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AICN COMICS REVIEWS: WAR OF SUPERMEN! FIRESTAR! BOB DYLAN! IRREDEEMABLE! & MUCH MORE! Plus R.I.P. Frank Frazetta...

#50 5/5/10 #8

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) SUPERMAN: WAR OF THE SUPERMEN #1 IRREDEEMABLE #13 FIRESTAR #1 One Shot BOB DYLAN REVISITED OGN BRIGHTEST DAY #1 THE SIXTH GUN FCBD Edition IZOMBIE #1 PUNISHER MAX #6 Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS! R.I.P. Frank Frazetta

SUPERMAN: WAR OF THE SUPERMEN #1

Writer: Sterling Gates & James Robinson Art: Jamal Igle Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Mr. Pasty

By the time you read this, ish numero uno will have been on shop shelves for at least a week, so regarding spoilers please keep in mind that all’s fair in love and war (of Supermen). Now if you think a week is too soon just remember that Sato only gave Miyagi three days to mourn. And speaking of frenemies that constantly bicker back and forth, Supergirl and Supermom open the book with a tête-à-tête over prisoner confessions before (whoops!) everything gets blowed up real good. How good? Well, let’s just say that General Zod isn’t getting back the deposit he put down on that one bedroom flat in the upper red side of New Krypton. That makes Zod angry – angry enough to start a war that will last exactly 100 minutes. Synchronize Swatches!
WAR OF THE SUPERMEN (WOTS) is a brisk read. I won’t say I didn’t enjoy it, but it felt a little uneven. Be forewarned, for an issue that is labeled number one in the series, it’s not exactly the best place to start considering how much of the story is carried over from LAST STAND OF NEW KRYPTON #1 and (to a lesser extent) WOTS #0 that was scooped up by chislers on free comic book day. I mentioned the book’s balance and again, mostly a minor complaint but it’s very dialogue-heavy in the beginning and then practically barren towards the end. Oh look, a bunch of empty panels with grimacing heroes in broad, sweeping scenes. How epic. No problem, I get it, but less really is more in these instances. And I found it very difficult to commit to the emotional arc because I felt the artwork didn’t hold up its end of the bargain.
The pencils weren’t bad, but did seem poorly executed and even incomplete in some frames. Jamal Igle has Supergirl down pat, but the man of steel is assembled so haphazardly during a moment of crisis that he looks like a cross-eyed Dave Matthews after getting kicked in the Kryptonuts. And where did he learn how to draw tears? I don’t know if they’re supposed to be frozen since she’s in space but one particular scene has Supergirl crouched down in front of Superman, peering up at him mournfully with white blotches covering her face and hair. I defy you to look at those panels and tell me it in no way resembles a Mexican 5-Star. All this coming from a book that has the word “Stillborn” in bold type on the very first page. No big deal? Well, beneath it is a wide shot of tiny people in the darkness of space flying away from a glowing white ball that I assume is a star but looks more like a fertilized egg. There are some serious issues buried within this book, or maybe buried within me, but either way it was a little distracting.
In the end, WOTS is priced right ($2.99) and delivers a fairly entertaining story. Putting my nitpicking aside for a second, I did finish the book with a bit of anticipation for issue #2. So really, how bad could it have been if I’m now looking forward to the next installment? That pretty much sums up what SUPERMAN: WAR OF THE SUPERMEN #1 is for the casual fan: a good but not great entry into the Superman franchise that has all the shimmer and shine of a high level project – complete with all the visible streak marks the contributors were either too lazy or too pressed for time to buff out.
Web heads who can’t get enough of Mr. Pasty’s word vomit are encouraged to watch him operate as Nostradumbass over at MMaMania.com here. Love, hate and Mafia Wars requests should be directed here.

IRREDEEMABLE #13

Writer: Mark Waid Art: Diego Barreto Publisher: BOOM! Studios Reviewer: BottleImp

Now THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about!
Regular readers of this column will know that I’ve had, how you say, somewhat mixed feelings about this title. I’m sure some of you are sick of the fact that with each issue of IRREDEEMABLE I review, I invariably wind up bemoaning the fact that Mark Waid’s premise of a Superman running amok has been stripped of all its vigor. And even I, myself, have grown weary of repeating the opinion that the series fails to live up to its original hook.
Not this time, loyal readers.
What a pleasant surprise to find that this month’s issue of IRREDEEMABLE not only recaptures the drama and intensity of the series’ premiere, but manages to crank that intensity up to a new height! That characters as dry and flat as cardboard are finally exhibiting signs of life, and making me care about them! That for the first time since this comic book’s first issue cliffhanger I finished reading the story and was rabid to find out what happens next!
How did this happen?
To answer this, we need to look back at what was making IRREDEEMABLE…let’s just say, less than enjoyable. The plot of the series, in its most basic form, is that the world’s most powerful superhero, the Plutonian, has turned evil, and his former teammates are scrambling for a way to stop him, while the rest of the world is scrambling for survival. This issue finally shows us the moment when the Paradigm (the Plutonian’s former alliance) first see the Plutonian’s carnage, a moment only alluded to over the past year’s worth of issues. Think about it—the reader was told that the Plutonian went bad and attacked his teammates, but was shown very little of the actual events. As I’ve said time and time again, comic books are a visual medium, and their power at effectively conveying story and emotion depends on that visual communication. Show; don’t tell.
Well, for too long Waid has told. Sure, there was some show, but never the meat of the conflict. Too often the Paradigm would be off in their own corner of the world, looking for an answer to the Plutonian problem, while the Plutonian was depicted being a super-powered dickweed, destroying countries and exacting petty revenge on his former foster parents. Evil? Perhaps. Insane? Almost certainly. But intensely exciting? Hardly. The reader was constantly told that the Plutonian was the world’s most powerful being, but the reader was never shown. Until now.
The superhero clash in this issue almost makes up for a year of lackluster reading. Waid breathes long-overdue sparks of life into his characters, especially Bette Noir…I know, I was supposed to have given a rat’s ass about her LAST issue, when she tearfully confessed her guilt to her friends, but what can I say? Last issue was melodrama—this issue is drama; it just feels more real. Her reactions in the moment of fear and confusion, as she and her teammates fight for their lives against an insane god…those are the moments that make you care about what happens to lifeless, two-dimensional collections of lines and colors. Shit, Waid even makes me care about Metalman, Citadel and Gazer, who are to IRREDEEMABLE as the red-shirted ensigns were to STAR TREK. Where have you been the past year, the Mark Waid who makes me care?
Being such as big fan of show over tell, I can’t overlook the importance of Diego Barreto as the (hopefully!) new regular artist on this title. Barreto brings a sense of finish to the artwork, with dynamic yet clean page compositions and confident, competent linework. Over the course of the previous issues I had grown dissatisfied with former artist Peter Krause’s scratchy, increasingly sketchy drawing style. With Barreto I feel that IRREDEEMABLE finally has someone who can tell the story through the visual aspect of the medium at the same level as Waid’s prose scripting.
This issue was such a pleasure to read that it makes me nervous. I really, really want to believe that this series has finally found its stride, but there’s that little, nagging part of my brain that says that it’s a fluke, and next month IRREDEEMABLE will go right back to its normal, underwhelming self. I guess I’ll just have to pick up the next issue and see which one of me is right.
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.

FIRESTAR One Shot #1

Writer: Sean McKeever Artist: Emma Rios Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Jinxo

Okay, I grew up in the 80s with the SPIDER-MAN & HIS AMAZING FRIENDS cartoon show. So I always have been fascinated with the Marvel Universe version of Firestar inspired by the show. I guess I keep wondering when the hell she’s gonna hook up with Spider-Man and Ice Man and share that apartment with all the hidden computers in the walls. Okay, that happening would actually be a pretty bad idea. Still, I always wonder if maybe Angelica Jones will finally achieve the success in comics she did with Saturday Morning Cartoon viewers.
So yeah, the little kid in me inspired me to pick this issue up. But the adult comic reader in me actually found myself enjoying this one-off. Written mostly to reintroduce Firstar to readers before she becomes a member of the new Young Allies comic, this issue is mostly a character piece, showing us Angelica’s life and world. While I love the hell out of an action packed battle filled issue as much as anyone I also like really well done character pieces too, and in this case I really liked what they did with Firestar. In some very basic ways she put me in mind of, ironically, Ultimate Spider-Man. Setting her heroic activities aside, her life is a busy complicated mess most people could relate to. Just a little too much on her plate: school, family, friends, illness, and sometimes just trying to figure out what the right thing to do is.
This will sound odd at first but her physicality also reminds me of Ultimate Spidey. Like him, Firestar is not presented as the typical larger-than-life overly-endowed image of physical perfection. No BAM! figure and massive mammaries. Nope. Both of them are presented as smaller regular Joes…or Janes. Instead of a Playboy playmate on steroids, artist Emma Rios gives us an Angelica Jones who is that cute average sized, average proportioned girl next door. I really like that. I think it adds to our sympathy and concern for her. Sure the giant breasted Amazon can handle a super villain. But this small slip of a girl? Any challenge is going to seem much harder for her and more meaningful if she overcomes it.
Again, no massive battles in this issue. Some action sure but mostly personal battles…with life, former bullies and even her own body. I liked it. The sad thing for me is, all the stuff I liked about this issue? I’m not sure we’ll see any of it in YOUNG ALLIES. A group book doesn’t usually have tons of times to focus in on personal details of the individual heroes. A different artist could easily turn Firestar into a pinup babe.
Not to say I would want heavy character stuff every issue. Bring on the smackdowns. I just hope they manage to work in some degree of what they establish for Firestar in YOUNG ALLIES.
Jinxo is Thom Holbrook, lifelong comic book reader, and the evil genius behind poobala.com. He may appear cute and cuddly but if encountered avoid eye contact and DO NOT attempt to feed.

