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AICN COMICS REVIEWS: SCOTT PILGRIM! AVENGERS! GI JOE: COBRA! AND MUCH MORE!

#9 7/21/2010 #9

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) SCOTT PILGRIM’S FINEST HOUR Vol.6 AVENGERS #3 FRACTURED FABLES Vol.1 SCOURGE #0: ZERO TO SIXTY NEW AVENGERS #2 / AVENGERS #3 G.I.JOE: COBRA #6 Big Eyes For the Cape Guy presents CHI’S SWEET HOME Vol. 1-2 Indie Jones presents PRISON PIT / THE BEAST OF CHICAGO / OBLIVION CHEAP SHOTS!

SCOTT PILGRIM’S FINEST HOUR Vol. 6

Writer/Artist: Brian Lee O’Malley Publisher: Oni Press Guest reviewer: CreepyThinMan

I just finished reading SCOTT PILGRIM'S FINEST HOUR and I confess I find myself.....disappointed. Here be SPOILERS. Maybe.......
I started reading SCOTT PILGRIM earlier this year, due to the movie being made by Edgar Wright, who directed SPACED. SPACED Series 1 is, FYI, a masterpiece. SHAUN OF THE DEAD was very good while HOT FUZZ was OK. Well, I absolutely LOVED the SPACED series and couldn't wait for the movie and, most especially, the last book from author/artist Brian Lee O'Malley.
What a disappointment this book was. I literally burned through it in 30 minutes and it felt just soooo weak in comparison to the previous five books, which had sooooo much nuance and detail, while not only providing satisfying stories about Scott Pilgrim but also making sure to give the other characters their moments to shine. The thing that made the other books great was those little moments of identifiable human emotion that grounded the whole thing when there weren’t battles with ninjas, robots and evil exes. You could look at not only Scott, but all of the characters who were going through things in their lives that you recognized in your own. Then there was the way that O'Malley would subvert your expectations and twist the story in satisfying ways. None of that here. There are no great revelations and the “mysteries” that were set up in the previous books have no pay off apart from “oh yeah, you know that thing, well, this is what that was…” and each lands with a thud. Ramona mentions watching the X-FILES, which felt the exact same way. All set up with no satisfactory climax.
This book just feels like a piece of business designed to get the whole thing out of the way. Characters and events feel completely perfunctory. All the peripheral characters just sort of stand around and don't provide SP with any real sort of emotional or intellectual support except for a pat on the back. Speaking of the supporting characters, you could have taken them out of this book and I don’t think it would have made a bit of difference. I just didn’t feel this book at all.
The worst part is that we don’t get any sense of these people moving forward in their lives apart from some half-assed left turns in place of any real development. With each book, you felt that, at the end, all the characters (at least Scott) had some sort of breakthrough or realization. They learned something that allowed them to *ahem* get to the next level. VOL. 6 is basically and literally “Must defeat Gideon and get back with Ramona….” And that’s all there is to it. Sure, some obstacles are in the way but the predictable “Happy Ending” was never in doubt and you could feel O’Malley adding as much shoe leather as possible to make it seem as though the story was more epic then it was. Oh and what was the point of having Envy Adams return? I thought her story was given sufficient closure even if Scott didn’t get a hug. She’s a perfect example of what I mean when I say that the characters have no forward momentum and learn nothing. At the end of VOL. 3, you really felt that she had discovered some things about the world and herself and had changed -- maybe for the better.
Also, Gideon Gordon Graves was a pathetic character and a piss poor villain. The previous books gave him such a vibe of underlying menace and you felt that he was a part of some real darkness in Ramona’s life. Based on her reactions to what Envy said to her in VOL. 3, and the vision of her that Scott saw in her head in VOL. 4, I expected to find out that she had been involved in some sordid, lurid and sleazy activities related to her employment by Gideon. I guess O’Malley didn’t have the balls to go all dark on us and decided to pussy out with that half-assed “masterplan” GGG had going on. I had hoped that O’Malley would go very dark as it would give Scott the challenge of learning to love Ramona despite the things she had done in her past while also providing a counterpoint to all the video game, anime and manga references which suggests a severe case of arrested development in Scott that I wanted to see him confront and conquer in VOL. 6. That Ramona was a runner because of the things she had done, was ashamed of, and left because she wanted to tell her exes, but couldn’t, for fear that they would reject her, so, she rejected them first. I know these are just graphic novels but I was really hoping for a bit more emotional complexity, especially given the excellent character work presented in the first 5 volumes. I’m less interested in the fight scenes then I am the catharsis and/or reconciliation that the characters earn through their trails and tribulations. I felt none of this in Vol 6.
Ultimately, I think it was less important that Scott and Ramona get back together than they both obtain a greater knowledge of themselves, gain some peace of mind and are both able to move forward with or even without each other. It’s not about living “Happily ever after…”, it’s about making the best of things and enjoying your time together while knowing when to let go and move on. That's what being in a relationship is about and, for me, Scott Pilgrim didn't make that leap. Game Over.

AVENGERS #3

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Art: John Romita Jr. Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Henry Higgins Is My Homeboy

"Other world Apocalypse gets demon Hulk. Our Apocalypse gets Gambit, with death gas. Damnit Marvel, just...just damnit. "
I realize that a lot of people dislike...okay, burn effigies of Bendis for his AVENGERS runs. But, recently especially, his take on the teams have been fairly good. NEW AVENGERS has a fun roster, and this take on the big names of the Marvel universe gives it an epic feeling the series has been missing. I really enjoyed the first two issues of this series, but I'm not quite behind this one. Maybe it's Romita's art not comparing to the last two issues, maybe it's the anticlimatic air of it all, I don't know. Maybe I'm still holding onto all my rage from reading AMAZING, and it's making me want to have a go at anyone I can get at. But this one, while it does have its moments, isn't as good at the last two.
Writing: This issue follows up with the brawl began last issue, between the Avengers and a future version of Apocalypse and his horsemen, among them members of the Avengers. And what should be an insane fight that I want to make love to instead becomes instead becomes bland at times, and even worse, occasionally melodramatic.
"Die a thousand deaths, God of thunder."
Looks like Apocalypse is bringing his A game, Thor. Be prepared for when he starts using the mother jokes. I'm not to fond of Bendis's take on Thor or Apocalypse in this issue. Bendis doing epic usually ends up sounding more like bad role playing game lines. On the other hand, stuff like Spider-Man, like always with Bendis, come off brilliantly. I really do consider Bendis one of the better Spidey writers in ages, and even in team books he gets some chance to shine. Essentially, the plot line about the children of the Avengers taking over the future takes a back seat to the almost issue long fight sequence. It feels like filler at times. Though, some attention is paid to a trope I'm not too fond of in time travel stories, which I like. The entire team is ready to go before Hill points out how utterly idiotic that is to send all of the Avengers into the time stream and leave the city unprotected from time spitting out another big bad. It loses some of its appeal when you remember that there are two other teams of Avengers to help the city, but at least it gets addressed. Hill proves to be right, and the issue ends with half the team facing down the next time immigrant. I'm not excited about Killraven showing up, but that stems from the fact that I don't want to read more Thor inspired dialogue. The other flaw in this part’s writing has come from the very anticlimatic feel of it. Between the Horsemen just....disapparating I guess, and the time machine being rebuilt in literally minutes, nothing has the resonance to really be effective.
Art: Romita's art(and I'm usually a fan of Romita) is muddled, with scenes looking off and some of the characters just looking weird. Maria Hill looks like a man more than once, and Spider-Man makes some...odd body movements. This should be the kind of thing Romita excels at, but it just doesn't hold up to some of his other fight scenes. That's not to say there aren't any good moments. Spider-Man's save of Iron Man is fantastic, and is well done. And the designs of the Horsemen is just fantastic. Sells the threat immediately, and unlike other Horsemen in the past (I'm looking at you, EmoGambit), it's going to take a few more shots to even slow them down.
Best Moment: Spider-Woman spelling out to Spider-Man that one of the Horsemen was a future version of him, before Captain Marvel or whatever the hell he's calling himself, shows up to attempt a joke. A nice scene, with some fun interaction between all the "Spider-People" members of the team.
Worst Moment: Almost any time Apocalypse speaks. It sounds like a Larper trying to be intimidating. I'm sure it works in your head, but in the real world it makes you look like an idiot.
Writing - 2/5 - Though it does have its strong moments, the overall feeling of "meh" sets in here.
Art - 2/5 - Too many odd faces, weird positions, inconsistent shots, and bland looks can distract you from the marvelous looks some of the characters get.
Overall: 2/5 - Disappointing, but mostly because the last two were fairly good. Hopefully next issue, with half of the team going into the future and the other half fighting dinosaurs in New York, it should get back to its higher standards.

