Ain't It Cool News (


#15 8/19/09 #8

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) DAREDEVIL #500 FILTHY RICH OGN and DARK ENTRIES OGN CHARLEY’S WAR: 2 June 1916 – 1 August 1916 THE RED CIRCLE: THE WEB #1 OUTLAW TERRITORY OGN INCREDIBLE HERCULES #132 BIRTH #1 BLACKEST NIGHT: SUPERMAN #1 ARCHIE #600 dot.comics presents… CHEAP SHOTS!


Writers: Ed Brubaker, Ann Nocenti Artists: Michael Lark, Stefano Gaudiano, Klaus Janson, Chris Samnee, Paul Azaceta, David Aja Color Art: Matt Hollingsworth Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Matt Adler

The final issue of Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark’s run goes out with a bang. As is Marvel’s penchant these days, the issue is renumbered to #500 even though the previous issue was #119; this reflects the total number of DAREDEVIL issues published over the years (as well as providing a handy marketing/sales opportunity). It’s more legitimate than some of the other renumberings, considering DAREDEVIL has only been rebooted once, and the original series started with #1 rather than picking up another book’s numbering.
The 40-page lead story serves to wrap up “The Return of The King” arc, which saw Matt Murdock teaming with the Kingpin in a desperate struggle against the ninja clan known as The Hand. It also serves as a lead-in to new writer Andy Diggle’s run, setting up a new status quo which I will not give away.
Janson, Samnee, and Azaceta provide the art for several flashback sequences, but what’s interesting is that unlike many jam books, the art transitions here are virtually seamless. The shifts in style are subtle enough not to disturb the reading experience, but are effective in setting the change in time and place that the flashbacks require.
As usual for Brubaker, the characterizations are generally spot-on, and he makes good use of minor characters including the female White Tiger from Brian Bendis’ run and Tamora Pierce’s miniseries, as well as the Black Tarantula from Tom DeFalco’s late ‘90s ASM run. My one quibble is with the depiction of the Kingpin; although circumstances somewhat require it, he comes across as fairly futile and non-threatening. I’m not saying he should be unbeatable, but this is a guy who single-handed came to control all organized crime in New York City; he ought to be a little more calm and in control.
Following the lead story is an 8-page preview of Andy Diggle and Billy Tan’s run. It picks up pretty much where Brubaker and Lark left off with the new status quo, but unfortunately quickly brings in Norman Osborn and his Dark Avengers for a tie-in to the upcoming “Dark Reign: The List” storyline. I know that I am not the only one sick of Norman Osborn by this point; this idea of him getting governmental authority perhaps had enough material for a single, finite storyline, but not this ongoing status quo that is now invading every freaking book.
Word to Marvel: Norman Osborn is not Lex Luthor. His ambitions ought to be more limited; he was an obsessive, amoral businessman whose greed drove him to take some substances that put him over the edge and prompted him to dress up like a Halloween character and go on a crime spree. And he hates Spider-Man because he dares to get in his way. That’s it. He doesn’t want to rule the world, he doesn’t want to run a government bureaucracy, he doesn’t want to spend his time hunting down superheroes. Can we get this over with already? Enough is too much. So, that said, to be honest, I’m really not looking forward to the Diggle run; wake me when “Dark Reign” is over.
The third feature in the book showcases the return of late ‘80s DD writer Ann Nocenti, with art by David Aja in a 13-page story. I very much enjoyed the weirdness of Nocenti’s run, not the least because of the spectacular art of John Romita Jr. This story showcases some of that same weirdness, but also shows a little rust on Nocenti’s part after having been away from comics for so long. It features a washed-up ex-boxer and a cynical Catholic school girl rescuing DD after a fight with Bullseye. It doesn’t seem to have a great deal of point to it, beyond DD connecting with these two people through the elements his backstory has in common with them, namely boxing and Catholicism. But maybe that’s enough for 13 pages.
The rest of the issue is taken up with pin-ups from various artists, a DD cover gallery (really, when the covers are that small, is there any point to it?) and a reprint of a Frank Miller story which most people buying this issue probably already have in a collected edition. Still overall, the book was a pretty satisfying read, and a nice conclusion to a great run by Brubaker and Lark.
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: Brian Azzarello Artist: Victor Santos


Writer: Ian Rankin Artist: Werther Dell’Edera Publisher: Vertigo Crime/DC Reviewer: Sleazy G

Since these two OGNs are the first offerings from the new Vertigo Crime imprint, I thought it might be a good idea to discuss both of them and their levels of success at helping launch the new imprint. First I’ll quickly address the line itself, then move on to my thoughts about the two books. I really like the idea of this line—a series of hard-edged crime stories the likes of which we don’t see enough of in contemporary comics—and I have a lot of trust in the source, as Vertigo consistently produces such high quality products. The covers for the entire line are being done by Lee Bermejo, and they’re extremely sharp work. The hardcover books are smaller than a standard comic and designed to fit easily on a bookshelf. FILTHY RICH comes in just under 200 pages and DARK ENTRIES comes in just over it, so the stories are of a pretty decent length; my only concern is that the price point is a bit high. $19.99 puts the reader in the same price range as a full-length novel, so it seems a bit steep to me for black and white publications. The product is a high enough quality, though, that I suspect this won’t be too much of an issue.
FILTHY RICH is a fantastic way to kick the new line off. The tale of a washed-up athlete who’s not good at much and finds himself caught up with the wrong dame, it’s a classic crime story that spins murderously out of control. All the elements you’d want to see are here, and Azzarello’s working with the sort of material he’s most comfortable with and adept at. As someone who enjoyed 100 BULLETS, I sometimes found the dialogue to be a little clunky, but that’s not a problem here; Azzarello has brought his A-game and the narration and dialogue are rock solid. Victor Santos’ art is a great match for the material; it’s reminiscent of Azzarello’s past collaborators Eduardo Risso and Marcelo Frusin, and Santos does a great job working in black and white. The use of light and shadow here is masterful, and he’s definitely someone to keep an eye out for. The two work extremely well together, and the end result is a taut crime thriller that barrels right through to its ending. FILTHY RICH is definitely worth picking up, and it’s the kind of thing I’d like to see Azzarello do again over at Vertigo Crime.
DARK ENTRIES is not as successful, however, for what should have been a pretty obvious reason to the editors: it’s not really about crime much at all, which makes it an odd fit in a line dedicated to crime stories. It also isn’t a stand-alone tale, since it’s a John Constantine story. This means that anyone who hasn’t read HELLBLAZER at some point in the last 15 years isn’t really going to know what’s going on, and those buying it as a crime book are going to be surprised at the supernatural elements. It can be read with no prior knowledge, I suppose, but it would leave readers questioning who John Constantine is, why he’s in such high demand in Hell, and why he’s uniquely qualified for the specific situation he’s in. It’s a perfectly good Constantine story, don’t get me wrong; it’s just that with some slight changes to the layout of the pages the art could have fit into a four or six issue arc in the main HELLBLAZER title, where it would have made a lot more sense. Rankin’s crafted a good story here; it’s just that it’s not an ideal fit with the new imprint. I would rather have seen him tell the kind of crime story he’s known for here in graphic form, and the Constantine story in the pages of his own book. I suspect HELLBLAZER fans will pick this one up, but it may not be as popular with a crossover audience.
The new Vertigo Crime line is a great idea, and I’m looking forward to seeing what else it has to offer. So far they’ve got one OGN that’s a big success and a second that I recommend but with the above-stated reservations. So far the line’s off to a pretty solid start, and I’m hopeful that future offerings will be able to maintain the same level of quality.
Sleazy G is one of the Original @$$Holes and has reviewed and co-edited for AICN Comics for close to seven years. Sleazy is the unsung hero of AICN Comics, doing much of the editing for the column.

CHARLEY’S WAR: 2 June 1916 – 1 August 1916

Story by: Pat Mills Art by: Joe Colquhoun Published by: Titan Books Reviewed by: Baytor

In the introduction, Pat Mills describes CHARLEY’S WAR as a creative cul-de-sac, which should not, in any way, be seen as a fault; but just a reality of the comic book market of the late 70s and early 80s. A realistic anti-war comic set during WWI was something of an oddity in the pages of the pro-war BATTLE ACTION and its success didn’t lead to similarly themed strips (although at least one modern writer, Garth Ennis, picks up the thematic baton from time to time); and, ultimately, a disagreement over the research budget led to Mills leaving the strip before its planned completion, so it would be finished by another writer.
I once heard a director claim that it’s impossible not to glorify war when doing a war movie, no matter how graphic and moralistic a story you tell. Such is true of this first volume of CHARLEY’S WAR, which chronicles the story of a young boy who celebrates his 17th birthday in the trenches during the first Battle Of The Somme. Although there’s nothing glamorous about the mud-soaked trenches of the Great War and it’s blindingly obvious that the tactics being used are among the worst ever devised by military men and Pat Mills does his level best to show thoroughly flawed (yet often decent) men on both sides; it still ends up being about cowardice & bravery, honor & treachery, and right & wrong like the far more clichéd war comics of its day. In a strange way, these men come across as more heroic and manly than those in more simplistic tales, because we get a much harsher glimpse at the conditions and rampant stupidity they had to rise above. In this context, you can easily see why young soldiers often pump themselves up watching anti-war films. Still, Pat Mills comes a lot closer to the mark than most, if only in stressing that whatever it is you’re fighting for had better be fucking worth it when it’s this is the cost; which I think is the only realistic goal of anti-war fiction.
But the far greater achievement here is that Mills and Colquhoun have managed to make trench warfare visually interesting and arresting. Some of this is done simply through research (which Mills pursued as much as money would allow), so we see the surreal images of horses wearing gas masks and a German sniper in medieval armor. One of the great delights of Harvey Kurtzman’s war comics from the 50s (TWO-FISTED TALES and FRONTLINE COMBAT) was his ability to find unusual images from very familiar war settings, such as seeing fez-wearing Southern soldiers decked out in red & blue instead of the typical gray; and Mills & Colquhoun utilize the same trick here to break up the monotony of often-samey WWI imagery.
They also do everything they can to move Charley around so he can witness things the typical soldier would never see, such as the last great cavalry charge in military history. As Mills points out in the Strip Commentary, he’s frequently in danger of turning the sequences leading up to this moment into the realm of boy’s adventure stories, even to the point of having a villainous German chasing him around the battlefield; but a focus on the horror of the situation keeps it from turning into a fun romp. And as the first volume ends (with another two months of fighting to continuing in the Somme campaign), Charley has joined the highly dangerous ranks of messengers, so the second volume promises to throw a different set of visuals our way.
While not a big art fan, I’d be remiss not to point out the wonderful job of Joe Colquhoun, who comes across as a more detailed Dave Gibbons or John Higgens. As any fan of war comics (and even war movies) will tell you, the absolute bane of the genre is that you have so many characters of the same age group, body type, and hair cuts, wearing matching uniforms. He not only does a bang-up job presenting a visually arresting WWI battlefield, but also manages to keep all of his characters easily identifiable without resorting to all-too-obvious cheats like giving the anachronistic hippy guy a ring of flowers around his helmet (thankfully, no such character exists here, but funny how often he turns up in 70s war fiction). And he even manages to make his well-rendered characters pop against the cluttered backgrounds, which is a freakin’ amazing accomplishment in B&W.
CHARLEY’S WAR isn’t a perfect comic, being not only a product of its time, but also a product aimed a fairly young target audience. Already we have an evil/inept British officer on the scene who (according to the strip chronology presented in the introduction) will loom large over future volumes. No doubt such officers exist, but I always find the presence of such characters in stories such as these a bit too obvious of a plot device, as are the various Evil German characters that seem to exist to bring stories to a more “satisfying” end. But such complaints are negligible and don’t detract from a fascinating glimpse into one of the most brutal and pointless wars of all time. After only one volume, CHARLEY’S WAR is on my short list of all-time favorite war comics.


