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AICN COMICS! TalkBack League Of @$$Holes Reviews!!

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

Good... god... just lifting this sumbitch into the cgi form for the site caused me to sprain something. These boys have been busy. You better get busy reading, cause you could be here all morning.

And you boys are insane. Frank Cho rules. HE RULES, I SAYS!! And you can’t convince me otherwise, not even if I have to cover my ears and run out of here in a completely unmanly way!!

Mother of mercy, folks, it’s Cormorant here and we’ve got one hell of a heavyweight column this week. It’s huuuge, but it’s also buff as Carl Weathers in PREDATOR, and that’s pretty buff. And we got it all. From rave reviews to venomous spite to good old-fashioned backpedaling, this column is --

We interrupt this comics column for a special announcement:


The Talkback League of @$$holes would like to read over your shoulder - and we don’t mean the comics you brought home from the store (we’ve already got those, of course!). No, we want to read the comics that are being self-published by enterprising folks like yourselves. We know you’re out there, handing your comics out to your friends or selling them on the convention circuit, and unless you’re willing to wait for the @$$hole World Tour 2005 (mark your calendars!) it would be a lot faster just to send your projects straight to us, if you want to be covered in our new recurring indie comics feature.

Yes, the TLA wants you - you, the one sitting there reading this monitor - to send us your comics. Send us the political screed you're drawing up in your bedroom and printing up at Kinkos and handing out on the street. Send us the labor of love full-color fantasy art project you spent all last year and every available penny on. Hell, send us the comic your insane drunken friends put together and stapled and are selling in local stores for a quarter. We love this stuff. Send it our way and it just may pop up in the column. The only qualification: it must be self-published, must be a full comic (not a concept sketch, not advertising material or a promo page), and must include contact information for ordering more comics.

Interested? E-mail our resident indie guru and project coordinator, Lizzybeth, right here for more information.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled column, already in progress.

-- and that was how Ambush Bug and Village Idiot traveled back in time via the Cosmic Treadmill and put the kibosh on Kaiser Wilhelm and his Legion of Undead Pretty-Boys! I can’t imagine a better story to set the stage for our reviews, so let’s get to ‘em!


Warren Ellis: Writer

Darick Robertson: Artist

DC/Vertigo: Publisher

Vroom Socko: Bastard Journalist

If I had to cite just one reason why I love Vertigo trade paperbacks so much, it’d have to be that I get to read brand new (to me) Transmetropolitan stories after the book has reached its end. (Don’t nobody dare spoil what’s in store in the Talkbacks. I don’t care what happened last month; the story ain’t over for me!)

In this volume, everyone’s favorite bastard, Spider Jerusalem, is riding a massive emotional peak. No longer employed by The Word, he’s now free of editorial constraint, sending out his column via an underground feedsite. This is Spider in his element - down and dirty journalism - seeking out the ugly little truths we’d all like to ignore, but shouldn’t. Truths that, once revealed, cannot be re-hidden. It’s no wonder the first words out of his mouth are “I cannot die.”

However, Spider’s final appearance involves his preparing for his potential demise. This isn’t due to any assassination worries; no, the dipshits that try to kill him this time around are hardly worth worrying about. His concern is over the massive headaches, blackouts, and violent nosebleeds he’s begun to suffer. Personally, I think it’s his glasses. I bought a pair two years ago, and after I’d been wearing them a month I started getting migraines and lost the ability to recognize the color yellow. It’s probably something else though, seeing how the filthy assistants are actually concerned about him. There’s really no telling what Spider’s condition is, or how much worse it may get. (I’m telling you again, no spoilers in the TB’s. I habitually carry half a dozen knives and a collapsible police baton, and I know how to use them.)

This volume is classic Ellis, a good lump of insanity mixed with extreme humor and insight. If the fat guy with three tits jumping to his death fifteen pages in doesn’t clue you to that, the chapter where Spider interviews insane homeless people should. The chapter entitled ‘Business’ is probably my favorite of this book, mainly because it’s a great stand-alone story that non-readers will find easier to appreciate. (Note to non-Transmet readers: actually you should start with either the TPB Lust for Life or issue #8, but if you want to read this particular chapter as your first at bat, it’s issue #40. Search your store’s back bins and thank me later.) Darick Robertson continues to draw the best science fiction cityscapes to see print since the final page of Hectic Planet #6. Ellis is the man who brings out the genius of Spider, but it’s Robertson who breathes life into The City.

There are three volumes still to be published in the Transmetropolitan library, and I await each new installment with bated breath. This book is Warren Ellis at his best, and if you’re not reading it, you’re missing out. (If you’ve already read the whole series, don’t spoil it in the TB, or I will personally fuck you up. Think I won’t? Look at how many parenthesis I used in this review! I’m obviously unbalanced enough to shove rabid ferrets into your orifices if you even hint at what’ll come next. Don’t think I won’t!)

Batman #608

Written by Jeph Loeb

Illustrated by Jim Lee

Reviewed by The Comedian

Relaunches and “events” are ever rarely worth the hype. Look at all the schpooling that surrounded DK2 and Origin (easily two of the worst books of the past year). In my opinion even Grant Morrison’s heralded and lauded New X-Men is just an “eh” experience. I’ll take a fresh team of newbies with something to prove over tired old hacks looking to pay off their mortgages anytime.

It’s with these cynical eyes that I walked into my local comic shop to pick up Batman # 608. Now having read it, I wish to God that I had pictures of Jim Lee & Jeph Loeb fellating EACH OTHER so that I could blackmail them into STAYING on this book past twelve issues. It’s by no means perfect or the second coming. Truthfully, with Lee I don’t think there ever was a first coming because none of his solo work sans Claremont is even remotely comparable to their run on Uncanny X-Men. (O.K. his run on FF was a fun ride) This book however is one of the fresher takes on Batman that I’ve seen in some time. And not at all because of how Lee draws Catwoman’s ass. If anything the T&A is a hindrance (a MINOR hindrance). Seems these guys have decided to strip The Dark Knight of … well …Darkness. Now this doesn’t mean he’s a happy-go-lucky goofball having silly adventures with his “old chum”. There’s still plenty of mood and focus but for the first time in a while, Batman feels like a determined crime fighter with a mission as opposed to some borderline, obsessive-compulsive, paranoid, psychopath who’s only redeeming quality is that at least he’s not as fucked up as his rogues’ gallery.

