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#45 3/30/05 #3

The Pull List
(Click title to go directly to the review)

100% TPB


Written by Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, Judd Winick
Art by Rags Morales, Ed Benes, Jesus Saiz, Ivan Reis, Phil Jimenez
Published by DC
Reviewed by the late Buzz Maverik

I didn't read one word of IDENTITY CRISIS, the DC maxi-series where Professor Chaos raped Sue Storm and Batman listened to the Surfaris' hit "Wipeout" one too many times. Sorry if I spoiled the trade for you just now, by the way.

It wasn't from any moral grounds or fan reasons that I missed ID Crisis. It's just that, as a major film industry player, most of the time I can sit around on my ass and write this shit, but when I work, buddy, do I ever work. I missed the first issue and my colleagues reviewed it and I'll be damned if I'm gonna read comics I don't review. Also, kinda like how in ANNIE HALL, Woody wouldn't go into a movie that'd already started; I hate picking up a series midstream.

Somehow, COUNTDOWN TO INFINITE CRISIS takes off from ID CRISIS. Before I review the comic, I want to propose that we all make a pact. After INFINITE CRISIS, we won't buy any more DC series with the word "Crisis" in the title. DC has to retire that word. Because it is starting to seem like the crisis in the DC universe is infinite.

This 80-pages-for-a-buck issue was one absorbing, satisfying read. Over at the House of I-dids, the message is that if you want something to happen in a comic, you're asking for nothing but fight scenes. Sometimes, a comic should be one long fight. Other times, it should be like CTIC, filled with ideas, intrigue, character and all types of action. Not to mention the slam-bang-good artwork.

As a recovering Marvel Zombie, I'm mostly familiar with the Blue Beetle through his WATCHMEN doppelganger The Nite Owl, just as I'm more familiar with the Question via Rorschach. But Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle, genius, billionaire and superhero has what I suspect may be his finest story here. The three writers take us inside his head and show us how it feels to be a non-icon hero in the DC Universe. Dissed by Batman and Martian Manhunter, intimidated by Superman, reduced to schoolboy shyness (yet uplifted) by Wonder Woman. The guy is treated like he's nothing, but he's in the heart of one of those big crossover conspiracies.

Most of you probably know that somebody dies in this book. You probably don't need me to tell you who but I won't do a spoiler anyway. You're probably not even surprised that a character dies. That's the new cliché. They'll tell you that it's realistic and a lot of people will go with that. I guess it's realistic to have a character die in a story about a guy in a bug suit, who rides around in a flying bug craft with his buddy from the future as they try to unravel some scheme that involves magic and super villains. The guys at the other comic book company killed off the original super team badboy Hawkeye, an intriguing non-super hero created by Stan Lee, and messageboard ghouls giggle over "dead Hawkeye" action figures. At least DC didn't sink back to their 1-800-KIL-ROBN lows of the 1980s.

The thing with serialized stories and their characters is that things have to appear to change without really changing. That is a serious challenge.

As many of you know, we here at AICN Comics are consolidating our efforts to take over both major superhero comic book publishers (we're currently trying to raise the capital through gambling). Under our administration, we will still allow characters to die if that best suits the needs of the story and the overall comic book universe. But we're also going to make sure that new characters and concepts are created.

How are we going to do that? Glad you asked, my friend, glad you asked! I figure that Dave, Quixote, the Comedian, Vroom Socko and myself will handle the Marvel end. Sleazy, Bug, Superninja and Lizzybeth (we'll tell her that Vertigo is independent) will run DC. We'll bring in the talent for both companies and we'll have them pitch new characters and concepts, with full disclosure that these things will become company property at a fair price. No doubt the current A-list talent will balk, but the up and comers will see the advantage. And none of this "We call her Tigra. She looks like Tigra. But she's someone else and we don't refer to the old Tigra because we don't know anything about the character anyway." New stuff, new heroes, new teams.

No, X-Jr.'s. No it's-a-kid-in-high-school-who-gets-super-powers. No this-is-how-the-people-who-live-around-the-swamp-view-SWAMP THINGs.

Freshly created superheroes! Sounds a little bit better to me than corpses-in-waiting.


