Comics

AICN COMICS: Q&@/Review with WWE HEROES Writer Keith Champagne! REVIEWS: AMERICAN VAMPIRE! GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY! & MUCH MORE!

Published at: March 26, 2010, 2:42 a.m. CST

#43 3/17/10 #8

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) Q&@ with WWE HEROES’ Keith Champagne WWE HEROES: RISE OF THE FIRST BORN #1 AMERICAN VAMPIRE #1 IRREDEEMABLE #12 PUNISHER: BUTTERFLY #1 One-Shot BATMAN #697 DAYS MISSING Hardcover GN GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #24 BATMAN & ROBIN: BATMAN REBORN HC Deluxe Edition Big Eyes For the Cape Guy presents Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS!

Hey folks, Ambush Bug here with a special Q&@ starting off a three day Q&@ binge we’ll have for you this week. Tomorrow, we have Jon Goldwater from Archie Comics talking with Optimous Douche about their upcoming collaboration with Stan Lee called SUPER SEVEN. Then on Friday we’ll have a lengthy chat between our own Squashua and the one and only John Romita Jr. about everything from KICK-ASS to being Hunk of the Month at Marvel back in the day. But first, today, we have a chat with writer Keith Champagne about his upcoming comic WWE HEROES. And before we get into the interview, don’t forget that we have a contest going on this week from the cool folks at Titan Books who were nice enough to offer up a special edition of WWE HEROES #1, autographed by awesome artist Liam Sharp and framed to one lucky reader of this column. Now to get it, you’ve got to do a bit of work…but not too much. All you have to do is send me an email with your complete name, complete address and what your wrestling name & signature wrestling move would be if you were a WWE Wrestler. The email that makes my belly jiggle the most will get the prize. I’ll announce the winner in this Monday’s AICN COMICS SPINNER RACK PREVIEWS column. Check out a video preview of the book below! The book is in stores March 23rd. Best of luck!

Here’s what Keith had to say…
AMBUSH BUG (BUG): So how did you get the gig to write WWE HEROES?

KEITH CHAMPAGNE (KC): It wasn't easy. I actually accepted the gig when it was first offered without realizing the gauntlet I would have to run in order to prove my worth to my editor, Ned.
In short order, I had to defeat Triple H in an arm wrestling match and beat Vince at Chess. Little did Ned know that I'm the world arm wrestling, battle chess champion. The rest is history.

BUG: Are you a wrestling fan?

KC: I can't imagine anyone writing a book like this without being a wrestling fan first. There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love wrestling and those who don't get it. My dad raised me the right way.

BUG: One of my favorite all time Superstars is Rowdy Roddy Piper. Do you have an all time favorite WWE Superstar?

KC: You should enjoy the first series then, which features the Legendary Scot in a supporting role!
My all-time favorite superstar is Andre The Giant. He was such a great, larger than life figure when I was young, who didn't love Andre? As far as workers go, I'm a big fan of Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Randy Savage...there are too many to even name. As far as personalities go, The Rock and Stone Cold are damn hard to beat.

BUG: It appears that this book is going to take the WWE Superstars out of the ring and place them into all kinds of bizarre adventures. What can we expect to see in upcoming issues of this book?

KC: It only appears bizarre from the outside looking in. Don't get me wrong, we're definitely taking the WWE roster on some unexpected adventures but hopefully, they're set up in a way that makes sense in the context of this universe we've built.
Expect to see zombies. Were-Jaguar Creatures. Interfamilial battles. An eternal war. Love lost. And lots and lots of bodyslams. For a sneak peek check out our cool trailer: here.

BUG: You've done larger than life characters in your phenomenal THE MIGHTY miniseries, but this series is a whole different monster where you're writing about real life people. Did you talk with some of the WWE Superstars starring in WWE HEROES about their roles in this book?

KC: Hey, thanks for the mention of THE MIGHTY!
No, I haven't spoken with any of the WWE Superstars. The nature of the beast is that the comic is a very different animal than the TV and house shows.

BUG: One would think that with the over the top personalities in the WWE, it would be pretty easy to translate that to the printed page. Is that true? What was the most challenging aspect of writing this one?

KC: This is a very tricky comic to write because of the track record that wrestling comics have of being really stupid. Portraying those "over the top" personalities in a comic, it's pretty easy to have them rub the wrong way. So I took the approach of telling a story about the people who play those characters getting caught up in something much larger than they could have imagined when they woke up this morning and put their boots on.
We're trying to tell a real story here that features WWE Superstars and, in its own way, it's a pretty ambitious challenge.
From a nuts and bolts aspect, the most challenging aspect for me is just keeping track of the roster of WWE Superstars we're using. We try to stay focused on a core group but there are so many peripheral superstars that pop in and out, it takes extra effort to keep it from becoming a battle royale for who gets the most face time.
I'm also very aware that if I call for twenty WWE Superstars to be featured on a page that Andy has to draw twenty WWE Superstars, likenesses and all. This is not an easy job on any level. So I try to be very conscious of not working him to the bone while still giving everybody their moments.

BUG: Fans of wrestling are some of the most die hard fans out there. How are you dealing with the pressure to do their favorite WWE Superstars justice in this book?

KC: I'm writing it out of love. I can't control what people think of it so I don't worry about that. I just write it as true to what I like as possible and hope people can relate.

BUG: If you were a WWE Superstar, what would your name be and what would be your signature move?

KC: I would call myself The Drunk Gynecologist. You really don't want to know what my finishing move would be but it's safe to say I'd get the death penalty for it.

BUG: Bwah! Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions.

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 comic from Bluewater Comics, VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS: THE TINGLER #1-2. Look for more comics from Bug in 2010, including ROGER CORMAN PRESENTS DEATHSPORT in July, and the just announced vampire miniseries NANNY & HANK in August (and check out Jazma Online’s new interview with Bug about NANNY & HANK here). Bug’s latest comic is VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS #16: WITCHFINDER GENERAL on sale July 2010. Fanboy Radio recently interviewed Bug about it here.

And now, a review of issue #1 of WWE HEROES which is in stores today!


WWE HEROES: RISE OF THE FIRST BORN #1

Writer: Keith Champagne Art: Andy Smith Publisher: Titan Books Reviewer: Mr. Pasty

The boys over at World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) have decided to further expand the wrestling universe by bringing their top stars to the pages of an ongoing comic book series titled HEROES. And as you would expect, the book mirrors the current televised product in that guys like John Cena, Triple H, Randy Orton and The Undertaker get most of the attention. So what is a WWE comic book supposed to be? Well, that’s a good question. It really can be about anything – just like the scripted storylines that millions of fans tune in to see every week on TV. I guess there is no right or wrong direction, just a right and a wrong way to handle the characters.
The good news is that HEROES gets it right. As a wrestling fan from the late 1980’s, I’ve seen a lot of promising talent fall by the wayside because they just couldn’t sell the product. I knew wrestling was “fake,” but I never once thought of Ted DiBiase as anything other than a millionaire or Doink as anything other than a demented clown. If you don’t believe in the character, then how can you expect me to? That’s why HEROES is successful right out of the gate. It tells the story of two gods (and brothers) at war with each other across many decades. They fight, they die, they are reborn. Eventually these two troublemakers end up making their way to present day Wrestlemania for one last stand. Preposterous? Of course. But no more preposterous than a grown man who dresses like a bat to solve crimes or a big breasted Amazonian who flies an invisible jet.
The WWE is basically a live action comic anyway so this is hardly a risky endeavor. But can this be considered a “good” comic book? The narrative is tight, the story is well paced and the art? Well, WWE wrestlers are larger than life and Smith draws them to suit. I can’t say for sure how much people who don’t follow wrestling will enjoy this but it’s certainly not required. Then again people who have nothing vested in the WWE will have no interest in buying this so I guess it’s a moot point. That’s unfortunate, because WWE HEROES is a fun read and worthy comic book – with or without the license. It’s just an added bonus for wrestling fans who should enjoy, as I did, another storyline involving their favorite WWE superstars.
Web heads who can’t get enough of Mr. Pasty’s word vomit are encouraged to watch him operate as Nostradumbass over at here. MMAmania.com. Love, hate and Mafia Wars requests should be directed here.