Now I’ve enjoyed the “lunatic policing other lunatics” take on Batman over the years. It pretty much came to a head with this year’s “Murderer” storyline - yet another great premise stretched out over too many issues that ended with a confused whimper (a staple of most of the Batman storylines over the past few years). But I think more than anything it’s become a crutch for writers. It’s easy to just write him as an obsessed, self-brainwashed, creepy genius that’s suspicious of his teammates and treats his sidekicks like crap. Loeb has instead opted for the detective who just happens to also be a Superhero. Lee’s pencils cover the Superhero half of the equation.

The story for this issue (spoilers incoming!) revolves around the kidnapping of some trust fund brat orchestrated by a group of A-list thugs and Killer Croc. Batman takes down all the hoods with a various array Bat-gadgets, the most important one being that trusty can of Bat-whupass (much more practical than Bat-shark repellant). Then he goes toe to toe with the Croc himself, who now has mutated into a more savage version of his former self (DOOMDOOMDOOMDOOM). Batman cleans his clock, saves the kid, and then the FBI & the GCPD show up. Only problem is no one knows where the money went - till Bats uses his super cool, heat-seeking bat goggles and sees a familiar feline swinging away with the loot in the Gotham skyline. What follows is your typical Bat-chases-the-Cat scene. The Bat-rope snaps and he falls into an alley on the wrong side of town, ending up surrounded by no-good hooligans and hobos with lead pipes and bad intentions. Selina swings onto the terrace of a penthouse and gives the 10 million dollars to...gasp…Poison Ivy, who’s apparently using some sort of pheromone-induced mind control on her. Rrrrrow.

It’s pretty simple stuff, nothing so earth shattering, so why the praise and the accolades on my part? Well mostly it was Loeb’s characterization that won me over. I never read The Long Halloween or Dark Victory (the only Loeb “prestige” book I’ve ever picked up is Supes for All Seasons) so I can’t comment on his characterization here as opposed to his previous takes on Batman. I can say that this is one of the most personal and sympathetic versions of the character I’ve read since I don’t know how long. The Batman narration gives you insight into his inner dialogue without all the alienation, brooding, and anti-social aspects of previous writers’ takes on him. He’s focused and determined but he’s not some jerk who needs therapy. He’s a detective first and foremost. I LOVE the new slug line written in script handwriting “I made a promise on the grave of my parents to rid the city of the evil that took their lives. By day, I am Bruce Wayne, billionaire philanthropist. At night, criminals, a cowardly and superstitious lot, call me..BATMAN.” That’s what he is, nothing less nothing more. And HE’S the one telling us.

As far as Lee’s art goes I think it perfectly fits this Superhero take on Batman, and I don’t think anyone minds his T&A-happy pencils. Catwoman looked sleek & bad-ass more than anything else. In comparison w/ the art on her blatant-T&A-Marvel-counterpart’s-book, or even Balent’s thrusting nubile version, this Selina is pretty tame. She just comes off as the perfect match for Bats and his possible sidekick for this run on the book. Now as far as that Vampyros Lesbos crap at the end with Poison Ivy, that was one of the moments when I was reminded that I was reading a Jim Lee book. He always has to end an issue with (you know you love it) some surprise porno-mannequin splash page.

That brings me to my only complaint. The plot they’re setting up. Apparently from what I’ve been told, not only is Catwoman under Ivy’s control, but Ivy (and the rest of the rogues) are all being manipulated by some mysterious new villain who’s got the whole Larry Trainor/Claude Raines look happening. What is it with DC villains controlling other DC villains? It seems like ever since “Joker’s Last Laugh” this cheesy plot device is the new black. Still, it’s only the first issue so we’ll see where this is going. These two guys are obviously cribbing a bit from the Neal Adams days but it’s welcome after nearly a generation of doom & gloom taking precedence over everything else. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to look over that last sequence again and maybe dig through some old back issues of X-Men & Wildcats. It’s just for…um…research purposes.


Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Mark Waid

Penciler: Mike Wieringo

Inker: Karl Kesel

Reviewed by Sleazy G

I’m disappointed to say I didn’t hate FF #62 half as much as I was expecting.

Ya see, I REALLY hated issues 60 and 61, the first two written since Mark Waid came on board as the new writer on FF. I have a real problem with what Waid did in those two issues. Apparently, part of his plan for making the FF interesting and exciting again was to make the book childish and profane. The first two issues of Waid’s run were full of sophomoric jokes and dirty words, including references to the Thing’s unit, having several different characters from the FF cuss, and sneaking in the word “fuck” like he was Kevin Smith or some shit. That kind of juvenilia really bugged the crap outta me.

It’s like this: the way I see it, there are a handful of comic books that form the foundation for the entire industry. I’m not talking about just the characters or the companies or sales figures or whatever. I’m talking about books that the industry can’t survive without, and I’m talking about how important it is that those books stand for what they always have. To me, without Superman, Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, the industry is doomed. There have to be certain books that remain unchanged in certain ways, and these three and a handful of others are among them. Superman must ALWAYS stand for Truth, Justice and the American Way. Always. Spider-Man can’t suddenly decide that he doesn’t need to sweat “great responsibility”. That’s part of who he is and what his character represents. If Spidey isn’t cracking jokes and chatting with Aunt May while protecting the innocent because he HAS to, he’s lost his essence.

For the FF, that essence is FAMILY. It’s always been a book about family. Always. The whole reason this book exists is that Stan Lee wanted to write believable characters we could all relate to who just happened to have wacky superpowers. With the first two issues of his run, Waid managed to take a book about family and make it unfriendly for families. I admit I’m taking this personally. I started reading comics around the age of five or six. I read old Marvel comics my dad had bought back when he was a kid/teenager. Why did I read them? Because my parents knew they were safe. I could read FF and Spider-Man and Thor with no worries about me being exposed to too much sex, violence and profanity. In today’s world, that’s true less and less often in comic books. A parent has to really worry about what their kids are gonna come across. Now, one less book is on that list, and I feel it’s one of the books that most NEEDS to be on that list. If kids aren’t safe reading FF, what ARE they safe reading? I know, I know, you’re gonna say let ‘em read ARCHIE or POWERPUFF GIRLS. There’s nothing wrong with those books; hell, I read ‘em myself. But the aren’t gonna hook the kids and keep ‘em coming back the way FF or Superman or Spidey will.