Mark Waid: Writer
Mike Wieringo: Artist
Marvel Comics: Publisher
Vroom Socko: Sadly Saying Goodbye

There are dozens of excellent writers out there. The same with fun writers. Superhero writers are all over the place. Unfortunately, there’s only a handful of excellent, fun superhero writers active today, and their number is dwindling. Thankfully, Mark Waid can still be counted among them.

This final issue with Waid and Wieringo on the creative chores reads like one big love letter to the characters they’ve been living with for close to three years. With the events of the previous issue resulting in the Four’s powers jumping to random New Yorkers, Reed and family are scouring the city in an effort to reclaim their lost abilities before someone is accidentally hurt by an out of control burning man or orange rock person. Each member of the FF is given a moment to shine here, particularly with scenes that once again reveal these people are more than just their powers. Just as he’s done in the past 35 issues, Waid simply nails what makes these four imaginauts tick. Reed is the genius who places everyone else’s needs above his own. Sue is the loving yet stern guiding hand of the family. Johnny is irresponsible and ridiculous, but can be serious when he needs to be. And Ben, Ben’s the guy who’d take a bullet for you, no questions asked, even if he weren’t bulletproof.

This self-contained story (in this day and age, can you believe it?) is the perfect goodbye for this creative team, and it ends on the most perfect note imaginable, on pretty much the exact same scene as he started with back in that good old 9¢ issue. I just plain love that. Most superhero books these days feel like the writer is laying out the story like an intercontinental railroad, blasting away any obstacles like John Henry on steroids. By bringing the story back to his beginning, Waid is all but shouting to the rooftops that damn it, superhero books are a roller coaster ride. Of course the next writer is going to bring Doom back! Of course someone down the line is going to do another story where The Thing becomes human again! That’s what makes superheroes fun: seeing just how fast you can take those familiar turns, and perhaps building up a newer, sharper curve on this old ride. Then, you step aside and let someone else go to work on adding a new 80-foot drop to the sucker. That’s what it means to create a good superhero book. That’s what it’s like to read a truly thrilling superhero book. If you can’t have fun with that, go ride the merry-go-round, sucka!

Waid and Wieringo have certainly made one hell of a coaster out of this book, and I’ve been riding it screaming all the way with a smile on my face. Sure, there were moments when I had to wait for the car to climb up to the top of the track, and moments where I thought the car was going to jump the rails. But now, in the end, I can honestly say this ride was the most fun I’ve had in a good long while, and I’d love more than anything to ride it again.


Writer: Chuck Dixon
Pencils: Scott McDaniel
Inks: Andy Owens
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Ambush Bug

What obscure comic book character do you love? For Marvel, an oddball favorite of mine from Marvel’s past is Daddy Longlegs, a misunderstood and down-and-out character who only wanted to be a dancer, and he would’ve been a fine one if not for the fact that he was 10 feet tall. Daddy Longlegs fighting style was more of an interpretive dance, with him flailing his long arms and legs around, knocking out opponents in the process. Daddy Longlegs appeared in the old, old SPIDER-WOMAN series (the Jessica Drew one). He stuck around for two or three issues towards the end of that series, first fighting against Spider-Woman, then teaming up with her to battle some other creepy villains and I’ll always remember him as an offbeat, yet fascinating character. This was long before Bendis started writing for Marvel, so I don’t expect many of you will recall the character.

Although he’s not as obscure as Daddy Longlegs, Connor Hawke is one of those characters who can’t quite find a place in the DCU. This illegitimate son of Oliver Queen (AKA Green Arrow) actually filled his father’s booties for a while in GREEN ARROW. I never really followed GA before Connor came aboard. I believe I first met Connor Hawke during the ZERO HOUR event where all of the books had a #0 issue, starting over fresh for many characters in order to re-introduce them to the comic buying populace. During that time, a lot of heroes were being replaced by a new generation of heroes. Azrael was wearing some god-awful armor and calling himself Batman. There were four Supermen running around. Kyle Rayner was the one and only Green Lantern. Wally West had been flitting around in his uncle’s underoos for a while, but Impulse was at his heels in the race for popularity. I was never really into any of those stories that seemingly shook the foundations of the DCU. But when Ollie Queen sacrificed his life in an airplane explosion intended to blow up over Metropolis and Connor Hawke was forced to take over the GA mantle for his pop, for some reason, I was hooked.

