what a great fucking book you’re holding in your hands…it just feels like they’re trying way too hard, although the weird part is that I spent a few minutes looking for good reviews on-line and found a fair number of them. Mind you, none of them were filled with glowing, over-the-top praise and they weren’t terribly quote-worthy, but that’s pretty much what you get.
Look, it’s Garth Ennis. If you’ve been hanging around the comic industry for the last 15 years, you know the name and you’ve probably crossed his path more than a few times. You might love him or hate him, but you’ve got a fair idea of what you’re getting when you crack one of his books. In this case, it’s a “realistic” crime story and if you’ve read PRIDE AND JOY, you’ve got a rough idea of what he’s bringing to the table. It’s violent and there’s going to be a bit of humor, but he’s playing it straight.
But even looking past the lifeless art and way-too-muted color scheme, his story is pretty fucking unremarkable. The violent bits are good, especially the fight at Coney Island, but the story is hamstrung by its very premise. The story starts with the second-in-command of Brooklyn’s most feared crime family offering to expose every last bit of nastiness that his family has been up to. So, right off the bat, it feels wrong. The second-in-command of a feared crime family is portrayed as a decent, likeable, stand-up guy?
Really? That’s the hook?
And as the story progresses, we find out why he decided to betray everyone he knows, which, quite frankly, isn’t the world’s biggest shocker. It’s the sort of thing that could easily lead to him killing his brother, the number one guy in the organization; but turning state’s evidence seems really out of character for someone who would had to have been brought up despising cops on a primal level. Simply removing the police angle would have improved the story immeasurably. I’ve seen THE SOPRANOS and GOODFELLAS, so I’m cool with a goombah operating as an honorable bastard, but not him selling out to the cops unless he’s trying to avoid a prison sentence.
The reason he went to the cops is to protect his wife and son, but this is told, rather than shown, which is a big mistake. The fear we are supposed to feel for them never quite manifests itself as the plot focuses more on the McGuffin that is the video tape that set everything in motion. As it turns out, there’s a reason why we’re not shown the danger they’re in, but it’s too clever (in a dumb sort of way) to feel genuine.
This isn’t an awful book. It’s just so desperately mediocre. One of Ennis’ regular artists might have salvaged it, because his stories are very dependent on facial expressions; but Vukelic’s artwork, while technically pretty good, is lifeless to the extreme. And it’s got that awful, washed out coloring that far too many publishers foist upon us; so absolutely nothing pops out at us. To see the book that should have been, take a look at the thumbnail of Phil Noto’s alternative cover to the first issue featuring the red-head with the “Defend Brooklyn” t-shirt. Unfortunately, the book in question is nothing like that.


Writer: J.M. DeMatteis Art: Mike Cavallaro Publisher: IDW Publishing Reviewer: Matt Adler

I usually don’t review two issues in a row of a series, but in this case, it was worth it. This final issue comprehensively ties up many of the themes raised in the series. That’s not to say it resolves them, since many of these issues will probably go unresolved till the end of humankind, but it does provide a nice thematic conclusion to the series.
One of the major themes of this series is how the American public treats its heroes. Throughout the series, DeMatteis has tied his superhero story into real life parallels, and here he uses Orson Welles for purposes of comparison to Savior’s fall from public grace, which works pretty well when you consider that the director of CITIZEN KANE was reduced to doing commercials for frozen vegetables towards the end of his career. There’s a nice in-joke here when Savior tries to stay relevant during the ‘60s; it reads, at least to me, like a subtle poke at the superhero comics of that decade and the next, where writers often tried to give their superheroes “hip lingo” and socially relevant stories…but still had to work in the requisite punching and kicking.
That’s one example of how DeMatteis manages to fairly seamlessly weave elements of humor into what is an otherwise pretty serious story (featuring a once-beloved hero humiliated, tortured, and shot through the head). He also pulls the humor off well in a scene where Savior and his former foes-turned-allies address the UN, appealing for peace. The way this story is supposed to play out in superhero comics is that the hero stands in front of the world leaders, makes his impassioned pitch, and they all jump to their feet in a standing ovation, and the world is changed in a single moment. DeMatteis addresses this expectation head-on…and then basically says, “Are you kidding me?”
Credit also must go to artist Mike Cavallaro for this scene; there’s a fantastic wordless panel where Savior stands in the center, obliviously waiting for events to play out as described above, and to either side of him are these former supervillains giving him a look that says “Um…you sure about this?” How you can give an inhuman sea monster a look of uncertainty and nervousness, I’ll never know, but Cavallaro pulls it off.
A good writer requires you to think and question, but not to necessarily agree with his conclusions, and that’s the case here. I most definitely do agree with the overall conclusion of this book that war and violence are not the ultimate answer to the world’s problems, but I have some quibbles with some of the more specific points made. During his UN speech, Savior makes reference to World War II, saying:
“Sixty years ago my country had two enemies we vowed to destroy: Germany and Japan. Now, this isn’t history to me—I was THERE. We HATED them…they hated us—with a passion that nearly CONSUMED the planet. Each nation reduced the other to a stereotype in order to justify its savagery. Let’s face it, if your opponents are sub-human…then it’s all right, isn’t it, to put them in concentration camps…or drop atomic bombs on them?”
Here are my problems with this. First, I think any moral evaluation of a conflict has to determine whether there is an aggressor and a defender, or simply two mutual aggressors. The US tried pretty strenuously to stay out of WWII (some would say too strenuously, given the events in Europe). That is not to say that having the role of defender against an aggressor excuses all actions on the defender’s part, but it does make a difference in the moral equation, I think.
As for hating Germany and Japan and vowing to destroy them: to be sure, once the war started, jingoism was whipped up to fuel the war effort, and racism was a pretty integral part of that (see the internment camps). But I think it is also important to note that this was an EFFECT, not a cause, of the war. The atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki will always be the most controversial action on the Allies’ part; the debate will continue to rage; did we save more lives than we took by ending the war there and then? But there are no two ways about it: innocent men, women, and children were killed by the thousands in those blasts, and thousands more suffered the aftereffects for generations.
And yet as extreme and terrible as nuclear weapons are, they are simply an extension of what all war does: kill innocents, and leave those left behind with shattered bodies and minds. So the question in this case becomes, should we have fought in World War II? My answer is an unequivocal yes. I do not believe that, in this case, a greater moral good could have been achieved through non-violent means. I think that under certain extreme cases, when faced with a ruthless and determined aggressor, there is no moral way to avoid war. So I’m not sure Savior’s example works for the overall point he’s trying to make.
Another point DeMatteis makes-- and it’s one I’ll have to ponder, since I’m not sure where I stand on it—is that heroes are seen more as leaders, rather than celebrities. He uses the public revelation of Savior’s mental breakdown to make that point that while people may be able to understand and empathize with loved ones who go through personal problems, or sympathize with celebrities going through very public personal struggles, they are not so tolerant of their leaders’ personal problems, saying “…if they so much as admit they’ve been to a therapist—we toss them right out the door” (perhaps alluding to George McGovern’s 1972 running mate). Are our heroes our leaders (or for that matter, vice versa)? I’m not sure.
Maybe it’s been so long since we’ve had a genuine national hero in American life that it’s impossible to say. But I think it’s equally possible they’d be treated more akin to a celebrity than a political leader. Ultimately, I think the reasoning behind the intolerance of personal flaws in our leaders (and this is still hypocrisy, but even hypocrisy has a reason behind it) is that we feel we’re putting our lives in their hands: we’re giving them power over us, so any hint of instability causes those prejudices to rise to the fore. This would certainly apply to Savior (given the great power he possesses) but I’m not sure it would work the same for heroes in real life.
The story ends on an ironic note; Savior has spent most of the series attempting to make grand gestures, and in the end, he inspires the world, with millions of individuals making a small gesture, which add up to one grand gesture. It’s not one that solves all the world’s problems, but it’s significant in its symbolism, which is after all, what a gesture is. There’s also a good deal of Christian imagery as befitting a superhero named Savior, and setting the scene on Easter Sunday dovetails nicely with the reveal at the end.
It’s funny; ordinarily with a series I enjoyed this much, I’d want to see a follow-up. But I think that would sort of miss the point here; there’s a finality to this story that’s appropriate, and a direct continuation probably wouldn’t work, although there’s certainly more to say about these themes and issues. Perhaps the real continuation has to be in our own world. To borrow words from this issue, maybe the best way to deal with these issues we face isn’t through violence or even with the power of celebrity; it’s for each of us to try to change the world “one heart at a time.”


Writer: John Layman Artist: Rob Guillory Publisher: Image Comics Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

Usually whenever a new title comes along that I give some attention to with its debut, I like to come back with a little follow up down the road, y'know, to give an idea of how it's progressed for those who might have missed it the first time, or for trade waiters and the like. Most times all that I figure is needed is a little Cheap Shot nudge as a reminder, but occasionally a book starts off so well that it deserves more than a paragraph. As you could imagine by the fact that the first couple issues of it have seen multiple printings now, CHEW is definitely one of those special little books.
Again, for the uninitiated, Tony Chu is a Cibopath, which means he gets sensory feedback from whatever he eats. He's also now a member of the FDA, which has gathered a lot more power in the world of CHEW as chicken has become a banned substance due to the supposed Bird Flu outbreak. Given his unique talents, though, he becomes an especially valuable asset in the realm of homicide too because, yes, even humans count towards his gifts and it gives him a special insight as to what may have happened to the dearly departed. As you can imagine, this kind of talent makes Tony a bit of an outcast, as well as a bit twitchy because of the constant barrage of memories he gets even trying to enjoy a simple meal, except for beets it seems.
Now, when I first reviewed this book, I admitted I was already enamored with the quirky nature of the setting and its lead, and the humorous air that accompanies them, but that I was hoping there would be more to the world of the book itself, and that hopefully there would be characters that could accommodate these things appropriately. Two issues later, and I couldn't be more delighted to see that this hope has come to fruition. Already Tony himself has shown some great range as a character, as with the first issue he seemed a little too quiet for his own good, which is still the case at times, but after dealing with his new asshole boss at the FDA, and some Yakuza (Yes, Yakuza!) in the last issue we're now seeing even he has his boiling point, and a little bit of a bad-assed side. Getting up to this issue, we're back to that more introverted side of Chu as he spills a little bit of his soul to his partner from the first issue - still bandaged and in a coma from a scuffle back then - that he's fallen in love with a food critic with a unique ability of her own. It's all so fun and sickly sweet, even if it does, uh, involve a lot of vomiting. You'll have to see for yourselves, but it is kind of adorable in a way...
Mason Savoy, Tony's new partner, is also a great regular in the pages of this book. He's the perfect partner for this kind of book, as he's that guy that always seems to be the calm little center of the world, complete with the occasional witty jab on Tony's behalf, and is his gateway to his new job and his back up with dealing with his new boss, Mike Applebee, who as the "Previously In" page will tell you, is a complete asshole. The kind of asshole you kind of can't wait to see each issue and that you hope somehow gets a little comeuppance - the perfect foil to someone with a more withdrawn personality like Tony's. All of these elements and characters mesh so well with the humor of this book, which can be both understated or gross-out but also never comes off as lowbrow. And obviously there's some heart to the book now, even if it might be swallowed up by Tony's introversion, but that just puts more emphasis on it.
The success of this book is one of those special times in comics where something of great quality but not very significant exposure gets its due. Lord knows how many times we've seen some excellent material come down the pipe and then slowly die on the vine because it was hanging too far down from the mass market. Obviously, Image isn't exactly the most the preternatural of indie companies, but seeing as how maybe a handful of books from them at most make their way to the Top 100 a month, what CHEW is doing is remarkable, and it couldn't have happened to a better book. The characters are delightful, it's got all the little idiosyncrasies that make a work both entertaining and special, the art style is perfect to go with all of these elements, and it's simply a joy to read. Thousands have apparently savored what they've sampled of this book, what's stopping you from having a taste?
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.


