Comics

AICN COMICS REVIEWS: BATMAN! NEW AVENGERS! SEVERED! Peter Bagge’s RESET! TITMOUSE MOOK! DAMES OF THE ATOMIC AGE! & MORE!!!

Published at: April 25, 2012, 8:44 a.m. CST by ambush bug

Issue #56 Release Date: 4/18/12 Vol.#10
The Pull List
(Click title to go directly to the review)
BATMAN #8
SEVERED HC TRADE
TITMOUSE MOOK VOL. 2
RESET #1
NIGHTWING #8
NEW AVENGERS #24
ICHABOD JONES: MONSTER HUNTER #1-3
THE JAMES BOND OMNIBUS 003: THE GOLDEN GHOST
RAGEMOOR #2
DAMES OF THE ATOMIC AGE OGN
CHEAP SHOTS!


BATMAN #8

Writer: Scott Snyder
Artists: Greg Capullo & Rafael Albuquerque
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Optimous Douche


BATMAN pre-New 52 was a convoluted mess. Don’t get me wrong, Morrison was hired to do a job and he did it admirably. But BATMAN was deconstructed to a point where the man was completely lost and the Bat was all that remained. Here’s the thing about bats, though: they’re a weak creature that only becomes threatening en masse, the direct antithesis of the Dark Knight’s modus operandi. Taking the “man” out of BATMAN by itself was a mistake worthy of the continuity flush we got last year.

And just like with a literal flush, what you get in its place is a sparkling clean bowl. The trick this time is to ensure no excrement touches the pristine waters. Say what you want about the New 52 and I’ll probably agree with you; some books have simply not lived up to the hype. With BATMAN, though, Snyder has achieved new heights of excellence because of one simple tenet: Bruce is just as important as the Bat.

Just as he did with Dick Grayson in pre-52 DETECTIVE, Snyder has spent the past seven issues of BATMAN expertly balancing the quiet moments of character with the cacophony of Gotham insanity. Snyder also showed us that there are still new ideas out there, especially when it comes to Batman’s villains. While other Bat books have gone back to the well of old standards like The Joker and Penguin, BATMAN created a new threat for the Dark Knight in The Court of Owls.

The Owls concept made me groan at first. It seemed too simple. OK, we get it; owls hunt bats, so what? The “so what” was more than just a new breed of Bat hunters--it was a glorious retelling of Gotham history akin to the wonderful miniseries GATES OF GOTHAM. We also learned through a fun CSI DNA moment that Dick Grayson has genetic ties to this old order. See, while The Court of Owls is a new threat to readers, they have been controlling the inner workings of Gotham since the first cobblestone was laid on the dust-ridden roads. Through seven issues, Batmanwas drawn deeper into their plots to regain a more forward-facing control of Gotham and in the process made him literally lose his mind (which was displayed masterfully in the issue you had to read upside down and sideways as Bruce descended into madness).

I’m spending so much time with the history of this series to date because not a lot happened in this particular issue. Even though this is the precursor to the first major DC Crossover “Night of Owls,” it really was a bit of prior issue rehashing. I get it: all of those RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS fans need this primer before “Night of Owls” encroaches on all Bat books, but for fans of BATMAN this was the denouement of the denouement from BATMAN’s first arc. Basically, the Owls invade Wayne Manor. It’s fun and fast-paced, but from a sheer “what’s the point or plot of this issue”, invasion is pretty much the order of the day. This is especially true if you don’t have the prior knowledge on why these new invaders are so damn evil and dangerous.

Pretty much the truly new material came in the form of a back-up story penciled by Snyder’s AMERICAN VAMPIRE counterpart Rafael Albuquerque. Capullo is no slouch with a pencil, but Albuquerque is so unique this is really the part of the issue stuck out for me. The backup story also set the stage for the crossover into the other bat themed titles NIGHTWING, BATWING and the aforementioned RED HOOD (among others). I also enjoyed Snyder’s homage to “The Godfather” in this part: basically, the Court of Owls aren’t going to take over Gotham through any bullshit grassroots efforts-- if you hold a position of power in Gotham the Owls have your number.

Time has made me very apprehensive of crossovers, but Snyder has never disappointed. I’m intrigued to see if one will negate the other. I’m also really looking forward to Red Hood helping Bruce out, given Jason Todd’s past dalliances and current seething hatred towards Gotham’s favorite son.

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.


SEVERED HARDCOVER TRADE

Writer: Scott Snyder & Scott Tuft
Art: Attila Futaki
Publisher: Image Comics
Reviewer: Ambush Bug


Though I don’t do it often with other writers, I buy pretty much anything Scott Snyder writes. Usually a writer comes out strongly with a great title, but then the flaws in that writer’s style begin to show the more he writes. Now that I’ve enjoyed his run on DETECTIVE COMICS, the GATES OF GOTHAM miniseries, current runs on SWAMP THING and BATMAN, and have devoured every issue of AMERICAN VAMPIRE I can get my grubby little mitts on, I think I can safely say that I haven’t had a bad time reading any of them. So when word hit of SEVERED, Snyder’s horror miniseries teaming the writer up with Scott Tuft and doing another period piece doused in all kinds of horror themes, I crossed my fingers that this wasn’t going to be the story that shows Snyder’s faults.

So far, so good.

SEVERED is an extremely expertly plotted, thoroughly researched, and utterly engrossing tale set in pre-Depression era America. Much like Snyder’s previous works, the story is filled with historical details as if Snyder were a time traveler and able to experience the culture himself. Of course, with time travel not possible, it’s evident that Snyder, along with Tuft, has researched this era meticulously, adding details that are indicative of the time. It’s this level of authenticity that Snyder brings to all of his works, making the world in which his characters have their adventures in seem livable and real.

SEVERED follows a young boy named Jack Garron who dreams of someday finding his absent father who he only has minimal knowledge about. He knows his father is a bluesman and little else. Soon, Jack begins to receive letters from his father and Jack decides to track down the address on these letters. Running away from home, Jack pairs up with another kid on the run, Sam, and the two take off to scam their way to reunite Jack with his father. Along the way, we are introduced to Alan Fisher, a seemingly well-intentioned traveling salesman. But Fisher has a darker side and a set of pointed teeth hiding under his dentures. Devouring the dreams of the young, Fisher is a monster that isn’t easily explained, but nevertheless terrifying.

SEVERED is a slow burn of a book. Though each issue is rich in character and cultural nuance, the first few issues may be hard to digest for less patient readers. Those who stick to this story will most definitely find themselves captured within the narrative. The story plows Jack, Sam, and Fisher together and because much time was spent on getting to know these characters, you ache as you see these innocent kids on a collision course with these monsters. Snyder and Tuft don’t forget to spice up each issue, though, as they slowly reveal how monstrous Fisher truly is in each chapter, so even though the first few chapters are slower than the rest, there is still an overwhelming sense of foreboding danger and frightful intent throughout.

Bringing another layer of authenticity to this story is artist Attila Futaki. His soft style gives everything a Norman Rockwell feel (the colors done by Futaki and in the latter chapters by Greg Guilhaumond) that exudes a wholesomeness that is oft attributed to this era. When things get dire, the juxtaposition of these soft, warm tones with the horrific imagery unfolding exudes the kind of discomfort one looks for in reading a horror novel. Every page is gorgeously crafted and again, authentic is a word I can’t help but reusing since everything from creaky train cars to style of dress to the slimy welcoming ambiance of old blues bars seem to be referenced to a tee.

Snyder has yet to let me down. Once again he’s paired himself with another talented writer in Tuft as he did with Kyle Higgins on THE GATES OF GOTHAM. Though it’s hard to distinguish who brought what to the table, I’ve read enough of Snyder’s work to know that if his name is in the credits, it’s going to be read by me. SEVERED is a masterfully paced thriller with a horrific monster endangering characters that you truly care about. Highly recommended.

Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/reviewer/co-editor of AICN Comics for over ten years. He has written comics such as MUSCLES & FIGHTS, MUSCLES & FRIGHTS, VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS TINGLERS & WITCHFINDER GENERAL, THE DEATHSPORT GAMES, WONDERLAND ANNUAL 2010 & NANNY & HANK (soon to be made into a feature film from Uptown 6 Films). He is also a regular writer for FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND & has co-written their first ever comic book LUNA: ORDER OF THE WEREWOLF (to be released in October 2012 as an 100-pg original graphic novel). Mark has just announced his new comic book miniseries GRIMM FAIRY TALES PRESENTS THE JUNGLE BOOK from Zenescope Entertainment to be released in March 2012.


