Zilla and the Comics Junkies

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

2.1 Shopping List

Ugh. Once again my damn job is getting in the way of my comics addiction. Won't be making book day tomorrow at the 'ole LCS, but will clean my box on thursday (i hate that!).

A new Hellboy is always welcome in my camp, esp when accompanied by a new Powers (i'm kind of hot on this title considering i'm in the middle of the Vol.1 HC at the moment).

Exterminators came out of nowhere for me (thanks Ryan) and Sentry and X-Factor are (somewhat) hidden Marvel gems IMO. DMZ #4 and a new Invincible next week...

HELLBOY MAKOMA #1 (OF 2) - Hellboy? I'm in. Hadn't heard about this before i saw it on the Diamond ship list this week... Is this a new story (a la the Island)?

BATMAN AND THE MONSTER MEN #4 (OF 6) - I've actually enjoyed this mini so far... I may (may) drop it here though and wait for the trade. Guess we'll see how i feel tomorrow ;)
EXTERMINATORS #2 (MR) - I had a good time w/ #1 and i'm pretty hype for the second issue... this is a unique book if nothing else that's for sure. and Tony Moore? $$.
TEAM ZERO #3 (OF 6) - #2 didn't feel as "right" to me as #1. Hopefully #3 will swing things back the right direction for me... i really WANT to like this.


MARVEL TEAM-UP #17 - This is one of those "McDonald's" reads. Fast-food comics that don't get me thinking too hard but are still enjoyable.
POWERS #16 (MR) - Pull list.
PUNISHER #30 (MR) - Pull list.
SENTRY #5 (OF 8) - A hidden gem from Marvel so far.
X-FACTOR #3 - One of my most anticipated "big 2" reads each month. keep it up... please?



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31 January, 2006 21:02, Anonymous CellarDoor said...


I believe Makoma is a one-shot not a two issue mini. And yes it is a new story although it takes place in Hellboy's past, not the present. I think....
I definitely agree with you on Marvel Team-Up, not too many comics out there are this FUN to read.
God, I'm still trying to find time to read BPRD Black Flame #6 and All-Star Superman #2...Stupid responsibilities!

01 February, 2006 17:51, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

Ok I just saw the cover to Hellboy: Makoma and I was wrong, it is a two issue. My bad...

01 February, 2006 19:02, Blogger zilla said...

no bad at all... i enjoyed the heck out of the island so have high hopes for this 2-issue arc. picked it up today so i'll be sure and review it once i get around to reading it... tonight maybe? let me know what you think 'bout it too cellardoor...


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1.31 Panel 'o the Day


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Monday, January 30, 2006

Desolation Jones Bits From warrenellis.com

bad signal

Eleven days left on my own. Finally got some decent writing done last night, so hopefully my brain's back in gear. Planning out the next DESOLATION JONES arc: now I know in advance that it's being serialised bi-monthly (the first few issues were written before I had an artist, on the assumption that it'd be a monthly, and changing the approach halfway in would've made a weird-looking book), I want to alter the way I hit it a bit.

I personally feel JONES is about the journey more than the end -- my favourite bits are the little windows on unusual worlds, rather than the plot pivots -- so, like the first one, I'm lifting the very rough, bony plot structure out of Chandler. Because these are LA detective stories, and Chandler's always the elephant in the room with that sort of thing. You may as well point at it and move on. What I take from Chandler is six lines, more or less -- the most basic spine of the plot, the six beats that get you from A to Z. That and his revelatory stance that detective fiction is social fiction. And then I go off on my own after the story I'm *actually* telling. The first JONES book is about the buying and selling of people, really. The second one is shaping up to be about escape.

I'm thinking about asking people to come up with DESOLATION JONES theme musics that I can run on warrenellis.com as mp3s.


30 January, 2006 12:09, Blogger zilla said...

i friggin' love DJ. this is one of the best comics out there IMO (as weird as it is). too bad we're into bi-monthly...

30 January, 2006 18:13, Blogger Ryan X said...

I could not agree more. I am getting ready to read all the flops again in one go to really get the feel of it. Why is it that we forget so much from month to month? I don't remember that problem as a kid, guess I didn't have so much junk crammed in my brain then...

30 January, 2006 19:46, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

I'm just getting onboard Desolation Jones. I picked up issue one two weeks ago, then this past weekend got 2-5. I've only read #1 so far, but it seemed interesting and I could see it becoming one of my favorites. I can't wait to find some time and find out what happens with this Nazi porn!


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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Star Wars: knights of the Old Republic #1

Written by: John Jackson Miller
Penciled by: Brian Ching
Cover by: Travis Charest
Published by: Dark Horse

Thousands of years before the first Star Wars film, during the Mandalorian Wars; on the (eventually) doomed planet of Taris, a smuggler/thief known as Gryph is attempting to make his latest sale, but is stopped by a young Jedi Padawan named Zayne. Unfortunately for Zayne, Gryph manages to elude capture, knocking Zayne off a ladder and subsequently sending him crashing into a Jedi banquet, where we are introduced to a small group of Jedi teachers and students. Later, Zayne attempts to capture Gryph once again, and makes a horrible discovery…

I’ve never had any interest in reading a Star Wars comic book, and I only purchased this for two reasons; one, because I’m a huge fan of the Xbox game Knights of the Old Republic, and two, because Travis Charest provides the covers for the series (he had a popular run on WildC.A.T.s with Alan Moore, and Wildcats with Scott Lobdell). The story of this series is set before the first game, during the Mandalorian Wars (which had been over for a few years during the events of the first game), and follows a set of different characters. Make no mistake though; the writer of this comic makes it apparent that we’re dealing with the same universe, setting the story on Taris, and a few little references to the game.

The story for the first issue is moderately interesting; the character of Zayne is somewhat reminiscent of Anakin from Attack of the Clones, though lacking Anakin’s cynicism and anger. He’s like what Anakin would be like without all the emotional baggage. Zayne also seems to be interested in the sister of a friend/fellow student of his, which could possibly lead to some complications down the road (love is forbidden to a Jedi). The issue ends with a conspiracy cliffhanger that, while subtle seeds were planted earlier in the issue, catches the read off guard. One thing about the issue though that I can’t help but wonder, is why these Padawans are being trained on Taris, since in the first KOTOR game, the Jedi are trained on Dantooine.

The interior artwork of the issue is actually pretty good, while not realistic looking, it lacks the bombastic dynamics that a lot of mainstream comic book art seems to have, which is not surprising given the subject matter of the series. The colouring is also done rather well, it gives the panels an (almost) painted look to them, without being too artsy. Travis Charest gives us a nice cover, but I can’t help but notice that his style has changed over the years, hard to put my finger on it, but there’s a fair amount of difference.

A decent start for the series, this issue is worth picking up if you’re a Star Wars fan (particularly, of the KOTOR games), even a casual Star Wars fan might take some interest in the title as very little prior-knowledge is required.

Rating: ***1/2 out of *****


30 January, 2006 11:21, Blogger zilla said...

"He’s like what Anakin would be like without all the emotional baggage". love it. also the phrase "bombastic dynamics". whew.

this first issue wasn't all that bad... for one of the first star wars comics i've read since i've been back... but i'm not sure about it yet.


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Shotgun Reviews: Thing #3, Surrogates #4, Godland #7, NA #15, and Savage Dragon #122

Thing #3 - I'll be honest w/ you - i have NO idea why i like this comic. There's really nothing spectacular here so far; the first arc has been ho-hum (i've never been a big fan of the Arcade or his deadly fun parks) and the cameo's are miserable (besides tony stark i guess). Slott's writing is fairly on point though, and just humerous enough w/o going corny (a recurring problem w/ some writers interpretation of the Thing). The art isn't anything unique really, but solid IMO.

Maybe it's the soft spot i've had for the Thing since i was a kid? Regardless, Slott and Divito have shown me just enough promise here to pull me in - i'm actually looking forward to the next arc (now that this business w/ Arcade seems to be at an end). B.

Godland #7 - Godland is just so much damn fun to read. It's not the story per se (some think the cosmic superhero angle a bit played) but the delivery that makes this title shine. Casey has put together a great cast of characters for his book, including some of the most unique bad guys in any title this year. He has a natural talent for injecting well-placed humor (as opposed to the forced jokes we often get from comic writers); second only to Eric Powell in this department IMO.

Surrogates #4 - If not the best mini of the year, Surrogates is certainly in the top 2 or 3. this is one of those books that will engage your thoughts long after you put it down. a real thinking man's comic. hard to believe this won't eventually become an ongoing title, considering just how much there is to explore in a gritty future where fully customized, remote-controlled cyborgs have become the public interface for each of us. The sketch noir art is awesome (and perfect for the title). I simply cannot wait until this comes out as a TP. when it does, you owe it to yourself to READ THIS.

New Avengers #15 - just when my good feelings about NA were starting to wane, along game #14 (and the spider-woman double-agent business) to rejuvinate me. #15 is an issue entirely built around the New Avengers announcing their reformation to the world, and kind of boring in that respect, but entertaining none-the-less (once you get past the first 2/3). I'm still not feeling Spider-Man as an Avenger (or Wolverine for that matter) but... I'm coping. Cho is a talent, and draws the hell out of Carol Danvers - she might as well be naked (uneccessary? yes but...). B.

Savage Dragon #122 - Believe it or not, this is the first issue of Savage Dragon i've ever read. This guy Larsen may be on to something :) I'm totally lost (as would be expected) but i can't say i wasn't entertained. It's surprising how much SD history (even if it's only recent history) i could infer from just this one issue... Interesting characters too (for sure). I'm putting the first SD trade on my Amazon wish list... Anyone out there got a ringing endorsement (or a steer clear) for me?


31 January, 2006 03:17, Blogger Philos said...

Thanks for your comment on Surrogates. I'm anxious to buy the trade. Hope you keep talking about Surrogates on your blog.

31 January, 2006 09:05, Blogger zilla said...

oh i will philos - surrogates has been one of the best (if not THE best) mini this year IMO. you can really tell all the extra TLC this book gets from it's creative team (w/ the extras included in every issue to really add value to the world, characters, and story you know?).

this is a must-buy trade for me. thakns for commenting.


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1.29 Panel 'o the Day


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Saturday, January 28, 2006

Yellow belt karate grading.

Not related to comics in any way, but since Zilla asked, I figure I might as well just post my report on the whole thing.

Yellow belt grading.
I barely got any sleep last night, so this morning I combined had a multivitamin, energy drink (with 115 mg of caffine in it!) and nutrigrain bar, so I could get through it. Unfortunately, I was only one of two adults grading, and the rest were chuildren, with a few teenagers as well, so I knew this could be annoying. I got there about 40 minutes early to prepare, after I was done stretching and such, I decided to hit the Makiwara (a machine that calculates the amount of kinetic energy you're dishing out with each hit) and I was getting in the 900 (!) range, when my previous high number was like 650.

