Pipeline, Issue #107


The cover for FANBOY #6 might very well get my award for cover of the year. It's a wonderful mix of wish fulfillment and fancy without pandering to the stereotype of the drooling comics fanboy. You'll actually cheer on the inside for the fanboy.

I saw TRUE LIES, at last, on DVD this past weekend. All of a sudden, that skiing action scene in one of the early DANGER GIRLS issues doesn't seem all that original anymore. . .

It seems that the more action movies I see, the less original comic books seem.

GEN13 #42 brings wrestling into a storyline. UGH. As if I haven't already had it up to here with the lunacy that is the stupidity of "professional" wrestling, now it's invading the comics, too? The art by Kevin Maguire and the story by Joe Casey are pretty good, though. There were a lot of talking heads, though.

Of course, this recent rash of wrestler-based comics is ridiculous, as well. I just keep repeating to myself, "It's just a phase. It's go back into hiding again pretty soon."

I'm hoping Pokemon joins it.

IMPULSE #51, in the meantime, contains the in-jokey obsessive action figure collector. Todd DeZago writes a funny little story with some memorable one-liners, and Ethan Van Sciver continues to surprise me with just how good his artwork can be. Check out that little lesson in perspective on the opening double-page spread.

The art on X-MEN #91 by Andrew Robinson and Dan Panosian is cartoonier than the usual X-team. His crooked faces are somehow oddly appealing. What isn't appealing, however, is the fact that the entire point of this issue is to introduce a new and upcoming comic from the M-Tech line at Marvel. That's what the X-books are down to these days -- launching pads for the new line of comics.

Andy Smith draws AQUAMAN #58 over Erik Larsen/Gary Carlson's script this much. As usual when Eric Battle isn't drawing the book, the story becomes ten times more readable. And the story is very much worth reading here. Larsen and Carlson (say that ten times fast) have a pretty good grasp on the character of Aquaman.

I get the feeling Warren Ellis' two Wildstorm series are growing together. Having read PLANETARY #4 this weekend, there seem to be some things the two books share in common, specifically "The Bleed." And it seems the two books might work to solve each other's problems at some point in the future. We'll have to wait and see, though . . .

SAVAGE DRAGON #61 is another excellent example of what makes this title completely different from all the rest, and what makes it all so interesting and fun to read. Erik Larsen has the ability to pull out every comic book cliché in the book and turn it on its head. Alas, this makes it nearly impossible to discuss why without spoilers, so I can't get into it here.

But Larsen takes the story of Rapture returning from the dead, makes it almost plausible, and then rips the carpet out from underneath it. It's amazing to read.

Christopher Hillen wrote to ask why MONSTER FIGHTERS INC.'s price mysteriously went up between solicitation and final distribution. (In PREVIEWS it was advertised for $2.95, but when it came out, it streeted at $3.50.) So I asked J. Torres, who answered:

"It's a combination of lower-than hoped for advance orders and the ever- weakening Canadian dollar affecting our cost of production. We're doing everything we can to keep our overhead down while giving readers their money's worth. We hope our fans understand."

OK, I think we can put MFI discussion to bed for a couple columns now, don't you all? ;-)


Let's hope we can resurrect Duck Talk here at Pipeline Commentary and Review pretty soon. It's been reported of late that UNCLE $CROOGE and WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES could return to print by the end of the summer, at the earliest. After a year of comics without new Duck books being published, I'm starting to chomp at the bit.

This might be more territory for Pipeline2 on Fridays, but I think a strong showing by the new publisher -- Steve Geppi's Gemstone Publishing -- would be very helpful for the health of comics as a whole. It's not going to save this industry by a long shot, but in a time when Archie is the only publisher publishing children's books, it will be nice to have the Duck backs book.

They're fun for the whole family. A good Don Rosa tale is a story that can be enjoyed on many levels -- continuity, history, action, adventure. A William Van Horn story is silly fun for the kids and a treat of imagery and witty wording for the adults. David Gerstein/Caesar Ferioli's Mickey Mouse stories are easy to look at, fun to read, and a good throwback to the character that Mickey Mouse used to be and always will be, for many of us.

When the books do return to the shelves, Pipeline will be there to cover and champion them. While I'd hope they'd return in some form other than the $7 squarebound format, I'll be happy with whatever we get.


Come back here this Friday for Pipeline2, as I continue to delve into the mysteries and wonders of the direct market and its effects on comics today. How can we bring new readers in? How can we keep them? And how can we do it all without royally ticking off the retailers the market relies upon today?

Every DC Universe NOT Currently Confirmed For Crisis On Infinite Earths

More in CBR Exclusives