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CSBG Archive

What I bought – 15 July 2009

This week: I’m still having fun with the new format! I added something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, but could never figure out. Other Greg does it all the time, though. Can you suss out what it is?

Plus: Nudity and Swearing! And the return of a long-absent publisher! Whoo-hoo! (Seriously, lots of swearing. You’ve been warned. And no, this is not a judgment about these comics at all. I just bought a lot of comics, and a lot featured swearing and nudity, so I thought it would be fun to compare and contrast.)

First of all, nothing (not even Darwyn Cooke’s hardcover adaptation) that came out this week can compare to this:
Bow down before the Alans, fanboys!
100 dollars of sheer beautiful awesome. I even have most of these in trade already, but I don’t freakin’ care. Of course, now I have two trades that I need no longer. I smell a contest!

But let’s check out the gigantic heap of comics I got this week. Phew!

Agents of Atlas #8 (“Monster Makers”) by Jeff Parker (writer), Carlo Pagulayan (penciler), Jason Paz (inker), Noah Salonga (inker), Jana Schirmer (colorist), Elizabeth Dismang (colorist), and Tom Orzechowski (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, Marvel.

Hulk constipated!  No wonder he's always cranky!

There I am, enjoying an abduction of Bruce Banner by sinister scientists, Norman Osborn getting pissy because Atlas doesn’t seem to be on his side anymore, Derek Khanata getting a taste of what it’s like to be an Agent of Atlas, hot-tub style, a hilarious Brady Bunch-inspired recap page (all in the first five pages of the comic, mind you), and then Jimmy Woo breaks out this sentence:

But you need a molted dragon scale on you to reflect the radiation inside, and Mr. Lao is stingy with those.

As I commented over on Jeff Parker’s blog, it’s at that moment that this went from one of Marvel’s top five comics to utter lunatic genius. Woo just delivers it so dead-pan, so nonchalantly, like everyone has a sub-dimensional corridor through which they can travel all over the world and which he’s about to explore in a floating 1950s car (I’m sure someone knows what brand it is) and why would it be surprising that you need molted dragon scales to get through it? That sentence just sums up not only why this particular comic is brilliant, but why we love comics and will never give up on them. Well played, Mr. Parker, well played!

And that’s before the four-armed, three-eyed, backward-footed, genetically-engineered Frankenstein creature shows up with a scientist clamped between his jaws. HELL YEAH!!!!!

Bruce Banner, who was tranked by the sinister scientists on the first page, doesn’t take kindly to being a guinea pig, and he turns into some big green monster who seems awfully angry. I’m not entirely sure what’s going on with Banner these days – I don’t read Loeb’s Michael Bay Hulk comic, so is Bruce out of prison or what? I don’t really care, because I’m not that caught up with the whole continuity thing, and it’s a fun issue seeing how the Agents try to calm him down (Venus doesn’t have much of an effect when she tries). Plus, Jimmy Woo ends up facing an old enemy. Oh dear. It’s just more of the awesome from Mr. Parker. Man, I hope this book sells well.

I’m continually puzzled by Pagulayan’s art. This issue looks fantastic, and both Schirmer and Dismang color it, but the look is consistent throughout. The Hulk is wonderfully monstrous, and the monsters the scientists have created are horrifying and tragic. It appears the lines are stronger and the inking is heavier, not allowing the color to push this into soft focus. I hope the various artists have found a good balance, because the book looks very nice.

This book has been getting better and better, which is nice to see. You really should try it!

Swearing in the comic? It’s a Marvel book, so of course not. There aren’t even any “Marvelfied” curse words, like “####!”

Nudity in the comic? It’s a Marvel book, so of course there is! Oh, wait a minute. Okay, Venus and Namora are in the hot tub at the beginning, nekkid, but some well-placed hair and steam ensures that none of the many kids reading this will be scarred. Well, until the page where the creature gnaws on the scientist’s neck. But that’s wholesome American violence, not creepy European nekkidness!

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All Select Comics #1 (“Murder on Another Planet” and “Marvex the Super Robot”) by Marc Guggenheim (writer, “Murder”), Javier Pulido (artist, “Murder”), Javier Rodriguez (artist, “Murder”), and Dave Lanphear (letterer, “Murder”), and Michael Kupperman (writer/artist, “Marvex”). $3.99, 37 pgs (15 reprint pages), FC, Marvel.

Polynesian isotope sauce????

I got this because of Kupperman, but I had forgotten that Pulido was drawing the main story, so that was just an added bonus. Oh, and Guggenheim isn’t horrible. I can live with him. Pulido does his typical great job on the art, and Guggenheim’s murder mystery isn’t bad, although the cynic in me guessed the killer, one of the first time I’ve ever done that (usually I don’t try). Still, as a “return” of the Blonde Phantom, it’s a solid story. I’m not quite sure about the set-up of the story, which features large white blocks in which Louise narrates the story. It cramps Pulido’s art and much of it seems a bit unnecessary. This is most obvious at the end, when he cuts back on it a bit and the story gets better. Still, Guggenheim makes some eerily true observations about the crime and how the survivors feel about it, and the unraveling of the mystery works, although it’s not a “fair-play” mystery, unfortunately. It’s not a great story, but it’s a decent one (and I guess the “secret” to why the Blonde Phantom looks so good for being, what, 90 years old is established enough in Marvel’s canon that Guggenheim never addresses it), and with the extras, it makes the price tag worth it.

As for the extra stories … if you’ve never read Tales Designed to Thrizzle, you really owe it to yourself to check out Kupperman’s work. He gives us a story of Marvex, a super-robot from the fifth dimension. It’s fascinating to read the two reprints from 1940 of Hal Sharp’s Marvex stories, because Sharp’s tales are typically Golden Age wacky, and Kupperman channels that magnificently, making his story hilarious without, it feels, indulging in any ironic detachment from the originals. Marvex really does keep taking off his clothes, so why wouldn’t he do it when Kupperman writes/draws him? People in the original do give him money, so why wouldn’t people in Kupperman’s story? Plus, we get the menace of … Ingrediento! Fear him! Like his indy work, Kupperman has a beautifully twisted sense of humor, and although this story isn’t quite as surreal as Tales is (it’s far more surreal than almost everything else Marvel publishes these days, but that’s not saying much), it’s still nice and wacky. And Sharp’s original stories are flingin’-flangin’ awesome. I’m stunned Kurt Busiek didn’t add Marvex to the Avengers!

Swearing in the comic? A bit of “Marvelfied” cursing, because that’s what we love!

Nudity in the comic? It doesn’t count, of course, but if you like naked robot torso, this is the book for you!

