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Issue #36 Release Date: 11/23/11 Vol.#10
The Pull List
(Click title to go directly to the review)
Advance Review: HAUNT #19


Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artists: Various
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: MajinFu

My personal economics of comics are something I am not shy about discussing. Sometimes I am simply too poor to afford comic books, especially those anniversary issues that cost you twice the usual price. But then I have to stop and consider the cost of creating a comic, the wealth of material, and my own potential fulfillment as a fan, and things get complicated. For example, when the six hundredth issue of FANTASTIC FOUR rolls around with 96 pages of brand new story, featuring five of my favorite artists in the industry, not to mention a dozen other inkers, letterers, and editors working at their prime, suddenly I feel like I’m paying for a hearty meal instead of a pamphlet with some free advertisements.

Since my Thanksgiving feast put me into a coma for a week the internet has showered accolades on the latest issue of the FANTASTIC FOUR, so you probably already know it’s a book which encapsulates everything Marvel has done right over the past few years. If you haven’t been reading FANTASTIC FOUR until now this comic will bring you into the next chapter at ground zero. Since I don’t want to be redundant, and I’m still recovering from an overdose on tryptophan, I have elected to convey the power of this comic by comparing it to a typical American Thanksgiving meal. You have been warned. So without further ado let’s dish up this puppy and see what we got!

The first thing to go on the plate of course is the stuffing and the mashed potatoes with gravy: thick and sloppy, but filling, a comforting nostalgia dish that’s not quite the main course. I honestly could barely make it through the opening segment of this issue as Earth’s mightiest heroes repel a Kree invasion, and the Future Foundation kids open a portal to the Negative Zone. In a word, it’s heavy. Most of the splash pages are dedicated to city-rending destruction and the whole thing is drenched in deep shadows. Between this and his work on CAPTAIN AMERICA, Steve Epting has earned a spot in the Marvel lexicon of can-do artists, even if his rendition of Red Hulk cracks me up. New readers may find it hard to get through the dense, continuity laden opener, but they really should stick around for the rest of the meal.

The second portion begins with a flashback, and details Johnny Storm’s time spent in the Negative Zone. This is your delicious turkey, the juiciest meatiest thing of the whole book, and something longtime readers have been waiting for, like your uncle who lingers around the oven when he smells the bird cooking. Also like turkey, it’s nothing you haven’t seen before. The “ray of hope fighting greater evil through gladiatorial combat” is a recipe used in countless other stories. You’d think a sense of déjà vu would hurt the entertainment value but it’s the perfect formula for a golden-roasted character study of the Human Torch. Carmine Di Giandomenico’s layouts tell a story on an epic scale, with some insanely evocative coloring by Andy Troy. While the ending was a little convenient, this was still an exciting story that was perfectly paced.

So there you have the delicious meat and potatoes of payoff and setup for the next chapter. The two stories blend really well together, leaving us with three more segments that serve more ancillary purposes, but are no less spectacular. The next section concerning the Inhumans is, naturally, the cranberries. Anyone who has been in a relationship knows what Black Bolt and Medusa are going through, and it’s a nice moment that really solidifies their post-polygamy bond. Ming Doyle is perfectly suited to the surrealist intimacy of the material, giving the visuals enough sparkle to shine through a tart but otherwise subtle character play. You can almost see Medusa’s hair floating in space. Beautiful work.

Lenil Francis Yu’s Galactus is…the green bean casserole? Okay, so maybe the Turkey Day analogy is a little ridiculous. The entire scene is a reference to the world-eater’s recent appearance in THE MIGHTY THOR, where he clashed with the Asgardians over a “World Seed” now buried deep in the Earth. Like the cranberries, it’s lacking in substance but makes up for it with pizzazz. The inks by Gerry Alanguilan are like the crispy onion things that go on top, just making the whole package look all the better.

The final portion dedicated entirely to Franklin Richards and his made-up universe, with visuals and lettering by Farel Dalrymple, is definitely the candy yams of the visual feast: sweet and simple, and the kids will love it. There is just enough whimsy to make it a fun read, and just enough mystery to make it a little bit creepy, but it’s also one of the most compelling parts of the whole book, while tying up previous stories with the simplicity of a child’s perspective.

The most incredible thing about all of these stories (besides managing to look so damn GOOD, of course) is how closely they are all related to each other. None of the separate parts hold back the overall narrative. Every page is another gorgeous, purposeful step forward for these characters and their crazy, seemingly unending lives. A majority of this comic is dealing with characters that possess powers beyond comprehension, yet we are made to empathize with their godlike plights, and that in itself is a feat of storytelling. The art in this book stands in a league of its own as some of the finest in superhero comics, taking risks while respecting the history of the characters and the gravitas of their epic story.

After you read this, check out:
THE MIGHTY THOR #1-6 by Matt Fraction & Olivier Coipel
OMEGA: THE UNKNOWN by Jonathan Lethem & Farel Dalrymple
X-MEN: MAGNETO TESTAMENT by Greg Pak & Carmine Di Giandomenico

You won’t be disappointed.


Writer: Tony Bedard
Art: Tyler Kirkham
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: The Writing Rambler

GREEN LANTERN NEW GUARDIANS is slowly becoming the crazed, drunken uncle in every family that no one invites over but then shows up anyway, gets absolutely ridiculous, makes a few interesting comments about the family, but then leaves as quickly as he came. You know, the guy who kind of is intriguing but if you pay attention to him long enough he gets outta control so you have to just put your head down and pay attention from a distance. Yet once he’s gone there’s a mess to be cleaned up but for some small reason you kind of look forward to the next time you see him. Well yeah, that’s this book in a nutshell and with issue #3 out right now, NEW GUARDIANS further cements itself as the crazy uncle of the GREEN LANTERN universe.

There’s so much going on here that you really have to step back and read it a second time to take it all in. Basically, we still have main members of each color corps chasing down Kyle Rayner in an attempt to retrieve their own fallen corps members’ rings (that, for some reason still unexplained to the reader, have honed in on Kyle for a suitable replacement). The guardians are in an uproar over all of this and once all parties have arrived on Oa all hell breaks loose. Sound crazy and fun? It is. Make any sense? Not in the slightest. And therein lies my main problem with this series so far (despite the fact that I’m still enjoying reading it), It’s just not grounded in anything. It seems completely disconnected from the other GREEN LANTERN books. As a personal fan of the RED LANTERNS series, I find it annoying that Bleez, who is slowly coming into her own as Atrocitus’ right hand woman, is reduced to a mindless screeching beast in NEW GUARDIANS. I get that this book must take place at a different moment in time than the other three series, but it still just doesn’t feel right when reading. Tony Bedard knows his way around the GREEN LANTERN universe well and I’m hoping with future issues he will keep this story focused more, as after 3 issues it feels less like a planned story arc and more a crazy, “make it up as we go” series.

Tyler Kirkham’s art in this issue is also starting to reflect the craziness of the story as well. I love his work here, especially the madness on display in Kyle’s face at one point early in the issue. He seems to be having real fun when Glomulus (basically a living orange construct) comes on the scene and madness ensues even more. There’s actually a point where I had to laugh as Glomulus for no reason is standing in the background of a panel in a nurse’s apron; it’s so crazy that it just makes you smile.

As I’ve said, there is just no rhyme or reason to this series so far. It’s like a strange bonus issue every month that really has nothing to do with GREEN LANTERN in general. Weird, sporadic and at times confusing, I can’t recommend this book as a regular read for those not already in love with the current GREEN LANTERN universe but for those of you already entrenched in years of GREEN LANTERN knowledge this is just too crazy and fun to pass up.

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

Advance Review: In stores next week!


Writer: Joe Casey
Artist: Nathan Fox
Publisher: Image Comics
Reviewer: Johnny Destructo

Well, I’m giving it one more issue. If that one isn’t any better, I’m dropping this title. HAUNT has never been one of my favorite books, but I thought it had its own thing going on, and that was kind of fun. I would usually buy each issue and after 4 or 5, would read them in a sitting. And as the series went on, I found myself getting more and more interested in what was going on, where the book was headed. They were starting to delve into the “why” of Haunt, of the afterlife, his relationships with the other agents, etc. Then last issue, they revealed that the entire creative team left and would be replaced with a new one. But still, maybe this new team would be great and take the series to an even higher level in my pull-list.


