The Week In Ink: June 3, 2009




Yes, it’s another rockin’ Thursday night, and that means it’s time for another round of the Internet’s Most Onomatopoetic Comics Reviews! But before we get to those, a quick announcement from the always-aggressive Action Age Hypaganda Machine!

Yesterday, Monster Plus #1–which kicks off the story of a vampire zombie werewolf Frankenstein witch doctor from Mars and his battle against the evil Science President Mark Darke in the year 2666–went live at the Action Age, and if you haven’t read it already, you oughtta.

M-Plus was created and written by Chad Bowers, who most of you already know as the co-founder of the Action Age and my writing partner on projects like The Hard Ones, and the solo writer of Impossible! and Danger Ace, and honestly, he’s cranked our signature brand of madness up to eleven for this one–and considering his last book opened with a guy fighting Zombie King Kong, that’s saying something. He’s joined for this one by artist Nathan Kroll with Andrew Kjelstrup on colors and a special pin-up by Matthew Allen Smith, and they’ve made twelve pages of excitement that’s pure fun. Give it a read!

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, here’s what I picked up this week…



…and here’s what I thought about ’em!



Agents of Atlas #6: All right folks, let’s kick this thing off with an old-fashioned ISB Lightning Round: All the jokes I can type about this issue in one minute! Annnnnnd GO!

Well, this one’s certainly going to make a certain segment of my readership pretty happy.

What is he, the Avenging Son of Michael Bluth?

Hang on, are they from Atlantis or Atlanta?

Hey, why swim upstream when you can float down the hall?

I guess you could call this one “fincest.”

Okay so Namor and Namora walk into a talent agent’s office and they tell him they’ve got a great act they want to show him. And the talent agent goes “What kind of act?” and Namor says “A family act,” and starts–whoops, that’s my time! Seriously though, great comic.


Amazing Spider-Man #596: Last week, I mentioned that after a decent issue of Spider-Man and the actually-quite-good I Kill Giants, I felt like Joe Kelly might be getting back on my good side after years of being persona non grata after his abysmal tour of duty at DC. Well, this issue took care of that little misconception.

Unsurprisingly, it is Not Very Good, and it reads less like an issue of Spider-Man than a perilous balancing act between how interested I am in what’s actually going on in the story and how absolutely godawful Joe Kelly can make the words on the page. As I read it, it didn’t strike me as being all that terrible, but the more I thought about it afterwards–and the more I talked it over with Rachelle, whose vehemence toward this issue was stronger than any emotion I’ve felt since 2005–the more I realized just how bad it was.

Really, I guess it mostly comes down to the dialogue: I’m willing to accept Norman Osborn referring to the Sinister Six Masters of Evil Thunderbolts “Dark Avengers” as “retarded children” because he’s supposed to be, you know, evil and crazy, but J. Jonah Jameson’s father talking like a rejected Judd Apatow script is pushing it, and Spider-Man saying that the sonic device he’s using on Venom feels “a lot like diarrhea pumping through your veins” is [PUN WARNING] just shitty. Much like his painfully unfunny blowjob jokes in the unbeleivably wretched Hammerhead story, Kelly’s attempts at writing a clever, funny Spider-Man just come off as a twelve year-old trying to figure out what swear-words are behind the gym.

Another case in point: Bullseye kills a rat by flicking a booger at him. Seriously, that happened. And not on or something, this is a comic that a writer was actually paid for. Bullseye picks his nose, pulls out a piece of snot that’s got actual speed lines radiating from it, and then uses it to kill a rat for what I assume was meant to be comedic effect. It’s not even gross-out funny, it’s just stupid, and the only good thing about it is that it’s a welcome break from the scene where Venom tries to tentacle-rape a hooker.

Man. This thing sucks.

To be fair, Paulo Siqueira does a fine job with the art, but when you consider what he’s been given to draw, it doesn’t really help matters. It’s a terrible issue, and the longer I sit here looking at it, the madder I get at myself for falling for it again.





Batman and Robin #1: So, did anybody not see this one coming?

Yes, my love of Grant Morrison’s work on Batman is well-documented, so at this point, nobody ought to be surprised when I say I loved this issue.

