Friday, July 06, 2007

This Week's Haul: In Fabulous 3D!

This is late again, mostly because of the Independence Day delay, but also because I am depressed from going to the dentist yesterday and learning that I have FOUR FRIGGING CAVITIES! Like a PIRATE. I am grossed out by my own mouth. I haven't had a cavity since I was ten. I blame coffee.

On to the comics!

All-Star Superman #8

It's a great week for Superman fans. Not only did another fabulous issue of this come out, but Action Comics totally rocked the house (more on that in a minute).

Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely continued their awesome take on Bizarro Earth this week. This included some of the best Bizarro talking I'd ever read:

It probably is the best Bizarro talk I've ever read, actually. I love Superman saying "Look over there!"

Bizarro Justice League!:

Aaahhh!! Bizarro Batman was shot dead by his parents! I love it!

Another fantastic issue. I loved Zibarro, I loved all of it. I can't wait to see what's next, especially since there is no hint of what it will be on the preview page at the end.

Action Comics #851

I hope everyone got the 3D version of this, because it was definitely worth the extra dollar. Not only was it some really impressive 3D artwork, the 3D glasses are super cool-looking. And you get to assemble them yourself. I enjoy getting out my craft scissors from time to time.

It's really too bad that this story can't come out on any kind of schedule, because I really think it is one of the best ongoing Superman stories ever written. I look forward to when it is finally collected. I felt that this issue rivaled All-Star Superman this week. I enjoyed it at least as much. Everything in the Phantom Zone, with Mon-El, was really fun and great-looking. Plus, Mon-El was totally breaking my heart:

And the ending, with Lex Luthor, was awesome. This is the Lex Luthor that I want to see more of:
This story is going to be concluded in an annual that will come out...someday. Man, if this thing had come out on would have been one of the most talked-about series of the year. Instead it's more of a "Oh yeah, that thing" kind of series. I don't want to get into it right now, but it's just one example of a really big problem with the comic book industry right now. I don't even know if the publishers understand how bad it is having comics come out on wonky schedules like this. I understand that writers and artists can't always get a book out every month, especially since a lot of them are working on many, many books, but the industry needs to figure something out. It's insane how many customers ask "When does the next issue of [title] come out?" and we have to say "I have no idea. This year, maybe? It was supposed to come out three months ago, but then it got bumped to next month, and now it's been re-solicited for
the fall, but that might change again."

Anyway, I hate going off on that now because I really just want to stress how awesome this comic is.

The All-New Atom #13

I frigging love this comic soooo much.

I really hope everyone is reading this thing by now. Not only is it hilarious, it's one of those books that teaches you about the larger DCU as you read it. Ryan Choi is new to the superhero game, so he's meeting lots of characters, and visiting lots of places, for the first time. This one opens with him riding with Chronos (awesome) and ending up in Sword of the Atom land. This is all part of his journey to find Ray Palmer, who he's never actually met.

I absolutely loved the two warring religious groups: those who believed Ray Palmer to be a God, and those who believed him to be the Devil:

That illustration is amazing.

It ends with Ryan running into Donna, Jason and the Monitor, so it's moving along nicely. If the search for Ray Palmer is going to be one of the most important DCU events of the next year, then I am glad we have such an entertaining guide book.

Countdown Week 43

Guess what I stopped doing this week: buying this comic. I decided that, truly, I will never want to read these issues again, so there is no reason to own them. It's just a real mess and no amount of talented writing is going to fix it. I will continue to read and review it, but I have to say, I am getting really bored of reviewing it week after week because I don't know what's going on in it.

There was a funeral for Bart Allan. It was fine. Typical super hero funeral, of which there were two this week that I had to read. Piper and Trickster showed up, incognito, out of guilt. Then they got scared for their safety and fled, only to get taken out in the parking lot by some other villains:

Ok, please tell me that Piper and Trickster aren't dead. They were the only reason I cared about this thing at all.

