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AICN COMICS REVIEWS BLACKEST NIGHT! FANTASTIC FOUR! EX OCCULTUS! COWBOY NINJA VIKING! & MUCH MORE!

#45 3/31/10 #8

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) BLACKEST NIGHT #8 THE SWORD #23 FANTASTIC FOUR #577 COWBOY NINJA VIKING #5 DOOMWAR #2 EX OCCULTUS: SEAL OF SOLOMON REALM OF KINGS: INHUMANS #5 Big Eyes For the Cape Guy presents ALL MY DARLING DAUGHTERS Vol.1 Indie Jones presents…

BLACKEST NIGHT #8

Writer: Geoff Johns Artist: Ivan Reiss Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

With a blinding white light the Blackest Night is finally extinguished. Did this moment cause me to ejaculate with glee? No. Am I going to derail Johns’ writing like so many other reviews bombarding the Intertubes? No. Because at the end of the day, the BLACKEST NIGHT finale was exactly what I expected — and it is no fault of Johns. If there’s anyone to blame, it’s the current state of comics. Comics have always been a business, but today they serve less as the primary business and more of a whirling dervish spitting out synergistic channels of upsell revenue in the form of movies, video games, cartoons and apps…the game can’t change too much without those other channels (that keep the stocks afloat, which keeps our books coming, etc…) suffering a complete collapse.
Think about the near future and tell me if anyone thought Sinestro would keep the White Light bestowed upon him in the last issue of GREEN LANTERN? Because (SHORT BUS SPOILER ALERT) he doesn’t keep the White Ring. While long time fans would love to see the softer side of Sinestro for a year or two, sadly you would ostracize Mr. Johnny “I Never Read a Comic”, who saunters into the comic shop looking for a bad-ass emerald Sinestro after seeing the movie next year and instead gets some maroon colored do-gooder bathed in white light. Yes, it sucks ass kids, but it’s a market we helped create and continue to perpetuate (I’ll tell you right now, I am ejaculating at the thought of DC Universe Online. And dead or not dead in comics, I wants to play me some Batman). Our collective hive bitching is also partly to blame in the case of Hal Jordan ultimately saving the day at the end of Blackest Night. How many continuity Nazis would be screaming if Sinestro became a good guy? Lots!
The game is never going to change for DC. It quite simply can’t. (A few more spoilers) Yes, I fully expected the return of Aquaman and the complete “get out of permanent death free” card for the DC big guns. Now, was I shocked when Ralph and Sue Dibny stayed dead? Fuck no, Ralph and Sue Dibny only matter to a miniscule group of comic fans that were religious to Giffen’s run on JUSTICE LEAGUE 100 years ago. There hasn’t been big money riding on an elongated detective and his sassy gal pal since Plastic Man was a Saturday morning cartoon. R.I.P. kids, I at least will miss you. Although, I will say I was giddy when Maxwell Lord came back and immediately did his mind bleed on Guy Gardner. But, I’m one of those old bastards that loved Giffen’s work 100 years ago. I’m going to say Johns did a fantastic job with this entire run considering the lasso of capitalism that bound his fingers. He delivered exactly what I always expect from Johns and well…DC: great moments and great characters, very little overall changes.
For me, BLACKEST NIGHT delivered some of the best DC moments all year (that’s fiscal year, I’m going March to March). Would I have liked some of the moments to last longer, like Guy’s time with the red ring or a little more Lex Luthor Orange Lantern goodness, sure, but again I won’t fault Johns for keeping his story moving. That’s why God invented Elseworlds (hint, hint). When BLACKEST NIGHT 0 was released on Free Comics Day, Johns placed a stake in the ground. Fresh off the distaste of CRISIS, he promised to cleanse our palates with tight storytelling that would not meander into infinite side stories. He delivered that promise with the aid of Tomasi. They couldn’t have been a tighter team throughout this tale, Tomasi fattening the bones of Johns’ skeleton with each issue of GREEN LANTERN CORPS. I also gained absolutely no value from the side tales — other than simple enjoyment. Not one was “necessary” to keep pace with the main story. Granted, there’s “imbedded in the Internet” proof that I outright hated the SUPERMAN side tale, but again that was my folly, I wasn’t punished in BLACKEST NIGHT for trying to banish those three issues from my mind.
If you expected earth shattering change from BLACKEST NIGHT, I’m sorry, but you’re a fool. Burn me once…blah, blah, blah. Nothing is going to change forever at DC. The good guys will always win and even though Barry professes that “dead is now dead” we all know dead is dead until the character once again serves a purpose. But that’s kind of why I read DC; it’s an old friend that changes their personality every 10 or so years. It’s all familiar, yet slightly different enough to be interesting.
There are very few new limits DC can push to without a courageous shift in editorial direction. And when I say courageous I mean suicidal. For DC to truly change it needs to do a hard reboot; not the soft “refresh” of a ZERO HOUR or the empty “restart” of CRISIS — I mean a “hold in the power button” for three seconds and risk fragging your hard drive “reboot.” Start over with ACTION COMICS and DETECTIVE COMICS 1 and rebuild from the ground up. Won’t happen, but the only thing that will truly “transform” DC is to cut loose the dead weight of its continuity.
Despite the enticing white lantern of foreshadowing sitting deep in “Somewhere America” at the end of this issue, I think the war of light is going to cool for awhile. Not for me personally, because I did enjoy this run and I’m interested to see how this new Technicolor universe operates in relative “peace” time. Someone could have fun with the new politics of this universe and I know would stick around to watch that exploration. What BLACKEST NIGHT and every DC title boil down to at this point is, “Even though I know what to expect, I really enjoy the ride getting there.”
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.

THE SWORD #23

By the Luna Brothers Publisher: Image Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo

Now that this series is close to ending, I have to plug it one more time.
I never really got into GIRLS, so I was hesitant to pick this up, and I waited until five or six issues in. But I’ve been steady since then. Yes, the Lunas can be a little wordy and overly expository. But they can also be extraordinarily poignant.
The artwork is solid each and every month. But I tell you, I couldn’t have been more surprised with the events (or maybe I should just say the event, singular) of this issue if someone’s uterus had been ripped out and stomped on. And considering that was what happened LAST issue, then that’s pretty surprised.
Really. If you skipped a few issues, you should pick up the last one. THEN this one. And then settle in for the final show.
Rock-Me Amodeo is a daytime computer guy and nighttime all kinds of things. He’s also probably the only guy ever to write a book and a movie still hoping he might someday break into comics.