The characters seemed off, especially Kurt (though that seems to be on purpose--we’ll see), almost none of the supporting cast are in the book and the art: dear god, the art. Now, I purposely went to to see what his work was all about as soon as I heard his name mentioned, and I was actually pretty excited to see what he would be doing with HAUNT. His style is in the David Lapham/Becky Cloonan/Craig Thompson vein: lots of flowing brush work, lots of ink…really, really great looking stuff. But…not so much here. There were many times that I had no idea what was happening in a particular panel. I’m not sure if it’s his ink work, or his colors, but it’s just SO muddled.

This is not a great start for this new creative team. Maybe next issue it’ll even out, but after that, I’m not sure I’ll stick around to find out.

JD can be found hosting the PopTards Podcast, drawing a weekly webcomic, discussing movies, comics and other flimflam over at, graphically designing/illustrating for a living, and Booking his Face off over here. Follow his twitter @poptardsgo. His talkback name is PopTard_JD. He is also now co-hosting another Comic Book discussion show on alongside Bohdi Zen. They discuss comics and play music, check it out live every Saturday from 4-5pm.


Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Chris Bachalo
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: Optimous Douche

I had very grave misgivings about this series after the first issue. I’m fine with the series in concept: Cyclops and Wolverine have always hated each other, (a reason I’m one of the few detractors of the rushed end to “Schism”) so letting these two go their separate ways makes sense. I’m cool with mutie baby titles like NEW MUTANTS and GENERATION X; seeing the next generation actually mature and grow is a place where Marvel has always surpassed DC (though I will gladly pay someone to erase POWER PACK from my gray matter). I’m even OK with Wolverine running a new school for mutants since he’s always had a soft spot for troubled teens, unlike most that say Wolverine and children go together like a Fleshlight made of razor blades. Hell, I didn’t even bat an eyelash when Wolverine decided to set up camp in the middle of the bull’s eye that is Gramalkin Lane. None of this came as baggage to taint my feelings on the first issue.

However, what I could not abide or make right through six degrees of reasoning was Woverine’s characterization. Just because Wolverine is now working with children does not mean we have to turn this into the X-Sitcom with Wolverine playing the part of Uncle Joey. Clumsy, befuddled and bewildered are not words I would ever use to describe Wolverine, yet that was the characterization we were given during the inaugural issue as Wolverine gulped copiously and tugged nervously at his tie constrained collar while a pair of state officials inspected the school to deem its worthiness for educational accreditation. It felt wrong on many many levels.

Well, what a difference an issue makes. For starters, Aaron turned the action up to 11 by staging an attack on the school from the baby Hellfire Club, those dastardly children that committed patricide during “Schism” to gain control of one of Marvel’s most notorious bastions of evil (I guess we won’t be seeing corsets and garters again for awhile, lest they let Jerry Sandusky join the ranks). Wolverine aside, the other thing that made this issue work was a nice introspection into the psyche of Iceman, Bobby Drake. Always a bridesmaid and never a bride, the book opened with a touching gray scale flashback to just before the school opens. Wolverine basically tells Bobby that this new school and his place as one of its leaders will demand more greatness than Iceman’s traditional guffaws. Bobby takes this to task during this baptism of fire; I won’t state implicitly how he does this, but Jamie Madrox better beware of his unique status in the Marvel Universe.

Another thing that sold me on issue 2 was we get to see more of the children that will become the next generation of mutants. Most fell into the ether mainly because of the art (more on that in a second), but Wolverine’s damaged kid du jour, Idie, and the baby broodling with the soul of a poet, have a wonderful moment together that will set up some Ross & Rachel “will they, won’t they” drama to come.

Now, the art. Bachalo does some stuff really well, like unique use of panels, and his pacing is spot on. But what lives inside those panels just doesn’t speak to me. If it wasn’t for coloring, I frankly wouldn’t know who is who. Also, backgrounds become virtually indecipherable with this style. I still don’t have a great feel for what this new school looks like, even though the words say that it is a cornucopia of alien and earthly designs.

WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN has the potential for a new voice and place within the Marvel universe. Wolverine can be a great headmaster as long as each writer that enters the series remembers not to use him as a prop, but the character we all have come to know, love and fear. I’ll also add that extreme caution needs to be taken with the Hellfire Club Junior; these kids can be great embodiments of evil, as we saw the descendant of Frankenstein in this issue. But they can also easily transcend into unbelievable, as we heard time and time again in this issue from a Hellfire Junior that wanted to end the attack so she could play whack-a-mole with live penguins in a zoo she just purchased. For these kids to remain plausible they must continue to portray a maturity beyond their years at all times and avoid the easy trappings of the juxtaposition between their worldly status and their chronological age.

I’m into this title and will gladly look past my art misgivings if the writing remains on par with issue #2 and leaves behind the blatant yuck-yucks of issue #1.

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-2012 from COM.X. Friend Optimous on FaceBook to get Average Joe updates and because ceiling cat says it's the right thing to do.


Writer: Joe Hill
Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Reviewer: BottleImp

I’m not usually one to buy those “supplemental” comics that pop up every now and again. You know the ones I’m talking about—comics like DC’s and Marvel’s “Annuals” (which really deserve a new moniker, since it’s been years since these so-called annuals were published on anything even remotely resembling a yearly timeframe…but I digress), or “Guides to Such-and-Such Characters”, or places, or gadgets, or what have you. I find that most of the time there isn’t enough substance within these comics to warrant dropping money on them; the supplemental material presented therein is usually of the sort that is attractive to only the rabid completist, dedicated to collecting every bit of published material tying into whichever ongoing title is the primary focus.

Having said that, I will readily admit that when it comes to LOCKE & KEY, I am that rabid completist, and this one-shot needed to come home with me.

The latter half of this issue indeed focuses on the magic keys of Keyhouse and tells the reader of them through the journal entries and letters written by some of the house’s inhabitants over its history. What’s more interesting than the descriptions of the keys and their powers (any LOCKE & KEY reader will have already known all about the Giant key or the Ghost key) is the hitherto unknown information that can be gleaned about the Locke clan, adding layers more of intrigue to this fictional family’s already-detailed history.

The real treat of this comic, however, comes from the short story that takes up the first part of the issue. Hill and Rodriguez present a gentle side of the typically horror-tinged Keyhouse, going back to the early days of the 20th Century, as Chamberlain Locke uses the magical keys to affect a “cure” of sorts for his son’s epilepsy, essentially by sending him to live in an eternal limbo between Heaven and Earth. The story is dedicated to Ray Bradbury—appropriately, since it shares that sense of mingled wonder and sadness that is readily found in Bradbury’s works—but inspiration for the visual aspect is obviously Windsor McKay’s “Little Nemo in Slumberland” comic strips, published during that same period of the early 1900s in which this tale is set.

Even some of the faithful LOCKE & KEY audience may balk at buying this comic, especially seeing as how certain portions of the “Guide to the Keys” is reprinted from supplemental material included in a previous collected edition of the series—I know, not even 100% new supplemental material—but seeing as how it’s been a while since the last proper issue of LOCKE & KEY hit the stands, the diehard, rabid fanbase will no doubt snatch it up for their collections. As far as extraneous comic books go, this one’s not bad. But a return to a regular publication schedule for the current “Keys to the Kingdom” arc would be a helluva lot better.

When released from his bottle, the Imp transforms into Stephen Andrade, an artist/illustrator/pirate monkey painter from New England. He's currently hard at work interpreting fellow @$$Hole Optimous Douche's brainwaves and transforming them into pretty pictures on AVERAGE JOE, an original graphic novel to be published by Com.x. You can see some of his artwork here.


Writer: Peter Milligan
Art: Mikel Janin
Publisher: DC Comics
Guest Reviewer: The Dean

First of all, I’ll admit it - there's not much in the way of story progression in this third installment of JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK. We still don't know what Enchantress is really after (probably power though, right?), and Xanadu is still keeping the tarot cards pretty close to chest, so we don't have a full team yet, and it feels like it'll be a couple of issues more before we do. Having said that, this is still an entirely enjoyable series so far that suggests a solid story ahead filled with magical bouts and character drama on the weirder side of the DC Universe.

I think putting “Dark” in the title of your comic book attracts a certain type of comic book reader that may be costing Milligan and Janin some acclaim unnecessarily. With the exception of maybe the video game industry, no medium attaches more significance to the description of “dark” as comic books. Books like this or its medieval counterpart DEMON KNIGHTS are what dark in comic books should be about. A little horror, some adult themes, a cuss or two for good measure – they don’t have to be deconstructed commentaries, or allusive head scratchers. The Miller, Moore, and Morrison apologists of the world may find the series lacking substance, but they’d be missing out on a fun ride with unusual characters that leaves you fully entertained, even if you might not reference it in your "Defense of Comics" essay for your snooty English lit professor.

