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Flippin’ through Previews – February 2013

Oh, DC – you never fail to amuse, and Previews #293 is a perfect example of that!

Man-bats ... attacking! Must not ... become ... constipated!

Dark Horse:

On page 42, there’s a new Abe Sapien mini-series, Dark and Terrible. I, of course, will be waiting for the giant hardcover in which this will be collected some day in the future, but I point it out because Sebastián Fiumara draws it, and Sebastián Fiumara is a fine artist. (3 April)


On page 44, we get volume 6 of the Hellboy Library Edition. Hot diggity, I love reading some Hellboy in giant-sized hardcovers. This, I think, will be the last one for a while, as it ends with the death of Hellboy. Isn’t the new mini-series the first one since that one? (12 June)

I’m sure Faith Erin Hicks got a nice chunk of change to write and draw The Last of Us: American Dreams on page 50, but as it’s a prequel to the video game, I shan’t be picking it up. Still, good for Hicks! (24 April)

Dark Horse is reprinting The Massive #1 and Mind Mgmt #1 on page 53. In case you missed them the first time around! (3 April)

Amala’s Blade gets a mini-series on page 54. This is another story that debuted in Dark Horse Presents, and it was pretty good with fine art. I suppose I might have to check out a trade! (24 April)


I never read Bloodhound when it was at DC, but Dan Jolley and/or Leonard Kirk got the rights back, because Dark Horse is publishing the DC comics in a new trade on page 57. Plus, they have a new story in Dark Horse Presents #23 on page 56, so good for them! Is this any good, people who picked up an obscure DC title back in the day? (19 June and 23 April)

The Victories gets a trade on page 59 for only 10 bucks. That’s not bad value at all! It sounds like a standard superhero book, but Michael Avon Oeming’s art is always good to see, so maybe this is your thing! (12 June)

I’ve read very little of Dr. McNinja, and what I did wasn’t all that impressive, but it’s nice that Dark Horse is giving the people an Adventures of Dr. McNinja Omnibus on page 60. 500 pages for 25 bucks is a good deal, especially because a lot of this is out of print. (12 June)

Brian Wood’s first arc on Conan gets a trade on page 71, and I will be all over it like white on rice, I tells ya. Who doesn’t love Conan? (19 June)

The Original Daredevil Archives volume 1 shows up on page 72. This is, of course, the Golden Age superhero with the blue and red costume who battled the Claw, one of the most insanely racist supervillains in an era of insanely racist supervillains. I’m really tempted to get this even though it’s 50 bucks (for 280 pages, though, which is nice), because the few Daredevil stories I’ve read are ridiculously entertaining, even with someone like the Claw. (26 June)

I really hope he actually does fight Hitler in this volume

Grendel Omnibus volume 3 shows up on page 74. Yes, it includes issues #20-22, which have inexplicably never been collected before, and “God and the Devil,” which is an excellent story (among the general excellence of Grendel, of course). If you’ve never read these stories, I really can’t recommend the Omnibuses enough. (5 June)


Danny D? As Jon Stewart might say, meet me at Camera 3.

Okay, Dan, let’s talk for a moment. Look, I know you’re really proud of this weird “not-reboot” you did with the DCnU. That’s fine. More power to you. And I know you’ve pretty much given up on trying to expand your audience by making your comics the slightest bit “kid-friendly.” That’s cool, too. Eventually old nerds will die off, and my kid and others like her (I have a 7-year-old daugher, Dan, who digs comics) will be too busy reading comics that you don’t publish, but until that happens, I’m sure you’ll be peachy. But to name the entire month of gimmick covers “WTF April”? I mean, Dan, it’s not all that clever, although I happen to like the actual gimmick. But when you and your cabal came up with it, did anyone at the table (I’m imagining that you meet at a round table encircled with torches, and you all wear black robes, but that’s just for fun) speak up and say, “Maybe we shouldn’t do a cover promotion that is well known shorthand for ‘what the fuck’ when our stated goal of this non-reboot was to draw in new readers, which might include a younger audience?”? If you didn’t immediately kill that person by shooting them with the death beams that come out of your eyes, might you concede that the person has a point? Far be it from me to tell you how to run your vast, extremely profitable empire where all the freelancers have nothing bad to say about your business practices, ever, but I don’t know – calling this fun gimmick “WTF April” just seems like a really, really, REALLY bad idea. Okay, carry on!

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Justice League of America’s Vibe #3 (page 85): “What is the one Super Power that is more than a match for Vibe and how can it tear the universe apart?” Wait, there’s only one super power that’s a match for Vibe? Damn! (17 April)

Justice League #19 (page 86): “Who is the one person dangerous enough to use Kryptonite against Superman?” That’s weird. I thought anyone could use Kryptonite against Superman. All they had to do was find some Kryptonite, right? I mean, isn’t that kind of the point of Kryptonite, that anyone can use it? Are there weird new “Kryptonite rules” in the DCnU? (17 April)

I know people are still squeeing over Scott Snyder’s run on Batman (which I can’t do yet, because DC hasn’t released a motherfucking softcover trade of it yet!), but the solicitation for issue #19 (page 100) annoys me. The cover shows Bruce Wayne holding a gun, and the solicit asks “What would cause Bruce Wayne to use a gun?” Batman, of course, famously refuses to use guns, but it’s not really edgy anymore to show him using one. It wasn’t edgy when Morrison did it in Final Crisis, and it’s not in this book. I don’t care “what would cause Bruce Wayne to use a gun,” because the answer is easy: Nothing. NOTHING! Oh well. I’m sure I’m in the minority, but I don’t care. (10 April)

Um, no

Detective Comics hits issue #900 on page 103, and DC decides to splurge with 80 pages for 8 bucks. I spoke to Layman about this issue recently, and he’s written 50 pages of original story, and I’m not sure what else they’re going to use to fill it out. I heard someone complaining about the price point, and that’s fair, but I do know that most of it will not be reprints, and a lot of it will be moving the overall plot forward, so for what that’s worth, there you go. (3 April)

Phantom Stranger #7 (page 115): “Do you dare ask who slayed the Stranger?” Apparently “slayed” is becoming more common in the United States as the past tense of “slay,” and my soul dies a little more. I’m going to go cry in the corner now. (3 April)

Swamp Thing #19 (page 119): “What could Swamp Thing possible fear more than The Scarecrow?” Um, lots of things? Hedge clippers, for one. Macadam, for another. Vegans? Smokers? Lack of proper crop rotation? (3 April)

Global warming? Ranch dressing? Rednecks?

