Zilla and the Comics Junkies

Friday, March 31, 2006

3.31 Panel

Awwww isn't he a cute little rapidly-aging viltrumite slash preying mantis-like alien baby?


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TWD #27

Have i ever told you how much i enjoy the stock used for TWD? This is one sturdy book (covers and inside pages). I'm kind of pissed that Kirkman did away w/ the mug shot role call that used to appear at the back of every issue (why??). I loved that and really notice it's missing when i flip back there to reference and it's not to be found...

Anyways, #27 is a bit of a downer for me, even though i HAVE been waiting patiently for some new characters to appear. I'm just not sold yet on the gladiator-esque death matches... feels refried (got the same feelings about "planet hulk" too).

Finding a new camp of zombie plague survivors does open up the opportunity for a wealth of new stories, and i'm anxious to see how the rest of the prison-based crew (anticipating Rick, Glenn and Michonne's return) deal w/ their longer than expected absence. Should make for some good dialogue here in the next few issues...

PS - Lori acted as i expected she would, turning Carol's desperate polygamy bid down flat. Glad to see that though since that's the only reaction i could expect to have been "normal". Carol is on the edge of totally losing it though (has been for some time now) so that's something else to keep an eye on...

TWD is the best soap opera in comics right now. Kirkman's put together such a strong back story, cast, and overall plot that when boring issues come around they don't even BOTHER me (hell sometimes i even enjoy them!).

Now THAT's locking in your audience...

It was all over when...


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Thursday, March 30, 2006

All-Star Superman #3

I personally find Superman (the character) uninteresting and more than a bit played out, and i can honestly admit i've never really been a fan - even when i was a kid. Blasphemy? Maybe, but i think i'm changing my tune w/ Morrison and Quitley's All-Star Superman.

Superman is dying (and he knows it); but instead of immediately writing an obvious (and most likely predictable) solution to this very big problem, Morrison has decided to spend some time exploring what Superman would do if there seemed to BE NO SOLUTION. He's accepted his fate, and is attempting to quietly wrap up his earthly affairs, starting by admitting to the love of his life (Lois) that he is in fact both Superman and Clark Kent, and spending some precious time with her.

This (fairly) simple premise has set the stage for 3 interesting issues thus far, adding a welcome depth to SM, and a real sense of "human-ness" and emotion that is rarely seen in superhero comics (or maybe i should say "oft seen but rarely well executed"?).

I can't get over how much i actually feel when i read this title... everything from Superman's obvious internal struggles (much of which is subtly conveyed) to Lois' playful, down right adorable (yeah i used that word!) personality - showcased by her paranoia thinking Superman had captured her to experiment on her, her refusal to believe that Superman and Kent are actually the same person, and the fun she has on her birthday w/ 24 hour superman powers, falling asleep before he can ask her to marry him. A+

PS - Quitely's art is friggin' GORGEOUS too, and perfect for this title. Superman's a bit frumpy looking at times, but the image subconsciously adds to the "human" feel Morrison and Quitley are shooting for with this. Great, great comic. One of those that has me wishing i was a better writer...


02 April, 2006 14:55, Blogger Matt Guerrero said...

Hey, I just found your site. Very cool.
I think the big difference between the emotion that Grant shows (in all his comics, even back to The Invisibles); is that it feels more organic than other comic writers who either force sentimentality down your throat or forego emotion altogether for blood and guts (lookin' at you, Frank Miller).
Like I'm telling anyone willing to listen, though: Frank Quitely is the best damn artist in comics. This book wouldn't be half as good without him. You're right, sometimes Superman looks frumpy and normal; other times like freakin' Elvis (not Vegas Elvis, either).

02 April, 2006 15:55, Blogger zilla said...

welcome aboard billy and thanks for the comments. i think you're right on point w/ Morrison's writing here - AND the fact that emotion too-often feels forced or forgotten in comics these days...

And yes sir, Quitely is a beast IMO, even though it seems popular to bash is work here for no good reason. I'm digging it big time.


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3.30 Panel


31 March, 2006 12:29, Blogger zilla said...

i'm working on a review of 300. got the oversized HC and man this thing is gorgeous. Not entirely historically accurate but i can see why it won an Eisner. Good stuff...


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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

3.29 Panel

Hook 'em.


29 March, 2006 14:42, Blogger Ryan X said...

Is this a consolation prize in lieu of a trip to the Final Four? I'll take this over that anyday, but hey I'm an Aggie.

29 March, 2006 14:54, Blogger zilla said...

ha i guess so my friend. curbs the pain just a little. at least my graduate school alma mater (george mason) is still in it somehow. what a wacky year!

30 March, 2006 03:50, Blogger Christopher Green said...



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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

3.28 Panel 2

As long as we're talking about Odin's death/disappearance (in the panel i posted 5 mins ago), naturally we start to think about Thor... and that leads me to this second image for today:


29 March, 2006 00:08, Blogger CalvinPitt said...

Hmm, I guess that whole thing about "being worthy" has gone flying out the window, eh?

And Doom seriously did get ahold of Thor's hammer, well, I think Marvel Earth would be seriously boned.


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3.28 Panel

First Odin, now this???


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3.15 Shopping List

Best thing to come out today is the Alias Omnibus (been anticipating this since it was announced), but there are some other gems in here for sure. Can't wait to read the final Surrogates issue, and a new All-Star Superman (not to mention new Invincible, TWD, and Godland :)

USAGI YOJIMBO #92 - As long as Stan keeps writing these i'll keep buying them... Just finished re-reading the 3rd trade and may drop some overall UY thoughts here soon...

ALL STAR SUPERMAN #3 - Great book. Highly anticipated by me.

GODLAND #9 - Pull list.
INVINCIBLE #30 - Last issue was very, very good. Seems like it was only released yesterday too... RK's on a roll.
WALKING DEAD #27 (MR) - See above.

ALIAS OMNIBUS - Been anxiously anticipating this bad boy. I've read the entire Alias run but it was a long time ago (and i own none of them). Gotta thank Uncensored again for turning me onto this great title. Some of Bendis best work by far (he managed to take a relatively uninteresting character and turn her into a great read).
SENTRY #7 (OF 8) - Pull list. One of the best Marvel mini's of the year.
THING #5 - Pull list. Nothing special about this book really but i like it ;)

BANANA SUNDAY TP (MR) - Maybe. I remember hearing good things about this during it's run... Anyone?
SURROGATES #5 (OF 5) - Conclusion issue to a great, great mini in 2005. This is one i'll def be buying in trade to re-read.


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28 March, 2006 12:58, Anonymous Dave Carter said...

Banana Sunday: Best miniseries of 2005. I also reviewed the first issue.

Zilla: I'll make you an offer: If you buy Banana Sunday and end up not liking it, I will buy your copy from you.

28 March, 2006 14:39, Blogger zilla said...

it's a deal partner.

28 March, 2006 14:40, Blogger zilla said...

ps i love your 2005 list... i hit your blog regularly but must have missed it somehow...

29 March, 2006 18:31, Anonymous Dave Carter said...

You got it. Let us know when you've read it... (I have a feeling that my $12 is safe!)


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Monday, March 27, 2006

3.27 Panel (plus a bit about Conan #26 and "The Book of Thoth")

I love me some Conan. Nord was absent from this issue but Tim Truman did an EXCELLENT job IMO. The art barely missed a beat. Busiek's last arc (is this it?) looks to be a good one... "Seeds of Empire".

In addition, though i didn't have time to review it, i also really enjoyed the 40-page first issue of Busiek's new Conan mini "The Book of Thoth" last week (even though it had no Conan in it). Seems like that will make into a good story too... I love tales of unbridled ambition gone awry.


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Sunday, March 26, 2006

X-Factor #5, Ares #3, and Loveless #5

X-Factor #5 - X-Factor continues to be very cool, and very good. After Syrin's near death beat-down last issue, she's picked up off the street by a thoroughly insane ex-Doctor, ex-Mutant sociopath w/ designs on: A) Keeping her as a play-thing, and B) Using her as leverage to force X-Factor to somehow return the world to normal (restoring Mutants like himself w/ their lost powers). David is at the top of his game w/ this new title IMO, and i didn't even know Sook didn't draw this until i looked. I loved his style for this book and i'm glad they got a new guy who kept to it. Cheers.

Ares #3 - Oeming is a favorite of mine and he's doing some great work w/ this Ares mini (the artwork is slam-fastic too). I kind of wish he would ditch the guns and swat gear Ares seems to be fond of in this telling for some reason; in a book almost totally mythological that's one element that just seems out of place (and somewhat forced/corny). No matter though, this is a GREAT mini so far and gets better with each issue (if you ditched it after #1 give it another try).