FRACTURED FABLES Vol.1

Written By: The best in comics today Illustrated By: Likewise Publisher: Shadowline/ Image Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

Sorry to be flip with the credits, but there are simply too many damn people that contributed to the tsunami size amount of stories in FRACTURED FABLES and frankly I’m just too damn lazy to type credits for forty minutes. If you want to know who contributed to this graphic package of goodness, pick up a comic book, find the credits, and there is a 75% chance one of the people listed contributed to this entertaining, yet shockingly still suitable for kids fairytale remaking.
Fangeezers that remember the uproarious “Rocky & Bullwinkle” vignettes “Fractured Fairytales,” will immediately get the gist of FRACTURED FABLES. Just like those cartoons of yore FRACTURED FABLES retells our favorite childhood stories (practically all of them –seriously, this thing is huge) for the modern age. But that is right where the similarities end, because in no way shape or form could someone from the late 60s have imagined the twisted shit today’s comic creators can conjure when let loose on childhood story fodder . Keeping right in step with the Silverline corporate motto, this book does introduce rugrats to sequential panel-based storytelling and ensures each story walks away with a nice little nugget of morality. Make no mistake though; this is a kid’s book you will be trying to wrestle from their grubby little hands.
I loved every story in FRACTURED FABLES, but there’s no freaking way I’m covering all of them. If I miss one of your personal favorites from back when you were a wee one, rest assured that Silverline is more ambitious than I am. Like Prego, “Don’t worry. It’s in there.”
So here are a few of my favorites, but the list is far from complete.
The Cover: While not technically a story, Team Allred’s art style that blends 60’s kitsch with modern cynicism immediately let me know that this book was created by comic people to shepherd the next generation into comics. And this served as morality lesson one, “Sometimes kids, you can judge a book by its cover…I’m just saying.”
Little Red Riding Hood: Take everything you knew about the old tale, including an art style akin to the Little Golden books and reset all expectations on what a granny truly is in this day and age. Instead of some doddering infirmed old woman, granny is on her second career as a kid’s karate instructor. Yeah, you guessed it. This wolf is in for a grrrrl powah ass kicking.
Mary Had a Little Spam: Pretty self-explanatory with some delicious artwork provided by longtime Image penciler (and Silverline editor) Jim Valentino.
The Secret Princess Society: One of the few prose style stories peppered throughout the book. “Princess” is a great tale on the annoyances and the bonds between siblings. What truly astounded me though is how Whilce Portacio’s art can enhance a story even sans panels.
Trouble at the North Pole: Simply hilarious...artist and writer, Shane White, takes the 24x7 news cycle to the North Pole to show the effects of global warming on everyone’s favorite fat man and his child slave labor ring (call them elves if you want, but which scenario is more plausible?). White deftly infuses modern woes into the Santa mythos without giving away the granddaddy of childhood disillusionment (spoiler alert), that Santa only exists at the mall.
On Top of Spaghetti: Children’s songs are fucking ridiculous when viewed through the lens of reality and spaghetti is one of the big ones on the absurdity scale. Morrison does a wonderful job preying on the fear adults would have towards this dangerous amount of spaghetti and counterbalancing that fear with the child’s reckless glee that his favorite food is taking over his house and yard. Little Miss Muffet: This reminded me of a Comcast commercial from a few years back where they were trying to hock the wonders of high-speed internet by showing how it fueled a little girl’s interest in researching bugs. Lepp did a great job not only ensuring this narrative rhymed, but also by breaking down a few thousand years of fable misogyny. Muffet is a bug collector and the ultimate fate of the spider is hilarious.
The Real Princess: Unfortunately I was not able to read the FRACTURED FABLES finished product; instead I am relegated to a grainy PDF (not a slight against Shadowline, this is how I review 99% of my freebs). So as much as I would love to talk about the story in this piece, I just could not make out the flourished font. The art, however, Christian Ward paints a water colored and insanely trippy landscape. Very cool stuff.
The People vs. Hansel & Gretel: Take the endless number of “Judge” shows that currently clog the afternoon television airwaves and transform the witch from Hansel and Gretel into a put out plaintiff after some greedy children decide to eat her abode. Scott’s “South Park” style of artwork is merely the icing on the cake of this delicious 180 degree turn.
Snoring Beauty: On the surface this merely seems like “Sleeping Beauty” with a deviated septum. However, do not pass lightly over this tale young men, the lesson is invaluable. Women lie to us before we get married. They take their dumps in the Burger King bathroom before coming over, they don’t sleep in hopes that you won’t notice they snore, they even go so far as to apply make-up before you wake up in the morning. Take heed little boys before you pick your mate; all women, even princesses, are human.
The Little Mermaid: I did this list chronologically how they appear in the book, but if I had to pick a “best-of-the-best” this would be it. Art and story combine fantastically to reinvent the babe aquatic’s tale. While the “be careful what you wish for” message is still firmly intact, Peter David’s traditional humor and wit shines through in every panel. Juan Ferreyra paints some damn pretty seascapes and has a great time on dry land as well making all of our favorite Mermaid’s wishes and horrors come to life.
Cinderella: Again I have to take a bogey stroke on not getting the story in this one. Sadly this story leveraged some fancy flourish text, that while utterly appropriate for a fairytale simply comes across unreadable in PDF format. The art though takes the top Optimous Douche honor. I haven’t seen a hell of a lot from Rodin Esquejo and that is a pure comic travesty. Not only is the imagery gorgeous, but I didn’t really need to read any text to understand what was happening. This is a man that knows how to use lines and provide detail without muddying the page with extraneous hashes and slashes of the pen. Rodin, please let me know of your future work.
Despite the length of this review, I have merely scratched the surface on the wealth of stories contained in FRACTURED FABLES. If you love comics and have kids, this is the perfect way to get your wee ones to imbibe the sequential panel based storytelling you have grown to love. If you don’t love comics, but are sick to death of the same fucking stories our great-great-great-great grandparents grew up with, FRACTURED FABLES is a fresh, at times acerbic and always wholly original take on the fables of yesteryear.
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.

SCOURGE #0: ZERO TO SIXTY

Writer: Scott Lobdell Art: Eric Battle Publisher: Aspen Comics Reviewer: Mr. Pasty

Volunteering to read another “man vs. zombie” comic is like going in for an episiotomy when you’re not pregnant. And believe me I really wanted to soil this book with a Diceman-esque rant of all the reasons why Aspen Comics should be blown off the face of the map like that muddy village during the first few minutes of OUTBREAK. Then Scott Lobdell had to go and do a crazy thing like make this book good. Check that, make it great.
SCOURGE #0 is basically the beginning stages of I AM LEGEND – the masterpiece by Richard Matheson, not that urinal cake with the Fresh Prince that was flushed out of the box office via collective indifference. You can tell right from the cover that Lobdell isn’t fucking around. I appreciate a terse introduction to my heroes. Believe it or not, I’m capable of connecting the animated dots. It aggravates me when writers feel the need to explain everything in their protagonist’s life from DNA up until the opening frame. It’s usually handled by some interlude where a bunch of supporting characters talk out loud and reveal major plot points – just in case they conveniently end up inside a comic book.
In SCOURGE, Lobdell doesn’t waste anytime setting you up. It’s page one, and it’s a fucking shitstorm. Our hero, former Marine and NYPD SWAT member John Griffin, is knee deep in colleagues and passer-bys who just so happened to have mutated into killer gargoyles who want to recruit other humans into their bloodthirsty horde by biting or stabbing them. If the humans resist or can’t be turned, they get killed. It’s basically the formula for Christianity – just not as violent. Well ol’ Griff doesn’t want to convert so he has to run-and-gun his way to the other side of Manhattan to pick up his son from the theatre before the gargoyles do. And in the process he must also confront an evil so unspeakably horrifying it makes the gargoyles look like something from a Bob Ross painting. Is it the antichrist himself? No, it’s his ex-wife, and she wants to know why he can’t be a better father to his kid. I’m telling you, folks, this is a white-knuckle tale of survival.
The artwork ain’t too shabby either. Colorful but still gritty, I got a kick out of the two dozen or so ways Eric Battle was able to draw Griffin in peril. He’s kind of a gentleman’s version of Frank Castle. Just as mean, just as dangerous, but carries himself with a little more class and doesn’t have to schlep that whole “waaah, my kids are dead” baggage. Yet.
I really enjoyed SCOURGE #0 and I think the title ZERO TO SIXTY is a fitting way to describe this. You hit the ground running on page one and you don’t stop until there’s nothing left to read. What’s causing this pandemic? Will Griffin make it across town before the gargoyles do? Is it already too late? Will his ex-wife get what’s coming to her? These are some of the questions that are bound to be answered (amidst the nonstop carnage) in issue # 1. I can’t wait to buy it.
Web heads who can’t get enough of Mr. Pasty’s word vomit are encouraged to watch him operate as Nostradumbass over at MMaMania.com here. Love, hate and Mafia Wars requests should be directed here.

AVENGERS #3

Writer: Brain Michael Bendis Artist: John Romita Jr.

