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CSBG Archive

What I bought – 5 September 2012

“It’s sex, isn’t it? We can’t deal with it. That’s why our religions hate it so much. It wants to save us from ourselves. If we don’t have any certainties, we can’t trust ourselves.” (Graham Joyce, from Requiem)

That kind of sucks, getting eaten by your own dinosaur arms like that RAGE! Well, at least we know how to pull a bow now! Symbolism! So sad! Everyone needs a boot in the face every so often! MORE RAGE! I'm not sure what Alex is doing on this cover, but whatever

Avengers Academy #36 (“Final Exam Part 3 of 4″) by Gage, Di Vito, and Sotomayor (there are no credits inside the book, so I’m using the cover credits). $2.99, 19(!) pgs, FC, Marvel.

Avengers Academy #39 is the final issue of this series, and this is #36, so fuck it, right? It certainly doesn’t matter – Marvel doesn’t even care anymore, as they don’t bother to put credits inside the book and presumably fuck Joe Caramagna right out of any credit for his work. Fuck that guy, amirite, Marvel?

Either way, I’m not exactly going to miss AA, but I do think it sucks that it’s getting cancelled. That’s the way it is, though, so we’ll just have to move on. This is a fairly typical issue of AA, in that Gage does some very nice character work (culminating with that nice panel below) and then gives not only Mettle his powers back but also gives White Tiger and Reptil their powers back, too. We knew it was going to happen, and Gage does a pretty good job with it. As it’s part 3 of 4, of course we have to end with the bad guy seemingly winning, but we know he won’t win, so fuck that guy, amirite?

Oh, and 19 pages? Fuck you, Marvel. No wonder I hardly buy any of your comics in single issues anymore. Jeebus.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Awwww!

Foster #2 by Brian Buccellato (writer/colorist), Noel Tuazon (artist), and Troy Peteri (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Dog Year Entertainment.

Scheduling note: Foster #1 came out last week. I’m just sayin’.

Issue #2 gives us some more answers about what happened in issue #1, especially with regard to Ben. The end of issue #1 kind of gave it away, but in this issue we get confirmation about what’s going on with him (and no, I’m not going to spoil it, so I’m sorry if I’m vague). Tuazon is quite good on this issue – there’s a wonderfully brutal fight early in the issue that shows how fragile Vintage City – as we must call it now – really is, and he does a very good job with the interactions between Foster and Ben. Tuazon and Buccellato (the colorist) have really given this book a nice, gritty, dirty look – perfect for the tone of the book and the way Buccellato (the writer) envisions Vintage City.

Buccellato is still finding his feet a bit with regard to the story. I mean, Foster does several absolutely stupid things in this issue, but I suppose the alternatives, as it happens, would have been even worse. He obviously can’t go to the police, but he also doesn’t need to leave Ben alone so often – he does it once, something bad happens, and then he does it again. And then there’s a cab driver who appears out of nowhere and tells Foster all this really crucial information – man, it’s good he was around, wasn’t it? It just seems like Buccellato wants to get somewhere and is taking some shortcuts to get there. That’s no way to tell a story!

That’s not to say I don’t like Foster. It’s pretty good, and it’s certainly intriguing. I know Buccellato has been writing Flash for the past year, but I wonder if he’s written a lot before that and he’s working out how to tell a story in serial installments. So far, his idea is pretty good, and I’ll give him a bit to work on the pacing and other storytelling devices. I’m just groovy like that!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Dang, Foster

Hawkeye #2 (“Vagabond Code”) by Matt Fraction (writer), David Aja (artist), Matt Hollingsworth (colorist), and Chris Eliopoulos (letterer). $2.99, 20 pgs, FC, Marvel.

One thing I try to do, I hope successfully, is not get carried away by the latest new shiny thing that comes out in the comics universe. Too often we think new = awesome, and that’s not always the case. I mentioned that I thought Hawkeye #1 was okay but nothing special, but it was obviously enough to get me to pick up issue #2 (mainly due to Aja’s and Hollingsworth’s artwork, to be fair). When I flipped through this, it looked a bit better than issue #2, so I figured I could drop 3 bucks on it. I certainly don’t think that people who gushed over issue #1 are wrong, of course – it’s an opinion, man! – but like Daredevil (which is also good, of course), just because a writer and artist can put together a competent comic doesn’t make it the second coming of Watchmen. It leads to people like the letter writer in the back, who claims that Hawkeye #1 is the best Marvel #1 he’s read in years, and in the next sentence he says it’s reminiscent of Waid’s Daredevil. Does that mean that Daredevil #1 wasn’t as good as Hawkeye #1, but it’s still reminiscent of it? Daredevil #1 was better than Hawkeye #1, anyway, so the question is moot!

Where was I? Oh, yeah, Hawkeye #2. It’s better than issue #1, so there’s that. It still has giant gaps of logic, but whatever. So Clint is hanging out with Kate Bishop for some reason (yes, I know she’s “Lady Hawkeye,” but I mean that she just shows up in this issue for no reason), and he figures out that Ringmaster – yes, the Ringmaster – is plotting to rob a bunch of Marvel villains at the opening of a new hotel. So, okay, Clint figures they better check it out. Fine. But then he realizes that everyone in the room is a Marvel villain – there’s the Owl, Hammerhead, Wilson Fisk, among others – and he still intervenes. I mean, fuck ‘em, right? But I get it, he’s an honorable dude. Whatevs. But then, at the end, with several bad guys lying around unconscious, including the motherfucking Ringmaster, Wilson Fisk inexplicably blames the crime on Hawkeye. Is Fisk just being a douchebag? Why? I mean, if he wants to go after Clint, does he really need a reason?

And then there’s the violence. Kate shoots at least two (probably three) villains in the eyes. Kate claims that “they’re not dead they’re just blinded now” [sic]. Really? An arrow traveling at 200 feet per second (a fair estimate) isn’t going to go clear through the brain of the target? Really, Kate? Then Clint fires an arrow past a target, and it hits the wall, bounces off, somehow reverses so that the arrow head is leading back toward the target, and embeds in the dude’s neck. He, of course, doesn’t die. Really, Mr. Fraction? I mean, I get that we’re living in the Marvel Universe, where the laws of physics mean nothing (not to mention the laws of medical recovery – I’m still trying to figure out how Clint got out of the hospital so quickly in issue #1), but come on.

