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AICN COMICS REVIEWS: A GOD SOMEWHERE! ULTIMATE COMICS X! CHARMED! WALKING DEAD! & MORE!!!

#4 6/16/10 #9

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) A GOD SOMEWHERE OGN BANANA TAIL’S COLORFUL ADVENTURE OGN ULTIMATE COMICS X #3 CHARMED #0 BOOK OF SHADOWS JOKER’S ASYLUM II: MAD HATTER #1 THE WALKING DEAD #73 Indie Jones presents… CHEAP SHOTS!

A GOD SOMEWHERE OGN

Writer: John Arcudi Art: Peter Snejbjerg Publisher: DC Wildstorm Reviewer: Ambush Bug

A GOD SOMEWHERE starts out as a human drama --one with suburban dinner parties, angst between brothers, laughter between friends, a bit of political and racial tension, and optimistic plans for the future -- and even though the story quickly becomes a tale of tank-tossing, high-flying, all-powerful gods, it remains a human drama until the very end. A GOD SOMEWHERE is a masterpiece, a story that deserves to be read and reread and one that should be picked up by anyone who loves comics…good, good, goddamn good comics.
I could scream and rant in my most testosterone laden tone about how badass this comic is. And you know what, it really is. For those of you who love to see carnage of the highest caliber with scenes asking “what if someone with Superman’s strength really existed and let loose?”, you will not be disappointed in this book. The scenes of the sheer devastation one misguided man enacts on the world is awe inspiring and heart wrenching at the same time. If this were written by a writer less in touch with the human condition, I would say, from the carnage alone, this is a standard blockbuster tale and one willing to please the “Awww, that was so cool!” masses.
But what separates this story from most super hero stories is that there is a human center to this story that resonates off the page and tears at your heart. Writer John Arcudi has outdone himself creating a quartet of truly three dimensional characters who you love, loathe, envy, and feel sorry for all at the same time through this almost 200 page original graphic novel. It’s a story of a man given ultimate power, but even with all the power in the world, he is still just a man.
The sheer visceral impact of this book wouldn’t have packed such a Tyson-punch if not for the amazing art by Peter Snejbjerg (who also provided art for THE MIGHTY). The panels of a Superman gone wild took my breath away. There are scenes that had me gasping and honestly not believing what I was looking at. And there is one reveal in particular that is as haunting as you can get (I guarantee you will know it when you read it). Sure we’ve all seen carnage in books by the likes of Garth Ennis or Mark Miller, but nothing tops what happens in between A GOD SOMEWHERE’s covers. But even the quiet scenes pack an emotional wallop. The emotive facial expressions and moody panel work are something to be studied and admired. This is a true achievement for Snejbjerg, an artist who I first heard of in STARMAN, but after this comic, I will forever be a fan.
I want to be extra vague in this review and give away nothing. You deserve to come in to this story as fresh as I did—knowing nothing about what’s going to happen and how you are going to feel once you set the book down. I do guarantee you won’t be able to put this book down until you finish the last page and I challenge you not to flip back through it again once you finished it as well.
There’s been a lot of “super powers in a world outside your window stories” from WATCHMEN to RISING STARS to HEROES to SUPREME POWER to NEWUNIVERSE to the recent THE MIGHTY (another stellar miniseries worth seeking out), but none of them hit me as hard as this book did. There are tons of comics out there for you to choose from. Most read like summer blockbusters with all the pomp and flourish that comes along with that type of story. But if you’re the type who occasionally likes to delve into something meatier, something that truly sticks with you, something that stands out above and beyond the norm, read John Arcudi and Peter Snejbjerg’s masterpiece called A GOD SOMEWHERE. Seek this book out. Gasp and cry and feel and most of all understand what stellar comics are all about when you read this one. A GOD SOMEWHERE is comic book brilliance.
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole / wordslinger / reviewer / co-editor of AICN Comics for over nine years. Check out his ComicSpace page for his entries in Cream City Comics’ MUSCLES & FIGHTS VOL.3 and MUSCLES & FRIGHTS VOL.1 anthologies. Bug was interviewed here & here (about AICN Comics) and here & here (on his VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS: THE TINGLER comics). Bug’s latest comic is VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS #21: WITCHFINDER GENERAL (available in May’s Previews Order # MAY100828) on sale in July. Fanboy Radio recently interviewed Bug about it here. Bug was also interviewed here & here about his upcoming original vampire miniseries NANNY & HANK (available in June's Previews Order #JUN100824) due out in August.

BANANA TAIL’S COLORFUL ADVENTURE OGN

Writer: Mark McKenna Artists: The Fourth Armada Publisher: Shadowline/Image Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

A majority of kids books just suck. They consist of one ripped off bible parable that is then modernized by some consulting group and then homogenized for mass appeal. I’m looking at you Dora and Handjob Manny, not all kids are good with tools and boys aren’t all stupid, senorita. Sorry, that was uncalled for. I guess these childhood staples have their place, but they also follow a sameness of presentation that hasn’t evolved since I was little Douche reading “Sesame Street”. The formula is always the same: one cut-rate art team draws a big ass picture and then words are slapped underneath the picture or integrated into the picture in such a way that Mom and Dad drop half the sentence (or make it up) because the effort is just not worth the insipid one note reward.
This is why I love Wizard World. Not only is this the one time of year I can become exposed to the wellspring of new ideas coming out of the traditional comic format, but I also get time to see the new boundaries some pretty well-established creators are forging to hopefully keep this grand hobby alive for at least one or two more generations.
Last year I met Joe Kelly who turned me on to his book for the late elementary school set. Sure, I wanted to talk about Joe’s work in the BAM POW realm, but Joe was seriously all about getting the word out on his new title. I took the book and surprisingly enjoyed it; I could imagine one day explaining the deeper meaning behind the fantastic world to a little shitlin of my own. But basically Joe’s insistence on me reading his book made it quite easy for me to give a hearty yes to McKenna when he asked me to take a pass at BANANA TAIL.
Tweaked from a creation originally by his father, McKenna originally conceived of BANANA TAIL as a character to amuse his then 4 year old daughter. Almost fifteen years later the fully realized product shows that this was a story meticulously crafted over time, because even though it’s geared toward the toddler pre-school set, the story is actually layered. The art is a buffet of hyper-colored CGI, perfect to stimulate burgeoning imaginations. And, here’s the big one in my eyes, it’s presented in panel and word balloon format. Yes, they are big ass panels and big ass balloons, but BANANA TAIL could very well be your kid’s first trade.
At its heart BANANA TAIL is a piece on morality; when the eponymous protagonist monkey shows his hyper color t-shirt rhino friend his favorite shell, she/he accidently breaks it and tries to bury the accident in the sand. Literally! Lesson one is of course we all fuck up, but what’s important is owning up to your mistakes.
Before we reach that end though, Banana Tail notices his friend’s change in mood based on her new color hue (great device by the way – Daddy just learned that emotion has color as well in BLACKEST NIGHT), and tries to cheer her up by making her partake in all of the activities he enjoys. Kids are narcissistic little egomaniacs, the sooner they learn the rest of the world is not exactly like them the better. And there’s your lesson number two.
Finally the story ends with the Reena the Rhino fessing-up, and we learn Banana Tail is not all that upset at the loss of his favorite shell. Lesson number three. Possessions are fleeting; friendships, though, are forever. If every kid gets their hands on this book, perhaps we can avert the credit crisis of 2025.
I applaud anyone that breaks out of their comfort zone like McKenna has for BANANA TAIL. For a man that has brought the demented world of DOOM PATROL to life on the page, you would not expect the duality of cuteness and light that is BANANA TAIL. It just goes to show, never judge a creator by their past covers.
Optimous' book AVERAGE JOE is being published by COM.X. AJ is a tale that explores what our world would be like today if everyone was gifted with super human abilities in 1938. The guys are looking for top shelf art talent to partner with on this project. Reach out to Optimous on FaceBook for further details.