BOB DYLAN REVISITED OGN

Words by Bob Dylan Art by various Published by W.W. Norton Reviewed by Stones Throw

In idle moments I occasionally try my hand at drawing a Bob Dylan lyric. It’s not an unamusing challenge. How do you visualise something like:
Einstein disguised as Robin Hood With his memories in a trunk Passed this way an hour ago With his friend, a jealous monk. He looked so immaculately frightful As he bummed a cigarette And he went off sniffing drain pipes And reciting the alphabet

Or:
She’ll be standing on the bar soon With her fish-head and a harpoon And a fake beard plastered on her brow

Or even:
You used to ride on a chrome horse with your diplomat Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat?

Like all good poetry, Dylan’s lyrics rely more on the sound of the words and images and associations they suggest rather than any literally-understood meaning. Once you start translating those images into actual pictures you risk losing whatever made them exciting and mysterious in the first place.
As for trying to interpret a whole song, the gap between lyrical song tradition and narrative comics telling a sequential story seems almost insurmountable.
Which makes it all the more pleasantly surprising that, in addition to impressive pictures, most of the artists in this book succeed in providing powerful and original interpretations of the songs themselves.
The strips in the book can be divided into two categories: those that try to illustrate the song line by line and those that use the song as a starting point from which to head off in their own direction. Of the latter category, I was impressed by Thierry Murat’s take on Blowin’ in the Wind, which refreshes what is probably Dylan’s most familiar song by rewriting the lyrics to concentrate on the imagery itself. Each page has three broad panels illustrating an image from the song; so, for the first verse, you see a road, an oceans and birds. It’s a nice way of illustrating poetry, since lines like “How many years must a mountain exist/ Before it’s washed to the sea?” aren’t really metaphor or allegory but simply the thing itself. Murat cuts off the latter half of each question (so he asks, for example, “How many roads?”) and alters the over-familiar refrain. You can’t ask for more than a new way of looking at a song whose power has been blunted by too much repetition. Murat’s black crayon on white paper is well suited to the stark subject matter.
A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Falll is from the same album and similarly works as a series of stark and provocative images. Yet it also has a nightmarish, visionary quality that Blowin’ in the Wind doesn’t have. Since it’s a list song, asking a traveller what he’s seen on his travels, Lorenzo Mattotti’s choice of a panel-by-panel adaptation is effective. His use of strange, chalk colors and exaggerated or misshapen proportions are entirely suited to the song’s disturbing, dream-like, almost Biblical imagery. My complaint would be that, like many people, he understands “Hard Rain” too literally as atomic warfare, an interpretation denied by Dylan in a 1963 interview with Studs Terkel.
One I enjoyed that is more of a “free adaptation” of the song was Nicolas Nemiri’s I Want You. This is one of Dylan’s best songs from his free-flowing “wild mercury” period in the mid 1960s, full of unforgettable imagery like “Your dancing child with his Chinese suit/ He spoke to me, I took his flute.” Nemiri wisely avoids the trap fallen into by his fellow adaptors Bezian and Alfred, illustrating Tombstone Blues and Like a Rolling Stone, of trying to interpret the words literally. Instead he concentrates on capturing the spirit of the song itself, a lone man dashing across a pastel-colored night-time city to be with the one he loves, and achieves the best interplay between Dylan’s words and art in the whole collection. He also draws out the essential melancholy nature of what can seem simply an exuberant love song: if Dylan “wants” the titular girl, he must not have her at the moment.
Also deserving of a special mention is Jean-Claude Gotting’s Lay, Lady, Lay. He takes what is a simple, direct and erotic song of yearning and turns it into two simple, direct, erotic and heartfelt pages. It was refreshing to see one cartoonist not be bound in by Dylan’s words but simply use them as inspiration.
By far the best part of the book is Dave McKean’s Desolation Row. Who better to illustrate one of Dylan’s longest, and certainly darkest and weirdest songs than the guy who did covers for THE SANDMAN? His art, mixing photographs, computer manipulation, painting and drawing, perfectly matches the carnivalesque collage imagery of the song, of which he adapts a surprising amount (including the Einsten/Robin Hood/monk/alphabet bit). Like Gotting, McKean leaves out most of the words, apart from reported speech, thus avoiding the danger of the strip seeming like karaoke sing-a-long accompaniment.
Hurricane and Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door were refreshing, because they tell stories, making them more readily suited to comic book adaptation. Jean-Philippe Bramanti’s Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door was amusing among the more abstract company because the song itself is all dialogue (finally, a speech balloon!); and I liked his interpretation of the “knocking” as a cowboy entering a celestial saloon. It was also nice to see two chapters that fit into traditional comics genres: crime and cowboys. Why weren’t more story songs included? Dylan has many that would suit illustration—just look at the DESIRE album, or Tangled Up in Blue.
Not every effort was successful: the adaptation of Like a Rolling Stone seems woefully feeble compared to the power of Dylan’s original recording and Christopher’s Positively 4th Street makes the mistake of sympathising with the subject when Dylan’s song is a hymn of hate. But most of this collection is beautifully illustrated and does a better job of adapting Dylan than I could have expected. Just one question: no Ballad of a Thin Man? And one challenge: try adapting Foot of Pride, smart-@$$es.

BRIGHTEST DAY #1

Writers: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi Artists: Ivan Reis, Pat Gleason, Ardian Syaf, Scott Clark, Joe Prado Inkers: Vicente Cifuentes, Mark Irwin, Oclair Albert, David Beaty Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Johnny Destructo

Shit ain't right. Yup, that's about the size of it. During The Blackest Night, when I first heard that The Brightest Day was coming, I was mildly concerned. After all, how intriguing could a story about the happy days of DC really be? However, don't let the title fool you, things aren't going so well for everyone. Those that were brought back at the climax of BN are experiencing some glitches: Aquaman is still summoning the dead creatures of the sea, which then go on murderous rampages; Ronnie Raymond & Jason Rusch are fused together and can't separate, as much as they'd like to; J'onn J’onzz is experiencing haunting visions; and someone is pulling a yoink on Hawkman and Hawkgirl's original corpses. All told, it's badnewsbears for the characters in BRIGHTEST DAY.
This was a fine continuation of BRIGHTEST DAY (why was #0 numbered as such? They could have just called that one #1 and made this #2, really. I worry that they're gonna start the next series with a "-1"). Green Lantern, Sinestro and Star Sapphire aren't given much to do but stand around in a crater and stare at the newly-formed White Lantern, though we do discover that neither Yellowpanties or Greenie can lift the damn thing, so that's important. Looks like we're to assume that the only one who can actually carry it is Deadman, who is now lovingly being referred to as Aliveman and is still bouncing around, helplessly watching the resurrected's shenanigans, making him the unwilling Creepy Uncle of the DCU. His first stop this ish involved Aquaman and Mera taking apart some kidnappers, which, I gotta say, was a very interesting and fun sequence! I have no real love for Gills, but this little bit was pretty awesome, especially the double page spread of the undead giant squid putting the lovin' squeeze on the baddy's ship. And major kudos to whichever Colorist worked on this scene because dagnabbit, them's some pretty pages. Check out the way Arthur's suit shines in the sun, with little flares reflecting all around him. Most objects aren't just the base color that you'd expect (which is par for the course in the rest of the issue); here every object is given texture and color layered over color, to give each piece a weight and substance that the rest of the book's coloring seems to be lacking. Truly stunning color work.
This fishy fiasco doesn't go unnoticed, as Black Manta catches wind of it and decides the best reaction is to give up his life as a Massachusetts seafood clerk and murder a bunch of folks in a rage.
Meanwhile, we get two pages of Ronnie and Jason (Firestorm) bickering back and forth for two pages before they come across The Atom and Prof. Stein who appear to have some bad news. On the screens behind them are various incarnations of Firestorm, which I'm sure is there to offer some hint as to the bad news, but damned if I know what it is. I can wager a guess that Ronnie and Jason are gonna be stuck together for quite some time though, which ought to make for a very interesting dynamic, since the Black Lantern version of Ronnie murdered Jason's lady. Awwwwwkward situation to say the least!
And since this is all still just set-up, we also get a whole bunch of not much from The Martian Manhunter, who is on Mars, starting to make it inhabitable, beginning with some plant-life, when he's interrupted by a very direct psychic flash of him murdering the man who brought him to Earth (which never happened.) He also half-transforms into his Black Lantern self, which can't be good.
Throw in the long-time archnemesis of Hawkman and Hawkgirl, Hath-Set, making a one panel appearance, and you have...a beginning. While there isn't enough here to let me decide if this series is going to be worthwhile in the long run, it is definitely intriguing enough to get me to pick up issue #2. And if the art maintains this sort of talent pool, I think we're in for some pretty looking books.
Historically, I haven't given a boogens about ANY of these resurrected characters (except for Hal, but he doesn't count, does he?) but Johns and Tomasi have made their returns something worth reading. And for something called BRIGHTEST DAY, it's still pretty damn dark in the DCU.
JD can be found hosting the PopTards Podcast, discussing movies, comics and other flimflam over at www.poptardsgo.com, graphically designing/illustrating for a living, and Booking his Face off over here.

