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AICN COMICS REVIEWS: JMS' SUPERMAN EARTH ONE & SUPERMAN "Grounded"! Millar's SUPERIOR! Shooter's TUROK! DINOMAN! & MUCH MORE!

#21 10/13/10 #9

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) STRANGE TALES II #1 SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE VOL.1 SUPERIOR #1 TUROK, SON OF STONE #1 DEADPOOL MAX #1 SUPERMAN #703 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #645 TINY TITANS/LITTLE ARCHIE AND HIS PALS #1 SPIDER-MAN: BACK IN QUACK #1 DINOMAN #1 – 2 NEW AVENGERS #5

STRANGE TALES II #1

Story: Rafael Grampa, Kate Beaton, Frank Santoro, Dash Shaw, Shannon Wheeler, Jillian Tamaki, Jeff Lemire, Kevin Huizenga, Jhonen Vasquez, Gene Yang, Nick Gurewitch Publisher: MAX Comics Reviewer: Majin Fu

I missed the first STRANGE TALES anthology because at the time I had to pass due to financial woes. The premise was intriguing enough, but I was jobless, and my appetite for food usually outweighs my lust for literature. Oh what a fool I was! For those who have been trapped in outer space for years while a Skrull impersonated them on Earth, I’ll give you the update. STRANGE TALES MAX collects some of the finest artists and writers from the indie comics scene and locks them in a Guatemalan prison until they can come up with some kind of story which utilizes characters from the Marvel Universe. The results range from bloody opera to old-fashioned cartoons. It’s a potent combination that makes for one of the best reads of the year.
I have been a fairly verbal opponent to overpriced comics, but I can tell you right now that STRANGE TALES II is worth every penny they are asking for. There isn’t a single story here that breaks 8 pages, but that does not mean there is a lack of substance. R. Grampa knocks it right out of the park with his Wolverine story, in which all the various healers of the Marvel universe tear each other to shreds in the ring, only to heal up and do it all again the next day. Like the best Wolverine stories, it’s a romance. Grampa’s style resembles Paul Pope, and is just as visceral, but maybe more precise? He did that gorgeous cover too.
There’s a nice mix of serious and comedic, and something should be said of the editing. The organization of the stories creates a nice balance so you never feel worn out from one specific style. For example, Wolverine’s aforementioned slaughterhouse is followed by a confession from Frog-Man’s lucky son, which is as silly as it sounds. The rest are as follows:
The Silver Surfer story cuts right to the heart and soul of the character, but the art is too archaic for my taste.
Spider-Man gets an excellent idea on how to keep Kraven from kreepin’ on him all day.
Dazzler’s yarn is deliciously trippy, with a surprisingly creepy second to last panel.
Shannon Wheeler shows us with an old-school flourish how the Red Skull just can’t seem to stand in the way of capitalism, no matter how hard he tries.
Spider Man escapes a confusing Mysterio trap. This had some nice layouts, and appropriately confusing art. The follow-up allusion to the first movie was funny too.
Wolverine and Silver Surfer get in a fight!
Jeff Lemire does Man-Thing (one of my favorites).
Jhonen V. of JOHNNY THE HOMICIDAL MANIAC fame shows Wolverine at the park.
And I won’t spoil the last one, ‘cause that joke was too perfect for words.
If none of that sounds fun to you (how could it?), then I suggest you give this a pass. I will admit some of the stories aren’t as strong as others, but the good ones more than make up for the lesser pages. This is just fun, energetic creating from some exciting and fresh voices. Not supporting such a thing would be a mistake indeed.

SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE Vol.1

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski Art: Shane Davis Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

Reset...
Thank you, DC. Even though this masterful retelling is being touted in the marketingverse as "accessible to new readers" (which it is), as a man that has followed the adventures of Superman for the past thirty years, this is the first time since I picked up that very first issue I felt such an electrical charge of elation, glee and wide-eyed wonder coursing through my body.
Yes, we've seen Superman resets countless times over the years in the form of Elseworlds, SECRET ORIGINS, and the former love of my life ALL STAR SUPERMAN. But this is different. This is not simply Superman’s famed rocket veering off course; EARTH-ONE possesses a fierce conviction to present our actual universe. And therein is the secret to its sheer power over the page.
The main DC universe (Earth-Prime) stopped being our world back in 1938. And that’s OK, it is what it is, shame on us for constantly trying to pull it back into “reality”. Comic fans are impossible to please; we bitch in clear choruses that things are becoming stale, yet turn into rabid dogs when a writer breaks from a character’s norm (c’mon, we all remember the cacophony of FU’s thrown at mullet Kent). No matter how many Crises or collapsings of canon DC throws at us, Earth-Prime can’t change; it has become a universe as real as our own that gains renewed sustenance from a perpetual return to the status quo. The current issues of “SUPERMAN walking” are a prime example of this phenomenon. How new and exciting can anything be in a world that knows at all times gods walk among us and the universe is an endless sea of sentient life and miracles? I don’t think Superman is walking out of guilt from the cancer lady or losing New Krypton; shit, I would take a stroll for a year if I knew I had to spend eternity as a thirty year old boy scout.
I’ve repeated time and again in this column that DC has needed this reset to save Superman from his eternal corn husks and awww shucks existence…and to save us readers. As much as I loved SECRET ORIGINS and ALL STAR SUPERMAN, they are still a representation and deconstruction of Earth-Prime canon; they are essentially my father and my grandfather’s Superman. SECRET ORIGINS strictly adhered to the Donnerverse. It was a world that was already ahead of our own by the time Superman appears on the scene. Lex Luthor was already building Metallo for God’s sake…there’s nobody in our world building sentient robots; the smartest robots we have are Roombas and that annoying dancing robot from Honda.
ALL STAR SUPERMAN stayed away from Donner, but again it was based firmly in a world that is not our own. A world where there are hippy space researchers and ray guns that can perform miracles. An expedition to the sun? Please, we can’t even get our shit together to get back to the moon. These were both amazing adventures, but they were firmly steeped in past fiction. EARTH-ONE represents the future of Superman, and sales figures willing, the future of how we consume comics. JMS has created a brilliant breathing world of consequence and DC is delivering this vision in epic scope. Now if you have some kind of sullen emo hatred of Superman, there are no words that will convince you to read this book. But if you love comics and more importantly want to witness the genesis of what could be the next great comic universe (with the right care and nurturing), then get ready for a trip to EARTH-ONE.
Earth-One is simply real. It is a world that was unprepared for Superman and recognizes that his existence is a new genesis for humanity. Earth-One has known nothing fantastic, it lives alone in the universe, and its inhabitants are uninspired drones living in an endless cycle of work, rinse, repeat…die. Sound familiar? Good, now you are in the right frame of mind to meet Clark Kent.
Are there tropes in this origin? Yes--it's Superman. Stop asking stupid questions. I mean you if you decided to rewrite the story of Jesus, at some point he would have to die and come back to life, otherwise all you would be writing is the story of a guy with a beard that likes bread. Tropes abound, but JMS elevates these tenets of the Man of Steel beyond the dated parodies they’ve become in Earth-Prime. Essentially JMS does what he does best; he delivers the “why” behind the what. There are things we can explain today that two generations ago were the stuff of science fiction. What makes Kryptonian technology so advanced? Well, it’s not “just because”, or the fact crystals not only heal old hippies, they are also the data storage device of choice by disco aliens. Instead we see Kryptonian technology rewrite what we know about nanotechnology and the sub-atomic universe. When Siegel and Shuster put the big S in tights oh so many years ago, the circus outfit worked since that's where you went to see flights of fancy. JMS takes even this small passé element and puts an explanation in place that makes more sense than any past attempts at modernizing Supe’s duds. Why did Clark end up at the Daily Planet? In our grandparents’ day it was explained with gumption and a grin, and that worked for them, that was how you selected a career back then. A wee bit of innate talent coupled with some hutzpah and — poof — you were a reporter. As any twenty-something today knows though, career paths are not that clear, especially when that twenty-something has the ability to do anything he wants. Clark becomes a reporter out of necessity instead of a shoe-horned juxtaposition to his mild-mannered personality. Hell, even Clark’s horrific use of glasses as a disguise, while still a bit silly, is explained poetically. Hide the man…not the hero.
The best reimagining in this story, though, comes straight from the heart of the origin itself…the destruction of Krypton. I would be performing a grave disservice to the creators of this book and to fans if I gave away how this all transpires in the book. I will say, though, it gives Superman a level of purpose we have never seen before and sets the stage for an epic battle in future books. It is also a direct representation of the attack fear we all felt on 9/11 -- magnified on a cosmic scale, of course.
Shane Davis delivers an absolute eye-gasm of imagery. Yes, I literally came out of my eyes at the first sight of Metropolis, a city in as much decay as every other American city. There was simply not one wasted panel in this book. Each moment and character were modernized just enough to reflect today’s world without ever bleeding into being trendy for the sake of simply being trendy (I’m looking at you on that one, Superboy circa 1993).
Now, of course Davis had some help. A large part of this fluidity can be attributed to DC’s courage in presenting SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE as an epic 128 page story. Some will balk at the $20 price tag, but to those naysayers I ask you to pull out a calculator before you start your campaign to save the floppies. Your average comic these days delivers 22 pages of actual story for about $3.00 a pop. For two extra bucks you can avoid any advertisements, wrap your hands around an indelible hardcover that seems to come alive as light refracts off the cover, and most importantly this is a TRUE 128 page story that is not hampered by being a collection of 22 page story-arcs. Let’s face it, all books these days are written with trade packaging in mind. Back in the day a trade was something special: it signified that a book sold out in such quantities that the only cost effective way to get it into readers’ hands was via the trade. These days though, the trade market is trouncing the floppies. As consumers we have voted with our wallets that we want a complete and holistic story. SUPERMAN: EARTH-ONE is that story from start to finish. It is a true representation of Freytag’s coveted pyramid, not five Herve Villechaize-size pyramids with each midget storyline wrestling to be the best exposition, the best climax and the best finale. Trades and floppies have been battling for years and both have suffered as a result; please end this pointless battle, DC, you’re our only hope.
I’ve already heard rumblings that compare EARTH-ONE to Marvel’s Ultimate line; please for the love of God stop comparing books before you read them. From day one in the Ultimate universe the world was already transformed into a science-fiction fantasy land. Spider-Man did not beget S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Ultimate universe. Humanity was already way more advanced than we are today. EARTH-ONE truly captures the “oh shit” experience we would all have if one day we turned on the television and there were reports of a man flying across the sky. As they say in the opening pages of the book, this is real.
My mind is spinning with the possibilities of EARTH-ONE’S future, not just as a story, but also as a publishing model. I can say without reservation that I would love to see an endless cycle of serialized graphic novels to start filling the shelves. It would be a win-win for the publishers and the readers. Publishers could cut their operating costs and we as readers would be spared the filler stories between great story arcs. As for EARTH-ONE itself, imagine the Green Lantern of our sector having to act as almost an undercover cop to avoid scaring the masses. Plus it would be interesting to see how the Guardians deal with the events that closed out EARTH-ONE: SUPERMAN. Imagine the Flash having to always operate at top speed, not being able to take time out to eat a freaking hamburger while in costume. Imagine a Justice League that actually came together again for a purpose as opposed to simply existing because well…there’s always been a Justice League. I implore whatever powers that be who are reading my words to care for and tend to this universe…it can become something truly extraordinary.
Now it’s time to bring on the Bat. Mr. Johns and Mr. Frank, you have your work cut out for you, gentlemen…
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.