ULTIMATE COMICS X #3

Writer: Jeph Loeb Artist: Arthur Adams Publisher: Ultimate Marvel Reviewer: KletusCasady

This book is two “X’s” away from a porn parody. Speaking of which, has anyone seen the Batman TV show porn parody? I’m debating watching it because I know once I see it I’ll never be able to look at the original the same, however Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt were pretty attractive in their day…sooo maybe I can…oh right…the review. Jeph Loeb has the ability to write some really heartfelt emotional stories in the vain of DAREDEVIL: YELLOW (or as I say Yella), SPIDER-MAN: BLUE (my personal fave of the color series) and the really really awesome BATMAN: HUSH (at least until the “reveal”) which mostly benefitted from Loeb’s spot on internal dialog from these heroes. I realize that a lot of people don’t really like him for some reason or another (maybe it’s just people on this site) but I think he’s put out some damn good work (ULTIMATES 3…nope never heard of it). His team ups with Tim Sale are flawless and are no doubt in the Batman hall of fame. I love the tone of this series and the art by Art is pretty damn awesome.
Each issue has focused on a mutant and how they are regarded in this post ULTIMATUM world. I know I reviewed UNCANNY X-MEN last week (no I don’t have an X-hard on…actually maybe I do) and we find the mutants facing a world that hates and despises them because of Magneto changing the magnetic poles or what ever the fuck he did and causing a massive flood. Now mutants are pretty much outlawed and get locked up or killed when confronted, so it’s in their best interest to stay out of sight and keep their mutations to themselves. This issue deals with a mutant with wings who is secretly doing somewhat heroic acts all the while trying to keep his mutation hidden from his family. I won’t go into who they are because that’s part of the fun in reading this book. At first I was kind of lost as to who was giving the dialog but by the time I got to the end I had the same sinking feeling I had when I got to the end of SPIDER-MAN: BLUE. This where Loeb excels and I hope every issue follows the format of the previous two. The narration is pretty much done though an ancillary character who has some sort of close dealing with the main character.
The last issue had to do with a mall security guard who had fallen in love with Jean Grey with a new look (she purposely has gone in to hiding); unbeknownst to him that she was a mutant and had evil mutants looking for her. The way that these stories are told is great because the internal dialog shows these people as “normal folk” who are just going about their lives and end up having a chance encounter with a mutant that changes their lives in some way, which is sometimes a good thing and sometime they could end up with their stomach getting ripped out. “Tough times call for tough decisions” could be the tagline for this issue because damn if a whopper of a decision wasn’t made in this issue. Combine that with they angle from which this story was told and you have some classic badass emotionally story driven Loeb and Kletus is digging it. I love that the writers at Marvel were like “Umm...the Ultimate Universe sucks…let’s blow it up and start over,” because it’s given way to some awesome opportunities to create something new.
Art Adams is a legend and I didn’t know that he had been around for a while (I know I know shoot me) but I got one of his older comics and he was way above the curve then just like he is now. The detail is amazing but I have to give it to Peter Stiegerwald the colorist because everything really just pops off the page the colors are vibrant and every panel I could actually image myself at these places.
I really hope the format of this book stays the same mainly because of the emotional angle this book has which kind of forces you to feel for these characters whether we have seen them before or not. There’s still somewhat of a mystery as to why Jean is gathering these mutants but I image it’s to secretly rebuild the X-Men with fresh faces which I’m totally ok with. The art is amazing and I would place this book among my top 5, speaking strictly from an art standpoint. I highly recommend the first three issues of this book; some people may have a problem with the first issue’s reveal but hey at least he’s not Daken. If you’ve ever liked something Jeph Loeb has done, do yourself a favor and check this out; also Art Adams is doing some beautiful stuff here that is also worth a gander. Oh yeah and Jean Grey’s breasts have also grown to an enormous size Post ULTIMATUM…I guess that’s another side effect of reversing the magnetic poles. Was this Magneto’s endgame?!?!?!?

CHARMED #0: BOOK OF SHADOWS

Writer: Paul Ruditis Art: Derek Baron, Dan Haberkorn, Carol Wood, Dave Hoover and David Seidman Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment Reviewer: Mr. Pasty

Something Wicca this way comes – to an Android’s Dungeon near you. Worst comic ever? Not by a long shot. In fact, CHARMED #0 is a nice way to reacquaint yourself with the witchy adventures of the Halliwell sisters, or to be introduced to them for the first time. Or maybe you just like ogling hot chicks that show a lot of cleavage. Hey, whatever you fancy, this book seems to have you covered. I was actually surprised at how thorough it was in laying the foundation for this ongoing series. Of course most of this background information is available on the CHARMED wiki but it’s just not the same as reading it under your blanket after 10pm with a Playskool flashlight.
As you would expect from an issue #0 (in any series), there isn’t much of an arc in place or a narrative to follow. Instead, the BOOK OF SHADOWS reads almost like a witch’s handbook, carefully mapping out the five W’s of CHARMED. Not only do you get first-person bios from each character, you also have detailed sections that explain different types of witches, spells, heroes, villains and my favorite – a year-by-year synopsis of each season from the television show. As an added bonus, “Year Five” is accompanied by another look at Alyssa Milano in full Mermaid regalia. Hubba hubba.
Some graphic novels don’t need to blow your mind (or your load) with stunning visuals. But if you’re trying to sell this demographic on a comic book that centers on a trio of demon-slaying sisters, you had better come heavy or not at all. BOOK OF SHADOWS does not disappoint. The lettering is gorgeous. Artwork is paired with screen captures from the WB series but the pencils are where the meat and potatoes of this book are. I liked that Piper, Phoebe and Paige were drawn with an air of dignity and elegance and not just with big-breasts and snappy dialogue. Yes, Prue and Cole are here as well, each with a brief eulogy to honor their contributions to the CHARMED universe.
What you get out of CHARMED #0: BOOK OF SHADOWS all depends on how much you enjoyed the television show. It will probably also appeal to Wicca fans and readers with an interest in the occult. I don’t really fit into any of those categories but I do like cute girls and interesting storylines. To that end, I enjoyed reading it because I came away with a better understanding of what lies beneath surface. On the top you have a group of attractive starlets who vanquish evil. Beneath that is a trove of engaging stories that while not exactly groundbreaking, do manage to keep things fresh and entertaining. I’ve become intimately familiar with the CHARMED ones thanks to the BOOK OF SHADOWS and will confess to my underlying eagerness to scoop up issue # 1 when it hits stores. CHARMED, I’m sure.
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.

JOKER’S ASYLUM II: MAD HATTER #1 (One Shot)

Writer: Landry Walker Art: Keith Giffen & Bill Sienkiewicz Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: BottleImp

One of the wonderful things about a third-tier Batman villain like the Mad Hatter is that he’s never really been given a definitive version. Of course, one might argue that the same could be said about the Joker, seeing as how he’s vacillated over the decades between being a cold-blooded murderer, a less-lethal buffoon, or a twisted psychopath, but no matter how the Batman’s main nemesis is written, the Joker remains the Joker. The Hatter is a much more mutable character who has been written to serve a variety of writers’ needs, ranging from criminal genius to child-like schizophrenic to sicko pedophile, but none of these tags has ever really stuck to define the Hatter in his capacity for villainy. This is a good thing, because it gives creators a chance to put their own spin on such characters without being bound by the same strictures that would be faced when writing the more established rogues (such as the Joker).
Walker ably blends the elements of the Hatter that have been presented throughout the character’s publication history to create a portrait of a man who is at the same time brilliant yet simple, pitiful yet frightening. The Hatter’s mind-control devices are used to kidnap “Alice”—in actuality, a convenience store clerk named Cathryn—and force her to play out the Hatter’s Wonderland-inspired fantasy, but Walker also suggests that the mind-control technology has as much control over the Hatter’s own psyche. “I become who I need to be,” the Hatter writes. “Whoever the hat commands me to be. Fireman. Chef. Doctor… Madman.” In Walker’s incarnation, the Hatter is as much a victim as he is antagonist, which leads the reader to view him more with pity than with fear. That is, until a few pages later when we see what happened to all the other “Alices” the Hatter has kidnapped. I’ve never before read a story centered on the Mad Hatter—or any of Arkham Asylum’s other inmates, for that matter—that depicts his insanity so effectively.
Walker can’t claim all the responsibility, though—a lot of credit must be given to Giffen’s and Sienkiewicz’s jittery, nervous linework. Their Hatter is quivering dwarf with teeth that jut out from his mouth like a half-demolished roof, a creature that looks more ludicrous than terrifying… which of course, makes his final descent into murderous rage all the more disturbing. This comic is one of those instances where the artwork and words perfectly complement each other; I can’t imagine any other artist that would be able to realize the Hatter’s madness so intensely.
In this time when Batman is mired down in continuity and the grandiose plans of DC’s writers and editors, it’s nice that a reader like me who eschews that kind of thing has been given an alternative like these JOKER’S ASYLUM One-Shots. If you too like the Batman but have been out of his current loop, you should try plunging into the warm insanity of the Batman’s world with this excellent issue.
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.