PS - I've heard rumors that Ares will be an ongoing Marvel character (perhaps even joining an existing super-team) but i now have a suspicion that by the end of this mini, it will be Ares son Alexander (the NEW Ares God of War if something were to happen to his father) who will be "the guy" rather than the Ares we are reading about here...

Loveless #5 - Ugh. I'm still reading this because i really want a good, gritty western comic among my monthly reads - and Loveless is so close to being that (esp w/ Azzarello at the reigns) but hasn't quite cut it's groove yet.

Personally i find the story a bit difficult to follow (easy enough from a high level but the mid and low level stuff is confusing and all over the place at times). Azzarello employs steady use of flashbacks (similar to those in 100 Bullets, but just like there, it's sometimes hard to tell whether you're in the present or the past w/ few visual clues).

All-in-all, almost everything is in place here... Azzarrello is the perfect writer for this book, the character set is solid enough, and the art is spot-on for the title, but there's just something missing. Hopefully Azz can find some of the magic that's got me hooked (doubly) to the top-notch 100 Bullets.


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Batman Year One

I've been on a bit of a "Batman classics" run lately with Hush, The Long Halloween, and now Miller and Mazzucchelli's Batman Year One (still got The Killing Joke on my list). After reading Hush and The Long Halloween (both of which i loved BTW), and stoking the Batman fan-boy i didn't know i had in me, i was anxious to get a hold of Year One.

Frank Miller is a straight beast IMO, and he uses this book to add welcome detail to Batman's first year as... well... Batman. We get a look at Bruce Wayne as a bit of a troubled, awkward, "getting his feet wet" crime fighter (far from the polished Batman we're used to), and read Miller's take on the origin of his relationship with James Gordon. Gordon transfers to Gotham from Chicago as a low-level Detective, and Miller does a GREAT job of paralleling his and Batman's paths to the same goal (and eventual partnership).

I'm most impressed w/ Miller's decision to keep this Batman story in the trenches. There's no Joker, no Riddler, no Penguin. Hell there's NO named bad guy here at all (unless you count brief appearances by Falcone and Roman, who's characters i'm well fond of after The Long Halloween). The strength of the story isn't the adventure here - it's the tale of two up-and-coming crime fighters (Gordon and Wayne), trying to clean up a troubled city from opposite angles, and their eventual (inevitable) partnership.

Miller's narration and dialogue is what makes Batman Year One memorable. The story has a gritty, "real" feel to it, and Miller's iterations of these famous Batman characters (Gordon, Wayne, and Selina especially) is about as down-to-earth as any i've read. Each is dealing with very real obstacles (on personal and professional levels) and feel downright human.

Great book. Nostalgic, intelligent, and in the end highly recommended (along w/ Hush and The Long Halloween for any comics fan. A.


29 March, 2006 14:40, Blogger Ryan X said...

Now that you are some sort of Batman "expert" :), what order would you recommend reading these if for the first time? Thanks.

29 March, 2006 14:53, Blogger zilla said...

ha - it's funny but i never really liked Batman all that much before these 3 books. I'd def read Year One first, then Long Halloween, then Hush. They're all pretty different but all very good IMO.


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3.26 Panel


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Saturday, March 25, 2006

3.25 Panel


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Friday, March 24, 2006

Nextwave #3

I'm a serious whore for this book. I'm not 100% sure why, but at the end of the day i guess Nextwave is just an easy-on-the-eyes, funny w/o trying too hard (and that's key in my book), flat-out enjoyable/entertaining read. I love it when comics don't take themselves too seriously, but still manage to put together a solid product that doesn't slip to the other side of that spectrum. Feel me?

The motley crew that makes up our super-hero team here is fast becoming one of my favorite casts from Marvel in a long, long while (Tabitha's powers are super money, and the Captain and Aaron Stack are uber-cool here IMO). The idea overall idea is just unique enough to stand on it's own, but the cast of characters (good and evil) have made this comic for me so far.

So what about #3 specifically? Ellis and Immonen start us on a new arc here, when a corrupt police officer is body-snatched by... something... and starts off on a classic godzilla-and/or-hulk-made-famous rampage (we can only assume he's now classified as one of the Beyond Corporation's "Unusual Weapons of Mass Destruction" or UMWDs). BC's HR hunter-killer robots are of course role-players in this issue, but we get only a few panels of the already memorable self-hating Dirk Anger - who i can tell Ellis has big plans for eventually.

Anyways, i can't say it enough, but Nextwave is a fun, fun book. Immonen's art is easy to look at and at the same time rock-solid (his panels really move IMO). Ellis continues to impress with a unique humor and overall style i had no idea he had in him. A.

PS - Did i mention that Nextwave is action packed??


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3.24 Panel

I don't know how many of you watch college basketball, but last night was one of the most thrilling single nights in the NCAA Tournament this year. Duke lost, ending J.J. Reddick's amazing career on a night where he couldn't find the bucket, UCLA came back from 17 down (thoroughly dominated by Gonzaga most of the game) and won in the final minutes, and best of all, my beloved Longhorns hit a buzzer-beater w/ 0.8 seconds left to beat the gun-slinging Mountaineers (after a miraculous 3-pointer of their own w/ 5 seconds left to tie the game). I could hardly sleep.

Oh baby!


24 March, 2006 10:13, Blogger Ryan X said...

Last night was amazing Z, college hoops is the best! Congrats to your Horns for pulling out a great last second win. Of course Gonzaga killed my bracket by folding like a cheap tent in the last 5 minutes...and then crying about it. Later.

24 March, 2006 12:55, Blogger zilla said...

yeah Gonzage friggin' blew it my friend. and that UT game... i thought pittsnogle had cornholed us (didn't like our chances in overtime the way WVU was shooting there at the end) even with tissue jammed up his nose. thank God for paulino's miracle shot on a night where the horns couldn't buy a 3-pt. bucket.


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Thursday, March 23, 2006

3.23 Panel

This might be my favorite single-issue of 2005:


23 March, 2006 18:58, Blogger Sean Maher said...

What was it?

23 March, 2006 19:07, Blogger zilla said...

Wolverine #32. It wasn't part of the "regular" run, but a one-shot w/ guest writer and artist. It was/is really, really good (and i don't care much for Wolverine over the past year).

23 March, 2006 19:08, Blogger zilla said...

PS they printed a B&W and a color version... I actually have both but would recommend the color... it's still dark and the color it does have is used sparingly, but it adds a bit to it for sure (esp blood).


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Daredevil #83

Wow. Foggy's really dead (i mean really?)?. After #82 i totally expected him to land in the hospital, but the morgue? Gotta love the Brubaker shake-up.

Murdock's not taking it well (obviously) and get's his silent wish to be moved to gen-pop at Rykers in order to exact some best-served-cold revenge.

I'm way back in HC Vol. 2 (issues in the 30s) catching up w/ Bendis and Maleev's run, but i gotta say that Brubaker is doing a great job so far taking over the reigns. The guys managed to take 2 characters i previously cared zilch about (Daredevil and Captain America) and really turn me on to them...

It was all over when...


23 March, 2006 12:14, Anonymous cmoney said...

Bendis owned Daredevil. His run is at least as good as, maybe better, than Miller's famous run. Thank god they gave it over to someone like Bru, because very few could follow up a run like BMB's without disappointing.

24 March, 2006 00:29, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Glad to see I've converted you, zilla!


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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

And there came a day, a day unlike any other...

On this day last year, after debating over it for about two months, I decided to make a trip to the local comic store for the first time in a few years. On that day, I bought Ultimate Iron Man #1, Marvel Knights Spider-Man #10 & 11, and Marvel Must Haves 25: New Avengers 1-3. I was back into comics on a trial basis, I said I'd give myself four months and if I wasn't back into them by then, I'd give them up forever. Here we are now, one year later, and I'm spending more and more on them each month. In fact, I'm spending too much now.

To "celebrate" this, I exported my collection database to htlm so I could share it with the readers of this blog. It's not a big collection compared to many others, but it's a start.

Click Here to view my collection.


22 March, 2006 22:23, Blogger zilla said...

sweet dude. i've got all my trades and HCs in "Book Collector". Wonder if i can do an export...

PS i'm with you man - i think we started back around the same time... and i'm more dedicated than every here about 15 months later ;)


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Ramos on Wolverine


Ramos is far too cartoony for most but i love the guy (and to be honest i'm not 100% sure since "cartoony" art isn't typically my thing. Good interview though... I for one will be adding Wolverine back onto my pull list ;)

Time to hit the LCS...


22 March, 2006 18:36, Blogger Christopher Green said...

If you're a Ramos fan, see if you can find some old Image comics (from the late 90's) called Crimson. It was a creator owned series penciled by him under the Cliffhanger imprint (which was his series, J.S. Campbell's Danger Girl and Joe Mad's Battle Chasers). It was pretty hot shit back then.