SUPERIOR #1

Writer: Mark Millar Art: Leinil Yu Publisher: Marvel Icon Reviewer: Johnny Destructo

I'm ok with being the odd man out. But being the odd man out in a hobby/lifestyle FILLED with odd men out, well...damn, I guess I'm ok with that too. The A$$hole offices quickly filled to overflowing with a$$bile after I mentioned that I'd be reviewing this book. Amidst the din, I almost felt bad for even thinking about writing a positive review of this book. Of course, if people hate Millar so much, I'm not quite sure why they buy his books. When I decided Ron Zimmerman was the antichrist of comics, I stopped buying his books.
I'm the first to admit that I love most of Millar's work and look forward to his books hitting the stands. That's not to say I lose sight of the obvious. This book is the movie BIG mixed with DC comics' Captain Marvel, with MS and a talking monkey tossed in. So far. It's a simple conceit, for sure, but just because something has been done before doesn't mean it can't be done again, and can't be FUN.
And that's just it. I've said it before, but I think what Millar is trying to do with most of his stories is convey a sense of fun. An almost friendless teenage kid with multiple sclerosis who only has comics and movies to look forward to for the rest of his life is chosen by aliens to receive one wish for one week. This wish isn't even spoken, it's plucked from within and made reality (much like the Ghostbusters' Stay Puft Marshmallow Man). The first thing that enters his head is the superhero Superior, but not only that, apparently it's of the actor who plays him in the movie. That in itself is an interesting twist. It would be a little awkward for me if suddenly I was transformed into Christopher Reeve's Superman for a week (but also, exceptionally awesome).
This is a fun story that feels slightly more innocent then his previous works and I'm looking forward to Millar exploring that. You might compare it to Captain Marvel, and you'd be partly right, but here's the thing. I hate Captain Marvel. But so far, I'm digging Superior. So for me it's already one up on Cap. It's got elements of BIG? Sure thing. But I loved that movie! No matter how I spin it, I just like this book. I do have one gripe though. What the hell vomited all over the cover of this book? That is just a horrible combination of colors. Good god. I was afraid to pick it up from the stands for fear that I might get some on my fingers. Blargh. But on the plus: monkey in a space suit! Come ON!!
Overall, It's just good old fuckin' fun. Enjoy it, or don't. I know I will. And I'm ok with that.
JD can be found hosting the PopTards Podcast, discussing movies, comics and other flimflam over at www.poptardsgo.com, graphically designing/illustrating for a living, and Booking his Face off over here.

TUROK, SON OF STONE #1

Writer: Jim Shooter Art: Eduardo Francisco Publisher: Dark Horse Reviewer: Ambush Bug

I was a huge Valiant fan back in the day. Unlike Image and a lot of the other companies that were birthing new universes in the nineties, Valiant was the one that stood out with strong stories, mythic characters, and most of all, cohesiveness within their titles. Out of all the companies, for a short while, Valiant seemed to be getting things right. They had a small number of well written titles, amazing characters, and some of the best writers in the biz. Problem was, as usual, the company expanded and crumbled inward due to its own weight and lack of solid foundation. Still, when I think of the nineties and the comics I loved, I can't help but think of ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, TUROK, SHADOWMAN, and ETERNAL WARRIOR.
Dark Horse has slowly been bringing back some of the cornerstone characters of the Valiant Universe which in turn were solid characters from the early Gold Key comics. Though they don't have the rights to some of my favorite characters from Valiant, the thought of Jim Shooter returning to SOLAR, MAGNUS, and TUROK was pretty exciting when I heard about it at last year's SDCC. Having read SOLAR MAN OF THE ATOM and MAGNUS ROBOT FIGHTER, my excitement sort of faded. The art on MAGNUS is too old school for my tastes and really put me off of the story. But to tell you the truth, out of all of the Valiant books, I was probably least interested in Magnus, so it was no surprise that I didn't take a liking to this title. SOLAR, on the other hand, I was a fan of. But for some reason, the first issue of that new series seemed uninspired. The by-the-book origin seemed old hat with not much by way of interesting or fresh ideas for new audiences. In the end, having read two premiere issues, I was beginning to write off this new Gold Key resurrection.
Then I saw TUROK on the shelf last week and decided to take a chance on it. Given that TUROK was one of my favorite characters in Valiant's stable, I couldn't resist the temptation to give it a shot. And where SOLAR is too old school story-wise and where MAGNUS is too artistically old hat, TUROK is surprisingly just right.
This first issue is a retelling of Turok's origin and how this Native American warrior ends up being transported back in time to the age of the dinosaur. Though little is explained as to the origins of the bizarre storm that sweeps Turok away to the past, the adventure is of the highest magnitude here and even though this book touts a massive 48 page count, the depth of the adventure that occurs between the covers of this book had me wondering if they snuck in a few extra pages.
This issue really gives Shooter an opportunity to prove that he still has what it takes as a writer. More so with this issue than with MAGNUS and SOLAR, this story exudes excitement. There seems to be a vibrancy that isn't present in the other series. Then again, who wouldn't be excited to write stories about Native Americans fighting dinosaurs?
Included in this issue is a reprinting of TUROK's first Gold Key issue which follows the same sort of plot point-by-point, but after reading the two versions of Turok's origin, the decisions Shooter made to update the story (amping up the adventure and relationship between Turok and his young ward) make a lot of sense. The original story focuses a lot on the introduction of different species of dinosaurs, but in this post-JURASSIC PARK age, most readers don't need this type of dino lesson.
The art by Eduardo Francisco is another reason this first issue is such a success. Francisco has a classic quality to his art, reminiscent of early Gold Key art, but his attention to camera angles and panel placement makes for a more modern look. Francisco's style also harkens back to Rags Morales' style from the Valiant series. There's a Russ Heath style going on here and given how good his stuff matches with the tone of JONAH HEX, you can imagine that Francisco's art is a perfect match for this Old West-style character too. I especially like Francisco's depiction of the various battles that go on in this issue with arrows, spears, and hatchets flying through the air and slicing though flesh and bone. Francisco's depiction of dinosaurs are top notch too, which proves that he's a versatile artist who can draw animals, backgrounds, and human forms with equal excellence.
I was about to give up on this new line of Gold Key relaunches from Dark Horse, but I'm glad I took a chance on TUROK, SON OF STONE. It's definitely a series I will be following and Shooter seems to be having a blast with this one. With the art and writing being top notch, I'm not giving up on this line yet. SAMPSON is up next, so we'll see if Shooter can go 2 for 4 with these new Gold Key rehashes.
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole / wordslinger / reviewer / co-editor of AICN Comics for over nine years. Support a Bug by checking out his comics (click on the titles for purchasing info)! MUSCLES & FIGHTS VOL.3 & MUSCLES & FRIGHTS VOL.1. VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS: THE TINGLER #1 and #2 (interview, interview, preview, & review) VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS #20 WITCHFINDER GENERAL (preview, review, in stores now!) NANNY & HANK miniseries #1, #2, #3, and #4 (interview, interview, interview, preview, & review, in stores October 2010! Check out the NANNY & HANK Facebook Page!) Zenescope’s upcoming WONDERLAND ANNUAL 2010 (in stores in October!) THE DEATHSPORT GAMES miniseries #1, #2, #3, and #4 (in September Previews Order #SEP 100860, in stores in November 2010! Check out THE DEATHSPORT GAMES Facebook Page!)

DEADPOOL MAX #1

Story: David Lapham Art: Kyle Baker Publisher: MAX Comics Reviewer: Majin Fu

Deadpool defies rationalization in the best way possible. The original character is so crass, demoralizing, and irrational that he hardly seems a good role model for children. Putting it simply, he’s a mercenary/assassin that will take any dirty job. The story of his newly published MAX title embraces this aspect of the character so completely, and with such reverence to what the character symbolizes that I can’t help but smile while reading. Deadpool is an illusion of fatality that simultaneously brings about death, a force of nature. One of my favorite panels in the entire comic has Hammerhead screaming in frustration at Deadpool’s headless, dismembered body while three goons look on uncomfortably. As the plot thickens, and you figure out what’s really going on, it just gets funnier.
The story is narrated via Bob, the hopeless runt of undercover espionage who will take it up the back end to get into the bowels of Hammerhead’s crime syndicate. Hammerhead is presented as a more paranoid version of his normal self, but he’s just as dangerous and prone to head-bashing as ever. Deadpool is purposefully left on the backburner for most of the issue, but it works to his benefit. When he finally strikes, it’s a glorious gorefest the likes of which could never be seen in a normal Deadpool comic, even though that’s basically what he does. What do you think the swords are for anyway, makin’ sushi?
Even the cover embraces the complete adult nature of the comic with a sense of humor. It looks like a movie poster for some hard R action movie, complete with explosions, babes, and cars.
I am a big Kyle Baker fan, particularly his work on Plastic Man, so I picked this up mostly to see his next project. I was not disappointed. Baker has a penchant for switching up styles nicely. In this issue you get a healthy dose of noir, a little mafia movie, Looney Tunes, and some “Kill Bill” for good measure. His style is perfectly suited to the ridiculous comedy inherent to the characters, and his facial expressions, especially for Bob, are so spot on that they just enhance every comedic beat.
For those who are sick of getting beat over the head with unwarranted Deadpool books but still like the character, this is the book you’ve been waiting for. David Lapham plants seeds for what I expect will be a hilarious, gut-wrenching romp that could go on for months. It’s sadistic, it’s depraved, and it’s got crumpets. It’s Deadpool with a capital D for damned good read.