THE WALKING DEAD #73

Writer: Robert “the Man” Kirkman Art: Charles “Up Chuck” Adlard Publisher: Image Reviewer: KletusCasady

Well…I literally just caught up to this issue this week. I bought the first trade probably about 5 months ago and upon seeing there was a TV show in development and having countless number of people in the comic shop say I should read it, I embarked on THE WALKING DEAD journey. This journey lead me to go to my local library, which has a pretty extensive trade paperback section, to see if they had the trades I was missing…which…was pretty much all of them. Much to my dismay I did not find them…but I decide to check the computer anyway…only to realize that they did in fact have them but in the fiction section under KIRKMAN...THEY HAD EVERY FUCKING TRADE…including the big omnibus books. God bless you library god for thou hath shined your radiance upon me.
So I checked ‘em out, all except Vol. 8 which I bought because it was checked out by some heartless bastard. After getting my girlfriend to read the first trade, she was hooked (I also got her hooked on Y: THE LAST MAN)…we would read THE WALKING DEAD together and bump uglies thinking about sweet rotting Zombie flesh…at least that’s what I was thinking about…she was probably thinking about Gerard “crooked mouth” Butler. After getting though all 11 trades and 7 issues…I now find myself very disappointed. Now I have to sit around with all the other poor saps and wait issue by issue month to month to see what’s going to happen next…and that sucks.
If you haven’t read this comic then you probably shouldn’t be reading any reviews on any issue…seriously…stop. This story arc, to any one who doesn’t know better, appears to be a good welcome change of pace for Rick and the gang. They’ve found a large community of “normal” folk, who have kids, lots of food, houses, weapons, a horny leader, a barrier to keep the undead out, a pretty good size city close to them to which they can grab supplies, and a pretty good system to do it. So why does something seem like it’s not right? It’s because in this post Zombie apocalypse world, people have lost their fucking minds and do what ever the fuck they want to whoever the fuck they want (Governor anybody?...I think he’s the “Davidson” they’ve been referring to but I could be wrong).
So Rick and his gang are a little apprehensive about this “too good to be true” scenario that they’ve found themselves in. The problem here is that it seems as though most of these people have been living in this community for a long time and Rick’s gang have been out there on their own for a long while so they’re still in shell shock mode akin to a Vietnam vet who can’t relax because his nerves have been trained to be on guard 24/7.
That’s really what makes this comic tick--the seemingly realistic approach to things we think we’d be able to handle. Every situation this group finds themselves in is another challenge and this story arc is no different. This is awesome from a story point of view because now they are faced with normalcy and it doesn’t jive with them. They almost seem like they would rather be out there barely surviving than in a community worrying about whom they can and can’t trust. As Carl put it “This place is going to make us weak…” They’ve already come to grips with the outside world so much so that getting too comfortable is actually a scary place and that’s kind of sad really. Something stinks in this community and I can’t put my finger on it but Rick feels it in his phantom limb and I imagine within the next few issues we’ll find out where exactly that smell is emanating from.
This comic is gold…Zombie gold…which I guess would be brains seeing that gold wouldn’t do a Zombie much good beyond looking hella fly. What I mean is I haven’t really seen any other Zombie stories explored with this much depth and I’ve seen and read a lot of Zombie shit. I guess maybe WORLD WAR Z but that shit ain’t got no pictures in it, thus rendering it inconsequential to this symbiote’s senses (take that Mel Brooks Jr). This book is the stuff you fantasize about in a zombie apocalypse and the stuff you don’t want to think about in a zombie apocalypse…it’s everything and then some.
I know I’ve talked about the story arc more than the issue itself but the reward of each issue is the ongoing tale of this group of people, so yes this issue is good, if you just want to read just this issue fine…but you are doing yourself a big disservice by not reading the rest of this saga. It would be like watching the entire scene in” Star Wars” where Luke and everyone is about to get fed to sand worm thing, and not wanting to watch anymore…yeah I know! It’s impossible! I’d brutalize someone if they turned off the TV after that scene, then I’d explain it to the judge and get off scot free. THIS BOOK IS THAT GOOD! I know you haters are out there and have a bunch of negative things to say but you guys are always out there and always have negative things to say so…suck it…and yes I did the Degeneration X move when I said that.
This issue alone is great but it thrives on the previous adventures we’ve experienced with this group and the emotional investment we have with each of these characters. The artwork is solid; it’s not going to change your life but honestly this book could be drawn with stick figures and not lose a beat.

Ambush Bug here. I really love the variety offered in this week’s Indie Jones section. It really is a great cross section of some of the coolness you can find when you step out from the norm. Be sure to seek out these three indies. You can thank me later.

BILLY HAZELNUTS & THE CRAZY BIRD HC OGN Fantagraphics Books

This is the first time I have read a story with Tony Millionaire’s madcap character made of some kind of cake, but now that I’ve tasted the insanity, I’ve developed a fever for more. Though literal minded folks may end up scratching their heads at this, those of us who love being thrilled by the insane twists a truly creative mind can come up with will love this story of a crotchety gingerbread man who goes on a quest to return a baby owl back to its mother. Thing is, Billy Hazelnuts is the one who punched the owl in the beak and ran it off. This is a story of making up for wrongs and staying the course. Billy is delightfully all impulse and seeing him bound from one catastrophe to another is truly hilarious. Seeing the baby bird eating his head as he’s trying to return it to its mother is a sequence I won’t soon forget. Truly surreal and full of fun, BILLY HAZELNUTS & THE CRAZY BIRD is definitely worth seeking out.

THE MOLTING #4 www.TheMoltingComic.com

More rich and textured horror going on. The terror of the banal continues as what looks to be a quiet suburban home really houses some seriously sick individuals. In this issue we get a bit of a history lesson as we learn about caveman life and how we haven’t really evolved that much since then according to the actions of the folks in this issue. The Pryzkind family gets a visit from the police department and Momma Pryzkind goes apeshit. Lots of uncomfortable horror going on and by now, with the reader knowing a lot about this dysfunctional family from previous issues, the build up to some kind of explosion is ever present in every panel. The writer/artist of this 12 issue miniseries is Terrance Zdunich, who starred in and helped create REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA. Just as that movie was filled with bits of surreal and horrific, so is this comic which gets under your skin and writhes.

OLYMPIANS – ZEUS: KING OF THE GODS OGN OLYMPIANS - ATHENA: GREY EYED GODDESS OGN First Second Books

This first pair of First Second’s OLYMPIANS series which gives detailed accounts of specific gods and goddesses was an absolutely fantastic read; some of the most entertaining and educational presentations of classic greek mythology I have ever read. Being a greek mythology buff anyway, I gobbled up this book by George O’Connor who knows his stuff about the tales of gods, heroes, and monsters. Both tell most of the more well known (and some more obscure) stories about these myths of old. Much more entertaining than some Hollywood remake starring Avatard, these OLYMPIANS books are definitely worth seeking out for educators trying to connect with students in a new and fun way and mythology buffs like myself who never grow tired of hearing these classic tales.

