Funnybook Babylon

October 27, 2007

New Gods Showdown Tale of the Tape – Qualifying Round 1

Filed under: Blurbs — Chris Eckert @ 4:29 pm

It’s been a few days and the voting period for this epic match-up is almost over, but if there are any stragglers out there who aren’t sure who to vote for, or perhaps are in Joe’s boat and unfamiliar with the rich tapestry of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World, allow me to provide a brief TALE OF THE TAPE!

A Well-Informed Populace Is Vital To The Operation Of A Democracy
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Downcounting Presents: Batman & the Downcounters: Four of a Kind: 3 of 4 (#28, “And Now, Forager!”)

Filed under: Downcounting — Chris Eckert @ 3:06 pm

Still on the fast boat to the HALFWAY POINT of this epic Countdown! Stuff is really going to heat up soon, I just know it! I mean, they’re getting around to naming characters they introduced ten issues ago, you know shit is ON!

28 AND COUNTING… “NOW, FORAGER!”

Google Image Search, where the hell is my Flippa Dippa fan art???pp. 1-4 True to their word… now, Forager! And unlike her appearance about ten weeks, ago, this time Forager’s got a name, wings and some insect titties. She’s also got an awesome superiority complex where she keeps on calling humans silly little “gnats”, foolish “bugs in an anthill”… which is fascinating, since Forager’s people are “bugs”/insectoid, and Forager I was basically a civil rights activist for the Bugs, and Forager II is meant to be following in his proud progressive footsteps. So as soon as she hits Earth, she starts being totally speciesist against humans, and using the Language of the Oppressors to do it! Also she busts up in on Jimmy and says she needs his help! But for what? Why would Forager possibly want to talk to Jimmy Olsen? I am stumped, this is quite the cliffhanger! Oh, also they got around to naming Big Words this week. Still no mention of what Gabby’s name is, or why he and Scrapper are still being drawn as little kids. Also, STILL NO FLIPPA DIPPA. This is a miscarriage of maritime justice!
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October 26, 2007

Downcounting Presents: Batman & the Downcounters: Four of a Kind: 2 of 4 (#29, “Another Country Heard From”)

Filed under: Downcounting — Chris Eckert @ 4:26 pm

29 AND COUNTING…

No time for fancy intros and outros, I have been told we are hurtling towards the HALFWAY POINT of the series, and so things will start happening at a breakneck speed! Let’s go! (more…)

October 24, 2007

Downcounting Presents: Batman & the Downcounters: Four of a Kind: 1 of 4 (#30, “Family Feud”)

Filed under: Downcounting — Chris Eckert @ 6:58 pm

NOTE: DUE TO UNFORSEEN DELAYS, THE FINALE OF ‘UPCATCHING’ WILL BE SEEN IN DOWNCOUNTING ANNUAL #1 LATER THIS YEAR. WE SINCERELY APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.

We’ve been a little backlogged, so you haven’t been seeing much Downcounting. But things have righted themselves, and over the course of the next four days there will be daily updates to Downcounting, in a special event we are calling Downcounting: Four of a Kind! This will of course lead into an ongoing series Batman & the Downcounters that will be written by Judd Winick Peter Tomasi Tony Bedard Chuck Dixon TO BE ANNOUNCED!

Now, I know I’ve been negligent in keeping this column up to date, and we’re nearing the halfway point – I’m sure a great deal has happened, and perhaps you are behind! So if you’re not sure what’s happened in the first 400 or so pages of Countdown, here’s a quick summary: (more…)

October 23, 2007

Pull List Analysis for October 24, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — David Uzumeri @ 1:11 pm

8135_400×600-1.jpgBlue Beetle #20
John Rogers & Rafael Albuquerque

Blue Beetle, my favorite DC ongoing, ties in with Sinestro Corps War, easily the most intelligently-planned writer-driven crossover of the summer (which is much like winning the best evolutionary theory award at Bob Jones University), and somehow I’m still scared shitless for this book’s longterm success. Everyone loves it, other writers love it, the industry loves it, it got a major push from an epic DC crossover – and it sells, frankly, like crap, not even in the top 100. Next to DC’s Checkmate, this is such an awful miscarriage of justice.

8120_400×600.jpgGotham Underground #1
Frank Tieri & J. Calafiore

Do you like Countdown? Do you think the current Batman books are too shitty? Is Jim Gordon not a huge enough douchebag for your liking? Well here is the book for you! If you thought War Games and War Crimes were the pinnacle of modern Bat-literature, and not that gay shit by Lapham or Morrison or Winick or Dini, then here is the down-and-dirty, Bat-book for you.