It was definitely Chuck Dixon’s action-centric writing that drew me to the character. Chuck wrote Connor as a newbie to everything. Having grown up in an ashram, the metaphorically green Connor teamed up with the crotchety and cynical Eddie Fyers, to explore the outside world. Connor proved himself to be one of the foremost figures in martial arts, second only to Shiva and Batman at the time. One of the coolest things about Connor is that he never claimed to be the best archer, but he was one of the best martial artists on the planet. Optimistic, down-to-earth, and full of humility, Connor was the flip side of Ollie Queen. Dixon tossed Connor and Eddie around the world in search of answers to Ollie’s disappearance. It was a grand adventure, but of course, an over-hyped filmmaker wanted to bring back Ollie, so Connor was shuffled to the background. And that’s where he is to this day, present in the current GA book, but woefully overshadowed by his iconic daddy.

For a few issues now, Connor Hawke has popping up here and there for a cameo in the pages of RICHARD DRAGON. Since issue number one, this book has been just a belt level or two shy of being something great. Dixon’s action-centric stylings are still there. McDaniel’s art was kinetic and strong. It was interesting, yet anti-climactic to see the Dragon track down a team of deadly assassins lead by Lady Shiva (who turns out to be a former lover of the Dragon’s). A few issues ago, things got cosmic and Dragon made a pact with Neron (the DCU’s version of the Devil) in order to save the life of a child. At the time, Neron told Dragon that one day he would ask him to return the favor. That day came in issue #11. Dragon must fight and kill his way through a tournament for the life of a child. Along with Dragon and Connor, Lady Shiva and some other familiar martial artists are in the tournament as well.

This issue is basically the build-up to next issue’s series finale. The highlight of this issue was the fight between Connor and Dragon, both evenly matched. Above, Lady Shiva and Eddie Fyers watch. Eddie is making sure it’s a fair fight, ever the protector of the naïve Connor. Shiva is gearing up to fight whoever wins. Dixon does a great job of setting up the action. For those who have followed his DC work over the last ten to fifteen years, seeing Dixon handle these characters is a treat in itself. It’s as if he never left these guys.

Scott McDaniel continues to be one of the most kinetic artists in the industry today. Although stylized and angular, from execution to follow-through, he draws extremely detailed martial arts moves. RICHARD DRAGON is not a high profile book, but McDaniel makes it look like one. Check out the cover to this issue if you don’t believe me. That’s some dynamic stuff.

I’ve said it before: martial arts books are a hard sell. The genre is based on the concept of motion and in a medium which relies on static panels to communicate movement; it isn’t the easiest method of traslation. It’s too bad, though, that RICHARD DRAGON wasn’t given more of a chance. There were some interesting concepts there, but in the end, the character just didn’t seem to connect with the audience. I had a fun time with this series. Dixon continues to be the Walter Hill of comics. He doesn’t do the blockbusters, but you’ll sure find a thrill or two reading the action in his books. In these last few issues (as he did with his final few issues of ROBIN and his fill-in stuff in BATGIRL) Dixon is playing with the characters he created in a sandbox of his own design, giving Connor Hawke and Eddie Fyers the spotlight once again. This guy clearly loves writing the adventures of Connor and Eddie. I’d love to see Connor drop the bow and become the modern day version of the Legion of Super-Heroes character the Karate Kid, but I guess someone already has that title. So until the next time Connor and Eddie pop up in another one of Dixon’s stories, I’m going to enjoy these last few issues of RICHARD DRAGON.

100% (TPB)

Writer/Artist: Paul Pope
Publisher: Vertigo / DC Comics
Reviewed by Dave Farabee

In Paul Pope’s vision of the near future, marijuana has been legalized and is sold at four varying levels of potency. Computer viruses can actually be spread via airborne means. And the porn industry? That’s where things really get freaky, especially with the visual fetish known as “gastro,” where strippers wear an MRI mesh over their bodies that projects images of their jiggling internal organs onto a nearby screen. Sound disgusting? It is, but like Pope’s other predictions, it has an eerie air of credibility to it.

