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AICN COMICS REVIEWS: AVENGERS VS X-MEN! LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN! DIAL H! UNDERWATER WELDER! THE BOYS! & MORE!

Issue #10 Release Date: 7/4/12 Vol.#11
The Pull List
(Click title to go directly to the review)
Advance Review: PLANETOID #2
WARLORD OF MARS #19
DIAL H #3
LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN CENTURY 2009 #1
Advance Review: UNDERWATER WELDER OGN 
ACTION COMICS #11
THE BOYS #68
AVENGERS VS X-MEN #7
Advance Review: FAIREST #5


Advance Review: In stores later this month!

PLANETOID #2

Writer & Artist: Ken Garing
Publisher: Image Comics
Reviewer: Optimous Douche


There is absolutely no reason PLANETOID should work. The story of a stranger in a strange land who crashes into the center of a galactic battle has been covered from Heinlein to broken Heymans in space porn. Oh yea, and “Star Trek”.

But what Garing lacks in concept originality (this is not a fault--I challenge anyone to come up with a story that can’t be traced back to another), he overcompensates for in delivery and execution. PLANETOID is a book of few words, but each one carries an emotional resonance that embodies the human spirit of survival. The art is not photorealistic, but thanks again to Garing’s immense talent this technological wasteland and ecological nightmare of a planet comes alive with every passing panel.

Each week a plethora of people reach out to Ain’t It Cool looking for review love for their wares, especially during this most holy week of comicdom. About 4% of them are truly worth the $3.99 price tag creators put on them. Out of that 4% an even smaller fraction are original and differ enough from already established material to hold my interest very long. In service to comics, we try to find nuggets of gold in each indie book and if none can be found, we generally just walk away saving our vitriol for the comic publishers we know who can take the hit. Every once in a while, though, a book comes along from an indie publisher that begs the question “why is this person not signed to a company that could give them a broader audience?” This was my feeling last February after reviewing PLANETOID 1. Back then it was just Garing self-publishing and putting the book out wherever he could find some love. Flash forward six months and this little book that could is now signed with Image Comics. This not only proves my instincts correct, it gives us all the hope that publishers are looking for new talent to keep our favorite hobby alive.

As I said, the concept of PLANETOID is simple: in the distant future war has torn the universe asunder. The Colonial humanoids have drawn clear lines of demarcation against an alien race called the Ono Mao. In issue one a lone pilot lands on a desolate planetoid controlled by the Ono Mao. Here is where Garing’s apt skill at making space exciting first presented itself. Even in space, stories are about people; Garing made the crash landing of our protagonist Silas as heart-thumping and perilous as the first time I drove my car over a cliff. Switching back between space scene and cockpit made me care what happened to this man; Garing also proved in very few panels he has a panache for pacing that takes many creators years to perfect.

Once on planet, we see how vast Garing’s imagination truly is. If anyone has ever seen an abandoned coal mine, quarry or an old field, you know they are haunted places. Places where the earth has simply been stabbed and left to die with a decrepitation that takes an eternity and blankets the air. Now imagine an entire planet that has been stabbed, sucked of life and left to rot. That’s PLANETOID.

However, only living on one planet and valuing life as we do, we never make the miners or the oil workers stay behind after the resources are spent. The future is not so kind to humanity, since the Ono Mao who harvested this planet and enslaved humans to help don’t understand or care about humanity. Imagine the species we would become on an entire planet that looks like Newark, New Jersey. The Ono Mao only care about cost and efficiency and it was simply easier to abandon this planetoid than move the workers. It’s almost as if the Ono Mao are the evolution of the modern CEO and CFO.

During issue one Silas explores the planetoid with the help of his sentient comm link and happens upon an old man who helps him. That dude is gone by issue two, so we won’t dwell.

Issue two sets Silas on a new adventure to find more humans, the possibility of civilization and hopefully technology to get his future ass off this rock. Again, Garing simply owns scope in this issue making each derelict piece of machinery just one more manufactured mountain for Silas to climb. Garing also ratchets up the danger in this issue, making every left behind automaton from the Ono Mao as lethal as the few indigenous life forms left on the planetoid.

We also start to see Silas’ softer side in this issue as he wins over the heart of a lone survivalist whose parents died and left her to fend for herself since childhood. She’s saucy and feisty now, but I imagine that will soften under Silas’ charms. Also, it doesn’t hurt that Silas fights off a squadron of automatons and is pledged fealty by a gang of nomads. Chicks dig power.

Obviously I can’t say enough about PLANETOID, but those that know my review style understand I succumb to verbal diarrhea when I either truly hate or in this case love a title. PLANETOID and SAGA have proven there’s an insatiable thirst for space right now, but only if it’s put into capable hands like Garings.

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.


WARLORD OF MARS #19

Writers: Arvid Nelson
Art: Stefano Martino
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Reviewer: Masked Man


With the “The Gods of Mars” adaption complete (still wish they gave it seven issues, as it was a bit cramped in six), Nelson starts another original tale to be a bridge until the next book adapation, “The Warlord of Mars”. Nelson had done this earlier, placing an original story in-between “A Princess of Mars” and “The Gods of Mars” adaptations.

Now, what a find in Stefano Martino--this is my first time seeing his work and I’m impressed. I understand he’s worked on some other small books, but wow, this guy is prime time. He has great figure work, which is solid and light at the same time. His faces are clean, detailed and expressive. His backgrounds have enough detail to give the story weight and work well with his figures. His storytelling is dynamic and clear, too. An extra bonus for Dynamite is that he inks his own pencils, so no wimpy artwork here. Editors should take note of this guy--good stuff!

Plot wise, John Carter and the Red Men of Mars have conquered the Black Men of Mars (or the First Born), who have now revealed a doomsday device. So it’s up to John, his son Carthoris and his colorful group of Martian friends to stop them from using it. Not being hampered by another adaptation, Arvid Nelson has much nicer pacing here. A really nice set-up to the two part story, “Worms of Mars”, it scores a 3 out 4.


DIAL H #3

Writer: China Miéville
Artist: Mateus Santolouco
Published by: DC Comics
Reviewed by: BottleImp


DIAL H is one of those rare cases—and I’ve only had this happen a few times, including not just comics but books and movies as well—when I can’t say that I actually like the story, but I’m intrigued enough to keep coming back to it. China Miéville has taken the childlike wish-fulfillment concept of DC’s original DIAL “H” FOR HERO series and twisted it into a bizarre, semi-surreal nightmare of dark powers gone amuck. Like a David Lynch project, each installment pulls the curtain back a little more on the mystery, and with each new glimpse the mystery only gets stranger.

Take this issue, for example—the reader learns that the mysterious red-haired and masked Manteau who showed up last issue to help Nelson out of a jam has her own dial, and can also use it to assume new superpowers. Unlike Nelson, however, Manteau manages to subdue each dialed-up identity beneath her own, making sure that her own mind never gets lost beneath these bizarre identities. And speaking of those identities, we also find out that every time a new identity is dialed up, it’s not simply a matter of gaining superpowers. Miéville reveals that each identity has a life and memories all its own. Does this mean that the dial is plucking these identities from other worlds? From alternate realities? Or is it something else entirely? And as for why a seemingly simple (and almost shockingly archaic to younger readers, I’m sure) rotary phone dial is able to call forth such incredible beings, Manteau hints that the answer lies with a mysterious man known only as “O,” who somehow had inspired the breakthrough work of scientists such as Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison.