Aja and Hollingsworth are tremendous, though. Hollingsworth puts a lot of purple in the book even though Clint never appears in costume, and he offsets that with a lot of yellow, which goes well with the purple. As the heist begins, the purples get darker and Hollingsworth introduces more blues, shifting from a more benign color scheme to one that’s a bit darker. The switch from a yellow background when Kate and Clint are using their bows to the dark blues when the panels show the villains is a bit obvious, but no less stunning for it. It’s a marvelously colored comic. Aja, meanwhile, is amazing. I haven’t listened to Kieron Gillen’s podcast about issue #1 (which you can find at Gillen’s blog here – BC), but I should, because Fraction and Aja discuss their method, and I imagine Aja has a lot of cool ideas about the art. I can’t even get into all of it – the “negative image” of Kate when Clint talks about who she is; the way Aja stretches time as Clint nocks and arrow and fires it; the cool image of the Ringmaster as he goes to work; the page on which Clint and Kate speak on the phone and Aja places 22 (!) smaller panels over two larger images of the two principals and doesn’t re-use any of the faces he’s already drawn – but it’s amazing. Despite the fact that he’s channeling Mazzuchelli circa “Born Again,” I think we can forgive him, because it’s not like a lot of people are channeling Mazzuchelli. Plus, it’s still excellent, so there’s that. I may not be in love with the book yet, but it’s certainly not because of the artwork.

Finally, I don’t get the newspaper on Page 2. Is it supposed to be a joke about how the newspapers report nothing but bad news? If so, it doesn’t work. At least when Fraction writes “(French stuff)” in the dialogue balloons, it’s because it’s filtered through Clint’s perception. But Clint can actually read (I would hope), so the fact that the headline doesn’t show the actual words but what Clint thinks makes no sense. Oh well.

Finally (whoops, I already wrote that, didn’t I?), Clint is still rich. Nobody could tell me the source of his wealth last time out, so I’ll ask again. Why is Clint so rich?

The nice thing (so far) about this comic is that Fraction is writing single-issue stories. That means we get a nice little story each time, but it also means that I can decide the day the issue arrives in stores whether I want to get the next one. I’ll think about it!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

KA-BLAAAAM!

Mind the Gap #4 (“Big. Bad.”) by Jim McCann (writer), Rodin Esquejo (artist), Sonia Oback (colorist), Arif Prianto (colorist), and Dave Lanphear (letterer). $2.99, 23 pgs, FC, Image.

I know I get on Marvel and DC for cheerfully switching artists like crazy, but independent books do it too, and after 4 issues, Esquejo apparently needs a break, so Adrian Alphona is taking care of issue #5. This is always a tough thing, I imagine, for creators to deal with – do you wait for the artist to catch up and risk losing your audience, or do you get a fill-in artist and risk the “artistic integrity” of the comic? Beats me – obviously, Saga is going with one route, while Mind the Gap is going with the other. I really don’t know if there’s any evidence one is better than the other.

I’ve decided that when I have a little bit of time (meaning: January, as I still have to keep up with my daily posts), I’m going to sit down with every issue of Mind the Gap so far and try to puzzle some things out. I hate doing that, but since McCann insists that each page is packed with clues, I’m going to believe him and try to suss some things out. I imagine that there will be 7 issues out by then, so I hope we don’t learn anything too bombshelly before that. I’m not a smart person, so I’m sure I will miss a lot, but I think that’s my plan. Don’t you love coming here to read reviews and instead get a future itinerary? I know that you do!

Anyway, this is another pretty good issue, although I have reached the conclusion that I’m not terribly fond of Elle. This is a problem, as she’s the center of the mystery. At one point she actually wonders why so many people care about her, and I hate to say it, but I found myself agreeing with her. I don’t know why I don’t like Elle, though. You know how some people in real life just rub you the wrong way? It’s not really anything they do, it’s just that your personalities don’t click? I feel like that with Elle. Something about her bugs me, and I wish that McCann would spend less time in her weird halfway house and more time in the real world. The issue gets a lot better in its second half, when we re-enter the real world. It’s not that Elle is making me hate the comic, but I honestly don’t care whether she wakes up or not. Perhaps this would make the book weaker for some people – if you don’t care about the victim, why would you want to read about her? – but for me, I’m more interested in the mystery and the various people Elle left behind. The victim in any mystery is often the least interesting character, but they usually die before that can become a barrier to enjoying the story. The fact that Elle is still “alive” means that McCann, I think, needs to do a slightly better job making Elle someone that we are interested in. I don’t care if I like her, but I do think I should know why others do, and I don’t really get that after 4 issues. But that’s fine. It’s still a neat mystery, after all.

I don’t know how many issues Esquejo is going to miss. I hope not too many, even though I like Alphona’s work. We shall see!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Um, check the mirror, dude

Near Death #11 by Jay Faerber (writer), Simone Guglielmini (artist), Ron Riley (colorist), and Charles Pritchett (letterer); “Stuck” by Ed Brisson (writer/letterer), Jason Copland (artist), and Paul Little (colorist). $2.99, 26 pgs, FC, Image.

This is the final issue of Near Death, which is a shame. I guess I’m to blame for it, at least a little, because while I bought every issue and enjoyed, I wasn’t as enthusiastic about it as I could have been, and my proselytizing was a bit weak. Let’s hope Faerber doesn’t punch me in the face if I ever see him again.

Faerber does wrap stuff up, even though he admits in the back that it wasn’t the ending he had planned. I think it’s a pretty satisfying ending, actually – it’s not perfect, but it’s not ridiculous, either. I guess I don’t have much else to say about this issue. Overall, the series is a pretty good read. It’s a clever concept, Faerber knows how to write good dialogue without being clichéd, Guglielmini and Riley did a nice job on the art, and it was a pretty exciting book. I know it didn’t sell beans, but I’m sure the trades will be available, if you’re at all interested in it. Oh well.

Faerber did note in the back that Harry O, which he wrote about long ago in an issue of Noble Causes (I think; it might have been Dynamo 5), has been released on DVD (well, a bit of it). I had never heard of Harry O until I read about it in Faerber’s comic, and I’m keen to pick up these DVDs. So, thanks, Mr. Faerber, for making me spend more money! Sheesh.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

It's all about splitting hairs!

Think Tank #2 by Matt Hawkins (writer), Rahsan Ekedal (artist), and Troy Peteri (letterer). $3.99, 25 pgs, BW, Image/Top Cow.

