Monthly archives: January, 2008

Rated D for Doom: A Look at Superhero Movies in ’08

Last year was a pretty rough year for comic book superhero movies. Things varied from the laughably pathetic without the laughs Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer to the perhaps worst comic book movie of all time, Ghost Rider. And let’s not forget the franchise killing SpiderMan 3. All in all, I can’t say there was a single superhero movie released in the past year that I walked away from having fully enjoyed.

I had high expectations around this time last year for 300, but those expectations turned out to be a bit too high, and I was mostly disappointed with the final product. Still, though, I must give credit where it’s due, and 300 cut probably the greatest trailer of all time. Way better than the actual movie.

Oh, and don’t get me started on how much I hated Transformers. I’m no Transformers purist, far from it, but that movie hurt my head to watch, it was so full-on stupid. Hey, look, Shia Lepoof is exchanging witty banter with the guy from the Coens Brothers movies. Great, where’re the robots?

Luckily, this coming year, we have what promises to be a couple really great looking movies, along with a couple of hopeful franchise reboots. Time will tell who the winners and the losers will be, but let’s take a look at what’s on the docket for 2008. It surely has to be a little bit better than what we got this year. And, if not, I promise I won’t write a blog where I fake interview Jack Kirby about how god-awful Hellboy 2 turns out to be. Old comics creators say the darndest things!

iron manRemember when I said that we had a couple really great looking superhero movies coming out this year? If not, you should really lay off the sauce. I seriously just said it in the last paragraph. One of those really great looking movies, though, is Iron Man, which will come to theatres on May 2nd.

It looks like they’re showing the source material a great deal of respect when it comes to this movie, which is something that was sorely lacking in a lot of Marvel’s recent “franchise” movies. The fact that the leaked footage from ComicCon or the first theatrical trailer made use of the Black Sabbath was also a nice little touch that shows that the guys in charge of making this have a definite grasp of what makes superheroes cool.

It’s a dude in a giant suit made of armor, flame-throwing bad guys, and in the background, there’s a kick-ass heavy metal song reinforcing the idea that this rocks out. It just frickin’ fits, and I have super high hopes for this movie.

Plus, the casting of Robert Downey Jr. is the most brilliant casting for a comic book movie I’ve seen yet. Unless they cast Stephen Hawking as Captain America, I can’t see that changing. (more…)

Countdown to Final Crisis: Thirteen

countdown 13What top secret message does a giant flaming hand have for the Challengers of Beyond? What would lead anybody to say the words, “I’ll kill you! I’ll kill you to death?” What happened off-panel between last week when Forerunner was challenging Monitor Solomon to a death match, and when they first show up this week, with her knocked unconscious? Wait no, that one doesn’t work. Where there is life, according to Monitor-51, what else is there? What sound effect is used when a fist punches through the back of a human head? For the absolutely thrilling answers to these burning questions, and many more, look no further than the pages of Countdown to Final Crisis #13, on newsstands now!

I can’t do that to you. The answers are, “To Apokolips,” no fucking clue, ditto, hope, and, apparently, “Sklutch!” Hit the jump, y’all. (more…)

Why I didn’t much care for the ending to Messiah CompleX: A complaint in three acts


The “Messiah CompleX” X-crossover had me looking forward to each Wednesday, hooked on a weekly story like I hadn’t been since 52. But the finale, while pleasing in some ways, overall left me disappointed.

The conflict
After one of the kids decided to transport all the sick, wounded and juvenile to Muir Island in an effort to save themselves from Predator X, we ended up with a big mess with all present – including the X-Men and the Marauders. Cyclops, perhaps the butt of the Messiah CompleX joke, pulls one of his stupider moves yet.

One would think that if Cyclops were a real person, the X-writers were out to get him. But he’s not a real person, and instead, these writers are deliberately or carelessly ruining the X-Men’s leader in a way that lacks even the dignity of Tony Stark’s downfall.

Here, in the opening pages of the final chapter of Messiah CompleX, Cyclops orders the students – who have previously been a pain due to their insistence upon entering battle – to target the Marauders. Now one could say Cyclops was simply reduced to having to choose such an act due to desperation. But no – this was Cyclops being clever. Because, as he says to Emma, “Sinister’s people know us inside and out. They’ve spent years training to face us. Let’s throw them something they won’t see coming.”

Okay, maybe if you’re five, that seems all awesome and badass and stuff, but let’s look at what has really happened. Cyclops has sent the kids up against the mutant-massacring Marauders to surprise them. Cyclops apparently thinks the Marauders will see kids attacking them and be shocked that the X-Men did this and then … what? Be confused and therefore more easily defeated?

No, if you’re a Marauder, and you kill defenseless mutants, you’re more likely going to be relieved that now you have to fight some kid instead of a fully-grown and fully-trained X-Man.

Good one, Scott.

The Numbers: Week 34

Back in December, we took a look at the comparative sales figures between 52 and Countdown. At that point, roughly halfway through, both series followed a sales curve that was somewhat parallel, though 52 outsold Countdown by about 50,000 at the first issue and only 30,000 by the 24th.