8147_400×600.jpgSuperman #669
Kurt Busiek & Rick Leonardi

This arc is setting up the “new history of the Kryptonian Empire” that, from comments from both writers, is going to drive the Super-books for the next while, with Johns making comparisons to the work he and Gibbons did with Green Lantern in 2007. And, uh, if that’s true, that’s pretty awesome, especially with the teases provided in Action Comics #850 regarding logical additions to the character’s mythology, and the stuff that occurred in #668. With DC’s “spine” going to Hell in a handbasket, it’s kind of hysterical that the ribs and ligaments are doing so goddamn well.

tscsmp_cv1.jpgTales of the Sinestro Corps: Superman-Prime
Geoff Johns & Pete Woods w/Jerry Ordway

This looks like a surprising amount of fun. Johns was, a while ago, a talented writer on the rise up, before the taint of public perception of Infinite Crisis started to reek on his character. He basically went from comics’ new golden boy to the latest whipping boy, and in the period since that disaster of a mega-event he’s regained a huge amount of good faith with his previous audience as well as skeptical new readers who couldn’t stand Infinite Crisis but loved 52. He’s done very well for himself. And with this special, he’s basically returning to the character that caused fan revolt in the first place, and cementing his bizarre but appropriate take in an almost career-defining manner. For a random crossover one-shot, returning to Super#*@-Prime is a pretty big moment in the dude’s career, and the preview on Newsarama bodes some pretty good things, at least in my opinion.

cabdpl46.jpgCable & Deadpool #46
Fabian Nicieza & Reilly Brown

I’m really worried about this book. I mean, I know it’s already cancelled, but considering the total aimlessness of this book so far… why keep publishing it? Is it killing time for #50? Messiah Complex? Both? This used to be one of Marvel’s most unexpectedly intelligent books, and the status quo provided for Cable via Mike Carey’s X-Men just seems to have killed it midstream — and yet, hardcore Deadpool fans are celebrating, I guess. I dunno. Maybe it’s just not for me, but I thought Nicieza was doing something really cool here, and I hope that whatever Messiah Complex holds it allows him to keep doing that. He’s an unfair and undeserved casualty of ’90s blowback.

mnknt13.jpgMoon Knight #13
Charlie Huston & Tomm Coker

Huston’s last solo issue, featuring the legendary Tomm Coker on art with the most hilariously disastrous premise ever: Moon Knight’s psych eval for Initiative membership. Considering the strong degree of understanding and characterization Huston has brought to this book so far, there’s no reason to think this swan song issue would be anything less than definitive — and he’s co-writing from here on out, so it’s not even like he’ll be gone.

whatifph.jpgWhat If? Planet Hulk
Greg Pak & Various

I’m not usually very big on What If?s, and I haven’t bought one since I saw a badass foil cover with Wolverine when I was, like, nine. However, I would be completely and totally down for the concept — and would buy basically every installment — if they followed the supremely logical philosophy of putting the original fucking writer on it. This issue features three tales of the Hulk — what if Hulk died instead of Caiera (with Leonard Kirk), what if Hulk made it to the original peaceful planet (with World War Hulk: Aftersmash artist Rafa Sandoval), and what if Bruce Banner landed on Sakaar instead of the Hulk (illustrated by the venerable Fred Hembeck). I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks about the possible outcomes of Planet Hulk except Greg Pak, and with Greg Pak on board, hell, I’m curious.

xm204.jpgX-Men #204
Mike Carey & Mike Choi

The calm before the Messiah Complex storm, featuring no less than sixteen pages of Endangered Species backup this week, since last week’s New X-Men was late. Carey has been pretty superb on this series, mixing X-continuity wanking with new ideas and smart character drama reminiscent of what Milligan tried to do in his run. The crossover comes last week, and this is really the final note of calmness before that… considering the intelligence and care with which this story seems to be constructed, I’m more than willing to give Brubaker, Carey, Yost, Kyle, David and co. the benefit of the doubt against the storied stigma of being an X-book crossover.

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October 22, 2007

FBBP #32 – Joe’s Back and More Confused than Ever

Filed under: Podcasts — Funnybook Babylon @ 1:11 pm

Sorry about the late ass podcast, but Joe is working in Hollywood, Jamaal is lawyering, Chris is teaching, and I’m back at school.

But this week we rundown on Liefield shooting on Moore, the Tigra controversy, Cap’s new duds, and Comics Journalism.

October 15, 2007

Pull List Analysis for October 17, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — David Uzumeri @ 11:09 am

8150_400×600.jpgAquaman: Sword of Atlantis #57
Tad Williams & Shawn McManus

The final issue of the run on Aquaman that came after Kurt Busiek’s. Williams is furiously wrapping up plot threads from his own run, Busiek’s run, Arcudi’s short run, Pfeifer’s short run, and hell, let’s throw in Marc Guggenheim’s initial two issues in comics while we’re at it. I don’t think it’s touching the disastrous Rick Veitch run, which is probably a good thing. Either way, this is tying up all the plot threads back to the sinking of San Diego, and I guess Aquafans (they exist, right?) should be sure to pick up this final issue as the new Arthur Curry swims off to the new Outsiders.

