Zilla and the Comics Junkies

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Brubaker extends w/ Marvel

Got this news from Sean's QC earlier today... and it's good news indeed. i've got a huge man-crush on Brubaker (he's slid into my coveted "favorite writer" slot) lately and it's good to know he'll continue cranking the wheel for Marvel - though there's little doubt i'd read him regardless. Cheers Ed.


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X-Factor #6 (briefly)

As you know, PAD's new run at X-Factor has been one of my favorite new Marvel titles of the year, but (you could just feel a but coming w/ that opening sentence couldn't you?) i'm really, really starting to miss artist Ryan (?) Sook. I wasn't sure i would since the style Calero has been using is so similar but there's definitely something missing... especially in character's facial expressions.

Not only that though, i'm also starting to fret a bit about Layla Miller's ever-increasing role. PAD's sparing use of her early on was interesting (and actually had me thinking positively about the character for the first time since we "met" her last year) but she's gotten a little too central to the story for me here lately. Hopefully it's just the arc.

Anyways, i guess i'm not hiding my disappointment w/ #6. It wasn't horrible by any stretch but just a bit of a let down for a title i've come to anticipate each month. Maybe i'm just in a bad mood? Ha. C


06 May, 2006 02:12, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm gonna go out on a limb here. For some reason, I've seen this book reviewed on a lotta sites, and I have ta' say...I don't get it. From what I can tell alotta the contreversy is about tehe art. This guys sucks, that guy was great whateva. I've read 1-6, 4 of which I borrowed, and I'm done. Where is the great writing everyone is raving about? Pick up the pace? What pace? There's not even a pulse. Nothing happens in this book. It's just alking and talking and talking. Yeah sure every once in a while someone says something "cute" but so the fuck what? Nothing happens of any improtance, I don;t see a beginning, I don;t see a middle, and I sure as heck dont see an end.

06 May, 2006 02:30, Blogger comics should be fun said...

Hi Zilla people (person?)

I'm also going to stretch a bit here and say, while I've been reading your exeptionally well put together blog, you're way off base on Xfactor 6, which is the best issue so far. And I'm starting to think its getting a little weird to keep talking about missing an artist who only did one full issue after all. Maybe the facial expressions don't make sense to you because you keep expecting Sook's facial expressions and not dealig with what's in front of you. Maybe you're right and I'm wrong, but I see no problem with it.

06 May, 2006 08:32, Blogger zilla said...

yeah maybe you're right... i do need to come to grips w/ the art and what it "is". i just felt a weirdness about the art in #6 even though it is the same guy who did #5 (4,3?). can't really put my finger on it but was all of a sudden disappointed in the artwork in the last issue or two (where i hadn't been before really).

PS to anonymous, sorry you feel that way mate. i was really digging x-factor through the first 5 (ESP the writing), and don't plan to abandon it on one issue, but... let's hope it hasn't "jumped the shark" for me.


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4.30 Panel

April is just about in the books my friends, and though i meant to share this at the beginning (on April 1), i hadn't read it yet ;)

Arkham Asylum was a little short on story IMO (though not unenjoyable Morrison) but Dave McKeon's artwork is something else. Reminds me a lot of the art in Sandman (this gets at what i was talking about in my post the other day, imagine if this team reworked Sandman Vol. 1?? Wow).

I got the 15th anniversary edition and i seriously must have flipped through it 10 times since my first read... The original script at the back w/ Morrison's notes helps TREMENDOUSLY deciphering the "what?"'s throughout.


30 April, 2006 22:16, Blogger Rob H said...

Yeah, the story didn't do all the much for me either. I was hoping for a little more but the artwork was more than enough to warrant me reading it twice. Eerie stuff.


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Saturday, April 29, 2006

4.29 Panel

I'm having my crew over today for a big 'ole niffle draft BBQ so i may be absent the rest of the day... i'll def check in tomorrow (got thoughts swirling around in my head about several more of last weeks flops, Arkham Asylum, and Gotham Central Vol. 1.

Here's to hopin' the horns represent in today's events... hook 'em.


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Friday, April 28, 2006

Wolverine #41

Wolverine hasn't been on my pull list for a while now (until next issue that is; when Ramos picks up the pencil), but i snagged #41 wed once i realized it was one of those uber-cool Wolvie one-shot's i love (a la #32).

The Black Panther (who's evidently got a policy against interfering in his African neighbor's politics) calls on Wolverine to help him pick up and safely deliver a "package".

Logan agrees and shortly finds himself parachuting into the battered African country of "Zwartheid" en route to the pick-up rendesvous (Zwartheid is somewhat the classic war torn African nation, complete w/ rival warlords tearing the mineral rich country apart from within and terrorizing the population with heinous acts of brutality).

Zwartheid's "good guy" president (and one true hope for peace) has been very recently assasinated and his infant daughter has become a last gasp symbol of hope for the people (and turns out to be the "package" Wolverine must deliver to safety in hopes that she will one day pick up where her father left off and bring peace to the country).

Complicating things (of course) is a maniacal Zwartheid warlord who would rather see the daughter of his deceased rival join him in the afterlife than grow a day older, and has set out to prevent her escape by having his troops patrol the Zwartheid boarders in search of her and her rescuer...

Ok, now that the details are out of the way the adventure begins as Wolverine straps the infant to his chest and makes his way through the jungle towards the boarder, killing just about everything that moves along the way.

Moore and Smith do a pretty good job showing Wolverine protecting his precious package, but i gotta admit it's kind of hard to figure an infant could survive all that jumping and bouncing around w/o injury... even if Wolverine could shield her from bullets, axes, arrows and whipping branches with his adamantium skeleton... but i digress...

Moore's writing and C.P. Smith's art are both spot-on for Wolverine IMO; gritty, dark, and mood setting. These guys did a great job together here, and remind me how much i prefer Wolverine in "non-superhero" stories. Honestly, I can't believe how much this issue reminds me of my all-time favorite from last year (one-shot #32 where Wolverine is locked down in a concentration camp unable to kill him... which gets me thinking, after also recently reading Logan shout "Shalom" in the New Avengers Annual... is he Jewish?).

Overall a great effort and a great one-shot. I loved it. Perfect to get me excited for the character again heading into #42 where my man Ramos takes over the artwork...A


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Thursday, April 27, 2006

"The Leading Man" of acting AND espionage?

A brand spanking new title from the creative team that brought us Battle Hymn (which i loved BTW). I'm 100% in. Doesn't hurt that i love me some international spy intrigue... We'll have to wait and see how they work the superstar actor half of the story into the mix though ;)
Nick Walker has the life. Jet-setting across the world, visiting remote locations at his own pace, getting to hang out with some of the most rich and powerful people in the world, and being sought after by beautiful women. He's an actor…no wait, he's a spy.

No, wait…he's both.

In the upcoming miniseries The Leading Man from Oni Press, Nick Walker balances a life in Hollywood with a stealthy spy career and making sure his enemies don't find out. Created by the Battle Hymn team of writer B. Clay Moore and artist Jeremy Haun, the miniseries promises both stunning action sequences and celebrity-frenzied lifestyles.

Check out the full Newsarama interview for some hella-cool preview pages/panels and more info all around.


27 April, 2006 20:38, Blogger Stephan Schroeder said...

Recent B. Clay Moore projects, like Hawaiian Dick and Expatriate, for example, have started and then disappeared for long stretches unfinished. Yet here's another new one. This looks promising though, and I may try it.

Doesn't hurt that Oni is handling it in my eyes either.

28 April, 2006 09:17, Blogger zilla said...

that's a bummer to hear about their past w/ delays. i'm one of those readers that is totally turned off by repeated delays so let's hope they can keep this one on track. def seems promising.


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4.27 Panel


27 April, 2006 18:18, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

I just got the first Battle Pope TP. Haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I love Kirkman's sense of humor so I'm expecting some good laughs.

28 April, 2006 09:16, Blogger zilla said...

I'm pretty sure you'll find Battle Pope funny as s... as long as you aren't offended by it ;)

RK is one of my favorite writers for sure... and the artwork in BP is fun to look at no doubt.

29 April, 2006 07:19, Blogger Rob H said...

I've been meaning to pick up the Battle Pope TPB for a while now. I'll get around to it eventually. That's some beautiful artwork.


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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sleeper Vol. 4: The Long Way Home

Finished Sleeper (Vol. 4 and thus the series) this past weekend and loved how it wrapped. Too many comics these days (esp those that don't sell well while in flops like Sleeper) are forced into early retirement and end... well... rather abrubtly and/or badly. Luckily for Sleeper fanboys like me, Brubaker was able to put the lid on this title as he planned it from day one - and it shows.

