Comics

AICN COMICS REVIEWS AVENGERS! RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE! WITCHFINDER GENERAL! SIEGE! FRENEMY OF THE STATE! & MUCH MUCH MORE!!!

Published at: May 19, 2010, 11:03 a.m. CST

#51 5/12/10 #8

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) Advance Review of VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS #21: WITCHFINDER GENERAL Early Review of AVENGERS #1 BATMAN: THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #1 SIEGE #4 THE UNWRITTEN #13 FRENEMY OF THE STATE #1 DARK AVENGERS #16 BIRDS OF PREY #1 ROMAN DIRGE’S LENORE: WEDGIES OGN HULK #22 / INCREDIBLE HULK #609 JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #1 SENTRY: FALLEN SON #1 FLASH #2 Retro Review: PUNISHER PRESENTS: BARRACUDA MAX TPB Big Eyes For the Cape Guy presents KINGYO USED BOOKS Vol.1 Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS!

Advance review! Released in July! Available in May's Diamond Previews Catalog order # MAY10 0828!

VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS #21

Written by Mark L. Miller Art by Manoel Magalhães Published by Bluewater Comics Reviewed by Stones Throw

Comics by an acquaintance always pose a thorny problem for the online critic. Pen a glowing review and you endanger an invaluable and carefully-constructed reputation for those journalistic virtues of honesty, integrity, and, prized above all others, @$$hole-ishness. Call it a steamin’ pile o’dog crap and you endanger a friendship and risk exclusion from the @$$hole Clubhouse.
My dilemma is even more profound, since the writer of this particular pamphlet is AICN Comics editor Mark L. Miller, AKA Ambush Bug (and not Scot and self-promoter Mark Millar). Even if I opt for journalistic integrity and force myself to identify flaws, how do I know Bug won’t just snip ‘em out and make my review an unqualified endorsement of a superstar writer in the making, rivalling Alan Moore if not Stan Lee himself in his way with words? How do I know he isn’t doing it right now?
Happily, I can report in my own words that the comic in question, VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS #21, falls somewhere between the two hypothetical extremes. It’s good, but not great, without being ghastly. You’ll find this WITCHFINDER generally recommended.
That’s a pun on WITCHFINDER GENERAL, the 1968 film by Michael Reeves, which starred Vincent Price as the eponymous Witchfinder. Continuing VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS’s premise of adapting the actor’s flicks, #21 is in fact a prequel to the movie, showing how Price’s Matthew Hopkins generally came to find witches.
Bug does a good job with a script that has a twist in the tale. Though it seems obvious in retrospect, when I first read it the turn for the worse made me laugh out loud at how hilariously black it was and the dramatic sleight of hand that let it creep up on me.
I was also impressed with the art by Manoel Magalhães, who communicated well the important qualities of the two main characters: Bethany, sensible and capable but under her surface still innocent and impressionable; and the young Matthew Hopkins, a daydreamer whose distance from the world around him quickly becomes lethal. There was one panel where the two are dancing in a clearing in the woods which Magalhães drew in a wide, proscenium view that nicely suggested Matthew Hopkins’ imagination that it’s a ballroom, showing the momentary connection between the two characters but also emphasizing their distance.
While the ending was a nice twist which also portrayed the injustice and senselessness of witch hunts, the idea that Matthew Hopkins’ murderousness was caused only by spurned love seems too trite. A few minutes’ searching on the internet found this cool article about Hopkins by the historian Malcolm Gaskill, in which he argues that the witch-hunting of 1640s England is inseparable from the Civil War and the religious Puritanism of the time. Almost one in ten men died in the fighting between the Royalists and Parliament which lasted throughout the decade. Rebellion against the monarchy was often religiously motivated – Puritan, Protestant resentment of the extravagant, Catholic tendencies of Charles I – and prominent republicans like Oliver Cromwell and John Milton believed the Second Coming of Christ was just around the corner. Matthew Hopkins himself was the son of a Puritan minister, which seems a more probable explanation for his enthusiasm for witch-hunting and belief in Satan’s presence in the world.
Admittedly, the original film isn’t exactly a history text book. But lines like “entire villages being left in ruin” by the witchfinders and panels that show rotting bodies hanging from trees, Ku Klux Klan-style, seem like a misrepresentation of the truth. Gaskill writes that witchfinders like Hopkins worked within and exploited the wartime disruption of the justice system: at one trial, “the judge was not a professional but a Puritan soldier, the Earl of Warwick.” Plus, he points out:
It took a lot of people to hang a witch: witnesses, constables, search-women, midwives, magistrates, gaolers, clerks, judges, jurors, sheriffs, executioners, gravediggers and so on. Witchfinders gave people confidence to act, and they lent their expertise, but little more than that. In some ways, too, Hopkins the bogeyman deserves to be seen as a man of his time, rather like the fanatics of the New Model Army, the iconoclasts who stripped parish churches of their ‘superstitious’ decorations, and the regicides who signed the King’s death warrant. However misguided and intransigent, such men were inspired by the purification of society and the belief that they were living in the “last days” of man.
The best comic book portrait of a tyrant motivated by purity is probably Neil Gaiman’s depiction of Robespierre and the Terror of the French Revolution in SANDMAN. My ideal WITCHFINDER GENERAL comic would be something like that: a story of fear, suspicion, stupid judges and innocent women being put to death with a fanatic intent on purification at its centre. VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS #21 isn’t quite that comic, but it is an effective and well-produced horror story.

Early review! In stores today!

AVENGERS #1

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Art: John Romita Jr. Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Johnny Destructo

A LOT of people are going to be happy when this hits shelves tomorrow. Everyone who hates change will be basking in the warming 40-watt bulb of Been There, Done That. Much like BRIGHTEST DAY over in the DC Universe, things are supposed to be looking a little brighter in the Marvel U. The dark times are over, and now begins The Heroic Age, but if this issue is any indication, THA is a lot like the 80's/90's revisited. Everything about this issue (except BMB's dialogue) feels like the AVENGERS comics published when I was just knee-high to a grasshopper. And I know most people will probably be ecstatic about that. The problem, for me, is that I never LIKED The Avengers back then. Every so often, I would tune in and see what was what, be interested for one or two issues at the most and then drop it again. The last couple years will go down in my history as the most entertaining, interesting and unpredictable time for the Avengers. This issue, however, will not be part of that history.
As creators, I cannot express how highly I regard Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr. This isn't an attack on them or the standard that they set just by being in the business. Crazy talented, those guys. But this issue is not a shining example of their creative prowess. The artist story-telling is strong, the pace is fast on both ends, but it just isn't hitting for several reasons. SPOILERS NOW!
Art: While for the most part the book looks downright beautiful, there are a couple things that took me right out of the book, art-wise. Every woman with long hair has the same lazily drawn long hair. It all comes straight back off the forehead, back over the scalp and down the shoulders in a form that makes Ms. Marvel and Spider-Woman look like they have a giant slug laying over their head. And then there's Maria Hill. The big reveal of Maria Hill just made me go "Wait. Maria Hill? Is she hiding behind the misproportioned Annie Lennox with a bad wig on?” And there's a scene where she's standing behind the team and says "Wow. I hate that guy". I actually had to flip back a couple pages to find out who that dude was and why he was there. Oh, nope, that was Maria Hill. And why does Steve Rogers look like he's in high-school, while Tony Stark looks old enough to be Steve's pappy? By anyone else's standards, it's good stuff. But by what I've come to expect from JRJR, not so much. As for the…
Story: The dialogue is all there, funny, casual yet weighty when it needs to be. But the plot? Really?
Doc Brown: Marty! Ya gotta come back with me! Marty: Where? Doc Brown: Back to the future! Marty: Waitaminnut whaddayadoin, Doc? Doc Brown: I need fuel! Quick, get in the car! Marty: Wait, what? What happens to us in the future, do we become assholes or somethin'? Doc Brown: No no no, you and Jennifer turn out fine! It's your kids, Marty! Something's gotta be done about your KIDS!!
Yeah, the end of BACK TO THE FUTURE is the first issue of THE AVENGERS, but without the bad-ass "Roads? Where we're going, we don't NEED roads!"
Kang shows up and basically says "Your kids turn out to be assholes in the future. Fix it." Granted, there's a little after that I'm not gonna spoil, but that's the gist. For a first issue jumping-on point, it's not exactly new material we're seeing here. The only reason I'm gonna keep picking it up is because of my trust in BMB and JRJR. These are quality guys who consistently do quality work, and they deserve the benefit of the doubt. I have no doubt that Bendis is going to build on this and make it something pretty cool, but this issue just feels so "done" to me, sadly.
And hey, even if it turns out I don't like THIS Avengers book, I'm sure I'll like one of the other 17 Avengers titles that are starting up.
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.

BATMAN: THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #1

Writer: Grant Morrison Artist: Chris Sprouse Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