Now with sales figures in up to week 34, that gap has closed to just under 30,000, yet Countdown still lost 20,000 readers by issue 18. That means the series lost 22.4% of its audience, compared to 30.2% for 52 by this point.

While 52’s losses by week 34 exceed Countdown’s losses to date, it’s worth noting that even the lowest week of 52 outperformed Countdown’s peak sales, and 52’s average sales by week 34 were 110,522 compared to Countdown’s current average of 77,988.

Best Writer of 2007

Doominato says: Mike Carey, Ed Brubaker, Peter David, Craig Kyle and Chris Yost!

I really like Grant Morrison, but his turnout this year has been pretty lax. I don’t really have a good vote. Except for the combination of writers that gave me a throbbing gristle for “Messiah Complex.”

Fin Fang Doom says: Ed Brubaker!

Ed BrubakerWhile it’s hard to vote against Peter David for best writer of anything, I’ve got to hand it to Mr. Brubaker. In 2007, he made me care about a series where the title character is dead. He made me care about Daredevil, Iron Fist, Storm, Warpath and even Hebzibah. He made me care about a comic without a single superhero or zombie within it’s pages. Everything that’s had Ed Brubaker’s name on the cover was just a treat to read in 2007.

Doom DeLuise says: Ed Brubaker!

Criminal, Daredevil, and Captain America are three of my favorite ongoings, and it’s all because of Brubaker (and some phenomenal art in all three). Reading Captain America since his much-hyped death in issue 25 has been one of my biggest pleasures of the year, because I could see how easily the entire thing could’ve been fumbled (ahem, Captain America: Fallen Son, ahem), but it hasn’t faltered, and Brubaker is to thank for that.

Jim Doom says: Brian Michael Bendis!


The messiah is crucified

440px-homx.jpgWe here at Doomkopf have little regard for spoilers. You’re not going to a comic blog to get pussyfooted, are you? No, you’re here for the love of the game. And I’m about to talk about “Messiah Complex,” specifically the end of “Messiah Complex.” So I’m going to tell you the end of it, and you shouldn’t read if you don’t want to know what happened.

Because Charles Xavier is dead. Shot through the head by Lucas Bishop. And … hell yeah! I’ve been waiting for this moment for years. We keep seeing a recurring theme of the X-Men without Xavier. Go back to the sixties series … “Xavier” (actually Changeling) dies and the X-Men don’t know what to do. A while later, he’s badly wounded and leaves Earth and we see Magneto in charge and the X-Men split off and go to Australia. Then, of course, the Onslaught thing left him a federal prisoner for a while, etc., etc. Most recently Cyclops told him to fuck off, which was of course the classiest parting of ways for the X-Men.

But Xavier’s dream is over and the X-Men are breaking up … because he’s seemingly dead. Seemingly, because the teaser for the “X-Men Legacy” book says his mind is shattered by a bullet. Of course, they’ll reorganize, and Cyclops will be the new dreamer. But for right now, Messiah Complex has permanently altered the world of the X-Men.

Let’s let him stay dead. It’s not because he’s boring, or because we hate him. It’s just that I’ve been dreaming of this moment since I was a teen … to see what would happen to the dream if the dreamer were dead, if there were no hope of his return. We saw a body. We saw a bullet to the face. The only thing not accounted for here is Bishop, the duplicitous bastard. Cyclops blasted him through a wall, but we’ve got to keep in mind that Bishop absorbs and redirects energy.

There are still some loose threads. The previews at the end of the book seem to show that all the X-Books will be tackling that … and seem to indicate that I’ll resume reading “Cable,” something that’s been on and off again. I’m excited to see the future of the child … and I have some suspicions that I’ll get to in another post. But for now, consider me completely pleased by “Messiah Complex,” which got me excited about what the X-Men could become after Marvel all-but erased the last good go-round (Grant Morrison.) To paraphrase Lester Bangs, let us now praise famous death dwarves … or mutants, in this case!

Countdown to Final Crisis: Fourteen

countdown 14I’m not entirely shut off to the idea of Countdown somehow coming around and redeeming itself. Sure, it’s highly improbable, but the possibility exists, and I certainly wouldn’t mind having this all turn into a quality series with a big dramatic finish to lead us into DC’s big Final Crisis event. It’s not likely, but it sure would be nice.

This issue, therefore, let me say, isn’t bad. It’s actually kind of good. There’s one glaring mistake in the coloring department, but, other than that, it’s an exciting, tense issue. So let’s talk about what made it so, and let’s see if we can’t get a consensus from the peanut gallery (that includes you – – thanks for reading!).

The issue begins at the Multiversal Nexus, where we last saw Superman-Prime beating up Solomon the Monitor, before Forerunner showed up. This issue, Solomon tells Superman-Prime that his perfect Earth is, in actuality, Earth-51, where Monarch has just started his war against the Monitors. Superman-Prime flips out, yells, “They’re ruining it!” and flies off in a huff. Forerunner tells Solomon that she’s there to kill him. She should really start talking in the Monitor’s language and use stupid words like “negate” instead of “kill.” Oh well. Hit the jump. (more…)

Best Artist of 2007

Jim Doom says: Tie (Ivan Reis on Green Lantern and Leinil Yu on New Avengers)!