THE SIXTH GUN #1 (Free Comic Book Day Edition)

Writer: Cullen Bunn Artist: Brian Hurtt Publisher: Oni Press Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

I don’t know what it is with the two gentlemen responsible for this book but they really know how to work the idea of the mystical. After coming off THE DAMNED for Oni, a book that I very much enjoyed for its use of demons and lore in a “Roaring’ 20’s” chic, it was a no brainer for me to pick up (for free!) their pushing of a new title in a similar vein, this time in another one of my favorite backdrops, the Old West. At the least, I think I appreciate just the balls of such an endeavor. While I’m sure there was plenty of superstition and supernatural paranoia running loose on the plains during that time period, rarely does that make an appealing…well, anything. Look at the Jonah Hex movie trailer and you’ll know what I mean. But here we are, and we’re with two gents who once churned out two great mini’s about demon gangsters trying to work their genre-blending magic once again (for free!) and it’s looking like the crazy bastards may have pulled it off one more time.
What I liked most about this issue, and hope this becomes the norm for the title once it is up and running, is how it throws a lot of cool little fantastical scenes at you to get you involved. In the first four pages alone we’re treated to shots of headshrinkers, an image of some skeleton strewn tomb with a haunted lantern of some sort, and, most macabre, a haunted lynching tree. Right off the bat on a book that I was not sure what to anticipate it would be bringing to the table bombards me with so many images of places I want to see visited within its pages. It’s a fantastic lead in to what elements this book will be playing with and immediately piqued my interest.
From there onward the book did well to set up the human element of this book. We get a look into the actions and attitude of Drake Sinclair, who I am to assume will be one of our leads, and who is also a bit of a bastard, which should make things interesting. And next was Becky, a slip of a thing who gets to watch her father die as a lot of bad men come for the object that is the title of this adventure, the Sixth Gun. And then there’s a bunch of heavily armed monks waving fucking an old-school minigun around as they try and fend off an attack by the vile bastards who really want the Sixth Gun back. Just for good measure, and just for a bit of fun I could tell Bunn and Hurtt must have had coming up with the sequence, which is appreciated given that the rest of the book can be seen as a little dour.
There are a lot of great elements going on here though, and I’m excited to see more. I love the setting, I’m interested to see more about the lore of this version of the Old West, more importantly focused on the history of this Sixth Gun, and I’m curious to see just how much of a bastard Drake Sinclair is going to be if he indeed is going to be one of our leads. That’s always such a fine line to dance, especially since our other hero(ine) looks to be a sweet little thing; how she plays off Sinclair should be interesting to say the least. But this first issue played out extremely well, and it looks gorgeous as I’ve come to expect from Brian Hurtt. I don’t think his art is in either way affected by it finally coming in color, but I think for such a book that is going to be traveling to more “colorful” settings, the move to color was a wise one. This was a great (and free!) opening package that sets an excellent pace to what I hope will become a perpetual “top of the stack” read as it unfolds.
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.

iZOMBIE #1

Written: Chris Roberson Artisit: Mike Allred Publisher: DC Vertigo Reviewer: Optimous Douche

I have to hand it to Vertigo, their $1 entrance price into new titles has been like a nerd pheromone luring me away from my usual comic comfort zone of spandex and battle royales.
This frugal ensnarement allowed CHEW to sink its teeth into my pull list, and I'll tell you now, it wasn't SWEET TOOTH'S doe eyes on the cover that got the booked tucked inside my messenger bag. Likewise with iZOMBIE, it wasn't the trendy i in front of the even more trendy term zombie. Quite frankly it was great value even if the book sucked worse than an Ed Wood flick. If there was crappy art inside, chances are I would have found some redeeming quality in the story. Crappy story, merely ogle the art and call it a day. All in all you have still derived about twenty minutes of entertainment for less than a pack of bubble gum. Fortunately iZOMBIE will be able to stand well on its own after the inevitable price hike we will see on issue two.
The best way to encapsulate iZOMBIE at the highest level is a "Twin Peaks" meets the aforementioned CHEW. Take an eclectic cast of Pacific North Westerners, including a ghost from the 60s, a werewolf that is more cuddly than ferocious and of course our zombie heroine Gwen. As is the fashion these days, Roberson has deified what is traditionally demonized and gives Gwen an escape clause from being, well...a zombie. As long as she staves off her hunger with brains (fresh or otherwise) she can pass for a normal, if slightly purple, regular ole' gal. The CHEW facet of this is tale is derived from Gwen's unique ability to absorb the memories of her dinner as well as the vitamins.
Roberson sets up a nice little mystery by the end of this introductory tale and team Allred does what they do best: invoke silver age pencil styles and hues minus the innocence.
While I enjoyed this introductory tale I do have a couple of "complaints" and a little bit of constructive criticism. I'm going to assume that Roberson and Allred are riffing on Asimov's "I Robot" and Gwen's operating system can in fact run both Flash and Quicktime. The small "i" felt more like a marketing ploy than an artistic choice. Really guys, the "i" these days is synonymous with personalized technology not a first-person tale.
I will also warn not to fall into the "Twilight" trap. I would rather be faced with a horde of real zombies over a mob of pissed off zombie fans. I don't claim to be an expert, but other than the fact Gwen likes to snack on the human cerebellum, there wasn't a lot of zombie in a book that leverages the name in the title. I realize the story well for the monsters of yore is starting to run dry, and I'm OK with experimentation into a softer side of what were once the stuff of nightmare. At some point, though, we need to see the evil in these characters. Personally, I have no love of Zombies, I'd be willing to give the book a good 10 or so issues before I will really need to see Gwen in dire straits and start to transform. I can guarantee though that true fans of the genre will not be so tolerant.
All in all a good first run, just give us a little more zombie. Hell, even if it's a guest appearance by Rob Zombie.
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.

PUNISHER MAX # 6

Writer: Jason Aaron Artist: Steve Dillon Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: William

While I am aware that this issue had recently been reviewed by another poster two weeks ago, I finally managed to obtain a copy from my local comic book store just last week. After reading it and realizing how truly great this issue was, why not review it again so that others could get a fresh perspective on the matter you know?
To begin with, after reading this comic I found that the strength of a Punisher comic comes not from the actions of this stoic hero, but rather the interesting stories surrounding his villains. Let’s face it, the Punisher alone is very bland. He points, he shoots, he frowns a lot, he essentially gets the job done with the least amount of conflict or emotions involved. Instead Marvel is smart enough to follow the George Lucas model, where Lucas injects a rich assortment of sub-characters to keep the stories truly going. Count Dooku, Boba Fett, Jango Fett, Zam Wessel, Darth Maul, Grievous, etc., how many comics and novels and cartoons have now been weaved around these rich characters? It’s so that before you know it, one realizes that anything involving the main characters is somewhere a few pages back, and you never even missed them.
Such is the case with the Punisher comics. One has to only look at the Ma Gnucci, Barracuda, the Russian, etc., stories to realize that the Punisher hardly even shows up in them, but they‘re still great Punisher comics nonetheless. Now a few weeks back I had criticized this aspect within my review for PUNISHER: BUTTERFLY. I had mentioned how writer Valerie D’Orazio fails to make this a Punisher comic due to him only appearing in two pages. Before being called a hypocrite, I must point out though that the fault in Valerie’s tale is two-fold. One is that the sub-character Valerie injected, Butterfly, was a confusing (but promising) mess. There was little sway won over by the reader on Butterfly. Secondly, Valerie failed to do the most important thing with sub-characters. The reason why all the other aforementioned stories (and this issue) worked is because those sub-characters’ actions still involved the Punisher somehow. The Punisher may not have been in a scene with the Kingpin or Bullseye, but he was certainly still on their mind throughout most of their acts. It’s like with Khan in that second “Star Trek” movie. He actually has so little screen time, but his presence is still felt throughout the movie due to all the actions everyone takes around him.
This is what writer Jason Aaron continues to do with the introduction of Bullseye within the Punisher Max universe. Right off the bat we get a villain who, early on during a contract hit, uses a bathroom break to crap out a gun hidden within his ass, and then proceeds to kill everyone and his target with it. And now that the Kingpin has hired this formidable villain to get rid of the Punisher, am I interested in seeing how this story plays out throughout the rest of the issues? You better believe it, even if the Punisher only shows up once every 5 pages or so. That is the strength of a good Punisher comic, where the sum of all the surrounding parts equals one good story.
I strongly recommend this comic, and its continuing issues, for any Punisher fan out there. Be warned though that it’s highly adult-oriented; lots of blood, lots of swearing, occasional nudity. So much so that in requesting the previous issue, my comic book store’s owner mentioned that Marvel doesn’t reprint these issues because other comic book stores consider them under that category of comics usually reserved for T&A and Playboys. Strange but true.