I think the lack of plot development can be excused for the slow burn that Milligan sets in introducing us to this darker side of the new 52. This is a startup series, and while comic book vets may be bored by expository dialogue that reveals character origins and various idiosyncrasies, Milligan does a good job at keeping them short and natural. Sure, there are probably a number of ways to introduce fans to a cast of characters while keeping the plot moving (something Cornell is doing with DEMON KNIGHTS, for example), but I have no problem with Milligan taking the time to flesh out the team with side stories before they all get together to take down the Enchantress (or will they recruit her?! Probably not). Each of these characters has had their fair share of panels so far, and each of them feels right. I could do without squeezing the Brit out of Constantine with every bit of dialogue he gets, probably made even more noticeable because of the chapter’s title, “Shibboleths and Alcohol,” but aside from that the dialogue is natural, with an appropriate distinction between character speech that works well for each.

Janin’s artwork is another reason to stick with this title, as the bold character outlines and facial detail create a very tangible world that makes the spell casting and horrific moments seem more exciting, more dangerous than your Jim Lee or George Perez titles. Janin’s Deadman and Constantine in particular look to be favorites of his, as they look better than I’ve seen them since the Moore/Bisette days! Constantine looks like your average fictional PI with enough grit and tousling to suggest he’s doing a little more than spying on cheating spouses, and Deadman’s gray, rotted face and white eyes are showing more expression and depth than Ivan Reis’ resurrected Boston Brand did throughout BRIGHTEST DAY--not a knock on Reis at all, but his Boston Brand just never did much for me.

One gripe I do have that’s dragging the development of this story down for me is the portrayal and immediate disappearance of the Justice League. The teeth storm was cool, but it’s hard to accept that Superman would get attacked by teeth and then just say “okay, forget it--this is nuts,” which is what his omission from the story since that attack pretty much says. Instead of Superman explaining why/how he bailed on that situation, we got the infallible Batman talking it out a bit with Zatana before taking it into her own hands, when Batman hadn’t even been at the scene. In the coming issues, I hope to see more of why it isn’t necessarily that Superman and the Justice League can’t handle the Enchantress, but that it’s better suited for the new JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK. Otherwise, Miligan and Janin still have me excited to follow JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK into the more supernatural and mystical DC Universe, and I think once this team comes together and sets out after Enchantress, this will be one for the top of your pull list.


Writer: Eric Grissom
Artist: Phil Sloan
Publisher: Self-published
Reviewer: Lyzard

It is ironic that I came across this comic now. With my Dad currently working in and out of Anchorage and planning a spring break trip myself to the largest state in the USA, there is a sense of familiarity reading DEADHORSE. Maybe having traveled up there three times helps too.

For those that have never had the good fortune of visiting the state, let me tell you that it is a perfect place for a mystery store. Pacino’s INSOMNIA and 30 DAYS OF NIGHT aside, Alaska possesses qualities that create an ominous setting. There is the weather that along with below zero temperatures is exacerbated by up to fifty mile per hour winds and the likelihood of being snowed in. The animals are always a threat, especially when getting into a car accident with a moose in which you and your car will be totaled, but the moose will walk away without a scratch. Then, I think we all learned from INTO THE WILD that the flora could be dangerous too. The beauty of Alaska can be misleading and one should never underestimate it.

So far DEADHORSE has remained, for the most part, in the cities. I am looking forward to our “hero,” Mr. Pike, venturing outside of the safety of modern day comfort. While he is on his way to the “Trapper’s Keep,” we are introduced to two new characters: Senator Robert Gadsworth (doesn’t that name sound familiar) and Elise. After receiving a message from what I assume is his Dad’s secretary, it is revealed that the Senator knew our Mr. Pike’s father when he was young. Elise is a runaway who witnesses the Senator’s demise. It is then that the elder Gadsworth called in the reinforcements--a crazed man called The Sasquatch!

Our Mr. Pike gets some relaxation, which seems nice since he just got attacked by his elderly neighbors in the last issue. This time the story is focused on other characters, but Mr. Pike still has a chance to pull out his wry humor in the end. While Elise has brains, I want to learn more about the Sasquatch. I mean, any man that lives 1600 meters beneath the earth and is adorned in a gorilla suit and mask has got to have an interesting back-story.

I was disappointed not to see humans with crow heads, hinted at by the last page of the previous issue, but there were plenty of visuals to appease my palate. Of course there are the drawings of the Sasquatch, whom I hope are not disposed of any time soon. Then there are the actions sequences that are vibrant, energetic, and impactful.

Besides the art and basic plot, my favorite part would be the structure. Hints and foreshadowing are not given away by dull expository dialogue, but worked in much more creatively. We have uncovered few if any answers so far, but the clues that have been dropped are enticing. This issue worked similarly to the last in terms of pacing: a mystery is set up, major characters are introduced, and the comic ends with a dramatic scene. I guess you don’t fix what ain’t broken.

DEADHORSE so far has a strong setup, neither pacing too quickly nor lurching forward with agonizing slowness. The stakes are continually rising and the characters become more interesting and complicated as the story continues. So as DEADHORSE proceeds, I hope that it will remain just as thrilling as the first two issues.

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

Advance Review: In stores today!


Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Esad Ribic
Colors: Dean White
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: Johnny Destructo

“I…wait, what? That was supposed to be a secret? I didn’t realize we weren’t supposed to know.”

That was my response when a co-worker at the comic shop asked if I had seen the “reveal” of who the Big Bad was supposed to be.

Some serious shit has gone DOWN these last few issues. Cap is gone, S.H.I.E.L.D. is F’d in the B, Asgard is all ‘sploded, the Gods are dead, and a thermonuclear explosion in Uruguay has killed millions. And it’s all the work of one man.

Hickman is very Grant Morrison-y in that he contains within his brain-meat the ability to work on the Big Ideas plane of comic-booking. Peep his RED WING series and his current work on FF. Frankly, this book feels more like a FANTASTIC FOUR book than the sprawling, wide-screen ULTIMATES books of the past. It’s got action, believe you me, but it also tinkers with some of the super science aspects that Morrison is famous for. In fact, The City in this book feels similar to The World (a facility run by the Weapon Plus Project in Morrison’s NEW X-MEN series) and maybe that’s why I immediately conjured thoughts of Grant. However, in The City, time moves at a much quicker pace than it does outside The City’s dome. This leads me to question how, if time is moving faster and over 1,000 years have passed in The City, then why is The Maker (our aforementioned “mysterious” bad guy) not getting older? He seems to be the same age as when last we saw him and my geek brain demands answers. I can assume that this is just “comic science” and doesn’t necessarily have to make sense, but I’m just going to make it up in my head that The Maker was outside of the City the entire time and was using an avatar to communicate with his creations. OH. Yes, I guess I should mention that contained within said City is an entire race of perfected humans that follow The Maker’s every whim, and daddy’s whim right now is to bitch-slap everyone.

I guess I won’t spoil the big reveal at the end, but really? Ever since the fella showed up on page one of issue one, I went “OK, there’s ____ ________; I wonder what’s he’s up to now”. Never once did it occur to me that it was going to be a revelation, and I’m not sure if that’s the “fault” of Asad Ribic or Hickman’s for designing a helmet that shows most of his face, or if it was just the fact that all this Big Science could be coming from only one person in the Ultimate Universe. I can’t be the only one, as I’m not that bright. Did you guys know who it was from the start?I would be ashamed of myself if I didn’t praise the outstanding work of Esad Ribic. I’ve loved his painted comic work for years but it’s only recently that I’ve started to see his pencils gracing the interiors of a comic...I think with UNCANNY X-FORCE? His work is just stellar and even if this story was ass, I would still buy it just to enjoy art inside. And much like they did in UNCANNY X-FORCE, Dean White’s color work in here is subdued but fantastic.

At any rate, I’m enjoying the hell out of this book. It’s not the killer good time that the original ULTIMATES series was, but this is certainly a smarter book and fairly grandiose in its own right.


Ambush Bug here. The below hour-long conversation took place between myself, Matt Adler, Optimous Douche, and our host Johnny Destructo of as we talked about AQUAMAN #3, WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #2, ANNIHILATORS: EARTHFALL #3, THE MIGHTY THOR #8, FANTASTIC FOUR #600, INVINCIBLE #85, and other bits of general jack@$$$ery!

Looks for more of the Holes rambling about comics on Poptards in future AICN COMICS columns!