As far as my personal enjoyment of comics goes, it was a treat that the two best artists of the year were able to work on books written by the two best writers of the year.

Green Lantern 23While I tend to enjoy virtually anything written by Geoff Johns and Brian Michael Bendis these days, it says a lot that Ivan Reis and Leinil Yu are so great at what they do that their contribution often overshadows those of their accompanying superstar writers.

Johns built the structure, but Ivan Reis made the Sinestro Corps War. That story simply would not have worked as well without Reis handling the most important chapters. He simultaneously masters cinematic layouts with precise attention to detail, employing intricate cross-hatching without ever being stiff.

Yu is far more expressive in his work, and the tone of his drawings perfectly complements the claustrophobic action and dark humor Bendis writes in New Avengers.

Bravo to the assignment editors who put these guys on their respective books with these writers. The subject matter and the talent behind the words definitely helped elevate these guys.

It’s also probably worth noting that both books stayed on schedule. Reis took a few months off before the Sinestro Corps War, but it’s a lot easier to love an artist when you don’t have to also hate him for making you wait.


Worst Artist of 2007

Doom DeLuise says: Michael Turner!

Sub-Mariner 6Just look at that awful cover to Sub-Mariner #6. I honestly don’t understand how he’s considered to be one of the current A-list of artists. I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue to say it every single time somebody asks me. If Michael Turner is still drawing, and people are still paying for his garbage, the answer to the question, “Who is the worst artist alive?” will always, for me, be Michael Turner.

Jim Doom says: a whole lot of guys!

I tend to avoid art that I hate, which means I don’t know if I really stuck with any bad art long enough to give someone my top spot.

Billy Tan, Uncanny X-Men
Let me say, I absolutely do not understand ANY appreciation of Billy Tan. Not only does he not draw his own backgrounds, but his foregrounds are full of flat-faced, distorted-figured, expressionless UGLY PEOPLE! And judging by the anatomy he regularly uses for his women, Billy Tan has apparently never seen an actual female and he also apparently does not have internet access.

Joe Madureira, Ultimates 3
I’m starting to wonder if even Marvel realizes Joe Madureira sucks, considering how over-the-top their hyperbolic build up to his return was. Nobody could live up to that hype, so it instead reeked of “Goddang, this guy is crap; Let’s NEVER give people a chance to think that!”

As I wrote when it came out, “Joe Madureira’s storytelling is downright awful. You’ve either got to be awful or maliciously good to be able to make a well-trained human eye want to read right to left.”

And no list of the year’s worst artists would be complete without mentioning Michael Turner. This may have been his worst year yet, highlighted by that disgusting Justice League cover with Power Girl and her Impossible Breasts.


Worst Writer of 2007

Fin Fang Doom says: Reggie Hudlin!

BET REGINALD HUDLINReggie Hudlin is batting 1000! Unfortunately, he’s batting 1000 at sucking ass. Now I know what you might be saying to your computer right now…”Fin, if you hate Reggie Hudlin so much, why are you still reading his comics?” Well, I’m not. That’s how bad Reggie Hudlin is. I don’t read anything he writes, and I still know everyone else is better than him. Even Chris Claremont is a better writer than Reggie Hudlin, and Chris Claremont is terrible. That guy ruined one of my favorite comics, but Reggie Hudlin nerarly ruined Spider-Man. In fact, Reggie Hudlin probably softened Spidey up for the thorough ruining Spidey got at the end of 2007. In summary, Reggie Huldin sucks.

Doom DeLUise says: Jeph Loeb!

Jeph LoebHis writing on Wolverine was terrible, as was his stuff on Captain America: Fallen Son. Plus, he wrote some Onslaught nonsense that nobody read, but probably really sucked. Most recently, he started in on ruining the Ultimates, with a horrible debut issue. Plus, the fact that he’s associated with a certain television program I won’t name, he automatically qualifies for worsts on anything he tries to do.

Honorable Mention: Joe Quesada. Although he’s not technically a writer, and he hasn’t been credited as writing anything this year, you could see his fingerprints all over The Amazing Spider-Man One More Day story-arc. And that was just godawful. How do you explain all of the changes that took place, Mr. Quesada? “It’s magic; it doesn’t have to make sense.” Kudos.

Honorable Mention: Brad Meltzer/Dwayne McDuffie. It doesn’t matter which one was writing it; they both made awful contributions to the written half of the Justice League of America. That series has been unbelievably bad throughout all of 2007, and I’ve gladly dropped it as part of my New Year’s Resolution to only buy comic books that I know I’m gonna like (excluding Countdown).

Honorable Mention: All the Countdown People. Who knows who these guys are (other than Paul Dini), but man, oh man, do they all suck balls.

Jim Doom says: a whole lot of guys!