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AICN COMICS REVIEWS: DAREDEVIL! INCORRUPTABLE! FABLES! LOCKE & KEY! & MUCH MORE!

#32 12/16/09 #8

Merry Holidays, Talkbackers. Ambush Bug here, welcoming you to our Day Before the Night Before Christm@$$ edition of AICN Comics. Before we begin, CBR ran a damn cool commercial to HACK/SLASH’s Tim Seeley’s awesome webseries COLT NOBLE & THE MAGALORDS. The book will be available in February from Image, but you can see the sweet @$$ retro commercial here!

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) INCORRUPTABLE #1 DAREDEVIL #503 FABLES #91 LOCKE & KEY: CROWN OF SHADOWS #2 HULK #18 THE BIG BAD BOOK OGN CHEAP SHOTS!

INCORRUPTABLE #1

Writer: Mark Waid Artist: Jean Diaz Published by: BOOM! Studios Reviewed by: BottleImp

“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” —Newton’s Third Law of Motion
Earlier this year, Mark Waid introduced us to his vision of a Superman-like hero turned evil with IRREDEEMABLE. Now he gives us the flip side of that coin with INCORRUPTABLE. The series’ “hero” is superstrong and nigh-invulnerable villain Max Damage, who (we’re told via an FBI “Most Wanted” poster on the inside cover) is the only known super-being to survive physical combat with the Plutonian. He’s got a gang of flunkies, an underage sidekick/girlfriend named Jailbait, and a nifty supervillain lair—all of which Damage is willing to give up in his transition from villain to hero.
I really like the fact that this series expands upon the universe that Waid has created within IRREDEEMABLE. As a matter of fact, INCORRUPTABLE’s beginning stems directly from the Plutonian’s rampage—the reader doesn’t know the exact circumstances that caused Max Damage’s abrupt change of heart, but we can get the general reason. While explaining his desire to switch teams to Jailbait and police Lieutenant Armadale, Damage says, “We were all playing a game until the Plutonian went and turned the board upside-down… He’s killed most of the super-heroes. If any of them are still alive, they’re not doing dick-all to save the rest of us. Somebody’s got to step up.” The fact that the plot of IRREDEEMABLE leads into this new series gives both titles a deeper layer of verisimilitude.
So far, INCORRUPTABLE seems to be set up along the same lines as its predecessor in terms of story arc—it looks as if we’re going to be getting the backstory ladled out to us in little spoonfuls, just as with the Plutonian’s trials and tribulations. However, I’m going to hazard an opinion and bet that INCORRUPTABLE will end up being the better title. First off, because of the main character—aside from his unfortunate moniker (whenever I read it all I can think of is that episode of “The Simpsons” where Homer changes his name to “Max Power,” and that song he sings to go with it… “Max Power, he’s the man with the name, you love to touch…but you mustn’t touch”), the “villain-becoming-a-hero” seems to have more dramatic potential than IRREDEEMABLE’s hero-gone-bad. The Plutonian is interesting, but once the audience finds out what past events drove him to evil, the mystery and interest are going to be gone, whereas Max Damage is just beginning his journey while taking the reader right alongside him. INCORRUPTABLE also has the better visuals. I’m not just talking about drawing styles, but also composition. Jean Diaz is a much more adept visual storyteller than IRREDEEMABLE’S Peter Krause—his panels give the reader a clear sense of the action and settings, and the “camera angles” he uses keep up the comic’s energy and sense of motion.
In short, this series begins with the same punch to the gut that IREDEEMABLE did—here’s hoping that unlike that comic, the quality of future issues of INCORRUPTABLE manages to continue sucker-punching us every month.
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.

DAREDEVIL #503

Writer: Andy Diggle Art: Roberto de la Torre & Maro Checchetto Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