Creator: Frank Hampson Publisher: Titan Books Reviewer: steverodgers

Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future made his debut with UK’s Eagle comic in 1950. Frank Hampson’s creation thrilled UK youth and adults with his serialized adventures, managing to dollop out two pages a week every week until 1969. Dan’s adventures take place in the late 1990s, where as a colonel and space pilot in Interplanet Space Fleet he found himself saving Earth by using his smarts, a sense of honor, and good old-fashioned heroics.
THE PHANTOM FLEET was my first exposure to the original Dan Dare; I read the Ennis series and have a passing memory of some of the 2000AD stories that my older brother had around. These reprints of the original run, lovingly compiled by Titan Books, certainly must be an orgiastic, nostalgic overload for some of our older English friends; however, there is a lot to offer for fans of contemporary comics as well, especially those with a science-fiction bent or who can appreciate masterful illustration, regardless of era or cultural reference.
As a new reader to Dare, the two-page format is a bit of a speed bump. There is a lot of story packed into those two pages, with a small recap panel to let you know what came before so you don’t waste your time reading the same panel twice from week to week. It takes getting used to, especially after a lifetime of 22-page American comics. It wasn’t until about half way in that I was able to dial into the story-telling technique of the day and not have it be work to follow along. Once you reach that point the story is rather marvelous: a group of tiny, on-the-run, water-based aliens (Cosmobes), who after being chased off their planet by evil fish aliens (Pescods) are looking for a new ocean to call home. The Pescods, in hot pursuit, decide to then colonize Earth and destroy humans as well with an unbeatable “red mist” weapon (Crimson Death) that melts anything metal. The dialogue is delightful with expressions and exclamations like, “Jumping jets!” and “Come on lads! Let’s smash that rotten thing!” The heroic men of the Space Fleet greet each new danger with confident surprise and a stoic heroism that is a credit to their British upbringing.
There is also a healthy dose of camp, especially in regard to Dan Dare’s best friend and rotund space companion, Digby, a Dumm Dumm-type character who loyally swishes through the action, fervently looking forward to his next nap and massive meal. Digby also has a young ward type, a freckled, red-headed lad named Flamer (that’s right, Flamer) who is forever stowing away on rockets and getting mixed up in Space Fleet business. The best of all, though, is Digby’s pet who has his own spacesuit: a striped, wildly expressive, insanely cute mini-elephant named Stripey, who tags along and exhibits his own brand of bravery, including a mad dash into the Crimson Death, his little feet padding along the desert floor, selflessly waddling into danger to save his master.
What stands out the most in THE PHANTOM FLEET, and what I think is the major draw, is the art. Frank Hampson puts on a master class in retro-rocketry future awesomeness. His gleaming, imaginative metal ships are decked out with dials, levers, and mechanical displays that are lovingly rendered and colored in light, colorful washes which are both realistic and whimsical. All the vehicles are spectacular, including the surface vehicles, with massive glass domes, and boats that dart across the ocean, hovering inches above the water on huge, not-quite-aerodynamic pontoons. The human faces are bright and shine behind space helmets, full of expression and emotion. The little alien Cosmobes are odd but believable, replete with gills, rainbow fins, and little jet packs attached to their tunics to fly about with. The evil Pescods exhibit a fishy, silent, creepy menace with diamond-shaped helmets and heavy blue armor. The action takes our heroes from space to the ocean to the desert with each vista and environment so confidently handled and believable that you get the feeling that there is nothing that Frank Hampson couldn’t draw.
There is something on every page to marvel at. It is imagination personified, and each panel explodes with cool touches of fancy and effortless charm. The story plods at times, but is mostly fun, and the art is absolutely stunning, making it a book you will want to return to again and again to find something new to admire with each visit.
DAN DARE AND THE PHANTOM FLEET brims with optimism and gallantry, and is a respite from complicated super heroes hung up on the grey areas of modern day heroics. In Dan Dare’s world, Earth is in peril and he simply has to get into his rocket ship. With his loyal friends at his side, he tips his cap and wiggles his lightning-shaped eyebrows at the lovely ladies of Space Fleet and charges into battle, once again off to save the world.


By Yukito Kishiro Released by Viz Media Reviewer: Scott Green

Yukito Kishiro creates the ultimate fight manga adversary in ALITA: LAST ORDER. From the nanomachine-produced oceans of grey goo covering the surface of Mercury comes the Anomaly. "It eats! It mates! It butchers! A faithful translation of the principles of libido, the most despicable side of humanity on full display!" This daikaiju sized beast rages with its phallic cannon ejaculating energy blasts. "Pride! Greed! Combat ability! And all of us - powerless against this Freudian nightmare?!" Its opponent? Toji, the master of Electromagnetic Space Karate. "They say his karate goes beyond Newtonian mechanics and is on the level of the theory of relativity...I have no idea what that means..." So, a totem faced robot man in a karate gi is fighting PenisGodzilla. What more can you ask for in your gonzo fight manga?
When James Cameron begins adapting his version of BATTLE ANGEL, presumably LAST ORDER will have little if any bearing on the project. This isn't the story of a cyborg brain given the body of a young woman and a second chance of life amidst the material and social discard of a sci-fi Utopia. It's the geek version of an interminable tall tale, spun out of an interplanetary fighting tournament. Kishiro has been riffing off reader submitted designs, some of which are cogent and detailed, some of which look scrawled out with MS Paint. And, he's been welding together ideas that shouldn't be in the same thought process (super-human thumb wrestling). It's not the effecting, character focused narrative of the original BATTLE ANGEL, but it is Kishiro demonstrating his black belt in the nerd arts.
This volume features almost no Alita, but it does have some Alita and Alita, and plenty of Alita. The Alita of the first manga series, and presumably the Cameron movie, is off the playing field at this point. Cute, molecular wire-wielding Alita clones Elf and Zwölf are side-lined, but present. On the other hand, transgender Alita clone Sechs makes his belligerent present felt - surfing Itano circus missile barrages, taking Alita's Damascus blade to foes like a can-opener, and otherwise serving as the primary agent for the protagonists.
Already volumes longer than the original BATTLE ANGEL ALITA, and with a fraction of its plot evolution, Kishiro is clearly in no hurry to pick up the pace of LAST ORDER’s story. Instead, he's leisurely sight seeing. LAST ORDER is structurally based on the shounen fight manga formula. Those manga habitually digress into histories of the personalities battling in the competition, and LAST ORDER is full of that. Previous volumes have delved into side stories, one of which filled two volumes. Volume 11 has at least one major plot point, but it's mostly taking advantage of the format to construct some exquisitely odd situations.
It's difficult to top the near confrontationally odd spectacle of Space Karate versus the Anomaly, but Yishiro continues to have fun with the conventions of fight manga throughout the rest of the volume. After the above mentioned karate/kaiju smackdown, Sechs fights The Jupiter Union Delegate - Warmen 609. This opponent is a geometric muscle man with a small, geometric, cyclops cat resting on his head, and the gag is that Jupiter has pooled all their resources to provide their champion with equipment that stops just short of the threshold of the limits placed by tournament rules. It would have been amusing if Kishiro worked in the metaphor of the fighter who cuts weight to outsize their opponent, but it’s just as fun to see rage-aholic Sechs battling the equivalent of an internet troll meets apparatchik. Lt Commander Chernov 727 rolls out in his battle sphere "at 500 metric tons and 50 meters in diameter, it's exactly under the regulation limit!" "Polymer capture: a high speed steam projection that instantaneously recrystalizes into a cube! A technology already in widespread use, this 'smart polymer’ can be recovered and it isn't counted as 'ammo!'" "Since artificial intelligence guidance is banned, we have to use another approach! Metallic helium warheads should do the job! 'Ecological carpet-bombing' - that's our green friendly national policy!" Though LAST ORDER isn't much of a character work, it certainly does know how to pull strings to establish who to cheer for and against in its fights.
Scott Green has been writing for AICN ANIME for over eight years. If you like what you see here and love anime & manga, be sure to check out his latest AICN Anime every week here on AICN.

Welcome once again to Indie Jones. I’m Ambush Bug, damn glad to meetcha. This week, I continue to delve into my bag o’ swag that I got from this year’s San Diego Comic Con. Enjoy and seek out these delights from outside of the norm.


I had the pleasure of meeting ZEHN creator Michael Mwemba at this year's San Diego Comic Con and as he presented this book to me, I could tell it was a labor of love for him. This oversized comic takes place in a river town called Kariba in what looks to be Africa and centers around a trippy scenario involving bird-men, wizards, raven creatures, and a sorcerer fish in an unbreakable fishbowl. There' was a lot of imagination put into this comic and the powers and action are as elaborate as they are creative. I loved the scene where the evil raven creature tries to kill the sorcerer fish by simply turning the bowl upside down, but due to the fact that the fish controls water, he goes nowhere. There's a lot of creative use of magic in ZEHN and I look forward to future installments. This is about as indie as you can get, so don't expect a completely polished product. The creators should watch out for some grammatical errors and possibly keep an eye on centering the words in the middle of the word balloons, but all of these are just nits I'm picking. In the end, this little indie book packs a whole lot of fun action and creative ideas between its covers and I'm hoping Michael Mwemba and the artist, Zoro Rodriguez, get a chance to do more volumes so I can see their own talent and the cool story of ZEHN grow.


