Comics

AICN COMICS REVIEWS: SEIGE! TOY STORY! THE BOYS! JSA ALL STARS! UNDERGROUND! & MUCH MORE!

Published at: Dec. 9, 2009, 12:12 p.m. CST by ambush bug

#30 12/2/09 #8

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) SEIGE: THE CABAL #1 TOY STORY #0 DODGEM LOGIC # 1 THE BOYS #37 A double shot @ JSA ALL STARS #1 THE BOOK OF GENESIS ILLUSTRATED Vol.1 UNDERGROUND #1-4 THOR #604 LOVE BUZZ OGN Big Eyes For the Cape Guy presents YOKAIDEN Vol. 2 Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS!

SIEGE: THE CABAL One-shot

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Pencils: Michael Lark Inks: Stefano Gaudiano Colors: Matt Hollingsworth Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Matt Adler

Not content with his role as chief law enforcement officer of the United States, Norman Osborn has set his sights on the mythical realm of Asgard, home of Thor and the other Norse Gods, which has recently been transplanted to Oklahoma. Bendis introduces us to this latest conflict via an internal monologue/dialogue Osborn is having with himself and his alter ego the Green Goblin. As in all classic moments of Osborn madness, he is sweating profusely as he ruminates on these plans. It’s a nice touch that Bendis shows us that Osborn himself is actually perfectly rational… it’s his Goblin side that urges him on to acts of madness, such as attacking a city of immortal beings.
Most of the rest of the issue is taken up with Osborn’s attempts to persuade the rest of his villainous Cabal that attacking Asgard is the right thing to do. He’s brought in Taskmaster to replace Namor and Emma Frost, who have turned against him. The opposition he faces comes from Dr. Doom, who is demanding that Osborn lay off Namor. Doom has always had sort of a grudging respect for the Sub-Mariner, but I’m not quite convinced that he would go to the lengths he does here to stick up for him. In any event, the situation deteriorates into a fight, at which point Osborn calls in the “secret weapon” that he’s been holding to keep his Cabal in check. It’s been hinted in various online sources that this could either be the Molecule Man, or perhaps the recently acquired Miracleman, but we never get a real look at the him; all we can really tell is that he can fire powerful bolts of energy.
The story concludes with Osborn deciding that he needs an “incident” similar to the Stamford disaster which triggered the Marvel CIVIL WAR. This leads into the preview for issue #1 of “The Siege”, in which it appears that Volstagg, of all people, will be the Speedball of this event. I really can’t recommend this issue at a price of $3.99; an extended fight scene isn’t really enough meat to warrant the cost. Hopefully the Siege event itself will be a bit more substantive.
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.

TOY STORY #0

In stores today! Writer: Jesse Blaze Snider Art: Nathan Watson Publisher: BOOM! Studios Reviewer: Ambush Bug

I had a chance to check out the zero issue of TOY STORY from BOOM! Studios over the weekend. I’ve seen both TOY STORY films and enjoyed them immensely, but though I try to keep up to date on most comics out there, I really didn’t have any interest in the continuing stories of the TOY STORY characters when I heard that BOOM! was to be adapting them into comic book form. Upon further inspection, I found that writer Jesse Blaze Snider was writing the book. Now, the only other book I’ve read from Mr. Snider was DEAD ROMEO, DC’s vampire miniseries which wrapped up a month or two ago. I found that miniseries to be surprisingly entertaining and after finishing the miniseries, I made a mental note to keep my eyes open for books with Snider’s name on the cover. With his experience at writing horror in DEAD ROMEO and the fact that he’s rocker Dee Snider’s son, one would think that TOY STORY wouldn’t been Snider’s cup of tea either, but for some reason this unholy pairing of Snider and TOY STORY was one of the most entertaining reads I’ve laid my peepers on this week.
Everything from the constant chatter from all of the toys to the distinct personalities assigned to each is nailed directly on the head here. Buzz reads as if Tim Allen is speaking his lines. I could hear Tom Hanks’ voice when I read Woody’s lines. Hell, there was even a little John Ratzenberger in the few lines the pig uttered. Snider does a fantastic job of harnessing the difficult and hectic tone established in the movies as the anthropomorphized or maybe that’s toy-thropomorphized characters do what they do. I could just see the double page splash featuring pretty much all of the characters from he film play out as if it were a movie and not a comic.
So the tone was spot on. How about the actual story part of this TOY STORY?
In the case of most spin-offs or series sprung from films, the thing that made the source material so good is often diluted and therefore lesser when expended upon. Usually the idea has its limits and the premise can only be spread so thin before either the rules established in the source material are compromised or worse yet, the story from the films are just repeated over and over. Just as surprised as I was at how fantastic Snider’s horror vampire mini read, I can’t tell you how surprised I was to see that his TOY STORY story is just as strong. This Snider guy’s got chops.
How many times did this happen to you as a kid? A grandparent who really knows nothing about what you like or don’t like goes out and buys you a gift. First you get excited because you have a new package to open, but once you open it, you realize that the toy that was bought for you is a toy you already have. Sure, your mom makes you thank the gift giver for their generous act, but in the end, the disappointment is overwhelming. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel: you get to return the gift and get another one…of course, you have to wait until your mom has he time to take you to the store.
Snider takes that common series of events and applies it seamlessly to the TOY STORY mythos. It’s an idea strong enough to carry a feature film and shows that BOOM! is taking their children’s line very, very seriously. I loved this #0 issue. It opens the door for quite an epic adventure that uses the characters in a smart and original way. Nathan Watson’s art aids in making this book look and read like an authentic and worthy continuation of the stories and premises established in the films. So though at first I may have scoffed at the idea of a grown man reading a comic based on a children’s film, after taking a chance with this book, I am glad that I did. I think a lot of the time, we as comic book readers tend to try to fool ourselves that these stories of men beating up other men in tights are something sophisticated and adult. But at second glance, mainstream super hero books are just as childish as these books deemed only appealing to younger readers. Snider and BOOM! have shown with TOY STORY that they can make a sophisticated and entertaining story based on a children’s property. You should give it a chance like I did.
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, reviewer and co-editor of AICN Comics for over eight years and one of the original @$$holes. Check out his comic book shorts 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 and here and here about his latest comic from Bluewater Comics, VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS: THE TINGLER #1-2. Look for more comics from Bug in 2010 from Bluewater, including VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS WITCHFINDER GENERAL, ROGER CORMAN PRESENTS DEATHSPORT, and the just announced vampire miniseries NANNY & HANK (and check out Jazma Online’s new interview with Bug about NANNY & HANK here).

DODGEM LOGIC # 1

Published by Knockabout Comics Reviewed by Stones Throw

Here in the United Kingdom we’re used to waiting until Thursday for our new comics. We’re also used to paying slightly more for our weekly habit than the dollar-to-sterling ratio would fairly warrant. Plus, we’re used to the occasional cool comic never even showing up, such as Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s BLACK DOSSIER, which was embargoed here due to copyright issues. I had to order mine from Amazon USA.
Then, on the other hand, every so often we get a small favor in return, like a comic or magazine specifically for the UK, so we can thumb our noses at our American cousins (or fellow @$$holes) and chuckle jealously, Ha, ha! We’ve got this and you haven’t!
Ah, life’s small pleasures.
Which in a roundabout way brings me to DODGEM LOGIC, the first issue of a new magazine that’s edited by Mr. Moore himself and is most definitely aimed at the British market. For a start most of it is put together by a community project in Moore’s home city and it features contributions from a cast of little-known TV comedians, such as Josie Long and Graham Linehan. Secondly, it’s focused around Moore’s home city of Northampton.
Fans of the eccentric writer will know that Moore has long made a point of staying put in Northampton, where he grows his beard and worships Glycon, a Roman snake god exposed as a sock puppet by the satirist Lucian in the second century A.D. It’s also the setting of his aborted comic book series with Bill Sinkiewicz, BIG NUMBERS, and his novel THE VOICE OF THE FIRE, sort of a fictional “Northampton through the ages”.
Northampton has a reputation as one of the most boring industrial cities in England (maybe an equivalent is Harvey Pekar’s home city of Cleveland) and perhaps that’s part of the reason Moore’s always been perversely proud of his heritage. In these recessionary days he’s also turned somewhat politically provincial: DODGEM LOGIC is produced in Northampton but designed to have worldwide appeal in that one abused, dilapidated and neglected shithole is much like another. “We are neither local nor global. We’re lobal,” he writes in his opening editorial.
Moore himself contributes a long and sometimes fascinating article on the history of underground publishing, from pre-printing press days to the heady heights of, er, DODGEM LOGIC; a new and sexually explicit cartoon strip; and an essay about council services in Northampton.
His wife, the American artist Melinda Gebbie, who illustrated LOST GIRLS, Moore’s pornographic book about Alice in Wonderland, Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz”, and Wendy from “Peter Pan”, writes a women’s column about feminism.
Best of all is a bizarre and beautiful full-page illustration from Moore’s LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN collaborator Kevin O’Neill, which is almost worth the price of admission (a cool £2.50) alone.
The rest of the magazine will be of little interest to those who don’t live in Northampton or have a particular love of poorly-designed student magazines, of the sort you’d see on any university campus. There’s reviews of local bands, a recipe page, PRIVATE EYE-style parodies of newspapers, and rather unreadable hand-drawn, Do It Yourself journalism. I’ve yet to listen to my free “50 Years of Northampton Music” CD.
For comic fans like us, the main interest is in what the magazine reveals about Moore today. From a pioneer of fresh, intelligent storytelling in comic books he has aged into a grumpy critic of New Labour Britain, American comic book companies, and Hollywood’s adaptations of his works, and now he’s retreated back into semi-retirement in the native confines of Northampton, where he seems most occupied with cramming as many obscure literary references as possible into his LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN series. DODGEM LOGIC professes to be a forward-thinking magazine, but Moore’s article about underground publishing shows his focus: the pinnacle of achievement is held up as the late Sixties/early Seventies flower power era, the crowning achievement of which was the “schoolkids issue” of OZ magazine which pasted cartoon character’s heads on a pornographic R. Crumb strip.
Despite my disgust at this juvenility, DODGEM LOGIC is an interesting endeavor that you can’t imagine any other A-list comic book name doing. And best of all, we get it before you Yanks do.
Ha, ha.

