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What I bought – 9 March 2011

by  in Comic News Comment
What I bought – 9 March 2011

She told him about God, who resembled her strongly, an amiable, loving and sad person given to losing things, and dropping things. He it was, struggling to hold aloft so much, that fumbled and let fall their mother from out his tender embrace. (John Banville, from Doctor Copernicus)

I’m in a really bad mood this week, as real world stuff keeps intruding on my enjoyment of ridiculously-clothed figures jumping around hitting each other! Damn it!!!!! I was deciding whether or not to even do this post, but then I thought that one reason I love blogging is because it allows me to ignore the real world, at least for a little while. But I’m still grumpy. Oh, and Peter King is an asshole. So I might be more caustic than usual, even though I did like plenty of books this week. Forgive me!!!!

Batgirl #19 (“The Lesson: Tunnel Vision Part One of Two”) by Bryan Q. Miller (writer), Ramon Bachs (artist), Guy Major (colorist), and Dave Sharpe (letterer). $2.99, 20 pgs, FC, DC.

Dustin Nguyen’s name is on the cover, but he doesn’t draw this issue. Instead, Bachs steps in, and the art takes a step down. I don’t have too much against Bachs, but compared to Nguyen (and even Pérez, who filled in two issues ago), he’s like a meal at Carl’s Jr. compared to one at Higgins. Damn, Higgins is a good restaurant. A waiter there got me into Scotch, for which I will be forever grateful. Anyway, Miller’s script is no great shakes, either – unlike the previous two issues, which were very self-contained, this one ties into issues from before I was buying it, so I had to figure things out a bit. That’s not too big a deal, but the writing also lacked the verve of the previous two issues. It wasn’t a bad issue … but it wasn’t anywhere near as good as the previous two. Oh well.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Batman and Robin #21 (“Tree of Blood: Dark Knight vs. White Knight Part 2 of 3”) by Pater J. Tomasi (writer), Patrick Gleason (penciller), Mick Gray (inker), Alex Sinclair (colorist), and Patrick Brosseau (letterer). $2.99, 20 pgs, FC, DC.

Well, this is absolutely gorgeous, because Gleason is, you know, good. The weird killer is murdering relatives of Arkham inmates, because … well, who the hell knows – there are crazy people in Gotham, in case you haven’t figured that out yet. But that’s not important. What is important is that he hangs wooden figurines of various Arkham inmates on a tree and then quotes Thomas Jefferson for no good reason whatsoever, and Gleason’s drawing of the tree is phenomenal. I mean, everything he draws in this book is phenomenal, but that’s really neat. Tomasi’s story is okay, I guess, but not as portentous as he seems to think it is. But it’s fine. It lets Gleason show off.

I’m getting madder and madder about Arkham and its stupid place in the DCU. I mean, the revolving door policy is one thing, but doesn’t anyone ever point out that the people in Arkham may or may not be insane, even though they’re supposed to be? Dan Slott is the only one who ever exploited this idiotic caveat, but I’m thinking of the various people who have never been shown to be insane in any way, yet they’re in Arkham. And I’m sure this bad guy will turn out to be “insane” as well, but how on earth is killing the relatives of the inmates supposed to do anything? Things like this make me angry at comics. Grrr.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Batman: The Brave and the Bold #5 (“Man-Hunted”) by Sholly Fisch (writer), Rick Burchett (penciller), Dan Davis (inker), Gabe Eltaeb (colorist), and Travis Lanham (letterer). $2.99, 20 pgs, FC, DC.