TITMOUSE MOOK VOL. 2

Writers & Illustrators: Paul Harmon, Matt Taylor, Matt Danner, Dave Johnson, David C. Smith, Richard Mather, Gabe Swarr, Vassilis Gogtzilas, D.J. Kirkbride, Adam P. Knave, Songgu Kwon, Israel Sanchez, Jon Schnepp, Otto Tang, Travis Millard

Publisher: Titmouse
Reviewer: superhero


From the animation studio that brought you METALOCALYPSE, SUPERJAIL!, CHINA, IL, BLACK DYNAMITE, and Disney’s MOTYORCITY comes TITMOUSE MOOK VOL. 2. I had the pleasure of reviewing the first MOOK, and I have to say that the second MOOK is a worthy follow up to the previous edition. What you have here is a terrific collection of artists, writers, animators…heck, ARTISTS putting out some of the most eclectic and pleasantly crazy comics I've ever laid my eyes on. But MOOK VOLUME 2 is not just about comics. It's more than that. It's filled with great pieces of art that are both sequential and non-sequential and it includes an article or two! Yes, there are sections where you may have to read words that exist outside of the confines of your beloved word balloons! But that's OK! It'll all be all right! Because as comic fans we can be tolerant of words without pictures and we can accept when brilliant creators such as the ones behind this venture step outside the panel-framed box--or at the very least we should be able to when the collected work is as brilliant as this is.

Many of the artists from the first MOOK make return appearances and continue some of the terrific narratives that they began in the first edition of MOOK. Most notably Dave Johnson presents another chapter of his comic 'Flatuline', Paul Harmon returns with 'Harvest II', and Richard Mather returns with 'Zudintuk 2". The newest additions to the MOOK family impress with their entries as well. Each comic displays a unique voice and storytelling style as well as a confident dash of artistic bravado. MOOK VOLUME 2 is a brash mishmash of unique ideas colliding together into one professionally produced package. It's a must-have collection for anyone who wants to see comics done differently or observe artistic styles that normally wouldn't co-exist under the same umbrella.

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. Some of his work can be seen at www.kristianhorn.com and check out his blog at www.parttimefanboy.com. You can check also out his webcomics at www.babybadass.com and thediplomatics.com, which is currently in development.


RESET #1

Writer: Peter Bagge
Artist: Peter Bagge
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Reviewer: MajinFu


Have you ever regretted something? Guy Krause has and he’s reliving his grief every day as part of an “experiment” for which he reluctantly volunteered involving a virtual reality simulator where escape is only possible with the press of a “reset” button.

That’s the premise of RESET, a story about a guy who can’t seem to escape his past. When we first meet him he’s sitting in a D.U.I. class for “road rage” where we learn that he is now a washed-up comedian whose job opportunities are now severely lacking due to his behavior. A chance meeting with a cryptic woman in class leads him to participate in what he assumes is a new form of psychotherapy, although the last few pages hint at a much larger conspiracy at work. It’s this mystery tied to the experiment that winds up being the most compelling part of the book, especially since Guy Krause himself is a bit of a selfish jerk.

Peter Bagge’s unique cartooning style works to great effect here in keeping the tone and pacing of the comic right on target. It’s still just as humorous as his earlier work, maybe even more cheerful, which is saying something when you’re dealing with such an unlikable protagonist. Hardly a panel lacks a word bubble, but even then the pages are littered with plenty of expressive characters and lettering to keep the flow and pacing running smoothly. Folks looking for a dense comic that takes more time to read than it does to walk around the block will be pleased with the content in this book. All we get here is a methodical introduction but enough is there to get you acquainted with the cast and have you salivating to find out what is really going on with this experiment.

Like most of Peter Bagge’s earlier work, this book is funny in the way it skews reality while creating characters that are very believable and behave like real people. Guy isn’t a very likable character but the story compensates with its humor and a surprise ending that will have you wondering what is really going on. This is one of those great first issues where so many ideas and colorful characters are on display that it’s hard to tell where the story is really going to go next, and even harder to know where it will all end up. No matter what the conclusion, Peter Bagge is obviously going to deliver a strong satire of society and the technology that surrounds it. Check this book out!


NIGHTWING #8

Writer: Kyle Higgins
Art: Eddy Barrows
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: The Writing Rambler


I’ve never been a huge fanboy of one particular company or the other when it comes to the Big Two. As a kid I preferred Marvel’s books and as I’ve grown older I find myself tending to fall in line with the DC camp but it’s never stopped me from enjoying either of the other’s offerings. I figured I’d just mention this as a precursor to me having some negative words towards Marvel’s huge AVENGERS VS X-MEN event currently engulfing the Marvel Universe. To me Marvel just hasn’t been able to deliver on huge events for a while now. Maybe they just try to go too big. I’m only mentioning this because on the flipside you have DC running their first major (I’m not counting the OMAC/FRANKENSTEIN crossover as a major event and the Green Lantern’s Alpha War, or whatever it will officially be called, hasn’t started yet) event revolving around one of their main titles. Instead of going huge and trying to include books that don’t really fit (I’m sure they’ll be doing this soon enough but for now I like it) they are focusing on the Batman family of books. I feel like this is where the events can really shine. You’ve got a story whose tie ins can stretch over several books while really telling a good tale and not what seems like a forced bunch of fan “dream matches” that won’t have a huge effect on the overall universe it takes place in once it’s over. BATMAN has done a really impressive job with giving us a new set of villains with the Court of Owls and the Talons, and in NIGHTWING # 8 we get to see that solid buildup transfer over really well into its first tie in book.

NIGHTWING #8 flows seamlessly from the events that take place in BATMAN #8 (a must read before you even think of touching this issue of NIGHTWING) and Kyle Higgins weaves his story of Gotham’s past with an action-packed battle between Nightwing and one of the Court’s Talons nearly flawlessly. Up until this point Higgins has reminded us just how far Dick Grayson has come in his solo career and successfully finished his first arc by tying in everything that’s happening in NIGHTWING to the mysteries hidden in Gotham’s background with the Court of Owls. All the pieces begin to fall nicely into place, and unlike so many other tie in books that feel forced and often barely have anything to do with the larger event (other than a cover page telling you that you must buy it), NIGHTWING #8 actually feels crucial to the “Night of the Owls” story. Eddy Barrows’ art is a great compliment to the story, and actually one of my favorites of all the current Bat books. My only real critique is that there are a few moments where the artwork dulls itself down during the fight scenes, but it’s really nitpicking on my part in an otherwise great piece of work.

Other DC titles and Marvel in general can learn a lot from what the Batman writers are doing right now. We’re seeing a really good story that has been given time to be fleshed out over several issues (I highly recommend reading all 8 issues of BATMAN if you haven’t already, to get caught up on the Court of Owls backstory) and now we get to enjoy the event that it’s all led to. As far as I understand, the “Night of the Owls” storyline will crossover to all of the Bat books over the next month or so and if its anything like what we’ve been given in NIGHTWING #8 count me on board for checking them all out.

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


NEW AVENGERS #24

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Mike Deodato & Will Conrad
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Publisher: Henry Higgins is My Homeboy


Lull.

As AVENGERS VS X-MEN begins proper, the time to step back and look at the individual Avengers has drawn near. These tie ins are among my favourite parts of these event stories, with Luke Cage’s solo issue of NEW AVENGERS during CIVIL WAR one of my top single issues in the past ten years. With Bendis’ time on THE AVENGERS drawing short, it’s no surprise he spends time on two of his favourite characters, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. Sadly, the issue isn’t one of the better examples of their relationship. Opposed to that, the smaller moments of the team at large are light and enjoyable, and manage to shift easily into set up for AVENGERS VS X-MEN.

Writing: (3/5) For THE AVENGERS, this is an incredibly talky book, even for a Bendis issue. Almost every panel is filled with interplay, quipping, and monologue. At times, it can grow old. Luckily, for the most part, the dialogue is well paced, managing to be both tongue in cheek and serious within moments of one another without losing a click. The scene shifts from Spider-Man trying to explain what happened during “Spider-Island” to Red Hulk leading the strike team of Avengers against Utopia. Both moments are consistent and well written without feeling forced. The whole issue is like this, utilizing smaller character moments more effectively then the bigger relationship scenes. Storm deciding to leave the mansion when the threat is revealed to be the Phoenix is a tense moment, followed by an unspoken but obvious thought concerning the loyalty of Wolverine. It’s a very compact moment that, in a lesser book, would have been expanded too much.