So I really expected to get to ream out Waid with this, his third issue. I was sure things were gonna just keep getting worse, which I suppose was unfair of me. I’ve read and enjoyed a LOT of what Waid has done in the past. Still, this “new” attitude and approach of his had me more than a little concerned. Honestly, I fully expected this to be my last issue. This issue shows promise, though. There’s still a wholly inappropriate reference to Mr. Fantastic’s ability to change the size and shape of his cock, which left a lousy taste in my mouth, but it was the only off-color reference in the book. Compared to the half dozen or more in the previous two issues, though, it’s a marked improvement. There are also some interesting ideas thrown out and groundwork being laid. In fact, the most disappointing thing about this book thus far under Waid’s guidance is that it has a lot of good material mixed in with the pointless profanity and sitcom-style sexual single entendres. With issue #62 he gives us action as well as a threat the likes of which we’ve never seen before in FF. His constant use of wacky pseudoscientific concepts is like a more fun Morrison/Ellis approach, and while a lot of it is flawed or impossible, it’s fun in the way comic books are supposed to be. The characterizations are a little off-base (issue 61 hammered that point home) but getting better, and the characters are interesting for the first time in a while. This issue was also the first of the three to actually make me wonder what was going on with the pointless Richards children — I have no idea why Franklin doesn’t have his powers or Val is a baby, but I’m actually curious for now.

Since this issue was the first in a three-part storyline, and since there have been some big improvements since the previous two issues, I’m going to keep buying this book and give it a good half-year run to prove itself. I really am hoping things will continue to improve, since I love these characters and the book means so much to me. I just hope Waid can cut the childish sexual innuendo and swearing out and focus on what he’s actually quite good at—writing exciting, entertaining stories with well-loved characters.


Chynna Clugston-Major

Oni Press

Reviewed by: Lizzybeth

There are two sides to Halloween. The first is the spooky side - the impulse to lock oneself in a dark room, light candles, consult the tarot cards, defend against evil spirits, perhaps emerge to watch The Exorcist, play some Nick Cave, or read one of the many comic books suitable for such an occasion, probably written or heavily influenced by Alan Moore. The second, opposite impulse is the playful one: the urge to get silly, dress up in a costume, gorge oneself on candy, and head out to party. “Dead Man’s Party” is the perfect comic book compliment to this latter impulse. It’s light, it’s terribly funny, and like most BLUE MONDAY comics, perfectly enjoyable from beginning to end. The comic can’t exactly be upheld as an example of comics as literature, as with FROM HELL, but it can be used as a proud example that comics today still know how to have fun.

In this latest one-shot from Chynna Clugston-Major’s recurring series of early-90s teen-mod tales, the Jefferson High kids are trapped in a room together by inclement weather, and pass the time telling stories that borrow from many amusing film-related sources from a Clockwork Orange to the Rocky Horror Picture Show - my favorite being the best fast-food zombie tale this side of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (“that’ll be two dollars and fifty BRAAAAAIIIINNNS”). While the film references will be familiar to all here at AICN, there are quite a few details elsewhere in the issue that won’t be fully appreciated unless you’re pretty familiar with the other BLUE MONDAY comics. The Jesus-Heads, for example, have been following Bleu around since the original ACTION GIRL short pieces, when she accidentally broke them off of a tombstone. I won’t even attempt to explain the Pooka. Just know that strange phenomena seems to congregate around Bleu Finnegan, breaking down her studiedly cool demeanor to reveal the screwball within, all well in keeping with the manga-punk spirit of the series. Unlike previous one-shot “Lovecats”, there isn’t much character development or story advancement to be had here (in fact, it’s almost as if Lovecats never took place - continuity police! Get me a timeline!) making this issue pretty much purely comedy. I’ll not complain - Blue Monday does comedy more naturally than most comics, and any chance to visit with Clugston-Major’s skewed universe is welcome. Oni Press has another one-shot planned for early next year, followed by the long promised SCOOTER GIRL project. Visit and order BM online at Oni Press.


written by Trina Robbins

art by Anne Timmons

published by Dark Horse

reviewed by Buzz Maverik

The other day, I decided to explore my feminine side. First, I had to decide what I was going to say. I came up with "What's a nice side like you doing in a brain like this?"

With the easy part over, I had to find my feminine side. I usually concentrate best when I smoke a really strong, smuggled-in Cuban cigar. A lot of Americans get their Cubans from Canada but my only connection up there is fellow @$$hole Jon Quixote who keeps offering the lame excuse "I don't want to go to jail, Buzz". I know. I keep telling him that if people let that stop them, they'd never do anything illegal, and as a strong supporter of law enforcement, I want to keep cops employed. Anyway, I get my cigars from a connection in Mexico (hola, Baldemar!). I selected a Cohiba Double Corona from my walk-in humidor. It was a very fresh cigar, as I'd just ran a bunch across the border with that ATF chopper on my butt until I forced it to crash land by brushing it with a SAM 7 out of a launcher I bought off this guy in the Russian Mafia. So I made a V-cut in the cap of the stogie, scooped out a tiny hole in the end, struck a wooden match and slowly roasted the cigar's tip without ever directly touching it to the flame. Rotating the cigar, I slowly drew in the smoke and got back to exploring the feminine aspects of me.

No go. I just didn't feel frilly. I needed to relax, so I got the old over 'n' under out of the gun safe, whistled for my pit bull Peckinpah, and drove up to Boog's Skeet & Trap Range. Funny, though, a couple of hours of blasting clay pigeons into puffs of black dust still didn't get me in touch with my inner-girl. Neither did a stop at Tommy's for a couple of chili burgers and an order of chili fries (which gave Peckinpah the gas something fierce). Maybe a drink. You'd think a dozen boilermakers would do it, but all it did was make me decide that a boothfull of bikers were making fun of me and as I was on my way over to piss in their pitcher of beer, the thought struck me: what says "feminine" these days more than comic books?

On the way home, I picked up a copy of Go Girl!, the new trade paperback written by famed cartoonist/comics historian Trina Robbins and drawn by Anne Timmons. Go Girl! is a second generation teenage super-heroine named Lindsay Goldman. Her mother Janet was the flying Go Go Girl in the early '70s and Lindsay has inherited her powers. She wears her Mom's old costume (miniskirt and go-go boots) and fights crime, demons, aliens, you name it.

There's a lot of talk these days about the need for making comics for younger readers. Almost under the radar, Robbins and Timmons have done just that very thing! Lindsay is likable, down to earth, and her adventures are appealing and appropriate for kids, especially girls. She saves her high school's football team - including her crush Dylan - from a substitute teacher demon who wants to feed on their souls. Lindsay and Janet visit Janet's ex-partner Liz, who in the '70s was the afro-ed Right-On Sister. Later, they meet Wowman, another old partner of Janet's, gone to seed and sold-out slightly, who still has eyes for Janet.