I feel bad for Andy Diggle. Jumping onto a title after two highly popular runs from top tier writers has got to be intimidating and it's kind of a no win situation. I had my issues with Bendis' run and Brubaker’s definitely lost steam after a bang up beginning, so the fervor over Daredevil seems to have lessened this year. Fans dispersed when their favorite writers left this book. I'm sure it still sells well, but things are surprisingly quiet about DD these days. Those of us who read THE LOSERS know Diggle is a writer to be reckoned with. The fact that he wrote that title alone made me do a little somersault in my mind when I heard he was going to write the title.
Diggle came onto the title with DD divorcing his wife, losing his job, and becoming the leader of the Hand. Some say that the latter was a ridiculous plot development, but I say out of all of the major plots that have run through DD, the Hand grooming DD for leadership was one of the most consistent ones since Frank Miller wrote the book. So now, it's here. Daredevil is leading the Hand, but he's finding that his old code for "no killing" is a tough thing to uphold when you're leading an army of ninja assassins. Killing is kind of what they do.
Diggle has added some nice touches in these first few issues. He's done a pretty good job of showing the Kingpin’s rise to power while cleverly playing with current continuity as Fisk fools more and more criminals into thinking that they are working for the Owl or the Hood instead of himself. There is also the inclusion of Black Tarantula and White Tiger to the cast. Tertiary characters for DD in recent years, now they serve as the devil and angel on his shoulder as he tries to control the Hand. I kind of like that.
In this issue though, I have to admit, there was a few moments that kind of rang false to me. But only at first; then it kind of made sense. There are a few pages where Daredevil gives a sermon of sorts to his Hand bretheren. The speech is over the top and flowery and somewhat guffaw worthy. As I was reading it, I said to myself, "Man, he’s really laying it on thick." But then I realized that this is what Matt Murdock is. Matt Murdock is a pretty good laywer and a master at convincing a case to folks. Matt Murdock is a faithful Catholic (though not really practicing) and has seen his fair share of sermons. To see Matt fall back on his experience as a lawyer and a Catholic, not his heightened senses or billy club, was something definitely new. And although it may not be the type of action that makes me stand up from my chair and shout "GAWD DAMN!" It was pretty fun to see.
This book wasn't all speeches and mopes. There are a few action sequences done masterfully in some of the best art in DAREDEVIL's pages for ages by Roberto de la Torre. Think a cleaner Bill Sienkiewicz with Klaus Jansen inks and you've got the feel for it. It's raw and gritty and makes you feel like you're really seeing these characters move on panel.
One minor criticism: Foggy and Co. are once again kind of pushed to the side in this issue. I love the stories where Foggy is in the action, but these days if he isn't being shanked in jail or kidnapped by Lady Bullseye, he's left to mind the law office which is less that interesting. Hopefully, we'll see some Foggy action important to the plot soon. Same goes for Dakota North. When Matt and Dakota got together, I was excited as hell because this really could have been a cool pairing. Now, it's just kind of blahs-ville. I'm sure this Hand arc won't last forever, so hopefully some of DD's supporting cast can make more of an effective appearance in future arcs.
If you may have bailed when your writer of the moment left the title, it may be a good time to check it out again. The art is reminiscent of the age when DAREDEVIL first became a fan favorite, and Diggle is using the character in ways that are surprisingly fresh and inventive.
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).

FABLES #91

Writer: Bill Willingham Art: Mark Buckingham Publisher: DC Vertigo Reviewer:Optimous Douche

Prior to this issue, FABLES had been slowly losing me. I never hit the point of dropping a one liner TalkBack Shat Post of “Dropped It!”, but since the close of The Great War FABLES has declined from a rabid Wednesday “first read” to a modest (yet still respectable) second or third place. The thing that bugs me most about this is I can’t figure out why. So this is going to be part review and part therapy, using the AICN pulpit to convert myself back to the enlightened and once again find the magic in FABLES.
Issue 91 is a good start.
Part of the FABLES allure has always been the action, the epic battles fighting for glory and what’s right (or wrong). Since the close of the “Great Fables Crossover” though, FABLES has been light on the action and much heavier on the planning and waiting. Issue 91 redeems itself by centering a third of the book on Bufkin and his band of unlikely heroes releasing their entire arsenal of tricks on Baba Yaga in the bowels of the rubble that was once Fable Town. While it was a joy to see the Buf One deliver some comeuppance to the shriveled witch, I couldn’t release the thought of “we’ve seen Baba destroyed before, we will see that chicken-legged house once more.” A fun diversion, but it’s hard to leap out of your seat at the thought of reading an epic non-consequential monkey battle, especially when it takes away from the true action on the fate of Fable Town above.
I think a large part of my disinterest lies in the fact there has never been a better foil than Geppetto in his role as The Adversary. The simple yet effective mind fuck of taking the doddering lonely old man of legend and twisting him into Hitler with a bondage fetish is genius that’s hard to bottle twice. This current uber deliverer of badness — this Dark Man is just not doing it for me. Yes, he looks evil, he has perpetrated the evil deed of destroying Fable Town, but that’s about it. Compare a few buildings crashing to the scene where they discovered the Blue Fairy locked inside Geppetto’s dresser, a withered pixie husk siphoned of magic, and well…there is no comparison. Geppetto wins the evil Olympics hands down. I’ve been thinking all through this run, either I want more time with the Dark Man or I just want him vanquished and gone.
Well, it looks like 92 will make all of my wishes come true. Geppetto makes a strong power play in this issue with the help of a brother and sister set of druids or dryads (I always mix up that Wiccan stuff) — naked tree people as his sworn protectors. Using the current Dark Man’s occupancy of Fable Town as his campaign platform, Geppetto begins to sway the denizens of the Farm to mistrusting the current political structure. Perhaps this happened a wee bit too easily considering all of the trouble Geppetto has performed in the past, but I’ll forgive this plot fast-forward. It looks as though issue 92 will deliver a cast off between Ozma, the newly elected head of the witches’ coven, Geppetto and…spoiler alert…The Blue Fairy. No longer a captor, and no longer a sickly husk, the Blue Fairy’s look of determination and vengeance in the last panel offers the promise of a fantastic magic battle ahead.
Is FABLES back? I’m not sure. As readers we were more forgiving of the first 75 issues since there was nothing to compare them to. Perhaps by the time we hit issue 150, I’ll regret having ever been bored since it will all fit together as a nicely collected package. Perhaps I’m being too critical, demanding exceptional excellence when being handed a lesser form of excellence. I certainly won’t be dropping FABLES anytime soon; there are about five other books I can name off the top of my head that would go on the chopping block first. But I am still pining for the sheer excitement and newness of The Great War arc. For now, it is what it is: if I can get a little more Geppetto, a little less planning, and a resolution to the Dark Man I will be a happy reviewer this Holiday.
Optimous is lonely and needs friends. Even virtual ones will fill the gaping hole, join him on Facebook or he will cry like a newborn kitten.

