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SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

FF #6 - No no no no no no no! Why do i buy this comic? His name is Mike Allred. Sure there's some cute stuff going on here. But it's not drawn by Mike Allred! I do think Joe Quinones would have been better off not trying to mimic Allred's style, in any event.

Uncanny Avengers #7 - Mixed feelings about this. Very mixed. I almost downloaded a scan of this to do a full review with images to help me work through all my problems, but instead i've just given the issue multiple reads, but this is going to be a long-ish speed review (i still retain all my usual rights to be sloppy, wrong, unfair, etc., as per a normal speed review).

I mentioned recently that if you put Celestials in your story you've got an in with me, and the same is true, in theory, about Apocalypse. But of course this isn't actually Apocalypse in this story. It's some Apocalypse Twins. Still, all that would be good enough, and a part of me is still intrigued by all of this. But there is so much crap mixed in here.

Some really bad art choices. Like that sequence with Holocaust/Genocide receiving the "death seed" from the Celestial. Really unclear what is happening there. And the panel where Wonder Man is in his room, before that atrocious exchange with Scarlet Witch. I'd like to think that he's mourning his dead brother, and he's looking at a picture of him, but the picture is just a nondescript man that could be him or his brother or just something he tore out of a magazine. Maybe a picture of himself and his brother as little kids would have been better. Because without a picture that clearly shows his brother, he's just sitting there feeling bad for himself ("I'm an abomination." Well you are if your brother just died and all you can think about is yourself; i don't care how much of a villain he was. And honestly i don't know where this stuff is coming from.). And generally the art is uneven; the very last panel with Thor is pretty bad.

On to story issues. I thought the point of Nick Fury Jr. was that he was going to be a field agent, so Marvel could do Steranko style spy stories again. So why is he the guy showing up (with "Commander Hill") to complain about the way the Uncanny Avengers are handling themselves. It really ought to be Daisy Johnson right now, right? Or at least Hill should do the majority of the talking. As to what SHIELD is complaining about, it's a mishmosh. Does anyone really still consider Rogue to be a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants? Any moreso than Scarlet Witch? And Fury is blaming them for the Avalanche attack and the Red Skull attack? I don't know. I guess it's just meant to be an exposition dump but it makes Fury seem really cranky for unexplained reasons.

Then we get to the internal bickering and the really bewildering use of Rogue. Wasp inexplicably catty as well (Wanda is a "real" Avenger). And then Wasp hitting on Havoc.

Not too thrilled about the cliched "throw Cap in the last lifeboat" scene, either.

But the biggest concerns relate back to the flashback from last issue, and i won't rehash what i said but suffice it to say that this really does seem to be a pretty self-contained story or maybe "continuity-agnostic" (if it connects with anything, it's Jason Aaron's Thor series) that takes it as a given that this Jarnbjorn axe can defeat a Celestial no problem and will ignore the fact that when Odin built the Destroyer specifically to defeat Celestials it didn't even work that well. I was also surprised to see Wolverine recognize the axe, if that was indeed what was happening in that scene. Last issue there was a cutesy ancestor of Wolverine, i thought. Was it really supposed to be Wolverine? Or maybe Wolverine was just recognizing the Apocalpyse Twins from his time in Uncanny X-Force; let's hope so.

Anyway, i still want to hold out hope on this but considering some of the flaws i'm seeing in the non-Celestial/Apocalypse portions of the story, i'm losing confidence. I thought this story started out rather well with the Red Skull with Xavier's Brain arc, and maybe Remender should have wrapped that up and had a downtime issue to work out these team squabbles before getting involved in something else. I do think a lot of my dithering here (and generally) would go away if i was reading this stuff in trade form, and i am slowly coming around to realizing that's the better way to read most books nowadays.

Young Avengers #4 - Unqualified goodness here. I've really loved how each issue has had some unique and original art sequence (the diagram of Marvel Boy's attack in this issue), and i'm loving the dialogue and at this point sort of reveling in the obvious stupidity of the Kids vs. Parents theme.

By fnord12 | April 30, 2013, 3:49 PM | Comics | Comments (6)| Link

How does he run that fast with only one bionic leg?

Not even a bionic foot!

By fnord12 | April 29, 2013, 4:30 PM | Comics | Comments (2)| Link

Just pull up your mask, Spidey! You've done it before!

I'm not so sure about that first S.  Freez-esicles?   Freeze-sicles? Wouldn't 'Freezeicles' be better?

By fnord12 | April 29, 2013, 4:25 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

I think if he spelled it Su-perhero, it would be ok

Marvel & DC's joint trademark on Super-Hero/Super Hero is ridiculous.

