The Week In Ink: October 21, 2009

If you tink I’m going to go with Batman kicking a guy in the face in this year’s DCU Halloween Special, then Tony Chu wants to tell you something:



Yes, after a two-week drought of facekicks in my comics, this week’s stack provided an embarrassment of riches, but there can be only one kick that leads off another round of the Internet’s Most Senses-Flattering Comics Reviews!

Here’s what I picked up this week…



And here’s what I thought about ’em!



Beasts of Burden #2: I talked up Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson’s Beasts of Burden pretty heavily when the first issue came out, but as we enter the final approach to Halloween, my appreciation of a good horror comic is higher than usual, and with as good as this book is, it bears repeating. What’s really striking isn’t just that it’s a great blend of Dorkin’s sharp dialogue and Thompson’s art, which manages to show dogs and cats that are simultaneously expressive and realistic–although both of those things are true–but how much of a straight-up horror comic it actually is.

By its very nature of having neighborhood pets that deal with the supernatural, it always sort of sits in my mind as a grown-up version of Bunnicula, and while that works pretty well as the elevator pitch, it’s not exactly a fair comparison, and this issue underscores why. There’s humor to it–there’s at least a small element of humor in pretty much everything I’ve read of Dorkin’s–but in this issue especially, they get to a point where it’s time to stop being funny and get down to the disturbing, creepy business of horror and pull it off perfectly.

And that’s no mean feat, either. The story structure, from its setup to its almost Tales From the Crypt-ish man-is-the-real-monster ironic punishment ending, could easily come off as cliche or–even worse–maudlin and sappy. I’m not much of a pet person thanks to a combination of allergies and outrigh crabbiness, but even I have a hard time not feeling automatic empathy when truly horrible things happen to cute little animals, which makes it a trick that I’m very leery of, especially after Mark Millar’s actually-pretty-good late ’90s PSA comic, Superman For The Animals. But rather than coming as a way to build cheap sentiment, there’s a subtlety to the way the story is executed–especially in Thompson’s art–that makes it far more effective than it has any right to be. It may have just been me–and Spoiler Warning if you want to keep everything fresh–but in the page where the kid gets mauled to death, my eye was drawn so clearly to the bright blood-splatter that I didn’t see the truly horrible things until I went back to it after the next few pages. And that last-page splash… jeez. Horrific, and incredibly chilling.

Which is exactly what a horror comic is supposed to be. It’s great stuff–and again, if you don’t want to take my word for it, Dark Horse has been cool enough to put the early stories online to read for free–and as we’ll see in a bit, you could do a whole lot worse if you’re looking for a spooky read this Halloween.


Chew #5: This issue wraps up the first arc for the strange book that surprised just about everybody, and I’ve got to say, it has turned out to be darn good comics.

Part of that comes from the fact that John Layman is just cramming high concept after high concept into this book–it’s not just that Tony Chu gets psychic impressions from the food he eats, but that he also works for the FDA and exclusively investigates bizarre food-related crimes, and also there may or may not be a government conspiracy that has outlawed poultry due to Bird Flu–but like all things, the big idea can only take you so far without the execution to back it up, and that’s something this book has a full helping of. Layman’s scripting is delightfully quirky, and Guillory pulls off art that’s over the top enough to fit it, with stylized figure work that lends itself as well to action scenes as it does with static pieces like this issue’s cover of the hulking Mason Savoy. It’s thoroughly top-notch stuff in a very bizarre way, and it makes for a great read.

As to this issue specifically, “Taster’s Choice” ends with the last-act twist that sets up the rest of the series, and it’s really neat to see the way that Layman’s been able to interweave the ongoing story arc with the rapid-fire plots he’s been presenting every month. Not to get off on the usual rant about decompression, but Layman really has offered up a full story with an interesting hook in every issue, from the vengeful food critic who causes widespread nausea with her reviews to the overfunded observatory. Any one of these would have worked for an entire arc, but the quickness with which they’re done is a testament to Layman and Guillory’s comedic timing, and the fact that they’re able to work in a story that’s actually compelling too is just icing on the food-pun cake.