Buck Rogers #2 (“Future Shock Part Two: Animal Husbandry”) by Scott Beatty (writer), Carlos Rafael (artist), Carlos Lopez (colorist), and Simon Bowland (letterer). $3.50, 22 pgs, FC, Dynamite Entertainment.

Where the hell are my sentient gun-toting bears, Beatty?!?

I’m still feeling out this book, but Beatty is doing a good job with it so far. This issue gives us much more backstory about Buck and how he actually got to the future, which we knew already, sort of, but which Beatty makes more plausible than you might expect. We also get the introduction of Princess Ardala, which is fun. Most of the issue takes place in the “past,” until the very end of the issue, when Buck and Wilma escape from a bit of a horror-show factory and its fusion worms. Charming things, those. It’s a solid issue, but it’s a bit early to decide about it. Decent story, good art, and the potential for Buck to hook up with two Deerings half a millennium apart. Ewwww.

Swearing in the comic? Does “ass” count? I’m going to count it.

Nudity in the comic? None. Come on, Beatty and Rafael, step up! Do you think a good story and good art is going to sell the book????

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Domino Lady #1 (“Blooded” and “Orange Blossom Murders Part One”) by Nancy Holder (writer), Danny Sempere (artist, “Blooded”), Leeahd Goldberg (artist, “Orange Blossom Murders”), Jason Jensen (colorist), Renato Guerra (colorist), and Josh Aitken (letterer). $3.99, 27 pgs, FC, Moonstone.

I'm holding a gun, but I have two far more potent weapons!!!!!

I believe I ordered issue #2 of this series, and unless it gets better, I won’t be continuing with it (unless it’s only two issues, of course). It’s not the worst thing you’ll ever read, but it features almost every pulp cliché you can pile onto a story, and while it’s kind of fun, it’s definitely not worth four dollars every issue. The fact that Holder fails some of the basics of storytelling doesn’t help. For instance, everything in the book points to it being set during the 1930s, which is fine. Then, in one panel, it looks like someone is using a digital camera. Now, maybe he’s not, but it definitely looks like one. Sherlock Holmes also shows up in the first story, and we’re supposed to take his presence for granted – Domino Lady (whose real name is Ellen) simply narrates that he knows about her secret identity. Plus, when he shows up, he’s “disguised” as a Chinese man, and she doesn’t know who he is, but then immediately recognizes him. It’s weird. It’s kind of exemplary of the first story as a whole – things happen at lightning speed, and although it’s a fairly simplistic mystery, it’s tough to follow in places. The second story slows down a bit (it’s also “to be continued,” so that’s probably why), and it seems a bit more complex, but it still feels like a riff on Chinatown.

It’s not a complete waste of time. It’s refreshing to read Holder’s take on the main character, as she’s completely amoral in her pursuit of the bad guys and, as a woman, knows how to use sex to her advantage and, you know, seems to enjoy it. It’s kind of a nice twist, especially when you consider someone like the Blonde Phantom from the comic above this one, who’s kind of the same character but simply beats people up instead of screwing them. And the art from Sempere and Goldberg does a decent job setting the scene and giving a pulp vibe to everything. Both artists enjoy their cheesecake (I’m not terribly sure if Ellen and her female lover – presumably they’re lovers – need to be lounging around in barely-hanging-on lingerie, but what the hell), but there’s nothing wrong with that, is there? There is? Dang.

Like I wrote, I think I ordered issue #2, and I hope the writing improves. I’d like to like this series, but we’ll have to see if it gets better.

Swearing in the comic? Not even a little bit.

Nudity in the comic? The fear of nipples continues, but there’s a topless hooker, Ellen changes clothes in an alley, because why not?, Ellen gets two different men in bed, and once she’s al fresco, and she changes clothes later and surprisingly is not wearing a bra, which would seem to not work with the flimsy clothing she’s wearing. Good times!

Fables #86 by Bill Willingham (writer), Jim Fern (penciller), Craig Hamilton (inker), Lee Loughridge (colorist), and Todd Klein (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, DC/Vertigo.

Yay!  The suckiness is over!

Now that the interminable Great Fables Crossover is over, Willingham has turned back into a good writer and gives us a nice tale about the Dark Man and how he came to be trapped in a box. He was trapped by Boxers, of course! Seriously. No, not those Boxers. There’s nothing really to say about it, because it doesn’t move the regular plot along too much but does give us a lot of information about the history of the Empire and the way horrible Fables were dealt with, and the Dark Man has been a really creepy dude since he first showed up, so it’s nice to see him getting a bit of the spotlight here. Fern, who drew the two-part story about those wooden people who went to spy on Fabletown (whatever their names are), does a good job filling in, giving us two very nice double-page spreads of the Boxers fighting Baba Yaga and then the Dark Man. It’s just a fine return to form for the comic after Jack highjacked it into crappiness for three issues.

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And I’d love to see the boxing of the Janky Man. He’s so janky!

Swearing in the comic? Sorry, no.

Nudity in the comic? For a Vertigo book, there’s a distressing lack of cussin’ and nekkidness in this title. Sheesh. Doesn’t Willingham know that swearing and nudity, plus having one of your characters lick the skull of Batman and having another eat another character’s heart, makes your book “mature”?*

* Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Fallen Angel: Reborn #1 by Peter David (writer), J. K. Woodward (artist/colorist), and Chris Mowry (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, IDW.

'Puissance'?  Really?

Fallen Angel, for over 50 issues, was a fantastic comic, so I was happy to see that David hadn’t given up on it yet and has brought it back for at least five issues (I think this is a five-issue mini-series). That being said, this first issue is entirely devoted to the guest star, Illyria, and as I didn’t watch Angel (despite the presence of hunky David Boreanaz), I wasn’t that invested in it. Luckily, David gives us plenty of information about her, and it’s fairly easy to follow along with what’s going on. She doesn’t like being a hot chick and wants to be a helmet-wearing tentacle demon again (who wouldn’t?). So Mr. Good of the Hierarchy gives her one task: Kill Liandra. She ends up in Bete Noire, attacks that snake guy who eats unsuspecting tourists (his name escapes me) because she knows him from old, and as the issue ends, she runs afoul of Liandra for claiming that Bete Noire is her city. It’s all very dramatic!

Woodward’s art, which I’ve always liked, looks even better than it did when last we visited Bete Noire. I’m not sure what the difference is. It’s a bit softer in places, but the painting looks better, and the introduction of Illyria in Hell is beautifully horrifying. There’s still a bit of stiffness occasionally in the poses, but other than that, it looks very nice. I just can’t quite put my finger on why it’s better. Forgive me!

Anyway, it’s nice to see Fallen Angel back. I can’t imagine David’s done with the characters, so it will be interesting to see where he goes with them in this series and beyond.

Swearing in the comic? There’s an “asshole.” And I’m sorry, but “puissance” just sounds naughty.