I’m not honestly sure who Johnny DC books are supposed to be aimed at. I mean, they’re charming comics, and some of them are really, really good, but they’re certainly not aimed at adults (adults, of course, are far too sophisticated to enjoy goofy romps like this, preferring instead to get their enjoyment from crap like Jennifer Blood). I guess they’re aimed at kids, but what age kids? I mean, I haven’t tried to read these to my five-year-old yet, and I’m sure she’d enjoy them, but I don’t know. As we know from Axe Cop (which Dark Horse constantly reminds us is written by a six-year-old to the point where I think they do it as to make it review-proof, because if someone dares not adore Axe Cop, people can yell at that person and tell them they’re a big jerk because how can you not adore something written by such a clever six-year-old … but that’s just a theory), six-year-old boys really like gore. My five-year-old daughter likes gore, for crying out loud. Over the weekend I bought her a small Moon Knight action figure (why? because Moon Knight is FUCKING AWESOME!!!!) and she has already teamed him up with a female doll to fight hyenas, by which she means one of our more passive cats. Unfortunately, the hyena (or wolf; it’s unclear) stabbed the girl with a sword and left her for dead, bleeding all over my coffee table. Two other dolls were trapped in a volcano (by which she means a wrought-iron candle cylinder we have on the coffee table), where presumably they were about to be overcome by lava. So Norah likes things bloody! She’d enjoy reading this comic, I suppose, but when she’s playing by herself, people are always getting killed. And she’s a sweetie! What about those five- and six-year-old psychopaths who like the Enema Man and Snoop Poopy Poop Dogg? Those are the ones you really need to look out for!

Oh, yeah, this comic. Guy Gardner and Batman fight the Manhunters, and then Batman fights Lobo, off-panel (see below). There’s a weird little creature who makes fun of Guy (it’s a funny gag). The Manhunters say “No man escapes the manhunters” a lot (to be honest, I would have been happy if that’s all they said). Exeunt.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Batman, Inc. #3 (“Scorpion Tango”) by Grant “It took me three months to come up with the Tango of Death, bitches!” Morrison (writer), Yanick Paquette (penciller), Pere Pérez (artist), Michel Lacombe (inker), Nathan Fairbairn (colorist), and Patrick Brosseau (letterer). $2.99, 20 pgs, FC, DC.

You know what? Fuck Grant Morrison. You want to spiral down into a circle-jerk of DCU historic wankery and constantly comment on Batman’s history, fine. You want to give up writing anything that resembles original content because you’re so obsessed with fucking Bat-Mite and “Robin Dies at Dawn!”, fine. I’ll fucking read it, because Grant Morrison on autopilot is still more interesting than 90% of comic book writers out there, plus DC seems to finally figuring out that maybe, just maybe, you should give him some good artists rather than Tony Daniel and Ryan Fucking Benjamin. Fine. But if you’re going to sit in your room surrounded by your issues of 1950s Batman walking around town in the daytime while Commissioner Gordon appoints him an honorary policeman and guys ineptly try to drop giant typewriters on him, at least crank out a fucking 20-page script in something less than three months, all right? Jesus.

Who am I kidding, though, right? BRUCE DANCES THE MOTHERFUCKING TANGO OF DEATH! That’s the fucking shit right there. But how about in April, we get an issue of this comic, hey? Or would that be too much to ask?

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Booster Gold #42 (“Perforations”) by Keith Giffen (writer), J. M. DeMatteis (writer), Chris Batista (penciller), Rich Perrotta (inker), Hi-Fi (colorist), and John J. Hill (letterer). $2.99, 20 pgs, FC, DC.

Booster meets the Perforated Man in this issue while he’s in prison, and if you don’t know who the Perforated Man is from the moment he shows up, you really, really need to put away your comic books, turn in your nerd card, and start … shit, what do non-nerds do for fun? Beat up nerds? Drink a lot of Old Milwaukee? Watch bass fishing on ESPN? Whatever it is, you need to start doing it, because if you didn’t figure out who the Perforated Man is the moment he shows up, you’re not a very good nerd. Hey, but on the plus side, maybe you’ll get laid more often! But probably not by hipster girls with cute spectacles and definitely not hipster superheroines. Sorry!

Anyway, here’s the big problem with this issue. It ends with Booster dying at the end of time. It’s supposed to be dramatic, but it fails utterly because we already know that Booster does not die at the end of time. So what was the point? I know that ending with Booster dying isn’t really supposed to be dramatic, because he’s the hero starring in a book called Booster Gold, but it still seems like we’re supposed to at least think he’s dead. But he’s not. But … whatever.

I should point out, as I have before, that the term should not be “leprosy” but “Hansen’s disease.” I know that “leprosy” is more common, but it’s also pejorative and incorrect most of the time, as people call things leprosy that aren’t actually leprosy. I know Giffen and DeMatteis made up a disease, but still. I’m grumpy, remember?

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island #3 (of 4) by Warren Ellis (writer), Raulo Caceres (artist), and Digikore (colorist). $3.99, 28 pgs, FC, Avatar.

