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AICN COMICS: Ambush Bug's Top 10 Comics of the 2000's!

Ambush Bug’s Top Ten Comics of the 2000’s

Hey folks, Ambush Bug here. Looking back on the previous decade gets me quite nostalgic since basically it covers the entire history of the @$$Holes. In 2000, us @$$holes got together in the Talkbacks and began what would become the Talkback League of @$$Holes. Long before we organized and started this weekly column, we were gabbing about comics here at AICN. So basically, looking back to make out this list took looking back on just about every review I’ve ever written at AICN. A damn difficult task, if you ask me, but I was able to whittle my picks down to the next ten to thirty comics which not only include my top ten picks of the 2000’s, but some honorable mentions, my Indie Jones Top Ten Independent comics of the 2000’s, and just for fun, the 10 Worst Comics of the Decade. Let’s get started with the TOP TEN COMICS OF THE 2000’S in no particular order.

JMS & Gary Frank’s MIDNIGHT NATION (Top Cow)

There aren’t too many comics out there that hit me as hard as this comic did. I try to revisit MIDNIGHT NATION every now and then, and this truly original story hits me in the gut every time. Gary Frank’s art is amazing and those eyes he draws bore into your very soul. This is a chilling, well paced, and thoroughly satisfying read.

Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely’s WE3 (DC Vertigo)

I prefer my Morrison in small doses, thank-yew-very-much. In WE3, Morrison had me at “Hola!” From the distinctive speak the three animals spoke to the surprisingly heartwrenching twists and turns, this is probably to most perfect miniseries I’ve ever read. And Frank Quiteley’s art with his confetti-like panels are still a wonder to behold. Simply amazing from start to finish and if you’re able to hold back a tear at the end of this one, you’re a better man than me.

Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, & Michael Lark’s GOTHAM CENTRAL (DC Comics)

Some of the best comic book crime drama you’ll ever read. Brubaker and Rucka worked together and tag teamed this book and made the police department that tried to bring law and order to Gotham City oftentimes cooler than the Batman himself. This was just some pitch-perfect hard nosed crime and noir drama under Michael Lark’s fantastically gritty and realism based art. This is definitely a series that was before its time and those of you loving Brubaker’s CRIMINAL deserve to check this out.

Brian K. Vaughan & Kyle Hotz’s THE HOOD (Marvel Knights)

Sometimes you read a comic and you just see the star potential in every panel. Kyle Hotz did an amazing job with this tale of a common street thug who happens upon a mysterious cape that grants him amazing powers. But it was Brian K. Vaughan who stood out here bringing substantial depth to a common comic book cliché. Parker’s delicate tightrope walk between what he wants and what he needs is masterfully played out here. Vaughan moved on to create Y THE LAST MAN, PRIDE, and EX MACHINA and even wrote for the TV series LOST, all seriously amazing works, but it all started here.

Eric Powell’s THE GOON (Dark Horse)

If there was an iconic character birthed in the 00’s it was THE GOON. Often abrasive and offensive, this book never failed to bring a smile to my face. Eric Powell’s hard-nosed tuff showed the range to be a one and done style serial like a 22 page strip like HAGAR THE HORRIBLE, then turn around and be the center of an-all-too serious masterpiece by the name of CHINATOWN. The entire THE GOON series can be a timeline of Powell’s development as an artist as well. Looking back at all of those issues from start to finish is like watching a true artist develop his craft from bona fide talent to a modern master at his trade.

Garth Ennis’ PUNISHER MAX (Marvel MAX)

Hands down, the best comic book run of the decade. Ennis admitted when he first started writing the Marvel Knights’ PUNISHER run that he really didn’t like the character and it showed as he put the vigilante through one ludicrous scenario after another (climaxing limply with one of the worst battles with Wolverine ever put to page). Ennis went full circle with PUNISHER MAX and gave us the Punisher stories fans of Ennis’ WWII work knew were in him. And thus the schizophrenic Ennis began with treacle like THE PRO and THE BOYS littering the stands alongside honest to gosh edge of your seat brilliance in one PUNISHER MAX arc after another. “Mother Russia” continues to be my all time favorite arc, but the entire run is about as perfect as an action comic will ever be.

Steve Niles & Ben Templesmith’s 30 DAYS OF NIGHT (IDW Publishing)

The comic that single-handedly rebooted horror comics came out in this decade. I got into this one late and read it all in trade. Niles’ story had a great hook and he ran with it, churning out a very good story. But it’s Ben Templesmith’s art that makes this miniseries stand out as a true achievement here. Some hate Templesmith’s gritty and layered look, but his labyrinthine panels are what real comic book horror is all about.

Robert Kirkman’s THE WALKING DEAD (Image Comics)

There isn’t a comic out there that is as addictive as this one is. I bow down to those with the patience and intestinal fortitude to wait to read this series in trade. You’re better men than I. I devour each and every issue of this series as soon as I get home from the store and have done so from the very beginning. Sure the series lost its way a bit when they settled in at the prison, but, this has been the best ongoing series consistently for the last decade.

Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning’s ANNIHILATION Crossover and all of Marvel’s cosmic books after (Marvel Comics)

This is the miniseries or series of miniseries that started it all. Abnett and Lanning did the impossible and made a cast of characters sucked dry by Jim Starlin’s once-cool but now-stale treatment of Marvel’s cosmos cool again by amping up the cosmic threat, relying on rock solid storytelling, and bringing back damn cool characters like Starlord, Groot, Nova, and the motherfuckin’ Rocket Raccoon! More so than any other Marvel writers out there today, Lanning and Abnett are the ones writing the purest of Mighty Marvel Manner greatness.

Geoff Darrow’s SHAOLIN COWBOY (Burlyman Entertainment)

Where oh where did this comic go? One of the most visually stunning comics of the decade popped out of nowhere as the more substantial of the two comic book offerings from the Wachowski Brothers’ comic book line, Burlyman Comics (the other being DOC FRANKENSTEIN, a damn cool read in itself). But Darrow pushed the limits on how much detail and action one can cram into a single comic. Out of nowhere, this comic single-handedly blew my socks off, then like a thief in the night, disappeared without a trace. Here’s hoping we get another issue of SHAOLIN COWBOY in the next decade.

The Almost Made Its…

Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips’ SLEEPER (DC Wildstorm) Geoff Johns & Scott Kolins’ FLASH (DC Comics) Warren Ellis & Ben Templesmith’s FELL (Image Comics) Kurt Busiek & Cary Nord’s CONAN (Dark Horse) Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray’s JONAH HEX (DC Comics) Kurt Busiek & George Perez’s AVENGERS run (Marvel Comics) – The last time the Avengers felt like the Avengers. Minetaro Mochizuki’s DRAGON HEAD (TokyoPop manga) JMS & Gary Frank’s SUPREME POWER (Marvel MAX) – Simply amazing and influential to so much in making comics cinematic in a good way. De-MAXed and it devolved so quickly though… Gail Simone’s SECRET SIX (DC Comics) Andy Diggle & Jock’s THE LOSERS (DC Vertigo)

Bug’s Indie Jones Top Ten Independent Comics of the 2000’s

Joshua Hale Fialkov’s ELK’S RUN (Random House/Villard/Speakeasy) Nick Abadzis’ LAIKA (First Second Books) Rick Geary’s A TREATURY OF VICTORIAN MURDER: THE LINDBURGH CHILD (NBM Comics Lit) Benjamin Dickson’s FALLING SKY (Scar Comics) Larry Young’s ASTRONAUTS IN TROUBLE (AIT Planet/Lar) Craig Thompson’s BLANKETS (Top Shelf Productions) Jesse Bausch & James Callahan’s STRANGE DETECTIVE TALES #1-3 (OddGod Press/Velocity Comics) Jason’s I KILLED ADOLF HITLER (Fantagraphics Books) Kagan McLeod’s INFINITE KUNG FU ( Great Lakes Ninja Brotherhood) Steve Moore, Admira Wijaya, Jim Steranko’s HERCULES: THE THRACIAN WARS (Radical Comics) – The first of Radical’s wide-screen epically beautiful comics.

Because you asked for it… The Worst of the 2000’s Decade List

I’ve tossed together a list of the worst of the decade here. I tried to stick to comics that disappointed me the most or comics that encapsulated the worst trends of the decade. Sure there were comics that failed on all levels, but sometimes the ones you expect the most from end up disappointing you the most…
Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev’s DAREDEVIL “Decalogue“ arc (issues #70-75)( Marvel Knights)

Hey, let’s pretentiously name a story “Decalogue” after a series of ten movies of the same name about the Ten Commandments…and then do it in five issues! And even then the story seemed drawn out by the overabundance of dialogue that would have a barbershop quartet of Mamet, Tarantino, and Smith screaming “Get on with it, you wordy mofo!” Oh wait, did I miscount the number of people in a quartet? That’s ok, Bendis miscounted the number of parts in a Decalogue. Plus we got another arc with Maleev’s traced mannequin-people art of folks sitting in chairs and talking and some weird Kuato baby thing popping up at the end that made absolutely no sense ‘tat ‘tall…so it’s got that goin’ for it, I guess.

Garth Ennis’ Marvel Knights PUNISHER #33-37 “Confederacy of Dunces” (Marvel Knights)

A more aptly named title for those who actually thought this story arc was a good idea if I’ve ever heard one. The aforementioned arc where Wolverine and the Punisher fight each other like Tom & Jerry on crack was one of the most painful comics I have ever read. Years of characterization and all form of respect for the characters are thrown out the window just for in continuity shits and giggles. Punisher runs over Wolvie with a steam roller then blows his nuts off with a shotgun. It was sophomoric. It was unimaginative. It was stupid and you could just see Ennis giggling to himself as he wrote it and thumbed his nose at fans. Too bad he was the only one giggling in this too painful to read arc. Though Ennis redeemed himself with PUNISHER MAX, this comic is still one of his worst ever. This was the point in Marvel history where Wolverine turned into a cartoon of himself as Ennis redefined Logan’s once cool healing factor into something utterly stupid. Now, Wolverine can regenerate from being burned down to a tuft of @$$-hairs. We can thank Ennis for that. Sure, Wolvie was overexposed in the eighties and nineties, but in the 00’s the last ounce of coolness was milked from him. This story had a lot to do with that.

Grant Morrison’s SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY #1 (DC Comics)

This issue read as if a monkey grabbed a bunch of panels and slapped them together with simian snot. One of the most convoluted reads of the decade that still has apologists poo-pooing critics for “just not getting Morrisonian awesomeness.” I get it. I do. And it still reeks of ass and turnips. After a few readable miniseries (KLARION and FRANKENSTEIN were cool), Morrison shat in our faces by having them not even appear in the final issue save for a panel or three, and then collected a big paycheck for it. But hell, at least it got him a follow up series that goes by the name of…

Grant Morrison’s FINAL CRISIS (DC Comics)

OK, let’s take a story, put CRISIS in the title even though it has nothing to do with the previous Crises at DC, take forever and a day in a peyote hut without any contact with civilization let alone any of the other writers at DC, and fuck with the entire universe while the rest of the comics line goes to shit in a dung-basket whilst waiting in a holding pattern for the scripts to come in for close to an entire year. This series’ suckitude rests mostly on the shoulders of DC editorial who gave Morrison the keys to the city. Who were they to know he’d take the car out for an all night bender and wrap it around a pole? This was just a fiasco of a miniseries by a writer who doesn’t play well with others that left DC in a mess that they are still trying to clean up.

Frank Miller & Jim Lee’s ALL STAR BATMAN & ROBIN THE BOY WONDER (DC Comics)

While Morrison was tossing out one of the most digestible and fun Superman series I’ve ever read, ever the rebel, Frank Miller flips fans the bird with this ever-late and ever-idiotic treatment of a character he helped make world famous. Though it’s quite common for writers to toss a bit of themselves into the role of the main character, Miller made Batman a little too much of a crotchedy asshole for my tastes. Plus the swears and violence for an originally promoted all-ages comic were definitely out of line. I dropped this title about four issues in and fear the badly written depths Miller took Batman thereafter, but four issues were enough for me to understand if it smells like a GODDAMN turd and reads like a GODDAMN turd, then a GODDAMN turd it is.

Bruce Jones’ THE INCREDIBLE HULK (entire run)(Marvel Comics)

Again, I mostly blame editorial for stinking this one up so bad. Let’s call the book THE INCREIBLE HULK and only have the Hulk show up about once every four issues! Great idea! There was a trend in Marvel to hold back and cinematize the comics to read as movies; where you think of an entire arc as four acts in a movie, so you don’t want to spoil the money shot of the story in the first few issues (though in comics money shots cost just about as much as every other panel…). Problem is, with movies, if you don’t like the first act, you’re stuck in your chair and while you can leave, chances are you’ll stick with it for the duration. With comics that come out once a month, folks can decide whether or not they want to stick around for the entire thing and if you’ve given them absolutely nothing by way of story development or even an appearance of the title character, there’s less of a likelihood of that person returning for a second look. Let’s chalk the total blunder of Jones’ misunderstanding of the Absorbing Man’s powers in the first arc (he absorbed souls for those of you who were lucky enough to miss it) to first story jitters. I did and gave him second chance to dazzle me, but Jones went on to make Betty a she-spy, popped out Doc Samson’s eye, and about once every three to four issues, you got to see a green shoulder or Hulk silhouette. Thrilling stuff. Plus Jones’ storyline was literally drawn out over the course of years. There were many trade paced stories since then and at the time, but this one was the absolute worst. Some of the best HULK covers ever came from that run though, ironically.

