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AICN COMICS REVIEWS: LORD OF THE JUNGLE! BATMAN! GHOSTBUSTERS! NANCY IN HELL (ON EARTH)! & More! Plus another AICN COMICS PODCAST!!!

Published at:  Jan 25, 2012 8:52:30 AM CST

Issue #44 Release Date: 1/18/12 Vol.#10
The Pull List
(Click title to go directly to the review)
Advance Review: LORD OF THE JUNGLE #1
BATMAN #5
ARCHEOLOGISTS OF SHADOWS VOL. 1
Advance Review: NANCY IN HELL (ON EARTH) #1
RED SONJA: RAVEN (One-Shot) #1
FABLES #113
Advance Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE #5
KIRBY GENESIS: DRAGONSBANE #1
GHOSTBUSTERS #5
Advance Review: STEED & PEEL #1
Indie Jones presents a trio of indie anthologies!
AICN COMICS PODCAST #14!


Advance Review: In stores today!

LORD OF THE JUNGLE #1

Writer: Arvid Nelson
Artist: Roberto Castro
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Reviewer: Professor Challenger


“Cowards! Scoundrels! How can you strand us here like this? After Lord Greystoke saved your life. How can you leave us here?” -- Alice Clayton (Lady Greystoke)

Yes, dear readers, the “Lord of the Jungle” is Tarzan. If you don't know that then you should not even be allowed to read comic books anymore. Tarzan is also “Lord of the Apes”, “Lord of the Trees,” and “Lord Greystoke” (or more accurately “Viscount”, but I won't go into that here). With the roar of a great bull ape, Tarzan comes to Dynamite with the LORD OF THE JUNGLE comic book. I come into this comic with the baggage of being a longtime reader of the Tarzan novels, comics, and viewer of the various films and TV series. It's a classic and archetypal feral man story with many different iterations and interpretations over the decades. My overall impression of the comic is positive.

As with many of Dynamite's series, the first issue has multiple variant covers; my copy is the Alex Ross cover. It's a dynamic cover design with a crouching Tarzan decked out in loin cloth, arm bands, wristbands, shoulder strap and wielding a knife. Behind him are a bunch of gorillas. The colors are a bit softer than I would expect, but it's still a nice cover. The “Lord of the Jungle” masthead is a strong design that looks carved from the wood of a tree.

I expected the comic to set out on its own path with a quick origin recap, so I was surprised to find the comic appears to be actually adapting the original TARZAN OF THE APES novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs. And, in the pattern of modern comic book storytelling, they are adapting it over the course of several issues as this one comic barely gets through the first 3 or 4 chapters of the novel (and that's by ignoring the set-up with the mutiny on the ship that leads to John and Alice Clayton being abandoned to the coastline of the Belgian Congo).

As adaptations go, it is pretty faithful to the book. The passage of time goes quickly as John builds an elaborate tree house to keep his pregnant wife safe from the dangers on the ground. The primary danger is shown to be a tribe of aggressive and powerful apes. In the novels, they are called Mangani and are described as a previously unknown species of great apes that is somewhere in intelligence higher than gorillas (Bolgani) but lesser than humans.

Most adaptations in film and TV have just ignored this aspect and made the apes into gorillas for purposes of telling the story. I'm not sure, yet, where writer Arvid Nelson is going with his adaptation because the apes in this comic appear to be gorillas and communicate with your basic “ooh ooh” ape-talk rather than the Mangani language that Burroughs described. However, there is an interlude with some Bantu tribesmen entering the jungle who encounter a vicious tribe of man-eating ape-like creatures that are identified with this exclamation: “What are these things?! They're not apes, they're not men—what are they?!”

They look very much like some of Frazetta's ape-monsters. They look like apes but are taller and leaner than the apes seen elsewhere in the comic, and they wear loin cloths, armbands, and use knives. So, I don't know exactly how the whole Mangani versus Bolgani thing is going to eventually go down in this title, but what I read is intriguing.

This issue covers the nearly 2 years in which the Claytons arrive in the jungle, have the baby, and then meet their end so that the baby, John, can be adopted by a female ape who has just had her newborn brutally murdered by the bull ape who leads their tribe. It's a familiar story and retold quite well (although I'm sure Nelson had to find it funny to be writing things like “Aah! Aah! Aah!”, “Rah! Rah!”, and “Ooh! Ooh!” into a script).

The art is reminiscent of Neal Adams' Tarzan covers and drawings without directly copying it. Clearly Adams and Frazetta are an inspiration to artist Roberto Castro in his approach to this comic book. I am going to once again ring that bell I ring every time I review a Dynamite comic book, though. It would benefit from using an inker rather than coloring directly on the pencils. There are moments where it works, but most of the time the line work is lacking and the color is overcompensating. It's a well-drawn comic, but it would be stronger with a good inker and more subdued coloring.

POSTSCRIPT: Most people these days seem a bit more knowledgeable about copyright issues than they were just a mere 10 years ago, so it probably isn't news to anyone why Dynamite is publishing a “Tarzan” comic book without the name “Tarzan” in the title anywhere. In the briefest way possible, it boils down to fact that while the first few “Tarzan” novels have slipped into the public domain, thus allowing Dynamite (or anyone) to adapt and do derivative works based on those, the fact that these stories are public domain has no bearing at all on the “Tarzan” trademark still owned by the estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs. If Dynamite wants to stick “Tarzan” in the title they would have to get permission from, and pay a licensing fee to, the ERB estate. So, they chose a descriptive title that evokes “Tarzan” without violating the ERB trademark.

Being the nerd that I am, I made the mistake of reading the indicia at the beginning of the comic just to confirm for myself that there were no attributions to or permissions from the ERB estate. But what I did find was that “Lord of the Jungle” is listed not as a trademark of Dynamite Entertainment but of “Savage Tales Entertainment, LLC”, so I tried to do a little research to find out just who “Savage Tales Entertainment, LLC” happens to be and what I found was a bit confusing. I couldn't find anyone publicly associated with “Savage Tales,” yet they appear to be out there just basically squatting on any unused publishing trademarks they can find. For example, I found “Savage Tales” claiming trademark ownership of Pete Morisi's “Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt”...since 1966? “Savage Tales” claims they own the trademark to “Charlton Comics”, “The Human Fly”, and other obscure marks like that. I don't know exactly what's happening, but it appears they are acting like web domain squatters but with trademarks. I sent a message to Dynamite's attorney last week just to ask for clarification. He was under no obligation to reply back...and he didn't, so the best I can do is speculate. My best guess, based on Dynamite's pattern of digging out old public domain characters and grabbing trademarks on new versions of them, is that “Savage Tales” is a subsidiary of some sort (or a partner) with Dynamite and they function as the licensing subsidiary of Dynamite. That would offer some legal protection to Dynamite they might not otherwise have. Setting up “Savage Tales” as an LLC gives an even greater degree of personal legal protection.

That's my best guess. I would love to know for sure, but information is hard to dig up online and the couple of people I contacted to ask about it either had no information or were unwilling to share, so there you go. The comic's pretty good, but I have no clue what's going on with the whole “Lord of the Jungle” trademark thing.

“Prof. Challenger” is actually Texas graphic artist and lifelong reader of comics, Keith Howell. He really digs Green Lantern, most recently completed the cover art for the upcoming book THE WORLDS OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER, and has contributed award-winning art, design, and editing to a number of books and magazines. He occasionally updates his website at at profchallenger.com and welcomes feedback from readers, both pro and con, but if female please include an attached pic in a tasteful state of undress. Thanks for all the fish.


BATMAN #5

Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewed by Humphrey Lee


This particular issue of BATMAN has made me a believer. Well, okay, more specifically it has solidified a strong belief I already had that Scott Snyder really is that good. Obviously, he has developed a convincing body of work since unveiling his talents to the comics world with AMERICAN VAMPIRE, but I always wanted to see more. There has been that “more” quantity- and quality-wise but it has usually been in the wheelhouse he set up shop in on his arrival, that of the horror arena. His work on BATMAN the past year has shown much more than that, with a great handling of the action/detective thrillers a good Batman story dictates. Which brings me to my latest epiphany via this issue: The Bat can crack.

One of my favorite themes of the New 52 has been the effort to capture the history of Gotham City, through this titles and the also excellent ALL-STAR WESTERN. Whereas the latter of those two is focusing on the as-it-happens perspective, which has its own appeal, I like what Snyder and Capullo have been crafting here with a more fill-in-the-blanks approach. The flashback looks at the machinations of the Court of Owls have been truly terrifying given how they operate, which attests to the writing in two ways. The main contribution comes from how seamlessly this group has been believably built into the universe of a character that has over seventy years of history. Tales of death, madness, and then no traces to follow are whispered about the Court and even the Dark Knight’s inquiries have pulled up very little except some fresh stab wounds. The execution on this alone has made this a great arc and constructed an obstacle that I imagine will be a go-to device for many a Batman story to come. Snyder and Capullo’s execution on this issue alone is what has really catapulted my belief in what this team and the Court are capable of doing.

For twenty pages this past week something I was not sure I’d ever see in a comic made itself a reality: it really looked like Batman was losing his fucking shit. Wounded and trapped underground in the Court’s Labyrinth, the Bat is taken on a pitch-perfect trip through hell. Bombarded with intervals of light and dark, nutrient and water deprived, most likely drugged, and who knows what else, you absolutely feel every paranoid moment the World’s Most Dangerous Man feels as he has seemingly met his match. Great lengths are taken to immerse you in the personal hell Batman is going through as the walls between identities starts to crack like he is, particularly through the book’s layouts. Quick cutting and jagged panels, a rotating, vertigo-inducing page scheme as Batman starts to tease a fling with dementia, and then the nail in the coffin: genuine worry from the rest of the Bat-family as to where he could be and what the hell is going on.

As far as I’m concerned, we’re three Comics Wednesdays into 2012 and we already have two “Issue of the Year” contenders between this and this year’s first SCALPED entry. The writing on this is pitch-perfect and the art accommodates it perfectly, as it has all this run so far. It’s lush, detailed, and gritty in a slightly exaggerated way that works to emphasize what makes this book work; it’s very Miller with Janson in my opinion. Take the first five words of that last sentence and I think that’s a wrap on my take on a book that I obviously think deserves praise for many a reason.

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.


ARCHEOLOGISTS OF SHADOWS VOL. 1: THE RESISTANCE

Writer: Lara Fuentes
Illustrator: Patricio Clarey
Publisher: Septagon Studios
Reviewer: Mr. Pasty


ARCHEOLOGISTS OF SHADOWS (AOS) is a bold and ambitious project that could redefine the graphic novel industry – or collapse into obscurity under the weight of its own epicness. I say that because AOS is like nothing I’ve ever seen before in this medium, and it might scare some people away with its presentation. In other words, comic book geeks may not be ready for something as unique as this--at least not yet. Think Marty McFly’s gnarly guitar solo at the end of BACK TO THE FUTURE (and the faces of his peers) and you may have an understanding of what I mean. This is a new direction for comics, if you can even call this a comic, and according to Septagon Studios, it’s one that has been five years in the making.

They describe AOS as a “sci-fi/steampunk mash-up with a very unique art style thatcombines drawing, sculpture, photography, photo manipulation, and digital painting.” That’s quite a mouthful. And illustrator Patricio Clarey names STAR WARS, THE MATRIX, BLADERUNNER, TERMINATOR, LORD OF THE RINGS and AVATAR as influences. He also names the work of industry icons like Alex Ross, Dave McKean and Shaun Tan as inspirations to his work. That’s a pretty good way to describe his art, because if Alex Ross had too many mushrooms and fell asleep watching the SyFy channel, this is probably what his dreams would look like. This works as both an advantage and a disadvantage to AOS as a whole. First and foremost, this book is a showcase for new technology as it pertains to comic book illustrations. Having said that, it becomes a distraction to the writing of Lara Fuentes, who tells a familiar story of individuality and the protection of self that reads like INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, only instead of hatching from a giant snap pea you get mechanized.

It’s difficult to be critical of the narrative because it’s competently executed, but I felt a constant disconnect between the dialog and the art. Maybe that was by design, like the oft-blurred visuals, to give the reader a sense of fading away or slowly losing a battle of consciousness. I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt, but just as a dramatic tension can often benefit from comic relief, I found myself searching for a little more humanity in my attempts to relate to the protagonists. I think their escape from the city was a good start, but I’m looking forward to having them fleshed out (pun intended) in volume two. Overall, I recommend AOS to fans of science fiction, but I also encourage casual readers to give this one a look as well. This way, in five years when Patricio Clarey perfects his style and makes it the new benchmark for graphic novels, you can look down your nose at fellow fanboys knowing you were already on board before the train left the station. Or, if it never catches on, you can at least look back on it with fond memories and cheap punch lines. Either way, pick this one up--you won’t be disappointed.