LOCKE & KEY: CROWN OF SHADOWS #2

Writer: Joe Hill Art: Gabriel Rodriguez Publisher: IDW Publishing Reviewer: Humphrey Lee

After two miniseries installments of this title, I think I have finally narrowed down what it is about this book that gets me all excited. Oh, of course there’s the usual: Beautiful art, fantastic writing, deep story, etc, etc. But what I like about it, I have decided, is what I like about LOST so much. What does it for me for that show and this book is that not only is there such a huge, rich background that we cannot even begin to fully understand – even going into its last season we still don’t completely know where we are with LOST, and it looks like we’ve just scratched the surface of L&K here – but despite there being so much that could be revealed in an orgiastic bid to appease fanboys, both these works always take their time to make sure the characters are never overlooked for the machinations of mystery waiting in the wings. And while that can be oh so frustrating, it is also very rewarding.
This latest issue does well on two major character accounts. One, it introduces some well needed side characters into the mix, which is great because besides the Locke family itself and he/she/it antagonist Zack there is a decided lack of overall character interaction, I would say. And secondly, it really does well to take Kinsey out of her “funk” and kind of re-evaluate herself and her overly emotional ways that she has been way too self-absorbed in since the events that kicked off this series occurred. What we’re getting here now is a girl that is going from “woe is me” to accepting of what is being handed to her and is ready to face life head on. It may have taken a shit-ton of exposition and dialogue to get this out of her – the one knock I really have on this issue - but it does feel like a great burden has been taken off of the pages of this book with her newfound determination. With her “reawakening” now it feels like we can get to some business, and there’s so much business to attend to.
Now that this is behind us/her, and a group of friends is in place to parallel that of Rendell and his crew from twenty years ago, it does feel like this book is building momentum to do some revealing. And it is not like Mr. Hill still did not take the opportunity in this character-centric issue to tease us a bit. Again, to draw back to the LOST comparison, it’s the simple things that really drive one up the wall; in this issue all it took was three panels featuring a simple round door with a number one inscribed on it down in the set piece for this issue to get me frothing - not unlike when a certain hatch door was unearthed in that hit TV show. Congratulations Mr. Hill, you’re a bigger cock tease than most of the strippers at the club I used to bounce at, not that I would have it any other way.
All that material above pretty much exemplifies why every month LOCKE & KEY finds its way towards the “most anticipated” end of my book stack. The characters, the setting (complimented by the always gorgeous Gabriel Rodriguez art – can’t forget him), the mystery, the intrigue, everything is all presented and balanced so deftly that it almost hurts. Some books get by on just having a great hook, some thrive on telling a story the best damn way they can with exemplary execution and craft. LOCKE & KEY does both, and as well as anything else out there. This is such a must read on every level, and unlike the TV show I’ve been paralleling all this time, this looks like it’s just getting started.
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.

