Comics

AICN COMICS REVIEWS BEFORE WATCHMEN! Dynamite’s PROPHECY! EXTERMINATION! AVENGERS VS X-MEN! & MORE!

Published at: June 13, 2012, 8:39 a.m. CST by ambush bug

Issue #6 Release Date: 6/6/12 Vol.#11
The Pull List
(Click title to go directly to the review)
Advance Review: SILK SPECTRE #1
EXTERMINATION #1
EARTH 2 #2
THE ALMIGHTIES #1
BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #1
PROPHECY #1
AVENGERS VS X-MEN #5
NIGHT STALKER #1
LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #1
Advance Review: SPIDER-MEN #1


Advance Review: In stores this week!

BEFORE WATCHMEN: SILK SPECTRE #1

Writer: Darwyn Cooke
Artist: Amanda Conner
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Optimous Douche


I was harsh on last week’s BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN because the original WATCHMEN was much more than a comic to me. Not only was it was my introduction to superhero-based comics (being the first book I ever picked up off the spinner rack), but more importantly it was my introduction to the fallibility of adults. My parents and the superfriends I watched in cartoons were the paradigms of perfection, protectors sans personal struggles or demons, or at least so it seemed to a young cherub-faced Optimous.

So when BEFORE WATCHMEN was announced, I had a very specific idea in mind on what these stories would deliver. I wanted to see the crusty emotional scabs brought to light in WATCHMEN ripped clean. I wanted to see the wicked slices to the psyche that incited the megalomania of Dr. Manhattan, the self-loathing of Night Owl, the schizophrenia of Rorschach, the delusions of grandeur in Ozymandias, and last but not least the mommy and daddy issues of Silk Spectre. No, I did not like MINUTEMAN because I simply don’t care about the golden age ancillaries in the original book, with of course the exceptions of Sally Jupiter and The Comedian, who were essential plot drivers. And even then I only want to see those characters in relation to how they affected their Silver Age “children.” Well, wishes do come true, because SILK SPECTRE is exactly what I wanted. It is the inch wide, seven mile deep exploration of just how tortured Laurie Jupiter was by the shortcomings of a woman who never should have been a mother.

SILK SPECTRE is personal for me, and I imagine with the clarity and honest truth that was inside these pages it’s personal for Cooke as well. If you’ve never had the splendor of a crazy cougar in your family count your blessings. I have not been so lucky. Neither was Laurie Jupiter, the Silk Spectre. The crazy cougar which eventually evolves into the senile sabertooth is a woman that places all of their value in their physical appearance and vaginal fortitude. Their career path is one of grabbing as much attention as possible before the crows feet start around the eyes and that troublesome belly pooch turns into a full-on flat tire. Since we all decay over time, it’s safe to say that 99% of these women also live in a perpetual state of delusion, thinking spanx and make-up will serve as distractions to the deluge of nubile young 21 year olds entering the bar each year. Sally Jupiter, the original gal-pal of the Minutemen, is one such crazy cougar. Now, if the world were fair these women would be sterilized. More often than not, though, their chosen “profession” has the unfortunate side effect of reproduction. If they have a boy, cool--generally their daddy issues tend to lean towards glorifying a son. If you’re a daughter of one of these wastes of a soul, your life is now going to be spent in a state of perpetual embarrassment and on the receiving side of loathing simply because you remind them of what they no longer are.

We got wafts of this cancerous relationship in the original WATCHMEN, but since Laurie was cresting past her prime as well during the original book, we only saw snippets of just how embittered Sally Jupiter was towards her only daughter. SILK SPECTRE is the full realization; as Laurie is about to turn eighteen and take on the world we truly see just what a horrid and petty woman Sally Jupiter was. Sure, one can blame Sally’s shortcomings on The Comedian’s rabid libido and lack of sexual harassment training standards of the time, but ultimately life is about choices. You choose to be good or bad, no matter what life throws at you, and Sally simply chose wrong.

Laurie is a good kid in the closing school days of 1966. Her academics and athletic prowess set her above all other girls in her class. Aside from exploring Sally’s home troubles, Cooke also brilliantly plays with the rampant racism of the time by pitting her against all of the blonde WASPS at her private school. As we all know, Sally Jupiter changed her name from Juspeczyk to hide her Polish background. Well, you can change the name, but in a time before copious amounts of plastic surgery ethnic features still remained. These blonde pretties play wonderful secondary antagonists as Laurie tries to return the passes of the hunky Greg on the school athletic field. Laurie’s charms eventually win out and Cooke uses this newfound love as the impetus to drive the rest of the book forward.

Back on the home front, Sally continues to live vicariously through Laurie, even offering to help take Greg off Laurie’s hands since she’s too busy with super hero training (creepy). In the ultra-creepy category and the final straw that breaks Laurie’s back, Sally stages a fake rape in their home to “test” Laurie’s skills.

Eventually Laurie and Greg decide to do what most people in the 60’s did--leave behind convention and the expectations of parents to find freedom on the road. It’s a glorious set-up for the shit storm we know Laurie’s life is about to become--just enough optimism to lift the heart without ever transcending into Hallmark levels of schmaltz and romanticism.

Rounding out the issue, Conner is a genius with the art. Every angle, every close-up, all perfectly lend to that balance of optimism and betrayal within the book. In moments of sheer imagination, Conner takes us inside Laurie’s head with surreal cartoon renditions of Laurie’s thoughts--a devil on wheels when Sally hits on Greg or a trip above the moon when Greg kisses one of Laurie’s training bruises.

If the rest of the BEFORE WATCHMEN offerings are as good as this issue, even the naysayers or Alan Mooreinites will not be able to ignore this series. If they do, they are only hurting themselves.

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.


EXTERMINATION #1

Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Jeffery Edwards
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Reviewer: Masked Man


What could get you more excited about a new comic book than nine different covers?!? Ok, that was snarky, but seriously--nine different covers to choose from? Seems like it could take longer to choose the cover you want than to read the issue--but eventually you’ll get to Spurrier’s story.

EXTERMINATION seems to affirm my belief that every comic book writer has a story in them to screw with the superhero concept. Mark Waid has IRREDEEMABLE, Garth Ennis has THE BOYS and Mark Millar has dozens! And to be honest, they are never terribly unique, as it’s usually some form of Superman and Batman. I know they are the archetypes but come-on, a little more originality would nice. Every one of of them doesn’t have to be “what if Superman or what if Batman…”

Here Spurrier uses Batman, ala Nox. The twist is, an alien holocaust has occurred and life as we know it (or life as a person living in a superhero world would know it) is over- thought zombie apocalypse meets “Road Warrior”. Now Nox and his arch-villain, The Red Reaper, are the only two left alive. So they are trying to team up and figure out how this all happened, what they can do to survive, and if they can reverse it. With shades of “Lost”, the book uses flashbacks to show us what was going on before everything went to hell. I assume these will eventually explain what happened. The crux of the issue is a debate about the superhero code against killing--they are facing a zombie/alien apocalypse here. The outcome of this debate is where Spurrier maybe on to something interesting and could prevent EXTERMINATION from becoming another typical screw with superheroes concept comic. Overall, Spurrier does a good job of putting this together and fleshing out his two main characters.

As for Jeffrey Edwards’ artwork, this is my first time seeing his work and in some ways it reminds of Chuck Wojtkiewicz, from his JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA days. His overall drawing skills are good, but his storytelling could use some work. He comes off as a little green to me--not quite ready for DC or Marvel, if you know what I mean.

If you are interested in the concept, you should check it out. But like many first issues which are still trying to find their footing and audience, EXTERMINATION #1 scores a 2 out of 4.


EARTH 2 #2

Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Nicola Scott
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Humphrey Lee


EARTH 2, I think, represents an odd duck in the world of comics right now. It’s representing the sole alternate universe for the DCU after an almost decade-long stint where I think even the freaking Smurfs had one. But that’s not the oddity surrounding it that I’ve noticed. What’s odd about this book, what seems to be a weird itch for people, is that even though it gets pretty much solid-to-good (even great) marks from everyone that reads it (and I’m about to give it more in the following space), pretty much everyone also bitches about the “necessity” of this book. Apparently we are at that point: the one where we can’t just enjoy a book we admit is good because we have reservations about it existing in the first place. Being good, in and of itself, is not a valid reason for being, it seems.

I get the desire to be a bit knee-jerk on something that looks to be superfluous; I mutter to myself when there’s a sixth AVENGERS title showing up, I did it when the Ultimate Universe reared its head—hell, I do it when I see seven Bat-titles, and Batman is probably my favorite superhero. It’s what fandom does to us. But this book is good--deal with it. Now, all that said, I found this issue to be a little less exciting than the first, despite there being a lot more hype around it. It’s a bit more lulling after the “whiz-bang!” the first issue showcased with its final conflict for DC’s Trinity as they faced Steppenwolf and the Apokaliptian forces. This particular issue is a weird, uneven split of being half more talky talk between Mercury and Jay Garrick, the insertion of one Mr. Terrific to this world and introduction of its (maybe) current one, and then, yes, Alan Scott being “teh gay.” The emphasis of what events play out and for how long I think kind of made it easy to gloss over a couple pages of Garrick stuff when you can tell there’s going to be a lot to cover in this series and would like to see things move more. Honestly, if there were ever a case for one of these “New 52” books to be $3.99 with the extra pages, this is it.

Now, to get to that trifold breakdown of what went on in this book, I have to say I was mostly pleased despite my reservations about development time I expressed above. Michael Holt coming to this reality and facing off against Terry Sloan, who may be a bad guy, is honestly a bit more shocking a turn of events for reveals of this new version of JSAers than the Alan Scott deal, which, yeah, I guess we can talk about. All I really have to say about Alan Scott being here, queer, and, uh, kind of big and goofy about it is, eh, makes sense to be honest. Look, if you’re going to commit to this book and the idea of “this is it, we’re redoing these sixty year old characters in modern times” then the energetic, go-getting, handsome mid-thirty-something media mogul being gay sounds about right. Other than that, I think there was still too much time spent on the Jay and Mercury interaction, I still think I’m fine with the new Flash getup except that helmet is very Alan Scott and it’s absurd the classic one was not kept, and someone needs to tell James Robinson that parkour is soooo 2007.