Holly is chilling at the Amazon shelter/cult and runs into a popular DC lady:

I guess that's interesting. I dunno.

And some stuff with Forerunner happened.


Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America - Iron Man

Hot damn this was a beautiful-looking comic. I mean, just look at this:

So pretty.

So, Captain America's funeral. Iron Man attempts a few words, prompting a great reaction from The Thing:

Then Falcon gets up to talk, and shows off his Captain America trivia knowledge:

And a bunch of really well-drawn stuff happens, and Captain America's coffin eventually gets dumped into the Arctic Ocean. Frozen = coming back to life. Just sayin'.

Black Canary #1

Well, this was fun!

It starts off with a very cute flashback to the first time Canary and Green Arrow met (as told to Sin by Dinah):


I have a big crush on that version of Green Arrow. I love that costume/look. I made Matt dress like that for Halloween last year. Sort of:

Awwwww. (I was Black Canary).

So yeah, anyway, this was a really fun comic. I really loved Merlyn's crazy Green Arrow obsession room:

Especially the action figure (still in the package!).

I have a question about Black Canary. I think I missed something somewhere: is she blonde...all the time now? I can't remember the last time I saw her with her natural brown hair. Maybe I just missed an important part of her timeline.

Runaways #27

Another perfectly good issue of Runaways. Joss Whedon continues to not disappoint. I want to say something more profound, but, unlike the last issue, nothing super exciting happened in this issue. The gang is trapped in 1907, which is fun, but not punching-the-Punisher-in-the-stomach fun.

This was funny:

Aw, Chase. I love you.

Midnighter #9

One of three comics I read this week by Palmiotti and Gray. It's a one-shot issue of one of my favourite comics by one of my favourite writing teams, and they do a great job. The art, by Brian Stelfreeze, was really awesome too.

Once again, Midnighter finds himself in a really terrible place and has to brutally kill a bunch of people. This time it's an orbiting lab that develops viruses for the military. It's a really gross issue.

I laughed out loud at this, because it's after several panels of Midnighter making disgusted, and accurate, observations about the place:

That's it for one-shots for awhile. Keith Giffen takes over next issue and is planning on having Midnighter learn about his past, Wolverine-style. This could be good or bad...

Jonah Hex #21

Jonah Hex, how much do I love you? In this issue he scalps a guy (oddly, not the only scalping I saw in my comics this week). Then he rides into town, sees the saloon full of dead prostitutes and the sleeping guys that killed them. He wakes one of them up just to kick them in the face and knock them out, then burns the saloon to the ground. Any of the guys who run out get shot as soon as they exit. Fantastic.

Oh, and it's all drawn by Jordi Bernet, so it looks BEAUTIFUL:

Detective Comics #834

The second part of a pretty decent two-parter. One of the reasons why I enjoyed it was because it was a fun, crazy Joker story. The Joker doesn't get a lot of action these days, so it was cool. Plus, the detective work was insane. I loved it. Look at what Batman thinks of:

Ridiculous. I love it.

I mean, what else do you want? You have the Joker in disguise, being the showman that he loves to be, murdering his audience. You have Batman escaping from the Joker's trap while the Joker explains his whole diabolical scheme to him. You have Zatanna writing healing spells with blood. You have her turning the Joker's audience into vampire bats, which then attack the Joker. You have Bruce staying up all night at the bedside of his ailing friend. You have the Joker threatening to rip out Zatanna's tongue. You have Batman punching the Joker in the face. If you don't like this stuff, then you don't like comic books.

Plus you have a nice ending where all is forgiven between them. I'm very happy about this.

Alright, that's all I got to say about this week's comics. Oh, except you should buy Batman: Ego and Other Tails, the beautiful hardcover that collects Darwyn Cooke's Gotham stories. At the very least you should go to and download the beautiful promotional wallpaper:

And also Captain America: War & Remembrance was re-released as a trade, and that is definitely worth picking up.


