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#8 7/14/10 #9

Hey folks, Ambush Bug here. So as you’re reading this, I’m on a plane on my way to San Diego for this year’s Comic Con. I’m going to be there with my buddy and fellow @$$Hole superhero and the rest of the main guys at AICN for the second year in a row. I’ll be out there Wednesday through Sunday and it looks to be another fantastic con this year. Much like last year where I hosted a chat about comics and horror, I’ve teamed up with producer Peter Katz again to put together a panel full of horror’s up and coming voices. We’re calling it “Horror Filmmakers Discuss the Art of Fear” and we’re going to see what it takes to make horror in today’s Hollywood. Slated to be on the panel are:
Kevin Grevioux (Co-writer/actor of UNDERWORLD and creator of I, FRANKENSTEIN) Dan Myrick (Co-writer/Co-director of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT) Todd Farmer (Scriptwriter of MY BLOODY VALENTINE remake) Adam Gierasch (NIGHT OF THE DEMONS remake director and co-writer) Jace Anderson (Co-writer of NIGHT OF THE DEMONS remake) Steven C. Miller (Director of AUTOMATON TRANSFUSION & SCREAM OF THE BANSHEE) Ben Ketai (Scriptwriter / director of DARK DAYS: 30 DAYS OF NIGHT 2) And just added, Darren Lynn Bousman (director of the upcoming MOTHER’S DAY remake and SAW 2)
I want to invite all who are attending the comic con to stop by the Marriott Hotel in the Marriott Hall 2. It is right next door to the Convention Center (at the Hall A end). The address is 333 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101. This panel will take place on Thursday, July 22 at 4:00pm-5:00pm. The event will be filmed and pics a plenty will be snapped. So come dressed in your favorite horror get up and I’ll post them here on AICN!
superhero and I will be at the con all week, so drop us a line if you want us to stop by your booth, give us free shit, or just shoot the shit about comics over beers and unhealthy food. I’ll be reporting all week from San Diego, so look for updates starting today. So if you can’t make it, I’ll give you the next best thing by reporting all I see, hear, smell, and drink while at the con.



Writer: Warren Ellis Art: John Cassaday Publisher: DC WildStorm Reviewers: Professor Challenger and Humphrey Lee

Prof. Challenger (PROF): ABSOLUTE PLANETARY is proof of God. It is his divine gift to the comic book fans. It is like the holy fire that Prometheus gave to the first humans.
Or is that too hyperbolic?
Humphrey Lee (HUMPH): Heh, possibly.
It's important because it is that good. PLANETARY came at a time when I was getting back into comics after having left them for dead for a few years. I was growing up and the typical "capes and tights" books weren't doing it for me, and I didn't know something like Vertigo existed. So when I got back into comics, at the ripe age of nineteen, and found out not only could you have a super-people book that was mature, with high brow scientific concepts and the occasional low brow humor, but that didn't have to answer to anyone or anything. It didn't have to have a franchise character in it, and it didn't have to be hard R, it just had to be, and it was awesome when it came out. PLANETARY and THE AUTHORITY both, taking a bit of a lead in from Morrison's JLA run, were the kick in the nuts the superhero genre needed at the end of millennia.
PROF: That's interesting. I also picked up my first PLANETARY issue during a down period in comic buying for me. I was buying very few series at all, but was still popping into the shop and browsing every few weeks. One day I went in and saw this cover for a comic called PLANETARY but the cover featured what looked like Doc Savage on the cover and the logo design was the "Savage" style logo. I had to pick it up and see what was what with it. That would've been issue #5.
After reading it, I was hooked and went back the next day to dig through the long boxes and was able to come up with the first 4 issues and I committed to every issue after that up to the end. Of course, I had no idea at the time that it was going to take so long to finish the series.
HUMPH: That's about the only thing PLANETARY didn't have over all the bad 90's comics I was reading. They may have been terrible, but at least they showed up on time. But, I was lured back into funny books by some pretty big offenders when it came to timeliness; the ABC line of books, JMS' RISING STARS and MIDNIGHT NATION, etc. Thing was, they were worth it. They really opened my eyes up to what comics should be and what I could have/should have been reading once I became disgusted with stuff like "The Clone Saga" and year after year of X-events. I assume we'll get back to tardiness eventually - hard not to when talking about this book - but it was always worth it. The sense grandeur I felt whenever I did and still do open up the pages of a PLANETARY always put(s) me in a better place.
So, what was it that really sold you on this book? That made you harbor such a fondness for it that you find yourself in a frenzy over giant-sized hardcovers of it a decade later?
PROF: For me, initially though, it tickled my fancy because of the alternate versions of Doc Savage, the Shadow, Green Hornet, etc. that were featured. I'm kind of a sucker for the pulp adventurers and I kind of collect pastiches of them. So, PLANETARY was already in my "happy place" from the start.
HUMPH: Yeah, you said it and I'll run with it. The ABSOLUTES are indeed a gift to the comic enthusiast. Sometimes I can't just help but sit down in front of my extensive collection of these things (I've got something like thirteen Absolutes) and these are always the ones I pull out to flip through. Cassaday's art is absolutely sublime, and a huge complement to everything I was just talking about when it comes to reverence for the medium. His takes on all these characters - the Doc Savages, Nick Furys, Fantastic Fours of the medium - are the perfect mix of homage and fresh take. And obviously no one does giant action sequences and splashes like the man, only enhanced by these gloriously oversized pages.
PROF: It's a weird thing to try and review the ABSOLUTE PLANETARY volumes simply because in previous reviews of the series I've pretty much dealt with the series itself. For my money, PLANETARY is the seminal comic book series of the last decade (even though it technically started before 2000). While it owes conceptual debt to other sources, whether it be LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN or Philip Jose' Farmer's "World Newton" Universe stories, PLANETARY was immediately its own unique vision. The writing is so intelligent and peppered with cultural and literary references, without being a "Where's Waldo" type of game like LOEG sometimes devolves into. The sense of the entire project being a self-indulgent ironic paean to obsessive-compulsives is also thankfully absent.
The mystery of the Fourth Man, the life of Elijah Snow, the death of Ambrose Chase; these are the framework that Ellis uses to build his massive monument and shrine to not only the mythology of comic books, but also all great modern adventure stories. "Fictional realities" is not an ironic term in Ellis's PLANETARY. As such, the work in concept and text speaks to the reader in a deeper sense than your average "super-hero" comic for sure. But for the work to really resonate it requires of the reader a working knowledge of genre fiction in graphic novels, comics, and film. That challenge makes PLANETARY a nearly unique reading experience.
HUMPH: I wasn't really into those when I left comics, but as time moves on and I'm becoming a little more jaded than the typical fanfare that is coming out from mainstream comics these days, I'm actually getting more into those kinds of comics. Not those exact comics - I pay respect to what they did but older comic writing drives me up the damn wall I'm such a modern boy - but stuff like PLANETARY here that pays them respect, hits on all the right notes, but is firmly modern writing. That's why I love my ABSOLUTE shelf ; PLANETARY is sandwiched right between THE NEW FRONTIER and PROMETHEA, two other books that took iconic figures and weren't afraid to put new spins on them, whether it just be updated storytelling or, in the case of PROMETHEA, re-imagining them.
PROF: The price-point on this book is pretty high, though, and I fully understand that cost is a deterrent on the Absolutes to many people. I'm one of them, actually, who finds it tough to justify spending the money on a series I already own. PLANETARY is worth it. I'm tempted by the LOEG and JLA/AVENGERS, but have not bought them. Until reading PLANETARY, the only Absolute I deemed worthy of my hard-earned cash was NEW FRONTIER and it is worth it. After handling and reading back through the ABSOLUTE PLANETARY, I can honestly say it is worth every penny for the quality of the series itself and the product. This is designed and produced with integrity and respect for the creators and the reader. I honestly can't rave enough on a pure production and technical level, to be perfectly honest.
HUMPH: Production level is key and this book does indeed have it. The sewn binding is of the highest importance. Even the SANDMAN volumes, massive as they are, still lay flat and lose nothing in the fold. I will level one complaint against these volumes though...they're incomplete. I assume this is going to be it since all 27 issues are represented, but what about the three PLANETARY specials? PLANETARY/BATMAN is arguably my favorite issue of the series and it's not here to bask in the over-sized glory that is this format and that highly saddens me.
PROF: I agree. I agree. I guess in the midst of this love-fest, we really had to find a criticism and that is it. If nothing else, they could have added those 3 specials as a separate and thinner appendix volume or something. Since only one of them was technically outside continuity, it would make sense to have worked them in. I know that in my own individual issues, I've picked where I think they fit and inserted them.
As to the Elseworlds special being outside of continuity...I have to wonder if, given the driving theme of multiple realities, can anything truly be outside continuity?
HUMPH: Yeah, lets be honest here, if someone is a fan of this series, there's really no reason to not get this other than price tag. We are basically reduced to nitpicking the actual physical content of the book, not the content of the material within the book. I mean, these are what, a whole $100 for both volumes on Amazon, now that the first volume is in print again. That's chump change for this book, given what it is, how good it is, how good it looks, and how the Absolute format presents it all.
Still though, at least that BATMAN/PLANETARY one is a shame, but I don't know if they could justify 144 pages in just one Absolute, unless it came packed with bonus material out the wazoo and was $50 max.
PROF: That's why I was thinking something more along the lines of the addendum in JLA\AVENGERS that showcased Perez's unused artwork from the original team-up plus tons of articles and interviews from that time that shed light on why the original team-up never happened.
But I would not be surprised to find out that Ellis himself just looks at those specials as if they are entertaining footnotes but have no direct bearing on the primary story he was telling and that's why he cut them.
Bottom line is that ABSOLUTE PLANETARY is "absolute"-ly outstanding and worth gracing the library of every serious fan of super-heroes and/or adventure stories. Any final words, Humphrey?
HUMPH: Ummmm...Wonder Twin powers activate!!!???
PROF: Yeah. That'll work.
Prof. Challenger is really Texas artist Keith Howell. Check out his website at some time and maybe even follow him on Twitter. As long-winded as he can be, Twitter forces him to be pithy. Show him some #FF love.
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.


Writer: Jason Aaron Penciler: Adam Kubert Inks: Mark Morales Colors: Justin Ponsor Reviewed by: Johnny Destructo

Whelp, that's a damn shame. I really enjoy most of what Jason Aaron's been putting out. As far as I'm concerned, he really hit the ground running full speed with mainstream comics, but this series is a bit of a stumble, if you ask me. Which you didn't. But tough titty-toenails, I'm telling ye anyways. It's a really nice looking book, to be sure, but it's the story that has me sighing loud enuff to make people stare at me in the comic shop. Spidey and Wolvy are jumping through time (who ISN'T? Cap America, Batman and now these two? I'd like an issue where they all accidentally bump into each other with a "fancy meeting you here"! No, I'm lying. I don't wanna read that.) But then again, I don't wanna read this either. Spidey is walking around in his costume, or rather, a costume he stole from a wax museum, non-stop. Why doesn't he take it off, considering him and Logan are the only humans left? I dunno. Instead he's teaching futuristic cave men science classes, while Wolverine spends all his time in a pseudo-samurai outfit, fighting robots, while they both wait for the giant Doctor Doom planet to show up again. Oh and the ridiculous character called The Orb shows up all buff and terminator-y and stuff. to kill the Doctor Doom planet? Why, with a Grant Morrison-esque Phoenix Force bullet, of course.
I guess this is supposed to be a mad-cap-romp with all sorts of wacky shenanagans and what-not, but it just comes off as lame. Which is what it says across the butt of Spidey's stolen wax museum costume the entire issue. This gag was pulled back in the first Wolverine/Spider-Man team up, which was awesome and brutal and touching. This series ain't THAT. And what continuity is JA working with? In this series Spidey and Wolvy are almost enemies. It reads more like a team-up between Spider-Man and Norman Osborn, they have such contempt for each other. They've been on the same Avengers teams for the last several years and have worked together on dozens of adventures! Now all of a sudden they abhor each other?
I was really hoping for another great story from Aaron, but this series isn't really serving any purpose yet. I don't think I'm gonna stick around to find out of it ever does.
JD can be found hosting the PopTards Podcast, discussing movies, comics and other flimflam over at, graphically designing/illustrating for a living, and Booking his Face off over here.