The strength of the issue comes from utilizing a similar method as CIVIL WAR did--the issue focuses on the more personal side of one of the combatants, showing a brief look into Luke’s motivations. His conversation with Jessica is quick, and explores a tried and true argument – “We can’t be super heroes and parents” - but it doesn’t necessarily feel old. Jessica raises good points, but Luke never really gets an opportunity to respond before the action of the storyline resumes.

The issue falls short when it starts to monologue. The Luke Cage section carries on much longer than it should. His speech to the crowd slowly loses momentum until the arrival of Jessica is welcome.

Art: (3/5) Deodato and Conrad don’t get terribly much to do here, but the two manage to turn what should be boring proceedings into very stimulating visuals. The look of the Helicarrier as it heads to Utopia manages to give each individual Avenger some sort of personality and uniqueness. The framing for the Avengers’ assault on Utopia is likewise very engaging, and very well done. The issue’s brightest moment is the discussion between Jessica and Luke. It’s well structured, and manages to feel very intimate and distant at the same time, echoing the rift growing between Luke and Jessica.

The art sputters slightly when it closes up on the characters, notably Luke during his speech to the press simply looks off.

Best Moment: “I liked your other costume better.”

Worst Moment: The speeches go on a little too long.

Overall: (3/5) A solid, if flawed examination into the mindset of the Avengers. Hopefully it can reach the same pitch earlier tie ins have.


ICHABOD JONES: MONSTER HUNTER #1-3

Writer: Russell Nohelty
Artist: Renzo Podesta
Publisher: Viper Comics

Reviewer: Optimous Douche


The overwhelming success of GLEE indicates that America loves mash-ups, which makes me feel obligated to find an award winning combination of past entertainment to describe ICHABOD JONES.

Put simply, Viper Comics’ latest brain child presented an alternate reality where the creepy cuteness of CORALINE collides with the reality-bending mind-fuck that was INCEPTION, and garnishes in a little SILENCE OF THE LAMBS for good measure.

Ichabod Jones is insane…maybe. This waffling has less to do with my lack of commitment and stems more from writer Nohelty’s ability to blur the line between what lives in Ichabod’s head versus what the rest of the world actually sees. Ichabod Jones is insane by some standards, but that insanity is going to help him save the world…maybe.

From page one you’re never sure whether Ichabod is the hero or the villain. Yes, Ichabod kills, but each slaughter is for the greater good of mankind and will save humanity from the apocalypse…or at least, so says the voice in Ichabod’s head.

One look at the bible tells us to take Ichabod at his word. How many sage profits climbed a mountain, heard a voice, and then used that voice to guide tribes through the desert or lay their child on a rock to be eaten by buzzards? Sure, in those olden days that voice was given a name, but whether it was Ra, Yahweh or God at the end of the day these fuckers were talking to themselves…maybe. In each case the voice was right, so why shouldn’t we believe that the id driving Ichabod isn’t speaking from the same plane of good intention for mankind? Should we condemn the voice because it condones murder? Mens rea tells us to throw that argument out the window, as does Dexter Morgan. Sometimes ends justify means--only time will tell what the right choice is.

This line between reality and insanity is blurred from issue one, but becomes even harder to discern as the series progresses. If you were to leave ICHABOD JONES after issue one or the beginning of issue two, Ichabod would indeed be dubbed insane and the clear villain in this tale. Nohelty gives you enough time outside of Ichabod’s head to understand he lives in an asylum and there probably is no apocalypse--merely a young man trying to satiate a blood lust. And the voice in his head, oh, the voice in his head. There are really two protagonists to Ichabod playing off of Freud’s theories of duality: the id and the ego. In this context Ichabod himself immediately becomes the voice of reason, the rational ego questioning and arguing with the voice on whether his killing is moral.

Nohelty does a wonderful job pacing this series, letting the second half of issue 2 take you full steam into Ichabod’s insanity (or maybe reality). There simply is no middle ground. When trapped with other asylum members, both alive and dead, Ichabod devises a way out of entrapment that relies on the literal “intestinal” fortitude of a slayed “monster” to give then a lifeline of hope out of their pit of despair (for the obtuse, he climbs out of trouble using entrails – damn you obtuse and your obtuseness). Issue three becomes even more insane; once outside of entrapment Ichabod and his followers find a deserted wasteland (i.e. welcome to the apocalypse, kids). From here things just get stranger with Dune-like sandworms and a town that seems to be anything but salvation.

This is my second Viper book and I can say without reservation their presentation quality is on par with the Big Two. Podesta’s art is definitely stylistic (remember my Coraline comparison from before), but resonates with true emotion and spot-on pacing.

My only criticism, which is also the book’s main virtue, lies in whether Ichabod is crazy or not. I know…I know…there’s something to be said for mystery, but it is a question Nohelty will need to answer sooner or later. The apocalypse seemed to come from nowhere, leaving us readers with a definite sense of “wha happened?” Regardless, if you want an enticing mystery that’s bathed in the blood on innocents…maybe, then look no further than ICHABOD JONES.


THE GOLDEN GHOST as published in THE JAMES BOND OMNIBUS 003

Writer: Jim Lawrence
Illustrator: Horak
Publisher: Titan Books
Reviewer: superhero


The first thing I have to do is make a correction. Apparently for the past several weeks I’ve been mis-crediting the writer of these comic adaptations of 007’s adventures as Jim Fleming. In actuality, that credit should go to Jim Lawrence. I don’t know how I’ve been making that mistake but I apologize for it. I feel like an ass I can only offer my deepest apologies to Mr. Lawrence (if he is still alive) and his family.

The other thing I’d like to address is that last week a very astute talkbacker pointed out that my review of COLONEL SUN had Fleming listed as the writer when it was in fact an adaptation of a Bond novel by writer Kingsley Amis. I can only say that I was going off of what the book was telling me. I did notice that after COLONEL SUN and beginning with this strip the credits switch from “By Ian Fleming” to “Ian Fleming’s James Bond”. It seems as if the remaining strips in this book are actually original stories crafted by the aforementioned Mr. Lawrence. But COLONEL SUN was credited to Fleming in the book so that’s what I went with. Again, I apologize to Mr. Amis’s family if any of them happens to come across this review.

With this chapter, THE GOLDEN GHOST, the Bond strips return to form. For all of my mistakes in laying out the proper credit for the writing of COLONEL SUN, I still found the SUN comic strip adaptation to be a bit on the slow side as far as spy adventures go. THE GOLDEN GHOST kicks Bond back into overdrive. The plot kicks off with the new head of a nefarious criminal organization called S.P.E.C.T.R.E , Lady Spectra, offering to sell MI6 some important information relating to an unknown plot. Bond is set up as the one to pick up the information and the action kicks off from there. As the story unfolds we discover that the British government is on the verge of kicking off a new and exciting era in aviation because of the development of an atomic-powered zeppelin called THE GOLDEN GHOST. Bond finds himself aboard the GHOST to thwart a possible attempt to sabotage its maiden voyage. Of course, things are not always as they seem and sabotage ends up being that last thing on the mind of the bad guys in this particular Bond outing.

OK, so spy stories have never been known for having the most sensible plots, but even I have to admit that this one takes the cake. Apparently no one in Bond’s government had ever heard of the Hindenberg, because the idea of an atomic airship sailing through the skies seems like a wonderful idea to everyone involved in this story. Despite the inherent ridiculousness of the idea of developing atomic blimps as the next step in aviation history, Lawrence gets Bond into the action almost immediately and maintains a decent amount of tension throughout the story. Heck, there’s even a sequence in GHOST where Bond finds himself literally swimming with sharks. Now that’s the type of super villain death trap I can appreciate! THE GOLDEN GHOST is a terrific Bond adventure from beginning to end and manages to be just as entertaining as many of the movie adaptations have been. This is a Bond adventure that will seem very familiar to fans of the films. As to whether that’s a good thing or not, it depends upon what kind of a Bond fan you are, but I personally found it highly enjoyable and I consider THE GOLDEN GHOST, despite the silliness of atomic airships, to be one of the best entries in THE JAMES BOND OMNIBUS 007.

In two weeks in the JAMES BOND OMNIBUS 003: FEAR FACE!


RAGEMOOR #2

Writer: Jan Strnad
Artist: Richard Corben
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Reviewer: MajinFu


Can you remember the last time your house needed renovations? Not really the “it’s too warm in here, I’ll turn on the air conditioner” problem, but more like “skull-monkeys in the basement are at it again. Jeeves, fetch me the Winchester!” Yeah… RAGEMOOR is more like that. The first issue of this horrific new series about a seemingly sentient castle sets the mood nicely and introduced the exterior of the castle with a graphical vigor currently unmatched in the genre.