AMERICAN VAMPIRE #1

Written by: Scott Snyder (story 1) and Stephen King (story 2) Art by: Rafael Albuquerque Published by: Vertigo / DC Comics Reviewed by: Irish Rican

  What more can one say about Stephen King? The man is a horror genius. Luckily his transition to comics moves very smoothly and King shows off his panel work here in the first issue of AMERICAN VAMPIRE.
The vampires here are rugged, tough, and, as you can tell by the title, American. Both stories harkens back to older days. Scott Snyder's story is told during those days of jazz and speakeasies while King's story is told back in the Old West. Each story is sixteen pages told over five issues so this first issue is but a short welcome into both worlds.
Stephen King shines. He fully enjoys ten gallon hats and six shooters, but anyone who has read the DARK TOWER series already knows that. Luckily everything here is truly original and has no feel to anything King has already done previous. Joined with Rafael Albuquerque, who provides the artwork for both stories, King weaves the dirty tale of a man who is more dangerous then anything a cowboy can bring out. The story finishes almost as quickly as it begins thanks to the format but it will wet your beak enough to get that second issue based on King's story alone.
So Scott Snyder is faced with having to co-write a book with a living legend. I'm glad that task didn't fall to me, I'd be too worried that my story might suck ass compared to the master of horror. Lucky for Snyder that his tale actually reads quite well and is a stark comparison to King's story. It's actually an enjoyable tale because it's a world where violence isn't prevalent like it is in the Old West. It's old school studio system Los Angeles where everyone was just trying to "make it." Pearl is trying to make it, stuck in the background of films and working at night just to make ends meet. Of course as a beautiful woman does she catches the eye of someone...and that someone is probably going to be the wrong person.
I wish the book had a bigger page count because you are through both stories so quickly. It leaves you begging for more which is probably what DC wants from you. AMERICAN VAMPIRE is full of amazing dialogue and great characterization, simply an amazing book that begs to be picked up. Just when you thought you knew Stephen King he goes out and impresses the hell out of you once again. Do not miss out on this book.
Ryan McLelland AKA Irish Rican has worked in movies and comics journalism for the past several years before joining the @$$holes here at AICN. Ryan’s comic work has already graced comic shelves with Arcana’s PHILLY, WISE INTELLIGENCE, UPTOWN GIRL, and THE SENTINELS ANTHOLOGY. He rarely updates his blog but when he does it can be read at www.eyewannabe.com. Ryan's new webcomic Mobile Estates can be found at www.mobileestatescomic.com.

IRREDEEMABLE #12

Writer: Mark Waid Artists: Peter Krause and Diego Barreto Published by: BOOM! Studios Reviewed by: BottleImp

IRREDEEMABLE had the perfect first issue. Superheroes on the run as the Superman-like Plutonian was hunting them down, the Plutonian’s former allies searching desperately for a way to survive an angry god. The next few issues were also good, but the initial intensity began to ebb. The artwork became noticeably sloppier, the plot began losing momentum, and before long this series that had been at the top of my “must read” list had slipped halfway to the bottom. Though there have been a few moments in subsequent issues that briefly piqued my interest, and a slight improvement in the artwork with the addition of Barreto’s cleaner drawing style, IRREDEEMABLE has fallen from being an edge-of-your-seat thriller to a sit-back-and-relax costume drama.
When we come right down to the heart of the matter, the reason that this series has failed to live up to its potential to “wow” me is because I just don’t care about the characters. Sure, I’m curious about what’s going to happen and mildly interested in the various backstories, but there’s no intensity to these emotions—instead, IRREDEEMABLE is only able to instill a kind of intellectual, almost clinical interest in me as a reader. Consider the events in this issue: Bette Noir (who seems to be a Black Canary-type heroine) is forced to confess to her teammates (one of whom is also her husband, and is at this time bleeding to death) that not only did she sleep with the Plutonian, in doing so she learned of the hero-turned-villain’s one weakness, and was the only one of the Paradigm (think Justice league) who could have stopped the Plutonian before his killing spree went global. But because she was ashamed and afraid of her friends’ reactions, Bette kept this information to herself, and thus feels responsible for the millions of deaths that she may have been able to prevent. All delivered tearfully, and in extra-large, boldface italics. You wanna know what my reaction was?
“Hm.”
It all comes down to character. I give Waid props for throwing the reader right into the middle of the shitstorm and creating a great hook with the first few issues of this series, but the downside of this method is that the reader hits the ground running with a bunch of strangers. Granted, Waid has been parceling out bits and pieces of the supporting cast more and more in recent issues, but I still feel as though the Paradigm are little more than cardboard cutouts that, in some cases, fall into superhero archetypes without adding anything new or interesting to those archetypes. And then there are those characters that the reader still knows next to nothing about. Like Samsara, the Indian kid who I’m pretty sure is dead, and the Plutonian’s Lex Luthor, Modeus. Modeus is apparently hiding out in Samsara’s body (so does that mean he’s some sort of shapeshifter, or can he possess people, or what?), and currently tagging along with the Plutonian as he revisits his past. Here’s where it gets a little weird: I thought that the Plutonian was the one who had killed Samsara…yet he doesn’t find it odd that his deceased sidekick is up and about?
Herein lies another problem that I have with this series. The initial premise was that the Plutonian turned from Good to Evil (that’s right, big G and big E). But as IRREDEEMABLE has progressed, it seems more and more that the Plutonian has turned from Good to Bat-Fuck Crazy. Killing millions of innocent people, dressing up a super-villainess like Bette Noir and using her like some kind of creepy, Buffalo Bill sex doll, flash-frying his foster parents and leaving their mentally-retarded son alive and alone so that he can slowly starve to death…these aren’t the calculated acts of a villain; it’s not as if the Plutonian gains anything from these atrocities. These are acts of insanity. I’m not saying that a villain can’t be insane—lord knows that I can’t dismiss Batman’s entire rogues gallery—but in shifting the Plutonian from a man who made a conscious shift in his moral standing to become Evil to a nutjob out for petty revenge, IRREDEEMABLE’s hook lost its sharp edge.
The unfortunate thing is that IRREDEEMABLE has the potential to be really, really good. Why is that unfortunate? Because the hope of this unfulfilled potential finally being realized keeps making me plunk down my money month after month, when I would be better off spending my cash elsewhere.
When released from his Bottle, the Imp takes the form of Stephen Andrade, an artist/illustrator/pirate monkey painter from the Northeast. You can see some of his artwork here. He’s given up comics more times than he can remember. But every time he thinks he's out, they pull him back in.

PUNISHER: BUTTERFLY #1 One-Shot

Writer: Valerie D’Orazio Artist: Laurence Campbell Publisher: Marvel MAX Reviewer: William

First off I continue to love what Marvel is doing with these Punisher one-shots. Again they realize that not everyone out there is going to enjoy reading Frank Castle as a walking Frankenstein, so they incorporate these one-shots to keep those Punisher fans happy. They certainly learned their lesson from their last huge Punisher fiasco (cough, cough, Frank Castle as some avenging angel, cough, cough).
With this particular one-shot, after reading it I’m still not quite certain whether I liked it or not. For beginners I’d like to get the big 1000 lb Elephant out of the way by stating ***SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS……….Frank is only in this one-shot for TWO whole pages………SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS****. I was quite surprised to see Marvel take that risk with this one-shot, and I’m certain that many readers out might feel royally ripped off after paying $4.99 for this issue. (The whole $4.99 is another thing. Please Marvel, no more $5 comics. It’s bad enough DC is charging $3.99 for some of their regular comics, thanks to stupid preview inserts that nobody really wants to read in the first place. Don’t try to one-up them on this Marvel).
What I didn’t like was the fact that I never really cared about the newest character introduced within the Marvel mythos, codenamed Butterfly. To sum it up she’s the latest for-hire assassin that happens to cross Castle’s path during her day-to-day lifestyle. Written by the sometimes controversial Valerie D’Orazio, she paints Butterfly as a double-life leading lesbian lover who just so happens to want to write about her mob experiences to her publisher. She runs into problems when both her mob boss refuses to let her do such a thing (for obvious risk of pulling back the curtains on their lifestyles), and when her editor calls her out on her own weak writing. Anyone who’s followed Valerie’s semi-biographical blog knows that if any of this sounds familiar, it’s only because she’s mimicking her own trials and tribulations within the comic book/writing world. While it’s somewhat fascinating to read on a blog, it doesn’t necessarily pan out to much of a success within the Punisher world. Sure Valerie tries to spice things up by having the main character become a lesbian (in an assassination world usually filled with gruff-looking men), or by having her swear so many cuss words (including the atomic C word) left and right, but it all seems so forced. Like those people you see at Starbucks who have to show everyone that their Apple laptop is open to CNN.com while wearing those chic 50’s glasses, it all seems so forced. Plus there’s no real redemption on Butterfly’s part. Valerie portrays her as a victim of faulty circumstances, the nurture forming her rather than the nature. But the way Valerie has her act seems childish and spoiled. Was I supposed to feel sorry for her by the end of story? Was it all supposed to come across as some form of Greek tragedy? If it was then Valerie should have input some more redeemable factors on Butterfly’s part. I can see this working if it were perhaps a two part issue, because then Valerie could’ve incorporated more of a personality within Butterfly, and certainly could‘ve involved more of Castle in her life. Otherwise the whole thing seems promising but frustrating.
The artwork by Laurence is okay. I’m not the biggest fan of gritty, filtered artwork. I like realism in my superheroes, but this is way too much in my opinion.
I recommend this one-shot if you’re a fan of the Punisher, as it remains a good (not great) but frustrating tale by Valerie D’Orazio. But be warned that it may not live up to your usual Punisher expectations.