I got paired up for self-defense with this kid who was probably about 14, who had no fucking clue what he was doing. He came at me with all the wrong attacks, and his blocks for my attacks were pitiful. I thought I had made a mistake during this, instead of a counter to the face I countered to the solarplexus, but I found out afterwards that it doesn't really matter.

Next up a while later was doing katas, I named Taikyoku Gedan (moving in shiko-dachi a.k.a. the "sumo stance" doing a three point block and low punches) as my favourite kata, and when I began doing it, I slipped (not severely, just made a turn look a bit sloppy), so that annoyed me. After that, I was instructed to do Taikyoku Jodan (moving in sanchin-dachi a.k.a. the "hourglass stance", doing upper blocks and high punches), which surprisingly, I did very well (surpising since, it was the kata I practised the least), and was complimented by the judge.

Later on, was Bunkai (which is, kata movements, blocks and attacks done against an attacking opponent), and I got paired with the same moron from self-defense, and rather than listen to what I told him to do (as your opponent is supposed to follow your instructions to the letter in Bunkai), he did his own thing, which caught me off guard, so my bunkai ended up being rather sloppy looking and I forgot to kiyai on top of that. I was even more annoyed after this and feeling like I was going to fail.

For the finale, we did ippon-kumitei [sp?] (one-step sparring), and all along I kept hoping I'd get paired up with this red belt chick (whom I've sparred with plenty of times and we have good sparring chemistry), and it was looking like I would... But then I get paired up with this red belt kid, who looked about 12 years old, about 5'nothing, and probably at most, 120 lbs. We did ippon, and rather well (I'm rather good at it, and he seemed to be as well). Then it was onto free-sparring, and him and I sparred for a little bit, considering our age and size difference, he got a total of one shot on me, and the sparring match ended when I accidentally punched him in the face. (image placeholder)I felt terrible afterwards and thought for sure that I failed, but then, Sensei comes up to me and tells me that I did great, one of the Sempai's also told me I did very well.

At the end of it all, as I was leaving, I saw the red belt chick in plain-clothes for the first time, and my eyes almost bugged out, as she's fucking smoking hot. She came up to me and told me I was doing great, I complemented her katas (she looked flawless at them), and we chatted for a couple minutes, but it got cut short because my ride wanted to leave.


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Where can i get an Xbox 360?

Not that i'm assuming all comics readers are video gamers (even though i bet many of you are at least casual/weekend gamers like me), but thought i'd shoot this question anyways: where/when can i get an xbox 360 for it's "normal" retail price? i need one that's wireless w/ the wireless controllers but comes w/ no games (unless COD2).

anyone got one that wasn't a pre-order or have any clue when these things will be back in stock?


28 January, 2006 18:20, Blogger Christopher Green said...

March, most likely.

By the way, sorry I haven't gotten around to those reviews yet, I've been super busy lately, I've barely read any of the stack that I bought. I've been TRYING to get things in order for university, and plus I had a karate belt grading today that I've had to prepare for.

I'll get to at least a couple reviews tonight or tomorrow. Just to let you know in advance though, my faith in New Avengers has been restored.

28 January, 2006 19:25, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

I have not played a video game for over 2 years. Coincidentally I have a two year old daughter and 3 month old son....Funny how those two things seem to correspond to each other!

28 January, 2006 20:10, Blogger zilla said...

Uncensored - no worries man (of course). I just read the new NA this morning and i gotta say i'm pretty wrapped up again too... at first i thought it was pretty corny that JJJ shook parker's hand but then... the twist at the end made me forget all about that ;)

ps karate belt? did you have to do forms or what?

28 January, 2006 20:11, Blogger zilla said...

cellardoor - i'm w/ you mostly man - i don't play much at all (maybe a couple hours a week?). i happen to need a new DVD player so figured why not just get the xbox then? who knows... maybe i'll bail and just use that time to read more comics.

30 January, 2006 12:45, Blogger Mark Fossen said...

The 360 is a heck of a syatem, Zilla.

Stock seems to be geting easier ... probably late February/early March should start to see the system readily available on store shelves.

Coincidentally, March is when the really good games start to hit.


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Ellis' Black Gas #1

To be honest i'd never even heard of this title until i found it sitting in my box at the LCS last week. My pals there figured that since i was such a TWD fan (and a sometimes Warren Ellis fan), i'd surely love Black Gas. And you know what? It's not half bad. Hell, it's actually pretty damn good.

Black Gas takes place somewhere along the northeastern coast of the U.S., where a mysterious mountain/volcano has laid dormant for ages (more on that later). The story centers (at least initially) around a guy named Tyler who's brought his new girlfriend (Soo) home from college to romantic vaca a little in his parent's cabin in the woods.

After a quick stop in to meet his parents, Tyler and Soo head off on the 2-hour walk to their cabin (encountering some pretty wild mountain-men style characters along the way) at the base of a mysterious mountain called "the hump". Sometime during their first night in the cabin, the "hump" erupts - spewing some mysterious black gas that evidently turns people into Zombies. Wild.

Ok, ok - if you're not a Zombie movie/book/comic fan then maybe this all seems a little bit out there (or even corny) - but to us fans of the genre this storyline is right up our alley. Ellis does a great job setting the tone and mood in this first issue, and there's just something about the story and characters that's pulled me in (not to mention there's the promise of some serious Zombie action starting in the next issue).

Max Fiumara's artwork is nothing to sneeze at either (and perfect for this book IMO).

Walking Dead fans will most certainly enjoy this (reminds me in some very obscure way of Elk's Run too, though i'm not sure why).B+.

It was all over when...


28 January, 2006 17:31, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

Picked this one up today on my biweekly trip to the LCS. I was pretty much expecting a straight forward horror story here and that seems to be where Ellis is going with it. While the characters and their interactions were nowhere near as complex as say The Walking Dead, neither is it poorly written.
Unfortunately, I had to let my LCS owner know that I'm moving in a couple of months so aside from anything he had already ordered for me I'm done buying new comics at least until we get settled in to our new house. So basically, I won't get to find out how Black Gas ends until about June.

28 January, 2006 20:13, Blogger zilla said...

cellardoor - good luck w/ the move partner. i'll let you know how black gas ends... i don't read much horror (besides TWD and Hellboy) so i guess i'm immune to the "same old" since i'm not sure what that is (and black gas may very be that). we shall see my friend...


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Friday, January 27, 2006

11.27 Panel 'o the Day

Click to enlarge (and enjoy)


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The Under-Utilized "What Happened Last Issue" Page

You know what i appreciate that is for some really strange reason well under-utilized? the handy paragraph or two that some comics include to catch you up on what happened last issue (or in the current arc).

i mean, i don't read all THAT many titles but man it's a serious challenge to keep straight what's going on in each sometimes (especially when issues come out bi-monthly or slower, and you're reading like 20-30 comics a month - no wait; do i read that many flops? i buy about 6-7 a week so... yeah that's about right... funny, this is the first time i've thought of it in aggregate like that... but i digress ;). i often find myself having to dig out the previous floppy just to refresh my memory on what the hell is even going on.

the quick cure is just to read everything in trades... but where's the fun in that? just include a paragraph or two at the beginning of every issue running down what happened last month... hell TV shows do it all the time w/ the infamous "previously on Lost... or 24... or Invasion (all great shows BTW).


27 January, 2006 14:51, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Marvel had something in 1997-98 (it unfortunately only lasted for about a year) that was pretty cool, the inside of the front cover would fold out, and you'd get a two-page spread giving you bios of the main characters in the issue, and a recap of whats happend in previous issues that relate to the current issue you're reading.

Don't know why they stopped doing it, it's something I've missed to this day.

27 January, 2006 19:20, Blogger zilla said...

damn that sounds perfect... wonder how something like that goes away? i mean what market research turns up that readers wouldn't WANT that? weird.

Strange to me that every comic on the stands these days doesn't have a previous issue/arc summary (i mean there's just not logicaly reason NOT to have it you know?

31 January, 2006 23:31, Blogger Christopher Green said...

If you're interested in seeing what it looked like, I can scan one for you.


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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Powers Vol.1 HC

Daaaaaammmmnnnnn. Any Powers fans out there? This HC is a MUST. Beautiful, HUGE (the first 11 issues), and loaded with extras. Besides the now classic first 11 issues, there's an interview w/ Oeming, a hilarious coloring and activity book, the full script for issue #1 (who killed retro girl), a cover gallery (w/ sketches and alternates), a character sketchbook, a places sketchbook, a cool mug-shot listing of good and bad guy cameos, and even a printing of the "best of" the Powers letters pages (and fans know that the letters pages in Powers are classic).

IMO this is an example of what HCs should be friends. Nice and big (personally i think 6 issue HCs are a waste unless they are for an especially historic and/or incredible mini), and LOADED to bursting w/ cool extras. I mean right when the story in this thing ends, you've still got about a full 1/3 of the book to enjoy (hell maybe closer to a half).

This kind of segways into a gripe i've had for a while now: The comics industry as a whole has gone hardcover banannas IMO - putting out HC's covering just a few issues w/ zero extras? TPs should collect floppies and then be collected themselves into HCs. Right?

So yeah... Even though i personally think the Powers story really starts to pick up after the issues covered in this HC, you'll never really appreciate the title until you've read what's collected here (and trust me that's not to say that Powers is in any way bad, boring, or otherwise lacking in the beginning, i just think it jumps to a whole new level starting about the 4th or 5th TP).

In the end (if it isn't already obvious) i gotta give this thing a solid A. This phatty tome is joining the even fatter TWD HC i got for xmas as the 2 best hardcover comics i've seen (much less own myself) since i've been back. And hey - it's a flippin' steal at the cover price of 30 bones (but there's obviously no reason anyone of us will pay THAT price now is there?). Cheers.


26 January, 2006 20:35, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

As someone looking to get into Powers, and given the fact that you can get the two tpbs covered by this HC for $5 less, would you still recommend spending the extra money on the Hardcover?

26 January, 2006 21:38, Blogger zilla said...

you can get it for less than $20 at www.instocktrades.com (http://www.instocktrades.com/product.aspx?id=10j&pid=2423). At that price i think it's a steal man seriously (even if you hate it for some reason you're not out that much loot really, and can prob unload it on ebay for about what you paid).

Just do me a favor and stick w/ Powers for a while (no matter what you think at first)... it gets better, and better, and better with each trade (literally). i went from casually interested to huge fan around the 3rd or 4th trade - and pretty much never looked back.

I'm assuming since you are interested in giving it a try, you've got some reason to believe you may like it already... and that can only help :) Got to be one of the best (if not THE best) crime noire out - a really gritty take on what our world might REALLY be like if there were people in it w/ super powers...

31 January, 2006 03:22, Blogger Philos said...

It's a pity it took so long to release the first Powers HC. A second hc including the trades 4 (supergroup), 5 (anarchy) and 6 (sellouts) would be a great deal!

31 January, 2006 09:07, Blogger zilla said...

it IS a horrible shame it took so long... if they do (when they do?) put out a 2nd HC - i will be even more excited than i am with this one (IMO the story really starts moving right about when the issues in this first HC ends). hopefully they've set a precident for themselves w/ the amount of extras included and the price ;)


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Good RK Interview...

