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Monday, July 31, 2006

Not Exactly the Brightest Future Space Teens in the Universe

From the story "Collossal Boy's One-Man War" (in which, oddly enough, nothing remotely resembling that title actually happens), Edmond Hamilton and Curt Swan bring us this bit of insight into the same thought process that picked Matter Eater Lad for membership over, say, Polar Boy. Or anyone else, for that matter:


I know how you feel, Brainy. If only Triplicate Girl was still alive! If only she was, oh, I don't know, standing right there next to Ultra Boy.

Yeah yeah, I know that's supposed to be Phantom Girl and she just got miscolored, but c'mon: It's a lot more fun this way.

More Fun With the Legion:
| Revolt of the Girl Legionnaires |
| Just So You Know... |
| The Crank File: Adventure #303 |
| Just So We're Clear On This... |
| Jimmy Olsen: Chick Magnet... of the Future! |
| The Superboy Sound Effect Showdown |
| Superboy Prime is Entering a World of Pain |
| Badass Week Finale: The Toughest Woman in Comics |

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Unleash the Sorcerer Within!

Because if there's one thing that we can all learn from Stan Lee, Steve Ditko and Dr. Strange, it is this:

"Sorcery is more than the learning of ancient spells! It also stresses muscle power and fighting skill!

Because even when you have mastered the very secrets of the Vishanti themselves and regard the laws of physics more as gentle suggestions than anything else, you still need to punch somebody in the face from time to time.

It'll come up more often than you'd think.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Badass Panels, Volume 9: Fantastic Four #55

I'll be honest with you: I've never really been that into Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four.

Shocking, I know, considering that I'm not only a noted Kirby fan, but that I'm also someone who likes to get on the internet and pretend he knows something about comics, but the fact of the matter is, my own particular compulsions lead me to want to read things like FF from the beginning, and as you may have heard from our pals over at Ye Olde Comick Booke Blogge, those early ones can be a little rough to get through. So, despite my secret shame, I've long since written it off as something that just wasn't for me, intending to go back to it later.

Fantastic Four #55 has completely changed my mind.

Because honestly? There's not a whole lot in the world that can match the mind-shattering awesomeness of the Thing and the Silver Surfer beating the living hell out of each other for twenty pages. And that, with the exception of a brief appearance by Wyatt Wingfoot and Lockjaw, is pretty much all that happens in this issue.

It is beautiful.

The story opens with the FF returning from Reed and Sue's honeymoon, and Aunt Petunia's favorite nephew leaving Reed to haul in the luggage while he uses a crazy Kirbytech phone to call his blind sculptress ladyfriend Alicia Masters (who can't go four pages without captions reminding us that she is indeed a blind sculptress), only to find that she isn't home.

So of course, in a moment that's going to set the tone for Ben's incredible dicketry for the duration of the issue, he immediately assumes she's cheating on him and hops on the skycycle to go check up on her.

Ah, Romance!

The Surfer, meanwhile, has been hanging out on a nigh-inaccessable mountaintop, apparently just waiting for some climbers who think they're actually going to be accomplishing something to show up so that he can serve as a living reminder that what they struggle so bitterly for comes effortlessly to one possessed of the Power Cosmic. So yeah, pretty hard to decide who to root for in the upcoming slugfest.

Anyway, having totally ruined some dudes' dreams, the Surfer decides that it'd be a good idea to go hang out with Alicia. And if you need me to explain where this is headed, pal, I got four words for you:


And the single best thing in the issue? The Silver Surfer's first piece of dialogue after the Thing rolls up and punches him through the wall: "My former friend is displeased."

To his credit, the Surfer doesn't unlesash the Power Cosmic on the Thing, instead hanging back and defending himself while trying to figure out why one his the six people he knows on Earth suddenly decided to throw down on him. Or at least, he holds back right up until Ben Grimm punts a giant rock at him.

After that? It's on.

And when I say it's on, I mean it's on to the point where the Silver Surfer not only summons strength to match the Thing's, but also decides to go with one of the classic techniques of Self Defense...

