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#19 9/16/09 #8

Hey folks, Ambush Bug here with another column of all the best and worst there was on the racks last week. Before that, though, a correction. Well, I’m bound to make a mistake in each and every column and in our last column, I made one too. Seems I misspelled the title to SONAMBULO LIVES #1 in my review of the book in last week’s Indie Jones section. It is a damn fun book and worth checking out however you spell it.



Writer: Geoff Johns Penciller: Ivan Reis Inkers: Oclair Albert & Joe Prado Colorist: Alex Sinclair Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Matt Adler

DC’s cosmic zombie saga marches on. This installment focuses in large part on Firestorm--both the new one, Jason Rusch, and the old one, Ronnie Raymond, who’s been raised from the dead by a Black Lantern power ring. As with the previous issues, most of the story has the undead heroes spouting off taunting comments to their former comrades in an effort to get an emotional reaction out of them. If you haven’t figured out by now that this is done in order to charge their power rings, you haven’t been paying attention, but it’s spelled out in this issue anyway.
Also in this issue, the latest Lantern Corps, known as the Indigo Tribe, makes their first full appearance (they’ve been foreshadowed and teased in previous books). They are basically a group of Yodas, seemingly all-wise and all-knowing, who show up to perform an info-dump and explain everything to the heroes. The emotion that powers their rings is “Compassion”, which leads me to one of my pet peeves about the set-up that Geoff Johns has created here; several of the “emotions” that constitute the various Corps aren’t really emotions, per se.
Compassion, for instance, is really more of an attitude; if you were going for an emotion that is associated with it, you might say love, though of course it really boils down to empathy, which also is not an emotion in and of itself; it’s simply the ability to feel what someone else is feeling (this may be what Johns is going for in a scene in which a member of the Tribe is able to channel the willpower of Hal Jordan’s ring). And for that matter “will” isn’t exactly an emotion either; it’s a personality aspect.
Even if we assume a broad definition of emotion, something along the lines of “personal characteristic”, the spectrum of these emotions isn’t quite balanced. It seems to me the Love, Compassion, and Hope Corps will be stepping on each other’s toes a lot since there’s a lot of overlap there. The “negative” Corps are a little more balanced, with Anger, Fear, and Avarice (also not really an emotion), so maybe Johns just had a hard time coming up with positive ones to balance them out. It is pretty difficult to come up with a balanced system made up of distinct emotions that can make for compelling characters. I mean, are we going to have a Boredom Corps? The whole thing just doesn’t quite fit together.
Anyway, it’s revealed in this issue that these emotional colors were all part of a single white light that chased away the darkness at the beginning of creation, but were eventually fractured into their individual colors (perhaps an allusion to the story of the creation of the multiverse). The darkness is represented by Death, which is considered here to be the absence of emotion; apparently the darkness wants to kill everything so it can get back to a peaceful, empty, emotionless universe. The Indigo tell Hal he has to get all the Corps to team up so they can reform the white light and beat back the darkness.
There’s an irony in this story using emotions as a key element; it’s actually so focused on the details of how this power affects that power, and how exactly the dead came back (again, if you haven’t figured out that it’s not the actual characters in control, you haven’t been paying attention), that it gets pretty dry and technical, and misses the emotional resonance. We should be getting a real sense of how our heroes feel at seeing their loved ones in this state, but that’s largely glossed over, and the comics rule of “show, don’t tell” is completely thrown out the window here, as the rings literally ANNOUNCE the emotion the character is supposed to be feeling.
The impact isn’t helped by the fact that the undead heroes all have the same general appearance (gray skin, rictus grin, empty eye sockets) and the fact that they’re such assholes (I’m surprised they’re not members of the Guilt Corps). It’s hard to imagine the heroes taking these guys seriously as their returned loved ones, and indeed, several times the heroes, make statements pouring water on the idea. Geoff Johns has written a lot of good stories, but I think in these uber-events, he gets so caught up in the planning and the details, he forgets to focus on the characters themselves.
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: Marc Guggenheim Artist: Cezar Razek Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Reviewer: Optimous Douche

If you’re a fan of scantily clad cyclones perpetually spouting the expletive frak, this isn’t your Battlestar. No, this is a reimagining of the simpler and nowhere near as revered Battlestar from the 1970s. It’s the Battlestar where men had feathered hair, Lorne Greene dressed in bathrobes and looked very concerned (or constipated), there was a kid named Boxy (many children on Caprica were named after euphemisms for female genitalia) and robot dogs called Daggits annoyed the living shit out of America one cute dance at a time. Now, before you get too excited, this isn’t the real original series. Sorry, but this is a reboot of the ill-fated follow-up series that tried to extend the life of the original show by allowing the lost brothers of humanity the opportunity to finally find Earth. As aged sci-fi fans will remember the original GALCTICA 1980 was a contrived mess of leftover 70s clichés (Turkey? I’m not a turkey — groan). The lackluster plot set up the Galactica crew for a subversive mission on Earth due to the constrained technology and budgets of the time period. Don’t believe me; merely go to youtube and type in “Galactica Flying Motorcycles.” Guggenheim walks a fine line with this reboot. In typical Gen X fashion he appropriately darkens the tone of the series, but at the same time misses some great opportunities for nostalgic fun.
I found myself perpetually falling in and out of love with each page. For every moment of “good job, guys”, there were equal moments of “what the fuck, guys?” Using the famed intro of “There are many who believe life out here, began out there” as a Harvard lecture thesis was original exposition. The heckler in the audience however, calling the theory lamebrain, was akin to the turkey line I just mentioned from the original series. Yes, I’m sure the term lamebrain was used more than it is today, but not by twenty-somethings at Harvard.
There is an overall feeling of utter despondence aboard Galactica, now in their thirtieth year in space looking for Earth. Women are taking homegrown sterilization, Adama is on the verge of suicide and the Viper pilots drive drunk more often than Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan combined. This is a far more realistic approach than the original series' attitude of people content to traverse the cosmos indefinitely. When one of the drunken Viper pilots stumbles upon a satellite that is presumably the famed Voyager (V’ger, anyone?), the path to Earth is clear from a directional standpoint if not a cultural one.
The adoration I had with these moments was directly contradicted when the satellite is presented to Dr. Zee, the child genius that served as Adama’s counsel in the original series. For some reason Zee keeps referring to himself as an old man. Basically on a ship where people are starving and suckling their infants in rafters, Zee is able to build a device that transplants his mind into the body of a child. Jeez Zee, you can invent the fountain of youth, but you can’t create some drywall so people can have some privacy? Despite my sarcasm I would have been fine with this ret-con if it had been spelled out in the story, but instead I had to traverse interviews and wiki entries to explain this new turn for Zee. Perhaps if any non-Galactica fans pick up the book they might just roll with this little bastard calling himself an old man. This book was clearly created for Galactica zealots, though; making us work for information outside of the story is not a good sign.
Unlike the original “series,” Adama ignores Zee’s forewarnings about our barbarous nature. Instead of watching Earth from afar and slowly acclimating our small minds to the concept of alien life, Adama makes one of the worst tactical decisions in history by flying the flagship of his fleet right at the White House. I was actually OK with this concept; it’s the traditional pessimist versus optimist. Adama sees the golden record aboard Voyager at face value as the earliest form of eVite. Zee however actually researches radio transmissions to uncover the powder keg political climate of the 1980s on Earth. Zee of course is right, but Adama’s choice makes for a much better story.
However, what I can’t abide or even tolerate was how sloppy the interactions in the White House were handled. First off, whoever is President holds absolutely no resemblance to Jimmy Carter; he really looked more like the love child of George Dubya and Uncle Arthur from “Bewitched”. This was a true opportunity to invoke nostalgia without getting trapped in the mire of clichéd sayings of the time period. Also, one of the Generals calls the President sire. I know I was just a wee one in the early 80s, but I sincerely doubt this is the vernacular of the time. Finally the President asks for the missile codes to blow Galactica out of the sky, except we never see any missiles. I’ve watched enough 80s movies to know that whenever the President calls for the codes, we’re talking nukes folks. Would he really fire nukes at a vessel one mile above the White House? Neh, I’m not buying it.
Razek does a phenomenal job rendering the characters and scenes (with the exception of the aforementioned Jimmy Carter — but I’m seriously wondering if this was an editorial or plot choice). I recognized Lorne Greene’s Alpo hocking mug immediately along with Brady Cousin Oliver Zee. I probably would have recognized the other characters as well if any had worked before or after GALACTICA 1980.
This is a great concept with a few missteps in execution that could be easily rectified in later issues. There’s a fine line between kitsch and nostalgia, but if you are going to write a period piece you need to find that line and respect it. It really feels like Guggenheim is still just trying to find the line in this initial outing and was too focused on bringing an edge to the powder puff Sci-Fi “classic.”
In the final analysis, if you are merely a fan of the Sci-Fi genre step away from this book. There’s way too much backstory within the Galactica mythology to enjoy this book in a vacuum. If you are a fan of the new Galactica, stay away from this book; basically you will only recognize the Vipers. For those of you though with a fond remembrance of this niche within a niche period of Galactica history, strap in for the ride. Hopefully we will see at least one flying motorcycle and perhaps a valley girl before all is said and done.
When Optimous Douche isn’t reading comics and misspelling the names of 80’s icons, he “transforms” into a corporate communications guru. "What if the whole world had superpowers? Find out in the pages of Optimous’ original book AVERAGE JOE. Read the first full issue on Optimous’ New Blog and see original sketches by fellow @$$hole Bottleimp. If you are a publisher or can help these guys get AVERAGE JOE up, up, and on the shelves in any way, drop Optimous a line."


Writer: Phil Hester Artist: Daniel Sampere Publisher: Harris Comics Reviewer: Prof. Challenger

Ok. I picked up the first issue to check it out. Looked like my shop basically ordered 4 copies of the first issue--one each of the four different covers available. They had one by someone I've never heard of named Ryan Stegman, one by the late Jose Gonzalez, one by Joe Jusko, and one by Arthur Suydam. I chose the Suydam cover ‘cause it was the best.
Writing is ok, but the art was sub par unfortunately. Not awful, but...inconsistent in quality, I guess. Who would'a ever thunk that about a VAMPIRELLA comic? But the bottom line is that Vampi has been killed apparently and now sort of exists as a myth or legend among the people and the video of her getting killed is considered a viral marketing type of thing. But the truth turns out that Vampi's "spirit" or "soul" or whatever is inhabiting those who she has "kissed" (bitten but not killed) and this black chick is the first to "become" Vampi at the end of the issue. The coolest part of the change into Vampi was her slicing her own neck and the costume forming on her naked body from the blood flowing out of her neck.
Not bad and only $1.99.


