Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Milestone, Kind Of!

By the grace of the Julian calendar, 2 Guys Buying Comics just created its first "Archive" link! Granted, we started in the middle of the month, but hey! A win is a win!

Anyway, just wanted to send a shout out to our fellow bloggers out there, all of whom have been really supportive and sent kind words of encouragement to these new kids on the comic-blogging block, making this all worthwhile. It's really cool to get acknowledgement from people we look up to.

Many thanks, and here's to comics!

Chris' Reviews 8/24, Pt. 2

Yes, I know it's 8/30. But I really, really wanted to give myself some time to make sure that these reviews that are about to follow were my honest opinions. I had knee-jerk reactions to these comics that I just couldn't trust, like a girl who wants you to buy her a drink then slips off to be with her sugar daddy as soon as the appletini is in her hands. Damn you, whatever-your-name-was!

Onwards, true believers! And really, I'm not in a bad mood. This was just some disappointing comics.


Actual conversation:

CHRIS: Hey, what's this Sea of Red thing all about?
COMIC PURVEYOR: Pirate vampires sort of.
CHRIS: (jaw drops at utter coolness of concept, slavering at the thought of making vampires cool again) You gotta be kidding me! Really?
COMIC PURVEYOR: Yeah. And it's all in black, white, and red.
CHRIS: Get the #$%! out of town! Gimme all three issues!
CHRIS: Hell yeah! How could this go wrong? (Insert Anvil of Foreshadowing Doom Here)

The lesson, as always: never underestimate my ability to back the wrong horse.

Here's the heartbreaking part: the first issue was FANTASTIC. This 16th century Spanish sailor is thrown overboard and picked up by a piratey crew who turn out to be vampires. True to vampire fashion, they turn Spaniard into a vampire, then cast him overboard at the end of issue 1. Great setup that totally buckled my swash! I'm all geared up for a piratey tale of blood, revenge, and horror on the high seas! Avast, ye undead mateys!

Then, I read ish 2. And from the first two pages, I was weeping. What had become of my beloved vampirates? Who knows! Because the Spaniard we left so poignantly at the bottom of the sea is picked up 500 years later by a film crew. A James Cameron parody of a filmmaker and his crew are filming in the ocean, and they happen across the Spaniard and take him in. Whereupon he bites the production assistant. And....and...I can't even believe I'm writing this. Maybe if I lay it out in bullet-points it will make more sense. Here, then, is what happens in issues 2 and 3, and I swear before all that is Iron Man, I am not making this up.

  • Film crew gets Spaniard aboard. He's alive, which is apparently of little surprise.
  • Spaniard bites lovely young production assistant. Hardly anyone is fazed by this.
  • In what has to be the most calm, sane reaction to discovering a 500 year old vampire at the bottom of the sea and having a crewmember bitten, the director decides to make a movie RIGHT THEN AND THERE.
  • In fact, the director (to keep his two vampires happy) MURDERS his crewmate to feed them blood. Again, no one so much as blinks at this.
  • Our merry band heads for an island. While on route, apparently people are being killed left and right to donate blood. And no one thinks anything of it in any meaningful way.
  • There's a storm, and our merry filmmaking idiots escape their ship in a submersible...er...sub, which is pretty amazing considering that up to this point they've displayed the collective intelligence of my right testicle, and it's the dumb one.
  • They reach the island. Whereupon they're attacked by Alien/Predator/Troglodyte knockoffs for what seems like 300 useless pages of muddled fight scenes.

Other things that make this comic a hugely disappointing failure include the fact that everyone who's not a vampire or the Evil James Cameron Knockoff looks alike, so we can't even tell who the hell is who. Not that it matters. There's zero sense of dread, nothing scary...it all reads like a junior-high creative writing plot.

My God, it was so easy! It was all there, waiting for you to take hold and pluck it like a ripened pomegranate! Rick Remender, what happened? You had an awesome premise all set up and raring to go, and then...it's like...I don't even know what it's like. I am SO let down. Someday the definitive vampire/pirate comic will be written, but today isn't that day. And issue 4 can burn in Hell, and it's not even out yet.

Best Moment: The entirety of Issue 1. It was THAT good.

Worst Moment: Realizing that a promising idea got T-boned in the left-hand turn lane and she's driving an uninsured Chrysler LeBaron.

Comic Book Goodness: 1/5. Just for that first issue alone. The rest...man. Just...man. Fuck.

SMOKE #1-3

Alex De Campi and Igor Kordey's miniseries about spies, corruption, and shadowy guvments comes to a conclusion, and I have mixed feelings about it.

On the one hand, I go into convulsions realizing I've paid a total of $24 for three issues (nice quality paper and extra length tho they be).

On the other hand, I got a nicely drawn action-packed, appropriately suspenseful political thriller with a ton of interesting ideas.

On the third hand (shaddup), I can't shake the feeling that something got screwed up here. I feel like Geena Davis in The Fly, where she eats the steak that Jeff Goldblum sends through the transporter, and it doesn't taste right---it's too synthetic, an imitation piece of meat.

My friends, it is with a heavy heart that I declare Smoke an imitation piece of meat.

I have no doubt that it was written with the best of intentions. But dammit, if you're going to create a Warren Ellis/Alan Moore love child, then go all the way. The plot twists are pretty predictable (since we're told who the bad guys are right off), but it's to De Campi's credit that she makes even foregone conclusions somewhat interesting. The hero is straight-up Ellis (loner ex-guvment albino assassin on one last mission for personal reasons), the dystopian England and its weird populace (like the Beauty Brigade -- a terrorist faction of fat folks that blame their weight on society) very Moore. And there are some very interesting ideas in here. But.

It doesn't breathe. Just as plot turns get interesting and you start to think, "Hey, that could really go somewhere" or "that character is a lot deeper than I originally thought" the series ends. And it ends badly. So, which sinister cabal wins? Is Rupert Cain someone's son? A clone? What makes Lauderdale so angry at the end? What is the fate of the Quiet Men? What of the Man With The Disposable Face? I could mention thirty other subplots, but that would just make me sad all over again.

I can only assume that this series would have met (and maybe even exceeded) its potential had it been given another three issues to resolve everything. Hell, maybe that's what they're planning. Alex De Campi, if by some mis-clicked link you're actually reading this, then please finish this properly. I have no doubt that as a six-issue miniseries, it would be great. But as a three-issue series, it just doesn't finish the race.

Best Moment: The train station shootout that opens issue 2. Awesome scene.

Worst Moment: The contrived, rushed, ending that leaves you like a five-dollar lap dance.