It’s little tantalizing tidbits of information such as these that make this series so maddeningly intriguing. Miéville’s storytelling style and marked sense of the surreal recalls the kinds of stories that Grant Morrison was writing for DC back in the ‘80s. DIAL H’s blend of mystery and wonkiness (like Nelson’s flash-sideways of Boy Chimney fighting the Rake Dragon with Open-Window Man and the Eavesdropper and other members of Team House—trust me, you have to see it to know what I’m talking about) is a direct descendent of the kind of strangeness that Morrison cultivated in his runs on DOOM PATROL and ANIMAL MAN. Surrealism is not to be seen much in the standard superhero comics put on the stands today, so I’m giving Miéville (and the editors at DC who support this series) extra credit for bringing something different to the table, at the very least.

The artwork here is a perfect match for the script, as Mateus Santolouco has a drawing style that falls neatly in the cracks between realism and cartoonish stylization. His slightly rough inking style and skewed facial expressions remind me of the EC work of “Ghastly” Graham Ingels, giving the innocent notion of becoming a superhero a horrific edge that dovetails nicely with the darker tones of the storyline.

It appears from this issue that Miéville is tying in this new series with events or characters from the original DIAL “H” series. Now, I have no knowledge of the old comic apart from the title and core concept. But the mere fact that this new series is interesting enough to make me want to go back and find out more about the history of the power-granting rotary dial should imply that DIAL H is doing something right. Like I said, I’m not sure that I “like” this series yet—I wouldn’t call myself a fan, in other words—but I am intrigued enough by this strange mystery that I want—no, I HAVE—to find out what happens next. And if nothing else, I’d want to support any comic that tries to bring a little good old-fashioned weirdness back to the stands.

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.


THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN: CENTURY: 2009

Writer: Alan Moore
Artist: Kevin O’Neill
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Reviewer: MajinFu


Over the course of their long career, members of the League have foiled plots to ignite global war, averted Martian invasion, and endured countless other hardships as their story progressed through the centuries, shifting cultural personas like a kid changing his dirty underwear. Now they have dwindled to a dismal few and the Antichrist has been born, grown up and is now at large somewhere in north London. Can the League stop the Antichrist from ending the world as they know it? Do they really even want it to keep going?

In a world where property rights have become more important than a character’s integrity and fictional figures make the transition to film only to never return to their literary roots, how can the League cope with a lack of moral fiber? It’s interesting to me that after all the great nemeses they have battled in the past, the greatest enemy the League has ever faced is the progression of time itself. Sure, folks like Orlando can deal with it because they’re immortal so maybe they’re just kind of built to deal with the trauma, although the haunting introduction will tell you that’s not really the case. But Mina and Allan are literary figures that very much embody the spirit of the era from which they emerged, a fact that gives them strength in this last volume.

If you’re reading this you’ve probably got an opinion on Alan Moore and you’re either passing on this, chewing at the bit to read it, or you’ve already consumed the whole thing like the ravenous beasts you all really are. In other words, you’ve probably made up your mind about this comic and nothing I say is going to change your opinion. So instead of simply reviewing the work, I would just like to discuss some different aspects of the book and hopefully get a discussion going about it in the talkbacks. I’ll leave that up to you though, ya animals.

First of all, Kevin O-Neill’s work on this book is visually consistent with the rest of the series; by that I mean it looks brilliant Although the appearance of several key figures (as well as the world itself) has changed drastically since last seen, the spectacle of such acute line work remains the same. When I first jumped into the series it took me awhile to get acclimated with his somewhat square-faced style but I’ve warmed up to it heartily over the years. Calling it archaic would be an insult to the illusionary flow of the book. It’s just magical. O’Neill has a talent for illustrating highly emotive and sympathetic characters without compromising the unwavering design palette demanded by the story. The result is a universe populated by familiar faces that still appear to be living in a society on the verge of collapse. This is probably the one facet of the book we can all agree on. If you need any more convincing than that, just turn to any one of the pages where Prospero appears with his entourage in tow and just try not getting jarred into the narrative by the sudden explosion of pictorial power.

The art also captures the inherent creepiness of 2009 rather well. The story moves at a rather brisk place, with a fairly simple plot and number of memorable introductions. The reveal of the Antichrist is especially unnerving, and O’Neill’s scratchier style lends itself well to this scene. Likewise, the composition creates an eerie atmosphere that permeates all the way to the book’s climactic conclusion. Perspective shifts dramatically to such a degree that is could be jolting, but instead results in a seamless reading experience. The plot is almost perfectly paced, like a modern graphical sonnet perhaps because it was designed with a 21st century audience in mind, perhaps not. Every graphic detail in this book lends itself well to the author’s seemingly cynical views of the modern world, but what is a cynic if not an idealist scarred by prolonged disappointment? I’m beginning to think this book is biographical.

That’s not to say this book is all gloom, doom and objectionable interior design. If anything, it’s the most humorous entry in the series since Mr. Hyde strolled down the burning streets of London with a twirl of his cane and a song in his heart. As I’ve said before, the plot is fairly simple, which gives the primary players more room to breathe and interact, making for a nice build up. A majority of the book is spent on members of the League idling around in an apartment making tea for each other, practically wailing over how much the world is changing around them. The pace never slows, though, and every page has at least one highly humorous visual gag or spot of real honest humanism, like Orlando retrieving her sword, or a robbery in the background, that will both keep you entertained and help slightly to alleviate the darker tone.

One of the most thought-provoking features of the story as a whole is seeing how these characters that actually stand for something deal with a world that no longer has time or space for their ethical values. In a way, it is the most autobiographical volume of the series to date, depicting Moore’s own disillusionment with the modern world in a manner that is humorous, and a little tragic. Some may argue that it’s not that simple, calling it a story about stories and the way fiction and characters evolve and reflect our society. Anyway, it’s a revival and celebration of reflexive media, and in my book that makes it art.

In the end, Moore and O’Neil show that they can face the cynicism of their contemporaries with a wink and a nudge into the realm of absurdity, with a finale that literally storms out the deus ex machina. It’s an appropriate conclusion to a book that has never shied from real applications of magic or spirituality, resulting in a book that feels enchanting and is particularly heartfelt. But that’s just one fan’s humble opinion. What did you think?


Advance Review: In stores July 25th!

THE UNDERWATER WELDER OGN

Writer/Artist: Jeff Lemire
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Reviewer: The Dean


Jeff Lemire takes fatherhood pretty seriously. I remember reading Bill Cosby’s “Fatherhood” when I was like eighteen for some odd reason, and being really excited about one day being a dad - nothing but endless anecdotes of my crazy children to entertain my friends, family, or maybe even a capacity crowd or two! But those were my more selfish days, I suppose, and I now have a more responsible and aptly terrified view of parenthood which Lemire’s work suits much better, though it still ends with the more somber reassurance that fatherhood can and will be the most rewarding endeavor of any man’s life. THE UNDERWATER WELDER continues this artistic examination of being a dad and concurrently explores themes of pressure, obsession, and isolation, all while maintaining an unparalleled level of excellency that easily makes this one of, if not the best, works to come out this year.

