web stats

CSBG Archive

What I bought – 17 February 2010

“Beware of faking: people will believe you. People believe those who sell lotions that make lost hair grow back. They sense instinctively that the salesman is putting together truths that don’t go together, that he’s not being logical, that he’s not speaking in good faith. But they’ve been told that God is mysterious, unfathomable, so to them incoherence is the closest thing to God. The farfetched is the closest thing to a miracle.” (Umberto Eco, from Foucault’s Pendulum)

Remain Calm.  Trust in Science. You just lost the edge to Giant-Gorilla-Man!!!!! Talk about an incongruous cover! Gotta love the recap page! Come on, MarkAndrew ... bring the hatred! Nudity!  Animals with guns!  A woman with a really big hammer! Charming cameltoe there!

AtomicRobo4.1Atomic Robo: Revenge of the Vampire Dimension #1 (of 4) (“Bernard’s First Day”) by Brian Clevinger (writer), Scott Wegener (artist), Ronda Pattison (colorist), and Jeff Powell (letterer). $3.50, 22 pgs, FC, Red 5 Comics.

Yay! A new Atomic Robo series! Good times!

This is a strange first issue. It’s certainly as good as any other random Atomic Robo issue, from the humorous way Bernard gets his job (for which he is, it appears, not very well qualified) to Rex Cannon’s qualifications for the job to the efficiency of Jenkins to Robo’s explanation about where the “vampires” (they’re not really vampires) come from to the somewhat ominous ending after Bernard, seemingly, saves everyone’s behinds. But for a mini-series called “Revenge of the Vampire Dimension,” it seems like the vampire dimension gets closed off fairly quickly. Now, I’m sure Clevinger is going somewhere with this, but this definitely reads like a single issue story. Hey, which means if you foolishly have avoided picking up Atomic Robo so far, you can read this and figure out if you like the book without committing to too much! So get on it!

This comic just makes me so happy. It’s hilarious, it looks great, and presumably it does well enough that our creators can continue with it for at least three more issues. Life is good!

One panel of awesome:

What the hell is that picture on his desk?????

What the hell is that picture on his desk?????

AvengersvsAgentsofAtlas2Avengers vs. Atlas #2 (of 4) (“Earth’s Mightiest Super Heroes Part 2″/”S(take)out!”) by Jeff Parker (writer, “Super Heroes”), Scott Kurtz (writer, “S(take)out!”), Gabriel Hardman (artist, “Super Heroes”), Zach Howard (artist, “S(take)out!”), Mark Irwin (inker, “S(take)out!”), Elizabeth Breitweiser (colorist, “Super Heroes”), Brad Anderson (colorist, “S(take)out!”), Tom Orzechowski (letterer, “Super Heroes”), and Joe Sabino (letterer, “S(take)out!”). $3.99, 30 pgs, FC, Marvel.

The agents of Atlas fight the 1960s Avengers, then realize they’re both good guy groups. The end.

Okay, it’s more fun than that. Parker gives us nice twists on things, from Ken Hale suddenly growing very large to fight Hank Pym (and calling him “Mr. Name-Everything-After-Myself”) to M-11 suddenly looking like Bucky to put Captain America off his game. I’m still a bit curious why Venus’ power doesn’t seem to work on women … or, should I say, work somewhat randomly on women, because it occasionally seems to work on women. But that’s neither here nor there, as the purpose of this issue is to get the two groups to realize they have a common enemy and figure out how to fight it. Mission accomplished! Parker does a really nice job pointing out how the early Avengers didn’t know anything about each other – they don’t know who the blond man carrying a long stick is, for instance – and how surprised they are that the modern-day Atlasers know who they are. It’s a nifty moment. Basically, however, it’s a way to show off Hardman’s action art, get the two groups together, and set up the big green threat for next issue (in which is promised “more fighting”). It’s perfectly fine.

Unlike last issue’s bland back-up story, “S(take)out!” is flingin’-flangin’ hilarious. Jimmy Woo has to infiltrate a hibachi restaurant to retrieve a mysterious artifact for Mr. Lao. Woo thinks it’s not really an Atlas splinter cell until the chef attacks him. Then we get knives and kicks and a giant motherfucking octopus before Kurtz delivers the punch line … and it’s really funny. I love well crafted jokes, and this one works perfectly. It’s almost worth the price of the comic by itself, and when you add on the entertaining main story, we get a good comic. See? It’s not that hard!

Story continues below

One panel of awesome:

Thor gets the ladies from both worlds!

Thor gets the ladies from both worlds!

Hellblazer264Hellblazer #264 (“India Part Four: Kali Yuga: The Night of the Demon”)* by Peter Milligan (writer), Giuseppe Camuncoli (layouter), Stefano Landini (finisher), Trish Mulvihill (colorist), and Sal Cipriano (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, DC/Vertigo.