The book is wonderfully innocent, almost nonviolent, and a lot of fun. At several points there are paper doll-like "cut-outs" that would allow the reader to dress Lindsay and her friends in different Go Girl! outfits. Robbins, a great comics historian who is particularly knowledgeable about the work of women in the field, sites KATY KEENE comics from the 1950s, which allowed readers (presumably girls and a young Waylon Smithers) to design outfits and send them in for Katy to wear in upcoming issues. I think the comics included paper dolls. Modern comics need to incorporate things which can involve kids. Things like this, or allowing the readers to create characters in DIAL H FOR HERO. Instead we have comic book suits talking down to the fans like Harvard tax attorneys and joking like that obnoxious uncle you avoid at Thanksgiving.

I still didn't find my feminine side. Maybe a little CHARLIE'S ANGELS with the sound off. I have the full series on tape. Think I'll watch the one with both Farrah and Cheryl!


Writer / Artist: Frank Cho

Publisher: Image Comics

Reviewed by Cormorant

I don’t wish ill on anyone, most especially the creative types in the comic book industry. The funnybook biz has had rough times over the last, err…decade or three…and nowadays I figure that pretty much anyone involved is in it because they love what they’re doing, not to make a mint. Sure, Brian Bendis and Neil Gaiman are doing just fine, but in general, I don’t think we’re liable to see any more McFarlane and Liefeld gazillionaires. Yep, the writers and artists of comicdom are dedicated, talented, and generally underappreciated.

But that still don’t make LIBERTY MEADOWS funny.

In fact, having just read the latest issue, I am utterly clueless as to this book’s popularity. Either people are just really easy to please or…is it just possible that the lead chick’s industrial-sized breasts might figure into the equation somehow? Just a theory. Otherwise, all I’m getting is a mishmash of BLOOM COUNTRY knock-off humor, geek pop cultural references, and downright sad melodrama. The art’s pretty enough, finding a balance somewhere between Berke Breathed, Wally Wood, and Adam Hughes, but if pretty art was enough to make a comic, then CrossGen would have a lot more than 3.53% of the industry market share, capiche?

So let’s look at the gags. You hipsters out there probably already know the basics of LIBERTY MEADOWS: hot chick Brandy runs a wacky sanctuary for animals that walk and talk in the funny animal tradition of every newspaper comic strip ever. The nebbish Frank (the strip’s other recurring human character) has the hots for her, but he’s too much of a dip to say anything. Zaniness and occasional ham-fisted angst ensue. So I’m flipping through the book…

The first strip is a “this is your brain on drugs” gag, and while I don’t know the strip’s original publishing date (LIBERTY MEADOWS is still reprinting newspaper gags right now), unless it was at least ten years ago, that there’s one worn-out reference. Might’ve been at home in the Johnny Carson days of THE TONIGHT SHOW, I suppose.

Then there’s a joke where Brandy lowers a bowl of dog food offscreen to the strip’s uber-cute weiner dog, only to come back with torn shirtsleeves and scratched-up arms. Her punchline is a startled, “Hungry, were we?”, which seems perilously close to something Jon might have said to Garfield in one those GARFIELD treasuries I worshipped in the third grade.

After that comes a lengthy series of strips in which an experiment to make Frank appealing to Brandy goes awry. During the course of these strips, references are made to AKIRA, STAR TREK, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, and to STAR WARS underwear. Cho’s clearly targeting the geek crowd, but there’s no depth to the references or added humor, making them as empty as me noting that the strip “sucks worse than BATTLEFIELD EARTH.” See how I made a tired pop cultural reference and it wasn’t really funny? There’s a whole mess of that in LIBERTY MEADOWS. One strip ends with a character challenging the other with the shout, “There can be only one!!”, as a caption that reads “Insert ‘Highlander’ music here” floats nearby. Hardy har har. Click on any given TalkBack at Ain’t-It-Cool-News and you’ll see the same level of humor, but you’ll also stumble across some inspired pop cultural references. LIBERTY MEADOWS is like a TalkBack without the inspired stuff.

The worst strips in the bunch are those where Cho gets melodramatic. I’d skimmed a previous LIBERTY MEADOWS where Brandy almost married some lantern-jawed asshole when we were clearly supposed to be rooting for Frank, and those angst-ridden strips had all the emotional quality of a “very special episode” of WHO’S THE BOSS? This time around, blessedly, the return of the former fiancé gets only four strips of appearances, but two of them are quasi-dramatic, and they’re just leaden. The final one begins with fiancé-guy asking Brandy to take him back, features two panels focusing on her hand pulling away from his, and concludes with her walking away, saying, “It’s…it’s getting late, Roger.” Ouch. Remember when Calvin tried to save a dying possum in CALVIN & HOBBES? That was drama. Hell, there were even hints of drama in BLOOM COUNTY when Opus would wallow in the misery of single life. LIBERTY MEADOWS? Not so much.

What’s good about the strip? The cartooning is fairly excellent, with highly animated characters, superlative line work, a few decent physical riffs from the Wile E. Coyote school of visual humor, and of course, plenty of the trademark cheesecake from Brandy and her equally busty roommate. There’s almost nothing in the way of backgrounds in the art, but I blame that more on the newspaper strip format than on Cho’s drawing abilities. Clearly the guy’s a very talented draftsman, but I just can’t see myself wading through all the unfunny gags to look at cutesy animal and the occasional “good girl” art. If it’s cartoon babes you’re after, just visit Cho’s website, where he gets a little more R-rated and draws Brandy look-alikes in lots of Edgar Rice Burroughs settings. Apparently Cho’s drawing a SHANNA THE SHE-DEVIL miniseries for Marvel in the near future, and I think that’s likely to be a much better application of his talents than a humor series.

Final judgment: I tried Judd Winick’s BARRY WEEN comics a ways back, and while the “Peanuts-style-kids-who-swear” shtick seemed played-out (got my dose of that from SOUTH PARK), I could at least understand why folks were digging it. It definitely earned some chuckles. Not so with LIBERTY MEADOWS. There’s a gag that typifies my distaste for the series: the owner of the sanctuary is drinking from a coffee cup and thinking to himself, “What a beautiful morning”, followed by a second panel of wacky chaos as some of the animals race by, then a beat panel of him staring, and a final panel of him looking into his coffee cup and saying, “Man. I gotta stop drinking gin before noon.” This gag, last known to be funny in those 40’s cartoons where a bum would throw away his bottle after seeing Tweety Bird turn monstrous from a Jeckyll/Hyde formula, is repeated with slight variations no less than three times over the course of the issue. If that’s the kind of gag that tickles your funnybone, A) LIBERTY MEADOWS might be the book for you, and B) You might be a redneck.