Writer: Gregg Hurwitz Artist: Jerome Opena Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

Marvel’s “negative exposure Batman” has returned, apparently, and he’s got a bone to pick with Norman Osborn. I am not really sure what happened in Moonie’s last ongoing towards the end of that series; I have to admit that I lost my interest in the book almost a year into the Charlie Huston run. Apparently a lot has gone down in the life of Marc Spector, not the least of which includes going on the run from Osborn who made him a scapegoat and framed him for murder, faking his death, and doing his best to hold back his more homicidal vigilante tendencies (thank you recap page!). And with all that behind him and a fresh new motivation in his life, the Moon Knight has returned, and so have I because, well, I’m a complete sucker for Jerome Opena’s art. Funny how that works.
If there’s any knock I will make against this opening issue, it is that it felt a little familiar. A vigilante with a murderous past, a mad on for Norman Osborn, a Sentry appearance, and glorious Jerome Opena art? Feels like a year ago when the new PUNISHER book came out. Obviously though, the approach is different here. Instead of an assassination attempt on the head honcho, this return to the Marvel U of the Avatar of the Moon and Vengeance makes a different kind of statement: that he’s back to break the rules but change something about his personal ones. No more of the excessive bloodshed that was rampant in the last volume; Moonie is back to fight crime and make Osborn look foolish with as little crimson as he can muster, for the sake of himself and his humanity.
Combine those elements of Marc Spector fighting with his psyche and some badassed action sequences and, once again, gorgeous art, and you have yourself a pretty solid first issue. Hurwitz is already teasing some great internal conflict inside the skull of Spector to go along with the war he’s about to wage on Osborn. As interesting as the latter should be though, I am of course hoping the book is more about the former, mainly because I am kind of tired of Osborn being the standard foil in the Marvel Universe right now, and honestly because I hope he isn’t in the limelight much further. I would hate to see this book setting up eight issues or whatever of Moon Knight going after the corn-rowed one just to have him be pulled out of power in the blink of an “eye” (i.e. event) by editorial.
And lastly, I am curious to see where this conflict with Sentry goes. I assume there will be a lot of running and misdirection on the part of Moon Knight to survive, ala the Frank Castle confrontation with the Golden Haired One, but given Moon Knight’s past this could be a different sort of battle. The most powerful Earth-bound hero he may be, but the Sentry we all know is a bit, uhm, “fuxored” in the head, and if there’s any bigger head case of a hero to match him than Moon Knight, I am at a loss to think of one. This battle may end up being way more psychologically based than fisticuffs based, and I’m curious to see how Hurwitz handles it. Really, I am just curious to see where he and Opena take this book in general, which is more thought than I’ve put into the character in years now. At the least that’s an accomplishment in and of itself and I really hope it pans out.
Humphrey Lee has been an avid comic book reader going on fifteen years now and a contributor to Ain't It Cool comics for quite a few as well. In fact, reading comics is about all he does in his free time and where all the money from his day job wages goes to - funding his comic book habit so he can talk about them to you, our loyal readers (lucky you). He's a bit of a social networking whore, so you can find him all over the Interwebs on sites like Twitter, The MySpaces, Facebookand a Blogger Account where he also mostly talks about comics with his free time because he hasn't the slightest semblance of a life. Sad but true, and he gladly encourages you to add, read, and comment as you will.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #8

Writer: Tony Bedard Art: Andy Clarke Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

I was lucky enough to jump onto the R.E.B.E.L.S. bandwagon from the get-go and I believe I told readers to do the same or they would be sorry later. Well, eight issues in and I can safely say that this comic series has been delivering in each and every subsequent issue.
Though this may not be the perfect issue to read as a jumping on spot, it is the perfect example of why this book is the other cosmic comic from DC you should be looking into. While the Lanterns are busy chasing rainbows in their own series, the R.E.B.E.L.S. are keeping busy themselves. Sure Johns and Tomasi are doing a bang up job at telling the outer space adventures of what’s going on in and around Oa. But what a lot of people don’t know is that Bedard is handling the rest of the expansive universe just as masterfully. One of the coolest things about this series is writer Tony Bedard’s handling of the rest of the DC Universe’s aliens via caption box excerpts from a universal travel log. Each issue gives the reader an extensive look at the various alien races that populate the DCU. From the warrior race of the Khunds to the scientific lizard men known as the Psions, Bedard not only understands and distinguishes each race, he also incorporates them in a massive galaxy-wide story.
For the last few issues, those of you who have been fortunate enough to read this series already know that the Starro we thought we knew isn’t the real Starro after all. Actually the real Starro is a helmeted barbarian warlord who commands a horde of starfish with eyes in the middle of them. I know there’s a hokey coolness to the old Starro, but Bedard has made this new incarnation much more deadly and much more of a threat to the entire universe.
More about the scope of this story. This book has a massive cast. From Omega Men who are sometimes allies to Vril Dox’s crusade and sometimes bitter enemies to the scores of alien races who want Dox’s head for themselves, even without counting the ever growing team roster of the R.E.B.E.L.S. themselves, this is a massively populated book. And speaking of Dox and his crew, Bedard has done a fantastic job of introducing new and old characters as teammates as well as tossing out a few red herrings. The final roster is ever changing because you never know who’s going to get fed up with Dox’s shit and take off.
Bedard’s Vril Dox is an amazing character, one of my favorites in that he’s heroic, but arrogant, intelligent, and not necessarily sympathetic. He’s a shade of gray anti-hero if there ever was one. He’s the son of one of Superman’s worst arch-nemeses and the great grandfather of one of the Legion of Super-Heroes’ most powerful members. Dox’s intentions are good, but his actions sometimes don’t seem so much. Dox is one huge @$$hole and you can’t help but love him for it and more times than not, you find yourself rooting for the guy to succeed.
Subplots galore decorate the storyline of R.E.B.E.L.S. Strata is in search of her missing husband and son. Vril’s son has just been found, but where’s R.E.B.E.L.S. founding member Stealth? What happens if Vril loses control of the bestial Tribulus? And what’s up with that creepy little Durlan girl? Yeah, while the Lanterns are busy playing name that color, there’s some real outer space action going on in R.E.B.E.L.S. Plus you’ve got Andy Clarke’s fantastically detailed art decorating each and every page.
In an issue or two, the secret will be out. R.E.B.E.L.S. will be crossing over with BLACKEST NIGHT and folks will see what I’ve been hollering about since the first issue. Put R.E.B.E.L.S. on your pull list now, or you’re going to miss out. I guarantee it.
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.


Script: Evan Dorkin Art: Jill Thompson Published by: Dark Horse Reviewed by: BottleImp

I’ve always loved superhero comics, and I probably always will, but just as man does not live on bread alone, it’s nice to change the reading material up every once in a while. Luckily today’s comic book marketplace showcases a fairly diverse assortment of genres, so if I feel like picking up something in the vein of, say, Lovecraftian horror, or maybe gritty war stories, there’s usually a title out there to scratch that particular itch. Last week as I was perusing the newest issues on the stands, I was suddenly afflicted by an itch that I hadn’t felt in decades: I was jonesing for cute ‘n’ cuddly animals. And lo and behold, I walked out of the shop clutching the prescription for that itch, BEASTS OF BURDEN.
The comic features a loose-knit band of cats and dogs living in the town of Burden Hill who, aside from the usual scratching, crotch-licking and eating their own poop, also protect their town from supernatural evil—sort of like BUFFY, except for the poop thing (unless there was another side to that show that I’m not aware of). “Too cutesy,” you might think, just as I did when I saw the cover of the comic. But upon reading I realized that Dorkin and Thompson are much too smart to fall into the Pit of Cuteness that threatens to envelop any and every treatment of talking dogs.
See, there’s the Disney-style cuteness of Bambi and Thumper and the like, which I never cared for. Too cloying, too saccharine, substituting the forced “awwwww!” for actual emotional connection. BURDEN wisely eschews this trap and goes for the kind of appeal that is more akin to Pixar’s modern animal fables, where the appeal of the characters and their journey draws the audience into the story. This isn’t BAMBI—two of the pets we meet at the beginning of this issue end up being devoured by a giant frog demon; the comic reads more like Disney as filtered though Guillermo Del Toro. There’s real loss, real action, and no artificial sweetener. In fact, one of the most charming elements of Dorkin’s script is that the dogs’ vocabulary includes “ass,” “bastards,” “balls (as in testicles, naturally),” and “mother-humpin’.” Again, not Disney. BURDEN also brings to mind the books I read as a kid that featured vaguely anthropomorphized beasts, most notably George Selden’s A CRICKET IN TIMES SQUARE. Reading another tale of animals joining together to reach their goal gets me right in that warm nostalgia zone.
The story itself wouldn’t be half as entertaining were it not for Thompson’s beautiful watercolors. Her vibrant palette and expert page compositions make the comic a real treat for the eyes, and her renderings of the assorted dogs and cats really showcase each animal’s personality. It’s difficult to draw a dog expressing a human’s emotion without the final effect coming across as too cartoony, but Thompson expertly walks that fine line between realism and caricature. And she paints a pretty mean giant mother-humpin’ frog, too.
BEASTS OF BURDEN definitely will not appeal to everyone, but if you want a break from your regular comic book diet and you’ve got a soft spot for talking dogs, you may want to give this title a try.
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.