HULK #18 “Delilah”

Writer: Jeph Loeb Art: Whilce Portacio Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Mr. Pasty

After the rousing success (and action-packed series) that was HULK: CODE RED, I was expecting HULK 18: DELILAH to be the comic book equivalent of GODZILLA VS MECHAGODZILLA. Instead, I got THE ENGLISH PATIENT. Warning: DELILAH has a word count that nears or surpasses the 1,500 mark. There’s a lot of talking. I’m sure many of you can recall past titles with plenty of dialogue but the difference here is that all 1,500 words are spoken by Doc Samson, who chats with himself in one of those played out scenes we’ve already witnessed 100 times – and 100 times better.
If it’s true that deep down inside Doc Samson has always wanted to be the Hulk, then I have to believe that deep down inside Jeph Loeb has always wanted to be Peter David. Why else would he deliver this limp imitation of the brilliant HULK personality struggle from issues 372-377? Maybe we’re supposed to be riveted by Samson’s tedious monologue as proof of his slow descent into madness. And believe me, it’s a very slow descent. George Carlin once said that watching golf was like watching flies fuck. Imagine if the late, great comic had to read this snoozer. Part of my frustration comes from the fact that I’ve always kind of enjoyed Samson as a character. I liked his flaws – especially his holier-than-thou attitude when dealing with (or trying to stop) the Hulk. By destroying his personalities so that only the @$$hole remains, he also destroys the dichotomy that makes him interesting. He works as a conflicted anti-hero. He fails as a soulless villain. What, one Rulk wasn’t enough? Now we need a Ramson? With all these hard R’s it’s damn near impossible not to read this series in a Scooby accent.
Anyway, the only appearance of HULK and RULK is via flashback. Instead we’re stuck with SULK, which is what Samson does for 20+ pages. You know, in my day we just prescribed Thorazine and got on with our lives. But wait! Maybe it’s not Samson’s fault! We get a creepy last-page cameo that reveals the puppetmaster who may be pulling Samson’s strings behind the scenes. Hopefully one of those strings is to Samson’s tampon. For God’s sake man, pull that thing out and man up. I don’t want to hear that Daddy didn’t love you enough or that you’re tired of playing second fiddle to Banner. This is a comic book. Please resolve your differences by beating the shit out of someone. I want Dr. Samson, not Dr. Phil.
The good news is that Whilce Portacio’s return is a triumphant one. His pin-up of Betty Banner may be the best rendition of her I’ve ever seen. Not too brainy, not too beautiful, just somewhere in between. I was mesmerized. I also really dug the one-shots of Samson’s otherwise annoying flashbacks. The mid-air collision with Ol’ Greenskin is a definite 10 out of 10. While some of his body types resemble the exaggerated physiques of 80’s action heroes, his brilliant framing and understated shadowing easily outweigh such a minor complaint. It’s terrific art and rather unfortunate that it wasn’t accompanied by a stronger narrative.
Final Word: Leslie Ann Shappe was obviously talking about the dialogue in HULK 18: DELILAH when she told Samson “It never ends.” Next time have The Leader brainwash him or something and save us 20 pages of exposition.
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.

THE BIG BAD BOOK OGN

Writer: Nikola Jajic Artists: Sergio Giardo, Rick Hershey, Bob Cram, Cliff Kurowski Published by: Alterna Comics Reviewed by: BottleImp