With THE UNDERWATER WELDER, Lemire tells the story of Jack Joseph, who took up the titular profession through some inescapable draw of supposed destiny. Joseph’s father was an underwater welder, and after disappearing one fall night, he leaves his son Jeff with nothing but questions and a romanticized idea of up the job that makes little use of his college education. With a newborn on the way, the mystery and lingering frustration of his dad’s disappearance proves to be more pressure than Jack can handle, and he decides to seek answers at the site of an eerie underwater encounter he had days before. There’s plenty more plot to delve into, but to go any further would rob you of a one-of-a-kind experience that’s best absorbed deliberately, and with as clean a palate as possible going in. The introduction from Damon Lindelof sets the mood perfectly and gives you all you really need to know before losing yourself in this one, stating “you are about to read the most spectacular episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’ that was never produced.”

The story comes together very methodically in a such a way that you just know you’ll have to reread it to catch what you missed the first go ‘round, but to be perfectly honest, a reread is pretty unnecessary when a story sticks with you as much as this one does. It’s often said of great music that it’s as much about the notes you don’t play as those you do, and I think the same can be said of great writing. Wordy is not a word I’d use to describe your average Jeff Lemire script, and it’s those moments of silence that bring the haunting “Twilight Zone” quality to THE UNDERWATER WELDER, and make the sparsely used words all the more effective and memorable. Even more impressive, perhaps, is the amount of depth his characters exhibit in such few words – even the unborn baby seems to have a character arc via its father, and Jack’s story is so fully realized that it’s difficult to consider any character “minor.”

But where a good book would fill these quiet moments with narration, we comic book fans can consider ourselves lucky that instead, we get the work of artists like Jeff Lemire. With LOST DOGS, his work was raw, powerful, and entirely unique – the occasional red in its otherwise black and white color scheme was just enough to announce the arrival of a new artist on the scene, but the simple blacks and whites of ESSEX COUNTY seemed a more personal and engrossing approach for the stories within. With THE UNDERWATER WELDER, Lemire provides a few water colored gray accents in his pages, and the characters seem crisper and more detailed than they’ve been in his past work. It’s unfortunately rare to see an artist markedly improve themselves after a certain level of success in this medium, but Lemire has gotten better with each comic book or graphic novel he puts out, and his capabilities as a graphic story teller are exercised here as well. There’s a bit of a French influence, with a number of 8-12 panel pages that either make up a traditional narrative sequence, or break up an otherwise full page splash, but Lemire experiments with a few two-page splashes as well, which have a powerful effect on the story, and generate pause and reflection at a few key points– memories seem to flow from (or into) the characters through screen-capped panels in certain displays, capturing significant events in Jack’s life, almost as if we’re witnessing his life flash before his eyes.

THE UNDERWATER WELDER is very much classic Lemire, but when innovation and enhancement is becoming such a staple of his work, it’s hard to imagine he’ll ever seem antiquated. This one is an obvious labor of love that emits a masterful level of skill both learned and inherent from every panel. There are a number of elements in here that make his latest an essential read for comic fans, but above all else it might be that there’s just no one else like Lemire right now in modern comics, and it’s refreshing to see a writer/artist so comfortable in his own voice so early on. This is a pretty clear frontrunner for me for ‘Best of 2012’ so far, but while it may still be too early to call that race, THE UNDERWATER WELDER is at least the best in what was already an impressive line of work from Jeff Lemire.


ACTION COMICS #11

Writer: Grant Morrison
Art: Rags Morales and Brad Walker
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Masked Man


It’s been a while since I checked out ACTION COMICS; I originally dropped out after issue 4. The writing was too messy and cramped. Time has passed, and being a fan of both Grant and Rags, I thought I’d check in. Well, it’s still pretty darn messy. Grant is still pushing out ideas faster than a momma rabbit pushes out baby rabbits. While the writing has improved, it’s still missing a whole lot of pacing and context.

Stan Lee has a famous line about every comic being someone’s first. So it wouldn’t kill you to put some context in each issue so everyone knows what’s going on. Case in point--was the first scene of this comic a flashback? Superman was wearing his t-shirt and jeans look, something I thought he hadn’t done in five years. But there’s no mention of this being a flashback or any reason given why he’s not wearing his blue ‘union suit’. So I don’t really understand the context of the scene to the story. Then we have a team-up with Batman, some kind of star-child, a look into Johnny Clark’s new life (yeah--did you know Clark Kent is dead and Superman is now Johnny Clark, fireman?), Superman wondering if he made a mistake letting Kent die, a pair of disturbed hamsters, the alien museum, the multitude, the holy crap moment of Lois Lane, Metalek, the end of life as we know it (not sure if it’s related to any of the things I’ve mentioned), and the spaceman (who I assume is the New 52’s Captain Comet). All jammed into 20 pages--whew!

To be fair, Grant does a reasonably good job keeping this all together. But he doesn’t have to. I assume his contract with DC isn’t up in four months, so I don’t get the need to ramrod every crazy awesome idea he has in each issue. Grant, buddy, slow down, get some more context into your scenes, and have them link together as opposed to chop, chop, chop, chop. Is it really important to have the reader try and figure out where a scene is taking place while reading the first page of the scene? What’s so wrong with a text box stating where we are, and perhaps relating it to the previous scene? I’d love to see the editor of a book do something more than just fire a creator because of something they wrote in their blog. But as Dick Cheney said, you fight with the army you have, not the one you want.

Ultimately, ACTION COMICS is just too jumbled, with not enough time given to characters and events to have them really resonate with readers. Oh, there’s a back-up story too, but I can’t really say much more about it, except that it’s there. So ACTION COMICS scores a 1 out of 4.


THE BOYS #68

Writer: Garth Ennis
Art: Russ Braun
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Reviewer: Henry Higgins is My Homeboy


Family Falling Out

I talk about THE BOYS a lot. It may have been a while since I’ve gone off about it online, but my friends and family will not shut up about me needing to shut up about THE BOYS. It’s one of the most well done, inventive, sardonic, simply brilliant comics I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. Even its down points are grand compared to most of the industry, which I think is better today than it has almost ever been. As the series comes to a close in two months, I thought it prudent to talk about the latest issue, which HOLY FUCKING MOSES.

Writing: (5/5) Ennis produces one of his strongest scripts to date here, with each character getting a chance to shine appropriately. The cast, which has expanded more and more over the series, has had its focus moved back down to just the main cast. As the team discusses what to do with Butcher, they all remain painfully true to themselves, and it becomes apparent very quickly what end is coming. That doesn’t detract from it all, especially where M. M. and Butcher are concerned. As the two friends now turned against one another converse, there’s a lightness to it, a familiarity. But once the brawl breaks out, the relationship hasn’t changed. M.M. is livid with Butcher, in the way only a best friend could be. It’s wonderful, playing into Ennis’s strengths as a writer, while also simultaneously giving closure to a certain theatre of the story. I won’t go on much longer (because if I don’t keep it fairly short, this will go on forever), but Ennis has never been better.

Art: (5/5) It’s hard to image a series known for its spectacle and grandeur showing off the best art yet in a relatively conversation-based issue, but Russ Braun and Tony Aviña make every single thing in this issue stand out. Every face conveys so much raw emotion so beautifully, from the opening page framed around a mental Frenchie, to the heartbroken Butcher at the close. The conversation between The Boys on Butcher’s recent activity jumps out, and honestly feels like the reader is watching a film, full of wonderful actors.

