Monthly archives: April, 2007

Book of Doom: Fallen Son #2: New Avengers

It’s Book of Doom time, and that means that the Legion of Doom does its best to help some publisher sell an additional four copies of some lucky book! This week, it’s Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America – Avengers.

And this week’s edition of the Book of Doom features a new element to the roundtable – our rotating weekly celebrity guest comic blogger! (ORWCGCB for short) This week it’s Matt from Another Damn Comic Blog.

The first issue, starring Wolverine, was awesome, and the second stage of grief – Anger – seems to be a good fit for the splitting factions of Avengers.

In’s story on the five-part series, writer Jeph Loeb says, “The second chapter, Anger, deals with the enormous frustration over the unfairness of death. It can eat you alive if you let it. And to best tell that story, I wanted the characters Cap was most associated with — the Avengers.”

“In the aftermath of Civil War, Brian Michael Bendis had the inspired idea of splitting the team into two factions – The New Avengers and The Mighty Avengers. By doing this, Anger could be told from two different perspectives…”

Here’s the official solicitation info:

The devastating end of Civil War has two decidedly different reactions from the Mighty Avengers and the New Avengers!

If you thought heroes were divided during the War, just wait until the aftermath! That’s right, it’s both teams in one book, and we got the superstar team from Superman/Batman – Jeph Loeb & Ed McGuinness – to take on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and the Avengers Assemble like never before!

So pick up the book and share your thoughts, or just show up Saturday when we do your thinking for you.


Preview: God Save the Queen

By Mike Carey (W) and John Bolton (A)
Vertigo, 2007, $19.99

Of the major comics writers out there right now, Mike Carey is one of the most prolific and diverse. He writes horror titles, big superhero fare and smaller stuff, like Vertigo’s Crossing Midnight. This week sees the release of his original graphic novel that twists the classic fairy tale and melds it with the London drug scene — God Save the Queen.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThe book is perhaps best known for the flap about whether the cover painting (seen here) revealed a nipple. After closely examining the preview copy sent over by Vertigo, I can conclusively say that it’s a shadow. Also, I opened the cover and it turns out there’s a book inside. Go figure. Carey draws together a wealth of British fantasy and folktale tradition and creates a “reality-based” fantasy world of his own, in which faeries and such are real, but most people don’t know about them. What works well is how he treats the magical creatures: they are very real, with all the faults and complexities of people.

While most fairy tales about young girls have the main character stumble into this fantasy world, God Save the Queen inverts that by having this fantasy world insert itself into the life of Linda, a teen who has turned to partying, drugs, etc. to fill the void of her father’s disappearance. She becomes entwined with a group of junkies (they’re very hip and cool, but still clearly addicts) and they reveal that they’re actually faeries. The hunt for drugs escalates into a full-fledged battle for queenship of the faerie realm, with Linda at the center.

Meaningless Awards of the Week- 4/18/07

Fallen Angel 15Artist of the Week- Kristian Donaldson, Fallen Angel #15

Wait a second! Someone else is getting the Meaningless Award for Artist of the Week the same week Darwyn Cooke’s The Spirit came out? How is that even possible? Well, you just have to combine the always fantastic Fallen Angel with an awesome new artist. I’m not sure where this Donaldson fella came from, or what he’s done (if anything) before Fallen Angel, but I am very much looking forward to seeing a lot more of his work.

Best Surprise of the Week- Harley Quinn is the Secret Sixth, Birds of Prey #105

There’s got to be six members of the Secret Six. But since Ragdoll pushed Mad Hatter off a cliff in Secret Six #6, there have only been five. What kind of person would be crazy enough to join such a dysfunctional team, though? Crazy, dysfunctional Harley Quinn, of course. I never would have guessed she’d be the sixth member, but now that she is, I don’t know how it could have been anyone else. And since the Secret Six is semi-heroic, Harley’s membership doesn’t even contradict her recent de-vilification in Detective Comics. Keen!

