Funnybook Babylon

January 16, 2008

Pull List Reviews for January 16, 2008

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — David Uzumeri @ 11:48 am

Hey, look, it’s my thoughts on this morning’s books! More, of course, after the fold.

Booster Gold #6: Basically everyone has been looking forward to this specific issue, and I assure you, it doesn’t disappoint. The series’s high quality standard continues, it’s rather funny – it’s hard to review this book, because I just enjoyed it so much. My only complaint would be that it was rather heavy on the recap, but considering the circumstances I understood, and it’s not like the issue leaves you hanging too much.

Robin #170: It’s… Chuck Dixon’s Robin. Issue 170. It’s not much different in tone from issues 0-100. Dixon is a slow-burn plotter, and he puts a lot on the stove here. Batista’s art is great. A good start, but we’ll have to see how the book continues.

December 28, 2007

Pull List Reviews for December 28, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis,Reviews — David Uzumeri @ 3:43 pm

This was an absolutely huge week for me, so there’s a lot here.

Batman #672: If you were waiting for the part of the run where everything would go fucking insane and you’d think “Well, Jesus, NOW this is a Grant Morrison book”: It’s here. I’ve been enjoying this book a lot so far, but the main plot kicks into overdrive here and we’re headed for Batman stories the likes of which we haven’t read in decades. Anyone who had Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told as a kid and read it over and over like me will REALLY enjoy this issue.

Crime Bible: The Five Lessons of Blood #3: The threads tying these stories together become a lot clearer, as does Montoya’s current mental state, and what Flay is up to. This is a really interesting book that a lot of people aren’t digging because it is admittedly very slow and detail-oriented — but the rewards are there if you look for them.

Death of the New Gods #4: It’s about on par with the series so far — if you’ve enjoyed it so far, you’ll like this. Unless you’re a *hardcore* Kirby fanboy to the point of rejecting anything different done with the New Gods. Because there are some odd revelations in this issue. Still, it’s fun, and casts some interesting questions about Final Crisis, but at the end of the day, it’s FC-speculator Kirby continuity porn.

Green Lantern/Sinestro Corps Secret Files: The nerd’s reference guide. Huge and definitive. I haven’t read all of it yet — it’ll take quite a while — but it’s a slick package.

Legion of Super-Heroes #37: Manapul’s art works really well with this book, and Shooter’s script is strong and funny, combining old-school and new-Waid-era Legion sensibilities. He’s got a reverence to what comes before, and his writing style isn’t Claremont-dated — the dialogue is crisp, the characterization strong. It’s your dad’s Legion book, and it’s not. It’s a strong first issue. I can’t pass too much judgment yet, but I’m intrigued.

Amazing Spider-Man #545: If you think this is the end, you have absolutely no reading comprehension skills. It was easily the best issue of the arc so far, with people acting remotely reasonable for once. There are a lot of dangling plot threads, and it’s not pissing on thirty years of continuity. This isn’t the end of the story. You may not still like it, but give it a chance.

Iron Man #24: Events start fitting together. Guice’s art with White’s coloring looks fantastic, I’ll be sad to see him leave this book. It’s a mid-arc chapter, so I can’t say too much specifically, but if you’ve been enjoying this smart techno-espionage-thriller this chapter won’t disappoint.

Punisher #53: The previous few issues, amped to 11. This arc is insane.

Daredevil #103: This issue ostensibly features guest art by Paul Azaceta (Potter’s Field), but I sure couldn’t tell. It’s another strong issue of Brubaker’s run, but I really don’t know where he’s going with all this — it’s starting to feel like just another tribulation in Matt’s life. Still, Bru has the tendency to impress and surprise me. Another for the “we’ll see” pile, but fans of the book so far will want this (obviously).

Captain Marvel #2: This miniseries is shaping up to be way more interesting than its predecessor, Civil War: The Return. It seems like they aren’t planning on Mar-Vell’s return being permanent, which is interesting, and it’s doing a lot to lead towards Secret Invasion (at least, so it seems). It’s an interesting take on the character, and honestly I’d like to see more after this mini, but I just don’t see it happening. Maybe I’m wrong.

Teen Titans #54: McKeever ends his first arc on an alright note, although I’m unsure how i feel about the implications of the final scene. Still, it’s not really his book — this arc was editorially mandated — until #55, which will allow for a fuller examination of what he’s planning on doing with the title.

Ultimate Spider-Man #117: Maybe the best issue of the series so far. I don’t want to say any more, but this issue is essential.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #49: I have to admit this arc didn’t do much for me, and I didn’t think Brooks’s art fit the characters very well. That said, I’ve been enjoying Carey’s run as a whole, and next issue returns to his far more interesting Cosmic Cube main-plot. Unfortunately, I also understand it’s the last or second-to-last arc before Jeph Loeb ruins the Ultimate Universe.

Blue Beetle #22: Excellent as always, although I’m scared the book is crawling along to its end. Its sales certainly haven’t been hopeful. With any luck, editorial approval will keep it alive a la Manhunter, since it really is one of DC’s best books.

