The Week In Ink: November 14, 2007

First things first:

 

 

Okay, now then: Holy crap, you guys! I don’t want to build these things up to much, but this week had what was quite possibly the greatest line-up of new comics releases since Invasion! #3!

I mean, just look at it!

 

 

A new Alan Moore book, Scott Pilgrim, All-Star Superman, Fables, Ostrander on Suicide Squad, Luke Cage back in yellow silk… There’s even two comics starring the Punisher! Not even a double-shot of Judd Winick and the second issue of Simon Dark can slow a week like that down!

But then again, that’s just what it looks like on paper, and tonight, the Internet’s Most Exciteable Comics Reviews have to tackle the question: can it possibly live up to the hype?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: See below, my friends.

 


 

Comics

 

All-Star Superman #9: You can probably attribute this to the fact that I grew up with the Post-Crisis Superman, but I’ve always been biased against stuff like the Bottle City of Kandor and Supergirl, since I think it takes something away from Superman as a character if he’s not actually the last Kryptonian. It wasn’t until this issue, however, that I realized I was equally averse to other Kryptonians because they are all, without fail, total dicks.

Not that this should really be news to anybody: From the Phantom Zone Criminals on down to third-stringers like Dev-Em and Kru-El, they’re a pretty sketchy gang of super-powered aliens, and even Kandor’s emergency look-alike squad made it their mission in life to screw with Lois Lane whenever they got bored, so I think it’s safe to say that with this issue, Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely are simply carrying on the proud tradition of total Kryptonian jerkery.

And it’s great. In the aftermath of the underwhelming Bizarro World story from the past couple of issues, this one is a return to true form, and I love every page of it. I love that Bar-El and Lilo are so far removed from humanity that they don’t even seem like the same species as Superman, and I love that they’re such incredible tools that they break the moon out of spite, then fix it by tearing up a bunch of national landmarks. I love that Superman never stops trying to help them, and I love that he’s just so good that they all end up having a happy ending. And I love that for Bar-El and Lilo, a happy ending means having a whole new bunch of people they can boss around and beat up at their leisure.

And perhaps most of all… I love that features Steve Lombard, whose commitment to being a total jackass rivals even those of Krypton’s finest.

Oh, and incidentally, in case you missed it in the commments of last night’s post and aren’t familiar with the Glaswegian Penal System, ISB reader Nick Davidson had this to say:

“Only Grant Morrison would write about a Kryptonian prison guard called Bar-El. Bar-L is the colloquial name for Barlinnie, a a high-security prison outside Glasgow. Nice one, Grant.”

Nice one indeed.

 

Atomic Robo #2: I was a pretty regular reader of Brian Clevinger’s 8-Bit Theater from its inception up until my interest in the comic–aside from Sword-Chucks–finally collapsed under the weight of it being an adaptation of Final Fantasy 1 starring a wacky cast of characters, but even towards the end, I’d drop by more to see what Clevinger was doing on the side than to read the comic itself. The biggest of these, of course, was his novel, Nuklear Age, which is promoted on the website with the simple fact that the word “dwarf-a-pult” is used in its pages over twenty times. Clearly, Clevinger’s onto something here.

And with Atomic Robo, it all comes barrelling through on the comics page. Clevinger’s a talented, funny guy, and when you take a script where the main character (a surprisingly genial 83 year-old robot built by Nikolai Tesla) explains how he defeated a group of gigantic insects with the phrase “I just used my violence on them” and add in Scott Wegener’s excellent art, the result is a comic that reads like pure distilled fun. Admittedly, there’s nothing in this issue that quite matches up to the scene from #1 of Robo going about his business underneath a dogpile of terrified Nazis, but it’s still well worth checking out.

 

Batman and the Outsiders #1: I’ll admit it, folks: I like Chuck Dixon. I’ve mentioned before that Dixon’s run on Nightwing was always one of my favorite titles during my misspent youth, and while the vast majority of his work tends to be incredibly formulaic, it’s a pretty enjoyable formula that made for some truly enjoyable reading back when he was writing all the second-tier Bat-titles.

That said, I really wasn’t expecting a whole lot from this one, especially given the bait-and-switch from DC that saw it originally solicited as being a Tony Bedard/Koi Turnbull joint that was suddenly announced as actually being done by Dixon and Lopez. After all, you see something like that, and it’s pretty hard not to imagine that Dixon got it based solely on the fact that at this point in his career, he can knock out a Bat-team script in about fifteen minutes and change.