Writers: Linda Ly and Raven Gregory Artist: Claudio Sepulveda Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment Reviewer: Matt Adler

This is a collection of the 2-issue LITTLE MERMAID arc from Zenescope’s GRIMM FAIRY TALES series. For those unfamiliar, the series generally presents dark or disturbing twists on classic fairy tales. That’s the case here, as the familiar story of a young mermaid who falls in love with a human prince takes a darker tone (although it should be noted that the original story was not all sweetness and light either).
The story is actually told as two parallel stories, with one taking place in our world, and featuring the recurring character Belinda, a devil-like temptress who uses the fairy tales to lure people in our world down paths of ruin. Here she approaches a woman named Lucy, living in a trailer park with her daughter Sara, who is attending college. Belinda convinces Lucy to pull Sara out of college, dress her up in hooker-ish attire, and turn her out in an effort to lure a sports star into a long-term relationship and get a piece of his fortune. Alongside this, we are given the story of THE LITTLE MERMAID, in the form of a book that Belinda suggests is the key to accomplishing Lucy’s dreams.
The stories don’t turn out well for Sara or the Mermaid, and parallels are drawn between the two; both get involved in ill-advised relationships, and both wind up being betrayed. However, the Mermaid is a little more sympathetic than Sara, because, well, she wasn’t trying to seduce the prince for his money. In the end, we’re given the basic moral lesson “be careful what you wish for”, but it’s Sara who suffers the consequences; we don’t see her mother, who sent her out, getting any punishment. It’s an interesting concept, but I wish it had been tied together a bit tighter in terms of giving the mother more of a reason to listen to Belinda’s plan, and the story’s resolution. The Little Mermaid’s story is very much about sacrifice; Sara’s is about being dumb enough to listen to her mother.
On the art side, Claudio Sepulveda does a great job with the fantasy scenes, drawing some eerily beautiful mermaids, a monstrous sea witch, and an exciting shipwreck. He needs a little work on the human faces, but other than that this is very solid work. Overall, Zenescope is stepping up their game, and it’s evident from this book that all involved are working hard at honing their craft and turning out stories worth reading.


Writer: Ed Brubaker Artist: Bryan Hitch Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: steverodgers

REBORN has gotten off to a slow start. A lot might have been due to the anticipation: you’d expect a Hitch and Brubaker five-issue Captain America event to be a home run. Hitch has kept up his end of the bargain, though; the man can draw, and what he does almost better than anyone else are the giant, hero-packed action scenes. In this issue he treats us to a massive full-scale Kree-Skrull War blow out, with Clint Barton as Goliath; Thor smashing space ships; and Iron Man buzzing about in his classic red and gold armor while dead Skrulls float around in space like junked satellites. It has never looked better.
The story itself has been the speed bump. The big miss-step has been the whole “unstuck in time” bit, which just feels flat and comes off as derivative and plodding. We are treated to Cap flailing about in time—experiencing his greatest hits, if you will—but the problem is we have seen them all before, and Cap being cognizant of being there before does nothing to add to the excitement. Brubaker does a neat trick though, suggesting that when Cap was frozen in ice for however-many years, that his eyes were open and he was conscious the entire time, which is, admittedly, frightening to think about. Brubaker excels at little details like these that make Cap more interesting, and I was reminded of the time Cap said that he was able to avoid bullets because he “sees faster,” which is all it takes to light up the Cap geek in me.
Of the three issues, #3 has been the best, and it seems like we are getting a little momentum going. Cap is laying the groundwork to fix his situation, as we see him having a side chat with Vision to save him in the future. The supporting cast has been the highlight so far, and the plot is starting to hum as they race around trying to find Cap. Bucky, after getting whipped by the Thunderbolts, finds himself in a pickle as he’s tied up and thumped upon by Scourge in the Thunderbolts’ jet until the Falcon swoops in to save the day. We are then treated to one my favorite Marvel clichés, as one of Captain America’s acolytes proudly explains to a bad guy, as he’s beating on him, that he was trained by Captain America. Hawkeye is the worst offender of this, saying countless times as he flips someone upside down, “Captain America himself taught me that!” It’s Falcon’s turn this time. Meanwhile, Sharon Carter becomes the focus of an Osborn-led, worldwide woman hunt for the murderer of Cap, and she tries to figure out if she should turn herself in.
Another highlight is The Red Skull, trapped inside the Kirby-tastic Arnim Zola body, as he watches his plan come to fruition in his evil villain lair; everyone’s favorite “Bonnie and Clyde” Sin and Crossbones arrive and, in a bit of inspired comic book awesomeness, plunk a Red Skull head on the Zola body. It’s madness. There are also some good Namor moments—Brubaker has a great handle on his character, a regal, noble brat who tells Richards, “I wouldn’t take time from my day for you, Richards. I’m here for Captain America.” I am enjoying all the side characters in this story, and Brubaker seems up to the challenge of penning a tale where characters act like themselves within a plot, instead of doing out-of-character things to keep the plot moving. A nitpick, however, is the narration: when each new character or scene is introduced there is a caption that swings back and forth from comedic to dramatic, which seems a little off, considering the story.
All told, I am still on board and starting to think that this comic is due for some highlights over the next two issues. I am a little sad because I could have survived for a few years with Bucky fulfilling his destiny and taking up the Cap mantle, but I am looking forward to Cap going toe-to-toe with the Red Skull one more time, and hopefully to a moment where Bucky and Cap can be reunited as men, a friendship reborn. They’re exactly the two guys the world needs to take down Osborn and all of his tedious Dark friends.


Writer: Doug Murray Art: Fabiano Neves & Paul Renaud Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Reviewer: Mr. Pasty

You know, they almost had it. Dynamite Entertainment almost had a smash hit on their hands with ATHENA #1. That is until they took what started as an intriguing tale of the rebirth of the famed Greek Goddess and quickly turned it into a Hollywood rewrite that is so bad it could almost pass for parody. Almost, because parody is usually funny, but not even a prime Belushi in his Bluto toga could save this putrid pile of disgraced mythology.
I don’t get upset when a book blows its engine on the starting line. That tells me they had an idea and it just didn’t work. But when they rocket out of the gate and then shit themselves on the corner of turn number one, you know there is treachery afoot. ATHENA begins with the Goddess in question discovered naked in modern day Greece, unconscious and abandoned. The local authorities have no positive ID and she is confined to a hospital bed as an amnesiac. She wakes up one night and wanders off, mysteriously drawn to the Parthenon, with a watchful little owl following her every move. And yes, ATHENA flashes her ass under a moonlit sky in a tiny little hospital gown. So far, so good.
Now imagine my surprise when one page later ATHENA is an undercover cop in Manhattan shaking down white-collar criminals and dancing in some of the hottest nightclubs the city has to offer. And how did she get there? A handy little sidebar that reads “Several years later,” or as I like to call it “The Poof! Principle.” The Poof! Principle was created to label those inexplicable moments in comics when things suddenly change, appear or disappear – or are not otherwise explained to the point of satisfaction. After all, why bother with exposition when Poof! things can just change because you have the power to write “Hey, we’re doing this now.” Sorry, but I’m asking for a little more out of my books. Until they start shipping them to me for free, I’m going to want to at least get my money’s worth and since the book only costs $3.50, my expectations aren’t that high.
ATHENA #1 clocks in at about four “Poofs!” when all is said and done. Poof! She appears naked on page one. Poof! She gets shipped to Manhattan after an unidentified narrator gives her secret powers, like the ability to learn English and pass the NYC police exam despite no college degree or verifiable background. Then Poof! she ends up BACK in the hospital (this time in New York) before the final Poof!, when she turns into her previous mythological incarnation.
And if that’s not spasmodic enough for you, there’s a convenient little mini-story at the end of the book that has her Poof! show up at the White House to join President Obama for a local theatre’s production of ANTIGONE (subtle). How do they explain her appearance? Why, a handy little sidebar that reads “Events take place after ATHENA #4!” You know, in case you weren’t confused enough in the poofy premiere issue, here’s a nifty little tale that completely bypasses our next three issues – but hey! You get Obama! However the President doesn’t show up until after the Secret Service has a run-in with an angry Neptune. Not to worry though, because cooler heads eventually prevail and the Sea God has the “Waters of Forgetfulness!” wash over them so that Poof! everyone forgets everything that ever happened.
No, I’m not making this shit up.
I will say that the illustrations in ATHENA are quite pleasing. Like Dynamite’s RED SONJA, there is affection for strong women here, as evidenced by their disposition and attention to detail. It’s unfortunate that ATHENA, with such a good premise, ends up like your typical dumb blonde: Great to look at, but no grain in the silo.
Final word: If you’re into smoking hot amnesiacs that roam the countryside and show their booty, pick up ATHENA #1. Or just buy RED SONJA and get a little story with your ass.
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.