Writer: J. Michael Stracynski Penciler: Roger Robinson Inker: Hilary Barta Published by: DC Comics Reviewed by: BottleImp

So DC continues to expand its universe with characters it already owned the rights to—first the Milestone imprint was brought into the “real” DC, and now the “Archie” heroes that last saw publication in DC’s Impact (or !mpact, as it read on the masthead) line. I actually really liked those Impact comics—there was a lot of fun stuff going on, especially in THE FLY and THE BLACK HOOD. Sadly (for me, anyways), THE RED CIRCLE is not using the Impact versions of the old Archie heroes, but rather presenting J. Michael Stracynski’s new take on these lesser-known denizens of comic book limbo. This past week brought us JMS’ revamped version of The Web.
THE WEB evokes the birth of another, slightly more notable, arachnid-themed do-gooder, but manages to put enough of a spin on Stan and Steve’s famous “with great power…” moral to elevate the character of The Web from a mere Xerox of Spider-Man. As a matter of fact, the alter egos of the two heroes are almost polar opposites—whereas Peter Parker was the picked-on school nerd who had a poor but loving family in his aunt and uncle, The Web’s John Raymond was the kind of guy who would have been giving Peter wedgies on a daily basis and who came from a large, wealthy family, most of whom he hated. The manner in which each becomes empowered also varies—radioactive spider bite versus spending half a billion dollars to create the superpowered Web suit and Batcave-like base of operations (I know I should be sticking to the Spider-Man metaphor, but since Spidey usually operated out of a studio apartment, or worse, his bedroom at Aunt May’s, you’ll forgive me this one digression). However, both Peter and John start off their careers in spandex with Personal Gain being the final target rather than The Greater Good.
(Another of the interesting differences between the two is what constitutes Personal Gain for each character. Peter Parker just wanted some cash to make him and his family happy. John Raymond, who has all the money in the world, is looking for something less tangible yet far more important to his egocentric personality.)
I don’t think I’m giving anything away then by revealing that much like Spider-Man, The Web faces a great personal tragedy that shakes him to his core, and forces him to rethink his purpose in playing the hero. It seems that no matter how you get your power, whether it be by atomically-charged grasshopper or buying army surplus nukes on eBay, the old mantra still applies. Everyone together: “With Great Power comes Great Responsibility.”
THE WEB is the best so far of Stracynski’s RED CIRCLE series. I thought THE HANGMAN, though nicely illustrated, ended up just being another rehash of the Ghost Rider/Spectre spirit of vengeance thing, and didn’t seem to have much in the way of characterization. As for INFERNO, the idea of an amnesiac who can transform into a member of the Village People with fire powers came off as lame rather than being the intriguing mystery I’m sure it was intended to be. With THE WEB, however, JMS has dangled the carrot of a character who has to overcome personal demons and actually grow into being a hero, and that’s tasty enough for me to stick with the RED CIRCLE series a little longer. It also doesn’t hurt that Robinson and Barta provide some snazzy art reminiscent of Sal Buscema and Ron Frenz (or maybe that’s just my brain reinforcing the Spidey connection), as well as a unique costume design that really grew on me from the first page of this comic to the last.
But during my reading, I couldn’t help but hear the tiny voice in the back of my head that kept saying, “Just fucking finish THE TWELVE already, goddammit.” The tiny voice has rage issues.
When released from his Bottle, the Imp takes the form of Stephen Andrade, an artist/illustrator/pirate monkey painter from the Northeast. You can see some of his artwork athere. He’s given up comics more times than he can remember. But every time he thinks he's out, they pull him back in.

The Long Overdue Part Deux of Bug’s Look at OUTLAW TERRITORY OGN

Writers/Artists: Various Publisher: Image Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

So, a while back, I reviewed the first half of this book and concluded the review with a promise to review the second half. Well, the San Diego Comic Con happened. Then the WizardWorld Chicago Con happened. And then I moved to a new apartment. And then I changed day jobs. And then I started writing another miniseries of my own and one thing lead to another and I found that the best thing to do is not make promises because life tends to happen sometimes. But this promise is long overdue. Enough excuses, though. I promised to review the second half of this amazing anthology book and dammit, I make good one my promises…sooner or later. Apologies to those who have been waiting for the rest of this review; fan and pro alike.
The Apprentice by Steve Orlando & Tyler Niccum - A haunting tale of father and son if I’ve ever read one. Moody and somber. The tension eeks past the borders of each panel leading to an ending that you may have seen coming, but is no less effective or powerful. This is one of those sitting and talking stories, but one where the words hit like Mamet and sing sadness like Waits.
Griswold’s Song by Chad Kinkle & Ming Doyle - There’s a poetry to this tale of revenge. A man with vengeance in his eyes and a gun made from a melted church bell. Although many of OUTLAW TERRITORY’s songs are about vengeance, this one rings louder and resonates longer than most.
Savage Practices by Leonard N. Wallace & Christopher Mitten - There are some stories that make you go hmmm and some that make you get up, scream “Day-ammm!”, and then slap someone near you. Leonard Wallace’s story starts out slow, but ends with a kick to the nards. And Christopher Mitten’s art is as brutal as it comes. If ever an artist was fit to draw a gritty Western, Mitten is. Great, great story about the ugly rules of the outlaw territory.
For Old Times’ Sake by Pat Loika & Jose Holder - A whimsical tale of dire consequences again using the theme of master and apprentice. I like the classical style of Jose Holder’s art which makes everyone look more comical than most of the stories in this book. This story read fast and ended pretty damn perfectly.
Gutshot by Michael Woods & David Miller - Although the art is a bit more akin to Zenoscope’s style, which is very different than the rest of the stories here, it still is pretty effective. This tale of a man’s life eeking away through a bullet hole through his gut is a painfully effective read that will make your tummy ache while reading it.
Them What Comes by mpMann - The Outlaw Territory was a place to start over for some. That’s the theme of this shortie from writer/artist mpMann. A brothel owner goes looking for his former whore to find her attempting to live a new life. Bloodshed follows, as it usually does in these types of stories. This is a somber tale that makes you feel hopeful and sad all at once.
Craftsmanship by Frank Beaton & Melike Acar - This one is one of the coolest looking stories of the whole bunch. Some of the panels, like the panel looking straight down the barrel of a double barreled shotgun, is iconic. The scene where the rider falls off his horse is gorgeous. And the detail put into the town square at the beginning is so intricate it hurts. Plus the story of a hangman who suddenly develops a conscience is truly original and well done. All in all, top tits, this one was.
We Never Sleep by Nemo Woodbrine & Yeray Gil Hernandez - Nice art from Yeray Gil Hernandez in this one. A porcelain-fragile artistry is used in this story of a woman who knows the role she needs to play to make it in the outlaw territory. The beautiful art is made more so by Hernandez’ varied and delicate range of colors.
The Ballad of Sid Grenadine by Josh Wagner & Joiton - Another tale of vengeance outlaw-stylee. This one is set to rhyme and makes for a fun read despite the morose subject matter of a murderer who kills a man’s wife, child, and best friend. Joiton’s stark imagery adds to the heft of the tone here.
The More Things Change by Skipper Martin & Christopher Provencher - Best. Story. In the Book. Holy shit was this a good one. It reels you in and then fucks your face off. This story is that good. Holy crap. Just…holy crap. The less you know about this one the better. All I have to say is that it’s a romantic tale of sorts, but not one you want to show your girlfriend, lest she get any ideas. Damn fine readin’, this one is. I am definitely looking for more fucked up stories from Skipper Martin in the future. The last panel of this one will stick with you for a long time.
Working on Christmas by Steve Orlando & Tyler Niccum - A noir-ish tale of a man trying to escape his past. That’s what this one is all about. Though it lagged a bit in the middle, the ending is pretty damn intense. Steve Orlando really gets into the head of this army deserter which makes the ending all the more tragic.
Hell Hath No Fury by Noble Larimer & Jason Cheeseman-Meyer - Vengeance again is served (a pretty popular dish on the outlaw territory, it seems). In this one, an ugly crime against a family come back to haunt a mob of villains. This story gets points for the scene where the cowboy shoots the wick of a stick of dynamite and causes it to blow up in the bad guy’s hands. I like the art too. Reminds me of Pat Broderick. Extra points are also awarded here due to the fact that the artist’s name is Cheeseman.
We Meet at Twelve by P.J. Kryfko & William Simpson - Reminiscent of 3:10 TO YUMA, this story of a reluctant lawman coming to terms with his inevitable showdown with a bad, bad man is well paced and has a nice twist ending. The tender moments where the lawman talks about life and death with his son and the last moments he spends with his wife make this typical tale atypical and memorable.
Assmeat by Simon Fraser - You don’t have to be a brain doctor to live in the Outlaw Territory. This story proves that as two bumbling idiots search for food to fill their starving bellies. There is much talk of ass meat, hence the name of this story. It’s humorous, yet ends on a pretty damn sad note. Fine black and white art by Simon Fraser on this one.
And finally, Memories by Michael Woods & Chad Sell - Last but not least, we get a good dose of guilt from a frontier doctor who has sawed off one limb too many. It’s an odd story to end this anthology on. Not because it isn’t good. It’s actually beautiful looking stuff from Chad Sell and emotionally written by Michael Woods. But as good as it is, it doesn’t sum up the entire book. I guess something had to go last. This was a good ending to the book, but made me close finish this book thinking a bit sadly.
OUTLAW TERRITORY is one of those anthology books that you simply can’t read in one sitting. It’s a book to be savored and devoured in small chunks. For those of you like me who love stories set in the Old West, this is a must have. Usually you find one or two good stories in anthologies. In this one, it’s hard to find one not to like. OUTLAW TERRITORY is an achievement in both variety and quality and sure to entertain.
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: Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente Artist: Reilly Brown Inker: Nelson DeCastro Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo

Hey, FYI: this is still a fun book. Yes, we were dragged all over the Elysian Fields in search of some angst, pathos and melodrama, and I appreciated the effort. Hey, every heavy metal band throws in a ballad once in a while. I can respect that. But it’s over. Cho is gone, along with his tears and drama. And minus Amadeus Cho, Hercules is more than able to carry this title.
Athena has certainly added to the flavor of the book, but the interaction between the now-pintsized Zeus and his son has been excellent. One part “trading places” and one part “buddy flick”, their not-so-good-natured ribbing had me chucking a couple times. It’s not roll on the floor funny, but it IS entertaining, and it DOES move the story along. So many times, in a book with a humorous undercurrent, I get the feeling that the narrative situation exists solely for the milking of comedic content. This feels a lot more organic, like someone actually thought out a plot, and THEN figured out how to mine it for maximum yuks. For me, I always want the funny (and the art) to serve the story, not the other way around.
Speaking of artwork: holy crap, where did Reilly Brown come from? I don’t know what other stuff he’s done, but just like David Aja on the early IRON FISTs, his style seems perfectly suited for this book. It has a lot of old-school feel to it, you know, the “Merry Marvel Style” and all that, yet it really holds up as contemporary, too. It’s not heavily stylized, and it’s not too cartoony. But unlike Aja (whom I love), I could see this guy drawing just about anything. And like every artist I respect, Brown’s art is “complete,” in that it’s not a bunch of floating heads, or heads and torsos on blank backgrounds, with a fully rendered background doled out every 4 or 5 panels. This guy nails each and every panel.
I’m looking forward to seeing Hercules as the replacement Thor, as I’m sure much Thor-mocking will ensue. Bottom line: still a book worth checking out, and despite the fact that some jokes work and some do not (which pretty much parallels every writer on the planet), it’s still a consistently entertaining read.


