Sunday, June 29, 2008

I'm still alive!

I'm still alive! I'll post plenty of pics and stories when I return!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Marvel's September Solicits

Remember when I mentioned Garth Ennis' run on Punisher being put out in a new hardcover? F*%& that. F*%& that hardcore. In September, Marvel releases this bad-@$$ sh*t:
Written by GARTH ENNIS
The bodies of drug dealers, murderers and the scum of the Earth litter the streets...the Punisher is back — courtesy of writer Garth Ennis! The critically acclaimed creator that brought you Preacher restores one of the most popular characters in the Marvel Universe to his former glory and ultra-violent roots. Stripped of sidekicks, spiritual directives and other excess baggage, the vengeance-crazed vigilante hits the mean streets of New York City with a renewed sense of purpose! Lawbreakers beware: Frank Castle is locked, loaded and waiting for you to slip up! Collecting PUNISHER (2000) #1-12, PUNISHER KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE, MARVEL KNIGHTS DOUBLE SHOT #1, and PUNISHER (2001) #1-7 and #13-37.
1192 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$99.99
ISBN: 978-0-7851-3383-4
Trim size: oversized

Holy f*%&. That's 1192 pages of Ennis-style Punisher. Wow. I'm not buying anything else that month other than Final Crisis 4 and this.

Also, I hate Marvel:
Penciled by J.G. JONES
Cover by J.G. JONES
FIRST TIME IN HARDCOVER! Meet Marvel Boy — a.k.a Noh-Varr of the Kree Empire, last survivor of a doomed starship. He’s seen good friends killed by sheer ignorance and hate, and his welcome to Earth consisted of imprisonment and torture. Now he’s angry — and if necessary, he’ll take on our entire planet in the name of love, justice and the freedom to ride in his spaceship.
Collecting MARVEL BOY #1-6.
160 PGS./Rated T+ ...$24.99
ISBN: 978-0-7851-3440-4
Trim size: standard

Why? Why after I just spent money buying the individual issues? I hate you, Marvel but at the same time, I love you for Ennis.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

DC's September Solicits

Another month, and another list of releases from the Big Two. With September, Final Crisis reaches the mid-way point, and all the ridiculous tie-ins and mini-series gets even more numerous and questionable quality becomes the name of the game.

In terms of the solicits, there's only one thing that stands out: Final Crisis 4.
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by J.G. Jones and Carlos Pacheco
Covers by J.G. Jones
It's one month after the Anti-Life Equation was released worldwide. Millions now toil as slaves of Darkseid, while the Justifier shock troops of Apokolips lay waste to the planet Earth and hunt down its protectors.
The remaining free humans and superheroes are stationed around the world, besieged within the walls of ten very familiar 'Watchtowers', as they fight a desperate, losing battle against the triumphant forces of evil.
While Green Arrow and Black Canary attempt to deliver the secret of humanity's last hope across America's blasted wastelands, the Outsiders brave the horrors of the Bludhaven bunker in search of Batman. The ultimate battle is coming...but which heroes will become villain – and vice versa? And what part do the Secret Society have to play in the dawning of this new Age of Evil?
Darkness is falling and death rules the day. Is this truly the end of the Age of Super Heroes? Don't miss FINAL CRISIS #4: “How to Murder the Earth!”
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers by J.G. Jones that will ship in approximately 50/50 ratio. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale September 17 • 4 of 7 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
I mean, read that synopsis and tell me you don't want to read it. This sounds so balls-to-the-wall that I almost want to time-travel to read it. Yeah, it may have started slow, but it seems that come the third and fourth issue of Final Crisis, we're going to be kicking ass and taking names.

Unfortunately, that's it for September. Not much else. Sorry, DC, but my money is going elsewhere.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Frugal Fridays!

