Comics

AICN COMICS REVIEWS: IRON MAN! GREEN LANTERN CORPS! SERGIO ARAGONES’ FUNNIES! WAR OF THE WOODS! & MORE!

Published at: Aug. 25, 2011, 10:05 a.m. CST by ambush bug

Issue # 17 Release Date: 8/17/11 Vol.#10

Hey folks, Ambush Bug here. Apologies all around. I was stuck in Puerto Rico without power for a few days due to Hurricane Irene, so there was a bit of a delay in getting this column together. I’m back in breezy Chicago now, so even if it is a day late, here’s a cool batch of mainstream and indie reviews to peruse.

The Pull List
(Click title to go directly to the review)
FLASHPOINT: ABIN SUR THE GREEN LANTERN #3
SERGIO ARAGONES’ FUNNIES #2
INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #507
TWISTED DARK VOL.1
GREEN LANTERN CORPS #63
WAR OF THE WOODS Chapters 1-5
99 DAYS OGN
LOOSE ENDS #2
CHEAP SHOTS!


FLASHPOINT: ABIN SUR THE GREEN LANTERN #3

Writer: Adam Schlagman
Art: Robson Rocha & Felipe Massafera
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Optimous Douche


Rushed…hackneyed…nonsensical and shoe-horned. Yes, this is about as kind as I can get about this mini within a maxi.

I’m a huge proponent of FLASHPOINT. I’m still not sure how I feel about it being the catalyst that destroys 80 years of canon and serves as the bedrock for the new DC universe, but I will reserve that judgment until all is said and done. My point is, I don’t hate FLASHPOINT. Nor do I view the miniseries tie-ins as blatant cash grabs. Some titles like THE OUTSIDER and BATMAN have been damn enjoyable and truly enriched the story. However, there are others that beg the question whether they were really needed. ABIN SUR is one, and I will be using all of my will to forget it ever happened, especially this hot mess conclusion.

This is one time I’m not going to apologize for spoilers because I am doing all of you a service. I am your helmet on a stick, taking creative sniper fire straight into the cerebellum and eating the fiduciary losses as well. If anything you should all apologize to me.

Also understand that I’m biased. I was extremely disappointed with the end of BRIGHTEST DAY and its Hallmark Movie of the Week messaging that every sperm is sacred, we should all embrace life. You know what, until someone gives us proof that death is better we should all be embracing life regardless. So when Abin Sur dons a white ring at the end of this thing, you can appreciate why I threw up in my mouth a little.

So let’s start at the beginning. I actually enjoyed the first issue of the series. Abin Sur was Green Lantern of our sector, friends with Sinestro, actually Sinestro’s brother-in-law. How’s that for keeping it within the emerald family? And most importantly, he never really spent time on Earth. There are actually other planets in our sector. One wouldn’t think so reading a current Green Lantern title, but there are. Even though Sur’s sister was worm food, Sinestro had yet to go off the rails. So what makes him turn into the villain we all love to hate? A prophecy. The Blackest Flashpoint prophecy. All right, it was just the prophecy of Flashpoint, but you can’t blame me for getting mixed up in the head since, you know, the last biggest event was a prophecy as well. I haven’t heard of a universe being this preordained since I watched that reality show on Mormons. OK, shit, we have another prophecy, but at least we’ll get to see Hal Jordan and Abin Sur together when Abin is sent to Earth by the Guardians to look for the white light that will thwart the Blackest Brightest Flashpoint.

Shit…no Jordan, really. Yes, Jordan helps Abin after he crashes on Earth (why is Abin the only Green Lantern that uses a ship?), but Abin lives, so ring Nazi says “no ring for joo Hal Jordan.” Keep in mind these events, though, were really explored in Hal’s miniseries. Issue 2 was more Abin becoming a defender of Earth in our darkest time as the Atlanteans and Amazonians tear up the northern hemisphere. While I was starting to lose interest at this point, it all fit within the context of FLASHPOINT and there was nary a white light to be found, much to the Guardian’s bulbous headed chagrin.

Issue three, though, was a complete amalgamation of everything I hate. Sinestro seems to go off the deep end…because of a prophecy delivered to him by Atrocitus. Does this sound like the Sinestro we all know? Sinestro’s rage has always been cool, calm and collected. I understand this is a parallel to what we know, but he seriously goes Joker -tyle crazy, making him not Sinestro at all. Now things get really confusing: one minute we’re on Earth, the next we are on Oa, and they both look the same. Using the laziest convention available, we get to see omnipotent flashes of happenings from other FLASHPOINT events while Abin Sur is telepathically linked to the Guardians…or not…I’m not sure, I don’t know where the fuck anything was taking place. Of course, none of this is helped by the fact the artists shift hands at this point and the duties are carried forward by my neighbor’s three year old daughter. Seriously, the last half of the art in this book is almost laughable. I have never seen anything this poor come out of the big two. This isn’t even a stylistic critique, this is just plain terrible. Pacing, panels and rendering are simply shit. I’m closer to autistic than artistic and I would throw my pathetic hand scribbles in here first.

So now we have terrible art to back-up an editor that was asleep at the wheel. When Abin Sur says F the white light, the Guardians decide to expel him for the corps, but…wait for it…they decide to let him keep his ring until it powers down. Huh? That’s like me defaulting on my car payment and Hyundai letting me keep the car until it runs out of gas. Why would the Guardians do this when they clearly have the power to strip people of rings as they recently did with Hal Jordan? Why, God, why? The plot. Abin had to get back to Earth so he could have a peyote induced dream walk with his sister and then become the next White Lantern…setting us up for a White Lantern in FLASHPOINT.

I wish I could be clearer, but frankly the last moments of this book were a mess of confusion. So don’t shoot the messenger, kids. Simply shoot the last two issues of this mess with a flamethrower.

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.


SERGIO ARAGONES' FUNNIES #2

Story & Art by Sergio Aragones
Publisher: Bongo Comics
Reviewer: MajinFu


If you grew up reading MAD magazines like I did (usually while my parents were shopping at the market) then you’ve probably seen this kind of comics before. The stories lack the ties to pop culture inherent in MAD, or the lyrical barbarism of Groo, but it’s really all about giving a prolific artist a chance to give their unique spin on storytelling, and it’s a treat to read. Like the first issue, much of this comic is autobiographical. Sergio Aragonés (who will henceforth be referred to as SA) is obviously crafting a very personal comic, and the effect is heartwarming, even when he’s discussing the dilemma of printing letters in its opening pages. Comic creators encouraging a dialog with readers isn’t anything new but it’s always something I have enjoyed. It adds to the charm, even as these funnies bear their creator’s personal touch on their sleeve.