The first trade’s out soon–an extremely reasonable ten bucks–so if you’ve missed out, then give it a shot because if it holds up, it might just end up being the best new series of the year.


DCU Halloween Special 2009: I don’t think I’m going to spark up a lot of controversey here if I say that I really like super-hero comics, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned from Dracula Week (not to mention my annual Christmas celebratoins, which tend to start the day after Halloween and continue right on through to January), it’s that I’m pretty fond of seasonal themed entertainment, too.

And that is why every year, I buy the DC Halloween special hoping that it’s going to be good, and why every year, I am thoroughly disappointed.

The problem this year is that it’s just no fun, and while individual taste may vary, I think the fact that a Halloween Special starring Superman and his running crew ought to be fun (with liberal amounts of spookiness added in) is something we can all agree on. And yet, this fails at both, and while I’m not a publishing company–well, not full time, anyway–I can’t imagine that it’s all that hard to put something together that is. It’s not like it hasn’t been done (the new Hector Plasm being the textbook example), it’s not like there aren’t a lot of talented people working at DC, and it’s not even like the exact same company didn’t put out a Halloween special that was actually highly entertaining–the House of Mystery Annual–like two weeks ago, so what’s the friggin’ hold-up here?

Things get bad right at the beginning with the Green Lantern Corps story, which starts out as inoffensively bland and then takes a turn for the worse when the creators decide it’s a good idea to introduce child abuse nine pages into the comic for what I’m pretty sure is absolutely no reason at all. It doesn’t do anything to advance the story, unless you count the hamfisted tenth-grade irony of “Guy Gardner likes Halloween even though his dad used to smack him around on Halloween!” It’s never explained why he likes Halloween if he has such terrible memories of it, and the fact that they actually go so far as to make it Halloween themed child abuse–Guy’s dad, no joke, holds his head under the water while he’s bobbing for apples and beats him up for wearing a costume–pushes it right over the edge into being completely incomprehensible. It’s never resolved or addressed, just shown, and it appears to just be there to pad out the middle of the story before Ice shows up in a Sexy Guardian of the Universe costume, ending the story by suggesting that Guy use his ring as a sex toy.

And that is the lead story.

After that, it’s just remarkably inconsistent: There’s a story about the Outsiders and I, Vampire that’s about as exciting as it sounds, a Batman story written by Tiny Titans‘ Art Baltazar and Franco that suffers from inconsistent art, a Robin story with very nice art from Dustin Nguyen that unfortunately makes no sense, a boring Red Robin joint, a nonsensical Kid Flash story that was probably too ambitious for the low pagecount it was given, a story by Billy Tucci that’s kind of neat, and a Superman story that’s actually the best of the lot, but suffers from the fact that there’s an overt reference to someone pissing himself in a Superman story.

The only one that comes close to matching the lead in terms of wrongheadedness, though, is the Wonder Woman story where Wonder Woman watches The Blair Witch Project. That’s it. That’s the plot. It’s a six page story where Wonder Woman watches a movie. And then she goes to find the Blair Witch, and doesn’t. The End.

I don’t even know what to say about that. I can’t even get my head around the fact that anyone would write, draw, edit or publish a story where a super-hero, especially one rooted in a tradition known for its monsters and its afterlife, would watch a movie, then go looking for the villain of the movie and not find him. It’s not a story. There’s no conflict. There’s no resolution. There’s just a bunch of words and pictures that you’re meant to go through in a certain order, but if you don’t there’s no problem because it’s not a story. It has absolutely no reason to exist, and yet it does, and I do not understand why.

It is, in short, one of the worst comics I have ever read in my life and despite its cover price of $5.99–or to put that in perspective, one cent more than it would cost you to get two issues of Batman & Robin or Incredible Hercules or Hellboy or Chew or Beasts of Burden or Hellblazer–is pretty much worthless.