By Motoro Mase Released by Viz Media Reviewer: Scott Green

Note the cover of IKIGAMI. A tormented guy holds up a card bearing a time stamped photograph to his forehead. In the background, a ghostly face screams in anguish. This is IKIGAMI distilled to a single image, its proclivity to hit tragedy on the nose written on the tin. Manga is a medium that trades in expressiveness. Survey the covers of a selection of manga. The majority will feature characters broadcasting some immediately discernable emotion. Consequently, it might not be fair to hold IKIGAMI's obvious pathos against it. The problem is, I don't trust this manga's sincerity.
I don't expect a standard genre manga to truly reflect the sentiments of its creator. As long as period action manga Ruruoni Kenshin offers involving sword-resolved conflicts, I don't care about Nobuhiro Watsuki's analysis of the Meiji Restitution or his thoughts on the moral implications of violence. IKIGAMI presents tragic tales in speculative sociology. It is a social engineering high concept blown out into a manga comprised of one off stories...THE LOTTERY: THE MANGA...A MODEST PROPOSAL: THE join two very obvious comparisons, BATTLE ROYALE meets 1984.
This is territory that I'd hope was populated by works that genuinely had something to say. Yet, two volumes in, I'm not convinced that IKIGAMI, is putting much thought behind the handwringing.
IKIGAMI is set in an alternative version of present Japan in which, during their school admission immunizations shots, one in 1,000 children is injected with a nanocapsule that will kill the recipient at a predetermined time between the ages of 18 and 24. The "Ikigami" of the title is the label for the people whose macabre role is to deliver a message to alert the doomed that they will die within 24 hours. This involved process, known as The National Welfare Act, aims to have every citizen growing up wondering if, and when, they will die. In theory, the existential uncertainty reinforces the citizens’ value for life and, following from that, increases social productivity.
Those unconvinced of the merits of the Social Welfare Act are labeled "social miscreants," send to re-education camps, and, if still opposed, injected with lethal nanocapsules.
The character contemplatively frowning on the cover is Fujimoto, a young man employed as an ikigami. The volume opens with Fujimoto's girlfriend confronting him about his work as they sit in a cafe. "It's not like in itself is wrong...I mean your work is essential to our country...but...I never know when you are going to be called in...and after a delivery, you want to talk...I can't live with that."
"You can't understand?! I crush someone's life...and then I don't feel talkative?!!"
"That's what I'm saying! You end up crushing me too!!"
Whereupon Fujimoto, perhaps not too sensibly, admonishes his girlfriend, mentioning that she could be called out as a social miscreant, reminding her that it is the duty of all citizens to inform on thought criminals. Having this conversation in public may not have been advisable, as the people nearby mutter "pss, a social miscreant? her? Is she crazy?"
As in the previous volume, Fujimoto proves to be the bridge for two distinct stories of death notice recipients: "The Pure Love Drug" - concerning the put upon (and physically and emotionally abused) girlfriend of a driven, drug addicted would-be director, and "The Night He Left for War" about a nursing home attendant and his relationship with an elderly woman who'd given up on life.
While the focus of the volume is this pair of stories, IKIGAMI also continues to carve out a path for Fujimoto's metastory. Reputedly, the drug taken by the would-be director can extend the life of someone whose heart stopped for an hour. "By the way, I've heard these pills can prolong your that true?" Whereupon the (foreign looking) dealer proceeds to explains exactly how the supposed life extension works. It'd be shocking if that never factored into a further development in the manga.
IKIGAMI ran in the anthology BIG COMIC SPIRITS, home to CRYING FREEMAN, MAISON IKKOKU, and UZUMAKI. It isn't for an audience that is particularly young. Hence the "Explicit Content" warning label, which is in no way needed for this volume. Given the age of its audience, the manga's directness is aggravating. Painting a direly objectionable picture of the Social Welfare action, then demonstrating its beneficial results, the manga is achieving emotional confusion. However, chasing that effect is not the same as fostering intellectual ambiguity. With large panels framing faces that are weeping, dismayed or driven, the emotional signposts erected along the stories are unmistakable. To the same result, nothing of consequence is left unaddressed by the dialog and captions. IKIGAMI will raise provocative issues, such as drug use, physical abuse or even sacrifice paralleling service in World War II. Then, it will jump to directly mapping those complicated issues onto concrete elements of the story in which they're raised, with little time or space left for consideration.
That explicitness discourages reading more from the stories than the emotional impact. Nor does the manga seem concerned with more than that sorrow or bittersweet sting. Beyond the meta-unease, the Social Welfare Act conceit seems to serve little more than as reason for the lives of 18-24 year olds to be conclusively resolved. Other than Fujimoto who dwells with it day to day, the lives of the subjects seem not to be impacted before the arrival of the death notice. For example, "The Pure Love Drug" gives a reason why the character is manically set on becoming a director which has nothing to do with the premise of IKIGAMI, with little evidence the he considered the defining differences in his speculative alt-society before they directly intruded into his life via his girlfriend's death sentence.
Scott Green has been writing for AICN ANIME for over eight years. If you like what you see here and love anime & manga, be sure to check out his latest AICN ANIME column every week on AICN.

Bug again. Here’s a dollop of indies for those indie interested. Don’t worry, we’ve got cheapies below them, but take a second to read about something new and fresh before you start scrolling.


Man, this is one dread-filled issue of VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS. Occasionally these one shot original stories that either feature Vincent Price or are hosted by his comic book personality are more on the light and comically ironic in the vein of TALES FROM THE CRYPT. But this book by written by Daniel BARTHOLOMEW OF THE SCISSORS Crosier and Zachary Meyer and drawn by Crosier is as dark as it comes. Dealing with a woman who is plagued by what at first seems like bad decisions and then later by a curse, this horror story doesn’t pull punches and after pummeling you with one moment of dread after another, ends with a full blown kick in the nuts death blow on the final page. Good reading for those who like their horror full of dread.

TUMOR Chapter 4 Archaia - Available on Amazon Kindle every other week

This hard edged detective story reminiscent of D.O.A. and MEMENTO is getting better from one chapter to the next. Joshua Hale Fialkov writes a tragic tale of a man who is slowly losing his mind. Diagnosed with an inoperable tumor pressing against his brain, Frank Armstrong's mind is fragmenting. One second he's in the present working on a case and the next he's in the past holding a woman he knows he lost long ago. To make matters worse, there's a dame (of course there's a dame) that looks a lot like Frank's old flame in the middle of this case. Frank is completely confused and losing control of his mind and body, but determined to solve this last case before the tumor in his head overcomes him. In this fourth chapter, we find out that Frank also feels no pain. When he realizes he's broken his leg (he did so in the last chapter in a daring escape from his hospital room), he looks at it with sort of a fascination, in an "oh what's this" sort of way rather than shock. Fialkov is churning out one great mystery yarn, but also an amazing character study. You really feel sympathetic to Frank as he is stumbling along trying to keep things together in his head. Fialkov paces this story perfectly, flipping reality on its ear just when you're getting invested in the story at play and the scratchy images by Noel Tuazon become more engaging as the chapters whiz by. His depictions of Frank's worried brow speak volumes. This is a heartbreaking tale that can't end well, but I'm still rootin' for Frank to solve the case. TUMOR is available on Amazon Kindle for download.

TOM CORBETT: SPACE CADET #1 Bluewater Comics

It’s mystery and action of the highest caliber in this original offering from Bluewater Comics, usually noted for their licensed and political biography books. It’s good to see this original story by writer Bill Spangler and artist John Dacosta. Part Buck Rogers, part Adam Strange, this is a fun sci fi book. Dacosta’s art is reminiscent of the style of Disney’s HERCULES movie, angular and bold. The story opens with a mystery and only a few of the questions are answered in this first issue. If sci fi is your addiction, this TOM CORBETT: SPACE CADET is a good fix.

X-FACTOR #48 Marvel Comics

What more can I say about this title that hasn’t already been said month after month? Peter David continues to weave his time-spanning mystery while still keeping the action and humor running neck-and-neck. The present-day X-Factor team’s battle with the mind-controlling Cortex takes a creepy spin with this issue’s reveal of Cortex’s identity, while in the future Cyclops is revealed to still be a humorless dick, which leads the senile Doctor Doom to show that he still has moments of ass-kicking clarity. DeLandro’s art, as usual, is a wonderful match for the writing in its clarity and efficiency. If I have any complaint, it’s that this present/future storyline is starting to feel like it’s been going on too long—but seeing as how every issue continues to be entertaining, I guess consistent quality trumps my impatience. - Imp


Although I still demand to see more personality out of Katana and Halo from Tomasi, this issue of OUTSIDERS, focusing on Geo-Force and Metamorpho's battle with Clayface, was a lot of fun. Clayface is abducting miners to find the explosive device Black Mask implanted in his body when he broke him out of Arkham. Yes this is just plain goofy. Why couldn't Clayface just sift himself through a screen fence or something to strain the bomb out of him? But then we wouldn't get a fun scene with Geo-Force droppin’ geology like Galileo dropped his testicles and a cool fight scene featuring Metamorpho blending himself into Clayface. So I guess you have to take the good with the implausible sometimes. Seems next issue is going to focus on Katana, Creeper, and Halo fighting Killer Croc who now for some reason has the ability to regenerate limbs. It's pretty low concept action, but for what it's worth, OUTSIDERS is kind of fun. I am just rooting for this book to aim a bit higher than having the team be Batman's scrub team. - Bug

M.O.D.O.K.: REIGN DELAY #1 Marvel Comics

A damn fun issue, this one was. Ryan Dunlavey isn't a name I recognize, but I'll look for his stuff now. Just as heroes like Hellcat and Captain Justice got no respect and were sent out to desolate areas during the Initiative, the lamer villains are getting the same short end of the stick with Dark Reign. From the very first page, this book had me rolling as M.O.D.O.K. leaves voice message after voice message to Norman Osborn like a desperate stalker trying to find out his new assignment in the new regime. Finally Osborn caves and sends the big headed baddie to Eerie, Indiana to wreak havoc. Much fun at the expense of M.O.D.O.K.’s voluminous noggin is had in this issue. It’s drawn appropriately cartoony by the author. M.O.D.O.K. is one of those goofy villains that begs to be made fun of and it's done so perfectly here. My fear, though, is that after reading stories like this and M.O.D.O.K.'s comical treatment in M.O.D.O.K.'S 11 and the last HOWARD THE DUCK miniseries, I'll never be able to read a story with the mongoloidal malfeasant again without chuckling. - Bug

THE WALKING DEAD #65 Image Comics

See, issues like this is the reason why it pays to stick with a book even through the rough spots. Yes, the book dragged @$$ through the prison chapters, but now that Rick and his crew are again on the run, each issue gets better and better. And the best thing about this book, and it's completely evident in this issue, is that the characters are actually evolving as the story goes on. Place this arc any sooner in the series and I think the outcome would have been completely different. Rick and Co. would have been hiding under their beds if they knew a group of cannibalistic survivors were hunting them. But when faced with this challenge now in this story, after all that has happened, Rick and his group of survivors just say, "Aww, hell naw!" in their best Will Smith voices and take the fight to the marrow sucking bastards. I loved this issue. The standoff at the end of this book is as tense as it comes and I can't wait to see the survivors serve up a little payback to the cannibals next issue. - Bug

DARK AVENGERS #9 Marvel Comics

So Nick Fury's been training Ares' kid for the last few months to serve in his Secret Warriors. And Ares and the rest of Norman's Avengers have been searching for Nick Fury for twice as long. And on the cover of this book, we see Ares pouncing down on Nick Fury with his battle axe. So you'd think this would be a foot meets rump battle royale with cheese issue, right? Did you forget this issue was written by Bendis? Of course there's no foot meets rump battle royale with cheese, silly gosling. Bendis likes his conflicts of the talkity variety. And the thing is, to be honest, for a while having the heroes battle with words and cleverly written near-miss-violent scenes was kind of refreshing to see. The thing is, with Bendis, that's all you get. Here, when Ares (Mr. Chop-Heads-Off-And-Ask-Questions-Later-God-of-War) catches up with his son under the tutelage of Fury, he doesn’t go ape-shit. Nope. Ares chokes back a tear because he comes to the realization that he doesn't understand his son. There was a time when a good imbroglio between two warriors could be counted on in pretty much every issue. Nowadays, that type of stuff is saved for a $5.99 special. This issue is a thinly veiled episode of Dr. Phil promising us on the cover that it’s going to be some WALKER TEXAS RANGER shit. - Bug

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

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Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Sept. 23, 2009, 10:30 a.m. CST

    by V. von Doom

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Galactica 1980?!?!

    by HarryCalder


  • Sept. 23, 2009, 10:31 a.m. CST

    And Yes, DOOM Is FIRST AGAIN, Peasants!

    by V. von Doom

    My ass-kicking clarity rules ...