Choruses of angels are weeping right now over the radiant beauty emanating from the marriage of art and story in this book. Over the past year I’ve been more pro Dick than Harvey Firestein, not only welcoming young Master Grayson into the Batman cowl, but masochistically hoping someone would steal the plotline for the inevitable return of Bruce Wayne. Well, Dick, you’ve been a fun diversion and I wish you the best in all of your future endeavors. But the moment I saw Brue Wayne looking out over our pre-historic forefathers in the first of so many amazing images in this book, I realized Dick will always simply be the living legacy to the leader of the band.
Hell of a lot of spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.
As we all remember from the closing moments of FINAL CRISIS, Bruce Wayne is trapped in time, but as you will learn in the closing pages of this book, “unstuck from time” would be a far more appropriate description. Yes, it’s been alluded to in the past few issues of BATMAN & ROBIN that there are multiple Bruces throughout the ages, but I applaud the briskness that Morrison’s structure is going to bring to this title by having Bruce hop through the ages each issue. When I first opened this book, I thought for sure that we were going to be mired in each age for far longer than necessary. Shame on me. Speaking of the set-up for this book, I can’t applaud DC and Morrison enough for the perfect gelling of BATMAN & ROBIN and this first issue of the RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE (ROBW). My nipples are on high-alert excitement for future issues of both books as Dick and Damian work their way backwards through time towards Bruce, while Bruce bounces forward. Who will go faster in which direction? No idea, but I can’t wait for it to unfold. Sorry, I’m getting way ahead of myself.
This was more than just a tale of cavemen or a chance for Vandal Savage to stake his claim in history as DC’s first villain. Yes, those parts were superb, but what’s most important in all of this is that Morrison is finally able to reap the seeds he started planting almost two years ago. I’ll fully admit I was one of the many obtuse individuals who thought R.I.P. was meant to be taken literally. Granted, we were all schooled after-the-fact by Gaiman’s follow-up arc and countless Morrison interviews, but I was pretty damn resentful that supplemental material was required for our collective weak minds could “get it.” It turns out that a little bit of patience would have made everything clear. Just as R.I.P. tore the Batman mythos apart atom by atom, the kernel of ROBW lies in rebuilding the multifaceted entity that is Bruce Wayne and Batman: the detective, the man of privilege, and as this issue spotlights — the barbarian.
It’s always best to venture on a journey of discovery right in step with the protagonist. Whether it was an Omega Beam or merely a nasty bump to the noggin, having Bruce forget who he is while still maintaining his instincts was a narrative choice that helped me feel this story instead of simply being a passive observer. Morrison also astounded me with the caveman dialogue. Simplicity married with wisdom is the best way I can describe the speech patterns of this intrepid tribe that befriends Bruce. Also, the way Morrison portrayed Bruce’s dialogue (well, utterances would be more accurate) merits a gold medal in creativity. It was just garbled enough to make you go WTF, yet still discernable if you were patient and gave the words a second pass.
I once thought that only Frank Quitely could harness and translate Morrison’s tsunami of insanity, but Mr. Sprouse deserves a straightjacket statuette all his own for his artistry in this issue. Not only was each panel exquisite, but Sprouse paced this issue in almost perfect meter. Splash pages are often gratuitous exercises in self-indulgence on the part of artists, or filler for a writer’s laziness. Not in ROBW, though. Every splash page floors you for its artistry, but also serves a grander purpose by instilling a sense of awe.
A secondary story kicks off in this issue as well. Several well-known DC heroes appear seconds after Bruce is whisked to the next epoch in time. Apparently Bruce’s journey home could be the undoing of everything. How? Why? What? I don’t know about you, but this feels almost like a bonus adventure unto it self. Thank you DC!
I’m not a betting man, but if this first issue is any indication, I would say that Morrison has a hit on his hands on par with ALL STAR SUPERMAN. The only reason it wouldn’t reach the same level of gravitas is simply because of its shorter run (6 issues as opposed to 12). At the very least I predict this being a comparable cousin in greatness.
If you don’t pick up this book, you hate comics.
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.

SIEGE #4

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Olivier Coipel Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Jinxo

What the hell happened here? I really enjoyed the first three issues of SIEGE as a well planned out small war saga. With all the tie-in issues and such mostly everything seemed to track and make sense taken as a whole. It had flow, it had big memorable moments. It was kicking it! Then this last issue comes out and I felt like...it felt like when a friend gets excited to tell you some big story, they get really excited sell the hell out of it and then at the end...they blank out get frustrated and then just throw away the end. That's SIEGE. So good and then the end is just meh.
Part of the problem is that the final issue entirely switches gears from what everything up until now has been about. The first three issues are about villains pretending to be heroes forcing a war with outlaw heroes in Asgard. Add in Norman Osborn losing it, the reunion of the Avengers' big three...that's crazy good stuff.
But then they switch gears at the end of issue #3 to the Sentry losing the last of his marbles and becoming the sum of all evil, so bad that even bad guys are thinking maybe this whole siege thing was a bad idea. From there it just feels a bit like Bendis didn't know quite how to defeat this nut. The Sentry is billed as having the power of one million exploding suns, after all! The attempts to defeat him just seem muddled and unfocused. If it felt like it was muddled on the heroes’ end that would be one thing and actually be understandable since they are in the shit. But it felt muddled from behind the scenes. Looking back on it I even realized all of the plot points used were good ones, just in the entire wrong sequence and not taking full advantage of the potential drama.
Normally we try not to talk specific plot points but I don't know how else to dissect this without talking specifics, so...spoilers ahead.
So as written...The Sentry is attacked by the majority of the heroes in the Marvel universe along with the remaining population of Asgard. This has no effect. Realizing things are not going as planned, feeling guilt for his actions, Loki switches sides and magically super-boosts all the heroes’ powers. Still, the magically boosted combined forces of the Marvel universe don't do much at all. So as a last ditch attack, Tony Stark turns the H.A.M.M.E.R. Helicarrier into a missile and runs it into the Sentry. That finally takes the Sentry down at least temporarily.
Okay, pause there. That makes no sense. It would seem to me you want to start with the weakest attack and build to the biggest and most powerful. I don't see that the helicarrier is the most powerful of the attacks. Really? The helicarrier explodes with enough force to top "a million exploding suns." Okay, maybe that suns claim is hyperbole but, still, come on. It doesn't practically or dramatically seem strongest. The hero pile on is your finish. Try this resequence. Heroes attack. Fail. Don't go right for hero Loki. Let him stew in his own horror and shame for awhile. Show it! Play it! Meanwhile Iron Man in desperation goes for the everything plus the kitchen sink move, throwing the helicarrier at him. Huge explosion from which The Sentry/Void walks out less injured than pissed off. That's when you having Loki snap out of it and power everyone up for the final throwdown.
Now, in the end the thing that defeats the Sentry/Void is his Achilles’ heel, his alter ego Bob Reynolds. For some reason the helicarrier attack knocks Sentry/Void back to just being Bob Reynolds. Despite Bob/Sentry supposedly being a great hero "back in the day" all we readers have ever seen of him is a mopey downer. This beat does give us a chance to actually see Bob Reynolds at his selfless, heroic best. Back to normal he tells the heroes, Thor in particular, to kill him. Meaning, this is your one chance, do it. Thor, apparently assuming he was in whiny mopey mode, misunderstands and assumes he's just wanting the easy way out, and starts lecturing Bob. What? WHAT??? How do you... kill him ya idiot! But, no, he blows it and Bob starts going monstery on him. Thor realizes his error and starts attacking the evil monster Bob has turned into and finishes him off. Which is odd because I'd think then Bob/Sentry/Void would be back to being unkillable. But it's easier to have the good guys kill a monster than their buddy, isn't it?
The base idea that Bob is the key to defeating Sentry/Void I think is actually really good. But, again, having forced up to endure Super-Mope's Debbie Downer crap for YEARS, why not at the finish really allow us to see him shine as a hero? Instead of Bob regaining control from an attack that should never have worked, why not have Bob earn that control? As I said above, end on the power-boosted heroes in the big final battle with Sentry/Void. Meanwhile, have Bob fighting him from the inside. You've saddled us with this depression plotline, pay it off. Have Bob literally battling his inner demons on the inside while the heroes battle him on the outside. Then let Bob win just a moment of control. For a moment, boom, he's Bob shouting for them to take their shot. I doubt then Thor would misunderstand and start yapping. Bob takes control, yells for the attack and the heroes are forced to kill not a monster but their friend. More dramatic. Bob Reynolds gets a solid moment for ONCE. And the heroes are left with a victory but at a high price.
I have a feeling that Marvel wanted to for once have a pure happy ending without anything negative, no baggage that would carry on past SIEGE (I think the idea of them wanting a pure happy ending can also be seen in funeral for The Sentry in FALLEN SUN. But more on that in THAT review) I think that is likely why they made sure in the end the heroes did not have to kill nice guy Bob. But...come on. I get wanting a happy ending but complicating things a bit, having there be some sort of emotional price for that victory...that's valid. And it reads truer, less contrived than...well, than this whole issue feels. This series started as an amazing touchdown run but stumbled bad at the goal line.
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.

THE UNWRITTEN #13

Writer: Mike Carey Art: Peter Gross Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Humphrey Lee

Beginning its second year and THE UNWRITTEN – my pick for the best new series we’ve received in comics this past year – is still moving along rather nicely. In fact, it’s really growing like I was hoping it would. The first year was good, great really, but while it wasn’t exactly lacking in depth – obviously there’s a rich tapestry being woven here in the story of Tom Taylor – it was also not really diving beneath the surface of the book. To be expected, but it has also been as big a cock tease as the first season (hell, most seasons) of LOST. This issue, while being a bit nonchalant about it, really makes some strides to giving us readers a glimpse into the bigger picture and the stakes being played for.
What really needed to happen for this book, and which is happening now because Mike Carey is a master craftsman when it comes to books like this and knows how to play out certain elements, is that the side characters needed to grow in some aspect. Tom Taylor, the “real life” model for a Harry Potter analog he may or may not actually be, is an interesting lead more for the circumstances around him so far, not his innate personality, but that’s coming along. Similarly, his companions, the somewhat headstrong Lizzie Hexam and would be journalist Savoy haven’t particularly shown much of themselves up until now, which is starting to change. Lizzie came onto the scene in a “Come with me if you want to live” aspect and has seemed like the know-it-all of these mystical circumstances, but is now being shown to be very much rudderless in her role. Hell, her own identity is manufactured, taken from Dickens, which I never knew because I am a literary savage. And Savoy, it was always known he was inserted into Tom Taylor’s life by some party to this game, and now with the revelation of whose side he was playing for, the game itself and Savoy’s role in it take on some interesting new twists.
As for that multi-faceted tale that is the essence of this book, it’s still delightfully shrouded in mystery and conspiracy, but it’s also divulging its secrets enough to keep the reader apace. Sure, Tom Taylor may or may not be the character he is supposedly based on by his father, but this book is already moving past that. It’s about the idea of story in general, and how all of literature may just be some sort of magical war. How deep this goes and what it all means will naturally come out over however damn long Carey and Gross want it to, but there’s enough moving parts exposed here to somewhat see the machine they are powering. From art down to all these elements, this book is just comic book craftsmanship at its finest. The pacing, how a book that honestly could be pretty “high-brow” with its literary elements and referencing keeps itself well grounded in the modern as well, it all comes together so well. There’s a bigger picture that is still being marched toward, but the troop leaders are as good as they get in their own element, and this is definitely their kind of battleground.
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.