One of the clever things Hawkins is doing with this series, which I don’t think he did in issue #1, is give us a relatively unreliable narrator. Now, it’s not as if our hero David Loren is flat-out lying, but twice in this issue he misdirects us and then admits it, putting the reader on notice that perhaps we should trust him less than we normally trust a narrator. It’s a neat trick – in the first case, David mentions that he didn’t actually go on a mission even though Ekedal draws him into it … but he did watch it on television, so he’s not actually lying. In the second instance, he does lie, but it’s about something that we can easily believe would happen, so his words carry some weight. Unreliable narrators are tricky, because most writers want the reader to actually believe someone in the story, but the way Hawkins does it – revealing in the second issue that David stretches the truth – is interesting, because he’s in a position where we would naturally gravitate toward him: He’s develops weapons, sure, but he doesn’t want to do it anymore and can’t figure out to get away from the military. He’s an underdog, in other words, even though he’s a genius. So the fact that he’s also socially awkward – in that he doesn’t care too much about the truth – is interesting. Is David lying about the situation he’s in right now? Perhaps. We shall see. I also like that he has a long-term plan for escaping. I don’t love it when villains are always one step ahead of the hero even though the hero disrupts their first three plans – how many contingencies can you have, really? – but the fact that David tells us that he’s been planning an escape for years and has some of the technology to do it makes it more interesting. For me, it’s more fascinating to see the nuts and bolts of a master plan rather than the fait accompli, which sometimes stretches credulity. I hope Hawkins continues with the former.

Ekedal continues his fine work on the art. He colors the blood white instead of black, which is a very weird choice – it makes it seem like the bodies are floating in milk. I wonder if he did that to make it more “unreal,” since David didn’t witness either traumatic event in person (and the second one, as noted, is imaginary). It’s very bizarre. But it’s still good artwork, so I’m not going to worry about it too much.

I’m not sure if this is an ongoing or a mini-series. It seems to have a finite concept, but who knows these days. Anyway, 2 issues in, and it’s pretty good. Give it a look!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Electrocuting douchebags = funny!

“Thunderbolts” #180 (“Change Is Good”) by Jeff Parker (writer), Neil Edwards (penciler), Terry Pallot (inker), Chris Sotomayor (artist), and Joe Caramagna (letterer). $2.99, 20 pgs, FC, Marvel.

Parker has been writing this back-and-forth with the Thunderbolts in the future and the Dusky Avengers in the present, and last issue he began to pull it all together, and he does it more here. It’s pretty intricate (well, for a superhero book), and it’s fun to follow along. There’s a bit of a useless page in which Jessica Jones and Luke Cage’s kid has her own kid, who turns out to be the person from whom all the Boss Cage clones are, um, cloned from, which is pointless because Boss Cage tells us who he is and what his deal is on the next page (he’s kind of having a flashback), plus, when you’re limited to 20 pages, you can’t waste them, man! Perhaps that scene will pay off in future issues, but it seemed pointless. But it’s still a fun comic, because Parker, despite looking like he’s just chucking all sorts of crap at the wall, obviously has a plan, and it’s coming together nicely.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Neil Edwards’ art, and it’s kind of stiff and clunky here. It lacks the sheen and ballsiness of Kev Walker’s work or the grit of Declan Shalvey, and Edwards still hasn’t quite developed his own style, so he’s still trying to be Bryan Hitch, and considering that Hitch is still trying to be Alan Davis a little, the style is even more watered-down. Some of the panels aren’t bad – the one below is fun, and the one where Man-Thing tries to breach the dome’s containment wall is nice – but Edwards seems to be happy being a middle-of-the-road superhero artist. If it gets him gigs, I guess that’s fine, but for me, he’ll never be someone whose art piques my interest. He just shows up and draws things that I happen to be reading. C’est la vie.

I’m still not sure if I’m jumping ship from this book after issue #183, which seems to be the end of the Thunderbolts era and (unless the book is cancelled, which I haven’t seen) a jump to the Avengers Noir exclusively. I have no interest in reading a book solely about Clor and his cronies, even if Parker is writing it. We’ll see.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

I want to read ALL of those comics!

X-Factor #243 (“Breaking Points Day Three”) by Peter David (writer), Leonard Kirk (penciler), Jay Leisten (inker), Matt Milla (colorist), and Cory Petit (letterer). $2.99, 20 pgs, FC, Marvel.

So a while back, Our Dread Lord and Master wrote that thing about Polaris and her parentage, and people went nuts. I mean, I guess it really matters if a fictional character fathered another fictional character, right? Anyway, David stopped by to mention this issue, and so here it is. I don’t know or care if it answers any nagging questions about Lorna and her father, but it is a pretty decent story, even if it’s a tiny bit obvious. I guess in the context of PAD ripping apart the team, this gives Alex a reason to join the Uncanny Avengers? What? On the letters page, PAD actually says that Polaris “isn’t going anywhere,” so I guess the trauma she suffers in this issue makes Alex … join a different team? Um, okay? Anyway, I guess we can put to bed the theories about Lorna’s parentage? Right, Internet?

I’m not a fan of Jay Leisten inking Leonard Kirk. He seems to make Kirk’s pencils a bit too fine, blunting some of the impact of the artwork. However, I do appreciate that Kirk (and not just Kirk – the sadly-departed-from-this-title Emanuela Lupacchino did this too) draws the women like brick shithouses – they have big breasts, but they’re solid through the torso and their hips are nice and curvy. They look more like powerful women than a lot of the ladies you see in superhero books. It’s nice.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Poor Jamie - no sex for him tonight!

**********

No graphic novels or trade paperbacks this week, which is strange. I have no problem with it, as I’m still behind with the ones I do have, but it’s just strange. Moving on, I’m typing this in a small amount of pain, because I actually worked out last night. I’m participating in this event in October, and I’m “in training.” I can’t remember the last time I actually worked out, more than just bike riding, which I enjoy – probably a good 17 years ago. The worst thing was doing push-ups, which means my upper arms really hurt today, and I can’t raise my arms too far above my head. It should be fun, though – I’m woefully out of shape, so maybe this will help kick my butt and get to it more.

