Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The envelope please ...

And now, the Crappiest Selling Mainstream Comic of the Month, for February 2007 is ...

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane 15

Congratulations Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane 15! You didn't sell as well as such luminaries as Lady Death: Pirate Queen, Sonic the Hedgehog 172 and Anita Blake Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures 1 ... reorder. Well done, SMLMJ15!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Live fast, die young

One of my favorite new books of the last year has been Moon Knight. Great art, great writing.

Naturally, Huston and Finch are done with the book soon.

I'm sure it'll turn into another suckfest. Christ knows there hasn't been a Moon Knight series that's been consistently good in forever.

And you know why? Because I'm the kiss of death on books. Naturally, The Boys was the book I spent the most time raving about to anyone who would listen.

Take notice, Gray and Palmiotti. Jonah Hex is as doomed as Freddie Dukes' toilet on Mexican night.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Birds of Poop

I don't like Black Canary.

And I don't like Oracle (or Crippled Bat-Girl, as she's known around Bitter Comics Nerd headquarters).

Ditto that on the Huntress.

And I really disliked Ice. You remember Ice, the lesser half of Fire and Ice from the Giffen-Era Justice League.

So now she's in Birds of Prey (or BoP as all the cool nerds call it). So that gives me another reason not to buy that particular DC title.

Thanks Gail Simone!

Have we really come to this?

Look out, comics fans. Major news coming out of Birds of Prey 104! Looks like Ice is back. Also, Birds of Prey has reached ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR issues.

Why? WhywhywhywhyjesusfuckballsWHY?

First of all, let's review the great balance sheet of Giffen era Justice Leaguers. Blue Beetle? Dead. Max Lord? Dead. Skeets? Apparently evil, I guess? The Dibneys? Dead and messed up. Fire? Still lame, and working for Checkmate. But Ice? Oh, she's back.

Great. That makes up for Ted Kord taking a fucking bullet.

But back to my main point: Birds of Prey, 104 issues. That's just a shade under nine years of this crap-rag.

Series that have come and gone in that time? (or are so close to wrapping they may as well have)

  • Lucifer
  • Crusades
  • Giffen's Suicide Squad
  • Outlaw Nation
  • Planetary
  • Y: The Last Man
  • Alias
  • Gotham Central
  • The Boys (temporarily)
  • Anarky
  • Tangled Web
  • Orion
God. These are just ones I liked. I'm sure the complete list is pages upon pages.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Annihilus for President!

Ok, I'll admit I didn't see it coming until the end of the prologue issue. I'll cop to being stupid. I didn't put two and two together that Annihilation was going to be about, um, Annihilus.

I'll probably still be fooled if Annihilation: Conquest is about Kang. But don't expect me to fall for it a third time when they do Annihilation: Conquest: Rama-Tut'n It.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Hulk smash puny Power Pack

At the risk of covering too much Hulk ground too soon (as if there is such a thing), I admit that even though I won't be reading Hulk & Power Pack, I'm kind of intrigued by it.

I can only hope this is all just pretext for secretly pulling a bait and switch on this ostebsibly family title and tying it into World War Hulk by issue three.

Look, Reed voted to shoot the Hulk into space, so the Hulk gets to snap Franklin's fucking little neck. And then wipe out his friends for good measure. That's only fair.

Which I hope will then lead us to an epic Marvel miniseries exploring the five stages of grief. That's right. Fallen Son: Power Pack.

INT: The Sanctom Sanctorum of Stephen Strange.

Panel one: Dr. Strange sits in an overstuffed leather, stiff-back chair. The Eye of Agammoto and Cloak of Levitation hover in the corner. A marble ashtray on a stand holds a pipe sitting next to the chair. A book is open in his lap.

Panel two: (OP) Master?

Panel three: Dr. Strange looks up.

STRANGE: Enter, Wong.

Panel four: Wong bows, deferential.

WONG: Master, I come bearing grave news.

STRANGE: What is it, my faithful manservent?

WONG: There has been a terrible tragedy. Blood has been spilled.

STRANGE: By the Ancient One!

Panel five: Wong sheds a tear.

WONG: I'm afraid it's true.

STRANGE: Who? Vishanti's Scrotum, man! Tell me who! Was it Clea? Oh, Wong, tell me it wasn't my dearest love, Clea.

WONG: No, Watoomb be praised, it wasn't Clea.

