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CSBG Archive

What I bought – 15 October 2008

After a few relatively small weeks, the books came in a flood this week. Will I be swept away? Plus: What’s up with the back-up stories? They’re like dandelions in this week’s batch o’ books!

Air #3 by G. Willow Wilson (writer), M. K. Perker (artist), Chris Chuckry (colorist), and Jared K. Fletcher (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, DC/Vertigo.

Boy, that’s a cool cover, especially when you consider that that dude (whatever his name is; I forget) has a scar on his face where the map is. That’s nifty.

I’m still feeling this book out, and it appears we’re done with the first story arc, as Blythe learns some answers about Narimar and the Narimari fight back against the Etesian interlopers. It’s kind of anticlimactic, but Wilson is going for a long-term kind of thing with this book, and it doesn’t appear it will be sectioned easily into chunks. I’m not even sure if we can call it an “arc,” as it feels like an ending but can easily slip into the next story.

It’s kind of a strange book, because it has an interesting premise, but Wilson is still finding her way, and that makes the actual page-to-page writing odd, as it’s sometimes stilted and trying to simply push the plot along, and sometimes hits the right notes and feels more real. Part of the problem, it seems after three issues, is that Wilson wants it to be too mysterious, and therefore the characters talk around things and leave us a bit puzzled. Wilson does a nice job “explaining” Narimar, but it also feels a bit condensed, as she takes what would have been a complex political process and boils it down to simplicities. It’s strange, because we really don’t need Narimar explained right now – we get that it’s a strange, unknown part of the map, and Wilson should leave it at that for the time being. The book is a lot like that – it feels rushed to explain things, but by the end, we really don’t know much more than we started with. I know that doesn’t make much sense, but it’s hard to really explain. That’s why I was an English major, don’t you know – my mad skillz with da words!

I’m still curious about the book, and what Wilson is doing is intriguing, but I wonder about the pace of the book. It feels rushed, yet we don’t know a lot more than when we started. It’s kind of vertiginous, which isn’t a bad feeling, but it might turn out to be bad eventually.

Atomic Robo: Dogs of War #3 (of 5) by Brian Clevinger (writer), Scott Wegener (artist), Ronda Pattison (colorist), and Jeff Powell (letterer). Back-up story by Brian Clevinger (writer), Lauren Pettapiece (artist), and Jeff Powell (letterer). $2.95, 26 pgs, FC, Red 5 Comics.

I worried about the first issue lacking the wit of the first series, but in the past two, Clevinger has rebounded, and the book is flying once again. In this issue, Robo and a British spy, the Sparrow, both jump a Nazi train to stop the mastermind behind the monsters of the first two issues. For a time, they think each other is a Nazi, and when they discover differently, their targets have escaped. The Nazi mad scientist somehow manages to disable Robo just as the train is heading for a blown-out bridge over a gorge. Yeah, that can’t be good.

It’s a fun and exciting issue, with the excellent Wegener art we’ve come to expect and a fun script by Clevinger. The back-up story is fun as well, as Jenkins, one of Robo’s operatives, goes on vacation. Jenkins is quite awesome, and his vacation is just what the doctor ordered. It’s four pages with more character development and awesome action in it than your standard DC comic. And it’s just the back-up! Imagine how good the regular story is?

Seriously, people: Buy Atomic Robo! You have nothing to lose except your cynicism!

Captain Britain and MI 13 #6 by Paul Cornell (writer), Leonard Kirk (penciler), Jesse Delperdang (inker), Brian Reber (colorist), and Joe Caramagna (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, Marvel.

When last we left our British heroes, things weren’t going well, as Blade had just met Spitfire, who’s a vampire. Yeah, that wasn’t a smart idea. But that’s not important – Birmingham is in trouble! Our heroes head north (I guess – weren’t they in London to start?) to help Captain Midlands, who sent out a distress call from that fair city (okay, I’ve never been to Birmingham, but come on – it’s the garden spot of England, right?) and then disappeared. Captain Britain flies in and discovers that the apartment building in the center of the problem is giving everyone their heart’s desire. He finds the source of the problem, and we learn what his heart’s desire is. Given his history, it’s not that hard to figure out what it is. Meanwhile, Wisdom, Dane, and Faiza rescue Captain Midlands while Blade hunts Spitfire. Lots of stuff going on!

Obviously, this is more action-packed than the last issue, which wrapped up the first story arc and set this one up. So Cornell throws us into the deep end, as we learn a bit of why everything is happening, but it’s more just weird things happening and our team trying to deal with it. It’s a fun roller coaster ride, aided nicely by the return of Kirk (not that there was anything wrong with Oliffe’s fill-in issue last time out, but Kirk is really on his game on this book), who does a great job with everything, particularly the fight between Blade and Spitfire.

Cornell is obviously having a blast writing this, and it’s a very good comic. It’s just another example of a well done superhero comic that, because it doesn’t star a name character, might not make a dent in the market. That would be a damned shame.

Challenger Deep #3 (of 4) by Andrew Cosby (story), Andy Schmidt (story/scripter), Chee (artist), Andrew Dalhouse (colorist), and Marshall Dillon (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Boom! Studios.

Boom! seems committed to getting its books out on time these days, which is nice, because they’re putting out some good products, and it’s frustrating waiting for them (which is a problem with a few books below this, as we’ll learn). Challenger Deep isn’t a great comic by any means, but it’s entertaining, and the fact that it’s been coming out regularly means we don’t get frustrated by long delays. It might be odd that the reaction to a comic can depend on how often it comes out, but it can. If it’s a work of staggering genius, we’re more willing to wait. If this third issue had come out six months after the second, people might not come back, because it’s not a work of staggering genius. Because it comes out regularly, it’s easier to stay with it and enjoy it on a basic level, which is: Is this entertaining?

Well, yes, it is. In our last installment, Eric Chase landed on the stranded sub with 17 minutes left until the nuclear warheads on board exploded. We get a bit more information about the death of his wife, although it’s filtered through his guilt, so it might be a bit exaggerated. We also get more of the drama on board the sub, as the captain tries to get the bombs to explode so the “bad guys” (the Russians?) don’t get them. Of course, he doesn’t know that if the warheads blow, the entire world goes with it, but he’s still nutty. Chase, naturally, turns off the countdown, but all he does is reset it, so when the shelf on which the sub sits shifts (say that three times fast!), he can’t get back to the console to turn off the new countdown. Well, damn. So we still have the nukes ready to go off, the captain is still kooky, and Chase can’t stop the explosion. Sounds like a good place to pause until the next issue!