This is the first run of TPs i've read since i've been back that i plan to read through again (in their entirety) before i even shelve them. Brubaker put together a killer story filled w/ all the trappings of a great lludlum spy novel (even the infamous internal angst of Jason Bourne) and one hell of an original cast - all of whom are interesting, and none of whom feel like filler.

Great stuff i've been whoring for months around here that ends just as well as it begins (for once). A+

PS - I didn't realize how much i appreciated the title of this volume ("The Long Way Home") until after i read it ;)

It was all over when...


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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

3.15 Shopping List

Book day is upon us once again. Not a whole lot this week (i'm trying to cut back on monthlies after our rousing pros/cons of flops vs. TPs discussion here last week AND the fact that my TP wish list has grown about 10-fold in the last few days).

100 BULLETS VOL 9 STRYCHNINE LIVES TP (MR) - I'm reading this great series by TP only so i've been eagerly anticipating this... hard to believe after 8 friggin' trades i'm not the least bit sick of 100 Bullets.
GODLAND #10 - Fun.
INVINCIBLE #31 - I wasn't sure Invincible could get any better about 5 issues ago (thinking it might have peaked even?)... then i read the last few.
ASTONISHING X-MEN #14 - Glad this is back; here's to hoping they can keep it regular.
SENTRY #8 (OF 8) - I've enjoyed this little heralded mini so much i almost hate to see it end. I can't WAIT to read this in it's entirety in a sitting or 2. i feel like i've missed some details along the way...
THING #6 - This is one of those comics i keep buying though there's no concrete reason why. It's just a fun read for me. Plus i love how Grimm wears clothes like a normal person (even changing outfits in-issue) and not his "superhero garb" everywhere he goes.
ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #29 - I've only been w/ UFF for a few issues (the last few) but i'm digging it so far...
X-FACTOR #6 - Pull list. Might just be my favorite "team" book at the moment...



26 April, 2006 03:05, Blogger Rob H said...

I picked up the first Invincible trade and I'm looking forward to getting stuck into it. It's somewhere in my huge pile of "to read trades" so I'll get to it eventually.

26 April, 2006 08:06, Blogger zilla said...

i imagine invincible will hook you in the early issues, but make sure you give it a chance... it gets better and better IMO.

26 April, 2006 08:07, Blogger zilla said...

PS - Invincible is the first "teen turned superhero" comic that hasn't turned my stomache since Spider-Man.

26 April, 2006 14:58, Blogger Stephan Schroeder said...

Are you dropping the Usagi monthlies?

26 April, 2006 15:40, Blogger zilla said...

Stephan - i think so... i'm steadily making my way through the trades so i always have one on hand when i'm in the mood but i'm way back on book 7... i'll prob read UY by trade.


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The Goon #17

I love this comic. Brings a smile to my face each month w/o fail. #17 does feel a bit short-winded though (seeming to end soon after it gets started) but i enjoyed my 5 minutes w/ it none-the-less.

The opening few pages kick ass and we ultimately learn a bit more about the nameless priest's new "muscle" (described by Franky as "escapees from a mongoloid baby clinic"; but in reality they are some sort of black magic conjured demon-spawn that the priest gave his right eye to unleash).

Good 'ole Norton's Pub gets ransacked and burned to the ground by the priest's new demon mob, and fans know this will undoubtably set off a Goon and crew ass whupping frenzy in coming issues (always a welcome event around here). I can only hope the good Dr. Alloy re-surfaces to join the fray (he and buzzard are my favs next to Goon). B.


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Help me plan my next order? (BUMP)

Ok i was looking over my ever growing wish list and wondering what to put in my next TP/HC order from Amazon or instocktrades. What do you guys think? Have a look at my list here in the left column ("Futures" under the money Transmet image) and pipe-up about anything on there you've read and recommend or let me know what's missing?

EDIT: My wish list has grown from a paltry few to a massive scroll that would certainly give my poor wife a coronary. Thanks a ton... keep the recommendations coming, i'll def review whatever i buy/read here in the coming weeks/months. Cheers.


23 April, 2006 01:30, Blogger Rob H said...

Fables, Fables, Fables. Although, I have a sneaking suspicion that you've already had the honor of reading this title.

Secret Identity. Great Superman tale with a twist. Note: Doesn't actually have any Superman in it.

The Long Halloween if you haven't already read it.

The first Lullaby trade from image? Haven't read it but the first issue was kinda fun. The Amazing Joy Buzzards are worth the mention but only if you're really stuck.

I dunno, Zilla. You've already got the good stuff. The Goon, Daredevil, TWD, Invincible, Ex Machina, Conan(need to get back into that again), Godland(did you spot my kiss arse letter? Not sure which issue).

23 April, 2006 08:52, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

I still recommend you try at least the first trade of "The Maxx". I believe the trades are put out by Wildstorm.

Also, have you read the first trade of "Girls" from Image. I thought it was pretty entertaining.

How about "The Authority" supposedly the Warren Ellis penned trades are the best, but I haven't tried the title yet.

"Astro City"?

As a side note, you have "X-Force" listed in your pull-list, but I'm pretty sure you mean X-Factor. Just wanted to let you know.

23 April, 2006 10:03, Blogger zilla said...

cellardoor - i most certainly DO mean x-factor not sure what i was thinking when i fat-fingered that one ;)

23 April, 2006 10:06, Blogger zilla said...

PS - i'm going to check out the first trade of Maxx (what's it about again??).

I actually read the first Authority trade and while i remember enjoying it... i'm not sure why i wasn't eager to run out and get the second one (it was a while ago).

I keep hearing about "Astro City" so i'll def get around to that one someday... where's a good place to start? how long was the run?

23 April, 2006 10:15, Blogger zilla said...

rob (ps thanks a ton you guys for jumping in here to comment) - i've read the first 2 fables trades. i actually DO have #3 on my wish list in reality but forgot to add it to the list posted to the left.

Thanks for the heads up on "Superman: Secret Identity". I took a look at that and based on your recommend and the fact that Busiek wrote it (love that guy) I'm def adding that to my list... though i have to be honest i've never been a Superman fan until All-Star Superman (so very recently). I've always seemed to lump him and Captain America in together as too goody-two-shoes for my taste... but Brubaker and Ellis have really won me over w/ their recent work...

Lastly - about "The Long Halloween", i friggin' LOVED that book! I read and reviewed it a while back... great, great stuff.

23 April, 2006 10:20, Blogger zilla said...

CellarDoor - I added "The Maxx" to my wish list... this is it right:


i'm def picking this up after reading about it this morning (and per your recommend)

23 April, 2006 11:56, Blogger Rob Woods said...

Point Blank is pretty good, seeing as though you loved Sleeper so much. Maybe some Planetary or Top 10 if you haven't read them? (Also Morrison's New X-Men run, though you might have read that already if you have Astonishing on your pull list, I don't know...)

23 April, 2006 11:57, Blogger Rob Woods said...

...Also, Secret Identity is brilliant.

23 April, 2006 13:00, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

I definitely agree with Rob on the New X-Men suggestion. Morrison's take on the X-men was one of the first things I read when I got back into comics. It gave me such great hopes for originality with the mutant titles that I have been VERY disappointed to find out the freshness Morrison brought left when he did.

Zilla, The Maxx is one of the original titles from when Image launched what, 12-13 years ago? It is different than pretty much anything else I have ever read...a very dream-like quality to the whole thing (which Sam Keith's artwork is perfect for). So I couldn't really compare it to anything. But definitely post your thoughts...good or bad...I won't be offended if you think it's a piece of crap.

I personally haven't read any Astro City, I was hoping you'd be the guinea pig and let us know how it was. :) But it looks like "Life in the Big City" is the starting point.

23 April, 2006 14:49, Blogger zilla said...

rob - i've wanted to read the first book of "Top 10" for some time now but Amazon doesn't seem to have it (or instocktrades). beat.

23 April, 2006 22:07, Blogger Rob H said...

I'm picking up my first Promethea trade today. No idea what it'll be like but I've been told that it's pretty intense Moore.

23 April, 2006 22:59, Blogger Rob Woods said...


Astro City is great too. Confession is probably the best arc I've read so far, but yeah, start with Life in the Big City.

24 April, 2006 08:28, Blogger zilla said...

rob (h) - i've always wondered about Promethea myself... do me a favor and let me know what you think about it once you read it???

rob (w) - i'll be adding astro city... thanks for the link too.