Incredible Hulk #603: A few weeks ago, an ISB reader asked if I was reading Incredible Hulk since Greg Pak took over after the renumbering, and–as should be obvious by this point–the answer is yes. Over the past few years, Pak has quickly become one of the writers I’ve been most interested in following, starting with the surprisingly enjoyable Planet Hulk and continuing to now, when, along with Fred Van Lente, he’s writing what is without question the best book on the stands, and since I enjoyed Skaar: Son of Hulk before it went through its title change (I’m planning on picking up the stuff that’s going on now in trade), I hopped over to this one to see how it’ll play out.

And it has been a hoot.

Everything about it, from the way each issue has begun with a note about how Bruce Banner can never turn into the Hulk again, which is immediately followed by Banner himself acknowledging the inevitability of doing just that to the idea of a super-smart Bruce Banner palling around with an ersatz Hulk who likes to hit things with his sword is just incredibly appealing to me, and Pak, Olivetti and, with this issue, Camuncoli have pulled things off very, very well. And even though it’s fun in a completely different way from Herc, the same vein of comedy shines through, with Pak’s scripts pulling off the neat trick of acknowledging how silly this all is and just going with it anyway because it’s too fun not to, and the same goes for the Dark Reign one-shot that also hit this week. It’s good stuff.





Invincible Iron Man #19: I’ve said before that if you want to know what Iron Man’s all about, there’s really just a pretty short list of stories you need to read. Armor Wars is on there, of course, and Doomquest, which doubles as a what-you-need-to-know-about-Doctor-Doom story, Iron Man #200 is pretty essential, and the ubiquitous Demon in a Bottle pretty much rounds things out.

And after today, I’m pretty sure World’s Most Wanted goes on the list with them.

To start with, WMW has just about everything that you want to see from the guy. Matt Fraction has been doing some incredible things with this book since he came on, taking advantage of a climate when everyone wanted to like Tony Stark again to build rip-roaring adventures, and with this one, he not only throws in Tony putting on his old suits of armor (actually giving him an appropriate reason to do it this time), but gives you the character that has to step in and substitute for him, throwdowns his big-name villains and even a megalomaniacal businessman in a suit of knock-off Iron Man armor to function as a Stane-like foil. It’s got all the best parts of what’s derisively referred to as a “Greatest Hits” run, but it’s built around something new and exciting, and this issue brings it all together.

So much so, in fact, that it reads less like a super-hero yarn and more like a heist story with bulit-in repulsor rays, in that everything’s been building to showing the reader that the good guys had it figured out all along. It started with last issue’s reveal with Pepper and continues through this one’s “I win” scene (which again, echoes #200’s “Somebody lost”), but it’s that last page that really seals the deal with a little wink at the reader from the Tony Stark of six months ago. It’s the perfect page to remind us not just that yeah, this guy’s an Avenger, but also shows just what we like about him.

It’s excellent stuff, and if you haven’t jumped on, then brother, you’re missing out on some of Fraction’s best work for Marvel.



And that’s the week! As always, any questions or concerns about something I read this week can be left in the comments section below, but before I wrap up, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Miserable Dastards, a new graphic novel with art by Friend of the ISB Jeremy Dale, hit shelves this week with the story of thugs-for-hire doing it for themselves. I haven’t quite finished it yet, but what I have read is solid super-heist fun, and it’s well worth pestering your local shop to get for you.

57 thoughts on “The Week In Ink: October 21, 2009

  1. I can’t be the only one who did a double take when they revealed who Stark’s doctor was. And then realized what an awesome beatdown is coming.

  2. Hey, Chris, you know how you post some pretty awesome things and then sometimes for no apparent reason the proceeding comment threads get completely derailed by the defence of the indefensible, praise of the unpraisable or just plain stuff that misses the point (buffy’s stake being a good recent example)?

    Maybe you haven’t noticed, anyway…

    I came across a thread today where people who haven’t been reading the title attack Pac fans for liking the idea of Skarr & Banner vs Wolverine & Daken when they didn’t like Loeb having Red Hulk fighting such’n’such’n’etc since big slugfests are inherently bad writing no matter who’s writing it as far as they’re concerned.