Over on page 138, DC brings us the Solo Deluxe Edition, which collects the 12-issue series and is 50 dollars for a whopping 568 pages of comics awesomeness. I bought some of the Solo issues, but I really should have bought them all, and now I don’t have to! Well done, DC! (5 June)

I’m not sure if I’m a big enough fan of the King to get In the Days of the Mob, which is 40 bucks for 108 pages, but I’m sure it’s an oddball slice of Kirby goodness, so maybe I will pick it up. Man, the Seventies were weird. (7 August)

DC’s latest Chronicles is Justice League of America Chronicles, which shows up on page 140. I really dig The Batman Chronicles, and I might have to check this bad boy out. (22 May)

I’ve heard good things about Li’l Gotham, Dustin Nguyen’s all-ages digital Batman comic, and now DC offers a print version on page 143. I might have to check that sucker out! (10 April)

Mike Carey’s Lucifer is getting new printings, with bigger trades. The first one (page 149) collects the three Sandman Presents issues and the first 13 issues of the ongoing. Lucifer is one of those books that I’ve tried to get into quite a bit, but I just can’t. I read the Sandman Presents issues (I just re-read them, in fact, because they came right after Sandman in my collection) and the first four original trades, but the series just didn’t do anything for me. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t really like Carey’s writing in general, in fact. I don’t automatically give him a look because of this and The Unwritten, which I also just couldn’t get into. But it’s cool that DC is reprinting them and expanding them! (29 May)

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DC offers a “Wallace-and-Gromit” style Batman and Robin action figure 2-pack on page 154. Look at this motherfucking awesome package:

The eyes! THE EYES!!!!!

40 bucks? Man, that’s tempting.


John Byrne’s Star Trek stories get a nice hardcover on page 160. If you’re a Byrne or a Star Trek fan, I imagine you already have these, but it’s possible you missed them, and 50 bucks isn’t bad for 320 pages of Byrneniness.

The trade of Godzilla: The Half-Century War is offered on page 170. Once again, I will point out that this is James Stokoe drawing Godzilla. Plus, maybe if it sells more, he’ll get paid more so he can finish an issue or two of Orc Stain?


So there on page 188 is the solicitation for Jupiter’s Legacy #1. The pages that have been floating around on yonder Internet look superb, and I’m having a really hard time with my Mark Millar boycott over this. Damn you, Frank Quitely, for working with Mark Millar!!!! (24 April)

Damn it!

Steve Niles and Tony Harris show up on page 192 with Chin Music, about a man who shows up in Prohibition-Era Chicago “surrounded by gangers [sic] and demons alike and caught between law enforcement and the local supernatural underground.” As nifty as it sounds, the fact that the solicit reads that it’s “like nothing you’ve ever experienced before” bothers me. I mean, Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt might want to have a word with whoever wrote that text. (17 April)

Ted McKeever’s 2013 comic is called Miniature Jesus (page 198). Do you really need to know any more than that? (17 April)

Guaranteed awesomeness!

A Distant Soil returns on page 200. I’ve never read this, but I’m sure its fans are happy that Doran is getting around to finishing it! (24 April)

Morning Glories #26 promises the beginning of “Season 2,” but why is Image soliciting this? I read an interview recently with Spencer where he spoke about how “Season 1″ wasn’t going to be done until the summer, and this issue probably wouldn’t be out until the fall, and it might not make it out in 2013 at all. This was a few months ago, so why on Earth would Image solicit this when they know there’s no way in hell it’s coming out in April? I know that they have to have this put together pretty early, but even a few months ago, Spencer (and Image, presumably) knew this wasn’t going to come out in April. I’ll put it this way: issue #24 is currently slightly over 3 months late. Who knows when it will come out, much less issue #25. So why solicit this at all? (“24 April”)
[EDIT: Nick Spencer stopped by in the comments to say that they are definitely on track to get this book out when the solicits say it will be. I apologize to Spencer and Eisma – I swear I saw an interview with him in which he said that the first “season” wouldn’t finish until late summer and this issue wouldn’t be out until the fall. Maybe I’ve been drinking too much kumiss recently and I’m too addled. I’m certainly glad it’s on track for April!]

Point of Impact gets a trade on page 209. It’s a solid crime comic with nice art, so it might be something you want to check out! (3 April)


Despite my strange battles with a certain Marvel editor over the past few months, Marvel’s solicits do tend to do a slightly better job with promoting their books than DC does, but they do come up with some odd stuff. The first book in Marvel’s Previews is Age of Ultron #4, which promises “A secret that will have fans of Marvel comics arguing for years to come!” I mean, I know they’re trying to appeal to the Angry Nerd in all of us, but is “This comic will make you angry with your fellow comic book readers!” really a good way to promote it? Oh, wait, I just remembered that that’s exactly the best way to promote it, sadly. (3 April)

I know they’ve already announced a writer for Ultron #1AU (page 5), but the fact that in Previews, the writer is listed as “TBD” is as perfect a summing-up of modern Big Two comics as I can think of. “We’re going to have this ‘Son of Ultron’ book,” said the Marvel editor, calmly stroking his white cat and licking his thin lips, “if we have to hire an 8-year-old Mumbai street urchin to write it! Number Two!” he said, turning suddenly to his cowering associate editor. “Find me a writer to put words to my brilliant idea! Make it a chick, too, to keep those crazy Internet women off my back!”
“Well, sir,” said the associate editor, feeling his testicles retreat further into his body, “how about Kathryn Immonen. She’s –”
“Immonen? Don’t we have an art robot named ‘Immonen’?”
“Yes, sir, this is his wife. She’s –”
“Brilliant, Number Two! We’ll keep him happy AND appease those harpies on the Internet! It’s BRILLIANT! I’m so glad I thought of it! Now, Number Two, fetch me my burlap sack full of cocaine and the finest ocelot meat you can find! It’s ORGY TIME!”

