The Week In Ink: March 17, 2010

Fun fact: The “baby talk” noises that Sugar & Spike make are the exact same as the noises a grown man makes…



…when he gets kicked in the face by a comic book analogue of Bruce Lee.

Valuable lessons like that are just one of the services I provide here at the ISB, and it’s because of my devotion to you, my loyal cretins readers, that I’m keeping the Internet’s Most Passive-Aggressive Comics Reviews going for yet another week!



Avengers vs. Atlas #3: Considering that I’ve been a fan of (the Agents of) Atlas since the original mini-series, I think it’s fair to say that I’ve spent a fair amount of time over the past few years singing Jeff Parker’s praises for his work on these characters. And that’s why, even though this issue was another great bunch of fun Marvel moments with the absolutely gorgeous art of Gabriel Hardman, I’m going to skip out on the main story and just focus on the backup.

With the untimely demise of Captain Britain and MI13 and the recent end of Dark X-Men, I’ve been worried that I wasn’t going to be getting enough Paul Cornell in my life, and this backup story was the exact shot I needed to take the edge off. The idea of a character addressing the reader while answering letters is one of those comic book tropes that I’m a total sucker for, and the fact that Cornell has Venus doing it on another planet is just icing on the cake. It’s the exact sort of sharp cleverness that Cornell excels at, especially once he turns the corner into rapid-fire Marvel Universe in-jokes.

Plus, it’s got art from OG Atlas artist (and Cornell’s CB&MI13 collaborator) Leonard Kirk, who takes what could have easily been a static, visually boring piece and does it with an expressiveness that really carries the entire story. It’s beautiful, it’s well-done, and it’s just the right kind of fun to compliment the lead story. It’s just great, and while it’s certainly tiding me over for now, I can’t wait to see Cornell and Kirk get back together in Age of Heroes and whatever comes after.


Green Hornet Year One #1: I’ve been at the truly ridiculous amount of Green Hornet comics Dynamite’s been gearing up for lately–at least five simultaneous series as of the last Previews in what I can only assume is a desire to pump out as much as they can before the upcoming movie hits–but I will say this for them: They’re doing their darndest to cover all angles.

Take me, for instance. You couldn’t pay me to read another issue of the Kevin Smith book (that’s a lie, if the record shows us anything it’s that you can pay me to read just about anything), but I’m on board for pretty much anything Matt Wagner cares to write. Between Mage and his Batman work, Wagner’s easily one of my favorite writers, and he’s turned in his typically excellent work here.

The story goes back to the character’s roots in the ’30s–it actually took me a minute to figure out why the action was set then rather than thirty years later, but that’s just because I think of everything in terms of how it relates to Batman ’66–and it’s told with a great hook of the Green Hornet and Kato’s mirroring origin stories. And even better, Wagner and Campbell manage to make nonlinear storytelling work for them, flashing forward so that you get the money shot of the Green Hornet and Kato throwing down on some mobsters in the first issue, rather than having to wait.

So yes: I actually do want to read a Green Hornet comic and right now, this is that one, but I’ve got to imagine that a lot of readers just aren’t going to bother trying to find one they like when there are four other series on the stands shouting it down.


Hercules: Fall of an Avenger: I know that at this point Incredible Hercules is matched only by Batman and Robin as far as series that I go on about how I love them ad infinitum–with Fred Van Lente and Greg Pak’s appearance on Ajax being the exclamation point for the end of that paragraph–but seriously. Guys, this is how it’s done.

Funeral issues are always a dicey road to go down, both because of the temporary nature of death in super-hero comics that makes any show of emotion seem to ring false, and because they tend to consist largely of people standing around having flashbacks, both of which combine to hobble them at the gate. But here, Pak, Van Lente and artist Ariel Olivetti manage to pull it off superbly. Under just about any other writers in just about any other book, a series of flashbacks–especially flashbacks to one’s own work–would be dead in the water. Here, though, maybe because of the fun of the character that they’ve been embracing for the book’s entire run, they do something that’s a joy to read, with short and occasionally hilarious scenes that start with Amadeus Cho pouring one out for his homey and just gets better from there.