    So, maybe you’ve actually got off lightly lo these many years.

  3. I’ve noticed your pull-lists are getting shorter again. Is there just not as many good comics coming out, or have you been deliberately cutting back on which ones you pick up?

  4. Good move skipping JLA. Between “Cry for Justice” and now this, Robinson is well along the road from “respected writer” to “cheap hack”.

  5. You know what the DC Hallowe’en special should be? Four eight-page All-Ages stories (I recommend Batman: Brave and the Bold, Power of Shazam!, Blue Beetle and a decent Wonder Woman or Batgirl story) stapled up as separate booklets, printed cheaply on newsprint and sold packaged with three copies of each at a low price point… at Target and Wal-Mart.

    As it is I have to think ahead and grab extra copies of anything that looks appropriate for trick or treaters on Free Comic Day.

  6. Its always weird to me when you describe something as a “hoot”. Its the only quirk in your writing that I can think of that reminds me you’re from the South…

    Oh well, you’ve actually got me interested enough in Fraction’s Iron Man run that I’ll probably try to grab the trade when it comes out. And thanks for pointing out that the first Chew trade is only going to be $10. That definitely moves it from my “maybe” to “buy” list…

  7. Gotta register my agreement on the Best Of The Week. Fraction totally nailed the ending. Kudos to him.

  8. Gotta recommend Mighty Avengers. It started a little weak with the new direction, but the last few issues have actually been my favorite Avengers title in a while (except maybe for Marvel Adventures).

    This issue features a major battle to save the universe, Hank Pym growing so large he leaves the Universe and then gets beat up by Eternity. Plus the concept of Earth’s Scientist Supreme.

  9. This is NOT a defense of the DC Halloween special.

    But the single panel of The Joker taking a shower while singing “My Body is a Wonderland” made the entire thing for me, (even though the punchline of that page was telegraphed crap).

  10. Why does DC have to put out a Halloween special? I mean, Blackest Night is basically “Thriller” with power rings. Is there a penalty to be paid for keeping inventory stories in the drawer for an extended amount of time?

  11. I always buy the Halloween Special, too. And as much as it pains me to admit that this year’s was kind of, well, double-plus un-good, it’s the truth.

    That Outsiders story was just — what? What?? The art was appalling. The dialogue was largely WTF. There was one great panel — Metamorpho bitch-slapping the Goth Queen — but that’s pretty much the only the only redeeming thing about the whole story.

    That said, “Superman & Flash In To the FInish Line” took the bad taste right out of my mouth. Freakin’ adorable.

  12. Can I make a big SPOILERED complaint about the ending to Iron Man #19?

    I mean a BIG SPOILER. That no one who doesn’t want to be SPOILED should read any more about?


    Are we really to believe that Norman Osborn, who is so evil in every other context, and obeys no law but his own whim, is suddenly going to let a living will stop him?

  13. Between “Cry for Justice” and now this, Robinson is well along the road from “respected writer” to “cheap hack”.

    Which is why the news that Robinson is doing a one-shot Starman issue for Blackest Night makes me very queasy.

  14. Don’t forget the Wonder Woman story also had the 3 female Teen Titans taking a dip in a cave pool in the middle of the haunted woods.

  15. RE: The end of Iron Man

    I thought about that too, and the only thing that makes sense is that Norman decided that once the doctor had refused and pointed out the law, if anything happened to Stark the story would get out and he’d be right back at the PR problem he was trying to avoid in the first place. So while it would have made more sense for Norman to kill him anyway, you can make an argument the other way.

  16. I guess the Wonder Woman story was supposed to be some kind of cutesy slice-of-life thing? Maybe? Here’s a hint, DC: Diana, princess of Themiscyra, is not Yotsuba.

  17. Once word gets out that Osborn supports coming between a patient and his doctor, effectively establishing death panels, he’s finished!

