The Week In Ink: April 22, 2009

You know, if you make it all the way to the C in the word “attack”…



…how do you know you didn’t finish saying it?

Alas, there are some questions that even we at the ISB cannot answer. But enough with the metaphysics, because it’s Thursday night and that means it’s time for another round of the Internet’s Most Capitalistic Comics Reviews!

Before those, however, it is time once again to feed the ever-grinding wheels of commerce! After taking a break last week, I’ve got another round of ISB Fundraiser Auctions:


Absolute League of Extraordinary Gentlemen v.1, by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill

Absolute League of Extraordinary Gentlemen v.2, by those two guys again

Absolute Crisis on Infinite Earths, by Marv Wolfman and George Perez

Absolute DC: The New Frontier, by Darwyn Cooke

The Absolute Authority, by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch

And, completing what some of you might be seeing as a pattern at this point, Absolute Planetary v.1 by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday

Also, the friend of mine who’s actually doing the grunt work for the auctions is selling a bunch of Mark Waid Flash, comics of which I wholeheartedly approve. So if that’s your speed (haw), show him some love too.


Okay, plug over! Now it’s down to business, so here’s what you could’ve bought this week if you weren’t giving me all of your money…



…and here’s what I thought of them!



Batman: The Brave and the Bold #4: So in this issue, Batman gets turned into a baby and then teams up with Sugar & Spike to fight Felix Faust.

Batman teams up with Sugar & Spike to fight Felix Faust.


They need to make an Eisner Award for Best Team-Up and then immediately give it to this book. And even better, that happens in the first two pages, and then is followed by Batman and Hercules Aquaman fighting dinosaurs and samurais and cavemen, so I think it’s safe to say that this may–MAY–be the best Batman team-up since the heyday of Bob Haney and Jim Aparo.


Ghost Rider #34: You know, for the past few years, I’ve been laboring under the impression that the only two people in the world who actually read all twelve issues of Marvel’s early-80s trucker epic U.S. 1 were me and John Byrne, and I was the only one who actually liked it. With this issue, however, that has all changed, as Jason Aaron and The Walking Dead‘s Tony Moore have brought back The Highwayman, U.S. 1’s archenemy who is an undead trucker who sold his soul to the Devil (or possibly aliens) for a super-powerful eighteen-wheeler called The Blackrig. It was genius in 1983, and I’ll be damned if it’s not genius today.

Of course, the fact that it’s taken this long for him to appear in the book about the motorcycle stunt rider who sold his soul to the Devil is a little surprising, but I suppose that’s another one you can chalk up for Aaron, whose mad, risk-taking genius has made Ghost Rider one of the books I’m looking forward to the most each month. Of course, I already knew that after last month’s references to Megadeth, Lone Wolf McQuade and Smokey and the Bandit, but it bears repeating that Aaron is taking full advantage of the opportunity he’s got with this title and transformed it into the bastard spawn of Evel Kneivel and The Evil Dead, and brother, it makes for some entertaining comics.





Incredible Hercules #128: Okay, look, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Oh my God, is he seriously going to talk about how much he loves Incredible Hercules again? We know, okay? Blah blah great book blah blah mythology and the Marvel universe blah blah compares favorably to Simonson blah blah shameless Amazon links blah. We get it. Change the effing record.” And I know. I don’t want to repeat myself any more than you want to read it over again.

But seriously, in this comic, Venom bites Herc’s fist, and so Herc punches the Sentry with Venom on his fist and the sound effect is “DUBBAPOW!” I love this crazy comic so much, you guys. So, so much.


DC Classics Library: Batman: The Annuals: You know, I’ve been pretty pleased with the DC Classics Library line thus far, both in the high-quality presentation and the stories they’re reprinting (like the truly goofy Kryptonite No More), but man, I am not looking forward to this. As much as I love Batman–and I’m pretty sure the record will show that I love Batman a lot–I’ll freely admit that the Silver Age was not his best era. Trapped between the two extremes of the Pulp Vigilante of the ’40s and the increasingly super-competent adventure hero of the ’70s, Silver Age Batman seems even stranger today than his contemporaries, and while the art’s often great (Dick Sprang! Shelly Moldoff!) the stories themselves can get rough, especially in concentrated doses. They lack the bizarre charm of the Silver Age Superman family and the outright mad genius of stuff like Metamorpho or The Metal Men that would come a few years later. Instead, they suffer from repeating plots that were dry and formulaic to begin with, and–oh shit does that say JUNGLE BATMAN?!



oh man you guys this thing is gonna rule so hard.


And that’s the week. Well, unless you want me to talk at length (again) about The Chronicles of Solomon Stone #1, my first full-length comic for the Action Age that is now available in its entirety to view online or download as a PDF or CBZ for free. And really, I think you’ve all heard that by now.

As always, any other questions on something I read or skipped out on this week (like Viking which I accidentally left at work but was amazing in format alone) can be left in the comments section below.

35 thoughts on “The Week In Ink: April 22, 2009

  1. Apparently, Jungle Batman has no nipples. Don’t ask.

    Any thoughts on Ex Macchina? If only Mayor Bloomberg would vow to leave the city never to return if he didn’t get all of his goals accomplished while in office.

  2. I personally don’t have any real issues with the Sentry, but I’ll be damned if the whole fight between him and Herc (where Sentry gets thrown around by the cape, punched with Venom, and otherwise smacked around) isn’t the most entertaining thing I’ve ever read with him.