FRENEMY OF THE STATE #1

Writer: Rashida Jones, Christina Weir & Nunzio DeFilippis Art: Jeff Wamester Publisher: Oni Press Reviewer: Mr. Pasty

Let’s not dick around with cutesy intros or comedic prose and get right to the point: I loved this book. The writing-by-committee thing had me a little nervous when I got started, but the opening panels quickly assuaged my trepidation because they’re handled so brilliantly. FRENEMY OF THE STATE (FOTS) is a familiar story about a hot-ass neophyte who gets recruited into the CIA to do their dirty work and quickly learns how to be a super-spy while cracking safes, dangling from rooftops and kicking the shit out of armed thugs. This story is commonly referred to as LA FEMME NIKITA, which is French for “Yes, it’s another spy story starring an ass-kicking model of your dreams.” So why am I getting all pasty over a tired retread?
Well for starters, it doesn’t have any zombies. That already elevates it to a five out of ten for me. And let’s face it, comics are no different than movies. You can successfully tell the same story over and over again if you tell it right. How else could we tolerate Lex Luthor? Or the Leader? Or any other villain that is a recurring threat to your favorite uber-hero? If you take some familiar themes and compliment them with some not-so-familiar twists you have a new story – and that’s where FOTS soars. I also have a deep appreciation for satire and it’s here in earnest.
Our heroine is a high-society snob who became a celebrity for being a rich bitch with no responsibilities. She was born that way. Think Paris Hilton with a Master’s Degree and a face that doesn’t look like Cecil Turtle. Of course I wouldn’t be an American male if I didn’t immediately determine her worth based on how badly I want to bang her so let’s say that Ariana Von Holmberg, like Rashida Jones, is a perfect ten. Now we’re at POINT OF NO RETURN quality but not to worry, we’re leaving Bridget Fonda and her little black dress in the dust. This book is reflective of the times we live in and being an heiress in today’s Internet age means you have bottom-feeding denigrators like Perez Hilton circling the celebrity shit wagon on a daily basis. That persona is present here (STRFKKR) and it’s actually a clever way to advance the narrative in the earlier part of the book.
Of course none of that matters if we can’t invest ourselves in Ariana and I like that the writers didn’t cheat. It would have been much easier to just make her the celebrity that doesn’t fit in, the rogue bad girl, etc., but she is just as rich, rude and rambunctious as you would expect of a girl in her position to be. But she’s also vulnerable and I think that’s where we connect. She’s beautiful and wealthy, but insecure about her boyfriend. She also has authority issues and an emptiness that she desperately wants to fill. That might explain some of her incomplete and erratic behavior but more importantly it makes her a three-dimensional character who just happens to be living a one-dimensional life. Well, at least for now.
Jeff Wamester does a great job of capturing the mood of this story. I think it’s handled just right and I saw a review online that was put off by what seems to be a lack of distinction between character faces. I’m going to say that it’s a valid complaint – but I also believe that it may be by design. Perhaps when you live in Ariana’s world, everyone looks the same because everyone acts the same. The celebrity life is as inviting and tasty as a giant chocolate bunny – and just as hollow on the inside. Ariana has been driven to the brink by that hollowness and her desperation to fill the void has led her into a dizzying array of action sequences and bizarre circumstances that are well written, beautifully drawn and extremely rewarding to any reader willing to give this book a try. With all of the garbage littering today’s comic book shelves, it’s not an exaggeration to call FRENEMY OF THE STATE a must-buy.
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.

DARK AVENGERS #16

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Mike Deodato Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: KletusCasady

This book really pissed me off when I read the first issue but not necessarily the way you’re thinking. “But Kletus, por qua…POR QUA?!?”…you say. I was pissed in the sense that Norman now had free reign to do what ever he wanted and began putting his dirty green hands on some sacred shit. He raided the Iron Man armor, turned Venom into the black suit Spider-man (any body catch the pose venom was busting?...same as the cover to secret wars #8. Pretty cool in my opinion.), made Wolverine’s bratty son the new Wolverine, made Bullseye the new Hawkeye (this was kind of brilliant to me and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the first Avenger replacement that was thought of, it just seems so natural), and a bunch of other shit that had me saying “No he di-ent!.” I loved it because the heroes pretty much had their hands tied behind their backs for blowing that whole Secret Invasion deal and Norman was there to pick up the pieces. The heroes are there to handle shit like that and they failed in the public eye, thus putting Norman Osborne as the new head of Shield, now called H.A.M.M.E.R which stands for Hey Are Meaty Men Always Right…I think (seriously does anyone know?). This shift of Shield administration led to what was aptly called “Dark Reign” or as I like to call it Osborne Everywhere. This book was a continuation from Warren Ellis’s THUNDERBOLTS, which was an awesome book with awesome art, and I feel the exact same way about this book.
This team was destined to fail, everyone knew it, and even the villains involved were familiar with how batshit crazy Osborne was and were really just there to ride it out until he cracked. It happened in Thunderbolts, so I was pretty damn sure it would happen again. Now I think Bendis has a lot of good qualities as a writer but one of his worst qualities is that he talks too much. There were issues of NEW AVENGERS that I would open up and feel like I was about to study for a damn test. That being said, this book was really helped by lengthy exposition because not only did Norman have to do a lot of talking to keep this team together, but you can be damn sure these villains had a hell of a lot to say about answering to the Green Goblin as well as masquerading around as the Avengers. I will say that the talking was not as long and boring as some of those New Avengers issues but it was also just the meat of what needed to be said. It wasn’t like Mighty Avengers where people had empty thought balloons and crap like that, that just screamed “I’m fat, trim me...please.” Having too much to write is always better than not having enough but you have to be able to trim and delete the shit that’s just extraneous blabber scythe. I think, because of Ellis’s tone on THUNDERBOLTS, this book was able to get under that wing and benefit from the things that Warren (we’re on a first name basis) set up during his run. This issue ties into the end of Siege and if you have read Siege #3 you kinda know the way this issue was going. Norman was exposed as the mad man he is and basically his shit is falling apart as we all knew it would. I was a little upset that a certain two clawed bastard child didn’t get his comeuppance but I guess it makes sense because he’s about as slimy as a salamander in the Gulf (too soon?).
The art in this book by Mike Deodato (I think he dropped the Jr) is ridiculous but in a good way. Between the panel layouts, the shadowing, the contrast between large and small panels (a lot of artists only want to do big panels thus lacking the depth and scale of Deodato’s work), this is the best I have ever seen his work. When he was working on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN “Sins of Past” story line I wasn’t that into his work because I felt like Spidey was little too muscular like he shouldn’t be able to move muscular but his art in THUNDERBOLTS and DARK AVENGERS is stellar and now I have absolutely no complaints. This was a logical conclusion to this series as some of the Dark Avengers are on their way to being locked up after being smacked down, some are offered jobs within the new administration and some are not making it back (There was a really cool scene with Phobos and Thor…someone needs to keep an eye on this little hellion!), and some…well some will be locked away with their alter egos laughing in their face.
This book is about why villains can’t do what the heroes do. They’re too selfish, their motivations too skewed and well they’re just… bad. The story arc with the Molecule Man just showed that the reason why the real Avengers exist is not only because they have the experience but they also have piece of mind to not only see a situation through but rely on their teammates for help. Not these Avengers, there was more backstabbing than gay porn for god sakes. If you like books about villains or books that you know shit is going to go wrong as soon as the pieces fall into place (or don’t in this case) this book is for you. Anyone who stays away from Bendis on purpose should at least check out an issue because this isn’t the typical Bendis and the artwork alone is worth the price. I’m actually sad to see this book go but SECRET AVENGERS is around the corner and that team is cool as shit and with Deodato on art and Brubaker writing, I’m sure my dysfunctional Marvel family fetish is in good hands.

BIRDS OF PREY #1

Writer: Gail Simone Art: Ed Benes Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Professor Challenger

“Something’s come up. We need to get the band back together.” -- Oracle
Ah. It’s like they never went away.
Have you noticed how difficult it seems for writers especially to return to writing a series they once wrote before? I have. It usually reads very awkwardly and somehow never lives up to the memory. Not so in this case, thankfully.
Gail Simone steps back up to the plate with the kick-off of a new BIRDS OF PREY series and slips smoothly right back into it. I’m not sure why in the DC Universe, Gotham City seems to be the only location able to support a female super-hero team but who cares? This comic was a breezy romp and I loved it.
I don’t ask much though. Clever, witty dialogue with strong female characters who have distinctive personalities and art by someone who can draw very attractive and sexy women equal a new series worth checking out.
Each character strikes a note with me. With most readers, Oracle, is the focal character of the BoP. But for me, and I think Gail this time around, the focus seems more on Black Canary. It’s essentially a dual leadership team where Oracle is the brains and the technology, but Black Canary is the strategist and the legs. Canary has developed over the years into someone with true leadership skills and could fairly easily be developed into DC’s strongest female lead given the right writer and opportunity. Huntress has history with BoP, but she also brings to the team a street-level character with training and weapons cache and a troubled past. BoP functions as the family she never had and helps stabilize her whereas without them she could become unbalanced. And this is a hallmark of the appeal of the BoP. They function as a family. Perhaps it is the fact that the characters are women or that a woman is writing the series or maybe both, but this is a “team” where the characters commit to each other on an emotional level. I think this is part of why fans of the previous incarnation also commit to them. The time-displaced Lady Blackhawk has embraced the sisterhood of the BoP and is even used to stretch out the hand of friendship to Dove and Hawk to join the rest of the Birds. An idea I think is brilliant, by the way.
Dove is an easy and safe person to add to this mix of characters, but adding in the newly resurrected Hawk…a misogynistic male…into the team offers untold opportunities to mix things up in interesting and entertaining ways. When Lady Blackhawk wonders whether the overly-masculine Hank Hall/Hawk might be a “fancy” boy, I laughed. I am looking forward to seeing how things develop over the coming months.
What I noticed while reading this issue, which starts with Canary and Blackhawk foiling a child kidnapping, was how much of the dialogue is really devoted to characterization. There is a lot of dialogue and I appreciate that each character has her own unique voice. Lady Blackhawk is particularly my favorite, with her oversexed 40’s era southern gal way of talking. I do appreciate this. One of my recurring complaints with many modern comics featuring teams is that the characters all speak with the same voice. Not so in BoP.
However, if I were to criticize it seems odd to me to have 2 “Brightest Day” comics in 2 weeks featuring a little girl in trouble like this so that the “hero” could come in and start breaking bones and shit. And I’m not particularly a fan of this new trend of having the characters maintaining an ongoing narrative for the reader. I’m not sure why or when the idea of an omniscient narrator fell out of form but I really don’t care for it. It’s not as pronounced here as, say, James Robinson’s recent JLA comics have been (bordering on the absurd) but it still distracts me from the story. As a reader, it makes me take note of the writing technique similarly to the way an obnoxious director’s flourish may diminish or distract me from the story in a film. But any criticism I have has to be balanced against the positives and the wonderfully sexy art and nice storytelling of Ed Benes and the great final panel introducing the villainous *SPOILER* White Canary. I’m just pissed I have to wait to next month for the next issue.
All in all, an excellent beginning and one I intend to stick around for awhile to see where it goes.
Now that I’ve said all that, let me talk about that annoying 5-page preview of the new GREEN ARROW series spinning out of BRIGHTEST DAY. Gorgeous cover. That’s about all the positive I can say. If DC’s goal in trashing all their comics last week with this preview was to make me want to buy this series, well….to steal a term from my middle-schoolers…EPIC FAIL. I am not a fan of the brutality that DC has recently decided is a part of the character of Green Arrow. First of all, we get to see a team of 5 badly drawn punks who look like they just left a “Flock of Seagulls” concert in 1982, attempting to rape a girl who they just chased through the completely empty streets of Star City and into the forest. Here, the bleeding heart liberal who now apparently kills and maims wantonly with his arrows (WTF??) takes them down. In one ridiculously awful double-page spread he graphically rips the nose off one of them by firing his arrow through the punk’s nose ring literally ripping his nose off. Yeah. His nose gets ripped off. And some dumbass decided it would be cool to actually see it rather than ….oh…maybe get across the horror of it in a more intelligent manner by…oh…showing the reactions of others to it. No, instead we get a stupid looking image of someone’s nose ripped off. My god, if you’re going to do something like that at least get someone who can draw that kind of blood and gore in an entertaining way. Maybe DC could get Bernie Wrightson to draw Green Arrow. I’d show up for that. But anyway…then we watch the blood fly as an arrow goes through a hand, then through another’s bicep, and then a dramatic full-page of GA growling about how this is his forest. The dialogue was awful, not even up to Toxic Avenger level, and this entire sequence was just…stupid. BoP featured Black Canary at the top of her form and this preview featured her former love at about the worst I’ve ever seen. BoP = Success. GA = Fail.
“Prof. Challenger” is actually Texas graphic artist and lifelong reader of comics, Keith Howell. He really digs Green Lantern and illustrated THE BEST OF PHILIP JOSE’ FARMER and contributed art, design, and editing to a number of books and magazines. He occasionally updates his website at profchallenger.com and welcomes feedback from readers, both pro and con, but if female please include an attached pic in a tasteful state of undress. Thank you and…goodnight.