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

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

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Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 30, 2011, 9:04 a.m. CST

    I dont even read the Xmen, but......

    by gooseud

    I thought Wolverine's side of things was pretty entertaining in issue #1. Cyclops's side, on the other hand, was god awful, everything I hate about Xmen comics.........the pretentiousness, over seriousness, overly high self regard, portentious dialogue spoken in ways that no human would ever speak, all that Claremontish crap that I cant stand that (in my opinion) is currently being brilliantly parodied in X Force. I'll take Wolverine's Rodney Dangerfield imitation any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 9:05 a.m. CST

    By the way, anyone reading Luther Strode?

    by gooseud

    What a bizarre, bloody mess that book is, and I mean that as a compliment.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 9:06 a.m. CST

    Goose, I Don't See it as a Compare/Contrast

    by optimous_douche

    Merely different strokes for different folks as the X books have always done. I'm OK with a more light hearted book, I just couldn't take how sitcomish the first issue was. It's OK for Wolverine to be a fish out of water, just don't turn the fish into a horse at the same time.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 9:19 a.m. CST

    Ultimate Comics' The Ultimates ? Really?

    by Autodidact

    How many goddamn times a year is Marvel going to repackage "Nick Fury assembles a new team of Avengers" into a new series that starts at #1? The level to which comics eats itself continues to occasionally surprise me.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 9:19 a.m. CST

    The Ultimates villain

    by Mory Buckman

    I have not read Ultimates #4 yet, but I assume you're talking about Reed Richards. It surprises me to hear that they're treating it like a reveal, since it was made perfectly explicit who that was in Ultimate Fallout #4 months ago. But I guess the Ultimates themselves don't know yet.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Please Review ALIENS: Fast Track to Heaven

    by Autodidact

    I picked this up last week on impulse being a huge ALIENS fan and it was an unexpected ALIENS hardcover right there on the shelf. This book SUCKS FUCKING ANUS. Liam Sharp, you are a fucking hack. Dark Horse, why in the fuck is this book in hardcover? Why are there superlative quotes printed on the back from reviewers who are obviously wrong? This is the most nonsensically hyped bullshit nothing puff of air of a comic I've ever had the displeasure to pay for. There is almost literally no story, no setting. It's supposedly set on a "space elevator", a concept which fascinates me.. but you would never know. There is not a single line of art devoted to rendering this supposed "space elevator"... it looked like it was set in a warehouse. I think I might finally have flipped the switch and decided I just don't like comics any more thanks to this fucking piece of crap book. It has been a long time since I put down a comic and said "THAT WAS AWESOME"... probably the last time I re-read Watchmen or Superman:Red Son. My expectations for ALIENS comics are really really low. The last good ALIENS mini-series was in 1999... even though I've bought almost all ALIENS comics since then, they pretty much all suck. Fuck you Liam Sharp. You suck.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Please Review X-Men: With Great Power

    by Autodidact

    I bought the TPB last week and it is literally the worst X-Men comics I've ever read. Bachalo's art in it is just fucking obnoxious. The story is utterly tedious... the X-Men are tromping around in a sewer with Spider-Man, and reading it certainly feels like slogging around in ankle deep shit-water. I have to face it, I don't really like reading comics any more. I fucking hate almost every comic I buy lately.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 9:48 a.m. CST

    There isn't much story progession in issue 3 of MOST of the new 52

    by Laserhead

    Man, a nearly line-wide "three issues of treading water" story structure... it's awful. Perez has written and published the same three issues of Superman now. Hawkman is the same issue three times... gak. I stop myself before I list the entire catalog.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Wolverine and the X-Men

    by NightArrows

    I really enjoyed issue 1, and felt that Wolverine's behaviour wasn't necessarily out of place for him as it was basically a "suit" of responsibility the he was wearing; akin to a kid playing dress-up, and he KNOWS it doesn't work but he has to force it to somehow. Issue 2 was a visual mess however and that's a shame. Chris Bachalo has a unique style and real talent, but his panels are a mess and I had no idea what the fuck I was looking at half the time. He is basically the Michael Bay's Transformers of comicdom. He needs to pull back and inject clarity into his work and reel in some of the "style" because it just doesn't work when things get heavy. As for Scott and the X-Men, Scott's a douche, nay, a pompous, self-important and deluded douche. I'm going to stick with his book for a while in the hopes that he gets his bitch-ass kicked all over the place by Sinister...maybe even tortured.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 9:51 a.m. CST

    I liked W&XM #1

    by RedLeaderStandingBy

    It was a fresh take on a overused character like Wolverine. I'll stick around for a couple of more issues. Let's see if it will pay off.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 9:58 a.m. CST

    JLA: Special Dark

    by Margot Tenenbaum

    Soon to be traded to your little brother for all of the Avengers: Pixy Stix in his Halloween bag.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 9:58 a.m. CST

    Fantastic 4: Why would superheroes wear white costumes?

    by Jake Pantlin

    Wouldn't that just be a bitch to clean? Superheroes are always getting into scraps and getting dirty. Just doesn't seem practicle.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 10 a.m. CST


    by Margot Tenenbaum


  • Nov. 30, 2011, 10:01 a.m. CST

    I know the last guy got reamed for asking...

    by Mickster_Island

    ...but is there any way to read the column without the podcast starting automatically? I'm appreciative of the free service and content, etc.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 10:16 a.m. CST

    autodidact - You need to go indie

    by optimous_douche

    We all go through the same exact malaise you're going through right now. There are still great stories outside the big two (marvel & DC) and the second tiers like DH, Image etc.... Whenever you see a shit load of indies on here you can tell we all need a break from spandex.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 10:17 a.m. CST

    mickster - podcast

    by optimous_douche

    If you're using Chrome it's our fault from a coding perspective. Chrome requires an extra <> that identifies the sound file, otherwise Auto-Play can't be turned off.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 10:21 a.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    I think the reveal was for the Ultimates to be suprised at, not the readers.

  • So far... zero...

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 10:23 a.m. CST


    by Joenathan

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 10:24 a.m. CST

    I'm looking forward to FF

    by Joenathan

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 10:24 a.m. CST

    I haven't read it yet

    by Joenathan

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 10:33 a.m. CST

    I agree about Wolverine

    by gooseud

    I thought it was kind of fun for him to have to don this responsibility that he clearly hates and is uncomfortable was a way to do something new with the character, god forbid LOL

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 10:40 a.m. CST

    Wolverine - I Totally Like the Responsibility

    by optimous_douche

    But I still don't see a man who exudes confidence to such a degree you can waft the musk from him a mile away stumbling and bumbling over himself. To each their own, but I think Wolverine can be uncomfortable without becoming a headmaster trope.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 10:46 a.m. CST


    by shitstorm23

    It has an interesting setup, but could easily fall into shit. It's the problem with all new books, they really need to make 12 issues upfront and release it, to see if the book is worth the time and effort. Obviously, I could just wait for a year, but it seems like more people would jump on board if they could sink their teeth into more of a story. <p> That being said, I'm glad the site has these guys around reviewing books. I do not read any of the big mainstream stuff (Spidermam/Xmen/Batman), so I skip over all of that. It's nice to read some reviews of lesser known titles to get an idea of what's out there.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Laserhead makes a fascinating larger point about comics

    by gooseud

    I'm going to provide an example here......back in the day, in my college years, Dave Matthews Band was at the height of their powers. At U of Delaware, you could literally count on one hand the number of people who werent gigantic fans. I was of course amongst these people, and would regularly post on the DMB fan page. Over time, post-Everyday (their sellout pop album), more and more people grew disenchanted looking for a return to the good old days. Eventually, I came to a realization and posted it: maybe its not the band that has changed. Maybe YOU have changed, and you just dont like what you used to like. This comment always drew whatever thread that was to a close, as people would sit in befuddled confusion. I think Laser represents a large group of fans, and I would say the same thing: maybe you just dont like comics that much anymore. There was clearly an era of DC that you prefered, and by all evidence, that era is now dead and gone. Why do you keep reading these comics you clearly hate? I mean, Red Hood may be the fastest moving comic in history, your hair is literally standing on end like you just rode a motorcycle after you finish it. Green Lantern is moving along nicely. Snyder-Bats, I mean, did you expect them to wrap up some mystery after 3 issues? I also found Hawkman visually stunning but plodding writing wise. So you know what I did? I dropped it and I'm not going to read it anymore. What do you actually LIKE, Laser? Can you give us a top 5 of books that you read where you are like "That book was freakin awesome, I LOVED it!!!" I just picture Laser and his "I hate everything" kin reading books and saying these exact things (in this exact voice, using the same exact body language):

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Optimous, its ironic, I felt the same way about Old Man Logan

    by gooseud

    Among the 5,125 problems I had with that book, its that they (for me) never even came close to making me believe that Wolverine could be that guy. That was the core flaw of that story. Your right, everyone has a different tolerance of what they are willing to accept for changes to their fave characters.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Was that an off-hand comment...

    by 3774

    ...or is FF600 really a good starting point for someone that's been gone for years? I use Chrome, and the podcast (thankfully) doesn't autostart for me since you guys (presumably) fixed it after the last bitch fest...