Which isn’t to say the action beats aren’t also wonderful. There’s a wonderful two page sequence about what becomes of a number of the supes, and it’s equally horrifying and satisfying. Then there’s the end. The end…I’m not going to reveal anything. I spoil enough stuff, so I’d rather not divulge anything about this one. Suffice to say, it’s powerful, heartbreaking, and totally expected. Braun brings weight to each panel, and Aviña just reinforces it with a palette of vivid colouring whenever necessary. Simply marvelous.

Best Moment: The ending. I read that on a plane, and I’m not ashamed to say I may have made the “No Fly” list with my visceral reaction to it.

Worst Moment: ...I got nothing.

Overall: (5/5) Fantastic. Bloody fucking fantastic. I love this series more than PREACHER. And that’s…that’s saying something.


AVENGERS VS X-MEN #7

Writers: Everybody
Script: Matt Fraction
Art: Olivier Coipel
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: Masked Man


Marvel’s lead in to Marvel Now! continues as the Phoenix Five are out to shut down the Avengers. I’ll start the review with some more praise for Olivier Coipel. Coipel has such an elegance to his work, he has really elevated this crossover event to something special (despite the qualms we might have over the logic of the story). Though I’m curious, how old is Hope? Coipel is drawing her like she’s 13-15, but John Romita Jr. and Frank Cho drew her like she’s 18-21. Not being a long time X-Men reader, I don’t know which is more accurate.

Ok, let’s get into the story. The Phoenix powered Cyclops, Emma Frost, Namor, Colossus, and Magik (who are all basically omnipotent) have met their match in the Scarlet Witch. This is where I have to break and say “Really? The Scarlet Witch?” Am I the only one tired of her being the most powerful being in all creation? I mean, Thor and Dr. Strange are worthless against the Phoenix Five, but Scarlet Witch can just stand there and she hurts them. Seems to me Thanos needed the Infinity Gauntlet to do the things she does. Well, moving along, the story is fairly entertaining. As the Phoenix Five have trouble with the Scarlet Witch, they start to disagree and fracture. Nothing like failure to test a team’s cohesion. This sets up two big confrontations in the next issue--one with the Avengers and one with Cyclops!

I like the K’un Lun angle to this, how an ancient kung-fu legend ties into the whole Phoenix saga, though when you consider the actually history of the Marvel Universe, you wonder where they were when Jean Grey was the Phoenix. It’s pretty clear that Hope is going to live up to her name.

Lastly, Hawkeye just can’t catch a break in these big events, can he? Sure sucks to be him, though I’d really like to get a description of the arrow he shot at Emma Frost. If Thor’s hammer does nothing, but one arrow from Hawkeye can bring the pain, I feel an explanation is in order.

Overall the series is getting better, but it’s still too flawed to be anything but fair, scoring a 2 out of 4.


Advance Review: In stores this week!

FAIREST #5

Writer: Bill Willingham
Artist: Phil Jiminez
Publisher: DC Vertigo
Reviewer: Optimous Douche


“Mirror, mirror, on the wall--who’s the FAIREST of them all?” Well, it ain’t Snow freaking White, that’s for sure. Actually, you won’t see hide nor noir hair of Miss White within this first tale focused on the lovely ladies of the FABLES universe.

Some will call this latest spillover from the FABLES universe a money-grab, and I don’t fault them for their misunderstanding. Comics collectors are like abused children; for years we have been forced into spin-off titles that have slightly impactful but very loosely tangential ties to the main stories we love. Some are good stories in and of themselves, but more often than not we buy them merely so we’re not lost when the next main issue comes out. Yet still we continue to buy. Let me say now, FAIREST is our Mr. Drummond. No more bitches slap in Harlem my little Arnolds. FAIREST doesn’t force you into anything, because it merely offers another look at the FABLES universe. If you read FABLES and not FAIREST I think you’re a moron, but you won’t ever be lost inside FABLES if FAIREST doesn’t hit your pull box.

Now, if you enjoy Willingham’s take on Grimm fairytale characters forced to live in our mundane (or mundy as they call it) world, there’s nothing about FAIREST you won’t like. Again, it’s not necessary, but at the end of the day are any comics truly “necessary”?

When this series was announced with the other new Vertigo offerings, SAUCER COUNTRY and NEW DEADWARDIANS, I was hooked on concept alone: put the women of FABLES like Snow White and Beauty in their own story arcs about untold times during the run of FABLES or any time before. It’s a concept that worked swimmingly over the past two years with Fabletown’s own spy extraordinaire, Cinderella, and as a fan of that series I was absolutely ready to take an inch wide mile deep view of other FABLES characters. The fact that it’s the women folk is an added bonus for us red-blooded American males.

For arc one, which will draw to a close next issue, Sleeping Beauty is the FABLES femme du jour. Now, while it helps to have some context on what happened to Sleepy before issue one, Willingham and crew do enough exposition to get you caught up. FABLES fans will remember that Sleeping Beauty was the Fat Man and Little Boy that helped to end the Great War against the Emperor (or Gepetto, as we all know him). By pricking her finger she was able to put herself, the Emperor’s general the Snow Queen, and all of the Goblin hordes into an eternal state of slumber. Well, eternal for as long as her ruby red lips remained unkissed by a handsome prince.

So a kiss awakens Beauty, but sadly her Prince is Ali Baba, The Prince of Thieves. While the banter between Beauty and Baba is more priceless than all of the episodes of “Moonlighting” and “Cheers” combined, what really won me over is Baba’s reluctant sidekick the Bottle Imp. The Imp isn’t the reluctant one, in case you were wondering; Baba got saddled with him thinking he was stealing the bottle of an actual genie. Instead he got a leftover spy from the Great War who was sent to monitor and report back the strange Mundie world. So the only true value to Baba is that the Imp “knows stuff.” To us readers, though, the Bottle Imp serves as a wise-cracking cacophony of pop culture references that bridges FABLES speak with our own world – and he’s fucking hilarious to boot.

I’m not going to tell you how this tale plays out, except that nothing you would expect to happen actually happens. Also, the reading of a Willingham book is the real true joy. He’s a writer that goes beyond cool concepts and simply makes every moment worth reading. Plus Jiminez’s art is simply gorgeous: from grand battles to quieter character moments, the man shows why he has had such a long and illustrious career. Not every artist works on a FABLES books as we learned with the slew of Buckingham replacements after the Great War ended.

If you ever wanted to try FABLES, but found it daunting to jump into a book after the 100+ issue mark, then give FAIREST a whirl. While FAIREST is five issues in, you shouldn’t have a problem getting back issues and I guarantee (which I rarely do with my opinions) that every reader will find something to enjoy within its fairest pages.


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

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Readers Talkback
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  • July 11, 2012, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Action Comics is shit

    by eric haislar

    What a disappointment all the superman books have been. No one knows what to do with the character.

  • July 11, 2012, 2:17 p.m. CST

    OMG... Am I first?

    by Homer Sexual

    In any case, I thought issue 3 of Dial H wasn't up to the first two, but the Manteau concept was very interesting and I also want to see where this is going. BUT this issue didnt bode well for an ongoing, really seemed like this is a story suited to a mini/maxi series at this point. Scarlet Witch? YAY! Have always loved her, though only a few writers such as David Mazzuchelli really knew what to do with her. She swings between omnipotent and weak, strong and weak, stable and crazy, a lot so I can see where some people have an issue with her... but anyting that gives Wanda her props gets a thumbs up from me!!! Not that I will buy AvsX, the whole story line is way to moronic, even by comic book standards, for me to deal with.