Writer: Michael S. Bracco Art: Michael S. Bracco Publisher: Alterna Comics Reviewer: Mr. Pasty

Trying to port a graphic novel to the dark and seedy underworld of the iPhone to me seems like a suicide mission. Web comics have their place in society but are mostly an acquired taste. I personally prefer the touch and feel of the paper as I digest my weekly offerings but that doesn’t mean I’m not enough of a tech whore to download and visually molest a free app whenever it presents itself.
BIRTH has landed on the iPhone and I’m happy to say the experience of reading it was kind of charming, sort of like getting a MacDonald’s Happy Meal as an adult. The pages swept across the screen without fail and I didn’t find the presentation distracting in any way. Unfortunately BIRTH was not the best choice for breaking my cherry. There is an imaginative and wondrous mind at work here, but those efforts are buried under a silly premise that I found detrimental to a universe that from a creative standpoint, deserves much better.
With a title like BIRTH, you can imagine there are some reproductive issues at play here. Two species are at war, the Aquans and the Terans. Why are they at war? Well, both races suffer from a crippling genetic defect that brings death during childbirth. Mrs. Aquan’s head goes boom during birth almost as if Darryl Revok was performing the delivery. On the other side of town, Mr. Teran can’t reproduce unless his heart gets ripped from his chest and inserted into his partner’s womb. Sounds like a real hoot. Dr. Kano, please report to Delivery room #3. Anyway, instead of spending their time in some sort of science facility researching the defect and the correlation between the two species’ boot-knocking boogaloo, they simply point the finger at one another and declare war, which is just what you want to do when you’re trying to avoid extinction. On the upside, we get blood soaked battlefields and a body count that would make Colonel Matrix proud.
I enjoy comics, now matter how preposterous, when the material is handled with a certain degree of plausibility. When it isn’t, I like to know the creators are winking at me behind the scenes. I didn’t get either option with BIRTH. Bracco gives us a span of 1,000 years in his first issue, which to me seems like more than enough time to get this problem licked. However for the Aquans and Terans, it takes that long for them to finally decide to get off their butts and do something to reverse the process that has decimated their respective populations. True, there is a throwaway line at the end about how they’ve been searching all along, but there is no flashback or explanation of what that search entailed so it’s another wasted opportunity to commit the reader.
BIRTH is drawn quite well, but presented in black and white, which never does it for me. It works even less on the iPhone. There are fans of the form so I won’t go crazy over it but the Aquans were such an intriguing race I would have loved to see them fleshed out and more colorful. I guess I could same the same about Bracco’s script. He creates an interesting and dynamic world – but then fails to do anything interesting or dynamic with it.
Final Word: BIRTH suffers from complications during delivery.
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.


Writer: James Robinson Artist: Eddie Barrows Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

Average and slightly middle of the road; this is the first time during the Blackest Night run where I felt like filler was being forced into this epic tale. This isn’t a bad issue (well maybe it is, let’s reevaluate after my stream of conscious) and it ends with a strong set-up for the miniseries’ middle chapter. However, when held up against the beautiful orchestration and execution of the other Blackest Night titles, average will always appear lackluster by comparison.
So, why did this kick off chapter about the dark resurrection of Earth-2’s Lois and Clark make my Blackest Night boner flaccid? We’ll look past the fact (for now) that Robinson, quite simply, is not Johns or Tomasi. I can even look past my seething hatred for the very concept of the Science Police (really how much longer will this ridiculous pairing of words continue); who for some reason Robinson felt the need to tangentially touch upon in this story. No, what truly bothered me was the fact I wanted to be somewhere other than Smallville the entire time. When you have the opportunity to kick in the teeth of a big city like Metropolis or watch planets crumble and stars collide, a hostage situation with Ma Kent just doesn’t seem to measure up. “But Optimous, BLACKEST NIGHT: BATMAN took place in one graveyard in Gotham, so why the hate?” Basically, Tomasi and of course Johns, can keep me interested in solitary moments, also every moment of BLACKEST NIGHT: BATMAN felt connected to the over arching event with the Dead Man body snatching convention. BALCKEST NIGHT: SUPERMAN is insular and the “moments” ranged from the ordinary to nonsensical.
In the nonsensical category, we have an ex-President of the United States of America, Pete Ross, running a general store sans any level of secret service protection. Unless there was a never stated ret-con of his past position in the infinite deluge of Crises, how does this make a lick of sense? Yes, I do find it sweet and endearing that he isn’t pimping himself out on the lecture circuit like most of our ex Commander in Chiefs, but on the same token wouldn’t it be funny to see a bunch of secret service guys hanging in the canned foods aisle protecting old Pete? If not funny, it would at least be original and authentic. Also, the entire scene with Pete was merely a set-up for the cliché “What’s that in the sky? Is it a bird?” No, it’s a dark Superman who wants to hijack Ma Kent, don’t worry Smallville hick, you’re safe. Or are they?
Next up was the unnecessary mention of Science Police. Well, unnecessary from a plot perspective, but I guess necessary to cross-sell the most ridiculous law enforcement name ever imagined. I dropped Superman proper about a month ago from my pull list, so I can say I did give the Science Police a fair shot. They were Police in armor, I never saw one of these fuckers look through a microscope or perform any level of “science.” This reminds me of the B-movies of the 1950’s that whenever everyone was completely befuddled by an alien invasion they would pull out a scientist who of course wielded science to thwart the attack. That worked in the 1950s because people were naïve back then. But, even as far back as the 1970s people had wised up enough to call Quincy a forensics specialist on the police force; he wasn’t Quincy - Scientific Police Man. A young member of the Smallville police force tells the sheriff he wants to leave for bigger and better things in Metropolis and to one day be selected for the elite science based law enforcement organization. The Sheriff notes that the young man doesn’t know anything about science. Thankfully the sheriff is sucked through a whole in the floor. I would have watched Kal-L anally fist the sheriff’s pock marked hairy brown-eye in close up panels if it ended this inane scene.
After Korpse Kal powers up his ring to a whopping 4%, he finally goes after Clark and Conner. While we are on the topic, how are these black rings powered? Everything up until this point has alluded to the fact that the rings draw their power from death and the fresh hearts torn out of victims. Kal-L’s ring seemed to be powered on simply instilling fear. Unless of course he murdered the people in the diner, the drive-in and at the police station and someone just forgot to put those panels in the book. I don’t know, but I was certainly confused.
On a high note, once the battle between the three Supes begins and Earth-2’s Lois shows up, the book moved at a much brisker pace. I usually don’t focus too heavily on coloring in my reviews, but Rod Reis gets a definite gold star for displaying the multiple hues of the emotional spectrum as viewed through Kal-L’s eyes. At one point Superman is charged with every emotion in the spectrum and Reis did a great job displaying this without over saturating or losing the original image.
Despite my misgivings I still can’t say I outright hated this book, this almost the same way I felt about Robinson’s work on the Superman titles. Something just always feels off, not outright wrong. Perhaps the end of the book redeemed the missteps of the opening. Or more likely, I’m simply a zombie at the moment for any Blackest Night revelations, even the confusing ones.
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."


Script: Michael Uslan Pencils: Stan Goldberg Inks: Bob Smith Colors: Glenn Whitmore Publisher: Archie Comics Reviewer: Matt Adler

So, Archie’s getting married. There’s irony in this, since comics’ ultimate soap opera character Spider-Man has recently be determined to not be capable of that radical level of change, while Archie, who for almost 70 years has stood for unchanging teenage-dom goes in the other direction. But is it advisable?
The story opens with another big change for Archie; his class is about to graduate from Riverdale. His parents begin pressuring him to start thinking about college (isn’t that a bit late? I started applying to colleges about a year before graduation). Archie gets all rebellious and walks out in the middle of the conversation. At this point he comes to a street called “Memory Lane” which seems to be the metaphor come to life, although bizarrely, Archie is already familiar with it, and doesn’t seem the least bit fazed by what is apparently a time travel corridor in the middle of his town. This is probably our first clue that future issues of this comic may not exactly be bound by what happens in this story; the editors have already said in interviews that Archie comics don’t have the approach to continuity that most comics do.
In any event, on a whim, Archie decides to walk “up” Memory Lane rather than “down”, and eventually comes to a divergence in a wooded path that would make Robert Frost jealous. Again on a whim, he chooses the path to the left, saying he will save the path to the right for another day. It’s not too hard to figuring out where all these metaphors are going, but even after Archie encounters his father who makes reference to him being about to graduate college, the editors helpfully add a note clarifying that it looks like Archie has walked into his own future. Interestingly, Archie himself is oblivious to any notion of skipping ahead; to him, the normal passage of time has occurred.
What follows is an exploration of the various characters of Riverdale 4 years into the future, seeing where their lives are at, and where they plan to go after college. Surprisingly, most of them have set fairly low post-college goals; both Moose and Jughead are going to work at burger joints, Reggie is going to be a used car salesman, Midge is going to run a beauty parlor, and Betty is going to be working as a “buyer trainee” for Sacks Fifth Avenue. Some of these jobs could make them some nice money, but it seems a waste of 4 years of college. Even Veronica is simply going to work for her father “running charities.” Only Dilton Doiley, the school’s resident nerd, has his sights set higher; he’s going for his PhD in Quantum Mechanics. And Archie is just completely undecided.
At this point, Archie is going steady with Veronica in a committed relationship. But when he hears that she is planning to go on a world cruise after graduation, he decides to propose to prevent them from splitting up (this seems like a spectacularly bad reason to get married). Betty witnesses the proposal, and becomes traumatized by it. This doesn’t really ring true though, because it’s already been established that by this point, Archie and Veronica had been going steady for quite a while, and Betty had assumed the role of friend. A little sadness, sure, but she completely falls apart over this. She even says “The hopes and dreams I had since I was little… all gone!” Really? All of them? Way to go Archie Comics. Great message to send to young girls, that their entire hopes and dreams should consist of getting one guy.
Another bizarre message the book sends is when Mr. Lodge, Veronica’s father, questions Archie about his job prospects and how he intends to support Veronica. When Archie says he’ll find a job and work hard, Lodge declares that no daughter of his will have to suffer a working man’s life, so Archie will come work for him. He promptly makes up a brand new position within his company that has no actual responsibilities where Archie can draw a paycheck while presumably doing nothing. Is this growing up? Hopefully, it is simply a plot point for later issues in the arc that will be used to show why this situation is unworkable.
The art is bit wonky in places, particularly in its depiction of the characters. Veronica especially, (and to a lesser extent Betty and Archie) seems to randomly change her face every few panels, alternating between the classic cartoony look we’ve always know, and a slightly more refined and realistic look. I’m not clear on the reason for this, but it’s a bit disruptive.
This book has its problems, but I will say one thing for it; it’s probably not what you’ve come to expect from an ARCHIE story. There’s an uneasiness and a tension to it that is distinctly different from the laugh-a-minute, nothing-matters gags that those of us who grew up buying Archie digests in the supermarket remember. I’ll be curious to find out if later issues in the arc have Archie choosing the path to the right on Memory Lane, and we see what a possible marriage with Betty would be like. Somehow, I picture eight screaming kids, and Archie telling Betty to get off his back about cleaning up the house after he gets home from the factory.

