Archive for April, 2010


The CHIKARA Video Game! …oh, and King of Trios 2010

April 26th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Last night I got back from yet another three days of awesome CHIKARA King of Trios action. For those out of the loop, CHIKARA is an amazing and super-fun indy wrestling federation that I follow the way hippies follow Phish. Every year, they do a tournament of sixteen teams of three, stretched over three shows in a weekend. Like every year, I had a complete blast.

I got to see a 6’8″ masked viking crush a midget dragon. I got to see the legendary Curry Man team up with CHIKARA team Los Ice Creams. I went to the fan conclave, where I got to defeat a guy dressed as a Ninja Turtle in Connect Four, sing “New York, New York” on karaoke with a turn-of-the-century baseball player (worth noting: Soldier Ant covering his ears in agony), and have a prom photo taken with wrestlers Jimmy “Equinox” Olsen and Jigsaw as I’m instructed to cradle a half-finished jug of orange juice in my arms like a baby and look at it “like a proud father”. On the last night of the show, Tommy Dreamer made a surprise appearance to put over the company and challenge Eddie Kingston to a match for next month.

But one of the biggest thrills I got came from the end of intermission. You see, these days, CHIKARA is being dominated by a stable of wrestlers called Die Bruderschaft des Kreuzes (“Brotherhood of the Cross”, BDK for short), made up of those who are angry at the company for one reason or another… as well as a giant viking guy. They’re such a force to be reckoned with that it seems like the tecnicos (good guys) and rudos (bad guys) will have to eventually join forces. Yet before intermission could end, the lights went out and this appeared on the big screens.

If you’re wondering, the wrestlers in the foreground are Worker Ant, Private Eye, Sumie Sakai, USApe, Mr. Zero, Blind Rage, Lance Steel, and Jervis Cottonbelly. I’m so down for this.

Nothing much is up so far on the CHIKARA: Rudo Resurrection website, but hopefully not for too long.

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Fourcast! 42: We’re The Losers, Baby

April 26th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

-We talk about The Losers, the recently released adaptation of Andy Diggle and Jock’s Vertigo comic.
-I mean, we kinda talk about it. We kinda go all over the place.
-You listen to the Fourcast, you know how it goes. Sometimes we just gotta talk about sitcoms.
-Something something Grey’s Anatomy.
-Blah blah John Constantine blah.
-David can’t tell actors apart.
-Chris Evans sidebar.
-A little bit about Shane Black.
Die Hard is from 1988, not 1989.
-Overall, though, we liked it. Solid B+, feel good 80s-style action movie of the spring. Nothing too deep, but you’ll never be bored.
-6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental for the theme music.
-See you, space cowboy!

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This Week in Panels: Week 31

April 25th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Just got back from CHIKARA’s King of Trios and I’m completely exhausted. I’ll do a little trip report of sorts later. For now, it’s panel time.

Amazing Spider-Man #628
Roger Stern, Lee Weeks, Mark Waid, Tom Peyer and Todd Nauck

American Vampire #2
Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, Stephen King and Rafael Albuquerque

Read the rest of this entry �

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One Piece: “Luffy… help.”

April 25th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

I talked about the shared storytelling techniques in Unforgiven and Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece last month. I was kinda bummed out, because the animated version of that chapter wasn’t online at the time, but Hulu recently put a whole bunch of episodes online, dubbed and subbed. So, re-read that essay and then come back here and watch this fantastic episode of One Piece.

I’d say that this is the main turning point in One Piece, the moment when you know whether or not you’ll like the series. I was interested way before, probably during the brief arc that introduced Zolo, but this here is where Oda’s style and planning start to pay off. Like every shonen manga ever, OP is about friendship and trying your hardest and being the best, but Oda’s use of screwball humor, clever pacing, and willingness to just let loose with the wackiest concepts and characters he can think of puts it a step above Dragon Ball Z or Naruto.