And I did. As much of an eye-roller as the whole BOLD NEW DIRECTION of repackaging “Prodigal” as a “major event” is, Morrison and Quitely are certainly a team that’s capable of pulling it off. And they do, in a far more interesting manner than I expected. There actually is some nice interplay between the characters to set the new tone–my favorite bit of which being when, in typical fashion, Morrison makes Battle for the Cowl irrelevant in four panels–and I’m genuinely interested in the idea of a more lighthearted Batman and a grim, super-serious Robin. Of course, there’s a part of me that thinks it’s a shame that we get the guys that did All-Star Superman for a story that, given a long enough timeline, is going to be relegated to the sidelines as a story that took place before “the Real Batman” came back. But that’s the sort of extremely fannish thinking that I do my best to avoid instead of just enjoying the story.

And in spite of its context–or maybe even because of it–this book is enjoyable. Morrison’s in his usual good form with a straight-up story that even the die-hards are going to have a hard time hanging their time-worn “too weird” complaints on, to the point where I’m wondering if Morrison went out of his way to tell the simplest story he could to make jumping on as easy as possible. It’s pure pop fun in places, with the Flying Batmobile that we all saw months ago, “para-capes,” and yes, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, but it gives way to some genuinely shudder-worthy stuff with Mr. Pyg and his creepy, creepy doll-people. Quitely too does a good job, although I get the feeling that he was rushed. Not because the art suffers from a lack of quality–or the fact that it actually came out on time, rimshot–but because his distinctive layouts are almost completely absent. The only stereotypically Quitely page in the whole book–aside from the integrated sound effects, which I loved–is the shot of Wayne Tower with the cutaway beneath. And again, I can’t help but think that it might not be a rush at all, but a concerted effort to make things as simple as possible to appeal to a wider audience.

In any case, it works and it works well, because Batman and Robin #1 is everything a Batman comic oughtta be: Action-packed, mysterious, and most of all, fun. And I thought it was great.


Captain Britain and MI-13 Annual #1: By now, the news about the impending cancellation of Captain Britain has made its rounds, and unsurprisingly, I’m of the opinion that it’s a shame as this is without question of the best books coming out right now. Paul Cornell is doing a fantastic job weaving together a cast that’s varied to say the least–what with the fact that it includes both Kitty Pryde’s ex-boyfriend and Blade–and he’s made it work beautifully with stories that are pure awesome.

As for the Annual, I’ll confess that it’s my least favorite of the run so far. I think it just comes down to the fact that–as someone who’s never read Excalibur or any Captain Britain stories beyond the Alan Moore/Alan Davis run–I don’t really have much of an emotional investment in Meggan, and so a lot of this issue’s resonance was lost on me.

Of course, being the worst issue of Captain Britain and MI-13 is sort of like being the worst hundred dollar bill that you find on the sidewalk; it’s still better than most, and the fact that Cornell is riffing on Chris Claremont’s habit of showing the X-Men playing baseball by getting MI-13 together for a game of cricket is a hoot all by itself.


Jersey Gods #5: Take note, collectors! This issue of Jersey Gods features the first letter I’ve ever written to comic that’s been published (I previously wrote to Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, but it didn’t make it through). As for the content of the letter, well, it’s more or less the same stuff I’ve been telling you guys here on the blog ever since the first issue dropped, which mostly comes out in the form of gushing praise for what Brunswick and McDaid are doing here.

And with good reason: In five issues, these guys have given us the perfect combination of the Fourth World and the RomCom, which is a combination that I honestly never would’ve pegged as something that could work. And yet here we are, with romance that’s sweet without being cloying, action that’s raucous and loud, reveling in its nature as a pastiche without overplaying itself, and best of all, they have excellent taste in pull quotes. Plus, it’s got the art of Dan McDaid, who is fast becoming one of my favorite artists in the industry, especially since he did that piece for a little-known independent title called Solomon Stone.

Really though, it’s a great book, and if you haven’t jumped on already, there’s a trade coming up soon that everybody ought to check out.


GI Joe: The Best of Duke: I mentioned in my review of the Cobra Commander trade that IDW was dropping the ball on their “Best Of” reprints, and every one that’s come out has followed the same pattern: The stories look great up until the last issue (or shortly before), then they all go to hell. See for yourself:

From #50, the penultimate issue in the trade:



Crisp lines, clean colors. That’s what the majority of the book looks like. Then in #80, the last issue of the trade, it all goes to hell:



EDIT: It occurs to me that you can’t really tell on the reduced image above so click here to see it larger, and note the visible Benday dots, color bleeding, and the halfassed attempt to recolor the balloons that missed the inside of closed letters. The Magic Wand tool isn’t REALLY magic, folks. Also, “Dr. Mi dbender.” Really?

