Funnybook Babylon

May 29, 2007

Pull List Analysis for the Week of May 31, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — David Uzumeri @ 7:55 am


7294_400×600.jpgAction Comics #850 $3.99
All of the regular Superman writers (Kurt Busiek, Geoff Johns, and on-hand fill-in expert Fabian Nicieza) get together for a vaguely defined anniversary issue that involves going to the future, and also maybe looking at Superman’s past, and Kara Zor-El, and the Legion, and Chris Kent, and I guess everything going on his life right now. Renato Guedes’s art should be beautiful as always, and everybody on this project has a very good understanding of where Superman is, who he is, and most importantly, where he’s going. If you’re interested in the Man of Steel, this is probably a must-have.

7298_400×600.jpgAmazons Attack #2 $2.99
Is ANYBODY excited about this event? Like, really? Wonder Woman isn’t doing very well and the first issue of this only moved 55k — are people actually really drawn into this story, or is that mostly just Countdown completism? And if it’s the latter, how far does DC want to keep pushing Countdown completists with more and more stuff that’s vaguely defined at the time of announcement? I mean, we still only have a vague idea of what’s a Countdown tie-in and what isn’t — hell, if the term even applies.

7306_400×600.jpgBlue Beetle Vol 6 #15 $2.99
Guest team of J. Torres & Freddie E. Williams II do a one-off about Jaime meeting Superman that supposedly fits in to the Reach plotline that’s currently running in the book. The hilarious real reason: Blue Beetle was so on time that it needed a fill-in so that the REST OF THE DC UNIVERSE could catch up. It’s almost poetic.

Countdown #48 $2.99
More of the continuing adventures of Bob and Solomon the Monitors. Also, Lightray dies on the cover. Could the New Gods be the new Justice League International?


silentwar005.jpgSilent War #5 $2.99
The penultimate issue of this disturbing miniseries, billed by many as “hard to read” and “depressing to watch”! The entire breakdown of Inhuman culture and nobody’s buying the book! Cue 5000 nerds posting on the Internet as soon as Silent War is followed up on asking, “When the hell did this happen?”

wolv54.jpgWolverine Vol 3 #54 Regular Edition $2.99
What the @$&%?

May 28, 2007

FBBP #13 – The Rage over Heroes for Hire #13

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , — Joseph Mastantuono @ 11:56 pm

On our thirteen podcast, Joe, Chris and Jamaal discuss the rage over Heroes for Hire #13’s cover. Spooky!

JOE NOTE, mk1: After the recording of this podcast we found out that the Joe Quesada denied everything. The denial is understandable, but for fuck’s sake Joe: I love you man, but that cover is tentacle porn.

JOE NOTE, mk2: I was having some technical issues, and due to Pedro’s wedding I was unable to finish editing the podcast until tonight. Long story short, I shake my fist at Apple.

So without further ado, episode 13. Enjoy.

May 23, 2007

Thoughts on Anthologies

Filed under: Articles — Pedro Tejeda @ 11:47 am

Immonen Hell Kitty

Up on Stuart Immonen’s blog are images from a story, his wife, and regular accomplice Von G are working on for Marvel Comics Present. They’re pretty good, however its troubling to hear they are bringing back MCP.

They pretty much confirmed that we’ll be seeing a MCP series for awhile, and considering that it’s always mentioned in regards to 52, it may be weekly or bi-weekly, very similar to the format the original MCP was in.

I really dig anthologies but I’m not a fan of the MCP format. The idea of a comic with 4 unrelated stories, each divided into 7 pages parts doesn’t work for me. I prefer the way Tangled Web or the Escapists have been set up, different creators telling single or multiple issue stories straight through. I love the idea of mini arcs, one shots and backups where creators can get to tell the kind of story that just doesn’t have a place in a continuity focused super hero universe to do so. Sometimes a story like that needs or can only last a few pages or a two issues.

My biggest issue with the MCP format is when creators get on a MCP book and proceed to write a great run of stories. The problem is when the other three stories are terrible shit. I picked up my issues of MCP in back bins and always either hated one character or one story. It would kill me reading it as it drag across 16 issues along side the story that I had really bought the issue for. I could only imagine how pissed I would be if I was strung along week after week and paying full price.