Two way tie: Bill Jemas’ MARVILLE, Ron Zimmerman’s GET KRAVEN (Marvel Comics)

Sure Joey the Q made some pretty ballsy decisions that seemed to pay off big time in the last decade, but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t make some terrible, terrible mistakes along the way. This double decker shit sandwich I just laid out for you takes the cake, though (a mixed metaphor, sure, but these guys deserve it). In their heyday these two books tried to out-suck each other to a stand still. The loser of that suck-off was most assuredly US as the readers. I don’t know what’s worse. A loud mouthed EIC who thought it was a good idea to badmouth fans on a regular basis and in his comics or a friend of a friend of a friend who thought it was a good idea to name-drop celebrities in every third panel and must have incriminating photos of Marvel higher-ups to get this story to print. From cover one, MARVILLE was a fist-fuck to anyone with good taste that dared tout itself as taking an original and intelligent view on an industry the writer clearly didn’t respect or understand. GET KRAVEN served only to intellectually gang rape anyone who enjoyed the classic KRAVEN’S LAST HUNT by introducing us to Kraven’s douchebag son and casting him in a GET SHORTY ripoff. Hey, I’ve got friends too. Great friends at that. But I don’t let them near the AICN COMICS column if they can’t write. Someone should have told Marvel that. If you want people to never read comics again, give them these books. I wouldn’t wish these books on pedophile terrorist hippies. And speaking of pedophiles…

Mark Millar’s TROUBLE

I’ve got a golden idea. You know that old lady that everyone loves? The one who says “Oh my goodness!” and wears her hair in a bun and wears skirts with a beltline that starts at mid-chest? Yeah, her name is Aunt May and she’s about as sweet as she is wholesome. I know, let’s tell a flashback story of her teenage years and focus on her first sexual experiences…because everyone wants to read about grandma’s wild days as a whore. Thanks for the mindfuck, Millar. Top it off with jailbait photo covers of children seductively staring at the reader in bathing suits and you have yourself the most unintentionally creep-o-rific comic book experiences ever!

Frank Miller’s THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN (DC Comics)

Those of you who think ASBAR is bad should read up on a little ditty called THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN. This comic is the evil opposite of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS in every way. This was the first indicator that Miller was off the reservation. No other comic shits in the faces of fans as hard as this one does. This is a perfect example of ego gone wild as Millar tosses all rhyme, reason, tact, and craft out of the window for the sake of shock value. Do you know the guy who stands in front of you and reads the comic at the comic shop as you’re trying to browse this week’s selections? Doesn’t that guy piss you off? Well, my theory is that Frank Miller was in a comic book store and that guy was standing in front of him reading THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and just to get back at him, he wrote THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN. It’s just a theory, but it would all make sense if it were true.

Kevin Smith’s SPIDER-MAN & BLACK CAT (Marvel Comics)

Not necessarily terrible in quality, per se. The art by the Dodsons is nice and it made Black Cat’s boobs highly popular, but this comic signified a trend in comics that left it forevermore changed for the worse, and that trend is star-fucking. Marvel realized that they could make big bucks if they got a big name writing their comics. They didn’t have the foresight to predict that they were not hiring a hard working comic writer for the job, but a person who, when a movie deal or real life or laundry gets in the way, puts the book on the back burner for so long that all that’s left are those little black flaky chunks you clean out from under your stove grill. When SPIDER-MAN & BLACK CAT first came out, we @$$Holes gave it the Roundtable treatment. When the final issues of the miniseries came out YEARS later, we didn’t even review it on the site and no one even chatted about it in the TBs.

Finally, I’m not sure what the first $3.99 priced 22 page comic was, but that comic deserves mention in this category. I promise you, in 2019, when we look back at the past decade of comics; this price hike will be the decision that rang the death knell for single issue comics in paper format. Sure there are die-hards who are still chucking out their hard earned shekels for these pricey periodicals, but with people tightening their belts on just about everything these days, I’m hearing more and more folks turning their backs on comics that have just become way too expensive for them to buy on a regular basis. In an industry with an already shrinking fanbase of folks turning to movies, video games, and online comics for their super hero escapism, making the monthlies less affordable may be the true FINAL CRISIS of monthly comic book-dom.

Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, reviewer and co-editor of AICN Comics for over eight years and one of the original @$$holes. Check out his comic book shorts from Cream City Comics’ MUSCLES & FIGHTS VOL.3 and MUSCLES & FRIGHTS VOL.1 on his ComicSpace page. Bug was interviewed here and here at Cream City Comics and here and here about his latest comic from Bluewater Comics, VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS: THE TINGLER #1-2. Look for more comics from Bug in 2010 from Bluewater, including VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS WITCHFINDER GENERAL, ROGER CORMAN PRESENTS DEATHSPORT, and the just announced vampire miniseries NANNY & HANK (and check out Jazma Online’s new interview with Bug about NANNY & HANK here).
Don’t forget to check back tomorrow when Humphrey Lee and Optimous Douche choose their picks for the Best Comics of the last ten years.
And check out these lists of the Top Ten Comics of the 2000’s from the rest of the @$$Holes from earlier this week!
Vroom Socko’s List
Matt Adler’s List

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

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 6, 2010, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Thanks, now I know all the good stuff I missed

    by jim

    that I need to catch up on.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 9:55 a.m. CST

    I sorta like DK Strikes Back.

    by Mostholy

    It's different, sure. But there was no real reason to go back to The Dark Knight Returns, so might as well make it a goofy JLA story.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Kevin Smith's books...

    by Stifler's Mom

    the guy needs to stop spreading himself so thin with comics, t-shirts, and action figures and focus on making a coherent MOVIE

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Coming soon . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    Nice Marmot's top ten Top-10 lists of the turn of the decade.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 10 a.m. CST

    We3 was MUCH too short.

    by Nice Marmot

    I'm not talking about an ongoing series, but it definitely could have been twice as long. Loved it while it lasted though . . .

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 10:01 a.m. CST

    DK2 reads a lot better now that time has passed...

    by DuncanHines

    And All Star Batman really is just Year 3 (or so) of Frank Miller's Bat-verse. Go back and re-read Year One and Dark Knight Returns. All Star is the Bruce Wayne/Batman we read in Year One, but after a few years of living and fighting crime in Frank Miller's version of Gotham City. Of course he's out of his fucking tree...

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 10:03 a.m. CST

    I think your blaming the wrong guy for some stuff...

    by rev_skarekroe

    If I'm not mistaken, the decisions to make Marvel's funnybooks seem like (and often blatantly rip off) movies was Jemas'. Notice that once he departed they stopped doing that. See also Thunderbolts (Fight Club version) and Silver Surfer (Communion version).

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Trust in Tharg the Mighty...

    by BiggusDickus

    ...and get some 2000AD graphic novels in. Dan Abnett's stupendous 'Kingdom' and Paul Cornell's sublime 'Xtnct' to name but two<p>You fuckers don't know you're born...

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Vaughn's The Hood

    by rev_skarekroe

    How come that hasn't been reprinted as a trade? There was one when it first came out, but you'd think that since the character's gotten such a push in the last couple of years they'd want to publish it again and make a few easy bucks off of people like me.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 10:17 a.m. CST

    No Fables love?

    by DrForrester

    Loved this list a lot more than the others that are up so far, but curious as to how Fables doesn't even land in the honorable mention list . . .

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Marvel / DC - Price hike

    by V'Shael

    They need to move to a digital publishing system. Face it, there are plenty of geeks who'll read comics for free by browsing them at the local stand. And there'll be plenty who will lend issues to their friends. <p> Fact is, if they want to keep costs down, they have to abandon paper. Trades can survive a little longer, because people like the feel of a book in their hands. But they seriously need to move to digital, or face bankruptcy in the future as the world moves on. <p> 4 bucks for 18 pages plus adverts? Lick my nutsack.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Nice list!

    by Homer Sexual

    The Hood! Yes! Another awesome mini. Re-read it many times. Current Hood in New Avengers, while a natural enough continuation, I suppose, pales in comparison. Parker Robbins was always a douche, but now he has absolutely no redeeming qualities. <p> Seven Soldiers was one of my Top 10, but the conclusion was a mess, had to re-read it tons to get any sense of it, and it still wasn't good...and after the A+ 7 Soldiers Zero and I loved ALL the minis. <p> Looooove the worst list!!! But... <p> Final Crisis was kind of interesting. Yes, it shouldn't have been called "Crisis," doesn't completely make sense and still causes argument in the LCS about the ending/Batman. But it was interesting, and for me that goes a long way. <p> All-Star Batman and Robin was worst because it took me like 20 minutes to read the entire graphic novel, but both it and DKR were pretty much comics porn for me...totally awful on every level, yet I enjoyed them. <p> Black Cat was indeed wretched. How could you leave out the whole abuse plotline? That was even worse than the delays and star-f!!ing, IMO. <p> Zimmerman wrote such an excellent gay Rawhide Kid, disappointing to see him here, and those books do look super bad. And not in a Superbad way. Just very bad.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 10:33 a.m. CST

    $3.99

    by Psynapse

    Ah monthlies, it was fun while it lasted.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Speaking of The Hood...

    by rev_skarekroe

    ...Beyond should make somebody's list.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Oh... We3... good one

    by Joenathan

    I always forget about that book. Fantastic

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 10:42 a.m. CST

    SHAOLIN COWBOY

    by Series7

    I want that.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Walking Dead

    by Joenathan

    I don't think the ook lost its way in the Prison. In fact, I think it was a very nessecary part. Of course the survivors are going to look for someplace safe and then... as is tradition, it eventually goes horriblly wrong and people die and zombies are everywhere... it's how it always goes.<br><br>More importantly, story-wise, the prison was an important lesson for the survivors to learn: Keep moving. It's common sense, but they had to learn it the hard way.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Annihilation

    by Joenathan

    Where does it start? What trade?

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 10:51 a.m. CST

    my top ten!

    by THE_ONE_MAN_GANG

    here is the definitive list: 1. all star superman 2. the ultimates vol 1 and 2 3. vol 1 and 2, the authority 4. morrisons new xmen run 6. whedons astonishing x men run 7.League of extrodinary gentleman 8. planetary 9. Alex Ross's Justice series 10. Earth X although we3, shaolin cowboy and doc frankenstein were great reads- good call.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 10:52 a.m. CST

    I'll say it again: Dan Jurgens' Thor

    by _Palmer_Eldritch

    Grossly underread and underrated!

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Why can't Marvel and DC take page from Manga

    by Flea Circus

    and put out all thier monthly comics in those phone book size dealies? Then collect the popular comics into trades. I think if you had to shell out more for these phone books but then got every xman, spider man, iron man, hulk the bulk and options would make it worth it maybe marvel has to many titles to do that but they could break it up into sections and maybe lose some of the redundant titles. Sure you wouldn't like every comic, but it might also let people who normally only read one title see what else there is out there, and then buy their favorite comics in trades.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Busiek and Perez's Avengers

    by Joenathan

    Here's a microcosm example of why their Avengers run stunk: In the Morgan Le Fay arc, the Avengers are split into boys and girls barracks. I wasn't looking for a bunch of naked sex or anything, but to go out of your way to mention the separate boys and girls barracks is sooooo PG-13 lame, so stupid.... I joke about the WCA BBQs in full costume, but the Busiek run was everything that was bad and unfunny about that situation. Giant fucking Tea Cups, man... Giant Fucking Tea Cups.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 10:56 a.m. CST

    RE: Bendis!

    by The Tao of Joe

    Your bias against the work of Brian Michael Bendis shows. A lot of people don't like him because his super heroes talk like real people instead of pro-wrestlers, but his run on Daredevil really confronted what a superhero comic could be. And that his changes have been grappled by two other sets of writers and artists speaks volumes about his accomplishments with that specific title. "Powers" was another great series. Started rough, but as Bendis and collaborator Michael Avon Oeming found their footing, they went on to craft some top-notch stories. The best being their controversial arc titled "Forever," which puts superheroes in the same league as messiahs, warriors, ninjas, and vampire killers, all within a monthly detective series. This list is busted without something from Bendis who clearly lead the decade more than anyone else.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11 a.m. CST

    Black Hole

    by BGDAWES

    Black Hole fell into the black hole that was between the 90's and the Oughties. <br> <br> Christ Rhodes is a total fox! <br> <br> ...black hole - hahaha.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11 a.m. CST

    No Planetary?

    by Mathbat

    Is this because it was first released before 2000 or because someone genuinely thought this didn't make the top 10?

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Chris not Christ

    by BGDAWES

    Can we do a top ten list of most wanted features in the AICN talkbacks? <br> <br> 1.) An Edit Feature

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:03 a.m. CST

    God damn, but DKSA WAS bad...

    by Joenathan

    I remember reading the first issue and just being confused. "Is this thing missing pages or something... whati is going on?"

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:06 a.m. CST

    So, so right

    by Laserhead

    Especially about Ennis's Punisher MAX, Bendis' 'Decalogue' and Bruce Jones's The Hulk. And everything Frank Miller-- Tim Callahan tried to muster up the idea that DKSA was some supremely underrated work of depth and intelligence that people have refused to understand.He was wrong, and the attempt alone was cringe-worthy. Boy oh boy is Miller awful.<p>But you're a bit off on Seven Soldiers and Final Crisis-- both read terrifically upon revisiting. Really.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Worse than DKSA?

    by Laserhead

    'Frank Miller's Will Eisner's The Spirit.'