Written by Peter David

Pencils by Ed Benes

Inks by Alex Lei

Reviewed by Village Idiot

I never knew Supergirl was such a hardbody.

Sure, Wonder Woman is the brick house of the DCU, followed closely by Power Girl and her peek-a-boo top; but apparently Supergirl has been hitting the Pilates classes pretty hard lately, and is now ready for the pages of MAXIM. What’s funny is that I always imagined Supergirl to be a bit more chaste, especially the nouveau animated-style costume wearing version we have now. In fact, I even remember reading one of the “Our Worlds at War” tie-in issues (yes, that’s right, it was me, I’m the guy) where the comment was made that the “new” Supergirl was a little more low-key in the looks department than she had been before. Something about how the original post-Crisis Supergirl merged with a normal girl, but ended up leaving the normal girl’s body, but leaving behind powers...something like that, I don’t know.

Well, whatever the case, Supergirl is not low-key anymore. I suppose the argument could be made that I’m simply carping about the typical comic book rendering of the idealized human form. I don’t mind an idealized version of the human form, what I’m questioning is the sexualized version of it; not just the body parts, but how the body parts are presented; skirts as short and as skin tight as anything you’re liable to see this side of, well, anywhere; and for what I imagine to be a explicitly young character named Supergirl. She seems all sexed up. Even the guest starring Kara Zor-El Supergirl, who is supposed to be even younger than the current Supergirl, seemed rather comely. I’m telling you, SUPERGIRL #75 is one nipple slip away from being CODENAME: KNOCKOUT.

Okay, maybe that was an exaggeration.

And that’s not even what I came here to talk about. What I did come here to talk about is the fact that DC has put out another comic that includes as a major aspect of the story an element that harkens back to the Silver Age. In SUPERGIRL #75, a young girl pops out of a rocket claiming to be “Kara Zor-El from Krypton” and wearing an old fashioned Supergirl costume, complete with a blue skirt. Everything old is new again, again.

This fact, in addition to Ed Benes’ art (the art in general, and not just the sexy aspect I discussed earlier), has created a lot of buzz for this issue among DC fans. In fact, if I didn’t know any better, I’d go so far as to say that the issue actually was generated by the fans. For those of you who don’t know, DC has a thriving message board community, and one of the most relentless threads I can remember was a call for the return of the “real” Supergirl, Superman’s cousin, Kara. This goes back to the fact that the soul of the DCU (and arguably, fandom itself) seems to be in a tug-of-war between those who want a retain the classic narrative values and elements of the past, and those who want to disregard those values and create new ones. This time out, it looks like the traditionalists won one.

But it may only appear that way. In a similar gesture a couple of years ago, Superman supposedly found out that “Everything You Know About Krypton Is Wrong,” when the writers ostensibly replaced the John Byrne dystopian Krypton with the pre-Crisis, Buck Rogers utopian Krypton of yore. But the validity of this was always in question, and it came to pass just recently where Superman discovered the utopian Krypton was a ruse. Thus, DC editorial has set the precedent for trying to have their pre-Crisis cake and eat their post-Crisis cake too, and the returning Supergirl may be yet another version of this. In other words, there’s a good chance she’ll turn out to be an illusion, or at least from a parallel dimension, etc., and not from the official DCU Krypton. And yes, there are people for whom all this matters. In fact, in some small way, it even matters to me.

Of course, there’s another way of looking at things where all of this is irrelevant. The real question is whether they give us a good story, and whether SUPERGIRL #75 is a good comic book. (Yes, I was planning on putting a review in here somewhere.) SUPERGIRL #75 is a pretty standard set-up story: it establishes who the current Supergirl is, and drops the new/old Supergirl on our laps to kick off a new storyline. In the last half of the book after the new/old Supergirl appears, she’s presented as the earnest, nice girl she used to be from the Silver Age, and I foresee plenty of interaction (read: conflict) with the older, more postmodern, Buffy-esque personality of the current Supergirl. Whether Peter David will keep these interactions interesting remains to be seen. David is of course one of the most famous writers in the biz, well known not only for his extensive run on the Hulk, but also for the recent Captain Marvel hullabaloo at Marvel. From a writing standpoint, the issue seemed to be well-crafted; light, but well-paced.

The issue also includes a rarely seen comic book element that is one of my sentimental faves: the criminal army. What in this day of ULTIMATES and SMALLVILLE and other reconstructed super-hero variations, it nice to see a bad guy crew that goes to the trouble to suit up in matching uniforms. It’s neat. Heck, maybe this means that Colonel Future is poised for a comeback.

And yes, Supergirl is a hardbody; a very well drawn hardbody. I suppose in some respects my initial reaction is testament to Ed Benes’ abilities. No real complaints about the quality of the art. Everything looked clean and pretty, and generally appealing. The buzz this book is getting for the art is well deserved. Unfortunately, the cover is a disaster. An attempt was made to re-create the cover from the Silver Age first appearance of Supergirl, but with a style that is blocky and two-dimensional; it’s almost reminiscent of stained glass. What were they thinking? Here is a book that was fairly well anticipated, a milestone issue #75, and they put ca-ca on the cover. Bad move.

But like I said, the story inside was pretty good. Again, it was a bit on the light side, but as I get away further away from SUPERGIRL #75, the more I have the sneaking suspicion that I’ll be checking out #76 to see what’s going on. I’ll also be interested to see how the sales pan out for these issues. Rumor has it that SUPERGIRL #75 has been selling out in some stores, and there seems to be a tendency for sales to spike each time a major part of pre-Crisis continuity is re-introduced into the DC books. A friend of mine wondered about these sales spikes: The numbers would indicate a popularity beyond a small group of die-hard traditionalists. Are they a reflection of a larger appetite for the classic DCU among comic readers in general? Perhaps the nostalgia draws in older readers who left the titles. Perhaps the nostalgia is just enough of a novelty to spark momentary curiosity. Whatever the case, I’m sure DC is not done re-introducing the past. Let’s just hope they stop short of Beppo the Super Monkey.


written by Warren Ellis

art by Garry Leach and David Baron

published by Wildstorm / DC

reviewed by Buzz Maverik

This review was going to be a collaboration between Talkback @$$hole Jon Quixote and myself. J.Q. seriously disliked GLOBAL FREQUENCY # 1 and since I liked it (but with strong reservations which I will detail further down the page) I thought a point/counterpoint might be interesting. Then, we started talking about Wolverine, Agent X and all those characters with healing factors running around comics these days.

