Monthly archives: July, 2009

Do you think Peter Rowe has ever read a comic book?

Check out this lede from the San Diego Union Tribune’s coverage of Comic-Con:

The 40th annual Comic-Con, which ended its 4½-day run in the San Diego Convention Center yesterday, resembled an issue of “Batman.” Like the Dark Knight, the pop-culture extravaganza was rich in bold characters, nail-biting suspense and wild humor.

I think I need to re-read Battle for the Cowl.

Meaningless Awards of the (Previous) Week – 7/22/09

Best Value- Amazing Spider-Man #600

Usually when Marvel ups the price of a $2.99 comic to $4.99, it’s because they threw in a couple crappy reprints or Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe entries. Such was not the case with ASM #600.

There were 104 pages in this issue. That was 62 pages of the main story, 37 pages of back-up stories (most of which weren’t terrible), 4 pages of “humorous” fake covers, and one letters page (although they didn’t actually print any letters). You math whizzes out there might notice that adds up to 104 pages; that’s right, there wasn’t a single ad!

So Amazing Spider-Man #600 was almost five issues worth of new material for less than double the cover price. That’s quite a deal.

Invincible 64Most Violent- Invincible #64

Invincible has always been a no-holds-barred superhero comic, but this recent 4-part arc “Conquest” has easily been the most brutal thing I’ve seen in superhero for a very, very long time. After Conquest murdered Atom Eve last issue (don’t worry, she got better!), you just knew that Invincible was going to layeth the smacketh down on his Viltrumite opponent this issue.

Blood is spilled this issue. Lots of it. Bones are broken. Fists are shattered. Flesh is burned, bruised and bitten. But how do you beat someone to death without the use of either of you arms? Well, you’ve still got a forehead, right?

Most Meta- Legion of 3 Worlds #5

For all his crimes against humanity, Superboy-Prime is sentenced to live the life of an internet troll bashing comic books on the DC forums. Ha!

But maybe the best part of this much-delayed conclusion was what caused Superboy-Prime to be sent back to Earth-Prime. All it took was the same thing that brought back Jason Todd: Superboy punched it into happening. Double ha!

I didn’t buy anything today

It was a sad week. I apologized to my shop owner.

I did, however, read the last issue of Ultimatum. What a terrible mess. It’s like somebody made a bet on how many exploding heads they could fit into a mainstream comic book. Remember when the Ultimate line was for kids?

And “exploding” was the most realistic thing that any of those characters did in that issue. Magneto’s immediate 180 upon learning the truth of his origins (trying to write vaguely enough that any of you who are dumb enough to buy this won’t have it spoiled) was almost insultingly unbelievable. “Aw shoot, I got that one wrong? Ok … so how can I help?” What a redemption!

I loved that it ended with a shout-out to the gang that started the Ultimate line. It’s like “Oh, hey, thanks for leaving your doors unlocked while you went on vacation. I took all your valuables and pooped on your couch.”

The Doomino Effect for July 22, 2009

I’ve heard that one of the best ways to get your audience emotionally involved in your story is to make it easy for them to identify with one of your characters.

In Immortal Weapons #1: Fat Cobra, Fat Cobra spends money on a book and quickly finds himself thinking it’s crap. Mission accomplished, Jason Aaron!

This issue is basically one big joke — Fat Cobra thinks that he’s this awesome tough guy killing machine who must have some fittingly awesome tough guy killing machine origin, but guess what! He doesn’t! His secret origin is that he was a SUPER FAT KID! And then not only was he a super fat kid, but he WAS AN OPERA SINGER! Har har har, it doesn’t get much better than that. And by that, I mean “This book continues downhill,” as opposed to “Those are great jokes that would be hard to top.”

Y’see, while Fat Cobra was an intriguing character throughout Ed Brubaker and Duane Swierczynski’s run, Jason Aaron turns him into little more than an oft-repeated punchline, sort of how he uses the names of fighters’ moves as a punchline in one of the hilarious love scenes in the book. And the jokes just keep on coming — Fat Cobra traveled to Olympus for “a battle unlike any other” — an eating contest! Heyoooo! And he spent the ’70s teaching kung fu moves to Fat Elvis! Oh snap!

This was really awful. And the awfulness was only underscored by the fact that there’s a Swierczynski / Foreman backup story. It’s unfortunate that not only has the should-have-been can’t-miss Immortal Weapons series gotten off to a terrible start, but the Iron Fist story by the creators who are good at this has been relegated to backup status in a series I’m not going to keep buying.

Justice League: The Next Generation

JLA The Next GenerationAt a panel at SDCC this afternoon, DC revealed four characters who will be part of the James Robinson/Mark Bagley Justice League in a few months, as well as a cover with the rest of the line-up in silhouette. Aside from Hal Jordan, the three characters revealed (Donna Troy, Mon-El and Dick Grayson) are quite clearly intended to be the junior versions of the Big Three. One more character can be seen wielding a bow, so it’s likely that a member of the Arrow family is on the squad as well. Going with the theme, Red Arrow or Connor Hawke seem more likely, but it’d be cool to see Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen initiating a new generation of heroes into the Justice League. It also looks like that might be Starfire flying in on the right. Perhaps the large furry thing at the top is Beast Boy, and the caped figure in the back is Raven? Could this be a reunion of the New Teen Titans as the New Justice League of America?