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 10:31 a.m. CST

    And Vamps, The Second Coming?!?!

    by HarryCalder my pants?!?!? Yeah!!

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Latverian Medal of Honor for "Superman: Secret Origin", Says DOO

    by V. von Doom

    Every 10-15 years we get a retelling of Superman's origin -- and this is A Good Thing. Each era gets a chance to keep the good and shovel out the old.<p>DOOM will provide his favorite example, using John Byrne's 1980's version for comparison. This was a solid job for the time he was working at DC and fulfilled his "mission statement" (remove the god-like aspects, back to basics). Plenty of small details grated (his portrayal of Lois Lane as "office bitch", for example) but the large details worked.<p>BUT: For a Legion of Super-Heroes groupie like DOOM, eviscerating the LSH out of Superman's life was like removing a major organ. And look what that did to the Legion ... almost 20 years of reboot after reboot.<p>And lo and behold, 20+ years later, Geoff Johns does the right thing, puts the LSH back, and not only makes it an important part of young Clark's life history, his Legion membership is shown to be one of the keys to his heroic personality, that made him the man he became. HE needed the friends and peers as much as THEY needed him.<p>DOOM will brook no denials, Talkbackers! What major/minor detail are you happy to see in The Origin again, and which one would you rather lose? (And no, Jimmy Olsen doesn't count; Grant Morrison made him work in All-Star Superman ...)

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Disagree strongly with review for BN #3

    by Sailor Rip

    Two paragraphs on what are and are not emotions. You complain that the characters, in such an emotion based story, aren't really bearing their feelings on what it's like to see their dead friends trying to kill them? They're too fucking busy trying to fight these things and not end up as Black lanterns themselves. <p> Maybe next issue they'll find a safe cozy spot, brew some herbal tea, and discuss their feelings. <p> And if you did not get any emotion about the slow death of Gen and Jason's heartbreaking reaction to it you either weren't paying attention or (and this is fine) don't care enough about these certain characters to feel anything about their death and loss.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Ultimate Alliance 2?

    by Series7

    Anyone played it yet?

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Moon Knight super strength...???

    by manofsteel71

    I thought I remembered back in the 80's maybe early 90's that Moon Knight had super strength and got stronger when the moon was full...???...what the hell happened to that...??

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 10:54 a.m. CST

    And DOOM Disagrees More with the BSG 1980 Review!

    by V. von Doom

    I remember it well: DOOM and Younger Brother DOOM sat in the TV room, thinking, "How completely cornball can you get?!"<p>You cannot save "Galactica 1980" because there was nothing left to save. Not even nostalgia.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 10:54 a.m. CST


    by Sailor Rip explained this issue turning off your emotions and remaining in control of your feelings is needed so the Black Lanterns can't track you.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 10:55 a.m. CST

    I agree with Sailor

    by tombseye

    Blackest Night works for me. I mean sure the emotions aren't exact, but we're talking about people and aliens with rings that give them powers so who cares about exactitude here? What's cool is that there has been a good sense of tension in this series so far. Thus far, I've liked reading both Marvel's Dark Reign and Blackest Night.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Galactica 1980?!

    by tombseye

    Die, die, die! Seriously, what is this nostalgia for a sub-par series when we had the amazing Ron Moore re-imagined Battlestar Galactica? I mean talk of making a movie based on the old series makes me think that Hollywood is truly inept and devoid of ideas. BSG was one of the best shows ever made and I, for one, want to see the old series die!

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:04 a.m. CST


    by manofsteel71

    Got a chance to play it briefly far so good...eagerly waiting for the chance to play as Deadpool.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Blackest Night

    by Mr.FTW

    I really enjoyed BN #3 and I agree with the other TBer that the ending with Gen's death had a ton of emotion to it. Granted I can understand people wanting to get more reaction out of bigger name characters but that's what BN: Batman, BN: Superman, BN: Titans is for. Jonhs can only cram somuch into the main event books themselves.<p> Also, people keep mentioning how the Black Lanterns are powering up their rings, after this lasest issue and the fact the rings only go up small percentages I'm inclinded to believe the rings are collecting power for the black power battery to bring Necron back to life and not powering up themselves. Maybe that's self evident and I'm just now catching on.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:15 a.m. CST


    by V. von Doom

    Moon Knight has been through so many retroactive changes that DOOM is amazed you remembered this: In his original appearances, Moon Knight's strength was dependent on the moon's phases.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:25 a.m. CST


    by Series7

    What system? I have a Wii and I heard it sucks for Wii.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:25 a.m. CST

    FYI, the guy who played Apollo in the original series

    by Lolthien

    Played in the new series of Battlestar Galactica as well, he played a second tier character called Tom Zarek. Just FYI. The wife and I are going through the BSG dvds now, so it's fresh in my mind.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:25 a.m. CST


    by optimous_douche

    I had to give it a try and I like I said in the reveiew it played with some nice new dark undertones.<p> I was the world's biggest fan of the new BSG...until the last episode. It was clear Moore didn't have a clue how to cloe out the damn thing (Starbuck an angel — c'mon).<p> i won't fault the choice to go back to early earth, but I will fault the mess with the second earth that birthed the final 5.<p> The recent comic taking place in 1980 could go places if they clean up some of the particulars.<p> As I said, this is truly a niche within a niche. I guess if you own the property you'll bleed out every last dime.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Regarding the Captain America review

    by DatoMan413

    Gotta correct the reviewer on one point: The body that the Red Skull's essence resides was not a creation of MODOK (who is in turn a creation of AIM) but was created by Arnim Zola (

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Just read my comment, so I'll say it...

    by DatoMan413


  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Blackest Night

    by MattAdler

    It's cool that you guys disagree with my review; Blackest Night wouldn't be selling a ton of copies if there weren't a lot of people digging it. <p> <p> <p> To address a couple of the points made here; I think it's the writer's job to MAKE the reader care about the characters; it shouldn't matter if I've never read an issue of Firestorm before. I did think that was one of the stronger scenes in the book, but it wasn't enough to make up for the "business as usual" attitude that the rest of the heroes were projecting. I also don't buy the "they were holding back their emotions" excuse; the Black rings were clearly picking up emotion from them, it just wasn't coming across effectively in their dialogue or behavior. <p> <p> <p> As for the complaint about me spending two paragraphs breaking down the emotional basis for each Corps; believe me, I wish I didn't have to. But unfortunately, that's what this whole freakin' event is about. And that's the problem, in my opinion. It gets so bogged down in the trivial details of how Black rings work, and how the emotions charge the battery, etc, etc, etc, that fans of it are actually saying "Forget about what the characters are feeling! Just focus on the explosions!" Me, I want more out of my comics. But I realize others may feel differently.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:31 a.m. CST


    by manofsteel71

    I wished they would go back to that story line...that Moon Knight kicked ass...I remembered the stories were more interesting because he had to approach situations differently based on how full the moon was.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:33 a.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    Good catch! Thank you for the correction.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:35 a.m. CST


    by manofsteel71

    PS3...I haven't gotten that far into it yet but I'm interested to see how the Civil War story line plays out...haven't talked to anybody that's played the Wii version.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:37 a.m. CST


    by DatoMan413

    No problem, my man.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:45 a.m. CST


    by JamesT

    An AICN article without any "insightful" political rant. Thanks guys!

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Blackest Night

    by Laserhead

    Individual characterizations galore in all the satellite series. This is the central book, and, like it or not, it DOES have to accomplish a massive amount of coordination between a shitload of characters and storylines. It HAS to take a 'big picture' approach. Seems like the criticism is aimed at what the reader wants the book to be, not what the book is meant to be. Like me picking up a Taylor Swift album and criticizing it because it's not hard rock. That said, I disagree with the review, simply because I think there's lots of characterization in the main Blackest Night book.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:49 a.m. CST

    The Sinestro Corps is the odd one out

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Red Lanterns feel rage, Orange fell avaricious (which I don't think is a word), Green have willpower, Blues feel hope, Indigo compassion and Violet love. The corps that seems the odd one out to me is Sinestro/Yellow/Mongul Corps. They represent fear, but instead of feeling afraid, they inflict fear. That said, I think Blackest Night is pretty kick ass. I hope next issue there's more stuff between the different Corps in space. I'm getting a bit bored with Hal Jordan mooching about with his JLA buddies on Earth. I want EPIC SPACE BATTLES!

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:53 a.m. CST


    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    ... is of course a word. I'm not sure what I was banging on about before. All those different coloured lanterns have given me a headache.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:53 a.m. CST

    What Blackest Night Is Meant To Be

    by MattAdler

    "Seems like the criticism is aimed at what the reader wants the book to be, not what the book is meant to be." <p> <p> <p> I guess it depends on what you think the book was meant to be. If you think it's meant to be only for hardcore DC fans who will pick up every tie-in miniseries, then I guess yeah, I wanted something other than that. But I'm not sure Johns or DC would admit to intending to make that kind of book, while Taylor Swift would probably pretty readily admit that she's not hard rock. Besides, everyone knows Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:54 a.m. CST


    by Mr.FTW

    Why do they keep making these comics, is there really that big of a market for vapid cheesecake t&a? I know that's a dumb question but really who likes that stuff?

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:59 a.m. CST

    I don't think it's meant to be that kind of book

    by Laserhead

    It's meant to be a series that tells a story on a massive scale that includes the entire DC universe, with the expectation that the story is entertaining and enthralling. On that note, it succeeds brilliantly, and no one needs to know all of DC lore or pick up the satellite series to have that experience.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:59 a.m. CST


    by LastOfTheV8Interceptors

    I really tried to get into the Harris comics, but I just can't. I grew up on the Warren stuff so I guess I'm just used to higher standards. Gonzalez was the master of all things Vampi (and Frazetta of course.)... but Dark Horse or somebody needs to buy that property from them so they can give it the nice archive treatment that Creepy and Eerie are getting.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Moon Knight's Super strength

    by Joenathan

    There was an issue of West Coast Avengers were the WCA was captured by some out-of-nowhere Alien race who wanted to test Earth's defenders to see if it was wise to invade of not. So, they took the WCA to this space rock/platform and one at a time, held Gladiator contests with each Avenger vs. a robot... a LEARNING robot (those clever alien bastards), well what the Aliens didn't count on was that each Avenger had a specific skill: Hawkeye had his bow. Tigra had claws. Iron Man had Repulsors. Mockingbird had... uh... staves. Hank Pym had an shrunken chainsaw in his pocket, I think. But what about Moon Knight. Throwing Stars? Whatever! Plus, being the last Avenger tested, ol' Moonie was up against a pretty tough robotic cookie, but then... the space platform was SURROUNDED by Moons! Needless to say, Moon Knight beefed up and beat the unholy shit out of that robot and we never heard from those aliens again... Thank you, West Coast Avengers. Thank you.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Also, Matt

    by Laserhead

    The amount of exposition on how much the distribution of the corps irks you seems to reflect that you're against the very idea behind Blackest Night (I agree, semantically; all they had to do was NOT label it 'the emotional spectrum', but, I don't know, the 'spectrum of sentient qualities' or something). Anyhow, why would you review a book whose fundamental premise you're just not on board with?