A good haunted house story can keep you nervous fretting over the physical peril while slowly peeling away the layers around a particular place to reveal the horrifying truth that lurks within. In this case, aspiring poet and lord of the castle, young Master Herbert is forced to descend into the depths of the abode he inherited from his long-absent father. He is accompanied by his hand servant Bodrick, who has been with the house and its inhabitants for generations, and has an affinity for teaching cockroaches how to cook. Further investigations lead to some disturbing revelations concerning the lords of the house, and I can’t wait to see where they take this next, although I expect things won’t end well for anybody, except maybe the skull monkeys.

In many ways the history of horror fiction is like a haunted house, with its mysterious origins, innumerable participants, and a hodgepodge of global influences. RAGEMOOR draws from this wellspring of dread to create a story that calls upon everything from Lovecraft to Kafka for its inspiration, resulting in a tale that is tragically poetic and frighteningly visceral in equal parts. While this issue is mostly straight action astutely choreographed and composed masterfully by Richard Corben, writer Jan Strnad also manages to hit some potent emotional beats that could spell doom or maybe even hope for the rest of the cast in later installments, especially Hubert’s love Anoria, who is already paralyzed from the trauma she suffered in the first issue. Somehow I suspect she is due for a nice comeback before the story finds it conclusion.

RAGEMOOR is an exquisite horror comic with a lot going for it, from the sumptuously detailed visuals that set the haunting mood to the layered story of a strange world previously unknown to many of the inhabitants of the chilly manor. If you are a fan of CREEPY and EERIE or you have been looking for something to keep you up at night worrying over what forgotten species lurks beneath your chambers, this is the book for you.


DAMES OF THE ATOMIC AGE OGN

Writer: Christopher Ryder
Artist: Mark Sandroni
Additional artwork: Mike Vosburg, Andy Suriano, Tony Fleecs, Tone Rodriguez, Mark Dos Santos, Steve Downer, Mike Rader, Rashan Ekedal, Paul Little, Chris Moreno
Publisher: Art of Fiction
Reviewer: KletusCassidy


So from time to time we at AICN Comics get requests from independent publishers to take a look at books that would maybe go unnoticed by some of us. Bug had a list on indies that we could look at, so I scanned the names to see if anything jumped out at me and immediately DAMES OF THE ATOMIC AGE caught my eye. I talked with the publisher and they offered to send me a copy. Between my drunken adventures this weekend, I stumbled into the kitchen and noticed I had a package…DAMES OF THE ATOMIC AGE. I flipped through it and found myself excited by what I saw: a noir tale complete with a PI, laser guns, a boxer, giant ants and great art. You know you’re curious…

The art in this comic is f’in awesome. It kind of reminds me of John Byrne mixed with Jerry Ordway (two of my all-time favorite artists). The colors are great as well and do a lot to add to the noir feel of this book. A lot of times I feel what is lacking from most independent comics studios (at least that I’ve seen) is really great art. The art all throughout this comic isn’t just good for an independent comic publisher; the art is great, period. Mark Sandroni handles the pencils in the main story but there are a lot of artists that contribute to this book by way of little mini comics that pop up throughout the book that are also a blast to look at. One of the minis is a pretty funny comic strip about a kid detective named Dodger Doogan trying to solve the mystery of the ‘Black Dolly’. All of the minis are enjoyable on their own but add to the overall story by partially relating to the events in the main story, similar to how TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER accentuates certain ideas and themes in WATCHMEN.

The story is about a private investigator who took a job to find out if a scientist’s wife was being unfaithful; however, there is a lot more to this book than just that. Immediately the book takes some quick left turns that flip this genre and story directly on its head. After I read the first 6 or so pages, I decided that this is one of the strongest openings of a comic I’ve read in a long time. The story is awesome and moves very quickly, never really giving Ol’ Kletus time for his ADD to kick in. At the end of every chapter there’s something that ups the ante significantly, then grabs your curiosity, shoves it up against a wall and says “You ain’t going anywhere, bub!” This comic had me interested and fully engaged the entire time, but alas it’s only volume 1. I need the rest of this story in my life like I need a lime in my Tecate! And I have no problem paying the $9 for the next volume!

This was a really great read with fantastic art by everyone involved. I’m going to pass this comic around to my friends like a spliff at a Willie Nelson concert. The story is well paced and never lets up on the action and intrigue. The whole book is tons of fun from the mini comics to the art to the dialog to covers that mimic old pulp magazines and fight posters: every aspect of this comic works. You can tell that everyone not only put a lot into this comic, it also seems like they had a great time doing it. Honestly, this is my favorite random thing I’ve read since OUR LOVE IS REAL. This comic has proven to me that I need to seek out more independent comics and not fall into the trap of only buying comics I’m familiar with from big publishers. Find this comic, read it and give it to anyone you know that is slightly interested in cool sci-fi/detective stories…Ol’ Kletus will bet on his left bunion that there won’t be any disappointments from you or them.


UNCANNY X-FORCE #24
Marvel Comics


Here we go! This one feels like it’s back on track. I was mildly disappointed in the time this series has spent with the Captain Britain Corps as it all felt a bit sloppy and disjointed, especially when compared to what Remender had been putting out on a monthly basis with his first eighteen or so issues. UNCANNY X-FORCE seems to have regained a great deal of focus with this issue, and it’ll probably be the first time in a while that you’ll be able to clearly remember what happened after only one read through. It also may be the first time in a while that you really care what happened, since the internal drama of the team really jumps up a few pegs in that last page, and the Iceman/Nightcrawler battle is as awesome as it is touching. Phil Noto does a great job with the art in this issue, and his work always seems so well balanced, getting the most amount of detail into every panel without it ever seeming too cluttered or indecipherable. I don’t like his Wolverine face, but I tend to be very particular about Wolverine’s face, and my reasons for it rarely make any sense, so I won’t be counting this against him (if you must know, I think it looks like he might have a nice smile…see? Doesn’t make any sense). But anyway, if you’ve been putting off UNCANNY X-FORCE for whatever reason since the Dark Angel Saga wrapped, I think this issue is a good time to jump back on and prepare for what could be another great X story from Rick Remender. -
The Dean


THE SHADOW #1
Dynamite Entertainment


You think you know pulp? The Shadow IS pulp! Originally the disembodied voice of a detective-themed radio show in the 1930s, the Shadow would go on to become one of the first fictional vigilantes, ultimately inspiring the creation of characters like Batman and the Punisher. Some of you may recognize the character from the 1994 Alec Baldwin vehicle that was campy, but fairly faithful to the original series. With this new comic from Dynamite Entertainment the Shadow returns to his roots as a scum-scaring vigilante in the 1930s who sees the darkness in the hearts of all men. Ennis fans won’t be surprised by the presence of his patented gore and violence, but they’ll be pleased to know that he has also managed to craft a fairly decent re-introduction to the seminal character that should please fans young and old. Aaron Campbell’s art suits the material well, but his inks are a little too heavy during some of the daylight scenes. Special recognition goes to Carlos Lopez, who knows how to keep the colors muted and then suddenly layer a page in rich reds. Without Lopez’s vivid color work, it would have been harder to distinguish some of the characters from one another. Fans of the Shadow and pulp heroes in general really have no excuse to miss this book, as it’s a great continuation of the violent vigilante’s exploits that recalls the original radio dramas with panache and a mature edge that contemporizes the dark hero well for any new readers. - MajinFu


INCREDIBLE HULK #7
Marvel Comics


I haven’t been all that excited to pick up Aaron’s INCREDIBLE HULK outside of his first issue on the series. I buy it every month hoping it might turn into something a little more exciting, but the idea of mad-scientist Banner vs. bearded Hulk has been a consistently cooler idea than Aaron’s execution of it so far. This issue is certainly one of, if not the best of, this still young run, but I can see better issues in the series’ future as it looks like Aaron may have finally found the heart in his Hulk/Banner relationship. Plus next month’s issue has Aaron writing the Punisher again with the upcoming “Stay Angry” arc, which should be reason enough for you to buy it. While Steve Dillon will be drawing INCREDIBLE HULK with issue #8, we’ve got Whilce Portacio on this one, and you’ll get no complaints from me. I’ve heard a few folks refer to his work as inconsistent, but it’s never been noticeable enough for me to detract from the issue, and I think his art is pretty impressive more often than not. INCREDIBLE HULK #7 wraps up a lot of the previous six issues, but I think it stands on its own pretty well if you’re looking to get a Hulk fix before the next arc. I’d recommend it on that alone, but this issue also has one of the funnier Hulk moments I’ve read in a long time involving his needing a new pair of pants. Intrigued? You should be! - The Dean



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

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Readers Talkback

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  • April 25, 2012, 8:53 a.m. CST

    thanks

    by Waka_Flocka

  • April 25, 2012, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Yay, new Peter Bagge!

    by rev_skarekroe

    The last Hate Annual was fantastic.