Avengers: The Initiative #8: Holy shit, what a difference a Gage makes! The dialogue is way sharper in this issue, with a lot of Slott’s more obnoxious tendencies toned down with a lot of his sense of humor that was enjoyable in She-Hulk v1 shining through. I think it brings something to the book that it was lacking before, a kind of grounding, and I’m on for the foreseeable future because this book seems to be finding its form. It’s not Marvel’s best book by a longshot, but it’s got a huge cast of interesting characters that it’s doing cool stuff with. If you’ve been turned off by Slott’s tongue-in-cheekery, give this issue a try.

52 Aftermath: The Four Horsemen #5: I want Giffen to take over Superman/Batman, because his version of the relationship between the two is hilarious and believable. That said, the miniseries barrels towards its final confrontation, and it continues to be a lot of fun and supporting the thesis that 52 spinoff books are the best things at DC.

Action Comics #860: The arc continues, basically. I’m not sure where it’s leading, but it’s quite a bit of fun.

Flash #235: If you love the kids, this is a great issue. If you hate the kids, it’s godawful. Totally depends on that. I love the kids, so I thought it was great, and it’s a shame Waid’s leaving although Tom Peyer is pretty hopeful as a replacement. The backup, as always, is funny and rather nicely dovetails back in with the main plot.

Green Lantern #26: Taking stock after the Sinestro Corps War, basically. This is a much slower arc about the changes going on in the Corps, and it’ll answer a lot of questions people had about what the organization is going to do with these new regulations. Sinestro especially gets some really interesting face time. The book may have slowed down, but it’s not losing its appeal or momentum.

Captain America #33: What’s great about Brubaker is that he takes stories exactly where you think they’d go, but he manages to make it incredibly entertaining anyways. His characters are consistent to the point of being predictable, and lord knows Marvel’s marketing department doesn’t help, but it never does anything to the impact or quality of his stories.

Thor #5: What the fuck, JMS? This is just bizarre, I dunno what else to say about this issue. This is a new direction but… kind of not. I dunno.

Brave and the Bold #9: B- and C-listers galore, as this issue features three different team-ups, all linked by the plot thread of the Challengers and Megistus. It’s big-action cosmic time-space-bending superhero comics at their best, much like the series so far; it revels in being old school.

X-Men #206: Man, why the fuck are the Carey chapters the only important ones of this crossover? This is a great issue, but it just seems lame that in between them I have to slog through three issues of chess pieces moving before they actually fight in the Carey issue. Maybe I’ll be wrong next month; I hope so.

December 5, 2007

Pull List Reviews for December 5, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis,Reviews — David Uzumeri @ 11:34 am

1969new_storyimage6697920_full.jpgUncanny X-Men #493: Brubaker still isn’t the best writer for this title, but the overall coolness of Messiah CompleX is beginning to eclipse that. This issue follows up satisfactorily on last week’s cliffhanger(s) and sets up the next issue rather well, but something still seems intangibly off about Brubaker’s handling of the characters. Still, it’s an awesome mystery set up so far that only continues to unravel in interesting ways, so B for the issue but a solid A for the event so far.

8505_400×600.jpgRobin #169: Okay, this event has officially lost me. This story is requiring me to accept that Tim Drake is a complete fucking idiot, and I’m just finding it way too difficult to believe. This is still the best Bat-event since Officer Down, but that’s pretty damn sad company, and I really hope this issue stands out as a fluke much like Milligan’s last issue of this did. Perhaps a different writer could have sold me on this turn of events, I don’t know, but Milligan completely failed and it sinks not just the issue but almost the whole story. A sad C-. Competently enough told, I guess, but I just can’t accept the plot.

8340_400×600.jpgJustice League of America #15: It’s a big dumb fight issue. McDuffie knows it’s a big dumb fight issue, he knows there’s no way characters this intelligent would participate in this — it’s part of the story. So it’s a smart, self-aware big dumb fight issue, but it is what it is, and that’s frankly a disappointing start to McDuffie’s run on DC’s flagship book. I’ve been given to understand McDuffie originally pitched a Black Canary story for his first arc, but it got vetoed because she’d be preoccupied with the wedding, which I guess is fair enough, but it still doesn’t feel like a story McDuffie was dying to tell. Ed Benes’s pin-up ass-shot-filled crap on every page certainly doesn’t help – superhero comics simply can’t look more generic than this. I certainly haven’t given up on this run yet, but after a stellar first issue this is really weak. C+

8448_400×600.jpgJustice Society of America #11: This arc has been top-class Johns-style superhero work each month, and the trend continues. This arc has gone a long way in my eyes towards selling me not only on the concept of Kingdom Come Superman on New Earth, but also that the new multiverse can lead to really great stories that illuminate the regular cast as long as it’s used correctly (which, well, it mostly isn’t). It’s not the best issue of this book so far, but it keeps up the book’s quality and that’s enough. B+

8521_400×600.jpgSupergirl #24: Okay, now I get it. Last issue really was just that simple – while this one is way more complex, using a very dialogue-light script to tell what’s actually a pretty damn emotional story that finally starts treating the relationship between Kara and Kal, well, like it should be treated — both in the present and in the past. Guest co-artist Lee Ferguson’s renditions of Krypton work well in contrast to Drew Johnson’s present-day, with a number of very amusing moments. This is fixing Supergirl. Thank God. A-

wwhasmash.jpgWorld War Hulk: Aftersmash: Hey, kids! More comics to buy! Also, the war took a little while to end but now it’s over and shit. I was hoping due to Pak’s involvement it’d be something different, but this is really the same catchall cleanup crap we saw in 2005’s Decimation one-shot and the Bendis/Silvestri Civil War: The Initiative. Recommended for completists, I guess, and it’s certainly a lot of pages, but I don’t really know if it’s all that much story. C+

November 12, 2007

Pull List Analysis for November 14, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — Tags: — David Uzumeri @ 1:52 pm

This is a huge week. I’ve been sick these past two weeks but I’m back in action now. Let’s roll.