Good RK interview at Silver Bullet Comics if anyone's interested... Here's some Zilla highlights:
A lot of people don’t know this but before my family moved to Kentucky I lived in Cleveland, Ohio... and I actually lived up the street from the kid who would become Brian Michael Bendis. Our families were friends with each other and he actually used to baby sit me from time to time. He was like an older brother to me. Our families kept in touch after the move. I was in high school when he started doing Jinx and his other books at Caliber. I wasn’t planning on going to college or anything after high school and he seemed to be having fun doing this comic stuff and I had always LOVED comics so I figured I’d give it a shot. Brian ended up helping me out a little along the way and even ghost wrote much of Battle Pope (although that’s not really common knowledge). He’s a great guy.
I know this is going to sound like a bullshit answer but I always kinda wanted to be an astronaut.
My dream cast? Mel Gibson as Omni-Man and Michael Sera from Arrested Development as Mark... if he could do the action stuff. Him or the kid from that movie The Squid and the Whale who kinda looks like him. That kid was a great actor.
Very soon, though... I hope to branch out into comics that are neither zombie books... or superhero books.
I’d love to do a run on The Incredible Hulk with Ed McGuinness.
What books are you into right now?

Desolation Jones, Y The Last Man, Fell, Girls, G0dland, Noble Causes, PVP, Savage Dragon, Sea of Red, Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimates, Daredevil, New Avengers, Runaways, Captain America, She-Hulk, Powers... and tons of others. I think Ex Machina is my favorite book right now. It’s really kick ass.


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January 25

Today was a huge haul at the comic shop, emptied out my box (which had a bunch of issues left over from previous weeks), in fact there’s so much I don’t really have time to review each and every one of them (and given the readership of this blog, most of you probably don’t give a shit about 90% of the titles I read anyway), so I’m just going to list what I bought, and have everyone tell me which issues out of the following list you’d like to see reviews written for--and I’ll get to it when I have some free time, I need the practice since I’m planning on going to university later this year.

NEW AVENGERS #15 [Marvel]
DAREDEVIL #81 [Marvel]
GHOST RIDER #5 (OF 6) [Marvel]
THE PULSE #13 [Marvel]
THE PUNISHER #29 [Marvel]
RUNES OF RAGNAN #1 (OF 4) [Silent Devil]
SHE-HULK #4 [Marvel]
WOLVERINE #37 & 38 [Marvel]
X-MEN: DEADLY GENESIS #3 (OF 6) [Marvel]


26 January, 2006 08:49, Blogger zilla said...

hey now! i give a shit about at least 50% (if not more) of the comics on this list. I didn't get a chance to make my LCS run yet this week so i'm living vicariously through you at the moment (prob won't get there until tomorrow). at the very least let me know your thoughts on that new star wars title (i wouldn't mind hearing what you think about the new TWD, Wolverine, NA, Punisher, either...)

26 January, 2006 20:37, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

For what it's worth, I'd be interested in seeing reviews for New Avengers, Masters of Horror, Star Wars, Walking Dead, and X-Men: Deadly Genesis.

26 January, 2006 21:40, Blogger zilla said...

there you go U - you got your work cut out for you... let us know what you think about that new star wars comic first and foremost - i'm real curious about that one...


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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

1.25 Panel 'o the Day


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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

1.24 Panel 'o the Day


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1.25 Shopping List

It's a GODLAND extravoganza. #7's out as well as the first TP (which i think covers #1-6?). The new POWERS HC is about the only other thing got me excited for book day tomorrow (been waiting on that bad boy for a long time now)... Next week looks better tho.

BPRD THE BLACK FLAME #6 (OF 6) - Good mini but i should have read it as a TP.
STAR WARS KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC #1 - First of 2 new SW titles this year... will either of them be any good? I'm willing to try a couple of issues...
USAGI YOJIMBO #90 - Pull list.

None :(

GODLAND #7 - Pull list. Brings me back to the olden days of comics... Casey's tongue-in-cheek humor and over-the-top cosmic action adventure just seems to do it for me (well).
SPAWN #152 - Wait did SPAWN reboot at #150 or #151? I read the reboot issue and enjoyed it (first Spawn comic i ever read)... but did i miss an issue in between that and this one?

NEW AVENGERS #15 - Was so, so, so close to dropping this before last issue got me interested again (as boring as it was).
POWERS VOL 1 HC (RES) (MR) - FINALLY! Been waiting for this one since it's first scheduled release back in Oct. looking forward to putting this on the shelf, after reading through the first year of Powers once more for old times sake ;)
THING #3 - Pull list. Surprisingly entertaining (even though in an ironic twist i can't wait to get past the current arc, which happens to be the first).

None :(


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24 January, 2006 18:43, Blogger Christopher Green said...

STAR WARS KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC #1 - I'm a fan of the first KOTOR game, and Travis Charest is doing covers for this series!

GREEN LANTERN CORPS RECHARGE #4 - God I can't wait for this mini to end.

DAREDEVIL #81 - Final Bendis/Maleev issue.

NEW AVENGERS #15 - I don't expect to be reading this much longer.

PULSE #13 - Should be my final issue.

SPIDER-MAN BLACK CAT EVIL THAT MEN DO #6 - Last issue of the mini, three years later.

WOLVERINE #38 - Just reading it for the current arc.

X-MEN DEADLY GENESIS #3 - Haven't been disappointed yet.

METAL GEAR SOLID SONS OF LIBERTY #3 - Still haven't even picked up issue two yet.

24 January, 2006 19:55, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

Followed your link over from Image Forums. I like what you're doing. It's interesting to see your reviews for the same books I missed while not reading comics for a few years like Preacher. One I haven't been reading but am interested in is Powers. I think I'm going to put in an order for a few trades and try out Vol. 1. I enjoy most of the books you have on your current pull list so I figured our tastes must be somewhat similar.

24 January, 2006 19:56, Blogger zilla said...

CellarDoor - Powers is the shit man... I love that book. The Vol.1 HC covers the entire first year (11 issues i think) so that might be a good place to start... even though IMO, the series really gets going around the 4th or 5th trade (so be sure and give it a long look no matter your early opinions).

PS thanks for coming by man... drop some comments when you have them - i love to read what you guys have to say...

24 January, 2006 19:57, Blogger zilla said...

Uncensored - How's Pulse these days? The absolute best comic recommendation you ever gave me was to read Alias... I friggin' loved that run for some reason (even though i rarely like female leads for some reason). I can't wait for the forthcoming Alias HC. Hype.

25 January, 2006 02:07, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spawn's reboot was after issue 150 when Brian Holguin and Angel Medina left and the team of David Hine and Philip Tan took over.

25 January, 2006 04:03, Blogger Christopher Green said...

I jumped onto the Pulse with issue 11 because it had Michael Gaydos returning to the character of Jessica Jones. The series itself is alright, but it lacks the atmosphere of Alias (which is understandable, since Jessica's life is completely different), and ultimate isn't as interesting.

The entire arc so far (past two issues) hasn't really been about Jessica Jones all that much, it's about her being in labour, but most of what is going on is Ben Urich (investigative reporter for the Daily Bugle, Daredevil supporting character) is investigating a series of crime fighting/robberies by a character that is being mistaken as Daredevil, but actually ends up being this D-grade hero named D-Man.

The following issue after this is the final issue by Bendis and Gaydos, with a new creative team taking over. I'll be dropping it after they leave.

26 January, 2006 08:46, Blogger zilla said...

hmmmm... i think i'll stick to my very fond Alias memories. can't wait to re-read that piece when the HC comes out...


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Monday, January 23, 2006

1.23 Panel 'o the Day


24 January, 2006 08:45, Blogger Ryan X said...

Is this the great SS? Where is this from?

24 January, 2006 16:10, Blogger zilla said...

yeah it's a panel from some new silver surfer mini that's coming out... i'm a huge surfer fan from childhood so i'm pretty stoked (esp considering how damn gorgeous this panel is)...

27 January, 2006 11:46, Blogger Ryan X said...

Me too. My first "collectible" comic I ever bought was the SS #1 for $30.00. It is worth considerably more now, but of course I didn't get it or keep it in mint condition. I'll have to look into this mini, love the Surfer.


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Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sgt. Rock: The Prophecy #1 and The Lost Squad #1

I read just about all the Sgt. Rock i could get my hands on as a kid (one of those comics my dad and i liked to read together back in the day) so i've definitely been anticipating Kubert's Sgt. Rock: The Prophecy, and my LCS had The Lost Squad sitting on the shelf next to it (as "recommended if you like...") so what the hell right?

Sgt. Rock: The Prophecy #1 - Hmmmmm. Not exactly what i was hoping for here (yet) but this new Sgt. Rock mini def brings back some GREAT memories regardless. I haven't thought about some of the characters here (in Rock's squad) in many, many years. As some of them came back to me i def got big smiles - alone worth the price of admission (even prompting a call to my little brother to reminisce a bit about Sgt. Rock comics when we were kids).

So far though, the story seems a bit lackluster all said, and some of the dialogue is wanting for sure (but maybe i'm just not appreciating Kubert's writing style as much as i did 15 some-odd years ago?). I'll have to read another issue or two before i can decide how i feel about Kubert's latest mini. B.

It was all over when...

The Lost Squad #1 - Chris Kirby and Alan Robinson (never heard of either of these guys) may have something here... They're promising us action packed, Kubert style WWII tales (w/ some horror elements thrown in for good measure) mixed w/ magic, mysticism, and uber-cool technology? well damn... i'm in (aren't i?).

The setting is WWII (1942) and the Nazi's have been frantically gathering up mystical/magical artifacts to help turn the tide of the war. The Allies, bent on fighting fire with fire and preventing Hitler's boys from gaining an advantage, have put together an artifact hunting team of their own (nicked the "Lost Squad").

We don't know much about the Lost Squad's cast yet (by design according to Kirby) but the foundation is laid for at least a semi-interesting mix of somewhat prototypical Kubert-style characters. Kind of hard to tell some of these guys apart in this first issue (esp in B&W) but Kirby's promises to develop the cast slowly (but surely) helps reassure me that at least this is a known issue w/ the creative team (better than me "hoping" they will address it right?).

Lost Squad definitely has an "indie" feel. I have to keep reminding myself not to take it for more than what it intends to be (a creative, fun, B&W action/horror indie set during WWII)... but when i CAN reel my expectations back in a bit, it turns out that i'm enjoying the ride (through one issue at least). B.

It was all over when...


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1.22 Panel 'o the Day 2


22 January, 2006 23:45, Blogger CalvinPitt said...

It's amazing how every time I see that, I want to gouge my eyes out even more.

What are they thinking.

23 January, 2006 11:37, Blogger zilla said...

yeah pretty wild... what are those spines coming out his back?

23 January, 2006 15:42, Blogger Christopher Green said...

I like it.

