What I bought - 31 October 2012

His father smiled thinly. "Perhaps not for a while. But in the end, someone always has to have his or her neck popped, as you so quaintly put it. The people demand it. Sooner or later, if there isn't a turncoat, the people make one." (Stephen King, from The Gunslinger)

A + X #1 ("Captain America + Cable"/"The Incredible Hulk + Wolverine"). "Cap + Cable": Dan Slott (writer), Ron Garney (penciler), Danny Miki (inker), Cam Smith (inker), Mark Morales (inker), Wil Quintana (colorist), and Clayton Cowles (letterer); "Hulk + Wolvie": Jeph Loeb (writer), Dale Keown (penciler), Danny Miki (inker), Frank D'Armata (colorist), and Albert Deschesne (letterer). $3.99, 21 pgs, FC, Marvel.

Marvel doesn't seem to know how to schedule a soft reboot, do they? For all the crap I have heaped upon DC (and I'm just a member of the chorus, people), the DCnU all came out in one month (plus one week, of course, but that's because it was the most awesome comic ever assembled by man and should have been the only comic released that month, much less that week!!!!) and DC has rigidly kept to the plan - I would argue to the detriment of quality (as would, it seems, several of the creators on their way out the door) - and it's working (?) for them, I guess. At least I haven't seen any signs that they're contemplating shutting the whole thing down, re-starting the books with their old numbering, and simply moving on as if none of the DCnU ever happened. So there you have it. Yet Marvel, which usually seems to be far more together on the marketing side of the production of their IPs (how's that Justice League movie coming, DC?), is not handling Marvel NOW! all that well, are they? The first book out of the gate was Uncanny Avengers, which came out before the comic in which Alex Summers explained why he suddenly showed up in Uncanny Avengers. The second book in the "reboot" is ... A + X? Fucking really, Marvel? A team-up book? An ANTHOLOGY team-up book? What the fudgsicle*, Marvel?

The problem is that A + X is a pretty heinous comic book. Whoever writes the "recap" page (which in this case is an introduction page) basically sums it up: Don't question anything, because here are comic book characters beating on other comic book characters for 10 pages or so. Isn't that awesome? Well, not if the stories are stupid, and in this issue, they're certainly not smart. This feels like one of those classic comic books that you discuss at a convention late at night after you've had too much vodka. Then, in the morning, the editor looks a crumpled napkin and sees "Aven. fight X-M. Awesome? Goth girls #: ___ ___ _____. Soooooo hotttt!" and thinks, "Shit, yeah, we gotta do that comic! Oh, and I have to call that Goth girl." So the editor calls one of their stable of writers (let's call him Mr. Slott) and says, "Hey, Dan. I'm going to say two characters, and you're going to tell me the first thing that pops into your head. Ready? 'Cable.' 'Captain America.' GO!" And poor Dan Slott, trying to crank out Spider-Man scripts while bashing David Brothers on Twitter, says sleepily, "World War Two time travel Sentinels?" And the editor screams "Motherfucking GOLD, Dan! Get me a script by noon!" And that's how we got A + X. Sounds plausible, doesn't it?