What’s almost always hilarious, though sometimes terrifying? Why, a monkey, of course! And what’s almost always terrifying and seldom funny? If you said, “a clown,” then you’re on the same wavelength as the creators of THE BIG BAD BOOK, wherein your average everyday cubicle drone is terrorized by the apparitions of a clown and a monkey that only he can see.
The Book of the title is a record of the Norse thunder god Thor’s numerous sexual liaisons with farm animals which, quite understandably, Thor wants suppressed. Loki, the god of mischief, would rather hold onto the book as a means of blackmailing Thor. Odin, the king of the Norse pantheon and Loki and Thor’s father, decides to set up a contest between the two to determine ownership—the book is sent to earth to be found by a mortal, and each god must try to convince the mortal of his rightful ownership of this ancient Penthouse Forum. Oh, and Loki and Thor must do so disguised as a clown and a monkey, respectively.
The book of Thor’s bestiality is merely the McGuffin of the story—aside from a few instances that Loki lists at the very beginning of the comic, the contents never come into play. The story then becomes a Kevin Smith-esque romp of dick jokes, discussions about the pros and cons of same-sex pornography, and pants-shitting as Jim the office worker juggles his nightmarish visions of the clown-Loki and monkey-Thor with trying to score with Debbie, the big-breasted receptionist. Pretty filthy stuff, right?
The odd thing is, despite the underlying thread of vulgarity running throughout the story, THE BIG BAD BOOK manages to retain a sense of innocence. I’m again reminded of Kevin Smith movies, especially MALLRATS and JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK—the characters themselves display just enough childlike naïveté to make the R-rated humor cute rather than vile. The reader is never confronted with anything truly shocking or disturbing (nothing on the level, say, of your typical Garth Ennis comic), and the end result is a comic that manages to be mildly offensive rather than perverse. That’s not a bad thing by any means, but it does sap some of the story’s edge.
Unfortunately, the effectiveness of this graphic novel is further weakened by the fact that there really isn’t a clear central character that the audience can call the protagonist. Sure, the majority of the story revolves around Jim and his harassment by the disguised Norse gods, even relying on his first-person thought captions to explain what’s happening, but as a character, Jim doesn’t really do much—the story basically happens around him. Meanwhile the comic’s got Loki breaking the fourth wall and providing commentary during the chapter breaks, so that would seem to nudge the reader into seeing the God of Mischief more as the central character. Then the book wraps up with a courtroom-style hearing involving the Norse and Greek pantheons resolving legal complaints. There’s just a little too much going on in the comic without a clear sense of the overall hierarchy of the various story elements, and the resultant muddle contributes in making THE BIG BAD BOOK a good read but not a great one.
I also wish that the artwork were more consistent throughout the book. As it stands, the quality fluctuates greatly between chapters, with the first and last segments of the comic competently drawn and well-executed, while the middle of the book meanders between amateurish and, at times, downright awful. When your comic is in black and white with less of the typical action pages and more talking heads, you really, REALLY need to have an artist who can bring enough ability to the visual end of things to maintain the reader’s optical interest. Even though the dialogue may be great (and certainly, the dialogue in THE BIG BAD BOOK is one of the most successful elements), comics are a visual medium, and the importance of good page compositions and drawing technique should never be ignored.
All in all, THE BIG BAD BOOK is a fun and breezy read—there are a lot of good ideas in there, and Jajic’s handle on dialogue is top-notch. If you’re like me, however, you may ultimately find this graphic novel to be a little too fluffy to be anything more than disposable reading. If you’re intrigued and want to see more, check out this link for some preview pages!

DARK AVENGERS #12 Marvel Comics

I loved this arc as the Dark Avengers get their pansy @$$es handed to them by the Molecule Man. I'm glad to see Bendis mining some pre-Quesada EIC Marvel continuity and dragging him back into the forefront. This issue was especially good due to Deodato's moody art which is rich in realism, but the dark shading gives the entire book an insidious feel to it (a fitting feel for a book called DARK AVENGERS). It was also good to see some kind of development in Kenny...I mean, the Sentry's tendency to get killed in every issue. I like the way Bendis has been picking away all of Osborn's major players all of a sudden within the last few weeks. Sure, everyone knows what's coming, but here Bendis advances the plot a bit more and makes you feel as if the storyline is not spinning its wheels as it has been doing for the last few months. - Bug

THE ZOMBIES THAT ATE THE WORLD #7 Devil’s Due Publishing/Humanoids

Anyone who saw DISTRICT 9 this summer can appreciate the story behind THE ZOMBIES THAT ATE THE WORLD. What would society be like if the dead were to rise and walk the earth – and be protected under the constitution? Zombies are people too! Well, at least they were. Anyway, they’re here to stay and no matter how much you loathe their recent influx, you have no choice but to learn how to live with them (or kill them). You can draw whatever parallels you want: segregation, border control, overpopulation, etc. It’s a great foundation for a comic book that Jerry Frissen fails to build anything meaningful on. While the art is a refreshing alternative to the paint-by-numbers approach at some of the bigger publishing houses, it struggles to rise above the disjointed plot and mediocre pacing. I wasn’t sorry I read it, but I was sorry that it didn’t do more with the material it presented. - Pasty

X-FACTOR #200 Marvel Comics

Those of you who were getting bored with Peter David’s extended Cortex/future storyline, rejoice—Jamie Madrox is back with the rest of the X-Factor team in the present day and doing what he does best: solving mysteries. I love the fact that David has been branching out into the Marvel Universe beyond the boundaries of the mutant titles, first with his great take on a senile-as-fuck-but-still-can-fuck-you-up Dr. Doom in the previous story arc, and now with Doom’s arch-enemies, the Fantastic Four. I’m also impressed with the way David is able to simultaneously poke fun at the ridiculously-named Shatterstar (“What, are they comin’ up with names by just slappin’ words together now?” asks the Thing. “Why not Sassyspam? Or Dizzyduck?”) while at the same time making him more of a badass than the character has ever been. The art by Bing Cansino and Marco Santucci is also excellent, though I’ve gotta say that I prefer the old “tiny glasses and a cowlick” Guido to their bald, wraparound shades design. But on the whole I’m very excited about this new/old direction for the series. -Imp

