Monthly archives: November, 2008

The Doomino Effect for Nov 12, 2008

Let’s kick off this week’s reviews with Wolverine #69, the delayed fourth chapter to the Old Man Logan storyline. I couldn’t believe it, but it’s been almost three months since chapter 3 came out. That’s nuts. I knew it had been awhile, but I didn’t realize how long until I actually checked. I read chapter 3 sitting at a McDonald’s with Doom DeLuise. I read chapter 4 sitting on my couch. True story.

So anyway, chapter 4 will probably read fine when it’s in the paperback version but what a freaking 30 second letdown after such a long wait. This whole issue consists of driving the Spider-Mobile through a wall, across the desert, into a ravine, and then out. I’ve said for the past three issues that the whole point of this story seemed to be the build-up to Wolverine’s eventual return to form, and that’s still clearly the mission, but it’s being stalled long enough that there’s some major loss of reader goodwill. We are now four issues down, we haven’t seen Wolverine get tough, and we likely still won’t next issue because next issue is being teased as The Tale of What Made Wolverine Wimpy.

It’s clear that soon all comics are going to start costing $3.99. Just because $2.99 comics are a dollar cheaper doesn’t make it any more appealing to get skimped on value.

Book of Doom:
Fantastic Four #561

It’s entirely likely I’ll be flying solo for this week’s roundtable. For your legion of Doomkopf, this is a pretty terrible week of comics. The only book I normally pick up that’s coming out this week is The Goon, and quite frankly I’m not going to subject the rest of the gang to that.

Instead, this week’s choice is Fantastic Four #561. Rumor has it, it’ll feature the death of the Invisible Woman. Considering that’s the title of the arc and the entirety of Marvel’s solicited preview, I don’t feel that’s too much of a spoiler. I actually have no idea what’s going on with the Invisible Woman; as far as I knew, her whereabouts were a mystery since Secret Invasion revealed she was a Skrull.

As you may have guessed, I don’t read Fantastic Four, but in the spirit of the Book of Doom (that being exposing oneself to something new) I’m going to give it a shot … perhaps alone, based on early reaction from my colleagues. Keep me company — as always, we welcome participation from our readers, so email your reviews to doomkopf at doomkopf dot com to be included in the Saturday roundtable. At least it’s only $2.99.

Fantastic Four #561

“The Death of the Invisible Woman” concludes, with…well, the death of the Invisible Woman!
Rated T+ …$2.99

The Book of Lies

By Brad Meltzer (W)
Published by Grand Central Publishing, 2008; 336 pages; $25.99

Comparisons between The Book of Lies and The DaVinci Code are probably unavoidable; they’re mystery / murder / thrillers in which the protagonists seek to solve an ancient mystery. In some ways, this is like The DaVinci Code for comics fans, because the Siegel family and the creation of Superman are at the core of this story.

Without giving away anything more than is what included on the inside flap, Cal Harper is reunited with his estranged father under peculiar circumstances. As they end up in the sights of a murderous religious zealot, they attempt to simultaneously solve the mystery of who killed Mitchell Siegel in 1932, discover the weapon that Cain used to kill Abel, and save their own lives as the mystery deepens and the body count rises.

The Good:
This book has a fun plot that never suffers under the weight of the conspiracy structure. Meltzer paces and places the interwoven storylines to great effect, weaving in and out of them to reveal just enough information to propel the story and keep the drama tense.

He does a great job of rewarding the reader upon revealing a few mysteries — there are some “hidden in plain sight” clues dispersed throughout the book that draw absolutely no attention to themselves at the time. His red herrings range from the subtle to the overt, and it kept me guessing and then sure … then guessing again and then sure … until the point when he decides the reader should know.

The characters are diverse and believable, and it’s easy to find oneself rooting for and against the same character with just a few minor turns. The good guys have their flaws and the villains have their virtues. There is very little ambiguity that’s not easily justified by the story.

The comic book aspect of the book is likely an attraction for comics readers, but it should in no way be a deterrent for non-comics fans. The Siegel / Superman content is less geek-out potential and more like a nod of appreciation for the history; it’s presented in a completely accessible way for those who’ve never read a Superman comic or even cared to.

