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What I bought – 9 March 2011

She told him about God, who resembled her strongly, an amiable, loving and sad person given to losing things, and dropping things. He it was, struggling to hold aloft so much, that fumbled and let fall their mother from out his tender embrace. (John Banville, from Doctor Copernicus)

This cover is a LOT more exciting than the interior! I hate to say this, but this is a terrible cover, although Gleason's signature is placed nicely Why are robots always grumpy? J. H. Williams III can pretty much do no wrong! Gosh, I wonder Not a hoax!  Not an imaginary issue! Not a hoax!  Not an imaginary issue! This issue would be a lot better if Lee Moyer painted it! That cover is totally creeping me out, man! Yay!  She gets a name! Man, that cover is awesome! Mullet alert! That's just good advice for any situation Gene Ha phones in another cover I like how they both have shit-eating grins It's a good thing she's not naked, brother!

I’m in a really bad mood this week, as real world stuff keeps intruding on my enjoyment of ridiculously-clothed figures jumping around hitting each other! Damn it!!!!! I was deciding whether or not to even do this post, but then I thought that one reason I love blogging is because it allows me to ignore the real world, at least for a little while. But I’m still grumpy. Oh, and Peter King is an asshole. So I might be more caustic than usual, even though I did like plenty of books this week. Forgive me!!!!

Batgirl #19 (“The Lesson: Tunnel Vision Part One of Two”) by Bryan Q. Miller (writer), Ramon Bachs (artist), Guy Major (colorist), and Dave Sharpe (letterer). $2.99, 20 pgs, FC, DC.

Dustin Nguyen’s name is on the cover, but he doesn’t draw this issue. Instead, Bachs steps in, and the art takes a step down. I don’t have too much against Bachs, but compared to Nguyen (and even Pérez, who filled in two issues ago), he’s like a meal at Carl’s Jr. compared to one at Higgins. Damn, Higgins is a good restaurant. A waiter there got me into Scotch, for which I will be forever grateful. Anyway, Miller’s script is no great shakes, either – unlike the previous two issues, which were very self-contained, this one ties into issues from before I was buying it, so I had to figure things out a bit. That’s not too big a deal, but the writing also lacked the verve of the previous two issues. It wasn’t a bad issue … but it wasn’t anywhere near as good as the previous two. Oh well.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Maybe it means it will have less porn ... OR MORE PORN THAN EVER!!!!!

Batman and Robin #21 (“Tree of Blood: Dark Knight vs. White Knight Part 2 of 3″) by Pater J. Tomasi (writer), Patrick Gleason (penciller), Mick Gray (inker), Alex Sinclair (colorist), and Patrick Brosseau (letterer). $2.99, 20 pgs, FC, DC.

Well, this is absolutely gorgeous, because Gleason is, you know, good. The weird killer is murdering relatives of Arkham inmates, because … well, who the hell knows – there are crazy people in Gotham, in case you haven’t figured that out yet. But that’s not important. What is important is that he hangs wooden figurines of various Arkham inmates on a tree and then quotes Thomas Jefferson for no good reason whatsoever, and Gleason’s drawing of the tree is phenomenal. I mean, everything he draws in this book is phenomenal, but that’s really neat. Tomasi’s story is okay, I guess, but not as portentous as he seems to think it is. But it’s fine. It lets Gleason show off.

I’m getting madder and madder about Arkham and its stupid place in the DCU. I mean, the revolving door policy is one thing, but doesn’t anyone ever point out that the people in Arkham may or may not be insane, even though they’re supposed to be? Dan Slott is the only one who ever exploited this idiotic caveat, but I’m thinking of the various people who have never been shown to be insane in any way, yet they’re in Arkham. And I’m sure this bad guy will turn out to be “insane” as well, but how on earth is killing the relatives of the inmates supposed to do anything? Things like this make me angry at comics. Grrr.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Damian continues to be awesome!

Batman: The Brave and the Bold #5 (“Man-Hunted”) by Sholly Fisch (writer), Rick Burchett (penciller), Dan Davis (inker), Gabe Eltaeb (colorist), and Travis Lanham (letterer). $2.99, 20 pgs, FC, DC.

I’m not honestly sure who Johnny DC books are supposed to be aimed at. I mean, they’re charming comics, and some of them are really, really good, but they’re certainly not aimed at adults (adults, of course, are far too sophisticated to enjoy goofy romps like this, preferring instead to get their enjoyment from crap like Jennifer Blood). I guess they’re aimed at kids, but what age kids? I mean, I haven’t tried to read these to my five-year-old yet, and I’m sure she’d enjoy them, but I don’t know. As we know from Axe Cop (which Dark Horse constantly reminds us is written by a six-year-old to the point where I think they do it as to make it review-proof, because if someone dares not adore Axe Cop, people can yell at that person and tell them they’re a big jerk because how can you not adore something written by such a clever six-year-old … but that’s just a theory), six-year-old boys really like gore. My five-year-old daughter likes gore, for crying out loud. Over the weekend I bought her a small Moon Knight action figure (why? because Moon Knight is FUCKING AWESOME!!!!) and she has already teamed him up with a female doll to fight hyenas, by which she means one of our more passive cats. Unfortunately, the hyena (or wolf; it’s unclear) stabbed the girl with a sword and left her for dead, bleeding all over my coffee table. Two other dolls were trapped in a volcano (by which she means a wrought-iron candle cylinder we have on the coffee table), where presumably they were about to be overcome by lava. So Norah likes things bloody! She’d enjoy reading this comic, I suppose, but when she’s playing by herself, people are always getting killed. And she’s a sweetie! What about those five- and six-year-old psychopaths who like the Enema Man and Snoop Poopy Poop Dogg? Those are the ones you really need to look out for!