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I wish comics were made this way. It would explain so much. (3 April)

On page 12, the raving for Avengers #9 includes this line from iFanboy.com: “The future of comics is here!” Is it time for a cage death match … to the death! between Kelly Thompson and that reviewer from iFanboy.com? I would pay many moneys to see that. (10 April)

The solicit for A + X #7 (page 33) describes Gambit as “ever-lusting.” Man, it sounds like he should see a doctor or a therapist or both for something like that. (3 April)

Remy - I'm totally flattered, but don't look at me that way, 'cause it's not going to happen, man!

Continuity alert! Will Man-Thing be able to talk in Savage Wolverine #4 (page 43)? I would wager all the moneys I won betting on Kelly Thompson in the cage death match that the answer is a big honkin’ “NO.” Who’s with me? (17 April)

Bill Reed will buy Avenging Spider-Man #19 (page 45), even if he’s never bought an issue before. Why? One (compound) word: SLEEPWALKER!!!! (10 April)

Bill doesn't even care what the story's about!

Marvel seems to be ratcheting down on the hardcover editions of some of their trades, which isn’t the worst idea – some books just won’t sell in overpriced hardcover volumes! On page 91, Avengers Arena gets a trade – I might check this out – and on page 93, Kathryn Immonen and Valerio Schiti’s Journey into Mystery gets a trade, which you should check out, as the first three issues of this arc have been excellent. (8 and 22 May)

If you’ve been waiting for a complete collection of The Twelve (I know there’s one of you – oh, there you are!), it’s on page 97. It includes the Spearhead one-shot, so for 35 bucks for 13 issues, it’s not a bad value. (24 April)

Yes, it’s time for the back of book. That’s where the weird is, man!

On page 234, El Torres and Juan José Ryp have a new comic from a new company, Amigo Comics, called Rogues! (the exclamation point is important). Both Torres and Ryp are pretty good creators, and this sounds like a fun romp – a bit Fafhrd and Gray Mouser (although one of the rogues is a female), but that’s always fun, right?

So many weapons, so much nekkid flesh!

Gold Digger reaches 200 issues, which, as the fine folk at Antarctic Press point out, is pretty impressive when you consider that one man has written, drawn, colored, and lettered every issue. I’ve looked at a few issues of Gold Digger, and I’m not a huge fan of Fred Perry’s art style, but that’s still an very cool achievement.

Charles Soule, the new writer of Swamp Thing, has a graphic novel out from Archaia on page 246 called Strange Attractors. Apparently it’s about chaos theory and math and weird shit like that. Who doesn’t love math?

Über shows up on page 264 from Avatar. Gillen has had two Avatar projects kicking around for five years, so it’s nice that one is finally getting released! Basically, this tells what happens when the Nazis get superheroes and the Allies don’t. I’m going to buy it, even though the weakest part of Gillen’s repertoire is his plots, and Avatar books tend to be very plot-heavy. Still, I like Gillen, so I’m giving this a chance!

Oh, Avatar - you never disappoint!

On page 272, Blackwatch Comics has The North End of the World, which is really expensive (50 bucks) but sounds very interesting: a photographer and his daughter journey to the northern end of Vancouver Island to film the Kwakiutl Indians, including rituals that they don’t want known to the outside world. Bad things happen, as they do. I’m not a huge fan of Christopher Shy’s dreamy, painted, occasionally-using-actual-photographs artwork, but this is still intriguing.

Dynamite, continuing to make Greg Hatcher as giddy as a schoolgirl on her way to her first Justin Bieber concert, has picked up the right to Miss Fury, which shows up on page 290. I like Jack Herbert’s art, and this might be good, but one thing that was so interesting about the original Miss Fury is that she rarely appeared in costume – she got into plenty of adventures in her regular clothes! It seems like Rob Williams might be making her a more “standard” superhero, which is fine, I guess, but I wonder if the book will lose some of fun of the original strip. (3 April)

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Of course there's going to be a "risqué" cover!

If you skipped out on Brett Matthews’s and Sergio Cariello’s epic take on The Lone Ranger, Dynamite offers a 632-page omnibus on page 300 for 40 slim dollars. This is a very good comic, and that price is nice.

Rutu Modan’s new graphic novel, The Property, is offered on page 306 by Drawn & Quarterly. It’s about a woman and her granddaughter returning to Warsaw to reclaim some property the family lost in World War II. Strange things, it seems, begin to happen. If this is half as good as Exit Wounds, Modan’s previous work, it will be excellent!

First Second offers Jerusalem (page 311) by Boaz Yakin and Nick Bertozzi, which is about a family during the 1940s, dealing with the changes in the city. Both creators are quite good, so I’m looking forward to this.

On page 314, we find The Crow Special Edition from Gallery Books. For 18 bucks, you get 30 pages of “never-before-seen material.” Dare I buy this? That would mean I have the original issues (not first printings, but still), the reprints of the issues combined with the new stuff that completed the series, a collected edition, and this edition. I mean, I like The Crow, but that’s pretty excessive. I’m still tempted!

There’s a second volume of The Deep from Gestalt Publishing on page 315. The first volume was pretty darned good, and that’s being offered again on the same page. Get ‘em both!

Top Shelf has a couple of digital comics that are getting nice hardcovers on page 336. The first is Crater XV by Kevin Cannon, which is a sequel to Far Arden, his 2009 comic. Some of you might recall that I loved Far Arden for about 300 pages, until it went (in my opinion) way off the rails in the final act, but its excellence for so much of it makes me curious about this, especially as Cannon seems to deal with the way it ended. Meanwhile, Zander Cannon shows up with Heck, a book about a dude who can contact the recently deceased to settle inheritance disputes. Of course, eventually he has to go to Hell himself. Both of these books sound pretty darned cool. I assume someone has already read them on-line, but that’s not me!

I was going to call it quits after this, but then I checked out the “Books and Magazines” section and saw on page 373 that Jeffrey Brown has a new book out called Vader’s Little Princess, which is about Darth Vader raising his rebellious daughter Leia. This is the second one Brown has done, after Darth Vader and Son (which is offered again). I assume these aren’t comics, but illustrated books, which is why they’re back here, but they sound awesome. I might have to get them both, even though my daughter (who would probably like them as well) isn’t into Star Wars yet.


