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What I bought – 21 April 2010

“It is something so monstrous it is past sin and becomes necessity,” he said. (Greg Bear, from “Petra”)

Ramos' art veers between ugly and scary, I'll tell you that much! Marlo is the kind of girl who exists only in geeks' imaginations! Yeah, I'm as surprised as you are that I bought this! Oh, John, you crazy punk, you! That cover is so boring it almost puts me to sleep Gotta have a chick! Who's his tailor? The puns don't get any better inside! My vote is for this to be a new ongoing series It's only sort of part of the crossover, so I didn't have to skip it! Fine, fine comic strip excellence! It's Pope-tacular! Too insane for words! Don't resist the manga!

Avengers vs. Atlas #4 (of 4) (“Earth’s Mightiest Super Heroes Part Four”/”My Dinner With Gorilla Man”) by Jeff Parker (writer, “Super Heroes”), Jason Aaron (writer, “Gorilla Man”), Gabriel Hardman (artist, “Super Heroes”), Giancarlo Caracuzzo (artist, “Gorilla Man”), Elizabeth Breitweiser (colorist, “Super Heroes”), Brad Anderson (colorist, “Gorilla Man”), Tom Orzechowski (letterer, “Super Heroes”), and Joe Sabino (letterer, “Gorilla Man”). $3.99, 30 pgs, FC, Marvel.

AvengersvsAgentsofAtlas1AvengersvsAgentsofAtlas2AvengersvsAgentsofAtlas3AvengersvsAgentsofAtlas4

I kind of figured this series, which can’t upset the apple cart all too much, would come down to the olde-tyme Avengers and the Agents of Atlas combining to beat on the weird many-faced thing. And so it came to pass. It took a while, but basically it comes down to punching the bad guy. I’m not a terribly smart guy about many things, but Parker’s meandering through space-time and his theory of multiple timelines simply makes no sense to me. Maybe I was just distracted while I was reading this, but this just seems like a really egregious example of comic book science, and it does it set up the big punch-out. What’s nice about this mini-series is the nice way Parker writes all the characters and Hardman’s art. I knew going in that nothing much was going to happen, because it really couldn’t. But that’s cool. It was enjoyable. And the back-up stories have been pretty good, too. This time around we focus on Ken Hale, who always has to deal with people trying to kill him because then they become immortal. He’s been fending them off for so long that he knows they’re coming and he tries to convince them that immortality might not be so great if you’re trapped in gorilla form, but do they listen? Hells no! But will this latest quester be different? It’s a nice little tale that gives us some background on Ken, much like the other back-up stories have given us insight into the other agents of Atlas, building up to the brand-new series that won’t last (I’ll buy it, but I don’t know why Marvel thinks this will survive when the others didn’t – Parker must have some dandy negatives of Joey Q and Dan Buckley doin’ something nasty!).

When the trade comes out, I’d check to see if the back-up stories are collected. Without them, this is a decent but inessential read. With them, it’s not a must-buy, but it’s a bit more interesting.

One panel of awesome:

The old Avengers were really full of themselves, weren't they?

The old Avengers were really full of themselves, weren't they?

Demo3Demo #3 (of 6) (“Volume One Love Story”) by Brian Wood (writer), Becky Cloonan (artist), and Jared K. Fletcher (letterer). $2.99, 24 pgs, BW, DC/Vertigo.

This issue came out last week, but my shoppe didn’t get it until this week. So sad! But that’s just the way it is sometimes!

Without being too much of a jerk, I’ll say it’s kind of hard to review these, because they’re more like poems than anything, and poetry, for me, is very hard to discuss rationally. I mean, you can talk about whether the meter works or whether the rhymes (if there are rhymes) work or whether the imagery is boring, but ultimately, more than fiction, poetry is about hitting you on a emotional level, and if it doesn’t hit you at an emotional level, it doesn’t matter, does it? (Feel free to disagree with this sentiment.) For instance, one of my favoritest poems EVAH is Pablo Neruda’s “Enigmas”. I first heard part of it in the movie Mindwalk, when John Heard quotes it. I found it, read it, and it really gets me on a primal level. But I haven’t read it in the original Spanish, nor do I know if it scans correctly, nor do I know if it’s “good” the way people who study poetry mean (I have to imagine it is – it’s Pablo frickin’ Neruda, for crying out loud!). Demo is like that. On one level, this issue makes no sense. Marlo is an OCD-sufferer in Los Angeles who lives her life through Post-It Notes that remind her to do everything. They’re all over the place in her house and workplace, and she carries them with her where she goes. Then, one day, they change. Well, not all of them, but some of them. And Marlo’s world comes crashing down, but Wood asks us to consider whether or not this is a bad or good thing. It’s called a love story, so perhaps you can figure it out for yourselves, but if we just think about how Marlo’s world turns, it makes no sense.

