Friday, November 30, 2007

This Week's Haul: One More Day? More like: This comic costs "One More Dollar"

Here's some whirlwind comic reviews comin' at ya!

The Sensational Spider-Man #41

Spidey. Hear me out.

Aunt May is very old. And her husband is dead. I just want you to consider that before you do anything crazy like trade your life as you know it for hers. I know you love her. We all do. But seriously, she is, like, what? 150 years old now? She probably wants to die. And she certainly doesn't want you throwing your life away so she can live the last six months or whatever of hers.
Also, incidentally, your comic books suck.

Sub-Mariner #6

You know what was surprisingly awesome? This mini-series. Particularly this issue. If you missed out, I think it's going to make an excellent little TPB, so watch for it.

This was actually the first comic in a long time that I was so into while I was reading it that I actually got pissed off at the ads. I'd turn the page after an awesome cliffhanger panel and be like "What?! Ad?! Get out of here!" It was a very gripping issue with a great ending.

I'd like to mention this about Marvel: I like what they do with their comics in terms of extra stuff. I like having that front page that summarizes the story up to this point. I like those new pages at the back with a Q&A, and some fun facts about characters, and some other stuff. I'm into it. Fix up, DC.

X-Men First Class #6

Holy lord. What a mess! I mean, the story is as great as always, but it was completely out of order. And that confused me for an embarrassingly long time before I figured out the problem. I assume that Marvel is going to send out corrected issues.

Right, Marvel?

Daredevil #102

It seems like Daredevil comes out every week now. But I am certainly not complaining.

Poor Matt Murdock. Proof that bad things happen to good/borderline psychotic/actually not that good people. This latest helping of sweet, sweet schadenfreude has Milla returning home to Matt, but under 24-hour house arrest surveillance. Matt's happy she's home, but we all know he has no reason to be because something awful is definitely going to happen to her, or him, or both of them very soon.

You know what I'd like? An issue of Daredevil where he wakes up, has a big delicious breakfast, takes a relaxing stroll in the park with a wife who is in no way crazy or sad, and then maybe takes the night off and goes dancing. And maybe eats cake in there somewhere. That guy is in desperate need of a really good day.

Of course, then we wouldn't get to see awesome fights like this:

Batman and the Outsiders #2

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...huh? Whu? Oh right. This is why I always have, and always will, hate The Outsiders.

Awesome! Catwoman and Martian Manhunter are going to be in it! I love those guys...oh, wait. They're leaving forever. And here's that dumb Batgirl I have no time for. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Batman #671

So much talent being wasted on a stupid crossover.

However, the fight between Batman and whatshisface was great. I don't know if I've ever seen Batman's eye shields get smashed up like that. It looked cool.

Also...Batman ended up coming back and winning this fight. Because he is awesome.

Blue Beetle #21

Nice fill-in! This was really enjoyable. The more Traci Thirteen the better, I say!

All-Star Batman and Robin #7

Making fun of this isn't even fun anymore. It just makes fun of itself so effectively that there is no joy in it.

I mean, the cover is The Joker sporting a giant back piece for no reason. In the very first panel Gotham City is called a "whore." Dick makes yet another homophobic remark about Batman being queer. Batman says/does some more things that make it clear that he should not be allowed within five states of a child.

And Green Lantern is an idiot man-child. Usually that would be funny, but it really is just obnoxious here.

I hate this comic. I hate it so much.

Countdown #22

This issue had a perfect example of what's wrong with this series. Mister Miracle shows up to help Jimmy Olsen. He's wearing his old costume, and seems unconcerned that at this very moment he is on a mission with Superman to Apokolips. Why can't this damn comic sync up even slightly to what's happening in the other comics?

Know what else I hated? Trickster dying. And I can't really see a way out of this death. He was shot in the head and the heart. He's fairly dead. And this little scene was heartbreaking:

Nooooooo!!! They were just starting to like each other! I hate you, comics.

Green Lantern Corps #18

This whole issue was one big fight between Superman Prime and the new Ion, Sodam Yat.

Superman Prime continues to be delightfully bratty:

"Read 'em and weep!" I really love how hard Prime tries with the smack talk, but he really just sounds like a giant tool.

I really liked Sodam Yat's back story too.

Superman Annual # 13

Camelot Falls (or should I say Camelot Stalls...zing!) finally gets wrapped up in this annual. Good lord, how long has this story been going on? I know I really enjoyed many issues of it, but it just seems so long ago. We're lucky enough to have three great Superman stories happening in three separate series simultaneously...but they are all moving slower than molasses.