EX MACHINA #47 DC Wildstorm

What do you get when one of the best books of the decade, by two of the most talented writers and artists we’ve seen in comics, starts to wind down? Lots of “Oh fuck, did that just happen?!?” and “Fuck! Why is this ending so soon?!?” comments as you flip each page. Exemplary as it has ever been, this final arc of EX MACHINA is everything I could have wanted and then some. As much as I loved this book for its topicality and the way it peeled back the layers of Mitchell Hundred all this time, now that the looming story of where Hundred’s powers came from and what they were meant for is coming to the forefront, fuck, I almost resent all that political shit for getting in the way. This is great comics, and now that we are finally at this point, I really do wish it wasn’t ending so soon. And that Vaughan would write some goddamn comics again. Fucking LOST. - Humphrey

VENGEANCE OF MOON KNIGHT #4 Marvel Comics

Man, I'm still lovin' the hell out of this comic! Sure, folks poo poo Moon Knight for being a poor man's Batman/Marvel's version of the character, but with Bruce pushing up daisies in an aborigine cave somewhere lost in time, this is the closest thing you're going to find in Dark Knight action. But to compare is really doing this book a disservice. It stands on its own as a steel drum-pumping, wide-screen action book. This issue alone has the type of big budget thrills that would make any fan of action films jump out of their seats. Seeing Frenchie and Moon Knight back together again was amazing. My only criticism is that this book read way too quickly. The action scenes were spectacularly paneled, but being as intricate as they are, it took quite a few pages to see it all play out. This is just fantastic stuff as Moon Knight swoops the Moonplane sideways to wipe out an army of lobotomized Ravencroft inmates. And with the newly resurrected Bushman and the Scarecrow waiting in the wings to take care of Moon Knight, the fun is just beginning. Sure, it probably reads better in trade when you can see the whole story play out without the confines of a monthly, but coming from a fan of the original series from the 80's, this is the best a Moon Knight book has ever been. - Bug

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


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Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 23, 2009, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Incorruptible

    by socalactor

    I kind of wish someone would just bankroll Mark Waid and let him run amok in his own comic book universe. He seems to be creating some of the best original characters this side of Robert Kirkman. Also, primero?

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Inconsolable

    by tonagan

    The story of a hero that does nothing but cry all the time.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 9:25 a.m. CST

    I'd always kind of enjoyed Samson too

    by Laserhead

    Really liked what Ellis did with him in his second Thunderbolts arc. Now he's been Loebed.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 9:26 a.m. CST

    X-Factor

    by Pogue__Mahone

    That cover is GREAT! this title is GREAT! My fave of the X-Books!

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 9:30 a.m. CST

    "TalkBack Shat Post"

    by Star Hump

    copyright that!

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 9:46 a.m. CST

    What If: Elektra vs. Daredevil

    by BranMakMorn

    Check this issue out instead.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Being a trade-reader

    by seppukudkurosawa

    I've only just finished the War Against the Homelands storyline, and much as I really like Willingham's punchy dialogue, Buckingham's great art (mostly because he draws hot women) and those covers (!), 80 or so issues is enough for me. I get that your average comics reader has to learn to enjoy reading the equivalent of one scene of a movie every month, but it never did it for me. So I'm gonna pretend it's wrapped up and sealed with a nice red bow and imagine that Willingham never wrote that whole: "Note to the reader: Fables isn't over yet! Honest! There are way more bad guys and stuff" thing. I didn't really buy it, anyway.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Zombies - Overpopulation?

    by cookylamoo

    Are those dead motherfuckers fucking now?

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Anybody reading Ultimate Armor Wars?

    by rev_skarekroe

    Tony Stark is pretty vicious in this series. He kills a bunch of London riot cops. Probably some sort of personal fantasy for Warren Ellis, but kind of disturbing, even for the Ultimate Universe.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Incorruptible

    by Joenathan

    I'm very interested in this book. I really like the premise, but then, I really liked the premise of Irredeemable, too. That one just ended up feeling too at-arm's-length, since I had no connection to the dead characters or their world besides recognizing one as a Batman clone, etc, etc.<br><br> Also, Max Damage really the only other strong and tough super around? In Marvel and DC there are several characters that could match Superman/Sentry, if not in strength, then in power, were all the other heroes in the Irredeemable world just Batman/Green Arrow clones along with a few D-list JLA knock-offs?