In this future, in the midst of a frigid New York winter, Pope’s inky pen zeroes in on the lives, loves, and chaos surrounding a troupe of players working at a nightclub/strip club called The Catshack. To read the first few pages, you’d think you were descending into noir territory as the camera zooms in on a woman’s body found near the Catshack in dumpster. But it’s a red herring, really, just a dramatic event to kickstart the paranoia of one of the characters. In reality, 100% deals in a far more dangerous genre than noir:


And let’s stave off images of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan straightaway – the tone of 100% is more Richard Linklater’s BEFORE SUNRISE or Cameron Crowe’s SINGLES (with a hint of BLADE RUNNER’s gloom for a setting). Amongst the cast of twentysomethings, there’s Kim, the nervous bartender with the geek-chic glasses – she’s the one who buys a black market pistol after finding out about the dumpster murder. Strel is the worldly-wise manager of the club. She’s got dreams of opening up a coffee company, but she’s got a kid to take care of and an unwanted ex trying to track her down. The Catshack’s busboy is a Medieval Lit college drop-out named John. Of late, he’s more interested in Daisy, though, the club’s hot-tempered new gastro dancer whose diary ends up in his hands in one of the story’s many endearingly Shakespearean quirks of fate. Lastly there’s Eloy. He’s Strel’s cousin, an artist who looks part tough-guy, mostly geek, and he’s looking for a grant…or maybe Kim, if he can get her to loosen up her grip on that pistol she bought.

Click here to check out the gang – from left to right: Daisy, Eloy, Kim, John, and Strel.

Pope depicts the lot of them with his particular brand of virtuoso sensuality and practiced “messiness.” It’s an acquired taste, but a rich one. Take this splash page for instance. It’s not hard to imagine a Bryan Hitch or a Greg Land rendering such a neon-lit street with utter photorealistic conviction, but Pope’s captures the energy of such a place. Every line is threatening to break free from the borders that constrain it and even the street itself seems to pull the characters along with its kineticism. It’s an aesthetic that propels the entire graphic novel.

And just the same, Pope can tighten up his panels to depict the claustrophobic intimacy of the club, as in this scene with busboy John zoning out at work. But the Kirby/Kurtzman/Picasso energy is never far from Pope’s heart. One page he’ll be splintering a scene up manga-style for a taste of everyday, working class life, the next he goes American-style melodramatic as when John first bumps into Daisy on a stairwell. Gotta love the fierce angle, the curve of Daisy’s butt, and that “whoa!” look on John’s face. There’s a romantic streak to 100% that believes in love at first sight, but just the same, enjoys taking in the awkward moments of two lovers feeling each other out.

The plot?

Bit of a meanderer, and in a good way. Pope doesn’t want these interlacing stories to unfold like a dusty remembrance – he wants the reader to be there, to feel what the characters are feeling: on stage with Daisy during her gastro dance, trying to decide whether humanity’s totally fucked for its fetishes and whether that guy John just might be an exception after promising not to watch; braving the New York cold with Kim and Strel, paired up to bolster their confidence when Kim buys her gun from a grinning, almost fatherly thug; deafened by the 32 tea kettles whistling in C-minor as part of Eloy’s genius art project; drinking wine with John and Daisy in a 4-D restaurant booth that places their table on an illusory solar panel of a satellite from orbit (a neat visual analog for the precariousness of the “first date”).

Between Pope’s art, his gritty future-pop backdrop, the roguish cast of likeables, and the dialogue that veers between heartfelt realism and giddy melodrama, 100% deserves to be held up as one of the great Vertigo projects of the last few years. I recently noticed some message boards posts, I think on Mark Millar’s board, suggesting that even with the likes of FABLES, Y, and 100 BULLETS, Vertigo’s lost the creative hustle that marked the line’s early, wild years. I don’t know that I agree, but even if Vertigo can be said to’ve become safer or more complacent in recent years, a project like 100% damn well breaks all the molds!

Recommended to lovers, spurned lovers, futurists, artists, fans of Indian food, and twentysomethings everywhere. How rare is it to find a not-to-be-missed romance in comicdom?


Written by Marv Wolfman, Roger McKenzie, Peter Gillis, Gerry Conway, Gardner Fox, Doug Moench, Roy Thomas, Tony Isabella, Mike Friedrich, Jim Shooter, Steve Gerber, Len Wein
Art by Gene Colan, Neal Adams, John Buscema, Frank Robbins, Tom Sutton, Vicente Alcazar, Steve Gan, Sonny Trinidad, Yong Montano, Dick Ayers, Alan Weiss, Frank Springer, Tony DeZuniga, George Evans, Paul Gulacy, Rich Buckler, Jim Starlin, Syd Shores, Mike Ploog, Alfonso Font, Alfredo Alcala, George Tuska
Published by Marvel
Reviewed by
Tomb O' Buzz

"If yer gonna waste the Bronze, ya gotta do it big!"
Johnny the Boy, MAD MAX

No waste here, but the latest ESSENTIAL TOMB OF DRACULA is a big hunka, hunka burnin' Bronze. Just look at those credits. Pretty damned Bronze Age, alright!

