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  1. #1
    Robot for Front Page Blog Posts
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    Jun 2010

    Default Last Week?s Comics In Thirty Four Panels

    The internet?s most opinionated (and Greek) comics column.?*?*By Dr Manolis V.


    Morbius? Michael Morbius, pasty-rat-faced vampire in a unitard, THAT Michael Morbius? According to AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #699.1 (really MORBIUS #0.1 a backdoor pilot to the upcoming Joe Keatinge ongoing) he indeed grew up in Nafplio, his mother had a store there, yet they all spoke in english, everyone called him ?Michael? (instead of the greek ?Michalis?) and his best friend was a possibly immigrant boy called Emil.

    This is of course the same Emil who would grow up to become the scientist who puts Morbius under the experimental procedure that transforms him into the ?lamest vampire alive? and (apparently) also genetically alters his patient robes into a superhero outfit complete with red disco collar and silly under-arm flappy wings made of red fabric. Consider that my silly ?it?s not the 60s anymore? NERD-RANT for the wee--

    --Oh, whoamIkiddin?? You all know I?m going to rip AVENGERS ARENA #1 a new one. You?ll just have to wait until after the spoiler warning line.



    Uncharacteristic balls-ifying of Havoc aside, CABLE AND X-FORCE #1 was a fun first issue, reintroducing Cable as an actually realistically grounded and grim-n-gritty soldier type, post-flashing eye, post-ridiculous T.O. arm, he?s actually an interesting guy to read about. Hope also finally gets a reading that takes into account her history of upbringing and experiences.

    Please bear this positive review of Dennis Hopeless? work in mind when we reach my AVENGERS ARENA rant.


    Poor Jan, always shrinking for the wrong man. Isn?t it time yet to retire the concept of the ?DARK AVENGERS? (still hate that branding umbrella), along with the zillion different alternate reality books? This latest incarnation (officially taking over the old T-bolts book with #184) features the throwaway imitation team that in good faith should have never been mentioned again. On top of everything, do we still need to be reminded that at one point Reed Richards considered it ok to create a cyborg clone of his friend and ally to use as a weapon? Leave it to Jeff Parker to somehow make all this still somehow interesting.


    I mean, sheesh. Fraction?s ?we?re only gonna be gone for four minutes but we might as well choose our replacement? thing started off as a goofy nod to roster changes past, but DAMN MAN GET THIS SHIT OVER WITH! This already-three-issue-long preparation for the trip has already eaten away at my suspension of disbelief. Are they all subconsciously (and rightfully so) accepting of the fact that none of their plans ever go right anyway (but they would still risk carrying the kids along?) or they that distrustful of the Avengers and the Earth?s Other Mightiest Heroes that they don?t think the world can survive without a Fantastic Four for four freakin? minutes? (FANTASTIC FOUR #2)


    Blink and you?ll miss them:


    I read through CHANGE #1 twice, back to back, and I really don?t have any idea what?s going on, but I absolutely love to. If you?re a fan of Cthulhu, Hollywood, possessed fetuses and/or drugs, you should take some and dive right in.


    That Nomi is quickly growing into quite the rhymes-with-bryan-hitch as Brian Wood explores the true story and political impact of concepts like the mutant Decimation and Utopia in an Ultimate Universe where there are no rules and brand reservations. There are exactly twenty mutants left in the world, mostly teenagers and they have been exiled to start their own country in the middle of a barren radioactive desert. Everything will go wrong. (ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN #20)


    I couldn?t resist posting this entire hysteric back-and-forth from X-TREME X-MEN #7.1 as Dazzler and her team of dimensionally-challenged X-Men unknowingly returns to ?our? Marvel U, in the wake of AVX. It?s the same unsettling feeling as Bendis? ALL-NEW X-MEN at 0.01% the word count.


    Lookitthem go! DeConnick and Stefano Caselli have created an action scene worthy of being included in the next Avengers movie. Plus, I?m digging the now conscious effort to make Miss- er CAPTAIN MARVEL one of Marvel?s genuinely major heroes. (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #10).


    How very Christopher Nolan this nu Riddler is! Snyder and Tynion are pushing the OCD elements of his personality forward in a very calm, controlled and manipulative manner. The main story in BATMAN #15 unfortunately spends too much time to make up for how uncoordinated the Bat-family comes out looking, if a single man can personally ambush each and every one of them without any of them managing to warn the others.


    Is this level of graphic horror still acceptable? BATMAN AND ROBIN #15 is horrifying enough to give Vertigo readers nightmares - and yet the art is so incredibly detailed and alluring and the Joker himself hits the exact notes of creepiness and geekboy dementia that Snyder originally intended with this re envisioning. It?s a gem, but it should come polybagged, with a MR rating on the cover.