Speaking of late motherfucking comics, it’s Captain Swing! Now, I don’t know whose fault this is – based on what I know, I tend to blame Ellis, but I could be completely wrong – but I know we’ve had some controversy here on the blog before where people feel that comic book creators “owe” them comics while others think we should take what we get from on-high and fucking like it! I’m kind of torn, because on the one hand, I don’t think I’m owed anything by any comic book creator – I like to think I have a fairly fulfilling life without getting too bent out of shape that I’ll never see another issue of The Forsaken. (Remember The Forsaken? Dang, that was some cool Kristian Donaldson art on that sucker. I wonder what happened to it?) What I don’t like is when creators start something and don’t finish it, yet they continue to work on other things. It’s not like Ellis hasn’t been working, and if he really needed the money so badly to fuel his chapeau addiction (the dude loves his hats!), he shouldn’t have begun a series that might – might – sell 1000 copies of each issue, if he’s lucky. I mean, that’s fine if he wants to spend his time once again deconstructing superheroes (because he hasn’t done that eight thousand times already) … but don’t start something a bit different and then abandon it. If Caceres is to blame … well, I don’t know much about Caceres, so I can’t really rant, can I? I can understand something like our next selection being late, because the creators aren’t as big as WARREN ELLIS and the book seems like it’s fairly labor-intensive, but when something like this is late, it bugs me. When I write my epic comic book about the grand history of famous and notorious toe nails, I’ll be sure to explain why something is late. That is, I’ll always BLAME THE ARTIST!!!!!!

Because this is a pretty keen comic. I mean, it’s full of socialist-utopian crap that gets nicely deflated by our hero cop (whose name escapes me, as it’s been, you know, a while), but Ellis does a nice job balancing the ranting on both sides with some realism on both sides. It’s a nifty little comic, and if I were Ellis, I’d be much more interested in writing this than fucking Supergod. “Ooh, superheroes are actual deities! How radical!” Blech.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Comic Book Comics #5 by Fred van Lente (writer) and Ryan Dunlavey (artist). $3.95, 31 pgs, BW, Evil Twin Comics.

Comic Book Comics #4 came out in November 2009. So why am I not angry that this book is coming out in March 2011? Well, for one, each issue is pretty much self-contained, so it’s not like Van Lente left us with a big cliffhanger. Second, I can’t imagine either creators making any money on this book – in fact, I have to believe they lose money on it, even though it’s in black-and-white on old-school paper, so it’s probably as cheap as possible to produce – so they have to make a living somehow. Third, each issue is chockers with factual information that I’m sure it takes a while to dig up, so this probably takes longer than your regular comic book to write and draw. I wrote about all these things when issue #4 came out, but it’s still true!

I can’t be grumpy about Comic Book Comics, because it’s such a fun book. Even though most comic nerds will know about the ins and outs of the superhero legal wrangling presented herein, I didn’t know about the Air Pirate Collective’s attempts to get Disney to sue them (in which they were successful), so that was fun. Plus, Dunlavey and Van Lente take a shot at dickish comic book fans who thought the heirs of Siegel and Shuster were being greedy in 2008. That was a pretty sad period for comic fandom, I have to say.

Comic Book Comics rocks. You know it’s true! Its writer has an entire day devoted to him at this very blog! I know no one reads my posts, but dare you go against the Dread Lord and Master?!?!? He can sterilize you with his laser eyes! He can cause you to think Peter King isn’t an asshole just by thinking about it! He can steal your hipster girlfriend away with his vast comics knowledge and that twinkle in his eye! Dare you cross him?!?!?!?!?

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Honey West #3 (“Murder on Mars Part One”) by Elaine Lee (writer), Ronn Sutton (artist), Ken Wolak (colorist), and Marshall Dillon (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Moonstone.

I wasn’t impressed with the first two issues of this series, but I had pre-ordered issue #3 before issue #1 came out, so here it is. Lee’s story isn’t terrible – Honey goes undercover as an extra on a cheesy science fiction movie set to find out who killed the star – but Sutton’s art is amateurish and robs the story of any spark. I’m not getting issue #4, so it doesn’t really matter, does it? Honey gets to have fun, leave-the-high-heels-on, feet-over-the-shoulders-of-the-dude sex, though, so that’s good for her!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Jennifer Blood #2 (of 5) (“My Heart Will Go On”) by Garth Ennis (writer), Adriano Batista (artist), Rob Steen (letterer), and Romulo Fajardo Jr. (colorist). $3.99, 23 pgs, FC, Dynamite Entertainment.