Hey, at least Slott writes a complete story in eleven pages. It's a bad story, but it gets Cable to World War II, it gets a Sentinel into the mix, and it ends with Bucky thinking he'd look pretty cool with a bionic arm (which was a tiny bit clever, I admit). Cap makes the stupid "If the Nazis win the war, we'll all be speaking German" assumption, which even someone as addled with 'roids as Steve Rogers is can't really believe, and Slott uses the Brubaker retcon that Cap was a big ol' stupid-head who stood around and looked American while Bucky did all the work, but it's a story, you know? Then Jeph Loeb, who has never met a simple ten-page story that he couldn't turn into a twelve-issue EPIC, has the Maestro and Future Wolverine come back in time and fight present-day Hulk and Wolverine, who are hanging out together in a complete contradiction to every single characterization of the characters ever. I mean, the "recapper" points out that continuity doesn't matter in this book because it's all about awesomeness, and that's fine, but that has its limits, doesn't it? Anyway, Loeb doesn't just have Hulk and Wolverine fight future versions of themselves, he has to have it be the first chapter of some vast conspiracy involving the Red Hulk killing himself. Or something. Look, if you want to have an anthology telling out-of-continuity stories just because it would be super-cool to see the two characters team up, you can't allow something like this. Do the people at Marvel not understand this? It's not like the Jeph Loeb of 2012 is the Jeph Loeb of, I don't know, 2001, where his name might mean something - tell the dude he can't do this in an anthology team-up book or tell him to take a hike! Marvel, of course, wants to have its fucking cake and eat it, too (see below for more cake!), because that's what they always want. Man, shit like this makes me angry. This is why I don't buy shitty superhero comics (and no, I didn't buy this - I'm getting all the Marvel NOW! books with credit). Unfortunately, Dale Keown's art can't save Loeb's story - it's just kind of there.

So that's the second Marvel NOW! book. It makes the tepid Uncanny Avengers look like Shakespeare in comparison. When's the next one coming out?!?!? I can't wait!

* "Fudgsicle" or "fudgicle"? Learn the truth here!

Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Fatale #9 by Ed Brubaker (writer), Sean Phillips (artist), and Dave Stewart (colorist). $3.50, 24 pgs, FC, Image.

As usual, there's not a whole lot to say about Fatale, or anything that Brubaker and Phillips put together, because these are two (well, three because we have to count Stewart) dudes who just know what they're doing. It's a bit surprising what happens to one of the characters in this issue, not because I didn't think that character would have a nice life, but I thought something would happen in a different way. But Brubaker is slowly bringing it all together, and Phillips and Stewart are superb, of course. I don't know what else to write! Fatale is a good comic book. What more do you need from me?!?!?

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Faust: Love of the Damned #14 by David Quinn (writer), Tim Vigil (artist), and Jeff Austin (additional inks). $4.95, 24 pgs, BW, Rebel Studios.

I think it's been seven years or so since an issue of Faust came out, but now that Tim Vigil has finally got around to drawing it, we get this issue now and the final issue, it appears, should be out in a month or so. HOW WILL I HANDLE THE AWESOME?!?!?

I probably didn't need to redact this cover, because it's not too horrific, but we're a family blog (can't you tell, you motherfuckers?), so I figured I should err on the side of tastefulness. Just imagine what could be on her face and you will get a good idea of what's behind the white rectangle. I like redacting covers - if I were more skilled a Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator, I would have put a bunny there!

As I've mentioned many times before, I can't really defend Faust - it's the story of the Devil trying to remake the world through killing and fucking a lot of people, and the dude who's trying to stop him almost as violently - but I enjoy it. Quinn and Vigil totally commit to the carnal stuff, so if they need to show weird shit coming out of somebody's vagina or the devil ass-fucking a creature to get the job done, they're going to show it! In many ways, Faust is like Tarot, because the creators don't give a shit about anything but doing this story, and come hell or high water, they're going to do it! Faust is better than Tarot, because Vigil is a better artist than Balent (although he's not helped by the digital "softening" of his pencils, as earlier issues of this comic were much crisper than this is) and because Faust isn't pretending to be any kind of feminist treatise - it's misanthropic to the core, and no one is treated well in any way. I don't know - I can't say it's fun to read Faust, but it is perversely satisfying to see a writer and an artist take all the crap that Big Two comics hint about without having the balls to follow through with and just put it all out there. The sheer audacity of the depravity in Faust makes it something to admire. This is, in fact, a somewhat restrained issue of the series - I cannot imagine what we're going to get in the finale!

Rating: Beats me. It's far better than A + X, for instance, but if I give it 6-6.5 stars (which it probably deserves), does that mean I approve of it? Should I approve of something this depraved? Faust is just a holistic horror experience, man - it defies my attempt to categorize and rate it!!!!