Even with pseudo-anthology 52, nearly every plot line was intertwined with the other. If you only liked one storyline, you could not have released it as several different story arcs. It wasn’t as easily compartmentalized as MCP was.

The problem with trying to make MCP into a Tangled Web like Anthology is that it’ll focus on multiple characters. Even if an issue is well written, people will pass over it if they don’t like the character or they are too obscure. Some fans may try it for the creative team, but they’ll miss out if someone they don’t know is on the book. It ends up being too much of a gamble for the reader to know if this issue will deliver the type of story they want when the factors change so rapidly. This usually makes sales erratic and if quality drops too quickly, you lose readers who may not come back .

Tangled Web started strong with great stories by creators like Rucka, Cooke, and Milligan but a terrible story arc by Daniel Way in issue 16 put the series off track and it never found it’s way back. This even sucked more because my favorite 2 issues in the series came out barely before the craptacular Way arc.

Marvel could lean towards a Bizarro Comics/Flight Anthology format, a collected trade of stories by different creators. This type of anthology would be the place where you could print a Hulk vs. The Rain or a Peter Bagge Spider-man story or whatever Marvel story a creator has in them that doesn’t fit anywhere else. It’ll end up being a sampler for different creators and the kind of book where there is usually enough different stuff in there no one will walk away without something to like. I always love reading books like this for that reason. I also find this type of book beneficial for Marvel, it’ll be the kind of book that would sell well in bookstore. The energy of non-superhero creators on Marvel characters would be evident in these stories.

In the end they’ll do it in the original MCP format because it’s one of the easiest ways to gauge whether a new property will be viable to release as a Mini or an Ongoing. Printing the book in sections of 7 issues will make it easier for artists to knock out chunks of it to keep the book from shipping late. It just makes stronger business sense to do it this way. I just think there are better stories to tell in other formats.

May 22, 2007

Marvel Mercilessly Mutilates Modesty: Heroes For Hire #13

Filed under: Blurbs — David Uzumeri @ 7:40 am

There’s been a lot of big to-do about this Mary Jane statue. Personally, I think it’s a pretty sad and embarrassing piece of art to have on display in your household. But Marvel just came out with their August solicitation preview, and something caught my eye that frankly makes the representation of women in the Mary Jane statue seem like Rosie the Riveter.

Get ready for this, folks. It’s after the jump.

May 21, 2007

Pull List Analysis for the Week of May 23, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — David Uzumeri @ 12:11 pm

Small offering this week. List is after the jump, as always.


Countdown #49 $2.99
Dan DiDio and editorialThe Monitors are here to clean up the Crisis’s cosmic mistakes! Mary Marvel acts like a completely unsympathetic nutjob! Mike Marts swears everything we think was a mistake was planned from the beginning and misuses the word “subtle” some more! COUNTDOWN!

Infinite Crisis!Infinite Crisis Audio CDs Part 1 $19.99
You have to be fucking kidding me.
Editor’s Note: No we are not.

Justice League Of America Vol 2 #1 4th Ptg $3.99
See above. Isn’t the trade paperback out?

7323_400×600.jpgSpirit Vol 6 #6 $2.99
Darwyn Cooke wraps up his first six issues of what is easily the best monthly book DC is publishing. The medium of comics at the top of its game.

7324_400×600.jpgSupergirl And The Legion Of Super Heroes #30 $2.99
This should be interesting. Mark Waid and Barry Kitson wrap up their once-great Legion run six issues early while Barry Kitson runs screaming from DC to Marvel to pencil a book that’s already under legal attack because there’s already an RPG named “Champions”. The future of this book is in complete limbo — Tony Bedard was brought on to finish Waid’s storylines since he couldn’t bear to continue the book without Kitson, and my understanding is that the original plan was to put Jim Shooter on the book. But Jim Shooter left. And now this book has no future. And the pre-Crisis incarnation of the Legion is showing up in JLA/JSA and Countdown as we speak. Oh, but these guys are showing up in Brave and the Bold and Action Comics #850. What the hell is going on?!? Does DC even know?