This free giveaway from SDCC was a lot of fun. As a person who received quite a few indie book requests and submissions for review, it's refreshing to check out a book that literally takes seconds to read. This simple flip book has some very cool cartoony art and a simple premise for both stories. First, Gene Roddenberry's lifetime achievement is explained when he is abducted by aliens while walking down the street one day. Turn the book over and we find our second story: two aliens plot to destroy the Earth but are placated by checking out stuff made by Gene Roddenberry. Simple and fun spins on the age-old flip book concept. David Reddick did a slick job of producing this tiny little book and it was a smart move to pass them out to folks at the con. Upon further inspection, it looks like this book is actually a cool advet for a much cooler website featuring the same characters. I clicked through quite a few of the fun serial and recommend you do the same if you have a few spare moments at the computer.

THE VILLAIN #1 Goodbum Studios & Dial R Studios

There’s a scene in THE VILLAIN that sums up the entire book. A nerdy kid gets pushed down in the middle of school. It’s your typical scenario where a bully picks on someone smaller and weaker than him. But the narrative doesn’t follow the nerd as does every other comic you can think of. The book follows the bully and continues to tell the tale of a boy who was always pretty bad and how this boy grew up to be a super villain. It’s a book asking, “What if super powers go to the wrong guy?” Steve Earnhart, the man behind the noir-tastic HARD-BULLIED COMICS book is responsible for this fun premise and he doesn’t waste any time diving into the action. This first issue is definitely worth checking out. Fun characters, cool powers, and nice indie art; THE VILLAIN takes super hero convention and flips it on its @$$.


Anyone who enjoyed the old FAMOUS MONSTERS magazine would love this "photo novel" comic. I'm not sure if this was actually a movie or just an elaborate set of photographs, but basically, black and white photos are taken of actors and then word balloons are placed over the panels to tell a graphic story. The result is a real life comic that is every bit as dynamic and fun as reading a regularly drawn one. Sadistik is a vigilante who kills criminals and thwarts the police with advanced weaponry and sophisticated disguises. Reading this book was like watching SHOCK THEATRE with Dr. Creep back home in Ohio as a kid. This is an old school throwback to fifties schlock cinema, ripe with buxom beauties, fedora wearing baddies, and a very cool lead in a full body skeleton costume. The story is elaborate, yet motivated by one simple purpose; Sadistik is caught by a voyeur making love to his beautiful girlfriend without his mask on and now, Sadistik will stop at nothing to get those photos back. The storytelling is dynamic and the photos are vivid and tension filled. There's a whole lot of fun to be had with this comic. It's not your typical comic book experience and I'd love to see this "photo novel" approach done with other stories and characters, whether they be from old movies or original concepts. Click on the website above for more adventures of Sadistik.

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Aug. 12, 2009, 8:38 a.m. CST

    Loeb's name isn't smeared because of Ultimates 3

    by Laserhead

    At least, not only because of Ultimates 3. It's smeared because he's a hack writer who at his very best never rose above mediocre and derivative, and at worse was completely goddamn unreadable.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 8:42 a.m. CST

    From a distance the Cry for Justice logo

    by Laserhead

    looks like Gay for Justice.<p>How apropos.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 9:01 a.m. CST


    by alfiemoon

    I don't think that Loeb has always been a terrible writer. Some of his projects have been very readable (Long Hallowe'en, the Marvel "color" books, etc.). However, I think that his consistently disappointing output in recent years is probably beginning to erase any goodwill that people had for him due to his superior past projects.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 9:14 a.m. CST

    I'm tired of poorly executed manga...

    by maelstrom_ZERO

    <p> seen in Battle Angel Alita. I realize that Alita is meant to be a shounen-styled title, which will invariably involve unnecessary flashbacks, stupid humor, and pointless plot developments. But these are the very elements that pretty much ruin the title for me.</p> <p>Alita, like a bunch of other shounen titles (Naruto and Bleach come to mind) tend to be decent because of the extensive universe that the mangaka created. Alita covers some pretty heavy themes, like the existence of a soul (a la Ghost in the Shell), the necessity of a guide for humanity (like Asimov's Foundation), and the search for self. And all of this is amidst a cool Enter the Dragon-esque tournament suffused with Zen philosophy and fascinating fights.</p> <p>Except this title, like every other shounen, has to engage in the obligatory flashbacks and stupid humor regimen. I mean, seriously. . .a penis monster? Using ejaculatory attacks? Jesus Christ. Any shred of credibility the manga had kind of kicked the bucket when this character showed up.</p>

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Whats the deal with Iron Man now?

    by Animation

    Is he still evil? I know he put explosives in the bodies of super villains and made them beat up actual heroes, and I know his close partners like Ms Marvel were often seen doing things like beating up actual heroes in front of their families, and such as that. That was about the time I stopped reading anything to do with Iron Man or any pro reg people. I know there was some skrull deal. Did it turn out Iron Man was a skrull, or some other lame attempt to make him not actually a villain, or did they just leave him as Marvel's main super villain? Whats the deal there?

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 9:15 a.m. CST

    not JUST the Ultimates volume 3.

    by V'Shael

    As shit as that was...

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 9:26 a.m. CST

    I think Long Halloween and the Marvel color books

    by Laserhead

    are ass, personally. Loeb's projects are always partially redeemed by the first rate artists he gets, so Tim Sale elevated those projects up a notch, but really, the writing in them is shit. (I only read the Spider-Man and Daredevil color books). Long Halloween is extremely derivative of many popular movies and books (from The Godfather to Presumed Innocent), and the big mystery reveal, as in all Loeb's work, doesn't make logical sense at all.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Incredible Hulk #600...

    by BangoSkank

    I'm forced to get my comic-smack through the mail, and try to be cautious with what I'm ordering, however.... I dropped Hulk when Loeb took over, and thought that IH 600 was the beginning point of the new storyline... Nope, just more goofy looking Loeb-written bullshit. <p> First comic in over 20 years I read, ripped in half, and tossed in the garbage. <p> Felt good too.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Why Loeb gets first-rate artists

    by Laserhead

    Because he tells them, "Just tell me whatever you want to draw, and I'll make a story around that." The artist invariably responds with, "I'd like to draw a bunch of different characters, all the classic rogues gallery, and a lot of fight scenes." Loeb:"No problem, I'll just recycle the same old villain-of-the-week-within-a-larger-storyline-about-a-mystery-villain script that keeps working for me."

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 9:32 a.m. CST

    I agree about Long Halloween's flaws

    by kalel21

    My main problem with it isn't that it was derivative (something can still be derivative but still well-written), but that the big reveal at the end really didn't make sense. One level it really needed to work on to be a successful story was as a traditional whodunit, with clues seeded throughout the run that eventually point to the killer's idenity. Loeb failed in this aspect of the story completely, with an open-ended climax that was completely unsatisfying. - - - SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: For chronological reviews of Marvel's Silver Age comics:

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Some observations

    by gooseud

    1. Welcome to the dark side Bottleimp, of those of us who hate Robinson's writing and wonder what ever happened to the Golden Age/Starman wunderkind. Perhaps ot was a Skrull replacement? 2. Walking Dead is going to be a TV show on AMC created by Frank Darabont. It just got the go-ahead to start filming. 3. Its funny, I'm not sure theres another title that has gone from worshipped at the time to completely despised now like Long Halloween. There were really legitimate voices (not just typical fanboy gushing) that were saying at the time that Long Halloween was completely amazing. The mighty have fallen, I suppose.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 9:48 a.m. CST

    and then there are things that are utterly shameless ripoffs

    by gooseud

    that ARENT well written....Cap Reborn, anyone?

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Peter David

    by gooseud

    pretty much retired the Hulk. No run will ever be as good as that classic run with that character, so why bother? You know how they say drug addicts are always chasing their first high? Thats all of us. We know Hulk will never be that good again, but we still read in the hopes it will. Sigh.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 10:17 a.m. CST

    goose: Reborn

    by steverodgers

    I am also not blown away so far. The time jumping thing for whatever reason isn't really interesting me. I do like the adventuring of BuckyCap and the rest of the gang however. Sticking it out though, I have faith in Bru.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Loeb's Hulk. Really?

    by Psynapse

    "As long as you don't think about it much it doesn't completely suck"<p>Yeeeeah, that's really gonna convince me to plop down $4 for the book. Not. <p>Of course, I'm full of shit. NO amount of hype will ever get me to spend ANY money on a book that hack writes after the frisky abortion that was 'Hush'.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 10:22 a.m. CST


    by sean bean

    The trouble with the Hulk is that it's a character with a simple premise: smart wimpy scientist becomes a monster. A writer can add new complexities to the character (as Peter David did) or put the character in a new context (as Greg Pak did in Planet Hulk). The Hulk could be good again if the right writer comes on board. I'd like to read a Grant Morrison Hulk. Jason Aaron took a lame, hackneyed character (Ghost Rider) and made it interesting again so I'd like to read his Hulk, too. Jeph Loeb, however, brings nothing new to the character. He is the reverse Midas - everything he touches turns to shit. Don't give up on the Hulk because the current creative team (actually, just the writer) is honest-to-God awful.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 10:25 a.m. CST


    by sean bean

    Oh, and Ultimates 3 isn't even the worst thing he's done in the last few years. That honour goes to his Wolverine run - one of the very worst story arcs in the history of Marvel comics.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Hulk review...

    by Mr.FTW

    I usually dig Bug's reviews of books and his thought on them as well but this review of Hulk seems completely interchanglable with all the reviews for G.I.JOE: Rise of Cobra on this site. Just switch out G.I.JOE and Hulk and it's the same review.<p> Making excuses for a poorly executed story by calling it big dumb fun and advising people to turn off their brains while while in my opinion insulting the property, the fan base and the growth of both by reminding us that this is just kids stuff not to be taken seriously.<p>Personally, I don't want to "turn my brain off", whether it's movies or comics I want well written stories with spectacular visuals. I'm not asking for everything to be highbrow, dark or adult. I want things that are light and fun too and even for all ages but that doesn't mean it has to be mindless crap with big explosions.<p>Idealology like big dumb fun and just for kids is what people unfamiliar with comics have and that makes comics take a step backward instead of forward.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Weekly Wednesday Comics Hate.

    by Series7

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 10:50 a.m. CST

    The best big dumb fun in comics right now

    by Series7

    War Machine. That comic is a fucking blast.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Invincible Iron Man

    by Joenathan

    I don't think it was contrived that he had to leave Pepper behind. He is on the run from Osbourne and that explosion could very well draw Osborne directly to him, so the longer he stayed, the greater his chance of getting captured, which is what he's been trying to avoid for the last half dozen or so issues, so Pepper made him leave while she stayed. He had to leave or risk all the info in his head falling into Osborne's hands. That's why he's running. It wasn't contrived, it was consistant with the current storyline.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Savior 28 #5? Are you from the future?

    by Johnny Smith

    Seriously now. How'd you read this?