Comic Book Goodness: 2/5. Given the price point and the feeling of coitus interruptus I got after reading the final issue, I just can't in good conscience rate it any higher. But it's a worthy effort. And still better than that steaming pile of Jack Cross.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Strange Is As Strange Does

So, let me start by bowing to Neilalien's mastery of all things Doctor Strange and appreciation of Neilalien as a Dr. Strange uber-fan. Dedication to a favorite with such fervor is what makes great reading. Well done, Neilalien. God bless the passion, yo.

In contrast, here's what I know in sum total about the good Doctor:

  1. He's magical and all occult-y.
  2. He frequently shows up these days as a deus ex machina to gather heroes, if he even shows up at all (Defenders notwithstanding; it's sucky, anyway).
  3. He has a bitchin' wardrobe and a manservant named Wong.
  4. He was in one of the most ass-kickin'-est graphic novels ever, the one with Dr. Doom. (Randy can vouch for me. He owns this.)
  5. JMS wrote a pretty bad series about him recently.
  6. I find Dr. Strange absolutely fascinating for some reason.

See? Not much going on there in terms of Strange knowledge for me. And yes, that's my own fault. I'm a latecomer. And Neilalien's reading list is great recommendation, but I want something contemporary. That's just me.

So, I was thinking (shaddup!) to myself, what would I do if I were Joe Quesada for a day, (other than publicly apologize for Avengers Disassembled) and had mastery of Marvel series?

The answer came to me like a repulsor ray out of the blue: Go back to Marvel's EC Comics roots and publish a balls-out, dark, scary horror monthly featuring....Dr. Strange!

I know, I know, I'm probably pissing off legions of Dr. Strange fans out there. So be it. This is my opinion.

I'm thinking that the premise is something along the lines of Dr. Strange being something of an occult investigator, traveling all over the world to investigate mysterious and unexplainable phenomenon, monsters, cults, etc. He, Wong, Clea, and perhaps another apprentice could be sort of a paranormal troubleshooting squad. I'm thinking X-Files meets H.P. Lovecraft.

And yes, the horror aspects should be totally Lovecraft-ian. That is some scary shit, dude. It is the unique type of horror that could logically (!) blend the cosmic, the magical, the occult, and the just plain sick and weird shit that ordinary people do.

This would probably need to be a MAX title, because otherwise you get Marvel Mainstream Horror, which typically is all about vampires (snore) or zombies (zzzzz) and the violence all takes place off-panel. People need to be scared by this stuff. Dr. Strange needs to show his badassedness against the most depraved, scary, terrifying threats to the Marvel U! I want to see the Crimson Bands of Cytorrak do some damage! Make the Eye of Agamotto terrifying! By the power of the Vishanti, let's tear some supernatural shit up!

Who wouldn't want to read this? Seriously! I've already picked three people I think could do a great job on this:

  • Steve Niles. Horror comic auteur. Granted, a lot of his stuff uses common horror tropes like the aforementioned vampires and zombies, but let's cut him loose! Plus. he really does kick ass at horror.
  • Peter David. I have no idea why, other that I think instinctively this is tailor made for him, and he could bring a great noir feel to the Strange Tales (yes, I've already picked a name for the series).
  • Stephen King. Given the recent wink-wink announcements at Marvel, I think it's a foregone conclusion that he's going to be doing something there next year. This is right up his alley, with the added bonus that he's an infintely much better short story writer than novelist anyway. (He is. Face it. Does anybody read his full-length novels other than out of habit any more?)

So, there's my idea. Thoughts? Opinions? Candidates? Or am I way the hell off my already admittedly unbalanced rocker anyway?

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Chris' Reviews 8/24, Pt. 1

Howdy! Thanks to a well - timed check from my employer, I managed to purchase a few extra things this week that I haven't been reading regularly. And so, dear reader, on with the reviews. Massive Spoilers Ahoy!

OMAC Project #5

Hoo boy, it's the return of most of the 'Bwa ha ha'-Era Justice League as Brutha Eye gets its killin' on. Ex-Checkmater Sasha Bordeaux turns all OMAC-y, the aforementioned JL gets its collective ass handed to it via OMACs, and Batman...well, Batman just kind of sits there while his spy satellite thumbs its nose at him. In a Soylent-Green like "twist", we learn how OMACs are created (it's not nearly as earth-shattering as Rucka seems to think it is). Finally, every OMAC across the globe gets turned on, and we learn that there's a whole assload of them. Oh, and Rocket Red adds his name to the list of needlessly killed superheroes. Thanks, DC! You sure are Making Comics Fun Again!

This series as a whole has been somewhat of a slow burn, but that only works if you've got a nifty explosion at the end. Quite frankly, most of this series has been a little too drawn out for my tastes, and most of the events have been fairly predictable. My biggest problem is how the OMACs are being used in damn near every other DC comic as a deus ex fight scene . We get it already. OMACs are hard to kill. We know. We promise not to argue that point. Now go back to writing stories that aren't extended fight scenes for your crossover, writer!

Best Moment: Sasha turning into what reminds me of that chick who got 'robotized' in Superman III

Worst Moment: Batman just sitting there all issue looking like a kid who got his lunch money stolen by his teacher.

Comic Book Goodness: 3/5. Pretty mediocre in my opinion, but advances enough of the plot to where I'm actually looking forward to the next (and last) issue.

Day of Vengeance #5

I'll put my cards on the table here: I loves me some Detective Chimp. Never heard of him before this series (and if that makes me a non-purist, then so be it), but he and the rest of this team are turning into one of my most favorite superteams out there right now. In this issue, Nightshade gets to narrate as the Shadowpact sits around congratulating themselves on almost beating the Spectre, then they lay a trap for Eclipso and the Spectre that goes wrong in just about every sense of the word.

I just mentioned extended fight scenes in the last review, and to be fair, the three issues prior to this have been pretty much nothing but a fight between Spectre and the Shadowpact and Captain Marvel. The difference here is that the characters are so distinct and well-written that it's hard not to root for this ragtag bunch. This series has been humorous, adventurous, and so fun that it's well worth picking up.

Best Moment: Black Alice making the case for why you shouldn't eat eggs cooked by a monkey.

Worst Moment: The still-hard-to-swallow relationship between Eclipso and the Spectre continues to seem yucky and stupid.

Comic Book Goodness: 4/5. There's so much to like about this series that I can forgive the fact that the Spirit of Vengeance is shown as having the intellect of a ceiling fan.