NEW AVENGERS #2

Writer: Brian Bendis Artist: Stuart Immonen Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Jncndac

I don’t know what drugs Big Bad Brian Bendis is on but I am glad he’s a junky cause this Heroic Age Avenger Action is Crazy Comic Crack. That’s right True Believers, face front, drink the Kool Aid and enjoy it for what it is: old fashioned comic goodness. I’m talking about NEW AVENGERS #2 & AVENGERS #3.
Now I know a lot of you kiddies out there love to hate for the sake of hate; let’s call you our disarmingly demented, contrary cousin Kevin. Everyone’s got one nowadays. That’s those peculiar people or persons who want to go all critical on whatever the latest greatest goodie is, be it movies, music, musings or Metamucil if everybody likes it, Cousin Kevin’s gonna hate it. Well keep this in mind IT’S A COMIC. It’s FICTION for four (ty) year olds, frighteningly fascinating far out fiction, but its just meant to give you a merry moment of magic to fend off the dingy dull drudgery of daily life.
That being said I am not going to go all complaining Kevin on you and point out that it is so infuriating that Wolverine & Spiderman are in 27,000 titles at once. That 17,000 Avengers Titles is mental. That I don’t really care about AVENGERS ACADEMY, AVENGERS ASSOCIATION, AFFILIATION or ACCLIMATION. All I care about are cool stories with my favorite heroes doing, well heroic stuff and this AVENGERS #3 & NEW AVENGERS 2 is, so far, giving me just that.
Let me ‘splain, no, is too much, let me sum up.
AVENGERS #3: Really Cool Kang Cover! I hate comics with covers that don’t have anything to do with the story…spoiler alert…Kang is not in this story…end spoiler alert.
Yes, I know Kevin, but other that, what a great read. We gots Thor being belted thru peoples apartments, Spiderman cracking wise, Tony showing some heart (pun intended) and being disturbed by the Four Horsemen being twisted versions of Avengers, Wolverine smelling something’s up & Hawkeye bucking the leader & Thor says “Have at Thee!” Those are moments true to those characters & that’s what I am digging, that’s what works, Bendis gets it, digs these crazy line ups & doesn’t want to wait 10 years of single linear story telling in one Avengers title to tell it. Or he is just a power mad Marvel Moron making mucho moola, either way we win! This run is starting to feel a lot like the run of Perez & Busiek that began in ‘98 when Marvel last went retro. The same feel with a little more humor. But I for one will enjoy the ride as long as the stories have sound, not contrived emotional resonating; rock me to my core conclusions. Expectations, Uh….yeah.
I have also heard Cute Kevin hating on JRJR’s artwork, I unapologetically protest! Here is a dark secret….growing up, I Hated Jack Kirby’s Art! There I said it, I thought it sucked. Now I was reading comics in the 70’s Kirby had departed Marvel & had his day & the only time I saw he’s stuff was in reprints of regular issues when deadlines weren’t met and then his godawful run on Captain America when he came back to Marvel AND which in comparison to Steve Englehart & Sal Buscema’s run, as far as I was concerned was the beginning of the end of comic book reading for me for years. Yet all I heard, all the time was: King Kirby, Kirby Krackle, Kirby, Kirby Kirby! It wasn’t until years later (2009) when I completed my Thor collection that I finally began to appreciate the greatness of his Kirbiness on that oh so glorious run (some of Stan’s best stuff too). So what does it mean? I don’t know, Wait! I do know! It’s like when you’re a kid and you hate hamburgers then you grow up and you love hamburgers and you eat so many you become grossly obese & look like Jabba the Hut or Harry Knowles, no wait that’s not it. It grows on you, yeah, like a fungus, that’s it, give it a chance, you may like it…Romita’s artwork, not the hamburgers. Oh, and was that Devil Dinosaur on the last panel? Coooool, but I digress.
NEW AVENGERS #2: Now I am getting a definitely definitively Defenders direction in this so called NEW AVENGERS. I am also relieved to tell you that the cover, somewhat uninspired as it was, has everything to do with the story. See sometimes watch what you wish for, Kevin. But other than that, wait for it, here it comes, another great read! Holy Moley, two good comics in the same review! Who would a thunk it?
This has got to be the most twisted Avengers line up since Reed & Sue joined! No, wait, that sucked, this is the opposite, it blows, no wait I mean its good. Spidey & Wolverine (I know get over it Kevin we covered this, take another sip of kool-aid) Ben Grimm, Ms. Marvel, Iron Fist, Mocking Bird, Hawkeye, I know your saying, dude, I don’t see a Defenders connection. Well I say dude, I say, give me a second:. DOCTOR STRANGE!...What? Ok so he is only one Defender but he is really really Defendery and Hawkeye was a Defender for awhile, so there! Anyway Bendis does a very interesting thing with all the spells being cast by the good doctor; he spells them out at the bottom of the panels like a bizarre Beelzebubian bibliography. This book would be worth the purchase if the only thing in it was the exchange between Peter & Logan after the latter stabbed the good doctor. If only Mr. Voodoo head would stop crying, there is NO CRYING in baseball & when you’re the Sorcerer Supreme, for the love of Pete! I smell Stephen Strange reclamation & redemption coming or is it gumbo? Anyway, I also loved the artwork (big surprise).
Speaking of the artwork, another big secret, y’know why I hated Kirby so much? I think it was because I so loved, nay, I adored Big John Buscema’s art, especially when it was embellished by Jolting Joe Sinnott. I have a lovely autographed copy of my very first Avengers comic, issue 104, the one with my wife, I mean the Scarlet Witch on the cover, signed by the Jolting one himself, another story for the therapist I mean another day. Sorry digressing again. The artwork: nice clean lines and Stuart Immonen has some of the very same clean lines that I like. Lots of great splash pages too, something Big John was great at and what a great cliff hanging final page, So at this point you’re wondering how does this laughable little loser who grew up liking clean lines & hated Kirby end up liking JRJR? I don’t know, hamburgers?
Nuff said, C’mon Kevin, Drink the Kool-Aid and Assemble! The Avengers are defending! Now where did I put that Eye of Agamotto?

G.I. JOE: COBRA Vol. 2 #6

Writers: Mike Costa & Christos Gage Artists: Sergio Carrera & J.K. Woodward Publisher: IDW Publishing Reviewer: KletusCasady

I think G.I. JOE: COBRA #1 is the first G.I. Joe comic I’ve ever read. I’ve flipped though issues but nothing ever grabbed me. Most of the comics I looked at appeared to just continue the cartoon feeling without much at stake. Even as a kid seeing all those blue and red lasers fly around and not hit anyone seemed kind of weird, not that I’m expecting a Garth Ennis/ Jacen Burrows G.I. JOE comic (I’d read it though!) but I want something with some weight. I know there’s probably some good stuff out there (any ideas?) but up until G.I. JOE: COBRA #1, I had yet to find it. The first series was excellent and dealt with one of my favorite Joes in Chuckles. Basically he is sent to infiltrate Cobra in deep cover and report any and all wrongdoings they are a part of back to Duke (?). Now it seems like a pretty straightforward storyline but some serious shit happens during this series that had the high stakes I always thought G.I. JOE comics were capable of. I was a little bummed that Chuckles’ story ended because he was spiraling into a black hole of regret, revenge and reckoning and it was getting better every issue (his story will continue later in the series). I will say that I don’t think this new story arc is as good as the Chuckles story but its pretty fun.
This story line deals with Scoop…no…you don’t know who he is…that’s because he was one of the lamer G.I. Joes; I think he came with a video camera and a lame gun. I think I ditched the camera and outfitted him with some better guns when I had his toy as a kid (as I did with most of my G.I. Joes that I thought needed a better arsenal to roll in my squad). I’m not sure if all of the G.I. JOE: COBRA stories are going to deal with undercover work but it makes Cobra seem more like an unstoppable terrorist force that has its teeth in most aspects of crime from white collar to Serpentor running a cult possibly to “recruit” more Vipers. Between this story line and the last, we can see that Cobra operates on so many levels that it seems like the Joes are really fighting uphill when it comes to most battles. Serpentor has created somewhat of a criminal anomaly that is both invisible and visible at the same time. It’s invisible in the sense that there’s no doubt something more devious is going on under the surface but at the same time there is a surface level that people are aware of but probably regard Serpentor as some sort of life wellness coach out to make a quick buck. I like this comic because Cobra is smart as hell in this series and honestly I don’t think they’ve actually shown them do anything wrong but you know it’s going on….cause…well…its Cobra.
This issue was kind of weird because every other page had the Serpentor version of the bible and after a while it started to freak me out and I like the idea of what they were doing there but I wanted more story and less freaky Serpentor bible verses. Carrera & Woodward’s artwork isn’t spectacular but it works. It reminds me of the kind of art found in Ed Brubaker’s books (like CRIMINAL, CAPTAIN AMERICA or DAREDEVIL), where the artists create a mood with their art that serves the story better than a flashy artist would. What I mean by this is that while the artwork isn’t going to blow your mind, the art creates a very distinct mood that mostly focuses on the main character (or characters) and things that they are directly interacting with. It’s no way as good as Sean Phillips, Luke Ross or Michael Lark but the way they create an over all feeling with their art is very similar.
I think at this point (if it hasn’t already been done) G.I. JOE should just go balls out on a series because why the hell not, kids aren’t playing with G.I. Joes anymore and the only people who have stake in these characters are old guys like us that played with them as a kid but now have no real reason to revisit our love for G.I. Joes except in comics (GI JOE movie?!?! Nope…Never heard of it…actually it wasn’t THAT bad…pretty bad though). This series is the G.I. JOE comic I’ve been waiting for and the only thing better than this would be if there was a comic with the entire team that held as much weight as this series. I was shocked at the end of the first G.I. JOE: COBRA and while I don’t think this story arc will deliver like that one did, I’m sure this series will continue to be a fun read.