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Confidence and Wolverine

    by NightArrows

    Anyone can be the most confident person in the world, and yet they will inevitably have a zone where that confidence fails. Pro athletes are great example of this. Wolverine is dealing with people, and a situation, that require skills he clearly doesn't have. It's not like he can just ram his claws up their ass if he can't get what he wants. I see your point, but I think what is being presented is fairly reasonable and realistic (so far anyways).

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Loving Wolverine and the X-Men

    by BlaGyver

    Both issues. God forbid a comic be a well-written shit ton of fun.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 12:05 p.m. CST

    And I liked JL Dark 3

    by BlaGyver

    I read the first two issues and was pretty unfamiliar with most of the characters, but liked the concept. I felt like the first two issues kind of told the story assuming the reader knew exactly what would be going on with each member of the team. I liked that 3 slowed down enough to sort of explain what was going on.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Don't care how good FF 600 is...

    by art123guy

    ...I refuse to pay 7.99 for a new comic book in this day and age. This is coming from someone who has been collecting comics since 1979, has FF 1-55 in Marvel Masterworks books and 56 up in original comics. I feel it's a slap in the face to consumers since the book will be in the dollar bin in 6 months. This clearly isn't geared towards getting new readers since they can't afford it. Marvel is once again testing the waters to see what we'll put up with. If this sells well, expect to see this more often. X-Men 600, Avengers 600 etc. For me, rather than this being a jumping on point (or continuing on point), it's clearly a jumping off point.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 12:38 p.m. CST


    by Lyzard

    I think if there will be problems with DEADHORSE, they will appear once they start revealing answers to the many questions they've set up. If they don't live up to the crazy world set up, then I feel that is when the comic could (but I hope NOT) will go down hill.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 1:09 p.m. CST

    "want to like it"

    by Homer Sexual

    That's how I feel about Jl: Dark. It's full of characters that I love, but the comic is boring and what story there is, doesn't appeal to me. It's another on the verge of being dropped. I picked up Catwoman 2 and 3 last week after reading the review here, and was very pleased. I don't really like the character in general, feel like she doesn't really have enough identity beyond "Batman's attraction" but this storyline was fast paced, exciting and interesting. So that's a kudo. But I agree with the poster who said a lot of the New 52 are starting to lose steam. On the plus side, after buying all 52 #1 issues, I still picked up 19 of them through issue three. But I am buying a lot of them because I "want to like them." Oh, I did like the first issue of Wolverine and the X-Men, despite hating the title. But I didn't like issue 2. I actually thought the Iceman thing was kind of tiresome, he already had plenty of ability and I don't like overly powerful characters. Also the art was just awful. Bachalo has done some great work in his time, but he's also put me off some books, and this looks like it might be one. Finally, you know what book I like that I never expected to? Voodoo! Basri's art is perfect for this book (not so much on Power Girl) and the story is surprisingly hard-edged. Loving it so far (though the Green Lantern guest spot, I couldve done without).

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 1:36 p.m. CST

    'a slap in the face' comments are becoming a fad


    have you ever been slapped in the face? i mean really slapped in the face..full palm...full speed? because every time someone doesn't like something about comics, it's a figurative slap in the face and it's getting a little out of hand (heh)...your dad sleeping with your girlfriend THAT is a slap in the face...somebody charging $7.99 for 96 page comic that is pretty damn good that you don't have to buy is not. i agree that it's expensive but if you've been reading FF this comic is a great continuation and it actually is a really good jumping on point that kind of makes you want to reed (heh heh) what came before it. i can understand if Marvel forced you to buy this by tying you up and slapping the shit out of you until you bought it but they did not...if you don't want to buy it, borrow it from someone who did. but for god's sake stop with 'slap in the face' comments...soooo dramatic.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Kletus and Goose

    by Joenathan

    I love you guys. This is what I've been saying for years, but I think that the new 52 provided the final plate shift that brought everything to the surface and exposed the idea that maybe... just maybe... a lot of older fans are still buying comics because they've ALWAYS bought comics and that, if they were honest with themselves, they don't actually like most comics anymore. The question then becomes: Can they adapt? My moment came with Spawn around issue 80 and Uncanny right after AoA wrapped up. I realized that I didn't like those books anymore and that I hadn't for awhile. Dropping them and moving on opened me up to other titles and creators and allowed me to continue with this hobby. I really think that if I had stuck with those books, I would no longer be reading comics, because my dislike for the way they were doing things would have tainted my love of comics as a whole. Looking back, I'm not sure why it was tough, but I acknowledge that it can be hard to walk away from a title you've stuck with, but shit man... the old DC is gone. If you don't like the new status quo... quit. Walk away. Find new books or find a new hobby, but for the love of Christ, tone down the dramatics and hyperbole, you're embarassing all of us.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 1:48 p.m. CST


    by Homer Sexual

    Wow! Even if I liked the FF (which I do not) I wouldn't pay more than $5.99 for any comic unless its a TP or OGN.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Although, Goose

    by Joenathan

    You're wrong about Old Man Logan.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 1:54 p.m. CST

    I haven't read any Ultimates since Ultimatum

    by coz

    and even then I could see Reed was going to go villain, especially with the abrupt way he was "killed."

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 1:54 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    It's 96 pages of new content.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 1:56 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    Reed was never killed and the storyline where he went bad happened AFTER Ultimatum... I think your story has some holes in it...

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 2 p.m. CST

    fucking Old Man Logan...

    by coz

    Tried reading a friend's copy of that recently, got about 3 issues in and had to stop. It's complete dogshit. Talk about mischaracterization, not just Wolverine but everybody. Logan all Chief Joseph and shit? Hawkeye, who's easily a decade older than Spider-man, hooked up with Peter's DAUGHTER?? White trash Hulklings??? Are you shitting me? That anyone liked that shit is beyond me.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 2:02 p.m. CST



    is expensive but if you like FF it's worth it and i'm generally a tight wad about that kind of thing...but in Hickman i trust! also it's way better than those $7.99 halfassed reprints DC is doing... and yeah it's NEW content not 56 pages of story and 40 pages of back up material...which is pretty rare for a Marvel book this size.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 2:05 p.m. CST

    joe, I could see it going that way already

    by coz

    He had been massively shit on by almost everybody, especially after that whole Ultimate/Supreme crossover. His family had just been killed if he wasn't. There were also some later UFF issues where he seemed really close to the edge. Pushing him over seemed the logical continuation, and since it was the Ultimate line, I thought that would be a neat way to go with it.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Those are your complaints?

    by Joenathan

    Nonsense. There was no mischaracterization within the context of the story or the possibilities of the characters.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 2:08 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    It's awesome, actually. I usually avoid these big ones for exactly that reason: Most of the book is usually reprinted back-up material and character bios. But not this time

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 2:10 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    Yeah, I think genius like Reed can easily lose sympathy and compassion and the 616 version has always been close to that line, so I liked that an alternate version went that way. Plus, I loved Planetary

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Good thing I didn't go with my first thought...

    by art123guy

    ...of kick in the balls, or my second, a big middle finger to comic fans. I wasn't trying to be dramatic, after all, it's just a comic book, not the cost of living going up. I just find it insulting to fans who have supported Marvel all these years. My point is the price is ridiculous. No, no one is making me buy it. But you will see more of this if it does well. I'm sure it'll be good for the future of comics, much like the specially priced foil/stamped/polybagged comics of the 90's. I've read every Fantastic Four comic since #1 and honestly, I just haven't been able to get into Hickman's stuff. I think he has more supporting characters than there are X-Men and I just don't care about them anymore. Also, in an age where illegal downloading is the norm, a $7.99 comic would push me in that direction pretty quickly. One question, who considers $7.99 a good 'jumping on point' price? I prefer the .99 ones Marvel did years ago when the Daredevil and Hulk movies came out.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 2:18 p.m. CST

    agreed joe


    i was thinking about this the other day whilst reading comics...i now ONLY buy what keeps me interested from issue to issue and as soon as i'm not interested...i stop buying. It used to be really hard for me to break that cycle of 'i have every issue up till now so i HAVE to keep buying' but once you free yourself from that way of thinking you'll find a lot more enjoyment in comics and soon you'll ONLY have comics you care about thus making you less grumpy. it's really simple...if you don't like it...don't buy or stop buying it and move on, your comic life will be a lot easier (this was not directed at anyone in particular)

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Fantastic Four...

    by loodabagel

    Majin, In your critique of the Franklin Richards story, Don't you mean pie? Candy Yams are gross. Only old ladies eat those.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 2:19 p.m. CST

    You don't like Hickman's FF

    by Joenathan

    Then you should quit reading it, because he's setting the new standard and has increased sales, so I'm betting he'll be around for awhile. Also, illegal downloading kills the industry and the local shops and it will result in more comics with higher and higher prices. If you really think the price point is unfair, you should stop buying comics all together and not look at any either. Losing sales and not increasing piracy is what they respond to, not thieves. What a surprise you "prefer" the past, when comics were a nickel and we were kickin' commie tail back across europe. Tell me, what comics do you LIKE these days?