In comics news, Dave Sim appears to have retired. Well, at least he’s planning to retire soon. I don’t really care, not because I think Sim is a jerk and he should stop making comics (as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t believe in ignoring someone’s work due to their personal beliefs), but because I don’t have a stake in this. Sim seems to think he has no options whatsoever, and some of the commenters point out that yes, he does have options. I get that he wants to stay completely and fiercely independent, and that’s cool, but that just means he might have to quit. Gail Simone mentioned this on her Facebook page (which is where I saw it first), and she thinks it’s a shame that “the industry can’t support one of its grand masters.” I think the industry could easily support Dave Sim if Sim wanted to give up some of his independence. He doesn’t, and that’s fine, but it’s his choice. One of the comments mentioned The Dude, who has been in the same boat as Sim. I’ve never met Rude, but several people I know have, and they point out that Rude turned his back on comics to do “fine art” – you can see some of his work on his web site. That’s his choice, but he could have easily kept doing comics and made enough money to keep his house. Rude has some health issues, I know, but that doesn’t change the fact that, apparently, publishers were asking him to do comics and he spurned them. I know this is all hearsay, but I’ve heard it from several different people at different times, so I tend to believe it. It’s too bad Sim can’t make a living doing oddball art pastiches of Alex Raymond – I know, stunning, isn’t it? I don’t think he’s out of options, though.

Sorry for the rant. You know I like a good rant every once in a while! Moving on, Arnold Schwarzeneggar bought a truck:

He's using it to conquer Andorra!

Holy crap, look at that thing!

And here’s a nice clip of the worst answers ever given on Family Fued. Some of these I can forgive, because people are nervous. Some of them are bizarre, because they’ve had a few seconds to, you know, think about it!

My iPod is still out of commission, so let’s do a Top Ten List. Here’s my favorite ten medieval European rulers. By “favorite” I mean favorite to study, not necessarily the best, by “medieval” I’m saying AD 500-1500, and by “European” I mean “Europe” (with one minor exception). That’s fairly broad (although my list is a bit Britian-centric, so maybe not so broad), but it’s my list, consarnit!

1. Dagobert II, king of Austrasia, 676-679. As a good Merovingian scholar, I suppose I ought to have a Merovingian at the top of the list. There are many keen kings of the dynasty to choose from, but I’ve always been partial to Dagobert, mainly because his biography could easily be a action/adventure thriller. When Dagobert was a child (in the 650s), his father, King Sigibert III, died, but the top official, the mayor of the palace, engineered a coup and placed his own son on the throne. Dagobert was spirited out of the country before he was killed and headed to Ireland, where he spent the next 20 years or so in a monastery. During his exile, Merovingians politics took its fairly typical bloody turn, and a group of magnates assassinated the king and his pregnant wife (they played for keeps back in those days). The latest mayor knew about Dagobert, so he recalled him from Ireland. Dagobert ruled only a few years before he too was assassinated, but he’s an interesting fellow. In the later Merovingian years, many of the kings were seen as puppets of the mayors, especially the family of Pippin, which would eventually be the family of Charlemagne. Dagobert seems to contradict that, even if there’s very little evidence from his reign. Why would his enemies want him dead if he was just a puppet? Merovingian history is full of speculation like this, and it would be nice if we knew more about the sixth and seventh centuries in France. Dagobert is also Catholic saint, oddly enough. His feast day is 23 December, the day of his assassination.

2. Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, 1264-1265. Stretching the definition of “ruler” a bit, we come to Simon de Montfort. De Montfort rebelled against one of the worst English kings EVER, Henry III, and forced the king to sign the Provisions of Oxford, which doesn’t have the same cachet in English (and subsequently American) history as Magna Carta but ought to, as it’s far more radical and democratic than the Great Charter. Henry III, like the petulant asshole he was, dithered about the Provisions before deciding he didn’t like them (no king would, of course, but Henry was just being a dick), and so De Montfort went to war against the king, imprisoning him for a time and ruling England as the de facto king. It couldn’t last, of course, and Henry’s far more capable son, Edward (soon the First), helped Henry defeat De Montfort at Evesham, where the earl was killed. De Montfort seems like something of an egotistic asshole, but he really did try to help make England more democratic. In fact, his insistence on more democracy might have been why the nobles gradually turned against him and destroyed his efforts.

3. Eleanor of Aquitaine, duchess of Aquitaine, queen of France, 1137-1152, queen of England, 1154-1189. Eleanor is one of the most interesting people in the history of the world. Yes, I went there. She was born in 1122 (probably) and married when she was 15 to the king of France, Louis VII. Eleanor went with her husband on crusade in 1146; got the marriage annulled because Louis was a douchebag; fell in love with Henry Plantagenet, who was 11 years younger than she; became queen of England when Henry became king in 1154; bore him many children whom she then helped rebel against her husband (if you’re Katharine Hepburn, you’re probably a bit fiery); was imprisoned for 16 years for one son’s rebellion (1173-1189); ruled England as regent while her son, King Richard I (Anthony Hopkins, years before he became a cannibal), went off on Crusade; rescued Richard when he was imprisoned coming back from Crusade; and lived to see her other son, John, start to become one of the five worst kings in English history. Oh, and she and her daughter, Marie, began an entire literary movement of chivalry and troubadours and courtly love. Now don’t you feel foolish sitting there watching The League and eating Cheetos? Yeah, I thought so.

4. Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, prince of Wales, 1267-1282. I don’t know as much about Welsh history as I’d like, because Wales is cool and I ought to read more about it. I do dig Llywelyn, though, who managed to get his principality recognized by the English king (once again, it was the douchebag Henry III) and the Papacy. Llywelyn managed to take over a good deal of Wales before Henry died and Edward I came to the throne. Edward, when he wasn’t chucking his son’s male lovers out of castle windows, was a huge asshole but a very good warrior, and he made pacifying the entire island – meaning the Welsh and the Scots, and probably the Cornish – his top priority. Llywelyn held onto his lands for a while, but when his brother rebelled against Edward in 1282, he felt he had to support him. He was killed under mysterious circumstances away from a battle, where he might have been lured. Who knows. After that, Edward was able to incorporate Wales into his empire and the title “prince of Wales” became reserved for the heir to the throne. That must stick in Welsh people’s craw. Where’s Catherine Zeta-Jones to rally the people? (Fun fact: “Jones” is by far the most common surname in Wales … yet there is no “J” in the Welsh alphabet. Chew on that for a while!)

