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AICN COMICS REVIEWS Part 2: FRANK MILLER’S HOLY TERROR! JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK! TEEN WOLF! FABLES! & MORE!!!

Issue #25 Release Date: 9/21/11 Vol.#10
The Pull List
(Click title to go directly to the review)
Advance Review: FRANK MILLER’S HOLY TERROR
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #1
TWILIGHT OF THE GODS #0
SUPERGIRL #1
VENGEANCE #3
FABLES #109
TEEN WOLF #1
Advance Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1


Advance review: In stores today!

FRANK MILLER’S HOLY TERROR

Author: Frank Miller
Publisher: Legendary Comics
Reviewed by Johnny Destructo


Arrogant. Arrogant god-damn bastard. Sloppy, arrogant work by an arrogant bastard. Frank Miller. Always building himself up bigger, taller, like some mad gaggle of robots. Always climbing. Now falling. Enjoys repetition and small sentences. Originally a proposed Batman book, this is now...something else. Instead of Batman and Catwoman and Gotham City: The Fixer and Natalie Stack and god-damn Empire City. Cold. Wet. Noisy. Haughty. But all I read is failed Batman, failed Catwoman, Failed Gotham City.

Adds paint splatter like blood. Fingerprints and splatter to hide the rushed artwork. Like a cancerous cough, ink is sprayed everywhere. Figures indecipherable. Lazy. Rushed.

There's a story here. An emotion. Several. Anger. Fear. A need for revenge. But it's lost. The art and writing in this book are like a terrorist attack. A terrorist attack on the purpose of this book, the story. It's buried under all the rubble so that you can barely see it. Buried under all the gimmicks. Art gimmicks. Writing gimmicks. It hurts. It hurts my brain. My eyes. My former respect of Frank Miller. Apparently, this was Frank Miller's quote about the book:

"For the first time in my life, I know how it feels to face an existential menace. They want us to die. All of a sudden I realize what my parents were talking about all those years. Patriotism, I now believe, isn't some sentimental, old conceit. It's self-preservation. I believe patriotism is central to a nation's survival. Ben Franklin said it: If we don't all hang together, we all hang separately. Just like you have to fight to protect your friends and family, and you count on them to watch your own back. So you've got to do what you can to help your country survive."

A shame any message he had intended is overshadowed by the sloppy work inside. Bad-ass fedora and begrizzled demeanor firmly in place, Miller also states this book is "bound to offend just about everybody". Offended by the lack of effort, maybe.

Arrogant god-damn bastard.

JD can be found hosting the PopTards Podcast, drawing a weekly webcomic, discussing movies, comics and other flimflam over at www.poptardsgo.com, graphically designing/illustrating for a living, and Booking his Face off over here. Follow his twitter @poptardsgo. His talkback name is PopTard_JD.


RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #1

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Art: Kenneth Rocafort
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: The Writing Rambler


Oh RED HOOD and your merry band of OUTLAWS, what controversy you all have drummed up in your first outing this past week! I can’t remember the last time I’ve heard so many different arguments over the same book (and that’s saying something when talking about comic fans, who light pitchforks ablaze when so much as a character’s costume changes). It’s hard to talk about anything in this book that doesn’t address someone’s side in an argument, but in DC’s defense I’m pretty sure that was their plan here, and they succeeded at it.

RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #1 sets out to be a book drenched in action, violence and sexuality and it does it well. Scott Lobdell injects this book with over the top action right from the beginning and you just have to accept that this book is either for you or it’s not. There is really no middle ground. From Roy and Jason’s back and forth banter to them both drooling over STARFIRE, this issue has all the subtlety of a Vegas bachelor party and in today’s ultra-sensitive, overly p.c. world we now live in it was kind of fun and refreshing.

With that said, I have to address what seems to be the biggest controversy of all, which is Starfire’s depiction in the book. Many are upset over what they feel to be a complete reboot of her personality. Seemingly gone is the STARFIRE of old who held her friends and teammates in high regard and in her place we have what equates to an alien nymphomaniac who can barely remember the difference between humans, even when she’s sleeping with them. I get how fans of her character are upset because it does, in a way, diminish years of backstory, but on the other hand STARFIRE was always somewhat of a sexualized character to begin with, so I don’t fully buy people acting like they turned her from a nun into what we are given now. While I agree we’ve never seen her this devoid of emotion before, I also won’t pretend her original “pre NEW 52” backstory didn’t include some” risqué” topics (including her being sold into sex slavery, for one).

The art in this issue is beautifully handled by Kenneth Rocafort, though yet again the controversy overtakes his work here. Despite numerous well-done images of Roy and Jason mid battle, this will be remembered for one thing and one thing alone. That of course would be his depiction of Starfire, especially her exiting an ocean in the smallest of swimwear. There’s nothing one can really say about his handling of Starfire (other than it’s the stuff that 13 year old boys’ dreams are made of….and I mean that as a compliment) as it’s reflective of her personality in the book.

Overall, RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS is something different from what we’ve seen so far in the NEW 52. It’s over the top, crass and seems like the literary equivalent of a “Fast and the Furious” movie. Tons of people are going to hate this book and tons more are probably going to love it because of that fact. I find myself leaning more towards the positive side as, even though I fully understand people’s critiques of the book, I find myself really looking forward to what the future holds for the series. It’s been said that controversy creates cash, and if that’s the case then I think DC will be smiling all the way to the bank with this book. For the sake of seeing where this series will go, I hope it works.

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


TWILIGHT OF THE GODS #0

Writer: Aaron Stueve
Art: Oscar Bazaldua, President Nelson, Joel Rasmuessen, Gregg Paulson
Publisher: Bluewater Comics
Reviewer: Mr. Pasty


When you go to a school that uses a magic 8-ball to decide its curriculum, you don’t get to learn about fancy stuff like Greek gods. In fact, my first introduction to them came via CLASH OF THE TITANS – the masterpiece starring Harry Hamlin, not the unflushed turd headlined by Spam Worthington. That being said, I don’t know much about them outside the initial allure of well, being gods. Unfortunately my bromance with Zeus isn’t enough to keep Mount Olympus from tumbling to the ground – at least that’s the premise in Aaron Stueve’s TWILIGHT OF THE GODS, a colorful and entertaining look at the closing curtain in Greek mythology.

In order for religion to survive, you have to believe in it. I used to skip church all the time and when I did, Jesus didn’t call me on Monday morning and chew me out for blowing him off. That’s why the zealots are always trying to pluck new recruits from the unwashed, filthy masses, like Lucy and Ethel used to pick chocolates from the assembly line. Christianity thinks it has it rough, well, the Greek gods have it ten times worse. When’s the last time you had a day off from work to celebrate Poseidon’s birthday? Or got a basket from the Hephaestus bunny? As a result, the gods have suffered a steady decline until finally, mercifully, Zeus himself fades away. That leaves Artemis as the last of the finest, but it also means that with the big man upstairs no longer ruling the roost, ol’ Heracles (Hercules) will be free from the prison I didn’t know he was in.

TWILIGHT OF THE GODS #0 is what you would expect from a numberless issue. It’s largely expository and gives you a quick rundown of why the gods are dying, who will remain and how it will affect the mortals on earth. There’s a great tease about the return of Orion, the hunter of the famous constellation by the same name, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the direction Stueve takes with him as well as the aforementioned Heracles, who’s (understandably) kinda grouchy for being locked up by Hera. Artemis, on the other hand, isn’t really doing it for me, but it’s issue #0 so I’ll reserve judgment for a later date. As far as whether or not this is a good comic, that I can say with some degree of authority. It’s wonderfully crafted and the writing respects the source material without being overly dramatic. My one complaint is the illustration by committee, for which I am never a fan, especially when one or two artists are heads and shoulders above the rest. I don’t want to call anyone out by name because I don’t feel like getting my ass whipped at the next comic con, but there should be a little more balance in the contributing artists. Is it enough to detract from the experience or deter you from buying it? Hell no. Or in this case, Hades no. It’s a fun read and a line that could have a very bright future.

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.


SUPERGIRL #1

Written by: Michael Green and Mike Johnson
Pencils by by: Mahmud Asrar
Published by: DC Comics
Reviewed by: superhero


OK, yeah, so…
This is not a good comic. Sorry, sorry, I know everyone is super excited over DC’s new 52 but this is not a good comic. It’s not a horrible comic, it’s not the worst I’ve ever read, but it’s not a good comic.

Supergirl’s rocket ship crash lands on Earth and secret government robot types fight her and that’s it. This is Supergirl issue number one and that’s all that happens. That’s it. Oh, and Superman shows up on the last page. There’s barely any character development. We barely find out anything about Supergirl except she has a crappy costume (more on that later). I didn’t care anything at all about this new Supergirl when I read this book. Even the fight stuff was uninspired. Heck, she’s fighting big ol’ robots! I thought that would at the very least be exciting! But it’s not. The whole issue is one boring ol’ fight scene with bits of Supergirl doing her best to think deep thoughts and failing.

This issue of SUPERGIRL is an abject failure as far as I’m concerned.

I mean, look, Supergirl’s never been the most interesting character in comic books. The best run she probably ever had was when Peter David wrote her for a short while. Her most impactful moment was when she died in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS almost thirty years ago. She’s not what’s considered an A-Lister by any means, at least not to me. But I was interested in checking this book out, mostly because I’m a Superman fan and I wanted to see how they’d try and re-invent Supergirl. I wanted to see a new, fresh take on Kara Zor El just because she’s never been all that gripping. I was hoping for something attention-grabbing. Something fresh. Something…I don’t know…new!!! This is just the same tired old stuff. Actually, it’s not because I really find Supergirl’s first appearance in ACTION COMICS # 252 infinitely more entertaining than this story.