BATMAN #697

Writer & Artist: Tony Daniel Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: KletusCasady

Batman has a pretty good track record when it comes to comics books. In my humble opinion I’d say Batman is good probably about 70% of the time. Not great but good, I’d say Batman is great about 30 to 35% (of the 70%) of the time no matter who is writing it (I did not do ANY math equations to come up with this but I did think really hard about it while my roommate was playing Mac Dre really loud when I was trying to sleep). I’d say this issue falls in the pretty damn good area (about 45% of the 70 awww to hell with it!). Tony Daniel has found a voice and a place for Dick Grayson and I’m loving every minute of it. There are a few really essential elements to any Batman story that make his stories pop. Action, good internal dialog, detective work, cool Batman poses and Batman kicking ass to get answers. Now I realize I may have let a few out but I’m running on no sleep so please forgive me. Tony Daniel delivers all these elements and more in this issue.
BATMAN (weirdly enough) is the best of the Batman books right now. BATMAN has been a lot better since Morrison left because everything feels more grounded. I liked “Batman R.I.P.” up to a certain point and then I was like “what the fuck is going on?!?!? …Martha Wayne’s a crack whore, Thomas Wayne is pimp and Batman strung out on heroin…am I high or is G. Morrison?!? Basically R.I.P. was a RIP off (see what I did there?); If I pick up a book that has any character with R.I.P. in the title next to their name they better die in their OWN BOOK. I actually had Batman’s “death” spoiled for me by my Diamond representative, when I called to place a reorder she asked in panicked voice “Did you hear what happened? They killed Batman,” I was so pissed; I mean no spoiler alert, nothing and its not like we EVER talk comics. Whew…I’m out of breath…sorry about that but this no sleep thing is killing me.
The best thing about Tony Daniel’s Batman is its back to basics approach: Batman stopping criminals with a cool mystery hanging over the story. By the way, if you think you know who the Black Mask is…think again (I was wrong so all of you HAVE to be wrong too!). I found myself not really missing Bruce Wayne because at this point I almost know what Bruce would/could do in a given situation. With Dick, however, we are unsure if he’s fit to fill the cape & cowl and that makes Batman’s adventures new and unpredictable. Grayson’s Batman makes mistakes, cracks jokes and while he may not enjoy the fact that he has to be Batman, he’s starting to understand that he CAN actually do it. I also love that Tony Daniel doesn’t just make Dick Grayson fight like Bruce Wayne, He fights like Dick Grayson (this difference in fighting styles was touched on in Hush…I know I know you HATE Loeb) with more acrobatic aerial moves and an overall just smoother prettier style. The internal dialog in Tony Daniel’s Batman is spot on. The last set of internal dialog in this issue is a great closure to the growing uncertainty Dick had taking up his mentor’s mantle. It’s not as gruff and straightforward as Bruce’s but you can see his influence seeping into Dick’s psyche when he’s behind the mask.
I’ve liked Tony Daniels’ art ever since they rebooted the Teen Titans with a guy you may or may not have heard of Geoff Johns???? (anyone…no..ok). His artwork changed for the better after One Year Later and it’s even improved since Batman R.I.P. The improvement I can easily put my finger on is that his art looks more kinetic. Everything on his pages just flows and by that I mean everything moves in all the right places; from the smoke over the city to Batman’s cape everything just flows and fits together well. My only complaint (which they seemed to clear up in this issue) was that every time the panels focused on someone who wasn’t in a costume, the artwork looked really muddy and almost had a blurry quality to it and I’m not sure if it was how the book was printed or the coloring but everything looks good now. Another awesome quality about Tony Daniels’ art is his homage to other previous Batman artists. In Battle for the Cowl there was a sequence when Tim was fighting Jason Todd and there were some awesome Jim Aparo faces (second favorite Batman artist to Jim Lee) and in this issue, there’s a sequence that’s totally Frank Miller-ish and its great. You don’t really see too many artists do that sort of thing (noticeably) unless it’s on a cover and they pretty much have just redrawn a famous cover. Also, there isn’t any Damien in this issue so for all you Damien haters, this Batman comic has the least illegitimate assassin child exposure of nearly all of the other Batbooks. All of the issues in this story arc could be read as single issues and I think you could enjoy them as much as I enjoyed this issue but reading them together obviously gives the reader a better scope of what’s going on. In Battle for the Cowl the stakes were high, and I like that Tony Daniel has made the threats seem important and not some throwaway issue until Bruce comes back (I’m looking at you, Judd). If you want to see Batman back to basics, at his finest with stellar art and not a story that makes you want to give yourself a drug test after reading, this issue is for you.

DAYS MISSING Hardcover GN

Writers: Phil Hester, David Hine, Ian Edington & Matz Artists: Frazer Irving, Chris Burnham, Lee Moder & Hugo Petrus Publisher: Archaia/Roddenberry Reviewer: Optimous Douche

It’s masterfully crafted tomes like DAYS MISSING that make me seriously question the only religion I have ever prescribed to: the church of Wednesday floppies. Seriously, I didn’t read one other book yet this week; I just couldn’t. Once exposed to the high-gloss presentation and exceptional sci-fi, religious and historical trappings of DAYS MISSING, the bar was set so high that my standard pulls simply couldn’t measure up. God…Yaweh…Shakari….for eternity man (and women once they were allowed to read) have developed constructs of a guiding force that shepherds us to our ultimate state of being. Few religions can come to consensus on what that state might be, but it still hasn’t stopped us from finding solace and comfort in the intangible. DAYS MISSING takes a different approach to this guiding force, an approach that if it transcended from fiction to faith I believe would finally quell the endless debate between evolutionists and creationists alike.
“The Steward”, DAYS MISSING’S protagonist, is essentially God. However, this is not a portrayal of God by our traditional standards. Instead of being responsible for all forms of creation, both big and small, The Steward actually created nothing. The Steward simply is and always has been. He awoke with the universe, and has walked the earth through all epochs of time. Imagine if you will, God is merely guiding our societal development while our physical form can still be attributed to a lemur accidentally fucking a fish several billion years ago. But what truly intrigued me most about DAYS MISSING is the fact that all of our flights of imagination and fiction have actually occurred. They were merely erased and left as wisps of memory in our collective imaginations, based on the judicious weighing of pros and cons by the omnipresent Steward. The Steward is able to collapse time, essentially hitting the reset button on pivotal days in our maturation to “enlightened beings” until he feels we are ready.
Remember the pandemic scares of the past five years, where the world seemed to be on the cusp of a breakout that would kill millions? Well, each one did. SARS…Ebola…Avian Flu…you name it, they killed all of us except a select few, until The Steward intervened. Chapter one opens with The Steward at ground zero of a new outbreak in Africa that makes victims bleed out of their eyes, ass, pores and every other porthole on the human form. While The Steward is looking to thwart the outbreak, he laments his station in life and gives readers some much needed exposition. See, none of this is really about the concept of folding time; as with Star Trek, the science stuff is merely the driver to explore the larger questions of humanity. What differentiates the Steward from other omnipotent characters like Marvel’s The Watcher, is that The Steward is connected to humanity. Even though he is immortal and blessed with this fantastic ability to hit reset on existence, he still asks the same questions we do about the universe and seeks to find kindred spirits. Top of my of my list is how at one point he was banking on the dinosaurs to become the planet’s top life-form. On the day the big asteroid hits earth he tries to fold time to no avail. And we learn that some things are even beyond the control of Gods. Then he finds the footprints of a new three toed mammal…I never saw a millennia of inevitable solitude so beautifully displayed. Yes, that was all just chapter one.
I’ve shuddered at Victorian settings ever since I acted in Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia.” Once my flashback convulsions subsided I was thoroughly engrossed in the chapter two’s tale of a young Mary Shelley on a weekend retreat at the home of a recluse scientist who believes he can reanimate the dead. And yes, reanimate the dead he does. That is until The Steward decides we are not yet ready to pull back the black curtain of death and sees what lies behind it. The memory of this day that never happened lingers though and we are left with the novel “Frankenstein.”
The remaining chapters continue similar explorations. Remember that billion dollar atom smasher that was built in Europe a few years ago? Well, it looks like it might actually have a purpose other than draining billions from the EU coffers. Have you ever wondered how Cortez actually took over the new world? Well, he didn’t have help, but let’s just say he didn’t get it right on the first try. The final chapter explores what would happen if machines could really think. It also sets the stage for a real protagonist in the story. The Steward is being watched by someone…more…omnipotenter????
I’m not going to pick favorites here. Generally when different creative teams switch off between chapters the result is a ride more herky-jerky than a Sunday drive in Chitty-chitty-bang-bang. This is simply not the case with DAYS MISSING. While each chapter differed in tonality and art presentation, it all seemed to fit. The story about CERN is clean and Spartan, the Cortez chapter is gritty, shrouded with dark muddy lines in the art…so on and so on. I generally don’t extend congratulations to editors, but Rob Levin deserves a patented Optimous Douche Reach Around™ for the cohesion he brought to this title.
I love a universe with endless possibilities and DAYS MISSING fits that bill. What other wonders has the Steward cock-blocked from existence with his fantastic powers? I see tales of Gene Roddenberry actually discovering the secrets to warp drive, or perhaps a story focused on exploring what events from the Bible actually happened. Could Moses have been the first mutant? All questions for tomorrow; for today I will simply be content with what is, over what could be.
Optimous is lonely and needs friends. Even virtual ones will fill the gaping hole, join him on Facebook or he will cry like a newborn kitten.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #24

Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning Penciler: Wes Craig Inker: Serge LaPointe Published by: Marvel Comics Reviewed by: BottleImp

What is Cool?
Cool is many things to many people. To some, Cool is Wolverine. Cool is Batman.
Cool is year-long, company-wide crossovers penned by today’s hottest writers. But to me, Wolverine hasn’t been Cool since he started appearing in more than one title every month. Batman’s Coolness fluctuates in inverse proportion to the amount of cash DC is trying to squeeze out of him. And if you’re taking a whole year (or more) to tell your grand, earthshaking event story, I lost interest after the first two months. Let me tell you my definition of Cool.
Cool is GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.
Cool is a comic that combines action, intrigue, humor, drama, and what the hell, let’s just toss a little H.P. Lovecraft in the mix while we’re at it. Cool is all these elements blending seamlessly every issue.
Cool is a rag-tag bunch of Marvel’s fringiest characters putting a mean hurt on an army of religious zealots.
Cool is a cute, furry, talking raccoon with a big-ass gun. On a related note, Cool is a cute, telepathic Russian dog blasting his enemies’ minds apart with his psychic powers.
Cool is Major Victory, aka Vance Astrovik—a character who has never, ever been Cool. But Abnett, Lanning and Craig found a way.
Cool is Wes Craig’s artwork. Not just the stylization of his figures and faces (which I’ll grant may need a while to grow on you); Craig is a master of dynamic composition. Every line is important; every curve is a guide for your eyes to flow from element to element; each viewing angle is chosen to enhance the action and emotion of the written words. I first noticed Craig’s work on DC’s TANGENT: SUPERMAN’S REIGN miniseries, and his art has only gotten better with each new issue of GOTG. And that is Cool.
Cool is bringing Adam Warlock back to his Starlin roots with the current Magus storyline, imbuing interest once again into a character that Marvel pretty much ran into the ground back in the 1990s with the whole Infinity Gauntlet crap.
Cool is the promise of Thanos being Cool once more (see above comment re: Infinity Gauntlet).
Cool is Abnett and Lanning and their obvious love for Marvel’s publication history. Cool is how rather than ignoring the goofier characters and concepts that have been shunted into the cobwebby corners of the Marvel Universe, Abnett and Lanning embrace and celebrate these oddballs. Rocket Raccoon? The Micronauts’ Bug? A living tree from Planet X?
“I AM GROOT.” Now that’s Cool.
Cool is a title that is written without irony or winking at the audience from behind the curtain. Cool is old-school Marvel stories told in the Mighty Marvel Manner. Cool is a series that can be read by young and old alike, without either group needing to do backstory research on Wikipedia to figure out the plot. Cool is the most fun comic book I’ve read in years.
Cool is GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.

BATMAN & ROBIN: BATMAN REBORN HC Deluxe Edition

Written by: Grant Morrison Art by: Frank Quietly Published by: DC Comics Reviewed by: Irish Rican

I was not a fan of Batman R.I.P. After that and Final Crisis I thought I was over Grant Morrison completely. That was until BATMAN & ROBIN hit shelves and brought me back to caring about Batman. With Dick Grayson behind the mask and Damian Wayne as Robin a new dynamic was at play making this a very interesting duo.
The first six issues saw them battle a circus of freaks and Jason Todd's Red Hood. It was a truly well done story which felt completely fresh and original. Teamed once again with Frank Quitely, Morrison really did an exceptional job.
The hardcover brings together those first six issues but what really led me to review the edition was the extras. With Quitely's artwork there is some great discussions and looks at the character redesigns as well the creation of the new characters. I actually found these descriptions more interesting then the characters themselves.
Also here are the covers and what the thought process was behind them. Whether it was an homage to a cover from the 1930s or a truly spectacular cover that flipped over was an off look of THE KILLING JOKE I saw a lot of time and effort put into something that I never really paid attention to. Covers are meant to entice readers but I was picking up the book regardless. Having this guided tour through the thought process and creation on paper of the new Batman world really was a pleasure. The whole thing made an extraordinary book even better and this hardcover collection really is a welcome addition to any bookshelf.

RED ROBIN #10 DC Comics

I read issues 8-10 of this book this week and man was it a fun block of reading. Chris Yost isn’t doing anything flashy with this title. He’s just delivering solid action and adventure. Much like Dixon’s classic run with Tim Drake, Yost is relying on action and character to fuel this book and it’s been running on high octane. Though Vicki Vale’s sudden interest in the well being of Tim feels somewhat pushed, everything else works well in this book, especially the inclusion of Lucius Fox’s daughter as a love interest. Toss ex-girlfriend Spoiler/now Batgirl into the mix and you’ve got some old school young hero angst going. This is simply a fun title. Those who like bells and whistles instead of solid storytelling may be poo pooing it, but it’s solid for those who like thrills and the characters doing the thrilling. - Ambush Bug

SIEGE #3 Marvel Comics

Marvel’s antidote for event fatigue pays off in this issue where just about everything and anything happens. Was the build-up to this miniseries overwrought and tedious? Yes, but now that this mini and especially this issue is here, the payoff is more than satisfying. Like a good crossover in the past, tons of shit happens in this issue. Shit that will make for some cool stories later on, but right now, it makes for some fantastic wide-screen epic comic booking. I won’t go into too much detail, but one reveal in particular drops huge and resounding. We all knew it was coming, but the shock of the scene in question exceeds all expectations with horrific glee. Coipel shines like a TWILIGHT vampire in this sequence and pretty much the whole book. Other companies should take note of this miniseries. Four issues of solid storytelling and much needed get to the pointed-ness. Though the adverts to four spin off books toward the end is a bit stomach turning, the book itself is an example of how to do an event right. - Ambush Bug

THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #32 DC Comics

This is probably my favorite comic of the week and may be in contention for my favorite single issue of the year. Offbeat pairings of heroes is what this title is all about. But seeing Aquaman and the Demon on the cover even made me do a double take at how crazy it was. But JMS does what he does best: tell rock solid stories. And JMS is at his strongest in these done in ones. It only makes sense, as JMS explains it, that if an army from hell would try to break into the Earth’s dimension, they would use the earth’s water to do so. “The way some people give birth under water to minimize the trauma and make the process easier.” So is this an origin story about how Aquaman and the Demon Etrigan meet for the first time and discover this hellish birth attempt? No, and that’s what makes this issue so damn cool. It relies on the rich history of DC, pulling back a curtain to a scenario that has been going on for years. Aquaman reveals that he made a pact with the Demon long ago and that the legions of hell have attempted to do this over and over, only to be thwarted by this unlikely duo. The story itself is a mystery, starting with a man caught frantically digging up a grave and attempting to explain his actions. The way this issue unfolds is effortless and proof of why JMS is one of the best storytellers we have out there today. B&B is a damn fine read any old month, but this has got to be my favorite issue to date. - Ambush Bug

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


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Readers Talkback

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  • March 24, 2010, 10:44 a.m. CST

    First!!

    by gooseud

    YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  • March 24, 2010, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Yeah!

    by gooseud

    Whooooo!!! whooooooo!!! WHOOOOOO!!!!!

  • March 24, 2010, 11:10 a.m. CST

    So anyway, on to the books....

    by gooseud

    1. Guardians is indeed just as cool as he says it is. It rules. Cosmo rules, Rocket Raccoon is awesome, and Groot is ridiculously cool. Believe the hype. 2. American Vampire was FAN-fuckin-tastic. Pick it up immediately if you havent, that review was spot on. 3. Irrdeemable's big Bette Noir reveal was indeed weak as hell, but overall I like it more then the reviewer, who is just projecting his own expectations on the book. When did they ever say the Plutonian went from "Good" to some Lex Luthor version of Evil? Did they ever say he DIDNT just go batshit-insane? So whats the problem?

  • March 24, 2010, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Cool vs. Good

    by Homer Sexual

    I quite like Guardians of the Galaxy, but it isn't cool. It's very good..but not cool. Talking dogs really aren't cool. Rocket Raccoon, maybe. What Guardians of the Galaxy is is "comic-booky" in a good way. Lots of costumed characters involved in action-packed plots with lots of good twists. I love it. But I can't get my friends on board, they think it's dorky. They aren't comic fans per se, but I can get them into Deadpool, Jonah Hex, a couple others. <p> For a comic nerd, yes, Guardians is pretty much Nirvana. (Although if Phylla-Vell is dead AGAIN it will be a bit much). Just arguing semantics, I suppose. <p> I have to say something because I wait all week for this column and Guardians is the only book in the whole column that I actually read.