Web heads who can’t get enough of Mr. Pasty’s word vomit are encouraged to watch him operate as Nostradumbass over at MMaMania.com here. Love, hate and Mafia Wars requests should be directed here.


Advance Review: In stores this week!

NANCY IN HELL (ON EARTH) #1

Writer: El Torres
Artist: Malaka Studio/Enrique Lopez Lorenzanas/Juan Jose Ryp
Publisher: Image Comics
Reviewer: Lyzard


The original NANCY IN HELL run was the first series I covered for Ain’t It Cool News. Looking back at my reviews for reference, since the books are lost in one of several boxes filled with comics, I realized two things: 1) I really needed to improve my writing and 2) I buried those issues. Though I can’t get my hands on the original comics at the moment, without even seeing them, I have a hard time believing they were as bad as I said. I don’t see how that is possible when NANCY IN HELL (ON EARTH) #1 is so awesome.

I don’t know why I decided to return to the NANCY IN HELL series, but I’m glad I did. The comic begins with my favorite character from the series (in fact named as my favorite character in last year’s @$$ies ), Pytho. Apparently everything that happened in the first four issues was part of his evil scheme, which actually answers a lot of questions and fills in some plot holes. So apparently Pytho wants control of the EarthRealm. Seems like a cool gig, for our world has turned into a demon playground. Nancy and Lucifer have to find a way to shut the gates of Hell before the whole world is lost, starting with San Diego.

Yes, the book is set in San Diego. How did I know this? Because when the citizens are taken to safety, it is to the San Diego Convention Center. Having been to Comic-Con International several times over the years, I would be disappointed in myself if I didn’t recognize this building. This probably wasn’t intentional, but I do enjoy seeing a comic set in the ultimate comic arena.

As for the quality of the comic itself, Enrique Lopez Lorenzanas as the new artist is a great choice. Along with the colorist Fran Gamboa, this new issue reads so much easier than the past works. There isn’t a redundancy of color, allowing for a smoother reading experience.

El Torres’ characterizations have improved drastically. Yes, Lucifer is still a bitch. You would think that after several millennia without God’s love he’d finally get over it and accept the fact that he ain’t gettin’ it back. However, Lucifer’s moaning does allow Nancy to be snarky and kick-ass. Her killer use of a chainsaw makes up for her senseless feelings for Lucifer, whose only good quality I can see is using him for eye candy. Though I preferred Pytho in the original series, Nancy is already the coolest character in this continuation. That doesn’t mean that Pytho isn’t still enjoyable. His evil genius plan continues to get crazier and I just can’t wait to see what he does with Hell on Earth.

NANCY IN HELL has redeemed itself, though it seems that Lucifer never will. The jokes are working consistently, the sexploitation of Nancy Simmons is balanced with the skimpy outfit worn by Lucifer, and characters are whining less (again, sans Lucifer) and actually fighting for their lives. All I’ve got to say is bring on the apocalypse!!!


RED SONJA: RAVEN (One-Shot) #1

Written by: Marc Mason
Pencils by: Lui Antonio
Published by: Dynamite Entertainment
Reviewed by: superhero


Other than Frank Thorne’s Marvel Comics series, I really can’t say that I’ve ever given a crap about Red Sonja. From what I know of the character, which isn’t much, she pretty much exists as a sexpot alternative to Conan the Barbarian, depending on what gender you’re attracted to. I was never an avid collector of the Conan comics in the seventies and eighties, so I can’t say I know anything about Sonja other than her particular origin story. Other than the occasional pin-up art and the previously mentioned comic book series (which I honestly don’t remember for the stories), I have to say that I know next to nothing about Red Sonja.

I will say that I did like this one-shot, though. RED SONJA: RAVEN is a pretty decent little story that has Sonja facing off against a crazed Xena type (named Raven) whose ultimate goal is to decimate every man she comes across. Raven has gathered a large group of women warriors to help her accomplish this goal, and they kill every man they encounter regardless of how they’ve treated the women in their communities. Obviously this is because Raven was wronged in her own way by a group of men who give the term “scumbag” a new meaning. So Raven is on her own little mission to free womankind from the oppression of man, even if said man happens to be a little boy every once in a while.

Of course, such reckless slaughter cannot go on unhindered so Red Sonja, our own She-Devil with a Sword, finds herself at odds with Raven and her man haters club. The story opens with Sonja already having been captured by Raven and company. Sonja has to figure out how to escape from her imprisonment and then stop Raven from destroying every village that her battalion stumbles upon that happens to have a man in it.

There’s nothing really earth-shattering about RED SONJA: RAVEN. It’s just a pretty basic story of a heroine facing off against a villainess, but it was a good enough read that it kept me curious about how the tale was going to turn out. Unfortunately, much of the narrative is spent with Sonja playing “Professor X” to Raven’s “Magneto.” Some of the dialogue and interaction between the two characters was a bit tired, in my opinion. Maybe I’ve just read too many X-Men comics, but when Sonja has to launch into speeches about why all men should not be destroyed with Raven responding that each and every male that she comes across is evil I just started having some serious Chris Claremont flashbacks. But I was able to get beyond this little annoyance and enjoy the book for what it’s supposed to be: a straightforward action story with a woman in a chainmail bikini as the lead character. If you’re looking for anything really complex from a comic with a half naked woman as its star character, chances are you’re going to be disappointed.

What I really liked was the art. Penciller Lui Antonio and colorist Salvator Aiala do a really good job in this book. Antonio is capable with the storytelling and fight scenes while colorist Aiala follows it up with a warm color palette that enhances the illustrator’s work in all the right ways. Both artists together combine to make RED SONJA: RAVEN very visually appealing and keep Sonja and the other female warriors as sexy-looking as barbarian women are supposed to look in a comic like this.

So RED SONJA: RAVEN gets checked off as a “win” for me with this one-shot. Is it worth $4.99? Not to me. Twenty four pages of actual story padded with pin-ups that many comic fans have seen before…that’s not a lot of value in my opinion. There must be a market for it, though, as someone seems to be buying Red Sonja comics like these or my guess is that Dynamite wouldn’t be printing them. I was lucky enough to get a review PDF or I wouldn’t have even considered picking up this book. I know that comics are expensive to produce, but come on! Someone’s got to draw the line somewhere. I think I can safely say the $4.99 for twenty four pages of story is well beyond that line for this comic fan.

Discovered as a babe in an abandoned comic book storage box and bitten by a radioactive comic fan when he was a teenager, superhero is actually not-so mild mannered sometime designer & cartoonist, Kristian Horn of Los Angeles, California. Some of his work can be seen at www.kristianhorn.com and check out his blog at www.parttimefanboy.com. You can check also out his webcomics at www.babybadass.com and thediplomatics.com, which is currently in development.


FABLES #113

Writer: Bill Willingham
Art: P. Craig Russell, Adam Hughes, Ramon Bachs, Zander Cannon, Jim Fern, Rick Leonardi, Ron Randall
Publisher: DC Vertigo
Reviewer: Henry Higgins is My Homeboy


Stories And Shorts

After the generally epic feel FABLES usually has, Willingham takes a few steps back and elaborates more on the general backstory of the universe. It's a welcome break from following the events of the last issue. As always with these departures, it's entertaining and expands the universe beautifully.

Writing: (5/5) While I do love FABLES primarily for its sheer scope, most of my favourite issues are the smaller ones, focusing on some random facet of the FABLES universe. All of the short features in this issue are utterly fantastic, and have more than enough depth for a regular sized issue, between a fantastic expansion of a barely mentioned side character and while exploring one of the more subtle plot inconsistencies in the series.

Everything is fantastic here, continuing Willingham's near flawless run record with this series.

Art: (4/5) Using a rotating crew for the art this month, FABLES manages to have a consistent art style throughout, even as each of them is unique.

Leonardi and Randall are great in their early pages, looking very "comic booky", and giving it a dynamic appeal. Russell is reminiscent of the traditional FABLES series, and looks tremendously cool--with each panel, something unique and interesting. Cannon's art is the largest and broadest, with a particularly good scope, though it has moments of inconsistencies. Bachs is utterly brilliant in his segment. The framing is spectacular, each page standing out boldly. The opening page especially looks fantastic, with an amazing and creative opening. The characters are very bold and look extremely bright. Adam Hughes is bright and dynamic as ever. The issue is consistent and enjoyable, and always, always engaging.

Best Moment: The opening page of "The Way Of The World".

Worst Moment: A few consistency errors in Cannon's segment.

Overall: (4/5) A well crafted issue of FABLES, just the latest in a great series.


Advance Review: In stores today!

JUSTICE LEAGUE #5

Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Jim Lee
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Johnny Destructo


Here's how it went.

1. YES! An awesome beginning, with the Flash and Superman. Pulse-Pounding!

2. OK! Green Lantern going up against Darkseid! Bone-crunching! Though GL is still referring to himself in the third person like a douche.

3. JIGGA-WHAA? Batman doing something so out of character it feels like an else-worlds tale! Mind-boggling!

4. "This wasn't part of the plan" No effing isht it wasn't part of the plan. What plan, exactly, are you talking about, Bruce? There has BEEN. NO. PLAN.

This entire series so far has read like a 15 car pile-up. One car just smashing into the next and so on. This is the fastest-paced slow motion comic I've ever read. I'm not quite sure what's going on with Geoff and this series, but it's just a damn mess. This is almost the MTV reality television show version of what people who don't read comics think a comic would be like. I feel bad typing this, because ever since he showed up, I have been a staunch supporter of John's work and I was SO excited for this book when it started.

And while each issue has had at least one really cool or interesting moment, each issue has also had at least 2 head-scratching and/or out-of-character moments as well. Hal Jordan is a mindless fireworks display, Superman is a mindless WMD, Wonder Woman is a mindless little girl who loves ice-cream and stabbing folks with her hobo knife..so on and so on. And in this issue, Batman goes from someone who is supposed to be a massively intelligent and careful detective to a mindless, reckless teenager. In fact, does anyone remember the adorable and fantastic episode of JUSTICE LEAGUE (Season 3, Episode 3) called KID STUFF? Wherein all adults vanish due to Mordred and the JLA all turn into..you guessed it: kids? It was really funny and cute because they were actually starting to act like children. Which was fine because they were ACTUALLY CHILDREN. In this series, all the characters are adults who act like kids. It isn't cute, it's just…strange and annoying. Oh and Cyborg's involvement? I was really curious to see how his storyline was going to coincide with the main tale and how John's was going to weave him into being on the JLA as more than the "token black fella". His solution? "Hey dude, do you wanna stay here? No? Well, I guess you're on the team, guy who has no idea how to use the abilities that he received 24 seconds ago!"

The upside is the action is a lot of fun and the art team does an amazing job! This is one of the top 3 best-looking book's on the shelves every month. I love flipping through it again even after I've read it, just to really enjoy the artwork. Just stellar work. It's a same that the story doesn't match the effort of the visuals.

"We got this"? …sigh.

When not hosting the PopTards Podcast at www.poptardsgo.com, fist-bumping his own nethers, discussing movies, comics and other flimflam here, JD is graphically designing/illustrating/inking for a living, hanging with the @$$holes and Booking his Face off over here. 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.


DRAGONSBANE # 1

Writers: Robert Rodi and Alex Ross
Illustrator: Fritz Casas
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Reviewer: superhero


Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you…Thor!

Well…not Thor, but something very much like Thor…except newer and somewhat dumber.

To be fair, Thor was never the brightest torch in the hall, but the “Asgardians” inhabiting the pages of DRAGONSBANE really missed the wagon when it was trotting through the streets handing out brains.

The mythical realm of Valhalla has been cut off for ages from the rest of reality by the impenetrable Fell Mists. When our story opens, the mists have inexplicably begun to lift, signaling the end of the Valhallians’ (?) exile from the rest of the universe. At the exact same time as the long-imprisoning mists lift, a sorceress appears in the form of a mystical projection claiming that she needs help because her family has been betrayed by an unscrupulous dragon and only the remnants of these Norse gods can help her to free them. So, because the central characters of this book are of honorable stock, they proceed without question to follow the sorceress to aid her and her family. Out into the great unknown they go, beyond the Fell Mists, never questioning their situation as they pass through the ruins of other mythological realms on their way to aid the comely enchantress.

Sound like a bunch of smart guys, right?

Maybe I’m being a bit harsh here. For the most part DRAGONSBANE really does play out like an old school Dungeons and Dragons adventure. There are guys in armor on a quest against a mythical dragon to save a fair maiden. My problem is that it sort of presents itself a bit like a D & D game played by a group of thick teenagers. The characters in DRAGONSBANE are pretty much just fantasy warrior stereotypes walking through the motions of a paper-thin plot laid out before them. Oh, it’s true that one of them does voice a bit of suspicion in one paragraph during the whole book, but for the most part all of the warriors in this comic came across as a bunch of meatheads to me. Which is fine, I guess. I mean, no one really ever accused Conan of being a rocket scientist, right? But I would figure that in a whole city of divine beings that at least one of them would think it was a bit coincidental that the Fell Mists disappeared and that they were presented with the opportunity to go on a quest immediately thereafter.