Actually, the hyphen doesn't matter, per Brian Cronin's handy FAQ about this.

By fnord12 | April 26, 2013, 9:12 AM | Comics | Link

I had the same reaction

I mean, i know it's supposed to be like X of a 1,000 run limited edition, but it sure looks like Captain America divided by one to me.

By fnord12 | April 25, 2013, 12:51 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Iron Man #8 - I have to admit: you throw some Celestials at me and i'm much more likely to enjoy your book. They were even on model! Add that to Death's Head and a rogue/genocidal Rigellian Recorder and i guess i'm still on board with this book.

Captain Marvel #12 - Still enjoying this although not looking forward to the interruption of the story thanks to the crossover with Avengers Movieverssemble. Thanks to some recent activity on the timeline site, my first thought when Yon-Rogg was revealed as the bad guy was "Hey, maybe he was Mystique's 'Lord'. His silhouette is actually pretty close!", but of course it's madness to expect anyone to bring that up at this point. One thing i wanted to mention is that while i still think of this as DeConnick's book, Christopher Sebela has been a co-writer since issue #7 (the first part of the team-up with Monica Rambeau and also when Frank Gianelli, from the old Ms. Marvel series, was introduced). And that's when we started liking the book. If i recall correctly, it was said in an earlier lettercol that all of the references and tie-ins to Ms. Marvel's old book were coming from Sebela. So i don't know if Sebela would be a good writer on his own (i'd certainly try another Marvel book) but maybe what we have here is a good combination of a "good" writer (or Marvel-acceptable writer) and a continuity-minded writer, and together they make a great comic. Maybe that's a model for the future? Of course, a good editor could also play the second role...

X-Factor #254 - I've gone from "I don't really care about these characters but the writing is good." to "I don't really care about this plot but the writing is good." to "Gee this plot is kind of dragging." to "Now we're going in circles!". Tier will or won't fight the Hell-Gods. The endless Strong Guy/Monet fighting. Everybody just kind of running around and not moving the plot forward. The Hell-God fights, purely physical encounters with Mephisto just sneaking up and stabbing everyone in the back, aren't that exciting either. They are fine for an X-book where i wouldn't expect a lot of mystical coolness, but since the main characters are adrift, the Hell-God War is all we have to look at so i'd want more from a Satannish/Mephisto fight, for example. But mostly i think this needs to wrap up.

Daredevil #25 - Wow. That was the best fight comic i've read in a long time. Really great action sequences - lots of detail and storytime devoted to the actual fighting. And i really loved how every step of the way Daredevil was confident that he had things under control and this trick or tactic was going to turn things around, but he kept finding out that his opponent was better than he thought. Really well done.

Thunderbolts #8 - Missing Dillon at this point. The thing about Phil Noto's art is that it's as stiff and non-dynamic as Steve Dillon's, but it doesn't have that special Dillon look. And that may be part of the reason why i'm finding this second arc a little less cool than the first. The other reason is that the story is definitely paced for a trade. I recognized that with the first arc but i enjoyed the character interactions so much that i still felt like i was getting a lot out of the single issues. And part of that, i know, was just putting this unique group of characters together. So by now we've sort of settled in and there really isn't anything new to say on that front (well, Elektra did shoot Deadpool in the head, but besides that) so now i'm more antsy about the plot moving forward. Only three more issues, anyway.

By fnord12 | April 24, 2013, 9:16 AM | Comics | Comments (2)| Link

The Master of Style

I don't know how far we'll go with this but this is the first in a potential series where min and i outline some of our opinions on grammar and punctuation that you won't find in Strunk & White.

This might quickly devolve into a flame war between me and min. But in any event it will help show that at least some of the grammatical errors on my comics site are deliberate.

Anyway, the first of these rules is about quotes and punctuation. I believe that what's between quotes should only represent what is actually in the quoted text. The one exception is ellipses. And you can't use any punctuation in quotes as part of your own sentence.

For example, i won't write:

She said, "Give me a dollar."

I'll write:

She said, "Give me a dollar.".

And i can also write:

She said, "Give me a dollar." but i told her i spent all my money on comic books.

The period after dollar doesn't count for my sentence, so i have to add my own, but i can also continue writing after the quoted portion even though it has its own period. I don't agree with dropping the period, or, worse, turning it into a comma inside the quote.