Nudity in the comic? None. Well, the demons don’t seem to wearing any clothes, but do we really need to see naked demons?

Incognito #5 (of 6) by Ed Brubaker (writer), Sean Phillips (artist), and Val Staples (colorist). $3.50, 25 pgs, FC, Marvel/Icon.

'Take', not 'bring,' damn it!

“Penultimate issues are always the quickest, right?” asks Mr. Brubaker in the backmatter of this comic (right before yet another excellent essay by Jess Nevins – sheesh, what doesn’t he know about pop culture of the past 150 years?), and while I don’t know about that, I do know that penultimate issues often contain the most answers (except for the BIG ANSWER, which always comes at the very end, of course), and this issue is no exception. We learn a great deal about Ava Destruction and her relationship with Zack’s brother and why that really, really creeped Zack out (yeah, it would make me uncomfortable, too), plus her big problem with life and, well, its end. We also learn more about Zack himself, what Dr. Lester is doing, and why the heck there are superpowered beings in this comic in the first place! Phew! Man, that’s a lot to take in. But, perhaps not surprisingly, it’s excellent. Oh, like I’m going to say anything else. There are a lot of Internet people writing stuff like, “You know, as much as I like Incognito, I’ll be happy when Criminal comes back.” You know what, Internet people? You don’t deserve to read Incognito. Put it down now! Quit yer whining. It’s a Brubaker/Phillips comic. What the hell else do you need to know? It could be an entire Brubaker/Phillips issue devoted to the debate over an obscure bill on the House floor and it would be more compelling than 90% of the stuff out there. So shut up already and enjoy it.

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Swearing in the comic? Duh. Let’s break it down! Fuck (or a variation thereof): 18. Shit: 11 (8 in one word balloon). Damn: 3. Bitch: 2. Ass: 1. The C-word: 1.* Plus a couple of Jesuses, if you want to count those. That’s 36 (or 38) in this issue. Will it win the prize???? (Here’s a hint: Not even close.)

Nudity in the comic? Mai oui! Two panels of naked groupies, and three panels of naked Ava, but always in silhouette, because nude scenes aren’t in her contract, man!

* I refuse to use it or even type it. That’s just how I roll.

The Killer #9 (of 10) by Matz (writer/translator), Luc Jacamon (artist), Edward Gauvin (translator). $3.95, 27 pgs, FC, Archaia.

'Henri Worms'.  Hee hee.

With the exception of Mouse Guard, which I assume is their best-seller, it’s been a long, loooooong time since we’ve seen a comic from Archaia. Now it looks like they have their shit together, which is excellent, as they generally put out really high-quality stuff for not much more than regular comics. I mean, this is 27 pages of story for less than a few Marvel books, and it’s intense, powerful, and looks great. At this point, you might think it would be difficult to get into the story, but Matz does a fine job at least making sure we get the general idea behind the series, and we get a bunch of answers about what’s been going on (that penultimate issue syndrome again). It sets up what I can only assume will be a bloody finale, with our unnamed assassin having more at stake than he knows, if the final panel is any indication (although, to be honest, I wasn’t sure where his lady friend was in that panel). Jacamon’s art is typically beautiful, with the cool blue of the nightclub contrasting nicely with the hot red of the bedroom. The first panel is a marvelous evocation of both the killer’s home environment and the kind of person he is.

I’m very keen on reading how this all shakes out in the final issue, but I’m more jazzed by the fact that Archaia is publishing comics again. Yay!

Swearing in the comic? Some. A “bitch” and “son of a bitch,” three uses of “fuck,” two uses of “shit,” and one each of “asshole” and “bastard.” I know “bitch” and “bastard” are perfectly acceptable terms in some contexts, but not in these!

Nudity in the comic? Well, it’s a European comic, and if there’s one thing those socialists like, it’s nudity, right??? There’s sex in this book, so we get nine panels of female nudity. Stay away if you think seeing female pubic hair might lead you to commit depraved crimes!

The Last Resort #1 (“Two Goats”) by Jimmy Palmiotti (writer), Justin Gray (writer), Giancarlo Caracuzzo (artist), and Chris Mowry (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, IDW.

A chick with a gun and a drink with an eyeball garnish?  Oh, Darwyn Cooke, you slay me.

Those of you who actually read these reviews (I know, what are the chances of that?) might recall that I’ve been a bit disappointed with Power Girl, to the point where Amanda Conner’s art might not even keep me reading. It’s more frustrating because I know Palmiotti and Gray can do good comics work, and why PG seems to be lacking a spark makes no sense to me (I know, it’s only two issues in, so I’m not giving up quite yet, but it doesn’t look good). Now, you might say I need to give it more than two issues, but here’s the thing: This is the first issue of The Last Resort, Palmiotti and Gray’s latest less mainstream offering, and I’m totally sold. In the first few pages, we get a dude coming out of the surf onto a Caribbean island and eating a lifeguard, and while I don’t necessarily want to see that in a mainstream superhero book, it’s a nice jolt of horror here. Then Palmiotti and Gray show us a bunch of people getting on a plane to go to Aruba, but we all know they’re going to end up on the island with the lifeguard-eating dude, and of course they do. Palmiotti and Gray then end on an unusual note that seems to negate a lot of what they’ve done, characterization-wise, throughout the issue. But they begin with a compelling creepy event and end with a bang. It’s certainly not a great comic, but it’s a blast to read, and the script crackles with energy, as opposed to the first two issues of Power Girl, which felt oddly enervating (despite the presence of a giant super-intelligent ape). Conner is better than Caracuzzo, but the art in this book is nothing to sneeze at, as it fits the horror feel Palmiotti and Gray are going for. Caracuzzo does a nice job with a very large cast, which is good to see.

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As this is a homage (of sorts) to disaster movies of the 1970s, Palmiotti and Gray introduce a large group of people who are flying to Aruba, many of whom will be (presumably) killed off in horrible ways. With limited space to work, they manage to give us a bunch of thumbnail sketches of our principals, and even though a lot of them are the kind of people we’d root for to get killed (oh, please, like you don’t do that when you watch these kinds of movies), Palmiotti and Gray still do a good job establishing their characters. Sure, they skirt the edges of stereotype, but not as much as you might expect.

I’m not entirely sure how many issues this is (IDW has an annoying habit of not telling us in Previews or putting it on their covers), but if you’re a fan of epic disaster movies and nice gory horror, you might want to give this a try. It can’t hurt!

Swearing in the comic? Oh yeah. Breakin’ it down again: Fuck and its permutations: 10. Shit: 3. Bitch: 2. Hell: 2. Cock: 1 (I don’t know if that counts, but it always sounds really dirty to me). Dickhead: 1. C-word: 1. Jesus: 1 (as in taking the Lord’s name in vain; someone else thanks Jesus, so I don’t think that counts).