  • March 24, 2010, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Bottleimp

    by Joenathan

    Great review on Irredeemable. That is exactly what I've been saying all along: Why the fuck should we care that a Superman pastiche is "killing" a bunch of 2-D superhero pastiches? Waid totally fumbled a great idea but not tricking us into caring first BEFORE he drops the hammer. What if he had done twelve issues, building his world and his characters... picture the first 12 of Invincible... THEN the Plutonian starts squishing heads? We would have shit our pants, instead we get illustrated fan-fcition. <br><br> And this: "flash-frying his foster parents and leaving their mentally-retarded son alive and alone so that he can slowly starve to death" That's not fucking drama. That's not edgy. That's just Garth Ennis Crossed level type bullshit. It's just mean without any substance to make it horrifying. It's just false, the result of brain storming: The Plutonian is SOOOOO evil, he ortures retarded kids... even his retarded BROTHER! Man, that is evil... Fuck you, Waid.

  • March 24, 2010, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Although, Imp...

    by Joenathan

    You probably shouldn't cop to a two month attention span... just saying...

  • March 24, 2010, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Hey Bug

    by Joenathan

    I don't know if you're aware, but you gave a somewhat positive review to a Bendis book...

  • March 24, 2010, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Siege 3 : No, fuck off. It's shit.

    by V'Shael

    Don't believe the hype, they blew their load with the Ares rip last issue. <p> This issue's big reveal that we were promised (and even given a page number on) is utterly utterly BLAH. <p> It means as much as when Avengers hydrobase was destroyed. What's that? Don't remember it? It was oh, back in the early 90's. <p> It's crap. And as for the final page "OMG, can't wait till next issue?" No, it's OMG, I'm so fucking sick of The Sentry. <p> It's like if EVERY single issue of the Hulk could only be resolved by having someone psychoanalyse the Hulk back into Bruce Banner. Hulk Smash Hulk Smash, tell me about Betty, The End. <p> With the Sentry it's POW, SMASH, DESTROY, KILL, talky talky talky UNDO UNDO UNDO RESET. <p> Just fucking die already.

  • March 24, 2010, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Admit it,

    by Joenathan

    You LOVE the Sentry. We can all tell. Quit lying.

  • March 24, 2010, 11:49 a.m. CST

    The Sentry is to good comics what Voyager was to Star Trek

    by V'Shael

    An exercise for the finger, which presses the RESET button.

  • March 24, 2010, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Seriously though,

    by Joenathan

    I think this is the Sentry's swan song on purpose. I think they've really tried, but they were never quite able to make a schizophrenic Superman work, as interesting as that idea may be... it just never really came togeather. He's just too sloppy, there's no coherancy to his character, not enough to flesh him out so that we care. <br><br> And really, even all the way back in the original mini-series... He never quite "fit" with the MArvel characters. Superman, his existance and his abilities, somehow diminishes the other MArvel Heroes. Go look at the picture of all of them gathered on the Statue of Liberty, Sentry standing above them all... they all look smaller. Cap, Spidey... When you have a guy that can just fly into space, no bif whop... the rest of marvel just ended up seeming dimmer and the schizophrenia just seemed like a handicap imposed only to lessen that effect. <br><br>It always seemed to me to be a sincere effort to find a place for a good character that didn't work and now they're finally admitting that and removing him.

  • March 24, 2010, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Wait, wait...

    by Joenathan

    Are you trying to claim that Jeri Ryan DOESN'T have nice boobies?

  • March 24, 2010, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Groot is not cool??

    by gooseud

    BLAPHEMY, Homer!! Bite thy tongue!

  • March 24, 2010, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Guardians of the Galaxy

    by rev_skarekroe

    I'm reading it in trade. I love the book, but I really hope that the explain how Bug and Rocket Raccoon got from their prior situations to the prison at the beginning of Annihilation. 'Cause Bug was still in the Microverse and Rocket was piloting a giant starship full of other talking animals when we last saw them.

  • March 24, 2010, 12:09 p.m. CST

    They did mention that Rocket was with The Starjammers for awhile

    by rev_skarekroe

    When I put it that way it sounds like he's a jazz fusion bass player or something.

  • March 24, 2010, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Galaxy, Guardians of the

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    I enjoy the title (though I'm about 5 months behind on my reading of it) but I'm a bit fed up of this site posting the same review every couple of months. "Guardians is the best Marvel title out there!" "It's old-school fun!" "Abnett and Lanning are amazing!" Those aren't actual quotes, but you get the idea.... :-I

  • March 24, 2010, 12:23 p.m. CST

    The Sentry

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Yeah the Sentry was never going to work long-term. If he got over all his mental issues and was just a super-powerful guy in a costume, then any problem in the Marvel Universe would be able to be solved by saying, "give the Sentry a call". A bit like Superman in the DC Universe. If there's a tricky hostage situation in Gotham, Batman could just ring up Superman (on the Bat Phone or something) and he could be there in literally 5 seconds to sort it out. Uber-powered characters are difficult as you need a reson why they can't solve everything immediately with those uber powers. The Hulk works because he acts like a spoilt child and is difficult to reason with, etc, etc. I enjoy the character of the Sentry but I'm hoping that by the end of Seige he's either dead or becomes a proper-villan. I think that as the character is now, he's passed his sell-by-date.

  • March 24, 2010, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Spider-Woman

    by Homer Sexual

    Bad month for me with the cancellation of two of my top-five favorites, Hercules and Spider-Woman. <p> I was shocked to see that Spider-Woman is cancelled already despite strong sales because Bendis doesn't want to work with anyone except Maleev and Maleev doesn't want to do it anymore. He doesn't have that problem with JR JR taking over Avengers for example. So I don't know that I buy his reasoning. And I fear that Jessica Drew will suffer the fate of Jessica Jones, going from a fleshed-out character in her own book to a lame background fixture in a group.

  • March 24, 2010, 12:36 p.m. CST

    I don't understand the Siege praise..

    by AnakinsDiapers

    The whole thing is pretty damn weightless, and since the event was marketed as "seven years in the making", that's very disapointing.<p> When someone puts an iota of thought into the very setup of the event, it falls apart. How in the world can Osborn wage war on Asgard with the full force of H.A.M.M.E.R. and the Initiative without an act of Congress and the President? Does Bendis realize the billions it would cost to mobilize the forces that were shown in the first issue? The time it would take to do that? The Officers in direct command of the general forces would have been ordered to stand down and Osborn would have been arrested for treason before any kind of mass mobilization would have occured.<p> And you know what's even worse than that general stupidity? It's the fact that the heroes of the Marvel Universe had jack and shit to do with Normans downfall. Osborn caused his own downfall the moment he woke up, had a cup of coffee, read the morning paper, and then decided to end his carrer by waging war without an act of congress. The heroes did nothing to cause Osborns downfall. No investigation. No revelations. Nothing substantial whatsoever to take a hand in bringing down Norman. Frankly, i'm surprised that Bendis didn't realize this when he came up with the story. The Avengers and every other hero are inconsequential in foiling Osborn. In the latest issue Spider-Man punches Osborn out after he was physically defeated by Iron-Man and Captain America. The problem is, basically Spider-Man represents every hero there, punching Osborn out of vindictiveness, not because they actually had a hand in his downfall.<p> That royally sucks.

  • March 24, 2010, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Guardians of the Galaxy - Waiting for the Trade

    by Squashua

    I'm waiting for the trades for GotG. I was a bigtime collector of the 90's edition of the book, till I let them go with my New Warriors collection last year.

  • March 24, 2010, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Modeus is a BRAINIAC analogy, not LUTHOR

    by Squashua

    Superman has more than one primary nemesis, BottleImp.

  • March 24, 2010, 12:47 p.m. CST

    I Dropped Batman Right After R.I.P. Too

    by LaserPants

    Now it sounds like I gotta put it back in the pulls. Oh, but, hey, aside from the WTF?! of RIP, Morrison *usually* kicks ass. Batman and Robin is *easily* my favorite comic right now, largely because of Morrison's genius. Sometimes he crawls up his own ass and sucks (*cough*Final Crisis, RIP*cough*), but *usually* he's friggin' awesome.

  • March 24, 2010, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Pretty Much All The Marvel Cosmic Books Rule

    by LaserPants

    Guardians of the Galaxy leading the way. The whole Realm of Kings thing has been great, as were the last two big deal cosmic stories (Annihilation and... the other one who's name I inexplicably forget). The big problem with Marvel is how crap most of the regular Earth books are. Xmen sucks, Spiderman sucks, Avengers is boring. Thor, Cap, FF, Iron Man, Daredevil, and Black Panther are all good, though.

