Chris vs. Previews: December 2008, Round One

I’ll be honest with you, folks: I don’t always look forward to our little chats about the Previews catalog. It’s not that I don’t like talking about comics, or making ill-informed judgments on things that won’t come out for three months (because Lord knows I am all about that), it’s just that going through the catalog over and over again looking for the funniest yaoi solicitation can wear a guy down after a while.

This time, though… Well, I’ve been looking forward to talking about this one since it hit the shelves!



Sure, it might be because I’m bitter beyond my years and there’s a heck of a lot to make fun of this time around, but still! It’s a Christmas Miracle!

So join us as the ISB puts away the yuletide fun and tackles five hundred pages of stuff you don’t need! Tonight, the major publishers!



Dark Horse Comics

P. 35 – Herbie Archives v.3: With this, Dark Horse wraps up their collection of Herbie–of which, if you’ll recall, I’m a fan–and I’ve got to admit, I’m a little surprised that they didn’t just go ahead and throw in the John Byrne story from the 1992 reprints and the appearance in Bob Burden’s Flaming Carrot, both of which were published by Dark Horse. Admittedly, those don’t really fit with the whole “archive” format, but it’s so close to having everything, and it’s not like those two stories are going to get slapped together anywhere else.

That said, there’s still enough fun in nine issues of Herbie–especially in those last issues, where the series goes completely insane before it gets the axe–to fill up a dozen other comics, and getting the whole series collected is sweeter than a dozen lollipops. Well, except the one that could travel through time. That thing was rad.


DC Comics


P. 66 – Batman #686: Finally, super-hero fans can learn what people who have read both Swamp Thing and Sandman have known for years: That Neil Gaiman really wants to be Alan Moore. Not that that’s a bad thing. I mean, if you’re going to write comics, you could shoot a lot lower–Terry Moore, for instance–but when you’re putting out a story called “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader” that presumably deals with the ersatz “death” of a character that we all know is going to be running around none the worse for wear next month, the comparison snaps right into focus.

Needless to say, I’m more than a little skeptical: Just by nature of its inescapable homage to “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow,” this story’s stepping into a pretty big shadow, and while I actually do like Neil Gaiman a heck of a lot (enough to spring for four volumes of the Absolute Sandman), his last work with Batman was, what, the Secret Origins story about Poison Ivy from twenty years ago? Throw in more recent stuff like 1602 (also with Andy Kubert) that completely falls apart at the end thanks to what reads like an obvious editorial suggestion to keep it open for sequels, and you’ve got a comic that I’m interested in enough to read, but not really looking forward to.

Of course, I’d probably feel a little better about it if this thing didn’t have the vaguest solicitation ever. I mean really, telling me that a story “explores the intricate relationshps between Bruce Wayne and his friends and adversaries” and that it has an “unexpected climax” doesn’t really tell me anything, now does it?


P. 69 – Batman Confidential #26: Telling me that a story features “the comic book debut of King Tut” drawn by JOSE LUIS GARCIA-LOPEZ however…



…that gets me crunk! Can Egghead, Bookworm, and Marsha, Queen of Diamonds be far behind?!

(FUN FACT: Bringing back the characters from Batman ’66 was not just my Batman pitch, it was everyone’s Batman pitch, and I’m amazed it took this long. God bless you, Weir and DeFillippis.)


P. 85 – R.E.B.E.L.S.: Aaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahaha… Seriously? R.E.B.E.L.S.?!



So, to review: The market apparently cannot support an ongoing Legion of Super-Heroes title, but there is room in the publishing schedule for a spin-off of a spin-off that was last published in 1996. Jesus, what’s next, a new Darkhawk #1?

Of course, I say that, but let’s be honest here: I’m gonna read this, because–and this is a crucial weakness that DC apparently heard about–I will buy any comic with a monster that shoots lightning out of his brain on the cover. I roll Validus-Style, homies. And that’s real.