5. Robert the Bruce, king of Scotland, 1306-1329. In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I like people who fight against Edward I, because Edward was a total dick. Perhaps if Robert had been king a little earlier, he wouldn’t have won his country’s freedom at Bannockburn, because by that time Edward I was dead and Edward II was king, and Edward II was far more interested in Piers Gaveston than prosecuting the war against the Scottish. But such is the way of history, and Robert was able to secure Scotland’s independence for another 300 years, until James VI decided he’d rather rule from London than Edinburgh and took over the English throne, essentially merging the two countries (yes, I know it didn’t happen for a while after that, but let’s be honest here). Anyway, Robert always seemed like an interesting fellow. I doubt he was as pretty as Angus MacFadyen, amirite, ladies?

6. Basil II Boulgaroktonos, Byzantine emperor, 976-1025. I like several Byzantine emperors (Alexius I Comnenus, Manuel I Comnenus, Justinian I, Heraclius, Irene, Leo III), but Basil is by far my favorite. Early in his career he had to fight against his own nobles because he was so young and they wanted to control him, but once he sorted them out, he turned his ire to the Bulgarians, who had been messing with the Greeks for years. Basil mopped the floor with the Bulgarians, gaining the awesome nickname “Boulgaroktonos,” or “Bulgar-Slayer.” He regained a good deal of the empire’s lands and added some new ones (including a foothold in the southern Crimea), and secured peace within the borders. Byzantine history is full of bloody rebellion, but for a while under Basil (among other strong emperors), the empire was probably a pretty nice place to live.

7. Charlemagne/Harun al-Rashid, Frankish emperor, 768-814/Abbasid caliph, 786-809. I dig Charlemagne, but I also find his correspondence with Harun al-Rashid fascinating. Charlemagne, of course, conquered a great deal of Europe and was the first emperor in the West since the fifth century (and possibly got himself crowned in 800 because he was peeved that Irene, a woman, was ruling in Constantinople at the time), and he was fascinated by learning (what we know about classical Latin – as opposed to Church Latin – pronunciation actually comes from Alcuin, the leading scholar at Charlemagne’s court). Harun ruled Baghdad at the height of the Abbasid Caliphate, and while he has been fictionalized quite often (even in Sandman!), his actual reign is fascinating enough. He was a huge patron of the arts, and Muslim culture flourished under his rule (well, Muslim culture flourished for almost a thousand years after the religion’s establishment, but particularly in this time period), plus he expanded his empire quite nicely. Both these dudes are pretty interesting.

8. Philip IV, king of France, 1285-1314. Philip “the Fair” was another of history’s giant dickheads, but he’s still fascinating to study. He consolidated the power of the French throne, expelled Jews from France, and destroyed the Templars. You know, just another day in the park. Oh, yeah, and he had the pope arrested and then beaten pretty much to death. Yes, he really did. One of his puppets was elected and moved the Papacy to Avignon so Philip could keep an eye on them. If you thought the popes always resided in Rome, well, you thought incorrectly. Philip was a complete asshole, but he’s very interesting as a historical figure.

9. Innocent III, pope, 1198-1216. The most powerful pope in history also seems like a giant dick, but when you’re condemning people to hell, you need to be a dick sometimes! He did organize the Fourth Lateran Council, which tried to reform the church, so there’s that. He also preached the Fourth Crusade, which got sidetracked and ended up in Constantinople, where the crusaders slaughtered thousands of actual Christians rather than Muslims (whoops!); he preached the Albigensian Crusade, which was the first time a pope used the idea of crusade to fight actual – if heretical – Christians and which destroyed the rather fascinating culture of southern France; and he placed all of England under interdict, mainly because their king, John, was inept. That meant everyone in England couldn’t celebrate any public sacred rites. Dang, that had to suck. Medieval popes were very much like secular rulers, and Innocent was probably the most like one. But yeah, kind of a dick.

10. Penda, king of Mercia, c. 626-655. Whoo, Penda of Mercia, bitches! Penda was the last great pagan king in England, ruling the Midlands and dominating the “Heptarchy” of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. He beat up on the Northumbrians under Edwin, and then, for good measure, he beat up on the Northumbrians under Edwin’s son, Oswald. He kicked the crap out of the West Saxons just for fun. His death really marked the end of paganism in England; his children were all Christians, as were the other kingdoms in the Anglo-Saxon realm. But Penda is still pretty keen, isn’t he?

Yes, I’m still hitting you with some Totally Random Lyrics. I’m not sure if I’ll be impressed or depressed it you know these. But get to it!

“From where I stand
You are home free
The planets align so rare
There’s promise in the air
And I’m guiding you

Through every turn I’ll be near you
I’ll come anytime you call
I’ll catch you when you fall
I’ll be guiding you”

Have a nice day, everyone!

45 Comments

Much as I love Braveheart, it really did a disservice to Longshanks. He wasn’t THAT bad.

cool arrow: I know he wasn’t as horrible as portrayed in the movie, but it still seems like he was a colossal jerk. A truly great king, sure, but still a jerk.

You could make a drinking game out of spotting all of the historical inaccuracies in Braveheart, but most people would die from alcohol poisioning before the end of the movie.

Scheduling note: Foster #1 came out last week. I’m just sayin’.

I believe Foster #1-6 were completed before #1 came out.

OI!!!! I do think I agree with you on MIND THE GAP. I’d rather the book skip a month or two to give the regular artist a break than toss in an occasional fill-in artist. I’m sure the New artist will be fine, but it does disrupt the flow.

We can’t have the flow disrupted, can we?

Have you reviewed FASHION BEAST? I just picked it up as it has Alan Moore’s name on cover. I seem to remember this was supposed to be a movie some years back.

Brian: I figured, as Buccellato was selling at least issue #1 in May, but I wonder why they don’t release them in a more spread-out manner so that they can stay ahead. They’re going to catch up doing it this way. IT’S MADNESS!!!!!

Tom: I tend not to have much interest in Alan Moore stuff that’s been adapted, even though I like Antony Johnston. They just don’t really thrill me.

I also fixed the Gillen link for ya. ;)

Brian: Well, you’re just Mr. Clever, aren’t you? I’ve linked to it before, but usually because I used someone else’s link. I have no idea how to do it cold. Thanks, sir!