Ambush Bug back again with another handful of indie goodness for you to gobble up…or scroll past, if yer yella. Don’t be yella. Check these worthwhile indies out!

ZOMBIE BOMB Vol. 1 Terminal Press

There are many zombie books out there, but few are this successful at being entertaining. From comedy bits that ask the unaskable like “How long does it take a person eaten by a zombie to wake up and become a zombie?” to dead serious spine tinglers about the walking dead. There’s even an amazing pin up gallery and a prose piece in this one which marries sci fi and zombie fiction. If you are a zombie fan like me, you will devour this one when it hits the stands just in time for this year’s San Diego Comic Con this July.

ROGER CORMAN’S BATTLE AMONGST THE STARS #2 Bluewater Comics

Space battles, evil dictators, laser rifle blasts, and a pretty sweet torture scene. It’s everything you’d ever want in a prequel to the Roger Corman classic BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS. Fans of the cult classic will eat that up, but I found this book to be just as digestible for newcomers like myself too. Writer Martin Fisher shows he knows this universe very well and is in the middle of a pretty sweet space adventure. Plus it’s got a spaceship with a huge rack in the front. How can you not check this one out?

DEAD HEAD COMICKS: STILL BIRTH Vol. 1 96 Eyes Comicks

So what if Kick-Ass existed in the Marvel Universe? That’s kind of the premise of this comic as we follow a powerless hero who repeatedly can’t catch a break until he meets an unmotivated stoner with the power to do just about anything. Toss in a talking ape for shits and giggles and you have DEAD HEAD COMICKS. Though the writer could use a spell check, this is a surprisingly entertaining read. The story goes all ROSHOMON on our asses, telling the story from three different perspectives in the first three issues of this trade, yet keeps the fun flowing from one page to the next. Written by Sebastien Ragnier and Nadim, with art by Nadim. This is a comic full of potential and despite the crude lettering, it’s something you should seek out if you liked KICK-ASS and are thirsty for more.

STARMAKER: LEVIATHAN #2 – 3 Dare Comics

Adam Hamdy offers up international intrigue with a hint of trippy cosmic power in this well crafted thriller. Hamdy’s second issue involves an intense jet fighter battle that had me on the edge of my mousepad. Issue 3 deals with the ramifications of that battle and something ominous on the horizon. Hamdy is keeping the power close to his vest and only hints at it from the outside, building tension masterfully. I can’t wait to see how this intricately constructed story unfolds. The art by David Golding is about as crisp and clean as you can get. All in all, a fantastic effort from Dare Comics with the trade to be released very soon.
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 #21: WITCHFINDER GENERAL on sale July 2010. Fanboy Radio recently interviewed Bug about it here. Order VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS #21 in May's Diamond Catalog order # MAY10 0828.

BRIGHTEST DAY #1 DC Comics

Comic Books revolve around mysteries. Whether your hero will live or die, the cliffhangers, to the question of whether your favorite writer will piss you off. A comic of this ilk isn’t the type of mystery that gets resolved by the next issue; in fact this comic forces you to ask multiple questions that get larger and gain steam as the comic goes on. Some people don’t like this and that feeling is understandable. Some mysteries can get so caught up so far in the non reveal that a reader gets bored and no longer cares who the fucking Red Hulk is because we know good and damn well the reveal won’t be as shocking as the writer wishes. The mystery of this book revolves around the end of Blackest Night and the heroes who were brought back to life without any cosmic, religious or lantern related reason. Why are they here and do we fucking care? These are the questions that may be revealed by the end of this comic and I for one am along for the ride. I’ll sum it up for you like this: the recently no longer Deadman…uh…Deadman seems to be the tether that runs through these different characters’ lives but why…hmmm. Aquaman is alive but afraid of something (yet to be revealed…black lantern-related for sure) and can now only control dead sea animals (kinda cool actually)…hmmm. Martian Manhunter is in the process of rebuilding Mars when he has an eerie vision of him strangling Michael McDonald (makes sense--I hate that guy’s voice)…hmmm. Hawkman and Hawkgirl have noticed that someone has stolen their bones (yes, they are alive but there are alternate bones that belong to them that aren’t housed within their skin…another mystery that probably won’t be talked about) and they’re deeply in love despite their inevitable death and rebirth…hmm. The new Firestorm is now fused with the old Firestorm but the new Firestorm is mad at the old Firestorm because he, as a black Lantern, turned his boo into salt…hmmm. Max Lord is working on something big…hmmm. Deadman is confused…hmmm. Also no one can lift the White Lantern Battery…hmm. I’ve said this before but I like DC’s aftermath a lot better then the big events. This mystery has me hooked! (for now…) - KletusCasady

HELLBOY IN MEXICO #1 One Shot Dark Horse

Hellboy stories vary between grand end-of-the-world epics and smaller, lighter (relatively speaking) action romps. I’ll give you one guess which category HELLBOY IN MEXICO falls into. Stranded with Abe Sapien in Mexico following an unspecified mission (I really want to know who or what is in that trunk) Hellboy finds himself telling Abe the story of his last trip south of the border. It’s a story of devil holes, vampires and Mexican wrestlers. So, you know, a typical trip to Mexico. While not exactly a groundbreaking story, it’s a bit of good fun. For me the whole thing was worth it for the laugh I got at the image of Hellboy passed out drunk in a cantina wearing a sombrero (that should be done up in greater detail as a poster--I’d buy it in a heartbeat). So if you’re looking for a bleak story of a fight against ultimate doom and destruction, you can give this one a pass. If however you’d like to get a bit sh*tfaced with Hellboy and some masked wrestler, then throw down with some vamps, you’ve come to the right place. - Jinxo

FRANK FRAZETTA (1928-2010)

By Professor Challenger

I never met Frank Frazetta, but I wish I had. Yesterday, after word started making the rounds through the various internet channels, many people were sharing their moments; their experiences, with the man. I recommend everyone to click here for Jimmy Palmiotti’s personal experience meeting his hero. Last year, I heard Bernie Wrightson on a panel in Dallas tell a story of meeting Frazetta back when (I think) Bernie was just 17. The key thing about all the stories I’ve heard about Frazetta is that they are uniformly positive. There is nothing like meeting your lifelong hero and discovering that not only is he or she human and approachable but that they are willing to humbly embrace you and demonstrate true friendship and sometimes even mentorship. I know this from my own life experience with the late Philip Jose’ Farmer. Frazetta was one of those heroes of mine that I guess I mistakenly believed would live forever…that I had time still to maybe one day make the trek to his museum and possibly have an opportunity to shake his hand. That’s all I ever really wanted…an opportunity to shake his hand and say “thanks.” But that’s not ever going to happen.
Many people in the various art fields are considered “greats” and “masters,” but few of those are truly that. Frazetta was a once-in-a-lifetime prodigy of artistic power. He has been copied and imitated and has inspired more than one generation of artists and illustrators but no one alive has matched or exceeded his innate ability. His cartooning skills were unparalleled. He could range in one sitting from the lush illustration style of Hal Foster to goofy big-foot style of E.C. Segar. He rarely used photo references, preferring to rely on his own incredible imagination. He trusted his instincts when he taught himself to paint. The power found in his paintings show the bold strokes and colors of someone not trained to observe “rules” or to over-intellectualize the work but instead he went by instinct and what he created are illustrations that are equally fine art as well as illustration. Where Norman Rockwell transcended illustration to touch people’s nostalgic fantasies of Americana, Frazetta transcended illustration to tap the deepest and boldest imaginations buried in the collective psyche of the entire world. Packed with raw sexuality and danger and power…Frazetta’s art single-handedly and essentially created the modern art of science-fiction and fantasy book covers as works of art.
At one point, Frazetta’s covers outsold the competition so dramatically that publishers were buying his art and then commissioning books based on the cover or even slapping them on books that had nothing to do with the cover. Frazetta had no apparent limitations on what he could do. He succeeded in every new endeavor. Comic strips? Comic books? Movie posters? Mad Magazine? Book covers? Films? Album covers? Frazetta mastered them all. He was blessed with artistic success and never seemed satisfied to stagnate, even as he got older and beset with health problems that led to the loss of his ability to paint using his right hand. Frazetta, the fighter, retrained himself to paint with his left hand and produced works that were the equal of anything he had done before. His absence in this world is a loss to the entire world. And even though I never had the opportunity to meet the man, his work has been a part of my artistic experience as far back as I can remember and I feel sadness at his passing.
Brooklyn born and raised, Frank Frazetta was a natural scrapper who finally met his match on May 10, 2010. He was a tough guy with an artist’s heart and a fondness for beautiful women. He married Eleanor Kelly (Ellie) in 1956, and she preceded him in death last year. He is survived by three sisters, Carol, Adel and Jeanie; two sons, Alfonso Frank Frazetta (Frank Jr.), and William Frazetta; two daughters, Heidi Grabin, and Holly Frazetta; and 11 grandchildren.
Rest in peace, Frank Frazetta...and Godspeed.