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:08 a.m. CST

    I like this Tao of Joe guy

    by Joenathan

    He's seems really bright and insightful.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Bendis Dialogue IS Realistic, Except...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...it always ends one sentence too short. This is what former @$$hole genius Jon Quixote once wrote.<p>See, here's some Bendis dialogue:<p>"I'm going to the store now."<p>"You're going to the store?"<p>"Yeah, see you later."<p>"You're going to the store?"<p>"That's what I said."<p>"You?"<p>"Uh huh."<p>"To the store?"<p>"Yes, I'm going to the store."<p>"That's where you're going? To the store? You? Are?"<p>And here's the sentence Bendis always leaves ot that would make it 100% realistic:"Yes! I am going to the store. Are you fucking retarded or something?"

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:12 a.m. CST

    I'm reprinting my list

    by Joenathan

    Here it is again:<br><br>This is more of a "my favorites of the aughts" list, instead of "best" and it's off the top of my head, so it may be amended if someone reminds me of something I forgot about... ahem:<br><Br> 1.Planetary<br> 2.All Star Superman<br> 3.Walking Dead<br> 4.Invisibles<br> 5.Ultimate Spider-man<br> 6.Authority<br> 7.Powers<br> 8.Captain America<br> 9.Invincible<br> 10.Secret Warriors

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:14 a.m. CST

    It Was Fun Reviewing Cinematic Marvel Comics

    by Buzz Maverik

    Alonso Axl:"You see, Bruce Jones Hulk'll be like the shark from JAWS where we hold back and don't actually see much of the Hulk so it is really significant when we do."<p>"That's great, except that pretty much everybody has seen a picture of the Hulk before. Whatever numbering system you're using, it's like Hulk # 5,000,0000 so I'm really shocked when after seven issues you show us the money shot. What special effects! It was great the way the artist used a pencil to draw a 40 year old character and the inker used a marker over it. Jones did a great job with the build up that I skipped."<p>And Bug is right about the SILVER SURFER COMMUNION. Who is that mysterious figure we keep seeing? Isn't he to one who appeared in New York in front of the whole world and helped the Fantastic Four get rid of the 100 foot giant with the funny hat and that 50 foot tall bald guy in the toga? Oh, no one involved with the book heard of that story...

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Still no Strangers in Paradise

    by katchoo67

    Three lists and still no 'Strangers in Paradise'. =/ It's a TRAVESTY!!!!111!!! =P

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:22 a.m. CST

    No One More Day?

    by bat725

    Marvel laid a huge steamer on the face of Spidey fans with that one.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Fight Club T-bolts...prices

    by Homer Sexual

    Now there was a "worst" contender for you. Also, Disassembled, sorry, would probably be my #1 most awful. Even though the quality wasn't THAT bad, I hated it sooo much! <p> Prices are an issue, currently spending way over $100 per month, honestly more like $140. But....I would never read comics online. I'd completely give up the habit first. Trades, ok, I could live with that...but it would be the end of the LCS. Easier to order trades online.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:25 a.m. CST

    One more day

    by Joenathan

    It's always been part of a bigger stoyline. Getting upset about it is the same as being mad that Hawkeye died.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Haha, nice one Buzz.

    by raw_bean

    I'm a big Bendis fan (well, Ult. Spidey anyway), but even I have to admit that's a pretty accurate shot.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Homer Sexual is right!

    by Joenathan

    Online comics are bad. LCS is good. <Br><br>Although Disassembled wasn't bad, just rushed.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:31 a.m. CST

    $3.99 comics are ridiculous

    by Psynapse

    When given actual inflation ratios they should only be around $1.99 if you start at the 1976 pricing and move forward accordingly.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Buzz Maveriks Top Ten of the 00s

    by Buzz Maverik

    10)The one by the guy whose TV show was cancelled.<p>9)The one written by the Scotsman who is a good writer but doesn't write as well as he could because he wants to please his bosses and the guys who post on his website.<p>8)The one written by the bald guy named Brian. You know, the guy from Ohio.<p>7)Continuity is just a tool man, an over used tool. A really big tool...<p>6)Holdover from the 90s award: I don't mind if the book is late because it's brilliant. What's brilliant about it? Uh...<p>5)Sequel to # 6 -- I don't mind the book being late. Take SPIDER-MAN & THE BLACK CAT. I mean, if you read it, you realize there's no way Kevin Smith couldn't have just put on a pot of coffee, ripped open a pack of smokes, planted his Silent Bob sized @$$ (which is waaay funnier word than ass for some reason) and like slammed out all the scripts in about 12 hours. Whaddya mean only about everyone could do that?<p>4)I wait for the trades. And it's not just because the single issues suck.<p>3)See, it's just not realistic that they would wear those costumes. Or try to make the world a better place. Of course, they wouldn't have those powers either. Come to think of it, they probably wouldn't exist.<p>2)That writer is my friend. He let me post on his website and I even got to buy his books.<p>Tied for #1 -- I buy it strictly for the writing / You don't understand. They needed the build up for the story because they read Robert McKee. Or said they did. So what if comics can't move or make sound, they need to be slowed down. You just don't get it. / He's making a socio-political statement by revamping the icon to match his bold political point of view, which is bold even though pretty much everyone where he lives holds that point of view...

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Boys and Girls Barracks?

    by Homer Sexual

    Geez, that is incredibly lame! Shockingly stupid! And Morgan LeFay was the only really good story during Busiek's run. He was so ham-fisted dealing with anything "mature." Warbird's "alcoholism" (and name) were dealt with in an incredibly pedestrian manner. And much as I hate what Bendis did to Wanda, Busiek ran the Scarlet Witch/Wonder Man romance into the ground. IMO, EVERYONE who likes Avengers wants Wanda and Vision together. No one wants Simon Williams. No. One. Busiek did some nice T-Bolts, though.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Buzz,

    by The Tao of Joe

    That analysis of decompressed dialogue is funny, yet hardly accurate. Bendis was a writer who had fun with his words and played to different rhythms. It's refreshing that he really broke away from the over-expository "Look out, Danger Woman, that interplanetary nuclear thingamagig will explode, and then all of Planet X will be doomed forever!" crap that has been a staple of comics for way too long. The Bendis effect is popping up all over comics these days, and when Supers start to sound like real people, their adventures start to matter.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:33 a.m. CST

    Oh, Buzz...

    by Joenathan

    You cut-up, you.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:36 a.m. CST

    I also liked The Dark Knight Strikes Again.

    by rbatty024

    It wasn't really a sequel to The Dark Knight Returns, which threw a lot of people off balance, but I absolutely loved how batshits crazy it was. A simple change of title, perhaps to Frank Miller Plays in DC's Sandbox, would have probably minimized the amount of ire aimed at this book. <p> My suggestion is to go back to that book, forget that it's supposed to be a sequel, and enjoy Miller's absurd piece of satire. It's one of the few comic books that makes me laugh out loud.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:37 a.m. CST

    I love Busiek

    by Joenathan

    Astro City, despite it's attempts to fade away into obscurity, is a hell of a book. A landmark book. Amazing in both conception and execution, same with Marvels... but that silver age love and intuitvie leanings just did not translate well into Avengers, which is why the titled sunk and they had to bring a big gun to the party: Bendis. <br><br>Also, as much as I hate Wanda, Homer is right again... Simon is just wrong. That's your brother's wife, man! WTF?

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Buzz' Deep Felt Response To Joenathan

    by Buzz Maverik

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:40 a.m. CST

    My Dark Knight Strikes Again suggestion:

    by Joenathan

    DO NOT re-read it, instead actively hunt down every copy and destroy tehe horrid thing. Destroy it before it kills us all!

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:40 a.m. CST

    A quartet has four people.

    by Johnny Smith

    Just fyi.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Buzz

    by Joenathan

    You forgot to type anything.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Bendis' Characters DO Sound Like Real People...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...none that I've ever met personally, professionally, digitally (or whatever it is we do here), or in any way I've ever met people. But I dig what Bendis does and that WAS Jessica Jones office because it said to on the door, with her name, the sign...<p>I guess superhero adventures do matter while yer readin' 'em.<p>And I suspect the Bendis effect popping up has to do with writers wanting writing assignments and wanting to be able to get more than air out of the ATM.<p>Ah, to be young and a complete @$$ again!

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:45 a.m. CST

    I Was Doing It Stan Lee Style, Joennnn....

    by Buzz Maverik

    You supply what it says and I will claim the credit.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:46 a.m. CST

    My own list

    by The Great One

    I'm writing up an article and calling it 20 comics I really liked in this decade. Though I did figure out which was no. 1 for me, All the others I just couldn't rank. Just placed a number by 'em and that's all. I really liked Ennis Punisher run, particularly the one shot called "The Cell". This was one exquisite piece of bad mood reading about an excellently plotted revenge story. Castle takes ihs time on this one because he doesn't want to screw it up and when you understand why he's doing what he's doing and who he's doing it to, in the final pages, it is a very satisfying moment. I have a couple of others you mentioned on my own favorites list (especially Midnight Nation, JMS's finest comic IMHO.) and will get to hopefully post it some time later today.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Buzz

    by Joenathan

    Excelsior!

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:47 a.m. CST

    That's A Popular Misconception About Quartets

    by Buzz Maverik

    Usually, they contain a quart of people. It doesn't matter how many it takes to fill the quart. Like, you may need 10 meth addicts one time but Harry or Kevin Smith or somebody would take up several quarts by their lonesome.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Bendis dialogue is NOT realistic, original, etc.

    by Laserhead

    It's contrived and homologous-- he doesn't play with rhythm or anything like it; every character has the same voice and cadence, and everyone speaks like a Gilmore Girls character. News: Gilmore Girls is not realistic dialogue either. Bendis' dialogue is merely what he THINKS conversation should sound like, given that the extent of his literacy is David Mamet and Aaron Sorkin TV shows.<p>None of this would actually be bad, really-- just one writer's signature move --but the dialogue is often used to PAD a story and obfuscate the fact that the man has no understanding of pacing or structure. Word.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Bendis

    by Joenathan

    He just likes Banter... maybe too much, but that's all it is, an obsession with "asides".

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:57 a.m. CST

    I Remember TROUBLE

    by Buzz Maverik

    Epic Comics where they were going to have regular Joes create new and edgy comics. It was a coincidence that the regular Joes happened to be comic book pros and the new and edgy comics were all about Marvel Superheroes. TROUBLE was fun because who figure that if Peter was 17 when he got his powers then Aunt May would have been maybe 35 at the time. Knowing Millar and comic books in general with their attention to realism and logic, if the book would have gone on, I'm sure it would have shown us how Aunt May was kidnapped the Green Goblin and staked out naked in Death Valley where she was forced to chain smoke every day from the end of trouble to AMAZING FANTASY # 15 to account for her looking to be about 1007 years old.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:59 a.m. CST

    WORST BOOK: Marvel's Captain Marvel : The Return

    by Squashua

    That was terrible. And he ended up being a Skrull, to boot.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 12:02 p.m. CST

    ANNIHILATION - 1 YEAR EARLIER : DNA's LoSH

    by Squashua

    Annihilation was done a while earlier with DnA's soft reboot of Legion of Super-Heroes, which DC screwed up by replacing them with the Earth Prime LoSH.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Where's Ultimates 3?

    by Knuckleduster

    That one absolutely deserves to be on the worst of the decade list. <p> I agree about DKSA. Worst comic ever.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 12:10 p.m. CST

    If I wanted to read Annihilation...

    by Joenathan

    what trade should I start with?

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 12:10 p.m. CST

    These "best of the decade" lists

    by Snookeroo

    have been very helpful to a lost comic reader like myself who is trying to break back into the comics realm after a very extended absence.<br><br>It's interesting how few of the titles listed feature mainline characters most people associate with comic books -- Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, etc.<br>In my return to the fray, there are several trends that stand out:<br><br>•DC seems to be busting a nut to become EC comics; almost every title is consumed with zombies, uber-violence and gore. Which is fine if you're into horror mags. But keep it out of my heroes-in-spandex titles, please.<br>•The comic book companies are making it almost impossible for consumers to break into their product stream. Unless you're already a hard-core buyer, it's very hard to find a footing, even if you have titles you tend to gravitate towards.<br>•Comic writers and artists are taking themselves waaay too seriously. The posturing is so over-done that one has to search for the comic title on the cover -- usually listed somewhere under the name of the guy that positioned the price scan bar.<br>•Comic books are over-produced. Way over-produced. That's why deadlines are missed and an issue costs so much.<br>•That being said, there have been some comics that are so beautiful and extraordinarily written that they belong in a whole category unto themselves -- something more than a "comic", actually. The problem occurs when every title on the stand tries to accomplish this. If everything is an "epic", then "epic" loses it's meaning altogether.<br>•The internet - especially sites like this one - have made understanding and navigating comic books more attainable for the novice. Frankly, it's a lot of work - and it shouldn't be.<br>•By-and-large, comic books are no longer written for guys like me -- and I've been a fan for decades. Granted time passes, conditions change, and everything evolves. It's just kind of sad to see it evolve into such a mess.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Annihilation was Giffen, not Abnett and Lanning...

    by MisterE

    Nice list, but the first "Annihilation" crossover was actually plotted by Keith Giffen. Abnett and Lanning only wrote the "Nova" miniseries tie-in to that crossover. They did provide the plot for the sequel, "Conquest", though.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 12:24 p.m. CST

    And it was good?

    by Joenathan

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 12:30 p.m. CST

    See what he did there Herc?

    by The Funketeer

    He said "of the 2000's" not "the decade" and no one complained because he was right.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Thank You!