Change is jarring; I get it. The “New 52” hasn’t been a complete success from a quality standpoint across the board; I understand that too. But EARTH 2 is neither of those two points in that it is handling its changes at a smooth, well-narrated (and maybe a tad bit talky) pace and is rather sweeping (and fantastically illustrated) as it goes. Am I going to miss the classic, elder statesman versions of these characters that – let’s be real here – most of us probably fell in love with in the past 15 years via Geoff Johns, James Robinson, and David Goyer’s JSA? Of course. But those books still exist – may not “count” but still exist – and, take it from a guy who has been rereading all those books these past couple weeks due to EARTH 2 here, that schtick gets old (no pun intended) and occasionally convoluted quick and its whole direction eventually was emphasizing the new blood. Well, now what was old is new again and as far as I’m concerned it’s working so far. If it turns to shit then give it shit back. But until then, I think the guy who has done his damndest with these characters for roughly twenty years now deserves the benefit of the doubt.

Humphrey Lee has been an avid comic book reader going on fifteen years now and a contributor to Ain't It Cool comics for quite a few as well. In fact, reading comics is about all he does in his free time and where all the money from his day job wages goes to - funding his comic book habit so he can talk about them to you, our loyal readers (lucky you). He's a bit of a social networking whore, so you can find him all over the Interwebs on sites like Twitter, The MySpaces, Facebookand a blog where he also mostly talks about comics with his free time because he hasn't the slightest semblance of a life. Sad but true, and he gladly encourages you to add, read, and comment as you will.


THE ALMIGHTIES #1

Writing: Sam Johnson & Mike Gagnon
Art: Eleonora Kortsarz, Pablo Zambrano, & D.C. White
Publisher: Actuality Press
Reviewer: Matt Adler


THE ALMIGHTIES might be described as an Avengers parody, in the sense that it's a team of diverse superheroes who come together to combat various threats. But one gets the sense that the Avengers connections are mostly there to take advantage of the current zeitgeist; this is really just a superhero parody in general. The team consists of Maxi-Tron, an Iron Man archetype; Nite Fang, a smartass British werewolf; Ms. F, a liberated feminist with the power set of Ms. Marvel but a backstory more resembling the Invisible Woman; Mason, a hardcase in the Wolverine/Punisher mold; and Stefanos, the comic relief.

There are a lot of enjoyable bits scattered throughout this comic. During the team's roll call, Nite Fang has the amusing habit of announcing identifiable character traits after each member's name is called, much to his teammates' chagrin. Ms. F seems like a character with potential--given how often female characters in comics are relegated to second status next to their male counterparts, I think a lot of mileage can be gotten out of a female superhero who's simply had enough of being oppressed and uses every chance she gets to make her point. Stefanos is probably the standout character here--you've got to love a kebab-shop superhero who goes into battle armed with meat on a stick, and leaves at crucial moments because he has to "put the fries on."

The plot of the issue could use some work; even for a parody, the menace here is somewhat ridiculous and cliched. The other weakness of the book lies in the art; there are three artists working on this book, and the rendering of the characters, as well as the action scenes, makes it clear that they're pretty new to their craft, which is not unusual for an indie book. With time, I'm sure they'll develop their skills further.

Overall, it's an entertaining book with some interesting ideas, and plenty of room to develop them. I'll be interested to see what Johnson, Gagnon, and Co. do with these characters next.

THE ALMIGHTIES #1 is published by Actuality Press, Rated Teen+, and is available at www.indyplanet.com and www.thealmighties.com in $3.99 regular and Variant editions. The $1.99 Digital Edition is available now at www.graphicly.com and www.wowio.com.

Matt Adler is a writer/journalist, currently writing for AICN among other outlets. He’s been reading comics for 20 years, writing about them for 7, and spends way, way, too much time thinking about them, which means he really has no choice but to figure out how to make a living out of them. He welcomes all feedback.


BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #1 (of 6)

Writer and Artist: Darwyn Cooke
Based on characters created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: BottleImp


By now I’m sure everyone out there knows about the murky morality surrounding DC’s decision to publish these new WATCHMEN prequels without the involvement-—much less approval-—of original series writer Alan Moore. So I’m not going to belabor the point; I’ll just say that I felt a little guilty in reading this comic, and even more guilty for finding things about MINUTEMEN that I really liked. The appeal of this title (especially in comparison with the other forthcoming prequel series) is the combination of Golden Age superheroes and Darwyn Cooke’s vibrant, dynamic drawing style. I have a deep fondness for the comic book characters from the 1930s and ‘40s; there’s something magical about the costumes that range from simplistic to flat-out gaudy, the code names that are utterly without irony, and the overall sincerity of their adventures. Even these mystery men and women that were created by Moore and Dave Gibbons in the 1980s tap into two-thirds of that magic (especially since they were modeled on similar Golden Age archetypical templates. As for the sincerity factor…well, that’s a bit different, since one of the goals of WATCHMEN was to look at a man who puts on tights to beat up criminals and see what would motivate him to do so. And this one element, so crucial to the entire theme of the groundbreaking graphic novel, is absent from MINUTEMEN.

Those expecting to find an exploration of the dark and nasty underbelly lurking beneath the colorful costumes that Alan Moore hinted at in the pages of WATCHMEN may be in for a bit of a surprise. Cooke, it seems, has chosen to show the reader the other side of that coin, as seen through the eyes of the original Nite Owl. Fans of the original graphic novel will remember that the first few chapter breaks were punctuated with excerpts from Nite Owl’s tell-all biography, “Under the Hood,” which gave brief sketches of the Minutemen team along with details (both flattering and unsavory) about their private lives. But the first pages of MINUTEMEN have Nite Owl, his book completed, reflecting on the brighter side of his past. “I found the act of writing seemed to purge me of the darker aspects of my secret life,” his narrative captions read. “The dark parts fall farther and farther away from my line of sight… From here, in my empty apartment, I can only see the good.” The rest of the issue is not so much a story, but an introduction (or re-introduction, as the case will be for the majority of readers) to the cast of characters, as seen through Nite Owl’s rose-colored domino mask.

The most frustrating aspect of this issue is that Cooke has written some of the Minutemen in ways that dovetail nicely with the source material, while other characters seem to fly wide of Moore’s original intentions. The characters here that seem most satisfyingly written to us fans of the original book are the ones that Moore and Gibbons barely devoted any time to. Dollar Bill, the bank-sponsored mystery man, and Captain Metropolis were near-blank slates (although close readers of the chapter-break texts of WATCHMEN will have gleaned more about Captain Metropolis than can be seen from the comic pages alone), so Cooke’s depictions here work fine. Characters who were slightly more prominent in the original include Hooded Justice, the Silhouette and the Mothman. The version of Hooded Justice shown in MINUTEMEN matches the descriptions in “Under the Hood,” so no problem here. The Silhouette is a little more nebulous, since in the original graphic novel her only defining characteristics are her dislikability and her lesbianism. Cooke gives her more motivation by making a backstory involving her escaping the Nazi occupation of Austria and seems intent on making her into a far more heroic character than she ever appeared to be in WATCHMEN. He appears to be doing the same for the Mothman, turning Byron Lewis’ alcoholism and eventual breakdown into a result of the character’s heretofore-unrevealed bravery. So there are some small changes here, but nothing too deviant from the source material.

Then there are the three most prominent Minutemen: Nite Owl, The Comedian and the Silk Spectre. I actually like what Cooke has done in showing the Silk Spectre’s early career; Moore had made it pretty blatant that her superheroing was done as a way to garner publicity for a possible film career, and Cooke’s depiction of her “foiling” a staged robbery (and the subsequent bribing of the local police for their complicity) is right in step with the Sally Jupiter of WATCHMEN. Nite Owl fares okay in his segment, though the Daredevil-like acrobatics that Cooke puts the character through seem out of step with the grounded, down-to-earth approach of the original book. That’s nothing compared to the way that Cooke shows The Comedian, though. The Comedian is perhaps the most complex character of the original graphic novel, a dichotomy of savage sadism and unexpected depth of feeling. I get the idea that Cooke is trying to latch on to this idea for his depiction of The Comedian’s early career, but the end result is that his version of the character is simply batshit crazy, coming across more like the Joker than the Comedian. It’s a bizarre choice for the character, and one that totally jarred me out of a comic which I was up until that point guiltily enjoying.

There’s no denying it; Darwyn Cooke is a helluva good artist, and his retro style is perfectly matched for these WWII-era mystery men. If these characters were public domain property or even from DC’s own roster of Golden Age superheroes, I’d have no problem with this issue. But the Minutemen were part of one of the most important graphic novels ever written, a comic book series that was constructed to be read like a novel, not an ongoing serial format in which these characters-—no matter how minor their role in the novel-—could be recycled and rehashed for years and years’ worth of stories. If I were to pick up MINUTEMEN without having had any prior knowledge of its source material, I’d say that there’s a pretty good chance that I’d unequivocally love it. But let’s be honest-—anyone who will read this comic will have read WATCHMEN, and no matter how good Cooke’s words and art may be, MINUTEMEN can never touch the level that the original graphic novel achieved.

WATCHMEN is a complete work of art in itself. Anything attempting to supplement it is just gravy. Sorry, Darwyn.

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.


PROPHECY #1

Writer: Ron Marz
Art: Walter Giovani
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Reviewer: Henry Higgins is My Homeboy


Mark Your Calendars…

It’s actually pretty surprising to find out that Dynamite has never done a major crossover. As a publisher, they have been producing some of the most iconic independent characters in comics (Red Sonja and Vampirella), along with some of the most well known characters in fiction (Sherlock Holmes and Dracula), among others. Personally, I’m amazed it hadn’t happened before. But it’s probably a blessing it hasn’t, because then we might not have gotten this story. PROPHECY is a fast paced, well structured first issue, clipping by at a solid pace. It’s definitely the kind of first issue you want from an event book.

