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Comic Book Cheers and Jeers for the Week of 5/20

The following are a bunch of cheers and jeers from me about comic books. I am dropping the whole “from the past few weeks” thing, as that was too limiting! I needs me my freedom to cheer and jeer almost randomly!! But yeah, it will most likely still be about recent comics.

There will most likely be some spoilers…otherwise, enjoy!

CHEERS to Stagger Lee for winning a bunch of Glyph Awards, including Story of the Year!!

JEERS to the choices the fans had for the Glyph “Fan Award for Best Black Comic of the Year”

Black Panther: The Bride, Reginald Hudlin, Scot Eaton & Klaus Janson
Crisis Aftermath: The Spectre, Will Pfeifer & Cliff Chiang
Firestorm #28-32, Stuart Moore, Jamal Igle & Keith Champagne
New Avengers #22, Brian Michael Bendis & Leinil Francis Yu
Storm, Eric Jerome Dickey, David Yardin & Lan Medina and Jay Leisten & Sean Parsons

CHEERS to Don MacPherson, for continuing to put together fun annotations to the Justice League/Justice Society of America crossover. The latest one is here (and it has links to his previous ones).

JEERS to Ed Benes’ art on the latest part of the crossover. It was like having a cheese grater rubbed on my eyeballs, it was so bad. I was never a fan of Benes’ art, but I have absolutely no idea why he determined that what his style needed was to render it like crazy – it just takes away whatever dynamism or power his art once had (and it wasn’t like he had a lot to begin with here), and just makes everything static and dull. There’s a scene where a bunch of gorillas race each other on dinosaurs – and it’s the most boring gorilla dinosaur race you could ever imagine (and I have imagined quite a few gorilla dinosaur races).

CHEERS to the whole “the belt carried the lightning rods” thing, that was cute.

JEERS to the concept of basing a crossover on a plot point from a comic book forty years ago.

CHEERS to the concept of the seven Legionnaires being flung into the past. That is clever, I just don’t like the idea of it all being done so they could redo a forty-year old plotline.

JEERS to the folks complaining about Randy Schueller asking for an acknowledgment that he came up with the idea for the black costume. The defensiveness from some fans on this point is bizarre.

CHEERS to that Andy (DC tells me Adam, but yeah, it does look more like Andy, and the signature sure looks like Andy) Kubert Countdown cover featuring the Joker.

That is some strong artwork.

countdown50.jpg

JEERS to the actual issue of Countdown. It is almost unfathomable how lame Countdown is after two issues. Especially the bit where it just reshows scenes from an issue of JLA from LAST month?

CHEERS to Sean McKeever’s ending for the last issue of Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane. The twist of having Harry only PRETENDING to be having problems with his father to sucker Mary Jane into getting involved in his life (using advice given to him BY his father) was brilliantly handled by McKeever.

JEERS to the last issue of Ultimates. How detached was that issue? “Look! A bunch of bad guys we never met!” “Look, to save the day – a bunch of GOOD GUYS that we never met!” And then the ending that APPEARED to be a book end to Millar’s run, except it really didn’t even tie in to the first issue of his run. Actually, take away a jeer to the ending. I don’t think it worked, but I admire Millar’s ATTEMPT to do a book end. That’s kinda classy, even if it didn’t make sense.

CHEERS to Black Widow’s death. Nicely handled.

JEERS to the end of The Rise and Fall of The Shi’Ar Empire. The whole story is about Professor X putting together an X-Men team to stop Vulcan, because Xavier feels responsible. At the end of the issue, Vulcan is not stopped, but Xavier, for some reason, does not seem to have as much of a problem with it as you would think he would. Why doesn’t Xavier just go right back out to space? The whole POINT of the story was that, right?

CHEERS to Walt Simonson’s Hawkgirl/Batman crossover. Well handled.

JEERS to the end of the Titans East storyline. Wow, that was a wretched, wretched comic book.

CHEERS to Marc Guggenheim’s take on Hannibal King in the pages of Blade. I love it. Very “back to basics”

JEERS to this weird story plot Wolfman has in Nightwing where he gives Nightwing, like, a team of lame supervillains, only I do not know if we are SUPPOSED to think they are lame, even though they are about as plainly lame as you can get. And still, the book is a SOLO book, so why is it a team book? JEERS!!

CHEERS, astonishingly, to Jeph Loeb for the latest issue of Fallen Son, where he has Iron Man attempt to convince Clint Barton to become the new Captain America. Good stuff (with great John Romita, Jr. artwork). This issue was good, so why did the first two parts have to be so bad?