Batman: Jekyll and Hyde #5

I'm in the minority here, but I've been really liking this series too. That artwork by Jae Lee and Sean Phillips has been moody, dark, and perfectly Batman-ny. In this issue, Batman has recovered from Two-Face's "inhibition-destroying" serum, and is trying to prevent him from releasing it into the city's water supply.

(By the way, has there ever been a more f#$^-ed with water supply than Gotham City's? How many times has someone screwed with the reservoir now, 100? 200? I swear they should just rename it Gotham City Criminal Piss Pot And Deadly Chemical Repository. I'm pretty sure the Joker has a whole pipe system named after him by now.)

Two-Face actually outsmarts the Dark Knight in a cool twist involving, I shit you not, ice cream and clowns, and the whole thing so far reads like a classic Batman story (and I mean that in a good way). Commissioner Gordon also gets a fair amount of page time here, and they actually let him be a police officer instead of Batman's caddy! Bravo, Paul Jenkins. Bravo. Then the last page comes along and threatens to derail the whole enterprise: we're led to believe that Two-Face isn't Harvey Dent, but his brother Murray.

No, I'm not kidding.

Best Moment: The Chocolate Ice Cream of Death took me by surprise. Either that was really well done, or I'm stupider than I think. (Shut up, Randy.)

Worst Moment: Batman cries. WTF?!? I know from shit about Batman, and if there's one rule that every person writing a Batman story should follow, it's that YOU DO NOT MAKE BATMAN CRY LIKE A LITTLE GIRL.

Comic Book Goodness: 3/5. Between Batman actually being a detective and the outstanding art, I've really enjoyed this series. Between Batman crying and The Murray Revelation, I felt embarassed to be reading this issue in particular.

Conan #19

I'd been hearing good things about this series, so I picked one up. Thankfully, it happened to be a one-shot story before the next arc begins, so I wasn't too lost. The idea here is that Conan and his honey are hanging out in the City of Thieves and for reasons relating entirely to getting in said honey's pants (not that she's wearing any) Conan decides to loot a valuable crown from a temple. This, naturally, causes the Giant Slug-Beast Of Tentacled Doom to arise and pretty much kill everything in its way to get its crown back. In the end, the crown is returned, the honey is eaten by the GSBOTD, and Conan looks for another score.

Let me begin by saying that I'm not one of those people who know the source material so well that they write letters to the comic pointing out that "Zamora is depicted as having a sunny climate, when even the MOST CASUAL reader knows that it lies well south of Cimmeria's 40th parallel. Duh!"

I was entertained as hell by this issue, particularly by its characterization of Conan. He's not the smartest guy in the world, he likes gambling and drinking and screwing, and he's pretty much selfish and narrow minded. In other words, he's just like a real person! The art was good, especially when the GSBOTD starts going all Crunch N' Munch on the populace, and this really scratched my swords and sorcery itch (and no, I'm not telling you where that is). I'll definitely be picking this up regularly.

Best Moment: Conan's honey getting eaten like an Otter Pop. Man, she had that coming.

Worst Moment: I'm all for the ladies, but the fact that fantasy comics continue to depict them dressed in "battle lingerie" still makes little sense.

Comic Book Goodness: 4/5. Well played, Busiek. Well played.

Iron Ghost #1-3

Spurred on by Greg's review over at Comics Should Be Good , I picked up the first three issues of this series. The idea here is that there's a serial killer shooting people in 1945 Germany right before the end of the war, and the comic follows various military personnel and a police detective as they try to decipher who is doing the killings and why. Oh, and the Iron Ghost looks like a badass Phantom Stranger, if the Phantom Stranger carried Lugers, wore a monocle, and was a Nazi. So there.

Yet another comic I really enjoyed, and I'm really glad I picked up all three issues. This is a complex, nice-looking story that you don't see every day, and the characters are all well-defined and interesting to follow. Mystery comics are tough to pull off, but this one's doing it in spades.

Best Moment: The actual piecing together of clues is used to tell us about the Iron Ghost's technology, "powers", etc. Seamless without having to resort to Captain Exposition.

Worst Moment: Struggling to keep track of all the German names and similar faces early on. It was hard to tell the Hauptschweiger from the Braunvolzheim, although the fact that most of the characters are blond and blue-eyed is probably due more to historical accuracy than lazy art. Stupid Nazis.

Comic Book Goodness: 3/5. Three issues in, I'm liking the mystery. Plus, it's a relatively unique premise and it's not even set in an alternate universe! Yay!

Jack Cross #1

I picked this up because I like Warren Ellis. Stop me if you've heard this before:

A Badass Operative who works for an Agency Far, Far More Secret Than The CIA discovers Corruption and Political Infighting and Rogue Activity inside the nation's Intelligence Community. After Years Out Of The Business, he is recruited by an Old Flame to come back and solve the Problem Only His Unique Talents Can Solve.

Billy, can you find at least five action movie/comic cliches in that description? If you did, good for you! You win a copy of Global Frequency. Because you sure as shit won't wanna read Jack Cross.

It is what it is, which is exactly as I've described it above. What makes this "different" is that Cross is a liberal when he's not torturing and killing people in the name of the government. We know this because Jack Cross lives in San Francisco and marches in protest, which apparently is shorthand for liberal. Oh, and because after he shoots off a man's fingers during an interrogation (yup), he cries in the crapper.

So, here's the lesson: paper-thin ideological stereotypes + overused plot + too-cartooony art = bad comic. Warren Ellis is usually a _lot_ more interesting than this. The show 24 would like its plot back, thanks.

Best Moment: The panel showing (for some reason) an X-Ray view of Cross shooting the guy's finger.

Worst Moment: I dunno. Probably the heavy-handed "crying in the toilet" scene that so does not make me want to read another issue.

Comic Book Goodness: 1/5. Effective interrogation; I'm no lawyer, but I do believe dismembering a suspect's fingers may be a violation of their rights.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

This Is The Big Time!

So, I read over Randy's excellent reviews and then I noticed....8 comments.

Being a relatively new blog, I thought "Wow! We're getting noticed!"

Sadly, 'twas not the case. Instead, we now know the pain of blogspam.

In the 8 comments we received, we got invitations to blogs about:

  • Credit Repair
  • HIPAA Security Training
  • Glyco Thymoline
  • Healthy Living

So, any other brother bloggers out there know of ways to stop this? Otherwise, Randy and I have a lot of reading to do, or we're overqualified to just be doing comics reviews.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

New Comic Day

Not Wednesday. Not Hump Day. But New Comic Day. Work can never end fast enough. Rush to my LCS. Hit the Subway across the way. Head home. Good stuff.