It’s like they scanned a crappy copy and put it right into the trade after the bare minimum attempt to balance the colors. I don’t know if IDW just doesn’t give a damn or if they’re just coasting on what Marvel re-did themselves for Tales of GI Joe, the Baxter paper reprint book, or if Devils Due cleaned up the art when the first round of trades came out a few years back or what, but it’s a remarkably unprofessional way to offer up a paperback, especially when–like the Cobra Commander one–it happens right in the middle of an issue. I ordered these before the first one came out, but I’m not even bothering with the Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow books, and I’d suggest you do the same ’til they get their act together. If Dark Horse can do completely recolored volumes of Conan for $17.95, there’s no reason IDW coudn’t spend more than thirty seconds in PhotoShop to clean up GI Joe.


Age of the Sentry: Getting back to the subject of comics with my name in them, we have Age of the Sentry, which hits the trifecta by printing a pullquote on the back cover, reprinting the cover on which the pullquote originally appeared, and listing me as an official member of the Merry Marvel Marching Society on the last page. So why all the attention?

Because I love this comic book.

And obviously, I’m not shy about it either. I sang its praises every month while it was coming out, so I won’t go through it all again, but I will say that Jeff Parker, Paul Tobin, Nick Dragotta, Colleen Coover, Michael Cho, Bill Galvan and Ramon Rosanas did something incredible here. It’s not just that it’s a perfect riff on the Silver Age and its high concepts that I love so much–although really, Harrison Oogar, the Caveman of Wall Street and Truman Capote working for the Daily Bugle in the same story is very close to being the best thing ever all by itself–but the way they weave those elements into a story that takes a character that fundamentally does not work and not only fixes him, but does it in a way that fits both his in-story origins and his metatextual ones.

For a comic involving a bear in a tutu, it’s pretty complex stuff. But it’s also the best mini-series of the year, and if you’ve been holding off, then head to your local shop and get your hands on the Apex of the Art Form as soon as possible. It’s worth it.



And that’s the week! As always, any questions or concerns can be left in the comments section below, so feel free to discuss the gorgeous art of Exiles, the high-concept hilarity of Werewolves on the Moon vs. Vampires or the dread and apprehension that always accompanies a new issue of Anita Blake.

One last thing before I go, though: You know that X-Men trade that came out this week? Yeah, well, that’s the one where Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson do a story about the X-Men fighting Godzilla a giant atomic mutant super-lizard. So, you know, you might want that

39 thoughts on “The Week In Ink: June 3, 2009

  1. I’d be careful about shelving Age of the Sentry next to Anita Blake v.1, Chris- you may well tear a hole in space-time.

  2. Always a pleasure reading your reviews, Chris.

    “Bullseye kills a rat by flicking a booger at him.”


    Possible rationalizations:

    A) Bullseye has rabies. The rat dies in mouth-frothing, agonized madness a few weeks later. (Well, the guy seems insane…)

    B) The booger hardens during supersonic flight, and becomes solid enough to knock down the rat. (Nah.)

    C) It wasn’t a regular booger; Bullseye had been storing a lead pellet in his nose for a long time, just WAITING for the opportunity. (An overachiever assassin.)

    D) The script was written by an innocent child who didn’t know better.

  3. Maybe Joe Kelly was drunk when he wrote the script? Everyone can have off days right? I mean, I flipped thru the ugly Super Squad or whatever it was called. The thing that I heard was meant to replace Mini-Marvels? Ugly big-head, “kids” book? And after wincing at all the bad jokes I looked and saw it was Paul Tobin who wrote them. I’ve been wondering for months how to politely ask if he was really sick that week…

    But getting away from terrible comics, man oh man is this looking to be a dark story arc for Secret Six

    And I might have been more creeped by the making out of cousins-by-marriage Namor/Namora if I wasn’t distracted by Bob flirting with sea anemones…

  4. RE: Joe Kelly

    I’m no prude or anything, but I don’t feel there’s a need for the word “bee-yotch” pretty much anywhere in any Spider-Man comic.

  5. I don’t usually care for Morrison’s stuff because I’m one of those people who finds it too weird. And I don’t usually care for DC Comics because they never seem to be as good as their cartoons. But this book absolutely worked for me even though the whole Mr Pyg thing is really in the too weird category for me. The stuff with Batman and Robin was SO good and so straightforward that I think it balanced the weirdness out and I couldn’t really complain even if I wanted to.

    Also, I think that Exiles might have the prettiest art of any superhero book out there.