The first actual story features an alternative take on King Kong that is colorful and entertaining, even if the premise is a bit simple. My favorite parts were easily the silent one-page gags that were in black and white, which best showed SA’s cartooning talents. The middle part which details SA’s childhood career as an artist is humorous and inspiring for artists young and old. The story is a great highlight for SA’s skill for expressions and simple, clean layouts that still look very organic. This comic just has so much variety and good-natured humor that it’s easy to see this being enjoyed by both kids and adults. There are even a few puzzles to pore over, and every page (even the back cover) is smothered with art that is finely detailed, yet it breathes with a vigor and humor that is the creator’s trademark.

It’s always nice to see an enthusiastic creator getting to tell the stories that they want to tell, and it looks like Sergio Aragonés has just begun to create his own unique legacy in the FUNNIES. I look forward to reading the next issue, and sharing the ones I already have with friends and family.


INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #507

Writer: Matt Fraction
Art: Salvador Larroca
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: Henry Higgins is My Homeboy


Drunks And Dwarves

Regardless of your feelings towards the event as a whole, FEAR ITSELF has, at least to me, succeeded extremely well in terms of character. Thor, Loki, Steve Rogers, Ben Grimm, many established characters have gotten a new drive from the event. Tony Stark stands out, however, in terms of having the most interesting turns. The IRON MAN tie-in issues have maintained a certain drive and suspense, and this one continues on.

Writing: (4/5) The issue mostly focuses on two plots: Tony attempting to deal with being drunk while readying an arsenal for the heroes, and Pepper attempting to avoid both H.A.M.M.E.R. and Gray Gargoyle. Tony's plot remains the same as last issue, still attempting to build using the Asgardian metals. It doesn't change pace at all from the last issue, and while it's still a very intriguing place to take Tony, Fraction doesn't add much to it, save an assassination attempt on Tony that will of course fail. It's still interesting, but rather uneventful. Tony remains conflicted, but still with a smile plastered across him. It adds nothing really to the story, save for the revelation that the Extremis will serve a role in the new armor.

Pepper fares much better. Her battles with H.A.M.M.E.R., leading into a desperate escape from Gray Gargoyle, are crisp, flow with ease, and never lag. The short scenes between Sasha Hammer and Pepper are well written and tense, and are followed by a well written fight sequence. It ends with a climatic scene that plays well and interestingly. The tie-in maintains the flow and conflict from the main series, but it also keeps with a unique and thrilling story.

Art: (4/5) Larroca is a fantastic artist, and he keeps the book looking fantastic. The fight sequences flow beautifully, and convey a tremendous amount motion and movement. The brawl with Pepper turns into a chaotic chase, and it plays amazingly. His work on characters and their faces continues to be fairly hit or miss. It's stands out well sometimes (notably drunk Tony, who has a number of well done scenes), but others don't work as well. The H.A.M.M.E.R. agents differ, sometimes looking like painful drawings, others working considerably better.

Best Moment: The arrival of the Gray Gargoyle.

Worst Moment: A little bit of the art.

Overall: (4/5) Continuing a flawless record with this tie in, Iron Man maintains a solid run within the FEAR ITSELF event.


TWISTED DARK Vol.1

Writer: Neil Gibson
Artists: Various
Publisher: Neil Gibson
Reviewer: Optimous Douche


Two days after finishing TWISTED DARK, the macabre vignettes that compile this horror show are still with me. Generally I hate horror, I find the characters insipid, and the gore doesn’t frighten me--it simply makes my stomach turn. Thankfully Gibson doesn’t write the traditional horror spoon-fed to us by Hollywood. TWISTED DARK is the horror of the soul casting a reflective light into the deep recesses that we keep hidden for the sake of a happy societal veneer.

What Gibson has created here is a marvel. Not only is TWISTED DARK the best self-published graphic novel I have EVER read, this is probably the best indie I have read this year and certainly affected me more than any book I picked up from the major publishers in many, many months. The fact that this is Gibson’s first work simply astounds me. TWISTED DARK is professionally put together with stories that not only adhere to Freytag’s pyramid, but outright covet it. In several pages I cared more about the characters in some of these stories than characters I have been reading for years in monthlies.

It’s generally very easy for me to pick out favorite stories in compilation books. I can’t do it with TWISTED DARK; each story builds off the last even though they are completely unrelated aside from the theme of “things will end badly.” A woodsman who traces the path his son took each day before the boy shot himself, a drug cartel story where the protagonist is morally right yet still ends up lying on a sheet of plastic with his limbs blown off, a woman who transcends her Munchhausen syndrome to her son when people no longer care about her inflicting pain on herself…that’s just a whisper of the darkness that lives inside these pages. For the deeper dive read on, but you will not be the same.

Each story is a surprise. Sometimes the surprises are the fact that you think things will turn out all right for the protagonist even though you have been bitch slapped with the evils of mankind in the prior story. Hell, even the entrance to the book sets a cheerful tone where Neil does a comparison to himself and another famous Gibson with a lighthearted checklist of how he is different than Mel. This lighthearted approach to opening makes the decent into darkness all that more abrupt and worthy of the journey. Each story in TWISTED DARK offers the same exhilarating decent into the abyss as a drop off of 90 degree rollercoaster rise, except in this case the track collides into a brick wall of human torment.

I’m going to try and pick favorites here since I know I’m dangerously approaching the red zone of reader attention with my word count, but make no mistake these are merely the stories that stuck with me the most — they are not by any means favorites.

Suicide: A typical chat room, a typical self-obsessed American not happy with all of the glories life has bestowed upon them in their big house and with their fancy computer. Artist Atula Siriwardance makes the chat room come alive during this first-person narrative of a person reaching out to the anonymous faces of the internet looking for some reason to go on. Typical stuff you would find in any twenty- or thirty-something that contemplates the meaninglessness of existence. BAM! The soulful eyes of a 10 year old are behind these cries for help. For anyone that wonders whether the internet has affected humanity, well there you go.

A Lighter Note: You got me with this one, Neil. When an Indian man seeks a better life through a work agency he finds that all is not the sunshine and roses promised to him before he leaves his country. This story tells the tale of Rajeev, a man who ends up in deplorable work conditions and rises (peacefully) against the man to win better working conditions and the adoration of his fellow workers. All ends well…Rajeev achieves his goals. Then in the last panel he wonders what he will do with his newfound power as exceptional artist Heru Djalal paints a wry smile across Rajeev’s face.