Quixote seemed to think he had some sort of healing factor. He bet me ten cases of Molson Canadian that he could regenerate a limb. Since Molson is a really good beer, I took the bet. We immediately drove the @$$mobile to Rattland, the nearest theme park, and headed for the “Small Fuckin' World, Ain't It?” ride.

"Okay, college boy, ignore the recording that says to keep your hands and feet inside the boat at all time," I said as a bunch of robots dressed like international midgets started singing.

It was somewhere around the all-singing, all-dancing Iraqis that J.Q. lost his hand. I lit the bloody stump on fire to stop the bleeding, and when I could get a word in edgewise between J.Q.'s screaming, I said, "Great. Now I have to review GLOBAL FREQUENCY #1 by myself. Everything happens to me!"

While we're waiting to see if Quixote's hand will or will not grow back (I'm counting on that Molson!), I decided to go ahead and read and review GLOBAL FREQUENCY # 1.

Global Frequency is a network of private individuals who work as operatives for the greater good of the world. They are recruited by a mystery woman named Miranda Zero and bear no loyalty to any single nation. The world's intelligence agencies pay them hush money to keep the horrors they discover a secret. A young woman called Aleph sits in a 60's mod chair, linked by a headset and high tech gear to the operatives. The members of Global Frequency are 1001 men and women, from all walks of life, all over the world.

In issue # 1, various agents deal with a former Soviet sleeper agent still in deep cover in San Francisco. The Soviets implanted a disc into the agent's brain that links him with a Russian nuclear facility. The agent is a teleporter and the disc is trying to bring a nuclear bomb to him. Cool stuff, huh?

I'm a little biased when it comes to most Warren Ellis comics. Ellis seems to have many of the same interests and sensibilities that I do (conspiracies, Cold War history, bizarre quantum physics) so I'm always going to be positive toward a portion of his work. Those elements certainly are present in GLOBAL FREQUENCY #1, as well as an incredible sense of tension and suspense.

My criticism of the storytelling here can be applied to many modern comic book mini-series. More and more, comic book writers are inspired by the styles of film and TV. For that matter, many writers write for all mediums. Writing is writing, but that means compelling narratives, intelligent stories and well-drawn-out characters. But each medium has its own limitations and strengths. Of course, comics and film are similar in that both are visual. Film has an advantage in that it can use images as shorthand. Most screenwriting classes will do nothing more than exploit your dreams and take your money, but one thing you will learn: making your hero the first person the audience sees is a smart move. Comics, however, still have the ability to take us inside the characters' thoughts. Thought balloons have been out of vogue since THE WATCHMEN, with first person narration en vogue. I'm for the return of the thought balloon.

GLOBAL FREQUENCY could have benefited in a big way by telling us clearly who the good guys were and what they wanted and why. I'm sure it will read better in trade paperback form for that reason. Current comic series that have started off well for this reason include Y: THE LAST MAN and 21 DOWN.

One thing I love about the concept of this 12 issue series is that each issue will have a different artist. The series was launched by the excellent, realistic work of British artist Garry Leach. Lots of mood, here, lots of power. Leach is every bit as responsible as Ellis for building the tension. His artwork is like the ticks of a time bomb.

If you like the hidden mysteries of PLANETARY and the idea of individuals taking control instead of government from THE AUTHORITY, and you're not crazy about superheroes and won't miss them, stick around for upcoming issues of GLOBAL FREQUENCY. I will.

Title: Y: THE LAST MAN #4

Writer: Brian K. Vaughan

Pencils: Pia Guerra

Inks: Jose Marzan, Jr.

Publisher: DC VERTIGO

Welcome to This Week in @$$hole History. I’m your host, The Omniscient Moderator, a bodiless presence haunting @$$hole Central and attempting to bring order to these hallowed halls. This week we look back on a classic episode of @$$hole Point/Counterpoint. In this episode, Vroom Socko and Ambush Bug look at Y: THE LAST MAN #4. This infamous episode resulted in the show’s eventual cancellation and has never aired in its entirety until tonight…

Moderator: Vroom, you won the coin toss, you go first.

Vroom: Y: THE LAST MAN is one of the most overrated, over-hyped rags to show up on the rack since THE AUTHORITY. The concept is nothing but a remake of THE OMEGA MAN with women instead of mutants. The highlight of this (and the last) issue has been the hero of the book, a young moron named Yorrik, bringing his male wisdom to groups of clashing women. Apparently, without a masculine influence in their lives, women will degenerate into bickering sociopaths. This borderline misogyny might be forgivable if the story was any good, but it isn't. Yorrik is about the dullest protagonist I've seen. Add a "shock" ending that anyone with a functioning brain stem can see coming from page three, and you have a comic that neither enlightens, nor entertains. This is a by-the-numbers affair that I don't see lasting more than a dozen issues.

Bug: Vroom, you ignorant slut, you are totally wrong. It’s Yorick, not Yorrik.

Vroom: You call that a counterpoint?

Bug: Well, you were wrong about the spelling, but if you want more, I’ll give you more. I think Y: THE LAST MAN is a highly introspective look at today’s society. The point Vaughan is trying to make is that even without men in the world, the place would still be a mess. He’s not saying that without men, this would happen. He’s saying the everything was already in a mess and then this happened. The message is that the world’s population is not so much separated by ideals of male and female, but of the masculine and the feminine. These are traits that everyone shares. When hate groups or branches of the government (both dominated mostly by males) disappear, these subsections of society don’t disappear with them. The empty slots are filled with those exhibiting qualities that enable them to do the job that the role demands. What Y: THE LAST MAN is telling us is that after thirty years of feminism saying that it is the man’s fault the world is in such a pickle, we come to find out that a world run by the other half would be just as fucked up. In that, Vaughan and Co. are telling a story that strips away barriers between man and woman, and forces the world to deal with the world’s problems as humans. And that’s the way problems should have been dealt with all along. So far, the title has been a lesson in morality and a magnifying class on the world outside your window. Y: THE LAST MAN is a book that forces one to think and I hope it is around for a long time to do so. Furthermore, the book has a monkey and I think monkeys are funny when they throw poop.