But who cares? Wood is going for a mood, and he does it very well. Post-It Notes are a nice way of showing Marlo’s state of mind, and the way they change her life is well done, too. This is all about emotion, and Wood has shown that, even though he writes hard-edged stuff for Vertigo, he’s a bit of a sap (I mean that in the nicest way possible; I’m often a sap, too). He gets to the emotional core of characters, whether the emotions are horrific or tender, and that’s why it’s interesting reading his work. “Volume One Love Story” makes no sense. And that’s why it’s so good.

Oh, and Cloonan kicks ass. She matches the layouts of the book to Marlo’s emotional states, because that’s just how awesome she is!

One panel of awesome:

Oh, Marlo, let it go!

Oh, Marlo, let it go!

Firestar1Firestar #1 (“My New Life”) by Sean McKeever (writer), Emma Rios (artist), Matthew Wilson (colorist), and Kristyn Ferretti (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Marvel.

I wasn’t planning on getting this, but then I saw that McKeever is writing Young Allies, and that Angelica would be in Young Allies, so I figured that, instead of a one-shot, I would treat this as a prologue to that series, which I’m planning on getting (at least for a few issues, to see how it’s going) (and McKeever treats this as kind of a prologue, too, so there’s that). And it’s McKeever and Rios, which is a pretty good combination. I’ve liked Rios’ art on things I have no interest in reading (the Doctor Strange mini-series, for instance) and I’ve read enough of McKeever to know that his (reputedly, as I didn’t read it) bad work on the Titans books was probably due to DC’s idiotic editorial meddling rather than McKeever’s inability to write. So why not read this?

Well, it’s not bad. McKeever is going for a character study, as we get Angelica meeting up with her old tormentor from high school, Cassie Sandusky (as seen here!), who’s now an unhappy adult (Angelica’s dad is dating Cassie’s mom, which leads to the reunion). Cassie wants nothing to do with Angelica, whom she still thinks is a freak, but then circumstances intervene and the two have a heart-to-heart. The end. McKeever delves into Angelica’s cancer and how she got through it, which is fine and dandy, and it helps with her chat with Cassie, and we get a nice-if-obvious revelation about Angelica which isn’t quite as emotional as McKeever wants it to be, but isn’t bad.

Here’s the problem: It feels like a Lifetime Movie of the Week. Okay, I don’t watch very many Lifetime Movies of the Week, but they usually star people like Tori Spelling and are called “Love Will Save Your Life” or something. You know, the kind of thing Kelly Thompson just loves! McKeever skims the surface and breaks through Cassie’s resistance very easily, and it feels false. The reason McKeever can’t make this better is because it’s a one-shot and it’s for Marvel, so there has to be some superheroing and not as much deep conversation. This would be a much better comic if McKeever could have done a four-issue mini-series about the way Angelica reaches out to Cassie, but that would sell even worse than this is going to and Marvel wouldn’t want that. We get flashes of good stuff here, but it only hints at how good McKeever can be. Last year I read McKeever’s independent comic The Waiting Place (review here), which is a very good look at angsty young adults. Obviously McKeever doesn’t have the space for something like that, but that means this is a bit too facile. But hey, if it means Rios gets a higher profile there’s nothing wrong with it!

(Oh, and I should point out that you don’t face a baby that young frontward in a car seat! Sheesh!)

One panel of awesome:

That Cassie sure has a way with words!

That Cassie sure has a way with words!

Hellblazer266Hellblazer #266 (“No Future Part Two: Where There Is Discord”) by Peter Milligan (writer), Simon Bisley (artist), Brian Buccellato (colorist), and Sal Cipriano (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, DC/Vertigo.

That would be John Constantine, undercover, on this cover. Yes, he’s all punked out. He’s almost 60 and he can still kick your sorry ass!