23 January, 2006 16:52, Blogger zilla said...

i'm not ready to say i'm a huge fan of the new digs... but i certainly don't hate on them like many folks seem to (wonder why that is?).


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1.22 Panel 'o the Day


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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Ultimate Avengers DVD?

Interested in the Ultimates and/or comic-based cartoons? Def check out the trailer for the new Ultimate Avengers DVD coming out Feb. 21.

I'm in. Doubt we'll get much of the political intrigue and/or overall gritty feel of Milar's Ultimates (can't see them putting in the Pym's domestic violence issues or Cap America's subsequent ass-whupping of Hank), but this DVD looks pretty money to me regardless...


21 January, 2006 15:36, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Known about this for months, saw the trailer about a month ago.

21 January, 2006 15:39, Blogger zilla said...

well aren't you just the shiznit?

22 January, 2006 00:24, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Of course.


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1.21 Panel 'o the Day

Never did get around to reviewing Desolation Jones #5 and it's feeling a bit late to do it now... but know that it was a killer issue (perhaps the best yet) in a line of killer issues. Great, great comic. Read D Jones makes me realize how many BAD comics i read (in comparison to good comics like this). Cheers.


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Friday, January 20, 2006

Why'd We Come Back?

I read comics as a little guy, quit when i was 15 for 15 years, then got back (rather aggressively i might add) about a year ago... I thought at first this might be a unique story - but man - there are a TON of us out there (and that's a very good thing i might add).

Click here and share your story (and read others). Thanks for pointing this out to me Kurt my friend.


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Sensational Spider-Man?

Hmmmmm... MK Spidey is getting an overhaul (but not quite a reboot to #1) starting w/ issue #23. Renamed Sensational Spider-Man (meh) and assigned a spankin' new creative team (including Angel Medina of Spawn draw-rings fame), we're being promised a darker, grittier spidey story and closer tie-in's to Amazing and FNSM (for what that's worth).

I grew up with Spidey and haven't found a title worth reading since Jenkins and Ramos left Spectacular (and Spectacular itself exited stage left). Pretty sad since there are three Spidey books on the stands right now isn't it? Ugh.

Anyways - I'm sure i'll give at least an issue or 2 of "Sensational" a whirl in hopes that Aguirre-Sacasa and Medina give us something fresh (in any way)... Is it too much to ask of Marvel for some GOOD Spidey, Hulk, and/or Thor?? I mean come on guys these are staples!

--- LINK TO NEWSARAMA ARTICLE (w/ tons of preview pages) ---

PS - Can anyone out there fill me in briefly on what's been happening w/ Spider-Man in this big "Other" crossover? I started w/ it but bailed... Thx.


20 January, 2006 10:12, Anonymous Dave Carter said...

In "The Other", Spidey fought Morlun and apparently died, but then shed his skin and came back to life, with enhanced/new powers: his Spidey sense has been hightened, and he now has 'stingers' that shoot out of his wrists.

Some of the character bits have been good--esp. those written by Peter David--but the main plot has been pretty much meh. I'm looking forward to David & Mike Wieringo being able to settle down on their own in FNSM.

20 January, 2006 11:57, Blogger zilla said...

thanks huge dave... so wait a minute - spider-man can shoot stingers now? is this via a gadget (like his web-slingers) or biological? wild... have they introduced his new costume yet?

20 January, 2006 16:08, Anonymous Dave Carter said...

No, the stingers don't shoot arrow-like, they sort of pop-out, a la Wolverine, but from the underside of his wrists. And they're biological.

Yeah it's pretty silly.

No new costume yet; I suspect that'll be debuted in the final chapter of "The Other".

(You'll probably find more detailed summaries over on SpoilIt!.)

20 January, 2006 18:03, Blogger Christopher Green said...

I don't like the fact that they're calling it Sensational Spider-Man. I used to read Sensational Spider-Man vol. 1 back when I was a kid (it was penciled by Mike Wieringo and written by Todd DeZago), and it was a really fun, light-hearted title. Giving that title to a book that promises to be dark and gritty rubs me the wrong way.


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Thursday, January 19, 2006

All-Star Superman #2

I didn't even know this was out this week until i actually got TO the LCS yesterday... and i'm damn glad i found it sitting in my box... All-Star Superman is frickin' stellar. Seriously.

I've been pooping on Superhero comics a lot lately (especially those from DC) but man, this is one that i'm really, really enjoying. #1 was justifiably kick-ass, with a great story, well-written character interpretations, and phenomenal art... and you know what? #2 manages to build this title to even greater heights IMO.

Superman is dying from a massive over-exposure to the yellow sun (which also greatly increased his powers and intellect to all-time highs). We know this from #1. In order to come to grips with his impending mortality, Superman is on a somewhat aggressive mission to tie up any loose ends in his life, starting by revealing his secret identity as Clark Kent to his beloved Lois.

Lois has held "Clark is Superman"/"Superman is Clark" suspicions for so long she can barely believe what she's been told. Superman spirits her away to his hidden fortress (which is VERY cool in this telling BTW) to spend her birthday aboard the Titanic (w/ the original menu for dinner to boot!). Cool.

Morrison turns in some great dialogue (and narration) in this issue as Lois tries to come to grips with Superman's revelation (and some misconceptions she's been building sneaking around the fortress), and Superman himself struggles with his impending mortality (sorry to use that again but it's a hell of a phrase to use in conjunction with Superman isn't it?). How will he be able to admit to Lois that he's dying? How will he leave evidence of his legacy? Will future Superman's exist? What will happen next?

The Superman and Lois iterations in this comic are as engaging as any i've ever read (which isn't saying much since i've been out of comics so long - but remember i DID read a ton as a kid). The story is fresh, interesting, and powerful - and gives me a warm-fuzzy. Morrison is at the top of his game here IMO, and Quitely's art is the perfect compliment (i wasn't sure about it after #1 but its really grown on me).

My faith in Superhero comics is every so slightly restored. I think i'll go read #1 and 2 again here after i sign off... A+.

It was all over when...


19 January, 2006 16:41, Blogger Ryan X said...

I had #1 in my hand last week at the store and put it back (not wanting to get sucked into another All-Star farce (think Batman & Wonder Boy). Now I will pick this up tomorrow based on your rave review. Thanks.

19 January, 2006 18:27, Blogger zilla said...

take it from a guy who sleeps as hard as you do (Ryan) on All-Star Batman and Robin (no offense Uncensored) - All-Star Superman isn't anywhere related... This is a VERY good comic IMO. Hope you enjoy it as much as i have/am... It's really hard to put your finger on what exactly about All-Star Superman impresses me so much... it's just... engaging.

19 January, 2006 19:39, Blogger Christopher Green said...

I'm not a huge Superman fan, and I never have been. I'm still not entirely sold on this book, I don't like the artwork much. Frank drew Lois to be extremely attractive in issue one, yet in this issue she looks almost completely different. The "S" diamond on Superman's chest has an usual shape to it, and I just don't really see where the story is going from here. I'll stick it out for a few more issues, though.

I was going to write a review of the issue, but I see you already so...


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The Walking Dead #25

Well damn... As rare is it is for me to say i'm disappointed in an issue of TWD, i gotta admit i'm feeling a bit let down by this milestone issue. After all, it was Kirkman who brought us a double-sized (and very good) Invincible #25, packed with some very cool TP-worthy extras (brief histories of some of the comics uber-cool B-level characters). Unfortunately TWD #25 was well... just another issue.

Now don't get me wrong, there's nothing really WRONG with this months TWD (I got my money's worth), it's just that i was expecting a double-sized (even though this was never the plan as far as i know), and any TWD fan knows the anticipation that's been swirling around this issue ever since the cover was released months ago (image below). Rampant speculation about just who these dudes in S.W.A.T gear were and/or what role they were going to play just about choked Walking Dead forums around the net. Turns out all that was a bit unwarranted my friends.

I won't give much more away since it's only thursday (and this book came out yesterday)... but let's leave it saying i'm putting #25 behind me and looking ahead to #26 (RK at least gave us a nice cliff-hangie). C+.

PS - I was reading the letter columns (which are always good and lengthy in TWD BTW) and realized that i'm not the only fan who thinks this title has been coasting for a few issues (and these letters were from back around #22 keep in mind). It's been a long while now since the Zombies (once central to the story) had much of anything to do with anything.

I'm not going to complain (too much) though, since i HAVE enjoyed the run since our merry band holed up in the prison (even the action-less drama), but i'm definitely ready for some Zombie action and/or the introduction of a new character or 3. Hook it up Kirkzilla.


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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

1.18 Panel 'o the Day


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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Uncensored asks: So what indie comics should I be reading?

I got thinking recently, about what I consider to be the best comic-based films ever (I’ll likely post my thoughts about that later on), and high rankers on this list are Ghost World, Road To Perdition, and Sin City. What do all of these comic-based films have in common? For starters, their creators had a lot of involvement in them (the former two having the screenplays written by the graphic novel writers, and the latter being co-directed by), but more importantly, they’re all independent comics (Dark Horse is considered an indie-publisher still), and they’re all fantastic films.

So I got to wondering, if I hold these three films based on indie-comics in such high regard (as well as their source material), then why is my pull list made up almost entirely of titles from the Big Two? What I ask is, to recommend great indie comics to me (nothing from Marvel or DC, though Vertigo I might consider), tell me about them, what’s great about them, and why you love them, and I promise you I’ll seek out and buy at least two of the books recommended to me next week, and subsequently review them.

Uncensored’s note: Just so you don’t recommend anything I already read, these are the following non-Big Two titles on my pull list:
Battle Pope (Image)
Metal Gear Solid: Sons of Liberty (IDW)
The Walking Dead (Image)
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Dark Horse) [upcoming]
Beast Wars (IDW) [upcoming]
Cyberforce (Image/Top Cow) [upcoming]

Sad, isn’t it? This is why I’m asking for help. I want some indie, intelligent reads.


18 January, 2006 00:52, Anonymous Dave Carter said...

Black Hole by Charles Burns. Psychosexual horror, subtle and disturbing. It'll mess with your head but good.

Stray Bullets by David Lapham. Great crime comics.

Banana Sunday has a funny story by Root Nibot and has Colleen Coover drawing cute girls and talking monkeys. Funny Talking Monkeys! Go-Go the Gorilla will be your new hero.

Queen & Country by Greg Rucka and various artists. Best realistic espionage comic ever. (And don't miss the two that led into the series: Whiteout & Whiteout: Melt, with art by Steve Lieber.)

18 January, 2006 01:41, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Thanks for the recomendations, Queen & Country sounds like something I'll definately check out. The next arc doesn't begin however until March's #29.

I should've stated that I wanted to check out individual issues first before leaping into buying graphic novels of said titles. It's a financial thing, unfortunately.

18 January, 2006 01:49, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Stray Bullets also seems rather interesting given a review I just read of issue #40, if my comic shop still has a copy, I'll pick it up for sure.

More recomendations!