THE BOYS #37

Writer: Garth Ennis Artists: Darick Robertson Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Reviewer: Optimous Douche

I’ll spare this review from my unapologetic apology that blanketed my musings of HEROGASM. Quite simply, every now and then I like to have fun with my comics and enjoy a book that simply doesn’t give a fuck about who it offends or isn’t shy about traversing into some lurid territory. Do I want every book I read to be laden with F-bombs, cunt calls and gratuitous fucking? I think my pull list which is comprised of 90% DC and Marvel titles will indicate otherwise. Nor will I say THE BOYS is simply an exercise in hedonism as exhibited by this fantastic off kilter issue.
You know you’re in for something special when a baguette (French bread for all of the Espanol students out there) is prominently featured on the cover of a book. As indicated by the aforementioned long bread, the red, white and blue cover background, and the “oh so holier than thou” Frenchman looking down at the reader — this issue focuses on the origin of the Frenchman.
Unlike the last origin arc centered on the bad motherfu…(shut your mouth) Mother’s Milk, this is a much lighter fare. It is certainly wrapped in tragedy as I’m sure we will eventually lean of all THE BOYS’ origins, but this being the Frenchman, THE BOYS answer to Cousin Balki, lighter fare is called for.
The thing that astounded me about this origin issue (yes astounded) is Ennis’ ability to casually break the 4th wall without ever breaking it. No, I’m not sniffing glue as I write this, I fully realize the contradiction of that last line, but it’s the only way my limited vocabulary and lack of abstract thought can tidily sum up this experience. There’s something afoot in THE BOYS: Wee Hughie is learning the origins of his fellow team mates for a reason and thankfully the Wee one started off the issue asking that very question, “Why are you telling me your origins?” After a curt ecoute, Petit Hughie does just that and sits back for the Frenchman’s tale (ecoute is French for listen; the only reason I know this is because after five years of French that phrase along with “Robert be quiet” and the escalating “Robert shut up” are all I remember.)
Our flashback to “remember when” opens with the Frenchman as a returning war hero to his quiet town of Franglais nestled in the rolling hills of the French countryside. I was sold on this story by the town name alone; what better way to explain why the inhabitants of this quaint village speak in both French and English? Surely Ennis could have left the language issue alone, but the fact he broke the illusion between story and reality so courageously sucked me one fathom deeper into the piece.
Some would consider the rest of the story silly and somewhat of a bash on the French — to those individuals I say, “none of this is supposed to be taken seriously.” Remember, the Frenchman (like most French men) is insane. How much of the story is actually true Ennis leaves to the mind of the reader. Do the French truly joust with baguettes? Will they sabotage one another with croissants? These are probably all concoctions of the Frenchman’s imagination, but the idea of jousting for the honor of family and lost love is very real. While it’s the details that make the Frenchmen’s story interesting, it’s the feeling and mood behind the details that the reader should walk away with -- a very difficult task with the indelible impression left by the Frenchman’s tall tale.
As good as this issue was, issue 38 is the one I’ve been thirsting for. Finally we learn the origin of the most interesting silent killer since cancer — The Female.
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."

JSA ALL-STARS #1

Writer: Matthew Sturges Artist: Freddie Williams II Published by: DC Comics Reviewed by: BottleImp

When a comic book superhero team swells to an unwieldy size, there’s usually one of two things that can be done. One: kill off half the team in an orgiastic four-color bloodbath, or Two: divide the team into two separate groups. Though I’m sure the first solution would be a hoot to read, getting rid of so many potentially profitable characters in one fell swoop is probably not the most logical choice from a publisher’s perspective. So in the grand tradition of the Justice League and the Teen Titans (remember Titans West?), the Avengers and the X-Men, DC has split asunder this oldest of superhero fraternities and given us JSA ALL-STARS.
Good thing, too, since at last count the Justice Society had a little under a billion members. Okay, maybe not that many, but it certainly felt like it at times. So right off the bat this new title gets points for allowing the writers (and readers) of the JSA’s adventures to focus more keenly on each character without having to worry about mentally juggling a dozen or more extras. The plot also becomes more streamlined with this division—in this issue, we finally get the big reveal as to who’s been behind the whole “kill the Justice Society but oh don’t touch Stargirl” storyline, leaving the mystery of the turd-shaped Obsidian to be answered (I’m assuming) in the pages of the main JSA title. At the same time the reader is presented with the All-Star team working to mold itself into a battle-ready, superpowered strike force (as opposed to the “we’re all family” feelgoodery that permeated the latter part of Geoff Johns’ run on the series). Though I’m a little leery of the whole proactive, paramilitary thing—it’s been tried before, and never seems to work—I’ve got to give credit to Sturges for not taking the concept too seriously. There’s a great scene where the members of this new JSA branch toss around possible team names, including “Justice Society Elite” and “Extreme Action Justice Force.” Yes, Virginia, at one time there was a “JUSTICE LEAGUE ELITE” and “EXTREME JUSTICE,” to say nothing of all the other lame “extreme” team names that have graced the comic shelves since the 1990s.
With this break in attitude from the previous JSA series, ALL-STARS also gets points for branching out beyond the whole “Legacy Hero” theme that Johns had run into the ground. I like the idea of a superhero tradition as much as the next guy, but there comes a point when the concept gets to be really, really stale. For me, it was the introduction of Ma Hunkel’s (aka the Golden Age Red Tornado’s) granddaughter, who just happened to have wind powers. Didn’t help that as written she was the most annoying two-dimensional character since Scrappy-Doo, and I’m a little bummed that she’s parked in this title. But with Magog and the illusion-creating King Chimera in the ALL-STARS ranks, there’s a glimmer of hope that the Justice Society banner can be open to a more diverse range of characters.
Though I generally enjoyed this issue, I’m not yet sold on this series. First, there’s the $3.99 price. I’m not sure if this is simply because it’s the first issue and the rest of the series will be at the $2.99 mark, but now that prices are rising all across the board, I’m trying to be a little more careful with my spending. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to give my money away unless I feel that I’m getting something good in return…which leads me to my second gripe. I just can’t get behind Williams’ art. I feel that his overly-noodly linework just serves to make the pages into a jumble rather than providing a clean view of the action, and I’m not a big fan of his figures (especially Power Girl, who ends up looking like an anorexic who opted for a ludicrously ill-proportioned breast augmentation). Though the story is good, I think that the art could be better.
But in any case, it’s refreshing to see the JSA actually doing something other than hugging each other and reminiscing about old times in the DC equivalent of the VFW Hall.
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 here. He’s given up comics more times than he can remember. But every time he thinks he's out, they pull him back in.

Looking for a second opinion? Well, here it is anyway!

JSA ALL STARS #1

Writer: Matt Sturges Art: Freddie Williams II Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

So…JSA ALL STARS. Not a bad read.
I guess it was inevitable. Johns packed JSA to the gills with heroes. By the end of his run, they were literally bumping into one another. So an All Star Squadron I guess was necessary. I’m kind of satisfied with the way the team was split, but as I mentioned in last week’s Cheap Shot of the JSA proper book, the reasoning behind which teammate goes where seemed a bit pushed. But now that the lines are drawn, I’m pretty happy with the All Star roster.
Writer Matt Sturges takes some time to pepper in some more decisions behind the split that make some sense. Star Girl feels out of place, but Power Girl tells her how much she needs her there. This is a nice quiet moment for this book after the battle royale that takes place in the opening pages. I also like the decision to split up Hourman and his wife Liberty Belle -- “you know, most couples don’t work at the same office.” Sturges is a good enough writer to dole out these bits of info pretty naturally without skidding the momentum of the story to a halt.
The mystery of why Star Girl has been treated with kid gloves for the last few months is finally revealed in this issue, which looks to be pretty fun given the surprise villain’s final appearance in the last few panels. And although I’m still not sold on the character of Magog, I like the role of badass drill sergeant he plays in this group. Taking this group out of the main JSA book may mean problems for that book, though, since a lot of the spice of the last year ends up on the JSA ALL STAR plate. But if this means some fun of a different variety with the old timers, then I’m up for it.
It was a bit disconcerting to read the major fuck up in word balloon placement in the confrontation between King Chimera and Damage. All of a sudden Judomaster speaks fluent English on these pages and although I could understand the conversation and who said it, the directions the word balloons were pointing were all wrong with Cyclone saying Damage’s lines and Judomaster saying Cyclone’s lines. For about two pages there, it’s strictly amateur hour which is pretty unforgivable given this being a first issue of a major series.
But editorial fuck-ups aside, this is a pretty fine read. Freddie Williams II provides some electric panels filled with detail and action. The pair of fight scenes are pretty great, although they were a bit repetitious, both ending with Power Girl getting part of her costume blown off and all by a belt bomb. Speaking of Power Girl, Williams provides a boob fetishist’s delight here with every shot of Power Girl being cleavage-tastic. Williams does need to try to vary his body types, though, as pretty much all of the girls on the team look like they’re just about to topple over from the overabundance of boob-itude.
Jumbled up word balloons and oversized sweater balloons aside, this was a fine read. There’s still a bit of worry in the back of my head that makes me think that Sturges picked all of the cool kids for his team, but I’m sure Willingham will do fine with who is left over in JSA. In JSA ALL STARS, though, DC appears to have another winner on its hands.

