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Flippin’ through Previews – February 2008

What better way to celebrate the year’s oddest month than with a tour through your essential comics buying guide?  I can’t think of one!

(You know, I read someone writing that they weren’t going to use Previews anymore.  That’s fine and dandy if you live in a cultural mecca like New York, but what about those of us who live in a cultural backwater, like Phoenix?  If I don’t order from Previews, I don’t get a lot of great comics.  Previews may suck, but it’s kind of a necessary evil.  Okay, I’m off my soapbox … for now.  I reserve the right to climb back on with no warning whatsoever!)

So, Previews, Volume XVIII, #2, with the hype machine for Marvel’s next event kicking in big-time on the cover.  But are there any, you know, good comics in this volume?

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Check out page 13.  Someone hired an editor who knows grammar!  “The Secret Invasion is here – WHOM do you trust?” reads the copy.  Joey Q got my letter about the uses of “who” and “whom”!  How exciting!  (Of course, this could just be the Previews people deciding to change the wording because it was poor grammar, because on the front of the Marvel Previews, it’s still wrong.  But I like to think it was my fawning letters to Joey Q, written on scented pink paper with bunnies on it, that did the trick.)

Dark Horse:

Conan: Born on the Battlefield (page 42; 18 June) sounds great.  In fact, it sounded great a month ago, when Dark Horse solicited it the first time!  Well, that was nice of them to put it in there again, in case you missed it!

Hey, over on page 44, the trade paperback of Grendel: God and the Devil is offered (11 June).  “Never before collected” says the text.  Really?  That’s strange.  I could have sworn it had been.  Anyway, this is a fantastic arc and will be the subject of my next Comics You Should Own post (I’m working on it, I swear!).  It’s 30 bucks, but it’s ten packed issues, so it’s a pretty good value.

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Speaking of trade paperbacks, there’s another collection of Fear Agent on page 47 (18 June).  Our Dread Lord and Master has opined that this series went off the rails very quickly, and although the second trade isn’t as good as the first, it’s still an interesting series.  So what’s the word – does this collection suck?


Hey, it’s another desperate attempt to make WildStorm viable on page 75 as it crosses over with the DC Universe (16 April)!  Are they just doing this to keep Jim Lee happy?  Is he that petty?  Or is there another, more sinister reason to keep WildStorm on life support?

Batman #676 (page 80; 23 April): “Who will be Batman?”  My guess is that it will be Bruce Wayne.  How clever am I?  Or maybe that Jean-Paul Valley dude?  No, DC wouldn’t pull that shit, would it?

I like the solicitation text for Superman #675 (page 81; 16 April): “Kurt Busiek, gearing up for his insanely huge next project, brings his Superman run to a close!”  I have read very little of Busiek’s run, but didn’t he make it a bit of a mess with all the delays and whatnot?  What say you all?  I wonder if DC is sorry to see him go.

Blue Beetle #26 (page 90; 30 April) is in Spanish!  What the hell?  I love this idea, actually, and I hope DC does well with this in a probably under-tapped market.  I’m sure someone will object to this because it somehow legitimizes the “browning” of our Holy American Culture, but they should shut the fuck up.  This is awesome.  Plus, it’s 40 pages long.  Coolio.

Whoo-hoo!  Ethan van Sciver on JLA (page 92; 23 April)!  I hope he started it three years ago so it comes out on time.

On page 104, you can pick up a hardcover edition of World’s Finest (11 June).  It’s 30 bucks, and I’m not sure if it’s worth it, even though it’s a nice comic.  Dave Gibbons wrote it and Steve Rude drew it, in case you didn’t know it existed (it came out, what, 18 years ago?).  I saw The Dude for the first time last weekend at the Phoenix Comic Convention.  He’s frickin’ gigantic.  Seriously.  He’s like 7 feet tall.