Writer: J. Michael Straczynski Art: Eddy Barrows & J.P. Mayer Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

By now we have all heard the multitude of jokes surrounding the new “grounded” approach that JMS is taking with the Man of Steel; jibes like “You’ll believe a man can walk,” “Forrest El,” and my personal favorite “Dead Story Walking,” have all been clogging the intertubes in anticipation of this new soul searching approach to the Big S.
And now that the book is released the reviews have not been much kinder. JMS is being accused of everything from new age preaching, geographical clusterfuckery…all the way up to racism (I shit you not). For me it boils down to two simple questions: “How do you view America?” and “Do you need every comic to be a smash-in-the-teeth free-for-all of non-stop action?” If you said yes to the second question, stop reading this review, and don’t pick up this book. It’s not a title for you; JMS is writing an indictment of America in this tale as a respite from the non-stop barrage that has been assaulting our senses in all DC titles for the past five years.
Even if I disagreed with the intent of this book (which I don’t) I would still be lenient, because I fully believe that we all need a breather from the CRISIS Tsunami. As one reporter comments while Superman saunters down the streets of Philadelphia, “How can you be walking? What if there’s a Crisis?” Superman’s reply, “There’s always a Crisis?” See I can’t even spell the word anymore without capitalizing it! If everything is always cranked up to 11, 11 is no longer extraordinary, it becomes the norm. Unless you want to turn Superman into IRREDEEMABLE and ultimately end of the title, there must be times of quiet and reflection. After all, that’s sort of what life is like.
For anyone that believes that this issue is merely Superman walking down the street saying, “Hey, I’m Superman y’all better watch me walk.” Please get your head out of your @$$. Superman uses most of his powers in this issue; he’s simply not focusing them on billions of space zombies or other Kryptonians. His X-ray vision helps identify a ruptured fuel line, he uses his heat vision to incinerate a stash of drugs, his super hearing uncovers a heart murmur, and he uses his aerial capabilities to try and talk a building jumper off the ledge. But this issue is not about the powers, it’s about bringing Superman back to his roots as a reflection and embodiment of the real America, our America’s savior. Since his inception Superman has always been what America needs at that moment in time. In the 1930’s he was an unstoppable hero to show that we all could be an unstoppable hero against threats abroad. This trend progressed until…the beginning of the Dark Age, 1986, when we incinerated our collective hero worship and delightfully started snorting the ashes of the fallible, or to speak more succinctly, the fallen hero. And maybe again this was just a reflection of real society as well. Perhaps Moore, Miller and the rest of dark lords were simply using comics to reflect their own disillusionment with crumbling societal pillars like Nixon, the Catholic Church and the collective build-up to inevitable destruction that was the cold war.
Self serving? No doubt. But I ask you to find me a writer out there, especially a comic writer, without some level of personal agenda interwoven into their narrative. Isn’t that what comics and good sci-fi ultimately do, transcend beyond the fiction to tackle true and real societal woes? My answer is an emphatic yes. STAR TREK was not about the stars, it was about using that device to get us all to pay attention to what’s wrong right here and now.
So what societal woes does Supes tackle? Helping our fellow man comes in the form of assisting a family working on their beat up truck. A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work comes in the form of a cheese steak for a little stockroom clean-up work -- a lesson that needs to be crammed down the throat of our current malaise ridden Millenials (kids I tell you right now, very few of you will be able to make a career of texting, get a skill). Other themes include personal accountability, acceptance that life is random, but it’s the only life we get, and finally my personal favorite, that you as an individual affect change, no one can change the world for you.
Honestly, I should hate this issue. I am part of the dark generation that revels at the sight of the anointed crashing to earth after falling out of their ivory towers. I giggle with delight when the infallible are caught with their pants around their ankles. But I didn’t hate this issue, because part of me believes we need to step away from the darkness and cynicism for awhile. I want America to believe in ourselves once again and not dominate the earth, but bring it closer together by example. I’ll dare say…this issue made believe that we can once again believe.
Now after going all Pollyanna for most of this review, I will say both Barrows and JMS screwed the pooch on their portrayal of Philadelphia. Philly’s my home town, and these two made it way too sanitized. To the reviewers that decried JMS is a racist because when Superman confronts drug dealers they all possess varying degrees of skin melanin, I retort back with the fact JMS placed way too many Caucasians in the scene…I’m sorry, I meant misplaced them. You see, on the drive-by drug streets of Tioga and Kensington, all of the white people should be in their sports cars with a window merely cracked open an inch (enough room to hand off the money and receive your goods, but not enough room to get a gun through) and ready to jam on the gas at a moment’s notice. Also there’s not one fucking row home in the book. South Philly is ALL row homes, most of them dilapidated. Also, I had to laugh at the squeaky clean “Welcome to Philadelphia” sign at the end. Sure there’s a dingy green “Welcome to Pennsylvania” sign on the Philly/Delaware border on 95, but Philly itself welcomes no one, especially the Mets…and Santa.
This is a ballsy move for both JMS and DC -- one I applaud and wholeheartedly thank them for. Will it sustain? Based on other reviews and my belief that to sell books you must pander to the lowest common denominator, I think JMS is going to get an editorial mandate to throw in a few aliens or something Super. I hope this is not the case, so you know what? Instead of letting the cynic prevail as I usually do and become mired in dark conjecture, I will just believe otherwise.
Optimous has successfully blackmailed fellow @$$Hole BottleImp into being his artist on Average Joe. Look for Imp's forced labor on Optimous brain child in mid-2011 from COM.X. Friend Optimous on FaceBook to get Average Joe updates and because ceiling cat says it's the right thing to do.


Writer: Duane Swierczynski Art: Leandro Fernandez Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: KletusCasady

A coworker of mine walked passed my desk holding a comic and mumbled under his breath, “Man that was depressing!” Immediately I looked up and asked what he was holding. It was X-MEN ORIGINS: DEADPOOL. Before he could get to the comic rack I snatched it out of his hand and the emo-Kletus said “I wanna be depressed too!” Now I don’t think the comic was that sad but it did have an entirely different feel than any other of the thousand DEADPOOL comics that have come out in the last two months. Marvel is really bad about this. Any time a character gets a little buzz, be it from a movie or just an increase in fan popularity, they just churn out millions of comics featuring said character to the point of oversaturation. Now DC does a similar thing except it’s usually based around some crossover their doing. I mean, do I really need Final Crisis Looney Tunes or Blackest Night Scooby Doo (actually that might be pretty cool)? Probably not but that doesn’t stop them from having everybody and their mom being involved in the crossover. But it’s what they do so whatevs. I read this comic hoping to get a different angle (a dangle if you will) to Deadpool and Swierczynski delivered a pretty good back story with a little more emotion than your typical DEADPOOL comic.
This story is about Deadpool trying to get the movie of his life made and the mishaps and misinterpretations that follow. Swierczynski takes a nice jab at Hollywood here showing how even the simplest concept for a movie can be skewed and fucked up by hack directors who have their own vision of Deadpool’s story regardless of how he relates the story to him. I knew Deadpool’s origin, but this issue fills in the gaps with things that probably weren’t discussed during his induction into the Marvel Universe.
Swierczynski touches on everything from Weapon X to Deadpool’s relationship with his mother (who may be where he gets his wild sense of humor from), his distant relationship with his father, and how all these things contributed to the Deadpool we once loved but are now sick of taking up all the room on the comic shelves. Now don’t be mistaken, this comic WAS still full of the funny, but most of the jokes were at the behest of Deadpool rather than him delivering wacky punch lines. This kind of added to the tone of the book because it’s written as if prior to Wade Wilson becoming Deadpool, all the jokes were on him. This led him to pretty much rely heavily on jokes to get him though everything. I believe at one point he says that he jokes because the other option is crying…wait, is this a DEADPOOL comic or a SPIDER-MAN comic? We’ve finally come up with reasonable answers for OMD three years later (yes, I’m still bitter…but I feel better now after venting).
The artwork in this comic is really good and Leo Fernandez could be a fill in artist for 100 BULLETS because his art is very similar to Eduardo Risso’s. Even Fernandez’s eyes have that super round, sunken in the head style like Risso’s. There were even some panels that use shadows the same way Risso does. Ha…I actually just discovered that Fernandez did one of my favorite PUNISHER arcs in “Kitchen Irish”. If you want to see more of his artwork, check that shit out. It is AWESOME.
I was pleasantly surprised by this comic, especially when I found myself getting tired of even the main DEADPOOL title that I so fondly praised in my review of HIT MONKEY because this wasn’t your typical DEADPOOL ridiculous comic. This one actually had a little heart to it and after I read it, I cried into my lady’s bosom until she realized I was faking and slapped me…which I’m into, so double win for me. This comic helped flesh out a character that is spread so thin now that he’s almost see-through. Leonardo Fernandez did a great job of setting a solemn artistic tone for this book (the action wasn’t bad either) and I really hope to see him do a lot more in the Marvel Universe. The last page in this book is a whopper and this book will definitely make you think about Deadpool a little differently…at least until DEADPOOL: MERC WITH A MOUTH, DEADPOOL 2: THE QUICKENING, DEADPOOL CORPS, DEADPOOL: THE COLLEGE YEARS, DEADPOOL TEAM-UP, DEADPOOL: WHY DOES THIS COMIC EXIST?, DEADPOOL: DEADPOOL, DEADPOOL CORPS PREQUEL, DEADPOOL: WADE WILSON’S WAR and DEADPOOL VS ARCHIE hit stands next week.


Written and Illustrated by: Paul Harmon, Freddy Cristy, Israel Sanchez, Steven Daily, Otto Tang, Richard Mather, Jacob Escobedo, Dave Johnson, Dave Fremont, Travis Millard, Andy Suriano, Kelsey Mann, John Schnepp, Kaori Hamura, and Dave Cooper Published by: Titmouse Reviewed by: superhero

We’ve all seen this kind of thing at either comic conventions or comic shops. A group of artists put together an anthology of their work which provides a small sample of their talent. The success of these collections is always dependent upon the skill of the artists involved. The more successful ones, like FLIGHT, give us jaw-droppingly beautiful artwork to peruse along with short clips of story that move us in a certain way. I’ve seen a lot of these types of books pop up through the years and I can honestly say that not a lot of them have inspired me to pick them up. I have to admit that I’m just not a big fan of anthologies in general. It’s my own personal preference and I can probably count on one hand how many anthology type books I’ve picked up though out the years.
So…full disclosure time…I was sent a preview copy of this book for free. Which, to be honest, makes me more inclined to appreciate it, right? But I will say that without a doubt I would have bought TITMOUSE VOL. 1 without a second thought once I leafed through its pages. That’s how good the artwork in this book is.
Just scanning through the contents of the book you can see that this is a top notch collaboration. Each page offers up some of the most interesting and fascinating artwork this side of comicdom. There is nothing static here, and nothing completely unoriginal. Every artist contributing to TITMOUSE brings their “A-Game” to this book and it shows with every turn of the page. This is the type of book that makes other artists swoon over its sheer creativity. TITMOUSE VOL. 1 is a collaborative book artistically done right. I will admit that some of the stories themselves might be a bit more “out there” than what your mainstream comic book fan might be ready for but the gorgeous art more than makes up for any lack of coherent storytelling some of the pieces might contain. This is a display of powerful comic book/cartoon illustration talent and anyone who sees themselves as someone who appreciates indie comics or is a fan of comic book artwork should do themselves a favor and pick this up.
I don’t know if this will be available for sale at Comic Con but I’m told that anyone interested in this book should go check out to place orders for it. If I were you, I’d go there right now…otherwise you might be missing out on one of the best compilations of the year.
Discovered as a babe in an abandoned comic book storage box and bitten by a radioactive comic fan when he was a teenager, superhero is actually not-so mild mannered sometime designer & cartoonist, Kristian Horn of Los Angeles, California. He's been an @$$hole for three years. Some of his work can be seen at and check out his blog at


Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Art: David Lafuente Publisher: Ultimate Marvel Reviewer: Henry Higgins Is My Homeboy

"He looks just like Peter Parker!" And you look just like every other Chameleon story!
Don't get me wrong, I love Spider-Man. He's my favorite comic book character, has one of my favorite rogues galleries (THE SHOCKER, MOTHERFUCKERS!), some of the best supporting players in comics, and has produced countless fantastic stories. So, it's only a matter of time before various stories repeat in various titles. And for this years repeat, brought to you by Brian Michael Bendis and David Lafuente, we have the Chameleon's grand...ish introduction proper to the Ultimate line. And how does it stack up? Well, it's better then the last Chameleon arc in AMAZING, but that's not saying much, by virtue of Bendis's ever exceptional dialogue and Lafuente's art.
. What Worked: Bendis has a lot of faults (please stop letting him do big epic crossovers, Marvel, please!), but what he does right, he does exceptionally well. And Spider-Man, he does right. Which is even more impressive, considering Spider-Man doesn't appear in this issue. Instead, we have Chameleon, one of the better known members of his arch-enemies. The story feels similar to...okay, exactly like the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN arc from back in March. In case you forgot, let me recap. Chameleon, in the process of capturing J.J. Jameson, grabs hold of Peter, and nicks his face for a bit. It's essentially the story from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #601, just planted into the Ultimate high school verse. What separates this from the earlier story would be the back up cast. And this is where the art comes up to bat. You'd be surprised how well Lafuente is able to translate that this isn't Parker with just a few little details. The opening shot of Chameleon wearing Parker's face and looking out to the reader is great. One cocked eyebrow, holding himself differently, and it's apparent this isn't Peter we're dealing with here. His frustration at Parker's quaint little life translates with a lot more efficiency with a single panel than with three paragraphs of dialogue.
I've got to say, I love all three main artists they've had for ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, and Lafuente is doing a brilliant job.
What Didn't Work: Chameleon. Just Chameleon. His one strength comes from his ability to screw with Peter's personal life, and he definitely accomplishes that. But apart from that? Not all that impressive. When Chameleon kills a cab driver, his pre mortem quip is:
"You got change?" "For what?" "Your life."
Seriously? That wouldn't make it on CSI: MIAMI. He's brought over a sociopath scary teen vibe to fake Parker, which is a lot less cool and a lot more Columbine. Yes, Chameleon, lay low, via frightening everyone in your path. The discussion with Gwen about using the word "UBER" really doesn't strike me as an intimidating player, more of an idiot. Bendis’ attempts at humor usually fall apart, aside from a few well done lines. And by a few, I mean two.
Maybe it's just because I really don't like this villain, or maybe it's because the inner monologue is the same exact route they went with earlier this year. But at the end of the day, Chameleon just doesn't work. And that wouldn't be such a big problem if he wasn't such a big part of this issue. He's the focus of every scene. Hell, his little sidekick over the phone is better than him, and he gets something like five lines.Best Moment: Not sure, to be honest. Something about a super villain/major player in the criminal world confessing he kind of liked high school just amuses me. Maybe it's because so many villains reference high school as some hellhole. For one to actually have sort of enjoyed just makes me laugh.
But I've got to be honest, best line of the issue goes to Chameleon. "You sexually confused, future used tire salesman", aimed at Flash, made me chortle. I liked it more then I should have, I expect, because I remember the theory from a while ago that, "Flash is gay! Ad he's going to come out to Peter!", and I saw this as a quick little reference to it.
Worst Moment: "Oh, shut up, you old bag of hippie." Wow. Your real superpower is your rapier wit.
Writing: 2/5 - When it's not Chameleon talking, it's to the gold standard that Bendis has built with this series. Which is unfortunately only about 20% of the issue, tops.
Art: 4/5 - A few off faces here and there slow it down, but don't detract from the whole.
Total: 3/5 - The worst issue of ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN in a while, which still puts it over most titles right now. Still, as lackluster villain as your lead character was, what did you expect?