Writing: (4/5) I have never really followed too much of Dynamite’s stuff, popping in every once in a while if something strikes my fancy. Crossovers usually dictate a strong understanding of the past events and the characters to get what’s going on, but not here; rather, you can read this comic and still enjoy it immensely, without ever having read a Red Sonja book. It’s all a credit to the writing of Ron Marz, who makes each character sparkle with some new level of individuality.

The story jumps between three distinct time periods, and introduces three new players into each era. In Victorian England, Sherlock Holmes investigates a break in/murder. In the 600s, the villainous Kulan Gath is hunted down by Red Sonja. In the present day, the recently arrived Sonja finds herself positioned against Vampirella. Each beat is well done and succinct, going for a different mood. The Sherlock sequence is the weakest, if only for its slightly rushed feeling. I hope Marz returns to these two, as having a bit more room with the characters could improve the tone greatly. The Aztec scenes are the most memorable, breezing by and giving just enough information to glean what’s happening. Marz manages to compress the beats with ease, leaving the characters room to flesh out the scene. The present day scene falls into a tried and true comic book moment (heroic misunderstanding leads to fight), but the brawl is short and sweet.

Art: (4/5) Giovani does a remarkable job differentiating between the various eras, as does Lucas. Sherlock Holmes is met with a drab building, dull colours, and cold expressions. In Yucatan, the settings are bright and expressive, with each character brightly showing off some new emotion. In the modern day, the entire scene is punctuated by the bright moonlight, which does a marvelous job of giving everything a sort of motion and life. The art rarely falters, each face and motion being deliberate and clear. The only scene that is really lacking is, again, the Sherlock Holmes scene. It feels slightly rushed, and the faces aren’t as defined and sleek as the rest of the book. Apart from that, however, the art manages to impress throughout.

Best Moment: The splash page of Sonja and Gath falling through time.

Worst Moment: Some of the faces in Sherlock Holmes.

Overall: (4/5) An enjoyable first issue, and a great way to suck in new readers.


AVENGERS VS X-MEN #5

Writer: Various
Artist: John Romita JR.
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: Masked Man


As we near the halfway point of Marvel’s grand crossover, a curve ball has finally been thrown. Which on some level might not be the coolest thing ever, but at least it’s a curve ball. Which is nice, since the promised smackdown between the Avengers and X-Men has been lacking. I should mention I’m talking solely about A VS X, not the tie-ins. To me, everything hinges on the main book. So if the main book is lame, I’m not going to buy a bunch of tie-ins in hopes of making it better--I’ll just drop the book. Thankfully A VS X isn’t lame, though it hasn’t quite won me over to buy any tie-ins yet.

Now yes, the Avengers have been fighting the X-Men, but there hasn’t been any real pacing or progression, just relatively random pictures of characters hitting each other. Wolverine can gut Captain America one moment and then the next, Cap’s in tip-top shape to take on Gambit or Cyclops. This is the major weakness of most comic book fights--they have no weight, so they come off as meaningless, and A VS X unfortunately is no exception.

Back to the issue at hand: the dreaded Phoenix force has arrived! So now the heroes have been given an enemy, besides themselves, so I’m curious to see how this will play out. Though, is the whole Avengers vs. X-Men angle of the story over? I hope not, since that was the selling point of the whole series. Plus I’d like to see some more true conflict between the teams. Like in the first issue Cap and Cyclops were on the verge of debating whether or not the Avengers have ever been on the side of the X-Men. To me, that is very interesting! I’d love to see that get developed more and have the fights grow out of it.

Unfortunately, as with the “Secret Invasion”, I feel Marvel maybe missing an opportunity to do something really cool here (in the “Secret Invasion”, I felt it would have been more interesting to watch the Skulls carry out their secret invasion, rather than just read another Skrull vs. superhero fight). But as I said, the game board has just changed, in a rather unpredictable way, so I think things could get rather interesting soon.

As to the artwork, I find that John Romita Jr. (as he was in THE AVENGERS) is merely illustrating this book, as opposed to drawing the hell out of it. He did brilliant work on ETERNALS and even on WORLD WAR HULK, but nowadays he seems to be just getting the work done. He does have flashes of brilliance here and there, but for the most part there’s not much to get excited about.

So A VS X #5 still sits between nothing bad and nothing great, so it scores a 2 out of 4.


NIGHTSTALKER #1

Writer: Orlando Harding
Artist: David Miller
Publisher: Revolution Comics
Reviewer: Optimous Douche


Differentiation. In the sea of #1’s that are flooding the comic market, differentiation is the key element to see an issue crest from the fairly easy to accomplish #1 issue to the coveted issue #2.

NIGHTSTALKER on the surface seems to bask in a level of sameness. It’s a concept very baked in the SPAWN mold. Take unruly demons escaped from hell and stick some bounty hunters on their fiery asses to send them back down.

Now, where NIGHTSTALKER surprised the living shit out of my Optimous bowels was the small but very effective gender change of our traditional hellion hunters from strapping men to very realistic ladies. Also, I’m enamored with the fact that not one whitey can be found within these pages. Yes, someone has found a way to write colored super heroes without electrical powers and the need for an Ebonics dictionary. Dare I say, these hunters in heels are some of the most real characters I’ve read when they could have easily transcended into a deep trap of racial and gender tropes. These women kick ass and are smart, sassy and classy in the process.

Now, here’s the really cool part. After the two ladies discuss their recent captures over an afternoon lunch in a “How I Met Your Mother” backwards story style, their next hunt sends them after time demons. This takes the tale to Club 54 circa 1977. I couldn’t stop reading after this point. The atmosphere, the jive turkey talk, the short skirts and go-go boots, all gave this book a vibe which I have yet to truly see in comics – not just indie comics.

I can’t urge Harding and Miller enough to really explore this direction of demon hunting through time further. Both of these guys have all the right stuff from an execution standpoint; they just need the hook. And I think they have it; now that the exposition is done, it’s time to see the NIGHTSTALKER protect our mortal souls and the time stream.


LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #1

Writer: Damon Lindelof
Artist: Jeff Lemire
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: The Dean


I have an idea – take LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT and its policy of telling unique, self-contained stories that feature a variety of talented artists and writers, and apply it to everything, always, for the rest of my life. I developed this idea shortly after finishing the debut of the “digital first” incarnation of the series last week and realizing that this was easily the freshest Batman tale I had read in quite some time. There’s obviously a place for continuity in comics, and while its confines are often cited as a hindrance to creativity, it can just as easily be argued that the parameters they provide inspire a growing, evolving narrative for these otherwise ageless characters. What cannot be argued is that every run on a character isn’t a home run, and when the only exposure we get once a month is some uninspired garbage that banks on obsessive devotion to monthly titles, an alternative like LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT can make all the difference in a comic fan’s life.

Fortunately for Bat-fans, the majority of bat-products out there right now are fantastic, and Damon Lindelof spins as great a yarn as Snyder or Tomasi are piecing together in their titles, but Lindelof finishes his in one issue. The greatest contribution a series like this can have in the life of a character is in providing those quick “what if?” scenarios, taking risks in expanding on or deviating from established traits. With LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #1, we get Bruce as an angry drunk, sitting in the dark (of course!), contemplating his allies’ weaknesses and his absence of any. Alfred, tired of his master’s cockiness, brooding, and poor grammar, begins to argue the contrary stating that “everyone has a vulnerability.” The rest of the issue, depending on how you look at it, is either filled with absurd, uncharacteristic contradictions, or invigorating detours that make both Batman as well as the Bruce/Alfred relationship feel new and unpredictable.

What I love about Lindelof’s Alfred in this story is that he’s very much Bruce’s father, and not just in the sense that he’s the man who raised him. There’s a level of drive, stubbornness, and willingness to do whatever it takes that is typically exclusive to Bruce in many other stories, but here, it appears likely that a lot of these classic Batman traits were a direct result of Alfred’s own pursuit of perfection, and the higher expectations he imposes on himself and others. Despite its simplicity and brevity, this issue is filled with enough genuine content to work a senior thesis around, and while Lindelof’s script goes a long way here, Jeff Lemire’s art deserves half the credit at least.

I’m not an artist, and I’ll never understand how the truly great ones do it, but Jeff Lemire has that rare, natural ability to infuse every single face he draws with a lifetime’s worth of backstory. To the untrained eye, I’d say a good 75% of the artwork on comic book shelves looks much the same, but Lemire’s style is noticeably different, and I’m not sure the general public would respond well to his art on a superhero title for any longer period of time, but that’s exactly why I’m so thrilled that this series exists now – it gives writers and artists who may never otherwise get a chance to work on these A-list characters a shot at bringing their unique styles and visions to a wider audience. There’s a page here that really stood out for me which I paused for a good three to four minutes on before remembering there was more story left: while Batman tries to figure out who could be behind the trap he found himself in, the usual cast of villains pops into his head. As usual, the villain at the front of the line is the Joker, but he’s drawn like no Clown Prince I’ve ever seen before. Most artists have adapted the look of Joker as this sort of mutated monster with a face so distorted in its exaggerated features and permanent grin that it’s barely recognizable as human anymore - some do it better than others, but it loses its impact when you see the same trends over and over. Well, Lemire takes it a step back and gave me the feeling that I was seeing the Joker for the first time again. This is simply a ghost-faced man with green hair that looks like he hasn’t slept in about a month and a half, and it’s a far eerier look than any other recent interpretation that seems to try just a little too hard. I’d give anything to see this Joker’s story told, but like I said, with Lemire’s raw talent, a lot of that story is right there in that one drawing.