I do think that OP owes a lot to Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball, at least in terms of humor. Dragon Ball Z wasn’t a super serious affair, but it was several orders of magnitude more serious than its frankly ridiculous predecessor. Oda took the nigh-constant humor of Dragon Ball and spruced it up a little, resulting in a series that is a mix of genuinely funny jokes (Luffy’s “Oh, a mystery _____” when confronted with fairly simple ideas never fails to slay me, as does Chopper’s child-like terror on Skypiea), emotional confrontations that aren’t overbearingly emotionally manipulative, and seriously rocking fights.

One Piece is hands-down the best adventure comic.

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Down with the king.

April 23rd, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Julian Lytle’s Ants has a special guest star this week. You should click through and check it out. Open this youtube video and have it playing in the background while you read. Props to Julian.

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What Comics Taught Me This Week

April 23rd, 2010 Posted by Gavok

If you ever get paint spilled all over you or you fall into a big pile of mud, all you need is a really strong person to pull you out of it in one go!

I’m off for a couple days. CHIKARA’s King of Trios starts today in Philly. When I do come back, after the usual This Week in Panels update, I’m going to be starting up a 5-part series relating to a great man who relates to a movie coming out this summer. And if you don’t come back to read about him… well, I pity you.

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If I Could Nominate for the Harveys…

April 23rd, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Awards exist to make people mad. I mean, honestly, has anyone ever gone “Wow, those Oscars sure were on point this year?” Sandra Bullock won an Oscar and a Razzie in the same weekend, for the same role. She knows what’s up. This goes double for comics awards. Superhero fans speak out against indie bias. Indie fans feel eternally underrepresented. Everyone else is mad that they didn’t get nominated. Fans wage war like their life depended on it.

With that said, hey, Harvey nominations are open for the next twenty-four hours! Last year was interesting. Nascar Heroes #5 was nominated for Best Single Issue or Story, alongside Kyle Baker’s Nat Turner, a Love and Rockets, and The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard. Witchblade Takeru was nominated as one of the best manga of the year. So, you know, these aren’t perfect. I’m sure we’ll see some curveballs this year. But, at Deb Aoki‘s urging, I’m going to put my King of the World hat on and sit in my I Am Always Correct chair and tell you who should be nominated for what, as long as I’m familiar with the category. “Best Original Graphic Publication for Younger Readers?” I dunno, what do kids read these days? Amelia Bedelia? That should win it.

And before you tell me how wrong I am, or that I left off some book… look at this hat. Look at this chair.

C’mon, son.

I know you’re probably expecting Grant Morrison here, but he completely underwhelmed me in 2009. Ed Brubaker, another great writer, wrote Captain America: Reborn, which felt like a stumble in an otherwise great 50-issue run. So, who gets the nominations? Johnathan Hickman has managed to make intrigue and relatively new characters work in Secret Warriors to a fantastic degree. Naoki Urasawa’s Pluto packs all the emotional punches you need, just 500 zeus a body. John Arcudi and Mike Mingola’s BPRD: The Black Goddess is the best comic you didn’t read. Ed Brubaker’s Criminal: The Sinners, unlike his mainstream Marvel work, was good fun. Dark horse candidate: Zeb Wells for Dark Reign Elektra. Considering my apathy toward, or active stance against, the Dark Reign status quo, Dark Reign Elektra told a great tale, and is easily the best Elektra story since Frank Miller killed her.

Amanda Conner is the first name that pops to mind– she’s done some impressive work on Power Girl, particularly in terms of facial expressions and body language. Add in obvious front-runner JH Williams III for Detective Comics (overall page design/versatility), Takehiko Inoue for Vagabond (intense emotional work), Daisuke Igarashi for Children of the Sea (amazing seascapes), and Naoki Urasawa for Pluto (Atom’s hair) and you’ve got a great line-up. Tough to choose.