Superman Batman #35 $2.99
The first post-52 appearance of the Metal Men, other than Justice League #1. Except that apparently in this book Superman and Batman don’t know who Will Magnus or the Metal Men are. Which makes no goddamned sense. Also, thrill to the art of Alex MilnePat Lee, who somehow keeps getting hired despite telling the artists he farms his pages off to things like “DC pays less than Top Cow.”

Wetworks 9Wetworks Vol 2 #9 $2.99
Mike Carey’s last issue of Wetworks. J.M. DeMatteis & Joel Gomez come on with the next issue, but blog posts by Whilce Portacio indicate that after #13 or 14 or so the writing is definitely on the wall for this book. It hasn’t garnered strong reviews at all, so this is understandable, despite the fact that Carey tends to be loved by most reviewers. Yet another Worldstorm casualty, I guess.

Wonder Woman Vol 3 #9 $2.99
Jodi Picoult’s second-to-last issue, and Terry Dodson’s last. At this point we’ve gone straight from “lol fish out of water” antics to full-bore Amazons Attack tie-in. This book is desperately flagging and in need of help; we’ll see if, at least on a sales level, Gail Simone can provide that.


capa26.jpgCaptain America Vol 5 #26 $2.99
FINALLY. This issue was delayed a month because they wanted to leave room for Jeph Loeb’s Fallen Son project, except that that book then got so late that it went past this issue. At least they didn’t re-delay Cap 26 in response. This book is riding a crescendo of attention and praise and isn’t likely to slow down, so if you’re not on board so far preorder the Captain America Omnibus coming out in September and get on board for the most controversial and consistently excellent book in superhero comics. This is Brubaker’s starmaker.

Doctor Strange Oath TP $13.99
This was the best superhero miniseries of last year. If you missed this the first time around, grab it now — Brian K. Vaughan’s street cred should carry the measly $14 purchase. Even if you don’t give a shit about Dr. Strange, this book is practically guaranteed to make a believer out of you. I grinned like an idiot throughout every issue of this miniseries.

ff546.jpgFantastic Four Vol 3 #546 $2.99
Galactus, Devourer of Worlds versus one black dude with a bunch of gadgets. Galactus is fucked.

Heroes For Hire Vol 2 #10 $2.99
This book remains on life support until it gets what has to be its last chance with the World War Hulk tie-ins (five issues’ worth, I believe). I don’t think this is going to last much longer.

Irredeemable Ant-Man #8 $2.99
This is also selling abysmally, although it’s not such a bad book. I’m not a huge fan of Kirkman’s writing — it tends to push fanboy buttons a little too much for my taste — but he definitely has his fans, and this is an interesting and different book that I have to admit enjoying. I’d be sad to see this one go, even if it isn’t totally my thing.

xmen199.jpgX-Men Vol 2 #199 $2.99
All-out war in Cable’s island nation of Providence, as well as the wrap-up to Carey’s first year on X-Men and the lead-in to the supposedly ballbusting X-Men #200 and X-Men: Endangered Species one-shot. Marvel’s been teasing a major X-event for a while, and the buildup is mostly in this book.


May 20, 2007

FBBP #12 – The Horrors of Countdown

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , , — Funnybook Babylon @ 3:57 pm

This week features a new lineup, lots of news, and Countdown, a comic that forces the reader to ponder how much cocaine costs in the Mirror Universe. Enjoy.

May 17, 2007

The Furor over the Mary-Jane statue

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , , — Joseph Mastantuono @ 8:21 pm

Mary-Jane bends over some laundry, the statue.

Checking out the apparently widespread “fan-girl” rage and confusion depicted in blogs rounded up nicely here, I can understand where this statuette can get such a strong reaction out of people.

I believe almost anyone who looks at this statue is likely to feel a bit disgusted. But here’s a weird thing, I think that if you had a statue of mary jane in full lingerie, or any other rather sexually explicit pose, it wouldn’t have engendered that response.

Even her posing in the same pose (laundry basket and all), in an issue of spider-man (where I think the pose comes from) wouldn’t have gotten that response. The problem is that in a statue or statuette one is used to seeing the artist’s idealized or iconic pose of the character… And this statue shows that MJ’s idealized pose is the do laundry while in a position that implies she’s waiting to get railed.