SUPERMAN #703

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski Art: Eddy Barrows (pencils) & J.P. Mayer (inks) Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: KletusCasady

I don’t care what Geoff Johns says, Superman has got to be one of the hardest characters to write. He’s been around for so long that pretty much everything that can be thrown at him has been, thus increasing his inability to be defeated. The biggest challenge is how do you put the most powerful superhero ever is a situation that creates suspense for the reader? J. Michael Straczynski has caught A LOT of shit for his first two issues of SUPERMAN and I can understand why, but I think you have to give him a few issues to get comfortable before you can call for everyone to burn all of JMS’s work. Honestly, this could be a very daunting task regardless of how much you wanted to write this character your entire life. Basically what I’m saying is, cut the man some slack. This issue isn’t bad; I think it’s good but I won’t say very good, but definitely better than the last two issues.
Going forward with the “Grounded” storyline Supes is confronted by Batman (Dick Grayson) about his disapproval of his pilgrimage. This part of the story has a good war of words which is really the best part of the issue. I love how confident Superman always is against Batman and for Dick to talk to Superman like that is great because if you’re going to be Batman you might as well go all the way and confronting Superman with a cease and desist threat takes some balls.
Nothing really of too much consequence happens in this issue: a weird fight with a trucker, a chit chat with Batman, and some more Superman slander from a teacher who may have acquired a piece of Krypton. I think what JMS is trying to do here is build Superman from the ground up (pun intended) because Superman has really lost his luster. I don’t know anyone that’s excited about Superman as a character and I think that’s mostly because no one can really connect with him and since he can do so much, really the only thing interesting about Superman is him losing. Batman said it best in INFINITE CRISIS, “You haven’t inspired people since the day you died.” I think this still holds true. I mean the last big Superman story was pretty much erased by the time it was done. Geoff Johns did some cool Superman stuff but at this point anything with his name on it people are buying. Sure there have been some good miniseries with Superman but his ongoing saga just really isn’t that interesting anymore. He’s the most powerful superhero; he’s got the girl…what’s next?
In this issue, JMS seems to be talking to the audience when Superman says “Ever since I’ve started this, people have been making jokes about it, ‘What’s Superman doing in the world of the average guy?” JMS is basically saying, since when is Superman helping the common man become a bad thing? I think his goal here is to show Supes on the ground level of things with average people, helping with average problems. This way when he does fight something out of the ordinary it seems that much more fantastic, similar to the way Superman was seen early on. Maybe he’d save a cat in a tree earlier in the day and a few hours later he’s on another planet fighting some gigantic alien. I do agree though, 8-12 issues of Superman walking around middle America helping kids build soapbox cars, telling people they have cancer, and feeding people’s pets while they’re at work would get old pretty soon but I trust that JMS has something up his sleeve. I will say that Superman saying “fondle” was a little bit jarring for me.
The artwork in this book is definitely the best stuff Eddie Barrows has drawn and I commend him for coming a very long way from COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRAPFEST (that series was awful) but I still feel as though this book would be better suited for a different artist. Comic books like SUPERMAN (BATMAN, SPIDER-MAN, AVENGERS, X-MEN, etc.) should have the best artist available and no offense to Barrows but I find it hard to believe he’s the best artist they could find. There’s nothing terrible about the art really but there’s nothing really exciting about the art either and that might be part of the problem people have with this book…that it’s just not exciting.
I do believe JMS has something good in store but I feel as though he’s doing a similar thing that he did with THOR (albeit not as well), where he’s just trying to reestablish Superman to modern readers. I think his approach is jarring because for the last few years Superman has been very formulaic and action packed and to now have a writer that wants to put the brakes on that style and do something different can be a pretty abrupt change.
Yes, I’m playing Devil’s advocate, so I’m not just saying it to be different. No, I don’t believe this is the best DC book on the stands this week but I don’t think it’s the worst either. I will say that Superman is being discussed more in the talkbacks than ever before and to DC that’s a win because it means you care. So no matter how much you bash this comic, the fact that you are talking about it at all means a lot more than saying negative things about it. If you want to read a Superman comic that’s taking an alternate route than what’s been done the last few years, I’d recommend it to you. But I’d keep your expectations low…at least for now.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #645

Writer: Mark Waid Art: Paul Azaceta & Matthew Southworth Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Henry Higgins is My Homeboy

Shit gets real.
This issue of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN goes in an always fun direction, sending Spidey in a darker turn where he doesn't make any jokes. It would be much more effective, though, if this wasn't following “The Gauntlet”, where Peter does the same exact thing at the end. But somehow, it manages to not feel tired.
Writing: (3/5) The question remains, why doesn't Peter just destroy all his enemies this effectively? Then again, Peter has kind of lost it, similarly to how he went mental at the climax of “The Gauntlet” and wiped out the Kraven family. Most of the dialogue is poorly written, especially some of the funny little "quips". "Where are you calling, Atlantis?" is a lame line that wouldn't pass in a Saturday cartoon. The idea of Spider-Man going this dark this quickly may seem out of character, but to having this right after both “The Gauntlet” and “One Moment In Time”, it translates much better than if it had just come out in between the Doctor Octopus and Chameleon stories. The end of the issue is very uneven and unexpected, which detracts heavily from the issue. It just comes so out of left field.
Art: (3/5) Still not a huge fan of Paul Azaceta’s art, but it does have some more consistency than the last few issues; even if that means consistency being subpar. The scene where Tombstone attacks MJ and Menace is fun to read, and while the art isn't perfect, it is very unremarkable. Peter’s face is especially hard to understand. As a matter of a fact, the faces for most of the characters are poorly designed. Almost every character has at least one panel where they look off. When there's less attention on the faces, however, the action makes up for it. The arrival of the Goblin Glider is great, the panels with Spider-Man in the shadows are great, and they sell the threat of a scary Spider-Man. The big time action moments are fantastic, such as Spider-Man lifting up a dock to get a hold of some rogues. On the last page, though, the art as well as the set up just doesn't work. The shot just isn't nearly as effective as it could be in the hands of a better artist.
Best Moment: Spider-Man tipping over the dock. That's a brilliant reference to AMAZING #33.
Worst Moment: The Lizard. Yeah, that was a fun twist…
Overall: (3/5) Though the issue reads better than some of the past issues of this storyline, it's still not perfect, by any means.

TINY TITANS/LITTLE ARCHIE AND HIS PALS #1

Writer: Art Baltazar, Franco Artist: Art Baltazar Publisher: DC/ Archie Comics Reviewer: Lyzard

Comic purists have always fought against the laymen’s view that comics are just for kids. Apparently, most of the public doesn’t read comics like CROSSED or they would know this not to be true. But that does not mean that comic companies do not make comics for this market. A few weeks ago I reviewed one of DC Kids’ comics, BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD. I found it completely underwhelming. But this time, with TINY TITANS/LITTLE ARCHIE AND HIS PALS #1, though for an even younger age group, they have shown a better example of how to write a juvenile comic book.
The book tells a tale of mistaken identity. At the downtown drycleaners, the clerk gives Mrs. Andrews and Alfred the opposite clothes. This leads to Archie and Robin wearing each other’s outfits, resulting in the Tiny Titans meeting up with Archie’s gang.
Now this comic is way below my reading level, but I have young enough second cousins that would love this comic. It is also a comic parents can read with their kids without wanting to gag themselves from its banality. Older readers will enjoy the appearances of numerous DC characters. There are of course the big names like Batman (who is treated like a PEANUT adult, headless, but without the mwawawa) along with some lesser known names like Solomon Grundy and Slade aka Deathstroke the Terminator. The writers are inventive in how they introduce and deal with the villains, especially because they are such sadistic characters in the adult comic world. Their portrayal in this kid comic is ironic.
The art reminded me of CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS, a series that was popular when I was the right age to read it. But I don’t mind this style because both sources fit the target market’s sensibilities. The artist even takes advantage of the classic Archie style, keeping some of the elements and colors used for these particular characters. However, there is one artistic choice I doubt the artist will make. When Nickelodeon did the FAIRY GODPARENTS/JIMMY NEUTRON crossover, they had both Timmy Turner and Jimmy Neutron drawn in both styles of their universes. It was fun to see little Archie and his pals drawn in a different way, but I would like to see the same with the Tiny Titans. Have them drawn in the style of an Archie comic. However, since Art Baltazar is a DC artist and the comic is first and foremost a DC Comic working with Archie Comic Publications, I doubt I’ll be able to see this come true in the second issue.
For those adults who want to indoctrinate…I mean introduce DC into the lives of their young children, I see no better start than Tiny Titans. It will acclimate them to the characters they’ll come to grow with and love through the years. So while you are reading the ultra-violence of Mark Millar, your kids can enjoy the fun in TINY TITANS/LITTLE ARCHIE AND HIS PALS #1.
Lyzard is actually Lyz Reblin, a film student at Chapman University. Lyz’s love for comics stems from an internship at Dark Horse Entertainment as a freshman, which may explain why some of her favorite comic book writers are Gerard Way and Steve Niles. You can find her on Facebook, but only if you follow her band: Castle Town Convicts (possibly a Zelda reference?).

