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By fnord12 | August 27, 2012, 3:20 PM | Comics | Link


Joe Biden is written by Brian Michael Bendis:

"Hey, by the way, let's talk about Social Security," Biden said after a diner at The Coffee Break Cafe in Stuart, Va., expressed his relief that the Obama campaign wasn't talking about changing the popular entitlement program. "Number one, I guarantee you, flat guarantee you, there will be no changes in Social Security," Biden said, per a pool report.

Link, via.

By fnord12 | August 21, 2012, 10:31 AM | Comics & Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link

Journey Into Mystery Update

The Beat again:

Excellent news has come in from Marvel today! I refuse to be objective, because today comes that announcement that Journey Into Mystery WILL continue, as I previously reported, with the new creative team of Kathryn Immonen and Valerio Schiti coming onboard as of issue #646. Alongside the new creative team comes a new focus, as the series switches from following Kid Loki on his magical exploits, and instead turns to the swashbuckling swordplay of Sif.

Well, that's better than someone other than Gillen continuing the adventures of Kid Loki. Immonen has never seemed like a great writer to me (i remember not loving her Heralds series, and her recent She-Hulk issue of Avenging Spider-Man wasn't great), but i guess i'd try a book about Sif for a little while...?

By fnord12 | August 15, 2012, 8:52 AM | Comics | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Avengers Assemble #6 - This comic sure tries my patience. On the one hand, you know, the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy team up to fight Thanos and the Badoon. That's cool! And there's some cool moments. But Bendis' Thanos kinda sucks. And the script sort of acts like this is the first time Thamos has had a Cosmic Cube. Add that to an iteration of the Hulk that we haven't seen in a long time and you can see why people keep asking if this is in continuity. And the fact that Bendis has just about every Marvel super-hero sitting around at home listening to the plot get explained to them is going to make fitting this somewhere specific a little tight. I'm also a little disappointed in Bagley - his Hawkeye is looking pretty awful by the end of this book, and that whole sequence with Banner in the Iron Man armor really didn't work (i also don't know what the Avengers thought they were going to gain from that ploy). So, i want to like this, but i'm having trouble.

Spider-Men #4 - Same writer (actually half my books this week are by Bendis), very different reaction from me: this was really good. I've been grousing about the lack of plot in this series, but having Peter show up at Ultimate Aunt May's house, and having him not run away but instead have a long sit down with May and Ultimate Gwen Stacy (i just like doing that) was a really nice move that played to Bendis' dialogue strengths. Great issue.

Captain America #16 - If you're going to call the bad guys Discordians, you'd think you'd play it up a lot more, having them dropping fnords and doing other random weird shit. Instead they're more like generic anarchists, which is ok but a little disappointing. This was fine, but it's one of Brubaker's weaker Cap arcs (feels like a repeat in some regards), and i'm attributing that to co-writer Bunn. Next issue's Space Station Zemo is promising, though!

New Avengers #29 - My third and final Bendis book for the week. Unlike everyone else on the internet, i like the Illuminati concept and this issue made good use of it, and also made good use of the Cap and Namor relationship to the degree that the crossover event would allow (it would have been better if they were actually allowed to work something out). I actually think the conversations in this book should have been included in the main AvX series; it would have given that book some much needed depth and explanation and character study that the series is sorely missing. It shouldn't be pushed off into a tie-in. And that's my review. I also wanted to say, and this is not the fault of Bendis or any other particular writer, that if you strung together all the World War II era Captain America and Invaders flashbacks and other stories, you probably have enough content to fill about 27 World War IIs. Constantly adding to the backstory is fine for the sliding timescale Marvel Universe but when you associate events with a fixed length real world event it starts to get a little ridiculous.

Mighty Thor #18 - So far not impressed. Fraction's dialogue is not engaging and having Thor mutter like a teenager about his father isn't a good move. This was a set-up issue, so not a lot for Alan Davis to work. Hoping this gets better or that the Gillen issues, at least, are good. I wish this wasn't a "Prologue", actually. We had the set-up for Surtur's release in Journey Into Mystery; why not get into the actual story now?

By fnord12 | August 14, 2012, 6:30 PM | Comics | Link

At this point i might as well buy the original issues

I've been beefing up my "Jim Shooter and earlier" comics collection with an eye towards covering as many gaps as possible in my timeline project (and/or avoiding getting to the DeFalco era and the 90s). Since a lot of older stuff is expensive, i've been softening my stance on Essentials and Masterworks. Essentials suck because they are black and white, but i have absolutely no moral concern about chopping them up so they can be placed where they need to be.

The Masterworks, on the other hand, are in color, "nicer", but are more expensive and physically more difficult to chop up (i haven't tried yet). So i've been saving those for cases where a run is less likely to be interrupted (e.g. the Inhumans).