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Both Minx offerings, Burnout and Water Baby (pages 122-125; 4 and 25 June), look somewhat interesting.  However, I’d like, if I may, take exception with the Minx label: “The First Graphic Novel Imprint for Teens.”  Shouldn’t that read “Girls”?  I mean, none of the books so far look like they appeal to boys in the least, unless Famed Angry Man T is correct* and teenaged boys these days are a bunch of wusses who like to talk about their feelings instead of, you know, smashing things.  Until Minx publishes a book in which a heroic boy scores a game-winning touchdown while still having time to defeat an evil robot at chess, hunts down a were-bear that is terrorizing the comely maidens of Sweden, or occupies Tegucigalpa with his army of school chums wielding crudely-made slingshots, DC really shouldn’t claim Minx is for “teens,” because the books ignore a full half of the population.  I’m not saying they need to change the books they publish, because they can publish what they want, but if I were a teenaged boy and picked one of these books up and didn’t see things exploding on page 2, I’d be a bit peeved.  Where’s Jack London when you need him?

* (And I refuse to live in a world where T is right!)


You know, it’s nice that Tim Vigil is getting a somewhat high-profile gig on Frank Frazetta’s Dark Kingdom Part One (page 154; 2 April), but does that mean that the final two issues of Faust are going to be held up even longer?  He claimed to be done everything on issue #14 but the cover when I spoke to him last weekend, but what about issue #15?  I know Faust is an awful comic book, but I still love it.  I’ve been waiting almost 20 years for the damned thing to finish.  Is it too much to ask for?

If you’ve been waiting for the softcover version of Elephantmen: Wounded Animals, it’s offered on page 162 (9 April).  It collects the first seven issues of the ongoing, and is quite awesome.

Top Cow brings Wanted back into print on page 187 to coincide with the movie.  I guess that’s fine, although the trailer looks nothing like the book.  I like how the studio apparently wanted to put any notion that these were superheroes as far away from them as possible.  By the way, this comic has the worst ending of any halfway decent book in history.  Nice art, though.


Robert Kirkman is finishing his run with Ultimate X-Men #93 (page 11).  I wonder who’s taking over?  This has to be one of the most disappointing runs in a while, as Kirkman started strong and just went right in the toilet.  How weird.

You know, I don’t have any interest in reading Ghost Rider #22 (page 28) even though Jason Aaron is writing it, but I do like the text: “It’s Ghost Rider versus a haunted stretch of highway …”  Any time someone battles a piece of pavement, that’s good stuff.

Iron Man: Legacy of Doom (page 33) is the “long-awaited conclusion” of The Camelot Trilogy.  What the hell is The Camelot Trilogy?  I assume it’s something Michelinie and Layton did back in the 1980s, right?  So who has been waiting for this?

I know you won’t listen to me, but how about you don’t buy Secret Invasion (page 41)?  Pretty please with sugar on top?  Don’t be an enabler!  They’ll never learn if you keep telling them it’s okay!

In Mighty Avengers #12, we learn the answer to the question that’s “been on every comic fan’s mind for years”: what happened to Nick Fury?  I must say, praise Jesus for this issue – I actually haven’t slept in two years pondering this question.

As somewhat decent Ms. Marvel is (page 46), I have heard it sells less than The Order.  Yet that gets canceled and Ms. Marvel continues.  Does anyone know if this title sells worse than one of the better superhero books Marvel has put out in the past year?  And if so, why does it get to hang around?

Hey, check it out: The Punisher fights Chucky (page 52)! First Moby Dick, now this.  It should be awesome.

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Well, it’s the final issue of The Order (page 54).  Sigh.

You know, I don’t like the Mike Choi art on the cover of Uncanny X-Men #497 (page 59), but I love the concept of it.  It’s, like, groovy.

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I find the solicitation text for Kick-Ass #3 (page 78) amusing: “You were wowed by the first two issues of this comic.”  Um, really?  We haven’t actually read the first two issues of Kick-Ass, because they haven’t come out yet.  I know solicitation texts deal in hyperbole, but that struck me more than most.  The rest of the text is silly, too.