Image Comics


P. 150 – Jersey Gods #1:



No joke here, just a heads-up that Jersey Gods is coming out, and you all need to get on that toute suite. I’ve actually read the first issue of this one–courtesy of artist and Friend of the ISB Dan McDaid–and I can say in all honesty that it’s every bit as fun as you’d want a book about Kirby-style cosmic powers falling in love with a girl from the Garden State to be. There was a preview of it–or rather, an original backup story–in the last issue of Invincible, so check it out, then do us all a favor and let your local retailer know you’d like a copy this February. It’s well worth it.


Marvel Comics


Secret Warriors #1: It’s been… let’s see here… three, maybe four years since I’ve voluntarily read a comic with the words “Brian Bendis” on the cover, and while I’m perfectly happy to stay far, far away from the fallout of “Dark Reign,” it looks like the streak is finally over. Why? Because Secret Warriors is going to be cowritten by Jonathan Hickman, and in addition to being a fellow South Carolinian and a hell of a nice guy, Hickman’s one of the best new talents to hit the mainstream in the past few years. It’s not just that he tells good stories–although he does that, The Nightly News is a great read, and while Pax Romana slowed down a little at the finish line, the high concept alone made it worth sticking with–but that his stuff is innovative. It just doesn’t look like anything else that’s out there, and the more of that sensibility that we can get in comics, the more I want to read ’em. Plus, maybe there’s a chance we’ll get a Jonathan Hickman Nick Fury story out of this one, because dude. That would be awesome.


P. 13 – Agents of Atlas #1: Oh snap, they’re back!



And now they’re ongoing?! This is, without question, the best news to come out of Marvel since they announced the Devil Dinosaur hardcover.


P. 26 – Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk Reprints: Brother, I don’t care what your day job is, but if it takes three years for you to write twenty-two pages of Wolverine and the Hulk punching each other, then you should not be writing comics.


P. 41 – Fantastic Four #564: And while we’re on the subject of deadlines, here’s the Christmas issue of Fantastic Four, solicited with a release date of February 4. The Christmas Issue. If this book comes out on time, it’ll still be two months late.





Man, guys, I was just kidding up there. You didn’t really have to do it!


P. 71 – Cable #11: Another first: Believe it or not, I have never bought an issue of Cable in my life, despite being the perfect age in the early ’90s to have been totally stoked about a guy whose power was carrying a giant gun. Thankfully, I was otherwise occupied by Kaine, the evil third Spider-Man clone who could totally kill guys by sticking his hands to their faces with his spider-powers.

…Jesus Christ, the ’90s.

Anyway, as of February, the streak will be over, because Cable #11 is the first part of a story drawn by Phonogram and Suburban Glamour’s Jamie McKelvie, and that’s something I’ve got to see. And if you don’t know why, I’ll explain:

See, this is what Cable looks like:



… and this is what Jamie McKelvie’s art looks like:



I cannot wait.



And that takes care of the majors! Join us tomorrow night when the ISB hits the back half of the catalog for the small press and the merchandise, but in the meantime, if anybody knows what the hell R.E.B.E.L.S. stands for, let me know. I know L.E.G.I.O.N., S.H.I.E.L.D., M.O.D.O.K., and U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M., but somehow that one slipped by me.

81 thoughts on “Chris vs. Previews: December 2008, Round One

  1. 1. So R.E.B.E.L.S. are what? A group of LoSH bad-guys who are now good guys?

    2. Darkhawk #1 being part of War of Kings. How will that work? WoK is all space right? I didn’t read much Darkhawk back in the ’90s. Was he secretly a Space Prince?

    3. The Nightly News is a great read. I understand that its just going to get me called stupid, but you’re wrong Sims. You’re just wrong. The Nightly News was terrible. Interesting lay-out in the issues, but the book itself was just the worst kind of pseudo-Anarchist wankery…

    4. Man, unlike that Sugar&Spike you all keep hyping for some reason, I’d really love to be able to afford those Herbie hard-covers. You and Sterling and the rest make it sound totally sweet…

  2. As long as Chris is pimping his fave writers, I might as well bring up Astonishing Tales #1, featuring Daniel Merlin Goodbrey taking on Iron Man 2020. I’ve known Merl for years, and I can’t wait to read a story about a character whom I not only couldn’t care that much about, but is getting more and more dated as the actual year 2020 gets closer.