All right, that’s it for this month. Have fun trawling through the catalog! It’s hella fun, ain’t it?


Huh, I have the Original Silver Streak Archives; I wonder how much overlap there is with the Original Daredevil Archives. I’ll have to look into that, because I love that stuff.

I may have to track down that Byrne Star Trek collection, too, because that’s one of the few latter-day Byrne efforts I actually like.

I loved Carey’s Lucifer series, but definitely more so as it went along. The first trade didn’t impress me at all.

you’re really showing your age if you honestly don’t believe that “wtf” and, when spoken, what it stands for isn’t in the common parlance of today’s 13 year olds. And given the actual content of DC (And Marvel’s) comics these days, that’s really the lowest age bracket they’re shooting for.

Stuff like that is stuff that concerns hand-wringing parents; it is far from mystifying or off-putting to the kids themselves. Remember, this is a world where 12 year olds are gleefully playing Call of Duty and Gears of War and are hugely active online. Curse words were tossed around liberally when I was 13 and that was 14 years ago.

If Man-Thing doesn’t greet Wolverine with a “What up?”, I quit.

buttler: Yeah, I read quite a bit of Lucifer, but I couldn’t be patient after about 20 issues. I just kept waiting for it to get good, and it never did!

Alex: I’m not saying that at all, and I know kids do that. My point is: Do we really want to encourage them? I’m trying to teach my daughter to be a good kid, but if she comes home and starts saying “What the fuck,” should I just say, “Oh, you kids today – everyone says that, so who cares?” I’m just pointing out that DC is just feeding into this idea, and I don’t think it’s a great idea. If that makes me old, so be it. I embrace my oldness!

jjc: It’s probably not going to happen!

I’m checking out Pietrolino, by Jodorowsky and some dude named Boiscommun. Jodorowsky originally wrote this story for a “famous French mime.” Who knew that mimes could be famous, huh?

Also, I’m impressed with that Miss Fury cover. Sure that woman is well-endowed and wearing skin-tight clothing, but her boobs are acting like REAL boobs would when women arch their backs like that, instead of the way porn-star boobs would, and depicted by most superhero comic artists.

And I hope that the Abe Sapien comics do get hardcover collections.

Quick comments before more comments later:

Bloodhound was ok, from what I remember. There was a crossover with the newer Firestorm though, so I wonder how that’ll fit in? It’s one of those where I’m surprised that it can be collected elsewhere. But I’m glad to see it and might go for it.

The Victories trade is 10 bucks? Shit, that was 5 issues at 4 bucks a pop in singles, so $ wise it’s a good deal. The story, however, was this ultra violent depressing thing where superheroes haven’t done jack to make the world better. It looks nice, but just wasn’t that good, I gave up after 1 issue.

Fuck yeah Sleepwalker!

Archaia may need to look into using “Strange Attractors” as a title — there was the self-pub’d SF comic from about 20 years ago with that same title. Wonder what happened with them guys?

More babbling later! You know you want it!

For us Brits, the Aardman Batman and Robin statues are 100% Del and Rodney from “Only Fools and Horses”. They would go down a storm with grandmothers over here (I’m not joking).


why the mark millar boycott?

Morning Glories 26 will hit in April.

24 is out on 2/13, 25 is out in late March, and 26 is out in late April. 24 and 25 are both double-sized, as will be 27 in May. Joe is working on the last pages of 25 now, so we’re in good shape schedule-wise.

Joe H: I saw that Jodorowsky book and thought about mentioning it; I might get it too. And Marcel Marceau was very famous! He had the only line of dialogue in Woody Allen’s “Silent Movie,” if I recall correctly.

I like the Miss Fury cover too. I like Alex Ross a lot more than others, I think. The “risque” cover is not by Ross, though. I wonder what it will look like!

I just imagine that Dark Horse will eventually collect the Abe Sapien stuff with the BPRD stuff, which they’ve been collecting in nice hardcovers. It’s wishful thinking on my part, but I suspect they will do it.

Travis: That’s odd about the crossover. Presumably they’ll just skip that in the collection?

Of course I want more ranting from you!

Mars Bonfire: I see what you mean, thanks to Google!

trevor: I’ve never been angrier at a comic than the last issue and specifically the last page of Wanted. It made me swear off Mark Millar, whose work I had generally enjoyed until then, and the few issues I’ve read since then (for free; I won’t buy them!) makes me think I’m not missing much.

Nick: Thanks, sir. I could have sworn I read an interview where you said issue #26 wouldn’t be out until the fall. This is what happens when you rely on memory! Good to know you’re on track – I’ve missed it!

Damn, I totally missed the Sleepwalker appearance in the solicits. Thanks for pointing it out! The Devil Dinosaur two-parter did not get me to buy Avenging Spider-Man, but this might.

(There’s always one thing you slip into this column that I end up picking up. I got burned on Pirate Eye, but still!)

In this here interview, the writer of BLOODHOUND explains it was a slightly forced crossover but was written in such a way not to impact the flow if the larger story he was telling. http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2012/12/exclusive-dark-horse-to-collect-dan-jolleys-bloodhound/

In other news UNWRITTEN is one of the top books on the stands. More intellectually stimulating than just about anything out there. Just brilliant, beautiful work. It gets rewards,but still seems criminally underrated. In my opinion.

whats wrong with slayed? you prefer slew? i dunno, slew is fun, but slayed sounds better. flay, flayed, pray. prayed, spay, spayed, whats the problem?

Bill: I always trying to help!

Dave: I read 20 issues of The Unwritten, and I just kept waiting for it to get better, and it never did. I never hated it, but it seemed like the idea that Carey had and what he talked about when it came to the series was far more interesting than what ended up on paper. I don’t agree with you, of course, but that’s okay – nothing is universally loved!

noob: I don’t like it because it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it. It doesn’t sound better, it sounds wrong. Because it is. I’m sorry that it’s irregular, but so are a lot of English words. Have you ever catched a ball?

Is Jupiter’s Legacy meant to be monthly or more like bi-annually?