Thus, low expectations were had, and brother, low expectations were met. Aside from Julian Lopez’s art (which is actually pretty nice, especially if it was a rush job), this thing ranks a solid mediocre, pushed towards awful thanks to the fact that Metamorpho’s still rolling around in dress pants and what might be the worst attempt at tough-guy dialogue ever, “That is one bad burrito.”

Also, there’s a scene where Batman refers to a lesbian couple as having–and I quote–a “special relationship,” which is exactly the kind of squeamish metaphor that I can picture Batman using under exactly zero circumstances. And that just about sums it up, I think.

 

Booster Gold #4: And on the flipside, a book I had some pretty low expectations for that I’m actually enjoying the bejeezus out of.

It’s not often that I read a title for four issues without commenting on it here on the ISB, but it wasn’t until after the first couple of issues had come out that I picked them up, and since I was off when #3 hit the stands, this is really the first chance I’ve had to mention it. Some of you may remember that I passed on this one when it was originally solicited, owing to my growing disenchantment with Geoff Johns and the fact that I don’t have much love for the character, but it got to the point where it was being recommended to me from so many angles that I felt I ought to at least try it out, and whaddaya know? The darn thing’s a great little read. And believe it or not, it’s gotten through four entire issues and there hasn’t been one graphic dismemberment. Yet.

If I still had any lingering doubts, however, they were pretty well dealt with last issue, which saw Skeets riding a horse and Booster getting drunk with Jonah Hex and then ramming Rip Hunter’s time sphere into the Flash’s Cosmic Treadmill. And that really gets to the heart of the matter: I love the DC Universe, and this is the first comic in a long while–since Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., probably–where I can see Johns’ unabashed affection for it come through too. But then again, maybe that’s just the presence of cowriter Jeff Katz coming through.

Either way, it works, and Katz, Johns, and the art team of Jurgens and Rapmund are delivering a very, very fun comic. I mean really: This issue’s got Booster Gold, Rip Hunter, and Skeets facing off against an Evil Booster Gold, an Evil Time Master, and an Evil Skeets–a phrase which I’m pretty sure I’ll never get tired of saying–and if that doesn’t spell excitement, than maybe they oughtta suplex some gorillas.

 

Fables #67: At this point, reviewing Fables is a lot like reviewing water. It just goes without saying.

Still, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that Willingham and Buckingham are doing a flat-out amazing job on this book, even by its usual high standards. “The Good Prince” has been nothing short of excellent, and if it stays this good through its conclusion, it’ll knock out even Homelands as my favorite story of the run. I could go on about it for hours, but one of my favorite aspects of it is the way that it cuts back to Fabletown, where everything has come to a complete stop while they crowd around the mirror to see the events of the story unfold.

And the readers are right there with them: Thus far, it’s the payoff to the first five years of the book, first with the shadowy Adversary, then the turning point that came when the guy who had to be made a janitor just to keep him out of trouble became the leader who was one step ahead of everyone. It’s been masterfully done and beautifully drawn, and as unlikely as it sounds, it’s continuing to make Fables a book that I enjoy more and more each month.

But like I said: By now, that’s all just a foregone conclusion.

 

House of M: Avengers #1: In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have been so leery of this one. As I’ve mentioned before, Christos Gage and Mike Perkins’ previous collaboration on Union Jack was a great read, and Gage’s other work on titles like Stormwatch PHD continues to be highly enjoyable. But seriously, you guys? House of M was awful. Just awful.

Which, I think, is a testament to how talented these guys really are: They’ve taken the central conciet of that story–a world ruled by mutants where “regular” humans are the persecuted minority–and brought together a team of Marvel’s great street-level non-mutant characters that would probably be my first choice for Avengers in any continuity. I mean, just look at ‘em: You’ve got Power Man and Iron Fist (of Power Man & Iron Fist fame), Moon Knight, Hawkeye, and… Well, Tigra, but they can’t all be winners. And even better, they’re all in a great story that, if nothing else, boasts some truly excellent one-liners. Here’s hoping the rest of the series lives up to the first issue.

