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AICN COMICS REVIEWS: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN! VICTORIAN UNDEAD! DEATHSPORT GAMES! HALCYON! T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS! & MORE!

#25 11/10/10 #9

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) IT’S SUPERMAN! Novel T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS #1 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #648 HALCYON #1 THANOS IMPERATIVE #6 EMITOWN OGN NEW AVENGERS #6 VICTORIAN UNDEAD: SHERLOCK HOLMES VS. ZOMBIES TPB / VICTORIAN UNDEAD: SHERLOCK HOLMES VS. DRACULA Advance Review: THE DEATHSPORT GAMES #1 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #647-648 LUCID #2 BIRDS OF PREY #6 ANT-MAN & THE WASP #1 RED ROBIN #17 NANCY IN HELL #4 INCREDIBLE HULKS #616 Cheap Shot Dot.Comics presents JUNKYARD ANGELS #1

IT’S SUPERMAN! Novel

Written by: Tom DeHaven Publisher: Reviewed by: superhero

Note: This is a review for a novel. That is, a book without pictures. It’s not a comic book. It was also first published in 2005…so it’s been out for a bit. I just happened to pick it up in the past month or so and was so impressed by it that I thought it deserved a writeup.
In the past couple of weeks there’s been a lot of hubbub about J. Michael Straczynski’s SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE. Some of the talk, even in the AICN talkbacks, has been about whether Superman as a character could possibly be relevant at all in this day and age. I haven’t had the chance to pick up Earth One yet so I can’t speak to it but I will say that if you have any doubts about the ability of the character of Superman to speak to you then you need, need, to pick up IT’S SUPERMAN!
Author Tom DeHaven takes Superman back to his Depression era roots in the pages of this great adaptation of Clark Kent’s early years. DeHaven crafts a world that is part Steinbeck and part “Smallville”…although to compare this book to Smallville is to do it a disservice. Every character here is a fully developed, realistic individual which is something that “Smallville”, in all its ten years, has been unable to deliver. I’ve never, ever in all my years of reading Superman comics come across such a perfectly sculpted characterization of Clark Kent as I’ve read here. What we have in these pages is a truly human Superman. One who feels, thinks, doubts without that whiny emo quality that seems to have overtaken the Man of Steel since John Byrne re-invented the character back in 1986.
In IT’S SUPERMAN we’re reintroduced to most of the old Superman mythos in a unique and refreshing way. Sure, we’ve all seen Superman in the 1930’s…after all, that’s when the character made his debut. But DeHaven crafts a world built from nostalgia and historical fact that makes the debut of a character like Superman feel plausible in his 1938. IT’S SUPERMAN presents a young man who was born with powers beyond mortal men and really has absolutely no idea what to do with them, especially in a world that he doesn’t feel has a need or place for him. This isn’t the cocksure hero smashing through walls. This is a young man who isn’t quite sure how far his powers will go. Will bullets bounce off him? Can he pick up a car? Clark Kent doesn’t know and the beauty of this book is in following him along his journey of discovering not only his powers but himself and his place in the world. It’s the first time I’ve read a young Superman story and believed, actually believed, that, yes, this is actually the way it could have happened. This is how a young kid from a podunk town in Kansas could become one of the most iconic heroes in modern fiction.
But discovering Clark’s journey is only a small part of the IT’S SUPERMAN! pie. Tom DeHaven fleshes everyone out and gives every single character room to breathe and grow. For the first time I feel like I truly understand where the character of Lois Lane is coming from. For years she’s played either the damsel in distress or the ball-busting wife to the Man of Tomorrow. In IT’S SUPERMAN! I think I’ve finally read a version of Lois Lane that’s a fully realized person on the page. DeHaven has done what seventy five years of comic writers have failed to do: make Lois Lane really interesting.
And don’t even get me started on Lex Luthor. DeHaven creates one of the best versions of Lex Luthor I’ve ever read. This is no cardboard cutout villain. Again, DeHaven takes what has come before and expanded on it and fleshed it out in such a way that it seems almost new. We have a Luthor here who is on quest for power but not in a blind and stupidly arrogant way. He’s intelligent, controlling, quirky and lethal…but he’s human as well. He’s not some megalomaniacal mad scientist goon that’s plagued the pages of the Superman books for years. He’s an actual person with understandable, yet flawed, motivations.
But what’s truly great about all of the characters inhabiting DeHaven’s book is that you never, ever feel that any of them overshadow the main character: Clark Kent. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been frustrated with the Superman comics in that so many writers take the focus off of the main character because they have no idea what to do with him. For so many years there have been stretches where it seems like Superman is a guest star is in his own book. Tom DeHaven manages to avoid that pitfall while expertly building up everyone around the future Superman without eclipsing him. This book is definitely about how Superman came to be and the events that would lead him to become a hero in a time when the world needed to believe in one so badly.
Now before you run out to find this book I have to warn you purists out there that IT’S SUPERMAN! does take certain liberties with elements of Superman’s world, the biggest one being that there is no Metropolis; instead Clark Kent ends up in New York City. I had no problem with it because, quite honestly, I’ve always thought of Metropolis as a silly convention and always wondered why DC didn’t just make Superman’s grown up stomping grounds New York when they re-vamped the character in ’86. But if the thought of Supes living in NYC is the sort of thing that makes you apoplectic then maybe you might want to avoid this book together. There’s a lot of what I considered small tweaks which I actually found refreshing but if you’re a traditionalist then they may just drive you up a wall. I won’t even bother telling you about the costume’s origins…it may make some of the more inflexible fans out there just lose their minds altogether.
Another thing to warn readers about is that birth of Superman doesn’t really happen up until the end of the book. If I haven’t been clear about that aspect of the book I should say it now: this novel does not have knock down drag ‘em out fights with Brainiac in it. It’s about what makes Clark Kent become Superman. What makes a young man with the powers of a god put on a costume and fight the good fight. The reasons IT’S SUPERMAN! presents are a bit more complex than truth, justice and the American way but they are just as pure hearted and inspirational as those words that Christopher Reeve spoke in 1978. Even though it takes place back in the 1930’s, IT’S SUPERMAN showed me that what makes Superman great are values and ideals that are universal whether it’s 1938, 1978, or 2010.
When I finished this book I had tears in my eyes. Because for the first time, in a long time, I believed in a hero that inspired me so much when I came out of a movie theater as a boy and believed a man could fly. IT’S SUPERMAN! didn’t make this cynical comic book fan believe a man could fly but it did make a grown man believe in Superman again.
Discovered as a babe in an abandoned comic book storage box and bitten by a radioactive comic fan when he was a teenager, superhero is actually not-so mild mannered sometime designer & cartoonist, Kristian Horn of Los Angeles, California. He's been an @$$hole for three years. Some of his work can be seen at www.kristianhorn.com and check out his blog at www.parttimefanboy.com.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS #1

Writer: Nick Spencer Art: Cafu Yu Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: BottleImp

I’ll be honest: I know next to nothing about the original T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS series. I knew that it was a mash-up of the standard superhero fare with the 1960’s spy/secret agent craze, and that it was created by famed artist Wally Wood, but beyond that, I was ignorant. Why, then, did I pick up the first issue of this revival? Not due to any nostalgia (which will surely be the impetus for some older comic book fans), and not based on the creative team (I’m unfamiliar with both writer Spencer and the art team, led by the singly-monikered Cafu). No, I think it’s because of the costumes. Even though I was never a fan of AGENTS, I did see enough examples of art depicting the characters through the years to develop a fondness for their costumes. Simple, combining the basic sleekness of Silver Age design with a slight technological edge—to me, these represent the best of superhero visual design. And when I saw the excellent Frank Quitely cover depicting the revamped Agents in their iconic uniforms, I had to pick this comic up. But unfortunately, snazzy uniforms can carry a series only so far…
I have the feeling that just as many readers will be turned off by this issue as will be intrigued by it, and the dividing factor will be the reader’s familiarity (or lack thereof) with the concept behind the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents. Spencer drops the reader right in the middle of the plot without a set-up, and compounds the confusion by bouncing between two different timeframes (actually THREE, if you count the first two pages of the comic, but since we never hop back to that intro time period, I’m going to let that one slide). To top it all off, by the end of the issue the reader still knows next to nothing about the protagonists—not their names (civilian names, though in one case not even a codename), not their personalities, not their powers, and not even how they came to work for the Agency. In fact, the most concrete information about the Agents is passed on through the little text block that accompanies the logo at the bottom of the credits page. If you didn’t know anything about Wood’s original series or the short-lived revival that occurred in the 1980s, you’re going to feel a little left out here…unless you do your homework on Wikipedia, like I did. Even though I know that this title will be bought mostly by those who remember the old comics, or at least know of the characters, I’m still surprised to see such a blatant alienation of new readers. I’d write this revival off already, except that one thread running through this premiere issue hints at this series’ promise.
Part of what makes T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS unique as a superhero concept is that the powers given to the protagonists come with a price—and I’m not just talking “with great power comes great blah blah blah…” here, I’m talking a concrete, physical price: the powers will eventually kill the Agents. And the Agents know it. This leads Spencer and Co. to ask the question, “What kind of person would take up the responsibility of these abilities, knowing that by doing so, he signs his own death sentence?” This is an avenue that has not often been explored in the comic book world; the only example that comes to mind is Marvel’s STRIKEFORCE: MORITURI from the ‘80s, which also dealt with the fatal effects of superhuman abilities. By focusing not only on the slam-bang heroics of the superheroes but also on their psychological states, this series has the potential to join the ranks of those comics that make the reader care first and foremost about the person beneath the spandex.
This premise is the saving grace that has the potential to hook new readers who might be unfamiliar with the series’ background and otherwise turned off by the scattershot narrative of this first issue, but it’s not the only positive. The artwork is clean, competent and readable—Cafu is adept at both the action scenes and the talky parts. Sometimes the faces end up looking a little flat, mostly due to the minimal linework, but even on these panels the emotion of the characters is easy to read through gesture and expression. The redesigns of the Wally Wood costumes are simple yet elegant, and retain the fun, four-color feel of the originals. And even though there’s more talk and less action in this comic than I would have expected, the last page money-shot of the hopefully-soon-to-be-named T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents running straight out at the reader is a great piece of superhero iconography.
So this series definitely won’t be for everyone, and the overly convoluted plotting of this first issue might even turn off fans of the classic AGENTS. I’m going to hope that Spencer will do less time-hopping and more forward-plotting and stick with this series for a little while. The promised psychological aspect is enough for me to come back next month and (hopefully!) meet the protagonists. Plus, those costumes are just so darn cool.
When released from his Bottle, the Imp takes the form of Stephen Andrade, an artist/illustrator/pirate monkey painter from the Northeast. You can see some of his artwork here. He’s given up comics more times than he can remember. But every time he thinks he's out, they pull him back in.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #648