    by CartoonFanboy

    I just wanted to say thank you for acknowledging what a cluster fuck DKR2 was (BTW that acronym reminds me of the Might Ducks 2 every time I see it). You're right, that book was the exact moment when I realized Frank Miller had gone bat-shit crazy. I'm still waiting for DC to refund me the $21 it cost to read that abortion of a story.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Best and Worst

    by The Funketeer

    I agree with pretty much all of your best list when combined with your also rans although I would have done a little switching between the two. Your "worst" list is pretty much off target though. I think a lot of online reviewers often confuse "I didn't like it" with "bad." There were far worse comics out there than most of what was on your list. A lot of it seems to be you being let down by high expectations but that doesn't make the comic itself bad. As much as I was disappointed by Final Crisis, it's still better than a lot of stuff out on the stands at the same time.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Joenathan (RE: Annihilation)...

    by MisterE

    Joenathan, if you are a completist then you'll probably want to pick up the 2003 "Thanos" series and the 2005 "Drax" miniseries (both available for cheap at mycomicshop.com). The "Thanos" series was first written by Jim Starlin, but he had a falling out with Marvel and was replaced by Keith Giffen. Giffen went on to write the "Drax" miniseries, and provided the plot for the first "Annihilation" crossover (and for the "Silver Surfer" tie-in). Neither "Thanos" nor "Drax" tie directly into "Annihilation", but both title characters play important parts in the crossover. Reading those two series first will give you a better understanding of the characters' personalities and motivations.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 12:36 p.m. CST

    also

    by Hercules

    Really been enjoying James Robinson's work on the Superman titles.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 12:42 p.m. CST

    One more nomination

    by CartoonFanboy

    I have to nominate Ultimatum as one of the (if not the) worst mini-series of the decade. Over the last six or so years Jeff Loeb has done more damage to the super-hero genre than a dozen Nic Cage Ghost Rider movies could ever hope to inflict.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Thanks, MisterE

    by Joenathan

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 12:50 p.m. CST

    I can't believe you would leave out ALL-STAR SUPERMAN

    by Centipede Damascus

    Seriously, I love that comic so much it hurts sometimes. Also NEXTWAVE deserved a mention, in my own opinion.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Thanos

    by MattAdler

    I will second MisterE's recommendation of the too-short lived Thanos series as a lead-in to Annihilation. <P> Of course, Starlin's Marvel Universe: The End leads into the series Thanos, and Infinity Abyss leads into MU: The End, and... you can see where this is going...

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Reading comics for free ...

    by ReportAbuse

    I can get away with that at a Borders where the workers are too busy feeling superior to their jobs to give a frak. Years ago I used to try it at a local comic shop but the owner was always wise to that. He used to yell at people regularly that "this is a bookstore not a library!" and shame them into actually purchasing something. I also spend a lot of time at used bookstores where I often find trades at half off cover price.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 12:58 p.m. CST

    No Ultimates Vol. 1 = total fucking fail (amongst others)

    by Tall_Boy66

    Seriously, the first Ultimates Volume by Hitch / Millar is a work of genius that reinvented yet simultaneously paid tribute to the Avengers. It was a loving re-creation and also a send up all at once and it totally fucking works like gangbusters. Both in the little moments, the big dramatic moments, and Hitch's art. But, hey, it was late and I guess if a book is late it must automatically mean that it's shit, right? Also, Dark Knight Strikes Again is funny as fuck (he CUTS OFF ROBIN'S HEAD, which Robin then catches while screaming "I loved you!" On what fucking planet is that done in a BAD comic book fer crissakes?!) and We3 is Morrison's masterpiece and it was exactly perfect at 3 issues. Also, I just want to say that as a Canadian, I have comics that cost me 3.99 back in the MID TO EARLY 90s! Due to inflation. every single fucking time I hear some goddamn yankee bitch about 3.99 I want to tear their fucking teeth out. STFU.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 1 p.m. CST

    Also no Nextwave = total fucking fail vol 2

    by Tall_Boy66

    I think Bug has some hard-on for nostalgic, reverential treatment of superheores and comics in general so when he sees something that's slightly like a parody it gives him the vapours. At least, that's my theory.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 1:14 p.m. CST

    100 bullets

    by irisharashikage

    Amazing book can't believe it wasn't in any of the lists. Also, could you count BONE? I know it started in the 90's but it ended in 04, so.....

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Nextwave was good

    by Joenathan

    I forgot about that book. I'll have to re-read those. I'd like to see the Captain showup again.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 1:24 p.m. CST

    What's crazy to me...

    by Prof

    ...is that the @$$holes get criticized for not listing (fill in yer fave here), when the gawd's honest truth is maybe the @sshole in question never got around to reading (fill in yer fave here). I'm betting a bunch of titles listed in our Top 10s have not been read by others as well. So, hey, how about everyone just share your own lists and enjoy the fact that a wide variety of comix out there appeal to a wide variety of people. All that being said...NO FABLES, BUG!!??!!!??? Et tu, Brute'? lol

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 1:44 p.m. CST

    The Red Star

    by juice willis

    Gotta show some love for it. If you are a fan of comics and haven't heard of it, I highly recommend you check it out.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Ahh recognition for The Goon

    by WarpedElements

    Wonderful comic really. Fuck, Chinatown was one of the best stories ever.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2 p.m. CST

    2 Things I Agree With Snookeroo About

    by Buzz Maverik

    Comic book writers and artists taking themselves way too seriously. I'd also add the adult fans who take the writers and artists too seriously (it's okay if you're a kid and you think the guy that writes THE DIPSHITIC DOG MAN is the greatest writer mankind has ever produced, but otherwise). I noticed on Matt Adler's list that the creative teams were always referred to as CREATORS which is the common term. It worked on Matt's list because many of those individuals actually originated that characters in the books they were doing. To bitch about a term is John Byrnian and stupid, but I do it all the time. Most of these guys write or draw characters created by people 30, 40, 70 years ago. Perspective, people. And it will help your favorite writer and artist in the long run: see the above mentioned John Byrne, who in all fairness probably had personality problems from day one but wasn't helped by all the worship. And you know what keeps Rob Liefeld as more than a minor nostaglic chuckle: he was worshipped by the fans. It's YOUR fault guys! Rob might have gotten better or gone away, but noooo...<p>And comics are over produced. Actually, I only half agree with that. I don't think they're over produced. I think the writer/artist/CREATOR just needs to stop surfing the net, stop looking at porn and stop watching TV while he writes/draws. They can't check their e-mail, they can't text anybody, they just gotta work all day or all night. Then, they can do whatever they want. And if they're not taken too seriously, they can A) not be paid until they've fulfilled their commitment or 2)be replaced by any of a billion people who could and would get the job done.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:09 p.m. CST

    I'm good with the term "Creators"...

    by Prof

    ...because I think of it in terms of "creating" the work itself and not in terms of "creating" the characters. So, unless I use the term specifically referencing a character being "created", my use of the term "Creator(s)" means those who "created" the physical comic itself, i.e., the words and purty pictures.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:17 p.m. CST

    But, Regarding Getting Back Into Comics...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...here's where you take a version of your own advice: don't take 'em too seriously, have fun and just buy whatever looks cool.<p>When you were a kid and first got into comics, you didn't need any guides or need to understand everything. You liked the character, you liked the art, it seemed interesting so you picked it up. If yer old enough, you know that before the rise of the comic shop, convenience store distribution was spotty and you'd open the book and all you'd have to go on was a caption: "Having just defeated an alternate universe version of himself, Ben Grimm finds his path back to earth blocked by THE HOCKEY GOON FROM HELL!" And you'd say: "Cool."<p>I mean, I remember Johnny Storm having a thought balloon about some chick called "Valleria from the Fifth Dimension" and knowing that Stop 'N' Shoot sent that issue back and I'd never know who Valleria was (or what exactly happened to Sue when she was subjected...heh,heh...to Zemu's Thunder Horn). I just found out from ESSENTIAL FF Vol. 8, btw. Continuity was fun and mysterious and when you did get to finally read the story it was amazing. In the mean time, it was enough to know that the Torch was hot for a chick from the 5th Dimension and The Invisible Girl's powers were increased as a result of something called a Thunder Horn (which may have been a metaphor but I kinda doubt it and don't care anyway).<p>I've quit comics about a dozen times. I'm sort of on a quit period now, except that I see here in ESSENTIAL MAN-THANG VOL. 1 that it was Jennifer Kale who was responsible for bringing Thog the Nether Spawn into our universe...

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Another great list, but mostly...

    by Jaka

    ....I'm just beyond happy you chose Shaolin Cowboy! Bad assness! Oh, and I'm SOOOOO happy to hear your theory behind DKR. We've had debates about that book in other talkbacks and I just don't understand why so many people tolerated that pos, let alone actually LIKE it.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Joenat: Annihilation

    by gooseud

    You havent read it? WTF, bro? Everyone is basically right, go get the Drax and Thanos mini's....then go get the compendiums of the leadup minis (Silver Surfer, etc, that Surfer mini alone was worth the price of admission, totally fuckin awesome), then the "Annihilation" miniseries proper. Its really impossible to overstate the awesomeness of that entire series/crossover/whatever. Especially the miniseries proper, every issue of that was absolute gold, probably my fave mini of the decade. That was the book where I turned to my wife and said halfway through, "this might be the best thing I've ever read"....to which she responded "Your a huge dork".

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Y the last man

    by gooseud

    I tried like 4 different times to get into that book, i really tried. I wouldnt say its a bad book. It just held no appeal for me personally. I dont even understand why, maybe choppy pacing....? Anyway, good to see a list without that one on it.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:26 p.m. CST

    I Used To Read Comic Books For Free All The Time

    by Buzz Maverik

    What I'd do is wait until the really stupid clerk was working at the convenience store or maybe when a smarter clerk was at the end of all night shift or a hot chick came in for cigarattes, then I'd stuff the comics into the front and back of my Tuff Skins, fill up and zip my Lightning Bolt hoodie, and slide as many as I could into my tube socks, secured by my Wallabees. Then, I'd buy a Slurpee or a Fire Stick and carefully walk out.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Most annoying thing about Bendis...

    by Homer Sexual

    "the hell!" NO ONE SAYS THAT!!!! No one! Ever! Yet it has now become commonplace for comic characters to use that phrase. <p> Is it a coy refence to saying "Sunuva" since "bitch" used to be considered profanity? I don't know. But I really hate whenever someone says "the hell." Even Luke Cage. <p> After reading that Legion mini, I am not fully sure which versions of which Legionnaires will now be "in continuity" but I guess I'll see whenever a new Legion comic debuts...and is later re-vamped. <p> Finally, I thought it was a typo when that guy posted that DC comics loves zombies. That, sir, is a very temporary event. Marvel comics, however, can't get enough zombies. Mini after Mini and now infiltrating regular comics. ENOUGH ZOMBIES! Por favor!

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Oh, and yet another list with no AS Supes

    by gooseud

    Can someone explain WTF is going on with this?

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Not sure if Buzz is being truthful or not...

    by Jaka

    ...but I read a few that way myself. And I won't explain how, because it ain't that difficult. But that was 25 years ago and I still feel bad about it. Fortunately, I also STILL buy comic books at the same shop.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:32 p.m. CST

    The all time phony curse phrase that no one says

    by gooseud

    was in the Crow movie, when Brandon Lee and T-Bird go flying by the cops at 120 MPH, causing them to dump their coffees and one to exclaim "WHAT THE SHIT???" Note to writers: no one ever says "what the shit".

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:32 p.m. CST

    All-Star Sups is fucking retarded?

    by Jaka

    lol, nah, nah - just messin'. Never read it myself. Just trying to help with y'alls confusion.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Some advice. Never say never.

    by Jaka

    Because I know people that say "the hell" and "what the shit?!" No lie.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah, and the $3.99 thing

    by Jaka

    I've seen them for $4.99 already. And they still had ads. Saw some non-ad prestige for $6.99. Thin ass book, 20-24 pages on glossy paper for $6.99 I almost cried.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Goose

    by Joenathan

    I'll check it out. It just never fell into my pile and by the time everyone was really raving, it was well into it. But now, I'm all caught up on Back Trades, (except for X-factor) and was thinking of picking up another one to slowly work through. It gets talked up too much at this point to miss, especially because after they finish with the Dr. Strange/brand new day thing that's lurking on the horizon, I bet this one will be next and finally affect Earth.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Homer

    by Joenathan

    Yes, "the hell" is just like "son of a..." In fact, it would probably be more clear, if they wrote it like this: "...the hell?!?"

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Yeah, Zombie Quota Is Full...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...the Romero world o' zombies thing.<p>Now, voodoo zombies are scarier. And those Richard Matheson (but not Will Smith) I AM LEGEND talking, thinking, organized mutate hordes are fine, but enough zombies is right!

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Indy is indy for a reason

    by shutupfanboy

    No Blackest Night? No Sinestro Corp? No JMS' Spidey Civil War? No Fallen Son? Go Fuck yourself.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Matheson

    by Joenathan

    I think they were more Vampires than Zombies. Either way though, they were totally cool. I wish the movie would have gone the same way.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Actually, I Find Fake Cursing Hilarious...

    by Buzz Maverik

    I was one of the orignal @$$holes. You know the story, how a guy who had a comic book column here said we couldn't curse when we did our column and we said, "Why the fuck not?"<p>Somebody, trying to keep the peace (like there's any fun in that!)typed @$$hole and that seemed funnier. It reminded me of a story I heard about Alex Cox editing REPO MAN for TV and cracking himself up when he replaced the vulgarisms.<p>You gotta love fake cursing. I just read ESSENTIAL LUKE CAGE POWER MAN VOL 2 (check out the Gideon Mace and Cockroach Hamilton and Piranha Jones and Mr. Fish stories) and it was full of "Christmases" and "You motherlover"....<p>But let's not pretend it's realistic dialogue. If yer friends are saying "the hell" and "sunuva" it's because they got it from Bendis.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Gooseud?

    by Prof

    At least I know you'll appreciate ONE of my Top 10 when it runs on Friday. :)

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Final Crisis and Dark Knight

    by ChocolateJesus

    Your criticisms amount to industry complaining and "shitting in the face of fans". Why do comic book fans so often come off as entitled, snot-nosed brats?