So, to top my two comics from last week, I got all of four. I'm good with that. Especially if its four decent books. And since it was only four, back issue galore again. Yaay me!

Hmm.. Chris uses a /5 rating system. Chris, I'll match your /5 rating system, and raise you a... umm... five dollars on Double Zero baby!!!

What I find odd is that all the books are DC. Now, I grew up reading far more Marvel, but for some reason, DC just seems to have the better stories going at this time.

Minimal on the spoilers here.

So, what did I get today:

Adventures of Superman #643
Sacrifice Aftermath

Well, I enjoyed the last two chapters in the Sacrifice arc. The first two were really not needed- this could have been summed up in probably 4 pages. And now we get an Aftermath edition. It was not quite what I was expecting, but I think it would have fit better into a JLA issue, and then could include, albeit briefly, a few more characters. Superman talks, Rucka style, on his thoughts on Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman get to chat a little, and then some filler fluff. I did like Bat/Supe's short chat. Kind of what you expect from a conversation with those two, but always, always entertaining. Just watching Wonder Woman's face when Superman is staring at here was classic. Serene, calm, strait-laced. Very simple, and to quote, "no remorse." Superman finally makes the OMAC discovery that others are now figuring out (human). The art however I actually enjoyed. Different sections of the book had different color tones, or is it hues? Regardless, they really worked well in this issue.
And I don't get the picture to the left here. Its kinda the cover, but what's all that blotted red? The actual cover is far better. I think I will actually look forward to issue 644, when Superman confronts Zatanna. Now that could be fun, because I too, like Chris, am enjoying the Zatanna mini and her current prominent display.
I did not like at all the 9 page splash ad in the middle of the book however. That more or less just really pissed me off.

Best Moment: Batman's final comment to Superman.
Worst Moment:A frickin' 9 page ad? Oh COME ON!!!!
Comic Book Goodness: 3/5. Too much fluff, and a 9 page ad cannot overcome a couple of fine lines.

JSA Classified #2

The first one showed so much promise. I am not a fan of the JSA. I really don't know much about the JSA. But hey, an origin of a hero that I've seen floating around since Justice League: Europe and had no idea who she was? OK, I'll try it.
Issue 1 had a nice little background, showed some possibilities at the end. Issue 2 pretty much ruined it all for me. I don't want to give too much away in spoilers, but let me just say I was disgusted with the use of the Legionairres, who just start miraculously appearing from nowhere (magic anyone?- oops, for Day of Vengeance) and Superman was not drawn very well. Conner's art, as I agree with many others, ,does work well here. Her closeups are very effective for Power Girl.

Best Moment: It's still Power Girl origin.
Worst Moment: I have to pick one? The ending. Man that was sorry. I hope they are going somewhere with this.
Comic Book Goodness: 1/5. The story was just plain bad. Nice set up of issue 1 just came tumbling down. Thank you Amanda Conner though. You were the saving grace.

Day of Vengeance 5 of 6
The Particle Theory of Darkness

Very simply put, I liked this book from start to finish. Even the Detective Chimp scenes. I am not a Detective Chimp fan. But, I was able to deal with his cheap "insert comedy line here" routine. This time around it is Nightshade's turn for commentary. It was well done. We get Black Alice. For some reason we get a lot of Ragman in a towel after showering. Someone PLEASE tell me what that is all about? Ewwwww... Captain Marvel is around for a few panels even. My, he just seems to command the scenes he is in. Kind of like putting Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves in the same scene together- was Keanu even there? He just exudes hero, compared to the rag tag bunch Shadow Pact.
This book left me wanting book six like... tomorrow. I am anxious to see how this one ends, and to see if some of this bunch plays a bigger role in the DC universe. Oh wait, isn't magic rumoured to die off? Ah well, who knows.

The art was crisp, clean and thorough. Details are very well done. Smooth throughout the book.

Best Moment: The scenes with Black Alice and Nightshade in Indonesia conversing. Little more history lesson on the characters.
Worst Moment: I really don't have a worst moment. Waiting for issue six? OK, mebbe Detective Chimp and cheap "insert comedy line here" routine.
Comic Book Goodness: 5/5. This is what I look for in a book. Good story. Good drawing and coloring. Good taste in my mouth. Where did page 8 go? Err.. anxiously awaiting the final book.

The OMAC Project 5 of 6
...Long Live the King!

Wow. I just wanted to start this off right. This will also be hard without spoilers, but I will do my best. The build up was worth this wait. It has OMACs, it has the Justice League (note I only said Justice League) and a couple of peeps they pulled out of...well... I really don't know where they've been hiding them. The Sasha sub plot was predictable and I accept it- I want to see what role she plays going forward. Its got death, its got chaos, and its got...Mary? I will say no more, because it would be all a spoiler and I'd rather have ya just read it. Its worth it.

Best Moment: Justice League
Worst Moment: Dmitri. You'll understand my Worst when you read it.
Comic Book Goodness: 5/5. I'd just like to repeat my Comic Book Goodness for Day of Vengeance. This is what I look for in a book. Good story. Good drawing and coloring. Good taste in my mouth. Where did page 8 go? Err.. anxiously awaiting the final book. And there will be much more to come from OMAC's I'm betting.


Read these books. OK, not JSA Classified. But read the rest. And not just read. Enjoy the rest. You could look at the pretty pictures at least in JSA Classified?

later all


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Chris' Reviews Part 2

Back again! A thousand pets and loving scratches to kittens everywhere would approximate the joy I'm feeling now. Onward, comics lovers!

JLA #117

The "Crisis of Conscience" arc continues as the Secret Society of Half-Assed B-List Super Villains gets all pissy about being mindwiped and goes after Lois Lane at the Daily Planet.

This ish was all about the action, and it delivers. From the Flash getting punked by Faust to Green Lantern's smackdown of Star Sapphire, this entire comic was great action punctuated by Batman's logical, well-thought out disregard for human life (!) and Superman's guilt trip on the whole JLA. This group is cracking, and the next two issues should be good.

Best Moment: A classic "Superman saves Lois at the last possible minute" splash page
Worst Moment: Hawkman choosing democratic principles instead of the customary "mace to the jawbone" maneuver.
Comic Book Goodness: 3/5. That final page is so...meh...