OK, so while the story itself here isn’t quite spectacular, what is impressive is the art. Fritz Casas does a terrific job emulating the artistic style of George Perez, or possibly Phil Winslade, with just the right touch of Kirby design added in. Casas is great at rendering fantastically powered heroes of myth as well as their surroundings. He’s a master of detail and I’m sure that the art in DRAGONSBANE is going to grab a lot of people’s attention. If Casas can maintain this level of quality in his artwork and stay on a regular schedule this may be the first we’re seeing of the comic world’s newest superstar talent. Unfortunately, none of the characterizations in the first issue gave me the inclination to put this on my pull list, but it is Casas’s talent alone that will get me to check out DRAGONSBANE once again whenever it’s collected in trade paperback form.


GHOSTBUSTERS #5

Writer: Erik Burnham
Art: Dan Schoening
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Reviewer: The Dean


This is easily the most frustrating series I’m reading right now. Writer Erik Burnham is so close to capturing both the nostalgia of the Ghostbusters franchise, as well its sci-fi comedy blend, that it’s making a serious bid for best interpretation since the films themselves. What hinders the title from actually getting there is what can also be said of any attempt to contribute to Ghostbusters canon since the first movie - its reluctance to let go of the successes that came before it. Burnham nails the characterization and dialogue, but is stuck repackaging the toys that Aakroyd and Ramis have already given us a few times before. This cushioned and perhaps too nostalgic approach to what should be a fresh new chapter in Ghostsbustin’ lore is often just a “been there, done that” sequel to the videogame.

While the overall story looks to tap whatever’s left of Gozer, the individual issues in this series are still strong and keeping me coming back month after month. A big reason for this is Dan Schoening’s art, which projects a lot of the same spirit in the characters that their charismatic, live-action counterparts had. The look is very similar to the “Real Ghostbusters” cartoon style, but the characters bear a much greater resemblance to the movies (Egon isn’t blonde, Venkman isn’t Seinfeld). Luis Antonio Delgado’s colors have been a bright spot in the series, too, with a vivid, polished look that helps even the redundant elements of the story feel fresh. The hyper-stylized look really adds to the fun of the title, and fits the PG vibe of the writing perfectly.

I know calling something “PG” can often come off as a dig, but I assure you it isn’t here, and that’s not what’s keeping GHOSTBUSTERS from reaching its full potential, either. Burnham does an excellent job capturing the essences of these characters without resorting to pale impressions of Bill Murray to make Venkman come alive. Burnham knows his own strengths, and seems to be reaching into his own sardonic, ebullient, or austere self to develop this Ghostbusters crew, making their comments and interactions feel much more genuine than even some of those in the recent “Ghostbusters: the Video Game”. Particularly impressive is Winston! I’m thrilled that Burnham has taken the time to spend a little more time with Winston in previous issues, as his interpretation is the best yet. This Winston seems to have a real function and purpose on this team now, and Burnham’s take feels like a natural progression of a character who’s been with this team for years now.

Things start falling apart, however, with Gozer, or with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, or with Slimer, or with the giant slime-like shell that envelops a large public area. Yep, all of those have been played already in just five issues. There are some great, new contributions here: proton grenades, the Paranormal Contracts Oversight Commission (PCOC) headed by Walter Peck, the John Belushi ghost that counsels Ray--even Idulnas was a strong villain, even if he was one of Gozer’s minions. But how can you pull everything short of crossing the streams in only five issues?! Still, this installment leaves enough original story to have me looking forward to number six, with the Ghostbusters’ conflict with PCOC being the most interesting. Peck’s impositions and expectations of the Ghostbusters are interesting, and it’s fun to see what an organization like the Ghostbusters might have to endure to continue to operate as a New York City institution. Simply seeing them on a routine house call, but struggling with the limitations of PCOC, would be a great read and would have made for a fun fifth issue. Idulnas had only been temporarily dealt with in the last issue, and he makes for a pretty cool larger threat to loom in the background. But every ghost doesn’t have to have the same gargantuan threat level that Gozer has, since it only makes the truly major villains like Idulnas look routine, and unfortunately this issue’s giant green (at least it wasn’t pink) carnival shell and ghost king are here to remind you of gimmicks and Vigos in past stories.

I’m hoping this is all just Burnham getting it out of his system, but I haven’t seen a walking Statue of Liberty or dancing toaster yet, so maybe there’s more to get out of the way before we can start reading completely original Ghostbusters stories. I really like Burnham on GHOSTBUSTERS, and I’d like to see this series have strong legs, but it’s going to need some more original content if it’s going to be worthy of the ongoing title it claims. There’s plenty here to give me hope, and while it’s not perfect, it’s still the best Ghostbusters writing I’ve seen in a while in this medium or any other. For now, however, every plug I give this series is coming with a “you’ve seen a lot of this before” disclaimer, but I’m still recommending it to the hardcore and casual fan as at least a fresh and enjoyable take on the characters, if nothing else.


Advance Review: In stores this week!

STEED & MRS. PEEL # 1

Writer: Grant Morrison
Art: Ian Gibson
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Reviewed by: superhero


When the offer to review a comic based on the classic BBC TV show THE AVENGERS came up I had to take it. I’ve been a fan of THE AVENGERS for a long time. I own the Emma Peel DVD box set and have just loved the show since my first exposure to it years ago. Interestingly, it’s not nostalgia that is the reason for my fanboyish devotion to this fantastically fun spy series. I first saw an Avengers episode when I was in my late twenties and upon my first viewing I thought, “Where have you been all my life?”

So the news of a comic presenting new adventures of the best duo in espionage fiction got me very amped up with anticipation. I was a bit disappointed to realize that this BOOM! Studios publication was just a re-release of a long ago Eclipse Comics series and not something distinctly new. But I’d never had a chance to find the old Eclipse books, so while this isn’t a new series, it’s new to me.

Grant Morrison does a great job crafting an opening chapter that brings several of the former AVENGERS cast of characters back together. From Tara King to Mother to Emma Peel to Steed, a lot of the old gang are brought back into play. Morrison puts together a good tale that harkens back to the amusingly entertaining trappings of the classic TV show. Emma Peel’s return to Steed’s side was handled a bit anticlimactically for my tastes, being that when the show ended she wasn’t his partner anymore, but I was willing to let that nitpick go. All in all STEED AND MRS. PEEL reads very much like an old AVENGERS episode with all the oddball characters and situations that were hallmarks of the original program.

Ian Gibson does an OK job with the art, but it’s not a style that I would have picked for this particular comic. Much of Gibson’s artistic look reminds me a lot of Joe Staton, but with a less refined technique. In my mind I would have preferred a less cartoony approach for STEED AND MRS. PEEL, although I do appreciate that Gibson’s art does add to the sense of whimsy that should be evident in any AVENGERS story. Despite Gibson’s not-so-literal artistic method he is able to capture the resemblance of some of the actors from the original show as well as the spirit of the characters that they portrayed, so it’s not that I don’t like Gibson’s work but I feel that it may not have been the perfect fit for this book.

Despite my quibbles with the art I have to say I really did enjoy STEED AND MRS. PEEL. I’ll be adding it to my quickly shrinking pull list. As a fan of the old AVENGERS TV show it’s a pleasure to see these characters back in any fashion. I hope this series does well so that I can have many more STEED AND MRS. PEEL comics to read in years to come.


Hey folks, Ambush Bug here with a trio of anthologies of the indie flavor for you to check out.

LONDON HORROR COMIC #1-4
Self published


John-Paul Kamath proves he’s a voice in graphic horror worth listening to in this terror filled mixed bag of moralistic TALES FROM THE CRYPT-ish tales ranging from goofy to poignant to downright gross. Lee Ferguson provides the clean and solid pencils while combined with Marc Deering’s inks to look a lot like Mark Buckingham’s fantastic work on FABLES. Kamath’s silent stories are especially effective and my favorites of the series ranging from a frustrated motorist lashing out at the happy folks around him, to a suicidal jumper finally finding love and losing it all in one leap. Kamath’s tales bite hard and leave their marks. My favorite of the bunch involves a prostitute, a john, and a glass eye. Just some sick stuff going on here, walking the line of the realm of wrong, but always entertaining. Kamath handles everything from gross out horror to goofy one offs to downright bone chilling scares. This anthology is highly recommended and can be ordered here.


INNER SANCTUM Vol.1 HC
NBM Comics Lit


This is comics icon Ernie Colon’s love letter to the old radio horror shows of his youth; an anthology filled with tales of the dead rising, of curses bestowed on the evil and the innocent, and of monsters, ghosts, and madmen. All of these stories drawn in the classic style which made Colon’s work on CASPER THE FRIENDLY GHOST, RICHIE RICH, ARAK SON OF THUNDER, AMETHYST PRINCESS OF GEMWORLD, AIRBOY and countless other classic comics so memorable. The collection is hardbound and presented with style by NBM. My favorite tale of the bunch is “Death of a Doll” about a haunted doll. Second place definitely goes to the short but sweet “Lived Once—Buried Twice”. All of these shorts have a definite NIGHT GALLERY feel to them and is a must for appreciators of Colon’s classic work and lovers of old timey, scary radio shows.


THE GATHERING Vol.6
Gray Haven Comics


Andrew Goletz has compiled yet another winning batch of short stories in this volume. Each issue of THE GATHERING focuses on one genre of storytelling. In the past, they’ve covered romance, heroism, and horror. Volume 6 is another focus on horror and covers a broad range of subgenres such as psychological horrors, demons, werewolves, ghost stories, and tales of twisted humor. Goletz has a knack for collecting a variety of indie voices and giving them this GATHERING stage to sound off on. Support indie storytelling by picking up an issue of THE GATHERING here.


Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole / wordslinger / reviewer / co-editor of AICN Comics for over ten years. Mark has just announced his new comic book miniseries GRIMM FAIRY TALES PRESENTS THE JUNGLE BOOK from Zenescope Entertainment. He is also a regular writer for FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND and has just released FAMOUS MONSTERS first ever comic book miniseries LUNA (co-written by Martin Fisher with art by Tim Rees) You can order it here! Support a Bug by checking out his comics (click on the covers to purchase)!






NANNY & HANK’s Facebook Page
(Just announced: NANNY & HANK is soon to be a major motion picture from Uptown 6 Productions!)
THE DEATHSPORT GAMES’ Facebook Page
FAMOUS MONSTERS PRESENTS LUNA: ORDER OF THE WEREWOLF’s Facebook Page



AICN COMICS PODCAST #14

Ambush Bug here. The below hour-plus long conversation took place between myself, Matt Adler, Matt’s lovely wife Nutmeg, and our host Johnny Destructo of PoptardsGo.com as we talked aboutDEAD MAN’S RUN #1, DAREDEVIL #8, NIGHTWING #5, DANGER GIRL: REVOLVER #1, SUPERIOR #7, BATMAN #5, and more general jack@$$$ery!


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


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

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

Check out AICN COMICS on Facebook and Comixpedia.org!

 


    + Expand All

    Readers Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 9:27:15 AM CST

    Batman 5

    by v1cious

    Not bad. Loved The bats losing his shit.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 9:43:55 AM CST

    So...

    by pink_apocalypse

    ...Archeologists of Shadows is great! But not! Or Maybe? Could be! But isn't when it is....sort of! It looks like something I have to check out, even though I normally avoid everything-at-the-wall, kitchen-sink approaches. Which is what this sounds like it might be.

    I loved, *loved* Valeria and spent a lot of time when I was little running around pretending I was her. Later when Sandahl Bergman decided to play the villainess instead of Red Sonya, I was crushed. She actually knows something about swordfighting, and watching her feign incompetence to that talentless, drugged out idiot Brigitte Nielsen was just depressing.

    The plot to the comic sounds interesting (and weirdly familiar), but judging by the cover I'll pass...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTGh0EMmMC8

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 9:58:00 AM CST

    My comic of the week last week, fwiw..

    by homer sexual

    Last week was slow. So slow that I picked up a reprint of Tournament of Heroes from the old Defenders, which Id read in high school. Still loved it. I really feel like it had a lot of fun, coolness and gender equality that is missing from modern Marvel. So while I totally recommend it, it wasn't my favorite last week.

    Ive said one thing I like about New DC is that I have discovered books Id never have checked out, while dropping books Id picked up from habit.

    Never liked Catwoman. I preferred her in the camp show to the comics. Old, new, whatever. Just a Batman groupie.