The second issue of Jennifer Blood is slightly better than the first, but when the first sucked so hard, it’s kind of difficult to to get any worse, although I wouldn’t put it past Ennis to try! But at least in this issue, we get a little backstory about Jennifer and she doesn’t sound quite so much like an idiot as she did in the first issue – in fact, Ennis makes her a bit more of a bitch in this one, which is a bit refreshing (she thinks her son is stupid, for instance, which, while it’s terrible parenting – even though she doesn’t say it out loud – is at least something odd and interesting about her). The best part of the book is when Jennifer makes mistakes in her planning and has to improvise just a little, or when she’s explaining how she’s going about doing things as she stalks her prey. This issue isn’t quite as poorly written as the first issue, but it’s still Ennis showing us how stupid people are, and when we have so many examples from real life, why would I want to read about it? Plus, he introduces yet another cliché – the next-door neighbor who wants to cheat on his wife with Jennifer! Oh, so clever! So daring! How does he do it?

So, yeah. This probably won’t turn out to be the worst comic of the year, but it’s fairly dull. Plus, the art still sucks. Have fun, Jennifer Blood. I won’t be back!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

The Li’l Depressed Boy #2 (“That’s Not My Name”) by S. Steven Struble (writer/colorist/letterer) and Sina Grace (artist). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, Image.

There’s no reason why The Li’l Depressed Boy should work. I mean, LDB is a freakin’ sock puppet, and he’s such a doofus he doesn’t even have the stones to ask the girl of his dreams her name (it’s Jazmin, as we find out at the end of the issue when she finally calls him on it). There’s no real plot – he gets all gloomy because he doesn’t know her name, sees her at the comic book store, plays video games with her, goes bowling with her, and gets embarrassed when she calls him on not knowing her name. Grace’s art is good but not dazzling. Jazmin gets angry and says only “hipsters” bowl at the bowling alley while she’s wearing plaid pants and was earlier wearing a hunting cap – in other words, she herself is a hipster!!!!! (I honestly don’t know why hipsters keep coming up in this post. It’s kind of weird, innit?) For some reason, though, it works. It feels true. It’s silly and nervous and awkward and cute, just like any budding romance. And I loved the fact that LDB throws a bowling ball onto the lane, because I used to do that (although I never got thrown out of the bowling alley, just told I couldn’t do it). The only thing really wrong with this comic is that because Struble begins it in the middle of the webcomic, we never get a sense that LDB is, well, depressed. I mean, he meets a girl in the first issue! But that’s no big deal – for whatever reason, after two issues, The Li’l Depressed Boy works. You can’t say that about every comic book, I’ll tell you that much!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Magus #3 (“From the Ashes Part 3”) by Jon Price (writer), Rebekah Isaacs (artist), Charlie Kirchoff (colorist), and Ed Dukeshire (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, 12-Gauge Comics.

I don’t really have anything bad to say about Magus, except that I wonder: Why did Darius think he could outrun a dragon? Okay, maybe he could outrun the actual dragon, but he watched it breathe flame, and I’m pretty sure that would be a lot harder to outrun. He’s kind of a dimwit, ain’t he?

Anyway, I guess the only bad thing I have to say about Magus is that I can’t believe a lot of people are reading it, and so instead of doing this comic for as long as Isaacs and Price want to do it, I’m sure she’s going to get lured away by the Big Two so she can feed her family and/or take crochet lessons. So I blame you – yes, you, over there reading that crappy Wolverine issue that has his 50th appearance already this year instead of buying this charming comic. Do you really need another shitty Wolverine comic? Really? Jesus, that’s sad. I mean, I like Wolverine as much as anyone, but come on! I don’t begrudge anyone going off to The Land Where Companies Pay You Money To Draw Comics, but we don’t have to make it so easy for them, do we? Come on, there’s a dragon battling helicopters over New York on that cover! How can you resist? Kelly Thompson will look more favorably upon you if you buy this comic, and who doesn’t want that?