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:01 p.m. CST


    by steverodgers

    When they got back to LA Hawkeye threw a big BBQ for everyone and they had a good laugh at those dumb ass aliens. Surround Moon Knight with moons... rookie mistake.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:03 p.m. CST

    when's the next ring available

    by Meadowe

    Yeah call me Shallow, I only care for the free rings. And I know the blue ring for hope is coming in January 2010 with Adventure Comics 4, but I forgot about the other ones. Anyone have a list of which colors come out when?

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:06 p.m. CST

    I got a Wolverine question

    by rev_skarekroe

    I was thumbing through an issue of at the grocery store today, and Wolverine Jr. is in it. And he's mouthing off to people, and somehow he gets all blown up (like I said, I was just thumbing through). Later he shows up in a hospital bed recovering, and Dark Ms. Marvel says they had to scrape him off the walls. So my question is this: does he have to get those tattoos reapplied every time he grows back skin, or does the tattoo ink somehow grow back too?<p>I'm expecting a No-Prize quality answer here, people!

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:08 p.m. CST

    The best part

    by Joenathan

    Moon Knight's patron God had to show up like: "Ah... dude... moons everywhere? MOON Knight? Come on."<br><br>Afterwards, yes, I believe there was a BBQ. I was thinking about it last night and I think the reason Clint is so mad is actually due to his having lost all his bbq aprons while he was dead.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:08 p.m. CST


    by manofsteel71

    That was a sweet ass story...bring back that Moon Knight..!!

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Kayne West said...

    by Sailor Rip

    "George Bush doesn't care about Black Lanterns." <p> Yep, I totally stole that from another comic site.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Its not a tattoo

    by Joenathan

    its a birthmark

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:12 p.m. CST


    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    He's a professional tattoo artist and has to keep doing them again himself. That's my best guess. I'd also like to know why Wolverine and Daken always regrow the same hairstyles.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:12 p.m. CST

    It's a GENETIC tattoo

    by Laserhead

    that uses bootleg Shi'ar technology and grafts the pigment to an individuals DNA. He got it during a three-month weekend in Bangkok.<p>No Prize!

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Blackest Night's premise

    by MattAdler

    "Anyhow, why would you review a book whose fundamental premise you're just not on board with?" <p> <p> <p> Well, I have problems with the details of the premise, but there are ways around that; chiefly, to make the series not rest so heavily on those details. In abstract, I think the idea of an emotional spectrum, and warring groups represented by each of those emotions having to come together to face a threat to all of them is actually a great, compelling idea. I just think this series got so bogged down in the mechanics of it, that the execution doesn't work. The way to do it, I think, was silently acknowledge that there are problems with the mechanics, and rather than go out of your way to explain every last detail (I give Johns an A for effort there), just focus on how the situation affects the characters. That adds some context/relevance for all the punching and blasting. So I certainly COULD have enjoyed it... but the way it's being executed just doesn't do it for me.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:14 p.m. CST


    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    I like your guess a lot better than mine. I want a Shi-ar tatoo too!

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:18 p.m. CST

    In that case, Matt

    by Laserhead

    I'm really, really, really glad that Johns did not write the comic you seem to want.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:20 p.m. CST

    The blackest night

    by Series7

    Are they done with the rings flying in from outer space all the time now? <P> Its like the scenes from Independence day with all the ships hoovering in on major cities, just OVER and OVER and OVER again.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:21 p.m. CST

    Optimus regarding BSG ending

    by tombseye

    I agree. The final ep. had a great start with the destruction of the cylons led by Cavil, but ended badly with Starbuck being an apparition. Of all the loose threads, that was one I was looking the most forward to seeing explained. Ron Moore really let a lot us down with that contrived ending. Still, I'd rather watch that episode in a perpetual loop as opposed to a new Battlestar movie that remakes the original.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Walking Dead

    by Joenathan

    I also really liked how this book turned out. The proactive stance was nice, for a change. Although, I did find some of the dialogue a little "speechy" here, but then, Kirkman has that tendency, so no big surprise.<Br><br> Does anyone else find it strange that after all this time the Survivors walk around with so much exposed skin? I mean, the surprise bite has been responsible for the deaths of at least half of the total group... Come on, people, how about a jacket or two?

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:25 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    Somewhere after they escaped New Caprica, I begin to notice a sudden, steady, and marked lack of interest on my part with each successive episode. I started to get the feeling that the creators let their mainstream praise go a little too much to their heads and started to feel like they were too good for the robot fights and action bits (Caprica, anyone?). I still haven't finished the fourth season. I start to yawn just thinking about it...

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Did anyone gett a copy of

    by Series7

    the second issue of Last Resort?

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:28 p.m. CST

    On the other hand...

    by Joenathan

    I liked the way Dark Avengers played out. It showcased exactly how it is Fury has not only survived for so long in a world of Gods and Monsters, but thrived and that is by knowing when to fight, when to talk, when to run, and when to hide. Plus, the fact that Ares didn't go berserk went along ways toward redeeming him after making him so gung-ho for Norm.<br><br>I am really enjoying the shadowed alley superhero world of the current Thunderbolts and Secret Warriors. Fun stuff.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Good answer, Laserhead

    by rev_skarekroe

    You win! Excelsior!

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:42 p.m. CST

    Ring list:

    by Sailor Rip

    JLA #39 Red Doom Patrol #4 Yellow Booster Gold #26 Orange Blackest Night #5 Green Adventure Comics #4 Blue Rebels #10 Indigo Outsiders #24 Violet

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:53 p.m. CST

    How big are those free rings?

    by Joenathan

    I imagine they'd have to come in a pretty large size, in order to be worn? Are they metal? That would totally make my day if some Comic Book Guy out there had them all re-sized.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 1:04 p.m. CST


    by Sailor Rip

    I hear they're large enough to fit on an average man's ring finger. Don't know what they're made off, don't have any, looks like plastic.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Well I weigh

    by Series7

    Over 300 pounds and have a special keyboard with bigger keys for my fingers. But I consider myself about average when it comes to other people at the comic shop. But sucks for them, they are all on wheel chairs I can still move with just a cain! Would they fit me?

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 1:10 p.m. CST


    by manofsteel71

    I got one with the first was plastic (dammit)...I thought it was gonna be bagged and sealed together but it came seperate.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 1:23 p.m. CST


    by optimous_douche

    I'm willing to give the movie a shot. I try not to shit on naything until I've actually absorbed the material.<p> For me thhe last iteration of battlestar lost steam when they found the first decimated "earth."<p> C'mon even the same continent structure as our earth -- neh, not buying it.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 1:42 p.m. CST


    by Sailor Rip

    Well, I'm hearing if you collect all 8 rings they will form one HUGE ring that sgould fit the finger off the average comic fan.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 1:46 p.m. CST


    by we_pray_for_mad_skillz

    It would've taken you about 30 seconds to type "compassion" into google and click the wikipedia link, where you would have seen that the very first sentence is: "Compassion is a human emotion prompted by the pain of others." <p> Then you could have cut some of the schwag out of your review. But if the @$$holes actually knew what they were talking about then they wouldn't be the @$$holes, would they? It's part of their charm.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Actually, the only one that isn't an emotion

    by Laserhead

    is Will. The rest, in fact, are emotional states. Yes, even greed.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 1:57 p.m. CST

    The big question is...

    by Joenathan

    How do you make a giant compassionate boxing glove? In Johns, we trust.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Can anyone make Moon Knight

    by Laserhead

    anything but a cool costume?<p>...Anybody?<p>For some reason, my favorite Moon Knight might be the Universe X one, the undead Marc Spector with aviator pants and mummy wrappings.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 2:30 p.m. CST


    by Sailor Rip

    The Indigo, like the Blue Lanterns, I believe might need the Will of a Green Lantern with them to form constructs.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 2:55 p.m. CST


    by Mr.FTW

    It's been far too long since there has been a Joenathan boxing glove comment!

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 3 p.m. CST

    Blackest Night is clearly dumb fun

    by Homer Sexual

    Ok, I only read the first issue in the LCS, and found it very amusing, and ridiculous. I plan to pick up the gn, and am sure it will be amusing and ridiculous. <p> No need to analyze the emotions/not emotions because, well, willpower is clearly not an emotion so the whole concept is whack. <p> Green Lantern is relatively silly, even by comic standards. But that doesn't make it bad. <p> On the other hand, sales doesn't make it good. Most of us succumb to the "event" comics just like we go to the "event" movies. Based on sales, of course, Transformers 2 is the year's best film. Same concept with comics.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 3:16 p.m. CST


    by Bluejack

    What is going to happen to the Hawks? More Thanagarian Police?

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 3:29 p.m. CST


    by Aquatarkusman

    I've gotten through the game on the easy level; with the Civil War storyline and the limited places you play, it actually feels a little less epic than the first game. Also: Songbird as a playable character, but not She-Hulk? Feh.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 3:46 p.m. CST


    by evolution1085

    I've beaten the Cap lead side and mostly through the Iron Man side (had the game for a few weeks now), their use of the civil war stuff is pretty good until a certain point where they pretty much break with it entirely (at least on the cap side, the ending on the iron man looks like its shaping up to be the same)

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Dumb Fun

    by Mr.FTW

    I think Blackest Night is of higher quality that dumb fun. I haven't had to check my brain at the door in order to enjoy it and it certainly is on a different level that say Loeb's Rud Hulk story line which has been called dumb fun as well.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 4:16 p.m. CST

    Blackest Night 3 review

    by v1cious

    WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? this wasn't even a review, so much as an so much as an excuse to ran against Blackest Night. can i get you to talk about the content of the fucking book?