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Motherlover!

    by Homer Sexual

    Now that's a phrase I can get behind...er...ahem. <p> My last post disappeared. Joe, I read Annilihation in single issues with the Silver Surfer and other minis. Never read Thanos or Drax, and didn't feel like I missed anything. Super-top notch. X-Factor, well, I bet you'll be disappointed when it doesn't live up to the hype. <p> Powers "Forever" storyline is another top read. I remember it so clearly. When I have criticized Bendis for never writing anything with substance, I had definitely overlooked that one. Unfortunately, stellar storylines like "Forever" alternated with terrible, lame storylines like "Super Heroes who are really child molesting pervs". Yawn + Boo!

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:51 p.m. CST

    I Read 1/3 Of A Spinner Rack O' Comics Free

    by Buzz Maverik

    Have I mentioned that?<p>And for Christmas, I gave Ambush Bug the first comic I ever shoplifted: MARVEL TEAM UP : SPIDER-MAN & NIGHTHAWK!

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Why We're Entitled Snot Nosed Brats:

    by Buzz Maverik

    Because our parents will buy us whatever we want if we don't pick 'n' flick. Any more bright questions, huh, college boy?

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Spinner Racks!

    by Homer Sexual

    My tattoo shop has a whole spinner rack full of comics, lots of late 80's-early 90's stuff. <p> The art is generally so terrible! Even Stroman's X-Factor, which I remember really loving the art, is weak! No wonder Byrne was so big in his time (among others). <p> Will we look back at the crappy art of today in 20 years? I doubt it. The writing...hard to say.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Man, looking at the list the worst of comics

    by Continentalop

    Reminds me why I have pretty much given up on comics. I actually think it was TDKSA that put the final nail in the coffin for me - thanks Frank Miller. <P> As for Bendis, doesn't do anything for me. I find his dialogue arch and unrealistic, and his plots boring. Other people might dig his stuff, but it isn't for me - he is like the Hal Hartley of comic books IMO.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Good List But I Disagree About Seven Soldiers

    by Autodidact

    Seven Soldiers was the last time my mind was blown reading a comic. I consider it a masterpiece. <p> We3 is one of the finest comics ever. To me it's one of the best examples of what a modern printed comic can be. <p>I agree with you about Punisher MAX, also about Mother Russia being the best arc. I have the entire series, mostly in trades. I found the MAX run got sort of crappy towards the end, when it became less about punishing crime and all about some soap opera bullshit. <p>The Marvel Knights punisher was silly the whole way through. I found the Wolverine issue in your worsts to be sort of amusing... Punisher does everything he can think of to Wolverine, who just keeps coming. The problem is that Wolverine is made out to be a buffoon. But the comedy of the series mostly came out of Frank being more competent than just about everyone except for Bullseye. I look at it as an alternate Marvel Universe. I'm not saying the issue was great, just that it was not incongruous with the rest of the series.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Bug...

    by AmericanWerewolf

    Just wanted to say I'm a fan. I've been reading your stuff for years now, and your tastes seem to synch up with mine. So I've always seriously considered your recommendations. It's been illuminating looking back on the decade. Infinite Crisis was the event that brought me back to collecting comics, albeit briefly. ANNIHILATION was the one event that actually meant something and put the much needed cosmic back into Marvel.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Dark Knight Strikes Again?

    by Lone Fox

    That's a brilliantly written book. Lots of fun. The art may not be pretty, but still. And All Star Batman... Miller gets blamed for its lateness, but it was Lee that dropped the ball on that one. I've said it before, that was my favourite superhero book in a long while. Batman via Miller taken through to its logical conclusion. Unless you can better justify the Dark Knight recruiting a 12 year old... I don't think FM was shitting on the characters at all. He just celebrated the absurdity of it all. Anyway, that's THIS assholes opinion!

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Ultimate Spider Man

    by Chili_Dog_Phart

    Comic book of the decade.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Actually, I say "the hell".

    by rev_skarekroe

    I said it today.<p>The thing about Bendis dialog is that it's not realistic, but it SEEMS realistic. Like Joss Whedon dialog or Kevin Smith dialog. Nobody talks that way, but everyone kind of thinks/wishes they did, so it comes off more natural than old-school superhero talk. I do think it's better than some previous attempts to do hip, "realistic" dialog. Look back at the way they had Hellcat talking in the '70s. I root for the villains just so she'll shut up.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 4:59 p.m. CST

    A decade of excellence.

    by AmericanWerewolf

    It's tough to narrow it down to just a few books. After the 90s, creators seemed to put forth their best efforts, and with a few misfires, have given us some memorable projects.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Good analysis, rev.

    by AmericanWerewolf

    It only works for comics. I had a co-worker who used to say "fail" like a pubescent talkbacker, and wanted to throttle her.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Buzz

    by Snookeroo

    When I first jumped back into comics, I spent a lot of time trying to update myself on how the characters had evolved. But too much time has passed, and too many epic events have transpired that have turned the various universes into someplace that I don't recognize.<br><br>.So yeah, to your point, these days I pretty much just scan the rack and pick up whatever looks interesting. Sometimes an issue makes sense, sometimes it doesn't.<br>The down-side to that kind of strategy is that most covers don't give much of a clue as to the story inside - in fact most covers just feature the heroes in some kind of static pose; and so it becomes a bit of a crap shoot.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Sweet Christmas!

    by Prof

    Cripes! Dagnabbit! Great Caesar's Mother Fucking Ghost!

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Comic Book Dialogue

    by Buzz Maverik

    It has to depend on the story and the character. It has to do what it is needed to do. Any extra dialogue causes trouble.<p>I'm as old school as it gets, but even as a tween shoplifter and hard core X-Geek when everyone thought a wolverine was a northeastern rat with glandular problems, my friends and I would mock Storm shouting: "Cyclops, the villain who is attacking you is attacking you."<p>Bad dialogue. No dialogue would have been better, or a simple:"Get away from him!" or "Take cover!" which is what you'd need to do in real life would have worked.<p>On the other hand, people do have all the vocal tics of Mametian dialogue (BTW, Bendis admires Mamet and has very good taste in role models. Particularly when Bendis first hit the mainstream, it was refreshing to find a writer influenced by something other than comics or STAR WARS)but Mamet's stuff is meant to be spoken and any one who thinks Bendis is that Mametian hasn't read or seen much of Mamet's work.<p>I prefer Bendis' indie crime comics myself and think he has the greatest knack for comedy than anybody in comics (FORTUNE & GLORY is one of my all time favorite comics). Good or bad, he writes stylized dialogue not realistic dialogue. Woody Allen, John Hughes, John Milius, and Quentin Tarantino represent vastly different writers of stylistic dialogue. It has its' place. Bendis is great at getting to the emotional truths of a character.<p>Now, I'm all for genre-busting, but generally, stylistic dialogue doesn't work too well in big superhero sagas or hard edged street level superhero stories. At least not for the heroes. I see superheros as primarily physical beings in stressful situations, prone to violence, potentially mistrustful of one another unless they have close relationships like the FF or the X-Men. I don't think they'd yack so much.<p>Paul Schrader once said that dialogue was the easiest thing in the world. You just figure out what the scene needs, what we need to know about the character and that's what they say.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 5:47 p.m. CST

    My Top 10

    by AmericanWerewolf

    10 Star Wars: Legacy 9 Ultimate Spider-Man 8 The Boys 7 New X-Men 6 Fables 5 Planet Hulk 4 All Star Superman 3 Annihilation 2 Green Lantern 1 Astonishing X-Men.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 5:53 p.m. CST

    To be fair, Bendis has toned down the Mamet stuff lately.

    by rev_skarekroe

    Dark Avengers reads pretty differently than Alias, for the most part. And he's tried experimenting with his own style, as in Mighty Avengers.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Adoring Fans & Miller Ego Responsible For DKSA

    by Buzz Maverik

    We're too easy on these clowns, always have been. Yeah, the original DARK KNIGHT was great but it was also muddled and self-contradictory (probably not intentionally, either). Miller isn't the worst artist who writes, but he's never been the best either. There wasn't a trace of irony in all that hard ass stuff, either. But as far as the fans were concerned, he not only could do no wrong but we would have killed anybody who hinted that he could. So he thinks he can do whatever he wants because he created Batman or whatever and no one at DC had one sliver of testicle when the second DK came around to say "Uh, Frank, what the hell are you talking about here? Are you sure you've turned in the pages in the right order?"

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 5:59 p.m. CST

    It's funny...

    by AmericanWerewolf

    I've read movie critics who use "comic book" as an adjective used describe something of inferior quality. There have been some comics that made me cringe whenever somebody spoke, but I've also read some really effective stuff, particularly by Alan Moore, where the characters spoke precisely the right way.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Lone Fox

    by Continentalop

    I don't have to justify why Batman would recruit a 12-year old. It is after all a comic book. In a world of martians, Amazons, power rings that can't effect yellow and people who can run faster than the speed of light, I don't think we really need to justify or apply logic to a Robin character. <p> One of my problems with modern comics is this belief that something must be "wrong" with these characters and situations because they don't act like we do in the real world. No shit, they don't. They are super-heroes and were made for kids. They don't need to be that "realistic" and they don't need revisionist to come along and try to explain why it is a dumb concept. The fact that FM has to come to the conclusion that Batman must be a fascist dickhead to have a 12-year old kid work with him otherwise it wouldn't be realistic, but has no problem making the former sidekick into a shape-shifting, regenerating unstoppable killer as if that is somehow more realistic, means that maybe FM has lost the concept of you these characters were written and intended for.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 6:10 p.m. CST

    Fuck Off Robin

    by Autodidact

    I try to pretend that Robin doesn't exist. Aside from Dark Knight Returns I can't think of any Batman material including Robin which I enjoy. Fortunately the Robin thing is actually a way to draw out the posers. Because real bat-fans know Robin was overemphasized in the show and in the less imaginative comics. The best stories are the ones with no Robin at all, or even better where it's not even implied that he exists. Yes I have called out posers two days in a row on AICN. I am the coolest!

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Prof: your top ten

    by gooseud

    I'm waiting anxiously, 2 of the 3 so far (hint: not this one we are discussing) have been shaky at best. Any list of the top ten comics of the decade that doesnt involve Planetary or Walking Dead, or at least mention them, seems questionable at best.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Continental: Cosmic Marvel

    by gooseud

    and thus does Cont sum up why cosmic Marvel is fucking awesome: the perfect blend of today's sensibilites along with the knowledge that THESE ARE COMICS BOOKS! THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE FUN!! The Guardians of the Galaxy have their base in a decapitated Celestial's head, for chrissakes! SON OF A.....!!

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Amen, gooseud.

    by AmericanWerewolf

    Comics, first and foremost, should be fun. It gets tiresome when some writer in an interview says he's going to "turn this concept on it's ear". Deconstructionist superheroes had their day. It was fun for a while to watch Miller, Moore and company take these concepts apart and sort of poke fun at the absurdities. But that was then. We should never forget where we came from. Comics are entertainment, the place we go for the fantastic. Unless you have something new to say, which is hard to imagine, writers should stick to non-fiction histories if they want to comment on illogical aspects of comics.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Real Bat-fans know Robin was overemphasized?

    by Continentalop

    You know, I'm not a fan of Robin: the idea of a 10-year old sidekick fighting crime with a vigilante just seems preposterous. But he wasn't made for 37-year old me, he was made for kids, specifically kids in the 1940s, and seemed to work with kids all the way up to the 80s. <P> And real Batman fans know that without Robin Bats wouldn't even be around anymore. Before Robin he was just a Shadow/Spider clone; after Robin he became a true superhero and a unique comic book character. Robin doubled Batman's sales almost overnight (taking him from popular character to someone competing with Superman and Captain Marvel for most popular character in the Golden Age). Robin also saved Batman from being cancelled at the end of the Golden Age; without Robin's boost Batman propbably wouldn't have had the sales or the impact and popularity to make it until the campy 60s show revitalized his popularity (and once again, Robin plays a big part in his popularity). <P> And Robin not being involved in best Batman stories - may I suggest you read the Joker's first appearance or the Joker's B-day party from the 70s (art by Walt Simonson). We might not love or even like the concept of Robin, but without a doubt he's what made Batman popular and important in comic book history (no one talks about Spy-Smasher nowadays).

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 7:12 p.m. CST

    Cosmic Marvel

    by Continentalop

    You know, I haven't really read any of the Annihilation or Guardians of the Galaxy stuff, but I really should. Everything I hear or read about it just sounds right up my alley. <P> I will say Captain Britain and MI:13 still fills my heart with ridiculous comic book joy (Dracula having a Dr. McNinja like moment by having a castle on the moon=fucking awesome).

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 7:39 p.m. CST

    Of course comics should be fun

    by Lone Fox

    And yes, arguing the case for realism in a superhero comic makes little sense in a make-believe universe filled with mutants and shapeshifters etc. On the other hand, the majority comic buying demographic today is not what it was 20-30 years ago.  But I'm not saying all comics should aim for that. Simply that in this particular case, it worked for me. Particularly given the task that was set out. The All Star line was never intended to be the DC equivalent of Marvel's Ultimate line. It was to allow top creators a no holds barred reinterpretation of a popular character's mythos, without the monthly canon restrictions. And to that end, did Miller -ahem-goddamn deliver. Was it the Batman fans know and expected? Nope. Was it a completely unique take on an 80 (give or take) year old character? Absolutely. But anyway. You either like it or you don't. But at least it was different.     