This is Marvel's fourth, count 'em, fourth DRACULA volume within the last couple of years. It took awhile to get the first volume out. I heard it was published in Spain long before it made it to these United States. Since then, ETODs seem to come hourly. I say that's a good thing.

None of the stories here are from the four color TOMB OF DRACULA comic that graced the convenience racks from the early '70s through the early '80s. Those were finished off in the last volume. These stories are mostly from the wonderful black and white line of magazines that Marvel put out. The magazines didn't bare the Marvel name. I would read one once and while that I didn't even know was Marvel. I remember coming across the phrase "No prize" and thinking "Damn! Man, Stan should kick their asses!"

Reading through the volume, I realize what's missing. The stench. Convenience stores have this stank that spreads to all their products. Poor cooling systems, I guess. You can smell things spoiling and hints of sugar caramelizing would get into the pages of the comics. If only this volume had that stench, instead of the comic shop smell of...over ripe fanboys.

It makes me happy that Marvel is wise enough to go into their black and white magazines for stories to reprint. So much great work, by so many great talents was going unappreciated. A great many of the black and white stories were well ahead of their time and had a grit, a maturity, a darkness, and sometimes a sexuality that today's fans have come to expect.

When I read a volume like this, something that takes me back to another time in my life in a more significant way than nostalgia, I can't help but think, simply, that our lives are all important. Yours, mine, his, hers. The fact that we're living beings, sure, thou shalt not kill, etc. But more along the line of the things that we enjoy, that are important to us. Comics can be a religion to some, but come closer to our folklore for most of us. I don't think people in the Olden Days really believed their folklore any more than we believe our comics, but I think the old stories brought meaning to our times, just as comics have to many of ours.

Now, if you'll excuse me, after I wipe away my tears, Marvel has just released ten more volumes of ESSENTIAL TOMB OF DRACULA and I have to take my copies down the local Stop 'n' Rob for them to absorb the proper odors.

SECRET WAR #4 (of 5)

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Gabriele Dell’Otto
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Vroom and Dave: Secret Reviewers

DAVE: Vroom and I started two-in-one reviewing this book so long ago that I was going under a different name back in those days (“Morty”), but come hell, high water, or a baked Galactus with the munchies, we’re seein’ it through! Past installments for thrill-seekers:

ISSUE ONE: Cautious optimism.

ISSUE TWO: Me rikee, Vroom begins hedging his bet.

ISSUE THREE: Strike previous stances, reverse them.

And as for the latest issue? Well, I don’t think I’m the first person to suggest that Bendis’s fight sequences aren’t exactly his strength. In fact, excepting maybe ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, he kind of sucks at them.

The bad news? SECRET WAR #4 is nothing but one big fight scene. Do we have the makings of one of the worst mainstream comics of the year? Yes we do!

VROOM: As Easy Reader once said, for the first time ever you and I are in total agreement.

Four issues in, one issue left, and we still have no goddamn clue what’s really going on. Just who is that chick at the end? What the hell happened in Latveria? And just how are our heroes going to get out of the situation they find themselves in at the end of this issue? Is Bendis capable of wrapping all this up in just one issue? Questions, questions…

What really got to me though was the fight sequence, as you said. First of all, my dread fear that this book would end up feeling like little more than a New Avengers mini came true at this point. Here, as in NA, we’ve got Cap, Spider-Man and Daredevil fighting a whole slew of bad guys doing a mess of collateral damage, something that also happened in the Disassembled arc. At this point, the whole thing just feels so redundant, it borders on dull.

DAVE: My problems with the fight scenes:

*Too dark. Nice enough art from Dell'Otto, but action scenes of any sort need to instantly register in the reader's mind to be effective. You shouldn't have to study a panel.

*All the new supervillain costumes meant I couldn't tell who half the bad guys were, and even when I could, sometimes they were new versions of said villains. The lesson here: impersonal battles are boring, especially when they run the whole issue.