8113_400×600.jpgBatman and the Outsiders #1
Chuck Dixon & Julian Lopez

This book has had, at different times, Judd Winick, Peter J. Tomasi, Tony Bedard and now Chuck Dixon attached on writing duties. So it’s gone through a little bit of a development hell. This seems to be the set direction, though, and it’s likely to read very much like Chuck Dixon’s previous Batman books, just with new characters. Although it should be fun to watch him (try to?) write lesbians in a loving relationship. He didn’t fuck it up too bad with Midnighter and Apollo.

8196_400×600.jpgJLA: Ultramarine Corps TPB
Grant Morrison & Various

FINALLY, the amazing first three issues of JLA Classified reprinted in trade form. This really should have been included with Seven Soldiers, as it’s a prelude to that story, but hey. It’s also got a pretty lame-sounding JLA/Wildcats crossover that I’ve never read, but hey, it’s Morrison, so it can’t be that bad.

5977_400×600.jpgLeague of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier
Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill

This needs no introduction. Hope you live in the US.

8329_400×600.jpgSalvation Run #1
Bill Willingham & Sean Chen

Been wondering where the Suicide Squad were carting all those DCU villains off to? Wonder no more! In this 7-issue mini, reportedly based on a George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire) pitch, Lex Luthor, the Joker, the Rogues and every other villain anybody gives a shit about are stuck on famed Legion prison planet Takron Galtos. Basically, it’s the original Secret Wars minus the heroes, with a bit of Planet Hulk.

captmrvl.jpgCaptain Marvel #1
Brian Reed & Lee Weeks

In this Secret Invasion lead-in, we finally get some follow-up on January’s controversial Civil War: The Return oneshot that brought us the return of the original Captain Mar-Vell through Wolfman-inspired time fuckery. This has a very strong creative team attached, and a cool man-out-of-time premise, and its status as a miniseries holds out hope that this won’t fuck with the legacy of Mar-Vell’s seminal death story too much. Marvel is going for an interesting artistic approach here by using their usual “gritty” art stylists (Lee Weeks and ever-street-level inker Stefano Gaudiano) on a high-level cosmic book with bright Jason Keith colors. Looks very cool.

thor4copiel.jpgThor #4
J. Michael Straczynski & Olivier Coipel

This issue: Thor stops the conflict in Darfur. What the hell is next? Curing cancer in #5 and using his hammer to reverse global warming in #6? Where is JMS going with this?

wwh5finch.jpgWorld War Hulk #5
Greg Pak & John Romita Jr.

The Hulk vs. Sentry slugfest we all knew was coming. Pak has done an excellent job with keeping this crossover walking the line between being too heady and too punchy, so I expect this to continue in the concluding chapter. Marvel is likely to clean up on this saleswise.

517684927_0f1b1b08ab.jpgScott Pilgrim Vol. 4
Bryan Lee O’Malley

This should need little introduction — you either like O’Malley’s videogame-culture-inspired indie geek romance or you don’t. For those in the former category, the rather lengthy wait for this fourth (and, according to O’Malley, longest) volume is over come this Wednesday.


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.


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.


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…

Ms. Marvel #20
Brian Reed & Greg Tocchini

What’s this? Anothe—

from next week’s shipping list
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


September 25, 2007

Pull List Analysis for September 26, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — Chris Eckert @ 2:36 pm

Not a lot new going on this week; books that you may or may not like continue to come out, and are in the middle of various arcs. I couldn’t think of anything to say about any Marvel books, so Pedro’s gonna pinch-hit on that beat.

Batman 669 coverBlue Beetle 19 coverBatman #669
Grant Morrison & JH Williams III
Blue Beetle #19
John Rogers, Keith Giffen & Rafael Albuquerque

Hey, here are two really enjoyable DC books. Neither are really at a good jumping-on point, but collections are available for both, and Blue Beetle in particular could use the support. I’m just saying, if there’s money burning a hole in your pocket, these books don’t tie into Countdown. I hope.
Superman Confidential #6 (not #7, #6) coverSuperman Confidential #6 $2.99
Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray & Koi Turnbull

Looking for the conclusion of Darwyn Cooke and Tim Sale’s “Kryptonite” story? Sorry, it’s been Heinberged! Apparently we’ll see the final chapter of “Kryptonite” at a later date (possibly in an annual?) while the actual contents of issue six will be what was previously solicited for issue seven, some Graymiotti story about Superman banging a mermaid or something.

September 18, 2007

Pull List Analysis for September 19, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — Chris Eckert @ 12:48 am

Catwoman 70Catwoman Vol 3 #71
Will Pfeifer & David Lopez

CHRIS: Will Pfeifer and a variety of talented artists have been putting out a solid book in Catwoman, and as near as I can tell no one has really noticed. After a year or so of stories involving improbably-cool-revamped-D-list-villains trying to get revenge on Catwoman by going after her infant child, this issue promises to address this, thankfully before such a plot device got tiresome. It’s a shame that more people know him as the guy that did triage on Amazons Attack than a fitting replacement for Ed Brubaker on this book. Lopez’s art on this title is a lot more polished and less rubbery on this book than it was in his Countdown issue, although I am starting to worry there is some sort of aura around that book that just makes me find flaws with things that aren’t terrible. Then I read another issue of Countdown.

