Monthly archives: March, 2008

4-Part Book of Doom: Part 4
Ms. Marvel #25

It’s the final installment of our 4-Part Book of Doom series this week, reviewing four new issues that began four new arcs in their respective titles.

Ms. Marvel #25 followed up on last month’s revelation by Tony Stark that Carol Danvers – or at least a Carol Danvers was a Skrull. We can see from this issue, however, that there is also a Carol Danvers that isn’t a Skrull.

She was one of my first guesses as to who was a Skrull, based on little dialogue things from earlier issues of New Avengers and Mighty Avengers. But I’m kind of getting the hint that Secret Invasion will be full of red herrings.

The Colossus-Skrull made his first appearance in the New Avengers: Illuminati issue that revealed Black Bolt to be a Skrull. I’m still not sure if Colossus is real, Colossus is a Skrull, there’s a real Colossus and a Skrull Colossus, or if this is just another red herring since we all know that Colossus was dead for a while.

There wasn’t a whole lot to this issue, and definitely nothing worth spending $3.99 on. The writing was just kind of stiff, and I get the feeling that Brian Reed doesn’t know what it’s like to have the internal monologue of a woman. I don’t either, but I just doubt that it’s full of clichés like thinking about ice cream. Then again, maybe it is. I suppose I shouldn’t judge based on the authenticity — just on the fact that it felt cheesy and contrived.

I shouldn’t say there wasn’t a lot to this issue. Her boyfriend got killed. And maybe he’s a Kree. And maybe her agent is a Skrull. There is definitely more going on here, and regular readers of Ms. Marvel probably got a lot more out of this than I did. But as far as attracting a new reader, as this week’s 4-Part Book of Doom experiment was sort of based around doing, since it’s all about new arcs and whatnot, I don’t think I was interested enough to buy another issue. Maybe if it’s a slow week. But I have a feeling I’ll be more than happy to get my Ms. Marvel dose in Mighty Avengers. (more…)

4-Part Book of Doom: Part 3
Legion of Super-Heroes #40

I would’ve dropped Legion of Super-Heroes this month if not for the 4-Part Book of Doom. I really liked it during Mark Waid’s run. Tony Bedard’s was hit and miss with me. It seemed like it was leading to something great, then just kind of fizzled away. But Jim Shooter’s run downright stinks.

Last month’s issue was a whole lot of nothing — hunting down vermin and … I think that was it. Then this month, it’s a whole lot of puking, looking for the remains of vermin and … yeah, I think that’s it. Well, and there was arguing, too.

You see, apparently the best Jim Shooter could come up with for a Character-Defining Leadership Moment™ for Lightning Lad was to settle the dispute between Saturn Girl and Timber Wolf, in which Saturn Girl dared to control Timber Wolf’s mind so that he wouldn’t kill people, including herself. And she got in trouble for that!

That showed his tough side, because Saturn Girl is his sweetie, and he was willing to discipline her — FOR PREVENTING ONE OF THEIR TEAMMATES FROM KILLING PEOPLE, INCLUDING HER!! Man, that was stupid. Timber Wolf’s punishment? “Don’t try to kill your teammates anymore, or we’re gonna kick you out of the club.” They should start calling him Lightning Balls with brave discipline like that!

The whole rest of the issue was basically Brainiac, now cast as an annoying attention-hungry dork, rather than a cold, calculating egomaniac, trying to get Lightning Balls to care about the alien invasion. But Lightning Balls is just too much of a smooth, even flow to get ripples in his creek. He wants to sit back on a 31st Century Sofa and sip some coffee, man.

You know what, the odds are pretty dang good that when I was a teenager, I was an idiot. I’m sure of it, in fact. However, that does not mean that I want to pay $2.99 to read about a book of idiots, even if they are supposed to be teenagers. They’re SUPER teenagers! At least let one of their powers be something like the ability to not be an insufferable moron.

I hope they’re so busy sipping coffee and taking naked nutrient baths that the alien invasion comes and kills them all and the series ends at issue #41. It’s clear that DC likes the old Legion better, anyway.

Let’s see if Fin Fang Doom liked it any more than I did.

4-Part Book of Doom: Part 2
Daredevil #106

I really like Daredevil. I really like the “true-crime” approach that Ed Brubaker and Brian Michael Bendis have taken with the book. I also really like the relationships between Daredevil and his supporting cast. But I really didn’t care much for this issue.

