Monthly archives: December, 2007

Another 3-week Doomino Effect

Yeah, so the bad news is that my new job keeps me busy enough that I’m horrible at keeping up with a weekly Doomino effect schedule. But the good news is, I’m bringing in more money, so I’m buying more comics to review!

So let’s start off with Green Lantern #25, the finale of the Sinestro Corps storyline. I’m having trouble with my numbering here, because by my count, it should have been part 10 (and DC seems to think so too) but it’s part 11, and it’s a SUPER SIZED FINALE, costing me $4.99.

But dang, this was a great issue. While I was very excited about this series, I was also very skeptical. With all the big guns that had been assembled on the Sinestro side, I was very afraid there was going to be some lame, cop-out ending.

But I buy it that the Anti-Monitor could be defeated, or at least slowed down, by the combined forces of the Guardians. I’m glad Superboy turned on the Anti-Monitor, and I’m glad that Superboy was written like an unstable psycho kid. Little problem I’m wondering about – if he was doing his old “I’m eating all the positive matter” thing, is there like a hole in Earth now?

The public support of Green Lantern gave me chills. That was a pitch-perfect big-screen scene if I’ve ever read one. Some readers might feel that was a bit cheesy, but I think sappy scenes like that can really work to balance the seriousness of the situation. Pushing that dynamic helps establish how far everything has moved in the other direction.

I was very glad that Sinestro took pleasure and even a feeling of victory at learning the Green Lanterns now had lethal authorization. The severity of that change had been somewhat glossed over in recent issues, and I was wondering if anyone was going to acknowledge the dark consequences of that. I wouldn’t have minded someone admitting that earlier, but saving it for the moment Sinestro learned it certainly didn’t take away from that scene.

There was very little I didn’t like about this series. I felt like it should be considered a textbook case of telling a large-scale superhero action story. You introduce a huge threat, you elevate that threat, and you have the good guys win, but you make sure that the quest for victory means something and changes something.

The Sinestro Corps was defeated, but the status quo in the world of the Green Lanterns has definitely changed. They can use lethal force. The guardians are freaked. And the stage is set for the rise of more lanterns.

Another slight problem I have with the aftermath, and that is the tease for 2009. In Blackest Night, Summer 2009, “the dead will rise.” Considering I just read the finale of a story that involved Hal Jordan battling Superboy Prime, Cyborg Superman and the Anti-Monitor, teasing me that the dead will rise is a little weak at this point.

Holy crap! “Messiah Complex” is awesome!

jesus1022.jpgFor a while, I’ve been losing my interest in X-Men – I’ve been down to Astonishing, just so I could say I finished out. That, and it’s got my favorites in there. It’s a Storm and Nightcrawler away from my all-time favorite team. But yeah. I couldn’t handle Mike Carey’s run on X-Men. I was just bored, and Humberto Ramos’ art was too distracting. And the Emperor Vulcan thing eventually wore on, being 6-8 issues of story stretched out across a year. It wasn’t bad, I guess, as I was a fan of Deadly Genesis. But I just couldn’t bring myself to pick up a story that was just okay to good.

But some of the previews for Messiah Complex had me interested, but by the time I got back to the comic book store, I hadn’t realized it was underway – and that I was five issues behind. But after debating picking it up again, I decided to take the plunge – and I’ve been thrust into one of the best crossovers since Mutant Massacre.

What’s not to love? The stakes are as high as ever. Where Operation: Zero Tolerance kind of raised the stakes, everything ended up fine in the end. Well, except for three lame members added to the team, though I do have a secret affinity for Maggott. But Onslaught hasn’t excited me since I was 12 and didn’t know any better. The stakes were “high” then. But with Messiah Complex, it’s an actual state of emergency. And everyone is involved.

With the birth of the new mutant baby, it seems that hope has entered the picture. But in the desperate scramble to find him, everyone’s ideology is affecting the story more than anything else. With the Purifiers, the mission is to destroy the mutant child, and they do so in an oh-so-biblical way. They go to the Alaskan town and kill off every child there in case one of them is the Christ child … err, mutie. Sinister wants a lab rat, the ultimate way to control mutantcy in ways he’s only dreamed of before. But Cyclops is perhaps the most dangerous of all – he’ll take down his own son in his Ahab like quest to obtain this child. While it signals the hope for mutantkind, he’s become obsessed with the child, but isn’t analyzing why he wants it. He wants it because of the future – which is obvious when you see the way he sends Madrox’s dupes into the two possible futures.