Windowpayne: My main reason for remembering this one is that this is the only story that infuses a little bit of sci-fi into TWISTED DARK. Set in 2022, a young man who was once a burn victim with the scars to prove it develops a type of glass that is not only load bearing, but it is infused with transparent circuitry that allows it to act as a television showing any scene imaginable. Gibson shows a world where houses become crystalline taking us out of the self-imposed caves we have built over the centuries. Again, the tale reeks of optimism for a brighter domestic tomorrow--that is, until we learn that this young genius can control all of the circuitry in the windows and short it out. The world will burn, one beautiful manufactured vista at a time.

That’s enough. To give away more would do no justice, not Gibson as creator or you as readers. TWISTED DARK is a book that simply demands to be read.

\ If art is truly a reflection of the artist, I would be afraid to ever be alone with Gibson. I’m sure the conversation would start with tons of laughs, but I would be greatly wary of the outcome.


GREEN LANTERN CORPS #63

Writer: Scott Kolins
Art: Scott Kolins, Daniel HDR, Freddie Williams II and Joe Prado
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: The Writing Rambler


They always say all good things must come to an end and after 63 issues, as the main cover reminds us, it’s time to say goodbye to the GREEN LANTERN CORPS. This goodbye will be short-lived, of course, as most readers are fully aware GREEN LANTERN CORPS will continue in the new GREEN LANTERN CORPS #1 (currently scheduled for a September 21st release). Nonetheless, I enjoyed this issue as it continued to show how disheveled the Corps have become in the aftermath of the WAR OF THE GREEN LANTERNS and took time to remind us that despite the hard times there is still honor amongst the Corps.

Scott Kolins presents the reader with four different chapters showing some of the different ways the Corps are suffering in the wake of this past war. I actually enjoyed how this was handled for the most part. The way the stories are presented sets up some ideas for where the series may be headed in the relaunch and it does so without focusing on main characters like Hal or Sinestro. The fact that some of the lesser characters are given focus here is the high point of the issue and a good reminder that though most larger stories revolve around the four Earth Lanterns, there is a much bigger Corps who are being affected by these events. Probably the best of the four stories actually revolves around the idea that many of the Green Lanterns have reached a boiling point towards their disdain of the Earth Lanterns and are tired of them seemingly always being the center of the Corps’ problems. I’m hoping this idea is explored in depth once the relaunch happens as it could provide some great stories of conflict within the Corps.

The art in the issue is much like the story as it is divided into four unique chapters. Normally I’m not a fan of multiple artists handling one issue (as it can become a distraction) but it works here as we’re presented with each individual tale. All four artists hold their own in the book and I especially liked the combination of Freddie Williams II’s art matched with Kolins’ story about the anger towards the Earth Lanterns (which Kyle Rayner is forced to be the recipient of). I also loved the variant cover featuring Kyle looking like the toughest version of a Blue Lantern I’ve ever seen, though I must point out, at no point in this issue (or any of the relaunch cover previews for that matter) does Kyle become a Blue Lantern. In all honesty, it makes no sense as a variant to this issue but its artistic quality should still be commended.

As the issue ends, the reader is presented with the idea that despite all of these obstacles, true members of the Green Lantern Corps know their duty comes above all other things. Some may find the wrap up of the issue somewhat cheesy and forced (which I can understand to an extent) but I think the overall reminder that members of the Corps hold a high honor and take it very seriously despite their disagreements is a great way to end the 63 issue run. While I wouldn’t say this was the best possible way the series could have ended I do think it’s handled well enough to give proper closure to a solid book and bridge the gap for what’s to come.

You can follow The Writing Rambler on his blog here and follow on Twitter @Writing_Rambler !


WAR OF THE WOODS Chapters 1-5

Writer: Matthew Petz
Artist: Matthew Petz
Publisher: ComiXology
Reviewer: Lyzard


The first graphic novel I reviewed for Ain’t It Cool News was entitled THE BROADCAST. It had an interesting set up: what if one town truly believed that Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of H.G. Wells’ WAR OF THE WORLDS was real? The graphic novel could have been trite, but ended up showing a flair of originality. Not to discredit the creativity of THE BROADCAST, but the comic WAR OF THE WOODS also presents an interesting perspective on the work of H.G. Wells. What happens to the animals when the aliens land?

We’ve seen and read hundreds of alien invasion novels and films. There are obvious clichés to how humans react to such catastrophes. But to my knowledge, the fauna side has yet to be explored. Matthew Petz, both writer and artist, takes us into the New Jersey Pine Barrens to show us how Earth’s other inhabitants would handle an alien invasion.

The chapters are short, about ten pages per issue, and so far Petz is up to number five. Despite each being a short read, Petz has a strong handle on structure. He always leaves you with a cliffhanger that is quickly cleared up come the next issue, only to be followed by another cliffhanger. The pacing doesn’t drag; in fact, the story picks up momentum issue by issue.

The artwork is a bit static, especially in the faces of the animals. The otters rarely change expression, and when they do, it may just be an enlargement of the eyes. This, however, improves as the issues continue. As for the character design, the animals are cute, while the aliens are vicious. There is also another character, appearing at the end of issue number two, that leaps off the page.

What I enjoyed about the comic was the accuracy of the animal portrayals. Fauna do have a sixth sense for disaster, such as in the cases of earthquakes or tornados. They tend to run for cover before the humans notice a problem. Petz plays on this concept within the comic. He also takes associations tied to certain animals to characterize them, like having the owl be the wise one of the group and the turtle being the oldest.

The anthropomorphic animals seem to be doing much better at surviving than most humans do in disaster movies. Petz, similarly, is doing much better at the end of issue number five than he was in the beginning. There are some moments where you need to take a leap of faith, but if you are willing to read a comic about animals that can talk back and forth with aliens, I’m sure you can make such a jump.

Lyzard is actually Lyz Reblin, a senior screenwriting major with an English minor at Chapman University. Along with writing for AICN, she has been published twice on the subject of vampire films.


99 DAYS OGN

Writer: Matteo Casali
Artist: Kristian Donaldson
Publisher: DC Vertigo
Reviewer: Optimous Douche


On the surface this latest offering from the Vertigo Crime sub-brand lives in the gritty world of noir that fans have come to expect from these pint-sized black and whites. However, while the soul is noir the sensibilities are as modern as one would expect from a story that meticulously bounces back and forth between the Rwanda genocides of the early 90s to the gang strewn streets of modern Los Angeles. 99 DAYS also comes with a social conscience that begins as a whisper, but by the end roars across every page as the tables turn and then turn again towards the startling conclusion.