As usual with these kinds of comics (and I’m not singling out comics, as it’s the same in movies and television), we can see pretty much where it’s going. The world is not going to blow up, Chase probably won’t survive but save the world heroically, and if he does survive, the captain will come to his senses somehow and save the world heroically. Or go all Michael Biehn in The Abyss. That’s a possibility! But it’s a fun, exciting, enjoyable read, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of, is it?

Charlatan Ball #4 by Joe Casey (writer), Andy Suriano (artist), Marc Letzmann (colorist), and Rus Wooton (letterer). $2.50, 18 pgs, FC, Image.

I’d like to say that Casey has finally made this a worthwhile comic, but he hasn’t. Four issues in, and we’re still seeing a lot of wackiness and some interesting plot devices hampered by a been-there-done-that feeling from the book (thanks to Gødland, which is as kooky but far superior) and a tone that doesn’t seem to know whether this is a serious comic (well, as far as it can be) or a straight-up parody. The Kirby stylings of Suriano’s art (which is certainly fun to look at) and the knowing winks at early Marvel history (the ridiculous Fifth Apparition, who emotes angstily as well as Norrin Radd ever did) seem to point toward a parody, but it’s too gentle a parody for that and might just be homaging those bygone comics. It’s that problem with tone that bugs me about the comic, because it never seems to cohere into something solid. It occasionally feels stream-of-consciousness, but then suddenly shifts so that it seems like Casey has a plan. It’s just too jarring to be successful.

I usually give comics I don’t like a story arc to impress me. Casey seems to eschew regular arcs, though, and that’s one of the things that I like about him. I should probably just drop the book now, but I’m probably going to give it two more before I decide. Six issues should be long enough to make a book worthwhile, right? For now, Charlatan Ball is more of an interesting failure than a good comic book. We’ll see where it goes over the next two issues.

Dynamo 5 #17 by Jay Faerber (writer), Mahmud A. Asrar (artist), Ron Riley (colorist), and Charles Pritchett (letterer). Back-up story by Brian Jones (writer), Neil Edwards (artist), Ian Sharman (colorist), and Charles Pritchett (letterer). $3.50, 26 pgs, FC, Image.

Asrar is pencilling a She-Hulk book that’s coming out in a few months, so everyone who stubbornly refuses to buy superhero comics that don’t star characters from their childhood can see what they’re missing when they refuse to buy Dynamo 5. The nice thing about Asrar is he’s getting better, which is great for the look of this comic but sucks because DC or Marvel would be foolish to leave him alone. Faerber’s story in this issue, which looks at key moments in the life of Maddie and Captain Dynamo, works fine, but it’s made more real by Asrar, who nails Maddie’s pain whenever something bad happens and she thinks it’s her fault. Maddie has always been a tough chick in this comic, and this trolling of her memories (Gage is inside her head) does a nice job showing how betrayed she feels and how she can’t get over it. Faerber does a nice job with the dialogue, but Asrar really makes sure the characters express how they feel through their facial expressions. All superhero artists have to be able to handle kinetic scenes, and the big splash page in this book works well because Asrar skews the angles of our perception, making the scene almost vertiginous (man, using that word twice in one post – I gotta get a new vocabulary). But as it’s taking place while Maddie is falling from a great height, that works well.

So if you want to see a great new artist but can’t bring yourself to buy an Image comic because you must purchase everything from the Big Two, check out the She-Hulk book when it comes out. Maybe that will get you to buy this comic, because it deserves to be bought by a bigger audience. It even features a villain speaking in third person! What could be more Marvel than that?

Fables #77 by Bill Willingham (writer), Mark Buckingham (penciller), Andrew Pepoy (inker), Lee Loughridge (colorist), and Todd Klein (letterer). Back-up story by Bill Willingham (writer), Peter Gross (artist), Lee Loughridge (colorist), and Todd Klein (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, DC/Vertigo.

The surprising thing about this issue is that Willingham writes about the next 75 (or so) issues of Fables and his plans for it. I knew he was going to continue after the war, but I was surprised that he had that much in mind. That would be kind of neat, wouldn’t it?

Oh, the comic. Yes. Well, it’s the aftermath of the war, so things are still sorting themselves out. Boy Blue is still suffering from the wound he incurred during the war, factions are jockeying for position, Geppetto is scheming and failing, and Sinbad tells Rose Red about what happened to Prince Charming (after, you know, nailing her). Meanwhile, on a distant, recently-liberated world, two characters who call each other “Freddy” and “Mouse” but are, I guess, analogues of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser find a huge chained trunk in a deep treasure trove. As they obviously have never seen any horror movies, they believe there’s a huge treasure inside the huge trunk instead of some horrible creature bound for the protection of the world, so they open it. Yeah, that’s not a good idea.

It’s another solid issue of Fables, with a back-up story that adds another thread to the post-war development, as Bigby sends Mogwai to his old jungle world to scout. There’s a lot going on, and it’s always an enjoyable read with good Buckingham art. Let’s hope Willingham isn’t funnin’ with us and we get another six or seven years of this book. That would be keen.

Ghost Rider #28 by Jason Aaron (writer), Tan Eng Huat (artist), José Villarrubia (colorist), and Joe Caramagna (letterer). $3.99, 32 pgs, FC, Marvel.

We all know higher prices for DC and Marvel books are coming. It would be nice if they don’t jump a dollar to $3.99, because there are perfectly good prices in between $2.99 and $3.99 ($3.15, anyone?). But they’re coming. Marvel and DC are already trying this out with their “specials,” which clock in at 32 pages (usually) and cost 4 bucks. I wonder if they’ll try it with mini-series before moving the price to their regular books (as Marvel has with Secret Invasion). I’m not sure why we have to leap a dollar, but I don’t set the prices for the Big Two, so I’m sure I don’t understand all the myriad costs that go into producing our favorite funny books. What does annoy me is when they jack up the price on a comic with “extras,” which usually means reprints. Fucking reprints. But at least those comics, as I pointed out, are “specials,” so it’s not like you’re in the middle of a series and Marvel springs this on you. However, they’re starting to do even that, and it’s pissing me off. Case in point: the latest issue of Ghost Rider.

This is a regular issue of Ghost Rider. The main story is 22 pages long, so there’s no extra story. There’s no back-up story (I’ll get to why it’s 4 dollars in a second). It’s not even the beginning or the ending of a story arc, even though it sets up the next big event in the life of Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch nicely. Aaron has done a nice job balancing the insanity of a man possessed by the Spirit of Vengeance with the fact that this is, you know, a curse, and Huat, despite not being the perfect artist for this kind of book, is doing fine. And there’s a nifty cover by Marc Silvestri! But it’s 4 dollars. Pour quoi?