  3. You know despite my childhood spanning the 90’s (and depending on who you talk to the 00’s as well) most of my comics were from the 80’s on back or made in the last decade. Thus all I know of Darkhawk was that he was the angry guy who blew up Ultron in Runaways.

    That was pretty neat.

  4. I thought everyone knew that Neil Gaiman was substitute Alan Moore. I don’t know if he wants to be, he just is the Alan Moore clone/follower that will actually write for DC. (Unlike Jamie Delano, who would groan to be called an Alan Moore clone & does not want to be Alan Moore, though Alan kept fobbing him off on publishers as a substitute Alan Moore back in the 1980’s.)

    Hey, the LSH is tapped. So’s Batman, so’s Superman. It’s the underexploited concepts that have potential, & if those are spinoffs of spinoffs, well, fine. I’d rather just they just keep doing spinoffs (& spinoffs of spinoffs) if that works, than keep trying to beat dead horses.

    Then again, it could suck.

  5. [I]Finally, super-hero fans can learn what people who have read both Swamp Thing and Sandman have known for years: That Neil Gaiman really wants to be Alan Moore.[/i]

    Thank you, thank you for saying that. Because it reassures that I’m not insane, since that’s what everyone seems to think whenever I bring it up.

    I do like the Sandman a lot, and as the series went along Gaiman really did do a lot of his own type of stuff and took a notable shift from just aping Moore…but he seems to have gone right back to it in his recent stuff. I dunno, there’s no one to one correlation, but I see a lot of “trying to be Moore” ambition in 1602, Eternals, and though of course we’ve yet to see it, I’m sure “Whatever Happened to the Cape Crusader” will echo that vibe.

  6. Gaiman’s last Batman story was something I’ve completely forgotten from the first series of Batman: Black and White.

  7. Of course Gaiman wants to be Moore.

    In fact, I would dare say he surpasses him on Miracleman.
    I said it.

  8. AERose — it’s a story where Batman and the Joker are actors showing up for their daily fight-sequence shoot, illustrated by Simon Bisley, of all people.

    Phonogram: The Singles Club #1 is out today, too.

  9. Wait, if R.E.B.E.L.S. succeeded in eradicating L.E.G.I.O.N. supremacy, so much so that they called themselves L.E.G.I.O.N. again, why is the new series called R.E.B.E.L.S?

    Ah, whatever. It’s got Brainiac 2.

  10. I tried to follow Gaiman’s Miracleman immediately after finishing Moore’s run, but my brain broke like within two pages.

    The 1602 thing- I like to entertain the (not entirely unsupported) notion that it was written because and only because Neil needed to raise cash for his battle with lisping runt Todd McFarlane for the Miracleman/Marvelman rights; this motive makes him somewhat the anti-Moore, if only because Neil tends to throw less tantrums at corporate Comicdom.

    Wait, if R.E.B.E.L.S. succeeded in eradicating L.E.G.I.O.N. supremacy, so much so that they called themselves L.E.G.I.O.N. again, why is the new series called R.E.B.E.L.S?

    Because they ended it so hard that they managed to cancel the main series, meaning they’d have to revert back to R.E.B.E.L.S.

    Cable shall be drawn by someone who can draw feet. Universe to implode as a result. You just watch.

    Re: Darkhawk: Two things:

    1) Is it just me or is the overly ornate caligraphy in “King War” make it look like “Ring War?”
    2) Sims, you only have yourself to blame. ‘Do It The 90s’ could not go unpunished.

  11. I don’t care if R.E.B.E.L.S. is a sucktastic concept. I don’t even care that it actually has an acronym INSIDE its acronym (seriously, that’s … wow. Just … wow). You know why?