  • July 11, 2012, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Superman is really hard to write...

    by Homer Sexual

    Morrison did ASS, then an amazing first two issues of Action, then two issues that made me drop it after issue 4. If even Morrison can't write an ongoing Superman that doesn't suck, who can? Weird, since Batman doesn't have this issue, and Wonder Woman is currently going strong.

  • July 11, 2012, 2:26 p.m. CST

    AvX

    by NightArrows

    Sigh. I'm fucking tired of Thor being ineffective against any of these rejects and yet...The Scarlett Witch has become beyond an Omega-level threat? And it's just because????... I remember laughing at how fucking useless she was back in the West Coast Avengers days. Thor could stand toe-to-toe against Thanos, and yet he can't do shit in any of this series outside of, oh, I don't know, attacking and surviving the actual fucking PHOENIX as it made it's way to Earth?? And yet now we get Scott, the biggest cunt in the Marvel Universe, going on and on about Thor threatening him with weather? How about the rest of the powers Thor possesses? How about the shitty writing delves into those? I would a large sum of money to see Thor kill Scott Summers. I would pay a lot of money to see ANYONE kill Scott Summers. I fucking despise his character and his fans can suck my taint at this point too. Does NO ONE in the Marvel offices pay any heed to any power levels of the goddamn characters? Or is it just too convenient for their lazy staff to just write things as they need them no matter if it makes sense or adheres to what came before? SPOILER FOR WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN: Thor gets trounced by Rachel GREY. What. The. Fuck. END SPOILER This series, if anything, has pointed out just how lazy Marvel has become. This series is lazy, their writing is lazy (and shitty) and I'm nearly done with this company at this point. Daredevil and Wolverine and the X-Men are the only things keeping me around. Oh and I can't WAIT to read the Marvel NOW horseshit... Oh, and Magik? I think she is the she-quivalent of Scott Summers, throw her on a stake and set her ablaze when this is all done, the uppity little bitch...

  • July 11, 2012, 2:35 p.m. CST

    hawkeye most useless character ever

    by purplemonkeydw

    ...and green arrow...that is all...maybe black widow...

  • July 11, 2012, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Wonder Woman still going strong?

    by kungfuhustler84

    I dropped it after four issues or so because I was just bored by the slow pacing, and Diana felt more like a cipher than an actual character. What makes it such a strong read?

  • July 11, 2012, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Lates issue of AVX was disappointing at best

    by kungfuhustler84

    I really enjoyed the one prior, but besides that AMAZING panel of Black Panther bitch-slapping Tony Stark, this last one was just a complete waste of ink and paper. Totally killed any momentum or interest I had in the series.

  • July 11, 2012, 2:46 p.m. CST

    This is the first time I've Liked Wonder Woman

    by optimous_douche

    I love the mythology Azz is playing with. I like the fact we're learning about all of this the same time Diana is. I'm actually interested in her path of discovery and ability to be confused and strong at the same time. Plus Hades is simply creepy ass cool with his little candle head.

  • July 11, 2012, 2:48 p.m. CST

    superman and action comics

    by Handiana Jolo

    You know, if DC was going to go through this whole reboot affair, at the very least you would've thought it was to have a timeline that wasn't so damn convoluted. But, within a year, they've managed to gum up their new universe too. Action and its insane inability to keep any continuity is ridiculous - only 11 issues in and they don't even know which uniform he wears? And I thought since Action was caught up to Superman now that this whole "Johnny Clark" thing doesn't make sense 'cause isn't Clark Kent still his alter ego in Superman? It's quite frustrating when they can't keep it straight themselves - how the fuck are we supposed to?

  • July 11, 2012, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Biggest DC Reboot Problem IMHO

    by optimous_douche

    The 5 year before thing was completely unnecessary and never fully brought to fruition. It was a bad bad call The second biggest problem, carrying over continuity in some books but not others. The only ones who appreciated it were long time fanboy who were exactly the last people the reboot was supposed to entice.

  • July 11, 2012, 2:56 p.m. CST

    WonderWoman

    by TheDean

    Agree with OD, I'm loving this so far. I'm really enjoying that Azzarello is showing these gods as loved and respected out of fear more than anything else, and Chiang is matching that perfectly in his art. Only WW I really got into before this one was Simone's, so I hope run this has the legs that hers did, because I've enjoyed every issue of this run so far just as much

  • July 11, 2012, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Damn The Boys has stepped up

    by v1cious

    This comic has gotten so unbelievably good in the past few arcs. This may be Ennis' best work in decades. Jennifer Blood is showing strong potential.

  • July 11, 2012, 3:24 p.m. CST

    The overexposed Emma Frost

    by DonnyUnitas

    seriously, can we just let her get some time on the bench for awhile?

  • July 11, 2012, 3:34 p.m. CST

    I have a feeling Emma won't survive AVX

    by kungfuhustler84

    Did you notice she's not in any of the publicity for Marvel NOW? ...Yeah, good one Marvel.

  • July 11, 2012, 3:36 p.m. CST

    What are who is Marvel NOW?

    by Volllllume3

    Sounds retarded.

  • July 11, 2012, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Avenging Spider-Man #9.

    by 3774

    Just jam-packed full of neato. The cover is super-cool. The dialogue is fantastic. The art is awesome. It's just bursting with ultra-neato! I've never picked it up before, but looking forward to the next issue. And the opening credit thing on the first page was great....

  • July 11, 2012, 3:36 p.m. CST

    *or who. Damn edit button.

    by Volllllume3

  • July 11, 2012, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Marvel NOW! is their version of the new 52

    by kungfuhustler84

  • July 11, 2012, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Wonder Woman

    by Joenathan

    Yeah, it is a great read. That "slow pacing" you mentioned? That's Azzerelo making her into a real character for the first time ever.

  • July 11, 2012, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Optimus

    by Joenathan

    You're totally right about the new 52. It seems so incoherant and unplanned and uneven. I am shocked that they would do such a huge move but seemingly make so little effort toward keeping their universe together. Let's take Wonder Woman for example. The book is supposed to be 5 years previous, right? She's living out in the world, she's not confused and scared by ice cream... and yet, JLA, she's like a way-overdeveloped five year old loose in the big city. "What is this? What is this?" It's like they've never had an editorial meeting or something. Are these books made in the same buildings?

  • July 11, 2012, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Marvel NOW

    by Joenathan

    It's not a reboot, it's just the new status quo, like Dark Reign. There's some new teams and new books and a lot of long time creators are moving around. Bendis is doing an X-man book. Hickman is taking the Avengers. The story continues, it's not a reboot.

  • July 11, 2012, 3:51 p.m. CST

    The Boys is HANDS DOWN the BEST comic book out right now!

    by R Howell

    Wow; what an incredible story! The last two pages of The Boys had me staring in silience at the wall for a good five minutes. It was brutal, and I don't think I truly ever realized how much I felt for these characters until this issue. The stuff with M.M and the Female were the highlights, and I'm actually scared for where the last few issues are heading, especailly with the grand master Garth Ennis writing them!