  6. I liked Kelly back when he wrote old-school Deadpool and I love his two issues on Amazing Spider-Man with a new, more badass Hammerhead. This one though, is just… weird?

    Exiles is just so great. We get more hints at Blink having some latent memories of being an Exile, the art is fantastic and Beast is awesome. And shit just started blowing, since at this point we’re still pretty clueless about what’s going on with the Tallus and the random dimension hopping.

    Didn’t you get Dark Avengers? Man. The premise is so ridiculous, but this book pulls it off so well. And holy shit, did Venom just rat Bullseye for threatening him? hahaha

  7. Chris, I tried the Sentry on your recommendation (got every issue for a buck apiece!) and man, it did NOT work for me. AT ALL.

    Ove all, I liked it a lot better the first time, when it was called Supreme. (And no, I don’t think it’s unfair to compare something to an Alan Moore masterpiece when it’s so obvious that that’s exactly what they were going for.)

    Besides the wonkiness of the whole project (a DC Silver Age take on the Marvel Silver Age seems like an apple-flavored orange to me) the main reason that Sentry compares so unfavorably was that all the old stories in Supreme were put in context by compelling present-day stories. Reed Richards telling his kid a bedtime story was such a lame framing device (and so lacking in payoff) that they should have scrapped the whole idea.

    Also, I was really annoyed with how the letter pages kept kidding with the reader about how much they hate the Sentry and wish he would die. YEAH. I GET it.

    I expected lots more from Jeff Parker.

  8. It was Mr. Pyg (or rather what he was doing) that kept me from picking up B&R#1, in light (or “dark”) of the where these comics go lately. Flipping through it, I did like the way Dick and Damien got along, and by “got along” I mean wondering who was going to push whom out of the flying Batmobile first.

    I also couldn’t get into Age of the Sentry, mostly because I can’t get into the character. A good idea gone horribly, horribly wrong. Kind of like Nuclear Man. (Although the bad idea there was the rest of Superman 4.)

  9. I don’t feel there’s a need for the word “bee-yotch” pretty much anywhere in any Spider-Man comic.

    What if he’s fighting Swarm?


  10. Morrison’s said that Quitely intentionally altered his style somewhat to fit the faster, more kinetic tone of Batman and Robin, which I think makes sense.
    I’m actually comparing it to Doom Patrol in terms of how Morrison is working that wonderful late 60s British horror into more traditional superhero work… granted, it’s a lot better, both because he’s improved as a writer and because this has a flying Batmobile.

  11. If you’d told me only one year ago that one day I’d be reading comics where Venom tentacle-rapes a hooker and Darkhawk actually does something interesting that doesn’t involve whining, I’d have dismissed you as a mad imbecile who quite possibly even believed that one day their girlfriend will suggest we “go see the new Trek movie”.

    We live in strange and frightening times.

  12. At first I thought you were riffing on Meggan’s power to change shape to anyone’s heart’s desire…but then I realized you were making a Greg Land joke.

  13. I, for one, picked up the Age of the Sentry issues on your say-so and loved them. Just great riffs on both the DC-dominated Silver Age and Marvel’s own history. (The Blonde Phantom’s cameo, for instance. For multiple reasons.) But then, I’m also an uncultured lummox who’s never read Supreme, so I can’t speak to how much of it was done before. Still, great stuff taken on its own.

    Also: Atomic Robo. Lightning guns. Why the hell didn’t this happen earlier?

  14. Sims:

    You need to buy the Alan Davis Excalibur Visionaries trade that comes out next week. It will blow your mind.

    Quite possibly the comics run nearest to my heart, ever.

  15. Aren;t any of these Cobra guys the least bit embarassed about wearing in public what look like Halloween costumes?

    Oh wait, what am I talking about!

  16. ” to the point where I’m wondering if Morrison went out of his way to tell the simplest story he could to make jumping on as easy as possible.”

    he kinda flat out said he did in practically every interview he’s done so far

  17. It was Mr. Pyg (or rather what he was doing) that kept me from picking up B&R#1, in light (or “dark”) of the where these comics go lately.

    …It’s not all that different from what Black Mask was doing to people over 20 years ago.

  18. Chris, whatever happened to knowing is half the battle?

    I totally agree that IDW could have done a better job, but you’re not comparing apples to apples here. I GUARANTEE you that the Serpentor panel was reprinted at some point from the original mechanicals (Marvel reprinted it in a trade, and since they originally printed the series, they used the separations used to print the issues to print the trade). I also guarantee you that IDW didn’t get the original mechanicals for the issue you’re complaining about because; that’s a scan from a comic book printed on newsprint.