Nudity in the comic? You bet. There are at most five topless women in the first few pages, as the Caribbean island on which the lifeguard eater appears on is, apparently, one of the more relaxed ones. A character on the plane likes having sex in unusual places, so she’s flashing her breasts in four different panels. Both times she has sex, it’s kind of humorous – nicely played by Palmiotti and Gray.

Poe #1 (of 4) by J. Barton Mitchell (writer), Dean Kotz (artist), Digikore Studios (colorist), and Marshall Dillon (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Boom! Studios.

Poe P.I. - he even has a Magnum Moustache!

The last time Boom! had a comic that featured historical figures doing things they never did in real life, I didn’t like it very much (Galveston). But based on this first issue, Poe will be different. It helps that Kotz is a good artist (he’s not as good as Guy Davis, but he has a Davis vibe going on), bringing the mid-nineteenth century to life quite well, and Mitchell does a nice job setting up both E. A. Poe’s state of mind following the death of his wife as well as the murder mystery, parts of which Poe deduces in true Holmesian manner (considering Poe wrote what is regarded as the first detective story, it’s not too much of a stretch). It’s a good solid hard-boiled murder mystery, and the addition of some supernatural elements don’t make it too outlandish. So far, this is a good start to the mini-series.

(Does anyone want to debate what the Latin means? It’s “Afficio Fortis Abiga,” if you must know. “Afficio” is first person present singular, so “I use” or “handle” or “affect” or even “attack.” “Fortis” means “brave” or “strong,” and I can’t figure out “abiga.” It must be a form of “abigo,” but I’m not sure what form it is. Any guesses? Man, it’s been too long since I deciphered Latin.)

Swearing in the comic? Of course not – they were very proper back in 1847.

Nudity in the comic? I don’t think anyone ever got naked prior to the 1920s. I’m not sure how they made babies, but I think I’m right.

Robotika: For a Few Rubles More #1 & 2 by Alex Sheikman (story/artist/letterer), David Moran (story/scripter), and Joel Chua (colorist). $4.99, 56 pgs, FC, Archaia.

I would look much cooler with a bird's nest on my head.

The other Archaia book out this week is the double-sized Robotika, which collects the first issue (which actually came out) and the second issue (which never saw the light of day). That means you get two full comics for 5 dollars. What a bargain for you!

Robotika, as you know, is the brainchild of Alex Sheikman, who gave us the first mini-series unassisted and then brought on Moran to help with the writing aspect, as it was fairly obvious Sheikman was much better on the art side (not that he’s a bad writer, but you can tell he’s a novice). The writing has improved on this series, but the draw of this series remains Sheikman’s art, which is absolutely spectacular. I thought issue #2 was done quite some time ago, but the art on it looks even better than it does in issue #1, so maybe Sheikman went back and added something to it. Beats me.

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What we basically get in these two issues is a futuristic Western with samurai overtones, much like the first series, all of which leads to revelations about some characters and stand-offs between others and a beautifully choreographed fight scene that leaves some people we wouldn’t have expected dead. There’s a drug dealer who didn’t get paid and wants to be, a drug buyer who has no interest in paying, and out intrepid trio of cowboys/samurai/mercenaries caught in the middle. There is shit, and it hits the fan.

I really can’t gush enough about Sheikman’s art. The book is exciting, yes, but it’s also gorgeous, and Sheikman has a wonderful sense of design, both of characters and background but even in composing a page. He builds tension wonderfully, incorporates sound effects into the panels nicely, and even adds some nice touches of humor. I’m really excited to see the conclusion of this story, and I hope someone gives Sheikman some work. I’d do it, but I think he’s out of my league, man!

Swearing in the comic? Ten “damns” and seven “hells” (heh). Most of them come from the mouth of Beppe, the drug dealer. He’s kind of angry.

Nudity in the comic? None.

Scalped #30 (“The Gnawing Part One of Five”) by Jason Aaron (writer), R. M. Guéra (artist), Giulia Brusco (colorist), and Steve Wands (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, DC/Vertigo.

Fucking cocksucker motherfuck!

Scalped inspired me to do my theme for this week, because I don’t think I’ve seen this much cursing since your average episode of Deadwood, so I decided to see how it matched up against the other comics I bought this week. Of course, it’s utterly brilliant, but that goes without saying, doesn’t it?

I mean, here we are, with all the threads coming together. I don’t know how long Aaron plans to write this book, but it feels like big things are brewing, and I’m not sure how our hero, Dash Bad Horse, can navigate the dangerous waters he’s in. He goes to pick up Diesel from jail down south in Nebraska (that’s where he’s stashed, isn’t it?) and ends up with Catcher, who has many interesting things to say to Bad Horse as they head back to the reservation. Catcher escapes, but that’s not important right now. What’s important is that Red Crow wants Bad Horse to find the FBI agent who’s infiltrated his organization. This, understandably, freaks Bad Horse out a bit, as he’s the FBI agent. Both Red Crow and Agent Nitz, Bad Horse’s boss, want to squeeze him to see if he breaks. Plus, there’s that nasty old Asian gentleman in Red Crow’s jail – the one that could lead Johnny Tongue showing up and killing everyone. Just another fun issue of Scalped, right?

This is really a great read. Yes, it’s hard to follow if you haven’t been reading the book (not surprising), but even if you pick it up at random, you get the sense of Aaron’s excellent writing and how he builds tension and makes all the characters squirm. When Red Crow gets Johnny Tongue on the phone, you sincerely have no idea where Aaron is going with the conversation, and when you find out, it’s an amazing and horrifying moment. And even if you know nothing about Dash Bad Horse, Aaron makes his situation real and fairly untenable, and when he’s on the phone with Nitz, we can feel his panic. Guéra, of course, adds to the entire feel of the book very well, from the sinister presence of Catcher in the back seat of Bad Horse’s squad car to the violence later in the issue. The fill-in artists have always been quite good on this book, but Guéra is amazing.

Aaron really hasn’t had a weak moment on this book, and with this issue, he ups the ante a bit more. That means even better comics!

Swearing in the comic? Shit yeah! It’s time for a breakdown! Fuck and/or its many glorious variations: 49. Shit: 12. Damn: 7. Ass: 6. Bastard: 3. Bitch: 3. N-word: 2.* Hell: 1. Dick: 1. Cocksucker: 1. That’s 85 swear words in one comic. It’s almost a symphony of swearing. There are 119 panels in this comic, so Aaron doesn’t quite get in a swear word per panel, but on the first two pages, neither character curses (8 panels) and there are 24 panels in which no words are spoken. Therefore, if we ignore the calm conversation on the first two pages and the silent panels, there are 89 panels in which someone speaks. That means you almost have a 100% chance of finding a curse word when someone opens their mouth in the final 20 pages of this comic. That’s goddamn motherfucking awesome. Seriously – I’m not kidding. It’s breathtaking how much people curse in this comic. If it were Ian McShane doing the talking, it would sound like profane Shakespeare.

