Weekly Comic Book Discussion 8/19/2004


Kicking things off with Doctor Spectrum #1, spin-off of the popular Supreme Power title. We get insights on the bonding process between space-crystal and man. We get insights on the icy-cold focused nature of our main character. Too soon to tell whether or not it will be a worthy addition to the Supreme-verse, but we do get to see a Spidey T-shirt, which I found interesting. (As it defines the regular Marvel Universe as having a fictional presence in this Supreme-verse.)

Starjammers #3 - I missed issue #2 somewhere. I like that we’ve got a couple of the old Starjammers here - but I want them to explain what relation this series is to the previous Starjammers incarnations. Alternate universe, maybe? Because - no sign of the Shi’ar, no mention of Corsair, etc.

And I wanna see Hepzibah! Maybe she was in issue #2

More to come.

How so? There’s a kid wearing a Green Lantern t-shirt in last week’s Detective Comic, but GL is a real person there. I own a John Kerry t-shirt - he’s real as far as I can tell. :wink:

I didn’t get a single new book this week. I did manage to read Ultimate Fantastic Four 1-6 at the bookstore, which was interesting. I remember someone complaining about it being pretty slow-paced. I think it works better in TPB form in that respect. Whether that’s better or worse than the “let’s rush through all of Spidey history as fast as we can” pace of Ultimate Spidey, I dunno.

You misunderstand. I mean a fictional presence as opposed to ‘no presence at all.’

And we can tell there’s no real Spidey in the Supreme-verse, by the events of this week Supreme Power - Nighthawk’s only ever heard of two superbeings.

I got:

Greyshirt #5 - woo hoo, now I’ve completed the Greyshirt: Indigo Sunset miniseries! While the stand-alone short Greyshirt stories in Tomorrow Stories were better (they were written by Alan Moore, which helps), this miniseries by Rick Veitch was a lot of fun, with tight continuity between each issue, fleshing out Greyshirt as a character and not just a deus ex machina figure or a narrator. I know the biggest influence here was Will Eisner’s Spirit, which I really ought to read one of these days.

I also picked up Hellblazer #33, but that was for Selkie.

Can you tell I don’t really care about the new issues of the week?

Indeed. Now it makes sense, thanks.

Since I don’t have any books to talk about, I wanna ramble.

  1. Marvel.com sucks complete ass. They don’t have a message board, they have horrendous navigation on the site (there’s no direct link on the front page to their weekly schedules), and their layout bites it.

  2. I was looking through my Harley & Ivy books last night. In the first book, Harley’s rummaging through her purse for something to smack Bats with. She throws out a tampon and a condom! In addition to the near-nudity, I wanted to know how they get away with that (especially without a “for mature readers” tag, like Sleeper has). Turns out there’s not a Comic Code tag on the book. Looking through my collection, I notice that a lot of books don’t have it (Identity Crisis, DC: New Frontier, all my Ultimate books, etc.). What’s the standard practice for the Comic Code tag?

  3. I thought I had three things. Huh. Uh…anyone know which Catwoman books Cooke did?

Good week for ol’ Max Carnage!

She Hulk: My joy can be summed up in two words: Damage Control! If only they’d been on more than a page. (Bring back the Damage Control comics…because I demanded it!) I also love Awesome Andy in the spotlight this issue. Don’t know why, but he’s really grown on me. That chalkboard around his neck though…is it computerized, or is he just really fast with chalk? This book is Max’s Pick Of The Week ®!

Ultimate Spider-Man: Egads, Bendis, how many original Spider-Man story lines were you trying to shove into this arc? This line was been pretty week. And forced. There was no need for Ultimate Carnage. Lets see some original stories for once, Brian. I know you have it in you.

Supreme Power: I liked the layout of the book, so that everything was happening at the same time. I still haven’t got a handle on Power Princess yet. Is she crazy? She told Hype about 5 different versions of their possible history. Was one decided on the truth? And when Hype went back to his apartment, who left the notes behind? Anyone?

Doctor Spectrum: Samm Barnes did a nice job of writing in the JMS vein. They must have worked pretty closely together on it. Art was very good too. Thing is, I don’t find Dr S all that interesting of a character in either book. I hope that changes for me as the story progresses.