    In Gotham City Sirens, she was just a weak link, a chain dragging down the interaction between my girls Harley and Ivy.

    BUT... my LCS recommended issue 3, which led to me grabbing issue 2. It was edgy, it was tough. And that is still the case with issue 5.

    I don't especially like Selina Kyle/Catwoman, but she's interesting. I am ambiguous about her, and I give Winick credit for writing her that way. She's sad about getting her friend killed, but she's still a thrill seeker who cant help putting herself in the middle of a dangerous situation. And she takes care of herself. Not without quite a lot of bruises, mind you. But she is her own person.

    I didn't like Guillem March's art on Sirens, thought his Poison Ivy was weak. But with just Catwoman to focus on, his art has really shined.

    So to my surprise, I recommend Catwoman. Consistently good and I think women and men would enjoy it. If you usually don't like female protagonists, I believe this version is something unique so give it a chance.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 10:02:19 AM CST

    BATMAN

    by shadowprime

    Personally, I got tired of the 'disoriented' Batman stuff pretty quickly. I understand what they were going for; I admire the clever execution (the page_flip was inspired), but I was quickly more than ready for the storyline to move on. Just IMHO.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 10:40:03 AM CST

    the fastest-paced slow motion comic

    by laserhead

    Well said. And spot on.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 10:43:27 AM CST

    Batman

    by laserhead

    #5 firmly planted me in the non-believer category. Sorry. I LOVED Snyder's epic Dick Grayson story in Detective, but so far the new Batman series is a long snore. With really hacky artwork by the McFarlane wannabe. The Court of Owls? Really? Who gives a shit? Gates of Gotham sucked, and I'm really tired of all this 'history of Gotham'-- it's just trying too hard, and Bruce's ancestry doesn't need to be touched on again after Morrison's work.

    It should be said, though, that the series is miles ahead of Tony Daniels' ongoing train-wreck in Detective.

    But Capullo sucks, the story is boring, the villains rote, and Snyder has NO feeling for Bruce Wayne. He writes a good Grayson, though.

    Back to Batman Incorporated, until someone gets the best character in the world another writer.

    Reply to Talkback

  • i get what you mean by saying this, i really do...but don't you think that is kind of the point? i mean, Justice League was the book that launched the new 52, so doesn't it make sense that it's the book DC is using to hook new readers?

    that being the case, it kind of stands to reason that it would seem a little off to comic reading veterans. i know that every time i read the book and feel that someone is acting out of character i have to tell myself *oh yeah, this book is actually for people who have never read a comic before*

    and i know, i know, it sounds like an excuse for bad writing, but considering part of DC's marketing strategy with the re-boot was to get new readers, it's something to consider. how else do you expect them to reach the MTV reality television show, a.d.d. effected people who have never read a comic if they don't dumb it down a bit for that target demo?

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 11:43:24 AM CST

    JLA and Wonder Woman

    by joenathan

    I don't get the feeling that JLA is "dumbed down" for non-readers to jump onto, JLA just reads... dumb. Like it's rushed. It reads like a Leifeld comic, everything is posed and shouted and lacking support. And I've got a lot of tolerance for "throwing out the amber" new attitudes, these don't feel new, they feel... shallow? I guess. It feels like the directive is: Make it flashy and loud. But I wonder how long this pace can be kept up.

    Also, it really clashes when you read it and say... Action, Snyder's Batman and Wonder Woman. The gap between the characters is so wide, I'm not sure where they lie in chronological relation to each other. They don't even feel like the same characters.

    I've dropped the book.

    JLA is trash.

    Of course, I've never been a Johns fan, but this comic feels even crappier than I previously remember his writing being.

    Action is great. Love Snyder's Batman, but Wonder Woman?

    Awesome.

    Azzarello is subtly carving out a world, a support system, and a personality for a character who has long been nothing but a wedgie, a lasso, and a tiara. You should read Wonder Woman, the art and story are great and getting better with each issue.

    Also, the same goes for FF, Fantastic Four, Ultimates and Ultimate Spider-man.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 11:46:14 AM CST

    Snyder and JLA

    by homer sexual

    Well, laserhead, Im glad to read your post because I was very underwhelmed by Snyder's first issue and couldnt believe it was the same writer who is rocking out the Swamp Thing. B&R; is the only Batman book Im reading still. But the Dark Knight was by far the worst based on the first issue. Too boring.

    I am even getting bored with the ancillary characters, dropping Robin this month. Only Batwoman and (shockingly) Catwoman are good imo.

    And JLA.... well, ok, I only read issue #1, it was too awful. Doesn't sound like its gotten any better. But I don't think being "out of character" is an issue since these characters are all newly reimagined. More like poorly characterized, sounds like.

    And sounds like Cyborg is still lame. Lame lame lame. Unfortunately, with the end of Static Shock and Mr. Terrific (not awesome books or characters, but far superior to Cyborg), DC isn't having a very good track record. Batwing, though, is awesome. Voodoo too (though I guess as an alien, she isn't really Black).


    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 11:50:28 AM CST

    AND!

    by joenathan

    I REALLY liked the last issue of Wolvrine and the X-man. The one with Deathlok? That felt like a classic X-men issue written in new and interesting ways.

    So...

    My list right now:
    Ultimates
    Ultimate Spider-man
    Wonder Woman
    Action Comics
    Batman
    Fantastic Four
    FF
    Wolverine and the X-men
    Invincible Iron Man
    Fatale


    On the Fence:
    Avengers
    New Avengers
    Walking Dead
    Ultimate X-men


    Dropped:
    Captain America (not working for me)
    JLA (stupid)
    Secret Avengers (Ellis is done and his last two issues were awesome, but Remender is next, which most likely means: No, thank you.)


    I think that's it.

    Remind me to pick up a Scalped Trade.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:07:37 PM CST

    Ultimates

    by nightarrows

    The art in the Ultimates is incredible. The story arc is frustrating so far.

    I'm not down with the tired "race from beyond/within that are all so much better than the best we have to offer" bullshit...

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:08:23 PM CST

    So surprised...

    by thedean

    by all the Batman bashing! I'm loving the court of owls stuff! but to each their own I suppose. I will agree that I'd give anything to have him writing a Dick Grayson Batman again, though. Saddest part of the relaunch for me was losing that

    And JD, I screamed "EXACTLY!" like four times while I read your review of Justice League! Screamed in my head that is, I'm at work right now.When Batman easily pulled GLs ring from his finger, I knew I wasn't going to like this series, and should have dropped it then.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Expect his Secret Avengers to mop the floor with Ellis' run. Here's a Warren Ellis comic: generic smart-ass and female Alpha have to stop a sci-fi threat inspired by something Ellis read. The end.


    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:10:18 PM CST

    DC sales figures back to pre-relaunch numbers

    by laserhead

    Because, you know, they're incapable of producing quality comics, even though they have the best characters in the world.

    Liefeld on THREE books?!? Crap art? Writers who's best days were in the mid-90s, generally considered the low point of quality in the medium? check, check, check.

    And, somehow, Geoff Johns has gone from a servicable populist writer to just godawful.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:10:46 PM CST

    Ultimates

    by joenathan

    That's what makes the story interesting and awesome... an actual challenge and a threat to the status quo where it actually looks like the heroes might lose and already have.

    Plus, there's TWO superior races, making us-at best-third.

    I think the idea sucker punches people in their American pride.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:12:24 PM CST

    Ultimates

    by joenathan

    Also, also, they're not a "race from beyond" one is the result of evil Reed actually being evil and doing evil "I'm waaaaaay smarter than you, mother fuckers" stuff. and the other is a natural extrapolation of Super soldier/mutant technology getting loose in the world.

    It's good stuff.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:13:41 PM CST

    Remender vs. Ellis

    by joenathan

    Remender:
    Frankencastle


    Ellis:
    Planetary


    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:15:24 PM CST

    Remender

    by joenathan

    I'd rank him in line with someone like Dan Slott. I get that people like them both, but I don't. Something about their preferred characterization and dialogue, it just doesn't work for me. I don't like their styles

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:17:05 PM CST

    Liefeld's books... and Remender

    by homer sexual

    This is the second reference Ive seen to Liefeld having three books despite the cancellation of Hawk and Dove. I agree this makes no sense, wondering what the three new books are.

    I am not very familiar with Remender, have only read one comic he wrote, which was the recent .1 X-Force/Age of Apocalypse. It was not good. However, if someone references an awesome arc he did, I'll give it a try, especially if I can buy it in trade format.

    Finally, if DC's sales are back to pre-launch, that would be disappointing because despite a lot of junk, there are some really compelling, and even kinda fresh, books being published right now.

    Joe.... The latest Wonder Woman wasn't quite as good. I miss Strife, but you are right that they are indeed creating a whole character and world for her. Definitely a top DC book for me. Unfortunately, the #1 was kind of boring, it didn't kick into gear until #2, and I bet a lot of people (like me) didnt give second chances to most of the new line.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:18:05 PM CST

    DC and Liefeld

    by joenathan

    Yeah, what the hell is going on over there. Hawk and Dove is so ridiculously awful, it's not even worth breaking down the specifics. It's so bad, it's like a parody of what a shitty Liefeld comic is.

    So it fails and their answer is to give him THREE more titles?

    I mean, DC has always been a generally "head-up-the-ass" company, for decades, but jesus... wtf?

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:18:15 PM CST

    As I said: "from within"

    by nightarrows

    It all feels so "Yushan Vong" to me (to use a race and story arc from Star Wars). All too convenient.

    I like the idea of Heroes on their heels, but this was "just add water for an instant threat", IMHO.

    And as I'm not American, my pride wasn't sucker punched.

    I do love the art though...

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:20:39 PM CST

    Wonder Woman

    by joenathan

    I'm behind, so the last I read was #4 and Strife was in it. I love the art.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:21:41 PM CST

    Liefeld

    by nightarrows

    He posted on YouTube that he will be "making deadlines" on not one, but TWO, monthly titles, as though that's some fucking badge of honor.

    I think him making deadlines is the least of the issues people have with that talentless clown.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:23:31 PM CST

    Instant?

    by joenathan

    It's the result of multiple stories from a while back coming to a head, something that has been building for awhile, so you should re-evaluate your opinion, unless by "instant" you
    "4 to 5 years", which would be considered... inaccurate.

    Stop reading Star Wars, it's bad for you.

    The art is awesome

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:25:22 PM CST

    Liefeld

    by joenathan

    How does he keep getting work?

    Who are the people who see his name on something and go: "Ooooooh! Yes! I'm gettin' that!"

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:26:01 PM CST

    Can I bring up the Avengers movie real quick?

    by rev_skarekroe

    Because the actual Avengers movie related Talkbacks are nothing but people bitching about Joss Whedon and the usual hyperbolic whining about how this will be the worst movie ever and how awful every other movie from the last 20 years was, and I would kind of like to speculate on who the alien invaders are instead.

    I say the Badoon.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Who are these Philistines? American Vampire is a top 5 book and has been since the moment it hit the shelves (and is crim

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:29:22 PM CST

    Avengers movie

    by joenathan

    It's the skrull.

    Who else would it be. They're going to use Secret Invasion either as a 2nd storyline or a thread to number two, because it's the best and most surprising to people who have never read the comics and have only seen the movie, which is the overwhelming majority of the audience.

    It's a secret to people who don't know the source material and we're otherwise ruinging it, because "duh, who else would it be." so they're just lying to us, because... fuck us.

    So, everyone else will gasp when someone like... Agent Coulson or someone turns into a Skrull and we'll just shrug and go: Was that supposed to be a surprise.

    Basically, yes. Yes, it was.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:31:06 PM CST

    Damn iPhone

    by gooseud

    Inally ignored by this column. Swamp Thing? Great. Batman? I can't speak for everyone, but as a non-regular reader of Bats, I'm loving it. Snyder is easily top 5 quality in all of comics right now, easily.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:31:48 PM CST

    Instant

    by nightarrows

    I jumped into the Ultimates Universe with this series, so my knowledge of any backstory is slim at best. However I feel what I feel, and in reading it, it all feels like familiar territory and is frustrating. THOR's World Eaters saga comes to mind...

    As for Liefeld, he has his defenders, as incredible as that may seem, that proudly shout that he "is the best artist around"

    One short-bus passenger even stated: "Today's art is photorealistic and doesn't seem right. Liefeld draws exciting and how comics should be drawn. If you want photorealistic you should read commercial art. It's no surprise that today's comics don't sell as well as Liefelds from the 90s"...all that being paraphrased etc...

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:36:49 PM CST

    Yes, but really, seriously...

    by joenathan

    Your feeling is wrong. I explained that to you. It's got a huge backstory, sorry if you didn't read it, but it's still there, so you should stop feeling that way. You felt that way due to ignorance and you have now been corrected in your inaccuracy. Just because you "feel" like it's not true, doesn't mean it's valid to keep saying that the world is flat.