  • April 25, 2012, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Batman

    by kbass

    Has consistently been a good read...as has the rest of the "Bat" family. With Dick Grayson being my favorite character since I was a little kid, I've been very pleased with how he's being handled...looking forward to the big crossover event.

  • April 25, 2012, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Agree on X-Force Dean

    by optimous_douche

    That Captain Britain arc was a mess, mainly artistically.

  • April 25, 2012, 9:58 a.m. CST

    The Ultimates is best bang for the buck.

    by Cedric Ford

  • April 25, 2012, 10:27 a.m. CST

    'The Boys'....

    by 3774

    My boyfriend and our friend we rent a room to bought the first and second trade volumes last week. I asked them what they were about, and they just shoo their head laughing, giving me a vague, semi-incoherent answer, and then our friend said he was going down to our LCS to buy the rest of the trades, which I'm under the impression is a good chunk of change. A few days ago I was bored, and his trades were sitting out, so I read them. I was 25% engrossed, 25% horrified, 25% offended, and 25% laughing my butt off. I think they broke my brain.

  • April 25, 2012, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Hulk - Editorial Nightmare

    by Linus Lee

    This book has had so many artists working on it thus far and nary a page from Michael Turner since issue 1 that it has obliterated anything Aaron could've been getting at. Here's hoping next arc is a 180 degree turn creatively or it's days are numbered.

  • April 25, 2012, 11:30 a.m. CST

    The Shadow was decent...

    by Tom Fremgen

    I enjoyed it, though I'm still skeptical because is Ennis brilliant working on his own projects, abut then not so much when he has to write in a 'box' of someone else world and character. But so far so good :)

  • April 25, 2012, 11:38 a.m. CST

    The Boys Came Out Two Weeks Ago - This Ain't Ain't It Cool History

    by optimous_douche

  • April 25, 2012, 11:47 a.m. CST

    The Avengers....

    by Homer Sexual

    I have read the Avengers for as long as I can recall. But sometimes I drop it, sometimes I pick it up again. Currently, the only one Im still reading is Avenges Academy. I dropped all the others because they just because stale and tiresome. Maybe a new writer will bring some freshness. I liked Bendis' Avengers for a long time, but it just goes in circles and most of the same members are still there (and everywhere else). The status quo for the Avengers is just sooo old. Maybe AvX will bring some new blood and possibly some "old blood" that hasn't been there for a long time.

  • April 25, 2012, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Glee

    by Joenathan

    I don't think Glee is a mash-up... It's just a musical comedy. Those have been a specific thing awhile now.

  • April 25, 2012, 11:53 a.m. CST

    vs the X-Men

    by Homer Sexual

    Nothing has been more convoluted than the X-Books. But I keep coming back and am currently buying X-Factor, Wolverine and the X-Men, Uncanny X Men and X Men Legacy. So that seems to say the X books win over the Avengers. Perhaps because of two big things: The X-Books don't have the same damn members on every team. Also, many X-Men are also Avengers but no Avengers are also X-Men, if that makes sense. There are tons of new and interesting X-Men, from the Morrison crew to newer ones like Pixie. The only new and interesting Avengers are the members of Avengers Academy. And I love Avengers Academy. It's fresh, fun, thoughtful, action packed, has relatable characters and is entertaining. I have no interest in AvsX. Civil War, I didn't like it but it did keep my interest. AvsX I am simply indifferent towards, so no plan to buy it.

  • April 25, 2012, 11:53 a.m. CST

    @local astronaut

    by Cyrus Clops

    Since he's not an artist on the book and also been dead since 2008, I think Michael Turner's lack of productivity can be forgiven.

  • April 25, 2012, 12:01 p.m. CST

    stuff

    by Joenathan

    I think Bendis's team writing has suffered lately. He doesn't seem as focused. I can feel him edging off into Powers and Brilliant and Ultimate Spider-man full time again. Which is fine, because those books are great, but I agree with you Homer, I'm glad he's about done with Avengers, because I'm ready to move on too. You know what I'm excited for Post-AvsX? The new Ms. Marvel/now Captain Marvel book. Also, did we talk about how great the Fantastic Four wrap-up was with Doom? So great. I love that book as much as Snyder's Batman and Wolverine and the X-men. Great reads. I think my top ten books right now (in no particular order) are: Batman Ultimates Brilliant (so far) Wonder Woman Fantastic Four/FF Invincible Iron Man Ultimate Spider-man Super Crooks (so far) Wolverine and the X-men Manhatten Project (so far)

  • April 25, 2012, 12:05 p.m. CST

    AvsX

    by Joenathan

    I think the problem is, I don't feel the urgency of the Avengers side and I don't believe the X-men's side. Cyclops was there the last time, he knows what happened. I just don't believe he would suddenly think he could control AND if he did... I can't believe that he wouldn't see the worth of maybe trying to control it off-planet... just in case. Plus, I hate JRJR's art.

  • April 25, 2012, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Avenger's Academy

    by Joenathan

    I wanted to like that book, but I just couldn't. I liked the characters, except for dinosaur kid, but the writing just didn't do it for me. I think I was looking for more of what I find in Wolverine and the X-men. Who's writing it now, Homer?

  • April 25, 2012, 12:08 p.m. CST

    @cyrus clops

    by Joenathan

    Awesome

  • April 25, 2012, 12:09 p.m. CST

    TYPO= DAMES IN THE ATOMIC AGE

    by KLETUS_CASSIDY

    not DAMES OF... i screwed up...still a good book though!

  • April 25, 2012, 12:14 p.m. CST

    But Joen, what do they always sing on GLEE?

    by optimous_douche

    Mash-ups.... You are also the last person I expected to be having a GLEE conversation with. I thought for sure I would be getting a reaming for that one.

  • April 25, 2012, 12:16 p.m. CST

    OK Now I Get It

    by optimous_douche

    Yes, mash-ups have been around for a long time, but they didn't get a Klout rating until GLEE (i.e. middle America had no clue).

  • April 25, 2012, 12:18 p.m. CST

    AvX

    by optimous_douche

    Like the writing from Aaron, hate the premise and the art.

  • April 25, 2012, 12:21 p.m. CST

    I've skipped the last couple of Marvel EVENTS...

    by BangoSkank

    ...so I thought I might be ready for AvsX, but it's falling flat for me. And that's coming from a X-Men/Avengers fanboy from waaaay back. I really enjoyed the shit out of Bendis' Avengers when he first had a go at them, but in the last couple of years I've been picking them up here and there, uncomitted. I too look forward to some new blood. I've got AvsX #2, Avengers #25, and New Avengers #25 all coming in the mail.... I may drop them all if they disappoint.

  • April 25, 2012, 12:23 p.m. CST

    I find myself looking at an EVENT...

    by BangoSkank

    ...and thinking *Is this going to be worth $60 to me in the end?* I've got more money to spend on comics than I ever did as a kid, but I guess I value that money a whole fuck of a lot more as an adult. Progress, I guess.

  • April 25, 2012, 12:26 p.m. CST

    And how is X-Men Legacy?

    by BangoSkank

    I've always had a soft spot for Rachel Summers... and am enjoying the shit out of W&tXM, but the rest of the cast of Legacy leaves me a little cold. Rogue used to be a fav, too.... But there's a lot of water under that particular bridge.

  • April 25, 2012, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Douche

    by Joenathan

    Honestly, I'm not a fan. I've had friends try to convince me the show was a worthwhile watch, saying it was funny and self-aware and blah, blah, blah, but besides finding all that to be untrue and, in fact, generally crappy, coupled with the fact that I hate intentional camp with the fiery passion of 1000 burning suns, I found the shallow and wildly inconsistant characters and the insert issue of the week type storytelling very off-putting. Plus, I hate Kurt's cry-face. It's worse than Claire Dane's cry-face. It makes me want to champion bullying. But that's neither here nor there... Really, to be honest, it was the promise of possibly derailing a comic book talkback with an arguement over whether or not Glee is a mash-up or not that was the most appealing part of responding to you. So... Just because the songs are mash-ups, that doesn't make the show a mash-up. They're two different terms. A song mash-up on Glee is two songs sung together medley style. A song mash-up outside of Glee is two songs merged into one new, like "Mama said knock you out, Eileen" which is the end all be all best of all the song mash-ups. That's wo different types of mash-ups right there. And a show mash-up is like: the Dirty Dozen... but in a fantasy setting. Or, a heist film... but with super villains. Yes, they all mean: two things being brought together, but I think the intent and end results make them all different depending upon the situation. Thoughts?