...and turns himself into a walking atomic bomb.

Right about here, Ben decides that this was probably not the best idea he's ever had, and hops on the skycycle to get away from the Surfer before he blows his top, allegedly attempting to lure him into a warehouse district and getting punched through a brick wall himself.

For those of you keeping score at home, that brings the Punched-Through-A-Wall Score up to an even 1-1, although the Thing's able to pull ahead a few minutes later, when--angered by the fact that he's totaled the sky cycle and isn't even able to dent the Surfer's board--he drops the entire frigg'n warehouse onto the Surfer.

Because that's just how Ben Grimm rolls.

Seriously? I think there are more Rs and Ks in this comic than I have ever seen before in my life.

Anyway, that's about the time that Reed shows up to get Ben to stop acting like a total jerk before the Surfer gets tired of holding back and blasts him into the proverbial smithereens. And that's when Reed Richards--whose superpowers, I remind you, are that he can stretch his body and he's really smart--drops what may be one of thoe most totally badass lines in comics history:

"If you don't apologize to him for acting like a misanthropic madman, I'll show you what clobbering really means!!"

Reed is so mad that he's going to show a rock monster who just dropped a building on someone some REAL ass-kicking. Now THAT is hardcore.

BONUS FEATURE: A Missive From The Letters Page

The Comment: "The Black Panther is one of your better characters, much superior to the run-of-the-mill super-space-villains like Galactus."

The Response: "We thought (foolishly, perhaps) that a gent who could single-handedly drain all the life energy from a planet--and who was as close to being all-powerful as you can get--without being Odin--and who travelled around with a surf-boarding space herald--was at least slightly out of the ordinary!"

Cracks me up every time.

(Special thanks to MG3 for dropping this one on my desk this afternoon and getting me to read it.)

The Badass Panels Archive: The Face-Rockings Will Now Commence:

| Volume One: Captain America #194 |
| Volume Two: Ode to Punching |
| Volume Three: The Question #2 |
| Volume Four: Impulse #3 |
| Volume Five: Batman Adventures #3 |
| Volume Six: Iron Man #200 |
| Volume Seven: Daredevil #276 |
| Volume Eight: Ghost Rider #63 and #67 |

Friday, July 28, 2006

Blue Devil is Awesome, Part Two

Alas! Comics are a fickle mistress, and it's a sad fact that most of the time when a series gets cancelled, it tends to fizzle out with a string of issues that read like they were put together in fifteen minutes and pretty much serve to get to a nice round number to finish with. I'm looking at you here, JSA.

Fortunately, this is not the case with everyone's favorite stuntman and reluctant demonic super-hero, Blue Devil, as evidenced by the unmitigated radness of the double-sized spectacular that is Blue Devil #30.

Admittedly, the series actually ends with #31 and that one's a little underwhelming, but this one features Dan Cassidy's girlfriend blasting Super-Gorilla Grodd with a futuristic laser cannon...

...and that's a tough act to follow at the best of times.

Mostly owing, I suspect, to the fact that Blue Devil doesn't really have any enemies of his own outside of the demon Nebrios, this issue features Cassidy slugging it out with every single one of the Flash's major villains, who weren't doing a whole heck of a lot anyway back in 1986. And as good as it is, it's almost irrelevant.

Because right on page 15, there's a telepathic breakdancing gorilla.


If a superintelligent ape busting out the windmill doesn't blow your mind, then the fact that he's wearing a pink half-shirt advertising Breakin' 6 (presumably subtitled as "Gorilla Boogaloo") should completely shatter it.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Week in Ink: 7-26-06

Normally I try to keep well away from indulging in the usual diatribes about the devil's bible that is Wizard Magazine. Honestly, they wouldn't pander so much if The People didn't demand it, and if there wasn't a place in the world for jokes about monkeys disguised as legitimate comics criticism, you wouldn't be reading the ISB in the first place.

Yesterday's issue, however... Yeesh. Not only did it send a shock through the cutthroat world of magazine binding by switching over to staples, but there was a cover blurb advertising a story about Lost Girls, or, as their fine employees put it, "Alan Moore's Steamy Sex Comic."