CHI’S SWEET HOME Vol. 1 - 2

By Kanata Konami Released by Vertical Reviewer: Scott Green

One of the manga tradition's remarkable qualities is its ability to fascinate readers who are not pre-disposed to be interested in the subject it addresses. In fact, it's famously the inverse. Japanese interest in basketball grew because of SLAM DUNK. HIKARU NO GO spawned a resurgence of the classic game, GO. However, in that I didn't come away from CHI’S SWEET HOME wanting to adopt a cat, I'm not sure that the generalization applies to this manga.
CHI’S SWEET HOME concerns a kitten separated from its mother who is taken in by a couple and their young son. In the early goings, Chi's sniffing around and wrestling with sneakers are interrupted by sudden memories of her mother, and the family's apartment complex has a rule against keeping pet. That's what passes for drama here. So, the ten page stories follow Chi as the kitten is trained to urinate on a box of shredded paper or discovers the joy of chasing after bouncing balls. The cat is minimally anthropomorphized. Her thoughts are verbalized, and even given mannerisms such as childish mispronunciation, but there's an evident intension to keep her thinking like a cat.
Prior to the release of the manga, Chi's had some anime/manga fan awareness in North America due in part to a run of episodes on CRUNCHYROLL. These were three minute shorts, with descriptive titles like "Chi, smell things" "Chi, frets" or "Chi, goes into the yard," but due to its attention commanding cuteness, Chi garnered some talk. There was a lot of breathless anticipation expressed when Vertical announced the licensing and oo-ing and ah-ing when people saw a bit.
Following some of the vocal proponents on Twitter, it certainly seems like Chi's is adored by cat, or at least pet loving audiences.
As someone who is neither bothered by or drawn to critters, I have to say that Chi's didn't exactly melt my frozen heart.
I found Chi's to be a low key pleasure and appreciated its precise truthfulness to cattishness. However, I wasn't left agape by its darling cuteness. The joy of watching a cat play is well translated into manga, but for someone who isn't a cat lover, it didn't have the mood/perception altering power of more human manga, like Yotsuba&! Maybe deeper recognition of cat behavior gives the manga the needed extra juice to be as adorable as some have said to find it.
CHI’S fits into a tradition of pet manga, and when a work like that makes it over to North America, it raises the question as to how appropriate is it for all ages/audiences.
I've second guessed YOTSUBA's appropriateness, and like YOTSUBA!, CHI’S runs in a seinen anthology for older male audiences. Yet, there's a distinction here. YOTSUBA! runs in DENGEKI DAIOH, an anthology that specializes in showcasing cute girls for that audience. CHI’S runs in MORNING, an anthology that's as eclectic as any. It's run Makoto Kobayashi's cat based WHAT’S MICHAEL?, published in North America by Dark Horse, that mixed CHI’S style pet stories, with more anthropomorphic ones, with more bizarre or pop-culture parody comedy sequences. And, it's the anthology that house perennial kids' recommendation GON, Masashi Tanaka's wordless, painstakingly rendered nature studies, humorously intruded upon by a micro t-shirt. However, it's also home to soccer title GIANT KILLER, the anime of which is streaming in North America, MONSTER/20th CENTURY BOYS creator Naoki Urasawa's look at the significance of symbols, BILLY CAT, Youji Fukuyama's manga version of Don Giovanni, Kaiji Kawaguchi's provocative look at World War II ZIPANG, Go Nagai's older audience revisitation of a classic DEVILMAN LADY, Takehiko Inoue's much praised look at the life of "Sword Saint" Miyamoto Musashi, VAGABOND, Moebius and Jiro Taniguchi's ICARO, Moyoko Anno's look at the life of a career woman, HATARAKI MAN, and many other notables.
As such, this will be one case in which I don't read much extra out of the manga's context.
CHI’S is in color, its pages are flipped to left to right orientation, and it generally features large panels. It seems that its page layouts could be easily read by young audiences and those who have trouble with the manga/comic medium. Where they to come into the manga with little affection for the subject, as I did, they'd probably find it a pleasure read. If they actually had some affection for felines, it's going to be adorable all the way.
Scott Green has been writing for AICN ANIME for over nine years. If you like what you see here and love anime & manga, be sure to check out his latest AICN ANIME column every week on AICN.

Hey folks, Ambush Bug here with another trio of Indie goodies I picked up from this year’s San Diego Comic Con. I picked up a ton of good stuff this year from outside of the mainstream and these three books were at the top of my reading pile. Find out why below…

PRISON PIT Vol.1 By Johnny Ryan Fantagraphics Books

Sometimes a comic book comes along and kicks your dick in. This is that comic. Writer/artist Johnny Ryan is my kind of freak. The raunchy and over the top violen-terrific action and splatter-tastic gore that take place in PRISON PIT must be seen to be believed. Ryan tosses an unnamed alien barbarian into a hostile landscape with little or no back story other than he was once a prisoner on a ship and was tossed out to this world to his death. But our hero is too tough to die. One gory battle after another occurs. This story is too tough for sissy things like plot. It’s just one awesome fight after another. And though Ryan’s pencils may seem somewhat rudimentary at first, on further inspection one has to marvel at the artist’s talent to create and recreate such simplistic panels. Be it the unique character design or the range the artist shows while mapping out a fight scene, Ryan is downright masterful. Ryan’s choreography of fight scenes from panel to panel is confident and sophisticated. But don’t get me wrong, this is some crude shit. If an alien masturbating and wearing his own semen as a battle suit of armor offends you, then look elsewhere. If it makes you giggle until stuff jiggles (which was my reaction) then this is the book for you. Fans of MTV’s old LIQUID TELEVISION series and Adult Swim’s SUPER JAIL should definitely put PRISON PIT on their must have list.

A TREASURY OF VICTORIAN MURDER: THE BEAST OF CHICAGO OGN By Rick Geary NBM Comics Lit

I picked this book up at San Diego at writer/artist Rick Geary’s booth after I interviewed him. Being a resident in Chicago for ten years, I leapt at the chance to find out more about one of Chicago’s most notorious killers. The story plays out in true Geary fashion as he pulls the reader in by painting a vivid portrait of a city on the verge of becoming a metropolis and then once the reader is sucked in, he pulls off the mask to reveal a resident of the city who is more monster than man. Very little by way of judgment occurs in this historical narrative which describes what seems like a successful businessman in H.H. Holmes, on the outside, but once the layers are pulled back and the monster is revealed in latter chapters, you will find it hard to put this down until it’s finished. Holmes constructed a house of horrors on the south side of Chicago. Geary goes into painstaking detail of the terrifying rooms and devices Holmes used to torture and cover up his murders. The distance Geary takes from these horrific acts is misleading. Geary’s captioned narrative doesn’t place the reader in the scene, but does pull the reader in with their vivid descriptions. Soon, you don’t realize how close you are to the story and the characters until Geary starts revealing what Holmes really did. That final chapter in this book where the horrors are revealed…it doesn’t get more disturbing than that. I had a chance to interview Geary at this year’s con. His interview will be up on the site soon. In the meantime, seek out Geary’s work at NBM. If you like true crime, you will kick yourself for not discovering Geary’s work sooner and race out to get more after finishing this hell of a read.

OBLIVION (SDCC Preview Book) Radical Comics

Though the content of this preview book only offers a mere glimpse of TRON director Joseph Kosinski and REX MUNDI writer Arvid Nelson’s story of one of the last men on earth trying to protect what little is left of civilization from underground dwelling Scavenger aliens, what little this book does offer is a feast for the eyes. This is not really a comic per se, but an image and text book. This gives each and every page sing with Andree Wallin’s luscious landscape paintings filled with alien warcraft and desolate soldiers fighting the elements. There’s an overwhelming sense of equal parts dread and wonder in these solemn images and the story reflects that isolation in the sampling that I was able to read. OBLIVION won’t be out until next year and I can’t wait to soak up what looks to be an extremely gorgeous experiment in graphic illustration.
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.