Oh, yeah, this comic. Guy Gardner and Batman fight the Manhunters, and then Batman fights Lobo, off-panel (see below). There’s a weird little creature who makes fun of Guy (it’s a funny gag). The Manhunters say “No man escapes the manhunters” a lot (to be honest, I would have been happy if that’s all they said). Exeunt.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Johnny DC Batman loves his jokes!

Batman, Inc. #3 (“Scorpion Tango”) by Grant “It took me three months to come up with the Tango of Death, bitches!” Morrison (writer), Yanick Paquette (penciller), Pere Pérez (artist), Michel Lacombe (inker), Nathan Fairbairn (colorist), and Patrick Brosseau (letterer). $2.99, 20 pgs, FC, DC.

You know what? Fuck Grant Morrison. You want to spiral down into a circle-jerk of DCU historic wankery and constantly comment on Batman’s history, fine. You want to give up writing anything that resembles original content because you’re so obsessed with fucking Bat-Mite and “Robin Dies at Dawn!”, fine. I’ll fucking read it, because Grant Morrison on autopilot is still more interesting than 90% of comic book writers out there, plus DC seems to finally figuring out that maybe, just maybe, you should give him some good artists rather than Tony Daniel and Ryan Fucking Benjamin. Fine. But if you’re going to sit in your room surrounded by your issues of 1950s Batman walking around town in the daytime while Commissioner Gordon appoints him an honorary policeman and guys ineptly try to drop giant typewriters on him, at least crank out a fucking 20-page script in something less than three months, all right? Jesus.

Who am I kidding, though, right? BRUCE DANCES THE MOTHERFUCKING TANGO OF DEATH! That’s the fucking shit right there. But how about in April, we get an issue of this comic, hey? Or would that be too much to ask?

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Man, I WISH those existed!

Booster Gold #42 (“Perforations”) by Keith Giffen (writer), J. M. DeMatteis (writer), Chris Batista (penciller), Rich Perrotta (inker), Hi-Fi (colorist), and John J. Hill (letterer). $2.99, 20 pgs, FC, DC.

Booster meets the Perforated Man in this issue while he’s in prison, and if you don’t know who the Perforated Man is from the moment he shows up, you really, really need to put away your comic books, turn in your nerd card, and start … shit, what do non-nerds do for fun? Beat up nerds? Drink a lot of Old Milwaukee? Watch bass fishing on ESPN? Whatever it is, you need to start doing it, because if you didn’t figure out who the Perforated Man is the moment he shows up, you’re not a very good nerd. Hey, but on the plus side, maybe you’ll get laid more often! But probably not by hipster girls with cute spectacles and definitely not hipster superheroines. Sorry!

Anyway, here’s the big problem with this issue. It ends with Booster dying at the end of time. It’s supposed to be dramatic, but it fails utterly because we already know that Booster does not die at the end of time. So what was the point? I know that ending with Booster dying isn’t really supposed to be dramatic, because he’s the hero starring in a book called Booster Gold, but it still seems like we’re supposed to at least think he’s dead. But he’s not. But … whatever.

I should point out, as I have before, that the term should not be “leprosy” but “Hansen’s disease.” I know that “leprosy” is more common, but it’s also pejorative and incorrect most of the time, as people call things leprosy that aren’t actually leprosy. I know Giffen and DeMatteis made up a disease, but still. I’m grumpy, remember?

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Yeah, that can't be fun

Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island #3 (of 4) by Warren Ellis (writer), Raulo Caceres (artist), and Digikore (colorist). $3.99, 28 pgs, FC, Avatar.

Speaking of late motherfucking comics, it’s Captain Swing! Now, I don’t know whose fault this is – based on what I know, I tend to blame Ellis, but I could be completely wrong – but I know we’ve had some controversy here on the blog before where people feel that comic book creators “owe” them comics while others think we should take what we get from on-high and fucking like it! I’m kind of torn, because on the one hand, I don’t think I’m owed anything by any comic book creator – I like to think I have a fairly fulfilling life without getting too bent out of shape that I’ll never see another issue of The Forsaken. (Remember The Forsaken? Dang, that was some cool Kristian Donaldson art on that sucker. I wonder what happened to it?) What I don’t like is when creators start something and don’t finish it, yet they continue to work on other things. It’s not like Ellis hasn’t been working, and if he really needed the money so badly to fuel his chapeau addiction (the dude loves his hats!), he shouldn’t have begun a series that might – might – sell 1000 copies of each issue, if he’s lucky. I mean, that’s fine if he wants to spend his time once again deconstructing superheroes (because he hasn’t done that eight thousand times already) … but don’t start something a bit different and then abandon it. If Caceres is to blame … well, I don’t know much about Caceres, so I can’t really rant, can I? I can understand something like our next selection being late, because the creators aren’t as big as WARREN ELLIS and the book seems like it’s fairly labor-intensive, but when something like this is late, it bugs me. When I write my epic comic book about the grand history of famous and notorious toe nails, I’ll be sure to explain why something is late. That is, I’ll always BLAME THE ARTIST!!!!!!

Because this is a pretty keen comic. I mean, it’s full of socialist-utopian crap that gets nicely deflated by our hero cop (whose name escapes me, as it’s been, you know, a while), but Ellis does a nice job balancing the ranting on both sides with some realism on both sides. It’s a nifty little comic, and if I were Ellis, I’d be much more interested in writing this than fucking Supergod. “Ooh, superheroes are actual deities! How radical!” Blech.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Testify, brother! ... Oh, wait, is he the bad guy?