Hey folks, Bug here. I’ve enlisted the help of your favorite Douchey Autobot to help me get caught up with some very cool webcomics that have come my way. This week we’ve got creative takes on historical figures, goofy alien fantasy, and super skies. Check out the webby madness which is only a click away and better yet…frikkin free!


Take one part the mechanical monstrosities of Wild Wild West and, one part any of your favorite zombie thrillers and finally one part History 101 and you can start to imagine the escapades of ROBOT LINCOLN & ZOMBIE JACKSON. Lincoln’s “origin” is downright hilarious and his resurrection into Robot Lincoln made my side hurts, likewise with the refitting of his horse to carry his new hulking mass. Jackson is quite simply a zombie and needs no origin, just roll with it. The transformation of his steed though, trumps Lincoln’s. Once both men band together to find the dastardly john Wilkes Booth, the banter while tongue-in-cheek feels almost authentic, playing with the language of the time and lacing it with today’s prevailing cynicism. If I had one compliant it would be the ultra slick usage of Flash to present this inaugural (I hope there are more to come) issue. Kudos on the complex Flash programming (especially the flip the page feature), but I think at the end of the day a PDF option should also be available for guys like me that want to sit somewhere other than my computer to read a book. - Optimous Douche


Switching gears a bit from his work on HACK/SLASH, Tim Seeley brings Colt Noble & the Megalords to the interweb. This is a fun, sci fi fantasy set in a universe populated by all sorts of creatures, but humorously rooted in reality. Reminiscent of the old HE-MAN cartoon, when Prince Jaysen finds the Figure of Action he transforms into Colt Noble, super-powered Paladin of Power. Seeley is only about 15 pages into his story so far and although Colt Noble hasn't made an appearance yet, it's still been a lot of fun as a would-be sorceress gets drunk and conjurs up Archfeind, Lord of Annihilation! Archfiend devises a plan to destroy the world by watching television for a few hours and eating bowls of cereal. Meanwhile, Prince Jaysen gets kicked out of a nudie bar and oogles his warrior princess trainer. This is a very fun serial and doesn't have a lot of content yet, so you'll be able to catch up pretty quickly. COLT NOBLE debuted this month and has updated twice so far and appears to be on a pretty consistent schedule. Fans of the quirky HE-MAN cartoon will notice the similarities, but Seeley has put a modern sense of humor to this story that makes COLT NOBLE & THE MEGALORDS completely unique. – Ambush Bug


Web comics are a dime a dozen these days. However, good Web comics are not as easy to come by. Even the highest quality of material is usually inhibited by lackluster art or a complete mishandling of the venue they are being presented in (i.e. The Web). Thankfully EBEN07, the elite agent of the Intelligence Cleaner Agency, is here to clean up after covert C.I.A. operations, but to also clean-up the misperception that Web comics can't be just as enjoyable as their pulp brethren. Right from the outset you are welcomed to the site with a neat and tidy link that states “for new users.” Sure you could read the About Us and learn more about EBEN07, but I recommend just jumping right into the first installment “The Twin Cheeks.” “Twin Cheeks” was probably my least favorite of the close to fifteen tales and multitude of pages available for EBEN07. Don’t get me wrong, it was amusing, but the series truly starts to shine with fractured fairy-tale versions of covert C.I.A. operations throughout history, and plays on the famous Bond movies (i.e. Goofinger). I should also probably mention that the individual pages of each story are quite funny and can be read almost as stand-alone comic strips. Quite a feat and quite a Web comic from both the writing and artistry fronts. If you have a few hours to kill in front of the computer, kill them with EBEN07. –Optimous Douche

X-FACTOR #47 Marvel Comics

The danger in writing a consistently good book is that, if the quality drops off a little, people tend to feel it sucks. Fortunately, that’s not the case here. While I lament the fact that this storyline seems to have gone on for a loooong time, I have yet to put down an issue where I regretted spending the time reading it. Madrox and Layla are still in the future, enmeshed with the Summers and a centennial (give or take a decade or two) Dr. Doom. And a bunch of Sentinels. The rest of the crew is back in the present (also with a bunch of Sentinels), holding a Liefield-era X-factor reunion, only with normal human anatomy. Speaking of which, DeLandros art…I’m still not sure HOW much I like it, but like it I do. He takes some really interesting angles, does some things I don’t expect. Definitely keeps me engaged. As far as David’s writing, other than the ‘whinging” joke that sort of clunked at my feet, the book carried me right along to the too-soon last page. Three more issues to #50. I wonder if Peter will do anything special there? Keep building things up from here to there? I certainly wouldn’t recommend you pick up the last two or three issues and the next ones. Nah, of course not… - Rock-Me


Batman's clean-up crew can't get no respect. This book's got a lot going for it. A cool cast (Katana, Geo-Force, Black Lightning, Metamorpho, The Creeper, among other less cooler characters). A cool premise (they're supposed to be Batman's covert ops crew lead by Alfred). And a cool writer (Pete Tomasi has proven he's awesome from his extended stint on GREEN LANTERN CORPS, not to mention THE MIGHTY and LIGHT BRIGADE). But something about this issue reeked of editorial mandate as basically everything the Outsiders have been working for is put on hold due to events going on in other books. Alfred drops the team and locks them out of the Batcave. And aside from getting an assignment to clean up some escaped Arkham inmates, they've basically been kicked to the curb from the Batman Universe. OUTSIDERS has struggled as a book because it doesn't seem to know what the creative teams don't seem to know what they want from the book. Does the book want to be firmly planted in the Bat Universe or strike off on it's own in the big old DCU? The book's in the same limbo that NIGHTWING was in for such a long time, dipping it's toe into the DCU, but being pulled back in to the Bat U when it's convenient to the big name of the month writing the Bat-books. I thnk it'd be cool to see a team of super powered heroes with all of Batman's best aspects firmly entrenched into Gotham just to see a new dynamic at play in that playground, but according to this issue, they are once again shuffled to the sidelines. Was this Tomasi's decision or editorial? Who knows? I think a potentially cool book suffers from the decision to outcast the Outsiders though. A few tweaks to the cast (sorry, Owlman is just lame and Halo may as well be a mannequin for the amount of character time she's gotten so about Jason Blood or Ragman or Azrael or Spoiler, instead?) and a concrete direction for this group would make this a book I'd rush to read every month. Alas, the way it is now, I barely get to it by the time the new books come out the following week. – Bug


Had Garth Ennis not written some of the best comics in his entire career and some of the best Punisher stories ever put to the page before this arc, I would have said this "Welcome to the Bayou" arc was goddamn great. But because it's on the heels of that near perfect run, it's just good. Guilty by comparison, I guess. Doesn't help that it's the same artist (Goran Parlov) who drew a lot of Ennis' best stories is aboard for this ride. While fantastic, the art makes me a bit misty longing for those good old Ennis PUNISHER MAX days and makes new writer Victor Gischler's stuff feel like imitation. It's a good imitation. But lacks the heft and power those old Ennis arc punched through my soul. Still, this was the first book I read when I got home last week from the store. Following Ennis' formula, Gischler has established some truly evil villains for Frank to punish. But the contrivances abound through this arc and there's one implausibility that the entire story hangs upon (the fact that the Punisher would go a helluva long way out of his normal stomping grounds to transport a criminal to New Orleans for some reason rather than just blowing a hole through his face and moving on to the next victim in NY) that really pulled me out of the story. Still, I'm looking forward to Frank's big showdown with the potato sack-wearing mongloid Junior in next issue. – Bug


Although the pairing of Xombi and the Spectre isn't necessarily the type of team-up that's going to shoot sales through the roof, it is the type of story that I've been hoping to see from this title since it's relaunch. You see, books like BRAVE & THE BOLD and DC COMICS PRESENTS were my gateway drug into the vast universe that is DC back in the day. There'd be a cool team-up between Sgt Rock and the Omega Men or something like that and I'd have so much fun looking that these cool characters I knew nothing about that I sought out other appearances by them. And a fanboy/collector/avid reader was born. So kudos to DC for pairing up these two out-of-the-limelight characters. I hope to see more team-ups like them. Now is this issue any good? It's decent. I'm not the biggest Spectre fan (never read the Ostrander/Mandrake run, I was completely turned off by the hippy, trippy JM DeMatteis/Sook version of the character, and Rucka's new Spectre kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth because it is such a leap for the character from his roots in GOTHAM CENTRAL) and I've never read a Xombi story in my life. But this book juggled the similarities and differences of the two characters pretty efficiently and made me more interested in both by the comic's end. The whispy art of Scott Hampton helped make this story by John Rozum work for me. Hopefully, this book will bring more of the offbeat meetings of tertiary DCU characters rather than the typical Batman/Superman/Green Lantern team-ups that made me yawn just as I wrote this sentence. - Bug

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

Ad by Prof. Challenger

Remember, if you have a comic book you’d like one of the @$$holes to take a look at, click on your favorite reviewer’s link and drop us an email.

Check out the @$$oles’ ComicSpace AICN Comics page here for an archive and more @$$y goodness.

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Aug. 26, 2009, 9:17 a.m. CST

    "We'll serve anybody"

    by hst666

    I really hope that line was not in the original script, or Archie's a straight-up racist.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 9:22 a.m. CST

    No Red Herring review?

    by we_pray_for_mad_skillz

    I also thought that Stefano Gaudiano should have been mentioned in the Daredevil review.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 9:23 a.m. CST

    How the black rings get power

    by Laserhead

    They absorb the emotional state of the person killed-- and it has to be from the "color spectrum" emotions. The rings aren't creating fear, they're seeing which emotion a potential victim is most tapped into at that moment.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 9:26 a.m. CST

    fairly futile?

    by Joenathan

    Is that right? He was... fairly futile? That can't be right.<Br><br>Also, aside from the obvious change, is that Archie cover real? If so, thats amazing.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 9:33 a.m. CST


    by hst666

    I loved that book and wish it hadn't been canceled. It reminded me of some of the best out there stuff by Morrison and Ellis and it appeared to have a long future mapped out we never got to see.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Is Matt Adler really Michael Scott?

    by Joenathan

    Virtually seamless? Word to Marvel? Enough is too much?<br><br>Is he foreign? If he is, I won't make fun of him, but jesus... What the hell?

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Good Lord, I need to get away from the computer.

    by CatVutt

    I can't believe I just read an entire review of a fucking Archie comic book.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 9:37 a.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    Who here actually thinks he'll complete this series? Anyone want to take bets?

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 9:40 a.m. CST

    There'll be rioting in the streets!!!!!

    by kalel21

    Betty instead of Veronica? Archie has gone insane and the masses will not stand for it!!!!! - - - -

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 9:41 a.m. CST


    by kalel21

    I meant "Veronica instead of Betty?" Not the other way

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 9:45 a.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    I love how this story is apparently news. I mean, I heard it and thought: "who cares" The asnwer, apparently, is tons of people. This floors me! Why do people care who Archie marries? Why do people care about Archie? Honestly, can someone explain to me the appeal of what may be the MOST out of date and out of touch with the world character still around?