In case it isn’t obvious already, I’m happily deeming this one a must read. I would love it if every hero could get a series outside of continuity like LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT’s, but I could never be so bold as to hope they can all live up this level of quality. You’ll finish this issue in mere minutes, but like any good story, I promise it’ll stick with you for much longer. With any luck we’ll see the pairing of Damon Lindelof and Jeff Lemire a lot more in the future, but for now, I’m more than happy with the story we’re given, and can’t wait to see what other tales we’ll be treated to in this series’ future.


Advance Review: In stores today!

SPIDER-MEN #1

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Sara Pichelli
Colors: Justin Ponsor
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: Johnny Destructo


Is it necessary to tell you that during my recent cancer remission scare, one of my passing thoughts of "things to be thankful for to stay positive about my upcoming doom" was “Well, at least I lived long enough to see Spider-Man swinging around on the big screen”?

No, but maybe it will help illustrate what a nerd-tastically big fan I am of the character.

Really, JD? That's how you're going to start your review? CANCER? Man, wotta downer.

Ok, ok. I was just making a point. And that point was I love me some Spidey! You know who else I love? I love me some Brian Michael Bendis. That man can write the boogens out of a Spidey book, and I've been contacting him on a daily basis, asking him to write an ongoing Spider-Man 616 title. Ok, not so much "contacting him" as "mumbling to myself", but you get it. Another inappropriate amount of affection goes towards the amazing illustrations of Sara Pichelli. Damned if Pichelli isn't my favorite artist working for the entirety of Marvel at this moment. I cannot, for the life of me, think of a more exciting comic book team to create a Spider-Man comic right now.Yah, we get it. You're enthusiastic. It's getting annoying. Wipe the baby-brew off your pudgy manstomach and tell us what you think of the damn book!

Well, bodiless italic voices...I'll tell you. The book is good. Is the book great? No. Not YET. One of the problems is that I WANT MORE! But is it really a problem that it's so good that I'm whining that it wasn't long enough? Probably not.

This book has three segments: 1. Pete spewing baby-brew all over his six-pack'd manstomach about how much he loves NYC and being Spider-Man (which I would also do all the time forever if I had his powers) 2. Fighting in front of an inter-dimensional portal (which you just KNOW is going to take him to the Ultimate Universe) 3. Hey, he's in the Ultimate Universe (and within seconds of being in a major metropolitan area, accidentally runs into Miles Morales). Is it entirely possible that Peter could have spent literally a month in Manhattan without once running into Miles, let alone Miles in costume? Yes. But hey, suspension of disbelief. Despite the fact that it's slim pickins story-wise, not once did the pacing lag, nor did the issue feel light. I read the entirety of the issue with a smile on my face.

Sara's art here is, as always, amazing. Insanely detailed and realistic with a hint of cartoon. Just the buildings in the backgrounds must have taken a month to put together! The body language throughout is full of personality, and there isn't a single panel that feels static. The whole book is moving. There was one tiny oopsie with the physicality of a scene that confused me. At one point Mysterio is pinned under Spidey with an elbow on his throat and in the next panel, Spidey has been...thrown off? Not only does Peter have the proportionate strength, speed and agility of a spider, but he can't really be unstuck from a spot that he's sticking to, and Mysterio shoves him off? MYSTERIO? Seems a little improbable, but that's just a quibble. Everything else was spot on, and I loved it.

Awright, now sum it up and let us get on with our lives.

This is a first issue that serves to dip our brain-toes in story water and to whet our appetites for more. It's done its job and more. I can't wait for part 2!

JD can be found hosting the PopTards Podcast, drawing a weekly webcomic, discussing movies, comics and other flimflam over at www.poptardsgo.com, graphically designing/illustrating for a living, and Booking his Face off over here. Follow his twitter @poptardsgo. His talkback name is PopTard_JD. He is also now co-hosting another Comic Book discussion show on Party934.com alongside Bohdi Zen. They discuss comics and play music, check it out live every Saturday from 4-5pm.


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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  • & Bart sears was awesome in the Crossgen The First series also, that was kinda wacked out story telling but another awesome graphic novel story. Really liked those two Graphic Novel series, bummer they didn't get to play out non-rushed!

  • June 13, 2012, 9:11 a.m. CST

    Spider-men

    by Joenathan

    Told you they weren't bringing back Ultimate Peter...

  • June 13, 2012, 9:21 a.m. CST

    AvX, Before Watchmen, Extermination, The Almighties

    by Joenathan

    AvX has been kind of lackluster for me, mostly because I don't get the X-men's side. I don't even understand where they pulled the idea out of. Yes, in legends, the Phoenix burns up and then rises from the ashes, I get that. However, in Marvel, the Phoenix no one that the Phoenix has killed (except Jean Grey and there was some weird clone nonsense going on there) has ever come back, so why the hell does Cyclops suddenly expect it to be different this time? The other reason I'm not getting with this book? I just don't like JRJR's work anymore... yuck. It's nice to hear that the Silk Spectre issue is fun, but I'm still not buying any of them. It sucks ethically and also, what could these characters possiblly have left to say? We saw their whole lives already. We now where they're going to end up. Do we really need to see more (shallowly) of what led the to make their decisions on top of the reasons we were already shown in the original work? Really? The Watchmen characters are NOT regular characters, they are smaller pieces of a whole meant for one story, not greater adventures. They're pastiches and nothing more outside the original book. Extermination? Interesting. I will check it out. The Almighties? Oh, a superhero parody... how novel... "put the fries on?" BWAH-HAHAHA....zzzzzzzz

  • June 13, 2012, 9:25 a.m. CST

    spidey

    by mark mackner

    I totally get your love for Spidey, JD, but you know that. I wasn't sure if I'd be picking up SPIDER-MEN, but based on your enthusiastic review and the presence of MYSTERIO, I'll check it out when I hit the comic shop later.

  • Aw, don't tell me it's been done by some 'special' kid...

  • June 13, 2012, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Ugh, John Romita Jr. has never been "brilliant".

    by rev_skarekroe

    It's like he's trying to do Jack Kirby but with none of the passion.

  • June 13, 2012, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Optimous Vs. WATCHMEN COUGARS!

    by V. von Doom

    DOOM is impressed that you took your (obviously semi-autobiographical) "cougar issues" and used them to enhance and deepen your review of BW: SS. (Hm, that's a bad acronym ... sounds vaguely fascist ...) At any rate if Optimous says it's worth reading, DOOM will drop his anti-BW shields long enough to read the thing. The fact that Amanda Conner drew it is an additional plus. Someone give that woman more artistic awards, please.

  • June 13, 2012, 9:45 a.m. CST

    donlogan vs. ALMIGHTIES TURDS!

    by V. von Doom

    You have the agreement of DOOM -- looks like something from high school art class by the guy who'd draw on his Pee Chee folder.

  • June 13, 2012, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Cougars are fine for fucking

    by optimous_douche

    They make for horrific mothers though. Thank you mighty DOOM for getting me.

  • June 13, 2012, 9:51 a.m. CST

    "the original WATCHMEN was much more than a comic to me."

    by Laserhead

    I hear you pal-- sometimes I think back to the little, baffled boy I was in rural Louisiana, running across things like Watchmen in the drug store/ comic shop, and how those things would not only define the themes of my curiosity in later years, but would begin my inundation into literature and art, and prepare me with a more open and hungry mind than many of my peers. But that said, you know what really did that for me? 'Miracleman'. And then 'Doom Patrol.' I loved Watchmen; I just never felt like it belonged on a pedestal, and still see it as a diletante's idea of what a great comic should be. (again, love it, of course, just never found perfection there.)

  • June 13, 2012, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Pedestal

    by Joenathan

    For me, it was Dark Knight. Just the moments where Superman is thinking about the other heroes or Green Arrow missing an arm. It shook my view of the comic book world.

  • June 13, 2012, 9:59 a.m. CST

    There's no murky morality to Before Watchmen

    by Laserhead

    A creator who's entire reputation rests on his work with characters he didn't create, a creator who knew exactly what kind of contract he was signing, a creator who routinely to this day appropriates the work of other artists in order to save himself the trouble of invention (LXG, Lost Girls, et al.), a creator whose sole contact with the outside world has for about a decade been exclusively negative, angry rants against comic creators and readers, a creator who doesn't have a moral or legal leg to stand on when someone wants to use his 'concepts' (let's remember, too, these 'character concepts' were copies of Charlton characters)... No, I don't see any problem in other people telling stories with "characters" he created during a work for hire situation (which he loved; after he finished Watchmen, Moore's pitch for 'Twilight of the Gods' is about as cynical and money-grubbing as it gets).

  • June 13, 2012, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Watchman

    by Joenathan

    I agree, I don't like Moore. I think he's a douchebag and the internet needs to stop looking at him as a comic messiah and start acknowledging that he's a grumpy old fuck pervert, but... I don't think this particular project needed to be done and I think DC could have respected the creator's wishes. Like I said, there's nothing to these characters outside the original work, it's a pointless work. It's hollow creatively and generally in poor taste. Where's the upside of it?

  • June 13, 2012, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Thank God for the Internet

    by MattAdler

    No matter how stupid or ill-informed you are, it gives you a platform to spout off with an air of arrogance that makes people think you have a clue what you're talking about. You have people weighing in on this who don't even know that it wasn't a work-for-hire contract. Love it.

  • June 13, 2012, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Upside/downside

    by Laserhead

    Hey, I think the project's cynical, indicative of a certain kind of creative exhaustion, and probably won't be that good (but maybe). All I'm saying is that there's no 'morality' to the issue-- it's fine to have a personal opinion, but let no one pretend it's a 'moral' position. I'm sure JM Barrie, Lewis Carroll, Bram Stoker, et al. would've preferred Moore not to turn their heroines into pornography/rape-victims, but Moore didn't blink at the moral implications there. So fuck you, Al. Fuck you.

  • The only thing other pencilers admire about him is the fact that his style is so simple, he can crank out pages quickly and get paid a decent amount for them.Hey, more power to him. I liked some of his work on Daredevil and Thor, but most of his other work is just adequate....and World War Hulk was just ugly.