24 April, 2006 09:03, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

Yeah you've got the correct first volume of Maxx. I don't have the trades...I have the original single issues...some of the last I bought before my hiatus from comics

24 April, 2006 22:14, Blogger Pat said...

Zilla -

Astro City is awesome. All of the volumes are really pretty good - I enjoyed them thoroughly and would highly recommend them.

If you like Busiek, I'd recommend two things - the first Thunderbolts trade is written by Busiek, and it's pretty entertaining. Here's a link

I'd also highly recommend The Wizard's Tale, by Busiek. My wife and I both enjoyed it. Here's a link for that one too... (you might have better luck going to library, or inter-library loan, route to get this one)

You can't go wrong with Top 10 - it took me awhile to get into it, but once I did, I couldn't put it down. I have the lastest (and last?) one by Moore - the 49ers - on my reading stand. Other than that, there are two volumes, along with a seperate one called Smax, which features one of the main characters.

25 April, 2006 15:50, Blogger zilla said...

Thanks Pat... I added the first volume of Astro City to my wish list and once i get a second i'll check out your other two Busiek recommendations...

You guys are hooking up my wish list so phat i appreciate it. i'll def review everything i end up buying/reading so stay tuned...

26 April, 2006 03:02, Blogger Rob H said...

Just finished the first Promethea trade and really enjoyed it. Good mix of great art, humour and imaginative story telling. I'm not much of an Alan Moore fan but this book has me thinking otherwise. You should give it a go. After I finish off the Promethea trades, I'm moving onto Top Ten. The ABC line seems to have it's fair selection of great titles.

I notice you've got Foundation by Isaac Asimov in your "Futures" list. I've the first three books in the series(Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation) yet I've never gotten around to actually finishing them. Nonetheless, I love what I've read and I think you will too.

26 April, 2006 07:42, Blogger zilla said...

Yeah rob the next 3 "text only" books in my stack are Clavell's Shogun, re-reading the Bourne Identity (for about the 5th time in my life but first in years), and Asimov's Foundation.

26 April, 2006 15:10, Blogger Stephan Schroeder said...

I think you may have enough open interests that you don't need many new recommendations. But maybe a guy with a Godzilla logo should read a few selections from Japan. :)

Akira, Blade of the Immortal, Planetes.


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4.25 Panel

I don't write about it much but Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo is timeless. We all know what a big feudal Japan nerd i am and UY has always added just the right amount of historical sensitivity to some great wandering Ronin adventures. I was reading this when i left comics 15 years ago and i'm reading it again now that i'm back (trade by trade).

PS - is there a better comic in the world (ever) for reading on the can??? i read UY, PvP, and Far Side almost exclusively in my "office".


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Monday, April 24, 2006

Nextwave #4

Nextwave Agents of H.A.T.E. continues to impress. This comic is one of only a few genuinely funny books available each month IMO. I do have concerns about the title's longevity (how long can it hold my attention?), but that's tomorrow's problem my friends... (PS i'm not in the habit of posting so many panels from one comic for obvious reasons but i couldn't resist w/ this one)

#4 deals primarily with the origin of "The Captain" who happens to be my favorite Nextwave character (even more so after this issue). I've summed it up for you guys in one scanned page that should get a chuckle out of you if you have a pulse:


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Sunday, April 23, 2006

4.23 Panel


24 April, 2006 04:04, Blogger Rob H said...

Beast on the left? Cute.

24 April, 2006 08:27, Blogger zilla said...

ha. i can only ID about half of them... i wonder if there's a key available somewhere?

25 April, 2006 20:40, Blogger Rob Woods said...

The mutants? If so, they're the original lineup of the X-Men from the Silver Age (Beast, Angel, Cyclops, Jean Grey/Marvel Girl and Iceman). As far as I know the rest are just random comic club members.


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Saturday, April 22, 2006

"Sleeper" HC? Nah. I wrote Brubaker and asked him myself:

I wish. Unfortunately, DC only HBs the really popular stuff, and while Sleeper's trades sold well, the actual comics lost money every issue, just about.

But, if you like Sleeper, you'll love the new book Sean and I are working on, and that is going to have Hardback collections, I believe, but signed and limited editions only, most likely. Look for an announcement soon.


On 22 Apr 2006 14:06:38 -0000, Rod Wetsel wrote:
Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted by
Rod Wetsel on Saturday, April 22, 2006 at 10:06:38

message: Ed - HUGE new fan of your work. I'm working my way through Sleeper (currently in the middle of vol. 4) and was wondering... are there any plans to give Sleeper the HC treatment?

Thanks hoss. Appreciate your work big time.



25 April, 2006 08:37, Blogger Ryan X said...

An email to Ed Brubaker? That is awesome! Too cool dude.

25 April, 2006 15:44, Blogger zilla said...

second time i've ever written a writer/artist directly (other was powell, i forget about what) and both wrote me back when i thought neither would. pretty cool indeed (that's saying something good about the approachability of artists in the comics industry me thinks??)


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4.22 Panel

Anyone else reading this? TWD lovers may likey.


23 April, 2006 01:11, Blogger Rob H said...

That's messy. Nice pick as usual. What is it?

23 April, 2006 10:01, Blogger zilla said...

Ellis's "Black Gas". It's a wild story about a mysterious mountain in maine (?) that erupts and releases a gas that turns people into zombies.

our main character has taken his new girlfriend (pictured) to visit his parents when they are caught in the middle of this. turns out the girlfriend is twice the badass he is when the s hits the fan ;)

it's a bit prototypical for a zombie story but i'm enjoying it between TWD readings. it's hardcore NC17 for violence (in case that matters to anyone).

25 April, 2006 13:26, Anonymous Chuck T. said...

I like that the girl is taking the scorched earth approach: leave nothing behind that might bite you in the ass later. Good stuff, and it might make a nice little trade down the line.

25 April, 2006 15:45, Blogger zilla said...

yeah chuck to be honest i'm still reading this mostly on the strength of Soo's character. pretty graphic too - but isn't htat part of the zombie story recipe?


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Friday, April 21, 2006

Working my way through the massive Alias HC...

I've been reading an issue or 2 a night through the humongous Alias Omnibus, and honestly, this title is about as good the second time through as it was the first time i read it (over a year ago now).

I've said it before but this is def some of Bendis best work outside of Powers IMO. He's taken a miserable, little-known character (Jessica Jones) and turned her hella-interesting by (ironically) making her more human and less superhero-ee.

As a matter of fact, Jessica's an ex-superhero who has given up the "life" simply because she wasn't cut out for it like the Daredevil's and Captain America's of the world. She's still got her powers (though she's never been very good at using them) and runs a one-person private detective agency (Alias Investigations) to make ends meet. Readers will never confuse her w/ Colombo or Matlock (or even the chick from murder she wrote) though; she tends to stumble into her cases and their solutions rather than expertly investigating them (though she is written as smart and ultimately capable).

Jessica has got a ton of everyday problems (most of them mental); she drinks too much, smokes too much, sleeps around (esp when she gets drunk), and generally battles a variety of depression, anger, and paranoia. She has few friends (but more than she thinks including the likes of Captain America, Luke Cage, Ant Man, and Carol Danvers) and generally lives a bit of a "loner" lifestyle.

At the end of the day though, these are the things that make her interesting to read about... even if there are entire issues devoted to a couple conversations (w/ very little action). Bendis has this knack with writing "adult" conversation IMO, evident throughout his work here (and in Powers). The back-and-forth between the characters just has a natural flow and reminds me a lot of how conversations typically flow in a text only book (which is typically VERY different than in comics once you take notice).

Ahhhhhh... I totally didn't mean this to be a review, just a couple thoughts, but se la vie. Alias is a great read about a now interesting character (the only female lead i've read and enjoyed in eons) with real world problems. Gotta love how Bendis seems to really want to give us a look at the world (and superheros) as they may be if they really existed. Cheers to that.

PS - The HC itself is gorgeous. Gotta love the fact that you can get the entire run of Alias in one big, beautiful book. Cheers (a second time) for that ;)


21 April, 2006 12:09, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

Well, you've certainly had enough good things to say about Alias to get me interested, now I just have to work up the nerve to devote an entire InStockTrades order to one book!

21 April, 2006 12:24, Blogger zilla said...

ha... i'm always hesitant to recommend books this expensive. you know if i get you to try a $3 book and you don't like it no biggie, but $45? ha!