22 March, 2006 22:22, Blogger zilla said...

i'll def have to investigate that... one of the first things i read when i was back into comics (last year) was Jenkins and Ramos' run on Spec Spidey - and i loved it. Hopefully he can work some similar magic w/ Wolverine (too bad Jenkins didn't come over w/ him).


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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes

Not sure why it took me so long to check out Gaiman's Sandman, but i'll tell you what - i'm glad i finally did. I hear this title doesn't even start to get good until the second trade, and that motivates the hell out of me considering how much i enjoyed the first.

Sandman Vol. 1 starts out as a rag-tag cult, in an attempt to capture "Death" (using an array of dark magics), instead captures Death's brother, Dream (stay with me here).

Dream, the God-like prince of the dreamworld, responsible for all of humanities dreams and nightmares, is raped of his three most-prized possessions (the mystical tools of his trade) and held captive for 75 years because he's unwilling (or unable) to grant his captors the power they had hoped to blackmail from Death (it takes them a while to reaize they've captured the wrong entity too). With the "Sandman" out of commission, the worlds sleep suffers greatly as dreams and nightmares sprial out of control and a mysterious "sleeping sickness" rages.

Dream's original captor ages and eventually dies, and the keys are passed to the his son (who's not nearly as dedicated to the original "cause"). Security invariably begins to lapse and the Sandman makes a cunning escape, only to find that the "tools" stolen from him are no longer in the possession of his kidnappers.

...And thus the quest begins (and lasts for the bottom 3 quarters of the trade) for his pouch of sand, magical helm, and awesomely powered ruby that allows the bearer to turn dreams (or nightmares) into reality. Each of these items is in separate hands and we end up with 3 "mini quests" as Dream attempts to recover each, venturing back to his home in the Dreamworld, down to Hell, and Arkham Asylum along the way. Nice.

I'll be the first to tell you i'm not usually in to this kind of book (text or graphic), but man i had a GREAT time with this. Gaimen does an excellent job with the writing (especially the dialogue), and even though Sandman get's REALLY weird at times, it's easy to stomach since it's expected (when dreams and/or nightmares are even a small part of your subject matter, "weird" is just par for the course no?).

Gaiman manages to assign a human persona (and an actual face) to both "Dream" (Sandman) and his sister "Death" and there's something really interesting about their interactions with each other (even though we don't meet Death until the last issue in this collection). Additionally, there's some great secondary characters in here, including an unforgettable raging lunatic escapee from Arkham (who actually plays a major part in the story).

The art is kind of old-school (no surprise there), but well suited for the book. I'll be picking up V2 ASAP. Neil Gaiman's Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes gets a phat B+ from me.


21 March, 2006 20:42, Blogger zilla said...

guys - forgive me if this Sandman review rambles... i literally sat down with limited time to write this evening and just brain dumped this review... but you'll get the point me thinks ;)

22 March, 2006 09:05, Blogger Ryan X said...

Z - I have had my eyes on Sandman for awhile, actually flipped through it at B&N the other day. I am fully intrigued after your review, thanks. Props on the Basil Cronus quote today, so cool. What issue is Godland on now? I forgot to pick up #7 and of course it is gone now. If you want to sell your floppy of it, I'll send you whatever you want for it.

22 March, 2006 12:43, Blogger Pat said...

Zilla - nice review. Starting with vol 2, you'll get an idea of an overall mythology that guides the series. The closer together you can read the volumes (I think there are 10), the easier it will be to follow (esp in some of the later volumes). If you really get into it, you could also check out a book called The Sandman Companion by Hy Bender - he basically annotates and ties together each of the big movements in the series. Pretty cool. Hope you enjoy Sandman - it is one of the few series that was emotionally affecting around it's conclusion (for me).

Oh - and DC is giving Sandman the Absolute treatment (ie, really nice recoloured, oversize pages, etc) - I'm probably going to replace my trades when it comes out (Absolute Watchmen is fantastic)

22 March, 2006 16:09, Anonymous sschroeder said...

I started reading Sandman during Season of Mists, having not immediately realized the significance of a freebie # 8 I was given as part of a larger comics order, and I bought every issue that came out after that. I still have them, plus trades covering the issues I liked and issues I don't own.

Following up your recent request for more trade suggestions, you may want to check out Sandman Mystery Theatre at some point too. I may not have any of those issues anymore, but Matt Wagner and Guy Davis worked on it.

And while you are dipping into early Vertigo try Enigma by Peter Milligan. That might get a little weird for you though.

22 March, 2006 16:17, Blogger zilla said...

Pat - thanks a ton for these comments... the Absolute treatment huh? is a first volume out yet? i thought Absolute Batman Hush was gorgeous (and i have an oversized Walking Dead HC that's Absolute-ish).

22 March, 2006 16:18, Blogger zilla said...

thanks for the suggestions shroeder... i'm willing to try most anything ;)

22 March, 2006 16:20, Blogger zilla said...

PS pat is this the companion:


22 March, 2006 16:42, Blogger zilla said...

one more thing i found while i was closing down work today (and searching for some absolute sandman news for fun):


that's about the only "recent" nugget i can find about it... but wow 600 pagers.

22 March, 2006 21:47, Blogger Pat said...

Yeah - you should read Neil Gaiman's blog - I follow it via RSS - it's at http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/

He posts info there about all sorts of things, and he does talk about the comics end of things. Currently, he talks mostly about The Eternals (his new series with Marvel) and Absolute Sandman (as the comments you found on MillarWorld attest to).

Keep us informed on what you think of Sandman... I'm thinking of going back and re-reading it myself now - it's been awhile since I read it last.

22 March, 2006 22:20, Blogger zilla said...

thanks pat... one thing i can confirm (also mentioned on gaiman's blog) is that the coloring for the first trade is kind of beat. there are a lot of dream's word balloons that you can barely read... glad to hear they are re-coloring it for absolute...

does anyone have even a rough time frame of when absolute may be hitting the stands?


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3.15 Shopping List

Marvel explosion this week. Def hype for a new Nextwave, Daredevil (which i just started w/ last issue), Ares, and X-Factor. New Gun Fu (Image) is a surprise but i LOVE me some Gun Fu (see my review of the first trade HERE).


LOVELESS #5 (MR) - Still w/ Loveless but Azarello might be losing me... that'd be sad though - i need a good western comic to look forward to.
SGT ROCK THE PROPHECY #3 (OF 6) - Not bad.

GUN FU SHOWGIRLS ARE FOREVER #1 - Action packed, oft-hilarious, jackie-chan/jet li style kung-fu intelligence agent... book. if you enjoyed Hysteria you should be reading Gun Fu.

ARES #3 (OF 5) - Picked up big time in #2. Hype.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #16 - Couldn't stop reading about this so picked up the first trade a couple weeks ago... Brubaker is fast becoming a fav of mine.
DAREDEVIL #83 - Brubaker took over last issue, and though it was the first Daredevil comic i EVER read, i loved it. Enough to go back and start on catching up via trades (thanks Uncensored). Picked up Bendis and Maleev's second HC and enjoyed it mucho.
INCREDIBLE HULK #93 - Planet Hulk continues...
NEW AVENGERS #17 - Pull list.
NEXTWAVE AGENTS OF HATE #3 - I friggin' LOVE this comic. One of my favorite reads lately.
SILVER SURFER REBIRTH OF THANOS TP - Been waiting on this a LONG time. I've had zero current Silver Surfer since i've been back. Hopefully this was good.
X-FACTOR #5 - Another one of my highly anticipated reads lately... Sook's leaving soon (pissed!).


USAGI YOJIMBO #92, SENTRY #7 (OF 8), and THING #5.

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21 March, 2006 20:02, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

Based on your reviews alone, I'm going to get the inevitable TPB for NextWave. By the way, got the books you mailed out, thanks! Between those and two orders from In Stock Trades within the last three weeks, I've got a nice stack of reading material.

21 March, 2006 20:38, Blogger zilla said...

hope you like Nextwave as much as i have so far... and yeah NP on the books. i pretty much LOVED Ultimates and Hush so i'm confident you'll have a great time w/ those... LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!


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The Midnighter

At today’s Wildstorm/Vertigo joint panel at WizardWorld LA, two Garth Ennis projects set in the Wildstorm Universe were officially announced: The Boys (October) and The Midnighter (November).

As for The Boys, they’re a team of super-powered operatives working for the
US government, and the last people you ever want to – or more likely – will meet if they’re chasing you. Ennis is joined by artist Darick Robertson on the series, and we’ll have more on it from Ennis coming early next week.

As for The Midnighter, the new, ongoing series, set in the Wildstorm Universe, is illustrated by Chris Sprouse and Karl Story, and well…is the Midnighter.

“He’s utterly lethal and he tells it like it is,” Ennis said when asked about his appreciation for the character. “He’s got a nice dark sense of humor, too.”