 

Marvel Adventures Hulk #5: For those of you who might not realize it, allow me to hip you to a little bit of knowledge: Now that Jeff Parker’s off of the Avengers title, Paul Benjamin and David Nakayama’s kid-friendly version of the Hulk has smashed its way to the top to become the best Marvel Adventures title–and thus, one of the most purely enjoyable comics Marvel’s putting out. And it’s great.

And this issue especially. Admittedly, #2 might still hold the Best High Concept title with a story involving the Hulk getting Jamie Madrox’s powers and becoming Multiple Hulk, but this one has one crucial advantage. Because this is a story where Dread Dormammu of the Dark Dimension possesses the body of Rick Jones’ pet monkey. One more time, for those of you in the back, that’s Dormammu possessing a monkey, and then vexing Dr. Strange and the Hulk with the unstoppable power of the Mindless Ones.

Paul Benjamin, you are a genius.

 

The Punisher #52: I mentioned a while back that I don’t even really bother to review the Punisher anymore because Garth Ennis has, for the past few years, settled into a repetitive but very enjoyable formula designed to introduce characters so desperately in need of killing that the audience sides immediately with the cold-blooded mass murderer who stars in the title. Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with that: Ennis is a good enough writer that he can he can twist such a formula to get results from the incomprehensible (Widowmaker) to the brutal and infuriating (The Slavers), but still: a formula’s a formula, and they tend to get a little repetitive after a while.

Which is why I think it’s worth noting that the last page of this week’s Punisher had me gasping out loud in shock. I mean, man. Not to spoil it for those of you who haven’t read it or anything, but if that actually happened–and I’d like to point out here that there’s actually no visible body, just blankets–then I’m pretty sure that’s a first in my comics-reading career. But even if it’s just a trick, it’s nice to know that Ennis can still pull one off like that with a scene that just socks you right in the gut. Although I do wish he’d throw in some bearfighting every once in a while. Just for old times’ sake.

 

Punisher War Journal #13: I already mentioned how thrilled I was that we were getting two comics about the Punisher today, right? Okay, well, excuse me for a second while I bask in the vengeful radiance.

Ahhhhhh…

Right then. In the second part of tonight’s Frank Castle Double Feature, Cory Walker–who you might remember as the original penciller of this little indie book called Invincible–joins up with Matt Fraction for a story that, as far as I’m concerned, is about as close to the perfect Marvel comic as you can get.

Seriously: This one’s got it all, from what could accurately be described as a Kool-Aid Man reference gone murderously wrong to Spider-Man kicking someone in the face while lecturing them about inappropriate behavior (see above) to–and I can’t believe I’m about to type this–a great, well-written, well-drawn scene with Domino, of X-Force fame. It’s mind-blowing, and it all makes for an incredible, fun read that you all ought to be getting. Because really, there’s just no reason not to.

 

Salvation Run #1: I’ll admit that I was a little surprised to see that last night’s post generated as much discussion as it did, since I pretty much just stopped in to let you guys know I was going to be reading some comics instead of writing about them, but I think that says a lot about the quality of stuff that came out this week–or at least, the high anticipation for ‘em. That said, I was even more surprised to see a couple of people extolling the virtues of Salvation Run, because… Really?

Don’t get me wrong: If you liked it, more power to you, but for me, it just kind of sits there, demanding that I make sense of it and offering very little in return. I’ll admit that I had my doubts to begin with, and I really only signed on to see what Bill Willingham could do with it, and it looks like the answer there is “not much.” It’s not terrible by any stretch of the imagination, but at this point it just seems like a thoroughly pointless exercise in aping Planet Hulk with a bigger cast, and that’s not really giving me a reason to stick with it.

 

World War Hulk #5: So: Spoiler Warning!

I hate the Sentry. Can’t stand him, especially over the past couple of years, when he–a character who fundamentally does not work except as a mildly interesting metaphor in a self-contained series–has been a focal point of a major arc despite never actually doing anything.

That said, the big throwdown with the Sentry and the Hulk in this is not only the best use of the character in, let’s say “ever,” but I’ll be honest: I thought it was awesome. I’ve heard other folks decrying it for being an anticlimactic end to such a huge story, but I don’t see it that way. I like that Hulk makes his point and then is immediately set off again by Tony Stark’s massive series of screwups, I like the big reveal that essentially amounts to the Hulk being a bad role model, and maybe most of all, I thought those sound effects were great.