Last year was a strong year for cartoonists. Simple, off the top of my head, nominations should go to Darwyn Cooke (The Hunter), David Mazzucchelli (Asterios Polyp), and Naoki Urasawa (Pluto, 20th Century Boys) right off the bat. Inio Asano’s What a Wonderful World! was particularly strong, despite being older than 2008’s Solanin, but I don’t know that it’s award-worthy, at least not in this category. Stan Sakai’s Yokai, however, was fantastic, a veteran artist just having fun. Final spot goes to… Takehiko Inoue (Vagabond, Real). No one else flips styles like he does, and the story in both those titles is excellent.

In the end, I’d say that either Inoue or Mazzucchelli should walk away with this one. Both showed an absolutely appalling range of talent in their books. I’d be hard pressed to choose between the two.

I’m having trouble thinking of much lettering that knocked my socks off in 2009. Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp was inventive and enhanced the storytelling in the book, making it the front-runner for this section. 99% of Big Two comics last year had completely generic lettering. Some of the DC stuff used the old default lettering templates that used to be on Blambot. I love Viz’s books, but none of their lettering was anything but functional. Nothing fancy. Paul Pope’s lettering on Wednesday Comics stuck out and was distinctive. John Workman did a fantastic job on The Winter Men Winter Special. Clem Robins turned in quality jobs on 100 Bullets, BPRD, Wednesday Comics, and Unknown Soldier. Final spot goes to Jared K. Fletcher for co-lettering The Winter Men Winter Special (?) with John Workman, doing solid work on Young Liars and the criminally underrated Renee Montoya backup in Detective Comics.

Anybody but Danny Miki, I guess. Art Thibert on Mark Bagley looked okay, Kevin Nowlan inking Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez in Wednesday Comics was a treat.

Just throwing out some names here: Melissa Edwards (The Winter Men Special), Jose Villarubia/Lovern Kindzierski for their work on Paul Pope’s Wednesday Comics story, Paul Mounts for his work on Power Girl, Dave Stewart for BPRD. Laura Martin for her Rocketeer recoloring job.

Dave Johnson wrapped up 100 100 Bullets covers. JH Williams III got me to buy Detective Comics. Sean Phillips is doing amazing work on Criminal. Darwyn Cooke’s The Hunter stands out on the shelves. Inio Asano (and the Viz design team, I assume) had frankly spectacular covers for What A Wonderful World! 1 and 2. Pow. This one was easy.

The problem with this one is how you judge new talent. Does new mean actually new, like began working in the past [period of time]? Or does new mean new to the mainstream, for whatever value of mainstream you subscribe to? Give this one to Kate Beaton or Jay Potts.

Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Amanda Conner’s Power Girl (DC Comics) takes this one in a walk. Or they would, but there is some stiff competition from Naoki Urasawa’s Pluto, Daisuke Igarashi’s Children of the Sea, and Johnathan Hickman’s Secret Warriors. I think Mark Waid and Peter Krause’s Irredeemable just barely missed the cut. The first three or four issues were a little too “Mark Waid vs the Internet” for my taste, though the later issues picked up considerably. Batman & Robin‘s first three issues were fantastic, but the next three were terrible. C’est la vie. Number five is Brandon Graham’s fantastic King City.

Captain America, Spider-Man Noir, Power Girl, Pluto, or Real? Take your pick.

You can probably guess three of the entries here: The Hunter, Asterios Polyp, and Gogo Monster are the obvious picks. Empowered volume 5 was excellent, with a sublime blend of action and character work. The last entry for this category… Marian Churchland’s Beast. I loved it and said so, and I’d even say that Churchland deserves both a nomination and a win for this one.

The Complete Essex County, The Life and Times of Martha Washington in the Twenty-First Century, Vagabond volume 5 (Vizbig Edition), and I Kill Giants Titan Edition were all spectacular repackaging of previously collected material. The Martha Washington hardcover was beautifully designed, with a great red, white, and blue theme. Vizbig manga is the best kind of manga– three books at a time in a large size. The Titan Edition of I Kill Giants added a ton of pages to an amazing book, with gobs of special features after the story ended. Though I’m not a fan, I have to give it up to Absolute Promethea. The large pages really make JH Williams III’s art pop.