I really want to pick it up. But I dont want to wait 3-5 years to get a finished story.

being a grammar Nazi is fine sometimes. I hate when people say ‘brung’ instead of ‘brought’. I just instinctively correct them :-)

Lets hope the actual physical copy of Detective states it as being issue #900! Or its just a wasted opportunity.

@jjc – only Boomerang heard Man-Thing speak in the ‘ghetto’ lingo. Every Thunderbolt heard him differently. So even if he does speak, I wouldn’t expect him to say it.

@Greg Burgas:
Oh, was that who that was that spoke in “Silent Movie?” I need to rewatch that, because I haven’t seen it in a while.
Jupiter’s Legacy is going to be bi-monthly until the halfway point where there will take a hiatus and then it’ll be bi-monthly again. I forget how long it’s supposed to be though. Both the hiatus and the number of issues.

Bronze Age Chris

February 3, 2013 at 4:38 am

My 9 year old son and I love Jeffery Brown’s “Darth Vader and Son”. But it does help his enjoyment that he loves all things Star Wars.

If “Vader’s Little Princess” is half as good I would recommend it to those with children.


Really concerned about WTF and hope it’s not seen by young eyes….and I quote

“know people are still squeeing over Scott Snyder’s run on Batman (which I can’t do yet, because DC hasn’t released a motherfucking softcover trade of it yet!”

I have a young grandson who reads this and many CBR columns…can you expalin motherfucking softcover…it will easier coming from you..

James (and Joe H): As far as I know, Jupiter’s Legacy is 12 issues.

I am almost positive that DC won’t make any mention of Detective #19 being #900. They’ve been pretty adamant about not acknowledging that any of their comics were published prior to September 2011.

Peter: If that’s the worst thing he sees in one of my columns, he’s probably pretty lucky.

There’s a lot of differences between this and DC comics. I have never pretended that I write for kids, yet DC still pretends that their superhero books can be read by everyone. As I have pointed out many times, they refuse to show a nipple because they don’t want to be truly “adult.” But their comics aren’t for kids, and they should just accept it. I’m not writing a story that stars character who were designed to be kid-friendly, and I’m not selling action figures and other merchandise that leads kids to this column (man, I should have an action figure of myself sitting at my computer blogging – it would sell like gangbusters!). DC and Warner Bros. make a lot of money off selling stuff to kids, but the foundation of those sales – their comics – are often not something that appeals to those kids.

I’m not saying that DC shouldn’t do a “WTF” event and call it that, as stupid as it sounds. As I’ve often done, I just want them to embrace that their books aren’t for kids at all and make them truly “adult.” Or they should try harder to make them acceptable to everyone. I’ve mentioned that John Layman is writing Detective Comics as almost an “all-ages” book, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good book for adults. All that means is that it’s not full of gore or ridiculously costumed women like a lot of DC comics. It’s possible for DC to appeal to both their core group – middle-aged men like me – and many other groups. But if they have no interest in that, they should stop pretending that they do.

Anyway, I’m not going to stop using bad language every once in a while. And I’m going to keep posting the occasional nekkid person, whether male or female. If I lose you and your grandson as a reader … well, that’s too bad, but unlike DC, I don’t have to expand my brand to survive. I just thought DC might want to try to expand their readership. They don’t seem to do a very good job with it.

Tom Fitzpatrick

February 3, 2013 at 7:31 am

@ James: Frank Quietly has a reputation for being a slow artist, so it’s stands to reason that the book would be bi-monthly.

@ Mr. Burgas: I’d like to see you try to explain “motherfucking softcover” to that young grandson: see how your years of teaching comes into effect! ;-)

speaking of that Detective Comics WTF cover, for some reason, the look of Batman reminds me of the singing maniac of FAUST. The background scene looks something out of that book.

speaking of Miss FURY, does anyone think she looks awfully like Catwoman from Pre-Crisis days?

Tom Fitzpatrick

February 3, 2013 at 7:32 am

Ohh, I just can’t wait for June, when that Grendel Omnibus V. 3 comes out. Damn the bi-annual shipping schedule!!!

Tom: Good point about Batman. They’re so angry!

Tom Fitzpatrick

February 3, 2013 at 8:16 am

If they start singing “Papa’s got a brand new bag!”, I’m so out of there!!! ;-)

Alex, there are plenty of kids doing drugs and having children before they can legally drive a car these days as well. Should DC’s next pitch be “4:20 Covers!!!!” or “Teen Pregnancy Variant Covers!!!”? What better way to lose a potential new reader than to have his comics taken away by a parent who actually pays attention? I’m sure the DC cabal thinks this is a jovial tongue-in-cheek gag but they also believe rape and murder have advanced the medium. Get back to intriguing stories and amazing art DC. Leave the “Oh Snap! No we di’int!” stunts behind please.

It is a popular misconception that Marcel Marceau has the only speaking line in Woody Allen’s Silent Movie. Actually, Marceau has the only speaking line in Mel Brooks’ Silent Movie.

Vader and Son is awesome. The more you know about Star Wars, the better, but I can’t imagine a little girl not enjoying Brown’s cute, charming cartoons even with little or no knowledge of the movies.

Is that actually a popular misconception or is it a unique misconception? This is the first I’ve heard of that particular error. The idea of Silent Movie being a Woody Allen joint would be like that Lars von Trier movie–you know, Knocked Up.

As amusing as your pearl-clutching offense at “WTF month” is, I really don’t think your argument makes much sense. You don’t think there’s a middle ground between, say, The Disney Channel and HBO? Between movies rated “G” and movies rated “R”? Because almost everyone else thinks there is. That’s the realm where broadcast network TV resides, that’s there the vast majority of movies rated “PG” and “PG-13″ reside, and DC keeps its standards for books not labelled either “All Ages” or “Suggested For Mature Readers” right in that middle ground. You can and do hear expressions like “WTF” on broadcast TV (I’m pretty sure Marc Maron has plugged his podcast by name on talk shows which make a big deal about still bleeping the word “fuck”, even though they’re on after midnight). And yes, those shows also “refuse to show a nipple”.