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Don't know who Michael Scott is...

    by MattAdler

    Sorry you didn't like the reviews, though I'm not clear on what problem you have with those phrases.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 9:50 a.m. CST

    "Archie, do you serve crabs?"

    by rock-me Amodeo

    I think that was the original blurb, if I recall, and it was a slam on Mr. Wetherbee. Unfortunately, Archie's outstretched hand is pointing a black guy...uhn, guy of color... uh, african-american...uhn... gosh, THAT'S been through some changes over the years!

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Though its kind of refreshing...

    by rock-me Amodeo

    ...that in Archie's world, no one considered something that COULD be misconstrued as the ACTUAL intent. Kinda lovely, actually. Hopefully, the world will catch up to Riverdale, someday.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 9:57 a.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    Do you think JMS finishes anything? Like is his lawn half mowed and the mower is just abandoned in some tall grass? Does he just get bored when eating, and not finish his dinner? Does he start conversations with people, and then just walk away distracted by something else halfway through a thought? Is his house full of cups of half drunk beer and water? Does he put on his pants up to knees and then stumble over because he didn’t pull them all the way up? Is his bookcase full of books dog-eared on page 130 or whatever but never further? Maybe if you were to drive by his house you would see JMS sleeping on the porch, his house half painted, the grass half mowed, his pants half-on, the car on blocks with the hood open and the engine on the ground, and thousands of pages of half-done scripts blowing about in the breeze never to be completed.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 9:59 a.m. CST


    by optimous_douche

    At least the uhhhh...other laughing right along with Archie.<p> If he doesn't mind, why should we?

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 9:59 a.m. CST

    dammit steverodgers

    by rock-me Amodeo

    stop making me laugh out loud at work when i'm supposed to be programming.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 10 a.m. CST

    "Archie do you serve crabs?"

    by optimous_douche

    "Nope I keep those right in my pants where they belong Mr. Weatherbee."<p> And now we know who to blame for Archie's condition. Veronica you dirty dirty girl.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Blackest Night: Superman

    by backside9

    I thought it was pretty obvious that the people at the drive-in and diner were killed. Other than that I think the review was spot on. I will continue to buy the next two issues for the sole reason of the Dex-Starr vs Krypto fight. That is going to be the most insanely stupid and ridiculous fight ever put in a comic and its going to be awesome!

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Archie's not pointing...

    by Sailor Rip the brother, he's waiting for him to slap some skin. And look, he's even sitting at the main counter not in the "negros only" section so everybody just relax.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 10:06 a.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    They are all slightly incorrect, Matt, as if you were typing in Borat's accent. Also, I'm pretty sure futile is used incorrectly.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 10:08 a.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    He'd be HALF asleep on his porch

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 10:15 a.m. CST


    by Star Hump

    The only comic you'll see in the grocery store these days. The last motherfucker standing. Want some comics? Forget Piggly Wiggly. So long 7-11. You'll need to go to a Barnes & Noble, or more likely, a fetid collector's shop and wade around the other goateed, pot-bellied 35 year-olds so you can get your fan fic fix.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Archie Cover

    by steverodgers

    So in the original cover Mr. Weatherbee asks if they serve crabs even though it’s clearly on the menu right where he can see it, so Archie says, “sure we'll serve anybody”, and then wanting to make sure that the joke is as hilarious as he thought, he looks for a high five from one of the customers, meanwhile Betty is in the back with like a giant plate of meat, is just in hysterics, because she just thinks Archie is hilarious, I mean serve crabs? The live in the sea! Can they even hold forks with those little cute pinchers? Unbeknownst to her though, in like 30 years Archie is going to march up memory lane, decide to draw a paycheck but do no work, and marry her total stuck-up friend Veronica, and not her, even though she is like totally better for Archie, leaving her a sad wreck of a woman who has to end up marrying that asexual jackass Jughead Jones, who even at 28 is wearing his stupid burger king crown and demanding hamburgers even though his blood pressure is through the roof and he refuses to go get a job, and Betty will be crying herself to sleep every night, wondering how could Archie marry Veronica? How?! But that is years from now, right now she is at the Seafood Shack, working with Archie, and he just made a hilarious joke about crabs, and everything is totally disco in Riverdale.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 10:21 a.m. CST


    by MattAdler

    1 : serving no useful purpose : completely ineffective . "Enough is too much" is a commonly used ironic twist on the "enough is enough" phrase; Google it, and you'll see I didn't invent it. . "Word to Marvel" is pretty straightforward, same as if I had said "word to the wise" or "note to Marvel." . And I can't figure out why you think "virtually seamless" is at all incorrect.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Thats bloated 34 YEAR OLDS...

    by Joenathan


  • Aug. 26, 2009, 10:25 a.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    Half asleep. Nice!

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 10:28 a.m. CST


    by rock-me Amodeo

    As you know, around here, some people review comics, and some people review the reviews. Ironically, it's fairly futile. <br><br>Word to yer motha.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 10:31 a.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    I belive (and I could be wrong here) that actions can be futile, a person can not. <br><br>Enough is too much is NOT common.<br><br> And it is NOTE to Marvel, you're right there. However WORD to Marvel is the incorrect phrase, just slightly incorrect, true, which is why I assumed you were ESL, but it's still incorrect. <br><br>Things are either seamless or they are not seamless. Saying things like "virtually seamless" is the same as when people say "irregardless"

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 10:35 a.m. CST

    See look to Rock Me

    by Joenathan

    He did right. <br><br>Rock Me... you get a thumbs up. I'll even give you a pull quote: "Rock Me Amodeo is Crit-tastic!" Joenathan

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Thanks, Steve

    by Joenathan

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 10:37 a.m. CST

    "At this point in time..."

    by rock-me Amodeo

    That one is MY pet peeve. Like, as opposed to this point in space? Oh, and the "half-asleep" WAS a witty catch, Joe.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 10:37 a.m. CST

    daredevil without brubaker

    by h8tersbeware

    is going to be half the comic it could be, diggles current work on thunderbolts is not good at all, i like his old stuff on hellblazer but since then, not so much. i can only hope ed does another on-going title, or go back to dc and do some of there stuff. Anyone heard any rumors of what he is going to do(besides cap, and incognito)?

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 10:39 a.m. CST


    by rock-me Amodeo

    aww. I didn't even see that before I posted my last post. I'll be sure to put that blurb inside my next book, if I can ever settle down and get that sucker finished.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 11:09 a.m. CST

    The fun of the English language

    by MattAdler

    The exact phrase "Enough is too much" gets 168,000 hits on Google; it's also apparently part of the title of a popular children's book. Just for the heck of it, I also googled "Word to Marvel"; that exact phrase gets 366 hits, and I assume there are more if I replace Marvel with other subjects. As for "virtually seamless", the usage example Merriam-Webster gives for the word virtually is "virtually unknown"; you might also say that something is either known or unknown, but in any event, virtually works with these words because it means "for all practical purposes." And futile can be used to describe a person; here's a sentence from a NY Times article: "There was no pleasing Carlyle, and if he was wearisome as a preacher, he was futile as a prophet." ...... I think I see the problem, though. Not to brag, but I read A LOT. So sometimes people may see phrases in my writing that they're unfamiliar with. Which is okay, part of my goal is to give the audience something new. But you can be assured that I do put a lot of thought into the phrasing of my formal writing.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 11:09 a.m. CST


    by EddieBlake

    If you haven't read any Xombi, go out and hunt down the series. It was by far the best of the Milestone books and Rozum definitely chanelled the weirdness vibe of Morrison's Doom Patrol.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Live action Archie's been on tv now for eight years

    by Snookeroo

    It's called "Smallville". Dark-haired Lana (Veronica) vs. blond-haired tomboy Chloe (Betty)vie for the affections of loveable, clueless hero Clark (Archie). Hilarity ensues.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 11:26 a.m. CST

    When's Cherry Poptart getting married?

    by rev_skarekroe

    I'll read that book.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Optimous Douche - Science Comic Reviewer

    by Squashua

    Take that.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 11:30 a.m. CST

    sure, matt, sure

    by Joenathan

    because when you explain, it all makes sense...

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 11:37 a.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    When is she going to move to Riverdale? I'd buy that book too. (well order online and have it delivered to the house in a brown unmarked bag in the middle of the night)

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 11:37 a.m. CST

    WTF... Archie?!?

    by Mr.FTW

    Ok, it might be a milestone for a long running comic butwhy would anyone review an Archie comic. Archie comics are what grandmothers in the 80's would buy kids at the groccery store as a "prize". Why and how Archie comics are still published baffles me but not as much as one being reviewed in this column. Especially a comic like a new Batgirl #1 that might actually impact things we care about gets the snub.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 11:37 a.m. CST


    by MattAdler

    Don't blame me, blame Noah Webster...

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 11:40 a.m. CST

    I do

    by Joenathan

    I also blame you, though.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 11:43 a.m. CST

    I didn't even know they were still writing Archie

    by Series7

    How's that for a pick up line. So what's your job, I write Archie're gonna have to leave.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 11:44 a.m. CST

    "Especially a comic like a new Batgirl #1 that might actually im

    by superhero

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! Reading that actually made me laugh out loud...seriously. Complaining about writing an Archie review and then writing that sentence? BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Archie is like Mickey Mouse

    by MattAdler

    Sure he's a kids character, but he's still iconic. And with the continuing debate over the Spider-marriage, I thought it'd be interesting to look at it from the other side of the coin. The thing is though, it really wasn't what I expected from an Archie comic (I guess not completely surprising since Michael Uslan was one of the key people behind Batman Begins and The Dark Knight).

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 11:47 a.m. CST


    by Joenathan <br><br>It's rare, as a geek, that you get to really shun someone for being ahuge nerd, but... well... I totally want to push this guy down and take his lunch money... Actually, his comic money... I totally want to rob this guy.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 11:48 a.m. CST


    by gooseud

    Goose's effort to talk about new random topics this week Fact #1: I sell on Ebay all the time (theres where my random comics I buy from estate sales go) and Archie is always a huge seller, mostly to dads looking for innocent G rated comics for their kids to read . Shocking I know, but lots of people care. I unfortunately am not among them. But evidently, according to this column, Archie is big in the KKK circles as well!

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 11:50 a.m. CST

    It's not the first time we've reviewed ARCHIE...

    by SleazyG.

    ...although it's been quite a few years. I think that's the real problem: we don't review ARCHIE enough.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Jack Cross

    by gooseud

    Goose's effort to talk about new random topics this week Fact #2: In one of my random buys, stumbled across Jack Cross 1-4. My god, what an piece of utter garbage. That may win the prize as the worst thing by Ellis I've ever read. Static art, cliched tough guy dialogue, random, "I feel like only 65% of this actual issue was sent to the printers" storyline. Terrible.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 11:53 a.m. CST

    That's why...

    by Joenathan

    "Archie is always a huge seller, mostly to dads looking for innocent G rated comics for their kids to read" <br><br>Archie exists because parents, who are completely uncool and even more completely out of touch with what their child likes, need a present that is both cheap and takes very little effort to find.<br><Br>Archie! Widening the gap between children and parents for decades!