As usual with Milligan’s Hellblazer, this is a weird issue. Milligan’s plots still don’t wow me, as he figures out what’s going on with the “new conservatives” and the statue of Sid Vicious that his punk friend worships. All ends well in the most ambiguous way possible – this is Hellblazer, after all, so does John ever really chalk one up in the win column unequivocally? But Milligan continues to be quite good with John and the people he comes in contact with – he destroys one of the young punks in this issue with a few choice words, impressing the hell out of the reader until he reveals it really wasn’t that impressive. He does this because the dude is hanging out with Epiphany and John doesn’t like it. He doesn’t want Epiphany himself, but he’s damned if she’s going with some punk! The way Milligan writes John as having no redeeming qualities whatsoever is pretty fascinating – other writers go this way, but John always has a kernal of goodness in him. For over a year, Milligan has been writing John as a complete asshole, and it’s disturbingly fascinating, mainly because John is self-aware about his jerkiness but can’t seem to stop himself. He does what he can to stop the bad guys, but his life continues to circle the drain. And what’s interesting is that unlike some other writers, Milligan isn’t turning John into a pathetic loser – he’s still doing his thing and seems to be in control of himself. He’s just being a scumbag.

This isn’t a great comic, but Milligan is really doing some very keen stuff with John and his cast. I still don’t know if he has a grand scheme in mind for the book, but each issue shows a new and dark facet to John’s personality. I hope that Milligan is doing this because John is getting older – that would be neat if he’s acknowledging his age and how it might change a person.

One panel of awesome:

Man, don't piss off the possessed Sid Vicious statue!

Man, don't piss off the possessed Sid Vicious statue!

HerculesFallofanAvenger2Hercules: Fall of an Avenger #2 (of 2) (“Fall of an Avenger”/”Greek Tragedy, Part II”) by Greg Pak (writer, “Fall”), Fred van Lente (writer, “Fall”), Paul Tobin (writer, “Tragedy”), Ariel Olivetti (artist, “Fall”), Reilly Brown (penciler, “Tragedy”), Jason Paz (inker, “Tragedy”), Terry Pallot (inker, “Tragedy”), Wil Quintana (colorist, “Tragedy”), Simon Bowland (letterer, “Fall”), and Joe Sabino (letterer, “Tragedy”). $3.99, 30 pgs, FC, Marvel.

I mentioned last issue that I haven’t always minded Olivetti’s art, which is true, but these two issues have been brutal. This one is more egregious than the last, mainly because his fumetti backgrounds are more obvious and he blends more images – water, fire, the Parthenon – into the art. It looks so, so off and takes me even more out of the story than last issue did. The writing is as crisp as ever, with some fun stuff thrown in and Amadeus figuring out how to avoid a fight with Phobos, who’s brought in as Apollo’s champion to battle Athena’s champ. This brief two-issue caesura between the end of the regular title and Amadeus’ quest for Hercules probably wasn’t necessary (the important bits could have easily been covered in a page or two), but it was fun for the Pak/Van Lente dynamic, which is always good to read. I really hate blasting a creator, but Olivetti’s art is just terrible. I can’t imagine anyone buying a series long-term with him on art – it was a struggle for me to get this, and I love the Van Lente/Pak Hercules/Amadeus series. He’s a professional, long-standing artist on high-profile books, yet this issue looks like something someone slapped together stealing images off the Internet and using Photoshop to blend them together. I know of some artists who do this if they haven’t been around for a while, but usually they have the courtesy to do it in a black-and-white comic where the photographs don’t stand out quite so much. The fact that Olivetti does this in a Marvel comic is offensive to anyone who actually bothers to, you know, draw things. I don’t know if I’m more angry at this than I am at your standard Greg Land comic – Land swipes images of people, and as far as I can tell, Olivetti doesn’t do that. But the stiffness of the figures, the poor choreography, and the terrible clash between background and foreground is just as bad as what Land does. I just can’t believe Marvel allows these “artists” to get away with this. I dropped Uncanny X-Men because Land just was too much to overcome, especially when Fraction just wasn’t writing it terribly well. Luckily, Reilly Brown is drawing the Prince of Power mini-series that follows this, because even though I want to read it, I wouldn’t if Olivetti was drawing it. If you didn’t buy this, go into a comics store and look at it. It will make you sad.

One panel of awesome (only for the words, not the art):

Heh.

Heh.

(There’s an odd panel in this comic. Amadeus tells Athena off, and in the background, Phobos is standing behind Pluto, who’s lying on the ground. Skaar stands over Pluto, about to beat on him. Phobos asks Amadeus, “Hit it?” and Amadeus answers, “Hit it.” Then Phobos messes with Pluto’s brain on the next page. What do they mean in that panel? Van Lente and Pak have to know what “hit it” means, and why would Phobos refer to Pluto as an “it”? It’s just a weird scene. Double-U Tee Eff?)