Ok, ok, the art is good. I actually liked the art. The coloring's great too! Visually I think that it's a decent looking comic book. Except for the costume! The costume is pretty much terrible. I mean. the torso's OK. The cape collar is a neat touch. But once you go south of the equator…whoa!!! What the hell happened? Her crotch area is…what the fuck? I mean, it looks ridiculous! An S-Shield right over her vagina? Hell, her hips aren’t even fully covered! Really? And then those boots! They are the silliest looking things I've ever seen! Yes, I get that people are going to say something about them being alien boots…well then for all of their advanced technology Kryptonians can't design footwear to save their…well…planet. Who designed this costume? Certainly not a woman! For all the guff that Wonder Woman's costume gets this makes Wondy's outfit look like high fashion! And then the real thing that made me laugh, the bit of dialogue that made me practically do a spit take, was when Supergirl says something about her only being able to wear this outfit after "graduation". Graduation from what? S&M academy???

C'mon, DC! COME ON! I've seen way, way better Supergirl costume designs than this at Project Rooftop! Call one of those people and get a decent Supergirl costume design! Or better yet, get a female artist to design Supergirl's costume because this…this is comical.

It's too bad about this issue of SUPERGIRL. I was hoping to like it. As a fan of the Superman family, I was hoping for a first issue that would get me interested in a new take on this character. Everything about this issue is just uninspiring. Unfortunately this looks like another one of the new DC books that I won't be picking up on a regular basis. Poor Kara Zor El…she's had so many chances for someone to get her right. Looks like it's going to take another re-vamp years down the road to take Supergirl from being a C-List superheroine to a comic book character that could actually be interesting in her own book.

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.


VENGEANCE #3 (of 6)

Writer: Joe Casey
Art: Nick Dragotta
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: MajinFu


Now this is more like it! I’ll admit this summer left me quite cynical when it comes to superhero comics. Neither of the big two’s “events” was particularly fetching, to say the least. My perspective on costumed tomfoolery shifted to just that: a masquerade of aimless violence committed by characters who cared less for anything but where they stood on a moral spectrum too contrived to matter or justify the endless violence. The whole endeavor was getting staler than last month’s bread and just as lousy to consume. Enter Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta, who inject the genre with enough youthful vigor and eye-popping visuals to turn the smoldering cynic in me back into a twittering fanboy once again.

In tone and feel, it’s similar to Peter Milligan and Mike Allred’s run on X-Force/X-Statix, but that still doesn’t quite do it justice. Yes, the art is both spectacularly executed and incredibly clear in scope, yes the characters are fresh and multi-faceted, but this is a different breed of superhero comic than what we’ve seen before. It’s less about superhuman media relations and more about the groups that occupy and operate on the fringe of the Marvel universe. VENGEANCE is a comic that seeps into the cracks of Marvel continuity without ever losing its freshness or getting bogged down with details. In fact, much of the enjoyment in reading this book arises from a combination of classic and cutting edge, and it’s the way the creative team explores this dynamic of old and new that’s kept me coming back for more.

Chronicling the exploits of two upstart superhuman gangs, the mysterious Teen Brigade (led by a duo of Captain America knockoffs, and also containing New X-men favorites Beak and Angel) and the dangerous Young Masters of Evil (which includes a female Black Knight and a deadly NEW Radioactive Man!) work from opposite ends of the moral spectrum, but there’s much more at stake here than the battle for good and evil, resulting in a line in the sand that is becoming increasingly less distinguishable. Halfway into the series, the two teams are finally interacting more with each other, and the entire story is merging into a more cohesive plot. The issue begins with a psychedelic journey into the Astral Plane, with the help of the embodiment of order and chaos. This leads to a sequence where both teams are vying for the fate of Dr. Octopus, with only the not-so-good doctor’s accomplices from the Sinister Six standing in their way. There’s also some crap about an ex-SHIELD operative, and the Red Skull’s there too. Not all of the strands are connected yet, but the mystery is all part of the fun.

It’s a busy issue, but it flies by so quickly you’ll be shocked when it suddenly ends. That’s not criticism but praise, as it’s rare that a comic can deliver entertaining material with such gusto that the last page leaves you clambering for more, even after dropping a wealth of material on you. If you missed the first two issues, the summary page, which is clearly and concisely delivered in the form of nine panels, makes this a perfect jumping on point for new readers, which is a good thing since this is not a book anyone should miss. Also, the title of the issue, “Every Little Thing” suggests this issue may contain secrets to what’s to come, so scholars of the Marvel U may want to take notice. To top it off, next issue’s cover sports everyone’s favorite god of mischief, so it can only get more interesting from this point.

I thought Nick Dragotta was good in the first two issues, but he’s topped himself here. The correlation between order and chaos is reflected in the layouts which perfectly display the action, never letting some of the more absurd battle scenes lose their precision or energy. There is a nice balance between the conventional and unconventional as the characters slip between worlds and battle each other in the streets of Manhattan. Plus, I really liked the Ultimate Nullifier’s gun, which apparently shoots depowering bullets that can speak binary code. Really, I don’t see how anybody could think this book looks less than stellar, from the colors to the ridiculously cool costume designs, so I’ll just leave it at that.

Without spoiling much, this is the second comic I read last week that featured She-Hulk and Nighthawk but it’s the vastly superior choice in just about every way. In fact, if the last half of this story proves to be as excellent as the first, I would strongly consider buying the trade as well. My favorite part of Marvel comics has always been the periphery characters that fill the world and keep it feeling as unique and varied as our own. I could care less what Iron Man is up to any given day of the week, but I could read all day about the exploits of a retired SHIELD operative or Beak and Angel’s field trip to the Smithsonian. This issue sadly doesn’t offer such a scenario, but it gets damn close when the pair of mutants have a creepy meeting with Doctor Octavius himself, who seems to be brewing another one of his harebrained schemes. Make no mistake; this is a superhero comic that is both cutting-edge and eerily familiar.

If you’re like me and you like a little variety to break up the monotony of costumed crusading, give this book a shot. It’s funny, brilliantly illustrated, and presents compelling ideas on the relationships between older classics and the youth culture, while never feeling artificial or preachy. It remains faithful to older comic continuity, and in fact embraces the classic tropes of the genre, while pushing them towards a new direction that is hopefully intriguing for readers young and old. Buy this comic.


FABLES #109

Writer: Bill Willingham
Art: Mark Buckingham
Publisher: DC Vertigo
Reviewer: Henry Higgins is My Homeboy


A small epidemic (on top of a surprisingly early flu) has hit my school, and again it's on me. Though, unlike the other outbreaks where I was patient zero, this one's good; everyone I know wants to read FABLES. It's awesome. I'm having everyone from friends to casual acquaintances to very cute girls to even a few people I don't know asking to borrow my trade set of FABLES. And why the hell not? It's a rather fantastic series, and if it keeps as it's always been, may even surpass titles like SANDMAN and PREACHER for the coveted "Bestest Comic Ever" title.
,br>Where last story was maybe too soft on the epic, this one effortlessly juggles the wide scope of the series with a soft look at the Wolf clan.

Writing: (5/5) Willingham does two things extraordinarily well in FABLES: developing a rich mythology and showing brilliant inter-character relationships. Both are well represented here, as the servants of the North Wind attempt to work out who shall assume the mantle from their deceased father.

The tests provide much in term of the cubs, who while defined have never really been thoroughly explored. Here, each is given some appropriate screen time, and none of them feel shorted. Each is covered briskly and with an interesting turn, providing further looks into them. It's nice to see a slow shift in focus from Snow and Bigby to their children, as the two continue their way into full supporting players. The prophecy regarding the children becomes more and more intriguing with plotlines like this, and while I have theories (and an obvious idea) about the future King of the North, I wouldn't want any of them to leave the focus they gain here.

The tests I mentioned above provide further clues into the truly mythical world that the Fables inhabit and don't completely understand, and it's fantastic. Seeing the experts on the odd and strange baffled by these enigmatic tests (that not even the servants truly understand--they just have faith something will happen to reveal the next in line) is gratifying in a very unusual way. The conclusion to the book as well really opens the door to a place that even the Fables have never considered, and I'm very excited to see where it takes us, the best compliment you give a cliffhanger.

Buffkin's journey, as the cover suggests, begins another chapter in here, and it too is fantastic. The team he's assembled continues to play off one another well, and a fun dynamic breaks up the tension from the main story. The other lingering plot lines (the possible return to the Farm, the whereabouts of Ms. Sprat) are all addressed briefly and sufficiently, and it's clear that things will reach a head soon.

Art: (5/5) Have I mentioned how much I love Buckingham? Yeah? Oh. Well, how about on this series? With the perfect mix of bright, colourful landscapes juxtaposed against the subtle facial cues and body languages, in a way few artists are able to provide, let alone perfect? I have? How about how brilliant his character designs are? I have.

.......THE ART IN FABLES IS FANTASTIC!

Best Moment: I really love the ending.

Worst Moment: I don't want it to end. I'd rather just read about the cubs some more.

Overall: (5/5) This was really good. As always.


TEEN WOLF #1

Writer: David Tischman
Art: Stephen Mooney
Publisher: Top Cow
Reviewer: Ambush Bug


Having just completed my own werewolf comic book (***Quick Plug: FAMOUS MONSTERS PRESENTS LUNA: ORDER OF THE WEREWOLF will be out in late October!***), I try my best to check out as many werewolf stories as I can. So for the last year of so, I’ve immersed myself in all things werewolf. That means I’ve read a lot of good werewolf stuff and a lot of bad werewolf stuff. Although the mere mention of TEEN WOLF (a classic 80’s update of I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF) plucks my strings of nostalgia whenever I hear it mentioned, I couldn’t help but cringe when I heard MTV would be bringing us “not your pappy’s TEEN WOLF” for a while new ADHD emo generation. Trying my best to be optimistic, though, I figured I’d give this comic book version of the property a try, hoping it might lure me into the TV series. That’s what multi-media tie ins are for, right?

The thing is, TEEN WOLF #1 is full of the stuff that gives comics a bad name. To start off, in the very first few pages, our narrator begins with a caption claiming how Scott the Teen Wolf’s origin is like something out of a comic book. Dissing the media you are writing in is not meta. It’s not a great move to win over the reader who is…reading a comic book. It’s just disrespecting the media you’re being published in. Throwaway lines like that work in films based on comics because it’s slightly ironic, though completely overused. A line like that doesn’t work in comics because you want folks to read your comic, don’t you?