Comic Book Comics #5 by Fred van Lente (writer) and Ryan Dunlavey (artist). $3.95, 31 pgs, BW, Evil Twin Comics.

Comic Book Comics #4 came out in November 2009. So why am I not angry that this book is coming out in March 2011? Well, for one, each issue is pretty much self-contained, so it’s not like Van Lente left us with a big cliffhanger. Second, I can’t imagine either creators making any money on this book – in fact, I have to believe they lose money on it, even though it’s in black-and-white on old-school paper, so it’s probably as cheap as possible to produce – so they have to make a living somehow. Third, each issue is chockers with factual information that I’m sure it takes a while to dig up, so this probably takes longer than your regular comic book to write and draw. I wrote about all these things when issue #4 came out, but it’s still true!

I can’t be grumpy about Comic Book Comics, because it’s such a fun book. Even though most comic nerds will know about the ins and outs of the superhero legal wrangling presented herein, I didn’t know about the Air Pirate Collective’s attempts to get Disney to sue them (in which they were successful), so that was fun. Plus, Dunlavey and Van Lente take a shot at dickish comic book fans who thought the heirs of Siegel and Shuster were being greedy in 2008. That was a pretty sad period for comic fandom, I have to say.

Comic Book Comics rocks. You know it’s true! Its writer has an entire day devoted to him at this very blog! I know no one reads my posts, but dare you go against the Dread Lord and Master?!?!? He can sterilize you with his laser eyes! He can cause you to think Peter King isn’t an asshole just by thinking about it! He can steal your hipster girlfriend away with his vast comics knowledge and that twinkle in his eye! Dare you cross him?!?!?!?!?

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Well, if those guys are okay with it, that eases my conscience!

Honey West #3 (“Murder on Mars Part One”) by Elaine Lee (writer), Ronn Sutton (artist), Ken Wolak (colorist), and Marshall Dillon (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Moonstone.

I wasn’t impressed with the first two issues of this series, but I had pre-ordered issue #3 before issue #1 came out, so here it is. Lee’s story isn’t terrible – Honey goes undercover as an extra on a cheesy science fiction movie set to find out who killed the star – but Sutton’s art is amateurish and robs the story of any spark. I’m not getting issue #4, so it doesn’t really matter, does it? Honey gets to have fun, leave-the-high-heels-on, feet-over-the-shoulders-of-the-dude sex, though, so that’s good for her!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

There really ought to be more ocelots in comics

Jennifer Blood #2 (of 5) (“My Heart Will Go On”) by Garth Ennis (writer), Adriano Batista (artist), Rob Steen (letterer), and Romulo Fajardo Jr. (colorist). $3.99, 23 pgs, FC, Dynamite Entertainment.

The second issue of Jennifer Blood is slightly better than the first, but when the first sucked so hard, it’s kind of difficult to to get any worse, although I wouldn’t put it past Ennis to try! But at least in this issue, we get a little backstory about Jennifer and she doesn’t sound quite so much like an idiot as she did in the first issue – in fact, Ennis makes her a bit more of a bitch in this one, which is a bit refreshing (she thinks her son is stupid, for instance, which, while it’s terrible parenting – even though she doesn’t say it out loud – is at least something odd and interesting about her). The best part of the book is when Jennifer makes mistakes in her planning and has to improvise just a little, or when she’s explaining how she’s going about doing things as she stalks her prey. This issue isn’t quite as poorly written as the first issue, but it’s still Ennis showing us how stupid people are, and when we have so many examples from real life, why would I want to read about it? Plus, he introduces yet another cliché – the next-door neighbor who wants to cheat on his wife with Jennifer! Oh, so clever! So daring! How does he do it?

So, yeah. This probably won’t turn out to be the worst comic of the year, but it’s fairly dull. Plus, the art still sucks. Have fun, Jennifer Blood. I won’t be back!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Feel the love!

The Li’l Depressed Boy #2 (“That’s Not My Name”) by S. Steven Struble (writer/colorist/letterer) and Sina Grace (artist). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, Image.

There’s no reason why The Li’l Depressed Boy should work. I mean, LDB is a freakin’ sock puppet, and he’s such a doofus he doesn’t even have the stones to ask the girl of his dreams her name (it’s Jazmin, as we find out at the end of the issue when she finally calls him on it). There’s no real plot – he gets all gloomy because he doesn’t know her name, sees her at the comic book store, plays video games with her, goes bowling with her, and gets embarrassed when she calls him on not knowing her name. Grace’s art is good but not dazzling. Jazmin gets angry and says only “hipsters” bowl at the bowling alley while she’s wearing plaid pants and was earlier wearing a hunting cap – in other words, she herself is a hipster!!!!! (I honestly don’t know why hipsters keep coming up in this post. It’s kind of weird, innit?) For some reason, though, it works. It feels true. It’s silly and nervous and awkward and cute, just like any budding romance. And I loved the fact that LDB throws a bowling ball onto the lane, because I used to do that (although I never got thrown out of the bowling alley, just told I couldn’t do it). The only thing really wrong with this comic is that because Struble begins it in the middle of the webcomic, we never get a sense that LDB is, well, depressed. I mean, he meets a girl in the first issue! But that’s no big deal – for whatever reason, after two issues, The Li’l Depressed Boy works. You can’t say that about every comic book, I’ll tell you that much!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

She has a point ... but still, who likes to wear used bowling shoes?