Book of Doom:
JSA Kingdom Come Special: Superman

justice society of america kingdom come special supermanThis week, against my better judgment, I picked the Justice Society of America one-shot spin-off featuring Superman from Earth-22, better known as the Kingdom Come Superman. I say it’s against my better judgment, because I really didn’t like Kingdom Come all that much. The art is really stiff, and I’ve never found the story that particularly engaging. I know, it’s supposed to be a classic and everything, but Alex Ross has always bored the hell out of me.

Still, though, Justice Society has been incredibly entertaining lately, so I figured I’d give this a shot. Was it worth it?

In my opinion, that’s a resounding no.

We do plenty of complaining around here about high prices on comic books (with good reason, mind you), but this week proved to be an especially expensive week, with several books coming out with a $3.99 cover price. Take an issue like Nightwing, where it’s the 150th issue, the conclusion to a big story-arc, and padded with lots of extra pages, and I’m perfectly okay with it. But, then, when you juxtapose that with this crap, where we’re basically paying an extra dollar to see the human models that Alex Ross used to draw this drivel, along with his stupid notes about how he did it, and you can imagine how angry I am about plunking down that extra buck.

Kingdom Come Superman has issues, and he’s starting to see that this earth isn’t exactly like his old earth. Great. We’ve seen that in the pages of JSA for the past year. There’s nothing new here, so all we’re given is a showcase for Alex Ross’ art and writing, both of which I’ve never been thrilled by.

I’m not going to buy any more of these one-shots. I’ll wait for the next issue of Justice Society and leave it at that. I’d rather not shell out twenty some bucks for stories that have no impact on the actual story.

Take it away, Jim Doom.

Local news – Nov 15, 2008

• The November Artist Jam is today from noon to 6 p.m. at Krypton Comics in Omaha.

• Jason from Legend Comics made his Book of Doom debut last week, and he’s with us again this week (and hopefully every week). This week’s “Featured 500,000 Comic of the Week” at the Legend online store is Black Panther #1. At the physical store, Legend is still offering 25% off all back issues every Saturday and Sunday for the rest of 2008.

• “Penalty books are going strong,” according to this week’s Capes Comic Book Lounge newsletter. “Saying, wearing or doing anything that falls under the penalty phrase clause could get you your very own copy of Trinity #6.” The latest issue also includes columns on Spider-Man, Will Ferrel and superhero names with sexual undertones. You can subscribe to the newsletter at

Don’t forget “Ladies Night” each Thursday at Capes, which means women get 20% off everything in the store starting at 4 p.m. Capes also has 20% Tuesdays, in which all comics on the wall are on sale.

And again, Capes has begun featuring the Book of Doom in the shop. Capes customers and readers are encouraged to email us your review of the weekly pick to have it included in Saturday’s roundtable.

• Local artist Kathleen Clark will debut her new comic at Krypton on Saturday, November 22nd from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you have any comics-related news from the Omaha / Lincoln / Council Bluffs area that you’d like included in the weekly updates, send an email to doomkopf at doomkopf dot com.

Tip or Wag to Marvel..?

Last night’s “Tip or Wag” segment on the Colbert Report included some thoughts directed at Marvel Comics:

New Watchmen Trailer

From Yahoo! Movies:

Is it just me, or is Rorschach’s gravelly voice even worse than Batman’s? I’m still not impressed, even though it looks like they’re taking it very seriously. I hate slow-mo, and I hate CGI, and I hate wired-up stunts. Oh well. I’ll wait until the movie comes out to judge it harshly.

Too bad I already read the script and think it’s gonna suck. What do you folks think?

Trinity #24

24In the lead: Morgaine Le Fey forms an impenetrable barrier around Europe. Gangbuster shows up at JSI HQ and gives Carter Hall the Khufu scroll. Enigma and Le Fey get in a fight because Le Fey is just killing everybody, but Enigma wants the power to revive people (namely, his wife and kids). He tries to convince Le Fey to use Konvikt as the third of their bad Trinity to complete the spell. The Khufu scroll returns Hall, Jay Garrick and Alan Scott to their youthful forms and convinces Hall that their world has been altered. He frees Firestorm and tries to convince The Flash (who was captured earlier in the issue) to help set things right. Meanwhile, Freddie Pennyworth, super spy, pays a visit to Lois Lane.