Anyway, the story goes on with some of the most expository word captions I’ve read in a while. Captions explain what’s going on in the panel. Captions explain things that would have made for a great scene. Scott hugs a classmate he has the hots for. This would be a great scene to zoom in, show the heart pumping, the wolf hair starting to grow, to accentuate the point of the story which should be that Scott’s lycanthropy is triggered by feelings going out of control. Does writer David Tischman do this? No, he says something to the effect of “being this close to her makes me fearful that my werewolf side is about to be unleashed.” over an image of the two hugging. Again and again, moments that could really been personal and interesting are glossed over. The result: me not giving a shit.

Stephen Mooney does a capable job with the art, though the design of the werewolves—you know, the reason why we tune into this book—are pretty uninspired. Michael J. Fox’s TEEN WOLF was iconic, looking more like those creepy hairy acrobats from South America than a snarling Lon Cheney Jr. Here, it’s your typical furry wolf guy.

The story reads more like a lame redux of Peter Parker, who spends most of his time being angsty and worried. There are a few extremely uninteresting field hockey scenes, a jaunt in the woods, and a cliffhanger that really doesn’t make a lot of sense (why would Scott’s high school rival show up at his house?). In the end, if the book’s job was to get me to become interested enough to check out the TV show, it failed. If it was supposed to get me to check out the second issue, it failed. Breaking the cardinal rule of “show don’t tell” and uninspired designs of the werewolves pretty much put the silver bullet in this book’s chances of showing up on my pull list.

Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole / wordslinger / reviewer / co-editor of AICN Comics for over nine years. Mark is also a regular writer for FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND and will be releasing FAMOUS MONSTERS first ever comic book miniseries LUNA in October (co-written by Martin Fisher with art by Tim Rees) Order Code: AUG111067! Support a Bug by checking out his comics (click on the covers to purchase)!















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Advance Review: In stores today!

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1

Writer: Peter Milligan
Artist: Mikel Janin
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Optimous Douche


For anyone like me that resented the death of the otherworldly weirdness of XOMBI in the new rebooted world – rejoice. JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK twists the mind and soul and sets a stage for palpable fear with a clear distinction between the deluge of JUSTICE LEAGUES in the new DCU.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK also corrects two big problems I had in the old DCU: an actual purpose for a league and magic being more than a last ditch golden parachute.

I have not been able to stomach the LEAGUE post-IDENTITY CRISIS. From the talent agency recruitment of members (seriously, anyone else remember the issue wrought with 8x10 headshots and descriptive word balloons?) by the big three before they went off into their own land of publishing weirdness, to the uneventful events that followed, the title was around simply because the title was always around.

In the new DCU JUSTICE LEAGUE is simply a moniker, not an official title. We know little of the primary JUSTICE LEAGUE only having dabbled with 22 pages thus far, but nowhere in those pages was a decree that “We are JUSTICE LEAGUE!” Likewise with JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK, this origin issue doesn’t even show team members like soothsayer Madmae Xanadu, reality bending vest wearer Shade the Changing Man, sans fishnets Zatanna and John Constantine together yet. Yes, they cross paths as Enchantress weaves death spells of insanity upon the world, but the team is coming together organically through this crisis. The only team that has established themselves as an official JUSTICE LEAGUE is the JLI for the sake of good PR between humans and heroes (brilliant in inception, even if the execution was far less brilliant).

I may not be the best guy to do this review since I abhorred magic and the ethereal in the old DC JUSTICE LEAGUE stories. “Oh no, the monster has defeated Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, what do we do?” The answer was always to call Zatanna away from her shopping spree at Fredrick’s of Hollywood so she could stare the monster in its fifteen eyes and say RETSNOM OG YAWA. Lame. The inherent problem in my opinion was the fact that magic and might played in the same clubhouse. You couldn’t do stories solely focused on magic because it sidelined the heavy hitters, while the flipside of this analogy was as I mentioned, using magic based characters as clean-up rather than an integral weaving into the overall plan to defeat the latest foe.

By splitting these various teams into their own entities, as fans we have to buy more books, but the reward is JUSTICE LEAGUES fighting foes meant to test the mettle of their unique and vastly different abilities. I don’t know about you, but I prefer separate books as opposed to team stories that are set up like pee-wee baseball. Everyone should not always get a chance to play simply because they haven’t been used for awhile. That’s communism, not winning.

Like most of the team reboots, we get a series of introductory pages into the lives of each team member as they are weaved into the overarching story of Xanadu’s prophecy of doom at the hands of Enchantress’ insanity. Deadman and John Constantine fans will be most disappointed in this approach; their page time was the scarcest and mainly used to sense a disturbance in the force. Not being a zealot fan of either I almost forgot they were part of the book when I started writing this review because Milligan’s treatment of Zatanna, Shade, Enchantress and Xanadu was more than enough to bring me back for issue 2. Each has their own little pocket of insanity: Shade conjures love and is resented by his creation; Enchantress is wreaking havoc across the world with the words in books and sentient nuclear reactors (all from within the pocket universe of an envelope). Xanadu, as I mentioned before, provides narration, a wonderful choice given her skill of prognosticating.

Really though, Zatanna is the most changed from before. Not only will she no longer have to worry about snags in her uniform now that she is wearing far more appropriate black leather pants, but she also comes with a “don’t fuck with magic” attitude I really don’t remember from before (it’s probably because of the pants). After Superman, Wonder Woman and Cyborg get their collective keisters handed to them, Zatanna has a wonderful tete-a-tete with Batman on why magic matters should be left to the experts. Might is not always right.

Now that we have reached the end of the #1 deluge I know there will be the naysayers that will read this book and say, “This ain’t no SHADOWPACT.” To which most will reply, “You’re right, it’s not.” However, I’ll say, “Yes it sort of is.” This is what we have now, folks. SHADOWPACT and all the other old titles are no more. You want a dose of magic based stories in the new order, this is it. It’s fine to disagree with choices made in the books, but overall condemnation will simply lop huge categories off our collective reading lists. This isn’t full-on INVISIBLES weirdness, but it’s damn close and I could see it getting much darker once we get past the new reader catch-up.

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.


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

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  • Sept. 28, 2011, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Early...

    by kittenmittens

    AND FIRST!

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Wrong-o on Red Hood

    by Laserhead

    That comic is NOT well done, by any stretch of the imagination. People aren't upset that Starfire is a tramp, or not a nun. They're upset at this retcon where she's basically retarded. And they're upset that Jason and Roy act like Tucker Max. Starfire's like this Retarded girl Roy and Jason keep around to fuck. "Dude, you can fuck her, and she won't even remember it!" "Awesome!"

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 9:27 a.m. CST

    New 52 weak links

    by Laserhead

    Anything written by Scott Lobdell, J.T. Krul, or Judd Winnick, so far.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Supergirl

    by John Hammel

    The reviewer might be a little more believable if he actually read the comic. Her ship crashed in Russian territory and she was disoriented and fighting soldiers in suits like Rocket Red. Read before you review.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Holy Terror

    by The Funketeer

    Sorry but your reviewer is not clever or talented enough to pull off what he was trying to do with that review. I've read a lot of people criticizing the book. I'll still check it out because even when he fails, Miller is a far more interesting talent than people give him credit for. Calling his work lazy and rushed or claiming that splatter is used to hide rushed artwork suggests that somehow the reviewer was in the room with Miller while he was drawing. For future reference, if you're going to take a writer to task for his writing, don't try to write your review in the same style.

  • The comic, not the movie. He's basically been doing nothing but failing exclusively for nearly 15 years, and there's nothing interesting about it anymore. It's just puerile bufoonery. If he ever had decent taste, it's long, long gone. 'The Spirit' is still a bad joke around Hollywood. Miller had to jump back on the comics bandwagon after that clusterfuck. Hence, 'Holy Terror.' He hasn't been "working" on it for ten years. It was sitting in a drawer and he thought he could make a buck. I'll stop before I start talking about his 'women'.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Catwoman....

    by Andrew Quinsatt

    Probably the weakest of the DC reboots...

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Holy Terror was Pretty Fucking Terrible

    by Prof_Ender

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Funketeer is... Frank Miller!

    by Jam Banjo

    The review was fucking excellent, spot on. And he did exactly what he set out to do because despite fanboy apologists, Frank Miller has long since ceased to be clever, or original. There is no subtext. Hell even in the past it was pretty clear, you didn't have to dig deep. Frank Miller is not as clever as he, or The Funketeer, seems to think he is. Great review. And terribly sad to see your heroes turn out like Frank Miller has. Lets just ignore the last few years. Well, 10.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Funketeer

    by Poptard_JD

    I see your point, and while I wasn't in the room with Mr. Miller while he was drawing, making your style look sloppy on purpose is fine if the underlying structures are accurate, but this didn't even have that. I never made an attempt at being clever OR talented about my review, I basically copied and pasted text from the book and replaced some words to make a point. If you have a different opinion than mine after you ACTUALLY READ THE BOOK, please feel free to come back and discuss with us :)

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Agreed, Pro_ender. Obviously.

    by Poptard_JD

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Laserhead

    by Poptard_JD

    I'd go further to say that I've enjoyed *most* of the Sin City's...just not the last one..and as for Funketeer's assertion that Miller's failures are interesting...I wonder if he watched The Spirit film. My eyes and ears are STILL bleeding.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Nothing I can say about Red Hood that hasn't already been said

    by BlaGyver

    And it's a damn shame. I love Jason Todd as a character and I was looking forward to it. I would highly recommend the ComicsAlliance article on the general handling of women in the New 52 as a good read and a great argument for what is slowly starting to come across as a blatant disregard for women in DC.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Another point, Funketeer

    by Poptard_JD

    You take me to task for assuming fingerprints and splatter are to hide his disinterest in actually drawing... Have you seen The Spirit film? Because it seemed to me that stealing Rodriquez's film style from Sin City was hiding the fact that he didn't know bupkiss about directing. And before you retort that Rodriquez's style was simply the Sin City style put to film, which was created by Frank Miller...yes. That may be true. But why use that to create The Spirit, which never had that style to begin with?