  12. Really Egregious Band of Excruciatingly Lame Superdudes, i think?

    That or Revolutionary Elite Brigade to Eradicate Licensed Extra-Governmental Interstellar Operatives Network Supremacy.

  13. I look at R.E.B.E.L.S. as Tony Bedard’s sequel to Negation, which is enough for me to buy the entire run.

    I had never bought a comic with Cable in it till Duane Swierczynski took over, and man, that is quite an achievement on his part. He’s made it quite good.

  14. I’ve never understood why The Bookworm only made one appearance on the old show. On top of being played by the great Roddy McDowall, he had a great look and nifty schtick.

    I’ve always wanted him to join the Bat-foes proper.

    And as awesome as King Tut was, we pretty much got him in Maxie Zeus.

  15. Technically R.E.B.E.L.S wasn’t a spin-off of L.E.G.I.O.N (and it’s a damned pain adding all those ‘periods’). L.E.G.I.O.N changed it’s name to R.E.B.E.L.S when, erm, they, ah, were fighting against L.E.G.I.O.N who had become the bad guys. Or something.

    So it’s just a spin-off of LoSH.

    Man, I used to love the L.E.G.I.O.N. BTW, isn’t the official title going to be R.E.B.E.L.S ’09 just like the original L.E.G.I.O.N. books used to have the year in the title?

  16. The 90s were why it took me years to pick up an X-Men comic again, and then only tentatively. I took Sentry’s bisecting/sun-tossing of Carnage as an act of penance; now if only Cable, Venom, and Deadpool would go the same route. (Heresy, I know.)

    But for some reason, the return of Darkhawk just brings a big goofy smile to my face. I dunno. Maybe it’s because the Annihilation crew does such wonderful things with talking raccoons, Soviet dogs, and narcissistic alien trees. Reminds me, though: whatever happened to that Wraith fellow from Annihilation Conquest? He was pretty 90’s-esque himself.

  17. I’d point out that Neil Gaiman really only wants to be Alan Moore when he’s doing comics, and he wants to be other people when he’s writing novels, doing TV, or making movies (some of whom are actually Neil Gaiman)…

    But I liked ‘1602’, so I clearly have no credibility with this crowd. :) (Didn’t care much for ‘Eternals’, though. Too Rust Age for my tastes. Also, it’s hard for me to appreciate anyone who compares the work of everyone but Kirby on the concept to cat piss.)

    And Chris isn’t hyping a Sugar and Spike Archive edition, he’s hyping cheap Showcase Presents versions, and on that, I 100% agree with him. It’s been on my Top 15 Series That Need To Have a Showcase Presents list two years running, and I expect it to be three.

  18. @lurkerwithout

    Darkhawk did have interdimensional/space ties back in his original run(it’s where the armor comes from).

    Plus he was just working with Nova right?

  19. Gaiman wants to be Moore? The only place that Moore exceeds Gaiman is in comics and it seems to me that’s because comics are now Neil Gaiman “slumming it” back to his roots. Gaiman just doesn’t seem to put any effort into his comic work any more, sadly.

  20. Ummm… Am I the only person who ever liked Darkhawk? I mean, sure, he wasn’t the best drawn/written/fleshed out hero out there, but there was just something about him that I liked. Maybe part of it is that, at a time when every new superhero had to be 3 times the size of the average person, or covered with pouches and gigantic guns, Darkhawk was normal sized, and while he had some cool-90’s weaponry and an interdimensional pocket-thing, he didn’t have the bad-ass look to him, which made him a standout to me.
    Anyway, I’m kind of glad to see him back.

  21. Well, Longshot and Dazzler have been brought back. Shatterstar can’t be far behind.

    You know who’s next, right? Adam X, the X-TREME!! ;-)

  22. R.E.B.E.L.S? Yeah, I’m with you on this Sims.

    DC thinks there’s no audience for Birds of Prey or Manhunter… that nobody has been reading or praising Blue Beetle as the greatest book since Starman and that there’s no fan base that is clamoring for a complete TP set of Hitman.

    And yet, they apparently listened to the one lone nut who is clamoring for a return of freakin’ R.E.B.E.L.S. ?