8152_400×600.jpgBirds of Prey #111
Tony Bedard & Jason Orfalas

Remember that awesome Graymiotti-penned hacker war from Countdown between Oracle and Calculator? Remember how fucking AWESOME that was? No? Well, here’s round two anyway.

8162_400×600.jpgCheckmate #19
Greg Rucka & Joe Bennett

Somehow, Greg Rucka manages to wade through the DC Universe’s Countdown-infested waters with grace, touching base with both the new Suicide Squad, Countdown and the upcoming Salvation Run without sacrificing his main story. Still one of the most consistently satisfying reads from DC.

8115_400×600.jpgDeath of the New Gods #1
Jim Starlin

I’m incredibly trepidatious about this storyline. On one hand, Starlin has some experience with the characters. On the other hand, basically nobody has gotten these characters right since Jack Kirby but Walter Simonson and Grant Morrison. I think this is likely a mercy killing… or, at least, a method to free the characters from the confines of the conflict set up by Kirby. I dunno what to think. I’m really curious, but… it could really, really, REALLY suck.

capa0.jpgCaptain America #31
Ed Brubaker & Steve Epting

Part one of “The Burden of Dreams,” counting down to the recently-announced new costume premiering in January’s #34. There’s no reason to think this storyline won’t continue being excellent and definitive.

mightyaveng.jpgMighty Avengers #5
Brian Michael Bendis & Frank Cho

No way. I think my eyes are lying to me. This is a great book, but it’s been hugely hurt by a multitude of delays straight out of the gate. Cho’s art has been impressive enough, but it sure as hell doesn’t justify the disgusting delays. Bagley can’t get here fast enough.

penance2.jpgPenance: Relentless #2
Paul Jenkins & Paul Gulacy

I liked the first issue of this way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way more than I thought I would. This isn’t aimless Paul Jenkins — he knows where he’s going with this story and what he wants to accomplish, and Penance is already progressing past the unbearably emo bullshit in Front Line. He’s still sick, but he’s improving, and it’s clear Jenkins has a larger arc he wants to get into here. I’m interested.

Full list after the jump.

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October 9, 2007

Funnybook Babylon on hiatus this week

Filed under: Blurbs — Pedro Tejeda @ 4:36 pm

There will be no new content this week since a combination of work, a trade giveaway, graduate school, a plague upon the New York Yankees and the inability of the Mets to do anything right, the increase of the Canadian dollar vs. the American Dollar, and the revival of New Jack Swing has taken away every single content writer off the website for the last 2 weeks.

Everyone is a bit tired. We’ll be back here next week with more content, two podcasts, and alot of downcounting. See you in six!

October 5, 2007

FBBP #31 – On Earth-50 Pedro <3 My Chemical Romance

Filed under: Podcasts — Funnybook Babylon @ 4:54 pm

In our earth, he just likes their comics.

THIS WEEK ONLY:
Jamaal Breaks down the Zuda Contracts.
We talk theoretical sales figures, and theoretical insights that can be brought out of it.
And a bit of Unicorn hunting: Should DC drop the Wildstorm imprint and just stick the DC imprint on it?
And a special, DC Editor Rumor Round-up!

October 3, 2007

Downcounting Presents: Upcatching: A FBB Event in Three Parts (Book II: #31: “New Frontiers”)

Filed under: Downcounting — Chris Eckert @ 9:58 am

Welcome to Book II of Upcatching. We only have three books worth of this so I can’t waste too much time — it’s not like this is a 51 part weekly series or anything! This installment of Downcounting covers Countdown #31, a doubly-inaccurate title as nobody visits Earth-21 (the New Frontier Universe, until someone decides to contradict this like they have several other Earth-* designations), and everything characters do visit is just repetition of plot points we’ve already seen, in stories that are rehashes and nostalgia festivals for the most part anyway. COWBOY UP!
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October 2, 2007

Pull List Analysis for October 3, 2007: Special “Fuck You Steve Gerber” Edition

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — David Uzumeri @ 11:09 am

7975_400×600.jpgAction Comics #856
Geoff Johns, Richard Donner & Eric Powell

I don’t know what I’m enjoying more about this arc (the first issue and the preview of this one up on Newsarama): Johns and Donner’s tortured take on Bizarro or Eric Powell’s brilliantly appropriate art. I know it may sound like heresy, but I found Morrison’s take on this concept in All Star Superman far too plodding due to the incredibly convoluted Bizarro-speak; while funny, it seemed to drag the book down and, much of the time, obscure meaning. The Bizarro-talk in this book may be nowhere near as clever, but it’s also far more clear, and Powell’s artwork introduces a number of fun visual gags. This strong run continues despite being beset by delays.