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Jam banjo

    by Poptard_JD

    much appreciated sir. Thanks for getting my point. :)

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 10:23 a.m. CST

    That Teen Wolf TV show is really good.

    by Series7

    Sure it's a little Teeny Bobbery, but overall I really liked it and it was well made. The show is run by awesome movie veteran Russell Mulcahy (who knows a thing or two about comic (or radio) movies he did The Shawdow (and Highlanders 1-2), but not only that he brought in some other interesting directors to help him out. The British fuck that directed Splinter directed a couple of the episodes and brought along with him Splinter and Wipeout star Jill Wagner and she was a lot of fun in the show. You sort of have to get past episodes 1-3 before it really picks up, but for a 10 episode show it was really solid and a lot of fun, nice use of special effects as well.

  • ...and she said, "Why'd they get rid of her skirt? I liked that costume, but without the crop top." I asked if a skirt on a character who could fly wasn't impractical and she said it could be like a running skirt (???) with shorts underneath the skirt part and besides "she's Kryptonian so it's not supposed to be realistic anyway." She also said no woman, even Kryptonian would be caught dead in "those stupid boots". So there's one female opinion, anyway.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 10:38 a.m. CST

    I'm a huge Miller fan and I "read" Holy Terror

    by Monolith_Jones

    It is a mess and and it is sloppy in spots but there is also some really great stuff in there. The pages depicting the victims fading away is brilliant stuff. I also liked how he inserted the (non) talking heads of the people involved at the time up until now without any text or context. I honestly believe the superhero stuff is the least intersting in this, I mean there's virtually no narrative to speak of. I found this book interesting as an impression of the insanity that was New York at the time but as an actual story, I can't say it suceeded at all. I wish this was a book of one or two page vignettes without any superhero stuff at all. The art was both glorious and awful, fusing the best and wot aspects of the later Sin City books

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 10:41 a.m. CST

    DC's new blood: George Perez, Scott Lobdell, and J.T. Krul

    by Laserhead

    Boy, that's exciting. Is J.T. Krul somebody's nephew or what? Does he have blackmail photos of Didio? This guy writes the most ham-handed, overly narrated, badly plotted pieces of crap this side of Chuck Austen, and DC keeps giving him work! While Lobdell's two 'New 52' issues have been among the very worst of the line-up so far. Whoever wrote 'JLA: Rise and Fall', should not be allowed to script major comic books.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Holy Terror review

    by huskerdu2

    You'd think after the career he's had, the work he's delivered and the legacy he leaves, the very least a serious, critical site could offer Miller was a serious and critical engagement with his work. But no, Justice League Friggin' Dark gets a lengthy analysis, while Holy Terror gets a bunch of 'too cool for school' vomit. The modern comics audience in a nutshell.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Holy Terror Review

    by Autodidact

    That was amazeballs.

  • At this point, his work gets the coverage it deserves. Anyone who's read anything he's written after the first Sin City, anyone who saw 'The Spirit', knows that this is not a fucking comics genius; it's a perpetual 13 year old boy on coke. His legacy? Daredevil and The Dark Knight Returns. The end.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 11:03 a.m. CST

    laserhead

    by fpuk99

    Nail > Head

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Laserhead if you really think that's all miller is good for

    by Monolith_Jones

    You really don't know anything about comics.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Miller

    by dukeroberts

    All-Star Batman and Robin was terrible and The Spirit really pissed me off. I had been waiting for a Spirit movie for a long time and when it came along it was that steaming pile of shit. Thanks, Frank. Thanks a lot.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 11:36 a.m. CST

    karellen-follow your own advice-READ THE REVIEW

    by superhero

    I said "secret government types" I didn't say what government. I didn't say where it crashed. Just because I didn't call out that it was Russia or they "looked like Rocket Red" doesn't mean anything. Even if they look like RR they are NOT RR and they work for some secret RUSSIAN government organization. It's still a boring comic. And a crappy costume! Work on your reading comprehension skills a bit before you accuse me of not reading what I review.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Frank Fucking Miller

    by coz

    I knew he was done when the first issue of Dark Knight Strikes Again came out. So fucking terrible I never even finished the series. But hey, the brightest flame burns quickest.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 11:40 a.m. CST

    Yo dfrtbfvhdf

    by fred

    How about a spoiler warning? Jesus.

  • to be honnest i think the money got to him, and his ego his work used to justify his arrogance and assholeness it used to go with it. I shook his hand on the premiere of the latest x files movie he was with his new wife and he seemed like a really nice guy he stood there for half a minute and listened to me gargle his spunk and polish his cock and was a good sport. I wonder if we will see him in bankrupcy state and that will maybe force his work to be authentic and real again. i imagine he used to hang out in alleyways and run down bars but now i just don{t see him climbing up a fire escape anymore i don{t see him playing on rooftops or having one night stands with lonesome hookers. he seems more like a retired rapper or rockstar when they have nothing more to complain/fantacised about or write about other than their financial situations. however he will always have my respect he will be in my mind a legend a pioneer in comics and a visionary artist and story teller. there are moments in his work that inspire urband mithology and noir fantasies.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 12:04 p.m. CST

    HuskerDu2:

    by Poptard_JD

    "modern comics audience"? I'm 33. I've been in the comics audience for over 25 years. I'm not sure I qualify as the "modern" audience, but ok. And I gave my review the same amount of effort and time that it seemed Frank gives his work these days. Seemed appropriate to make a point. Sorry you didn't like it. Hopefully there were other reviews on the site that you enjoyed

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 12:10 p.m. CST

    the only good 'Sin City was the first one

    by Laserhead

    The rest were bad doodles of totally nonsensical sub-pulp stories with sub-Mickey Spillaine dialogue and plotting. Just total garbage.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Poptard

    by Monolith_Jones

    In this instance yes that's how I feel when someone dismisses some if the best comics ever.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 12:19 p.m. CST

    See, I feel like YOU don't really know anything about comics

    by Laserhead

    because you just referred to Miller's ouvre as some of the best comics ever. Thus proving you don't know anything about comics. I guess you and Entertainment Weekly think they're some of the best comics ever, but no.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Ronin, Year One , Elektra Assasin

    by Monolith_Jones

    Go ahead and argue that those aren't some of the greatest comics ever. And while you're at it list what you do think are some of the best. I'm genuinely curious.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Also I apologize if my first comment was harsh

    by Monolith_Jones

    I'm not a troll and would like to keep this debate civil if that's possible

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Monolith-Those wer doen almost THIRTY YEARS ago...

    by superhero

    What has Frank done for me lately??? Nuthin'. That's what! :O)

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Done! Done!!!

    by superhero

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 12:47 p.m. CST

    Elektra Assassin is the only one of those I'd hold up

    by Laserhead

    And that had the great benefit of being Seinkiewicz's personal vision writ large. I mean, do you really think the writing in Elektra Assasin is great? I think a fundamental difference we have is that the sub-pulp tropes and language Miller uses are essentially the totality of his writing ability, and for me, it's really crap. Yes, it has great appeal to powerless teenage boys, or powerless, shallow geeks (and I'm not saying that one has to be that to enjoy his work, just that it's one explanation for the perennial popularity of some of his stuff. It's perennial the way 'Curious George' is perennial; there's always a new generation of babies to discover it). The way Batman, Martha Washington, Elektra and anybody in Sin City (or ancient Greece, for that matter) all speak in the same completely cliched, rote manner is lazy garbage, and the actual plots he employs become more and more nonsensical as his career goes on. Let's talk about the work:the portrait of human beings, men and women, heroes and villains, in Miller's work post 1991, is camp that takes itself seriously. And his illustrations have gotten steadily lazier, I think. Certainly I could imagine something like his current style being the distillation of all that's gone before, a simpler, more brusque approach, but I look at his shit and it's not very effective most of the time; it just looks like lazy garbage. But that perennial re-supply of powerless young males keeps him in business.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Miller

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    That was a funny review. You got him. I've been hearing this cocaine talk about Frank Miller for a while, but only vaguely referenced. I wonder if there's actually any truth to it. Anyway. The original Sin City was the last thing of his I saw that was great or even greatish. Even that got a bit worse as it went on. But you could tell he really worked at it. His shorthand style just sucks, Frank-ly. He used to be somewhat thoughtful and it worked well when combined with his love of pulpy theatrics. Then he decided the thoughtful part was stupid or something. Really too bad. As writer/artist The Dark Knight Returns is by far his best work. Elektra Lives Again is fucking awesome looking though, and his books with David Mazzuchelli are excellent as well. Elektra: Assassin was a blast. I loved Hard Boiled but that was more because of the art.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Bluewater hires some of the shittiest artists around.

    by alienindisguise

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 1:09 p.m. CST

    The Spirit Movie So Epically Fucking Bad

    by Autodidact

    I was so annoyed from the very first clips.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Sin City is where he lost it, clearly.

    by Autodidact

    I bought the first Sin City when it was the only Sin City. Man that was good. Then I bought all the Sin City stories as they came out, and it was obvious from that stuff alone that Miller was losing it and becoming a serious one-trick pony. That day, when I bought the first Sin City, I also bought Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns for the first time. You could say it was a good day at the comic store. It was sometime late in summer 1993.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Aquaman #1

    by Geekface

    Hey is that Harry in the seafood restaurant in Aquaman #1 that came out today?

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Oh Redhood...

    by Joenathan

    It was sold out at my LCS, so I didn't pick it up, but I was really drawn to the art initially. I don't know if I'll bother now, but what really intrigues me is that DC has riled up their idiot-nerd base, big time, with this. There are half-wit titans unsticking themselves from the amber and lumbering into shore to scream about this all over the butt-head forums on the internet. I'm curious to see what their reaction is going to be.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Miller

    by Joenathan

    I can't believe people still talk about Frank after the Spirit and DK2

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Justice League Dark sounds like a candy bar...

    by Hellstrom

    Justice League Caramel, Justice League Peanut Butter...may be time for lunch!