There are many things to criticize DC for, but going on and on about them adhering to content standards accepted by just about ever form of mass media in the US, well, that’s The Craziest F#?king Thing I’ve Ever Heard (to quote a graphic which appears on the screen of a basic cable show which bleeps out the word “fuck”).

sgt pepper: Whoops, you’re right – it’s Mel Brooks. I forgot it was Brooks. I don’t know why I thought it was Allen, though …

Sam: Well, I guess I’m crazy. I really don’t give a shit what DC calls its gimmick month, but they always seem to do stupid fucking things like this, where their idea of “mature” is a 14-year-old boy’s idea of maturity. I don’t like PG-13 movies that show people getting butchered but no nudity, and that’s what DC comics are – they’re “PG-13″ comics that no one in their right mind would think are appropriate for 13-year-olds. I’ve written before that my parents never censored what I could read (they did censor what I could watch, though), and I don’t plan on doing that with my daughter, and it’s not DC’s job to do that, but I do think DC should think a bit – just for one fucking minute – about what they’re doing. Not just with this, which – you’re absolutely right – is a tempest in a teapot, but everything else, too. So, fuck me. I’m a fucking pearl-clutcher, I guess. I don’t want my daughter to read DC comics because I don’t want to have to explain to her why Geoff Johns enjoys killing all his characters.

(And yes, I used a lot of cursing in this response on purpose. Just for fun!)

I’ll admit it: I am the one you were referencing regarding the collected edition of The Twelve. I thought this looked great five years ago! Of course, I’m older and wiser now, but I’ll probably still buy it.

Charles Soule is an excellent writer and a very nice guy. My wife worked with his sister-in-law, and through that connection he visited a comic shop that I ran a few years ago. It wasn’t anything formal, but he dropped by and we talked comics for a bit. He then sent me a copy of Strongman to review, which was excellent. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read of his since. Good to hear he’s got more stuff on the way other than Swamp Thing.

Always find it funny that Tintin, Boy Reporter cuts about firing off handguns hither and thatcher, yet the big bad Batman’s not allowed. I mean seriously, what the flip?!?

Craig: Ha! I knew there was someone! I honestly might get The Twelve in hardcover, too. I heard it didn’t end particularly well, but I thought the first issue was pretty good. I’ll have to think about it …

I forgot that Soule wrote Strongman, which I enjoyed. I know he was working on a second volume, but I don’t know if it ever came out. Thanks for reminding me!

Blair: I actually like that Batman doesn’t use guns. It’s a bit ridiculous, sure, but I like it. I just think writers should respect that.

@Greg I couldn’t get into The Unwritten either. Not sure just not my cup of tea.

Excited for more issues of Morning Glories, but somethings gotta give. I need some consistency in focus on characters from issue to issue at least. Not having any answers to so many questions is annoying but the inconsistency in character focus from issue to issue makes it worse. ( Hope that makes sense)

Guess I’m not in my right mind, because I haven’t seen anything in a DC Universe book that I would object to a 13-year old reading on the basis of content. Quality, sure, but the content is never any worse than what they’re exposed to in movies, video games or TV. Not sure why you keep harping on the “no nudity” thing. The US has stricter standards on nudity than on violence, especially compared to some other countries. That might not be “right”, but it’s fairly consistent across a broad spectrum of media, so I think I can excuse DC for not bucking that trend by putting bare boobs in a Batman comic book.

Pete: Yeah, I can see that with Morning Glories. I’m still willing to give it a break, because I do think the issues are quite good, but I agree that Spencer might have too many balls in the air, and it dilutes the focus. For now, it doesn’t bother me, and I hope it never becomes a problem.

Sam: That’s cool. I see some stuff that, while I’m sure 13-year-olds see it all the time, I wouldn’t really want them to, but that’s just me. I don’t think I’m harping on nudity, I just find it ridiculous that Americans can be puritanical about it but not obscene violence. I agree that it’s consistent in media, but I just find it stupid.

I applaud DC’s effort to clean WTF up to mean “Watch This Fail”. I won’t be buying any of their books in April.

It’s interesting to see any artifice of craft stripped from event comics and how crass the big two are to not give any weight to advertising how good they think their output is going to be. I think next year’s event comic label should be “It’s an event comic, bitches! Buy this shit!” It would be awesomely meta if DC had a character in every book saying “people would pay through the nose to see this wacked out shit!” I’d expect something like that out of Deadpool (maybe only Max), but since the death of ASBAR, I couldn’t see it happening in the DC universe before now.

Also Greg, you swear too much.

Greg: “noob: I don’t like it because it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it. It doesn’t sound better, it sounds wrong. Because it is. I’m sorry that it’s irregular, but so are a lot of English words. Have you ever catched a ball?”

The process of turning strong verbs into weak has been going on for a looong while in English, though, Is it any more unnatural to say “slayed” than, say, “ached” (original form “oke”)?

“Sam: That’s cool. I see some stuff that, while I’m sure 13-year-olds see it all the time, I wouldn’t really want them to, but that’s just me. ”

But you can’t stop them. I saw/read tons of shit my parents would have disapproved of when I was 13, and that was before internet when it could actually a hassle to get a hold of porn, slasher flicks and the like. I understand your sentiments, but just can’t see a thirteen year old kid of 2013 be scarred by a current DC comic..

Well, you brought up the nudity double standard twice without prompting, and one of those times prefaced it with “as I have pointed out many times”, so I think that qualifies as harping on it. Everyone has different standards. It sounds like you’d want them to tighten up restrictions on violence and language, loosen up on nudity. If it were up to me, they’d loosen up on all three, and I’m sure there are people who’d want to tighten up on all three to a degree that would make us both uncomfortable. If you’re looking for a publisher to rock the boat rather than go along with the community standards they’ve been given, DC is the wrong place to look.

entzauberung: I know that English changes, but the reason I don’t really like this kind of thing is because I’m convinced the only reason it happens is because of ignorance. People don’t know the past tense of “slay” is “slew,” so they use the standard -ed ending to make up a word. If we want to change English, fine, but let’s start by changing every past tense, so that, like I noted above, we start using “catched.”