Just... Just.. Jesus Christ, Wizard. Even the folks at Maxim are wondering how low your common denominator has to be to bring that out.

Plus, as Tug said yesterday, what's going to happen to the casual Wizard reader who really liked that LXG movie drops seventy-five bucks for three slipcased hardcovers worth of, as you said, "hardcore pornography," and gets really confused by all the literary references, the subtle shadows in the scene with Wendy and her husband, the nine-panel grids, the backdrop of World War I, and the fact that one of the characters is an elderly woman?

He's going to bring it back to me, that's what. And I'll have to explain to him that, sorry, but all sales are final.

Especially on the porno.

One can only hope that this guy has access to that last bastion of truth and journalistic excellence, The Internet! Because if you read it on the 'net, kids--especially in the ISB's Comics Reviews for the 4th Week of July--it's gotta be true!


52: Week Twelve: Someone came into the store today asking me how many issues 52 was going to be. Seriously. That happened. Anyway, this week's issue was reasonably underwhelming for me right from page one. I'm not sure if it's a strict interpretation of Giffen's stylized layouts or what, but I seriously have my doubts that Renee Montoya would be cowering in terror with a quivering lip, even in the face of being yelled at by Maggie Sawyer. Moving on through the issue, we've got the return of Isis (which I fail utterly to care about), couched in a scene with an over-the-top scenery-chewing Billy Batson that probably sounded a lot better in theory than it actually worked out.

On the plus side, however, Donna Troy is nowhere to be seen, and instead we've got Adam Hughes drawing Wonder Woman that--while it does manage to include both bullet-deflecting and bondage in the span of two pages--doesn't really do much in the way of revealing her Secret Origin for "New" Earth, like whether or not it was still Hippolyta during World War II, and the font for her profile makes it look like someone's GeoCities fan-page, but hey: It's really pretty.

Action Comics #841: Considering that it has Superman punching a giant robot, Firestorm, and an offhand mention of Santa Claus, this issue's tabloid-style Dave Gibbons cover might just go down as one of my favorites of 2006. Storywise, the whole thing reads like a weird Silver Age Superman adventure ("Giant aliens are stealing Alcatraz!"), and while that's all well and good, I feel like the villain of the piece owes a little too much to Manga Khan for my tastes, much in the same way that while it's nice to see Firestorm confident and in control, it's a far cry from the way he reacted to Batman in his own book a few months back. It's not what I'd call spectacular, but it's a good, solid read with fine art from Pete Woods--and again, that cover's great.

All New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #7: Finally, the hard questions have been answered. MODOK, for the record, is 12 feet tall, weighs 750 pounds, can travel via email, and rates a solid one in Fighting Skills. All that and more, a mere 33 pages after we find out that Grant Morrison's Marvel Boy did in fact take place in the mainstream Marvel Universe. Although they got Oubliette's name wrong.

Astro City Special #1: Forty pages of Kurt Buisiek and Brent Anderson's Astro City for a mere four bucks would be a bargain anyway, but this one goes that extra mile to be great. The story's sharp and clever, revolving around the Samaritan's opposite number, The Infidel, and structuring it along the "Eagle and the Mountain" metaphor was highly enjoyable as well. I've mentioned it before, but I really like Evil Opposite stories, and with Busiek's thorough attention to making the Infidel an opposing force for Samaritan in every way, this one was easier to enjoy than most.

Batman #655: What?! Batman by Grant Morrison and it's not my Best of the Week?! What strange madness is this?! Well, it might not have met my relatively arbitrary criteria (you'll see why about eight entries down), but believe me when I say that yes: It is totally awesome. The Joker's dialogue--much like his shoes--is both hilarious and menacing, and for a guy who gets shot in the face on page four, he almost steals the whole comic. Andy Kubert's art is downright amazing (although I'm still a little confused as to why Kirk Langstrom's rolling around in a Victorian-era traveling cloak), and while I've always loved his work, this is the best stuff I've ever seen him do, and I suspect that it has a lot to do with Dave Stewart's always-fantastic coloring.