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 11:56 a.m. CST

    I'll take requests

    by MattAdler

    If enough people ask for a particular comic to be reviewed, I'll review it in next week's column. After all, what we want is reviews that will get a reaction... and the Archie review certainly did :)

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 11:58 a.m. CST

    Final Crisis

    by gooseud

    Goose's effort to talk about new random topics this week Fact #3: So I went and read the Final Crisis hardcover straight through, in an effort to maybe pick up something I missed the first time. I had heard various rumors that it was way better when you could read it in one sitting. Well, I'm here to report: nope, it sucks. Did you guys actually like Superman Beyond? Ddint I hear rumblings that people actually liked that? What a pretentious piece of unintelligible dogshit that was. In hindsight, Morrison's claims that the last few issues were so choppy and "It feels like there are panels missing" was supposed to reflect the fact that time was breaking down is laughable. There is nothing, not the slightest thing, in the narrative to make me think that was his intention. It really does read like someone doing a really bad parody of a Morrison comic. And, although I will go to my comics grave thinking it was a cool scene with Batman, the gun, and Darkseid, the appearence of Batman in that scene will go down as one of the all time "WTF? Where the hell did he come from??" moments in comics history.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Kids buying Archie

    by MattAdler

    I tend to see kids of a particular age range (maybe anywhere from 5 to 11) asking their mothers to buy them the Archie digests at the supermarket checkout counters. You have to remember that what is uncool at later ages is often great fun for the younger set. I'll never forget how baffled I was, at the age of 13, at the popularity of a stupid show like Power Rangers.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 12:06 p.m. CST


    by Mr.FTW

    Laugh if you want to, I'm not sayng if Batgirl #1 was good, bad or needed but it will have impact on the Bat family titles which more people care about than Archie. People in this board used to get out raged to ridiculous levels because a kid was reviewing comics and now we're getting a kid's comic review. I'm just pointing out that there are things more people are interested in than a nostalgic icon no one really cares about.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Kids don't want Archie specifically,

    by Joenathan

    they want a comic with bright colors. Archie is the one on display. I'd bet anything they get that book how and flip through it and go: "oh..." and then leave it on the floor, never to be read again.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Careful Goose

    by Joenathan

    cursing FC is likely to bring the crazy people out of the woodwork, you know the ones... the people that liked it.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Superman Beyond

    by Laserhead

    Couldn't disagree more, Goose. Loved every frame of it. Great art, and I was happy the hc didn't have the 3D sections. One of my all-time favorite Superman stories.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 12:12 p.m. CST

    I wonder if Morrison is bitter

    by Joenathan

    I mean, he obviously sees FC as he ultimate Superhero work and, lets be honest, a massive majority hated the book. I wonder if he understands why or if he believes everyone out there "just didn't get it"

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 12:14 p.m. CST

    I'm sure he does

    by Laserhead

    Every writer gauges his accomplishment to some degree on its ability to capture and move an audience. He couldn't escape the criticisms of the book, but that doesn't mean he'll ever cop to it in an interview or anything.<p>I guess I'm one of the crazies who hated FC as a serialized book, but really dug the hardcover collection, with Superman Beyond being a highlight. But I'm no apologist for the series.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 12:19 p.m. CST

    There is a new Die Hard comic coming out

    by Series7

    That is awesome.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Mr FTW

    by MattAdler

    So what would you like to see reviewed next week?

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 12:21 p.m. CST

    I never finished FC

    by Joenathan

    I had the same moment looking at issue #6, as I did with Spawn #80: Why am I buying this?

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Final Crisis

    by Mr.FTW

    Oh man, I thought we were done beating that dead horse, good times.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 12:38 p.m. CST


    by gooseud

    sounded off the charts bitter in the interview I read (maybe Newsarama). He pretty much copped to nothing and said if you dont get it, your retarded and a loser to boot. One of the more defiant interviews I've read from a creator, probably in response to the overwhelming criticism, all of it well deserved. I mean, where do you even start? How about Batman showing up out of literally nowhere to shoot Darkseid. Did I miss how that happened? Was that in some other book I wasnt privy to, as far as where Batman was, where he got the gun, him fighting his way to Darkseid, etc etc. Because it sure as hell appeared that he was gone for 6 issues and suddenly shows up. Or what happened to Darkseid? We see him slowly sinking to the ground saying "not.....not" and then......hmmm, what exactly? I could go on, but I wont. I guess everyone has their own tastes, but I hated that book with a passion.....expect for the chapter with Black Lightning and Tattooed Man, which was actually pretty damn cool and showed the potential of the story if Morrison could stop babbling about necro-vampires from the void-world of the 53rd dimension of the moon of Zenophlex.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 12:42 p.m. CST


    by Mr.FTW

    Persoanlly I can't get enough of straigh up superhero comic reviews from the big two. The universes are so big with so many character that you just can't keep up with everything and it's cool to be able to get insight from and about books I don't collect but that's just me.<p> I was honestly just more suprised that an Archie comic got reviewed and reacted then reacted again to a troll.<p> But like I said in my first post something like the new Batgirl that is going ot have impact on the whole Bat family, that's just an example.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 12:42 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    See, he DID babble about all that stuff in Invisibles, but somehow he pulled it off, it made sense. FC read like he forgot the story bits in between. I can tell what's going on, but there's no flow. I'd really love to have seen how he got it past editorial.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Morrison Interview FC

    by optimous_douche

    I read that same Morrison interview and my biggest problem with it wasn’t his statement about the obtuse masses not understanding, I’m actually OK with that statement. He’s a genius, I’m not, move on. Perhaps I didn’t get it. No, what really got me was the fact he went directly after a few of our reviews (which I guess I should be somewhat honored that he’s at least reading us) and it really showed him as being obtuse.<p> I have a fairly thick skin, I was booed at the WW philly DC panel because I thought Johns dialed in his last issue of JSA and walked away unfazed. I can take my lumps.<p> Morrison irked me with the statement (and I’m paraphrasing), “Blokes keep talking on the Internet about being fatigued from the Crossovers, it’s a comic book, how can you be tired or fatigued from reading?” Well first off, you can. The eye and brain get tired and it affects the whole body, but let’s move past the obvious. WE WEREN’T BEING LITERAL. I may not be in the best of shape (judge for yourselves, but of course I don’t have a cardiac arrest every time I turn the page. It was speaking in metaphorical terms about buying dollars on material that is sub-standard, but is required to understand the over-arching event. For fucks sake the man is a writer and he doesn’t understand poetic license?

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Daredevil: The Return of the King Final Chapter

    by LaserPants

    Was totally fucking awesome. I'm gonna be really sad to see Brubaker and Lark leave the book; they are a perfectly matched pair, and their work on Daredevil represents some of the greatest comics of the decade, imho.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Squash -- Why I oughta

    by optimous_douche

    You know what in Robinson's universe I oculd be a Science reviewer if these cops are Science Police.<p> I mean I fucked, bribed and eventually dumbed down my science requirements in college just to get the damn sheepskin, but yeah I probably could be a Science Comic Reviewer.<p> I just wonder if I could read every book under a microscope.<p> I hate hate hate fucking Science Police.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 1:13 p.m. CST


    by Mr.FTW

    I think Morrison understands poetic license just fine and while you have the title I think it is Morrison who is really the douche.<p> I find your hate hate hate of science police very entertaining.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Batgirl #1

    by Sailor Rip

    I liked it.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 1:33 p.m. CST

    You know you're sunk

    by Joenathan

    when you not only have to explain all your nuances, but your entire story as well. Poor Morrison... fail.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Comics are in sad shape

    by gooseud

    Is anyone else feel like comics are really in some dire straits over the past year or so? I just feel like comics have fallen into a real rut over the past 18 months. Bru has had an strange fall-off in production and quality (Incognito being only a mini, leaving DD, wasting the last 2 years on Cap). No one cares about Norman Osbourne, and that plot has no end in sight. The debacle of Final Crisis and the endless leadup to Blackest Night. The flagship characters (Supes, Batman, Spidey, X-Men) not doing anything particularly interesting in their own books. JMS apparently cant finish a book. It just seems a general malaise has settled in. Even in the talkback, where the A$$holes used to be huge presences, there seems to be a lack on enthusiasm about today's offerings. What was the last book that truly generated off-the-charts talkback response? Sinestro Corps? Death of Cap? FC #7? Where is the flagship title offering all-time-great levels of quality? The Sandman, Preacher, Transmet, Planetary, Morrison X-Men type of book that EVERYONE talks about and knows? There are plenty of solid books out there, but is there one of that "talking about it 10 years from now" type books? Walking Dead, maybe?

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 1:45 p.m. CST

    I disagree on on point

    by Joenathan

    I like Marvel's current status quo. I think it's the best thing they've done in awhile. It's certainly the best cohesive universe storyline in decades. Marvel is firing on all cylinders, even if you suffer from an extreme lack of taste and don't like the current direction, you can't deny the tightness of the line.<br><br>I will agree that we seem to be waiting for a new "great" title though...

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 1:45 p.m. CST


    by Series7

    Its ok, the Die Hard comic will turn it all around.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 1:49 p.m. CST

    What I hate

    by Series7

    Are all these damn mini series that I want turned into full titles. Shit like The Destroyer, I Kill Demons, Dead Run and Terror Inc. These mini's start off great and then always end way to fast and are not satisfing. Also with certain big titles stalled makes shit annoying as well. <P> With Marvel there is just too damn much going on to keep it all straight and to pay for it all. So I like the fridge characters that don't tie in greatly to the whole thing, like Deadpool. Something like Dark Reign where your expected to shell out sooo much fucking money to get it all just doesn't seem worth it.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Fringe not fridge*

    by Series7

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 1:59 p.m. CST

    So Series

    by optimous_douche

    It would be safe to say that you're fatigued?<p>

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 2:08 p.m. CST


    by Series7

    Yeah I usually have to stop and have a doughnut half way through reading any comic. Even the ones that are just pictures. Then you have to put the comic down, wash your hands before you pick it back up, tell your mom to leave you alone. Its a rough life, that of a comic reader.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Do you really have trouble keeping it all straight?

    by Joenathan

    Really?<br><br>I'm with you though, I'd love to see Destroyer join the regular Marvel U.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 2:17 p.m. CST

    keeping it all straight

    by Series7

    First off I'm not really following Dark Reign, but from the bits and pieces I've gotten from so comics I've read I don't know whats going on. I mean one week there were 8 Dark Reign titles released, I think at least 3 if not 5 were brand new mini series. I mean that would mean I would have to buy only Marvel comics that week. I try to limit my comic buying to only 10 a week.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 2:20 p.m. CST