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 10:57 a.m. CST

    I like

    by Joenathan

    I like how you say: "It made Darkhawke relevant again..." AGAIN? When was he relevant the first time?

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 11 a.m. CST

    Loeb and Long Halloween

    by Joenathan

    It doesn't hold up. the "reveal" is nonsensical and there are moments completely and totally stolen directly from movies. The only reason Long Halloween should be revisited is Tim Sale's incredible art.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Good Hulk Writer Must Embrace Marvel U...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...In many ways, the Hulk is a chaotic archetype. He's lonely, alienated adolescent male rage with no socialization. He's not bad, he's just untempered, undirected power.<p>Here's what'cha do, writer guy: read every Marvel book currently published and that has been published in the past three years. Let the Hulk riff on those characters and situations and most important, don't have a direction for the book because the character has no direction.<p>The fatal flaw in the Bruce Jones early '00 Hulk is that Marvel wanted us to pretend we'd never seen the Hulk before. It's like, Joey Q., it's no big shark in Jaws reveal because I've got hundreds of issues in the long boxes.<p>Bruce Jones IS a fine writer who has done some excellent horror comics, btw.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Animation - Iron Man

    by Joenathan

    You missed the boat. He was never a villian and his book is one of the better superhero titles out right now. Tony ascended too high and has been brought down low, slowly but surely stripped of everything. Will he survive, will he be redeemed? Honestly, I don't know how he is going to survive this... Great book.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 11:06 a.m. CST

    That bleeding Hulk review...

    by AnakinsDiapers

    ...was shit. And to reiterate a point already made: "It ain’t Shakespeare but there’s a Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em appeal to this book that takes me back to a time when the coolest thing you could do was bash your giant toys together and make fightin’ sounds in the sandbox in the backyard" a shit excuse to enjoying crap.<p> Seriously, is that the new catch-all phrase to defending low brow crap? It was used to defend the enjoyment of G.I. Joe, and not only on this site, and here it is here.<p> What's worse, in defending this tripe, Bug goes on to insult people who rather have stories which actually make internal sense by using negative words to describe them like "cynics" and "dark" and other such negative buzzwords. Hey, if you like this cheesy crap, go right on ahead, but try not to defend it by putting down the readers looking for good writing, whether it be dark or light fun, and generally insulting the medium itself by pigeonholing it into "kiddie fare".

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 11:08 a.m. CST


    by blackthought

    wtf is fulk? i mean rulk? i mean whatever. can't wait for bulk and pulk the pink hulk. loeb only goes well with sale these days.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 11:09 a.m. CST

    ACTS LIKE he's making it up as he goes?

    by rev_skarekroe

    Of course he's making it up as he goes. You can usually tell when a writer has a master plan, and I seriously doubt Loeb does. I doubt he or his editor even have an identity for Red Hulk picked out. It's like the old Spidey Clone Saga where they just keep it going as long as people keep buying it.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 11:10 a.m. CST

    Cap reborn

    by Joenathan

    Bru's good enough that I will wait and see, plus he leans toward larger arcs, but yeah, Cap Reborn seems a little shaky, mostly because tonally, this whole super-science-magic-time-travel stuff, while certainly not strangers as fa as tropes go when it comes to a Captain America book, it definately seems a little out of left field for this CURRENT run, don't you think?

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Any review that urges me to "turn off my brain"...

    by Joenathan

    I read instead as: "Don't not see/purchase and/or interact with."

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Liam the Kid

    by Mr.FTW

    So out of curriousity, what happened to him? I thought his reviews were here for good, did the constant bitching finally get him pulled or did the dad get tired of the attacks?

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 11:15 a.m. CST

    The Kid

    by Joenathan

    He discovered girls

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 11:20 a.m. CST

    The difference between good "turn off your brain" and bad "t.o.y

    by kalel21

    Not everything has to be Shakespeare. Comics (and movies and books and whatever) can be good popcorn-level fun without touching on deep themes or new ideas. But good T.O.Y.B. comics/films HAVE to have at least 3 elements to them to be GOOD: 1) They have to be visually interesting (well-drawn as comics and well-designed/directed as movies)----2) They have to have characters we care about on some level; we have to like and enjoy spending time with the protagonists---3) The plot has to make sense within its own context. Whatever fantasy/SF/Action elements are there can be fun in their own right, but also have to serve to move the plot along. Leave any of these elements out and you have BAD T.O.Y.B storytelling.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 11:23 a.m. CST

    If Red Hulk is Rulk...

    by DatoMan413

    Why isn't Green Hulk GRULK?<BR> Keep it going...<BR> Blue Hulk = BULK<BR> Yellow Hulk = YULK<BR> Orange Hulk = ORULK<BR> Purple Hulk = PURPULK<BR> Brown Hulk = BRULK<BR> Black Hulk = BLULK<BR> White Hulk = SOLOMON GRUNDY

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Forgot two more

    by DatoMan413

    Gray Hulk = GULK Light Gray Hulk = PITT

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 11:27 a.m. CST

    And last but not least...

    by DatoMan413

    For failing to keep up the momentum of World War Hulk...<BR> WTFULK (nod to blackthought)

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 11:33 a.m. CST

    There is no good "turn your brain off"

    by Joenathan

    Exciting does not mean dumb. Adventure does not mean fucking retarded. Stupid is stupid. Good doesn't mean "shakespeare" (I'm not sure why that's a bad thing...) If you want to like garbage, go ahead and like it, but trying to pretend that you're liking because of some quality of personal taste more pure than the rest of us "literary know-it-all cerebral types" is only your own, very well deserved, shame and embarrassment given voice.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 11:36 a.m. CST


    by Mr.FTW

    Shouldn't Purple Hulk = The Maxx

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 11:40 a.m. CST


    by DatoMan413

    You are correct, sir!

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 11:42 a.m. CST

    I was probably wrong to try to redeem t.o.y.b.

    by kalel21

    What I meant to say was that a comic or movie can exist purely to have fun, without breaking new thematic ground or dealing with deep ideas. Something can be a fairly traditional adventure story or whodunit or rom-com or whatever. As long as the visuals are good, the plot is well-constructed and the character likable, then it serves it's purpose in entertaining its audience. My mistake in my above post was in trying to redeem the term "Turn off your brain," which actually did spoil the point I was trying to make. (I also shouldn't have sunk to using the "doesn't have to be Shakespeare cliche.) There does indeed have to be some thought put into the story for even a basic-level genre story to work. And that means the audience has to put some level of thought into the story themselves, to follow along with the plot and care about the characters. I just wanted to defend the idea of occasionally doing a story that just wants to be fun without worrying about anything deeper.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, noon CST


    by Series7

    Why can't we just spend 200 million dollars on footage of dogs humping legs? It seems to work.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 12:09 p.m. CST

    The Walking Dead

    by werewolfbynight

    The Walking Dead is coming to a television near you. It was just announced that this phenomenal series is being adapted on AMC. The show runner is none other than Frank Darabont. Its a good time to be a geek.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 12:23 p.m. CST

    Joenathan ... thanks

    by Animation

    Joenathan, thanks for the reply. How was Tony not a villain? I considered his behavior to be the kinds of things villains do during that time. Anyway, I'll perhaps come back to this and try it once it is in trade form, since I've missed it for now.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Totally agree with you about the Bruce Jones era of HULK

    by Kikstad

    I remember some critics were praising the Bruce Jones storyline at the time and I just didn't understand. The covers were great but the storyline was awful. Why even call it the HULK if the Hulk wasn't in the comicbook. I actually gave up on the series at that point and sadly haven't been back since. Glad to hear it's gotten better.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 12:26 p.m. CST

    I'm going to agree with kalel21

    by maelstrom_ZERO

    <p>There's nothing wrong with having a medium be introspective and filled with heady concepts--it's a good thing when comics aspire to something greater than simple entertainment.</p> <p>But not every book is meant to be "To Kill a Mockingbird," just the same way as every movie isn't meant to be "Citizen Kane." Sometimes you just want a good, entertaining yarn. And it's the same with comics.</p> <p>I mean, Y: The Last Man tackled some pretty heavy stuff with gender equality and survivor's guilt and the potential for good in humanity. It's heady stuff, and the comic is amazing because of that. But on the other hand, you have Brubaker's run on Immortal Iron Fist. And there's not much introspection or socio-political commentary in there--it's just a homage to the 80's martial arts craze, with fighting, and fighting, and more fighting. But the comic WORKS and it's fun and it's entertaining.</p> <p>Which isn't to say that turning your brain off is a good thing. It's just that there are many comics out there that simply want to tell a good, action-packed story, sans the burden of espousing ideals or philosophy. And there's not necessarily anything wrong with that, so long as the story catches your imagination and is solid and entertaining.</p>

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 12:36 p.m. CST


    by Mr.FTW

    That is the whole point I was making when I first posted. Not everything has to be Citizen Kane or To Kill a Mockingbird but does need to be well written.<p>There are plenty of things out there that are fun and well written too which leaves no excuses for the things that aren't.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 12:42 p.m. CST


    by kalel21

    I thnk you made the point better than I did. As I already said in another post, trying to redeem the "Turning off your brain" phrase was simply a mistake. Good entertainment should never require us to stop thinking. But what it causes us to think about can be anything--some aspect of human nature; or a highly debated political/social issue; or wondering who the real murderer is; or following along with the story so that (for example) we understand why Indiana Jones needs the headpiece to the staff of Ra. Even simple genre stories need to have a writer thoughful enough to give us a coherent plot and an audience attentive enough to follow along. (

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 12:45 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    Tony may not have gone about it the best way (he is only human), but his motivation was valid.<br><br>A. Just because some moron was dumb enough to drink a vial of mystery liquid and then, not onl not die from it, but was lucky enough to gain superpowers, that does not qualify them to police the world. At least, not with training and a central governing body that they would have to answer to.<Br><br>B. He was also right that if he and the others didn't set up this superhero governing body themselves, then someone else would and who knows what they would get then (i.e. Osbourne).<br><br>The problem came from egos and the fact that, technically, Cap and his people choose to break the law, morally, ethically right or no, they decided to flaunt and out right break the law. They choose to become criminals. Tony was charged with the unenviable task of bringing them all in. It was a situation that spiralled out of control. The negative zone prisons, the Thunderbolts, Clor, these were ideas that came from a good intent, but unfortuantly Tony and Reed were too stubborn, too curious as to whether or not they COULD do it, to take the time o ponder whether or not the SHOULD do it. <br><Br>The cool part is, tony's descisions, while often time right, had consqeunces. Where he was once top cop, now he is the fugitive, a man who has lost everything that once defined him and must ow discover who he really is.<br><br>Tony Stark is one of the best, most complex characters Marvel currently has and Fraction is writing the shit out of him.<br><br>ASimply put: If you like good stories, you need to pick up Invincible Iron Man.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 12:50 p.m. CST

    exactly Kalel21

    by Joenathan

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Hulk13 ends when...

    by Reelheed

    bruce dodges a blow from ares. He dogdes a blow from the GOD OF WAR. Bull. Shit.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 2:02 p.m. CST

    When is Skaar

    by Series7

    Going to be in the Hulk series?