  • March 24, 2010, 1:05 p.m. CST

    So is Nemisis

    by Series7

    Its own thing now? No longer Batman Gone Wild.

  • March 24, 2010, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Loki brought down Osborn

    by Joenathan

    THAT'S what Siege is really about. Loki bringing the band back together, just like the very first time. <br><br>Although, you do have a point, a mobilization like that, without authorization would be impossible... but you know what's even MORE impossible?<br><br><br><br>A suit of armor with fucking jet boots.

  • March 24, 2010, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Batman Gone Wild!

    by LaserPants

    Oh no! He's doin' the Batusi!

  • March 24, 2010, 1:09 p.m. CST

    "IRREDEEMABLE"

    by Toonol

    That's the sort of crap that made me give up comics. Juvenile twats giggling at the dark deconstruction of any notion of idealism. "Yay, let's have the superman analog kill his foster parents. So cool..."

  • March 24, 2010, 1:09 p.m. CST

    anakinsdiaper

    by evolution1085

    Completely agree with you about the fall of osborn, but at the same time, the whole dark reign storyline has been built around none of the heroes wanting to go directly after osborn. I don't remember how many times somebody would say enough is enough and then a dozen heroes say something along the lines of we can't touch him while he's in power we have to wait till he screws up, even to the point they showed all the teams watching on tv and saying they knew it would happen... it would have made more sense imo to have a spidey led team battle the avengers/initative with a knockdown between spidey and osborn happening while leaks of osborn working with doom and the hood, but then they couldn't shoehorn the sentrys lack of usefulness in

  • March 24, 2010, 1:21 p.m. CST

    You forgetting...

    by Joenathan

    Osborn was on the side of the law. The parralels are found in today's headlines. <br><br>Look at the allegations against the case to go to war to Iraq... what has happened to any of the people implicated? Let me spell it out... NOTHING. <br><br>If spidey had just gone and punched Osborn, then Osborn would have had a reason to aggressively hunt down and jail/possiblly kill Spidey. <br><br>And what would the world have seen? A "known outlaw" Spider-man attacking a government agent and then Osborn would have gone on TV and addressed the leaks as lies or perhaps, an effort to rehabiliate criminals. <br><br>It would have been naive and stupid if it had happened like that and then everything just turned out okay. I'd bet anything this very board would be going: "Fucking Bendis is sooooo stupid. Spider-man is an outlaw, according to the registration act, and he just goes and beats up a high level government employee and the world is like: Yay! Huh? Like that would happen..." <br><br>And that's why Barton's attack was a bad idea. That's why they waited for Osborn to slip up publiccally... <br><br> The heroes had to be righteous in their take down. They had to be official and when Iron Man secured Presidential endorsment, that's the moment the balance shifted back the way it always was and the heroes were back on top.<br><br>And now, with the Void and Loki still a threat, the heroes get to prove, on a world stage, why they are needed.

  • March 24, 2010, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Seige = Secret Invasion = Bland

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Big, bland battle scenes where nothing specific ever happens. In both cases we get a huge force of bad guys - Skrulls, HAMMER forces - and it looks like an unwinnable battle. Then the heroes show up (double page spread), making smart-ass Bendis lines and genuinely not seeming to give a shit, and the day is quickly saved. It's not like the heroes are trying in vain to achieve some desperate task. They just beat up enough bad-guys and win the day. Ms Marvel says "Welcome to war time" to Spider-Woman, but it's not really a war. It's a couple of hours of super-humans battling, just like Secret Invasion. Like AnakinsDiapers said above, it's weightless. It's just setup, battle, then end. That said, I'm enjoying it a lot more than Secret Invasion as at least they've condensed it down to four issues rather than milk it for eight. It's like a big budget Hollywood blockbuster - enjoyable, but not much to it. Which, I guess, is probaly what it's meant to be.

  • March 24, 2010, 1:24 p.m. CST

    DING!

    by Joenathan

    Exactly, it's an Event that is the turning point to the new status quo

  • March 24, 2010, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Ah, the whole "flying people makes everything acceptable" defens

    by AnakinsDiapers

    Hey, it's a superhero comic, a slum genre for writers with no options, they don't have to write quality stories.<p> Since when did fantastic elements make every other aspect of the established universe subject to nonsense? As far as i can tell, in the Marvel Universe, the way the country is run is pretty much the same as the one outside my window, with the exception of there being people with powers and junk. If something is different, then it's the job of the writer to establish that difference. "Hey, somebody just threw a force bolt" wouldn't explain why the meaning of the traffic signals are now green means go, red means stop, and yellow means go faster.<p> As far as Loki goes: just where is Loki? If Loki's plan was to "put the band back together", then let's get the why's and what for's. Three issues in a four issue series and we haven't seen any genius nefarious plans from Loki. What we have seen is three issues of WWE clobberknockers with no rhyme nor reason other than, "y'know, maybe todays the day i ruin my life and give the reins of power away by inconceivably starting a war i have no authority to start are even get underway, that's the ticket."

  • March 24, 2010, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Loki's plan...

    by Joenathan

    as always, is to destroy Asgard/Thor/something to do with Asgard. He has a bit of a one track mind.

  • March 24, 2010, 1:35 p.m. CST

    The point was...

    by Joenathan

    there is a short hand nessecary to these kind of things. Would the President have ordered HAMMER to stand down? Yes. But would Norman in his flying suit have blocked outside communications? Probably. Would key HAMMER commanders be Super villians or at least people in as deep as Osborn in order to ensure loyalty? Probably. <br><br>The point is, the story is about Norman attacking Asgard and things like "the real world President's options" are easily counterable when the story contains fantastic elements like Gods and telepaths and super technology.

  • March 24, 2010, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Valerie D’Orazio shat the bed didn't she?

    by Star Hump

    What will she do now? Go back to writing her inane blog? The Punisher appears in just 2 pages of a 5 dollar comic book featuring...The Punisher. Valerie D’Orazio: another stinking example of everything that's wrong with comics today.

  • March 24, 2010, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Some nitpicking......

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    In Seige 3 the President orders someone or other to destroy HAMMER, and a helicarrier gets blown out of the sky. A helicarrier full of troops (US troops I'm assuming) just obeying orders. Surely that would cause a bit of a scandal. <p> And Cap telling Osbourne he was under arest... how would that work? What authority does the un-registered Captain America have over the head of HAMMER? <p> It's the little details like that that annoy me with these big Bendis events.

  • March 24, 2010, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Also

    by Joenathan

    "y'know, maybe todays the day i ruin my life and give the reins of power away by inconceivably starting a war i have no authority to start are even get underway, that's the ticket."<br><br>You're totally right, that sounds fucking isane... Good thing Norman happens to be insane...

  • March 24, 2010, 1:38 p.m. CST

    soldiers on the helicarrier

    by Joenathan

    They're like Roscoe on the Dukes of HAzard... The helicarrier crashes and they all get out with the hats comically broken and shake their fists.

  • March 24, 2010, 1:39 p.m. CST

    And when i say, the heroes should have...

    by AnakinsDiapers

    ...taken an actual hand in causing the downfall of Osborn, i'm not talking about beating him about the head and shoulders like Clint wanted to do. I'm talking about investigative legwork. I'm talking about actively searching for the dirt that would reveal Osborn as the criminal he is. Of course straight up killing him was not the answer for taking down Osborn, who was legally put into that position of power. There should have been an active campaign to dig up the dirt on Osborn. His downfall should have been facilitated by him making more and more bad decisions from him trying to keep his dirt from the heroes while trying to capture him. We only got the trying to capture part of the story. All in all, the heroes were pretty useless, as they didn't even have a hand in their own salvation.

  • March 24, 2010, 1:42 p.m. CST

    True

    by Joenathan

    But who would you call Marvel's detective? Maybe that was it. They were all sitting in Cap's basement going: "I just hit people."

  • March 24, 2010, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Recruiting soldiers to work on a helicarrier must be a nightmare. "But don't those things ALWAYS fall from the sky?"

  • March 24, 2010, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Uh...

    by Joenathan

    "Sometimes... sure, but hey... gravity, am I right? Sign here."

  • March 24, 2010, 1:46 p.m. CST

    "Seige = Secret Invasion = Bland"

    by LaserPants

    Totally agree with everything you said in your post, Penultimate Gunslinger. Pretty artwork is awesome, but if the writing is boring, bland, and weightless, who gives a crap? That's Bendis (and most of Marvel's output) all the way.

  • March 24, 2010, 1:47 p.m. CST

    The bumbling Marvel heroes

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Their plan of going over to Asguard and beating up Norman Osbourne makes about as much sense as me going over to Number 10 and beating up the Prime Minister because I don't agree with his policy. Would he still be Prime Minister? Yes. Would I be in prison? Yes. Of course their plan could have been to kill him, but then they'd definetly be villans in the eyes of the world - this being a man appointed by the president himself.