THE BOOK OF GENESIS ILLUSTRATED Vol.1

By Robert Crumb Published by W.W. Norton Reviewed by Stones Throw

CHAPTER ONE IN the beginning R. Crumb created undergound comix featuring Fritz the Cat, Mr. Natural, Angelface McSpade, and “Keep on Truckin’.”
2 And hippies saw that they were good to read while taking drugs, that are called acid and weed.
3 And this was “getting stoned”, but not like unto David and Goliath.
4 And Crumb illustrated the cover of the Janis Joplin record that is called CHEAP THRILLS.
5 And the evening and morning were the 1960s.
CHAPTER TWO AND Crumb illustrated the stories of his friend Harvey Pekar.
2 And Harvey Pekar begat the series called AMERICAN SPLENDOR, which begat many more alternative comics about balding losers, even an hundredfold.
3 And AMERICAN SPLENDOR lived thirty years and begat a successful film adaptation starring Paul Giamatti.
4 And the evening and morning were the 1970s.
CHAPTER THREE AND it came to pass when Crumb was old that he moved upon the face of the waters to dwell in the land of southern France.
2 And the filmmaker Terry Zwigoff made a documentary about him that is called CRUMB.
3 And Crumb looked upon the first Book of Moses, called Berashis, the Book of Genesis, and said,
Behold, this could use some pictures.
4 And Crumb began to illustrate the Book of Genesis, using Robert Alter’s 2004 translation of the text.
5 But he was working many years; for he researched the culture, landscapes, and clothing of the Hebrews in much detail.
CHAPTER FOUR IN the first year of the reign of Caesar President Obama, Crumb’s book was finally released (just in time for Christmas).
2 And the people saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good and shed a new light upon the Old Testament stories by depicting them exactly as described, with much death, and sex, and gnashing of teeth.
CHAPTER FIVE THERE lived in those days in the south of America holy men and women called the Bible-bashers.
2 And Crumb was frightened and said to himself, They shall not like what I have drawn.
3 And so he wrote in his introduction:

4 “If my visual, literal intepretation of the Book of Genesis offends or outrages some readers, which seems inevitable considering that the text is revered by many people, all I can say in my defense is that I approached this as a straight illustration job, with no intention to ridicule or make visual jokes.
5 “That said, you can’t please everybody.”
6 And the people said to themselves, Truly, this is a strange and beautiful book and not all that different from Crumb’s previous work since it has stories about long-haired men seeing visions, big, hairy women, and incest.
CHAPTER SIX AND they asked unto Crumb, Will you be illustrating more from the Bible?
2 But Crumb waxed wroth and said, Lo, I have had enough of that.
3 This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

UNDERGROUND #1-4

Writer: Jeff Parker Art: Steve Lieber Publisher: Image Comics Reviewer: Mr. Pasty

I’ve always had a certain amount of respect for talent that chooses to abandon the realm of super-ness and instead craft a comic that revolves around situations and environments that if not labeled as a “comic book” could very easily pass for something you might hear about on the six o’clock news. While most of the time I find said accounts to be an exercise void of entertainment, I still respect the efforts for their creative risk. Imagine my surprise when UNDERGROUND garnered both my respect and my enjoyment. This is not a comic book about heroes that fly or villains who breathe fire. This is storytelling that grips you and envelops you in a world that is so completely realized and populated with characters so thoroughly fleshed out, it’s not an exaggeration to call it one of the year’s best offerings.
UNDERGROUND lives and dies by its ability to make everyday people extraordinary. I’m not suggesting that superhero comics are easy, because they aren’t, but the suspension of disbelief affords talent the creative latitude to package otherwise preposterous happenings into a neat and tidy story arc. “Real” people on the other hand can be exceedingly boring. Think about the folks you work with. How exciting would it be to document a day at the office and call it a graphic novel? UNDERGROUND exists mostly within the bowels of a Kentucky cave, yet never feels bound by the limitations of its environment. The success of UNDERGROUND, despite its self-imposed restrictions, is a testament to the skill of a writer like Jeff Parker. His antagonists, for example, debut in one of many awkward positions and he (thankfully) avoids one of those tired exposition bubbles that I find to be an admission of laziness. “I can’t waste any time building up this character, so here’s a yellow block of text that tells you everything you need to know. Commence storytelling in 5-4-3-2-1.”
I mentioned his handling of the protagonists and truth be told that’s only half the fun. His protagonists are awarded a rare level of complexity that, again, so closely embodies the human element that the narrative commits you not with its seductiveness, but with its familiarity. Yes, this is a comic book, but Parker doesn’t use that as an excuse to let his characters wantonly do things that defy logic. The villains in UNDERGROUND are not mindless zombies or killer cyborgs. They’re flesh and blood. They have self-doubt and make mistakes. Watching them plunge further and further into a dark cave -- just as the heroes are trying to climb their way out of it -- has a much grander meaning, but I’m still digesting the overall experience and haven’t gotten ready to tackle that aspect just yet.
That’s an admission that I’ll be reading this series a second and third time. Often as a reviewer I do it out of obligation but in the case of UNDERGROUND it will be out of a desire to search for cookies I may have missed on my first pass. And if anyone deserves a second look it’s Steve Lieber. So brilliant on WHITEOUT, Lieber once again captures emotion in a bottle with his understated pencil and affection for human form. He shows maturity in his trade by balancing the color scheme inside the cave. With nothing but a head lamp and a chasm of darkness, a lesser artist may have gone too bleak or too dour but Lieber plays just the right note. He’s not trying to upstage Parker, he’s trying to complete him. Mission accomplished. There is so much more to reveal as far as the plot details and the dialogue, but that my friends is better left to the experience of the book itself. I call it an experience because it is one. Leave the costumes and eye candy on the shelf for one week and check this series out. You won’t be disappointed.
Web heads who can’t get enough of Mr. Pasty’s word vomit are encouraged to watch him operate as Nostradumbass over at here. MMAmania.com. Love, hate and Mafia Wars requests should be directed here.

THOR #604

Writer: Kieron Gillen Penciler: Billy Tan Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

One issue in of this new “direction” I have to say I find myself firmly in the camp of former writer J. Michael Straczynski. I’m not saying I miss him per se; good as he was to this book and characters I still maintain a mainstream book like this should see stands more than four times a year, but I’m with him in that I too almost want to leave it now that it is starting to become more entrenched in the Marvel Universe’s Event Du Jour, this time called SIEGE. In fact, the only thing that did not have me leaving with him is his replacement, Kieron Gillen, whose work on the wonderful Indie book PHONOGRAM has earned him my loyalty. And it seems my allegiance has been rewarded, as this debut issue of his felt just like the book I’ve been reading for a couple years now, even if it is being co-opted for something I can barely muster any excitement for.
There is a good bit to be excited about in the comic itself though. I do not want to drag down the quality of the book just because I am indifferent on yet another superfluous event. Gillen and Tan definitely kept the feel of the book going, and of course did not break from where JMS was leading it on its crash course with the Marvel Universe proper before he called it quits. The confrontation between Kelda and Doom in the wake of her human beau’s demise is actually quite saddening, and scary with its implications. The conflict between Balder and his gathered troops against Doom and his forces are also properly ominous, and Loki is ever his mischievous self. And there’s some nice humorous bits in here as well, especially evident in a bit involving a distraction that occurs during a Reed Richards/Donald Blake conversation.
I know this is all coming across sort of a “bullet points” run down, but basically I’m just trying to do this to show that if anyone is worried about tone, don’t be. Everything that JMS was doing to make this book stand out amongst its brethren on the shelves Gillen is doing just as good a job of. Billy Tan’s pencil job also pops very well. It might not feel as unique as I think Coipel’s figures tend to stand out as, but it still is very distinct in its own right. He does not waste a line, fills all his panels to the brim without overwhelming them, and his stuff is very kinetic. Not to take another couple of 2x4 whacks to the deceased horse, but this was yet another great creative transition.
Overall, I am really happy to see that this new team was able to keep the tone I was digging on in the previous run, and that gentlemen of the talents of Gillen and Tan are getting a chance to shine on a book that is still going to maintain a relatively high profile for the time being. So far I am still enjoying the plot threads being presented here; this hasn’t yet gone full blown event, though I guess that’s just because the shenanigans are just getting started on the SIEGE front. But the conflict with Doom is very exciting, Loki’s machinations are just as embellished and devious as ever, and every page seemed to be filled with a “shit hitting fan” moment because there is a lot at stake in these pages, because everything had been designed this way meticulously for a good chunk of issues. The mastermind might not be here to kick over the dominoes he set up, but the new hot shot on the block is managing the demolition just fine.
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.