JoetheBarbarian4Joe the Barbarian #4 (of huit) (“Inventoria”) by Grant “I come up with undead Raggedy Men while I’m screwing your moms, fanboys!” Morrison (writer), Sean Murphy (artist), Dave Stewart (colorist), and Todd Klein (letterer). $2.99, 24 pgs, FC, DC/Vertigo.

Speaking of artists who actually draw stuff, Holy Mother of All That’s Good and Holy, Murphy’s art on this series is phenomenal. I know everyone is gushing about it, but it’s so worth gushing about. We get a couple of pages of Joe’s house, which seems to grow bigger inside each issue, as Joe finds it more and more difficult to make it downstairs (to the cellar, of course, as was implied in issue #1), and it’s very cool. But the real impressive stuff is when Joe goes to the stronghold of the weird scientist dudes who were watching him last issue (who aren’t bad guys, just cowards – they take a vow of cowardice, in fact!). It’s an amazing place, and the double-page spread when Joe and Jack approach it took my breath away. It’s just stunning, and the fact that it has fingerprints on it makes it even more impressive – Joe’s prints, of course, as this is one of his toys. And when the Deathcoats (killer robots) arrive, it’s a very cool action scene that ends the issue and introduces a new cast member, Zyxy, who doesn’t want to remain a coward and has built a groovy glider. Every issue ratchets up the visual magnificence even more, and I love it when an issue comes out so I can drool over Murphy’s art.

Morrison’s story isn’t bad, either. As always with him, when the weirdness is tempered with solid characterization and a decent plot, Morrison blows pretty much every other writer out of the water. And although we get stuff like the square root of eye of newt, we also get funny stuff like what the dwarves are doing in the absence of the big guy who went with Joe (whatever his name is). There’s some weirdness in this issue, but Morrison is telling a nice tale, too, which means the weirdness doesn’t overwhelm anything.

I’m always excited for a Morrison comic, but this is so much better than his work on Batman and Robin (which is quite good) that it’s kind of sad it won’t sell anywhere near what that does. Oh well. If only a few people who buy every single Bat-related book gravitate toward this because of Morrison, it’s a good thing.

One panel of awesome:

So you best leave your soiled underpants at home!

So you best leave your soiled underpants at home!

PlaidAvenger2The Plaid Avenger #2 (“Battle for Burma”) by John Boyer (writer) and Klaus Shmidheiser (artist). $4.00, 32 pgs, FC, Walton Press.

John Boyer, professor of geography at Virginia Tech, has created this character to help teach the world about the magic of … geography! Okay, it’s a little more than that, but bear with me. He sent the first issue to me (and some others here at the blog; someone reviewed a while ago) and now the second issue has shown up, so I figured I’d give it a whirl. Boyer wants to use his hero to illuminate some of the geopolitical issues facing the world these days – the first issue was about the scramble to exploit the Arctic, and this one, as you might be able to figure out from the cover, is about Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese dissident who has been under house arrest by that country’s military junta (I love the word “junta” – when I rule the world, I will be the leader of a junta, damn it!) for most of the past 20 years (she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991). The Plaid Avenger, who in his civilian identity is a college professor, flies to Burma in order to attempt to break her out of prison. He doesn’t, of course, because Dr. Suu Kyi chooses to stay in the country and fight for freedom there, but in the meantime, Boyer explains all about the situation in Burma going back to the days of the British in the nineteenth century. That is, of course, the real point of the book.

This is more entertaining than your standard lecture about Burma, but it’s still a lecture, and your enjoyment of any particular issue of The Plaid Avenger (well, of the two I’ve read) is directly related to how interested you are in the topic. Boyer has some very weird things in here, as in the sexist (and possibly illegal) way the professor talks to his assistant and the fact that while he’s in the Burmese jungle, he wants a drink for some “liquid courage,” but his effort in bringing stuff like this to our attention is appreciated. If you’re trying to teach no-good short-attention span kids with their iPhones and their Xboxes and their fancy wristwatches something, you might as well do it in comic-book form, and this gets the pertinent information out. Shmidheiser isn’t a great artist, but he’s decent, and he tells the story well. And, of course, he has some fun with the fact that the hero wears plaid all the time. As in, there’s a plaid jet. Keen!