18 January, 2006 07:55, Blogger zilla said...

do Desolation Jones and/or Fell count :)

also (off the top of my head) - Elk's Run, Giant Monster (2 bumper editions), The Last of the Independents (TP), Brodie's Law (TB), Street Angel (TP).

For a second i was into Shaolin Cowboy. After a stellar #1 and 2 i got turned off by #3 and (unfortunately?) never looked back... maybe i should check in on that again...

For grins def check out Hero@Large (if you can find it) and PvP for when you're on the can :)

18 January, 2006 07:57, Blogger zilla said...

ps also found this:


Top 80 Independent Comics for October 05
19 SONIC X #2 (Of 4) ARC
24 GARTH ENNIS 303 #6 (Of 6) (MR)* AVA
31 KEEP #1 (Of 5) IDW
53 10TH MUSE VOL 2 #5 ALI
55 ARCHIE #561 ARC
63 NIGHT MARY #3 (Of 5) IDW
67 MR T #2 APC
71 SUPER F$$$$$S #2 (MR) TOP
73 OZ MANGA #4 (Of 8) ANT
74 PARIS #1 (Of 4) SLG

18 January, 2006 13:48, Blogger joncormier said...

For pure cool - Amazing Joy Buzzards (although it's Image so not completely indie).

For superhero stuff - Godland or Invincible.

Sci-fi - Fear Agent.

Anything with "Scott Pilgrim" in the title or so I'm told. I haven't gotten them yet either.

18 January, 2006 19:35, Blogger Spencer Carnage said...

Tricked from Top Shelf Productions. Just finished it and it was good.

Go for something less action/western/horror/sci-fi-ish type comics and more, I don't know....indy. Optic Nerve is good. Black Hole is good. Just go to the indy section and pick up something new and strange.


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1.18 Shopping List

TWD #25 looks hella good based on the cover alone. Can't wait. Losers, Ex Machina, and Conan are some of my favs...

CONAN #24 (MR)

EX MACHINA #17 (MR) - Pull list.
LOSERS #31 (MR) - Pull list.
SGT ROCK THE PROPHECY #1 (OF 6) - Used to read some Sgt. Rock when i was a kid but haven't tried any since i been back... anyone heard anything about this?

WALKING DEAD #25 (MR) - Pull list. I know that cover w/ some guy in riot gear has had everyone wondering for many moons now... i expect something very cool to happen in this issue.

None (yeah i finally gave up on The Incredible Hulk until they get a new creative team).

None :(


Filed in:


17 January, 2006 13:43, Anonymous Dave Carter said...

Sgt. Rock: The Prophecy is written and drawn by the legendary Joe Kubert--that's worth your $2.99 right there!

18 January, 2006 20:10, Blogger Christopher Green said...

No All Star Superman #2?

No Infinite Crisis #4?



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Monday, January 16, 2006

What To Do With "Read" Floppies?

I know i've asked this before but it's about 6 months later and i'm still wondering what to do with these huge stacks of read (and sometimes re-read) floppies i have gathering dust in my crib? My wife is all over me to make a decision but i honestly have no idea what to do...

I usually pitch into the fireplass or the wastebasket (rather immediately) any monthlies that i read and don't like, but can't typically bear to toss the ones i do... so they make their way into one growing pile or another around the house... is there ANY value in saving them (boxing, bagging, boarding??)? Resale?

I typically buy stuff i desperately want to re-read in TP format so it's pretty rare i re-read my floppies (unless it's within a week or two of purchase)...

what do you guys do?


16 January, 2006 16:23, Blogger Christopher Green said...

I don't throw any comics away. I keep them nice and neatly, bagged & boarded, on a bookshelf, with my trades at the end of them.

16 January, 2006 18:02, Blogger James Meeley said...

Dude, I'd NEVER throw a comic away! Not even if it was the worst story I ever read.

You could try resale, either by dumping it at a comic shop or using online sites like eBay. eBay might actually net you more money, but then you have to deal with shipping stuff out and things of that nature. You probably won't get as much at a comic shop, but once you dump it off it's there problem now. Of course, your stuff might not be old enough and they wouldn't buy it at all (which is another possibility).

If all else fails, I'd say donate them to charity. Give them to the Goodwill, your local library or something. Granted, you get no money, but prehaps someone will develop an interest in comics when they buy it or check it out. You'll be helping to foster comics acceptance, both as an artform and entertainment source, as well as possibily helping to grow the readership.

In the end, it really up to you. Personally, I'd go with donating them (especially the ones you don't like). That's a much better and more worthwhile fate, than trashing them.

16 January, 2006 18:57, Blogger zilla said...

you know what james that's a great idea (that somehow hadn't really occured to me)... i think i'll start boxing my old flops up for donation (at least the ones i don't want). as for the ones i DO like, maybe i'll bag and board those until i can figure something else out :)

16 January, 2006 21:05, Blogger Jason said...

I give mine away to whoever wants them. I just got rid of two long boxes yesterday. I get so many free comics at cons, especially, that I just can't hold onto them all.

16 January, 2006 22:31, Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

I've got the same storage problem happening. eBay for full arcs or longer runs of Big Two stuff that I notice being sold by others and receiving multiple bids. Everything else I'm not actively collecting (or still waiting to catch up on) will be donated to Operation Comix Relief.

17 January, 2006 20:55, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Zilla... You mean... You don't automatically bag'n'board your comics...?



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1.16 Panel 'o the Day


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Sunday, January 15, 2006

1.15 Panel 'o the Day


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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Uncensored's single issue reviews for the week of January 11, 2006

Well I managed to scrape together enough cash to pick up a few issues today. Most of them were released on December 28, in fact, all of them were, with the exception of one.

New Avengers #14
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciled by: Frank Cho
Published by: Marvel

Last issue, Spider-Woman let Madame Hydra go. Captain America figured out that she must be a double agent, and confronts her, so Spider-Woman spends this entire issue explaining her entire situation to Cap.

So, questions that were originally brought up in New Avengers #3 and Giant Sized Spider-Woman are finally answered; and to be honest, it’s rather underwhelming. Jessica (Drew)’s motives are, at best, predictable. I won’t give it away, but it would have been nice if she actually her own agenda, for once. I am rather surprised at just how much info is given in this issue though, as it’s not Bendis’ usual style.

Frank Cho’s artwork isn’t exactly up to par with his usual work, it looks a bit rushed; which surprises me since his two-issue run on NA was announced way back in the summer, so it’s not like he didn’t have plenty of time to work on it.

There’s one amusing moment in the book… As of late many fans have been complaining about Jessica being featured with massive melons since NA began, since she had small potatoes previous. On a page where she is on an operating table, being given her powers back, there is, beside her, what appear to be silicone implants on a table.

This issue was for the most part, a dud. All of this could have been easily explained ages ago, at the very least, before the (pointless) “Ronin” arc. This book is dangerously close to being removed from my pull list.

Rating: ** out of *****

All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder #3
Written by: Frank Miller
Penciled by: Jim Lee
Cover by: Frank Miller (yes, I got the 1-in-10 variant, which cost me $10)
Published by: DC

In a seedy Gotham City bar we meet Black Canary, who is the recipient of various pick up lines, and other comments regarding her smoking-hot body. In an environment like this, she is a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. Meanwhile, The Goddamn Batman and Dick Grayson are still in the Batmobile, which apparently is not only a car and a jet, but also a submarine.

I swear, for some reason I will never ever drop this series, and will buy anything relating to it—erm, anyway. This issue mostly focuses on Black Canary for… some reason. It’s not a particularly bad thing either, her scene reads (as was clearly written this way intentionally) like something out of Sin City. The dialogue, narration, paneling, and action are straight out the film noir side of Miller’s brain; in fact, during that entire scene, I read the narration using Clive Owen’s (as Dwight McCarthy) voice in my head.

This part of the book is great, and while I’m a fan of Jim Lee’s work, I must say I wish he wasn’t penciling it. Don’t get me wrong, he draws the bar scene as well as he draws anything else, and damn, did he go all out for Black Canary. But I just feel this type of story would’ve benefited from Frank Miller’s pencils more; anything else would be like another artist trying to draw Sin City, it just wouldn’t work.

We see very little of Batman and Dick in this issue, which is a bit unusual. It almost feels like much more of them had been written into the story, but was removed for some reason, and quickly replaced with the Sin Canary scenario. This theory is strengthened by the fact that there is some bad continuity happening here; at the end of the issue, immediately after Batman & Dick dive underwater in the Submobile, we get the caption “FIFTEEN HOURS AGO” a character (revealing who it is would be a spoiler) sees Dick Grayson’s face on a milk carton. So, they’ve been riding around in the Batmobile for fifteen hours!? And how does a kid’s face end up on a milk carton immediately after he’s kidnapped!?

All that aside, this was a good issue, and substantially better than the last two (horrendous continuity errors aside), I have a feeling this book will only improve more as the series goes on. Now, if only it would release on a steady schedule.

Rating **** out of *****

Daredevil #80
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciled by: Alex Maleev
Published by: Marvel

Daredevil has been shot. His formerly-estranged wife, Milla, hears television reports that he has in fact, been killed. Acting on a request from DD, Black Widow finds Milla with the intention of getting her out of the country, but Milla insists she be taken to see her husband. Meanwhile, Elektra has brought Matt to a woman known as “The Night Nurse”, who treats costumed heroes discreetly.

The legendary, redefining, Eisner-winning run on Daredevil by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev is almost at its end, and what a way to go. As usual, Bendis gives us very human characters, characters that the reader can easily become attached to; from the endearing, vulnerable Milla Donovan (Matt’s wife), who I very much hope will not be faded out of the Daredevil supporting cast, to the ever persistent Black Widow, who will do anything for Matt, because he means that much to her, Elektra, being mysterious as always, and the motivations behind her actions rarely ever being clear from the start.

Ben Urich’s loyalty to Matt is heavily tested in this issue, not in exactly the most original scenario, but it still works well to show us just how strong he values their friendship. Unfortunately though, it ended up being all for nothing.

This arc has been moving at a quick pace, unfolding very much in a similar matter to an action thriller, such as Murder At 1600. It works very well for this story, and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, in eager anticipation of what’s going to happen next. Bendis has gone balls to the wall with this story, and hopefully his finale next issue will be a worthy end to not only a great arc, but a great 60 or so issue run.

Rating: ****1/2 out of *****

Ultimate Extinction #1 (of 6)
Written by: Warren Ellis
Penciled by: Brandon Peterson
Published by: Marvel

Several characters (Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Mahr Vehl, Carol Danvers, Sam Wilson, and Nick Fury) gather at S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters to discuss the coming of Gah Lak Tus, Reed has built a simulation of what exactly will happen when the planet-killing entities arrive on Earth. Elsewhere, Misty Knight, a private detective, has been hired to track down a man who is convincing middle-ages housewives to fund his cult.

This is the third and final mini series is the Ultimate Galactus trilogy, and I have to be honest, I haven’t read the first two. This issue is really, rather uneventful. We’re given a rather explicit picture of what will happen when Gah Lak Tus arrives on Earth—but I find myself wondering, why do we need to see this? I understand the importance of it for the characters in this situation, but I think it would have more impact on the reader to see it first-hand, without having any previous expectations. I’d say the biggest moment of the issue is an unexpected appearance of a classic Marvel character; expected given the nature of the story, unexpected, given his role in the issue.