LOVE BUZZ OGN

Writer: Len Wallace Artist: Michelle Silva Publisher: Oni Press Reviewer: Optimous Douche

When the “everyday” transcends to art you are left with a piece that can only be called authentic. If the name wasn’t enough of an indicator I’ll just say it outright — LOVE BUZZ is not your standard comic. You will not find any cars being hurled through windows, there aren’t any megalomaniacs trying to take over the world nor a spandex clad hero to save the day in the last harrowing minutes. What LOVE BUZZ does deliver is one of the most honest and true interpretations of young love and the horrific labyrinth of emotions that we all must navigate at some point in our lives as we mature into adulthood.
I’m going to be presumptuous here, because I think I have a strong leg to stand on. I hate sports, love theater and have been addicted to teen dramas since the first 90210 taught us that sideburns can be timeless. My sensibilities definitely waver more towards the traditional trappings of the fairer sex than my own hairy backed brethren. This is why I can say with the utmost confidence LOVE BUZZ is one more shining example of how comics can reach out to women; when you focus on the emotions of events rather than simply telling the tale at hand you have cracked what I’ve affectionately dubbed in my reviews of other non-traditional comics the Vagina Code. This is not to say the piece is for all women or that all men will hate it. However, it does take a special kind of individual to understand what is truly going on.
One of the reasons I was able to devour the 176 mammoth pages of this book in what felt like a nanosecond is because the lead character Norm was me about eighteen years ago. A nerd trapped inside his own head, mistaking my surges of pubescent hormones and need for acceptance as love. It’s not every guy (or gal) that pines for a relationship more than down and dirty sex, but alas I was one of them. Chalk it up to being an only child and the fear that when my parents died I would one day be left without family or the simple fact I reveled in belonging to someone. Regardless, my search for love was so akin to Norm’s that a few scenes in this book felt like I was looking inside Dumbledore’s Pensive at scenes from my own life.
Starting in high school and ending somewhere in Norm’s early twenties, it’s easy to call this book epic in scope. Tidily presenting five years of turbulent times in most peoples’ lives so damn concisely is admirable; to make the reader care about what happens to these people is simply masterful. Norm is an artist, expressing his real world torment on the written page in comic book format. When he falls in love with a girl across the classroom named Maggie he reinvents the two on the written page as super spies to merely get across the point he has fallen for her. Likewise when Norm is betrayed by Maggie, he transforms her into a 1930s femme fatale and himself into the gumshoe detective she betrayed. We all have our methods of escape. Some drink, some smoke; Norm like most artists bleeds his soul on to the page. These moments felt eerily similar to the old Danny Kaye movie, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” but with comic books.
Maggie and Norm have their ups and downs over the course of years and the distance that separates them. Through everything though, you can see a maturing of these individuals, each chapter a new epoch in their growth to becoming fully “functional” adults. It doesn’t matter what happens in the end, because I’ll be honest -- LOVE BUZZ, like real love, never truly ends. Like most relationships and the emotions that come with them, they stay with a person forever. Even though the words that will bring closure are uttered by both parties, there is nothing that will ever erase those things that affect our souls and our humanity.
Silva brings the pages alive by combining the innocence of youth, acknowledging the inherent horny nature of teenage boys by focusing many panels on what we are actually looking at when we talk to women, and transforming her own style for each of Norm’s ventures into his comic imagination.
LOVE BUZZ is not what you would expect from a comic, nor what you would expect from the name of this comic. But in a world where we already know what to expect from most comics we buy, LOVE BUZZ shattered my expectations and made me reflect on a time that is long past, yet somehow with me still today.

YOKAIDEN Vol. 2

By Nina Matsumoto Released by Del Ray Reviewer: Scott Green

I picked up and read the first volume of YOKAIDEN without looking at who'd created the work. Probably about three quarters the way in, I hit a linguistic pun that struck me as wordplay that wouldn't have originated in Japanese. That sent me back to the cover to check the credits. At that point, I discovered that the work was by Nina Matsumoto, perhaps better known as SPACE COYOTE. Last time I wrote about YOKAIDEN I described Matsumoto as an artist who was internet famous for the manga Simpsons illustration. Since then, Matsumoto won an Eisner Award, along with Ian Boothby and Andrew Pepoy, for THE SIMPSONS TREEHOUSE OF HORROR #14's "Murder He Wrote." As such, if you follow comics, Matsumoto should be a recognizable name at this point. Picking up the series again, the chief uncertainty to my mind concerned how YOKAIDEN would hold up now that is now no longer an unknown quantity.
Knowing who created YOKAIDEN and having some insight into the creative intentions, YOKAIDEN 2 was still a delightful surprise.
It follows bamboo seller and enthusiast of the Japanese supernatural world of yokai, Hamachi, into the spirit world of those creatures. Along with a pair of tsukumogami, a lantern and an umbrella with developed sentience, Hamachi journeys into the home realm of the yokai, hoping to locate the kappa (water imp) presumably responsible for his grandmother's death.
One of the mainstays in the host of yokai is the kitsune, fox spirit. A number of species of Japanese animals can obtain the ability to change shape. One of these is the raccoon dog tanuki. These animals are the stars of Isao Takahata's Ghibli eco-epic POMO POK - a feature noteworthy in this context for two reasons. First, because the shape changing tanuki adopt the forms of a parade of yokai to scare humans out of their habitat - a scene that makes the movie a must see for anyone fascinated by this branch of supernatural mythology. Secondly, because of the film's shape changing scroll, outlining the other species capable of altering themselves: chameleons, in a limited capacity, old cats, especially ones who have developed a second tail...and foxes. Like the cats, with age and wisdom, foxes can manifest additional tails. Except, in the case of the foxes, it is up to the god-like nine tailed kyubi (a concept evoked in NARUTO).
Volume two of Yokaiden is driven by the kyubi "Christina," who sets Hamachi on a series of labors, or in video game parlance, fetch quests, in exchange for the promised location of his sought after kappa. Though not exactly on the up and up, these "go get it!"'s serve to set Hamachi on an intersecting course with various yokai, from the classic variety, such as the tengu mountain spirit or more modern, urban myths, such as kuchisake onna - slit mouth woman, as well as divinities, and THREE SACRED TREASURES OF JAPAN.
Hamachi's undaunted enthusiasm places the character in the company of manga's shonen "I'll be the greatest!" protagonists. However, here, that exuberant quality is recast as the characteristic of a fairy tail hero. Like a Giant Killer or a "seven at one blow" tailor, he's a grinning, half-smart innocent who has virtue as much as cleverness going for him. This intersection of shonen and fairytale hero types plays out in a way that is almost meta, but amusingly, not quite. In the vein of a character like POKEMON's Ash, Hamachi is almost frothing in his recital of knowledge on his favorite, monstrous subject. And yet, that knowledge is either incomplete or doesn't click. Unlike PUSS IN BOOTS' gambit of tricking a shape changing ogre into adopting the form of a mouse, Hamachi rarely works the right ploy. Part of YOKAIDEN's joke is that though forearmed with some knowledge, Hamachi goes into a very rules based spirit realm with fairy tale inspired ideas that don't play out in practice. And yet, with a smile and a bit of FT virtue/luck, he scrapes through.
What you get with YOKAIDEN's composite of inspirations is the PAN’S LABYRINTH of comics. That might sound like over-praise, and I don't want to encourage the expectation of that movie projected onto manga. What I mean is that PAN’S LABYRINTH was Guillermo del Toro's reinterpretation of a fairytale, informed by his background and his perspective, recontextualized based on his interests. It was the structure and in some sense trappings of a European fairytale rebuilt from the ground up via del Toro's point of view.
YOKAIDEN is a synthesis of the North American tradition of retelling fairytales via comics (see The TOON Treasury of Classic Children's Comics for some great examples of this), along with European roots of those stories, along with yokai folklore and ghost stories, along with elements that are purely Matsumoto. It's not simply a shonen hero's odyssey into a den of Japanese spirits, restaged for an English speaking audience. Nor is it slavishly following any of the patterns from which it is drawing. It's its own chimera of those inspirations.
Among the remarkable qualities of Matsumoto's comic is that she doesn't slow down for the reader. Chapters (or “candles” as they are referred to, see Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai gathering of a hundred ghost stories) are often exercises in "look, here's creature X!," accompanied by prose elaborating on X's identity and background. And yet, though it might look like it at first glance, this is not yakai with the training wheels on. On the kuchisake-onna, Matsumoto's describes "the slit-mouthed woman is a scary, lonely lady with a Glasgow smile and a serve need for reassurance." There are no foot notes on the foot notes, and if you don't get the reference, Matsumoto is content to let the joke slip by. In that sense, the risk of being left behind makes the repartee that much sharper.
This quick wit is paired with excellent cartooning. From the touches of extravagance, such as the desiccated giant built into Christina's chambers, to the darling, such as the loping watery eyed, cyclops umbrella, nothing is done in half measures.
As I said when discussing YOKAI ATTACK, a good yokai story breathes life into a murky corner of perception. It takes the fright of a dark corner, the wonder of a natural phenomenon, some metaphor or word play that sticks in the mind and gives it semi-human form. It might take some ferreting out, but one of the fascinating attributes of yokai is that they generally trace back to some mental hang-up. A yokai is some object of fascination given form and life. A story of story fascinations strung together, watching YOKAIDEN working with these creatures, waltzing with its inspirations is a delight.
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.

Sup folks, Bug here with another batch of indie flavored goodies for you. These books are just as good as any old mainstream book and deserve a look-see. Check ‘em out!

VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS #13 Bluewater Comics

This issue of VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS features the return of one of Price’s most famous roles: The Abominable Dr. Phibes. Being a fan of the DR. PHIBES films, I can’t put into words the excitement I had reading the continuing adventures of the character and the one-named writer/artist Adiano delivers both a fun story as Phibes chooses Greek mythology to enact his revenge this time around and some absolutely amazing artwork. Adriano reminds me of a young Sam Keith and the jovial tone of the art fits the somewhat campy aspect that permeated the films. I loved this issue of VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS; it’s quite possibly the best issue yet and it’s most definitely the finest art I’ve seen from this fun horror series to date.

HOWARD LOVECRAFT & THE FROZEN KINGDOM OGN Arcana Studios

A while back there was a conversation in the TBs about the tendency to cast Lovecraft into his own mythos in comics and films. It’s a fun enough concept, but one that may not give Lovecraft the credit he deserves for coming up with such an amazing mythology. It’s as if folks can’t believe that such an expansive universe can be created by one writer. But it did happen that way. Still, that won’t stop writers like Bruce Brown from coming up with a pretty top notch story. I can’t deny how cool this story is, casting Lovecraft as a child who is transported to a frozen land and meeting all of his mythical creations like Dragon and Cthulhu. There are many Lovecraft comics out there right now, but this one is a little different, geared toward a younger audience and telling a macabre story through a child’s eyes. Fun stuff, made more so with art by Renzo Podesta. If you’re into all things Lovecraft, this is a book you can’t miss.