Magus #3 (“From the Ashes Part 3″) by Jon Price (writer), Rebekah Isaacs (artist), Charlie Kirchoff (colorist), and Ed Dukeshire (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, 12-Gauge Comics.

I don’t really have anything bad to say about Magus, except that I wonder: Why did Darius think he could outrun a dragon? Okay, maybe he could outrun the actual dragon, but he watched it breathe flame, and I’m pretty sure that would be a lot harder to outrun. He’s kind of a dimwit, ain’t he?

Anyway, I guess the only bad thing I have to say about Magus is that I can’t believe a lot of people are reading it, and so instead of doing this comic for as long as Isaacs and Price want to do it, I’m sure she’s going to get lured away by the Big Two so she can feed her family and/or take crochet lessons. So I blame you – yes, you, over there reading that crappy Wolverine issue that has his 50th appearance already this year instead of buying this charming comic. Do you really need another shitty Wolverine comic? Really? Jesus, that’s sad. I mean, I like Wolverine as much as anyone, but come on! I don’t begrudge anyone going off to The Land Where Companies Pay You Money To Draw Comics, but we don’t have to make it so easy for them, do we? Come on, there’s a dragon battling helicopters over New York on that cover! How can you resist? Kelly Thompson will look more favorably upon you if you buy this comic, and who doesn’t want that?

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

She certainly needs help with her self-esteem!

The Northern Guard #2 by Ty Templeton (writer), Sam Agro (writer), David J. Cutler (artist), and K. T. Smith (colorist/letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs + 8-pg “Red Rogue” reprint, FC, Moonstone.

I like how Nanook Iluak, the furred-bikini-wearing goddess of the North, inhabits the body of a woman named Anne Knight, who’s dating John Canuck, but Nanook herself has no interest in Canuck. It’s a weird love triangle! Plus, Nanook doesn’t see anything wrong with flirting with other members of the team. Good times!

In case you missed the first issue, which came out some time ago, a weird Russian dude caused a electrical failure over most of the world except in Canada and a bit of the United States, and in that area, a lot of people got superpowers. Now the Russian dude is back, and the superpowered Canadians think he’s going to finish the job but we know he’s trying to restore everything. Here’s what I don’t get: Why doesn’t Dimitri just pick up the phone, call the Prime Minister, and say he wants to make amends? This is the classic “The bad guy isn’t really the bad guy but the good guys think he is” scenario, and I get that maybe, if he called them, they wouldn’t listen, but it had to be a smarter idea than invading Alberta, right? Maybe not. It’s a fun comic, but it feels like the central conflict is a bit forced.

Speaking of Templeton, he recently posted a funny Charlie Sheen bit on his blog. Oh, Charlie. You might be out of a job, but your legacy lives on. Maybe he could remake The Chase with Lindsay Lohan this time. I’d totally watch that.

And since it’s a Canadian comic, I can mention hockey. Despite their recent woes, the Flyers are totally going to win the Stanley Cup and deny it our northern neighbors once again. Suck it, Canada!!!!!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Why wouldn't you believe the electricity-generating dude who's wearing a radiation suit while floating on a huge chunk of earth with a bunch of soldiers standing behind him?

Sherlock Holmes: Year One #2 (“Why This is Violence”) by Scott Beatty (writer), Daniel Indro (artist), Tony Aviña (colorist), and Simon Bowland (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Dynamite Entertainment.

After issue #1, which was a self-contained story, I suppose the rest of this mini-series is going to concern itself with one case, which is fine with me. It’s a perfectly okay comic – two people are killed, pieces of paper with inscriptions written upon them are stuffed in their mouths, Holmes investigates. The timeline is a bit off, I think – according to Leslie Klinger, who is given “special thanks” on the inside cover and who edited my annotated Sherlock Holmes, “The Musgrave Ritual” (which Watson mentions obliquely) was, chronologically, the second case Holmes solved in the canon, and so it fits into the “year one” framework, but it occurred before Holmes met Watson and even before Watson returned from the Northwest Frontier, so Watson probably didn’t know enough about it to explain to the police that Holmes could be useful. In the actual story, it’s clear that Watson has known Holmes for some time before he learns the details of the case. But, it’s all fictional anyway, so who cares, right? I just wanted to dazzle you with some of my meager Holmesian knowledge. Is that a fucking crime??????

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Well, he's cheery

Starborn #4 by Chris Roberson (writer), Khary Randolph (artist), Mitch Gerads (colorist), and Ed Dukeshire (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Boom! Studios.

What’s kind of fun about this comic is that Roberson can just keep coming up with weird shit and explain it away by having Benjamin, our hero, claim it was all part of his science fiction epic, so it doesn’t have to make a lick of sense! Dragons that fly between the stars and carry passengers in their bellies? Why the hell not? Witches who carve cities out of giant trees? Sure! I’m not entirely sure how the dragon breathes fire while Benjamin, Tara, and the dude who rescues them are sitting in his mouth and doesn’t, you know, kill them, but that’s why it’s a comic book, man! (There’s an episode of Phineas and Ferb – the greatest kids’ show currently on television – where Doofenshmirtz is fighting Perry the Platypus while both of them are in giant robots. Doofenshmirtz originally gets in a giant Queen Elizabeth robot while Perry gets in a dragon, but he (Doofenshmirtz, that is) asks to switch because he thinks the dragon is cooler. Of course, Queen Elizabeth has all sorts of cool weapons, while the dragon … shoots fire out of its mouth, which is also where the cockpit is placed, so Doofenshmirtz gets severely burned. Watch Phineas and Ferb, people – it’s awesome.) I imagine at some point Roberson will have to slow down and ‘splain some things, but until then, it’s full speed ahead!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Now THAT'S a threat!