Writer: Dan Slott Artist: Humberto Ramos Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: KletusCasady

Take a deep breath…”Brand New Day” has passed, you don’t have to pay $12 bucks a month for Spider-Man, and OMD is just an afterthought…breathe…it’s been explained ….BUT BUT…no…no…it’s over, let’s move on…BUT HOW DID AUNT MAY….no Kletus…remember what your therapist said. OMD is over and you must move on...just ONE QUestaGGhh…MEPHISTOISQUESADAAAAGHHHHHHNOOO!
Whew…huhh…huh…I’m okay…having trouble swallowing huh huh ok, ok…sip of water…I’m alright….I’m ok.
Dan Slott has taken over as regular writer for SPIDER-MAN and I applaud that decision; he was the best writer out of the 20 that were on SPIDER-MAN…not mention he’s actually funny in real life so his jokes don’t seem forced and well….not funny(Bendis). This issue was actually really good and reminded me of the 80s era Spider-man that I grew up with and still love. Supporting characters are really important to this comic and it seems as though Slott’s making a conscious effort to bring back that aspect of Spider-man. I think supporting characters are needed in a comic like this because it helps ground Spider-Man and gives him a realistic link to the world as we know and without it, he just becomes another super-powered guy that we can’t relate to. His new job opens up a world of possibilities from villains to heroes to new equipment.
I really really wish Marcos Martin was doing the art…but I can’t/won’t win ‘em all. The art is ok. I’m not really a fan of Ramos, although I do feel like his CIVIL WAR: WOLVERINE was pretty good. In my opinion, the action is really the worst part of his art; you’d think that with his style that action would be his forte, but the action scenes just look cluttered and it’s hard to tell what’s going on. I think Chris Bachalo does a very similar graffiti inspired art style but it just looks a lot better and flows a lot easier.
Ramos’s scenes where nothing is happening actually look great but who the hell wants to see that?!?! Looking at the art for SPIDER-GIRL (the first back up I’ve read in a while…damn good too!), I was baffled as to why she’s getting better art than Spidey but I don’t make those decisions so whatevs.
I saw Slott at a weird comic convention in Weston, Fl where most of the kids (all) had little to no interest in comics, as they were all dressed as random obscure manga characters. Peelander-Z playing was one of the highlights of this convention (oh yeah and the random characters in Harry Potter that only have half a frame of screen time were there too). In the clearing towards the back of this tennis court sized convention room, behind an old rickety folding table, I locked eyes on Dan Slott, he seemed bummed and I was one of the few people who came up to him and said I was digging his work on Spider-man (this was around the time of “New Ways to Die”), we shook hands and he seemed really appreciative, and even though no one knew who he was…he was still there …so props to you Mr. Slott!
The new AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is off to a good start and despite my dislike for the art, I’m actually looking forward to the next issue (I know, right!?!). I like this direction Spidey is taking and hopefully Slott can pull Spider-man back up to his rightful place as one of the top comic book characters out there, regardless of what happens with the movies.

HALCYON #1

Writers: Marc Guggenheim & Tara Butters Art: Ryan Bodenheim Publisher: Image Comics Reviewer: Humphrey Lee

Unsurprisingly, because they typically put out top-notch stuff material. CHEW, SKULLKICKERS, and I’m hoping for good things out of 27 out in the near future to say the least for their lineup. Surprisingly though, I really did not see any sort of pre-debut buzz for the latest Marc Guggenheim joint, HALCYON, a new take on the superhero comic by a man who has written some pretty darn good ones. Well, crank up the hype machine at least one modest notch (I have no preconceptions that I have anything more than a modicum of “book pimping mojo”), because I think we have something really cool on our hands here. Well, I liked it at least…
If I were to be extra analytical, because that’s exciting, I would say my enjoyment of this book is threefold. First and foremost, I’m a sucker for the proverbial “high concept.” HALCYON’s is a world where the superheroes have “won.” Well, they are about to win, as we find out throughout the book and the world’s greatest analogs (admittedly a semi-drawback to this kind of work, but you learn to deal) that the crime they are fighting is reducing in numbers. Slowly at first, but now drastically, the world HALCYON polices is seeing aggression dropping across the worldwide playing field, a blessing for sure, but one with a troubling uncertainty surrounding it. It also has a lot of interesting mechanics at play if you read the book for yourself and take in all the details and characters and so on.
Anyway, the real reason I think I dug on this as much as I did was because it was adult superheroes being superheroic. While not as brutal (yet) or as “rock star” about their jobs as the group I’m about to name drop, the way these characters handled business felt very AUTHORITY to me. The first sequence see of this book we see Halcyon’s resident super soldier getting down and dirty in the desert trying to put a fist sized hole in Al Qaeda by putting one in Bin Laden himself. We see the resident gadget-adorned scourge of the night quickly and efficiently beating down some thugs with no brooding or fanfare. There’s some speedster action and Superman-like giant robot bashing (except in this book Superman has tits) and so on. No nonsense, no “I’m back from the dead now and don’t fit in” or whatever BS mainstream superhero drama; evil needs its ass kicked and these peeps kick it. It’s honestly kind of refreshing and I hope the majority trend for the book, no matter how complex the overlaying plot I mentioned above may get.
And the last thing that I really latched onto and convinced me to pre-order: It dun look purty. I goddamn loved Ryan Bodenheim’s work on RED MASS FOR MARS and thought he was destined to become the next big name on, I dunno, the third THOR book as he broke into the Big Two. Thankfully he’s here and his extra detailed, very tight lines are in all their glory. It really is some great superhero art: very kinetic, very “impactful” with its, well, impact when the fists fly and the property damage adds up and so on. And I appreciate a man who makes the most with what he has, as Bode is a conservationist with the space, putting just enough detail into the background to set the stage and framing the action and talking bits, but not going so overblown with cramming so much into the page that I can start to assume this book will be showing up a month late religiously. It’s just how I like my superhero art, just like HALCYON is how I like my superhero comics: fresh, energetic, with a smacking of familiarity.
Now, of course, all this gushing could be for naught and the river of promise I think HALCYON has may reduce itself to a trickle – that goes for any new title obviously - but for now I think this is something that should get some eyes on it. I like the characters, analogs though they mostly be so far, and I like how Guggenheim is presenting them and, of course, love the hitch of the book. It reads real well, looks to have a future rife with new takes on well-tread tropes to be played with, and it looks bloody gorgeous. Buy it. It’s a good comic and I want it to be around for a while. And I promise if you do I won’t sneak by your place and Michael Vick your pets. Deal? Deal… Cheers…
Humphrey Lee has been an avid comic book reader going on fifteen years now and a contributor to Ain't It Cool comics for quite a few as well. In fact, reading comics is about all he does in his free time and where all the money from his day job wages goes to - funding his comic book habit so he can talk about them to you, our loyal readers (lucky you). He's a bit of a social networking whore, so you can find him all over the Interwebs on sites like Twitter, The MySpaces, Facebookand a Blogger Account where he also mostly talks about comics with his free time because he hasn't the slightest semblance of a life. Sad but true, and he gladly encourages you to add, read, and comment as you will.

THANOS IMPERATIVE #6

Writer: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning Artist: Miguel Sepulveda Color Artist: Jay David Ramos Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo

Holy Crap! It’s over! That was…that was…
Sigh… It’s over. Rats…
If you missed this, you really missed it. I haven’t read much lately, but the Abnett/Lanning cosmic corner was always something to pull me back in, without fail. And this issue was certainly the capstone of years of hard work. I can’t say it affected me as much as Jean Grey’s death in the Blue Area of the moon (mostly because I’m not a teenager anymore) but I was definitely mouthing a wistful “damn…” under my breath as I turned the last page.
There have been so many crossover events (read: almost every one of them) that took us for a wonderful ride, but when the end came, we were all looking around going, “is that it?” Maybe because there weren’t a ton of superfluous one-shots or self-serving ancillary series (if I find out someone was specifically responsible for nixing any sort of FRONT LINE: THE THANOS IMPERATIVE, I will send that man, woman or child a gift card) so the action had to stay focused on the main series.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved REALM OF KINGS and most of its tie-ins, but there’s something to be said for the old-fashioned miniseries done right.
And boy, was this ever. Seeing Galactus in full kick-butt mode was nothing short of thrilling. Wondering how everyone would react to Thanos being…well, THANOS, was just plain old fun. Watching Nova get his full power set on and shredding his opposition was a hoot. And the swash-buckley heroism at the end… No gentle nuances here, though there was enough room to weave some interpersonal development and interaction.
***SPOILER ALERT***
Now I know no one stays dead, not even Bucky (though I still continue to pin my hopes on Dr. Druid beating the odds and remaining breath-challenged). So I’m relatively certain we will see one of my favorite characters of the last few years back to fighting form. That knowledge didn’t take away from the punch of the ending. I know Star-Lord and Nova died in the same noble fashion, but Nova is too good, too noble, too powerful, and too darn interesting to stay dead. His combination of impulsiveness in the middle of action, and his attention to protocol and respectfulness in his professional relationships – combined with the raw power he commands – makes him one of the best characters in this, or any, corner of the Marvel Universe.
*** END SPOILER ALERT***
Sepulveda is an interesting artist, able to bring the subtleties of human emotion on almost every face he draws, yet equally adept and cosmic-level craziness. No matter how big or small the scope, he seemed to nail it. I would love to see him come back for whatever Abnett and Lanning have in store for us next.
I know there is an EPILOGUE slated, and nothing I know of past that, but I sincerely hope this isn’t the last series from the part of the cosmos.
Rock-Me Amodeo is a daytime computer guy and nighttime all kinds of things. He’s also probably the only guy ever to write a book and a movie still hoping he might someday break into comics.