  23. Revolutionary Elite Brigade to Eradicate L.E.G.I.O.N. Supremacy

    or to unpack everything R.E.B.E.L.S. is:

    Revolutionary Elite Brigade to Eradicate Licensed Extra-Governmental Interstellar Operatives Network Supremacy.

    But hey Vril Dox is coming back baby@

  24. The Secret Origins thing Gaiman did was the Riddler story where he asked, “Did someone change all the rules when I wasn’t looking?” Easily the best story in that Secret Origins special, and not too Moore-ish in my eyes. And, as pointed out above, it wasn’t the most recent Batman thing Gaiman’s done.

    I also wonder how effective it is to revive a character from the 60’s Batman show by stripping away everything about the character that made him distinctive (specifically, that he was really enormous and completely delusional — this guy seems, like, serious and stuff). Still, it seems that’s enough to get Chris to buy it, so if it works, mazel tov.

  25. And Chris isn’t hyping a Sugar and Spike Archive edition, he’s hyping cheap Showcase Presents versions, and on that, I 100% agree with him. It’s been on my Top 15 Series That Need To Have a Showcase Presents list two years running, and I expect it to be three.

    No, no, no. I’m not anything about Archive edition or Showcase presents. I’m saying, that from the few pages that Sims (and let us call friends of Sims) have posted from the series I just don’t see what they (and I guess you) find so appealing about it. It was little kids making corny jokes. Decent enough art, but nothing that seems like there would be any real demand for…

  26. Is it really so terrible to have Gaiman aping Alan Moore? The way I see it, if you can’t have the real thing (Moore on superheroes), second-best is better than none, right? Ryan Sook used to ape Mignola. Bryan Hitch used to ape Alan Davis. Ivan Reiss was a poor man’s Alan Davis as well when he did that Vision mini back in the day. Okay, so Benitez mimicking McFarlane is just horrific, but you get my point, eh? Shit, if the grocery is out of Oreo, you’re damn right I’ll pick a pack of Hydrox instead. It may be plain as day that Gaiman’s treading in Moore’s footsteps, but I’m honestly looking forward to this. Chris, you have a soft spot for kicks to the face… well, I’m a sucker for A.U. in the DCU. I’ll probably have fun with it.

  27. Don’t get too excited over that Jamie McKelvie Cable story. He drew a piece in X-Men: Divided We Stand too and Marvel ran it through their typical overwrought coloring process leaving it pretty much unrecognizable as McKelvie.

  28. The blueprint for taking Batman 66 characters and making them awesome is Clock King from Batman: The Animated Series.

    Let’s hope we get to see what they can do with Louie the Lilac and Chandell/Harry.

  29. I don’t really get the “Gaiman is a second rate Alan Moore” thing. Yeah, they’ve worked on some of the same characters and Sandman is definitely a spiritual successor to Swamp Thing in alot of ways, but they both have their own very distinct prose styles. I’d agree that Gaiman’s recent comics work hasn’t been amazing, but I think it’s a pretty big slight on Gaiman to claim he’s just ripping off Moore, he’s no more unoriginal than Grant Morrison or any of the other writers who were inspired by Moore’s work.

  30. I gotta say I’m also kind of excited about the return of Darkhawk. It was the only comic I really collected as a kid (it looked cool and I was like 8, sue me), so nostalgia alone would warrant me picking up the first issue. I do hope that my brain will crave some actual writing and artwork though. And quite possibly the return of Portal as well.

  31. Oh look at you and all your damn acronyms. How about W.A.S.T.E. and E.M.P.I.R.E., smartass?

  32. With all this Darkhawk chatter, I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned Sleepwalker yet…

    …(tumbleweed, tumbleweed)…

    …aw c’mon, he was fun! (and please don’t anyone bring up the ‘Sandman done right’ quote, that wasn’t Sleepy’s fault)

    Although, speaking as one of earth’s very few Sleepwalker fans, I have misgivings about Sleepwalker’s current return (in Ms. Marvel a little while ago). In absolutely no time at all, the writers kill off his old girlfriend and give him a device that lets himself pass out so Sleepwalker can appear. And he’ll die if he uses it too much. And, now he’s almost dead (although that was because he was in a SHIELD helicarrier that fell down).