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 8:02 p.m. CST

    Want some Batman goodness?

    by Snookeroo

    I recently found the Batman movie serial from 1943 in the discount bin at the video store. Worth every bit of the $5 I paid for it -- Robin sports a hairstyle stolen directly from Buckwheat. The bad guys don't even slow down as they kick his elf-bootie sporting ass.<br>Seriously. Batman and Robin get the shit kicked out of them and run away at the end of almost every episode. It's a honk.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 8:47 p.m. CST

    I thought Ambush Bug was a girl

    by GimpInMyPants

    Weird, that.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 9:25 p.m. CST

    Comics should be fun.....within reason

    by gooseud

    Anyone who reads the regular a$$hole column knows I am far from a nostalgia fan. I have never read one of those "Masterworks" nor will I. By and large, I find the 80's (and 70's) works literally unreadable. Try reading Crisis On Infinite Earths sometime with it fresh to your 2009 sensibilities, its almost unreadable. Everyone talks like Storm, the word bubbles are so thick on each page, its a wonder there was room for the art. Plus, Supergirl gives the classic John Wayne style corny death speech. So I'm far from a proponent of a return to the good old days. But a healthy sense of intelligent fun? Im all for it. Bascially, read Nova, and do exactly what they are doing.

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 10:28 p.m. CST

    Funny goose, I'm the opposite

    by Continentalop

    Give me a Masterworks, an Archive (even the corny ones from the SA), an Essential, a Showcase or almost anything from the Bronze Agr and I am in heaven, but give me most modern comics and I am bored silly. I could go into a big critique and analysis of why I find modern comics so lacking but I will just say that so few nowadays have anything magical about them. <p> It is like watching certain old movies versus new movies: sure acting seems more realistic nowadays, camera and sound technology have improved drastically, special effects have never been better, films now tackle subject matter they would never touch back then, and now they have cursing, blood, sex and nudity, but one thing they lack is the chemistry and wit that made Boggie & Bacall great or Hepburn & Tracy so awesome. Those movies had magic. The super-hero comic is a genre, just like the screwball comedy or the hard-boiled detective story (ok, noir was more of a movement), but it seems to me that a lot of cape stories nowadays jettison the elements of that genre that made it fun and rememorable to begin with. It is like watching a screwball comedy that isn't funny and everyone talks slow because that isn't "realistic".  

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 10:48 p.m. CST

    Isn't Batman As Dumb As Robin?

    by Buzz Maverik

    Buzz, it's just not realistic to have a 12 year old fighting crime.<p>While I admit the concept of Robin is a far cry from the gritty realism of a guy dressed like a bat fighting a killer clown and a fat guy in a tuxedo with exploding umbrellas...<p>Okay, I'm not being fair. At least Miller made Batman realistic again. I like where he jumps off high rises without dying or sustaining serious injury...

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Buzz, I don't really think it is about "realism"

    by Continentalop

    As it is being responsible. Like someone said above, the audience for comics have changed, it is now written with 20-40 year olds in mind. And the moral compass of that audience says it is irresponsible for a 30-year old man to put a 12-year old in jeopardy. When you yourself are 12 you can buy it and secretly dream it; when your 37 you can only think how reckless that is. So I can understand why fans are against Robin. <p> What I can't stand is how modern writers have to constantly come up with some sort of deviant explanation to the idea of Robin. It is unneccesary revisionism. Stan Lee already critiqued the idea of the side kick when he killed Bucky, and the death of Jason Todd reiterated the point: kid sidekicks are a bad idea. But everyone else has to come up with a twisted rational why a hero would have a sidekick: he is a pedophile, he is a sadistic fascist, he is psycho, etc. When have to rationalize a comic book trope by using some sort of perversion or deviance, maybe you should realize it isn't the genre for you. <p> Plus the funny thing to me is no one seems to complain when Kitty Pryde joined the X-Man at 13, or about other underage heroes like Jubilee, Impulse, Ultimate Spider-Man, etc. Sure, they have powers but they are also minors facing superpowered foes and many times accompanied by an adult who should now better. Hell, no one yells at Wolverine for hanging out with jailbait Pryde & Jubilee, and that is just as unwholesome looking as Batman & Robin. 

  • Jan. 6, 2010, 11:24 p.m. CST

    And sorry about the grammar errors

    by Continentalop

    I'm at a Star Bucks posting on my iPhone. People complain about the costumers at comic book stores, but they can't compare to the patrons of a Hollywood coffee shop. Talk about the most delusional, desperate bunch of know-it-all misenthropes ever - news flash buddy, I wasn't trying to sneak a peek at your script.

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 12:28 a.m. CST

    Mainstream American comics

    by jiblets

    I got burned by too many titles during the 90's to ever spend my hard-earned money on American comic books again. How can you possibly get interested in a comic when the artist, and thusly the whole style, can change from page to page? <P>The way writers parachute in from Heaven and flip a book on it's head should be enough to turn anyone off. There's no point in trying to keep up, because your favorite character is only going to get transformed into grotesque asshole until someone else parachutes in and retcons the damage out of existance by making it all happen in a parallel universe. You have to be an idiot to enjoy being treated like that. <P>The only books I'll buy in the future will be single writer, single artist, or indie works - screw Marvel/DC and the super-hero soap-opera merry-go-round. I'll read it as a .cbr and then throw it the fuck away, because it's worth nothing to me. <P>stuff that I've payed for: <P>Ted Naifeh's Courtney Crumrin books, Polly and the Pirates <P>Love & Rockets - Los Bros Hernandez (start from the beginning and be awed by Jaime's inks) <P>Y the last man <P>Top 10 1st and 2nd seasons, The 49ers (Gene Ha is a unique talent) <P>Starstruck - Elaine Lee & Mike Kaluta (IDW is re-issuing this long neglected work of genius with new art and coloring) <P>Hellboy, BPRD and anything Mignola related. <P>stuff that I've read and enjoyed but wouldn't reserve long-box space for: <P>Ex Machina <P>Fables <P>Invincible <P>Kick-ass <P>Ignition City <P>North 40 <P>The Goon <P>The Umbrella Academy <P>Frankly, manga has been better reading in my opinion, although as it has become more mainstream itself, it becomes harder to find decent titles. Timeless works like Akira, and 2001 Nights and Appleseed have gotten few and far between, although there are occasional gems like BLAME!

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 12:34 a.m. CST

    Crappy books

    by dukeroberts

    I bailed on ASBAR after two issues. The same for Black Panther. Black Panther was a ham-fisted hunk of hackdom.

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 1:56 a.m. CST

    No Neotopia? Story was weak, but the

    by Dingbatty

    art was breathtaking.

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 2:05 a.m. CST

    CO -- have to agree with most of what

    by Dingbatty

    you've posted here. Robin isn't a lost cause. BTAS demonstrated how he could work. Or go play the underrated Sin Tzu with a friend in coop. He and Batgirl are the flurry, quick-strike to Bats tank.

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 2:05 a.m. CST

    Bats', I should say.

    by Dingbatty

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 3:59 a.m. CST

    Oh, Robin's no lost cause

    by Lone Fox

    Ironically, that was the conclusion of the first All Star Batman arc, surely? Batman needed him. Actually, now that I think about it, you DO have to justify why Batman would endanger the life of a kid sidekick. As with most of the comics that came of that era (and even since) there are years worth of baggage. Fact is, Robin was a kneejerk reaction to complaints from parent groups that objected to the violence in the Batman stories. I love those old early runs, but I mean... Batman murdered the criminals he went up against! So to increase his appeal and soften his image, enter kid sidekick. And yes, that worked/works fine for kids.  But you're now dealing with an artform that has grown and developed far beyond that audience. As I said, the target demographic is not young kids anymore. Of the 4 or 5 comicbook stores I go to, the only time I ever see someone under 18 is when I take my son. And I admit it does annoy me that I have to vet every book he picks up, however... I demand more of a book like Batman now. The regular monthlies can churn out the 'magical' suspension of disbelief stuff (at least, I wish they would) but for me to pick up a superhero book now, I need something.... more. Which is why my taste leans more towards indie and crime titles, where there aren't such restrictions. I'm ashamed to say I've only recently 'discovered' Love And Rockets by the Hernandez brothers, and it's just brilliant.      

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 4:25 a.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by Continentalop

    If you are gonna bitch about giant tea cups and BBQs in your costume, I think it is sign that you should just quit comics because you take them way to serious. Giant coffee mugs and meetings in your costume is what makes Avengers and superhero teams great. If they're just gonna meet in their civilian identity and talk, I might as well watch Mad Men or even CSPAN because that has people talking while wearing normal clothrs. I mean why would you want superheroes to just act like you and me? That is boring enough (and don't say because it is "realistic" because if that is what you are looking for you're really reading the wrong genre). 

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Have to concur to that, as well.

    by Dingbatty

    The whole trend of putting them in t-shirts, jeans, coats, and fatigue pants was pointless. If I want to see people in t-shirts, I'll look out the window.<p>Probably about 90% of the angst of so-called fans of Batman and Det Com toward Robin was/is his costume. Even Wolfman/Perez joked about his "short pants." The recent Teen Titans toon attacked that directly by ditching the bare-leg shorts combo, or shorts + tights by giving him pants. I had seen the source of his original costume in a Flash Gordon strip, on the Robin Hood-esque people of Arboria.

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 8:26 a.m. CST

    Comic books aren't a genre.

    by rev_skarekroe

    They're a medium. I just wanted to get that out there because it bugs me when people talk about "comics" when what they really mean is "superhero comics".

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Smith's Green Arrow run is perfect

    by Drsambeckett1984

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 9:07 a.m. CST

    jiblets, yep.

    by Jaka

    Other than manga, which I've never liked and never will, you've got some great titles in your above post (although I'd reserve long box space for a few more than you). It's not an insult to those who read them, but I just don't understand the appeal of the classic costumed superheroes. How many times can they reboot, origin, crossover and war the same characters? And I felt that way in the 80's! Glad people still buy them as it helps keep the remaining shops open. But I just don't understand the geek furor caused by each little movement within those massive universes. It's all been done! Short of killing them off, which just means they can ignore all previous continuity by bringing them back anew! Gah. lol

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 10:09 a.m. CST

    You're right Rev

    by Continentalop

    I meant superheroes. But guys in spandex probably make up at least 80-90% of the sales, the term comic book is pretty much ubiquitous with superheroes. It is pretty much like talking about John Ford movies and only be referring to his Westerns (instead of Grapes of Wrath or the Informer) since he is so identifiable with that genre.

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by Joenathan

    I bitch about people sitting around in costume drinking out of giant tea cups because it's stupid. It makes no INTERNAL sense. Do football players leave the field and go to a friend's house in full pads? No. Imagine trying to walk past the china hutch in a 1000 pounds of armor without breaking anything. Also, why not just shrink down to drink your tea? Seriously, how long would it take Jarvis to make JUST Giant-man's tea? HOURS! It's stupid. I don't want "realistic" comics, obviously, but more so... I don't want stupid ones.

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Realism & Responsibility In Comics & Media

    by Buzz Maverik

    Here's what I like to be realistic in comics, movies, TV, novels, etc: stuff that's real. If there's a cop in the story, he or she should behave like a cop, be restricted by the laws, exercise authority the way a cop does, suffer the consequences, etc. Now, his best friend in the flying rodent suit with the indestructible car and the strangely mammalian fighter plane that somehow can't be traced is not bound by those rules. Best example: I often sight that I couldn't get into NEW FRONTIER because although I could buy a fighter pilot with a power ring, I couldn't buy a fighter pilot that could survive and even thrive in aerial combat (much less live with his fellow pilots) who refused to use his guns. So if you're blind lawyer wants to put of red thermals and practice ninjutsu on the skulls of the underworld, I can buy that. I can't buy that he seems to practice divorce law, corporate law, civil law, criminal law in a two man office with one secretary.<p>Responsibility is another matter. I say it has no place in comic books. As a disciple of John Milius, I advocate social irresponsibility, especially in the mediums I enjoy. I don't need Batman warped in a way that makes sense to me. I need to see how the character makes sense to himself. If I were writing Batman (which I would although I never had any comic book ambitions if the dough were right) I would never state WHY he has a sidekick. I sorta of hate motivation anyway (in addition to Milius, I also follow the teachings of the sainted guru Walter Hill who passionately hates motivation). But I would know why: he's been where Robin is. He's lived it. He knows what he would have done at Robin's age, given the chance. And Robin doesn't need any motivation either although some versions such as Dick Grayson have it. One of the best examples of Frank Miller's writing was Carrie Kelley. Her parents were jerks, but everyone's parents are jerks. Carrie didn't have any motivation to be Robin except that it was cool. We never had a horrible, ham-handed scene where she said it was cool, either. We saw it in the artwork. We saw the way she looked at the Dark Knight when he saved her and her friend from the Mutants. Next thing we knew, she was off to fight crime in her own Robin suit. Brilliant. Also a good example of how no dialogue is better than bad dialogue.<p>Superhero comics are all about social irresponsibility. How much of what happens in a comic book is the heroes own, stupid fault? Best line in the movie the DARK KNIGHT was when Gordon more or less told Batman that the underworld had to naturally generate some sort of extreme response to him and that was the Joker. For all of the Joker's wonderful lies and self-fabricated backstories (another genius touch) THAT was the Joker's origin. And it wasn't going to stop Batman. Social irresponsibility. Say it with me. Take it to heart. Live by it!