Most of the “foreign material” I read last year was manga. But, Abouet & Oubrerie’s Aya: The Secrets Come Out was great. Taiyo Matsumoto’s Gogo Monster was worth the cash. Urasawa’s Pluto was one of my favorite works. I’m going to point you in David Welsh’s direction for more suggestions. I read a lot of manga, but have very specific tastes. I love One Piece,, but I don’t know if it’s actually award-winning material.

Everything I read has people dying or cursing in it. I’m singularly unqualified for this one. The Muppet Show should definitely be nominated, though. Dinosaur Comics, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, GastroPhobia, and (obviously) Kate Beaton. Webcomics are funny. Comic books generally… aren’t.

4thletter! is the best, death to the rest.

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Annihilate Your Type If You Violate

April 22nd, 2010 Posted by david brothers

I quit the Avengers books. Bendis’s plotting was dragging, Dark Reign was bugging me, and I was honestly bored since some point around the middle of Secret Invasion. Billy Tan on art didn’t help. I also quit pretty much every DC comic. I love Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Amanda Conner’s Power Girl, and I check in on Batman & Robin once in a while (when Quitely and Stewart are on art, mainly), but that’s where it stops.

I didn’t quit Marvel’s cosmic books.

Over the past four years, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, with a strong assist from Keith Giffen, have quietly carved a stale and stagnant corner of the Marvel universe into a vibrant and fascinating sub-franchise. I’m not particularly a sci-fi guy, but DnA have written some frighteningly consistent books over the past four years, ones of such great quality that when you get an issue that’s merely “good,” you feel a little disappointed.

Ed Brubaker’s Captain America is a consistently good comic. Good, but a little too much of the same thing, month-in, month-out. You run out of things to talk about. Not so for this cosmic stuff. DnA plugged several shake-ups into their plotting, keeping their heroes rocking from status quo to status quo without feeling jarring. It fits together almost like a series of movies. You can hop in wherever you like, though some points are obviously better than others. But that’s okay. I’m here for you. Let’s talk about lame characters gone good, terrible concepts turned interesting, and nobodies turned heroes.

Let’s talk about outer space.


It began with Annihilation. An army of bug monsters from space, the Annihilation Wave, set about the destruction of all that is not them. The story is one thing. What’s important here are the characters.

There is Thanos. He was born on Titan, Saturn’s moon, to a race of godlike beings. He was born twisted and deviant, and lusts after the personification of Death. He’s committed genocide and attempted omnicide to gain Death’s favor, to no avail. When Death senses the Annihilation Wave coming, she describes it as “something wonderful.” Thanos allies himself with Annihilus so that he can partake and impress his love.

Drax the Destroyer used to be strong and dumb, an outer space version of the Hulk. Then, he died. When he came back, he was lean, smarter, and less strong, but doubly lethal. Drax was created for one reason, and one reason only: to destroy Thanos. The need to wipe Thanos off the face of the universe is in his genes. That is his goal, and when faced with his target, he can’t help but pull the trigger, and damn the consequences.

Before Drax was Drax, he was Arthur Douglas, father to Heather Douglas. On a trip through the desert, the Douglases witnessed Thanos landing in a spacecraft. Deciding to preserve his secrecy, the Mad Titan blasted their car. The blast instantly killed Heather’s parents and accidentally threw her clear. Thanos’s father took Heather to his homeworld and trained her to be one of them. Now she is Moondragon, a master martial artist, telepath, and scientist.

Imagine being the child of the greatest hero in space. Now, imagine being the genetically-grown kid sister of the heir to that legacy. And then, imagine that heir dying, and being the only one left alive to continue the family business. Phyla-Vell of the Kree, daughter of Mar-Vell, better known as Captain Marvel, knows exactly how that feels. Her father was a hero. She is nowhere near as popular. When Moondragon, her girlfriend, is kidnapped by Thanos, she’s forced into the spotlight.