    I agree about fringe characters

    by gooseud

    Thats why I seem to gravitate to fringe Marvel stuff like Thor, Cap (funny to think those two are fringe titles, but they are) and the Annihilation stuff. However, thats kinda my point: Cap hasnt been clicking in 2 years (and Reborn is god-awful), Thor is an unknown quantity due to delays and JMS's departure (although one my alleviate the other) and the "cosmic" series, while cool, have gotten just sliiiiightly worse each time (Annihilation to Conquest to War of Kings). Still solid, but I personally think the step down from Anniliation (one of my all time favorite miniseries) to War of Kings is subtle but definitely there. There are plenty of current titles at Marvel that are solid.....but inspiring? Is anyone going to look back at this run of, say, Thunderbolts as memorable and vintage? The execution of the current crossover has been perfectly fine, but the whole thing just leaves me kinda shrugging. Judging by how talkback participation has gradually slid over time, I think alot of people feel that way. Remember when Flash and GL were red hot and all anyone wanted to talk about? The TBs used to have 250 responses by the end of day 1.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Keeping It Straight

    by optimous_douche

    I don't think this is a matter of intelligence, but yeah when I'm dealing with lackluster material the subtle minutia does become a sea of bluriness.<p> Great books, I will remember panel for panel months or even years after reading them.<p> But when I'm having 14 different titles all dealing with roughly the same material crammed down my throat, I can only devote so much brain power to a passtime.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 2:21 p.m. CST


    by Series7

    Didn't the ending to Destroyer just suck? I was like really? I kind of expected him to die, but then again Marvel just can't fucking kill a character and be done with it...just in case there are good sales and another mini could be pooped out.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Almost forgot

    by gooseud

    I'm assuming people would say Fables is the classic title that people will look back on.......? but I'm not sure that counts, as it seems a bit past-its-prime at this point (dont quote me on that, I've never really been privy to Fables, one of those ones I just never got around to). Y the last man definately would have been it (choppy pacing and all), but alas that is dearly departed.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 2:42 p.m. CST


    by hst666

    The problem is the multiple corssover events. I shouldn't have to participate if I don't want to. I believe Marvel under Quesada has improved greatly as they have invested in writers, but enough with all the fucking events and crossovers.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Destroyer/Dark Reign

    by Joenathan

    Yeah, I definately felt the drop in the last two issues of Destroyer, but I love the character. It was weird how the stated point of the book, kind of actually wasn't the point. Clean up loose ends before I die... actually, I'll clean up loose ends, putter around, almost die and then not and then retire... The End. hrrmmm<br><br>Dark Reign is a status quo, it's not a mini like Civil War. You don't need every issue. It's an umbrella concept for stories to operate under. What are you confused about? Ask away and I will answer.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 2:55 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    Hey, the fight at the Dock in the last issue of Secret Warriors? Great.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 2:56 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    I agree with you on Fables. Once it was top of my pile, but eventually it joined the same group as spawn and FC. Why am I buying this? I don't like it.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 2:59 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    Dark reign is not an event or crossover. It's a story concept. a starting point for the shared universe. A foundation to build stories off of. It will obviously end/change at some point, but right now, it isn't the type of thing where you have to buy issues you noormally don't, in order to keep up. (Except for Utopia...)

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 2:59 p.m. CST


    by we_pray_for_mad_skillz

    So you bought and read the first 80 issues of Spawn, eh? But nobody here read Red Herring.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 3:01 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    It was the early days of Image, we all got suckered, man! Give me a break.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 3:01 p.m. CST


    by Series7

    ummmmmmmmm.......why does Norman Osborn have corn rows?

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Series 7

    by Joenathan

    Wouldn't you? ...If you had the chance?

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Actually Utopia

    by Series7

    Was one of my problems with Dark Reign, because I read X-Men Legecy, and there was that cross over with the Dark Avengers and Utopia. I haven't read that X-Men Legacy yet, but still. I don't read Avengers so I don't know whats up.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 3:13 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    is a crossover ONLY between Uncanny and Dark Avengers. The Dark Avengers are villians in the costumes of heroes, Norman uses them as his big guns. When a riot between Mutants and Humans blows up, Norman sends the Dark Avengers in and uses the event as an excuse to remove Scott from "power" in the mutant world and creat a team of X-men he has control over. Then they all fight.<br><br>What was confusing?

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Wait, I see what you were saying...

    by Joenathan

    I didn't read Legacy, so I don't know what was going on there. Did you think you needed to know more than the setting? I will say that I didn't need to read Legacy in order to enjoy Utopia (despite its poor usage of NAmor)

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 3:16 p.m. CST


    by Mr.FTW

    When you ask about what pepople will be talking about in 10+ years or what they will look back on I think it is harder for people in the industry today to create things like that due to the eveloution of the industry. Take good old go to books like Watchmen or The Dark Knight Returns, people still talk about, discuss and argue over them partially because of their content but I think a good part because of the time frame. At that point in time they could rebel againts the status quo, there were rules to break a long with new ideas that could be explored and it did miracles for the world of comics. What they could do, the kind of stories they could tell and the tone they could have. <p>In today's comic world the doors of possibility haven't been cracked open they've been knocked down and dragged off. I think that is a double edged sword for creators and artists. At one time the world of comics was very distinct with it's internal laws so when someone came along and did something new it stood out. Now the difinitive voices of characters are slowing getting watered down as each new writer comes along and wants to put there stink on a character. Morrison, Loeb, Bendis, JMS, ect come into the picture and have THEIR voice for a character not THE voice of the charater in the books they write. We'll take two guys people love/hate Morrison and Loeb, both of these guys have worked on Batman and love or hate the books they did Loeb's Batman in Hush is not the same guy as Morrison's Batman.<p> Even though writers and artists have more freedom than ever there is a lack of anything to compare their work to. I think it's hard to be ground breaking when the ground isn't stable enough to break.<p> Maybe it will be the exact opposite with guys like Johns writing clearly definded characters with a clearly defined voice. People will look back on his Green Lanter run starting with Green lantern Rebirth through Blackest Night and have a new measuring stick to gage things by.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Its also not so much

    by Series7

    About being confused, just like what Optimus said, about dealing with the subject matter AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN. But also going into that Legacy, not knowing if it'll make sense since I've not read that other stuff sort of deal. It gets annoying after a while.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 3:20 p.m. CST

    FTW is right

    by Joenathan

    Maybe the new measure will be the story arc and not the ground breaking? Interesting. Would that cement Bru for Cap? Or Bendis for Ult. Spidey then?

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Again and again and again

    by Joenathan

    you mean like the Silver Age? Where Spider-man would fight a revolving door of villians, then go to the Daily Bugle to get yelled at by JJJ, then have trouble with a girl and then have to sneak home so he doesn't wake his aunt for 40 YEARS!!! ...You mean like that?

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 3:25 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    well, let me assure you, every Marvel book I've read lately, and admittedly I read a few, has been pretty self contained, yet LINKED by the Dark Reign Umbrella. I haven't felt like I had to buy anything I didn't normally, except for Utopia (which I bought the Uncannys_ and Deadpool/Thunderbolts (which I just didn't buy until the cross-over was done. So fret not.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 3:28 p.m. CST


    by Series7

    Was pretty fucking stupid. Mainly the Thunderbolts sections being really bad. Made me never want to pick up the thunderbolts again.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Red Herring

    by jbiz

    I am going to get this today it looks awesome I found this review of it for anyone interested

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 3:31 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    I was just about to drop it, as well, but current developments pulled me back in, at least for a few more... Plus, I like that Ghost character.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 3:42 p.m. CST

    I like the Dark Reign thing.

    by rev_skarekroe

    I think it's a cool idea. I'm reading it all in trade, so if it's gone to suck I'm something like 3 months behind and don't know it though.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 4:32 p.m. CST


    by Tumor_Binks

    Loved his W3 series and All-Star Superman. Ed Bru on Captain America has been outstanding and certainly hasn't been a waste of his or anyone's time.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 5:18 p.m. CST

    Does any of he league of AICN comic assholes

    by blackhole4140

    have a twitter account? sometimes these articles get buried quick; would like to keep up with them better

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Re: Dark Reign

    by Grimes02

    "Word to Marvel: Norman Osborn is not Lex Luthor. His ambitions ought to be more limited; he was an obsessive, amoral businessman whose greed drove him to take some substances that put him over the edge and prompted him to dress up like a Halloween character and go on a crime spree. And he hates Spider-Man because he dares to get in his way. That’s it. He doesn’t want to rule the world, he doesn’t want to run a government bureaucracy, he doesn’t want to spend his time hunting down superheroes." Clearly you really don't get it. The whole arc is based on irony. Good game.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Tumor_binks: Bru on Cap

    by gooseud

    You will find no bigger Bru supporter on these boards then me. Ask Joe, Bug, FTW, I was the guy saying 2 years ago that Bru had cemented his place as the best writer in comics, period, the single best writing talent in the industry. I have been making the argument (in answer to Joe and FTW above) that yes, his Cap run from #1 to around #32 or so will be one of (if not THE) runs we will look back on 10 years from now as pure comics genius. BUT.....there is nothing I dislike more then blind fan-boy-ism, in any regard, sports, politics, or comics. The truth is, since the minute Bucky picked up that shield, the book has fallen off a cliff. Bucky sitting around for 2 years now paralyzed by guilt reminiscing about the good old days does not a compelling comic make. I'm not even mentioning Reborn, which is well on its way to being hands down the worst thing Bru has ever written. Sorry man, just telling it like i see it.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 6:09 p.m. CST

    I was quite suprised

    by KCViking

    that no one reviewed Busty Airborne Lass(aka PowerGirl)#4.Heck,I figured someone would at least mention the new name.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 6:14 p.m. CST

    FTW ask the $64,000 question

    by gooseud

    Is it context that makes a great run, or simply the content itself? For example, if Sandman came out today and had never existed, would it get the accolades now that it did then? Is it a great story in and of itself, or just in comparison to the dreck that was out at the time? Its not as obvious as it looks, I woulda thought Starman would win a Pulitzer if you had asked me at the, in hindsight, it was mostly context with that book.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 6:29 p.m. CST

    matt life had just ....

    by shamon

    gotten a whole lot better hope he can handle this better then when he was kingpin.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 8:25 p.m. CST

    $64,000 Question

    by optimous_douche

    I would say totally context Gooseud.<p> After we have seen it once...every other time loses impact.<p> Watchmen was great because it was that last final step that said these Gods among you are are fallible. Now, they are all fallible, these days it's hard to find a super hero without baggage.<p> I use Watchmen as an example because where it blew my mind in '86, in '09 it serves up a "nice, nice moments..that was fun. Thanks "again old friend, see you in two or three years."

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 8:52 p.m. CST


    by MattAdler

    Grimes02 on Dark Reign: "Clearly you really don't get it. The whole arc is based on irony." ............To paraphrase Inigo Montoya: "I do not think that word means what you think it means."............... Mr. FTW: "Persoanlly I can't get enough of straigh up superhero comic reviews from the big two. The universes are so big with so many character that you just can't keep up with everything and it's cool to be able to get insight from and about books I don't collect but that's just me."................. Well, from my perspective I think there are way too many superhero books, and most of them are not that good. I hope with my reviews I can get people to try to take a look at other books that may be very good, but are not getting enough attention to survive. After all, you don't just go see superhero movies or read superhero novels right?

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 9:11 p.m. CST

    Science Police explanation

    by jdb1972

    The Science Police were originally the police force from the LSH's 31st century. Someone somewhere got the bright idea to retcon a predecessor into the DCU's 21st century (like LEGION before it). Silver Age creation. You can hate the name, but not blame Robinson so much for it.

  • Aug. 26, 2009, 9:13 p.m. CST


    by gooseud

    is that context or experience? Maybe Watchmen isnt as good simply because you have read it, what would the reaction be of some 17 year old reading it today for the first time? Regardless, what makes me nervous is the fact that many of the rock stars of the industry seem like somewhat spent forces at this point and I'm wondering who the new dynamic forces are who are coming up to kick some ass. I mean, does anyone think we havent already seen the best of Gaiman, Alan Moore, Ellis, Ennis, Bendis, Millar, Waid, Robinson? Might we already have seen the best of Morrison, Slott, and Brubaker? The only guys seemingly still strongly on the upward slope are BKV, Johns, and Kirkman (although who knows with any of those 3, I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt.