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 2:25 p.m. CST

    agreed artguy, the price


    might not attract new readers but the content is good and would probably peek the interest of someone even slightly curious what the FF have been up to. i actually bought 2 cause my buddy who random reads FF from time to time and buys random issues from different time periods will most likely dig it. but on the other hand a new reader may buy it because it's 96pgs and 8 bux may not be that bad to someone who isn't buying a large stack of comics every week.

  • As one of those older fans, I couldn't agree more. It's my worst vice and at times, I hate it. But I truly believe if it wasn't comics, it would be something else for me. I've bought magazines for years just because I found one issue interesting and felt it was worth buying every month after. I have complete runs of X-Men, Hulk, Avengers Captain America etc. and I just hate gaps in a series. As a Marvel Zombie, I kinda envy DC fans 'cause they just got a clear jump on, jump off point. If Marvel did that, I think I'd buy less and be richer. FF 600, for me, is actually a blessing in disguise.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Ah, addiction

    by Joenathan

    I get that, I've been there, believe me. Walking away from the tiltes I was chained to and following creators instead, runs...? Best way ever. Sometimes you'll get the itch, but you just have to say to yourself: No. No, I know full well those six Judd Winnick fill in issues will suck, so I'm not getting them. And suddenly your long boxes are full of GOOD comics and GOOD stories. Try it out. Join us. It's better here.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 2:33 p.m. CST

    And More..

    by loodabagel

    It's really an awful jumping on point, as all it does is draw upon prior events in the Hickman run. Not advised for new readers. I did pay the 8 dollars for it though. It is too damn steep, and I should probably stop. I've always refused to buy 4 dollar comics, but I'm a sucker for these. If anybody is looking for a good one, Iron Man 600 (or 500?) is probably in the dollar bins by now. And it's a one issue story set in the future.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 2:40 p.m. CST

    I like plenty of comics, goose:

    by Laserhead

    Here's what I'm liking this year (just sticking to mainstream super-heroey stuff): Thunderbolts, (red) Hulk, Venom, FF/Fantastic Four, Uncanny X-Force, Wolverine, Batman Incorporated, Morrison's Action Comics, Snyder's Batman, Swamp Thing, American Vampire, Vengeance, Butcher Baker The Righteous Maker, The Boys, Avengers Academy, T.h.u.n.d.e.r. Agents, Deadpool MAX, Batwoman (the art), Incredible Hulk, and Avengers Academy. That seems like a healthy amount of super-hero books to me. And I don't see how my complaint that much of DC's new 52 is written by D-list hack writers who're treading water indicates that I 'just don't like comics'. DC attracted wider mainstream excitement for a minute, but they've failed to produce a product capable of sustaining that excitement. If, on the other hand, you seem to think Scott Lobdell is a decent writer, I can only say: go with god...

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 2:41 p.m. CST


    by art123guy

    I did stop buying FF before Fantastic Four 600 because I read somewhere it was gonna cross over between the 2 series. I felt that was a good jumping off point. I didn't say I prefer the past, but don't you think that the Daredevil and Hulk got more readers with those .99 'jumping on' comics than Fantastic Four 600 will get? I don't recall saying I 'prefer' the past when comics were a nickel. I really don't have a problem with what most comics cost today, I still buy a lot. Hell, I buy them online and get 30% off BECAUSE I buy so many. I just think that $7.99 is such a huge jump from the regular $3.99. I also don't recall condoning illegal downloading, I'm saying I think more people will do that instead of buying a $7.99 comic.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Even the non-hacks are treading water at DC.

    by loodabagel

    Issue 3 of Animal Man was dull as hell. Jeff Lemire really seemed to quickly give up on both his comics and just tell the artist to draw somthin' cool.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Ah, the 'ol "hater" straw-man

    by Laserhead

    Always easier than addressing criticism.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 3 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    Honestly, I think people equate $.99 with poor quality, so no, but I also think FF 600 is just a good comic and a good value for the price, not necessarily a good jumping-on point story-wise

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Do people instantly equate $7.99 as quality?

    by art123guy

    I was wrong, Daredevil v2 #41 was $.25 and where I jumped on just to give it a try. I didn't think it was poor quality (it was Maleev and Bendis run), I thought it was Marvel trying to get new readers. It worked for me.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 3:24 p.m. CST

    See, heres the thing, nothing exists in a black hole

    by gooseud

    Everything is context, it is all in relation to that which came before and came after. So, lets make an assumption here: The DC New 52, lets say 15 are just god awful (Deathstroke, Hawk and Dove), 20 are readable, certainly not terrible, but flawed (Hawkman with its drop dead incredible art but boring story, Flash because it still features Barry Allen, Catwoman with its cheese factor), and around 17 that are anywhere from pretty good to really really good (Snyder-Bats, Aquaman, Red Hood, Animal Man, Suicide Squad). Obviously people's exact ratios will differ, but I think thats pretty representative. Now, go back a year: can anyone sit back and say 17 DC books were that good? Secret Six, Batman and Robin, Lex's Action Comics.......ummmm........errrrr...........Superman walking across the US trying to solve race relations? Wonder Woman's jean jacket? Thats the thing: DC BOOKS WERE TERRIBLE A YEAR AGO!! What are people defending, exctly, with the status quo? You have traded up an extra 10 books that are way better then anything being published a year ago. In fact, I would argue that on Dec. 1st, 2011, DC's top 5 quality books are blowing away anything currently being published by Marvel in quality level. So is the loyalty to a logo on a cover, or to the actual quality of the work? I have zero loyalty to any brand, my loyalty is solely to good work, and right now DC's work is simply better then Marvel. So off to DC I go.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 3:27 p.m. CST

    I don't think its an if A is true, than B is true situation

    by Joenathan

    I'm just saying that I usually avoid the $.25 comics for the same reasons I usually avoid the over-sized issues: Because they're usually half-efforts and of lower quality or mostly filler. With this one, though, 96 pages of all new content? I think it's a deal for the price. It's four comics for the price of two or so.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 3:31 p.m. CST

    I don't know if DC is hands down better than Marvel now...

    by Joenathan

    But I am buying a monthly Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman comic now. Fucking Wonder Woman! For all it's flaws, the new 52 was exactly what DC needed.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 3:33 p.m. CST

    My loyalty's also to the work

    by Laserhead

    So, tomato/to-mah-toe, but I find Marvel's status quo to be better than DC's reinvention at the moment. My disappointment stems from the new 52 being such a wasted opportunity-- they could have recruited more exciting contemporary creators, and instead, in style and content, they've effectively regressed to mid-90s standards. Cheesey, boring stories with largely crap art. On the whole, even, I'd say I prefer DC's universe, which is why it's doubly frustrating when one imagines how, say, the young writing talent Marvel has locked down would have reinvented the DC universe. Instead of, you know,'let's see what Winnick, Marz, Lobdell, Krul and Jurgens can do!' I imagine Marvel's going to learn from DC's missteps as they play out, and apply the lessons to their own relaunch.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 3:34 p.m. CST

    considering FF 600 had a small army working on it...

    by kungfuhustler84

    and its pages-per-dollar count is actually higher than the average three dollar book today, this is one of the better deals at the LCS this weekend.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Omega the Unknown, illustrated by Dalrymple...

    by kungfuhustler84

    is seriously one of my favorite comic books of the last century.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 4:22 p.m. CST


    by drewlicious

    Bring back the real Dr. Doom. I think an evil Reed Richards is a terrific idea but....Doom has always proven to be an interesting villain because of his ability to master anything through sheer willpower. Having his head squished like a grape was a poor sendoff. Plus, didn't he have a cosmic entity living inside of him or something? Where did that go?