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 10:59 a.m. CST

    I Agree With Joenathan & the Continentalop

    by Buzz Maverik

    The funny costumes and the giant props are the kind of things that make superhero comics what they are, but...<p>I can see a group of superheroes banding together. I can see them talking things over after they've completed their mission. They probably wouldn't spend too much time, wouldn't stand too close to each other, might even be uncomfortable in each others presence. That would be the Avengers and the Justice League type teams. The FF represent family and are different. The X-Men are a school and refuge, and like a military base, you'd see them in leisure activities, often in the free clothes they're provided (really, if you were Wolverine, wouldn't you just wear the unstable molecule suit most of the time since you know you're going to be fighting at any second? or would you insist on trotting out yer Blue Light Specials from K-Mart?). That's why the Defenders are the greatest super team in the history of the known universe. After the fight, it was often, "Don't expect to see me again!"

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Well ChocolateJesus

    by Circean6

    "Your criticisms amount to industry complaining and "shitting in the face of fans". Why do comic book fans so often come off as entitled, snot-nosed brats?" Because we are the CUSTOMERS! So if you like dining in an eatery where the staff blows their noses on the entrees before they serve it to you more power to you. Between Miller's apathy & Morrison's arrogance they deserve to be on "the worst" list.

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 11:13 a.m. CST

    by Continentalop

    Batman was going to made kid friendlier with or without Robin. The editors back then made an edict that all DC characters were not going to be as violent, that heroes wouldn't shoot or kill people, and that villains couldn't get away with murder and must be captured (hence why the Joker became just a thief for years instead of a psychopath and why the Penguin stopped escaping Batman which used to be a recurring element in his stories). <p> He was introduced to be Batman's Watson because they realized a detective needs someone to bounce ideas off of and explain things too. His colorful costume and young age just happened to fit the new direction of DC comics. <p> As for justifying why Batman would endanger a 12-year olds life, they already have in Robin's first appearance in Detective Comics 38: after meeting Dick Grayson for the first time, Batman "thinks back to the time when his parents, too, were innocent victims of criminals" and he tells the young boy "My parents too were killed by criminals. That's why I have devoted my whole life to exterminate them." The comic then states that "The Batman is reluctant but the troubled face of the boy moves him deeply" and the Batman comments about how he guesses they are "both victims of a similar trouble." <p> There is your explanation: Batman sees a kindred spirit he can relate too and knows how much he thirsted for justice as a kid. The rational why Robin is able to pull it off is because he has been an acrobat since age 4 so he has the physically capabilities, he only has to be shown some boxing and jiujitsu before he is able to fight crime. And as for being able to handle the danger, Dick was part of the Flying Graysons; his parents had him risking his neck as part of the act. Being a kid in a costume fighting crooks isn't a big change of pace for a kid who used to wear leotards while flying on a trapeze without a net. <p> Robin is an outlier, a young kid who has the motivation, the drive and the ablility to fight crime at a young age, just like how Kevin Garnett was the prodigy who could play pro Basketball at 18 and Manny Pacquiao could box professionally at 16. And like how Cus D'Amato saw potential and a hunger in Mike Tyson so he took him in to raise and train him, Bruce Wayne took in Grayson to do the same. <p> Now, if you asked me how Jason Todd or Tim Drake (or Carrie Kelly) could be Robin or why Bruce Wayne would recruit them, I will be honest and say I have no idea; that seems a little reckless on his part. Grayson was one in a million, and should have stayed that way IMO.

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 11:15 a.m. CST

    ^^ RE: Robin ^^

    by Continentalop

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Bug has good taste.

    by Subtitles_Off

    How can he be so wrong about Morrison's "Batman & Robin," then? It's a puzzle.

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 11:40 a.m. CST

    Jones' "The Incredible Hulk" run...

    by Lone_Wolf_McQuaalude

    I thought started promising; sort of the TV show taken up a bit. Lost steam though. And "The Dark Knight Strikes Again" is much better than some people may remember

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 11:45 a.m. CST

    How To Be Robin, Or Rorshach, Or Hawkeye,ETC

    by Buzz Maverik

    One of the greatest, unsung contributions to superhero comics that Alan Moore made in WATCHMEN was in the Hollis Mason biography pages where Hollis observed that you had to have an extreme personality to put of costume and fight (or committ) crime. Extreme personality goes a long way in comics.

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 11:49 a.m. CST

    Re: Continentalop

    by Lone Fox

    True, however... at the risk of bringing a little realism in here(!) there is a big difference between a 12 year old prodigal trapeze artist performing daring acrobatics on the high wire, and a 12 year old fighting criminal psychopaths! Bruce Wayne saw in Grayson a kindred spirit, fine. Does that warrant recruiting him? Simplistically, yes. But I think you're selling the medium short settling for that. At least, after all this time. The industry will surely stagnate if we happily accept the status quo (from the 1940's, no less) rather than expand on these modern myths, to dig deeper into the characters motivations. Do we need it across the board? Absolutely not. Spider-man, for instance, has suffered for it and is a character that works better at a far more superficial level than, say, Daredevil. What does set Batman and Robin  apart from the rest of the pack is that they aren't 'superheroes'. They don't possess any powers or special abilities. It's their detective skills that raise them above the superficial stuff (your Holmes/Watson analogy is a good one) and, for me, warrants the occasional 'justification'.        

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 11:51 a.m. CST

    No football players don't

    by Continentalop

    But cops and military do. You see soldiers in their fatigues all the time, even when having a BBQ or in a book store. Super-heroes could be the same thing: when the team meets they must be in costume because every meeting is official. So even when having a BBQ it is at Avengers compound or mansion, and since that is headquarters you have to be in uniform (just like if you were on base). <p> That's the rational; the truth is that they are more recognizable in their costumes. We wanna read about Captain America, The Falcon, Thor, Iron Man and the Wasp; not Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson, Donald Blake, Tony Stark and Janet Van Dyne. No one complains that Cheif Wiggum is always in uniform or Homer and Marge wear the same thing everyday. Why? Because it makes them recognizable, which is important in a predominantly visual medium. <p> As for the giant tea cup, how about this for INTERNAL logic: Hank Pym undergoes a lot of physical stress when he changes size, so he prefers to just stay giant when he is at meetings. Because of the size change, the amount of food or drink he needs grows as well. Jarvis, being a very good butler, understands and places great importance on taking care of the needs of those he serves, so he has no trouble going out and getting an extra large cup for Pym, just like he would get meatless food for a vegatarian, non-alchoholic drinks for Stark, or making sure there is no butter in something he is serving to a person that is lactose intolerant. Plus, as a good butler, he wants people to feel comfortable and not feel unwanted, so by getting a large cup and not making a show of it Hank doesn't have to be put in an awkward spot of trying to drink from regular cups, having to shrink down to normal size (which is undo stress) or go without. He would do the same thing for anyone else; he would pre-chop the meat of a man missing his arm and quietly supply a night light for a child that is scared of the dark. And he never complains about having to clean a giant cup because he's the perfect butler; everything should seem effortless and natural. The scene with the giant cups isn't about how silly comics are but about how good of servant Jarvis is. <p> Now here is the EXTERNAL logic: it looks cool. That is why I like comics, to see something that looks familiar but also completely fantastical. A bunch of people having tea and coffee I've seen before; a bunch of people in costumes with the powers of gods drinking tea, including one using a cup as big as a toilet bowl, is something I wish I could see in person, but alas I'll have to have comics fill that void. 

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Jarvis would provide giant cups for Script Girl

    by Snookeroo

    You know it's true.

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Lone Fox

    by Continentalop

    I think the justification is already there. Batman saw a kindred spirit, someone who was in the same emotional place he was years ago, and offered him the same thing he wanted and searched for those decades ago: a way to make things right. So Batman didn't recruit, he offered him a chance to follow in his footsteps and Grayson hungrily accepted. <p> As for why he let's him fight crime at a young age? Because Grayson is a prodigy who has the skills to do it. And if he didn't let him fight crime under his supervision, Grayson has the balls to go do it by himself. At least this way Bruce can keep his eye on him. <p> And if you want to retcon him a little and say Dick didn't start wearing the Robin costume until he was 15 or 16 or even 17 (meaning he has been training intensely with Bruce for 7-9 years) I'm all for it. No one says Robin has to be 12; he can be an older teen when he starts. <p> I think the only thing about the Robin myth that needs to be justified or explored is the later Robins. Dick Grayson makes sense - he was a motivated prodigy. But Tim Drake? The kid became Robin even before he lost a family member. And Jason Todd was retconned into some kid who was trying to steal Batman's hub caps - hardly the type of person who would have the acrobatic gifts to so quickly put on the costume. If DC wants to make another Robin (including Damien) they should show him training in the Batcave for years before they ever don the costume. It took years and years of training and hard work to become Batman; the same thing should be applied to Robin.    

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 1:07 p.m. CST

    One More Day

    by Hedgehog000

    Clearly the worst of the decade for absolutely destroying SM great reservoir of morality, though Civil Wars didn't help. Good call on DK2 and Daredevil.

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Robin

    by Autodidact

    "We might not love or even like the concept of Robin, but without a doubt he's what made Batman popular and important in comic book history (no one talks about Spy-Smasher nowadays). " <p> Who cares what makes it popular? I care what makes for the best stories. And Robin just makes it lame. As you say, he was made for kids. Back in the 40s. It's 2010. Let it go.

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 4:46 p.m. CST

    The Avengers Don't Drink Tea, Anyway!

    by Buzz Maverik

    They drink coffee! Black! And no they don't want room for cream! Iron Man might Irish his up a little, ya know what I mean.

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Robin Should = John Connor In TERMINATOR 2

    by Buzz Maverik

    Did John, who was supposed to be 10 but was played by 14 year old Edward Furlong, ever engage the T1000 or the cops of military? No, that was up to his killer cyborg and killer Mom. But John reloaded weapons, worked on equipment, came up with strategy.<p>More important, John represented the audience. He was our point of view into the film. Who else is going to be our eyes? The killer cyborg? Sarah was the audience's viewpoint in the first film, but by T2 most of us could relate more to John.<p>I understood Robin better after THE DARK KNIGHT returns (you know, while Frank was still sane). I might have been a college dude at the time who WANTED to be like Bruce Wayne, but like or not, my life was closer to Carrie Kelley's. At the time, Miller said he always hated Robin until he created a Robin for DKR, then he understood the reasons for Robin. (Especially in Frank's case, because his Batman is mostly so easy to hate that, while I couldn't root for Two Face or the Joker or the Mutant leader, I wouldn't have minded Superman or the cops kicking his butt).<p>Even a dark knight needs a squire. Batman needs someone uncorrupted yet malleable, whom he can trust. There's several reasons why the military recruits the very youngest of adults. Aside from physical prowess, you learn better when you're younger (try teaching a foreign language to an adult! kids move to a new country and they adapt and their busy, burdened parents cannot). You're less jaded, less questioning. You're less aware of your mortality. Like Colin Powell said about SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, why didn't they just burn the bridge and march out? That's what adults would do. Even a 17 year old Robin might look at Bruce Wayne and say, "You dress up as a bat and beat up on people who are more like me than they are like you."<p>I suspect that versions of Robin keep cropping up because without them, Bruce Wayne and Batman become almost completely unrelatable characters. He doesn't even work at being a billionaire as much as Iron Man does. If he dates a chick, she's either a costumed character or a woman only Jim Lee can draw properly. He really doesn't do anything except the Bat stuff and you can't look at that with too much logic or realism. At least Sherlock Holmes was a detective who accepted cases, had a best friend, a landlady, a ragtag crew of helpers, and an uneasy working relationship with a police inspector. Bruce Wayne is a muscular genius with a butler, who has more money than Bill Gates.<p>Robin, on the other hand, can represent the comic reader whether that reader is a 10 year old in the 1940s or a 35 year old now, because even though I don't know you, I know you're life is closer to Robin's than to Batman's.

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Robin ...

    by ReportAbuse

    I don't know anyone that really likes Robin but from a narrative standpoint I can see the point of having a sidekick that Bats can communicate with and share information (for the reader's benefit mainly) rather than just talking / thinking to himself all the time. It just makes for more story possibilities too. I like the idea that developed in more recent years of making Robin a little older (say college age) and tougher, to decrease the creepiness factor somewhat and make him a more useful character than a school-age minor would be (hell, Chris O'Donnell was 27 in 'Batman and Robin'.) Of course a lot of heroes manage to do without sidekicks (Superman, Spider-Man notably) but others benefit working in tandem (Green Lantern - Green Arrow from the Neal Adams days; Capt America & the Falcon, etc.; even Joker got his Harlequin.) Since Batman doesn't play well with others, though, he rarely shines when having a partner who's too much of an equal ... thus the protege Robin who always has something to learn. Still, my favorite Batman eras (Neal Adams, Marshall Rogers, Frank Miller) always de-emphasized the boy blunder.

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 8:33 p.m. CST

    I think everyone can pretty much agree...

    by rabidfnark

    Final Crisis was shit, but as long as the focus has shifted to Bats here, wasn't anyone extremely underwhelmed by BATMAN RIP? Granted, I haven't read the whole talkback, but didn't that piss anyone else off? To go through that whole thing only to have him actually die in Final Crisis? I call bullshit!