INCARNATE #3 Radical Comics

What impresses me most about Nick Simmons’ first comic book effort after reading this third and final issue is the kineticism of the entire thing. Simmons really has a command of depicting action and it’s evident in every panel of this book. Yes, this book is heavily manga influenced, but Simmons adds big budget Hollywood effects to an already exciting story. This final showdown issue bursts excitement from every panel and ends ominously with a promise of more INCARNATE to come. I for one am happy to know that Simmons will be following up this fantastically energetic first mini with another in the near future. Horror and adventure that leaps off the page and slaps the shit out of you, that’s the kind of power this comic packs.

STARMAKER: LEVIATHAN #1 Dare Comics

From the creators of THE HUNTER, STARMAKER: LEVIATHAN stars out ominously as the cosmic and age old ritual enmesh and fold over onto itself. Much like THE HUNTER, writer Adam Hamdy does a great job with the cosmic stuff showing vision toward the future as well as a respect for comics Kirby-ian past. This issue serves more to set a tone than anything else. Many questions arise with nary an answer in sight, but this is just the first issue of a massive 425 page epic story, so Hamdy is holding back a few cards here in the beginning. Issue #1 will be available on ITunes through PanelFly, and online through Yudu.com on December 3rd 2009. If you want to wait for a printed version, you’ll have to wait until April 2010, but I suggest you don’t. If you’re an old school fan of all things cosmic, this is one you shouldn’t miss. Hamdy showed me with THE HUNTER that he is a writer to watch. Here he continues to dole out the Kirby-ian coolness in this cosmic and trippy story set in India and realms unimaginable.

THE MIGHTY #11 (of 12) DC Comics

Wow. Ten issues of suspenseful buildup comes to a head in an action-packed penultimate issue. Though I’m scratching my head at the plot twist (readers will know what I’m talking about, and I don’t want to spoil it for everyone else), I have full confidence that Tomasi (who has crafted this series excellently right from the get-go) will explain everything beautifully in the next issue. My only complaint is that my enjoyment of this comic went by waaaaay too quickly. The resolution to this fantastic series can’t show up on the shelves soon enough. - Imp

NEW MUTANTS #7 Marvel Comics

In this BLACKEST NIGHT tie in, deceased former New Mutant foes The Hellions are resurrected and bent on vengeance against their former arch nemeses. In a change of events, Zeb Wells chooses not to give his resurrected corpses Black Lantern rings. Not sure what DC editorial will have to say about this, but with the dead rising all over the place…ahh, I can’t do it anymore. Shame on you Marvel for this blatant BLACKEST NIGHT rip-off with NECROSHA-X. Sure, there are an awful lot of dead mutants to play with and any other time this may be an interesting storyline, but having this x-crossover occur during DC’s BLACKEST NIGHT is as maddening as your little brother repeating the same words you are saying over and over. Zeb Wells tries his best to make this an interesting story and all of the right characterization is at play. You can’t blame him for having to follow editorial’s crossover demands, but this copycat shit is just plain petty. - Bug

SUPERGOD #2 Avatar Press

Oh thank Hippie Jesus, the Internet Jesus I know and love has returned. I guess in some ways he has never left, but most of his output has been a little too “Either end of the spectrum” for his writing tendencies for me. IGNITION CITY had too much emphasis on talking tough to put together a story I found overly interesting. NO HERO was too dedicated to LSD trips and using spines as penile embellishment to take seriously. But SUPERGOD, this kind of streamlines better what I love about Ellis books. It is very gritty and brutal like those books I just mentioned, but not quite as comically over the top as they were, and there’s lots of great sci-fi jargon being thrown around here, but never in a way that really feels like I’m in over my head. In fact, it’s used in a great combination with some superhero genre tropes in order to make me feel right at home as Ellis is speaking through his mouthpiece in the comic to explain how the shit went down. High Sci-Fi plus Megatons of Destruction plus Ellis’ typically flowery prose is always a win for me, and SUPERGOD brings all these elements into play in the perfect blend of his talents and tendencies. - Humphrey

FALL OF THE HULKS: ALPHA One-Shot Marvel Comics

Now this, my friends is a $3.99 comic worth every penny. Writer Jeff Parker sure knows how to smish oodles and oodles of cool into 32 pages. Parker successfully ties about fifty years of continuity all together with a bright bow and does so with the skill and precision only the most zombified of Marvel Zombies could ever accomplish. Everything from Project Pegasus to Atlantis to the Secret Wars

Readers Talkback

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  • Dec. 9, 2009, 9:41 a.m. CST

    TOY STORY

    by Series7

    Kind of pissed about getting the first series then the trade coming out the next week for like $4 cheaper then buying the series issue by issue.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Comic prices

    by Bluejack

    I may have reached my limit. To keep up I'm spending 20-40 bucks per week. The way events and comics are written now you either are in or you are out. I'm getting a Kindle2 for X-Mas and for 99c (99c!!) I can download the complete works of H.P. Lovecraft. I can buy a novel for the price of two comics. I can by Dragon Age:Origins for the price of 15 comics and that game has entertained me for weeks. I love comics and I love many of the characters, but the value is just not there any more. I make a good living, but the price of comics has just become crazy. <p> Anyway, I was wondering on other folks thoughts and possibly coments from folks who have made the jump to just trades. I'm a physician and I make a good living. How the hell can most folks afford to stay up to date on the Avengers, for example?

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Bluejack

    by Series7

    Gotta hit the streets man.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Blackest WW

    by Homer Sexual

    I have to agree that Rucka is probably the only person who writes a good Wonder Woman. Simone's run has been very...odd. <p> Kind of dull reviews. Loved the Incredible Hulk Alpha, I agree it was totally worth the $3.99 and even puts the Red Hulk story/mystery in a very interesting place. <p> No more Justice Society. All-Star or whatever, I am very over it and the whole "we're military-ish" sounds lame. Or like that "Justice" series written by James Robinson. I prefer the Power Girl I read about in Power Girl. <p> Marvel does better team books, probably because they have less archetypal characters. I was going to say that the only team book I like at DC is Teen Titans,but am actually getting bored with that one as well.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 10:13 a.m. CST

    M.O.D.O.K.

    by fiester

    He is super-creepy, visually stunning, a genius, and pure evil--why they have not set him up as the baddie for the Iron Man movies, I have no idea. M.O.D.O.K. and A.I.M. with a few more physical costumed villains/goons vs. Stark Enterprises would rock.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 10:18 a.m. CST

    MODOK

    by Bluejack

    would look just plain silly on the screen with the big head deal. Crimson Dynamo and the Soviet Super Soldiers might work, but the next installment should be Tony vs. alcohol and the Madarin.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 10:31 a.m. CST

    I loved HULK Alpha

    by OBESE_WAN_KENOBI

    I just picked it up on a whim because I didn't really have many of my regular books come out last week. But it was actually really good. I was shocked... and awed of course.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Blackest Night vs. Necrosha

    by maxwell's hammer

    To be fair, Bastion was resurrecting dead X-Villians back during X-Force's first arc. I've no doubt that plot point was expanded in response to BN, but it was far from some cheap rip-off. Plus: some of don't even read DC comics, and could care less that there's a similarity anyway. I'm just having fun watching all these old dead X-characters that I'd mostly forgotten about popping up at unexpected times.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 10:42 a.m. CST

    I dropped both JSA & All Stars

    by Psynapse

    And I'm an admitted DC whore. I'm pretty sure I did because they both suck total ass.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Bluejack

    by Joenathan

    I just buy the ones I want. I have no problem dropping the ones I don't. I find it's easier to make this decision, though, if I only go to the LCS once every two or three weeks. It's easier to cut when the stack is huge and you do the math in your head and then go: "Wow... I don't need this... I don't enjoy this... This one has terrible art... This new creative team is crap... I'm only buying this one for the boobies... This always gets shuffled to the bottom of the pile..." Thats how I decided to drop BPRD, DMZ, Fables, most of my DC titles, X-Force, etc. Also, every six months or so I sell a large chunk of my titles back to the LCS at a discount, they sell that at Cons, and I use the money for more comics.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Starmaker - great cover.

    by hallmitchell

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Comic Prices

    by Coma Baby

    Yeah, I could never collect like I did in junior high and high school. I didn't have much to spend then, but comics were cheap. I imagine kids still don't have much to spend and can't afford trying out random comics at $3.99 a piece. As you get older, you make more money but there are quite a few more things you have to spend money on (and want to spend money on). I probably spend about 30 bucks a month on comics and I'm happy with that. Once in a while I'll pick up a trade at the comic shop (always good to support a local business even though online you'll always find something cheaper). My library actually has lots of trades throughout its system so sometimes I'll just place a hold on one of those and go pick it up when it comes in.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Good morning internet...

    by loodabagel

    I shall return, but first I need to see if that new issue of Detective COmics came in.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 11 a.m. CST

    Tony vs. Alcohol

    by Joenathan

    Never going to happen. <BR><BR> That movie made too much money with a light, fun tone for them to try to darken it up. The mainstream audience wouldn't enjoy it or care. <br><br> And really... come on... having Downey "struggle" with alchoholism while suited up... in comics it's fine-ish, but in real life, it just cheapens people's actual struggles. <br><br>It's never going to happen. The writing isn't strong enough, the subject matter isn't deep enough and the time constraint of a couple of hours isn't long enough. Iron Man is going to stay light and fun and cool, with slight nods to grim and gritty. Give up the dream. <br><br> Besides, go re-read Demon in a Bottle some time... CLICHE!!!!

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Super God

    by Coma Baby

    Nice seeing a Super God review - I picked up #1 randomly and really liked it. I especially liked the British superbeings that were fused with an alien mushroom. I'm kind of new to Warren Ellis's stuff but this seems to hold up to what I've read so far. The art is suitably epic too.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Procative DC

    by Joenathan

    What's with all these "pro-active" DC teams lately? It's like they all just read a bunch of comics and had a meeting and went: <br><Br> "You know what was cool... Brigade!" <br><br> "Yeah, and X-Force, too."