FANTASTIC FOUR #577

Writer: Jonathan Hickman Artist: Dale Eaglesham Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: KletusCasady

“The Fantastic Four are stupid and they suck!” This is how my friend Josh approaches anything having to do with Marvel’s First Family. I always find myself having a hard time arguing with him, not because I have something against the Fantastic Four but I’m really not that familiar with the comics. I mean I know the gist of it, the origin, the personalities, etc. I just haven’t read anything that’s blown me away that involved them so my arguments would be something like, “but but the movies were…no, well that last arc by Millar was…nope….but Human Torch is Cap now so...” Other than Dwayne McDuffie’s run, which I really liked, I just don’t know the 616 FF that well. I will say Millar’s run on ULTIMATE FF was really awesome but they aren’t the O.G.s (that’s original gangsters for those of you who weren’t allowed (or scared) to listen to 90s west coast rap). So I set off on a journey of my own to rediscover the Fantastic ones and I’m damn glad I did.
Less is more when it comes to a lot of things and I believe comic books fall into this category. If a writer can get through a comic with out bogging it down with too much talk (NEW AVENGERS) or, in the case of some Fantastic Four comics, nonsensical science jargon and get to the root of what they are trying to say it makes the comic more enjoyable. Hickman is excellent in this regard; his scientific talk is complicated but it’s really not that hard to understand. Not only that, if you just flip through the book there’s not a lot of dialog at all. Hickman leaves a lot of room for Dale Eaglesham to shine on these pages and shine he does. Another great thing about this comic is that it doesn’t say “To be continued…” even though we are pretty sure there is going to be some resolution to the threat presented. I know that’s a small thing to appreciate but I like to pick up a single issue of a comic and not feel like I HAVE to commit to 4-6 issues. I kind of love that time when I was a kid buying comics and I would just have random issues that worked great as one issue stories and there was no promise I would ever see the next issue. I realize most of these stories had “To be continued…” at the end, but as a kid that really just added to the enjoyment because there was the feeling that I may never find out (I bought my comics at a little pharmacy drug store in the mall and they rarely ever had issues in sequential order). Now that I am aware of comic shops I have access to every issue and since I am a weird completist (up until recently...the price hike killed it for me...guess it’s a good thing) so if I bought issue one of a story arc I’d get the rest just so I had the complete story. That said, I do believe that most writers aren’t concerned with “one and done” comics and so most write stories with multiple issues in mind. This is not the case with this Fantastic Four as the last three issues really could have been read by themselves and could be enjoyed with a rudimentary knowledge of the FF. The story in this book is really good even though the antagonist’s plan isn’t really anything new and is a plan that nearly every maniacal villain has wanted or attempted to do but the way the events are laid out in this story make this plan reasonable. Ben Grimm has a line in the issue that really sums up Hickman’s run thus far: “Heh. Just like old times.” One really important aspect of writing something like FANTASTIC FOUR that has such a long legacy (but really hasn’t been that awesome in a while) is to take these characters back to basics. What I mean by this is find that core formula that everyone loves (in this case, the Fantastic Four as the world’s premier explorers) and let them do what they do best.
Hickman gets back to basics while forging a new chapter in the Fantastic Four’s lives that is different and new but old and familiar at the same time. Some of the things I love (keep in mind that I’ve probably read about 28 Fantastic Four stories total) are particularly how Sue and Johnny Storm manifest their powers. Johnny not only can turn his body into an ummm human torch but he can also see heat signatures (did not know this). Sue can not only turn herself invisible but she can see through things. Sorry but this is all new to me and I’m sure if this has been going on for a while I’ll read about it in the talkbacks but I was excited to have these powers used differently than I’ve seen in past FF books. A lot of little things in this make me appreciate this comic book more, like in this issue some potential threats start emerging from the darkness and Sue is already half way invisible or in the last issue where the FF were in the arctic and Johnny was wearing basically beach clothing was really amusing to me, I love shit like that. Now to the art, the only artist (in my opinion) comparable to Dale Eaglesham is Jim Lee. Hold on hold on…let me explain. Their artwork looks nothing alike but the attention to detail, the smooth line work and accurate proportions are all things that both artists have in common. Eaglesham’s artwork is amazing and I dare you, no triple dog dare to try to find a flaw on the splash page toward the end of the book or any other page for that matter (if you do find one I guarantee you are reaching).
This book fires on all cylinders from the back to basics story approach, to the not overtly bogged down dialog (I think Ben says about 4 things in this comic but all of his comments are dead on), to the alternate ways the FF’s powers are used, to the little details, to the absolutely gorgeous art work, this book is definitely worth a read and with that I’ll end it like this:
1. This book is cool as Billy Dee Williams in a blizzard drinking a milk shake. 2. Dale Eaglesham = Art god! 3. Less is more and Hickman delivers on that (take note Bendis) 4. I can now prove my friend Josh wrong and that’s the best part.

COWBOY NINJA VIKING #5

Writer: AJ Lieberman Artist: Riley Rossmo Publisher: Image Comics Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