Writer/art: Rick Geary Publisher: NBM Comics Lit Reviewer: Ambush Bug

I’ve been a huge Rick Geary fan since I read his LINDBERGH CHILD book which described in unflinching and heartbreaking detail the abduction of said child. Since then, I’ve tried to pick up everything Geary puts to page.
In 1918 through 1919 there was a series of murders in one of America’s most mysterious towns, New Orleans. In the middle of the night, a man would chisel through a door of a house usually connected to a grocery, find an axe owned by the occupants of the house, and hack the occupants repeatedly and viciously in the head. The killer was never caught. The murders continue to be a mystery. It was a killing spree which frightened the entire town, usually known for joy and celebration.
Geary paints a amazingly vivid portrait of New Orleans at the turn of the century. He pulls the reader in with unblinking factoids about the town’s rich history, and then dives right into the mystery of the Axe-Man. I’ve said this before in many of my reviews of Geary’s work: Geary relies heavily on caption, which gives me the feeling of a documentary style narration. Scenes are played out, but there’re very few word balloons. This may read to some as cold, but to me, the delivery makes the read all the more chilling. As I read, the voice narrating this book reminds me of the beginning of MAGNOLIA or the narration throughout THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD. It was this inscrutable delivery that chilled me to the bone in as Geary describes step by step the Axe-Man’s bloody rampage. By the time the Axe-Man sends a threatening letter Zodiac-style to the local newspaper describing himself as “a full demon from the hottest hell” my fingers clutched this book with all their might. Geary has mastered telling his stories in this documentarian manner, describing these mysteries as if reporting on them first hand. Geary’s books are relentlessly researched and the proof shows that he is definitely in love with his work.
Geary’s art is another plus for this book. Simple and stark lines and straightforward panels convey a tone of utter terror. The scenes of the killer in the shadows and the crime scene he leaves behind are absolutely bone chilling.
If you like a good mystery and want to check out a book that will make you have to stretch your fingers after reading because you’re gripping the cover so hard and flipping through the pages at a lightning pace, you should do yourself a favor and check out THE TERRIBLE AXE-MAN OF NEW ORLEANS. This year, I’ve had the pleasure of reading JONAH HEX: NO WAY BACK, A GOD SOMEWHERE, and WEREWOLVES OF MONTPELLIER, three books that I rank as the absolute best of 2010. THE TERRIBLE AXE-MAN ranks right up there with these books as one of the best of the best. Check it out and soak in every page. If you don’t find this to be one of the most chilling reads of the year, you’re a stronger man than I.
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.


Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning Art: Miguel Angel Sepulveda & Brad Walker, Publisher: Marvel Comics Guest reviewer: Jncndac

I have just finished reading the first 4 issues of the latest cosmic epic of those daringly demented cosmic kings of marvel madness, Abnett & Lanning, and let me just say: THIS is what comics were to me as a 10 year old. Unbelievably incredible & unimaginably entertaining in all the right ways. I am talking about the latest cosmic craziness that is THE THANOS IMPERATIVE. If you have not picked up this title or have not been reading GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY you are missing cosmic comic classics being doled out before your very eyes! Think the Silver Age was great? Well I will bet my depleted cosmic cube that one day we will talk of these boys’ incredibly epic marvelously mad mayhem as a renaissance of 4 color creativeness that has not been enjoyed in a dogs age & i don't mean telepathic Russian dogs…but I digress.
Speaking of digressing, let me take you back a few years, ok actually a bunch of years, something like 38 years (yeah I'm old, get over it). As a 10 year old my very first cosmic comic experience was the first appearance of Jim Starlin's Thanos stories. When I read the death of Warlock at the hands of his future self I was impressed. When 2 years later I read the very same death scene played out from a different aspect artistically, I had a déjà vu all over again like you wouldn't believe. It made me go back to my comic stacks & dig out the same scene that played out 2 years prior and let's just say I understood what time travel was & I wasn't even stoned!
(That is a reference to Warlock's first limited series & an AVENGERS Annual 2 yrs later.)
Fast forward to today & with what Abnett & Lanning have done with not only the characters & continuity but the fantastic story line is not just impossibly perfect, it is why we read comics in the first place; namely, for the love of this format and epic story telling that only comes when you embrace the past but aren't enslaved to it. These stories are some of the most entertaining love letters to comic story telling you can read. Without spoiling anything, how cool is it that Peter Quill, with no real super powers, can man up & approach a deranged & naked Titan with a cosmic cube (given to him by Kang no less), and lure in the purple puss of power like a moth to a flame & then put him down! All the time, readers like me know what pull that object has on Thanos because of his history with the Cube in his first attempt to please Death those many years ago. It draws the connective line, lovingly, back to the history of that character and all that transpired before and don't even get me started about Adam Warlock, Adam Magus, Drax the re-imagined Destroyer in his new/old duds, talking raccoons, I Am Groot, and having a team’s base of operations being in the severed head of a Celestial! (Hey! Where's Pip?) But don't take my word for it, read it for yourself & enjoy why you started reading comics in the first place. Excelsior! Indeed.


Writers: Keith Giffen & J.M. Dematteis Art: Chris Batista, Rich Perotta, Keith Giffen, & Hi-Fi Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Majin Fu

I entered DC’s BRIGHTEST DAY excited, but quickly became disillusioned when I realized many of the stories bearing such a title were notably lacking the upbeat tone implied by the banner title. There are a few exceptions of course, and I have no issue with dark material, but I was looking forward to superheroes getting a bit more cheery. For me, Booster Gold has become the contrast of the ironically-named maxi series and its tie-ins. Like BRIGHTEST DAY, this particular issue has violence (mostly of the ludicrous variety), but it also has lots of laughs, characters with humanity and definitive personas, and most importantly, true heroics. Booster Gold is still as lighthearted and fun as the old days, but he’s grown up a bit.
The first page has a deceptively simple layout, but the writing is so eloquent, and the characters are so expressive and detailed, it tips this into the realm of some of the best first pages this year. DeMatteis also includes an aside I am sure any Blue Beetle fan would appreciate. This also made it apparent right from the beginning just how invested the creators are, and it’s heartwarming in an old school kind of way, down to the humorous personalized credits on the fifth page.
The title for this issue, “Déjà Blue (and Gold)” is appropriate since this is mostly a re-tread of familiar territory for Giffen and DeMatteis. Booster Gold once again returns to his Justice League International days, which of course means teaming up with his ol’ pal Blue Beetle, as well as Miracle Man and Big Barda. Inevitable time travel hi-jinks soon follow in pursuit of the “Cliffs Notes version” of the Book of Destiny. It’s a humorous yarn with several well-timed gags and a rather hilarious villain. My one qualm is Booster seems to be spending a lot of time in his glory days and I would like to see him address the issues of his present more directly, but this is addressed in the story. I won’t spoil anything, but the very last panel hints at some exciting developments which could impact Booster Gold’s future.
Yet in a series that is plagued by chronically shifting time, Booster Gold remains the constant, and grounds the story through his evolution and development as a character. This makes for some very humorous dialogue as the rest of the gang still think Booster is his old self, but it also creates tension between him and the rest of the characters, making for a more interesting read. While the second half of this issue is rather goofy and nostalgic, the beginning of the issue ideals with Booster Gold’s responsibilities in the present. No doubt about it, Booster Gold has matured since his JLI days, but as a result he has become a better hero who must bear the weight of the decisions he makes.
Chris Batista draws incredibly expressive faces, especially for the Blue Beetle, and in this issue he shows a knack for great action as well. He is an artist who mostly keeps the perspective tight, but also knows when to pull back for greater effect. Part of why the comedy works so well in this issue is how well Batista can draw these characters interacting with each other, and how the action and comedy blend seamlessly. Giffen also pitched in for the art, as noted in the credits. His figures are a lot looser than Batista’s but no less expressive, with more simplistic layouts which suited the more dialogue-heavy scenes. The comic is also designed so Batista’s art is set in the past while Giffen’s pages are in the present, making for some nice transitions, as well as hinting at Booster’s psychological shift between times. Giffen’s figures can sometimes be obscure or exaggerated, but it only helps to emphasize the hero’s lack of focus on the present, while his past is still so clearly defined. No matter what the time, Hi-Fi brings colors that pop, making this really feel like a SUPER-hero comic. The cover by Kevin Maguire is a cool idea for a layout, and is well executed, but has little to do with the content of this issue, except to remind the reader of the hero’s primary goal.
For fans of the old JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL stories, this is a must read. For anyone else seeking reprieve from the latest myriad of comics laced with antiheroes, this might be the break you’re looking for. For kids, this is a great introduction to some fun characters of yore, with loads of laughs and a sprinkling of super heroics.


CONCEPT by Blake Leibel Writers: Daniel Quantz & R. J. Ryan Art: David Marquez Publisher: Archaia & Fantasy Prone Reviewer: Ambush Bug

I’ve had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of SYNDROME from Archaia recently and I have to say it’s one of the best comics I’ve ever read from Archaia. And with books like DEVIL’S HANDSHAKE, MOUSE GUARD, TUMOR, and HYBRID BASTARDS under their belts, that’s a pretty big deal. I first heard about this book at C2E2 where the comic was described as “THE TRUMAN SHOW meets SE7EN” and I’d say that’s about right. With those two flicks ranking as two of my absolute favorite flicks put to celluloid, I had to get my grubby little fingers on this book ASAFP.
What really drew me into this story was the deft use of psychology and how the writers seemed to have put a lot of thought into the actions and motivations of the characters of SYNDROME. Writers Quantz & Ryan do a fantastic job of depicting characters who act more three dimensional that most stories I’ve read: an actress who needs a job, a therapist whose failure to save a client paves a path to a darker form of medicine, and a serial killer who has no idea he’s part of a huge experiment. These three people are on a collision course with one another resulting in one of the most smartly written and cleverly paced psycho-dramas ever put to graphically illustrated page.
I can’t say enough about how amazingly this story plays out. It’s anything but conventional in story structure as the narrative flips and flops from the past to the present to the future, but it never becomes hard to follow. The writers do a fantastic job of grounding the reader in the story and fleshing out the actions and motivations of these characters, so whenever or wherever they take us, we are sure to follow with bated breath. Even the unconventional ending proves to be utterly satisfying in execution.
All of that great character work aside, this is a damn fine looking comic. Shades of Gary Frank permeate artist David Marquez’s panels. Clean lines usually take away from stories of terrors and scares, but here it only shows the heinous acts in vivid and clean detail. The horror is in your face and because we care about the characters the clarity only makes things more dire for the invested reader. This is one beautiful book. Marquez can draw a beautiful woman just as gorgeously as he can an impaled cat (a true talent for sure).
From page one to page last, SYNDROME is definitely something to look out for when it finally hits the stands in August. If you’re like me and love psychological horror, this is a must have. The amazing premise and attention to psychology (real psychology, not the dime store stuff you usually see in comics and movies) has me hoping this creative team reunites for a sequel. SYNDROME is going to be available at SDCC this year and will be released in August.
Seek. It. Out.


Writers: Mike Carey, Matt Fraction, Zeb Wells, Chris Yost Art: Terry Dodson, Greg Land, Esad Ribic, Ibraim Roberson Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Henry Higgins Is My Homeboy

The Phoenix Has Landed
Okay, seeing how they decided to split the issue into four parts, I'll take a quick look at all four.
Before I start, I have to ask something of the various artists. You guys realize Wolverine's abilities don't include a costume color variant power, right? Every chapter, he's in a different suit. Did I miss an issue where Wolverine explores his new metro skills? Okay, let's go.
Part one - In the first part, Hope latches onto the last piece of Cable she can find, his severed arm,(.....mmm-kay) before waking up in the infirmary next to a beaten Magneto. We see various members of the team recuperating from the fight. The writing is good, but nothing special, with the only stand out moment being Magneto shutting Hellion down with a glare because Magneto is awesome and Hellion is a twat. The art is good, but much like the writing, nothing stands out. And...that's about it. Yeah. Not one memorable scene, but nothing stands out as bad either.
In our second chapter, we get Hope reflecting on her time with Cable before cutting to Cable’s funeral. Mike Carey does a well done memorial to the character without making it long winded or pointless. The scene is short and sweet, and has some great little touches (having Deadpool appear at the service and being silent out of respect was such a fantastic moment), which helps drive the point home. While Nightcrawler's funeral had a little montage moment for him, this one doesn’t. But the Cable funeral responds by having a more emotional farewell. A quick nitpick, though; is it just me, or does it seem that Cable, the unknown soldier who's only been in the present for a total time of maaaaybe a few years, got a bigger funeral than Nightcrawler? The art is pretty good, with only one panel that doesn't mesh. If you see the page, you'll know what I'm talking about. Hope suddenly goes from cute redhead teen to whoa birth defect!
In the third section, we have Wolverine, as he mourns Nightcrawler, meeting with Storm, X-23, and Cyclops. And yes, this is the chapter with Greg Land on art. And in Land's defense, his art here is better then it's been in the past. There are actually some really good moments (Psylocke has legs!), but there are some poorly done bits as well (the picture Storm takes has Nightcrawler looking like brain dead six year old). But overall, it's a decent scene artistically speaking. The duo writes a good Wolverine who is unrepentant about his actions but recognizes them as terrible actions. It even has a really nice moment where he points out the last time they saw each other Nightcrawler was furious with him for his involvement in X-Force. The X-23 scene slows down the momentum, seeing how nothing happens. And for a dialogue-heavy set of scenes, that's saying something. The Cyclops scene is a well written moment where the two meet to discuss X-Force. The scene is essentially an excuse to meet up with the next X-Force, which is pretty hit and miss. (Deadpool & Fantomex! Archangel & Psylocke?...and why do those two have guns?). Though, I do have to make a quick comment against Land, just for an odd moment where, in a distance panel, Cyclops has a jet pack. For exactly one panel.
With the final part, we get a proper look at Cyclops and Emma after the events of the story. I love Fraction's take on Namor. So him showing up, being a douche, then walking away was a fun moment for me. The art, much like the first sequence, is fairly good, without a lot of faults (except, like the second scene, one moment where Hope suddenly looks like a freak of nature). The story ends on an ambiguous high note, but it needed to. After this many hits to the team, they needed a fucking win, as brought about by the birth of a few new mutants across the world. But it may be at a cost, as Emma witnesses Hope grinning while the Phoenix insignia appears behind her. The big theory is that we're getting Phoenix back, but she may be bringing back Dark Phoenix with her. A great way to end the story.
If there's anything that really stands out against the issue, I still think the defeat of Bastion last issue was extremely anticlimactic and for being billed as a major player, Rouge didn't do much, but I'm just nitpicking. The story was a great boost of adrenaline to one of my favorite series of all time, and I can only hope it stays at this level.
Best Moment: Either Deadpool being respectful for the first time...ever, at Cables funeral, or Iceman trying to teach Namor basketball.
Worst Moment: Hope's two birth defect panels. Seriously. What was up with that? Oh, and Cyclops having a magically appearing and disappearing jet pack.
Total: 4/5 - A few art mistakes here and there can't detract from an overall finale that for the most part was quite satisfying.