    There is NO amount of Photoshopping that you can do to make that panel look like the Serpentor panel, unless you throw away the other channels, level the k tone to get to back to the base inking and then recolor from scratch. And that is going to take a lot of time to do, especially if you’re trying to match the original colors of the comic. You can’t just dodge/burn or press any other button in Photoshop and get the quality of the Serpentor panel without going back to the original separations or plates OR by doing a full recolor job.

    They probably got the plates from the trades that Marvel ran for the rest of the issues, which is why the rest of the trade looks so smooth. Everything you’re complaining about (dot pattern, color bleed) is a byproduct of printing on newsprint. If they didn’t have the original separations, the only way to print it is to scan it in. Yeah, they did a poor job at cleaning it up, but to sit there and say “Just Photoshop it Bro!” is equally as lame.

    Go to Marvel’s Digital site, pick any comic from the ’60s, ’70s, or ’80s and you can look at the first couple of pages for free. You’re going to see it look exactly like the Serpentor frame, and that’s because they scanned all of those from the original mechanicals. There is no way they are going back and doing a complete recolor job on all of those issues, because they’ve got like 10k+ of them up on their site. They may do color adjustments on the scan, but the flat color they’re getting is from scanning the original separations.

    As I’ve said, I’m not saying it’s good work, because it’s not, and I can imagine that it’s jarring when you’re reading through the trade, but you can’t just dodge it or burn it in Photoshop and call it a day. A full recolor job uses a lot more time, money and resources than what IDW probably has to give on this project.

    And in regards to Dark Horse vs. IDW, you should really read this article on Apple’s site about Dark Horse’s production staff. Dark Horse has handled their production in-house, on computers, since 1989. They have 150 Macs (not all of them are used for production, but they have a very large design/production staff) and they’ve been producing their comics on computer twice as long as IDW as been in existence. I highly doubt IDW has that kind of staff and experience.

    Yo Joe!!!

  19. There’s not just burn and dodge, there’s curves, hue/saturation, clone, brightness/contrast, a dizzying amount of filters, and even the good old brush tool with steady use of the Alt key to keep the palette matching the page, but as has been mentioned, the quality on some – not all – pages were lacking, which sounds less like IDW are incapable of doing the job and more that it’s unfinished before it goes to the printers.

  20. Despite having read and loved Supreme a lot, I never made much of a connection between it and Sentry. I may wind up picking up the trade, just because I didn’t get the whole run.

  21. There is NO amount of Photoshopping that you can do to make that panel look like the Serpentor panel, unless you throw away the other channels, level the k tone to get to back to the base inking and then recolor from scratch.

    Then that’s what they should’ve done.

    and that is going to take a lot of time to do

    Again, I refer you to Dark Horse’s Conan reprints. If they can do it, so can IDW, and halfassing it with a sudden jump in quality that–once again–happens in the middle of an issue is embarrassing and unprofessional, especially when you’re trying to capitalize on a movie.

    but you can’t just dodge it or burn it in Photoshop and call it a day.

    And yet, that’s exactly what they did. Look at the word balloon in the panel I posted: That’s clearly an example of someone using the Magic Wand tool to select the white space and either filling it with white or using the dodge tool to lighten it, without even bothering to select the interior spaces on the letters O, B, D, etc. That’s just fucking halfass.

    I highly doubt IDW has that kind of staff and experience.

    If you can’t figure out how to put out comics after ten years of putting out comics, then you’re in the wrong business.

    I’m not saying we should storm the building and demand our (my) money back, but it’s certainly not worth what they’re charging to get a product that they didn’t even finish doing the bare minimum of production work on before shlepping it out the door.

  22. I don’t think anybody expects that picture of Mindbender to suddenly look like the Serpentor panel. Even if it can be done, it’s enough work that I’m not disappointed that it wasn’t. But seriously, the shit they actually published isn’t just inadequately restored, it’s downright insulting. Multishaded word balloons? Missing letters? Please. I’m not paying for that.

  23. I’m really enjoying it! I’ve always been more of a Cosmic DC guy than a Cosmic Marvel guy, but everything they’ve been doing since Annihilation has been pure fun. It seems crazy, but one of the most enjoyable books I’m reading every month is about Darkhawk and the Third Summers Brother.

  24. Have you seen IDW’s STAR TREK OMNIBUS released last week? I was very excited about having the old Marvel series collected… But honestly, the quality of my old back issues is better than the OMNIBUS. If I could take mine back, I would.