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 11:09 a.m. CST

    It's a HULK love-fest up in here.

    by we_pray_for_mad_skillz

    Congratulations! <p> Feels good doesn't it?

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Joe..

    by Homer Sexual

    I also dropped X-Force and Fables but am too addicted to my weekly habit to wait it out unless I'm traveling. Wish I could sell back some books at a discount...I do periodic giveaways just to keep my stash manageable. <p> Also agree that Demon In a Bottle is never going to happen, and I am very glad of that. <p> Necrosha is suprisingly entertaining. New Mutants is constantly on the edge of going terribly wrong,but keeps being right. We will see now that Illyana's "secret" is about to be revealed. If this is just another trip down the same old path, I will immediately drop NM.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Well,

    by Joenathan

    I said "It's easier to make the decision if I go every 2 to 3 weeks", that doesn't mean I'm able to wait that long...

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 11:47 a.m. CST

    "Not a bad read." - Ain't it Cool News

    by Squashua

    I can see the JSA All Stars TPB cover now...

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Lobo: Highway To Hell

    by KneelB4Xod

    Scott Ian is a terrible writer. Should he be off somewhere tie-dying his beard instead? And Sam Kieth totally phoned this one in. It's sad, I can remember a time that I was legitimately excited for a new Sam Kieth book. Now every time I pick up something he's done, I just end up being disappointed. Pass.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 12:08 p.m. CST

    really?

    by maxwell's hammer

    How can someone drop 'Fables'? All the other stuff I get (but only grudgingly on 'BPRD'), but 'Fables'? That's been quality stuff since issue #1!

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Lobo: What would you expect?

    by Homer Sexual

    I have been accused of being condescending in the past. But I can't resist....if you read Highway to Hell, you must know what you are going to get. If you like it (I'm sure I wouldn't), cool. <p> If you bought it just for Sam Kieth's art...maybe you should just re-read the Maxx.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Fables.

    by Homer Sexual

    I actually got sick of Fables long before I dropped it. I felt committed to see it through the end of the Great War, but after a promising start and an occasional good issue (Cinderella the Spy), I found the book to be dull and militaristic. I liked it for at least 3-4 years, though.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Fables

    by Bluejack

    It was just played out after the Great War was over. It itched the modern day fable itch and was done.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 12:51 p.m. CST

    JSA: "Not a bad read"

    by Psynapse

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 12:52 p.m. CST

    JSA: "Not a bad read"

    by Psynapse

    Yes, yes it is.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Maxwell - Fables

    by Joenathan

    They lost me somewhere near the Frog Prince. I've heard the post-war stuff is good, but... meh... I'll pick up the trades eventually, I suppose, but the reason I dropped the book in the first place was upon examination of my feelings, the best I could come up with was "meh..."<br><br> $3 less a month.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 1:28 p.m. CST

    So weird seeing Kieron Gillen as a Marvel writer...

    by foxthebloodied

    I still remember him as a writer at PC Gamer. His review of Deus Ex is still one of the best pieces of games journalism ever written.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Fables...

    by maxwell's hammer

    I guess if its not tickling your fancy. I can sympathise to an extent. When books started making the jump to $3.99, there was a lot of stuff I woulnd't have hesitated to buy before that I suddenly found myself viewing with a scrutity I'd forgetten I had. I think the best thing about the price jump was how much money I'm saving on all the books I realized I didn't really want to read anymore.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Fables...

    by loodabagel

    <p>I read it online until the end of the great war. I then decided to start getting the trades. "The Dark Ages" is the only one out right now, but I'm eagerly awaiting the next volume. I guess with a sprawling series like that, you get exhausted after a while. </P> <p>Homer, how far did your Teen Titans fixation last? I was a huge fan of that comic from issue 1 till the crappy Titans East story, then I dropped it for about a year, picked it up again at issue 50, and left after that story with that mod time-master guy. I haven't heard much of anything about it in over a year.</P>

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 1:55 p.m. CST

    FF

    by Joenathan

    I finally read the latest Hickman FF and I got to agree with the review, it was a weirdly truncated issue, as if it was more editorial mandate: "Hey... hey... could you get rid of Nu-world? You know, just... get rid of it? Thanks." <br><br>Also, I really liked the Dark Avengers Annual, especially the end, despite the editorial flub inherant. Otherwise... great.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Well, I am actually still buying Teen Titans

    by Homer Sexual

    But mostly because of Ravager. Terror Titans, featuring Clock King the mod guy you mention, is one of my favorite mini-series in years. But the current cast is dull, only Miss Martian is cool. They seem to have eliminated Ravager's backup to put her in the main story again, which will keep me buying it. But really...Aquagirl? Blue Beetle? The cast just doesn't grab me right now, and it seems very teen-ish, which is appropriate but not my thing so much. <p> What was Titans East? I am having difficulty remembering. I did actually enjoy the future Titans and the special which killed off Power Boy. My very very favorite superhero miniseries of recent times is Modok's 11.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Seige? Is that pronounced like "beige"?

    by tonagan

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 2:53 p.m. CST

    That was the team of evil Teen Titans...

    by loodabagel

    assembled by Deathstroke. It was a crap story if I recall correctly. They spent forever building that up and then a whole lotta meh.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 3:54 p.m. CST

    I know I read it, but have no idea who was on the team.

    by Homer Sexual

    So it must have been very "meh" indeed. If I can remember Power Boy, who I only ever saw in one comic ever, I should remember who was on Titans East...but I don't..was Zatara on that team?

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 5:21 p.m. CST

    I think you forgot to actually review Crumb's Genesis.

    by rev_skarekroe

    Too caught up in being clever, I guess.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Maybe...

    by loodabagel

    There was Match-the evil Superboy, Kid Crusader, Riddler's Daughter, a brainwashed Batgirl, an evil Flash, a one armed guy and Bombshell-the teenage Captain Comet, I think.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 5:27 p.m. CST

    GENESIS

    by Tumor_Binks

    Crumb on the bible, have to take a look, especially if Eve has to run around with Adam on her back.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 5:52 p.m. CST

    Rev, Crumb's GENESIS is pretty much the unreviewable book.

    by stones_throw

    It's Robert Crumb. Illustrating the Book of Genesis. All of it. Exactly is it happens in the Bible. (As I'm sure you'd know, Reverend.) What more do you want or need to know?

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 6:31 p.m. CST

    Observations

    by gooseud

    1. Supergod is clearly cool. I like it. BUT......why are we supposed to care? There isnt a single character in the book, literally. Just the random narrator. Its a virtually dialogue-less book. Dont get me wrong, there are always cool ideas in Ellis's work, but without some kind a reason to give a shit, it doesnt stick with me. 2. Given the fact that absolutely no one in this TB seems to give a shit about The Cabal, I guess everyone felt the same way about it that I did. It was perfectly fine, but nothing fantastic. Also, that Volstagg preview was utterly retarded in every single possible way, and completely fits the Bendis-style "re-writing the character to fit the story-beat you want to hit, and not vice versa" writing that just annoys me to no end. And this, after Volstagg had the coolest moment I've ever seen him have in the Giant Size issue a month back. 3. Wow, I've never read an issue of Fables, but I must admit, I've never seen fandom turn on such a beloved, critically acclaimed book like they did on this one. It went from "FABLES IS AWESOME!!" to "Meh I dropped it" in like the space of 3 issues.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 6:32 p.m. CST

    Oh, and Thor

    by gooseud

    was awesome. Its been awesome, its still awesome, and apparently it will remain awesome. That is all.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Rucka is the best writer in comics

    by kingben

    He is untouchable. He should be the only person to write Wonder Woman

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 7:39 p.m. CST

    Demon In A Bottle All Wrong For Stark

    by Buzz Maverik

    Have you guys actually read it? It's an afterschool special. The Superhero Who Drank Too Much. Stark should drink scotch, smoke cigars, chase girls and eat steak.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 7:55 p.m. CST

    The High price of comics...

    by Johnny Ahab

    I too am dismayed at the hefty price of comics these days – and I am much more selective now about purchases so that I don’t break the bank. I make a decent living, but I wince when I see what the cost of a stack of comics turns out to be. I’ve followed some of the Dark Reign storyline (New Avengers, Dark Avengers, Utopia and a couple of List one-offs), but I’m getting tired. And I think this Siege event may be the perfect jumping off point. I mean really, the Green Goblin going after Asgard?? It seems pretty ridiculous. And I think I have to jump off the Spider-Man train too. Three issues a month – ouch. I did jump off after One Botched Day – came back aboard around issue #600, but I still have lingering annoyance issues over the whole thing despite some pretty decent stories. Can’t remember the last FF story I read – I’ve jumped on and off with that over the years, but the whole Nu-World run was so awful it’ll be a while before I give them my money again. I dropped Hulk a loooong time back getting frustrated with Loeb’s 5 minute reads – but picked up Fall of the Hulks Alpha cuz of the groovy cover – and MAN, was that a gas! So I’ll jump on for that series for a while as I let those other titles fall by the wayside. And I think it’s time to drop the entire X-universe. So what am I holding onto? Daredevil, Guardians of the Galaxy, the Reign of Kings stuff with the Inhumans (all of the cosmic stuff has been so much more engaging than the Dark Reign drek), Thunderbolts (the one quirky Dark Reign title I totally dig) – and that’s about it for the Marvel U. But more and more, I come to this column to see if there’s something totally kick-ass that I need to pick up. So thanks, @$$holes for highlighting the good stuff and sparing us the crap!

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 8:17 p.m. CST

    I dropped Daredevil...

    by loodabagel

    Not because it was bad, I just refuse to pay 4$ for a comic. Well, actually I decided to switch to trades, which is slightly different.

  • Dec. 9, 2009, 10:31 p.m. CST

    M.O.D.O.K. needs to be a villain...

    by MCVamp

    In the next direct-to-DVD animated Iron Man movie, and he needs to be voiced by AQUA TEEN's Matt Maiellaro in the same exact voice as the Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past From The Future. Or even better, an animated version of M.O.D.O.K.'s 11. "THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO, BEFORE SIGOURNEY WEAVER..."