SPIDER-MAN: BACK IN QUACK #1 (One-Shot)

Story: Stuart Moore Art: Mary Brooks, Ray Height, Joe Suitor Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Majin Fu

Howard the Duck is the best character in the Marvel Universe, and that’s a fact Jack. Except for the whole duck thing, he’s a perfectly normal guy that just wants to get by in life with the rest of the hairless monkeys. In the context of the Marvel Universe, with all the crazy costume fetishes and epic battles, his existence becomes more humorous. Plus, he’s got a killer club of nemeses, like Doctor Bong and Bessie the Hell Cow. Now depending on who you ask (or who’s writing him), Spider-Man is no slouch in the laughs department either. So it seems perfectly logical that combining the two would produce comedy gold, right? Hell, they did it in HOWARD THE DUCK #1 with marvelous success, and that was over thirty years ago!
This is the most humorless comic featuring Howard the Duck I have ever had the misfortune to read. That’s not to say there aren’t any jokes; it’s just that none of them are funny. This is more akin to the movie of the same name. It’s trying too hard, the pacing’s all off, the artistic direction is just not there, and Howard just looks freakin’ weird. My first quip is a shallow one I will admit, but where’s Howard’s suit? The duck has style, with the hat to prove it. The cover by Skottie Young (which is easily the best part of this comic btw, way ta’ go Skottie!) shows him in his suit, but the rest of the book is apparently too hip and modern to follow, uh…suit. Taking away his signature duds and putting him in casual attire is the first mistake. The next was covering his façade with a smiley face helmet and limiting his character, speech and all, until the second half of the comic. It’s like putting Thor in a Hawaiian shirt and having him talk like a Jersey boy for a whole issue, and then changing him back when it’s too little too late. It doesn’t help that the main story has two artists for a one-shot and their styles don’t quite mesh.
The plot is dismal, and far too cynical. There is social commentary like the old Howard books, but it’s hardly subtle, and far too political to actually be funny. The dialog is littered with one-liners that stumble instead of soar, and there are way too many in-the-moment jokes that will be dated within a year.
The additional Man-Thing story is so drastically different in tone that it can be a little jarring. However, the story is too vague and the conclusion just feels weak. The art is serviceable but like the story, is rather bland. There are a few eerie compositions that work for the Man-Thing, but it’s been done better in other comics.
On paper, this sounded like a really fun read, but in execution, it falls short of even the lowest expectations. To top it off, there is nothing here to justify a four dollar price tag. I never thought I’d see the day where I recommend anyone pass on a Howard the Duck comic, but here it is.

DINOMAN #1 - 2

Writers: Ben & Jeff Cohen Artist: Jeff Cohen Publisher: Brain Food Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

I noticed a strange and disturbing trend at this year’s Wizard World…doppelgangers. All throughout the “lunch table booth” indie area, a slew of creators stood side-by-side with uncanny resemblances to one another. It wasn’t every table, but a majority of them were occupied by these freaks of nature that call themselves siblings. As an only child I simply don’t trust people that share facial features and personality traits. I mean…c’mon…get your own fucking face and personality — stop sharing, freaks! This natural untrustworthiness of the individuals makes me instantly skeptical of their work as well. However, when Ben & Jeff Cohen wrote me last week, finally believing that I actually do write for Ain’t It Cool News and I’m not just some guy who is proud to call himself Douche, I couldn’t turn down the chance for A) a free comic and B) to uncover whether these unnatural creative wonders can actually craft a book better than a single writer.
DINOMAN is creative, but make no mistake that one needs to firmly implant forked tongue into scaly cheek before reading. DINOMAN is equal parts comic reverence and lambasting. While Dinoman’s origin is a trope, an evil government program infuses human and dinosaur DNA, what Dinoman accomplishes after this origin is the stuff of pure (yet still reverent) comic mockery.
Issue one introduces us to DINOMAN after he has already broken free from his government captors. He chooses my home city of Philadelphia to set up camp and begins his life as the Dino-version of Clark Kent. By day he dons a pair of glasses and a moustache to become mild mannered construction worker Jose Valenzuela Rodriguez-Valiento Manuelo Valiz. Do the glasses and moustache hide the fact the fucker is built like Ivan Drago, has a face that looks like it was flattened by a vice grip and he has three fingers? No, but that’s what makes it funny. Everyone buys this lame disguise in the same fashion that a pair of glasses has been able to confuse the entire DC universe for the past 75 years. Again holding up the comic funhouse mirror to the medium, Dinoman completely destroys a bank when trying to thwart a robbery. Does the bank manager rush over with thanks and praise? Hell no, just like in the real world he wants to know who will fix his damn bank. Granted these elements are not great in supporting the concept of infallible heroes, but I think we all moved past that dream 25 or so years ago. Issue one closes by introducing us to Dinoman’s nemesis Lex..sorry…reflex…Mr. Bag Face Bob. Now, before you think you’re watching an episode of the Gong Show, it should be noted that Bob’s Bag appearance is not a fashion choice, but a birth defect. Even if you don’t find humor in this, the Brothers Cohen should get a whopping gold star for originality.
Issue two gives us more insight into the nefarious bagged figure and his ultimate plan to take over the world. To say more would give away the true charm of this book – the humor. And Bag Face Bob’s plans are downright hilarious. I will however say that the Cohen Brothers once again borrow from DC mythology to introduce a clandestine fellow crime fighter that has taken on the mantle of an animal for their superhero moniker. It can fly without having wings and the filthy little fuckers are also very close to a rat, their tales are simply bushier.
The books have a few flaws. The art is accomplished, but not up to the caliber we have all become accustomed to from the big houses. However, the rendering are in the top 10% of what I have seen from the indie market. The pacing is spot on and there is some damn clever use of panel layout. The devil is always in the details and I think with a little hard work and gumption, Brother Cohen can surmount this minor speed bump with the grace of Kenyan long jumper. Fun, fresh and full of some damn sharp dialogue, DINOMAN may not overtake the world, but this is one iguana I am proud to call a native son to my hometown.

NEW AVENGERS #5

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Stuart Immonen Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Henry Higgins is My Homeboy

This cover sums up everything I ever wanted when I was nine.
Decompression is a funny thing. Five issues in and we've had a lot of revisionist history and events explained. The New Avengers, after spending most of last issue in extended fight scenes, spend most of their time explaining the plot. While it's a fairly well written, it's not perfect, and if detracts from the flow of the issue.
Writing: (3/5) Most of the issue is spent elaborating on past plot holes, which makes for a less than interesting issue. While some points are worth a lot of interest (namely the presence of the Ancient One, which goes against most of the character’s continuity) are explained quickly and passively, others take far too long. The Doctor Strange history lessons, while needed, are done rather slowly. The Iron Fist scene from last month, which closed out the issue with Iron Fist opposite Doctor Strange, is answered in a throw away moment and never spoken of again. Even if the moment annoyed me last month, the completely superficial nature of how it's explained just bothers me to no end. The end of the issue is such a nine year old dream come true, which explains why it's such a great visual. The idea is also an interesting take on the classic "One man vs. one man, for the fate...of the world!" trope, as Bendis just gives everyone’s power to one person. The dialog is, as always, well done and fun to read. What Bendis does well, he does really well. But when his great dialog is used almost solely to explain plot holes, it loses a great deal of its splendor.
Art: (4/5) Immonen is, as usual, just completely on his game here. The art for many of the scenes, especially the first two sequences, are just incredible. Doctor Strange and Wong's short lived battle with the thieves is miraculous, and makes me want a proper Doctor Strange series all the more. The following pages and the designs for Brother Voodoo's brother and his fall in the other world a treat to see. Immoen is utterly brilliant here. Some shadows (especially on Hellstorm in a few moments) and faces don't play well, but almost all of the art in here is great.
Best Moment: Doctor Strange and Wong just....just being fucking fantastic.
Worst Moment: Iron Fist saying, "Yeah, sorry about all that."
Overall: (3/5) While the art is incredible and some sequences are written at Bendis’ usual standard, much of the back-story is rushed, uninspired, and forgettable.

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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  • Oct. 20, 2010, 8:52 a.m. CST

    I wont say the word...

    by JBouganim1

    but my website JustPYN.com will be launching 2011. Support your local aintitcoolnewser

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 8:52 a.m. CST

    I also love Walking Dead

    by JBouganim1

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 9:02 a.m. CST

    looking forward to superior...

    by billyhitchcock1

    ...i didn't know everyone hated on millar. 1985 is amazing and kick ass was more than huge. is that it? people hating on his success? i like nemesis and old man logan too. never read civil war though. marvel lost me with their infinite universes in the 90's. way too confusing.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 9:03 a.m. CST

    THIRD!!!

    by LargoJr

    Blow Me!

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Not versed on the Multiverse

    by Aquatarkusman

    So I have to ask: what is the Donnerverse? The world created by the 1978 Superman movie? It seemed relatively gritty and had a villain with delusions of grandeur living in an abandoned subway facility who implements his plan with conventional nuclear weapons. To my mind, it's still the greatest villain introduction in movies or comics: "Hey, you don't know me, but I know who you are, and I know your weakness, which you don't even know. Have a Kryptonite necklace. Fuck you, go for a swim."