Some news from SDCC

A few bits of interesting news came out of SDCC today. Well, interesting to me at least. Remember when every bit of news that came out of this con was interesting?

-At an X-Men panel, X-Force writer Craig Kyle said “16 million mutants will be brought back in Necrosha.” Necrosha is an X-Force/New Mutants/X-Men Legacy crossover coming out in October. Now that Magneto, Professor X, Polaris, Quicksilver and Iceman (the big five that were depowered after House of M) all have their powers back, it makes sense that Marvel would just say “frak it” and bring back the whole lot. Of course, with “Necro” in the title, they could be zombies. Ugh.

-At the Cup of Joe panel, Joe Quesada announced that Marvel now own the rights to Marvelman, which American audiences probably know better as Miracleman. Marvel has also announced that it’s the biggest news of the convention. But is it really? Sure, I’d like to read Marvelman when Marvel releases it in trades, but I don’t think the series has been on comic fans’ minds for a long, long time. Seems like a case of too little too late if you ask me.

-Robert Kirkman announced that Astounding Wolf-Man will end with issue #25. That’s not very surprising. I can’t imagine the series sells that well, certainly not anywhere close to the level of The Walking Dead or Invincible. Speaking of Invincible, there’s going to be a Return of Invincible one-shot later in the year. Strange…I didn’t realize he had left.

Check out for more SDCC highlights. That’s where I go.

Bone is Back!


Some great news has already come out of the San Diego Comic-Con for fans of Jeff Smith and his classic all-ages epic Bone: a series of brand new Bone graphic novels, starting next summer! Graphix, the imprint of Scholastic books that recently released the entire Bone saga in color for the first time, will publish at least four GNs, drawn by Smith and written by Smith and Tom Sniegoski, the guy who wrote the Stupid, Stupid Rat Tails mini-series.

I couldn’t be more surprised or overjoyed at this announcement. Bone is without a doubt my favorite comic story of all time. But with Jeff Smith hard at work on his new series Rasl (which is thankfully switching to a bi-monthly schedule pretty soon), I figured he had left the world of Bone behind for good. While this likely will be stories set before or during the events of the actual series and not a continuation of the story of the Bone cousins, I’m really excited to return to the world that introduced me to comics outside of Spider-Man and X-Men.

DC’s October Solicits

Hey all! The DC October solicitations were released today, so let’s take a look at a few of the books coming out in a few months:

Blackest Night 4Blackest Night- I have no idea. I’m trying to avoid all possible spoilers for this crossover, because it’s the only thing I’ve been really excited about in comics in quite a long time (which might help explain my recent sabbatical from Doomkopf). Superman, Batman and the Titans all have their own mini-series, written by James Robinson, Peter J. Tomasi and J.T. Krul, respectively. I’ve been nothing but impressed by Tomasi’s work on Green Lantern Corps and Nightwing, so I’ll definitely be reading the Batman mini. James Robinson’s work is unfamiliar to me (more on him later), although he’s got a reputation as a decent writer. I’ve never heard of this Krul guy though. Wikipedia tells me he wrote Fathom and Soulfire, and we here at Doomkopf are huge fans of anything Michael Turner’s done. Man, sarcasm just doesn’t come off right written down.

Final Crisis- How is this garbage still going on in October? Is there anyone out there that cares how the Human Flame, Tattooed Man, and the Super Young Team are dealing with the fallout of the lamest Crisis of them all? No, there isn’t.

Batman Family- Good news, everybody! Azrael’s got a new series! Plus Judd Winick’s leaving Batman so Tony Daniel can make that series as unreadable as Battle for the Cowl was. Yippee! (more…)

Item! Rob Liefeld Still Sucks!

Cap RebornWhile wasting time on the internet this evening, I happened upon a post from two years ago called “The 40 Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings.” I know what you’re thinking: “How can someone have possibly narrowed it down to forty?” Well, somehow they managed to do it over at If you’re a Liefeld hater like every other comic book fan is, I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of it. And surprisingly, this image of Captain America isn’t included. I didn’t realize that a worse piece of comic book art had ever been drawn. Then again, I’ve managed to steer clear of Liefeld’s work for most of my 15 years reading comics.

I was directed to the “40 Worst” post through another blog called “Heroes N Hunks,” which had a post about Liefeld’s hating on the recent revelation in X-Factor that Rictor and Shatterstar are in fact gay. So if a complete lack of talent despite enormous success in an industry we all love isn’t enough to make you hate the guy, now there’s another: Rob Liefeld is a raging homophobe!

Wednesday Comics came out today

A few bullet thoughts:
– I find it gimmicky. It’s obviously a gimmick, but not all gimmicks seem gimmicky, if that makes any sense.
– The one-page chapters in ongoing serialized stories make for a fairly difficult storytelling venue.
– It was awkward to read. Not even my newspaper is this big anymore.
– As a result, the gimmick seriously impeded my ability to enjoy the reading experience.
– …Yet I love it. There’s an undeniable aura of fun about this project, which gives the stories a little bit of cushion in terms of how good they end up being. I think I’m most excited to sit down and look at these stories from a craft perspective, seeing how each of the different creators dealth with the constraints of the medium.