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Nudity in the comic? Surprisingly, there’s only one panel where we see a topless woman. This isn’t the issue for nakedness, apparently – there’s too much cursing!

* Another one I won’t use.

Sherlock Holmes #3 (of 5) (“The Trial of Sherlock Holmes Part Three: A Killer on the Loose”) by Leah Moore and John Reppion (writers), Aaron Campbell (artist), Tony Aviña (colorist), and Simon Bowland (letterer). $3.50, 22 pgs, FC, Dynamite Entertainment.

I would 'unsex' Queen Victoria any day, if you know what I mean!

As I wrote last time this came out, it’s very difficult, after the initial mystery has been established, to review this, as it’s very much a chapter-by-chapter kind of thing, so, for instance, this ends with a conversation between Holmes and his brother Mycroft. Not very exciting, that. However, Moore and Reppion continue to build their story slowly but surely, with a nosy reporter trying to find out what happened to Holmes, someone trying to take Holmes out (and we’re not even sure if they know he’s Holmes, as he’s disguised), and an assassination attempt on Baron Lothair. Despite not revealing how all of this ties together (and why would they?), Moore and Reppion are doing a good job keeping all their balls in the air, so why wouldn’t I stick with it? Unlike something where the payoff is years down the line, this is a five-issue mini-series, so they have to wrap things up soon, don’t they? I can enjoy the mystery until then, I reckon.

Swearing in the comic? Someone says “damned,” and someone else says “What the devil?” Shocking!

Nudity in the comic? Remember Poe up there? No one got naked in the Victorian Age!

Super Friends #17 (“Just in Time”) by Sholly Fisch (writer), Stewart McKenny (penciller), Dan Davis (inker), Travis Lanham (letterer), and Heroic Age (colorist). $2.50, 18 pgs, FC, DC.

Why do John Stewart's eyes glow green?

I’d like to buy “adult” comics more (ones that feature panels like this for instance), but when the kids’ ones are this awesome, I just can’t!

So the Justice League fights Chronos, who changed history so that he rules the United States. Apparently, he went back to 2 July 1776 and didn’t allow the Declaration of Independence to be signed and defeated George Washington, so the Super Friends go back in time to stop him. Yeah, that’s it, but Fisch adds so much keen stuff that the script just sings. I mean, Flash investigates what’s going on and still manages to fit in a Nationals game? Awesome. Well, except for the fact that he’s a Nationals fan. What’s up with that? Then there’s the quiz about famous patriots’ quotes, with Wonder Woman’s old skull hair style. Then there’s Aquaman riding a flying Superman saying “Yippee!” Then there’s Chronos wearing a powdered wig and his super-villain costume. Fisch deftly skirts over the whole slave issue (especially considering that noted slave-owner Thomas Jefferson shows up in this book), and it’s just another great issue of Super Friends.

And someone should tell Chronos that super-villains don’t freakin’ cry! What’s wrong with him????

Swearing in the comic? Um, no.

Nudity in the comic? Surprisingly, Wonder Woman engages in some graphic hard-core sex with Ben Franklin and John Adams. Oh, come on – I’m not serious, people!

The Unknown #3 (of 4) by Mark Waid (writer), Minck Oosterveer (artist), Fellipe Martins (colorist), and Marshall Dillon (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Boom! Studios.

Battle of the cleavage!

As cool as this comic is – and it is – this is a somewhat curious issue. I don’t think I should give it away, so I won’t. We meet the bad guy, Catherine and Doyle discover the big scheme, and Oosterveer draws the heck out it, but it’s odd, as the big scheme doesn’t seem all that horrible. I mean, the bad guy commits murder, sure, but I’m not sure he has to in the context of the book, and I’m not sure the other stuff he’s doing is really illegal. It seems like what a lot of parents wish they could do. Catherine gets grumpy about it, but not necessarily because it’s really evil – she gets grumpy because it offends her sensibilities. I’m certainly not saying that the bad guy isn’t bad, but I wonder if he’d be better off forming a PAC and doing things through the proper channels.

Story continues below

Still, I love the art, and Waid’s writing is solid. Plus, the creepy dude does something creepy. We’ll see what happens next issue.

Swearing in the comic? There’s an “ass.”

Nudity in the comic? No, but Catherine still has that shirt wider open than might be necessary.

Unthinkable #3 (of 5) by Mark Sable (writer), Julian Totino Tedesco (artist), Juan Manuel Tumburús (colorist), and Ed Dukeshire (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Boom! Studios.

I didn't need to see electrodes attached to the fat guy's nipples.

Here’s another book that seems to be getting better as Sable slows down a bit. The first issue flew by, the second barely caught its breath, and this one slows down even more, and it’s nice. Ripley and his krewe stop something awful from happening in Israel, then head someplace else to stop something else. Sable does something interesting with the script, as the president’s State of the Union seems to indicate that all is not as bad as we’ve been led to believe. Of course, the State of the Union is propaganda, but it’s an intriguing possibility that Sable floats here. Tedesco’s art has been solid throughout, and when Ripley escapes from confinement, the violence is horrifying and all too real. As Sable calms down a bit and lets the story unfold in its own manner instead of rushing it, Tedesco remains the solid foundation of the series. It seems like the story is catching up to the art, which is good to see. As with far too many mini-series, this will probably read much better in trade, but this issue, at least, is a fine slice of comic bookery.

Swearing in the comic? None at all.

Nudity in the comic? Not really, although “the editor” is topless, and fat guys shouldn’t be topless. Believe me, I know.

Wednesday Comics #2 (of 12). $3.99, 15 pgs, FC, DC.

Can Batman not be a dick, just once?

I’m sure this will become easier to write about as the stories really take shape, because right now it’s just about which writers are comfortable with the format and which aren’t. Dave Gibbons (“Kamandi”), Dave Bullock (“Deadman”), Neil Gaiman (“Metamorpho”), Paul Pope (“Adam Strange”), Dan DiDio (“Metal Men”), Karl Kerschl (“Flash/Iris West”), Walt Simonson (“Demon/Catwoman”) and Kyle Baker (“Hawkman”) seem to be able to milk the single-page format for maximum tension and effect, with each of their stories ending with a nice kicker, while Brian Azzarello (“Batman”), John Arcudi (“Superman”), Kurt Busiek (“Green Lantern”), Eddie Berganza (“Teen Titans”), Jimmy Palmiotti (“Supergirl”), Ben Caldwell (“Wonder Woman”), and Adam Kubert (“Sgt. Rock”) just … don’t. The latter stories seem to be longer tales that just happen to be divided by the page break. That’s not to say they won’t be good as a complete whole, but with this format, the former stories leave you on a high note, desperate for the next week to find out what will happen next, while the latter stories … well, you can wait and read the entire thing. It’s actually quite fascinating to see the two kinds of stories side by side. Between the Azzarello story and the Arcudi story, both of which end extremely awkwardly, we get Gibbons and Sook dazzling us with a battle against giant rats that feels more meaty than the other two. I’m curious to see where all three are going, but I wasn’t as jazzed by the Batman and Superman stories, while the Kamandi one was oodles of fun.