The Punisher mini-series by Steven Grant, Jo Duffy, Mike Zeck, and Mike Vosburg gets a hardcover treatment on page 90.  I’ve never read this, but I have a question: it collects The Punisher #1-5.  On the cover of the variant is the original cover to issue #1.  It clearly states this is a “four issue limited series.”  Did Marvel add another issue after this cover went to press, or can someone not count?  Any die-hard Punisher fans out there who can help me out?

The Kree-Skrull War trade paperback gets a new printing on page 101.  It’s a pretty good book.  I proved it to you here. 

On page 106 the trade collecting the first part of Bill Sienkiewicz’s remarkable run on New Mutants is offered.  It’s 25 bucks, but it’s totally worth it.  Demon Bear, man!

Well, you know what’s coming next … the Back of the Book!

You know, I’m kind of looking forward to Glamourpuss, Dave Sim’s new comic from Aardvark Vanaheim (page 202).  Does that make me a bad person?

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SLG has a new issue of Rex Libris on page 212, which is always cause for celebration, but they also have a trade of Vaistron, Andrew Dabb’s insane (and insanely offensive) mini-series set in a wild dystopian future.  I reviewed it back in the day, and if it sounds like your kind of thing, check it out!  Dabb does way too many fantasy comics for Devil’s Due that I have no interest in, but he’s a good writer.  I miss Atomika.

The cover to Helen Killer #1 from Arcana Studios (page 217) isn’t great, but the solicitation text, which is perhaps the greatest in history, deserves to be quoted in full: “In 1901, twenty-one year old college student Helen Keller, with the aid of a fantastical device invented by her friend and mentor, Alexander Graham Bell, regains her sight and hearing as well as near super-human strength and agility.  Helen is enlisted by the Secret Service to protect President William McKinley who has been targeted for assassination by Anarchists.  As a deeper conspiracy to destroy America unfolds around her, Helen discovers that her new abilities come with a dark and terrifying secret.”  SOLD!  How can you resist?!?!?!?

And then we come to Avatar, and Warren Ellis’s latest epic, Anna Mercury (page 234).  I want to like the newer output by Mr. Ellis.  He seems like a swell guy – he wears fedoras, he likes to visit Iceland, he often seems grumpy – what’s not to love?  But I fear this rut he’s in with regard to subject matter is becoming a canyon, and soon he will disappear down it like a Spanish explorer wandering through the Arizona desert in search of El Dorado and finding only death in the Colorado River.  Anna Mercury, in case you didn’t know from reading almost everything Ellis has written recently, fights “political repression of an insane technocratic society.”  It’s a “high-octane blend of The Shadow, Tomb Raider, retropunk science fiction and 21st-century ‘weird pulp’ action.”  In other words, like almost everything else Ellis writes.  I’ll probably read the first issue, because I can read it for free, but I don’t have high hopes for it being much different than his usual work.  It’s not that he doesn’t try other things – Crécy and Wolfskin are recent examples – it’s just that he goes to certain wells so often it becomes tiresome.  Oh well.  It’s an Ellis book from Avatar, if that’s what you like!

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Bodog offers a comic called Ayre Force on page 246, which is not interesting because it’s illustrated by Shawn Martinbrough, who ought to get more work with the Big Two.  Well, that is interesting, but what’s unusual about this is that the text claims it’s “based on real people” who are led by some billionaire and are fighting a covert war against a pharmaceutical company.  I guess we’re using the term “real people” kind of loosely these days, right?  Unless they’re real people doing completely made-up things!

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I know that Chip Mosher is heroically trying to clean up Boom! Studios’ difficulties with late books, and I appreciate it, but they’re offering Jenny Finn: Doom Messiah (page 249) for I believe the third time (I don’t have previous Previews in front of me).  I hope it comes out eventually!  The solicitation text for the trade paperback of 2 Guns, which is a pretty decent series if a bit uneven, is also fun: “A light-hearted crime romp.”  Um, no, it’s not.  You may enjoy it or not, but don’t go thinking it’s “light-hearted.”  There are some funny moments, but that’s about it.