JEERS to Noble Causes for bringing up the whole “Liz is from another dimension” plotline. I think Faerber was totally correct when he said “Yeah, I am just not going to mention it, as it is is too complicated.” But even if he was incorrect, once he committed to that, it is bizarre to suddenly refer back to it after, what, three years?

CHEERS to the latest issue of Local. Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly really nailed this one beautifully.

JEERS to the latest installment of the Elevenaire. The Elevenaire is a concept that Craig Boldman came up with for Archie, where this guy shows up and gives characters eleven dollars, and that somehow comes into play during the story. Isn’t that an interesting plot idea? “How will it come into play?” is a great writing exercise. The problem being, in the latest issue, it came into play in such a stupid, pointless way that I think it really defeated the purpose of the character, which is to come up with clever ways for a gift of eleven dollars to actually have a purpose to it. Still, I give credit to Boldman for trying clever things on Archie Comics.

CHEERS to the Sperm Bank line in All Star Batman and Robin.

JEERS, though, to the entire effect of the latest issue. Jim Lee’s art just does not go with what Frank Miller is doing in this book.

CHEERS to Plain Janes. I was hoping to have a review of it up this week, but it doesn’t look like my co-reviewer (I was thinking of a He Said/She Said thing) is ready.

JEERS to her for not being ready with her Plain Janes review!!

CHEERS to the latest issue of Death Jr. Very cute book.

JEERS, though, to the small amount of panel time devoted to the other Horsemen of the Apocalypse. They looked interesting.

CHEERS to the origin issue of Hero Squared. Really nicely done stuff there.

JEERS to the current X-Factor artist. YIKES, that’s some bad art.

CHEERS to Slaymaster not continuing on in Claremont’s Exiles. Right? He’s not, right? Please tell me we’re done with him.

JEERS to the latest Supergirl. What the hell was that all about?

CHEERS to Greg Burgas on turning the big three six.

Okay, that’s it for this week!

46 Comments

CHEERS to the Sperm Bank line in All Star Batman and Robin.

Best line of dialog Diana has ever had!

Not a good idea to quote at co-workers in the workplace.

JEERS to Ed Benes’ art on the latest part of the crossover. It was like having a cheese grater rubbed on my eyeballs, it was so bad. I was never a fan of Benes’ art, but I have absolutely no idea why he determined that what his style needed was to render it like crazy – it just takes away whatever dynamism or power his art once had (and it wasn’t like he had a lot to begin with here), and just makes everything static and dull. There’s a scene where a gorilla races a dinosaur – and it’s the most boring gorilla/dinosaur race you could ever imagine (and I have imagined quite a few gorilla/dinosaur races).

That…that’s the saddest goddamn thing I’ve ever read.

I do wonder, though, how much of the crappy art rests on Sandra Hope’s shoulders. Benes’ pencils always struck me as being fairly smooth, with a bit of hatching here and there for effect. So, did Benes turn over a scratchy new leaf, or did Hope ink the pages to death?

JEERS to the end of the Titans East storyline. Wow, that was a wretched, wretched comic book.

I should probably know better, but…how did it end?

CHEERS to Marc Guggenheim’s take on Hannibal King in the pages of Blade. I love it. Very “back to basics”

Is he a detective again? What’s the deal there? Marko Djurdjevic’s covers have almost enticed me enough to pick up that series, but Chaykin’s fat faces have kept me away.

First off, I guess I should be clear that I really dislike Benes’ artwork. BUT I actually prefer it within the pages of Justice League, all rendered like crazy, than the way it looked in, oh, Birds of Prey. He’s just not a good artist at all, period — but at least this way his pencils have a touch more depth than the flat, soulless, cartoony cheesecake it looked like before.

Anyway, CHEERS to the Gorilla City sequence not involving a fight. A refreshing spin.

Meanwhile, Brian: How do you give a cheers to the lightning-rods-hidden-in-the-belt reveal, then jeer that entire plot twist? Doesn’t quite jibe with me. I actually realized what they’re referring to (could the seventh Legionnaire be Proty II?) but I’m not sure it takes too much away (yet) if you don’t. It’s clear that the Legion has a few aces up their sleeve that the 21st century heroes haven’t caught on to yet. They’ve still got two issues to go — presumably (and maybe that’s a stretch, given that I’m dealing with Meltzer) they’ll explain the whole Lightning Lad resurrection thing. I think that’s fair enough for a new reader.