  33. Does that Darkhawk comic with a embossed, chromium cover and a holographic trading card?…sealed in a bag?…Diecut logo?

  34. Darkhawk as a War of Kings tie in? Really? All hail Darkhawk, cosmic hero extraordinaries.

    REBELS sounded great. Until they put Tony Bedard on the title. I just don’t get it. He’s so fucking average. (I’m still wondering why he was pulled from the Outsiders relaunch)

    Also, the Batman/Joker story from B&W was great stuff.

  35. Darkhawk and Sleepwalker rule, man.

    Though, with this REBELs thing… is that set in the 31st century or the 21st? I’m not quite sure how Vril Dox and Validius can do a team-up, is my point. So I think it’s B5 with a haircut. But that’s just my guess.

  36. I understand that its just going to get me called stupid, but you’re wrong Sims.

    I’m not and you are, but I appreciate that you went into this with your eyes open.

    Gaiman’s last Batman story was something I’ve completely forgotten from the first series of Batman: Black and White.

    Oh right, I forgot that too. And I also forgot the Riddler story from the Secret Origins special–which is very good, in that early-90s DC “what have they done to our funnybooks” way–but I’d also forgotten about Eternals, which… man. What a boring piece o’ crap letdown that was. That was a seven issue series that I dropped five issues in, because I couldn’t wait any longer for it to start getting good.

    Again, I don’t hate Gaiman. Quite the opposite, I love Sandman and I think a lot of the stuff he’s done after is awfully good too–I think Coraline is a hoot and I’m actually really looking forward to the movie–but from his recent comics work, it’s clear to me that either his heart’s not in it or he’s just coming at the stuff he does from exactly the wrong angles.

    I mean really, the whole “Jack Kirby didn’t get it right” thing with Eternals. Jesus Christmas, guys.

    In either case, if it is that his heart’s not in it or that his attention has moved on to other media, or if he’s, as someone put it, “slumming” in comics, then he shouldn’t bother. Not like he needs DC to cut him another paycheck, now is it?

    And no, wanting to be Alan Moore isn’t a bad thing, and taking your cues from a master of the form isn’t a bad thing either. But doing something that seems–again, from the limited amount of information we’ve gotten from DC’s marketing department–to echo something that big that closely, when it’s clear that he’s got the talent and freedom to do whatever the hell he wants just kinda turns me off.

    I’m not discounting the chance that it could be mind-blowingly fantastic, but I’m not betting the farm on it, either.

    Am I the only person who ever liked Darkhawk?

    You know, I actually do like Darkhawk quite a bit. I sat down and read the whole run a couple of years back and it was a heck of a lot better than I thought it would be, despite suffering from Spider-Man Replacement Syndrome. Still, Darkhawk IS the ’90s, and I think it’s hilarious that he’s getting a new series.

    That said, if Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning were writing it, I’d be all about that shit.

    Let’s hope we get to see what they can do with Louie the Lilac and Chandell/Harry.

    I would stab you in the face to get Chandell back, MW, and you’re one of the few guys around here that I actually like.

  37. I <3 Darkhawk. Sure, i was NINE when I started reading it, but it entertained the hell out of me. The issue (special holofoil #25!!! THE 90’S!!!) that explained the origin of the suit had me enthralled, for whatever reason.

    I still smile to myself whenever Darkhawk is in a comic. Like in The Loners, or Runaways. Now he’s getting his own series? yeah, I’ll be buying that.

  38. “Of course Gaiman wants to be Moore.

    In fact, I would dare say he surpasses him on Miracleman.
    I said it.”

    How can you surpase being more like someone than the actual person?