I prefer an annual that stands on its own and is fun with lots of mini stories, but this was fine. The back-up, with lovely art by Renato Guedes, was really cute. I liked the premise of Supergirl trying to cook everyone a traditional Kryptonian meal.

Gotham Underground #2

Sometimes you just want to read a Batman comic that isn't about the resurrection of Ra's al Ghul in anyway. Thank God for Gotham Underground, the totally entertaining criminal-centric 12-part Batman series for the rest of us. If it keeps up the good work, this is going to be my favourite current Batman title.

So close to being done school for four weeks, guys. And when I'm done, I am going to read every comic ever and write about them. I thank you for your patience. As always, I wanna hear what you all thought of this week's comics, including any that I didn't post about. Because chances are good that I read them.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This Week's Haul: Sorry

Well, it's pretty clear that I don't have time to review last week's comics. Sorry about that. After this week, though, I'm all yours.

In the meantime, there is no reason why we can't all enjoy this gallery I put together of THE WORST ART EVER, courtesy of Iron Man Annual #1.

Here's Tony Stark with some undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agents:

These are S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, people!!!

Let's check out some more of this "mission":

Well, I mean, of course they have to go to a strip club. What mission in comics, movies or television doesn't take the investigators to at least one strip club? And, man, that stripper looks happy to be there. (Incidentally, I don't know how much anarchy punks enjoy strip clubs).

Here are the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in action. Wearing the most ridiculous attire imaginable:

So she gets a big ol' handprint burned on her chest. Which leads to this INSANELY STUPID panel:

Yeah. Clearly you do not have the rack for low cut dresses.

Here are some more ladies wearing non-clothes:


But to be fair, the worst art in the whole book was reserved for the male lead:

YARGH!! What the hell is wrong with Tony Stark??!!

The cheesecake factor was also equal opportunity. Check out Iron Man's great pressed ham ass:

Man! Is there a sheet of glass on the surface of this panel? That is just fantastic.

Oh, there were lots of good comic this week too. Including not one, but TWO Sophie's Choice-inspired stories. That's pretty astonishing.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Zombies Calling

Hi everyone!

The weekly reviews will be up sometime soon. Please bear with me, as my life is crazy busy right now. I am into the last couple of weeks of this semester.

But first, I just wanted to tell you all about this great book that came out last week called Zombies Calling.

The book was written and illustrated by a local Halifax gal named Faith Erin Hicks. I picked one up last week and was totally blown away by how clever and funny this book is. There are a lot of zombie comics out there, but until now there were no distinctly Canadian zombie comics. I don't know how we made it this far without one.

So on top of all the excitement of there being a new, young, female Halifax-based comic creator...there is the added excitement that Miss Hicks is really talented and her book totally rocks. As I said, it came out last week in the middle of the craziness that was the Greatest Comic Book Week Ever, and it still totally held its own. I'm not lying here - I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the new Scott Pilgrim book. And if you like the Scott Pilgrim books - or anything that is both funny and clever - you will like Zombies Calling. I guarantee it.

Published by SLG, Zombies Calling is story focused on Joss, a plucky young Zombie movie-loving university student. Like many university students, she's buried in student loan debt and lives in a cluttered apartment with two roommates. One thing that I liked right away about the character is the early reveal that she isn't actually British. Of course, on the printed page, we assume that a character speaking in British slang and wearing a Union Jack shirt is a lazily-constructed British character. Not so! She is actually just obsessed with Britain, and thus has turned herself into a stereotype. Very clever.
The three main characters, Joss, Sonnet and Robyn, are all very likable and funny.

And so are the zombies!
I absolutely love the way she draws zombies. The facial expressions are killer.

So Joss figures that she can survive this mysterious zombie invasion by following the rules of zombie movies. At several points in the book she has a hard time focusing on the danger at hand because she is so excited by her love of zombies. I particularly enjoyed this scene:

It's a really fun read, and for $9.95 you can't really go wrong.

Faith Erin Hicks is also going to be doing an in-store signing tomorrow at Strange Adventures in Halifax from 2-4pm. You can also check out her website at

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Top 10 DCU Characters


I wrote a list of my top 10 DCU characters of all time for MONDOmagazine. You can check it out here:

Speaking of my favourite characters...
DC is releasing Showcase Presents Booster Gold in February! The perfect Valentine's Day Gift!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Archie Sunday: Archienometry

Oh snap! Not bad, Veronica. Not bad.

Also in this issue, we find the answer to this equation:



Any questions?

Don't Forget!

Tonight Alan Moore is on The Simpsons!