Superboy #5 (“The Superboy/Kid Flash Race”) by Jeff Lemire (writer), Pier Gallo (artist), Jamie Grant (colorist), and John J. Hill (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, DC.

You know, this isn’t really a race. Superboy and Kid Flash run around for a while, stop and talk on top of a pyramid, even fight some crime while they’re “racing,” and in the end, Krypto wins the damned thing anyway (oh, um, SPOILERS). I guess that’s not really the point – it’s more of Lemire continuing to build this mystery about Lori Luthor and the weird things happening in Smallville – but it’s kind of a cheat. I don’t care, really – the last thing I want to see is an actual race between these two, but I just wanted to point out that it’s not really a race. And Beast Boy’s name isn’t “Garth.” And while I’m sure Conner wasn’t serious, why, after two people have broken up, does the man still feel he has proprietary rights to the woman? Bart jokes that he should ask Cassie out, and Conner says, basically, that he’ll kill Bart if he even looks at her with lust in his heart. What the fuck, Conner? She doesn’t belong to you. But I like the mystery, so I can overlook the bad stuff in the issue.

Gallo doesn’t draw running people very well, which is kind of annoying in an issue where the two main characters spend a lot of time running. The final shot of them racing toward the finish line, with Bart’s huge ass dominating the panel, is drawn well, but other than that, it’s kind of dicey. Also, I had noticed this in other issues but this one it seemed more prominent – does everyone have a weird tint to their skin and eyes? Everyone has a bit of a pallor and it seems like too many of them have red-tinged eyes, as if they’ve been indulging in some herbal medicine for their glaucoma. What’s up with Grant’s coloring on this series? It’s bizarre.

I think next issue is the Doomsday one. Man, I bet that will suck. I will probably buy it, and I really hope Lemire ties it in somehow to the rest of the weirdness in Smallville. That would at least mitigate the idiocy of having Doomsday in this comic.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

More people should call Ravager 'Patch'

Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #1 (of 5) (“Colossus of Mars: The Celebration”) by Arvid Nelson (writer), Carlos Rafael (artist), Carlos Lopez (colorist), and Marshall Dillon (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Dynamite Entertainment.

I do like how that tiny bit of gold means that her ass is not naked, even though you can’t see the gold thong part going down her ass crack. I don’t care, but the fact that the Arthur Adams “risque” cover for this issue (which shows Dejah Thoris’s bare breasts) was too nekkid to be displayed but this one is fine cracks me right the fuck up.

This is actually a bit better than the main title, which is interesting. First of all, Rafael is a better artist than Antonio, and I think even if Sadowski had stayed on the book, Rafael’s art might be better. He has a cleaner line and a better sense of detail, so Mars looks a bit more fleshed out in this book than in the main title. Dejah Thoris is still dressed ridiculously, of course, but Rafael dresses everyone scantily, so she doesn’t look too out of place. The fact that her betrothed is a bit portly was nice, too – he’s not a prime example of manhood, but he’s far nicer than the rest of his family. The comic looks pretty good, which is a good thing.

Nelson has always been better at plotting than scripting, and that’s in evidence here, as he gets us into the mechanics of Martian politics very well while keeping the dialogue simple and expository, without any real zing to it. He does end on a pretty cool cliffhanger, though, which gets back to his plotting skills. I do find it humorous that, according to the inside front cover, which purports to be the words of Edgar Rice Burroughs (and they might actually be so), Martians don’t age once they reach maturity, yet Dejah’s grandfather is clearly the oldest one around, and her father is clearly older than she is. Wouldn’t everyone look about 20 years old, even if they were a grandfather or father?

Anyway, this is a solid first issue. I imagine you can get it without getting the main title, because it does, after all, take place 400 years before that one. So there you go.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Dissed by his dad!

You’ll notice I bought 16 comics this week and not one of them was from Marvel. That’s really strange. I’m sure that will change in the coming weeks, but it’s kind of weird. Nothing was really looking terribly great from Marvel this week, and I’ve already decided I’m getting something like 5 Ronin in trade.

I don’t feel like listing songs this week or doing a movie quote. I’m still in a bad mood, even after reviewing all these comics and calming down a bit from the shitty day I had. I’ll try to be in a better mood next week, but I can’t promise anything!

I’d also like to continue to lobby for the return of tags. I’d like to point out that even after their redesign, Robot 6 still has tags. I miss tags. They’re cool.

I apologize once again for the shittiness of this post. Comics still rule, but sometimes things just get in the way. Don’t judge me too harshly!!!!

27 Comments

You really should have picked up Venom. With the return of Jack ‘o’ Lantern and art from Tony Moore it was a must have.

I hope things get better with you, Greg. No offense, but this post was rough. You still rock, though! :-)

Pete Woodhouse

March 11, 2011 at 5:49 am

Who is Peter King (brother of Juan?) and why is he bothering you so, Greg?

Tom Fitzpatrick

March 11, 2011 at 6:46 am

Man, you’re bitchy this week. Probably for good (or bad) reason. Good thing you have this blog, where you can vent your spleen, unload your uber-sarcasm to the nth degree.

Maybe you ought to cut down on the batty books. Too much batman is bad for the mood. That drawing of Damian looks like he’s a silly bloody wanker.

I only got Jennifer Blood this week, and oddly enough, I tend to agree with you that this book is rather dull.

Maybe next week you’re get out of your slump and back to your funky loving mood.