The second rule is about parenthesis and punctuation. I like to use parens because my mind wanders in various directions with a lot of asides (and during my formative years i read Joseph Heller's Something Happened, which has pages and pages of parenthetical asides that just end and the original sentence picks up right where it left off before the parens), so my rule for punctuation and parenthesis is that if the parenthetical aside is "less than a sentence" no additional punctuation is needed. But if there's more than a sentence in the parens, the rules are similar to quotes.

I told him not to buy that Hickman book (but he did anyway).


I told him not to buy that Hickman book (but he did anyway. He never listens to me.).

Finally there's the possibility that an entire sentence stands on its own outside of any other sentence. In that case, no punctuation outside the parens:

I told him not to buy that Hickman book. (It's not that i'm trying to sabotage Hickman's career or something. People that like Hickman should obviously buy his stuff. But i know my friend doesn't like Hickman, so i don't know why he keeps buying the books.)

Next up is using letters as words in sentences. For example:

I once read a Spidey Super Stories comic where Doctor Octopus stole the letter H, and all the Hs in the word balloons were missing. Like, people would say "shoot!" but it would be printed as "s oot!". I wish i could find that comic again, if it ever really existed.

Putting an apostrophe between the H and the s in unacceptable. E.g.:

...all the H's in the world balloons were missing.

Apostrophes are for possession or contractions, and in the above example neither is true, so it is wrong. You should always use capital letters to make it clear, e.g.:

...all the hs in the world balloons were missing.

That just becomes unreadable.

The final rule for now is Ziggy's Rule of Humble Pronoun Usage. I don't capitalize my Is unless they are at the beginning of a sentence.

Actually, there is one last rule. And it's this: proofreading is for people who don't have a huge backlog of comics to review, so all of the above rules are subject to accidental violation without warning.

By fnord12 | April 23, 2013, 11:58 AM | Comics & Master of Style | Link

Marvel Sales


By fnord12 | April 22, 2013, 11:40 AM | Comics | Link


Brian McFadden's latest comic.

By fnord12 | April 19, 2013, 3:09 PM | Comics & Liberal Outrage | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Secret Avengers #3 - Between this and what i'm hearing about Age of Ultron, it sounds like Tony Stark needs another Armor Wars. Ummmm, what have we got here? Well, first of all, i think it's pretty clear that no one can tell Maria Hill and Daisy Johnson apart, because i'm fairly certain Ross drew Hill into that scene and Spencer covered for it in the dialogue. Either that or Johnson is very... mature for a teenager. Actually i guess that's not the case since she does use her powers. Still, it's confusing, and being able to draw different body types would be a big help. All this "director/acting director" nonsense is equally messy. The whole black ops / "we mess with Hawkeye's mind" situation is also feeling muddled. Suddenly Fury Jr. is against the idea, and meanwhile Hawkeye is just joking about it ("Is this one of those things we did that we're not allowed to remember? Because i would like to remember that. That's awesome."). I dunno, it's just hard to understand the book's tone. And then there's AIM. It seems AIM is being used very prominently in a number of books. But i don't like the "The new AIM is not the old AIM" message. Out of story we like to goof on the beekeeper suits, and MODOK, but in-story, with the exception of say, Spider-Man, the organization should be depicted as a deadly threat and shouldn't need a make-over to make them cool again. Especially since, ultimately, this version of AIM will be taken down too. It's too meta to say that any villain or group is a loser because they lose a lot. They don't have a choice in the matter. So it's up to the writers to make them still seem like credible threats, and they shouldn't have to resort to mocking the old version and saying this time they're cool. It also seems inconsistent to say that they are now recognized as a nation by the UN and then have a deadly fight break out between them and SHIELD at an arms show. The whole book just feels like a mess to me.

Wolverine #2 - This was done well, if a bit slow. Some nice moments with the alien observing Wolverine, and a cute interaction with Fury Jr.. I thought the protein jar with the homeless guy was weird; is that a reference to something i don't know about? As i've said before, the biggest roadblock for me is that i see so much of Wolverine i really don't need a solo book, even despite the good creators here, and especially when the plot is small scale (i was going to say that the small scale was deliberate, but here's the Watcher to prove otherwise). Since that's all i have to say about that, what's with the "Paul McCartney of supers" line? Paul McCartney wasn't in a lot of bands the way Wolverine is in a lot of super-teams. Trying to think of a better musician to use. Brian Eno? Too behind-the-scenes. Maybe Secret Defenders era Dr. Strange is the Brian Eno of supers. Ok, getting off track...