One totally Airwolf panel:

Ghosts. "The Night After I Took the Data Entry Job I Was Visited by My Own Ghost" by Al Ewing (writer), Rufus DayGlo (artist), Chris Chuckry (colorist), and Sal Cipriano (letterer); "The Dead Boy Detectives in Run Ragged Part One: The Isle of Dogs" by Toby Litt (writer), Mark Buckingham (layouter), Victor Santos (finisher), Lee Loughridge (colorist), and Todd Klein (letterer); "Wallflower" by Cecil Castellucci (writer), Amy Reeder (artist), and Clem Robins (letterer); "The Boy and the Old Man" by Joe Kubert (writer/artist); "A Bowl of Red" by Neil Kleid (writer), John McCrea (artist), Andrew Elder (colorist), and Pat Brosseau (letterer); "Bride" by Mary H. K. Choi (writer), Phil Jimenez (penciller), Andy Lanning (inker), Andrew Dalhouse (colorist), and Travis Lanham (letterer); "Treasure Lost" by Paul Pope (story/artist), David Lapham (scripter), Lovern Kindzierski (colorist), and Jared K. Fletcher (letterer); "The Dark Lady" by Gilbert Hernandez (writer/artist), Lee Loughridge (colorist?), and Steve Wands (letterer); "Ghost-for-Hire" by Geoff Johns (writer), Jeff Lemire (artist), José Villarrubia (colorist), and Carlos M. Mangual (letterer). $7.99, 73 pgs, FC, DC/Vertigo.

Vertigo keeps cranking out these anthologies, and God bless 'em, I say - there's always something interesting in these giant comics, even if the overall product is usually not that great. Ghosts might be the best one of the lot so far, which is nice. Maybe I'm just in a good mood.

DC smartly hired a 2000AD guy, Al Ewing, to write the first story (I'm not sure if any of the other creators are 2000AD people, but I know Ewing is), because those Brits who write for that mag actually know how to tell a complete story in limited space (unlike, say, Jeph Motherfucking Loeb), and Ewing's tight story, cheekily illustrated by DayGlo, is a fun poke in the eye to those people who think selling out is so awful. I refuse to discuss the Dead Boy Detective story, because it's MOTHERFUCKING "PART ONE"! And it's not like Litt is getting a mini-series or anything - this is continued in the next Vertigo anthology! So I guess there will be another one, but how annoying is that? Castellucci and Reeder's story is wonderful, as the story tracks a marriage that falls apart very slowly, and while it's a bit clichéd, it's still well done, and Reeder's artwork is magnificent. Kubert's story is wonderful for one reason only - it's the raw pencils, almost thumbnails, so we get a good sense of how Kubert laid out a story before he inked the work, and while it's rough, you can still see the "Kubertness" of the work very well. Neil Kleid writes a story about the best bowl of chili in the world, because why wouldn't you?, and McCrea has a fun time drawing it.

I did not like "Bride," because it was far too self-important, and I don't like how Lanning's inks and Dalhouse's colors soften Jimenez's pencils. But it's followed by Pope's weird space pirate epic, which is one of the best stories in the book simply because Pope drew it, but it has some nice twists in it, too. "The Dark Lady" is a charming story with an obvious twist, but it's always nice to see Hernandez's art (although I'm not sure what Loughridge did - the story is in black and white). Geoff Johns, of all people, writes a fun little story about a guy who rents out the ghost of his brother for scare jobs, and what happens when they feel the pangs of conscience. I wonder how Johns restrained himself from decapitating one of the characters!

Overall, "Bride" is the only story I really didn't like, and several were quite good. As with all of these Vertigo anthologies, it's fun to see creators who don't often show up in DC or Marvel books get a wider audience. Maybe it will get some people to check out their other stuff!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Happy! #2 (of 4) by Grant "Fuck Ellis and Ennis, man!" Morrison (writer), Darick Robertson (artist), Richard P. Clark (colorist), and Simon Bowland (letterer). $2.99, 24 pgs, FC, Image.