I mean sure, I’ve seen people get hit hard enough to sound like “KRAKADOOM” before, but I have never seen anything that would necessitate a sound like “Sppppjjzzzzzz.” Well, outside of an Eros comic, anyway. Point being, I have no idea what you’d even have to do to make sounds like that, and I think that’s the point: This is a fight so ridiculously insane that you’ve never seen anything like it. And, well, I got a pretty nice chuckle out of “GRGGPAKK!” too.

But getting back to the meat of the story: The best moment by far–probably the best moment of WWH entirely, as far as I’m concerned–is the scene where the smoke clears and it’s just Bruce Banner and Bob Reynolds beating the living hell out of each other. Again, it’s something you don’t see all that much, and it takes the metaphor that their relationship is based on and drags it right out to its logical extreme in a way that still has the visceral appeal of… well, of two guys punching the crap out of each other in the middle of an explosion.

And really, that’s all I ever wanted it to be.

 


 

Trades

 

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier: Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neil’s latest volume of English Lit fan-fiction hit the shelves yesterday, and brother, I’m pretty sure this one qualifies as a tome.

I finished The Black Dossier up this afternoon, and while I’m usually able to snap off a verdict pretty quickly, I’m actually not sure how I feel about it. Make no mistake: This isn’t something that really lends itself well to a fast judgement, and it’s definitely one that asks an awful lot of the reader. After all, it’s mostly text–including a relatively brief piece that encompasses the history of the world–done in different styles, representing the items found in the Black Dossier itself. The characters read it as it’s presented to the reader, from a lost Shakespeare play to government reports filed under Big Brother’s regime to Victorian erotica to what I can only describe as Propaganda Porn, and I’ll be honest: Sometimes, it’s a fight to finish every densely-packed page full of characters that I’m pretty sure are only known to Jess Nevins, Hero of the People.

I was about to say that there’s obviously a lot of thought put into it, but that’s probably the stupidest thing I could write about this thing. It’s by Alan Moore. Of course there’s a lot of thought put into it. That guy probably put a lot of thought into Violator/Badrock. Best to move on.

Anyway, as hard as it is to read, it’s not without its rewards: There’s a heck of a lot to like in it, especially in what is unquestionably my favorite piece (and also probably the most fan-fiction-ish of the bunch), wherein P.G. Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster inadvertently does battle with H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu in what is unquestionably the greatest literary team-up the 1920s could’ve offered us, done in the style of one of Wodehouse’s short stories.

It’s a great piece of work and it’s a lot of fun, but even as I was reading it, I couldn’t help but think that I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more as a comic than a text piece. No matter how it’s dressed up, it’s still a secondhand account of the action, and it only got worse when I read the “after action report” of the big battle between the English, French, and German Leagues.

In a lot of ways, it reads like Alan Moore had so much fun doing the Allan Quatermain story that ran as a backup in LOEG v.1 that he decided to invert the formula, making the text the focus and the comic a secondary concern, and I won’t deny that, as someone who loved the first two volumes enough to have the Absolutes and the Annotations, that I came away more frustrated than entertained in a lot of places.

To be fair, though, it’s a beautiful presentation. The different paper stocks, the layouts, the elements of the book that actually do feel like a jumbled file crammed with information, they’re all top-notch, and surprisingly, the 3D effects are really well-done. Just, y’know. Make sure to pack a lunch.

 

ISB BEST OF THE WEEK

 

 

Scott Pilgrim v.4: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together:

 

 

If you haven’t already, do so immediately.

 


 

And that’s the week! And I think it’s safe to say that yeah: Things were just about all right this time around. As always, questions, comments, missives, and presents–especially those pertaining to the fact that Wonder Woman totally German Suplexed a Gorilla this week–can be left in the comments section below.

54 thoughts on “The Week In Ink: November 14, 2007

  1. No mention of Nova which 1: has a talking Russian dog cosmonaut and 2: a use of super-hero zombies that doesn’t leave me wanting to hit people with a shovel?

  2. Only read a fraction of these, but enjoyed the week too. Speaking of PWJ, has The Rhino ever been drawn better? The outfit actually looked like armor instead of a foam bodysuit. It’s a silly concept but just this once it sorta made sense. Plus, you know, Kool-Aid.