At the end of the book, Marvel chooses to explain the history of Danny Ketch as Ghost Rider. That means we get a text piece accompanied by early ’90s Texeira art and mullets. Oh, yes, there are mullets. That’s it. No reprint of the first issue of that particular Ghost Rider series. No reprints whatsover. So Marvel has gone from reprinting old issues with some updated coloring (which, even if you can find the reprints in cheaper format elsewhere, does often look nice) to giving us a text piece that anyone, if they care, can find on-line (it’s true!). Plus, whenever you look at the long-term history of a character, it gets to be ridiculous: “Captain Punchalot suffered third-degree burns over most of his body, but recovered in time to fight Lord Irondick, during which battle his leg and arm were shattered and his spleen magically transported to another dimension. After a week in the hospital, Captain Punchalot’s healing factor allowed him to recover enough to enter that dimension and rescue his spleen, but in the process he was driven irrevocably insane by the dimension’s violently nauseating mauve coloring. Returning to Earth, he was nursed back to health by his long-suffering love, Lucy Skye Diamond, who helped him return to sanity by showing him that it wasn’t his fault that Ishtar was such a box-office bomb. Rejuvenated, he grappled with Yegg-Dra-Zil, the tree-like god of Iceland, who was trying to lure unsuspecting tourists into the soothing hot springs near Reykjavik. He defeated that horror but was decapitated by Yegg at the last moment. Lucy, clutching his head, went to see …” You see? Each of those issues in and of itself is awesome, but strung together, they begin to look silly. It’s the same thing with most comic book characters. So there’s no reason to point out the silliness of Danny Ketch’s history. We already accept the silliness. So this becomes a regular 22-page comic for 4 dollars masquerading as something more special. And I, for one, don’t appreciate it.

How little do I appreciate it? So much that I’m done with Ghost Rider. I’m sorry it has to be this way, because I like what Aaron is doing with the book. He’ll be fine, though – I’m still buying Scalped, after all, and that counts for more than Ghost Rider. I’m extremely pissed about this, and I fear the moral stance I’ll have to take when Marvel pulls this crap on books I’ve been buying for a long time or really like (I like GR, but I don’t love it). I hope they don’t do it on Moon Knight or Captain Britain and MI 13, for instance. That would suck.

Don’t stand for this crap, people. We’re better than this.

Grant Morrison’s Doctor Who #1 by Grant “Duh! My Name’s In the Title!” Morrison (writer), John Ridgway (artist, “Changes”), Bryan Hitch (artist, “Culture Shock!”), Annie Halfacree (letterer, “Changes”), and Zed (letterer, “Culture Shock!”). $3.99, 24 pgs, FC, IDW.

Yes, I’m a Whorrison. I freely admit it. You may wonder why I bash the God of All Comics so much, but it’s mainly because I know how transcendent his comics can be, so when he doesn’t reach that plateau, I get miffed. Maybe that’s unfair, but it’s the way it is. I’m still a Whorrison. So when IDW decided to reprint a few stories about Doctor Who written by the GoAC, I had to get them, even though I have never had any interest whatsoever in the good doctor. I have no idea even of the basic premise of Doctor Who (I suppose I could look it up, but I don’t care that much). He flies around in a telephone box, apparently, and must be blind from the way he dresses. But it’s Morrison, for crying out loud!

The stories aren’t bad. They show the Morrison wit that we all love (even T. – you can admit it, T.!) and some wacky Morrisonian ideas, but the brevity of the stories means the GoAC has to get through them quickly without lingering on anything cool. They’re fun to read, and Ridgway’s art in the main story is nice to look at, but it’s more just appreciating the style of Morrison’s writing than anything else. These comics aren’t going to make anyone a fan of Morrison, but for those people who like him a lot, they’re nice minor short stories. In the second one, we get an early look at Bryan Hitch’s art, which looks nothing like the artist he has become. It’s kind of fun to see.

I’m certainly not raving about this issue, but I enjoyed it. It’s one of those things that is interesting from the point of view of a comic book historian, but it’s nothing that will change your life or make you re-consider your lack of interest in Doctor Who. I should point out that in the back there’s an advert for Legion of the Supernatural, which is now available. It’s written by Rick Remender and drawn by … Bret Blevins. Holy cow, it’s a Bret Blevins sighting! Where has he been?

Hawaiian Dick #5 by B. Clay Moore (writer), Scott Chantler (artist), and Steven Griffin (colorist/letterer). Back-up story by B. Clay Moore (writer) and Shane White (artist). $2.99, 24 pgs, FC, Image.

I think I’m done with Hawaiian Dick, too. Well, in single issue format. I can wait the five years between completion of story arcs and the release of the trades, because if the creators aren’t interested in getting the book out on time, why should I? Let’s review:

Hawaiian Dick: Screaming Black Thunder #4: May 2008.
Hawaiian Dick: Screaming Black Thunder #3: February 2008.
Hawaiian Dick: Screaming Black Thunder #2: January 2008.
Hawaiian Dick: Screaming Black Thunder #1: November 2007.
Hawaiian Dick: The Last Resort #4: July 2006.
Hawaiian Dick: The Last Resort #3: December 2005.
Hawaiian Dick: The Last Resort #2: October (?) 2004.
Hawaiian Dick: The Last Resort #1: September 2004.

I don’t have the dates in front of me for the first mini-series, but I remember it took a while, too. That was three issues, meaning it’s October 2008, the 12th issue of this series (which began as two mini-series and is now “ongoing”), and it’s been coming out for at least five years. I know some books have taken longer to get out their issues, but this is still vexing. I have no idea why it takes so long, either. Is it Chantler? Is it Moore? Is it a combination of the two? It’s annoying.

And what makes it even more frustrating is that these are not standalone issues, either. With All Star Superman, the three-year wait for 12 issues was mitigated slightly because each issue (except for the lousy Bizarro/Zibarro two-parter) was, if not necessarily a standalone issue, at least able to be read as a discrete unit. Yes, the 12 parts make up a greater whole, but each issue gave you something like a complete story to tide you over for the six months until the next issue came out. In Hawaiian Dick, Moore is not only using each issue as a individual chapter in a longer story, which means he’s not interested in making each issue a single story (nothing wrong with that, actually), but he’s using characters from the previous mini-series, so it goes even further back (again, there’s nothing wrong with that, I’m just pointing out that you need a long memory with this comic, and I’m too old for that – I’m lucky if I remember my kids’ names). And although it’s a decent series, it’s not good enough to make us wait.