* Yes, the title has two colons. I didn’t put any extra ones in, I swear!

Okay, so I’m going to write about things that demand a SPOILER warning. I’ve been avoiding it for a while, because I didn’t want to ruin anything for trade-waiters, but it seems like Milligan has reached the end of one aspect of his run, so I want to rant.

In this issue John realizes that Phoebe isn’t coming back from the dead. That’s not really a shock; I certainly didn’t think she was either. But therein lies my pissed-offness. Milligan introduced Phoebe, and all was well. She was an interesting character in John’s world, and had a lot of potential. But then Milligan killed her off. It wasn’t even as if I was that bent out of shape about it, because she hadn’t really been fully developed as a character, so it didn’t affect me too much. But the fact that Milligan introduced this interesting character and killed her before doing much with her makes me grumpy. Usually, Hellblazer writers introduce characters simply to kill them off, but because we know that’s why they’re there, it’s not that big a deal. Milligan screwed up with Phoebe, because he told the readers how important she was to John without actually making her all that important. So John’s quest to bring her back to life becomes yet another utterly selfish pursuit by our favorite self-involved mage, which again, isn’t that annoying, but doesn’t really tell us anything new. John probably needs someone like Phoebe in his life, and maybe Milligan didn’t want to develop her so much that he was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t – if he killed her off, readers like me would bitch that he took a great character and killed her, while if he left her alive but not in a relationship with John, readers like me would bitch that she was just another Kit Ryan (yes, I’m culpable – I admit it!). So he went a different way, but that didn’t work either. All Phoebe did was show us a little potential and then serve as another nail for John to drive into his self-imposed cross. Oh well. If John were smart, he’d hook up with Epiphany, even though she’s too young for him and, frankly, too cool for a pathetic fart like him.

So why oh why am I still reading Hellblazer? Well, because Milligan is doing a good job. No, not with Phoebe, which has been a big part of his run, but with John himself and the stories. John is more “magiciany” than I’ve often seen him (I haven’t read Hellblazer regularly in a long time, so maybe other writers have made him even more so), but not too the point where he’s just flouncing about casting spells. It feels like a nice blend of magical workings and cynicism, as in the way he defeats the demon in this issue (yes, he defeats the demon; did you think he wouldn’t?). I’m still interested in what Milligan is doing with the character, so I’m going to stick with it. I just think he blew it with Phoebe. So sad!

One panel of awesome:

That's a cool-ass drawing!

That's a cool-ass drawing!

IncredibleHerc141The Incredible Hercules #141 (“Assault on New Olympus, Finale: Everybody Dies”/”Godmarked Part 5: To Battle a God!”) by Greg Pak (writer, “Assault”), Fred van Lente (writer, “Assault”), Jeff Parker (writer, “Godmarked”), Rodney Buchemi (artist, “Assault”), Gabriel Hardman (artist, “Godmarked”), Guillem Mari (colorist, “Assault”), Wil Quintana (colorist, “Godmarked”), Simon Bowland (letterer, “Assault”), and Tom Orzechowski (letterer, “Godmarked”). $3.99, 29 pgs, FC, Marvel.

If you’re surprised that Hercules dies in this issue, you haven’t been paying attention to the Marvel solicits. If you haven’t been paying attention to the Marvel solicits, well, I apologize for ruining it for you, but it’s not like Pak and van Lente haven’t been telegraphing it, right? I mean, it’s been fairly obvious, and in this issue, we learn why Herc “has” to die. It’s a clever enough reason, and sets up a new vista of storylines, including how exactly he’s coming back. It’s a nice ending to the various things our writers have been doing throughout the past few years of this comic. I didn’t quite get how Hercules was able to affect Typhon after he wasn’t able to a few pages earlier (I know something happens in between those two events, but I don’t want to give too much away, and what Herc does shouldn’t matter, should it?), but it was still a good climax. I’m interested to see if van Lente and Pak revisit Delphyne now that she’s been humbled a bit – she’s still a keen character. And, of course, Pak and van Lente manage to get some humor into the book, even if it’s a bit of a downer – at one point, Typhon cuts Hercules with his axe and the sound effect is “Slaassh.” So of course, in the next panel, as Hercules grabs for Typhon’s neck, the effect is “Aaaxl.” It doesn’t make sense, but it’s still funny! And in the back-up story, Venus and Aphrodite sing at each other for dominance. This is the third comic in the past year in which singing is the way a battle is resolved. Just what the heck is going on around here?

Story continues below

I don’t know how many issues the Hercules: Fall of an Avenger is (next month’s issue is “#1,” but Marvel often lists one-shots as “#1,” so maybe it’s a one-shot?), but I do hope the regular book comes back soon. I’m fairly certain that the rumors of its cancellation are just that, so I’m looking forward to more goodness from this writing team. That’ll be fun, right?