The tether between the worlds of 99 DAYS is L.A.P.D. Detective Antoine Davis. Davis not only lived through the Rwanda genocides in his early teens, but was also an active participant. Casali deftly uses this catalyst, never spilling all the beans in one money shot, but instead allowing each nefarious lesson learned in Rwanda to serve as the catalyst for the next chapter of the here and now. When a killer begins hacking apart the impoverished denizens of the ‘hood in LA, the killer’s choice of weapon, a machete, starts not only Davis’ investigation, but a remembrance of Davis’ own killings with the same weapon a decade prior. When this murderer goes after a woman that is sleeping with top chiefs in the Bloods and Crips, a war begins in the streets of LA, and it is up to Davis and his partner to solve the case before the city breaks out in all-out riots.

Davis, like many but not enough children of war, was adopted by a kindly couple that takes him in after America finally intervened in the warfare in Rwanda. Davis’ parents along with his partner, a spicy Latina (although I would never say that to her face) by the name of Valeria, are the only beams of light in what is otherwise an examination of the dark recesses of the soul. These pillars in Davis’ life were wonderful counterbalances to the ultra-violence that permeates the pages of this tale, especially Valeria. She serves as a friend and confidant to Davis that never falls into a Latina or a cop stereotype. She is the true modern woman, confident enough to let her sexuality shine through without ever having to sexualize herself to earn respect. I will say that at times I was confused by the sexual energy between Davis and Valeria. It seemed utterly unnecessary for the two to flirt with one another given the dangerous nature of their jobs and the fact that Valeria reiterates more times than not how happily married she is. It’s not that either crosses any lines, but they do talk about it, and it just seemed way out of context given the pounds of respect Casali infuses into each character and between one another.

The mystery and Antoine continue to unravel as the murders continue to heat up along with the gang warfare. Many reviewers took issue with Casali leveraging the voice of an omnipotent radio announcer to drive the events in Los Angeles forward, but I have to wholeheartedly disagree for one reason: Kristian Donaldson. Were these simply static shots of a political commentator sitting in a booth I would agree, but Donaldson’s pencils are kinetic from page one. Donaldson poses a true cinematographer’s eye, approaching every panel as a new challenge to present points of view that make the page move more than The Daily Prophet. Not only does Donaldson have a flair for the wide shot, the close-ups are just as imaginative. When most artists put half of a face in a panel it can usually be attributed to laziness. Donaldson uses half a face with purpose, because there is always something else in the scene of equal importance.

I would be lying if I said the reason for the murders was original. If you really want to know without reading the book you can find a hint in the plot for the movie “Batteries Not Included.” However, while the reason might not be original, the way justice is delivered is original and shocking. Also, this book isn’t about the mystery--it’s about the demons we all possess and whether we surmount or succumb to the weight they bare on our soul. Sometimes the answer is both.


LOOSE ENDS #2

Writer: Jason Latour
Artist: Chris Brunner
Publisher: 12-Gauge
Reviewer: Lyzard


LOOSE ENDS is described as a southern crime romance, and the comic truly is, in that order. The dialogue is written phonetically southern and there is plenty of crime involving drugs and money, while the romance is not overpowering.

The first issue of LOOSE ENDS, while a good setup, does not prepare you for the darkness to come in issue number two. That’s where LOOSE ENDS pushes the gore and horror of the situation up a notch. You begin to understand how truly f*#&# up these characters are and the deep s*$& they are in.

LOOSE ENDS #2 starts with a flashback of what happened to Rej’s friend, Frankie. Due to some bad connections and bad deals, Frankie got shot in the face. Now Rej has to deal with his loose ends. Meanwhile, Sonny and Cheri are on the run, with Sonny still having to finish some business for Rej. Their backstory is also given in this issue.

The title becomes apropos in this book, where the audience begins to see how the characters are deeply connected to each other. There is much less action in this book than issue number one. It is more about character development and exposition, but this doesn’t make the issue boring. LOOSE ENDS #2 is all about raising the stakes, creating more tension.

When I first looked at LOOSE ENDS #1, the colors gave me a sense of “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City”. How ironic that the end of issue two places two of our characters in Florida. Due to the various flashbacks, there aren’t as many splashes of color as in the previous issue. But you don’t need a stark contrast of red to realize the grotesqueness of someone’s face shot off. Though sexual and violent, there is nothing truly pushing the envelope here. It is the same level of content one could see on cable right now.

If one can get past the southern accents, they’ll find quite the thriller. Everyone in the comic is flawed, has a past. Some worse than others, but they embroil the “good” ones in their problems. It is one of those series that you know that the last two issues will pack a punch. The first three issues are just the long fuse to the mountain of dynamite that is at the end of issue number four. Innocents will die, characters you learn to love will die, and most likely one of the bad guys will get away. Southern crime romances are gritty and raw, but also realistic. They show you that there is a dark underbelly to our world and that its pull on us is difficult to weaken.


GLADSTONE’S SCHOOL FOR WORLD CONQUERORS #4
Image Comics

This series got its hook in me with its last issue, when writer Mark Andrew Smith began to reveal the larger tapestry of the world occupied by his school for super-villains. Unfortunately, that new momentum grinds to a halt with this month’s installment, which feels very much like a placeholder issue. The plot isn’t horrible—basically, the reader sits in on a study session with the main cast—but it doesn’t really add much to what we’ve already seen. Plus, there’s one of those annoying moments when the writer decides to speak—nay, preach—to the reader through one of his characters, as Mummy Girl puts forth a defense of comic books as a legitimate art form. Yes, we get it, it’s hip and postmodern as these comic book characters discuss the very medium in which they exist, but we’ve gotten in before from other comics in deliveries both blatant and subtle. And on the artistic front, Armand Villavert’s determination to draw as little background detail as possible really grates on me with this issue, as the entire opening sequence takes place in some ill-defined, brightly glowing space that is indistinguishable from the previously-seen school classrooms, only to have it be revealed that the students are at Mummy Girl’s family home. I had a lot of high hopes for this comic after last month, but now… you’re back on probation, GLADSTONE’S. –BottleImp


AVENGERS ACADEMY #18
Marvel Comics


I couldn’t care less about Marvel’s current FEAR ITSELF crossover, but I am glad to see that this title is dealing with the strictures of said crossover in the best way possible: by keeping the focus on the central cast and using the backdrop of FEAR ITSELF to develop the already-rich characters. As with previous story arcs, Christos Gage seems to relish throwing his troubled teenage superhumans into virtually unwinnable situations. This time around it’s the Norse God-possessed duo of Absorbing Man and Titania providing the menace, and credit must be given to Marvel’s crossover (as well as the talents of Gage and guest artist Andrea DiVito) for actually making these B-list villains a palpable threat. Still don’t like those glowing “Tron” lines though… I can’t wait until that annoying (and already stale) comic book costuming trend is dead and gone. -BottleImp


FEEDING GROUND #6
Archaia


FEEDING GROUND comes to a close with this issue and it’s a doozy. There’s a whole lot of fantastic-looking werewolf action going on in this issue as the showdown at the border comes to a head between those guarding the Mexican American border, those who want to cross it, and the werewolves in between. This was a fantastic horror miniseries that shouldn’t be missed when collected in trade. The art is utterly unique and reflects Mexican culture, plus the fact that this is a flip book with one half in Mexican and the other in English means that you can enjoy this story in two languages (if you’re bi-lingual, that is). In Mexican or English, this is a pulse-pounding read which not only uses werewolves in a way I haven’t seen before, but carries with it a message that few comics are brave enough to address. Highly recommended. - Ambush Bug



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

Remember, if you have a comic book you’d like one of the @$$holes to take a look at, click on your favorite reviewer’s link and drop us an email.