Uncanny Avengers #6 - So i thought we were going somewhere cool with this, and maybe we still are. The Asgardians have a connection to the Celestials through the Destroyer armor, which Odin created to fight off the Celestials if they ever decided the Earth was unworthy. And he also created the New Gods as (i think) proof that humanity had the potential that the Celestials were looking for, to judge us worthy. So here's Thor mucking about with an agent of the Celestials (more on that in a minute) and Odin tells him quit it because he's got this. So when Thor ignores Odin and messes with the Celestials anyway, you'd think there's be some tie-in to the Destroyer/New Gods stuff. But there wasn't any and it seems like the real implications of this action will be shown in an upcoming issue unrelated to established history. And i guess that could be because Apocalypse wasn't ever really an agent of the Celestials the way he's presented here. As i understood it (my understanding of Apocalypse admittedly only goes about up to X-Cutioner's song, and is muddled by my own conjectures over the years), Apocalypse wasn't an agent of the Celestials. He was someone who discovered Celestial tech early on and devoted his life to ensuring that Earth would be able to prove itself worthy to them. So Thor fighting Apocalypse wouldn't really be relevant to the Celestials at all, which means my two concerns cancel each other out, although that doesn't seem to be what Remender intends (again, it'll depend on where this goes). I have other concerns as well! First, per the Tales of Asgard, Thor was always pretty noble and goody goody, and he proved himself worthy of Mjolnir fairly early on. This story takes place in 1013, which seems pretty late for Thor to be going through a surly teenager phase. There's also the idea that Apocalypse is wearing armor, which isn't how i understand the character. He's a shape-shifter at the molecular level, in total control of his own body, and there's no need for him to wear armor. I guess it could just be a mistake on the part of Thor (& Odin & Kang, or Kang was just lying) that leads him to think he's wearing armor, but even so Apocalypse shouldn't be any more vulnerable on the inside than his surface. And he certainly shouldn't whine "Y-you've cheated...". ("Aha! You are worthy!" would have been better.) I'm really ok with retroactively establishing some history between all of these characters but it has to match up with what's already been established (and remember my rule: if i remember it one way, and your recap page and/or footnotes don't tell me otherwise, Marvel is wrong, not me. I know Jason Aaron is doing some awful-sounding revisions to Thor currently, but none of that is explained here, if it's relevant). Also? Introducing an ancestor of Wolverine that looks exactly like him is pretty dumb. Apocalypse was one of my favorite villains pretty early in my comic collecting days, and so you'd think i'd be pretty excited about this stuff, and i sort of am, but that's going to sour quickly if it turns out to just be ignoring everything that's come before.

Fearless Defenders #3 - I await min's commentary on the poses Misty Knight is doing when they first arrive in the empty town. Beyond that, i've lost all interest in this book.

Avengers Arena #7 - Well i was hoping this issue would provide some behind-the-scenes explanations for what was really happening in this series, but it is instead doubling-down on the idea that it is all really happening and not some VR simulation. Not that i needed it to be a simulation; i'm fine with characters dying in the process of a good story. But i've been reading this waiting for some kind of interesting twist, and this issue didn't deliver. I had some hopes for this series but it's really just dragged on and is going nowhere. So i'm gonna drop this now (i'd also drop Secret Avengers, Fearless Defenders, and Wolverine but there are other people in our reading chain who want to keep getting those books; i've been the only hold-out on this one). I'd also like to end with the idea that Arcade hosting a birthday party where he invites super-villains seems really out of character - he's a pychopath and an assassin. He doesn't hang out with super-villains. And the only reason the super-villains call him a loser is for the same reason i mentioned regarding AIM above. Every fricking character there is a loser by the same definition. Annoying.

Avenging Spider-Man #19 - I was disappointed by this. I've been enjoying Yost's take on Octo-Spidey and i was looking forward to either a cool redemption of Sleepwalker along the lines of what we saw for Darkhawk a little while back, or at least a fun goofy story using the character. Instead Yost went the route of doing a nightmare story and those are always tedious (at least it wasn't a Nightmare story). The one good thing about dream issues is that it's usually a chance for the artist to go wild, but Marco Checchetto's depictions were pretty bland. And i really don't need to know about Doc Ock being abused as a child. Arrogant genius driven insane by a radioactive explosion. That's all i need. Oh well. Unlike some of the other books i'm disappointed with this week, i'm pretty confident that this issue is an exception due to the topic and next issue will be fun again.

By fnord12 | April 17, 2013, 11:44 AM | Comics | Comments (3)| Link

The Apologist can be found in the comments of any TPM post

Tom Tomorrow's latest cartoon is particularly good.

By fnord12 | April 15, 2013, 11:27 AM | Comics & Liberal Outrage | Link

Busy place

I was tearing up my Essential Man-Thing trade yesterday and i didn't want to lose this. I'm sure it's from a Handbook but i like it in b&w.