Sam: Yeah, fine, I was harping on it. The reason I mentioned that I’ve written about it before is because I didn’t want to go over the same arguments. I actually DON’T want to tighten the restrictions on violence and language. My entire point is that DC pretends that everyone can read their comics when that’s complete bullshit. I want them to admit that and give us comics that reflect the fact that mainly adults read them. That means violence with consequences instead just showing heads exploding, a complete lack of grawlix, and nudity. If we as a society have decided that 13-year-olds are okay with Roy Harper losing an arm (which DC showed quite graphically not too long ago), then we should accept that they’re probably okay with seeing a female nipple. Or DC should just put out comics that say “Not for children” and stop pretending. This coy “Ooooh, look how cool we are!” crap just points out, yet again, that they claim they’re for kids when they really aren’t.

Greg; ” know that English changes, but the reason I don’t really like this kind of thing is because I’m convinced the only reason it happens is because of ignorance. People don’t know the past tense of “slay” is “slew,” so they use the standard -ed ending to make up a word. If we want to change English, fine, but let’s start by changing every past tense, so that, like I noted above, we start using “catched.””

Now i’m picking nits about an aside but…every language change ever has come from ignorance/not caring. English, with it’s lack of gender and cases? Fucking hobby Germanic :)

I’d buy a Greg Burgas action figure. I expect to see it featured in your next Flippin’. Possibly with removable beard.

Will you folks be changing the name of your feature to “The Line It Is Drawed”?

Question for any Dr. McNinja fans: I have the first two trades DH put out, so is there any overlap between those and this new omnibus, or is this collecting previously un-collected material?

Also, Greg, I remember reading an interview with Matt Wagner years ago where he talked about Grendel #20-22 getting skipped over in the original trades because of some damage to the films that made them too difficult and/or expensive to reprint. It’s nice that they either seemed to have fixed the problem, or found a workable way around it…

entzauberung: Ha! Yeah, good point.

Dan: That would be AWESOME!

Andrew: It doesn’t say in the solicits, unfortunately. It’s very old material, but all it says is that it’s “out of print,” not that it’s never been collected.’

Interesting about the Grendel. I guess they did figure something out!

Miniature Jesus! Hell Yeah! Actually, didn’t the back cover of Mondo 3 say McKeever’s next book would be something else…Blacktop Apocalypse, or something? Wonder if it’s the same thing with a different title, or if there’s more McKeever awesomeness on the horizon.

And man, Plastic Forks needs to be reprinted. Or has it and I just missed it?

A Distant Soil! Yay!

Point of Impact in trade — alright, this time I’ll get it! Hope I’m not going to get reamed price-wise with it.

Ever Lusting Gambit — if your bad Cajun accent lasts longer than 4 hours….

Not much else to say. Wondering why Bill thought he got burned on Pirate Eye — I thought it was kinda neat and amusing, and look forward to more of them coming out this year.

I guess I’m not invested in your points about WTF April because I don’t believe your original point, that DC is trying to get new readers. I mean, they need to somehow, cuz they keep chasing off us old ones. I like Batman, but you can’t have your entire line be Batman.

The other thing about this feature — it makes me want to spend too damn much money. Damn you Burgas!!! and DAMN YOU COMICS!!!

@Greg Burgas: The actual title of nu’tec #19 is “900”. And, you know, it’s an extra-large, more expensive issue. So not no acknowledgement whatsoever, at least.

Is “WTF” really all that much more suggestive than “What the…?” was?

Jeff R.: Yeah, I suppose. It’ just DC being annoyingly coy, but yeah, they’re sort-of acknowledging it. But they’re not saying it’s the 900th issue of Detective, just renumbered, because remember – according to their zero issues, none of their characters existed before September 2011.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Flippin’ Through Previews!! I totally overlooked Ted McKeever’s new book. I would never have forgiven myself for not including that in my pre-order.

Re: Didio… I’m quickly getting to the point where every passing month increases the chances that I’ll be starting an online petition of people who refuse to buy another DC comic until Didio no longer works for the company. I’m not quite there yet, but I can feel it coming. To wit, I bought 39 of the New 52 first issues, very excited to see how the possibilities manifested on the comics page. Now I’m down to seven monthly books with the intention of dropping two of them (Action and Swamp Thing) when the creative teams switch in a month. To borrow a joke from Bill Simmons, I think DC is more sorely in need of a Vice President of Common Sense than any comic company has been since Marvel in the mid-90’s.

DonW: No problem, sir. That’s why I do this – I get Previews for free, which I know a lot of people don’t, so it’s fun to go through it and highlight some of the weirder stuff.

Daniel: Notice that the common thread between DC now and Marvel in the mid-1990s is not Dan DiDio, but Bob Harras. Coincidence?

Yeah, the Harras point is interesting, and I think it’s about 50/50 coincidence and not at all coincidence, if that makes sense.

The EIC at Marvel in the early-to-mid 90s was Tom DeFalco, while Harras was running the X-books and writing Avengers. So who should get more blame for what happened? It was Harras who drove Claremont away and wrote the Avengers into the ground, while it was likely DeFalco (and Marvel policies in general) that lost the Image guys and then spent years trying to copy them, and DeFalco who oversaw all of the terrible business decisions that took Marvel to bankruptcy (even though it actually happened while Harras was EIC).

To Harras’ credit, his tenure as EIC saw the success of Marvel Knights and Heroes Return. And that’s partially why I don’t know how much Harras can be to blame for what’s happening at DC right now. With both Marvel Knights and Heroes Return, it was a pretty simple formula: Get great creators together, put them on characters they’re interested in, let them do what they want. It’s so obvious, and yet it’s about the total opposite of what DC is doing with the New 52. Though maybe Harras isn’t the one that should get any credit for either of those initiatives?

I don’t know Bob Harras and I assume he’s a nice guy, but he largely seems to have “failed upward.” He hasn’t really succeeded at any job, but he keeps getting bigger and better ones. Partially this could be because the results of his work haven’t necessarily been apparent until long after, and initially things looked incredibly successful. And I’m also guessing he’s a classic company man that does what he’s told and pleases the bosses, and that’s the kind of thing that tends to get rewarded.

But beyond a few of the creators involved (Jim Lee, Scott Lobdell, Tom DeFalco, etc.), I don’t think much of what’s happening at DC now bears any resemblance to what happened at Marvel in the 90s, which is why I don’t think Harras has much control at DC right now, even though his title would suggest otherwise. It really seems like every company decision is coming from Didio and Johns, because Jim Lee is definitely smarter than this, and it just doesn’t fit in with Harras’ style.