(What’s more confusing is the the big reveal of the three villains, all anachronistically working together. At least Degaton’s involved — that indicates more time warping. Maybe the Time Trapper will show up too?)

Andrew Collins

May 21, 2007 at 9:19 pm

CHEERS to the whole “the belt carried the lightning rods” thing, that was cute.

JEERS to the concept of basing a crossover on a plot point from a comic book forty years ago.

I was wondering a little bit about that too when it was revealed at the end of the last issue of JLA. I wonder how many current readers will get the reference to the “Resurrection of Lightning Lad” story (or Proty if you go by the Bierbaum LOSH stories). It was published in what, 1966? 67?

Still, you have to remember that Didio, Waid, Ross, Morrison, Meltzer, and so many of their other heads and architects at DC are Silver Age nuts, so it doesn’t surprise me they would go that far back for a plot point. I just hope Meltzer explains it well enough in the next issue and that we don’t get a wrap-up that is rushed and makes no sense.

As for Countdown, I just read the first two issues yesterday and I don’t get all the hate for them. They weren’t the greatest comics ever, but I felt like they entertained enough and are still working on the “set-up” I expect a 52-issue series would need. I’m patient and in for the long haul on it.

Meanwhile, Brian: How do you give a cheers to the lightning-rods-hidden-in-the-belt reveal, then jeer that entire plot twist?

They introduced the belt (which looked like Batman’s belt) with the notion that it was a mystery as to what the belt was – and I found the reveal actually played fair and was clever. That the sticks are being used to recreate a plot from a 40-year-old comic is lame, but the sneaky way they got the sticks was cool.

So, did Benes turn over a scratchy new leaf, or did Hope ink the pages to death?

I think it’s a mixture of the two. And it’s particularly annoying as I actually LIKED what Hope did with Jim Lee’s pencils, but that is probably because Lee ALREADY is rendered like crazy.

I should probably know better, but…how did it end?

With a comic that looks like Adam Beechen was given ten minutes to write, and Al Barrionuevo was given eleven minutes to draw. Just hopelessly poor storytelling, dialogue, everything.

Is he a detective again? What’s the deal there?

Yeah, it’s basically a reboot to the way he was back in Tomb of Dracula. When he was actually interesting.

I really dig these, Brian. Keep up the good work.

Wait, Hannibal King had to be rebooted BACK to being a detective? He was a private eye the last couple of times I saw him (granted this was the 90s). Did I miss something horrible?

I meant the whole take on the guy. Remember what he was like in Nightstalkers? SO LAME!

Oh, God, yes. Where he wore the cape and the whole bit?

Still better than the Ryan Reynolds version, though.

Yeah, he was almost unrecognizable from the original Wolfman/Colan take on the character.

Having given up on All-Star Batman, what was the line?

CHEERS to that Adam Kubert Countdown cover featuring the Joker.

Of the brothers, I prefer Adam. His work displays a slight willingness to lean toward cartoony, which really helps him rise above. Andy’s work always seems like it’s trying super hard to be serious, while Adam’s characters will often have just enough of a tweak, maybe in their pose or expression, to make it look like he’s really having fun drawing. I like that.

CHEERS to the latest issue of Local. Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly really nailed this one beautifully.

Yeah, it’s really starting to come together. So often, the past issues were a lot of “what the hell are we supposed to be getting from this,” but with this issue you can finally see why things were the way they were.

JEERS to Ed Benes’ art on the latest part of the crossover. It was like having a cheese grater rubbed on my eyeballs, it was so bad. I was never a fan of Benes’ art…

I was. His BoP was great, and really suited the book – you’ve got a guy who can do cheesecake art without being over the top, and had a style clean enough to really portray butt-kickings well. And really, isn’t that a perfect summation of BoP as a book? Under-the-top cheesecake mixed with competent ass-beatings?

On Justice League, though, he’s been inked all to hell. Enough with the tiny lines, Ed – you’re no longer drawing Gen 13, you no longer need to ape the Wildstorm house style.

Man, as a phrase “under the top” sounds really, really dirty. In a “got to second base” kind of way.

CHEERS to Slaymaster not continuing on in Claremont’s Exiles. Right? He’s not, right? Please tell me we’re done with him.

What’s wrong with Slaymaster?

It all comes down, yo, to whether the comment is made at a time when I can retrieve it.

If there are less than 150 spam comments, I can retrieve posts from it. After 150, it’s just deleted.

Your comment, luckily, I was able to retrieve. :)

Why is Clint Barton still alive??

Mike Loughlin

May 22, 2007 at 5:33 am

Because YOU DEMANDED IT!!!