Writer: Mark Rahner/Robert Horton Art: Dan Dougherty Publisher: Moonstone Books Reviewer: Mr. Pasty

Just last week I was complaining about the shitstorm of zombie comics still pouring down upon the current landscape of rag shops like one of those blizzard spells from WARCRAFT 2. Even though I have been heaping globs of Pasty praise on BREAKFAST WITH ROB, I pretty much had my fill of the zombie genre for the remainder of 2010. Then Ambush Bug had to go and do a cruel thing like tell me ROTTEN #8 was ready for review.
For those of you just joining us, ROTTEN got my vote for “Best Ongoing Series” at the sixth annual @$$IE AWARDS -- and for good reason. Most comic books can’t make a decent western without pissing on the grave of Sergio Leone (yes, I’m talking to you Dynamite) and how many sorry-ass zombie books have we suffered through that actually read like they were written by the characters themselves? So not only does Moonstone give us a great Western and a great zombie story, they give them to us at the same damn time. Double the risk, double the reward. This series can really do no wrong.
REVIVAL OF THE FITTEST (ROTF) is exactly what it sounds like. Anyone else remember their excitement when a new generation of zombies appeared in movies like 28 DAYS LATER and the video game RESIDENT EVIL 5? These aren’t you father’s ani
Readers Talkback
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  • July 21, 2010, 3:51 a.m. CST

    Superman 701 is excellent

    by Drsambeckett1984

    Really good. Loving the approach to the character.

  • July 21, 2010, 6:14 a.m. CST

    Up early, huh?

    by BangoSkank

    Thanks guys!!!

  • July 21, 2010, 6:16 a.m. CST

    Why is Daredevil such a jerk suddenly?

    by SteadyUP

  • July 21, 2010, 6:25 a.m. CST


    by RenoNevada2000

    I started reading Planetary in trades a couple of years ago. Enough with the big ticket Absolute editions. Just get the last one out in an edition most of us can afford.

  • July 21, 2010, 6:27 a.m. CST

    Cykes Jet Pack

    by Gleemonex

    Famously made its debut during the Utopia crossover event when he flew up to Osborn's base and told him to suck it. Matt Fraction has teased its return a couple times this last year so it shouldn't have been too much of a surprise when he finally whipped it out again.

  • July 21, 2010, 6:38 a.m. CST


    by NippleEffect

    was ellis's last decades late to market project<p> Supergod is this decades late to market project<p> every time ellis over extends himself: *My computer crashed*<br> *I have a rock in my shoe*<br> *The sun was in my eyes*<p> *I'm a dumb fuck that makes Liefield look professional*

  • July 21, 2010, 6:50 a.m. CST

    Yeah Liefield

    by NippleEffect

    thought he was a rock star comics guy whou should live a *snort coke off bitches asses* lifestyle<p> Ellis on the other hand lives a rock star snort coke off his own ass life style<p> They're both delusional<p> Ellis just can't get his face out of his own crotch long enough to get product to market<p> After all conecting to fans on the internet is far more important than telling the story<p> Right, Joss Whedon?<p> Nothing is more important than beating off to a crowd of morons chanting your name

  • July 21, 2010, 7:13 a.m. CST

    J. Michael Straczynski

    by NippleEffect

    i8s anothe one who has sucumbed to his own fame<p> Believes his own hype magnified to the nth degree<p> *I can do no wrong*<br> *The comics industry would wither and die without me*<br> *Before me there was nothing and after will be the same*

  • July 21, 2010, 7:16 a.m. CST

    It's happening again

    by NippleEffect

    the egos in the comics industry is leading to another meltdown just like in the 90's

  • July 21, 2010, 7:18 a.m. CST

    I don't know...

    by wampa 1

    ...but it sure smells good!

  • July 21, 2010, 8:26 a.m. CST

    NippleEffect: jms

    by loganprometheus

    That's funny, my opinion of jms is the opposite. In messages and articles I've read from him, he usually seems quite humble and admits his mistakes. He admits if some stories he wrote didn't work, altho his opinion might differ with yours on which stories those were. He has often mentioned other writers in TV, comics, etc. who are legends in his opinion, and whose pencil cases he is not fit to carry. So to me your opinion of him seems quite bizarre.

  • July 21, 2010, 8:35 a.m. CST


    by Drsambeckett1984

    agree with you there, I dont recall JMS ever saying he was the comic messiah, and he is one of the few writers willing to take a chance on the characters like Superman.

  • July 21, 2010, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Isn't That What Superman Needs?

    by Dave I

    As a (very casual) fan, that seems to be one of two (maybe three) things Superman needs. First, he's uber-powerful. I mean he's been killed only to come back from the dead, more or less. He could destroy Earth with his eyes. So you either need somebody else who is either Superman-strong or has some power exploiting him somehow. Sure, you can Lex Luthor-outsmart him, but so what? Supes is pretty smart, you just KNOW using kryptonite is only going to work as a temporary setback, and he'll eventually punch through anything you could possibly throw at him. <p><p>This roots-movement seems like it would serve the purpose of grounding him to Earth and humans. It makes him care about us, and not just an alien ultra-version member of a fight club. <p><p>I like the notion of Superman caring and his love and self-inflicted role over us mortals being his bane and a bit of a weakness. In short, this sort of thing seems like it would be necessary to keep him grounded and connected with the citizens. <p><p>-Cheers

  • July 21, 2010, 9:26 a.m. CST


    by NippleEffect

    everybody has their good points<p> I'm looking down from a lofty perspective at a reoccurring problem in the comics industry<br> well fuck in any industry<p> Focus narrows to those who rise to the top<br> And the knee jerk response is to blame those in focus<p> it probably is the systems fault that World War Z isn't filming right now<p> But the thing is<br> And I don't really *get* why fanboys feel the need to connect with these folks in or on a personal level<p> Entertainers entertain because they want to<br> if they didn't want to, they wouldn't<p> Now storytelling is a gift<br> Rare and should be nurtured<br> And encouraged<p> But even rock stars shouldn't be treated like rock stars<br> Same with people in sports<p> here you got people doing what you would thing they love being paid insane amounts of money<p> And that's just not enough<p> They have an unjustified expectation of worship<p> Comic writers and artists<br> Do your job<br> Write or draw<br> Cash your checks<p> If that doesn't fulfill you<p> I'm sure you can find a job in another line of work<p> Your not a fucking rock star<br> And rock stars shouldn't be treated like rock stars<p> You didn't cure cancer<br>

  • July 21, 2010, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Pardon my french...

    by Prof

    ...but all this JMS justifying is fucking ridiculous. Superman is ALREADY "grounded" and "connected" with humans. Wtf do you think "Clark Kent" is???? He was raised on a goddamned farm in midwest small-town america and as a young adult traveled the world and as a working adult settled into Metropolis/NYC! those things that make him who he is. Kryptonian is simply the source of his powers and his ancestry. Good grief. And if I NEVER see friggin' Superman quoting Thoreau again to some shmoe, it will be too soon. My head is imploding.

  • July 21, 2010, 9:32 a.m. CST

    dammit dammit dammit

    by spidercoz

    I need my fix!!! It's been goddamn months! I haven't had an LCS to call home in 2 years and it SUCKS! Anyone here do mail subscriptions? How's that work for you? I need an alternative, the only shop I can conveniently get to is staffed by retards and douchebags.

  • July 21, 2010, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Best mail order comics place is...

    by Prof I have a number of friends who swear by it.

  • July 21, 2010, 9:38 a.m. CST


    by optimous_douche

    I agree with you (except on the quote part).<p> He is way more human than alien.<p> I'm taking the impetus of the journey out of the equation. I simply like the fact he said "Fuck it, I'm taking a break" and he's doing at as Superman and not Clark kent. Plus...all the other stuff I said about how it resonated with my real world views.

  • July 21, 2010, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Daredevil, Scooby Doo: Blackest Night

    by Johnny Smith

    Daredevil's not "suddenly" a jerk". He's been a massive dick for some time now...just not homicidal. Also, Scooby Doo was around during Blackest Night: And finally, man, I stayed away from Second Coming, but I might just have to pick up the last chapter for Deadpool at Cable's funeral. I *adored* their series together, and had no idea that they were having Wade speak at the funeral. Sold.

  • July 21, 2010, 9:39 a.m. CST


    by NippleEffect

    it might not be your shops fault<p> if product doesn't go to market it can't be distributed<p> I got a feeling there's a lot of *Do I look good in this light* going on

  • July 21, 2010, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Well, I meant "not speak". My bust.

    by Johnny Smith

  • July 21, 2010, 9:44 a.m. CST


    by NippleEffect

    I probably am being unfair to JMS

  • July 21, 2010, 9:46 a.m. CST


    by spidercoz

    It's not like that, my old shop closed after the owner died. This other shop actually has pretty much everything you could imagine and used to be pretty cool, but they got bought by this out of state outfit and went all corporate wanker. No discounts, the staff sucks, and I just don't like the place anymore.

  • July 21, 2010, 9:51 a.m. CST

    What America doesn't need is another Nanny.

    by cookylamoo

    We have Liberal, Conservative, Governmental, Social and Media nannies aplenty.

  • July 21, 2010, 9:55 a.m. CST

    I really hate...

    by Prof

    "profound" super-hero comics that are actually TRYING to be "profound." And SUPERMAN exemplifies it right now. Every one of us has to employ some suspension of disbelief to embrace a world where folks in brightly colored costumes are not embarrassing freaks. But when you take the original archetype for all of them and bring him down into the mundane like this while IN his costume...that taught suspension line for many of us breaks. It's not "Superman" anymore, it's just JMS preaching through him like a ventriloquist dummy. It's like when a film director's "flourishes" or an actor's "shtick" are distracting from the story being told and pull the viewer out of it. In my view, those who like this direction are simply people who WANT to like it because they either worship JMS or are embarassed that they still like reading Sooperman comix. I can promise you that a boring ass piece of sermonizing nonsense like that is not going to be attracting any new or younger readers. All it's doing is scheduling another circle-jerk among those who are already buying these things. :/

  • what the fuck was up with that art?!? My god I thought Cyclops shoulders were going to poke my fucking eye out with the goofy angle they were draw at? And since when did Beast become a dog? He look like Cerebrus. I was severely disappointed with the art and story in this issue, complete throw away.

  • July 21, 2010, 10:12 a.m. CST


    by NippleEffect

    my original comics shop was similar<br> had a guy who really cared<p> pulled my list every week, and added things he knew I'd want to see<br> And never tried to sneek shit in just to make a sale<p> One day he had enough though and sold it to a couple idiots<p> A couple guys who got mommie and daddy to *invest* for them<p> Ended up having to drive way across town to find anothe guy who knew his business<p> The idiots didn't last long and sold to some folks who *got it* but they pretty much turned the place into a card game shop<p> Nothing wrong with that, just not my thing and I'd become acustomed to the other shop<p> Still a long ass drive though

  • July 21, 2010, 10:13 a.m. CST

    1986? Nixon???

    by JayLenoTookMyJob

    I think Nixon was, by 1986, getting shit-faced drunk every night in his mansion in New Jersey.

  • July 21, 2010, 10:15 a.m. CST

    nice review optimous douche

    by foree forehead

    like your writing in that superman bit, sounds all grown up.

  • July 21, 2010, 10:25 a.m. CST

    If you took a really ugly penis

    by NippleEffect

    and made it a human<br> And put a bad hat on it<p> You'd have Frank Miller

  • July 21, 2010, 10:32 a.m. CST

    An earlier "Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper"...

    by kisskissbangbang

    appeared in one of the Marvel horror anthologies (not b&w) of the Seventies. It was short, faithful, kept the shock ending and had beautiful Gil Kane art. Not sure of the title (Chamber of Chills, perhaps?, but there's got to be a Kane checklist somewhere on the Net with the goods. I'd find it myself, but I've got to go to work. Cheers.