EMITOWN OGN

Author: Emi Lenox Publisher: Image Comics Reviewed by Johnny Destructo

I haven't met Emi, but I imagine, much like most of the people who sit down to enjoy her autobiographical comic EMITOWN, I would LIKE to. As a part-time cartoonist myself, I have developed lots of art-crushes on lots of artists, I'm not ashamed to say. Chynna Clugston Flores (SCOOTER GIRL, BLUE MONDAY), Becky Cloonan (DEMO, EAST COATS RISING), Christine Norrie (HOPELESS SAVAGES, BREAKING UP), and Liz Prince (WOULD YOU STILL LOVE ME IF I WET THE BED) to name a few. And don't get me wrong, these are ART-crushes. I really enjoy their art and looking at their stuff makes me want to work harder at what I do. The fact that they are all hopelessly adorable females in real life has nothing to at all to do with it. Ok, maybe a lil’ bit. As a cartoonist, how does a guy read their stuff and NOT think "how cool would it be if I was dating a really talented cartoonist and we had matching drafting tables and occasionally she would include me in her work?" Which brings us to Emi and her self-named town. Even Jamie S. Rich, who wrote the intro for her book, hangs out with her and can't help wondering if he'll make the cut for her autobiographical cartoon-musings.
From the music references, to admitting to being self conscious about drawing in front of people, to being deathly afraid of bears...I relate to it ALL! Well, maybe not to buying dresses for weddings. Or her love of boxing and UFC...but to dive through this girl's diary and see her conflicted about what pens to ink with (choose the brush pen, Emi! Brush pens rule!), spinning around in her cubicle while pretending to shoot lasers from her fingers, or to see her working out matters of the heart, it's all endearing and easy to relate to.
It's very easy on the eyes, all done in black ink with blue shading, and the layout is different then what I'm used to as well, which is nice. Each entry is a page with panels and thoughts just splayed out almost willy-nilly. It's spotted with different notes about her day, reminders to herself and anything else she damn well felt like writing and drawing. Even when she doesn't feel like writing and drawing, she writes and draws about THAT. There are also just the occasional illustrations of random stuff, where you can tell she's really flexing her cartooning skills and drawing people in more realistic ways. (There's a particular one, of Batgirl pulling off her mask, that I Photoshopped into being my desktop wallpaper.)
Some people don't really appreciate autobiographical comic strips, but every so often, I kinda fall in love with one and it inspires me to head over to my drafting table and get some drawing done. Right now, THIS is that comic. All in all, this is a GREAT series to check out if you have any interest in autobiocomics, or charmingly self-conscious female cartoonists!
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.

NEW AVENGERS #6

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

Well, that was fast.
Okay, every review of this and the other AVENGERS books I've done, I've brought up the same point regarding Bendis’ strengths and weaknesses, especially regarding big moments like the one in this opening story. But, to Bendis' credit, this one is a bit different. Whether it was good or not is open for debate, but at the very least, you leave this issue of NEW AVENGERS, feeling you've read something new, rather than the vaguely familiar.
Writing: (3/5) The issue plays out decently for the most part and even strays from Bendis’ usual routine. His writing here is good, if unremarkable in the dialogue department. Nothing stands out, but there's nothing remarkably bad. During the course of the comic, Bendis makes another established hero into a villain (Daniel, please don't end up like Roy Harper), and that's annoying as all hell. On the other hand, seeing someone Bendis took a real liking too die very quickly is a bit entertaining and new. For every Luke Cage, we have two Hoods. It's nice to know he does have the ability to move past his favorites. While the issue has some very nice moments (Wolverine, anyone?), there are some bits that just grate on me, such as Daniel turning that soon.
Art: (5/5) Immonen, being Immonen, is just utterly, utterly awesome. There's not much else to say. What do you want from me? Wolverine's magic duel which cites all of the terrible things that have happened to Logan, the design of the first few pages with the Avengers slowly teaming their powers up together, Doctor Voodoo's final blow (even if the scene itself isn't that good) are just spectacular looking. God damn. Such a fantastic looking issue. There's not any subpar moment in the book artistically.
Best Moment: Wolverine as the magical avatar is such a cool looking moment.
Worst Moment: I liked Daniel Drumm. Fuck.
Overall: (4/5) Bendis goes about this issue a bit differently than usual, which is appreciated. And while it all doesn't work, Immonen makes up for it.

VICTORIAN UNDEAD: SHERLOCK HOLMES VS. ZOMBIES TPB VICTORIAN UNDEAD: SHERLOCK HOLMES VS. DRACULA #1

Writer: Ian Edington Artist: Davide Fabbri Publisher: DC Wildstorm Reviewer: Optimous Douche

Zombies…zombies…zombies…you can’t eviscerate a screaming lady these days without one of these shufflers groaning over you for some tasty entrails treats. WALKING DEAD does it well, but let’s be honest: WALKING DEAD is a character exploration of life after the apocalypse more than a “slap hero x inside the husk of a zombie” like we’ve been getting say from a company whose name rhymes with Schmarvel. Thankfully someone at DC took note of this trend, because VICTORIAN UNDEAD is a character exploration first and a story of the undead second. Now, of course the character is one of the most famous names in fiction, Sherlock Holmes, but under Edington’s hand the melding of these two genres (the detective story and the monsters that make us go eek in the night) comes together as naturally in these volumes as comic villains and monologuing.
I’ll admit my knowledge of Sherlock Holmes is like most modern Americans: a few forced reads in high school of Doyle’s original work sprinkled in with some late night TV viewing of the Basil Rathbone classic movies. While I always loved the fact Holmes was a true detective and could ferret out the most learned conclusions from the smallest of details, these past works were laborious to traverse, for me at least. I pretty much hate anything and everything written prior to the 20th century. This shit was all well and good for a time period when people had three choices for entertainment--read, procreate or churn butter--but in today’s world traversing volumes of explanatory text is a bigger turn-off than midget porn – and to offer context, midgets fucking terrify me. The old movies are laughable in this day and age. Again, great for the time period when any movie technology was viewed with magical wonder by our simian forefathers, but most of the conveyances used in that time from music to shot setting have become trite in today’s Technicolor world. Despite these grievances, though, as a man who simply loves good stories I can’t deny the pull a well crafted Sherlock Holmes tale has over me. As we sit in a collective detective drought while Batman has been traversing the time stream, VICTORIAN UNDEAD reignites the kindling of deduction and wits over sheer brute force…and yeah, there are a fuckload of zombies to boot.
What I loved most about this series is that Edington didn’t sacrifice any of Doyle’s original flourish, but this being the comic medium with the need to keep everything in tidy word balloons saved me from having to traverse too much flourish to convey a scene. I love having my vocabulary challenged without making a book too much work to get through and Edington struck just the perfect balance. Yes, I had to hit the ol’ Intertubes a few times to look things up, but even if I didn’t go through that anal exercise the story still made perfect sense.
The true spirit of this book lies in the story, though. This is not your traditional Zombie tale. There’s a reason for these undead beings that plague late 19th century London and with all things Sherlock, the rationale for the undead’s existence is grounded in true science fiction. Not science fact, science fiction. Think the difference between “Star Wars” and “Star Trek”: the former doesn’t try to explain jack shit, things merely are, where with Roddenberry’s brain child he uses everything we know about science today and extrapolates the future on those grounded principles. Likewise with this version of Sherlock Holmes, the book opens with a meteor strafing London forty years prior to the true start of the tale. As the name implies the meteor starts rising the cockney dead faster than a Tim Burton film. Of course we don’t learn the exact cause for this uprising until almost the end of the book, but once this meteor’s effects are explained I definitely got a sense of “OK, that’s plausible…ish.” If you want a clue before reading the book, look into why we paid so much attention the meteor that was found in the Arctic tundra a few years back.
Edington also gets huge props in my book for pitting Holmes against (spoiler alert) his arch nemesis Moriarty, but it’s a Moriarty we have never seen before. We’ve always known Moriarty is pure evil, but Edington delivers a creep factor with this zombie back-drop that Doyle could have never imagined.
Even though I could truly care less about zombies, Holmes and Watson’s sleuthing…Edington’s brisk dialogue and Fabbri’s honorarium to the classic iconography of Holmes (while never aping ) artwork kept me turning every page waiting with baited breath for the conclusion.
But wait…this story doesn’t end once the zombies are eradicated. Oh and not to spoil things, but the eradication of the zombies is one of the ballsiest moves I have ever seen in comics.
Just when I thought VICTORIAN UNDEAD would die with WildStorm, a continuation of Holmes hit the shelves last week with VICTORIAN UNDEAD: SHERLOCK HOLMES VS. DRACULA. Considering I read this a few short days after finishing SHERLOCK VS. ZOMBIES, I was tickled pink to see the events of the first book directly referenced in the opening pages of the new title. Again, with how Holmes eradicates the zombies in the first tale, those events create a very different London than what we are used to and by Edington continuing with that idea it takes Holmes in a fresh direction yet unseen in any medium. So how does this new book hold up to the first? Tough to say since one was the complete story and this one is just getting its sea legs. All of the elements I enjoyed from the first are in place, though, and actually this issue gave me insight into a stylistic choice that I was ready to lambast in the first series. Fabbri continually kept placing certain panels in what I affectionately dub “the Liefeld void.” It’s that inexplicable phenomenon of when a perfectly good conversation forces the entire background to leave the scene. I think Liefeld does it out of laziness and I was ready to shackle Fabbri with the same tag, but then I looked at what Fabbri created in every other panel and I saw a stark difference to Liefeld. Even when Liefeld did draw a background it was usually a thatch work of suckitude. Fabbri can draw backgrounds quite well, though, and does so for 98% of the title. So why these voided panels then? Well…it’s elementary my dear reader. It’s an artistic form of punctuation. In each of these panels the characters speaking are driving the plot forward. Sometimes the smallest details are the easiest to be overlooked when a panel is shrouded in artistic eye candy. So Mr. Fabbri, my apologies for at first thinking the worst.
Even if you are lukewarm to both Sherlock Holmes and zombies (or Dracula for that matter), but enjoy a good detective story that hasn’t been whored out to Hollywood to sell other movies (oh ya I’m looking at you Downey and Law), you need to give these books a whirl. And don’t make the same mistake I did in thinking these will be similar to the Jane Austen undead novels floating around; these stories of Holmes are reverent while still being wholly fresh, fun and original.
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.