BARBED WIRE CRAWL?! Ay! Good luck with that, Gregory. Robert the Brroooce – a great historical figure but aside from that (and contributing to Bruce Wayne’s name?) Angus MacFadyen’s portrayal was one of the better things in Braveheart (along with Patrick “Number Six” MacGoohan’s over-the-top Longshanks) even when he has to be weaselly compared with Oh-So-Manly Mel’s Mad MacDonald. That movie really gets on my nerves particularly as regards Gibson as a Saintly Machi. The scene when he gets hung, drawn, and quartered is hilarious though. Ahem. Too *constructed* a film by half, it’s like a better version of the Duke’s The Alamo. Uhn, tirade ends…
Thanks for the links to the red-headed loveliness of Isla Fishet and the SNL bit (mm young Julia Louis-Dreyfus, charming). I pray for links to Kelly Macdonald and Sofia Vergara!
I agree with you on Hawkeye, fine artwork, okay story, flaqed characterisation. I felt the”blindings” were extremely dubious. Is killing seen as raising too many questions while blinding does – apparently – *not? Not bad but flawed. Maybe Hawkeye will prove to have a partial healung factor and end up in one of those X-Avengers books?!. Loved your comments on Avengers Academy, “whatevs”, indeed.
Harry O! David J, Farrah Fawcett-Majors, and the great squinty-eyed Anthony Zerbe of Omega Man and muchos villainy fame. That series isn’t The Rockford Files but is still idiosyncratic and marvellous. Ah, detective mysteries.
As a weird aside, what do you think of Barry Windsor-Smith’s work (weird noses and all!), his “Wounded Wolf” issue of Uncany X-Men looks great even in black-and-white form; particukarly as it’s set in a snowstorm. Of course, Weapon X’s art *alone* is wonderful, that man can draw! And the colouring’s great too. As a follow-up to your Grant/Breyfoglw series there’s a very good interview in a back issue of Back Issue you should seek out if you haven’t already read it.
I hope we’ll see a piece on your favourite runs in a month or so, if you have the time. Great column as ever. De Montford was a better type of bastard, the worse type got him as often happens. Those bastards are unfortunately still around!

Hal: I’d be crazy not to like Windsor-Smith, and I’m not crazy! I haven’t seen his X-Men work in black and white (because I don’t own the Essential version), but I’m sure it looks very cool.

I’ll have to find that issue of Back Issue. I always enjoy interviews with creators I like.

I did a piece on my favorite runs 4 years ago, so I’ll probably do another one. I’m not sure if anything has changed, but we’ll have to see!

There was only one book on your list that I had never heard of. The first time that had ever happened. And I like all of the ones I heard of. It made the article sooooo much more enjoyable. Thanks!

Leslie Fontenelle

September 6, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Regarding Hawkeye #2:

“She just shows up in this issue for no reason”? I think we can give the writer a break there, he’s trying to build a supporting cast for the book after all. And having Hawkeye’s pupil feels pretty natural. It’s not like Clint has much of a life outside of superheroing.

About the arrows not killing anyone – I thought it was a cheat that the images seemed to contradict, but if people can accept that the Hulk never kills anyone on his rampages (I can’t, but many can), then I think Hawkeye’s nerf arrows can get a pass too. But it would be nice if the images didn’t suggest something different, as they did in this issue. Because those arrows on the eyes didn’t look “non-lethal” at ALL, I even suspected that the text was changed to soften the scene’s impact.

And besides Mazzuchelli, I felt that Aja was also channeling Guido Crepax pretty hard… the scene with the multiple smaller panels that you mentioned had a clear influence from the author of Valentina.

On Mind The Gap’s fill in artist, Mccann said in this interview back in April (about two thirds down):
http://multiversitycomics.com/interviews/talking-mind-the-gap-with-writer-jim-mccann-interview/
the plan is for Esquejo to do four issues, then have an issue with a guest artist, followed by a month off for the trade to come out. It also seems like the guest artist will have something a bit off kilter to the rest of the series (I suppose like say Brubaker’s Daredevil had guest artists between arcs focussing on a member of the supporting cast).

Also, I just got on board with Mind The Gap, but think it will definitely merit rereading. I am scouring every page for clues!

I’m not reading Hawkeye, but Aja’s art is incredible. I don’t quite understand what it is, but everytime I see a panel I think it is amazing. Maybe his sense of space?

Finally (whoops, I already wrote that, didn’t I?), Clint is still rich. Nobody could tell me the source of his wealth last time out, so I’ll ask again. Why is Clint so rich?

My guess: he collected on his own life insurance after coming back to life after House of M.

Loved the Jakstraw joke in the Thunderbolts panel :-)

I hope Dean is totally right about Hawkeye. Actually, maybe he licensed the use of his name to Mark Millar for his magazine, and got some of Millar’s filthy lucre.

Hawkeye…I like the book, but don’t love it. In rereading issue 1 and reading issue 2, what struck me is that I think it’s a bit too precious, a bit too much trying to be hip, and it just doesn’t work for me. Aja is, in a sense, too good for this book. I dunno. Whatevs.

Haven’t read Mind the Gap yet, as I’m going to read the first 3 issues again also, and I was too sleepy by the time I got to those. Wanted my full concentration in clue searching. Or something. I might even send an email to McCann and co!

I did read Fashion Beast, Tom, and thought it was…interesting. Had it come out ’87-ish like it was intended, it might have been (slightly) ahead of its time, but now it seems…just there. I did like the use of sound FX in those couple pages. Malcolm McLaren was an interesting sort, too. Not sure how much I like him. Anyway…

Too bad about Near Death. Guess I should have been buying it. D’oh. Good luck to Faerber in the future, hope he’s found a new TV show to write for.

Think Tank — I heard that it’s now an ongoing. We’ll see how that lasts. I like it, but not entirely. I couldn’t think of what you meant about the second instance of stretching the truth at first, but then I remembered.

However, I think you’re perhaps overstating the “unreliable narrator-ness” of (the guy, what’s his damn name? Less than 24 hours later and I can’t remember…). What you’re calling unreliable I think is more someone with an imagination, or that we’re getting a visual telling of the story, as we should in a visual medium. In the first case, as I understood it, he wasn’t on the mission, but the camera was hooked up so he could see what was happening and that made it seem as if he was on the mission. I didn’t see where that was much more than just a visual depiction of how it might have felt for him. For the other situation, it’s a scenario he envisioned as a possibility, and since it’s the possibility that forced him to change his mind about building weapons for the government, it’s something he’s visualized in his head, so we should see it and how it feels to him so that we can empathize with him as to why he wants out.

Maybe I’m willing to give a pass on it because the premise of the book is somewhat similar to one of my favorite shows ever, the Pretender — Jarod worked on sims that were used to kill, so that’s why he escaped from the Centre. Man, that was a good show.