*Bendis's dialogue is too self aware, too "meta." At one point Spidey considers bailing on the fight, then says aloud, "Oh yeah, but there's that whole 'power and responsibility' thing." Look, to him it's not supposed to be some cliché - it's the motivation for his existence! Then there's the bad guy who quips, "Heck, call the Secret Defenders!". It's all this fannish stuff and it grates as much as the meandering plot of this whole mini. I can't believe Bendis dangled the pants-wettingly cool promise of a covert superhero invasion of Latveria to give us…this.

VROOM: I think I’m enjoying Dell’Otto’s artwork more than you are. That two-page spread at the beginning was absolutely gorgeous. I also got a kick out of his rendition of the Fantastic Four. Still, you’re right in saying that much of the action was far too murky. There were several panels that looked like little more than a red mass.

As for one of your other complaints, I believe it was actually Spidey who made that Secret Defenders quip. Of course, that doesn’t make it any less stupid. I mean, wasn’t the whole point of the Secret Defenders that there WAS no set lineup?

Why do I even know shit like that?

DAVE: Hey, yer right, it was Spidey - so add poor word balloon placement to my list of complaints. Sure, it pales in comparison to the phenomenally silly cliffhanger reveal about the armored villains - a revelation that would've been laughed out of the Silver Age - but the little things add up too.

Like this terrible line from a villain's bio in the bonus material:
"Myers has fallen on hard times lately and his intense feelings of self-worth make him easily manipulated."
Hmm, y'think maybe they meant his intense lack of self-worth? 'Cause it doesn't make any sense otherwise, and in a book running as late as this one, there's really no excuse for poor editing.

So at some point I should probably get into what I liked, huh? Here we go: a few Bendisy quips from the heroes and villains…and the pin-ups by Dell'Otto in the back. That's it. SECRET WARS' potential/pay-off ratio is about up there with THE PHANTOM MENACE.

VROOM: I think I have enough faith in Bendis that there’s still some hope for this book. Sure, for the series as a whole to be considered extraordinary the final volume would probably have to be impregnated with LSD and come with a free blowjob, but who knows? If everything actually gets wrapped up properly, my assessment of the series will probably get ratcheted up from Quagmire to Noble Failure.

But that’s for another review, in who knows how many months. For now, for this issue, the job just ain’t getting done.

Greetings, Talkbackers! I am the Moderator, the omniscient and lonely voice of reason haunting the halls of @$$Hole HQ. Last weekend, SIN CITY was set loose on theaters around the world. Now, the @$$holes at AICN Comics don’t do movie reviews, they mainly focus on the comics themselves, but that doesn’t stop @$$hole mascot and filthy monkey, Schleppy, from saying something about cinematic translations of comics. So without further ado, I’ll unlock Schleppy’s cage and let the smelly little thing out for another installment of SCHLEPPY’S MOOBIE REVIEWS or HOW THE HELL DID THAT MONKEY GET INTO THE MOVIE THEATER?!?!!!

Buh-naners, every-buddy! Da other night, Schleppy was in his cage dreaming monkey dreams of swinging from tree to tree without Schleppy’s smelly diaper getting between Schleppy’s monkey bits and da cool jungle breezes, when all of a sudden da cage opened. At first, Schleppy was scared thinking it was Ambush Bug waking Schleppy up with dat electric cattle prod again screaming “Look at me, I’m Peter Gabriel!!!!” But da room was empty. Soon Schleppy was off to da local moobie theater to sneak in to see SIN CITY. Boy, was dat fun. As soon as Schleppy see Die Hard shoot T3 Kid in da danglers, Schleppy knew he was in for a fun time. Dis moobie had every-buddy in it. Frodo played evil Charlie Brown. 007 played Fonzie. The guy from da Cher moobie MASK must’ve been working out big time, because he was massive in dis moobie. Doctor Gonzo played a head, da Hitcher played da Pope, and Kingpin played a bellhop. Dere were girls. Lots and lots of girls. And den dere was Carla Gugino’s pooper.

Heh, well, it seems like you found the film to be favorable. A lot of people say that this is a landmark in comic to film adaptations since it was so faithful to the source material. What do you think, Schlepp?

Schleppy guess dat’s cool, but did you see Carla Gugino’s pooper?