 

Readers Talkback

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  • Aug. 25, 2011, 10:16 a.m. CST

    I like the funnies

    by Iowa Snot Client

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Some titles like THE OUTSIDER ... have been damn enjoyable

    by HalJordanSuperstar

    I thought that Batman and Kid Flash were good, but I disagree with you on The Outsider. It was okay at best. Just another James Robinson Mary Sue project ... oh look, The Outsider is super-rich, the most powerful, diabolical, brilliant, interesting man in the world with the coolest technology and gadgets! He didn't even know it was Jonn, but he still had the perfect tech to beat him! Wow! Blech.

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 10:30 a.m. CST

    What I liked about The Outsider

    by optimous_douche

    Was that it reminded me of an old Lex Luthor before the whole trend of making "good guys not so good and bad guys not so bad" took over. Lex used to care about money and power making him perfectly evil, now he has this whole mantra of trying to help humanity. Sometimes I like my character's to be either black or white morally.

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 11:58 a.m. CST

    "in Mexican or English"?

    by rev_skarekroe

    Do they speak a unique language in Mexico now?

  • ...Wasn't Crisis on infinite Earths published in 1985-86?<P> That would be 25 years of destroyed canon, not 80. People need to calm down concerning this move by DC. It was needed. The constant partial retconning was a bandaid on a bullet wound. This universe wide reboot does three things. It puts everything on the same page, modernizes some concepts which needed it, and gives the elusive new reader a way in.<p> I'm excited.

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 12:37 p.m. CST

    oh yeah, only 25 years or so of canon

    by RealDoubleJ

    As I look at my shelves and note the 500-600 DC Graphic Novels from 1985-2011, including every Superman GN ever published in that timeperiod (minus Panic From The Sky & a few elseworlds) and the painstaking anal attentiveness to collecting the spinoffs to the Crisises, even collecting every issue of Countdown because you missed the boat on 52...Yeah, why I am I getting so uppity over the worry of beloved storylines I've spent extra to get in Hardcover or Absolute becoming moot. I ain't stupid. I'm still going to read DC & probably buy DC but my faith in them at this moment is pretty much where my favourite stories are. In the past.

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Crisis Wasn't Complete "Canon" Fodder

    by optimous_douche

    Just one man's opinion, but I don't see CRISIS as far-reaching as this reboot. Yes, some titles of fallen heroes like the FLASH went back to a renumbering, but not all. Plus, no ones "age" was rejigged post CRISIS. This time around is different, especially with the renumbering of Action and Detective. We'll have to just agree to disagree.

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Crisis on Infinite Earths & Flashpoint

    by PhineasFlynn

    With the death of Krona in the recently wrapped "War of the Green Lanterns", it is becoming more apparent that "Flashpoint" is the bookend to COIE that the clusterfuck that was "Final Crisis" wasn't. The synergy between what went down in '85-'86 and what's going on in the DCU as we head into next week seems more than coincidental to me.

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 1:45 p.m. CST

    gives the elusive new reader a way in?

    by Roger Moon

    It really doesn't matter who is doing the work, or if the work is being produced on schedule, if the only access to the product is through out of the way specialty shops, of which there may be as few as one in a given municipality. For the past 30 years or so, every downward turn in sales has been directly traceable to the degree to which the product has been rendered inaccessible, not just from a standpoint of readability, but from a standpoint of actual physical access.

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Mark Gruenwald

    by fred

    Back in the 80's he was asked if Marvel would ever redo their characters like DC was at the time. He said, "No. We get it right the first time."

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 2:47 p.m. CST

    As far as inaccessibility goes...

    by AnakinsDiapers

    That is why DC is doing same day release via internet.<p> As to this "my favorite stories are gone" attitude, all i can say is that depends entirely on what your favorite stories are. I don't say "were" because those stories still exist. They are right there in your longbox. Plus, as Jim Lee pointed out; just how many stories in those 80 years of comics "count"? It's the ones fandom in general have deemed worthy. That hasn't changed. The Killing Joke still happened. Son of the Demon apparently happened. The cream will rise. Will every individual persons favorite story be canon? Of course not. But lets have some perspective.<p> Fandom had to adapt when crisis happened, and i guess it didnt matter much to the youngsters reading back then. But now those youngsters are adults and are getting a mouthfull of what their elders went thru.<p> This was needed. I don't see how there's room for John Henry Irons in this new DC. Personally i think that sucks, but i'll live with it because i think overall this was a good decision.

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Kevin Smith

    by hallmitchell

    Has anyone read Bionic Man #1?

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Optimous, i'm sorry....

    by sonnyhooper

    .....you had to jump on the grenade that was flashpoint: abin sur. i do thank you for spoiling that story, because there was no way in hell i was gonna read it. you have done this reader and many other a great service. <p> there. you happy now? :) <p> but, it kind of makes sense that the story blew when you think about it though. abin sur seems like the kind of character that is more intresting dead than alive. kind of like barry allen and jason todd.

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 2:55 p.m. CST

    "we get it right the first time" eh?..

    by AnakinsDiapers

    ...go talk to Spider-Man and Mary Jane...or teen Tony Stark.<p> Marvel's motis operandi is to either do bone headed stunts like OMD, or just don't mention a situation until the fans stop gripping and continue to buy. See Tony Stark and the long list of crooked and downright treasonist shit he did during Civil War. Ben Urich's the only one who knows about Starks treasonist manipulation of politics during Civil War but wont report it because it's "too big", and as Stark doesn't remember doing it, that story just passes into the ether because writers can just ignore it.<p> ...and whatever happened to Peter and MJs' newborn baby that was abducted hhmmm?