Now that this title has gotten itself to the end of its first arc – and what a weird and wild ride that has been – I think it might be time to kind of dissect what this title has to offer, for good and for bad, with wild praise and a little tough love. Though, to make that last part seem ominous would be disingenuous, because I really dig the hell out of this book, and my bad cop routine really boils down to just a couple quibbles that I have after soaking up a handful of these little ditties. The story of the COWBOY NINJA VIKING thus far, honestly, has actually struck me with its cleverness. What could easily have just been a play on popular geek tropes has managed instead to play itself out as bit of an espionage book with a playful head trip for a premise. But everything is not perfect, and this is the part where I try and extol as many virtues as I can while making with the conductive criticism. That is the name of the gig after all, besides using bandwidth to get in cheap pot shots at the Big Two…
What I still really like about this book is that it has really owned what it is. It’s eccentric, very much so really, and it’s a little goofy but it has the right grasp on the need to play things straight here and there. And I like the direction of the story honestly. I like the conflict arising between some key players who made some very, very dangerous toys and I enjoy how goddamned bent those toys are given what they are capable of. It is both strangely endearing and sadistic and makes for some very entertaining comic booking. Conversely, and I’m not sure if this is an execution hitch, or a sign this book will probably read better in collected format (first TPB out in a couple weeks I believe, BTW), or more a sign I just try and pay attention to too many damned comics and my information retention is off, but this book has become quite crowded and fast in the past couple issues.
Not only have a lot of players shown up, but the majority of these players are three players in one due to their triplet nature. There is a method that is very creative in its own way that has been used to show off what kinds of personalities the tri-split triplets have and which ones are speaking up/acting at the time - either a shot of that character in the traditional garb associated with that job class, or a special word balloon icon, or both - and that was very clever and useful when in the first three issues we were introduced to only three triplets. But now, now we’ve got at least a half dozen running around, all with traits ranging from Conquistador to Roadie and it’s occasionally backfiring. Again, it could be just that this information might be better absorbed with one dedicated read through in a sitting, or some rereads or whatever, but going from issue to issue this is the one thing that has kind of glared at me as a little off putting. From plotting and storytelling aspects though, everything else has been pretty much aces.
And the same goes for the art chores as well: Except for a minor quibble I have with the mono-chromatic approach, I think Riley Rossmo’s art is pretty much sublime. I love his character designs and I enjoy the “sketchiness” that he has to his lines and how much detail they convey. I’ve just rarely seen a monochrome coloring scheme that didn’t hinder as much as it helped, and this is not really an exception. There’s just something about it, especially when the color used is a very “loud” one, as this issue’s yellow hue is, that tends to overwhelm the eyes and really wear them out after a while. It’s not so bad with cooler colors; the first issue of this was done with a light blue that was pleasant and I remember CASANOVA’s use of a greenish tint its first volume that was one of the few great examples of this, but it’s a fine line to walk if you are going to go this route. If it means that we continue to get Mr. Rossmo’s material on this in a timely manner, then by all means I’ll suck it up and be grateful, but if possible I think I’d prefer to see a departure from it.
Other than those two qualms I probably overstated above, I still am really digging on this book. It’s got great tone, delightfully playful dialogue and action sequences and is, more often than not, a visual feast. Now that a lot of the base work for this saga of this cadre of disturbed individuals has been laid out, I’m eager to see what kind of multiple-personality shenanigans they get into and what other hodgepodges of violence Lieberman and Rossmo come up with to pump up the mayhem.
Humphrey Lee has been an avid comic book reader going on fifteen years now and a contributor to Ain't It Cool comics for quite a few as well. In fact, reading comics is about all he does in his free time and where all the money from his day job wages goes to - funding his comic book habit so he can talk about them to you, our loyal readers (lucky you). He's a bit of a social networking whore, so you can find him all over the Interwebs on sites like Twitter, The MySpaces, Facebookand a Blogger Account where he also mostly talks about comics with his free time because he hasn't the slightest semblance of a life. Sad but true, and he gladly encourages you to add, read, and comment as you will.

DOOMWAR #2

Writer: Jonathan Maberry Artist: Scott Eaton Inker: Andy Lanning, Robert Campanella Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: William

Boring, boring, boring book. I want my $4 back Marvel. That’s the feeling I got when I finished reading this issue.
Myself being a huge Dr. Doom fan, I noticed this issue last week at my local comic book shop and immediately picked it up. Anything featuring Dr. Doom has to be good, right? Wrong. A Dr. Doom issue is only good if a) he’s in it a lot, and b) he actually does what the cover promises him to do.
First off, look at the cover here. Besides it being a pretty botched cover by John Romita Jr., who looks like he sketched this cover on the Sunday evening before it was due the next morning, it promises much more than what’s actually inside. A Dr. Doom fight featuring him going up against Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Wolverine all at the same time? Count me in. Who wouldn’t want to read such an epic tussle as that. Except upon reading the entire issue, Doom never even comes close to doing this. Instead he’s relegated to holding Storm hostage outside of some Vibranium vault, while the three heroes and T’Challa (former Black Panther) fight to get to him. Sure the heroes fight alongside some newer female Black Panther, and mixed in there are a bunch of bald-headed women who look like Asajj Ventress clones, but it’s not quite the same impact.
The big promised tussle though is apparently going to happen between Dr. Doom and the original Black Panther, T‘Challa. The Black Panther? Could Marvel have picked any less of an interesting character to go up against Doom? What, was one of the West Coast Avengers like Wonder Man not available? Seriously Marvel, if you’re going to hype this series so much, at least make the main protagonist somebody that’ll catch people’s attention. Like Hulk going against Dr. Doom, or Thor going against Dr. Doom, or Magneto and so forth. Instead, the former Black Panther? No matter how much writer Jonathan Maberry tries to make it seem like the two are destined archrivals (one part has Doom quoting something like he and T’Challa have been perfectly matched for many, many years), it just definitely seemed forced and cheesy.
The only saving grace here is the great artwork by Scott Eaton. Damn near perfect in realism, while still allocating enough comic book exaggerations. His Dr. Doom is a great interpretation for other artists to follow.
I have no plans on getting the third issue of this series as this one remains much of a letdown. Unless the next issue promises (and hopefully doesn’t falsify this time) a major fight between Dr. Doom and at least one of the other three heroes, there’s not much point to picking it up. I only recommend this issue for any Black Panther fan out there, as you get plenty of this d-list character here.

EX OCCULTUS: SEAL OF SOLOMON (One-Shot)

Writer: Robert James Russell Art: James Emmett Publisher: Saint James Reviewer: Reviewer: Mr. Pasty

The Saint James gang is back with another EX OCCULTUS one-shot titled SEAL OF SOLOMON and I can tell you without censure that Robert James Russell isn’t dicking around with his title. There are no metaphors here – this is about the actual Seal of Solomon. If you’re too lazy to Google it I’ll give you the cliff notes: King Solomon had a ring and it supposedly grants its bearer the ability to summon demons and talk to animals. While it hasn’t been that big a deal since the invention of LSD, back in 1874 Bulgaria it was pretty much the talk of the town. Fortunately for the sake of this book the baddest tandem this side of Sofia, Wakefield and Hollander, are already on the scene.
Our boys are hired by one shady character to retrieve the ring from another shady character. Fairly simple -- though I initially expected the Seal to be a bit harder to locate. Here it comes at the hands of a Silas Barnaby clone who conveniently draws a line to where the Seal can be found. He’s offering a sack of gold for its safe return but doesn’t exactly shower us with his motivations. No matter. Wakefield and Hollander have their shit together and their pursuit of the ring is where SEAL OF SOLOMON really shines.
What I like most about this book is how Russell slowly peels back the layers of his narrative so that as we get further into the story we begin to understand that returning the ring to its rightful (?) owner is just a small piece of this supernatural puzzle. There’s one scene in particular that has our heroes conquering a horde of undead assassins in a way that rewards you with one of those “Aha!” light bulb moments. Wakefield and Hollander may be in it for the money but goddamn it they definitely do their homework. It’s a fantastic moment with real detective work and some bona fide ass-kicking. Comics 101.
The artwork by James Emmett also deserves recognition because he effectively applies mood and atmosphere in an understated tone that compliments the story instead of turning it into an animated resume. I especially liked the washed out colors and heavy brush. So many artists make an effort to get themselves noticed at the expense of the story but Emmett wisely lets his work speak for itself -- and it’s a home run. One panel in particular is a brilliant overhead shot that shames the mise en scene in many of today’s mainstream titles.
Saint James has done it again with EX OCCULTUS: SEAL OF SOLOMON. What’s billed as a story about a magical ring is really an examination of characters who all seem to know what their motivations are but never want to share them with anyone else – including the reader. Trying to figure out where each piece goes on the chess board before the characters do makes SEAL OF SOLOMON an engaging and rewarding book that can hold its own with any title on the shelf today. My one complaint? It’s only a one-shot. More please.
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.