  • July 21, 2010, 10:34 a.m. CST

    DD, JMS, AA and Syndrome

    by Homer Sexual

    IDK, the first issue of Shadowlands was muy excelente and if it keeps up this good (which, sadly, I doubt), I may return to DD, which I left in disgust after Bendis backtracked on the reveal of his secret identity. I hated that soooo much, I quit Daredevil and never looked back. <p> I have been a big fan of JMS, but if you don't like him, just wait a few months. His Wonder Woman revamp will never succeed, it just isn't good. What I've seen isn't bad, but it isn't good either, it is very whatever, which is kinda lame. I'd prefer an extreme WW or something like that. Maybe JMS should've just written it like Power Princess. His knockoff WW is a very interesting character. I don't really like Superman so I'd only check that one out if I read about how SUPER AWESOME it is. <p> And while I don't know much about JMS, I know he abandoned the Twelve, and he sucks for doing that. <p> Avengers Academy, to me, is very good. I also love Mike McKone's art. He makes every character look cool in some way. Issue 2 showed Finesse as a really potential Super Villain, and seems to be setting up some good stuff... <p> Oh, I agree that Hawkeye and Mockingbird is outstanding. Just like their earlier mini, just like Vision & Scarlet Witch. I guess the Avengers Couples make some good reading! <p> Finally, I think I'll pick up Syndrome when it hits the stands. Sounds great. Every so often this site has brought some hot stuff to my attention, and hopefully this will be another one.

  • July 21, 2010, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Hey Prof . . .

    by Dave I

    Good point on him being more human than alien. <p><p>Except he's also a super hero. Wouldn't ANYBODY need that after however long fighting evil? I mean, soldiers need time to decompress (and get PTSD and whatnot). Political leaders, even from grounded settings, often lose touch with the people. Sure, Kal-El gets that with Clark. But maybe every once in a while he wants/needs to get out of his Metropolis environs and maybe connect with "the people" as Superman (or even as Clark, but who's going to buy that comic?). I can at least see and appreciate the rationale and them actually trying something a bit different where the central character reflects on things. <p><p>Then again, I'm also probably looking for something different out of comics and media in general. I LIKE when things succeed at being profound. Sure, it doesn't always work and can come across as trying too hard. But I'm introspective, and if I was a godlike superpowered hero revered by the whole world, I'd probably want/need time to reflect and stay connected to keep bearing that weight and not become cold and distant (ala. Dr. Manhattan) or just not care and become something like the Plutonian in Irredeemable. So for me, if that ends up with a big payoff in terms of the character, great! But that's just me. <p><p>-Cheers

  • July 21, 2010, 10:40 a.m. CST

    All right, I caved and looked it up...

    by kisskissbangbang

    Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper--Journey into Mystery 2-adapted by Ron Goulart-art by Gil Kane-inks by Ralph Reese (the last few pages by Neal Adams uncredited). Grantbridge St reprints the whole thing in b7w, but the coloring was unusual and great; I still remember it after 35 years. And all in 10 pages. Check it out.

  • July 21, 2010, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Dave I

    by Prof

    ...I agree that is fodder for a story. Maybe even for a series. I disagree with shoehorning it onto Superman himself is all. Like the old "Joe Guy" series that Warren published for awhile about the illegitimate son of "Superman" or something. In other words...if you're going to examine the attempt of a superhero/modern god to connect with what it means to be human...then create a new character and really do it right. Superman by his very nature simply does not have this struggle. It's part of why the film SUPERMAN RETURNS failed to accomplish what it attempted and especially failed to connect emotionally with the audience at large. Superman is iconic and one of things iconic about him is simply that this god/man tension is implicit without being EXplicit. As soon as you make it the point of emphasis you actually diminish the transcendant quality of him as this particular individual.

  • July 21, 2010, 11:25 a.m. CST


    by Snookeroo

    Very nice review - well said.<br><br>I think DC (especially Superman) needs a story-line like this right now - the antithesis to what's going on in Green Lantern. No uber-gore and violence. Look at virtually every other title reviewed in this pull list -- they're all variations on the same theme -- all pandering to fan-boy blood lust in one form or another.<br><br>It's a decent alternative, at least for a while.

  • July 21, 2010, 11:31 a.m. CST


    by Prof

    ...whatever happened to SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN?

  • July 21, 2010, 11:35 a.m. CST


    by BangoSkank

    I've been getting my comics by mail from Midtown Comics in New York for several years. You can get the weekly or biweekly, and I've never had a problem with availability. In all that time, I had one shipment damaged by the USPS... I called them up, and they sent out another order the same day with no hassle..

  • July 21, 2010, 11:44 a.m. CST


    by optimous_douche

    When was the last time any of us really talked about Superman?<p> No matter how you feel about the execution, this is one of the few stories where the marketing hype lived up to the final product.<p> Love it or hate it, it's very hard to deny that it is in fact different.

  • July 21, 2010, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Secret Origin

    by optimous_douche

    Good fucking question, was wondering thatmyself the other day as I was putting stuff from a few months ago into my database.

  • July 21, 2010, 11:47 a.m. CST


    by Homer Sexual

    The last time we really talked about Superman was like a year ago when Morrison and Quitely made him interesting and awesome, even to me, a Superman hater.

  • July 21, 2010, 11:49 a.m. CST


    by optimous_douche

    Sorry, I could see how that could be misread.<p> I see the fall of Nixon as a true turning point for us as a country.<p> I was only alive for a few hours of the Nixon administration (b. 08/08/74), but Miller, Moore all of those guys that were changing things in 86 would have remembered Watergate all too well.

  • July 21, 2010, 11:58 a.m. CST

    prof, bango, thx for the advice

    by spidercoz

    I'll check them out

  • July 21, 2010, 11:58 a.m. CST

    Douche on Philly...

    by GoodTimeBobby

    Phila gets has the Welcome America celebration every summer and is the number one city in terms of tourism influx over the 4th of July weekend EVERY year. But I'm with you on the United Colors of Benetton Gang that appears in every comic and film these days- The most implausable of which has got to be Uncle Ben's killer from the 1st Spiderman movie- he looked like Jake Busey or something...its a total cop out to political correctness.

  • July 21, 2010, 12:07 p.m. CST

    optimous_douche, re: Nixon


    At the very least, Miller, Moore and the others where inspired by the movies that came out during and after the fall of Nixon, Watergate and the Vietnam era, so even unconsciously they would be tapping into the national disillusionment of that period. Taxi Driver, Godfather, Parallax View, Chinatown, All The President's Men, Apocalypse Now, Deer Hunter and other 70s movies all had a very noticeable impact and influence on both Miller & Moore's work, and pretty much anyone who worked in the 80s.

  • July 21, 2010, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Love My Town bobby

    by optimous_douche

    Please forgive my use of poetic license to make a point.<p> Yes, for one weekend a year we are very open and accomodating :-)

  • July 21, 2010, 12:14 p.m. CST


    by optimous_douche

    Great point, which leads to the follow-up, what inspired those movies?<p> In a search for originality these days everything turns to dark themes.<p> Is this a reflection on society, our collective cooling into entropy (does the univese simply one day go completely dark) or something else....<p>

  • July 21, 2010, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Titmouse store

    by Titmouse

    Titmouse Volume 1 can be purchased at Orders before July 26th get free shipping with the coupon code MOOK!

  • July 21, 2010, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Superman 701

    by nursey

    sounds SO FUCKING AWFUL But I'm going to the con and want to get Syndrome and that friggin Galactus fugure

  • July 21, 2010, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Brian Michael Bendis

    by 3 Bag Enema

    Maybe I'm nuts, but I think anyone who's cynical about the work of Brian Michael Bendis is insane. If they're a Geoff Johns fan on top of that, they're ready for electroshock.

  • July 21, 2010, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Man, Supes #701 sounds GAWD AWFUL

    by gooseud

    LOL that sounds like the worst idea I've ever heard!! This is exactly why I dont read Superman stories, other then All Star: because its all been done. You end up coming up with these ultra-contrived situations (I know! I'll walk across the country like Forrest Gump! AWESOME!)just to try to say something new. You cant kill him or turn him evil, so you end up with crap like this instead. God, that sounds wretched, right up there with Frankencastle on the list of ideas that somehow got through editorial.

  • July 21, 2010, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Thanos Imperative #2, on the other hand....

    by gooseud

    was amazing. I know, I know, not this again. But what can I say? When a comic is kicking this much ass, it simply needs to be said. That last page cliffhanger reveal was up there with Walking Dead amongst my favorite cliffhanger reveals of the past few years. Epic in every sense of the word.

  • July 21, 2010, 1:24 p.m. CST

    My Feelings About Cyclops

    by Atkinson

    Cyclops (a.k.a. Scott Summers) is about as exciting and original as a plate of wonder bread, mayo, and skim milk. I mean, Jesus Christ, people - he's thoroughly bland, can't even control his own powers ("eye rays" that punch holes through shit, but can't generate heat - I mean, wow - rays with no heat at all), and is soooo linked to the X-men that you can't think of him as an individual. Storm got married to the Black Panther and was a member of the Fantastic 4 for a brief moment - she's an original. I don't even need to speak about Wolverine. But Summers is suppose to be a leader! He just seems so impotent. And yeah, I know that in the last couple of years they tried to "tough him up," by losing his powers - but then getting this powers back. Yet I was as convienced about that as I would be about the debating team captain being a bad-ass just because he puts on a leather jacket and grows a 5 o'clock shadow. No wonder he lasted like 3 minutes in the third X-man film!

  • July 21, 2010, 2:31 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    I thought he was purposely portrayed as an unfunny douche. I think that's gonna be his thing, where as Peter will be the actually witty one when they fight.

  • July 21, 2010, 2:33 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    I can't imagine anything more lame, over wrought, and completely "DC" then the idea of Superman walking across the country and chatting with folks. Don't have him like, fight a giant fucking starfish from space or anything, no, no, walking is WAY better. <br><br>Of course, on the other hand, why bother complaining, it's not like JMS will actaully finish the story or anything.

  • July 21, 2010, 2:34 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    I miss that book... it was so good.

  • July 21, 2010, 2:43 p.m. CST


    by AirWarrior

    Just to add my $2 (adjusted for inflation), I really enjoyed Superman #701. It was a nice change of pace, but I can't see it keeping up for an entire year. But, here's to hoping! Also, in Heroic Age Xmen, why did Beast look like a big, blue dog instead of a big blue cat?

  • July 21, 2010, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Crisis on Deez Nutz!

    by Atkinson

    Sorry, had to say it - but gotta admit that it would be a great 12 part series of DC's best and finest heroes & villains - on "Deez Nuts!"

  • July 21, 2010, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Planetary Galactus arc

    by gooseud

    might be the best thing I've ever read. I'm not saying it is, but if someone were to ask me, "Is the Planetary Galactus arc the best comics-type thing you have ever read?", I would actually have to pause and consider it. I've never seen a title turn around the way that one did, I stand by my opinion that the first 3 or 4 issues were actually pretty awful, like Ellis himself wasnt really sure where he was going with it....but then, BOOM, it instantly became the best book on the stands. Pretty amazing feat.

  • July 21, 2010, 3:02 p.m. CST


    by Prof

    Having just gone back this week and re-read PLANETARY from start to finish, I gotta disagree. There are so many little things in even those earliest issues that I never remembered or noticed that tie in purposefully to moments and elements throughout and at the end of the series.

  • July 21, 2010, 3:03 p.m. CST

    I dont always agree with Joe

    by gooseud

    but he's so right about the "Superman Walking" thing being so DC. "SEE???? We arent trapped in amber!! We are in fact so edgy and alternative and cutting edge that we will.....we will.....well, you know what we are going to do?? We are going to give Wonder Woman A LEATHER JACKET!!!! Thats right, bitches!! And not one of those Morpheus cool long ones either, this one is short as shit!! AND we are going to have Superman CHOOSE NOT TO FLY!! Because after all, thats why people read that title, to see Superman walk around and talk to people! Whats up now, haters?? Whos the edgy one now?!?!!" LOL how ludicrous, as if Marvel would ever choose to have Spidey voluntarily give up swinging from his webs in order to feel closer to the plebe, salt of the earth little people on street level.

  • July 21, 2010, 3:04 p.m. CST

    I disagree, Goose

    by Joenathan

    I think those first three or four issues served a specific function. They had to set up the characters, their world, and their "normal" activity within it before they started the ride. Without those issues, you wouldn't have known the characters as well. Without those first couple issues you wouldn't have fully understood why Snow and the Four were at odds. Not to mention all the call-backs later on...

  • July 21, 2010, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Prof, we agree and disagree`

    by gooseud

    You are right, judged as a whole, reading the series front to back, those first few issues are great. BUT we are judging them in hindsight, having read the whole series. AT THE TIME, I actually dropped the book after the Japanese cop ghost issue because I was like "WTF is this? Are these missing pages? What the F is going on here? I feel like I'm only getting 70% of the story". Now, obviously, everything was explained later. However, there was no way to know that at the time. At the time, it read like a choppy mess that Ellis wrote after 17 hits of crystal meth. Clearly, these was a freakin awesome book hiding in there somewhere, but god was he presenting it in the most obtuse way possible. Thats just one guys opinion.

  • July 21, 2010, 3:12 p.m. CST

    But Joe

    by gooseud

    Thats my point, they DIDNT introduce them. They didnt answer the fundamental question: why were they there? Sure, it was 3 people hanging out, but go back and read them again: it was just like Ellis was like "Ok, monsters on an island and.......GO!"

  • July 21, 2010, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Sure they did

    by Joenathan

    by action and adventure. The things they experienced, the places they went, and how they reacted help define their relationship and establish them as character. You know what this sounds like to me? It sounds like ADD, man. Kids today, no patience. Did we learn nothing from G'n R?