I don’t think the problem that the shot is cheesecake or pin-up style or even submissive. How many chesse-cake style statues are produced that no one blinks an eye at? The problem is that the medium of the statuette inherently doesn’t have context. And this pose without context is ridiculous. Especially that every OTHER statuette you see, whether some ideal character, totally cheese-cake sexualized character, or even slightly bondage type pose isn’t laid out in such a way. Yes she’s the super-hero’s girlfriend/wife but she’s always been played as the firecracker artistic type. A character that these female viewers identify with in such a traditionally submissive pose, does have a bit of a “women belong in the kitchen and they should enjoy it” tone.

Her face and pose directly imply the “Hey, LOOK AT ME DOING SOMETHING DIRTY” but without the reverse shot that’s in the comic of Peter, which would make it ‘ok’. She’s also performing for everyone, in a pretty demeaning way, as in the statuette the can’t be the the gaze of Peter to contextualize the action, you are only left to imagine the grubby paws of your local comic book neck-beard caressing it, wishing mary-jane was his girlfriend so he could stare at her ass while she does his laundry, smiling… Not as a panel of the same thing which would be MJ just looking sexy while doing laundry or Her actively seducing parker, or any of the myriad of contexts which would make this acceptable, understandable, or even comprehensible behavior. Because it’s not the implied sexuality that’s making the fan-girls rage and the more mature fans embarrassed and disturbed, they’re used that. It’s the statue implies that the comic book fans don’t just like big tits, and sexy drawings, but they like submissive women who should count themselves lucky to be doing their super-hero husband’s laundry.

I don’t think the makers of this statue actively thought this through, I think that they just weren’t thinking. And don’t really get that statuettes don’t have the same luxury of context that comics do. And I think that’s indicative of a real problem in this industry and why this particular statue has gotten this kind of response. Some people just aren’t thinking.

May 14, 2007

Pull List Analysis for 5/16/2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — Pedro Tejeda @ 1:33 pm

This is a fill-in edition of Pull List Analysis just like most of DC’s Top Books. This week Jamaal and I will have a couple choice looks and try out a different format. The full list is after the jump.


Batman Black and White Volume 3Batman Black And White Vol 3 HC $24.99
– A quick Google search tells me that this appears to be a collection of the remaining Gotham Knights backups that were in the book before it switched to being Hush Monthly that were not reprinted in the second trade. I am in love with the first two trades . It’s what pointed me towards discovering the work of Paul Pope. Considering that Cooke has a backup yet to be printed, this is worth a look.

Batman Chronicles Vol 3 TP $14.99
– This is the worst idea I have ever seen and heard. Let’s print all batman stories in chronological order in tiny trades. This will sell like gangbusters! I also like that this has priority over all the other trade projects DC could be investing their time into.

Countdown 50Countdown #50 $2.99
-The continuity porn continues! The ripples coming from the death of Duela affect everything! Darkseid may continue his chess game! More obscure characters may die!

Hellblazer The Devil You KnowHellblazer The Devil You Know TP $19.99
-A (re-released?) collection of some early Hellblazer, done by Jamie Delano. The writing is excellent, especially if you’re familiar with Thatcher’s Britain.

JLA 9Justice League Of America Vol 2 #9 $2.99
-The search for the lost Legionnaires from a twenty year old continuity will continue. Michael Turner will submit another anatomically incorrect cover.

Plain Janes GN $9.99
– Cecil Castellucci’s well received Minx book is finally coming out. Will girls rush out to buy it? Will fanboys pass it by? I hear if this goes well, Cecil may be on her way to some superhero books. Rugg’s art is pretty decent too.


Cable Deadpool #40 $2.99
-Alien soul vampires! Socialist utopian island paradises! The premise of this issue sounds ridiculous, but this series has been criminally underrated.

Captain America Fallen Son 3Fallen Son Death Of Captain America Captain America $2.99
– Jeph Loeb’s first issue was pretty good considering his recent output, but the second issue fell flat even with some great art by Ed McGuiness. I really have a fear of what Loeb will do with an issue that revolves around a bunch of people trying to be Cap. Sigh, it even has fucking Klaus Janson inks? I hate when I buy something just because its pretty.