22 April, 2006 04:23, Blogger Rob Woods said...

Little known? The character was created for the book, so "non-existent" would probably be a better description. Haha, don't want to nitpick, it's a great series. (Bendis originally wanted to use Jessica Drew/Spider-Woman, but Marvel wouldn't allow it.)

22 April, 2006 09:35, Blogger zilla said...

damn rob - i had NO idea that Bendis created this character just for Alias... only been back in comics a year so learning new stuff daily. somehow that makes the series even cooler to me ;)


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4.21 Panel


21 April, 2006 09:14, Blogger Rob H said...

That's too cool for school. Awesome panel.

21 April, 2006 09:17, Blogger zilla said...

you should see it in context w/ the entire page... i'm telling you d jones is a kick ass book right now ;)


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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Daredevil #84 and Captain America #17

Brubaker has taken two of my least favorite mainstream Marvel characters and turned them interesting. That's no small feat considering that i have pretty much NEVER (before or after returning to comicdom) cared a lick about either of these guys, even voting Captain America the most annoyingly moral character ever invented at one point...

Ah but times (like writers and artists) do change my friends, and dare i say that i'm now a fanboy of Daredevil, and though i won't claim love for Cap Am just yet, at least he has a book worth reading (though i'm a bit nervous where it's headed after such a stellar beginning w/ "Winter Soldier"). More on that in a bit...

Ok so in the latest issue of Daredevil, Murdock's still in prison kicking ass and taking names (w/ extended zeal after foggy's murder). In an effort to find out exactly who is behind his good friends death, Matt confronts both the guard that set him up and Hammerhead (who's living like Pauly in Goodfella's here at Ryker's BTW), hoping to shake them down for info.

Question though - How does Daredevil get out of his cell? Brubaker explains it in one narration box: "slipping out of this cell isn't much harder, now that i'm not behind solid steel" (implying that it's no problem to get out now that he's not in the shoe). But... wait... uh...

I digress. Meanwhile, there is still no clue as to who is playing Daredevil on the outside (in an effort to prove that Murdock isn't the sight-impaired superhero). The good Mr. Fisk (Kingpin) and his well-feared crony Bullseye are transferred into Ryker's to join the fun, and Brubaker brings the Punisher into the fold in the last few panels. Let the good times roll.

Having a good time w/ this especially since i'm in a prison-story mood as i follow the Fox TV hit "Prison Break". Good stuff... Brubaker really is out-doing himself here IMO.

Now that i've brain-dumped about Daredevil, i'm going to keep my Cap Am thoughts brief.

Winter Soldier was a kick ass arc that reeled me right into Brubaker's Captain, but i'm not feelig the follow-on as much. Red Skull's former muscle and his daughter brain-washed good then evil again are somewhat stale baddies IMO... but i'm hanging on.


20 April, 2006 13:57, Blogger Sean Maher said...

Question though - How does Daredevil get out of his cell?

If you made me guess?

Ninja Power.

Remember, homeboy was trained by some of the best mystical martial artists in the Marvel U.

21 April, 2006 08:12, Blogger zilla said...

this is true my friend but which ninja power gets you past concrete and iron bars? interesting. gotta love the liberties in comics!


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4.20 Panel

Damn "420" used to mean something back when i was in college... Ah well. For today's panel i picked something from Batman Year 100, which i am totally loving even though i didn't get to review the latest issue last week. If this were an ongoing, it would be the one Batman ongoing i'd be reading...


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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll's House

I just finished the second volume of Sandman and though i didn't enjoy it *quite* as much as the first, it was a great read. I especially dug on the issue where Sandman (w/ the help of his sister Death) let a man live for centuries on agreement that he meet w/ Morpheus every 100 years at the same pub/bar for some coversation.

At first it seems like an experiment to see what will happen to the poor guy if he doesn't die (he def has his ups and downs through the centuries on earth), but ultimately turns out to be a subconscious effort by the Sandman to ease some of his loneliness with a friend who's time (alive) is measured more like his own. Very cool.

I was grinning huge over the last few panels (when Morpheus rages on the dude for calling him lonely, then meets him the next time w/ a big smile and "friends shouldn't keep friends waiting").

Also enjoyed the grizzly (2 page) re-telling of the age-old story of Red Riding Hood ;)

Ok, not to cut my review short, but this volume got me thinking... have you guys ever read a "classic" comic or GN where the writing seems timeless but the art could use an update?

Not to take anything away from the art in Sandman, i was just wonder how this series would look if drawn by a contemporary artist like (just throwing out names here): Mike Mignola, Eric Powell, or Clayton Crane?

Pretty interesting to imagine any of these three VERY different horror-skilled artists drawing Sandman isn't it? Anyone else got thoughts on this??


19 April, 2006 13:43, Anonymous Dave Carter said...

It's not so much the art as the coloring. My understanding is that the upcoming Absolute Sandman volumes will be re-colored and re-separated for modern printing techniques and correctness (aparently in many cases the separators just ignored the colorists instructions!)

19 April, 2006 13:56, Blogger zilla said...

any idea when the first of those Sandman Absolute's is supposed to drop? I haven't even heard a tentative time frame yet... Good news about the coloring though. In the first TP it's near impossible to read some of what Morpheus has to say (the white on black is a bit messed up).

19 April, 2006 14:50, Blogger Sean Maher said...

I have the same problem with a lot of the early Vertigo books - Sandman, Shade: The Changing Man, a lot of the old Morrison stuff.

Just looks kinda flat and ugly compared to a lot of what I'm reading today. I totally buy that it's a coloring thing, though.

19 April, 2006 15:08, Anonymous Dave Carter said...

Information about coloring etc. being fixed for the Absolute editions is here.

I don't think a definitive date has been announced, although I believe they're aiming for late 2006 (in time for holiday shopping) for the first to hit.

19 April, 2006 20:42, Blogger Rob H said...

Anything by Mignola, Powell or Crane would look good but I haven't read Sandman so I'm not too sure what to expect. However, it could be interesting to see a new take on the classics.

Alot of contemorary artists are slightly more daring with their art work. For example, if something like Watchmen was to be redrawn by somebody like Eduardo Risso, I'd be more inclined to read it.

That said, I agree with the color theory.

20 April, 2006 07:58, Blogger zilla said...

i agree w/ you rob... not sure what it is but some of the artwork in the classics (like Watchmen, V, Preacher) just feels dated and "80s" for some reason (while at the same time the writing often feels timeless).

In the end it was just fun to imagine Sandman w/ art by Miggs or Powell ;)


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4.19 Panel


19 April, 2006 09:03, Blogger Ryan X said...

Not much talk on here lately about DMZ. I really love this title. It is a great concept and I like the pace that it is progressing, not too fast, but not stagnant either.

19 April, 2006 13:54, Blogger zilla said...

count me in for DMZ too boss... it's been getting better and better IMO since about issue #3.


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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

3.15 Shopping List

Got my books late last week so didn't get around to reviewing everything i wanted to. Suffice it to say i loved D Jones #6 (did review that), and Batman Year 100 contiues to impress. I'll def be buying the trade of this one. Black Gas is "mature" to say the least (reminds me of a nice rated R horror flik) but entertaining, and i'm still enjoying the heck out of DMZ. Hell even the new Loveless (which i had just about given up on) got a bit interesting w/ #6 (finally).

CONAN #27 (MR) - Pull list.
CONAN BOOK OF THOTH #2 (OF 4) - Don't usually pick up the Conan mini's but i'm feeling soon-to-be abandoned by Busiek so wanted to double up on his Conan while i can... Pretty good start even though there was no Conan in #1.
GOON #17 - Pull list. Always a fun week when i gets me a new Goon.

EX MACHINA SPECIAL #1 (OF 2) (MR) - I'm a sucker for Ex Machina so i'll be buying this... is it a reprint story or a new one??
SGT ROCK THE PROPHECY #4 (OF 6) - Pull list. Not great but good... i'm pot committed (for you poker fans) to this mini so i guess i'm in till the end...


CAPTAIN AMERICA #17 - Pull list (Brubaker is one of my new fav writers).
DAREDEVIL #84 - Pull list (See above).
NEW AVENGERS #18 - Pull list.
NEXTWAVE AGENTS OF HATE #4 - One of my FAVORITES right now. Can't wait.
WOLVERINE ORIGINS #1 - I guess... What i'm really hype for is Wolverine #42 w/ Ramos.



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18 April, 2006 19:51, Anonymous Dave Carter said...

"is it a reprint story or a new one??"

New story--a flashback to The Great Machine's super-hero days.

Plus, different artist: Chris Sprouse.