    I don’t think I enjoyed Wonder Woman as much as other folks. Only gave it a look because it was Simone’s first issue. There were at least a couple moments that didn’t make much sense to me, and I cringed at the poo-flinging discussion.

  3. I think there’s a sound effect in WWH#5 that features, like, six “V”s. I mean, how the hell do you even read that?

    Great week. Just great week.

    But I didn’t see Y: The Last Man in your list. ??? Wasn’t the #59 due out?

  4. Woooo! Scott Pilgrim!

    *gets to a comic store*

    I am so happy that’s out I won’t even ask what you thought about Titans East. Ye gods that was…I still don’t know what the heck that was for, and I read it.

  5. Yes, Best Week Ever, from now on everything will be downhill.

    Great reviews, as usual; and like Rich I love Rhino’s armor-like costume.

    With WWH over, what do you think about the upcoming Red, Herc and Skaar series?

  6. And, well, I got a pretty nice chuckle out of “GRGGPAKK!” too.

    Man, I didn’t even NOTICE that!

    How many writers make a sound effect from their own name? Or did JRJr come up with that?

  7. I liked the last issue of WWH up until right after the Hulk/Sentry fight. that they fought to the point of completely exhausting their powers was awesome. Hulk getting knocked out by a laser after all that, not so much.

  8. It was a great week, but I didn’t share your enthusiasm for All-Star Superman this time, sorry. I agree that the last few issues were lacklustre and this one was an improvement, but it was still kinda formulaic with a terrible ending, and at this rate, the eventual Absolute Edition is going to feel awfully front loaded.

    Still, awesome week for comics!

  9. Peppy said exactly what I wanted to about WWH. The city just going to bits while these two fights is great. And once again, I love John Romita Jr. I also did not care for the twist of why Hulk lost his wife and child.

    1-Warcraft was a bit of a let down to me, and I play World of Warcraft.
    2- I really can’t believe there was no mention of J. Jonah Jameson in The Initiative. I laughed outloud at that.
    3- How do you think Messiah Complex is going? I know it is only in part three but I really wanna know what happens to Maddox and Layla.

  10. Oh, wow. Wow, wow, wow.

    I didn’t think PWJ would be able to top the issue where Frank had a gun that shoots swords. I mean, really, where do you go from there?

    Apparently, you go to an issue where the Rhino does his Kool-Aid Man impression and then Spider-Man lectures the Punisher on language.

    Wow.

  11. Another person who doesn’t like the Sentry…what is it with people and that character? Does everyone just like being wrong that much?

  12. Hey folks. I’m a frquent visitor to the site, but this is the first time I’ve posted.

    JG, sell me on the Sentry. I hate the character as well. Tell me what you like about him.

  13. I’m a sucker for the Rogues’ Gallery–yes, they used to have an apostrophe–so Salvation Run was a must-buy. Any time the Weather Wizard gets to be a bad-ass (before Johns redeemed him, I always thought he was the most criminally tragically Rogue of all) is fine by me.

    And I REALLY enjoyed Suicide Squad #3. Would love to hear your opinion, Mr. Sims.

  14. The word ‘underused’ should be in the above post, instead of ‘tragically.’ My apologies.

  15. I loved WWH#5, but I think I was even more excited about one of the ads at the end. The Incredible Herc? Awesome. A series starring Herc and Amadeus Cho would be freaking amazing.

    Add me to the list of Sentry haters, too. Good in his original mini, should have never been used after that.

  16. Indeed a good week. But SMP destroys and entire planet in Countdown and not even worth mentioning? But Hulk throws a fight with Sentry (rolleyes) and that was impressive?

    Man…what an incredible lack of sight.

  17. Chris, Re: the end of Punisher # 52.

    Seriously, how effin’ crazy WAS that? I shared in your collective gasp that *every* reader must have had upon reaching that last page. Just further proves to me that Punisher is nothing without Ennis (PWJ being a complete and utter disappointment for me, ::shrug::).

  18. I’m totally sick of endless Kryptonians flopping out of the woodwork. The cover to Superman 670 is extremely depressing (for example), because you could probably stuff another four or five Kryptonians on the cover (including Kingdom Come superman and soon-to-be-brought-back E-2 Superman and Whineyboy Prime SuperEmo Dude). And now Grant Morrison is in on the act. Oh, and “bottled city of Kandor is out there somewhere”…..sigh.