I’m not that big a fan of alien abduction stuff, but The Nye Incidents on page 274 from Devil’s Due sounds interesting.  A medical examiner can’t figure out the murder of a supposed abductee, and things get weird from there on.  Sounds neat!

Three Shadows from First Second (page 296) looks kind of keen.  Two parents try to keep the shadows outside of their house from killing their son, traveling the world to find a way.  First Second has a good track record, so this might be something to check out.

If you’re a Fabian Nicieza fan (I know you’re out there!), check out Captain Action #0 from Moonstone on page 319.  Captain Action must save the world, even though the world has no idea aliens have conquered it!  Well, that kind of sucks.  It’s 2 dollars for 16 pages, so it might be a nice thing to preview.

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NBM usually has some interesting things, and on page 324 they have three volumes of Max Friedman: No Pasaran.  It takes place during the Spanish Civil War, and sounds kind of cool.  They’re a bit pricey at 12 dollars for only 48 pages each (the first one is 64 pages for 14 bucks), but has anyone read them?  Are they any good?

So Oni has the second “definitive” edition of Queen & Country on page 326 for 20 dollars.  Q & C is a great spy series, but I was a bit disappointed with the first “definitive” edition, which didn’t have much else besides the actual stories.  Shouldn’t a “definitive” edition have some extras?  Anyway, if you haven’t read this series yet, you should definitely check it out (and the first definitive volume is on page 330, in case you’re interested).

Pantheon has the complete Persepolis on page 330.  The movie is out and getting oodles of critical acclaim, so if you’re interested in reading it, get both volumes in one!  Just ignore me, who once called it “the asparagus of comic books” – good for you, but not very tasty.

I don’t know anything about Tim Sievert, but That Salty Air on page 356 from Top Shelf sounds neat.  A fisherman feels the sea has betrayed him, and his revenge jeopardizes his family.  Sounds bleak!  Sign me up!

Valiant has brought back X-O Manowar (page 358)!  Layton, Shooter, Quesada, and Windsor-Smith!  Guys with saliva strands almost completely covering their open mouths!  Can you resist?  I think not!  Plus: A Harbinger trade by Shooter and Lapham (page 362)!  It’s like the Nineties never ended!

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I love the pull quote for Gamekeeper Series 2 #2 from Virgin (page 365): “It makes you want to find out what happens next.”  It’s certainly a good quote, because that’s the whole point of serialized fiction, but it kind of lacks pizazz, doesn’t it?  Of course, this is written by Jeff Parker, so I’m already picking it up, but I think they could have found a better quote.

You know, I was going to end this post there, but I just had to dig deeper, because in the Toy section, there on page 450, is The Silence of the Lambs Minimates Box Set.  Behold the awesomeness!

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Is there any way to top that?  The answer, of course, is no.  Therefore, let’s wrap things up for this month.  You know you want to find better comics than boring old mainstream superhero stuff!  So get looking!


Busiek didn’t cause any delays, as far as I know. In fact, he often wrote single-issue stories with new art teams when artists couldn’t finish the longer arcs he was writing, as well as several fill-ins on Action when that team fell behind. Say what you will about Busiek (and I’m a big fan, personally), but you can count on him to get comic books written.

That Anna Mercury has some inordinately meaty thighs. Grotesquely meaty. Or is that a steampunk trademark?

So, is that Punisher HC the old “Circle of Blood” book that hasn’t been in print for ages? If so, I’ve never read it either, but I’ve always wanted to. How much is that? (I haven’t been able to pick up the new Previews yet, so I’m unable to follow along until early next week)

“On the cover of the variant is the original cover to issue #1. It clearly states this is a ”four issue limited series.” Did Marvel add another issue after this cover went to press, or can someone not count?”

It was solicited as a 4 issue series, but the first issue sold so insanely well (despite a minimal level of promotion) that it was expanded to 5. Which was followed up on thereafter by the start of his 1st ongoing series.