  • July 11, 2012, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Avenging 9

    by NightArrows

    Looking forward to it, because 8 was TERRIBLE (the Ends of the Earth epilogue)...

  • July 11, 2012, 3:53 p.m. CST

    New52 Problems

    by TheDean

    Best example I've heard of the problems with New 52 editorial was from George Perez - he said with SUPERMAN that he was rarely, if ever, aware of what Morrison was doing in ACTION, and that by the time his story got through editorial, it was radically different from the one he submitted. I'm sure this might be seen as a cop out for a bad run, which it may be, but it would explain how his issues didn't seem like bad George Perez work, they felt like soulless filler from some preoccupied editorial roundtable Ill try to find the link to this when I get home, but that explained a lot for me. I definitely don't think it's all bad, but overall, seems like a lot of rushed and poor planning

  • July 11, 2012, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Danger Club

    by Joenathan

    Anyone still reading this? I'm really enjoying this book a lot? The art is... not bad/not great, but it's a really well done story.

  • July 11, 2012, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Hope is 17

    by freddofett

  • http://tinyurl.com/cjhm3tr I felt sympathetic for him after having that brought to light. That's no way to foster an independently-creative environment.

  • July 11, 2012, 4:36 p.m. CST

    +1 on the Danger Club.

    by 3774

  • July 11, 2012, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Reboot, not a reboot, whatever

    by kungfuhustler84

    Same shit, different coat of paint. Either you buy it or you don't. All I meant is Marvel NOW! (sounds like a little kid having a tantrum) is the company's assertion of a new status quo, creating a clear jumping-on point for new or interested readers. So maybe it's not exactly like DC's new 52, but the intentions are one and the same.

  • July 11, 2012, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Marvel NOW! (sounds like a little kid having a tantrum)

    by sonnyhooper

    well, yeah, that's kinda the point isn't it? <p> but i actually laughed out loud at that comment. actually reminds me of that old Billy Crystal bit when he was talking about being a teenager and his hormones always seemed to be screaming at him "NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! FORGET THE GIRL I WANT THE DOG! NOW!!!" <P> and, as always, the reference i just made will be lost on anyone younger that the age of 35. <p> i can hear it all-ready...dozens of voices crying out, all at once; "who the fuck is Billy Crystal?"

  • July 11, 2012, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Thank ye kindly, Pink

    by TheDean

    Hadn't seen the video before. It makes the SUPERMAN and New 52 stuff all the more difficult to swallow when you hear how fondly he recalls working with Wolfman and their creative process on TEEN TITANS

  • July 11, 2012, 5:48 p.m. CST

    Dynamite lives off of old Marvel fantasy titles

    by thelordofhell

    Red Sonja, Savage Tales, John Carter Warlord Of Mars.....

  • July 11, 2012, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Sorry, Billy....

    by 3774

    I've seen worse.

  • July 11, 2012, 5:58 p.m. CST

    Sorry Billy....

    by 3774

    ...but she faked it. And no, you couldn't tell. I also loved it when he raises and drops dead Westley's arm. - I've seen worse. - Crystal-perfect timing.

  • July 11, 2012, 6:02 p.m. CST

    I can just hear that shrill voice now...

    by kungfuhustler84

    Come on don't talk back huh? Mime is money. Move it!

  • July 11, 2012, 6:12 p.m. CST

    Crap, I forgot he was in that, wasn't he?

    by 3774

    - The review for Shark Sandwich was merely a two word review which simply read - Shit Sandwich -. Do you have a response to that? Such a great movie.

  • July 11, 2012, 6:17 p.m. CST

    Me so stupid...

    by Homer Sexual

    Spider Woman (Jessica Drew) and Luke Cage are perhaps my two favorite comic characters of all time, so though I haven't bought any Avengers titles except Academy in ages, an issue focusing on those two (and the increasingly lame Hawkeye) was too good to resist. And now that I have read it... shame on me for being a sucker cause that was horrible. All the AvsX stuff was horrible. Emma Frost wants to execute Avengers? Just the worst. and here comes Marvel NOW.... or not. I was thinking New 52 would put me off DC, and it didn't so maybe Marvel NOW won't either. And it can hardly be worse than the AvsX stuff, cause it is really the worst. I thought Civil War had heroes behaving out of character. Little did I know.

  • July 11, 2012, 6:22 p.m. CST

    cant find a copy of Billy Crystal :Don't get me Started anywhere..

    by sonnyhooper

    ....it would be worth it to see again just for the Brother Theodore cameo alone. having Billy as Sammy Davis jr getting into a fist fight with Brother Theodore while the two of them try to do Abbott and Costellos classic "whos on first" bit was comedy gold. <p> an now i hear more voices: "who the fuck are abbott and costello? whats a Brother Theodore? " <p> *sigh* this getting old shit is really getting old.

  • July 11, 2012, 6:26 p.m. CST

    The King's stinking son fired me....

    by sonnyhooper

    .....and thank you so much for bringing up such a painful subject. While you're at it, why don't you give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it? We're closed. <p> hehehehe. hahahaha.

  • July 11, 2012, 6:33 p.m. CST

    This...is Spinal Tap...

    by sonnyhooper

    ...next time you see it, watch that Mime scene close. you can see that Billy is talking to a then unknown and non speaking (and impossibly young) Dana Carvey. <p> and yes, yes i have seen Spinal Tap a few too many times. what of it?

  • Kill that thing already.

  • July 11, 2012, 7:14 p.m. CST

    oh man, you think the new superman costume sucks...

    by sonnyhooper

    ....wait until you see Cyclops' new MARVEL NOW! angry red dildo look. it's angry, and red, and um.......yeah....... um... he looks just like a dildo.....well....um... he looks MORE like a dildo than he did before anyway.

  • July 11, 2012, 7:22 p.m. CST

    sonny

    by KCViking

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paEVnvHXG4Q Hopefully this will ease your suffering a little.

  • July 11, 2012, 7:36 p.m. CST

    by KCViking

    pink- picked up issue 1 of Alabaster: Wolves today. Enjoyed it a lot- even though I have no idea who the main character is.Hopefully they'll explain in 2 & 3 when I pick them up next week. Thanks for the heads up.

  • July 11, 2012, 8:06 p.m. CST

    Cyclops' Current Costume

    by optimous_douche

    Mrs. Douche looked at the last cover of UNCANNY and asked when I started reading Robocop.

  • July 11, 2012, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Yeah...

    by 3774

    ...I guess it's a character from a novel that came out a while ago called 'Alabaster'. The background may be a little open and sketchy, but I really like it so far. LOVE the characterization and dialogue. The comic shop didn't have your recommendation in (I think it got sold). I might be unfaithful and check another one this weekend.

  • July 11, 2012, 8:12 p.m. CST

    nice...

    by sonnyhooper

    rinse out your dance belt and go back to Cape Cod. that's what i say.

  • July 11, 2012, 8:35 p.m. CST

    How 'bout an AICN comics ratings system?

    by BrannigansLaw

    It would be could to get an "at a glance" idea of what the reviewer thinks of the story & art. How about it? What do you think?

  • July 11, 2012, 8:55 p.m. CST

    @freddofett

    by Tom

    Thanks! And now I'll say Coipel is drawing her too young and Romita is drawing her too old- oh well.