Jon said...

but it's just one example of a really big problem with the comic book industry right now.
Happened a lot during the Image boom in the 90's, you'd think everyone would've learned their lessons.

I don't even know if the publishers understand how bad it is having comics come out on wonky schedules like this.
Dan Didio doesn't think it's bad, because "people still buy them" (not a direct quote, but essentially what he said)

I have a question about Black Canary. I think I missed something somewhere: is she blonde...all the time now?
As I understand it, she uses hair dye now, not a wig.

Stephen said...

Dinah switched to dye in the very first BOP One shot where she meets
Babs for the first time

Shelly said...

Dinah cut her hair and dyed it blonde, trashing the wig, when she started to work for Oracle. They didn't meet til much later, though they did speak often via the communicator Dinah had.

Anonymous said...

When Ollie came back from the dead in Kevin Smith's Quiver there was a bedroom scene where he had to apologize to Dinah for tugging on her hair so hard because "You know, I was trying to get the wig off..." and she explained that she grew her hair out and dyed it. Funny.

Action Comics actually made me kinda mad. I did not buy the 3d version, because in two weeks when I've lost the glasses I'll be left with a blurry, unreadable comic. As for the delays, what the hell took so long? They promised mindblowing 3d effects, not the same red-and-blue shading that's been around for sixty years. Surely someone at Warner Brothers knows how to print an image in 3d, and could have sped up this issue?(Storywise, not much happened that we hadn't already seen in the last Annual.

Fallen Son was not cool. The art and the splash pages were beautiful, but Loeb's Falcon's eulogy was pretty lame at parts, and Loeb is the sloppiest cornball writer around. When Falcon mentioned Namor, I said to myself "I'm going to turn this page and there will be a full-page splash of Avengers #4..."

Half the book was one- and two-page splashes with no text. It's like Loeb tries to see how short a script he can turn in for money(at least he wrote an actual, albeit bad, speech for Falcon. This reminded me of the lame "Our Worlds at War" comics where there was a historical speech and some splashy art for an entire issue.

Ben Grimm rocks.

Detective Comics was pretty good, but it felt like it dragged a little in the middle.

Thor's new comic didn't have a lot happening, but it's beautiful as hell and it's got Thor in it. I also bought Brubaker's Criminal for the first time(and last month's issue, too). Beeyootiful.

All Star Superman didn't do a whole lot for me. And entire issue of Bizarro-talk gets annoying. But I think one of Morrison's early interviews mentions that Superman will be replaced by a new hero, and will take up a new super-identity himself. Next issue will rock.

Anonymous said...

I think the fact that was 'The Yellow Kid', Hearst's Propaganda boy, is now a Marvel character, is super awesome. Here's hoping he becomes the new Runaway...

paperghost said...

See, I think the "Last Son" thing is a disaster. The whole "quick throw a kid in for no other reason than we had one in the movie" is always a bad idea at the best of times, and considering this would likely be a hook for "fans of the film" to jump onboard and start buying comics, it probably doesn't help that this is going to conclude sometime in 2047 (after months of fill-ins, which probably confused them still further).

Also, the way they simply had all the earths heroes rounded up nice and easy like that? I call super shenanigans. These guys are a bigger threat than all the other super god / universe eating punks that the JLA *alone* have been able to take down, yet these guys can capture what will effectively be the ENTIRE planets superheroes and chain em up?


I ain't buying it. Also, this is problematic in terms of continuity. Where exactly does this happen? Why do none of the other books even make reference to, you know, the day everyone got smacked up and put in chains?

Finally, the art in previous issues was interesting, but there's some shockingly poor panels in this.

Overall, the whole thing is a bad idea and people will quickly forget about it. And dredging up Ray Zone from his mid eighties

Lance said...

I'm only reading Countdown now so that I can continue to complain about it with my comic nerd friends online. (Like here - I honestly can't believe that after 52 DC's next weekly title managed to be so very, very bad. It's a bit of an embarrassment.