The way I heard the 4/5 issue mini series mix up was that it was always planned to be a 5 issue mini series, but Marvel had never done one before so they accidentally listed it as a 4 issue series. I think Steven Grant joked that the last issue would read “Issue 5 in a 4 issue limited series”.

Strangely enough, the second issue correctly stated that it was a five issue series while #3 & 4 said it was four issues. Must have been confusing in the pre-internet days.

I didn’t know that about Busiek, Anthony. I haven’t been keeping track of the book, but I thought there were several fill-in issues, not only with the artists, but Busiek himself. I think he’s a really good writer, so I’m curious what he’s doing next. Sorry for impugning his professionalism!

Cody: I’m not sure if it’s “Circle of Blood.” It’s 20 dollars, which is a pretty good deal for a nice collection of oldey-tyme comics. And that’s fun to know, Bill. Revising the number of issues on the fly!

I’m with you on Glamourpuss. I can’t believe that it won’t be, at the very least, interesting.

I think The Camelot Trilogy refers to the comics wherein Iron Man fights Doctor Doom to save Camelot. Admittedly, I haven’t read this, but that’s a fantastic concept, one I can understand following up on.

I think you need to stop whining so much about Marvel and DC. It subtracts from what are otherwise good posts.

If Jim Lee’s pettyness is all that is keeping Wildstorm alive then I will allow him to borrow my own pettyness to keep the imprint going as long as possible.

I’ll give you two words why DC is still bothering to publish Wildstorm books; Ex Machina. I’d imagine it sells enough that DC doesn’t want to lose it, but there’s contracts to keep it at Wildstorm. DC knows it’s a finite series, so they figure they can keep getting a few bucks from Wildstorm holdouts till Ex Machina finishes it’s run. Once it’s finished, I would not be suprised if Wildstorm closes up shop. I base this on total conjecture without any actual facts. Thank you and good night.

the camelot trilogy… In Iron Man #150, Doctor Doom and Iron Man were transported back to the court of King Arthur by Merlin to battle Morgana Le Fey.

In Iron Man #250, they were transported into the future to help a reborn future King Arthur.

I was a kid. I loved those comics even though they were goofy as fuck. So I might actually be buying that.

As for Anna Mercury… I’m really hoping that this is going to be Ellis’ next “fight comic” ala Nextwave. It sounds bloody awful, if it’s going to be played straight… but played for laughs? I can see how that could work.

Steve: I like a lot of what WildStorm publishes as well, but I know the books are selling really poorly across the board. I just wonder why DC keeps it alive, that’s all.

Ron: I count 20 items total about DC and Marvel. Eight are completely whiny, eight are pretty positive, and four are just questions or pretty neutral observations. I don’t think that’s a bad balance, considering a lot of the crap that the Big Two put out. I’m sorry you think I’m whining, but I do try to find things that are good that they publish, but I also have to call them on their crap.

That’s a good point, Chris, about Ex Machina. I wonder what’s going to happen in a couple of years when it ends.

Good to know about The Camelot Trilogy, David. Thanks!

“Say what you will about Busiek (and I’m a big fan, personally), but you can count on him to get comic books written.”

Except for, say, Astro City.

(I actually like Kurt myself, but really, where the hell is Astro City?)

You’re welcome, Greg. Thanks for running an entertaining blog!

Incidentally, I just remembered that those Iron Man comics were collected as a TPB.

A little bit of nosing around reveals that there’s a hardcover in the works, which may explain why it’s suddenly become a “trilogy” with a “long awaited conclusion” (considering there was no mention of these facts in the original comics):


I really recommend Punisher: Circle of Blood for thoes who haven’t read it. It’s the best Punisher story ever not written by Garth Ennis (and the template upon which all subsequent takes on the character was bulit).

I’m buying that Hellen Killer comic for the exact same reason as you are, Greg. That solicitation text has got to be amongst the best concepts I’ve ever read for a comic!