This is the kind of comic I can’t imagine you wanting to read for entertainment, but I think it would work in a classroom to get kids to at least learn that there’s a country called Burma where there’s a sucky dictator who rules by thuggery. Why should you care about Burma? Why shouldn’t you, punks? Huh?

One panel of awesome:

When you're writing a lecture, you should always throw in a tiger attack to spice things up!

When you're writing a lecture, you should always throw in a tiger attack to spice things up!

PowerGirl11Power Girl #11 (“Terra Alert!”) by Justin Gray (writer), Jimmy Palmiotti (writer), Amanda Conner (artist), Paul Mounts (colorist), and John J. Hill (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, DC.

Gray and Palmiotti were really milking the “Terra/Terror” puns, I’ll tell you that much.

At this point, there’s not much to say about this. Even though it’s not getting cancelled, next issue is the last one I’m buying, so I’m going to have more to say about it after issue #12. I’m glad that Kara tried to reach out to Ultra-Humanite, both before the fight and after the fight, because I always like it when heroes try to resolve things without fighting. Of course, there’s still plenty of ass-kicking in the issue, but it’s not through lack of trying on Kara’s part.

Conner’s art is wonderful as usual, and as always, the book wouldn’t work without her. There’s nothing wrong with Palmiotti and Gray’s scripts, but with a few nice exceptions (the aforementioned attempts by Kara to work things out peacefully), it’s standard superhero fare. Not bad, but nothing great, either. Still, this will form a nice year-long story when it’s all said and done. There’s nothing wrong with that.

One panel of awesome:

Yes, Kara uses her heat vision to laser off Satanna's arm.  Because comics!

Yes, Kara uses her heat vision to laser off Satanna's arm. Because comics!

ProdigalEggofFirstLight2Prodigal: Egg of First Light #2 (of 2) (“Chapter Three: Why Byron Don’t Dance”/”Chapter Four: Why Byron Hates Contracts”) by Geoffrey Thorne (writer) and Todd Harris (artist). $4.95, 48 pgs, FC, Ape Entertainment.

I don’t get the release schedule of this comic. The first issue, which contained two regular issues, came out last week. The conclusion came out this week. Huh? There’s no doubt this was finished quite a while ago, so why not release it in a different format? Either release it as four issues monthly, the standard way, or put together a complete package, charge ten bucks for it, and you’re gold! I assume it’s because releasing things in two formats means two sources of income, but that seems awfully silly, as this book isn’t going to sell very well anyway. It makes no sense. I don’t really care, because the entire series is quite good and I’m glad I didn’t have to wait too long after the first part to get the conclusion, but it doesn’t seem like an efficient way of releasing this series. I’m sure Ape Comics has its reasons!

Either way, this is a really entertaining series. I mentioned last week that the set-up is thus: Pae Mei Jacinto and Byron Lennox, retrieval specialists who get anything you want – and in this case, they’re hired to retrieve an egg that, if opened, will end the world. Byron got sucked into another world chasing the crooks, and in this issue, he finds that things are not as they seem – unsurprising, of course, but Thorne has some fun with it. Lennox fights dragons, Jacinto deals with the problems with the original contract, and it’s a rousing adventure with some nice humor. Lennox is far more important than he realizes, and this becomes an important plot point. All’s well that ends well, of course, and Harris does a nice job drawing it all up.

As I wrote last week, this is fairly paint-by-numbers, but what makes it so good is the fact that Thorne and Harris are having a blast doing it and that they pull of the execution very well, which is where these kinds of things usually fall apart. I would love to read an ongoing with Jacinto and Lennox retrieving shit from all over the world – the way Thorne writers them, they have a very nice relationship, playing off each other for the humor and relying on each other’s strengths to get them through the problems. This is just an enjoyable comic – nothing more, nothing less. I doubt if we’ll see more of Jacinto and Lennox, but I do encourage you to find these issues or the trade (if it appears) and give it a read. It won’t change your life, but it will make you smile. And that’s a good thing.

One panel of awesome:

I was going to go with the Megan Fox joke, but this is pretty keen

I was going to go with the Megan Fox joke, but this is pretty keen

XFactor204X-Factor #204 by Peter David (writer), Valentine de Landro (penciler), Pat Davidson (inker), Jeromy Cox (colorist), and Cory Petit (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, Marvel.