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 2:30 p.m. CST


    by david19

    People didnt like the Bruce Jones run? Seriously? Because it had a story and didnt depend on huge action moments every panel? I think it works better in trade, but man Hulk was always a lame character to me until I read the Jones run.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 2:31 p.m. CST

    "Going to be in the Hulk series?"

    by BangoSkank

    The next issue of Incredible Hulk (601)... Hulkless Bruce teams up with Skaar. I hope that's not a spoiler I've been seeing it in Marvel Previews for the past few months, but haven't been reading any of the Hulk books since the end of WW Hulk.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 2:43 p.m. CST


    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    HULK, RULK, SKAAR, SHE-HULK, THAT THUNDRA SHE-HULK - IT'S NOT ENOUGH!!! I want Baby Hulk, Grandpa Hulk, Grandma Hulk, and maybe even a dog - Fido Hulk - who eats a gamma radiated dog biscuit. Come on fellow Marvel fans, what new Hulks would you like to see????

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 2:48 p.m. CST


    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    I'm sure this has been endlessly discussed on some previous talkback, but I've just read the last Ultimatum issue. I really don't know how they let Jeph Loeb loose in the Ultimate universe. I've never seen so many uneccesary and pointless deaths in my life. And it really was great to see childhood favorites ***** SPOLIER WARNING ***** Cyclops and the Thing murder people who'd surrendered in cold blood. Hoorah!

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Yay Animation!

    by Homer Sexual

    I knew your post about Iron Man would get Joenathan to react. He's the #1 Civil War fan round these parts. <p> But I was very pleased by your post. If Iron Man wasn't a villain at the time, I don't think you could call Osbourne a villain right now. Lex Luthor also fits into this area. Just because Stark meant well doesn't mean he wasn't a villain. <p> But he's apparently not a villain now, he's been humbled. But I wouldn't know because I, like Animation, am very "meta" and don't read anything fronted by pro-reg heroes. <p> Ok, I do read Mighty Avengers since Secret Invasion and Ms. Marvel since Karla Sofen is now in the suit. <p> Civil War was a long time ago, and everyone is now moving on (both in the comics and amongst comics fans). <p> And now for some actual comics talk...

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Walking Dead TV Show

    by Homer Sexual

    Oops, the Walking Dead TV series isn't 100% comics, but close enough. While I will definitely give this at least two episodes, I don't expect to like it because: <p> AMC is basic cable, so this will be a PG-13 Walking Dead. Also, Frank Darabont's movies are all about romanticized men. They pretend to be tought, but they are very softy and sentimental, so I expect the things I don't like about Walking Dead (super male-centric and traditional) to be exaggerated even more. M <p> My proof: Exhibit A: Green Mile Exhibit B: Shawshank Redemption. <p> Yes I know everyone loves Shawshank Redemption, but it is super sentimental, really. <p> One caveat: If Michael Clarke Duncan is in this cast, I will watch zero episodes. And I half expect him to be in the cast, for real.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 3:33 p.m. CST

    "Big Dumb Fun" Sucks Ass

    by gooseud

    I despise big dumb fun. Anything described as such, I have zero interest in. I have never gotten any enjoyment out of "so good its bad" type stuff. To me, bad is bad. I'm no killjoy, I like light, pop stuff: Bru's Iron Fist, Slott's She Hulk (at first), the current Nova/Guardians of the Galaxy, all big and fun, but nothing dumb about them. The Mummy movies, Transformers, Snakes On A Plane, G I Joe, all that stuff is just crap to me that is pandering to the Des Moines Iowa "I just wanna shut my brain off for two hours!" crowd and I could give less then a shit. News Flash: I never want to shut my brain off.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 3:38 p.m. CST

    LOXG: Front To Back

    by gooseud

    As proof that I'm not a pretentious snot, however, I bring you my League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 1 and 2 review. I'm gonna make it short and sweet: good series, but I personally was uninspired. Perhaps you needed to be in that moment and not know the premise ahead of time, but I just found do I put this......right on the verge of going up Alan Moore's ass at any moment. It really tread the line of over-pretentiousness at all times. The big M reveal in Vol. 1, were we supposed to have any idea who that was at that moment? In fact, 30% of everything going on in those 2 series probably werent fully understood by 90% of the readers outside of Victorian lit professors. I dunno, it was cool, clearly it has amazing ideas and I never am bothered by a challenge, but it left me a bit cold. Sorry this review was so uninspired, but thats kind of how I felt about the series as a whole.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Howzabout, Instead of Turn of Your Brain...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...we say Unclinch Your Ass! Or around here Unclinch Your @$$. Action doesn't have to be stupid and story doesn't have to be boring. Those were the early '00s.<p>We reviewed Bruce Jones' HULK here are initially we gave it good reviews. Jon Quixote liked it at first and so did I. But like most of the early 21st Century Marvel, it relied unwaveringly on a --gasp-- DIRECTION. It was easy to think you were smart because you liked it because nothing happened. I remember reading an Abomination arc that was like five issues of the Abomination all trussed up. Sorry, that's not smart, that's not build up, that's wasting paper (or time if you down load).<p>And I'd been a pretty significant Jones fan up until that point. I really don't blame him completely. He'd never had the mainstream success he'd deserved and if editorial told me and paid me to put out a boring Hulk, I'm bore the crap out of you myself.<p>Fortunately, comics are cyclical and they don't really do THAT any more. That battle has already been won. Besides, nobody except another comic geek is going to think you're an intellectual for reading comics. You want to be an intellectual, read a classic book or poem or play. Don't read the Hulk.<p>And really, why have the Hulk, why read the Hulk, why should there even be a Hulk comic if you're not going to use the Hulk to fight and smash?<p>If we're going to generalize about my beloved Marvel Comics as published six, seven, eight years ago, I'd say overall poor use of the medium. You want dialogue? Read a novel. You want to limit action and location? See a play. I think that Marvel editorial wanted to make the comics like good films, which is admirable, but they not only accepted the limitations of film, they exceeded the limitations of film. In a comic, we can get anything the artist can draw without it costing millions to produce. We sacrifice sound and motion for unlimited imagination. Yeah, I'll pick up a Hulk where the Absorbing Man is hitting him with his ball 'n' chain and knocking him across Baltimore because I don't have to wait three years it takes to make and the hour and a half it takes to bring the mainstream audience up to speed on who everything is.<p>So UYA! Pretentious does not mean smart and fun doesn't mean dumb!

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Boy, We Need An Edit Feature Here!

    by Buzz Maverik

    Those of you on drugs, please translate my above post for our brethren who've been to rehab.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 4:01 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    I like your stance. I can respect that. Also, eat some poop.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Sampson was more or less raped by Betty Ross

    by Laserhead

    as I recall. She attacked him when he refused to fuck her. True story; it's in the book. <p>And the terrible thing about Bruce Jones' Hulk wasn't so much that Hulk only made rare appearances-- it was that the story acted like it was one long revelation of an elaborate master-plan, when obviously it was being made up as he went without any kind of internal logic or coherence. All these "agents" kept dying and coming back to life. They freed the Abomination. People were assassinated, replaced with doubles, had their features surgically altered, etc. WHY? Why, to... um... STEER... the Hulk in the general direction of the Leader. Yep... all these immense convolutions, four years worth of stories, just to get the Hulk within the general area of the Leader. The other fucked up thing was that, 'Hey, Leader, Agents-- you've fucking mastered death. You're all immortal and can't die. Isn't that kind of a bigger deal that trying to manipulate the Hulk into wrecking things?'