REALM OF KINGS: INHUMANS #5

Writer: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning Artist: Pablo Raimondi and Tim Seeley Inker: Victor Olazaba Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo

It’s amazing to me what Abnett and Lanning have done with the whole “space opera” gig. Marvel tried time and again (and finally succeeded, at least for a time, with the Ultimate universe) to explicitly create another continuum for their tales. But a handful of titles, helmed mostly by A&L, have quietly done exactly that. And I couldn’t be happier they chose to include the Inhumans in their revitalizing circle of friends that have brought new life to other titles that deserved it.
I remember the dog days of the Inhumans, all the way back to their ill-fated debut title (with that great Gil Kane artwork) that only lasted a few issues. And through the years, they’ve come back, and for the most part doing the same things over and over.
Black Bolt was strong and silent. Medusa was loyal and anguished. Gorgon was the hothead, etc. And Maximus rose to each occasion, the perpetual Dr. Doofensmirtz of each episodic drama.
But not this time. And I won’t spoil the ending. But I’m genuinely interested to see what happens, the dynamic between the various members of the royal family is quite intriguing to me for the first time in years, and I’m ready to see how they plug in to the rest of the Marvel Universe in space. Between Black Bolt’s absence, the Inhuman’s rise to empiric power, Medusa’s personal journey, even Crystal’s unlikely romance with a mostly domesticated Ronan…I’m hooked. Really. I’ve looked forward to this title each month.
Our two artists were able to put together a consistent package, mostly due to Olazaba’s consistent inks. I had to go back to see who drew what, and overall, very nicely done.
So how will this tie together with what’s going on with the FANTASTIC FOUR? I don’t know…but man, I’m looking forward to finding out.

ALL MY DARLING DAUGHTERS Vol.1

By Fumi Yoshinaga Released by Viz Media Reviewer: Scott Green

If you want to see steam rise from the skull of a manga fan, suggest that the medium obeys a "house style." From the minimalism of Natsume Ono to photorealistic Ryoichi Ikegami (CRYING FREEMAN), that notion is demonstrably incorrect, and it's amazing that you'll still hear it articulated by people you'd think would be better informed. Then, there is a corollary, more implicit idea that manga projects a consistent tone; that it's always marked by hysterical bombast. ALL MY DARLING DAUGHTERS is anything but reserved and not entirely naturalistic either, but if you do have those preconceptions about manga, the work will be eye opening.
At the Anime Boston convention, I took part in a manga commentator round table. One of the questions that came up was "what current manga will be remembered 30 years from now?" I didn't get a chance to promote my designation of "bookshelf manga" for works that exceed the transitory moment in the spotlight enjoyed by the majority of even the well read and respected manga. That said, I didn't disagree with the momentum towards declaring Fumi Yoshinaga's gender minded alternate history OOKU a contender for manga that may be remembered and revisited decades from now.
ALL MY DARLING DAUGHTERS is characterized by less importance than Ooku, but nearly as much craft. The five, connected short stories were published in Hakusensha's anthology MELODY. Technically, that's a shoujo (for teenage or younger female demographics) magazine and not a josei (older female readers, women's) one. Yet, as shoujo goes, MELODY can and ALL MY DARLING DAUGHTERS does feel more appropriate for older readers. There's a little exposed skin and some talk of sex, but the distinction is not that there's much to blush at here. (My personal, most embarrassing manga story involves Moyocco Anno's josei title HAPPY MANIA, having to exchange a damaged copy, only to have the store clerk open the volume to a somewhat graphic sex scene). The differentiating factor here owes more to the subjects and the attitudes involved. My reductive take is that manga for younger audiences are largely about aspiration (with plenty of counter examples). Be the best. Achieve some honor, some social objective, some romantic objective. In contrast, manga for older audiences are largely about reconsolidation (with plenty of counter examples)... dealing with a lot in life or with personal failings.
Much of ALL MY DARLING DAUGHTERS is about how characters got to where they are, and how they'll live with that. Yoshinaga's masterstroke is balancing a fine line between the shorthand used to draw out characters for fiction and conveying convincing humanity. The first story opens with a widowed mother berating her teenage daughter for the messy state of their apartment, for the daughter's habit of leaving stacks of manga in the bathroom and other minor domestic crimes. Daughter accuses mother of taking frustrations out on her, to which mother responds "you're right. that's exactly what I'm doing... parents are human. Sometimes they have bad moods! If you think everything is always going to be fair, then you're greatly mistaken!"
As in that scene, ALL MY DARLING DAUGHTERS can be very much on the nose. When I divorce myself from the effect of the manga and start thinking about the mechanics, I see that it drifts into the limiting pattern in which what shapes a person's development can be pinned to an identifiable catalyst. Yet, it's never cheap or easy. The reactions that Yoshinaga evoke are never simple, and as such, the manga never violates a suspension of disbelief in regards to its characters.
That first story reapproaches Yukiko in her thirties. She's an unmarried professional, still living with her mother, Mari. After Mari survives a serious cancer scare, she decides to live her life how she'd want to from then on. Yukiko internally retorts that she wasn't aware that her mother hadn't been doing that previously. The fall out is that Mari brings home a new husband, a couple years Yukiko's junior. Furthermore, the guy is an actor/model/whatever... or more specifically, an ex-host (to quote the end notes "host clubs are a type of bar that caters to female patrons. Attractive men pour drinks, flit and make conversations with the patrons.")
The pieces are here for melodrama, but that's not the route that Yoshinaga takes. Instead, the remarriage is a provocation that manifests itself in the mundane. Cooking. Bathroom use. Little signifiers of what's being thought and how relationships are functioning. Beyond that, the manga masterfully captures flustering moments and testy conversations. It evokes the spirit of moments that sets once head spinning... the conversation with your parent that you don't want to have yet again; listening to the anecdote that inspires unease; thinking back to a high school conversation that doesn't sit well with the course of adult life.
In the past, I've applied an "overheard conversation" test to dramatic manga. If I heard these characters discussing their problem in a public venue, would I listen in? I'm inclined to think that these characters wouldn't be offering up anything fascinating or salacious. And yet, I haven't been able to stop thinking about this manga since first reading it a month ago.
In ALL MY DARLING DAUGHTERS, Yoshinaga excels at overlapping particulars with universals. The specifics are mother/daughter dynamics, how women are or aren't shaped by relationships with their lovers, and how these women work their way through Japanese society. These aren't matters that I personally relate to or towards which I'm personally inclined to be interested. Yet, if you're over a certain age, you can relate to the need to deal with difficult relationships, past mistakes and matters that turned out differently than might have been hoped for. And, "deal" is the operative verb. Raging and weeping aren't over accentuated. As this may sound, it is not escapist but not monumental or important. As such the retort to a recommendation is likely "why bother?" ALL MY DARLING DAUGHTERS is manga that resonates, that'll leave you thinking about the decisions its characters made and how they arrived at those decisions.
Scott Green has been writing for AICN ANIME for over eight years. If you like what you see here and love anime & manga, be sure to check out his latest AICN ANIME column every week on AICN.