  • June 13, 2012, 10:30 a.m. CST

    hate to be obnoxious...

    by Eddie_Dane

    but Watchmen was never on sale in a drugstore, and I highly doubt it was ever on a spinner rack anywhere else. That being said, a Darwyn Cooke/Amanda Conner combo is the stuff of my dreams, so I am all over that.

  • June 13, 2012, 10:34 a.m. CST

    No, it wasn't 'work for hire'

    by Laserhead

    Moore's specific issue has always seemed to be with the part about DC retaining rights as long as they keep the work in print. I make my living as a novelist and screenwriter, and anyone who creates for a living knows what that means-- it means your publisher/studio/network will keep your work out there as long as it's profitable; when it appears no longer profitable, they'll stop printing new editions and turn the material over to you. If it never stops being popular, great, everybody's rich-- they'll keep it as a revenue stream, and your royalties will never end. That's how fucking creative contracts work, and any creator knows that, and knows why it makes sense (it protects the company who's paying you, in case you make shit, and it makes sure that your work is being maintained as a revenue stream as you age). Thanks Matt Adler. Jackass.

  • June 13, 2012, 10:37 a.m. CST

    My drugstore--

    by Laserhead

    It was a strange rural general store called 'Mere's' (pronounced Mee-yers), where you could get prescriptions filled (animal and human), buy groceries, wheelchairs, and in a separate room, movies, music, and comics. Past a beaded curtain, one room was all tapes, VHS movies, and comics. So for whatever reason, the place obviously qualified as a direct market. I never said shit about a spinner rack.

  • June 13, 2012, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Hate to be nostalgic

    by optimous_douche

    But comic stores did once have spinner racks. With ya on Drugstores though, I actually never bought a comic in a drug store and I'm 37.

  • June 13, 2012, 10:53 a.m. CST

    MY drugstore

    by Laserhead

    See above. It was a catch-all place that was the only store around-- it's wrong to call it a drug store, as it was more of a general store, but I mainly remember getting to go in the comics/music section while my mom waited for prescriptions, so I always called it 'the drugstore'. Goddamn. And regular, real chain drug stores like K&B and Walgreen's did indeed have a spinner rack with Marvel, DC and Archie. I'm 36!

  • June 13, 2012, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Oh, calm down nerds!

    by 3774

    Here, before it turns into a full-blown fist-fight, let me distract you with this. It's kinda related. http ://welcometotripcity. com/2012/06/where-have-all-the-new-ideas-gone/ Collapse the spaces.

  • June 13, 2012, 10:56 a.m. CST

    legends of the dark knight 1 is a funny one

    by JAMF

    because i thought i wouldn't like it "because lindelof" but then i read it and the first problem i had with it was the art because it seemed like amateur shit but now i love it, it's a great style. now, as for the writing... i was pleasantly surprised but then i thought more about it and yes, it isn't really bruce/batman that we know. i can't imagine him being such a douche to alfred and was he really drunk or playing at it? just seemed off... maybe this is just lindelof's take on it, like frank miller has his own version? plus it's very much like the alfred section of 'whatever happened to the caped crusader', but inferior obviously. i think lindelof is doing 5 more issues. probably with the same artist. i'm just glad that legends is back. i couldn't agree more about that, anthologies are great and it's designed for tablets which is a bonus.

  • June 13, 2012, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Bug made a good point yesterday...

    by MattAdler

    ...suggesting that part of the reason we have so many people seemingly gleeful about a company being able to disregard a creator's wishes, is because people were offended by Moore's comments slamming modern comics. I added that I think that the reason people are so offended by the comments, is because we're used to creators being diplomatic in the hopes of getting more work. But the more I think about this, it becomes apparent how backward a situation this is. Why would we WANT creators to pretend to be polite if they're feeling screwed? Is it really a desirable situation to have people afraid to speak out, because the industry is so dominated by two companies that they might not be able to put food on their table if they do? Why would we as fans endorse that situation as the way things ought to be, and condemn someone who doesn't follow it? Unfortunately, I think we as fans have also been conditioned to hold our characters and stories as more important than the people who create them. I mean, look at the line of argument here; in response to talking about how a *real person* may or may not have been screwed by the company he worked with, we get arguments about how he supposedly screwed *fictional characters.* It's bizarre. I think his comments attacking mainstream comics make us uncomfortable because it makes it harder to read without thinking about these difficult questions. Ultimately, a lot of it boils down to, "Shut up and go away old man, you're ruining my comic reading!" Commie rant over.

  • June 13, 2012, 11:41 a.m. CST

    BTW

    by MattAdler

    Although I referenced Bug's point, I don't mean to hold Bug up as an example of what I was talking about-- I think his position is a lot more nuanced than much of what we are seeing in these talkbacks and elsewhere.

  • June 13, 2012, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Comic books are for babies, you're all babies reading baby-books!

    by Poptard_JD

    Here I've given u something new to argue needlessly about. I'm getting sleepy with all the Watchmen hub-bubbery. Luuuuv youuuuu guys

  • June 13, 2012, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Spinner racks

    by deelzbub

    I know of at least two comic shops that still have and use them

  • June 13, 2012, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Moore and Drugstores

    by Joenathan

    But generally, I think he sucks as a person and everytime he does that "spooky magician" thing, with his stupid hair-do, I want to surprise-kick him in the balls so hard he throws up and then passes out, but otherwise, yeah, I side with him on this. I think Matt (and Bug) are right that a lot of people are against him because of his comments though. I always hated spinner racks because they were totally unreliable when it came to sequential issues. The thought always made me anxious as a kid. "I need the next issue for the story! Will they have it!?!?" Cliffhanger! The only comic I really remember getting off a Drugstore (actually a 7-11) spinner rack was West Coast Avengers #1.

  • June 13, 2012, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Oops

    by Joenathan

    I must have erased the beginning there... "I side with Moore on this particular topic, but generally..."

  • June 13, 2012, 11:58 a.m. CST

    JD

    by Joenathan

    You can't show your troll in the same post where you are trolling. Troll fail. BACK TO WATCHMEN TALK!

  • June 13, 2012, 12:03 p.m. CST

    This debate just reads like:

    by Poptard_JD

    .."yeah? Well the Internet told ME more than it told you about this." Seems a mite silly since none of us were there to read the contract or hear the conversations personally. I'd rather discuss the merits of the books themselves and the work put into them, instead of a bunch of uppity comments about which nOne of us know anything first-hand. But I'm sure I'm alone in this.

  • June 13, 2012, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Shit was my troll showing?? Why didn't anyone TELL me?

    by Poptard_JD

    I've been walking around like this all day!!! Boy is my face red

  • June 13, 2012, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Dr Manhattan's megalomania?

    by Klytus_I.m_Bored

    Been a while since I've read The Watchmen but that seems an inaccurate reading of the character. He seemed to me more "evolved past the point of caring" than megalomaniacal. And I'm not sure that Nite Owl "loathed" himself. He seemed more sad and spent.

  • June 13, 2012, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Always zip up

    by Joenathan

    Always

  • June 13, 2012, 12:19 p.m. CST

    seriously though

    by Joenathan

    People talk about Watchmen and everything around it because it is one of the most important pieces of the genre. It hit the industry like a bomb and it's still felt today. Why wouldn't we talk about it? Don't be silly.

  • June 13, 2012, 12:23 p.m. CST

    JD

    by MattAdler

    I'd agree that we can't debate the specifics of the contract since we haven't seen it. I'd disagree that if someone makes a claim along that the lines that Moore should STFU because it was a work-for-hire contract, and shows their ignorance of the entire nature of the dispute as described by multiple sources (Moore, Gibbons, Wein, etc) who HAVE seen the contract, that we should pretend all opinions are equal. Some are informed, some aren't.

  • June 13, 2012, 12:23 p.m. CST

    Silly is half my whole thing, baby!

    by Poptard_JD

    It's cool to discuss the work and it's effect, but all anyone seems to want to discuss is what They think they know about meetings they weren't at and contracts they didn't sign.

  • June 13, 2012, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Matt, out of curiosity:

    by Poptard_JD

    All these people who saw the contract, do any of their accounts differ or do they all agree?

  • June 13, 2012, 12:31 p.m. CST

    You just have to accept that

    by Joenathan

    All the meeting, contract talk stems from it being splashed all over the internet.

  • June 13, 2012, 12:38 p.m. CST

    The contract

    by MattAdler

    From everything I've read, there's never been any dispute over what the contract says. Moore simply feels it's scumbaggery because at the time the contracts were signed, there was no such thing as a TPB market; comics had a shelf life of a few months at most if they went into second or third printings, and that was it. So his position is, all parties were agreed that Watchmen would revert to the creators, and DC took advantage of an unanticipated development to subvert the original intent. Mind you, I think it's completely debatable whether that really is fair or unfair, and a separate issue from the creative validity of Before Watchmen.

  • Not being able to rely on a title being in the spinner every month was annoying to me also. But to be fair, I think the absence of spinners in grocery and drug stores is the number one reason no new readers are coming in.

  • June 13, 2012, 12:57 p.m. CST

    The TPB argument is the same as

    by optimous_douche

    DVD's and syndication. It's a lost fight. "The Man" won, move on.

  • June 13, 2012, 12:59 p.m. CST

    New readers

    by Joenathan

    I honestly think its just that times are changed. Video games are the new single issue in the spinner racks. I think the idea that there's a huge untapped "new" market of kids waiting out there to be found is dead-end thinking. I'm sure there are SOME and then there's all ov us, but a new generation of kids? No way. That's why Marvel and DC are in animation and movies and TV and games more. That's where their future is. I'm hoping that we'll get a split though, a line "for kids" and one for adults who prefer complex stories, hopefully, please, as Jeph Loeb is currently trying to dumb down everything Marvel Media. Jeph Loeb is the worst.