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Vengence sounds interesting

    by Joenathan

    Sure, it's written by Joe Casey, who's pretty much on my "don't buy" list, but still... sounds interesting. Of course, this is how Casey always gets me. He perks my interest and then hands me shit.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Vengeance is awesome.

    by Laserhead

    Joe Casey is killing it between this and Butcher Baker. And Joe, the Red Hood stuff isn't about being trapped in amber, at all. It's about good taste and good characterization.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Daredevil #181 and #191...

    by fred

    were amazing, especially considering that comics then weren't written at the level they are today. Give Miller credit for those two if nothing else.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Hey, his original Daredevil run is greatness

    by Laserhead

    It was thirty years ago, but great. Full of the energy and thoughtfulness his work has so sorely lacked these last 20 years.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Frank Miller Killed Robocop

    by Hedgehog000

    I remember being excited when I heard he'd be handling the Robocop sequel as I'd really loved the first. Then I saw the result. I don't know what happened to him after DKR and I don't care, but he's been on fumes for a quarter century now.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Supergirl in the 8th grade

    by Hedgehog000

    I really liked the all ages Supergirl that came out a few years ago with her as an 8th grader dealing with a much more popular "evil" clone. Maybe they should have stuck with that.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Yes that was Harry in Aquaman - Don't know connection though or why

    by optimous_douche

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 2:04 p.m. CST

    I DID find The Spirit interesting....

    by nyj_et

    ....I just didn't think it was any good.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Starfire Making Me Angry NOW!!!

    by optimous_douche

    Why can't an alien use humans for fuck toys? Seriously, is there some atlas of cataloged alien sexual behavior I missed somewhere. And whose getting assed up about it most? Moms...and chicks in their freshman year of college who believe deep thinking consists of challenging anything and everything main stream. Yes, Starfire is different. THAT'S THE FUCKING POINT! She was a strumpet in the 80s and she's a strumpet today. You know what changed - society. 80s whorey is demure by today's standards. And that comic alliance article is pure garbage. It's written by a woman that clearly doesn't understand that there is a banal side to men that wants our women to kick ass and be sex kittens all at the same time. Need proof? Allow me to point you to the billion dollar industry that is called porn. And when she says she doesn't want to see full penetration when referring to Catwoman and Batman at the end of Catwoman 1, it's obvious that the writer's idea of full penetration was shaped by reading Harlequin Romance novels. We wanted change, we got it, now we bitch. GAWD!!! ARRRGHHHHH!!! Any guy that's mildly upset by this is just that -- just mildly upset. Why, because there is something still in our lizard brains that enjoys the primal side of life. GAWD!!!! ARRRGHHHH!!!!! You killed corporate America with this PC bullshit ladies, please let us have one last bastion where we aren't completely and utterly neutered.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Robocop 2 had little of what Miller intended it to be

    by AlexDK

    Rewrites galore. Not that his actual plan for the movie was any good, though. He made a comic out of his screenplay, and it was pretty bad too. But saying he killed Robocop simply isn't true. OTOH, Miller's Robocop Vs Terminator was a pretty damn good story, intriguing, funny, and downright surreal at times.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 2:20 p.m. CST

    sweet fucking christ

    by coz

    when did the Teen Titans cartoon become the bible on how these characters are supposed to be? ah well, nothing some serious deep dicking wouldn't cure >(o)<

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Hallelujah Spider TY

    by optimous_douche

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Laserhead- yeah I do think the writing of Elektra:Assasin is great

    by Monolith_Jones

    The marriage of Miller and Sienkiwicz is absolute magic. I don't know if you know but each issue was done at least three times as the creators bounced ideas back and forth. I can't defend much of Miller's work of the last two decades and agree that the "voice" he gives his characters in that time can be grating( I think that originated in That Yellow Bastard, the last Sin City story I feel is essential) but I don't think that voice was present in his early work, including Give Me Liberty. I also think that you saying his comics "appeals to powerless teens" is correct, but that goes for all superhero comics.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 2:53 p.m. CST

    DC Comics: Professional Publisher or Publisher of Amateur FanFic?

    by jericho1368

    People are just really missing the point. I don't think people care that there are sexualized females in comics or that characters are having sex in the comics. The point is that it reads like really bad fan fiction. Plain and simple. The story (Red Hood)appears like it was pulled off the internet by an amateur, wannabe who uses graphic out of character sex because the creators like the talent, professional training and skill to tell a good story without it. And that's the problem with DC in a nutshell: they can get readers interested -- that is what Dan Didio has been doing for ten years -- he just can't help but repel them afterwards. It is why DC Comics have been in such serious decline for so long -- Dan Didio and Co. just lack what some consider to be an essential ingredient to be successful in any publishing venture -- He and his editiors do not have an eye for talent -- or talent that will appeal to the greater market at large. DC has been repeating these mistakes over and over again for ten years, it is what necessitated this relaunch in the first place. For the life of them, they have zero judgement for what makes good storytelling. And that is the issue here: the storytelling is awful and amateur; they employ creators whose lack of skill is compensated by empty, shock value storytelling. Is anyone really surprised by the increasing pile of bad comics coming out of the New 52? These are the same people who screwed up the DCU in the first place.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 2:56 p.m. CST

    DC Comics = Lack of Skill

    by jericho1368

    Sorry, in my post above I meant: The story (Red Hood) appears like it was pulled off the internet, written by an amateur, wannabe who uses graphic out of character sex because the books creators/editors lack the talent, professional training and skill to tell a good story without it.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Not really.

    by Laserhead

    Some powerless teens might get into superhero comics for that, but they also tap into something more, well, powerful than power fantasies. At least when they're done well, and lots of guys do them well. Witness the popularity of the super-hero outside of comics. Miller's work's sole appeal seems to be adolescent power fantasy, without a hint of nuance.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Optimous - Starfire

    by Laserhead

    I been thinking about why it bothered me, and it's certainly not that I mind Starfire being trampy, sleeping around, etc. I think the discomfiting part is that she doesn't remember things, doesn't have personal connections. That made her, like, brain-damaged to me. Add in that Roy and Jason are acting like frat boys tag-teaming a stripper, and the whole thing had an unsavory taste that went beyond anything PC. Watch Roy take sloppy seconds from the hot retarded gir! It was like that.

  • It's funny - DC's never had such a (ahem) visible female character who only wants to fuck and is devoid of any kind of life or character before and now you're throwing a temper tantrum about people wanting to take away something you've never had before? Is that it? You want your "women to kick ass and be sex kittens"? Not, uh, have an actual character that might actually make her a person? Is that it? Nice sense of entitlement, bucko. Frankly, the big problem is that kind of shit doesn't fit with a mainstream publisher trying to go more mainstream. Pick a different venue. Or stop trying to imitate 90s Image and get with the times. And I'm a 30-year-old non-Mom, non-college student. You want to go a couple rounds on this Douche? BRING IT. I'm not one of the limp-wristed girly-girls out there.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 3:23 p.m. CST

    "Nu" Starfire's dialogue reads like a blow-up doll that speaks.

    by Poptard_JD

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Superhero movies and such are those same fantasies in a different medium

    by Monolith_Jones

    But what are those more powerful things that Miller's work lacks? Who and what are the writers and works that do achieve this? And as far as nuance, I think his work used to display it , he's unfortunately not interested in it anymore, it seems.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Thalya - Starfire

    by optimous_douche

    I would love to play. Yes, I want a woman that kicks ass, which Starfire does before the beach scene. People seem to be forgetting the opening of the book where our two male heroes would have been toast without her ass kickery. I want a woman that exudes sex, YES! Why, it's truly the only reason men and women tolerate one another at the end of the day. The top sited reason marriages end up failing? The boom-boom go bye-bye. Men like to oogle, we are creatures of visual stimulation. It's high time we stop apologizing for it. If a guy tells you who doesn't care about sex, he's lying. Don't blame me for exposing the truth. Again, look at our top export - porn. Gotta be someone consuming it, right? I want a woman that can hold her own in a conversation, which I believe Starfire does. If we can all stop thinking myopically for a second and see beyond three pages of a book, we might ask ourselves who is really pulling the strings here. All we got was the guys perspective on the beach, which frankly for two adrenaline junkies sounded pretty spot-on to how roid heads talk. Maybe...just maybe...Starfire likes to fuck and is using Jason and Roy for both pleasure now and a grander scheme in the future. Frankly, that's what I saw. I've been played plenty of times in my life by that trick. Now...whose the misogynist folks?

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Optimous, again

    by Laserhead

    See my post just above Thalya. That's the salient point for me. And, come on, there's nothing 'strong' about Starfire in that comic. She's a fuck toy, no matter what "empowered" jibberish hack Lobdell has her spout.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 3:45 p.m. CST

    I thought Catwoman succeeded where Red Hood failed.

    by Poptard_JD

    She was intelligent, capable and in the need of Bruce's bat-womb-brooming.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Monolith

    by Laserhead

    Nowadays, I guess I think Joe Casey, Jonathan Hickman, Jason Aaron, Jeff Parker, Rick Remender, Greg Pak, Christos Gage, sometimes Matt Fraction, and Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, Jeff Lemire, et. al all write good super-hero comics, comics which expand the medium while utilizing it to achieve a depth of characterization and long-form storytelling that enrich the form of super-hero comics. Alan Moore also wrote good super-hero comics in ABC and before. Generally, Miller has been a one-trick guy when it comes to super-heroes: he makes them adopt the tropes of pulp crime and speak in bad-Hammett dialogue, this being 'gritty.' Generally his heroes have two sides: awake and asleep. And for some reason, they all love prostitutes or porn stars (Selena Kyle, Karen Page, all the chicks in Old Town in Sin City). Huh.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Laser, trapped in amber

    by Joenathan

    I was making a "waking a sleeping giant" reference, not a comment on the book... which I haven't read yet. also, I think it's funny when a bunch of DC fans get all riled up.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Laser

    by optimous_douche

    Sorry man, I was addressing Thalya first. Fair enough, you can be upset she lost her memory. I'm upset JLI was about as funny as child cancer and Booster is relegated to being a simple dumb fuck instead of a sarcastic duo with Blue Beetle. I totally think you are hating for the right reason, but at the end of the day it is what it is. As for Starfire, again, I see her playing these two like a harmonica. We only saw one side of the story in my opinion. Yes, the guys are misogynists, but it's Jason fucking Todd. Fans almost unanimously voted to kill him, and then he came back with no reservations about killing and seeking vengeance on the only man that ever showed him kindness. If I read a book about Jason, hells yes this is what I expected. Don't get me wrong. Not a kid out there should be reading this book. Not one. Again, parents if there's any doubts, check the ads. If it's got a hot wheels on it, you're good to go. I guess I just never gave a shit about Starfire. Really, if this was just some random new chick acting like this there would not be one conversation about this.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Batman/Catwoman "full penetration"

    by Joenathan

    I saw the alleged penetration frame and my first thought was: "Don't they both still have their pants on?" Frankly, this just reminds me of the infamous "butt sex" scene in Alias... just a bunch of comic nerds accidentally exposing their unfamiliarity with sex.