WITCH DOCTOR (SDCC Preview) Image Comics / Skybound

This premiere issue of Robert Kirkman’s Skybound imprint is pretty impressive. When I first read the solicit (about a doctor who fails at his practice and decides to take up the mystic arts and keep one hand in medicine while the other is dabbling in mysticism), I couldn’t help but think this was a DOCTOR STRANGE rip off. But after reading it, I have to say that the difference between this book and the comics featuring Doctor Strange in recent years is that this book is actually good. With equal parts medicine and mysticism given much attention, this is the way Doctor Strange SHOULD read. I was really impressed with creators Brandon Seifert & Lucas Ketner’s attention to medical dialog as well as the occult. These guys know their medicine and seem to be interested in making this the level of medical thriller with an attention to detail that one might see on BONES. The thing is the same level of creativity is put into making the occult medically explainable which is something one may find in FRINGE. That’s about as accurate a description as I could possibly come up with. It’s BONES meets FRINGE. Which, to me, is a pretty fantastic combination. Criticism-wise: occasionally Ketner’s figures are somewhat stiff, especially when he draws the doctor’s assistant Eric, but Ketner’s design for the medical explanation for vampirism is one of the most creative explanations I’ve read in a while. Can’t wait to read more about this reckless doctor and his mad experiments. Kirkman has started off his new imprint with a winner. – Bug

WWE HEROES: RISE OF THE FIRST BORN #3 Titan Books

Titan Books sent me an advanced copy of WWE HEROES: RISE OF THE FIRST BORN #3 which to me is a clear indication that they aren’t reading the AICN comic reviews. Either that or they agreed with my negative review of issue number two and thought that maybe their third entry was a much stronger offering. To be fair, I was really hoping for the latter. Unfortunately, not much has changed between issues. What started as an interesting tale of ancient gods showing up at Wrestlemania to settle a thousand-year old score has become an unsettling account of wrestlers trying to stay alive. I never understood how some people could watch TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE but not tolerate a documentary on John Wayne Gacy. I understand it now. Is death and murder a new theme in comics? Hardly. But there’s something about the grisly mistreatment of this material that violates the fourth wall. The WWE characters, while still in a comic, are living, breathing people. To see them suffering and dying helplessly was troubling to me as an adult. I can’t imagine how it reads to the younger fan base. Then again they’ve probably become so desensitized by today’s culture it may not even matter. I know Titan is hoping for a recommendation of this book, but based on the disturbing tone of its narrative, I simply can’t provide one. - Pasty

BATMAN #701 DC Comics

I have mixed feelings about this new Batman arc which fills in the gaps of Morrison’s flawed double death of Batman last year with R.I.P. and FINAL CRISIS. The completist in me is thankful Morrison is going back and spackling the cracks left between the two stories. My inner critic, on the other hand, is crying foul because had Morrison and editorial had their stuff together a story like this wouldn’t really be necessary. But I can’t get too angry because this is one of the more grounded of Morrison’s Batman stories. Basically, Batman is crawling from the wreckage here and trying to make sense of everything since coming out of his Zurr En Arr haze. The narrative is much easier to follow here and the usual feeling I often get from Morrison’s more trippy endeavors where I feel as if a panel or two were lost somewhere between the process of writing the story and drawing it isn’t there. In the end, seeing Batman suit up and head out to investigate the death of a god which sparked FINAL CRISIS in the first place turned out to be somewhat of a thrilling experience for me. Had Morrison written FINAL CRISIS in this more grounded manner, I think it would have been a much more enjoyable experience for all. – Bug

THE WALKING DEAD #75 Image Comics

At first I thought I was going to have a full review of this issue, actually make that a tirade. How could I not? When 9/10 of the issue goes exactly as you expect and then the last few pages not only surprise you, but take the book to another plane of existence, well…show me a fanboy that wouldn’t cry “crossover fodder.” As expected, Rick has finally lost his shit. It’s been coming for months as he tried to “open the hatch” and uncover the secret of the apocalyptic Stepford our band of unmerry travelers now calls home. Kirkman is playing with some great morality questions inside this supposed paradise that all boils down to the Star Trek adage “do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?” Rick obviously disagrees with pretty much everyone…even his own followers. As I said…good, but expected. Then we get to the last pages supplied in full-blown Technicolor by INVINCIBLE penciler Ottley. I mean not only did these pages switch the book’s genre from suspense/horror to over-the-top action sci-fi, but by switching to color you are now placing the events of the book in a parallel universe. Then I read the fine print. It’s all a joke to fulfill a promise made many moons ago by the Big K in his letter column. The issue actually ended with Michone simply knocking Rick out. All I can leave with is, thank God. - OD

FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND #251 IDW Publishing

Even if Harry hadn’t made his big announcement regarding his involvement in FAMOUS MONSTERS’ website at SDCC, I would have picked this magazine up. I haven’t quite read through the whole thing yet, but dammit if it didn’t take me back to being a kid again seeing articles about Uncle Forry, the new PREDATOR movie and the original TRUE BLOOD, and other cinematic horrors new and old. As a kid, I think I learned how to read from FAMOUS MONSTERS and seeing it back in publication was thrill enough. The production values of this quarterly mag are pretty high as is the slick packaging. Though I did miss the sections filled with puns and misquotes, this was a note-worthy return for one of the most important horror magazines ever published. I’ll be reading this thick @$$ magazine for a while. I’m about to dive into the interview with Ray Bradbury after writing this cheapie. This mag has always met horror fans with a smile; celebrating all things scary and making those who gravitate toward those types of films feel like they were part of a special club. That feeling is alive and well in this mag after all these years and I recommend that if you’re a fan of horror, this mag should be on your pull list. – Bug

BUZZARD #2 Dark Horse Comics

Last month, I said how compelling the first story of this book was and said the “Billy the Kid” back-up was a bit weak. This month, I have to flip that statement. The backup in this book featuring Powell’s version of Billy the Kid and art by Kyle Hotz was pretty fantastic. The story is simple -- a witch steals a kid and Billy and his freak show band of oddities go after her -- but it’s Hotz’s amazingly spindly and wicked designs for the characters that make this story stand out. Seeing a witch split in half then turn into two monstrous forms was a horrific sight that I won’t soon forget. As for the main story featuring the somber angel of death known as the Buzzard who has often shown up to kill the undead with The Goon, I have to say that I found the story to be somewhat breezy and uninspired. The art was good, but Powell adopted a sketchier tone for this issue. I don’t know if the change in art style was done by choice, but it looks as if the art was hurried through and not up to the standards I’m used to coming from Powell. But even sketchy Powell art is fantastic and his use of the silent panel is top tier in this issue as the boy accompanying the Buzzard decides to be an assassin’s apprentice. Criticisms aside, this is still fun stuff, but I’ve read better from Powell. - Bug

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


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Readers Talkback
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  • July 28, 2010, 8:54 a.m. CST

    Did I Miss...

    by SonOfChiba

    you guys reviewing GI Joe #156? I loved it, and going back to the original Marvel comics continuity - and still written by Larry Hama, no less - made this ol' fanboy grin!

  • July 28, 2010, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Uhh..CreepyThinMan

    by ClutchF

    Um..Fuck you? the ending to Scott Pilgrim was good. Yeah.

  • July 28, 2010, 9:03 a.m. CST

    I completely agree

    by Lobster Johnson

    with you about Pilgrim #6. I kept turning the page hoping it would pick up some steam and reach a climax worthy of the first 5 volumes. But alas, Gideon turned out to be a whining loser and Ramona was just a coward. I also felt a little disappointed in the (somewhat) retconning of Scott's fight for Kim in high school. That sequence was one of the highlights of the series (and made me wish MY time at HS was that epic)

  • July 28, 2010, 9:07 a.m. CST

    I know I'm late on this...

    by BangoSkank

    But I just want to state how much I enjoyed the X-men crossover, and how satisfying the ending was. <p> My only wish was that they had kept X-Factor out of it entirely. Crossovers have killed that fucking book.

  • July 28, 2010, 9:07 a.m. CST

    DOOM IS ... Fourth ...

    by V. von Doom

    Bummer.

  • July 28, 2010, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Fifth bitch.

    by BangoSkank

  • July 28, 2010, 9:14 a.m. CST

    DOOM'S Crisis Of Batman Spackles!

    by V. von Doom

    On the one hand, most Morrison Batman is a good thing ...<p>On the other hand, the fact that he has to fill in a Great Honking Big Blank Plot Spot about, what, a year-and-a-half later, shows that he needs a good editor riding the range and unable to be dazzled by brilliant ideas that blow gaping holes in plots and continuity.<p>Keep up the good work, Grant; just keep it throttled in a bit!

  • July 28, 2010, 9:25 a.m. CST

    "Gambit, with death gas. Damnit Marvel, just...just damnit. "

    by Squashua

    If you're going to quote someone, you need to cite your source.

  • July 28, 2010, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Buzzard #2 is out?

    by rev_skarekroe

    How'd I miss that? Dammit.

  • July 28, 2010, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Have to agree about Scott Pilgrim.

    by Grammaton Cleric

    I blew through the final volume and was really surprised at how underwhelming it was. I loved the first five books, and was completely disappointed all the tertiary characters got shortchanged for an extended battle sequence with Gideon. I also felt like the video game/geek culture references felt shoehorned in this time around. Bummer.

  • July 28, 2010, 9:48 a.m. CST

    No NEONOMICON Review??

    by LaserPants

    You know it's the new Alan Moore comic, right? And it's about freakin' Cthulu! ALAN MOORE IS DOING A CTHULU COMIC AND YOU DIDN"T REVIEW IT??? For shame.