A quick flashback for the character – Midnighter (along with Apollo) were among the super-powered beings banded together by the first Weatherman of StormWatch, Henry Bendix into a covert team which was used for pursuit of Bendix’s own agenda. While the rest of the team was killed on its first mission, Apollo and Midnighter – the only survivors, went underground, staying out of the limelight and off the radar until they were later discovered by Christine Trelane, who found their files, and sent a recovery team to bring them in.

Since coming back aboveground, Apollo and Midnighter (who were later married) have played a vital role with The Authority, even adopting the reincarnated child version of Jenny Sparks.

More than human, Midnighter’s central nervous system has been augmented wioth cybernetics to the point where he can calculate hundreds of thiousadnsd of combat scenarios in seconds, allowing him to choose the one with the best outcome (“best” often meaning the one which causes his opponent the most pain). Midnighter’s muscles and bones have also been enhanced to the point of giving him superhuman speed and strength. Additionally, he has a second heart, an enhanced immune system, and a penchant for ultraviolence.

Since nearly his first appearance in Stormwatch (v2) #4 alongside the Superman analogue Apollo, Midnighter has been seen as…well…”the gay Batman,” given his similarities to Gotham City’s hero. It’s a definition that Ennis doesn’t mind at all…although…

“I always thought Batman was the gay Batman, but there you go,” the writer said. “I think the Midnighter is very much his own man; his sexuality is just one part of that. Never mind the fact that he doesn’t kill people, would Batman do the things we’ve seen the Midnighter do? Batman fights for the status quo, the Midnighter fights to make the world better. Simple as that.”

Speaking of his sexuality, and the fact that this will be the first ongoing comic from either Marvel or DC starring a gay hero in the title role, Ennis isn’t shying away from it at all.

“His opening monologue touches on his sexuality, but not in the way people might expect,” Ennis said. “His sexuality is not a complex issue: he likes fucking men. He likes fucking one man in particular - but that doesn’t mean he wants to be around the guy 24/7, hence the solo book. He has no more questions about himself in that regard, so why should we? As for any controversy this may bring, well, if Brokeback Mountain proved anything, it’s this: gay characters piss off all the right people.”

That aside for a moment, Ennis explained that, in his view, even though he was literally built as a killing machine, Midnighter has a distinct reason for doing what he does. “Midnighter has a sense of fairness that leads him to fight for a better world, but his tactics are direct, brutal and merciless.

“The arc I’m writing starts out in the real world but immediately turns into a time travel story, with bad people attempting to harness our hero’s skills for their own nefarious purposes. I also have an odd little one parter I’d like to do, an alternate universe thing. If I do more than six issues I’ll try to maintain it as a solo book, without any major appearances by The Authority in general (superteam, yawn) or Apollo in particular (boring blond twat). And no crossovers. They can get someone else in for that.”

Finally, yes, Ennis knows that his DC work of late has been limited to Wildstorm, and yes, there’s a reason for that.

“I’m dying to get out to San Diego,” the writer said, speaking of the location of WildStorm’s offices. “Brian Vaughn’s been there nearly three years and he’s in full-on “Where’s the tower, where’s the gun” mode. Although I have visited the Wildstorm guys in La Jolla and they have a pretty sweet set-up there: sun-kissed paradise, commanding view of the beach and its various charms, etc etc. They’re a good bunch, easy going, more interested in doing good work than the company line. And no, they’re not too uptight about their characters, given that no one’s pumping out Midnighter cartoon shows or Jack Hawksmoor underwear.

“I’ve been enjoying working with [editor] Ben Abernathy on Kev for some time now, and I get on well with Scott Dunbier. It was over lunch at Wildstorm that all this started; I wanted to do Battler Britton and another Kev series, and well aware that these would hardly set the world on fire, Scott asked if I could do something a bit more commercial in return. A couple of odds and sods were mentioned, but I suggested we just go straight for the jugular and give the best character they’ve got his own book. And off we went…”

I've never read Stormwatch or The Authority (I know, shame on me), but this is Garth fucking Ennis writing what [sounds like] he writes best; gritty action, violence, and black comedy. The fact that the character of Midnighter is gay without there being any complexity on the matter also is appealing. I'll be picking this up in November, most definately.


21 March, 2006 09:11, Blogger zilla said...

I'm all over "The Boys" but not sure i have any interest in Midnighter. Authority was good (esp the first trade)... but not up to the hype it has recieved i don't think (personally). I also got to admit i'm not a big fan of "love" or relationsips (for their sake) in my comics whether it's man-on-man or man-on-woman (i can make an exception for woman-on woman... j/k ;) There def do seem to be a lot of gay superheroes these days...


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Monday, March 20, 2006

V for Vendetta (the movie)

Got a chance to see "V for Vendetta" on saturday and, although it wasn't the best "comic" movie i've seen, it was def entertaining even if it took itself a little too seriously at times.

Natalie Portman did an excellent job as evie (sp?) and i gotta say this kid (Portman) has got a real knack for relaying heavy emotion on-screen (especially via her somewhat "natural" facial expressions). I'm not nearly as impressed w/ the casting for V (was that Agent Smith from Matrix under that mask?); even though it was primarily voice work, the performance came off a bit stiff and unimaginative to me for such a dynamic character. The rest of the cast was pretty much ho-hum... nothing to write home about necessarily but each held their own fairly well.

As for the script, i think it stuck fairly well to the V for Vendetta GN (as i remember it), although i'm not sure V's personality and/or the V/Evie relationship is captured on-screen exactly as Moore intended when he wrote the book. There are a bunch of smaller details that i know strayed from the GN to make the script more appealing to a broader audience but nothing outlandish enough to warrant a riot from fans.

I do know that Mr. Moore was against the production of this movie from the get-go (thought i'm not sure i have heard exactly why), and i'm definitely curious what he thinks of it now that it's finally in theatres.

The timing of the release of the film adaptation of V couldn't be better. There are some interesting correlations between V for Vendetta and the "real" world these days (though i think the same case could obviously be made at thousands of points in the past, present, and future)... One thing this movie does do (though not as well as the GN) is get you thinking ;)

PS - Forgive me for saying so since i know V for Vendetta is not really an "action" book/movie, but this flik could have used a bit more adrenaline via killer matrix-esque combat between V and the authorities (not TOO much more mind you). There is one VERY cool scene (at the climax) that had me wishing for more...

PPS - Isn't it sad sometimes the guys who get killed in movies who are just working for the bad guys for a paycheck? in this case V kills a bunch of cops here and there that you just have to think have very little to do w/ the corrupt gov'ts actual politics. Prob just poor slub family men working a 9-5er to keep diapers on the baby until they are stuck on the end of one of V's knives. Ha.


20 March, 2006 12:14, Blogger Ryan X said...

Z, is the GN worth reading? I have had it on my shelf for almost a year, unread obviously. Anyone else that has an opinion is welcome to chime in as well.

20 March, 2006 12:25, Blogger zilla said...

I may get flamed out of the comic community for saying this but:

i enjoyed V for Vendetta (the GN) and i'm def glad i read it, but i'm not 100% sure i think as highly of it as most of the comics/GN community seems to. the overall story/message is right up my alley (and def interesting/unique) but i found myself fast-forwarding through it at times.

that being said, it's prob required reading for any GN fan (especially if you already own it ;)

20 March, 2006 12:26, Blogger zilla said...

PS - i DID enjoy V for Vendetta (the GN) much more than i did Watchmen (if that means anything).

20 March, 2006 17:13, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

I haven't read V for Vendetta, but I did check out Watchmen from my local library. Now maybe I'm missing some crazy good stuff in the middle and end of the story, but when my two weeks were up, I returned the book to the library half-read without any desire to recheck it out and finish it.
Sacriligeous, I know, but I thought it was pretty ho-hum.

20 March, 2006 17:56, Blogger zilla said...

see i'm with you man... i never did finish watchmen either.

22 March, 2006 09:01, Blogger Ryan X said...

I was fortunate enough to have 10 days at sea to read the Watchmen straight through. Even with all the time in the world, it was a struggle. I never would have finished it on my "normal" reading schedule. It was interesting (and more so because I got it all at once) and I can see how it is considered a "classic" by most. With that said, it felt like a lot of "classic" things to me, you try like hell to enjoy it, but ultimately can't find the allure. If no one had told you it was a classic comic, you wouldn't even have picked it up...just my opinion.

23 March, 2006 12:19, Anonymous cmoney said...

I have to admit, that's strange to hear. I picked up Watchmen years ago on its reputation, and couldn't put it down. Maybe it's because its ideas have been so entrenched into the mainstream comic world now that folks are having trouble getting into it?