Not shown: site where Gary Okenfelks of Boca Raton dropped his keys, site where someone ditched an old station wagon they didn't want to pay to have taken away, site where literally nothing happened, ever.

I love it but i wonder what made the Handbook guys decide to map it all out with such specificity. Imagine a similar map of Manhattan; "sites where Spider-Man fought Doctor Octopus" alone would probably cover half the city in dots.

By fnord12 | April 12, 2013, 1:17 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

All-New X-Men #10 - Cyclops finally gets to present his side of the argument and it's pretty damn convincing. Frankly, that should end the series. "Oh, you were possessed by a thingie? Maybe you could've exercised some more willpower but you really weren't responsible for your actions? OK, i guess we can go home then." Wolverine should never say "Rrrrrhate him!!" like a petulant 4 year old. And can this be paced any slower? Did we really need such a clunky cliffhanger? Couldn't we have revealed on page 4 who it was that was going to "defect" and let them discuss the implications of it a little more? Regarding the new Brotherhood, i recognize that Lady Mastermind can obviously create illusions. But storywise, wouldn't it be better for her to not use that power to give everyone Mystique's ability? Doesn't that make Mystique redundant? Thanks to min, i'm now completely distracted by young Iceman's "snowman" form. We're 10 issues in and nothing has happened in this book so i'm at the point where as soon as we get to a logical break we can put this on the bargain trade wait list.

Red She-Hulk #64 - I like this book. The Mole Man's son was fun. The stuff with Ancient SHIELD is done in such a way that even if you don't really like the implications of that series, it still works as a cool Indiana Jones/Illuminatus type story. I like RShulk's "always attack, ready for anything" personality, and i of course like Machine Man too. The only thing that is missing from this series, and it's not a problem for any particular issue but it's something the series eventually needs to address, is that there's still no connection back to the "old" Betty Ross. There's nothing that makes this character Betty. As i've said before, Parker did a great job relating the Red Hulk back to General Ross, so i am hoping he'll get to do the same here, and considering how poorly this title sells i hope he does it sooner than later.

Indestructible Hulk #6 - It's funny; i've been reading the howls of outrage over how Hulk lifts Thor's hammer in this book, but this is so clearly a Not What It Seems scenario that you have to assume the people complaining haven't actually read the issue. As for the actual story, i thought it was fun. I do have some problems about Walt Simonson's art nowadays, unfortunately. Not sure how to describe it, but his light sketchy art has become heavy sketchy art, as if he is inking his every stray line very darkly or the process is now going direct from pencils and picking up too much. But there are too many line everywhere and it doesn't work with modern coloring and paper. I still like it. Love the detail, love how much action can be shown in one comic, fight scenes that are actually choreographed, details about what's happening, all wonderful. I think what i really want is for this to be on newsprint and manually colored!

By fnord12 | April 11, 2013, 2:22 PM | Comics | Comments (3)| Link

We'll Have No Gay Sex in Comics on Apple's Watch

Issue #12 of Brian K. Vaughan's Saga contains 2 images of a reflection of a male giving another male a blowjob. Apple decided it wasn't going to peddle this smut through its iOS apps.

Having just read the first trade for this series in which very early on there is a scene with two naked adults having sex, with the female on her hands and knees, it's hard to believe that it was the sexual content that caused Apple to decide to ban issue #12 from their stores.

By min | April 10, 2013, 3:30 PM | Comics & Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link

Crunky Cover Reviews: May 2013

I think i've finally cracked the complex image naming code! And if i haven't, you won't know until it's too late! Bwahahaha!!!

1. Fearless Defenders #4AU by Phil Jimenez

[insert the usual Jimenez gushing] Ok, i concede that fnord12's right. This character design is terrible. Nobody's going to want to draw all the detail necessary to make her look good. The hair alone is crazy and that's before you get to her costume. I just want to bask in Jimenez art, ok? Is that so wrong?

2. Uncanny Avengers #8AU by Jim Cheung

I have a basic proportion issue with this cover. My first impression is "Geez, Kang is giant." Now, i know the two in front of him are children. But children aren't just scaled down adults. They have their own body proportions that make them appear as children standing next to an adult, not an adult female with a boy and a giant. Ofc, these are not really human children, so we can just say that's why they look a little funny size-wise. But, their heads are tinier than Kang's gun (the gun that doesn't look particularly huge in Kang's hands). Just saying.