I can’t believe anyone would cheer All-Star Batman and Robin. Miller’s take is way out of character for both Batman and Diana. I am so disappointed with this series. I appreciate trying to take a fresh new take on these characters, but I feel more insulted and offended. Miller’s writing here seems more like Beavis and Butt-head writing comics than an intelligent, literate & successful writer (He really is a good writer). It just seems like he is going for the shock value of crude speaking characters over actually writing a compelling story. Nothing neew or real has happened in any of the issues so far. I was obligated to get the first four issues because of my store’s pull box policy, but now I’m glad I can drop it. I’m also glad I didn’t have Wonder Woman’s ass in my pull box. Lee’s cover was much more tasteful.

Black Widow died? when the hell did that happen?

also, that wasn’t actually the last issue of Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, was it? I thought there would be four or five more … it’s the only decent comic Marvel has anymore, bad enough it’s ending, it would really suck if it’s already over.

That would be “Ultimate” Black Widow, in Ultimates #13.

JEERS to the choices the fans had for the Glyph “Fan Award for Best Black Comic of the Year”

Black Panther: The Bride, Reginald Hudlin, Scot Eaton & Klaus Janson
Crisis Aftermath: The Spectre, Will Pfeifer & Cliff Chiang
Firestorm #28-32, Stuart Moore, Jamal Igle & Keith Champagne
New Avengers #22, Brian Michael Bendis & Leinil Francis Yu
Storm, Eric Jerome Dickey, David Yardin & Lan Medina and Jay Leisten & Sean Parsons

What’s wrong with New Avengers #22? I thought it was a great issue, one of the best stories out of the whole Civil War thing.

I’d just like to point out that while I, too, CHEER ‘Fallen Son’ part three, I have to JEER the fact that it managed to make Iron Man even _more_ unlikeable, a feat that’s getting harder and harder to manage. He starts out by punching Hawkeye in the face, just because he wants to give him a medscan and doesn’t feel like asking, then decides to make him the new Captain America…so that he can blatantly ignore supervillains, and instead arrest superheroes.

Hawkeye proves that he is, in fact, the right man for the job just by telling Tony exactly where he can shove the shield. I’ve been a huge fan of Hawkeye since ‘Solo Avengers’ #1, so this was a gratifying issue for me, but man, I sure hope they’re going somewhere with Iron Man. Because as things stand, by the time the movie comes out, they’ll have to cancel his comic. Or at least retitle it…how does ‘Iron Man, Fascist Jerk’ sound? :)

You see, I’m totally loving the Lightning Saga. It may be the most I’ve enjoyed a JLA story since Morrison left. It wasn’t until you mentioned it that I realized it’s actually using a 40 year old plot device, and you know what: I don’t care.

I can’t say that I hate Countdown, but seriously, what was up with reprinting the JLA scene?
Also, since when does Jimmy Olsen know that Jason Todd is Red Hood and was Robin, or that Dick Grayson is Nightwing? Is this why Jimmy must die?
Also, WTF is with Superman idly standing (or floating) by and letting Jimmy interview Jason, rather than swooping in and taking him into custody? He is, after all, a murderer and a wanted criminal.
As for Ultimates 2, what I found most interesting is, now that Marvel has moved the MU model closer to the Ultimates model (super heroes working for the government), the Ultimates is moving closer to the old MU model (super heroes working independently of the government).

actually, you’ve got the wrong Kubert, two weeks straight. Andy’s drawn the first two “Countdown” covers. I don’t know if he’s doing all of them.

the link for the JLA concordance is bad. Otherwise, good article. Also, ASB&R #5 SUX!!! Not even the sperm bank line could save it. Please just make it stop. Also, Dead Cap=LMD and if Joe Q kills MJ after the Sensational Spider Man Annual…Make Mine Marvel NEVERMORE!!!

Pretty much agree on the jeers for the resurrection of the Proty/LL story for JSA/JLA/LSH.

(Though I think it’s not to resurrect Lightning Lad–The Legionaries involved are the wrong era for that—I think this is to resurrect another lighting-related hero with ties to the 30th Century, is dead, and is known to be returning thanks to Dan Didio’s inability to not reveal plot secrets).

Adam: IIRC the plan is that a different artist does each month’s covers..so Kubert in month 1, someone else in 2, Liefeld in 3 and so on…

Liefeld? Doing a cover? Did somebody at DC lose a bet? What year is this? 2000? What’s next? Joe Mad as the artist on ASB&R…oh wait…given what’s happened with that rag already… it would come out on time.