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 3:06 p.m. CST

    also regarding the DCnU re-boot...

    by sonnyhooper

    ......i really don't see why people are so against it. it's the start of the digital age of comics, DC is dragging the comic industry kicking and screaming into the 21st century. it would be pretty stupid of them NOT to restart at #1 with every title if they want to do the day and date digital publishing the right way, wouldn't it? <p> i look at it this way, i'm not buying dvds anymore, i'm not buying cds anymore. the digital age has set me free from owning physical media, so why the fuck would i still want to waste my time with longboxes and floppies? <p> it cant just be nostalgia? can it? do comic book fans hate trees that much? do they still read the newspaper too? do they miss those 8 track tapes as well? rotary phones? is there any other outdated crap people want to cling to out there? no? just paper and ink comic books? fuck me that seems silly.

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 5:19 p.m. CST

    DC is tossing 80 years?

    by Tom Fremgen

    Isn't that more like 26 years? When everything got restarted with the Crisis? Or even less with the Zero Hour restart? I'm also curious how not buying dvd's anymore equals Barbara Gordon becoming Batgirl again, and Superman not being married to Lois anymore. Real head scratcher :p

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Crisis did do A LOT of damage...

    by Tom Fremgen

    Where did Powergirl come from? No more golden age Green Arrow, Aquaman- Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman! Wonder Woman never in the JLA- nor Superman or Batman. Superman's parents still alive. Alfred working for the Waynes when they were killed. The Crimson Avenger was the worlds first superhero. The Legion of SuperHeroes never travel to the past to meet Superboy. Jason Todd's parents were no longer killed by Killer Croc. The list is pretty long, not to mention all the characters killed in it.

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Oh, realdoublej

    by Joenathan

    That was just embarassing...

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 6:09 p.m. CST

    Barbara batgirl= trying to get more readers

    by CreamCheeseAlchemist

    Yes, the Timmverse is what got me reading comics but it's where they differed that kept me reading. Batwoman's really the one book I'm excited about but I'll pick up anything with the original Anarky too. Otherwise, the animated shows and the occasional toy work just fine for me.

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 7:17 p.m. CST

    and can anyone explain why...

    by sonnyhooper

    .....the re-boot makes 80 or 26 (depending on how much of a geek you are) years of storys "not count"? <P> that fucking mistifys me. <p> we are talking about fictional characters here. does it not stand to reason that the superman storys of 2011 be very diffrent that the ones from the 1950? <p> the very nature of fiction demands that a character would have to "change" or be updated, with the passage of time. <p> so why would any of that make the a superman storys from, say, 1973 "not count"? <p> if it was a good superman story it will live on forever as a good story. why the fuck would it matter if it was pre-crisis, post-crisis, pre-flashpoint, post-flashpoint or any of that bullshit?

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 7:28 p.m. CST

    fremgen re:babs

    by sonnyhooper

    i agree making her batgirl again kinda reeks of a stunt. but it's the choice they made. i cant blame them, babs is my personal favorite. but, has it been confirmed that cass and steph "no longer exist" or whatever? <p> afaict, all of the former robins were staying "in continuity", so why wouldt the bat-girls? <p> i really feel dopey saying/typing "in continuity". sooooo fucking stupid.

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 8:14 p.m. CST

    Your second post answers your first post Sonny

    by optimous_douche

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 9:16 p.m. CST

    true that optimous

    by sonnyhooper

    as a comic reader i've had the idea of "continuity" beaten into my skull. i hoping DCs new digital revolution will help me let of go of that burden.

  • Aug. 25, 2011, 11:18 p.m. CST

    Not counting

    by Joenathan

    The problem some comic fans have is that they like to think about their particular favorite title as one long novel and it's not. It's a myriad of creators, all of different style, ability, and intent and their stories are inconsistant, contradictory and often written with very little regard for what came before and what may come after. For some reason, some comic fans are unable to compartmentalize, so when a reboot happens they all start foaming at the mouth becuase they have this idea that the story they loved somehow doesn't count. That it somehow didn't happen, that a new creator couldn't walk onto a title and undo everything in an issue. The craziest part about this idea is that ONLY... ONLY LONG-TERM comic fans have this reaction, as in people who have been reading comics for decades and you have to wonder: At what point will they figure out how comics work? When will deaths and reboots and wolverine-on-multiple-teams cease to bother them? When will they start to roll with changes? When will they look around and realize no one has a gun to their heads? If you don't like a book... walk away. I loved Fraction/Brubaker's Iron Fist, so I bought every one. I didn't like Duane whatshisname's, so I stopped buying it. If someone cool start writing Iron Fist again, I'll start buying it again. DC is a company. They owe you nothing. Does this make you angry? 1. Please keep it to yourself, because you embarass all of us when you throw a hissy fit. 2. Get a real problem.

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 1 a.m. CST

    OPTIMOUS AIDS'Y ?

    by Neil

    What's wrong with you? Your writing is just horrible. I'm only a Type 1 Diabetic but I could still understand how your 'reviews' could hurt people. You're clearly bigoted and the fact that this website still publishes your articles really diminishes it's credibility. I intend to expose this. And I don't expect a response to this, apart from maybe a ban.

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 6:09 a.m. CST

    Dubfit - Let's talk

    by optimous_douche

    In my five years on the site I have been called everything from a fucktard to a baby raping mongoloid. Never has the word banned ever crossed my mind. I don't even want to ban you now, but I also will not sit back and simply abide being called a bigot because I have a sense of humor and refuse to become maudlin over life's tragedies. When my Mother was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes a few years ago, I bought her an embroidered pin cushion. You know what she did? Laugh, because it was funny. When I lost all of the blood out of my ass and was about to die two months ago, you know what my AIDSy friend did? Bought me a box of tampons. You need to check your definitions son, a bigot would imply hating or not tolerating people for who they are, not merely describing their condition with humor. Ask any of my friends with Aids, or my gay friends, or my "minority" friends if there is ever an ounce of hatred towards them. I may be an obnoxious asshole, but I do not hate. Now, if I said all of my gay friends or friends from Africa had Aids, THAT would make me a bigot. Call me a terrible writer, a subjective analysis like that is well within your right. But you better make damn sure you have an ounce of proof in your pocket before you slander me with a quantifiable word like bigot. Gloves are off - I don't like your tweed sir. Anything else?

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 7:10 a.m. CST

    joenathan

    by RealDoubleJ

    yip, being a fan of comics,wrestling, various geeky things etc. I deal with embarrassment on a daily basis. I'm not ashamed on the amount of money I've wasted on what I love.