A couple of years ago, Marvel finally did the right thing and dropped the Comics Code Authority, deciding to self regulate by creating their own rating system (which admittedly still needs work.) The main reason to have the CCA seal on your books is so that places like Wal-Mart and grocery stores could carry the comics w/o having to check content on individual issues. With secondary markets thinning out, there wasn’t much in submitting your items to the Code. The Authority was pretty wishy washy about what they’d allow so you never knew what standards to follow. Back in college I wrote a paper suggesting the abolishment of the Comics Code Authority, stating it was an antiquated remnant of the dark ages of Fredrick Whertham and the 50’s Red Scare. Apparently, Bill Jemas reads my work :slight_smile:

Honestly I’m not sure when DC followed suit though.

A lot of DC books still have it, so I don’t think they did away with it.

DC’s page is better - cluttered a bit, but reasonably decent as site-design goes.

He drew a short serialized story in Detective Comics, setting up the new series, and then issues #1-4, with Mike Allred inking! Of course, the great Ed Brubaker has written every issue of Catwoman so far, including the Detective Comics lead-in. All of that is included in the first Catwoman TPB, The Dark End of the Street. The only thing Brubaker hasn’t written is the original graphic novel Selina’s Big Score, which was written and drawn by Cooke. This may be in TPB by now, but it was originally published as a hardcover.

You also need to get the original graphic novel Batman: Ego, written and drawn by Cooke! And he did an art fill-in for Allred on X-Force #124, the origin of U-Go Girl, which is a very nice and touching stand-alone story.

I believe his run is collected in the TPB “Selina’s Big Score” which I quite enjoyed. After that I believe he left and the new artist imitated his style, but it was of course, not as good.

I didn’t collect the series there though a friend of mine did so I only know sort of second hand.

I started off my week’s reading with Batman Adventures #17, which is the last issue of the series. Without spoiling it, as I was reading this, I had to ask myself, “If Batman is ‘the world’s greatest detective,’ wouldn’t he have caught the main character in the story much sooner in his career?” But then, I always had trouble wondering the time-frame when these stories where set in during Batman’s career & not knowing exactly where I stood with this title. Earlier stories showed Eel O’Brien (Plastic Man) still running around as a hood, for example. Once I got past my internal question, I did enjoy the story after I reluctantly bought the premise. I noticed more references to past Bat artists here (Giella, Paris, Novick, et al), as given character names, streets, or building names, than anywhere else in my recent memory; not that it’s not deserved, but I thought it almost bordered on some overkill which hindered the flow when I was reading the story.

For something different, I went to one of my favorite titles, Daredevil #63, that I wonder if anyone else out there is reading. (Sorry if I sound harsh, I just have a hard time convincing non-DD readers to try it.) If I say it’s a “typical” Bendis/Maleev collaboration, I am not being derogatory; it’s a good thing. This book is still on my “top 10 title” list. I love the dialogue and the subplots. Black Widow is one of my favorite characters and I’m lovin’ every minute of her being back in DD with the Bendis spin on it. I confess, the opening recap page is a big help to me as the issues are chapters of a bigger story-arc. I do find reading issues consecutively enhances my enjoyment more.

After I was mildly disappointed with the first two weeks of the “War Games”/Batman storyline, I have to admit the story is finally getting a bit more interesting. Oddly enough, Batman: Gotham Knights #56 didn’t even have Batman appear in the issue itself. I’m starting to get a handle on the different mob families (what’s left of them) running around now. I think it would’ve helped if all the hired muscle villains on page 3 were identified for old and new fan alike. (What’s Trickster doing in Gotham?) In Batman’s absence in this issue, we see Nightwing, Batgirl, Tarantula and Orpheus all running around. There’s Hush, posing invincible too. He’s seen having a confab with some unidentified mystery-man in the shadows early on (which makes me wonder why was his identity hidden if he doesn’t appear to be a major mob player, and didn’t seem to move the story along. Hmmm … we’ll see.)

And no one dressed as Robin (Tim OR Steph) appears in Robin #129. Tim stars in this issue dressed as himself as he’s thrust and forced into the mob war happenings. Gone is the unsure, unconfident, mistake-making Tim that was shown not too long ago. If you missed the self-assured, heroic aspect of the Tim Drake character, he’s back.