The Silver Surfer, Norrin Radd, is a former herald of Galactus, the world-eater. He has little interest in seeking out worlds for his former master to find, but once Annihilus’s forces begin attacking Galactus’s heralds in an attempt to secure and weaponize Galactus himself… well, the Surfer is forced to make a decision.

Ronan the Accuser is a Kree warlord with a giant hammer. Desperately loyal to his people, even when placed on trial for treason, Ronan is forced to battle his own government to prove his innocence and expose the rot inside the Kree empire. When you are accused of a crime by Ronan, it is best to simply take what’s coming to you.

Unless you are Gamora, the most dangerous woman in the universe. She is Thanos’s adopted daughter, and part of a race with the unlikely name of “Zen Whoberi.” Thanos raised her to eliminate the Magus, the evil aspect of Adam Warlock. She worked with and for Thanos for years, and betrayed him when he revealed himself to be a threat. Lately, she’s been mind-controlled and her reputation has diminished. With the aid of Godslayer, her newfound sword, she wants to get back out there and make people fear her name once again.

Adam Warlock is the messiah. No, really. He’s here to save us all. The problem is that at some point in the future, he becomes the Magus, a religious demagogue, and works to enslave the universe. His loyalties shift and blur because of this, making him particularly untrustworthy. Messiah or doom–which is it?

Imagine Peter Parker joining the Green Lantern Corps and you have the basic building blocks of Richard Rider, better known as Nova, the Human Rocket. He has more or less the same origin as Hal Jordan, but at the point Annihilation begins, he’s just a foot soldier. He’s five years in to being a Nova Centurion, one of thousands, but forty-eight pages later, he’s the only one left. And since the Nova power is shared amongst the entire Nova Corps, what happens when Rich is forced to contain all of it? What happens when you send a man to war?

That’s all you need to know to get started. The story begins in Annihilation, which is composed of three volumes (Book 1, Book 2, and Book 3). Annihilation tells the complete tale of the Annihilation Wave, as well as laying the foundation for the revamping of Marvel’s cosmic universe. Later was Annihilation Conquest, which told of an opportunistic invasion by a crappy X-Men villain turned fearsome. This was collected in two volumes (Book 1 and Book 2), and told the story of a race that was bent on turning sentient beings into slaves. Annihilation Conquest set up two series. Guardians of the Galaxy was about a group of heroes who banded together to protect the universe from an oncoming threat. The galaxy had been rocked by two incredible threats, back to back, and enough was enough. Someone had to put a stop to it. In Nova, Rich Rider is faced with the daunting task of rebuilding the Nova Corps from scratch and policing a galaxy on his own.

While all this was going on, a mad earthling assumed control of the Shi’ar empire, a race of bird people. Others did not take kindly to this, which led to the War of Kings. The aftermath of the war, called Realm of Kings, left a hole in space, and that hole leads to something akin to hell. In another universe, life has completely defeated death. Lovecraftian elder gods and infected versions of heroes we know lurk in the darkness, waiting for their chance to push through.

At this point, DnA are dragging the cosmic heroes into another catastrophe. Their solo series are on hold for The Thanos Imperative. The Mad Titan is back, pissed, and stronger than ever before. Complicating matters is the incursion of the Lovecraftian monsters from the other universe, but when you pit the ultimate manifestation of life gone wild against a god who worships Death herself… well. We’ll see.

I can’t stress how solid DnA’s cosmic work has been. They’ve taken perennial z-listers like Star-Lord and Nova and turned them into multifaceted, interesting characters. They’ve taken goofy concepts like Annihilus and the Phalanx and made them into believable threats. And they have done it month-in, month-out, since 2006.

