The Week In Ink: February 4, 2008

Boy, is it ever Thursday night!



Yep! That’s what it is, all right! And that means it’s time for another round of the Internet’s Most Timely Comics Reviews!

Here’s what I picked up yesterday



And here are a few brief reviews that you can enjoy tomorrow! On Friday!








Agents of Atlas #1: With this issue, the Agents of Atlas are back in an all-new ongoing series, and it’s got all the gorilla spaceman sea queen secret agent love goddess killer robot action that you’d expect.

Long-time ISB readers might recall that the original Agents of Atlas–which was not only one of the best miniseries since Nextwave, but one of the best collections of the year, with a ton of bonus features and some rarely-reprinted Golden Age stuff–was one of the first things that brought writer Jeff Parker to my attention. Nowadays, of course, Parker’s one of my favorite writers, and this issue’s a great example of why: Slick twists, sharp characterization, big action, and a clear love of the occasionally forgotten corners of the Marvel Universe that are all built on a foundation of really solid writing.

Plus, even though it’s a Dark Reign tie-in that launched at $3.99, Agents of Atlas is one of the few titles that actually earns the extra dollar with a twelve-page backup story where Wolverine and Che Guevara fight the Brood in 1958, rather than just a bunch of panels photoshopped into a “saga” recap. It’s solid stuff all around, and since I’ve been wanting more Agents of Atlas since the first series ended, I’m stoked about seeing where it goes from here.

Also there’s a dragon that totally eats a guy.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer #22: You know, for a comic about hot lesbians kicking monsters to death, this thing sure could be a lot more fun.


Cable #11: Finally, after almost nineteen years of avoidance, I have bought a comic book starring Nathan Charles Christopher Dayspring Askani’son Summers Soldier X Cable, thus ending a blissful streak of being only vaguely aware of stuff like Stryfe, “Slym and Redd,” and the fact that Rob Liefeld often forgets to draw handles for guns and instead just rests them on the characters’ fists.

So why the sudden change? Basically, it all comes down to the art of Jamie McKelvie, of Phonogram and Suburban Glamour fame. I’m a pretty big fan of his stuff, and surprising no one, he’s still a pretty top notch artist, even when he’s drawing things that aren’t foxy emo1 girls or Jarvis Cocker, so he acquits himself pretty well, although I’m not crazy about the coloring. It might just be that I’m used to seeing McKelvie’s work under colorists like Guy Major, who use a style that brings out his clean, strong linework, but seeing his figures against muddy backgrounds that appear to be actual photographs of the sky–and in one panel, the ground–just looks weird. It doesn’t ruin the art, but there are panels that stick out, and some are noticeably worse than others.

Still, McKelvie’s art is always a treat, and as for the story, it’s not bad. I’ll admit that when I heard Swierczynski was taking over Immortal Iron Fist, my first skeptical thought was “What, the guy who does Cable?!” Still, after seeing the way he handled himself on ‘Fist–including the last issue, where a far-future Iron Fist throws one punch for twenty-three years and then becomes a giant chi-powered Voltron–I’m not surprised that he’s doing an enjoyable, if bare-bones, story here.


Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead #1: For an upstart company, Radical Comics has done a pretty good job making decisions about how they market their stuff: Keeping the price point low on introductory issues, overshipping their hardcover collections to retailers, shelling out the money to get covers from guys like Steranko, and generally pretty high production values on the comics themselves. Now, though, they’ve actually taken the most important step, and put out a comic that I’m actually halfway interested in reading, thanks to Steve Pugh and Warren Ellis.

According to the credits page, Pugh’s actually handling both the script and the art (and doing a pretty good job on both fronts), which are based on a story by Ellis, which explains why the protagonist is a perky-but-sarcastic platinum blonde with a high concept built right into her name: ALICE HOTWIRE: DETECTIVE EXORCIST.

And really, that’s all you need to know about this book: It’s a fun read that stars a character named ALICE HOTWIRE: DETECTIVE EXORCIST, and if you’re the kind of person (i.e., me) who can’t resist that kind of high concept, then you’ll probably get a pretty nice kick out of it.


Jersey Gods #1: I haven’t mentioned him too much here on the ISB, since his major exposure in the world of comics has been through the strips he’s written and drawn for Doctor Who Magazine, but I’m a huge fan of Dan McDaid and I’ve been excited about Jersey Gods since it was announced. And with good reason: Even beyond McDaid’s art–which is perfect for the book with its deceptively simple style that’s highly reminiscent of Simonson in places–Glen Brunswick’s essentially doing the New Gods as a love story. There’s equal parts cosmic battles and personal heartbreak–which makes it the love child of Jack Kirby and Nora Ephron, which is a phrase I honestly never thought I’d use–and it all adds up to something that’s pure joy to read.