  • July 21, 2010, 4:15 p.m. CST

    In Defense of #701

    by socalactor

    I, for one, found this book tremendously good. Straczynski takes the title character back to basics, having him deal with things that make sense and mean something to those of us living in a world not dominated by brightly colored neo-gods who nearly always emerge triumphant. <p> From page 1, Straczynski lets us know what he is doing with this title. Superman is a book that some would say has run out of steam. Its a book featuring a character that many would consider antique (much like the truck in the first scene... are you catching on yet?). Superman takes one look at that truck and sees that its the fuel line. He sees to the core of the problem, that the potential for power isn't being reached because the fuel isn't getting to the engine. <p> How many of us feel that way in America today? We can hit the gas as much as we want, but our wheels aren't moving. Like our nation (and, by extension, much of the world) Superman needs to reconnect with that which gives him strength: his ideals and the faith of humanity. <p> We see reporters questioning Superman, throwing out every possible reason that they can think of, all of which are old hat, for why he might be acting this way. Though I'm loathe to cater to the negative nellies who've drawn comparisons to Forrest Gump, he does essentially say "I just felt like running." <p> The point, for those who are actually looking for it, couldn't be clearer. This problem will not have a quick-fix. It will not be solved by the same old solutions. <p> If there is an overarching lesson to this issue, I believe it might be something like this: <p> Don't sit back and watch. Do something. Break out of your own jaded thinking and LISTEN to what's going on around you. <p> Submitted, for your consideration. - SoCalActor

  • July 21, 2010, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Greg Land's jet-back...

    by maxwell's hammer

    The thing about the jet-pack in 'Second Coming' is that he wasn't using it or anything. he's just having a conversation and in one random panel, he's wearing a jetpack. It wasn't Matt Fraction giving the audience what they was Greg Land being a non-sensical dumb-fuck. And that last splash-page he drew of the new X-Force was like a parody of 90s comics, with Warren and Betsy wielding all their guns. Why in the hell does Marvel let Greg Land draw comic books??

  • July 21, 2010, 4:21 p.m. CST

    blah blah blah

    by Prof

    blah blah blah blah blah blah IT'S FRICKIN' SUPERMAN!

  • July 21, 2010, 4:26 p.m. CST

    waiting in the airport...might as well post.

    by Ambush Bug

    DC right now is Marvel circa 2001. Back then they did a lot of humanizing their heroes and a lot of doling out what makes the properties special in tiny doses. Remember the issue after issue of Hulk that Hulk didn't appear in? Remember the Hawkeye series where he didn't shoot arrows? Remember Bendis scrapping the yellow shirt look for Power Man because folks couldn't relate? DC is doing it now. It's funny how cyclical things are. In about eight years there's going to be a guy just like JoeNat justifying everything David Samuel Schmendis is doing with the JLA with NEW JLA, JLA ACADEMY, THE MIGHTY JLA, and DEADPOOL'S JLA HOOTENANNY. Superman walking isn't a great idea, but the story wasn't as bad as everyone is making it out to be. Try reading it first before snap judging it.

  • July 21, 2010, 4:42 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    Nice of you to join us... MR. STRACZYNSKI!!!!

  • July 21, 2010, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Snap Judgment...

    by Prof

    ...I did read it. I just didn't BUY it. LOL! If it wasn't a SUPERMAN comic I would have no beef with it. From a technical standpoint, it's well-written. But there's plenty of technically well-written comics, films, books, etc. that are not successful for any various reasons. This one does not work because (1) It's Superman and (2) It's pedantic and groan-inducing.

  • July 21, 2010, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Try reading Superman?

    by Joenathan

    No thanks. JMS doesn't have the chops to finish what he starts, so why bother supporting him?

  • July 21, 2010, 4:50 p.m. CST

    not that jMS is perfect

    by Ambush Bug

    I refuse to buy the 12 even if he does ever finish it. But he has been pretty steady on Brave & the Bold and I'm hoping that DC is smart enough to get him on his game so he doesn't have the same problems with deadlines. The reason why I'm so hard on the guy is because I usually really love what he writes. It's just that a) Joe is right about his frustrating tendency to leave projects unfinished or delayed indefinitely, and b) Prof is right that he is sometimes heavy handed. I'm agreeing all over the place here because I also agree tiwh OD that this is the kind of Superman story that gives us a chance to breathe between Crises. I don't want to see 12 issues of Supes fighting jaywalkers and crack dealers, but an issue or two isn't the end of the world. Somehow, this is going to pay off, I hope, so that when the big bads do show up, Supes reaction to them will be somewhat different because of Supes journey. To a fan who never really liked Supes, that's kind of exciting.

  • July 21, 2010, 4:55 p.m. CST

    "Its Just Superman"?

    by socalactor

    @ Prof: Yes. Its Superman. Also known as the first Super Hero. Also known as defender of "Truth, Justice, and the American Way". Also known as the inspiration for nearly every comic book character known to man. So yes, I do think that a serious look at the character where he's doing more than punchy-punchy-fighty-fighty is in order. Mind you, this is coming from someone who DESPISED Superman Returns. <p> As far as Superman quoting Thoreau... really? It doesn't strike you as fitting that a man with a journalism degree would quote one of the best writers of the modern era? Shame on you. <p> @ Joenathan: Dude, I WISH I was JMS. I wish that I had the talent and industry respect to be allowed to take some of the most iconic pieces of Americana in hand and try to redefine them for the 21st century. That'd be pretty cool.

  • July 21, 2010, 5 p.m. CST

    @ AmbushBug

    by socalactor

    I would actually have to disagree with you about where I hope this story is headed. I, for one, would love to see a year where Superman does deal with the real world, as opposed to manufactured Big Bads. There are more than enough problems in reality for him to deal with. Remember when we had a Superman who dealt with corruption in business and politics? The Superman stories of yesteryear are full of tales that most people, nowadays, would remit to a Green Arrow or Daredevil. JMS has proven at his best when dealing with real human interaction as the foreground against a backdrop of epic struggle. For his Superman to excel, he needs to look no further than the print analogs to real-world issues.

  • July 21, 2010, 5:01 p.m. CST


    by Prof

    ...makes me throw up a little. :) It's a personal thing. :)

  • July 21, 2010, 5:04 p.m. CST

    @ Prof

    by socalactor

    Prof, regardless of whether or not you like Thoreau, you have to admit that the message is pointed and timely. Around the country, everyone is looking around, pointing fingers, and asking what someone else is going to do to fix all of these problems. <p> He could have easily phrased it a different way: <p> Ask not what Superman can do for you, ask what you can be doing like Superman. <p> People who try and judge others creative work based on their own preconceptions make me throw up a little. Its a personal thing.

  • July 21, 2010, 5:06 p.m. CST

    So here's the ? Prof

    by optimous_douche

    Does the beef come from the fact Supes is quoting or the fact he was quoting Thoreau?

  • July 21, 2010, 6:31 p.m. CST

    #701 shows why Morrison is a genius

    by gooseud

    The more time passes, the more I realize All Star Supes is one of the great works of our generation. Morrison effortlessly grasps exactly why that character works. He also apparently grasps that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES can you do a story like #701 with Superman, since ASS is the complete polar opposite of #701. Superman cannot interact in any way with the real world, to do so just shines a 5000 watt spotlight on the fundamental flaws of the character. For example, why are there gangs in the USA of DC? Why does cocaine exist? Wouldnt it be simple for Supes to simply fly over Mexico and burns up all the coca plants? Or simply sink the ships carrying the contraband? Couldnt Supes simply fly to all the cities and destroy street level drug crime? He can move at Flash-level speed, how long would it take? 2 weeks? See, this is what I mean, when you start having Superman interact with the real world, the character crumbles under the weight of common sense. This was illustrated brilliantly in that Supreme Power Nighthawk mini, where Nighthawk drags the Superman analog to Rwanda to illustrate just how powerless he really was (or chose to be) in a real-world sense, confronting him about why he was wasting his time screwing around with interstellar space squids and such when he could actually be SAVING the world. All a story like #701 does is prompt the question: "Why wasnt he doing this all along? And why would he ever stop?"

  • July 21, 2010, 7:40 p.m. CST

    Joenathan said it best for me.

    by BurnedNotice_Dude

    He can never seem to finish what he starts.

  • July 21, 2010, 8 p.m. CST

    The thing about JMS

    by NippleEffect

    you *know* he cares about the story and the character<p> He's proven that time and again<p> But like many he takes on to much at once and dates slide<p> After Supergod I'm going to avoid Ellis<br> His late to market habit shouldn't be rewarded<p> And I'll never buy anything from him unless it's a complete series released<br> he gets lost in his own fame too easily<p> *oh my hard drive crashed* again

  • July 21, 2010, 8:38 p.m. CST

    Opening "I am not Peter Parker" splash in USM 11 = gold

    by Tall_Boy66

    I loved that issue top to bottom, and I think the first page really sealed it for me. I love the look on his face and the leaning on the car window made him look like he knew he was the shit, which totally worked. I think it was better done than the almost-exact-same issue that ASM put out a few months ago, but that may be because I'll bleed Ultimate Spider-Man until I die. I still love every issue of this book. Oh, and I was considering getting the Planetary Absolute volumes, but missing Planetary/Batman is a huge dealbreaker for me.

  • July 21, 2010, 8:39 p.m. CST

    The tipping point in any comic character

    by NippleEffect

    or maybe its the tipping point in comic buyers<p> You kinda hope that both parties can reign it in<p. When is too much, too much?<p> From the griping, you'd think that Deadpool had surpassed his saturation point<br> Grit your teeth<br> It ain't over yet<p> They know your still holding money<p> you know, you'd think that there'd be some kind of event horizon around Wolverine<p> That the sheer volume of his effing presence would collapse under it's own weight<br> But aparantly Wolverine can claw his way out of a black hole<p> The better part of twenty years ago some guys decided to have some fun with Lobo<br> This was a few years after the JLA / Batman / Guy Gardner / One Punch era<p> Same thugs, same sense of humor anyway<p> Anyway Lobo's Back and that Lobo Christmas special stand out <p> As they should<p> But there came a point where too much Lobo was TOO MUCH LOBO<p> So is there a Wade Wilson event horizon?

  • July 21, 2010, 8:41 p.m. CST


    by NippleEffect

    the web thingy ate my big ol' fucking post<p> does anybody know a good lawyer?

  • July 21, 2010, 8:42 p.m. CST

    Oh, and wanna see me commit sacrilege? *ahem*

    by Tall_Boy66

    Ellis Nextwave is better than Ellis Planetary. YEAH, I SAID IT! IT'S OUT IN THE WORLD NOW. DEAL!

  • July 21, 2010, 8:46 p.m. CST

    I cry myself to sleep nightly living in a world without new Next

    by Tall_Boy66

    Why won't they bring that book back, if only for a one-shot? Eh, maybe it'll sully the waters. I do get my Aaron Stack fix with Fred Van Lette's better-than-you'd-expect Marvel Zombies 3 / 5, but a new Nextwave one-shot by Ellis/Immonen would make me sob. With joy this time. Nextwave = teh rocks. "Oh my God, they explode! My life has new meaning!" Also - it was 90% on time. All 12 issues! No foolin'.

  • July 21, 2010, 8:46 p.m. CST


    by NippleEffect

    I think that *argh* would be an appropiate first stage response<p> As time goes on I'm sure I will never be the same<p> But for right noe *ARGH* will do

  • July 21, 2010, 9:05 p.m. CST

    Don't send a limey to do a comic writers job

    by NippleEffect

    ellis has proven himself time and again of incapable holding a job<p> Dude, flip burgers for a living and sell your yarns to someone who is capable of understanding the word *deadline*<p> Pretty sure if this guy was to put his ear to someones chest all he'd hear is his own name

  • July 21, 2010, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Back in the 80's

    by mortsleam

    This Superman Walks thing would've been one issue long. He walks across the country. Little vignettes about getting back in contact with people. Maybe even dialog free. Then the next issue he'd be a more centered, earth bound hero. But he'd also fly and kick the ass of a space starfish. <p>I still blame it on Cosby.

  • July 21, 2010, 10:46 p.m. CST


    by DuncanHines

    yeah man, I use for all my trades and hardcovers. I still hit the LCS for issues. I like going to the store and arguing with the guy who works there.

  • July 22, 2010, 7:51 a.m. CST

    Supes should bump into Hal and Ollie on the way...

    by thecomedian

    That would be a funny bit. As a fan of THAT book seeing Superman done that way for me would work as long as the stories and characterizations are on point. Don't want to see it get too preachy though. What may have worked in the early 70's would just come off as ham fisted to today's audiences. You'd have to go for a more "balanced" social commentary and then you'd still get fanboys bitching because their not getting "their" Superman. As universal as the character is I think everybody has their own specific way they look at Superman. It's sorta like Jesus for fanboys I guess.

  • July 22, 2010, 8:07 a.m. CST


    by optimous_douche

    It's totally like Jesus. I envision a future 3000 years from now when a long-box washes up from the Dead Sea (The Atlantic Ocean) by this point in time. And all of the tribesman worship this

  • July 22, 2010, 8:28 a.m. CST

    I love Planetary....

    by Fuzzyjefe

    from start to finish, one of the most consistently entertaining comics of the last 20 years. When you really sit back and think about all the disparate threads Ellis wove together in 1 boggles. From Tarzan to the Lone Ranger...Godzilla to stuff.

  • July 22, 2010, 8:37 a.m. CST answer your question...

    by Prof

    ...Have you ever found yourself in an exhausting argument with someone where the other guy just drones on and on and you just want him to shut up and THEN he decides to throw in Hitler? And that's the breaking point where you just throw him the finger and walk away? JMS was like a pansy-ass version of that guy who just annoyed the hell out of me but I was able to almost buy into it until he decided to toss in Thoreau. My eyes rolled so far back in my head they wound up completing a full orbit. :) I'm just that petty. :)

  • July 22, 2010, 8:44 a.m. CST

    One other point...

    by Prof

    ...if I really thought my opinion mattered on Superman, I would've gone off and actually reviewed it. Notice that I let you (Douchey) go ahead and take it and go positive with it. I actually think the widespread critical dump being taken on the issue justified our guy who liked it giving it some positive feedback. 'Cuz I luv me the comics medium and don't wanna see it all one way or the other. :) But...SUPERMAN 701...I poop on you.

  • July 22, 2010, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Well I like your opinion Prof...good talk

    by optimous_douche

  • July 22, 2010, 10:21 a.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    Superman should never deal with "Real world" problems, because it only highlights his impotency. He's a fictional character and he can't actually do anything about the War, homelessness, AIDS, whatever, and having some Super powered moron in blue tights building houses for homeless people only makes the comic that much more useless. This is why Marvel never has Reed cure Cancer, because Cancer is real and serious and Reed Richards is a fucking comic book character who can never equal that level, so he should stick to fighting Mole men and providing escapism.