Morrison continues to channel Garth Ennis in this book, and the results remain somewhat odd. It's certainly interesting to see the God of All Comics release his id, and the dichotomy of the flying blue unicorn and the hard-boiled atmosphere retains a weird charm, but it's probably good that this is a four-issue mini-series, because I very much doubt the novelty will last longer than that (if, indeed, it lasts that long). Unlike a lot of Morrison comics, there doesn't seem to be too much bubbling under the surface of this book - Happy really is an imaginary friend, and Hailey really is being held captive by a bad guy, and Nick really does need to rescue her. Now, given Morrison's tendencies, I wouldn't be surprised if the book went off in weird directions in the next two issues, but so far, it's a remarkably straight-forward comic - probably his most straight-forward one since We3 and Vinamarama (although, to be fair, most Morrison comics end up being pretty straight-forward, they just take a while to get there). It's fun to read right now because of Robertson's beautiful contrast between Nick's shitty world and Happy itself, and because Morrison is doing a pretty good job with the hook. We'll see if it becomes anything more than that, shan't we?

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Higher Earth #6 by Sam Humphries (writer), Francesco Biagini (artist), Andrew Crossley (colorist), and Ed Dukeshire (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Boom! Studios.

So Higher Earth is cancelled with issue #9 (right?), so I guess it's pointless writing about it anymore. Boom! has already solicited the first trade, but it would be nice if they cancelled those orders and offered a giant-sized trade with the entire thing between two covers. That would work, wouldn't it? I'm not sure why this didn't find a bigger audience - I assume that if it's not a licensed comic from the smaller publishers, it's really hard to gain any traction, and it's not like the creators are big-time in any way. That's too bad, because Higher Earth wasn't the greatest comic, but it had an easily digestible high concept - one Earth rules a bunch of alternate dimensional Earths, and two characters are trying to overthrow the regime - and Humphries kept things humming along while Biagini provided pretty good artwork. Oh well. I'll be interested in seeing how Humphries pulls it all together in three issues. Should be fun!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Liberty Annual 2012. "Which Came First?" by Jonathan Hickman (writer/artist); "Barren Ground" by Andy Diggle (writer) and Ben Templesmith (artist); "Freedom From ..." by Howard Chaykin (writer), Sina Grace (artist), and S. Steven Struble (letterer); "Free" by Steven T. Seagle (writer) and Marco Cinello (artist); "Lumière" by Joe Keatinge (writer), Chynna Clugston Flores (artist), and John Roshell (letterer); "Hunters" by James Robinson (writer) and J. Bone (artist); "Last Rights" by James Asmus (writer), Takeshi Miyazawa (artist), and Crank! (letterer); "Marineman/Hip Flask" by Richard Starkings (writer), Ian Churchill (writer/artist), and Axel Medellin (artist); "Sasquatch" by Chris Roberson (writer) and Roger Langridge (artist); "Common ComiConversation" by Chris Giarrusso (writer/artist); "All Freedoms Grow ..." by David Hine (writer), Doug Braithwaite (artist), and Comicraft (letterer); "King Kim: Barlartan Revenge" by Brandom Graham (writer/artist); "Just As Real As Yours" by Jim McCann (writer), Janet Lee (artist), and Tony Fleecs (letterer); "Unleashed" by Kieron Gillen (writer), Nate Bellegarde (artist), Jordie Bellaire (colorist), and Fonografiks (letterer); "Douchebag" by Terry Moore (writer/artist); "The Walking Dead" by Robert Kirkman (writer), Charlie Adlard (artist), Cliff Rathburn (gray toner), and Rus Wooton (letterer). $4.99, 48 pgs, FC, Image.

I bought this on a lark, which is how I usually end up buying these comics that help about the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, because I always forget to pre-order them. Luckily my retailer orders them, so I can see them and think "Yeah, that's a good purchase." It doesn't really matter about the quality, does it, because it's a good cause, man!