3. Uncanny Avengers #8 by John Cassaday

I think i just don't care for Cassaday's style. His people look doughy, and i feel his body proportions are off. The legs are too short and too bulky for the torsos. Sunfire's mask looks more like a cloth draped over his face ala early Baron Zemo.

4. Avengers #11 by Dustin Weaver

Not reading Hickman's Avengers, so i'm not really sure what's going on here. Why is Spider-Woman in a Sailor Moon costume? When did Cannonball turn into an Autobot?

As always, let's talk about body proportions. Spider-Woman's thighs are the same circumference as her arms. And is it just me or are Captain Marvel's legs somehow too big? I will let you see into a tiny portion of the insanity that's my brain. I'm looking at her big feet and her itty bitty head and then looking at my feet and wondering how i can get my feet to my head to compare relative sizes without anyone at work noticing. Her calves are the same size as her head! I know they're in boots, but still.

Anyway, what's really important is that we point out the unnecessary cleavage going on with the Black Widow's unzipped cat suit (cause a cat suit isn't sexy enough on its own). In general, when there is going to be lots of jumping around going on, women prefer the girls to be tightly secured, not 2 jump flips away from waving hello to the enemy. I could go on, but i'm sure nobody would appreciate that.

5. Avengers #12 by Dustin Weaver

Dinosaurs - good. Thor without his winged helmet - completely unacceptable. Goddamn movies.

6. All New X-Men #11 by Stuart Immonen

It's tough drawing 1960s Iceman, isn't it? I believe at the point in time they pulled this Iceman, he should have just figured out how to be icy rather than a walking snowman. On Immonen's cover, he's neither snowy nor icy. He's more alien, with the slanted eyes and the totally white, hairless skin. Kinda like those guys in Prometheus.

7. Young Avengers #5 by Jamie McKelvie

So, this is a commentary on the cover design, not the art itself. And it's going to be kinda rude. When i was a junior in high school, i somehow ended up in this graphic arts class that i definitely didn't belong in. I was given the assignment to design the program for some awards ceremony (as you may recall, there were always awards ceremonies going on in hs). Seeing as i had about zero clue as to how to do this, i basically got a bunch of clip art silhouettes of kids doing high school-y things (sports, mostly), and cobbled them together. My teacher being both a nice guy and pressed for time took it as is. I can only hope my name never appeared in any credits for it. It was a sad, sad piece of work.

That's what i think of when i look at this cover. The actual drawings of people are ok, but i feel the design gives off a slapped together "we didn't know what to draw" vibe. The whited out grabby hands contribute to that.

8. A+X #8 by Humberto Ramos

Do i even need to say it? Look at their heads. Now look at their bodies. Look at their heads again. Now look at their biceps. What the hell?

I'll give this to Ramos, though, he made Cap's head covering as unstupid looking as it could be. He doesn't look like he's wearing a bowl with a chinstrap, at least.

9. Thanos Rising #2 by Simone Bianchi

Oh, that is a very much not good Thanos. I don't even know what exactly is wrong. His face is just all stupid. It could be the puffy cheeks that seem to be pressed against the side of his helmet as he smiles. Could be the smarmy smile that's more "hey, baby" than "I've got a fantastic idea that will end in your quite painful death". And lest you think his stupid face distracted me from noticing his little feet, rest assured, it did not.

10. X-Men Legacy #10 by Mike Del Mundo

This is a kewl retro ad cover design.

11. Savage Wolverine #5 by Frank Cho

Hey! Boobies!

The Hulk gets a face. Wolverine gets a face. I would identify the chick except, oh gosh, she hasn't got a face.

12. Indestructible Hulk #8 by Walt Simonsen

Where's Thor's nose? It's like he got the bad nose job.

13. FF #7 by Michael Allred

Is it Marvel's new policy to make readers guess what comic they're looking at? Why is the title the same color as the background?? Are they testing us?

14. Fearless Defenders #4 by Mark Brooks

I cannot convey to you just how much i hate the cocked hip chick stance. This is Valkyrie, a Viking warrior, not Jessica Alba in Dark Angel (for years, i suspected she had a neck injury).

I like the Thor doll, but it doesn't make up for the outrage at another exploitive Brooks cover. Where's my dress-up Captain America paper doll? Where's my Thor in his underpants showing off his tight ass cover? You don't see those covers because they'd clearly be wrong and clearly have nothing to do with the story. But for some reason, this is ok.

Let's say Brooks had to design the cover way before the issue was written so he had to make it pretty generic. What's wrong with a picture of Valkyrie riding Aragorn and swinging her sword? How many generic Wolverine jumping and slashing covers have you seen in your lifetime? No, no. Let's go with the Valkyrie in her underwear option. Ugh.