I've kinda missed some Frugal Fridays in the past month, but I'd thought I would pop into the blog and post what I purchased in the past week.

dinner at Boston Pizza
beer at The Zoo (the bar on Osbourne)
Chinese food
underwear, socks, and T-shirts for work

That's all. I know - pretty boring. But I needed the underwear and socks and I really needed shirts for work. They're just plain ones that go underneath my jacket. I haven't purchased any comics, not even any single issues. In fact, I've avoided the comic shop completely so that I don't spend any money whatsoever. When Final Crisis 2 comes out, I'll purchase that, along with the next issue of Fantastic Four, but otherwise... I can't afford it.

So that's my Frugal Friday that is really Frugal.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Jack Kirby: Master of Strange

Here's a double page spread from Jack Kirby's OMAC, issue 3. OMAC is the best fightin' comic ever, by the way, and this creature or whatever, is the best thing ever in a Jack Kirby comic. Look at it. Plus, the skull giants. Awesome.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mini-Reviews: Brand New Day

I've previously reviewed a couple issues of Spider-Man's Brand New Day story here and here. Now that the thrice-monthly title is nearing the six month mark, I thought I'd review each individual arc and see what's shaking, finishing with the newest issue that came out this week. Here goes.

Issues 546-548 - Dan Slott and Steve McNiven

The introductory arc is pretty much mostly set-up. We're introduced, very quickly, to the entire supporting cast, including the mysterious Jackpot, Mister Negative, Mr Bennett, owner of the Daily Bugle, and some girls who are possible love interests. Parker's money problems are given first place in terms of conflict, while a mugger wearing a Spidey mask, and the new villain take passenger seat. This is a good arc that highlights Slott's amazing skill are writing Spider-Man dialogue. The art is also fairly solid. A good first arc, not great.

Issues 549-551 - Marc Guggenheim and Salvador Larroca

Now that the pieces are put into place, the Spidey-Braintrust lays out more problems for Peter Parker, including a "gray Goblin", a really naive and amateurish Jackpot, and supercops after the unlicensed Spider-Man. Guggenheim writes a really good Spider-Man, with puns and jokes that show how much he really talks during a fight. Larroca's art is a little too
serious for my taste, but it's still very nice. I like how the Spider-Tracer and Jackpot are ongoing plots, like a soap. This is very good.

Issues 552-554 - Bob Gale and Phil Jimenez

Parker's money problems and his problems with the DB (the new Daily Bugle) are at the forefront, while a new villain, a meth addict turned evolving freak (thanks to stealing some of Doc Connors' experiments) is the big bad this month. Gale, who wrote Back To The Future, writes a really old-school Spider-Man story, without the spark and verve of Dan Slott's dialogue. This was probably the worst arc that I've read, and it pains me to say so considering that the great Jimenez is on pencils. Nothing really jumped out at me with this arc save for the artwork, otherwise this was an average read.

Issues 555-557 - Zeb Wells and Chris Bachalo

I have previously reviewed an issue from this arc, but I never read the rest of it. This was a terrific arc with terrific dialogue and terrific art. In a huge blizzard, some scientist is going to sacrifice some of Spidey's supporting cast (by coincidence) to an ancient Mayan god, but Spidey and Wolverine have a better idea. Effectively using the supporting cast that we know next to nothing about is the highlight of this entire arc. I was so impressed by the quality of writing in this and by the quality of arc. This is what Brand New Day is all about.

Issue 558 - Bob Gale and Barry Kitson

I thought Kitson was awesome, allegedly. Certainly not in this issue. Gale continues his boring run on Freak with this final issue that shows that Kitson can't draw Spider-Man - he's too frowny. Also, everybody looks like they're from a 90's era Image comic. The best thing I can say about this issue is that a lot of the threads from previous arcs are picked up again, like Menace and Freak and the cops and JJJ. Nothing's resolved, but this is serial storytelling, so who knows when and if they will? This issue was okay.