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Superman/Batman scene was written for Bruce

    by shutupfanboy

    Dick is not that type of person to go up to the guy who helped make him Nightwing in the first place and give Clark that lecture. It was written as things Bruce would point out, not Dick. That said, JMS' Superman has been great. I love the fact, he is doing something new with the character as well as giving him a storyline. Superman can be a great character, but he needs a storyline. New Krypton was ok, but you could see the ending from a mile away. I don't know how JMS is going to pull off, but I am damn curious. The Earth One review has me thinking of making it a christmas present for a friend.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Donnerverse

    by optimous_douche

    Rife with crystals and the vestige of Christopher Reeve.<p> It's not an "official" universe within DC canon...merely what I call it when I see movie elements bleed back into the comic.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Like I Said, I'm Relatively Ignorant of Comic History

    by Aquatarkusman

    After all, the movie was written by Mario Puzo and one of the Maniekwicz's (sp), so I imagine it wasn't drawing on whatever the mid-70s comics zeitgeist was for inspiration. Back then, it was Jack Kirby and all that New Gods stuff, so I'm sure the movie seemed really grounded by comparison.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Cpt. Marvel can be good with the right writer

    by bat725

    I liked Geoff Johns' take on the character, with Billy/Marvel falling in love with Stargirl, and the obvious complications that came from it. Also, during Infinite Crisis, DC really emphasized his magical abilities. He absorbed all the magic in the DCU, became a giant, and went toe-to-toe with The Spectre! He's also been shown hurling lightning bolts, which is cool. Bottom line, they need to make him more distinguishable from Superman by playing on his magical abilities a lot more, as well as the whole "BIG" theme that works so well with these types of characters.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Optimus

    by Joenathan

    Great Superman review. I'm actually going to violate my "Don't buy" list and pick up a JMS rag because you have caught my interest. <br><br>Also, I don't know if anyone saw this, as it was late on the TB last week, but I watched the Avengers cartoon previews and they're pretty Not Bad. Not great, but fun. I think you Silver Age groupies will love the shit out of it. Anyone else watch them?<br><br>I also watched the preview for Dini's Tower Prep. It's interesting. YA like a mother fucker, but still, it might be fun in a low key X-men kind of way.<br><br>I haven't read new Avengers yet and I am also really looking forward to Superior. Did anyone else read the last Nemesis? Crazy, man, it was crazy.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Really, DC did the Ultimate style reboot 25 years ago.

    by rev_skarekroe

    Byrne's Man of Steel and Miller's Year One were essentially what we would now call "Ultimate" versions of Superman and Batman. It's just that back then they made those the mainstream continuity versions of the characters.<p>Also, I've got to go super-nerdy on the Superman: Earth One reviewer by pointing out that Earth-Prime is actually the world that was originally intended to be OUR Earth, but was later written to be the planet that Superboy Prime (later the main villain from Infinite Crisis) came from. It was destroyed by nuclear war at some point before the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Aqua

    by optimous_douche

    Don't get me wrong. I LOVE The Donnerverse.<p> And I loved the harkens back to it in recent years.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 9:41 a.m. CST

    No Arguement Rev

    by optimous_douche

    But all of that changed with FINAL CRISIS

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Henry Higgins is My Homeboy: Um, what was Spidey about?

    by Chewtoy

    I enjoy your reviews, but as someone who only picks up comics occasionally when I hear about something that sparks my interest, it would be helpful if your reviews at least gave *some* idea about the plot of a book, other than "shit gets real". I guess... the Lizard shows up? Someone's on a Goblin Glider? I also gather that Spider-man tips over a dock, Tombstone attacks MJ and Menace (whoever that is) and someone says "Where are you calling, Atlantis?"<p>Hmmm... you know what? Simply trying to imagine a story where these completely random bits all come together is probably the most entertaining way to go. Kind of a super-hero "Madlibs". So nevermind... I'm good.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Is Batman Earth-One still happening?

    by Laserhead

    Cause I can't help but notice that Batman's new costume is the one Gary Frank designed for Earth-One. Superman is probably really good, but I can't support JMS. I fucking bought Midnight Nation because of all the fan raves, and it was among the dumbest and most saccharine comic stories I'd ever read.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Final Crisis...

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    ...I still haven't quite figured out what that one was supposed to be about, and I'm a huge Grant Morrison fan. Oh well, DC's had way too damn many Crises in recent years, enough already. And how many damn times to they have to reboot Superman's origin? Especially since John Byrne finally got it right back in the 80's and they just tossed that in favor of Mark Waid's emo-vegan-auravision version, that they again just tossed out several years later, only to have Zack Snyder glom onto Waid's version again in the delusion that it'd be an awesome plot for a movie, though in reality, it'll just be more lameness.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Great Maker!

    by MrShootist

    Thank the Great Maker that Terraman is no longer around. I'm old enough to have had to endure that injury to comic book goodness.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 9:52 a.m. CST

    And the new Batman costume really blows...

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    ...Who approved this? The same guy who put Wonder Woman in a retro 90's jacket?

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Terra-Man? How about when Bibbo...

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    ...had Popeye powers? Compared to that, Terra-Man was a classic villain!

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 9:54 a.m. CST

    They changed all the Earth numbering with Final Crisis?

    by rev_skarekroe

    Shows what I know. I didn't read Final Crisis, and haven't cared much about DC continuity for several years.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Nah. New Batman costume is great

    by Laserhead

    as is Final Crisis- a psychedelic super-hero rock opera that should never have been marketed as a 'Crisis' at all.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Laser

    by optimous_douche

    Don't be detracted by original JMS work.<p> And this is self-contained so no delays :-)<p> Look at it like I look at Millar. I think his original stuff is wretched, but love the shit out of his work with established characters.(OK, don't hate all I liked 1985)

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Not the numbers rev

    by optimous_douche

    That shit is still going strong.<p> Essentially FC killed the multiverse of yore though and started over with just an Earth Prime being the main DC universe.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 10:28 a.m. CST

    You Almost Have Me Sold ON EARTH-ONE, But...

    by LaserPants

    it's written by JMS who is currently demonstrating through FOREST SUPERGUMP that he's one of the worst writers in comics ever. Ever.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Self contained

    by Joenathan

    Thats the key. At least he can't walk away from it halfway through

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Dinoman Cover Looks Like Tom of Finland

    by jarjarmessiah

    Wierd

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Bat725

    by Poptard_JD

    I have yet to read a story involving Capt Marvel that actually made me like him. He was bad-ass in Kingdom Come, but that's about it. There's just something about his "gee-golly willickers" attitude that makes him annoying for me.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Henry Higgins' reviews

    by maxwell's hammer

    You can tell he didn't like this week's books because he only exclaimed the word 'fantastic' twice. I didn't even get buzzed this week playing my favorite drinking game: "Do A Shot Every Time Henry Higgins Uses The Word Fantastic In Place Of Actual In-Depth Critique".

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 10:50 a.m. CST

    billyhitchcock1

    by Poptard_JD

    Yeah, I'm not sure why people hate on him so much. He wrote what I consider to be one of the greatest Spider-Man stories EVER, with Marvel Knights Spider-Man. I enjoyed OML and 1985 as well as his creator-owned stuff. Granted I think the movie Kick-Ass outshone the book as far as charm and heart, but I'm really looking forward to the last installment of Nemesis, and I'm intrigued by what's going to happen with Superior. I respect that other people have opinions but I get annoyed when it comes across as just fanboys wearing haterpants.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Well...

    by Joenathan

    be prepared to be annoyed then, because folks round these here parts LOVE their haterpants, especially when it comes to Millar and Bendis. Which is too bad, because they rule the school.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Poor selection this week.

    by Homer Sexual

    Rarely do I purchase none of the comics reviewed here. And if not, at least one book makes me want to buy it based on the review. But not this week. All the reviews are either crap comics I dropped or books I have no interest in reading. I couldn't even finish some of the reviews, I was so bored already (umm... Superman, for one).

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Which Superman Homer?

    by optimous_douche

    We did have two this week....

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Why is every issue of Walking Superman being reviewed?

    by Laserhead

    Just saying. Every issue of this shit-tastic story has been reviewed here. Why?<p>Also, this is why people don't like Millar: he cannot write characters with believable personalities and motivations, and so relies on obvious, lowest-common-denominator sensationalistic 'twists' on standard ideas. I don't hate everything he's ever done, but I feel okay about saying that Mark Millar is the shallowest man in comics. It's like he has Asperger's or something, and the behavior of actual human beings is totally foreign to him.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 11:33 a.m. CST

    Millar

    by optimous_douche

    Established characters=good -- rides on the coattails of past work to fill in the personality admidst his cool settings.<p> Original work see Laserhead's post above. (except 1985 I liked that one)

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 11:36 a.m. CST

    reviews

    by Poptard_JD

    it's so neat that a piece of work comes out, and we, as reviewers, do just that. then the next tier, where the talkbackers review the reviews. we need a third tier where people review the talkbacks!

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Weelll, both... no offense to the reviewers.

    by Homer Sexual

    I read about a paragraph of Walking Superman. But that book is overexposed here and every single issue seems to be reviewed. <p> Superman: Earth One. Well, honestly, I am not really interested in any "Earth Prime" books. What does that even mean? Are Marvel's books "Earth Prime?" Does it just mean that the places such as NYC and Iraq are called NYC and Iraq instead of Gotham and Kahndaq? <p> In any case, though the preview seemed well done, it just doesn't interest me.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Kick-Ass 2 also came out today...

    by loodabagel

    I will not be picking that up. I feel like Millar's lost it. It's been quite a while since I actually enjoyed a comic of his. Nemesis is beyond dumb, which would be fine, if it wasn't so full of itself. Kick-Ass peaked with issue 2, and Ultimate Avengers lost my interest after two or three issues, which is a damn shame, because Ultimates and Ultimates 2 have got to be some of my favorite comics ever. I've heard good things about Ultimate Avengers 3 though. Anyone read it? I think it was his Fantastic Four run where he officially lost it. Those stories would always have great first issues, but their conclusions were visible a mile away. Just really lazy storytelling. You mean the unseen apprentice of Doom's Master was really Dr Doom himself? WHOA! What a shocking twist.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Millar

    by Joenathan

    Old Man Logan was awesome

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 11:45 a.m. CST

    One thing I thought reading the Earth One Superman review...

    by Chewtoy

    ...was that there was a lot of time spent on the general premise of it being in a real-world, no-other-superheroes setting. Which, to me, sounds like every film adaptation of a super-hero ever (I guess minus X-men, where mutants are a known menace. Hell, even Marvel's Avengers stuff hasn't shown the populace knowing about the Hulk, so Iron Man seems like the only hero there so far and was the first big leap in tech over our world.) However, the reviewer obviously felt it was a breath of fresh air in the comic. Is that just because it's a novelty in a comic book setting, or does it have a different feel than all of the film versions of iconic characters?

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Ultimates 3

    by Joenathan

    The first two arcs were fun, but the ghost rider one was marred by Lienel Yu art (a definite downside to Superios...), and right now he's doing a vampire one and the last issue was definitely a holy shit moment, so... we'll see. It's not as eye-popping wow as the first series, but for as far as general craziness anything goes type superheor shit is concerned, it's fun. Not great, but I like the danger.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Chewtoy

    by Joenathan

    The populace doesn't know about Hulk in the Iron Man movies, because Hulk takes place AFTER Iron Man 2, in fact, you can see the college campus fight playing on the screens at the end of Iron Man 2 when he and Fury are talking. <br><br>Just a little nerd-out from me to you...