Advence Review: In stores later this month!

THE DEATHSPORT GAMES #1

Writer: Mark L. Miller Art: Roy H. Stewart Publisher: Bluewater Comics Reviewer: Mr. Pasty

Hello, this is Killian. Give me the Justice Department, Entertainment Division.
I loved THE RUNNING MAN. Yeah, it was a little hokey with Dynamo, Buzz-Saw and Sub-Zero, but Fireball was a bad motherfucker. And the story, about what human beings were capable of in total survival mode, was one I found to be very compelling (after stripping away the layers of machismo -- and Maria Conchita Alonso’s bad acting). Apparently I wasn’t the only one, as Bluewater has unveiled THE DEATHSPORT GAMES, featuring three college kids who done messed up real good and landed in the hands of the Chinese government. As expected, U.S. officials have demanded their release, and will get it, just as soon as the unlucky three participate in THE DEATHSPORT GAMES. Winners go home. Losers join the stray dogs on the menu at a local eatery. What are THE DEATHSPORT GAMES? A series of physical and mental challenges for “Contestants” that must be overcome and completed while maniacal “Sportsmen” try to stop them. Think GYMKATA with lots of fried rice.
Of course no gladiator-style game would be complete without an arena full of howling fans and several billion bloodthirsty viewers watching from home. The big question I had going into GAMES was whether or not the contestants were really as innocent as they claimed. Were they criminals? Or wrongly accused and simply abducted for better ratings? By not establishing a motive or a clearly defined set-up, writer Mark L. Miller has added an additional layer of intrigue to his story. Should I be cheering for them in their quest for freedom? Should I be rooting against them so they can get what they deserve? I also like that Miller provides his characters a few moments of self-doubt and awareness. Because we start right at the beginning of the GAMES, it’s a quick but effective way to open them up to the reader without killing the story’s pacing. Little news snippets fill in the gaps as they would for a home viewer and Miller spares us the lame duck flashbacks and heroic monologues. These guys are in the shits. They know it, we know it, and now it’s time to find out who makes it through the series in one piece.
Stories like that appeal to me just as THE RUNNING MAN did and just as AMERICAN GLADIATORS did two years after that, although people tend to be a bit braver when they know the worst that can happen is a tennis ball to the nads. Then came BATTLEDOME. It was AMERICAN GLADIATORS for the “Attitude Era” and a show I actually qualified for. Unfortunately the high-paying job that was offered to me before my acceptance was not interested in having me take off for a month to get my @$$ kicked for fifty grand and a new Corvette. So I took the job, got fired a year later and spent the next twelve months wondering “What if?” My point is that GAMES was able to re-ignite those competitive fires simply by creating a page-turning pressure cooker that appeals to the inner competitor in all of us. Put most guys in a room full of other guys and they’ll do that mental survey: “Okay, let’s see, I could kick his ass, his ass, not him holy shit he has huge arms, okay his ass, his ass…” It’s the same reason why we shadow box after watching ROCKY or kick our way through a sheet of balsa wood after a Jet Li movie. Ever wonder how well you’d perform if your life depended on it?
THE DEATHSPORT GAMES was easy to digest, but not without its problems. Unfortunately the ugliness of the art just follows you through the story like that cloud of dirt that follows Pig-Pen. I kind of get the gist of where Stewart was going with his pencils, but so many panels feel rushed and hurried into place. Some of the angles are a bit jarring and I wasn’t sure what was supposed to be style and what was just left incomplete. THE DEATHSPORT GAMES tells a good story with likeable characters but needs to make improvements in its visual appeal. Death is not pretty, and neither is DEATHSPORT, but I still recommend it based on the strength of its premise and entertaining delivery. Check it out and see for yourself.
Web heads who can’t get enough of Mr. Pasty’s word vomit are encouraged to watch him operate as Nostradumbass over at MMaMania.com here. Love, hate and Mafia Wars requests should be directed here.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #647-648

Writer: Fred Van Lente, Zeb Wells, Marc Guggenheim, Joe Kelly, Mark Waid, Bob Gale, Dan Slott (#647), Dan Slott (#648) Art: Max Fiumara, Michael Del Mundo, Graham Nolan, Paul Azaceta, Karl Kesel, J.M. Ken Niimura, Adam Archer (#647), Humberto Ramos (#648) Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Henry Higgins is My Homeboy

New Quo.
Finally done with “Brand New Day”, the Spider-Man team sets up the series new direction in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #647 which centers on setting up the new status quo, while issue #648 centers on catching up with the rest of the story. Neither issue is notably good or bad, but they do lack some of the new story energy you'd expect, which is never a good sign.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #647: A sort of epilogue to “Brand New Day”, issue #647 settles a few issues from the last few stories. And while it doesn't do everything brilliantly, it does most things well enough.
Writing: (3/5) Writing-wise, the issue moves decently enough with some segments (notably the costume scene that opens the issue up) are vastly underwhelming. But there are some parts of the book I'm a huge fan of. Having Vincent back is a little annoying, but he does bring two cool elements to the table: firstly, the Goblin Clan. Now, normally I'd hate the idea of a Green Goblin cult/gang, if I didn't choose to see it as Marvel moving a bit closer to SPIDER-GIRL. Hey, I can dream if I want. It also gives us a scene that reminds us yes, Harry used to be a super villain. Maybe don't mess with him. The other big changer from this issue is Carlie Cooper moving from interest to actual girlfriend. Now, I have mixed feelings on this. I don't hate Carlie with the same intensity most of the fan community does. Yes, I'd gladly trade her for Mary Jane and yes, I'm anxious to see MJ back in the comic. But in the interim, I know Peter needs a girl. And Carlie presents a lot more potential stories than other characters might. Having Peter date a cop might make for some interesting storylines at least. Though it could still turn out to be a shit decision, we'll have to wait and see. Apart from that, the issue is mostly mundane. The dialog is decent, but nothing memorable. It's a very average issue.
Art: (3/5) Max Fiumara provides a good issue. The issue is very uneventful, with one action sequence, but he does a good job with it. For the finale of “Brand New Day” I'd like to see more on the action side of things. The issue takes a definite upswing, however, with the beginning of Harry’s Halloween farewell party. The costumes and little bits are inspired--the best being Flash and by far, Harry. It's an incredibly clever sight gag, and Harry and his child’s Dok Ock costume are utterly fantastic ideas. On the other hand, Carlie is out of proportion during the party, and it can be incredibly distracting.
Best Moment: Harry’s costume.
Worst Moment: Carlie's proportions.
Overall: 3/5
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #648: The start to a new direction, this issue is very very VERY hit and miss. It will appeal to very specific fans. I may not be the writing’s biggest fan, but I love the art.
Writing: (2/5) I really wanted to like this issue. I really did. This issue strives to set up the series’ new direction, and even though it's an expanded issue, it's still trying to do too much too fast--the new Sinister Six, the Venom symbiote, Peter's new job, Hobgoblin, Kingpin. Everything is done incredibly fast and then pushed aside. It would have been nice for some expansion on at least some of it. While they're all interesting ideas, there's so little to them. The writers don’t seem to commit to one idea. Along with that, much of the interpersonal events are regulated to the background or maybe even just a few mentions (bye, Michelle). The issue does have some great small moments, such as Peter being very good at last minute plans against Doctor Octopus. And his science interview and job are fantastic. Always nice to see his Spidey knowledge put to good use.
Art: (4/5) Ramos is one of those artists where you either adore his style or really don’t. I fall into the former category. It's stylistic, it's full of life (which is vital when it comes to Spider-Man), and it's bright. I love art you can immediately recognize, and this is some of the best. Spider-Man in motion here seems to be the most fluid he ever has been. The New Avengers all move with such speed and action. It's just fantastic. And the designs on characters such as Hobgoblin are amazing. Ramos does draw up weird faces sometimes, especially during Peter's interview. And some of the poses throughout involving his body are a bit off and draw the eye in a bad way.
Best Moment: Hobgoblin!
Worst Moment: Some of Peter’s jokes are horrid.
Overall: 3/5