And did you notice how his friend’s name went from “Manish” in issue 1 to “Mannish” in issue 2?

My kingdom for a copy editor!

What else did I get? Let’s see. Damsels 1 was interesting. Creator Owned Heroes 4 was ok, but a bit disappointing ending to Triggergirl 6. Classic Popeye 2 was fun. Hypernaturals 3 was decent — if you like DnA or the Legion or stuff like that, it’s worth getting in trade. Peter Cannon Thunderbolt 1 was decent, although MY eyelids hurt from the winks towards Watchmen and Ozymandias (you wanna be like Alexander the Great? WINK!!!). However, the origin by Pete Morisi is probably worth the price of admission. Damn.

I have some other comments, but they’ll be separate. YAY! ?

As for Dave Sim, as some of those commenters in the link suggested, there may be other ways for Dave to make money through comics, but given everything I’ve ever read about him, that’s not the way he wants to go, it’s not the way he thinks he can ethically go, and he is not one to compromise.

Which is part of the reason I enjoy his work so much.

However…

He seems to have a blind spot as to how much his own words and works form people’s views of him. Even for the people willing to go past the perception of him in general, his work and words and views are…problematic, to put it one way. Even if you’re willing to accept certain foundational things of his POV, there are still things that are uncomfortable to deal with in his works.

And his complaints about “radio silence” for his different venues? Well, when the general understanding is that one must sign a statement about believing that Dave is not a misogynist for him to even bother interacting with you…well, there aren’t a lot of people necessarily willing to do that.

That all said, I wrote him a couple letters after the ending of Cerebus (I’m even in the index to the Dave Sim Collected Letters 2004!), and his responses were incredibly nice and he was far nicer to me than I have deserved. Which is a story for another time….

Anyway, if Cerebus isn’t my top pick for the Comic Book Runs list that Brian’s doing, it will be up there pretty high. And Dave himself is, I think, one of the most important people in comics history. It’s a shame that the economics of our shared interest don’t work for him to support himself without needing to quit or sell out.

That said, I totally hope to get up to a Canadian Wal-Mart where Dave is a greeter. HAHA!

Are you waiting to write about books from a certain publisher, or did you have *ahem* ZERO interest in them?

HAHAHAHA I kill me!

I got all but Stormwatch 0, which apparently no one in my area likes, as I didn’t find it at any of the 3 stores around. I got all the rest, but haven’t read them all. Only comment on most of them is that Tony Daniel’s art is surprisingly good in Detective, although some of that may be Pere Perez. And big 2, please hire some fucking copy editors. Jeez.

But the thing I want to mention is GI Combat 0. I didn’t see it mentioned on bleeding cool (and Rich didn’t go along with me when I emailed him about it), and I haven’t looked elsewhere, but…

The Unknown Soldier is on a trippy search for his origin. One might even say he’s…Dreaming. He encounters a black bird with a familiar word balloon font. I’d say it’s a Raven, as it says “forevermore”. They’re outside a gate (of Horn, or Ivory?) which is outside a castle, the occupant we don’t see.

That’s right, all you people annoyed with Constantine and Swamp Thing and Animal Man coming back from Vertigo into the main DCU, I think we saw the Dreaming, and maybe even Matthew the Raven (more likely another Raven, but still), and Dream’s castle!

I’m hoping for Brother Power the Geek and Prez to show up next. Fuck yeah Bitches!

What you wrote about the Fourth Crusade really got me curious. Do you know the details of how the crusaders got sidetracked and slaughtered the wrong people? That could be the premise for a comedy if it wasn’t for, you know, the thousands that got killed.

Greg, it’s entirely your fault. One knuckle sandwich, comin’ up!

But seriously, at least you took the time to review each issue … which can’t be said for, oh, pretty much every other site out there.

“A puppet of Pippin?” “A puppet of Pippin.”

Seriously, though, where’s Charles Martel?

Great, now I have a troop of Frankish warriors in my head.. costumed and choreographed by Bob Fosse….

But at least Ben Vereen is singing, so it’s not that bad…

Oh, comics? Yeah, um, go comics? Maybe we will see Dial H and Batwoman #’s 0 when they come out — although I do wish Greg had given us his thoughts on GI Combat.

Robb: No problem!

Leslie: I don’t have much of a problem with Clint having a protege, just that I would have liked a line or two about how he decided to train her or something like that. I was listening to the House to Astonish podcast, and they said that Fraction wrote a bunch of these single issue scripts and then decided on the order, so maybe he wasn’t sure if this would be the second issue. If I keep getting the book, though, I do look forward to their relationship, because it’s pretty good in this issue.

Rolacka: Thanks for that information. For all the time I spend on the Internet, you’d think I’d find interviews like that more often, so I knew what was happening. So not only do I waste time on-line, I don’t even waste time efficiently!

Dean: Sounds good to me!

Travis: Yeah, I’m not sure how Think Tank will work as an ongoing. I like it, though, so I guess I’ll get a chance to find out.

David’s unreliability is clever BECAUSE he’s not just lying. That’s what makes it interesting. And I missed the fact that they changed the spelling of Man[n]ish. Oh dear.

Of all those books you mentioned, I’m still mulling over Creator Owned Heroes, and I might get Hypernaturals and Pete Cannon in trade as well. I do enjoy the DnA (blech) Marvel cosmic stuff, so that might push me toward it.

As for Sim – yeah, I can respect his uncompromising stance, but at the same time, I don’t pity him too much. Even wildly independent bands and filmmakers often need help to get their product out there to be successful. It sucks, but that’s the way it is.

Yes, I had ZERO interest in the zero issues. I’ll only be getting Batwoman #0, because I already buy the book. But your synopsis of GI Combat piques my interest – I may have to check it out!

Pedro: Unfortunately, it’s not too zany, because it wasn’t like they didn’t know what they were doing (“Hey, wait, this isn’t Muslim-controlled Jerusalem, it’s Constantinople! My bad!”). The Venetians had a commercial rivalry with the Greeks, and when the Crusaders wanted to use Venetian ships for transport, the Venetians wouldn’t let them unless they paid up front. The Crusaders, apparently baffled by this lack of Christian trust (“Come on, Doge Dondolo, we’ll totally pay our bills once we sack some Muslim cities!”), couldn’t leave Venice. Finally the doge came up with a plan to sack a Byzantine city that the Venetians claimed was theirs. Still unsatisfied and unpaid, the Venetians convinced the Crusaders to attack Constantinople. It wasn’t like they needed much encouragement – the Catholics of the West considered the Orthodox Christians of the empire not “real” Christians, so what the heck, right? It’s still one of the most heinous acts in European, if not world, history.