And, of course, the “issue” ends with these words: “Next week: Mile-high clubbing!” Any comic that ends with that is worth it, in my book.

Swearing in the comic? Boston Brand says “The hell it ain’t!” and “What the hell?” But that’s just like him, isn’t it?

Nudity in the comic? Not so much.

X-Factor #46 (“X-it Strategy”) by Peter David (writer), Marco Santucci (penciler), Pat Davidson (inker), Jeromy Cox (colorist), and Cory Petit (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, Marvel.


In the post-Rob Liefeld Is A Crazy Homophobe world, David throws in a Rictor/Shatterstar kiss that I would believe is just a gratuitous shot at Liefeld if the script hadn’t been finished long before Ol’ Rob had his meltdown. But I like to imagine David sitting there at his typewriter thinking, “Well, I was going to spend this entire issue on the future and what happened to Monet, but I think I’ll write in a make-out panel just to make Rob’s head explode!” My world is so much more interesting than the real one.

Story continues below

Anyway, the bulk of this issue is Monet fighting Darwin and the future peeps confronting Doom. It’s a typical very good issue of X-Factor, made more awesome by the surprise guest star at the end. I may be the only person in creation beside his creators who thought that dude was way cool. I’m just concerned that David has a bump on the head that makes him think it’s 1991 and not 2009. Someone should get him a CT scan, stat!

Tim Callahan’s crazy negative opinions about this book notwithstanding, it continues to roll merrily along, and I’m perfectly happy to let David write as long as he wants to. If only to make Mr. Liefeld twist himself in knots trying to defend his weird objections to Shatterstar mackin’ on another dude.

Swearing in the comic? Nope.

Nudity in the comic? Well, Monet is naked the entire book, but she also has what looks like a purple transmode virus covering her entire body, so don’t get your fanboy hormones all ratcheted up!

Young Liars #17 (“A Woman Scorned”) by David Lapham (writer/artist), Lee Loughridge (colorist), and Jared K. Fletcher (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, DC/Vertigo.

It's like Romeo and Juliet for the 21st century!

And then there’s Young Liars. After last issue’s decent but weirdly boring issue that not even an authority as respected as Chad Nevett could convince me was brilliant (although he made a valiant effort), we get back to, well, clowns raping people with what appears to be a feather duster. I could be wrong, though. Oh, and a head in a freezer. You know, the normal madness. And I can’t even fathom what’s happening on the bottom of page 12, where it appears a giant clown is rampaging through town. It doesn’t matter, of course, as next issue is the final one (isn’t it?), but dang, I’m going to miss this fucked-up love story. It’s exactly like Wuthering Heights!

Swearing in the comic? Lapham knows how to use the Vertigo label, motherfuckers! It’s breakdown time! Fuck: 11 (three of those are “fook” from that foreign dude). Shit: 6 (4 in a row from Danny at one point). Damn: 4. Ass: 2. Jesus: 2. Hell: 2. Dick: 1. Not quite the beautiful profanity in Scalped, but not bad, either.

Nudity in the comic? None whatsoever.

So that’s the week. Dear Lord, that’s a lot of comics. I bought 19 individual issues, and in 7 of them, there’s some female nudity, although only in 4 does anyone dare show nipples (nipples rot the mind, don’t you know). But the swearing, oh the swearing! Check this out!

Fuck: 91.
Shit: 34.
Damn: 25.
Hell: 14.
Ass: 13.
Bitch: 9.
Jesus (as an oath): 5.
Bastard: 4.
Dick: 3.
Cock: 2 (1 is “cocksucker”).
The C-word: 2.
The N-word: 2.

I know this is skewed by the masterpiece that is Scalped, but that’s still impressive. I don’t have a problem with any of them, even the two words I won’t use. The only problem I have is when Marvel uses a grawlix in All Select Comics. Come on, Marvel – curse it loud, curse it proud!

Man, I’m glad I’m taking next week off (oh, by the way, I’m taking next week off, at least from reviewing comics, as I’ll be … elsewhere). Reviewing this many comics and paying such close attention to the swearing almost drove me insane. And for some of the time while I was writing these reviews, I was listening to Ice-T’s “O. G. Original Gangster.” Let the cursing fly! I haven’t even been able to speak to the kids for two days for fear I might drop a “cocksucker” into the conversation! That’s no good. But let’s get to the totally random lyrics!

“There’s a club, if you’d like to go
You could meet somebody who really loves you
So you go, and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own
And you go home, and you cry
And you want to die”

Uplifting! If it helps (and it probably won’t), this is the only song by this band that I like. See? It’s all clear now!

I’m sleepy now. I need a nap.


I kind of wish you had bought Blackest Night #1 so I could have been like “I agree with you, Greg, this comic fucking sucks.”

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

July 17, 2009 at 6:29 pm

What are your feelings on “berk?”

@ Chris Jones: No, when the outcome of a reviewer’s opinion is already as obviously predetermined as Greg’s would be about “Blackest Night,” it’s best not to weigh in at all.

No, I know.

I just would’ve liked to agree with him on this after we/everyone else DISAGREED so much on Green Lantern #43.

Given his response to GL 43, Greg’s response to Blackest Night 1 would have been predictable.

(Actually maybe not, since he might have liked the first 30 or so pages of the book; the idea of a superhero memorial day on the anniversary of Superman’s “death” might have appealed to him; similarly he might have liked the Hal-Barry and Hawkman-Atom interaction. He definitely would have hated the last 18 or so pages.)

“…naked robot torso…”

Best mental image of the week.

“He was trapped by Boxers, of course!”

Gives new meaning to Boxing Day.

Like the art on the cover of The Last Resort, but it’s no Mitch O’Connell.

The snake guy’s name is Benny.

I like how everyone assumes I’d hate Blackest Night. I guess when the outcome of a book is so obviously predetermined as one of Geoff Johns’s comics, it’s best not to buy it!

It’s not that I would hate Blackest Night, I just have absolutely zero interest in it. I’d probably hate it, true, but it’s not aimed at me. And I like how I praise something as gory as The Last Resort but some people still think I’m squeamish about gore. It’s all about context!

