• Over at Big Hollywood, Batton Lash posts an recent essay by Steve Ditko on comics and the alleged moral bankruptcy of modern pop culture:
So what is ignored/evaded is that there is a long, ongoing “status quo” in Marvel Comics company’s very existence and publishing that needs to be “broken”, “smashed together”.
There are periodic operational changes in the company’s “status quo” with different editors. But while these new editors create different personal styles, they all maintain the same editorial “status quo”, that same anti-hero premise.
• Really Ken? EW's Ken Tucker declares Flash: Rebirth and Secret Warriors the "two best superhero comics written right now":
For my money (at the comic shop most Wednesdays), both Bendis and Hickman write the best dialogue in comics. (Also check out the banter Bendis bats out in the equally-good Dark Avengers.) So there you have it, writers at their peaks: Johns a master of humanizing comics mythology, and Bendis and Hickman creators of conversation that seems real no matter how "super" the action is.
• Better late than never: The cast of Metabunker (Henry Sørensen, T. Thorhauge & Matthias Wivel) offer their picks for the best comics of 2008
• Rankin vs. Azzarello. The Oregonian's Steve Duin looks at the two opening entries in Vertigo's new crime line and does not care for the latter: "You can not over-state the smug stupidity of this graphic novel."
• Tim O'Neil has some harsh things to say about Flash: Rebirth and Barry Allen in general:
Discount the first fifty or so issues of the great Silver Age run - as era-defining for DC's Silver Age as Fantastic Four was for Marvel. After that, into the late sixties and seventies and eighties, who talks about Barry Allen? Seriously, in all my years on this blogosphere I have never - ever - seen anyone willing to wax rhapsodic about any issue of Flash produced in the twenty years between 1965 and 1985. I'm sure they're out there, somewhere - but just look, for comparisons sake, how much keyboard time is spent lionizing relatively bad comics such as the Mod-era Wonder Woman and Bob Haney's The Brave and the Bold. If there was anything interesting to be found in those twenty years of continuous publication, I have never seen anyone on the internet mention them, which is about as telling a barometer of fan interest as any I can imagine. If people cared, people would talk about Barry Allen - but no one does. Ever.
• Greg McElhatton reads Koren Shadmi's In the Flesh and find "a little Shadmi goes a long way, and having his stories all collected together doesn’t do him any favors."
• Brian Heater declares Gabrielle Bell's Cecil and Jordan in New York, "one of Bell’s strongest work and a friendly reminder of why she has become on of the most celebrated storytellers to come out of the mini-comics scene in recent years."
• The Onion's Keith Phipps uses the awful Howard the Duck movie as a springboard to talk about the Steve Gerber/Gene Colan source material.
• Finally, at the risk of seeming like a shill, I should point out that Noah Berlatsky is blogging about every single issue of William Moulton Marston's run on Wonder Woman. Here's issue one. Here's issue two.