Ah-em. What about the amazing advances in technology that were incorporated into this film? Most of the movie was filmed against a green screen and the amazing imagery was added later.

Schleppy would have been more impressed with moobie if it were filmed against Carla Gugino’s pooper.


Schleppy was captivated by Carla Gugino’s pooper. It was as if Carla Gugino’s pooper was a cage and Schleppy was captured in it. A round and firm ass-trap. Schleppy get lonely in dat cage all da time, but Schleppy would not be so lonely if cage were made of Carla Gugino’s pooper.

Enough about Carla Gugino’s rear end, you chauvinistic simian! We give you the opportunity to tell the internet world about comic book films and all you can do is spout offensive comments. Don’t you know that there are women out there who read this column and they may take offense to your incessant blatherings about Carla Gugino’s…perfectly…formed…buttocks? Aww, hell. You’re right, Schleppy. That was a nice pooper.


Buh-naners, indeed, my stinky little friend. Buh-naners, indeed.

LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #4 - Call me capricious, call me fickle, call me an @$$hole…but I think I’m about ready to put this book behind me, a mere two issues after giving it a favorable review. The writing’s clever to a fault and the art’s been uniformly good…but it’s all just too damn whitebread. Feels like I’m watching THE BRADY BUNCH as filtered through Straczynski’s BABYLON 5. YMMV. - Dave

THE PULSE #8 - Now this is more like it. Not only does this book bring Bendis back to form, (I hate "What If's." HA!) but it also features the introduction of Michael Lark to the world of Jessica Jones. All I can say is, if we can't have Mike Gaydos on this book, Lark is a more than wonderful successor. Eight issue in, and this is the first time I put down the book and thought "I just read an issue of Alias." That is a good thing. Also, whoever came up with the idea of making Hydra a legitimate widespread threat in the Marvel Universe deserves a cookie. - Vroom

OTHER WORLD #1 (of 12) - Phil Jimenez, best known for his WONDER WOMAN run, both writes and draws this new project from Vertigo. On the plus side, this is a helluva gorgeous book. I won’t say Jimenez is a better storyteller than his inspiration, George Perez, but I honestly think he might’ve outpaced him just a notch as a draftsman. Story-wise, it’s a bit more muddled. The scenes of twentysomethings going about their college life and prepping for a club gig are almost uniformly interesting…which can’t be said of the other half of the book, devoted as it is to a bunch of fantasy, alternate-earth hooey. The fantasy-world stuff plays out like the opening of the FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, with its ponderous pronouncements about the fate of man, and it just goes on for too long without giving the reader a reason to care about it. Jimenez looks to be preparing to take the Gen-X’ers to this alternate world for a Vertigo-ized tale of culture clashes and destinies revealed. And he might pull it off yet, but he’s got his work cut out for him. - Dave

MARVEL KNIGHTS SPIDER-MAN #12 - Well, the Spider-Man equivalent of Batman’s “Hush” storyline is over. I enjoyed this outing a lot more than the story it was lifted from, but still, if I have to sit through another “climactic” battle between the Green Goblin and Spidey on a bridge with MJ or Gwen or Aunt May or Ms. Lion’s life hanging in the balance, I’m going to jump off a bridge myself. - Bug

B.P.R.D.: THE DEAD #5 (of 5)
- Guy Davis’s art is so great it makes me cry, but alas, the finale to this mini ends up a little disappointing. Too many deus ex machinas, too many moments where I couldn’t tell precisely what was happening, and Abe Sapien’s backstory seems to’ve lost its resonance somewhere along the line. Too bad, though I wonder if it’ll all read better as a trade. - Dave

OUTSIDERS #22 - Nice fight scene between Arsenal and the guy he thought was Batman since issue one of this series. Great character moments between the real Batman and Nightwing. And a fun set-up/cliffhanger for next issue. Whoda thunk it? I’m actually really starting to enjoy reading Judd Winick’s writing. I’m enjoying it so much I think that this time I’m going to spell his name right…for once. Arts a bit sketchy though, almost too grainy for a team book. - Bug