In the back-up: Despero’s fleet attacks Kanjar Ro. Jon Stewart saves Ro and attacks Despero’s fleet. Despero jumps into the vacuum of space (without a space suit and holding his breath) to attack Stewart. Krona steals Stewart out of the situation because he’s curious about his Oan/Qwardian hybrid energies. Despero takes Ro onboard his ship, intent on killing him, but Ro convinces Despero to seek revenge on Le Fey and Enigma, who tried to cheat Despero out of his share of the power. And Ro’s discovered where Owlman, Ultraman and Superwoman were sent in issue #13.

My take: This would all be so much easier if this series sucked. It’s easy to go on and on about something you hate, but it’s hard to talk about why you really like a series without blowing a fanboy splooge all over the blog.

I’ve said many times in these reviews that the pacing is probably the best part of Trinity. The World Without a Trinity storyline started out a bit slow and disjointed, but in the last few issues everything has really come together in a great way.

Ooh! I thought of something bad! Colorist Pete Pantazis seems to have mixed up Jay Garrick and Alan Scott this issue. The thinner, runner-like character has Scott’s blond hair, while the stockier, more Lantern-like character has Garrick’s brown-with-white-temples. Carter Hall even calls the guy with Jay’s hair Alan at one point. Even stranger, when they trio opens the Khufu scroll, the colorist gets Hall and Garrick screwed up, even though it’s obvious from the dialogue and action which is which. (more…)

More Batman R.I.P. Speculation:
A Conversation

detective comics 851 cover variantJIM DOOM: People seem to be referencing solicitations as a reason why it can’t be Dick, but they’re assuming that solicitations will be honest, and they’re also forgetting that DC solicited fake issues of the Flash to surprise readers about Bart’s death.

DOOM DELUISE: The only two times Nightwing is referenced in the future solicitations is in regards to fighting Two-Face or trying to stop plots by Two-Face, but the entire second half of this final issue of Nightwing was Dick beating Two-Face up and conclusively finishing him off.

Reason #2 that Nightwing is the Black Glove: There’s no DC Nation page in the back of Nightwing #150, as there won’t be a #151.

JIM DOOM: That’s a good cue, but all the titles featured abbreviated teases of next week as DC Nation is “Under construction.” It’s entirely possible they just needed the page for an additional page of story. But that, combined with the “END” at the end, makes a good clue.

Reason #3: That cover of Dick with all the villains. It’s a clever cover, because it can mean one of two things: It’s now up to Dick to stand up to the Bat-villains, or Dick is now among the greatest Bat-villains.

DOOM DELUISE: Yeah, they also did a little foreshadowing in Nightwing this month. Babs says that Dick’s voice sounds gruffer, darker. She said it’s the first time it’s ever sounded like Bruce after Bruce puts on the cowl.

That could go either way. Either Dick’s getting rougher and tougher, meaning he’s going to be a bad guy, or his voice is getting more like Batman’s meaning he’ll be putting on the mask soon.

JIM DOOM: Yeah. It’s ambiguous. (more…)

The Doomino Effect for the week of Nov 5, 2008

This week was one of my most unusual comic-buying experiences ever. Nothing that I buy on a monthly basis came out (unless you count the Final Crisis tie-in) but I still ended up with five books.

I decided to give Ultimatum #1 a try, since I’ve heard it might end up destroying the Ultimate Universe. That sounds cool to me, even though I don’t remember where I got that idea. Maybe I was just wishing for it. The fact that Jeph Loeb is writing it sure implies it could have negative implications for that universe, considering what he did to the Ultimates. By this, of course, I mean he made it terrible.

He wastes no time unleashing Ultimate Loeb destruction on this earth — he actually writes the line “You should see me in bed, Thor. Very verily.” I stopped reading his Ultimates after issue #1, but apparently Thor now talks just like mainstream Thor talks, rather than the more modernized version in the Millar Ultimates. Apparently making him speak like an educated British man from the late middle ages makes him seem more Scandinavian. He makes Hank McCoy so socially inept as to not understand idioms, since, you know, that’s how really smart people are. And he also kills millions of New Yorkers with a tidal wave that comes immediately after Kitty Pryde says “It’s not like it could get any worse, right?” It just makes me wonder — is Jeph Loeb embarrassed to be writing comics?