Consider this issue, which is the wrap-up to the first arc. Nothing much happens. Byrd’s solution to the ghost Zero that has menaced the Black Thunder air show was effected last issue, and in this issue, we simply get confirmation that it worked. The Black Thunder pilots get revenge on the dudes who put their leader in the hospital, but that was a minor subplot anyway. And something is going on with the mob lawyer, “The Thinker,” but it appears that it will be the subject of the next story arc, so we only get a taste. For a final issue of an arc, this is remarkably dull. In the first two mini-series, Byrd actually had a mysteries to solve. They weren’t perfectly constructed mysteries, but at least he was on a case. In these five issues, he’s not. The ghost in the Zero is just that – a ghost, and it doesn’t have any particular agenda. Ironically, the 8-page back-up story is much more interesting, even though Byrd is hardly in it. It’s tightly plotted (well, it would have to be, right?) and wryly humorous and hits all the right notes and packs a nice punch at the end. So why did the main story meander all over the place and never find itself?

Moore is a good writer. This series proves it. The dead, lamented Expatriate proves it. He’s not the greatest writer, but he does a good job (usually) with plots, and his writing is good enough in the service of those plots. And he’s done a good job creating this world of Hawaii in the 1950s. I read at his blog that he’s wondering how to continue the series, and I would much rather a new graphic novel or even a “novella” once a year instead of the interminable waits between issues, especially with the way he chooses to write them (as chapters of a book, as I pointed out above). I’m not sure if I’ve pre-ordered issue #6, which he claims will be out soon. If I did, I’m stuck. But I think I’ll probably switch to trades on this book, because it’s way too frustrating waiting this long for a story in increments.

Moon Knight #23 by Mike Benson (writer), Mark Texeira (artist), Javier Saltares (layouts), Dan Brown (colorist), and Joe Caramagna (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, Marvel.

So my rant about Nightwing has made me infamous, I tells ya. Complete strangers are stopping me at the Safeway or at my daughter’s swimming lessons and yelling at me, “Why do you hate Nightwing and, by extension, DC and, by extension, America?” When I try to defend myself by pointing out that Dan DiDio is, in fact, an exiled Bolivian dictator and that DC uses all its profits to finance the Hawaiian and Vermont independence movements, they scoff at the facts and claim that Sarah Palin sleeps on Nightwing sheets and that John McCain writes DC comics under the pen name “Geoff Johns.” Then they bring up Moon Knight. “Hey, Osama,” they say, “how come you hate Batman’s sidekick’s book, with its awesome depictions of crocodile eye-gouging, but love Moon Knight, with its skinned-face-wearing protagonist? What do you say about that, Che?” Well, let’s look at this issue for answers.

Norman Osborn, frustrated by the Thunderbolts’ poor showing against our wacky hero last issue, hires, well, Alex from A Clockwork Orange, apparently, who has a crescent moon on his forehead and a way to draw our hero out from his bolthole. Meanwhile, Marc Spector is taking drugs and asking Khonshu to forgive him. Khonshu, in the form of the defaced Bushman, shows up and rejects him. Then Alex (okay, his real name is Finn, but he’s clearly modeled on Malcolm McDowell) and his gang descend on Frenchie and Rob’s café with the intent of doing some gay-bashing. Which, you know, they do. Jean-Paul, who has not forgotten his kick-ass ways even though Huston swishified him, throws a knife in one of the dudes, head butts another, and takes a chunk out of the third’s cheek … with his own teeth. Jean-Paul is hard core! Of course, those Frenchies will eat anything, won’t they? Later, after promising a cop he wouldn’t take matters into his own hands, he does just that, but just when things look bad for our favorite Gallic dude (one of the gang members shoots him in the shoulder), Moon Knight shows up for some ass-kicking of his own! One bad dude gets two crescents in the arm, another gets one in the leg, but they’ve done their job, which is luring MK out into the open, where the Thunderbolts can pounce on him. But that’s next issue!

So let’s consider this. It’s not quite as violent as Nightwing #149, although it has its moments. If we take Moon Knight as a whole, however, it’s probably the most violent mainstream superhero book from DC and Marvel right now. As I’ve read every issue, I understand the context of what’s going on, but because I read Nightwing with no context (and was scolded for it by, among others, Rags Morales), let’s consider this with no context. Marc Spector is obviously insane – we get that from the pages in which he begs Khonshu to forgive him, even if Huston and Benson hadn’t been laying the groundwork for two years now. That’s somewhat interesting, because we rarely see a hero so far over the edge. The violence is sudden but not too shocking. A person picking this up for the first time might wonder what drives Jean-Paul to turn cannibal, and they’d have a point, I guess. However, even in this issue, where it’s hardly mentioned, the relationship of Jean-Paul and Rob (one of the best and, sadly, only homosexual relationships in mainstream comics) comes through nicely. Frenchie is defending the man he loves, and that’s why he’s so violent. Texeira does a wonderful job showing the horror in Rob’s eyes as he lies on the floor, possibly paralyzed, and is forced to watch Jean-Paul go all prehistoric. A page later, we see the deflation of Jean-Paul as he realizes Rob is seriously hurt. Then, lo and behold, there’s a scene in a hospital. Yes, instead of ignoring the effects of violence, Benson shows what happens to somebody when they suffer such an attack. Marlene comes to the hospital to see Jean-Paul, and in a few panels, we see how close these two are and the pain they’ve been through. When Jean-Paul returns home, we understand quickly how much he loves Rob and what this attack has done to him. Again, Benson doesn’t shy away from showing how violence destroys lives, whether you’re dishing it out or taking it. When Frenchie seeks revenge, he’s not Superman. He gets his licks in, but he also gets shot. Almost every panel of the book deals with violence and its aftermath and how no one escapes its effects. Unlike Nightwing #149, which revels in the violence because it’s “just a dream,” when Moon Knight commits horrible acts, the consequences linger. Even if you don’t get that from this issue (if we take it out of context), the violence in this issue is more realistic in that nobody gets away unscathed.

That’s what makes this such a good comic, and one of the most mature that Marvel and DC are publishing right now. Sure, it’s kind of trashy pulp fiction. But like Criminal, which gets lauded while this doesn’t, Moon Knight is brave enough to show real violence and real effects. People are hurt in this book, and it doesn’t go away in between issues. This is a gutsy comic for Marvel to publish, and I hope the sales warrant a continuation for a long time. It really is a fascinating book. You can trust me. Even if I hate America.

Rasl #3 by Jeff Smith (writer/artist). $3.50, 32 pgs, BW, Cartoon Books.

Rasl is another book I think I’m done with, at least for single issues. Three issues in, it’s not bad, but it’s moving so glacially, not only within each issue but in the time between each issue (#4 is shipping in March, for instance) that it seems prudent to simply wait for the trade. It just feels like it will read much better at one time, even if that time is a decade from now.

Smith’s art is a nice as ever, and the story does move along, but nothing too momentous happens. We do get a brief flashback to Rob’s life before he became “Rasl,” and although I can’t believe that Maya would make out with him in front of her husband, it’s nice to see a bit of the backstory of the main character. It’s just that, in 32 pages, it feels like we should learn more. We get more this issue than we’ve gotten in the first two, which is nice, but the tidbits we get in each issue aren’t enough.

