According to the Marvel forums, these things are bad ideas

I just want to get this straight. Man - Thing versus white collar criminals is a bad idea. Crossdressing Undead Vampire Batman is a bad idea.

Seriously, though. I think these two posters have unintentionally created some awesomeness here.

Random Thoughts

The first of these random thoughts has nothing to do with comic books. The second does.

1. September - November is a damn good time to be a Dallas Cowboys fan. I don’t even really mean that in a snarky “the Cowboys suck in December haha” kinda way (partly because I actually am a Cowboys fan). I mean it, every year it looks like things might be going good for the Cowboys, maybe this is the year that they go all the way. Consider the NFL teams that haven’t won a playoff game this decade:

Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Bengals (they’ll have a shot to win a playoff game this year)

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Dallas Cowboys

Being a fan of these teams for the last decade had to suck. Except for the Cowboys. Because for the last few years, we’ve had September - November to enjoy. It’s obviously bittersweet (with a pretty heavy focus on the bitter), kind of like how the Redskins are the offseason champs every year.

2. I was reading The Flash: Emergency Stop, a trade (written by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar, art by Paul Ryan) I picked up recently. Jay Garrick, substituting for Wally West, notes how Superhero (and by implication, the writers are saying Comic Book) eras come in periods of twenty years. ‘35 to ‘55 was the Golden Age. ‘55 to ‘75 was the Silver Age. ‘75 to ‘95 was the Dark Age. Jay and another character speculate on this and note that it’s too early to tell what the next age will be called (The Emergency Stop story arc was published in ‘97/’98 I think). Following the pattern, the next Age would take place between ‘95 and ‘15.

I think we should call it Dark Age 2: More Darker. I had to do a bit of research to justify this claim. A lot of it comes from just reading comics and trying to get up to date, which is what I did in September when I got back into comics.

I believe this is the age where Aunt May was killed off 2 or 3 different times. The age where "The Rape Pages" were in more than once. The age where the Marvel Superheroes had a Civil War, and the DC Superheroes were subjugated to Crises Infinite and Final, and one of Identity. Currently, in Marvel the Reign is Dark. In DC, the Night is at it’s Blackest.

So, yeah. Dark Age 2: More Darker.

Comics! Again

Bought a lot of comics this week. Also picked up the trade of Green Arrow: Year One which was a very pleasant surprise.

Everything ahead could contain potential spoilers.

Amazing Spider-Man #613

Moves the story forward, but I wasn’t too fond of this one. It’s Spidey and Electro, also the Thinker. Was hoping we’d have some more interaction with the red thought bubbles guy who is setting up a Gauntlet for Spidey to run. Can’t say I’m interested in the Dexter Bennett saga much at all.

Criminal: The Sinners Part Two

Brubaker and Phillips are still going strong. Sean Phillips isn’t overly flashy with his art, but his style complements Brubaker’s writing perfectly. I’m loving their work so far, having read Incognito 1 - 6 as well. Good issue touching on Tracy’s relationship with a detective, the mob boss’ daughter and the young man behind the recent murders.

Fantastic Four #573

This interdimensional stuff throws me sometimes. The adventure on Nu Earth is good and it works as a sort of one - shot story. If we can get to what the Fantastic Four is doing on regular earth, that would be swell. Child - genius Valeria is something I enjoyed, I just hope they make her a into a bit more of a likeable character. I guess what I’m asking for is a bit more maturity out of the 8 year old in my comic book.

Incredible Hercules #138

This is shaping up to be pretty good. I like how Hebe’s character is working out, I like Cho, heck I like the inclusion of the Avengers. The Agents of Atlas backup was good too.

Invincible Iron Man #20

I’m excited for Stark: Disassembled. Matt Fraction is doing one hell of a job on this and I’ve started to like Tony Stark. Salvadore Larroca also does an awesome job on the artwork, even though 6 pages is just a hologram of Tony Stark’s head talking to the reader. Still great stuff.

Powers #1

The cartoony art plus the mature content is throwing me a little bit. The writing is good, I think. But I can’t really focus on it, would I think the writing is pure genius if it was done with a different art style? Don’t really know, the art is good and the writing is good, it just doesn’t feel like they really fit each other. Also, not sure who the chick with the cape is on the cover. The only panel she appears in is when the main character is fantasizing about her while banging his girlfriend. I might be able to appreciate this more as it goes on, we’ll see.