So help me out here, Zabu:



Secret Warriors #1: I mentioned this back when it was solicited, but much like my situation with Cable above, it’s been a good three years since I last read a comic with the word “Bendis” on the cover, but after stuff like The Nightly News and Pax Romana, I’ve become a pretty big fan of SC’s own Jonathan Hickman, and I decided to take a chance here. And it worked out pretty well: I was just having a conversation last week with Dr. K where we talked about how it’s not necessarily Bendis’s ideas that turn us off, but the execution, and if someone else was running with the same premise, it could be a lot of fun.

And it looks like that’s exactly what happened here: Bendis is listed as a co-plotter and creator (along with Alex Maleev) of the Secret Warriors, but scriptwise, it’s all Hickman doing the story of a Nick Fury and his–wait for it–secret war against HYDRA. And as such, it’s a great read, with plenty of action and–like Agents of Atlas–bonus material that actually justifies the higher price point. The look of it and its function as a striking, engaging infodump is something that’ll be familiar to fans of his other work, and it’s obvious that Hickman put a lot of effort into it to make something that’ll catch up even someone who, you know, managed to dodge Marvel’s top tier for the past couple of years. Good stuff.




Scott Pilgrim v.5: vs. the Universe: Hey, wait a second… didn’t I already review this? Ah, whatever, it’s rad, but you’ve already got it by now, right? Right.



And that’s the week! As always, any questions or concerns, or if you just want to talk about how Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade really hit its stride with the past couple of issues, feel free to leave a comment below. As for me, I’ll be getting ready to watch The Soup!

Tomorrow, I mean.

Because it’s totally Thursday.


1: “Emo” is a current look between goth and rock. It means “emotional!”

40 thoughts on “The Week In Ink: February 4, 2008

  1. I thought that was a pretty damn fun issue of Buffy, actually. Did it not work for you at all? I’d say it was the best issue in a while, but damning with faint praise won’t get anyone anywhere.

    I’m with you on Agents of Atlas. I may have liked this first issue better than the mini. I mean, Parker made Norman Osborn amusing. He should get a special Eisner just for that.

    Oh, and hope you’re feeling better. So you can enjoy tomorrow. Friday.

  2. Hold up . . . nothing on Legion Of 3 Worlds?!? No snark on Superboy-Prime? No comments on Part Three of Brainiac 5’s master plan, which involves Polar Boy, Wildfire and Dawnstar hit the Luthor house in the 20th Century? And damn, I liked that last page.

    I figure I’ll get Jersey Gods tomorrow at the con. McDaid only has done the one DWM story, I think. I got a few references of the Master, and I’ll try to get McDaid to sketch him.

  3. Boo! *grin*

    And I loved the oath Yat used there. Foreshadowing Blackest Night, hehehe.

    Need to find a copy of Mini-Marvels: Secret Invasion though. If only for “mini” Volstagg.

  4. Oh, Zabu. Is this what it’s come to?

    You know what they’re calling you behind your back? “Raul of the Savage Land.”

  5. Agents of Atlas had the best recap page I’ve ever seen. Even better than those on Incredible Hercules

    I know you’ve pretty much given up on Joe Kelly comics, but there’s a new one that came out called Bad Dog that has a premise that I think you’d like. And I think “I Kill Giants” was pretty cool.

    Also, thanks for the recommendations og Age of the Sentry. I bought all 5 issues and I’m really enjoying it. The 1st one didn’t do it for me, but after that I’ve been loving every single one

  6. I was also expecting a 3 Worlds entry seeing as how that issues was giant amounts of Legion win

  7. Man, if you say its Thursday then I agree. And it has nothing to do with that extending my vacation week. Nope…

    My comics shop under ordered both Jersey Gods and the Franklin Richards one-shot. Which is my own fault for not letting them know to make sure I got them. But they had lots of shiny Scott Pilgrim-ness so that was good…

    Oh and don’t rush into reviewing that Anita Blake book. We don’t want you relapsing…

  8. McDaid only has done the one DWM story, I think.

    I think he only drew the first one, but he’s written several, including the most recent.

  9. Legion of Three Worlds’ last few pages were the biggest FUCK YEAH moment I’ve read in a long while.

  10. Legion of Three Worlds’ last few pages were the biggest FUCK YEAH moment I’ve read in a long while.

    Really? I liked the issue, but I felt a little underwhelmed. Like, you know, THAT’s the guy that makes Supermanboy Prime go “NO! NOT… HIM!!” Their previous encounter didn’t really settle anyone’s hash, so I find it a little goofy.

    Then again, I do like that they’re tying him back to the Legion, although I wish they would’ve stuck with his original codename.

  11. What the hell is wrong with you that you didn’t like the comic with the hot lesbians fighting against a horde of surly, foul-mouthed vampire Hello Kitty dolls that can crawl into your mouth and turn you into a social conservative?

  12. But it also had face kicking! If that’s not the perfect marriage of high concept and low concept, what is?

  13. “For some reason, even though this issue advanced the Season 8 metaplot it didn’t feel very consequential.”