STRANGE: Not my close friend Namor, then?

WONG: No, the mighty Atlantean is safe in body and soul.

STRANGE: Oh. Was it The Black Knight?


STRANGE: Hank Pym?


STRANGE: The mutant, there. The short one.

WONG: Puck? Nope.

STRANGE: Uhm. Dr. Druid?

WONG: No, he's been dead like 10 years. Son of Satan put him down. You made me order Dom Perignon and cigars to celebrate, remember?

STRANGE: Oh, right, right. Was it Moondragon then?

WONG: *snort* I wish.

STRANGE: Who then? I beg you, tell me who!

WONG: It was, tragically, Zero-G, Lightspeed, Mass Master, Engergizer and Tattletale.

Panel six: Dr. Strange looks blithely at Wong.


Panel seven: Dr. Strange raises an eyebrow

STRANGE: The Power Pack?

WONG: It is my sad duty to bring this news to you.

STRANGE: You bothered me for the fucking POWER PACK?

WONG: Master, I thought you should --

STRANGE: Get the FUCK out of here, Wong! Go get me some motherFUCKING tea, before I shove a Crimson Band of Cyttorak up your MOTHERFUCKING ass.

Aaaaaand end scene.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

News & Views

Just some random thoughts on comics:

Does John Byrne jingle change in his pocket when he yells at young comic creators to get off his lawn?

Does every British comic creator think of America as NASCAR and MySpace? Or just the really pretentious ones who create terrible characters and then shoehorn them into a side project of a highly anticipated mini?

Why didn't Jack Kirby just kick Stan Lee's ass?

Why didn't Steve Ditko?

Did Stan Lee apply the Marvel Method to scoring chicks? ('Ditko, you get her into bed and naked...then I'll f**k her.')

If Reggie Hudlin wrote 'House Party' and Reggie Hudlin writes Black Panther, then why isn't Full Force in Black Panther?

And why doesn't T'Challa have a high-top fade?

Why don't I have a high-top fade?

Why don't you have a high-top fade?

Who watches the Watchmen? Is it the Watcher? If it is, then who watches the Watcher watch the Watchmen?

Jeph Loeb wrote 'Commando.' Sylvester Stallone wrote 'Cobra.' Why couldn't the two collaborate on 'Cobra Commando?'

What the?

Sebastian Bach owns a copy of Amazing Fantasy 15. Are you kidding me? Where were you, Sebastian, during Secret Wars II, huh? Where were you when the Puma bought the Daily Bugle? What were you doing during the Spider-Clone saga? I'll tell you where. You were busy writing mid-tempo metal ballads with Skid fucking Row, that's where. Ugh. Shoot me now.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Running Diary Review: New Avengers 27

Yeah, I realize the book has been out for more than a month. I don’t get to the shop every week. Sue me.

Anyway, I wasn’t even going to pick this up after those brutal Civil War tie-in issues (I jumped ship after the Luke Cage lovefest), but I picked up Mighty Avengers 1 and absolutely loved it. Which was surprising, since it had two strikes against it. A.) I didn’t really like the lineup; and B.) I just assumed this was going to be Bendis’ response to criticism of New Avengers, and he’d tank a book of ‘Classic’ Avengers just to show that he’s right and everyone else is wrong.

But I liked it. A lot. So I figured I’d give New Avengers 27 a chance.

PRE-READ: I couldn’t find this book anywhere in the shop. I saw something that had ‘New Avengers’ on the cover, but it also had Elektra. And a bunch of ninjas. So that couldn’t possible be it, right? Well, after a near-fist fight with the shop owner (not over that, but the fact that he keeps putting these books with the other ‘A’ titles, despite the fact that it clearly starts with ‘N’), I found out that, yes, this was indeed New Avengers 27, complete with Elektra and ninjas.

All right then. Let’s dive right in.

PAGE 1: Ahhhhh crap. This features Echo, doesn’t it? Frick, frick, frick…..I hate this character. Great. Though there is the possibility she’s dead. I can live with that.

PAGE 4: Too….much….Echo. Too…..much…..Ronin. Where the f**k is Spider-Man?

PAGE 6: And I quote: ‘I couldn’t help but think that, if Tony Stark lived here, in this country, I’d probably already targeted him as a war profiteer.’ Says the chick that was raised by THE KINGPIN.