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 9:15 p.m. CST

    Autodict

    by Continentalop

    Than why don't you just read the Shadow or the Spider? Oh wait, they are not around anymore. Why is that? Maybe because they didn't have a 10-year old in pixie boots as a partner. See, popularity matters. <p> What you want is the Shadow, which is cool. I can understand why you want him, he's a cool character. Just don't pretend that a Shadow/Batman is somehow less lame than a Batman & Robin, because it isn't for kids. Because nothing says maturity and coolness like being 30 and reading the comic book adventurrs of men in mask and tights fighting supervillains. This stuff was made for kids and is meant to be silly. We all just came along and usurped it and tried to make it seem "serious" because none of us want to grow up, but we also don't want to be reminded we are spending our time and money on stuff that was meant as children power fantasies. <p>  And Robin might not be popular with you but he is with kids, and they are the ones who should have the final word whether Batman has a sidekick or not. Because this stuff was, ready, made for kids.

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 10:57 p.m. CST

    You Must Be A Kid

    by Autodidact

    Trust me kid, I have little concern about being cool. I dislike Robin because it's just a fucking stupid concept. He's not an actual knight and he doesn't need a squire. <p>BTW this image of knights being great guys is all a bunch of hooey. Knights were generally the guys who came and shook you down to collect "taxes" for the local lord. If they took on a squire they usually buggered the shit out of them. <p> Batman is alone against the night. Giving him a sidekick is fucking stupid. And you know the one thing I DON'T like about The Dark Knight Returns? Robin.

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 11:06 p.m. CST

    That's What I Hate About the Nolan Movies Too

    by Autodidact

    I really dislike the fact that, by the end of Batman Begins, Batman has three of the most powerful people in Gotham in his corner backing him up. Having Gordon drive the Batmobile actually offended me.

  • Jan. 7, 2010, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Batman: Arkham Asylum Gets it Right

    by Autodidact

    Oracle, yes. Robin, no.

  • Jan. 8, 2010, 12:06 a.m. CST

    Yep, I'm just a kid (at heart)

    by Continentalop

    Because only a kid would know about Pulp characters like The Shadow or The Spider or give himself the handle Continentalop. <p> You don't like Robin, I can understand that. I'm not really partial to him either. But to act like he is an inherently lame concept but Batman by himself is instantly cool is just childish. <p> I got a news flash for you buckeroo, Robin is a power fantasy figure for kids, but so is Batman. That's right - Batman is silly and juvenile too. Which is fine, because I like childish stuff like comic book heroes, cartoons and Godzilla movies. But when I want adult, grown up fiction I read wish fullfilment  for adult men: Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Ian Flemming or James Ellroy. <p> What I don't do is project my fantasies onto a guy in a bat suit and than get upset and pout when other people don't treat him as dark and serious as I do. No matter how hard you try Auto, your reading a funny book character meant for kids. And in many ways Bats is even more ridiculous than Robin. At least Robin is obvious and honest about his childish nature, Batman tries to hide it so that some delusional fans like you can pretend he's somehow more than a "Wham!" "Pow!" character. Sorry, but ever since Batman stopped fighting just gangsters and started taking on guys with freeze guns, shapeshifting lumps of mud and killer clowns with murderous joy buzzers, he has been just another childish superhero. So maybe we should just let the kids have him and stop trying to make him for adults. It's the grown up thing to do.  

  • Jan. 8, 2010, 12:13 a.m. CST

    Btw criticizing Robin

    by Continentalop

    But praising Oracle is absurd. Oracle is much more ridiculous than Robin. She is the phone operator to the super-hero community. That means she ties Bats to Martians, Kryptonians, guys who stretch and ever JLAer out there. She ends any notion that Batman lives in a plausible word. Dick Grayson doesn't do that; he can operate just in Gotham and never interact with the rest of DC Universe. <p> And I loved how you showed me how much more mature and grown up you are by using a video game as your example.

  • Jan. 8, 2010, 12:24 a.m. CST

    And as for Batman being a knight

    by Continentalop

    You know it is symbolism/imagery. It is based on our knowledge and history of how the knight was presented in romantic literature, like Bullworth's Age of Chivalry and Le Morte d'Arthur not the actual historical knight. Kind of like how when someone uses cowboy imagery nowadays he is most likely trying to associate it with cowboys from the Western genre and not real, historical cowboys. <p> For a guy called Autodidact you don't seem to know much. Maybe you should stop teaching yourself and take a class...

  • Jan. 8, 2010, 2:47 a.m. CST

    Continental Fop

    by Autodidact

    You're a fucking tool, I'm not saying anything about "cool" or "mature" for the umpteenth time. I'm talking about what works for the character. <p> You're obviously rather insecure about comics and video games. I love how one minute you're telling me how silly I am for saying Robin is "immature" (which was not my fucking point, idiot) and then in the next paragraph you say that video games = immature. Real consistent argument you've got there. And again you're trying to put words in my mouth, nowhere did I say that my issue with Robin is that he's uncool or immature. He's just fucking retarded. Like you.

  • Jan. 8, 2010, 2:50 a.m. CST

    Praising Oracle

    by Autodidact

    If the rationale for having Robin around is to allow for exposition without using Batman's inner monologue, I'd rather have Oracle than Robin. <p>Given my druthers, I'd have neither.

  • Jan. 8, 2010, 2:55 a.m. CST

    The Knight Thing

    by Autodidact

    I'm not going to engage you on that. I don't see how what I wrote shows that I am unaware that fiction eventually looks back on fiction as much as history. You'd have to be fairly unobservant to miss that. Like, you'd have to be one of the people *I was adddressing in making my trivial comment about knights*. Mentioning a fact out of history does not equate to a statement that fiction only regards true history. You fucking numbskull.

  • Jan. 8, 2010, 9:38 a.m. CST

    'Lop

    by Subtitles_Off

    I've always agreed with you and your well-formulated points RE: Robin. Except for the assertion that imposes the "psychotic Batman" or "pedophile Batman" on the writers. That's all on the readers and their interpretation. That's a bunch of Marvel Zombies taking aim at the Batman mythology's soft spot. Yes, I've read Garth Ennis' pornographic take on "boy sidekick." That was never part of Frank Miller's approach (until recently, and can we just agree that "All-Star Batman & Robin" is so wretched it doesn't deserve to be included in an adult discussion?). <P> The thing about "Robin" that Frank Miller got right in DARK KNIGHT RETURNS was that the concept only "works" - meaning, satisfies contemporary tastes - when told from the kid's point of view. If it's a kid trying to make his or her way with a reluctant mentor, ending up proving him-herself, it's a lot more "believablistic" than a circus kid in pixie boots, just because, or worse, Bruce Wayne's biological son. Yeah, Morrison, that's the first thing a hopelessly unhappy - as Batman has been written into that corner - adult orphan would do when he finds out he has a child he never knew. Dress him up and go fight crime instead of say, go fishing. <P>Odd, isn't it, that the current crop of comic book readers profess nothing but love for the current, least real-world realistic, Robin - Damien, The Bastard-Wonder? Again, because that character's snotty attitude acts as a buffer. A fourth-wall-breaking wink at the audience. "See? I agree with you that this is stupid. I'm the Anti-Robin!"<P> And there's the thing, 'Lop. While I agree with your evaluation of the history and value of Robin, as a character, I think it is - I think you even agree, a little - the weakest spot of The Batman myth. All the sidekicks. Batgirl, Robin, Spoiler, Nightwing, Batwoman, Huntress, Ace, The Bat-Hound. The whole fucking lot of them are stupid as hell. They're presented as gimmicks, and their stories are usually interchangeable. I wish none of them existed.

  • Jan. 8, 2010, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Autodidact, RE: Continental Fop (clever)

    by Continentalop

    1) I'm not insecure, I'm just honest. I understand super-heroes are a kids medium. That's what i like about it. You, on the other hand, try to label a character made for kids as stupid and retarded and lame (and a character who was obviously loved by enough people to make Batman a star and become ubiqitious with him, but of course "popularity" doesn't matter just what only you like), and then use a video game to support your statement. Seems like someone is in denial about his maturity level. <p> 2) Your statement was that Arkham got it right, "Oracle, yes. Robin, no." I didn't see any other caveat there so I think it is easy to see where I would assume your an Oracle fan. And even with the idea of her as an exposition device, I still prefer Robin. Robin is a character for kids to relate to, Oracle is a comic book device for fanboys.  <p> 3) Sorry, but when a guy goes into a rant that makes up a third of their post, I think it has something to do with a point they wanna make, especially when it appears to be response to someone's associating Batman and Robin to knight and squires. So, no, I don't think I was being unfairly unobserviant about your comments; I think I was being fairly observiant how you were being disingenuous and trying to score cheap points for your argument.  <p> 4) What I don't like about you Autodidact is your pompous arrogance. You have the nerve to call anyone who defends Robin a poser Bat-fan, but don't seem to know the fucking publishing history of the character. You're a guy who talks out of his ass without an ounce of fact to back him up, just your own personal taste. Sorry, but your opinion isn't a fact, it is just an opinion, and it doesn't mean shit to me. <p> For 40 years, Batman was without a doubt linked to Robin (and even now is still associated with him). And it was during those years with the Boy Wonder that Batman became the phenomenon he is: his comic book sales soared, he got a comic strip, chapter serial, radio show, TV show, cartoons and toys. And you say popularity doesn't matter, just what serves the character. Well popularity does matter - it is the difference between a character continuing to be published, versus one cancelled and forgotten. And what made Bats popular and successful was Robin, because it got guys like my dad, my uncles and their generation as kids to go read the comic and watch the old chapter serial; and the old campy TV series with Batman AND Robin brought in a whole new generation and renewed his popularity (thus preventing him from being cancelled again). <p>  And popularity does serve the character, because it defines what the character is. And if the older guys who made Bats popular say his character is a chummy Batman and Robin, or if some kid loves the idea of Batman mentoring Robin, who am I to tell them they are wrong? That was a legitimate version of Batman for over 40 years (and the one that made him unique and so identifiable in fiction), existing long before me and you started reading comics and people started turning Batman back into a shadow rip-off. 

  • Jan. 8, 2010, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Subs

    by Continentalop

    You're gonna love my next post then...

  • Jan. 8, 2010, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Autodidact, I'm going to do you a favor

    by Continentalop

    I'm gonna explain how you should argue why they should get rid of Robin: <p> Robin has been with Batman for years, and he is one of the reasons that Batman is so successful. He is a huge part of history, but alas, his time has passed and his purpose served. <p> As other people have noted, this is a different era and comic readers are older now. While I won't say we are more mature, we are more sophisticated, so I can say we don't really need a character around that was made for the fans (majority kids back then) to identify with, or a Watson character because the majority of us are intelligent enough to follow a detective story without being fed a bunch of exposition. <p> Robin is a great character, and as I said above he is the one who gave Batman his own, unique identity and recognizable appearance; without Robin, Batman is just a Shadow knock-off. But the Shadow is no longer around or well known, and comic book fans want Batman to fill his niche. They want Batman to return to his pulp roots and become a masked vigilante again. <P> I'm not saying eradicate Robin. In cartoons and comic books aimed at kids he should be included. And I think he even has a place in Batman's mainstream history, as just that, part of his history. Batman had a boy sidekick, the kid grew up and moved on, and now that chapter is closed. In short, the majority of people who read the mainstream Batman titles prefer a Dark Knight who is a Knight Errant, one without a squire. <p> See how I did that? Feel free to use this argument, Autodidact. And you don't even have to thank me.  

  • Jan. 8, 2010, 7:39 p.m. CST

    Anybody Who Disagrees W/Me re. Batmite

    by Buzz Maverik

    Is an inbred, lowlife, unwashed retarded kid ... because the whole concept falls apart without the character I like to call the Mite! This is serious stuff that I'm going to insult you about because we all know that Donald Trump dresses up in rodent armor and defends New York against Alice In Wonderland characters and Where's Waldo? and guy like the Lawn Gnome, etc.

  • Jan. 8, 2010, 7:41 p.m. CST

    Real Mature...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ..you-shut-up-No-you-shut-up---

  • Jan. 9, 2010, 2:57 a.m. CST

    I finally understood Robin after watching

    by Dingbatty

    BTAS. Bruce builds the family he never got to have, never will have. younger brother or son figure in Robin, daughter/sister in Batgirl, father in Alfred. Like I said before, most of the angst is due to Robin's costume, and someone's sexual insecurity/immaturity. I would be afraid of a circus performer. Have you seen what some of those Cirque du Soleil performers can do as far as their strength and climbing abilities? Bats and Robin were never meant to be frontal assault. Mostly detective work, with some ninpo slinking about in the dark, then a sudden strike and retreat back to the shadows. Disarm them first with stealth, batarangs, smoke bombs, etc. and then the acrobatic ass kickings.

  • Jan. 9, 2010, 11:05 a.m. CST

    7 Soldiers

    by hst666

    I liked FC , but I can understand the criticism, but 7 Soldiers was great and yes, I had to read the finale twice, but I thought it ended fine.

  • Jan. 9, 2010, 12:33 p.m. CST

    I Agree With Dingbatty &hst

    by Buzz Maverik

    I thought 7 Soldier was excellent.<p>And we're all too much into this guy's gotta be a Green Beret special forces kung fu ninja, etc. Those guys get the ever lovin' crap kicked out of every day by peasants and kids that believe in themselves. A circus performer could probably handle yer average punk in a fight. You know who else people should fear but don't? Comedians. Comedy has an air of violence to it. Unpredictability. It's often anti-social and comedians don't look at things the same way normal people do. That's why I bought Michael Keaton as Batman. While not a straight up comedian, Keaton was a comic actor with an edge. The madness overrode the lack of physicality.