ROMAN DIRGE’S LENORE: WEDGIES OGN

Written, Drawn and Colored by: Roman Dirge Publisher: Titan Books Reviewer: BottleImp

What is it that makes pairing violence, mutilation, and scatological references with cute little kids such a winning combination? Is it the juxtaposition of the innocent and the profane? Is it the recognition of the deeper themes of growing up in a harsh, strange world?
Or is it just that a little zombie girl going postal and massacring a horde of virile gnomes is fucking funny?
Once a mainstay of Hot Topics (the haven for teeny-bopper proto-goths) and still to be found in your better comic shops, Roman Dirge’s LENORE, the story of a cute little dead girl, is being published in newly-colored trade editions. WEDGIES features a hefty helping of the title character doing the things a dead little girl does—playing with kitties (and killing them), playing with kids (and killing/psychologically scarring them), playing with a dead frog (it had already croaked, honest) and as mentioned above, wiping out an entire colony of underground gnomes. The genius of Dirge’s creation is that Lenore is by no means evil… just careless. Her actions and reactions to the bizarre situations Dirge drops his creation into are almost frighteningly close to how your everyday, healthy, well-adjusted five-year-old would react given the same impetus. Well, maybe the average child wouldn’t shove a chicken up another child’s butt…
Along with Lenore’s adventures, WEDGIES includes some of Dirge’s other work, usually one-to-three page micro-comics that run the gamut from embarrassing moments from the creator’s own life (I have the feeling that these are not all that exaggerated, which of course makes them even funnier) to pseudo-morality stories (such as “Skinless,” the boy with no face) to just downright weird (“Samurai Sloth”). Through all of the cartoons Dirge’s sense of humor remains constant: the gross-out, the absurd, and the bizarrely cute combine to make a comic that will make you laugh out loud even as you say to yourself, “that’s disgusting.” And what I like best about the humor in LENORE is that it is in fact humor. Too often I’ve read underground (or even mainstream, though the underground cartoonists seem to fall into the trap more often) comics that are purportedly “funny,” yet the sense I get is more of a vague weirdness rather than a specific comedic point of view. While I’ll readily admit that Dirge’s sensibilities may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I’d recommend WEDGIES to anyone with even a half-developed sense of humor. That being said…
To be perfectly frank, if you already own a copy of the earlier black-and-white WEDGIES collection, you’re probably not going to want to pick up this new edition. The coloring is nicely done, with a muted palette that manages to meld the two extremes of grisly horror and childlike whimsy, but with no new material to supplement the contents of the original trade, this book is better experienced by those who are venturing into Dirge’s world for the first time. Just prepare yourself for flatulence, potty humor (literally), inappropriate sexual innuendo, and lots and lots of cute dead things.
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.

HULK #22

Writer: Jeph Loeb Art: Ed McGuinness

INCREDIBLE HULK #609

Writer: Greg Pak Art: Paul Pelletier Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: KletusCasady

The Hulk has really hard time finding his place in the Marvel Universe and not just within the comics in the writing aspect as well. Is he a monster? Is he a Hero? Will he get mad enough to kill everyone? Does he poop green? And why the hell is he still wearing those purple pants? These are all question writer’s have labored over for years. Grek (this was a typo and obvious combination of Greg and Pak but I’m gonna go with it) has written some damn good Hulk stories including the “Planet Hulk” arc (the animated movie was really epic, gory and awesome) and his side of the story is pretty good and the art work ain’t bad either. The Jeph Loeb side isn’t as good, not that its terrible but as I stated in last week’s BRIGHTEST DAY repeat review, I’m starting not to care who Rulk is but that is revealed in this book and its exactly who you thought it was (I guarantee it was one of two people you were thinking about.). I was along for the ride with Rulk because the book was fun and hell I liked seeing him run through the Marvel Universe kicking ass and punching Uatu the Watcher was high-larious. So I’ve been following the Hulks since the beginning of all this razzmatazz and it’s pretty entertaining at parts and kind and eye rolling at parts, guess which side is which. Actually a little of both on both sides.
So the basic set up for this is that the Itellegencia, a band of low level villains, probably only about two or three of which you’d remember, have captured the smartest minds on the planet (Reed Richards, Doom, Hank Pym, Black Panther?, and Bruce “I need gamma Viagra” Banner). I guess they plan to take over the world or some shit by taking all of their intelligence via some brain wave stealing device…I read all the issues but there was so much going on I kind of lost some information on the way. Oh yeah and the Red Hulk and Banner have teamed up against the Itellegencia to stop their maniacal convoluted plan. The Hulk side of the story (Rulk that is), is that he is pretty much the last person that could physically stop them because Banner got himself captured last ish but there is only about 7 problems. The heroes were exposed to gamma radiation thus turning them into…wait for it…Hulked Out Heroes…no I’m serious. I can’t remember if the Intelligencia did this on purpose or it was an accident but the fact that they could allow their foes to turn into Hulked out versions of themselves is really dumb. They’re doing all this shit to finally defeat Banner yet they allow other heroes to become super powered Hulks. Who is this helping? Well I guess the heroes aren’t smart enough to handle being Hulked out (that’s the last time I say that I swear) and attack Rulk. THE INCREDIBLE HULK side of this was the better part of this story for me. Banner is locked into this machine that is pretty much the same thing as that alien squid from the Alan Moore story “For the man who has everything” where the machine plays to your greatest hopes and dreams thus putting you in a world where you are living them out, keeping you content, quiet and under control. I liked this one better because I love Pelletier’s art work and this story seemed to have a little more emotional resonance to it. I love that question of if you were given your greatest desires albeit in a false world would you want to stay there or live your real life which was definitely more shitty than you fantasy land existence. I call it the matrix dilemma (that’s copyrighted mofo!). I won’t spoil how Banner gets out of this but he does as you knew he would thus probably starting the downfall of the Intelligencia.
I know that was a lot to swallow but that’s kind of the same way I feel about this story. There are really good points (fantasy world) and really silly parts (Hulke…err…Heroes de la Hulked) but I am curious to see where this is going. The Rulk reveal will not surprise you but for some reason seeing Rulk turn back into{blank} had more of an impact on me than I thought it would and might be because of who was fighting him when he reverted back to {blank}. The artwork from McGuiness is McGuiness as usual with the big beefy bodies and cartoonish style which I once didn’t like but now I do. However when there were more than one hulk on the page, it was a little hard to see what was going on. Paul Pelletier’s work is always pretty frikken good, his art work is similar to Mark Bagley’s with bigger mouths, a little more detail and it looks as though his colorists may compliment his work a little more than Bagley’s. This is a baaad place to start if you want to read Hulk stuff unless you plan on getting some back issues because I’ve read all of it and I’m barely keeping my head and attention span above water. Also the back up stories don’t really interest me at all so I didn’t read them, plus I didn’t want to complicate things for myself any more. Hulk (the green one) is not in these books at all, but Banner is sooo if you like him better than the Hulk then you’ll love this story arc.

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #1

Writers: Keith Giffen & Judd Winick Art: Keith Giffen, Aaron Lopresti, & Matt Ryan Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