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 4:29 p.m. CST

    The Hulk in particular

    by gooseud

    is a tough character to write as anything other then Hulk Smash. If it could be done, Peter David already did it, which is my poit about the Hulk. If you write him as Hulk Smash, hes tedious. If you try another approach, your simply walking in the footsteps of someone who did it better. Hes kind of a no win character.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Red Hulk Fun. Green Hulk Boring.

    by Homer Sexual

    I have actually been a fan of Red Hulk until this issue. Well, it was Green Hulk this issue, I guess. Also, it was very boring. I can see why people don't like Red Hulk, because it is dumb and shallow, but I find it to be entertaining and fun. Now I am not sure if I will be buying any Hulk titles in the future...definitely not Hulk and Son. <p> War of Kings concluded last week? Sputter!!! How did I miss that? <p> Geez, Captain America Reborn does blow. It really sucks. I may have said this already, but I didn't like it the first time I read it, when it was called the Time Traveler's Wife. Shall I be dropping Captain America again soon as well? <p> I found the most recent Secret Six to be a bit confusing. I don't really understand why the Six have turned against Scandal. How did she betray them? I even re-read the issue, and still don't fully get it. Still a perfectly good read, in any case.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Cap Reborn > Flash Rebirth

    by Laserhead

    It's really ironic that "The Flash" is one of the most tedious, slowest stories at DC now.<p>I don't mind Cap jumping through time; the device has been used in many, many stories beyond Slaughterhouse-Five and Time Traveller's Wife. But it does seem that not a great deal is happening. Of course, I often had that feeling when reading Bru's regular Cap run... all the issues started bleeding together, because they were so similar. But I still loved the series. I'm reserving judgment, except to say that I really, really hope Bucky retains an out-front place in the Marvel universe. He might be the only character they have left that I care about.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 4:48 p.m. CST

    My secret shame

    by gooseud

    is that I've been giving serious consideration to dropping Cap entirely. I know I'm being kind of a rule-following killjoy here, but......I mean, come on, who is the Red Skull, Dr. Evil? You have Cap dead to rights. Its over. Your plan won. All you have to do is shoot him, not with some shady gun, just a regular old snub nosed .38. But no, of COURSE you dont do that.......of course, you shoot him with some time travel gun, this creating an opening for him to come back. I mean, come on. I'm not even mentioning the blatant, law-suit level full-on theft of this season of Lost, or the regular title grinding to a dead halt the second Bucky took over the mask, resulting in 20+ issues and counting of flashbacks and nostalgia. Ugh. Maybe I'm just getting too old for this.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 4:54 p.m. CST


    by Mr.FTW

    I'm not really sure what you're getting at or who that post was for. I don't think anyone has a problem with "Hulk smash" as longas it is within the confines of good story telling and writing. But if it is 6 issues of Hulk Smash out of a 6 issue arc with nothing other than Hulk smash...<p> What most people are getting at is whether it is stories for kids, stories for adult, dark, light, whatever it should be well crafted. When it's comics they should be well written, plotted, characterized and paced along with great art.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Lost can't sue Cap

    by Laserhead

    Because they're using the same idea as Slaughterhouse-Five and The Time Traveller's Wife. If Cap is sue-able, so is Lost.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 5 p.m. CST

    My Posts Are For The Little People, Mr.FTW

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...whom I've trampled and clawed aside on my way to the top. The top, bay-bee! The top!

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 5:08 p.m. CST

    I Agree With Goose More Than He Agrees..

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...with himself. You take a great run like David's HULK, why go on? Of course, why go on after Steve Ditko's run which sort of perfected the Lee/Kirby creation? Because if we hadn't gone on from Lee and Ditko, we wouldn't have got David and McFarlane.<p>In general, most comic series probably shouldn't go on forever. Even Jack Kirby was getting tired on THE FANTASTIC FOUR and who will ever match his stories?<p>Ideally, a good comic book series would be ended while it was still good, like the producers try to do with TV shows. But since they are serialized entertainment, they (like the Show) must go on. But that's o-kay. Because if DAREDEVIL had ended when Gene Colan left, we'd have never got Frank Miller's work on the book. I mean, they did cancel the X-MEN when Neal Adams was doing the book and it was years before we got early, young still good Claremont, Cockrum and Byrne. And if they'd ended that, we'd have never got Morrison, etc.<p>Man, Alan Moore really nailed the nature of the medium with THE KILLING JOKE, didn't he? Which proves it was a good thing BATMAN didn't end when Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams left.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 5:10 p.m. CST

    The problem with Rulk...

    by Immortal_Fish

    Too powerful. WAY too powerful. I thought him easily kicking around Thor and Uatu were unforgivable. Then the Offenders hit. What a hackneyed mess. And why bring back Joe Fixit if you aren't going to use him for more than just filler? This series can only get worse with Shrulk (or whatever she'll be).<P>Speculation -- Rulk is either a Samson clone or another Super Skrull. Either would spell a horrible revelation, of course.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Oh, and there have been plenty of dumb fun Hulk arcs

    by Immortal_Fish

    Rocket Raccoon comes to mind. Ends up that the backstory on that one wasn't as dumb as it appears on the surface level. Actually, it ended up being damn interesting as a concept.<P>I don't see Loeb's Rulk achieving the same.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 5:16 p.m. CST

    I Like The Hulk Annual Where...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...he stumbled into the Great Refuge when it was still in the Himalaya and Black Bolt defeated him by whispering in his ear.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 5:16 p.m. CST

    I hear ya Buzz

    by gooseud

    I guess maybe I'm just a little demoralized and negative these days. Cap, a comic I thought was unimpeachable 3 years ago, going down the shitter of comic book cliche crap. The Ultimate U killed off. Incognito, War of Kings, and Ex Machina wrapping up their runs. Pretty soon my pull list is literally going to be like......hmmm, 7 titles maybe? 8? If that? Just kinda feeling negative about the entire thing this week. I loved Killing Joke by the way. I know I'm alone on this one on these boards, but Killing Joke is one of my all time favorite Batman books, despite the "overrated" opinions of some. The first story (that I read, anyway) to truly address head on the elephant in the room, which is the issue of Batman's willingness to kill Joker, or lack thereof, and that quandry for comics as a whole.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 5:25 p.m. CST

    The Boys had an interesting take on this

    by gooseud

    recently, as far as "realism" in comics, which is simple, really: The Punisher would murder 90% of the heroes out there without breaking a sweat if he was so inclined. Captain America, if he was willing to kill, would be pretty much unbeatable. Batman really is as bad-ass as he seems and there is every reason to fear him. Why? Because Spider Man is a fucking lab tech. Doc Ock is a nuclear physicist. Johnny Storm is......what, exactly? A guy who just hangs out? In reality, a fight between Spidey and say, The Vulture would be ludicrous, it would look like a Bumfights DVD. Neither has minute one of anything resembling training. Spidey is just a really fast IT help desk guy. For those who dont read The Boys (which is many LOL), Butcher basically slaughters Payback (with one exception) due to his previous combat training and strength, and them being basically just guys in suits who can read minds or throw fire. The Crimson Countess, for example, with very similar powers to Firestar/Human Torch without the actual body flames, he simply walks up behind her and strangles her. It was like..........."Hmmmm.....actually, yeah".

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 6:07 p.m. CST

    can someone explain why all comic people are losers?

    by ironic_name

    I have yet to read a normal comment from comic readers. is it the lack of women and friends? the @$$holes are ok, but every other website eats a cock. why?

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 6:10 p.m. CST

    gooseud, punisher was in regular marvel for a long time

    by ironic_name

    he didn't do shit. in 'reality' punisher would be killed 3 minutes after going outside and pointing a gun at some gang.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 6:31 p.m. CST

    Hercules, now thats a comic thats fun

    by drewlicious

    Fun, but not stupid. Great action and just laugh out loud funny. Plus, the characters are actually likeable. Hercules is one of the few characters who you could actually have a beer with.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 6:46 p.m. CST

    They Pander Ironic

    by optimous_douche

    We don't -- plain and simple.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 7:12 p.m. CST

    Why Hulk is better than GI Joe: Rise of Cobra

    by Tall_Boy66

    GI Joe is real live people, so it comes off as goofy no matter how much you truss it up. And no matter how much $ they throw at the FX, it looks fake, esp. that movie. Hulk is a comic, you can do that big action fight every page because it simply works better in that medium than on film.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 8:02 p.m. CST

    "Loeb acts as if he’s making this shit up as he goes along. "

    by jdb1972

    I take it you haven't seen his sterling work on HEROES. Or his work for Rob Liefeld that started his career.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 8:16 p.m. CST

    Loeb swore up and down that Rulk was planned

    by Tall_Boy66

    Seriously, read the most recent issue of Wizard - he says numerous times in a creators commentary on Hulk #1-6 that there's clues and pre-planning everywhere. you can believe if he's lying or not, but I sometimes take a guy at his word. Anyway, I didn't hate on his Season 3 "Villains" arc, which he masterminded. It was the full-blown comic-booky superpowering/ depowered / resurrection / time travel / power battle fest we've been asking for since Season 1. And it had that guy from Jackie Brown in it.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 8:47 p.m. CST

    by paulrichard

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 8:49 p.m. CST

    Brief story about the Walking Dead

    by paulrichard Sorry about the double post.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 10:09 p.m. CST

    Ironic_Name, Millar has a take on this

    by gooseud

    Kick-Ass, in which he describes what would happen if someone ACTUALLY tried to act like a super hero. Havent read it, but its popular (shrugs). Ask Joe, he's the Millar guy on the boards. As far as why we are awesome and everyone else sucks, Optimus is right, no pandering allowed here. This is the best comics review and discussion board on the interwebz, I'd stake my sterling reputation on it.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 10:37 p.m. CST

    I created the Rulk

    by mortsleam

    I kid you not. Late July 1987: after one too many Jolt Colas and Butterfingers, I drew a picture of a 'roided out Hulk with red skin and black hair. Then I said, "Boy that's stupid." Ripped it up and threw it away. I was 13.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 10:49 p.m. CST

    Making it up as you go along.

    by we_pray_for_mad_skillz

    Isn't that what creative writers do? Make it up as they go along? What's another way of doing it? Having it already made up before you start? Making it up after you're finished? I just don't get that particular criticism.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 10:53 p.m. CST


    by ian216a

    Shit Comic. Or the shittiest comic? <P> And I like Jim Lee's Artwork! <P> (above probably trademarked by Stephen Colbert somehow) <p> Seriously though - what deal with Satan has Loeb got that allows him to crap out such undenialibly STUPID, turgid, bullshit - and it still sells like vasoline on Fire Island? Is it just the artists? What is it? <P> I very rarely drop series in the middle of runs, I'm anal like that. Dropping the RULK crap is probably the first time I've done it since Winick's run on Green Arrow. Yes it's thats bad.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 10:55 p.m. CST

    I have been reading Hulk and liking it.

    by we_pray_for_mad_skillz

    I also have not noticed any plot holes or anything else that it keeps getting accused of. What I have noticed is that those making the accusations never actually mention what said plot holes might be. They just make the statement as if it is fact.

  • Aug. 12, 2009, 11:39 p.m. CST

    Rulk punching out the Watcher is fucking awesome

    by Tall_Boy66

    Why? Because The Watcher is the lamest character ever. He shows up to manufacture importance whenever a Marvel writer likes to feel big. So, Rulk punching out the Watcher is a great joke. Because the Watcher is lame. And, like, Rulk said with a grin, "Shut the %$&@ up!"

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 1:54 a.m. CST

    Kick-ass is fine

    by Joenathan

    Its fun, but it's not my favorite Millar, but it's not "realistic" in any way, at all. There are no "realistic" superhero comics. None. NEver have been any and never will be any. The very concept of a superhero automatically makes it silly and therefore not "realistic" at all.<Br><br>Also Garth Ennis and The Boys suck balls.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 2:57 a.m. CST

    ennis does indeed eat the peen. one trick ponies suck dick.

    by ironic_name

    by the way, speaking of 'realistic' superhero movies google defendor. that is how its spelled. woody fucken harrelson as a guy who goes off his meds and dresses up as a superhero!