    You?ve been warned, no more crying in the comments section!


    This Batgirl/Joker meeting did NOT go as planned. Gail Simone releases a dark streak inside Barbara in BATGIRL #15, that feels both genuine and unsettling.


    Ugh, sorry. Too far, SUICIDE SQUAD #15. Unlike the other books there were no redeeming qualities to offset the sheer amateurish gore of the thing. Adam Glass tried to topple the Joker-Harley dynamic much like what Gail did in BATGIRL, but this was a far less successful take, going against the grain of the character.


    You?re not seeing double. That?s SUPERBOY in the Jim Lee-issue Kryptonian super-armour and SuperMAN in the Morrison T-shirt and cape combo. It?s complicated, read SUPERBOY #15 for the full story, bringing the ?Super-Family? closer together in a way that actually works to flesh out each book and give us memorable self-contained issues within the framework of the larger crossover story that Lobdell is plotting with his devious Nu take on Bizarro.


    Who gives two craps about Hal Jordan, Sinestro or whatsisname, Peter J Tomasi continues to make Guy Gardner the most relatable, powerful and interesting GL to read. In GREEN LANTERN CORPS #15 Guy Gardner is having a difficult time adjusting to life outside the Corps - and by that I mean he goes apeshit existential crisis crazy and bloodies his fists on the walls before deciding to become the Batman of Baltimore. Oh, that Guy.


    Negan continues to fascinate me and THE WALKING DEAD #105 may be the single best issue of the series so far. After the horrible emotional beating that was #100 (keep it in mind as we edge closer towards the inevitable AVENGERS ARENA bashing), Kirkman here shows us a different side to Negan, through the surprising way he choose to ?spare? young Carl?s life, yet still put him through an unbelievably intense volley of psychological torture, at times revealing a questionably deranged ?human? side.

    I?ve chosen not to spoil the sight of Carl?s deformed face here, it?s a very vulnerable and shockingly exploitative portrayal of the character that amplifies the horrifying nature of this story.


    The new scooby gang forming in BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #16 looks to be the most exciting yet - sure Dowling is almost as exciting as Riley before him, but the addition of Billy the gay slayer sidekick and now ILLYRIA (is she here to stay?) promise a very exciting 2013 indeed.


    Justin Jordan pits DEATHSTROKE against an unkillable man in his first issue on the book (#15) - and, well, there really aren?t many ways to make them feel it. It?s an approach reminiscent of Kyle Higgins? opening run on the title, without the benefit of a master storyteller like Joe Bennett proved to be.


    Now, see, I understand the need to ?amp up? your villain, create a sense of imminent danger, ?anyone is expendable? and so on. When done right, it creates an intimate connection between the reader and the characters. This is not a striking and tragic last page shocker that Dennis Hopeless has earned.

    X-FORCE #116 is the ultimate example of this. Pete Milligan and Mike Allred created an entirely new cast of characters, fleshed them out within the space of their first issue, did interviews on them, made the reader excited about their stories -- and then they butchered all of them in the most graphic fashion on the last page of their first issue. BOOM.

    In AVENGERS ARENA #1, it?s a different sort of dread - about how your favourite characters (that talented writers and artists before have struggled and sweated to make popular enough for them to have the discomfort of appearing in this book) are now in the hands of a creative team that won?t hesitate a second to just do away with them for the sake of cheap thrills.

    Would this scene have had the same impact if it had been one of the new kids Hopeless created instead of the established kid? Of course not. They are all non-entities at this point, random codenames on random kids. But whose fault is that?

    This is all in especially poor taste when you consider this is a book shamelessly copying a popular existing concept from other books and comics (Hunger Games and Battle Royale), by using existing characters from other creators who all share a certain ?creator-owned? connection, even though they are still Marvel?s to waste. What are these creator?s ideas and contributions to the 1st issue of the series?

    Arcade is hardly the real villain in this book.


    Ah, SCARLET SPIDER #12 made me feel the joy of comics again. Nothing like a bloody beating of gang of santa robbers to finish the day! Plus, Chris Yost has (dependably) built a fascinating supporting cast around this more violent and angsty version of Peter Parker (including a gay cop and his husband, a dangerously cute romantic interest and a dark-and-mysterious teenage girl sidekick).


    It sucks to be the Joker this week, getting beat up by all those chicks, losing face. Thankfully there are so many kids around to torture and make cry, from Robin to poor one-eyed-Carl and of course those pesky Marvel teenage heroes.

    Let?s mow down the lot of them!