PUNISHER: FRANKEN-CASTLE #17 Marvel Comics

I’ve been pretty hard on Remender’s ”Franken-Castle” arc and from the get-go, I’ve said that one of the main reasons this was such a train wreck was because of the ill-fitting art of Tony Moore who’s style, while cool, is better fitted for a comedic MAD Magazine style book than a book like the PUNISHER. I always said that maybe, just maybe, this book would be a bit more entertaining had the art been a bit more horrific. Well, enter Roland Boschi in this issue. Now, I’m not going to say I like the idea of Franken-Castle, but I will say the art style is much better suited and this was a much better read than the last arc. I’m not yet sold on the premise, but the art is much better. Oh yeah, the automatic status quo reset button has been set in play in this issue, meaning that this whole Franken-Castle thing can be over and done with (hopefully) some time very soon. - Bug

BIRDS OF PREY #2 DC Comics

I really am thrilled to see this comic back on track. The break from the title seems to have revitalized Simone and given her the boost she needed to bring this comic back to form. Loving the new additions of Hawk & Dove; Hawk’s all Guy Gardner-y in this issue and seeing him piss off Black Canary with his chauvinistic ways made me smile. The Penguin gets a few sleazy lines as well in this book. Seeing the male world react to this team of female ass-kickers is a theme of this book that Simone knocks out of the park. One criticism is that the shift from Ed Benes’ fine art to the less detailed artwork of Adriana Melo was extremely jarring. Hopefully, next time editorial decides to do this, they’ll get an artist that is more similar to Benes to finish the issue…or (heaven forbid) Benes can finish off the issue himself. Apart from that, another fine, fun outing with everyone’s favorite Birds. - Bug

INCREDIBLE HULK #610 Marvel Comics

So Red Hulk and Red She-Hulk were who we all thought they were from the beginning (though I have to admit, I hypothesized it was Talbot for a tick). The reveals in last month’s book were a bit anti-climactic, but now that the cat’s out of the bag, we can get to what we’ve all really been looking forward to: the battle between Skaar and the Hulk. This issue leads up to that event pretty well. But now that the Rulk Reveals are done, this issue must first clean up the Hulked Out Heroes mess. And in this issue is the perfect example of something I’ve noticed in a lot of comics. You see, back in the day, the guys who wrote comics were nerds. They’d think about nerdy science shit and incorporate them into their stories, so the attention was on all of this damn cool science, be they hypothetical science doo dads or existing ones. Nowadays, comics are written by fans, i.e. folks who nerd out about comics, so that scientific factor falls by the wayside. So in this issue, when the five of the eight greatest minds in the world work on a solution to the Hulked Out Heroes, it’s done off panel. The group says, we don’t have much time to come up with a solution. Next panel caption: “Seven minutes later” and a plan is hatched. I call copout! Sure I don’t want a page long exposition telling me how a Bunsen burner works, but a little science in a comic like the Hulk would be pretty nifty. Either way, it was a fun issue with a huge payoff when Banner finally does what he’s most famous for…no, not baking lemon meringue pie, though he is a mean chef. I’m talking about Hulking out. This comic has me hooked to see next issue’s showdown, so I guess it did its job. - Bug

JOKER’S ASYLUM II: HARLEY QUINN #1 (One-Shot) DC Comics

Though not as intelligent as last week’s Riddler story and not as batshit crazy as this week’s Mad Hatter joint, Harley’s installment in this series of one shots was a cute little side story that seems more fitting in a BATMAN: ANIMATED SERIES book than this one. But I guess that’s Harley’s personality, so in keeping in tone with the character, this book wasn’t half bad. Nice little twist at the end and seeing Harley throw a whammy on the expectations most have of her by using heavy military artillery was kind of fun. Not the best in this series, but breezy and fun nevertheless. - Bug

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #634 Marvel Comics

What annoyed we with the whole “The Gauntlet” arc was that they were making something out of nothing. Back in the day, Spidey’s entire life was a gauntlet fighting one villain one month, then another the next. Here he’s doing the same thing and they call it an arc, with the only tie-in to the arc being an appearance by Lil’ Kraven at the end gathering the villains for an “Ultimate Plan”! MWOO-HAHAHA! Yawn. Even though I think resurrecting Kraven is a lame idea given that KRAVEN’S LAST HUNT was one of my all-time favorite Spidey stories and dead should mean dead somewhere, this issue was fun seeing the Kraven Family trying to resurrect their patriarch by sacrificing Spider-type super heroes. It’s a cool motivation, even if it is batshit crazy. Having a family of lunatics who believe that your death could mean the resurrection of the original Kraven running around making your life hell is much cooler than resurrecting the guy. Here’s hoping they keep going down the path of crazy in this “Grim Hunt” storyline. I’d much rather see Sergei Kravenoff appear as a delusion rather than a reality in this comic, but given Marvel’s reputation of bringing everyone back from the dead, I’m preparing for the worst. While I wait, though, I get to see Lark and Gaudiano’s amazing art so it ain’t all that bad. - Bug

G.I. JOE: COBRA #5 IDW Publishing

So while Chuckles is mending his wounds from the last arc of this, the best G.I. JOE series on the racks, we get to check out some more intrigue and suspense through the eyes of a different undercover Joe operative: Scoop, a down on his luck detective who has a knack for getting himself into trouble. This noir tale has all the right beats, sans the femme fatale, as Scoop tries to uncover the mysteries behind some disappearances linked to a cult called The Coil. Again, the guys behind this book, Christos Gage and Mike Costa, do a phenomenal job of taking some of the kookier concepts from the original comic series, in this case Serpentor, and turning it into something a bit more believable--in this case turning it into a Dianetics-style religious cult--without stripping it of entertainment value. A lot of great reading is to be had from G.I. JOE: COBRA. - Bug

THE UNNECESSARY—I mean—REDUNDANT—uhm—THE REDONKUCLOUS—let me try this one more time—THE NEW AVENGERS #1 Marvel Comics

This is not a hate on Bendis. His style is what it is in this book, so if you like it, the books oozing with it. If you hate it, you know to stay away. The problem with this book is that almost every character is somehow involved with another Avenger team and other than sucking four Washingtons out of your Bad Mutha Fucka wallet, there’s not real point to this series existing. Hell, Cage’s first line in this one is “Then what was the #@%# point?” There’s a lot of hemming and hawing about this very subject in the comic from the characters, with Bendis winking to the audience saying, “I know, I know, Wolverine is on three Avengers teams and two X-Men teams” and Spidey doing the same. But the joke is over. Enough already. If Bendis wants to write Cage so much, he should have put him in THE AVENGERS. If by the end of the story there was some kind of valid reason for this team to be, I’d be all the more forgiving, but that doesn’t happen. This title is completely self absorbed; a vanity project from someone who doesn’t understand the meaning of the words “less is more”. I know you guys are going to eat this issue up, but for the love of god, have some self respect and stay away and let this one die on the vine. Then maybe Stuart Immonen can move over to AVENGERS and replace JRJR’s chicken scratches. There are better books out there. There are better Bendis books out there. Don’t drink the Kook-Aid folks. This is sheer, unnecessary crap. - Bug

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


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Readers Talkback
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  • June 23, 2010, 11:37 a.m. CST

    A God Somewhere

    by SpiderHarshaw

    I'd never even heard of this book until I stumbled across a few people discussing it on the CBR boards, but it really piqued my interest. This review seals the deal. I was left a little cold by the one Irredeemable trade I picked up, and I haven't gotten around to finishing The Mighty (are they going to release the second Mighty trade any time soon), but this is going in my next Amazon order.

  • June 23, 2010, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Jeph Loeb

    by Joenathan

    His team ups with Sale on Batman WOULD be flawless if they weren't ripped off almost word for word from other, better known, sources...

  • June 23, 2010, 11:38 a.m. CST

    I'm not much into comics these days..

    by STLost

    but I might pick up "A God Somewhere" and "The Walking Dead" books.

  • June 23, 2010, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Never before seen carnage?

    by DennisMM

    If you think that of "A God Somewhere," you need to read "Miracleman" #16, by Moore and Totleben. Just a recommendation.

  • June 23, 2010, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Resurrections & Science

    by Dave I

    Spider-Man and resurrecting Kraven . . . First, yep, still pissed about One More Day. My initial thought was "doesn't anybody stay dead?" Followed by "bringing back Kraven is a REALLY bad idea." Followed by "oh yeah, they actually hatched and green-lighted the idea to have a demon diabolically have Spider-Man and the rest of the world, um, forget?... yes, FORGET!!! that he was married. Although having MJ remember and somehow confront Peter with sacrificing their future as-of-yet-unborn daughter (not to mention life together) to save Aunt May (and possibly Aunt May's horror at the consequences of her continued elderly life) COULD be a great story. But seriously? After that truckload of crap, whatever Marvel. I just do not care anymore. <p><p>Science in comics? THAT I actually do still care about. Give us SOMETHING! Just having super geniuses create some awesome masterplan off-panel is a total cop-out. How hard is it to do a little research, come up with some plan that at least pays lip service to contemporary science AND at least somewhat fits in with what's going on in the comic with the characters, and giving us SOME quasi-rational explanation instead of just some vague allusion to some science behind it that you're either too uneducated to know about a/o too lazy to look up. Is that asking too much? <p><p>I want to like these comics, I really, REALLY do, but stuff like this makes it very hard. <p><p>And probably third or fourth at this point. So yeah, FOURTH!!!!!!!!! Maybe. <p><p>-Cheers

  • And I don't EVER make that comparison, let alone lightly.<BR><BR>Could be the Calculator talking, but it was better from the first ish on.<BR><BR>Also? Is it physically possible for Brad Meltzer to write a comic book not dominated by nostalgia? Seriously?