  • Well said, Jericho.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 4:06 p.m. CST

    jericho1368 is right

    by Joenathan

    The only thing DC knows is that they don't want to be who they've always been (slightly lame, stodgy and trapped in amber), what they don't know and obviously can't figure out, is how to change for real in a good way. And Jericho1368 is right, it doesn't help that, besides Morrison, DC doesn't really have a very dynamic and exciting pool of "talent".

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 4:09 p.m. CST

    everyone is a Miller hater... its fashionable

    by THE_ONE_MAN_GANG

    He really hasn't changed his tone/ artwork- its the world and the industry that changed. Miller is one of the most influential storytellers/ artists of the age- and an artists that isn't/ wasnt afraid to take chances (and still isnt to some degree) in a medium that is fucking stagnant and for the most part, shitty (unable to produce quality product on a monthly basis). His Daredevil run in the 80's (just got around to reading it last year) was fucking great. Sin City, Daredevil, Batman, etc. great runs. So a big fuck you to all of the idiots on the site that are talking shit, and a big fuck off dork to the reviewer of holy terror. he's one of those dinks that probably has his own shitty little comic that he self publishes, and thinks it is the greatest.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Plus, DC sucks!

    by THE_ONE_MAN_GANG

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Miller

    by Joenathan

    I disagree. I think Miller's style has completely changed. Its rushed and overly-hurried now. It lacks any layers. IT's very obvious he used to care and doesn't anymore. It's very obvious he'd rather be in Hollywood. That's what has changed.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Uh, Douche, you're addressing a straw Starfire..

    by Thalya

    Strip out the parts of your response where you think I'm attacking you for being a typical male who likes sex and bazoombas. I don't care about that. Why don't you address my point about Starfire's void of characterization? Justify why you're ok with that. So you're saying super-heroine Starfire is using two other heroes for some grand scheme? What the hell kind of Snidely Whiplash characterization is that? You're very clearly projecting your own issues onto the page. Where are you actually seeing evidence of this greater scheme? To take a relevant quote from the Comics Alliance article: "Female characters are only insatiable, barely-dressed aliens and strippers because someone decided to make them that way. It isn't a fact. It isn't an inviolable reality, especially in a comic book universe that has just been rebooted. In the end, what matters is what you choose to show people and how you show them, not the reasons you make up to justify it. Because this is comics, everybody. You can make up anything." This gets to the heart of the problem. We can conject and project all we want, but at issue #1 of a tabula rasa all we're left with is the text. It ain't good. Also *points to laserhead's and jericho's posts* what they said.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Red Hood

    by Joenathan

    I haven't read it yet, but you know what it reminds me of (from what I've heard)? All those third tier image books, the ones that didn't last more than a couple of issues. Remember Bloodshot? Or the one on Mars? Terrible, full of badly titilating sex and "cool" nonsense created by uber nerds

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 4:17 p.m. CST

    way to hypocrisize, the_one_man_gang

    by coz

    in less than a minute, too

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Yeah Miller has chained a lot.

    by Monolith_Jones

    It's one of the things I liked about him until he got stuck in this most recent phase.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 4:21 p.m. CST

    CHANGED a lot.. Sorry

    by Monolith_Jones

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 4:28 p.m. CST

    bloodshot, lol

    by coz

    another title I forgot existed, like most of Image's crap

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Thal/Starfire

    by optimous_douche

    Not saying the issue was good, I don't think it was. Absolutely I'm projecting my own thoughts and experiences on to the page. I've been fucked over more times by beautiful women than I care to count. But perception is reality and the problem with humanity since the beginning of time is that we all live in our own reality only occasionally bumping into some other alternate realities that are close to our own (friends. family etc...), but never quite ours. Here's the escape hatch in all this, she's an alien that has always had the body of a woman and by earth standards a certain naive air about her. Let's be honest, Starfire was never Shakespeare. I didn't open Titans back in the day in hopes of seeing a great soliloquy by Starfire. I don't see her as slutty, I see her just being her. Jason and Roy, yeah they see her as slutty. We see her as slutty. We are not thinking like an alien race though. If...and yes this is a big if on my part and a leap of faith in hopes that this book gets a plot...she wanted she could twist these two minds at a moments notice. Remember, men are easy to manipulate, we always have been and always will be. Especially when sex is entered into the equation. Yes, I'm putting my money on the bombshell that shoots bombshells and isn't tethered by the bindings of human emotional frailty. Again, I wasn't impressed with the delivery, but no, I don't hate it in concept. Every team has a lackey. No one gets up in arms when the male characters are portrayed as dumb or when they are being used and manipulated sexually or otherwise. Look, I get it. If you love Starfire, it's perfectly understandable to be mad. Again, I'm mad about JLI, Booster and the loss of Ted Kord forever. But this is the new DCU. There are women out there that are used for sex, and in some cases they don't mind. If this was an Ennis book we wouldn't even be having this conversation. I honestly don't blame DC for trying to capture some of that audience and I don't see Starfire as a sacred cow personally. I'm OK sacrificing her to get the fanboy market that's into that stuff. Is it me, no. But I don't fault its existence.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Daredevil: Born Again

    by kungfuhustler84

    Easily one of Miller's best works combining superheroes and real world issues. I still need to read ronin since I'm a huge fan of Samurai Jack.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Optimous

    by Thalya

    Just a quick note to say I'm going to reply, just: end of work, and have to go buy a new phone because my old one finally died. TB atcha tonight.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 5:43 p.m. CST

    The writing on Elektra: Assassin...

    by Baryonyx

    ...was fu*king good!

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 5:54 p.m. CST

    I look forward to more spirited debate m'lady

    by optimous_douche

    Although I think we are saying much of the same thing at a certain point.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 6:10 p.m. CST

    Agree kungfuhustler84

    by Monolith_Jones

    And Ronin and the beginning of Samurai Jack is almost identical.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 6:40 p.m. CST

    Adding this new article into the debate

    by buffywrestling

    Finally, I think readers can rightly object to the omnipresence of the male gaze, not because that in itself is wrong or awful...guys have every right to get turned on by comics if they want. But that shouldn't always be the default POV. Why can't we have scenes that appeal to more preferences, or at the very least don't exclude other people? We know it can be done. We know women like sexy comics and hot characters as much as the guys do, and those are just the binary choices. I don't care if a character is sexy, but objectification can be a lot more problematic because it reduces characters to less than they are supposed to be, less than what the readers have a right to expect.

  • PROS Answer "Are American Comics Books SEXIST?" http://bit.ly/r1XSVw The above excerpt was from Gail Simon, the *only* woman writer in the DC 52 title reboot.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 7:06 p.m. CST

    Starfire and @buffywrestling

    by Ambush Bug

    If Starfire were dressed in a nun's garb and never had a sexy scene in her thirty plus years of existence in comics and then suddenly showed up in RED HOOD being all slutty, that's one thing. I'd understand all of the hubbub. But from day one (year one, since we're talkin' DC), Starfire has been the sexy alien wearing a costume that barely fits her. She shags Robin very early on in that series and there are multiple times that she's referenced as the more powerful and barbaric aliens in the DCU. I feel apart from the forgetfulness, her characterization in RED HOOD was pretty spot on. Plus I don't think this makes her a slut, it just makes her alien, with alien sensibilities. The debate about lack of females in comics is full of shit anyway. If female comics sold, they'd make more. How many issues did Zatanna sell. I loved that comic, but no one bought it. VOODOO will be cancelled within a year I guarantee. Wonder Woman has failed to grab an audience for years. She Hulk has been cancelled close to ten times. The only ongoing book with some weight is Birds of Prey and that's debatable since I feel it was Simone's weakest title that she wrote. There aren't any female books because a) mostly males buy the books, b) mostly males write the books, and most importantly, c) no is buying books with female leads. It's not sexism, it's realism. If the demand for those books were there, they'd make them. But in response to this made up fervor, DC will churn out a few books to appease the loudest voices, then those voices will end up not buying the books they beat their drums for and then they'll be cancelled in a year. Wash, rinse, repeat. Until someone like Morrison or Johns or some other superstar writer the fans will follow incessantly writes Wonder Woman, she's not going to be a popular character. As far as your point about equal opportunity oggling, buffywrestling, almost all characters in comics wear skin tight clothing and are often in various states of undress. So whatever side of the fence you lean, you're going to get some kind of beefcake or cheesecake, however you like your cake...

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 7:22 p.m. CST

    That wasn't my quote

    by buffywrestling

    As I stated, that was a quote from Gail Simone from the Newsarama peice that I linked. I forgot about the quotation mark fail this site has going for it. I haven't given my opinion on the subject at all. But it's nice to know what tree you will be swinging from if I do.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 9:30 p.m. CST

    one_man_gang

    by Roger Moon

    Miller's drawing style has changed alot over time. When he first made a splash on Daredevil he was working out of the Neal Adams and Gil Kane mode, with lots of Eisner in there. His current style begin to emerge in Ronin. Course he made some stops along the way, experimenting with a lot of high contrast in the early Sin City stuff. In the later SC books he shifted into a cartoonish style with lots of thin lines and big fists and feet. Miller said in an interview with the comics journal: "When I talk about the more naive stuff, the more cartoony stuff - where I'm trying to go with my stuff - is that that's still in the family of Jack Davis. It's just that I realized at one point I was never going to be in the family of Alex Raymond. I don't have the skills and I don't like to do it, don't like to try it. I've been pursuing more actively a much cartoonier style..."