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Armor Wars

    by Joenathan

    Is the latest one out? I liked the first two.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Incorruptible is awesome

    by gooseud

    That book reeks of awesomeness. Irredeemable has also takena huge jump up the last 2 or 3 issues, if you dropped it because you felt the pace was too slow or just werent connecting to it, give it a shot, because its been bad ass the last few issues. The art, however, still blows.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Oh, and Max Damage vs. Plutonian

    by gooseud

    now joins Butcher vs. Homelander and Osborne vs. Cap in the "I would give my left nut to finally see that fight".

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Ex MAchina

    by gooseud

    has always been good, but it was bit......forgettable in the past (with the exception of the stand alone issue with Harris and Vaughn actually in the book, which is one of my fave single issues of any title ever). However, man has it been picking it up recently. The reviewer was right, you suddenly realize what is going on, and the entire series is cast in a different light.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 10:55 a.m. CST

    I'm working up the gumption to catch up on X Factor

    by gooseud

    I bought the trade that covers the recent "future" issues I missed. Just letting it ferment for a while before I tackle it. I dunno, dystopian future #4,295 where mutants are persecuted, hard to get fired up for it.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Yeah, Joenathan

    by rev_skarekroe

    The new Armor Wars came out last week. I'm not saying it's not good, though - it's just that Ult. Tony Stark is unusually brutal in this issue.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Question re: review of Hulk #18

    by Sw0rdfish

    Using the phrase "watching flies fuck" (a good one; I hadn't heard it before), but then using "@$$hole". Makes it real unclear to me about the language line here.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Incorruptible

    by Joenathan

    If it's any good, I'll take a second look at Irredeemable. <br><br> I'm on the cusp of almost starting X-Factor. I've heard good stuff, so I'll get around to it. I've just never been a big Peter David fan.<br><br>As for Armor Wars, maybe this new attitude is the beginning of the slide into addressing Ultimate tony's addiction issues.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 11:49 a.m. CST

    "Incorruptible"

    by Psynapse

    Does not have an "A" anywhere in it. Sorry but when a literary review is that rife with the title of the book being misspelled = Fail.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 12:10 p.m. CST

    "Hopefully one of those strings is to Samson’s tampon."

    by Dave I

    "Hopefully one of those strings is to Samson’s tampon. For God’s sake man, pull that thing out and man up."<p><p>Awesome. Just awesome.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 1:10 p.m. CST

    SULK brood!

    by Zardoz

    Made me laugh!

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Realm of Kings

    by GoDFaDDa42

    The @$$holes should pay some attention to the cosmic lines at Marvel - Realm of Kings, with its miniseries + Nova and Guardians lines, is fantastic. Abnett and Lanning, since Annihilation, have made Cosmic into their own playground and one of the best things going in comics.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 1:21 p.m. CST

    wait... Doc Samson is evil now?

    by The Great One

    I gave up on Loeb's crap after the first arc but I'm not... totally understanding here

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Realm of Kings is amazing

    by gooseud

    The Realm of Kings one shot was amongst the best thing I've read this year. I wasnt a huge fan of War of Kings, with Vulcan's moustache twirling villainy, and the Inhumans have always been lame, But Realm has been awesome. Guardians has also been awesome, the issue recently in which the Magus issue was......dealt with......was amongst the more shocking I've read recently. That title has been clicking for months.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Wait, wait...

    by Joenathan

    You think Lockjaw is lame?

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 2:34 p.m. CST

    by MikeTheSpike

    Or Blackagar Boltagon, for that matter?

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 3:12 p.m. CST

    3rded on Inhumans kicking ass

    by Psynapse

    We'll have to agree to disagree, goose. I have always thought the Inhumans were one of Marvel's coolest groups ever. The entire concept and sheer variety of inventive power sets kicks ass in my book and I'm glad they're finally showing what asskickers they've always had the potential to be in the MU.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Incontinent

    by Tumor_Binks

    is Booms next book. ;-) I'm actually enjoying both Mark Waid's new titles.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Actually,

    by Joenathan

    I was kidding about Lockjaw, he is lame, but the rest... Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee's Inhumans was a great book

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 4:42 p.m. CST

    I do like the guy with the goat feet

    by gooseud

    so there is that, I guess. I know I'm alone on that one, I guess I just never really got into em. I also thought that Eternals mini from a few years ago wasnt half bad, so maybe my taste is questionable LOL Maybe it wasnt the Inhumans that I didnt get into, but just the general vibe of War Of Kings. One question: how does Medusa know what Black Bolt is saying?