7983_400×600.jpgCheckmate Vol 2 #18
Greg Rucka & Joe Bennett

DAVID: Greg Rucka’s final solo arc on the title (before the advent of new series co-writer Eric S. Trautmann, from last month’s one-off “Firewall”), “Fall of the Wall,” begins as the Suicide Squad are “introduced” for the third fucking time this month, months after they were unofficially introduced in Countdown and All Flash, and then Mike Carlin denied they were the Suicide Squad.
But anyways.
This book continues to fulfill its mandate as the Queen & Country of the DC Universe while still maintaining its own flavor and the kind of strong character work Rucka is known for, scans_daily coal-rakings be damned. This book has had a bad track record of intrusive fill-ins, but this seems to be largely curbed with this arc and the arrival of Trautmann, so it’s a tentative strong point of DC’s upcoming week.

Green Arrow & Black Canary Wedding SpecialGreen Arrow Black Canary Wedding Special
Judd Winick & Amanda Conner

CHRIS: This is it! Green Arrow dies! I mean, uh, gets married! Or apparently just kidnapped. BY DARKSEID! Or something. I don’t know, at least the art by Amanda Conner should be good, though the previews I’ve seen aren’t as enjoyable as most of her other recent work. Maybe it’s some sort of looming joykiller casting a pall over anything related to Countdown.
DAVID: Winick’s Green Arrow run really found new life after One Year Later, and although it kind of dropped off after that I think there’s still enough juice left in Winick’s take on Ollie to justify another few issues. Then again, there’s the blatantly telegraphed threat of death, offset by the implication of kidnapping via this week’s solicits. So although this is a wedding issue, I really have absolutely no fucking idea what to expect from its contents at this point — or, well, an idea, but certainly nothing predictable and concrete. And I’m sure it’ll suffer from people who bought last week’s Justice League Wedding Special and got frustrated, because of the numerous people who thought that was the wedding special — and the people who didn’t buy it because they thought it had nothing to do with Justice League. Ah well. A total wildcard.

Hitman JLA #1JLA Hitman #1
Garth Ennis & John McCrea

CHRIS: Hey, it’s a two issue mini-series reuniting the Hitman creative team! Awesome! Maybe now DC will get the rest of the original series in print! I am pretty sure this doesn’t tie into Countdown but at this point I’m not certain I can make any promises about that.

Captain America 30Captain America Vol 5 #30
Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting & Mike Perkins

CHRIS: Thanks to Marvel’s First Look program, I got a chance to read this over the weekend. If this issue was recapped by R. Kelly, there are four moments, bare minimum, that would warrant R. to materialize and go “ohh shit”. If you haven’t been reading this run on Captain America, this is your lucky week as you can pick up the Captain America Omnibus featuring this team’s first twenty five issues this week, too. It’s consistently been one of the most entertaining superhero/action comics of the past few years, and is chock full of dramatic moments that are actually earned by the story, not just by in-built nostalgia.
DAVID: This series has been exemplary from the get-go, and really, Chris’s vetting alone is enough to justify this in my eyes.

Marvel Comics Presents v2 #1Marvel Comics Presents Vol 2 #1
Marc Guggenheim & Dave Wilkins, Richard Koslowski & Andrea Di Vito, Stuart & Katherine Immonen, Stuart Moore & Clayton Henry, Nelson

CHRIS: Marvel returns to the anthology stakes this week. The two stories here that stick out for me are the Immonens’ Hellcat serial, which has been previewed here and there and looks like a lot of fun. Also of note, perhaps more as a curiosity than a surefire crowd pleaser is Rich Koslowski’s maiden voyage into big-time superhero publishing, a twelve-part story following up on the new Guardian character from Omega Flight and New Avengers. An odd choice for someone better known for doing comedic material like 3 Geekls/Geeksville, but it could prove interesting. In the main slot is another Marc Guggenheim Wolverine story for fans of that sort of thing, and there are some one-off Spider-Man and Thing stories from Moore/Henry and Nelson that look kind of cute. It’s not a bad lineup, but for anthologies are always a tough sell, especially in an era where more and more people (including myself) are shifting towards purchasing trades.

wwhulk004.jpgWorld War Hulk #4
Greg Pak & John Romita Jr.

DAVID: This incredibly strong mainstream event – and breakout work for writer Greg Pak – reaches its penultimate installment in an issue that, from all appearances, at least seems to have massive repurcussions on Doctor Strange, not to mention the titular Hulk himself. Speaking of whom, recent news indicates that he’s going to get two stories come the beginning of 2008, published in vague formats — one the third part of Greg Pak’s “Hulk trilogy”, a 12-part epic with Carlo Pagulayan; the other, likely a visceral smashfest by Jeph Loeb & Ed McGuinness. The character’s future aside, given Marvel’s lack of complete overstatement recently, I’d say their promises of a major event in this issue are pretty likely to be delivered on.