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 11:53 a.m. CST

    I like Old Man Logan too

    by Laserhead

    But I have to give credit for that to Steve McNiven drawing one of the most visually beautiful comics ever. I mean, story-wise, it was really, really, really stupid. Imagine that story if someone totally average had illustrated it-- a Barry Kitson or Paul Azateca. It would have been seen as retarded.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Hulk coming back to TV

    by donkingkong

    http://tinyurl.com/25m8dlz

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Old Man Logan Rocked

    by optimous_douche

    Because we all knew Logan already.<p> Millar comes up with some really cool "concepts." It's fleshing out the characters that seems to always fall short.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Goose has lots of opinions

    by gooseud

    missed the past few TBs,m so here goes.....Superior, I have a bet with my LCS guy that MS kid/Superior will be ripping people's heads off or pulling some pedo crap by the end of issue 3. This is Millar, his cynicism knows no bounds......and as far as Millar, I dislike him for a few simple reasons: hes shallow, dumb, totally derivative, hates the medium in which he works, hates the fanbase of the medium in which he works, and doesnt seem to realize any of these things about himself. It adds up to title after title of meaningless shock value cynical crap.......I liked the Kick ass movie better then the book, actually, so sue me.....Captain Marvel is one of the most underrated characters of all time. The fact that no one has been able to tap into his complete awesomeness is criminal. The way he was used in Kingdom Come is amongst my favorite stories of all time, and his confrontation with Supes is in my top 5 favorite comics moments ever.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Laserhead

    by gooseud

    Bingo. I'm not sure if it would have been viewed as dumb, per se, although it was one of the most retarded stories ever written. It just would have been more obvious that it was a line for line ripoff of Unforgiven.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Thor Sucks

    by gooseud

    So I hated the Mephisto arc, but decided to give Fraction a chance with the new run.......Dear God. We now hav a winner for the dumbest moment in comics history, ever, in regards to Thor's treamtment of Loki. I mean, it is cliche comics reset, re boot, Batman wont kill the Joker, Dr Evil sharks with laser beams idiocy at its absolute nadir. The dumbest thing of all time.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Chewtoy

    by optimous_douche

    Great question.<p> I think the answer is both.<p> Comics from the big houses this is an absolute. Indies you get a bit more of this, but still...<p> Movies I would also say veer off course from representing the actual world.<p> Look at the original Superman, we have no one in the world like Lex Luthor...no one. You do get a bit more of the "real feel" in movies, but this was definitely a departure from the big house books.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Pilot season

    by gooseud

    Am I crazy, or would I actually start reading pretty much every book from the Top Cow pilot season books? They have all been pretty rad so far, and last season's pilot season books were pretty great as well.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Oh, and Crossed sucks (from last week)

    by gooseud

    Heh Heh you didnt think I would let last week's discussion pass without comment, did ya?? All I will say is this: raping the crap out of a bunch of nameless Star Trek redshirts does not a social statement make. There was more true disturbing horror in one single panel of Walking Dead #48 then Crossed could ever hope to generate in a thousand issues.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 12:11 p.m. CST

    No Offense Homer

    by optimous_douche

    Just like to hear your opinion.<p> Earth Prime is what the in-continuity DC Universe became after Final Crisis. It's confusing, since Earth Prime meant something different before a few years ago.<p> Try not to do a compare contrast between Marvel and DC universe definitions, it could cause seizures.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 12:18 p.m. CST

    haHaHaHa....

    by KletusCassidy

    Goose is on a roll...

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Optimus, where are you getting...

    by DukeOfSpiders

    ...this "Earth-Prime is the current DCU" thing? It's New Earth and has been since Infinite Crisis and the post-52 revelation that the multiverse exists. Infinite Crisis didn't change that.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Goose/Crossed

    by Joenathan

    Thats what I said. Crossed sucks ass.<br><br>You're wrong about Millar though, I think you have him and Ennis mixed up.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Kletus

    by gooseud

    I'm having an opinion-gasm, I havent posted in 3 weeks and I'm goin CRAAAAAzy!

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Joe, Millar and Ennis

    by gooseud

    The difference is, Ennis has a little spark of sentimentality that creeps out every now and then, just when you think hes about to go over the cliff. See his treatment of Wee Hughie or Jesse's speech on horseback at the end of Preacher. If Millar had written Precher, Jesse would have given that speech......and then burst out laughing exclaiming "Just kidding, SUCKKAAAAA!!!I actually WAS just using you this whole time!! Arent I EDGY?!?!?! Later, Bitch!!" (Jesse turns, breaks the fourth wall, flips the double bird to the reader, and rides off panel. End book)

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Sorry hit send too early

    by gooseud

    The point is, Ennis can write anything Millar can write. However, Millar could never write the Jesse horseback scene. Hes completely incapable of it. Thus, advantage Ennis. Plus, Punisher Max is five thousand times better then anything Millar has ever done.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Ennis/Millar

    by Poptard_JD

    I'll give you that, gooseud..I'll be the first to admit that there were scenes toward the end of Preacher that literally had me choked up. I can't think of anything that Millar has written that has effected me that much, but that doesn't discount him as a writer for me. Also, Ennis hasn't written anything that has moved me SINCE Preacher. He still cranks out quality stuff, but it's all been a bit too over the top for me. Once you read Preacher, it's hard to find anything that outdoes it. Don't get me started on The Boys! That series is so painful for me to read.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 12:45 p.m. CST

    dukeofspiders

    by optimous_douche

    I got it from a little book after the two you mentioned called FINAL CRISIS.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Presumably in Avengers movie-verse...

    by rev_skarekroe

    ...they also know about Captain America and The Invaders as well. We haven't been introduced to Hawkeye yet - he may end up being a public figure, too.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Rev

    by Joenathan

    We don't know that yet. I heard about the Cap USO thing, but people could believe he was just an Uncle Sam type figure, they not know about all of the super soldier stuff. I think Iron Man is pretty much the first publically operating hero... in the movie-verse

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Goose

    by Joenathan

    Ennis-Preacher and Ennis-Present Day are two different entities. Millar tromps Ennis-Present Day hands down.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Millar & sentimentality

    by maxwell's hammer

    I wouldn't say it was the height of dramatic writing, but I got a little pang of sympathy during Ultimates 2 when Hank Pym's 'Defenders' team turned out to be not quite what he'd hoped.<BR> <BR> It was a sweetly pathetic little moment that reflected some of the more character based stuff he did with those first two runs, and has been sorely missing from 'Ultimate Avengers'.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 1:09 p.m. CST

    The Invaders aren't in the Cap movie after all...

    by Chewtoy

    Kevin Feige came out and said that he had misspoke in that initial interview where he said they would be in the second half of the film. It turns out he meant to say that the Howling Commandos would be in the second half... which seems to match the casting announcements. <p> I'm hoping that Captain America's exploits are known to the public, but we'll have to see how the film's plot plays out. I'd hate for him to be frozen on his first mission, but short of a montage of headlines I don't know how they'd cover an extended war career. In any event, I wouldn't be surprised if he's just considered propaganda in the present day... just a recruitment stunt.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 1:26 p.m. CST

    I bet that's how it goes

    by Joenathan

    Although, the public seems awfully accepting of Whiplash in Iron Man 2, but I guess that's six months later, so...

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Hey

    by Joenathan

    Did any one watch the Avengers' cartoon proviews, the little mini-movies?

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Punisher Max indeed better than anything Millar

    by Laserhead

    One of the single best runs on a comic in the history of the medium. No shit. Ennis has his weaknesses, but his strengths as a storyteller send Millar back to creative writing 101.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 2 p.m. CST

    how about this?

    by Poptard_JD

    Millar and Ennis both have strengths and weaknesses.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Superman: Earth 1 is awful

    by Son of Superfuzz

    I read a review copy and good lord is this a piece of shit. Standard year one, "should I use my powers for altruistic or for selfish purposes" crap while facing generic space-villain #378. JMS is the worst thing to happen to Superman and Wonder Woman in years. Also, to the guy who mentioned Thor bringing back Loki as a terrible idea, I agree. The next time Loki kills someone or causes some catastrophe, everyone should stop, look at Thor and say, "Still miss your brother, asshole?!?!"

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Superman Earth One - Lex Luthor?

    by Squashua

    Is Lex Luthor the mugger guy that we see in the previews who loses all his hair to Clark's heat vision?

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Squash

    by optimous_douche

    There's nothing in the book that follows up on thta. Cool theory though...

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Way Too Kumbaya JD

    by optimous_douche

    But I applaud your effort for peace among comic fans.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Bring on EARTHS 2-4, please.

    by Subtitles_Off

    "Not your daddy's Superman." Respect your elders, fakers. <P>The cover screams pouty douchebag in a hoodie.<P> The destruction of Krypton now reflects our national 9/11 fixation? What escapism is going to be left for Generation Y-ner to escape to?<P>Superman isn't supposed to be believable or to represent the real world. That's what Glenn Beck is for.<P>Meanwhile, in the comic, Dick Grayson, Not-Batman, has an issue with Superman walking? Dick - "I love Superman almost more than Batman, that's why I became Nightwing" - Grayson? So, when he wears daddy's clothes he thinks daddy's thoughts, too? Epic character fail. Exposes the gimmick that it is. "See, he's still Batman, even though he's not really Batman."<P> Is this Generation Real or Generation Poser?