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 4:33 p.m. CST

    better idea, bring Doom back as the hero

    by coz

    best idea, leave him dead, keep Ultimate comics distinct in that death means something

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Ultimate Doom also escaped unscathed from the Zombie Universe

    by rev_skarekroe

    There are still quite a few questions about that guy.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Ten Years Ago I Started Following Creators

    by optimous_douche

    or so I thought.... I was actually following creators most of my comic collecting life, but I was misled into thinking I had a dogmatic adherence to collecting every number in a title. Why? When "we" were kids (i.e. 70 & 80's , early 90's) creators married titles. They were on a series for years. Today most titles are one night stands for creators, of course there are exceptions like Bendis on USM, but for the most part it's an arc or two and gone. I left comic collecting in 94, and it was still the way of creative teams living on a title for a long epriod of time. When I came back in 2,000 I started to notice a huge yo-yo in book quality from few issues to few issues and couldn't figure out what the fuck was going on. It was then that I pieced all of this together and made the promise to myself - Fuck holes in the series, I've never been OCD about anything else, why would I be about this. It was hard for a few minutes until I remembered this is a hobby and I should enjoy it.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 4:57 p.m. CST

    same, douche

    by coz

    I miss those epic runs of creators and title. Now you can't get a consistent, well thought-out story to save your nuts. You end up with a series of setups that never fucking go anywhere, or a hacked together wrap-up just so the new guy can move on to whatever they want to do, which will be aborted in-turn with the next creator rotation in a few months. It's like the special olympics, it's not how you do but whether you participate.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 5:20 p.m. CST

    sure you can, coz

    by gooseud

    Just not at the Big Two. Aaron on Scalped, Waid on Irredeemable, Kirkman on Walking Dead and Invincible ..... The creator runs are out there in the indies.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 6:42 p.m. CST

    You're Right Goose

    by optimous_douche

    You also affirmed where most of the laments come from on this site. There is no longer that heavy commitment model at the Big 2. To SPidercoz's point it causes a much longer continuity than a few years, like Peter David on X-Factor. He can set stuff up that doesn't pay off until two years later.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Yes I grudgingly support the relaunch...

    by Homer Sexual

    Because I am definitely buying more DC than I used to. Grudgingly, because I prefer the "old" Zatanna and Harley Quinn. And because, while I like Suicide Squad, it's no Secret Six. It's not even Gotham City Sirens I think Goose summed it up pretty well. Im just waiting for the books to really knock my socks off.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 7:31 p.m. CST

    AutoD - Agreed

    by deelzbub

    It is very disheartening to plop 40+ bucks down on the counter and be disappointed by every single book you've bought. Whether it's due to poor writing, wrong-headed characterizations, or dark, muddled, over-photoshopped artwork. It blows. It does allow you to pull back and find the few gems which still do appear. I LOVE Hickman's Fantastic Four run. Most especially the stuff he did with Eaglesham. Great Stuff. Also, the Hellboy/BPRD universe stuff is all high quality great reads.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Note: Dont waste your money on Avengers #19

    by deelzbub

    Book is divided into thirds. Back up feature is some Elf nonsense. Last third of book is an ad for some TV show adaption. I didnt bother to count the pages of the actual Avengers story, but there's not many. SPOILER The Vision returns. That is a good thing. Oh, and fuck the Red hulk.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Justice League Dark is one of my top-tier faves of the New 52

    by NeonFrisbee

    Along with Action, Animal Man, and Swamp Thing. This past issue was a little light in terms of furthering the plot, but I loved all the Zatanna and Constantine stuff. I'm hot for Z.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 8:34 p.m. CST


    by Darth_Kong

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 8:35 p.m. CST

    homer: new 52

    by gooseud

    What's your top 4? Cmon even Joe has done a top 4, let's hear it !

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 8:38 p.m. CST

    Optimus: Peter david on x factor

    by gooseud

    That's a fucking miracle he had gone as long as he has, given his well known hatred of company crossovers and multiple threats to quit the book over them, and good on him I say....speaking of which, why does a genius like David not have s chance to do his own company wide crossover ?

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 8:57 p.m. CST

    Come on now

    by Joenathan

    How long was Bendis on Daredevil, how many issues were there of Alias. Fraction has been on Iron Man how long? And he and Bru did Iron Fist for two years, 24 issues. And how long has Bru been on Cap? The commitments are still there, the only difference--for the better--is now they're leaving a title before they get stale (cough*Claremont*cough)

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 8:58 p.m. CST

    Ultimate Doom

    by Joenathan

    He's dead, he should never come back. The cool thing about the Ultimate U now is personified by bad Reed... It's different. It's going it's own way. This is good. Doom is the bad guy in 616, why would we need the ultimate version

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 9:01 p.m. CST

    Peter David's crossover

    by Joenathan

    It's because Bay excels in the long form, not the short arc. His crossover would be all build, no flash... which turned out to be Fraction's problem too.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 9:10 p.m. CST

    Comic malaise

    by KCViking

    auotdidact-was in the same boat a few years ago.I took a few weeks off from the lcs,cancelled my pull list and was ready to just quit reading comics altogether.started reading reviews/previews of comics and/or writers. I started asking people about books off my normal radar.Took a few months but it payed off.Here are some examples; Proof Scalped Northlanders Incognito

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 9:17 p.m. CST

    Why don't writers have longer runs?

    by KCViking

    Is it just the business nowadays? Is it a lack of quality writers? Too many books? or am i just naive?

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 9:21 p.m. CST

    I would like to think,

    by Joenathan

    but I could be wrong, that most writers today-whether they succeed or not-are trying to write stories, which means a beginning, middle, and an ending. Where as I think the old model was the serial, which has no ending. So, I think most writers have an intent, they have stories they want to tell, and then they're done. Which is good, because we don't want them to force it.

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 9:55 p.m. CST

    So its more short stories then?

    by KCViking

    maybe I'm reading your comment wrong,though. What's wrong with a long,thought out serial?

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 9:59 p.m. CST

    story,not serial

    by KCViking

  • Nov. 30, 2011, 11:49 p.m. CST

    nothings wrong with serials

    by Joenathan

    but not having an ending or at least an end point can sometimes mean stories become aimless and run out of steam. I like that they're often now telling, say... a 24 issue story, instead of just hanging out forever and churning it out week after week.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 5:26 a.m. CST

    long serial arcs, you guys are forgetting

    by gooseud

    Ennis on Punisher and Johns on GL and Flash. The current systems of shorter runs is why these guys tend to be better on their own stuff, because you are trying to shoehorn in the "short story" style that Joe is referring to into a larger continuity, which often results in confusing, choppy storytelling.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 5:27 a.m. CST

    Guide to the Known Keys

    by melchior42

    Fantastic storytelling. I'd rather read the interviews from the supplemental material of last year's collected editions than another ultivengers or wolverine title.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 5:28 a.m. CST

    Aaron is killing it

    by gooseud

    Jason Aaron was just on the verge, with Scalped, Wolvy, Punisher Max, of being "grim and gritty guy" (not that he wasnt knocking it out of the park in that role) but that new Hulk book is one of the most gloriously retarded things I've ever read, and I mean that as a compliment. Its so over the top silly and funny, it really shows that hes on the top of his game right now.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 6:15 a.m. CST

    Gloriously retarded

    by Poptard_JD

    Yeah, I was talking about that in my review last week of Hulk #2..OOOOOOO there's a giant floating brain that shoots spikes...I get what he's doing now and it's fun! I'm excited to see where this book is going

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 6:17 a.m. CST

    As for the big "reveal" of the bad in Ultimates..

    by Poptard_JD

    I really don't think it was just a reveal for the CHARACTERS, I think it was supposed to be a reveal for the Readers as well, otherwise, why would he have a scene in the middle of Reed revealing himself to JUST Thor (gasp! it's...YOU!) and not the reader, and then save the big reveal for the end where he's looking at the reader? I could be wrong.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 6:52 a.m. CST

    How do you kill the New Mutants...

    by BangoSkank

    ... for a longtime fan? Strip the team of Cannonball and Magik, and replace them with Nate Grey. Nate fuckin' Grey. And shirtless, to boot. Five years ago I might have just kept reading,and hating myself for it.... But I too have reached a place where I can walk away, return at my leisure, and with no fear of regret. Well except for Uncanny... D'oh.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 8:11 a.m. CST


    by Poptard_JD

    The last guy didn't get reamed for asking if there's a way to turn off autoplay on his browser.. it was because he requested that we STOP doing the show specifically for him. "I can't work my computer so please stop doing the show until I can figure it out." ;)

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 8:12 a.m. CST


    by Poptard_JD

    Yeah, that Spidey/Lizard crossover with X-Men was pretty blargh. It felt like a chore to get through... I'm with ya.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 9:01 a.m. CST

    gloriously retarded

    by Laserhead

    Aaron first hit there for me with 'Ghost Rider'. Talk about fun. I'd never given half a shit for the character, and suddenly I'm cackling my way through Aaron's omnibus, loving ever minute.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Bango Uncanny

    by optimous_douche

    Yeah, that's my OCD Achilles heel. every other book I can read an arc - leave - then come back. I went out of my way though after I got a full time job post college to fill in all the holes in my collection from before I started collecting (1985) and the years I stopped collecting in college. before the renumber I had every single Uncanny to ever hit the shelves, so taht is one where good or bad tehy still get my cash.