  39. Neil Gaiman actually wants to be Roger Zelazny. He just uses Alan Moore’s ideas to do it.

  40. Didn’t Darkhawk have some kind of Doctor Doom-esque ugly-face thing going on?

    I’m sensing a Darkhawk/Vengeance/Morbius team-up. Just wait for it…

  41. “Neil Gaiman actually wants to be Roger Zelazny. He just uses Alan Moore’s ideas to do it.”

    No, Zelazny wanted to be Hemingway and I don’t see Gaiman trying that route.

    Besides, when was the last time in a Gaiman story that two macho men met, beat each other up for a few minutes, and then became friends? If you don’t have that in every story you’re not trying to be Zelazny, after all.

  42. Originally, Chris’s body switched with the robotic Darkhawk body and his mind would download back and forth. Later his mind ends up in both bodies and they each get to have their own lives. (Loved the new form, but missed the wings.) Then they got merged into one body and he could change between both forms.

    Then I heard he regressed back into a high-school teenager and haven’t picked up any of his recent appearances. However, I will get this, if only to help usher in a Darkhawk movie or animated series. However, seeing what they’re doing to my other favorite Marvel hero (Save Our Stark), I’m already looking forward to being disappointed.

  43. Is Jersey Gods about a cosmic powered Bruce Springsteen fighting intergalactic mob boss Frank Sinatra?
    Darkhawk was cool
    Gaiman seems to take himself more seriously then Moore. He also dosen’t have the same love of superheroes… tho i was a HUGE Sandman fan

  44. See Batman 472 for The Queen of Hearts, the closest we will ever get to Marsha, Queen of Diamonds.

  45. Oh man, Sleepwalker! Me and my grade school buddy would buy like nothing but Spider-Man, a few X-Men, Ren and Stimpy comics, and Sleepwalker.

    I remember I drew the most badass pixel art of Sleepy’s face and hood in MS Paint w00t!

  46. I will defend Gaiman and point out that he completely and totally did not say, “Jack Kirby didn’t get it right” about Eternals. He said that everyone since Kirby had screwed up Kirby’s great idea so badly that he needed to go back and fix it, describing the concept as like getting a wonderful old couch that had been scratched, dented, ripped, “and that the cat had pissed on.”

    Personally, I would hesitate before describing another writer’s work as “cat piss”, but then again, I don’t read Rob Liefeld’s work anymore. :)

  47. Good to see some love for BookWorm, who was the only Batman 66 villian I could see crossing over to the DCU without needing a revamp (he always FELT like a classic ’40’s character to me).I loves me some Egghead and Tut, but that’s mostly because I love Price and Buono- the characters THEMSELVES weren’t much to speak of.(I’m pretty sure Clock King actually came from the comics- and even if he didn’t, he came from the episode written by Bill Finger, and that makes you as “official” as you can get!)

  48. “The Eternals still had that amazing Jack Kirby outpouring of ideas, and there were some amazing things. But he didn’t get it right. It’s sort of weird and lumpy.”

    –Neil Gaiman

    Again, I’m not saying Gaiman didn’t go on to clarify that statement later, and Eternals is far from my favorite Kirby work, and I’ll give you “weird and lumpy” (which could be said of pretty much every Kirby comic in the ’70s), but…

  49. I would stab you in the face to get Chandell back…

    Oh, yeah — the villain who plots to romance Aunt Harriet and inherit the Wayne millions. Good luck with that, guy!

    A Chandell story just cries out to be written and drawn by Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer.

  50. Alan Moore is a better comic writer than Neil Gaiman- hell, I’d be hard pressed to find anyone that Moore can’t outwrite when it comes to comics.

    If you take his novels and other work into consideration though, Gaiman is the better overall writer. If anything, I think his major problem with comics at this point (other than editorial interference and being admittedly misguided with Eternals) is that he can’t fit his overarching ideas into twenty-two page story beats- he thinks and writes too big.

  51. Dear prunes,

    if you have a pic of Mario Paint Sleepwalker, I’ll send you a YouTuble link of my Mario Paint Catwoman and Madman.

    And ilion: Sleepy appeared in Ms. Marvel, issues 18-23. But completists be warned: some issues he’s only in it for a panel or two.