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 7:37 a.m. CST

    RE: Homer Sexual regarding Lobo

    by KneelB4Xod

    Yeah, you're right.. you are condescending. My point was that Sam Kieth has been involved with some pretty disappointing projects lately and his artwork has definitely been slipping. And as far as Scott Ian's writing goes, that guy has no business writing comics.. at all.. period. I get that he's "Mr. Metal God" and that's fine.. if you want to write a story about the devil that's riddled with Pantera and Motorhead references, I'm all for it. But if you do a shitty job with it, I'm going to call you out. My problem isn't with the subject matter, it's with Scott Ian's writing ability.. which is outright laughable.. and Sam Kieth's art.. which is sub par in this book. Of course I "knew what I was going to get", but that shouldn't be an excuse to do a shitty job with it. And suggesting I go back and re-read Kieth's earlier work because what he's doing now isn't good, well that's just asinine. If that's your suggestion, then why not just go back and re-read War and Pieces if you're sick of Fables and quit bitching in the TB about how it's boring now (which I completely agree with by the way but I'm trying to make a point). Anyway, obviously you haven't read the Lobo book, so maybe you shouldn't be clogging up the TB with shit you know absolutely nothing about.

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 8:22 a.m. CST

    Someone.......

    by gooseud

    is cranky.

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Johnny Ahab and I

    by gooseud

    have nearly identical taste: Thor, Ex Machina, All Abnett/Lanning Marvel cosmic stuff, Walking Dead, Irredeemable, Supergod, have caught up on Secret Six in trades and about to start that monthly, The Boys, considering Invincible Iron Man (on the fence), ummmm......I know I'm forgetting things, and I dabble in other stuff off and on (I picked up Cabal, picked up Haunt #1 and 2, which was dreadful). Drop list over the past year: Astonishing X men, Ult FF, Cap (which I never thought I ever could have said a year ago), She Hulk, X Factor (although just bought the newest trade to see if that storyline was any good).

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 8:47 a.m. CST

    RE: gooseud

    by KneelB4Xod

    Not cranky.. just tired of douche-nozzles.

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 9:16 a.m. CST

    $2.99

    by steverodgers

    The 5 books I got this week were all $2.99, I felt like Christmas came early. When I ask for a raise this year my main reasoning will be that comics cost $3.99 so obviously I need a bump.

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 9:24 a.m. CST

    I buy very few monthly books.

    by rev_skarekroe

    They really do cost too much relative to quality/entertainment value.<p>I think all I get monthly these days is Dark Avengers, Cerebus Archives, and The Goon (and that one hasn't been monthly for awhile).

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Goose

    by Joenathan

    Cabal was just the opening chapter. I was kind of pissed there wasn't more of a reveal with Osbourne's secret weapons, though... <br><br> How do you think Volstagg was re-written? I mean... besides "Bendis is teh sux!!!!11" <br><br> And it took me nearly a year to meh-out on Fables

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Buzz - Demon in a Bottle

    by Joenathan

    exactly, Buzz... exactly.

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Uh...

    by Joenathan

    "I mean really, the Green Goblin going after Asgard?? It seems pretty ridiculous." <br><Br> which part? The part where it's a story about Norse Gods fighting Superheroes or the part where you're calling foul on it but neglecting to include comic books in general...

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 9:35 a.m. CST

    I'm dropping Thunderbolts

    by Joenathan

    Rick Remember is terrible! He's Loeb bad.

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Because it has to be said

    by Joenathan

    The Boys is crap. It's not as crap as Crossed, but it's crap.

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 10:21 a.m. CST

    kneel...

    by Homer Sexual

    I didn't mean to offend you. I actually meant to imply just what you said about Scott Ian's writing ability and Sam Keith's current work. I meant that I might be condescending to fans of Scott Ian, not to you. No offense intended. I agree with your point, based on the Shoot the Messenger preview of Lobo (which I admit isn't the same as reading the whole comic but still gave a taste). <p> I haven't read any of the Seige stuff referenced here, either, but it sounds like Bad Bendis. <p> Good Bendis wrote Powers and Alias and writes good dialogue for underutilized characters. <p> Bad Bendis destroyed a significant Marvel character (Scarlet Witch) just to change up a Super Hero team, made a lesser fun character into an emo loser (Speedball) and is now going to rewrite Volstagg so any fan of "old" Asgard will feel betrayed just to kick off another "event." Bummer.

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Seriously though,

    by Joenathan

    I'm okay with destroying Scarlet Withc, because I always hated her. She sucks and so does her lame power. <br><br> I also kind of liked what happened to Speedball, because sometimes bad things happen to earnest people and life can take a wrong turn and, honestly, what would Speedball be doing now, if this hadn't been done with him, that we all miss so much... who here was a big time Speedball fan? I mean, I loved the New Warriors back in the day too. We've all discussed the time Night Thrasher's nanny tried to destroy the world and how super awesome that particular era was... but really, that era of the new warriors is done... sadly... and Speedball was destined to be a permanent joke and/or useless limbo character otherwise. And honestly, he's a great example of what Tony was talking about in Civil War... just because some boob has super powers, it does not mean that they are qualified to police the world... but I digree to my question... <br><br> How is Volstagg re-writen? He's always been this ale-swigging, bombastic blowhard that is ready for a good fight at the drop of a hat, right, at least, as far as I can remember. He's used to going to town on monsters with other Gods at his side. He's never had to rein himself in or be concerned with collateral damage, so when he comes to our world and looks for a good old fashioned brawl as a precursor for some quality ale quaffing and maybe some wenching, he does it like he always does, loud, large, and loving every minute of it. The part he didn't realize is that humans aren't as resiliant as Asgardians, or more so, he didn't realize that he even had to consider that and... whoops... splatter. How is that re-written and so entirely out of the realm of possibility for that character?

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Volstagg

    by Hedgehog000

    You could make the same argument about almost every comic book fight we see. How many times have two marvel superheroes laid the smack down in the middle of NYC over some stupid misunderstanding. If we're going to be realistic, plenty of innocent people would have died in those fights. Sure, in the real world, Volstagg get's into a fight, lots of normal folks die, but if you're going to be realistic in the comic book world, then be consistent and have people die whenever the Hulk starts to have a smackdown (yeah, yeah, I know, some part of Bruce Banner's intelligence is calculating all the moves so the Hulk never actually hurts anyone).

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 12:33 p.m. CST

    True, Ron Jeremy... and welcome.

    by Joenathan

    And thats been done before (and honestly, I'd be okay with more consquences like this pushing into stories), but the key difference is, I believe Volstagg would be wholly ignorant of even the need of such considerations, being that he is from a completely different place culturally, where a lot of the other superheroes are instinctively aware of this and some have even learned this, to their horror, when they were younger and first got their powersand then spent their career trying to atone for whatever damage they accidentally inflicted. Maybe. I'm just saying, Volstagg loves him some throw downs and that kid of "Yeah! Have at thee!" attitude can have consequences.

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Its not completely out of the possibility

    by gooseud

    But come on, Joe. That was lazy writing at its finest. Volstagg just decides, out of the blue, to go for a walk and look for adventure, sans the other two guys? Just randomly? "Gee I'll go for a walk, OOOPs its some bad guys!!" LOL thats almost as cliche as the gang of thugs raping some girl in the alley til the good guy drops from the sky and stops them. And the thousands of other times the Warriors Three showed up in our dimension and battled, they seemed to show restraint, but THIS time, not so much? Lazy lazy lazy. Dear writer: give me a reason why Volstagg, who never goes ANYWHERE without Fandral and Hogun, decides to leave Oklahoma, something that in the actual Thor series, he has shown zero inclination to do. Why? BECAUSE HES A GOD!!! What, this is the first time he's seen Earth? Its just lazy. A diabolical plot to lure Volstagg out of Asgard, while splitting him away from the other two, and luring him into some situation? Still meh, but understandable. Volstagg literally picking up a backpack and saying "Hmmm what shall I do today? I know! Ill go looking for adventure!!" Good gawd, laaaaame.

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Hey Marvel Ed Board

    by evolution1085

    I know its real hard to do your job (sarcasm) but do me a favor and at least try and keep Steve Rogers from every comic out BEFORE Reborn is finished running through... kthanxbye

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Goose

    by Joenathan

    Wait a minute, wait a minute, just so we're clear here... so the problem you have with the beginnings of this series ...essentially... is that Bendis has Volstagg decide to go on an adventure?!?! You're problem, is that an Adventurer decides to go on an adventure... hmmm... ok then...

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 3:42 p.m. CST

    And the bad guys were sent

    by Joenathan

    to goad him into a fight...

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Sorry,I think Goose is probably right...

    by Homer Sexual

    We shall see, Joe, I am enough of a comic addict that I'll definetely pick up at least one issue of Siege, and probably all of them. <p> But Goose's argument sounds true to me, and (don't hate me. you know you've earned your credibility on this board) you would probably justify anything Bendis writes. You just like the really dark stuff more than I do, for one thing. <p> Your point about Speedball is well taken, but I think I'd rather he was forgotten than put through what his character has endured. <p> I always liked Wanda, so I still have resentment for what Bendis did to her.

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 8:19 p.m. CST

    Yep, thats exactly my problem

    by gooseud

    The Warriors Three bought a restaurant in Oklahoma specifically because they didnt feel like adventuring, they simply wanted to be near Thor in case he needed them. This isnt exactly the first time that you could get whiplash trying to follow the characterizations of the same characters through different books at Marvel, especially where Bendis vs. Non-Typical-Bendis characters are concerned. I just wish Marvel could leave well enough alone and stop screwing up a good thing with their lame crossovers (See David, Peter/X-Factor).