Apocalypse Nerd #5Apocalypse Nerd #5
Peter Bagge

CHRIS: This is Peter “Hate” Bagge’s latest series, which is coming out really sporadically from Dark Horse. Two normal schlubs head out to the woods for a relaxing long weekend, and then there’s a huge nuclear war. The two attempt to survive, in the least heroic ways possible. I am behind on this series, and have only picked up the first two issues (which came out like two years ago!) but they were fun, and I have faith in Bagge for just about anything.

Streets of Glory #1Garth Ennis’s Streets Of Glory #1
Garth Ennis & Mike Wolfer

CHRIS: Everything Garth Ennis writes seems to neccesarily be full of ultraviolence. I’m okay with that. Sometimes the ultraviolence is straight, sometimes it’s mixed with grossout potty humor, and sometimes it’s mixed with sort of “male bonding” sort of sentiment. I have a lot of time for the latter, not so much for the former. The preview for this sort of suggests it might veer towards sentiment rather than having a dude whose face looks like a tit or something, so I’m cautiously optimistic. I say that a lot on here, don’t I?

September 10, 2007

Pull List Analysis for September 12, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — David Uzumeri @ 9:50 pm

CHRIS: Not a lot to talk about this week. A couple of new creative teams, a couple new series, but for the most part books are just chugging along — and speaking of chugging along, you may have noticed that there has been some slightly spotty output here at FBB. Part of the blame for that falls on both David and I moving at the beginning of the month. We’re both settled in now, so for the foreseeable future there AIN’T GONNA BE NO STOPPIN’ US! We puttin’ the pull list analysis down!

7938_400×600.jpgBooster Gold #2
Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz & Dan Jurgens

DAVID: The last issue of this was a huge hit with fans and, well, pretty much everybody, a textbook example of how to do a big-scope DC book while keeping style, heart and flava – as well as how to write a fun continuity romp without it turning into an exercise in masturbation. This issue looks to continue the trend. Good on you, DC – for once.

7945_400×600.jpgJLA Wedding Special
Dwayne McDuffie & Mike McKone

DAVID: The preview of this is up on Newsarama, and it looks fantastic — however, I don’t think it’s going to receive the popularity or sales it deserves, because DC for some inconceivable reason married it to the Green Arrow/Black Canary wedding, ensuring tanked sales because a lot of people who like JLA don’t give a fuck about no wedding. And since this is really just the first issue of McDuffie’s run, a whole bunch of people will miss it because of wedding apathy. Awesome, DC!
CHRIS: I am going to savor every non-Benes drawn page of McDuffie JLA, even if it ties into the White Man’s Answer to Storm/Black Panther.

Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #1
John Ostrander & Javier Pina

CHRIS: After pretending they weren’t back for months, DC revealed that those guys running around together, who all used to be members of the Suicide Squad, taking missions the Suicide Squad would take, and working for the former head of the Suicide Squad are in fact… THE SUICIDE SQUAD! This went down in Outsiders #50, which was more pleasant than it had any right to be, stuck in the mire of Countdown. And now, a week later, comes an eight issue series from the fellow who wrote the original Suicide Squad series, John Ostrander. That gives me hope this will rise above the muck of the books it’s associated with, as Ostrander can spin a ripping yarn. But then I remember that Ostrander’s most recent work has been “Grotesk” in Batman and a couple of really mercenary World War III one-shots. Still, I’m cautiously optimistic — prove Sick Boy wrong, Jon! Show him you’ve still got it!
FAKE UPDATE: I just re-read the preview where it talks about how “a new Suicide Squad is created to play a key role in the DCU’s ever-evolving future!” and noticed the tag-line for the posters for the series say that “SOME VILLAINS TAKE DIFFERENT PATHS ON THE ROAD TO SALVATION” — I just hope that this set-up for Countdown/Salvation Run doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the story.

dd100.jpgDaredevil #100
Ed Brubaker & Michael Lark w/Everyone

DAVID: Brubaker’s fourth arc, “Without Fear,” kicks off in high gear spinning straight out of the shocking events at the end of #99, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon. Recent Wikipedia search-criteria champion Mr. Fear is gonna fuck Matt Murdock up, and his emotions, and his wife, and he’s bringing like every good Daredevil artist with him to make you nostalgic while he does it. Likely to be a fantastic read.

thor003variant.jpgThor #3
J. Michael Straczynski & Olivier Coipel

DAVID: In this issue, the God of Thunder fights poverty, government inaction, apathy and the spectre of Hurricane Katrina. Also, some douchebag in a metal suit. I’ve always thought that addressing real-world issues in a fictional universe where a stretchy grey-haired dude can threaten to kill himself and a purple planet-eater at the same time was kind of stretching things, but hey, JMS doesn’t agree. Basically, this looks to be more of the same hamfisted political “commentary” that permeated his Civil War books. Hopefully, it’ll quickly switch back to the far more interesting Asgardian God-search thing JMS has going on, because I care about that fantastical shit a lot more than Thor pretending to be Kanye West.
CHRIS: Copiel’s art is gorgeous, and the whole new status quo for the Asgardians is intriguing (although who knows if that credit goes to JMS or to Gaiman/Millar/whoever else was slated to write this book over the past couple of years). But if someone could put a moratorium on JMS writing anything even remotely related to Civil War or political allegories, I will give them a free punch at me at the next comic convention. This offer extends to you, JMS!

ultpwr7.jpgUltimate Power #7
Jeph Loeb & Greg Land

DAVID: The most disastrous creative team in history begins the ruination of the Ultimate Universe HERE! Get on board, fanboys!
CHRIS: After six pornface-filled issues of middling story success, the two architects of the Ultimate and (current) Squadron Supreme universe step aside for what Jeph Loeb is describing as a “great jumping on point” for those who don’t want to wait for the trade, a “passion project”, “fun” and “Return of the King, not Return of the Jedi”. I predict a lot of big splash pages and some “homages” to classic scenes for Land to trace.