Thanks, Michael P. I was going to go with Benny, but I wasn’t 100% sure. I suppose I could have checked, but where’s the fun in that?

Tom Fitzpatrick

July 17, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Nice to see SCALPED has its day/week/month/year.

Step on up, Aaron!

Have fun Comicconning next week! You must set foot on THE BOAT. And although I only skim the meat of your reviews lest I be spoiled by something my library probably won’t get anyway, they still have stuff that’s fun for me to read (and now with added captions!). And I do look out for the stuff you recommend.

@ Chris again: “I just would’ve liked to agree with him on this after we/everyone else DISAGREED so much on Green Lantern #43.”

I read (and enjoyed) that thread last week — lively debate. I agreed with you then, Chris. So actually I’d be interested, Chris, in why you apparently didn’t like “Blackest Night” #1. I read it yesterday (Thursday) and am about to read it again. It both was and, somehow, wasn’t what I expected.

For those who already object to the amount of horror and blood in Geoff Johns comics … well, that’s why I said Greg shouldn’t have bothered to review it. (Wisely, he felt the same way.) (FWIW, I do read your review column every week, Greg; while I don’t read many of the same titles as you, I often agree about those we both do read. But, bottom line: One of the key reasons I check in with CSBG several times a week is because I appreciate the highly literate and (generally) mutually respectful level of discourse, even when people disagree.)

I imagine the surprising identity of the Black Lanterns in the final sequence will further rile folks who were so gravely offended at “Identity Crisis.” That series didn’t bug me until its miserable ending, which was wrong and stupid for many reasons. Most of all: It cheated, all around, and made Meltzer’s retcon twists — Sue’s rape, the JLA mindwipes — worthless to the story at hand. (Those plot developments didn’t bother me at first; they only bothered me when they were revealed, by the final issue of “Identity Crisis,” to be mere red herrings.) At least “IC” did lead to a great final story arc for Ralph in “52” … and now this crazy-twisted sequence in “BN.” [shudder] Also, the big deaths at the end of this issue? They carried much greater weight than Morrison’s toss-off death of J’onn in “Final Crisis” #1. (It took Peter Tomasi to lend the Martian Manhunter’s death the drama it deserved.)

I’m not sure how well this zombie-lantern horror will play over seven more issues (plus seven or eight each of the core “Lantern” titles), but I’ve loved “GL” since the Sinestro Corps War, so I’m in it for the long haul. The individual “BN” tie-in minis, I’m skipping. Although I’m anxious to see if Bruce Wayne really becomes a Black Lantern. If he’s not really dead but in a cave somewhere back in time, then he can’t very well come back from the grave with a black ring, can he?

I don’t hate Johns nor am I squeamish around gore but I’m not buying Blackest Night either. I just can’t afford the bastard. Same goes for whatever Marvel crossover comes out this year.


July 18, 2009 at 2:04 am

how could “How Soon is Now?” be the only Smiths song you like? what is wrong with you?! This Charming Man, Still Ill, Hand in Glove, Nowhere Fast, Cemetry Gates, Bigmouth Strikes Again, There is a Light that Never Goes Out, Heaven Knows im Miserable Now, Panic, The Boy with the Thorn in His Side, Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before, That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore are all better songs. INSANITY!

You know what? If I know I’m going to be getting zombies as the driving force of an event comic, I’m fine with some blood n’ gore in my comic. It’s to be expected. It’s when I’m reading JSA and there’s a Nazi disentegrating little kids that I get annoyed with Johns’ fanservicey trend toward excessive blood.

The larger problem with this is that (WRESTLING REFERENCE ALERT!) Johns has booked this like how the then-WWF booked the Invasion angle. Okay, we had the Yellow Lanterns introduced in a big story, and that mostly worked out for the best (still don’t like how Kyle was treated, but since then I’ve come to expect that from Johns). Since then we’ve had all the other coloured Lanterns introduced, and while the Blacks are waging war against… well, everyone… the others are also engaging in their own thing in the background. It all just feels too soon to be bringing everything together; we should have established all the individual Corps as entitites in and of themselves before proceeding to the big throwdown.

(How is it like the Invasion? Vince panicked and ran about ten months’ worth of angles during that infamous Raw in Atlanta where he turned WCW officially heel, brought back ECW, allied ECW and WCW, then had Steph announced as ECW owner. Similarly, Johns is giving a lot of story material the short end of the stick to get to the big event at the end)

My copy of the CB trade hasn’t turned up yet so can you answer a question for me Greg: Have the Marvel Superheroes issues written by Dave Thorpe in the start of the trade been coloured – I don’t think they’ve ever been collected before .

I agree with knivesinwest11. It’s like trying to guess the answer out of the lyrics of “Stairway to Heaven” !

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

July 18, 2009 at 6:19 am

Rubber Ring, Rusholme Ruffians. the Headmaster Ritual, You’ve Got Everything Now,and Girl Afraid are damned good too.

I picked Agents of Atlas, looked at the large handful of comics I already had this week, and put it back on the shelf. I will rectify that this week.

One very minor question on your Fables review as far as the Empire’s motivation for boxing the Dark Man; the way I understood it, they weren’t boxing “horrible” fables, just wild ones they couldn’t control. They unboxed Baba Yaga when they figured they could use her. This issue was one of the best in over a year, I think. It was a great look into the working of the Empire and sets up a great dynamic for the Fabletown survivors.

Ah, Rebis, I was just having some fun. I really try not to buy things I’m almost positive I’m not going to like, because where’s the fun in that? If I hear really excellent things about Blackest Night, maybe I’ll check it out. Probably not, though.

Da Fug: First I must find THE BOAT. I still have my doubts that it exists!

Philip: The Thorpe issues, in brilliant color, are included in the Captain Britain Omnibus. That was one of the draws, as I already have the Moore/Davis/Delano issues in the original trades. Marvel throws in New Mutants Annual #2 (the one that brought Betsy to the States), Uncanny X-Men Annual #11 (the one with Horde, which is one of the best annuals EVER), and Captain America #305-306, because why not? It’s quite the package!

joshschr: Yeah, it was the ones they couldn’t control, but wouldn’t those be the horrible ones? :) I would just imagine they’d call those stupid recalcitrant Fables “horrible.” Call it creative license!

Smiths fans: Granted, I’ve only listened to their Greatest Hits (and probably a few random other songs, as one of my friends when I was growing up really loved them), but I just never dug them. Morrissey whined too much, his lyrics, while interesting, seemed far too self-indulgent, and I never liked his flat singing. Johnny Marr is, for me, the only reason to like the Smiths, and he’s brilliant on “How Soon is Now,” to the point where I can deal with Morrissey. The only Morrissey I’ve ever liked is Mike Nelson as Freeze-Dried Pop Star Morrissey on MST3K – “Did I tell you I cried today?” Good stuff!