Moderator: It was at this point in the program where all hell broke loose, forcing the stations to pre-empt the show and air an old episode of “Maude”. The audience did not see Vroom pull out a bag of monkey poop, pummel Ambush Bug with tiny Raisin-like pellets, and scream “Take that, monkey boy!” The fisticuffs that ensued were not a proud moment for either reviewer, resulting in many a torn ligament, but the pair soon made up over lattes and cinnamon bagels and all was well in the @$$hole Universe again. Unfortunately, Point/Counterpoint was canceled and all episodes were shelved. In its place, “Maude 2002: Maude Harder” began its reign as the most watched television series in entertainment history. That’s it for This Week in @$$hole History. Join us next time when we reveal the true origin of Buzz Maverik. It’s not a hoax. Not an imaginary story. It is all chillingly too real. Good night.

NEW X-MEN Vol.1 (Hardcover)

Writer: Grant Morrison

Artists: Frank Quitely, Igor Kordey, Ethan Van Sciver, & Leinil Francis Yu

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Reviewed by Cormorant

I have a love/hate relationship with Grant Morrison’s NEW X-MEN stories that’s frankly a little depressing. I have dropped the title close to half a dozen times - impressive considering that it hasn’t even run 20 issues – and returned to it time and fuckin’ again, like monk who’s starting to enjoy that whole self-flagellation thing just a little too much. At first, I figured it was the “train wreck” factor – I just couldn’t turn away from watching Grant Morrison taking characters from the first comic I ever loved and running ‘em through his meat grinder of high-concept madness and subversive characterization. After you come back for the sixth time, though, that excuse starts to look pretty limp. I also considered that maybe I was just desperate for anything X-Men-related as a sort of nostalgic need to revisit the heroes of my childhood, especially after the X-MEN movie reinvigorated my fondness for the characters. I’d abandoned the book in the late 80’s and Morrison was the first writer to at least do something innovative with the title, so that remains a distinct possibility. Lately, though, I’ve been considering the most painful answer: that the series is legitimately good and my resistance to it simply reveals a creative conservatism on my part.

Well…let’s not go too far!

Still, there’s at least a little truth to that notion. At the same time, Conservative Me still has plenty of legitimate criticisms, and while I’m currently back on board Morrison’s Mutant Train, for every aspect I like about the book, I can cite some element that irks me. I did buy the recently released hardcover, though, which collects the first two major story arcs, the widescreen annual, and blows the whole affair up into the oversize format of all the Marvel hardcovers. Either the good outweighs the bad, or I’m the world’s biggest hypocrite. Or maybe it’s just that oversize format, which I do unabashedly dig the hell out of. In any case, I figured that the only fair way to evaluate this collection was to let both the enthusiast and the detractor in me have their say, so let’s get on with it, shall we?


CON: Over the course of two story arcs, the book has no less than three different artists (four if you count the annual!).

PRO: But they’re all good. Damn good. Frank Quitely is the breakout talent most in synch with Morrison, but Igor Kordey’s stuff has a dynamic grittiness I love, and Ethan Van Sciver is a realist with a lot in common with George Perez (always a good thing). While the rotation of artists is a huge frustration for many fans (and normally I’d be right there with ‘em), in this rare case I actually have to cite it as a draw.


CON: Morrison’s writing is so fast-paced as to sometimes leave the reader feeling like he’s missed a chapter.

PRO: Yet it’s hard not to admire Morrison for bucking the trend towards ultra-decompressed storytelling (as exemplified by wordy mofos like Brian Bendis), and his manic pacing certainly gives the series an energy not seen since Claremont was an innovator in the 70’s.


CON: Morrison ditches the classic costumes for more militaristic leather jumpsuits (as seen in the movie), and even throws a word or two of derision towards the classic outfits. Kinda pissing on the source material, ain’t it?

PRO: The new outfits look good, period, though Wolverine’s jacket-over-a-bared-chest is a pretty silly bone to throw to the ladies who swooned over Hugh Jackman. I like the old costumes, but times do change, and ultimately I like the idea of making the X-Men visually distinct from traditional superheroes like the Avengers and Spider-Man.


CON: New Sentinels designs? Evil twins? Villains looking to exploit mutants? The return of Phoenix? My god, man, this Grant Morrison guy is just recycling every hoary cliché in the mutant handbook, isn’t he?

PRO: Sorta, but it’s all in the execution, isn’t it? Nothing is approached in the traditional manner, and all the storylines are viewed through Morrison’s oblique and subversive eye. Classic elements are in place, yes, but everything feels new.


CON: Admit it - the action sequences are disjointed.

PRO: Morrison deliberately avoids the clichés of conflict, preferring instead to keep things understated. Loose cannons like Wolverine benefit from the restraint, coming across as cooler than ever, and when Morrison does break out a full-blown action scene (as with Jean’s decimation of a squad of armored troops in front of the school), it’s genuinely energizing.


CON: Morrison kills off sixteen million mutants when he has Sentinels raze the island of Genosha. Not only does this number seem absurdly high for one little island, but this Holocaust-level event seems to have little in the way of an effect on the Marvel Universe or even NEW X-MEN itself! Outrageous!

PRO: Legit complaint there. Just because Morrison shows a few shocked newscasters doesn’t mean he’s treated Genosha’s destruction with even a hint of reality. The only upside? I never liked Genosha anyway and thought the Marvel Universe could use a little mutant-weeding. Callous? Sure, but the writers of the 90’s created mutants with the loony vigor that can only come from having Rob Liefeld as a contemporary, and anything that undercuts their creations has at least some benefits.


CON: These stories really stretch the all-ages paradigm that’s characterized the X-Men for over three decades of readers! The violence level is amped, mutant vivisection comes up more than once, a newly discovered mutant vomits acid, Jean Grey makes armored bad guys poop on themselves, and Cyclops frickin’ euthanizes a mutant who’s being burned to death! What the fuh?!

PRO: No “pro” side to this one. NEW X-MEN is not all-ages friendly, and is likely to appeal only to mid-teens and up. If you fall into that age bracket, chances are it won’t bother you, but as someone who began reading X-MEN when he was around seven, it still troubles me.


CON: Morrison’s dialogue is freakish and obscure. It’s like reading a comic written by Dennis Miller. And what’s this “black bug room” the villainous twin Cassandra Nova refers to?