September 4, 2007

Pull List Analysis for September 6, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — David Uzumeri @ 8:43 pm

We got a sweet delay until Thursday this week thanks to Labor Day and the resulting postal holiday. So.

7954_400×600.jpgInfinity Inc. #1
Peter Milligan & Max Fiumara

This is a really intriguing book for a number of reasons. First of all, Max Fiumara is a relatively unknown talent with a pretty strong portfolio and track record. Second of all, this is a really offbeat title from Peter Milligan, who excels at this shit far more than his more-widely-read mainstream work on X-Men and last week’s Batman Annual might make you believe. On top of all of that, it’s a 52 followup, and we’re about 3.5 to 4 on those (the .5 for Black Adam), so it’s in tall company. This could be a by-the-numbers superhero book or a unique, eclectic addiction to the DC Universe. It all depends on how much freedom Milligan gets.

7985_400×600.jpgMetal Men #2 (of 8)
Duncan Rouleau

The last issue of this was an incredibly pleasant surprise – a fun, far-out sci-fi epic with a taut emotional center. Rouleau’s art, while sometimes unpopular on other books, is a perfect fit on this material and the veteran artist’s mainstream outing as a writer was really impressive, effectively building on the vision of Magnus in 52. More than any other book with the credit, this one actually feels – in a good way – like the ideas had contributions from Grant Morrison.

7989_400×600.jpgOutsiders #50
Tony Bedard & Matthew Clark

This is really a #0 issue for next month’s new ongoing Batman and the Outsiders, with former writer Judd Winick going off to do Teen Titans East. It’s also, probably, a sort of epilogue to last month’s Outsiders: Five of a Kind “event.” As such, it’s likely to be a transitory issue where Bedard’s Batman continues to be more of a dick (I thought we were going to fix this problem?) and maybe lets Aquaman back in or something, who knows. Winick’s take on this book was at least entertaining in its shameless sleaziness; this new direction looks like another highway straight into Countdown hell.

azmsm544.jpgAmazing Spider-Man #544
J. Michael Straczynski & Joe Quesada

Oh snap, it’s the 400-pound-gorilla! The second genie! The most foreshadowed and hyped event since House of M #3! In all seriousness, this is easily the biggest release of the week in terms of visibility and, God knows, possibility for controversy. They should have published this at the same time as Zimmerman’s Rawhide Kid; I’d be interested to see whether they got more hate mail from Spidey-Marriage fans or gay-bashers. Anyways, this is the first part of the final chapter of Straczynski’s pretty damn epic run – six years, an impressive feat for the first mainstream work from a TV crossover – and it’s been hyped as having huge repurcussions for Spidey’s world, likely to “fix” Quesada’s “problem” with the marriage. Whether this is telegraphing of an obvious event or an elaborate fakeout remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt that this is going to be – at least in the short-term – a pretty important event, leading to the thrice-monthly Brand New Day initiative.

shehulk021.jpgShe-Hulk #21
Dan Slott, Ty Templeton & Rick Burchett

The final issue of Slott’s fairly epic and character-reinvigorating run finally arrives before Peter David & Shawn Moll (could this be the beginning of Marvel stealing DC’s standout 52 pencillers much like they did with Seven Soldiers?) take over the book next month. Last issue, She-Hulk saved the regular Marvel Universe from being replaced by the Ultimate, and this issue appears to center around using alternate universe tourists to solve continuity problems. Methinks Slott has taken continuity humor too far.

d_9781427754943.jpgKaplan SAT ACT Psycomm Vol 1 TP $9.99
Kaplan SAT ACT Van Von Hunter Vol 1 TP $9.99
Kaplan SAT ACT Warcraft The Sunwell Trilogy Vol 1 Dragon Hunt TP $9.99

I’d just like to mention that these are, from what I could gather, manga and videogame novels with SAT vocabulary words highlighted and sold by Kaplan. Honestly, I’d love to have been at the meeting where this was proposed. If fifteen- and sixteen-year-olds can’t learn SAT words without having them narrated by Bath’szfor, Grand Orc Wizard, our society is fucked.

Full list after the jizzump.

August 27, 2007

Pull List Analysis for August 29, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — David Uzumeri @ 10:03 pm

DAVID: Man, this is the smallest week ever.
CHRIS: Agreed, New Comics Day Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody‘s wallet, although there are a lot of interesting products coming from without the Big Two for people who have a big Labor Day bonus burning a hole in their pocket.