There’s a lot to like about Rasl. It’s just not working for me in individual issues. It’s a shame that Smith has to release them as single issues instead of doing the whole thing at once and releasing it that way. Oh well.

Uncanny X-Men #503 by Matt Fraction (writer), Ed Brubaker (writer), Greg Land (artist), Jay Leisten (inker), Justin Ponsor (colorist), and Joe Caramagna (letterer). $2.99, 24 pgs, FC, Marvel.

I wrote this last month, and I’ll write it again: I want so much to like this comic. I yearn to like this comic. But I don’t. And it makes me sad.

I will say that I like the cover. Not really the drawing, because it’s typical Land faux-porn, but the design. Then we get into the comic itself, and I’m not sure why everyone looks alike. Why? All the women look the same, and even most of the men. Now, Greg Land can copy any celebrity he wants to – that’s cool. But doesn’t he have access to a myriad facial choices? I mean, I know everyone he swipes from is an air-brushed model, but Tyra Banks looks a lot different from Pamela Anderson, doesn’t she? Why does he use the same pictures for different characters? The annoying identifiers for the characters are necessary, because I had no idea that was Cannonball in the first scene. It looks, I swear, like Warren and Scott in the previous few issues. Why doesn’t he “cast” Sam in his mind, go find pictures of, I don’t know, Seth Green, and trace him for Sam? Then he could “cast” different people for Warren and Scott. I loathe what he’s doing, but at least he could do it well. And hey! check it out! Let’s put Dani in feathered earrings, because she’s Native American! Isn’t that cool? Sheesh.

There are people who comment here who attest that this book is better than it’s been in years. Well, that’s fine, although I can’t believe they’re talking about the art. But let’s say they’re just talking about the writing. As I do with this book every month, I’m going to nitpick this book a lot more than I do other books. It’s partly because Frubaker is such a presence in the comic, so the writing style is more, well, stylistic than in other comics, and partly because of the things that just jar with me. Plus, I know tons of people read this, so I can speak confidently about certain things on a page and know a lot of people will be able to follow along. (Oh, and I guess I’m going to SPOIL the ending, so be aware before you read on.)

First, Sam. Is he really that much of an idiot? I suppose I can let that go. It’s a bit weird, but whatever. Then we get to Empath escaping the X-Men. I do NOT like how Brubaction is writing Nightcrawler. It was strange last issue, and then we get him calling Logan “liebchen.” “Liebchen” means “sweetheart,” by the way. I don’t know if Frubaker is going to have Kurt come out in a few issues, and I wouldn’t care one way or the other, but calling Logan “sweetheart” just seems … off, somehow. It’s just a weird relationship the two of them have recently. I’ve always liked Logan and Kurt being friends, but that word was just bizarre. The sex thing with “Emma” (it’s really Madelyne, right?) and Scott is fine, too, given the way Brubaction has been playing up the libidos of our heroes. Then we get Pixie fighting Empath. I never like it when a bad guy is suddenly more powerful than ever and our heroes can’t take him down and, in this case, even mention how powerful he is, when suddenly, a character who has never shown to be this powerful kicks the crap out of him. Pixie can take him down when the entire group of X-Men can’t? Yeah, I don’t buy it. And then there’s Madelyne, who shows up at the end. Maddie Pryor, one of the worst-treated of Claremont’s creations. I am not filled with hope or even interest in her return. The only thing that would make it worthwhile is if everyone called Scott a total dick for the way he treated her. We’ll see.

This is less egregious an issue than the previous three, but it’s still weaker than the Brubaker/Fraction collaboration in Iron Fist. It doesn’t crackle with energy like that book did. It feels like the writers are forcing it, and it hasn’t come together yet. This is less annoying than the issues that came before it, but all it does is achieve mediocrity. It has a long way to go before it becomes something special. This issue gives me a tiny glimmer of hope, but it doesn’t anger me as much as the last few. I’m still sticking with this through the first Dodson arc, so we’ll see then what I think. Man, I wish this was better.

Zorro #8 by Matt Wagner (writer), Francesco Francavilla (artist), Adriano Lucas (colorist), and Simon Bowland (letterer). $3.50, 22 pgs, FC, Dynamite Entertainment.

In the final issue of the Origin Story of Zorro, we finally get what we should have gotten throughout, which is complete swashbuckling action. Diego is ready to kick ass and take names, and he rescues priests and carves initials on bad guy’s faces and effects classic escapes. Isn’t that why we want to read Zorro? I know it’s why I want to!

That’s not to say the first seven issues haven’t been good. I just wish that Wagner had started with more action and pared this down to four issues and maybe waited until later to tell the origin. This is by far the most fun issue yet, right down to Bernardo helping out as best he can during the escape. It’s exciting, it looks great (Francavilla is taking an arc off, but Dynamite promises he’ll be back, and I hope he will), and it does almost as good a job establishing who Zorro is and what he stands for as the previous seven issues of origin did. I imagine now that Wagner has laid the foundation for the character, we’ll get to more fun issues like this one.

I would certainly recommend the trade if you’ve been waiting, because I imagine it will read better in one sitting, but it definitely picks up in the final chapter. I’ve been waiting, but this is the kind of book I was looking for. I’m glad it showed up!

Wow, that’s a ton of comics. Lots of cool stuff, too. Even good superhero books! Who woulda thunk it? Plus, I got this by some snooty guy who calls himself “Timothy.” Who the hell does he think he is, taking on airs like that? His damned book better be good!

Let’s check out some totally random lyrics! What a treat!

“I’ve listened to preachers
I’ve listened to fools
I’ve watched all the dropouts
Who make their own rules
One person conditioned to rule and control
The media sells it and you have the role”

Powerful stuff, there. Think wild guitar solo!

41 Comments

Check the solicits, Greg – Ghost Rider is back to 2.99 next month. This issue *was* the start of an important new story-arc, and while I agree that the Ghost Rider Saga extra wasn’t worth the 1.00 price hike I think dropping a book you enjoy because of it is a bit of an over-reaction.

Please check out the first issue of the new Deadpool, I think you’d really enjoy the back-up summary.

I had the exact opposite reaction to the UXM #503 cover. I think it looks like a badly done cut and paste deal, as if someone with access to a scanner, MS Paint, and any comic Land had done in the last five years tossed it together in about an hour. Maybe if there was more done with the equal-opposite theme besides just putting the two women in differently colored corsets, or if the divide of the figures was blended better instead of so abruptly cropped (especially in regards to the stumps of Maddy’s arms), I’d have a better reaction to it, but this doesn’t give me the impression that a lot of time or thought went into choosing the figures or putting it together.