Anonymous: I looked at it, but decided to pass. First, Moore won’t be on the book all that long, so I can always get a trade of only his work with Remender if I really want, and second, I didn’t like the way the art was reproduced. It looked a bit blurry, and not intentionally. It wasn’t as crisp as Moore’s art usually is.

Dude: Yeah, sorry. I tried to be a bit cheery, but I kept getting dragged back down.

Pete: Peter King is the Congressman from New York who is holding hearings in Washington to drag Muslims in to explain why they’re not doing more to combat terrorism, even though Muslims have provided by far the most tips about American terrorist plots since 2001. He’s just a grandstanding ass, and when he’s a big supporter of the Irish Republican Army, I don’t think he has much moral standing to accuse law-abiding Americans of not doing enough to combat terrorism.

Tom: I don’t think it’s odd that you agree with me about Jennifer Blood. Even though I’m in a bad mood, I can still recognize less-than-stellar comic books when I read them!

This wasn’t as good as your usual but still a very fine piece of work, better than most of what I see on comic blogs. Glad you didn’t let your mood overly affect your output.

Pete Woodhouse

March 11, 2011 at 8:18 am

Greg: thanks for the reply. Speaking as someone who was less than 2 miles away when the IRA decided to let loose a huge bomb in the City of London, I can understand your rage at hypocrites!
Hope your mood brightens!

“The Musgrave Ritual” (which Watson mentions obliquely) was, chronologically, the second case Holmes solved in the canon, and so it fits into the “year one” framework, but it occurred before Holmes met Watson and even before Watson returned from the Northwest Frontier, so Watson probably didn’t know enough about it to explain to the police that Holmes could be useful. In the actual story, it’s clear that Watson has known Holmes for some time before he learns the details of the case. But, it’s all fictional anyway, so who cares, right?

“Who cares?” Clearly you’ve never seen two of the Irregulars going at it. They invented the flame war back in the 1950s, when you had to have them using letter columns in fanzines. Of course, they had more of a sense of humor about it than your average message-board poster does today. There was a famously silly one with Rex Stout where he claimed Watson was actually a woman, just to see how many readers’ heads he could explode.

I’m probably going to get this in trade, so I haven’t read it, but something seems seriously wonky about that timeline. Watson wasn’t present for the events of either “The Gloria Scott” or “The Musgrave Ritual,” the first two cases Doyle tells us about. He found out about them YEARS later, when Holmes was telling Watson about them in order to stall Watson’s efforts to get Holmes to tidy up his papers. (Holmes really was a pretty aggravating roommate.) It’s certainly not a deal-breaker… the usual dodge in these pastiches is to claim Doyle’s Watson got it wrong, either deliberately or accidentally. It does make me wonder though.

Me likee hipster girls with giant glasses, so me glad you posted.

Have a hug from me, Greg. *HUG*

RE Marvel: Check out Hawkeye: Blindspot. The second issue just came out Wednesday. Jim McCann has been doing a bang up job writing some Hawkeye!

For what is worth, and even though we had that discussion about Ennis a few weeks ago, I also think that Jennifer Blood is boring. I completely agree with you on that one.

There was one panel in B&R 21 that bugged me, I think it was the first splash page were B&R were saving the mother and daughter. Robin was drawn absolutely jacked. Bugged me for the rest of the issue.

Ed (A Different One)

March 11, 2011 at 9:28 am

Ah, politics. That explains the mood. I used to be quite a politics buff in my late 20′s to early 30′s. I listened to NPR all day, watched news feeds, read political journals, all out of a heady sense of responsibility to remain informed about the issues that were shaping the world around us. Oh, and to have a POSITION man, a f’in POSITION on things.

Needless to say, I was really unhappy during my late 20′s and early 30′s until I finally wisened up, realized that politics were making me miserable, and that politics didn’t usually revolve around “real” issues anyway – just grandstanding for votes, manufactured into “infotainment” by the media feeds and overall just one big mess of a tilt-a-whirl carnival ride that shakes you up and spins you around leaves you dizzy and confused and after a while that’s no longer an exhilerating feeling and makes you want to puke up your milkshake and corndog. Dude, politics are bad for you – take a break. I certainly understand why you’re worked up by the Peter King issue – but your right – he’s just grandstanding. If people quit paying attention to him, maybe he’ll quit and actually start tackling real issue (I know that’s naieve, but I’ve come to the conclusion that withholding my attention from these assholes is the only worthwhile things to do).

Anyhow, I am sorry for your mood but I must admit that it made for a lively post once in a blue moon. I think it’s entirely healthy to just say “fuck Grant Morrison” at least once or twice a year (yeah, even though he’s awesome and still makes the best comics out there even on his worst days) and we could all stand to do it a little more often. Very cathartic and purifies the blood.

We should have an “angry week” where all our posts and articles are written from an angry state of mind. We should put everyone on notice not to take it too seriously and just vent like shit. I bet we’d get some fresh perspective on things and make some observations we normally wouldn’t make in our “normal” state of mind.

Some Stupid Japanese Name

March 11, 2011 at 10:23 am

Quite the potty mouth today!

RE: Ellis
How are the new issues of Fell and Desolation Jones coming?
Ellis used to be to me what Morrison seems to be to you Mr. Burgas. But between the quite lackluster minis he’s always putting out and the Let’s Regurgitate The Same Concepts and Formulas Ad Nauseum that has been the majority of his output since he left The Authority, I’ve turned to Atheism.
I’m sure one of the many, many books he churns out these days must be brilliant, but I’m not up to wading through all the other stuff to find it, and then to only have it fall off into the aether somewhere in the middle of it’s story, never to be seen again.