  • July 28, 2010, 9:52 a.m. CST

    I Just Started Reading Scott Pilgrim Recently

    by LaserPants

    I really liked the first book, thought it was cute and funny, but I'm not at all surprised it ended on a lame note. <br><br>Probably what happened is that OMalley suddenly found himself rich beyond his wildest imagination after selling the rights to this and just figured, "whatever!" and crapped out his last chapter. Oh well. I'm still gonna read all the books.

  • July 28, 2010, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Anybody else think OMIT sucked hard?

    by evolution1085

    Just seemed like an excuse to draw it like they did in the olden days,its only issue 1 of this arc but maybe show Mephisto nudging some events to create the alternate reality instead of just dropping us into a past that's completely foreign

  • July 28, 2010, 10:25 a.m. CST

    I guess i'm a hater because Bendis' Avenegers...

    by AnakinsDiapers

    ...is a whole lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. The emperor has no cloths.<> 3 issues in and they haven't left the bleeding tower. Really? I'll eat my hat if there was a larger point to Apocolypse showing up other than as a plot device for Iron-Man to scan him with his all purpose scanning device to track him thru the timeline. So far, 3 issues in, and the plots as complicated as a roleplaying storyline i've come up with while on the shitter. God, i really hope Bendis' other career opportunities pays off bigtime so he simply wont have the time for the superhero funny books.

  • July 28, 2010, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Of COURSE Omit Sucked!

    by LaserPants

    Anything with the names Bendis or Quesadilla on the cover is more or less guaranteed to SUCK.

  • July 28, 2010, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Could not disagree more on Scott Pilgrim.

    by mc_nair

    Only SPOILERS referenced here: The biggest thing that happens with Scott in terms of development is when he achieves the power of understanding. Figuring out that he has been a bit of a douche to all of the girls in his life is a huge development for him. Also, when Kim tells him that he just beat up on her boyfriend in high school for no reason other than jealousy kind of retcons the entire series. It reshapes Vol. 3 with Envy, without her coming back again in this volume I don't think Scott would have realized that he was completely in the right when she broke his heart; rather he only saw himself as being completely torn apart. Also a lot of the development of the secondary characters, such as Kim and Knives take place in the first half of the novel, which was admittedly more satisfying than the second half. But O'Malley still had a good grip on what he was doing, calling Young Neil, Neil, was a swift and awesome touch to show how an essentially static character grew.

  • July 28, 2010, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Couldn't agree more with mc_nair

    by Burgundy82

    I knew as soon as I saw "HOT FUZZ was OK" that CreepyThinMan's taste was going to be suspect. CTM, are you sure when you were blowing through the book, you didn't accidentally skip some of the pages? Like, most of them?

  • July 28, 2010, 11:30 a.m. CST

    LaserPants re: Scott Pilgrim

    by Burgundy82

    Don't judge a book by the terrible review posted beside a jpg. of its cover. Read it for yourself. Also, what the hell are you doing reading spoilery reviews for the final book when you're in the middle of the series?

  • July 28, 2010, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Avengers comins have sucker dink since Jim Shooter

    by mojoman69

    fucked up Marvel. they need a major reboot

  • July 28, 2010, 11:33 a.m. CST

    avenger comics have sucked dink since Jim Shooter

    by mojoman69

    fucked up Marvel. they need a major reboot

  • July 28, 2010, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Creepy Thin Douche Needs to Leave the Basement

    by Capn Canucklehead

    What a terrible review! Scott Pilgrim 6 is a solid book that has gotten better each time I've read it (I'm on my 3rd time - reading it to my wife). How the hell do you find these people AICN the review was so poorly done it makes soem of Harry's writing seem like the work of Hemingway. Did CTM actually read this book or just look at the pretty pictures? "All the peripheral characters just sort of stand around and don't provide SP with any real sort of emotional or intellectual support except for a pat on the back... you could have taken them out of this book and I don’t think it would have made a bit of difference." That was the point made back with the Twins - Scott's circle of friends were not there for him, except for Kim Pine. And I'm sorry but you couldn't take the Kim Pine and Knives Chau sequences away from this book and have it be the same. Although I will give the Envy Adams return being unfulfilling. "Gideon Gordon Graves was a pathetic character and a piss poor villain." That was the point - GGG was not the villain he had been built up to be. He was revealed to be a pathetic character whose greatness existed in his own mind. "I expected to find out that [Ramona] had been involved in some sordid, lurid and sleazy activities related to her employment by Gideon. I guess O’Malley didn’t have the balls to go all dark on us and decided to pussy out with that half-assed “masterplan” GGG had going on. I had hoped that O’Malley would go very dark as it would give Scott the challenge of learning to love Ramona despite the things she had done in her past." Go rent Chasing Amy. O'Malley was taking these characters and bringing them into "reality" or at least away from the fantasy that they were living in. Not every woman has the sordid past of a porn star. The depravity was not the point of their lives it was that they were avoiding dealing with themselves (BTW that is something called character development - just to help you recognize it the next time you see it). "Ultimately, I think it was less important that Scott and Ramona get back together than they both obtain a greater knowledge of themselves, gain some peace of mind and are both able to move forward with or even without each other." Again did you even read the book or are you one of these reactionary hacks who hate on Inception because it's popular. I could care less if you hated the book but at least make valid points. God my 10 year old is reading this series with better comprehension than you.

  • July 28, 2010, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Hey

    by Joenathan

    Did you guys see the DCU online trailer at Io9? <br><br>Fucking sweet.

  • July 28, 2010, 12:17 p.m. CST

    So the Kim sequence was all a dream? The fight?

    by Dharma4

    *SPOILERS* I was mixed with the Vol. 6. I liked the ending, and how the theme was change, cause that's how it is, but GGG was a total pussy, and Stephen turning gay felt gratuitous.

  • July 28, 2010, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by hatemphd

    That trailer was amazing. Too bad its a game and not a cg movie. <p> IGN has a video pointing out the little details in the trailer, like how harley quinn is wearing the robin's cape with a giant hole in the back. Its a good watch.

  • July 28, 2010, 1:47 p.m. CST

    I really don't get the love for Spaced.

    by David Cloverfield

    It has some fun characters, but it's mostly pop culture reference on pop culture reference. Occasionally amusing, but so is Family Guy. The girls from shining are in the closet! They're building a robot, and it's POV like in Robocop! I usually love all the geek shit that is hailed around these parts, Spaced is the only thing I can't see the appeal of.

  • July 28, 2010, 2:36 p.m. CST

    New Avengers is Good Bendis, Avengers is Bad Bendis

    by Homer Sexual

    I mean, the Bendis/JRJR Avengers almost couldn't be worse. The art is awful and I don't think this viewpoint will change over time. It sucks and wouldn't even be good by 80's art standards. The story is lame and nothing new. It's boring and poorly written. Some characters are not well-done. BUT...the Spider-Woman/Spider-Man interaction is muy excelente. Bendis seems to be the BEST writer of Spider-Man I've read. But Bendis isn't good at BIG MEGA books. <p> New Avengers is much, much better. And this issue, Jessica Jones is not her usual pathetically lame self. Since he isn't dealing with most of the "big gun" characters, he can play more freely with the "second tier" characters. I enjoyed the characterization, cast, art... pretty much everything. Total Good Bendis. <p> Ms. Marvel, the Spiders, Luke Cage, Dr. Strange...those are Good Bendis characters. <p> Iron Man, Cap, Thor...those are Bad.

  • July 28, 2010, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Hatemphd

    by Joenathan

    I love the armor Flash is wearing, the scratches and all that. Great stuff. After seeing this and the cut scenes from the Ultimate Alliance games, the question that comes to my mind is: Why the fuck don't they make a movie like this?

  • July 28, 2010, 2:40 p.m. CST

    I'm leaning toward Homer

    by Joenathan

    While it's mostly JRJR's art for me, I have been underwhelmed by Avengers so far, and that's surprising because a good dystopian Kang Time travel story is right up my alley, but... well, we'll see.

  • July 28, 2010, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Three Marvel review and one DC cheap shot

    by slayme

    is it too much to ask for a full review of just ONE DC comic a week at least? I'll be glad to submit one if nobody at AICN is willing to do it.

  • July 28, 2010, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Totally disagree with you on SCOTT PILGRIM

    by palinode

    I loved it. It was different in tone than the previous books, but whatever. I could spend time arguing my case here, but I think it comes down to individual taste.

  • July 28, 2010, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Its pointless to bash Avengers at this point

    by gooseud

    What can be said that hasnt already? Its god-awful, obviously, and will go down amongst JRJR's and Bendis's worst. Bendis cant write the big 3, this should be painfully obvious at this point. It is what it is, shit even Joe thinks it sucks.

  • July 28, 2010, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Batman

    by Laserhead

    My understanding was the if Morrison had published this interstitial story at the time of R.I.P., it would have spoiled a lot of the revelations now capping off his big Bat-spolsion five-year arc thing.

  • July 28, 2010, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Um...I think you missed the point entirely...

    by Dignan17

    Scott Pilgrim, the entire series, was about relationships and the fear of moving forward or being a better person. To that end, book 6 was a triumph. You seemed to want a typical "comic book style" end. I would have hated that. I thought it was great.