Ultimate X-Men 81Spoiled Surprise of the Week- Ultimate Beast isn’t dead, Ultimate X-Men # 81

The death of Beast is about the only memorable moment from Brian Michael Bendis’ terrible run on Ultimate X-Men. And its really only memorable because no one wanted to see him die in the first place and there wasn’t really any good reason to kill him off. Since then, UXM fans have been speculating if and when Beast would return to the land of the living. That occurred in this week’s Ultimate X-Men #81, although it probably would have been a good idea for Marvel to not put the out-of-mind character on the cover. That way, his actual reappearance in the actual story might have come as an actual surprise. I really wish Marvel and DC would stop trying to one-up each other on the bad things like spoiler covers, underwhelming “events” and Michael Turner variants. (more…)

Countdown news

In a move to appease the victims of World War III (see: fans), DC Comics is going to be releasing some advance looks at Countdown, the new series that spins out of 52. (Note: it’s spearheaded by Paul Dini, so it should be better than sucky.) Now, if you’ve just dropped $130 on 52 and you’re trying to decide whether to lay down $155 for this next weekly series, you’ll at least be able to check out parts of some issues to see if it’s worth the investment.

DC’s PR folks say:

COUNTDOWN, DC Comics’s new, yearlong weekly series, will be supported with an unprecedented preview of the first two issues of the series on MySpace’s new comic book community. MySpace Comic Books, located at, will be the only place to see the first two issues of COUNTDOWN online, in their entirety. The online content will roll out over a series of three weeks:

The first ten pages of COUNTDOWN 51 will be on on May 4. The last 12 pages of COUNTDOWN 51 will be on the site on May 11, along with the first 12 pages of issue 50. The last ten pages of COUNTDOWN 50 will be on the site on May 18.

DC will also launch a DC Nation MySpace page on May 2.

“We have so much faith in this series that we did something special with MySpace to get the first issues out in front of as many eyes as possible,” said Dan DiDio, Senior Vice President Executive Editor, DC Comics. “This is our biggest series of 2007 and we’re presenting it in the biggest way possible.”

Also, DC tells us that a weekly conversation with the editor of COUNTDOWN will appear on Newsarama, including cover debuts, roundtable commentary and interior page previews.

Another Wrong Solution

It looks like DC’s making this thing a habit now. Even though they certainly have the best of intentions, they just don’t seem to be coming up with the right solutions to their problems.

ww3World War III was kind of a letdown. But maybe I didn’t go into it expecting it to be what it was actually meant to be. I thought WWIII was going to be a huge battle pitting Black Adam against every superhero on Earth. Of course, maybe that’s because that’s how DC promoted it. I knew the event was going to be used a huge turning point for many characters that explained their changes One Year Later. I didn’t know that the story was going to be those changes taking place, though.

Here’s the problem with that idea: I don’t read every DC title. And I don’t really care about the ones that I don’t read. So I don’t care about how Firestorm changed from Infinite Crisis to One Year Later, and I don’t care about Aquaman pre-Sword of Atlantis. There’s a reason I didn’t buy Aquaman pre-OYL and there’s a reason I still don’t read Firestorm. If I wanted to read about Firestorm, I would read Firestorm. If I wanted to read pre-squidface Aquaman, I would have read pre-squidface Aquaman.

The same must be true for almost every DC. I can’t imagine that there’s anyone that cares deeply about Aquaman, Batgirl, Checkmate, Firestorm, Jason Todd, Manhunter, Martian Manhunter, Supergirl and the Teen Titans. Sure, there are many people that care about some of them, but very few want to know what’s happening with all of them. Lumping all of these moments into a story that was promoted as being about Black Adam, which spun out of a series starring none of those characters mentioned, just seemed unnecessary. (more…)

World War III: A week that will live on in Infamousy

Well, my Kurt LODers, the week we had all been looking forward to has come and gone – the week of DC’s World War III. It was the story too big to be told in the pages of 52 – the story that would tie up all the loose ends still lingering after twenty-five twenty sixths of the missing year had passed. It was a mega-event you could pick up all at once – like getting Infinite Crisis or Civil War all in one week. In case you missed the Legion of Doom’s coverage on Wednesday, we took you through the events as they happened. But now it’s time to look back.

So…it kind of bombed for me. The things I was most anticipating about the missing year were things like What happened to Aquaman? What was the deal with Supergirl? What happened to the Outsiders? What happened to Dick Grayson and Jason Todd? Well I got those answers, but I seriously got them in about the most underwhelming way possible.

First off, let me say that I really liked Nightwing Annual #2. To me, that was a way of telling the story of what happened in that missing year, but enveloping it within an actual narrative, with character dynamics and all that great stuff. But like the question of the Outsiders, Nightwing’s answer came completely outside of World War III.