It’s excellent, and it makes me even more glad than I already was that we’re getting Prince of Power and then the mysterious book that’s going to come after.


Marvel Boy: The Uranian #3:




And that’s the week. As always, if anything from this week’s stack caught your eye, like the truly amazing Mysterius the Unfathomable trade paperback, without which no fan of things that are awesome should be, feel free to leave a comment below.

16 thoughts on “The Week In Ink: March 17, 2010

  1. Man, how awesome is it to have Olivetti artwork on Hercules? That’s just about a perfect combination, right there.

  2. Wondering what you thought of Siege #3, seems that Bendis has finally hit his stride at telling these events

  3. Siege 3 was great – most of the Osborn parts were predictable, but good God were they cathartic.

    Sadly, Embedded seems to have fallen straight off a cliff, and it’s no coincidence that the level of quality in the book has been directly proportional to the amount of Volstagg it has.

  4. I can’t decide which part of Hercules I loved more: the part where Northstar bugs out when Namora calls for the people who’ve slept with Herc or the one where Alflyse expounds on the Elvish Tickler.

  5. I’m totally aware that this is going to sound horribly obnoxious and I apologize and mean no ill will to Campbell, but…from the review I take it that Matt Wagner’s writing a Green Hornet book, but not drawing it? :(

    Again, no disrespect at all to the artist, and I haven’t read the book yet, but damn if I haven’t been waiting to see that forever.

  6. Has anyone ever done a survey of all the times that comic book characters have read their mail and addressed their readers in a comic-book strip? This is an oddly fascinating topic for me.

    I don’t mean a text letters page, with the protagonist’s picture up top and appropriate text comments from that character, but an actual illustrated strip of the character(s) reading and then answering the letter.

    I can only think of 3: The Venus strip that you just reviewed, the Legion letter columns in the 3-Boot and the sequence in Fantastic Four where Johnny, Reed and Ben answer a letter criticizing Sue’s value to the team and in trying to defend her Stan Lee’s dialogue essentially throws Sue under the bus. (I am fairly certain that Sue developed her force-field powers shortly there after, which I would like to imagine was Kirby’s editorial response to the letter.)

    Maybe Howard the Duck did that gimmick? It seems like a Gerber thing to do. And I have a vague and perhaps incorrect recollection of Eisner doing something similar. It also seems like something that Sheldon Mayer would have done either in Scribbly or in Sugar & Spike. I guess I could check my Sugar & Spike Showcase to see if there was anything in there… oh right forgot that DC hates money.

    There are probably a fair number of stories that start with the hero reading a letter over the title that asks a question that in turn spring-boards directly into a story that answers the question. “Flash, have you ever lost a race?” that sort of thing.

    Anyone know of any examples?

  7. Can’t think of any other than those. But those ones in the Waid Legion were great: OMAC appearance, Chameleon pretending to be Bouncing Boy…

  8. Man, Kevin Smith really soured me toward Green Hornet. I just have no interest in the character anymore. I’ll most likely pick up the Year One series in trade sometime down the line when my thoughts toward the character have leveled off, but right now I’m just trying to forget how bad that first issue of Smith’s series was.

  9. Chris always reads the cosmic books he just never ever seems to bring them up in Week in Ink

    also I’d pay to see a battle royale with Tucker, Chris and all the major reviewers to see who is king of the stack.

  10. I actually talk about the Cosmic books a lot in next Monday’s War Rocket Ajax. Spoiler Warning: I think they’re pretty good!

  11. In response to Micheal “Llakor” Ryan:

    Got one more lettercolumn strip for you: Kieth Giffen’s “Trencher” series did that at least the one time. That may have happened twice, I don’t recall how many lettercols they got to in the series’ four-issue run.

    Only one I can think of, though.

  12. Bendis begins writing comics Sims would enjoy, he no longer gives a shit

    A tragedy for our age