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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Robertson and Ennis' new Wildstorm series "The Boys"

Now this sounds good. Maybe fill the Losers void (not exactly but...)? I'm in.
The Boys are a CIA team assigned to watch, investigate, occasionally blackmail, now and again kick the shit out of, and when necessary kill superheroes. The whole idea is to keep super-people in line. Their leader is Billy Butcher, their newest recruit is Wee Hughie, and the other three are Mother's Milk, The Frenchman and The Female (of the Species).

Their talents and powers are simple: they excel at beating people to a pulp. Butcher, additionally, is the sneakiest and most dangerous bastard in the world.

Each member came to the team by their own path, which we'll see more of as the series progresses.



20 March, 2006 12:13, Blogger Ryan X said...

Thanks for the tip on this Z, looks like my kind of book.


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Saturday, March 18, 2006

HC/TP wish list dwindling all of a sudden...

Since i've been back into comics i have this routine where i buy floppies just about every wed, and once a month (sometimes twice) put in an order for TPs and/or HCs at Amazon or instocktrades.com.

Thing is, i've actually managed to whittle down my TP/HC wish list so far i'm running out of things to read... weak!

Anyone got any recommendations? links to "best ever" lists etc.?

FYI - here's my march order from Amazon (would usually prefer to use instocktrades since they are typically cheaper but some of this stuff couldn't be found there...). Also, i wanted to grab the Daredevil 3 HC (loved #2) but for some reason it's not available anywhere at the discount $20 price i paid for #2, and i'm not paying 30 beans for sure...).

1 "Sleeper Vol. 1: Out in the Cold"
Ed Brubaker; Paperback; $11.67 - I'm kind of on a Brubaker high lately so figured i check this out...

1 "Batman: Year One Deluxe Edition"
Frank Miller; Hardcover; $12.99 - Ditto for Batman love lately... read Hush and The Long Halloween last month and dug the hell out of both.

1 "Usagi Yojimbo, Book 3: The Wanderer's Road"
Stan Sakai; Paperback; $10.37 - I'm a huge UY fan and i've been putting off buying/re-reading these for no apparent reason. Back in the saddle starting this month. Def one of the best titles/runs of all time.

1 "The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes"
Neil Gaiman; Paperback; $12.99 - My WIFE actually recommended this to me (she used to manage a book store back in college).

1 "300"
Frank Miller; Hardcover; $19.80 - Had this on my wish list for about a year now... finally getting around to picking it up. Hopefully it's as good as people say.


18 March, 2006 17:26, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

Have you read "Girls" by the Luna Brothers or "Sea of Red" by Rick Remender, both from Image, and both titles I enjoy. Only one TP out for each of them so far.

18 March, 2006 17:27, Anonymous Cellardoor said...

also, let me know what you think of Sandman, it's one I've been thinking about trying.

18 March, 2006 19:27, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

I'm on a roll here trying to think of stuff you might not have read...how about Sam Keith's "The Maxx", a bit on the esoteric side, but I LOVE his artwork

And "WE3" by Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly, awesome...

19 March, 2006 17:27, Blogger zilla said...

thanks cellardoor... i've actually read WE3 and LOVED it. I'll have to investigate Maxx - i'm not sure i've even heard of that title before today...

PS i'll def let you know about Sandman, i'm just going to start w/ Vol. 1. Word seems to be well in favor of this title though so i'm planning for it to be good...

20 March, 2006 12:17, Blogger Ryan X said...

Sleeper is awesome, actually I am a little surprised you haven't read it yet. It will help to fill the Losers void you are currently experiencing. I am also wanting to get into Sandman. Another book that has piqued my interest is Alan Moore's run (1-6?)on Swamp Thing.

20 March, 2006 12:21, Blogger zilla said...

I'm almost done w/ the first Sandman trade and i'm REALLY digging it. Def wild. I'll write a review sometime this week for sure...

PS can't wait for sleepers now..

21 March, 2006 12:23, Blogger Pat said...

Sandman doesn't even get good until after the first volume - I belive during the beginning, it was supposed to still be set in the DC universe more solidly. the affiliation becomes more loose as time goes on (and it gets better and better!)

If you like Calvin and Hobbes, I'd highly recommend Amelia Rules - there are two or three TBPs out - many bigger libraries will have at least one - really good light reading. Funny too...

21 March, 2006 12:26, Blogger Pat said...

Oh, and one more thing - after you finish Sandman, read Lucifer - it's an excellent follow-up - not really related, but set in the same world. It's still ongoing, but there are seven or eight TBPs so far

21 March, 2006 20:40, Blogger zilla said...

Pat - check out my review of Sandman... i really enjoyed the first trade. Got a feeling i've got some good stuff to read for a while now that i'm in to that...

as for Amelia Rules, i'll def check that out... i love calvin and hobbes (my dad and i shared that as a favorite when i was growing up). someday i want to get me that hardbound collection. schweeeet.


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Friday, March 17, 2006

Batman Hush HC

This Batman: Hush HC is the first "absolute" edition i've ever read, and man is it gorgeous. Jim Lee's art is phenomenal (no surprise there) throughout the arc and looks even better hardbound, enlarged, and on glossy paper. Honestly, this might be the "prettiest" (for lack of a better word to describe the amazing artwork) collection i've read since i've been back. Jim Lee is obviously nothing short of an incredible talent.

Hush isn't ALL artwork though; even though Loeb's story wanes a bit at the end IMO, ultimately there's little to complain about - and Hush definitely goes down as one of my all-time fav Batman stories (followed by The Long Halloween, also written by Loeb w/ Tim Sale, who's artwork pales in comparison to Lee's tho i'm a big fan).

Not a huge collection of extra's here, but pages of very cool "easter egg" style revelations (w/ page numbers even) and bonus sketchwork from Jim Lee kept me reading 'till the last page.

Batman: Hush HC - A

PS - There is no way to get my scanner to do justice to the artwork in Hush, so i didn't really try. Anyone who's read this thing knows what i mean ;)


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Tony Moore talks Exterminators @ Newsarama

This book isn't getting a whole lot of hype, but i've got a man-crush on Tony Moore so i'm with it. The story is a bit unusual, and picking up speed w/ each issue so far (3). Have a read.



17 March, 2006 09:03, Blogger zilla said...

Wait did i miss the latest issue of Exterminators this week?

20 March, 2006 14:02, Blogger Ryan X said...

Thanks for the link Z, good interview with TM. I hope more people start catching on to this title, it is crazy good IMO.


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Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Centurion

Over at the MillarWorld forum, I noticed, a couple of weeks ago, a "write-off". It was on the very day submissions were due to close, so I quickly wrote something up (from plot conception to finished script took about two hours). The rules were; the script had to be 8-12 pages (as drawn), and it must deal with the origin of a character.

I recieved a fair amount of critism, which I appreciated; as it was constructive.

I'm going to share to script with this blog for the hell of it. I ask you to take into consideration that it was concieved and written in a rush, and that I've never attempted writing a comic book script before, which becomes evident in the panel discriptions.

Anyway, enjoy, comment, whatever.

Origin of The Centurion


18 March, 2006 02:57, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Well thanks for the comments.

18 March, 2006 11:38, Blogger zilla said...

i personally haven't had a chance to read it yet but def plan to... been a busy couple of days 'round here.

25 March, 2006 03:49, Blogger Christopher Green said...



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Hysteria: One Man Gang #1

Sean did a great job reviewing this new comic over at Quality Control (and i happen to agree w/ most of what he's said) so i won't get too deep into it here but wanted to post *something*:

First off, know that i'm a HUGE kung-fu geek and def find myself dissappointed w/ the lack of kung-fu/martial arts comics out there (zero in the mainstream). Mike Hawthorne's Hysteria: One Man Gang is short on words but long on action, and Sean is def right about one thing in his review - Hawthorne's panels and layouts have this nifty way of putting you right in the middle of it all, just like any good silver screen kung fu classic. I absolutely loved the part where he throws the little girl into the air then breaks off some martial arts whup-ass before catching her. Cool.

As w/ a lot of indie's, you don't walk away from this feeling like you got a full $3 worth (the story/dialogue is a bit sparce and the art simple and uncolored) but i DID have a great time with this and i WILL be buying #2 (anyone know if this is set as a mini or ongoing from Image?). The best i can ask of any comic is that feeling of wanting more... and Hysteria delivers on that front, especially if you're a fan of classic kung-fu (action, laughs, etc.). B+.


16 March, 2006 14:50, Blogger Sean Maher said...

I believe it's a four-issue mini.

Glad you dug it... I agree it feels a bit thin for the price, but the back-up helped a bit, I thought.

(Though I'm pretty sure the back-up is a reprint of an old Hysteria story... heh.)


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The Walking Dead #26

TWD has been sleepwalking a bit lately IMO, but #27 does start us down an interesting new road outside the relative safety of the prison compound. Rick, Glenn, and Michonne don riot gear, hotwire a hoopty, and head a few miles from the prison to investigate a fresh helicopter crash.