I haven’t been reading (or caring much at all about) “Second Coming,” because it’s just a big ol’ mess of crossoveritis, which might have been fun back when comics cost one thin ducat but aren’t so much when Marvel is gouging away. But … um … Bastion? Really? Bastion? All the people writing comics these days were reading Marvel X-books back in the Nineties, and they couldn’t have through Bastion was a good character, could they? I mean, Joey Q was still drawing merrily away back then, and he couldn’t have thought Bastion was good character, could he? He’s not any kind of “classic” character that they’re honor-bound to drag back every so often, is he? I mean, Magneto has become boring as all hell, but I understand why they feel the need to bring him back all the goddamned time. I just don’t get the appeal of Bastion. Jesus.

The nice thing about X-Factor is that presumably Peter David has enough clout to keep his pet team largely out of it. I mean, Bastion tries to kill them, but it’s not continued from anything and continues in this issue next month. Plus, David continues the South American subplot, and even that’s Bastion-related. As usual, it’s a fine issue, with an obvious fake-out at the end, but one that’s still set up nicely. I’m just happy to keep reading David’s fun little niche title. As long as they keep Hope and the larger storyline out of it!

One panel of awesome:

Because he's awesome, assholes!

Because he's awesome, assholes!

100% TPB by Paul Pope (writer/artist/toner), Lee Loughridge (toner), and John Workman (colorist). $29.99, 253 pgs, BW, DC/Vertigo.

As you might recall, I’ve never been a huge fan of Paul Pope, but I’m willing to be convinced. I figure if this can’t convince me, nothing can! I’ll tell you what, it looks freakin’ awesome. I’m sure I’ll have a review up fairly soon. I can’t read everything the day it comes out!

Bloom County: The Complete Library volume two, 1982-1984 by Berkeley Breathed. $39.99, 297 pgs, BW/FC, IDW/Library of American Comics.

Just buy this. It will make you happy.

Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead TPB by Steve Pugh (writer/artist/letterer) and Warren Ellis (crazy idea man). $14.95, 114 pgs, FC, Radical Comics.

I read the first three issues of this, but never saw the fourth around (and Gianluca Glazer of Radical didn’t send it to me). This is the first comic from Radical that I’ve actually bought, because the first three issues were excellently bizarre. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if Pugh had to stop doing Shark-Man, I’m glad he did something almost (but not quite!) as insane.

Ooku: The Inner Chambers vol. 3 by Fumi Yoshinaga. $12.99, 227 pgs, BW, Viz Signature.

It’s not too late to start reading this! I reviewed the first two volumes here, in case you’re interested. Our own Danielle Leigh reviewed them as well – volume one and volume two. I’m sure she’ll review the third volume soon, too. I’ll read it when I read it.

I should point out that Bill Reed’s interesting solicit information fails to take into account page counts, as a few commenters pointed out. That’s why I give you page counts, because I care about you! See how much I care! Marvel and DC might be gouging you, but you can always check out the page counts to see how badly they do it!

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

1. “(Thinking and Wondering) What I’m Gonna Do” – King’s X (1996) “I am so easily deceived”
2. “Woman in Black” – Foreigner (1981) “I was hypnotized by the sudden temptation”
3. “Rock Rock (Till You Drop)” – Def Leppard (1983) “‘Cause your mama don’t mind what your mama don’t see”
4. “Captain of a Shipwreck” – Neil Diamond (2005) “Was tempest tossed, now I sleep soundly”
5. “Love Beats Me Up” – Australian Crawl (1983) “She’s no disguise and it’s no surprise she’s all I know”
6. “Sexx Laws” – Beck (1999) “Running buck wild like a concubine whose mother never held her hand”
7. “The Desperate Kingdom of Love” – PJ Harvey (2004) “And I’ll follow you, into Heaven or Hell”
8. “Policy of Truth” – Depeche Mode (1990) “Hide what you have to hide, and tell what you have to tell”
9. “The Kilburn High Road” – Flogging Molly (2002) “As the North Wind blew with its head of thunder, beating its breast with a war drenched song”
10. “It’s a Mistake” – Men At Work (1983) “Is it on then, are we on the brink?”

Last week, nobody got the totally random lyrics. I’m disappointed in you 1980s nerds, as the lyrics were from “Do the Donkey Kong” by Buckner & Garcia of “Pac-Man Fever” fame. Come on, people! Sheesh. How about we check some other totally random lyrics?

“Imagine yourself as a cloud in the sky – you pass me by and I blow you a kiss
A thinking cloud, so you’re wondering why, only to find out it doesn’t exist
Life surrounds what’s presumed as wise – it wouldn’t be wise until the fist uncurls
No one I don’t know ever stares in my eyes, because of the quote unquote real world”

Come on, that’s easy!