That kind of dependable quality isn’t anywhere else in comics right now, save for Mike Mignola and John Arcudi’s BPRD. This cosmic stuff where the great stuff is hiding out at Marvel right now. There have been a few mis-steps. CB Cebulski’s two-issue Darkhawk miniseries was perfect deleted scene material and entirely missable. Some of the art has been questionable, but never for too long. But, if you don’t read Marvel, or you don’t read this part of Marvel, you’re missing that good stuff. Get familiar.

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April 21st, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Booze, Broads, & Bullets was not going to be a week at first. It wasn’t going to have posts by other people, either. No, I had the great idea of reading Frank Miller’s entire collected body of work and doing a post on every single book over the period of– well, I don’t know how long. I know I own almost all of his trade paperbacks, save for things like Bad Boy and his ’80s charity/one-off stuff, and that’s like 19 or 23 books. At that point, writing that much over a short period of time, essentially doing with Tim Callahan did with Grant Morrison: The Early Years, would leave me dead, depressed, or worse. I think a book on Miller’s work like Tim’s book would be fantastic, but not writing it myself over a short period of time. So, instead, I drafted some friends, turned it into a week, and we went at it. Booze, Broads, & Bullets speaks for itself, I think. What you see is what you get. We had a team-up. You were great.

About three weeks before BB&B, I began the process of rereading every Miller book I owned. I put my already sizable to-read stack on pause, making occasional breaks particularly enticing new purchases, and breathed Frank Miller for a few weeks. At some point during this process, I think during the first week, Tucker Stone emailed me and told me that I absolutely had to read James Ellroy’s American Tabloid trilogy. I quote: “This was made for your brain.” He was right. Tucker is a guy who knows good books. He takes bad ones to task, yes, but when it comes to recommending books, Tucker doesn’t steer you wrong. And he didn’t this time, not even close.

My days were Frank Miller. Lunch breaks at work, that week I had to ride the bus because it was raining too hard to bike, and a bit of the evenings were dedicated to reading about hard men and harder women. That hour I usually spend in bed staring at the ceiling before I fall asleep was given over to James Ellroy, Kemper Boyd, Ward Littell, the Beard, and Jack Kennedy. I knocked out American Tabloid in two weeks, longer than I usually take for real books, and moved on to The Cold Six Thousand. I’m about halfway through it right now.

I’m addicted to Amazon. I’ve got Prime and I make an obscene number of orders a year. I made an order during BB&B, round about halfway through the week. I pick up One Piece 24-27 (four for three? shoot, I’ll take advantage of that all day), the beginning of the Skypiea arc, and Usagi Yojimbo volumes one through three. It wasn’t until I got them and looked at them that I’d realized what I’d done. I’d ordered four violent children’s books and three violent rabbit samurai books, but ones with an all-ages kind of violence.

I needed a break from crime, bastards, and brutality, apparently. And those are pretty much my favorite ingredients in fiction.

The same kind of thing happened last year. I was doing regular reviews of Lone Wolf & Cub from spring to summer. I made it almost exactly two months in, writing up six volumes of Lone Wolf & Cub, one of Path of the Assassin, and then a few miscellaneous posts that weren’t focused on anyone book, before quitting. I own at least nine of these books, and I was burning through a book a week or so, so I know I read several I didn’t write about.

The thing about Lone Wolf & Cub is that it is very… dry. It’s fairly formulaic, you can guess story beats once you make it to volume three or so, and it is just a miserable read. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but absorbing all of that in a short period of time? It’s not very pleasant. By the end, I didn’t even want to think about the series again. Ogami Itto was too perfect, and his setting too horrible. It was a Debbie Downer, is what I’m saying. So, I took a break. I found something else to do. I took a few days off and came back talking about Asterios Polyp.

I was actually talking about detoxing from comics to Esther the other day. She’s frustrated with the direction of DC in general, with a specific focus on the Green Arrow family. DC has several books that have been piling misery upon misery for years at this point. The Teen Titans franchise, whether Teen Titans proper or the grown-up and trashy Titans, has been toxic since long before Geoff Johns left in 2007. The Green Arrow titles have been tripping from tragedy to tragedy ever since Green Arrow and Black Canary got married.