LUCID #2

Writer: Michael McMillian Artist: Anna Wiezczyk Publisher: Archaia/Black Label Reviewer: Lyzard

I covered the first issue of LUCID for another outlet, finding it too fast-paced and difficult to follow. I was hoping the nature of the first book was merely to catch the notice of our attention deficit disorder generation and that the rest of the series would settle down and focus more on character after setting up the world. This, sadly, is not the case. LUCID #2 continues at break-neck speed, constantly introducing new elements to the world that the reader has to keep up with, and losing character intrigue to narrative.
LUCID #2 picks up, well, I’m not really sure. It isn’t an immediate follow up to the first issue, but the book doesn’t make it clear as to exactly how much time has passed between LUCID #1 and #2. While the first book dealt with a dimensional rift and the creatures that poured out because of this (hmm, where have I heard that before), LUCID #2 tells another unoriginal tale: stopping the assassination of our country’s President. It is up to our hero, Agent Matthew Dee, to make sure no magical being lays a hand on President Monday.
The artwork by Anna Wieszcyzk didn’t seem consistent to me. The rough hard lines of some panels were changed to smoother, less sharp, jagged lines in others. I felt this most in the characters’ faces, which seemed to be the most inconsistent for me. The drawings are rarely smooth though, which gives the book a refreshing feel to it.
I think the fault in the work comes from the dialogue, or writing in general. I did not know when I read the first issue of LUCID that the writer and creator was Michael McMillian, the actor probably best known as Reverend Steve Newlin from “True Blood”. Now I’m not going to say actors cannot write. Dan Futterman wrote the extraordinary screenplay to “Capote” and I’m sure there are other actors out there too that have made the jump from the limelight to the light of a Luxo lamp. The problem with the writing is that there is just too much information coming across. Unlike some comics, there is no prologue catching the reader up on what occurred in the previous book. Yet there are also few, if any, allusions in this book to what happened prior. Previous characters such as Agent Gygax have been completely ignored and new characters introduced without context. I’m not saying that all of these mistakes are because McMillian is an actor; I would never be so essentialist. But it is clear that he is a new writer, full of brilliant ideas but not strong in executing them.
I’m not at all interested in following up on this comic because I’m not connected to these characters. There has been little chance or time to get to know them. What makes a great story isn’t just creating a whole new world, but characters grounded in reality. Think how relatable “Star Wars” is despite the fact that none of us will ever fly the Millennium Falcon. I feel that LUCID does not have this empathy or feeling of knowing how the characters think or feel.
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?).

BIRDS OF PREY #6

Writer: Gail Simone Artist: Alvin Lee and Adriana Melo Inker: Jack Purcell and JP Mayer Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Rock-Me Amodeo

It’s always a privilege to review a Simone book. They’re never dull, and with the BIRDS, that’s doubly true. It’s rare that I’m jarred out of one of her stories to an extent where I have to go, “Uhn… no. Not buying it.” And I DID really enjoy the story! But I couldn’t always stay inside it.
This was ostensibly the second part of a two-parter, but really, it’s the last chapter of a six part story, the saga of the Silk Sister. After killing her brothers (the deadly Silk brothers, from one of the best laid-out arcs EVER, in the first BIRDS OF PREY run, also written by Simone) the Silk Sister has come to wreak her unholy vengeance on Black Canary. In the process, with much of this happening off-camera, so to speak, Canary has come to Thailand and become a “White Canary”, in her own fashion, and…
Ah, craps. I was trying to warm up to this, but I should just get down to it. I really liked it, but it felt rushed. The whole arc. And while I understand that the best place to start a story is as close to the end as possible, one STILL has to take one’s time getting there. I’m used to the well-textured Simone plots that deliver along each step of the way, then REALLY deliver at the end. And this… it’s like unleavened bread. The parts were mostly there, they just didn’t have time to set properly.
Let’s start with Dinah’s conversations with the “students.” She calls them by first names. They call her “mistress.” The tone feels like they’ve been working together for months, or at least weeks. And Dinah’s initial tone with the Birds, at the end of the last issue, was extremely formal. But the fact is, Dinah probably hadn’t put boots on the ground more than a day before the rescue attempt. If Dinah had been gone a month or two, the tone would have been perfect. Perfect! But all this and Dinah’s utter despair, in 24 hours? Uhn… no.
Along those same lines, Huntress’ frequent observations on Dinah’s state of mind, how Dinah is normally the heart of the Birds: “I think we may have lost that Dinah.” Given how fast everything has happened, it come across more melodramatic than dramatic.
Also, the Deus Ex Student that comes to the Birds’ rescue and lets Dinah find Sin? I’m sure she had her reasons, but even though it was foreshadowed in the cab ride over, it seemed awfully arbitrary and convenient. Why did she do it? We don’t really have time to find out.
Same with Shiva: one minute, she’s in a fight to the death. Next minute, she’s wiping blood out of her eyes and praising Huntress and giving her a cool nickname. Yes, I know Shiva wasn’t happy about a fight she didn’t want. I’m not saying the respect wasn’t earned. And the fight was well done. But it felt like someone said, “Oh, wouldn’t it a cool moment if Huntress earned Shiva’s grudging respect after being pummeled?” And there it was. Plop. Great moment, but undersold.
And so on: “Wouldn’t it be a cool moment if Dinah seemed absolutely defeated by the time Zinda and Huntress show up?” Plop. There it was. I mean, it would be nice if we could have seen Dinah trying to figure out a way to find Sin, call in one of her MANY super-powered friends to do so, etc. But despair was what the plot required; we don’t have time to show it, so let’s just get Huntress to say it. And say it. Maybe we’ll forget Dinah’s only had TWO DAYS to sink to the depths of whatever.
I felt like I was being told what I should be feeling, and I think that was because we just didn’t have time to be shown these things. And at those times, it seemed like the story was being sold to me…not told to me. It was a good story. But some of the moments seemed forced.
I’ll let go of little inconsistencies like Zinda being stabbed almost through the heart, but no mark of it on her ample and frequently displayed cleavage. Or the fact that we hear about Hank’s remarkable new recuperative powers, but 48 hours later, he’s still in a hospital bed, while chest-stabbed Zinda is duking it out in the streets of Bangkok.
As far as art goes, well, it’s a far cry from the visual feast of the first four issues, but not bad. A few times the women seemed interchangeable except for hair color or costume, but not bad to look at.
Let’s be clear: BIRDS OF PREY and SECRET SIX will be at the top of my pull list as long as Simone is writing them. It’s probably unfair to Gail that my standard for her is set higher than others. But I hope, now that the initial arc is over, this title can settle back into the funky, brilliant, exciting and well-paced groove that I have come to appreciate.

ANT-MAN & THE WASP #1

Writer: Tim Seeley Art: Tim Seeley Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: KletusCasady

When I first saw that this book was coming out I scoffed--that’s right, scoffed--at its existence. I couldn’t think of two people that I’d rather see less in a comic book. Not to mention when I originally saw it, I thought it was a MARVEL ADVENTURES book. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, just not my cup of tea (although the Spider-Man one is pretty entertaining…a lot better than AMAZING has been lately). Then I saw the preview page and my interest was piqued...not sold…but piqued. After flipping though this issue when it came in, I was immediately thrilled with what I found. A book that not only absorbs the current state of the Marvel Universe and makes you want more of each character but has multiple laugh out loud moments…not to mention the art is great too.
Basically, the story in this book is that one of these guys fucks up by trying to prove his worth, involves the other guy in the fuck up…thus causing the team up of Marvel’s premier fuck ups to fix the original fuck up…got that? I know what you’re saying, “Who gives a fuck about Ant-Man & Wasp?!?” and I understand this thought but bear with me here. First of all this book is written by Tim “HACK/SLASH” Seeley, and if you haven’t read HACK/SLASH, you should definitely take a look at. It’s a fun wholesome coming of age tale of a girl who kills serial killers for a living…’nuff said.
If you can’t tell from the ANT-MAN & WASP title, this a team up book. Akin to those great buddy cop movies of the 80s like LETHAL WEAPON, 48 HOURS, or TANGO & CASH (my personal fave), where the two partners hate each other, have polar opposite personalities, but are both good at what they do, so they end up kicking ass and killing everyone by the end of the movie leaving only charred bodies and bullets to tell the story or what happened all whilst making great quips at each other’s expense. Fun is what I’m describing and this book is chock full of it. It was a pleasant surprise to me that someone like Seeley who hasn’t really done too much with Marvel in the past could come in and write a book that sits very comfortably in the current
Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 17, 2010, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Have a go at Smallville all you like but...

    by Drsambeckett1984

    It has been on for ten years and obviously has a large fanbase, and for the record, Smallville has the best incarnation of Lex Luthor ever! <P> So have a go at Smallville because its easy. And try to remember that a lot of us do like it!