After mud-stucking their new sled (approaching the crashsite now on foot) Rick and company discover that the survivors of the whirly-bird crash (if there were/are any) have been pulled from the rubble by unknown someones. We'll have to wait until #28 to find out who. One thing is for sure though, we've needed some new characters for a while and it looks like we may finally get some...

Probably the most interesting development in this issue though has little to do w/ the helicopter crash. Carol, still devestated emotionally by Tyreese's infidelity w/ Michonne (and her suicide attempt), approaches Lori (Rick's wife) w/ a 3-way marriage proposal. Looks like RK wants to add polygamy to his list of social issues to explore w/ TWD.

I'm interested to see where he takes this for sure... I can see why Rick might be down, and why Carol feels like she needs this (there aren't exactly many single dudes to choose from anymore), but why would Lori ever agree? What will Tyreese think?

We'll see i guess... as the TWD world turns ;)

Issue Grade: B

It was all over when... (click to enlarge)


16 March, 2006 17:13, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Wow, I might have to pick that up.


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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

More TPs for SALE!

Since i got such great love selling my last batch of TPs here @ Zilla's, i thought i'd put my new list up here before eBay. Anyone interested in any of the following?

  • Batman: Hush TPs V. 1 and 2 (the complete Hush arc)

  • Ultimates TPs V. 1 and 2 (complete Ultimates)

  • Essential Silver Surfer

As is par for the course, all my books are in perfect condition (gently used). Let me know if anyone around here is interested... Thx.


15 March, 2006 17:10, Anonymous CellarDoor said...


I might be interested in the Ultimates, what are you asking? And would you be willing to split up the Hush volumes? I just got an order from InStock Trades last week and Hush vol. 1 was in it. I'd be interested in vol 2 if you're willing to split them up.

15 March, 2006 17:15, Blogger zilla said...

yeah i'll split them up no problem... email me and we can talk details.

16 March, 2006 00:57, Blogger Christopher Green said...

I'm interested in Ultimates vol. 2, what are you asking?

16 March, 2006 10:09, Blogger zilla said...

Sorry U, CellarDoor scooped up Hush 2 and both my Ultimates 1 trades.

PS where you been partner?

16 March, 2006 11:17, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Really busy. Working now, plus preparing for an exam I have to write in April, and then onto university in the fall. I've barely gotten any writing time in these days.


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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

3.15 Shopping List

A new TWD makes me happy. Plus Athiest is back after about a 6 month layoff ;)

CONAN #26 (MR) - Pull list. Busiek's last issue.
CONAN BOOK OF THOTH #1 (OF 4) - Busiek's new mini now that he's done w/ the Conan flagship?

100 BULLETS #70 (MR) - Pull list. Croatoa.
DMZ #5 (MR) - Pull list. DMZ is very good... hopefully they can stop taking themselves so seriously... then it might be great.

ATHEIST #3 (RES) - Damn Athiest is back! Don't be fooled by the title (which seems to be a turn off for some) this is a great comic through 2 issues... even if the last one was like many, many months ago.
WALKING DEAD #26 (MR) - Pull list. BFF.




Filed in:


15 March, 2006 22:38, Blogger James Meeley said...

Actually, #28 is Busiek's last Conan. Although, he will also do issue #32, which is the next (and final?) part of the "Born on the Battlefield" storyline. Just thought you should know.

16 March, 2006 10:15, Blogger zilla said...

thanks james... so which issues do mignola and/or powell write/draw again?

16 March, 2006 10:41, Blogger Ryan X said...

Your shopping list for this week is identical to mine, bizarro.

16 March, 2006 15:19, Blogger James Meeley said...


Mingola is writing issues #29-31, which are the one between Busiek's last issue and the "Born on the Battlefeild story. Powell is doing the art of issue #28, which is Busiek's last.

Hope that helps you out.


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Monday, March 13, 2006

3.13 Panel


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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Invincible #29

I get the feeling 'ole RK and pal Ryan Ottley had one of those "wait until they get a load of this one" meetings before Invincible #29 hit the stands last week.

This issue is encompassed almost entirely by brutally graphic fisticuffs between Mark and his Dad and a trio of Viltrumites bent on burying them - and hell, i loved it (especially Ottley's kick-ass panels and layouts - there's a 2-pager that is one of the coolest fight spreads i've seen).

I REALLY loved it for about a page when i thought Mark's Dad might have been killed (instead of just back broken)... now that would have been something.

Ah well, no big deal... great issue none-the-less (after a couple ho-hum Invincible issues lately IMO). Continuing to prove that Invincible is one of the coolest superhero mags out there, and why "creator owned" is so boss. B+.

It was all over when... (and yeah this viltrumite dude is holding his spilling guts in his pants w/ one hand while unceremoniously breaking Mark's Dad's back - how's that for hardass?)

Here's that boss Ottley superhero combat layout i mentioned above... couldn't resist:


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Thursday, March 09, 2006

3.9 Panel 2


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3.9 Panel

After reading Brubaker's Daredevil (#82) i got extra-hype to read the new Captain America: Winter Soldier TP. Pretty good stuff... and that is saying a lot from a guy like me who has had very little (if any) interest in Captain America in the past (i've even been known to loathe the guy's over-the-top goody-two-shoes-ness on occasion).

Brubaker's take however is gritty, interesting, and well-developed (through issue 6 at least). He's managed to kill off a major arch-enemy and bring back a major "lost" character w/o going corny... and Roger's struggles with his memories/flashbacks are crucial. Brubaker is a beast.


09 March, 2006 12:15, Anonymous cmoney said...

Don't worry, it has yet to stumble. Brubaker's solid gold these days. Not that I'm saying he ever wasn't, only that I haven't read much of his old stuff except "Sleeper," which was great.

09 March, 2006 13:32, Anonymous freedome said...

yeah he really kills it w/his take on the authority, where he brings back a classic nemisis. i've become a huge fan of this kat.


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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Fear Agent #3

Ah Fear Agent. Feels like it's been a hundred months since the last issue, though i might say it was worth the wait (it was). I'm still sick as a dog w/ the flu so i don't have the nuts to write too much but wanted to make sure i got something down about FA #3 before i reset w/ this weeks book day...

This title is pretty much the cat's ass. It's unlike just about anything else in the mainstream right now, and manages to single handedly satisfy my appetite for sci-fi adventure (and, along w/ Exterminators, beautifully colored Tony Moore artwork). As seems to be a recurring theme these days however, there's already a rumor that Moore will be rotating w/ some other guy here soon, and we're only 3 issues deep. Weak. I love Tony Moore's pencils (see TWD), and their even more incredible in color...

Anyways, here in #3, our fearless Fear Agent Texan (Heath) is a waylayed in his attempts to warn Earth about the "Feeders" impending alien invasion and stranded on an unknown planet. Remender keeps the action (and tongue-in-cheek laughs) coming and drops a nice little cliff hanger. Can't wait until #4. B+.

It was all over when...


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3.8 Panel

Is it possible that i could get a Longhorns NCAA football AND basketball championship in the same year? I can't even let myself dream it... UT Hoops may have the best first 5 in the country (rivaled only by UConn?) but depth may prove a problem.


08 March, 2006 19:35, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

Before the Big Ten season started, I had hopes of my Michigan State Spartans being contenders...Now, I think they'll be lucky to get any further than the 3rd round in the NCAA tourney. Maybe once they're out I'll root for the Longhorns, that would be quite an accomplishment to win football and basketball the same year!

08 March, 2006 19:47, Blogger zilla said...

damn cellardoor what a coincidence - i've always been a closet Michigan State fan too... Man i loved watching TJ Duckett back in college.

09 March, 2006 08:13, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

Funny story about TJ Duckett...My final year in college, my then girlfriend (now wife), was working at a gas station/tow truck service as the dispatcher. Parking at MSU is HORRIBLE, and students on campus and off were constantly being towed for parking where they weren't supposed to. One night she had to deal with an irate TJ Duckett who insisted that because he WAS TJ Duckett his friend's car shouldn't be towed. His rant went something like this: "You can't tow this car! Don't you know who I AM?!? I'm TJ Duckett motherf*$%er!!" So now, whenever I hear mention of his name I like to shout that as loud as I can.

09 March, 2006 08:19, Blogger zilla said...

OMG that's hilarious! i knew next to nothing about the dude personally but his running style just appealed to me for some reason... funny how so many athletes are such d-heads. great story though ;)

11 February, 2009 22:11, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you guys cant be serious. way to judge a person. NICE!!!!!!!!!!