Issues 559-561 - Dan Slott and Marcos Martin

Peter Parker paparazzi? That's the main thrust of the plot behind this arc, along with a mysterious new supervillain called Paperdoll who gets really thin and stuff. This arc features a terrific panel layout job by one Marcos Martin, who also gives great Romita Sr-style clothes and hair to people, but is unfortunately not adept at facial expressions. Slott's dialogue is predictably good, and his introduction of Mary Jane also good. It's too bad it was just a lackluster affair with the paparazzi and the Paperdoll stuff.

Issue 562 - Bob Gale and Mike McKone

Bob Gale's Bookie storyline comes to a head when he sets up Screwball (the villain from last arc) to dress as Spider-Man and Peter Parker hits the bar with no name, the bar filled with villains. Classic Parker luck. Well, again, Gale is inept at writing dialogue that doesn't sound flat or thirty years old, but this time, the story is more interesting, and again, uses the supporting cast very effectively. I believe this is part one of a two-parter, and so far I'm enjoying it.


4 out of 7 arcs are good, with the other 3 being either average or terrible, and this brings it to a 57 percent success rate in my book. So, Amazing Spider-Man, you pass with a C-. I will continue reading this, but I probably will never buy it in trade form. That is, until JRjr gets on board.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pardon the break....

So I haven't posted in a bit because of work issues. About three months ago I was transferred to another location in the company in order to help bring it back up to the corporate standards, and finally the location became stable. Then I wake up the other day and my boss's boss calls me and tells me I'm being transferred again, this time to a location that's a little bit more convenient for me, but has less opportunity to move up in that specific location. So I was a little stressed out the past little bit, as I wasn't sure if I was going to ever get the promotion I'm looking for. Well, I won't at this store, but the opportunity to work with the bosses' boss and learn from him is invaluable for my career. Anyway, I just thought I'd tell you about that, and let the regular content begin anew.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Kind of a big week for comics. There's a bunch of titles I wanna read, but haven't got the money so.... Anyway, here's another batch of Mini-Reviews! for ya!

Detective Comics 845

I haven't read any of Dini's run on this title, but I've read enough reviews to think that maybe this is worth reading. And yes, it is worth reading. A done-in-one story about a new serial killer, this issue continues the ongoing idea of Edward Nigma as a private detective, a great concept that Dini plays with very effectively on this issue. With terrific art by Dustin Nguyen, I was really impressed by what Dini managed to accomplished in so little time. It's too bad he doesn't play fair with the central mystery, but any comic that has Detective Chimp chatting online and using "lol" is a good comic.

Amazing Spider-Man 561

Nope, I haven't read any of the other two issues in this three issue arc, and I probably didn't need to. Dan Slott and Marcos Martin serve up a well-written and well-drawn Silver Age style Spider-Man adventure featuring a confused villain, great Parker-wit and enough forward movement on subplots to keep me reading the next issue. Parker is apparently one of the paparazzi and he's after this famous movie star, who's shacking up with Mary-Jane Watson (who Parker has never met - groan) and this new villain, Paper Doll is a teen obsessed with the movie star. They fight in the movie star's mansion while MJ and Parker trade jokes via intercom. It's a well written scene. The art is fairly terrific, emulating that Romita Sr vide while still being slick and modern. I think we can all agree that Slott's a good writer, so let's call this issue good.

The Boys 19

Holy infodump. I had trouble finishing this issue. The first issue of a new arc about some sort of war plane and the military industry complex and a clandestine meeting between the Superfriends and the Boys. The art by Robertson is overly sketchy and dark and uninteresting and the plot itself moves nowhere fast. I didn't laugh once and I was bored by the incessant exposition. I love the first 18 issues, but this is a bit of a clunker. You'd think Ennis would be able to set up an arc smoother than this. Yeesh.

Ultimates Origins 1

In a word: boring. Mostly a flashback issue, Bendis and penciller Butch Guice take you back to World War Two where Nick Fury, Wilson Fisk and James Howlett are doing stuff like robbing the invaders. Fury gets thrown in the brig and then gets thrown into a secret facility where they give him super-soldier serum and same with Logan but in Canada. Apparently this mini-series is going to tie all the threads together but I guessed at the events in this first issue already. Not impressed. The art was predictably good though. Guice is a classic penciller, kind of like Neal Adams, but not as stylized. The story however... oy.