PAGE 7: Ah crap! It’s Elektra. I was hoping that she wasn’t really in the book and it was just one of those kooky Concept Covers that doesn’t actually represent what’s inside.

PAGE 8: Double crap! She’s got The Hand with her. Where the f**k IS Spider-Man?

PAGE 12: Elektra 1, Echo 0. Elektra jams a sai through Echo’s deaf ass. This is the first time I’ve ever actually sided with Elektra. At this point, I’d take a Sentry appearance.

PAGE 13: OK, now I’m officially against Elektra again, because she’s trying to use that goofy ‘Resurrection’ gimmick The Hand is so fond of. No Elektra, you had the right idea a page ago! No more Echo!

PAGE 16: Still no new New Avengers. Only crappy Echo, Elektra and The Hand. Where is the Mole Man? Mighty Avengers had Mole Man. This just has a retread Daredevil storyline. But without Daredevil. Or Frank Miller.

PAGES 17-18: Finally, the new New Avengers show up. There's Luke Cage, Spider Woman, Wolverine, Iron Fist (that’s tight), and…..ugh…..a new Ronin, apparently. Where the f**k is Spider....oh wait. He's wearing his black costume. A really badly drawn Dr. Strange is there, too. He looks like he’s trying to clear a hurdle. Dr. Strange: Track Star. That’s a mini I’d pick up. Watch Dr. Strange stop an interdimensional assualt by Dormammu, but still make it to the big meet in time to set a personal best in the 55 high hurdles!

PAGE 20: Yes, Cage. We get it. YOUR SKIN IS UNBREAKABLE. We also know you like to nail white chicks. In the butt.

PAGE 21: Why does Daredevil want Cage to kick Elektra in the groin? Did she have some kind of gender reassignment surgery? Does she have testicles now? That was just dumb.

PAGE 21: Ah, for the love of…..JUST LEAVE HER DOWN THERE SPIDER-MAN! Screw it, I hope someone shoots your Aunt.

PAGE 23: I dig the Iron Fist action at the end. I’m not sure it was worth sitting through the rest of the issue, though.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Um, this wasn’t very good. I don’t mind the lineup, and I think Cage as the leader is a natural progression (though I wish he hadn’t been jammed into every comic in the last five years), but this didn’t have much going for it. It did, however, get me thinking about how much I’m looking forward to the inevitable Bendis Backlash that’s sure to happen in about five years or so. You know, when he’s engulfed by it so completely that he’s reduced to pitching rejected ‘Luke Cage and Jessica Jones: Generations’ scripts every year and he’s fast at work on a ‘Darkhawk’ revamp.

Civil War vs. Civil War

Which was worse: Civil War, the 1991 Guns N' Roses song? Or Civil War, the 2006-07 seven-issue miniseries from Marvel?

Here's the Tale of the Tape:

Worst line:
Guns N' Roses song: 'Whaz so civil 'bout war anyway'
Marvel miniseries: 'Oh God. Tell me that isn't Cloak!'
Winner (er, loser): Guns N' Roses song

Biggest Mischaracterization:
Guns N' Roses song: Warren Axl Rose as a peace-lovin' hippie
Marvel miniseries: Captain America as an out-of-touch old coot who apparently hates NASCAR and computers
Winner (er, loser): Marvel miniseries

Delayed because of…..
Guns N' Roses song: Drug addictions
Marvel miniseries: Deadline adversions
Winner (er, loser): Marvel miniseries

Best Part:
Guns N' Roses song: Uh….nothing really
Marvel miniseries: Ditto
Winner (er, loser): Tie

It’s Better Than:
Guns N' Roses song: Patience
Marvel miniseries: Secret Wars II
Winner (er, loser): Guns N’ Roses song

It’s Not Better Than:
Guns N’ Roses song: November Rain
Marvel miniseries: Infinity Crusade
Winner (er, loser): Guns N’ Roses song

Guns N’ Roses song: Axl was charged with inciting a riot during a show outside St. Louis on the Use Your Illusion tour
Marvel miniseries: Clor blew a hole through Goliath
Winner (er, loser): Marvel miniseries (but just barely. That Clor....what a scamp!)

Final verdict: Hey, it’s a tie! They both suck. On one hand, the Marvel miniseries has a slight advantage because Chinese Democracy has taken slightly longer to ship than Civil War 7. On the other hand, Use Your Illusion did have a much tighter continuity than Civil War.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

World War Hulk: The story so awesome, they can't possibly screw it up. (pleaseletthatbetrue)

I was psyched for Identity Crisis.