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 8:39 a.m. CST

    I guess one reason I harp on Henry Higgins...

    by maxwell's hammer

    ...is that I'm really digging 'New Avengers', and I'd really love to see one of the high-end @$$holes review it so I get some more nuanced thoughts on what they think.<BR> <BR> Instead, week after week, I'm stuck with Henry Higgins' 7th grade book report. My hate isn't personal, you understand, but its like being promised a weekend at Disney Land and being taken for an hour of Putt Putt instead.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 8:53 a.m. CST

    I'll be adding Ant Man to this week's pull

    by Squashua

    I get my books every 2 weeks now, and I expect few books.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 8:56 a.m. CST

    "It's Superman!"

    by Philaspenser

    I enjoyed the "It's Superman!" novel, too. Here's a review of the book that I posted on Amazon back in 2008: As someone who has enjoyed the various incarnations of the Superman legend on TV and in the movies over the years (as well as dipping into the comic books now and then), I liked Tom's De Haven's fresh-by-being-retro take on the character in his novel, "It's Superman!" Superman, after all, was originally created in the 1930's and dozens of his initial comic book and newspaper strip adventures took place at that time, so why not do a contemporary novel set during the time of the Man of Steel's initial introduction to the world, the time when our grandparents and their contemporaries were first dazzled by the character? Just be prepared for a more methodical and literary approach than you might expect, with pacing and excitement taking a definite back seat to mood, introspection, and characterization. Am I saying "It's Superman!" is dull? Not at all. After all, it eventually has Lex Luthor building an army of robots to take over the world (a development that Mr. De Haven skillfully fits alongside the novel's many realistic elements and makes work). Just don't expect a lightning pace and endless wham-bang action, and you'll have no problem enjoying this fine book. Mr. De Haven should consider making "It's Superman!" the first installment of a possible trilogy. The way he skillfully and effectively uses many literary techniques (like introspective internal dialogues), as well as the way he's good at placing those elements comfortably alongside fantastic sci-fi style developments, makes it a good bet that he could tell quite a unique Krypton-oriented story, as the author's gritty, down-to-earth, and often moody Clark Kent discovers the true nature of his other-worldly origins. Talk about the realistic meeting the fantastic! But, for now at least, we have this moving and stirring book.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 9:26 a.m. CST

    T.H.U.N.D.E.R

    by BlaGyver

    was the best issue I picked up last week, enough to get me hooked (and I'm a starving college student. Don't buy single issues much anymore). Also, no mention of the release of the first issue of Kick Ass 2? Thought it was a damn good read. Felt like a natural progression from the last series.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Smallville

    by Joenathan

    is like the Birds of Prey show or Dark Angel... it just shocks me whenever I run into someone who is a "fan". I mean, I don't hate the show... it's just not good and I can't imagine going out of my way to see it. Different strokes, I guess...

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Spiderman $12???

    by NoThru22

    Spider-man was $9 a month and now it's $8 a month but you get one less issue. Way to go with math, Kletus!

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by Drsambeckett1984

    Smallville has been on TV for a decade, it obviously has lots of "Fans".

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Smallville is on the CW

    by hst666

    It is the highest rated show among shows that get no ratings. Maybe the show has improved a lot, but I just couldn't take the constant character resets, the super drawn out adolescence, and the kryptonite villain of the week and dropped out during the 4th season. I did watch the Legion episode - that was OK.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 11:19 a.m. CST

    The DeHaven book's superb.

    by jasper Stillwell

    Film that dammit.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Luthor's robots don't take over the world...

    by superhero

    He imagines them doing it but it doesn't happen. His idiot henchman messes up and screws up the plan. Enter Superman. Oh, and Smallville is terrible. Been trying to watch this last season and...woof! It's tiresome. Even that JSA episode gave me flashes of Adam West's Batman...which I loved but I don't think that's what they were going for with that cheesy JSA ep. Sorry! Different Strokes indeed.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 11:22 a.m. CST

    I agree...IT'S SUPERMAN would be an awesome movie.

    by superhero

    Never happen though...too bad.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Junkyard Angels

    by pkeiselt

    Thanks to Optimus Douche for giving us a a look. I just wanted to let folks know that the site is down for a few days. But we have a twitter and facebook page. You can follow us: junkyardangels comic at either place. Thanks again!

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Yes, sambeckett

    by Joenathan

    obviously it does have a lot of "fans" and obviously you are one of them... Of course... Creed has lots of fans too... so does Avatar... I guess there's no accounting for mass approval. <br><br>Now, I've tried to like the show. Smallville continuously tricks me into thinking they're going to do something of quality... the justice league... green arrow... the justice society... but every time, I tune in and... crap. Terrible sets. Terrible, terrible costumes. Terrible designs. Terrible writing. Terrible acting. Its the best show on TV for being mediocre.<br><br>The recent Green Lantern trailer had me wondering why DC seems to struggle so much (generally) despite having so many TV/movie oppurtunities... Icons aside, I think it all comes back to the fact that DC characters are primarily concerned with the mask, while MArvel characters are more concerned with the person behind the mask (generally). DC's characters are all larger than life, but they generally seem to lack a human touchstone that grounds them in a relatable way, and I think that flaw (or style, however you want to refer to it) really comes through outside of the comic books which have so much history to rely on (use as a cruch) for fans to use to fill in character gaps while reading. Street clothes. You see Marvel characters more often in their street clothes... Green Lantern has no pockets! And yet, there he is... hanging around the hall of justice... in a spandex bodysuit... weirding people out... but I digress.<br><br>Anyway, smallvile? Thumbs down.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 11:46 a.m. CST

    crutch*

    by Joenathan

    old ass talk back...

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Hitler had great ratings too for a time

    by optimous_douche

    Watched or followed by masses is not the zenith of quality.<P> Smallville has its place, but the comics hsould never try to replicate that experience.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 11:54 a.m. CST

    @Humph

    by optimous_douche

    You sold one copy Brother, I just picked up Halcyon at the LCS 5 minutes ago.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 12:11 p.m. CST

    following Hitler

    by Arkhangelsk

    wonder what those tweets would be like.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 12:16 p.m. CST

    I was a BoP fan like Walking Dead

    by Homer Sexual

    Yes, Joe, i am kinda embarrassed to say I watched Birds of Prey religiously. I mostly watched becuase i wanted to like it so much, for what i wanted to see more than for what I saw... <p> After three episodes, i feel the same way about Walking Dead. With the exception og Glenn, I cant get into it or care about anyone, but I keep waiting to see the cool stuff from the comics. <p> Just saw Green Lantern trailer, and it owas suprisingly good. Reynolds may have found the right chracter, and everything looks terrific. But I agree with Joe that Marvel does comics better, but DC is better. With TV and film projects.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 12:25 p.m. CST

    GL trailer was awful

    by gooseud

    Now, if he was playing Kyle Rayner, it would be an upgrade to merely mediocre....however, seeing as they are supposed to be having HAL FRIGGIN JORDAN be like "I know RIGHT?!?!?!" upon getting his powers.....weaksauce. Its like they took what Hal Jordan has always been throughout his existence, and did the complete polar opposite.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Halcyon

    by xsi kal

    Only made it through the first two sentences of that review. Did anybody bother to read it before it was posted? That first sentence makes absolutely no sense, (and is not really even a sentence). I'd suggest a quick retcon to that review. ;)

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 12:29 p.m. CST

    I'm also concerned about TWD TV show

    by gooseud

    I am concerned that I am pulling an Austin Powers II on that show: remember how everyone found Austin Powers on DVD and was soooo pumped to see part 2 in theaters? Uproarious laughter opening night, etc? Until.....a few years later, everyone collectively revisits the movie and realizes it was awful, and they just WANTED to like it so badly that they willed themselves into thinking it was good? I worry I'm doing that with TWD, seeing what I WANT to be there instead of what IS there. Personally, I think it might be just that I hate anything to do with Rooker in the show, and find he and his brother unbearably cheesy and awful. They are clearly positioning him as the future Governor, so thats an issue. We shall see how it transpires, I suppose

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Walking Dead fame...

    by JBouganim1

    Now that Walking Dead is very successful, will it be removed from the Cheap Shots section? I never understood why it was always buried under the shit above. As for Homer, come on man...the show is great compared to a lot of stuff on tv. Its very entertaining.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Halcyon, Thunder Agents, Thanos Imperative

    by gooseud

    All awesome. I also got an Authority vibe from Halcyon, but thats not a bad thing. Thanos Imperative wrapped up awesomely, and Thunder Agents was......intriguing. Not sure about that one yet, but they did more then enough to ensure my buying issue #2, and I knew absolutely squat about them before picking up the issue.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 12:31 p.m. CST

    I was a BoP fan like Walking Dead

    by Homer Sexual

    Yes, Joe, i am kinda embarrassed to say I watched Birds of Prey religiously. I mostly watched becuase i wanted to like it so much, for what i wanted to see more than for what I saw... <p> After three episodes, i feel the same way about Walking Dead. With the exception og Glenn, I cant get into it or care about anyone, but I keep waiting to see the cool stuff from the comics. <p> Just saw Green Lantern trailer, and it owas suprisingly good. Reynolds may have found the right chracter, and everything looks terrific. But I agree with Joe that Marvel does comics better, but DC is better. With TV and film projects.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Homer..

    by JBouganim1

    i fucking knew it man. i was too lazy to go all the way back. There is no Merle Dixon in the comics right? They better not position him as the governor. That would be ridiculous but come on..pretty fucking sweet but then there would go the whole daughter arc

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Thanos Imperative

    by Homer Sexual

    After being a huge fan of the previous cosmic minis, Imperative was underwhelimng. Yeah, Galactus and Thanos looked cool, but i wasnt moved by the story at all. So many characters i am fond of died, yet i dont care at all. Death has lost its impact in this story, which is iromic.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Thanos Imperative

    by Homer Sexual

    After being a huge fan of the previous cosmic minis, Imperative was underwhelimng. Yeah, Galactus and Thanos looked cool, but i wasnt moved by the story at all. So many characters i am fond of died, yet i dont care at all. Death has lost its impact in this story, which is iromic.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Seventeen posts to get to Godwin's law.

    by phifty2

    Not bad.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Jboug

    by gooseud

    Yep, no Merle Dixon. The first arc focuses almost exclusively on adventures in Atlanta of Rick trying to get home, and the resolution of the Shane Rick Lori triangle.