7782_400×600.jpg52 Aftermath: The Four Horsemen #1 (of 6)
Keith Giffen & Pat Olliffe

DAVID: This is a particularly interesting project because Giffen is such a luminary amongst the comics world — or at least, was — that it’s kind of surprising he’s rolling with an epilogue miniseries to the weekly event of the, well, decade. However, considering his role in the plot’s original production and his relationship with the four maestros who masterminded the event, it makes perfect sense as a method for following up on some loose ends and also allowing the talented Mr. Giffen some space to write an awesome DC Universe miniseries. Given last year’s Annihilation I don’t think he’s lost his edge.
CHRIS: Big fan of Giffen’s, and while I was initially skeptical about this project — why focus on some boring-ass AVATARS OF DOOM when you’ve got the far more interesting Oolong Island Crew lurking in the background? — Giffen’s Newsarama interview has convinced me that this might actually be an interesting book. Cautiously optimistic.

Batman Annual 26Batman Annual #26: Head of the Demon
Peter Milligan & David Lopez

CHRIS: This is apparently the “definitive” NEW EARF origin of Ra’s al Ghul, leading into this fall’s “Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul” Bat-event. This has two strikes going against it from the outset: I don’t think anyone wants another big Bat-Event, and Peter Milligan’s got a pretty shaky history on big work-for-hire books (check out his runs on X-Men and Elektra if you don’t believe me; better yet, don’t). On the plus side, it’s a big Bat-Event masterminded by Grant Morrison, who managed to run a tight ship and make the behemoth DC One Million more coherently and enjoyably than it ever should have been, and it’s a Bat-Event written by Morrison, Milligan and Fabian Nicieza, who can all write a good superhero story. Plus, it’s written by Peter Milligan, who missteps aside, also wrote X-Statix, Human Target, Enigma, Shade the Changing Man, and even a series of pretty enjoyable Batman stories for DC back in the early 1990s. If there was any way to make this sort of thing work, DC has put together the proper scenario for this occurrence.

7843_400×600.jpgTeen Titans #50
A Whole Bunch Of Dudes Including Sean McKeever & Randy Green

DAVID: This is an interesting issue because although the main creative team is Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane alumnus Sean McKeever, the major plotline will deal with 2004’s Titans Tomorrow story by Johns & McKone and probably involve the standard DCU continuity fanwank. This issue is supposed to be a gravestone for Bart Allen, recently killed off in Flash: TFMA #13 and now Official Martyr of the DC Universe(TM). Given the guest teams — Johns & McKone, Wolfman & Perez (who are these dorks?) and Dezago/Nauck, it’ll hopefully be a celebration of his life and a solid launch into a good TT run.

ff549.jpgFantastic Four #549
Dwayne McDuffie & Paul Pelletier

DAVID: Dwayne and Paul still have a few more issues after that before those two guys with funny accents (Mark Millar & Bryan Hitch) take over. And honestly,given considering the inarguable creative synergy of the latter talent pool, I’ll be sad to see McDuffie go. I loved his work on the brilliant JLU cartoon, and he really seemd to be hitting his FF stride just as it’s revealed he’s a placeholder for two unintelligible white dudes. But shit, it’ll probably be good comics, so bring it on — and I’m still very excited for McDuffie bringing me a JLA book that has some goddamn fisticuffs in it.

Punks the Comic #1Punks the Summer Comics Special
Joshua Hale Fialkov & Kody Chamberlain

CHRIS: I know almost nothing about this comic, but someone sent me an unsolicited message about this comic, correctly pegging my love of funnybooks, The Young Ones and Abraham Lincoln. There’s a preview up on their website, and it looks like a lot of fun.

Stephen “Ribs” Weissman

CHRIS: This is a compilation of the early “Yikes” work of one Stephen Weissman, who has been cartooning the adventures of Pull Apart Boy, Lil Bloody, Kid Firechief, Sweet Chubby Cheeks and other characters for quite some time now. The “Yikes” series chronicles the adventures of a bunch of kids who happen to also be firechiefs, vampires, zombies, big wheel racecar drivers, and other things that generally come off as a charming sci-fi/David Lynch reinvention of Peanuts/Our Gang/etc. There are some sample strips up on the Fantagraphics site if you’re not familiar with his work. It’s fucking adorable.

Incedible Change-BotsIncredible Change-Bots
Jeffrey Brown

CHRIS: Jeffrey Brown is probably best known for his series of “girlfriend” books, autobiographical recaps of his various relationships. But he’s also done projects like Be a Man and Bighead that reveal a propensity for MAD-style zany parodies/comedy (and I mean that in a positive, olden days MAD, not [insert bad era of MAD here] style. This is obviously the Transformers pastiche. The preview looks kind of funny, hopefully the rest of the book runs with it.

Small-ass week. Hit da jump. (more…)

August 19, 2007

Pull List Analysis for August 22, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — Tags: — David Uzumeri @ 10:52 pm

Special Interference Note from Chris: David said pretty much anything I’d want to say about the books he’s spotlighted this week, so rather than going all Tag Team for y’all, we are going to play it like the originators, 95 South, and bring you a double a-side of metaphorical Miami Bass comics previewing!

7809_400×600.jpgBlue Beetle #18
John Rogers & Rafael Albuquerque

In this issue, Jaime Reyes teams up with the Teen Titans to fight Lobo. Apparently, this story is also going to cross over into next week’s Teen Titans #50 and explain Jaime’s presence there. Blue Beetle has been a relentlessly consistent book (barring a single fill-in) that’s kind of been a textbook example of how to introduce a new character into a shared universe that, unfortunately, nobody really seems to be paying attention to, and the occasional tie-ins this book has never feel like distractions from the plot. DC needs to give this series the promotion and care it deserves.