One panel of awesome:

I apologize - occasionally I have to be a scumbag male!

I apologize - occasionally I have to be a scumbag male!

JoetheBarbarian2Joe the Barbarian #2 (of acht) (“Cloud Quay to Feather Forest Falls”) by Grant “Look! Words!” Morrison (writer), Sean Murphy (artist), Dave Stewart (colorist), and Todd Klein (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, DC/Vertigo.

Man, this is a nice-looking comic. Murphy is really doing a fantastic job here, from the tremendous double-page spread where Joe finds Jack, his rat (or “Chakk,” if we believe the rat) to the way the panels flow across the page. The breakdowns of this series so far have been wonderful – Murphy gives us a real sense of motion, of Joe moving through the house in the first issue and coming back down from the attic in this issue. He shifts from a horizontal line to a vertical line easily, and it makes reading the comic a nice experience – we feel almost as if we’re moving with Joe and Jack. Plus, the details are excellent. Murphy has broken down issue #1 at his blog, and it’s kind of neat that for once, the artwork and not the story in a Morrison comic deserves annotations.

Story-wise, this is denser than the first issue (what wouldn’t be?) and walks a nice line between overbearing fantasy prose and cheeky, wise-guy puncturing of that same prose. When Lord Arc shows up, it seems like Morrison will slide into pomposity, but then Arc says, “The journey — arduous, companions on the way, et cetera! Traditional rules apply!” It allows the God of All Comics to still turn this into a Grail Quest, but it also allows him to skewer the conventions a bit. This isn’t terribly revolutionary, but it’s still not a bad idea, especially when your protagonist is a somewhat nerdy yet smart-ass kid. And I thought I’d be annoyed by the way Morrison shows us where Joe is in the house at certain times (which I kind of figured was coming before I saw it), but it works fairly well. Joe doesn’t buy into this fantasy at all, so showing him “snapping out of it” at crucial moments works. Will these signposts along the way down diminish as he becomes more immersed? Beats me. In this issue, however, they worked well.

This continues to be un-Morrison-esque, so the Morrison haters out these (non-Whorrisons?) might enjoy it. And it’s odd to think that with all the good artists the GoAC has been paired with over the years, Murphy might be a bigger attraction than Morrison here. I can’t think of another case like that.

One panel of awesome:

Everything is cooler with samurai swords!

Everything is cooler with samurai swords!

PowerGirl9Power Girl #9 (“This City is a Zoo”) by Justin Gray (writer), Jimmy Palmiotti (writer), Amanda Conner (artist), Paul Mounts (colorist), and John J. Hill (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, DC.

Yes, I’m going to rant again. Just a little!

This issue is a mess, especially the beginning. The fight with Satanna is handled fairly well, and it, naturally, looks great (well, except for Satanna’s armor, because this isn’t 1995). I found it humorous that whatever Satanna sticks on PG to weaken her is the exact size of her boob window – I wonder if she designed it that way – which might make Kara want to reconsider having a giant target on her chest, but probably not. The fight, as silly as it is (Satanna is peeved at PG for hurting the Ultra-Humanite back in the first arc), is perfectly fine.

But let’s consider the first part of the issue, which deals with the pictures that someone took of Kara changing from her civilian identity to Power Girl a few issues ago. On the first page, she’s sitting on the toilet (we see only her head), staring directly at her cat’s bunghole. This is important, trust me. Then she gets an envelope slid under her door, which she sees (thanks to X-ray vision) contains pictures of her taking her shirt off with her costume underneath it. As she has just gotten out of the shower (I dig that she shaves her legs with her heat vision), she grabs a (tiny) towel and runs out her door and after the (presumed) blackmailed. You know where this is going – she grabs the kid (he’s fourteen, as it turns out) and drops the towel. Of course there’s a neighbor walking up the steps at that point, not only for the humor of someone seeing her naked but because he has to be conveniently carrying groceries which obscure her nudity. You know my policy on the squeamishness of DC and Marvel and their nudity issues, and I don’t really care that they obscure it – it actually makes it funnier, as the green tops of Mr. Paul’s carrots branch from the bag across her breasts. It’s a funny image. But I’ll get back to it. Then, in our panel of awesome (because of Mr. Paul’s reaction), she grabs a pie pan to obscure her lower naughty bits (if it’s intentional by the creators, that’s actually somewhat funny) and a baguette to cover her breasts. Why does she do this? She turns around and runs back upstairs, presumably giving Mr. Paul a full view of her ass. He’s already seen her in the altogether. The moment she gets into her apartment she pulls on pants and a shirt. So the only reason she stole Mr. Paul’s groceries is to hide her naughty bits … from the readers. It makes, to say the least, no sense. And, of course, a cat’s asshole is fine to show in a comic, but not a woman’s breasts. (And before you jump my shit, no, I’m not that bothered by it, I just find it interesting.)