Hey all, Ambush Bug here with another handful of independent comics worth hollering about. Be brave and step away from the mainstream path and take a chance on one of these comics outside of the norm.

RED MOON OGN Cossack Comics

RED MOON has been a long time coming (I remember reading and previewing/reviewing it here on AICN about a year ago), but it’s finally going to be released and after reading it, it's definitely worth the wait. This is a must read for those who love to anthromorphize and wonder what kind of adventures animals get into when humans aren't around. You know the theory that animals can sense earthquakes and other natural disasters before they occur? This story builds off of that belief as a gentle hearted dog has visions of destruction and a red moon while trying to survive for the first time out of the protection of his own yard. This is a graphic novel filled with high stakes adventure and consequences dire. A lot of work has been put into this book, from the complex story to the absolutely beautiful art. This is top notch comic booking from cover front to cover back and necessary reading for those of you who enjoyed comics like PRIDE and WE3.

MYTHOI: BIRTH #B4 Semantink Publishing

This was a quick read, but one I won’t soon forget. Though I’ve never read a book from Semantink Publishing, the mission statement touting quality over quantity and the quality of the story that follows guarantees that I’ll be looking for more books from this new indie company. This issue of MYTHOI: BIRTH follows the bloody battle between the son of a god and a group of humans who wish to gain favor from the gods through sacrificing families. Unfortunately for our hero, his family is the sacrifice. What transpires next is bloody and filled with tension and action. James Ninness’ story is a simple one, but told in the boldest of strokes resulting in an engrossing read and Jed Soriano’s art is bloody gleeful. There’s a lot of bloody fun to be had with this tale of gods run amok. Can’t wait to read more.

SILVER BULLET #1 Ronin Studios

This is a very clever and funny take on super heroes. The Silver Bullet is an extremely powerful hero, but the world is hoping that this blundering oaf will be wiped out by some menace. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, the Bullet battles an alien in space where no one can hear sound modifiers. There is a clever running gag of sound not being heard in space that makes for some fun comic book reading here. I especially love the sound modifier “The sound of time being ripped asunder!” This is a damn fun comic, one fans of goof-erific comics such as AMBUSH BUG and DEADPOOL would appreciate. All hell breaks loose as the Silver Bullet makes friends with a tribe that continuously screams “NUTSACK!” and battles an army of alien robots that all say “Skizzle.” If you find this as funny as I do, you’ve got to check SILVER BULLET out.
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.

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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  • April 7, 2010, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Hickman's FF is everything but......exciting.

    by cookylamoo

    Well written...good characterization....clever science. But it registers low on my give-a-shit meter.

  • April 7, 2010, 11:20 a.m. CST

    The Marvel App has the first issue of the Hickman FF

    by Chewtoy

    ...for free. I thought it was a good read, far better than the other free comics they offered there (New Avengers 1 & 2, Red Hulk and that Spidey Brand New Day reboot). I hadn't seen Johnny see in infrared before either, but then I also don't usually follow the Fantastic Four.

  • April 7, 2010, noon CST

    That's Why I Usually Only Read Self-Enclosed

    by Dave I

    Self-contained or one-off comics, or something where the author has complete control and is willing to end things and make real change. Ultimately, Spider-Man, Batman (forever being Bruce Wayne once they bring him back from the dead[?!!!]), Blackest night, Superman, etc., etc. are all boring to me as I get older. In concept, they are great. In reality, the predictability makes them boring and pointless except for some cool art. If Aunt May is going to love forever, and they are going to reset Peter & M.J.'s wedding so people "forget" about it, and bring back Robin (and Batman, and Superman, and Captain America, etc.) from the dead, why should I care? Even J.K. Rowling let people die for real in Harry Potter.<p><p>Except for something like Sandman (which I loved) and Preacher (haven't read yet, but it's on the list) I've given up on comics. If it never ends, never evolves, and is never allowed to grow up, I'm not wasting my time and definitely not wasting my money.<p><p>-Cheers

  • April 7, 2010, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Regarding the FF's powers.

    by NinjaRap

    Yes, Sue has been able to use her powers to see through things for quite some time. She can make invisible things visible, and make visible things invisible, and so on. No, Johnny has never been able to "read heat signatures." That was made up completely for this issue.

  • April 7, 2010, 12:53 p.m. CST

    You haven't read Preacher, Dave?

    by Joenathan

    Where are you from? 1989?

  • April 7, 2010, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Hickman is awesome

    by Joenathan

    His FF is good, Secret Warriors is better. I can't wait for his Shield

  • April 7, 2010, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Blackest Night

    by Joenathan

    So, I didn't read it, but it all came down to the green boxing glove, right?

  • April 7, 2010, 1:17 p.m. CST

    answers for Fareal

    by KletusCassidy

    1.is what because he's black? the fact he's drinking a milkshake or the fact that he is in a blizzard? i'm confused... 2.yes i am going to hell but so is everyone else. not sure if there is only ONE god but there are definitely TWO sides of parenthesis... 3.why would you care who delivers your pizza? never seen them fight so i can't comment... 4.Josh loves me and you know it! Ninjarap; thanks i wasn't sure. thanks guys! Joenathan; Flipped through Shield kinda looks like Inception at some parts...have not read yet...love Dustin Weaver though...why am i talking like the Hulk?!?!

  • April 7, 2010, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Blackest Night now holds the record....

    by cookylamoo

    For the longest time a bad guy stood still and waited for the heroes to come up with way to beat him.

  • April 7, 2010, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Cowboy Ninja Viking SHIT

    by the grev

    it's as crap as all the other comics this team have created... and yet AICN still suck up to them and give em great reviews. Bah.