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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  • May 12, 2010, 11:04 a.m. CST

    FIRST

    by Chairman_of_the_Borg

    And first-time comment, too!

  • May 12, 2010, 11:05 a.m. CST

    OK, so now what?

    by Chairman_of_the_Borg

    What's the big deal about FIRST?

  • May 12, 2010, 11:05 a.m. CST

    first

    by torpedoboy

    first?

  • May 12, 2010, 11:08 a.m. CST

    New Krypton

    by Rommel Catuncan

    The occasional haphazard artwork is something I notice while reading New Krypton stuff. Superman does suddenly change in appearance and I go, oh they got a new guy (drawing). I find this series entertaining and accessible for the most part but from what I've read so far it doesn't really go beyond that. I do like seeing Krypton culture and technology.

  • May 12, 2010, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Why are there...

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    ... two Brightest Day reviews? Surely there must be enough comics out there that the @ssholes don't have to review the same shit twice?

  • May 12, 2010, 11:21 a.m. CST

    WOTS . . .

    by oaser

    Blows. James Robinson has made Superman impotent. I've found the level of mediocrity in the writing appalling. Superman should be the pinnacle of superheroes in the DCU. Instead, he farts around like an old man waiting to die. I think Superman needs a "Brand New Day" type reboot. At least it would resurrect this character. Remember "The Death of Superman"? It's still going on.

  • May 12, 2010, 11:24 a.m. CST

    New Krypton...

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    ... has been good enough. Not awesome, not awful. This War of the Supermen thing seems to be about the same level. It was good to see Superman do a "Planet Hulk" and take a break from Metropolis for a while, makes for interesting reading. I only worry that it's taken a bit of the mystique away from Krypton having all these Kryptonians flying about the place. And Nightwing and Flamebird were a tad on the lame side.

  • May 12, 2010, 11:26 a.m. CST

    No Ghostbuster 3 comic news?I´m out.......

    by theDannerDaliel

  • May 12, 2010, 11:26 a.m. CST

    I just hope that by the end of WOTS...

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    ... the only Kryptonians that survive are Superman and Zod and his cronies. And Supergirl too I guess, but I wouldn't really be too bothered if she bit the speeding bullet.

  • May 12, 2010, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Nightwing and Flamebird, Mon-El

    by Rommel Catuncan

    Yes, I found it hard to get into N&F, as well the Mon-El storyline (though I feel sorry for the poor guy.) Kryptonians flying around does take away from Superman being Superman but it was interesting seeing him as one of his people.

  • May 12, 2010, 11:35 a.m. CST

    I do want them gone at some point too though lol

    by Rommel Catuncan

    The Kandorians.

  • May 12, 2010, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Supergirl gets a Mexican 5-star?

    by Abominable Snowcone

    I'm in.

  • May 12, 2010, 12:12 p.m. CST

    P. Gunslinger

    by KletusCassidy

    The reason for the double up is my fault. i had started to write that Brightest Day review then i found out someone else had done it but i didn't have time to write something else. completely my fault. I'll be back in full form next week!b e w a r e....

  • May 12, 2010, 12:16 p.m. CST

    That Cat in Frazetta Pic 2 Will Give Me Nightmares

    by Aquatarkusman

    I think they put out a feature-length documentary about his life and work 6-8 years ago.

  • May 12, 2010, 12:24 p.m. CST

    I didn't read any of these...

    by Joenathan

    Anyone have thoughts on Marvel's upcoming Shadowlands thing?

  • May 12, 2010, 12:26 p.m. CST

    I don't know...

    by wampa 1

    ...but it sure smells good!

  • May 12, 2010, 1:10 p.m. CST

    what's shadowlands?

    by Ambush Bug

    Haven't heard about it yet.

  • May 12, 2010, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Shadowlands....

    by BangoSkank

    It's got me interested... I gave up on both Daredevil and Spiderman a while back, so if they can shake things up, I'd love to return to "New York Streets" family o'books.

  • May 12, 2010, 1:24 p.m. CST

    New Ultimates #2

    by SteadyUP

    http://www.helikitty.com/hac

  • May 12, 2010, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Superman...

    by Laserhead

    ...when Johns had to bow out of the regular storylines. Now James Robinson continues to prove he's the worst comics writer since Chuck Austen. Starman Omnibus Vol. 4 has the most macabre and self-obsessed introduction and afterword yet. Which is saying something.

  • May 12, 2010, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Sorry

    by Laserhead

    The above should say "Superman... ...went to crap when Johns had to bow out of the regular storylines."

  • May 12, 2010, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Ambush....

    by BangoSkank

    All I know is that it's a miniseries/crossover involving Dare-Devil, Spider-Man, Moon Knight, Punisher, and what appears to be a shit-load of ninjas.

  • May 12, 2010, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Say, is anybody reading all this Fall of the Hulks stuff?

    by rev_skarekroe

    Because I'm very intrigued by the dream team of brainy super-villains and if it's any good I'll start picking up the trades when they come out.

  • May 12, 2010, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Shadowlands

    by Joenathan

    Apparently Daredevil used the Hand to take over Hell's Kitchen and has kicked out the cops and the capes and set up a prison of his own, I guess... so, Marvel's street level heroes like Cage and Iron Fist and Misty Knight and going to start having problems with this and Matt and... I don't know, sounds like it could be fun.

  • May 12, 2010, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Frazetta

    by Chuck_Chuckwalla

    Nicely written. I'm in the same boat, I never got to meet him, shake his hand and say 'thanks.' I will make the trek to his museum though.

  • May 12, 2010, 3:27 p.m. CST

    I'm digging Fall of the Hulks, Rev...

    by letsfightinglove

    ...except I keep getting confused about WHEN certain events are happening, but then again I'm easily confused. I like how they explained all the seemingly stupid random stuff Rulk was doing as "all part of the plan".

  • May 12, 2010, 6:01 p.m. CST

    I like Fall of the Hulks so far

    by drewlicious

    I have to give them credit for justifying some of the stuff that didn't work in the first place, kind of like what they do in "Lost." You know, where something random and confusing happens and its all part of the plan? In other news I just read the tail end of "The Siege." Not bad, the buildup was better than the finale if you ask me. I was hoping for something more clever than what happened but I'm satisfied.

  • May 12, 2010, 6:48 p.m. CST

    Sequel to "The Dark Knight"

    by dcsmith

    I've written a full screenplay called "Batman: Revelations" that serves as a sequel to "The Dark Knight". The opening scene is someone catching up with Coleman Reese and asking him... questions. I'm looking for opinsions from fellow film lovers. Find the whole script at: http://tinyurl.com/378ew9n

  • May 12, 2010, 6:50 p.m. CST

    Starman Vol. 1 foreward: most shocking Goose moment ever

    by gooseud

    My most shocking comics moment ever wasnt any of Walking Dead's numerous plot twists. It wasnt Punisher's death to Daken. It wasnt the return of Bucky. No, my most truly shocking comics moment ever was ready the fore/afterward to Starman Omnibus Vol. 1., and being exposed to James Robinson's (a writer I previously respected for Starman, if nothing else) epic levels of ego and douchery. I literally was so stunned that the editor had actually let him publish it without stepping in and saying "Hey James, maybe you oughta think this one over a bit". Seeing him shit all over Tony Harris, a guy seemingly universally loved and respected by the comics community, to satisfy some imagined grudge 15 years in the making over who got full credit for Starman was jaw dropping, to say the least. Hey James, in case you havent noticed, Ex Machina has won basically every award there is to win, while your work on Supes has been near-universally shat on. Think about it, you douchenozzle.