Story continues below

Moving on (I told you this was a mess), she gets in front of the kid who dropped off the photos and gets the story out of him – he just dropped them off for someone who gave him money to do it – the kid describes the Joker, as Kara realizes, but who knows who it is. Kara tells him to get lost, climbs back in through her window, and gets a phone call. It’s from someone in the JSA (Dr. Mid-Nite, I think, although this guy appears to be able to see, which I’m sure is a recent development as I don’t keep up with the JSA) who tells her that there were two sets of prints on the pictures, one of which was the kid’s (who told her he didn’t look at them) and the other had traces of various things including licorice. Okay. If we ignore the information about the blackmailer, which is fine and dandy, let’s consider the timeline. When, exactly, did Kara give Mid-Nite the photos and the envelope? They were slid under her door, she immediately chased the kid down the street, she stopped him and got him to talk, she came back to her apartment after letting him go, and the phone rings as she’s climbing back through the window. At no point did she have any time to send stuff to Mid-Nite. It’s just a narrative screw-up, sure, but it’s sloppy. And annoying. [Editor’s note: It’s been pointed out in the comments by a few people, including Mr. Palmiotti himself (who’s a swell guy, I should add) that Kara received photos before and mentioned she was sending them off to the JSA to have analyzed. I went back and checked, and she sure did! So I guess it was just a coincidence that Dr. Mid-Nite was calling her at that moment. I’m going to use the old “it happened back in October and I’m old, so I just plumb forgot” excuse. Sorry, Misters Gray and Palmiotti!]

Then, a few pages later, Satanna calls PG a “bitch.” Kara does chide her for the language, but it’s worth pointing out, once again, that DC has no problem selling a book to kids (DC no longer uses any kind of rating system) in which characters can use the word “bitch” but a naked body would cause the Apocalypse. It gets back to the biggest problem I’ve had with this comic since it began – the question of tone. Gray and Palmiotti veer wildly between slapstick and violence, and while that can work, in this book it’s weirdly jarring. There’s been something good in every issue, but there’s also been something bad, and it’s why I can’t make up my mind about this comic. If it were consistently crappy, not even Conner’s amazing art could keep me around. But every issue, there’s something that’s pretty keen, and I want to see more. We even get a page of Kara at work (which I’d like to see more), and it’s an interesting page. This book is generally driving me batty, and every time it comes out, I really do debate in my head whether I’m going to pick it up. It’s kind of vexing.

One panel of awesome:

Mr. Paul's reaction: totally priceless.

Mr. Paul's reaction: totally priceless.

SpiderWoman6Spider-Woman #6 by Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Alex Maleev (artist), and Cory Petit (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, Marvel.

It’s time for yet more ranting! I know y’all hate it when I channel Kelly Thompson, and believe me, I’m with you, because she’s, you know, a cootie-ridden girl, but that’s just what happens sometimes! So at the end of last issue, Jessica Drew was confronted by the Thunderbolts, led by Johnny Bacardi’s favorite Russian superspy, Yelena Belova. Ms. Belova, fetching as always, was attired thusly:
Fine and dandy, right? So, at the beginning of this issue, which takes place, as far as I can tell, no more than three seconds late, Yelena has somehow found the time to, um, air out a bit:
I know only crazy feminists care about shit like this, but really? Maleev did the art both times, and he thought, “Hey, she’d look better unzipped here, even though I originally had her zipped up, at least more than this!” I mean, it’s bad enough some artists do this consistently throughout a character’s appearance, but at least it’s consistent. In this comic, Maleev is saying to us, “Well, she’s about to fight Spider-Woman, and in the time few seconds between last issue and this one, the only thing on her mind was that she just wasn’t slutty enough!” I know, given Maleev’s way of putting art together, that it probably didn’t cross his mind, but given that a schmuck like me, who isn’t paid to, you know, edit comics, can figure this out (the panel in which she first appears in issue #5 is on the recap page in this issue, for crying out loud), why couldn’t Editor Lauren Sankovitch? No wonder Marvel allowed teabaggers into their comic – what exactly do editors on comics do anyway?

Story continues below

Anyway, this book continues to move like molasses, which is BMB’s stock in trade, of course. Next issue finishes the arc, and I have no idea what’s going to happen after that, but I seriously doubt I’ll be there. So little is going on, and even the overall plot itself seems dull. Jessica’s fight against the Thunderbolts contains some clever moments (she’s a lot smarter than they are, even if they’re more powerful, so it’s fun to see how she beats up on them even if she doesn’t quite defeat them), but it feels pointless. Bendis is good at bringing in wildly disparate elements that end up mattering, but when the issue-by-issue stuff is so dull, it becomes harder to care where this is all going.