18 April, 2006 19:58, Blogger zilla said...

i'm def 'bout it then. it's a 2-parter too i think... ex machina is such a stellar comic - i hope vaughn can keep it strong (and interesting).

18 April, 2006 22:58, Blogger Rob H said...

Agreed. Ex Machina kicks arse. According to BKV the mini should be in the next trade so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Mate, Loveless isn't doing it for you? I loves me a Spaghetti Western. Still hanging out for the first trade.

18 April, 2006 23:10, Blogger zilla said...

rob - i LOVE spaghetti western's too partner... that's why i've stuck w/ Loveless so long even after a disappointing start. it's rounding into shape though (IMO) with the last couple of issues... azzarello will not let us down once he gets in the groove (i hope).


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4.18 Panel

looks like some tasty chicken there!


18 April, 2006 10:54, Blogger Ryan X said...

This whole scene turned my stomach. Great stuff! Exterminators is the best stuff on the shelf IMHO. Thanks for the panel.

18 April, 2006 20:00, Blogger zilla said...

Exterminators is def interesting (and original), plus i have a huge man-crush on Tony Moore.

This scene WAS hella disturbing though i must admit ;)


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Monday, April 17, 2006

Desolation Jones #6

Ah the joys of "Suggested for Mature Readers". Desolation Jones continues to impress (and thoroughly) w/ the wrap of it's first arc here in issue #6.

Mike Jones finally gets his hands on the twisted Colonel Nigh's stolen Hitler porn reel (and ends the ongoing blackmail bid by executing the blackmailers) and it turns out that the porn reel itself was just a cover for documentation detailing the gub-ment's top-secret "temple farm" program/plan (temple farm is the codename for the experimental intel program that transformed jones into the sub-human he is today).

Having discovered Nigh's involvement in "temple farm" (and the varied involvement of his three daughters in the mess surrounding the theft and recovery of the reel), Jones arranges for a good 'ole family get together. I'd love to go into detail about what happens next but the end here is just too good to spoil...

I'll leave it by saying that i really, really dig this comic. Ellis and Williams are simply out doing themselves here IMO. The writing is gritty and on point, w/ solid pacing, original story lines (a good thing for the age-old detective drama), and some seriously kick-ass dialogue. Make no mistake that D Jones is for mature audiences... working sometimes in the NC-17 realm (w/ no qualms from me here though since the grit and grime fits naturally and doesn't feel forced for shock value).

Ellis (and Williams) have created one of the most interesting (if not unique) lead characters to hit comics in a long, long while. I can only imagine the love-hate relationship most readers out there have w/ Michael Jones, and figure it's similiar to what i feel when i read him.

This book isn't made only by the writing though; Williams art here is AMAZING (seriously). His layouts impress the heck out of me (esp in this issue) and he's not afraid to get uber-creative w/ his drawings and/or panels. As an aside, i'm not sure who does the coloring for this book, but it works REALLY well and adds tremendously to the art (think Ex Machina in a way)...

Zill is salivating (that word just seems weird when it comes to anticipating comics but you def get the idea) for the start of the next arc already... A+


17 April, 2006 19:50, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

Wow, talk about two opposite views of the same comic! Have you read Brian Cronin's review at Comics Should Be Good?
I read his first and it really had me worried that even though I loved the first five issues of the series, I would be disappointed in the finale to the first arc. Your review has restored hope. Thank you sir! Of course because of my new (stupid) TPB's only rule, I have to wait even though I have the first five single issues!

18 April, 2006 20:08, Blogger zilla said...

well, you know what they say; opinions are like a-holes, everyone's got one! ha. hard for me to imagine you won't like #6 if you DID like #1-5 though... DEF let me know what you think... i hate for you to have to wait for the trade though... at least buy this one flop to finish the arc partner!!!

19 April, 2006 09:14, Blogger Ryan X said...

There are so many things to like about DJ, I wouldn't know where to start. The wrap-up issue of "The Man from England" arc was exceptional. My biggest complaint has nothing to do with the story, but with an issue brought up recently by Zilla. I read #6 as soon as I got it without re-reading the previous issues. Because this book comes out so infrequently, the final issue lost a lot of the punch for me because of the time lag between #5 and #6. Again, this is my fault for sure, but this would (will) have been a lot more hard-hitting as a trade. Flops suck...esp ones that come out every two months!


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4.17 Panel


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Sunday, April 16, 2006

4.16 Panel

I picked this one-shot (Boba Fett: Overkill) up on a whim friday when i was clearing out my box... turned out to be a lot of fun (and a pretty cool insight into the personality of the wildly popular bounty hunter). if this creative team would team-up for an ongoing Star Wars book (or even a mini) i'd buy it. Both Andrews and Valasco's styles (and the overall package here) remind me of Genndy Tarkofsky's (who i have a huge man-crush on) Clone Wars cartoons...


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

PS i hope you guys get the Tartofsky Clone Wars reference because that really sums this comic up... it's written in that vein; not to serious (but serious enough), action-packed and rapidly paced.


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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Flops vs. TPs vs. HCs?

The good doctor commented here last week:
I've made the conscious decision to stick with trade paperbacks since my untimely return to the wonderful world of comic books.

Unfortunately, the problem with this is that I have to wait for specific books(ie. Invincible, TWD and Goon). The up side is that I'm able to go nuts with previous arcs and runs(particularly in reference to Vertigo, Wildstorm and other more Indy books) without feeling guilt. Plus, I save quite a bit of cash considering that single issues down in OZ can reach up to $7.00 AU a book. I'd like to hear your thoughts on the topic of TPB vs. Floppy, Zilla.
You know what partner? I'm not even sure of MY strategy when it comes to flops vs. TPs vs. HCs. Let me organize my thoughts like this:

Flop Thoughts:

  • Great for comics that are digestible in chunks, and where it's easy enough to remember what happened last issue (TWD, Invincible, Powers).

  • Generally flops are the easiest to handle and read IMO... it's nice to be able to open them completely flat (on a table, lap or in the air while you're on your back in the 'ole comfy hammock). No issues having to maneuver the book to weird angles to read that dialogue bubble or admire art half hidden by the TP or HC binding.

  • Maybe the best (and most obvious) part about flops is... No wait! For comics i'm dying to read shortly after they hit the stands (Des Jones, All-Star Superman, Goon, etc.).

  • I also buy flops of anything i want to "try". I've def been known to buy a few flops of something then just quit the monthlies all together while i go back and read through all the trades first (100 Bullets). Another good example here is #1s.

  • There are def some comics that i just can't digest issue by issue. Sometimes they come out too infrequently or they just don't read well in bits and pieces because there are too many details from the last issue i can't remember (100 Bullets, Y the Last Man, etc.).

  • Lastly, there are some comics that i just read and enjoy month-to-month but have no real desire to collect and/or put on the shelf for re-reading later. I def buy these as flops (New Avengers, Captain America, Daredevil, X-Force, Astonishing X-Men, Exterminators, Fear Agent). Not to take away from any of these titles, they're solid or i wouldn't be reading them but i prob won't reread them and/or shelve them.

TP Thoughts:

  • TPs are GREAT for catching up (esp for guys like us that were away a while). Once i get hooked on a comic, i'm well known to either A) suspend the monthlies until i'm caught up by the TPs (100 Bullets, Y the Last Man), or B) Keep reading the monthlies for a reason or another described above (in my "flops thoughts"), and at the same time catch up on the back-story via trades (Powers, Goon, Brubaker's Daredevil and Captain America, Savage Dragon).

    There are some comics (100 Bullets) that i'm all caught up with, and def enjoy, but have decided to read only by trade...

  • I know it's a total waste of money in some people's minds but i'll also buy the TP of anything i REALLY dug (my favorite titles or great mini's, etc.) - even if i've already bought and read all the flops. Ugh. There's something really cool about re-reading a great arc or mini in a sitting or two when the TP comes out (then shelving it for future re-reading pleasure). Silent Dragon, Surrogates, Revelations, Powers, TWD, Ferro City, and Ex-Machina come to mind.

    I'm going to try and start selling the flop runs of TPs i buy on eBay but haven't gotten there yet (to make myself feel better about buying stuff twice). At the end of the day though i don't really mind... if a writer/artist combo put out something i love THAT much, i don't mind giving them my money.

  • TPs are uber-portable. You don't have to worry (as much) about them getting banged up when you travel w/ them (like a flop would), and you can grab a start-to-finish read off the shelf pretty easily and plop down and power through it in an hour or two.