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

The Northern Guard #2 by Ty Templeton (writer), Sam Agro (writer), David J. Cutler (artist), and K. T. Smith (colorist/letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs + 8-pg “Red Rogue” reprint, FC, Moonstone.

I like how Nanook Iluak, the furred-bikini-wearing goddess of the North, inhabits the body of a woman named Anne Knight, who’s dating John Canuck, but Nanook herself has no interest in Canuck. It’s a weird love triangle! Plus, Nanook doesn’t see anything wrong with flirting with other members of the team. Good times!

In case you missed the first issue, which came out some time ago, a weird Russian dude caused a electrical failure over most of the world except in Canada and a bit of the United States, and in that area, a lot of people got superpowers. Now the Russian dude is back, and the superpowered Canadians think he’s going to finish the job but we know he’s trying to restore everything. Here’s what I don’t get: Why doesn’t Dimitri just pick up the phone, call the Prime Minister, and say he wants to make amends? This is the classic “The bad guy isn’t really the bad guy but the good guys think he is” scenario, and I get that maybe, if he called them, they wouldn’t listen, but it had to be a smarter idea than invading Alberta, right? Maybe not. It’s a fun comic, but it feels like the central conflict is a bit forced.

Speaking of Templeton, he recently posted a funny Charlie Sheen bit on his blog. Oh, Charlie. You might be out of a job, but your legacy lives on. Maybe he could remake The Chase with Lindsay Lohan this time. I’d totally watch that.

And since it’s a Canadian comic, I can mention hockey. Despite their recent woes, the Flyers are totally going to win the Stanley Cup and deny it our northern neighbors once again. Suck it, Canada!!!!!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Sherlock Holmes: Year One #2 (“Why This is Violence”) by Scott Beatty (writer), Daniel Indro (artist), Tony Aviña (colorist), and Simon Bowland (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Dynamite Entertainment.

After issue #1, which was a self-contained story, I suppose the rest of this mini-series is going to concern itself with one case, which is fine with me. It’s a perfectly okay comic – two people are killed, pieces of paper with inscriptions written upon them are stuffed in their mouths, Holmes investigates. The timeline is a bit off, I think – according to Leslie Klinger, who is given “special thanks” on the inside cover and who edited my annotated Sherlock Holmes, “The Musgrave Ritual” (which Watson mentions obliquely) was, chronologically, the second case Holmes solved in the canon, and so it fits into the “year one” framework, but it occurred before Holmes met Watson and even before Watson returned from the Northwest Frontier, so Watson probably didn’t know enough about it to explain to the police that Holmes could be useful. In the actual story, it’s clear that Watson has known Holmes for some time before he learns the details of the case. But, it’s all fictional anyway, so who cares, right? I just wanted to dazzle you with some of my meager Holmesian knowledge. Is that a fucking crime??????

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Starborn #4 by Chris Roberson (writer), Khary Randolph (artist), Mitch Gerads (colorist), and Ed Dukeshire (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Boom! Studios.

What’s kind of fun about this comic is that Roberson can just keep coming up with weird shit and explain it away by having Benjamin, our hero, claim it was all part of his science fiction epic, so it doesn’t have to make a lick of sense! Dragons that fly between the stars and carry passengers in their bellies? Why the hell not? Witches who carve cities out of giant trees? Sure! I’m not entirely sure how the dragon breathes fire while Benjamin, Tara, and the dude who rescues them are sitting in his mouth and doesn’t, you know, kill them, but that’s why it’s a comic book, man! (There’s an episode of Phineas and Ferb – the greatest kids’ show currently on television – where Doofenshmirtz is fighting Perry the Platypus while both of them are in giant robots. Doofenshmirtz originally gets in a giant Queen Elizabeth robot while Perry gets in a dragon, but he (Doofenshmirtz, that is) asks to switch because he thinks the dragon is cooler. Of course, Queen Elizabeth has all sorts of cool weapons, while the dragon … shoots fire out of its mouth, which is also where the cockpit is placed, so Doofenshmirtz gets severely burned. Watch Phineas and Ferb, people – it’s awesome.) I imagine at some point Roberson will have to slow down and ‘splain some things, but until then, it’s full speed ahead!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Superboy #5 (“The Superboy/Kid Flash Race”) by Jeff Lemire (writer), Pier Gallo (artist), Jamie Grant (colorist), and John J. Hill (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, DC.