I'm clearly back to my old cranky self. Last month was clearly a fluke. Huzzah!

By min | April 10, 2013, 12:43 PM | Comics | Comments (4)| Link

Carmine Infantino

Ty Templeton has a nice tribute to Carmine Infantino. Obviously he's more of a DC guy but just scrolling through the list of things it's obvious how significant he was to the industry. Due to my Marvel myopia, until a few years ago i mainly thought of him as the guy who drew the first 2 years or so of Spider-Woman's first series and had a run on Nova and did a few other things for Marvel, and never realized that he was kind of like DC's Stan Lee + Jack Kirby in one package.

By fnord12 | April 5, 2013, 12:04 PM | Comics | Link

Shouldn't we think about something NOT incestuous, sir?

Forgive the low quality image.  Camera phone.  We're not turning this into a thing.

I'm reading through the trades of the Star Wars newspaper strips that came out from 1979 to 1984. And of course they are plenty goofy but there's some cool stuff, like Luke's first meeting with Boba Fett, the building of Darth Vader's Super Star Destroyer and the Rebels searching for a new base location and settling on Hoth. But it's always funny seeing Star Wars stuff written before the "reveal" in Jedi that Luke and Leia were sisters.

To go beyond the straight "Ha, ha, incest!" play here, i really like C-3PO in that panel. From what i remember about the prequels, C-3PO should have known all along that Luke and Leia were siblings*. So you have to imagine there were a lot of moments like this, where the droid had to distract Luke from his lusty impulses.

*Don't tell me about any expanded universe stuff, people. These newspaper strips are as close as i'm coming to that.

By fnord12 | April 4, 2013, 8:54 AM | Comics & Star Wars | Link

All i ask is to be released

Commenter Bob and Sean Whitmore at Comic Critics have the same general idea, and i agree, and i think we all saw it coming ever since Guardians of the Galaxy showed up in Avengers Assemble which as far as i can tell takes place entirely in the Movieverse.

Here's Sean Whitmore/@JoshCritic:

[T]his is the first time Marvel's been able to take a property with nothing currently invested in it and make it resemble the movieverse before the movie's even come out. Just as a minor for-instance: check out the "Council of Galactic Empires". We've seen this kind of thing a lot, but not with this lineup. Right off the bat, Spartax-which has been about as relevant to the MU in recent years as the planet Melmac-now has a front-row seat. Star-Lord even refers to his father as "king of the galaxy". He's being flippant, but the issue makes it seem like it's not that far off. The Brood are also present, which is weird. I can't imagine, say, the United Federation of Planets ever inviting Xenomorphs to their club. And then there's Annihilus, who should not only be at the top of every planet's hit list, but isn't even technically part of our galaxy. All of which means little except to reinforce my point that Marvel obviously views their cosmic mythology as particularly malleable. If nothing else, I'd wager Spartax will be a major cosmic player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, akin to the role the Shi'ar usually play.

There's a point to be made about the futility of making your comics more like the movies to prepare for the huge influx of new fans that loved the movie and now want to read the comic book (it ain't happening, guys), but i'll skip it.

What's important to me is the fact that it's pretty clear that Marvel has lost interest in Marvel's continuity. I really take issue with the part i italicized in the quote above. Marvel actually did have something invested in their cosmic universe. They had a number of surprisingly successful events over the past several years coming out of those properties, and surely the buzz from that is why we're even going to get to see a Guardians of the Galaxy movie. They weren't top sellers, but they did much better than expected, and Marvel did an admirable job of keeping the books alive in various formats. And i'm going to argue that the reason they worked is because the creators (Giffen, DnA, and more) put together a cast from disparate parts of the MU and did a decent job of representing those characters in a way that was fairly consistent with what existed before. They worked within the existing framework (sure, there were inconsistencies and cheats, but that's always been the case). So that pulled in a lot of fans who remembered and were interest in those characters, and those fans didn't get angry and walk away when they were written poorly and out of character.

In contrast to that, from what i (and i think Bob, and @JoshCritic) can see in Bendis' GotG series, Marvel editorial is simply dumping whatever they don't like or (in the case of the Shi'ar, who are possibly tied up in the X-Men movie rights) can't use.

And i'm not here to complain (ha!). I just wish Marvel would do it clean. Close up the MU and reboot with something that can be consistent with the Movieverse. Let those of us who are really still hanging around only because we have a loyalty to the old Marvel Universe know that they're done with all of that. DC did it. Why not Marvel? It's time, guys. You've been hostile to continuity for a long time. Put your money behind your convictions and go for it.