  • ...and I had a blast with it. I don't know if it has a wide audience appeal, especially with this cast of characters, but as a fan of the classic Avengers (especially from Roy Thomas to Steve Englehart) and on through the history of the team, it really hit the sweet spot for me. Having the team anchored by the Vision and Captain Marvel (the real versions of both) surrounded by one-arc Avengers worked far better than I could have expected, and led to some fun exchanges. (Yellow Jacket's summary of Dr. Druid: "You're a $%&#. You were always a $%&#. And now that you're dead, against all odds, you're an even bigger $%&#.") <p> Mostly though, I just love the underlying concept behind this book... these deceased heroes protecting the spirits of the afterlife from being cast into total oblivion and non-existence. Hell, I'm all for making this a permanent idea in the Marvel Universe. If death is going to be a revolving door anyway, let's set up an on-going continuity of the afterlife. Somebody kicks the bucket on Marvel's Earth? Great... the dead universe gets a new cast member. Hell, maybe characters would actually stay dead if their fans could still read about them, and some actual progression would happen in the living world. Just don't let them interact with, see, or contact the people still alive, and you've still got the tragedy of separation that death causes... only with a whole new world to explore, new relationships to forge, and new adventures to read. <p> Even better, when someone gets a particularly shitty death, there's someplace where that can actually be dealt with. These characters mostly resent they way they went out, and are haunted by their lives as well as their deaths. (Poor Vizh probably got the worst of it... murdered by the love of his life and promptly crated up and then replaced, with most of the people closest to him seemingly okay with it all because he was just a robot.) So many deaths in comics are undone because they were such poor ends to the character's story. Fans have a sense of unfinished business with a character, and so they get resurrected. Well, I say let them stay ghosts and try and deal with it until they're at peace. <p> Ah well, this is only a 3 issue series, and while there are hints that some of these characters are going to be revived as a result of this, I doubt the concept as a whole will be continued. That's a shame, because it really is a chance to launch an alternate universe, like the "Ultimate" one, with all new situations but featuring the actual, 100% core continuity characters... and that would be kind of fun to see.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 1:04 p.m. CST

    @ Phifty

    by optimous_douche

    I tried to hold back, truly I did.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 1:31 p.m. CST

    optimous_douche

    by phifty2

    lol. It's cool, it's got to happen eventually.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Walking Dead show

    by Joenathan

    I hear you, homer, it is a surprisingly slow pace, especially for six episodes, but there's no way the writing (while not great) is any where as clunky as Smallville. Still, I understand the frustration, but I think it's mostly because we all know where it's going and how cool it gets and we're forgetting all the build-up that was one of the primary things that made the later parts so cool. Honestly, at the end of episode three, when you saw what Merle did to get loose and knowing what happens to Rick, din't you get a little excited at the possibility?<br><br>Anyway, this deliberate pace is great AND nessecary for two reasons:<br><br> 1. The general unfamiliar public needs to be brought along and taught the rules and given the tour, etc. <br><br>2. You have to get to know them before you kill them, if you don't, all you have is sensationalist, lowest common denominator crap like Crossed.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Goose

    by Joenathan

    I didn't find the redneck brothers cheesey, in fact I think they'd be more common. If anything, I thought the stupiest part was the name: T Dog. Anyway, we don't know what the plan with the Governor is. Personally, I think Rooker is going to show up when they meet the Governor and fuck everything up for the survivors. Slightly different route, same end point.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Thank you Joenathan

    by rock-me Amodeo

    Now I know I'm not the only person who finds Crossed to be a desperate and repugnant attempt to exploit zombie fever in the worst way.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Spider-Girl

    by mrm1138

    I was excited there for a moment when I read mention of a Spider-Girl back-up feature in Amazing Spider-Man. I'd been hoping it meant that May Parker would live on in some way, but it looks like it's just a renamed Araña. Oh, well. I guess I shouldn't expect anything different since the various Spider-Girl series never sold very well. (Hell, even I wasn't buying towards the end, thanks to Ron Frenz's horrible, horrible art.)

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Never talked myself into liking Austin Powers 2

    by Laserhead

    Remember sitting in the theatre thinking it was the stupidest fucking thing I'd ever looked at. When he drank the cup of diahrea I walked out and into the second half of Disney's Tarzan.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Batman's great this week--

    by Laserhead

    Incorporated, 'The Return,' and Streets of Gotham. Just FYI.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 4:39 p.m. CST

    Just to set you all straight, three things...

    by Subtitles_Off

    1. Batman sucks now.<P> 2. Movie Green Lantern's got really, really, REALLY skinny arms.<P> 3. I don't care how many "fans" there are of TV's "Smallville." It's awful. it always has been awful. Look up "awful" in the dictionary, and you'll find out "awful airs at 8 P.M. on Friday nights on The CW."<P>I whip my hair.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 4:59 p.m. CST

    it isnt just the pace, Joe...plus Van Lente

    by Homer Sexual

    Joe, I thought Id really like this weeks ep of WD, since id heard it was all character development.. But at the end of the episode, i was still not invested. Totally agree we have to care if they live or die, and while it is not as clunky as Smallville, the characters are hella one dimensional. I swear it is dumbed down for TV. Lots more sex and racism, but just not making me care. Movies can make us care in a short time, so why cant WD?

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Van Lente

    by Homer Sexual

    Along with Greg Pak, hes my favorite new writer, though his books get little buzz. Hes doing Taskmaster now, abd its anither solid effort. He did Modoks 11 and it was also excellent.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 5:08 p.m. CST

    Van Lente

    by Homer Sexual

    Along with Greg Pak, hes my favorite new writer, though his books get little buzz. Hes doing Taskmaster now, abd its anither solid effort. He did Modoks 11 and it was also excellent.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 5:52 p.m. CST

    subtitles_off

    by dengreg31

    You may not like it, but you don't get to decide that Smallville is "awful". It's been on ten freakin' years.. are there some horrid eps? Of course.. but this season has been quite good.. just because you don't like something doesn't then become the world's opinion.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 9:11 p.m. CST

    'It's Superman' is boring

    by OutsideChance

    Way too much of the book is focused on secondary characters created by the author.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 9:26 p.m. CST

    TWD's lack of zip is inexplicable

    by gooseud

    I mean, that first 12 issue run of TWD is one of the all time best runs I can ever remember. The source material is impeccable, we are talking about one of the most famous 12 issue runs of the decade. I suspect that perhaps the talent behind the camera isnt up to snuff, it cant be a coincidence that the pilot was absolutely amazing, yet the second Darabont leaves the scene, the "snap" seems to be declining by the ep.

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 9:58 p.m. CST

    sympathy for superman...

    by sonnyhooper

    ....i have it in spades. you know why? because it's become clear to me that people hate him, for no real good reason, other than....well, he's superman. it's like some people just live to be the dog shit found in the sandbox of life. <p> here is the thing about superman to keep in mind. regardless of if it's "smallville", or "it's superman", or "man of steel", or "birthright", or christopher reeve, or george reeves, or dean fucking cain. every diffrent incarnation of superman is someones favorite version of the character. and why? because it's the version they grew up with, or their first exposure to the character, or what have you. the point being, that the reason why is not as important as the idea that ANY given version of superman can gain him new fans. and that fact alone proves the power and beauty of the character. <p> and i don't say any of this to start a fight. if you wanna hate superman fine. go nuts. i have no intrest in debating the point with anyone here, because the chances i could convince them otherwise is impossible anyway. <p> but take some time to consider this; no matter how "good" or "bad" the tv show "smallville" is, superman is still gonna be around another 70 years from now. no matter how "good" or "bad" superman earth one may or may not be, superman is still gonna be here after we are all dead and gone. and yeah, you can be a cynic and say thats because he is a coporate icon, and if thats what you think fine. but i think he's gonna be around for reasons beyond simple copyright protection. maybe thats just me, if so...so be it. i can totally live with that.... <p> and kids..... this is the part where i turn around and wink right into the camera. ;)

  • Nov. 17, 2010, 11:36 p.m. CST

    A glut of totally shitty marvel books

    by Star Hump

    The Incredible "Hulks", The Heroic Age banner (Marvel is making their characters "heroic" again. Wow. What an inspired concept), that God-awful Ant-Man and Wasp cover - Jesus, Marvel just gets worse and worse. It's impressive in a pathetic, failing downward kind of way.<p> You guys are masochists. And to think, you guys actually BUY these things.You're like the priests of Cybele, kneeling before the altar of creatively bankrupt Marvel comics, flaying yourselves and loving the pain.<p> Whap! Whap! Whap! "Oh, yes, more please!"

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 1:40 a.m. CST

    Crossed is great for what it is

    by The_All_Dead

    its a grizzly car wreck on the side of the road,you know you probly shouldn't look,but you do.And i dont know abot you but i haven't seen anything done in Crossed that hasn't happened in real life first,as far as violence and sadistic behavior go.

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 4:01 a.m. CST

    Joenathan is completely wrong

    by hst666

    about DC's characters. In fact, I switched to mostly DC in the 90's because Marvel was all flashy artists and kewl poses and 2-dimensional characters. Marvel improved greatly in the last decade with the use of Bendis, Brubaker, Jenklins, Slott, Gage, Fraction, and the return of PAD. Still, the idea that Marvel's stories are more character driven is silly. <p><p>However, JN's completely right with respect to

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 4:02 a.m. CST

    Smallville, dammit

    by hst666

    bumped the return button too soon.

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 5:12 a.m. CST

    no, no, no, drink the kool-aid...

    by sonnyhooper

    ...marvel is awesome, DC is crap on a stick. if you read marvel you are a hip, good looking, man among men. if you read DC you are a lame, funny looking, girly-man. and you know it's true because the same two people keep saying so over and over again in these talkbacks. geez, don't you guys get it?