  • and if that's the case...can i return it?

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 10:31 p.m. CST

    poptard_jd

    by The Funketeer

    I can't agree or disagree with your assessment of the book since I haven't read it yet but that was never really my problem with your review. My issue was that you tried to be clever (you weren't) rather than clearly expressing your opinion of the book. I also take issue with your aspersions of laziness and the intent behind his artistic choices. It's fine for you not to like someone's work but you review what's there and leave the behind the scenes speculations out of it.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 10:38 p.m. CST

    Miller's Work

    by The Funketeer

    I too grow tired of the Miller backlash. I don't mind that people don't like his work but I agree with whoever said it's become hip to piss all over Miller. His body of work over the past 25 years has earned him the right to make a few creative mistakes. The argument that his work doesn't hold up is irrelevant and only goes to show that those who make the claim have little understanding of comics history. Comics don't need to age well. They are products of their time and need to be good at the time they were published. If you put Miller's early work up against the other books that were being released at the time, you'll see just how groundbreaking they were. Trust me, some 2 year old now will be pissing all over your Warren Ellis books 20 years from now and you'll feel the same way.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 10:48 p.m. CST

    we're not complaining of "a few creative mistakes"

    by coz

    we're complaining of a once-great artist's slide into mediocrity, and you're right, it doesn't do any good to piss on him, but he's made it too easy to take the piss OUT of him

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 10:51 p.m. CST

    Miller

    by Joenathan

    I don't piss on him because it's hip. I piss on him because he seems incapable of producing anything of quality anymore...

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 11:01 p.m. CST

    funeteer. I already addressed the issues you just reposted.

    by Poptard_JD

    why are you reposting them as if they are new? I've already responded to you about this. But since you're in the cheap seats: 1. I never claimed it was clever. You're claiming that I intended it to be. I was as lazy about my review as he seemed to be about the work in question. 2. I also addressed the fact that as an artist myself, I can spot laziness vs. intent. And since you yourself weren't there in the room with him, I don't think you can argue the opposing view. 3. I did review what was there. I reviewed what I took to be lazy writing and lazy art. That's what a review IS. I don't like the art and the writing because they both felt lazy, hence me saying so in my review. 4. If you don't like how I review, don't read my reviews. I wish I could go back and make that decision about Holy Terror. Thank goodness I didn't actually have to PAY for it.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 11:02 p.m. CST

    Optimous - I agree, we are pretty close

    by Thalya

    It seems like it's much more about the larger issues of the entire reboot now. I think DC is lying through their teeth (par for the course) about wanting to bring in [implied: diverse] new readers, though if they're being genuine they're shooting themselves in the foot with output like this. It's overshadowing pretty much everything else right now, which is a complete disservice to the other 50 books in the line-up. Honestly I'm pissed because DC sent a rather clear initial message in the first solicits that I was no longer a demographic they desired, and this resulting bruhaha seems to bear that intention out. They used to be better than this - hell, DiDio was the guy who got me reading DC to begin with. They seem so focused on short-term gains they're going to tarnish their brand with this intentional misogyny, and I wonder whether it's going to rub off on their icons in a negative fashion.

  • Sept. 28, 2011, 11:14 p.m. CST

    thalya

    by Poptard_JD

    Maybe I'm missing what you're saying..but it sounds like you're upset about one issue of 52 issues and that's casting a shadow over the other 51? What makes you think they are lying about wanting to bring in new readers. That doesn't make sense to me. "We're going to reboot everything just to piss off the longtime fans but we hope we don't also get new readers" ?? They're lying about wanting to bring in new readers, you say and then go on to say that you *are no longer a demographic they desired*? That means they are writing books for no one? I'm genuinely confused as to what you're saying. Please clarify! :) - Johnny Destructo

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 12:08 a.m. CST

    I Actually Read "Holy Terror........"

    by Partyslammer

    .....and I personally think it's one of the worst pieces of comic book garbage the past 10 years. It reeks of cynical artistic laziness from an artist who has completely lost the plot. And I used to be a major Frank Miller fan. He *was* a major figure in the revolution in comics storytelling back about..... 15 - 20 years ago. I even liked big parts of DK2. But let's be honest here. The man has long since hit the wall creatively. It's really a shame because if you look carefully at even his worst stuff from the last few years, there are still tiny glimpses of brilliance but a panel here or a line of dialog there can't salvage the utter trash that makes up the rest of one of his books. "Holy Terror" exists at best as a bitter "Fuck You" to his perceived politically correct Liberal stereotype and at worst, a grotesque rehash of every Miller cliché down to Natalie aka Catwomen wearing roller skates and anger fucking Fixer aka Batman after they beat the shit outta each other only to be interrupted by an Islamic suicide bomber depicted on Miller's now-typical lazy style of a full page spread of nails drawn in silhouette. In fact, a good 70% of this graphic novel is wordless full page spreads insuring that the reader can buzz through this book on one sitting on the can. I also want to ad that while I *do* like the fact Miller again uses the horizontal basically 16:9 cinematic scope for the book, the paper stock is so thin and cheap it's very easy for pages to get bent and warp. Nice graphic design there, buddy. Frank Miller is the Eddie Van Halen of comics.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 12:38 a.m. CST

    I'm sorry, but...

    by Joenathan

    it really makes me laugh to imagine DC collectively deciding that they have had enough of the silver-age-fetishists-cos-playing-furries-fanfic-reading-stuck-in-amber-continuity-nazi facet of their fanbase and made giving them the finger and active part of the reboot. Honestly, it is the part of DC comics that kind of makes it unfun for noobs and uncool for outsiders. It's funny, because sometimes, if you really want to change your direction/perception, you have to snap the blanket hard, y'know? There's this coffee shop in town, it's kind of lame and I was never a big fan of them or their uncomfortable "easy" chairs. Anyway, over the years it became THE place for the corset and top-hat, Neil Gaimen's Death, clove smoking goth kids. The type of lame high school/theatre crowd that would nurse and single cup and hang out for hours. It sucked. Anyway, the owners and management so fucking hated their costumer base that they finally decided to risk everything, their shop, their livelihood, everything, and completely shut down. They did and re-opened as a natural foods restaurant that's middling to fair at best. But the lame kids are cast out and they can re-determine their own product and perception again. Ballsy. I love it. I sincerely hope that is what DC did, because I got to tell you, while I think the reboot is sloppy and keeping some continuity and not others is a bad idea, that they should have gone for a straight across the board re-start, I am liking some of their stuff right now. Action. Batman. Justice League Dark is intriguing. Jesus, I'm even reading a Judd Winick book, Batwing. I'm also going to pick up Red Hood because, well, controversy. Wonder Woman was sold out, but I'm gonna get that too. Fucking Wonder Woman. I'm a Marvel-head... big-time... and I say: Go DC, mistakes and missteps and all, fuck the haters. Good job. Ballsy. I love it.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 12:45 a.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by Poptard_JD

    I agree that DC is doing just fine with most of the reboot, despite a couple misteps! Though I don't really think they are doing it as a fuck you to their fans. That's just bad business

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 12:49 a.m. CST

    Not if they're getting new readers...

    by Joenathan

    Which they are. As in: Yours truly.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 1:20 a.m. CST

    Johnny Destructo

    by Thalya

    Half of it is that I'm upset over the single issue and half of it is that I happen to love DC's stable of characters - and this shitstorm is noticeably detracting from DC's ability to promote all their other titles - just look at the comics section of the internet for the past week. I'd like for these characters comics' to have an even greater degree of success with the larger public, the characters are worthwhile and meaningful, and it only strengthens the industry. About where I think they're lying through their teeth: DC's PR is "oh! We're all about new readers! Let's get everyone we can reading comics!" Except a great deal of their line-up has a noticeable gloss of "nu" that screams "young (dumb) male." If they were sincere in wanting to attract more readers (and broader demographics), then why go so narrow? This past decade has encouraged a lot of comics-curious women and they are a ripe market. I haven't had a problem with a lot of DC's output since 2005, when I started reading - the ultra-violence and other stuff during that period didn't bother me because there were a fair number of good stories to go along with that. Not to mention, I didn't roll my eyes at too much of their output beyond Supergirl and anything Michael Turner touched. But to give you an example of the shift between the two periods, have a look at the two #1 covers to the Jaime Reyes iteration of Blue Beetle: (2006): http://tinyurl.com/3f4sgmf (2011): http://dccomics.com/dcu/comics/?cm=20176 I think the shift largely speaks for itself, but my take? The 2006 version is largely neutral and mysterious: anyone could get into it, so long as you're a little bit sci-fi. Fitting because Jaime was just getting introduced. Though you could say the same for the nuBoot, but in this case: black, metal, GUNS!, action. It says shallow characters, story, and an insistence on violence and crudity that are a far cry from my beloved BBv3. For me, there's nothing rewarding about reading that. If it were a one-off instance, that'd be one thing, but to varying degrees DC's actively promoting this attitude through most of their books through the covers alone (jeez, even look at Perez's Superman cover), not to mention an explicit boosting via their "Edge" line. The misogyny in RHatO is of a piece with all that. I'm not saying they should girly-fy anything, but a sense of balance in presentation (covers and story perspective) as they're rolling things out to the greater public would be a far less foolhardy move - and less likely to chase away 50% of potential readers, myself included.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 2:10 a.m. CST

    The worst offense of

    by Dennis_Moore

    Red Hood and the Outlaws, is the early 90's Malibu/various Image studios-style of art. The new start should've included newcomer artists. I see so much magnificent stuff out there from amateurs; granted, there is no guarantee they could keep up with comics publishing schedules...