  18. I want to like Fraction’s Iron Man. I’ve even read or looked through his stories, and I think he may be good for the character. On the other hand, I’m so turned off by the current state of the Marvel Universe (and Fraction is kind of limited by trying to make Tony likeable, when everyone else wants to make him Antichrist-in-training), that I can’t bring myself to pick it up. (See also why Agents of Atlas and Incredible Hercules, both written by writers that made the MA titles awesome, have not entered my library.)

    As for a DC Halloween special, maybe they’re all saving “the scary” for the current psuedo-zombie rampage that’s going on?

    (Is it “psuedo-zombie” or “quasi-zombie”, because DC swears that Black Lanterns aren’t zombies.)

  19. Dude, not picking up Incredible Hercules because you don’t like Dark Reign is like ditching Batman and Robin because Blackest Night sucks. You’re cheating yourself out of a great read because of something pretty much unrelated.

    (Okay, yes, there was one book where they fight the Dark Avengers. But that had almost nothing to do with Dark Reign and everything to do with Hercules punching the Sentry in the face with Venom.)

  20. This week’s JLA was so bad it travelled back in time and made other stories worse. How *not* to give a nod to classic tales of years gone by.

  21. another thing I love about IIM is the progression of Larrocca’s art, I mean compare the stuff he did before IIM, his work on the first arc, and then read #19. bravo.

    also liking how Pak has taken Banner from being a generically smart guy to being this awesome Tony Stark/McGuyver hybrid.

  22. Why do you hate Man-Bat, Chris? Has this come up before? I like Man-Bat, but not so much that I wouldn’t want to read a nice Sims-style takedown.

    Myself, I always thought they should expand the franchise. Why doesn’t Superman face a monstrous version of himself called Man-Super?

  23. I just really don’t like him. I generally don’t like things that are half-animal to begin with (see my often-mentioned hatred of centaurs) but beyond that, I feel like “Man-Bat” is the laziest way you could make a villain for Batman.

  24. “Why doesn’t Superman face a monstrous version of himself called Man-Super?”

    Because him think “Bizarro” sound worse, so go with that instead.

  25. I liked Man-Bat a lot when I was a kid. I even had the animated series line toy. Rewatching BTAS now I can barely tolerate the character after his first appearance. Same goes for those cat people. What was their deal?

  26. After reading your review of the halloween special, I want to ask you a favor:

    See, since there is only ONE comic book store in my city, every year I travel to the US and buy a lot of things from Amazon, this year road trip is approaching, and I can see that I have exactly one horror comic book in my amazon cart(Locke and Key, I heard that is good). So, can you, with your incredibly good taste in comics(seriously, ive bought like 6-7 comics based solely in your recomendation and they all have rocked), recommend me some good horror titles?

  27. I just now realized they cancelled Marvel Adventures: Avengers.
    A minute of silence seems fitting. The world is now a little less awesome.

  28. coren Says:

    I can’t be the only one who did a double take when they revealed who Stark’s doctor was. And then realized what an awesome beatdown is coming.

    You weren’t. I believe “OH SNAP” were my exact words.

  29. Did everyone else read a JLA comic that I did not? Because other than being completely pointless, it really wasn’t anything worse than just a filler issue.

  30. The ending of Iron Man was legit the first thing that has caught me off guard in comics in a long time. It was like Agent Kuyan at the end of Usual Suspects for me as everything fell into place.

  31. “…Ice shows up in a Sexy Guardian of the Universe costume, ending the story by suggesting that Guy use his ring as a sex toy.”

    Wait, WHAT? Scans or it didn’t happen.

    I’ve always wanted to see Batman and Hawkman vs Man-Bat and the Man-Hawks.

    And by always, I mean never. Man-Bat bores me, which is why I was so sad to see him turn up not once, but twice this week.

  32. What, no mention of the Bizarro bits? And while I found the Halloween special to be a mixed bag, the quality increases dramatically if, like me, one keeps skipping the Outsiders and the Robin stories until absolutely forced to read them (apart from one panel of an egged Batmobile). I am amused by the concept of Diana of Themyscira being one of those no-fun Nellies you don’t want to take to a horror film, if not the execution.