Uncanny X-Men #517

I liked the first two in the Nation X storyline. I can see how the “Mutants vs. Goverment” thing can get old, I was tired of it back when I watched the X-Men TV show as a kid. It’s a solid read for what it is, the X-Men vs. some crazy beasties called Predators. Plus the Rogue thing was pretty cool.

Web of Spider-Man #2

At 4 bucks an issue, I’m dropping this one next month. I didn’t mind the Electro origin story with Magneto, but I can’t get into Spider-Girl and the Clone Saga being redone in it. The third feature, a J. Jonah Jameson thing, wasn’t all that entertaining.

Image United #1

This was really good. I liked how Fortress was the center of the book and the side stories with Spawn and Youngblood that have been set up are going to be pretty cool I think. The art is, as expected, amazing. I don’t personally notice the different styles all that well, but the collaboration is creating some pretty spectacular results.

Arkham Reborn #2

I like how it involves Freeze, Clayface and Croc. I’m not entirely sure what the point of this series is, though. I guess it’s to put together a new Arkham Asylum and hopefully the first two issues are building up to something interesting in the 3rd and final issue.

Blackest Night #5

Larfleeze and the rest of the Lanterns, whoever the hell they are, have teamed up to battle the Black Lanterns on earth. The Flash is also there, and the other Flash and Kid Flash shows up with the rest of the heroes. Weird ending though. I feel like there were two kids playing with action figures and the next issue should contain the other kid going “Wait, you can’t just automatically kill off all of the heroes by saying “DIE” that’s not fair!”

Detective Comics #859

Two of the best stories this week were in Detective Comics. The amazing duo of Rucka and Williams keeps rolling. Getting to know Kate Kaine is a lot of fun. I don’t even mind that next to nothing happened in the present day storyline. The Question was great and of course everything is improved by the appearance of Huntress.

Gotham City Sirens #6

I really love Guillem March’s art. I’m not going to expect a whole lot from Gotham City Sirens in terms of storylines though. I’m looking for a fun comic book involving Harley Quinn, and that’s what I’ve been getting.

Green Lantern #48

This is the prelude to Blackest Night #5 and it teams up all the Lanterns. But who cares about any of that. Larfleeze:

Justice League of America #39

This is another one of those MY GOD THESE ARE PEOPLE I KNEW WHO DIED BUT NOW THEY’RE WALKING AROUND AGAIN THE HORROR Blackest Night tie - ins. This one is better executed than the Outsiders one, that’s all I can say for it.

The Noob’s favourite character of the week:

Very easy pick this week with Larfleeze. Honorable mentions include: Fortress, Kate Kaine, Rogue, Huntress, Question and Tony Stark’s hologram.

The charming gent pictured above opens Green Lantern #48. “Do you know what people want most? Something somebody else has.” Larfleeze continues to steal the show all the way through GL 48 and into Blackest Night #5. His simple-minded greed is becoming one of the most entertaining things in comics.

Comics!

So, I was sick on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday became the day to buy comic books this week. Sadly, this caused me to miss out on Punisher #11. I picked up my first Punisher comic ever last week, Punishermax #1. Was looking forward to jumping into the main story. Frank Castle as a zombie/monster/whatever seems like as good a place to start as any. I’ll hunt one down sometime next week. What I picked up:

Everything ahead could contain potential spoilers.

Azrael #2

Solid story, kept me interested. Fabian Nicieza is building Azrael’s character, which is fine. I guess it kind of bugs me that Mike Lane appears to jumps into the superhero role so easily, outsmarting The White Ghost, generally kicking ass. This isn’t a big drawback, just would be nice to have a little more inner monologue. I did like the two flashbacks in the beginning and how they played into the rest of the story. Also, Huntress.

Batman: Unseen #4 of 5

This, to me, is comic book simplicity. And Kelley Jones’ Batman is a sight to behold. It’s nothing spectacular, but it does it’s job well.

Batman: Streets of Gotham #6

Chris Yost finishes his Huntress/Man-Bat story this week. Good stuff, twist ending. I liked the idea of a priest forced to endure all of the shit that Gotham City piles on him finally snapping and believing that God is telling him to murder people. The fact that we didn’t get an awesome new crazy priest villain out of this storyline disappointed me a bit, because that’s where I thought it was going. Still good.

Brave and the Bold #29

I’m a sucker for these recent past/present team up type things because I’m a bit of a history nerd. I started on Brave and the Bold at #28 and Barry Allen fighting during WWII was pretty sweet. So of course I thought all the flashbacks to the 60s and how the death of Bobby Kennedy impacted the movement was pretty sweet. The Geek’s character and how he views the present vs. the past is extremely well done. Just a great story as a whole.