  • July 28, 2010, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Ignore my last post...

    by Dignan17

    ...I'm not even sure what I'm saying and I'm operating on little sleep. Ignore everything after "triumph," because it was stupid. Instead, refer to palinode's post.

  • July 28, 2010, 4:09 p.m. CST

    "Morrison’s flawed double death of Batman"

    by sonnyhooper

    .....see my friend, where you see flaws i see poetry. epic poetry, worthy of the GRAND double death of the dark knight. in point of fact i feel, this story proves how great r.i.p and final crisis really were. <p> in the end it doesn't really matter how bruce got from the end of r.i.p to the start of final crisis does it? but the fact that grant can tell that story now and make it as cool as it was is pretty neat to me.

  • July 28, 2010, 4:26 p.m. CST

    I didn't say "sucks"

    by Joenathan

    I said "underwhelmed". There's a difference.

  • July 28, 2010, 4:28 p.m. CST

    DC books have been reviewed..

    by kungfuhustler84

    The last three weeks. Wonder Woman, Superman, Booster Gold.

  • July 28, 2010, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Scott Pilgrim Volume 6

    by FANOFSCOTTPILGRIMFAN

    Capn Canucklehead saved me time because his response to the Scott Pilgrim review sums up how well volume 6 was able to accomplish character development despite much of the volume ON THE SURFACE seeming to be about a big final battle. Like the reviewer, I loved, loved, loved the way the author worked in surprisingly real emotions and life experiences into the series. However, I think the reviewer missed these details in volume 6. As readers I think we got used to reading about the small day-to-day moments in Scott's life, with fight scenes not happening frequently. Yes, volume 6 is very focused on the final fight, and it might SEEM that they take over the story, but the emotional and relate-able content is still incorporated into the story. At least one other talkbacker has already listed a few examples, so I'll leave it at that. I guess the best thing to do (if you're willing to do it) is to re-read volume 6, now that you're over the shock of how much the book seems to be about a fight. When I think about volume 6, the "big fight" is just a plot device (like much of the series) used to develop the characters.

  • July 28, 2010, 4:33 p.m. CST

    Bendis has always been a horrible writer of Avengers...

    by Chewtoy

    But, like Transformers 2, Bendis' Avengers is a huge success regardless of overall quality because enough people get what they want and are willing to overlook the rest that is absolute ass, so there's really nothing left to say about it.

  • July 28, 2010, 4:35 p.m. CST

    Let me rephrase it

    by gooseud

    I cant see how anyone could sit back, read the first 3 issues of Avengers, and say "Wow, this is a good book". I dont really care why, its a subject that has been beaten to death, but thats the facts: it isnt a good book. Everyone can decide on their own the particular reasons, it might differ for different people.

  • July 28, 2010, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Im feeling magnanimous today

    by gooseud

    the new American Vampire comes out this week, so I dont feel like being in a bashing mood, the awesomeness that is Skinner Sweet tempers my usual bash fest tendencies.

  • July 28, 2010, 5:08 p.m. CST

    Loved what he did with Gideon. (spoilers, obviously)

    by Jayemel

    Usually I hate the word "humanize," because here it actually worked. Gideon wasn't weak or wussy, he was just insecure, like damn near everyone else. It would have been really easy to go the "Scott has to beat up this alpha asshole who defiled the love of his life" route, but that's never reality. Most people act the way they do, especially at Scott's age, out of insecurity/low self esteem.

  • July 28, 2010, 5:09 p.m. CST

    PRISON PIT!!!!!!

    by DuncanHines

    Volume 2 comes out real, real soon! Asterios Polyp might have been the "best" comic of last year, but Prison Pit was the most fucking awesome one!

  • July 28, 2010, 5:20 p.m. CST

    "Sometimes a comic book comes along and kicks your dick in"

    by biscuithead

    I don't even need read any more of that review. I'm completely sold on that line alone.

  • July 28, 2010, 5:23 p.m. CST

    SCOTT PILGRIM's still Pretty Lame

    by Prof_Ender

  • July 28, 2010, 6:20 p.m. CST

    I agree with the Scott Pilgrim review completely.

    by Holeman

    It was weak sauce. All that build up and you actually thought the book was going somewhere and everyone ends the story the same self-centered douchebags they were during the whole fucking series, only there's a cop out, bullshit splash page where Scott gets 'the power of understanding' and Ramona supposedly learns to stop trying to live her life through the men in it. Bullshit. This ending was fucking CBS sitcom levels of lame and I'm sorry I stuck with the book for six fucking years to have O'Malley shit out this last chapter and wipe his ass on my face for the trouble. I hope the movie is better than this crap, because if it isn't, I'm writing the whole fucking thing off entirely.

  • July 28, 2010, 6:22 p.m. CST

    Oh and Bendis....

    by Holeman

    Can burn in the hottest, most painful level of Hell. Fuck him.

  • July 28, 2010, 6:33 p.m. CST

    So he wiped his ass on your face..

    by Toilet_Terror

    ..buy you're still going to fork out ten bucks to see the movie? Ummmmmm..... right.

  • July 28, 2010, 6:45 p.m. CST

    Under the Hood DVD

    by Laserhead

    is actually really kind of GOOD. I'm shocked. Great animation. Good story.

  • July 28, 2010, 7:09 p.m. CST

    Yeah, Bendis' Ultimate Spider-Man issues are awful, right

    by Tall_Boy66

    Oh, and Alias too. The purple man arc. Complete garbage. Gotcha.

  • July 28, 2010, 7:16 p.m. CST

    Hmmm

    by FANOFSCOTTPILGRIMFAN

    Toilet, from your post you must not have enjoyed the first five volumes. If you did enjoy them, I don't think I'd be THAT upset/disappointed even if I thought the conclusion was horrible. You seem to have reacted to volume 6 like many people reacted to the LOST finale. It doesn't matter that there was hours and hours worth of some of the best television in many years because the finale was "fucking CBS sitcom levels of lame." I think if volume 6 had played out (pacing, content, etc.) just like the other volumes, it would have seemed anti-climatic, and you would STILL be complaining about such things as Gideon's role in the final volume. I don't know. I give up. I respect your opinion, even if you didn't like it, but I am surprised that you are so ready to "write...off" the ENTIRE series. Plus, you're still going to see the movie. I sure can't wait to hear you take a dump on the movie.

  • July 28, 2010, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Not Toilet...I meant Holeman

    by FANOFSCOTTPILGRIMFAN

    Yeah

  • July 28, 2010, 7:57 p.m. CST

    Tall_Boy, Bendis

    by gooseud

    in honor of my magnanimous mood, I'm going to do something I rarely do: give Bendis credit. He is an outstanding crime writer. Most seem to think he was excellent on DD. Powers was good. Ult Spidey has always been good. Books grounded in the real world seem to suit him. Unfortunately, Marvel doesnt give him those books to write, to cater to his obvious talents. Instead, they give him epic stuff to try to write. Bendis is NOT an epic writer. He is the opposite. He is TERRIBLE at epic stuff. Thus, he cant write Cap or Thor, characters who demand epic treatments, he has no idea what makes those characters tick. Some guys are born to write epic stuff. Johns and Morrison spring to mind. Some guys, it just isnt their thing.

  • July 28, 2010, 8:16 p.m. CST

    re: FANOFSCOTTPILGRIMFAN

    by Holeman

    After you take a break from fucking your mother, please understand that all six volumes are a complete story and it really doesn't matter a rusty fuck how great the beginning and middle of something is if the ending is total bullshit. Same goes for "LOST". you excuse making, half assed justification spewing, lowest common denominator, no standard having motherfucker. In closing: FUCK YOURSELF AND EVERYONE LIKE YOU! You're all responsible for promoting the illusion that mediocre shit is acceptable.

  • July 28, 2010, 8:32 p.m. CST

    Anyone else notice that

    by Series7

    It was Radical week this week at your LCS? They had like 6 titles out.

  • July 28, 2010, 8:37 p.m. CST

    Holeman

    by FANOFSCOTTPILGRIMFAN

    You've got spunk, kid. I'll give you that.

  • July 28, 2010, 8:46 p.m. CST

    ScottyPilg Someone splain plz

    by optimous_douche

    What made it such a good series.<p> A mini-review if you will. I keep wanting to try it, but I look at the cover and feel like I need to be wearing a hello kitty back-pack to enjoy it.<p> Plz I truly want to know, what's underneath the surface that's spiking the TB geektosterone this week?

  • July 28, 2010, 8:47 p.m. CST

    Anyway...

    by FANOFSCOTTPILGRIMFAN

    I liked volume 6. I think I personally liked the previous volumes more, yet the final volume was good - not brilliant - but good. I enjoyed initially getting to know the characters and trying to figure them out, which made the first volumes (especially the middle ones) particularly interesting. If my thoughts on the volumes include "great, great, great, great, great, good" - I wouldn't say that I'm encouraging mediocrity by praising the overall series after its "good" conclusion. Once again, I maintain that volume 6 managed to incorporate many of the the series' best aspects into it despite seeming on the surface to be mostly about a big final fight. Overall, the final volume was satisfying, and the entire series is something to praise and appreciate. I welcome more original, inventive works like Scott Pilgrim, especially when they stay grounded with real human emotions/experiences.