Anyway, long story short, i've had a few Masterworks sitting in my "Save for Later" cart at Amazon, waiting to make sure that the Masterworks decision actually works for me, and waiting for the price to go down. And, well... seems i waited too long.

The magic of the free market.

I'm sure i'll find them somewhere else at some point if necessary. Just think it's funny what some people think they can get for this stuff. Reminds me of the "I have this. Mint condition. What is it worth?" questions i occasionally get on my comics blog.

By fnord12 | August 14, 2012, 2:56 PM | Comics | Comments (4)| Link

Got the wrong half right

Headline at the Beat: "Tom Brevoort: Journey Into Mystery will continue".

Oh! Great!

Read a little further...

And in this case, a plucky fan appears to have asked the simple question "will JiM be cancelled?" and receive the simple answer "nope". In essence, this fan seems to have basically won a confirmation that the series will not be cancelled once writer Kieron Gillen leaves.

Oh. Well then... who cares?

Also, the Beat got a lot of mileage out of a one word Formspring response.

By fnord12 | August 14, 2012, 1:11 PM | Comics | Link

Don't believe in revolution

Today's Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal was particularly good.

By fnord12 | August 14, 2012, 12:59 PM | Comics & Science | Link

Back to comics

Thankfully my RSS isn't 100% Paul Ryan today. Here's two interesting posts on the topic of comics production.

The first is about coloring and it's interesting to see the amount of thought and effort put into the process, especially when my general feeling (not necessarily about the artists discussed) is that colorists today just take a big brush full of brown paint and cover the pages with it.

The second is about male and female body types in comics. It's a great topic that uses Olympic athletes as a starting point, but i feel like the author made a mistake in asking the artists to stack rank the characters because that exercise forces them to think about the characters in a way that i think artists otherwise wouldn't (again, not targeting the artists discussed; i'm not overly familiar with the artists that participated in the article, except for Perez who is an exception to most rules).

By fnord12 | August 13, 2012, 1:48 PM | Comics | Link

Entertainment Weekly Riling Up My Inner Comic Book Geek

My sister kindly informed me of this (probably not realizing the angry geek whining she was setting herself up for).

Hulk vs the Flash? C'mon. Superman vs the Silver Surfer? No way "powered by the sun" comes even close to defeating "in possession of the Power Cosmic". Pfft. What joker set this table up? They clearly don't know anything about comics.

By min | August 12, 2012, 3:28 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Well, i've got Halo: Reach to play, so i'll make this short. I know, only two years behind the times, but that's what happens when you're old. Typer195 got me a free copy, and i'm really enjoying it. I feel like the controls are better and it's easier to do headshots. Not that i still wouldn't be instantly killed by 9 years olds if i went online -- what? Oh, right. Comic books...

Avenging Spider-Man #10 - I know min had some problems with the fact that Ms. Captain Marvel's power levels seem to be ignored just to stretch out the story, and i agree with that but i think the writing here is generally fun, with the Robyn Hood robot being an interesting new political villain in the spirit of Firebrand or Flag-Smasher. I'd like to say that i've read the actual Captain Marvel book by now, but sadly we're having distribution problems again.

Avengers vs. X-Men #9 - As predicted, Wanyas and Bob (and the internet generally) did me a major favor by trashing this issue thoroughly before i read it. It's all an expectations game, folks. So clearly i'm going with "Not that bad". Some caveats... there's got to be an in-story explanation for Colossus being so dumb. Forget the water breathing whales; how else can Spider-Man manipulate the two Rasputins into fightings so easily (i'm taking it for granted that at this point Illyana is so evil she'll attack even her own brother in a bid for more power)? The Professor X bait-and-switch was disappointing and the Panther/Storm annulment definitely read like someone was checking off "unrelated significant event" from their to-do list, but otherwise... yeah. I thought the Spider-Man "everyone has their moment" bit was set up well, and Aaron wrote Spidey well. It's all a bit undermined by the fact that Cyclops - who in some scenes seems to still be the most reasonable of the Phoenixes - shows up in K'u'n L''un', so Hope won't have a chance to really soak up that "lesson", but whatever.

Daredevil #16 - We're definitely going a little darker with Daredevil. Even assuming that someone is setting Matt up, we're still getting back into familiar "terrible things happen" territory. Which is fine; just saying. The praise for this series has generally focused on it being a "fun" book that emphasizes DD's swashbuckler side, so it's interesting to see Waid not keeping the book firmly in that theme. I still like the book, and the bit of bonding with Pym was done well. One pet peeve of mine is how nowadays every super-character is also an expert in their non-super profession. Iron Man specifically said he called in Doctor Strange for his surgical skills. Ummm... really? A guy that basically gave up surgery several decades ago is who you go to? (I know, and don't care, that they've had Strange going back into surgery more and more in recent years. Even in his origin story, he was a good, successful surgeon, but that doesn't make him the best in the world, especially now.)