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 4:20 p.m. CST


    by Doctor Cosmic

    The first cumming occurred when the fanboys laid eyes on the cover in their local LCS. They immediately gobbled up multiple copies, bagging and boarding all but one. This last copy was taken into their bathroom/basement/closet/maybe even car where the second cumming occurred. Doc

  • Love, compassion, hope, anger, greed, fear are all indeed emotions, mostly via reactionary desires. Will is not in of itself, but has already been explained to be the balance in the centre of the spectrum - much as self-control balances out extreme expressions of emotion in an individual. Johns has done his homework here and Blackest Night is far too implicitly lavered to be considered "big dumb fun". I mean, just look at one part of that big monitor spread, the unknown soldier part. "I have a name" - if that doesn't invoke an emotional response, no wonder an extended sequence of a young man being forced to watch his lover murdered didn't. That was deeply disturbing no matter if you knew the characters or not. <p> If you have basic human emotions that is.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 5:17 p.m. CST

    in the BN review too - that should say

    by ian216a

    and oh yeah - Reis' Art fucking rocked too

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 5:38 p.m. CST


    by StarchildAD

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Superhero comics = fucking your own kids

    by Star Hump

    ALAN MOORE 9/10/2009: "I’ve always been very, very affectionate towards the comics of the 1960s and before. That was a different age. For one thing, the people drawing and writing weren’t fans. They were often professional writers who happened to be making a living in comics. They hadn’t got this huge wealth of character continuity. They could use their imagination. Then, they were replaced in the middle ‘60s by basically fan-writers, some of whom were pretty good. But, it began an incestuous process that meant that it was fans writing for fans who would be the next generation of creators."

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 6:35 p.m. CST

    FlurryOfChocolateGlazedKrispyKremeDonuts wishes...

    by FlurryOfChocolateGlazedKrispyKremeDonuts

    ...he could communicate in the first person like Doom. But due to his TB alias, well, that'd be way too much fn typing.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 7:26 p.m. CST

    That's a great Alan Moore quote, Star Hump

    by kevred

    It sums up nicely the feeling I get when I look at most comics today. Similar to the feeling I get when I listen to most popular music today. Diminishing returns.<p>Most of what I see and hear from Moore makes him seem like an insufferable twerp, but that's a great quote.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 8:42 p.m. CST

    I gotta say

    by MattAdler

    I'm loving the controversy that my review has stirred up. Everything from Wikipedia being cited as a definitive source, to getting accused of lacking human emotions. This is more entertaining than the comic was ;)

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 10:24 p.m. CST

    Goose weighs in

    by gooseud

    I kinda have to take the other tack on this, and agree that I find Blackest Night to be big dumb fun. I mean, its basically just guys coming back from the dead all speaking with the exact same voice, saying in effect "Do you remember back when you let my goldfish die when I went on vacation? THAT SUCKED!! In fact, YOU suck!!" (Ring Charge 0.0007%). I mean, its fun and all, but come on, Sinestro Corp War was light years better then this. Its just one guys opinion on BN, but I dont find anything earth-shattering about it. Its cool, mehhhh.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Battlestar Galactica

    by gooseud

    I quit after the "Cylons invade that crappy rainy planet" season finale, have never regretted it, and never looked back. Take whatever the opposite of big dumb fun is, and that was Galactica. There has never been a more self serious show in TV history with more of a lack of ability to, forget laugh, even slightly wink at itself or with the audience. In fact, if I was to compose a list of the shows in television that were the least funny or even slighty humorous in any way, Galactica would lead the list. In addition to the writers clearly having no idea where the storyline was going, writing themselves into a corner, and the guy who was in love with the Asian chick, Helo maybe......? being the worst actor in television history.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 10:31 p.m. CST

    oh and.....

    by gooseud

    feeling the writers, as I was watching every episode, speaking to the viewers saying "This is the part where normally you would have a heroic moment or cool space battle, right? Well guess what? YOU ARENT GETTING IT!! Why? Because we are SERIOUS, dammit!! This is no space opera, this is SERIOUS BIDNESS!! We have STATEMENTS to make, damn you!!" No thanks, I'll pass.

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 12:20 a.m. CST

    Please don't forget Butch Guice, not just Hitch as artist on Cap

    by jessekalim

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 5:33 a.m. CST


    by magnetic

    This review is poor in my opinion, I mean really, do we need such an in-depth analysis on what counts as an emotion or not? That's half the review gone to waste right there. Also, I disagree that the character's emotion has been glossed over. I'd admit it's been ramped down a tad in this issue, #1 and #2 were pretty amazing in respect. I think #3 had to be a be a bit different and actually advance the story a bit and perhaps some of the 'emotional resonance' was sacrificed..

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 5:43 a.m. CST

    Crap, I didn't know about the free rings

    by magnetic

    I want rage :|

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 5:47 a.m. CST

    Actually, it's much less entertaining than the comic was

    by Laserhead

    And being dead wrong about how you define 'emotion' isn't really controversy.

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 5:55 a.m. CST

    Goose -- Battlestar

    by optimous_douche

    I think you mean New Caprica by the rain planet, and that was actually a pretty interesting story despite the lack of frakkin viper fights.<p> An inept leader, an occupation...people just struggling to be free.<p> The New Caprica arc was as close to a Roddenberry style allegory as I ever saw in BSG.<p> Now I started to lose interest when they went to the second rain planet Earth 1, the Earth that wasn't our Earth yet had all of the same exact continents.<p> This is one of the reasons I enjoyed the comic this week, a nice pallete cleanser.

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 6:55 a.m. CST


    by MattAdler

    Since emotions are such subjective, ephemeral experiences, it's ridiculous to claim anyone is "dead wrong" when it comes to the subject. In my review, I said compassion is "more of an attitude"; but could you make an argument for it as an emotion? Sure. To me, compassion is no more an emotion than "tolerance"; it's an attitude that someone can exhibit towards others (though it certainly has an emotional component in empathy, as I mentioned). But I know better than to try to claim you are "dead wrong" when it comes to something so subjective. <p> <p> <p> What's entertaining to me though, is that in spite of all the complaints about me spending two paragraphs (check your math people, that's not "half the review") discussing the emotions which are the central plot point of the crossover, that's the part of the review that sparked the most discussion/debate. Apparently the stuff about the Indigo Tribe, the darkness vs. light, and the Black Lanterns, nobody cares about. Maybe I should have spent more time discussing the emotions ;)

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 8:02 a.m. CST

    Homer Sexual

    by hst666

    Will is not an emotion - precisely as Blackest Night and GL indicate. In the comics, the Guardians have eschewed emotion ala Vulcans and the Green part of the spectrum is the balance point on the emotional spectrum.

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 8:04 a.m. CST

    Matt Adler

    by hst666

    The spectrum is balanced. Hope/Fear Compassion-empathy/avarice-narcissism Love/Hate with Will as the fulcrum

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 8:06 a.m. CST

    Pa Maverik To Young Buzz: No Tattoos...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...because it's one more thing the cops can identify you by.<p>I would expect that a healing factor would get rid of tattoos anyway, unless there were some other mutation involved like, say, a trendiness factor or a faddishness factor. Who was that last hero to have a faddishness factor? It was a while ago. I remember that issue where the villain kept trying to shave off the guy's mullet and it just kept growing back.

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 8:10 a.m. CST

    Is Cool An Emotion?

    by Buzz Maverik

    My Court Ordered Shrink: "How did you feel when you did that, Buzz?"<p>"Cool!"<p>"That's not an emotion, Buzz."<p>"I'm pretty sure it is because that's what I felt. Do I have to go back to community service?"

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 8:32 a.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    I agree, the worst part for me, though, is they clearly started out as Space Opera, they get ONE good review in Entertainment Weekly and suddenly they're too good for Sci-fi. I am so glad Caprica tanked.

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 11:42 a.m. CST


    by gooseud

    The pilot was genius, I remember being incredibly pumped for the regular series.......and then it went to "heavy-handed painfully obvious (fill in the blank social issue, preferably terrorism) allegory of the week" territory. No thanks. If you are trying so hard to be realistic, heres a clue: in REAL life, people crack jokes. They party without it turning into a dark, violent brawl. They have normal relationships that arent tortured. People may argue that doesnt make for dramatic TV, but if the producers choose to open the "realism" Pandora's Box, then thats the situation you are confronted with.

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Paging Black Lantern MattAdler ...

    by V. von Doom

    DOOM interprets your review as mostly, "Meh, I'm not getting into BN that much because (insert reason here)." Which is just fine; different strokes for different folks.<p>Old folks like DOOM are perhaps more accepting of the entire premise: The war of the (call them) emotional states; the concurrent return of some favorite characters in not-so-nice ways; the cosmic scale of the thing ("cosmic" being something that was missing for great gaps of Green Lantern runs). So we can accept your arguments without agreeing with them.<p>DOOM has also noticed the pitiful lack of response to the "Superman: Secret Origin" query. I blame RICHARDS!

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Tom Corbett

    by MPJedi2

    IS a licensed property. It was a kid's TV show in the fifties. Pop culture doesn't start in 1977, people.

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 12:23 p.m. CST

    Compassion is an emotional response. Tolerance....

    by AnakinsDiapers a facet of willpower. The will not to react outwardly with whatever negative emotions you're feeling towards the subject.<p> And as what was already stated in the comics themselves, willpower is not an emotion, it's the balancer within the spectrum of light. The further one is away from the center, the more influence the emotion has over the person, which was the problem with the star saphire.

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Seems to me there's a major logical flaw in BN #3.

    by SleazyG.

    So Black Lantern Ronnie Raymond/Firestorm decides to mess with new Firestorm Jason Rusch/Gen. He does so by getting them separated and killing Gen by turning her to table salt, at which point he takes her heart and the rest crumbles to the ground. Is it just me, or does that run counter to the whole Black Lantern thing? Shouldn't he have left her body a little more intact and then revived her as a Black Lantern to mess with Jason some more instead of her crumbling to dust? The very next few panels are more black rings finding others to resurrect...what about the chick with powers of her own who was one half of Firestorm and just got whacked? On the one one hand, it could be something that's being saved for #4, but on the other hand that feels like it really breaks up the flow of the story. So: misfire or just a delaying tactic?