SallyP said...

I felt rather like Ben Grimm in Fallen Son. Rolling my eyes at the whole thing. Poor poor Tony Stark. It's always about YOU isn't it Tony? Bah!

All-Star Superman was a hoot from start to finish. I enjoyed Black Canary a lot...oh Ollie, you are SUCH a rogue.

Bats making up with Zatanna was nice. He's actually behaving like a human being again, which makes for a nice change. I'm looking forward to the Hunt for Ray Palmer, because that means that Kyle won't be Kylellax anymore.

Countdown has been a little on the "meh" side for me, but I'll probably stick with it.

rachelle said...

Well, I'm certainly not going to complain about an abundance of silent splash pages in a Jeph Loeb comic.

jake! said...

I too loved Zibarro. I kept waiting for Superman to tell him that since the Bizzaros all kept telling him to leave and get off the planet, it meant they loved him most of all. Come on Superman, where's your head here?

John Foley said...

I gave up on Countdown this week too. It's just doing nothing for me. It's an event comic without the event. I was tired of events anyway. There's no g-d way I can go another 42 issues with this.
I also have a hard time believing that the Kryptonian villains beat up Power Girl and Supergirl off-panel like that. Talk about your convenient storytelling!

zc said...

This issue of All-Star seemed weird to me. The art seemed even more sketchy and weird than usualy, but I dunno if that's the art actually get worse or Quietly's representation of Superman deteriorating as he gets hit with more red sunlight.

Guess I'm gonna have wait 'till next issue to confirm/deny my fears.

Last Son is... okay. Andy Kubert (especially when paired with Dave Stewart) is an amazing artist, but the story is pretty bland, I think. And I thought the 3D effects in this issue were damn good--though honestly the sum totaly effect of the issue on me? It makes me more anxious to see the next League of Extraordinary Gentlemen book since the last 20 pages or so are in 3D and it's done by the same company.

Fallen Son was beautiful--I mean, it's John Cassady.


As beautiful as it is, the fact that Cassady drew it means two things:

1. He isn't working on Astonishing X-Men.

2. He isn't working on the last issue of Planetary. (which Ellis said he finished writing several weeks ago on his e-mail mailing list)

Curse you, Marvel! Cassady is slow enough as it is, and you've got him doing random stupid miniseries?!


Anonymous said...

Did you happen to torture yourself enough to read this week's Supergirl? I just... I need someone to explain... What... the... duck... did the cover have to do with the story inside??? It's completely beyond me. Cover != contents WHATSOEVER. Maybe DC accidentally put the wrong cover, or the wrong pages, with this issue.

John Foley said...

I have had to cut out sugar from my diet completely. I have found that Coke Zero on ice is a pretty good substitute for the real thing. And this is coming from someone who can't stand diet sodas.
Coffee with sugar free Coffeemate (hazelnut flavored is best) is also quite tasty. It's still got a fair amount of calories, but no sugar to speak of. I am never going to give up coffee, no matter what. This is an elegant solution.
Dyeing black hair blonde is virtually impossible. The hair would be completely fried. Maybe DCU hair dye is more efficient than ours.

rachelle said...

I'm a fan of Coke Zero myself. I'm trying to cut back on some of the sugar.

Yeah, I'd like to know how Dinah got her hair so healthy-looking if it's dyed. Wearing a wig in battle is pretty impractical, though.

Anonymous said...

I gotta go with Rachelle on this "Last Son" thing--I think this arc is the best in-continuity Superman story in years and years. Who gives a shit about his marriage to Lois, or whether he can keep his job at the Planet? I wanna see him fighting crazy bad guys and overcoming insane odds! The Phantom Zone and its inhabitants are an important and awesome part of Superman's mythology, and their potential has gone pretty much untapped for the last twenty years. I like how Johns and Donner started this story off rather lamely--"Oh, gee, Supes has the "S" on his belt LIKE IN THE NEW MOVIE", "Oh, gee, Supes has a superkid, LIKE IN THE NEW MOVIE"--and then took a whole other turn at the end of the second issue. Really great fun stuff. Inexcusably late, which is a whole other headache, but always cool. This will make a great trade or hardcover whenever it finally finishes.