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

July 18, 2009 at 7:28 am

The idea that Morrissey’s lyrics, at least in the Smiths days, are “whiny” is pretty mistaken. Generally, he takes pains to turn the tables on the whining persona in the songs. (“How Soon Is Now?” is subtler about this than most of them, since it’s primarily the title and the lyric “When you say it’s gonna happen soon / Well when exactly do you mean?”) But otherwise, the speaker or persona in the songs is usually the target; the exceptions tend to be the songs intended as political vitriol.

In the later portions of his solo career, he seems to have forgotten this entirely, I’ll grant you.

See, Omar, now I might have to go an re-listen to some Smiths songs. Damn you!!!!!

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

July 18, 2009 at 8:00 am

Hey, nothing I said makes Morrissey’s voice any less flat — just look up some lyrics; it’s faster, for one thing.

I’m one issue shy of having the Thorpe CBs in the original form. Still looking forward to this !


July 18, 2009 at 9:37 am

Omar, you’re absolutely correct. and lets not forget that a lot of Moz’s lyrics are extremely tongue-in-cheek. i feel that a lot of people judge his lyrics as whiney or depressing, while missing out on a lot of the humor in his writing. it’s sort of like what people say about Ian Curtis of Joy Division. that his songs are dark and depressing. and while it’s true that there are dark tones to his words, the majority of people base those assumptions on the fact that he took his life. they remove all the joy from his life, which clearly annoyed people close to hm like Sumner, Hook, Morris and Tony Wilson.

Dude! Are we discussing Comics or great, awesome music from the late 70s and early 80s! Grrrrrr………..

- Alt text no worky in Firefox.

– I am totally bringing Marvex back into current continuity. You know. When I write the Fantastic Four or something. It’ll happen.

– Naked Robot Torso is my new band name.

– I don’t think Unthinkable is slowing down. The pace is so scattershot that I have a hard time keeping up with just what the hell’s going on. Really not working for me.

– I have never seen the word “grawlix” before. It sounds like a mean woodland creature from a Lewis Carroll nonsense poem.

– The Smiths *are* whiny, but I quite like them. The Queen Is Dead is one of the best albums ever made by anyone. Most of the songs sound like they could be Peter Milligan comics!

“Grawlix” is a pretty awesome word, isn’t it?

“Grawlix” is from Mort Walker’s Lexicon of Comicana.

Disagree about your complaints with the Azzarello/Risso “Batman” strip in “Wednesday Comics.” I find each page works very well on its own, functioning in many ways as Azzarello issues/storyarcs do: elusive, poetic, a little obtuse, but make more sense on rereads and when taken with other issues/storyarcs. But, hey, that’s me.

I’m not entirely sure WHAT to make of this issue of Young Liars, but I liked it. Not as much as #16, but still quite a bit.

So who wins the swear word contest? Scalped or Preacher? Anybody counting?

Wonderful Marvex review. Here’s 20 dollars.


July 19, 2009 at 6:45 pm

I like when you have weeks like this Greg, I don’t feel as silly buying the insane amount of books I occasionally do.

That said, I disagree with some of your Wednesday comic assessments – Batman felt like a complete chapter to me, it added to the mystery and set up for further adventures, Superman actually got more clear about where it’s heading (and dammit, it just looks so good!) and I’d say Green Lantern was borderline – much better than last week, though it’s still setting things up.
Supergirl was fine, but basically the same as last week, where as Teen Titans, Wonder Woman and Sgt. Rock were just a waste – the stories are either at the exact same place, or in Rocks case, further back than it was (it ended where the first part should have).

I was happy with Deadman as well – it felt really stndard last week, but has started going somewhere.

That said, I totally disagree with Metamoprho – a whole page wasted (it was pretty to look at, I’ll admit), of characters walking into a cave, and the promise that there may be dinosaurs… if it wasn’t for Allred it wouldn’t have worked, and it’s only because Gaiman is writing that we expect it to be good.
I’m all for giving good talent some leeway, but still, that was a waste of a page – especially compared to the goodness that their first page was.

Due to the Metamorpho page, I’d say Paul Pope is still the clear ‘winner’ in all of this, but Kyle Baker is definitely right behind him, and could overtake.

The only thing I disagree with you on, FGJ, is the Superman one. Yes, it looks great, but did we really need to see Superman and Batman trying to out-emo each other?


July 19, 2009 at 8:09 pm

Yes, it looks great, but did we really need to see Superman and Batman trying to out-emo each other?


Well, no, but I think it helped set-up that Superman was having philosophical issues, and as this is the one that’s getting posted on the web and in that paper, a Batman crossover makes some sense.
I dunno, I didn’t even think that much about it, I just enjoyed it and moved on.
The same conversation could have happened with any other character, or he could have just flown around thinking this to himself, but we got a cool looking Batman instead!
My only complaint would be that I’ve got no idea where this story is heading – and not in the cool way like with Deadman or Adam Strange where that’s part of the fun, just in the ‘I don’t even know if I should care’ way.
BUT, that’s how I felt with Deadman last week.
Who knows?
I’m just loving this series – sitting in bed reading gigantic comics is just great fun (Seth’s George Sprott and this in the same week have given me a kinky new reading fetish!)… why you got to be a hater, Greg?

My Captain Britain’s here now.

Onwe small problem – the Captain America issues predate the New Mutants annual by a year and the X-Men annual by two yet are printed afterwards.

Otherwise looks a fine publication

FGJ: That’s me – Mr. Hater! It’s so much fun! :)

Philip: Yeah, I wasn’t sure why they stuck the Captain America issues at the end. I guess they wanted all of Davis’s art together.

Mike Loughlin

July 20, 2009 at 1:04 pm

And speaking of Captain America, did you read issue 601? I’m surprised that no one is talking about it. (Except Mr. Nevett, whose review was exactly right) Maybe everyone is Captain America-ed out after issue 600 & Reborn 1. Gene Colan’s pencil art (especially in black & white, although the color version looked good) was amazing.

Mike: I buy Cap in Giant-Sized Omnibus format, so I didn’t read it. Yet.

A question about another product on last week’s shipping list:

My copy of Essential Marvel Two In One v3 has just arrived from Amazon UK.

Anyone else got a copy ? Cos mine’s got a misprint and I want to know if they’re all like that.

9 pages into the story of issue 66 (Serpent Crown pt3, so not like one of the better or important stories in the book) it suddenly jumps to the first story page of issue 69.

Solitary misprit or are the whole lot like it ?

[…] what more can I say about the new Fables that Greg Burgas hasn’t already said?: Now that the interminable Great Fables Crossover is over, Willingham has turned back into a good […]

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