Brandon Peterson’s pencils are, as usual, nothing special. There’s nothing particularly wrong with his style, it just doesn’t stand out that much. What does stand out though, is the blatantly obvious computer colouring used, it gives everything a rather nice, polished (yet almost artificial) look to it. And, as typical with many Marvel books these days, the cover really doesn’t have anything to do with the events of the issue (it depicts Gah Lak Tus landing on Earth, which doesn’t happen), but then again, it’s purpose is to sell the book.

The mini has promise; it could end up being a great series, providing something actually happens. Unfortunately though, too little happens in this issue, starting the series off at a snails’ pace.

Rating: **1/2 out of *****

She-Hulk 2 #3/100
Written by: Dan Slott
Penciled by: Juan Bobillo
Cover by: Greg Horn
Published by: Marvel

She-Hulk is on temporal trial for her attempting to change Hawkeye’s fate last issue. She has pleaded guilty, and so her sentencing begins; the prosecution is requesting she be blanked out of existence, so the defense brings in several character witnesses from various periods of time to prove that She-Hulk is too important to be erased from history. This is the 100th issue of She-Hulk published, so as a bonus, there are reprints of Savage She-Hulk #1 and Sensational She-Hulk #1.

This is the first issue of this series I wasn’t particularly fond of. The story, and especially the flashbacks, is told in an over the top Silver Age comic book style, which is almost absurd when compared to the serious tone of most modern day stories. I suppose this was done as an homage to the classic She-Hulk comics, but it’s not something I enjoy reading; this is 2006, not 1976. Furthermore the exploits depicted aren’t particularly interesting either, which is a shame because these are apparently not events from previous issues, but new tales written set during various periods of Marvel history. Slott could’ve used this opportunity to set some great events in the She-Hulk mythos, but did not; and as such, it feels like a missed opportunity.

Lots of guest artists are on this issue, and I mean lots. Not as many as the recent Witchblade #92 (which had 14), but still enough to break the continuity of the sequential art. I’ve always found it distracting (and at times, irritating) when several pencilers work on a single issue, as I get accustomed to the style of one artist on a story. Sometimes it’s not as noticeable if the artists have similar styles, but when you see Juan Bobillo’s art on a book, you’re not going to see anyone else whose style looks even remotely similar; his art is just that unique.

I’m probably not the best person to judge this issue, because I’m sure by many other peoples’ standards, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. But for the type of reader I am and the type of stories I want to read, this just doesn’t work. I didn’t read the two reprinted issues in the book for that very fact that they’re silver age books, and my last experience trying to read issues from that era (Giant Size Spider-Woman #1) left a bad taste in my mouth.

No Rating.

That’s it for now, later on this month expect to see reviews of All-Star Superman #2, Infinite Crisis #4 (of 7), Spider-Woman: Origin #2 (of 5), The Pulse #13, Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do #5 & 6 (of 6) and various others.


16 January, 2006 13:01, Blogger zilla said...

i felt that all-star batman and robin was pretty hokey in issue #1 (and i didn't really like the way batman or robin was written) and didn't give it much of a chance after that... has it changed at all through 3 issues? I'm wondering if i should give it another shot...

i also disagree w/ you a bit on NA. i was thinking that NA was going down the tubes a few issues before this latest one, but felt that #14 added some intelligence. not great by any stretch but...

16 January, 2006 16:20, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Batman & Robin hasn't really changed that much as far as the characters go, I just found that issue 3 was vastly better because Miller basically wrote it in a style he does very well.


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Friday, January 13, 2006

Zilla and the Comics Junkies Frapper Map?

Ok this is uber-dorky (sort of) but pretty cool at the same time. Seems like somebody took the Google Maps technology and developed a way to share locations w/ "groups" (all this is called a "Frapper Map" it seems?).

I've created a "Frapper Map" for this blog since i thought it might be pretty nerdy to see where we are all hailing from... You have to register (and that sucks) but i'm sure we all have disposable email addresses for just this occasion right? Add yourself.



13 January, 2006 21:04, Blogger Christopher Green said...


16 January, 2006 14:15, Blogger Ryan X said...

This IS dorky, but I joined anyway :). Someone had to represent the Republic of Texas!


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Mini Reviews...

Ghost Rider #5 - One of the best mini's of the year for me comes to bat w/ it's best issue yet. Both the story (esp the characters) and the art are fantabulous (so cool i had to make up a word to describe them). I absolutely cannot wait for this TP to come out (its a must buy for me) and can only hope Ennis and Crain have some desire to turn this bad boy into an ongoing...

Team Zero #2 - #2 is entirely dedicated to meeting the individual members of Team Zero. There are some cool cats in here but nothing really original (we've got our demolitions expert, our hand-to-hand expert, our sniper, our strategist, etc.). It's an even split for me so far with this series (#1 was good, #2 not so much) so i'll be looking for a tie-breaker in #3. I really, really want this to be good.

Desolation Jones #5 - D Jones is a friggin' GREAT comic. I mean GREAT. So good it makes me realize how many BAD comics i read :) I love this book. I think i'll put together a better than mini review of this issue (soon) instead of dumping my thoughts here...

Ultimate X-Men #66 - Ugh. This is NOT what i needed to rejuvinate me about superhero comics. Ultimate X-Men is one of the few mainstream books i still follow but this issue was miserable. Talk about passing the time w/ an entire issue - sheesh. i mean i've got no problem with the "personal" side of my comic book heroes, but an entire issue of going to the movies and out to dinner dates kind of grated on me...

X-Men 198 #1 - Couldn't finish it. Seemed to me to be more of the same 'ole, same 'ole through the first half. Worst $3 i spent this week by far. Anyone have another opinion?


13 January, 2006 21:02, Blogger Christopher Green said...

I didn't pick up Ghost Rider today, only had a limited amount of money to spend. But I'll be reviewing it at some point this month.

16 January, 2006 13:03, Blogger zilla said...

i REALLY liked this issue of Ghost Rider... I seriously can not wait for the trade (i'm looking forward to reading this entire mini in one or two sittings)... i hope GR flips to an ongoing (w/ the same creative team)...

16 January, 2006 14:13, Blogger Ryan X said...

Stop trying to like superhero comics! Ha ha. No, seriously, I read your comments and I know our thoughts are somewhat similar on what is good and what is not. I think the superhero comics out right now are running out of steam because many of these characters have been around for decades! It would be like watching new Friends episodes (not that I am a fan) 20 years from now and wondering why they haven't freshened up the storyline... You can only repackage stuff so many times before it gets stale. Just my opinion for sure, as I realize there are a lot of superhero junkies out there that would never touch a Des Jones or DMZ etc. Just my thoughts on the subject. Keep the reviews on the likes of X-men, Spidey, etc. coming though, you have saved me a lot of $$$$:).


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DMZ #3

This is a GOOD comic. In some ways a VERY GOOD comic.

DMZ really starts to get down to business in #3 as we witness our new favorite intern-turned-photo journalist Matty's first major encounter w/ the U.S. Military (and first real look at the rubber meeting the road in this conflict).

The U.S. army ground-pounders are stomping through NYC trying to supress the insurgency (after firing a submarine full of rockets into the city from the harbour to soften them up). Matty gets unwittingly caught up with a squad of rangers who initially mistake him for an insurgent (before he waves his press pass) and ends up w/ a roll of gritty front-line photos (and some "it's not what you think" beef w/ his new pal Zee).

Matty anonymously submits these pix back to his parent network (why anon? remember Matt was only an intern when the "real" journalist sent to cover the conflict was blown to bits) and ultimately lands a recurring spot on the nightly news as one of the few journalists covering this intense conflict from the inside out. Cool.

Both the story and art in DMZ kick arse IMO and i've got high hopes for this title as an ongoing. #3 is the best issue so far. Wood is tip-toeing a delicate line here by making the U.S. Military out to be the "bad guys" but it's handled well enough not to offend... and as you read deeper into DMZ, the "good" and "bad" of each side of this conflict is really pretty blurry. Cheers. A.

It was all over when...


13 January, 2006 11:13, Blogger Ryan X said...

I can't read your review here because this is becoming one of my favorite titles and I want to read it "fresh". I can't believe all the homeruns in new titles lately: DMZ, Team Zero, The Exterminators...awesome.


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Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Exterminators #1

Mr. X was right. Again.

Exterminators is unlike anything else i've read this year, and Tony Moore might just be on even more of a roll than i previously thought (considering Fear Agent is a big fav of mine right now). It's kind of hard to explain exactly what Exterminators is about and make it sound interesting... i mean a bug-be-gone company? A couple of exterminators rolling around blowing gas on roaches, poisoning rats and bagging raccoons? Hmmm... right?

Add to that that i'm notorious for hating bugs - especially roaches. i mean i don't have a squeamish stomach or anything (not even close), but let's just say i didn't even like the original Alien movies because the far-outs looked too much like huge praying mantis for my tastes ;) Maybe it's that roach motel i lived in for a year in college... i actually woke up with roaches crawling all over me once. yeah.

Ugh. But you know what, Oliver has built a solid, interesting, and oft hilarious cast of players here (some of whom were only briefly introduced in this first issue) and once you actually get into it and realize where everything is headed, you can spot some hidden potential in the story (all of a sudden bugs being central to the plot no longer seems to bother me even).

Exterminators looks to be a great title to add to my list of reads (we know how much i LOVE variety in my stack). It appears to be an ongoing too... which is pretty good news typically (i can only imagine it's harder for a creative team to land an ongoing series w/ a bum idea than a mini). Tony Moore's art is fantabulous as usual (that kind of goes w/o saying these days) and i can now see why he decided to set up shop w/ Oliver and put his name on this book. Hopefully he'll stick around (would hate to see him just draw the first arc). A.

PS - Comics really ARE directed more at mature readers these days aren't they? One thing i've noticed since i've been back into comics (coming on a year now) is that a good half (or more) of the good books out there are rated R (exterminators is solidly in this camp). seems to say something pretty profound about the evolution of the comics industry (and the comics reader) doesn't it? not a bad thing IMO, just an observation...


13 January, 2006 11:10, Blogger Ryan X said...

Glad you enjoyed The Exterminators as much as I did. It is this kind of comic that keeps me going to the LCS. Sorry to say (especially to Uncensored), I just can't get into the superhero thing anymore. Maybe that is some sort of comic-heresy, but it is what it is.

13 January, 2006 11:27, Blogger zilla said...

i'm with you man... i haven't given up completely but i recently removed Ultimate X-Men, Wolverine, and Hulk from my pull list... leaving me w/ only a couple superhero mags (Astonishing X-Men which seems to come out once a year, NA, and X-Factor come to mind and NA is close to getting dropped too).