I’ll take you task on Phineas and Pherb being the best kids show. That title goes to Flapjack.

That superboy cover was terrible, pier gallo is really starting to put me off of that book

also, i heard Booster Gold may be on the chopping block, and i was actually kind of relieved. I really enjoyed the first couple of trades of it, but it faltered later on. I kinda hope they let it run till issue 50 and give the book a nice send off and booster a happy “ending”

Ed: Actually, the Peter King thing just came up this week, and as I was already in a bad mood, it didn’t help. I try not to get too bugged by politicians being idiots, so that just kind of added to what I’m already going through, which is much more personal. Like you, I used to get bothered more by politics, until I realized how idiotic everyone in politics is.

Greg: Yeah, I know the Irregulars take it very seriously, which is why I went out of my way to point out that it’s meaningless. It’s fun to delve into the Holmesian universe, but some people never come back out!!!!!

Travis: Hey, no problem. I figured you’d appreciate the links!

JGLJR89: As McCann keeps writing mini-series, I figure I can wait for the trades, especially as they’ll probably be priced a bit less. I’ve heard good things about them, and I usually like the art, but I know they’ll be in handy book form, so I don’t feel any rush to get them.

Some Stupid Japanese Name: I’ve given up on Fell (Desolation Jones didn’t impress me as much). It’s annoying, but obviously it’s not that important to Ellis. I agree with you that it’s harder to find his good stuff, and I think Captain Swing is one of those, so the fact that it’s taking forever is vexing me.

AW: Gallo might be putting you off the book, but only his interior art, as that cover is drawn by Eddy Barrows.

1. Just because a hot girl wears glasses, it doesn’t mean she’s a hipster.

2. Where do non-hipsters go bowling?

3. Geez Burgas, you really botched the scan of that Batman & Robin cover (tee hee).

4. Feel less shitty, Greg. The world needs you.

And Beast Boy’s name isn’t “Garth.”

Maybe it’s Aqualad dressed up as Beast Boy. I knew he couldn’t stay dead for long.

Actually Joe H, the best kids programme just now is the UK’s ‘Rastamouse’.And yes it’s as awesome as it sounds

Sorry about your foul mood, but it really did not come across in the piece at all.

HONEY WEST looks moderately interesting. An unknown creative team banging away at a story set in an obscure (non-superhero) corner of pop culture seems like the sort of thing that the old school indie publishers would have done.

I kind of loved that period in comics. Ronn Sutton even a bit like one of those B-list First Comics artists from the ’80s.

Out of the comics you got this week, the only one I got was Magus. I also got Turf (two weeks late). You can’t blame me for the series not lasting long, I have been buying it from issue #1. Good stuff.

funkygreenjerusalem

March 11, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Dustin Nguyen’s name is on the cover, but he doesn’t draw this issue. Instead, Bachs steps in, and the art takes a step down.

Man that annoyed me.
It was the last comic for me to read of the week, I enjoyed the cover, was looking forward to more Nguyen, and instead, I got Bachs.
Yuck. That’s not only false advertising, it’s mean!

If you read the first few issues of Azrael Greg, you’d be as puzzled as I am that he’s still getting work.
He’s gotten twenty times better from those issues, yet he’s still not great shakes.

Tomasi’s story is okay, I guess, but not as portentous as he seems to think it is. But it’s fine. It lets Gleason show off.

I think I’m out after next issue – the arts much better this issue, but Tomasi just isn’t a writer who interests me that much.
I didn’t mind his GLC, but that was mostly fleshing out/playing with Johns concepts.
B&R just isn’t interesting now.
Hopefully after the Winick fill in they’ll swicth back to Cornell!

The second issue of Jennifer Blood is slightly better than the first, but when the first sucked so hard, it’s kind of difficult to to get any worse, although I wouldn’t put it past Ennis to try!

How high were you when you read it?
This was worse than the first issue – it was funny, nor was it shockingly violent or bring up any emotion whatsoever.

Plus, he introduces yet another cliché – the next-door neighbor who wants to cheat on his wife with Jennifer! Oh, so clever! So daring! How does he do it?

That’s much less than a cliché than anything else in the book so far, or what most of the other comics this month had going on in them.
I actually think it could lead to a few laughs, if not her lives getting mixed up.
On the fence as to whether I’ll be reading it or not, though.

I keep thinking when reading the book that if he’d given her an almost 1950′s ‘ideal’ woman’s type narration, the series would work better – there’s just not enough juxtaposition between her housewife life and her killing people life.

The only thing really wrong with this comic is that because Struble begins it in the middle of the webcomic, we never get a sense that LDB is, well, depressed.

I was annoyed to learn this was reprinting a webcomic.
Why should I pay, when I could get it for free?
But then I tried reading it on their website, and it was too stilted and disjointed due to loading times.

But yeah, it’s weird the book has the title it has – maybe they should have changed it for the printed comic… it doesn’t really suit it.

Fun book though – I liked this issue a lot more than the first.

You know, this isn’t really a race. Superboy and Kid Flash run around for a while, stop and talk on top of a pyramid, even fight some crime while they’re “racing,” and in the end, Krypto wins the damned thing anyway (oh, um, SPOILERS).

Why give away Krypto winning?
And then be glib about having done it?
You’re not Tim Callahan, so there’s no need for that.
I’m glad I’d read the comics before you posted reviews – this really would have taken some of the fun out of the issue.

I think it’s odd they stopped to talk rather than run and talk, but isn’t stopping crimes whilst racing part of the joy of these races?
Flash and Superman did it in the Superman Animated Series.

What the fuck, Conner? She doesn’t belong to you.