  • Aug. 27, 2009, 12:45 a.m. CST


    by Homer Sexual

    I totally agree with everything in your post about fringe characters. Totally. <p> Sandman Mystery Theater was awesome in its day and never got the apprecation it deserved, still doesn't, really. Gaiman's stuff from then certainl holds up, but he isn't the writer he was. Morrison still is, but he isn't ,perfect. <p> I recently boxed my comics and have re-read a lot of stuff, old and new, that rocks. For example, Azzarello and Corben's "Banner" would be an awesome movie. The Kindly Ones in Sandman is outstanding. I actually loved re-reading "Modok's 12" and "Terror Titans," two books that had everything I like in costume comics. <p> But WE3 is THE comic that will stand the test of time. I feel it's the.. <p> Best. Comic. Ever. <p> More tomorrow, from work, when I'll be sober.

  • Aug. 27, 2009, 12:46 a.m. CST

    The Hood

    by Homer Sexual

    Original mini, also A+.

  • Aug. 27, 2009, 6:05 a.m. CST

    Science Police

    by optimous_douche

    Thanks for the education 1972.<p> I guess I won't blame Robinson, but I still hate this version of them.<p> I'm sure in the 31st century they went off and did cool Sciencey stuff with Brainiac. Here, they are cops in armor.<p> Shitty shitty ret-con.

  • Aug. 27, 2009, 6:08 a.m. CST


    by optimous_douche

    I think a little bit of both context and expierience.<p> Someone in the TalkBacks said it much better than I. All the doors have been kicked in, at least that's how it feels. Will there be naythingnew for our favorite medium?<p> Personally I think Morrison is on the right track (with most of his books).

  • Aug. 27, 2009, 6:14 a.m. CST

    Good Luck Finding New Creative Forces

    by optimous_douche

    As I've leraned with trying to hock my own piece, the only people that will get love are those that can write and draw or those that can write with a really good friend willing to draw and perhaps reap rewards later.<p> No one wnats to look at scripts anymore, they want fully completed comic books. I can't blame the indies, it's all about economics. The Big 2 though, this just seems like fear.<p> I'll throw down the gauntlet now!!! If you gave some of the writers (not just those of us that only write comic reviews) on AICN a chance at any one of the big 2's charachters we will create a better story than 80% of what is produced out of the houses.<p> Artists need writers, writers need artists. It's very rare when the two reside in one person. Sadly, only art will get looked at these days.

  • Aug. 27, 2009, 6:52 a.m. CST

    Homer, older books

    by gooseud

    In fact, myself and Homer have been doing the same thing. Since my pull list has shrunk down to pitiful size (and will get even smaller when now that War of Kings is over, and Ex Machina is on the way out), I've started reading older stuff I may have missed or not read in a while. Hence the LOXG, Planetary, etc "new impressions of older stuff" reviews. I have a huge stack of Lucifer books sitting there staring me in the face waiting to be read. Obviously the moother of all "front to back" reviews that would take 6 months to accomplish is re-reading Hellblazer again from start to current. Joe will love this, but in addition to WE3, I nominate Planetary as the book that people will look back on like "Wow, what an amazing idea".

  • Aug. 27, 2009, 8:54 a.m. CST

    I read comicbooks for free at Books-A-Million

    by Series7

    I don't have time to sit around a book store reading shit all day. Also their selection is shit compared to my comic shop.

  • Aug. 27, 2009, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Reading comics for free

    by MasterBaytor

    Considering the smallish fanbase for comics, anything that gets them read by a larger audience probably helps out. If only one in ten buys, you've still scored. I think it also helps newer readers navigate the rather baffling array of stuff being tossed at them. Find a comic that looks interesting, sit down and read a chapter or two and figure out if this is for you. Comic shops really do aim at the same old comic fans looking for the same old thrills. That business model helped comics to survive since the 70s (when the newsstand model was ceasing to be profitable, as witnessed by Archie Comics being the only surviving newsstand company), but there's only so far you can go catering to the super-hero fans.

  • Aug. 27, 2009, 10:15 a.m. CST

    I steal comic books for free

    by BlueBallsinMyBloodEye

    at BAM, B&N and Borders. It's awesome.

  • Aug. 27, 2009, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Yeah there was a panel at Comic Con

    by Series7

    About how to run a comic book shop? The owner of my shop was one of the speakers. HOW COME THERE WAS NO COVERAGE OF THAT AICN! Yes we got 50 people telling us about the new Ironman customs.....ewwwwww ahhhhhhhh.

  • Aug. 27, 2009, 11:32 a.m. CST

    "had me chucking a couple times"

    by Immortal_Fish

    We're gonna chuck to jah comic. We're chuckin'...

  • Aug. 27, 2009, 1:17 p.m. CST

    War of Kings was great, but...

    by Homer Sexual

    Goose is totally right. Each cosmic mini has been not quite as awesome as it's predecessor. <p> To hate me...I liked last week's Marvel Divas. It was actually kind of touching. <p> Another awesome old storyline , well two, are Hard Time and Freezes Over in Hellblazer. <p> Let me know about Lucifer, Goose. I actually ended up giving away all my Lucifer issues because it was just soooooo boring.

  • Aug. 27, 2009, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Words, words words

    by DennisMM

    It's stream of "consciousness," Optimous. "Conscious" is an adjective. And, Rock-Me, "centennial" is a noun, meaning "hundredth birthday/anniversary." The adjective is "centenarian." <P> I know, I'm being picky. But these things get on my nerves. The worse is when people use "cliché" as an adjective. "Cliché" is a noun; the adjective form is "clichéd," as in "a clichéd use of the word."

  • Aug. 27, 2009, 1:50 p.m. CST


    by DennisMM

    The WORST is when ... <P> When do we get an edit function?

  • Aug. 27, 2009, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Edit function is for pussies Dennis

    by Continentalop

    I let it all hang out, mistakes and everything. It is the way man was meant to be - grammatically wrong.

  • Aug. 27, 2009, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Norman doesn't wanna rule the world?

    by Tall_Boy66

    Guy likes money and power. I can see him enjoying the chance at running the fucking planet. You think his greed and lust for power would stop at being a businessman?

  • Aug. 27, 2009, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Ah, I'm kinda OCD on some things ...

    by DennisMM

    and I NEED that edit function.

  • Aug. 27, 2009, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Fuck, I'm tired

    by DennisMM

    Rock-Me, "centenarian" is not an adjective, but the appropriate NOUN MODIFIER. See why I need the edit function? <P> I think I'd sleep now, were I not at work.

  • Aug. 27, 2009, 4:09 p.m. CST


    by MattAdler

    "Guy likes money and power. I can see him enjoying the chance at running the fucking planet. You think his greed and lust for power would stop at being a businessman?" <p> .................................. <p> He doesn't want the hassle. That's why guys like him make campaign contributions; they can still run things behind the scenes, but without the bureaucratic/political shit. Being the Green Goblin was his chance to go completely wild and not give a shit about the constraints of society; now he has to be mindful of his public appearance 24/7.

  • Aug. 28, 2009, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Dennis MM

    by rock-me Amodeo

    You're more tired than you think. "centennial" is also an adjective. Go to <br><br> 1. Of or relating to an age or period of 100 years<br><br> While I freely admit that errors are not good things, there's nothing worse than a corrector who incorrectly corrects. Correct?

  • Aug. 28, 2009, 11:11 p.m. CST


    by Buzz Maverik

    I like to pronounce it "fue-tilly".

  • Aug. 30, 2009, 12:25 a.m. CST

    Archie #600

    by eveelcapitalist

    I've got to disagree with Adler's characterization of Archie and Veronica's relationship prior to the engagement. Archie has been playing the field for 70 years. He's been dating both to varying degrees over the years, so it's not surprising that Betty would be devestated at the proposal. We presume that Archie, even through college, has been pulling the same shit that he was pulling all through grade school and high school. No need to assume that because Archie had to be dating Veronica exclusively to propose. And of course Betty is completely in character, since it's been apparent for 70 years that she's only ever wanted to be Archie's gal pal. She's the girl next door, for fuck's sake, she's old timey! She represents tradition. Anyway, let me tell you what I thought. I read that issue and thought Archie was a pussy. He's out of college, no future prospects and he's caving under the pressure. Time to cash in. So of course he proposes to the girl with the rich daddy who sets him up with a cushy other words he takes the path of least resistance. Naturally, he manages to utterly ruin the girl who's really in love with him and alienate his best friend at the same time. But it's cool. I think this is the most conflict I've ever seen in an Archie comic, so I'm curious to see how Uslan handles it. He's clearly throwing a bone to the Betty fans with the notion that Archie would only marry Veronica out of desperation, which is cool. I'm interesting in seeing how Betty gets her shit back together after this, though, and seeing if Archie can man up and at least follow through with this shit without turning into a giant pussy and getting cold feet, which is what is probably gonna happen.

  • Aug. 30, 2009, 12:59 p.m. CST

    The Twelve

    by TDavis

    Yeah, Bottle Imp, I would really like to see somebody show some editorial balls and tell Straczynski and Weston to finish what the fuck they've started. Although, to be fair, I don't know how much Weston is at fault: If he doesn't have a script, it's pretty hard to draw it! Also, it was nice to see that Billy Mays has a career after death as a cover model for the Incredible Hercules! Way to go, Billy!

  • Aug. 30, 2009, 2:10 p.m. CST


    by MattAdler

    "I've got to disagree with Adler's characterization of Archie and Veronica's relationship prior to the engagement. Archie has been playing the field for 70 years. He's been dating both to varying degrees over the years, so it's not surprising that Betty would be devestated at the proposal. We presume that Archie, even through college, has been pulling the same shit that he was pulling all through grade school and high school. No need to assume that because Archie had to be dating Veronica exclusively to propose. " <p> Remember that when his parents found out he'd bought a diamond, they right away knew it was for Veronica.

  • Aug. 30, 2009, 11:32 p.m. CST

    Edit Function

    by Buzz Maverik

    See, we need an edit function for the flame war stuff so we look smart and the other guy looks stupid.<p>You know what I hate? When you're really laying on these witty, cutting insults and the other guy or one of his supporters nails you on grammar and spelling. On one hand, it's embarrassing that you've made such errors while acting like such a smug ass. On the other hand, it's embarrassing for the other guy because he cares about stuff like that or is petty enough to go after that when you've given him plenty of legitimate and much cooler ways to make you look stupid.

  • Aug. 31, 2009, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Disney Buying Marvel for $4B

    by letsfightinglove sorry I can't make a shorter link

  • Aug. 31, 2009, 8:40 a.m. CST

    I agree/disagree

    by Joenathan

    I agree with we3 and Planetary.<br><br>Matt, the position you describe Norman as desiring to have is, in fact, the position he has. We forget, since we're reading, that Norman is followed by cameras 24/7. He can do whatever he wants now and get away with it. To cath him, somone has to prove it AND arrest him, not an easy thing to do when it's the top cop you're talking about.

  • Sept. 1, 2009, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Disney to buy Marvel for $4 billion -- It's true

    by effector12

  • Sept. 2, 2009, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Osborn's public image

    by MattAdler

    <i>"Matt, the position you describe Norman as desiring to have is, in fact, the position he has. We forget, since we're reading, that Norman is followed by cameras 24/7. He can do whatever he wants now and get away with it. To cath him, somone has to prove it AND arrest him, not an easy thing to do when it's the top cop you're talking about."</i> <p> <p> Disagree. What's the one thing he keeps reiterating over and over to his Dark Avengers? Watch what you do in public. He definitely has to worry about his public image. That's also why he had to go on TV and do damage control after Hawkeye blasted him.