  • May 12, 2010, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Oh, and Irredeemable

    by gooseud

    Goose's faith is justified. I told everyone it was gonna get awesome!!

  • May 12, 2010, 7:01 p.m. CST

    Anybody Gotten Through Siege and "Fallen" Yet? <Spoilers>

    by evolution1085

    I read through Siege and its epilogue today, and the funeral for the Sentry doesn't jive at all with the Dark Avengers tie-in for Siege. I'm supposed to believe a bipolar junky who kept his wife in terror for their marriage and basically had to be ganked by the whole of superherodom deserves adulation and respect from Stark, Richards, etc? Seems to be a big disconnect between the two stories

  • May 12, 2010, 8:41 p.m. CST

    Too bad about Firestorm "conflict" direction

    by njscribe44

    Jason and Ronnie actually got along well during their appearance in the last Firestorm monthly series. Now it looks like conflict over a death that wasn't RR's fault.

  • May 12, 2010, 10:10 p.m. CST

    Siege/Fallen

    by Jinxo

    SPOILERS: Only read the end of Siege yet but there is a key to why Sentry being a crazy villain and them mourning him can work. The thing is the true power behind The Sentry is The Void. He is the bad. But Bob Reynolds who was host to this entity was in fact separate from him. Bob was never looking to kill and maime everyone, it was The Void who truly was not Bob. And while his real backstory establishes that Bob actually started out as a weak willed junkie not filled with self-confidence, he wasn't the devil. And in his final moments he willingly asked the heroes to kill him to save the world. So, they did know the man and in that final moment he stepped up and did heroically ask them to kill him to kill The Void.<br><br> Although... if he had the power of a thousand exploding suns, I'm not sure the best way to dispose of him is to throw him into THE SUN! "Hey, the Hulk is dead... I think the best way to dispose of the body is to drop a gamma bomb on it. I'm sure nothing will go wrong with that..."

  • May 12, 2010, 10:23 p.m. CST

    Siege ending was a huge letdown!

    by bat725

    SPOILER ALERT: Iron Man beats him by dropping the SHIELD hellicarrier on him. Really? I call BULLSHIT!

  • May 12, 2010, 10:38 p.m. CST

    Siege ending

    by Jinxo

    It did seem odd that the powers of the gods couldn't stop him but the helicarrier could. What I did like was Iron Man's f-you to the crew. "Anybody on board you have 10 seconds to get off the helicarrier and at least a mile away or you're dead because I'm blowing you all up! Have a nice day!"

  • May 12, 2010, 10:48 p.m. CST

    Jinxo

    by evolution1085

    The other thing I'm thinking, sadly, is that nobody but Lindy/Osborne knew the true story of who Robert Reynolds ultimately was, especially once you get through Fallen and they bring back some of the characters from the original Sentry miniseries and they mourn him in the "good guy battling his demons", but I guess the whole point of the character was "what if superman was a crackwhore", but I never liked the Sentry to begin with anyway, always seemed like he was the macguffin to wipe out a problem the avengers "couldn't handle", but i digress... As for the Thor essentially taking him out after the Hellicallier missile, definitely anticlimatic, especially considering magically suped up heroes didn't seem to make a dent in him to begin with... for now I'm just hoping that Osborn's taken care of with at least a modicum of legitimacy/common sense, and then bring on the "heroic age"

  • May 13, 2010, 12:40 a.m. CST

    One of Marvels really big mistakes

    by NippleEffect

    was to bring osborn back

  • May 13, 2010, 1:24 a.m. CST

    Big Mistakes

    by Jinxo

    As far as I'm concerned, all things Spider-Man related (with the exception of Ultimate Spidey) are things I try to ignore as much as possible. I am still one bitter, bitter Spidey-reboot bastard. I known Norman's return was not part of that but, hey, chuck it on the pile.

  • May 13, 2010, 5:04 a.m. CST

    New Krypton / War of Supermen

    by LaserPants

    So far I'm digging the whole thing, but it feels like it coulda been so much more. That said, it's a solid story, just not quite the Epic I was hoping for.<br><br>I was really hoping we'd get to see Kara go into a blind, nationalistic rage and kick the crap outta Earth. But, sadly, Kal convinced her to be all heroic. Dang!

  • May 13, 2010, 5:07 a.m. CST

    SIEGE Was Another Big WHATever From Marvel

    by LaserPants

    Bendis is the worst writer in comics today. Nobody notices how terrible he is because he has incredible artists to cover up his 3rd grade writing style. He's TERRIBLE.

  • May 13, 2010, 5:11 a.m. CST

    Meanwhile, BLACKEST NIGHT / BRIGHTEST DAY Rules

    by LaserPants

    DC, Johns, Tomasi, and others show Marvel how to do series of event books. It's really, really good.

  • May 13, 2010, 5:21 a.m. CST

    Return of Bruce Wayne

    by LaserPants

    Another winner. Though the Bruce Wayne unstuck-in-time / Slaughterhouse 5 thing is reminiscent of Cap's return, it's also better, crazier, weirder, and brilliantly written (I loved the cavemen dialect and what Bruce's modern English sounded like to them). I can't wait to see where this goes. Morrison rules. Even if Final Crisis was on the weak side, it had some really cool ideas and really awesomely weird happenings; an otherwise iffy book from a writer who mainly creates genius again and again.

  • May 13, 2010, 5:22 a.m. CST

    One of Marvels even bigger mistakes

    by LaserPants

    was letting Bendis write anything.

  • May 13, 2010, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Yeah, Blackest Night was 10x better than Siege

    by bat725

    What the fuck is wrong with Marvel these days? And the Heroic Age? I've seen the previews for Avengers...Spidey and Wolverine are STILL on the fucking team!

  • May 13, 2010, 8:45 a.m. CST

    Heroic Age *Could* Be Cool, But You Know It'll End Up Sucking

    by LaserPants

    The last ish of Iron Man, bearing the Heroic Age banner, was very good, but that's because a good writer is writing the book. I'm sure the other books, helmed by Bendis and whomever other hacks Marvel hires, will SUCK, just like everything he does. (I'll give Secret Avengers a chance ONLY because Brubaker is writing it. He hasn't failed yet.)<br><br>But yeah, either way, aside from a few exceptions, Marvel keeps getting worse and worse and worse whilst DC, with guys like Johns, Tomasi, and Morrison, is totally kicking ass and getting better and better.

  • May 13, 2010, 9:34 a.m. CST

    iZombie a reference to I, Robot?

    by raw_bean

    Surely I, Robot was a reference to I, Claudius or some other earlier title.

  • May 13, 2010, 11:23 a.m. CST

    iZombie, I Robot

    by optimous_douche

    I'm sure Asimov can't patent the name, and I have no problems with a slew of "I" titles hitting the shelves.<p> But they used a small i as opposed to a capital I, that's where my beef lies.<p> Trendy merely for trendy's sake.

  • May 13, 2010, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Avengers

    by Joenathan

    Spider-man and Wolverine are on the team because they belong there... duh!

  • May 13, 2010, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Spidey maybe but Wolverine in the Avengers...

    by Continentalop

    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;....<br>is just Wrong!

  • May 13, 2010, 12:58 p.m. CST

    You know the Siege ending was bad when...

    by bat725

    ...not even the Marvel zombies can think of anything to defend it. Instead, all I hear is a collective "Fuck you, Bendis!"

  • May 13, 2010, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Tremble in fear AICN...

    by Cheeses_of_Nazareth

    kneel before the power &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;....<br>OF BOLDNESS!!!!

  • May 13, 2010, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Damn you BOLD!

    by Joenathan

    When will you reveal your secrets to me?!?!

  • May 13, 2010, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Bat725

    by Joenathan

    I haven't read it yet. I haven't been by the LCS this week.

  • May 13, 2010, 1:43 p.m. CST

    I'm with bat, not Joe!

    by Homer Sexual

    First off, I am proud like an addict getting clean that, for once, I was able to skip "events" and didn't read "Seige," despite wanting desperately to see the fall of Osborne. <p> And I was really looking forward to Heroic Age,but now I think I may end up only buying Avengers Academy. I'll check out Secret and New, but Joe...How can you say Wolverine "belongs" on Avengers. He's a friggin X-Man. At least Beast, way back when, wasn't in both teams at once,but now Wolverine is on THREE teams. I can stomach Spider-Man, because while over-exposed, this is his only team. <p> Beyond that, the lineups don't look good. I'll buy New Avengers since it has Spider-Woman and Luke Cage, but the token female (and token black) depress me. Even 30 years ago there were two women, at least, on the team at any given moment. <p> I have an idea. Let's make every team have Wolverine on it, and then add in Deadpool and Spider-Man. But also Iron Man since he's big right now. <p> I understand why Marvel wants Wolverine in everything, it's a business yada yada, but from a "fan" standpoint, that shit sucks! Sucks! And it isn't like I don't buy other books with Wolverine.. I do... but ENOUGH! Very disappointing!