Outsiders #24

This is 4 bucks this week, kind of hard to justify it. The Terra/Geo-Force thing was kind of boring at this point. I’ve seen a lot of very similar Blackest Night stories. It’s pretty much: OH MY GOD YOU WERE DEAD NOW YOU’RE WALKING AROUND and YOU ARE MY SISTER AS WELL SO WOW. I’m also not sure why this is the specific issue where we find a Black Lantern fighting against their orders or whatever. Then the Katana and her dead family thing is again the same as every increasingly mundane Blackest Night encounter so far. I guess if you really care about Katana and know her backstory it’s something worth reading. I probably won’t buy Outsiders again until I hear some positive reviews.

Hellblazer #261

This is my first Hellblazer comic. I’ve been falling into the trap of buying only the main Marvel/DC stuff. Last week I bought Supergod #1 and Criminal: The Sinners Part One in order to step outside the box. This week, I grabbed Hellblazer because it was the beginning of a new story arc. I like Colonel Saab’s character and how he’s become some sort of demon. John Constantine is the typical enjoyable anti-hero. A solid book.

Invincible #68

Another of my attempts to start buying comics without Marvel or DC on the cover. This one has 4 pages of Dinosaurus and then the rest is build up to:

A. The sequid invasion of earth. (Don’t ask me, I’ve got no clue what it is either)

B. ¬†Invincible’s girlfriend is pregnant

There’s a good moment where Invincible’s girlfriend’s dad starts going on about virginity at length. This is followed by a great couple of panels where Invincible is sitting on the couch with a perfect look of terror on his face. The art by Ryan Ottley is superb in this issue.

I felt like this was one of the more underwhelming things I picked up this week. Maybe I just need to understand the series as a whole more.

Amazing Spider - Man #612

I thoroughly enjoyed this, Electro as a man of the people was excellent. I’m a little confused as to the meaning of The Gauntlet. The only hint at it is on the 2nd page that Electro some guy who speaks in red thought bubbles has assembled some villains. Then there is no mention of this for the rest of the issue. The issue is solid, but the only thing that actually seems relevant to how it was advertised in the first place is that Electro is present. The second feature’s art is pretty awesome, by JM Ken Niimura.

Now that I realize that Electro is just part of The Gauntlet rather than in control of it. This storyline has got me thinking of the Batman Hush storyline, some villain somehow manipulating some of Spidey’s most well known villains. The Gauntlet must be a 3 - part story arc for each villain (The list appears to be Rhino, Lizard - Man, Mysterio, Sand - Man, Kraven’s wife and daughter, and Electro) every month. That seems pretty awesome.

Dark Reign The List Amazing Spider - Man

A really excellent “Good guys win - bad guys lose” story. Peter Parker gets to deliver a heroic speech to the Iron Patriot at the end. Good stuff. Interested to see how it plays into the rest of Dark Reign.

Spider - Man 1602 #2 of 5

I think I mentioned that I’m a bit of a history nerd earlier. This is positively glorious. It’s the Marvel universe taking place in 1602. Just buy it.

Deadpool Merc With A Mouth #5

This appears to be the conclusion of a story arc, but I still love it. I dunno, maybe I’ll get tired of Deadpool being hilariously insane. Right now I’m just eating it up.

The Incredible Hulk #604

Bruce Banner is cool. This isn’t the greatest book on the market right now, the art style probably isn’t for everyone. The story is mostly just waiting around for Bruce Banner to become The Hulk again so Skaar and The Hulk can have an awesome battle. But Bruce Banner is cool, so everything is OK.

War Machine #11

I thought this issue was really good. Jim Rhodes standing up for what he believes in, the appearance of Ares. Also, a clone of Jim Rhodes. Because why not?

That’s all I bought.

The Noob’s favourite character of the week:

Colonel Saab Burke earns this… honor? Whatever.

Sure, this was a week involving the dismembered zombie head of Deadpool, Peter Parker being awesome in Dark Reign The List, “King’s Pin” (what is a King’s Pin anyways?), The Geek, and Bruce Banner.

The beast pictured above is a former British Colonel who lives in colonized India. He enjoys talking to a large picture of Queen Victoria and raping and murdering young Indian girls. After he killed a girl way back when, some mystic Indian man put a curse on him. It’s to be assumed that he was put in some sort of limbo. Flash forward to present - day India. He’s murdered thirteen Indian girls recently and crossed paths with John Constantine, promised a “real beauty” if he can eliminate Constantine.