  • July 11, 2012, 8:57 p.m. CST

    New 52, oh yeah!....

    by Tom

    Funny, I never really thought about it, but I agree. The history of the DCU is now worst than it's ever been. And individual comics really don't gel with each other (as Perez commented). But if we've seen anything from DC in the past, they will refuse to admit things got messed up, and they will keep plugging away like nothing's wrong.

  • July 11, 2012, 9:06 p.m. CST

    Writing Superman ...

    by Tom

    Where yes I'd agree writing Superman is hard- you have an invincible hero and the same tired old supporting cast. But I believe if writers don’t work so hard, they will find it’s easier than you might think. For a point of comparison I re-read John Bryne's Superman #11. It was so fun and breezy, that while I get people being upset with how he changed Superman- the book was really good. And while the main story was a bit too much like villain of the week (hell it simply was!), the on going subplot between Lois and Clark as was awesome! My guess is most writers try to make Superman work- they try to make him interesting and relevant. But aside from the cosmetic changes, John Bryne just let Superman be Superman; as did Richard Donner and Grant Morrison in All-Star Superman. And those are the best Superman story’s I’ve seen.

  • July 11, 2012, 9:22 p.m. CST

    I still can’t get behind Wonder Woman …

    by Tom

    While I’m sure Azz is writing a fine story, it still comes off as Xena to me, not Wonder Woman. It’s all about a tough ‘Greek’ chick who kicks @$$ and takes names. And for all the controversial stuff, it’s all pretty pointless. No one outside of comics, would care about Wonder Woman being Zeus’ kid (Xena was pretty much Ares’ kid), or the amazons using men for kids (heck that was always one of the main myth’s of amazons). Before Superman stole it, Wonder Woman was the superhero for truth, justice and the American way. Back in the 1940’s, Superman fought nazi’s on the covers, but almost end in the books. Not so with Wonder Woman, she kicked plenty of Nazi butt in the stories themselves. Personally, I’d love to see Wonder Woman return to her old compassionate-self and hunt down Muslim terrorists! Now that would be controversial and make people outside of comic get involved.

  • July 11, 2012, 9:34 p.m. CST

    @maskedman

    by TheDean

    Yeah, I don't think writing Superman is as hard as it seems, or at least it shouldn't be. I think ACTION COMICS has been really close to a great run if it could have shed some of the dead weight: the two issue break, Lois's niece, etc. Instead we got this unfocused mess that has a cool Superman story somewhere, buried under a bunch of crap. It's like ruining a great steak by over seasoning it or something (my wife is catching up on master chef in the background) You mention Byrne, and I completely agree - once you get past the origin story (which I happened to really like), this was a definite, and easily identifiable Superman story every month,and same goes for ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN at the time from Wolfman. You got a new adventure each week, for the most part, and there was an underlying thread that kept them all loosely tied together, be it office relations, romantic relationships, larger villains looming in the background, etc. So it's easy for new readers to jump on, but long time readers are rewarded at the same time. Not that hard Sure some were duds, but overall it was a fun reading experience. I think they got it right when they depowered him a bit with the relaunch, but immediately you had him taking down Braniac with relative ease - save that for later, make us wait for it. The whole thing just felt like they rushed to relaunch it, and then rushed to get back to some sort of normalcy, or complacency. Ugh, this can probably go on a lot so I think I'll cut myself off right here.

  • July 11, 2012, 9:56 p.m. CST

    Superman really isn't that hard to write ...

    by sonnyhooper

    ....the problem with writing Superman is that deep down in places nobody want to talk about at parties, is the fact that the audience no longer buys the idea that someone......that ANYONE ...could be that good of a guy. <p> as a society we don't even value the very things that Superman stands for anymore, so it really isn't shocking that no one wants to read about the guy anymore. go up to any random person on the street and ask them if they believe in truth, justice and the american way and count how man people laugh in your face. i'm willing to bet that at least 90% of the people you ask giggle themselves stupid when you ask that question. <p> and i guess you can chalk that up to the character being from a by gone era, or being un-relate-able, or being too powerful, or boring, or hard to write, or whatever other excuse you wanna make, but the fact of the matter is no one cares anymore because it's a 50 shades of gray kind of world we live in now. everyone is in touch with their inner dark side and therefor they refuse to believe in a hero who has no dark inner demons to hide. <p> no one can relate to Superman, because no one wants to BE Superman. no one wants to be the stand up guy from the mid west anymore, everyone wants to be the dark, complicated loner who plays by his own rules, because thats cool, thats hip, thats sexy, paying your taxes and being a valued member of society are tragically un-cool and un-hip. it's the whole Luke Skywalker vs Han Solo thing. who wants to be the farm boy from the middle of nowhere when you can be the smuggler pirate with the cool giant dog? <p> and believe me i'm not saying any of this as some sort of judgment on anyone or society in general. this isn't some shame on us kind of rant. it's just a sad statement of fact.

  • July 11, 2012, 10:05 p.m. CST

    Fuck Terrorism- You want controversial...

    by kungfuhustler84

    Have the Wonderful One tackle contraception. Ok maybe that's not so good since she's a character for kids too. How about equal pay for women? She could move to the Middle East and use her powers to save people from misogynists, car bombs, drone strikes and corrupt mercenaries. Or maybe Wonder Woman could just storm Congress and start using the truth lasso on all the crooks in the crowd from CSPAN. I'd like to see more of Wonder Woman's human side and less of the demigod monster slayer. And anyway, not all terrorists are Muslims! Ever heard of Anders Behring Breivik?

  • July 11, 2012, 10:10 p.m. CST

    Kung fu/Marvel Now

    by Joenathan

    The intentions aren't the same. DC jettisoned the majority of their past. Marvel is just continuing an ongoing story. There's world's of difference. I mean, if you want to stomp your feet and hold your breathe because Marvel is one of the big Two, go right ahead, just be a man about it and admit it, instead of making up stuff to be mad about.

  • July 11, 2012, 10:19 p.m. CST

    That's a rather cynical view sonny

    by kungfuhustler84

    ...and maybe you're right. Maybe society doesn't buy into Superman anymore because they can't find that much goodness within themselves. That's what makes the character so otherworldly, is that capacity for good and the potential to surpass all expectations. But there's a human side to the character too, like his ties to Smallville. You said he has no demons but I don't think that's true. For such an optimistic character, anything and everything has the potential to ruin that squeaky clean reputation of his or put him in a dark place, and maybe all it takes is a little push in one direction or the other to get him there. Like in that Joe Kelly story from awhile back, "What's So Funny About Truth Justice and the American Way?" People love Superman and he still exists because we see his greatness in ourselves, if only just a little.

  • July 11, 2012, 11:43 p.m. CST

    The Boys.....

    by Michael Bay

    The run over last year or so has finally come close to showing that Ennis hasn't lost it. I'll freely admit that for a several year stretch of The Boys I pretty much lost interest and almost gave up on it. I still think the series as a whole no matter how it ends comes nowhere close to equating Ennis work on Preacher which had a much more finely tuned arc and greatly benefited from Steve Dillons' clear and direct art. But at least it's building towards a clear and poignant conclusion, something I didn't think was possible a few years ago.