I do, however, feel that in the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I cannot stand Man-Bat. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I'm adamantly against animals-who-are-also-people, seeing as I also do not care for the Lizard and I loathe the very concept of centaurs. The only exception to this rule is, of course, Swarm, who is simply made of bees. To be fair, though, before Grant Morrison came along, I had never heard the word "Man-Bat" immediately prefaced by "an army of ninja." And that might just be enough, True Believer.

Battle Pope #9: I've mentioned before that it's interesting for me to go back and read Battle Pope from the perspective of a fan of Robert Kirkman circa 2006, but as the series goes on, the novelty's rapidly wearing off and I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to stick with it. It's funny--especially the part where the Pope tracks down and brutally jumpkicks a would-be papal assassin--but I'm not sure if it's funny enough to warrant a monthly $3.50 cover price.

Birds of Prey #96: I'm not trying to say that Jerry Ordway's completely lost it or anything, but Black Alice is a teenage girl, and on the cover to this week's Birds of Prey, she bears a striking resemblance to my grandmother. Black Alice, incidentally, is awesome. Not only is she the best thing to come out of Gail Simone's underwhelming "Hero Hunters" storyline from last summer, but with a great set of interesting and visually exciting powers, she might just be my favorite new character in recent memory. And it's great to see her back, especially in a story that also includes the wondrous joy that is pancakes, and the shocking (read: hilarious) revelations about Barbara Gordon's online sex life. Cover aside, it's an excellent issue.

Captain America #20: All You Need To Know: Captain America punches the living hell out of Super-Nazis aboard a blimp right before the Red Skull unleashes his ridiculously awesome secret weapon from the pages of the highly underrated 65th Anniversary special. Union Jack guest stars.

Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways #1: To be honest, I've never been a fan of Zeb Wells, and everything that I've read of his has struck me as being reasonably annoying, and Stefano Caselli's art doesn't do a heck of a lot for me, so I was pretty much set to just enjoy half of a cover by Jim Cheung, read the story to keep up with a bunch of characters I really like, and end up being mildly disinterested. And that's how I felt right up until Flagsmasher showed up.

Flagsmasher, for those of you who don't know, is the leader of the single most awesomely-acronymed terrorist organization in comics history, the Underground Liberated Totally Integrated Mobile Army To Unite Mankind, known colloquially as ULTIMATUM, and I cannot get enough of that guy. You win this round, Wells.

Corporate Ninja #3: I liked the first two issues of Corporate Ninja a heck of a lot, but let's be honest here: When you put the wrong issue number on the cover to your comic, that's not a good sign. And really, Matt Mocarski: A Max Headroom joke? That's a comedic vacuum from which there is no escape, bro.

Crisis Aftermath: The Spectre #3: Will Pfeifer continues to work through his problems with the Spectre, and with this issue's climax (and the twist ending of the series), he manages to wrap up the Cris Allen/Jim Corrigan storyline in the most absolutely unsatisfying way possible. And even with Cliff Chiang's awesome art and the fact that I came in actively wanting to like Cris Allen as the Spectre, the whole thing feels like a massive letdown.

Daredevil #87: I've been saying it for months now, but Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark have quickly made Daredevil one of the best and most exciting books that Marvel's publishing, and this issue's no exception. There's not a single page that didn't have something I thought was awesome, and Brubaker does more with the Punisher in one panel--heck, in one line--than a lot of people think to do in entire stories. Excellent, excellent stuff, and one of the most surprising shock endings in a long time to round it all out.

GØDLAND #12: The first year of Godland comes to its titanic conclusion featuring an all-out slugfest in a giant evil space pyramid between a man made of explosive energy and an insane cultist who quotes The Warriors, and I just have to ask: What's not to like?