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 3:22 p.m. CST

    so Optimous.....

    by sonnyhooper

    .....i get the feeling that Superman Earth One is the type of book you and i have been begging to have for a while now. a self contained story arc that does it's own thing continuity wise and kicks ass? could it be? <p> i gotta tell you i'm not half as happy to hear that it was a good story as i am to hear that you feel it's a new sustainable publishing model for the comic industry. now THAT is something to get excited about.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Douche

    by Poptard_JD

    haha thanks sir. i'd just rather enjoy my comics then spit venom about them.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Wait wait.... All Star Superman wasn't fantastic before Superman

    by ClaireRedfield

    I got the impression reading it that Supermans presence is what made all the super science possible in the first place. The Kryptonian technology plus having a dude around that could fly into space for research purposes, like, whenever, would presumably explain that. Maybe I'm wrong, but I believe that was explained explicitly in the book by Professor Esoteric or whatever that Willy Wonka-ish scientists name was. That was one of the main points of the whole series. That Superman is just good, and makes the world better by existing.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Poptard

    by gooseud

    Not to get you started, but the Boys has been killing it for about 25 issues now. Butcher has become one of the pre-eminent douchebags in all of comics.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Sorry Laserhead

    by Joenathan

    I recently saw a picture of a dog riding a shark, so your arguement is invalid. Millar over Ennis FTW

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Bringing back Loki

    by gooseud

    the guy who was solely responsible for DESTROYING ASGARD!!!!!!! It hasnt even been a week since Asgard was destroyed, and Thor is like "Hmmmm, I miss my bro, I'll bring him back". You have to be fucking kidding me. That is one of the worst things I've ever seen in my life, and unquestionably the most idiotic writing trope I've laid eyes on. Credit due to DC, if your going to bring someone back, do it in style. Blackest Night/Brightest Day, for all their flaws, THATS how you bring someone back.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Millar Pym Defenders

    by gooseud

    That little part you mentioned is exactly why I cant stand him as a writer, his contempt for character who isnt a cynical asshole. "Oh Hank, you aqctually thought this would WORK? AWWW how sweetly pathetic!". Its exactly like the Big Daddy origin scene in the comic (NOT the movie), "Oh you thought you were actually doing some good?? Didnt you know this is a MILLAR comic?? All non edgy traces of altruistic sincerity must be DESTROYED!" (Big Daddy takes bullet in head)

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 4:52 p.m. CST

    supposed to read

    by gooseud

    for ANY character.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 4:58 p.m. CST

    Kinda Love/hate Millar

    by drewlicious

    Sometimes I get a kick out of his sense of humor. Plus, he seems to be willing to do anything to tell his story which is why I'm interested to see how Nemesis finishes. That one could go either way. But I hate how mean-spirited his work gets. What happened to Big Daddy (the movie handled that much better) and the ending of "Wanted." Deliberately insulting your audience is not a very bright move. Still, I did like Old Man Logan quite a bit.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Millar's Biggest Problem is Needing an Editor

    by OutsideChance

    ...who has the balls to stand up and tell him when he's crossed the line from edgy yet innovative into mastabatory and stupid.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 6:14 p.m. CST

    So nobody liked Millar's Ultimates?

    by kungfuhustler84

    'Cause that shit was awesome.<p>Old Man Logan was mainly good because of that lucious art.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 7:15 p.m. CST

    Millar's Ultimates

    by rabidfnark

    I'm not Millar's biggest fan. I hated Wanted and Kick Ass (the comics, I didn't bother with the movies). His humor has an immaturity to it that I don't really enjoy, and his shtick of turning characters back on themselves gets old fast. I like what he's done with Wolverine in the past (I'm mainly referring to Enemy of the State, Old Man Logan was okay). His work in the Ultimate universe contains what I believe to be some of his best work (aside from Wolverine). Not consistently out of the ballpark good, and not free of his quirks, but thoroughly readable.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 7:16 p.m. CST

    Drewlicious

    by gooseud

    For the record, and I have been consistent in my battles with Joe over this, Millar's output is not all bad in my opinion. Old Man Logan, for all its brain dead, derivitave stupidity, had a certain feeling of fun about it. He has had other runs on other books that were perfectly fine. However, in his creator owned stuff, his mean spirited contempt for the genre shines through. The Big Daddy scene epitomizes it. It wasnt enough for Big Daddy to be a fraud. It wasnt even enough for Big Daddy to be a fraud who was found out after that fact, or privately. Nope, Big Daddy had to be a fraud who was exposed in front of the enitre cast, and who groveled like a coward before being executed. Mean spirited contempt for heroes and the genre that created them, that is the through-line that connects all his work. I found the Big Daddy scene in the movie just as harrowing and ten times as satisfying from an emotional and storyline viewpoint.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 7:17 p.m. CST

    rabidfnark

    by gooseud

    Thats because Millar had an editor on the Ultimates who minimized his legion of quirks and maximized his edgy, out-of-the-box strengths. Millar was born to write the Ultimates, where out of the box thinking is required. His Ult FF run was awesome.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 8:45 p.m. CST

    The ending of Wanted

    by Joenathan

    I love (LOVE) that Millar insulted his audience in the end of Wanted--LOVE IT! You guys should too. That moment alone is probably the driving force behind hundreds of TBs. <br><br>Thank you, Mark Millar, thank you.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 8:47 p.m. CST

    gooseud and OutsideChance...

    by rabidfnark

    Agreed 100% about the editing. He's much better with someone looking over his shoulder. Some people just work better with restraints on (sounds weird when I say it like that though). Editors are really unsung heroes (or villains, sometimes) in this industry.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 9:54 p.m. CST

    I have noticed...

    by rabidfnark

    that, for better or worse, Millar has been responsible for some good debate 'round these here parts. I'll give credit where credit's due. As for the end of Wanted...well, it was what it was. I, personally, was more bothered by the 'you can rape whoever you want, and you can kill whoever you want' bits. As if, given total freedom, that's what the average person would choose to do, rape and murder...classy. Maybe he's trying to appeal to our collective id.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 11:08 p.m. CST

    Millar books I like

    by Laserhead

    I love Ultimates 1 & 2 (minus the Pym/Defenders digression, for the exact reason goose stated). But, again, how much of Ultimates is Bryan Hitch's art? Would we love those books based on the writing, if they didn't have all that great widescreen Hitchism? Certainly not. A moot point, I guess, because the book is the book, and it's good. I unabashedly love Millar's Ultimate FF stuff, and really like Aztek the Ultimate Man. Really like Old Man Logan, too, but that has almost nothing to do with the writing. Beyond that-- the man is a shallow sensationalist who appeals to the 'Haw, that's rad!' crowd. Millar is the new Frank Miller (after he'd already become a parody of himself). And Superior or whatever sounds like total dogshit. Nemesis is total dogshit, but with McNiven art. Superior has LFYu art, which is like Dan Clowes meets Rob Liefeld.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 11:12 p.m. CST

    Wanted

    by Laserhead

    I had the same problems as rabid. This idea Millar seems to have that if someone could do anything, the thing they would do would be to fuck everyone over and murder people. Tells you everything you need to know about the dude.Worst thing about Wanted-- Eminem and Halle Berry. Fuck off you celebrity cocksucker. And what was that motherfucker's power, exactly? He could fire a gun?

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 12:31 a.m. CST

    No way is Turok killing that T-Rex

    by nick_noltes_neckhair

    Not with that little dagger, before he gets his ass thrown clear.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 1:25 a.m. CST

    Love Millar

    by Hercules

    And Superior's off to a tremendous start. <p> And from what I've seen so far, Superman Earth One doesn't come CLOSE to touching the genius of All-Star Superman.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 1:37 a.m. CST

    Laserhead

    by Joenathan

    He was like Bullseye

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 1:39 a.m. CST

    As for Old Man Logan

    by Joenathan

    I disagree it was all art (even though the art was amazing), those books are filled with good stuff. Go re-read and try not to leave the stick in your butt.<br><br>You know what book Millar REALLY failed on? War Heroes. Terrible book. I think he even knew how terrible it was because they just kind of stopped and never mentioned it again.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 1:42 a.m. CST

    Wanted

    by Joenathan

    It's definitely not my favorite, but I did like all the secret super villian cabal stuff and the whole Christopher Reeves, Adam West, and Linda Carter were actually the real deals was a pretty cool idea. I'm with you on the rape and murder anyone shit, but once they got into the super villian war, that was fun.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 1:51 a.m. CST

    Millar books I liked and did not like:

    by Joenathan

    Like:<br><br>Authority, Old Man Logan, Ultimates, Ultimate FF, 1985, Civil War, and I still have the issue of Aztec where he joins the JLA. <br><br>Didn't like (to varying degrees):<br><br>Kick-Ass, Wanted, War Heroes, Nemesis, Ultimate X-Men, Fantastic Four.<br><br>I feel like I'm forgetting titles.<br><br>You know what books are fucking humming along though? Besides Batman and Robin? Secret Warriors and S.H.I.E.L.D. Really.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 4:15 a.m. CST

    Millar's Chosen is genius

    by Tall_Boy66

    I'd probably toss back and forth between my two favourite Millar books - Ultimates Vol. 1 and Chosen. And they're both completely different. True, a lot of Chosen hinges on that last 4 page twist but there's nothing wrong with that if it's a solid twist.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 4:18 a.m. CST

    And Wanted the movie butt-raped the book

    by Tall_Boy66

    Like, Butt-raped it. In the butt. I also agree that Wanted the comic kicks up to a whole nother level in those last 4 issues or so, something the movie COMPLETELY fucked up. The point was the Superheroes / supervillain twist, not a fucking magic loom and Angelina Jolie. But I did LOVE the "Shoot this motherfucker!" line from Morgan Freeman. But that's about it. When people bitch about Wanted, go watch the movie and see how much better the comic was and how good it could have been.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 5:42 a.m. CST

    Different books Herc

    by optimous_douche

    Like I said in my review, All Star Superman condensed “what was” (and I agree, did so brilliantly). Superman Earth One is a complete fresh start – more akin to what Byrne did back in the 80s with the Man of Steel books. But again the stark difference here is that the world Byrne created was already light years ahead of our own technology wise when Superman appeared on the scene.<p> Now you said from “what you’ve seen so far”…Have you read all of Superman Earth One yet or are you counting this “what you’ve seen” as the 2 ½ pages at the back of the on-going monthlies?

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 5:46 a.m. CST

    1985 is Amazing

    by Autodidact

    1985 was a big disappointment to me. Great premise, but the story goes nowhere and like so many things in comics the big answer to the problem (or source of the hero's power) seems to be "run to your daddy." <p>Seriously, everyone in the world writing fiction, can we get about 75% less stories where someone is unknowingly a hero, *thanks to their father*, or where the hero is following in his father's footsteps.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 5:48 a.m. CST

    ^ That was Supposed to be in Sarcastic Quotes

    by Autodidact

    I didn't think 1985 was amazing, in case anyone's confused. It started okay but just didn't go anywhere with the premise... I'm going to have to show these motherfuckers how to put out a good comic, aren't I?