  • March 24, 2010, 1:48 p.m. CST

    At that point,

    by Joenathan

    Cap had had enough. He was like: Fuck it. Presidential authority came after the fact (lucky that).

  • March 24, 2010, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Isn't it nice when a writer's "shorthand"..

    by AnakinsDiapers

    has anyone reading having to jump thru hoops creating events that makes nonsense occurances possible?<p> HAMMER has more than one Hellicarrier. They also have ground bases and i suspect, many personnel in outside offices. I suppose Osborn somehow blocked every single communication made during the time it would take to mobilize all those forces? Really? No one would be curious about the (day's?) long communication blackout? The news reports on a war against Asgard wouldn't reach anybody? That and the arrest order on Osborn for treason?<p> That's really reaching. I was suspecting, by the opening of the first issue, the Volstag incident, as unlikely as i took it, would have driven the President and Congress to support Osborn. But that didn't happen. What did happen was ridiculously improbable, and ultimately made the heroes ineffective to say the least.

  • March 24, 2010, 1:52 p.m. CST

    On The Flipside, Mayberry's DOOMWAR Is Actually Pretty Good

    by LaserPants

    It was built up for awhile in Black Panther, and now that the main book is happening, it's actually pretty great. MUCH better than Siege which is basically pretty artwork with crappy writing. Black Panther and Doomwar both have good artwork AND good writing.

  • March 24, 2010, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Anakin

    by Joenathan

    Ok, sure, so the Pres tries to get through and is blocked, so he calls another base and says: "Go arrest Osborn." and they say okay... AND THEN, in issue Number three of Siege the Pres tells Maria Hill: "Hang tight, back up is on the way."<br><br>Boom

  • March 24, 2010, 2:03 p.m. CST

    there are many brainiacs in the Marvel Universe...

    by AnakinsDiapers

    ...with investigative skills. Hell, Steve Rogers has infiltrated Hydra, AIM, and many other two bit organizations. He's done his cloak and dagger bit, and that's Steve Rogers. Wolverine is not just a brawler. He has connections and has done the gumshoe thing before. I'm not gonna even talk about the "plans within plans" super genius's who are running amok in the marvel universe. The fricken Black Widow is on your side. If bendis had the wherewithal to write such an arc, he could have. He got enamored with the "heroes on the run" gimmick and forgot that they should have a hand in putting an end to it. Amadeus Cho is one computer hack away from getting the ball rolling on all of Normans wheeling and dealing. <p> It didn't happen.

  • March 24, 2010, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Oh, that's cool joenathan.....

    by AnakinsDiapers

    ..except for the fact the first few pages of issue three has the president being briefed as if he's ignorant of most of what's going on, and the decision to send forces in was made then and there.<p> How long would it take the mobilize the thousands upon thousands of soldiers and equipment shown in the first issue? If there was a communication blackout that lasted days (jeez louise), there would have been forces and orders delivered onsite to take Norman into custody long before trrops were mobilized.

  • March 24, 2010, 2:13 p.m. CST

    47 minutes

    by Joenathan

    That's how long it took to mobilize. Meanwhile, as part of his nefarious plan, Osborn had the Hood order Chemistro to give the President diarhhea, so he was on the toilet for most of the initial invasion. BWAH-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • March 24, 2010, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Marvel's Detectives

    by Joenathan

    Yeah, they work, but really... who is Marvel's Batman or the Question?<br><br>Besides, Steve was dead. Natasha was trying to keep Buck alive and defeat the Red Skull. Wolverine was on Mutant Island (whatever it's called...) and Amadeus Cho... He was either on the run from HAMMER or fighting Gods. I think the point of most of Dark reign was hat the Heroes were off balance AND Norman wasn't doing anything blatantly illegal. It's not like he was planning bank heists. He was running shit, putting down threats. You can't be put in jail for being a crazy asshole

  • March 24, 2010, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Of course the biggest problem with Seige....

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    is when Cassie Lang steps in Venom and says "ow, you bit me!". I don't want to be mean to the lovely Cassie, but Venom should be able to kick her ass. Or at least rip her throat out. And I have to say that if venom bit me I'd be like "Holy shit! It's Venom! He eats people! Oh god! Oh Jesus save me!" or something similar. But maybe that's why I was refused membership of the Young Avengers.

  • March 24, 2010, 2:26 p.m. CST

    My problem with Siege

    by Joenathan

    is things like that too. There are definately some asides going on in the background that are not only unnessecary, but detract from the comic. Especially the big entrance spread... Spider-man and Patriot's litte exchange kill that drama dead.

  • March 24, 2010, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Marvel's detective(s)

    by Ambush Bug

    X-Factor.

  • March 24, 2010, 2:31 p.m. CST

    I haven't read that yet

    by Joenathan

    I bought it. I just haven't read it yet.

  • March 24, 2010, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Yeah I always find that Bendis lets himself down with those big fight scenes and entrances. He always has to have the characters make a joke or a quip, when they really should be tense or shit-scared. Especially someone like Patriot, who's not only a teenager, but going up against super villans so above his power-level they could tear him to shreads in a second. Obviously banter is a big part of fight scenes in comics, but too much in too many inappropriate places just makes it seem like the characters are playing a video game, rather than involved in a battle where a bunch of dudes want to see them dead.

  • March 24, 2010, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Siege

    by KletusCassidy

    i think Siege is a lot better than Secret Invasion because its only 4 issues, SI went on for waaay to long. Not to mention, those issues were really short(with not much happening). SI should have been 4 issues... ps. i hate Bendis's 616 Spider-man, all he does is make stupid jokes and offers NOTHING to the New Avengers. don't get me started on his Luke Cage...

  • March 24, 2010, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Plus, it breaks up the flow,

    by Joenathan

    Sometimes you need to let the characters strike a pose for a second, be iconic. A quip is a little thing and it belongs in little moments

  • March 24, 2010, 2:52 p.m. CST

    KletusCassidy

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Yeah Secret Invasion was full of crap like those fake skrull avengers at the start - it would have been much better at half the length. Seige is short enough and packed so full of action that the simplistic nature of the plot doesn't really stop it from being an enjoyable read, unlike Secret Invasion where they padded the limited plot to breaking point.

  • March 24, 2010, 2:55 p.m. CST

    The (literalfall of Asgard

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Was the battle actually taking place inside the city? Or even underneath it? Because reading Seige 3 again, it seems that when the city was torn to bits by the Sentry it would have buried most of the heroes alive - when instead they're all standing about like nothing happened on the very next page. Hmm....

  • March 24, 2010, 2:55 p.m. CST

    The (literal) fall of Asgard

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Was the battle actually taking place inside the city? Or even underneath it? Because reading Seige 3 again, it seems that when the city was torn to bits by the Sentry it would have buried most of the heroes alive - when instead they're all standing about like nothing happened on the very next page. Hmm....

  • March 24, 2010, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Oops...

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    some messed up keyboarding there...

  • March 24, 2010, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Much like the helicarrier

    by Joenathan

    they crawled from the rubble with comically broken hats and all shook their fists at the Sentry.

  • March 24, 2010, 2:59 p.m. CST

    It can't be much fun....

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    ... having a floating city fall on your head.

  • March 24, 2010, 3:01 p.m. CST

    They were in the city, though

    by Joenathan

    Not under. Just FYI. Still, yeah, dodging all that rubble seemed... dodgey

  • March 24, 2010, 3:20 p.m. CST

    joenathan...

    by AnakinsDiapers

    I mentioned Steve Rogers , Wolvernie, Amadeus Cho, and the Black Widow as examples. There is a list as long as my arm of characters who have alot more to offer than "i just hit things". And as Wolverine can be in 8 different comics doing eight different things, if Bendis had a story in mind where the heroes actually took a role in their own salvation, i'm sure he could write it without worrying about what they were doing in other comics.

  • March 24, 2010, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Good point on Wolverine...

    by Joenathan

    I'd forgotten about that as he has been unusually confined to X-men comics recently.

  • March 24, 2010, 3:28 p.m. CST

    How about Marvel's unpowered detectives

    by Squashua

    Disregard "No More Mutants" disclaimer.

  • March 24, 2010, 3:34 p.m. CST

    "Coipel shines like a TWILIGHT vampire"

    by nofate

    Oh for fucks sake! You were getting my nipples hard with all that Bendis praise and then you went and made by boner limp.<br> <br> How's that? Can I get a late registration to Troll U?

  • March 24, 2010, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Coipel...

    by AnakinsDiapers

    ...needs to be tied to a chair, his family held hostage, and made to draw a monthly. teamed with a writer whose not just a name, but someone who can tell a good story and has a fire in em. Put him on a cosmic book. Those boys know what they're doing.

  • March 24, 2010, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Siege--taking down HAMMER

    by drewlicious

    Couldn't the President just have sent a direct order to the helicarrier to "stand down or else?" I can see why this whole ordeal would be his downfall even though his motivations are pretty sketchy. Was a coup next on the list? Plus, is it me or is Thor acting kind of weak? I thought part of his rebirth is that he wasn't going to hold back anymore. Oh,well. At least "Fall of the Hulks" has been pretty consistent.