Hawkgirl #53 & 54: Diamond finally decided that it might be a good idea to "emergency ship" last month's issue of Hawkgirl to us a mere four weeks after they forgot to put it in the boxes in the first place, and all I can say is: No, I have no idea why Kendra Saunders is wearing the laciest purple bra I have ever seen underneath her costume. Well, if we're honest, I do: Because Howard Chaykin, that's why. Anyway, as much as I want to like this book, #54 continues to leave me confused and slightly irritated. Mostly because we're four isssues into it and I have no frickin'idea what's going on. It does however, have a guy banging a stick against the floor and turning into Hawkman, so I'll at least stick around to see what's up with that.


Jack of Fables #1: Considering that Fables is consistently one of the best comic books on the stands, I was pretty sure that the spin-off book was going to be a solid read. But then I actually read it, and realized that it's Fables meets The Prisoner, and if that's not one of the best high concepts I've ever heard, I don't know what is.

They are, in fact, the two great tastes that go great together. Taking it from the top, we've got a cover by the always-amazing James Jean that not only features his beautiful art, but also crams in the best fourth wall-breaking gags since She-Hulk threatened your back issues. It's hard to beat the logo's assertion of "Nobody Deserves His Own Book More Than..." but Rose Red's "You were a lousy lover" picket sign cracks me up every time.

Inside, Bill Willingham and co-writer Matthew Sturges kick things off with a brief recap before pushing it straight into highly enjoyable McGoohan country, and it's awesome. Even without the Prisoner structure, the script's got some great moments, and Tony Akins' pencils compliments Fables artist Mark Buckingham's excellently, and he does the same good job of littering scenes with the background eye candy that I like so much. And to top it all off, it's got what may well be the most shocking return in comics history--and I'm not talking about the one on the last page either. It's an awesome comic book, and trust me: You'll hate yourself if you miss it. Or at the very least, I'll hate you.

JLA Classified #25: Aquaman is completely useless to the point of tripping over his own feet and having to be saved from certain death by rain, Gypsy sees the future and thinks Gypsy thoughts, Martian Manhunter completely forgets that he can turn invisble, walk through walls, read people's minds, and punch through a wall, and I'm left wondering where the last fifteen minutes of my life went. To be fair, the story ends with--as Scipio points out--a great Vibe panel, but mostly I was just glad that the whole thing was over and done with...

JSA Classified #14: ...OR WAS IT?! Yes, because one title's biweekly story-arc wasn't enough to contain the sheer Englefury of the Detroit League, we now have this. And man, Steve Englehart wrote some of my favorite Batman stories ever, but this stuff is rough. Between some of the most awkward dialogue I've ever seen and a plot that I liked a heck of a lot better when it was on the Justice League cartoon, I'm going to go ahead and sit the rest of this one out.

Neverwhere #8: I don't usually mention Neverwhere--mostly because it's the third time I'm getting through the story and I don't have much new to say about it--but while I've never been a huge fan of Glenn Fabry, his version of Down Street in this issue is incredible. I think that guy might be going places.

Red Sonja #12: Despite the fact that it was probably solicited with some sort of wildly inappropriate adjective tacked onto it by the fine folks at Dynamite's marketing department (which seriously needs to stop, as it's the worst thing in Previews outside of Avatar's two-page spread of Lady Death variants), the John Romita Sr./John Romita Jr. cover for this issue is awesome. And it's even got word balloons, which--combined with last week's talkative cover for Shadowpact gives me hope that they're on the way back. It's fantastic. Unfortunately, the story inside completely failed to keep my attention, and I ended up just skipping through Sonja's lengthy ruminations about her goddess to the part where Kulan Gath shows up. ***SPOILER WARNING***: Kulan Gath shows up.

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #8: You know what the best thing is about this book? It's got great, consistently well-done high school romance drama from Sean McKeever along with fantastic art and coloring from Takeshi Miyazawa (who seems to be getting better and better with each issue) and Christina Strain. But then, right when Mary Jane's rehearsing her lines from Twelfth Night, drawing on her own experiences realizing she likes Peter Parker just as Gwen Stacy shows up in the picture, Spider-Man shows up and talks about how he's trying to track down the Looter, and that completely justifies my manly purchasing habits and makes me feel like much less of a total girl for loving it as much as I do. But man, is it good.

Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #39: ...And speaking of comics that need justification, we have what may be the least enjoyable issue of Tarot ever--and that's saying something. Oddly enough, it's bad for the same reason as last week's Justice League of America #0, in that this issue focuses on imaginary futures for each character, including: One where Jon fathers children with both Tarot and her sister, which is something I think we're supposed to be cool with but yet still manages to give me the jibblies; Raven Hex building a new civilization after the government gets mad just because the witches take over one little town, a scenario that includes Raven Hex liberating witches from concentration camps; and the postmortem adventures of the Skeleton Man, the World's Most Retarded Supernatural Avenger. So yeah: Not exactly Shakespeare. On a more serious note, though, this issue also includes a disclaimer that I hadn't noticed before that expressly forbids the electronic reproduction of any of the contents without written consent of the creators. Which sucks, because I was totally going to scan that picture of Tarot being puked on by a zombie warthog and use it as my sig file on Girl-Wonder.org.

Ultimate X-Men #72: With as enjoyable as Ultimate Longshot was, and with Ultimate Cable just around the corner, am I the only one hoping that Magician actually turns out to be Ultimate Adam x?

I am? Yeah, I figured.

Wasteland #1: I picked this one up last week after missing out on the initial order, and I'm glad to report that it'd be worth your three bucks even if it wasn't double-sized. I suppose that means that it's actually worth double your three bucks, but regardless: It's good stuff. I've liked Antony Johnston ever since Alan Moore's The Courtyard, which was hands-down the best of Avatar's "Alan Moore" adaptations, and he doesn't disappoint in this one, taking the standard tropes of the post-apocalyptic western and having fun with them, ending up with a slick, well-done product that has its fair share of exciting and clever moments. My personal favorite was a bit in the text piece after the main story that refers to the world changing after "the New Killer War." It's the kind of fun wordplay that I can't resist, and it's got me hooked for the next issue. Great stuff.


Cromartie High School v.6: Seeing as how Cromartie is the funniest manga on the shelves, and this particular volume opens with four guys in KISS makeup talking about how cleaning a smudge off the wall makes you a total badass before moving into a story arc about a gorilla who gets a job at a sushi restaurant, you really shouldn't need me to tell you to buy it. It is, in fact, the best thing ever.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Move Along

Nothing to see here.

Yeah, I'm taking the night off. Because really, how am I supposed to follow up a seventy-eight line poem about half of a Marvel Comics crossover?

Reviews'll be up tomorrow as per usual.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Abridged Civil War, Part One

Here at the ISB, it's one of my founding principles that I don't just tell you what to read, I actually go so far as to read things for you, sacrificing my own time so that you, gentle reader, can go out and, I don't know, get a girl or something while I'm sitting here trying to crack jokes about Skateman.

It is in this spirit, then, that I offer tonight's presentation, for those of you that aren't keeping up with Marvel's current seven-part "event," Civil War. And this time--in a format that was originally inspired by the cover to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #6, but, now that I think of it, ended up having a lot more in common with Jerry Reed's "She Got the Gold Mine (I Got The Shaft)--I'm doing it in rhyme.

The Abridged Civil War: A Poem

Crossovers galore!
Here we go with Civil War!
When Superheroes Congress try to ban!

Who's the bad guy? Doctor Doom?
Thanos? Ultron? Fin Fang Foom?
Well, actually, y'see, it's Iron Man.

This is how it happened:
When they came on villains nappin',
The New Warriors, they knew just what to do.

"We can take 'em, Namorita!
Season 2'll be much sweeter!
Now c'mon, let's go! We few, we happy few!"

Alas, it was the Warriors' doom
When the bad guy went KABOOM!
(along with most of Stamford and some kids).

Really, though: they had to know,
That guy's frigg'n name's Nitro!
But that was when things really hit the skids.

Such destruction! Can't imagine!
Not like that one time when Manhattan
Was invaded by Atlantis, Snakes, or Space.