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 6:43 a.m. CST

    Lest I appear like a complete hater

    by gooseud

    There is nothing I hate more then irrational haters who wont admit when something is good (or admit when something is bad) just because it contradicts an early opinion (I feel like Joe kinda used to be this way a bit, but his shockingly honest opinions on the obvious awfulness of Bendis's and JRJR's Avengers have shown our Joe really CAN be neutral!! heh heh), so in the interest of fairness, I will admit: Superior #1 was perfectly fine. Its a bit derivative, obviously, but there was nothing glaringly wrong with it. The art was fine, the story was fine, its fine. Whether it will STAY fine remains to be seen, but for now, Millar did good. Oh, and the ending of Wanted in and of itself isnt neccessarily a problem, its the repeated, over and over, running into the ground of that particular theme (heroes suck, we are all evil, if you believe otherwise your an idiot, but your still going to give me your money regardless) that has become a problem. Regardless, Superior? Perfectly fine. Thus is my last word on Millar for the day.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 6:45 a.m. CST

    Joe, which Secret?

    by gooseud

    Warriors or Avengers? Dont read Warriors, but Avengers has been great. The Nick Fury clone explanation was pretty awesome.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 6:49 a.m. CST

    People probably get sick of Marvel

    by gooseud

    so for the record, non-Marvel mainstream books that have been on my list: Skullkickers, American Vampire (my favorite book, hard to believe I know, but its awesomeness cant even be contained in this TB), any Pilot Season book, Harlan Ellison's Phoenix Without Ashes, some of the Radical stuff (hit and miss, but Last Days Of American Crime was awesome, and Driver For The Dead is currently pretty great), Scalped (2nd favorite book), Irredeemable, Incorruptible, ummmm.....I'm sure there are more. Just feel bad Thalya and them dont get to jump in because of a lack of DC and non Marvel stuff.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 8:01 a.m. CST

    "corn husks and awww shucks existence"

    by BizarroJerry

    Some of us like that about Superman. Sure, it's been poked fun at for ages, maybe starting back with the first Donner flick, at least. The same thing is done over on Smallville, but the wholesome, family-farm, innocent upbringing is something that should be a part of Superman's character, I think. Both the Donner and Smallville take shows those aspects of Clark to be his strengths. But I suppose if you think a more "real" brooding, conflicted, alienated Superman will sell more books these days, I guess you should do it. I just hope Nolan doesn't think that way, and that he knows Superman isn't the same as Batman.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Nobody's mentioned Red Son?

    by rev_skarekroe

    That may be Millar's best work.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Bizarro

    by optimous_douche

    The wholesome tenets are still in place, it's just the naive nature is gone and farnkly I think it needs to be.<p> Even on Smallville, he is still a good human being, but they acknowledge that the world is no longer is "good and wholesome."<p> There's no brooding, but there is conflict -- innocence lost yes, but still a good person at his core.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 8:33 a.m. CST

    who cares? comics soon won't be published

    by ForgetfulPete

    In the last 10 years, sales of comics have dwindled so sharply that they're even lowering their prices for the FIRST TIME IN HISTORY. That's how bad things have gotten. Readers of comics will soon find themselves in the position of being fans of the Victrola when radio emerged. And online comics are decaying, too, as publishers realize there's just no demand for the material. Soon enough the industry will collapse and come to an end. Heck, in a short time DC won't even be able to publish SUPERMAN comics any more nor any of the SUPERMAN ancillary characters. Can't wait to see this happen. Those who think video games have replaced it should note video games, too, have collapsed in the last few years to the point where that industry has declined so sharply that publishers have recently started cancelling huge numbers of titles and only kept those where the engine can be used to churn out repetitive games with "new" material coming only in the form of pay-for-play online downloads (FABLE 3 anyone?) repackaged as new game material. And the loss of comics and video games will go mostly unnoticed. I think this is a wonderful wake up call to the geeks out there and can't happen soon enough. Imagine the first geek who walks into a store and says "I'd like to buy a video game" and gets laughed at? Who wouldm't like to be there for that moment?

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Forgetful Pete: You don't seem to be using actual facts.

    by Chewtoy

    While I don't have the data for the current year-to-date, for the previous 10 years comic sales have generally been on the rise. 2009 did see a dip, but there's an offbeat chance that this may be due to the massive dip in the economy you might have heard about on television, rather than some inherent rejection of the comic book as a form of entertainment itself. (Note: Actual unit sales have fluctuated from a low in 2001 to a high in 2007. 2009's dollar sales for the Diamond top 300 were still more than $100m greater than they were in 2003, rising from $310m to $430m.<p> You're right though, in that comic shops and video game stores are probably not long for this world. It occurred to me the other day that it has been years since I last visited a record store... I either order CDs online or just (legally, honestly) download music these days. Comics and video games will both be making that kind of transition in the next decade.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Approachability

    by Autodidact

    One of my LCS guys told me the see an influx of new readers whenever a big comics movie comes out. He said a certain percentage become good customers. He's also said that while collectivibles and card games are huge, comics made a resurgence in the past five years to become the real mainstay of their shops again. <p>When I was a kid just getting into comics they were much more approachable. Way fewer titles and as far as Marvel and DC superheroes there was a singular continuity for the most part, an integrated and more or less constant world. I don't know if nine year old me would be able to bond with a "Marvel Unverse" in it's currently fractured and schziphrenic form.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 9:34 a.m. CST

    Its

    by Autodidact

    Its dammit. Stupid iPhone.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 9:50 a.m. CST

    optimus...

    by BizarroJerry

    I wasn't sure if that's what this story was doing -- hadn't read it -- I just was reacting to what I thought sounded like the suggestion the wholesome aspect of Supes' personality was a problem. But having him in a more realistic world is okay. I don't need the grinning hero with an eagle on his shoulder.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Leniel Francis Yu

    by Laserhead

    Dan Clowes meets Rob Liefeld. Just wanted to say that again.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Goose

    by Joenathan

    Both actually. I've really liked Secret Avengers (even though Bru can be a little stiff), but I love Secret Warriors. It's a tight, well done, below the radar super hero/spy book. I think you'd like it. The hero stuff is fun and the villian development is surprisingly awesome. It's definitely worth checking out. I think Hickman's good. I picked up his Ultimate Thor, despite my lack of interest in the character based off how awesome secret warriors and shield are.<br><br>Also, I've always been neutral, it's just that most days I'm the only motherfucker here who will admit that sometimes Bendis and Millar are just as awesome as the hype machine claims them to be.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Laserhead is right

    by Joenathan

    How'd that guy get a job? How'd he get high profile jobs? How does he KEEP getting jobs?

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Perfect Description Bizzaro

    by optimous_douche

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Hmmm...

    by Joenathan

    I used "awesome" a little too often in my post to Goose. I apologize, I was writing it in pieces and didn't realize. My bad. I swear I have a better hyperbolic vocabulary than that

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Also, the "brooding" Superman

    by BizarroJerry

    I think the problem Superman Returns was that he seemed too quiet and mopey. If there's no fun, you may as well not write a Superman story.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Red Son!

    by loodabagel

    Yeah,I was thinking of that one last night, but I was too tired to post anything. One kick-ass Superman comic, and Millar writes a great Lex Luthor. He's the smartest guy in the world, but he's always written like a bumbling little bitch. Millar's one of the few people I've seen who knows how to make him cool. We know he can build giant death-bots. We've seen that plenty. Show us Lex Luthor playing 80 games of chess at once, and winning every one on the same move. That's smart.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Red Son was indeed Awesome

    by optimous_douche

    And again I go back to the fact Millar kicks-ass (no pun intended) with established characters.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Red Son Luthor Kicks Ass Indeed

    by Autodidact

    I liked how he massacred all his assistants and the US gov't simply re-staffed and re-supplied him.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Strange Tales 2...

    by loodabagel

    Just read this one. Highly recommended. Kate Beacon's Kraven story is hilarious, and Rafael Grampa's Wolverine is the prettiest art I've seen in a while. Also, Superior was actually pretty good. Millar seems to have toned down the "edginess." Lienel Yu's art is better than it's been recently. It's a lot cleaner and crisper than his Avengers stuff was.

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Red Son Luthor!

    by David Cloverfield

    I agree, best Luthor I've ever read. I love how Brainiac won't let Supes even converse with Lex, since "Luthor has 87% chance of talking you into suicide in five minutes".

  • Oct. 21, 2010, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Red Son Luthor was the best

    by rev_skarekroe

    I love how he conquers the world, as he's tried to do for the last 75 years - and it turns out he does a really good job with it!

  • Oct. 22, 2010, 12:07 a.m. CST

    Danger Diabolik

    by loodabagel

    This was mentioned a few weeks ago, but the big problem with Nemesis isn't that the character isn't sympathetic enough, it's that he's not interesting enough. He lacks personality. Millar writes a lot of comics about shitty people, but as long as he can manage to keep them somewhat interesting (Kick-Ass, Ultimates) I'm happy. Nemesis just coasts on it's own ego. So no, Nemesis isn't Diabolik. (Besides, we've already got Fantomex, and he's much cooler.)

  • Oct. 22, 2010, 9:10 a.m. CST

    I Like Millar Best When He Writes What He Knows

    by Buzz Maverik

    Look at the comics made into films. I like KICK ASS because Millar was probably a nerdy kid and still knows nerdy kids. Didn't like WANTED simply because Millar watched/read FIGHT CLUB and stuck in super villains which were adapted into super assassins in place of Tyler Durden.<p>I always say, there's nobody better than Mark Millar when he's trying ... but often he doesn't try. A good writer who is lazy is worse than a bad writer. And a good writer who wants to be liked so badly is worse than both.

  • Oct. 22, 2010, 3:46 p.m. CST

    This Earth-Prime Thing...

    by DukeOfSpiders

    I still don't buy it. Even after Final Crisis they've referred to the main DCU as New Earth, and they referred to Earth-Prime in Legion of 3 Worlds and the follow-up story in Adventure as Earth Prime. And I don't even remember Final Crisis referring to New Earth as Earth Prime. Can someone show me where in current DCU continuity I'm wrong about this?

  • Oct. 25, 2010, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Earth-One Rips off of Marvelman

    by Miles_Teg

    Using Moore's postulation that the entry of Marvelman was the genesis for all the other superhumans. I would argue that Busiek's and Immonen's Secret Identity series handled it with more elegance too.

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