  • July 22, 2010, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Ah... Goose beat me to it.

    by Joenathan

    Good on him.

  • July 22, 2010, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Planetary vs. Nextwave

    by Joenathan

    I see no need to even try to rank their greatness. I just love them... I just love them.

  • July 22, 2010, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Superman and "Real world" problems

    by loganprometheus

    Hm, I don't really get this argument. Superman doesn't live in the real world, he lives in a fictional world. The stories he is in are fictional, sci-fi and fantasy stuff with superheroes and supervillains.<br /> But this fictional world is also populated by normal people with normal problems. It really is up to the writer to decide how that world works and what problems exist, not you, the reader. It's fiction, get it? The writer makes it up and decides what conflicts arise. Not you, the reader. You are basically accusing the writer for not writing the story like you would have.

  • July 22, 2010, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Nope...I'm accusing the writer...

    by Prof

    ...of writing his own story (or rather, preach about his thoughts on the mythology of superhumans in a world of humans) and shoehorning SUPERMAN into his premise rather than writing a SUPERMAN story.

  • July 22, 2010, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Superman Walks. Big Whoop. I Been Walkin'

    by Buzz Maverik

    since I was almost ten years old.

  • July 22, 2010, 11:11 a.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    I'm saying it's stupid to have Superman address "real world" problems, because it belittles the serious reality of that problem. Plus, it's stupid.

  • July 22, 2010, 11:24 a.m. CST


    by loganprometheus

    Why is it stupid? How does it belittle them?<br /> <br /> Superman catching bank robbers belittles the problem of bank robbers existing? Superman talking someone out of suicide belittles mental health issues? Superman helping someone in a wheel chair belittles people in wheel chairs? I still don't get it.

  • July 22, 2010, 11:28 a.m. CST


    by loganprometheus

    I see, so you're saying your idea of a Superman story is different to other people's idea of a Superman story. Or are you saying there is a list of story premises which Superman should never be written into? Who wrote that list and what's in it?

  • July 22, 2010, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Superman Vs. Real World Problems

    by Buzz Maverik

    Before Siegel & Shuster created Superman, Philip Wylie already dealt with Superman and real world problems in his 1930 novel GLADIATOR. The mutant kid Hugo had Superman-like powers that were completely useless in the real world. Best example: Hugo is fighting in World War I. He's not stupid but he has very little imagination. The war is nearly over when he realizes that he could have ended to conflict over night. Or while working as a bank teller, he offers to rescue a man locked in the vault but only if he can have complete privacy (Wylie anticipated all the anti-mutantism of X-MEN and the WATCHMEN/ KINGDOM COME/CIVIL WAR/INCREDIBLES stuff). After the rescue, Hugo is accused of having planned a bank robbery. Lots of stuff like that. As a mutant, he's sterile. He has to endure bullying as a kid because if he fights back he'll murder the little punks, etc.

  • July 22, 2010, 11:37 a.m. CST

    As Always, I Agree With Joenathan...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...and not just when Superman or JMS or a uncool character or pro is involved. Right after 9/11, we had Marvel superheroes fighting Al Queda. Captain America. Daredevil. It was well meaning stupidity. Marvel's justification was that Captain America fought the Nazis in WW II (although no one in the Marvel administration had probably read a Captain America story before 1980). Well, they did a lot of stupid things in Golden Age Comics.<p>I'm all for heroes HAVING real world problems. As a Marvel Zombie, I want to see Spider-Man dealing with all the problems of a young guy: career, women, independence, the death of his aunt, etc. And Steve Rogers is the ultimate mid-life crisis. The FF with the more benign aspects of family life while saving the Earth from being eaten, etc. But I don't really care about anybody's political opinion.<p>It's like with CIVIL WAR. Marvel Hype and the apologists kept telling us it's about the Patriot Act. Seemed like it was more about KINGDOM COME to me, but that's just me.

  • July 22, 2010, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Shout Out To The Comedian!

    by Buzz Maverik

    He's the original @$$hole!

  • July 22, 2010, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Memo To JMS & Comic Pros...

    by Buzz Maverik

    Stop trying to define the characters and concepts, unless you created them yourselves. And I don't mean "created" in the current sense: that you got a job writing about the character that a couple of dinks from Ohio created almost 80 years ago, or a writer/artist team at a failing company with nothing to lose worked up almostt 50 years ago. Either make up your own stuff (you can pilfer all you want, but you gotta change it), in which case you'll realize how wretched it is to have a comic book defined for you, or... be happy writing stories about someone else's character. If you must define something, I recommend doing it with action, even if you define it incorrectly. I mean, THE DARK KNIGHT was an enjoyable read the first couple of times.

  • July 22, 2010, 11:51 a.m. CST


    by Prof

    I wrote that list. Since I wrote the list, I'm the court's verified expert on my own opinion.

  • July 22, 2010, 12:02 p.m. CST

    I Got A List, Too. Prof...

    by Buzz Maverik

    It's not so much stories that should never be written, as it is stories that I won't read or, if I do read them, with heartlessly mock on message boards.

  • July 22, 2010, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Superman Vs. The Real World Problems


    I'm going to disagree with people here. Superman should deal with Real World Problems. That is what he was made to do. Just look at early Siegel & Shuster stories - taking on organized crime, unsafe work conditions, abusive husbands, war profiteers and the exploitation of children. Hell, Luthor was just a stand in for dictators who went by one name (Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini). <P> The problem is HOW effective is he against Real Problems and what Problems he should try to tackle? I've said this in other TBs, Superman is a metaphor for America and how we view it. The New Deal liberalism of the late 1930's believed a powerful government (or super person) can fix all our problems and social ills. Later America's opinion on the matter changed, and people's opinion on what the Government and Superman were capable of doing changed. We can't imagine the government stopping the drug trade, so why do we imagine Superman is capable of doing that? Even he has limits, and I am sure if he existed in the real world drug smugglers and dealers would adapt to his presence just like they've adapted to the police and governments changing tactics. Hell, our army is a Super-Power, the most powerful force on Earth. And yet we are having trouble handling a punch of tribesmen in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why? Because they fight asymmetrical warfare. They usually don't even target our troops but instead kill civilians. Doesn't matter how invulnerable Superman is, can he really stand to be in an area where he knows his presence is going to cause civilians to be killed? <P> Still, Superman should try to tackle the Real World Problems that we believe our government should, and if we think our government couldn’t handle it maybe show why Superman fails in that effort. Superman might not be able to stop terrorism per say, but I am pretty sure he could bring Bin Laden to justice, and since there is no evidence that Bin Laden really exist in DC’s universe have him bring in a surrogate for Bin Laden, just like how Superman fought stands ins for Hitler and Stalin (like Luthor) or Batman faced off with a Hitler analogue in the leader of the Scarlet Horde. <P> You want to look at the perfect Superman Vs. Real World Problems scenarios, look at the old 1950's radio show. That tackled tougher issues than Supes in the comic ever did, such as anti-Semitism, political corruption, fascism, and racism. In the great episode "Clan of the Fiery Cross", Superman tackles the KKK in an episode inspired by Stetson Kennedy's infiltration of the organization. Back in the days when the big media outlets were afraid to tackle the issue of race for fear of offending it’s Southern listeners, the Superman show did so and even revealed certain secret rites of the KKK to make them appear foolish and lose face. The episode reflected the rest of America’s desire for the Government to take on such hate groups as the KKK. <P> Superman avoiding Real World Problems is going against the very nature of Superman. Even if he isn’t confronting those problems head on, his stories should always be viewed as an allegory to Real Life Issues, otherwise he just becomes another Meta-character whose exploits only reference his comic book nature and give us nothing to relate to or reflect on in our real world existence.

  • July 22, 2010, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Dafur -- The Smoking Ruins of A Village

    by Buzz Maverik

    Boy: "Please, Mr. Superman, my family has all been murdered before my eyes. Can you not turn back time and save them the way you did the un-hot version of Lois Lane, while at the same time stopping this genocide?"<p>Superman: "Well, Amir, I'd like to, but..."

  • July 22, 2010, 12:11 p.m. CST

    What I Always Say About Superheroes In the Real World...

    by Buzz Maverik

    "Professor Xavier, can you hear my thought?"<p>"Perfectly, Storm."<p>"I've diverted the planes from the Towers and am moving them out of the City."<p>"Excellent, Storm. Scott?"<p>"Blackbird's in range, Professor."<p>"Thank you, Scott. Logan? Kurt?"<p>"We're ready, Charlie. The misfit'll bamf us aboard. While he takes over the cockpit, I'll carve the turkeys."

  • July 22, 2010, 12:19 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    If you don't get it, then you're being purposefully obtuse. Bank Robbers and Cancer have nothing in common. It's like when MArvel did that 9/11 tribute issue. Their hearts were in the right place, but it was just inappropriate. That was a real terrible moment involving real people's lives, it's no place for fictional characters to try to make a difference, because they can't. period.

  • July 22, 2010, 12:20 p.m. CST

    And Buzz beat me to that one too...

    by Joenathan

    good on him

  • July 22, 2010, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Buzz, I'm sorry but I don't see your point


    Are you saying it mocks the real world incident, or are you saying if they existed it would satisfy your desire for justice?

  • July 22, 2010, 12:30 p.m. CST

    REAL WORLD problems vs real world problems

    by Joenathan

    Buzz is exactly right here. PArt of what made Spider-man great is his inability to catch a break, his rent troubles, his girl troubles, his having to wash his suit at the laundry mat, etc. That's great, that's 3-D character stuff, <br><br>BUT Reed Richards will never cure cancer. And if you have him cure cnacer, it's just hollow bullshit, because cancer obviously still exists. And that makes Reed seem ineffectual, selfish, or evil. It's like: Cancer and Ben Grimm, he's got nothing... Why? He's too busy building a flying bathtub.<br><br>Like Dr. Doom digging in the rubble of the towers with Magneto? Ah... haven't both of them committed genocide before this and after? You might say "Well this was an important moment and marvel was making a statement as to the gravity of it." <br><br>EXACTLY<br><br>Fucking superheroes should never have been there. Real people died there. It was a well meaning gesture, but it was a hollow, useless gesture that says nothing. So, what I'm saying is this:<br><br>The World has real problems and for the most part, fighting Nazis, mobsters,... crime, whatever, they aren't in the same class as AIDS. Superheroes will never solve those kind of problems. And it belittles the actual issue to stick a guy into the picture who wears his underwear outside of his pants.

  • July 22, 2010, 12:36 p.m. CST


    by loganprometheus

    Yea, I don't get it. I'm trying to get you to explain, so far you haven't.<br /> <br /> The 9/11 thing, how was it inappropriate? To you or to the people there? I heard people who actually experienced it, people like the firefighters and people who lost loved ones, actually liked the issue and its message. The dialogue from it has been quoted by priests in sermon, and so on. So are you getting upset for other people because you think they might get upset, while in actuality they didn't?

  • July 22, 2010, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Oh, you've heard that, have you?

    by Joenathan

    Good for you. The superheroes saved the day... Oh wait... no they didn't, because they can't.

  • July 22, 2010, 12:44 p.m. CST

    It's not about superheroes saving the day.

    by loganprometheus

    If you remember, the issue was about shining the spotlight on the real superheroes of the day, the firefighters and all the people who were there to help others. It's taking a real life tragedy, and commenting on it in this particular medium. It's just a comic book, it can't change the world, it's fiction.

  • July 22, 2010, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Actually I have a question


    If Super-heroes only deal with problems that dwell in a superhero world, why the hell do i even want to read them? I don't have to worry about a Crisis of Multiple Earths or a giant purple alien eating Earth. Sure, it makes for interesting escapism once in awhile, but if that is our only options and never once do comics try to tackle real issues or something actually relevant to me, why bother?

  • July 22, 2010, 12:45 p.m. CST

    I Just Don't Think It Works, Vic...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...I don't think anybody wants to mock anybody with the stories. And most of us are way past having fictional characters satisfy our desire for justice. But doing superhero comics well has to be one of the toughest storytelling gigs possible. It's very easy to do it badly. Let's say you're a reader and Superman ends the Iraqi war. What if your brother is killed over there the next day? Or Reed Richards cures cancer but Mom has just been diagnosed as terminal.<p>Social problems are dicey because a certain amount of social criticism is desirable but it can so easily be heavy handed and AFTER SCHOOL SPECIAL. I always thought that after taking more acid than anybody ever took in the world that Harry Osbourne should have roomed in rehab with M&M from S.E. Hinton's novel THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW.<p>Also, viewpoints change in the world and in comics. That's okay. We can see them all, I guess. But in a few short years after Captain America is battling terrorists or Bullseye is working for Al Queda (did Kevin Smith EVER finish that one? I hope not) we've got CIVIL WAR by a liberal UK writer decrying the Patriot Act.

  • July 22, 2010, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Okay everybody cut the crap....

    by thecomedian

    MARGOT KIDDER IS A STONE COLD FOX AND YOU ALL KNOW IT! Enough with this hipster revisionist "Ugly Lois Lane" BS. She's one of the Sirens of Nicholas Beach. Have some goddamn respect. Good to see you too, Buzz!

