Monthly archives: October, 2007

Hey! Marvel!

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Book of Doom: Death of the New Gods #1

Death of the New Gods 1I’m lazy.

Written by Jim Starlin; Art and Covers by Starlin and Matt Banning; Variant cover by Ryan Sook

The title says it all! For months now readers have witnessed the unimaginable and unthinkable as New Gods across the DCU have seemingly died, with Lightray’s death in COUNTDOWN the biggest of them all. Now, the carnage continues but the mystery and adventure is just beginning! Jim Starlin — master of the cosmic odyssey — writes and illustrates this epic tale of death and destruction on a scale never seen before. With a cast of hundreds and cameos by the entire DCU, this intergalactic 8-part series cannot be missed!

You know the drill. Come back Saturday and we’ll talk about it.

Harry Potter and the Unread Comics

Harry Potter 6It’s Monday afternoon and I still haven’t read any of my comics from last Wednesday. Okay, I read New Avengers since it was this week’s Book of Doom, but other than that I haven’t read a comic in well over a week.

Instead, I’ve finished Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix and started reading Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince. I’m not sure if this is a testament to the quality of the Harry Potter books or a general apathy I feel towards today’s comics, but every time I considered sitting down to read Countdown or Fantastic Four, I opted instead to pick up the Half-Blood Prince.

I’m not really even much of a reader. It’s been five years since the last time I read more than one book in a short period of time (those books being the Lord of the Rings trilogy), but something about Harry Potter is compelling me to get to that last chapter of Death Hallows as fast as I can.

The fact that I’ve been able to remain relatively spoiler-free and am able to read all seven books in quick succession instead of waiting years between books is certainly part of it. But I think an even larger part of it is the internal logic that all the books have.

Nothing in the Harry Potter books is inexplicable. If a bit of information is essential to the climax, you can be sure it was introduced somewhere in the previous 300-800 pages. Nothing happens that contradicts something earlier in the story. And there’s certain rules that apply to the magic involved, even when magic is one subject that could easily ignore any rules placed upon it.

All that deliberate thought, planning and execution that went into these books is a breath of fresh air when many of my favorite past times (like comics and professional wrestling) seem to have no regard for what makes sense now, in the past or in the future.

By the time I finish the Harry Potter series, another two Wednesdays probably will have passed. I’m hoping this unexpected break from comics will recharge my love for the medium a bit. But if nothing else, I’ll hopefully have a better sense of what’s crap and what’s not and will reduce my weekly purchases a little.

Rob Liefeld shoots on Alan Moore

h/t Derek Burgan

Probably my favorite Rob Liefeld work in the past decade had been his embarrassing sputtering in the comments of Newsarama articles, but this takes the cake.

Rob recently did an interview with OC Weekly for the story Youngblood at Heart, and knowing the hits they were sure to get, they decided to put his comments on working with Alan Moore on their blog. This is absolute must-read material. I’m going to post a quote here that’s not even close to the best material.

If you’ve done business with Alan, you have a different opinion of Alan. He markets himself as a poet, but he’s just a ruthless businessman, like everybody else, he kept wanting to more work because he just wanted to get paid. Jeph Loeb, he can tell you.

You worship at the altar of Alan, and then you go, oh, he’s just another guy that’s looking to get paid, and that’s why he’d do 3-4 books a month for us. Literally, he’d send three scripts through the copy machine.

He’s brilliant, but to me I think he’s been revealed as someone who’s spiraled wildly out of control. Like, he had a falling out with Wildstorm, you know, he’s having another falling out with DC, he won’t work for Marvel. At some point you put yourself on line and go, well, gee, Alan, is it everyone else, or is it you?

Alan just wants to get paid more money, that’s it. Sorry Alan. I got my body of work out of Alan Moore, he doesn’t intimidate me, I don’t put him on a pedestal like Jack Kirby and Frank Miller,. He’s just a guy who wants to get paid, and he cuts deals for himself that he doesn’t like down the line, and then he gets whiny and cries about it…

Go read it.

Book of Doom: New Avengers #35

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThis week we chose Marvel’s Brian Michael Bendis flagship title, The New Avengers, for our roundtable review. I figured we’d be stirring up for a good blog slapfest, since Jim Doom is one of the biggest Bendis fans around, and Fin Fang Doom bleeds in his intestines just from reading a Bendis-penned comic. Me? Call me a fence-sitter. I used to love Bendis, then I got sick of him, now I think he’s pretty good.

I started reading New Avengers a few months back, then broke down and bought last month’s issue and now this one, both of which focus heavily on new villain The Hood, who’s trying to organize a criminal syndicate. I was looking forward to this issue, since the last one was pretty darn slow (the heroes sat around for the last two-thirds of the book and talked), and the cover to this one shows a symbiotic Wolverine with claws bared. Excitement!