  • March 24, 2010, 4:35 p.m. CST

    MAybe it's like the GI JOE cartoon

    by gooseud

    where the fighter jets that got shot down ALWAYS had a guy parachuting out of the jet, even if it was like 20 ft off the ground......or He-Man, with a guy with a big ass sword instead choosing to pick up the villains and toos them in a mud puddle to beat them.

  • March 24, 2010, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Don't knock the mud puddle toss.

    by Joenathan

    It always works. At the very least the villain is all upset that their outfit is ruined. "Thanks alot! Jerk! Do you know how much dry cleaning a fur vest costs?!?" Then they get up and stomp off, all the while trying not to cry.

  • March 24, 2010, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Drew

    by Joenathan

    His motivations were manipulated by Loki

  • March 24, 2010, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Coipel Doing A Cosmic Book Works For Me

    by LaserPants

    Oh yeah, that would be sweet.

  • March 24, 2010, 5:23 p.m. CST

    Wrtier?

    by A_Die_Hard_Fan

    As a writer, Champagne is a damn good inker actually.

  • March 24, 2010, 6:35 p.m. CST

    New member of the Guardians o/t Galaxy

    by realpayton34

    They should bring back ROM: Spaceknight and put him with the Guardians of the Galaxy. If they can bring back Rocket Raccon, they can bring back ROM.

  • March 24, 2010, 7:09 p.m. CST

    how can anyone hate Damien Wayne?

    by sonnyhooper

    he is the perfect little snot nosed, trust-fund-having, ninja-killing, talking-down-to-the-servants, heir apparent to ever come down the pike. <p> he is the ultimate nightmare of what bruce waynes kid would REALLY be like. how can you not love that? <p> he is like jason todd..... only without all of the sucking.

  • March 24, 2010, 9:01 p.m. CST

    Actually, they can't bring back ROM.

    by rev_skarekroe

    Because Marvel doesn't own the character. There were other Spaceknights in Annihilation Conquest, though.

  • March 24, 2010, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Sounds like y'all just need to read DC books.

    by Jaka

    Teehee.

  • March 25, 2010, 6:45 a.m. CST

    Irredeemable : Should have been a miniseries

    by V'Shael

    I just recently saw (or maybe just recently paid attention to) the fact that this will be an ongoing series. <p> Bad move, IMO. For a very simple reason. When you're dealing with someone on those powerlevels, the devastation they can bring is unsustainable. <p> Could Superman fight Doomsday every single issue? Of course not, not without Metropolis going kaput very quickly. <p> Same with the Plutonian. Either the fighting/destruction continue (in which case, we're going to be treated to a panel by panel overly detailed destruction of the planet) or the fights don't continue *for* *some* *reason*, which will probably be stupid. Either way, I've no interest in seeing stories about people trying to rebuild a world after a mega powerful supervillain has smashed things up. That's not how the book was sold.

  • March 25, 2010, 7:36 a.m. CST

    Waid is taking over the I's

    by optimous_douche

    For me it was obvious IRREDEEMABLE was here to stay when INCORRUPTABLE hit the stands.<p> Waid is clearly building a world here, just not sure how easy that will be considering we are starting at its destruction.

  • March 25, 2010, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Morrison's enormous Bat-Epic

    by Laserhead

    Five year's worth of story-telling winding toward it's climax: Bruce's ancestor Thomas Wayne, made immortal through a deal with the devil much like Mr. Whisper's in Morrison's 'Gothic', has been working with Ra's Al Ghul for centuries to prepare for the coming of The Devil, the Anti-Christ. Dr. Hurt/El Penitente is Thomas Wayne, not Bruce's father, but Bruce's distant ancestor. When Bruce couldn't be coerced or broken into becoming the devil's avatar, they created Damien, who has not incidentally become a great character (finally). I don't like that Batman 'died' in Final Crisis instead of R.I.P., but R.I.P. was filled with great moments and great ideas, and one day we're going to have a two volume omnibus of Morrison's Batman, and it'll be regarded as some of the finest long-form pure superhero storytelling evah.

  • March 25, 2010, 8:54 a.m. CST

    Agreed, Laserhead

    by LaserPants

    Agreed.

  • March 25, 2010, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Incorruptible

    by gooseud

    is awesome. Better then Irrdeemable, although I'm not sure how you can have one without the other. That is all.

  • March 25, 2010, 9:44 a.m. CST

    DAMNIT!

    by Series7

    Why did I pick The Mighty as the series to follow! Oh well still a good series.

  • March 25, 2010, 9:44 a.m. CST

    So did anyone pick up Nemisis?

    by Series7

    I don't get paid till Friday.

  • March 25, 2010, 10 a.m. CST

    Nemesis Was Cool

    by LaserPants

    A good start. Hope it keeps going. Btw, Wanted was overrated, but fun. Haven't read Kick Ass yet.

  • March 25, 2010, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Incorruptible

    by Joenathan

    I found it lame that he no longer fucks his sidekick. It just seemes to stand out as unnessecary and somewhat unreasonable. <br><br>So, he didn't care about her, but was fucking her when he was a bad guy. Then he became good and since he's a nice guy, he has stopped fucking her. But he isn't trying to "change" her for her villianous ways, so he can't be that nice of a guy since he obviously isn't at least somewhat concerned about her and her future. AND if she really is "jailbait" and if he really is a good guy, wouldn't "not fucking your underage sidekick" because its taking advantage of her, kind of blanket extend to: "Hey, since she's underage, she should not be participating in this generally dangerous lifestyle at all?"<br><br>It just seems fake. It's like: If you didn't want to have their relationship portrayed as sexual, then you should have just NOT brought it up in the first place.<br><br>I dislike both of those books. Sloppy creation and execution. A waste of a lot of really good ideas.

  • March 25, 2010, 11:06 a.m. CST

    I'm picking up Nemesis tonight.

    by Joenathan

    I bet most of this board hates it for it's gratuitous violence and shameless self promotion... but then, I've always considered myself somewhat psychic.

  • March 25, 2010, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Nemesis

    by Laserhead

    I know what to expect from Millar, but I'm wondering which McNiven will show up for work: the very capable fine-line illustrator of Civil War? Or the magnificent, layered artistry that gave 'Old Man Logan' some of the absolute finest comic art ever created?

  • March 25, 2010, 5:53 p.m. CST

    MARK WAID's INCONTENENCE-ABLE

    by Squashua

    Man, it's tough to find a good word.

  • March 26, 2010, 4:45 p.m. CST

    Osborne's downfall making sense

    by Firedrake

    I stopped expecting things in the Marvel U to make sense the day they put Osborne in charge in the first place. Sure he managed to get the "kill shot" in, but only after all the real heroes had done all the work. I never could buy that getting in that one shot would be enough to justify putting a murderous whackjob, even an allegedly one in charge of _everything_ super powered defense-wise. And then never even keep track of what he is really doing? Sure, it made for some great stories, but face it, realistic it ain't.

  • March 26, 2010, 6 p.m. CST

    Best Marvel Detective: Hannibal King

    by Buzz Maverik

    From TOMB O' DRACULA. And he's a vampire and frequent partner/sparring partner of Blade.<p>I never really saw Captain America or the Black Widow as detectives. Cap always came across as a one man SEAL team who would sort of just raid HYDRA/AIM/The Secret Empire/The Skeleton Crew/The Serpent Society, etc.<p>I assume that the Black Widow, my favorite female Marvel character, used espionage techniques when she adventured but Marvel always cut out the boring parts and usually had her just drop in (like the Frank Miller story where she's looking for Daredevil, can't find him as Matt Murdock so we see her in Fisk's office hurting several Kingpin goons).

  • March 29, 2010, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Osborne

    by Joenathan

    You're omitting... the only thing the Public saw of the battle was Osborne getting that shot. It was on TV broadcast around the world, invasion over and dealt with. <br><br>Osborne FTW. <br><br>Media wise, he came out looking awesome, meanwhile Tony was getting all the bad press for all the stark tech failing, so... <br><Br>pay attention now...<br><br> the government had a PR disaster on their hand: World alomost taken over, the top-cop was duped and pushed aside, a total failure. Their Hero Initiative was in a tailspin. They needed to look like they were taking corrective action and they had a ready made defender of the earth, hero of the invasion, media darling right at hand. That's why he got the job. <br><br>And oversight? Where's the oversight on the CIA? How do you think Iran/Contra happened? No oversight... and they didn't even have super powered bruisers to strong arm any dissenting opinions of their autonomy.<br><br> And honestly, still... it's a comic book... you can't call foul on parlimentary procedure, but give a pass to cyborgs...<br><br> My favorite joke about X2 was: That movie was so fucking fake... there's no such thing as a female fighter pilot...<br><br> get it?

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