    LAST SON OF KRYPTON, PLEASE.

    Just kill them all off and be done with it. At least you can get away with Power Girl because she has a unique “last survivor” angle of her own and she doesn’t just stick a big “S” on her costume.

    As for that cover of The Outsiders…

  19. Really nothing in Countdown is worth mentioning aside from how horribly executed everything in it is.

  20. Is noone else reading and loving Green Arrow/Black Canary as much as I am? This weeks issue had easily one of the best splash pages of all time. You know the one.

  21. “LAST SON OF KRYPTON, PLEASE”

    not to be nitpicky, Paperghost, but it sounds like you’ve got a hankering for the last SURVIVOR of Krypton.

    You see, Supes is still that last SON of Krypton currently. Last (i.e. youngest) male born prior to the destruction of Krypton still alive. That doesn’t mean that there can’t be older males (Zod, Bar-el) or other females (Kara, Karista, etc.)

    But yeah, if you’re going for the whole Last Survivor angle, then I can see why you’d be depressed :)

  22. yes but WWH still relied on two things:
    1- accepting that the sentry is that bullshit “friends with everyone in the 616″ line they tried to feed you

    2- that sentry is a character you care about

    therefore: WWH #5 failed. i literally skimmed and skipped page after page. because really, i cant be bothered. i dont buy it. being the one that “traditionally calmed you down” and such is SO DESPERATE for you to buy into it that it just reeks of bad writing. so does the fact that the only thing the character HAS to his name is the “power of a million…blahblahblah” and the “agoraphobic schitzophrenic afraid to use his powers”. oh, and how many times he has killed his wife. so to actually SEE literally just that said verbaitim by other characters just blatantly shows how lame this whole showdown was. even they just dont buy it, and instead stand there mocking his bylines.

    and then Pak didnt use this chance to REALLY give a good ending by having sentry die? srsly, just have tony pull his shit, send hulk on another rage, kill the sentry, and THEN add that to his list of reasons why he hates tony. angry over having killed someone just after his speech would go an awfully long way to convincing me that he is pissed enough to turn red. it would add another notch in the tony as a villian belt. but most important of all: it would off the sentry in a public, and acceptable way. but no. fail fail fail.

  23. um, Captaqin Marvel dude? The greatest hero to die from cancer. he killed the first Villain he encoutered! that’s got to count for something. And he flew through a robot’s head, so, there’s that.

    Also, sentry’s retarted (Although it did make for two great mini-series).

  24. You were wise to skip the “Titans East” special. The only good thing you can say about it is that Power Boy won’t be attemtping to rape anyone else, ever.

  25. While GRGPAKK! was a good sound effect, my vote goes to JRJRKJCSSSSS, from later on in the issue. After a while, I started wondering if ALL the noises had hidden meanings…

  26. I think this comments thread needs to stop and reflect a little bit on Sims’ fabulous handling of this perfect storm of comics weeks. I know, it’s frustrating and all when he doesn’t even *mention* the book you thought was the awesomest, but it doesn’t really matter, not when the writing is so fantastic. To me the best culture writers are the ones who excel when writing about the things they love, and this installment of TWII is the perfect example of why Sims – in his own awesome way – is one of those greats. I couldn’t stop grinning, honestly. Thanks, Chris; I freakin’ adore this column.

  27. Volstagg came back this week people! VOLSTAG!!! He’s voluminous. He’s awesome and I’m surprised that there wasn’t more ballyhoo about this on this wonderful site.

    OK so JMS Thor doesn’t pop like Simonsons’ run on the book did, but damnit the warriors three are now back in continuity. Also the uber-geek in me had a serious moment when halfway through the book Volstagg runs out of ammo and picks up his rifle and holds it identically to how the Executioner swung it right before he got killed off. Forsooth it was bitchin’!

  28. Josh…well played. There shouldn’t be that many survivors from Krypton, but you made a good point. Kinda like how Donald Trump shouldn’t be able to fire people on The Apprentice because he never hired them in the first place.

    So that was Superman-Prime who took out Earth-8? Man, he’s a little snot. I vote for Tangent-Superman to kick his ass.