As if this week didn't rule enough already!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sunken Spirit

So I, like many comic fans, have some...concerns...about the upcoming film based on The Spirit, being made by Frank Miller. Basically: I think it is going to suck.

Every time I see or hear anything about it, I get cranky. But this quote, from a Newsarama article, is the most bothersome thing I've read yet:

Miller later directs a scene from near the film’s finale in which the Spirit delivers a powerful right cross to the chin of The Octopus, played by Samuel L. Jackson. “From the start, I wanted Sam Jackson to play The Octopus because I’ve always wanted to work with Sam Jackson,” Miller says. “It seems to me he’s always had a part like this inside waiting to get out.”

The villain, who famously never showed his face in Eisner’s comics, will be slightly less mysterious in the film. “I knew I couldn’t get away with two hours of a guy whose face you never see,” Miller said.

WHAT?! The Octopus has existed as a character for almost seven decades. In all that time his face has never been revealed. Now Frank Miller gets to decide what he looks like? And it's Samuel L Jackson?!

Actually, scratch that. It doesn't matter who it is. The point is that Miller has the audacity to feel that, for some reason, he is allowed reveal a mystery that, clearly, Will Eisner never wanted revealed.

“I knew I couldn’t get away with two hours of a guy whose face you never see,” Miller said.

Two hours?! Try seventy years, assface! It worked pretty well in the comics. If you can't tell a good story without Samuel L Jackson's face, that's your problem.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

This Week's Haul: How Can So Many Great Comics Come Out on the Same Day?!

Every now and again, comic shops will experience a perfect storm of awesomeness all arriving on the same day. This Wednesday was one of those days. So many amazing comics that fans had been waiting forever for. I am, of course, talking about Gene Simmons' Zipper, Simon Dark #2, and the hardcover collection of Jodi Picoult's run on Wonder Woman.

No, of course I'm kidding. There was plenty of actually great comics this week. Even here in Canada where we didn't get League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier. Because the world is stupid.

I can't possibly write about everything good that came out this week. Obviously Scott Pilgrim was awesome. So were lots of things. It was a great week, people. Thursday should have been an international holiday to allow us to read all of these great comics.

Superman/Batman #42

Ok, before we get to the good comics, I need to talk about this. I'm not going to lie to you, of all the comics I brought home this week, this was the one I read first. I just couldn't wait for the latest installment of this porntastic trainwreck. It's really too insane to be believed.

So, just to summarize to this point, Batman meets Orion's wife, Bekka. She has a power that makes men uncontrollaby attracted to her, and she is uncontrollably attracted to them. The less love a man has had in his life, the stronger the connection. So with Batman, it's pretty strong. Even though Batman really, really wants to do her, he tells himself it's wrong and he can't. She's married, they are on a mission, etc. She gets herself killed in the last issue. Frozen to death, to be exact. Good riddance, I say. Unfortunately, that's not what Batman says.

In this issue, Batman is so upset that Bekka died before he could hit that ass, he decides to bring her back to life by stripping her naked and putting her in a steaming hot bath (it's ok...he's a scientist). It works, but while he's waiting we get THE GREATEST TWO PAGES IN COMIC HISTORY:

OH. MYGOD. WHAT THE HELL?! I was reading this alone and actually yelling at it. I would read two panels, throw the comic down and yell "SHUT UP! YOU ARE KIDDING ME!" I think that Alan Burnett has borrowed liberally from fanfic here. I am sure I have read those two pages before. Especially that first one. Holy hell.

You know, some other stuff happened in this comic too, but who cares? Here's some more porny goodness:

Wait for him for what?!

Oh! Oh! Oh! Please read the following page aloud:


All-Star Superman #9

I went to see Final Fantasy play tonight. When I see him perform I get the same feeling that I do when I read an issue of this series: the amount of talent is disgusting. How can anyone be that good? It's simply terrifying.

The best thing about this issue is I had no idea what it was going to be about. It turns out, it was about AWESOME. The beauty of this series is that Grant Morrison doesn't need to come up with crazy new ideas for Superman stories. He is telling us stories we have heard before...he's just telling them better. But, of course, Frank Quitely deserves an equal amount of praise. His art really makes a lot of the jokes very funny.

Like this one, where one of Superman's robot's arm falls off after being handed the super-heavy key to the fortress:


Wonder Woman #14

Here's an idea...what if Wonder Woman was a well-written, compelling character with an interesting, fun-to-read series? Now, a lot of people have said lately that certain writers have "ruined" Wonder Woman. This is simply not true. Wonder Woman was NEVER GOOD IN THE FIRST PLACE. Please tell me when exactly the Wonder Woman title was good. The way some people talk, it's like she's the greatest character of all time, and certain recent Wonder Woman events have reduced her to a two-dimensional, boring character who can't stand on her own. People...this is what she has always been like. I'm not saying it's right, I'm saying it's the truth.