Peter Parker Spider-Man #156.1 - What's the story with the numbering on this title? Anyway, i'm a Roger Stern loyalist so i picked this up. And... well... look, at a basic level it's just a straightforward "Spider-Man saves some people from drowning" type of story. There's nothing wrong with a basic "Spider-Man does heroic stuff" story every once in a while. But... well... i mean, we know this was a 50th anniversary celebration, so it was going to be a bit referential. But going back to the warehouse where Uncle Ben was killed seems a bit much. And tying it into a Stern-written Brand plotline from 30 years ago seemed odd as well. I dunno. I'd like to see Stern on a regular title. I know he can still write; this is a guy that got me to enjoy Captain America Corps, for god's sake, even with the atrocious art. But this wasn't the greatest.

X-Factor #241 - I liked it. This is a very strange title but PAD makes it work. The only thing i didn't like is when Captain Deathlok called Dormammu "Smokey the Bore". I know it's an alternate universe character, but a universe where Captain America and/or Deathlok speaks like a generic Peter David character is one i don't wanna know about.

Avengers Academy #34 - I guess the Avengers Academy kids aren't reading the Avengers Vs. X-Men series. Because the Molecule Man's son's criticisms of that book were dead on, and anyone reading it would be happy to join him in order to end it. This is a great book and i sure hope that the very obvious fact that this arc is called "Final Exam" and the fact that Hazard and Mettle have been cured and the fact that Marvel is rebooting all their titles but nothing's been said about this one doesn't mean what i think it means. My one regret is that X-23 and Finesse's battle in the Savage Land wasn't expanded upon. That T. Rex has arms!

By fnord12 | August 9, 2012, 6:24 PM | Comics & Video Games | Comments (2)| Link

Four panels that never work

Mark Waid writes the latest issue of Gutters.

The bottom three are more modern issues, due to changing technology or just plain overuse. Not really layout problems like the original 22 panels that always work.

By fnord12 | August 9, 2012, 4:44 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

Daredevil has a request

Seriously.  Enough already.

By fnord12 | August 9, 2012, 9:02 AM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

Never too early

Sign the petition to prevent Joss Whedon's not-yet-announced Avengers-related television show from being canceled.

By fnord12 | August 8, 2012, 1:53 PM | Comics & TeeVee | Comments (1)| Link

Trade you Galactus and Silver Surfer for Daredevil?

Sounds like a good deal, if Marvel can get it.

By fnord12 | August 7, 2012, 11:28 AM | Comics & Movies | Comments (1)| Link

Art takes time

You can't just crank out stuff like this.

By fnord12 | August 2, 2012, 4:53 PM | Comics & TeeVee | Link


Malekith to appear in the next Thor movie.

Surely, therefore, it will be snowing in all other Marvel movies produced at the same time.

By fnord12 | August 2, 2012, 1:32 PM | Comics & Movies | Comments (1)| Link

Marvel Sales


By fnord12 | August 2, 2012, 1:01 PM | Comics | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Hulk Smash Avengers #5 - Hey, look what finally arrived (thanks, Bob!). Was it worth the wait? Well, Oeming art is always welcome. And Van Lente finds a decent gap in the Red Hulk saga for a continuity insert (i don't know that it actually fits per the characters' schedules; i mean that Banner deducing the Rulk's identity was not previously shown and is a good plot point to hang a story on). Van Lente is a fun writer and he gives us some decent dialogue and a good fight scene. The point of view characters weren't really necessary - i would have preferred more actually [Red] Hulk Smashing Avengers in lieu of them - but they were fine as well. This was probably the best of the Hulk Smash series (sorry, Roger Stern; i still love you), but even so it didn't really convince me that this "event" or whatever it was needed to happen. There ought to be some sort of "chance of continuity screw up vs. good story" risk/benefit analysis when doing a series like this, and i'm not sure this one would have passed the test.

Avengers #28 - Wanyas and Bob had to go into a separate room to have a spoiler-full discussion about this issue last Friday, so i figured something awful or awesome must have happened in it. But while i thought the premise and (text heavy) set-up were a little weird, i didn't notice anything too momentous. I've liked the way Bendis has been writing Red Hulk in this series, taking advantage of Thunderbolt Ross' military background and having him act as Captain America's lieutenant. So i liked that this issue used that as a starting point for a Rulk solo/inner monologue story. However, having Rulk (presumably incorrectly) assume that Cap wanted him to assassinate Cyclops is a bit weird. Ross is a character with a history of bad decisions, so i don't consider this out of character, but it's hard to see how Ross would have thought Cap would have wanted him to kill Cyke. I also don't take Rulk's conclusion, that since the Phoenix Five (*snicker*) didn't kill him that they were going to lose the war, as gospel. But overall i actually enjoyed this issue. Definitely helped by Walt Simonson's pencils; i was really prepared to not like the art based on the atrocious cover and the previous Simonson-drawn issues, but i thought the art here was nicely done.