I really hope they’re not going for Nightcrawler being gay. It’s just too well an established character trait that he likes women – genuinely, not in an overcompensating way. It would feel fat too much like someone decided that they couldn’t move the team to San Francisco and not have SOMEone come out, even if it meant selecting someone at random or, even worse, simply picking the most “flamboyant” character. I would, however, have no problem whatsoever with him being bisexual. Are there any bisexual male heroes at Marvel or DC?

Hasn’t Dani – and for that matter, all the X-Men of Native American heritage – always worn lots of beads and feathers and “look at me! I’m Native American!” regalia? As silly a stereotype as it is, I don’t think it’s fair to bash Land for that. Not when there are so many other things to bash him for! (Seriously, I never used to mind Land’s art when I only saw it on covers or in one-shots, but now that I’m seeing him on a monthly book I’m quickly coming around to the “dude needs to broaden his source material” point of view. I mean, how is it he couldn’t find a photo that actually had great abs for the picture that specifically says the character has great abs? Or a dominatrix that was remotely sexy? Or a picture of a woman jumping or swimming or something so that when he draws Storm flying she doesn’t always look like she’s lying on an invisible couch?

One last thing, in the very last panel (SPOILER) I would love to have seen Cyclops follow the lines “My Dead Ex-Wife … Madelyne Pryor is alive” with “Or possibly my other dead ex-wife. Damn they look alike.”

Greg Land should be fired. Out of a cannon.

I’m fed up of non-Brits thinking all of Britian looks like the version in Hugh Grant films; “Garden spot of England”? Birmingham is a giant ugly concrete slab in the middle of the country. Great shopping though.

:) @ Ian, true.

Great Shopping in the ugliest piece of modern engineering in this country. The (New-ish) Bullring looks like giant Dalek porn.

I’ve said this on other comment threads, but Captain Midlands reads nothing like a stereotypical west-midlander. I wonder if that’s a writers choice or editorial as I’d imagine a lot of international readers would be baffled by:

‘Yow alroight maaate?’ etc.

“You have nothing to lose except your cynicism.” Dude, you could not have said it better. I have enjoyed ATOMIC ROBO so thoroughly, that potentially missing an issue can affect my mood for the rest of the week.

And I’m also in full agreement with your assessment of UNCANNY X-MEN. I think the problem is Greg Land; his shortcut-styled artwork is detracting from the story. The dude needs to go…and if he goes Sideshow Bob style (Michael), all the better.

And thank you for those lyrics – there are far worse songs to have in my head all day than Crazy Train!

A Possible Daredevil Reboot? Let’s Discuss!

Part One: http://comicsnexus.com/2008/10/01/im-just-sayin29/

Part Two: http://comicsnexus.com/2008/10/08/im-just-sayin30/

Part Three: http://comicsnexus.com/2008/10/15/im-just-sayin31/

In Land’s defense (although I don’t know why I’m doing it), most superhero artists draw their characters looking exactly the same except for costumes/hair. I love Dodson, but take a look at his X-women cover and it’s just a picture of one woman dressed up in five different ways. So while I don’t think your criticism is invalid, I think it’s more of a result of you not liking the way he draws in general than actually being peeved the characters all look-a-like.

I agree completely about Captain Britain and I think it’s the most well-rounded sophisticated superhero book Marvel’s got. I’m with you on Air, too, though perhaps a little more positive; I’m definitely giving it the benefit of the doubt. Wilson seems like a grade A writer who’s still learning how to apply her talents to the medium, and I like what she’s doing so far.

Aside from Land’s art, I don’t understand your perspective on Fraction’s UXM — and for the last 3 issues it’s been Fraction scripting, solely. This book is so easy to love! He’s got the voices down completely. The little textbox descriptions are ingenious. The X-Men haven’t been this well-written since Morrison, and I love the rotating cast. I dunno, I mean I know I always slant toward the writer side of things. If it’s a good story and the dialogue is top-notch then I can overlook crappy art. It saddens me that Land is on this book, but I’m still loving every word and every action he depicts even if I don’t like the way he’s depicting it.

There’s no chance Nightcrawler is going to be gay. “Liebchen” can quite easily be something a man says to his lover but it also simply means “dear” and the connotations are a little bit different auf Deutsch than what we think when we hear “dear” in English. Nightcrawler’s teasing Logan a bit, as we’ve seen him do a couple times in these issues, speaking in the affectionate diminutive as one might to a brother in a competitive sport. It’s not a big deal.

And I’m excited about M. Pryor coming back, not because I like the character or because I think she’s got interesting history, but because I think I know why they’re doing it. For a couple years now the X-office has been building up Cyclops to be their iconic X-Man and Fraction’s made it clear how much he loves teh character. But before Morrison started writing Cyclops he was hated by fans for years, and it all goes back to how he treated Maddy. Cyke’s become a tremendously cool character in recent years but we’ve never really had closure on that awful Maddy story, and my feeling is that this is what that’s all about. The new Cyclops will confront his past and then he’s free to be the badass Fraction’s continuing to develop him into.

Chris: I know that Ghost Rider is back to 3 dollars next month. I just feel this is the first move of a price-raising offensive, and it annoys me. Maybe I’ll calm down next month and reconsider.

ZZZ: Yeah, Dani has done that a lot. I was kind of hoping we could move past it, though.

Ian: I was joking, by the way.

JacobZC: Cornell is British (isn’t he?), so I can’t speak to his use of accents in the book. I’ll trust your judgment.

Lawrence: That’s a good point, but it seems worse when Land does it. Maybe because you can so obviously tell he’s using models. I dunno.

Stefan: We’ll have to agree to disagree, I guess. I know you’ve been liking Uncanny, and I just don’t. Fraction doesn’t seem to have the same wit that he had in Casanova, and I don’t like the interactions between the characters all that much. As I pointed out, this is a bit better than the previous two, so maybe he’s getting better (which is why I’m not dropping the book outright), but it just feels lacking right now. I do like your idea about Maddie Pryor, which is what I’m hoping for as well. Scott got away scot-free (pardon the pun) regarding his treatment of his wife and the mother of his child, and I’d love it if he was called on it.

Nice Ozzy “Crazy Train” lyrics

They’re not going to make Nightcrawler gay. It has been shown in the past that Kurt has a very unique sense of humor…one that usually revolves around busting Wolverine’s chops. I saw it mostly as him trying to get Logan to shake his fist angrily at him.

I am constantly amazed by how many comic book fans don’t know anything about Doctor Who. The Doctor is one of the greatest scifi characters ever.

Every time someone gives Marvel money for Greg Land “art,” God kills a puppy.