  • The biggest negative for TPs is the wait for current stuff... Once you're caught up with something and have decided to read just by TP... damn it can be a year between releases. Understandable, but still crap.

  • Lastly, i buy a lot of TPs of stuff simply because that's the only way it's available (Sandman, Preacher, Transmet, Maus, V for Vendetta, Batman this or that, and many, many other classics).

HC Thoughts:

  • I love me a huge, thick Absolute or Omnibus. HCs are reserved for when i REALLY, REALLY dig something and want to immortalize it for re-reading and re-reading, and well... just admiring on the shelf at times given the royal treatment (TWD V1, Invincible V1, Alias Omnibus, Absolute Hush, Absolute League of Extraordinary Gentlemen V1, Powers V1, and the Goon HC).

  • HCs are def the most difficult of all formats to handle, but i struggle through (esp difficult since i do most of my comic reading on my back). Ah well. They are gorgeous though.

  • Though i'm not good at selling my flop runs when i buy a trade of something, i AM good at selling my trades when i buy the HC. Usually you can turn these around for a good chunk of what you pay for the biggun HC so that's a plus.


15 April, 2006 16:47, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

I wrote a rather lengthy and rambling response to Rob H's comments earlier, but it didn't post for some reason or another. Anyway, I'll try to sum up my thoughts much more concisely this time.

I recently decided to buy only TPB's or HC's as the case may be. This was a combination of two factors. One was I'm moving and so getting to a comic shop is going to be a low priority for awhile. The second was purely monetary reasons. I decided (along with some help from my lovely wife) that I have been spending too much on comics lately. When you can average out to $1.67 per issue buying a 6-issue TPB vs. paying $2.99 per issue and you buy around 20-30 titles a month it adds up! So I order 4-6 trades that usually last me close to a month, and when I start the last one of the batch I place another order.

This is going to be hard for sure...I'm already going through TWD withdrawal. So we'll see how long it lasts but that's my plan...and for now I'm sticking to it.

15 April, 2006 22:25, Blogger Rob Woods said...

Since getting back into comics, I've read exclusively in trade/hardcover. A good proportion of books published now are paced with collection in mind, and I don't really read many of those that aren't (ie the majority of superhero titles). Plus it's cheaper anyway.

I'll always buy in hardcover if it's available, since it's usually cheaper than the equivalent number of trades (except the ridiculous DC Absolute Editions; I really wish they would just release a sensible, affordable series of reprints similar to the Marvel ones).

More recently I've been considering collecting a few floppies again, but it's basically only for indy books that take forever to be released and collected.

16 April, 2006 00:31, Blogger Rob H said...

Great post, Zilla. Like you've said, the wait is one of the many things that'll kill you when waiting for a current title to come out in TPB. Like CellarDoor has so aptly posted, I'm going through TWD withdrawal(as well as Ex Machina, oh how I love this book) as we speak but there's always that something out there in TPB that'll tickle my fancy. Fables is a good example.

I've read somewhere that chances are, some people may insist on buying the single issues out of habit. They've been doing it for so long, its become an addiction. While this is true, the same can be said for TPB. They look great on the shelf.

Hard covers are something that I've never really thought about. I'm yet to find an arc or story that I love enough to justify paying that much. The Goon, maybe but it has never really entered my train of thought. It's something to consider, I suppose. You get a hell of alot more from what I've seen and heard.

One thing I can't stand about the flops is that I'm paying up to $7.00 per issue for a 10 minute read(with ads no less). Before I'd put a halt to my floppy addiction, I was picking up to 30 or so titles per month. That's quite a bit of cash to fork up over 300 or so minutes of reading. Like I've always said, trades can be cherished over time, again and again and again and again and again and again.

Cheers for the great post.

16 April, 2006 10:18, Blogger zilla said...

At the end of the day, i think each has their own place and time you know? i can't see myself doing w/o any of the 3 all together at this point... i'll keep on w/ $25 a week on flops and $50 2x a month at Amazon or Instocktrades.com on TPs and/or HCs. $200 a month on comics. Jesus. I never added it up before... At least we're not paying $7 AU (or $4 CAN) per issue 'round here (THAT is crap).

17 April, 2006 17:21, Blogger Ryan X said...

For what it is worth, I fall in line somewhere between Zilla and the rest of the posters here. I buy a small amount of titles in floppy and then do the rest in trades (No HCs to date). I love trades for sure, but I also love the "junk food" aspect of flops. I can knock one out just about anywhere I have 5-15 min. Plus, I am addicted to buying them and having the routine of going to the LCS to get them. It is the small pleasures in life...


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Friday, April 14, 2006

Fraction Talks "Casanova" @ Newsarama

I've been hype for this title ever since i laid eyes on the uber-cool cover (something about it...). After reading THIS interview i'm even MORE excited. Here's some nuggets i pulled (but def click through to look at the artwork at least):
The new series is in the “Fell” format, that is, it’s 16 pages a month by Fraction and artist Gabriel Ba for $1.99 (although June’s issue #1 will run a 32 pages for $1.99).
as Casanova was destined to be my first ongoing series, I wanted it to stand out and deliver and be the kind of book-- in content and form - that I wanted to read. So many comics these days get bloated and ponderous and ‘written for trade’ and “decompressed” or whatever else. With 16 pages, there’s no room for fat, no room for lazy pacing or storytelling. You gotta get busy quick and make your punches count.
the book itself, once it gets up and rolling, is the kind of stage that supports whatever kind of story I want to tell. It has all the trappings of the superspy genre but the world we’ve built it into allows the tale to go places that Bond or Flint never could, because they were too tethered to Earth.

I mean, who doesn’t want to see James Bond and Barbarella hook up and then team up to rule the world with ice-cold cool and white-hot, yet tastefully presented, sex?
Casanova Quinn is a Gentleman of Leisure, and he takes his leisure as he finds it-- wine, women, song, gambling, forgery, no holds barred psychic combat, or perhaps even dabbling in the lucrative field of international art thievery. He’s got apartments, estates, and bungalows scattered across the globes and he speaks a dozen languages flawlessly. He’s charming and bold and slick like liquid mercury.
It’s all just so goddamn cool, you know? Everything about that era, that milieu, that vibe. The men all wear fantastic suits the women are all absolutely poured into gowns that cost more than you and me make in a year combined. And then some crazed Eurotrash bazillionaire has some scheme for world domination that our hero and heroine will get sorted in time for drinks at sunrise in Shanghai. Spectacle, glamour, world-ending danger and torrid victory sex-- That’s the kind of day I dig, I guess.


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Thursday, April 13, 2006

4.13 Panel

Ugh. This is what i felt like yelling at my job today! It's now officially the end of Thursday and i still haven't been by Phoenix Comics to clear my box this week... bummer. Tomorrow if it kills me (some good stuff waiting in there).


14 April, 2006 00:54, Blogger Rob H said...

Ha! I hear ya. I've made the conscious decision to stick with trade paperbacks since my untimely return to the wonderful world of comic books.

Unfortunately, the problem with this is that I have to wait for specific books(ie. Invincible, TWD and Goon). The up side is that I'm able to go nuts with previous arcs and runs(particularly in reference to Vertigo, Wildstorm and other more Indy books) without feeling guilt. Plus, I save quite a bit of cash considering that single issues down in OZ can reach up to $7.00 AU a book. I'd like to hear your thoughts on the topic of TPB vs. Floppy, Zilla.


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Silver Surfer: Rebirth of Thanos TP

Ah good 'ole Silver Surfer. Spurs some great childhood comic nostalgia for me. My dad and i used to read Silver Surfer together when i was real little (starting w/ #1) so i guess you could say i've got a soft spot for the former Herald of Galactus and his cosmic adventures.

I don't remember reading Rebirth of Thanos back then (starting around #34) but man this is a solid Silver Surfer adventure written by Jim Starlin and penciled by Ron Lim, even though the Surfer dissappears about 3/4 of the way through and we finish the TP following Thanos's quest (originally printed in the aptly named mini Thanos's Quest).

Essentially we have the story of Death's resurection of the mighty Thanos in order to amp up the flow of souls into her domain. Aside: I much prefer the Sandman version of "Death" to this prototypical skeletal female version in the coweled purple robes :) In thanks for his resurrection (and due to an infatuational love w/ Death) Thanos comes up with a wild plan to eliminate half the living from the universe, planet by planet.

In order to procure enough power to accomplish such a feat however, he must attempt to acquire each of 6 (i think there are 6?) soul gems. The soul gems are protected individually by the cosmic elders and so a classic treasure hunt ensues, as Thanos must out battle or outwit each for his gem, all the while dodging the efforts of the Silver Surver and Thanos' dim-witted brother Drax the Destroyer (who makes for some laugh-out loud moments IMO).