So in the end, we end up with one person holding the key to this clash – Cable, and he’s not going to give it up to anyone. Once a throw-away militant in the big guns 90s era, Cable has grown over the years into a real character. But while taking a piss last night as a mid-Messiah break, I began to think – Cable is the ultimate X-Man. Given Cyclops’ quest, he might be the only true one left. Even the New X-Men, the next generation, has become obsessed once they find out the Purifiers are involved.

There’s a lot going on in this story, but every time I think something is forgotten, the new issue touches on it. And so we’re left with an epic scope to the story. The mansion has been destroyed again, sure. But the world that’s been created since Decimation is being turned upside-down. Like the team-on-the-run days, we have the potential for an all new face to the X-Men. And for the first time in a long time, or ever, I’m excited by what X-Force has in store.

But what’s going to be the ultimate end to the story? With Cable and the Reavers squaring off, will he not succeed as the savior? And is anyone’s quest currently right? And they’ve said Magneto won’t be directly involved with Messiah Complex, but really, how far can he or his children be? Also, what do we know about the new mutant girl? Is she really a great hope for all of mutant-kind, or is she something else entirely?

Consider me hooked.

Countdown to Final Crisis: Twenty

countdown 20I see London; I see France; I see a shitty comic book with Mary Marvel’s ass hanging out on the cover.


Total page numbers for each storyline in this week’s issue of Countdown:
Brother Eye: Four.
Karate Kid and Una: Three.
The Challengers: One.
Jimmy Olsen: Three.
Monarch: Two.
Pied Piper in “Weekend at Bernie’s 3:” Three.
Mary Marvel: Four.
Total splash pages: Four.

Ok, then. See how they can’t tell any stories? They’ve seriously set up an entire series that can’t tell a single story, by the nature of its design. “52” found its way around that by taking each of the individual stories and giving them entire issues devoted to just one story at a time. For example, one year ago, when “52” was in Week Thirty-Two, Ralph Dibny’s story was given fifteen pages, Osiris’ got four, and the Space Adventurers were left with two. Oh well, Countdown sucks balls, so let’s just get this shit over with. (more…)

Ultimates 3 #1

ultimates 3I don’t think we’ve discussed Ultimates 3 yet. Why not? Well, probably because it lives up to the Bizarro hype. It’s a cornucopia of flash, angst and poorly written dialogue from a writer who should know better (Jeph Loeb), and an artist (Joe Madureira) whose relevance will only last as long as he can keep up with the schedule – meaning we should see roughly two issues of this book in 2008.

We’re reintroduced to the Ultimates with a wonderful opening scene of the team watching a pirated DVD of Tony Stark sticking it to Black Widow … and I’m not talking about the death scene from Ultimates 3. This sextravaganza is introduced as a “security breach” for the team, moments before Venom pops in demanding a HER of some type. A bunch of dialogue follows which explains the fight step-by-step, all in a vain effort to introduce the team.

The next thing we know, all is well, except Hawkeye is talking like a sociopath, Captain America is acting like Wolverine, Hank Pym is passing out like he was Doom DeLuise and the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are looking good and ready to make a baby. But fuckles! (spooooooooooooiler alert) ********While the two are ice skating, somebody shoots the Scarlet Witch and she dies. We’re led to believe it’s Hawkeye.********** (end spoiler)

We’re introduced to an Ultimates that feels the need to explain step-by-step what’s going on, something previous volumes did with visuals. While the situations are meant to bring in gritty realism, they come off instead as cheap ploys. This is the Ultimates catching up to Gen X, harkening back to an era where Image reigned – and the use of Venom as the first villain only drives in the amateurish feel of the book. Also, the ridiculous boobportions Madureira is famous for are popping up nearly everywhere – I even had to double check to see if I spied a nip slip. I have a bad enough taste in my mouth to not want to pick up the book again, which is sad, because outside of Optic Nerve and Astonishing X-Men, I haven’t picked up much.

Which Supergroup is Sneakier?

Click on the images to enlarge them.