Except… Not so much. We get one panel of symbiote-infused New Avengers attacking the Mighty Avengers, on one of the book’s last pages. So, thanks to Marvel marketing, this book really had no chance of living up to expectations. Instead of showing us how the New Avengers were overwhelmed by the symbiotes, or any of that earth-shattering fight, we get two-thirds of an issue of the villains sitting around and talking. For once, I didn’t ever feel like Bendis left a huge thumbprint on the issue. It was just boring. Incredibly boring. Those yawner scenes had some predictably nice dialogue and character moments, sure, but they could’ve advanced the plot just as much and been trimmed considerably. It’s especially frustrating since we didn’t learn much more about the Hood, except that he’s well organized and he wears jeans.

There were a couple of nice scenes at the beginning and end of the issue, but all that does is qualify it as a turd sandwich. Yum.

Now, Marvel marketing mistake number two: I really liked the first scene with Tigra, particularly how Bendis wrote Scarface (Leinil Yu also draws him better than anyone), and the last scene where she gets thrashed by the Hood should have been a really heavy moment. But Marvel chose to promote the issue with the kitschy line: “Guest starring Tigra. Poor, poor Tigra.” So, first off, I knew exactly what was going to happen before I read the issue. Second, all I could think about as I read it was how Marvel chose to promote the issue with a cute little joke about a female character being beaten within an inch of her life. “Tigra gets pwned!!! LMAO!”

Maybe I would’ve liked the issue without those two stupid decisions, but I definitely wouldn’t have loved it. Honestly, I think this is the end of my New Avengers experiment. Let’s see what the rest of the League thinks: (more…)

You know who could solve this problem? Batman

A Pittsburgh man bought a Detective Comics #27 off a guy who found it in the attic. So basically, the guy is not only a nerd, but a rich nerd.

So there’s that. But, like any story, good or bad, there’s some controversy around it. Another local comic store owner claims the same person tried to sell him the comic, and that it was “trimmed” – cut to make it look better than it actually was, which is not very legal. So he’s challenging the first guy to have it appraised, and he is refusing because he’s worried about how the comic will come out.

What was the big thing a few years ago where people shelled out too much money to have their comics put in a plastic case with a grade? Is that maybe the route to go? Who knows. Whatever the answer, at least this is a better comic shop turf war than that god awful “Comic Book Heroes” movie with the kid from “Road Trip” and my personal nemesis, Donal Logue.

Justified and ancient

I tell you, it’s a good thing that Ganthet and Sayd were kicked out of Oa. The other guardians were right – these two have let their emotions go to their heads.

They’ve been letting their love of earth people cloud their judgment, interfering with their impartiality.

from Green Lantern #24


How awesome is The Question?

Let’s dive into the pages of the recently released The Question: Zen and Violence for the answer. In case you’re unfamiliar, this collection brings back the run by Dennis O’Neil on the now recently deceased Vic Sage version of the Question. It starts with Vic as a crappy hero who gets his skull crushed, then eventually comes back to wreak havoc on criminals.

Since Chris Sims is neglecting all things kick-to-the-face this week (get better Ma Sims!), here’s a taste of what the vengeful Question does to his foes:

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Courtesy of Denys Cowan and Rick Magyar, we get full pages of intricate fights, orchestrated just about as well as they can be done. This, of course, is the Violence part of the title. Where does the Zen come in?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketUmm, yeah. I guess that’s it. I mean, I knew Zen was all about inner peace, I just didn’t realize that’s how you go about it. Vic Sage: Total badass, award-winning journalist and world’s most flexible man.

Now, I know you’re wondering the same thing that I’m wondering. How does he do it? How can one become as great as Vic Sage? Is there a path that doesn’t include making numerous hikes up into remote mountains and sitting in an ice cave until you decide to stop being a lame-o? Yes, yes there is.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketEver wonder how the Question went from second-rate hero to first-class badass? Wonder no more. In a single page, Vic Sage learned from Richard Dragon the ins and outs of creeping out villains and then beating the holy living crap out of them, all while acting ponderous and deep and stuff. You have to imagine that during the course of 52 as Sage kept pushing Montoya along, he couldn’t help but think, “Seriously, I learned this stuff in a page and it’s taking you a whole series!”

Now, try to tell me you looked at that page and Team America: World Police didn’t pop into your head. (more…)

Spidey: A dialogue

DOOM DELUISE: I hate the nickname “Spidey.”

JIM DOOM: Same here.

If Spider-Man was my friend, I wouldn’t call him that.

DOOM DELUISE: I’d call him Spider-Man.

JIM DOOM: I might start to come up with nicknames after a while, but I definitely wouldn’t call him Spidey.

It just sounds condescending and emasculating.


JIM DOOM: I might call him stuff like “Spiderama” or “Spideroonie” or “S-Man 2000″ but not “Spidey.”

DOOM DELUISE: I like Spiderama.

The Spidester?

The many jobs of Diana Prince

She’s long been the super-powered, lasso-wielding harbinger of justice as Wonder Woman, and post-Crisis she created a secret identity and worked for the very government agency trying to track her down. Oh yeah, somewhere in there she tried her hand at masseuse.

Now, a new identity for the princess of the Amazons. Exotic dancer, coming to a party near you!

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This comes from Wonder Woman #13, out this week, which actually wasn’t that bad, gratuitous booty aside.