Every once in a while I direct your attention to the blog I write about my daughters, and I’m doing it again now. Here’s the link if you want to go check it out. The reason I’m pointing it out is because this past Sunday was the seventh anniversary of the car accident that caused her injury, so every year I recap what’s been going on over the previous twelve months. It might be a gloomy day, but I don’t want to be depressing – she’s making too much progress for that! I hope you give it a read, although I understand why you might not want to.

Have a nice day, everyone!

21 Comments

I’m surprised you didn’t read Brave and the Bold. I tried out this week’s issue and was surprised at how good it was (without saying any spoilers for a one and done issue).

100% is my hands down favorite thing by Pope that’s currently in print.

That X-Factor panel is nice.

I thought about getting Brave and the Bold, because Chiang’s art was so good. I’m a bit leery of JMS, though. But perhaps I’ll have to go back and get it, especially as it’s one-and-done.

Is that PM Dawn?

It’s nice to know that Peter David can manage to get a decent story out of a lousy crossover. I guess. I haven’t actually read it yet, but the review doesn’t sound too bad.

Yay!! They’re finally doing a complete Bloom County! What took them so long? I never understood why so many strips were left out of the original books in the first place.

So Firestar is going to be in Young Allies? What’s Young Allies? I love Firestar, but she’s meek and quiet and naive and difficult for some writers to handle. You say this story deals with a girl she knew in High School? Which High School– the Massachussettes Academy, or the dull, ordinary one she attended in New Warriors? I figure it’s probably the latter, huh? For some time now I’ve been imagining a scene in my head, in which Angelica is just hanging out with some friends and the topic of school principals comes up. And when asked about her old principal, this quiet lass says, ‘Oh, she paraded around in a white leather corset and a fur cape, carried a riding crop, spoke with a fake English accent– You know the type.’ I can just picture her friends’ expressions.

I’m so sorry, OriginalGreg, but I lost a lot of respect for you when you said Doctor Strange was something you had no interest in reading. (At least you like Emma Rios, though, so I still have some respect for you.)

“Batman: Year 100″ is freaking great. The new issue of Demo is a charming, indie fantasy.

If you can’t see that, then I’m sorry, but I can’t take you seriously as a person…

Momar: Yep, it’s Paper Doll.

Mary: The first Bloom County volume came out a few months ago. I’m glad they’re committed to getting them all out (I believe there will be five of them). Young Allies is a new team book by McKeever that’s coming out as part the whole Heroic Age thing. Five younger heroes doing their thing. It might last a year. And Cassie is from Angelica’s first high school, the one in New Jersey. Sorry I just wasn’t interested in the Doctor Strange mini-series – Strange isn’t my favorite character, and it just didn’t sound that great. Who knows – maybe I’ll check out the trade and pick it up. We shall see.

Matt: Why did you think I didn’t like Demo? I thought it was very charming. I don’t know what you mean by “indie” – it’s not an independent comic, as it’s a Vertigo book. And why do you think it’s a fantasy? Why couldn’t it have actually happened, but perhaps with some embellishment, as I noted? If you read what’s on the page, it doesn’t make sense. That’s all I wrote. But if you accept that some things are metaphorical, it’s a nice comic. I’m not sure what you object to in the review. Sorry!

Greg– I was kidding pretty much with the Doctor Strange remark. Sorry. It’s just that I really love Doctor Strange, and I was a little disappointed that you don’t. But I didn’t really mean to insult you over it. I was just being overdramatic.
Sorry. This has been haunting my conscience for the last couple of hours.

Most of my comment was written in jest, but I didn’t get what you meant by Demo not making sense. The embellishments were the Post-Its definitely because it takes a certain leap to believe that they would be everywhere they appear. But the love story makes sense for me. She finds someone through the Post-Its and takes the “relationship” to another level by meeting this person. Wood did this in Local (I believe) but with Polaroids instead of Post-It notes. The “indie fantasy” comment is due to my reading of the character as an ideal, quirky, “indie” woman. Wood is great at depicting these kind of characters that I think to be an indie-minded person’s fantasy/dream.

I would suggest taking a look at JMS’ Brave and the Bold. Each issue has been a one and done featuring an odd-pairing: Batman/Dial H for HERO, Batman/Brother Power the Geek, Aquaman/The Demon. Most of the art is by Jesus Saiz, who I fell for due to his OMAC/Checkmate stuff. This latest one is well-done by Cliff Chiang.