  • June 23, 2010, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Ahem. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    by Thalya

  • June 23, 2010, 11:44 a.m. CST

    A God Somewhere

    by jgrantt18

    This book is far and away one of the best books I've ever read. That book is absolutely full of win and demands to be read, treasured, and reread by everyone.

  • June 23, 2010, 11:45 a.m. CST

    A God Somewhere - Review

    by Dave I

    This actually compelled me to order a copy as I was reading the review. Should be interesting. Thanks for being vague; once I got sold on the premise and the reaction I skimmed a bit to go into it as blind as possible, but it's nice to not read the whole synopsis and have the surprises totally blown before cracking open the cover. <p><p>-Cheers

  • June 23, 2010, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Bug! Bug! You read Joker's Asylum: Riddler?

    by Thalya

    U like?

  • June 23, 2010, 11:57 a.m. CST

    It's so strange that...

    by Joenathan

    you guys will accept a guy getting spider powers from a radioactive bite, but you ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT accept that the these books aren't locked into a hard chronological order! As if Wolverine rushes through an Avengers adventure, jumps in a cab to the airport and flies to San Fran to come running up to the X-Men, panting: "I'm... gasp... here now... gasp... bub." Seriously, the exact linear movement of characters shared by teams bothers you THAT much?

  • June 23, 2010, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Dave

    by Joenathan

    For a guy who doesn't care, you sure as shit rambled on about it...

  • June 23, 2010, 12:05 p.m. CST

    That Harley Quinn cover...

    by rev_skarekroe

    ...is going to be wanked to by legions of lonely fanboys. I know, I know, nobody wants to think about it. But you all know it's true.

  • June 23, 2010, 12:35 p.m. CST

    LOL i was counting the minutes, Joe

    by gooseud

    til you rushed in with a defense of New Avengers. Its like what Kirk says about Khan: "I'll say one thing for him: he's consistent".

  • June 23, 2010, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Bug: best first 5 words of a review ever

    by gooseud

    "I've been pretty hard on", yeah I just bet you have, you little minx!!

  • June 23, 2010, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Kletus: Epic Fail

    by gooseud

    So in one column, Kletus just admitted he had no idea who Art Adams was and didnt read Walking Dead til like 3 months ago. Now, not to sound elitist or anything here, but......can I ask where Bug finds these people to review comics? Not that I doubt Kletus's level of enthusiasm, he seems to appear to love comics, but......... damn, bro.

  • June 23, 2010, 12:56 p.m. CST

    stuff

    by Ambush Bug

    Thalya: Yep I liked the RIddler story. It was a lot of fun and the writer used riddles in a smart way in this one which is different than the literal takes on the character that have been happening for decades.<br><br> Joe: It's not too hard to believe Wolvie is in too many books. It is too hard to believe that fans are dumb enough to buy a book that is obviously only there to suck more dollars. Had Bendis done a good job of defining a reason for this team to be rather than have them sittin' and talkin' (when do these guys work out, btw? all they seem to do is sit around the table and drink coffee. remember when Cap would have heart to heart conversations while fighting training robots?) about how many responsibilities through not-so-cute banter, I may have been more forgiving. But what makes this team special? Not much. Just call them the Defenders and maybe I'd be interested.<br><br> kunfuhustler: contact me about your request from last week about reviewing.<br><br> And goose: you said it better than I ever could about Joe's knee-jerk response. And I love Kletus' reviews, he brings the freshness of a new fan. Not everyone has to know the history of all comics to write if they like a comic or not. These days the lack of baggage is a plus sometimes.

  • June 23, 2010, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Fan of Kirkman

    by KinkyWankingGames

    I love Kirkman's stuff, but I buy it, coz' i'm a real fan, and like to actually fucking support the writers and artists.

  • June 23, 2010, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Another Kletus flub

    by Laserhead

    The "awesome, awesome HUSH". Yeesh. Slim peekings, this week.

  • June 23, 2010, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Joenathan, I Care In That . . .

    by Dave I

    I care about the characters and have grown up liking them. So I really WANT to care. Analogous to how you care about an ex-girlfriend. You remember the good times, really like who she was (or you thought she was), then she turned on you and started doing weird things and turned into somebody you could not be with. <p><p>So yeah, kind of like that. I want to care about certain comics but I'm still too bitter to actually follow ones like that. <p><p>However, yes, for not caring about the comics I do dwell on them a lot. They can be such a great medium, but they often do stupid things in them that annoy the crap out of me and keep me from really sticking with them for the long haul. I only write this stuff down honestly 1) to vent and 2) in the one-in-a-million chance they actually read this to let them know that at least some of us hold them accountable for stupid decisions. <p><p>If it makes you feel better, you win. Although if it bothered you that much I am not sure why you kept reading. <p><p>-Cheers

  • June 23, 2010, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Ok, Kletus, heres the deal

    by gooseud

    Art Adams is one of the greatest artists ever to lay pen to page. Hes still great today, but back in the late 80's/early 90's, he really stood head and shoulders over virtually everyone else in the industry, and really kind of defined the rock star artist of the era, kind of like Jim Lee before he was Jim Lee, only hes actually a better artist. His coming back to comics is a huge huge deal.

  • June 23, 2010, 1:41 p.m. CST

    BRING BACK UNCLE BEN!

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Fuck Kraven, he's only been dead about 20 years. As soon as I'm Marvel Editor In Chief I'm bringing back the Ben-Meister. He faked his own death and has been pulling the strings in the Marvel U ever since. He's the one who drives Wolverine back and forth between the Avengers and X-Men in his supersonic plane. Oh, and I'd make Aunt May a skrull. Just for jokes.

  • June 23, 2010, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Soooo....digital comics..

    by Thalya

    DC's onboard as of today. But are they really going to be worth it before the actual work created and consumed truly takes advantage of its digital medium?

  • June 23, 2010, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Thanks, goose

    by Joenathan

    (wink and point)

  • June 23, 2010, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Bug down on Bendis...

    by Joenathan

    Hmmm... shock. That's what is on my face right now... shock.

  • June 23, 2010, 1:45 p.m. CST

    I care because.......

    by gooseud

    they have two different approaches they could take. #1, they could say that the in-universe continuity is so complex that it is impossible to untangle, so therefore, its a hands off policy, minimal crossovers from book to book. Or, #2, the continuity is so complex, lets just throw our hands up and give up, anything goes. Marvel, has clearly chosen #2, an approach I consider lazy. Its the same thing that has always bugged me about Millar: the idea that they COULD solve these things, or resolve these issues, but just choose not to because hey, the fanboy will read anything no matter what we do. Similar to the "solving scientific problems offscreen" issue mentioned above. They COULD do it differently, but dont feel like being bothered. I dont care about splitting Thing between FF and New Avengers, that stuff has been going on since the dawn of comics time. But Wolvy in his own title, X men, X force, Avengers, New Avengers, Donald Duck, Power Pack, and Cloak and Dagger? That smacks a bit of, shall we say, opportunism.

  • June 23, 2010, 1:47 p.m. CST

    And lest I be accused of hypocrisy

    by gooseud

    I never really read Web of Spidey or Marvel Team up back in the day either. When you get to title #3,4,5,6 etc of a character, thats gettting a lil out of hand.

  • June 23, 2010, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Dave

    by Joenathan

    Give up that hope

  • June 23, 2010, 1:48 p.m. CST

    gooseud . . .

    by Dave I

    You could also argue it also smacks of oversaturation and Capitalism. <p><p>-Cheers

  • June 23, 2010, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Joe.....

    by gooseud

    I'm LAUGHing......at the superior intellect.

  • June 23, 2010, 1:49 p.m. CST

    On a more serious note...

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Bug, you hit the nail on the head with your New Avengers review. There's no reason for the team to exist, as all the characters are already featured in other team books, even ones that Bendis himself is writing! <p>Marvel just can't help flooding the market when something does well, as seen with their endless Deadpool titles at the moment. As I said last week, they're just cheapening the "Avengers" name by spreading the concept over far too many titles. IMO, anyway.