    There's a huge backstory, this is the result of multiple Pandora's boxes and the consquences of some questionable actions.

    Of course, if you want to play the: "read it before" game, I'd like to challenge you to a round of: "Name an actual original story."

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:38:54 PM CST

    Remender

    by laserhead

    WRONG!

    Frankencastle was against-all-odds awesome. I thought it was a terrible and retarded idea, and it was a fucking blast from beginning to end.

    Remender is much better than Slott-- bigger, better stories, better, deeper characterization. And way, way better pacing. He embraces the past while charting new futures, and nobody, NOBODY sticks an ending like Remender.

    Fear Agent, End League, X-Force, Punisher. All better than anything Ellis has ever done that isn't called 'Planetary'.

    Ellis is generally shit and has been writing the same thing for years now.

    Half of Planetary's greatness is Cassaday's art. But so what?

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:39:19 PM CST

    Liefeld

    by joenathan

    That's just it, I've NEVER met someone who defends Liefeld. Never. I've met folks who shame-facedly admit to liking X-force way back when, but now? Never. So it's not like they're a big money market. They can't be or they'd be more prevalent and noticeable.

    Why? Why does he keep getting work?

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:39:58 PM CST

    Aww look at Joe

    by gooseud

    Is Joe actually in danger of reading some actual quality comics these days?? Will wonders never cease lol oh, and Joe , GTFO about Walking Dead, if u drop that book cold turkey at this point, I'll post a video in this column of me eating my shoe!

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:42:17 PM CST

    @rev_skarekroe

    by ambush bug

    I'm thinking Kree. They'd be much easier to do and would also be a chance for them to tie in a Captain Marvel reference/Easter Egg/possible future franchise.

    Or maybe they are Nazi Frost Giants...

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:42:23 PM CST

    End League?

    by joenathan

    Really?

    Transmet? Authority? Thunderbolts? The wrap up of Stormwatch?

    ... and you say: X-Force?

    I would never deny that Ellis can be lazy and phone shit in sometimes, but Remender is a pale ghost of silly in comparrison.

    And no... Frankencastle frankensucked.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:43:32 PM CST

    Goose

    by joenathan

    What? Make sense, I command you

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:43:40 PM CST

    Everybody just admit that Snyder's Batman is crap

    by laserhead

    You'll feel better.

    Is it as bad as Finch's The Dark Knight or Tony Daniels' Detective? God, no. It's not 'bad' like that; it just isn't very good.

    Yes-- the year-long arc with Dick that Snyder wrote was great. No-- this new series is not.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:43:55 PM CST

    WW.

    by pink_apocalypse

    Maybe I should take a current look at Wonder Woman. It would have to have jumped dramatically though, because that first issue was a weird and off-putting. I haven't even bothered glancing at it since.

    Birds of Prey seemed incredibly sterile somehow at issue 1, but I took another look at it with the latest issue (due to a character crossover) and stuff seems to actually be happening now. I'm considering checking that out again also.

    I like and respect a lot of your opinions Homer, but I just have to agree to disagree on Catwoman. The art and concept started out so pandering and moronic that I just can't get past it to try again.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:45:33 PM CST

    Kree?

    by joenathan

    But then: why not the Skrull or both? They're better linked together, or at least the Kree are, who don't have the easy reason hook that the Skrull do.

    Plus...

    They did a big Secret Invasion write-up in People, remember? That was big, comic book wise.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:46:18 PM CST

    Laserhead, lol

    by joenathan

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:48:15 PM CST

    Goose/Walking Dead

    by joenathan

    Better start deciding, because if the next few issues are the same as how the last few have been... yummy, yummy, yummy, Goose's got shoes in his tummy and he feels like eating more....

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:48:40 PM CST

    I may drop it out of spite, too...

    by joenathan

  • Mine is Daredevil. Every month, I forget about it. It sinks to the bottom of my stack. Finally, when I have read everything else, I get around to it. And then, every time, its freakin awesome. Super fun, great art, the best covers in the business, just great comic fun, I'm blown away. And then............I forget about it again, and it sinks to the bottom of my stack next month. I have no idea why I have this mental block. Anyone else ever have this happen to them?

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:51:21 PM CST

    joe

    by laserhead

    WRONG!

    Just wrong. Uncanny X-Force has been the greatest X comic since Morrison had one.

    Authority? the R-rated version of Morrison's Justice League.

    Transmetropolitan? Hack garbage by a bad writer who thinks Hunter S. Thompson was good.

    Hey, I like quite abit of Ellis. He's only just an attitude, though, not a very capable writer.

    Watch as Remender slowly takes over the Marvel universe in much the way Bendis did, only he won't suck at it.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:54:45 PM CST

    Remender has done one thing really well

    by gooseud

    Written an absolutely fantastic Fantomex, without whom X Force would sink like a stone. As Ive said many times, X Force is a parody book. If you read it as making fun of the pompous, overly complex, self serious Claremont style, its genius and hilarious. If you read it as actually INTENDING to be taken 100% seriously and at face value, then of course its absurdly pretentious and obnoxious. Personally, I laugh my ass off every month, its one of the funniest comics on the stands. When War's Mom ran out on stage and Angel just calmly sliced her in half in front of the cheering mob? LOL cmon people, were we supposed to be taking that seriously? That was hilarious!!

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:57:19 PM CST

    Laserhead

    by joenathan

    You are incorrect, sir!

    Authority was big screen and high octane, it did easily what Johns is currently failing horribly at doing. Plus, it was just good and imaginative.

    A. Thompson was a genius and a political seer. B. Yes, sometimes Ellis's Thompson fetish is an overly used crutch, but Transmet was more good sci-fi than bad Thompson impression.

    Also, I notice you avoid bringing up Thunderbolts, which was amazing.

    Face.

    Remender is weak sauce. He's Image-good. What's Gen 13 doing lately? Maybe he "re-imagine" that title and it'd be just as tits-extreme as X-Force.

    Remender admires Ellis. Not vice versa

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 12:57:25 PM CST

    You aint dropping it, Joe

    by gooseud

    Your telling me youve come this far and dont wanna know how it ends?? Your just gonna stop buying it, and thats it? LOL cmon son. The chances of that happening are jack and shit, and jack's on the next train outta town!!!

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:01:01 PM CST

    My most underrated

    by joenathan

    I have two.

    1. I think it's Wonder Woman. That was actually thought I had while reading this last issue. "I forgot how cool this book is." We'll see if it lasts, but for now. Yeah, fucking Wonder Woman. Who knew?

    2. Invincible Iron Man. It's really low key and it always draws me in. It has some pacing issues, yes, but I think, if I were reading it in trades or if it were a TV show, I'd be calling it brilliant. Great characterization. And I'm really enjoying watching Stark Resilient grow. I know it sounds boring, but I put off each issue, but when I read it, I'm enthralled.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:02:43 PM CST

    Joe

    by laserhead

    You just called Hunter S. Thompson a genius. That automatically relegates you to someone who doesn't know good writing from bathroom graffiti.

    Thunderbolts was good. Not nearly as good as Jeff Parker's current run, but good.

    Remender is Image good? This the same Image that gave us Jonathan Hickman? Cause in that case you're right, Remender and Hickman are Image good, which is way better than being Ellis bad.

    Face. Or ass. Take your pick.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:03:26 PM CST

    note to pink and goose... and anyone

    by homer sexual

    Pink: I agree about the first issue of Catwoman, wouldnt have tried again if not heavily touted, and I did like it. But I may be wrong about women liking it, though it isnt pandering nearly as much.

    WW: I agree that the first issue was nothing. IDK why I picked up the second issue, but it improves drastically from #2 on.

    Birds of Prey: I wouldn't bother. My friends joke that I have given it up after god knows how many issues, all of them in every incarnation, but it's just too boring so I dropped it after #4.

    Joe: Unfortunately, its a different artist in WW#5. The art is still good, but it's not the same.

    Goose: Well, I'm no Joe, but I have every trade of Walking Dead through 14 and after reading negative talkbalk on 15, I didn't buy it and I think I am done with WD once and for all.

    Anyone: Still hoping to hear which books will be subject to the Liefeld. Hopefully its Deathstroke, which already sucked, and Teen Titans, cause I guess that's up his alley. But no one seems to be able to tell me which books he will be "drawing"

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:03:54 PM CST

    Don't quote Jack Burton to me, bud

    by joenathan

    That book has been treading water for the past year and all the characters look the same. It's teetering. I may drop it. I may! Just you watch me consider possiblly doing so!

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:06:09 PM CST

    Yeah, Nazi Frost Giants

    by buzz maverik

    Loki's the main villain, just as he was in Avengers # 1. Thor was all about science = magic, not my favorite premise but if they stick with that, there's your alien invasion. If they use the movie continuity of Thor and Captain America (Iron Man and the Hulk flicks sort of came beforehand and stood more on their own, with a few hints) Loki may be controlling modern Hydra.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:06:24 PM CST

    Image

    by joenathan

    It's a good starting point. Some folks spread their wings and fly to bigger better things (like Hickman and Ellis). Others should stay and paddle around a bit.

    You know what would be awesome: Cyberforce! by Rick Remender (guitar solo)

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:08:12 PM CST

    Homer

    by joenathan

    Deathstroke, Hawkman and Grifter. Google what his Hawkman looks like... you'll puke.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:08:45 PM CST

    New artist on WW?

    by joenathan

    Sucky... That makes me unhappy

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:09:12 PM CST

    Oh, be nice

    by laserhead

    Those sorts of remarks should be saved for the Scott Lobdells and Judd Winicks of the world.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:09:23 PM CST

    I don't read JLA

    by xsikal

    ... I just look at the pretty pictures. Reading it only reminds me that somehow taking 5 years off of the 'current' continuity causes every hero to regress about 10 years emotionally.

    Definitely a train wreck of a series. But pretty.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:12:16 PM CST

    It's not Skrulls or (probably) Kree in the movie

    by rev_skarekroe

    In an earlier article whose Talkback was quickly derailed by mind-numbing negativity, a producer (I don't remember who) said unequivocally that it was NOT Skrulls and that they weren't setting up the Kree/Skrull war, but that it WAS an alien race from the comics.

    I vote Badoon because they're the sort of go-to "evil" alien race. Every other species in the Marvel cosmos hates the Badoon.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:12:31 PM CST

    Ok

    by joenathan

    but the guitar solo was funny

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:14:47 PM CST

    Rev

    by joenathan

    Yeah, the producers will lie straight out. It's what they do.

    Break it down. Why the Badoon? What's their hook, storywise?

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:17:20 PM CST

    WTF?? They took that artist off Hawkman???

    by gooseud

    That was the only thing that book had going for it, was the bad ass awesome art........and they pulled that guy from the book? Your kidding

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:18:11 PM CST

    Homer

    by gooseud

    I could see someone thinking the recent arc on Walking Dead was a bit slow......mind you, no slower then half a dozen other arcs where people swore they were through with the book, only to have it get awesome again.........but yeah, it was a little slow

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:18:29 PM CST

    Wonder Woman

    by xsikal

    Apparently, I'm the only person on this site who does not like the relaunch. First issue was weird and off-putting, yes... but I don't see the dramatic improvement in the subsequent issues. Still weird and off-putting to me.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:20:02 PM CST

    DC's Liefeld decision is completely mind-boggling

    by laserhead

    I asked this last week. Can someone please explain to me how on any level of rationality this makes sense as a business decision?

    Does Liefeld have blackmail material on Didio and Lee or something?

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:20:07 PM CST

    I disagree on Image

    by gooseud

    As far as bigger and better things. They are pretty bad ass all on their own, in and of themselves. Alot of creators are doing their best work right now for that company. Granted, they have a ton of baggage from the early days, but they have been on fire the last 3 years or so.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:20:57 PM CST

    Although Billy Tan's artwork deserved a better book

    by laserhead

    But hey, it's DC. Incapable of locating viable writing talent.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:21:26 PM CST

    Goose

    by joenathan

    Did you google his Hawkman? It's great. It's like Liefeld took a time machine from 89 and got out now. It should be called Hawkman: BlaoodRaptor!

    Also, that's what I'm waiting for with Walking Dead, the next arc. Who's the hooded guy? I'm waiting to see what happens next and then, we'll see. Oh yes, we'll see indeed.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:22:22 PM CST

    For once, I agree with Laser

    by gooseud

    No book really NEEDS Liefeld obviously, but THOSE books? I mean............let him have Deathstroke, that book is god awful and reads like a parody of a bad parody of those awful early 90's Image books, but the other two, makes no sense to me.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:23:04 PM CST

    WW

    by joenathan

    What do you mean? They've given her family strife, a cast of characters (both Gods and humans and reasons for them to be there), they've given her emotional motivation and some history.