I was going to write that Marvel can't do that because they know the vast majority of their fan base now comes from us older die hard readers. Other than the guy who thinks Bendis invented Rocket Squirrel, we're not really here for what you're doing now. We're here because it continues the story started by Lee & Kirby and was expanded on by many other great creators. It's why Marvel's tagline for Marvel NOW was "It's not a reboot, we swear!" and why they constantly have to come out and insist that Avengers Assemble and Age of Ultron and whatever else all take place in the real Marvel Universe.

I was going to write that, but i realized that's inconsistent with the fact that DC did it. DC rebooted their continuity and they still have readers. So really, there's no excuse for Marvel. If this is what they want to do, go for it. Heck i might even read a few of the books (in trade format, and if someone like Jeff Parker is writing).

By fnord12 | April 3, 2013, 11:26 AM | Comics | Comments (3)| Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 - So i'm reading this and i'm going, wow, these are some krutacking major revisions. Here's Young Surly Star-Lord having an adolescent argument with his daddy, but Gamora was his girlfriend at the time? And there was some sort of intergalactic "leave Earth alone" council that included the Brood and Annihilus (Annihilus?!), let alone Spartax. And then they mention the Cancerverse and i realize this is all meant to be happening now. Umm, ok, i guess that's better, but then why is Star-Lord acting like, and being treated like, an 18 year old? His father even seems to know that he was a hero in the Annihilus War and other such events, so the "This is what you do with your time?" type of questions seem really weird. It's krutacking sad when "Oh, it's ok, it's just bad writing!" makes you feel better about something. I have a feeling that reading this book is just going to infuriate me and i should probably drop it. By the way, here is an actual letter in the lettercol:

0.1 rocked, it was FUN and I hope in the upcoming issues you flesh out WHO these characters are... particularly the squirrel dude.

Man, that just makes me feel old and sad. I'm clearly not the audience for this book, and i can't wait for when the movie comes out and Brian Michael Bendis is acknowledged in the credits in big letters while Abnett and Lanning and Starlin and Mantlo and Englehart and Claremont and Byrne and Kirby, etc. are lumped into a big list at the end, if at all.

FF #5 - This i liked. Whatever my past issues with Fraction in other books, there's no denying this book is a lot of crazy fun, and Allred can't get ALL the credit (not a pun).

Thunderbolts #7 - Honestly, Elektra/Punisher/Deadpool "love triangle" (it's of course nothing of the sort, but what else to call it?) issues aren't what i want most out of this book, but despite the off-putting cover i still enjoyed this. The lack of Dillon didn't bother me, either. Lots of good character stuff here. Since i don't have any serious complaints: the Avengers fighting AIM-powered Super-Apes shouldn't be a throwaway panel; it should be a series. That would be much more fun than anything Hickman is currently doing.

Uncanny Avengers #5 - First my own bugaboo: i read the first two or maybe three Uncanny X-Force trades and i know Remender was doing some stuff with Apocalypse, but i haven't read the rest. It feels like Remender is just picking up here with whatever he left off with in that series. Which is totally fine, but i guess i need to get caught up on those issues; i think they're not all out in trade yet. Now the internet's bugaboo: i don't know what Remender said on twitter, but just based on this issue, it seems like reasonable characterization for Havok to try to discourage the use of the word mutant. In real life we've seen minority groups attempt to "rebrand" vs. others who have attempted to "take back" certain words. Havok as a character choosing a particular path doesn't make it Marvel's official policy on the subject. I'm sure this has all been said elsewhere and more, so i'll leave it at that. Back to more geeky concerns, i really liked it when Rogue absorbed Wonder Man's powers and then said "I had no idea you were... that strong" after snapping the Reaper's neck.

Uncanny X-Force #3 - Note that this is an entirely different series than the Uncanny X-Force i mentioned above. I've been enjoying this. I thought the art was handled really well in this issue; the fight in the dark in the subway tunnel, and the dreamscape at the end. Good stuff, good character writing. I see Humphries is going to be writing a book about Avengers robots so we should get that.

Young Avengers #3 - Teenagers fighting super-evil versions of their parents is a bit overt as a theme, but it's all done smartly both writing and artwise. Haven't been sold on Miss America Chavez but getting a hint of her origins this issue makes her a bit more intriguing. And thrilled to see Gillen still writing Young Loki (but JiM did end with the return of old Loki in Young Loki's body, right?).

By fnord12 | April 2, 2013, 2:36 PM | Comics | Comments (5)| Link

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