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 4:32 a.m. CST

    Stop using the phrase "beloved"

    by Joenathan

    when referring to characters. Just stop. Have some dignity, please.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 6:21 a.m. CST

    Looking through Holy Terror again I found there to be some great art

    by Monolith_Jones

    Also the page layouts are masterful.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 6:32 a.m. CST

    Totally disagree on Supergirl #1.

    by NeonFrisbee

    I loved it. I thought it was a good, fun, exciting re-introduction to the character. I'm looking forward to what I assume will be forthcoming Krypton backstory. As far as her costume is concerned, I like it. Not as much as the miniskirt costume, but it's growing on me.

  • Keep up the good work making the AICN TBs safe for dignity, dear. We don't want to see you slip.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 8:13 a.m. CST

    In other news, Nerdy Bird hits it out of the park

    by Thalya

    http://tinyurl.com/6abf2l6

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 8:13 a.m. CST

    New DCU. OK, now we're getting somewhere

    by optimous_douche

    So Joen, who hated the old DCU, but has always professed a love of grittier more real based books is now on board with some DC titles. Thalya who I will call a somewhat new fan of DC having only really jumped on board during the post IDENTITY CRISIS years (please correct me if I'm wrong Thal, but I think i read that you only really started with DC in 2005), feel ostracized. The long-time fans, those of us that have been reading DC for twenty plus years seem to be the most ambivalent about the changes. Meaning, we like some, couldn't care for others. Double meaning, not much changed from before. This is interesting and the kind of demographic focus groups DC should start performing now that all of the #1s have been released. Honestly though, I'll say it's too damn early to tell anything at all. We don't feel anything for the characters yet. Fair enough: Do you feel engaged with a character in a book after only 22 pages (might be a bad example since books have more words, but generally no). Do you feel like you truly know a person or are emotionally vested in what happens to them after a 22 minute conversation? I know I don't. So Starfire has changed (albeit not that much in my opinion from her past comic incarnation, now the cartoons are a different story and SHOULD NEVER be held in the same light as comic canon), but all we have see so far is the scratching of the surface. Instead of banning the new DC we should collectively fight for what we want to see. DC does listen. They could have kept business as usual, but comic fans were clamoring for a do-over of the past 6 or 7 years. I've said where I want RHatO to go. Only time will truly tell. But I would say that the universe has changed and change is always hard especially for those emotionally invested in the outcome of that change. Mission accomplished though in my opinion if it got Joennat reading DC books and actually enjoying them.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 8:40 a.m. CST

    Optimous - well-balanced assessment

    by Thalya

    Unfortunately Joe's addition is cancelled out by my jumping off. I'm voting with my dollars, here's hoping DC listens. (my one exception - as a character completionist, I may still well get anything that has Riddler, Weather Wizard, or Calculator in it, we'll see how that goes) (and you are correct, I started off at WWP of all places with Countdown to Infinite Crisis and Villains United #1) >>We don't feel anything for the characters yet. Fair enough: Do you feel engaged with a character in a book after only 22 pages (might be a bad example since books have more words, but generally no). >>Do you feel like you truly know a person or are emotionally vested in what happens to them after a 22 minute conversation? I know I don't. One thing to counter this: comics are in the business of iconography - the reaction time can be much shorter in cases like this.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 8:59 a.m. CST

    That's Interesting Too

    by optimous_douche

    There aren't many character completists these days or book completists. I used to think I was one. As a kid I would have OCD pangs of guilt if there was a hole in my Batman or Superman runs. When I stopped caring, I always thought this attitude shift was a sign of getting older, until I realized I was following full runs of specific writers and then following them to their next title. When I did a little database query magic with my collection I saw an interesting phenomenon. When I was a kid in the 80s creators married books for the long-haul. Some creators worked on books for upwards of five years. These days its the equivalent of one night stands with a few notable exceptions like Bendis on ULTIMATE SPIDEY. Creators stay for an arc or two and then jump off to another title. Staying on a book for an entire year now is long term tenure. So i think our feelings on the new DCU will also be molded by what kind of reader you are. Thalya just said what it is for her. She has an adoration of character, so it would make sense when the fundamental fabric of those characters is unwoven. For me it's stories. As long as the basic elements are in place and the story is good, I'm on board for personality shifts or trying something new with a character. It boils down to the fact, I hold nothing sacred, especially when it comes to fiction. Jesus, this TalkBack has been like therapy.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 9:04 a.m. CST

    poptard jd

    by huskerdu2

    ...I gave my review the same amount of effort and time that it seemed Frank gives his work these days. Seemed appropriate to make a point.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 9:24 a.m. CST

    "That’s communism, not winning."

    by PTSDPete

    What a dork.

  • so you might want to rewrite your post, as most of it was lost other than the quote.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 10:08 a.m. CST

    It's 'hip' and 'fashionable' to have taste

    by Laserhead

    Duly noted. You wouldn't know it from the news, but okay.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Having now read all the 'new 52'

    by Laserhead

    I am predicting an epic fail which will set in somewhere around month four, when two-thirds of these books are selling under 10,000. These books are no better (maybe a little worse) than the previous DCU. And many of them are way, way more confusing than anything in DC proper. What the hell was going on in Hawkman? He's already been Hawkman (but not the one we've known), and has decided to quit before the issue even starts? Legion? Anything written by Scott Lobdell or J.T. Krul? Fail. Jericho already said it. This has certainly drawn the attention of new customers. And then the product quickly revealed itself as crap. Sayonara, new customers.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Don't capitalized the "N"

    by Joenathan

    That's weird

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Optimus

    by Joenathan

    Not "grittier". I'm not a fan of "grim and gritty". I just wanted the DCU characters to sometimes wear pants with pockets.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 12:56 p.m. CST

    The new 52

    by Joenathan

    Of course a large swath of them will fail. Of course they will, that's why there're 52 of them. They're throwing them all out there to see what catches. In a few months we'll see and then they'll go forward from there and probably greenlight a few more new books, but there's no way they'll go back (despite having a easy rip-cord/reset button). No way This reboot is a big fuck you to the lame fans, yes, but more so, it's about re-establishing the books to more accurately reflect the movies and the cartoons and the video games. It's about having a wide spectrum of books available to those people, different flavors, different speeds, like having cars with different engines, instead of just a whole bunch of station wagons, so when the new folks just introduced to the characters come looking and poking around, they're going to find the more familiar version, and they won't have to go to an LCS either. DC is preparing for the e-comic book future and the silver age fetishists and cos players and slavering devotees to Joker and Harley Quinn are not part of it. "Oh, but what about Starfire? She's all different!" "Shut up. No one cares." This Batman is now more like the movies, more like Arkham asylum. This is where Batman really sells, so they're catering to that crowd. It just makes sense. They're going to the where the money is and finally telling the Simpson's Comic Book Guy to just shut the fuck up already. This change totally makes sense. Whether it's of good quality or not, well, your mileage may vary, but there's no doubt that this is good and it will be good as the inevitable creep to e-comics continues.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Good for them, business-wise

    by Joenathan

    and it will be "even better" as the inevitable... damn lack of edit button.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Hey bat725

    by Thalya

    Ahem http://twitpic.com/5d9g35

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 1:10 p.m. CST

    thalya

    by Poptard_JD

    don't bother with the troll. not even worth it.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Probably true, JD

    by Thalya

    Just feeling a punchy still.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 1:43 p.m. CST

    And you just gave him FAP Thal -- bad Thal

    by optimous_douche

  • ;)

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 2:53 p.m. CST

    gross

    by Joenathan

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 2:56 p.m. CST

    you got purty eyes, thal

    by coz

    bet you thought I'd go all perv here but no, I'll leave it at that :)

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Thanks fellas :)

    by Thalya

    And Wrath - as much as I may have become innoculated to clambering around these darkened pits of dripping smegma for the past 10 years, I appreciate your tact, sir. Everyone wins with an approach like yours.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 4:30 p.m. CST

    I try to keep it classy

    by coz

    somebody should ;) darkened pits of dripping smegma, lol, apt, reminds me of a friend's basement in junior high, the bat-cave actually he called it hotel hell

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 7:18 p.m. CST

    I Learned Something This Week

    by optimous_douche

    Starfire is actually loved....(shakes head and walks off into the distance) This has been a very special talk back....

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 10:16 p.m. CST

    how come no one tells me MY eyes are purty???

    by Poptard_JD

  • Sept. 30, 2011, 9:15 a.m. CST

    awww

    by coz

    jd, you got a purty mouth so much for classy XD >(o)<

  • Sept. 30, 2011, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Because...

    by Joenathan

    You don't have tits... er... I mean, you don't have GIRL tits.

  • Sept. 30, 2011, 3:42 p.m. CST

    I thought DC said that New Teen Titans&Batman continuity..

    by Thanos0145

    still existed in this DCnU? Starfire not remembering Dick Grayson or her friends is indeed a RETCON. She was never a door knob for her teammates to take turns on. Jason Todd has banged Talia and now Starfire. Are Batgirl and Catwoman next? Parts of Hush,(all of) Heart of Hush, and Batman Inc have been wiped out since Selina no longer knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman. For what, so readers who don't get any get to see Catwoman rape Batman? Way to go Didio!

  • Oct. 1, 2011, 3:23 a.m. CST

    if we need...

    by sonnyhooper

    ...and affirmiative action "replacment" or "proxy" for every iconic superhero.... then why can't we have and alien princess that likes to fuck, or a cat-burgler that also likes to fuck with her costume on? <p> didn't we cover all of this in "watchmen"? <p> i don't mind politicaly correct bullshit just as long as all things are equal.... <p> the truth is.......... that jason todd and roy harper are bigger "whores" than starfire EVER could be.... and batman is a fag for not wanting to fuck catwoman in the first place. <p> we want "realism" but leather clad cat-burglers can't want to fuck? with most of the costume on? <p> and alien princesses can't be without puritanical views on fucking? really? i would think that golden alien chicks with star-bolts could fuck whoever they want WHENEVER they want.... it's their x'hal given right. <p> come on now.....