  • April 7, 2010, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Blackest Meh

    by Jaka

    I think I'm still stuck around issue five. Not something I would normally read, though. So it's my own damn fault for listening to my geektard super hero loving friends. "But Green Lantern is really good right now man. And the Corps! Ah man! And you know about Black Lanterns and Red Lanterns, right?" That's pretty close to an exact conversation I had. Maybe it's my lack of back story/lead in knowledge, but I found most of Blackest Night to be throw away trash. Especially all the one-shot issues - those were the worst. I guess I need to finish all the mini's and the eight parter before making a final decision. But it really didn't make me love super heroes any more than I already didn't. <br><br>Really glad you keep giving The Sword some @$$hole love. I dig The Luna Bros and I've really enjoyed The Sword. Can't read your review yet, though. Because I don't want to know ANYTHING that happens before I read the book. You @$$holes ever check out Ultra?<br><br>I'll definitely be picking up Red Moon - sounds like my kind of thing. The Blacksad books are still the best anthropomorphic talking animal stories I've ever read.

  • April 7, 2010, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Bruce Wayne isn't actually dead, though

    by Jaka

    lol Jus' sayin'.

  • April 7, 2010, 1:38 p.m. CST

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  • April 7, 2010, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Gah!! Spam!!!

    by Jaka

  • April 7, 2010, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Doom vs. Black Panther goes back to the 70s

    by MCVamp

    Whatever you think of Panther, he was the King of Wakanda like forever. Doom has this whole "noble leader of men" thing with T'Challa ever since he tried to steal all the vibranium in Wakanda and enslave the populace and T'Challa threatened to just blow the whole country up rather than bow down. Black Panther gets no respect for long periods of time then Marvel tries to make him cool again every 5-6 years. Usually doesn't work, but at least they didn't just go lazy and replace him with a female vers--oh wait.

  • April 7, 2010, 2:18 p.m. CST

    You know why it doesn't work?

    by Joenathan

    You know why they can't make Black Panther cool?<br><br>It's the short cape. Stupidest costume accessory ever. It totally ruins a good, basic costume.<br><br>Also, he has no regular villians...

  • April 7, 2010, 2:27 p.m. CST

    I agree...

    by MCVamp

    Never said he WAS cool. Although if they made a supervillain called "White Devil" for him to go against, THEN we'd be getting somewhere.

  • April 7, 2010, 2:39 p.m. CST

    "White Devil"

    by Jaka

    It would never happen on a major, even if it was only the name of the character, having nothing to do with his actions. But damn if that isn't actually a great idea. In his "real world" he would have to be the slimy head of a giant, GIANT corporation. Using his power to influence the government to back his evil plots and schemes, unbeknownst to all save a very few at the top. I like it!

  • April 7, 2010, 2:40 p.m. CST

    The Sword...

    by vincentkv

    ...Is the story I've been writing in my head since 5th grade. It's good, pick it up.

  • April 7, 2010, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Priest did make the Panther totally cool...

    by Homer Sexual

    I don't know how anyone could read Priests "Enemy of the State" arcs, 1 and 2, and not think he was cool. OK, I made my big faux pas thinking Priest was the same white Brit who wrote "Prestige," but that was an outstanding run. Eventually, it got cancelled, but it was super cool till the very last issue. I don't know that comic readers appreciate coolness in large numbers. <p> Speaking of coolness, the FF are the antithesis of cool. Boys and Girls, this IS your dad's comic (and I say that as a 45 year old). I can't think of three characters I would less rather read about than Reed, Sue and Ben. Ugh. <p> Ok, Cable and Hope are two characters I'd less rather read about. <p> The Inhumans had two very well written maxi-series with great art in the last decade, but they never got popular. I think they are just too different. <p> Optimus, I appreciate your review of Blackest Night because I've been saying that the other media (movies, games) are helping keep the industry alive, and I usually get pooh-poohed on that one. <p> Also, the never-changing status quo is an issue. It's why I don't like any of the really iconic heroes (Supes, Bats, Spider-Man). I like Captain America and Wonder Woman, but they're just semi-big guns and they can get messed with more, although obviously they also return to status quo eventually. <p> A total restart might be interesting, a la Ultimates, I guess..but wouldn't that just be more or less the same thing, updated?

  • April 7, 2010, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Hahahaha

    by kungfuhustler84

    Homer Sexual's 45!

  • April 7, 2010, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Priest's Panther was cool

    by Joenathan

    you're right, but even he could only maintain that for 12 issues or so and then Panther reverted to type...<br><br>As for DC... It's like Goose said: Trapped in Amber

  • April 7, 2010, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Homer - Were I Editor of DC

    by optimous_douche

    First Home, sorry people disagree with you about cross media keeping these companies alive. I can only assume those naysayers have only had to balance a checking account of $400 and shun all education and news. Do I think DC or Marvel comic portions operate in the red? No. Do I think they need the padded coffers of the other silos to keep top talent salary high and away from other media outlets.You betcha? I know they are publically traded and I could look it up, but I also know corporate accountants are wizards with numbers so I would assume I’m right. By all means someone grab some SEC filings and let’s go data mining together.<p> I usually reserve my heavy masturbatory fanboy fantasizing or other boards, but since it was asked specifically about how to reboot DC. Here’s one man’s thoughts.<p> An Ultimates line wouldn’t be the way to go. First off, everyone would just accuse DC of apeing Marvel. And rightly so. Plus the same confusion and mistrust we all had about the looming end of the Ultimates since it’s beginning would cast the shame shadowy pall on DC’s version.<p> I’m talking about a hard…hard..hard…restart. All baggage – all continuity gone and starting over again with two titles. Perhaps Flash will come back, perhaps he won’t likewise with every other character. Now if this day ever comes it will probably be around 2035. Right when the millenials start holding middle-management positions at these entertainment ubernauts. Those same millenials that read their first comic on Dad’s iPad instead of on paper. The tools will be in place that a writer could cobble together a fluid moving picture landscape via a wikiengine. They’ll give those of us getting ready for a dirt nap two titles for our tired eyes to feel and touch, and reinvigorate characters that otherwise will be carrying 100 years worth of stories and utter confusion along with it.<p> The rate at which restarts keep happening is increasing our own Morre’s Law. For the first 50 or so years..no restarts..Then Crisis One 1986…10 or so years late Zero Hour…10 or so years after that the beginning drums of Final Crisis. And those drums are a funeral march, perhaps not for the characters, but certainly the interwoven continuity that all of us Gen X and Gen Y had as our personal soap operas. It cannot sustain itself. Plain and simple.

  • April 7, 2010, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Marvel is just as stale as DC

    by kungfuhustler84

    Spiderman's Gauntlet is just re-introducing all his old foes. The X-men have another crossover. The whole Dark Reigh thing wasn't all that different from the usual Marvel universe.<p>Brubaker shook things up makin' Bucky Cap. That's the closest I can think of to an actual change from comics past.

  • April 7, 2010, 5:18 p.m. CST

    DC "Earth One" == Marvel "Ultimate" Line

    by Squashua

    Just getting that out there, that's the impression I'm under.