Trinity 1

Sure why not? Three titles for Batman, two for Superman, one for Wonder Woman, one for a team-up of Bats and Supes and one for all three called Justice League. Aren't there enough Big Three stories out there? This one, however, is a weekly and written by Kurt Busiek and drawn by Marvel defector Mark Bagley, who's been drawing Spider-Man for almost 20 years. This first issue sets up a lot and is fairly okay. The art's predictable and acceptable, the two words that best describe Bagley's art. I don't know. This wasn't necessary.

Tarot - Witch of the Black Rose

This week I'd thought I'd check out one of Chris Sims' favourite series ever, a masterpiece by Jim Balent about doing it and being naked and having big gazongas. And what an issue to start with. Tarot gives us some background information about herself, her jumblies and her faux-lesbian relationship with a were-cat - whatever the eff that is. Anyway, there's some tatas and some mellons and some fun bags and some hooters and some bahama mamas and some tig ol' bitties and the list goes on. I've never read a comic before that was - first of all - so damn serious, and secondly, so full of the mammaries. The plot, if one can call it, is that some kid was collecting faeries with naked jugs, of course, and they're dying (decaying to skeletons, save for their twins). So a male counterpart to Tarot who keeps the balance between magic and man (what the f*%&?) has to kill the entire family of the boy. Then Tarot cries and goes home to the were-cat (whatever the eff that is). Wow. Terrible art, terrible dialogue, terrible plot, terrible terrible terrible. This might be the best thing ever.

Kick-Ass 3

Wow. It's been awhile since I've read Mark Millar and John Romita Jr's Kick-Ass. In fact, the second issue came out in the beginning of April. Jeez. Alrighty then, let's take a look at the third issue and see what's shaking.

Dave is a phenomenon now, thanks to YouTube and his stand against the Puerto Ricans. He's got thousands of friends on MySpace and dozens of e-mails asking for help. He struts around school like a cool muthaf*%&a and is hanging out with the resident school hottie (who thinks he's gay and he's pathetic enough to play along). He decides to visit a local drug dealer who's been making harassing calls to his ex - the ex who asked Dave for help via MySpace. So Dave shows up, makes some threats and gets beaten up. Until this little kid sows up with a huge katana and slices and dices the sh*t outta the drug dealers, including slicing one big guy's head in half. Gross. And we end with a To Be Continued.

Same positives and same negatives with this issue. JRjr's art is beyond superlatives. Millar's writing relies too much on current era hipster stuff like MySpace (which is falling to the wayside, if you ask me). With this issue, however, he's setting up a fairly okay subplot, with people wanting to follow in Dave's footsteps and crossing the line and murdering. It's interesting, and perhaps a chance for Dave to grow as a character, but he is still not someone I really want to root for.

And can I just say that these are some of the most brutal fights I've ever seen in a comic book? Just nasty bloody messy affairs. Not that I'm complaining - I like it. If this title has anything going for it beyond JRjr's art, it's the quality and the realism of the fights. I like 'em.

Now that we're at the halfway point of this series, I think I will admit that I like it. I'm not sure I will in the collected format as each issue seems to have a pattern and will grate on my nerves in one sitting, but in a monthly format, I'm digging it. Okay Millar, show me what you got next.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


I love James Robinson's
Starman. I didn't think I would, considering it's a niche of Golden Age love letters and purple prose. But as the series went on, and Jack Knight, the seventh Starman, became more and more of a three dimensional character that changed and grew, I fell in love. There was also the skill that Robinson brought to the table, a skill with which he crafted an eighty issue continuous story. I think it's the reveal of the mysterious 1950's Starman to Jack Knight is when I fell madly in love with it, considering that reveal had been set up sixty issues previously. I have the complete series, lacking only The Shade mini-series and the two issue mini-series Batman/Hellboy/Starman, written by Robinson and drawn by Mike Mignola (creator of Hellboy). I finally got my chance to read this mini-series, and what do I think?