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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

3.8 Shopping List

Ugh. I've been laid up with the worst friggin' flu of my life the last couple of days. aches all over, cough, fever, the whole nine. i'm not one to get sick (first time i've caught something in years) but i really got crushed this time. nothing like some chicken noodle and a stack of comic books though to cure what ails you right?? like being a kid again...


EXTERMINATORS #3 (MR) - Pull list.

FELL #4 - Pull list.
INVINCIBLE #29 - Pull list.

POWERS #17 (MR) - Can't wait to see where Bendis and Oeming take this now that they threw us for a loop in #16.




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The crowd at my LCS is... weird (or is it me?)

I've been hitting my LCS for a little over a year now (since i've been back) pretty steady week after week and i have yet to see anyone like me in there. It's gotten me wondering: am i the only normal-ish married 30-something 9-5er desk jockey reading comics?

I mean my LCS is packed w/ middle school age kids and/or strange, strange cats that def don't get enough sunlight and/or attention from fellow humans. At the risk of stereotyping, this is more a basement dwelling D&D crowd (to give you an image) than guys you'll run into at the office that's for sure.

Now don't get me wrong, i've got ZERO problems w/ anyone, no matter how you live, love, or party... It's the difference i'm pointing out here not getting on a high horse claiming one to be better than the next.

You know what though? I can't help the feeling that it's not these guys who are the weirdos (in this situation) - it's me. I'm the one that's out of place i think - not them - and that's a crying shame.

I definitely think comics are more accessible today than they have ever been (with the variety of work available for all ages and tastes), but i'm still not sure that the stigma surrounding comics readers has changed much since i was a kid. I've got friends who read the same novels i read, and who i KNOW would like certain comics, but they're so damn apprehensive... just because they don't want to be "comics guys"...

Not sure where i was going with this (it's getting late) but... well... it's a shame. It's a shame that the whole world isn't reading comics (young, old, male, female) and they still seem somewhat reserved for a specific sub-culture.

Unless you're an out of place care-less-er - like me.


04 March, 2006 02:46, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're definately not alone. I am also 38, an executive in a power company and like you, recently for whatever reason, decided to catch up on a 20 year comics hiatus since I left them in college. The amazing thing is, they still resonate with me. Of the best, the stories are fantastic (Ultimates 2, Astonishing X-Men)the mythology continues to run strong at Marvel and DC and the 3rd party titles are compelling as ever in storytelling and originality (Powers, Ex Machina Global Frequency). Now that I have a baby, I don't have time to go to the movies, but am finding that the best that comics has to offer are more artistic and story oriented than many big blockbusters. And now that I make a little money, I can buy whatever I want. The bottom line is, your site makes me feel there are kindred spirits out there and that's good enough for me regardless of who hangs out at the LCS. I do dig your site and am grateful for it! I will close with a recommendation for those that grew up with comics like me way back when. The new Marvel DVD compilation series where you can get all 40+ years of every X-men, Fantastic Four and Spiderman comics is awesome. I just got the X-men and FF4 DVDs and it took me right back to that time I just loved comics. Now I'm able to relive my favorite issues on the convenience of my computer. I'm psyched about the 40 years of the Avengers DVD out in April. Stay Out of place care-less-er. It's the only way to go.

04 March, 2006 09:52, Blogger Michelle said...

You're definitely not alone!

04 March, 2006 11:20, Blogger zilla said...

Anonymous - thanks for the words my friend. i've always kind of hoped this blog would be a gathering place for readers "like us" (among others). Nice to get comments from people reading from the same (or similar) perspective as i am - sprinkled in with anyone else who enjoys my hack comments and writing ha.

i have to agree w/ you though - comics today are FAR more interesting (to me at least) than anything on TV or at the movies, and you get a lot more variety and creativity than in "text only" books it seems (though i've always got one of those in progress too).

i guess this is why it's such a shame that more folks won't give comics a try. i wonder if we'll ever get to a day where a comic shop is as diverse in consumers as a book store? prob not... but why? i'm serious when i tell you that i've got pals (young and old, men and women) that i KNOW for sure would love this comic or that one... but...

04 March, 2006 11:22, Blogger zilla said...

Michele - i am so friggin' happy i have a female reader around here (talking to diversity of readership in comics you're another rare breed just like us old guys). So please, since you're the only one - chime in sometimes ;)

04 March, 2006 11:27, Blogger zilla said...

just waiting now for Mr. X, Kurt, and Ed to get in on this and amp up the floating warm fuzzies even further ;)

04 March, 2006 11:30, Blogger zilla said...

wait michelle - i hope i haven't offended you with my texas ignorance (if you're really a dude). one of my good friends dad is actually named michele (he's a famous chef - michele rashard) so got me thinking that i may have stereotyped your gender just by reading your name :)

either way thanks for the words hoss (or hossette).

05 March, 2006 16:49, Anonymous CellarDoor said...


I know EXACTLY what you are talking about with the LCS crowd. I'm 28 yrs old, 2 kids under 2, working for the federal government in a science field, and I feel like a freak when I stop in and pick up my stack of comics. I invariably have to pry the owner away from a D&D game, and he's a great guy, but the looks I get from the rest of the guys who are role playing...man.

I agree with the anonymous poster earlier, it is great to read your take on things as you are in roughly the same stage of life. Comics do become a great form of entertainment for those 15 minutes of freedom I have when I come home from work and have put the kids to bed. Keep up the great work!

06 March, 2006 10:01, Blogger Ryan X said...

First off I want to say that the reason I come to Zilla's site is because this is the only place for me to talk to anyone about comics. Mostly I just post my thoughts, but that is more than I can do in my "real life". I have zero people to discuss comics with, hence, I am so grateful for this site and others like it (this is the best one of the genre IMHO). As far as my LCS goes, I have to say I may be in the minority here. I often run into guys like me (at lunch, Wednesday or Thurs, dress shirt, khakis, etc. typical automaton working for da man) at my LCS and the only reason I feel out of place is because I buy far less than anyone else there. The people that work there are totally cool to me and are always ready to discuss the titles I am buying (so I have one other outlet, but that is just weekly:)). Anyway, the main thing I wanted to say was, RIGHT ON CELLAR DOOR!!! The 15 minutes of freedom at night after the kiddos are asleep (two boys, 4 and 3 wks), comics are my movies. I look forward to that brief escape everyday. The fact that I know it is a little frowned upon by our age group makes it a little sweeter too...

06 March, 2006 10:07, Blogger zilla said...

ryan - i'm def w/ you in that i too have all of ZERO people to talk comics to that aren't vaporous 1010111011 pals like you guys ;) and how fun is it to read a great comic if you can't talk it over at least for a moment or two?

ps how the hell do you have two boys of 4 and 3 weeks??? J/K i know this reads as 4 years (1) and 3 weeks (2) but i laughed when i first read it.

06 March, 2006 17:55, Blogger Ryan X said...

Ha ha! That does sound pretty strange, unless I had twins? Then it becomes some sort of lateral thinking puzzle...

07 March, 2006 19:15, Anonymous Kurt said...

I definitely feel out of place Zilla, but I wear it like a badge of honor. I’ve already had one Dungeon dweller inquire if I was buying comics for my kids and another ask if I was a “pro or a salesman or something” – immediately assuming a guy in khakis and Cole Haans couldn’t be an actual comic geek. (I stuck out my hand and said, “Brian Bendis, nice to meet you.” He said he almost believed me until he realized I was about a foot taller than Bendis and I have hair. His other clue might have been that we were in Fresno and that I was actually paying for comics.)

The guy who owns my LCS is a longtime friend who’s actually pretty normal himself. We have longer conversations about baseball than we do about comics. (Note that I’m not necessarily using that as the litmus test for “normal”.) Around the time of the World Series we were discussing some now forgotten play from one of the games. When one of the other customer’s pipes in, shaking his head, “It’s like you guys are speaking Latin.” The owner’s right-hand man chimes in with, “Or Klingon.” To which the customer replied (in true, only-in-a-comics-shop fashion), “No, I’d understand that.”

So yeah, I look to the Net for a little more age-appropriate interaction, if you will. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like the comicsblogosphere (as well as the people who frequent us) are a slightly older, more established group than what the general comic book market seems to be. If I’m going to talk comics, I’d just assume hang out here.

07 March, 2006 19:28, Blogger zilla said...

Kurt i'm laughing out loud my friend. this thread overall has made me feel... swell.


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Monday, March 06, 2006

3.6 Panel


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Sunday, March 05, 2006

X-Factor #4

4 issues in and still good, X-Factor is another one of those titles renewing my faith in Marvel.

I've read next to zero X-Factor before this reboot, but thankfully PAD has kept it nice and accessible so far (i've yet to feel i'm missing anything). The cast may seem like a lousy B-level role call at first, but David has found a way to make each interesting in his/her own way - even annoying HoM star Layla Miller (a challenge i once thought impossible!). Hell she's actually kind of cool all of a sudden (bite my tongue i know).