  • June 13, 2012, 1:09 p.m. CST

    The Path

    by spkinbote

    That book has some of the more sublime and emotionally packed artwork I've ever seen. I wasn't really a fan of Sears before this, but his work there was simply transcendent. The story was terrific and original, too. One of Marz's very best stories. It's a real shame that it ended so abruptly.

  • June 13, 2012, 1:30 p.m. CST

    wait... you guys still read paper comics?

    by JAMF

    hahahahahahahaha hehehehehehe oohohhhh

  • June 13, 2012, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Bears-Beets-Battlestar-Galactica.

    by 3774

  • June 13, 2012, 2:05 p.m. CST

    There is a huge untapped market of kids...

    by superhero

    As a father, I know FOR A FACT that kids love comics. The big problem is that they can't get their hands on them for a reasonable price point that makes sense to their parents. Not only that, but you can barely find a pamphlet comic book anywhere these days. The reason my kid loves comics is because I gave them to her and read them to her since she was three. That's because I knew how to get them. Remember when we were kids comics were everywhere. Now, even as an adult who goes to a comic shop, it's hard to even find something you'd want to give your kid in stock at a shop. It's true. The distribution channel has to change. They need to be made cheaper and in larger amounts. It sucks that Marvel and DC have left it up to the consumer to have to go out and seek comics instead of having them out in the marketplace in places that are easy and affordable for kids to pick up. It's such a wrong headed equation that it makes my head spin. The model is all f#@ed up! Make it easy to find your product and make it affordable and people will buy it! Kids will want it. And as much as people want the answer to be tablets, I don't think that's the answer. I'm telling you...just because my daughter likes to play Fruit Devil on my phone doesn't mean that she isn't crazy for Bone or Amulet right now. She loves both equally. She's just lucky enough to have a dad who knows where to find the stuff that is appropriate for her and that she might like. Oh, and Alan Moore is the man. F#@k Before Assmen...

  • June 13, 2012, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Did he actually say "colored super heroes"?

    by BrannigansLaw

  • June 13, 2012, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Too bad Buzz Maverick doesn't come here anymore.

    by rev_skarekroe

    He used to love telling his spinner rack story.

  • June 13, 2012, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Of course there are SOME kids who like and want comics

    by Joenathan

    Of course there are. Duh. But if you don't think the masses have moved on from paper pamphlets to more digital fields than you are either a time traveler from the past (to which I say: Go back and invest in Apple) or you're delusional. As for saying comics aren't everywhere anymore? Nonsense. I live in a medium sized city and we have FOUR comic book shops, not to mention many Bookstores with comic book sections. And then there's the internet, I hear it's everywhere these days...

  • June 13, 2012, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Yes I said colored

    by optimous_douche

    I also said whitey - but the PC police seems to just gloss right over that fact. I think it's more presumptuous and insulting to say African-American. If you believe in the current theory of evolution (both the earth and people) we're all African-American. Why would I call someone an African-American who has been here longer than my family (2 generations). Don't like colored - then black, coco, paper bag. What's better and descriptive. Don't like white, then go with glue, translucent..I don't care. Minority - well not where I live. My 6' 6" blonde haired blue eyed ass was the minority in my HS as it was all Jewish and Indian. Take political correctness and shove it. Have a nice day.

  • June 13, 2012, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Oh, kids want comics alright...

    by rev_skarekroe

    ...they just want OUR comics. I know this because they sit down right in the middle of the TPB aisle at Barnes & Noble reading incomprehensible (to me) manga books.

  • And you Jonethan didn't really understand my commentary. The reason pamphlets have been moved away from is because of the fact that they've been overproduced and overpriced and removed from the mainstream marketplace as a whole. Ooooo...FOUR COMIC SHOPS and BOOKSTORES??? That's awesome!!! How do the masses not have access to comics whenever they want them???They are EVERYWHERE in your city!!! Pamphlets need to be just that-pamphlets. Cheaply produced, quickly pumped out, easily disposable, extremely affordable readers for kids to just pour over and over again. Just like they used to be...when they were considered junk culture. And they need to be everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Not just your four fantastic comic shops spilling with every conceivable comic a kid could want...which is, I'm sure the reality you live in. Oh, yes, and the internet...that's the PERFECT place I should put a five year old to be able to find something that they love, pick it up and ask me to buy it for them because they actually got it in their hands and got to experience it for themselves. Yes, the internet is the answer for kids discovering new things. Of course! That's the answer! Just put your kid right in front of the computer screen and let them discover stuff for themselves! There's a REASON that pamphlets have been filtered out but that's not because all the kids are playing videogames. And the pamphlet could make a comeback...if it had someone backing it that wasn't obsessed with being relevant or cool. Kind of like you, Jonethan. Digital and pamphlets could co-exist, I'm sure. One doesn't have to be sacrificed for the other.

  • June 13, 2012, 3:15 p.m. CST

    What?

    by Joenathan

    I didn't say one had to be sacrificed for the other or that they had to be relevant or cool either. I think you're tangenting a bit and possibly exposing some personal issues... And I can't tell if you don't believe me that there are multiple comic shops in my area or if you think they are too hard to find or what... it doesn't matter. Look, my point was, when I was a kid, spinner racks and the occasional Hallmark shop were the only possible place for me to find comics. I had to really hunt and hope just to get three issues in a row and NOW...? Now, it's super easy to find a ton of comics. TONS. Super easy. They're all over. The shop I go to even has a large kid section and they don't fret over reading in the store. As for your kid and the Internet... I don't know what to tell you, my two year old neice runs the Ipad like she was born with the god damn thing and she only gets better. Anyway, I'm an advocate of the pamphlet, its all I buy, but I can also see the writing on the wall. I go into the shop and there's a few kids and a few parents, but mostly it's just us dinosaurs and it's not because there's a guy on the door only letting in the cool and the childless, you know? You really think cheap pamphlets are the answer? Besides the somewhat obvious environmental concerns when it comes to producing that much paper stock with cheaper inks, do you really think the prices were raised on books and the products were phased out of grocery stores and 7-11s in the first place because they were selling like gangbusters? (Pssst... They weren't) Times change. I want the industry to survive and you don't do that by going backwards.

  • June 13, 2012, 3:34 p.m. CST

    The industry won't survive...

    by superhero

    Because it's not about comics anymore. And I hope your niece isn't surfing the 'net on the ipad on her own. Working an ipad and surfing the net are two different things. And the environmental concerns about pamphlets are far outweighed by the environmental concerns of mass producing tablets for every, man, woman and child on the planet. The minerals that make those things work aren't exactly easy to find and dig out of the ground. And the pamphlets were selling like gangbusters. Far more than they are now. Digitally or otherwise. The distribution system was wrong-headed as it is now. As a matter of fact, in some European countries they still have tons of comics at train stations, shops, etc. Or at least they did years ago. They just weren't Marvel or DC but they sold like crazy and were mass produced and people bought them and read them. Your comment about the shop is the exact reason why things need to change. Kids used to be able to get comics everywhere and just pick them up at random which helped comic specialty shops grow. Now the regular market has been phased out and the digital market is sustaining print prices just to keep comic shops from losing money/customers. I love comic shops but they are what's holding thing back in a way. If I were Marvel or DC I would start re-printing old comics on the cheapest, crappiest stock I could find and have them in every airport, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Walgreens, etc. Just like the Enquirer at the grocery store. Disney Store should have small displays of Marvel books right by the checkout line. That's how you foster new customers!

  • June 13, 2012, 3:42 p.m. CST

    BW: Minutemen is NOT what they make it out to be

    by Dharma4

    I picked up today, and the lackluster art and boring story was nothing to sing about -Namaste-

  • June 13, 2012, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Strawman

    by Joenathan

    "Tablets for evey man, woman, and child on the planet." Hyperbole is the worst thing ever. Anyway, I think animation is the answer. That's the new comic. It's cheaper to download and takes less effort, you certainly don't need to read them. Comics will never overcome that. Never. Especially if you make them cheap and crappy, don't underestimate the desire for quality. Once LCS disappear, pamphlets are done forever in the physical. They are the landline of the industry. "And the pamphlets were selling like gangbusters. Far more than they are now." Yeah, but that's not because they were available in grocery stores. They're selling less now because the market is dying. It's time to take off the rose colored glasses, my man.

  • The market is dying, but the complete shutdown of casual availability isn't a factor? Huh? I'm with superhero on this.

  • June 13, 2012, 4:11 p.m. CST

    No casual availability?

    by Joenathan

    Except for bookstores right? I see them in Targets and Walmarts too. It just seems to me that the oppurtunites are all over and I find it hard to believe the lack of spinner racks in grocery stores are somehow the sole reason this massive tide of potential new customers have not sought out comic books. Especially with Superhero movies being pretty much the biggest movies ever for the last few years and the fact that there are three very popular cartoons focusing on these characters too. Do you really think the audience isn't being reached because a few squeaky and neglected spinner racks in the local Cub Foods have been discontinued? Really?

  • June 13, 2012, 4:18 p.m. CST

    No they sell less now because they are three dollars each.

    by superhero

    Comics used to be a dime. A DIME. They were always cheap. Even at a dollar. If something's cheaply made and cheaply sold and easily available it'll sell...for the most part. Grocery stores won't sell them because they know that their perceived value is limited to their customers. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a kid want comics and a parent told them no because they thought they were too expensive. You want those flimsy things for how much??? They're not cheap now. And the proliferation of tablets and technology at a rate that it's going will be a problem. It's a real issue. Who's the one wearing rose colored glasses now? Not to mention that there's still a huge segment of the population (and growing) that can't afford even a Kindle. That's a real issue as well. As far as animation goes...well, if your comparison is valid then the world of Farenheit 451 really has arrived. Glad my kid learned to read off of paper comics!