    What did you find off putting?

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:25:59 PM CST

    Liefeld

    by joenathan

    That's what I'm saying! I've never met a current fan on the internet or out in the world, so who is buying this book, how is so much of it selling that after his horrible self parody of a craphole book Hawk and Dove fails and is canceled... that they give him THREE more?

    What's going on?

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:28:40 PM CST

    Image has been hitting a sweet spot

    by laserhead

    I never think of them, because to me Image means everything bad and terrible about comic books in the mid-90s, but I would say that for a while now when I read a new series or tpb that I know nothing about, and end up loving it, 9 out of 10 times its an Image book.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:31:46 PM CST

    DC's Liefeld decision

    by sonnyhooper

    it makes you wonder if the three books they gave him are the next 3 books DC will cancel to make way for the third wave?

    its the only explanation that makes sense. *here rob finish off these 3 books no one is reading anyway*

    either that or he has pictures of dan dido and jim lee french kissing.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:35:18 PM CST

    I'm really excited for Ennis' The Shadow

    by laserhead

    I recognize it could be bad, but it could also be one of those things that activates Ennis' greatness for smart crime stories and throwback men... It could be Chaykin-Shadow awesome.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:38:03 PM CST

    Why the Badoon

    by rev_skarekroe

    They're an invasive alien race without a lot of background strings attached, unlike the Skrull or Kree. They're sort of a savage lizard people, the kind of monster that makes good cannon fodder. Unlike, say, the Dire Wraiths they fly spaceships when they attack. And the most recent Guardians of the Galaxy series had Badoon zombie cyborgs, and that's a pretty filmic idea.

    That said, I'm probably way off and it's Space Phantoms or something.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:44:04 PM CST

    Liefeld

    by holidill

    I thought Liefeld was just doing the art and story for Deathstroke and the story for Hawkman and Grifter.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 1:56:42 PM CST

    I think these Liefeld speculations are correct.

    by homer sexual

    Hawkman was ok, but Grifter sucked and Deathstroke was just so super beyond bad it already seemed like a Liefeld book.

    So I'd guess you guys are right and they are books on the bubble, so why not throw them to Liefeld as a last chance before outright cancelling them?

    I mean, I can't imagine this will actually work, but I see the logic behind it. And actually, since Deathstroke is so absurd already, that one might actually work out....

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 2:04:27 PM CST

    Why the Skrull

    by joenathan

    They're jihadists. Earth is supposed to be their's according to their holy texts and all Loki would have to do is promise it to them.

    Easy-Peasy motivation.

    Plus, they're shapeshifters.

    All of that adds up to cheap and easy bad guy fodder, an easy "twist" and probably a superhero vs fake superhero fight.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 2:05:52 PM CST

    to be fair

    by joenathan

    when I'm making fun of image, it's 90's image I'm referring to. Unless it's Bomb Queen or anything in that studio... which is shit, so... perfect for Image (90s Image)

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 2:06:53 PM CST

    guys, those arent the books on the bubble

    by gooseud

    Thats the sad part, those Liefeld books arent the ones on the bubble. From reading the tea leaves and talking to the LCS guy, seems like Captain Atom, Voodoo, and I Vampire are in trouble, which sucks, because all 3 of those books are good and are LIGHT YEARS better then anything they are moving Liefeld onto. I Vampire is literally 257 times better then Deathstroke, with or without Liefeld.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 2:07:14 PM CST

    Ennis and Liefeld

    by joenathan

    Ugh, Ennis. Talk about Crutch-reliant.

    And holidill, I believe you're right, but Liefeld did a drawing of his Hawkman and it is terrible.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 2:17:03 PM CST

    hawkman has always .....

    by gooseud

    Been the champ in the "this character should be way more awesome then he actually is" sweepstakes. Othercontestants include Cyborg, Black Cat, and Doctor Druid....just kidding on that last one

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 2:20:59 PM CST

    Ennis

    by laserhead

    Punisher MAX. Period.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 2:29:30 PM CST

    Ennis

    by joenathan

  • Jan 25, 2012 2:30:05 PM CST

    Doc Druid

    by joenathan

    was in the 2nd to last Secret avengers. Great issue.

    Ellis.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 2:31:31 PM CST

    Hawkman

    by joenathan

    People say that Hawkman should be cooler all the time, but how many chances has he gotten and failed? When do we admit that we may be worng about him?

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 2:34:20 PM CST

    When, Joe?

    by gooseud

    The answer is......never!!!!! Dude he has wings and carries a big ass mace!! Who could fuck that up??

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 2:35:04 PM CST

    JLA - Johns

    by optimous_douche

    He's clearly putting all of his mojo into GREEN LANTERN instead of JUSTICE LEAGUE.

    We can all say different markets, but at what point is it pandering instead.

    I started reading DC fully in 1986, my entrance was CRISIS followed quickly by Miller's stuff.

    That was some dark shit, not written for a kid, but I clearly loved it.

    Aren't today's kids supposed to be even more sophisticated than we were....

    Ponderous

    I liked the first issue, it was a refreshing change from what JLA had been, which was horrible.

    Sure some leaps of faith in logic, but ultimately fun cotton candy comic booking.

    It has clearly gone downhill from there...I guess now it's the equivalent of just dumping a bag of sugar in your mouth.

    And kudos to the TBers who pointed out that the characters in JLA are not even close to who these people are in their main titles. No one, especially adults matures THAT much in a five year span.

    WW the most egregious example of this disconnect.

    For this though, the blame goes solely to editorial and the DC strategists, not the writers.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 2:37:54 PM CST

    and just to get back to my point about JLA

    by sonnyhooper

    is there a big difference between dumb and dumbed down? especially when in comes to trying to reach new readers. either way it would read like something out of *comics for dummies* wouldn't it?

    all i'm saying it try to see it from the outside looking in, instead of from the inside looking out. i know it's hard for fans to see outside of their own perspective, but in reality that is what DC is trying to do with JLA. and mind you, i'm not saying that DC is succeeding, i'm just saying that they are trying.

    and i think the big reason that it seems to not be working is because geoff johns is the wrong writer to use to try and reach a bigger audience and thats why it comes off the way it does. johns is the ultimate comic book fan who is used to writing FOR and TO comic book fans exclusively, so there is NO WAY he has a chance of appealing to a bigger audience.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 2:47:01 PM CST

    DC cancelled 6 books to make room for the second wave right?

    by sonnyhooper

    ....so if the 3 they gave Liefeld are not the 3 on the bubble maybe they are the next 3 after the bubble? because if the books DC gave Liefeld DON'T get canceled to make way for the third wave, then i don't know what they are thinking with that move at all.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 2:50:40 PM CST

    Optimus,GL

    by gooseud

    Got its mojo back when Johns realized two fundamental truths: Hal Jordan is an utterly unloveable unlikeable douchebag assclown and Sinestro is one of the best characters in comics. There aren't words for how that book is knocking it out of the park right now. It isn't the best book out there, per se, but Sinestro is, for me, the most interesting, compelling character in comics right now......yeah I said it, all of comicdom.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 2:51:55 PM CST

    Well I'm a fan of Batman...

    by fat_rancor_keeper

    The comic has been a fun read so far. And I've been a fan of Capullo's since Spawn. Seeing him draw Batman regularly is awesome.

    I tried GB, bought the 1st issue. It wasn't bad but I couldn't see myself continuing with the series. But if things pick up I'd check it out again.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 2:52:35 PM CST

    Sonny, see my above comment

    by gooseud

    Those are the next 3 to go......so no, apparently DC is keeping the Liefeld books awhile....perplexing I know.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 2:55:44 PM CST

    optimous_douche, exactally....

    by sonnyhooper

    .....it comes across as pandering because it's geoff johns. he is not the go to guy when it comes to fresh starts and blank slates. johns is the go to guy when it comes of taking 30 years of continuity and using it all in a way to pacify long time readers who have become continuity nazis.

    thats why i don't blame johns for trying, i just think that giving him a book that has to appeal to a much wider audience does not play to his strength as a writer.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 3:07:29 PM CST

    no, i get what i mean goosed...

    by sonnyhooper

    ....i'm just suggesting that since they canned 6 books last time, that MAYBE 6 is the magic number when it comes to ending titles?

    MAYBE the other 3 they pull the plug on will be the 3 they gave Liefeld.

    MAYBE it's less about sales and more about books DC has no long term plans for..or...

    i dunno.... i'm just spit balling ideas here because it is a conundrum, wrapped in a mystery, wrapped in a enigma, wrapped in a WTF???

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 3:09:44 PM CST

    Goose/Hawkman

    by joenathan

    Who could fuck that up?

    apparently everyone who's tried...

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 3:11:37 PM CST

    When do you give up on Hawkman?

    by prof

    Never! You go rewatch JUSTICE LEAGUE & JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED to see how to do it (albeit somewhat simplified for kids but not much). None of these characters need to be stupid or lame. JLU made Vigilante and Shining Knight cool. That cartoon series is what the new DCU should've used as a template for how to do the relaunch. They started with a clean slate too and kept the integrity of the characters and told dynamic stories and great adventures. I get a sense from the toons that Timm and Company were genuinely enthused at the possibilities before them by opening things up to the entire DCU for stories. I get a sense from the comic books that we have a bunch of artists and writers TRYING to muster and/or maintain enthusiasm but they are being stifled and hamstrung by editorial dictates, arbitrary changes, a sense of a boat without a rudder but 5 different captains with different destinations trying to navigate the boat.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 3:12:36 PM CST

    Dumb and dumbed down

    by joenathan

    There's a line, a fine line, but still...

    "dumbed down" can be seen as simplifying, as distilling to it's essense, avoiding the complex (good) bits for a more easily digested version.

    "Dumb" is stupid.

    The intent is what makes the difference and it is an important distinction, I think.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 3:14:31 PM CST

    GB?

    by joenathan

    I tried GB...?

    What's GB?

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 3:16:34 PM CST

    Hawkman

    by joenathan

    Or...

    You could watch Smallville...

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 3:26:17 PM CST

    GB = Ghostbusters

    by thedean

    or Gern Blanston

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 3:26:34 PM CST

    Liefeld's Hawkman

    by nightarrows

    Fucking Terrible™:
    http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?s=f7bc50986692b8148ba94fd797000be5&t;=400061

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 3:29:39 PM CST

    a fine line to be sure...

    by sonnyhooper

    ....but if you are talking about intent, you also need to consider perspective.

    johns is trying to reach a wider audience, so he tried to dumb down the characters. but because that is not his strength as a writer it just comes across as dumb. especially to anyone who is a long time, hard core comic reader. at least thats how i see it.

    *sigh*

    but......i'm sure we are just gonna have to agree to disagree on this point..... as usual, right joe?

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 3:33:30 PM CST

    Mystery revealed!

    by nightarrows

    What a fucking tool:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPhlWKi9uKQ

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 3:40:28 PM CST

    hahahahhaha

    by sonnyhooper

    inking and driving.....holy shit what an ass hole. thanks nightarrows that was a nice little pick me up.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 3:41:57 PM CST

    Or gang bang

    by gooseud

    They will be featuring that on the sequel to identity crisis.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 3:43:08 PM CST

    Hawkman might fall in the "better as a bad guy" category

    by gooseud

  • Jan 25, 2012 3:52:35 PM CST

    Rob Liefeld: The Most Important Man In Comic Fandom

    by buzz maverik

    He is the great unifier, someone for all the fans to agree on. If you hate him, yer in the club. You know the secret handshake. You get to bitch about how he draws feet even though you never really look at feet when somebody else draws 'em.

    Here's what I don't like about him (so I get to sit at the cool table): He can't write but he wrote anyway. Sure, that didn't stop Jack Kirby, but Rob's no Jack Kirby. In an early YOUNGBLOOD, the one where he introduced Prophet, Rob stole a plot point from a superhero comic I wrote/drew/etc in 3rd grade: a superhero, touring a government facility, is shown a dangerous superbeing in one of those tube things, sees a button or lever, thinks, "Wonder what that does" and pushes it, unleashing a dangerous menace. I've also heard that Rob didn't treat people very well at the height of his fame, but that may have been generated by people who wished they'd made the shitload of Marvel money he did and also wished they'd had a height of fame themselves. Or it may be true. Also, his whole Image career was doing what every kid geek with a notebook, pencil and study hall elective ever did: drawing a generic X-Man character and giving him a name like Iron Hawk, then doing another and calling him Hawk Iron.