Defenders #2

The Giffen/DeMatteis take on the most ill-conceived superteam Marvel has ever fielded continues. Basically, this is 22 pages of filler material in which nothing happens except for mildly-at-best amusing dialogue. Oh, and the Hulk may be getting some booty soon, which is somewhat vomit-inducing. Dr. Strange (still one of the most underused, mis-used, underappreciated characters in the Marvel U- more about that in another post) is made to look like an idiot, Namor continues to grate, and Silver Surfer serves no purpose whatsoever. I had high hopes for this series, but man, this ish was bad. It didn't help that the Dormammu/Umar sequences, which make up more than half the book, read like a Tracy/Hepburn comedy without the chemistry.

Best Moment: Cheesecake art showing Umar showering in a bikini. I believe this makes her stupid, by the way.
Worst Moment: Pick one. From the allegedly humourous dialogue to the ridiculous plot twists, to the brazenly stupid Silver Surfer, this sucked. Hard.
Comic Book Goodness: 1/5. Because there was one panel that was amusing, namely Wong getting his ass kicked off-panel. I have no doubt that if they had showed this on-panel it would have sucked too.

Zatanna #3

I have adored this mini from the first ish, and this one continues to impress. Zee, her apprentice Misty, and Ali Ka-Zoom traipse around looking for some connection to the rest of the Seven Soldiers series, and find it in spades. Ryan Sook continues to make Zee sexy and powerful, and we learn just enough about Misty to start putting the pieces of the whole Seven Soldiers enterprise together. I am absolutely convinced that Zatanna could have a great solo book in the hands of Grant Morrison. Keep it coming! There's even a corporate-mandated shout out to Zee's role in the DCU, what with her sloppy mindwiping and all.

Best Moment: "It was a perfectly normal day. Breakfast with the Phantom Stranger, exorcising the Temptster demon...and now this."
Worst Moment: Knowing that the next issue will be the last. Please, DC, give Zee to Morrison permanently!
Comic Book Goodness: 4/5. This whole series has been magical (Har!). And now, Randy will beat me about the head and shoulders for that pun.

Lex Luthor: Man of Steel #5

In what should have been a thrilling conclusion to a gorgeous and empathic (that's right, I typed EMPATHIC) miniseries, we get...something. I don't know what it is, but it's a mess. Here's the short form: Lex screws his artificial human hero Hope, makes her drop Toyman, then makes her explode, and hates Superman.

Read that again, aloud, and throw in the adjectives "rusted", "debt-ridden", "mucilaginous", and "surprisingly fat-free" at any point in that last paragraph, and see if it makes any more sense. Now you understand what it was like to read this issue.

The hell of it is, Lee Bermejo did a FANTASTIC job illustrating this whole series. The textures, the colors, everything was spot-on. Wonderful. But I can't forgive the complete ignorance of the Batman/Superman battle of issue three. That was a plot point that should have been addressed at the end, and wasn't. (Incidentally, that issue was also the best characterization of Bruce Wayne I've seen in years.)

Best Moment: The computer images juxtaposed between Lex's clicks and Hope's actions.
Worst Moment: We see Lex Luthor having sex. Yes, it's that bad. Also, Ew.
Comic Book Goodness: 2/5. Strong series that lost its way in the last two issues, but wonderful tactile art by Bermejo provides a reason to at least flip through the TPB.

Villains United #4

All hail Gail Simone! I will be damned if she isn't directly channeling John Ostrander's Suicide Squad in this miniseries. This is the one DC Infinite Crossover Crisis miniseries that deserves to have its own ongoing book. Here then, dear reader, are the reasons you should immediately get this book, and pick up any and all past issues you don't already have:

  • 1) Catman is revitalized as a decent villain.
  • 2) Everyone on the team hates each other.
  • 3) There is so much hate-to-miss-it-love-to-watch-it soap operaness going on it's sick.

4) Read this issue and you won't have to wonder what's been going on over in Firestorm.

Oh, and did I mention the action is great? Seriously, pick this one up. It's a LOT of fun.

Best Moment: "Tell Luthor, tell Talia. Tell Black Adam, tell Dr. Psycho. Tell Calculator, and tell Deathstroke. You're already dead. You just haven't fallen down yet."
Worst Moment: The All My Children final two pages. Tho it does set up an interesting plot point.
Comic Book Goodness: 4/5. This is so entertaining it makes my balls ache. Even the Ragdoll-up-the-toilet-sequence. Perhaps I've shared too much.

Iron Man #4

So, after 9 FRIGGING MONTHS issue 4 is here! Yay! Those who have bothered to read the previous posts on this blog know what an Iron Fan I am. So, how was it?

Crappy, in my opinion. Now don't get me wrong, I usually love what Warren Ellis writes. But here he's taken the whole human/technology dichotomy, Tony Stark/Iron Man differences and...eliminated them. Sigh. Virtually no action, and despite pretty art, not much interest in the plot here. Saving grace: a return to the "collapsible Iron Man suitcase armor" could be in the works. And that should say something, if that was the saving grace.

Best Moment: Iron Man saving the family in the car that lands on top of him. Classic IM stuff.
Worst Moment: The idea that Tony needs to be biologically enhanced to control the armor. It muddles the man/machine conflict that lies at the heart of (in my opinion) the most interesting character in the Marvel Universe. And yes, I have zero objectivity when it comes to Iron Man.
Comic Book Goodness: 2/5. I give it one point for the art and one point for actually being released before the next Ice Age. No promises on the next issue, though, which at this rate should be on your comic store shelves about an hour before we colonize Jupiter.

Rann-Thanagar War #4

I started out as a big cheerleader for this series, as it had all those components I've wanted to see for years in a comic: grand adventure, space opera, complex plot, et cetera. Unfortunately, now it resembles a big pile of oatmeal. The detailed art is almost too detailed; even I, with a deep and abiding love for all things Thanagarian and space adventure, cannot follow the plot here. So, Onimar Synn (some Thanagarian Death God) wants to kill everyone in the universe. Fine. I can deal with that. But what the hell are Captain Comet, Kyle Rayner, Adam Strange, and the HawkPeople going to do about it? I have no idea. This ish also features Komand'R, Prince Gavyn, Tigorr, and some dozens of Rannians that are not ashamed to show their prowess in fleeing the scene of a battle. I literally have no idea what's going on here.

Best Moment: I dunno. Probably being surprised when my wife brought home a pizza while I was reading this. Mmmm, pizza.
Worst Moment: The scene where Prince Gavyn proclaims the Zeta Beam technology the most important in the Universe then promptly blows it up.
Comic Book Goodness: 1/5. Detailed art, and detailed art alone saves this from the first-ever dreaded 0/5 rating. But GodDAMN, it was close.