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 9:28 a.m. CST

    accessible

    by Hedgehog000

    DC would be more accessible if they did the kind of job Marvel does on their TPBs. Based on word of mouth, I was interested in the recent green lantern series, but unlike Marvel which carefully numbers them so you know where to start and finish, DC just has a bunch of Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps trades on the shelves. Unless you carefully read the fine print, there's no way to know which to get first or which starts off the big event. Marvel not only numbers there trades, they even use a common cover theme for each big event. If you want to read Fear Itself in trades, you'll have no problem finding each one and knowing where and when it takes place in the cycle (now whether the story's worth it or not is another question).

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 9:34 a.m. CST

    post crisis DC

    by Hedgehog000

    I felt that the few years immediately after Crisis was some of the best for DC in a very long time. The Byrne/Wolfman Superman was one of the most interesting takes on Supes ever. The Wally West Flash made Flash interesting for the first time. Batman became more of the Dark Knight detective and less one of the gang of superheros. Even Green Lantern got a bit better with the intro of Guy Gardner. Of course it didn't last but who knows, maybe this reboot will give us a similar run and maybe they'll finally figure out a good hook for Wonder Woman.

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Douche

    by Neil

    Ok, so you're not a bigot. If you say so. I don't know any of your "minority" friends so I can't ask them but I'm happy that you have such people in your life to help you justify your vile turn of phrase. Not condesending at all! And I'm not your "son". To put it politely, your sense of humour leaves a lot to be desired. If your Mother shares your sense of humour then her's leaves a lot to be desired to.

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Dubfit - There you go junior

    by optimous_douche

    That should have been your first post.

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Agreed Hedge

    by optimous_douche

    Post Crisis DC was glorious. That's why I'm more than optimistic about the reboot -- dare I say excited even.

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Dubfit, you're bigoted against humor

    by Laserhead

    Your sense of it is your bigotry. I have an uncle who can't smell. You're like him, only with 'knowing what's funny.' Optimous, I want to ask how you almost "lost all the blood out your ass"... but then I don't.

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Glowy Tron lines on costumes

    by Laserhead

    The new decade's shoulder pads and pouches.

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Laserhead - Blood Ass

    by optimous_douche

    The short answer is no clue. I started feeling "off" one Friday and didn't think anything of it. The next day, Mrs. Douche went out for groceries and I went up to shower. Last thing I remember. She came home to find me passed out in the shower with it still running on my raggedy Andy frame. Went to the emergency room and they didn't even need to put the "specimen" under a microscope to see that there was blood coming out. After that finger went in, it was like releasing a damn (Thank God I was under the weather and we skipped Just the Pinky Friday the night before). So my hemoglobin levels had dropped from a healthy 14 to near coma 3. When all was said and done I needed 12 transfusions. They scoped me and couldn't find anything, so it was time to call in the big dogs. I was medivaced to Jefferson Memorial in Center City. From there I had every modern scope known to man, internal camera pills, whole nine yards. I was waiting for them to send in Dennis Quaid next. The best GI minds in Philly are still working on my case, but I feel fine.

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Okay, thanks for proving my point.

    by Neil

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 11:26 a.m. CST

    realdoublej

    by Joenathan

    It's not the amount of money you spent, or how much you love the thing you love, it was the entitlement of your first post

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Nuff' w/ Dubtard - Let's Talk Bionic Man

    by optimous_douche

    Someone asked earlier about BIONIC MAN before I was diverted with my favorite pastime of troll feeding. I'll have my review up next week, but in short: Is it ground breaking? No, it's the BIONIC MAN for God's sake. Is it enjoyable, yes. And not only to Kevin Smith fans. In actuality Kevin Smith haters will like it more. This marks a true maturation of his writing. There is not one word balloon stretched to capacity -- not one!

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 12:27 p.m. CST

    About that DC reboot thing...

    by Snookeroo

    Having been a lifelong DC fan, I've been through several of their sea changes beginning with the reintroduction of golden age characters in the sixties, and the subsequent updates to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc - thanks to the likes of Denny O'Neill and co. The New 52 reminds me a lot of the transformations to the industry that were happening during that time period. Maybe it's because my comic book perceptions were developed during a time of substantial redevelopment of the character lines, but I don't understand the desire to hang onto all the worn out tropes. I see a lot of commentary on the order of "keep your hands off my universe", and so forth. These are adventure stories, and adventure characters. Playing it safe doesn't come with the territory. Take Superman to new places, give Batman some deeper dimensions and let Wonder Woman have a personality. If that doesn't work, try something else. And make the stuff available to the public. Going digital is the best thing to happen to comics since I bought my first .12 cent issue decades ago. It may upset some people's geek wagon that the club doors are being opened and outsiders are being ushered in. But if the industry is going to survive, it's time for taking a different tact - and I'm glad DC is leading the way. If it doesn't work - fine, then try something else. But at least they're jumping into Action - and look how well that worked out for the Man of Steel.

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 1:19 p.m. CST

    wait, what?

    by fred

    How did blood from the ass come up in the conversation?

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 2:11 p.m. CST

    The problem with the reboot is they are making

    by Dennis_Moore

    the DCU look like early 90's Image, which was the worst period in history for mainstream superhero books. Many of the artists and writers responsible for the unmitigated crap at that time are at the helm of this reboot.

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Comments on the comments...

    by Homer Sexual

    This week's reviews are not comics that interest me, but the DC reboot is. The digital v. hard copy debate is really tangential to the reboot. BUT I will say that I still buy DVDs and books that I want to keep, re-watch or re-read, or share with friends. I use digital for books and movies I just want to check out. That is why I, personally, would never, ever buy digital comics. I love to re-read them, and I share them with at least two people, sometimes waay more. I guess that helps make the high price point more tolerable. Joe, you are right the DC is a company and doesn't owe us anything. By the same token, we are consumers and we don't owe DC anything. So we have the right to walk away, and walk away bitching. We don't owe DC, Marvel, you or anyone praise and are free to criticize as we see fit. It's like saying "don't go see that movie if you don't like it" but of course, no one goes to a movie unless we expect to like it. I know if I saw Transformers 3 I wouldn't like it, so I didn't go. I expected to like Matrix 2, so I bitched when it was stupid. They still got my money, though.

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 2:52 p.m. CST

    and on the reboot specifically....

    by Homer Sexual

    I am not bothered by the idea of rebooting the DCU. I am concerned because a lot of it looks pretty lame. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a single redesigned character who looks better post-reboot except Red Robin (I think that's who's in the new Teen Titans), and I can name a long list of character redesigns that look weak and, possibly worse, dated. For example, I love the current look of Zatanna (impractical though it may be) and her rebooted look is idiotic, but I will still check out Justice League Dark for at least an issue. OTOH, I don't like any of the Justice League redesigns, that book looks horrible on every level, so despite that being the flagship title of the new DC, I won't be buying it. Unless.... well, one LCS I occasionally shop at is offering all 52 first issues for $100. I counted 19 that I would buy individually, so I might drop the extra 40 bucks to give every single title a chance.