The Sensational Spider-Man Annual came out weeks ago, although judging from everything else you’re saying, I kind of doubt you actually read the comics to begin with. Your posts strike me more as someone who just goes by whatever hyperbolic descriptions of comics you read off of forums when complaining about them.

Yes it did. However, in my corner of the world, paying bills trumps picking up a bag of funny books. Not to mention that I live 45 minutes from my nearest shop. So sorry my comic buying habits tick you off. I am concerned as a fan that the EIC of Marvel is pushing another major change on a character I have read for almost 30 years simply because he can. Pete’s marriage to MJ is one of the defining features for the character. Also, ASB&R has been late, overhyped and generally hard to wade through after I laid out my hard-earned cash for it. I expected better from Lee and Miller, not to mention better scheduling. I mean, just call it a yearly comic and charge 10 bucks a copy. Also, I have a feeling that my theory of Cap’s demise is a lot closer to reality than what we know so far….but what I know…I just read the comics… and the link is still dead.

why did the first two parts have to be so bad?

Jeph Loeb wrote them, isn’t that reason enough?

Nothing about All-Star B&R should get CHEERS. The whole thing reads like something Miller scribbled on a cocktail napkin with his own vomit on the heels of a 6-day bender he went on after being shot down by real women. It is beyond awful. Not clever enough for parody, not smart enough for satire, not funny enough for camp. It’s just crap. It’s not even in the “so bad it’s actually kind good” range. Lee’s art is pretty static, looks rushed and a little lazy, and saves nothing from this mess.

Amen… did I miss Miller’s announcement that he hates all women and a large part of the DCU as well? Josh has this one nailed to the wall. If DC wants to cancel a book, this one has my vote.

A completely unrelated suggestion…if DD is so blah on Nightwing…why not move him to the JSA ala the Earth 2 Robin? There seems to a lack of detective skills on that team and Ol’ Grayson’s certainly got the chops. With Bats taking over the Outsiders and Tim entrenched in the Titans..heck he can take Barbara when he goes..if the multiverse makes it through…just a thought.

Liefeld was just an example used to point out who truly bad things can get.

I know…but I would not be shocked to see it happen.

also, that wasn’t actually the last issue of Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, was it? I thought there would be four or five more … it’s the only decent comic Marvel has anymore, bad enough it’s ending, it would really suck if it’s already over.

Just using “last” to point out which issue it was. It was the last issue to be released up to this point.

What’s wrong with New Avengers #22? I thought it was a great issue, one of the best stories out of the whole Civil War thing.

I was complaining more about the whole pile than any one of the selections.

Storm, by the way, won the Fan Award.

I can’t say that I hate Countdown, but seriously, what was up with reprinting the JLA scene?

It was just bizarre, and lends credence to the brilliant line someone said about how DC is basically just printing one BIG comic book series – “The DC Universe.”

Also, since when does Jimmy Olsen know that Jason Todd is Red Hood and was Robin, or that Dick Grayson is Nightwing? Is this why Jimmy must die?
Also, WTF is with Superman idly standing (or floating) by and letting Jimmy interview Jason, rather than swooping in and taking him into custody? He is, after all, a murderer and a wanted criminal.

It seems like one of the changes post Infinite Crisis (except in books written by Judd Winick) is that Red Hood is now more of an anti-hero than he is a villain.

Which is completely out of nowhere, but whatever.

the link for the JLA concordance is bad.

It works for me. Anyone else having a problem getting to Don’s site via the link?

Disregard about the link…after 4 hours of trying…the link works.

Andrew Collins

May 22, 2007 at 2:56 pm

I had problems with the link earlier too, but it works fine now. Damn good summary of the JLA issue too. I’m glad someone else caught the subtle hint of Dawnstar being gay. That threw me for a second when reading the issue…

Can I get my 3 bucks back from when I voted to off Jason Todd the first time? He was a useless character the first time around and the return engagement is even less fun.

“That would be “Ultimate” Black Widow, in Ultimates #13.”

“Just using “last” to point out which issue it was. It was the last issue to be released up to this point. ”

and here I thought I was “with it.” and could read for comprehension.

… and knew how to fill in the freakin’ blanks, too …

There’s a scene where a bunch of gorillas race each other on dinosaurs

I actually released a small quantity of urine when I read that – what issue of what magazine was that? Even if the art is as terrible as you say I at least need to go flip through that one at the shop.

I was complaining more about the whole pile than any one of the selections.

Storm, by the way, won the Fan Award.

Well, that certainly deserves a JEER.

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