The current arc wraps in this issue, and even though the storyline at the core was nothing in particular to write home about, all the shiny bits surrounding it (character development, stage setting, artwork etc.) lift it into goodness. I love the gritty feel of the title so far (how's that for an ass-beating Siryn takes at the end of this one?) and the artwork is a well perfect fit.

I did however read a rumor somewhere that Ryan Sook is leaving the book here soon and well... that sucks. Can we get a friggin' creative team to stick it out together for a while once they've got something rolling? Ah well... for now X-Factor gets a big phat A from Zill.

It was all over when...


05 March, 2006 11:41, Anonymous cmoney said...

From what I hear, Sook left of his own accord.

05 March, 2006 12:50, Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Sook couldn't handle the monthly grind and stepped down to avoid lateness and regular "fill-in" artists. Normally I'd say kudos to him for realizing his limitations...but considering Dennis Calero has been "helping out" more and more since the second issue, it's kind of lame.

Nevertheless, X-Factor is one of my faves, too. David proves it's the quality of the characterization and not simply the popularity of the character that makes a comic good.

05 March, 2006 14:00, Blogger zilla said...

so do we know who the new reg artist will be? is his style similar at least? sook's just seems to be so perfect for this title IMO... i don't want to rock the boat too much w/ something radically different (but what do i know?).

06 March, 2006 01:00, Anonymous cmoney said...

Replacement artist is Dennis Callero for issues 5 and 6, Ariel Olivetti for issue 7, not sure if they've announced anything beyond that.

06 March, 2006 01:08, Anonymous cmoney said...

Well, found this in Newsarama's NYCC coverage:

"According to Schmidt, Dennis Callero will be the artist on X-Factor through issue #12. This will keep the series on schedule."


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Friday, March 03, 2006

Nextwave #2

Seriously, who knew Warren Ellis had this in him?

Nextwave seems (after 2 issues) to be one of the best (if not THE best) new Marvel offerings in some time; well complete w/ a great cast, action packed (and oft hilarious) story/dialogue, and solid artwork.

"Nextwave" is essentially a team of former "Highest Anti-Terrorims Effort" (H.A.T.E) agents gone rogue after discovering that their employer was being secretly (and ironically) bankrolled by one of the world's deadliest terrorist organizations - the Beyond Corporation. Beyond is primarily in the business of developing, testing, and deploying UWMDs (unusual weapons of mass destruction) and just well... terrorizing people.

Ok, we've got the high-level story but a lot of what makes this book for me is the cast. Nextwave is composed of a wild collection of B-list Marvel characters (not one of which is boring in this telling, and mesh surprisingly well together):

Monica Rambeau - Monica (better known as the former Avenger Captain Marvel) can transform her body into any form of radiation and apparently serves as Nextwave's head honcho.

Aaron Stack - Also known as "Machine Man", Aaron is the beer-swilling (yeah) 51st in a line of robots that, as Ellis puts it, "do robot-y things". He has this great habit of calling human's "fleshy ones" (it's funny in context trust me).

Elsa Bloodstone - An English chick who has achieved super strength and invulnerability by wearing a mysterious stone around her neck. She's also typically seen whupping tail w/ various firearms (shotguns, uzi's, etc.). Great personality... and hell, Brits are funny.

Tabitha Smith
- Tabith (a former X-Force member known as "Boom Boom") blows things up... even though it's not readily obvious "how". Her power is pretty much the cat's ass IMO.

The Captain - My personal favorite... The Captain is one cynical, camo pants and trench coat wearing S.O.B. He can fly, and apparently has tremendous super-strength. Me thinks he has a "thing" for Tabith.

General Anger - Not a member of Nextwave but an important character none-the-less, Anger is the top-cow of H.A.T.E and he's got all kinds of issues. Can't wait to see where Ellis takes this guy...

High-level storyline? Check. Cast? Check. So what happens in this issue?

The Nextwave gang gets creative and puts down their first UMWD (a giant underpants sporting lizard named Fing Fam Foom) while battling an army of Beyond Corporation HR/combat robots (and cracking on each other). I feel like relaying some of the funnier moments and/or dialogue here but i'd just butcher it... pick up this issue (or #1 if you can get your hands on it). You won't be disappointed.

After only 2 issues, i'm a Nextwave whore. Ellis is doing a good job w/ the story/dialogue (keeping it light but not TOO "funny book") and i'm really digging on the art. A+.


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Ultimates 2 #10

For the first time in my Ultimates (v1 or 2) life, i'm a bit... "meh" about an issue. Don't get me wrong, i like where Millar and Hitch's story is going overall, this one issue just seemed to have an inordinate number of up's and down's.

The terrorists world domination squad is cool enough (w/ at least a few interesting new baddies), and i definitely thought Iron Man's clubbing of his fiance' with a champaign bottle (do you realize how hard you would have to hit someone to break a CHAMPAIGN bottle over their head in real life??) was uber-money, but i'm left w/ mixed emotions about Hawekeye's escape.

I mean that was a pretty damn cool scene by the end (especially the kick-ass image below) but could you really rip off your own finger nails with one hand (supposing you could take the pain in the first place) and flick them with enough force (we know Hawkeye has the aim so no qualms there) to disable someone? Hmmmmm.

Regardless i'm still the biggest homer of an Ultimates fan. Can't wait for Thor to start whupping some ass and prove he's not the basket-case poser we've been led to believe... B.

It was all over when...


03 March, 2006 10:22, Blogger CalvinPitt said...

I actually liked the next panels, when he looks at the camera, smiles, and says "run". I got a big smile when I saw that.

03 March, 2006 11:37, Blogger zilla said...

yeah man that was pretty boss...

05 March, 2006 11:45, Anonymous cmoney said...

The fingernail thing does make Hawkeye look more like an Ultimate version of Bullseye, but hey, I dug the heck out of it. :)


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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Ex Machina #18

I'm not sure there is a more intelligent mainstream comic out there than Brian K Vaughn's Ex Machina. This book doesn't seem to come out as often as it should, but when it does hit the stands, it's rarely a disappointment. I've been following Mayor Hundred since #1, and it's honestly hard for me to recall a single let down issue (and that's saying a lot in today's world of "stretch to trade" arcs).

In #18, a chemical attack is unleashed on the anti-war demonstration Hundred ok'd last issue, and he's beginning to feel some related guilt (maybe one of the many enemies he made as a superhero back-in-the-day are really trying to send him a personal message?). His intern turned staffer, Journal, who was near ground zero during the attack (participating in the march) has been hospitalized with grave internal injuries (poisoning).

Meanwhile, an angry mob of street thugs, racially profiling fellow citizens because they think the chemical attack to be an act of al queda (etc.) terrorism, lash out in a very unfortunate way... And prove Vaughn's willingness to keep Ex Machina forever on the edge (and i LOVE that about this title). B+.

PS - the art continues to kick ass too (as we know).

It was all over when...


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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

3.1 Panel

Ultimate Colossus, Hulkling, Asgardian, Apollo, and Midnighter need not apply ;)


02 March, 2006 06:17, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Or Northstar.


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Fear Agent fans unite!

Part 1 of 2 Fear Agent specials over at Newsarama. I love this book so far (if it would only come out a bit more regularly). Too bad they couldn't keep hold of Cory Walker (Invincible) to rotate pencils w/ Moore... I wouldn't have minded that rotation ;)


01 March, 2006 12:27, Blogger Ryan X said...

Thanks for the link dude, this is great stuff. 75 issues! I am in for the ride.


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In no particular order:

Criminal, The Goon, Daredevil, Exterminators, Punisher, Hellboy/B.P.R.D (All), Powers, Godland, Usagi Yojimbo, The Walking Dead, Invincible, Conan, Ex Machina, DMZ, Desolation Jones, Fell, 100 Bullets, All-Star Superman, Ultimates 2, Loveless, and Fear Agent.

I'm recently back reading after a 15 year comics hiatus.

Zilla is not my real name.

I'm from Tejas living in VA. I'm married w/ 2 dogs. I'm an IT security consultant cranking the wheel for a big consulting firm in "real" life.

I watch the History Channel, Nat'l Geo, TLC, Mil Channel, ESPN and NFL Network, CourtTV (forensic files, etc.) and the Cartoon Network (love Genndy T's Samurai Jack and Clone Wars Adventures). My taste in movies: Gladiator, Last Samurai, Braveheart, Godfather, Tarantino (whatever), Kung-Fu (whatever), Westerns, Top Gun, Big Lebowski.

I love the outdoors and bs'ing around w/ my dogs.

In addition to being a comics junkie, i'm also a sports junkie especially when it comes to the Texas Longhorns and the Dallas Cowboys.

Blog contents copyright © 2005 Rod Wetsel