  • May 13, 2010, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Fallen Sun and The Sentry

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Sucked my balls. A shit ending for the Sentry. What's the point of us hearing a load of supes mourn a guy who we never really got to see - the Sentry they talk about, a lovable bad chef who taught The Thing the difference between right and wrong, was never the Sentry that we, the reader, saw. We only saw him as a scitso junkie who was all-confident in some comics and a gibbering wreck in others. Thus none of this shit had any emotional conncection. They never quite made clear how much people remembered the Sentry from before and when exactly in Marvel continuity he left. Sometimes Stark and Richards treated him like a stranger they barely knew, and sometimes they treated him like a best chum. I did like The Sentry, but I never quite knew where I stood with the character. Probably better that he is dead - it ends the confusion at least.

  • May 13, 2010, 1:43 p.m. CST

    And...

    by Joenathan

    Wolverine totally belongs on the Avengers. He's a top level bad ass AND he's instantly recognizable. He fits the bill.

  • May 13, 2010, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Oh please...

    by Joenathan

    Because he's already on one team, he can't be on another...bah! Immaterial

  • May 13, 2010, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Gunslinger has a point

    by Joenathan

    BUT, the history of the Sentry as an awesome hero, despite us having never really experienced it, was retconned in as if it did happen, so WITHIN THE STORY, it makes sense for the characters to have that reaction. It's consistant with their world. Yes, it does highlight the flaw (one of them) of the Sentry, but it's a reality of MArvel that the Sentry was important to these characters. Did the writing support the Pathos... eh, your mileage may vary, but I blame that more on the early attempts to add Sentry as a real character that never really worked than on the later Dark Avengers slow slide into craziness character arc. I think this was the best thing for the Sentry as a Superman character just doesn't fit the MArvel U. The best thing for everyone was to get rid of the guy for good.

  • May 13, 2010, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Asgard goes BOOM again!

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Ok, one other thing. First Asgard is destroyed by the Sentry. All the heroes (as has been discussed here before) survive. I can live with that. <p> But then the helicarrier explodes right in the middle of it all.... and still everyone is fine! One moment ago all the heroes were standing directly below the Sentry, now they're all far enough away to survive a massive expolsion that decimates what's left of Asgard! <p> I know this is a comic book, but the whole thing was a bit ridiculous. another example of an overblown Bendis epic with very little sustenance.

  • May 13, 2010, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Teleport

    by Joenathan

    No Prize

  • May 13, 2010, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    I would rather have had the Marvel heroes lament the adventures they've had with the Sentry since he came back in New Avengers - as that's something I've actually seen. Like his fight with the Hulk and all that jazz. <p> Ah, a sneaky Irom Man teleport! I should have known.

  • May 13, 2010, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Joe, you are wrong about Wolverine. If you were right...

    by Continentalop

    &thinsp;&zwj;&zwj;&zwj;&zwj;<br>You would be BOLD!

  • May 13, 2010, 2:39 p.m. CST

    But seriously

    by Continentalop

    Wolverine is an anti-hero. A guy who doesn't like to obey rules and follow orders. He is an ex-soldier who doesn't want to be in the position of not being in control again. He can work with the X-Men because they were never an officially sanctioned group, but a group of mutants banded together for mutual aid and goal. <P> The Avengers, however, are government sanctioned and have b-laws and regulations. They obey strict protocol, like being required to wear their uniforms during BBQs. I never could see Wolverine be a long term member of any group like that.

  • May 13, 2010, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    In my opinion Wolverine is no longer that character: he's moved on. He's sold out. Daken has taken Wolverine's role as mutant anti-hero. Wolverine is now just a hero. which isn't neccesarily a bad thing.

  • May 13, 2010, 2:49 p.m. CST

    The Penultimate Gunslinger

    by Continentalop

    A hero who's main weapon is a set of claws on each hands in a milieu that says you can never kill. <P> Actually, I don't care if Wolverine is a hero nowadays and an Avenger because as a character he jumped the Tiger Shark cage a long time ago. Once they revealed his convoluted origin and added 200 years of baggage to him, he ceased to be interesting.

  • May 13, 2010, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Damn you, Continentalop and your bold ways...

    by Joenathan

    Different incarnations of the Avengers have been more or less strict about the bylaws and their connection with the government. Wolverine, at his core, is a hero and he does what is right and sometimes that means helping the Avengers.<br><br>Is there beer at the BBQ? Is Hawkeye grilling? Then Wolverine is there, costume or no costume.

  • May 13, 2010, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Gunslinger

    by Joenathan

    I don't know who Irom Man is, but I was thinking of Wiccan

  • May 13, 2010, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Wolverine's origin...

    by Joenathan

    Memory Implant.... Conspiracy... No Prize

  • May 13, 2010, 3:03 p.m. CST

    When Wolverine first joined the New Avengers...

    by rev_skarekroe

    ...they weren't "official," unless I'm mistaken. Then he was part of the outlaw Avengers post-Civil War. It would make more sense for him to be a Secret Avenger, if you ask me.<p>At any rate, I'll check out all these new Avengers books. But I wish Romita Jr. wasn't drawing any of them. I just can't take his style.

  • May 13, 2010, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by Continentalop

    Helping the Avengers, yes. Staying with a group like that for long? Hard to buy. Captain Jack Sparrow is a hero too, but try imagining him working for the British government for long. <p> And yes there will be beer, and Hawkeye will be grilling. And Tigra will be there, so Wolverine knows he has a very good chance of getting laid.

  • May 13, 2010, 3:12 p.m. CST

    I'm hoping for the day

    by Continentalop

    His entire lame origin is retconned away. Now if they can also figure away to get rid of the lame bone claws.

  • May 13, 2010, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah, and Joe...

    by Continentalop

    Got&nbsp;a&nbsp;little&nbsp;<br>boldness envy?

  • May 13, 2010, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Irom Man...

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    ... is much more awesome than Iron Man. I don't care what any one says.

  • May 13, 2010, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Killing people doesn't seem to be such a bad thing for Avengers these days anyway, so Wolverine fits right in. <p>Hawkeye, as Ronin, used a pair of swords. The only thing you can do with swords is cut things to shreds, so every time the New Avengers went into battle he must have been chopping off limbs left right and centre. One moment he'd be making a quip with Spider-Man, the next he'd be slicing through bone and flesh. <p>With Wolverine there as well, the amount of blood all over the place after a fight must have been stomach turning. Peter Parker must have been really proud to have been part of such a team! Avengers Assemble!

  • May 13, 2010, 3:38 p.m. CST

    The Penultimate Gunslinger

    by Continentalop

    Why did you have to remind me about Ronin? <p> Black Knight was the only blade using hero who fit in with them because they specifically said he used the flat of the blade (hey it is a comic book). Is there a flat of Wolverine's claws?

  • May 13, 2010, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Wolverine's claws...

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    ... I think they do have a flat side, so I guess he must bash people on the head with them. Otherwise he's a pretty useless fighter, as in those big battles the New Avengers kept having with the Hood's men no-one ever died. And if you got stabbed with an adamantium claw, you probably would die. And I know Bendis thinks these things through, so Wolverine must use the flat of his claws. It all makes sense!

  • May 13, 2010, 3:46 p.m. CST

    I have a question...

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    As someone who's only been reading monthly comics for the past seven years or so, I'm curious whether the pre-Bendis Avengers ever killed people? <p>I know that certain heroes in both Marvel and DC (Spider-Man, Batman, Superman etc) have v strict policies about killing, but did that spread across to teams like the Avengers? Or has it always been a bit vague?

  • May 13, 2010, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Flat of Wolverine's Claws

    by Continentalop

    Well he claws and cut people racking down, so they flat must be on the side that faces the back of the hand. <P> Has he been pimp slapping a lot of villains with his claws lately?

  • May 13, 2010, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Yeah, the pre-Avengers killed people

    by Continentalop

    But very, very rarely, and usually as a last resort. And very rarely were those people human. <P> They killed Carina, girlfriend of Korvac, during the Korvac war, but that was after Korvac killed like 90% of the Avengers. Sub-Mariner killed his wife Marrina when she turned into a giant monster. Cap on his own was forced to kill several Ultimatum agents to save civilians lives (he regretted it but felt he had no choice) and Thor actually has a little bit of a body count under his name (Blockbuster from the Marauders). <P> But killing was extremely rare and viewed as a last resort kind of option.