The quality is a bit iffy, mainly because it's shorter than something like Ghosts and the stories are shorter, giving less time to build anything. The theme is usually freedom of some kind, which means the stories do tend to get a bit preachy. I don't mind, but it means they're not really great stories, and the book becomes interesting because of the artwork. So we get Ben Templesmith drawing a big ol' demon (in probably the best story of the bunch, as Diggle's demon gets stymied in the most modern of ways), we get a nice Sina Grace-drawn story in which Chaykin goes for the most obvious metaphors possible in a political story. We get Chynna Clugston Flores drawing a nice, sentimental story about mothers and daughters, and Miyazawa doing some beautiful art on an end-of-the-world tale. Chris Giarrusso points out the problem with trying to sell creator-owned comics (even though I did buy G-Man, Mr. Giarrusso!). I loved Janet Lee's art on her story, but McCann's script was so earnest and treacly I thought I might get diabetes. Terry Moore's two-page story is hilarious (and gives us the Airwolf panel), and Kirkman's tale about the Governor is creepy. So there's a lot going on, and it's pleasant to look at. It's always nice to be reminded that we shouldn't take freedom for granted, but it's very hard to write about it without coming off as mawkish. But it's still a noble cause, so there's that.

You can spend 5 bucks on a comic with a lot of cool creators in it that supports something keen, can't you? Sure you can!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆ (although it doesn't really matter how good the book is, because you should get it!)

One totally Airwolf panel:

Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom #3 (of 4) by Mark Waid (writer), Chris Samnee (artist), Jordie Bellaire (colorist), and Shawn Lee (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, IDW.

Man, this is a pretty comic. Samnee has been good for years, but he keeps getting better, which is nice. There's not a lot to say with regard to this issue - the "cargo of doom" (see below) is out, and Cliff has to stop the monsters, and Samnee gets to draw a lot of crazy exploding stuff, and he's really good at it. As with a lot of artists, the slight cartoony bent he has in his artwork helps him be very versatile - nothing looks out of place because it all looks consistent even though it's not hyper-realistic. So the dinosaurs looks perfectly fine, because the bad guy's henchmen are stereotypical dumb galoots. Meanwhile, Betty looks phenomenal, but because Samnee draws her instead of stealing a photograph of Bettie Page from the Internet, she fits in perfectly with the rest of the book. In other words - draw your comics, artists, don't light-box them! I know, that's so crazy it might just work!

I've been talking up Jordie Bellaire recently (weirdly enough, one of the tweets about my Doctor Strange: Season One review was about how hard I was on the art, even though I thought I praised Ríos and Bellaire quite a bit in that review), and she continues to do wonderful work, making the fire and explosions on the ship rage beautifully while she deadens the colors of the characters, throwing them into shadows and illuminating them with tans and oranges from the fire. She really helps make Samnee's art pop marvelously, showing why she's fast becoming one of the best in the business.

I'm sure this book is selling far less than Daredevil, even though it has the same writer and artist. That's a damned shame. You really should check it out!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Steed and Mrs. Peel #2 ("Life in Hell") by Mark Waid (story), Caleb Monroe (scripter), Will Sliney (artist), Ron Riley (colorist), and Ed Dukeshire (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Boom! Studios.

Yeah, that's just a weird cover. I mean, I bet Mrs. Peel keeps Mr. Peel happy in the bedroom with that sort of flexibility!

In this issue, we get some hints that the nuclear wasteland in which the story is set is somehow a ruse, which I kind of guessed, but it's still not clear how the Hellfire Club is doing this. Obviously, we'll eventually find out, but while this issue is a bit better than the previous two, it's still not great, and as usual, it gets back to the fact that The Avengers had actors, and this comic ... doesn't. Steed and Emma's banter just doesn't have the same verve as it did in the television show, so while the plot of this book is similar to the show (from what I remember, having seen very little of entire episodes, but I seem to recall the plots being awfully weird), the back-and-forth between the two leads isn't as strong, and it just feels flat. There's nothing really wrong with Monroe's script or Sliney's artwork, but the comic lacks a spark. I'm getting the next issue and if the arc doesn't finish then, I suppose I'll see it through to find out what happens, but I'm just not feeling this book. So sad!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

The Tick #101 ("A Madman Shall Lead Them!") by Benito Cereno (writer), Les McClaine (artist), and Bob Polio (colorist). $6.99, 27 pgs, FC, New England Comics Press.