Ever since Daredevil got out of prison — emerging from the storyline that Bendis set up for him — I feel like Brubaker has just had no idea where to go with this character. I’ve ragged on this series in the past year for feeling like it was just retreading ground from the Bendis years. But I don’t think that has ever been more obvious than this issue.

The whole point of this issue is that Matt Murdock is so messed up with his personal life that he’s become a much more dangerous man out on the streets. Daredevil is a loose cannon. People are worried about him. Wasn’t that seriously like the undercurrent throughout maybe the last 50 issues of the Bendis run? Remember that superhero intervention and everything?

I thought the Mr. Fear storyline was kind of a dud. Maybe stuff that happens to Milla doesn’t seem as tragic as stuff that happened to Karen Page or Elektra because it seems like Milla was just brought in to be tortured. We never really saw Matt and Milla happy. He was always just lusting after Karen’s scent or trying to hook up with Elektra on a rooftop. So maybe that’s why Matt’s anger and guilt maybe seems a little forced or hollow.

I don’t know. Whatever it is, I’m just not feeling it, and I have a feeling it’s because this issue could have happened at pretty much any point between, oh I don’t know, issue #40 and now.

This issue actually made me start to think “Daredevil needs to die.”

I did like the art. It’s a little bit of a departure from the hyperrealism that has been this book’s standard visual style for the past 80 issues, but I like how it’s kind of bold and minimalist on the surface with a sort of old-school kind of John Buscema structure beneath it all. I am unfamiliar with this Paul Azaceta, but I wouldn’t mind if he stuck around.

Let’s see what Fin Fang Doom thought about the issue!

This week in Secret Invasion:
New Avengers #39

Secret Invasion #1 doesn’t come out until next week, but the crossover officially begins this week in New Avengers #39.

If this first crossover issue is any indication, it looks like the Avengers titles are going to play a role similar to the one they did during Civil War, and that is to tell somewhat solo stories about the people involved. This issue focuses on Echo aka Maya Lopez aka Ronin.

Maya encounters Wolverine in the kitchen late one night, and the two have a brief conversation about the Skrull invasion. Wolverine tells Maya he’s not a Skrull, even though he suspects that she suspects him, given that he hasn’t mentioned their past. Apparently the two were romantically involved. Maya says she’s not convinced there even is a Skrull invasion, believing it’s a convenient distraction to allow them all to forget what disasters their lives have become.

She hits the rooftops and encounters another former romantic link, Matt Murdock, who is out on patrol as Daredevil. The two catch up, but Matt’s answers are vague, and Maya catches on to the fact that he’s not who he appears to be. The Skrull gives up the disguise and attacks Maya, presumably wanting to eliminate her in order to take her place on the team. Wolverine appears to help Maya out, but the Skrull gets away after taking a thorough beating. He notes how the Skrull had the powers of several X-Men.

He explains to Maya why he followed her — “If I was a Skrull looking to sink their claws into our little team, you’d be the one I’d go after … you’re the one with the least amount a’ ties. The least history.” Maya has a little freak out about the reality of a Skrull wanting to kill her and replace her, but Hawkeye comes to comfort her, and before you know it, the two of them are in bed together.

Past Implications:
I think all that this issue really tells us is that Maya isn’t a Skrull and Wolverine isn’t a Skrull. Hawkeye probably isn’t either, because if the Skrulls wanted to get rid of Maya, he sure would’ve had a great opportunity. I highly doubt there’s anything more to the Daredevil Skrull than just an opportunistic shapechange for the moment.

4-Part Book of Doom: Part 1
Green Lantern #29

At first I was really excited about the Secret Origin of Hal Jordan miniseries. Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern has always been one of my favorite characters, Geoff Johns is one of my favorite writers and Ivan Reis is one of my favorite artists.

But then I started reading it, and I was like “Man, I’ve heard this story so many times.” I don’t know why, but I feel like I’ve read Green Lantern’s origin a billion times. I’ve read it in the old ’60s Green Lantern series. I think it was covered in Green Lantern: Rebirth. It was in that stupid New Frontier movie. But I just started this issue thinking “Oh yeah … I already know all of this, and this is going to be boring.”

Though almost as predictably as this review is changing tones, the story I’ve heard over and over still managed to be told in a very fresh and moving way. The relationship between Hal and his family has been addressed before, but Johns managed to use that little tale of Little Brother Jimmy and Hal’s birthday present to illustrate so much about these people, especially the drastically different relationship between Hal and older brother Jack.