  • April 25, 2012, 12:32 p.m. CST

    X-men Legacy

    by Joenathan

    Granted, I don't buy it, but I don't buy it because I flip through it and it remids me of all the bad things about Claremont's X-men. Even worse, it reminds me of his terrible relaunch from a few years back, picking up his old series as if he had never left. I won't say that is what the comic is actually like, but lloking at it, flipping through it, that's what the stink wafting up from the pages smells like to me. It stinks of the X-men swimsuit issue era.

  • Alright, let's try this. What are your default 'always buy' titles, your fresh-in-love titles, titles you kinda follow but don't quite want to pay for, and crap you've dropped. More importantly, reasons why. I'll start. Old: Batgirl, The Ultimates, Batwoman, Ultimate Spider-Man, Birds of Prey, Fantastic Four. I read a lot of Avengers as a tot, whenever they had a notable bird in the bunch I could relate to. None of the current titles compelled me enough to buy. But The Ultimates is pretty neat so far, despite the criminal lack of Spider-Woman. On a reminiscent whim I picked up Fantastic Four 600, and then the following few issues and was blown away. It was the kind of grand scale, space-opera I've missed from the 80's. Batgirl is probably the title I looked forward to the most out of my pull list of 12 or so. I love the innocence conveyed in the art and writing of Ultimate Spider-Man, but wonder if it should be 'Spider-Boy'. Birds of Prey is weaving a near-perfect ensemble of intimate-yet-unstable relationships. If Williams and Blackman don't stop utilizing the 'jump back and forth in time' gimmick on every page of every issue, I'm going to drop Batwoman. It's way past tiresome, and ruining an otherwise great book. New: Saucer Country, The Manhattan Projects, Saga, Fatale, American Vampire. Saucer Country is an odd little duck. It's either your kinda thing or it's not. I'm really digging it. The Manhattan Projects is probably my second most anticipated title each month, and I'm not exactly sure why, beyond my fascination for retro-future concepts. I don't get the hate the guys here have for Fatale...it's densely-layered deliciousness. My love for American Vampire is provisional, since I don't know if they've done something to ruin it for me in the last dozen issues or so. Saga is brilliant, and the type of thing that makes you wish for an alternate timeline where it's made into a movie, by a young and charged George Lucas fresh of the set of THX-1138. As opposed to middle-years Raiders Lucas, or elder years Prequel Lucas. Borrowed: Supergirl, Defenders, Real Science Adventures, Fairest. I dropped Supergirl and Defenders from my pull list. Supergirl has been random and boring for 5 out of 8 issues, with no improvement in sight. Defenders has had 2 great issues, with 3 completely incoherent ones. Real Science Adventures was great fun, but I need to see more before committing, since Atomic Robo is new to me. I had high hopes for Fairest. Two of my girlfriends that work at my LCS said it best with the first issue. Where the hell are the female characters? It only marginally improved with issue 2, but had an ugly little pointless monologue about how inferior women are and can't compete at anything. Pass. For all three of us. Blew: Bionic Woman. The issue was all chick-power strong an' action-y, and then fell apart at the end with the dialogue between Jaime and Nora. Between the cock-bragging (How's it hanging? Like a monster's tail? Really?) and the sex-bragging, it read like two dudes bro'ing it up. Just awful. We did have a long, non-ironic laugh over it, though. Hey, Paul Tobin. Google Bechdel test.

  • April 25, 2012, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Avengers: Earthest Mightest Heroes and Young Justice

    by Joenathan

    Hey, I watched the last episode and they added Carol Danvers finally and in her classic Captain Marvel Red and blue, too. Also, the last episode of Young Justice with the kids facing off against a starro-derived mind control Justice LEague controled by Vandal Savage, Ra's Al Ghul, Luthor, Klarion With Boy, Ocean Master, and Queen Bee? Awesome. Batman vs Robin. Superman vs Superboy. IT was a good episode. Anyone else watch them?

  • April 25, 2012, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Joen, Don't Disagree

    by optimous_douche

    Just shocked you read comments and are that literal :-) No more Glee, I figured putting it in an indie review might let it fly under the radar. Now I know And knowing is half the battle.

  • April 25, 2012, 2:18 p.m. CST

    old, new, borrowed, blew

    by Joenathan

    Old: Batman, Ultimates, Wonder Woman, Action Comics, Wolverine and the X-men, Ultimate Spider-man, Invincible Iron Man, Fantastic Four and FF I think this list is most of the best comics being put out right now, at least, as far as super hero stuff is concerned. Most of these we've talked about recently a lot, maybe all of them except Iron Man, which I think suits Fraction's style the best. It's simply a great long-form super hero comic, like Bendis on Daredevil. The characters are unique and well-drawn. If it was on TV, it would be considered one of the greats. It may be too slow paced of a super hero comic for some, but I really enjoy it. New: Brilliant, Super Crooks, Manhatten Project, Winter Soldier These are all pretty new, but I'm loving the tone and potential of all of them. Brilliant could be a fun real-world-with-sudden-super-powers type story. It's Bendis doing something he does well, so I'm on board. Super Crooks is another in a long line of really good and interesting IDEAS from Millar, but what sets this one apart, for me, is the first issue was pretty restrained from his usual crap and a decently told and set up first issue. Plus, I love crime stories. We'll see how it goes from here. Manhatten Project is good Morrison-esque stuff filtered through Hickman. It reminds me of Planetary meets SHIELD. Lots of crazy ideas. This will be the test title for me though, the one that ultimately decides for me whether or not Hickman sans a firm editing hand is worth the money-risk. Winter Soldier is everything that Bru did to make Captain America awesome, before Captain America got crappy. Super secret agent super hero espionage. Good stuff. Good art. Borrowed: Secret, Secret Service, Scret Avengers, Avengers books, Fatale, Walking Dead. Half this list is titles I'm not sure I'll start picking up regularly yet and the other half is things I'm not sure I'll keep picking up regularly anymore. Secret is Hickman espionage. The first issue was good.... but sparse, so we'll see. Secret Service has great art and a constrained Millar and is about a man bringing his nephew into the spy business. Might be good, might not. I'm generally not impressed by Rick Remender, but Secret Avengers has been all right. I enjoyed the last arc and I like the art. I may stick with it. I'm nearing the end of my interest in Avengers. Too many characters, too broad a story, and in a generally decompressed type book, it feels oddly rushed... I'll wait until Bendis is down and then it will depend upon who follows whether or not I'll keep reading. Fatale is good... ish, but the characters blur a bit too much and I'm just not quite connecting to it yet. We'll see. I find it a little boring and surface. I can see where the tension is supposed to be, but I don't feel it. Ah... the Walking Dead. The show sucks so bad, it's incredible. Incredible. A true example of made by hacks for people with low standards. It's awful. It's so awful, it's started to highlight some of the book's flaws. This current story, with the new town and the rumor of a new enemy? Depending upon how it goes, I may finally dump this book. Blew: Captain America, Red Hood, Justice League, Justice League Dark, Hawk and Dove Captain America... boring. Red Hood... boring. Justice League... Garbage. Terrible. It's like an awful summer action movie made into a soulless comic book, which somehow makes it worse. Justice League Dark... Nutless. Just a big wet fart of a book. Hawk and Dove... Just kidding. I never bought that shitty book.

  • April 25, 2012, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Douche

    by Joenathan

    I just wanted to be fair. I don't believe musical comedy qualifies as a mash up. You're right though, knowing IS half the battle.

  • April 25, 2012, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Joe, I completely forgot about Brilliant...

    by 3774

    ...it's in the 'borrowed' category, even though I own the first three issues. To be honest, the art keeps me from fully embracing it (adding it to my pull list and recommending it to others). So far I've been whelmed. Not over, or under, just whelmed. A story with great potential is being hidden by covers that feel cripplingly bland to me (3 was kinda neat, which got me to take notice of the book).