  • June 23, 2010, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Joenathan . . .

    by Dave I

    It's fading fast. It IS still disappointing though. Hence the rants and ramblings. <p><p>-Cheers

  • June 23, 2010, 1:53 p.m. CST

    I just don't worry about it

    by Joenathan

    I mean, let's argue story points and all that, but worrying about how Wolverine is in more than one team... it just seems like a waste of time.<br><br>Besides... Wolverine vs. Donald Duck was awesome

  • June 23, 2010, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Goose

    by Joenathan

    why did you make the "ing" lower case?

  • June 23, 2010, 1:55 p.m. CST

    People, why are we feeding the Marvel Zombie?

    by Thalya

    Week after week after week. Don't you have better things you want to talk about?

  • June 23, 2010, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Here's the reason

    by Joenathan

    Avengers is going to be the big stuff, the hero stuff with the crazy classic villians.<br><br>New Avengers is going to be the more low level, dark stuff, like the Demon invasion storyline that has been simmering for... years now, it seems.<br><br>Different books for differently toned stories... duh

  • June 23, 2010, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Thayla

    by Joenathan

    You should write one of your awesome plays about it.

  • June 23, 2010, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Immonen on Avengers as next gig? Terrible idea!

    by Tall_Boy66

    Immonen on his next gig being to re-team with Warren Ellis on NEXTWAVE 2 - absolute genius idea.

  • June 23, 2010, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Dave

    by Joenathan

    Try Bru's Cap

  • June 23, 2010, 2 p.m. CST

    Joe...

    by Thalya

    1) Spell it right, dear.<BR><BR>2) Praytell, what plays have I written, mm? I certainly wouldn't call anything I've written awesome. Borderline good, maybe, but I need a lot more practice with the discipline to attain such lofty heights.

  • June 23, 2010, 2:03 p.m. CST

    Thayla

    by Joenathan

    I just farted... and thought of you.

  • June 23, 2010, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Using the phrase Epic Fail...

    by KletusCassidy

    is an epic fail. Joenathan- what did he rip off? not that I'm arguing...just curious. Goose- there are a lot of comic fans that have not read Walking Dead. There's still a lot i need to learn about your earth comic periodicals, that said i appreciate the info. I will say when people say "i don't mean to be a dick but..." they're usually being a dick. Kletus still loves you though...and what's a Jim Lee?

  • June 23, 2010, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Thalya, the only comics I read now are digital

    by letsfightinglove

    So I would say yes, if you don't mind reading them on your notebook or iPad, if you're lucky enough to own one of those.

  • June 23, 2010, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Kletus

    by Joenathan

    read Long Halloween specifically and then watch Godfather and Goodfellas (among others) or vice versa and see if you can spot it. Let me be clear though, these aren't similiar scenes or homages, in some cases it's almost exactly the same dialogue. <br><br>Realizing that kind of killed my love for that book... except for Sale's art, of course. I love stubbled Batman.

  • June 23, 2010, 2:27 p.m. CST

    letsfightinglove

    by Joenathan

    love the name--AND, I must admit, I loved the IPAD Marvel app... I'm not sure I'm sold yet, but it was really cool.

  • June 23, 2010, 2:41 p.m. CST

    letsfightinglove

    by Thalya

    That's cool. Do you find there's a bit more simplicity with the format?<BR><BR>Personally, at the moment I like hunting down bargain backissues at cons, have the storage space, and find tangible copies are about equal or greater in value compared to digital copies.<BR><BR>What kind of viewer do you have? I look at an iPad and tend to think its slightly-small viewing screen does a disservice to the comic art represented. If original work for that medium were to come out, something more manga-ish in style may fare better (to say nothing of digital-specific capabilities). How do you like the quality of what you're getting right now?

  • June 23, 2010, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by KletusCassidy

    Really? damn...looks like i have some research to do. now is it entire scenes or just broken dialog throughout the movies? and how did you discover this? Sorry you've peaked my interest...

  • June 23, 2010, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Both

    by Joenathan

    Tweaked to fit a batman story, of course. I discovered it just by looking. Remember the bar scene in Goodfellas where he's describing all the people in the bar: Pete the Killer and Tommy Two times? Loeb does that, but in a jail cell, it's stuff like that. Like when Sonny, I mean, the young Falcone goes out to chase the GCPD away from the cars belonging to the guests at his sister's wedding... It was really disappointing

  • June 23, 2010, 3:03 p.m. CST

    It probbly doesn't have to be said, but...

    by Joenathan

    Those Walking Dead set picks make me really excited.

  • June 23, 2010, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Long Halloween

    by Joenathan

    Of course, the ultimate failing of that book--plagurism aside--is the fact that the ending makes no sense. I wonder: Did Loeb just NOT know who Holiday was, or (Like.. what was it... szero hour?) did he see that people were guessing right and changed the answer mid-stream?

  • June 23, 2010, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Don't drink the Kook Aid!

    by Squashua

    I stopped buying Avengers.

  • June 23, 2010, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Long Halloween

    by Monolith_Jones

    I have no idea about the alleged plagiarism, BUT that book is not the masterpiece everyone wants it to be. It's a barely mediocre story with mediocre art.

  • June 23, 2010, 4:30 p.m. CST

    now i've heard it all...

    by sonnyhooper

    ....a guy who does nothing but ride brian mikeys nuts making fun of jeph loeb. the mind staggers. guess it's time to go watch "pardon the interruption", this place is dead anyway. sad that T.K. and Wilbon talking about the world cup might be more thrilling than the aint-it-marvel-comics-circle-jerk. *sigh*

  • June 23, 2010, 4:38 p.m. CST

    but...

    by Joenathan

    his nuts are sooooo soft...

  • June 23, 2010, 4:48 p.m. CST

    sonny! waaaaaiiiitttt!

    by Thalya

    I have a genuine discussion question buried in here somewhere, if you're interested. Was saving it for a few weeks til I could ask it on a Wednesday so there'd be some notice of it.

  • June 23, 2010, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Long Halloween

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    Love that book, great story, great art. But yeah, the ending reveal does suck. Has Gilda Dent ever appeared in any other current continuity Batman stories does anyone know? Be interesting to know if they've ever explained that character further.

  • June 23, 2010, 5:01 p.m. CST

    A God Somewhere

    by The Penultimate Gunslinger

    I'd never heard of this before this thread. Sounds interesting. I might have to check that shit out, even though the story of some super-dude going evil is getting a bit old hat in comics.

  • June 23, 2010, 5:10 p.m. CST

    'Batman XXX' is awesome!

    by teedadawg

    They got the costumes right, the casting right, the cinematography right. The female cast was off the chain (Tori Black, Lexi Belle, my girl Alexis Texas, Kimberly Kane), but even the guys were good. The Riddler (Evan Stone) was a little random, but The Joker (Randy Spears) was dead-on and kudos to the guys who portrayed Batman/Bruce and Robin/Dick. Did I mention Batgirl gets what fanboys have dreamed of doing to her for decades??? It's a good show.

  • June 23, 2010, 5:21 p.m. CST

    well, PTI is over...

    by sonnyhooper

    ....so go for it Thalya. ask that genuine discussion question. it HAS to be better than batman porn, bendis porn and long halloween confusion.

  • June 23, 2010, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Franken-Castle

    by fiester

    Seriously: Will this Franken-Castle run go down as the silliest stunt ever? I am hard pressed to recall anything quite so sad and pathetic as what they did to Frank Castle.

  • June 23, 2010, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Ok! So like I was asking..

    by Thalya

    Soooo....digital comics..<BR><BR>DC's onboard as of today. But are they really going to be worth it before the actual work created and consumed truly takes advantage of its digital medium? I also kinda wanna know, if digital comics take on characteristics apart from paper comics, any guesses as to what that might look like at this early stage? What might actually work as art as opposed to being considered a gimmick?

  • June 23, 2010, 6:29 p.m. CST

    Birds of Prey

    by KCViking

    Got a question for anyone who reads Birds of Prey...how does it stack up,writing wise,to her work on Secret Six? I realise its different characters and whatnot,but I've enjoyed Simones work on that and I need another comic for my pull list since Power Girl(aka Busty Airborne Lass) probably wont make the cut after the next issue.