It’s too bad. Bendis and Maleev on Daredevil gave us a classic run. This doesn’t even feel like a good run, much less a classic. Oh well.

One panel of awesome:

Abigail doesn't even appear in this comic, but she's the coolest person in it!

Abigail doesn't even appear in this comic, but she's the coolest person in it!

In random political news, Prince Frédéric von Anhalt plans to run for governor of California. Von Anhalt is, of course, Zsa Zsa Gabor’s ninth husband. He’s 65. Gabor turned 93 this year. She’s the ur-cougar! Von Anhalt sounds loopy. Let’s hope he wins!

Once again, it’s time to check out The Ten Most Recent Songs Played On My iPod (Which Is Always On Shuffle):

1. “Concrete and Barbed Wire” – Lucinda Williams (1998) “Somewhere in Louisiana, my sugar’s doing time”
2. “Sheela-Na-Gig” – PJ Harvey (1992) “Look at these, my child-bearing hips”
3. “The Globe” – Big Audio Dynamite (1991) “What’s the health department got to say?”
4. “Zombie Eaters” – Faith No More (1989) “Then wipe my butt and piss me”
5. “Next Year” – Foo Fighters (1999) “Lighting the way we glide by”
6. “Jerry Was A Race Car Driver” – Primus (1991) “One too many Camparis one night wrapped himself around a telephone pole”
7. “‘Til I Whisper U Something” – Sinéad O’Connor (2000) “It’s a long walk toward a good time”
8. “Don’t Wait That Long” – James (1992) “I don’t understand how our fights start”
9. “Starkville” – Indigo Girls (2002) “I spent a reckless night inside the wonder of your everlasting charm”
10. “Waiting For The Punchline” – Extreme (1995) “You might say, hey, I lost my sense of humor”

Mike Loughlin was good enough to offer me an excuse about why I might have “lame” songs on my iPod – my wife put them there. Sorry, people, these are all mine. My wife is far cooler than I am and wouldn’t be caught dead with some of the tunes I have on my iPod (others she quite likes). Of course, she digs The English Beat, so how cool can she be, really?

Let’s move on to totally random lyrics:

“Don’t you agree
The little two-tima resembles Aunt Jemima?
With jeans and a dirty white hoodie
Seems like he wouldn’t be a snake or would he?
Disguises come in all sizes and shapes
Notice the facade of the snakes
They all catch the vapes
Even though last year they was GQ”

Have a nice day, everyone!


I promise I won’t become Mr. Defend My Stuff On The Internet, but Wasp’s headpiece was waterlogged, which is why she wasn’t affected by Venus’ song. It’s in there!

Also, relating to last weeks Bought/Thought- I wanted to add to your vote on TINA LOUISE. Beat it, Dawn Wells!

But for a mini-series called “Revenge of the Vampire Dimension,” it seems like the vampire dimension gets closed off fairly quickly.

Clevinger has mentioned that this run of Atomic Robo is a bunch of one-shots rather than an arc (I believe he also mentioned that he was planning to name the run Revenge of the Vampire Dimension.) And that we should see more of Dr. Dinosaur.

Also, he’s apparently writing a secret project for Marvel that should appear this year.

When, exactly, did Kara give Mid-Nite the photos and the envelope?

This isn’t the first sealed envelope she’s received from the kid. She could have sent one of the earlier pictures to Dr. Mid-Nite at anytime in the last week.

I’m glad PG got her own series but I hope they can do more with it, Supergirl managed to get up to issue 50 of this run and seems to be going strong, surely PG is a bit more flexible it would be cool to see her take on Darksied or someone big,oh even a cyborg PG or something

My “one panel of awesome” from Atomic Robo would’ve been his rant about all new experiments having a reverse polarity setting.

Oh, and Lucinda Williams rocks. Forevermore. I may have said that in a past column, but it still excites me to know I’m not the only person on the planet listening to her. “Car Wheels On A Gravel Road” just might be the best album of the 90’s.

Thank God there was no FF this week.

I am generally with you on the subject of nudity, but Power Girl really is an exception. What makes her distinctive is the Wally Wood vibe that she has about her. That tradition is very similar to the Matt Helm films AUSTIN POWERS was homaging.

If any character in comic would be obscuring their bathing suit area from the reader with random objects, then it really is PG. The only noteworthy thing about it is that it took Palmiotti, Gray and Conner nine issues to get around to the gag. It seems like something that would have happened in POWER GIRL #1.

This volume of Atomic Robo was going to give each issue a different title, and the trade would be “Atomic Robo and Other Strangeness,” but there was a kerfuffle, and now the first issue’s title is the mini-series’ title.

A couple of verrrrrrry interesting and sexy panels there.

If Marvel did more of that, I just might pick up that particular issue.

Nice to see PG in the buff for a change.


Chakk the Barbarian.