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Incorrigible

    by gooseud

    a naughty baby runs amok Dennis The Menace style, before realizing he has to use his youthful energy for good.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Max Damage... Looks Like BRUCE WILLIS

    by TheBLIGHT

    Ha.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 6:06 p.m. CST

    if you still wanna go to comic con

    by brabon300

    get your tiks now...4 days gone...saturday gone...sunday gone soon

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Loeb makes Doc laughing boy evil?

    by Immortal_Fish

    So glad I have not collected this title since WWH. Which sucks, since this is my favorite character.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 8:09 p.m. CST

    Dark Avengers #12 is a good issue, with some nice T&A from...

    by qweruiop

    ...Victoria Hand no less. Molecule Man begins using his powers to remove her clothing, to where only a tanktop and panties are showing. The way Deodato drew it though, with her hands covering her best assets as much as possible, it seemed like he actually drew her nude (in shadow of course on her best parts) but that Marvel probably stepped in at the last moment and added those skimpy clothing. I must say though, seeing a prude bookish babe like Victoria suddenly be dressed down like that, that was HOT!

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 9:38 p.m. CST

    Ass-Kicking Inhumans

    by Johnny Ahab

    Yes, I too am enjoying watching these guys FINALLY kicking ass and taking names. They have always been way too pacifist-y for all the power they wield, especially Black Bolt who's been used and abused throughout their history, and always afraid to use his voice. But watching him scream a full throttled "NOOOOOO!!!" straight into Vulcan's face and melting it off at the end of War of Kings - Holy Crap, that was one of the coolest things I've seen in comics in years! Thanks DnA for remaking these guys into truly cool characters again!

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 9:40 p.m. CST

    Matt & Dakota

    by Johnny Ahab

    And yes, I loved when these two hooked up, and would love to see them get it back on after this Hand storyline plays out. Never liked Milla who was way too mopey and bland. Having a girlfriend who's also a sexy P.I. (but not a superhero) seems perfect for Mr. Murdock! Make it so, Mr. Diggle!

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 9:57 p.m. CST

    Daredevil is possibly...

    by Cyrus Clops

    ...the most consistently good Marvel title of the last ten years (avoiding the "decade" argument here), possibly even since the relaunch (the last time I liked Kevin Smith's comic writing, incidentally). The only lowlights that spring to mind are the Bob Gale storyline, the oh-shit-we're behind-schedule fill-in issue (#11, I think?), the Echo solo story by David Mack (obviously meant to be a mini-series), and the inconsistent back end of Bendis's run. That's a pretty good track record.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Mea culpa...

    by bottleimp

    ...on the INCORRUPTABLE/IBLE mistake. Late night writing plus beer plus ignoring spellcheck make BottleImp do bad.

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 6:28 p.m. CST

    Yeah, I Dig The Inhumans

    by Buzz Maverik

    Kirby really had a thing for hidden race stories. And pacifist was always wrong for the Inhumans. They should be strange, and other, but not pacifist.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 12:42 p.m. CST

    have'nt read a comic in a year and I find out Wolverine

    by picardsucks

    not only has a son but his son likes man poop on his dick WTF?????

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Molecule Man is a character writers always use...

    by stones_throw

    ...when they want to show off their knowledge of Marvel continuity. Sort of like, hey, whatever happened to those three Skrulls that Reed Richards turned into cows. He's in one of the very early issues of FANTASTIC FOUR and, as portrayed there, is super powerful, so he seems like a good choice for a storyline, plus, since he's not too popular, he doesn't require too much homework from the author. My question is this: Is Bendis working off anything other than the Lee and Kirby story? Or, as befits his name, has he just reverted to his purest state?

  • Jan. 2, 2010, 11:03 p.m. CST

    The Leader Of The Hand Is Tired...

    by buster00

    ...and his eyes are growing old. But his club is a blunt instrument, and he'll jam it up your hole.

  • Jan. 2, 2010, 11:04 p.m. CST

    Yeah, That's Right.

    by buster00

    Now you have Dan Fogelberg stuck in your head. Happy New Year, bitches.

  • Jan. 3, 2010, 11:26 p.m. CST

    This has nothing to do with comics...

    by loodabagel

    But I was looking at the Hitfix website, or whatever it's called, and I gotta say, I am really disappointed in the direction Moriarty's taken his site. I really hate it when people get super-invested in box-office. It's one thing to be into money, but all these numbers and projections and shit just piss me off.