  • June 23, 2010, 6:57 p.m. CST

    Charmed under your blanket

    by Star Hump

    Oh yeah, I'll be reading Charmed under my blanket after 10pm, but with a fleshlight instead of a Playskool flashlight. Unn Rose yeah that's it you're so hot show me how you suck a guy's cock yeah Rose

  • June 23, 2010, 7:02 p.m. CST

    digital comics...

    by sonnyhooper

    .... well, my guess, (and it is just that, a guess, since i have not seen the marvel or dc app. working on a ipad or notebook)my guess, is that the question comes down to if it's worth it FOR YOU. meaning the individual. <p> some people won't want to let got of the printed page while others will be floored by the ease of digital storage. personally, sometime in the near future, i would like to get out of the physical media storage situation i find myself in right now. so in the very near future i think digital comics will be well worth it, to me at least, no matter if the "comic" comes with "extra content" or not. <p> as for what that "extra content" might be? maybe you might get a "motion comic" type gimmick in the future, but in the end i think the real attraction of digital comics ends up being the fact that you won't have to have a closet full of longboxes anymore. plain and simple.

  • June 23, 2010, 7:08 p.m. CST

    Fuck Franken-Castle.

    by Holeman

    Seriously. I hope everyone involved with this shit dies in a fire.

  • June 23, 2010, 7:28 p.m. CST

    I agree, fuck Franken-Castle

    by letsfightinglove

    How many times must they rape the Punisher? First they make him join the mafia and stop killing people, then he dies like a bitch and becomes some kinda undead revenant with magic guns, then he has amnesia, then he comes back to life for a while before dying like a bitch again, and now this?!<br> As for digital comics, I love ComicRack, it organizes my comic files just the way I like 'em. The quality of my scans are usually pretty good. Eventually I would like to see features like moveable/transparent word ballons & captions, single panel zoom and smart panel zoom (automatically going to where your eye should go). Also it would cool to have embedded hyperlinks, like to a character's bio or something.

  • June 23, 2010, 8:27 p.m. CST

    i would think that...

    by sonnyhooper

    ....if digital comics got too "gimicky" (i.e hyperlinks, panel zooms, transparent world ballons) it would get annoying. <p> maybe it's just the old cranky bastard in me, but i thought the appeal in the i-pad was it mimicked the printed page. so maybe all of that extra crap would annoy me. but i guess that kind of stuff would be easy to ignore or shut off? <p> but anyway, another advantage of going digital that i just thought of..... if i didn't have to worry about where i was going to have to store all of the physical comic. i would probably be willing to try out more books each month. taking a chance on something for 4 bucks would seem to have less downside if i could just delete it or banish it to a flash drive if i didn't like it.

  • June 23, 2010, 8:31 p.m. CST

    Hmm..

    by Thalya

    True true, I agree the individual, both consumer and artist, will definitely drive the evolution here. But it's probably only a matter of time, especially with how well we've all taken to new tech in the past decade, right? Once a title or two specific to the new medium becomes must-have, that'll probably be the tipping point. But so long as the only difference is work which works in either medium, we're stuck in neutral.<BR><BR>So "what then?" when the artistic trumps pragmatic concerns?<BR><BR>I dunno if "extra content" is the best term, that suggests something like DVD extras which are additional content as opposed to integrated content, like, I dunno, page transitions which contribute to the storytelling. Most anything special to digital comics would probably at first seem like a gimmick until the intent behind it was successful in raising it to art.<BR><BR>Thinking about it more, I half-wonder whether what I'm wondering doesn't drive more deeply to a question about the nature of Art in general, particularly that which rises to canon-level. Most great art from throughout human history that we know of exists in static form: words/notation or images (comics melding both); music is something of an outlier. This past century or so, we've added media like film and sound recordings --some might add video games-- which add elements of motion and potentially greater degradability (if an EMP were to take out all digital content permanently worldwide, we'd still have cave paintings). Art can ultimately be created in any medium, just, given the more-ephemeral nature of digital media, what's the worth of digital innovations if they can't be preserved in a more concrete/protected form?

  • June 23, 2010, 8:51 p.m. CST

    That's just it...

    by Prof

    ...digital-only works will eventually disappear into the ephemera. There's value to the higher concepts within the works themselves and value to the access and storage capabilities...but there is no reality to it. As one who has even won a publishing award for cover art I entirely created digitally, I recognize that there is something missing from the lack of physical-ness to it. If art speaks to the soul, part of the reason for it is precisely because of that aspect of the artist that was physically poured into the work. As arguably great as it is to see Van Gogh's work or Pollock's in a book, there is nothing quite so profound as being able to behold the originals in all their glory. It is only in the physical that you can feel the emotion and pain and joy and effort that the true artist pours into his work. Digital can never do that...though so far, digital artist Chris Shy is maybe proving me wrong because his work somehow touches my soul and heart and I well up with emotion when I see his work. But I stand by my assessment as a general rule.

  • June 23, 2010, 9:22 p.m. CST

    DigiComms

    by optimous_douche

    Poetic Prof and I share the same sentiments. But, I think we are a dying breed.<p> DigiComms won't fade away,but they sure as shit will evolve quickly if they are going to compete on a device where you can go and watch any cartoon ever made.<p> I guess if they sell them at disposable prices like .99 cents though, they will hold some appeal.<p> I worry about the future quality of the work though. With that lower price point they will have to sell a shit load more units to keep top talent. Do they think this will expand the comic fanbase...not so sure.

  • June 23, 2010, 10:10 p.m. CST

    Second Coming

    by SteadyUP

    http://www.half-assed.com/

  • June 23, 2010, 10:26 p.m. CST

    I Still Like My Books in Print

    by Dave I

    I'm probably part of a growing minority in that regard, an ever-shrinking and possibly dying breed. Still, there is something kinesthetic about a physical page, the feel, portability (becoming less of a factor, but still), less eye strain (although, again, apparently the tech is getting better). It might be entirely because of me growing up with books, in which case this will not be a hang up with the younger generations. Still, it seems so much less sterile and more focused to read a real book vs. a PDF or similar. <p><p>Regarding future quality and pricing . . . Nothing is eternal. Even cave man paintings are going to fade, books can burn or be destroyed, digital files can be corrupted or erased. I do agree with prof, there is something about the physical medium of traditional art that I find adds something. I do not think that will ever change, at least to me. In art, even in music, there are things that will happen in a non-digital world that digital can never truly replace or replicate (particularly things like happy accidents that are incorporated that a more "perfect" medium would never allow). <p><p>One possible advantage to DigiComms with the price would be the lack of cost for printing & shipping from the producers' end. Kind of like digital music, they still make a profit even if there is some markdown for digital downloads (often just skimming Amazon there does not necessarily seem to be), the plus is you can download instantly, it seems less likely to sell or buy used digital copies (unless they're on a CD-ROM or flash drive or something) and there is the draw of instantly downloading them which has a definite spur-of-the-moment appeal to some (as well as a gas-saving perk for consumers). While I still generally prefer my literary pursuits in-print, I could see this taking off and possibly reading some comics, novels, etc., on-line. <p><p>Interesting topic. <p><p>-Cheers

  • June 23, 2010, 11:53 p.m. CST

    At least New Avengers doesn't suck...

    by Homer Sexual

    Everyone knows I can't deal with Wolverine on twenty teams, but New Avengers has decent story and art. <p> Avengers #1 was so weak, I almost passed on issue #2, but I gave in, bought it, read it, and... <p> It sucked worse than Slott's Mighty Avengers (which sucked balls). It was horrible on all levels. <p> Yet I may buy issue #3, because I am just that stupid and zombified.

  • June 24, 2010, 1:40 a.m. CST

    Secret Avengers, Secret Warriors and SHIELD...

    by Joenathan

    That's where it's at. There's nothing but good stories there. New Avengers... we'll see and I'm going to have trouble ignoring JRJR on Avengers. Otherwise, I just know this neutered silver age hero bullshit is not going to be anywhere near as interesting as the past seven years.

  • June 24, 2010, 7:03 a.m. CST

    Wow, Joe

    by gooseud

    Thats the hardest I've ever heard you rip a Bendis comic. You've come a long way. That just lets you know how bad JRJR is on Avengers, even Joe cant pretend that art is palatable LOL I'm 1 for 3 on those others, Secret Avengers is indeed pretty good, I dont read Secret Warriors, and I really tried SHIELD, I gave #2 a real college try, but I am man enough to admit it: I dont get it. I mean, I get it, but I feel like it is teetering right on the verge of Bad-Morrison, purposely obtuse-ville.