    But… everything that that dude said! Eh, whatever. I can live with people being underwhelemed with it. Even if:

    “Man cannot live by high concept alone. Trust me, I’ve tried.”

    Wait, you don’t? If anyone could; I mean, I had assumed you’d found a way to gain nutrients from them, somehow.

  14. My Scott Pilgrim won’t be here for a while yet. Gotta wait for them to ship across the Atlantic. Nooooooo! Can I survive a whole week without seeing spoilers!?

    By the way, I’m sure you already read it, though I don’t recall seeing you mention it, but Ellis writes a really awesome webcomic called ‘Freakangels’ about psychic 23 year olds living in post-apocalyptic flooded London.

  15. I think he’s wondering why you didn’t get the 1st of the two-part Darkhawk War of Kings book. Meaning he missed that you mentioned you weren’t planning on picking up any of the War of Kings stuff you don’t already get…

  16. Would this be the same Darkhawk who, for the last few years, has been a member of a team of superheroes that sit around a room talking about their feelings instead of going out and punching atomic moon-gorillas?
    I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to read a book starring a non-moon-gorilla-punching Darkhawk, especially when it’s written by the same person who wrote all six issues of insomnia-curing non-moon-gorilla-punching Darkhawk in a room talking about his feelings instead of the moon-gorilla-punching with other superheroes who used to be cool but now don’t punch moon-gorillas snooze-book The Loners (plural).

  17. Darkhawk spends part of the book beating up one of the U-Foes, then he goes to talk with the super-hero support group. Then he meets another Darkhawk. Then an explosion…

  18. My comic shop ordered one copy of Scott Pilgrim for my pull list…and accidentally sold it the morning it came in to someone else. ):

    On Supergirl #3,

    “Gah! I’m in the grips of some invisible superhero! I am just an unwitting pawn in a larger game!”

    “Aiee! I’m being carried away to my mysterious doom!”

    “Oh no! The meteor energy and the kryptonite combined to turn me into pure cheese! I’m too delicious to live!”

    “I think all I got was the power to talk to fish. Who wants to talk to fish?”

  19. Haven’t read Nova, I have to admit (still reading the Annihilation trades that trail some ways behind that series), but Loners left me cold around the time I realised that though the team had been introduced as jokey caricatures of their former selves in Runaways, the writer of Loners had missed the joke entirely and wrote them as suffering emo(1) teens, despite the fact that he was the editor of Runaways at the time and really should have been in on the gag. Thus Darkhawk is now a one-note character that needs cockpunching – except when non-Loners writers take him out for a spin, apparantly.
    And I’ll bet good money there still aren’t moon-gorillas.

    (1) I am ashamed to admit I know this, but emo means ’emotional hardcore’. You get to have a silly haircut, as far as I can tell.

  20. Kate: I actually haven’t read Freakangels. I like Ellis a lot, and I appreciate what he’s doing, but I usually like to sit down with long-form storytelling in something other than little chunks, you know? We’ve got the hardcover at work and I’ve been meaning to check it out, but there’s all those twenty year-old Batman comics to read, so…

    JW: Emo is a current look between goth and rock–It means “emotional!”

  21. Freakangels is totally worth your time. I think all that work for 2000 AD back in the day gave Ellis a gift for making stories told a handful of pages at a time work it like a Polaroid picture.

  22. Well if we’re not talking about Darkhawk being kind of a tool then what about in Kull where they hack up snake men like nuts? That was pretty awesome. I guess that’s really all the discussion necessary though.

  23. SIMS!

    Am I to red your comments on Cable to mean that you never read Cable/Deadpool? That was the best ongoing series Marvel had before it got sacrificed to the new status-X.

  24. Emo is a current look between goth and rock–It means “emotional!”

    God bless you, Archie. And all who sail upon you.

  25. Only the first few issues! (Also I kinda liked the Liefeld covers in that they were an ironic contrast to the actual contents of the book which usually just used that kind of excess as a punchline.)

  26. I wish you’d review Mini Marvels again Sims.

    The world is in dire need of the joy it speaks directly to the soul.

    One picture is like giving a starving dog a rubber bone, man.

  27. Reading today’s NYTimes, I suddenly realized the card in Secret Six is just a plenary indulgence, and couldn’t think of anywhere better to share that than here. Why don’t all the super-villains just get corrupt priests to give them one?

  28. Well, I imagine the card carries more weight than the usual indulgence since it comes from Neron himself. (Not that he’d go back on a deal.)

  29. hell, i read ANYTHING with Deadpool in it, Liefeld or not.

    Though i hope and pray for another glorious age like the Gail Simone run… *sigh*

  30. I’m with you 100% about Bart Allen’s codename. I like “Impulse” much more than Kid Flash as a handle for Bart. How does one go from being “The” Flash to “Kid” Flash again? I guess that means Wally won’t be suiting up in that costume again at least.

    Oh, you’re also 100% on Supergirl in the 8th Grade. I love this book and I’m sad it’s only a mini-series. Hopefully, there will be more!