    Here's what I do like about him (so I get to sneak down to 7-11 for cigarettes and Snickers with the stoners at lunch time): In small doses, his artwork is highly stylistic, and when I'd go into a comic shop in the early '90s, his covers were so ubiquitous, laid out in rows and rows that it had a pleasantly trippy quality. He's no Steranko, but it reminded me of the feeling I'd get staring at Steranko's Marvel posters after a particularly deep bong hit. Also, Rob used to occasionally, and briefly be my Comic Book Guy at a couple of shops in Orange County in the '80s. Nice guy then. Always drawing. Would actually ring me up when I'd say, "Uh, Rob, I really gotta pay for this shit and go."

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 3:53:47 PM CST

    No, sonny

    by joenathan

    I'd agree with that. He may have tried to "dumb them down", but it comes off as "dumb"

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 3:58:56 PM CST

    See?

    by joenathan

    No one actually liked his stuff outright anymore.

    How does he keep getting work?

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 4:03:20 PM CST

    oh hey buzz...

    by sonnyhooper

    ....i meant to get back to you in the Avenger/empire cover thread but it's off the front page now. we were talking about the casting bruce banner and you mentioned you wanted marvel to do a dr. strange movie next. and i wanted to run an idea by you.

    if marvel did do a dr. strange movie i think they should cast jeffery dean morgan as the good doctor..... what do ya think?

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 4:10:21 PM CST

    Rob Gets Work...

    by buzz maverik

    ...because 20-25 years ago he made people in comics an unspeakable amount of money. Even though he will never make the industry that amount of money again, X-FORCE #1 money is hard to forget. He is a comic book celebrity. We talk about him. I currently go to meetings in church basements and say, "I'm Buzz M. I'm a comic book addict. It's been nine months since my last comic and that was only Tin Tin collection..." myself, but comics are an addictive drug. Enough people will buy the books, the way people will buy crack even though they've heard rumors that it might be bad for them -- although crack is probably more fun than the comics. The books will make a profit, although they'd probably do that with new artists or writers too.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 4:19:19 PM CST

    buzz maverik - very good point

    by jaka

    A lot of people, a lot of money.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 4:19:24 PM CST

    Sorry, Laserhead, I gotta chime in here...

    by captaincosmos

    Totally disagree w/ you on Batman.

    Snyder is writing a compelling, well-paced action/detective story that is suspenseful and adds depth to the mythology of Gotham.

    But most of all -- you are SO WRONG about Capullo's artwork. The best thing about the book, imo.
    Clean, kinetic, stylized, without being cartoony.
    Great looking Batman and terrific atmospherics throughout.
    He's one of my favorite new artists.

    So, to recap:
    You.
    Are.
    Wrong.

    Thanks for playing,
    Capt. Cosmos

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 4:19:46 PM CST

    Funny You Should Mention Jeffrey Dean, Sonny

    by buzz maverik

    I never thought of him, but he'd work. The reason it's funny is this: my wife used to be a huge fan of Grey's Anatomy. Because I'm a huge fan of my wife, I'd watch with her, even though I have testicles and therefore, naturally hated the show. To get through an episode, I'd imagine I was watching a show about everyone's favorite Marvel superhero team (okay, MY favorite Marvel superhero team because I'm weird): The Defenders. Always pictured Patrick Dempsey as Dr. Strange. Jeffrey Dean Morgan was usually Hawkeye, occasionally Nighthawk.

    Johnny Depp would be a great Dr. Strange, if they could get him.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 4:22:24 PM CST

    What a friggin' tool.

    by pink_apocalypse

    Why is he endangering lives?

    To show how 'dedicated' he is to getting something done? To explain why his artwork is so awful? So we can see just how goddamn crisp his Adidas cap is?

    Tool.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 4:27:03 PM CST

    I wonder how long Fables will continue?

    by jaka

    And how many spin-off books it will have before all is said and done.

    For any number of reasons Sandman is the book it most gets compared to, although I'm still not sure the series stacks up against the original 75 issues of that book. Regardless, Fables is great and it's rapidly approaching issue 125, a full 50 beyond the Sandman run.

    Sandman has a rather ridiculously large amount of off-shoots, though. So I'm not sure I can ever see the two properties equaling the same number of issues in total.

    I wonder because Willingham has actually been doing this for a very long time. I sometimes wonder if he feels like he needs to continue with this for as long as possible because he knows what the other side looks like. He knows what it means to have released some books that people read, but probably won't be remembered as living near the top of the mountain. Fables lives there, and that's got to feel pretty good.

    So I just wonder; how long will Fables continue? Will Bill Willingham stay at the head of the table? Will there be other lengthy sub-series when it ends. etc. etc.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 4:27:22 PM CST

    Hey, I Field Strip My Guns & Mix Magaritas When I Drive...

    by buzz maverik

    ...but as Dirty Harry said, "A man's gotta know his limitations."

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 4:45:39 PM CST

    I hear you Captain

    by laserhead

    You have bad taste. Roger that. Loud and clear.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 4:45:59 PM CST

    Marvel Aliens

    by eddie_dane

    Here's the list:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_alien_races_in_Marvel_Comics

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 4:48:56 PM CST

    heh. i can relate buzz..

    by sonnyhooper

    ...i had a similar situation. kind of...... see when Smallville first came out, i asked my wife to watch the first episode because i'm a huge fan of the big blue boy scout. so because my wife is a huge fan of mine, she agreed to watch with me. funny enough, by the end of the first episode SHE was hooked on the show and I was, needless to say, more than a little disappointed. but... i ended up watching all 10 seasons of that fucking show, regardless of how bad it got, ONLY because my wife actually liked it.

    granted it wasn't as big a grenade to jump on as watching Gray Anatomy's. but still, it's amazing what us married guys will do for love.

    to this day i tease my wife because she has a crush on the kid who played green arrow. i call her a pedophile because the kid looked like he was 12 years old. she gets so mad and insists that the actor is like 29, but still, i think it's funny as hell.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 5:00:56 PM CST

    I don't get the age division thing.

    by pink_apocalypse

    I think JD was propping up the idea of companies de-aging, or at least avoiding 'adult' concepts like marriage or divorce, as a way to attract new (presumably young) readers. I've never bought into that line of thinking. When I was a kid, I never read books or watched t.v. wishing I was...another kid, even a kid with powers or something. If anything, trying to feed me a 'teen' version of Bionic Woman or Sarah Connor or Isis (don't you dare judge me) would have put me off. Most cartoons in the 80's had a very pandering feel to them that always bugged me - even as a child.

    I don't think 'dumbing something down', with the risk of simply making it dumb, has any sort of potential pay-off reward.

    My boyfriend has pretty much decided to dropped Justice League, but I'm curious about something. I'm going to hand it off to the extremely bright, creative, articulate, geeky 10 year old next door. And then I'm going to get his opinion of it. I think it'd be interesting to get his perspective. Because it seems like he'd be the target DC is going for.

    I'm at the 10th trade of the Walking Dead, and am starting to lose my ability to care.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 5:11:50 PM CST

    Glad I made myself clear, Laser.

    by captaincosmos

    Hey, wait -- wuh?!

    Sonofa...

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 5:13:44 PM CST

    Liefeld HAS a Fan Base

    by optimous_douche

    A fucking huge one...yes, still.

    Don't believe me, check out his Twitter followers and stream. The Retweets of praise for his work is astronomical.

    Dude also has a Klout score that's off the charts.

    Yes, I contribute to this fandom for the greater good of comic reporting, but I am the far far exception - not the norm.

    You don't get that many zombies if you are collectively hated.



    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 5:17:35 PM CST

    Wow

    by joenathan

    We're third on the sidebar today and most of the talk centered on Marvel and DC with only two of the books reviewed talked about.

    Now, I like this column and I like having no mainstream/alternative comics showcased, but I'm going to put forth that perhaps the balance has tipped too far in one direction, as indicated by the general reaction of the column's readers.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 5:18:35 PM CST

    Walking Dead

    by joenathan

    Everybody should drop that book, it's the cool thing to do. Anybody who's anybody is doing it.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 5:19:05 PM CST

    Fables - Jaka

    by optimous_douche

    I've been worried about FABLES since the end of the great war.

    The Mr. Dark story was good, but nowhere near as epic and when that closed neat and tidy I got extra worried.

    That is until this issue,, I think Willingham just put some intriguing irons in the fire.

    And CINDERELLA was one of my favorites of last year.

    I think the commercial success and longevity of this book lies in the spin-offs, but the core is still marketable. Hell when not one but two networks rip off your idea, you know you're money.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 5:21:00 PM CST

    Do a study.

    by pink_apocalypse

    I think you'd find a negative relationship correlation between Liefeld praise and I.Q. (no, I'm just kidding...as far as you know).

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 5:21:54 PM CST

    Liefeld

    by joenathan

    That's crazy. I don't get it. I wonder if it's the allure of the easily accessible celebrity, even small fish celebrity, because I just can't understand what it would be from his... ahem... less than stellar portfolio that would inspire a huge of amount of fans now-a-days.

    And I swear, I know comic people... but I've never met a modern day Liefeld fan.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 5:24:35 PM CST

    Alright Douche

    by joenathan

    I'll read it tonight

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 5:29:02 PM CST

    No, Joe.

    by pink_apocalypse

    You're just trying to eventually crack my faith in the show. Won't happen. They're two completely different worlds in my head.

    So no. I said no to drugs, binge drinking, getting groped by football players at Kappa Skanka Derpa, and voting Republican.

    Walking Dead is faltering but I'm not quite ready to drop it yet. I say no to your peer pressure as well.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 5:31:24 PM CST

    No, Joe.

    by pink_apocalypse

    You're just trying to eventually crack my faith in the show. Won't happen. They're two completely different worlds in my head.

    So no. I said no to drugs, binge drinking, getting groped by football players at Kappa Skanka Derpa, and voting Republican.

    Walking Dead is faltering but I'm not quite ready to drop it yet. I say no to your peer pressure as well.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 5:32:19 PM CST

    other things Liefeld like to do while inking his comicbooks..

    by sonnyhooper

    1. run tree branches through the wood chipper

    2. make sweet love to a roomful of ladies

    3. skydive

    4. do a line of coke off a strippers ass

    5. shotgun 3 bud lights

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 5:33:01 PM CST

    ?

    by pink_apocalypse

    Weird. I only hit the submit button once.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 5:38:34 PM CST

    I'm sure Liefeld's Legion aren't MENSA members

    by optimous_douche

    But they're not so brain dead they can't work Twitter.

    Check this shit out, just from today:

    Snagged a Liefeld variant for Prophet #21 from @robertliefeld ,LOVED THE SHIT OUT OF THIS BOOK!!!!


    @robertliefeld @Comixology This run is one of 3 at the time that take a boring book and with 1 issue makes it fresh to death.


    @robertliefeld it's great to see such a community-friendly creator. thanks for answering. SO going to pick up deathstroke and hawkman

    There's more, but I can hear my longboxes weeping increase with each cut & paste (and yes, that includes my complete Liefeld early 90s run).

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 5:51:55 PM CST

    I'm just saying...

    by pink_apocalypse

    ...that it feels like people who would like him are the kind of people who silently mouth words to themselves as they read them.

    Which is only fair, because Liefeld was probably sticking his tongue out of the corner of his mouth, brow furrowed in intense concentration, trying to figure out how many more ribs he could remove from the 'woman' he's drawing, and still allow for lungs and 4000 cc's of silicone.

    I concede two of Sonny's declarations. A bud light was probably within arm's reach. A little hair o' the dog that bit him from a late evening spent at Miss Jiggle's amateur night.

    I say again, in the name of all real artists, and those people like him drove away during the Chromium Age: Tool.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 5:56:27 PM CST

    Walking Dead

    by optimous_douche

    I was ready to let go...

    Until today's issue!

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 6:30:02 PM CST

    laserhead

    by neonfrisbee

    I'm surprised to hear how much you disliked Batman #5. Usually, I agree with you, and I think we share many of the same likes (Morrison, for example), but this time I disagree. I love the whole dang thing -- the Batman maze meltdown freakout, the Court of Owls, the Gotham history, the whole deal. I dig it.

    If there's any criticism it's that we already saw Bats get psychologically broken down in R.I.P.

    I also agree that Snyder's Dick Grayson stories were great. I was bummed they got rid of the Grayson as Bats thing so soon. Especially the relationship between Grayson and Damien Wayne in Morrison's Batman & Robin. All of that was really great. Grayson's more happy-go-lucky, ex-carny approach to being the Bat coupled with Damien's arrogant, chip-on-his-shoulder, ninja-training, son of a bazillionaire snobbery.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 6:59:33 PM CST

    I'm confused Joe

    by gooseud

    Last week this was a total dead zone. This week it's booming. Are you positing a theory as to the reasons behind that?