Jay: Well, I did like the book, so of course I’m going to review it! I’m very much looking forward to Point of Impact. I don’t know how you keep finding these good Turkish artists, man!

Matthew: Charles Martel would probably be in the top 20. I do like studying him (Paul Fouracre’s The Age of Charles Martel is a superb book), I just like the other ten people a bit more!

Becca: Sorry about that! I’ve actually never seen Pippin, so I can’t sympathize too much!

I wouldn’t mind Sim’s views on men and women if he’d had the good taste to leave them within the context of his Cerebus work and not put them on display outside for all and sundry to see. Anyway, it’s rather sad to find out he’s retiring.

So Philip IV was a dick. However, as a bonafide SOB (Snarky Ol’ Baptist), I can get down with some pope beating.

You’re welcome for the info Greg. Don’t be too hard on yourself – it was an April interview! I was only reading the interviews about three weeks ago when deciding whether to add the series so it was fresh in my mind.

The fourth crusade does sound interesting – I wll have to read more about it.

You seemed lukewarm on a lot you read this week, especially Marvel. As nobody has insulted you for being an indie snob recently, consider yourself chastised.

Aw gee, Edward I is one of my favorite kings! Richard lll is my bestest favorite of course.

And while Robert the Bruce is pretty cool, I REALLY like the Black Douglas! That guy was amazing! When the Bruce died, he wanted the Black Douglas to take his heart on a Crusade, but the Crusades were winding down around then, so he did the next best thing and went fight Moors in Spain. He ended up surrounded, threw the casket containing Bruce’s heart into the throng, and then went after it. The found his body lying on top of the casket, and ever since, the Douglas family has a bleeding heart on their coat of arms.

Rolacka: Yeah, it was a weird week. Nothing terrible, but nothing great, either. I’m sorry I’m such an indie snob!!!! :)

Sally: That’s a pretty keen story about Douglas. I had never heard it before!

Sure, Edward was a great king, especially when you consider his father and his son. Based on achievements, he’s pretty fascinating. I just like guys who fight against the big dog!

@ Greg

Apparently, Hawkeye got all that money at the end of the Hawkeye Blind Spot mini.

Hawkeye drove off in a boat full of money. Then in the next scene Kate says he’s rich. Because he drove off with a boat full of money. That’s also why Fisk blamed him for the crime, cuz although Ringmaster stole the money, Clint made off with it rather than returning it to those criminal types.

And I think his money in the first issue was his Avengers salary, which had built up cuz he doesn’t really live beyond his means or something? There was some brief explanation but I don’t have the issue to hand.

Randy: I see!

R: Whoops, I forgot the “robbing the robbers that robbed the robbers” line. Sorry about that. That actually makes me like the issue less, because even though they’re all criminals, is Fraction really saying that an Avenger should just steal money from them? I get that he’s going for a Robin Hood kind of vibe, but I doubt that the other Avengers would let him in their club if they knew he was doing that.

I still don’t get how he managed to have 13 million dollars on hand in issue #1. That’s a good salary!

Well, you said in that other comment that Fraction wrote a bunch of single issue stories and then decided on the order. Maybe he forgot that the money situation wasn’t figured out until what is now the second issue.

Good editing, huh?

Oh shit, I went there.

Oh, and don’t get too excited about GI Combat 0. It’s only about 2 pages where we see the Dreaming (yeah, I’m saying it definitively), and the other half of the book is the War that Time Forgot with Ariel Olivetti art, and I know you don’t like that.

And oh, I see NOW Rich has posted an item about GI Combat and the Dreaming. With no acknowledgement of me giving a heads up. Uhhuh. Johnston!!!

No mention of the BLACK KISS II # 2 ban in U.K. and Canada.

Apparently, the issue is a bit too racy, I hear.

What doth the American people have to say on this?

Tom:

Horse cock.

Literally.

Oh, and Rich amended his bleeding cool post to acknowledge me on the GI Combat thing, so I take back most of what I said about him ;)

No, he’s cool.

Way too much Marvel. You love wasting your money, don’t you?

I read Dave’s thoughts on retiring, and frankly, I’m not moved. The idea of a totally independent business in this era of intricate globalization and neoliberalism is totally unrealistic. I know Dave is a man who stands by his principles, and that’s probably a commendable aspect of his character. However, this is 2012, and personal beliefs and convictions are rather like a rocking chair: gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere. At least, not if you want to live. This is the late capitalist system and it is totally unforgiving. You can either cry about it, or enter into the logic of the system and live accordingly. Sim has all sort of possible avenues for making money. There are probably hundreds of schools that would take him as a teacher. I know Fantagraphics has expressed interest in reprinting Sim’s stuff which could probably negotiated into an extremely fair and ethical deal. Sim’s desire to stay unsullied by the logic of capitalism and globalization is pretty much naive and childish at this point. I have no sympathy for him.

Well, it took me a bit, but I found a decent recording of now less than Charlemagne himself conducting a strategy session:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbSQZfKTNCA

I can’t say I enjoy the truncated lyrics as much as I do the original though, but at least you get a sense of a show that probably belongs in I Love Ya, But You’re Strange…

(Here are the full lyrics, btw; Pippin is basically trying to find where he fits in the world, so he’s trying his hand at warfare: http://www.metrolyrics.com/war-is-a-science-lyrics-a.html

Later on, he actually DOES overthrow and murder Charlemagne, thinking it’s his destiny! Charlemagne gets better.)

Fielding, I’m glad you found a place on the Internet to be rude. I’m sure that was difficult.

I’m jumping off print copies of most Marvel stuff with the Marvel Now! launch, but I’ll stay with Peter David’s X-FACTOR and Jeff Parker’s THUNDERBOLTS/DARK AVENGERS until they conclude. They are really enjoyable comic books. I’ll check out HAWKEYE on Comixology once the price drops to $1.99. I’ve become quite comfortable buying only $.99 and $1.99 books there. I’m always behind on my comics reading anyway.

@ T.P.:

And figuratively ?

;-)

Becca: Man, the Greatest American Hero as Pippin. AWESOME!

Uh…believe it or not?

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