You know, this isn’t really a race. Superboy and Kid Flash run around for a while, stop and talk on top of a pyramid, even fight some crime while they’re “racing,” and in the end, Krypto wins the damned thing anyway (oh, um, SPOILERS). I guess that’s not really the point – it’s more of Lemire continuing to build this mystery about Lori Luthor and the weird things happening in Smallville – but it’s kind of a cheat. I don’t care, really – the last thing I want to see is an actual race between these two, but I just wanted to point out that it’s not really a race. And Beast Boy’s name isn’t “Garth.” And while I’m sure Conner wasn’t serious, why, after two people have broken up, does the man still feel he has proprietary rights to the woman? Bart jokes that he should ask Cassie out, and Conner says, basically, that he’ll kill Bart if he even looks at her with lust in his heart. What the fuck, Conner? She doesn’t belong to you. But I like the mystery, so I can overlook the bad stuff in the issue.

Gallo doesn’t draw running people very well, which is kind of annoying in an issue where the two main characters spend a lot of time running. The final shot of them racing toward the finish line, with Bart’s huge ass dominating the panel, is drawn well, but other than that, it’s kind of dicey. Also, I had noticed this in other issues but this one it seemed more prominent – does everyone have a weird tint to their skin and eyes? Everyone has a bit of a pallor and it seems like too many of them have red-tinged eyes, as if they’ve been indulging in some herbal medicine for their glaucoma. What’s up with Grant’s coloring on this series? It’s bizarre.

I think next issue is the Doomsday one. Man, I bet that will suck. I will probably buy it, and I really hope Lemire ties it in somehow to the rest of the weirdness in Smallville. That would at least mitigate the idiocy of having Doomsday in this comic.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #1 (of 5) (“Colossus of Mars: The Celebration”) by Arvid Nelson (writer), Carlos Rafael (artist), Carlos Lopez (colorist), and Marshall Dillon (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Dynamite Entertainment.

I do like how that tiny bit of gold means that her ass is not naked, even though you can’t see the gold thong part going down her ass crack. I don’t care, but the fact that the Arthur Adams “risque” cover for this issue (which shows Dejah Thoris’s bare breasts) was too nekkid to be displayed but this one is fine cracks me right the fuck up.

This is actually a bit better than the main title, which is interesting. First of all, Rafael is a better artist than Antonio, and I think even if Sadowski had stayed on the book, Rafael’s art might be better. He has a cleaner line and a better sense of detail, so Mars looks a bit more fleshed out in this book than in the main title. Dejah Thoris is still dressed ridiculously, of course, but Rafael dresses everyone scantily, so she doesn’t look too out of place. The fact that her betrothed is a bit portly was nice, too – he’s not a prime example of manhood, but he’s far nicer than the rest of his family. The comic looks pretty good, which is a good thing.

Nelson has always been better at plotting than scripting, and that’s in evidence here, as he gets us into the mechanics of Martian politics very well while keeping the dialogue simple and expository, without any real zing to it. He does end on a pretty cool cliffhanger, though, which gets back to his plotting skills. I do find it humorous that, according to the inside front cover, which purports to be the words of Edgar Rice Burroughs (and they might actually be so), Martians don’t age once they reach maturity, yet Dejah’s grandfather is clearly the oldest one around, and her father is clearly older than she is. Wouldn’t everyone look about 20 years old, even if they were a grandfather or father?

Anyway, this is a solid first issue. I imagine you can get it without getting the main title, because it does, after all, take place 400 years before that one. So there you go.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

You’ll notice I bought 16 comics this week and not one of them was from Marvel. That’s really strange. I’m sure that will change in the coming weeks, but it’s kind of weird. Nothing was really looking terribly great from Marvel this week, and I’ve already decided I’m getting something like 5 Ronin in trade.

I don’t feel like listing songs this week or doing a movie quote. I’m still in a bad mood, even after reviewing all these comics and calming down a bit from the shitty day I had. I’ll try to be in a better mood next week, but I can’t promise anything!

I’d also like to continue to lobby for the return of tags. I’d like to point out that even after their redesign, Robot 6 still has tags. I miss tags. They’re cool.

I apologize once again for the shittiness of this post. Comics still rule, but sometimes things just get in the way. Don’t judge me too harshly!!!!

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