PRO: Weird the dialogue may be, but the book is also peppered with memorable lines! Sure, you hit the occasional rough spot as Morrison indulges in almost Claremontian sentimentalism and quasi-poetic riffs, but there’s a certain wonder to it all that reminds me of nothing so much as the inspired absurdity of Jack Kirby’s “Fourth World” concepts. Still not clear on the “black bug room,” though. Context suggests it’s an allegory for the hidden, paralyzing anxieties we all house in our minds. Or sumpin’ like that.


CON: Cyclops, among the most popular of X-characters in Claremont’s heyday, is portrayed similarly to Cameron in FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF. Morrison apparently can’t write a straightforward heroic character without subverting them into a self-loathing outsider.

PRO: The above is true, though there’s a slight mitigating factor in that Cyclops had apparently been possessed by some real bad dude prior to Morrison’s run, thus setting the stage for a little soul-searching and personality shuffling. And even I must admit that Morrison hits on a strong concept in making Cyclops almost ludicrously confident in battle, yet perilously closeted in his personal life. The inspirational factor of old-school heroism is lost, but the character certainly becomes more relevant to readers.


CON: The Beast looks like a damn cat and his dialogue is virtually composed of non sequiturs at times.

PRO: The cat look is actually pretty cool, inspired by a memorable French BEAUTY & THE BEAST film from 1946. I dig that movie. Reasonable point about the non sequiturs, though, and they even crop up from other characters. Methinks Morrison needs to wait till he comes down from his trips before writing.


CON: The annual contained within is borderline incomprehensible.

PRO: Err…umm…


CON: Morrison is an idea fetishist. He throws out new concepts about evolution, aliens, and technology at a mile a minute, yet rarely explores any of his concepts in depth.

PRO: One does wish Morrison would pause to elaborate on his concepts a little more often. Sample line from the alien royal guardsman, Smasher: “I’m downloading Penta-vision traits from my Exospex, Milady. Excuse me. Okay…I can see around corners, through walls, into minds.” Morrison throws this stuff out like it’s going out of style, but there’s something to be said for the conceptual bombardment approach, which emphasized wonder over precisely defined powers. It’s both frustrating and exhilarating simultaneously.


CON: The new mutants Morrison introduces are kinda creepy, and their powers are vaguely defined.

PRO: True – I can’t say I’ve grown attached to a single one of them, but they do give the traditional X-Men new foils to play off of, and emphasizing the schooling side of Xavier’s band of mutants was a damn good idea in general. At the very least, I’m fascinated to see what happens when these students go up against the faculty in an upcoming storyline. Morrison’s sure to go nuts juxtaposing the old and reliable with the new and chaotic.


CON: It’s got aliens in it! Wahhh! That’s unrealistic! The X-Men should be just like in the movie and in ULTIMATE X-MEN!

PRO: Shut the hell up. Morrison rightly embraces all of the X-Men’s history, and that absolutely includes space-faring adventure. In fact, he actually makes the Shi’ar seem alien for once, which I rather enjoyed. On a more personal note, I was just happy to see the X-Men deliver the Shi’ar Imperial Guard a serious ass-whuppin’ in one of the book’s best scenes. Those bastards have had it coming since the original “Dark Phoenix Saga.”


CON: This book is thirty-friggin’-dollars, man!

PRO: Okay, you only get thirteen issues for your hard-earned shekels, but the oversized format does wonderful things for the art, and you get an intro by Bruce Timm, the surprisingly fascinating ten-page proposal that got Morrison the gig, and about three pages of bonus art. If this were a collector’s DVD, I’d still call it pretty damn skimpy, but you’re by no means getting shafted. It’s a solid deal.


CON: This ridiculous reviewing format is going on forever! Stop being so goddamn self-indulgent and just wrap it the hell up!

PRO: The NEW X-MEN hardcover brought me back onboard the series and convinced me that while Morrison may be a touch demented, he’s almost certainly the radical the series needed to reignite it after over a decade of uninspired drifting and incestuous storytelling. I may end up regretting this review the same way I regret my evisceration of a NEW X-MEN issue several months ago, but right now I’m recommending the book to those looking for a radical new approach to superheroes that reinvigorates them with an energy lacking since the 80’s. NEW X-MEN ain’t perfect, and my complaints aren’t magically disappearing, but of all the new-millennium approaches to superheroes, it’s the most fun, the most dedicated to the essential weirdness of the superhero concept, and the most addicting.


Written by Warren Ellis

Art by Garry Leach and David Baron

Published by Wildstorm/DC

A Jon Quixote review

I was at the @$$hole laboratory, trying to iron out the kinks in my new formula for Zimmerman repellant, when Buzz burst through the door.

“Give me your hand,” he barked, his eyes glowing with the tell-tale shimmer of freebased Pine-Sol.

Now it’s been my experience that when Buzz Maverik runs towards you wildly asking for one of your limbs, the best course of action is to look him square in the eye and in a calm, collected voice, tell him to go bug Village Idiot. Either that or play dead. But, probably stunned by being in close proximity to a mind that would give Global Frequency a good review, I did the stupid thing: I played along.

“Why do you want my hand?” I asked, rolling up my sleeve.

“Don’t be such a fucking baby,” he said, “I just wanna try something.”

The second I extended my arm, Buzz quickly grasped my wrist. He then proceeded to smear gobs of honey all over my hand. I gazed at him in dumbfounded amazement as he worked with a methodical mania normally reserved for surgeons and mental patients.

Eventually I’d had enough. “Are you finished?” I asked, my hand dripping with amber goo.

“Yup, just about,” he giggled, and jumped back. Suddenly, I heard a feral roar and the lab door exploded into splinters.

And that’s when I remembered seeing that requisition form for the rabid Kodiak from Ursines ‘R’ Us laying around the clubhouse.

10 minutes and $400 worth of Grizzly-strength NyQuil later, I had my belt in my teeth and was struggling to tie a tourniquet around what was left of my right arm. Buzz’s mocking laughter provided the soundtrack. “Good luck writing that review now, stumpy!” he shouted, before staggering off and mumbling something about singing Iraqis and Molson.

So while I wait for my standard Canadian mutant healing factor to kick in (what? You Yanks don’t really believe that Universal Health Care crap, do you? That’s just a rumor we started to piss off Newt Gingrich), I may be off the @$$hole page for a week or two. Luckily I finished my Global Frequency review before this all went down.

Which is good, because Global Frequency has got to be the most overwritten, sleep-inducing comic book I’ve read in a long time, and I’d hate to let that slide.

Global Frequency presents a world where a coalitio

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