I hated this book for every reason I enjoyed it. Human beings have always known the passage of time is cruel, and our awareness of this passage is the greatest burden we carry. Thanks for the consciousness God. So, I’ll fully admit it I walked into JUSTICE LEAGUE GENERATION LOST with very unfair expectations. Since I’m an old fanfuck, I had hoped to be presented with a time that is simply no more: a time when Maxwell Lord was more of a self-serving douche than the embodiment of pure evil; a time when the Martian Manhunter would roll his eyes and give a hearty “oh you guys” at the shenanigans of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle; a time when Fire and Ice were the MaryAnn and Ginger of the superhero set – exuding sex, yet never whorey; a time when Guy Gardner was a man child that would piss himself whenever Batman entered the room. As we all know though, it’s not 1986 anymore: Batman is trapped in time, Blue Beetle is dead, Booster Gold has elevated from C list to B list to…well whatever the hell he is now. This book is a more than welcome compliment to the BRIGHTEST DAY fold; it’s just not my old JUSTICE LEAGUE.
Despite my unrealistic whining, I will say this is the best time I’ve had with the JUSTICE LEAGUE since they transformed themselves into an acronym during the Morrison run about ten years ago. This is the first time in the last five years at least they are coming together for a purpose as opposed to just getting together because…”well, shit the world needs a JUSTICE LEAGUE so we better have one.” The mystery is palpable, the action is high, and the mood is perfectly macabre given the fact the earth was just attacked by billions of undead corpses.
I’m far from a Winick hater; I enjoyed his time on EXILES and GREEN ARROW alike. Although, I do see the issues people have with his writing. Despite my forgiveness, after the last craptacular run on TITANS I was more on edge than Lindsey Lohan at a “Scarface” screening about him taking lead with my beloved JUSTICE LEAGUE of yore on a bi-weekly delivery schedule. Writing a regular comic is a job unto itself, but to produce a comic bi-weekly will test the mettle of even the most gifted story-teller. Fortunately there is a gifted story-teller controlling the strings. Keith Giffen is Grandfather of comic goodness Keith Giffen would be shepherding this project. While GENERATION LOST, lacks Giffen’s signature guffaws and bwahahaha’s the structure of this story is clearly imprinted his guiding hand.
The plot is pretty simple and straight forward. This is not a slight, it’s actually a compliment. Maxwell Lord is on the loose. Since being anointed as one of the coveted 12 to be resurrected he has been on the lamb from the super world at large. As we’ll all remember, ole Maxie boy was partly responsible for the whole CRISIS mess before Wonder Woman twisted his neck into a fleshy slinky. Well, I guess the Catholics had it wrong, because it appears death does not offer absolution from your past trespasses. The entire super world is trying to find Max, but despite their best efforts it takes someone that truly knows him to find him. Enter old timers Power Girl, Fire, Ice, Captain Atom and Booster Gold.
As I lamented earlier, time has moved on. Fire has now found purpose in life beyond lip gloss and headbands that match her pants; she is now one of the top dogs at Checkmate. Ice, still reeling from her own brush with death has become a cowering shut-in, only coerced into the light because of her friendship with Fire. For anyone that doesn’t know Booster’s currents state of affairs, well…he’s currently the greatest hero the world has never known…and since no one knows this they still treat him like a drunken frat boy. Captain Atom is still just a big ass bucket of nuclear ass kickery.
The twist in the story (and the big bad spoiler in this review) comes when our faithful band of heroes corner Max inside an old JLI headquarters and he mind wipes the entire planet with the exception of these faithful four heroes. No one, not even Superman can remember the mere existence of Maxwell Lord. What was once a spandex parade has now become a covert and solitary operation.
There are some great moments in this book, but Booster by far steals the show. Whether it was his one-on-one with Power girl or his one-on-one with max, I can’t think of another DC character that has evolved and grown infinitely more interesting over time.
My whining about the past aside, I do have two real issues that need to be addressed. The Harris cover is 50% wonderful and 50% what the fuck! Captain Atom, Maxwell Lord cool. I have never seen Fire, Ice and Booster though rendered so heinously. Hey, I’m all for ethnic diversity, but for fucks sake make sure it’s the right ethnicity. All three have the same egg tooth of a nose. With Fire and Ice I might buy it, even though it bucks past renderings. Booster though is as WASPy as the day is long.
Finally, there were two typos on the page where Booster meets up with Power Girl. I will fault editorial over the writers, since you know…it’s an editor’s role to catch these things. Seriously, we take a lot of flack for typos in our reviews, but remember this is all volunteer work. In my day job, where I am getting paid for results, there is no excuse. Likewise to the DC editors, you are getting paid to read comics, take your fucking job seriously because there are a million guys (raises hand enthusiastically) that would like to have this gig.
A great first story with high hopes for the future even though it did send me into a slight nostalgic depression.

SENTRY: FALLEN SUN #1

Writer: Paul Jenkins Art: Tom Raney, Scott Hanna Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Jinxo

If this book was a funeral for any other hero in the Marvel universe I think I would say it was a nice little send off. Good art, some good writing filling in some behind the scenes details we were unaware of. But because it is for The Sentry it is crap. Crap crap crap. I'd wipe my ass with it but that would be redundant.
Why should it being about the Sentry make such a difference? Because everything about the Sentry makes it different. The Sentry is a hero supposedly erased from classic Marvel history. All the heroes have these restored memories of what a wonderful great guy Sentry, aka Bob Reynolds, is. And this book is rife with those memories! He went bowling with kids, he helped people through tough times... and he loved the ladies. Oh yeah! He was THE man.
Only we readers never met that Bob. For the past several years we've been stuck with Bob 2.0. That Bob loved to... sullenly sulk, to mope about, and, occasionally, go batshit crazy. Seriously, do you know what my biggest memory of The Sentry is? The time he got so depressed and bored that he decided to fly to the moon and be miserable there for awhile, bum out the Inhumans. That is honestly the moment that sticks with me most. Ahhh, not so good times... We also know what the heroes don't, that Bob was not a good guy who became The Sentry by drinking a secret formula given to him by his professor friend, he was a junkie who became The Sentry when he broke into a lab and drank a formula looking to get high!
By concentrating on remembering a character the readers never knew, this issue becomes a total misconnect. None of what is presented is resonates with the reader on any level. I'm not sure how they would not see that flaw. And there is actually a solution to that flaw. While the readers and the heroes have different points of view on Bob Reynolds, they both have in common the memories of Bob's recent behavior. Because of that recent behavior this issue should have an entirely different tone and story. In talkbacks last week I

Readers Talkback

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  • May 19, 2010, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Koo koo!

    by JoeMusashi

  • May 19, 2010, 11:10 a.m. CST

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

    by theDannerDaliel

  • May 19, 2010, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Oh So Batman is "LOST" now?

    by EddieMurphysLaugh

  • May 19, 2010, 11:36 a.m. CST

    JINXO

    by oaser

    Do you think knowing that Siege ended with "The Heroic Age" dampened the ending of the book? I wonder, with the solicits that came out weeks ago unveiling the plans post-Siege if that hurt the final issue of the series. Because I felt the same way with issue 4: it was good, but not what you'd expect in a universe changing climax.

  • May 19, 2010, 11:36 a.m. CST

    You know what Marvel needs besides more Avengers comics?

    by rev_skarekroe

    Another book with Deadpool in it. Maybe Deadpool vs. The Avengers.

  • May 19, 2010, 11:58 a.m. CST

    I was actually surprised at how good The Return of Bruce Wayne w

    by OBESE_WAN_KENOBI

    I picked it up on a whim and it easily ended up being the best book of the week. Siege ended with a whimper as most event books do. And The Hulk reveals were, meh.

  • May 19, 2010, 11:59 a.m. CST

    SPOILER ABOUT WHO IS RULK

    by OBESE_WAN_KENOBI

    Thunderbolt Ross

  • May 19, 2010, 11:59 a.m. CST

    How come there's never a Secret Warriors review?

    by Joenathan

    It didn't come out last week, but still... that book is great. Lately it seems like its been the same thing each week: Geoff Johns, Batman, I hate Bendis, repeat. Geoff Johns, Batman, I hate Bendis, Repeat, Geoff Johns, Brusbaker (c-c-c-c-combo BREAKER!), Batman, I hate Bendis...<br><br>Of course, I'm generalizing, but really: Why no Secret Warriors ever?

  • May 19, 2010, 12:12 p.m. CST

    No review of The Sword 24?

    by v1cious

    Best comic ending I've seen in awhile.

  • May 19, 2010, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Spidercoz

    by KletusCassidy

    What's a dictionary?

  • May 19, 2010, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Siege #4 - but isn't Captain America sort of a zombie now?

    by SteadyUP

    http://tinyurl.com/y75ctyo

  • May 19, 2010, 12:23 p.m. CST

    Kletus re: Dictionary

    by Prof

    A Dictionary is kind of like a Thesaurus...but different.

  • May 19, 2010, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Why couldn't Luke Cage have died??

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    My love-hate relationship with the New Avengers would have been a lot more on the side of love if not for Luke Cage and his annoying wife. "My kid! Don't touch my kid, fool! My kid!". If only the Sentry had ripped them both in two instead. Not the baby though, that would just be cruel.

  • May 19, 2010, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Barry Flash = pretty dull

    by DennisMM

    Barry Allen was Flash for 29 years and never seemed like much of a character. It took massive events like having family members killed to bring him out of his "life's okay, I'm doing pretty well" shell to show real emotion. A lot of that had to do with the fact that many of his stories were gimmick tales based around his abilities rather than his character. That was, all too often, the fate of second-string DC heroes well into the '80s. <P> Wally West, on the other hand, was lucky enough to have Marv Wolfman writing him in the New Teen Titans. It was soap opera, but Wally got regular character beats out of it. By the time he became The Flash, he wasn't a particularly likable individual and the writers used that to their advantage. Wally's story was about a man learning how his powers worked and especially about growing up and learning how to be a man rather than a spoiled kid. Wally West IS the Flash. Barry is just the Silver Age equivalent of Jay Garrick - a wonderful character but just a superhero.

  • May 19, 2010, 12:27 p.m. CST

    New Avengers

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Anyone remember the weapon the Hood's men had that depowered all the superheroes? Including the Sentry? Someone should have gone looking for that during the Seige battle! Might have come in handy, just sayin'.

  • May 19, 2010, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Gunslinger

    by Joenathan

    A. Luke Cage is awesome. <br><br>B. Osbourne destroyed the Power drainer and the Hood killed Jonas Harrow for disloyalty... it was kind of a cheat, yeah, but having a power drainer loose in a superhero world is the kind of Pandora's box you'd really rather was closed. It's kind of like the Zombie Apocalypse Mega Swarm idea Max Brooks had where millions of zombies roam the midwest... it just kills the fun, you know?

  • May 19, 2010, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Dennis

    by Joenathan

    I agree. Barry was a million times more interesting when he was just a memory Wally was trying to live up to.

  • May 19, 2010, 12:37 p.m. CST

    SIEGE ending confirms that SENTRY never shouldve lef the miniser

    by George Newman

    in his very first mini-series, Paul Jenkins demonstrates exactly why this character would never work on a regular basis. The Sentry/Void duality would quickly become obnoxious. It writes the book into a corner. <p>And this conflict is supposed to be the Penultimate drama of the event???!!! And the Epilogue??! Yeah right. I never bought a book with the returned Sentry in it, and I am very glad, seeing this result. (I would thumb through Avengers and WWHulk and stuff, but his presence always turned me off)

  • May 19, 2010, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on the Luke Cage front. Bendis's Luke Cage dialogue always makes me want to throw myself into the sun. Without sun cream.<p>Yeah I don't mind about that power drainer thing. Like you said, it would kind of make the entire world of superheroes redundant.

  • May 19, 2010, 12:51 p.m. CST

    The Sentry

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    I fell for the character after seeing him rip Carnage in two in one of the first issues of New Avengers. that was such an awesome moment - he flew the fucker into outer space! But as time went on the various inconsistancies with the character began to piss me off. <p>In the new Avengers he was confused and useless, then in the second Sentry series by Paul Jenkins (the one where he was in the New Avengers) he was portrayed as cool and confident. Then in Planet Hulk he couldn't even bring himself to use his powers against the Hulk, even though we'd seen him fight huge, impossibly powerful bad guys before. The character arc was just a mess. The poor guy's better off chillaxing in the sun.