  • June 13, 2012, 4:27 p.m. CST

    When I was little...

    by 3774

    ...comics were 75 cents. When they jumped in price I was heartbroken, because i could barely afford them as it was, so I had to cut a title out. Then later when I got older price wasn't really an issue, as much as what I had to choose from. The moronic chrome age was in full swing, and it became almost impossible to find something that wasn't blatantly insulting me. I wonder if I'll get disillusioned and driven out again, or if the market will just collapse and die. I hope neither, because I'm really digging some of the indie titles I've been getting. If you count anything other than the big two as indie.

  • June 13, 2012, 4:29 p.m. CST

    A DIME?

    by Joenathan

    Look, man, the first step is admitting the 1950s is over and there's no going back. Now, before you flip out on a big tangent again, let me remind you I am neither a fan of the current price nor the person who upped the price, alright? Now, if you really think comics should/can/will go back to a dime or a dollar or whatever, you are being patently unreasonable and possibly do not understand how business works. Pull your head out, man, it's just not gonna happen. You should let it go or get a new hobby, if that's your hang-up. You'll probably feel better. My point with animation is that it can reach more potential comic readers and maybe drive some of them toward the books. I think that's a more likely scenario these days than your dime comic customer blow-out free-for-all for the people. And really, we're on a website with a ridiculously out-of-date comment section... who the fuck is going to come here and try to claim the end of reading is a good thing? What are you talking about? From now on, you name is Scarecrow, strawman. Kindles? What the hell are you talking about? I don't care if people buy them or not. You are most definitely the one wearing the rose colored glasses.

  • June 13, 2012, 4:45 p.m. CST

    When I was little...

    by MattAdler

    ... I used to have to walk 15 miles to school. Uphill. BOTH WAYS.

  • June 13, 2012, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Not saying they should be a dime.

    by superhero

    Saying people bought them because they were cheap. I'd say you're the Strawman here being that you can't understand my basic argument. And again we're talking about COMICS. Not movies. The reason that comics will die as they are today is because the focus will be on animation and media and no one gives a crap about the comics. Animation and movies don't drive kids to buy comics they drive their parents to buy them toys and DVDs or whatever it is they buy. That stuff doesn't help comic sales. And if you think that the presence of comics at bookstores and at Target is equal to their proliferation of the marketplace back in the day you are the one that NEEDS glasses. They keep everything in the back where no one can find them. Good luck with that. And I've already let the weeklies go. A long time ago. Because of stupid decisions made to prop up a dwindling comic book store marketplace.

  • June 13, 2012, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Aww. Little Matt ascended to Heaven!

    by 3774

  • June 13, 2012, 5:54 p.m. CST

    I'm doing everything I can to shove comics on my kid

    by Laserhead

    She's a three-year old girl, and so far results are mixed. She does seem to really dig the Carl Barks Duck stuff and that new Superman Family book. But I think video games are going to continue to take audience from more conventional narrative forms-- movies and TV are scared of video games, and they should be. Shit, I'm scared of video games, and I don't play them.

  • June 13, 2012, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Laserhead...

    by superhero

    When she's about four try Bone and possibly Amulet. I'd say keep to the early Bone books only. I started reading my daughter the Bone books and when we got toward the end I forgot how dark things got. It probably wasn't appropriate for her age...especially when the one guy gets cut in half by the hooded one and Thorn cuts off King Dok's arm! You should have seen the look on my face as I was reading it. I was like, oh shit! Too late! But my daughter loved it! Guess she likes scary things like her dad! :OO

  • June 13, 2012, 7:03 p.m. CST

    Dime

    by Joenathan

    Back when comics cost a dime, a dime was worth more, it may not have been the equivalent of $3.00, but to the kid buying it, a dime was a lot. It's relative. "Animation and movies don't drive kids to buy comics they drive their parents to buy them toys and DVDs or whatever it is they buy. That stuff doesn't help comic sales." No, no possible way, not ever. Not ever, ever, ever. Either way, comic book visibility is currently higher than it's ever been, if kids aren't biting now... they aren't going to bite. Besides, if you've stopped buying, you're the problem, man.

  • June 13, 2012, 7:56 p.m. CST

    Where Has This Conversation Gone?

    by optimous_douche

    I leave for a few hours to do some work and come back to the debate team at my Grandmother's retirement home. Can we please go back to bitching about Alan Moore or dare I dream - talk about current comic creators.

  • June 13, 2012, 8:09 p.m. CST

    Like Darwyn Cooke?

    by MattAdler

    What's he been working on lately? ;)

  • June 13, 2012, 8:16 p.m. CST

    So...

    by TheDean

    How about that augmented reality? Anyone still using it? Because if got tired of it after the first AvX issue... am I missing out by ignoring it?

  • June 13, 2012, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Adler

    by optimous_douche

    One marginal book, one GREAT book :-)

  • June 13, 2012, 9:19 p.m. CST

    Dean

    by optimous_douche

    No, AvX is marginal at best. And you're talking to a guy who got his first literal boner from Emma Frost.

  • June 13, 2012, 9:36 p.m. CST

    Optimus

    by TheDean

    Haha, Emma Frost - making lecherous men out of innocent boys since 1979 But isn't there anyone out there keeping up with all the AR extras? Or is it really the bust I'm suspecting it is?

  • June 13, 2012, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Marvel's AR....

    by Tom Fremgen

    I haven't checked any of the AR's for two reasons- 1- I don't really have a device that can access it. I'm sorry, but I'm quite happy with my standard cellphone and desk top computer. 2- My wife does have an iPad I could use, but nothing is really getting my attention. While I enjoy 'making of' features on dvds, I don't watch them on every movie I rent. Sometimes I just don't care too.

  • Oh, yes, by all means, let's discuss AvX, because THAT will be interesting. Is anybody else reading (and loving) Night of 1000 Wolves? Or am I the only one? Yeah, I figured.

  • June 13, 2012, 10:30 p.m. CST

    I think...

    by Jaka

    ...it would be great if a lot of you had every word you'd uttered be considered some sort of messianic truth for twenty plus years, even though you never asked for such treatment to begin with. Then have everyone turn around and decide you're a crazy, perverted fool when you have an opinion or release something they don't approve of. You'd crack like the fragile little things you are. A lot of you talk a big game, but most of you have never done shit beyond have an opinion. And I don't mean that as an insult - I'm simply stating a fact. Tossing out insults and threatening physical violence against someone because you don't like their current point of view is the most base form of internet immaturity around. Nice job AICN talkback. You never fail to prove how easy it is to hate.

  • June 13, 2012, 10:31 p.m. CST

    The price of a comic book....

    by Tom Fremgen

    Now, I'm not sure why this has occurred, but it seems to be because of sheer bungling. Case in point: 1940- A daily newspaper was 5 cent. A monthly comic book was 10 cents 2012 A daily newspaper 75 cent (up by 15%) A monthly comic book $3.99 (up by 39.9%) If comic books went up the same as newspapers they would only cost a $1.50. Pretty impressive huh. And mind you, newspapers are attacked by tv (cable news!) and radio and the internet, just like comics.- their business model has been blown to hell, but still they can sell a newspaper far cheaper than comics. Why? Better printing aside, I'm sure that does factor in- but the main thing, IMO, is advertising. Newspapers don't make money off that .75 cents! They make it off ads. So- comic books need to: A- Get more ads B- Charge more per ad Easier said than done, I'm sure. But I do wonder if it's been said at all. I mean, it's just easier to rise the price.

  • June 13, 2012, 10:36 p.m. CST

    Hey now! Hey now!

    by Joenathan

    Just a gosh darn minute here, I threatened violence because of Alan Moore's stupid hair and his bullshit magician bullshit, not because of his current opinion. I happen to agree with his current opinion, so eat some poop, Jaka. Eat some poop and like it.

  • June 13, 2012, 10:39 p.m. CST

    comics vs newspapers

    by Joenathan

    I wonder if artist and writers add up to a generally greater amount of money spent than a reporter's salary, or if it's because there are more people working in the process to create an issue of a comic as compared to an edition of a paper? It'd be interesting to see the breakdown. Also, I would argue that it's easier to raise prices than charge more for ads.

  • June 13, 2012, 10:42 p.m. CST

    Because tossing 'cunt' around is the height of maturity.

    by 3774

  • June 14, 2012, 7:45 a.m. CST

    DOOM's European Spinner Rack Report!

    by V. von Doom

    The directions this conversation took are nothing short of awesome -- DOOM almost crapped his armor laughing. On the subject of Europe: Gazing out from Castle Doom in Latveria DOOM can confirm comics are all over the place -- the train station shops, the magazine kiosks, the supermarkets, the little shop on the corner, the regular bookstores, you name it. Not just DC and Marvel, of course; one also gets comics from Germany, France, Italy, Spain, manga (from Japan and elsewhere), and so on, all translated into the local languages. Because they usually come in large sized formats -- as magazines, as collected trade paperbacks, or as "graphic novels" with cardstock covers -- the comics tend to be placed on wall- or cabinet-mounted magazine displays. Exceptions are the digest-sized paperbacks, especially the Disneys with their 300+ pages -- these get the spinner rack treatment like paperbacks. This is in addition to comic book shops, of course, where back issues, rarities, and various swag are for sale, along with comics in their original languages. For example, DOOM gets the American imports after a month or two of delays -- the translations of DC/Marvel titles have improved over the past 10-15 years but translations never beat the originals. Too many American pop cultural and current affairs references are "localized" for the Latverian market and the original meaning is lost. May this information be useful for you in your continuing debates -- DOOM has spoken!