  • April 25, 2012, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Reviewer of Batman #8, Optimous Douche, who is "Batmanwas"?

    by Arafel

    In his review of Batman #8, Optimous Douche wrote, "Through seven issues, Batmanwas drawn deeper into their plots to regain a more forward-facing control of Gotham..." My first question is, who is Batmanwas? I knew that Flashpoint fucked up the whole DC Universe and changed everything, but I didn't know it actually created this new character. Obviously, I haven't been reading any of the new DC 52, because it all mostly sucks, so I didn't know about this new character. It sounds really weird, and I think DC has made a major mistake by changing Batman's name to "Batmanwas". It really doesn't make sense. With the new Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises" coming out, it will really confuse comicbook fans. They will go to the bookstores looking to read a Batman book (and not buy it of course) but instead they will find a character called "Batmanwas" instead, and that will really hurt sales. Well, not really, since they are just reading them for free at the book stores, but you get my point. In closing, DC has made many mistakes before (Final Crisis) but this has to be the worse one ever. They should do some creative editing and change Batmanwas back to the Batman that we all know and love. Enough with this artistic bullshit. Bring back Grant Morrision, because he knew what he was trying to do.

  • Cause I'm starting to think reviewers don't actually buy anything. They just read pdfs or shamelessly treat the LCS they work at as a friggin' library... *coughJDcough*

  • April 25, 2012, 4:43 p.m. CST

    I'd rather talk about Nick Fury

    by rev_skarekroe

    And how they shoehorned movie Nick Fury into the regular Marvel Universe in a series that nobody was reading until today.

  • April 25, 2012, 6:18 p.m. CST

    old, new, borrowed, blah

    by KLETUS_CASSIDY

    old: Amazing Spider-man =for life, i will always love you like Whitney & Costner (just read Amazing #1 and loved it, i plan on reading it all, i have the cd that has all of the AS from #1 in the 60s though 2006) Walking Dead =hey if you don't like it whatevs...i'm digging it plus Lady Kletus would kill me if i stopped buying it Invincible Iron Man =what joe said. Flash =the story is eh good but i love the art and the Flash, so i buy (Barry is kind of boring, rather have Wally) Batman =i just love Batman Invincible =fucking love this comic Ultimate Spider-man =shit is good, and i'm not a big fan of Bendis. DD =ya'll already know. new: Secret Avengers =last story arc was great, Ellis's run was great...do i follow the into AVX, Allan Davis on art...after Hardman...blah Saga =could this end up and good as Y? great so far. Fatale =LOVE criminal, LOVE Bru, Like Phillips...but it ain't doing it for me, i dropped it because i was no longer excited about it...i don't think it's bad just not exciting... Crossed Badlands =it ain't for everyone but i like it (psssst don't show this to joe) Ultimates =i think this could go in old cause i've been buying it (skipped ult 3) for a long while but Hickman is the shit and i love the avengers with their backs on the wall. WW =love the art and the story is interesting...that's saying a lot for WW Nightwing =the art has been awesome and i like the story... Ferals =missed the last few issues but it's brutal, good art good, mystery borrowed Wolvie & the x-men =i know i know but i'm already buying too much as it is! i do love it though...i need to drop something and pick this up. i've been borrowing it from my old boss. Aquaman =kicks ass...wait what did i just say?!? it's true though hmmm not really much else that i borrow. blew Superman =to me last issue felt like the old boring, same type of stories that made me not like Supes after i was starting to get older (80s Superman all the way) i think i dropped all the stuff that i didn't like already. i also read...Dark Knight (s'ok...), JLA (shit is bad but i keep buying...not sure why...hope??!?), Fantastic Four although i didn't an issue after the last issue...joe, should i? i guess that's it and i don't read PDFs unless i have to...i buy about 35 bux a week missy thank you very much : )

  • April 25, 2012, 6:20 p.m. CST

    Aquaman- i buy not borrow

    by KLETUS_CASSIDY

  • April 25, 2012, 6:21 p.m. CST

    *Fantastic Four, i didn't buy an

    by KLETUS_CASSIDY

  • April 25, 2012, 7:12 p.m. CST

    Not true about Morrison's Wayne!

    by Laserhead

    Totally predictable that I'd say that. I actually thought Morrison was the writer who finally cut the assinine "Bruce Wayne is the mask, Batman is the reality" version of the character and made him more like the alpha businessman and playboy he inhabits best. But to each his own, of course. Snyder's Batman is perfectly fine, but not nearly as good as his work on Grayson-Batman before the relaunch.

  • April 25, 2012, 7:16 p.m. CST

    Best Bat Book of the New 52--

    by Laserhead

    Gleason and Tomasi's 'Batman and Robin.' Totally the dark horse, but a great opening arc layered with effects both surface and deep. As opposed to Snyder's antiquarian quirks and burning desire to give history lessons. Even made-up history lessons. Guy just really likes talking about history.

  • April 25, 2012, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Avengers Academy

    by Laserhead

    Is very, very good. I always expect to not enjoy it, but I do. I started being a Cristos Gage fan when The Initiative was the only decent thing to come out of Civil War.

  • April 25, 2012, 8:19 p.m. CST

    i forgot about...

    by KLETUS_CASSIDY

    Batman & Robin! i agree, best of the Bats! (or at least tied for it)

  • April 25, 2012, 8:54 p.m. CST

    X-Men Legacy

    by maxwell's hammer

    As stated above, it is veerry Claremontian...very talky and emotionally heavy handed. Not awful, but I definitely miss the emotional complexity of Carey's run.

  • April 25, 2012, 9:38 p.m. CST

    Ill Try

    by Homer Sexual

    .. new is Jungle Book, not trying to kiss up but that is the only new book I can think of that I really love... Oh, and Saga. It sounded lame... like a Hellblazer story I read two decades ago. But whaddaya know, its very good... but I am still not sure how long this concept will work. I recently started buying X-Men Legacy and I think it takes the good (old) Claremont without the lameness of the bad (later) Claremont. And I just read the last issue of Ghost Rider. Which I liked, but whatever since it was the last issue.... I have been dropping quite a few. Nightwing was one, just kinda boring. And Saucer Country. But I only bought one issue. Which was fine, but again... boring and weirdly, it seemed dated despite dealing with current issues. JL Dark: A book that took my favorite characters and made them all suck... OF COURSE THE WALKING DEAD! Because the show is so terrible it turned me against the book... and now they're introducing Michonne, which will get me back for at least one episode, but I bet she sucks like everyone else on that show. (BTW Gleee also sucks. So preachy. So sterile. It was good once, though...)

  • Also really enjoying Whispers and The Manhattan Projects. Lots of good new stuff the last few months.

  • April 25, 2012, 10:50 p.m. CST

    Yeah, Homer!

    by Joenathan

    Wooo! Walking Dead has turned to poop! Wooo! Seriously, though, that show is so god damn bad, I'm thinking of selling my complete run of the monthly pamphlets. It makes me so bad that they suck so much. They shouldn't, y'know. But they do.

  • April 25, 2012, 10:50 p.m. CST

    Oh Kletus....

    by Joenathan

    (shakes head)... oh, Kletus... Crossed? Still? Dude...

  • April 25, 2012, 10:52 p.m. CST

    Brilliant

    by Joenathan

    I think years of reading Ultimate Spider-man have numbed me to Bagley's art. It doesn't bother me the way it does other folk. I'm not a fan, but... it just doesn't bother me. I'm interested with what happens in the next issue. I didn't expect it to hit that point yet, but I'm glad he's not going all Akira on us for the plot.

  • April 25, 2012, 11:57 p.m. CST

    Various assorted miscellaneous...

    by 3774

    There's an awful lot of thwip'rs in here. @ Kletus: Our roommate owns the entire trade series of Y, but I haven't read it yet. I'm weary that it might have something lame or pandering in it that'll somehow diminish Saga in my eyes. @ Laserhead: I haven't read much of him, but...but...I *like* Snyder's history lessons.... @ Maxwell: You are inadvertently giving me an itch to check out Legacy, because it sounds like something I could get into. But I keep coming finger-pinchingly close to picking up the new Ultimate X-Men trade. There's no X in my life, and I can't decide where to go. @ Homer: I think I'm at the 10th trade for Walking Dead, and I just don't care that much anymore. But I'll be the lone pariah to love the show. People despise my taste for liking Whitney and Once Upon a Time also, so it's just another log for the stake-burning. Intentional camp makes me strangely hostile, and gives me the urge to vomit. Definitely not a fan of Glee. @ Joe: I can't even really explain *why* I don't care for the art, beyond the horribly bland covers. There's no specific thing I can point at. It's just something about it that leaves me feeling...'meh'.

  • April 26, 2012, 2:25 a.m. CST

    dammit i told you guys...

    by KLETUS_CASSIDY

    not to tell joe i'm reading crossed. for what its worth this is the best crossed series so far... but yeah dude, still...i'm twisted...i like it...it's 3:30am...and i am druck...that's drunk. and that is all...