Anonymous (1)--First off, you can't blame DC for the fact that you're going to lose the glasses. Put 'em in a bag and board with the comic or something. Second, since you didn't buy the 3D version, how do you know it was "the same red and blue shading"? Actually, it was probably the best 3D I've ever seen in a comic, and it gave the Phantom Zone sequence a really neat otherworldly feel. Also, it's just a fun idea. Remember when they used to put fun in comics?

Paperghost--the last thing this story needs is a bunch of crap about its ramifications in all the other DC books. One of the things I love about this story is that it feels big and crazy and earth-shattering, but I don't have to buy "Countdown" and a billion other books to get the whole picture (although I'm sure we'll get a mention of it in "Countdown" at some point, since that's the book where everyone talks about the interesting things going on elsewhere in the DCU instead of doing interesting things themselves). It's Superman's book, he should be the one we follow. Not the JSA or the Teen Titans or the Inferior Five or whoever. Continuity is fine up to a point, but sometimes a story has to be contained within its own pages.

Like I said, this book is unforgivably behind schedule--editors gotta start cracking the whip on slow-ass artists--but at least this means Eric Powell and Gary Frank should have a nice head start on their arcs. And I hope I enjoy 'em as much as I'm enjoying "Last Son".


rachelle said...

Sure, I'll explain Supergirl #19 to you: it was a terrible pile of garbage that made no sense and was pretty much inappropriate for all audiences. But at least it's over now.

paperghost said...

"Paperghost--the last thing this story needs is a bunch of crap about its ramifications in all the other DC books."

The story can still happily stand alone if other books make a simple reference to the fact that this huge event of the world being enslaved actually *happened*. Without that, it just smacks of "here comes Donner on a crazy ass tangent that doesn't fit into anything else in the current DC world, also buy the rejigged Superman 2 lol".

"It's Superman's book, he should be the one we follow. Not the JSA or the Teen Titans or the Inferior Five or whoever. Continuity is fine up to a point, but sometimes a story has to be contained within its own pages"

Like I said, my problem isn't with all sorts of continuity issues being addressed in the Last Son story, my problem is that there is absolutely NO reference to this pretty big of a total global takeover in any other title, anywhere.

"I like how Johns and Donner started this story off rather lamely--"Oh, gee, Supes has the "S" on his belt LIKE IN THE NEW MOVIE", "Oh, gee, Supes has a superkid, LIKE IN THE NEW MOVIE"--and then took a whole other turn at the end of the second issue. Really great fun stuff."

Why do you *like* the fact that the story "started lamely" and contained lots of lame references to the movie? You like paying money for pages of lame? You're satisfied that (by your own admission) the story only turns away from that lameness at the end of the *second issue*?

Wouldn't it have been better if it simply hadn't been "lame" from the start? I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the whole thing was lame--I actually thought the first two issues were fine, but I do automatically get ticked off when movie stuff starts to filter into the comics. However, I think there's a lot more to this story than just cashing in on the film, and I think it was a nice misdirection. "Lame" might have been a poor choice of words on my part.

I'm sure the Phantom Zone invasion will get mentioned elsewhere, but I'm glad they held off mentioning it until this very late issue hit at least. If it doesn't, I really couldn't care less.


Jon Hex said...

I think Piper and Trickster have been "inducted" into the Suicide Squad.

Jeph Loeb is best when he can be as completely nostalgic and irrelevant as possible. Putting him on anything in current continuity is a mistake.

I don't think there is a word to express my feelings for the work of Grant Morrison. Me hate Morrison. Hate as small as all indoors.

In contrast, the latest issue of Action Comics pretty much killed what I thought would be cool about the storyline.

Have fun.