  • June 14, 2012, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Really pink_apocalypse?

    by TheDean

    If people want to talk AvX, they should absolutely talk AvX. How is it any worse than the Alan Moore conversation? I'd actually much rather read that than the unnecessary hate and name calling thrown at talented writers or professionals who simply don't deserve it, though I'm sure we'll get that no matter what the topic is Also, I wanted to talk the augmented reality!!! Jeez! And I would genuinely like to hear your thoughts on Night of 1000 Wolves. What's so great about it? I can't afford another comic a month right now, but I'd be happy to sacrifice a coffee or two every week to fund it

  • June 14, 2012, 8:44 a.m. CST

    Alan Moore vs Grant Morrison

    by Laserhead

    I don't mean their work (that's no contest at all); I wanna see the hairball vs the cueball, mano a mano, in a cage fight. Moore's sympathetic magic vs Morrison's pop magic! Morrison's martial arts vs Moore's finger-wagging! Morrison's unique 'fashion sense' vs Moore's 'I woke up in a dumpster' aesthetic! Moore's one-note 'deconstructionism' vs Morrison's hyper-idea-generator. The slap fight to end all slap fights. Make it internet pay-per-view, and also have a comics version with dozens of crossovers. The kids are gone. Just entertain us gen-xers until we start dying off and the 'comic' part of the comic industry goes with us.

  • June 14, 2012, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Looks like Marvel's rebooting in September

    by Laserhead

    Or, you know, don't call it a 're-boot', but a 'second start' or something. Lots of titles being cancelled, and every creative team is wrapping up their storylines and switching assignments.

  • June 14, 2012, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Well....

    by 3774

    ....the thread was talking about something or other, and Optimus said 'move on'. Then it morphed into something else and somebody else essentially said 'drop it'. Then AvX was brought up. I just figured I'd add to all the negations. Somebody tell me what we're allowed to talk about. IMO, Night of 1000 Wolves is 1/3 Fairy Tale, 1/3 Adult Drama, 1/3 Horror Movie. The writing is great, and the artwork is stunning. Just a super-neato read. If I had to find a criticism, it would be the quick pace, probably due to the 3 issue window to get the story told. If feels like it could have been given 4 to let it breath a little more. Preview of issue 1... http://www .comicbookresources. com/?page=preview&id=12301 ...and 2... http://www .comicosity. com/preview-night-of-1000-wolves-2/ Give it a flip!

  • June 14, 2012, 10:49 a.m. CST

    Batman #10 was fantastic

    by Laserhead

    Alright, I admit it. You win, Mr. Snyder. Well done.

  • June 14, 2012, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Morrison vs. Moore

    by Joenathan

    I'd get pay per view for that.

  • June 14, 2012, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Marvel's reboot

    by Joenathan

    You might not be wrong. I mean, there are lots of stories/arcs/creative teams finishing up long runs and all right about the time the Phoenix shows up to burn them all down, so they can be reborn. Plus, September would be about the right time for ZvX to wrap up, right?

  • June 14, 2012, 10:55 a.m. CST

    ZvX?

    by Joenathan

    AvX. Although I'd totally buy zombies vs X-men. It'd be terrible, but I'd totally buy it.

  • June 14, 2012, 11:51 a.m. CST

    newspapers vs comics

    by Tom Fremgen

    A single newspaper has dozens of writers, photographers, editors and artists working on it. I can't believe the labor cost of a comic is more than a newspaper. With product placement- it can get out of hand. But I'd have no problem with it being used. Lower the sale price and get out of the comic store. That's probably the best formula to increase sales.

  • June 14, 2012, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Marvel's AR

    by Poptard_JD

    It's actually kind of a cool idea, especially considering it's in its infancy.. During the reveal of the Iron Man Pheonix armor, there was an interview with the designer of the armor and what he was trying to accomplish, and then in AVX VS number 3, during the fight between Magik and Black Widow, there was a lot of Russian wordbubbles that you could only read with the AR app.. Also with AVX whenever you use the app on any of the covers, a trailer plays that explains the point of the series, to catch new readers up I think it's a cool way to add special features to comics.

  • June 14, 2012, 12:58 p.m. CST

    comics vs. newspapers

    by Joenathan

    yeah, but comics have all that plus inkers and letters and colorists. I imagine paperstock is significantly more, as well. Not that that would account for ALL the difference, I think a good portion could likely be chalked up to plain old corporate greed, which is what really surprises me about the canceling of the Avengers cartoon for the new crappy Jeph Loeb one. Why not have both for double the revenue? Anyway, I think Marvel will come to your house, kill you dog, and make a hotdish out the meat before they lower the sale price or of leave the LCS model behind and hoping for anything different is tantamount to hoping you'll spontaneously grow gills while underwater.

  • June 14, 2012, 4:07 p.m. CST

    No!! Not my puppy!!

    by 3774

  • June 14, 2012, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Before Watchmen, AvsX, etc etc.

    by Homer Sexual

    Dang I am so late cause I was too busy. But I want to weigh in. I haven't read Silk Spectre, but Im super glad its good. I thought Minute Men was ok... total set up so we will see where it goes. I don't exactly understand why Watchmen is so unassailable, to be honest. I know I'll get flamed (again) for saying that I don't have a problem with it. I think others have stated reasons why pretty eloquently. As far as being creatively bankrupt... umm... Brand New Day, anyone? AvsX? I am not really hating on those, just saying that to call something creatively bankrupt and "nothing left to say about these characters" applies to at least 75% of all comics and comic characters. I did get sucked in to AvsX #3, just because I love Magik so much. It was kinda Liefeld-y insofar as that there were drastic gaps in sense, even for a slugfest, but I still liked it cause the art was good, and I loves me some Magik. As far as why comics are going extinct, I think all reasons are true. The kids I work with like to read the comics I bring in, but they tend to like the "dumber" ones. Not hating here, either. The first ones off my stack that I read last night were AvsX #3 and Ravagers #2, cause I felt like some fun. Dumb, but in a good way. I tend to save my "best" comics for later during the weekend, when I have a fresh brain, and the "candy" comics are for after work when my brain is fried. I honestly don't see digital as a big threat, no more than it is to books, less a threat than to newspapers. Magazines don't seem to be suffering too much, and they're the most comparable to comics. Movies, yes, they're a threat because a DVD will keep your kids occupied longer than a comic. If I may add one new conjecture, many comics nowadays are fairly sophisticated (I said many, not all) so a lot of the audience who would enjoy them, refuse to read them because of the stigma of being "comics."

  • June 14, 2012, 5:58 p.m. CST

    What have you dropped lately?

    by Homer Sexual

    I spent $39 bucks yesterday at the LCS. Fortunately I can afford it, but price is most definitely an issue. I can't imagine being a new reader with that price point. The magazines I subscribe to cost like $1 per issue with a subscription, but $4 on the stands. Nothing like this exists to entice comic loyalty. Last week I dropped Batwing, which was once in my top 5. A huge drop in story quality (despite the same writer) and art (different artist) put me off this one, and I bet it gets cancelled in the "third wave" This week I dropped "The Shade" which I almost dropped before because I found it affected and fey. But then the whole Vampire Daughter/Protector of Barcelona storyline got me to stick with it. This seems to have started as a limited series but is now ongoing, and I've had enough. Like a rich dessert, it was good for a while but now I've had my fill.

  • June 14, 2012, 9:17 p.m. CST

    Femenist cunt, pink

    by Jaka

    Those two words together were meant to hold a specific meaning. One which you were never able to grasp. The fucking point is that calling you a feminist cunt is insulting, rude, nasty and possibly even damaging to your cause, because it allows other shallow hatemongers to jump on the bandwagon and agree. A cartoon drawing of a woman on the cover of a comic book is none of those things. Also, the fact that you've never been able to process anything from that conversation other than that one word tells me everything I need to know about what kind of "feminist" you are. You don't care about equal rights and equal treatment. You just wanted to be treated differently because you have a vagina. Bullshit.

  • June 14, 2012, 9:19 p.m. CST

    Also...

    by Jaka

    I never threatened you or anybody else with physical violence because I think your hair looks funny. Feel me?

  • June 14, 2012, 9:23 p.m. CST

    The Shade is still a limited, as far as I know

    by Jaka

    Twelve issues, I believe.

  • June 14, 2012, 11:24 p.m. CST

    Fell me???

    by Joenathan

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! I bet your hair is stupid too... Feel me?

  • June 14, 2012, 11:24 p.m. CST

    Sorry, I was laughing too hard, didn't notice the typo

    by Joenathan

    Feel me?

  • June 14, 2012, 11:29 p.m. CST

    Dropped

    by Joenathan

    I dropped Captain America and Fatale and Winter Soldier... huh, that's all my Brubaker. That's weird. I also dropped Ultimate X-men, Wolverine and the X-men is just doing it better than everyone else. I'm probably dropping the whole Avengers slate pretty soon too.

  • June 15, 2012, 6:21 a.m. CST

    I keep meaning to drop

    by sideway

    Invincible, but the story keeps drawing me in. I think I'm spending about 100 month at the LCS. I know I need to cut back, but I don't know where. I got sucked up in the New 52. Mainly the Batman titles. I also hate getting drawn into these multi title stories, but here I go getting all the Night of the Owl entries. I still need to read them all. JLA just isn't doing it for me, also Superman, and Action Comics are alright, but not all that compelling. I'm sure as soon as I drop them, the stories will suddenly improve in quality. I had to drop Hellboy/BPRD a couple of years ago. Its so much easier to just wait for the trade.

  • June 15, 2012, 9:58 p.m. CST

    My spinner rack story

    by HiWayRobry

    I bought my first comic (Captian America) from the spinner rack at my local Rexall drug store. I was sick all the freakin' time and my mom had to haul me there because she couldn't leave me at home just in case I started puking again. So, after that, I would beg her to take me to the drug store with her whenever she went. That's where I discovered Avengers, Fantastic Four, Spiderman, The Guardians of the Galaxy, and numerous others. I guess I didn't care if the 'next issue' was there or not. I just wanted to slake my jones for more comics. Then, one day, my mom took me to this hole-in-the-wall book store so she could trade in one of her Harlequin romance novels (I'm sure I was sick again and had to go along for the ride) and that's where I discovered BACK ISSUES!!!! I bought musty old boxes of comics for $5 a box and that, as they say, was the beginning of the end...... I'll be 51 years old in less than a month and still read comics. Just try and out-geek that!