8110_400×600.jpgCountdown Presents The Search for Ray Palmer: Crime Society
Sean McKeever & Jamal Igle

A friend of mine misread this as “The Search for the Ray Palmer Crime Society,” which sounds a lot more entertaining than the origin of the Jokester, the Earth-3 Joker, who is a bad comedian inspired by Owlman jumping through a window! Ha ha ha! Also, Jamal Igle’s art utterly butchered by bad inking.

8241_400×600.jpgVinyl Underground #1
Si Spencer & Simon Gane

The story of a group of high-flying, champagne-swilling indie detectives who solve mysteries about demons and the occult and shit. The solicitation compares it to The Invisibles, as if the rest of the solicitation text didn’t say that itself by basically rehashing the premise, and the main character is named Morrison. Come on.

1617new_storyimage1241952_full.jpghowardzombie.jpgHoward the Duck #1
Ty Templeton & Juan Bobillo

Part one of FUCK YOU STEVE GERBER WEEK! In this book, Ty Templeton makes a bunch of jokes about the Marvel Universe involving Howard and it’s all drawn by She-Hulk‘s Juan Bobillo. It looks to be a fun, lighthearted romp that will no doubt piss off Steve Gerber because it’s his character and also because for some goddamned inexplicable reason they have fit this cover into ZOMBIE MONTH with a ZOMBIE VARIANT. It’s pictured above. What the fuck, Marvel? Oh wait…

1617new_storyimage1241972_full.jpgmsmarvelzombie.jpg
Ms. Marvel #20
Brian Reed & Greg Tocchini

What’s this? Anothe—

from next week’s shipping list
JUL078209 AMAZING SPIDER-GIRL ZOMBIE VAR #13 (PP #783) $2.99
JUL078210 PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL ZOMBIE VAR #12 (PP #783) $3.99
JUL078098 RUNAWAYS ZOMBIE VAR #28 (PP #781) $2.99
JUL078211 WOLVERINE ZOMBIE VAR #58 (PP #783) $2.99


This has officially gone too goddamned far. Why does this shit continue to sell? Now these aren’t even Suydam covers anymore, they’re just… the regular book. With ZOMBIES. And they aren’t incentive covers either. I don’t really know what to think about this trend but it’s approaching Loebesque scales of awfulness and scope. Anyway, back to Fuck You Steve Gerber Week!

1617new_storyimage1241933_full.jpgOmega the Unknown #1
Jonathan Lethem, Karl Rusnak & Farel Dalrymple

Jonathan Lethem, award-winning author of Fortress of Solitude joins the chorus to say Fuck You Steve Gerber! Lethem, noted for his avarice and amorality, is cruelly making a quick buck off of Gerber’s cult creation Omega the Unknown to soullessly rip off its legions of fans. Or he’s a guy who wanted to make a book about his favorite comic as a kid, who knows. Discussions about creator rights and authorial intention aside (and poking fun at a guy who’s really a great writer and admirable, if stubborn, fighter for creators’ rights and I wish him the best fighting his illness), this is an incredibly quirky project by a guy with significant mainstream cachet published in a characteristically forward-thinking move by Marvel. It’s his first try writing comics, but really, the guy’s pedigree speaks for itself. If there was a yearbook for Marvel publishing, this would win “Most Likely To Sell Forever In TPB.”

And FROM THE FUTURE, since it was originally solicited for this week…
fool001.jpgFoolkiller #1
Gregg Hurwitz & Lan Medina

Hey, Steve Gerber! Yeah, you! You know how you get annoyed when other writers do stuff with your characters? Yeah, well, FUCK YOU! Love, Marvel (enemyz 4 life)

Quick Thoughts:
Green Lantern Corps #16, Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Cyborg Superman: I hate to say it, but this story continues to reduce my intellect down to that of a drooling fanboy. I don’t know how good it actually is, but it presses all of my Alan Moore GL and ’90s Jurgens Superman and ’90s GL buttons simultaneously in a way that speaks to me way too well.

Infinity Inc. #2: Love Milligan, hope this psychological superhero book continues to be original and smart.

Countdown #30: I hope Donna, Kyle and Jason aren’t too affected by the emotional experiences they will have meeting themselves on Earth-15! This rollercoaster masterpiece continues to improve as it barrels towards its exciting conclusion. Wait, no, that was 52. Why do people buy this shit?

Wolverine Annual #1: The cover says “one-shot.” But it’s a first annual. But the solicited title is Wolverine Annual: Deathsong #1. So is it just a one-shot? If so, then why are you calling it a fucking annual? GAH

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