  • May 19, 2010, 1:11 p.m. CST

    I'm also glad the Sentry is gone

    by Joenathan

    Even if they could have figured him out (but they couldn't) a Superman level character just doesn't work in the MArvel U.

  • May 19, 2010, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Sentry needed to be gone....

    by Prof

    ...to make way for...MARVELMAN. Marvel needed to unload their "fake" fake-Superman for their fake-Capt. Marvel...who was himself a Superman knock-off. Is it all clear as mud?

  • May 19, 2010, 1:22 p.m. CST

    DC is kicking all sorts of ass these days!

    by bat725

    Marvel...not so much. Hey, Joey Q, if you don't care anymore, then get the fuck outta there! Douche.

  • May 19, 2010, 1:24 p.m. CST

    That Hulk Cover: Venom/Symbiote Wolverine?

    by Dave I

    Was that picture with Spidey fighting the Red Hulk (Rulk) also sporting a symbiote-enhanced Wolverine or something?<p><p>-Cheers

  • May 19, 2010, 1:31 p.m. CST

    I don't like JRJr either.

    by rev_skarekroe

    Reading World War Hulk right after Planet Hulk is crazy jarring due the drop in art quality. I MIGHT be the Avengers trade when it comes out, if it rates highly enough, but his scribblings are enough to make me skip the book in its monthly form.

  • May 19, 2010, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Speaking of Marvelman...

    by rev_skarekroe

    ...is Marvel about to finally reprint that material? It's about damn time.

  • May 19, 2010, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Dave I

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Yes it was. I dunno what happened to the adamantium on his bones when he Hulked out, but that's Logan alright.

  • May 19, 2010, 1:35 p.m. CST

    JRJr

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Everything he draws is just so... square. Everyone looks like a weird robot person.

  • May 19, 2010, 1:36 p.m. CST

    So gamma rays Hulk out anyone now?

    by fiester

    Just zap Spidey and he turns into Spider-Hulk (a.k.a. Venom)? That seems overly simplistic.

  • May 19, 2010, 1:43 p.m. CST

    fiester

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    It was some special machine created by the leader and his buddies that did it, rather than just regular gamma rays. At least that's how I remember it happening - this whole Fall of Hulks and World War Hulks has left me quite confused.

  • May 19, 2010, 2:10 p.m. CST

    I bought 7 of the books reviewed!

    by Homer Sexual

    This must be a record for me, and I actually liked all of them to some degree. <p> I am still a little iffy on the new Birds of Prey. I felt it started slowly, and boringly, but got better. I like the new line-up and Canary's costume. But it seems lesser than the original run, and Benes' art is getting too photo-ish. <p> Return of Bruce Wayne totally rocked! I am a reader who seldom likes books with the "icons" and don't buy the regular Batman series (I do pick up Batman & Robin) and this was a very fresh spin on Bruce Wayne, with a brilliant use of Vandal Savage. While I find Sprouse to be an effective artist, he's no Quitely. Still, love this book. A+ for sure! <p> Prince of Power: Is this going to be ongoing? Incredible Hercules was my #1 favorite comic, and I'm sad Herc is gone... But now I think he may be back. His team-up with Amadeus is perfect for both characters, and no way can Amadeus sustain a title on his own, so we'll see what happens... <p> JLA Generation Lost: Well, I'm another oldie who loves Giffen's JLI era. But it was far from perfect. I feel the same way here. I love this cast of characters, but Max Lord is already getting tiresome, This is sure to be a highly entertaining mini, though, and a treat for those of us who've read comics forever. <p> I don't really remember much about New Avengers Finale. I do know that I hate having Ben Grimm in any line up and am very unlikely to pick up New Avengers with him in it. At this point, the only Avengers book I feel certain to like is Avengers Academy. Note to Marvel: Heroic doesn't have to mean retro, etc etc. This tactic may very well bring in new readers, I don't know, but it just seems boring to me as a long-time reader. <p> And... so much good stuff last week, I haven't even gotten time to read the Hulks yet, but I am nt even excited about the big reveal since it's pretty obvious at this point.

  • May 19, 2010, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Luke and Jessica

    by Homer Sexual

    I also love Luke Cage. In fact, I've bought almost everything he's apppeared in for 30 years. And I like Bendis' version of him. <p> Jessica Jones, otoh, is a character created by Bendis, then shoved into the background, and now nothing but an obnoxious cow. I thought Bendis was a good writer for women but now Jessica Jones has changed. Change is natural, of course, but does having a kid really make a person lose all sense of strength, irony and sense of humor? So that does bum me out. <p> I also picked up the Luke Cage solo book last week, but haven't got time to read it yet. Loved the Azzarello/Snejberg(?) "Cage" mini a few years back.

  • May 19, 2010, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Rulk

    by Homer Sexual

    Well, egg on my face cause that Spoiler is not even who I was totally sure was Rulk. Still probably right about She-Rulk.

  • May 19, 2010, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Great/hilarious reviews this week

    by letsfightinglove

    And a cheap shot that's as long as a regular review!<br> <br> But, "...also really liked the twist of Nigma being doused with Joker juice."? Ewww.

  • May 19, 2010, 2:44 p.m. CST

    I picked up First Wave

    by Joenathan

    I haven;t read them yet, just flipped through, but they look good.

  • May 19, 2010, 3:19 p.m. CST

    A Marvel Event sputtered out at the end? Shocking.

    by Chewtoy

    Ugh. I'd be tempted to buy into the "Heroic Age" stuff, but it's Bendis writing it, and he's truly god-awful at writing heroic fiction. The review above where it says: "all of the plot points used were good ones, just in the entire wrong sequence and not taking full advantage of the potential drama" is exactly it with Bendis. That's *every* Avengers story he's ever written, assuming you give him enough credit to say that the plot points were good. <br><br>It's not that he's a bad writer... he's an excellent writer of Crime Fiction. It just has completely different beats and needs than Heroic Fiction. Crime Fiction is all about the unraveling of plans, desperation and tide-turnings on the whims of fate... for protagonist or antagonist victory is survival. Heroic Fiction is about the power to overcome the odds, to rally and sacrifice for the advancement of a noble cause. The differences can seem subtle but in execution they are profound. Bendis is absolute shit at Heroic Fiction.<br><br>As for the Sentry, it sounds like he went out in a cheap rip-off of the Pheonix Saga ending, with Jean Grey gaining control long enough to be "killed". This was always a Mary Sue type character (a million exploding suns? Really?) so the love-in remembrance issue isn't much of a surprise.

  • May 19, 2010, 3:24 p.m. CST

    The Sentry

    by Baryonyx

    When you have somebody that powerful, it's hard to come up with stories in which he could possibly be threatened, which is why the writers had to dwell on his unhinged persona as a reason for him not simply destroying whatever villain/threat confronted him in each issue. It's the same with Superman: he's just so impervious you got to keep wheeling out the Kryptonite.

  • May 19, 2010, 3:25 p.m. CST

    I hate comics.

    by Subtitles_Off

    Thanks for clearing that up for me, Optimus.

  • May 19, 2010, 3:48 p.m. CST

    i kind of like the new...

    by sonnyhooper

    ...."Geoff Johns, Batman, I hate Bendis, repeat. " cycle going on here. it's a hell of a lot better than the old "marvel comics, iron man, i want to give brian mikey bendis a reach-a-round, repeat." cycle that usually goes on over here.

  • May 19, 2010, 4 p.m. CST

    having said that....

    by sonnyhooper

    .... i'm in the same boat as the dude who reviewed "the return of bruce wayne." i didn't want bruce back just yet, i was having WAYYYYY to much fun with grayson in the cowl and the kid side-kick from hell, damian. <p> but lo and behold seven pages into ROBW, morrison had bruce say the immortal line: "HH." <p>and it hit me like a ton of bricks. *smacks forehead* oh yeah, bruce wayne is the badest muthafucka EVER, and we need him back right now.

  • May 19, 2010, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Return Of Bruce Wayne

    by DuncanHines

    Same here. I'm loving Bat-Grayson and Damian Robin. Batman And Robin 12 was so friggin awesome... But ROBW 1 was insanely good. I've probably read and re-read it 5 times now. One of the best scenes was Cave Robin bringing him the utility belt! When's the last time the utility belt was so important?! Grant Morrison knows exactly what makes Batman work, and we're all lucky as hell that we get to read it.

  • May 19, 2010, 4:33 p.m. CST

    Hey now, be fair

    by Joenathan

    Giving Bendis a hand job has NEVER been a part of these guys' cycle... it was just me.

  • May 19, 2010, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Siege #4....where the heroes continue...

    by AnakinsDiapers

    ..to be impotent until "the heroic age" is handed to them.<p> The only thing that satisfied me at all about the entire affair is that the Sentry was put down. I'm pretty sure Paul Jenkins is silently pissed off that his creation was butchered by the cluelessness of his peers, though he might be a little relieved that the pain can stop for the foreseeable future. <p> I said it once, i'll say it again: how could Bendis come up with this stuff and not be aware that the heroes didn't have a bleeding hand in their own salvation? The "Dark Reign" ended while they watched. It's depressing.

  • May 19, 2010, 6:12 p.m. CST

    I love Comics, but I'm very disheartened...

    by rabidfnark

    See, I'm the only one of my friends that still pays any attention to comics outside of the movies, and I'm forced to get my comics through the mail (as I'm sure some of the rest of you do). However, While it's fun to get stuff in the mail that isn't bills, it's not the same as going down to a shop on Wednesdays and shootin' the shit with other customers and the owner. Unfortunately, over the past five years, every comic shop near me has had to close it's doors and no other stores care enough to sell them. There's a Borders about 30 miles from me that has a rack that hasn't been changed in a year. Other than that, there's nothing within about 75 miles of where I live. A couple shops have popped up, but they all went out of business in a matter of months. Circumstances have forced me to become a "wait for the trade paperback" guy (I mean, the US postal service isn't gonna go, "Dude, you should be reading this.") and I'm far from thrilled about it. So I really appreciate this column. It helps. But I do miss those Wednesdays, it was a true Geek connection (try talking to a chick in a bar about Green Lantern...not pretty...and not advised).

  • May 19, 2010, 6:14 p.m. CST

    hh....very well,

    by sonnyhooper

    in that case it should probably be: "marvel comics, NORMAN OSBOURNE, giving brian-mikey a tug. repeat" <p> but, since DUNCANHINES brought it up, yes. batman and robin 12 was insane. the oberton sexton reveal (best.name.ever) was fucking brilliant.