All of Marvel’s new mini-series are starting at $3.99

Needless to say, I’m not buying any new mini-series from Marvel, even though I get a 20% discount from my LCS. It’s the principle of the matter. Four dollars for 22 pages of story? Are you insane? If it’s a 4 issue mini-series, that’s 16 dollars for what will eventually be sold on Amazon for 10 dollars as a trade!

I can’t discuss much about Uncanny, because a quick flip through this week proved to me that I can’t read any story that has that art. I think Dan is right…unfortunately, that explains puppy mills. I’m dropping it and I feel fine.

Is issue 4 of Air the one that the interwebs tell us will blow our minds? Because I’m not going to be able to wait much longer. This issue was just off in every way possible – pacing, plot reveals and character beats all felt forced and contrived.

You’ve certainly hit the nail on the head concerning Moon Knight, Greg. Every spot of the ole’ ultraviolence is felt within and without the context of the story. I love that book. I also love Aaron’s Ghost Rider, enough to forgive the one dollar text piece (Captain Punchalot’s history is a lot funnier, though). If your resolution is retroactive, you have to drop Moon Knight, though, since they charged a buck more for the werewolf issue which reprinted the truly awful first MK appearance in Werewolf by Night.

You’re right about Asrar, but I think I’m done with Dynamo 5. Not much happens issue to issue, and I kind of see the other side of your entreaty on superheroes I didn’t grow up with. I’d rather spend my non-Big Two budget supporting genres other than superhero sci-fi. Such as…

RASL is the bomb, yo! I definitely feel you concerning the shipping schedule, but at least Jeff Smith is honest. And I completely disagree about the pacing. In three issues we have a good sense of the protagonist & his history, know how the universe works, have been given a chance to get attached to some supporting players and know of the antagonist & the threat he poses. Plus, we’ve gotten some action in every issue. Compare that to Zorro, for instance. When a comic offers a compelling story and is this gorgeous to look at, I really don’t have a problem buying the issues (which are sold for a price in between $2.99 and $3.99, by the by) and an eventual (hopefully larger) sturdier collection. But that’s just me.

Also, Captain Britain is a good book. So is Guardians of the Galaxy. Those Brits sure can write obscure Marvel characters. And Kirk and Pelletier are two of the best non-superstar artists working in comics today.

“Rasl is another book I think I’m done with, at least for single issues. Three issues in, it’s not bad, but it’s moving so glacially, not only within each issue but in the time between each issue (#4 is shipping in March, for instance) that it seems prudent to simply wait for the trade. It just feels like it will read much better at one time, even if that time is a decade from now.”

I’ve had the same reaction, disappointingly. On the upside, Smith seems to be aiming for very small trades, so there’ll hopefully be at least one set a year until the story’s finished. The first 3 issue collection is scheduled to come out next month, not that “Jeff Smith” and “schedule” in the same sentence means anything at all. I’m very, very intrigued by ‘RASL’, but I’m going to stop buying the individual issues and just wait for the trades too.

Oh my God. It’s true! McCain *is* Geoff Johns! Finally, my world makes sense.

In other news, Doctor Who is awesome and you should watch it (Paul Cornell writes for the show! And he writes good comics! You can’t lose!); I keep digging Ghost Rider more each issue, but that evil pricing format does anger me; I read the first ten Fables volumes in under two weeks and now I want to follow the series but dagnabbit, the 11th trade isn’t out yet.

The thing about Morrison’s Doctor Who work is that it has the same asperger’s syndrome geekiness that gave us his Batman: he takes disparate elements from a lot of different TV stories and weaves them in weird ways. Thus the Voord (from a story in 1964) turn out to be the ancestors of the Cybermen, in an adventure featuring Jamie (reunited with the Doctor) on Planet Fourteen (to form the basis of an off-screen encounter mentioned in the 1968 story The Invasion). Morrison loves continuity porn no matter what series it might be.

Birmingham has undergone a serious makeover in the last ten years. Yes, it’s still a bit concretey, and some of it is surface, middle-class-y stuff, but the air is cleaner, the streets more welcoming, and the architecture looks like it was ripped out of the brain of Jack Kirby. The new Selfridges building is like a nest of giant robot spider eggs, waiting to hatch. In short, Brum renewed is prettier and weirder than ever – an enticing combination, to say the least.

I’m biased, of course, as I’ve been doing small-press superhero stories set in and around Birmingham for years – buy me a milkshake sometime and I’ll tell you how the new Bull Ring (!) inspired them all – but as a city, it’s far richer soil for superhero comics than, say, That There London.

Sheffield, on the other hand, is pure Steve Ditko.

(or possibly Paul Grist)

//\Oo/\\

Unfortunately, “Legion of the Supernatural” is actually not available now. I emailed Rick Remender via his site and he very nicely responded that due to sickness (he wasn’t specific and I’m not going to pry) has delayed the book and it is hoped that it will come out next summer. Bummer, but it should be well worth waiting for. .

“But like Criminal, which gets lauded while this doesn’t, Moon Knight is brave enough to show real violence and real effects.”

Ehh, Moon Knight sadly sells more than Criminal so feel free to call it a wash.

And yeah Ron above pretty much said what I was going to about Marvel being crafty bastards by putting in extras (read: rubbish) and charging us extra. They have made me turn to a trade-only policy now with minis even though there are ones I really want to pick up. Charging an extra buck is ridiculous for the book only having a ‘shiny cover’ (a la Secret Invasion & probably Ultimatum) is ridiculous.

Major props for ‘Crazy Train’ too.

The new mini-series don’t even have any extras! It’s the same as a regular $2.99 issue, just a dollar more. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

marvelcomicsgroupy

October 18, 2008 at 7:25 pm

If Uncanny X-Men was being drawn by anyone other than Greg Land, I would be all over this series, especially with the great writing team of Brubaker and Fraction. But why can’t Marvel bring in one of their best artists in their stable who has a knack for some flair and originality on one of their flagship titles?

This isn’t a personal attack on Land. I’m sure he would find a faithful fanbase elsewhere on a book like Red Sonja, She-Hulk or Devil Dinosaur for that matter. I just feel he’s not top shelf and that’s what UXM needs and deserves.

You are obviously not reading She-Hulk if you think that Greg “Lightbox” Land should be doing the “artwork” for it.

s1rude: That’s true about Moon Knight, but without going back and checking, I think that the main story in that issue was longer than 22 pages, and although reprints suck, they’re better than a simple life story. So that mitigates it just a tiny bit. And by next month, maybe I’ll have calmed down a bit and keep buying Ghost Rider. We’ll see!

Everyone online seems to want Land off of the title or out of Marvel, but I’m thinking the majority of the people that buy the book either don’t know or don’t care about his…techniques, and probably enjoy his work a good deal.