I’m also with you in not giving a crap about Secret Invasion. I was intrigued by it at one point, but between the One More Day BS, and the declining quality in Bendis’ two Avengers books, I’ve gotten kind of fed up with Marvel. I buy Iron Fist and Powers (when it, you know, actually comes out…) and that’s about it from them these days.

I’m interested in Anna Mercury too, because it’s been awhile since I read a Warren Ellis comic and as a pulp fiction fan, I’m willing to try anything that describes itself as ‘weird pulp.’

“NBM usually has some interesting things, and on page 324 they have three volumes of Max Friedman: No Pasaran. It takes place during the Spanish Civil War, and sounds kind of cool. They’re a bit pricey at 12 dollars for only 48 pages each (the first one is 64 pages for 14 bucks), but has anyone read them? Are they any good?”

I just read the first volume of No Pasaran by Vittorio Giardino, and it is pretty good. There’s a lot of setup, but I’m intrigued about the following volume. Giardino does a really nice job on the art and has a strong line that reminds me of Winsor McCay. The dimensions of the book give the art lots of room to breathe. I’d recommend it. There may be some differences between the printing I read and what is being offered through previews. In the foreward Giardino writes that the series would be two volume, and there are 54 pages of story.

I unreservedly recommend another of Giardino’s works, A Jew in Communist Prague, also published by NBM. It’s a wonderful story and has art even stronger than No Pasaran. It’s absolutely one of my favorite comics!

Rex Libris makes me feel important; I’m always glad when it’s released. Viastron sounds like it could be fun if it doesn’t make my head explode.

God, I love Bill Sienkiewicz’s work, and those New Mutants issues are nice. $25 is a lot, though, especially since I got all those issues for a buck or less in the last year.

Dave Gibbons and Steve Rude on Worlds Finest? I did not realize this existed. I’m going to have to find this.

Is Queen & Country still around? Did it begin with Oni’s issue #1? I don’t know if it’s had a convoluted publishing history or if it just feels that way.

Hey, look! I just wrote a column! Thanks for indulging me.

Wait, wait…there are Warren Ellis comics that AREN’T played for laughs? All those tiresome, monologuing chain-smokers aren’t in on the joke?


While previous delays in Astro City were due to Mr. Busiek coming down with mercury poisoning (!), I think the current schedule is because of the art of Brent Anderson.

So, again: Busiek is someone who, when not poisoned by mercury, does get the scripts done on time.

Just so you’re in on the grammar loop:

From The Boston Globe (2/19/06):

”’Beginning a question with whom in contemporary standard English would not just be unusual, it would be bizarre,’ says linguist Geoffrey Pullum, coauthor of the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. ‘Insisting on whom, as some people still do when writing for print, is more and more looking like an affectation,’ says Pullum, who’s currently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute in Cambridge.”

Whom is on the way out, and Marvel knows it.

Poor “whom” – it gets no respect! Stupid linguist, bowing to the gramatically incorrect just because it’s “hip” and “trendy”!

Other Dan: Queen & Country has always been published by Oni, but you’re right, it feels like it’s been more convoluted because of its schedule. That’s why I just wait for the trades.

Julie was completely horrified by “Helen Killer.”

I, on the other hand, am thinking I might have to check it out. Such is the mind of the comics fan.

Or maybe it’s just a guy thing. All I know is that if it also has dinosaurs, robots and stuff that blows up, it might just be the perfect story.

At any rate, you sold them some books, Greg. I think that copywriter should get some kind of a raise.

I live in a far bigger “cultural backwater” than you, Greg, but I never buy Previews. I just use the internet.

I’d heard that Marvel and DC had Spanish language versions of their comics that they sell in Mexico and South America. I’ve always wondered why they didn’t have them available for sale in the US.

Comic books are a great tool for teaching another language.

As far as the death of whom/modern usage is concerned, prevaling usage doesn’t necessarily make it right.

Example: a lot of people use “literally” to mean “figuratively”. Literally actually means literally, as in, it actually happened. So if someone says their jaw literally hit the floor, unless their jaw actually hit the floor, they’re using it incorrectly.