  29. For mine, nothing beats [I]Groo: Hell on Earth[/I]. It’s a thing of joy. Although bustier-clad Amazons suplexing talking gorillas is a veeeery close second, ’tis true…

    Cheers!
    Mal

  30. Kuddos:

    inserting SMP anywhere, much less making him a main focus, makes a book exponentially worse than it already is.

  31. I am so happy that’s out I won’t even ask what you thought about Titans East.

    I thought it was by Judd Winick, and therefore I didn’t read it.

     

    Another person who doesn’t like the Sentry

    Well what’s there to like? Like I said, it’s an interesting idea (What if Superman were a character in the Marvel universe, where characters are defined as much by their flaws as by their abilities?) but it really only works in the context of the original mini-series, and it completely falls apart when you mix him in with the rest of the Marvel Universe proper. He doesn’t work.

    Which is probably why the majority of his recent appearances have pretty much just seen him sitting around bitching about being the Sentry. Yeah, that sure is entertaining.

     

    Indeed a good week. But SMP destroys and entire planet in Countdown and not even worth mentioning?

    You know, it took me reading this like four times to figure out who “SMP” was. But yes, that’s about how it works. If it happened in Countdown, then it’s not worth mentioning almost by definition.

     

    Is noone else reading and loving Green Arrow/Black Canary as much as I am? This weeks issue had easily one of the best splash pages of all time.

    I’m not, actually: See above comments re: Judd Winick. But, I do flip through it every time it comes out to see the beautiful, beautiful art of Cliff Chiang, and even I had to admit that that was a great, fun little opening sequence.

     

    As a diehard Walt Simonson fan, I must ask: Was World of Warcraft any good?

    I hear you, brother. As for World of Waltcraft, well, it wasn’t bad, but at this point, you’ve got to think that Simonson could write a fantasy story with a base level of competence in his sleep. But still, it’s fun enough thus far–and it’s not NEAR Hawkgirl bad–that it’s worth picking up if you want to support Walt Simonson. And I do!

     

    Thanks, Chris; I freakin’ adore this column.

    Thanks! I appreciate it. And while I would like to talk about more stuff, by the time I got down to the end of the comics section, it was already getting close to five in the morning and I really just wanted to go to sleep. Which is probably why my review of World War Hulk reads like it was written by someone who was dozing off, I expect.

     

    Volstagg came back this week people!

    He did indeed! It’s a shame that it couldn’t have happened in a book that was actually any good, though.

    Remember, kids: Complex geopolitical problems can be easily dealt with by digging a hole. The More You Know!

  32. Remember, kids: Complex geopolitical problems can be easily dealt with by digging a hole.

    Hell, yes! Remember in Rising Stars, when JMS illustrated that the whole middle east problem would go away if someone made the desert fertile? Yup, genocide, religious conflict, ethnic hatred…they all vanish with a little display of superpowers! JMS in sists on flaunting his geo-political “insight” at us. Makes me wish Babylon 5 were still going on, so he’d be too busy to inflict us with more deep comics…

  33. Well, I’ll stand by JMS-Volstagg > No Volstagg. I do hope things pick up a bit though.

    I actually broke down and picked up Countdown this week, mainly because Supergoth-Prime trashes an entire planet. Which is fun, BUT… WHEN DID HE GET THE BLACK AND SILVER DUDS?

    Oh, wait, let me guess, Ion kills him in Sinestro Corps War, and Sinestro puts him in the Black-Death-Superman-PJs and he flies off through the multiverse wreaking havoc.

    The ending of WWHulk disappointed, though. Not the fight with the Sentry, but the mysterious red anti-Hulk lasers from space. What the hell is that about? Did I miss something from all the different tie-ins I didn’t read, or is Banner just trapped inside a miniature Red Sun-Eater under the Earth for Elloe and her friends to break out in the Hulk Corps War, coming in 2008?

    Nova and Booster Gold though, definitely ruled the roost in the weeklys department.

  34. Uh, hi, first post ever here.

    Was anyone else completely goddamn blown away by BPRD? I mean, okay, Punisher had a jaw dropping cliff-hanger, but BPRD’s surprise ending was just amazing.

    Oh, Chris, love the site. I have friends that read the Anita Blake novels, and your commentaries enrage them. Which pleases me.