I just don’t get RASL’s schedule. It’s not really made for single issues, but I could handle it if it were monthly – even if that meant four issues in a row, followed by another few months off. But making it deliberately quarterly is just weird – I liked the first two issues, and I think I’ll really enjoy it in trade or hardcover, but it doesn’t give me that sense of “I must read the next issue,” particularly when that next issues is 2-3 months away.

I’m with you regarding CHARLATAN BALL, which has been a disappointment to the point of feeling like GODLAND’s annoying little brother. Casey can’t quite seem to get the tone right and the Kirby influences automatically drawn comparisons to GODLAND, which is far superior. I wonder if looking to Ditko’s work with Dr. Strange would have been a better idea and made the book act as a complement to GODLAND instead of treading the same territory. The Gang of Four Gods in the most recent issue seemed like the sort of cosmic characters we’d get in a GODLAND story except less interesting.

I didn’t consider the parody element as much as you have, mostly because it isn’t strong enough (which you point out, too). I’m also wondering about the metafictional stuff, which turned up in a single panel in both issues two and three, but didn’t make an appearance here or in the first issue.

I plan on sticking with the title because Casey’s writing is a big interest of mine, but you got it exactly right by calling it an interesting failure of a book (Casey’s speciality).

Izzy, you don’t have to know about Land’s techniques to be annoyed by them. I mean if it worked, I wouldn’t really care, but the effect is that the characters seem lifeless and stunted. There’s no energy in them, because they weren’t even created for the story he’s using them in.

22 pages of story for $2.99 = 13.59 cents per page.
32 pages of story for $3.99 = 12.47 cents per page

The longer story is cheaper. Unless one would rather just get a Cliff’s Notes version of 4 pages plus cover for 49 cents.

And by the way, Gemstone’s books are $7.99 per issue, with the stories usually taking up 60 of the 64 pages, making the Gemstone books 13.32 cents per page, cheaper than the mainstream books.

Okay, that’s what I get for posting a response before I finished the review of the comic in question—Ghost Rider. $3.99 for 22 pages of story and a wiki entry IS JUST PLAIN ROBBERY.

jccalhoun said:

“I am constantly amazed by how many comic book fans don’t know anything about Doctor Who. The Doctor is one of the greatest scifi characters ever.”

That’s because we didn’t grow up with him. I saw the show listed in TV Guide one week, so I tuned in to a small television station from Ontario, Canada, to try to watch it. The reception (not available on cable) was so bad some weeks, you couldn’t make out what was happening. In was available on some PBS channels, but watching PBS was something grandmothers did.

Not all PBS stations even ran any of the imported British stuff, anyway. That was usually only something that bigger stations along the coasts could afford. If you grew up in the American interior or away from urban areas, you really had no chance to see Dr. Who until all of it started coming out on DVD (coincidentally, around the time they started airing the new series on Sci-Fi Channel).

I don’t think BBC America even runs classic episodes, just the more recent stuff.

Graeme Burk WROTE…
The thing about Morrison’s Doctor Who work is that it has the same asperger’s syndrome geekiness that gave us his Batman: he takes disparate elements from a lot of different TV stories and weaves them in weird ways. Thus the Voord (from a story in 1964) turn out to be the ancestors of the Cybermen, in an adventure featuring Jamie (reunited with the Doctor) on Planet Fourteen (to form the basis of an off-screen encounter mentioned in the 1968 story The Invasion).

Ummm, well, I don’t know, that’s just, well, hmmm, how should I put it? Okay, here goes: let us say that some random Doctor Who fan had come up with the above story and written it up as a piece of fan fiction that they published in a fanzine or, since it’s now 2008, on their web page. I think pretty much everyone who read it would say something along the lines of “Having the villains from The Keys of Marinus turn out to be the ancestors of the Cybermen who the Doctor and Jamie encountered on the famous untelevised adventure on Planet Fourteen? What a load of rubbish fan-wank! Come on, buddy, time to move out of your parent’s basement and get a life!” But when Grant Freaking Morrison writes it, then suddenly it’s brilliant art.

I know, I know, it’s all in the presentation, and a dodgy concept like the above one could turn out brilliantly if it was approached right. But, man, just from reading the description alone, it sounds like the kinda thing where the person who came up with it was much less concerned with actually writing a good story, and was motivated by thinking “Ooooh, ooooh, wouldn’t it be sooooooo cool if such-and-such obscure early 1960s Doctor Who villains ended up being related to the Cybermen, *and* they were also involved in that untelevised adventure referred to in The Invasion that we’ve all wondered about all these years?!?”

Well, anyway, I’ve never had a chance to actually read Morrisons CyberVoord tale, but I’ve heard it mentioned on more than a few occasions, and each time left me going “Um, wha?!?” At least now I’ll finally see what all the hoopla is about in the second issue of this miniseries.

I agree with several of the posters that I will avoid $3.99 titles, especially those that do not have more than 22 pages of content. It’s too much to pay, and these pages don’t compare well with page counts of the past.

In the past, there was more dialogue and fewer one-panel pages. We’re paying more for the coloration (which is quite beautiful in most comics now) and better paper, and I don’t think that is worth the extra dollar.

Avoid $3.99 titles! Let Marvel and DC know that $2.99 is plenty for a single issue of a comic book.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 20, 2008 at 7:46 pm

I’m sure he would find a faithful fanbase elsewhere on a book like Red Sonja, She-Hulk or Devil Dinosaur for that matter. I just feel he’s not top shelf and that’s what UXM needs and deserves.

It’s weird you keep ragging on She-Hulk, when it’s obvious you ‘t actually read any of the series.

Go pick up the very first few issues by Slott, and one you get passed the admittedly garish Greg Horn cover, I think the art, and tone/style of the book will catch you off guard.

[...] Comic Book Resources It’s a fun and exciting issue, with the excellent Wegener art we’ve come to expect and a fun script by Clevinger. The back-up story is fun as well, as Jenkins, one of Robo’s operatives, goes on vacation. Jenkins is quite awesome, and his vacation is just what the doctor ordered. It’s four pages with more character development and awesome action in it than your standard DC comic. And it’s just the back-up! Imagine how good the regular story is? Seriously, people: Buy Atomic Robo! You have nothing to lose except your cynicism! [...]

Greg, you should have read “Vampirella” and “skrull kill krew” written by both Grant Morrison and Mark Millar; it’ll make you want to gourge your eyes out from the horrendous and uninspired writing. What happened? I put the blame on Mark Millar. And why is it that those 2 are always working with one another on so many projects? And the results are always not the sum of its parts, but rather, more than a few steps backwards?The ghost writing of one of the issues of “The Authority” comes to mind as well. Is there something between them that we should know about?

[...] of Burgas, I’ll kick things off with the only trade I got this week, one where he was quoted on the back [...]

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