I decided to give DC’s Manhunter #1 a try; a female, with no relation or mention of the previous incarnations of the character (yet). She’s a prosecuter by day and a heroine vigilante by night. (Geez, that sounds like the premise to that “Samurai” tv show with Joe Penny on that “Best shows that never aired” special on tv a few nights ago.) It wasn’t as bad as it sounds though. The best thing going for the book is the realness feel you get in some of the recent Marvel MAX books; especially in the courtroom scene that’s shown here where she tries to convict a DCU villain. (The villain in question has apparently now evolved into a meta-human serial-killer.) Our “heroine,” Kate Spencer is a smoker. I kinda thought that was unusual for someone doing all these ninja-like moves later on. There was no explaination or origin yet as to why she’s putting on a costume or anything of that sort; though she pauses while looking at a Joker playing card, which makes you wonder if he’s somehow invovled. The setting is L.A. which shows DC musta figured they had to set something out there. I really saw nothing to distiguish it as any other city (other than that one building that posed as the Daily Planet on the '50s Superman tv show which was shown outside a window). I’m not familiar with writer Marc Andreyko (writer) or Jesus Saiz (penciller) previous works. It did hold my interest though and I will pick up the next issue.

Already on it. Got it on eBay for a buck, and it mailed out today. I feel bad, because the store downtown offered to order it for me, but that would have been $7. Maybe I’ll buy *Selina’s Big Score * from them.

The Wargames storyline has picked up considerably. I really liked this week’s Robin. I love Tim’s character, and it’s interesting to see how little division there is between Tim and “Robin”. He can take off the suit, but he can’t change his nature. I wish he’d thrown the damn Scarface puppet into a woodchipper though.

*Daredevil * was good. Again. How much further can Matt’s life fall apart before there aren’t any molecules of it even touching each other? I liked the would-be assassin too, the goofy bastard.

Am I the only one who feels like the pace of *Supreme Power * is way too slow? I love JMS, but there’d better be a big payoff coming for my patience. I try to keep in mind that it was totally worth plowing through the first full season of Babylon 5 to get to the good stuff it set up. *Doctor Spectrum * was ok too. These just aren’t my favorite books right now.

I’m still enjoying Ultimate Spider-Man. At least here Carnage isn’t exceedingly lame like in regular continuity. Having a deeper emotional connection to Peter helps the character immensely.

Is anybody else reading Ex Machina? Three issues in, it’s a pretty cool read.

New Invaders #1 - Funny dialogue. Wish I knew the reason they say Jim Hammond’s blood restored Spitfire.
Cable vs. Deadpool #6** - Amusing, but I thought this was going to be a limited series… this and X-Force are both going to run simultaneously?
Birds of Prey #72** - Ah, and we reveal our villain. I’d wondered what happened to him.

Exiles #51 - After the semi-ominous set-up last ish, I expected… more.

JSA : Strange Adventures #1 - Whee! Golden Age Actiony goodness!

Ultra #1 - So far, it reads like a superhero version of Sex in the City. Well, less raunchy.

Girl Genius #12 - Glad to see this book back on track. Very funny.

Terra Obscura Vol 2, #1 - I liked the first series. Too soon to tell on this one, though the last line we hear from ‘the Clock’ cracked me up.

Ex Machina #3 - Yup, very good.

Supreme Power #12 - Feels like things are about to start happening, and I’m glad. Loved the last appearance of Doctor Spectrum this ish.

No She-Hulk for me this week, the shop didn’t get any of’em… maybe next week.


Maybe because it did? It happened in the first year of the John Byrne Namor series, IIRC.

Wasn’t it a transfusion from the original Human Torch that gave Spitfire her powers?

Wasn’t saying it didn’t happen.

I’d just never heard of Spitfire being restored to youth.

JSA Strange Tales #1 is very, very promising. It also refers to Hugo Gernsback, & the early science fiction pulps. I hope this isn’t a limited series.

For the Anthrofans-- Albedo Anthropomorphics, starring Erma Felna, is back in business after a 10-year hiatus, picking up the story where it left off. Great b&w art. From Shanda Press.

GI Joe --Hawk is in a coma. Dream state story, with much exposition about the character.

It happened in, specifically, Namor #12, which resulted in the youthened Spitfire, and Jim Hammond (Human Torch #1) losing his powers, which led him into running Hero for Hire later in the 90s.