February 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm

I’m fairly certain that the rumors of its cancellation are just that, so I’m looking forward to more goodness from this writing team. That’ll be fun, right?

Bleeding Cool had a snippet from an interview Pak did with a European site – I think – and he said there will be more Hercules.

Power Girl really entertained me this week, mostly because it is so cartoony and veering between tones. It goes from slapstick to serious well. I think if it wasn’t an artist of Conner’s skill doing the visual jokes, it would fall more on the lewd side of things instead of where it lands. I also liked Satanna’s second weapon, which plays off of the hole in PG’s costume.

Mr. Parker: Yeah, duh. I just checked, and you’re right. I’m an idiot!

Thok: I don’t recall her getting photos before. If so, then I suck. I’ll go back and check, but I’m sure you’re right and I’m an idiot. See: just above this!

Dean: Yeah, I didn’t mind the obscuring of the nudity, because it was kind of fun. I just think the wild shifts in tone, which Chad likes, don’t work for me. Which makes the goofiness with the nudity stand out even starker when we compare to Satanna’s hard-assery.

Craig: Lucinda Williams indeed rocks!

Man is that a bad cover on Spider-Woman! It’s ugly. It’s boring. It doesn’t say anything. Blech.

so greg, knowing that she got a set of photos before [ issue 6] and she mentioned she is sending them to jsa headquarters to run tests , and knowing now it makes sense…shouldnt you go back into your review and tweak it? lol…just saying…

that all said, whatever your opinion, I am glad people here are discussing it.


Sure it does– It says: “don’t buy me”, which is a pretty worthwhile message to send!

Jimmy: Yeah, I’ll have to do that. I simply forgot, ’cause I’m dim!

I tried, man, I tried.

Have you ever seen PJ Harvey play live? Holy Frijoles, it’s a religious experience.

How much slapstick is there in Power Girl? I haven’t read the book, but Conner’s art is perfect for physical comedy. PG is a pretty campy character, except for when the writers try to make her too serious. The problem with the book might be tonal. I’ve read a lot of reviews of the series that sound like the reviewer wants to like the comic because of Conner’s art, but can’t quite bring him- or herself to recommend it.


February 18, 2010 at 4:56 pm

This is the third comic in the past year in which singing is the way a battle is resolved. Just what the heck is going on around here?

The influence of Idol?

I know this probably sounds crazy to many people, but I have no interest in reading any of the Incredible Herc stuff. So many people have been raaaving about it and i’m sure that I would enjoy it if I picked up a trade but I don’t feel that I have to.
Is that crazy? It’s the same with this whole Darkest Night stuff, I have no interest in reading it. It isn’t that I don’t care, it is more of a “meh” feeling.
Someone mail me some Herc issues so I can get hooked right proper and then go buy the rest of the run in trades.

Greg: thanks for talking about the Spider-Woman unzipping fun so I don’t have to. I’m so tired of unzipped costumes…I’m beginning to think it’s some kind of mass conspiracy against “that girl who hates us unzipping all these costumes!”…but that would elevate my importance as a blogger, critic, and y’know person, to a level that I just don’t have…and never really expect to. But still…CONSPIRACY! Sigh. Not really, just the status quo.

That said, I think I’m one of the only people around that likes the Spider-Woman book (zipper issues be damned) and I think it might be because I’ve never really read Spider-Woman before, so the slow (very slow) pacing is not bothering me as much as it is others because I don’t mind getting to know her slowly. I did think the last two issues before this one were a bit off compared to the rest, but I thought this one was a little better (the Agent Brand scene in particular was great) but we’ll see how BMB wraps it up this arc. A good ending could really sell me, a weak one will likely be fatal. Now that S.W.O.R.D. is dead though, this book might be a good way to keep Agent Brand around in some capacity though.

Power Girl, Oh Power Girl…what can I say. I love you, I hate you. You’re the best drawn thing I read. You’re often funny. But I can’t show you to my friends…we have to date in secret…which makes me feel icky.

I liked the slapstick-y hey I’m naked but covering things up with food (etc.) it’s an appropriate bit for PG and Conner sells it as almost nobody can…but this same team went to that same well in the Terra miniseries…and so again I end up feeling a icky about it…again.

Hercules: Death of an Avenger is 2 issues, followed by Amadeus Cho: Prince of Power. If iHerc comes back, it won’t be until the fall.


February 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm

i’m sure that I would enjoy it if I picked up a trade but I don’t feel that I have to.

You don’t have to pick it up, but it’s your loss if you don’t.


February 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Hercules: Death of an Avenger is 2 issues, followed by Amadeus Cho: Prince of Power. If iHerc comes back, it won’t be until the fall.

iHerc is gone, but it become POP.

Other interviews (including one at CBR) have made it look like Prince of Power will be a limited series, with iHerc returning afterwards.