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Ares #1

Well damn - I finally got the Thor crossed w/ Punisher comic i always dreamed of! I'm half-joking (i never imagined such a combination before today i swear) but seriously, Oeming's Ares (#1) is... Interesting (to say the least).

Turns out that Ares history and oft unbridled willingness to do anything required to smote his enemies (he is the God of War after all) has made him quite the unpopular God to much of the rest of Mount Olympus. He's shunned whole-heartedly in peace-time, and only called upon by his father (Zeus) when his strong right arm is needed to lay some vengeance on an enemy or turn the tide of a battle/war in Olympus' favor.

Fed up with treatment as an outcast by his heavenly family and fellows, Ares takes up residence on Midgard (mixing my mythologies i know) under the guise of a simple single-parent construction worker named Aaron (not sure why he picked that name, maybe he's a fan of Moses' brother?). Aaron's son (and we have no idea yet how this "son" came about but he's def of Ares blood) is an excellent student (albeit a bit violent as one might expect), and things seem to be going well...

(Around this part i'm starting to wonder how a man who served as the God of War for eons can just settle into a boring, non-violent lifestyle on earth but let's forgive that for a moment ok?)

We all know this isn't going to last though right? We're collectively waiting for the impetus that will drive Ares back to what he does best (kicking ass) right? Well, let's just say that Oeming digs shallow into a VERY familiar bag of publicly available tricks for this one.

Olympus is in trouble so they send Hermes to call for Ares' aid once again... This time however he's not interested in answering (Aaron Ares no longer cares to be Mt. Olympus' bitch boy). So how can the God's force his hand (as you know they must)? Drum roll please...

They kidnap his son!

And of course Aaron Ares flies into a violent rage at his father's treacherous method of encouraging his cooperation, swearing vengeance at the top of his lungs as he suits up for battle in a manner reminiscent of the original Rambo (seriously, with Guns and all). Queue last page.

Hmmmmm... The story is as refried as refried action stories can get but there's a part of me that loves that "guys family gets kidnapped sending him into a blinding rage" plot line. Ugh. I'm a total sucker. It's going to be interesting to see how (if) Oeming pulls this one out. Ares wielding a shotgun instead of his trusty double-edged battle axe and storming Olympus in his H1 Hummer? We shall see my friends... #2 will make or break this mini for me i can just tell :) Grade: ?.


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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

New Spidey Costume?

Newsarama has an interesting article about a potential new Spidey costume (supposedly to debut at the end of the "Other" story arc which i unceremoniously ditched after just a few issues). Wonder if this one is meant to stick or last an issue or 2 or and arc or what?

I have to admit the LAST time Parker's "classic" costume took a long term rest was when it was replaced by my all-time favorite - the B&W venom duds. Now THAT was a cool spidey costume. This new one? Not so much...


12 January, 2006 02:41, Blogger Christopher Green said...

My all time favourite Spider-Man costume will always be; Ben Reilly's Spider-Man duds.


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1.11 Shopping List

I just realized the last one of these i put out was before the holidays... shows how crazy things have been. i've only been to the LCS once in the last 3 weeks or so and i've got a huge stack i'm still trying to plow through just to catch up.

None :(

100 Bullets #68 - Pull list.
Desolation Jones #5 - Pull list. Def seems like it's been a long while since #4 so i'm doubly hype about this.
DMZ #3 - A new fav.

None :(

Ares #1 - Oeming + Mythology = $$
Ghost Rider #5 - Been loving the art AND story in this mini. Can't wait for the TP (already).
X-Men 198 #1 - I'll give this 2 issues at least (per my rule of 2). Here's to hoping it keeps me around after that...

None :(

Ex Machina #17, Losers #31, Sgt. Rock: The Prophecy #1, Dusty Star #1, Godland #7, The Walking Dead #25

Filed in:


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1.11 Panel 'o the Day


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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Dawn: Lucifer's Halo

Written & Penciled by: Joseph Michael Linsner
Published by: Sirus Entertainment

I’ve hesitated writing this review because I’ve honestly been at a loss of what exactly I thought about this graphic novel. That’s not to say it’s bad, or that I didn’t like it, it’s just that this is unlike anything I’ve ever read in my life.

The story is set in a post-apocalyptic New York where, every Saturday night, hundreds of men gather in Times Square, armed with swords, axes, etc. to kill each other and loot their fallen foes’ corpses. We’re introduced to a fighter named Darrian, who battles with his dead father’s sword—but recently, has been having doubts about himself and his life. Him and his friend Jaynis, take to the battle field and there Darrian is distracted by a beautiful, curvy redhead, whom he seeks out, and spends the night with. A discussion of the notion of Heaven comes up between the two, and Dawn (the redhead) tells him he should go to a towering cathedral which can be seen in the distance. Darrian takes her advice, and goes to the cathedral—but when he gets there, he notices a long line of people waiting to get in. It turns out, that going into the cathedral takes you to Heaven, and Darrian, wanting to go, but not having the patience, decides to find another way in.

Meanwhile, Dawn (the goddess of birth and rebirth) is summoned to heaven by Ahura Mazda (God), who asks her to retrieve the only halo in hell: Lucifer’s. She accepts, and travels to hell to meet with Lucifer. After Dawn reveals the reason why she’s there, Lucifer, in anger, gives up his halo to her, seeing it as God taking away his final gift to him. Dawn, rather than returning it to God, gives it to Darrian, and sends him on a quest to find his place between heaven and hell.

As I stated above, I’ve never read anything like this before. The writing and story are so boldly original I’m almost speechless about it. The character of Dawn herself was nothing like I would have expected a deity to be, personality-wise; she’s very down to earth, and seems like the type of woman you could actually encounter in real life. But saying that, while meant as a compliment to the writer, is almost selling the character short. There’s so much to her, much more than meets the eye. She’s very strong, emotionally powerful, yet almost vulnerable in an unexplainable sense. Joseph Michael Linsner created a beautiful character with Dawn, and her beauty is much more than skin deep.

Darrian is a character who is struggling to find his place and direction in life, spiritually and otherwise. His uncertainty about his present situation, jumping for a quick solution, taking the path towards, and eventually leading into another direction from events that have transpired is something I’m sure most people have gone through, though not on this grand of scale obviously. Linsner is trying to speak directly to the reader and make them think about more than the mere surface of the story they’re reading. Issues of choice, love, direction, life, death, forgiveness, destiny, and moving on are all presented in this story, and they even got me thinking about a number of things.

This brings me to my problem with the story. A large, underlying part of it is dealing with the loss of ones father, whether by death, an unforgivable grudge, or anything, really. The shattered relationship between God & Lucifer (which plays an almost dual role, of a father/son relationship, and as Lucifer puts it, a romantic relationship), Darrian unwilling to give up his sword merely because it belonged to his dead father, to eventually coming to terms with his father’s death. This isn’t something that connected with me, as I’m sure it would with many others, as I’ve never known my father. It’s not something that should have weight on my opinion of the story, but I’m afraid, it does.

The artwork is absolutely stunning; Linsner’s Dawn is by far the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in a comic book. Her fiery red hair, beautiful, curvy body, and realistic, dramatic, emotional facial expressions easily set her far above anything else to grace sequential art pages. But Linsner’s art is not just another “pretty face” though; he can do so much more than just draw beautiful women. Everything in this book is nice to look at, from the (few) epic battle scenes, to grotesque demons, angels, heaven, hell, he does it all fantastically.

Combine beautiful artwork with a unique and unusual story that not many others have the imagination to tell, Dawn: Lucifer’s Halo is a very good read, but one that’s so odd and unexpected that you’ll likely have to make the conscious decision after careful pondering of whether you like it or not. Spending over two days, discussing the story with others and even writing this has made make my choice.

Rating:  ****1/2 out of *****


12 January, 2006 15:59, Blogger Christopher Green said...

No comments? :-/

12 January, 2006 17:50, Blogger zilla said...

my comment was to go out and order this :) i'll let you know when i get it in and have a chance to read it (for sure). great review though uncensored. hey i've always wondered - is that you in your icon?

12 January, 2006 20:26, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Haha, no. My icon is "Olaf", Silent Bob's Russian metalhead cousin from Clerks.

This is me:


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Monday, January 09, 2006

Clerks II teaser released today


The trailer can be found at the above link. Unlike previous teasers for Clerks II, this one is comprised entirely of footage from the new film. My only real grips are a lack of dialogue (but I suppose that will come later), and if Kevin wanted a thrash song to play on the trailer, he should’ve picked a better band than Anthrax. A Kreator or Exodus track, maybe?


10 January, 2006 09:07, Blogger Shane Bailey said...

Why didn't they go with someone like quicktime to launch the teaser. I noticed the site was slow last night. I got there this morning and it's down already. Someone needs some better servers too. :)


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Exterminators #1

Tony Moore. That is pretty much all that needs to be said here, but I'll say a little more anyway.

I had no idea what to expect when I picked this up today, but it got me fired up enough to write a quick review on here (something I have been seriously lazy about for months now). This is a very dark, twisted tale about a group of...you guessed it, bug exterminators. But to label this a "Bug" comic, would be as big of a mistake as labelling The Walking Dead just another "Zombie comic". The imagery is darkly disturbing with a sort of Men in Black-type humor underlying many of the scenes. The artwork is signature Tony Moore and many times I felt like I was reading TWD in color (which is a good thing IMO).

The story begins with the narration of the extermination company's newest hire and the rest of the issue follows him during his first day on the job as a bug exterminator. As with many first issues, we are quickly introduced to the start of various plots and subplots. We are also introduced to a cast of characters ranging from a psychotic bug assassin to the Zen master of bug extermination. The potential stories and themes that this first issue make possible is what has me so excited about this series. I hope everyone can get a copy and let me know what you think.

5 out of 5 stars.


09 January, 2006 18:03, Blogger zilla said...

thanks for the thoughts mr. x. i was looking for a reason to pick this up (any reason really) and now i have it ;) i had it in my hands last week at the LCS but didn't end up buying for no real reason... guess i wasn't sure how i felt about bugs.

quick q: is there anything special about the bugs in this? are they alien? sentient? suped-up? taking over the world?

09 January, 2006 18:04, Blogger zilla said...

ps you sold me on the whole "zen master of bug extermination" thing ;) my aunt is an exterminator out in seattle i'm sure she'd get a kick out of that.

10 January, 2006 12:47, Blogger Ryan X said...

No super bugs in the first issue, but the way they are drawn, they are scary for sure. Especially the rat! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on this, I really enjoyed it.


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1.9 Panel 'o the Day


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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Y: The Last Man vol. 1: Unmanned

Written by: Brian K. Vaughn
Penciled by: Pia Guerra
Cover by: J.G. Jones
Published by: Vertigo/DC

I knew very little about this book before reading it, just a basic synopsis and the fact that Brian K. Vaughn was the writer/creator. That fact (as I’ve read good things about his work) coupled with it being a Vertigo title, which in my experience usually produces quality material; I decided to give it a read.