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Yesterday I got 16 comics...

    by Homer Sexual

    At least double my usual number. First two read: Ms. Marvel and Spider-Woman. Looooved them both, even with the omnipresent Osborne in MM, it made sense. <p> Spider-Woman, well I am not the biggest David Mack fan, but glad a "hot" artist is on the book, and the story was awesome. Bendis clearly likes the Jessica Drew character and writes her very he used to do for Jessica Jones.

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 3:02 p.m. CST

    I'm looking forward to Spider-woman,

    by Joenathan

    I haven't been to the LCS yet this week.

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 3:49 p.m. CST

    TWO M.O.D.O.K. references this week?

    by DennisMM

    Admittedly, one of them is mistaken, but two? I'm such a geek I even remember what M.O.D.O.K. stands for.

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 4:09 p.m. CST


    by we_pray_for_mad_skillz

    I'm sure you feel that your (obviously unresearched) personal opinions are a much more "definitive" source than the most widely used encyclopedia on the web. The reason people are talking about your review is because of how dumb it sounds, so don't let your head get too big over it.

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 4:16 p.m. CST


    by Mr.FTW

    Jessica Drew is great but why no love for Julia Carpenter Marvel? And why is it there are so many Spider-Women but none that really have any connection or real power similarities to Peter?

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Played Ultimate Alliance 2

    by Phategod2

    its OK too many bums I like the 1st better.

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 8:15 p.m. CST

    "The most widely used encyclopedia on the web"

    by MattAdler

    Didn't somebody here just point out that popularity isn't a measure of quality? ;) <p> <p> <p> Seriously though, if you're looking for "definitive" answers on emotions, you're going to be looking for a long time.

  • Sept. 25, 2009, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Yo Sleazy!

    by Psynapse

    The answer is neither. Since Ronnie has Jason trapped nside him and can drain his emotional energy that way there is no reason to resurrect Gehenna as a BL because the person she would most affect is already providing what the BL's want from him.

  • Sept. 25, 2009, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Blackest Night review

    by Mr.FTW

    It's Friday so it's not like anyone will read this but MattAdler states in either last week's talkback or the week before that he just likes to argue. Now I belive his review is his honest opinion about the book I also think he knew what kind of reaction he would provoke from his assertations. So as people continue to defend it BN at some point you have to realize that you're just feeding his arument loving ways.

  • Sept. 25, 2009, 11:26 a.m. CST


    by we_pray_for_mad_skillz

    "Definitive" was your word, not mine. I don't believe in definitive answers, so I'm not looking for any (while you apparently are). Your reply regarding wikipedia is also dodgy and most likely purposefully obtuse. What is it exactly that would give an encyclopedia credibility apart from popularity, and in the case of wikipedia, its number of knowledgable editors (which is directly related)? Is an encyclopedia printed on paper that's edited by a single person and read by less than 10,000 readers more valuable or reliable than one that's edited and used by the entire world? Your attempts at logic and humor both fail you. If it's true that you "like to argue" then you should get better at it. Adding an emoticon to the end of every sentence that you type doesn't help the validity of what you're saying.

  • Sept. 25, 2009, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Yo Matt!

    by Psynapse

    How's it being this week's TB kick-puppy? Don't worry, Sleazy will take his spot back next week most likely. <p><---*Tongue firmly in cheek*

  • Sept. 25, 2009, 6:57 p.m. CST


    by MattAdler

    I gotta say, Mr. FTW has lived up to his nickname... <p> <p> <p> To answer Maddie's question, "What is it exactly that would give an encyclopedia credibility apart from popularity?" Well, for starters, accountability. Professional encyclopedias are written by people doing it for a living, who have been screened by their editors for their qualifications, and have their work fact-checked BEFORE the public sees it. Wikipedia is a fine starting point for research, but try to cite it as a source in a professional or academic context, and you will be laughed out of the room (which is why Wikipedia writers are supposed to include links to reliable 3rd party sources for any assertions they make in their article). Since we're in a casual context here, I will merely chuckle you out of the room, and only for a few minutes. Ok, now you can come back. <P> <p> <p> This is not a criticism of Wikipedia, by the way; it's a criticism of anyone who doesn't understand what Wikipedia should be used for. <p> <p> <p> (This emoticon-free post was brought to you for Maddie's benefit; since he asked so nicely, I figured he deserved at least one. Please take anything you may be offended by in the gently teasing tone a winking emoticon would otherwise indicate)

  • Sept. 26, 2009, 1:24 a.m. CST

    Dig the Blackest Night review

    by krushjudgement

    Kudos on calling out the emotional spectrum dichotomy- though I still think it's a cool idea by Johns and co.

  • Sept. 26, 2009, 1:59 a.m. CST


    by we_pray_for_mad_skillz

    Don't worry, I'm not offended. But I do think that your views on the "authority" and "accountability" of publishing businesses over world wide communities are more than a bit naive. What is wikipedia but the ultimate in accountability? I'm sure that it has far more editors than any printed encyclopedia, and also has far more people constantly checking it for errors. Do you believe that "factual" errors never occur in printed material? Or that "facts" are more "real" or "legitimate" simply by nature of existing on paper rather than electronically? I'm certain that I'm at least as educated as you are, Mattie, and I don't see any problem with using Wikipedia in an academic context. But I suppose that's because I was an English Literature/Philosophy major, and I therefore know better than to think that anything ever written in a book must be true. Do you believe that printed encyclopedias don't need "sources" for their facts? Wikipedia including source materials as links is just one more thing that makes it better than printed matter (which you're expected to accept simply because a business decided to print it). It looks like you've swallowed a few assumptions whole. Since the Judeo-Christian bible is printed, do you accept that the world was created in 6 days? Since the Weekly World News is printed, do you accept the existence of the alien bat-boy? Do you believe that a business being run for profit is in some way more impartial than unpaid experts from around the world? I'm chuckling at your less than comprehensive grasp of the nature of epistemology. Also, I didn't "ask" you to write without emoticons, I just pointed out that you use them quite a bit and that they don't make your opinions any stronger. I mean no offense as well, but your views are very reductive.

  • Sept. 26, 2009, 6:35 a.m. CST


    by MattAdler

    Where did I say anything about "printed" encyclopedias? Gee, I hope they included some lessons in reading comprehension in those English Lit courses... <P> <p> <p> (that REALLY needs a winky emoticon... otherwise it just sounds way too mean)

  • Sept. 26, 2009, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Comprehension? Try irony.

    by we_pray_for_mad_skillz

    My professors seemed to think that I comprehended everything just fine, which would account for my 4.0 in my major. First thing: I never claimed that you said printed. I said printed. But if that's your impediment to understanding, then just mentally remove any references to the encyclopedias being "printed" from my post and all of the main epistemological points still stand. Or did you not comprehend all the parts that had nothing to do with the "printed" example? There were many. For instance, Wikipedia being the ultimate in accountability? Or that all encyclopedias (printed or otherwise) need sources for their facts? Or the impartiality of a for-profit publishing business vs. a large community of unpaid experts? I think that it's possible that you're being purposefully obtuse (again), because you've realized that you've put your foot in your mouth (again). I suppose this feigning is easier than manufacturing a cogent argument that supports your opinions. I know that your rep is that you like to argue, but you're not exhibiting the skillz of an enthusiast. Your trite and glib attempts at humor probably do need some emoticons, but they still wouldn't help you look like you're able to make a valid point. I mean no offense, it's just hard to sound magnanimous when dealing with such a simplistic level of thinking. I'm going to throw in an emoticon now because I don't want you to feel bad about yourself. ;)

  • Sept. 26, 2009, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Dear Savion Glover

    by MattAdler

    Tell me sport, since your self-esteem seems to rest on it, what fine educational institution gave you a 4.0 for using Wikipedia as a source in your papers? And please scan a few of them, complete with the colorful "You're so special" stickers the teacher affixed, for evidentiary purposes :) <p> <p> <p> (Yay! Emoticons are back!)

  • Sept. 26, 2009, 4:23 p.m. CST


    by we_pray_for_mad_skillz

    That's your best? If I were you I'd ignore the arguments and make personal attacks as well. Far from my self-esteem "rest[ing] on it," I don't even believe in grades. You brought up academia and education, and then disparaged my intelligence. I let you know that you were (once again) wrong. Sorry if your tender little ego got bruised or if it inflamed an already existing inferiority complex. I thought that you were feigning obtuseness before, and now I realize that you're legitimately obtuse. I went to a well respected university, and I think that the proof is in the pudding in this case. I'll post my entrire transcripts and scan my papers as soon as you do the same with yours. I'm guessing that won't ever happen. Better luck next time with the attempts at humor and thinking.

  • Sept. 26, 2009, 6:42 p.m. CST

    Pot, meet kettle

    by MattAdler

    Oh, I disparaged your intelligence, boo-hoo. Cry me a river. I believe your first post was telling me I didn't know what I was talking about. Looks like we've got a case of "can dish it out, but can't take it" here.

  • Sept. 27, 2009, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Not quite.

    by we_pray_for_mad_skillz

    What we have is someone who doesn't know what they're talking about (you) trying to take on someone who does (me) and failing miserably. Another difference between us would be that I'm actually providing substantial arguments and you're doing nothing but the personal attacks, which would be more forgivable were they actually funny or insightful, but alas, they are not. All of this evidence points to you having absolutely nothing to back up what you say. I do believe that I can "take" whatever it is you've got to give... so let me know when you've got something. As of this moment all that's happening is me serving you, and I am most definitely not crying about it (I don't know where you got that impression). More like the previously mentioned "chuckling." Try looking up "epistemology" on Wikipedia and good luck to you. ;)

  • Sept. 27, 2009, 4:04 p.m. CST

    "Substantial arguments"

    by MattAdler

    I guess in your world, that translates to tap-dancing and trying to get me to restate points that you haven't yet addressed? Re-read the post titled "Accountability", and when you actually address the points contained within instead of dancing around them, I'll be happy to have as serious a discussion as you can manage.

  • Sept. 28, 2009, 11:11 a.m. CST


    by Mr.FTW

    So I logon, see a bunch of new posts and think to myself "wow, new posts, it's Monday and the comic TB hasn't complete died!" then I saw what the posts were. Good times.

  • Sept. 28, 2009, 2:55 p.m. CST

    I'm with FTW

    by Homer Sexual

    Suckered in here the same way. But since I'm here, Ill tell Matt Adler I am in his corner. Also, some really good books this past week. Detective/Batwoman was really strong, and I dug all three Avengers books as well.