The Tick shows up again, a bunch of months after issue #100, but when the comics are as good as this, it doesn't really matter how long you have to wait. The biggest problem is that, according to the editorial in the back, the book might not last past issue #102. I'm as guilty about this as anyone - this is only the third issue of the "new series" that I've bought - but maybe you could ask your retailer to order issue #102 in such numbers so that the book can continue? I very much doubt if you will be disappointed.

Continuing from last issue, in which Arthur died, in this issue Orson, the Arthur of the 1940s, shows up to help the Tick bring Arthur back to life. Along the way, they're inexplicably joined by Frank Einstein (much like last issue's guest star, Invincible, Madman just shows up in a comic-booky way that you don't want to think about too much), who needs help recovering an "isotope" from sewer-dwelling mimes. Naturally. Cereno's script is full of hilarious asides and clever panels, including a double-page spread where the Tick imagines various scenarios of Arthur's resurrection, and of course they parody various Marvel and DC ones we've seen over the years. The book is very funny, but it's also clever, as the mimes get empty word balloons and actually construct invisible traps and houses, which of course become very hard to infiltrate. The Tick is, of course, extremely deadpan, which is what makes his dialogue so funny, but Cereno is able to make him our stand-in at times, when he goes a bit meta on us and points out the ridiculousness of the proceedings. McClaine is, of course, fantastic, as he continues to nail the facial expressions that are so crucial to comic timing. He's also able to stretch himself well, as when he does a tremendous double-page spread of Frank and the Tick battling in the heart of the mimes' domain. This is really a wonderful-looking comic book.

I know it's a chunk of change to pick up an issue of The Tick, but it doesn't come out that often and it's clear that both Cereno and McClaine are kicking ass on the book. I suppose I don't have high hopes for many more issues, but I'm trying to make up for my earlier foolishness by telling everyone who's reading this that you should buy this sucker. It's very good.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Wasteland #40 ("Beneath Black Skies") by Antony Johnston (writer), Russell Roehling (artist), and Douglas E. Sherwood (letterer). $3.99, 23 pgs, BW, Oni Press.

Roehling's first issue is really nice, probably the best art on this book since Christopher Mitten left. Roehling has a bit of a Sean Murphy vibe going on, so his lines are cleaner than Mitten's, but more detailed than Justin Greenwood's art on the previous arc. Based on the continued "wasteland" aspect of the book (it's right there in the title!), everyone looks a bit too clean, which is why Mitten was so good on this comic, but I don't mind it all that much. Roehling gives us a very good sense of the city and the outskirts that Abi and Michael find, so we get a nice idea of where the action is occurring. His line work is fluid, so nobody looks too stiff, and while there's not a lot of action in this issue, this style bodes well for future issues. I'm not sure if he shades the book (no one else is credited), but that looks pretty good, too. So, yeah - I really like the artwork. I hope Roehling hangs around until Johnston finishes his epic tale.

The arc begins with Abi and Michael coming to a settlement outside a ruined city, meeting some of the inhabitants, and then seeing a comet crash to earth, conveniently in the city. There's a dude named Thomas who can somehow "read" people (and objects, as it turns out), discovering their history (he does this to people to see if the settlement should let them in), and his daughter, Diana, goes into the city to find detritus of the pre-flood era (including a telephone). They all go to the crash site, where they discover that the comet isn't exactly a comet. Oh dear.