Now, some dictionaries have started listing “figuratively” as a secondary meaning for “literally”, because a lot of people are using it that way.

And so, back to my point: just because a lot of people are doing something (or not doing something) doesn’t make it correct, regardless of what some twit at Cambridge has to say about it.

Back in the day, the “God and the Devil” arc of Grendel was my all-time favorite comic ever. I’ll have to re-read it sometime to see if I feel the same way now that I’m twice as old as when it first came out. (It does suffer somewhat from inconsistent art, and I was annoyed at the editors for retroactively bumping it forward from 2512 to 2542 just because Wagner couldn’t do math, thus screwing up the internal calendar.) I also wasn’t particularly interested in Orion Assante, and didn’t have much interest in later arcs because they were all set in that part of the future; I’m glad Wagner has gone back to Hunter Rose, though I wouldn’t mind some stories set in other parts of the timeline as well.

(My dream Grendel story is to see someone adapt Hamlet through the Grendel filter. The beats are quite similar to the Christine Spar arc–protagonist sets out to avenge loss of loved one, spirals further into violence, loses control, corpses littering the rushes. All that’s missing is the mask. And I do realize that casts Brian Li Sung as Horatio.)

Bill: I always forget that most people have to BUY Previews (my retailer gives it out for free). I agree, it’s very annoying to spend five bucks on it, and I encourage everyone to attempt to get it for free, because it is rather handy.

Doug: I should have a post up soon about that particular arc. I disagree that the art being inconsistent is a detriment, because that is, after all, how it was planned. But that’s a discussion for another day (that day being, of course, when I post about it!).

The hellen killer sounds as cool as any other high concept book, but do they need to make her regain her eyesight? i think not, just super strength is enough as well as protecting the president for me to buy the book.

I wonder if they’ll letter the Helen Killer book in such a way as to indicate the deaf-person speech pattern?

Yeah… I don’t just want Helen Killer. I need it.

Ten bucks says that Helen Killer is actually terrible and unfunny. Not because I’m bothered by the concept, just that it seems like the kind of thing that’s consistently done in a very blunt, unoriginal way.

Busiek has said in the past (in the context of “getting assignments done while in poor health”) that Astro City takes a lot more effort to write than most other assignments. The gist was that he can knock out a Superman or Avengers story pretty quickly. Not to say they’re bad stories or anything, but it’s conventional superhero storytelling, while Astro City has a different perspective. (Also, I imagine that Superman et al pay better, which can always be a factor whether we want it to be or not.)

On Ms. Marvel, I’ve heard people say Marvel wants Ms. Marvel to be “their Wonder Woman” – i.e., an iconic female hero with a very high profile. Thus (as with Wonder Woman herself not infrequently) Marvel might have a slow hook for the series, keeping the title going in pursuit of a longer-term goal for the character and the line in general.

I remember the Punisher miniseries and being confused by its “four or five” issue duration. I thought it was a case of it selling so well (which it did – it was a totally unexpected smash hit) that they extended it, but it sounds like that’s not the case. I think the whole notion of the mini-series was still pretty new at the time, too. Nowadays, you can have limited series of whatever duration the story requires, but I think then it was “Miniseries last four issues,” by definition.

I suspect Apodaca’s right about Helen Killer, btw. It’s the kind of concept you really either need to do *completely* tastelessly, or not at all. But the solicitation sounds kind of plonkingly straight-faced and earnest about it, so my guess is it’ll have the worst of both worlds – a premise that’s kind of offensive in service of an unremarkable story.


February 4, 2008 at 8:41 am

The linguist is merely stating that to BEGIN a sentence with “WHOM” would be bizarre, NOT that the usage of the word itself in the body of a sentence would be wrong.

But I truly think that is because with the exception of simple sentence/questions like;
“Whom do you trust?”
might be the only ones where a preposition isn’t present, such as:
“Whom are you referring to?”
(which should be “To whom are you referring?”)
“Whom do you wish to dance with?”
(should be: “With whom do you wish to dance?”)