  52. To say a word in Gain’s defence for a second, he is probably one of the nicest writers you will find in comics or any other industry, and he’s incredibly humble. He know’s he living in Moore’s shadow. He makes jokes about it-

    “One of the things I had in common with Alan Moore and a whole generation of comics writers around us — certainly Grant Morrison — was a love and respect for what had gone before but also a healthy interest in seeing where we could go with it. It was a combination of those the two impulses. We were in a period then in mainstream American comics that things had gotten a bit hidebound. Comics read very much like a mixture of what had come before. And I think at the time you had this wonderful little transatlantic thing that happened, this mini-British Invasion. Looking back on it, the analogy of what happened to pop music in the 1960s was probably pretty accurate. Alan Moore got to be the Beatles and, along with Grant Morrison, I was Gerry and the Pacemakers.”

  53. I’m with you, Karsten.

    On an entirely unrelated note, my love for MORE BRAINIACS cannot actually be textually rendered. I felt I had to say that again.

  54. “Is Jersey Gods about a cosmic powered Bruce Springsteen fighting intergalactic mob boss Frank Sinatra?”

    Yup. With a guest appearance from Bergerac (one for the Brits there).

  55. Ouch. Consider me corrected. I hadn’t heard that quote, and thought you were talking about a different set of somewhat “foot-in-mouth” statements. :)

    That said, I’d like to clarify that if I disliked everyone who’d ever said something slightly ill-considered in hindsight, I would hate the entire human race, myself included.

    Or is that “do” instead of “would”? :)

  56. If only everyone could be as well-considered and perfectly spoken as me. Alas!

    Seriously, though, it’s probably just my fannishness coming through, but a statement like that raises one’s hackles, and if Jack Kirby “didn’t get it right” the first time around, Gaiman’s boring-ass Eternals didn’t even come CLOSE.

  57. The James Robinson/Joe Casey/Ladronn era of Cable was really worth reading unless you for some reason don’t like druggy Kirby knockoff.

  58. The James Robinson/Joe Casey/Ladronn era of Cable was really worth reading unless you for some reason don’t like druggy Kirby knockoff.

    I hadn’t realized Robinson had done Cable. The first thing of his I ever read was Firearm, which was laced with precursors to Starman‘s urban nostalgia.

    Did Robinson’s style come through at all in Cable?

  59. The guy talking about Zelazny? Well, since Gaiman uses “Zelazny” beginnings to “Sandman” and “The Eternals”- hero-finds- himself-disempowered/possibly-unaware-of -his-true-dentity-goes-on-quest-to-regain-power-and-then-revenge, well, I was impressed when Zelazny wrote the introduction to the first Sandman collection and didn’t say”Hey! this is my plot!” Neil must be amazingly charming.
    I’d rank “Voices from the Fire” several levels above anything Neil’s written. I find his prose clumsy and cutesy. I believe comics plays to his strengths and prose reveals his weakness. Admittedly I gave up with “Stardust” and haven’t read the subsequent novels- apart from “The Graveyard Book” which I’m halfway through. It does show an improvement in prose style and I am enjoying it much more, but then it is mostly “It’s The Jungle Book, but this time it’s in a graveyard!” and I really like “The Jungle Book”…

  60. Bookrats,

    Robinson’s Cable had its moments- his 1st issue (“Sins of the Mother”), Cable -1, and issues 48-50 were good- but it was hampered by the Operation Zero Tolerance story and some bad pseudo-manga art. The better issues were drawn by Ladronn at his Kirby-est. It was a step up from his Generation X run (about 5 issues, the best of which was -1), which was forgettable.

  61. I recall a Darkhawk book I had when all the superheroes were flying into space to fight… something. Hell, was it the Secret War? And then everyone starts fighting. I specifically recall Alpha Flight getting their shit ruined.

    That being said, in a year when the best books on the shelves have included Nova, Iron Fist, and Booster Gold… I mean, hell. I seriously don’t even know what to believe anymore.