  25. Ah comics…where there’s nothing so stupid, unethical, half-assed or just plain incompetent a comic company can do that it won’t be defended by someone…

  26. I totally understand what you’re saying, and I guess I didn’t phrase what I was trying to say correctly. I was trying to give an explanation as to why the two are different, and why IDW is probably not going to fix it; the margin on licensed products is thin enough as it is. Paying $100-200 per page to do it the right way would cut into IDW’s margin way too much. It’s 32 pages, so that’s $3200-$6400 additional they’d have to front on the first printing. That’s probably the difference between them making money on the trade or breaking even or losing money.

    I disagree with a couple of your comments, especially the magic wand one (it’s a bad levels or curves job; if it was done with the wand the type would have been jagged city) if you ever worked in a design or production department on a monthly publication, maybe you’d have a different perspective, but it’s your blog. I will say that like you, this worries me because they have solicitations for Classic G.I. Joe #6 and 7, which I believe fall after the Marvel reprints they are obviously reproducing. So, I’m hoping the entire Classic G.I. Joe #6 trade isn’t scanned in like this, but from what you’ve been saying about other trades that collect issues outside of the first 50, it’s not looking good.

    You could see who the reprint editor at IDW is in the credit page, see if he/she has an email somewhere on the internets and then ask if this is what they’re going to be doing in the future. If it is, then maybe start an email campaign saying that you won’t be buying any of their trades if this is the kind of quality they’re going to put out. I’d join it for sure.

  27. I used to work with a guy who restored Silver-Age Batman comics for reprint using only scans of printed copies, and while it took a lot more than ‘a couple of minutes in Photoshop’, his turnover was a bare minimum of 1 page per hour, but 2 or 3 was usual.
    I can tell you right now he sure wasn’t getting paid $100-200 an hour or he’d still be working there rather than running a print shop.

  28. I totally understand what you’re saying, and I guess I didn’t phrase what I was trying to say correctly.


    No, I’m kidding. I think we can both agree that IDW could’ve done a better job and didn’t. You’re right, I’m not a graphic designer, but I’ve done a better job cleaning up word balloons when I scan Silver Age books for my blog. It’s the lack of consistency that bothers me the most.

    I share your concerns about the future Classic GI Joe reprints, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  29. Huh, I actually prefer the one with the benday dots and stuff. Except for the missing “n”, it seems pretty close to what you would have bought on the newsstand, and I prefer reprints that have that kind of coloring and richness to them vs a too-bright, washed out recoloring job..

    Not that it looks like they spent enough time on production- IDW books, especially licensed ones but also various other books (sir apropo of nothing for instance) some of the most awful coloring in comics. All of their First reprints look like ASS. Just sayin’, that mindbender panel didn’t look too bad to me.

    The MELVIN MONSTER book that just came out from D&Q is probably my favorite archival job ever. The pages look like they were originally printed except on nicer paper, and D&Q obviously put hundreds of hours of work in on restoring but not altering the look of the printed pages.

  30. I feel like IDW is headed towards a problem with Hasbro, as is – they’ve done a real botch-job with Transformers during a year with a major movie and an anniversary. And with Joe, the line is too diffused and confusing to outside readers, as unlikely as they may be. If there’s no blip after the Joe movie, I wonder if they’ll have the franchises for too much longer.

  31. I absolutely loved Quitely’s art in Batman and Robin #1.

    Atomic Robo was also very cool this week. Atomic Robo is always cool.

  32. FYI, I’ve been (reasonably) pleased with IDW’s hardback volumes of Dick Tracy, Terry and the Pirates and Little Orphan Annie newspaper strips.

    There have been a few isolated mistakes, but I’m assuming that has to do more with the age of the source material than anything.

    Things actually seem to be improving; the size of the Tracy volumes just increased, which makes the Sunday pages much more readable.

  33. PS

    …Seafaring gorillas.

    I want a series featuring a gorilla U-boat commander.


  34. “…It’s not all that different from what Black Mask was doing to people over 20 years ago.”

    That really doesn’t help your case, actually. Now you just made me avoid Black Mask.

    As for IDW, look towards the Doctor Who Classics series as an example of how they can do it right, or even some of the early Transformers reprints. (Haven’t look at the more recent offerings, like the UK stories.) And I’m personally enjoying All Hail Megatron more than I did most of Furman’s run.

  35. Dorian: your water-carrying for DC’s stupid bullshit because it pisses off fans you don’t like being a prime example.