Even avoiding the prepositional phrase with:
“Whom did you go out with last night?”
(it is really better as: “With whom did you go out, last night?”)

SO, just BEGINNING a sentence with WHOM is bizarre, because, truthfully, in sentence structure, it is just considered wrong.

Just my cents.


If you’re going to hell, I’m going with you Greg– I find myself looking forward to Glamourpuss as well!

Neither Secret Invasion or Final Crisis, or any tie-ins (with the exception of Captain America when they publish the inevitable second Brubaker omnibus) will be purchased by me. My comic consumption has gone way down due to the declining quality of Bendis’ comics (see Ultimate Spider-man, Powers, and New Avengers) as well as an overabundance of crossovers.

I’ll save any other comments on “God and the Devil” for the post on it (looking forward to it), but lest I forget, I should clarify that my issue with the art is just that I didn’t like it as much in some chapters as others. (It always bugs me when people treat personal preference as freely interchangable with quality, so I don’t want to make any overstatements.)

It should be up later today, Doug. That’s cool if you don’t like a certain artist. When you write “inconsistent” it sounds more like you’re making a comment on the quality rather than your personal preference, which is why I brought it up. I would argue the only time the art is inconsistent is in the final issue, and that’s because it was double-sized, so I imagine both artists were working a bit faster than usual. But that’s something for the post itself!

Hey, I’m not angry, I prefer the term “spirited!” :D

Hey, it’s another desperate attempt to make WildStorm viable on page 75 as it crosses over with the DC Universe (16 April)! Are they just doing this to keep Jim Lee happy? Is he that petty? Or is there another, more sinister reason to keep WildStorm on life support?

DC has kept Wildstorm on life support. Problem is, before DC bought it Wildstorm was alive and kicking! Before DC came into the picture, post-Image Wildstorm was fascinating and Authority was the hottest book around! Now the Wildstorm universe is just like a DC book…crossing over with alternate earths and doing “simplifying” rebooting that just confuse and complicate everything.

unless Famed Angry Man T is correct* and teenaged boys these days are a bunch of wusses who like to talk about their feelings instead of, you know, smashing things.

I dunno, Shonen Jump manga is huge with teen boys and it’s nothing but asskicking from cover to cover.

Anna Mercury, in case you didn’t know from reading almost everything Ellis has written recently, fights “political repression of an insane technocratic society.” It’s a “high-octane blend of The Shadow, Tomb Raider, retropunk science fiction and 21st-century ‘weird pulp’ action.” In other words, like almost everything else Ellis writes.

HA! Good one. Is she a snarky, smoking Brit?

Also, if Nicieza needs work, why doesn’t Marvel just relaunch New Warriors with him. Lord knows the man is the only one who’s ever been able to make that book work consistently. Yet they keep relaunching the book without him and failing, while putting him on Thunderbolts or Deadpool. Does he just not want New Warriors?

That’s kind of my point, T. You have mentioned that people are trying to turn boys into wusses, but boys resist this and like seeing things getting smashed! So if Shonen Jump is so popular with boys (and I’ll take your word on it), why is DC claiming that Minx is for “teens” when it’s clearly for girls? Again, I have no problem with them targeting it for girls, but don’t claim it’s for boys unless you do a book with some things blowing up. They’re obviously not reading regular mainstream comics, but they still like heroes doing heroic things. One wonders why DC doesn’t get this.

my guess is it’ll have the worst of both worlds – a premise that’s kind of offensive in service of an unremarkable story

EXACTLY. You say it so much better than I could.

EXACTLY. You say it so much better than I could.

Yeah, I must admit he did a great job with that concise description. I’m actually jealous.

If Wildstorm ended, DC could just fold Ex Machina into Vertigo, couldn’t they? They’ve done it before; after their Helix imprint died, Transmetropolitan became a Vertigo book. Eh, whatever.


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