I looked forward to Civil War.

I kind of got excited for Infinite Crisis.

I figured I'd try 52.

And I was so, so wrong every time.

Oh sure, I'll give you Annihilation. That one turned out pretty good. But no crossover in the last two years other than that has been worth reading.

But just like a battered wife, I can't wait for World War Hulk. (Oh comics, I know you only hurt me because you love.) Writer of the good-to-very-good Planet Hulk storyline, Greg Pak, spoke with CBR about Marvel's upcoming WWH event.

Look. This is a fight that's been brewing since 1963. All it needs to be -- the only freaking thing it should be -- is the Hulk coming back to earth ... and smashing.

It doesn't need to be an allegory for our times. It doesn't need to be about people taking sides, except maybe She-Hulk and Namor joining the Axis of Smash. It doesn't need to redefine the playing field of the Marvel Universe. It just needs to be Hulk doing what he does best. No, I don't mean taking a gamma bomb blast that should have put harmonica-tootin' retard Rick Jones in an early grave. I mean smashing.

I want to see S.H.I.E.L.D. veterans telling their grandkids about serving in Dubya-Dubya-Aitch. And I want those grandkids to have to ask what it felt like to be a human in the superwar. Then that S.H.I.E.L.D. agent will look little Janie in the eye and say, "Puny."

I want to see it take years to rebuild from the damage the Hulk has done to the country.

I want to see the rest of the heroes scared shitless about what will happen if they cross Hulk again. I want them to have to surrender or pray Thor comes back to wrestle old Purple Pants to a standstill.

It's so simple, so easy, so logical, so absolutely inevitable, that they can't possibly screw it up. But they will. How, you ask? Let's see:

  • Deadlines. Hey, you remember that major Marvel crossover event that had all its parts ship on time? Yeah. Me too. I miss Inferno.
  • Demand. You know what retailers are good at? Getting enough copies in of a popular book. My shop is pretty good compared to some of the scumholes I used to frequent, and I'm still fairly sure if I ever walked out of there with a copy of every book I went to get a couple of goons from Comic Shop Owners Local 616 come by and break my guy's kneecaps.
  • The writers. Like I said, I like Pak. I think he does a good Hulk. But this is still a company that gives its highest-profile stuff to Paul Jenkins, Brian Michael Bendis, Jeph Loeb and Joss Whedon. And you know what? Teen Wolf Too and Buffy just aren't good enough to convince me to hand over the keys to the kingdom.
  • Character development. Normally, I like a little meat in my comics, but this isn't a story that calls for any. This should be the crossover equivalent of Timecop. I don't care about what's happening or who's doing it. I just want to see the explosions. And The Watcher getting punched in the face.
  • Characters, period. Pak already said that little genius kid is going to be instrumental in stirring the pot, getting the heroes to change sides. This doesn't need to be a Civil War rehash. For Christ's sake, please don't introduce new characters, bother us with z-listers or saddle the Hulk with an army he has to manage. The Hulk isn't a team player, remember? Or did we forget about The Defenders?
  • M.O.D.O.K. He's probably not going to be used at all in World War Hulk. That's too bad.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

CBR does Snyder

This [laughs] interview [laughs] is terrible. Seriously, CBR. I know it's all a lovely success story for comics movies, but maybe we could get a little more out of director Zack Snyder on the politically charged criticism of the film than:

Oh, it's awesome! [laughs] Best thing ever! [laughs] When someone says I'm a "homophobic neocon," I think to myself and think, "Oh My God! How awesome is it that they care that much!" That's a lot of caring! [laughs]

Anyway. There's a tiny bit about the prelims on the "Watchmen" movie at the end. Start getting your fanboy hopes up now. It'll make getting them dashed in two years all the more satisfying.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Leading off with an aside

Just flipping through the channels, I stumbled on VH1 Classic's coverage of the 2007 Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame inductions. Velvet Revolver turned in a solid performance of "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" (complete with classic Slash pose). But then they're followed by Michael Anthony, Sammy Haggar and special guest Paul Shaffer doing "Why Can't This Be Love." Isn't that like having a re-enactment of the Baxter Building getting launched into space, but with just Reed, Sue and special guest Mantis?