Overall i really, really enjoyed this TP. i read it in just about 2 sittings, even though it's a pretty thick job. Starlin writes silver surfer much as we have come to expect; as the brooding intellectual w/ the weight of the universe seemingly on his shoulders. But there are some lighter moments here that really balance it out... and i'm happy to see his dialogue is a lot less... cryptic than some of Silver Surfers earlier stuff (where it's as painful to read what he's saying as Thor sometimes).

Additionally, Lim is one of my favorite all time SS artists, and he doesn't let down here (this is some of the best SS art ever IMO). He thankfully draws the surfer's metallic skin as a one-piece and not w/ his original tighty-whitey's (which always bothered me for some reason).

All-in-all one of the best SS adventures ever. A

It was all over when (sort of)...

Sorry for the shitty scan... i got this image online, though the remastered art in the TP is phenomenally bright and very well redone!!!!


13 April, 2006 18:31, Blogger CalvinPitt said...

Hmm, I didn't have any of those issues, but I had a follow-up issue where the Surfer is put on trial in a space city for the murder of one of their citizens. . . Thanos!

Pretty amusing, pretty good glimpse of how evil Thanos can be.

13 April, 2006 22:03, Blogger zilla said...

These scans really don't do the TP justice... they seem to have totally re-mastered the original issues for this release and they really do look phenomenal (in color and just an overall vibrance).


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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

4.12 Shopping List

Sorry for the lack of posts the last few days, my wife and i were in Thomasville NC visiting some old (and very good) friends and their funny-as-hell 15 mo. old. Back in the saddle though this week (once i catch up on my 5 billion work emails).

Desolation Jones is always highly anticipated in this camp and i'm also extra hype for a new Batman Year 100. New Next Wave next week, and the X-Men Omnibus if i can get it for cheap online somewhere... That will be fun ;)

HELLBOY VOL 6 STRANGE PLACES TP (MR) - Next Amazon or Instocktrades.com order :)

100 BULLETS #71 (MR) - I'm so used to reading these in TP that i'm having trouble w/ the single issues since i caught up... i could bare the wait i'd go back to TP only but not sure i can... great series.
BATMAN YEAR ONE HUNDRED #3 (OF 4) - I didn't get a full review in but professed my love for this mini a few weeks back. I'm all over #3.
DESOLATION JONES #6 (MR) - YES, YES, YES! Been a while but these are always worth the wait...
DMZ #6 (MR) - Pull.
LOVELESS #6 (MR) - Not exactly impressed so far but i keep holding on and hoping...


YOUNG AVENGERS VOL 1 SIDEKICKS TP - I missed the YA boat for some reason (though i have read a few scattered issues). might pick this up.

WARREN ELLIS BLACK GAS #2 - #1 wasn't exactly revolutionary but i enjoyed it (plus i'm just anxious enough to find out what's going to happen). Black Gas is for the zombie plague lover in all of us.


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12 April, 2006 20:29, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

Sorry, this has absolutely nothing to do with anything on your shopping list, but I gotta ask.
I just finished the Powers Vol. 1 HC this week, and I was wondering if there are any plans or a date set for a 2nd volume. I did like it quite a bit (thanks for the recommendation Zilla), and I'm interested in reading more. However, if I can wait a few months and get another HC I have plenty of other titles to read in the meantime.

Also, I was wondering if you have read (and have opinions on) any of Bendis' other early Image work like Torso, Jinx, or Goldfish.

Again, I apologize for straying off topic.

13 April, 2006 15:50, Blogger Ryan X said...

I am also a covert to Powers a la Mr. Zilla. Currently reading Vol 8. It is fantastic. Anyway, I thought it a strange coincidence that you asked about Bendis' other works (Jinx, Torso, Goldfish) because I was just browsing those at Amazon a few minutes ago. If anyone has any comments on them, I would love to hear as well.

13 April, 2006 21:58, Blogger zilla said...

Cellardoor no worries partner... Off topic is just as good as on topic around here for sure ('specially since the "topic" is almost always good comics).

I def wouldn't wait around for the second Powers HC, it could be eons before that comes out especially considering the first one just hit a month (?) or so ago. Keep going though, like i told mr. x once, Powers doesn't really start to get good until the issues/TPs FOLLOWING this first HC....

That HC sure is a beaut though sin't it???

13 April, 2006 22:01, Blogger zilla said...

PS about Bendis' "other" work... i haven't read torso, jinx, or goldfish, but i do have sam and twitch (the complete bendis) on my wish list since i've heard good things about that...

and i will unashamedly pimp Alias again - i'm currently working through the massive (600+ page) Omnibus HC and IMO it's some of Bendis' best work (my favorite behind Powers).

props to uncensored for the Alias bump that got me started w/ a character/title i NEVER would have tried w/o a shove ;)

14 April, 2006 09:41, Blogger Rob Woods said...

Bendis' earlier work is a lot better than some of the stuff he's putting out now. (Jinx in particular is worth a look. Goldfish is technically its prequel, but I wouldn't say that they have to be read in any particular order.)


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Friday, April 07, 2006

Sleeper Vol. 1 and 2

Ok... start with a bad-ass black ops super soldier (working for an organizaton called "international operations" or simply "I.O.") and name him "Holden".

Next have Holden accidentally kill his entire squad when they stumble across a mysterious alien artifact that imbibes him with the power to absorb pain (though he can no longer feel it) and redistribute at will.

Nasty little power that one.

Once Holden's powers are discovered, have Holden's handler (Lynch) blackmail him, using the accidental death of his squad as leverage, into becoming a double-agent.

Have one of the world's most powerful and intelligent crime lords (Tao) recruit him into his secret (and oh so cool) mafia-like underworld organization.

Next have Holden rise dutifully up the ranks in Tao's organization (playing much the same role as assassin/muscle as he did for I.O.), eventually securing a place in the inner circle. During his rise, have Holden befriend a jovial, bad-ass meat-head (who's nicknamed himself "Genocide" because he kills a lot of people; though that is a gross misuse of the word) and fall in love w/ a masocistic, ass-kicking dame named "Miss Misery".

Around this time, have Holden's handler, Lynch, fall into a near-death coma, and let it be known that he's the only guy on the planet who actually knows that Holden is a double agent and not just one of Tao's cronies.

Have Holden discover that a secret society of blue-bloods really runs the world.

Have Genocide shot and Holden and Miss Misery captured and tortured by I.O. (who have no idea he's a double remember).

Next have Holden's secret discovered (by Tao), who can read minds as it turns out, but have Tao forgive him and convince him to continue under his employ since all his former "good guy" associations have been disconnected (Lynch) and/or believe him to be a traitor. Not to mention how I.O. has treated him lately...

Have Holden struggle internally w/ no real clear idea of what to do next (his "old" boss and his "new" boss are equally deranged; the line between the good guys and bad has become smokey at best.

Throw in twists and turns hand over fist.

Have Lynch wake up from his coma.


Oh man this is a GREAT title and some of Brubaker's best work (and some of the best stuff i've read in comics... ever).

I can't believe it took me almost a full year back into comics to find out about Sleeper. This title just plain rocks. It's gritty, hard core, and for mature audiences. Take this from a huge fan of Lludlum (Bourne trilogy rules), Clancy, Eisler, and "spy"/black ops/international assassin novels in general.

Just got #3 in the mail and can't WAIT to dig into it.


07 April, 2006 20:14, Blogger zilla said...

i forgot to mention how much i love brubakers method of filling us in on each characters past:

when Tao's operatives are sitting around biding time, rather than tell jokes, they have this game they play where they run down their individual history in the 3rd person... it's way cool.

there's also just enough super-powers in here (not sure if i made it sound like there were any at all besides holden). the take on super-powers in Sleeper reminds me a bit of Bendis and Oeming's Powers... Kind of gritty, kind of real, and not every power is worth a shit :)

10 April, 2006 10:12, Blogger Ryan X said...

Ha ha! I knew you would dig Sleeper. That was one of the first titles I started reading when I got back into comics. Glad you are enjoying it. I am going to have to reread it since I never finished the trades the first time (for whatever reason).

11 April, 2006 09:12, Blogger Rob Woods said...

It's one of the most consistently good series I can remember that's come out recently. 3 and 4 keep the standard up, so enjoy reading them for the first time.