I don’t think you have to feel “icky” about liking that comic, Kelly. It just shows that you’re not a humorless reactionary just because you speak out against some of the bad stuff involving women in the comics. And I think the writing and art in that comic is so often playful and light hearted that it’s tough to take it seriously enough to get mad at it.

I gave up on Spider-Woman. I suppose I kind of spoiled myself by watching the whole poorly-voiced motion comic on Hulu, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s just not that good. Of all the great books Marvel has published and currently publishes…this one still survives AND manages to get a wiggly-talky version along with it? It’s a joke.

Agents of Atlas: I know Mr. Defend My Stuff On The Internet (I kid because I love) mentioned the explanation the comic gives for Venus not affecting the Wasp, but I could swear that you’re right, and that in the past her powers have been inconsistent against women. I’ve always kind of liked the idea that some people might be immune to Venus’s powers for reasons consistent with how her powers work, the most obvious candidates being anyone completely tone deaf, or people with absolutely no sexual interest in women (and, of course, robots and presumably the deaf are immune). I always think powers seem more realistic when they’re as inconsistent as real life talents (I’m watching the Olympics right now as snowboarder afte snowboarder wipes out; no matter how good you are at something, nothing works every time).

Power Girl: I don’t think she was hiding herself from the reader. Haven’t you ever accidentally walked in on someone changing their clothes, going to the bathroom, or getting out of the shower? I’ve been on both ends of that, and believe me, not once has the naked person ever just shrugged and continued to strut around nude. You frantically cover yourself and scurry away as fast as your naked legs will carry you, while whichever person is most at fault (usually it’s the person who barged in on the naked person, but sometimes it’s the person who has naked somewhere they shouldn’t have been) says, and I quote, “Sorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorry.” Then, once you emerge, fully clothed, from hiding, you both try to pretend it never happened.

Hercules: SPOILERS – The first time I read that, I assumed the difference was that Herc was hitting Typhon in the face, while he’d previously hit him in the back (and under the circumstances, it didn’t occur to Typhon to try to shift his body so the blow connected with the breastplate). Looking back at it, the panel where Herc’s blow bounces off is kind of vague as to whether Herc’s hitting him in the head or the back; if he’s supposed to be hitting him in the head the first time too, then maybe the Aegis requires some kind of conscious activation on the part of its wearer (like characters with force fields – you don’t necessarily have to see the attack coming, but you have to be “on the defensive”) which Typhon forgot about.

ZZZ: Yeah, I get your explanation about Power Girl, but it seems like she would simply turn and run for it, not stop to grab food from poor Mr. Paul. But your explanation works.

I wonder about the Aegis too. I don’t remember if it needs to be “activated” by the wearer, although that’s a fine No-Prize explanation. I didn’t think the hitting him in the back worked, because you’re right – the panel isn’t clear. Oh well – it’s not too big a deal, just something that nagged me.

Oh yeah…

Spider-Woman: I totally didn’t notice the wardrobe change between issues. You know, I don’t mind cheesecake at all in comics. I think it has its place as long as it’s not done in a creepy, beer commercially “this is all wimmen’re good fer” way. I’m the first person to pull out the “no one complains about Namor running around in a Speedo” argument. I think it would actually be as inappropriate to do a Power Girl or She-Hulk or Caitlin Fairchild without some humorous loss of clothing as it would be to do a Spider-Man comic where no completely random bad luck stirkes Peter Parker simply for a “Wah-wah” moment.

I say that to say this: If the zipper thing struck me as bad (and it did) you know it was bad. What, did Black Widow take a really deep breath between panels or something? Was the zipper in the process of falling down when we first see her? If we saw the panel before she stepped off the ship, would her outfit be zipped all the way up to her chin? For that matter, why did her entire hairstyle change?

‘Have you ever seen PJ Harvey play live? Holy Frijoles, it’s a religious experience.’

Agreed, awesome live!

Though Herc’s death was a given fromt he solicits, etc, they still managed to surprise me with how it happened, exactly. That was a heartbreaking scene.

I had no idea Hercules was going to die, but I’ve never seen any solicits, have no idea where one finds them, and am not totally certain what they even are.
I’m sick of characters dying and coming back all the time, though.

You described Yelena Belova as ‘fetching as always’. I’ve only seen her twice, but one of those was New Avengers Annual #1. She was quite hideous in that. She also died in that story, but clearly it didn’t stick. Will somebody PLEASE stay dead!!

I had no idea Hercules was going to die, but I’ve never seen any solicits, have no idea where one finds them, and am not totally certain what they even are.

They are sales listings that tell you what’s coming out in a few months and tease the plot. CBR runs them every month. This blog is hosted by CBR. I figured all our readers read the frontpage…

I think I looked at the front page once or twice about a year ago. I started coming to Comics Should Be Good because I found a link to it somewhere (don’t remember where), and after I’d seen it a few times and realised how great is was I kept coming back. But I always type ‘Comics Should Be Good’ into the search, so that’s what I go straight to.
(I remember now– partially. The original link was to one of the Legends columns.)