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 2:59 a.m. CST

    leob helped write commando. he gets a pass from me.

    by ironic_name

  • I mean he's only been one of the bigges Marvel villains for 40 or so odd years. Not to mention half the fucking Marvel Universe has him guest starring in every issue now. That aside, I agree with your take on Hulk 13. I still don't know how we went from intelligent Hulk we last saw in WWH to "Hulk Smash" of the current incarnation. Was it simply because an intelligent red & green hulk would be too talky a comic.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 3:12 a.m. CST

    seriously, that movie is insane fun. as are silver age comics

    by ironic_name

    how can you love haney's deciding to make a half batman half superman with green skin, and hate leob's deciding to have a big robot superbatman? <P> in the 50s and 60s dc and marvel did bizarre shit al the time. essentially loeb makes silver age comics now, which suggests people's love of ant head superman and I am curious [black] lois lane or fat flash is merely... how shall I say, ironic. and as we all know, ironically loving something is more of a making fun of something, or an inability to form real emotions out of fear that other people will belittle you. <P> I like superman, and chuck norris, and mister t, and rocky , and not in an ironic way. they really are awesome. and as for loeb, when his son was diagnosed with cancer, little cumstains on the dc messageboard openly said to him they hoped his son died of cancer. <P> personally after that, I hope loeb makes a fuckton of money, and the airthieves who said that continue their pathetic existence as unloved little peons who know that they will never get a job in comics.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 5:34 a.m. CST

    Making it up as you go along

    by Laserhead

    No, that's not what 'creative writers' do-- not with a long-form serialized story. A novelist might begin a novel without knowing exactly how it's going to end or what's going to happen, BUT-- by the time the book sees print, it's been finished and gone through several revisions and should be organic and unified, with stable continuity and an ending that pays off what's come before. So NO-- creative writers don't do that. I've heard that argument before, and it's bullshit. If you're telling a long-form serialized story, be it for TV or comics, you should AT LEAST know the solution to the central mystery of your premise. As Alan Moore said about 'Lost'-- "If you don't have an ending, then you don't really have an idea. You have half an idea."

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 5:40 a.m. CST

    Awesome old DC book I just read

    by Laserhead

    'Justice Inc.', a two-issue series by Andrew Helfer and Kyle Baker. More story in two issues than three years of a Bendis book. It's smart, dark, and awesome- a great revitalization of a pulp character, and you can find both issues for like $2 apiece. DC is bringing back The Avenger in Azarello's new pulp series, and I hope they reprint this take on him.<p>They should also reprint the Andrew Helfer 'Shadow' series that spun out of Howard Chaykin's limited series.<p>Yes, this has been a random insertion of opinion not necessarily germane to anything being discussed.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 6:28 a.m. CST

    Marvel comics

    by GrizzleHorn

    Hulk de-powered? Ironman a fugitive? Thor being cast out of his kingdom? Captain America dead? Now the criminals are running the show. Looks like Marvel is stacking the deck, so that when they bring back the REAL Avengers it will be huge! It's just a matter of time until Steve Rogers screams "Avengers Assemble!" and next to him is a re-powered Hulk, Thor and Ironman. They will then go about the task of kicking the crap out of Normal Osborn, HAMMER and his whole team of Dark idiots.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 7:25 a.m. CST

    Harry Potter was.........

    by gooseud

    planned out in full from start to finish before a word was ever written. Just a bit of trivia for ya there.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Boys, Ironic, Making it up as you go...

    by Homer Sexual

    Have to agree with Joe about the Boys. For example, if a character with Human Torch powers were being strangled, why wouldn't said character simply ignite and burn up the strangler? I am seriously not into "normals" beating up "supers." It seems like wish fulfillment for people who hate super-heroes, but why would such people read comics in the first place? <p> While I don't care for Superman, I can see why someone would think he's awesome. Chuck Norris, I can't really see why someone would think he's awesome, but he isn't lame either. Mr T., well, I don't know how someone could really think he's awesome in a non-ironic way unless you are age ten or younger. But he is awesome in an ironic way. <p> Rocky....he's a classic. I LOVE Rocky. But he's only awesome in a non-ironic way in the first movie. He then becomes awesome in an ironic way, peaking with Rocky IV, a truly AWESOME in a totally ironic way movie. <p> I agree that the details are fleshed out, but I'd hope any writer has the outline of a story in place before actually writing it. I don't think Loeb knows who Rulk is. Also, punching the Watcher was uber-retarded. Waay over the top. But that's Rulk for you. <p> I actually think many events that have supposedly been planting clues for a long time are b.s. Secret Invasion, for example, was too loose and sloppy. Either it was at least somewhat written on the fly, or editorial interference made it seem that way.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 11 a.m. CST

    Various things

    by gooseud

    1. Far be it from me to be a Boys defender (although I seem to have reluctantly quasi-assumed that role lately) but the way the issue read, it was more a commentary on how characters like Wasp, Vulture, Lizard, Cyclops, they wouldnt last 17 seconds. How would the Punisher deal with Cyclops for example? Simply wait til his back was turned, walk up behind him, and shoot him in the head. Game over. I'm not condoning this type of uber realistic story-telling, I'm just saying that Ennis is making a point that I found mildly interesting. Oh yeah, and I got that wrong, he didnt strangle her, he wrapped the belt around her neck and yanked, snapping her neck. No chance for flame burst or whatever. 2. Everyone knows the most ironic-awesome movie ever is Roadhouse. Thats movie is so ironic-awesome, it actually treads right up to the line of being just plain old awesome.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 11:13 a.m. CST

    I think Roadhouse crosses that line

    by Laserhead

    it's plain old awesome. No irony necessary.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Secret Invasion Plan

    by Joenathan

    I somewhat disagree Homer and her is why: Dark Reign is why Joe Q green-lit the Secret Invasion idea. They've been saying that since before Secret Invasion #1, so that's a good couple of years planned ahead, at least, right there and with the way comics change so often, how much more could you really expect.<br><br>Except... and this is important... there is that one out of place skrull in Disassembled. Now, Bendis may not have had EVERYTHING planned out, but that shows that he was at least planning something along the lines, right?

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Roadhouse is pretty awesome

    by Joenathan

    I think that movie is the pure distillation of 80's action movies right there.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 12:24 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    Loeb is terrible. I'm very sorry about his son, that is an awful thing for someone to go to, and it's too bad there are jerks out there that think it's okay to laugh about something like that, but that doesn't mean his books aren't crap. They are.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 12:53 p.m. CST

    I know who Rulk is.

    by TedKordLives

    As a master of Hulk lore, I've been reading this series (not buying it) and I've figured out who the only possible remaining suspect is.<P> The problem is that it makes absolutely no sense. And that is why I'm sure I'm right. <P> That'll be the twist, see? <P> And no, I can't tell you who I think it's gonna be, cuz then he'd change it to something even more implausible and dumb, like Glob is the Red Hulk or something.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Captain America

    by Bluejack

    Reborn is slow and boring so far. Bru is tearing his hair out as he crafted this fantastic return of Bucky, the death of Cap in a a meaningful way, and a plausable replacement of Cap by Bucky. Now editorial comes around and says 'We need Rogers back in time to squash Osborn and the Dark Avengers.' Bru is like, 'Fuck No, Dude! This is going to undo all my work!' 'Make it happen or we will force you to write the Darkhawk ongoing and Pet Avengers. And by the way, just pretend that Sharon shot him with some weird gun.' Sucks. I will love it when Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Cap and Hawkeye (out of the black PJs) fuck up the Dark Avengers, though.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 1:09 p.m. CST


    by Bluejack

    Is Red Lantern Grey Hulk.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 1:21 p.m. CST


    by Laserhead

    is Doc Sampson from the future. Or Glenn Talbot plucked out of time. Or a childhood friend of Bruce Banner's who has yet to be introduced.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Cap Reborn would probably be better received

    by Laserhead

    if it just took place in the regular Cap title, instead of its own limited series.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Agreed that Rulk is too powerful, as well.

    by TedKordLives

    He's making light of the rest of the ENTIRE Marvel U. He easily knocked Thor's dick in the dirt! THOR! He 'killed' Silver Surfer & Terrax (they got better). It's ridiculous, and it cheapens the whole 616 as a result. No earth-based character should be able to 'pwn' Thor the way Rulk did. <P> Once again, Jeph, I really am sorry about your son. But please take some time off to mourn him. Your grief is seriously affecting your writing. <P> FUCK! Stop fucking with my Marvel BB (Bruce Banner)! God, at least Pak's back, so I'll have an enjoyable Hulk title again.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 1:24 p.m. CST


    by TedKordLives

    You're closer than you know, my friend. Hell, you MAY have just fitted the final piece into the puzzle.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Laser, cont.

    by TedKordLives

    That is, you may have fitted the final piece into the puzzle in my mind. I COULD be wrong, but I am a pretty good guesser, and every clue I've noticed points to a military man who loved and lost Betty, who is not General Ross. I mean, only military men use the word 'milksop', right?

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 1:40 p.m. CST


    by Homer Sexual

    Ok, I am pretty stupid, but are you saying that Bruce Banner is Red Hulk and Green Hulk? That doesn't make any sense at all. Yet somehow it could happen. I don't know Hulk lore well enough to id anyone else. <p> I don't think Reborn would be better received in the regular cap title. It would, in fact, cause me to drop the main cap title. Which I haven't done. Yet. <p> I think Secret Invasion was planned in the sense of the concept, yes. But that's about it. I highly doubt Bendis went in with Jessica Drew as the main skrull, and I do think that Luke Cage or Jessica Jones was supposed to be a skrull (probably nixed by editorial). However, I will never know. Also, I have difficulty understanding what Dark Reign has to do with Secret Invasion, except that is how Osborne got power, by stopping the Secret Invasion. So I guess I answered my own question. Dumb though the answer is. <p> Speaking of dumb, yes indeed there have been a lot of dumb, Boys-esque moments in Rulk. for some reason, the only one that bothers me is Watcher, and even that was a little funny. I don't really take it seriously when things happen in that book.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 1:44 p.m. CST


    by TedKordLives

    Nope, not Banner. Sorry. Going on zero sleep here. Somehow it's a character who died about 25 years ago. I'm sure the explanation will be dumb beyond belief, which is why I cannot explain it.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 2 p.m. CST

    Among the problems with 'Secret Invasion'...

    by Psynapse

    1. There was nothing 'secret' about it. The INFILTRATION (as most infiltrations are, natch) was secret. The Invasion? Not even remotely.<p>2. It's been done before by the very same aliens. Whoo for a rehash.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Holy Shit Homer!

    by TedKordLives

    Banner IS Hulk AND Rulk! <P> 'The first rule of Hulk Club is you DO NOT talk about Hulk Club.' Oh, fuck, that'd be so loopy it just might work. Or maybe I'm loopy.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 2:12 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    I agree there were definately some mid-stream changes. What about the baby? And I'm still unsure what was actually going on with Hawkeye and Wanda and that door, but all in all, though, Secret Invasion was alright, a little uneven sure, but alright and it led plausibly into Dark Reign and set up Iron Man's current story, which is awesome. The major weak point in Secret Invasion, to me, was the art. P.U.!