Klarion #3

I can't describe precisely why I'm liking this series -- maybe it's the ultra creepy vibe that I get from Frazer Irving's art, or maybe it's the sense that no good can come of any of this plot. Either way, Klarion continues his creepy ways, hooks up with Fagin's gang from Oliver! and generally acts like any other teenager with witch powers, an intelligent cat, and blue skin. (Yes, I just went Broadway on the program.)

Best Moment: The gang's smash-n-grab at the Museum of Superheroes
Worst Moment: The almost heartbreaking fate of Billy.
Comic Book Goodness: 3/5. Definitely not for everyone, but for those who like their comics with a generous helping of dread, this hits the spot. And damn, the art is creepy.

Comics Reviews At Last!

Howdy, all. Chris here with a semi-fresh pile o' comics and an assload of opinions about them. More on me and Randy's Vegas trip later; for now I guess I'll stoop to providing what this blog is allegedly all about. :) Plus, be warned: there might be spoilers ahead.


So, this first arc is (I think) all about re-establishing Hal "Jackass" Jordan as Green Lantern and the themes that came along with Green Lantern: Rebirth (i.e., fear versus willpower, redemption, et cetera). So, how's it doing? Well, there's actually the first resonating moment in three issues when Hal reflects on his battle with an outdated Manhunter (android variety, not the prosecutorial variety which Randy reflected on earlier). And the subplot with the Jordan clan provides a nice bit of optimism, which I think is one of GL's defining characteristics --- he's the light, literally and figuratively, in a dark universe. Plus, the art is nice superheroey action for a good deal of the time.

Best Moment: the Manhunter's reaction to impending...er...boom.
Worst Moment: Hal's acceptance back into the Air Force, without so much as a "Um, not that we don't trust you --- having murdered millions, attempted to stop time and revert the universe back to preanimate matter and so forth, but would you mind -- you know--- it's silly formalities, really--- signing this waiver?"
Comic Book Goodness: Cool superheroey action, enough character moments to think about, and solid art. 4/5


After a filler issue in which the (ye Gods) Purple Pilgrim was re-introduced, we get to see the Never-Awaited, Flashback-Filled Origin of the Golden Eagle, a.k.a. Charley Parker, a.k.a. Not Carter Hall.

Most of this issue is dedicated to explaining Charley's origin, which basically is like every other quasi-sidekick's origin in comics: hardscrabble, tough-knock delinquent saved by the overwhelming kindness of said delinquent's hero, leading to powers, training, et cetera. Snore. Oh, and retconning Golden Eagle's death (short version: Nth metal saved his life). Didn't see that coming.

Finally, at the end, there's the balls-out Hawkman action that defines why I love this comic in terms of sheer brutality and ass-kickedness.

And by the way, Joe Bennett, don't EVER think of leaving this comic. Hawkgirl drawn by any other would be the equivalent of ny 5 year old son attempting to paint Mona Lisa. Joe, you gotta stay.

Best Moment: Seeing the Adam Strange - Carter Hall archaeologist relationship being meaningful, well-thought-out and interesting.
Worst Moment: Carter Hall in a mullet. I wish to God I was kidding about that.
Comic Book Goodness: 3/5, mainly for the art's return to status quo and the Adam Strange stuff that in two pages provided some semblance of logic to Rann-Thanagar War.

House of M #5

5 issues in, and we're finally getting to the "Gathering of Heroes" phase. Amusingly, I just typed that last sentence as "Gathering of Herpes", which may in fact have provided a more entertaining issue. Now, don't get me wrong. I like this series overall. But quite frankly, it's taken a LONG time to get to this point, and we've only got three more issues to finish it. Anyway, this issue is basically an extended field trip, with deus ex machina Layla Miller going around edu-ma-catin' all the heroes of the Marvel U that shit ain't right. If it weren't for 6 pages smack dab in the middle of this issue, I'd say burn it. But.

The six pages that show Peter Parker's re-education are absolutely powerful. I mean, POWERFUL. This is the most I've cared about Spider-Man in years, and holy crap, not only did it make sense given the character, it actually moved me. You simply have to read this if you care about comics. It's that good. Really.

Oh yeah, and somehow, I'm getting tired of Olivier Coipel's art. I have no explanation for this.

Best Moment: The aforementioned Parker sequence. Buy this comic.
Worst Moment: The semi-incomprehensible final 4 pages. Plus the rest of them that don't deal with Peter Parker.
Comic Book Goodness: 2/5. But man, those 6 pages....awesome.

I'll be back with more tomorrow: JLA, Klarion, Zatanna, Iron Man (don't get me started), Lex Luthor:Man of Steel, Rann-Thanagar War, Villains United and Defenders!

Till then,
I'm just another guy buying comics.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Comic Dilemma Week, and Viva Las Vegas

And good greetings to all of you from Randy.

I ran to my local comic store today (fine fine, I drove) all ready to pick up some new material to read and enjoy. I bought all of... two comics.

Two. Suspense killer. Nothing peaked my interest. It was pretty sad.

The two that I picked up: Manhunter and HoM Spidey.

I was not that impressed.

Manhunter- Not a book that should be involved in the OMAC world. Misleading cover. I still have faith though that after the OMAC "invasion", this book will return to its normal, good storyline.

HoM Spidey- I'm just confused. It shouldn't be a confusing book. Its just listless, and I really don't care about any of the characters. I'm sad that I tried this spin-off. Its no FF or Hulk. Peter Parker is far, far better in the HoM mini that is running. And I'm being generous in that too.

So, I did what any bright, witty and avid comic book reader would do: I bought back issues!

That all made up for my dilemma of a very slow week in new material.

Bought the six issue mini of Black Widow by Richard Morgan. I liked it. Of course, I'm a sucker for Black Widow titles. The Sienkiewicz art improved after issue 1. No stingers (parts are hard to get-heh), lots of knives. An actual spy/assassin adventure, no big lurking super villians and even some bureaucratic fun. And some history on her to boot. Looking forward to BW 2.

Did I mention that next week it looks like all of two titles again? Someone roll some presses, please!

And by the way, the Chris and Randy show is going on tour this weekend to Las Vegas, so the blog will be quiet for a couple of days, but we will return Monday with fun drunken adventures and stories galore.

No wait, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right?

Enjoy your weekend all.


Whither the 2000 AD?

OK, long story short, I couldn't get the 2 weeks worth of comics in my box today, because the Bank Account Elves were unusually hungry and went all buffet on my account.

So instead, I thought I'd talk about 2000 AD. No, not the year itself. The UK comics anthology. This was inspired, incidentally, by the post over at Dave's Long Box about Marvel Comics Presents, a generally crappy anthology that he ruminated on earlier today. So, here's the deal.

I kept hearing about all these interesting and different comics stories available in 2000 AD, so I thought I'd give it a try. Now, my LCS doesn't normally stock it, so I had to put it in my subscription list. No biggie. I got my first issue, which was cryptically labeled "Prog 1435" (or somesuch number). OK, I figured out that was the issue number. I could deal with that.

I read the first story, part 3 of a 5 or 6 part Judge Dredd story, and it was OK. I wondered precisely what the hell was going on, but I thought I'd eventually catch up.

The next four stories in this issue were:

  • A story about a company of space marines who thought one of their own was an alien
  • A story about a guy leading a wagon train of mythical monsters out West
  • Some bizarre piece of samurai space opera that I can only conclude is the product of random synaptic misfires on the part of the writer
  • A story about a man in a kilt trapped in a casino with a half-naked female assistant ass-deep in a jungle ruled by sentient jungle animals.

I literally had to stop after reading the issue and reassure myself that yes, I was still on Earth, and no, I hadn't been taking those "special pills" that the kids deal on street corners.

And you know what? I loved it. I absolutely LOVED the sheer weirdness of all this 2000AD. I mean, you just don't get stories like that in mainstream American comics. Hell, I'm not sure you get that in independent American comics!

(I know, I know, part of it's my fault for having too much love for the superheroes. But still. You know what I'm saying.)

But you know what? I was frustrated. Because each of those tales had about 5 or 6 pages worth of story, and then I had to wait until the next issue. AARGH!

So, I waited patiently for the next issue. A week went by; no issue. Another week; no issue. Now, I'm used to monthly comics missing dates. But dammit, this is a WEEKLY comic! So then I had the bright idea to go check Diamond's shipping list. I found that typically, 2000AD shipped biweekly, 2 copies at a time. OK, that explains things. I'll just wait.

Finally, one week I went in and had two copies waiting for me. I looked at the "Prog" numbers, and realized something was amiss. I had an issue that predated the one I had read by two weeks, and the other "new issue" was two issues past the one I had read!

So, for those of you scoring at home, I now had three issues of 2000AD, every-other-one in a run of five. I tried reading them, but skipping issues was like watching a movie and fast-forwarding about 20 minutes every half hour. (Apologies for the math-laden post; it shan't happen again.)

I asked around a few people I know who read 2000 AD. The answer was the same in every case: "Yeah, it's kind of wacky. You sort of have to wait a good 8 weeks, then go back and read the stories in order".


I dropped 2000AD after about 3 months of this. Not because I didn't love the concepts and the stories, but the format combined with the shipping schedule drove me batshit crazy.

I'm asking for help here, dear readers. Are me and my circle of friends here in Tucson the only ones who experience this? Is it my LCS? Am I just bad at counting? I'm willing to entertain all possibilities. Leave me a note and help a brother out, y'all.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


So, we made it through our first day of blogging! Yay! Here's hoping that we don't suddenly lose interest and start posting stuff like "Went to work. Tired. More tomorrow!"

Anyhoo: if you're reading this, then you're probably already familiar with the other comics blogs out there. But just in case they've somehow flown under your radar, we urge you to stop by the sites listed in our Links sidebar. They're really, really good. We promise. We'll be adding more links soon; these are just the top 5 in my opinion that you cannot afford to miss.

Also, a note: we here at 2 Guys Buying Comics don't have a scanner yet. That's coming next week, so until then the posts may be light on images. Don't let that deter you from using the best picture-maker of all: your imagination. That's right, Billy. Your mind can conjure up pictures more grandiose than anything we could ever steal from, erm, Marvel's website.

One more thing: we love us some feedback. So feel free to comment on posts or email us with what we're doing well, what we're doing wrong, and what you want us to talk about or not talk about. (Within reason, natch.)

Thanks for stopping by; Randy should be putting up his first batch of reviews tomorrow, and you'll probably see a little more nonsense from me as well.

The Problem With Iron Man

So then, introductions are out of the way. Fantastic.

Remember in the first post when I decried sites and blogs that just continually bitch about things? I'm going to sound like one of those guys in this post. Please keep in mind that the following is done in the spirit of HELPING comics and IMPROVING them. 'Cause, remember, Two Guys Buying Comics is all about the good. And if we focus now and again on the bad, it's only because we want a lot of good. Happiness all around! Kay? Kay.

I'm gonna throw this out there: I'm a huge fan of Iron Man. I mean, a BIG fan. The armor, the Stark, the Avenger, the repulsor beams....it all just really does it for me. Which is why I'm pissed.

See, Iron Man is one of Stan Lee's classic "flawed hero" models. Tony Stark: Super-cool ultra rich genius playboy...who has a bad heart. (Or did, until nineteen million writers retconned THAT little idea right out of continuity.)

And is given to drink to excess. (Again, depending on who's at the "Screw Up Iron Man This Month" podium, this is also subject to change.)

And who really, when it comes right down to it, is kind of a jerk. Or should be. After all, he didn't become a worldwide captain of industry and successful business man by sending fruit baskets to potential corporate rivals. (Then again, maybe he did, which would make him an ULTRA-jerk. Put that on the List of Thousands of Ideas They Could Use to Make Iron Man Interesting Again But For Some Reason Don't.)

And who has two ridiculously named supporting characters in Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts. (Though for all the plot time they've had in the last few years they might as well be dead and gone.)

(That's not funny. ---Hawkeye)

The problem? Unfortunately, I would much rather read about a ruthless, semi-alcoholic, physically weak, conflicted man in charge of one of the most powerful weapons in the world than....Iron Man.

By now, you may be getting a sense of why I'm pissed. For a couple of years now, Marvel has had absolutely no idea what to do with Iron Man. There have been some _horrible_ Iron Man comics in the not too distant past (I'm lookin' at you, Mike Grell). He exposed his secret identity to the world (classic "We've Run Out Of Ideas For This Character" move). His heart was fixed, then not fixed. Then fixed, then not fixed. Then he was paralyzed. Whatever. I'm pretty sure that was fixed too. And the most interesting idea they had in a good long while ---making Tony Stark the Secretary of Defense --- lasted, what, four issues? Sigh. Deep, heavy sigh. I yearn for the halcyon days of Armor Wars, the Silver Centurion, and, what the heck, Armor Wars II. Hell, the whole Sentient Armor (yup) storyline was freakin' Shakespeare compared to the last two years of IM's regular title.

So they rebooted. And quite frankly, I'm nervous about it. I have the highest hopes as an Iron Fan that Ol' Shellhead will be restored to former glories. But I ain't holding my breath.