    The art this year, at least, is better than when the Dibnys were used as a framing device, thus showcasing how most of the artists couldn’t draw them for crap.

    Meanwhile, my manga-loving sister-in-law has decided to get into the non-imported comics, starting with Teen Titans and X-Men. The problem? She wants to read the “how we all became a team!” stories, AND is turned off by oldschool art. Now I’ll confess that Starfire’s childeating hair scares me as much as the next person, but augh.

  33. “Did everyone else read a JLA comic that I did not? Because other than being completely pointless, it really wasn’t anything worse than just a filler issue.”

    yeah. sure it wasn’t Morrison JLA, but it’s not as horrible as CFJ, it was just there.

    also I personally think WoNK is darn good so far, so Robinson hasn’t completely gone to crap. his Mon-El stuff is meh though, needs more Guardian.

  34. heh, I also see you’ve dropped JMS B/B. I personally thought his new issue with Barry Allen and the Blackhawks was pretty good, but whatever.

    hey, also should probably do a new “vs previews” article. I mean DOOM is wearing the Destroyer armor.

  35. I thought you were joking during your whole spiel about Archie on the last War Rocket Ajax.

    But there it is on your pull list.

    Your taste in comics trends toward decent (apes, car batteries, etc) so I’m curious as to what the appeal of Archie is.

  36. Earlier:
    “Ice shows up in a Sexy Guardian of the Universe costume, ending the story by suggesting that Guy use his ring as a sex toy.”

    Wait, WHAT? Scans or it didn’t happen.”

    Scans Daily coincidentally satisfied that request. I may now blind myself.

  37. Your taste in comics trends toward decent

    Slow down, I’m blushing.

    so I’m curious as to what the appeal of Archie is.

    You say that as though there’s something inherently wrong with Archie.

  38. Tying the last couple posts together, if Guy Gardner is going to use his ring for sexy times, he should bring back Honeysuckle from whatever fun-hating void DC chucked her down.

    She can glow green. I’m okay with that.

    …I’ll show myself out.

  39. Seconded for Mighty Avengers. I really haven’t been caring for the series.

    This issue, however, was everything that an Avengers comic should be. Everything. From the Eternity cameo to the BIG KIRBY LETTERS of Eternity’s reveal for Hank, Bucky’s dialogue with US Agent, and, best for last, Hercules. Everything associated with his cameo. Everything. Including his interaction with the Dark Avengers; I am beginning to think that the Dark Avengers are the best terrible idea to come along in Marvel recently. They make a perfect foil for some many things.

  40. Based solely on the first issue of the wedding story, which was the only recent Archie story I’ve read, the only inherently wrong thing with Archie is the truly appalling artwork. Maybe it was someone’s off day, but damn, that shit was ROUGH- given how much press the issue got, you’d think they’d at least check to make sure it didn’t look like every second panel was drawn by the bastard child of Rob Liefeld and Pablo Picasso. Dan DeCarlo must be spinning in his grave.

  41. Last line of the Hallowe’en Special:

    “Worst Halloween Special Ever”.

    Isn’t it out of character for Bizarro to describe things accurately?

  42. [quote]Rob Liefeld and Pablo Picasso[/quote]

    These two should never appear together in the same sentence. I mean you do know that Picasso could actually draw right? He could draw circles around any comic artist living or dead before he even hit puberty. The man was a certified genius.

  43. Yes, but imagine his characteristic style combined with Rob Liefeld’s. Not a pleasant thought, is it?

  44. I’m trying to pin point the moment at which Amadeus Cho went from annoying know-it-all to my favorite mainstream character of the past-half decade but I can’t figure out what changed- is it me have I finally just figured out that math as a superpower is actually just cool or what (at the moment I’m leaning towards when he accepted that the Hulk might have gone a bit overboard- that or when he attacked Shield for hurting his puppy).

  45. Man Fraction why do you have to make me feel sorry for Tony Stark- I mean you’ve actually made a character whose actions over the past 2.5 years have verged on Supervillianesque seem like a tragic figure who just thought he was smarter than he actually was- its like how Thor’s suddenly a comic I’m willing to pay money for again instead of just something I check out from the library since only the stuff from the Skurge (greatest Comic Moment ever?) et al era.