  • June 24, 2010, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Bad Morrison...?

    by Joenathan

    Goose... you make me sad... <br><br>You should read Secret Warriors though, it's great and I'm not sure at the moment, but it might tie in with Secret Avengers? We'll see. Either way, it is good time Nick Fury butt kicking Spy stuff.<br><br>And I've never been a JRJR fan. I was way more excited about Avengers before he got involved. Then it was like: "Oh..." (slumped shoulders). I hear he's a great guy, but I just can't stand the art. I mean, c'mon, it's got Kang in it and dystopian futures! That's always good. I haven't read #2 yet, but doesn't Reed have Dr. Doom's old time platform?<br><br>And Bug... Thje Avengers do their kegel excercises WHILE they're having Tea.<br><br>Anyway, listen, I know you guys won't believe this... because you're practically Bendis jihadists... but I'm not the knee jerk Bendis guy on this board... you guys are. I've never denied how his quips can sometimes fall like a lead balloon or how the action can sometimes get buried under the talky-talky, and how sometimes, it's almost like he wrote the book drunk.... remember the "Oh no you didn't" issue of New Avengers? Yeah, that was bad. I don't even think his worst sin is the banter though, I think it's that while he's always so incrediblly decompressed, he also rushes things at times, sometimes missing or underserving the good part, in my opinion. These are all readily apparent things that you find with Bendis. <br><br>But he does great stuff too. Let's do the list: <br><br>Alias. fucking awesome. <br><br>Powers. Great.<br><br>Daredevil. The fact that Matt Murdock even has a book of his own at this point is due--completely--to Bendis, especially after the years of abuse that culminated in Kevin Smith.<br><br>Ultimate Spider-man. Longest running creative team-a commitment you don't get in comics anymore. AND hands down, the most consistantly entertaining super hero comic put out each month. You know it. <br><br> Avengers. The book(s) have their ups and downs, but you can't deny that, like Daredevil, here was another group of characters that had some how become lame and neglected, forgotten and ignored in an ugly corner of the MArvel universe where the only press they got was when Ant-man climbed out of Wasp's vagina. Thanks to Bendis (and others) those characters are all A list again. They're making hit movies about them. This is undeniablly. You can not like it, and be mad or jealous, or prefer things a different way, or just whine about the silver age and your boxes and boxes after creepy-ass fucking boxes of comics and how that makes you... I don't know... a comic Book Authority or something, but it doesn't make Bendis's responsibility for starting the Avengers franchise back up to the top-top any less true.<br><br> You kids, on the other hand, see the name Bendis and you immediately start spraying pee everywhere and screaming "SUX!!!1 SUX!1!! ARRRGGGGGLLLL-BLLLAAAAAAAAAH!" ... so I speak up. <br><br>Plus, I enjoy the argueing.<br><br>HA-ha!

  • June 24, 2010, 10:11 a.m. CST

    teedadawg...

    by KletusCassidy

    Alexis Texas huh? sounds like its worth the purchase...thanks.

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  • June 24, 2010, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Yay! BottleImp!

    by Subtitles_Off

    Finally, somebody, somewhere, writing about Batman books who hasn't inhaled the "legacy-cool-wild-neato-anybody got some Ex?-sci-fi/fantasy" gas of Grant Morrison's de[con]struction of The Dark Knight mythos.<P>Good on ya, mate.

  • June 24, 2010, 1:45 p.m. CST

    $3.99 losing steam?

    by KidKaos73

    I was surprised to pick up Shield #2 and see it was $2.99, even though it's a new title and the first issue was $3.99. Same goes for most issues of Spider-Woman. Is Marvel maybe backing off raising every damn title up to four bucks? Anyone else noticed other titles holding or lowering to $2.99?

  • June 24, 2010, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Siege is a prime example...

    by kungfuhustler84

    ...of where Bendis really screwed up. Everything that's wrong with that book is his fault. Olivier Coipel has some great storytelling abilities (Ares v. Sentry anyone?) but Bendis just covered every other page with unnecessary dialog, especially in the last two issues. Coipel's art, and the fact that it was a four-issue event made all that recapping totally pointless.<p>He even made Dark Avengers worse with all the characters speaking in the same generic Bendis voice, although I really like the early issues. I'm just glad he left Deodato alone so he could work with a better writer. As far as I'm concerned, Bendis and JRJR deserve each other.

  • June 24, 2010, 2:10 p.m. CST

    All the Marvel books I got this week were 2.99

    by kungfuhustler84

    Last week had a few that were 4 though, like Cap and ASM. ASM's extra material was sort of interesting, but I do not care in the least about Nomad in the back of Cap.<p>I'm still having difficulty dropping good books like Cap when the prices rise. Anybody else have a book they still buy even though it's $3.99 or am I the only sucker?

  • June 24, 2010, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Nomad and pricing

    by Joenathan

    I really want to like that character too, I like the idea of her, but... it's just not clicking for me. The art doesn't wow me either.<br><br>As for the prices, that doesn't really affect my decision on a comic by comic basis, but when they're all together in my hand, I have admitted to myself that I'm just not into certain titles anymore and let them go, in order to lower my total cost

  • June 24, 2010, 3:07 p.m. CST

    DigiComics as Art

    by sonnyhooper

    if ANY medium can take digital to the next level it's comics. because when you think about it, what "type" of art would translate best into a digital (meaning non-physical) medium? <p> pop art. and what are comics, if not the very definition of pop art? <P> and sure, some art has more of a shelf life than others. but in the end, if it moves you on any level, what does it matter if it's made of paint and ink, or canvas and paper, or pixels and a bunch of ones and zeros?

  • June 24, 2010, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Franken-Castle

    by KletusCassidy

    dislike!

  • June 24, 2010, 8:01 p.m. CST

    FRANKEN-CASTLE

    by kungfuhustler84

    I never liked the Punisher much as a kid. I saw the Thomas Jane movie and liked it okay, but all I've read is some Ennis, and not much at that. Punisher's more radical moral compass has always bugged me, but his status in the Marvel Universe is what really makes him ludicrous. As a human who doles out death to organized crime (i.e. the MaX series) he works, but he's harder to fit into a super-powered world. I jumped on Punisher starting with the issue where he's killed by Daken. If you haven't read it, I suggest checking it out. Remender writes Frank Castle throughout his early run as a guy in over his head. The art is by JRJR, and it's actually pretty good. His more obscure, blocky style helps smooth over the violence, and the framing helps to pace the battle perfectly. At first Frank puts up a respectable fight, but then with the turning of each page, you start to see Daken brutally whittling away at him. <p>If Marvel really is based more in our reality, then killing the Punisher this way was a brilliant move. It allows him to interact with more characters within the universe, and actually have a chance in a fight with the more gifted enemies. He's still limited by his rage. That, and the presence of monsters is a nice commentary on his character. Franken-Castle is really good for the first couple of issues, but the inconsistencies in the art, specifically the dropping of Tony Moore, is really bothersome.<p>I would be fine if Frank stayed Frankencastle for a while longer. At the least, it's good to see the Marvel monsters like Man-Thing get more attention. That said, this Wednesday's issue was especially weak. If Tony Moore wasn't drawing the next issue, I would probably have dropped this title.

  • June 25, 2010, 1:09 a.m. CST

    Daredevil...

    by JonQuixote

    DD lasted, what, 40 years before Bendis showed up, and sold hugely with Kevin Smith at the helm, but he'd be canceled if it wasn't for the Bald One? Avengers had writers like Johns and Busiek doing great work on the title, but needed to be "disassembled" in one of the most widely panned Avengers stories since "The Crossing" by their "savior" before he could "save" them? Buddy, wipe his shit from your nose. The guy ain't Jesus. You're embarrassing yourself.

  • June 25, 2010, 1:12 a.m. CST

    Multiple Avengers titles

    by JonQuixote

    I've been catching up on ASM and despite the inherent stupidity of the Brand New Day schtick, it's been fan-freakin'-tastic. Truly deserving of the title "Amazing." I think the publishing format - condensing all the stories into one title with rotating creative teams working from a fairly unified vision - has paid off tremendously, resulting in tight creative stories with a modern sensibility but a classic feel. It's time to apply this paradigm to the bloated AVENGERS and X-MEN franchises and see if they can't catch lightning in a bottle.

  • June 25, 2010, 11:25 a.m. CST

    What the FUCK

    by Lone Fox

    Why is Sienkiewicz just getting inking duties nowadays? I was prepared to buy Mad Hatter on the cover alone, til I looked inside. FUCK!

  • June 25, 2010, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Jon

    by Joenathan

    Your ignoring the serious sales and creative slump they were in before Bendis got the title, THAT'S what I was referring to. Sorry it was too confusing!

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