Yeah, but your buddy doesn’t ask out the girl you just broke up with.

They were joking, but that’s what he was saying.

I think next issue is the Doomsday one. Man, I bet that will suck. I will probably buy it, and I really hope Lemire ties it in somehow to the rest of the weirdness in Smallville. That would at least mitigate the idiocy of having Doomsday in this comic.

He’s written in Phantom Stranger and Poison Ivy, and they make less sense appearing in a Super book than Doomsday, so I reckon he could do it.
But this is going to be part of that crossover no one’s interested in, isn’t it?
That could suck… on the other hand, that Steel one-shot didn’t feel like part of a crossover, so maybe it’s all just Doomsday popping up, and people beating him… and then…. once every character has beaten him, he’ll be like Prometheus, stripped of all his bad-assness, and so people will stop using him over and over!
We win!

FGJ: Did you not read that I was grumpy? I spoiled it because, in an otherwise solid issue, it seemed like a total cop-out to have Krypto win. Plus, that’s not a real spoiler – I mean, I know it is, but if people were really all that concerned about who won, especially when it’s Krypto, then that’s just silly. If someone had told me the dog won before I read the issue, it wouldn’t have bothered me, except I would have said, “That’s kind of dumb.”

As for Jennifer Blood, I think we simply disagree on the degree of badness in the comic, which is fine. I liked it slightly better than the first because I didn’t think her narration was quite as dumb, but that doesn’t mean I thought it was any good.

The only time I’ve ever studied Bachs’ work intently is when he drew Lapham’s Detective story, and it was quite good. Since then, I’ve seen his work in places and flipped through some issues he’s drawn, but this, I think, was the first thing I’ve bought since those issues. Maybe he needs Nathan Massengill inking him?

I’ve never understood the unwritten rule of not asking a girl out if your buddy just broke up with her. Of course, I’ve never been in that situation, but it still seems silly. What if Cassie wants to date Bart? Will Conner have a problem with that? Sheesh – we like to think women engage in all the drama, but men are just as silly.

Sorry for spoiling the issue. You know I usually don’t, but I really did think it was a cheat by Lemire.

“If someone had told me the dog won before I read the issue, it wouldn’t have bothered me, except I would have said, ‘That’s kind of dumb.’ ” … I have not read the issue, but it sounds awesome to me. Makes me wanna read it more. Krypto rules.

And review of “Batman Inc.” also rules. Best part of your post! I agree with everything you wrote there, but it’s the way you wrote that really makes it snap. True, I’ll buy “Batman Inc.” whenever it comes out, but I’d be happier if it were monthly — and if DC stopped soliciting issues as if they’re really going to come out on time when clearly they’re not ! That only makes me more impatient for the Chris Burnham covers we’ll eventually get to hold in our hands.

Wow Greg, No Mercy. No Mercy. I do admit that these reviews were helpful though. Comic creators need to entertain and be fresh!

I know the writers that you ripped a new one are thinking “Hey Greg, leave us alone or i’ll do something with this glove” Ha Ha Ha

By the way, I am utterly jealous of your daughter too…she can still play with toys and not be considered weird by adults.

E. Dejuan

http://www.e2comics.com

funkygreenjerusalem

March 13, 2011 at 6:03 pm

I wonder if I may have enjoyed B&R #21 more if I didn’t read it directly after

Did you not read that I was grumpy? I spoiled it because, in an otherwise solid issue, it seemed like a total cop-out to have Krypto win. Plus, that’s not a real spoiler – I mean, I know it is, but if people were really all that concerned about who won, especially when it’s Krypto, then that’s just silly.

I dunno who would be concerned by who won, but whether you think it’s a cop-out or not, the plot of the issue, and promise of the cover, is the race, so it seems odd to spoil it.

Maybe it was a cop-out, but I thought it was amusing.
Gallo drew a really cute/funny looking Krypto when he’s receiving the adulation of the crowd whilst everyone else is chatting at the end.

As for Jennifer Blood, I think we simply disagree on the degree of badness in the comic, which is fine. I liked it slightly better than the first because I didn’t think her narration was quite as dumb, but that doesn’t mean I thought it was any good.

You don’t want a flamewar on which issue is worst?
You’re no fun anymore!

I think my biggest gripe is that I think there’s a really good concept in it, but Ennis is half-assing it.
This could be ‘Long Kiss Goodnight’ done right, but is getting done at a level below that.

The only time I’ve ever studied Bachs’ work intently is when he drew Lapham’s Detective story, and it was quite good. Since then, I’ve seen his work in places and flipped through some issues he’s drawn, but this, I think, was the first thing I’ve bought since those issues. Maybe he needs Nathan Massengill inking him?

He did the City Of Crime arc with Lapham???
What the hell happened to him then?

I’ve never understood the unwritten rule of not asking a girl out if your buddy just broke up with her. Of course, I’ve never been in that situation, but it still seems silly. What if Cassie wants to date Bart? Will Conner have a problem with that? Sheesh – we like to think women engage in all the drama, but men are just as silly.

Well, it’s a pretty standard rule you don’t start dating your buddies ex.
Especially not straight after they break up – why?
Because it’s pretty harsh on your buddy, and you shouldn’t want to do that to your buddy.
It’s not about owning someone, or someone being someone else’s property – it’s just being a good friend not to.
If something develops later, it’s all fair play, but pouncing the second they break up just isn’t cool.
You wouldn’t be stoked if your buddy started dating a girl you just broke up with – before you’re over them – so you shouldn’t do it to your buddy.
(Also, Kid Flash was saying that to wind him up).

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