  • May 19, 2010, 8:04 p.m. CST

    I really wanted to like Siege

    by gooseud

    I really did, I read Thor religiously (no pun intended) and Iron Man's current run is kicking all kinds of ass......but, man, that Siege #4 was god awful. The nice thing about ripping Bendis is that it always pays off in the end. He's 0 for 3,781 in proving his critics wrong. He literally has not even once disproved his critics, or shown that he is able to improve on his long-running flaws even one iota. Flash back to a few months ago where I said something to the effect of "So Siege is started because Volstagg, an Asgardian god, decides to pick up a backup and start randomly walking the streets of America looking for adventure? And gets sneak attacked? Thats it? THATS literally the best you could come up with? God thats LAME, Bendis as usual never writes the situations to fit the character, he instead creates situations and then shoehorns in the characters, regardless of if it fits their long-established traits or modus operandi. Plus, his endings always blow ass". Cue the usual spluttering defense of Bendis by his fanboys........well, how ya like me now, baby? LOL Once again, Bendis shits the bed at the end. DiMaggio's streak wasnt this long.

  • May 19, 2010, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Rabidfnark: Green LAntern

    by gooseud

    You can talk to chicks about anything as long as you sell it with authority. Just discuss it as if its totally normal to be discussing it, dont act defensive and defiant about it, or like its something to be ashamed of. Just keep it chill like it never crossed your mind that this was weird or geeky, and youll be fine. Granted, I wouldnt recommend this per se, but if it slips out, just roll with it.

  • May 19, 2010, 8:29 p.m. CST

    Doc Savage

    by OutsideChance

    Writing's not bad. It's basically a slam bang old style comic book, not mired in continuity. But the art is terrible. Porter's done a lot of nice work in the past (JLA and Shazam being two obvious examples). But his work on DS looks like someone just starting out on an indy title, not a guy with over ten years of drawing some of the industry's highest profile books under his belt. I'm actually worried about the guy's health this was such a step backwards for him.

  • May 19, 2010, 8:48 p.m. CST

    Good advice, gooseud.

    by rabidfnark

    And I could never be ashamed of loving comics (without 'em I never would have learned to read). As for talking to the ladies about it...well, that just hasn't come up. Although I once had a long conversation with a girl at a bar about Smallville (which she brought up for some reason) that went just fine.

  • May 19, 2010, 9:25 p.m. CST

    If you loved the old JLI...

    by TedKordLives

    ...You wouldn't be reading that Generation Lost shit. <P> Fuck Jaime Reyes up his stupid punk ass.

  • May 19, 2010, 9:49 p.m. CST

    Great, GREAT list of reviewed books

    by Jaka

    But I can't read about half of them yet because they're my regularly purchased books. I actually forgot The Return of Bruce Wayne was starting (and may have been sold out at my LCS - I didn't see it), which is why I love this column. Also really excited for Unwritten 13. But what the hell with Birds of Prey starting again? What was the reason for ending it to begin with? Very odd. Regardless, I'll be picking that one up as well. A little suspect regarding the Lenore trades in, gasp!, color. But I'll probably pick one up in the shop and check it out.

  • May 19, 2010, 10:01 p.m. CST

    I fucking HATE Light n' Brighty comics

    by Tall_Boy66

    Seriously, who fucking cares if they're all upstanding and neat? Grim and gritty is where it's at.

  • May 20, 2010, 2:11 a.m. CST

    recent classicly told JLA story....

    by Star Hump

    and it came out within the last 5 years (2008). You must have missed it, Optimous. It's a story told in the classic style by a professional comics writer (very rare these days), and the story doesn't bother with why there has to be a Justice League. There just happens to be one, and bam, cut to the action.<p> It's in trade now and is called "That Was Now, This Is Then" -- Roger Stern wrote it and John Byrne and Mark Farmer did the art. It's got an ass-kicking villain, cool time travel stuff (featuring the original JLA team), and it stars Barry Allen AND Wally West. But everyone here will hate it because Black Canary doesn't get raped and Batman doesn't act like a moody asshole and pout.

  • May 20, 2010, 4:18 a.m. CST

    people are still readin DC/Marvel super-hero comics?

    by ominus

    poor souls,the definition of zombie consumers.

  • May 20, 2010, 4:24 a.m. CST

    oh btw the first comic issue of the Expendables is out

    by ominus

    go check it.the movie looks promising if i judge from what i have read in the comic.

  • May 20, 2010, 5:40 a.m. CST

    Thx StarHump

    by optimous_douche

    Added to my pull list for Wizuard World -- Always appreciate suggestions...

  • May 20, 2010, 5:44 a.m. CST

    Makes me Sad

    by optimous_douche

    How many people are deprived of the LCS experience on Wednesdays. <p> It boggles my mind how some shops can’t survive when they are the only one in a 100 mile radius, yet the ten shops I have within a 50 mile radius all flourish.<p> This industry needs some solid business minds in place.<p> Done correctly, I know the Wednesday comic experience could be franchised.

  • May 20, 2010, 6:28 a.m. CST

    Indeed, Optimous

    by gooseud

    I have one near me in Annapolis, 3rd Eye Comics, that is up for the Eisner award. They really pull out all the stops to make it a grea texperience for the consumer and (this is key) make sure it isnt intimidating for newbies. Plus, the owner swears up and down he doesnt read the interwebz whatsoever so he doesnt get jaded and start to hate the thing he loves. Not sure what that says about us, but alas.

  • May 20, 2010, 6:31 a.m. CST

    Black Canary Rape

    by gooseud

    I certainly dont feel that has to be there for it to be a good book, obviously, duh. In fact, every time The Boys goes too far down that road is when that book starts to suck (as opposed to the last 10 issues or so, which have been awesome). However, pretending that could never happen, in a WORLD FULL OF FREAKIN SUPER VILLIANS, is so retarded that it makes my head hurt. THEY ARE SUPER VILLIANS, for christs sake. Your telling me no one would ever get raped?!?! That was always far and away the dumbest reason for criticizing Identity Crisis that I've ever heard, as if its inconceivable that those events could ever occur.

  • May 20, 2010, 8:27 a.m. CST

    Return Of Bruce Wayne Was Awesome / Siege Blew

    by LaserPants

    Almost all of my pulls are either DC or indie. I bought Iron Man this week and that's it. Marvel shouldn't even bother publishing comics anymore, they should just keep cranking out crappy movies, crappy video games, and crappy Disney-esque kiddie shows. I'm sure Brubaker, Fraction, Hickman, and Abbnet & Lanning would be welcome additions to the stellar writers over at DC.

  • May 20, 2010, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Bruce's Phoentic Dialogue + Cavemen's Simple English

    by LaserPants

    Was a masterstroke of writing; a brilliant device. Brian "Hack" Bendoveris couldn't produce something of such simple brilliance if his life depended on it.

  • May 20, 2010, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Time to let it go TedKord

    by optimous_douche

    The old JLI ain't coming back man, we either evolve or die....

  • May 20, 2010, 9:40 a.m. CST

    Marvelman/Miracleman

    by Hedgehog000

    Any word on Marvel's plans here. I don't know how you can do the character within the conventional MU but I'd love to see Neil Gaiman finally finish off his MM arc from way back in the day.

  • May 20, 2010, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Bendis sucks

    by Joenathan

    Sounds like a bag full of jealousy, that's what that sounds like... I haven't gotten to Seige 4 yet, but I will and then we will discuss... until then... seriously, no Secret Warrior reviews? WTF?

  • May 20, 2010, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Just read AVENGERS #1(Heroic Age)

    by Prof

    It's ok. But am I the only one who finds panels of grown adults in spandex and such standing around static drinking coffee just plain boring and kinda...well...stupid?

  • May 20, 2010, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Joe: Not So Much Jealousy, More Of A Bewilderment

    by LaserPants

    I feel the same way about Stephanie Meyers. Both Bendis and Meyers are TERRIBLE writers, and yet, they're both very successful. Of course, they peddle their wares to the cheap seats, so being literate or witty or competent doesn't really matter. Besides, Bendis has incredible artists to cover up how crappy of a writer he is.<br><br>Calling me, or anyone, who thinks Bendis sucks jealous doesn't really make any sense. It would if I, or anyone, blasted really good writers like Morrison, Johns, Tomasi, Brubaker, Fraction, Hickman, et al, but I'm not, nor is anyone else. Rather, I (or we) praise them to the high heavens for their inspired awesomeness. If jealousy was at play here, wouldn't I, or the hypothetical we, be even more critical of their success? Seeing as how it's both critically successful and sells well?

  • May 20, 2010, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Personally

    by optimous_douche

    I think that most of these writers that sell well have their merits.<p> It boils down to two things: taste and mood.<p> Taste: we will all always disagree...been that way since the beginning and will be that way until the end.<p> Meyer is a success because her books are the modern day Harlequin Romance novels with vampires. I simply can't fault those that enjoy soms good ole' trash from time-to-time.<p> Mood: Is a recent epiphany I had with Millar. There are times I shake my head in bewilderment as to the love for his work. However, get a couple drinks in me and turn off my higher thinking and the books are dare I say...fun. Not deep or insightful, but surely fun.<p>

  • May 20, 2010, 10:49 a.m. CST

    FDLFDaRD

    by Prof

    Friends Don't Let Friends Drink and Read Comics

  • May 20, 2010, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Speaking Of Millar...

    by LaserPants

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned that Nemesis is basically the same character as Diabolik.

  • May 20, 2010, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Prof

    by Joenathan

    I hear ya', man. Street Clothes! You suit up for action otherwise, put on some normal pants! Namor! I'm looking in your direction, you creepy speed-o wearing bastard...

  • May 20, 2010, 11:40 a.m. CST

    Laserpants

    by Joenathan

    You're so jealous, you might as well type in all green font. And come on, be fair, Powers is great stuff, so is a lot of his crime and indy stuff, credit where credit is due, my man, and Ultimate Spider-man is one of the most consistantly entertaining books on the market. Sure, the Avengers stuff can be up and down, but it's more up for me. Untalented? Come on.

  • May 20, 2010, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Nemesis

    by Joenathan

    The verdict is still out for me. I wasn't wowed by the initial issue. I do like Ultimate Avengers though.

  • May 20, 2010, 12:02 p.m. CST

    If You Want To Think I'm Jealous, You Can, But I'm Not

    by LaserPants

    Again, it doesn't really make sense to call me jealous of hackery when I praise good writing (those mentioned above) to the high heavens.