That “I come up with undead Raggedy Men while screwing your moms, fanboys!” line was your best one yet, Greg! :-)

I completely agree with you regarding the Olivetti art. In fact, I think one the things that you mentioned on the previous issue regarding the reaction that Wolverine and Namor had when the elf queen was talking about the Elvish Tickler failed because of the art, that drained all the comedy out of the scene.

Oh, and is Prince of Power a mini-series? I thought it would be an ongoing.

Hit it appears to be a reference to Phobos power of fear. Pak/Van Lente could have gone with “turn it on!” but I guess they wanted more of a classic rock feeling.

I just read the first issue of Hercules mini last night and you have a point. Although I felt Olivetti’s art worked for that issue (not well, but not horrible) since there was little action involved, I’d have to say that I would steer cclear of any comic that he drew unless it was like the case here (one and done or two and done).

Matt: I definitely agree with you that it takes a leap to believe the Post-Its showing up all over. That’s why I originally wrote that it didn’t make sense, because if you read it on a strictly literal level, it doesn’t. But that’s why it works emotionally, because it makes sense that Marlo’s life would change so dramatically through the very thing that keeps it rigid in the first place.

Mary: Don’t let it haunt you! I took it with a grain of salt!

Dude: I’ll have to check, but I thought Prince of Power was a mini-series. Marvel doesn’t do a great job of labeling mini-series in Previews – sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t – so I’m not sure.

Bastion is a sentinel that looks like a human that wants to kill mutants. What more do you need out of a villain?

Can’t wait for the next part of Second Coming, and 100% is friggin’ AWESOME!!!!!!!

Is that “Prodigal” girl shooting The Maxx?

Willie Everstop

April 23, 2010 at 10:26 am

Bastion’s appeal is simple:

Bastion is a giant mutant hunting robot from the past merged with a time-lost mutant hunting robot from the future using magic from Merlin’s extra-dimensional daughter. Recently Bastion’s head was retrieved from SHIELD custody by mutant hunting religious fanatics who were led by a long dead X-Men villain who wasn’t really dead. The new mutant hunting robot had his head put on the body of a past version of the original mutant hunting robot from the future which the fanatics were using to make public predictions and also hunt mutants. This new Bastion searched the ocean floor for the exiled spawn of a techno-organic alien king and used it to bring back all of the mutant hunters who have ever died. Their new plan is to hunt some mutants.

Simple.

This was my favorite issue of Demo yet, if only because Cloonan’s art, which is always pretty much exceptional was maybe the best I’ve ever seen. That alone drove the story, which was plot wise not as strong, to the top of the pile for me. But I’ve been loving all of these.

X-Factor. Hopefully there will be some explanation in the next issue (and in fairness I just started reading this again) but I really had a problem with the whole “we’re pretty good at being unseen” cut to they’re tracking someone on mountain roads in a massive hummer and park about twenty feet away from the cabin as if they are magic and can’t be seen. Yeah, real subtle guys.

I’m with you on Bastion Greg, that storyline is when I quit reading X-Men in the 90’s…not because of Bastion specifically but the way that all ended/wrapped up was so ridiculous. Hopefully this is not an equal let down…because it took me nearly 10 years to come back from it last time.

I mostly agree with you on your Firestar comments…but I’ll save the rest for Monday I guess.

I want that Paul Pope 100% TPB so bad!

Cliff Chiang drew the latest Brave & the Bold? Crap — I haven’t bought a comic in close to 2 months, but I’m going to have to break that streak.

I have a bad habit of giving people the benefit of the doubt (in this case, that would mean believing no one actually thought Bastion was a great character until evidence to the contrary starts piling up) but my perhaps-overly-optimistic take on it was that they just wanted to dredge up every single anti-mutant “end boss” type for this particular storyline, and it would seem odd to bring back the Leper Queen, William Stryker, and Cameron Hodge (and several others) but leave Bastion out of it. It’s like, just because someone gets an invitation to their class reunion doesn’t mean anyone liked them. As for why he’s in charge, Bastion’s not exactly going to take orders from Greydon Creed or Bolivar Trask.

And like Padro Tejeda said: I’m pretty sure “hit it” just meant “do it,” “get to it,” “you’re on” or whatever variation of “do the thing you’re waiting for the cue to do” tickles your fancy.

Woohoo! A new Bloom County volume!

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