What I really wonder is whether Johns is just as much to blame as Didio. Didio takes all of the internet heat, but I suspect Johns is just as guilty. As the Green Lantern movie showed, he probably shouldn’t be put in charge of anything other than a comic script (and even that’s debatable).

Bloodhound was easily my favourite cancelled-in-under-a-year series of all-time. Yes, even moreso than Chase. Brilliantly executed crime drama. I am stunned and thrilled that it’s being brought back to life.

Third Man: It was Harras who drove Claremont away and wrote the Avengers into the ground, while it was likely DeFalco (and Marvel policies in general) that lost the Image guys and then spent years trying to them, and DeFalco who oversaw all of the terrible business decisions that took Marvel to bankruptcy (even though it actually happened while Harras was EIC).

From what I’ve read (including Sean Howe’s recent book), none of those decisions were really made by editorial in the first place.

Third Man: I don’t know Bob Harras and I assume he’s a nice guy, but he largely seems to have “failed upward.” He hasn’t really succeeded at any job, but he keeps getting bigger and better ones.

The X-Men were monstrously successful under his watch as line editor.

I can’t help but find it amusing that you suggest that your child suddenly is no longer a “good” child if she drops an f-bomb. Despite the fact that it’s language that hurts no one and isn’t even hateful in the slightest. Does this make me a “bad person” if I’m free with curse-words?

And having your child scarred for life by seeing a dastardly “wtf” plastered on the cover of a comic is no more “encouragement” than she’ll be exposed to in today’s world It’s 2013. One would think the logical approach would be to educate one’s child about context, as opposed to keeping them in a bubble where he or she is a “bad person” simply by using certain words with society has arbitrarily deemed to be varying degrees of foul, despite often carrying almost no meaning whatsoever. Because you’re fighting a losing and hopeless battle if you believe that you can raise your child in a manner that ensures that they’ll grow up to be a profanity-free teenager and, ultimately, a profanity free-adult which, for some reason that makes no sense, is part of being a “good person.” Because that is the goal right? If it isn’t, what’s the point?

Also, big difference: your child is 6. DC’s target demographic is, at it’s lowest end, 13. That’s the difference between a 1st grader and a high school kid. Worlds apart. So the comparison is invalid.

Wow, Alex. You can fuck right off if you’re going to start implying that I think my daughter will be “bad” if she curses. That’s not what I meant at all. You’re just being a fucking asshole when you start with that. I meant that I raise her to be respectful of others, caring, hard-working, interested in learning – you know, “good.” If she comes home one day and starts cursing, I’m not going to yell at her and call her bad – maybe some asshole parents would do that, but I wouldn’t – but I would try to explain to her, like I always do, that maybe she should find some other way to express herself. And yes, I do believe I can raise my daughter to be profanity-free, because a few years ago, when I wrote about my disappointment that Jonathan Hickman used “retard” in a Fantastic Four comic and that I didn’t want my daughter to use that kind of language, a lot of commenters said that I was being an idiot if I thought she would go to school (she was just starting kindergarten at the time) and think that she wouldn’t be influenced by other kids. Two years later, she never uses language like that and gets very upset with others when they are using hurtful language. Sure, she might change, but again, why shouldn’t we try to raise our kids so that they are the best they can be? This may surprise you, but I use far more profanity here – because sometimes it’s just fun – than I do in “real life,” because I don’t think expressing yourself by saying “fuck” every other word is really the best way to do it. I don’t think people who curse are “bad” – that would be stupid. But I do think that everyone – including me – uses profanity far too much. If I can try to teach my daughter not to, I’m going to do it, even if I’m an idiot.

But yes, you’re right – DC doesn’t care about my daughter because DC comics are far too mature. There’s nothing more mature than people dressed in spandex beating the shit out of each other. Jesus.

I’m sorry, but when you start thinking that you know how I feel about my daughter and how I raise her, you can fuck right off.

You’re still suggesting that cursing is somehow contrary to being the OPPOSITE of “caring, hard-working, and interested in learning.” One might also say that someone who does not have those three qualities falls pretty close to being a bad person. Furthermore, you suggest that a person who swears isn’t “the best they could be,” somehow inferior to a person who doesn’t. All over the use of words society arbitrarily labeled “bad’ despite their often having no meaning. So don’t go back on it: people who swear regularly are unsavoury folk. But why is that, Greg?

And I didn’t say DC’s content is mature in the sense that a Faulkner novel is mature. I’m saying they’re not aimed at 6-year olds, which they’ve always made pretty clear.

I don’t mean to tell you how to parent your kid. It’s your kid, but I can’t help but find it amusing how much stock you put into a word that society has arbitrarily decided is “naughty” and usually has virtually no meaning. You then come out as complete and utter hypocrite by dropping f-bombs aplenty in your reply to me, only to try to defend it by saying…what…that according to your inexplicable and arbitrary linguistic moral code, swearing in writing is somehow less bad than swearing “in real life,” since you do less of the latter. You then close off by with this bizarre shame complex where you say you feel bad about using profanity too much…then go about using it some more. That’s downright Victorian of you. Also, your f-bombs, being charged with negative emotions and directed at a specific person are a hell of a lot more loaded with impact and meaning than DC’s comparatively innocent “WTF-certified” stamps. I suppose that was just a moment where lost your composure and the horrible beast inside slipped to the surface.

The “retard” comparison is also irrelevant given that the word’s meaning is clearly derived through a derogatory comparison to a particular group of people. That’s not at all the case here.

The words have no inherent meaning in contexts such as DC’s and cause no direct harm to anyone, and it’s clear that the f-bomb is used far more and is generally far less shocking than it was 50 years ago. Things like “ass” and “damn” are common on broadcast television at this point. So hold onto your arbitrary notions of linguistic morality for dear life, because you’re fighting a losing battle: languages evolve and change over the years and DC’s WTF stamps is symptomatic of that fact.

Alex: Yeah, you’re right. Thanks!

DC should support Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, with a month of “Save the Ta-Tas” covers!

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