  • May 20, 2010, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Millar Is Weird

    by LaserPants

    He's not especially good, but he does manage to write really great money shots. I loved most of Old Man Logan, but thought the guilt reveal was really stupid. So all along all it took was Mysterio to wipe out the XMen? Weak. But other than that, most of the book was really fun and great.<br><br>As far as Nemesis is concerned, it could wind up being really great, but I have my doubts. The first issue, again, had some great money shots and incredible artwork, but overall it wasn't very interesting. I'll stick with it though.

  • May 20, 2010, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Me thinks the lady doth protest too much...

    by Joenathan

    That means: You, Laserpants.

  • May 20, 2010, 12:41 p.m. CST

    One more time

    by Joenathan

    It wasn't "just Mysterio"... it was a beefed up, extra super duper Mysterio who's tech had been upgraded by other helful supervillians in a concerted effort to dispose of the X-men. Also, what happened specifically didn't matter to the story as much as the fact that SOMETHING happened to get Logan to that place. The story was about his life after, not about that moment. Duh.

  • May 20, 2010, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Bendis IS a bad writer; Secret Warriors IS terrific;

    by Laserhead

    Morrison Batman IS and has always BEEN fantastic- super-hero writing at its very best; Powers is NOT good stuff; JRJR IS mediocre; and I called General Ross about a year and a half ago on one of these talkbacks. There. Everything I had to say.

  • May 20, 2010, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Old Man Logan

    by Laserhead

    One of the most ridiculously stupid and thoroughly enjoyable stories Millar has ever written. And McNiven made it one of the most beautiful comic books ever drawn.

  • May 20, 2010, 1:27 p.m. CST

    Why was there a crashed spaceship with Bruce?

    by Tall_Boy66

    Last I remember, Darkside zapped him with omega beams and then he's in a cave. Where'd the spaceship come from? Is that a new thing or something we're supposed to know?

  • May 20, 2010, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Avengers and Rulk

    by Homer Sexual

    Avengers was not a lame as I'd feared, but I wouldn't say it was good. It was old-fashioned on all levels. But old-fashioned art, unless you're Kirby or Frank Miller, is bad art. And JR, JR's art was bad. Very 80's bad. Also very bad: Simon Williams. Once a character I enjoyed, he became a terrible douchebag. Also looks very ridiculous and very 1987. Part of me says, give it time and Bendis will make it good. Another part of me says...quit buying it for 6 months and see if it gets better. <p> Such disappointing Rulk reveals. Rulk was "meh" and She-Rulk, well there was only one apparent possibility and whaddayaknow..it IS her. That is pretty dang lame. <p> Booo!

  • May 20, 2010, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Spoil Hulk for me

    by Joenathan

    I'm not going to buy it.

  • May 20, 2010, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Joe, Please, Stop, You're Embarrassing Yourself (The Shakespeare

    by LaserPants

    How is the fact that Bendis is a terrible writer make me jealous of him? Is Laserhead jealous too? Is anyone who criticizes his terrible writing also jealous? Are YOU actually Brian "Hacktastic" Bendis? <br><br>I mean, seriously, man, your reasoning makes no sense at all. But, hey, if you need to believe we're all jealous of him to justify your inexplicable fandom of him, go right ahead. In the meantime I'll be reading good comics by good writers/artists and avoiding the fishwrap.

  • May 20, 2010, 3:30 p.m. CST

    (The Shakespeare Quotes Aren't Helping)

    by LaserPants

  • May 20, 2010, 3:32 p.m. CST

    So "Something" Happening, Even If It Was Stupid, Is Good?

    by LaserPants

    Now I know why you like Bendis so much. It doesn't matter what's happening, as long as "something" is. Got it.

  • May 20, 2010, 3:32 p.m. CST

    The Spaceship in 'Return of Bruce Wayne

    by Laserhead

  • May 20, 2010, 3:34 p.m. CST

    The Spaceship in 'Return of Bruce Wayne'

    by Laserhead

    (That was weird.) Wonder Woman and some others, including I think Lois Lane, sent the capsule through the timestream as the universe was collapsing in 'Final Crisis' (either issue 6 or 7). It contained artifacts of everything they'd lost in the battle, and everything they'd hoped to preserve. Final Crisis ends with Bruce discovering the contents of that rocket. See?! Grant Morrison: going on 30 years of comics greatness.

  • May 20, 2010, 3:42 p.m. CST

    I know two things

    by Joenathan

    Bendis is good and you are jealous. neiner

  • May 20, 2010, 3:45 p.m. CST

    The something was a generic trajedy

    by Joenathan

    The story was an noirish tale of a broken down hero once again answering the call. He needed a "bad thing" in his past. The point is, the thing itself wasn't as important as the the broken down old man. <br><br>I'm rolling my eyes at you right now.

  • May 20, 2010, 3:48 p.m. CST

    "old fashioned art"...

    by AnakinsDiapers

    ...god do i hate hyperbole.<p> The trend it seems is to put down the new direction of the Avengers by saying it's being too old school or old fashioned in storytelling or art. It's shorthand buzzword speak. If one wants to say it's a bad book, go ahead and say it, but trying to say it's at all a call back to the 80's or 90's is crap. Really, Busiek and Perez wouldn't shit out what i've seen so far. And really, going to the time travel trope this soon is not really imaginative at all. And that's what the promise of this "heroic age" was about: imagination. Not grim, gritty, navel gazing, ninja fighting for 30 issues, super powered goombah gangwar busting, decompromessed storytelling which culiminates in a whole lot of nothing much.<p> As far as the art is concerned, if anyone could bother to pull out Jr, Jr's old stuff, you'd see his style has changed a helluva lot. His old X-Men issues with Claremont, or even his Punisher Warzone run with Dixon is worlds apart from his current stuff. So to say it's old school is flat out wrong. His style has changed as he got older. Look at John Byrne's old stuff compared to his new output. Namor: the Sub marner was gorgeous to look at back in the day, not to mention his run on Fantastic Four. I'd take these guys in their hey day in the 80's over 90 percent of art put out nowadays.<p> Avengers looks to be turning out to be Bendis doing what he does best: coming up with good ideas but screwing up the execution because he doesn't know how to write for the genre he's in control over.

  • May 20, 2010, 5:30 p.m. CST

    i think brian-mikey...

    by sonnyhooper

    ...actually hates superheros. think about it. he has them stand around in costume, sipping tea, doing nothing but talking, while the bad guys basically do themselves in because they have huge ego issues. <p> just look what he did to his "favorite character", luke cage. he marries cage off to a mary-sue and gave him a kid. nice way to cut powermans balls there, brian-mikey. you wanna REALLY know why luke cage never wears his original costume anymore? because now he is too much of a pussy to pull-off the yellow blouse with a chain belt look. thats why. <p> 'nuff said.

  • May 20, 2010, 5:49 p.m. CST

    I like the use of "brian-mikey"

    by Joenathan

    That'll show him... take that, Bendis, you bastard!

  • May 20, 2010, 6:50 p.m. CST

    Well, if it isn't old fashioned, it's just bad!

    by Homer Sexual

    Honestly, I've never been a fan of JR, JR. I thought his best work was Starbrand, and he does a decent Wolverine. He's really wrong for the Avengers, and Maria Hill looked redonkulous, but Spider-Woman looks equally redonkulous and Steve Rogers just has a square head. So it is bad. <p> Kang! Oh, Yay! Who doesn't love Ttime travel..oh, I don't! All that plus the horrible, horrible, sister-in-law stealing, mullet-headed Wonder Man...I guess I should just quit Avengers right now. <p> But I looooove Spider-Woman so much! And I like the interaction between her and Spider-Man. <p> Know how much I love Jessica Drew? As much as Joenathan loves BMB, that's how much!

  • May 20, 2010, 6:52 p.m. CST

    "brian-mikey" is actually...

    by sonnyhooper

    ...now a trademark of sonnyhooper inc. from now on, everytime anyone uses it, they owe me a quater..... or a no-prize, or whatever. <P> but for the record, i don't think writting bad superhero-soap-opera makes anyone a "bastard". it just makes them a writter i have zero intrest in reading. thats all.

  • May 20, 2010, 8:11 p.m. CST

    I'll admit a to a bit of Bendis Envy.

    by rabidfnark

    After all, he has more money than me, and a way cooler job. As for his writing...meh, I can take it or leave it. He's done some stuff I enjoy (much of this being in the 'crime' family), and some that I hate. But a job writing super heroes, and being Marvel's "go to" guy? Yeah, there's some jealousy.

  • May 20, 2010, 8:50 p.m. CST

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  • May 20, 2010, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Hey Optimous Douche

    by TedKordLives

    You think I have a scarab tattooed on my chest because of Jaime Reyes? <P> I don't want the old JLI back, I just want DC to own up. Why the fuck are they trying so hard to make sure Ted Kord stays dead? Why kill him off in a story that makes no sense according to continuity? Why do they say he died a hero's death when he clearly did not? <P> My hero died on his fucking knees and I will never, NEVER let that go. <P> So, in conclusion: Fuck DC Comics. I'm done with them and any products made by their parent company.

  • May 21, 2010, 6:09 a.m. CST

    I ♥ TedKordLives

    by optimous_douche

    That is some serious dedication right there.<p> Seriously...

  • May 21, 2010, 8:59 a.m. CST

    No kidding...

    by Joenathan

  • May 23, 2010, 1:13 a.m. CST

    I know more about Ted Kord than anyone.

    by TedKordLives

    Any person on the planet Earth. Because I understand him, I know things about Ted that no one else knows. <P> Fuck yes I'm dedicated.

  • May 23, 2010, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Why Would Anyone Be Jealous of Bendis?

    by Buzz Maverik

  • May 23, 2010, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Am I Jealous of Stephenie Meyer?

    by Buzz Maverik

    I mean, I don't really like her writing so does that make me jealous of her? Are we jealous of every successful artist whose work we don't like? Does not liking a Michael Bay movie make you jealous of Michael Bay? By this line of reasoning, every single fanboy of earth except myself (since I alone don't hate him) is jealous of Rob Liefield (who is FORMERLY successful -- well, I guess you can be formerly jealous of him).

  • May 23, 2010, 5:44 p.m. CST

    Return of Wayne

    by lead_sharp

    Was living proof Morrison's lost it. The art WAS good but did not work with the subject matter (Hollywood cavemen? fuck off) the cavemen just happened to have someone called the Joker? A giant Bat suit? Everything felt rushed as if mad keen to get to the next 'big reveal' rather than just tell a story. A story we know will wind up one of two ways and if it goes the way I expect it to it will be an even bigger rip on Captain America. Unsuitable setting for Batman and stale dialogue (no really he's called the Joker...) just make this a huge bag of arse.

  • May 24, 2010, 8:02 p.m. CST

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