  • July 22, 2010, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Reality In Comics

    by Buzz Maverik

    I enjoy that characters dealing with real world problems of their own. The archetypal version of Clark Kent who is the Ultimate Stud on Earth but can't get the hottest chick at work to notice that. Or the fact that he has different values than his circle of friends or acquaintances. Bruce Wayne consumed by his own personal choices. Ben Grimm feeling sorry for himself. And Bruce Banner better control his temper.<p>With all good fantasy, we must suspend our disbelief (thank you Samuel Coldrige). We accept aliens, Hobbits, guys who dress up like rodents to fight crime, girls who only put out for supernatural beings, etc. But it helps if something doesn't drop out of the bottom of the Batmobile so it can spin around 180 degrees because where is the drive train? And don't get a bow hunter started on Hawkeye or Green Arrow or even Rambo. Speaking of Rambo, that's the guy who rescued POWS from Vietnam about 10 years after the conflict, won the war when real circumstances made it impossible and fired a Huey's machine guns by pressing the radio button. I'm not sure if it was Rambo or Chuck Norris who fired an RPG out of his cockpit without burning up the troops behind him that he was trying to protect.<p>I can buy fantasy but they have to get the reality right. That's why I dropped NEW FRONTIER, a book I'd been looking forward to, the first issue. I'll believe in power rings and Amazons in Nam and alien heroes and supremely skilled vigilantes because we don't have those. But you show me a fighter pilot in a combat zone who won't use his guns but who can defeat the enemy by flying skills and I'm buying something else.

  • July 22, 2010, 12:59 p.m. CST

    But why would Superman end the War in Iraq


    I mean this argument of Superman or superheroes tackling real world issues always starts with people suggesting they tackle an issue that is going on right now that obviously they won't be ending. <P> Superman never actually took on the Nazis because the writers knew if Superman existed he WOULD have but a stop to Hitler (and Stalin) in a matter of minutes, like he did in that Life story. But they did have him fight surrogates and Hitler dopplegangers, including Luthor. He might not have faced actual Nazis and WWII, but he did face things that represented those concepts. It is what good fiction and sci-fi does, make stories that represent larger issues. <P> The purpose of Superman is to bring justice and changed the world into a better place. He represents the idea of if someone had the power many of our social ills would be ended. He is a wish fulfillment figure, someone to accomplish what we wish could be done. To have him be just another guy in tights fighting outlandish villains just seems to diminish him IMO.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Morrison Already Made SUPERMAN Cool For The Zeitgeist

    by LaserPants

    It was in a SHATTERING WORK OF COMICS GENIUS called ALL STAR SUPERMAN. It's not even close to being realistic, it's a million miles away from dark, brooding, and cynical, and it's one of the best mainstream American comics I've read since WATCHMEN. Why isn't THAT the norm? <br><br)Supes On Walkabout didn't bother me, but it sure as hell didn't excite me either (the glaringly awful and laughably inaccurate depiction of Philly being one of it's major faults); it was trite and kinda boring. But if Morrison wanted to keep doing the Superman book and keep it nutso / cosmic / amazing as it is in ALL STAR SUPERMAN? THAT would be fucking awesome. I'd never think twice about keeping it in my pulls. <br><br>Oh, and isn't CIVIL WAR, with the registration thing and all that, both a blatant rip-off of WATCHMEN and KINGDOM COME? With the caveat that CIVIL WAR wasn't nearly as good as either of them, totally wussed out, wasn't thought through, and, a couple of random "money shots" aside turned out completely retarded and embarrassingly awful?

  • July 22, 2010, 1:03 p.m. CST

    Margot Kidder Did Have That Beach House

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...where she put out for Brian De Palma and the Film Brat Generation. I wonder if she deflowered Spielberg. I understand poor Paul Schrader was left out but otherwise...

  • July 22, 2010, 1:03 p.m. CST



    Good call on Kidder. Obviously someone else read "Easy Riders & Raging Bulls." <P> And yeah she wasn't a model but she was cast in the 70's, an era that placed talent about vapid good looks. She is a better actress than any fanboy's dream Lois Lane for nowadays, and until guys start supplying photos of their hot wives and girlfriends to prove me wrong, she was better looking than any of the trim anyone here is getting.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Oh, And Margot Kidder Is A Fugly Hag

    by LaserPants

    Lois Lane is supposed to be HOT, not some withered, beaky crone. I'm not sure who they could get for Nolan's Superman movie (aka FINALLY a GOOD Superman Movie: The Movie), but I could maybe see Rachel McAdams.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:06 p.m. CST

    And yes...


    ...I would have totally tapped that in the 70's.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Nicholas Beach or Laurel Canyon

    by Buzz Maverik

    Where would you have hung out in the '70s? Debate amongst yourselves.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:07 p.m. CST



    Please supply photos of your wife and girlfriends please?

  • July 22, 2010, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Oh, OK, Sure, I'll Post Pictures Of My Girlfriend!

    by LaserPants

    So I can prove to some random stranger on the internets that she's hotter (she is, very much so) than Margot Kidder??? Riiiiiight. No thanks! You can go ahead and think whatever the hell you want to. Makes no difference to me.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Casting Lois Lane...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...I'd say brunette, late 20s, early 30s, has to project edge without the obnoxiousness usually associated when actresses try to project edge. Should seem intelligent without us having to be told she's intelligent. Good looking but not a super model or pin up girl. Nobody too young or too old. Doesn't have to be a star but not too obscure.<p>Superman/Clark Kent -- the guy has to be such a good actor that we don't know he's acting. Also, has to be dark haired pretty boy, either already buff enough or with the genetics for getting buff. No Reeve impersonations. Nobody already associated with the character. And nobody who perpetually looks like he's just been force fed sour candy.<p>Writer/director/producer -- should be somebody posting on a message board with an affinity for Cuban cigars, British shotguns and Herradura Tequila...

  • July 22, 2010, 1:17 p.m. CST


    by LaserPants

    That's your gimme right there. He was BORN to play Superman.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Thanks LaserPants.


    I will.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Jon Hamm Is Luthor, Bay-bee!

    by Buzz Maverik

    But I like where you're going on this.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Buzz, what about Luthor


    And sorry, but if it was up to me I would still demand to see a reel and writing samples from perspective writer/directors, no matter how much they post on message boards.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Enjoy, Victor! Enjoy!

    by LaserPants

    Do you often think about other people's girlfriends? Is it time to maybe get one of your very own? I don't even know you and I'm SURE you'd be able to get someone hotter than Kidder. Hell, throw a rock in any direction and you'll hit someone hotter than Kidder.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Your right, she was a troll in the 70's.


  • July 22, 2010, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Before I Write 1 Word or Shoot 1 Frame...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...I have to be guaranteed one million dollars for the script and one million for directing (I live a modest life). I'll have to have final cut. My friend the Comedian will either be cinematographer or editor, which ever he chooses. My friend Sleazy G. will be music supervisor and my nephew W.A. Maverik will do the score. Craft services will be provided by my friend Eriglione's mom who make the best canoli west of Chicago. I will also require a Purdy shotgun delivered to me within 24 hours in a limosine. Finally, I must have a new Hummer with every square inch of interior space filled with Cuban cigars. then, and only then, will you get your precious writing sample and reel, only I won't have time because I'll be making a movie.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Also, Cast Approval and Final Cut...

    by Buzz Maverik could I forget those?

  • July 22, 2010, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Okay, That's A Good Pic, Vic

    by LaserPants

    My girlfriend's still hotter, though! :p

  • July 22, 2010, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Really Laser?


    Now I really hate you.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:30 p.m. CST

    How About January Jones As Lois Lane?

    by LaserPants

    She's have to dye her hair, or wear a wig, but she'd definitely be the appropriate level of hotness AND she's a great actor.<br><br>Okay, clearly I just want to see the cast of Mad Men transferred to the Superman universe.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Dudes, Is It Possible To Express An Opinion

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...on your computer and have another dude express an opinion on his computer without everybody insulting each other? I mean, I know we're guys and all but like...even if you're currently celibate, you don't have to provide evidence that Megan Fox is hotter than Hillary Clinton. Otherwise, only Bill Clinton would be able to tell us that ... which he would.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Yes I am a petty man.


  • July 22, 2010, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Buzz, me and Laser moved on


    Now it is harmless jabbing and banter.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Ignore My Last Post

    by Buzz Maverik

    This exchange is pretty cool.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:32 p.m. CST

    The problem with message borads


    Is by the time you get to reply everything has fucking moved on and you look like an idiot. See my above post.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Haha! Don't Hate, Vic!

    by LaserPants

    To me, with that pic, I can see that she's attractive, but not HOT; at least not the level of hotness I would expect for the girlfriend of Superman. But, as noted, she did nail the role, she just looked kinda fugly to me.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Yeah, I Could See Her As Lois or That Redhaired Chick

    by Buzz Maverik

    Superman does have a certain timeless quality, which will probably have to be ignored, though. Otherwise, you get Tim Burton's Batman instead of Chris Nolan's.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Yeah, It's Just Jibber Jabber Now

    by LaserPants

    Message boards suck. Be so much better if we were at a bar or something having this conversation.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:36 p.m. CST

    I always stay away from casting decisions


    For big superhero movies. I'm not privy to any auditions or readings, so anyone I suggest might actually seem pretty damn stupid as the character in an actual movie. And people I never would imagine might show up and do an awesome reading. <P> Having said that, I would like to see maybe Daniel Day Lewis or Russell Crowe as Lex Luthor because I think both could finally bring some true menace to the character that has been missing for years, and also distance themselves from the Hackman version (great version, but we've done that version of Luthor already; let's move on).

  • July 22, 2010, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Oh, Yeah! Christina Hendricks! She Could Work Too

    by LaserPants

    She definitely has the ultra-confident 'tude that Lois exudes (even though she plays an Office Manager on Mad Men, not a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist).

  • July 22, 2010, 1:37 p.m. CST

    You know who's awesome?

    by Joenathan


  • July 22, 2010, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Who is the modern Rosalind Russell?


    I always imagined Lois being like Russell from His Girl Friday (turned down a notch or two).

  • July 22, 2010, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Yeah, Fanboys, Like Novelists, Should Never Cast

    by Buzz Maverik

    We always pick someone too young, too old, too well known, too obscure. You say "Jennifer Garner as Elektra?" and some dude says "What about Luciana Pavlovsdoggia from Fengshui's ZOMBIE TENTACLE RAPE?" and we all say "Who?" Or people wanting Marlon Brando as the Kingpin. I always said they wanted to see Daredevil beat up on his grandpa. Or the geeky Jennifer Connelly vs. Catherin Zeta Jones as Wonder Woman (now their both too old for the part so simmer, boy!) with people calling you names because they think Jennifer is cuter.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Joenathan, I Think You ARE Bendis

    by LaserPants

    Just joking with you, man, but seriously, you REALLY love Bendis and I have absolutely no idea why. Brubaker, Fraction, Hickman, Abnett & Lanning, I understand, cause they're all great, but Bendis? Why??

  • July 22, 2010, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Oddly, Bendis Could Play Clark But Not Lex

    by Buzz Maverik

    You'd think, with the baldness and all, but you'd be wrong. Also, I heard that Bryan Singer had him audition for Lois but went with the skinny, too young blonde.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Ambush Bug is Bendis

    by Buzz Maverik

    He hides it by making himself look shorter and by giving himself mixed to negative reviews.

  • July 22, 2010, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Plus if fanboys were in charge of casting


    Would Heath Ledger really have gotten the part? Or Hugh Jackman as Wolverine (which I actually think was a bad casting choice but the masses ate it up and loved him in the role).

  • July 22, 2010, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Re: Who is the modern Rosalind Russell?

    by LaserPants

    Dude, TOTALLY; that's totally the 'tude. But I have no idea who the modern equivalent is...

  • July 22, 2010, 1:48 p.m. CST

    "Luciana Pavlovsdoggia"

    by LaserPants

    HAHAHA! That's a GREAT "stage name!"

  • July 22, 2010, 2:55 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    I don't really. I just like to keep it going. It's just the prevailing sentiment here is "Hate Bendis Smash!", so end up looking extreme simply for liking him. Plus, I play it up for effect. <br><br>Besides, one day I'll be proven right, but right now and the past seven years? This is the Bendis Era at Marvel. This is how it will be known. The guy has left an undeniable mark.

  • July 22, 2010, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Sure. The way the late 80s and early 90s

    by Laserhead

    were The Liefeld Era. He too left an undeniable mark. Doesn't mean it's a good thing.

  • July 22, 2010, 8:52 p.m. CST

    Terri Hatcher, Noel Neill..WHO NEEDS EM!

    by thecomedian

    They can fill a sweater pretty nicely and act hypnotized well enough, but MARGOT KIDDER OWNS LOIS LANE! Come on, in the 1st act of SUPERMAN she's INTO Clark Kent until he seemingly chickens out in the alleyway but then he gets the ultimate "second chance at making a 1st impression" showing up on her roof top X-Raying his way into her shorts. THAT'S HOT.

  • July 22, 2010, 10:45 p.m. CST

    "And nobody who perpetually looks like he's just been force fed

    by thecomedian

    Just read that bit, Buzz. That should go out to the whole DC editorial staff.

  • July 23, 2010, 6:41 a.m. CST

    Margot Kidder was "70's" Hot

    by optimous_douche

    The concepts of beauty and femininity constantly evolve.<p> Females that were considered desirable 400 years ago, would now be relegated to the chubby chaser fetish. And as much as we hate to admit it, our ideal mate is a reflection of our societal needs and those needs define what the proper “aesthetic” should be.<p> Think about when these movies were set, late 70s. We were only a few years past the women’s independence movement and standing on the precipice of women becoming a powerful force within the working world, breaking the barriers of the boys club. Men were also starting to realize that we wanted women there, it benefited family’s from a financial standpoint.<p> Men of that time period saw the change coming and knew that they would either have to embrace that change or die.<p> The women of the time period knew they were entering a boy’s club, simply look at the fashion. The 70s and 80s saw working women essentially wearing the equivalent garbs of their male counterparts, I mean fuck shoulder pads. Why were women trying to broaden their chests to achieve the antithesis of the female form? So they could look more like men. So they could be on an equal footing in a world they just entered. Look at women in the work force today, they are able to embrace their feminity with their dress and appearance because of the pioneering work of women who took one for the team and dyked out for a generation.<p> So yeah, Margot Kidder was 70s hot. 2000’s hot…not so much.

  • July 23, 2010, 11:42 a.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    You're actually partially right. The 90s was the Era of Image, which Liefeld is directly responsible for and will therefore forever be remembered.