  • July 11, 2012, 11:48 p.m. CST

    @sonnyhooper about Superman

    by Tom

    I totally get what your saying and there is true in that. But Country music is still all about truth, justice and the American way, so I don't believe our culture as a whole is done with that. I think the problem is more that the writers and editors don't believe in truth, justice and the American way. And while they buy into the fact that sure, Han Solo is more popular, if it wasn't for Luke Skywalker the characters of Han Solo wouldn't work. Kind of like, yes Batman is great, but when you put him in a story with Superman, has character becomes greater than just by himself (talking about foil and how Luke and Supes making Han and Bats want to be better people, which makes them more interesting).

  • July 12, 2012, 1:24 a.m. CST

    Negan

    by bruddahfos

    Your time is short and Rick will avenge Glen.

  • July 12, 2012, 1:59 a.m. CST

    Can we please get another Youngblood review?

    by Greg Nielsen

    I just finished the latest issue and as far as so bad it's perfection goes this comic is it! I'm not gonna say there is a good story, I'm not gonna say it's well drawn, and I'm not gonna say I understood a lick of some of the stuff that happened in it. I will say this though. It's so ridiculous that I laughed so hard that I couldn't help but have a good time. Also, surprisingly the art improved. Only slightly. But no woman's body is quite as Mr. Fantastic as the first issue was. The Leifeld influence is there but it's tolerable and it just leads to more hilarity anyway. Cause COMICS!!!

  • It's just so over the top you almost think John Malin the writer is really Frank Miller and then you remember he helped write Black Swan and it all makes perfect sense. This man does not grasp small.

  • July 12, 2012, 4:31 a.m. CST

    League 2009 questions (spoilers)...

    by Kevin Holsinger

    While I enjoyed the book quite a bit, I did feel that there were things hinted at rather than blatantly explained, leaving me with questions. One, why did the Antichrist actually try to be the Antichrist? The wizarding-school massacre was supposedly him flipping out at finding out his life was a lie. But I don't understand why he actually went along with being the Moonchild after that. Two, what precisely was it about the Antichrist that made him worthy of the role in the first place? Most of the book complains about how vulgar and violent our culture is, but the Antichrist turns out to be someone more wholesome than that (until he finds out his life is a lie, that is).

  • Most of that book show Moore is kinda outta touch. I think it was mostly so that they could have a big fight that the formerly wholesome Potter turned into a northern chav nutcase. I liked it too but there was clearly just set up for whatever the next book would be. The whole thing with Nemo's grand kid and clearly at the end of the book there is going to be a new modern day league that may have to fight him. I think the good thing about 2009 is that it finishes Century and in the end it's entertaining but as far as the references go...1910 good references and it feels appropriate. 1969 feels like him being nostalgic for just being young. 2009 shows he's got no idea what the kids are really watching but he's been told and he's pretty sure he doesn't like it. But it was entertaining. Also he made the mistake of saying the Antichrist is only mentioned in Revelation but he's actually mentioned throughout the entire Bible. Usually, Moore would be more on the ball with a reference like that.

  • July 12, 2012, 7:47 a.m. CST

    Good morning, Yorgo (spoilers).

    by Kevin Holsinger

    I definitely noticed the setup for a new book. I'm not sure if Jack Nemo's going to be in it, though, only because the previous Century books had plotlines that weren't really relevant in the long run, but included nevertheless. Macheath (1910) was ultimately just a red herring for Jenny's attack, if memory serves. And I noticed that, in 1969, if you skip every panel with the gangsters, NOTHING in the rest of the book changes. Plot's the same; character interactions are the same. The gangsters are irrelevant to everything. Nemo could be relevant in the future, but given the last two books, I wouldn't be surprised if he isn't. Though, there IS that "Nemo: Heart of Ice" thing coming out next year... And by Mr. Moore's own admission, you're right in that he's out of touch with the times. But he's clearly thought about some of those references. I saw an interview where he accused modern superheroes of being in that oversimplified model of heroism referenced in "CTU promises it'll fix the recession in 24 hours" (not exact words, obviously). And there are bits and pieces critiquing the Potter franchise for specific reasons (assuming he went beyond the first book/movie). I just couldn't get a coherent enough vision to say that Mr. Moore thinks XXX is what's wrong with Harry Potter, and why he's worthy of being the Antichrist. As I said, enjoyable book. But I'd sacrifice half the cameos in the League volumes for stories twice as long.

  • July 12, 2012, 8:09 a.m. CST

    Good Morning Kevin Holsinger

    by Greg Nielsen

    Yeah man I feel you on the less reference more story. The gangster bits in 1969 felt like he never even saw performance or any of those other movies too. I don't know it feels weird. I'm just glad he didn't do anything to Emma Watson in it. That would be a line too far!!! Seriously though I never watched a single Harry Potter movie and now she's showing up in Sofia Coppala's new film and the Noah movie by Aranovsky that will be a hilarious train wreck to Sofia's probably really good drama that people will hate. I've been sucked into Potter mania.

  • July 12, 2012, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Superman stuff

    by TheDean

    He's a great foil to those dark characters, totally true, but they're rarely a great foil for him - usually he comes out the weaker one, with exceptions like ACTION #775 as was already mentioned. We dont get the chance to see how Superman can and does inspire people often enough or the influence is genuine goodness has on Metropolis. One of the things ACTION is doing right, but being smothered by the things it's doing wrong, I guess. Scott Snyder, going back to his DETECTIVE COMICS run, has liked to use Gotham and its villains as a mirror for Batman, revealing things about these characters and the city itself that highlight aspects of Batmans psychology, making him a deeper, more complex character because of it. Superman doesn't get this treatment as much - Azzarello's LUTHOR helped deepen the Superman/villain complexities, but it was isolated and elseworld, so I dont think it helped as much as it should have. I don't see his being overly good a problem either, as I think it's more the way that this good is presented - look at Captain America and then the Avengers, Cap was as good, honest, and noble as you get, but it was presented in a super masculine, badass way. It also helps that when Steve Rogers wasn't it costume, he was still pretty much the same guy. Balancing a goofy Clark Kent with a boy scout just makes him childish and "unrelatable." I happen to love that characterization most of all, growing up with the Reeve/Donner movies, but I get that it's not for everyone, and I'm fine with other interpretations. Superman, arguably, was at his prime in the 40s 50s, and more because of the Fleischer cartoons and George Reeves TV series than anything else (comics were great, but these brought him into homes and pop culture more than ever before). Biggest differences here, I think, were the portrayals of Clark Kent - he was very much your average Eisenhower era man's man with Reeves especially, and compare him to modern interpretations like Tom Welling and Brandon Routh? No contest. They're still good, honest, noble, etc. but they're packaged differently, in a way that makes them almost lame/pathetic in how good they are, like it emphasizes naivete more than it does being good because that's what the responsible thing to be is and that's what a good man does, darn it! See what I mean?

  • July 12, 2012, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Yorgo

    by Joenathan

    "2009 shows he's got no idea what the kids are really watching but he's been told and he's pretty sure he doesn't like it." Hilarious. Love it. Perfectly sums up Moore these days. What a "get off my lawn, you kids" son of a bitch.

  • July 13, 2012, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Got no beef with the Big 2 Joe

    by kungfuhustler84

    New #1s, new costume designs for most of the characters, and a fresh new direction. Hmm... SOUNDS FAMILIAR! I ain't mad though, just calls 'em like I sees 'em, and I wish Marvel AND DC all the best in the future.