We open with Batman chasing the Joker through the dark moody streets of Gotham, but when the Joker gets away, Batman suspects he's planning something huge. Later, he meets with Ted Knight, the first Starman, who's giving a talk in Gotham about alternative energy, but during the speech, some magical Nazis burst in and kidnap him. This causes the BPRD to send Hellboy to Gotham to help the Dark Knight with some detective work.

After some sniffing around and some weird tough guy banter, Batman and Hellboy stumble across a private airfield where Ted Knight is being carted off. They attack and during the confusion, the plane leaves. Batman and Hellboy decide to chase after it into the Amazonian jungle, but the Joker's masterplan comes to fruition and Batman can't leave. Enter Jack Knight, the seventh Starman.

So Jack and Hellboy take a Bruce Wayne plane to South America, and invade the secret Nazi lair, where they're trying to bring an Elder God into this world. Ted Knight was kidnapped so he could help with the science aspect of the mysterious magic. Anyway, they release the elder Starman and fight the Elder God, and explode a bunch of magic Nazis. Jack Knight, himself, fends off the Elder God for a bit while Hellboy recites a Lemurian prayer or something like that. So they defeat it and then the Batplane shows up to pick them all up. The end.

Uh.... what the hellmanf*%&? I don't understand why Batman and Starman couldn't have played in the Hellboy-Nazi-smashin' sandbox together? I was super disappointed that Batman exits on page one of issue 2. I was okay with Jack Knight entering on the final page of issue 1, because I'm patient enough to deal with set-up. But there was no set-up. This could have simply been a Batman-Hellboy team-up or a Starman-Hellboy team-up. Either character was inconsequential to the plot.

The dialogue was fine for Jack Knight, but Hellboy wasn't really all that sardonic like he is when written by Mignola. As well, Batman was too tough guy for me, example: "Morty wasn't a hard nut to crack. One look at you and he was as good as shelled". Really? Really? How could my eyes not roll at that?

Of course the art is okay; I'm not really a fan of Mignola, but it's just that he's not to my taste. If he is, then this is probably really good art. I don't know.

As well, I have to say that plot was pretty worn. Now, I'm a big fan of the genre of Nazi-smashin'. There's no better villain than a good ole fashioned Nazi. But Nazi trying to bring an Elder God back? It seems tame by Hellboy standards. It's also the plot of the first Hellboy movie, so yawn.

I don't know. This mini-series wasn't all that great, but I think I just expected so much more from it considering my love for Robinson. I guess you can't win every time. I'd recommend this for fans of Hellboy mostly. Fans of Starman are generally collectors and completists so they'd have this already. Batman fans are just going to be confused and uninterested.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Why did J'onn Jonzz have to die?

In the pages of Final Crisis 1, Libra, the mysteriously resurrected villain kills the Martian Manhunter with a spear of flame. The death is so short that it only takes up one panel.

Now, knowing Grant Morrison, I know that lots of important things happen very quickly in his densely plotted stories. Try reading his run on JLA, and tell me that it isn't ridiculously densely plotted. So I'm okay with J'onn being killed in one panel. That's not what throws me off. What kind of makes me ill is that we know that J'onn survives until the 853rd century, in which he has become a sentient desert on Mars, while he waits for the Resurrection Man and Vandal Savage to fight so that he can give them the "kryptonite" which is actually a Green Lantern ring. Not only does this rob the
Final Crisis storyline of some resonance, but it also robs DC One Million of its power. And, uh, also, J'onn is awesome. Easily one of the best characters in the JLA. He's mysterious, inhuman while being the most human, likes Oreos, and is powerful enough to be a big gun. This is me being an annoying fanboy, I'm afraid. It could all be for nothing - we know nothing of Morrison's longterm plans for Final Crisis. Still... I'm going to go re-read DC One Million to drown my sorrows.