It gets old. At some point, you’ve got to have some kind of a release for all the misery and pain. I’ve read that Ian Sattler and Dan Didio have been saying that Cry For Justice “worked” because people are upset about the book. And well, no, it didn’t work. People are mad at the book and what happened in it, but not because it’s sad. They’re mad because it’s just another body on the pile. Ted Kord’s death was sad. Lian Harper’s death was pointless, cheap theatrics meant to shock you, rather than make you actually feel anything. But hey, yell “BOO!” at someone often enough and they stop caring.

Why did one straw break the camel’s back? Here’s the secret: the several dozen dead or maimed bodies underneath it. Lian’s chilling with Gehenna, the girl who was tortured and killed so that Black Firestorm could live in White Firestorm’s head in a bunch of comics I’m not going to ever read.

Daredevil’s life has sucked for years. Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev’s Daredevil helped draw me into reading monthly comics again, but I quit the series sometimes during Brubaker’s run. I got tired of watching Daredevil’s life spiral into misery, over and over and over again. I’m tired of that story. I’m numb to it. No, that’s not right. I don’t care. Spider-Man’s life sucks. The writers throw him curveballs every couple of months to shake things up. But, there are issues where he hangs out with his friends. There are horribly sad issues. There are happy issues. There are bittersweet issues. There is a mixture of content, which makes sure that each punch to the gut actually feels like a punch to the gut.

I got my first tattoo back in March. I was asking about how much it’d hurt, and the guy told me that after a certain amount of time (or trauma), the body goes into a kind of shock and you barely feel anything. That didn’t happen with the tattoo, but it absolutely happens with comics.

I’m supposed to feel bad for Roy Harper when he’s imagining his daughter screaming and crawling and dying slowly in the rubble of her house. But hey, guess what! I don’t. I don’t care at all. I’m more amazed/offended/appalled at how blatantly emotionally manipulative and inept all of it is, like the comics had been written by and for people who only had superhero comics as a reference point and had never seen a good movie or read an actual book. Hysterical melodrama-infused superhero decadence in the worst way. It’s a sob story, only the person telling it doesn’t know when to pull back and stop layering in unnecessary details.

But hey, wack writers tell wack stories.

Storytelling is essentially lying. It’s making up a new truth and hoping people believe it. The trick to being a good liar is to keep it simple and effective. When Crossed, Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows’s incredibly violent and obscene zombie miniseries, treats the death of a child in a more reasonable and mature way than a DC Comics-branded comic book, you’ve got a problem. Your emperor has no clothes. We don’t believe in you or your stupid stories.

You want to know my review of Cry For Justice and Blackest Night and all these other comics that keep banging that one drum and then go “GOTCHA!” when you go “Ew, what is this?”

“Who cares.”

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Realm of Kings For Cheap!

April 20th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Amazon’s running a 71% off deal for the Realm of Kings hardcover that drops later this year. Summary:
Collecting three Realm of Kings series in one power-packed hardcover. In Imperial Guard, one hazardous mission may be the solution that everyone is praying for, but are the opinionated and fractured Guard tough enough – and united enough – to accomplish it? And in Inhumans, now led by Queen Medusa, the battered and bruised royal family struggles to maintain their grip on the reigns of power. Courtly intrigues and external threats are beginning to erode their rule, but the biggest threat may lurk within the family itself! Then in Son of Hulk, meet a new monster for a new age, and a challenger to the warring Kings of the Cosmos…he is Hiro-Kala, Son of Hulk, and this young apocalyptic visionary has a destructive destiny: obliterate the Universe! Collects Realm of Kings: Inhumans #1-5, Realm of Kings: Son of Hulk #1-4, and Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1-5.

These were all pretty good, and eleven bucks for 330+ pages? That’s a great deal. Preorder it if you like.

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