Fine, the editors and talents on 52 say that the story just took on a life of its own, and that there really wasn’t room to tell those stories within 52. Okay. But that doesn’t excuse the completely half-hearted explanations of the other big questions. Not only did the Supergirl and Aquaman answers not have anything to do with World War III, they were so straight-forward they were almost insulting. How did Supergirl end up returning to our time? A ha! She…came through a portal. The end. How did Aquaman become that strange tentacled creature? Behold! He…um…just got changed into it. How did Jason Todd become Nightwing? He…put on the costume. And why? Because the Bat family wasn’t doing its job…even though Nightwing has been back to being Nightwing for months now.

There was no drama, no suspense, nothing compelling about those big answers. It’s like asking How did Wolverine get his metal skeleton? and the big reveal being “Someone put it in him.” Talk about a rip-off. 52 was great, but out of the other 4 issues, I would maybe take five or six pages out of them, make 52 five or six pages longer, and charge an extra quarter.

World War III was supposed to be too big for 52, but instead, it felt like they were struggling to make it fill four issues. Take out two pages of Firestorm napping on a rooftop and give me more reason to care about Supergirl returning to Earth. Take out two pages of Martian Manhunter being disturbed by telepathy and give me more reason to care about Jason Todd putting on the Nightwing costume.

That’s enough for me. Here’s what the rest of the posse had to say.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Dust Waltz

Buffy Dust WaltzBy Dan Brereton (W), Hector Gomez and Sandu Florea (A)

Original graphic novel published by Dark Horse Comics. Cover price $9.95.

The Plot: Buffy and the rest of the Scooby Gang must prevent vampire queen Lilith from summoning an Old One while Giles’ niece stops by Sunnydale for a visit.

The Positives: N/A

The Negatives: The art is pretty freaking terrible. Hector Gomez has the skills of a mid-90s Marvel artist, back when everyone was trying to draw like they founded Image. Which is to say, he sucks. This comic comes from 1998, so that’s not completely unexpected, but art quality aside the art is still substandard. It might have been nice if, you know, the characters looked at all like what they did on the show. Willow and Cordelia, two polar opposites, are nearly indistinguishable (it doesn’t help that the colorist made Willow’s hair brown despite the fact that she’s a redhead). Angel is shown in a white dress shirt and jeans, even though he’s rarely worn anything besides a dark shirt and black leather pants. Gomez nailed Giles, but how hard is to accurately depict a character that’s already a caricature?

The writing’s not much better. The plot isn’t memorable at all. The supposedly all-powerful vampire queen Lilith and her evil scheme are thwarted just as easily as Amy’s mom or the Nerd Trio were. If you take the worst plot from the TV show and then make it worse, you’d have a story slightly better than the Dust Waltz. The dialogue isn’t very good, either. Dan Brereton tries to “Whedon up” the dialogue at times and fails miserably at it. That can get annoying when Joss himself does it, so you can imagine how bad it is when someone much less talented does it.

Need I go on?

The Grade: F. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Dust Waltz is just plain bad. I’m a huge fan of Buffy, and I didn’t even like it. Not only would this be a waste of your money, it’d be a waste of your time.

Worst to First: 4/18/07

Obviously, World War III is going to dominate the comics front this week. But since we’ve already covered that quite thoroughly, I’m going to limit this little misadventure in reviewing to the non-WW3 books of the week. Yeah, some other stuff came out. Who knew?

Worst: JLA #8

Maybe I drank too much Identity Crisis Kool-Aid back in the day, but it’s taken me way too long to realize that this series is a pile. I still like Brad Meltzer as a writer, but through eight issues, we’re all still waiting for something to happen. Well, aside from chess. And a game of capture the flag that should’ve been much cooler than it was. I’m really wondering if a lot of the problem is Meltzer’s continued insistence to tell several stories all at once. Or maybe I just can’t love anything wrapped in a Michael Turner turdball. Whichever.

I also continue to not have any interest in the JSA, which means this book is dropped until further signs of ineptitude.

Consistently worthwhile: Robin #161

Not much new to say here. Lots of fighting, good dialogue, pacing, etc. A worse week would’ve seen this much higher on the list.