Geoff Johns has such a talent of telling massive stories through these small, personal moments. There’s an emotional impact in that scene of Jim’s eventual delivery of the birthday present that you just don’t find — and don’t even expect to find — in the spandex superhero comics.

It was a completely added bonus to discover that Abin Sur’s story will shed some light on the Blackest Night prophecies. I would’ve been completely pleased with this issue and the direction that the Secret Origin was going even without some tie to what’s happening now. I was totally content with a several-issue pause, so it was a great treat that this look back in time will have significance about what is yet to come.

And with Ivan Reis back on the art, it was an all around fantastic issue. Let’s see what Fin Fang Doom thought about the issue. (more…)

Holy Trinity!

We interrupt this irregularly scheduled review for this breaking news bulletin. (Okay, so I’m sure this “news” is far from “breaking.” Usually the internet is weeks ahead of the Previews, so I’m probably way behind the curve.)

Trinity 1I nearly blew a gasket today when I left the comic store and caught a glance of the back cover of Previews. I knew Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley, the creative team behind the original Thunderbolts, where going to team on a new book at DC, but there had been no hint of what it would be. This Mark Bagley art has been on the internet for weeks now, but up until now I was unaware it was attached to a specific project and not just a “look what I can do” sort of promo piece.

But holy crap! Bagley and Busiek on Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman?! That’s fracking awesome!

It wasn’t until a few minutes ago when I got home that I got to take a really good look at the cover, and I blew right through that first gasket and nearly through a second one:

“Three Incredible Super-Heroes…One Explosive Weekly Comic.”

Frack me.

After the atrocity that has been Countdown, it was going to take a lot to get me excited about a new DC weekly series.

Reuniting one of my all-time favorite writers with one of my all-time artists may have been enough to accomplish that on its own. Throwing the three biggest characters in the DCU into the mix is just icing on the cake as far as I’m concerned.

The 4-Part Return of the Book of Doom

We’ve been batting around the idea of bringing the Book of Doom back here at, but it seems that whenever we’re talking about it, it’s just never the right week.

Well this week, there are four books coming out with either major events or the start of brand new arcs, thus serving as great jumping-on points for any readers out there who want to play along. Fin Fang Doom and I are going to celebrate the return of the Book of Doom by reviewing ALL FOUR in a special Return of the Book of Doom spanning four days.

So as always, we encourage you to join in by contributing your own reviews, either by e-mailing us at doomkopf at doomkopf dot com or joining in via the comments of the posts.

Thursday: GREEN LANTERN #29
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert

Kicking off the “Secret Origin” story arc! Witness the beginnings of one of the bravest Green Lanterns who’s ever lived as the “secret origin” of Hal Jordan is revealed in a whole new light!

While Hal begins his career another Lantern, the greatest of all time, uncovers the mystery of Abin Sur’s death and his obsession with the prophecy of “the Blackest Night.”

Friday: DAREDEVIL #106
Written by ED BRUBAKER
Penciled by MIKE PERKINS


Reeling from the events of last issue, Matt Murdock struggles to come to grips with all the things we can’t tell you about because they would spoil the ending of the previous arc.

Drifting into anger and depression, Daredevil stalks the streets of Hell’s Kitchen, looking for bad guys to take it out on – but is he really just taking it out on himself?

By Harvey and Eisner-Winning Best Writer Ed Brubaker and special guest artist Mike Perkins (CAPTAIN AMERICA)!

Written by Jim Shooter
Art and cover by Francis Manapul & John Livesay

Part 1 of the story arc “Enemy Rising” – the beginning of the One Evil Saga! To save her world, Shadow Lass battles alone against a Life-eradicator.

The mystery of their origin deepens as important evidence emerges. Meanwhile, conflict between Timber Wolf and Saturn Girl explodes!

Action, angst, amour, amperage and accuracy to the max!

Sunday: MS. MARVEL #25
Written by BRIAN REED
Penciled by ADRIANA MELO

The record-setting 25th issue is here, and it’s super-sized!

Is Ms. Marvel on the front lines of the Secret Invasion… or is she part of the invasion?!

Brian Reed (CAPTAIN MARVEL) welcomes new series artist Adriana Melo onboard as Ms. Marvel begins her third year of action and adventure!

(This book is $3.99, but it is also 48 pages.)