The story is about a young English major/escape artist named Yorick, who spends much of the early pages on the phone with his girlfriend Beth, whom is in Australia on vacation. Despite being presented as the main character and protagonist, this is quite an ensemble cast. The story also follows a scientist named Dr. Mann, who is in labour, with a baby that is apparently, a clone. A female Colonel in the Israeli army with no first name, merely nicknamed, Alter. A nameless, African-American Secret Service woman, codenamed Agent 355. Yorick’s sister, Hero, an EMT. And, finally, Yorick’s mother, who is a congresswoman in Washington, D.C. Focus shifts back and fourth between all of these characters until a catastrophic event happens; every mammal on Earth with a Y chromosome simultaneous dies-- every mammal, except Yorick, and his pet monkey, Ampersand.

I must commend Brian K. Vaughn with this story, because he does practically everything right. His characters all feel very real, and while some of them lack an apparent purpose in the story early on, everything begins tying together quite nicely. The interactions between the characters have a cinematic style to them; it’s as if this story was originally written to be a film, not a comic book. In fact, there isn’t much of a comic book feel to this story at all, and the script could be very interchangeable with that of something in Hollywood, and in this case, that’s a good thing.

There’s plenty of humour in this graphic novel, which fits perfectly well with the tone of the story, adding a nice amount of comic relief to remove some of the overall the seriousness of the story, but it never goes too far that it distracts from the problem at hand. For instance, right after the disaster happens, we jump ahead two months. And see Yorick walking down the street, disguised in a rain poncho and gasmask, so he is not recognized as being a male. He encounters a very beautiful woman driving a garbage truck, who proceeds to complain to him that before the disaster, she was a supermodel, and had just spent a large sum of money on breast implants just weeks before everything happened. Now that there were no men left in the world, she’s been reduced to driving a garbage truck. Or, how the women of the world turned the Washington Monument (a tall obelisk), into a memorial for men. Little gags like this are scattered throughout the graphic novel, and are quite humourous.

The artwork of Pia Guerra is perfect for a story like this. It’s not pin-up art, it’s not bold superhero-typed artwork, his characters have a real, down to Earth look to them, it fits the book well. He’s also pretty good at showing us how the characters are thinking and feeling, with body language, facial expressions, etc.

I suppose my only real problem with this book is, because Y: The Last Man is an ongoing series, with the type of story it is, and this book only collecting the first six issues, not a whole lot is really resolved. We still don’t know for certain why the disaster happened, we don’t know why Yorick lived when others didn’t, we never learn the fate of Hero or Beth, and the book even ends with a rather open-ended finale. I can somewhat understand the reasoning for this, but when all you have is the first volume, a lack of resolution is rather irritating.

Overall a solid read, with believable characters, and enough twists and turns to make your eyebrows raise a bit. I would’ve given it an even higher score if some of the major plotlines were resolved.

Rating: ****1/2 out of *****


07 January, 2006 21:11, Blogger Matt Watts said...

I discovered this series last year... Every now and then I'd pick up a tbp until i was caught up. Now it's on my pull list.

It's supposed to end at issue 60, so presumably Vaughan has known where he was going since the beginning.

Keep reading, it's worth it!

09 January, 2006 09:20, Blogger zilla said...

i'm w/ matt. i've been reading this by the trades too (i'm not quite caught up to the flops yet though)... it's started to get a bit stale for me late - but i'm def pressing on (still well worth it).


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Thor: Blood Oath #6 (of 6)

Hmmmm. The last issue in a mini tends to make or break the run doesn't it? To be honest i'm not 100% satisfied w/ the way Oeming wrapped this one up - i mean, don't get me wrong, it's been a fun ride and i'm fairly certain i'll be buying the trade of Thor: Blood Oath to re-read in the future, but the whole bad-guy's-wife-somewhat-comedically-slaps-him-into-shape-in-the-end bit was pretty disappointing. Personally i would have preferred even a run-of-the-mill God's vs. Giants battle if nothing else... but what do i know?

Additionally, i felt like 2 issues of story were crammed into this last book - i'm kind of a samurai nerd (as we know) and was hugely let down by the whole grasscutter section (after anticipation generated by the cliffhanger in #5). Somehow our merry band is able to wrap the sword up in about a page and a half w/ no mental or physical trials what so ever? Wierd.

The subsequent trial in egypt is pretty darn cool though, and Ulik's appearance (being one of my favorite Thor baddies) lifted my spirits just in time for the corny ending w/ the Giant's wife reaming him about her housework while he plays at war. Oeming pulls it out in the last page or two though (just barely) with a more digestable ending bit stepped in cool mythology (how Odin created all the worlds from a Giants body and blood so for a time at least there can be peace in that memory).

Thor: Blood Oath has been a pretty darn good mini all-in-all, proving once again Oeming's knack for writing mythology-based comics. Looking forward to Marvel's "Ares" later this month. B (B+ overall).

It was all over when...


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1.7 Panel 'o the Day


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Friday, January 06, 2006

Buzzscope's "Best of 2005"

I'm a huge woman for "Best of..." comics lists. Buzzscope's Best of 2005 is pretty solid w/ all the categories you would expect (Best Ongoing Series, Best Mini Series, Best New Series, etc.) but i've got some adds:


You have to put Losers, The Goon, The Walking Dead, Invincible, and Powers in here don't you? Conan should be on everyone's list as well as Ex Machina and Ultimates 2.


Surrogates is a great pull here, but i'd be remiss in leaving out Silent Dragon and/or Ferro City. Oh yeah and i LOVED Powell's Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities and half-loved Samurai Heaven and Earth, and we're in the middle of Ghost Rider and Sentry which are keeping my interest.

Last but not least (and underrrated too) is that Monster 2-issue (what was it called?) mini.


I created my own category (see how i roll?) since i had to find somewhere to give credit to Wolverine #32 (the Nazi concentration camp one) and Powell's excellently entertaining Devil Dinosaur issue of Marvel's Monster run.


i just realized i don't read NEAR enough of these... but Street Angel would be my #1.


Desolation Jones is a must here. Throw in Godland, Winter Men, and Fear Agent for me (w/ high marks for Fell).


What does this mean exactly?


Desolation Jones (is this technically an indie?) gets a second honor here. For the first 2 issues i was all over Samurai Cowboy but my love for that title faded w/ issues 3 and 4. I know there are some other independents i loved this year but i'm drawing a huge blank... too much sun in St. Croix.


I guess i pretty much figure anything i added to these lists is underrated (by Buzzscope at least). Powers is certainly loved but i still think underrated, and Surrogates has never seemed to get the props it deserves.

Do me a favor and comment in your opinions on this so we can get a nice list going...


06 January, 2006 16:33, Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

The double-edged sword of democracy! Though I have to say these picks are a lot better than our Buzzworthy picks at mid-year were. That list was way too narrow and mainstream for my tastes.


The Losers was on my personal list, but didn't make the final cut. And I just realized I left it out of the Honorable Mentions. :-(


I defined it as any mid-list title from Marvel or DC. YA stretches the definition, considering how much hype they've put behind it, but compared to, say, New Avengers' sales, it's not that big a stretch. New Thunderbolts would've been my pick if we'd gone with more than two, but I ended up selecting it for underrated honors.


This is always tricky, but I consider Vertigo, et al, to qualify as indies. Many would disagree, but to them I say, make your own damn list! ;-)

07 January, 2006 04:18, Blogger Christopher Green said...

You see? I'm not the only one who loves Daredevil.

07 January, 2006 06:03, Blogger Christopher Green said...

P.S. I read a Powers trade at the library a while ago (I think it was called Anarchy), and honestly, I didn't really like it that much.


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1.6 Panel 'o the Day

Wolverine just seems to be going through the motions these days and i'm not sure why i keep buying it... regardless this panel is a gem:


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Thursday, January 05, 2006

My Oh My... Somebody stop the Vince-anity.

I can't believe after 31 years of waiting (for me at least) UT is once again National Champions. I don't know what to say... Hook 'em.


05 January, 2006 11:17, Blogger Mark Fossen said...

Congrats, Zilla.

Young was a stud last night.

05 January, 2006 11:53, Blogger Ryan X said...

As a die-hard Aggie, I begrudingly offer up my congratulations...what a game. I am stoked for at UT fans, what a day for them.


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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Dardevil: Yellow

Written by: Jeph Loeb
Penciled by: Tim Sale
Published by: Marvel

Today is my 21st birthday, and so I’m going to review this trade that I got for Christmas.

While reading Daredevil: Yellow, given that Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale are the team on it, I tried my best not to compare it to the legendary Batman: The Long Halloween (also by Loeb & Sale). In some ways that was difficult, in other ways it wasn’t. Bottom line, this isn’t Daredevil: The Long Halloween.

The premise for this graphic novel is, Matt Murdock has lost Karen Page (once his secretary, later his lover), and he attempts to cope with it by, under Foggy Nelson’s (his best friend and law partner) advice, writing her a letter explaining everything. It begins with yet another tale of Battling Jack Murdock’s (Matt’s father, a boxer) murder. It’s a good way to start the story if you’re not familiar with DD at all, but if you are, it feels like a bit of “been there, done that”. Fortunately, that part of the story is really only a subplot, as the real story here is, how Matt met Karen Page, and how his early days (yellow costume and all) as Daredevil went.

One thing a reader has to keep in mind with this story is, unlike Batman, Daredevil wasn’t always a “dark hero”. He was a traditional happy-go-lucky silver age superhero, adored by the people, and this is how Loeb presents the character. It’s a good idea as far as consistency with the character’s early issues, Loeb doesn’t try to retcon much (as far as I know, anyway), which I suppose is admirable. The story, and what’s going on is fairly interesting, though a few things feel a bit too convenient. Karen develops a strong interest in Daredevil almost immediately (for irony’s sake, I suppose, as she works for Matt & Foggy), which feels slightly like an overdone idea in traditional superhero tales. There’s a bit of comic relief in the story, little scenes like Foggy interviewing people for the secretary position make for some chuckle moments.

The artwork, now I must admit, people love Tim Sale. I can’t honestly call myself a fan of his, but he works well with Loeb and I respect that. A big problem I had with his art in TLH was many of his characters looked the same. Now that isn’t the case in DD: Y, but it still has its problems in my opinion. His characters have an almost distorted look to them (you need to see art from the book to fully understand what I mean by that), and the colouring looks rather, umm, watercolourish, almost like something done on a paint-by-numbers. I’m sure this is the exact look he was going for, but for me it just doesn’t work.

Overall if you want the (currently) definitive origin of Daredevil (minus any mention of Stick, mind you, but I think the movie had something to do with that), and generally want to see a positive time in Matt’s life, then this story is for you. It’s not up to the fine quality of B: TLH, but that’s not what the creators were going for anyway.

Rating: ***1/2 out of *****


04 January, 2006 10:21, Blogger Ryan X said...

Thanks for this review. I think I am going to pick this up as a result of your comments. When I was into comics as a kid, I loved DD and I remember reading the Marvel "Origins" and "Son of Origins" collections with DD in his yellow costume. Very cool review, thanks.


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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