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 2:16 p.m. CST


    by TedKordLives

    That's funny, I was about to bring up the art to defend SI. Personally, I thought the whole thing was pretty sweet. Sure there were a few pacing issues, and I still have no idea who was narrating the last issue, but on the whole I'd give it a 8/10. In comparison to Final Crisis' 3/10.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 2:26 p.m. CST


    by Bluejack

    Secret Infiltration!! The mega event of the Summer: "Obvious Invasion!!!"

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 2:32 p.m. CST

    One of the many reasons I think Hulk is great

    by we_pray_for_mad_skillz

    is that when you read it, you can tell that it was created by guys who love the medium of comics and know quite a bit about them, such as their long history. It's just a big love-fest for everything that makes a great Hulk comic. The variant cover to #13 was really cool too:

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 2:36 p.m. CST


    by TedKordLives

    Everything that makes a great Hulk comic? <P> Three words: Peter. Motherfucking. David. And I'll throw in: Asshole. <P> For free, because I'm nice that way.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 3:07 p.m. CST

    The real problem with Rulk:

    by SleazyG.

    If he's beaten The Watcher, Thor, Silver Surfer, etc. he's been overpowered--how the hell is Hulk supposed to eventually beat him? Oh, wait, that's right...he can't anyway, because now Bruce Banner "can never transform into the Hulk again!" Which means that we're stuck with Rulk and Hulkie Jr. for at least another year or two. As far as I'm concerned, this is even WORSE than the Bruce Jones run: sure, you have the action and the punching--just not from the guy with the 40 year history the books are named after. You know, the one people would actually pay to read about? Bruce Banner? THE HULK? Ring any bells? Yeah, didn't think so, Loeb...

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 3:08 p.m. CST

    When I was a senior in High School...

    by TedKordLives

    ...over a decade ago, I gave a report on the life of Bruce Banner-dressed as Bruce Banner, from the perspective of Bruce Banner. I made girls cry. <P> Fucking cry.<P> I'm pretty well-read when it comes to the Hulk, and this Loeb shit barely ranks above the worst issues of the Bruce Jones run, and only because other Marvel(non-Hulkcentric) characters show up, which only happened once in Jones' run (Iron Man).

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 3:35 p.m. CST

    Oh, and Red SHE-Hulk?

    by TedKordLives

    I may have to blow up the world before this is all over.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 3:51 p.m. CST

    He's either Matt or Glenn Talbot

    by Laserhead

    Now thanks to me, Loeb's going to read this and come up with an even shittier reveal. With 'World War Hulks'Red Hulk has become the new Clone Saga.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 4:05 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    I would agree with that. Regardless of what you thought of Secret Invasion, it was certainly better executed than Final Crisis was.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 4:07 p.m. CST

    We pray for mad skillz

    by Joenathan

    Jeph Loeb could be the biggest comic book fan in all the history of comic book fans.... that wouldn't make his stories well written. Just because someone loves something doesn't mean they are good at it.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 4:26 p.m. CST

    going by Joenathans breakdown of "civil war"..

    by sonnyhooper

    ..... it sounds like they just ripped off "kingdom come", reversed the batman (ironman) and superman (cap a) roles and threw in the word "registration". sound about right? <p> i'm sure there was more too it than that because marvel padded out civil war to like.....100 issues, or whatever, but still all i could think of reading that breakdown was...." civil war was basically kingdom come in the marvel U.....*hh*...glad i skipped it."

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 4:50 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    that is exactly right. You are absolutely correct. It was just like Kingdom Come. Very astute, sir.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 8:18 p.m. CST


    by sonnyhooper

    because the "house of ideas" is far above recycling the plot of a dc book. and vice versa.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 9:19 p.m. CST

    oh hell yes,

    by sonnyhooper

    i just checked out the wiki page for civil war and even the ending is similar to kingdom come. captain america stops fighting because he realizes how much collateral damage the "civil war" has caused. the end. <p> in kingdom come superman decides to NOT destroy the united nations and kill everyone in the building because..... well, because that would be too fucking easy for superman. the end. <p> it's like looking in a mirror. only like i said, replace the religion aspect with politics, do a "clever" twist like putting iron man and cap a on the total opposite side they SHOULD actually be on, and throw in the phrase "Superhuman Registration Act". oh yeah, and lets not forget the new comic book mantra....never tell a story in 4 issues when you can tell it is 7 issues.....with 5 other mini crossovers, and 12 other one shot tie-ins. <p> *sigh*

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 9:45 p.m. CST

    I like Garth Ennis' The Boys

    by Star Hump

    Lots of great scenes. Of course, two that leap to mind are the scene where a young, naive Starlight joins The Seven and then has to suck The Homelander's cock, Black Noir's cock and A-Train's cock to fullfill her final initiation. You have to love the splash showing Homlander's hairy ass, his spandex pants around his hips, telling a mortified Starlight: "Suck it!" The second scene is when the government packs the G-Babies into a shipping container and then drops them out of the cargo hold of a C-130 over the Atlantic ocean. Ennis is a madman.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 10:09 p.m. CST

    hulk has been some stupid things before:

    by ironic_name

    Banner has taken on aspects of gray and green Hulks on opposite sides of his body; <P> Banner's head has remained atop the savage Hulk's form; <P> Banner has been trapped midway between human and Hulk forms, with changes appearing either diffusely or multifocally; <P> and Banner's head has even poked out of the back of the savage Hulk's body.<P> and hulk has split from banner. I give up.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 10:45 p.m. CST

    The Problem With The Boys

    by MasterBaytor

    Is that it's really only about super-heroes. Ennis isn't any more of a one-trick pony than virtually every comic creator working in the industry (do you honestly think Frank Miller isn't hitting the same note over and over again... or even Geoff Johns revamping half his villains into homicidal variants, which was pretty old in 1985), but Ennis has created a one-trick book with The Boys. Unlike Hitman, it can't slip free of the super-hero stuff and just go do a story in a more western or war motif.

  • Aug. 13, 2009, 11:23 p.m. CST


    by blackthought

    cog to base.

  • Aug. 14, 2009, 12:34 a.m. CST

    Couldn't disagree more about Justice League

    by jessekr

    Cry for Justice is the best Justice League I've read in awhile ... my friends and I can only wonder why the regular monthly book isn't like this (it's sucked for years now.) At least you give credit to the spectacular art. But I think Robinson's done an amazing job. I love seeing the characters he's chosen (like a Flash cameo) and their conversations. I can appreciate being upset about the cost; but I happen to like the backup (it's not just Robinson's musings but also a short origin comic each issue. It's like DVD bonus features.) Totally worth the cost to me.

  • Aug. 14, 2009, 6:22 a.m. CST

    Starlight didn't have to suck anything

    by Laserhead

    She could have, you know, opted NOT to join the team at that point, rather than have a gang-bang in her mouth.

  • Aug. 14, 2009, 7:40 a.m. CST

    Planned Out

    by Buzz Maverik

    Yes, J.K. Rowling knew where Harry Potter was going but there's a lot of indication that she didn't know all the details of all 7 books. In interviews around book 4, she talks about going in the wrong direction and scrapping almost an entire draft which caused delays. <p>A lot of people believe that an 18 year old George Lucas stepped out of a car crash at the entrance of Modesto High School with the entire 9 part STAR WARS saga in his head. But somehow, he knew the second part, which was really the first, would suck and have boring parts, so he did the second part first. Apparently, the last 3 must be really bad.<p>I have no idea what it takes to make a comic book. And now that they're all SA-GAs, who knows? I'd say that going in with a beginning, middle and end is probably advisable, and it'd be nice if they had a structure in mind for each individual issue (but they quit caring about those a while back), but that your average comic book writer (because they don't allow the artists to be storytellers any more -- can we get a big, sarcastic "THANKS, ROB" for that)should be prepared to be flexible and ready to roll with editorial, management and even corporate interference if they want to keep getting assignments.

  • Aug. 14, 2009, 8:51 a.m. CST


    by Laserhead

    A writer may not know exactly where their story is leading, and they probably shouldn't, as the actual storytelling process, if done right, should offer multiple opportunities where the story grows and changes due to the writer's evolving knowledge of their characters. BUT-- the point is, that by the time a film or novel sees print, the story has been worked through with revisions, fleshed out, and hopefully made logical and coherent, paying off the expectations it sets up in the beginning. As a story, it creates the illusion of organic unity.<p> With serialized story-telling, like comic books or TV, it's always a disaster when the writer sets up some kind of mystery without any idea how it resolves, merely hoping that 'I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.' It inevitably fails to pay-off what has come before, and the resolutions tend to not address significant points of continuity (think Rimbaldi in 'Alias', or what eventually became of the alien conspiracy in 'X-Files.') It's lazy and stupid and, like Alan Moore said, "It's only half an idea."

  • Aug. 14, 2009, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Laserhead is right!

    by Joenathan

    The one thing Loeb needed to know when he started was exactly who Rulk or Hush or whatever the fuck the killer was called in Long Halloween... and by all evidence, he did not. That single piece of information should have been in his pitch, then he can organnically decide what to do when, throw out all kinds of crazy clues, because it doesn't matter since he can always track the secret killer as he's writing it, but if you start a who-done-it without knowing who did it, you've just got a mess that probably won't make any sense. A writer doesn't get to be "surprised" by his mysteries, he has to craft them carefully, so that the readers are. Anything less is the work of a hack.

  • Aug. 14, 2009, 2:49 p.m. CST


    by MasterBaytor

    usually just means that have a fairly decent idea where it's going to end up; but that still leaves a lot of room to get there. And even then, the ending might end up being quite different from what they intended.