Johnston's story is as interesting as ever, and we'll see if Roehling sticks around for a while. Wasteland was doing so well a few years ago, and then it got sidetracked by scheduling problems. I've mentioned that this year, it's gotten back on track, and I hope it continues this way!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

All Star Western volume 1: Guns and Gotham by Jimmy Palmiotti (writer), Justin Gray (writer), Moritat (artist), Phil Winslade (artist), Jordi Bernet (artist), Gabriel Bautista (colorist), Rob Schwager (colorist), Dominic Regan (colorist), and Rob Leigh (letterer). $16.99, 168 pgs, FC, DC.

Hey, it's another DCnU trade, and probably the one I've been looking forward to the most, based on the first issue and subsequent reviews. I mean, I wanted to check out Animal Man, Frankenstein, and Swamp Thing, but I really wanted to read this! Let's hope it won't disappoint!

Journey into Mystery/New Mutants: Exiled by Kieron Gillen (writer), Dan Abnett (writer), Andy Lanning (writer), Carmine Di Giandomenico (artist), Andy Troy (colorist), Sotocolor (colorist), and Clayton Cowles (letterer). $16.99, 100 pgs, FC, Marvel.

I still haven't gotten the second volume of JiM in trade, so I'm going to wait for a bit to read this. Marvel keeps cranking them out, though!


So, did you hear that Disney bought LucasFilm? I would say you probably did. The Internet responded in an Internetty way! I don't have much to say about it, although I didn't see much about the comics - Dark Horse has been doing a very good job with the license, and Marvel tends to ... well, suck at promoting their licensed stuff, so maybe Dark Horse has worked out a deal with Lucas to keep the comics there. I don't know - did anyone see anything about the comics? All I heard about were the movies.

Keanu Reeves seems like a cool dude. I mean, you can say what you want about his movies, but whenever you read anything about him, he seems like a cool guy.

So, right after I finish this post, I'm going to vote - vote-by-mail FTW, motherfuckers! I've had several people I know on Facebook "like" Mitt Romney, and they're not just people I've only interacted with on-line - one of them is a very good friend of mine. If I lived in Pennsylvania, I'd probably argue with him about it, but I don't want to get into it on Facebook. My question to him and to anyone who plans to vote for Romney is ... Why? I'm not being snarky about this at all - I honestly want to know. I can certainly buy that you're voting AGAINST Obama - I did that with Bush in 2004 - but is there something more than that? If you're reading this and you're voting for Romney, can you explain why? It's not that I think voting for a Republican is extremely heinous (I've voted for my share of them, but never for president), but Romney seems like such an empty suit that I'm genuinely puzzled why people would vote for him (he's a lot like Kerry in this regard - I wasn't too impressed with Kerry, but man, did I hate Bush). He doesn't seem to have much to his message beyond lowering taxes, which is great, but I never understand who's going to pay for stuff if we lower taxes. If you don't like abortion, Romney is probably your guy, because he'll probably have a chance to appoint at least one Supreme Court justice. A lot of people don't like abortion, so that's a good reason to vote for him (I don't agree with those people, but at least that's a "positive" reason to vote for him, as opposed to just hating Obama). I know it's a fool's errand to ask people to be respectful about politics, but if you're in the mood and you're a Romney supporter, I want to hear - so to speak - what you have to say. I will disagree with you, but I always appreciate differing opinions, because that's why we live in a free country, after all.

I read Chad's scorched-earth Random Thoughts this week with a little bit of sadness. I don't know Chad personally (although I've done a podcast with him!), but I would like to meet him, because he does seem like a smart dude. I feel bad that he's burned out on writing about comics, mainly because I know how he feels to a degree, but whenever I feel a bit burned out, something always comes along to re-invigorate me about it. I imagine that some of you - if you read it - thought "Don't let the door hit you on the way out!" after Chad wrote "Seeing some results [of the Top 100 runs], I gather that many of you are easily distracted by shiny objects and have trouble focusing for longer than four seconds at a time," but not me - as I've always maintained, I don't really care what anyone thinks of my opinions, because that way lies RAGE! I'm more sad because I think this blog is extremely entertaining, and Chad was part of that. Our Dread Lord and Master hoards the page view numbers for this blog like Gollum clutching his precious, but I know we're pretty popular, and among the group comics blogs on the Internet, I think we're probably up there with Robot 6 (another of Jonah's fiefdoms, BUT WITH TAGS IN THEIR POSTS!) and Comics Alliance in popularity and quality, but I might be completely wrong or at least missing some (I don't read Blog@Newsarama, so I don't know about that). Obviously, I'm biased in favor of this one, mainly because those other two are very heavy on comic book news, which is, frankly, the least interesting part of comics to me. Oh, I'll read a news article every once in a while, but do I really care that much if Patton Oswalt dresses as Doctor Octopus for Halloween? No, I do not. And those two blogs post A LOT - it's hard to keep up, man! I love our focus, which is mainly on the actual product. That's more fun for me!