Runaways Vol 3 HCRunaways Vol 3 HC $24.99
– The last of the Vaughan issues in my preferred format. There really isn’t someone you can’t recommend this book to. This is also in a larger readable version than those digest books and 5 dollars cheaper than most oversized hardcovers. This is a solid enough deal for me to do go ahead and do in person.

Ultimates 13Ultimates 2 #13 $3.99
– Yes Virginia, This is getting printed. What a wonderful week. Enjoy that 8 page gatefold that was soooo needed.

Uncanny X-Men #486 $2.99
– After 12 issues of hit and misses, Brubaker’s first arc on his most lackluster title comes to an end. I been reading this and it’s been mildly okay but no where as strong as his other books. Deadly Genesis was the same way, maybe Brubaker shouldn’t be on X books.


May 13, 2007

FBBP #11 – 52 Fallout

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , , , — Funnybook Babylon @ 1:57 pm

This week’s podcast presents a late-night Modelo-and-bourbon-fueled discussion of DC Comics’s 52, breaking down our thoughts on the recently completed series as we yell at each other in the Mighty Marvel FBB Manner!. This episode is in STEREO, so tell us if you like this format better, or if you’d prefer smaller file sizes.

May 11, 2007

52 Reasons Why There are 7 Ways to Unlimited Possibilities or Why DC Needs to Figure Out What to Do with its Dick

After several months of promising myself I would buy the last volume of Grant Morrison’s maxi-series Seven Soldiers, I finally broke down during the 25% off sale at my LCS on Free Comic Book Day, since I never turn down a cheap trade (Number 366).

May 10, 2007

Secrets of the 52 Breakdowns

Filed under: Articles — David Uzumeri @ 10:44 am

I’ve been hiding this in my back pocket for a while, since I didn’t want to jinx DC putting up more of Keith Giffen’s breakdowns. One of the most hotly-debated topics in the creation of 52 was very simple: Who wrote what? The writers, and DC, have been very cagey about providing answers… but it turns out they were there all along.

So, I’ve been looking at Keith Giffen’s breakdowns on, and I noticed that different scenes have different font and numbering styles on the cues (like “13 BOOSTER:” as opposed to just “BOOSTER:” in a different font) in different scenes. So I took a look at it, and it seemed kind of obvious that the different writers use different cues.

Geoff Johns: Times New Roman, “1. CHARACTER”
Greg Rucka: Times New Roman, “1 CHARACTER”
Grant Morrison: Arial, “CHARACTER”
Mark Waid: Courier? (a typerwriteresque font), “1 CHARACTER”

This is what I came up with. The final tally:

Grant Morrison – 310 pages (29%)
Greg Rucka – 281 pages (25%)
Mark Waid – 244.5 pages (23%)
Geoff Johns – 244.5 pages (23%)

Detailed breakdown of writer roles after the jump.

May 8, 2007

Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer Trailer Impressions

I hate movie trailers.


May 7, 2007

Pull List Analysis for 5/9/2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — David Uzumeri @ 1:28 pm

Work blitz is over. Back to business as usual.

May 6, 2007

FBBP #10 – Free Podcast Day!

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , , , — Funnybook Babylon @ 10:08 pm

This week the FBB Crew discusses the potential for Frank Miller’s Ronin to be adapted into film. We also look at Free Comic Book Day and its implications for the industry. This week’s reviewed book is Gipi’s Garage Band, which you should all go buy right now.

Thanks to Huggabroomstik as always for music, and special thanks to Pedro for tech support this week!

May 2, 2007

Captain America as imagined by Mel Gibson

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , , , , , , , — Jamaal Thomas @ 11:09 am

desiccated cap

Why? Why didn’t Tony cover Cap’s torso? Why is Marvel choosing blatant Christian imagery? Why was Sharon shocked enough to confess her crime?

You know, I actually would like to see a Cap movie done by Gibson.

Courtesy of The Beat, by Heidi MacDonald, and the fine folks at Marvel.

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