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Homer

    by Snookeroo

    FYI, DCBS (dcbservice.com) is offering all 52 issues for half price ($79) - that's how I'm getting all the number one issues. Apparently they're offering the same for all the number 2's, too. I've seen similar offers on other sites as well, and I know you can get deals through some LCS. BTW, I don't have any affiliation with the above service, just heard about them on comic geek speak and seemed like a good deal - thought I'd share.

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 3:38 p.m. CST

    About the bigot thing Optimus...

    by MrMajestic

    You see you gotta be careful about what you joke about with your internet audience/public at large and what you joke about with you friends and family. Those people know you whereas any yokel reading this may not know your nature and may judge you simply on what you wrote. Context and audience is everything. i.e. My best friend is a black guy who I met at my martial arts school. Been buds for years. One day we were watching the news together and heard about a young black youth who got shot by a gang of young Haitians in a case of mistaken identity. Of course the victim was a brilliant young university student, a pride of the local black community. My buddy goes -I knew it, it was those crazy Haitian bastards. To which I replied -So I guess not even black people can tell black people apart. He laughed and laughed and then turned to me all serious like and said -Dude, you can't say that joke(to outsiders, implied) Long story short, sometimes there is such a thing as and inside okay, outside not okay joke. p.s. I hope your arsehole doesn't start bleeding out again.

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 4:06 p.m. CST

    I hear ya Majestic

    by optimous_douche

    But for God's sake this is Ain't It Cool and specifically the realm of the @$$holes. Were I writing for Time or Newsweek (ha), my tone would be completely different. Trust me, if the site dropped in numbers because of my words I would not be here. I'm more easily replaceable than the Darrens on Bewitched. I hold no delusions... I agree with everything you say, but one could argue that the first HTML personality tag within the soul of Ain't It Cool was <callous-disregard-for-societal-norms>. I've had very similar conversations in real-life to what you described (ha - by the way, that is a good one) and I do consider Ain't It Cool to be such a place where similar conversations can occur. There is a cohesiveness to the culture here, especially the comics page, make no doubt. I honestly feel bad for Dubfit, he wandered in and didn't like my tonality. C'est la vie, I get it. No ill will on my part, truly. That's why the @$$holes are a league, plenty here for everyone. And thanks for the kind words on my @$$.

  • Aug. 26, 2011, 5:38 p.m. CST

    re: 90's image look of the DCnU

    by sonnyhooper

    i do admit thats a valid point. sure, it looks that way because jim lee did the redesigns. but here is the thing: don't you think that buy say issue #5 or so, every artist on a regular title NOT named jim lee will start to do a "redesign" of their own? <p> i mean, you know most artists drawn their own version of any given character anyway. so who is to say that a year or two into the re-boot, most if not all , the costumes will look diffrent than they do now at relaunch?

  • Aug. 27, 2011, 2:51 a.m. CST

    Homer

    by Joenathan

    You can bitch about the reboot all you want, you just can't whine about it. And you can't be all entitled about it either. But bitch all you want. Honestly, this is the most I've been interested in DC since Morrison re-started the JLA. There's a dozen or so books coming that I'm gonna give a fair shot to. Plus, I like that it happened because of Flashpoint. To me, that alone means that all that precious continuity did, in fact, happen, but that there were consquences to the adventures, which is always good. That's ballsy and cool and like I said, all that precious continuity is still there, so what's the problem? Especially since (and here's the kicker, if this new status quo happened because of Flashpoint, meaning part of a story, meaning that all that precious, precious continuity is still out there in limbo... doesn't that mean that it could come back at some point? Jesus, it's like some of you guys have never read a comic before or something...

  • Aug. 27, 2011, 7:47 a.m. CST

    Joenathan is right.

    by hst666

    I 100% whole-heartedly agree with his sentiments with respect to the reboot. Do I think it was absolutely necessary? No. I believe anyone could come in and write their own story and use as much or as little continuity as they like as long as the character retains its basic essence. Also, I am personally worried about some of the character redesigns. However, this reboot has generated a lot of interest and as Joe pointed out, the continuity is still there. Give it a chance before condemning it.

  • Aug. 27, 2011, 8:37 a.m. CST

    Sergio Aragones

    by el_sapo

    I love his art. It takes me much longer to read one of his comics than with other artists because I spend soooooo much time looking at all of the details in each panel. To top it off, I got to meet him once when I had just gotten back from 2.5 years in Peace Corps-Guatemala and he kindly put up with my insisting on speaking to him in Spanish, even when I mentioned I wasn't going to buy any of his books that day because I already owned them all. Nicest creator I've ever met and really underappreciated.

  • Sept. 1, 2011, 10:51 p.m. CST

    The Last issue of Batman Inc was damn awful...

    by loodabagel

    It reminded me of the incredibly incomprehensible art on the last New X-Men story. But at least I didn't have to look at five issues of it. As far as the New 52 goes, (Does each character get 52 lines on their costume?) I'm certainly intrigued. Justice League #1 was a really lousy comic, but it had quality art. Jim Lee's figures have gotten a lot softer, and they even occasionally have a different facial expression than teeth gritting. He also got rid of Batman's codpiece, which I thought was a nice touch. The characterization of Batman was fairly well done, but Green Lantern had the most obnoxious dialogue this side of a Kevin Smith Deadpool comic. Hopefully Green Lantern won't talk as much next issue, now that Superman's here. I also look forward to the eventual conclusioin of the Vic Stone side-plot. His interlude read like a damn slideshow. There's absolutely no reason to care for him. However, I'll at least skim future issues so I can see what the xtreme new Darkseid will look and act like. I hope he's like Spawn. Whatever man, fuck Justice League. There's still comics I'll at least give a look, even if it's just out of morbid curiosity. At the very least, I've got to find out just what the hell happened to Teen Titans. What is on Superboy's back? It looks like he drew the S logo on a piece of paper and taped it to his shirt. I'm actually really excited about a lot of these comics. So much of their old stuff was either really shitty or too steeped in comics lore to get into. I liked Secret Six, Batman Inc, Detective Comics, and the occasional issue of Jonah Hex, whose 1 issue stories I'm eternally grateful for. Business wise, releasing 52 new comics over the course of a month seems like a really dumb idea. If they really had guts, they'd do the only sensible thing and convert to a magazine anthology format, like Shonen Jump or something.