Subversive: The Spirit #5

Nice how they allude back to the Mortez storyline. And since we’re not there yet, a fun little whirl of social commentary. Darwyn Cooke lets us know that children are dumb, so are parents and advertising types have no qualms about taking advantage of those lackings. It’s a bit of a smack over the top of the head in the obviousness department. The highlight, then, is this fetishist Carrion and his apparent romantic tinglings with Julia, a vulture. Weird.

And the nominees are…

The 2007 Eisner Award Nominees have been announced!

2007 Eisner Awards

Best Short Story

* “The Black Knight Glorps Again,” by Don Rosa, in Uncle Scrooge #354 (Gemstone)
* “Felix,” by Gabrielle Bell, in Drawn & Quarterly Showcase 4 (Drawn & Quarterly)
* “A Frog’s Eye View,” by Bill Willingham and James Jean, in Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall (Vertigo/DC)
* “Old Oak Trees,” by Tony Cliff, in Flight 3 (Ballantine)
* “Stan Lee Meets Spider-Man,” by Stan Lee, Oliver Coipel, and Mark Morales, in Stan Lee Meets Spider-Man (Marvel)
* “Willie: Portrait of a Groundskeeper,” by Eric Powell, in Bart Simpsons’s Treehouse of Horror #12 (Bongo)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)

* Batman/The Spirit #1: “Crime Convention,” by Jeph Loeb and Darwyn Cooke (DC)
* A Late Freeze, by Danica Novgorodoff (Danica Novgorodoff)
* The Preposterous Adventures of Ironhide Tom, by Joel Priddy (AdHouse)
* Skyscrapers of the Midwest #3, by Joshua Cotter (AdHouse)
* They Found the Car, by Gipi (Fantagraphics)

Best Continuing Series

* All Star Superman, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC)
* Captain America, by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting (Marvel)
* Daredevil, by Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark, and Stefano Gaudiano (Marvel)
* Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, by Naoki Urasawa (Viz)
* The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman and Charles Adlard (Image)
* Young Avengers, by Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung, and various inkers (Marvel)

Best Limited Series

* Batman: Year 100, by Paul Pope (DC)
* The Looking Glass Wars: Hatter M, by Frank Beddor, Liz Cavalier, and Ben Templesmith (Desperado/Image)
* The Other Side, by Jason Aaron and Cameron Stewart (Vertigo/DC)
* Scarlet Traces: The Great Game, by Ian Edginton and D’Israeli (Dark Horse)
* Sock Monkey: The Inches Incident, by Tony Millionaire (Dark Horse)

Best New Series

* Criminal, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Marvel Icon)
* East Coast Rising, by Becky Cloonan (Tokyopop)
* Gumby, by Bob Burden and Rick Geary (Wildcard)
* Jack of Fables, by Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges, Tony Akins, and Andrew Pepoy (Vertigo/DC)
* The Lone Ranger, by Brett Matthews and Sergio Cariello (Dynamite)

Podcast of Doom: Episode 2 (transcript)

[SFX: Podcast of Doom theme music]

JIM DOOM: Hello and welcome to our second edition of the Podcast of Doom. I am your co-host, Jim Doom.

DOOM DELUISE: And I’m your party-host, Doom DeLuise.

[SFX: audience laughter]

JD: Well, today Doom and I are going to discuss something very important in comic books these days, and that is love and relationships. What better example of love and relationships in comics than the brand new Nightwing Annual #2, which hit comic shops this week.

Now, we probably should have covered this in pre-production, but you read the Nightwing annual that came out this week, right?

DD: Uh…Nightwhat?

JD: Nightwing.

DD: Darkwing Duck?

JD: Oh dear…

DD: Hmm. Was that in World War 3?

JD: What are we going to talk about now —

DD: Oh yeah. I read it.


JD: Well, I thought that was a heck of an issue.

DD: As did I. Although, it failed to address a couple key points from the OYL stories.

JD: Well, I stopped reading that, so all I really wanted to know was why Dick and Barbara broke up, and I was surprised at how good the exposition was. Speaking of surprise goodness, you should try this chocolate soy milk. It is so good!

DD: I’m drinking beer, and it is SO GOOD!

Back to what I was saying, I printed this out for you. (Editors note: the visual aide can be viewed here)

[SFX: sound of papers shuffling]

DD: How’s that make sense?

JD: Well, he realizes he isn’t the settle-down type that he wants to be. He needs to be the ass-kicker who commits himself to the people more than to any one person.

DD: Babs made that decision for him. SHE dumped HIM!

[audience: Oooh!]