Secret Invasion 3

Oy. So with the last issue, my problems could be summed up with lack of momentum, and that's saying a lot considering how much action there is, but how little plot there is. With the third issue, Bendis and Yu keep ratcheting up the action, but is there any substance to this series yet?

The short answer? Yes and no.

Finally the threads that have been dangling in
The Mighty Avengers and The New Avengers are being picked up, and that includes, yes, the return of Nick Fury and his Howlin' Commandos. We also see the queen, in the guise of Spider-Woman, have a total mind-f*%& with Tony Stark, who's delirious from a virus and is trying to piece back together his armor. That's an effective scene. We also have a creepy scene in which Jarvis lands on the downed helicarrier and requests for a full surrender. There's also a two page scene with the Skrull Captain Marvel having trouble kicking butt cause he's torn and Norman Osborn taking advantage of that.

Other than that, the rest of the issue is a massive chaotic fight between the Young Avengers/The Initiative and the army of Super-Skrulls. It's drawn fairly well and I was able to follow along with the action, so that's something at least. Unfortunately, Bendis chooses to kill off a couple characters, including one he's already killed before. Yawn.

The dialogue was fairly average, other than the Spider-Woman/Iron Man scene, and the art was fairly decent. The story didn't move especially that fast, but then again, we still have five full issues to go, so who knows? I keep waiting for something major to happen, and not much has, unlike the first issue. We'll see.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I went horseback riding...

...and now I have horse flu. "a lay of the land" takes a couple days off to recuperate. I will return with details on the horseback riding.

Monday, June 2, 2008

This Purchase is Cool

Today I made one of the coolest purchases I've ever made. And it was only for 5 dollars. It's so cool that I had to grab the camera to show it. Yes, what I purchased was books. No big deal, it's not like I have a thousand books to read. But this was too cool to pass up. It's a boxed set of Robertson Davies' Deptford Trilogy, generally considered the writer's greatest works.

I'm driving home from dropping off the g/f at work, and I remember that there was this bookstore called "Books and Crannies" on Corydon that I had passed previously and wanted to stop in. So I drive down Corydon and it's 5:30 so there's no parking allowed on the street. I turn down a side street with the intent to park there, but apparently so did a thousand other people. Infuriated, I drive down some back alleys and stumble upon another side street about forty kilometers from this stupid bookstore. Walking in the sun, I'm sweating, but jazzed for a bookstore. Once I enter the store, I'm greeted by a fairly unattractive woman who tells me she just bought the place last month and had her mom organize the shelves, which means the shelves are poorly organized. In spite of this, the proprietor offers a 25 percent discount on everything. Sweet!

She gives me the tour, the "literature" section, the "mystery" section, the "romance" section and the "action" section. Immediately, I catch sight of The Golden Notebook in the "action" section, a novel which features enough face-kicks to appease Chris Sims. I chuckle at this and point it out the proprietor who in turns remarks that this is why she's giving a discount. (I also find Mordecai Richler in the "war fiction" section).

After asking me which section Irving Wallace should be filed under, she leaves me alone and I wander the aisles. I'm impressed to find Dhalgren, Triton, Nova, Cryptonomicon, Hyperion and Carrion Comfort in the "sci-fi" and "horror" sections. You should always be able to measure the quality of the used bookstore by how much Delany and Stephenson you can find.

On a whim, I go to the "Canadiana" section and I find this:

Yes. Beautiful. I open it up, and see this:

Wow. Penguin editions. Which means they'll look the same. I take them out of the box and see this:

What great f*%&ing designs. Stark and beautiful and strangely retro, in keeping in with Davies' style. Now, I have to admit that I already own
The Deptford Trilogy in an omnibus edition (man I am a sucker for omnibuses), and I am proud to say that I have read it.