The Final Word on Heroes

heroesWe’ve been over this before. Again and again. I hate the television show “Heroes.” It’s no secret. I also really enjoy arguing about it. This is the last time I’m ever going to mention the show here or anywhere else (unless I’m really drunk, in which case I might just start shouting at anybody nearby who will listen). I have to ask myself what the point of arguing is, at this point, when the show has lost even the smallest shred of credibility, and, the sad truth is that, the only reason is because, regardless of the show’s complete worthlessness, it still, this week, snagged the third best rating in the 18-34 year-old demographic. People watch this abysmal shit, still; and they defend it, somehow. I can’t figure it out. The show is so completely pathetic, and, yet, people still prop it up as something decent or good. It’s really quite awful. (more…)

I couldn’t have put it better myself

Spider-Man Family 7After four months, I’m still a bit surprised and saddened every time I read that Mike Wieringo passed away. I’ve never been able to quite put my finger on what I liked so much about the guy. Something about his work just always connected with me. During a recent interview with discussing Spider-Man Family #7, the “Ringo tribute issue, frequent collaborator Karl Kesel perfectly explained not only my love of Mike Weiringo’s work, but my love of comics in general:

…I think Mike and I enjoyed working together because we had some very similar, basic views of what good comics are, and at the core of that is the belief that no matter how dark the journey, there needs to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Comics should be something that make you want to jump out of bed every morning filled with the sense of life’s possibilities, not something that makes you want to pull the covers over your head in despair and dread.

‘Nuff said.

Crisis on

At first, keeping up this website was simple. But as time has gone on, we’ve become more aware of certain elements of this blog’s past that we’d all like to forget.

How can I justify choosing Deathblow #1 as the Book of Doom?

How can one explain Fin Fang Doom’s infamous Buffy post, or his decision to post his JLA and Avengers ID cards? Even he can’t explain it, asking me, “What’s wrong with my Buffy post? Or my IDs, for that matter? And why are you being a dick?”

What was Jean-Claude Van Doom thinking, reviewing Heroes on a weekly basis? Why couldn’t Doom DeLuise just let it go? And whatever happened to Jean-Claude Van Doom anyway?

That’s why, in just a few short weeks, will undergo a Crisis that will wipe all of these things out of existence. We don’t have to explain them. Those bad decisions – they never happened. Those embarrassing moments – gone from history. Jean-Claude Van Doom? Never existed.

Sure, those posts will still be there. We’ll hold onto them and cherish the memories. And someday in the future, bloggers may wish to revive those things and put their own spin on them. And future bloggers may decide to once again to eliminate them from history.

And even though our indecision and laziness may cheapen the experience for you, the reader, it’s really just more convenient for us. And hey – it’s not like you have to pay anything to read our site.

Countdown to Final Crisis: Twenty-One

countdown 21“Omigod! This thing’s counting down!” – Pied Piper

It’s not a good week this week. Never is, it seems. Things open with Piper realizing that Trickster’s really, truly dead (the bullet holes in his forehead and chest should’ve been an indication) and then realizing that his little wrist bracelet thing recognizes Trickster as being dead and starts counting down to self-destruction, which elicits the above self-referential (see: cute!) line from Piper. Who cares? What role are these guys, er, is this guy playing in the grander picture? I kind of assumed their role was to set up “Salvation Run,” but that’s already running, so the mystery there is gone. Seems more and more pointless by the day, this storyline.

Over on Apokolips, Desaad talks to Granny Goodness, who reveals (SURPRISE!) that she’s posing as Athena. That would be semi-big to not very big news if they hadn’t already revealed that in a different mini-series (that, incidentally, tied-in with this one) back in the last week of August of this year. For those keeping count, that’s over three months ago. So Countdown has been clogged with three months of pointless drivel, it seems, since it took them so long to catch up. Oh well! Things then shift to Athena’s Help Center people, who are going through boot camp. Holly and Harley elude the guards’ attention fairly easily and go sneaking off into a cave in the woods. Somebody with a sword awaits in the shadows. (more…)

The Numbers

A brief conversation discussing the trends, between Jim Doom and Doom DeLuise:

Doom DeLuise: What do you figure accounts for that big bump for both at Week 13?

Jim Doom: I really don’t know.

Doom DeLuise: Weird. The Week 13 bump in Countdown came after an issue where absolutely nothing happened, featuring the cover of Karate Kid chopping through the Oracle’s glass or whatever. There’s no logical explanation for that.

Jim Doom: Maybe check news releases that week. I was wondering, since both came about the same time, if DC had some three-month point news release barrage that they planned for both books. Maybe by that point they had info on the first month’s sales. Was that when they started releasing more details about where the series would go and what it meant, perhaps enticing more readers to think they were missing out?

Doom DeLuise: Maybe. (more…)