  • May 13, 2010, 4:02 p.m. CST

    That should be...

    by Continentalop

    The Pre-BENDIS Avengers.

  • May 13, 2010, 4:10 p.m. CST

    That sounds like a good way of doing things

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    I don't mind some superheroes killing people, but it needs some weight behind it. Otherwise they might as well have the Punisher lead the Avengers and have done with it. <p>Actually that's a scary thought... how long until some bright spark at Marvel makes the Punisher join the Avengers? Actually the way things are going, it's more likely to be Deadpool. Remember, if it happens, I predicted it first!

  • May 13, 2010, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by Joenathan

    NO... screw your bold. I don't want to do it anyway. I like plain. It's generally non-intrusive.<br><br>Beer, BBQ, and a drunk and needy Tigra... sounds like all the reason a hero would need to be an Avenger...

  • May 13, 2010, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Gunslinger/Irom Man

    by Joenathan

    He must be, if he can teleport.

  • May 13, 2010, 4:27 p.m. CST

    the flat of the blade...

    by Joenathan

    God damn that is soooo lame. SOOOOO LAME!

  • May 13, 2010, 4:31 p.m. CST

    The Heroic Age

    by Joenathan

    is intended to be a return to the swashbuckling (flat of the blade) Ha-HA! type adventures, so I think Deadpool (I just typed Deadpoop on accident) and the Punisher missed their windows

  • May 13, 2010, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by Continentalop

    It is a magical flat blade. <P> Besides, Roger Stern was able to use him to great effect without drawing blood in his run in the Avengers (and never once using the term flat of the blade I might add).

  • May 13, 2010, 4:42 p.m. CST

    And when I say magical flat blade

    by Continentalop

    I really mean it. <P> "I have never seen a blade this flat. It must be magic."

  • May 13, 2010, 4:43 p.m. CST

    The last guy who spent a night with Tigra...

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    ... ended up dead and got her pregnant with his alien sperm. That girl is dirty. Look at that costume. Even if I had a healing factor I'd use some serious protection.

  • May 13, 2010, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Joenathan you say you don't care about bold...

    by Continentalop

    &thinsp;&zwj;&zwj;&zwj;&zwj;<br>...but we know that isn't true!

  • May 13, 2010, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Funny you should say that, Penultimate Gunslinger...

    by rev_skarekroe

    ...I take it you don't read Ultimate Avengers?

  • May 13, 2010, 5:32 p.m. CST

    I do, but haven't caught up...

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    ... on the last few issues. Is there some hardcore Tigra action going down??

  • May 13, 2010, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Is that the...

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    ... Loeb Ultimate Avengers thing or the Millar?

  • May 14, 2010, 7:37 a.m. CST

    The Millar one.

    by rev_skarekroe

    And I was referring to your Punisher post, not your Tigra post.

  • May 14, 2010, 8:57 a.m. CST

    I like Millar's black ops Ultimates

    by Joenathan

    That Captain Punisher outfit is terrible, but I can't help but like it for some reason

  • May 14, 2010, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Bold is super funny!

    by Homer Sexual

    What bums me out is that I initially disliked New Avengers, but it got better and I was actually loving the roster at the end. A great mix, and a lot of rebel heroes. So now that they had an ideal lineup, it's all changed and they're scattered about. <p> Love the BOLDNESS. <b>Boldness<b>

  • May 14, 2010, 10:53 a.m. CST

    I Think I'd Rather See Wolverine In The Avengers Than The X-Men

    by Buzz Maverik

    It's not a fan's responsibility to help a comic book company make money. I'd never defend Wolvie on the Avengers because it's good for Marvel unless Marvel were paying me. But I do like the idea of Big Gun Avengers, all the well knowns, which today would include Wolverine (tying in nicely with captialism which is a good thing).<p>As for killing or not killing in the Avengers, the Buzz rule is if it's well written it's okay but if it's just pandering to the Comic Book Tough / It's More Realistic, then uh-uh.

  • May 14, 2010, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Frazetta

    by Buzz Maverik

    When I was in middle school (that's junior high to you and me), I used to buy pot from this guy who lived down the sreet who had Frazetta's Snow Giants painted on the side of his van. Snow Giants was always my favorite because he really captured Conan and Robert E. Howard. It's been analyzed, but the great thing about it is that you can see all the fight moves to come. Conan is crouched low. He's going to take an axe blow on his shield but Frazetta has him crouched for the impact. At the same time, he's already swinging Kull's sword toward the Snow Giant's unprotected side. That Snow Giant will fall into the path of the one Conan has already wounded, allowing our Cimmerian hero to finish them both.<p>If my dealer would have understood any of that, he would have become the one non-famous adult I actually respected and I might have had a better view of community college (that's the JC to you and me)instead of real college.

  • May 14, 2010, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Boldness is stupid

    by Joenathan

    And dumb.

  • May 14, 2010, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Big Guns

    by Homer Sexual

    I am not a fan of teams of Big Guns. I didn't even like Morrison's JLA very much, for that reason. <p> The Avengers can be many things, but they've rarely been "Big Guns" even in their most iconic lineups. Sure, they had Iron Man and Thor, both of whom belong there, but they always had others like Wonder Man, Beast, Jocasta, Vision and Scarlet Witch. <p> Does "Big Guns" mean high-profile? Because then, yes Spider-Man and Wolverine should be the Avengers, along with Deadpool, Iron Man and Captain America. <p> Does Big Gun mean powerful? Cause that's another thing. But Wolverine isn't a practical character for any kind of govt-affiliated group, even if he's cuddlier now than before, he's still a loose cannon killer.

  • May 14, 2010, 3:21 p.m. CST

    WHAT!?!?!

    by Joenathan

    How could you NOT like Morrison's JLA? Green Arrow vs. the Key? The Atom taking out Darkseid? The JLA vs Prometheus (when he was cool). The General? The White Martians? Seriously? Homer, Homer, Homer... come on.

  • May 14, 2010, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Yeah, I'm Thinking High Profile

    by Buzz Maverik

    And I'm not thinking about us ultra-long term adult fans. I'm thinking about new fans, kids, etc. The Comic Curious. They know about Spidey, Wolvie, Iron Man, and to a lesser degree, the Black Widow and Deadpool from the movies. Hulk, too. If I were a new fan and saw that line up, I'd buy the book. I've read comics all my life but when I first became a habitual reader, I was a fan of monster movies and came across a Marvel Team Up of Spider-Man and the Frankenstein Monster. I bought it more for Frankenstein but I would have probably passed on it if , at the time, it'd been Daredevil and the Frankenstein Monster. I got into Marvel heroes through that and when I found my first AVENGERS soon after, I knew Thor and Iron Man from their books. I'd read Giant Sized X-MEN # 2 but that wedge headed gorilla guy on the cover wasn't recognizable as the Beast and I thought the guy with the goggles fighting the villain on the cover was Cyclops (turned on to be Yellowjacket). But it was very much judging a book by its' cover.<p>And as a Marvel Zombie, when I do vacation in DC territory, I'm more likely to pick up the JLA if its' got the Super Friends line up.<p>And practical doesn't really apply. Wolverine's haircut does not exist in nature, much less the whole claws and healing factor.

  • May 14, 2010, 4:03 p.m. CST

    White Martians, ok.

    by Homer Sexual

    It was done before, but I'll give it up for the White Martians. That's the only one, though. And I, as you know, love Morrison almost as much as you (Joe) like Bendis. Almost.

  • May 14, 2010, 4:45 p.m. CST

    I've loved Morrison

    by Joenathan

    longer than I've loved Bendis and come on AGAIN... Green Arrow vs. the Key was awesome. "Just one pointed arrow, Dad! One!" Totally awesome.

  • May 14, 2010, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Joenathan you can try to put down the BOLDNESS...

    by Continentalop

    ...but you know deep down it eats you up inside that I&nbsp;can&nbsp;just&nbsp;go<br>&nbsp;bold and that triumphs any anything you say. You can't argue against bold. <p> And of course I can also &nbsp;go&nbsp;back&nbsp;and</br>&nbsp;be normal whenever I want.

  • May 14, 2010, 4:56 p.m. CST

    I'm with Homer on the Big Guns

    by Continentalop

    Never cared for them in teams. It comes across to much like Supergroups or All-Star Teams, just a bunch of egos or people phoning it in. Not everyone needs there solo. <P> You still need Super-Stars in your line up, but nothing but Super-Stars makes it boring. You need role players too.

  • May 15, 2010, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Egos & People Phoning It In Are My Thing

    by Buzz Maverik

    Why do you think I'm not allowed to review comics here any more? (I kid; getting fired is funnier to me than getting distracted...what's that?)

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