7788_400×600.jpgOutsiders: Five of a Kind – Aquaman/Metamorpho
G. Willow Wilson, Tony Bedard & Joshua Middleton

This is the funnybook debut of G. Willow Wilson, an expatriate American journalist from Cairo who got her foot in the door with a much-hyped Vertigo OGN called, well, Cairo. The fact that she broke into superhero comics with a crossover tie-in at the same time is very unorthodox given most new Vertigo finds, and God knows superhero comics need more female voices – especially good ones. I’m really, really curious to see how this reads, considering most writers seem to be getting carte blanche to do what they want within a thin Bedard-written framework to justify the adventure within the framework of the overall story.

August 14, 2007

Pull List Analysis for August 15, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — David Uzumeri @ 11:31 am

CHRIS ECKERT: Whoomp, there it is — a Tag Team Pull List Analysis! Sadly, this is not a day simply for Miami Bass nostalgia…

DAVID UZUMERI: Rest in peace, Mike Wieringo. Your work is going to influence generations of writers and artists to come. From everything I’ve read, you were too humble to realize your own influence — I think now it’s too obvious to deny.

7820_400×600.jpgBlack Canary #4
Tony Bedard & Paulo Siqueira

DAVID: This issue is either going to be boring or incredibly, incredibly creepy. The last issue ended in a cliffhanger with Sin, Dinah’s adopted daughter/sister, seemingly dead. The cover of #4 is Sin’s gravestone. Now, this could be a gigantic fakeout — or they actually could be killing off a six year old kid to facilitate Dinah and Ollie’s marriage, making it the funniest/meanest/most unnecessary Didio Wall of Death addition ever.

7778_400×600.jpgBooster Gold #1
Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz & Dan Jurgens

DAVID: Creator Dan Jurgens draws the triumphant return of Booster Gold to, well, I guess pi-list status? I don’t even know what to call him anymore. Either way, this looks to be a pivotal book that reintroduces something long gone from the DCU (outside of a Gail Simone or John Rogers book): fun.

CHRIS: I’m not sure why it has taken DC so long to capitalize on the success of 52 with genuine follow-ups to the series’s concepts (as opposed to just making another weekly comic), but after last week’s Black Adam: The Dark Age here is another one, The whole “Hero of the Timeline/Multiverse” angle they’re pitching in interviews sounds like it could be ripping fun, or it could be a string of fan-service guest appearances and silly retcons. I am hoping for the former, but with comics newcomer Jeff “I still admit to producing Snakes on a Plane” Katz on board, I fear it will veer into the latter. But then again John Rogers went from Crappy Movies to Fun Comics, so maybe there are a bunch of talented young souls out there in California, getting their souls ground down by The Hollywood Machine, and funnybooks are a window into their heartlights.

July 31, 2007

Pull List Analysis for August 1, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — David Uzumeri @ 2:36 pm

7762_400×600.jpgCountdown #39
Paul Dini, Sean McKeever & J. Calafiore

Well, we know what the real name for this book is now: Countdown to Final Crisis. We know Final Crisis is a seven-issue miniseries coming out in May 2008 by Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones. And we know that it was a project pitched by Morrison himself and a story *he* wanted to tell. So why do we need 52 godawful shitty issues leading up to it to explain it? I have no fucking clue, but everybody’s pretty sick of it.

7887_400×600.jpgFaker #2
Mike Carey & Jock

This supernatural horror-book-meets-PCU miniseries kicked complete ass in the first issue, and given Carey’s track record I doubt it’ll let up. Intelligent, chilling, familiar and strange all at the same time. Perfect Vertigo.

7864_400×600.jpgMidnighter #10
Keith Giffen & Chris Sprouse

Keith Giffen takes over as regular writer after a series of one-shots, which is odd because this project was originally announced as a Garth Ennis vanity project. Except it turned out that they basically made him to do this if he wanted them to publish The Boys, and then they stopped publishing The Boys, leaving them with a Garth Ennis project with no writer. Then again, at this point the WSU can use all the ongoing plotlines it needs now that Wildcats and Authority have apparently vanished forever.

navillum_4.jpgNew Avengers: Illuminati #4
Brian Michael Bendis, Brian Reed & Jim Cheung

The fourth issue of Bendis’s Retcon Vacation, this one focuses on the Illuminati lamenting the difficulty of keeping your bitch as well as a follow-up to Final Crisis team Grant Morrison & J.G. Jones’s miniseries Marvel Boy, starring a ridiculously powerful Kree boy from an alternate universe with an attitude problem. Whether Bendis manages to stay in keeping with the character’s existing portrayals is up for grabs but the hopeful occurrence. Either way, this has been A+ superhero material and isn’t likely to cease being such.

pun_50.jpgPunisher #50
Garth Ennis & Howard Chaykin

The Barracuda miniseries ties back in with the main book as Garth Ennis shows Punisher blowing a fuckload of people up. Also, a shock ending, and apparently a baby. Should be interesting.

wwh3.jpgWorld War Hulk #3
Greg Pak & John Romita Jr.

I think everybody’s reading this who will ever read this by this point. Here’s to this keeping up the quality.


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