And that is what I assumed solicits were. I just wasn’t certain.

joe looks pretty good

Thank you for “Mistadobalina”!!!

Ok, here’s the thing about Hellblazer. I originally had the same qualms about John’s obsession with bringing Phoebe back (and using any means necessary to win her over the arc before). Yes, he cared about her, but John’s lost people just as close before and soldiered on, and there was nothing to show us where this was coming from with this relatively new character. But looking back over it, especially a few of his conversations with Epiphany (who more or less comes right out and says it), it’s not about Phoebe it’s about John. It’s almost textbook mid-life crisis stuff. John is starting to realise he’s alone and he’s pretty much screwed up any chance of having a normal life and relations. He’s obsessing with Phoebe because he thinks it’s getting close to his last chance at this. This ties in with all the age jokes getting thrown around. For the most part John hasn’t been shown aging into towards his 50s (where he should be), but Milligan’s taken an interesting approach and is actually writing John to act his age, or at least how a self-involved bastard his age would act. John of the early Delano stuff wouldn’t act this way because he was ten to fifteen years younger and not faced with growing old like this. In that light, I think this is actually a pretty innovative way to use the character.

Bill: I actually don’t read the CBR front page all that much. It cuts into my time-wasting time!

Mary: My description of Yelena was partially in jest. I haven’t seen all her appearances, granted. Perhaps she’s not always fetching!

Johnny P: You’re welcome!

Dave: Yeah, that seems what Milligan is going for, and that’s why I think it’s worth continuing reading the book.

The comic actually ISN’T called Avengers vs Agents of Atlas, either on the cover or the indicia. It seems that Marvel has started to rebrand the team. It is just Avegners vs Atlas.

Dang, Rusty, you’re right. That Marvel – pretty sneaky! I just saw the logo, knew what the first issue was called, and didn’t even check. Well, at least they’re getting the jump on rebranding!

Not sure if this was covered in the comments already, but originally this Volume of Atomic Robo was called, Atomic Robo & Other Strangeness.

There was a communications snafu and the original title of the first issue became the title for the entire mini-series. So no, no more vampires in Vol.4 =)

Del is the man, (and a Funky Homosapien). The Deltron 3030 project is an album I always come back to. And because I still haven’t read any of the comics we both bought this week (still catching up on last week’s after snowpocalypse), here’s my iPod’s last 10:

“Fireworks” – Siouxsie and the Banshees
“Take me (Back) to You” – Cracker
“I’ve Found a New Baby” – Django Reinhardt
“Hand Over Fist” – Rush
“You’re Gonna Die” – Thought Riot
“The Kind” – Steve Earle
“Beyond Love” – The The
“Tan dificil” – Federico Aubele
“Grind” – Alice in Chains
“Johnny Strikes Up the Band” – Warren Zevon

So, as you can see, I totally respect & appreciate your “no excuses” presentation of your playlist!

Actually, given recent developments in Thunderbolts, that might not be Yelena Belova at all.

Are the Ax and Slash sound effects in Hercules possibly a reference to 80’s “heavy metal wrestlers” Demoliton?

As someone who’s been reading since the blogspot days, my link is to the CSBG page; very occasionally I’ll check out the CBR front page FROM here, but I *never* go there first to get here.

I tried POWER GIRL #7 and stopped with that issue, because the plot didn’t make any sense, whether or not the story was supposed to be humorous. The comments on PG #9 indicate that, like the previous two issues, the story is about people reacting to Power Girl’s bodacious body and fighting the body (I skimmed thru PG #9 on the rack and noticed how, um, pivotal the cutout was in the plot).

I don’t see the point in claiming that Power Girl is actually a good character, with a respectable secret identity, a heroic persona, etc., when the stories end up being about her body. The hypocrisy is insulting. Power Girl is, essentially, a superhero version of Little Annie Fanny, but with more brains than Annie had and clothing that stays on. If the comic is to be written for adults, instead of the easily amused, then have her fight villains who can tear off her costume so that the bodacious body can be exposed in all its glory. Otherwise, get rid of the cutout, downsize her breasts, and stop writing stories for people who get turned on by PG-rated stripteases.


For my money, the two best things published this week were collections of old stuff: Volume 4 of The Starman Omnibus, further collecting James Robinson’s great series from the 1990s, and Fantastic Four: In Search of Galactus, one of the best FF stories ever. It wasn’t written by either Stan Lee or John Byrne, but the guy who did write it has had a pretty good career…

[…] Comic Book Resources Yay! A new Atomic Robo series! Good times! […]

Leave a Comment



Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives