Tuesday, October 31, 2006

No Trick, All Treat

I owe the inestimable Bill Mantlo a great deal, if for nothing else than ROM: Spaceknight. My favorite comic as a kid, he wrote all 75 issues and 4 annuals, and to this day the ROM series is still my favorite part of my comics collection.

You could say that Mantlo's the reason I'm still reading comics.

When I saw that David Yurkovich was putting together a tribute book to one of my all-time favorite comic writers, it took all of three seconds for me to make a donation.

There's no trick --- go check it out at


and make a donation, already!

In return (here's the treat), you get a copy of the book which contains interviews, reflections, a Mantlo prose piece and short story illustrated by Yurkovich (sample pages are on the site) and get to help out Bill, who's in poor health after being struck by a car while rollerblading. Go read the full story here at Comics Should Be Good.

So, here's to Bill, may he recover, and a Happy Halloween for everyone out there.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance Review

Yes, I bought it. Yes, I think it's awesome. No, it's not perfect. No, that doesn't matter one damn bit.

The point is that while X-Men: Legends and X-Men: Legends II was good solid button-mashing fun, they had two strikes against them from my point of view: I don't care very much about the X-Men.

I mean, I like individual X-Men and all, but as a whole, as a mythos, they don't really do much for me. So while it was fun playing as Nightcrawler, Wolverine, or Colossus, the whole "Apocalypse is coming blahbity-blah-blah-blah" thing was kind of wasted on me. In point of fact, I played through to the end for the sole purpose of unlocking Iron Man as a character, which was good fun.

That said, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is exactly what I wanted when I played X-Men: Legends. Team combat, RPG-Lite using more of the Marvel Universe than I thought possible.

That's important, because the basic gameplay is identical to X-Men: Legends. Four heroes, battling through hordes of baddies, picking up items, unlocking costumes, customizable teams.

It's the expansion outside the X-realm that makes all the difference.

The plot --- Dr. Doom and the Masters of Evil (including Baron Mordo, Loki, Enchantress, and Ultron) are up to their usual shenanigans, and so Nick Fury gets the MU together to stop them --- is standard comic book fare, beautifully shown in cutscenes that are almost worth the price of admission alone.

The fact is that if you've ever wanted to assemble the Avengers, Fantastic Four, or hell --- maybe you just always thought that Ghost Rider, Black Panther, Silver Surfer, and Mr. Fantastic were the ultimate superteam --- and tear some shit up, this is the place to do it. In the span of the first third of the game, I:

1) Repulsor-rayed Fin Fang Foom in the eye
2) Whacked Mandarin upside the head with Mjolnir
3) Went all "clobberin' time" on Crimson Dynamo's sorry ass

The most adrenaline-pumping, "I can't believe how cool that was" moment so far has been slinging Cap's shield at a roomful of Doombots... and CONTROLLING THE SHIELD AS IT RICOCHETS OFF THEIR NOGGINS AND KILLS THEM. It's one thing to see it in the comics. It's quite another to make it happen myself.

There's a good bit of costumage here, too --- four for each of the 23 playable heroes. Which means I can deck out Thor as Beta Ray Bill, Iron Man as War Machine, or Cap as U.S. Agent! Nicely, each costume also grants specific benefits to the character, so it's not just eye candy.

And the little touches are nice as well. In Stark Labs, you'll see the various Iron Man armors stored in capsules. In Dr. Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum, you'll see the Book of the Vishanti, and various other well-know artifacts. You'll travel to Asgard, Atlantis, Murderworld, Mephisto's Realm, Castle Doom... it's a virtual sightseeing tour of the Marvel Universe.

(By the way, I cannot stress enough how cool it is to make Dr. Strange, Iron Man, Sue Storm, and Captain America as the Avengers. Yes, it's my dream lineup come true!)

There are a couple downsides to the whole operation: the gameplay can get a tad repetitive, and you're forced to replay the whole thing several times to unlock EVERYTHING. Also, each character has 2-4 powers that could be done away with entirely to keep from complicating things.

That said, this game is a Marvel Zombie's paradise; fun and engaging, with the spirit of old-school Marvel intact.

Plot: 3/5. Standard comic stuff, but the cutscenes advance well and let's face it: you can't go wrong with Dr. Doom as a villain.

Gameplay: 4/5. Action-y with the role-playing elements basically boiling down to increasing the awesomeness of a character's powers when they level up. 1 point off for making you stand around and wait for 5 minutes for a character to come back after they "die".

Presentation: 4/5. Nice power effects (Thor calling down the lightning is especially impressive) and beautiful cutscenes.

Extras: 5/5. Between the costumes, trivia games (!), comic art, concept art, movies, and characters, there's a ton of stuff to 'squee' over.

Comic Book Goodness: 5/5. Engaging, well-told, and F-U-N. The character dialogue is in character and spot on. I'm told the XBox 360 version has Moon Knight and Colossus, while the PSP version has Hawkeye. Either way, it's a hoot.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006



Great...maybe he'll make an appearance in the next DareDevil movie too!

I love the character. I hate tv. This is not a good match.

Its on Newsarama if ya want the actual article.

If anyone wants to prove me wrong, please do. Please?

Thought so.

Oh, and hi.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Child's Play

Well, here we are again, folks. That damnable job that puts food on my table keeps getting in the way of contributing to this and other blogs. Sorry about that.

So, what have we got?

Tonight I'd like to just kind of tell you about something that's important to me. This'll be sarcasm-free, just to warn you all ahead of time. This is one of those posts I write because I want to say something, not because I want you to read something. It's personal, it's shmaltzy, but it's real. Also, there are no pictures.

I know, I know, the readers who are really pissed off are the ones who haven't gotten their weekly dose of complete spoilerage since I haven't done a proper review in, what, a month?

But tonight, it's all about the children. My God, the children.

I have two sons and a daughter.

One of the reasons I'm hugely into Marvel Adventures: The Avengers is that it's a damn fine old-school comic book. Also worth mentioning: the backup strips by Chris Giarrusso are a hoot.

But the totally superawesome thing about it is that it's a comic I can sit down and read with my sons, and they're really getting into it. It's corny, but it's awesome. A typical exchange goes something like this:

SON #1: How come the Hulk doesn't kill the bad guys?

ME: Well, the Hulk's a good guy.

SON #2: Yeah, but he smashed those people's cars and buildings!

ME: Well, I'm sure he only did it because he had to stop the U-Foes.

SON #1: But won't those people have to pay for new cars?

ME: Well, yes, but...

SON #2: Yeah! And now they won't have jobs because they don't have anywhere to go to work because the Hulk smashed their building!

ME: Yeah, but...

SON #1: Yeah! And they won't be able to take their kids to school without cars!

ME: Ummm...

SON #2: Yeah! And they can't buy dinners because they don't have jobs!

ME: Well, it's--- (sigh) listen, do you have anything else to say before I turn the page?

SON #2: The U-Foes are lame.

SON #1: Yeah.

ME: I love you guys. The U-Foes are TOTALLY lame.

For what it's worth, it ends up taking about 45 minutes to get through a single 22-page comic, but it's golden quality time. The really cool thing is that I've seen them going back over the issues when they think I'm not looking, and I've heard them discussing important ideas between them, including:

"Iron Man looks funny when he's not wearing his helmet"

"Captain America's head-wings are way cooler than Namor's foot-wings"

"If I were Storm, I'd just tell them all they're being stupid. And then zap them with a hurricane."

The point is that it's got them reading, it's got them using their imaginations, it's got them running around playing "superheroes" with each other instead of watching the latest drivel on TV or staring mindlessly at a video game.

(Side Note: I have nothing inherently against TV or video games. I'm just saying that it's nice to see them entertaining themselves without electronic assistance.)

It's funny, because I know that part of the reason I love it is because I'm sharing something I enjoy very much with people I love very much, and that's good for the ol' ego. I get to feel like I'm teaching them something, and they think it's fun. How often does that happen these days?

And yes, of course some part of me is living vicariously through them --- that's 90% of the fun part of parenting --- but another part of me is holding out hope that 10 years from now if they're faced with a difficult situation, they'll remember something like "with great power comes great responsibility" --- which is also pretty much the definition of parenting, come to think of it.

And it's really cool.

I also have a daughter --- technically a stepdaughter, but I've been her dad for 8 years now, and I've never thought of her as anything other than a daughter. She and I have had some difficulties, over and above the normal "teenage daughters will not only drive sane men up the wall, they will drive them off the cliff, into traffic, and make them do a commando roll out of the car into a pit of starving pythons" stuff.

So, yeah, we've had our issues --- not her issues, not my issues, OUR issues.

And then about a year and a half ago when she started high school, she was looking for something for a project--- I forget what--- and found my DC Encyclopedia.

Two weeks later, I had to politely ask her to return it.

What followed was two solid hours of her asking me questions about continuity, back issues, and the various incarnations of the JLA.

It was the longest conversation we'd ever had.

And it was wonderful.

It was just nice, you know? For once we weren't harping on what we perceived as each other's faults, weren't complaining about what was wrong, weren't being so goddamned serious about everything. I wasn't trying to be "All-Knowing Father Whom Commands Obedience" and she wasn't trying to be "Disaffected Youth Who Has Problems Which No One Will Ever, Ever Understand As Long As I Live".

We were just two people who enjoyed the same thing, and who finally realized that it's OK to let your guard down--- and that my God, you should just be able to talk--- about a common interest.

I'm not about to say that "Comics Was The Magic Potion That Solved My Family Issues". But they did help us to understand each other a little better. Just knowing that we could actually relate on any level whatsoever has done worlds of good in the way we approach each other now.

So now we can talk about serious issues, like high school pressures, or her schedule, or expectations, or her faith. And we still clash over certain things like any father and daughter would.

But we also like to talk about other issues--- like the one where Batman laid the whoopin' down on the Riddler, or how crappy we both thought "Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle" was, or why Hawkgirl sometimes has wrist bandages and sometimes doesn't.

And it, too, is really cool.

For the record, she enjoys Batman, Zatanna, and Hawkgirl. Also for the record, it's extremely hard to explain to 6 and 7 year old boys why they never see Superman fighting Galactus.

Don't know why I felt like writing this down tonight. Don't really have a point behind it, but one's occurred to me just now. I leave you with it.

Maybe all the cynics and naysayers and jaded spectators and commenters (like me) are wrong. Maybe, to fly in the face of conventional wisdom, it's true on some level:

Comics really are still for kids.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

DC January Solicit Revue

As promised, the DC edition of yesterday's little exercise.

Written by Andy Diggle
Art and cover by Whilce Portacio & Richard Friend
Part 2 of the 6-part "Rules of Engagement," written by Andy Diggle with art by Whilce Portacio & Richard Friend!

Batman discovers the malevolent force behind the huge robot that's menacing Gotham City - and it pits Bruce Wayne head-to-head for the first time against the Metropolis mogul Lex Luthor.On sale January 10 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

So, what exactly is the point of this series? Is it another "look at the early years of Batman" kind of thing? Because quite frankly I'm really getting tired of that whole shtick. Plus, why does this cover make Batman look like a doofus? Points for adding a new weapon to his arsenal, though: not many have the strength to heave the Bat-Anchor!

2) ROBIN #158
Written by Adam Beechen
Art by Frazer Irving
Cover by Patrick Gleason & Keith Champagne

Guest-starring Klarion the Witch Boy from SEVEN SOLDIERS! Robin and Klarion must use the skills and magic at their command to save Klarion's cat, Teekl, and all of Gotham City from a creature built entirely of black magic - the rampaging Judgment Beast!On sale January 24 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

I might buy my very first issue of Robin ever, just because it's got Frazer Irving and Klarion together again! Also, the cover is wicked kewl.

Written by Mark Schultz
Art and cover by Ariel Olivetti

It's the battle you've been waiting for in a thrilling 2-issue miniseries by Mark Schultz (Cadillacs & Dinosaurs) with computer-generated painted art by Ariel Olivetti (SPACE GHOST)!They're back! The relentless killing machines known as Aliens and the unstoppable race of hunters called Predators have returned to Earth. But saying "they're back" isn't quite accurate - Batman discovers that the two races, sealed away from the human population, have been here all along! Can he and Superman get them off our world before they threaten the planet's existence? Co-published with Dark Horse Comics.

Well, of course I'm buying this, silly! I don't know if I'd call it "the battle I've been waiting for", but it's a goofy enough premise that should have lots of killin'. My other hope is that this is merely the precursor to a line-wide series of goofy tag-team team-ups, like "Green Lantern & Green Arrow vs. Dracula & The Mummy", "Wonder Woman & Hawkman vs. Godzilla & Ghidra", and "The Flash & Zatanna vs. The Loch Ness Monster & E. Coli".

Written by Bill Willingham
Art by Shawn McManus
Cover by Brian Bolland

Bill Willingham (SHADOWPACT, FABLES) joins forces with artist Shawn McManus (THE SANDMAN) and cover artist extraordinaire Brian Bolland for a tale of Detective Chimp! The World's Greatest Simian Sleuth is called in to investigate the murders of a new band of wannabe super-heroes when the Helmet of Fate enters his life!On sale January 17 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Monkeys + Magic Helmets + Murder Mystery + Brian Bolland Cover = Automatic Purchase. That's just how things are in my life. I make no apologies.

Written by Keith Champagne
Art and cover by Patrick Gleason & Prentis Rollins

Undercover alongside teammates Von Daggle and R'amey Holl on the Dominion Homeworld, Guy Gardner grapples with the moral implications of being ordered to kill for the Corps. Plus, the squad finds itself facing off against a Dominator unlike any it's ever encountered before.

Guy Gardner grapples with the morality of killing? This is the guy who was The Warrior, yes? OK. Just making sure. Hey, where did Dave Gibbons go? Plus: every man, woman, and child on the planet should, at some point in their life, have a teammate named "Von Daggle". Builds character.

Written by Walter Simonson
Art by Renato Arlem
Cover by Howard Chaykin

Concluding the 4-part story begun in HAWKMAN #59 and crossing over with JSA CLASSIFIED #21 & 22! Hawkgirl defines her next priority on Earth: destroy Hath-Set and break the vicious circle of the Hawks' doomed existences.On sale January 24 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Looks like I'll have to wait till February to jump back on Hawkgirl. Errr...that could have been phrased better. What I mean is, looks like I won't be buying another Hawkgirl comic until February, where a new non-crossover story arc sans Chaykin begins. Yeah. That's what I meant. And I'm assuming that when they say HAWKMAN #59 they're referring to HAWKGIRL #59.

Written by Jim Starlin
Art by Shane Davis & Matt "Batt" Banning and Starlin & Al Milgrom
Cover by Davis & Banning

Captain Comet unmasks the secrets of his shadowy newfound enemies, only to discover a deeper, more baffling mystery that threatens the gargantuan floating space city that he calls home. Plus, the Weird discovers that not everyone is as he appears - including himself!On sale January 3 o 5 of 8 o 48 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Can I make a confession? I am really loving Mystery in Space. I don't ever want it to go away. I'll have more about this in my review post tomorrow. Also: looks like he's back to being "Captain". This is a good thing. Also: how good is Al Milgrom? Answer: really, really good.

Written by Darwyn Cooke
Art by Cooke & J. Bone
Cover by Cooke

Darwyn Cooke's reimagining of The Spirit continues! The Spirit is confronted by his old nemesis, P'Gell, who has designs on a wealthy member of an Arab royal family, Prince Farouk. P'Gell, quite possibly the sexiest seductress in comics history, uses her womanly wiles to achieve her ends - as the Spirit does what he can to thwart her!On sale January 17 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

This will get me pilloried in the comicsblogoweb, but I don't know if this is going to be any good or not, quite frankly. I like New Frontier an awful lot. I've read a little tiny amount of Eisner's Spirit stuff. It's...OK. I can appreciate its importance more than its quality. I'll try it, but I'm not slavering for it like some folks are, and I don't think this has "automatic home run" written all over it.

Written by David Lapham and Brian Azzarello
Art by Eric Battle, Cliff Chiang and Prentis Rollins
Cover by Bernie Wrightson

Batman challenges Gotham's spookiest dead cop in a trial of mayhem and horror! Just wait until Batman learns what tricks of terror lie up the sleeve of…The Spectre! Plus, what are the extradimensional forces that compel Dr. 13 in his pursuit of debunking the impossible?On sale January 10 o 4 of 8 o 48 pg, FC, $3.99 US

You know what's awesome about Gotham? The fact that there is apparently a large enough population of dead cops to be able to single out one as the "spookiest", even if he is The Spectre. And didn't Dr. 13 die in Seven Soldiers, after Zatanna's Demon-Aggravatin' House Party?

10) SCALPED #1
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by R.M. Guéra
Cover by Jock

Introducing SCALPED, an all-new monthly series by up-and-coming writer Jason Aaron (THE OTHER SIDE) featuring the gritty art of R.M. Guéra (Heavy Metal).Fifteen years ago, Dashiell "Dash" Bad Horse ran away from a life of abject poverty and utter hopelessness on the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation in hopes of finding something better. Now, he's come back home to find nothing much has changed on "The Rez" - short of a glimmering new casino, and a once-proud people overcome by drugs and organized crime. So is he back to set things right or just get a piece of the action?

Also at the center of the storm is Tribal Leader Lincoln Red Crow, a former "Red Power" activist turned burgeoning crime boss who figures that after 100 years of the Lakota being robbed and murdered by the white man, it's now time to return the favor.

Now Dash - armed with nothing but a set of nunchucks, a hellbent-for-leather attitude and (at least) one dark secret - must survive a world of gambling, gunfights, G-men, Dawg Soldierz, massacres, meth labs, trashy sex, fry bread, Indian pride, Thunder Beings, the rugged beauty of the Badlands…and even a brutal scalping or two.

I... that... huh. Living in Arizona, I can tell you that the reservations here are fertile ground indeed for exploring any tale of corruption, hopelessness, betrayal, and poverty. This comic appears to be Goodfellas meets Billy Jack! Or something. I swear, the title alone made me laugh out loud, and then I felt bad about it. But look at that last paragraph --- any comic that juxtaposes "trashy sex" and "fry bread" right next to each other in the solicit? Well, that's just outstanding.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Marvel January Solicit Revue

Trying something new --- each month I'll gander over the solicits for DC and Marvel, and pick out ten things of interest (or non-interest, as the case may be).

Today Marvel, tomorrow DC, Thursday reviews (I've only got two comics this week, Checkmate and X-Factor, so I'll catch up on some comics from the past couple of weeks as well).


Written by ADAM WARREN
Penciled by BRIAN DENHAM

A single, grueling night of high-speed, mechanized mayhem finds Tony Stark and a new, uniquely improved version of the Iron Man armor caught in the crossfire between the bleeding-edge technology of an insurgent mecha subculture and the massed hardware of an elite "cape-killing" paramilitary force. Besieged by ballistic missiles, supersonic jihadi LMDs, seductive viral avatars and cyberdrug-addled roboravers, Iron Man must push himself far beyond his technological and biological limits to survive the onslaught of ultra-tech war machinery...Writer Adam Warren (Livewires) delivers the fast-paced, tech-laced narrative, and artist Brian Denham renders the action in high-contrast "technoir" realism, with Guru eFX adding vibrant colors to the mix.32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

Can I be honest? I have absolutely no idea what that solicit says, and I read it six times. I'm not familiar with Adam Warren's work. The narration in the three preview pages here don't exactly make me aglow with anticipation, either, but I find myself fascinated by the lovely art --- I really like the less angular take on the armor. What the hell is a "seductive viral avatar"? Or "cyberdrug-addled roboravers"? Is Warren Ellis off his meds again?

Written by IVAN VELEZ

The original creative team unites to complete an issue eight years in the making! In early 1998, GHOST RIDER #93 ended with a shocking cliffhanger: the death of Dan Ketch, the Ghost Rider's human host! But the book was canceled prematurely, prior to the release of the series finale in GHOST RIDER #94 - which had already been written and was almost entirely penciled. Now, the final fate of Dan Ketch is revealed at last! With Blackheart deposed, the Ghost Rider is now lord of the Nether Realm. What does he intend to do with his power? And will the other Dark Lords - like Belasco, Pluto and Hela - allow him to keep it? This special edition also includes GHOST RIDER #93 and other bonus material!72 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

Interesting, as the script's been available on the internet for some time now. I wonder if they changed anything for the release (and, quite frankly, kudos to Marvel for finally doing this, even if it is in service to the impending film).

Written by JEPH LOEB
Pencils and Cover by ROB LIEFELD
50/50 Variant Cover by ED MCGUINNESS

It's Thor versus Hulk for the throw-down of the millennium! But how can this be!?! How can Hulk and Thor be face-to-face!?! What sort of inter-dimensional havoc has the return of Onslaught wreaked? And why don't Reed Richards and Sue Storm know their own son? The mysteries deepen as the action never lets up!

Good God, they weren't bluffing, were they? This is actually happening. Sweet Christmas.

Pencils and Cover by PAUL GULACY

It had to happen: The ultimate throw-down between the two stars of the smash hits "Supreme Power" and "Squadron Supreme:" Hyperion and Nighthawk. But what could draw these two heroes into the biggest of all smackdowns? Nothing less than genocide. In this ripped from the headlines story, Marc Guggenheim (Wolverine, Blade) and comic book legend Paul Gulacy (Master of Kung Fu) explore the real-world tragedy that is going on right now in Darfur, Africa. The most thought-provoking and action-packed book you'll read all year!

Because I can think of no better mediators for the real-world genocide in Darfur than Fake Superman and Fake Batman. This seems tacky beyond belief. Which is a shame, because I generally like Paul Gulacy's work.

5) This right here is why I now buy Marvel Adventures: The Avengers.

Written by DANIEL WAY
Penciled by STEVE DILLON
50/50 Variant by ARTHUR SUYDAM

It all ends-and it all begins-in this issue, featuring both the death of a beloved Marvel character and the debut appearance of a new one: the son of Wolverine!32 PGS./PARENTAL ADVISORY ...$2.99

Crappy comic alert! Crappy comic alert! Just a hunch.

7) PUNISHER #43 & #44
Written by GARTH ENNIS

Five women, linked by tragedy…and obsession. The Punisher killed their husbands -- put them down like gods -- and shattered their lives. Now they want payback…and they've hatched the perfect plan to get it. To bring the wolf to their door, all they need is bait.

"Put them down like gods"? I tihnk soemone ta Mravel is tpying too fsat.

Adapted by BEN AVERY
Pencils and Cover by JEAN VAN HAMME

I thought there were, like five or six full OGNS of this comic. They're printing 144 pages in a TPB and talking about the stunning conclusion? Help me out --- I just want to know if we're getting a raw deal here. And is it any good? I've heard good things about it, but I can't get "the basis of a video game starring David Duchovny" out of my head long enough to muster up a purchase.

Collecting IRON MAN #225-232.208 PGS./Rated A …$24.99

Probably the second-most famous Iron Man story arc after the "Demon in a Bottle" (and infinitely more action-y), Armor Wars I is sweet, sweet Mark Bright and Barry Windsor-Smith art and writing from the Michelinie/Layton team, who wrote most of the best Iron Man stories ever. Anyway, this is a cracking good story, and Iron Man in what Dave Campbell refers to as "The Christmas Armor".

10) ANNIHILATION #6 (of 6)
Penciled by ANDREA DI VITO

Nova and Annihilus face off in a fight to the finish with the fates of two, count 'em, two, universes at stake. You think that's bad? Wait until you see what happens when Galactus decides to go to war. All this and Quasar! Need we add that after this issue, Marvel's cosmic landscape will never be the same?32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99

Galactus gets pissed and takes it out on the universe? God bless you, Keith Giffen. God bless.

Monday, October 16, 2006

One Crow, Medium Rare Please!


Let it never be said that Chris Holly is so opinionated and entrenched in his moral and aesthetic values that he is not capable of re-evaluating his opinions of certain pieces of work he has disparaged in the past or certain authors whom he professes to have much disdain for.

I just read Ultimates 2 #12.

Ultimates 2 #12 is exactly 4,354,887 kinds of awesome.

I couldn't figure out where to begin, so we'll just list a few of my favorite moments from this comic.

1. The Hulk punching through Abomination's throat telling him "You think too much".

2. Quicksilver running someone into a melted pile of goo.

3. Iron Man Six blasting the living bejesus out of the baddies.

4. Hank Pym's army of Ultrons.

5. Wasp going all Giant-sized and squooshing the enemy.

6. The two-page splash of the rest of the Ultimate Universe fighting (although it didn't look much like Ultimate Spidey).

7. Scarlet Witch "increas[ing] the probability that someone shows up to kick your ass".

8. Thor representin'.

Was it a perfect comic? No. Does this mean that I liked Ultimates 2 overall? No. But this issue was the fight we've been waiting a year for, and despite a few eye-rollers (the speechifying about prisoner treatment, Cap killing Lightsaber Man --- it would have been ten times more powerful to see him NOT kill the dude, I think, especially as Ultimate Cap), it was big, loud, and total superhero fight porn.

And I'm OK with that.

In fact, Hawkeye comes dangerously close to being written in character, as he gets a few jackassic lines that seem a perfect fit even for the 616 version.

Look, maybe it's just because Millar is botching Civil War so badly and this is just a case of comparative relief (Civil War makes Ultimates 2 seem subtle and nuanced), but I'm not afraid to give praise where praise is due --- Ultimates 2 #12 was massive amounts of fun and very, very well done. I had more out-and-out fun and laughs during this comic than any in recent memory.

(How sick is that?)

Well played, Millar and Hitch. Well played.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Damn, Damn, Damn!

So, in the midst of working a 70-hour week (I'm not even kidding about that), traveling on business, and my birthday, I haven't had much--- OK, I haven't had any--- time to update the ol' blog. Apologies.

The normal hilarity and loud-mouthedness will resume on Monday.

Oh, and Civil War sucks.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Amazing Spider-Meme

OK, so I totally swiped the third panel from the Spider-Man newspaper strip from that bastion of awesomeness The Comics Curmudgeon. I just know there's a hilarious out-of-context dialogue to be written for it, but I've got nuthin'. The best I had was this:

Nevertheless: can YOU fill in the blank? Lemme know in the comments if you've got one up, or rely on me trolling the comicsblogoweb, and I'll round 'em all up here on Monday!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Those crazy bastards over about AboutHeroes.com went and asked me to join their most recent podcast, in which I hate all over Civil War #4, get nervous, try to be too funny, end up being too arrogant, and my crappy phone connection threatens to bring the whole thing down.

Also, my nasal, grating voice sounds even worse when I lay down the snark in person.

Thanks to Nick, Omar, Melanie, Dan, Ben, and company for giving me the opportunity to vent!