  35. See, I like how JMS handled the situation in Thor. It’s clearly only meant to be a temporary solution, since the problems in Darfur (or whatever Marvel name they used) can’t be solved by brute force, YET to ignore the problem completely isn’t the right choice either. There was a great crossover before Disassembled with Cap/Thor/Iron Man dealing with the same ideas, where a group prays to Thor to help save them from religious persecution, but his direct involvement might start a massive war in the region.

    I don’t get the hate for Thor honestly…why can’t it have a slow build, restore some of the epic mythology behind the character? It’s not like there’s a shortage of crazy mindless action in Marvel books right now…isn’t World War Hulk enough?

    I like the way JMS is reintroducing the mythological elements in Thor one by one, taking the time to develop them instead of just cramming everything in one issue and moving on to a pointless fight with Mr. Hyde or something. Thor deserves to be more than just another overly muscular hero who punches stuff.

  36. Thanks for the honest evaluation of Black Dossier. I hadn’t realized that it relied so heavily on prose. It sounds like a very different reading experience as compared to the previous LOEG volumes, and I think I’ll hold off on buying it.

    Salvation Run wasn’t anything special, but it was only part 1 of 8. I can see it turning into a fun series, and I’m willing to give Willingham the benefit of the doubt.

    As for the Sentry, I don’t know much about the character, so I can’t say that I hate him. It was odd reading about his past friendship with the Hulk for the first time in this series, but otherwise I didn’t mind his presence. You can count me among those who consider WWH a successful event comic.

  37. P.G. Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster inadvertently does battle with H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu in what is unquestionably the greatest literary team-up the 1920s could’ve offered us, done in the style of one of Wodehouse’s short stories.

    Since I haven’t seen him mentioned, I’ll assume readers here haven’t heard of writer and Lovecraft scholar Peter Cannon (which is fair enough, given that he’s mainly written in the small presses and is best known as the SF/F reviews editor for Publishers Weekly). Cannon has annotated, with S.T. Joshi, several volumes of Lovecraft’s stories.

    Anyway, Cannon published a collection of short stories back in 1994 titled Scream for Jeeves, are all parodies of the two writers, featuring Bertie and Jeeves having run-ins with various Lovecraftian creatures. I would guess Moore is probably aware of the book, given the fact that he knows/learns virtually everything about the subjects on which he writes.

  38. Ok, so now that World War Hulk is over, are the various heroes going back to their own little stories, or is there another super-crossover special in the works? I’ve stopped bothering to keep track of where everybody fits in this saga.

    I mean, House of M, then Civil War, then The Initiative, then World War Hulk, then the Aftermath of WWH…where does it all end? Where, I ask you? And why is it that Tony Stark always ends up an abusive alcoholic through all of these arcs?

  39. Wonder Woman totally German Suplexed a Gorilla

    I am awful. I was certain this said “totally German Supersexed a Gorilla” and I was wondering what the heck German supersex was.

  40. What are your thoughts on the Messiah CompleX thus far?

    I skipped the one-shot, since I opened it up and saw Gambit, which is a pretty good way to ensure that I won’t be purchasing a comic, but since I read Uncanny and X-Factor, I guess I’m along for the ride. So far it’s not terrible, but I’m just really weary of big X-related events.

     

    Was anyone else completely goddamn blown away by BPRD?

    Yes! I didn’t mention it because, honestly, I’m trying not to just go on and on about how awesome Mike Mignola’s work is, and a review would be “Holy Crap, was that awesome or what?” But yeah, it was great. I love that book.

     

    You should read Courtney Crumrin.

    Yeah, I probably should. The only thing I’ve read by Ted Naifeh is Polly and the Pirates, which I really loved.

    I’ve caught a couple of the FCBD one-shots, though, but it just didn’t really grab me that much.

     

    I was certain this said “totally German Supersexed a Gorilla” and I was wondering what the heck German supersex was.

    It’s like regular supersex, only way more horrible and disgusting.

  41. Say what you will about The Sentry or Paul Jenkins, I really love that first mini-series.

    And Re: Punisher #52. I couldn’t talk for a little while after I saw that.

  42. So I just read the first 3 issues of Booster Gold. Great story so far, but I do have to comment on the artist.

    Whatever happened to continuity? It’s the same artist for all the issues. But Rip’s beard is mysteriously gone by issue 3 and I swear his Time Bubble keeps changing size. You’d think the artist would remember what he drew from month to month.