  • July 28, 2010, 9:42 p.m. CST

    optimous_douche

    by FANOFSCOTTPILGRIMFAN

    I'll sum up the series' appeal to me: I think that just about every aspect of the story is carried out in an unpredictable, refreshing way. The author seems to play with our expectations. Yes, there are fight scenes, but you'll be disappointed if all you want from the story is a guy fighting evil ex-boyfriends. The author seems to play with the idea of the reader wanting big, badass fight scenes....most of the fight scenes are ultimately more amusing/humorous than stylish and badass. Next: Yes, the story involves a guy trying to win the girl, yet I wouldn't describe it as a "love story." Their relationship is more interesting than a graphic novel series with its premise suggests. I was officially won over when one character learned something about another character that could stir up some classic love-story-drama, and I figured I knew what the next several pages would be about (argue argue argue...get back together), but instead the issue is brushed off as not-really-a-big-deal in one frame, and the way it's brushed off is rather refreshing because it's realistic. The series certainly isn't a Shakespearean drama, yet it strikes a good balance between fun and interesting.

  • July 28, 2010, 9:54 p.m. CST

    For me, reading the series...

    by FANOFSCOTTPILGRIMFAN

    ...was like watching that Indiana Jones scene for the first time in which the bad guy tries to intimidate Indy by showing off his sword-handling skills, and then Indy simply pulls out a gun and shoots him. I felt like much of the Scott Pilgrim series was aiming for that kind of effect. The author knows what the readers expect, and so he comes up with clever little surprises...sometimes funny...sometimes touching...sometimes cool.

  • July 28, 2010, 11:31 p.m. CST

    Why I like Bendis Avengers

    by Redmantle

    I wasn't going to post this, because it's pointless... I'm not going to convince anyone who thinks its crap or whatever, but let's start with my perspective: I was never a fan of the old school avengers. Never read them. When I read comics in the 90's it was sandman and some grant morrison stuff. I tried Bendis on Powers and then Alias and liked the writer. I'm not a fan of any superhero in particular... though I do like certain interpretations of superheroes, but if they are done in a way that doesn't please me, I don't really get angry or filled with "nerd rage" or get "butthurt"... I just go on to a different comic. If another writer tries another interpretation of a character I liked before, I'll give it a shot. Therein, I believe, lies the problem with fans who dislike Avengers feelings. They have an attachment to the way it was done "right", and also they have a certain flavor of fight scenes they prefer or what have you. I could give a rats ass about fight scenes, I prefer dialogue that is fun and inter-relationships between the characters. I can happily read a comic where the Avengers sit around the coffee table and have a conversation, as long as it's an interesting one. Someone else would cry out "That's not the Avengers". I'd say, "Not to you... obviously it is to someone, because there it be on the comic rack." Though I don't know how often that actually happened. As Nietzsche said, "There is no truth, there is only interpretation." Alas, I am sure my paragraph falls on deaf ears... or blind eyes as it were and "nerd rage" will continue unabated. That's what I get for posting on the internet :)

  • July 29, 2010, 12:14 a.m. CST

    Bendis suck more

    by nursey

    Mamet balls.

  • July 29, 2010, 2:34 a.m. CST

    I like that Redmantle kid,

    by Joenathan

    He and I are going to be best buddies, so suck on that, losers! Bendis rules!

  • July 29, 2010, 2:35 a.m. CST

    Also, Optimus Douche... FOR SHAME

    by Joenathan

    judging a fnatastic book by it's cover. You should be forced to buy all of them right now, just to make up for your stupid dnap judgement.<br><br>Don't anyone explain it anymore to him. He should buy it blind or miss out... he deserves it.

  • July 29, 2010, 5:20 a.m. CST

    Wow my first comic block

    by optimous_douche

    Been cock blocked plenty of times...first time I go a comic block though.<p> You win today Joen, but sir you shall rue the day...bah...who am I kidding. All right I'll grab volume 1.

  • July 29, 2010, 8:10 a.m. CST

    re: FANOFSCOTTPILGRIMFAN

    by Holeman

    Damn right, I do. Sorry it got in your face. That's what you get for trying to move your head at the last minute.

  • July 29, 2010, 9:05 a.m. CST

    I dont think respecting a charater's history is "Nerd-rage"

    by gooseud

    What would the reaction be if they put out a new Bond film in which Bond didnt drink martinis, shag chicks, or kill anyone? Or a new season of 24 in which Jack Bauer turns double agent with no explanation? I dont like "stuck in amber" adherence to tradition any more then the next guy, you are talking to the guy who COINED the phrase "stuck in amber". However, there are making logical changes to a character based on events in the comic and interaction with his past, and there is putting some spin on something just to be different. Thor doesnt sit around a table drinking coffee, chatting about Judge Judy. You can write him that way, but just understand, that isnt Thor, and you will be completely justifiably crushed by the vast majority of fans. Heres an idea: dont write the character if you arent willing to respect who and what he is, and stands for. No one is putting a gun to anyones head and FORCING them to write any particular character. Why do you think Whedon's Astonishing run is so beloved? Because he stripped away all the BS and got back to the core of the characters.

  • July 29, 2010, 9:12 a.m. CST

    According to Redmantle.....

    by gooseud

    The Star Wars prequels are every bit as artistically valid as the original trilogy. Star Trek V is every bit as valid as Wrath of Khan. Bruce Jones's Hulk is every bit as valid as Peter David's. Crystal Skull is every bit as good as Raiders. Because after all, we wouldnt want to be too loyal to when it was "done right", right? Making Darth Vader into a whiny D-bag who looks like he couldnt threaten a housefly, hey thats just a new spin on things, right? Wouldnt want to, you know, be bound by tradition where Vader was actually a bad ass or anything! Because everything exists on a straight line plane of existence, where nothing is any more or less good then anything else? Guess what? Some things just suck. Thats just the way it is, we dont all get a trophy just for participating.

  • July 29, 2010, 10:30 a.m. CST

    ew... the PStar Wars Prequels...

    by Joenathan

    Perhaps I have been rash in telling you losers to suck it... this time... But not about Bendis! He rules the MArvel U with an Iron Fist (Not THE Iron Fist, mind you, A Iron Fist), so drink your Tea with Judge Judy, Thor, DRINK IT UP!

  • July 29, 2010, 12:38 p.m. CST

    gooseud....

    by AnakinsDiapers

    ...you ROCK man! You rock.

  • July 29, 2010, 1:02 p.m. CST

    Avengers

    by Redmantle

    Here's the thing... Avengers has been around for 40 + years or thererabouts. There are going to be different interpretations. And not all interpretations are going to be to everyone's liking. That's my only point. I happen to prefer dialogue to fight scenes. Yeah...I read through my stack of dad's Avengers comics back in the day... never appealed to me. I prefered Son of Satan and Defenders. Avengers seemed to "white-bread boring". But Bendis take appeals to me, has a bit of an edge to it that I like. However, it must be different enough for a previous non-fan to have become a fan... so I dig that previous fans have become non-fans...

  • July 29, 2010, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Whatever happened to The Kid?

    by KryptonsLastSon

    Not that I miss those annoying reviews, I was just curious. Did they decide to get rid of him, did he leave? Just wondering...

  • July 29, 2010, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Redmantle

    by gooseud

    that certainly isnt unreasonable. However, I think you are missing the reason people are shitting all over this edition of the Avengers. Its isnt actually really about Bendis, or dialogue. I think a far bigger problem is JRJR's art, which is putrid. I mean, its pretty wretched, to the point where I'm not sure that book is readable. Marvel needs to fix the art or all the debates about coffee drinking and how Thor should talk are just shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.

  • July 29, 2010, 4:46 p.m. CST

    gooseud

    by Redmantle

    here I'll agree with you...not a big fan of JRJR's art on Avengers. They could use a better artist on their flagship title, some folks love JRJR...not my cup of tea at all.

  • July 29, 2010, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by Redmantle

    Good to have another Bendis fan on the boards!

  • July 29, 2010, 5:35 p.m. CST

    No, it's the writing....

    by AnakinsDiapers

    Not a damn thing is happening. And when something does happen it's amateur hour. Again, i bet my bottom dollor Apocolypse was nothing but a plot device to have a energy reading to link to the future timeline.<p> That's it. That entire issue of non descript fighting served that one purpose. In fact, the big bad future villain could have been anyone. Did Bendis put a bunch of big bads on a dart board and shoot for a winner? Who knows, it was random. Just how long is this storyline anyway? At this rate, it'll be twelve issues before it's over, because this simplistic plot is being stretched to absurdity. Throw in asides like Wonder Man, and the entire comic is just another example of navel gazing gone wild.

  • July 29, 2010, 11:43 p.m. CST

    Revealing Scott Pilgrim (spoiler )...

    by snitchseeker

    as an unreliable narrator was Holden Caufield brilliant. That reviewer is crazy.

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