Astonishing X-Men #52 - I was a bit put out by Karma's cleavage on the cover, but luckily the interior art (especially the flashback parts; i guess there were two artists on this book and i don't know who did which) was very nice and non-exploitative. And the story seems fine. The (minor) overlap with New Mutants is unfortunate, but on its own this book is decently written and i'm glad of the Northstar hype that got me to pick up this series. So far this hasn't been a great series, but it's been ok.

X-Men Legacy #270 - Unfortunately i still can't get behind this book. I like Gage and i want very much to read a well-written story where Rogue and Ms. Marvel reconcile, but, maybe due to the AvX backdrop or the Limbo setting, this didn't work for me. Magik's "i knew you were gonna betray us" trap was particularly annoying, and the fact that Rogue has been zapped to a different hellscape for next issue doesn't look promising. Overall, it's a water-treading problem; if Rogue's realization that the Phoenix Five (*snicker*) are bad guys could actually have affected the main AvX plotline, we might have had a real "team-up and break out" adventure story here that might have been more fun. There were good moments here, to be sure: Ms. Marvel willingly allowing Rogue to absorb her powers was a nice bit, and the depiction of Rogue in Ms. Marvel's nightmare as a giant leech-monster was cool. I still plan to stick with this series (as long as it lasts), but i wouldn't recommend this to anyone not already getting it.

Captain America #16 - I noticed that Brubaker was only co-writing this issue before i starting reading, and i'm suspicious of that trick now, so i think i accidentally predisposed myself to being disappointed here. But c'mon. That scene where Captain America rescues a whole crowd of people from a group of super-villains only to look up and realize that everyone is upset with him because of what some Glenn Beck stand-in is saying about him on their video phones was a bit much. Probably more of an art/layouting issue than the new writer, but it was really poorly done. I similarly thought the Diamondback/Sharon Carter cattiness was poor. But i did like how the Hydra Queen "managed" Baron Zemo, and overall i'm still enjoying this plot. And let's give some point for the new villains; they may feel a little generic so far but they'll have a chance to develop and at least it isn't the Serpent Squad again. Having them destroy the Lincoln Monument seems a bit much, though!

Winter Soldier #8 - A few issues ago the Widow made an offhand remark that her history as a ballerina was really a memory implant. I wasn't sure if that was a new revelation or based on some random Black Widow mini-series or something that i skipped; a quick internet search says it's the latter. I don't really like that and i'd love if we're moving to un-retcon the retcon here, but probably not. Anyway, the standard Winter Soldier review applies here: better without Guice, i'll take any Brubaker i can get now that he's leaving Cap, obligatory "i'll never forget the lack of gorillas" comment, etc.

Dark Avengers #178 - Another atrocious cover. But i'm enjoying this book. I think the best line was Boomerang's: after being set up with Centurius' "If it takes a dozen lifetimes, I am going to kill Victor Von Doom" and similar from the others, he says "I'll talk a lot about evening the score, and then get distracted by stuff and never get around to it." Hilarious! I will say that i think Parker is still working his way up to writing this new cast properly. I've been intrigued by Ai Apec since Bendis first starting using him (enough to pick up the Osborn series he was introduced in? Hmmm....) but he's pretty much been a blank slate and i don't think Parker has had a chance to develop him yet; he's started to remind us that he's a god and that's a good start but i'm waiting for more. I've never been sold on this evil Scarlet Witch and the additional powers seem meaningless to me because i never really understood her powers to begin with; i do like that she's a science-based villain and i'd like to see more done with that. And i think Ragnarok needs to be a lot more over-the-top ridiculously Thor-ish to work properly (and a better name). At this point i'm confident that Parker will make it all happen (probably better than my expected ideas)("Trickshot", on the other hand, will always be a hard sell, but i don't even like Hawkeye). I think i'm impatient because the book is divided up between the Thunderbolts and Dark Avengers so there hasn't been a lot of space to devote to character development, and while i love the Thunderbolts characters at this point, "fighting a Judge Dredd that turns out to be an Avengers amalgam in the future" doesn't rank high on my Most Wanted Stories list. But people! Ignore my minor ankle biting; it's inherent in my nature. This is a really, really good series.

By fnord12 | August 1, 2012, 7:34 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

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