So a lot of people have been waiting for Gail Simone to come along and restore Wonder Woman. I've been looking forward to Simone to write the first-ever interesting Wonder Woman comic. I think the Heinberg run was really good, but it just came out so damn slowly. Team Dodson remains on the art, which is awesome, but also means that it could be slow again.

But it sure is pretty.

And Simone's writing does not disappoint at all. Already we have Diana fighting gorillas AND Nazis! Plus, the gorillas become her new roommates.

This comic was excellent. It's back on my pull list!

Booster Gold #4

If I hear one more person say that they don't want to read this because they don't like Dan Jurgens, I am going to beat them with the Death of Superman Omnibus. Because, sure, Jurgens has produced some unforgivably bad art, but not on this comic. This comic is fantastic, and if you aren't giving it a chance because you didn't like some other comic, you are only cheating yourself.

For one thing, you are missing out on hung-over Booster Gold:

I liked this issue, but I am really looking forward to the next one, where Booster Gold visits The Killing Joke to stop the Joker from shooting Barbara Gordon. I know they probably won't really do anything, but nothing would make me happier than if they fixed her spine and restored her to her Batgirl glory.

Green Arrow/Black Canary #2

I felt like the Winick was starting to be a little more present in this issue than the last issue. And by that, I mean Mia was making some clunky statements about being HIV positive and a former prostitute.

Actually, the writing was pretty clunky in general in this issue. But the art was FANTASTIC.

Everyone is so good-looking!

I really like that Dealbreaker teaser title for the next issue, because all it implies is that they are going to mention the underwear again.

World War Hulk #5

A very action-packed ending. Finally.

My favourite part, though, was this panel, when Hulk does his impression of a 15-year-old girl:

Leaving Iron Man and Reed Richards to wonder how they ever managed to raise such a disrespectful son.

Black Adam #4

This comic has crossed the line from being surprisingly good to being effing great. Seriously.

It's really violent, but the violence has this great black humour to it that I'm really into. Every issue you see several insane things.

In this issue, Black Adam stumbles into a veterinary hospital to fix up some wounds from a recent fight. It's pretty excellent.

They fix him up, but they aren't happy about it. I really loved this:

It's just a great series. I'll be sorry to see it finish.

Avengers - The Initiative #7

I'm glad that, in a time where The Amazing Spider-Man has been consistently terrible, there is another Marvel title willing to pick up the slack. This was actually some of the best Spidey storytelling I've read in awhile. Plus, a significant plot point happens to Peter Parker in this book, which is good because all we're seeing in his other titles is an agonizingly slow and depressing march toward Aunt May's death while Parker is a wanted criminal. That story is continued in this book, but in a way that is actually interesting and pleasant to read. And it gets resolved somewhat, which was a nice surprise. Also, Peter Parker was being cool again. I liked when he saw the Scarlet Spiders running around:

The identity of those guys gets revealed in this issue, by the way.

The spiders help Peter out by using their shape-shifting abilities to confuse the public. They all turn into Peter Parker and announce that "Spider-Man" is actually just a robotic suit, not a person. It's a pretty significant plot point.

Here's my question though: ever since Peter Parker announced to the world that he was Spider-Man, he's been on the run. But would any random person on the street really see him and say "Hey, that's Peter Parker! He's Spider-Man!" I mean, he just looks like some dude. There's nothing really memorable about his appearance. Sure, Peter Parker is Spider-Man, but who the hell is Peter Parker? If he really wanted to visit Aunt May in the hospital, couldn't he just grow a beard or dye his hair?

The Batman Strikes #39

I don't know how interested kids are going to be in a comic primarily about corporate sabotage and ethical business practices, but I certainly liked it. A lot.

Iron Man and Power Pack #1

All that I want to say about this is: Best. Cover. Ever.

Superman Confidential #9

While we wait patiently for the final issue of the Cooke/Sale run on this comic, we first suffered through two of the most horrible issues of anything ever, and now we have moved on to this wonderful little New Gods story. Seriously, this run, of which this is the second issue, is really great so far. It's telling the story of the first time Superman was introduced to the Fourth World, and it's really entertaining.

Wonder Girl #3

I am so happy that this comic has potentially ended the mourning of Con El by Wonder Girl. I was really getting tired of that shit.

Yay for moving on!

And yay for being done this post!