  • April 7, 2010, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Morrison will fix DC...

    by Jaka

    ...bwaaahaahahaahaahaaahaaa!! Sorry. Had to.

  • April 7, 2010, 5:23 p.m. CST

    Kungfu....

    by Homer Sexual

    While I hate to admit how old I am, at least it gives me the benefit of having a lot of background to draw on. And the people at the LCS, while younger than me, aren't exactly teens, either. In fact, I am always trying to get the teens I do know into comics.

  • April 7, 2010, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Regarding Siege #2/3...

    by SteadyUP

    http://tinyurl.com/ydpehb6

  • April 7, 2010, 5:41 p.m. CST

    As an outsider to superhero continuity...

    by Jaka

    ...I have to say that I've always viewed them more as personifications of ideals, rather than a "person", or "being". In my mind they should always be able to keep writing new stories relating to the state (evils) of the world with these "personifications" putting things right. The major mistake that they've made, imo, is too much inter-species story breeding. Their universes are too insular, too cross-over, too rebooted with too much self-aware acknowledging of all the above.<br><br>I'll be honest and up front about it, though, I've never followed any particular superhero or team for any length of time. I've been a fan of Batman since Killing Joke (the year I got REALLY serious about comic books), but I've never regularly collected any or all of the titles dealing with the character. Rather, when I get word that a great story has just taken place I'll hunt down those issues or the collected tpb.<br><br> As far as time goes, real time that is, a lot of these beings ARE supposed to be "super". So in that context I've never had a problem suspending disbelief regarding the length of their lives. The other angle on that is, regardless of the fact that they've actually happened over a very long period of OUR time, if you added together the time it's taken for most of the canonical adventures to take place, it's really not that long. Think of it like the Simpson's - on for twenty years of our time, but possibly less than one year of "Springfield time".<br><br>Another "problem"(?) the creators and writers of these books have to deal with is that some of you have been reading them for decades. In a sense they've done their jobs too well, and now they have to work even harder to keep you interested. In the end, however, I really find the entire argument/discussion kind of silly. They're superheroes. They live in comic books. The only thing that limits them is the imagination of the people creating and reading them. I imagine a lot of people (young or old) would pick up any of the newer collected arcs (from Marvel of DC) and think it was "holy shit!" amazing (not Blackest Meh, though). Would rebooting AGAIN make them like the books more, or less? Would starting everything over with no continuity REALLY make the books better for you? I mean, can't you just take what you love from these books (universes), acknowledge what is great and ignore the rest? I ask because I don't see an alternative that will make any more people happy than what they're doing now. <br><br>Lastly, and I'm guessing a lot of you disagree, but I think DC has actually been trying to lead people towards at least the POSSIBILITY of something new. As much as I enjoy poking fun at Grant Morrison, he did try something different, and people hated it. I just think the machine is too big to TRULY change. There is too much money involved to trash everything and start over. I think their best bet would be to streamline. Fewer books with more cohesion, and more team-ups (so all the characters can show up from time to time). A massive reboot with a "just forget everything that came before" caveat is going to piss off too many people.

  • April 7, 2010, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Ramble, ramble, ramble...

    by Jaka

    I'm really just sitting around waiting for Herc to Tweet his dang question. Hoping he'll get to it before I have to go pick someone up.

  • April 7, 2010, 7:05 p.m. CST

    The Sword

    by v1cious

    THANK YOU! I am so glad i'm not the only one reading this. EVERYONE READ THIS COMIC. The twist at the end of 23 absolutely blew me away. I don't think anyone saw it coming. Seriously guys, The Luna Brothers finally stepped up their game on this one. It's WAY than Girls and ULTRA.

  • April 7, 2010, 7:15 p.m. CST

    And I lost by the way

    by Jaka

    Stoopud United Earth Space Probe Agency!

  • April 7, 2010, 7:24 p.m. CST

    Homer

    by kungfuhustler84

    With age comes wisdom, or at least a greater wealth of comic book knowledge. Sadly, the demographic that reads comics is getting older everyday. I personally am in college. It's refreshing seeing comics being embraced at a scholarly level here, so I don't think there's anything wrong with an older gent enjoying comics. I simply wasn't aware how old you were.

  • April 7, 2010, 7:25 p.m. CST

    DC already had an Ultimate line right?

    by kungfuhustler84

    It was called "All-Star."<p>Personally, I enjoyed both series' (Superman, and Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder) a great deal, although I would only call one of them a truly great comics work.

  • April 7, 2010, 7:34 p.m. CST

    All-Star was more of a What If? free for all...

    by Jaka

    ...kind of thing. Elseworlds on steroids. Complete freedom to mess with the characters in whatever way you wanted.

  • April 7, 2010, 9:17 p.m. CST

    This is what Marvel and DC should do...

    by loodabagel

    Okay, so comics are getting too damn expensive. Characters and stories are getting stale. Here's what we do. Start publishing less titles, maybe cut production in half. Release comics less often, but when you do, maybe monthly, bi-monthly, whatever, just do anthology books with 200 pages or so. For 10$, your little brat can get 4 or 5 Marvel Age Kids titles, an entire 5 issue arc. That'll blow their mind. This also increases comics lending potential. Kids are most concerned with keeping their comics in pristine condition from ages 12-15, and if they're just published in a sturdier format like that, they'll be more willing to lend them around. Massive retcons/reboots are acceptable now and then, but writers should be given notification a few years beforehand, so they can just go nuts on whatever title they're doing, maybe so much as to actually justify said ret-con.

  • April 7, 2010, 10:15 p.m. CST

    Red Moon is a MUST read if...

    by moonlightdrive

    purely for the artwork alone. The emotions put across through the drawing of the main characters is amazing.

  • April 8, 2010, 12:59 a.m. CST

    Check out Medusa's hair on the FF cover

    by Star Hump

    Fucking PISS POOR. What the hell is that? It sure as hell ain't Medusa's hair. Is the artist at all familiar with the character? Does Marvel have any great artists anymore? Hell, does Marvel have any professional artists anymore? Forget about great. Do they hire artists that can, at the very least, draw the company's characters on model? Pathetic.

  • April 8, 2010, 7:08 a.m. CST

    Continuity

    by Laserhead

    I don't really see how someone can claim DC is trapped in amber but Marvel isn't. Clearly, they both are. All changes are merely prolonged interruptions of the larger status quo. Period. Sometimes some new ideas sneak in and integrate themselves into continuity, on both sides, but that's about it. Costumes change for a while, secret identities change for a while, people die before being resurrected, etc. Christ, Spider-Man has been telling the exact same story for more than forty years.