The Doomino Effect for the week of March 19, 2008

As an update to last week’s Doomino Effect, in which I reacted to Madman #7 and wondered

Does Frank think It Girl is Joe? Has some essence of Joe taken up residence within It Girl? Is Frank willfully accepting It Girl as a replacement for Joe? Is It Girl exploiting Frank’s loss for her selfish gain? Or am I missing something really obvious?

the blogger formerly known as Jean-Claude Van Doom pointed me to this Newsarama interview with Michael Allred, which leads by saying

If you’ve been reading (SPOILER ALERT) you now know that Madman’s longtime girlfriend Joe has been merged with his other love interest It Girl, forming “Luna Joe”…and that Madman has a whole new lease on life.

I have been reading Madman, but I didn’t know that.

But hey, speaking of people who look like one person but they’re actually someone else, that leads me to Death of the New Gods #7, in which — as the cover states — the KILLER IS REVEALED!!

I thought we did that last month. Anyway, it turns out it’s not actually Himon, it’s the Infinity Man! I kind of remember him being the suspect several issues ago, but I hate DONG and these characters so much that I don’t remember how that was resolved.

I’m overstating my contempt for DONG a bit. I’ve been very disappointed, as it has been so stupid at points, but I did appreciate the sermon about the jerkiness of The Source and the eulogy for Mr. Miracle. I can’t help but think that’s a not-so-subtle indictment of the militant religious fundamentalists of the world, though I don’t imagine Mr. Starlin is going so far as to suggest that there’s actually an asshole of a deity floating around in space manipulating people to reunite with his darker half.

Metron’s not-quite self-sacrifice, not quite suicide was probably the best moment in the book so far. Nothing sets up a villain like someone who gives up all hope in its presence. When that villain appears to be omnipotent, it looks like the cosmic poop is going to hit the fan.

I can’t wait until Final Crisis. Let’s check the solicitations to see how this is all going to fit in!

Meet Japan’s number one pop culture heroes, the Super Young Team and their languid leader, Most Excellent Superbat! Join legendary wrestler Sonny Sumo and super escape artist Mister Miracle as they team to face the offspring of the Anti-Life Equation!


Countdown to Final Crisis: Six

countdown 6Everything that has been building up over the course of the counting down of the past ten months finally comes to a head in this issue, as the Great Disaster finally hits, devastating the entire universe, leaving millions dead, cities burning, and human-animal hybrids destroying whatever’s in their paths. And, let me tell you, for all the build, all the escalation, all the anticipation, there’s really only one sentence I need to fully encapsulate my reaction to this issue:

Boy, does it ever suck.

First, let’s dispense a quick summation before we jump into the logic behind the reasons why this issue is completely worthless. The story is told by Buddy Blanks’ narration; there is absolutely no dialogue in this issue. He’s a scientist at Cadmus on this alternate earth. Martian Manhunter still looks the way he did prior to Brave New World, and he’s still a part of the JLA. The morticoccus virus escapes Karate Kid’s body, and it spreads. Quickly. It infects people and turns them into wild animals, at which point they kill everybody around them, burn stuff, just, y’know, fuck as much shit up as possible.

The virus eventually spreads overseas, and the entire world is clueless as to how to stop it. Buddy decides to leave Cadmus and go find his family before they’re infected, at which point Una decides to go with him. She explains (through Buddy’s narration) that, since the virus was hosted in Karate Kid, and since disease prevention and medicine is so much more advanced in the time period that Karate Kid comes from (the 31st Century), that there’s no way we’ll be able to cure it, even if we spend the next ten centuries trying to develop a way to do it. The virus has already countered every possible threat to it, far into the future. Get it? Good.

At issue’s close, Green Lantern Hal Jordan from this earth heads to space to find help, unwittingly taking the virus with him. So, the whole universe is doomed! (more…)

The Numbers: Week 43

Not much has changed in the past month. Countdown’s slight rise at issue 16 proved to be just a temporary jump, as numbers were back to pre-blip levels by issue 12. Overall, it’s as if January’s rise never happened, with week 40 sliding right back into the week 1-35 decline.

As was the case with 52, the general curves seem to be leveling out — probably a combination of two factors: 1. There is bound to be a smaller and smaller number of readers who get fed up with each issue, as there is a smaller and smaller numbers reading each issue, and 2. As we get closer to the end of the series, there may be a bit of renewed interest in seeing where this was all going.