Fifth Business remains one of my favourite Canadian novels that I have ever read. Davies' prose is immaculate and the careful weaving of history and magic and innocence and allegory is astounding. Every Canadian high school should have Fifth Business on their syllabus. It's the story of Duncan Ramsey, a man obsessed with magic, hagiography, his own past and his own position in life. It's a great novel that gets better with the other titles.

The Manticore is about the a tertiary character from the first novel, but who is essential to the plot. As with the previous novel, Davies employ a lot of Carl Jung's theories and archetypes into the novel. I really enjoyed this one as a time capsule, when in the Seventies, everybody was obsessed with psychoanalysis (including a mister Woody Allen).

Finally, the trilogy ends with
World Of Wonders, a novel about a secondary character from the first novel, and his life experiences as a magician. This one I don't remember as well as Fifth Business, but if it has to do with stage magic, I'm game.

Magic and spirituality and religion are important themes being played with in the trilogy. Many characters' lives intersect with sleight of hand and the stage and with the religious institutions in 20th century Canada. Rather than contrast magic with religiosity, Davies compares spirituality with the institutions of the realm. He's more interested with why the obsessions that move us, rather than the obsessions themselves.

They're gorgeously written, and with this edition, gorgeously designed. I love Robertson Davies and every once in a while, feel bad that he's gone and can no longer entertain the world with his wit and talent.

For 5 dollars and a 25 percent discount, yeah I can afford re-buying Davies.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I don't really want to spend a billion hours reviewing these, so I'm just going to go ahead and "Mini-Review" them. So here we go.

All-Star Superman 11

I reviewed the tenth issue a while back and thought it was pretty much the perfect Superman story. Well... in this issue, Solaris makes an appearance. Yes, the tyrant sun from DC One Million. With an army of Super-bots, Kal-El puts on a protective suit and punches the tyrant sun into submission. Yeah, that's right, Superman punched a red sun. And Luthor's plan comes to fruition and he now has superpowers while Superman is close to death. I cannot wait for the final issue in August. This is a great comic and a great series. This might be the best Superman story I've ever read, or at least, one of the best. It's better than Alan Moore's Superman stories. Yeah, I said that.

New Avengers 41

Well, finally we see some Avengers in an Avengers comic. And again, the back story running in New and Mighty is better than the story running in Secret Invasion. Maybe not better, but more satisfying. I'm excited to read the big picture that Bendis is laying down. Anyway, in this issue, Spider-Man gets separated from the fight in the Savage Land, and meets up with Ka-Zar and Shanna, who tell him of their perspective of when the New Avengers showed up in the Savage Land and got blown to smithereens. It's fairly obvious now, but those SHIELD agents were Skrulls and were mining vibranium to make weapons. One of them drops a major hint and says that they have a Skrull in the New Avengers. Does this mean Spider-Woman? Who knows? Anyway, it's a decent issue with some decent art. Just another piece of the puzzle.

Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men

Whatever. I haven't been reading this very closely, and I haven't been impressed since the first arc and the third arc. Otherwise, it's been a rather average X-Men series with some decent dialogue and some decent art. It pisses me off that Whedon did away with the Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely costume designs right away. OH well. In this issue, it can't possibly be a shock that Whedon "kills" Kitty. But not really as the death is so inconclusive it's only a matter of time before someone brings her back. Boring. Also, the art was fairly inconsistent in this issue. If I waited months and months for this, I would expect pretty f*%&ing good art. But instead, we have a Ben Grimm that looks worse than the penis-head Ben Grimm drawn by Bryan Hitch and Cyclops and Colossus look so similar that they're interchangeable. I wasn't terribly disappointed in the plot itself, but in Whedon's execution. He always throws in those stupid moments, like when Brand tells Beast that she's frikking hot for him. Those are the words she uses. Gah. Not everybody talks like Buffy, okay? Can Whedon write another voice other than that? I think not.

That's it for this edition of Mini-Reviews!