  • April 26, 2012, 8:28 a.m. CST

    Cool thing about Ennis' Shadow--

    by Laserhead

    He behaves exactly like Chaykin's Shadow; and it looks like this series might match up as the same continuity of Chaykin's miniseries, which Dynamite is republishing. If you don't know, Howard Chaykin's four issue neo-noir miniseries in the 80s is one of the Shadow's high-water mark-- the only time in comics where he seemed relevant, rather than a pulp archetype trotted out to remind people there's this character-less character who inspired Batman.

  • April 26, 2012, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Battle Scars....

    by BangoSkank

    Holy shit. Just read what they did at the end of Battle Scars. Fucking. Retarded. I'm trying to stop myself from using the term *retarded* because I know it's offensive to rising number of retards we have out there, but it just covers what they did so well. Like full-tilt retard. Makes me hate myself a little for being a Marvel Zombie.

  • April 26, 2012, 9:40 a.m. CST

    Something old, something new, something borrowed, something...blew.

    by BangoSkank

    If anyone is still paying attention. Old: Uncanny, always. For better or worse. Dark Tower, in the sense that I am unabashed fan of the novels, and can't help but collect the comic series. X-Force - Now better than ever, despite the uneven trip into Captain Britian's stomping ground. New: Wolverine & the X-men, I guess. I don't have a LCS to hook me on new comics, so I don't take chances on the indies like I used to... Borrowed: Walking Dead. I stopped buying the title, but when I have a little time to kill, I swing into B&N and check out the trades. Blew: New Mutants. Nate Grey sucks balls. BALLS I SAY!

  • April 26, 2012, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blew

    by Greg Nielsen

    Something Old - Artifacts...it's the only pre-DCNU thing that isn't DCNU I'm getting New - All Star Western - Always great Wonder Woman - Again just consistently good Bird of Prey - Super underrated...just great serial story telling The entire Extreme relaunch - Seriously these are really good. I can't quit beating this horse into the ground. I get excited for them each week Borrowed - Red Hood - almost making it to buy Ultimates - so good but 4 dollars a pop is hard Thor - really fun Journey Into Mystery - see Thor trade waiting all the above Blew - I don't really consider anything to blow because it could always get better once the right person comes along but... Batgirl sad to say. I really like Adrian Syaf but I'm not feeling the comic ultimately. I really wanted to love it too. I tend to like girl superheroes a lot.

  • April 26, 2012, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Huh. Weird. (Also, a note to JD).

    by 3774

    Because like I said, it's my top favorite. The writing in each issue just burns for me. Particularly the last one (#8), when she completely loses it, talking about Gotham growing evil like a virus and beats Grotesque's face in (I reject you! I reject you!). It's intense to me, and Barbara feels authentic (unlike something such as Bionic Woman). There are three pencillers. I'm not familiar with any of them, but think it's great work. How do you differentiate between them? When there's more than one, does each handle something specific? JD: Many podcasts ago you declared that Batgirl wouldn't go 10 issues before having Barbara confront the Joker. They're derailing her personal stories for the Court of Owls thing in issue 9, and there's no Joker in sight. Naner naner naner. She did confront one of Joker's bodyguards that watched her get shot, and later saved her life though. So I'll give you half-credit for that.

  • April 26, 2012, 1 p.m. CST

    hahah! WOW. I was almost, not really right. In that I was wrong.

    by Poptard_JD

    But I get a pass because of the Court of Owls event...it was TOTALLY going to happen, but then it got sidetracked by the mandate by DC to do the CoO crossover! I move for a mistrial!!!

  • April 26, 2012, 1:09 p.m. CST

    who likes Paolo Rivera?

    by Poptard_JD

    Just posted my interview with him: http://www.poptardsgo.com/?p=3387

  • April 26, 2012, 1:13 p.m. CST

    @Pink Apocalypse Good point on the Pencillers on Batgirl

    by Greg Nielsen

    I know Adrian did most of the first issue with his normal inker/finisher. I think most of it is him. As far as the writing goes. It feels weird to me. I mean I don't hate Gail Simone and maybe I just don't get her style. I'll also admit I quit reading after the first arc, which lost me the second she was cutting locks of her hair like it was freaking 1802 to give to Nightwing. Like I said I want to like it but it just couldn't do it for me. The covers by Adam Hughes and the pencils inside are top notch though. Also I realize it's hard writing for the bat books

  • April 26, 2012, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Fist pump for Optimous!

    by Greg Nielsen

  • April 26, 2012, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Paolo Rivera = Awesome!...

    by Greg Nielsen

    His work on Green Arrow!!! I hope you asked about it!

  • April 26, 2012, 3:23 p.m. CST

    To be honest...

    by 3774

    ...I once cut my hair and gave it to a boy I'd never see again. So that moment spoke to me...

  • April 26, 2012, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Most of my exes cut MY hair to complete the voodoo doll

    by optimous_douche

  • April 26, 2012, 4:16 p.m. CST

    *LOL*

    by 3774

  • April 26, 2012, 4:28 p.m. CST

    @ Pink Apocalypse Wow really?...

    by Greg Nielsen

    I guess I am lame when it comes to girls cause if they dislike they don't give me jack all to remember them by. I'll give it a second shot. Part of dropping it was that I gotta be tight with money. I got the feeling I might get laid off soon. Bad leadership at my jobs site is getting it shutdown

  • April 26, 2012, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Batgirl, Manhattan Projects, Saga.

    by 3774

    Those would be the three titles I would go a little hungry to keep buying. I'm sorry your job isn't looking good. That not only sucks, but can be scary.

  • April 26, 2012, 4:58 p.m. CST

    My food-money titles would be: Rachel Rising, Saga, Batman

    by Poptard_JD

  • April 26, 2012, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Guh-wuh?! No thwip, JD?

    by 3774

    And 'food-money title'. I like that! Well done. It's sad we live in an economy that makes that an identifiable concept...

  • April 26, 2012, 5:43 p.m. CST

    oooh 'food money' titles...

    by KLETUS_CASSIDY

    that's tough... >Ultimate Spider-Man >Invincible this third one is so tough...i wanna say a DC title but...shit right now... >Daredevil i could live without reading any DC title...but i'd be bummed...this will probably change in an hour...

  • April 26, 2012, 7:10 p.m. CST

    food money

    by TheDean

    Swamp Thing for DC, and if I'm honest with myself, I couldn't imagine dropping both Action and Superman. I would need at least one, no matter how bad things get. Wanna know how bad my Superman addiction is? I preodered Superman 64, played through it multiple times, and defended it as a "decent" game for like 5 years. Now that's pathetic Otherwise, I'm also buying Fantastic Four

  • April 26, 2012, 7:59 p.m. CST

    CRAP!!! OF COURSE it would be ULT Spidey!

    by Poptard_JD

    how could I forget? *sob!* Swap out Batman for Spidey!

  • April 26, 2012, 8:19 p.m. CST

    Food money comics

    by Joenathan

    Silliness. You just sell the old to finance the new.

  • April 26, 2012, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Jungle Book 2

    by Homer Sexual

    I just read it and had to come online to rave about it. In two issues, there has been more plot development than six of some books. And the characters all have personalities... in only two issues. Plus heartbreak, blood and amazing art... and animals are hard to do. So that's my new food money comic. Next is probably Suicide Squad because I am a sucker for groups, antiheroes and Harley Quinn.

  • April 26, 2012, 10:27 p.m. CST

    I came out of my Red Lantern sadness cave to say...

    by Larry G.

    I agree the art on AvX is terrible...I keep thinking its a joke that this is Marvel's huge giant event and it looks like someone let their little brother handle the art....Im no artist and its still better than anything i could vomit onto a page with a pencil but cmon....this is a supposed giant moment for the marvel U and every panel makes me want to punch my ipad in its smug face

  • April 26, 2012, 10:41 p.m. CST

    food money titles

    by Larry G.

    Green Lantern...Ultimates...Batman...Ult Spidey...maybe a few more if I think of it....as a fat guy I have food money to spare

  • What's the deal with fat guys and Green Lantern?

  • April 27, 2012, 12:16 a.m. CST

    Fat Guy Reasoning

    by Larry G.

    It could be that theres an allure to the idea that lanterns come in all shapes and sizes as long as theyre able to overcome great fear.....well that, or that the GL symbol kinda looks like an overstuffed sandwich/burger....thats probably what does it for me

  • April 27, 2012, 12:35 a.m. CST

    Bwaha! Green Lantern burgers.

    by Poptard_JD

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