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 7:01:33 PM CST

    Pink, u aren't dropping WD

    by gooseud

    Ignore Joe's sad attempts at peer pressure, he isn't dropping it either. Every time you guys think your out, Kirkman pulls you back in.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 7:03:05 PM CST

    Optimus, be honest

    by gooseud

    How many times have you typed that exact sentence about that exact book? Vegas sets the over under at 6.5.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 7:07:46 PM CST

    But Like Al PAcino

    by optimous_douche

    Just when I think I'm out...they PULL ME BACK IN

    "Shakes uncontrollably, because you know, old mafia bosses shake"

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 7:25:14 PM CST

    psychologically broken Batman...

    by sonnyhooper

    ....was also done pretty well in Batman: The Cult, as well as R.I.P. as mentioned above. but i think what sets Batman #5 above those others was the visuals. totally added a visceral element to the whole thing.

    and the reason this talkback is booming is simple: no time wasted in the reviews with crappy marvel books.



    only kidding........ just wanted to see if joes head would explode.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 8:09:03 PM CST

    Joe has come a long way, Sonny

    by gooseud

    He actually admits some DC and Image books are good now. This is a big step for him. Of course, DC's books have increased exponentially in quality over the past year, which may have something to do with it.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 8:25:28 PM CST

    Capullo's art is at it's peak in BATMAN --

    by moosemalloy

    -- and I wonder if I'm the only one who has been noticing a certain Bernie Wrightson influence with these amazing issues.

    Capullo's only weakness is he can't seem to draw a female face that doesn't look a little masculine. Go figure.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 8:37:49 PM CST

    like i said....

    by sonnyhooper

    ......kidding. jeez.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 9:02:40 PM CST

    My name is Professor Challenger...

    by prof

    ...and I'm a recovering comic buyer. I'm 90 days sober...

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 9:23:45 PM CST

    No Goose

    by joenathan

    It's just yet another example of me following good writers. If you make a good book, I'll read it. Now, admittedly, making good books isn't really DC or Image's thing--as they prefer to make crappy books usually--but I like this new direction making a few good ones, so I'm supporting it.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 9:26:00 PM CST

    This week's TB

    by joenathan

    I'm saying that when we have a booming talkback, it usually doesn't center around the alternative/non-mainstream books. I like to have those reviews, but I'm just saying... perhaps it's time to put "a little more" focus back on DC and MArvel, as that seems to foster the most discussion. NOT ALL, mind you, just maybe make the ratio a little more Big Two heavy, is all I'm saying.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 9:26:56 PM CST

    Goose/Pink/Walking Dead

    by joenathan

    You'll drop up. Kirkman will see to that, you mark my words. You'll drop it.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 9:27:52 PM CST

    The use of the phrase:

    by joenathan

    "fresh to death" tells you all you need to know about Rob's fans

    Reply to Talkback

  • I'm never reading another DC comic for as long as that asshole is in charge. While they are at it, they should get rid of Lee, Johns, Liefield, Harras, Lobdell, Capullo, etc. With the exception of Geoff Johns, DC has collected a Hall of Shame of everything that was wrong with Marvel and Image in the 90's... only missing McFarlane.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 10:11:53 PM CST

    i find it hard to believe...

    by sonnyhooper

    ....that DC sales numbers are back to pre-reboot numbers. can we get ANY info to back that up? and what numbers are we talking about digital and paper, or just paper? and if it's just paper who cares? i mean i know no one wants to hear it but digital is the future. just deal with the fact that skynet or the matrix will take over sooner or later.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 10:14:38 PM CST

    and for the record...

    by sonnyhooper

    ..... i don't actually think what kind of books are reviewed each week (independent vs. big two) has anything to do with how big the talkback gets. i just think some weeks people are more chatty than others. it happens.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 10:50:11 PM CST

    Yay I get to be cool....

    by homer sexual

    Cuz I for real actually did drop my Walking Dead habit, and I am a for reals comic zombie that buys crap when there aren't enough good comics coming out in a given week.

    But, Goose, I hope you are wrong and think you are right about Voodoo... a comic I had less than zero interest in but rocks the house.

    If it ends with a bang, though, thats ok.

    I am actually starting to think comics are better in "novel" form, for lack of a better term... long, self contained arcs.

    A reset of everything every few years? Actually sounds good to me.

    And.... glad I've contributed to a long TB this week. I have loved being here since 2005.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 11:17:05 PM CST

    laserhead

    by poptard_jd

    "the fastest-paced slow motion comic"
    I wasn't sure if that would make sense to anyone but me, thanks for getting it!!

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 11:20:38 PM CST

    sonny hooper

    by poptard_jd

    i get what you're saying about them trying to get a new generation of readers, and that's why JL is "supposed" to seem like an MTV reality show version of a comic book, but that's even more insulting to the next generation if they think they need to have the characters act borderline retarded for younger readers to "get it"

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 25, 2012 11:57:56 PM CST

    adam strange

    by bacon_aesthetic

    stumbled on a brand new Adam Strange Showcase for half off, and the art by Infantino and Murphy Anderson on inks is really tight. This has to be some of the best stuff of DC's Silver Age. (Gardner Fox did the scripts). Fun comics, and good looking too.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 26, 2012 1:47:53 AM CST

    Right on, Homer

    by joenathan

    Long, self contained arcs are the way to go. Down with never-ending serials!

    What do we want?

    A beginning, a middle, and an end!

    When do we want them?

    At the beginning, the middle and the end, respectively!

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 26, 2012 8:26:05 AM CST

    poptard....

    by sonnyhooper

    ....well then you are a much more charitable and optimistic man than I. because from my experience 'borderline retarded' is a very kind term to use when describing the next generation, at lease imo.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 26, 2012 8:37:54 AM CST

    and I'm with homer and joe....

    by sonnyhooper

    .....get one writer and one artist to do a story arc for a year or two and then END THE STORY. when a new creative team comes in start over. it's just that simple.

    the most satisfying comic I have read in the last 25 years has to be Y:The Last Man. and the reason it was so enjoyable was because it had a beginning, an middle and a end. i see no reason why that can't be done with super-hero comics. or any kind of comic for that matter, they are imaginary stories after all.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 26, 2012 8:40:00 AM CST

    so wait, prof challenger isnt on this site anymore?

    by gooseud

    Prof, your totally done with comics completely? Really?

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 26, 2012 8:41:10 AM CST

    Homer, as far as Voodoo

    by gooseud

    the theory rumbling around is that it would have been cancelled already if not for the ramifications of cancelling that, Mr. Terrific, and Static Shock all at once

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 26, 2012 9:02:00 AM CST

    other random thoughts...

    by sonnyhooper

    thank you moose for making the Bernie Wrightson / Capullo connection for me. it was driving me crazy trying to think of who the art was reminding me of. it does seems Capullo has tweaked his style a bit for Batman. totally different from when he was on Spawn and was channeling McFarlane.

    also about Hawkman, i think he works best when he is on Thanagar or Hawkworld or basically any place besides earth. Hawkman and other characters like him suffer the most from the 'shared universe' approach. left by himself, he can shine, put him next to Superman and Batman and, of course, he will look like a tool.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 26, 2012 9:02:04 AM CST

    Fables...

    by dubfit

    I just read the Deluxe Hardcover Editions and at the rate the're released, I'll never catch up to the current monthly issue's unless the book get's cancelled.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 26, 2012 9:27:28 AM CST

    neon--

    by laserhead

    I didn't really HATE it; I've just read five issues now and, especially in comparison to the Grayson arc, it seems very rote and, to me, boring... I mean, I'm tired of hearing about the secret conspiracies of Gotham's 'architects' or whatever; the nursery rhymes are lame, and I think the Talon is as generic as most of the villains appearing in the new 52. And like Batman's psychological breakage, the story beats being used here seem to have been used better elsewhere.

    I really don't hate it; I just had to admit to myself that I'm not enjoying it, and there was this sense that people were really bending over backward to shout the book's praises--

    It's personal taste, obviously, but I think Capullo is really, really awful.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 26, 2012 9:32:13 AM CST

    Holy Shit

    by laserhead

    The quotes from Liefeld's twitter followers are batshit crazy...

    But whatever kind of following he still has, it's not enough to make his books actually sell, right?

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 26, 2012 9:49:21 AM CST

    yeah good point lazerhead...

    by sonnyhooper

    .....if Liefeld has that many followers on twatter, how comes the sales figures for Hawk and Dove didn't smash all kinds of records?

    maybe people follow him ironically?

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 26, 2012 10:57:58 AM CST

    i meet a lot of people who follow him because he's so delusional

    by poptard_jd

  • Jan 26, 2012 11:37:24 AM CST

    Defense of Liefeld

    by mattadler

    Sometimes I like to defend Liefeld, just 'cause the attacks are too easy or obvious. That said, in one of the podcasts where I sort of defended him, Douche told me "That was the nicest way I've ever heard someone say that someone fucking blows. You sir, provide an icepack after the donkey punch."

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 26, 2012 12:11:41 PM CST

    Already off the front page

    by joenathan

    Busy day at the ol' AICN

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 26, 2012 12:30:49 PM CST

    well, here's two reviews from comics I read last night...

    by homer sexual

    I tend to be a sucker for group books. So the first two new comics I read last night were:

    Justice League Dark: I confess, I have never liked this comic. But I am a fan of every single team member. I own every issue of Zatanna, Suicide Squad (feat. Enchantress) and Shade, and over a hundred Hellblazer. Yet this comic has been nothing but tedious. My brother, however, swears by it. I decided I'd finish out the story arc, which concluded with a big "whatever." I know JoeNathan wouldn't like it because the characters power levels are totally random. Zatanna swings between omnipotent and incompetent. At one point, Shade's SADNESS is too strong and overpowers her. Puh-leeze. Constantine's powers make no sense at all, but that's often the case with him. JLDark is probably the most disappointing of the new DC for me. Moreso than Birds of Prey because my expectations were higher. I guess the best I can say is it doesn't suck as much as the 2 other Justice League books, but I still recommend against buying it, pass.

    Alpha Flight: Well, it's over. It was kinda good. But no wonder Alpha can't support an ongoing. On the plus side, Pak and Van Lente, experts at writing peripheral characters, make Guardian and Vindicator more interesting than they've been in the past. But thats about it. They don't know what to do with Sasquatch or Snowbird, so those two are a waste. Puck does his "like Wolverine, but friendlier" thing. Marrina looks great and is cool and edgy, but she doesn't do much either. Northstar is gay. So gay. So in love. PDA. more PDA. and, worst of all... Aurora has her Jeanne-Marie conflict throughout the whole series. None of this was really bad, I kind of liked it. But theres nothing new for old fans to like, and it is kind of school-teacher-ish to attract new fans. Competently written, nicely illustrated, but lacking the spark, the wow, to make it a hit.

    P.S. I was in the LCS and saw that Astonishing X-Men Storm has a mohawk but Avengers/X-Men storm is all "goddess" classic look... please explain!

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 26, 2012 4:35:49 PM CST

    Attn: homer

    by ye not guilty

    Regarding Storm - the one with a mohawk is an alternate reality Storm. Cyclops gets sent or kidnapped to an alternate reality somehow. I think I missed last month's ish so I don't know how he got there.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 26, 2012 4:49:58 PM CST

    @ moosemalloy

    by captaincosmos

    Totally agree with you about the Wrightson influence in some of Capullo's work.

    Oh, and as a HUGE Raymond Chandler fan -- nice username, dude.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 26, 2012 5:50:34 PM CST

    optimous_douche - All good points, and I agree

    by jaka

    I actually lost interest after the Great War for a while but was then sucked back in when I read a chunk of issues at once. The series has a way of doing that when read in large pieces, but it occasionally lags for me as a monthly.

    If Willingham can keep those irons fresh and original, it would seem as if the series could go on forever. There's definitely enough subject matter to be covered if he keeps finding new angles to approach it from. I just hope it doesn't keep going to the point where it feels like it's gotten stale. So many of the Vertigo books have retained their "magic" (for lack of a better term) because they stopped before too many people lost interest.

    I liked both of the Cinderella spin-offs, but there's a long list of other characters I'd like to see more of, know more about. Maybe something like what was done with The Dreaming, or Sandman Presents (which Willingham wrote for).

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 26, 2012 9:24:34 PM CST

    -- captaincosmos

    by moosemalloy

    Where's Velma?

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 27, 2012 12:06:39 PM CST

    Geoff Johns...

    by fremgen

    To defend him, his Aquaman and Green Lantern are good books. Like a lot of writers, he's hot and cold. But yes, JL very cold at the moment. But still a talented guy.

    Reply to Talkback

  • Jan 27, 2012 12:52:37 PM CST

    The Twelve #9 comes out next week?

    by laserhead

  • Jan 27, 2012 1:03:33 PM CST

    fremgen: no debate there, I usually LOVE Geoff Johns

    by poptard_jd

    I've pretty much liked, if not loved, everything I've read of his up until this JL series

    Reply to Talkback

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