  • Just couldn't do it. And I thumbed again through the ALIENS book I complained about. Yup, there is no story and the art doesn't show any setting or atmosphere whatsoever. Liam Sharp you are a FUCKING HACK.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 9:53 a.m. CST

    .. although the art isn't bad per se

    by Autodidact

    The art itself is good I just don't see any evidence of a space elevator on any page. Honestly I don't understand why Dark Horse would take this comic and make a big deal hardcover out of it. It's something that belongs in an anthology or as bonus material in the back of a real ALIENS mini or annual.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 10:15 a.m. CST

    the weekly lcs stop is nice but I'm buying way less

    by CreamCheeseAlchemist

    Over the past year, I was back at my high school average of $20 a week of comics but most weeks I don't go past $10. I'm mostly a DC reader still... My top 3 for reboot- Batwoman, Action Comics (brings back memories of Anarky) and the Huntress mini for it's art. Everything else is a month-by-month basis because mostly the animated shows meet my needs. I dig Life with Archie (like Huntress, it's another book Anarky brought me to) and gonna try Kevin Keller's monthly when it starts up next year and I absolutely adore One Piece.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Uncanny X-Men #2

    by Poptard_JD

    "Ah, I increasingly understand the reason for the X-Men. It's not Xavier or the X-Gene. The X is a target pasted on our backs", says Namor. Awesome.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 11:06 a.m. CST

    to gooseud and Bangoskank

    by Homer Sexual

    Bango, you are so right. I bought every issue of every incarnation of new mutants, and have also now dropped it with no regrets. Honestly, it had started to suck even before they got rid of Cannonball and Magik, but when that happened I was able to give it up. Ugh! Sometimes Marvel makes really terrible creative moves. Goose...well, I'd be happy to: 1. Animal Man has been the most continually absorbing. It is both creepy and relatable. The art is a bit sketchy but it works for this book. 2. Swamp Thing is almost as good. What I really like about those two is the way the revamp will please new fans and oldies like me. 3. Resurrection Man: I wasn't familiar with the character before, so everything is new to me. Except the Body Doubles, and I love the inclusion of the Body Doubles. And I love them in their revamped verson. So right now I am loving this book but I am unsure how long I will continue to love it. 4. Wonder Woman, I am happy to say, hasn't had a mis step yet. I have been off and on with her for years, and I am one of the few who isn't a huge fan of the Perez run. But I loved the Greg Rucka run, I think he was the best writer of her and female heroes in general. But Swierzinski or whatever his name is, has done an awesome job so far. Just goes to show you because I generally love JMS, but his pre-New 52 WW reboot put me off after one putrid issue. So that's my current top 4 I would have put Action at the top after two issues, but I didn't like issue 3 and feel I may actually quit if this direction continues. I also love Bat-Wing and VooDoo, much to my surprise. They are both exciting, full of surprises, kind of bloody books. These are two of the books I expected to be awful, so they definitely benefit from exceeding low expectations.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 11:17 a.m. CST


    by maxwell's hammer

    "With Great Power" is just one note in the bland orchestra being written by Victor Gischler, who really needs to be writing an all-ages book. The vampire stuff was moderatly intersting, mostly because it seemed to be telling a coherent story (unlike Fraction's 'Uncanny' which was going on at the same time), and I stuck through Lizard & Spider-Man mostly because I love Bachalo's artwork (he's either a love him or hate him kind of artist), but the weak link throughout that series is the piss-poor, one-dimensional, cliche-ridden writing. No big ideas, just Gischler seeming to think that "This is the part were Logan says 'Bub'!" is an exciting plot point.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Victor Gischler

    by The Bicycle Sharer

    Wow. I usually just sort of blow right through the comics talkbacks. I read the reviews and sometimes purchase accordingly, but I rarely pay much attention to the talkbacks. But when I saw Gischler's name mentioned I paused. I just read every one of Gischler's novels a couple of weeks ago and I enjoyed them all. Didn't even know he did comics, but, when I found out he did, my next step was going to be to hit the comics. I'll take the review of Gischler's work under advisement. However, I'll recommend his novels to you. Good stuff.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 12:52 p.m. CST


    by gooseud

    Has some of the most visuallyimpressive art I think I've ever seen. It's just jaw droppingly good . That one is also right there right outside my top 4, unexpectedly awesome.... I'd say right around #6 or so.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 1:03 p.m. CST

    Yeah I'm just gonna throw X-Men: With Great Power in the garbage

    by Autodidact

    Literally. I almost never throw out comics because as bad as they are you can usually give them to a kid or drop them at the library, etc. but fuck this comic it sucks I might piss on it before I discard it.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Apparently Andy Kubert is going to draw the Watchmen prequels

    by Autodidact

    I will never read a "Watchmen prequel" unless Alan Moore writes it. Why would they give it to Andy Kubert to draw? His art is completely devoid of style, it's scratchy and ugly. He's the main reason I stopped buying single-issue X-Men comics after Age of Apocalypse. Two or three years of his art every month was just too much I couldn't fucking stand it any more (plus the writing had become total garbage except Age of Apocalypse that was cool).

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 3 p.m. CST


    by Joenathan

    Age of Apocalypse was the bright spot of a bad time for Uncanny. I was just about to dump it because it was so bad, but I stuck around for the crossover and it was great and really well directed and I thought maybe the comic was on a new track, but as soon as AoA was done, it was right back to the same old crap. So I dropped it. I didn't buy another X-men until Morrison showed up

  • .. and I remember not really being able to bring myself to finishing reading the whole crossover, it was so boring and pointless. Good thing AoA started up about 4 months after The Phalanx Covenant... I would have missed it if it came out during the next summer like most of the big Marvel X-events.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Age Of Apocalypse

    by Xenodistortion

    First big crossover deal I bought every single issue of (though I think the "Rise of the Midnight Sons" crossover from the Ghost Rider comics came out before that, that may have been the first I owned. Plus that was relatively small in issues compared to what X-Men were doing). I also remember everything from that era sucking before and after AOA (especially Phalanx Covenant). It's also the only time I ever enjoyed Joe Madureira's artwork. Good stuff.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 6:17 p.m. CST


    by MattAdler

    What browser are you using? We have IE, Firefox, and Chrome users all reporting it's working fine for them.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 6:59 p.m. CST

    ME TOO!

    by Homer Sexual

    I think I had dropped X-books before AoA, and definitely again after. But I still enjoy re-reading the AoA storyline. There was a time with Maggott and Celia Reyes, I tried to read then but couldn't. Was that before or after AoA? I too remember, vaguely, trying to read the Phalanx stuff and not being able to. I did like the Inferno storyline, that ws a big crossover but im pretty sure it was way, way before AoA. It was late 80s iirc. Poor Madelyne Pryor, she sure got the shaft.

  • Dec. 1, 2011, 9:22 p.m. CST

    AoA and Inferno

    by Joenathan

    AoA was just so tight. There were two bookend issues and there was, I think, 6 or 7 x books and for four issues they were all changed, new cast and set up, etc. It was great and the cool part was each title was stand-alone, but they all converged for the big fight at the end. That was a well done cross over. It's still good. Inferno... well, looking back, now it's pretty silly. It was the first crossover waaaaaay back after Fall of the Mutants, so it was when the original X-men were in X-factor and Angel became Archangel and the rest of the x-men were in Austrailia and everyone was wearing demony outfits with sexy rips in them. It was Madelyn Pryor's revenger as the Goblin Queen, when she turned out to be a clone or something. Maggot was after AoA. He was one of the reasons I stayed away from the books.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 5:19 a.m. CST


    by Poptard_JD

    My mutant power is giant maggots that live in my stomach? Really? *blammmthunk*

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 7:04 a.m. CST

    Sugar Man was the worst mutant character of all time.

    by Bedknobs and Boomsticks

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Rise of the Midnight Sons was awesome!


  • kjl