  46. “Dude, not picking up Incredible Hercules because you don’t like Dark Reign is like ditching Batman and Robin because Blackest Night sucks.”

    I partly agree with you, but as I’ve said in previous comments 616 was declared dead to me the moment I realised there was an Iron Man and Darkhawk comic on the shelves and I didn’t want either. It’s not just Dark Reign. The problem really started in “Civil War”, and Marvel hasn’t seemed fun to me since. Things like One More Day and “Norman Osborn: Director of SWORD” pretty much make things worse.

    I think it’s psychological. If I picked up Hercules and Agents, both titles that still receive some influence from 616 (like the “Dark Reign” and “The List” stuff), I then have to acknowlege them. (This same mental block may be preventing me from getting Ultimate Spider-Man in the wake of the rest of the Ultimate titles being either not to or completely against my tastes. I’m perfectly happy pretending that the MA titles, even if there are only two left, and the occasional OOC titles like Pet Avengers and the otherwise lackluster-but-at-least-it’s-still-the-Tony-Stark-I-know-and-love Iron Man and the Armor Wars are the only Marvel titles out there.

    I hope my POV is at least understood.

  47. I’ve got a similar ritual of loyal dissappointment when it comes to holiday themed specials from the big two.

    I actually thought the Guy story in the Halloween special was one of the better ones because you had to think about why Guy likes Halloween despite his childhood (the answer of course is that he wants halloween to be fun for him as an adult precisely because he was denied a happy halloween as a kid). Just to be extra-cocky about this, you were complaining just last week about Geoff Johns being way to explicit about explaining his subtext in situations like this.

    You’re spot on about the Wonder Woman story, though. Maybe in the Christmas special this year we’ll get one about wonder woman going to hallmark and mulling over how none of the cards really say what she wants them to for twenty minutes before just leaving the store.

  48. Wait wait wait. I get not wanting to read Iron Man cuz of all the ginormous piles of shit which are heaped upon the poor guy, but what was wrong with the Darkhawk comic? That was fucking awesome!

  49. I actually thought the Guy story in the Halloween special was one of the better ones because you had to think about why Guy likes Halloween despite his childhood (the answer of course is that he wants halloween to be fun for him as an adult precisely because he was denied a happy halloween as a kid). Just to be extra-cocky about this, you were complaining just last week about Geoff Johns being way to explicit about explaining his subtext in situations like this.

    Fair enough, but I still don’t think a DC Universe Halloween Special story about a space cop with a magic wishing ring is the place to intercut scenes of child abuse.

    Just sayin’.

  50. “Scans Daily coincidentally satisfied that request. I may now blind myself.”

    Worse, that’s some of the most retro-90s art I’ve seen in awhile. Not to mention the inconsistent size of Guy’s head or the fact that, judging by the wind, Ice’s costume has double-sided tape in some sensitive places…but I thought I’d mention that anyway.

  51. Considering the team working on it seemed to have forgotten the second half of the series (amulet, old armor, family still falling apart, I don’t remember dad being in there but I could be wrong, “hey, kids, an “actual” origin for Darkhawk that completely ignores the one we had because it wasn’t ‘kewl’ enough!”), I just couldn’t get into it.

    I actually gave Iron Man all I could and then some, but finally broke free when Tony became Secretary of Defense. I tried New Avengers, but wisely (more financial reasons, really) jumped ship before hitting the iceberg that was Civil War.

    Honestly, the only thing keeping me hanging on to the DCU is being a DC fanboy, but the last mainline DC title (besides last year’s Christmas Holiday special and a couple Brave and the Bolds) I tried to read was Power Girl. Then we go the Ultra-Humanite’s “secret origin” and that was it for me. I’m no “puritian”, but I am an old fogey. :)

    Wait, didn’t I start a blog in part to KEEP from overrunning comment sections? Sorry, Chris. Um…loved Woman of ACTION. :)