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 8:22 p.m. CST

    One last thing

    by gooseud

    You have to have read the preceding 14 or so issues of the current Thor run to get where the Warriors Three argument is coming from.....I'm not saying Joe (or anyone else) HASNT read it, but if you haven't, you wouldnt be privy to certain things in the storyline. Anyone who HAS read it (which clearly does NOT include Bendis) realizes that Volstagg taking that course of action is laughably random and completely stupid.

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 10:24 p.m. CST

    Great Review, Stones Throw!

    by Buzz Maverik

    If I'm going to read a comic book review, it's gotta be cool and different, like what I expect from a comic, which is what Stones does in his review. Also, funny. Funny is good!

  • Dec. 10, 2009, 10:31 p.m. CST

    No Cuddly Cthulhus

    by Buzz Maverik

    The true strangeness of Lovecraft's mythos has never been properly done in comics or film. I love to see a truly fractured, multiple POV CALL O' CTHULHU or DUNWICH HORROR or COLOUR OF SPACE, or SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH (when I was a junior high kid drawing my Batman rip off NIGHT TERROR, all the villains ended up in Innsmouth Institute for the Criminally Insane).

  • Dec. 11, 2009, 8:29 a.m. CST

    They call it 'Idiot Plot'

    by Psynapse

    "a plot which is kept in motion solely by virtue of the fact that everybody involved is an idiot."<P>In other words, most of Bendis' writing for Marvel.

  • Dec. 11, 2009, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Buzz is right about Lovecraft.

    by rev_skarekroe

    I mean, I've GOT a cuddly Cthulhu, who lives in my kitchen with sock monkey, a Furby, and a bottle of Crystal Head vodka - but I also think it's kind of sad that the really insane horror of that creation (and all of Lovecraft's stuff) has been so diluted in the last decade or so.<p>It's too bad Hammer never made any Lovecraft movies. Imagine, say, Dreams In The Witch House done in the style of The Devil Rides Out...

  • Dec. 11, 2009, 9:17 a.m. CST

    A restaurant?

    by Joenathan

    Ok... I hadn't read that, so yeah... there is a conflict there, but I would put forth that the idea of some insert-super-powered-bad-ass opening a restaurant should ALWAYS be negated... I think on a scale of "dumb-ness" Superhero somewhat uncharacteristically going of on their own is way LESS dumb than a super-hero version of "Alice" and any disagree-ers can kiss my grust... but then I admit whole-heartedly to being a Friend of the Bendis. <br><br>Also, for the no-prize... Loki manipulated Volstagg by making him desire an adventure on his own, which Osbourne was thus theen able to exploit! HI-YAH!

  • Dec. 11, 2009, 9:18 a.m. CST

    aw...

    by Joenathan

    that should have been "grits" not "grust" damn lack of edit feature...

  • Dec. 11, 2009, 9:31 a.m. CST

    But here's the thing..

    by Psynapse

    They AREN'T 'super powered badasses' as much as merely members of a different (admittedly far physically superior) race to themselves. AND Volstagg has many, many times previously been shown to be exceptionally conscious of children (hell, his first truly heroic act in Thor was to rescue an endangered child) so you can't tell ANYONE who's read Thor in the past that Volstagg would allow them to be harmed because he wanted a fight. You KNOW there were plenty of kids in that stadium.<p>I repeat: Idiot Plot

  • Dec. 11, 2009, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Nit-picky

    by Joenathan

    IT's an accepted fact that you will look for any crack you think may exist in any of Bendis's stuff, where as I will attempt to patch it over. So I say that in the moment, he loses himself to the rush of battle, the thrill of the fight, the pure essesnse of what it means to be one of the warriors three... sometimes accidents happen. Even Gods are not perfect, Pstnapse... even Gods are not perfect... <br><br> Besides, I already no-prized the fuck out of this: He was manipulated by Norman AND Loki, you know... the TRICKSTER... what's a big, fat stupid, drunken idiot with a sword supposed to do in that situation?

  • Dec. 11, 2009, 10:28 a.m. CST

    interview with 3 great writers:

    by we_pray_for_mad_skillz

    http://tinyurl.com/y9u3ccv

  • Dec. 11, 2009, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Not quite..

    by Psynapse

    We both read the same pages in the comic book yet apparently you missed the fact that ALL Norman did was sit back and watch. Given that big ole 'AND' in your post I have to wonder just how much you actually pay attention to what you read.<p>Actually this illustrates my point perfectly. You do not 'defend' anything. You retroactively edit to support your stance with total disregard for what has actually occurred before. Just like Bendis writes, IMHO.<p>Therefore your 'No-Prize' is in fact 'Epic Fail'.

  • Dec. 11, 2009, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Norman

    by Joenathan

    Hey now, Norman called the Hood off screen and just because the Hood is on his speed dial, it DOES NOT mean that Norm didn't contribute to the effort. Sure, maybe it wasn't as intensive a contribution as Loki, but it is Norm's fault that Iphones are so damn conveniant? No. No, it is not. <br><br>No-prize: Joenathan <br><br>Face: Psynapse

  • Dec. 11, 2009, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Have you considered politics?

    by Psynapse

    You've certainly mastered sophistry as evidenced by this most recent post.<p>Epic. Fail.

  • Dec. 11, 2009, 1:15 p.m. CST

    No, Joenathan is right.

    by rev_skarekroe

    Furthermore, this is exactly the sort of thing No Prizes were originally created for. Furthermore furthermore, the story's not done yet and we may discover more about what Volstagg was thinking, how much direct manipulation Loki had, exactly what the supervillains were expected to do, etc.<p>Speaking of villains, those guys that attacked Volstagg were the U-Foes, right? According to Wikipedia, they're the Initiative team for North Carolina, not thugs working for The Hood. So somebody needs to No Prize that.

  • Dec. 11, 2009, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Oh that one's easy

    by Psynapse

    It doesn't serve a Bendis plot so it never really happened.

  • Dec. 11, 2009, 2:13 p.m. CST

    Color me confused

    by WarpedElements

    I know Osborn is power hungry and all, and wanting to be in control, but why is he suddenly addressing Asgard now, and Spider-Man (his arch-nemsis or did that change after OMD?) still floating around free? Hell, Deadpool should be back on his radar now, but instead he decides now is a time to pick a fight with the Gods?

  • Dec. 11, 2009, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Read the Seige Preview in back of New Avengers Annual...

    by Homer Sexual

    And, well, it was Bad Bendis and very repetitive. Bendis really seems to be basing every story on the public turning against the heroes one way or another, from Disassembled to Civil War to Secret Invasions leading into Dark Reign and now Thor. I am finding many repetitive threads and it's old, plus I didn't like it. <p> Now the public is turning against Asgard due to Loki's machinations? How very original and super duper different from Bendis' other "events." <p> All right, tell me how it's very original and not besmirching heroic characters, but I won't be convinced. <p> The art looked great and I want to like these things. But geez, I can't when these things keep happening. <p> Oh, the Warriors Three running a restaurant in Oklahoma does sound extremely stupid. Haven't read Thor since issue 1, which bored me.

  • Dec. 11, 2009, 2:32 p.m. CST

    New Avengers annual...

    by Homer Sexual

    Was pretty good Bendis. I probably liked it more than many because I liked seeing Jessica Jones do something besides whine. And it was pretty fun, and the characters focused on are all favorites of mine. And Osborne & Co got served, which pleases me. <p> Major editorial gaffe. Luke tells Jessica "so it's like that" referring to her being in her Jewel costume, except that she isn't...she's in regular clothes. Do these errors fall on the artist? The writer? Probably editorial, who is supposed to catch these things. <p> It also gives away that Luke Cage will be fine, although "The Final Fate of Luke Cage" is the next issue of New Avengers. Also Steve Rogers is in this issue, but can't remember which story.

  • Dec. 11, 2009, 2:34 p.m. CST

    It was a Diner

    by Psynapse

    In Oklahoma. In other words, it was about as far from a 'restaurant' as one can get.

  • Dec. 11, 2009, 3:04 p.m. CST

    WarpedElements....

    by Psynapse

    Because it serves a Bendis plot.

  • Dec. 11, 2009, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Eh?

    by WarpedElements

    Yeah but it's inconstant. At least with all the crap surrounding everything from Disassembled (which in and of itself had tons of out of character moments) up until Dark Reign, it's been kept together relatively well continuity wise. Especially if his Goblin Persona is getting loose again, you'd think one of his first thoughts would be to bring in Parker.

  • Dec. 12, 2009, 5:14 a.m. CST

    I like the term "idiot plot"...

    by stones_throw

    It describes most Coen brothers movies, too, although I think their use of idiots as characters has slightly more of a philosophical point than Bendis's. But it's why I find their films wear badly on repeat viewings, I hated BURN AFTER READING, and I'm wary of seeing A SERIOUS MAN.

  • Dec. 12, 2009, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Don't be wary of A SERIOUS MAN, Stones.

    by SleazyG.

    It's vastly superior to BURN AFTER READING. It's not about idiots, and it's not the Coens mocking stupid white people as they sometimes do. It's far more serious and philosophical (although still with lots of funny) and has an ending which I imagine may have angered some viewers, but which is absolutely fitting considering the content and meaning of the film.

  • Dec. 14, 2009, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Warped Elements

    by Joenathan

    He deals with Parker in the Spider-man: The List. And goes after Asgard because Loki is manipulating him and the current situation, as well.

  • Dec. 14, 2009, 7:18 p.m. CST

    Why Idiot Plots Are Real

    by Buzz Maverik

    Me:"Large coffee, black!"<p>Them:"You want room for cream?"

  • Dec. 15, 2009, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Bad Example Buzz...

    by Psynapse

    Because that barrista was likely thinking 'Maybe he's one of those that like to add their own cre..." Wait. There's no way to finish that sentence without sounding pornographic. Dammit....

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