Or when Hell on Earth erupted,
Or the President Corrupted--
But let's continue moving on apace.

"Listen here!" said old John Q.,
"This is what we're gonna do:
A registry to keep you all in line!"

Iron Man had this to say:
"Although I've mindwiped in my day
And lied and drank and perjured, that seems fine."

There was, however, one slight snag:
"This lack of freedom's such a drag,"
Captain America said with a frown.

The Sentinel of Liberty
Said "Yeah, this whole thing's not for me.
So back up, lest I'm forced to take you down.

"I don't mean to be so crass,
But Tony Stark can kiss my ass."
And then he took the Helicarrier to school.

Then Cap rode atop a jet,
Fed the pilot (He's a vet)
And honestly? That's pretty fuckin' cool.

Iron Man took him to task,
So Peter Parker lost his mask,
And added that he had some things to say:

"Although ol' Jonah's gonna steam,
I've been Spidey since fifteen!
Boy, I hope nobody kills my dear Aunt May!"

Meanwhile, in Cap's base-a-ment:
"We'll have to fight the government!
And I know just who I want on my team!"

"The Young Avengers, if you please
And round it out with Hercules!
Daredevil, too (at least that's who it seems)!"

Black Goliath's here to stay,
Cloak and Dagger? What the hey!
Cable? Sure, why not? He's got that arm."

"We'll get some new identities
Like Victor Tegler from I.T.,
And that should keep us (mostly) safe from harm."

"But we're gonna need new clothes,
And I'll go break Hank Pym's nose
'Cause I always really thought that he's a dick."

What's this? The IDs compromised?
Already Deadpool's gotten wise?
After what, like just one day? Well that was quick.

So much for the underground,
Let's all have a big showdown!
With Spider-Man just acting like a jerk.

Really, Peter: Not the time.
I realize that's how you fight crime.
But right now, stupid jokes aren't going to work.

So There you have it: Reed's a dick.
Pete's a lackey, Cap's been licked.
And now we've got a turncoat Mighty Thor!

Four more issues left to go
(Plus the tie-ins, forty mo')
In this rassin' frassin' complicated Civil War!

Monday, July 24, 2006

We're Gonna Need a Bigger Shield

I realize this is going to sound odd, but bear with me here: Captain America #360 may, in fact, be one of the ten greatest Marvel Comics ever printed.

Coming in as part four of Mark Gruenwald and Kieron Dwyer's "The Bloodstone Hunt," (the first chapter of which features a teenage Captain America setting a bad example), "Blood in the Sea" is one of the forgotten classics of the art form.

And not just because it features a duel of accents between Batroc the Leaper and Baron Zemo, or even that it involves pages upon pages of a soaking-wet Diamondback kicking it on a luxury yacht in a ripped-up costume. As enjoyable as those things are, they are mere prelude to the real entertainment.

Because in this issue... Captain America Punches Sharks

"You all know me. Know how I earn a livin'."

"Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that, you get the head, the tail..."

"You get the whole damn thing."

BONUS FEATURE: The ISB Poetry Corner

And now, in honor of Scipio, a Haiku inspired by that last panel:

Introspective Cap.
Underwater Shark Punch: "Poont!"
Sound effect: Awesome.

Feel free to add your own, or simply marvel at the fact that with a single use of the phrase "underwater shark punch," I have mastered Japanese poetry.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Best. Caption. Ever.

Yeah, I might be phoning it in tonight, but I've got a cold, and this one speaks for itself:

Accept no substitutes, dear reader. Burning a monster with the fires of Hell itself while a terrified woman looks on?

Now that's a Demon.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

FACT: Blue Devil is Awesome

Prepare yourself for the single most face-rocking one-sentence plot summary in the history of comics:

In Blue Devil #25, Dan Cassidy and Jimmy Olsen team up to battle an attempt by terrorist leprechauns to destroy Ireland using the Bio-Restorative formula that created Swamp Thing.

One more time, that's:

Jimmy Olsen...

Terrorist Leprechauns...

...And the Swamp Thing.

My work here is done.