  • April 8, 2010, 7:31 a.m. CST

    THE SILVER BULLET

    by Scud-0

    If you are interested in The Silver Bullet, you can buy issue #1 from IndyPlanet - http://www.indyplanet.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2868 You can keep up with the ongoing adventures of the Bullet at silverbulletcomic.blogspot.com

  • April 8, 2010, 10:31 a.m. CST

    I Was Disappointed Sinestro Didn't Remain The White Lantern

    by LaserPants

    But I'm also not surprised. I guess the lion's share of GL and GLC Brightest Day books will be about them searching for the White Lantern, now apparently lying in a ditch somewheres...

  • April 8, 2010, 10:37 a.m. CST

    loodabagel

    by LaserPants

    Totally agree. Although I would also suggest adopting the Japanese Manga format whereby a HUGE anthology book comes out about once a month, and the good stories are collected into digest sized volumes at the end of, say, a year's worth of stories. The anthology books sell for dirtcheap (approximately $3 for a 250-300 page book), and the collections sell for more (around $10 or so), but are printed on better paper and are archival (for the most part). I'm actually kind of surprised this hasn't happened here yet... except for the fact that print is just nigh dead and most of us will be reading our funny books on a wafer thin iPad in 10 years (at most).

  • April 8, 2010, 12:33 p.m. CST

    DC is MORE trapped in Amber than Marvel

    by Joenathan

    Marvel compartmentalizes their change. These last seven years as an example. Stuff was shaken up, stuff "changed" and now, the story is drawing to an end and the universe is "resetting". Is their "lasting" change? No. Such a thing is not possible, especially when you have never ending serials concerning properties that are just now starting to explore multi-media status for real. Marvel is just better at changing the status quo for a while, like a new chapter in a book, and then eventually bringing it all back home again. With DC... nothing changes ever for anything.

  • April 8, 2010, 12:38 p.m. CST

    MArvel and DC reboots

    by Joenathan

    What they need to do is switch the majoriy of their titles to 2 - 4 trades a year and let each book/corner of the marvel U be independant of each other as needed. Focus on telling a story from beginning to end and forget worrying about long term continutiy. It's a brilliant place to mine ideas from, and acknowledge, but strict adherance is nothing but a choke chain dragging down the characters. <br><br>They also need to adopt the same model as the trades, but apply it to on-line/direct market DVD animation. Years of storyboards are already available and they have a ready made writers team for new stuff.<br><br>I love the pamphelts, but they are the dodos of the industry.

  • April 8, 2010, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Deadman (Aliveman) is the White Lantern

    by Squashua

    Check out his finger.

  • April 8, 2010, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Pamphlets are monthlies?

    by Homer Sexual

    Just checking. As I've said before, though, we gotta have the monthlies for the trades to exist. Everything starts as a monthly and if it's successful, becomes as trade. I wonder if the companies would be willing to invest so much $$$ in trades without making sure the market was there first, and I feel it would lead to "safer" comics even more hidebound than current, rather than more risk-taking, which often fails but also produces the best comics. <p> BTW...I skimmed the conclusion to Blackest Night and it was laaaaame! Pretty much a textbook example of what we all complain about on this board. Everyone who came back is an old-school standby except Isis' brother. Hank Hall? Sheesh! At least J'onn J'onzz escaped the horrible costume he had when he "died." <p> But that was so whack I no longer plan to pick up the trade. DC, you're proving JoeNathan right in this case. LAME!

  • April 8, 2010, 6:37 p.m. CST

    The trapped in amber expert has arrived

    by gooseud

    This, boys and girls, is why I dont read a single DC title outside of Secret Six. DC just simply tries too hard to make it APPEAR as if they are "willllld and CRAAAAZY" and anything can happen, when we all know it wont. Its that dude with the 80K car who spends 3 hours a day in the gym and spends 150.00 on a haircut. You arent foolin anyone, bro, we all know your doing all that because you have a small dick. Just stop with the act.

  • April 8, 2010, 6:44 p.m. CST

    Having said that about DC

    by gooseud

    I loved Identity Crisis. The reveal of the villain was lame, yes, but that was the only time that DC put out a book where, despite its flaws, it truly felt like something was at stake. I will go to my grave defending that 1st issue, issue #1 was one of the best single issues that DC has put out in 25 years. In fact, I would put up the Robin chase to save his dad as one of the most gripping sequences I've ever read in a comic, and I'm being completely serious. You dont need Rainbow Brite Lanterns, Superman traveling through the Mojoverse Time Paradox Backwards Planet of TGJFJBFXBCJXCJB-Istan to play the Pump Organ of Doom, or Superboy Prime lining up every B-character in the DCU so he can piss on them while cackling maniacally, to make a good comic. DC should read that Robin chase again and see what they are capable of when they cut out off the bells and whistles and bullshit.

  • April 8, 2010, 6:52 p.m. CST

    And for the record:

    by gooseud

    I read Supergod, Irredeemable, Incorruptible, Ex Machina, Walking Dead, American Vampire, anything in the Abnett/Lanning cosmic-verse, Thor, Iron Man, Secret Six, The Sword.....i'm sure there is more, but I cant remember off the top of my head. I dropped Cap and X Factor the second they started crossing over with the Marvel U. As anyone would notice, there is nary an ongoing type of "trapped in amber" title to be seen, Thor and Iron Man nonwithstanding. I simply cant get emotionally invested when I know there is nothing at stake and nothing will ever change.

  • April 9, 2010, 7:12 a.m. CST

    Homer Monthlies

    by optimous_douche

    Homer said: "Everything starts as a monthly and if it's successful, becomes as trade."<p> I would be more prone to agree with this statement 20 years ago, these days it seems whether successful or not it becomes a trade.<p> In the 80's and early 90s you would only see a trade appear when the monthly had flown off the stands. today though everything is repackaged in trade (at least that's how it feels).<p> The monthlies don't HAVE to support the trade business. There could be a transition period and we could move solely to trades. It would take a huge amount of planning though on the publishers

  • April 9, 2010, 8:38 a.m. CST

    Monthlies to trades

    by Joenathan

    I think they'd be MORE apt to try books if they had a beginning, middle, and end all contained. Agents of Atlas? Sure, let's try it out... 1 trade later... Oh, no one read that, so let's not do Trade number 2... Next project!

  • April 9, 2010, 9:20 a.m. CST

    Agee Joen

    by optimous_douche

    That seems to how things are done in the UK and it seems to work.

  • April 9, 2010, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Plus

    by Joenathan

    There's just no getting around the fact that the market is changing. The big 2 need to start looking at more books put out as trades (most books seem written for trades these days anyway) and taking a look at anime series like Samurai Champloo and how they get released in America or an Itunes series. I will keep buying pamphlets as long as they put them out, but there's no future in them, business wise.

  • April 9, 2010, 11:41 p.m. CST

    MYTHOI!

    by Comicnerd

    Woohoo!!

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