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 6:46 a.m. CST

    I know I dont get it

    by gooseud

    Sonny always comes in these TBs looking for these non-existent fights. Is anyone saying Marvel is far and away the best? Who is saying that? Joe? So, really, Sonny, your problem isnt with the TBs as a whole, but Joe in particular. I know me personally, I read Secret Avengers, Thunderbolts, anything Cosmic, Invincible Iron Man, Ult Thor and Thor: For Asgard, and I am probably going to drop Iron Man soon. Thats it. Thats like maybe 20% of my box, if that. I mostly read Image/IDW/Radical/Vertigo etc. So, my point is, speak for yourself brotha on the whole "MArvel is AWESOME!!!!" thing, Bats has gotten tons of love in here, and given the choice between reading any of the flagship Marvel titles or GL, I would pick GL in a heartbeat.

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 6:47 a.m. CST

    Having said that.....

    by gooseud

    Joe brings out that reaction in tons of people, hes used to it by now.

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 7:17 a.m. CST

    Marvel vs. DC is stupid

    by rev_skarekroe

    If I wanted to play "my team is better than your team" I'd be a sports nerd instead of a comic book nerd.

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 7:28 a.m. CST

    rev_skarekroe

    by Poptard_JD

    Brilliantly said, sir. Well done.

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Non-Existent Fights

    by Buzz Maverik

    "Superhero underwear outside the costume is stupid."<p>Not when yer Mom wears it, pal!

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Non-Existent Fight 2

    by Buzz Maverik

    "Bendis is bald and short!"<p>Not to someone shorter and with even less hair, pal!

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Watchmen, Maus, From Hell, Planetary--

    by Laserhead

    All pale next to perhaps the greatest comic book ever contrived: Batman, Inc. Pure fucking platinum comic book storytelling. Don't worry about that Subtitles guy-- I don't think he knows who Batman is; it always sounds like he's thinking of The Flaming Carrot.

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 11:07 a.m. CST

    DC vs. Marvel and Crossed

    by Joenathan

    poor kid... I never said DC was bad, I said it focuses on a different type of storytelling than Marvel. From the start Marvel has been about the person. Peter Parker is always the focus, the book is about how Spider-man affects his life. While over in DC, Batman is the character, Bruce Wayne is the mask he puts on to move about the world in. You can go down the line and see this.<br><br>The reason I brought it up (besides to poke the stupid.... BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!) is that outside of comics, outside of "us", DC's particular brand of stroytelling struggles. When Hal Jordan takes a backseat to Green Lantern, we're okay with it. We're used to it. We're here for the big stupid green boxing gloves. But when you introduce him to the normals... he just ends up looking 2-D. Eschewing DC's classic approach is why Nolan's Batman performed better than the previous attempts. It's why Reeves Superman was relateable, while Jesus the Dead beat Dad Superman was not. I know this makes you upset, but it's true.<br><br>Just like it's true that Crossed and Smallville are fucking horrible (for diffent reasons)<br><br>Now, there's nothing wrong with liking straight superh hero action (straight!? Hahahaha... ah... funny) But me, I prefer Marvel's character driven approach. Sorry, but I like pants with pockets. That's just me.

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 11:10 a.m. CST

    Walking Dead

    by Joenathan

    I'm not willing to call it a great show. I think it's been better than Goose thinks it's been done, but yeah, it's not great. But then, it's not like Mad Men, righ? It's a fetishist's show. I think that's why I'm more tolerant of it than Goose, the minutea of post zombie apocalypse survival is most of the fun... to me... Regardless, it definitely falls under the "I really enjoy, but I wouldn't recommend it to people who aren't of the same mind as me to begin with" category. We'll see what it looks like after the sixth episode.

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Joen- Batman

    by Laserhead

    Just to say, 'Bruce is the mask' isn't Batman anymore, really. That to my eyes has been one of the chief virtues of Morrison's run-- his rescuing of the character from the 1-D 'I am the night' retardation of the mid-80s onward, which was necessary for the character at the time, but shouldn't define a 70 year-old creation.

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 1:24 p.m. CST

    That sounds about right...

    by Joenathan

    but will it stay that way... And my point is: These are the genral trends. There are certainly examples of deviantion throughout both companies' histories. It's just Marvel started out that way and DC started out the other and, generally, that's the way they've stayed.

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Really? I'd definitely say Bruce is still a mask.

    by Homer Sexual

    Morrison's Batman and Robin has done great with DICK GRAYSON and Damian, but even the Return of Bruce Wayne makes him the Batman, even if he's out of costume. In fact, it sorts makes the whole Bat mythology even more prominent. <p> I am not complaining, though. I like Dick as the more human Batman, I've always enjoyed Grayson as a character. And I like the way Bruce ws written throughout "Return." <p> But I just find it very hard to believ that Batman, Inc, rocks. I debated buying it yesterday, flipped through it, then decided to take a pass, while picking up Daniels Batman. So, more people to say whether or not Batman Inc is really good would be helpful.

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 2:51 p.m. CST

    "I like Dick"

    by Joenathan

    heh...heh, heh, heh, heh...

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 3:02 p.m. CST

    it's not even marvel vs DC ..

    by sonnyhooper

    ....that i'm really talking about. it's the perpetuation of a myth that no longer exists that gets me. <p> "marvel is about characters. DC is about masks". <p> what? is it 1969 still? are you fucking kidding me? and please..... cloak it anyway you want, all it comes down to is taking a dig at DC. which is fine if thats your thing. but don't think that no ones gonna call you on that bullshit. <p> "for the man who has everything" was a total "mask-fest" right? not a single piece of character revealed in those page?. nope. not a shred. "identity crisis." that was just one long drawn out fight scene wasn't it? not a character moment to be found? i suppose i could go on pointing out "examples of deviation", but we wanna talk "general trends" right? child please....... those "general trends" haven't been accurate in about 30 years (if they EVER were). <p> and nope. it's not about "looking for a fight" either. if i wanted to do that, believe me, i'd go down to the corner bar and smash the first annoying frat boy i saw in the face. <p> naw. like i said, it's about calling bullshit on a perpetual myth that was hardly true even back when stan lee created it.

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 3:14 p.m. CST

    perfect example of what i'm talking about..

    by sonnyhooper

    " When Hal Jordan takes a backseat to Green Lantern, we're okay with it. We're used to it. We're here for the big stupid green boxing gloves" <p> first off, anyone remember the last time hal used a "big stupid boxing glove"? yeah, me either. <p> second, brad meltzer came up with an awesome reason for the "big stupid boxing gloves" in his green arrow run. and it was a true character moment. <p> and believe me son, you don't bother me as much as you think you do. i just happen to think you would be a lot more intresting if you knew what the hell you were talking about.

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Bat--

    by Laserhead

    Nah, Batman is just one of the integrated facets now of Bruce Wayne, who's like Sherlock Holmes and James Bond put together. Morrison started all this with Wayne's Thogal ritual in 52, and his Bat's gradually become a more fun character. He has fun, I mean. Gets laid, enjoys his time as Bruce, etc.

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Yeah...

    by Joenathan

    you sound pretty apoplectic there, sonny. Calm down... or go fight frat boy... ANYWAY, like I said, there are plenty of examples of deviation from the general trend, especially with creator cross over, but Peter Parker is still more of a character than Clark Kent, in that Kent is an extension of Superman where as Spider-man is an extension of Peter Parker... if you don't see that, then I think your claims to know what you're talking about are somewhat in doubt...

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Stupid green boxing glove

    by Joenathan

    It's in the trailer, isn't it? Why yes, it is... that must mean it's pretty integral to the "character", almost like it's a signature move...

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 6:42 p.m. CST

    oh please...

    by sonnyhooper

    ....that analogy is not only a question of personal taste, it totally ignores the fact that the Kal-el persona is part of the equation. yeah, he is the last son of krypton, yeah he is superman, but if he wasn't clark kent first and foremost neither one of the other personas hold any intrest to anyone. <p> and going by your logic, because they used the "fast-ball special" in one of the x-men movies then thats the only reason people read x-men comics. flawless logic there.

  • Nov. 18, 2010, 10:51 p.m. CST

    Only reason?

    by Joenathan

    What? Nice reading comprehension skills...

  • Nov. 19, 2010, 3:12 a.m. CST

    http://www.23airjordans.com

    by liyiyi

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  • Nov. 19, 2010, 10:51 a.m. CST

    I'll Be Doing

    by optimous_douche

    A three-in-one next week of BATMAN: THE RETURN, INC and BATMAN.<p> Tehy are all good in their own right, but when read together fucking seamless and WOW!!!!

  • Nov. 19, 2010, 11:50 a.m. CST

    I'm hoping with the new T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents

    by Term66

    DC decides to release affordable soft cover trades of the original series. Would be cool to turn some friends on to some Wood goodness.

  • Nov. 20, 2010, 12:23 a.m. CST

    these are your words...kiddo...

    by sonnyhooper

    "We're here for the big stupid green boxing gloves" <p> that statement suggests that green boxing gloves are the ONLY reason people like green lantern ....and..... oh wait, never-mind, i forgot, talking to you is like talking to a brick wall.... if the brick wall were retarded ... carry on... marvel zombie, douche bag.

  • Nov. 22, 2010, 2:19 p.m. CST

    tsk, tsk, not too bright...

    by Joenathan

    See, by saying "We're here for the big stupid green boxing gloves", (and they are stupid) I am basically saying: "in for a penny, in for a pound", meaning we accept all the stupid craziness that comes with these characters because we know these characters really well, where as a non comic fan will not... hmmm, tsk, tsk, tsk... Like I said... poor reading comprehension skills