11 April, 2006 12:29, Blogger Bigseek said...

Sleeper is one of my favorite books of all time. I hated that it had to end but at least it got to end on it's own terms.
It would make for a great oversized hc.

11 April, 2006 23:39, Blogger Rob H said...

Hey Zilla, long time no speak.

I've been out of the comic buying frenzy due to income issues but hey, I'm back in the game and I'm ready to start up on whatever looks good. Your blog's really doing me a fav so I've added a heap of titles to the "pull" list along with a bunch of personal favorites. I'm still catching up on a heap I've left hanging over the months but your reviews are looking great and they'll definitely help. Keep it up.

Dr. Flem

12 April, 2006 09:11, Blogger zilla said...

Flemmy well i'll be damned. i was just thinking about you the other day for some wild reason (wondering where you were). Glad to have you back man...

12 April, 2006 19:38, Blogger Rob H said...

Cheers, zilla. Glad to be back.


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4.7 Panel

Ex Machina continues to impress. I'm not much into politics (though my dad is a poly sci major), but when you tell a story like Vaughn and throw in some of the best artwork on the market (pencils and coloring)... I'm hooked. I actually feel smart after i read Ex Machina each month.

Vaugn's found a way to creatively mix normally uber-boring politics with a dose of superhero fantasy; all while exploring one heavy subject after another (racism, terrorism, etc.) from multiple angles. Good stuff.

Reminds me (pleasantly) of West Wing w/ an extra-cool kick.


08 April, 2006 22:16, Blogger Stephan Schroeder said...

Wow... that panel is pretty shocking. And I'm talking shocking for a Wolverine comic. I'm guessing that's a fantasy sequence? (No need to spoil it; it is more of a rhetorical question.)

I only have the first trade of this series (so far). I haven't decided whether to go on with it yet or not.

10 April, 2006 10:38, Blogger zilla said...

yeah it's a dream sequence (or a nightmare sequence?)... pretty wild though. i love me some ex machina ;)


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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Moon Knight #1

I don't know much about Moon Knight beyond the recognizeable costume (and something sticking in my memory about him worshipping an egyptian God or something?), but this new ongoing has been getting the royal marketing treatment from Marvel (and has David Finch holding the pencil) so i felt compelled to at least give #1 a go.

Let me start by telling you that i have no idea how good or bad this series will be in a few months, but damn if #1 isn't a great start. seriously, this is how #1's SHOULD read (and rarely do). Moon Knight opens up a lot like a big-budget action flik, starting w/ MK ripping into a couple pair of low-level street thugs engaged in a car chase/shootout, while Huston narrates an introduction explaining MK's niche in the NY crime-fighting world.

As the issue unfolds, we discover we've been reading the drug and alcohol induced day-dream of Moon Knight's alter ego... from his wheel chair. I'm a little lost at this point (maybe a MK fanboy can fill us in) but it appears that MK lost his ability to walk at some point and thus his ability to fight crime as Moon Knight. He's justifiably depressed, living life in a drunken, pain-killer laced stupor, praying to one day don the MK costume and play "hero" again.

We can only assume our man rises up from his wheel chair next issue, dons the old familiar costume and... well that's where i hope this thing picks up steam rather than losing it :)

So far, so good though... Huston's writing is on point (just dark enough), and Hitch is always a beast (though i'm not sure i'm real hype about the "bulkiness" of MK; this particular character might be better played as a "averagely muscle-bound" rather than "Savage Dragon" (any male character) or "Ed McGuinness" (any male hero) muscle-bound. B+

PS - I couldn't help but feel it when reading this, but it feels a lot like a Marvel version of Batman... Dark, gritty, do what it takes hero w/ a troubled past working primarily in the guts of "his" city? He's even got (or at least had, depending on how things unfold here) an alfred and mysterious (and super-hot) girlfriend.

It was all over when...

But wait! Can this MK statue somehow restore my ability to walk and play caped avenger once again??


06 April, 2006 09:54, Blogger Ryan X said...

I was equally impressed with this first issue. I really liked how it started all crime-fighting and hero stuff and then in a few panels plunged you into MK's dark depressive reality. Read the letter from Huston at the end, it sort of gives some details on MK's origin as a soldier in the desert etc. I am sure they will flesh that out as the story continues.

06 April, 2006 10:15, Blogger zilla said...

damn i'll have to go back and read that... i know next to ZERO about MK before this issue ;)

07 April, 2006 10:25, Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

I haven't read them, but I believe Moon Knight's legs were broken in the Marvel Knights series a couple of years back, his last regular appearance before popping up in a group shot during Avengers: Disassembled. Huston's said he's not rebooting the character and is working with as much of the history as reasonably possible, so I'm assuming this is set somewhere between those two appearances.

As for the Batman comparison, it's a lot more vague than most people assume. Check out this great interview/conversation between Huston and Doug Moench, Moon Knight's creator for some background on his history and why he's really not Marvel's Batman.

07 April, 2006 13:28, Blogger zilla said...

guy - your comments are always welcome my friend. good background on MK and i read that interview... interesting. i think the Batman comparisons are "at first glance" and gradually fade as you get into MK.


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4.6 Panel


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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

4.5 Panel

McGuinness is a beast...


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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

3.15 Shopping List

Ugh. How fast the week goes... i didn't even get to review half of what i wanted to from last week's box-clearing and all of a sudden it's upon us once again. So it goes...


BATMAN AND THE MONSTER MEN #6 (OF 6) - Man i never would've thunk it but i'm like a batman junkie now (if you judge by what i've been reading lately).
EX MACHINA #19 (MR) - Pull list. Always mucho anticpated.
EXTERMINATORS #4 (MR) - Pull list. Original, interesting, Tony Moore...
WINTER MEN #4 (OF 8) - Finally! It's been like 6 months (or more?) since the last issue... i was starting to think this title got the kiebash (sp?).


MARVEL TEAM-UP #19 - Pull list.
MOON KNIGHT #1 - Previews look money... we'll have to see about this one. I kind of dig superhero's with low(er) morals and that "do anything to get the job done" attitude.
PUNISHER #32 (MR) - Speaking of superhero's with low(er) morals and that "do anything to get the job done" attitude...



Filed in:


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Monday, April 03, 2006

4.3 Panel

I'm all caught up on Brubaker's Captain America (good stuff BTW)... save a few issues i couldn't track down...


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Quick thoughts on Savage Dragon #124

I picked up the first couple of SD trades a few months back and had a great time with both of them. I've got Vol. 3 on my wish list, and have added SD to my monthly pulls, so i guess i'm officially onboard w/ the big green.

Larsen has created a wild cast of uber-original characters, and SD as a whole is an intelligent, action-packed ride w/ some of the "biggest" action sequences i've seen (just about every issue is packed w/ huge 2-page spreads and head-knocking sequences that bust through panel boarders one after the other), and some wildly original story lines.

I have to admit i'm a bit lost here in the recent issues (just picked them up starting w/ #122) so hard to adequatly give thoughts on #124 here w/o coming across as an out-of-touch idiot. Def enjoyed the fight sequence though (i'm telling you this guys action art is incredible), and the laugh-out-loud barbs at the current white house administration...

Overall, SD is a fun read, with plenty of laughs and more action than you can shake a stick at. i think it's pretty damn cool that Eric Larsen is doing the writing, art, color, AND lettering for the new issues in order to maintain a "creative consistency".


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Sunday, April 02, 2006

4.2 Panel (and a bit about "Batman: Year 100")

I never did get around to reviewing issue #1 or #2 of Batman: Year 100 (i will once the run is complete), but i want it to be known that i'm really enjoying Paul Pope's mini far.

I admit at first i thought the art was crap (unfriendly commentary i know) but it's grown on me (i'm a fan now) and the writing has been exceptional... I'm enjoying Paul Pope's dark take on Gotham City in the future (as if Gotham needed to get any darker) and his solid 2030 (something) Commish Gordon and Batman, not to mention a pretty cool storyline...


03 April, 2006 00:57, Blogger Jim said...

If you're becoming a fan of Paul Pope, I would suggest Heavy Liquid and 100% out of DC, his short tale in Bizarro Comics and Solo #3. In that order, too.

03 April, 2006 04:05, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Don't you mean Batman Year One Hundred?

03 April, 2006 09:58, Blogger zilla said...

Oops - yeah i do. not sure why i mis-typed that title. thanks u.

and jim, i'll be looking into those titles thanks...


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Saturday, April 01, 2006

4.1 Panel

Much mushier than is typical Zilla style but Quitely's art is gorgeous (love the sand Lois is kicking up).


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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