So what's my point? Well, Chad was just another voice writing about comics, and it's always good to have more voices than fewer. With his imminent departure, we'll have Our Dread Lord and Master, me, Other Greg, Sonia, and Kelly as our regular writers. That's a pretty good mix (especially with Chad), but when one of us leaves, it reminds me of all the others who used to write for us but don't anymore or who post here really rarely. Who doesn't miss Bill Reed, Joe Rice, Brad Curran, MarkAndrew, Alex Cox, our manga experts Danielle Leigh, Michelle Smith, and Melinda Beasi, Scott, Dean Trippe, Lorendiac, Harvey Jerkwater, even Megan Parker, who has posted a grand total of ONE time here? I even miss the dudes from the old blog who have never posted anything here. I would love it if the people who used to write for us would start up again, but I doubt if they will. Obviously, Chad can return anytime he wants (and who knows how long he's going to be doing the Before Watchmen reviews, because DC keeps publishing them!), and I hope he does. I really like the variety of writers we have here at the blog, and it kind of bums me out that a lot of them don't post anymore. Maybe Brian has to recruit some more writers!

I know Chad still has a couple of months before he ditches us, but I wish him the best. And congratulations to his wife for getting her PhD!

Let's move on to the Ten Most Recent Songs on my iPod (Which Is Always on Shuffle):

1. "Cinderella Search" - Marillion (1984) "Maybe it was infatuation or the thrill of the chase; maybe you were always beyond my reach and my heart was playing safe" 2. "Blood of the Wolf" - Hamell on Trial (1996) "My friend Frank robbed a Kentucky Fried Chicken with a fork"3. "The Sacrament" - King Swamp (1989) "She hears the voices on the rushing wind; she is waiting for it to begin"4. "Faithfull" - Pearl Jam (1998) "M.Y.T.H. is belief in the game controls that keeps us in a box of fear"5. "3121" - Prince (2006) "Take your pick from the Japanese robes and sandals, drink Champagne from a glass with chocolate handles"6. "In My Time of Dying" - Led Zeppelin (1975) "Oh, Saint Peter, at the gates of heaven ... Won't you let me in; I never did no harm, I never did no wrong"7. "The Wizard of Menlo Park" - Chumbawamba (2004) "Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The money's in the black but the needle's in the red"8. "Blinded by Science" - Foreigner (1979) "I can't believe we're here for no reason; there must be something we can believe in"9. "Back Stabbin' Betty" - Cage the Elephant (2009) "He tried so hard to please her, he sold his soul to keep her happy" 10. "Don't Pass Me By" - Beatles (1968) "I don't see you - does it mean you don't love me any more?"

I know it's been a rough week for people in the Northeast part of the U.S., so if that's you, I hope things are okay with you and everyone you know. I guess my parents got lucky - they lost power for about 17 hours, but they didn't get a lot of rain and nothing in their house got flooded. I know it was much worse for many more people. One of the very few things I like about living in Arizona is that we don't get very many natural disasters here - since I've been here, we've had a few minor floods and one or two minor earthquakes, but nothing really that serious. So I hope everyone is getting themselves back together if you got hit by the hurricane. I remember Hurricane David in 1979, and that really sucked, so I can imagine how bad it was with this one!

Have a nice weekend, everyone!

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