  3. ‘You know, if you make it all the way to the C in the word “attack”… how do you know you didn’t finish saying it?’ OMG I wonder this all the time!

  4. I mean, I know it did. I meant more like bummer for you. Unless you read it and didn’t like it. In which case… Cool? It’s late, I’m hyped up on my third can of Nos, I’m drawing a mini comic about Batman and sexting, and I think my brain is melting. So whatever.

  5. It came out, but I didn’t get it.

    You made the right call. The climax of the story is Baby Batman. And NOT Baby Batman putting on a tiny cape and adorable cowl and punching his way out of Martha’s uterus.

    I probably missed this being discussed at some point, but are you not reading Scalped? Because, wow, that book is all sorts of awesome.

  6. I think it may be possible that the writers on both the cartoon & comic versions of Batman: the Brave & the Bold plan each episode/issue around “What will make Chris Sims totally freak the hell out?” Which isn’t a bad thing at all…

    Also, I’m curious. How have you been finding Savage Dragon. I know you weren’t a regular reader. As a long term follower I’ve thought the last couple issues were weaker than normal, just lacking something…

  7. Other than Seaguy and trades, Ghost Rider is the only comic I’m buying the noo. It is, frankly, outstanding. Even my non-comics-reading friends are enjoying the ludicrous concepts such as gangbuster Ghost Riders, and the aforememntioned Smokey+Bandit etc.

    I’m really enjoying Tony Moore’s art, as well – he seems to have adopted a looser style than his usual, and it’s totally working.

  8. Hercules, who was once killed by his own shirt, punches a thinly-veiled Superman analogue with a fist wrapped in Spider-Man’s old evil costume?

    Neil Gaiman should be taking notes. THAT’s mythic.

  9. I was incredibly stoked about the auctions, at least until I saw the ‘USA only’ postal rule. What a downer.

  10. Man, I sure wish Morrison had written “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader” instead.

    I hate having to slam Gaiman, but really…it’s like the point of the two-parter was pretty much what Morrison’s been doing all along, except without the fun and craziness and originality. It was really like a whimper after Grant’s continuous slam-bangs. On that note, maybe I wouldn’t even have wanted Morrison to write it, since it would have then been him retreading on his themes…but naw, even so, he probably could have come up with something really awesome around Gaiman’s idea.

  11. I’m so glad I broke down and started picking up GR monthly instead of waiting on the trades based on your review of the last issue. I am also glad that so many comics I’m reading seem to be written solely for you, since we have such similar taste. And I thought Gaiman’s Batman was okay but you didn’t miss much by skipping it. At least Morrison and Quitely are coming soon, or this would be my Bat jumping off point for a while.

  12. The eight-tracks in Ghost Rider. It’s like there was something missing inside of me and I didn’t even know.

  13. Tony Moore was BORN to draw Ghost Rider. Too bad he’s only on the book for a few issues.

  14. Unless you read it and didn’t like it. In which case… Cool?

    This is exactly what happened, yes.

    Also, I’m curious. How have you been finding Savage Dragon. I know you weren’t a regular reader.

    I’m enjoying it, except for the kind of totally super-racist caricature on page ten.

  15. No Tales Designed To Thrizzle?

    Didn’t ship to my store yet, sadly.

    I probably missed this being discussed at some point, but are you not reading Scalped?

    I actually just started reading the first trade this week at work. So far, I’m enjoying it, but I haven’t had the time to get through more than the first couple of issues.

  16. I’m surprised you were able to resist Batman and Robin wearing kilts as a picture, Mr. Sims.

  17. Also, as an expert on Batman, one must ask; Does Robin violate the no kill rule by killing a gorilla with a human brain in this collection?


    Words cannot express how hard I have just purchased this issue in my mind right now.

  19. Not to be a ninny but the dude listing your auctions put them in the wrong category. For maximum exposure he should have put them here:
    # Home >
    # Buy >
    # Collectibles >
    # Comics >
    # Graphic Novels, TPBs >

    Not that it’ll matter with all the hype you’re putting out there but I’m just saying…

  20. He may have been under attachments. Or an attache case. We shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

  21. I would think that if you got to the letter “C” in “ATTACK”, you’d have been hit right as the tongue hit the roof of the mouth, but before you had a chance to aspirate the final “K”. This probably indicates almost instantaneous unconsciousness, and a cessation of vocal activity before the tongue had a chance to release from the back of the mouth.

  22. Personally, my favorite sound effect in that Hercules issue was when he punched the Sentry so hard that as he was smashing thru the roof the SFX read:

    That was all I needed.

    The one where Typhon drives Ares head into the ground with “BRAKKAFACE!” as the effect was just gravy, as was “HEDCRAACK!” and the aforementioned “DubbaPunch!”

    Beautiful onomatopoeian gravy.


  23. That struck me as something similar to the end of a horror movie. You know, like when Jason or Freddy pops up on screen before the credits. I think Aaron’s letting us know Highwayman will be back some time, but not next issue. Funny thing is, I didn’t even see it until the second time I read it.

  24. I liked the Hercules sound effect when Marvel Boy got hit: “GRRRRA-MORRRR” or similar.

    Oh, comics.

  25. Oh, yeah, I wasn’t reading the series before that. I just showed up for Smokey and the Bandit references. That said, the chracters are referencing that they lost.