But wait! There's some good news in here! (See? All about the optimism.) Out of the 5 comics you can buy that have Iron Man appearances, 3 are really good! That's a 60% approval rating for IM comics!

What is offered for fans of the Golden Avenger these days? Let's run it down:

  • Iron Man --- this is the "regular" "monthly" solo title. I put those two words in quotes because since relaunching in, what, December of 2004 there have been exactly FOUR issues. Nine months, FOUR issues. I can only assume that the people behind this are using some screwy Mayan calendar that measures months in tree rings. The art, by Adi Granov, is really nice to look at. The writing, by Warren Ellis, is...meh. For now, just understand that the theoretical place you would go to get a heaping help o' Iron Man --- his "regular" "monthly" solo title --- is about as dependable as a cabbie with Alzheimer's.

  • New Avengers --- I really like this series. I do. Iron Man is, of course, just one of a large cast here --- though he actually gets a lot of page time. If you can get past the continuing references to his being broke yet still having 2 Quinjets, Stark Tower, and an ungodly number of patents bringing in money, it's some cool Iron Man stuff in here. Of course, it's just as much about the other Avengers (and rightfully so), so you don't get as much Tony Stark-osity as you might like, but hey. It's a good comic. You should buy it.

  • House of M: Iron Man --- this is a (thankfully only) 3 issue miniseries that's tying into Marvel's House O' M event. And it's really bad. Seriously. My guess is someone went to Marvel with a idea for a Robotech-like comic, and the Powers That Be pulled it out and changed a few words to make it all Iron Man-ny. Of course, it's an alternate reality gig, so it doesn't really matter what happens in it. Do not buy this comic unless you want a completely unrecognizable version of Iron Man and the Marvel Universe.

  • Ultimates --- the "other version" of the Avengers. Damn you Marvel, for getting me to buy two different comics with the same characters! So...much....quality! Anyhoo, Iron Man's in this one, too, only he's engaged to the Black Widow and is handing out armor suits like they were toffee at a carnival. Oh, and the armor makes him look like a GoBot. It's still a good comic.
  • Ultimate Iron Man --- Yep, another mini-series that explains the origin of the "Ultimate" version of Iron Man, which is so different from "Classic" Iron Man that they should have just made him a different character altogether. It's actually a really good story! There are only two flaws that I can see so far:
    • We're three issues in and Tony's still only 16 and there's no armor suit in sight.
    • We're three issues in and it's been 6 months since it started.

    But still, lots of love for this interesting origin of UIM. Even though we all know that he ends up with the GoBot outfit.

    So, it ain't all bad. I suppose I can live with the "Ultimate" version, but I view that guy as a totally different character than the Iron Man I've come to know and love.

    Marvel, if someone is reading this: bring back classic Tony. We want armor. We want depth of personality. We want stories set in the worlds of corporate back rooms, outer space, undersea, and monsters. Bring on the Mandarin! (I don't care if he's supposed to be dead. Give him Bucky pills or whatever you do to bring dead guys back and move on.) Bring on Crimson Dynamo! Stane! C'mon!

    Sorry, just had to get that out of the system. Next time, more comics stuff.

I Get to Review Comics?!

Why hello there. This is Randy of the Chris and Randy show. I get the pleasure to write comic reviews- sometimes. Other times, I get to ramble on and on about random topics in the comic world. Most of the time, reviews though.

Mayhaps, here and there, maybe a review on some old school comics, but lets not delve on that.

Now, to be honest, I don't buy every comic out there. I can't. Apparently my landlord would rather have cash for rent than comics for rent, so I had to make some changes.

What is good for all of our viewers out there is that Chris and I do have differences in our comic selections, and will disagree on like topics sometimes. Ergo, there should be plenty of reviews here to maybe: peak your interest in a title, give you some entertainment value while you are visiting or just plain one more blaise review for you to read.
Either or, we hope that you will stop by and enjoy the writings and ramblings.

Please drop us a line of what you like and dont' like also- doesn't mean we'll change it, but we take everything into consideration. I mean heck, I even tried an issue of Ultimate FF and was surprised that I enjoyed it.

Have a lovely day all


Opening Day!


So, um, as you might tell by the title, this is a blog from two guys who buy comics.

My name's Chris. The other guy's name is Randy. (You'll be hearing from him as soon as I tell him we've got a blog now.)

What will you find here? Well, mostly comics stuff. Reviews, primarily, though from time to time Randy and I will share our thoughts on trends in the comics industry, what's coming up, and other varied and sundry thoughts. But that's not the point.


The point is that there are a lot of comics sites out there. And most of them, for better or worse, are regurgitations of DC or Marvel news, and bulletin boards for trolls to bash or celebrate whichever company/creator/hero suit their fancy. And you know what? That's all fine and good. Someone has to do it. But it ain't us. Although we do love us some DC and Marvel.

See, Randy and I are what a lot of you probably are --- two guys who like comics, spend money on comics, and have opinions on comics. We're on limited incomes, have depressing day jobs, and are typically shamed for even discussing the topic amongst "real" adults. No matter- we want to share the love of comics SO MUCH, that we're going to subject you all to our opinions on them.

I've recently started reading other comics blogs. And it got me thinking. There are four, maybe five blogs out there that are stellar. I mean, really stellar. Excellent writing, fun stuff, and not taking themselves too seriously. Which is what comics are all about, the way we see it. (Yes, we're going to post links to those sites here. We is all about the giving.)

But there are some really crappy comics sites, too. I mean, sites so blatantly devoid of anything remotely fun that we really wonder why they bother reviewing/commenting on/interviewing people in an industry they so obviously despise. (Yes, we'll be posting links to those sites too. Two Guys Buying Comics shows no mercy in its quest for fair play.)

And that leads me to the real, final, actual, point. We don't pretend to be "the single best blog in the whole wide universe". We're just hoping you'll make us a regular stop on your daily Internet Comics Surfing Site Tour. Because on some level, no matter how wrapped up we get in the Writer of the Month, Whether Wizard is Evil, or Company X Outsold Company Y This Month, at the core, we're really all the same.

We're all people who buy comics.

And Randy and I really think that means something. It's something to be proud of, something to share with others, and something that we have a passion for. So let's chat about it.

NEXT ISSUE: Chris and Randy's individual tastes, predilections, and windows on the world, so you can more accurately judge our opinions and know where we're coming from on all this!

ALSO: The 5 comics sites you absolutely _should_ be visiting, weekly reviews, and more!