HACK/SLASH: COMIC BOOK CARNAGE (one-shot) - The oddball concept behind HACK/SLASH has proven to be surprisingly endearing: cute babe and her monster partner hunt “slashers,” psycho killers from the school that gave us Jason, Freddy, and Michael. It could almost be a Top Cow premise, but writer Tim Seeley tells his tales with surprising wit and somewhat less T&A than Top Cow (think SCREAM). This time around, Cassie and Vlad are tracking a slasher on the loose at a comic convention, his victims including the likes of real-world creators Robert Kirkman and Steve Niles, and it might not be the best HACK/SLASH outing, but it’s still a good dose of gory fun. Special compliments for the quasi-tribute to mutant-freak “Kuato” from TOTAL RECALL. - Dave

DOCTOR SPECTRUM #6 - Hey, after six issues, guess what? Doc Spectrum comes out of his coma! But if you are a regular reader of SUPREME POWER, you’d have known this a year ago because this issue happens literally between panels of the first few issues of the series. This was an utterly useless miniseries leeching off of the success of JMS’ superior series. Hey Marvel, next time you have a SP spinoff, howzabout giving the character something to do other than lying around on a gurney for six issues? Shelve this miniseries right up there next to just about every X-character spinoff mini over the last fifteen years. Yep, it’s that bad. - Bug

GRIMJACK: KILLER INSTINCT #3 (of 6) - My favorite issue of the series to date. Had the best fights, the funniest exchanges, the dirtiest vulgarities and the most character insight. Reminds me of the tone of one of my favorite movies, THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY, but with a ROAD WARRIOR makeover. Well worth your time, especially if you’re looking for action/adventure and getting burned out on the efforts of the Big Two. Ostrander and Truman own Grimjack and all of his lowlife pals, so you’re never going to see ‘em get screwed over just to shake things up or play a role in some “event” storyline. - Dave

FLASH #220 - Let’s get Rogue-ish, yo! Although this series has been lagging a bit, this issue kicks off what writer Geoff Johns has been building up to for what seems like forever. Love the interactions between every one of the Rogues. Johns has painstakingly mapped out complex relationships between all of them. I admire the fact that he took his time, making sure that the readers knew everything they need to know about these Rogues before this thing kicked off. It’s going to make me all the more invested in the outcome of the battle. Johns even manages to squeeze in a tender moment between Linda and Wally before the action begins. The Rogues’ siege of the FBI building and the last panel with James Jesse back in the Trickster costume is worth the price tag alone. Great fun. And a great Silver-Agey cover by Howard Porter. - Bug

ULTIMATE SECRET #1 - Alright, Warren, it’s all well and good to bullshit about zero point energy for pages on end in your sci-fi comic, OCEAN, but maybe a little less in the superhero books, okay? Later, Ultimate Captain Marvel calls someone a “rectal wart,” then shifts into an action scene where you can’t tell what the hell is supposed to be going on. Pass. - Dave

BATMAN #638 - I wonder if the fan backlash towards the BIG REVELATION at the end of this issue would be so grand if Loeb hadn’t jerked us all around with the same BIG REVELATION that turned out to be a big fat red herring in “Hush.” I guess we’ll never know. For me, though, the stigma that has followed Judd Winick around since he became one of the go-to guys at DC is fading fast. I’m digging the fact that he’s dropping the heavy-handed issues and sticking to fast paced action in this book and OUTSIDERS. Plus, the boardroom interactions between Black Mask, his lackey, and Mr. Freeze were priceless. With the death of one prominent DC player in the headlines this week, you’ve gotta give Winick credit for resurrecting another character with loads of story potential. - Bug

CONCRETE: THE HUMAN DILEMMA #4 (of 6) - This ish: make-up sex, contraceptives in pizza, Concrete versus Rush Limbaugh, and a last page shocker that may be the most creepy-cool image this book has ever hosted. It’s nice to have a book that’s always four-stars-out-four, innit? - Dave

ASTONISHING X-MEN #9 - Still the best X-book out there, but then again, all the rest of them are pretty bad, so there’s nothing much to compare it to. Most of the X-people don’t do much other than stand around outside the now-sentient Danger Room. Kitty discourses with the central computer. And Colossus gets another moment to…uhm…shine…glimmer…GLEEN in the issue’s only truly great scene. I guess I’d care more about the kids trapped in the Danger Room if there weren’t so many of them and they weren’t so faceless. I didn’t find myself emotionally invested in this issue at all. The book looks good though, but Cassaday’s art is a bit flatter and stilted than I recall from previous issues. - Bug

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