    My recommended reads from the last week:

    1?*?*?*?*?* THE WALKING DEAD #105

    2?*?*?*?*?* BATMAN AND ROBIN #15

    3?*?*?*?*?* BATMAN #15

    4?*?*?*?*?* BATGIRL #15

    5?*?*?*?*?* GREEN LANTERN CORPS #15

    6?*?*?*?*?* ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN #20

    7?*?*?*?*?* X-TREME X-MEN #7.1

    8?*?*?*?*?* CHANGE #1

    9?*?*?*?*?* BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #16

    10?*?* DEATHSTROKE #5

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Likes received: 768,291


    Gore, and girls with their boobs popping out. That's the New 52!

  3. #3
    Captain Cool swalsh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    The Outer Reachs of Your Mind


    Arcade has superpowers.

    Did no one notice this? That is not right.

    So chances are, (a) AVENGERS ARENA is all part of some Murderworld VR simulation, or (b) this is all part of some Marvel cosmic scheme thanks to folks like the Grandmaster or Collector.

    To take a remarkably finite story like this and stretch it out to an ongoing series can't be possible unless there's some ulterior plot going on here....

  4. #4
    Bleeding Cool die-yng's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    gnawing hungrily in inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond time and space


    Well, is it in any way explained how it got to be Cable sans Glowing TK eye and TO-arm? Because it's quite lazy to just give us the new status as is, without showing or telling how it came to be. Not to mention that the TO-virus and the Askani heritage are the more interesting parts of Cable's past, 'cause without them he's just another gun-toting, hardboiled character.

    Is Avengers Assemble in continuity? Wasn't it at one time the all ages title?

    I won't say anything about the X-Books, they remain messed up.

    Ughh! Those Joker visuals, almost as bad as the new Harl. Seriously, what a lame ass design for such a great character. Sure, she's sexy (only in comics can chalk-white skin look any good) but there's none of the charm of the old version, neither in look nor character.

    Maybe GL Corps is interesting, but a breakdown like this seems a bit OOC for Guy. Remember the last time he was out of the Corps? How long did it take him to get the Yellow ring?

    Avengers Arena... thanks for your opinion on this book. I couldn't agree more. It's distasteful, shameless, exploitative, morally questionable and I can't help but think about what Christos Gage, BKV and the other creators think of this book and how disrespectful their characters are treated. Not to mention, that while Runaways and Avengers Academy might never have been big sellers, they both have a dedicated fanbase. Fans, whom Marvel basically pisses on their shoes with this.
    Last edited by die-yng; 12-23-2012 at 01:51 PM.
    "We see things only as we are constructed to see them, and can gain no idea of their absolute nature. With five feeble senses we pretend to comprehend the boundlessly complex cosmos."

    or in other words:
    "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn. Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn!"

  5. #5
    Dean of Cool University bewareofgeek's Avatar
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    Aug 2010


    I'm so over "gore porn" in comics. Wake me when the pendulum swings back to heroes.

    Mario Di Giacomo

  6. #6
    VP in Charge of Cool betty boolean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Your darkest thought


    Americas Got Powers #4 was my fave this week. The books a sleeper hit, the next Walking dead i reckon. Its an idea thats screaming for a movie with the whole Hunger Games thing going on
    �Everything in life is just for a while.�
    ― Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly


  7. #7
    Bleeding Cool Liam Moorhart's Avatar
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    Oct 2012


    Quote Originally Posted by DarthEwok View Post
    Gore, and girls with their boobs popping out. That's the New 52!
    That isn't fair at all. There is also armor.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Likes received: 768,291


    Quote Originally Posted by awesomesauce View Post
    That isn't fair at all. There is also armor.
    Ah yes. Those beautiful Jim Lee-designed costumes

  9. #9
    Bleeding Cool The Xenos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    Bravo on that Avengers Arena rant!

    I'm getting flashbacks to Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park
    I'll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you're using here, it didn't require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn't earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don't take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now -BAM- you're selling it, you wanna sell it. Well... ... Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should.
    And.. hell.. I never read Avengers Academy.. but I sure the hell knew the character they murdered in this Arena bullshit. I've seen him posted enough online to know he was a fan favorite. And really this whole series is a cheap cheap soulless gimmick of death and darkness for the sake of death and darkness. And a really really lame cashgrab in the wake of the Hunger Games popularity. Could Marvel be more transparent?! And as a fan of Battle Royale.. what a lame knockoff / homage cover.

  10. #10
    King of Cool Blackfist's Avatar
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    Jun 2011


    Quote Originally Posted by bewareofgeek View Post
    I'm so over "gore porn" in comics. Wake me when the pendulum swings back to heroes.
    Why have heroes when you can have EXTREME!!!!?
    Marvel: S-man 2099, Rocket Raccoon
    DC: Wonder Woman, Injustice, Detective Comics, Sandman Overture
    Indie: Sonic the Hedgehog, MegaMan, Street Fighter, SkullKickers, Fatale, Elephantmen, Afterlife of Archie, The Wicked+The Divine

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